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NBA Studs and Duds from the first weekend of the season restart

One weekend down and many to go. Our Shoot or Pass Podcast Co-Hosts will be sharing their Studs and Duds right here. Who impressed and who disappointed? Find out below!

STUDS

Chevy – Damian Lillard

While we’ve witnessed a win and a loss from the Blazers, Dame is making NBA headlines. Dame means business in the bubble. He’s not here to play just 2 weeks and 8 games of basketball, he plans on sticking around for a deep run. He’s playing playoff minutes (45 vs. the Grizzlies, 44 vs. the Celtics) and is averaging about 30 points each game (29 vs. the Grizzlies, 30 vs. the Celtics). Unfortunately, the Blazers lost yesterday after a big on Friday, but the goal here is to get within 4 games of the 8th seed to force a play-in. I think Dame can keep them hanging around for it.

Rhoby – Kyle Lowry

KYLEFORNIA knows how to party! Lebronto is no more, as Lebron and the Lakers were bullied around by Kyle Lowry Friday night. NBA players are supposed to be breaking down by their mid-30s and undersized guards aren’t supposed to be hitting threes with a 7-footer in their face or making an impact as a rim protector, however, Kyle Lowry isn’t getting the memo. He scored a game-high 33 points, nabbed a career-high 14 rebounds, and has 6 assists. I am sold. The Raptors are a force to be reckoned with in this NBA Restart.

DUDS

Chevy – Zion Williamson

I know I have to tread carefully here because this is the NBA’s new poster boy, but if I’m Adam Silver you want him to be seen and on the floor. What is his deal? A month or two ago, a picture of Zion surfaced on social media and he looked like he was in great shape and ready to lead the Pelicans to the playoffs. Needless to say, I don’t understand the way Alvin Gentry is restricting his minutes. In the loss to the Jazz, Zion was on the bench for a crucial 4th quarter. Wouldn’t you want the best player on your team to be playing in those scenarios? Definitely a concern for a rising star on a team fighting for playoff spot.

Rhoby – Shake Milton

To begin with, this stat line says it all – 0 points, 1 rebound, 3 assists. NOT a good look for the new starting PG of a Sixers. This team appears to be failing expectations. What’s new? He appeared to have no command of the ball, only took one shot in the game in the 4th quarter, made some bad turnovers, and found himself in foul trouble. He focused on racial injustice in post-game comments, which is great, but I hope he’s also focusing on his game going forward because the Sixers need him to show up if they want to make noise in the playoffs!

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Top 10 Battle Rap NBA/Basketball Bars of all Time

Top 10 NBA/Basketball Bars of All Time

Heat Check

Continuing my anthology of some of my favorite sports-related bars of all time, we’re moving into basketball with this list. Basketball and hip hop have been linked forever and have influenced one another in a myriad of ways. Battle rap would be no exception as it’s essentially the street ball of rap. I don’t think there’s a battle rapper who hasn’t made at least one NBA or basketball reference in their career. I had to take a lot of time to consider what to put on this inaugural list. The top 3 could be in any order. Here we go.

Bars were chosen based on creativity, references used, and the uniqueness of the bar. I’ll be citing the battles the bars appear in, please check them out so these artists can get the love they deserve. Thanks to Genius.com for some lyrical clarity.

Honorable Mentions

“Ibaka, I make my living off taking blocks.” Goodz (vs. Aye Verb)

“He’ll be Isaiah Thomas: Detroit nigga pissed on (Piston) with 11 in his back.” Tay Roc (vs. Ill Will)

“Violate him in 5 seconds like the nigga trying to inbound.” Arsonal (vs. Aye Verb)

“Before the cut; Shumpert, after the cut; Beasley.” Gun Titles (vs. NWX)

10. B Magic – Back to the Cavalier (vs. Conceited)

Classic B Magic delivery made this bar stand out me. Plus I like the double wordplay.

Conceited gon’ catch every shell it contain
Then I’m running back to the Cavalier: LeBron James

9. Calicoe – Rajon Rondo’d (vs. O-Red)

Calicoe was on a killing spree against new jersey at this time, and this bar lead to a lot of Rondo bars against Surf going forward.

I show up to Rajon with a blindfold; get Rajon John Doe’d

Put a nine in Rajon Back and get Rajon Rondo’d

8. Jaz The Rapper – Get the Tech (vs. Official)

I love one-liner bars like this. It set the energy for the battle for Jaz.

I’m gonna talk crazy to Official…just so I can get the tech

7. Tsu Surf – Lakers Scheme (vs. Conceited)

There’s been a lot of starting 5 bars spit, and I think this one is the best. You know they say Surf’s cold but all he talks about is hoopin…

And if I gotta let it go then I’ma clap ’til he drop
POW! I felt like Kobe how word got back to the block after the shots… Pau, Kobe, Howard, back to the block

6. Hitman Holla – JR Smith Remix (vs. Aye Verb)

The very first remix that becomes Holla’s signature move ever since. It wasn’t the most complicated bar, but the performance and delivery upped this to a classic.
I come to one of Verb parties with the AR clip
And shoot soon as I get in like I’m J.R. Smith

 

5. Hollow Da Don – Timeout in Michigan (vs. Tsu Surf)

Personal and creative. Hollow’s return against Surf is anchored with this haymaker.

Hopin’ it gets better, playin’ Chris Webber
Tryin’ to forget that time out in Michigan

4. Ill Will – At the Rucker Game (vs. Tay Roc)

The second bar from this battle, it was aided by Will’s excellent performance of the bar. Not to mention you can see Hot Sauce in your head doing what Will said.

So if he go for the steal, I’ll put one round his head
And tuck it back in the shirt like Hot Sauce at a Rucker game

3. Big T – Lebron James (vs. Deacon Frost)

Classic, classic bar. If you know old URL, you remember this bar.

Don’t let me hear  you cremating her

I’ll show up to your crib, and Lebron James the remains of her

2. Marvwon and Quest MCody – Gilbert Arenas (vs. Chess and Steams)

This is an all-time top bar. Marv and Quest are flawless on stage together, and this shows it. I get the stink face just thinking of this bar it’s so nasty.

Y’all called the right bluff, nigga pressuring us will make the pipe bust

I tell my niggas Gilbert Arenas if he actin’ type tough

Hold up you better break that down

That’s when you put a Gun on a PG, and fuck his whole life up

1. Murda Mook – Jordan Still won that game (vs. Yung Hot)

Mook’s scheme here could arguably be the most famous lines in battle rap. Years later people still allude to it. It’s hard to deny the levels to this scheme, and it goes to show why Mook is held in such regard for his pen.

I believe in the hype, that’s why every time you hear me, I compare me to Mike

Example: Remember when A.I. crossed Mike out his sneakers?

Seemed so much worse ’cause we ain’t think Mike had a weakness

All for that one move A.I. got his fame

They forgot Jordan had 35 and still won that game.”

Peace.

Markus X. Murden, Esq.

Senior Editor/Heels of Wrestling

@MXMurden and @TheHowPod

 

Why do the New York Knicks Suck?

2017 New York Knicks: What are you Doing?

On Tuesday, May 10th, 1973 The New York Knickerbockers defeated the Los Angeles Lakers in game 5 of the NBA Finals. Willis Reed, of the New York Knicks, would be named MVP of the series, and NY the Mecca of basketball brought another title home. That day was over 40 years ago.

We haven’t had any success since. And to make it worse, when things are looking like they could get better, everything crumbles at our feet, and sometimes ankles. Whether it be having a promising team in the 90’s that reached the finals only to be heart crushingly defeated. Or to have lived through the last decade of being a Knicks Fan and having to watch us hobble through every season, the Knicks have been a tragedy.

Now it’s 2017, going into 2018. 45 years since our last banner day, where are the Knicks now?

NOT ANY BETTER THEN THEY WERE LAST YEAR.

There’s a rule in the NBA that bad teams get the better lottery picks and then they either use those for drafting or trade them for established stars. It makes sense. Worse off teams get to parley their positions using scarce resources. Cool. I don’t think the Knicks got this memo.

For the last several years, the NY Knicks used their draft picks on risky foreign talent. Kristaps Porzingis has panned out. Name anyone else that did? I’ll wait until you look at another team’s roster to tell me if they have because it’s almost a guarantee they’re not a NY Knick anymore.

Kristaps Porzingis in a home jersey

Please save us

I can’t remember the last NY Knick draft pick to pan out while on the roster. These struggles came in a decade when NY and lottery were more associated than FL and the lottery. Just this year we spent 71 million dollars bringing back Tim Hardaway when we were the team that drafted him. Had we kept him and developed him along with Kristaps, maybe we’d have a better outlook going forward. Sadly, James Dolan doesn’t think like that.

Managment Doesn’t Care

Last off-season the Knicks started off by the signing of two cast off former Bulls, Derrick Rose, and  Joakim Noah. Both are injury laden, and their production mirrored it. Rose has set sail to Cleveland, but we still have Noah’s massive contract on the board. Bad contracts are a reoccurring problem you will see with bad teams, even worse contracts.

Usually for a team to take on bad contracts, they trade for them or have used leverage to make the deal come out at least even. Again, NY never got this memo. We sign players past their prime or when no one else wants them. These signings also always seem to coincide with having to get rid of younger talent at the hope of getting value out of a bad deal.

Dolan only seems to be interested in keeping the Knicks profitable. The arbitrary signing of aging and non-coherent superstars are doing nothing for the team, or it’s W column. The Phil Jackson fiasco just goes to show the interest of the team is never at the forefront for Dolan. I’m not going to pretend to know the ins and outs of the team, but it was obvious The Knicks gave Phil Jackson way more leeway than he should. Especially with such a drastic overhaul being tried by him. And then Jackson was given the boot.

I’m not complaining out Jackson’s particular firing, but it goes towards Dolan’s lack of commitment to a plan and his lack of forethought into it. The Jackson and Carmelo feud should not have been public, and that’s partially the higher ups to blame. Cohesion starts at the top.

Horrible Moves Have Left us in the Dog House

Take the Carmelo Anthony trade for instance. At the time Carmelo was at the head of the NBA, and he was at a justifiably high price. To be acquired reasonably. Carmelo, with his greatness, is not the complete two-way player that you can hang both sides of the ball’s hat on.

At the time we had a cast of great role players including Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, and Timofey Mozgov. Now while the NBA may have evolved past the latter, the two formers are still producing in the current NBA environment. Had we just waited to acquire Carmelo instead of paying his ransom, we’d be looking at an entirely different team right now.

This problem only becomes exacerbated when former Knicks players are wearing gold around their fingers these past few seasons. J.R. Smith, Timofey Mozgov, Iman Shumpert, David Lee, and Channing Frye have all been pieces on championship teams, and all are former Knicks. All these players only recently left the NY Knicks as well. If other teams could get value out of them, why couldn’t we?

The Future

What does the future hold for the NY Knicks? I don’t know, but it doesn’t look bright. Our lack of draft picks along with a lack of any game plan are not attractive qualities moving forward. It would appear we’re just going to ride out the Carmelo era that started with promise but is now deteriorating before our eyes. But maybe not all things will be bad this year. Maybe our savior has arrived in a dark, unmarked hoodie.

But not all things will be bad this year. Kristaps will continue to develop into the monster he will become. Rumors are going around that management doesn’t like the idea of Hardaway and Melo together, but they could gel into something special. Carmelo has and will always be an exceptional offensive talent. He can be unstoppable at times, and the NY Knicks will need him the most this season. There have been some clues he’s ready to bear that burden this season. So just maybe our promised savior has arrived in a dark, unmarked hoodie.

Carmelo Anthony under a black hoodie

The Dark Knight has Risen

Until next time, fellow Knicks fans.

Markus X. Murden

Senior-Editor/Depressed Knicks Fan

Follow Markus on Twitter and Instagram @MXMurden