Is it time for the Dodgers to trade Yasiel Puig?

Posted on June 17, 2017

Yasiel Puig made headlines this week, albeit for the wrong reasons. After homering against the Indians in Cleveland on Tuesday night, the Dodgers’ right fielder responded to hecklers with a double middle-finger salute, an act that earned him a fine and a one-game suspension from MLB. The penalty is an overreaction, but the incident only further underscores how long it’s been since Puig thrilled crowds with his talent instead of trying everyone’s patience.

Facing Cleveland’s Trevor Bauer with a man on second in the second inning, the 26-year-old Puig hit his 10th home run of the year in what became a 7-5 Los Angeles victory. As he later explained, “about four” fans heckled him both while he was on deck and after he circled the bases. While trotting back to the dugout, he gave those fans the finger. You might want to take the plastic cover off your fainting couch before viewing this:

According to the Los Angeles Times‘ Andy McCulloch, Puig’s teammates “found this whole thing hilarious.” Manager Dave Roberts did not. After discussing the matter privately with Puig on Wednesday, he said, “It was just something that he wishes didn’t happen. It was a reaction of emotion on his part and bad judgment.” A contrite Puig conceded, “I stooped to their level.” Read more

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Kevin Durant has joined Shaq and Jordan at a level of NBA Finals dominance

Posted on June 9, 2017

Kevin Durant is rewriting his narrative as the Golden State Warriors are rewriting the record books.

Durant has joined Shaquille O’Neal and Michael Jordan as the only players in NBA history to score at least 25 points in each of his first eight Finals games. ( Shaq did it in his first 21, MJ his first 20 )

But with the Warriors sitting at 15-0 this postseason, on the verge of sweeping the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers, Durant isn’t the only one putting up incredible numbers. These Finals are averaging 20 million viewers, up 11 percent from last year and the highest since 1998, when Michael Jordan won his last title.
Durant is averaging 34 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists in the Finals, shooting 56.1 percent from the field, 52.4 percent on threes and 89.5 percent from the line.

That’s right, he’s just a hair under 50/50/90 in these Finals. Hand him the MVP.

Stephen Curry has been incredible as well, averaging a near triple-double: 28.7 points, 9.7 rebounds and 9.0 assists — on 45/48/100 shooting.

He needs 11 rebounds and 13 assists in Game 4 to average a triple-double for the Finals. Durant needs 28 points and 10 rebounds to average 30 and 10.
Durant has scored 31 points on 13-of-21 shooting when defended by LeBron James in these Finals, according to ESPN Stats and Info. That’s more than he’s scored on any other player in these playoffs.

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LeBron undaunted by challenge of facing Warriors

Posted on May 29, 2017

There’s a four-headed, shot-making, scoreboard-breaking monster out West awaiting LeBron James and the Cavaliers.

The Warriors are stomach-churning scary.

James, though, can’t run or hide. With eight NBA Finals appearances under his belt, he is ready to face a team he’s called “a beast.” After all, he has slayed behemoths before.

Pushing off any talk about the Warriors until after Sunday’s practice, James was asked to assess the task at hand: beating Golden State’s All-Star-studded lineup of Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.

Is this the biggest challenge of his career?

“It’s probably up there,” he said. “I mean, it’s up there.”

And then, almost as if he was trying to remind himself that he’s got three championship rings and is frightful in his own right, James recalled other fearsome post-season opponents — San Antonio and Boston.

“I’ve played against four Hall of Famers as well, too, with Manu (Ginobili), Kawhi (Leonard), Tony (Parker) and Timmy D (Tim Duncan) on the same team,” said James, occasionally sniffling as he continues to fight a cold. “And if you add Pop (coach Gregg Popovich) in there, that’s five Hall of Famers. So, it’s going to be very challenging. Those guys are going to challenge me, they’re going to challenge our ballclub.

“This is a high-powered team.”

James also took on a Celtics team loaded with big-name talents.

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