Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Traditional style leads to unbeaten record

In another flawless offensive clinic, the San Antonio Spurs edged out the Oklahoma City Thunder to take a 2-0 lead in the series. Their style may be old school and a bit “boring” according to some younger basketball aficionados, but the Spurs have barely broke a sweat this postseason with 20 straight victories bridging the regular season and playoffs— which is an NBA record.
The Spurs are fundamentally sound and play the game of basketball with an unselfish passion that coaches at any level would yearn for. Gregg Poppivich has molded his unit to demonstrate a flair that embodies unity. When the clock is winding down at the end of a game and the score is tied, there isn’t just one individual in silver and black that must be contained. Everyone is a threat.
Guiding the most interesting team in the league is All-Star point guard Tony Parker. Parker is the epitome of a floor general. He can pass, dribble, drive and score when he needs to. After scorching OKC’s defense with precision passing and floating teardrops, it’s baffling why his name isn’t mentioned with the best guards. He may not be as electrifying as Derrick Rose driving or as explosive as Russell Westbrook in the air, but there’s a reason why Parker finished fifth in MVP voting this year.
San Antonio isn’t the same team from the early 2000s when everything ran through MVP Tim Duncan. They’re much younger and wiser. There are over 11 players in Poppivich's rotation, and each one of them can contribute on both sides (check out the box score of each game). The only thing about Duncan that has changed is his age. And speed. Being given the title of the best power forward of all-time isn’t some consolation prize. Duncan has earned that label from his savvy skills in the post and guaranteed 15-footer. Maybe the link below will make you a believer.

What completes the tandem of Parker and Duncan, is their selfless teammate Manu Ginobili. Remember that kid at that park that would always hustle for loose balls and never give up a play on defense or offense. Yeah, that’s Ginobili. Ginobili is the kind of player that everyone hates to defend. Ginobili’s approaches every game with the same energy. Exhibition or postseason.
Originally predicting that this series would go six, the Spurs have altered my decision to 5. Even though the home team is expected to win in their arena, it was the manner San Antonio did it in. This series is far from over, but for a team that is lauded for their defense, the Thunder have played very lethargic. Until OKC makes adjustments on defense, the Spurs will continue to shred them on pick and rolls and rack up over a 100 a game.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Sports History: Man of Steal

Nicknamed the "Man of Steal", Rickey Henderson arguably is the greatest base-runner in baseball history. On this day over two decades ago, Henderson stole his 893rd base to break Ty Cobb's record. Henderson would ultimately surpass Billy Hamilton and Lou Brock to become the all-time steals leader with 1,406.


The gift and the curse

To no surprise, the Miami Heat’s Batman and Robin continued their high level of play against the Boston Celtics in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals. But what was unexpected was how well the supporting cast behind Lebron James and Dwayne Wade played.
In addition to the 54 combined points from the potent duo, the role players for the Heat contributed nearly 40 points. As superlative as James and Wade may seem with their aerobatic and slithering highlight moments, their production is contingent on their teammates. Mike Miller and Shane Battier knocking down shots from behind the arc as they did last night keeps defenders honest. Lanes open, the offense spreads, and the load lightens up for Batman and Robin. Who knew basketball was such a simple game.
Miami is the clear favorite in this matchup, and for every right reason. Boston just isn’t the same. Paul Pierce doesn’t have the same first step. Ray Allen isn’t as explosive as he used to be and is shooting abysmal 65% from the charity line. Rajon Rondo is still a phenomenal orchestrator, but has failed to improve his 15-footer. Garnett is the only individual that is remotely close to playing at a high level.

The Celtics took their game to another level after producing 35 points in the second quarter, but failed to repeat this play in the second half. Garnett is the deadliest weapon on Boston because of his threat in the paint, and must be utilized if the Celtics expect to win any games. Post defense is Miami’s weakness which was exploited to some degree during the series against the Indiana Pacers. Because Garnett’s versatility causes problems for Miami, Pierce and Allen will have opportunities to score. The only caveat is if they have enough strength in their legs to score.
Heat in five still stands as my prediction. The Celtics’ play is centered around the spearhead of their offense: Rondo. As vibrant as he is as a guard, it’s mind-boggling why he still lacks a jump shot. Arguably one of the top five guards in the league, and his offensive game still hasn't reached its pinnacle.
Boston’s greatest strength is their weakness. Rondo may light up the box score with numerous triple doubles, but his insufficiency in shooting stymies his team’s offensive production.
Not sure if Rondo’s game will miraculously elevate within the next couple of days, but it’s upsetting to know Rondo has three exceptional shooters on his team and he still lacks a “Jimmy.” Poor little tink tink as comedian Katt Williams would say.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Stephen A. Smith parody

Known for his abrasive style on the sports debate show First Take on ESPN 2 and his previous daily hour-long show on ESPN called Quite Frankly, it was only a matter of time before someone lampooned Stephen A. Smith. Jay Pharoah nailed this impersonation right on the head!

My online portfolio

Check out to view my online portfolio. The site features my resume, demo reel and of course, a link to your favorite blog: Sports Zone Gossip. Please feel free to share your thoughts and opinions on the site below.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Breaking it Down: Student of the Week

Check out the feature below that was written on me by Breaking it Down, a start up company that seeks to create an online community for black students. Breaking.It.Down was also recently named a Semi-Finalist in Princeton’s 2012 Entrepreneur Tiger Launch. Thank you again to Amina for selecting me as Student of the Week!

So it’s obvious that you are making some pretty serious power moves haha. But, what do you do during your down time to have fun or to relax?

It’s funny you say that, because sometimes my friends say I need to slow down and take my time. I love watching movies. And even though it’s not considered fun, I’ve really gotten into reading. The book that really got me into it was Hill Harper’s Letters to a Young Black Man. During this break I read two books, 40 Million Dollar Slaves by Bill Rhoden and Fail Up by Tavis Smiley. I think reading definitely does help me out, because I’ve heard the saying, if you ever want to hide something from a black man put it in a book. But yea, movies, reading and I’m also into fashion. One of my weaknesses is shopping; I pack like a woman haha. But yea, fashion, movies, poetry, jazz, clubs, comedy clubs. And of course church. The best thing I got over break was the sermons I went to.


Friday, May 4, 2012

Commentary: Upsetting outing in 2012 for La Salle

By Justin Walters
Collegian Editor

During the beginning of May last year, the men’s baseball team was contending with their conference rivals for one of the top four spots in the Atlantic 10. La Salle would ultimately enter into the A-10 tournament and eventually be knocked out by the Dayton Flyers. Despite the early exit, the miraculous season displayed by La Salle indicated hope for next year with the majority of the young, electrifying unit returning. Unfortunately for the Blue and Gold, this year hasn’t come close to mirroring their astonishing efforts during the 2011-12 season.
La Salle currently sits at the bottom of the conference with a 17-26 (4-11 A-10) record. Under the helm of Coach Mike Lake, the team only lost 26 games all of last year, and has already reached this point with a slew of matches left on the schedule.
Offensively and defensively, the Blue and Gold have been unable to stay consistent which has hindered the team from gaining any momentum heading into each series. In the Fordham series, the Explorers failed to score and in the Saint Louis series, it was their defense which allowed 24 total runs. The list of concerns this year for La Salle is shocking, seeing as they only lost four seniors collectively from last year’s squad. Confidence could be the missing component from this year’s team.
 La Salle’s last series win dates back to late March against George Washington (3-12, 4-11 A-10) who holds last place in the conference. It’s puzzling to see a team that had so much success a season before just collapse and fall out of contention.
When analyzing the statistics, it’s apparent why La Salle is always trailing early in their matches: batting. Batting isn’t the only catalyst for the down-slide this year, but it has served as a hindrance with the Explorers’ ranking in the lower half for nearly every hitting category. From batting percentage to runs scored, La Salle’s offensive productivity has stymied this explosive unit. Last year’s high powered offense obliterated their opponents with 508 hits, while this year’s team holds a mere 378 thus far in the season.
The Explorers still have three series left on the schedule, and I expect the team to end on a high note. Although over 10 seniors are leaving next year, this team will still have some of their aces in the lineup for next year such as junior tandem Joe Bennie and Dan Klem, sophomore slugger George Smith Jr. and of course, saves specialist Pat Christensen, to name a few.
Seasons like this are normal for baseball units; the key is using this season as leverage for next year.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Explorers' Highlight Montage

A recap of the miraculous 2011-12 season by La Salle's student-athletes. Thanks again to La Salle Athletics for allowing me to edit this.


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Demo Reel

Check out the latest version of my resume reel. Feel free to comment with suggestions on how I can improve it. Thanks in advance.