Baseball: Spring Preview

Written by Ezra Troy on . Posted in Sports

Number denotes team’s rank at that position group within the division.

National League East

In a division that only had two teams with winning percentages over .500 last year, this division promises to be top heavy again, with a clear split between the two best teams (Nationals and Mets) and the bottom three teams (Braves, Marlins, and Phillies).

Russel Westbrook’s Triple Double Obsession

Written by Efraim Wakschlag on . Posted in Sports

A couple of weeks ago I glanced at the box score of an Oklahoma City Thunder game. “Wow,” I said to myself. “Westbrook already has a triple double and it’s still only the third quarter.” Then I looked at the score. The Thunder was down by 16 points and we were just past halftime.

I don’t understand why fans encourage and are so interested in Russell Westbrook’s deliberate pursuit of averaging a triple double for the entire season. How come in the past stat-padders were ridiculed but somehow Westbrook is admired this year? When Wilt Chamberlain averaged 50 points 25 rebounds per game he was criticized for playing for stats. Why isn’t Westbrook held to the same standard? Is it because as fans we just want to see the record broken/tied? Besides, this triple double nonsense is not even helping the Thunder win games anyway. How does a triple double help your team win games? Sure the gaudy numbers look good on paper but these empty stats do not produce wins. Over the past 20 seasons, every league MVP has come from a team seeded one or two in their respective conference. The Thunder are currently tied for the sixth seed in the Western Conference. Not MVP material.

Justifying the DeMarcus Cousins Trade

Written by Super User on . Posted in Sports

Most knowledgeable basketball junkies would tell you the most talented center in the NBA is DeMarcus Cousins, formerly of the Sacramento Kings. That makes it all the more puzzling that Cousins was just recently traded for “projects,” which is code in NBA circles for being traded for essentially nothing. These “projects” included rookie Buddy Hield, injury-prone Tyreke Evans, no-namer Langston Galloway, and a couple future draft picks. Cousins is averaging 28 points per game, good enough for fourth in the league, as well as 10 rebounds per game. The last player to average 28 points and 10 rebounds per game over the course of an NBA season was Shaq, way back in 2001. This begs the obvious question, why was DeMarcus Cousins traded to the New Orleans Pelicans in a seemingly totally lopsided trade?

A good place to start would be with the Sacramento Kings General Manager Vlade Divac, who orchestrated the trade himself. “We made a clear decision to go and make a culture change,” said Divac in an interview with reporters following the trade. “It was difficult, but I am responsible for making decisions in basketball operations and I did it. We want to make a different culture in the future and try to win games.”

The Year of the Comeback

Written by Efraim Andrew Wakschlag on . Posted in Sports

What a year to be a sports fan.

Historic upsets. Buzzer beaters. Heartbreaks. Comebacks.

All that was gift-wrapped to us sports fans last Sunday night in Super Bowl LI.

But instead of focusing on the positive and the amazing comeback, I want to write about the negative, i.e. how the Atlanta Falcons joined the Cleveland Indians and Golden State Warriors by squandering unprecedented leads. Both the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Indians blew 3-1 series leads. The Falcons blew an unprecedented 25-point, second-half lead. But which of these three events was the most unprecedented?

JDS vs. Berman Hebrew Academy

Written by Hillel Goldschein on . Posted in Sports

ROCKVILLE (MD) ––– On Saturday night January 28, the CES-JDS and Berman Academy girls and boys teams faced off for the second time this season and both games lived up to the hype. The bleachers were packed with fans from both schools and the crowd was loud and into the game. Chants of “Defense!” were frequent and loud whoops could be heard when both schools scored baskets.

All Star Voting: Zaza Pachulia

Written by BY: Sam Glick on . Posted in Sports

Zaza Pachulia, the starting center for the overpowered Golden State Warriors, may be a starter in the All-Star game this year.

The way to be a starter in the frontcourt for the All-Star game is to get in the top three in votes for your conference. As of January 17, Zaza is second in voting for the frontcourt in the western conference with 823,376 votes. Currently, Zaza is averaging 5.5 points, 6 rebounds, and 0.5 blocks per game; the next best vote is Kawhi Leonard, who was the defensive player of the year last year, with 24.6 points, 5.7 rebounds and 0.7 blocks as a small forward.

Spring Baseball Preview: Part One

Written by Ezra Troy on . Posted in Sports

American League East

Perennially one of the best divisions in the league, the East sent half of the AL playoff teams to the playoffs last year. With the Red Sox’s offseason acquisitions, the Yankees’ prospects, and the Blue Jays’ free agent losses, it will be interesting to see how the division plays out this year.

1) Boston Red Sox: Starters - 1, Bullpen - 2, Lineup - 1

Yankees GM Brian Cashman called the Red Sox the “(Golden State) Warriors of baseball” for good reason. After winning the division last year, they added key pieces in the offseason to improve their team. Not only did they make a high-profile trade for top pitcher Chris Sale, which gave them arguably the best top three starting pitchers (SPs) in baseball (Porcello, Sale and Price), but they also made another key trade. They traded for reliever Tyler Thornburg, who had a 2.15 ERA and 90 strikeouts (SOs) in 65 innings last year. This move shored up their bullpen, which already has a very good closer (Craig Kimbrel), and some other nice players.

Tim Howard Has Tourette’s But Tourette’s Doesn’t Have Him

Written by Roey Herzfeld on . Posted in Sports

Tim Howard is a world-class goalie. In addition to playing goalie in the English Premier League for 13 years with elite clubs such as Manchester United and Everton, Tim Howard also played goalie for the US National team. Debuting in the CONCAF Gold Cup in 2007, Tim Howard has been the starting goalie in two World Cups and plays many tournaments for the US. One of his most impressive performances came in 2014 when he broke the record for most saves by a goalkeeper in a World Cup with 16 saves.

When Education and Athletics Converge: A Coach’s Vantage Point

Written by Brett Kugler on . Posted in Sports

It is widely assumed that most education takes place in a formalized setting locked within the four walls of a classroom. However, the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School girls’ middle school basketball team has had quite a different experience. While still within the confines of four walls, this team took their education to the basketball court. When I first took over the team last year, I had no prior coaching experience. I was new to coaching and new to this group of student athletes. I wish I could say that I had high expectations, but I honestly had no expectations, as they were just as new to me as I was to coaching. My hope was to build a symbiotic culture of lilmod u’lelamed, to study and to teach, with both coach and players learning from each other.

Super Bowl LI Preview

Written by BY: Roey Herzfeld on . Posted in Sports

On February 5, the Atlanta Falcons will be taking on the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI. The Falcons will be facing the illustrious Patriots, who are led by legendary quarterback Tom Brady and Head Coach Bill Belichick. Under the leadership of the Brady and Belichik, the Patriots have won four Super Bowls since 2001 (their most recent victory was in 2015). The Falcons only Super Bowl appearance was in 1998 and resulted in an unfortunate loss to the Denver Broncos. The Falcons’ quarterback Matt Ryan and wide receiver Julio Jones have their work cut out for them as they attempt to lead Atlanta to their first Super Bowl victory.