Who is the NBA’s MVP?

Will Selva’s latest post about Hispanic Athletes.

Cavaliers forward Kevin Love was recently criticized for calling Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook the NBA’s MVP over current teammate LeBron James. Westbrook is currently on a stretch where it seems like every night he takes the floor he’s getting a triple double. Early in the season, the Thunder had both Kevin Durant and Westbrook out and since have been trying to make up ground in the Western Conference to make the playoffs. However, after returning from injury, Kevin Durant is now sidelined again indefinitely and possibly for the season. Russell Westbrook has taken it upon himself to have the Thunder make the playoffs.

Russell Westbrook is averaging 27.5 points, 8.7 assists, and 7.2 rebounds a night. Phenomenal numbers from anyone today and the best of his career. All numbers are well above his career average and at age 26, the best may be yet to come. He currently has the Thunder sitting in the last playoff spot at 41-30, 3 games ahead of the 9th place Phoenix Suns.

Another candidate is Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors. Curry currently has the Warriors with the best record in the NBA at 58-13 and the #1 seed in the Western Conference playoff picture. On the year Curry is averaging 23.4 points, 7.9 assists, and 4.3 rebounds per game. While Westbrook’s numbers exceed all of Curry’s, its the way Curry goes about reaching those numbers that separates him from Westbrook. Curry shoots 48%, 42%, and 91% (field, 3pt, free throw) while Westbrook shoots 43%, 31%, and 84%. Curry also averages 1 less turnover a night. Curry is more efficient in the way he goes about hitting his numbers, and he also has his team in first place.

Will Selva - James Harden

James Harden has been phenomenal for the Houston Rockets. Even when star center Dwight Howard has been sidelined, Harden has made sure the Rockets don’t skip a beat. At 47-23, the Rockets trail only the Warriors and Grizzlies in the Western Conference playoff picture. Harden has been incredible, especially of late with a 44 point performance against Indiana and a career high 50 vs Denver. He’s currently averaging 27.2 points, 7.0 assists, and 5.8 rebounds a night.

It’s not an MVP conversation if we don’t mention LeBron James. James again is having a tremendous season averaging 25.9 points, 7.3 assists, and 5.8 rebounds per game. However, his points and rebounds are down in comparison to his career numbers. In fact, this seasons points per game output is the 2nd lowest of his career with only his rookie season lower. James has the Cavaliers sitting at 46-26, good for second in the Eastern Conference. However, they are unlikely to catch the first place Atlanta Hawks. Still although this isn’t his best season he does need to be in the discussion for MVP.

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16 Remain

Will Selva’s latest post about Hispanic Athletes.

After one weekends worth of play, we have our Sweet Sixteen teams. Along the way, we saw one #1 seed, one #2 seed and two #3 seeds fall. #1 seeded Villanova lost to #8 seeded North Carolina State 71-68. #2 seeded Virginia lost to #7 seed Michigan State 60-54. Both #3 seeded Iowa State and Baylor lost in their opening round games to #14 seeds UAB and Georgia State.

Of the 16 teams that remain, 5 are seeded a 6 or higher, those teams are #6 Xavier, #7 Michigan State, #7 Wichita State, #8 North Carolina State, and #11 UCLA. UCLA is an interesting case. Many analyst didn’t even have UCLA as one of the last four out, so the fact that they made the tournament left many scratching their heads. UCLA has however since taken care of business defeating #6 Southern Methodist University and #14 UAB (defeated #3 Iowa State). UCLA will take on #2 Gonzaga on Friday. Gonzaga, who normally underperforms in the tournament took care of #7 Iowa who shocked many when they man handled #10 Davidson.

In the East of the bracket we no longer have #1 Villanova or #2 Virginia left. That leaves #3 Oklahoma and #4 Louisville as the top teams left in that region. Oklahoma takes on #8 North Carolina State while Louisville face #7 Michigan State. It will be interesting to see which team of these four emerges and punches their ticket to the Final Four.

No one has yet to knock off the #1 overall seed Kentucky Wildcats. Kentucky took care of business with #16 Hampton in their opening round game and then took on #8 Cincinnati. While the Bearcats put up a fight, Kentucky in the end was still too much. The Wildcats now have #5 West Virginia on Thursday. Will Kentucky finish the season undefeated and tournament champs?

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Steve Nash Calls It A Career

Will Selva’s latest blog post.

Steve Nash, one of the greatest point guards to play the game has finally called it a career after 19 seasons in the NBA. No matter how hard he trained in order to get healthy again, it just was not happening for 41 year old Steve Nash. It was actually this time of year some 20 years ago when Nash led #10 seeded Santa Clara to victory over #7 Maryland in the NCAA Tournament which began giving Nash the recognition he deserved despite playing at a school not typically known for basketball.

Will Selva - Steve Nash

Steve Nash

Nash was drafted 15th overall in the 1996 NBA Draft by the Phoenix Suns. After 2 seasons, he was traded to the Dallas Mavericks where he began to make a name for himself. The nucleus of Nash, Dirk Nowitzki, and Michael Finley allowed the Mavericks to compete in the Western Conference.

While Nash proved he can play in the NBA with Dallas after coming from a small basketball school, he left via free agency to join the Phoenix Suns where he went on to win two MVP awards. Nash really took his play to another level in Phoenix where he was a double-double machine in points and assists. As Nash got older, the Suns as a franchise were not as competitive and Nash was still own the prowl for a NBA Championship. Nash was signed and traded to the Los Angeles Lakers in April of 2012.

However, in his time with the Los Angeles Lakers, Nash has not been able to stay healthy. Hampered by nerve injuries, Nash has played a total of 65 games in his 3 years with the Lakers. The team has faltered having not posted a winning season in each of those 3 seasons. At age 41, with the state of his health, and the franchise, it seems the Lakers are not close to winning a title and that it’s time to call it a career.

Nash figures to be a Hall of Famer. Over the course of his 19 year career, he has recorded career averages of 14.3 points and 8.5 assists all the while shooting 90% from the free throw line, 43% from three point range, and 49% from the field. Although he never won a championship, he will certainly go down as one of the best point guards to ever play the game.

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New York Jets Revamp Secondary

Will Selva’s lastest blog post.

It’s not secret the New York Jets were not a good football team in 2014. This was due in large part to an incredibly weak secondary which featured many guys people have not heard of like Phillip Adams and Darrin Walls. It wasn’t long ago when the secondary was a strength for the Jets. In recent years they traded away CB Darrelle Revis and let CB Antonio Cromartie. Well it looks like the gang is getting back together….and then some.

Will Selva - Revis

Revis returns to the Jets

New Jets GM Mike Maccagnan is doing something John Idzik wouldn’t do, spend a dollar. Maccagnan has been busy retooling the Jets secondary bringing back both Darrelle Revis (5 years, $70 million) and Antonio Cromartie (4 years, $32 million). This duo played together with the Jets from 2010-2012 when the Jets had one of the most feared defenses under Rex Ryan. Revis is coming off of a Super Bowl season that saw him play some of his best football of his career. Cromartie played last year for the Arizona Cardinals on a 1 year $3.5 million deal under defensive coordinator Todd Bowles. Bowles is now the Jets head coach and wanted to bring back Cromartie whom at 30 years old still has football left in the tank.

The Jets have also added CB Buster Skrine (4 years, $25 million) formerly of the Cleveland Browns and CB/S Marcus Gilchrist (4 years, $22 million) of the San Diego Chargers. Skrine figures to be the nickel corner which pushes former 1st round pick Dee Milliner to the #4 corner and last years 3rd round pick Dexter McDougle as the #5 corner. Gilchrist was drafted initially as a corner but has played both strong and free safety. Although free safety is not his best position, with the corners currently on the roster and last years 1st round pick Calvin Pryor slated to play strong safety, it looks as though Gilchrist will be the starting free safety.

An interesting possibility is moving Antonio Cromartie to free safety which I think will be discussed. Cromartie has long been known for his ball hawking abilities with 31 career interceptions and as he gets older, he may be better suited to cover space and not a player. Charles Woodson was initially a cornerback before he realized as he got older, he was better suited for the safety role. I think the same could be said here for the Jets, especially with the depth they now have at corner.

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Darvish Season Done

Will Selva’s latest post about Hispanic Athletes.

The Texas Rangers have some terrible news, All Star pitcher Yu Darvish will undergo Tommy John surgery. No ball club ever wants to hear that a pitcher has to have Tommy John surgery. TJ surgery means that the player effectively is done for at least 1 season and that there’s a chance they’ll never be the same pitcher again.

Will Selva - Darvish

Darvish suffered from some arm fatigue at the end of the 2014 season but decided against surgery in the off season and felt it was best to just rest his arm. The 28 year old right hander was 10-7 in 22 starts while posting a 3.06 ERA. He struck out 182 batters in just 144.1 innings which is a great strikeout/innings pitched ratio. Behind Darvish in the rotation, the Rangers have Derek Holland, Yovani Gallardo, Colby Lewis, and Ross Detwiler. They’ll certainly need someone to step up from the bullpen or AAA level to help the rotation.

With Darvish undergoing TJ before the season starts, there is a better chance he will be back by the beginning of next season. How good he’ll be, we don’t know. Pitchers like Johan Santana, Chris Carpenter, and Brian Wilson have not faired so well when coming back from TJ surgery. Both Matt Harvey of the Mets and Ivan Nova of the Yankees look to come back this year from TJ surgery and prove they have not lost a step.

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AFC East Loading Up

Will Selva’s latest blog post.

Since the NFL’s 2015 free agency begun, no division has been more active than the AFC East. Between the New England Patriots, New York Jets, Buffalo Bills, and Miami Dolphins they’ve all been incredibly active trying to propel their team to the top of the division. Let’s take a look at all the moves that have taken place so far.

Will Selva - Brandon Marshall

Brandon Marshall was traded to the Jets for a 5th round draft pick

New York Jets:

CB Darrelle Revis
CB Antonio Cromartie
CB Buster Skrine
S Marcus Gilchrist
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick (traded for)
RB Bilal Powell (resigned)
LB David Harris (resigned)
WR Brandon Marshall (traded for)
G James Carpenter
G Willie Colon (resigned)
DL Stephen Bowen
OL Corey Hilliard
DL Kevin Vickerson

New England Patriots:

DL Jabaal Sheard
LB Jonathan Freeny
WR Brandon Gibson
DL Alan Branch (resigned)
TE Scott Chandler
S Devin McCourty (resigned)
LB Chris White (resigned)

Buffalo Bills:

WR Percy Harvin
DE Jarius Wynn (resigned)
QB Tyrod Taylor
WR Marcus Easley (resigned)
FB Jerome Felton
LB Keith Rivers
QB Matt Cassel (traded for)
RB Lesean McCoy (traded for)
TE Charles Clay

Will Selva - Suh

Suh lands a mega deal with the Dolphins

Miami Dolphins:

WR Kenny Stills (traded for)
DT Ndamukong Suh
TE Jordan Cameron
CB Brice McCain

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