Iman Shupert drops Cavaliers playoff anthem

The playoffs are officially here, because Iman Shumpert has dropped his Clev Cavs playoff anthem.

With every Cavs players getting a shoutout, these are easily my three favorite lines.

1. “Delly is the Man” (facts only)

2. “Late shot clock hit Swish up for the 9-1-1.” (always give it to J.R. Smith)

3. “Coach got that look in his eyes cause this playoffs”

I think coach has that look in his eyes because Shump is mixing rap beats instead of practicing corner threes, but hey, whatever)

Back in 2012, Shumpert hit us with this Knicks Anthem, which I think is still some of his best work, you decide.

It’s on you now Cleveland arena people to play this track for the pre-game intros.

diddy

The Aron Baynes roasting continues

The internet has no chill.

We know this, but after Aron Baynes was on the receiving end of three monster Blake Griffin jams, ESPN’s SportsNation even got in on the action.

Michelle Beadle brought out Bone Thugs-N-Harmony to perform “Crossroads” on set, with the highlight reel playing in the background.

blakebaynes2a

A true sign of the damage is when Wikipedia gets in on the action.

Baynes is a tough, physical dude. I expect the bug Aussie won’t be letting things go that way in Game 2.

via: Complex Sports

The Sacramento Kings take popcorning rookies’ cars to whole new level

The Sacramento Kings haven’t had much to cheer for all season, but they can sleep safe in the knowledge that they have won this season’s rookie hazing award for popcorning Nik Stauskas‘ house.

That’s right, his house. He doesn’t have a car, so naturally this is the next best thing to do is trash his house.

Check out the video below. Rudy Gay, DeMarcus Cousins and Reggie Evans all have way too much fun spraying some delicious movie snack around the rooks crib.

At least he took it all in hi stride and had some fun with it.

Learning to win without Wes: Can the banged up Blazers still be a threat?

The Portland Trailblazers are battered and bruised, with what seems like an endless list of injuries. From LaMarcus Aldridge picking up some small but annoying hand injuries as well as Nicolas Batum and Chris Kaman both carrying minor complaints, all on top of the season ending Wes Matthews Achilles injury. Things do not look favourable for a team trying to get a roll on ahead of the playoffs.

Afflalo

Getty Images: Can Afflalo step up on the defensive end?

Despite the gaping hole left by Matthews at the shooting guard position on both sides of the floor, the Blazers, who have been able to get the most out of Aldridge and Damian Lillard in crunch-time situations, (see Rockets playoffs series), there is still a great deal of optimism in the group that they will be able to not only compete but still be a contending team in the West……that is if they can keep everyone out on the floor.

I spoke with Blazers big man LaMarcus Aldridge, via teleconference yesterday and with the All-Star power forward nursing a sore hand, he sees not only his injury, but the team’s ailments as an opportunity to increase their concentration on the small details as the margin for error is now much smaller. Aldridge noted, since he picked up his thumb injury a couple of months ago, he has been shooting the ball five-per-cent better from mid-range, something he puts down to a renewed level of concentration.

“I think the injury just makes me focus on my shot more because I have the tape on the hand so I think it makes me focus on my form more and since I’ve focused on my form, my shot has been better,” he said.

In terms of the Blazers team, that heightened concentration will have to come on the defensive end of the floor. Whilst their defense has been great through the firs two-thirds of the season, their recent four-game losing streak saw them struggle, especially on the perimeter defending the three, perhaps the area they are missing Matthews the most. Quite frankly the Blazers have been getting killed on the perimeter with Arron Afflalo in the starting line-up, something that will hopefully improve as he gets more time to absorb the information and learn the Blazers’ defensive strategy.

Going back even further, since the All-Star break, the Blazers defense has plummeted to 23rd in the league. Even worse, since the Matthews injury, they are rated as the second worst defense in the NBA, per NBA.com.

“Losing Wes is definitely tough because he’s a very competitive guy on the defensive end and he makes plays most guys can’t make on the defensive end,” Aldridge said.

“What we’ve done well since he’s been out is try to guard as a team more with more team defense and not relying on guys.”

This suits the Blazers just fine in that their defense hasn’t been heavily relied on one guy making big plays and getting stops. They are at their strongest when the team is defending in cohesion, staying in front of their man and providing great help defense.

When looking at Matthews’ injury, the saving grace that emerged via the trade deadline, however you want to look at it, was the acquisition of Afflalo. Although he isn’t the level of three-point shooter, nor defender Matthews is, he can provide for the Blazers a level of poise, leadership and experience as well as solid offensive contributions.

It’s going to be very important,” Aldridge said of the two-guard’s leadership and experience.

We need him to score and be a threat on the floor at all times. He scores in a number of different ways that should make us hard to guard in the playoffs and for the rest of the regular season.

“His confidence and his offense is going to be key for us going down the stretch, because we need him feeling good about the way he’s playing with us and have him in a really good rhythm so teams can’t key in on myself or Damian.”

Whilst the Blazers defense is struggling, their saving grace is that their offensive production is still where they want it to be, even more impressive given the addition of Afflalo into the starting line-up. Since the All-Star break, encompassing the deadline day move and the Matthews injury, the Blazers have had a top-five offence, averaging 106.4 points per 100 possessions, per NBA.com.

At times during the season, as well as during last season’s playoff run, there has been a bit of an over-reliance on Aldridge and Lillard on the offensive end. Matthews had eased some of that burden, but now it will be a combination of Afflalo and the Blazers bench being able to be called upon when the team is missing guys as well as in the playoffs when the double-teams get tighter and more frequent and the intensity elevates.

“I think our bench is a lot better than last year. C.J. [McCollum] came back a lot better than last year. He’s more poised, he’s figured out how he can get his shot off and how he can score,” Aldridge said.

“Dorell [Wright] wasn’t feeling as healthy last year. He was having some issues with some things last year, but this year, he’s been feeling more healthy, he’s been moving better, he’s been playing better. So I think overall our bench is better as far as experience goes for the young guys.”

Getty Images: Lillard and Aldridge must find a way to get the best out of their teammates.

Getty Images: Lillard and Aldridge must find a way to get the best out of their teammates.

The big issue for the Blazers is that you want to go into the playoffs on a roll, have all your pieces in place and healthy. The Blazers have neither of those things and finding the right balance is something that will challenge Terry Stotts’ roster and schedule management.

“You definitely want to get momentum and you want to have the team playing at a good rhyme and pace. But also you don’t want to win every game in the regular season and then go into the playoffs limping and not have full strength in the playoffs, Aldridge said.

“We’re trying to do both. Trying to make sure guys are healthy and ready to go. We’re also trying to keep a good rhythm so we go to the playoffs ready to go.”

With a four-games in five-nights run greeting them on their return home where they will face the Warriors first up, things aren’t getting easier.

If the Blazers are to steady the ship and make a legitimate run at the playoffs, they must correct the biggest thing that has gotten them into this position, their slick, team-first defense.

A lot of things have to go right for them, but what they do over the next two weeks will tell us a whole lot more about how legit they really are.

2 Chainz now runs the Atlanta Hawks, deal with it

We all new that management changes were on the horizon for the Hawks and who better than 2 Chainz to take the reigns.

March 27th when the Hawks take on the Heat will be 2 Chainz night, where the ATL rapper will perform, do the player introductions and generally run the Hawks for the day.

It’s not quite Tinder night, it’s not quite Drake and OVO Raptors takeover, its even better.

As 2 Chainz remarks in the promo video [Hawks CEO] “Mr Koonin left me in charge for the day.” That means we also get the best ever piece of NBA merchandise ever created.

via: Eye on Basketball

Steven Adams’ local TV commercial is as Kiwi as it gets

One minute of Steven Adams explaining why you should join BancFirst only using New Zealand slang is as great as you would expect.

I don’t live in Oklahoma, but you better believe i’d be doing my banking with BancFirst after this. Kevin Durant may have his fancy BBVA Compass commercials, but after this commercial, I can only assume he will also be switching banks.

via: Eye on Basketball

Swaggy P and 2 Chainz go shopping for expensive s**t

two-chainz-sneakers

In the most recent edition of GQ’s ‘Most Expensivest Shit’, 2 Chainz and Swaggy P stop by RIF.LA for some sneaker shopping, including checking out a pair of Jordan’s that’ll set you back  a cool $25,000.

Basically the show is rich people doing cool stuff you’ll never get to do, which is fun, but watching 2 Chainz analyse outrageous sneaker shopping prices in the above setting is worth the watch.

“I would never, ever f*** my money up like that” [2 Chainz, on spending $25k on J’s]