Welcome to the Truda Report everybody. One day ago James Harden said in an interview that playing all 82 games of the NBA season matters in the MVP race. Harden has played all 74 games so far this season, averaging 29.3 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 11.4 apg. Harden has been key to orchestrating Mike Dantoni's offensive system, and in doing so has been an offensive juggernaut. His incredible play in his first year at the point guard position has had him in the MVP conversation since the beginning of the year. Lately though, the race for MVP has tightened. Obviously Russell Westbrook has been one of the leading candidates as he tries to be the first player to average a triple double since Oscar Robertson; LeBron James has become a more legitimate candidate since the Cavaliers have struggled so much without him on the court (LeBron is +16 per 100 possessions); Kawhi Leonard has been an all around great player posting 26.0 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 3.5 apg, and 1.8 spg. It seems like its going to come down to either Harden or Russ, but with all of the headlines about LeBron sitting out games it didn't hurt for Harden to boost his case for MVP.
The real question though is if Harden's point about playing every game actually makes him more valuable. I have heard a couple people use Steven A. Smith's famous phrase, availability is the best ability, and in Hardens case he has made himself available to play in every single game. Steven A. usually uses the phrase when discussing the injury problems of athelets though, and this situation clearly doesn't apply because LeBron is sitting by choice. LeBron has been playing for 11 years, while Harden has only been playing for 7. Going along with that point, LeBron has played close to as many playoff games as two full seasons worth of games. He has the right to rest, especially when his is expected to carry his team to another NBA Finals this June. Harden has never had to put a team on his back the way LeBron has, and personally, I don't think Harden can. If Lebron wanted to play all 82 games, he certainly could and the Cavs would without a doubt be a better regular season team. LeBron is so valuable though, it isn't worth wasting his abilities against teams like the 76ers when he is going to have to carry his team for 2 months in the NBA Playoffs.
I have nothing against James Harden and I think that in a way you could look at what he said and agree. It is unfair to the fans for LeBron to sit away games against Western Conference teams since he only plays them twice a year (only once in the other teams stadium). It's also not great that the Cavaliers started to struggle when LeBron started to sit games, and now have lost the top spot in the East. In the end though, none of this matters because LeBron not playing every game doesn't make him less valuable than someone like James Harden.
Thanks for reading everyone. If you want to request any topics or express your opinion on a certain matter, either follow me on Instagram @thetrudareport or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Welcome to the Truda Report everybody. Today the NFL owners held a vote on whether or not the Oakland Raiders could leave for Las Vegas, Nevada. The results were lopsided, much more so than anyone could have expected. 31 owners voted yes, and only 1 voted no. As a Miami Dolphins fan, Stephen Ross has given me plenty of reasons to hate his guts, but today he earned my respect. Ross was the only owner to vote against the Raiders relocation plans, saying that, "Owners should do what they can to stay where they are." Not only is this correct, but I wish it was a rule.
In the last 3 years we have seen the Rams leave a loyal St. Louis fan base in order to make more money in L.A, the Chargers leave a loyal San Diego fan base for more money also in L.A, and now the Raiders leave, you guessed it, a loyal fan base for more money in Las Vegas. All three teams had great followings in the cities they resided in, and it is a crime against the fans to take their team away from them. I understand that the NFL is a business and the owners have these teams in order to make profit, but ditching a fan base and forcing your players to move just so that more money can be made is ridiculous. All three of the teams had no issue selling seats to the games, despite the crappy football they provided the buyers. In the case of the Raiders, they had been a laughingstock of the NFL until the past couple of years. Dragging loyal fans through the mud for years just to leave as soon as the team is on the come up is not okay.
As I said earlier, I wish it was a rule that relocation was not allowed unless completely necessary. In order to relocate a team needs to provide proof that their current location is holding them back in some way, and teams usually come up with some b.s. about how the city won't pay for a new stadium. These owners make so much money that they could afford the extra 2 million dollars out of pocket if they really wanted to stay. Instead, they complain that they can't make things work where they currently reside and are ready to ditch the fans as soon as the league allows them to. This is in no way fair to those who have stuffed money in the owners pockets by buying jerseys and tickets for years of crappy football output.
Thanks for reading everyone. If you have an opinion on the matter, either follow me on Instagram @thetrudareport or send me an email at email@example.com
Welcome to the Truda Report everyone. Here are a few of the most significant stories from the past couple of days:
Welcome to the Truda Report everybody. Today is a quick recap of the biggest stories from the last couple of days, along with a little snippet of my opinion on the topics.
Welcome to the Truda Report everybody. I'm going to be discussing Bill Belichick and Tom Brady's future, and how it looks like they want their legacy to end.
Bill Belichick and Tom Brady have a great relationship. So great, that many don't pause and think on the idea the pair could retire the same season. With the moves that Belichick has made this offseason, I now don't see anything wrong with that idea either. In fact, I strongly believe that it's true. Bill Belichick has always believed in growing in house talent through the draft. He was never one to trade lots of draft picks for proven players, he liked grooming his own crop of players and having them prove themselves. Suddenly though, all of this has been thrown out the window.
Bill is a smart guy, and he knows that no elite quarterback in history has ever played at a high level past the age of 40. Age 41 is usually when great quarterbacks start to look like scrubs. I believe Brady has the ability to break this mold, to continue playing well until he hits, lets say, 42. He has played in the unbeatable system: throw short high percentage passes to avoid mistakes- get rid of the ball in under 2 seconds to avoid getting sacked- whenever your internal clock hits 3 seconds, look to check the ball down to the running back. This strategy has always worked, and it has helped him preserve his body. Almost all elite quarterbacks of the past have pushed the ball downfield, meaning standing longer in the pocket, thus taking more hits. That's why the cutoff has always been 40, but as I said, Brady has the ability to play longer.
Belichick knows that this means Brady really only has 2 years left of good performance, and the way he is making moves in free agency, he is acting on it. The signing of Stephon Gilmore gives the Patriots the best starting cornerback duo in the NFL. Belichick would have never made that move in the past though, because he had to dole out a lot of cash in the process. The Patriots traded for Kony Ealy, a talented 25 year old defensive end, and in the process gave up their 2nd round pick. Belichick loves his 2nd round picks, and has always gotten good talent out of those selections (Jamie Collins for example). Now, suddenly, he is willing to throw the selection into a trade to get a player that will be impactful now, not one he can develop. The Patriots also made a blockbuster trade with the Saints, acquiring Brandin Cooks and a 4th round pick for their 1st and 3rd selections in this years draft. Many expected Belichick to get Christian Mccaffrey in the 1st round this year, a running back with a skillset Belichick usually drools over. Instead he is breaking his past rules of building through the draft to acquire a proven talent, and impactful weapon for Tom Brady.
All of these moves would never have been made by Belichick in the past, due to them being expensive and using up draft picks. Bill clearly wants to win now, just before Brady's window closes. Belichick has never been about the now, always about the future. From his famous press conferences, always saying his focus is on next weeks game, to his strategy of building through the draft to be good in the future, Belichick has not been about the now. Suddenly though, as Brady nears retirement, Bill Belichick is making moves that make it seem like he too is ready to retire, once he gets what seems like an inevitable 6th Super Bowl Victory. Watch out NFL, the Patriots are coming... again.
Tell me your opinion on the situation with the Patriots by either following my Instagram @thetrudareport or by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Welcome to the Truda Report everybody. Today I will be highlighting the biggest free agent signings so far, along with a little bit of NBA news.
Thanks for reading everyone. Tell me what you want to hear next by either following my Instagram @thetrudareport or by emailing me at email@example.com.
Welcome to the Truda Report everybody. Today we have a mix of NFL free agency news and my opinion on Russell Westbrook's MVP chances.
Russell Westbrook dropped a career high, and a team record, 58 points in last nights loss to the Portland Trailblazers. Most people look at a performance with 58 points, 9 assists, 3 rebounds, 3 steals, and 1 block as more evidence Westbrook should win MVP this season. I completely disagree. Westbrook took 39 shots; the rest of the team took 46. Westbrook had 30 more shots than anyone else on the team, and that's not MVP play. All great players take over a couple games every year, but the rest of the time they move the ball around at will for the better of the team and development of their teammates. Ball movement wins games. That's a fact. Westbrook hasn't showed much of a willingness to play that way this year though. If you average a triple double it means that every single game you put the team on your back and don't ever stop to consider letting others have more responsibility for the teams wins and losses. Being on a team as lacking in talent as the Thunder could be part of Westbrooks reasoning for this, but lets not pretend that Taj Gibson, Victor Oladipo, and Steven Adams are scrubs. All three of them are experienced players that have preformed well in the past. Obviously averaging 10 assists means that Westbrook can and does find the man with the open shot, but he doesn't do that enough, especially in crunch time. When the game is on the line, it's Russell time. Instead of playing with the style the Championship favored Warriors do, which is the open man takes the shot, Westbrook wants to be the hero. It seems like he plays to fill the box score, and once that's done, he plays to make the game winning shot. We have seen Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Serge Ibaka all excel with increased roles on other teams, so we know that Westbrook has had chances to lean on his teammates a little bit more. Now that those three are gone, instead of changing his mindset to attract free agents and develop better on court chemistry with his teammates, Westbrook has taken this selfish style of play to a new level. You can stuff a box score all you want, but when you do it by always taking the most shots (while shooting only 42%) you don't deserve MVP consideration over those who stuff a box score while being more efficient in other more important areas. There is no denying Westbrooks greatness, and when I watch him I always see a ferocious competitor that does whatever it takes to win, except, of course, let his teammates carry some of the load.
To tell me your opinion either shoot me an email (find it in the "Contact" tab) or follow me on Instagram @thetrudareport. Expect more news and opinion later in the week. Thanks, everyone, for stopping by.
Here are the latest stories in sports news:
Welcome to the Truda Report everybody. Nothing extremely important is happening in sports today, but here are the highlights:
Duke plays North Carolina tonight at 8pm Eastern time and the NFL Scouting Combine takes place for the wide receivers, quarterbacks, and tight ends. This could be a huge day for Patrick Mahomes to boost his draft stock and for Deshaun Watson to show he can be an effective NFL passer. John Ross was the true highlight so far of the combine though, as he broke Chris Johnsons 40 yard dash record set back in 2008. Ross ran a 4.22, beating Johnson's 4.24 record.
I personally think that the 40 yard dash is an overblown event, but breaking the record definitely has Ross shooting up my Big Board as a deep threat receiver able to take the top off the defense. With speed like that, he has the potential to emerge as a Kenny Stills/ Brandin Cooks type player.
Expect more updates later in the week on the combine and on whatever else headlines the news. Open up the "Contact" tab to give me your opinion on how Ross breaking the record will impact his draft stock.
High School Senior from Connecticut obsessed with sports stats, facts, and management.