Devin Booker: The Real Deal

“You know, what? I’m going to be honest. If it’s someone who is under the radar right now that I believe is going to be a really, really, really good, all-star player in the league – it’s Devin Booker from the Phoenix Suns.” ”

— Lebron James on Devin Booker

Photo Credits:  12 Up

Photo Credits: 12 Up

 Only 21, he's only just begun in this league.

The Suns took Devin Booker off the board with the 13th pick of the 2015 NBA Draft. Back then, I couldn't tell you what his ceiling could be. Now, this guy is playing on another level. Coming off a 46-point performance and a win against the 76ers, Booker is averaging 24 points per game playing almost 34 minutes, shooting 46 percent from the field and 38 percent from deep.

Booker is a guy who's offensive skill set can hurt you in many of ways. When the ball is in his hands he is in straight attack mode. He can shoot from deep, drive to the lane and finish, and he can back you down.

Photo Credits: Medium

Photo Credits: Medium

Just Wait for the Perfect Time 

For Booker to be playing on such a young team, going through coaching changes, player changes, and just simply not having elite talent around him to compete, he's still a player to watch for every night. At only 21 years old, he's the best player on this team and is embracing the leadership role very well. The veteran presence of Tyson Chandler in the locker room can teach a young guy like Booker a lot moving forward. I would like to see Booker in prime time appearances more, but that will come as his team gets better.

While I believe the Suns won't be talented enough soon to compete with the top teams where it matters most, the league should take notice of the growth of Devin Booker. This season, Booker joined the likes of Lebron James, Kevin Durant, and Carmelo Anthony when he became the fourth-youngest player to reach 3,000 points for his career. Personally, Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony are two of the best scorers I've ever seen. That milestone speaks volumes.

Ben Simmons: Young Proidgy.

By Jimmie Sykes,

Photo credits:  Stack.com  

Photo credits: Stack.com 

This post was written to show that Ben is destined for where he's at today. His NBA ability was foreseen after he helped in aiding the Sixers to one of their best seasons in a very long time. The process was trusted this year. Simmons is a Rookie of the Year candidate in a head to head with SG for the Utah Jazz Donovan Mitchell, who is also still battling in the playoffs.

 

 The #1 overall pick played at a tempo that fellow young players opposing him couldn’t seem to disrupt. He is the type of player that can have effectively have his fingerprints all over the basketball court. Watching Ben Simmons style of play is something intriguing, speaking that he looks to make more plays with the basketball rather than scoring the ball.

Simmons averaged near 16 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists for his rookie season (Photo Credits: Warrior Wire) 

Simmons averaged near 16 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists for his rookie season (Photo Credits: Warrior Wire) 

bEN MAKING PLAYS. 

If Ben Simmons has the ball in his hands, making a play is his primary focus. Simmons has excellent ball handling ability and showed off his flashy passing skills in college as well as the summer league. Simmons knows his limitations offensively and he would never put himself in an uncomfortable position on the court. His poise and high basketball IQ corresponds with his style of play because you can’t make him do what he doesn’t want to do. He draws a lot of attention on offense and teams will have to game plan for him or his impact will be felt.

How will he handle the pressure?

One thing that is questionable heading into Simmons’ rookie campaign is how will he respond to pressure when his team needs him to. At LSU, Simmons and company missed the March Madness tournament so his real response to pressure wasn’t shown. Simmons isn’t a jump shooter or a great scorer, but he is aware of that and that is a good thing. He is a student of the game and he knows to be a good player on the next level he must learn how to score the ball aggressively and handle pressure late down the stretch.

(Photo Credits:  Philly Mag ) Simmons and Mitchell went at it in their rookie campaigns

(Photo Credits: Philly Mag) Simmons and Mitchell went at it in their rookie campaigns

Simmons rebounds the ball well, plays at an efficient rate offensively, and can give you anything from 4-9 assists a night. Not much is known about him defensively but that will surely be tested soon, too. Simmons put up an impressive stat line in the summer league averaging 12.3 points, 7.8 rebounds and 5.5 assists and earned first team Summer League honors. This 76ers team is very young but Simmons has the style of play to piece this roster full of young talent together. The 76ers experiment might take some time but this show will soon be on the road with Ben Simmons as the new #1 for this team.

What About Now?

Currently, the Sixers are down 3-1 to the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Can the process be trusted now for a comeback? Stay tuned. 

Bron's Plan

After going to seven games in the first round, Lebron has his team bumping right now. It's Bron's Plan. 

(Photo Credits: Keith Allison) 

(Photo Credits: Keith Allison) 

 

Lebron is currently up 2-0 on the number one seeded Toronto Raptors. Through 9 games, James is averaging 34 points, nearly 10 rebounds and 9 assists. 

This is year 15 by the way for Lebron James. He's still finding ways to perfect his craft and improve his game. He is arguably the MVP of the year, unless Harden wins it. James had Jae Crowder, Isaiah Thomas, Derrick Rose, and Dwayne Wade on his team at the beginning of the season. Now, they're all gone. This is a new unloaded team that James is working with. If you don't know by now, you can't count James out. He will exercise any option he can to make sure it's a right fit moving forward. 

(Photo credits:  Height Sun ) 

(Photo credits: Height Sun

Lebron might just run through this Toronto team as he has his fingerprints all over this series. Everything is coming easier this series for the Cavs. James finally have teammates scoring over 20 points, unless the series against the Pacers. 

The Lebron factor is real, and it's in effect. He has been in the finals for several consecutive seasons.  Ever since my eighth grade year, I don't think he's going to stop this year either. 

Scary Terry

By: Jimmie Sykes

(Photo Credits: Basketball Insiders) 

(Photo Credits: Basketball Insiders) 

 

Terry Rozier has been feeling in well all year. It's still going well for him in the playoffs. 

In my opinion, if Oladipo didn't have a remarkable season, the most improved player should go right to Rozier no question. This man has been playing lights out. In the absence of Kyrie, he's been more than solid. No Gordon, no problem as well. This team is reaching accomplishing heights without their two star players. 

Rozier is averaging 19 points, 5 rebounds, and 7 assists this postseason. He's also shooting a nice 43 percent from downtown. 

After a heated first round matchup with Eric Bledsoe as Rozier and the Celtics battled the Bucks, Rozier has kept the ball rolling. Rozier now is leading Brad Stevens' pack to a 2-0 lead in the semifinals against the Philadelphia 76ers. 

He's only 24, what's next.

It will be interesting to watch him hit free agency. Rozier is only 24 years old. He is contributing well to a young group of players in Boston. People always lose sight of how talented and well-disciplined this team is. Rozier is a product of that. They're showing that they will bring a fight even when it's all against them. 

Brad Stevens is one hell of a coach, Rozier is one hell of a player. As a Celtics fan, you should be ecstatic moving forward. 

(Photo Credits: Sneakernews.com) 

(Photo Credits: Sneakernews.com) 

These players can make impact immediately on the Bears.

By: Jimmie Sykes

 

bears-1473112_960_720.png

The Chicago Bears did just enough in this year's draft. Taking the best available players at the time of their picks. They even traded up for a pick. All in all, this has been a successful draft for the Bears.

Taking the best players at the time

(Photo credits: Cy Brown of Dawg Nation) 

(Photo credits: Cy Brown of Dawg Nation) 

At number 8, the Bears took Roquan Smith off the board. He is the best coverage linebacker in the draft, and a true leader. At only 20 years old, it's nothing but time for him to grow. This is player that can grow well under defensive coordinator Vic Fangio. Leonard Floyd is proof to the growth that is possible for Smith. Next to Trevathan on this defense, it can be a scary LB duo in Chicago. 

(Photo Credits: Cooper Neill//Getty Images) 

(Photo Credits: Cooper Neill//Getty Images) 

Chicago traded with the New England Patriots to take WR Anthony Miller from the University of Memphis at 51. Miller has great upside and can be special in this league. He has big play capability and can be used in many of ways in this offense. With Tarik Cohen, Taylor Gabriel, Jordan Howard, and Allen Robinson, Miller can be effective.

(Photo Credits: Bryon Houlgrave//The Register) 

(Photo Credits: Bryon Houlgrave//The Register) 

James Daniel was taken 39th by the Bears. After Josh Sitton left Chicago, a big gap was placed in this offensive line. Daniel is young, but he is set to be a fill in immediately from the looks of it. He will see some guard and center, after Cody Whitehair missed time in the middle. Long, Daniel, and Whitehair will make for a sturdy lineman trio.  Run the bull heavy this year, I suggest.

Putting it all together.

This team is young with good enough depth to make plays on both sides of the ball. A great deal of this team's success will fall on the shoulders of QB Mitch Tribisky. That's just how it is. This defense was a top defense in the league last year, who is only getter better. The Bears haven't been to the playoffs since 2010, and has been at the bottom of the totem pole since. With one of the best offseason's I've ever seen for Chicago, I'm ready to see what the future holds. 

State of the Spurs: Can Kawhi come back for a postseason run?

By: Jimmie Sykes

This has been the most eyebrow raising season for the Spurs in my opinion. 

Kawhi Leonard has appeared in only nine games this season. In a roller coaster season for the Spurs, they currently sit at sixth place. There isn't a doubt in my mind that the Spurs will make the postseason. For a postseason run, Kawhi is needed

If the playoffs started today, San Antonio would match up with the third place Portland Trailblazers. It would make for a good series, but the playoffs make for a different type of game. While Greg Popovich is the king of half court offense, star power is necessary. Portland thrives of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, they will need something to throw back at this dynamic backcourt.

What's missing? 

Kawhi is the missing piece. We all remember game one of the Western Conference Finals last year. A game where Kawhi left with an ankle injury up big on the Golden State Warriors. As vital as he is to this team, he's not even the highest paid player on this roster. When healthy, Kawhi is arguably the best two-way player in the league (him and Jimmy Butler flip flops to me). He's a two-time defensive player of the year. A champion and a young finals MVP. This is a hell of an athlete that the Spurs are missing. 

LaMarcus Aldridge is currently battling injury problems now as the season winds down. I wish speedy recovery for the Spurs best two players. Veteran leadership is all over this roster. The Spurs culture is still in tack. Availability is the best ability though. Moving forward, it will be interesting to watch where the Spurs are headed down the stretch. 

An NCAA record is broken during this win

By: Jimmie Sykes

(photo credits to thesummitleague.org)

(photo credits to thesummitleague.org)

Denver and Western Illinois combined for a new NCAA record 36 three-pointers in the 118-93 win for the Lady Leathernecks.

The Lady Leathernecks had three players with 20 or more points in the win. Although Denver hit 18 three pointers, they just couldn't keep up with Western.

Morgan Blumes (blooms)

Leathernecks player Morgan Blumer was red hot from the field in the win. She finished 10 of 13, hitting seven out of the 18 threes for her team. Blumer is an excellent team player who isn't afraid to score the ball aggressively if need be.

Emily "Killing em'" Clemens

Emily Clemens finished with a game high 39 points for the Leathernecks. Clemens is the perfect floor general for this upbeat basketball team. They play at a high volume and Emily can get penetration at will to find an open teammate or attack the basket. She plays good defense and hustles like none other.

Power of the potency

The win versus Denver makes it the third time for having over 100 points in a match for Western Illinois. With playmakers like Clemens, Blumer, and Higginbotham, this Leathernecks team can go big once again this year. Expect big things to come for this team. They pride themselves on team basketball.

These two teams will meet again Feb 24.