2017 NBA rookies and offseason trades

With the upcoming NBA season coming up, teams are scrambling to get the best players to make their way to the playoffs. With rookies being signed and trades that are reshaping teams going down, the offseason has been a crazy few months for the NBA in all. First off, the NBA had a huge wave of top tier rookies coming to the league including: the infamous Lonzo Ball, Markelle Fultz, Dennis Smith Jr, Jayson Tatum, Josh Jackson, and many more.

Some of the league’s best players could be, and were, traded away this season. One of the most known trades recently was Kyrie Irving being traded from the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Boston Celtics for Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder. Kyrie has stated that he had requested for a trade not because he wanted to leave Cleveland, but that he wanted to continue his “Journey” as a man and in basketball. Thomas, who has played for 4 different teams, including the Celtics, which has been his home since 2015. Thomas has undergone some of the most tragic moments in his life in Boston; including the death of his sister. He went on and played the day after she died, and scored 33 points. Irving has played in Cleveland all his life and was said to be one of the main reasons Lebron James came back to play in Cleveland.

Another big trade during this offseason was Jimmy Butler from the Chicago Bulls was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Zach LaVine and Kris Dunn. This trade raised headlines for the Wolves after losing one of their best offensive players, Zach LaVine, to an injury. They needed a guard to replace LaVine and build up their team to playoff material.

One of the larger trades of the season was one which included eight players. Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers was traded to the Houston Rockets for Patrick Beverley, Sam Dekker, Montrezl Harrell, DeAndre Liggins, Darrun Hilliard, Lou Williams, and Kyle Wiltjer. Chris Paul will be joining James Harden, who is a three time all-star, and MVP, in 2015 as reported on ESPN.com.

Some other trades and moves that were made included: Paul George of the Indiana Pacers being traded to the Oklahoma Thunder for Victor Oladipo (George will be joining Russell Westbrook), Derrick Rose signing a contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers, and D’Angelo Russell, of the Los Angeles Lakers, was signed to the Brooklyn Nets along with Timofey Mozgov. Also, Gordon Hayward of the Utah Jazz was traded to the Boston Celtics.

Many other trades were made during this offseason and maybe more will occur. We just know that many teams will have a bigger shot at making the playoffs this year and many NBA fans will be there to watch.

The Timberwolves new logo

The Timberwolves, Minnesota’s professional basketball team, unveiled their new logo for the 2017-2018 season. This change came on April 11, 2017, during halftime of their final home game of the season against Oklahoma City.

The logo change is to stand for the new era that is coming; the Timberwolves franchise is trying to move in a new direction. “I can’t think of a better way to celebrate this new era of Timberwolves basketball than with the unveiling of our new logo, in front of our dedicated fans, on Fan Appreciation Night,” said Timberwolves CEO Ethan Casson. The CEO later went on to say how the new logo is the way to a new exciting path.

The logo is only the first surrounding their new face. With new leaders on and off of the court, the Timberwolves are planning on revealing new uniforms this summer along with a remodel of the Target Center. The remodel is going to add new seats, more space, and a new court design.

The logo was in the process of being created for 12 months. It was designed by the Timberwolves ownership, team executives, the NBA, and design expert Rodney Richardson of RARE Design. The new logo is a combination of past logos. It includes some of the same colors but with a new refreshed hue of the blue and green. The new colors include midnight blue, aurora green, lake blue, moonlight grey, and frost white. The logo also still includes a wolf, but this time it is howling. Wolves use their howl to warn others; it shows their fierce side. Wolves also use the howl to reconnect and bond as a family. The new logo is a perfect new face to the up and coming season for the Wolves.

Here is the evolution of the timberwolves logos:

1989/90-1995/96

1996/97-2007/08

2008/09-2016/17

2017/18- present

 

NBA playoff predictions

The NBA regular season has come to an end, and the playoffs are finally here. The playoffs started on Saturday, April 15th. There will be 16 teams each from the Western Conference and Eastern Conference. The Golden State Warriors hold the 1st seed in the West. The Boston Celtics hold the 1st seed in the East. The Warriors are the obvious favorites this year after going 67-15; the best record in the NBA.

The best matchup in the first round will be in the West. James Harden, and the 3-seeded Houston Rockets, face Russell Westbrook, and the 6-seeded Oklahoma City Thunder. Westbrook recently broke the single season triple-double record with 42. Oscar Robertson was the original record holder with 41 triple-doubles in one season. Westbrook has proven his case for MVP, while others believe James Harden deserves the MVP because Houston has a better record, and Harden shows a lot of leadership by being one of Houston’s only great players. Both players play the point guard position.

Another exciting matchup, but for the East, is the 3-seeded Toronto Raptors hosting the 6-seeded Milwaukee Bucks. The Raptors are led by star shooting guard Demar Derozan who helped carry his team when all-star point guard Kyle Lowry was injured. The Milwaukee Bucks are led by small forward Giannis Antetokounmpo [ˈʝanis a(n)detoˈkun(m)bo] who stands at 6 feet 11 inches. He leads the Bucks in points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks. He carries the whole team and will have to continue to do so if they want to beat the Raptors.

My official finals prediction is the 1-seeded Golden State Warriors vs. the 2-seeded Cleveland Cavaliers. The Warriors finally have Kevin Durant back after a long injury recovery, and if he can stay healthy the Warriors should be able to cruise to the Finals. The Cavaliers have struggled late in the season but still prove to be the only team that could make it out of the East. They have many stars in Kevin Love, Kyrie Irving and of course LeBron James. I believe the Warriors will win this year. Steph Curry and Klay Thompson really stepped up when Durant got injured, and the Warriors starting five may be the best the NBA has seen in awhile. My prediction: Warriors win in 6 games.

NCAA March Madness preview and predictions

It’s that time of the year again, when 68 college teams try to conquer the March Madness tournament. The first round consists of 8 different teams qualifying to enter. Once that’s over, all 64 teams are placed in a division ranked one through sixteen. The divisions/sections are called: Midwest, West, South and East. The 16 teams in each section battle it out to get to the final four. The best team in the South plays the best team in the East, and the same goes for the Midwest and West.

The selection day for the 68 teams is Sunday, March 12th. The first four (8 qualifying teams) games play on Tuesday and Wednesday, the 14th and 15th. The official 64 team bracket starts Thursday, March 16th, and goes to the second round on Saturday, the 18th. The first and second rounds both last 2 days. The 2 day format also applies to the Sweet Sixteen (3rd round) and the Elite Eight (4th round). The Final Four round is Saturday, April 1st, and the championship game is Monday, April 3rd.  

This year’s top teams include: Kansas, UCLA, Gonzaga, and last year’s winner Villanova. Kansas is currently ranked number 1 in the top 25. They have beaten 5 teams in the top 10. Kansas is carried by senior point guard Frank Mason the Third, and freshman superstar Josh Jackson. They for sure will get a number one seed in the bracket. UCLA will be a major threat with freshman point guard Lonzo Ball. He’s one of the most athletic guards in the NCAA this year. He’s also accompanied by TJ Leaf and senior Bryce Alford. These 3 players combined average 47.7 points a game. Their team altogether averages an NCAA best 91.3 points per game. They are more than likely to receive a number one seed.

Gonzaga looked to be a real threat after starting 29-0, but they lost to BYU by 8 points, and that loss sent them from ranked number one to four. Their biggest problem is that they don’t play in a good enough conference, which might prove why they had such a good record until they played BYU. They finished 32-1 and won the West Coast Conference Championship. Their team is led by junior guard Nigel William-Goss, who averages 16.9 points per game and 5.7 assists per game. They are more than likely to lose early in the tournament. They would be lucky to receive a number one seed, as the number two seed fits them better.

One last team that’s being talked about, coming into the tournament, is the reigning champs, Villanova. They defeated North Carolina in the championship last year after Kris Jenkins hit a buzzer beater three for the win. He’s now in his senior year and playing well, but the star player for Villanova is senior guard Josh Hart who leads the team in points per game with 18.7 and with 6.5 rebounds per game. Villanova has a great chance of winning the tournament in back-to-back years. They will have a number one seed.  

My one sleeper team is SMU. They are ranked 12th with a 27-4 record. They haven’t played many ranked teams, and their free throw shooting is only at 69%, but they have won 13 straight games. They have also won 23 of their last 24 games, only losing by 2 points to 22-ranked Cincinnati. Senior Ben Moore has been a lot of help for SMU; he has 11.8 points per game and standing at 6 feet 8 inches, he grabs 8.2 rebounds per game. SMU could go deeper than people may expect as they’re likely to be a 4 or 5 seed in the South section of the tournament.

Sports schedule for: Feb 27-Mar 4

For  a full calendar of events please refer to: http://www.sports.spps.org

Activities the Week of Feb. 27- Mar. 4

Monday Feb. 27:

Tuesday Feb. 28:

Boys Basketball vs. Como Park @ HP 9th & JV 5:30pm  Varsity 7pm

Wednesday Mar. 1:

Thursday, Mar 2:

Friday Mar. 3:

Boys Basketball @ SPA 9th grade 4, JV @ 5:30 and Varsity 7pm

Saturday Mar. 4:

Boys Basketball Twin Cities Game @ Mpls. Site TBD

Sports schedule: Feb 20-25

Activities the Week of February 20-25

Monday Feb. 20:

Tuesday Feb. 21:

Boys Swim Sectional TBA

Boys Basketball vs. Humboldt @ HP 9th & JV 5:30pm  Varsity @ 7pm

Girls Basketball @ Humboldt  C-Squad 4pm  JV 5:30pm  Varsity @ 7pm (Bus 3:20/8:15pm)

Wednesday Feb. 22:

Thursday, Feb. 23:

Girls Varsity Basketball vs. Mounds Park Academy @ HP 6pm

Friday Feb. 24:

Boys Basketball vs. Johnson @ HP 9th & JV 5:30pm  Varsity @ 7pm

Saturday Feb. 25:

Girls Basketball Twin Cities Game TBD @ Mpls. Site

Sports schedule: Feb 13-18

Activities the Week of Feb.13-18

Monday Feb. 13:

  • Co-Ed Nordic Ski @ Como Park Grade Level Costume Meet  3:45pm (Bus 2:30/4:45pm)

Tuesday Feb. 14:

  • Girls Basketball @ Central C-Squad 4pm  JV 5:30pm Varsity @ 7pm (Bus 3:20/8:15pm)
  • Boys Basketball vs. Central @ HP 9th & JV 5:30pm  Varsity @ 7pm

Wednesday Feb. 15:

  • Co-Ed Nordic Ski State Tournament @ Biwabik (Bus7am/ Return 4pm)

Thursday, Feb. 16:

  • Co-Ed Nordic Ski State Tournament @ Biwabik (Bus7am on 2/15/4pm return)
  • Boys Basketball @ Harding 9th & JV 5:30m  Varsity @ 7pm (Bus 4/8:30pm)
  • Boys Varsity Hockey vs. Becker/Big Lake @ Highland Arena 4:20pm

Friday Feb. 17:

  • Girls Basketball vs. Harding @ HP  C-Squad 4pm  JV 5:30pm  Varsity @ 7pm

Saturday Feb. 18:

  • Boys Hockey vs. Johnson  @ Phalen Arena JV  5pm  Varsity @ 7pm

Highland winter sports

The fall sports season is almost up which means it’s time for our winter sports to begin. Here is an over view of all of Highland’s winter sports.

The Boys Hockey season will begin on November 14th, 2016. If you have experience with ice skating or play outside of school, you should consider joining the team.

The Boys Swim and Dive team, the Trojans, start their season on November 28th. Last year the team broke a relay record that had been  standing since 1983. The swim team will have a sign up meeting in early to mid November if you are interested in joining the team.

The Girls Basketball team’s season starts November 14th. Go and sign up even if you aren’t the best player, give it all your effort and you will do good. It’s also a good way to meet girls who have the same interest as you.

The Boys Basketball team’s season starts on November 21st. There is open gym time for players wanting to get extra practice in after school before the season starts. All interested players are invited to attend. The dates are October 24th & 26th and November 2nd & 7th, from 5:30-7:00pm.

The Girls Hockey team, also known as The Blades, starts their season on October 31st, 2016. There are captain’s practices, which are open to all interested players on October 24th – 28th, from 4:10 – 5:10 pm at the West Side Arena.

The Nordic Ski team’s official season starts on November 14th, but their practice starts early, on November 8th. The Nordic ski team is one of the co-ed teams at Highland. For information on necessary equipment visit the team’s wiki page: Team Wiki Webpage  which can also be found on the Highland Nordic Ski page.

Highland’s Wrestling team starts their season on November 21st. Listen to the daily announcements for further information.

The Highland Gymnastics team’s season starts on November 14th. They have been conference champions every year since 2009. They had an informational and sign up meeting on October 24th, but there is still time to sign up.

Other winter sports this year include Adapted Floor Hockey, Cheerleading, Alpine Ski and Danceline. For more information on those sports, visit their page on Highland’s website: http://spps.schoolwires.net/domain/1192

If you are interested in joining any winter sport, make sure you have all forms signed and turned in, you turned in your sports fee, and you have an up to date physical on file before the first practice.

Everyone can join Highland’s winter sports teams, regardless of experience.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basketball season coming to an end

The basketball season here at Highland is coming to an end for both girls and boys.  The boys last game was on February 19th at home against Washington, and the girls last game was a non-conference game on February 26th against Mounds Park Academy at Mounds Park Academy.

After the regular season is their section games, both teams play until they lose. The boys basketball team’s section games started on Wednesday, the 24th at home against Bloomington Kennedy, they got 1st seed in their 3AAA section. The boys won their first game is sections, however, they lost their next game on Saturday, the 27th against St.Thomas Academy. Unfortunately, this means their season is now over. The girls team however, is still alive and their first section game is on March 2nd, against Bloomington Kennedy at Bloomington Kennedy.

~b763118Overall, the boy’s varsity record was 15 wins-11 loses, conference record was 8 wins-4 loses. The boys were very close to winning conference this year, if they would’ve won their last game against Central, which was a very close game that went into overtime, they would’ve had a very high chance of being 1st in conference. Highland Park’s boys basketball was ranked 3rd in conference following Central, ranked 1st, and Johnson, ranked 2nd. The fan sections at the Johnson, Central, and Como games had great turnouts!

I asked some of the players a couple questions about their season.

“What was your best memory from this season?” I asked Khari Dennis (12):

“When we played Washington at home, it was senior night/parent night. All the senior’s started, I had a really good game that night and we won,” was his response.

My second question I asked was “What was your most proud moment from this season?” I asked Dreem Kelly (11):

“When I dunked at the Southwest game and we won,” was his answer.

“When I had a 4 point play in overtime against Johnson and I had the winning points. That was the first time in 7 years they lost in their home gym,” Michael Cornelious (12) responded.

~b345372The girl’s varsity overall record was 7 wins-17 loses, conference record was 4 wins-7 loses. The girls first home game against Central had a great turnout! Highland Park’s girls basketball was ranked 5th in conference, with Como ranked 1st and Harding at 2nd.

I asked some of the players the same questions I asked the boys.

Olyvia Mason (11) said her best memory from this season was “When I scored 17 points in the Johnson game.”

I asked Micheala Newman (11) “What was your most proud moment from this season and some of your best memories?”

“When our players worked as a team and with intensity during the SPA game, during which our youngest player played her best game,” she answered.

Both teams had a great season! Good luck at sections to both teams!

For more information, updated stats and games check out:

http://www.maxpreps.com/high-schools/highland-park-scots-(st-paul,mn)/girls-basketball/home.htm

http://www.maxpreps.com/high-schools/highland-park-scots-(st-paul,mn)/basketball/home.htm

https://sports.spps.org/sport/hs/boys/varsity/basketball/2015-2016

https://sports.spps.org/sport/hs/girls/varsity/basketball/2015-2016

Go Scots!

 

 

 

Basketball games

Every week there are either boy’s or girl’s home and away games for basketball. During home games for both teams cheerleaders cheer to support their peers and the school sport. Even though both teams have cheer support, there are still many differences between boys and girls basketball teams. We want to look at how we can make them equal.

Some of differences between the boys and girls are that more people go to the boy’s games than the girl’s games. A way we can change this is by promoting the girls basketball games more by making signs around the school, and getting people to talk about it on social media.

Another difference between the games is how the concession stands are only open at the boy’s games and not girl’s games. An easy way we can solve this is by opening the concession stand up for both girl’s and boy’s games.

Also, when the boys go against rivals like Central, the cheerleaders decorate boy’s varsity team lockers, so to make this fair when girls play against Central they should get the same treatment of getting their lockers decorated too.

Overall, we just want for both the teams to be treated equal and to be taken as seriously as the other.

varsity_girls_basketball_2014-2015

 varsity_2520boys_2520basketball-1