Western Confrence Finals predictions

The Golden State Warriors, and Houston Rockets, will play a seven game series for a trip to the NBA Finals, and a chance to play either the Celtics or Cavaliers.

The Rockets are coming off of two series that they won handily in five games a piece. These series were against the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Utah Jazz.

The Warriors also played two five game series against the San Antonio Spurs and the New Orlean Pelicans. The Rockets will have home court advantage in this series after finishing the regular season with the best record in the entire NBA. This means that should the series go seven games, the Rockets will play the last game at home.

The Warriors were happy to get Stephen Curry back in game two, of the second round, against the Pelicans. Curry has had some very good games in this last round, including a 28 point performance in his return to the lineup.

The Rockets are still reveling in their acquisition of Chris Paul this offseason.

This last offseason was all about dethroning the Warriors. Teams like the Thunder acquired stars in order to compete with the Warriors super team, of course the Thunder’s “super team” was not very super as they were knocked out in round one by the Utah Jazz.

The Celtics acquired Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward, who has been injured for the playoffs, and the whole year, respectively. The Celtics still managed to make the Eastern Conference finals, and may be the favorites if not for their injuries.

It is very likely that this Western Conference Finals champion will be the NBA Finals champion, as the Cavs do not have the talent to defeat either the Warriors or Rockets, and the Celtics would would need their players to magically heal right now.

The Warriors are looking to win their second straight championship, and their third championship in four years. And the Rockets are looking to win their first since the mid 90s, when Hakeem Olajuwon was the best player in the league (remember that Jordan was retired).

After everything that has happened to the city of Houston this year, the people there deserve a championship. Will the Rockets win? Will the Warriors go back-to-back? We will have to wait, but let’s hope it’s worth is.

Review of NBA playoffs: Round 1

With the beginning of the NBA Playoffs, there are teams just happy to make the playoffs, contenders for the Larry O’Brien trophy, and some unfamiliar dark horses.

Looking specifically at the Eastern Conference, starting with the matchup of the #1 seed Toronto Raptors vs. the #8 Washington Wizards. With hopes of winning the conference and moving on the Finals with a top five offense and a top five defense the Raptors are well coached and have a solid bench. The Wizards, although an 8 seed, have quite a lot of talent with John Wall running the show, and Bradley Beal topping the scoring table most nights at the shooting guard position. The Wizards were lacking offensive chemistry, and consistent communication on defense: Toronto won, 4-2.

Next, the #2 seeded Boston Celtics were matched up with the #7 Milwaukee Bucks boasting the “Greek Freak,” MVP candidate, Giannis Antetokounmpo. With the young stars of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, along with the veteran Al Horford, the Celtics were able to consistently score on the Bucks. Defending, however, was a far more difficult task. Antetokounmpo was finding ways to the hoop and kicking out to his shooters, Kris Middleton and Malcolm Brogdon. Excellent coaching and hard-nosed defense enabled the Celtics to overcome a valiant effort from the Bucks for a 4-3 series victory.

Next, there was the matchup of the #3 seeded Philadelphia 76ers vs. the #6 seeded Miami Heat. With a top 5 defense, the Miami Heat gave the 76ers some toruble in games 2, 4, and 5, otherwise, Philadelphia cruised through and ended the Heat’s Cinderella story with the addition of experienced star Dwyane Wade late in the season.

Finally, the #4 seeded Cavaliers played the #5 seeded Indiana Pacers. This was the most interesting, gripping, intriguing series of them all. While the Cavs have the best player on the planet, and arguably the best player of all-time, Lebron James, the rest of the team was struggling quite mightily. The defense was out of sorts, and the marksmen of the team had not been hitting the net consistently after the All-Star break.

The Pacers, however, had been on a roll and everything was falling into place at the perfect time. Consequently, they were giving the Cavs lots of problems with the size of Myles Turner inside, the three point shooting of CJ Myles, Victor Oladipo, and the expert facilitation from the lightning quick Darren Collison.

Lebron had to put the Cavs on his back in order to beat the Pacers, and that he did: averaging 34.4 points, 10 rebounds, and 8 assists. Lebron almost single-handedly, with the help of Kevin Love late in the series, advanced the Cavs in a grueling seven game series.

 

NBA Playoffs

The NBA playoffs are starting. We will see round one matchups of: Rockets vs. Timberwolves, Thunder vs. Jazz, Warriors vs. Spurs, Pelicans vs. Trail Blazers, Raptors vs. Wizards, Bucks vs. Celtics, Cavaliers vs. Pacers, and Heat vs. 76ers.

This year’s playoffs should be much more interesting than last year’s. Last year, the playoffs were made up of predictable series, and a very predictable finals. Some series this year are very exciting. The Heat should be able to force the 76ers to 6 or 7 games, and New Orleans should have an interesting time trying to slow down Damian Lillard. I personally believe that we will see the Rockets play the Warriors in a very exciting 7 game Western Conference Finals series.

This may be the first time in four years where we will not see LeBron James in the NBA Finals. The Cavs will have a very difficult time trying to reach the Finals. They will likely have to face Indiana, Philadelphia, and a Toronto team that looks ready to redeem their last few playoff losses. We seem prepared to see Houston play talented teams such as Minnesota, Oklahoma City, and Golden State.

NBA fans are gearing up for an interesting and unpredictable playoffs. With any luck, injuries will not ruin the postseason as they have the regular seasons. Injuries cost teams like the Timberwolves, Warriors, and Spurs, who were hampered by injuries. The NBA Playoffs will be very fun in 2018, and NBA fans will have a lot of fun watching.

Boys basketball: Playoff edition

By: Tray Garner and Mason Ferguson

Highland Park Scots 2nd Round Playoffs

The Highland Scots made a good run to make it to the 2nd round of the playoffs. In the first round, the Scots played Harding again, and came over on top at their home court.

photo courtesy of Maddie T.

After Highland defeated Harding, we celebrated our victory and were able to advance to the 2nd round. The 2nd round was tough, and we had a very competitive game against St. Croix, who played very hard. They moved the ball well and got a lot of fastbreak points off of turnovers.

Highland and St. Croix battled to the end, playing like it was the last game, which it was; it was win or go home. St. Croix wanted it more than us though, and they played team ball more than us.

The Highland Park Scots pregame talk was nice, we talked about how we can defeat them and how to out work them. It applied to us in the first half, as it was a back-and-forth game, but the second half was an upset as the Scots let St. Croix wheel their way past us.

It was play hard, or go home, and we didn’t play as hard, so that was the last of the Highland Park Scots boy’s basketball season. It was fun while it lasted, but also depressing at the end.

– Great playing
– Forced/Bad shots
– Foul trouble
– Depressing loss
– A bunch of T.O.

Since this year’s team was a pretty veteran team, with a lot of seniors, next year’s team will be a fairly young one, but one with some experience.

Sports schedule for: Mar 5-10

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

Spring Sports: Baseball, Softball, Boys Golf, Girls  Golf, Adapted Bowling, Adapted Softball, Boys Tennis, Badminton, Track & Field

Activities the Week of March 5-10 

Monday Mar. 5:
Adapted Bowl Opening day

Adapted Softball Opening Day

Badminton Opening Day

Tuesday Mar. 6:
Boys Basketball Section@ Harding  7pm (Bus 5:45/8:30pm)

Wednesday Mar.7:

Thursday Mar. 8:

Friday Mar. 9:

Saturday Mar. 10:

Go Scots!

NBA All-Star Weekend Festival

By: Riley Lumpkin and Gabe Mattick

The National Basketball Association’s All-Star Weekend was held from February 16-18th. There were 6 main events: The NBA All-Star Game, the Verizon Slam Dunk Contest, the JBL Three-Point Contest, the Taco Bell Skills Challenge, the Mountain Dew Kickstart Rising Stars Game, and finally, the All-Star Celebrity Game presented by Ruffles.

All of these events were held in Los Angeles, California. The Rising Stars Game and the Celebrity Game were held on Friday night. The Dunk Contest and the Three-Point Contest were held on Saturday night. And the biggest event of the weekend, the NBA All-Star Game, was held on Sunday night. You can find rosters for the NBA All-Star Game here: http://www.nba.com/allstar/2018/roster#/ 

For the Rising Stars Game here: http://www.nba.com/allstar/2018/rising-stars-roster#/

And rosters for the Celebrity Game here: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2759635-nba-celebrity-all-star-game-2018-rosters-tv-info-and-mvp-pick

The first event, the Rising Stars Game, was a blowout, with the two teams, World and the US facing off. The World Team beat the US Team 155-124. Bogdan Bogdanovic took home MVP honors with a respectable stat line. He posted 26 points, 6 assists, 4 rebounds, 1 steal, and 9-16 shooting from the field.

The All-Star Celebrity Game was the next game of the night. Popular rapper Quavo took home the MVP honors in this one. The rapper posted an impressive 19 points and led Team Clippers to a 75-66 victory over Team Lakers. He was playing against the likes of Justin Bieber and Jamie Foxx.

The Dunk Contest was on Saturday night, and featured great dunkers in the league like Donovan Mitchell, Victor Oladipo, Larry Nance Jr., and Dennis Smith Jr. Donovan Mitchell stole the stole and took home the Dunk Contest Trophy. His last dunk, a 50 (the highest score possible), was a throwback to a dunk done by Vince Carter, a 360 dunk.

In the Three-Point Contest, it included great Three-Point shooters like Klay Thompson and Paul George but ultimately it was Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker who took home the Three-Point crown. He posted the most ever points in a Three-Point Contest round with a score of 28.

The last event of All-Star Weekend was the All-Star Game. This game was between Team Lebron and Team Stephen. Team Lebron, which Lebron James was the captain of, was victorious over Team Stephen, 148-145. Lebron came away with the KIA MVP and posted an impressive stat line of 29 points, 10 rebounds, and 8 assists.

Highland Park Scots basketball

Tray Garner
Mason Ferguson

Highland Park basketball

photo courtesy of Mustafa Aden

On February 21st, the Highland Park Scots took on Johnson High School in was a very competitive game. Both teams went back and fourth in scoring, but Johnson managed to go up by 15 points in the first half.

In the 2nd half, Johnson didn’t execute like they did in the first.

The Scots went on a 12-4 run and managed to catch back up, and tie the game, with less than 10 minutes left on the clock.

We had multiple chances to take the lead, but just couldn’t execute. Johnson played very hard until the end, and the final score was 77-68. They played better offense than us, which gave them the extra boost to beat our Highland Scots.

– 15 T.O.
– 4 players in foul trouble
– Free throws 4-15 (horrible)

On February 23rd, the Highland Park Scots took on Como. Last time we played Como we came out on top with a victory, and score, of 74-69. Highland played well that game.

The lack of communication on the defensive side cost us the game this time, and the turnovers on the offensive side also cost us the game.

Como played hard, and hustled to everything, but they also played at a steady pace. When Como took the lead they did what they had to do to stay out in front.

The Highland Scots played O.K., but it wasn’t enough to beat Como again. We played lazy and selfish instead of playing as a team.

– 20 T.O.
– 2 players fouled out with a few others in foul trouble
– Free throws 10/22 (If we made at least 5 more of those Free throws, we would have has a chance to win)

The Highland Park Scots are currently on a 4 game losing streak due to: selfish plays, poor ball movement, poor talking on defense, and nobody stepping up to be a leader on the floor.

We have 2 more game left: Minneapolis Southwest for our last season game, and our first sections game March 6th.

If we can go out and do what we have to do, like limit our turnovers, slow down, and play smart, we can win our last season game, and our first round sections game.

From the next game on, it’s either “Go Hard Or Go Home.”

Flip Saunders Night in Minnesota

On Thursday, Feb 15, the Minnesota Timberwolves raised Flip Saunders name to the rafters of the Target Center. The ceremony began at 7:15PM with speeches from family and friends of Flip Saunders.

Flip Saunders was head coach of the Timberwolves during their best years as an organization. He coached the Wolves in the 03-04 season where they lost to the Lakers in a dramatic Western Conference finals. If it hadn’t been for some injuries, there is a possibility that Flip could have lead the Wolves to the NBA Championship.

Saunders took a team that had a great player, in Kevin Garnett, and a few other good players, like Latrell Sprewell and Sam Cassell, into the Western Conference finals. The Wolves have not made the playoffs since that historic season. Flip Saunders left the Timberwolves a few seasons later. These years, after Flip left, were not good years for the Wolves. Sure, they had All-Star Kevin Love, but he was constantly injured and the talent around him was not very good.

Saunders returned to the Wolves and started his comeback by drafting Super-Star Karl-Anthony Towns. Towns has been the Wolves best offensive player in just his first three years. Saunders coached Towns to a Rookie-of-the-Year Award. At the start of Town’s second season, Saunders was diagnosed with cancer and died on October, 25, 2015. Flip’s legacy is now remembered in the players he coached, the people he affected, and now the banner that hangs in the rafters of the Target Center.

Sports schedule for: Feb 26-Mar 3

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

Winter Sports: Boys Swimming, Co-Ed Adapted Floor Hockey. Girls Basketball,
Girls Hockey, Co-Ed Nordic Ski, Wrestling, Gymnastics, Boys Hockey, Boys
Basketball, Alpine Ski

Activities the Week of February 26-March 3

***At present there are no scheduled events for the week of Mar. 5-10 other than possibility of boys and girls basketball advancing in the section playoffs – We will be transitioning from Winter activities to the Spring Sports Season***

Monday Feb. 26

Adapted CI Floor Hockey vs. Minneapolis Adapted  @ Humboldt 4:30pm

Tuesday Feb. 27:

Wednesday Feb. 28:

Adapted CI Floor Hockey vs. South Washington County @ East Ridge HS 4:30pm

Varsity Girls Basketball Section game TBD 7pm

Thursday, Mar.1:

Boys Basketball @ Minneapolis Southwest  C-Squad 4  JV 5:30  Varsity @ 7pm

Adapted PI Floor Hockey vs. Dakota United @ Humboldt 4:30pm

Friday Mar. 2:

Saturday Mar.3:

Boys Basketball Twin Cities Game TBD @ St. Paul Site

Go Scots!

Sports schedule for: Feb 19-24

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

Winter Sports: Boys Swimming, Co-Ed Adapted Floor Hockey. Girls Basketball,
Girls Hockey, Co-Ed Nordic Ski, Wrestling, Gymnastics, Boys Hockey, Boys
Basketball, Alpine Ski

Activities the Week of February 19-24

Monday Feb. 19:

Presidents Day

Tuesday Feb. 20:

Adapted CI Floor Hockey vs. Owatonna @ Humboldt 4:30pm
Adapted PI Floor Hockey vs. Rochester Raiders@ Freidell Middle School 5:30pm
Varsity Girls Basketball vs. Johnson @ HP  6pm

Wednesday Feb. 21:

Boys Basketball @ Johnson C-Squad 4  JV @ 5:30   Varsity @ 7pm (Students will need student ID to attend game at Johnson)

Adapted CI Floor Hockey vs. Winona @ Winona Middle School 4:30pm

Thursday, Feb. 22:

Adapted PI Floor Hockey vs. Dakota United @ Apple Valley HS 6:30pm

Friday Feb. 23:

Boys Basketball @ Como Park  C-Squad 4pm  JV 5:30pm Varsity @ 7pm

Adapted CI Floor Hockey vs. Winona @ Humboldt 4:30pm

Saturday Feb. 24:

Go Scots!