The Downtown Rag, Vol. 1, No. 2 March 21, 2017

You can’t hate a man named Taj

I’ve never tried to because I know it’s impossible. So does Steph Curry. During yesterday’s game between the Thunder and Warriors, an unnecessary fight between OKC’s Semaj Christon (it’s always some no name dude who tries to steal the limelight by doing something stupid) and Curry. And who stepped in to be the mediator? The well-respected Taj Gibson. And just watch Curry’s reaction when he see’s Taj say, “it’s me!” ‘Cuz Taj just makes you smile. And make you realize how much better you are than that. And he is, because he went on to drain a buzzer beater to end the half and the third. Don’t you know by now — don’t piss off the superstar!

Today’s media circus even exists in sports

Its funny how the press hypes up the clash between these two teams, calls it a rivalry, then after two blowout losses, they’re like “guys, stop calling it a rivalry. It’s not a rivalry, at least until OKC wins!” Exhibit A. Exhibit B. I didn’t say shit. YOU did. Right here in your little list. Brah.

It’s only a rivalry in the most traditional sense — highly competitive and highly anticipated. But in the history of sports, where we almost expect that to mean neck and neck games every time (think: Yankee/Red Sox, Bruins/Canadiens, Duke/UNC, etc.) – well its obvious to everyone that we are years away from that.

D’Antoni’s Harden: Steve Nash on Crack

A great article by Sports Illustrated gave a quick history lesson on Steve Nash’s heydays, but more importantly it follows Mike D’Antoni’s career as a coach and the system he helped pioneer (he cheered as he saw the Warriors win a championship with the style he believed in). He is so damn good at building a team around a superstar (except for in New York, of course), and it kinda makes you root for the man. If you’re a neutral looking for a team to support in the playoffs besides the Warriors, Cavs, or Spurs, this might get to you. Check out the article here.

Drake, an entire country thinks you’re a poser

And I’m not just talking about the U.S. This fan expressed what we’ve all been (kinda) thinking.

Where are you now that “your team” is struggling!? See, it ain’t so easy being the Spike Lee of the Raptors. But I know we’ll see you in people’s face come playoff time.

These games are getting harder to predict

Down the stretch, we are seeing a high number of “easy win” games go the other way. In the last week alone, we’ve seen almost a third of the games go to the team with the worse record (18 of the 52 games played in the last week). Some notable upsets in the last week include:

3/13: Minnesota beat Washington by 15 points

3/15: Missesota beat the Clippers by 1 point

3/17: Pelicans beat Rockets by 16 points

3/19: Philly beat Boston by 6 points

This will make for a good end of the season – the Eastern Conference’s 5-8 spots all being decided by 3 GB. In the Western Division, we will see Portland, Dallas and Denver fight for that 8th seed and 4-7 seeds (Utah, Clippers, OKC and Memphis) will all shuffle around.

The future of Off the Ball

We are currently building a database so that we can deliver basketball news, once a week, straight to your inbox. We give you a rundown of everything going on, both on and off the court. Whether it’s good reads from other sites or a little writing ourselves, we’re there to keep you in the loop. We are hoping to officially launch this email service in May. Until we get the technical side figured out (man do I wish I learned coding at a young age), please sign up here: The Downtown Rag Weekly Email Signup

Thanks! We’ll leave you with our favorite play of the week:

 

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