The Evster Catches You Up on the NBA Finals

The Evster Catches You Up on the NBA Finals

Look, I like Carlos Zambrano. I think he's a very interesting fella and I thoroughly enjoyed watching him pummel those Gatorade coolers. I also like Zac MacMath. When I went to see the Union play Real Madrid last summer, I walked into the Linc right behind his entire family who were all wearing MacMath jerseys. Nice folks. Cute family. Mediocre goalie, but still. Also the name MacMath is fun to say. MacMath. MacMath. So I get it, I really do. This is a Philadelphia sports website and the 700 Level followers want to read about Philadelphia sports, and that's fine, Jonathan Papps blew another save, we should talk about it. He stinks, there I talked about it, BUT THERE IS AN AMAZING NBA FINALS GOING ON RIGHT NOW WITH A GAME 7 ON TAP TONIGHT, and I'm pretty sure, after doing extensive research, that there has not been one stinking post about the Finals on this website! And correct me if I'm wrong, but this is all coming at a time when EVERY PHILADELPHIA TEAM SUCKS BUTT.

So seeing as tonight is Game 7, and I'm the only person in this city who apparently realizes that MICHAEL YOUNG DOESNT MATTER, let's recap what's been going on in THA FINALZ!!!

Game 1: Tha Shot

Forget about the fact that Tony Parker FELL DOWN just seconds before the shot, then pulled a Curly Neal routine, twisted and turned and ducked under LEBRONNY-BRON of all people before hitting the game winner, there has never, ever, ever been a shot in NBA history that was so close to being a shot clock violation, yet so clearly was not. Each time they showed that Tony Parker replay it seemed to hit home just how incredibly close it was, and how lucky Tony is to have such iddy biddy little French fingers. Parker was so unbelievable in Game 1 (21pts, 6assts 0turns), that you almost (keyword: almost) forgot about the fact that he totally had sex with his best friend's wife. Ugh, what a dick. Really cute guy, sexy accent, but still a dick.

Other things we should've blogged about: LeBronski had a triple dubb (but was held under 20pts), Danny Green wapped four 3s, Birdman outscored Matt Bonner 7 to 0, T-Mac DNP.

Final Verdict: The Heat were tired, Kawhi Leonard is better than everyone on the Sixers, and there's no way I can root for a dude who boned his best friend's wife.

Game 2: Tha Block

Honestly shocked that Tiago Splitter has continued to suit up and attempt to play basketball since his dunk attempt was rejected by the Lebrontasaurus Burger. I really felt like after that play, Splitter should've just ran off the court and out of the arena, never to be heard from again. Kinda like how Shawn Bradley has fallen off the face of the earth since retiring. That's probably the only smart thing Shawn Bradley has ever done in his whole stupid life. God I hate that man. He's probably a really, really nice person.

Other things we should've blogged about: Just the five more 3s from Danny Green, Birdman outscored Bonner  9 to 5, TMac played 8 minutes and only attempted 1 shot. Read that again. Tracy McGrady. Eight minutes of playing time. One shot.

Final Verdict: The Heat got this in 5, Tiago Splitter probably has enough money saved up for retirement, it's absolutely mind-boggling that NBATV makes Brent Barry analyze games involving a guy who slept with his wife.

Game 3: Tha Bomb Squad

Before Game 3, I had never really understood the fascination with the 3-ball. Don't get me wrong, I liked Dale Ellis, thought Hersey Hawkins was a serviceable 10th man for the 1996 Hornets, but have always preferred a hard-nosed guy to lower his shoulder, knock people out the way and get to the rack. I also think Rumeal Robinson was the best point guard ever and my fantasy basketball team has finished in last place three consecutive years. But after watching Danny Green and Gary Neal go ABSOLUTELY BONKERS in game 3 (hitting 13 combined triples), I now get it, I totally totally totally get it. Watching them rain threes was mesmerizing, but not nearly as mesmerizing as Spike Albrecht's performance in this year's NCAA Final. I don't understand why we're still not talking about that. Did you see that little guy? So nifty! Also, how 'bout the fact that Miguel Cabrera won the Triple Crown last year?!?!? Do you realize how amazing that was?!?! I'd been waiting my whole life for that! Carl Yastrzemski can suck a butt!

Other things we should've blogged about: Lebron was held to 15pts on 7-21 shooting because Kawhi Leonard is AWESOME, Birdman and Bonner both scored 2pts, TMac had 3assts and 0turns in 7mins of action, Spike Albrecht tweeted about a thunderstorm in Michigan -- with emoticons!

Final Verdict: The Heat might be in trouble, I shoulda practiced my jumper more, I'm totally writing 30,000 words about Spike Albrecht's Twitter account next week.

Game 4: Tha Return of D-Wade

There are times when Dwayne Wade plays basketball like my 7-yr-old nephew. Dribble dribble dribble, tries to look cool, loses dribble off his foot, gathers dribble, rubs hand on his shorts as if they're sweaty and that's why he lost his dribble, hesitation move, double hesitation move, drives baseline, jumps in the air, looks around for someone to pass to, anyone, has no idea what he's doing, throws the ball wildly back toward three point line, turnover, jogs back on D as if that's a totally normal thing to do, complains to someone, wears stupid pants ... and there are other times when Dwayne Wade absolutely dominates. That was Game 4, where he (32pts), Bronkey (33) and Boshy (20) combined for 85 big ones. I don't know how the Heat ever lose a game.

Other things we should've blogged about: Three more 3s from Danny Green, Chris Bosh introduced himself to the paint ("Hi Paint, I'm Chris." "Hi Chris, I'm the Paint, I can talk,", Spo gave Mike Miller the start, Birdman DNP, TMac DNP, Bonner 4pts on 2 for 2 shooting.

The Final Verdict: Heat in 6, Mike Miller is the weirdest looking person ever, GET BONNER MORE PLAYING TIME.

Game 5: Tha Bald Spot

Pop inserts Manu into the starting lineup and Ginobili goes bonks. Driving to the hoop, jumping off the wrong foot, right hand, left hand, floaters, lookin' like a young Spike Albrecht. Oh, and just the six 3s for Danny Green.

Other things we should've blogged about: Mario Chalmers clearly has no idea who's on his team as he continues to jack up shots (2-10FG), another DNP for Birdman AND TMac, while Bonner gets one minute of action AND A STEAL. Obvs!

The Final Verdict: Heat gotta win two straight at home (THERE'S NO WAY), Manu signs on with CBS for a new sitcom called "Everybody Loves Manu", Brent Barry on suicide watch.

Game 6: Tha Greatest Game Everrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Ridic comeback by the Heat (down 5 with :20 left), but how 'bout being down 11 with 7 minutes left? And with Wade on the bench, Bronislav went into beast mode, revving up the energy on D, forcing turnovers, going to the rack SANS HEADBAND, and all of the sudden the Heat were back in this ... BUT THEN TONY PARKER TOOK OVER ... and the Heat were done ... but then Ray Allen got free! ... but he didn't  really get free, he just kinda got free! ... and then overtime! ... and the return of Birdman! ... and how about Mike Miller with one-shoe? ... I can't believe how much I love three-pointers! ... They give you an extra point! ... Aghghghhh, Game 7!!!

Other things we should've blogged about: Duncan goes for 30 and 17 (but only 5pts in the second half!), Manu being Manu completely out of control, Dwayne Wade might stink, Danny Green with only one 3??? Bonner's beard is getting long!

The Final Verdict: How can you ever leave Ray Allen?!?!?!?!?

Game 7: ????

Absolutely no idea what's gonna happen tonight. It always seems like when the Heat play D, they're in it, if they try to act cool, the Spurs wap threes in their face. Honestly after his Game 6 performance, I think Dwayne Wade absolutely stinks and should just get out of Lebron's way. I obviously don't really think that, but I sorta think that. All in all, this has been an incredible Finals even though we've only had two close games. Frankly I want to root for the Spurs, but the guy slept with his teammate's wife for cryin' out loud. How can you do that? Not even Carlos Zambrano would do that!

Zac MacMath on the other hand???

Gingers are VERY in these days.

Follow the Evster on Twitter @TVMWW

NBA draft profile: F Brandon Ingram

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NBA draft profile: F Brandon Ingram

Brandon Ingram

Position: Forward

Height: 6-9

Weight: 196

School: Duke

For months, Ben Simmons seemed to be a lock for the No. 1 pick. There was little competition for the LSU forward, who had been highly touted for years. Then came Brandon Ingram. The long, lanky forward emerged during his freshman (and only) season at Duke to make the top selection a legitimate two-player debate.

Ingram averaged 17.3 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 34.6 minutes per game. He scored 20 points or more in each of the fourth-ranked Blue Devils’ tournament games before they were eliminated in the Sweet 16.

Here’s the biggest intrigue with Ingram: He’s only 18 years old. After coming on this strong as a freshman, his potential is one of his largest draws.

The Sixers met with Ingram at the draft combine and have attended a private workout held by his agency.

Strengths
Ingram set himself apart with his ability to shoot. He made 41.0 percent from three (80 of 195), an impressive mark for a player his size. Ingram also shot 44.2 percent from the field. He doesn’t rely on his outside game, attacking the basket as well to create a versatile offensive package.

Ingram’s length allows him to get his hands on the ball all over the court. With a 7-foot-3 wingspan, Ingram can fight over opponents for rebounds and loose balls. On the defensive end, his size creates mismatches, including on the perimeter. As bigs expand their shots away from the basket, Ingram can chase his opponents out to the wing. 

His 2.0 assists per game don’t tell the whole story of his passing abilities. Ingram has a high basketball IQ and sees the floor to create for his teammates.

Weaknesses
Ingram has to develop an NBA body. Playing his position at less than 200 pounds, he will get bounced around by other bigs. By putting on muscle, he will be able to play tougher defense at the basket.

Ingram can improve his all-around defensive skillset. He has shown he can rebound, but his overall consistency and intensity stands to be amped up in the pros.

Ingram can also improve his free throws after shooting 68.2 percent from the line at Duke.

How he'd fit with the Sixers
The Sixers don’t have a consistent go-to scoring option. Ingram could fulfill that role as the top offensive weapon. Being only 18, he would be part of the Sixers’ young foundation they could develop over time. His athleticism would help facilitate an uptempo system that maximizes their youth to get up and down the court. Brett Brown emphasizes his desire for two-way players and Ingram could contribute on both ends.

NBA comparison
Ingram has been compared to Kevin Durant. Think long and lanky for the position with the offensive skills to be a scoring threat. Ingram also has been likened to Tayshaun Prince, who had a decent NBA career but wasn't an MVP candidate like Durant.

Draft projection
Ingram is in the mix for being the No. 1 pick. If the Sixers go with Simmons at the top spot, expect the Lakers to take Ingram at two.

Cody Asche: 'I'm close' to being ready to rejoin Phillies

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Cody Asche: 'I'm close' to being ready to rejoin Phillies

READING, Pa. — The stat sheet says one thing, Cody Asche another.

“I’m close,” the Phillies’ once (and possibly future) leftfielder said after going hitless in four at-bats in a rehab assignment game for Double A Reading on Thursday morning. “I’m close, for sure.”

Asche, recovering from a strained left oblique muscle, is just 2 for 16 in four games at Reading, after going 3 for 18 in five games at Single A Clearwater.

But not to worry, he said. There are just “a couple little things” he needs to shore up at the plate, things that have led to “not-so-favorable results,” before he is ready to return to the major leagues.

“But I’m confident,” he said. “They’re easy fixes.”

Asche, a little over a month away from his 26th birthday, said he feels healthy, that he just needs to get his timing back, just needs to face more “good quality pitching.”

Where he will get that opportunity is a matter of conjecture. Immediately after beating Erie, 7-4, in Thursday’s matinee, Reading headed to New Hampshire to begin a road trip. Asche was not expected to accompany the Fightin Phils. Meanwhile, Triple A Lehigh Valley begins a homestand Friday.

“I think the plan right now is maybe go up to Lehigh [Friday], but that’s still in the air,” Asche said, adding that he still must consult trainer Scott Sheridan, as well as his rehab coordinator, before a decision is finalized.

It’s not clear if the organization also believes Asche is close to returning to the big leagues. Manager Dusty Wathan was not available for comment after Thursday’s game.

Wathan did address Asche’s situation after he played his first game at Reading on Sunday.

“It’s like his spring training,” the manager told reporters. “He’s trying to get himself back, get himself comfortable in left field, get himself comfortable at the plate and back into baseball shape.”

Asche, the Phillies’ fourth-round pick in 2011, hit .252 with 10 homers and 46 RBIs in 121 games at third base in 2014. Last year he began the season at that position before making the transition to left, in the wake of Maikel Franco’s emergence. But when Franco broke a wrist late in the year, Asche returned to his natural position.

Overall he hit .245 with 12 homers and 39 RBIs in 129 games. Five of his homers came in his last 18 games.

“I came in to spring training as confident as anybody in myself, and building on last year and going forward this year,” he said.

But he injured his oblique (which is near the rib cage) while swinging a bat on the eve of spring drills. Then he rehabbed, returned and promptly reaggravated the injury while swinging through a pitch the final week of camp.

It only hurt when he did … well, everything.

“Imagine everything you do during the day, you feel pain in your abdomen,” he said. “Just small things, like sneezing and coughing, are uncomfortable. Getting in and out of cars.”

Nor was his anguish merely physical.

“We’d be here all day if I tried to explain how frustrating it is,” he said. “It’s been a long process. It’s been tiring. It’s been stressful. A lot of sleepless nights during it, but there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. I can see it. I know I’m close. It’s just a matter of time, from here on out. Once it clicks, it will click, and I’ll be ready to go.”

Asche began swinging a bat on May 1, and started his rehab assignment at Clearwater on May 13. He made the move to Reading nine days later.

“I’m kind of over the frustration part,” he said. “I had eight weeks to be frustrated while I was rehabbing. Right now I’m just solely focused on playing baseball, and preparing myself to go up there and compete when it’s my time.”

The Phillies could use him, to add punch to the anemic corner outfield spots. And he believes he can help. 

“There’s still plenty of time,” he said. “We’ve still got a long season left. It’s not even June yet. I’ve got plenty of time to leave my mark on this year.”

Report: Rockets to hire Sixers associate coach Mike D'Antoni

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Report: Rockets to hire Sixers associate coach Mike D'Antoni

The Sixers are losing a top assistant coach just five months after he joined the team. 

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo's The Vertical, the Houston Rockets are finalizing a deal to hire Mike D'Antoni as their head coach. According to Wojnarowski, the deal is for four years, with a team option in the final year.  

D'Antoni had been a Sixers associate coach since last December, when the team hired him after starting the season with a 1-26 record. 

While he took a supporting role in Philadelphia, D'Antoni has 12 years of NBA head coaching experience with the Nuggets, Suns (where he worked with Sixers president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo and special advisor Jerry Colangelo) and, most recently, the Lakers. The 2013-14 Lakers went 27-55 under D'Antoni. 

D’Antoni is 455-426 as a head coach. He won the 2004-05 NBA Coach of the Year Award with the Suns. He also was an assistant coach for gold-winning Team USA men’s national teams.

Rockets interim head coach J.B. Bickerstaff withdrew himself from consideration for the job earlier this month, and D’Antoni has been considered a top candidate for the position. The Rockets have had four coaches in the past 10 seasons, including Jeff Van Gundy, Rick Adelman, Kevin McHale and Bickerstaff.

The Rockets finished eighth in the Western Conference this season with a 41-41 record. They were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by the Warriors, 4-1. 

Earlier in the week, Wojnarowski reported P.J. Carlesimo could take D'Antoni's place. 

Carlesimo, 66, and Sixers head coach Brett Brown were both assistant coaches under Gregg Popovich with the Spurs from 2002-07. Carlesimo also has previous head coaching experience with the Blazers, Warriors and Sonics/Thunder. 

CSNPhilly.com's Dave Zangaro contributed to this story.