Player Power Rankings: Raptors’ Leonard beats out Curry ahead of Finals

Is he the best basketball player on the planet right now? Outside of “will he or won’t he” stay in Toronto, that has been a chief debate surrounding Raptors star Kawhi Leonard during his historic playoff run.

On the merits of his clutch play and two-way dominance, there’s an argument to be made — Masai Ujiri certainly thinks he is — but regardless of his place on that list, Leonard enters the NBA Finals as the best player on the floor for either side. In a series against a Golden State Warriors team that’s been to five straight Finals and boasts the NBA’s most impressive collection of star talent this generation has ever seen, that’s no easy feat.

But how does the rest of that list look and, going down the two rosters, how much of an imbalance is there in the defending champs’ favour?

Here’s a look at the player power rankings heading into NBA Finals:

1. Kawhi Leonard, Toronto Raptors

What more could you ask of a superstar putting up historic stats — one of just five players to average over 31 points per game in the playoffs after 18 games (joining a ho-hum group with Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Hakeem Olajuwon, and Allen Iverson).

Even when his shot isn’t quite falling — he was 9-22 from the field during Saturday’s series-clincher — his impact is almost immeasurable in countless areas of the game. That said, his heroic 17-rebound effort in Game 6 showed how Leonard is far more than an elite scorer, and it’s his all-encompassing dominance that keeps him atop this list.

I mean, come on:

#NBA Another camera angle from Kawhi …read more


Packers Legend Bart Starr Passes Away

The Packers announced that legendary quarterback Bart Starr has passed away at the age of 85 in Montgomery, Alabama. He had been suffering from multiple health ailments since a massive stroke in 2014.

It is with deep sadness that we announce Green Bay Packers legend Bart Starr has passed away at age 85:

— Green Bay Packers (@packers) May 26, 2019

Starr played for the Packers from 1956-1971, winning the first two Super Bowl championships ever played. A four-time Pro Bowler and 1966 NFL MVP, Starr is perhaps the most revered player in Packers history, calling the famous QB-sneak play that won the Packers the game over the Cowboys in the “Ice Bowl.”

Despite failing health, Starr made an appearance at Brett Favre’s number retirement ceremony at Labeau Field in 2015.

Starr’s family released the following message.

A message from the family of Bart Starr

— Green Bay Packers (@packers) May 26, 2019

Star won five total NFL Championships and is a member of the Pro Football Hall-of-Fame.

…read more

Source:: The Big Lead

Hamilton wins Monaco GP to extend lead over teammate Bottas

MONACO — Lewis Hamilton won the Monaco Grand Prix on Sunday to extend his championship lead over Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas.

Hamilton struggled with grip in the latter stages, and was under constant pressure from Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.

But Verstappen had earlier picked up a five-second time penalty. So even though he finished just behind Hamilton, he was fourth overall behind Bottas in third and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel in second.

Vettel’s Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc started 15th, after his team bungled qualifying, and retired after 19 laps.

Leclerc damaged his right rear tire trying a bold overtaking move on Nico Hulkenberg’s Renault, scattering debris over the track and forcing the safety car to come out.

Earlier, drivers wore red caps for a minute’s silence that was held before the race in memory of three-time F1 champion Niki Lauda , who died on Monday at the age of 70.

…read more


VIDEO: Colin Cowherd and Stephen A. Smith Had Some Terrible Raptors vs Bucks Takes

When you’re on the airwaves as much as Colin Cowherd and Stephen A. Smith, you’re going to get some stuff right, and you’re going to get some stuff wrong. But it is hard to imagine anyone getting anything more wrong than what Cowherd and Smith said about Kawhi Leonard and the Toronto Raptors.

After the Bucks took a 2-0 lead on the Raptors in the Eastern Conference Finals, Cowherd and Smith were ready to declare Toronto DOA. They weren’t the only ones saying this, of course, but now that the Raptors have won four straight to advance to the NBA Finals, their takes are being resurfaced, and let’s just say it’s not pretty.


— Freezing Cold Takes (@OldTakesExposed) May 26, 2019

“Kawhi’s got nothing left.” — Colin Cowherd.

“I can’t see Toronto winning more than one game this series.” — Stephen A. Smith.

Listen, when an NBA team wins two games at home to open a series, they are definitely in the driver’s seat to win the series. But saying the other team can win only one game and that their star player has nothing left is perhaps a little too bold.

Scott Van Pelt, also featured saying he thought the series was over, actually responded to the tweet.

Stephen and I had just watched game 2. The stats I said were true, more wins and more blowouts than any team in the nba this year. They hadn’t lost 3 straight all year. Then they lost 4 straight. I’ll take the L, I was wrong. You got receipts where you called Toronto?

— Scott Van Pelt (@notthefakeSVP) May 26, 2019

Leave it to SVP to turn a negative into a hilarious rebuttal. And hey, as we said, people get things wrong all the time. At least …read more

Source:: The Big Lead