GRAEME GALLAGHER, ADDY BINK | SPORTS COLUMNISTS
Top 5 Strongest Teams in 2017-2018 NBA Season
This offseason has really changed the game and has setup for a great season ahead. At number five, I have the San Antonio Spurs. They may be getting up there in age, but Kawhi Leonard is going to have a super season and Lamarcus Aldridge is a solid post option. Especially look for them to dominate at home. The Minnesota Timberwolves make my number four. With the addition of Jimmy Butler, and then the development of Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins, I believe that the T-wolves are poised for a breakout season. The Thunder make it to number three. With Paul George, Carmelo Anthony, and Russell Westbrook, they make the most interesting trio in the league. It will be interesting to see how they play together and how their bench holds up when they are not on the court. At number two, are the Warriors. They are still such a solid team and Kevin Durant seems unstoppable. They have a good chance at repeating. And at number one, you guessed it, the Cavaliers. With their trade of Kyrie Irving, they got a deeper bench that will benefit them greatly. And also they have the best player of all time, Lebron James paired once again with Dwyane Wade. It will be a great season!
I think this season is going to be an interesting one. There was a ton of movement in the off season, good and bad. The Denver Nuggets are going to do well this year. Their roster is not impressive, but center Nikola Jokić looks good – real good. I feel the Nuggets may surprise some people this year. My fourth strongest is the Boston Celtics. I think the Celtics may impress us this year, especially with Kyrie Irving and recent draft from Duke, Jayson Tatum. The Oklahoma City Thunder breaks into my top three. Paul George joined the Thunder this season, leaving the Pacers. He joins Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony, which could turn into a power triangle. I will keep my eyes on them. Despite popular belief, I think the Golden State Warriors are not the strongest. Yes, Kevin Durant will be joining Steph Curry, but it is time for a new top team. And I think that team is the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavs have a flashy roster, no doubt, and I think that will work in their favor this year. With Lebron James, Isaiah Thomas, Derrick Rose, Kevin Love, and Dwyane Wade? I am excited to see them play this season.
Reactions to United States Not Qualifying for the 2018 World Cup
I remember waking up and seeing that the USMNT had a 93% chance to qualify for the World Cup the day they faced off against Trinidad and Tobago. Not to be bashful, but I was pretty confident in our capabilities against a team that has not won in months. I was so confident that I did not even bother watching the game, thinking that our team, which has made the World Cup for my entire life, would take care of business. And I am really glad that I did not watch. When I got the notification that we lost and did not qualify, I had only one reaction and that was, “WHAT?” I was stunned, I was confused, and I was without words. And sadly, we will be without the US in the World Cup next year. At least we will not have to worry about having to face Ghana in the group stage…
How. Why. We have been in the World Cup since 1986. Maybe we were too confident. Maybe the water surrounding the field really messed up the mojo for the UWMNT. Maybe nobody wanted to go to Russia. Can you imagine how Omar Gonzalez feels after scoring an own goal? That is the worst feeling in the world. Almost like finding out your national team lost to a pretty bad team.
Either way, congratulations to Trinidad and Tobago, who have not won a game since March 24.
Baseball World Series Predictions
I think that the Astros are the strongest team left in the competition. They remind me a lot of the Cubs from last year. A lot of young talent, strong pitching, and passion in every play. I believe that the Astros will easily take the series against the Yankees, 4-1. As far as for the Cubs and Dodgers, I think that the Cubs will beat them again in the NLCS. The Cubs always seem to get something to turn their way and then capitalize on that. Cubs win the series 4-2. But, they will be stopped by the surging Astros in the World Series. Astros continue to hit the ball and will be baseball’s best, but it will go to a game 7. Astros will win the series 4-3.
It is going to come down to the Dodgers and the Astros. No doubt about it. The Cubs had their chance. The New York Yankees may have just topped the Cleveland Indians, a favored team after their 19 – 0 streak, but I do not think it was enough. And the Astros. They took the ALDS 3 – 1 over the Boston Red Sox. I think they deserve to be in the World Series. But I think the Astros will fall to the Dodgers. It will be close, but the Dodgers will leave with the trophy.