Tag Archives: Miami Heat

Paul George Injury Leaves Questions in Eastern Conference

After Paul George suffered that devastating leg injury that will keep him out for next season, the Indiana Pacers lost a valuable member of their squad. Without George, there is little hope for the Pacers’ title hopes in 2015. Although this may not take them out of the postseason just yet, let’s look at some threatening teams in the Eastern Conference.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are a favorite simply because they have LeBron James. Not only that, but they also have an All-Star point guard in Kyrie Irving and a future superstar in Andrew Wiggins. However, their front court could be their ultimate downfall. The main reason why James was so successful in Miami was because he had Chris Bosh pulling in rebounds and giving him extra chances. Last year’s number one draft pick Anthony Bennett was a huge disappointment, but he is the best option for next season’s starting forward position. For center, they have Anderson Varejao and Brendan Haywood, but they are old veterans that can be reliable in all 82 games next season. Tristan Thompson would make a good fit at the power forward spot and Dion Waiters will make a great back-court player that could compliment both Irving and James. It’s mostly wait-and-see at this point for the Cavaliers.

LeBron James' return to Cleveland gives the Cavaliers the best chance for a title run next year. Credit: www.cleveland.com
LeBron James’ return to Cleveland gives the Cavaliers the best chance for a title run next year.
Credit: http://www.cleveland.com

The Chicago Bulls look to be the favorite in the East as well. They have an established coaching staff that knows how to win with low-caliber players, but this year, they get Derrick Rose back…again. If Rose can stay healthy, this Bulls team will be Cleveland’s main competition in the Central Division. They signed Pau Gasol in free agency and landed Doug McDermott in the NBA Draft. All of the pieces are there with Joakim Noah coming off a terrific year, winning the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award. Guys like Taj Gibson, Jimmy Butler and Ronnie Brewer will also aid Rose in chasing that elusive NBA Finals, somewhere they haven’t been since Michael Jordan led the way many years ago.

Derrick Rose looks for a breakout year. The last time he played a full season, he won the MVP averaging 25 points, 7.7 assists and 4.1 rebounds per game. Credit: pagesix.com
Derrick Rose looks for a breakout year. The last time he played a full season, he won the MVP averaging 25 points, 7.7 assists and 4.1 rebounds per game.
Credit: pagesix.com

With the Pacers, Cavaliers and Bulls fighting for the Central Division, let’s take a look at some other potentially threatening teams in the East. The New York Knicks and Toronto Raptors will be battling for the Atlantic Division. Carmelo Anthony’s decision to return to New York will definitely give them a chance. Phil Jackson looks to make this team a consistent winner in the East and will have to go through the upstart Raptors in order to get there. The Raptors finished last season with the 3-seed in the East with a surprising 48-34 record. They did better than the Brooklyn Nets who landed a tight 44-38 finish. Coach Lionel Hollins will try to make his new Nets team a title contender this year. If he can’t get them that good in a short amount of time, the Knicks and Raptors will dominate this division.

The two most surprising teams last year were the Washington Wizards and the Charlotte Bobcats. Both finished with more than 42 wins, which is saying a lot for both of these franchises. The back-court combination of John Wall and Bradley Beal will definitely keep the Wizards in the championship race, but their front court will have to play consistently well in order to compete in the division. The Bobcats are now back to being called the Hornets and hopefully this rejuvenated team will make more surprises this year. With the Miami Heat losing some firepower because of the whole Decision 2.0 fiasco, the Southeast Division is wide open for the taking. Even the Atlanta Hawks are contenders after making the playoffs last year with a losing record. You can never count out everyone  in that division. Unless you’re the Orlando Magic.

The Eastern Conference will definitely be more interesting this year and a lot more competitive. Unfortunately for the Pacers, their chance at a title shot is dampened with the George injury. Hopefully they can learn some lessons from Chicago on how to make the playoffs without your superstar player.

Lord of the Two Rings: Return of the King

It’s official! LeBron James has decided to go back to his hometown and play for the Cleveland Cavaliers. A contract has not been presented yet, but James will probably get a max deal, making him the highest paid basketball player in the NBA. As for Chris Bosh, he will remain loyal with the Miami Heat and keep his talents in South Beach where he will just landed a 5-year deal worth over $116 million. Dwyane Wade is also a free agent and is probably going to stay in Miami as well. However, the Chicago Bulls have made a push to bring Wade back to his hometown. Everything will start falling into place once Carmelo Anthony makes up his mind on where he wants to play. He has narrowed his choices down to Chicago and staying in New York. Anthony is leaning towards the Knicks, but if Chicago is still a great place for Anthony to land. He will play for a championship-caliber team with a All-Star point guard in Derrick Rose and NBA-Defensive-Player-of-the-Year winner Joakim Noah. If the Bulls sign Wade, that could also attract Anthony to move west.

Now back to LeBron. James is the franchise-leader in points, free-throws made, and steals. He just needs to make 32 three-pointers and he will have the franchise record for that as well. He will also have the opportunity to play with something he has never had in his NBA career: a really talented All-Star point guard. Kyrie Irving has emerged as the leader of the Cavaliers since James left town. Now James won’t have the pressure to carry the team on his back like he did back when he first played with Cleveland. Irving will provide that All-Star power and the play-making ability to compliment James’ style. Not only that, but James will also get to play with rookie sensation Andrew Wiggins. The first-overall pick in this year’s draft will learn from LeBron up close and personal. It’s likely that the two players will share a bond on the court that will help develop the young star into one of the best rookies in the league. James will serve as a mentor for the young Wiggins, but he’ll do more than mentor him; he’ll show him how it’s done.

I think everyone in Cleveland now forgives LeBron for The Decision back in 2010 and now Cavaliers’ fans will have something to cheer about this season. Home games are going to be sold out, jerseys are going to be dug out of the trash can and Johnny Football will be closer to his new friend. The Heisman-winning quarterback will be playing for the Cleveland Browns this year and Manziel will definitely bring some excitement to the city. With both him and LeBron, a little hope has been poured into Cleveland. Now we’ll wait and see if LeBron can bring a title to his hometown.

Spurs Beat Heat in NBA Finals

The San Antonio Spurs won their 5th NBA Finals against the Miami Heat last night, winning 104-87 in Game Five. 22-year-old small forward Kawhi Leonard took home the Finals MVP Award. He is the youngest player to win the award since his teammate Tim Duncan did it back in 1999. Magic Johnson was the youngest, winning the Finals MVP his rookie year in 1980. Leonard proved to everyone that he is a force to be reckoned with for years to come. In the first two games of the series, he put up average numbers. But in Game Three, he flipped a switch and became a dominant player! In the series, Leonard averaged 17.8 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.6 steals a game and shot 61 percent from the field. His best game was Game Four where he scored 20 points, racked in 14 rebounds and had three steals and three blocks. Leonard is going to be a superstar in the NBA for a very long time if he keeps playing with his aggressive style.

Tim Duncan and Coach Gregg Popovich won their 5th championship together at 38 and 65 respectively. Duncan becomes the second player in NBA history to win three championships in three different decades. John Salley was the first when he won with the Detroit Pistons in 1989, the Chicago Bulls in 1996 and the Los Angeles Lakers in 2000. No one is absolutely sure if Duncan is going to retire, but if he does, he’ll look back on his career with no regrets. Riding off into the sunset is the way to go in professional sports (just ask John Elway and Ray Lewis)!

As for the San Antonio team, they broke NBA Finals records with their demolition of the Heat. They now hold the Finals record for highest field goal percentage, shooting 56 percent from the field and had the best average points per game differential with +14. This was truly a great win for the Spurs franchise. Congratulations to San Antonio and better luck next time Miami!

Kawhi Leonard Lifts San Antonio Spurs in Game Three

The San Antonio Spurs took Game Three over the Miami Heat last night, winning 111-92. That gives them the series lead at 2-1. The Spurs’ first half was one of the most phenomenal performances in NBA Finals history. The offense was so team-oriented that it left the Heat disoriented at halftime. The first quarter ended with the Spurs leading 41-25, an 86 field goal percentage performance, and then at halftime, the score was 71-50. The Spurs ended up shooting 76 percent on the field in the first half, an NBA Finals record that Coach Gregg Popovich said would never happen “ever again.” San Antonio did everything better than the Heat. They had a better field goal percentage (59.4), better free-throw percentage (81.2), had more rebounds (29) and less turnovers (12).

The only thing the Heat did right was through LeBron James. The two-time champ lead his team in points (22), rebounds (5) and assists (7). Miami also did well behind the three-point line, hitting 47.6 percent. James, Rashard Lewis and Ray Allen did their part in that category, but the Heat couldn’t dig themselves out of the hole that they had put themselves in.

The biggest star of the night was 22-year-old Kawhi Leonard. He shot a career-high 29 points, had four rebounds, two assists and two steals. The last time he scored that many points was his senior year in high school! He was also the only player on the court that made double-digit field goals and he made six out of seven free-throws. Leonard was considered the X-Factor coming into this game. If he played well, the Spurs would win. Well he’s playing well and the Spurs are winning! If San Antonio wants to continue winning, Leonard will have to play his heart out every night and stay consistently aggressive on the court. Coach Popovich even called Leonard “the future of the franchise.” He’s playing like it right now.

So where exactly did Leonard come from? Well he was born in Los Angeles and attended Martin Luther King High School in Riverside, California. In 2009, he was named Mr. Basketball California his senior year, making him the 48th overall best prospect coming out of high school. He ended up going to San Diego State where he averaged 12.7 points and 9.9 rebounds his freshman year while also shooting 45.5 percent from the field. He won the Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Year Award and was the conference tournament’s MVP.

Leonard came out of college his sophomore year after averaging 15.7 points and 10.4 rebounds a game. He was originally drafted by the Indiana Pacers with the 15th overall pick, but was almost immediately traded to the Spurs. The Pacers would end up getting George Hill through that trade. Since then, Leonard has been a solid player for the Spurs, but now he’s starting to turn into a great one. Keep an eye out on him as the NBA Finals Series continues this tomorrow night.

NBA Finals Rematch

After a Game Six blowout and a Game Six overtime victory, the Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs are in the NBA Finals for a second straight year. The Heat defeated the Indiana Pacers 117-92 last Friday behind LeBron James and his 25 points and 6 assists. The Spurs will make the NBA Finals in back-to-back seasons for the first time in franchise history after beating the Oklahoma City Thunder 112-107 in overtime. Tim Duncan had 19 points and 15 rebounds in the Western Conference Finals win. He had to step up his game after point guard Tony Parker went down in the third quarter with an ankle injury. He hopes to return to action in the NBA Finals, a series of games he just can’t miss.

The Thunder had a great run this year. Kevin Durant won his first MVP and Russell Westbrook played beautifully for most of the postseason. His 34 points, 8 assists, 7 rebounds and 6 steals in the losing effort showed that he played well. However, his 7 turnovers proved otherwise. Westbrook missed a lot of big shots and took a lot of big shots, but he just could not help Durant get back to the NBA Finals.

As for the Pacers, Lance Stephenson’s unorthodox defensive methods were not enough as he just could not contain “The King.” James had his way with him and now Stephenson, Paul George, Roy Hibbert and the rest of the Pacers will have to wait their turn next year after losing to the Heat three straight times in the NBA playoffs. Head Coach Frank Vogel is expected to return and hopefully his team can be more prepared for the Heat next season.

Last year, the Heat defeated the Spurs 95-88 in Game Seven on the NBA Finals to win their second straight title. This year, they are looking at a three-peat, joining the likes of Boston, Chicago and the Los Angeles Lakers. The Spurs will be looking for revenge. Duncan is hoping to win one last championship before he retires as a Hall of Famer. He has proved to be one of the best power forwards to ever play the game, but with another title at his grasp, he just can’t help but try to win one more. With Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker, Boris Diaw and Kawhi Leonard stepping up, this Spurs team could prove to be more trouble for the Heat than last year. This will be the series to truly determine who the best team in the NBA is. The Spurs are known to get a lot of productivity from their bench players. The Heat are going to have to do the same if they want that third straight title. Tune in this Thursday at 9 p.m. on ABC to watch Game One of the NBA Finals.

NBA Conference Finals are Set

Four teams punched their tickets to the NBA Conference Finals and all four teams are the top two seeds in their conference. It will truly be a test to see who the best team in the West and the East really are. First, let’s see how each team got there.

The Miami Heat were expected to make it this far, after sweeping the Charlotte Bobcats and finished off the Brooklyn Nets in five games. Ray Allen knocked down the go-ahead 3-pointer with 32 seconds left in Game 5 to advance the Heat to the Eastern Conference Finals with a 96-94 victory.  LeBron James has been a dominant force in the playoffs, averaging 30 points a game. The Heat is looking for a three-peat, but they will first have to handle the Indiana Pacers.

The Pacers have struggled throughout the playoffs, and many thought they wouldn’t make it this far after their poor performance against the Washington Wizards. This team has had trouble rebounding and boxing out. Indiana had to go all the way to Game Seven with the Atlanta Hawks (a team with a losing record), but they finally ended up beating the Wizards last night 93-80 in Game Six. Roy Hibbert has not been the same player he was during the regular season. He averaged 10.8 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game and now during the postseason, he is averaging 8.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game. He has also gone three games without scoring a single point (two against the Hawks and one against the Wizards in Game One). If Hibbert can play consistently against the Heat and have games like he did in Game Two against the Wizards where he had 28 points, 9 rebounds and 2 blocks, then the Pacers might have a chance.

Paul George has played consistently well in the playoffs, averaging 21.9 points and 8.7 rebounds a game. Credit: indystar.com
Paul George has played consistently well in the playoffs, averaging 21.9 points and 8.7 rebounds a game.
Credit: indystar.com

As for the San Antonio Spurs, the one-seed out in the West is not having too much difficulty getting to where they are now. They did have to go to Game Seven against the Dallas Mavericks in the first round, but they were able to close out and move on to the Portland Trail Blazers. Against Portland, the Spurs defeated them in five games and all five wins were dominant victories. They closed out on a 104-82 blow out on the Trail Blazers last Wednesday. Coach of the Year Gregg Popovich has this team right where it needs to be and they have been playing great basketball lately. The only concern is the injury status of Tony Parker. The veteran point guard has a tight hamstring that might limit his mobility, but he says that he is ready to go. Small forward Kawhi Leonard has really stepped up for this team. He is one of the youngest players on the roster and he has made a big difference. During the regular season, Leonard averaged 12.8 points and 6.2 rebounds a game. In the postseason, Leonard has averaged 14 points and 7.5 rebounds a game. His performance is the X-Factor when the Spurs take on the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference Finals.

Speaking of the Thunder, they have had a roller-coaster ride of a postseason. They have had the strongest playoff schedule out of any of the teams. First, they took out the Memphis Grizzlies in seven games after being down 2-1. Then they just recently beat the L.A. Clippers in Game Six 104-98, after through tough matches with them. After that win, they will advance to the Western Conference Finals for the third time in the last four years. Kevin Durant has arguably been the best player in the postseason, leading all players with 31.4 points a game and capping off the Game Six victory over the Clippers with an amazing performance of 39 points, 16 rebounds and 5 assists. He also has six double-doubles this postseason, showing that he has been carrying this team on his back and lifting them up game after game. Teammate Russell Westbrook has been a game-changer this entire postseason. When he plays well, the Thunder win. When he doesn’t play well, they don’t win. Oklahoma City has to rely on both Durant and Westbrook to bring their best against San Antonio. While Durant has had double-doubles, Westbrook has had triple-doubles. His first one came in a losing effort against the Memphis Grizzlies in Game Five on the first round of the playoffs. Then his Game Seven performance against them was historic, with 27 points, 16 assists and 10 rebounds. His best game to date was in Game Two against the L.A. Clippers where he had 31 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. If Westbrook can play consistently well, the Thunder could go very far. They have already swept the Spurs during the regular season and have played well against them in recent years.

Kevin Durant will have to keep his scoring pace going as the MVP takes on the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference Finals. Credit: nba.si.com
Kevin Durant will have to keep his scoring pace going as the MVP takes on the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference Finals.
Credit: nba.si.com

The Eastern Conference Finals will be played first on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. The Indiana Pacers will host the Miami Heat for the first game of the series. Then on Monday, the San Antonio Spurs will host the Oklahoma City Thunder at 9 p.m. for the first game of that series. These games are must-see NBA playoff T.V. It’s the four best teams of the NBA squaring off and you just can’t miss it!

Five Game Sevens

NBA history was made last Saturday when three Game Seven NBA playoff games were played on the same day. After today’s Game Sevens, the NBA postseason can move on to the second round: the conference semifinals. One of the biggest stories was the Washington Wizards advancing to the next round over the Chicago Bulls, winning their first playoff series since 2005 where they also beat the Chicago Bulls. This year, the Wizards defeated the Bulls’ squad 4-1 and were led by a young back court featuring John Wall and Bradley Beal. Wall has been great for this young and talented squad, he is 5th in both assists and steals per game this postseason. As for Bradley Beal, he averaged almost 20 points per game against the Bulls, including a game where he scored 26 points and pulled down 7 rebounds to help put the Wizards up 2-0 in the series. Speaking as a guy that was born in D.C., I can say that I am excited for their match-up with the 1-seed Indiana Pacers Monday night at 7 p.m.

John Wall averaged 18.8 points, 6.8 assists and 2.2 steals in the series win over the Chicago Bulls. Credit: www.rantsports.com
John Wall averaged 18.8 points, 6.8 assists and 2.2 steals in the series win over the Chicago Bulls.
Credit: http://www.rantsports.com

As for the Oklahoma City Thunder, they finished out in fashion with a 120-109 rout over the Memphis Grizzlies in their Game 7 finale.  Kevin Durant may not have had the field goal percentage that he was looking for, but he is still putting up points this postseason with 29.9 per game so far. Then there is Russell Westbrook. Some people have judged him and saying that he was the problem with the Thunder’s struggles to close out. I was one of those people. Now, my confidence is regained in Westbrook after putting up a triple-double in the last game against Memphis. The young point guard finished the bout with 27 points, a career-high 16 assists and 10 rebounds. Westbrook also became just the second player in NBA history to record a triple-double in a Game 7 (Rajon Rondo did it first). Sure the Thunder were able to win without the Grizzlies’ top player Zach Randolph, but hey, a win is a win. Durant and Westbrook combined for 60 points and Oklahoma City shot 60.9 percent from the field as a team. Now they will have to put up those kind of numbers when they play the L.A. Clippers Monday night at 9:30 p.m. That should be an exciting series as well.

Kevin Durant took over the series against Memphis by averaging 29.9 points, 9.6 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.6 blocks per game. Credit: www.usatoday.com
Kevin Durant took over the series against Memphis by averaging 29.9 points, 9.6 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.6 blocks per game.
Credit: http://www.usatoday.com

I was disappointed in the Houston Rockets this year. They had a lot of talent in James Harden and Dwight Howard, but they just couldn’t make it work against the Portland Trail Blazers. LaMarcus Aldridge and company closed out the series 4-2 when Damian Lillard knocked down a three-pointer at the buzzer (thanks to some horrible defense by Houston’s Chandler Parsons) to win the game 99-98. Lillard became the first player since John Stockton in 1997 to knock down the game-winning shot to win a series. You have to give a lot of props to last year’s Rookie-of-the-Year for being the big play-maker at point guard. As for Aldridge, he put up monster numbers in this series against Houston. He had back-to-back 40 point games in the first two games of the series (46 and 43 respectively). Then in the next two games, he recorded consecutive double-doubles and then in Game 6, he scored 30 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. He is third in the postseason in points per game with 29.8. LeBron James leads the postseason with 30 per game.

Lastly, there was San Antonio knocking off the Dallas Mavericks 119-96 and the Brooklyn Nets defeating the Toronto Raptors 104-103 in an overall thrilling series. Brooklyn will face the Miami Heat Tuesday at 7 p.m. while the Spurs will battle the Trail Blazers the same night at 9:30 p.m. The first round of the NBA playoffs was something to behold. A lot of Game Sevens and a whole lot of fun. This second round will prove to be more exciting with teams starting to lock on to that championship.

What’s Next for the Bobcats?

The Charlotte Bobcats became the first team kicked out of the NBA playoffs when they lost to the Miami Heat last night 109-98. The Heat swept the series and will face the winner of the Toronto/Brooklyn series. As for Charlotte, they ended the regular season with a 43-39 record, their first winning season since 2010 when they finished 44-38. So let’s see what the future holds for them next year.

The first thing that will happen to Charlotte is a name-change. After 10 years of being called the Bobcats, they will switch their mascot back to the Hornets, their original team name. The change will also come with a new logo and new uniforms. Will this result in a new winning-culture? Maybe. Back when they were called the Hornets, Charlotte’s team did pretty well for itself. Maybe going back to the old name will bring back some old school basketball that will lift the spirits of the players and fans.

Al Jefferson was a huge addition to the Bobcats team this year. He led the team in both points and rebounds. With him healthy next year, Charlotte will dominate the paint a lot better than they did this year. They were only 16th in rebounds, but their defense was better than expected, only allowing 97.1 points per game, which was 4th in the league.

In order to help grab more rebounds, the Bobcats need a good power forward to pair up with Jefferson down low. Josh McRoberts is obviously not the answer in Charlotte. Luckily for Charlotte, this year is full of great players to choose from. They could go after Jerami Grant from Syracuse, Cleanthony Early from Wichita State or maybe Jarnell Stokes from Tennessee. Since Charlotte did so well in the regular season, they won’t have the opportunity to draft a guy like Aaron Gordon from Arizona, Noah Vonleh from Indiana or Adreian Payne from Michigan State. However, there is a possibility that they could still be there. In other words, Charlotte has six great players to choose from this draft and can add depth to their front court.

The soon-to-be-called Hornets should be good with their back court for next year. Kemba Walker is slowly turning into the superstar that Charlotte needs, Gerald Henderson is an above average shooting guard that can put in some good effort every night and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is developing into a solid starter that can hold his own. Walker led his team in points during the series with Miami, averaging 19.5 points in four games and six assists per game as well. Veteran shooting guard Gary Neal also produced great numbers coming off the bench with 11.3 points and two rebounds per game. I see Charlotte moving into a good direction after the off-season. They’ve got a great coach in Steve Clifford and a solid starting lineup that now has playoff experience. I am optimistic for this team that is heading in the right direction as Hornets next year.

Christian Athlete of the Week: Dwyane Wade

Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat have had a nice three-game stretch lately. Wade scored 30 points againt Detroit last Monday and is coming off a 14 points and 8 assists performance in a win at the Los Angeles Clippers.The 32-year-old shooting guard was already a star before LeBron James came to South Beach. When he played at Marquette University, he led his team to their first ever conference championship and a Final Four appearance. He was drafted 5th overall by the Heat in 2003 where he went on to become Sportsman of the Year in 2006, the same year he won his first NBA Finals and Finals MVP. He is the all-time leading scorer in Miami Heat history and was the NBA’s leading scorer in 2009. He was also a critical part of the Heat’s back-to-back championships in 2012 and 2013. However, despite all of this success, Wade has found difficulty in his life. He grew up in a dysfunctional family on the south side of Chicago where his mother was a drug addict. In 2008, he also had a nasty divorce with his wife and mother of two sons. Through all of these hard times, Wade says that Jesus Christ has helped sustain him in these tough moments. In an interview with Chad Bonham of Beliefnet, Wade shares his faith about the One who has been with him through all the trials.

“There are going to be good time and bad times,” said Wade. “There are going to be people who  love me and there are going to be people who don’t love me. As long as you are  real with yourself knowing that you’re still human even though some people put  you on a pedestal. I know that I have to be the same person no matter if people  like me or not. I try to tell kids that there are going to be people in your life that try to  tell you that you can’t do something. There were people in my life who told me  that I couldn’t make it to this point in the NBA. I believed in God, myself and  my abilities to get to this point. Always believe in yourself no matter what  anyone may say to you.” (Credit: beliefnet.com)

To give you a better look of what Dwyane Wade has gone through in his early life, take a look at this video done by ESPN that conveyed the relationship between the basketball superstar and his mother:

I addition to supporting his mother, Wade also founded The Wade’s World Foundation in 2003. The organization provides support to community-based organizations that promote education, health, and social skills for children in at-risk situations. He also hosts a variety of community outreach programs in Chicago and Miami. He wears the number “3” to represent the Holy Trinity of The Father, The Son, and The Holy Ghost. Dwyane Wade has had a positive impact for the NBA both on and off the court.

Christian Athlete of the Week: Kevin Durant

The talk of the NBA right now is Oklahoma City Thunder star, Kevin Durant. The small forward out of Texas University has been on fire lately, especially after that big win last Wednesday night at Miami. Durant helped take down LeBron James and the Heat with his 12th straight game of scoring 30 points or more. He finished the showdown with 33 points, seven rebounds, five assists and two steals in a 112-95 victory. Many thought that his scoring streak would come to an end after suffering that injury at San Antonio on January 22nd, but on his first game back at Philadelphia, he recorded his second triple-double of the season with 32 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists. Speaking of assists, his per game average has gone up since last year, which is helping out the Thunder’s offense tremendously to now nine straight wins! Not only is Durant unselfish on the court, but he is also unselfish off the court. Last summer, Durant’s charity foundation donated $150,000 to three different youth organizations at his home in Prince George county in Maryland. They were the programs that helped Durant develop into a great basketball player and he just simply gave back to the people who affected him in a positive way. Not only that, but in that same summer, he also donated $1 million to the regional Red Cross relief efforts in Oklahoma after the devastating tornado damage took place last May. He also got Nike involved to donate $1 million worth of apparel to the residents affected by the storms. It’s this kind of stewardship that Christians should be more involved in. Giving back to communities is one way of reaching out to other people so that they could know Christ. God gave His one and only Son for our sins to show others that we need to make sacrifices to help each other out. Durant is a great example of a Christian man using what God has provided for him to help others in need. I loved his quote in the postgame interview at the end of the Miami Heat game the other night. Doris Burke of ESPN asked him what has driven him to get this scoring streak going and he simply said, “God. My Lord Jesus Christ. That’s it,” and he walked away. A man with such humility is someone worth watching as the NBA season gets deeper and deeper. That is why the Durantula is the Christian Athlete of the Week.