Lakers looking for their 17th Championship Title

The Los Angeles Lakers are just a team full of misfits lead by Lebron James and Anthony Davis, two of the league’s top 5 players. Even when the spotlight was on them all year long, they still had to compete with their Staple Center rivals the LA Clippers. With Kawhi Leonard and Paul George leaving the bubble by blowing a 3-1 lead to the Denver Nuggets, I don’t see Lebron and company even being challenged these next two series. Winning another NBA Title would put Lebron on a pedestal higher than he already was. Let’s just look at the additions the Lakers needed, to be the 1 seed that Magic Johnson had envisioned when he signed Lebron on July 1st, 2018.

When the Lakers sent Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, and three 1st round picks to the New Orleans Pelicans for the NBA’s best big man Anthony Davis, everybody knew that LA was in full championship mode and Lebron was destined for his fourth ring. After that trade the spotlight and standards have been raised on the NBA’s best team and they haven’t let up the expectations. Even though Lebron is the best player that we have laid our eyes on to touch a basketball and AD, The Brow, is a once in a generation big man, they didn’t do this by themselves.

You remember me saying the Lakers have misfits, Lebron has emerged these guys to be championship contenders. With additions like Dion Waiters, a guy who got so high on edibles on the Miami Heat’s team plane that they released him. JR Smith, who infamously forgot the score in the 2018 Finals vs the Warriors, trust me you’ve seen it. Javale McGee who seemed to be on Shaqtin A Fool every week when he wasn’t in a Laker uniform. Dwight Howard, at one time the best big man in the league who was doubted and said couldn’t play anymore and played for 4 teams in 5 years. Then you have other guys who fill in like the Rajon Rondo, Markieff Morris, Avery Bradley, and reigning champion Danny Green who are veterans that make a difference in this league night in and night out and will help “The King” get his fourth ring.

It all starts Friday, Denver Nuggets come to the bubble as an underdog once again trying to beat the other LA team. Everyone knows that the Nuggets are gritty and have a young team but will they be able to play with the big dogs? Absolutley no shot. What is Mike Malone, respectively one of the best coaches, going to do with Lebron. Lebron James, getting his 16th ALL NBA Team selection, 13th 1st team selection is going to be a problem to the Nuggets lackluster defense. Jokic physically cannot keep up with Anthony Davis, the Kentucky Wildcat alum who just received another 1st team All NBA selection. While those guys are doing their things, you have shooters like Kadwell-Pope, Kuzma, Green, Morris, and JR Smith.

The Celtics in my eyes are the only chance with Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Kemba Walker, and Gordon Hayward. The only team left with star power that can run with the Lakers is Boston.The Lakers will win this Nuggets series by 5-6 games with ease. If they match up to the Heat, Lakers will win the championship in 5 games. If the Lakers end up playing Boston in the Finals, I expect a seven game series and the most competitive NBA Finals since the Cavs and Pre Kevin Durant Warriors. Bottom line is no matter who Lebron and AD go up against, historically there is no duo that could defensively matchup this package of a fluent passing ball handler and big man.

Davis and James will get their rings this year and prove it to every person saying Lebron isn’t going to be dominant in this West. This is the same man who time and time again when the media says he can’t do this and when every team stacks up against him, he goes head on with the challenge and proves every single hater wrong.

Brayden’s For Sure Five

The 2020-2021 NFL season kicked off last week and I am aware that I’m a little late on this preseason football article. I will be sharing my 5 bold predictions that will happen this NFL season and I will also share my division winners along with everyone’s records in their divisions. The limited fans in the stands and guys like Phillip Rivers and Tom Brady wearing different jerseys will be odd, but I can’t wait for what this season holds. So with that being said let us jump into my 5 picks that will for sure happen this year. Before I preview my predictions this year, just a disclaimer that nothing that happened in Week 1 will be taken into consideration of my opinions expressed in this article.

Lamar Jackson is going to win his 2nd straight MVP

Lamar Jackson has been on a tear ever since losing in the divisional round to the Chargers on January 6th, 2019. After that day, Lamar has made it a mission as the new face for the Ravens franchise to make every other team regret passing up on him after he got drafted with the 32nd pick by the Baltimore Ravens. After winning 2016 Heisman Trophy, he added another one just 3 years later winning his 1st and more than likely not his last MVP of the 2019-2020 NFL Season. This is coming up on his 3rd year in the NFL and the young stud is still looking to improve his career by some playoff success and maybe a trip to the Super Bowl coming up in a couple months. His prolific sophomore season ended with 36 passing touchdowns and 3,127 yards. He lead the league in touchdown passes that year with only throwing 6 INT. Only 4 quarterbacks threw more turnovers, those are household names like Mahomes, Brees, Wilson, and Rodgers. Jackson also has proved he can break defenses down by tucking the ball and running it logging 1,206 yards and 7 touchdowns on the ground. He was 6th as the Rushing Yards leader, covering more yards than guys like Dalvin Cook, Saquon Barkley, Aaron Jones who had 16 touchdowns last season, and Jackson even ran more than his own teammate Mark Ingram the III. Jackson is due for yet another big year in 2020-2021 as defenses still can’t figure out how to stop the dual threat that he is and I wouldn’t be surprised if he has a couple more trophy’s in his showcase after this season is over.

Baker’s Time is Ticking

Baker Mayfield, the Cleveland Browns first overall pick in the 2018 draft hasn’t played as well in the NFL as the whole city of Cleveland has wished. The Oklahoma Sooner alum won a Heisman trophy in 2017 and went into the NFL with high hopes of turning a Browns team with some dysfunction into a playoff football team. Entering the 2020 season after the Sophomore Slump, the Browns and Baker have big plans to compete in the AFC North and hopefully get a wildcard spot seeing the they can’t get over the hump of beating the Ravens and winning their division. Baker threw for 3,827 yards having 22 TD’s and 21 INT’s. With a new head coach Kevin Stefanski, an offense heavy coach with deadly weapons like Odell Beckham Jr., Kareem Hunt, Jarvis Landry, and a top 3 running back in the league as Nick Chubb in the backfield, the Browns can’t wait any longer. This year is the year where Cleveland has to decide if Baker Mayfield is the guy for the future or if they need to move on to someone new in the draft or go after a QB who has already created a name for himself. If Baker makes a turn for the worse, Browns should look for a quarterback to get via trade like a Jamies Winston who led the league last year in passing yards or pass the starting position to Case Keenum who led the Minnesota Vikings to the playoffs. Keenum knows how to deal with wide receivers with personalities but star potential like Beckham Jr and Landry. Stefanski and the city of Cleveland have to decide do they trust Baker under center for the next couple years and extend him past his rookie deal or look to move on from the 3 year starter.

NFC South is the best division in the National Football League…and it isn’t close

The NFC South consists of the following teams the Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Carolina Panthers. They all have A to B+ Quarterbacks and the guys under center keep those offenses rolling. Drew Brees and Tom Brady are elites that are previous Super Bowl champions and Matt Ryan has won an MVP along with Tom Brady. Teddy Bridgewater, who was the backup of Brees for the start of his career, has proven he is a top 15 Quarterback in this talented league and will keep the Carolina Panthers in the race as they compete in this stacked division. Outside of Carolina, all the other quarterbacks have elite weapons to give the ball to so they can make plays themselves. Saints signed Alvin Kamara to an extension to give them a run game. The NFC South also has debatably 4 of the top 5 receivers in the league with New Orleans Michael Thomas, Atlanta’s Julio Jones whose astounding height and speed makes him a deep all threat for Matt Ryan. Tampa Bay has the dynamic duo for the wideouts in Chris Godwin and Mike Evans sharing the catches, with Leonard Fournette taking the touches in the backfield finishing 6th amongst running backs in yards last year. The NFC South has potentially 3 serious playoff teams this year and that doesn’t include what Bridgewater could do.

Cowboys win the NFC East and are the NFL’s underdog this year

With the division this year, the East isn’t a very tough one but it is going to be a tough season for Dallas. The Cowboys having the weapons that they do, Dak Prescott has to win 11 games this year to make a statement and put everyone in the NFC on notice that they are in for a trip. Carson Wentz and the Eagles could be in striking distance to secure a wildcard spot. Wentz has been injured and not playing up to his Pro Bowl potential and if he has a bad stretch of games, Dallas can take that to their advantage and get a good winning streak going. Dak Prescott is looking for a max contract that Jerry Jones has seemed to hold out, only giving him franchise tags. If Prescott wins the division and I think with offensive weapons like Ezekiel Elliott with Amari Cooper and rookie CeeDee Lamb, the Cowboys true ceiling is representing the NFC in the Super Bowl. The New York Giants and Washington Football Team aren’t going to make a lot of noise in the NFC East and this division is really the Cowboys to lose.

Out with the Old, In with the New

As a kid who grew up on football it kills me to say it, but this is the last year that a lot of quarterbacks have elite seasons and any chance at a last run at a Super Bowl Ring. Some quarterbacks that I grew up on who have retired already like Eli and Peyton Manning, a Creveling household favorite. Some guys in the league who haven’t officially retired but know that this year isn’t going to be the season they win are guys like Joe Flacco, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Matt Schaub, Phillip Rivers, and Big Ben Roethlisberger. The end of the road is near and I don’t see these guys being the same dude to put a team on their back and take them to compete for a championship. For some veterans like Tom Brady, Matt Ryan, Drew Brees, and yes, even Aaron Rodgers, these guys have one more year to have a legit chance at holding that Lombardi trophy up and prove that they still got it. These new guys are coming in and taking the league by storm. Some of the flashiest quarterbacks the league has ever seen, making the position not a pocket passing league with dudes like Deshaun Watson and Lamar Jackson who willingly leave a pocket to make something work on the ground. Then the tremendous arm’s of guys who will stay in the pocket like Josh Allen, Dak Prescott, Carson Wentz, and Patrick Mahomes. The new veterans of the position in this league that the crowds come to watch every Sunday. Don’t underestimate the kids coming into the league like Drew Locke, Kyler Murray, Sam Darnold, and the rookie soon to be phenom Joe Burrow that the city of Cincinnati will have something to finally look forward too. As a 20 year old looking back, I am blessed to say I watched Tom Brady, the best quarterback to ever play, in his prime along side some of the greats like Brees and Rodgers. Some goodbyes are just harder than others.

Here are my predictions on the records for everybody this year:

AFC North

Ravens 13-3, Browns 8-8, Bengals 5-11, Steelers 5-11

AFC West

Chiefs 14-2, Broncos 9-7, Raiders 6-10, Chargers 4-12

AFC East

Bills 10-6, Patriots 9-7, Jets 7-9, Dolphins 5-12

AFC South

Colts 11-5, Titans 10-6, Texans 8-8, Jaguars 3-13

NFC West

Seahawks 11-5, 49ers 9-7, Cardinals 9-7, Rams 7-9

NFC South

Buccaneers 12-4, Saints 12-4, Falcons 10-6, Carolina 3-13

NFC North

Packers 11-5, Vikings 9-7, Bears 5-11, Lions 3-13

NFC East

Cowboys 10-6, Eagles 8-8, Washington Football Team 5-11, Giants 4-12

Dear Kobe

It’s 8/24 or better known as Kobe Bryant day. One of Kobe Bryant’s most famous accomplishments off the court was winning an Emmy for “Dear Basketball”. Kobe was a very inspiring athlete and proved that if you put the work and put your mind to it, you can achieve anything you want. So I thought it was only fitting that I write my own “Dear Kobe” to the late great Kobe Bean Bryant.

Dear Kobe

It’s your day Kobe

8/24 is that day Kobe

You would have turned 42

But I’m gonna tell the story

About how I know you

Dear Kobe

Thank you for making yellow and purple cool

Thank you for not going to school

Paving a way for kids to go straight to the draft

Endless hours in an empty gym perfecting your craft

Dear Kobe

We deserved a finals matchup with you and Lebron

But what about that moment you gave the game winning shot to Ron

Dear Kobe

I watched you pass Jordan to be at 3rd all time

I wish you would have been at 1st sometime

We were waiting to watch you pass Jabbar

But instead you brought out the best in teammates like Fisher, Pau, and Lamar

Dear Kobe

I wish you and Nash teamed up 5 years before

You would have been so dominate having another star on the floor

Everyone knew Dwight wasn’t that fit

I miss the epic matchups that you wouldn’t quit

Winning Finals against the Pistons, 76ers, Pacers, Nets

Going in the paint against Duncan and Garnett

Those Celtics matchups against Rondo, Pierce, and Ray

I could watch that Game 7 all day

Dear Kobe

Watching you score 60 against the Jazz

Or the highlights with Shaq before you guys clashed

I just wish I was old enough to watch you put 81 against the Raptors

But I’ll always know why your name is forever in the rafters

From a 17 year old kid with nothing but a dream and a ball

To a 5 time champ with a red carpet to the Hall

Your grind inspired everyone to push themselves to the limit

Just like the way you played every single minute

The mamba mentality made every athlete seem like achieving their dream was so easy

Rest In Peace to you and Gigi

Preview of the 1st Round of the NBA Playoffs

Welcome to Crev’s Corner. I am the writer, Brayden Creveling, also future host to the podcast Crev’s Corner on Anchor. With this being my first blog, I thought we should keep things simple and talk about playoff basketball that will start tomorrow starting with Bucks vs Magic @ 1:30pm Eastern Time. We now will Break down all the matchup and see who will be going to the 2nd round and some players to watch for.

Eastern Conference:

(1) Bucks vs (8) Magic….Bucks in 5 games

    I do think the Bucks will come out of this pretty clean but the Magic win one game in Orlando. The person who I think we will need to keep our eyes on is Kris Middleton. Middleton has been the Robin to the former league MVP, Giannis Antetokunmpo. If Middleton doesn’t preform well in this Orlando series, it may not be a big deal now but it will be a problem in further rounds. He needs to use an easy round with a bad defensive team like Orlando to prepare to battle in the trenches with defensive juggernauts in the East like Toronto or Boston, even the Miami Heat. Bucks will beat the Magic with ease but Giannis supporting cast needs to use this series to get the ball rolling.

(4) Pacers vs (5) Heat….Heat in 6 games

    The Pacers would put up a good fight to any team in the East but Miami is just built different right now with a lineup full of dogs. If TJ Warren averages 34.8 points like he did in the bubble during the seeding games, this series could get interesting. He is scorching hot and if Oladipo and Myles Turner can play to their potential, this series has the potential to go to a very intense Game 7. The only disadvantage is the Pacers don’t have that clear cut star or 2 way player that can take over a game. I can trust Jimmy Buckets Butler to seal out a game and take care of business.  

(3) Celtics vs (6) 76ers….Celtics in 7 games

    I truly believe the 76ers would be the winners of this series and be the upset of the 1st round if Ben Simmons was in Orlando with them. Joel Embiid will not have a even matchup down low and if he stays healthy, I wouldn’t be shocked if he averages nearly 35 points per game in the series. Tobias Harris needs to be a key factor if the 76ers have a possibility of advancing past this tough all around solid Boston Celtics team. The Celtics have 3 of the 4 best players in the serious. I truly don’t believe Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown will have any challenge when it comes to them getting to the rim. Smart and Embiid also have a past so this series could get chippy and I’m just as excited as the next person.

(2) Raptors vs (7) Nets…..Raptors in 5 games

    The former champion Toronto Raptors will more than likely sweep the Nets but I’m banking on Cris LaVert playing lights out and giving them one game. The Raptors are stacked and gonna be a threat to going back to the finals. I think this series has no upside for the Nets because they’re missing KD and Kyrie but a stepping stone as what they need to be. The younger Nets players and bench/role players can take a look at the Raptors and see more of a big brother situation about what it’s like to be a champion so they can have a legit shot next year.  

Western Conference:

(1) Lakers vs (8) Trailblazers….Lakers in 6 games

    I am not a fan of the whole play in game thing but the Trailblazers making the playoffs is all around better for the NBA. The Lakers-Blazers series is gonna be the best 1 seed vs 8 seed series we’ve had in awhile. Lakers aren’t playing the best of basketball and Blazers are red hot. CJ McCollum could be the X factor to a possibility of an upset. Dame Lillard is playing like the best player in the NBA and the Blazers are heading into this series with no fears. The reason why I think the Lakers without a doubt will win this is Anthony Davis is the best big man in the league and Blazers have no one to run with him. Also I am way more confident in Lakers bench and Lebron James stepping up in big games. Plus the Lakers have experience like Rondo, McGee, Howard, Danny Green and Lebron who know how the playoffs work and how to reach the finals.

(4) Rockets vs (5) Thunder……Rockets 7 games

The thought of this seres scares me half to death as a Houston Rockets fan. This series is going to be the best of Round 1 and I think every game will be a dog fight. You have some gritty game changers like CP3 along with Steven Adams and the young guys vs the high scoring duo Harden and Westbrook when he comes back from injury. The thought of watching these games won’t sit right with me that we can’t watch Westbrook play these playoff games infant of an Oklahoma City crowd but it doesn’t matter at this point. These past couple months gave James Harden a break and took away his excuse of being burned out for playoffs. The unsung hero I think will be the bench spark that will step up and take a significant role guarding Thunder’s best player. Austin Rivers will be the player everyone needs to have their eyes on. I also truly don’t think Thunder has the wings and mobile posts to guard Covington and PJ Tucker out on the three point line.

(3) Nuggets vs (6) Jazz…..Nuggets in 7

    This series will be exciting but I don’t see either of these teams making it past the second round. Mitchell and Gobert are a very good duo but Nuggets just have more pieces to cover the Jazz game and I don’t have much faith in either team. I’m not sod on Jokic being a star in this league, everyone raves about his passing abilities but having 15+ in his first 3 bubble games but that story to sleep. Nuggets have young pieces especially Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr that are a year or two away from blooming and potentially taking this team to the Western Conference Finals for the next 3-5 years. Just like everything, good things take time.

(2) Clippers vs (7) Mavericks….Clippers in 7 games

The Mavs have surprised me in the bubble leading all the teams in scoring and the Clippers are gonna need an answer for a bigger guard the size of Doncic and KP on the outside. The Clippers just will have 5 of the best 7 players in the series and that doesn’t give me much confidence that the Mavericks and Luka can pull off the upset. I do think it will be a fun watch night in and night out that the offensive heavy Mavs will go head to head with the best defensive team in the NBA, excited for the Paul George on Luka match ups.

Thank you for taking time out of your day and can’t wait to write more content for you guys to read!