Eugenia Chien

 

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The Ultimate Warriors

The modern NBA has gotten a lot of flack recently because the league is diverting away from a diversity of multiple skilled teams to a select few “super” teams. This transition has destroyed the competitiveness of the NBA and has forced the top talent to join already established teams.

In the summer of 2010, the world was shocked and awed by “the decision” of Lebron James to sign with the Miami Heat and join superstars Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh on what would be considered the first modern “super” team. This started a catalyst within the league and started changing the ways the front offices of teams would attract talent.

Why does this matter though? Well for one, the last three NBA finals have been the same two teams all three years. The Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Golden State Warriors was an exception to this “super” team rule even though they had arguably 3 superstars on their team: Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green. They are an exception to the rule because the front office of Golden state drafted all three of these players and developed them as rookies into the stars they are today. So why are the warriors considered a super team now in 2017?

Aside from the fact that they acquired the biggest free agent last year (Kevin Durant), the Warriors still continue to acquire new and exciting talent without sacrificing any of their core. The two players that the warriors managed to acquire while keeping everyone else in the core on roster were Omri Casspi, and Nick Young.

First up is Omri Casspi. A 6′ 9″ small forward from Israel who used to play for the Sacramento Kings. As a Sacramento native, I cannot tell you how many times that this guy made the entire arena for the kings light up with excitement because of his ability to shoot the ball. His in game stats and career stats don’t do this man justice, if you don’t believe me, why not see for yourself?

That’s Casspi playing against the future MVP and outscoring him at Curry’s specialty, the 3-pointer. This is a bench player being paid less than the 90 percent of the NBA cast outperforming arguably the best player in the league at the time. Sure its just one game, but you can’t deny the raw talent. And if there’s one thing warriors can make use of on a team, its a good shooter.

Second we have Mr. Swaggy P himself, Nick Young. A veteran in the league of ten years and someone who can come off the bench and provide reasonable and persistent defense along with a decent play making ability that is required of guards in today’s NBA. He may have a case of overconfidence, and at times borderline arrogance, but there’s no denying he’d make an excellent addition to the warriors system.

Now with knowing all of this, how did the warriors front office acquire these two new players, keep their core intact, and still somehow find a way to pay all of their players with a salary cap? The answer is, people want to come to the bay. Aside from the fact that this golden warriors team has won 2 championships in the last three years, or the fact that they have top 3 players in 4 different positions. It could even be the fact that Golden state is the second highest in salary pay for their players, (second to the Cleveland Cavaliers). It could be any of this, but I truly think the real reason this team keeps getting more and more talented is because people want to live in the bay. The city is exciting and the culture here is coveted. How do you convince Kevin Durant to come to a city like Cleveland or Portland when San Francisco is an option? Don’t get me wrong I love both of those cities but let’s be real, neither of them would be a place you’d want to spend your vacation. Joakim Noah said it best.

Hopefully the NBA can find a way to make all of the 30 teams in the NBA a viable spot to be on as a professional player trying to win a championship. This will take a lot more than policy changes however, it will take a cultural change within the NBA, from players to managers, in order for this to happen.

 

 

The NBA Off-season

Shortly after the 2017 NBA season ended, teams started making huge moves. The third rematch of the Cavaliers and the Warriors made the league grow tired and realized their complacency when it came to these two juggernauts.

The first big trade of the Off-season was the Houston Rockets acquiring Chris Paul from the Los Angeles Clippers. On June 28th the Rockets exchanged Patrick Beverly, Sam Dekker, Montrezl Harrell, DeAndre Liggins, Darrun Hilliard, Lou Williams (former sixth man for the Los Angeles Lakers), Kyle Wiltjer, and a 2018 first-round pick for Chris Paul. This may have shaken loose quite a bit of the core for Houston but it puts them in solid contention for the title now as a west coast underdog.

The next big trade to shake up the league was the Oklahoma City Thunder receiving Paul George.  On July 6th the Indiana Pacers received Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis in exchange for Paul George. With this small trade, the Thunder have a one year opportunity to reach the finals with a tested squad led by Russell Westbrook and Paul George.

The final big trade that occured on August 22nd, was the acquisition of Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics. In exchange for Kyrie Irving, the Celtics gave the rights to Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, and a 2018 first-round pick. With a new point guard to update the Cavaliers system, this may be what it takes for the Cavaliers to win the trophy once more.

 

Review: Get Out

Jordan Peele directorial debut is not one to miss. It has everything in it from suspense, intrigue, and humor all in one. The film is never scared to dive into deep water but also maintains that grounded feel giving it a sense of realism.

In terms of entertainment this film is hypnotizing from start to finish. As soon as the unsettling piano starts til the end credits roll, you are captivated.

Cinematography was outstanding as well. The shots during the party were especially interesting. Keeping small characters slightly in frame made the film have layers that would otherwise be glossed over. Speaking of characters, everyone had a depth to them that shined throughout the film. No one seemed forced or fake but rather genuine and believable. This script really shined.

Sound. The music was amazing, scary, and inspiring. A piano has never made me feel more uncomfortable while I was sitting down. Incredible sound choice and implementation.

Final Score: 5 out of 5