I’m once again going to split this article into two sections; one about the Yankees and the other about the NBA Finals. First off I’ll be talking about my Yankees, yeah that’s right MY Yankees.
The Yankees despite losing the final game in Houston are looking good. The pitching has been fantastic, the bullpen has been serviceable, and the offense has shown flashes of greatness. I’m sort of surprised that I wasn’t furious at the Yankees for giving up 6 runs in the bottom of the 9th to our sworn rivals. I think part of the reason I wasn’t punching a hole in my wall was the ending was an anomaly. A team scoring 6 runs in an inning is pretty rare, it’s extremely rare to score 6 runs in the bottom of the 9th to win a game. I think the fact that the walk-off home run by Altuve will probably never happen in a baseball game again (or at least another 25 years, the ending of yesterday’s game will make for a great trivia question) comforted me.
Gerrit Cole throwing a 129 pitch gem will be looked at as the turning point for the Yankees and their season. I believe that the Yankees are trending upwards, and after playing the way they have the last month and a half there’s only one way to go. And that is up!
Two out of three in Seattle, two out of three in Houston, and now a couple days off to rest, the Yankees are looking good. I believe the only reason Chapman has been sucking up the joint is because he’s been overworked, not pitching for four days and then not pitching during the all-star break will do wonders for him. Cole might even start the first day after the break against Boston, which is a pivotal series. 8 out of the next 10 games the Yankees will face off against the Red Sox. I think that the Yankees will be hungrier, fight for every win, and most importantly our closer will have a fresh arm.
Chapman (even though closers are irrelevant) is our closer. That’s not just his title, he’s literally our closer. He’s the guy who’s there to shut the door with his 100 mile per hour fastball and a slider that would fool Ted Williams. Yeah I said it!
Boone lighting a fire under Cole’s ass in the ninth inning was nothing short of brilliant managing. Just like that Boone has me back on his side. If he wants he could throw some tickets at me, and I will only write good things about him. I have a price, that’s all I’ll say.
Judge’s leadership has done wonders for this team and if it wasn’t for him holding the offense accountable we’d be under .500. Jameson Taillon has finally figured his repertoire out. The offense has been wearing pitchers down with their plate discipline. And you know what plate discipline leads to….. Runs crossing home plate.
For anyone who is still bitter about the Altuve home run think of it like this, he’s such a softy he backed out of the All-Star game so he wouldn’t get booed. And he knows that nobody would talk to him because they have zero respect for people that have defrauded the game. Also, where’s that tattoo? He doesn’t seem too ashamed of his body now, does he? Or what excuse is he going with now? Just imagine if I killed someone, do you think the police would think I’m guilty if I gave them five different alibi’s. If you’re saying that he does have a tattoo and I’m falsely reporting he doesn’t have one, that little thing over his heart isn’t something his wife would be deathly embarrassed by. He was wearing a buzzer in 2019, and the fact he’s showing off that he doesn’t cheat now is so very sad. He’s a pathetic little man.
The Yankees will turn it around in the second half, and finish in first place in the AL East. I guarantee it. Unless the Red Sox mop the floor with the Yankees in the 8 games they play each other in two weeks. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen, shit you guys think that’ll happen? If the Yankees end up losing both series against the Sox, not only will the Yankees be doomed in terms of making the playoffs, they will lose me as a fan. My doctor has recommended I stop watching something I know will make me want to explode.
But once again I think the Yankees are finally on the right track and will turn things around in the second half. It can’t get any worse than this. It just can’t!
Now onto the Bucks-Suns game. Last night the Bucks dominated from the start. Even when the Suns were winning in the first quarter and some of the second quarter you knew the crowd would get to them. Anybody who believes home-court advantage isn’t real has obviously never watched the difference between how a team performs on the road vs. at home. Milwaukee is next to unbeatable when they play at home because their fans are hungry for a championship. What makes this series so great is Suns fans are also hungry for a championship. Making home court advantage invaluable for both teams.
Mike Budenholzer actually did a good job, and Monty Williams did a not-so-great job. The fans were extremely loud and it was evident they got to Monty Williams and his team. Chris Paul looked lost multiple times during the game, in some ways, it was good to see the old Chris Paul again. Unless you’re a Suns fan.
Devin Booker was horrible throughout the game. He never got into a good rhythm and was defended by Jrue Holiday who did a great job contesting shots. The Suns aren’t going to win if Booker shoots 3-14 and only goes to the line 5 times.
Monty Williams made the curious decision to throw in the towel with 6 minutes left in the game by taking Booker out and keeping Ayton out for most of the game. I don’t care if Ayton was in foul trouble, he should’ve been out there. He’s been drawing a lot of Tim Duncan comparisons recently, but Tim Duncan would’ve played the entire game even if he was in foul trouble. Ayton has to be out there, even if he plays the role of a decoy.
Chris Paul wasn’t bad, but he wasn’t exactly good either. If you care about plus-minus he was minus 13 for the game (personally I don’t care for the stat). He nearly had a double-double, slashing a 19-0-9 line for the game. CP3 has to manage the game better and has to adjust to the pace of play the Bucks like to play at. Paul won’t always be able to set the pace for the game, and when he can’t, CP3 has to adjust his style of play. Even if that means running the offense through Booker.
Part of the reason the Bucks won was because of their home crowd, but I’d be stupid if I went this entire article and I didn’t give credit to Giannis Antetokounmpo. Giannis is only the third player to have 2 straight games in the NBA Finals with 40 points and 10 rebounds. MJ and LeBron are the two other players. That’s some good company to be in.
Giannis was effective from the free-throw line, dominated in transition, played effective defense, and made some passes that were Magic-esque. In these last two games, Giannis went from superstar to alpha dog. He wasn’t letting Khris Middleton take the big-time shots early in the game; he was the one taking the shots.
Earlier in the playoffs, Kendrick Perkins said that Giannis was Robin and Khris Middleton was Batman. Meaning Giannis is the sidekick. There was a part of me that agreed with KP as much as I hate to admit it, but in this series, Giannis has proved to the basketball world that he is the alpha dog of his team.
Budenholzer made some curious decisions that luckily didn’t come back to haunt him. Like playing PJ Tucker for 30 minutes, playing Jeff Teague for 14 minutes, and only playing Brook Lopez for 21 minutes. Giannis saved Budenholzer by scoring 40 points and dominating the game. Mikey Budenholzer should be thanking Giannis as I write this article.
The Bucks will need Middleton to score more than 18 points in the Finals because Giannis won’t be scoring 40 points every game (I hope to the basketball Gods he will) if they want to pull off the upset. Budenholzer will have to make more in-game adjustments, and the Bucks will need a certain amount of luck to propel them to upset the Suns.
I hope the series goes to 7 games because I want all the basketball I can get, basketball Gods please make this series go all 7 games.