NBA Games to Watch

NBA Games to Watch

My Most Anticipated "Week of Thanksgiving" Games

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Because of my splurge on NBA League Pass, I now have the option to watch almost any game I want (save for the ones that I get blacked out of). So, at the beginning of every week, I go through all the games and see which games are worth watching. Here are my picks for next week:

Sunday, 11/18

Grizzlies vs. Timberwolves

While I'm writing this, the Grizzlies are 5th in the Western Conference. This also might be the first game of theirs that I am watching this season (it's still early). With that being said, I don't know much about this team only that Chandler Parsons (a former Houston Rocket) plays for them, so I will be looking out for him. Besides, I'm not recommending this game because of the Grizzlies. Instead, I think the coming weeks will prove to be interesting for the Timberwolves. With the recent trade of hothead Jimmy Butler, I will be curious to see how this team shapes up without him. In Butler's words, the Wolves "[bleeping] need [him]," so we will see if he is right!

Lakers vs. Heat

I plan on writing a whole piece on my new Lakers obsession (a guilty one I might add- I grew up a quasi-Celtics fan), so I will summarize here. In short, the chemistry between the Lebron, the young guys (Ball, Kuzma, Hart, Ingram, Caldwell-Pope), and the old guys (Rondo, Chandler, Stephenson, McGee) is fascinating to me. Josh Hart is also one of my new favorite players to watch (I recommend reading this great article by Paolo Ugetti from The Ringer). Also, I love watching players play against their former team (Lebron and the Heat).


Los Angeles Lakers vs Atlanta Hawks Full Game Highlights | 11.11.2018, NBA Season www.youtube.com


Trail Blazers vs. Wizards

Similar to my Lakers fascination, the Wizards chemistry issues have been an interesting storyline in this young season. Their initial struggles (highlighted in this Washington Post article) were subject to media scrutiny, but they have appeared to have a found at least the beginning of a stride as we head into the holidays. Also, as I'm writing this, the Blazers are 2nd in the Western Conference, and it's always fun to watch good basketball.

Warriors vs. Spurs

I'm a bitter Rockets fan, but I have to admit, the Warriors are fun to watch. Because I live in the Bay Area now, I'm subjected to an overload of "Dub nation-ness." Again, it's always fun to watch good basketball, and the Warriors are, to say the absolute least, very good. As for the Spurs, the recent DeMar DeRozan trade has proven to be an excellent deal for the team as they stand 6th in the Western Conference. Also, Pau Gasol stills plays!

Monday, 11/19

Jazz vs. Pacers

The Jazz are currently .500 (ranked 9th the Western Conference), and the Pacers are .571 (ranked 5th in the Eastern Conference). The Jazz will be playing 5 games in 8 days, Indiana being the last game of this road-trip, so it will be interesting to see how well they hold up after being on the road. However, I'm most interested in Victor Oladipo. Along with basketball, Oladipo also sings (his new track "Connected" just dropped earlier this month) and has been politically involved in the recent unsuccessfully campaign to reelect senator Joe Donnelly of Indiana. On most nights, Oladipo appears to be the shining light amongst lower-ranked players; According to Paul Pierce, he's the "loneliest superstar in the Eastern Conference, maybe even in the league." Oladipo's rise in stardom, albeit lonely stardom, will be another interesting storyline to follow this season.

Suns vs. 76ers

I'll be honest, I would typically not be down to watch a Suns game. They are ranked last in the Western Conference, and if you haven't watched Charles Barkley go in on the Suns, please treat yourself. However, I am interested in seeing Trevor Ariza (a former Houston Rocket). The most interesting storyline in the NBA has been the Jimmy Butler fiasco. Long story short, Butler was frustrated at the lack of effort from the other Wolves players, specifically from superstars Karl Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins. As a result, he requested a trade. Finally, the Wolves reached a decision and Butler was traded to the 76ers. The coming weeks will be interesting to say the least; if Butler was frustrated with Towns and Wiggins, one can only imagine what is to come with the likes of Simmons, Embiid, and Fultz.

Celtics vs. Hornets

I'll be honest, I don't know a lot about the Hornets, but they are ranked 5th in the Eastern Conference. The Celtics are a hodgepodge of incredibly talented players, which sounds good, but actually might be terrible. The team, as they work out what lineups work best with all their star players, have suffered a few hard losses recently. Nonetheless, Jayson Tatum is on track to be one of the greatest of all time, and I like to imagine myself telling my grandchildren I watched him when he was just 20 years old.

Nuggets vs. Bucks

Two words: Giannis Antetokounmpo aka The Greek Freak. Giannis is on his way to an MVP season, and he's only 23 years old. According to one writer, "he's already surpassed heavyweights such as Lebron Jams, Kevin Durant, or Stephen Curry." I'll be honest, I don't know many of the other players on the Bucks, so it does feel like an Oladipo on the Pacers kind of situation. Regardless, the Bucks, currently ranked 2nd in the Eastern Conference, are set on their goal: "to be the top team in the East." The Denver Nuggets, according to Charles Barkley, "will have a better record than the Lakers." The Nuggets, although suffering a 4th straight loss last night, are still ranked 3rd in the Western Conference. Nikola Jokić and Jamal Murray are the two players to watch as they strive to recover from this week's losses.


Giannis Antetokounmpo vs Kevin Durant FREAKS Duel 2018.11.08 - Giannis With 24 Pts, 9 Rebs, 4 Asts! www.youtube.com


Tuesday, 11/20

Raptors vs. Magic

The Raptors, with new addition Kawhi Leonard, are currently ranked 1st in the Eastern Conference. So, they're pretty good, I guess. There was some initial concern over the chemistry of the new team given that the Raptors traded fan-favorite DeMar DeRozan for Leonard over the summer. DeRozan and current Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry were best friends and splitting the two up was a true tragedy. Nonetheless, both Leonard and DeRozan appear to thriving in their new respective positions. I don't have a lot to say about the Magic besides the fact that I can't get over how much Aaron Gordon looks like Aaron Judge. This Blazers game comes at the end of a tough spot in their schedule (76ers, Lakers, Knicks) before they move on to tough road trip (Nuggets, Lakers, Blazers, Warriors). If there were any time to prove what this team is made of, that time is now.

Clippers vs. Wizards

The Clippers are a fun team, and they recently pulled out a win over the Warriors in OT. I haven't watched a Clippers game this year, so I just did a quick Google search to see how even played for them, and it appears to be a hodge-podge of many different players coming from many different teams (Lou Williams, Marcin Gortat, Patrick Beverly, Danilo Gallinari). Also, a former Houston Rocket, Luc Mbah a Moute, currently plays for the Clippers. I'm interested in following the Clippers storyline primarily because I've always been fascinated by the fact that LA has two teams. No matter how good the Clippers are, will LA ever love them as much as they love the Lakers (especially with Lebron)?


Golden State Warriors vs LA Clippers Full Game Highlights | 11.12.2018, NBA Season www.youtube.com


Wednesday, 11/21

Pelicans vs. 76ers

As previously discussed, the 76ers will be an interesting team to watch in the upcoming weeks. The Pelicans are off to a slower start this season, but it's still early. With the loss of Demarcus Cousins in the Warriors in the offseason, Anthony Davis has become the star of the show for the Pelicans. If Anthony Davis were playing for a big-market team, like the Lakers or the Celtics, he would be talked about with the likes of Curry, Durant, and other big names. Anthony Davis is good, really good, and this is definitely one of my most anticipated games of next week. Rising stars Davis, Simmons, and Embiid are all coming up in a new NBA that they have the power to control.

Raptors vs. Hawks

The Raptors are good, and the Hawks are 2nd to last in the Eastern Conference. Nonetheless, Trae Young is a rising star in the NBA and has the potential to be Rookie of the Year. Also, he's affectionately referred to has Ice-Trae by the members of Migos, which is fun.

Knicks vs. Celtics

The Celtics are good, and the Knicks are 3rd to last in the Eastern Conference. I'll be honest, I would not watch this game if I weren't a quasi-Celtics fan.

Pistons vs. Rockets

If you couldn't already tell, I'm a Rockets fan. After a rough start to the season, the Rockets finally start to look like they are coming back. Whether or not this rough start can be attributed to Melo, I can't say because I don't know really know enough about basketball. Unless I am on my way to a Warriors game on Wednesday (I know this sounds traitorous, but come on, it's the Warriors!), I will definitely be watching this game. All I know about the Pistons is that Blake Griffin plays for them, so that's fun!

The two ESPN games for ESPN's NBA Wednesday are Lakers vs. Cavaliers and Thunder vs. Warriors, which I actually might go to! The Lakers vs. Cavaliers game will be interesting to see the fans reaction to Lebron being back in Cleveland; I hope it's not like Lebron's return to Cleveland after he went to Miami. Then again, that might be entertaining. I'm excited for both of these games mainly because of the potential tension and side-storyline, both between and within teams (the Draymond Green vs. Kevin Durant story is what I'm most interested in currently).


Full Kevin Durant-Draymond Green yelling video. www.youtube.com


A few teams that I've already discussed are also playing on Wednesday: Pacers vs. Hornets, Trail Blazers vs. Bucks, Nuggets vs. Timberwolves, and Grizzlies vs. Clippers.

On Friday 11/23, I have the day off thanks to Thanksgiving Break. The games I hope to watch are Rockets vs. Pistons (again), Spurs vs. Pacers, Jazz vs. Lakers, and Trail Blazers vs. Warriors.


Overall, my top 3 games of this week are

1) Warriors vs. Thunder

2) Lakers vs. Cavaliers

3) Jazz vs. Lakers

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Professional Athletes Are Paid Too Much

Are pro-athletes really deserving of the monetary commission they receive?
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For generations, children have aspired to become professional athletes. In the 1920's children wanted to be Babe Ruth; in 2012 children wanted to be Derek Jeter. The list of pro-athletes that influence the younger generation can go on and on. Looking back on elementary school yearbooks, the most common profession for youths has (and will continue to be) a professional athlete. Whether it involves the MLB, the NFL, the NHL, or any other professional league, children tend to pick this profession out of love for the specific sport. Yet, these innocent and uninformed children seem to strike gold by choosing one of the most economically successful jobs in the world.

While professional athletes dedicate most of their life to their respected sport, the amount they are paid to simply play games is absurd. For example, the average salary for a professional football player in the NFL is $1.9 million per year. Keep in mind that that is average, without external endorsements. Therefore, some athletes make much more than that. The crowd favorite Peyton Manning averages $19 million a year. Sports other than football also have averages that are incredibly generous. In the world of golf, the popular Tiger Woods makes more than $45 million a year. These pro-athletes make millions of dollars, most of whom have not received an outstanding education. In fact, some have not even received a college diploma.

Zooming out from the glamorous and indulgent world of professional athletics, taking a look at other professions seems to be much less appealing. How is it that jobs that are vital to the success of the public receive much less commission than jobs that revolve around running to catch a ball? The average pediatrician makes $173,000 a year. The average teacher salary is $50,000 a year. This does not mean that a professional athlete is any less of a hard-working, devoted, deserving professional. This also does not mean that the athletes have not pushed themselves and worked incredibly hard throughout the years to get where they are, but it does mean that there is a line where inequity takes over. Fame and fortune are showered upon athletes. Is it truly necessary to average out millions of dollars per year when people spend massive amounts of time researching and developing new policies, cures, or other ways to improve the condition of the world? The salary and status of professional athletes seems to be a major power imbalance in the world of careers.

Cover Image Credit: i.ytimg.com

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The Stress Of Searching For The Perfect Internship, As Told By College Students

College students need to start getting professional experience sooner or later, why not now?

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One of the most stressful questions to ask a college student is "What are you doing this summer?" The search for a summer internship is relentless, even if you start the process earlier than others. But it is not the reality of having a summer internship that stresses college students so much, but rather the unrealistic expectations associated with such internship and other professional opportunities.

For example, as an undergraduate student interested in law, most law firms do not usually offer many internship positions for undergraduate students, especially if you are entering your sophomore or junior year. Additionally, most internships require multiple years of experience in that specific career field in order to qualify for an interview. Yet, how can years of previous experience be automatically expected when most undergraduate students are unsure of what career path they want to pursue? Some undergraduate students do not even have a specific major let alone a binding career plan for themselves.

When companies tirelessly demand these unrealistic expectations of undergraduate students, specifically underclassmen, their list of requirements worsen the concerning levels of stress and anxiety amongst college students. According to a study by the American Psychological Association, 61% of college students who seek counseling services report being affected by anxiety, 49% to depression, and 45% to stress. Because stress and anxiety levels for college students are increasing at unprecedented rates, the pressures and frustration of landing the perfect summer internship only negatively contribute to these statistics.

As a result, any company, corporation, firm, etc. offering internship positions to college students need to acknowledge the effects of their job descriptions and guidelines on an undergraduate student's mental stability. Furthermore, companies must improve their standards for internship positions in order to grant undergraduate students first-hand experience that will gradually expand their knowledge of the career field of their choice. Officials responsible for reading and reviewing internship applications should considerably and realistically review the applications of undergraduate college students. These students have to gain professional experience in their career field sooner or later, so why not now?

Additionally, the frantic search for a summer internship perpetuates false expectations for an undergraduate's resume. Nowadays, college students are expected to be over-involved in various organizations. These extracurriculars, whether they be leadership positions, work-study options, or internships all contribute towards the image of the "perfect resume". This picture-perfect resume perpetuates the unrealistic expectations for undergraduate students, emphasizing their already high levels of stress and anxiety.

Realistically, a freshman or sophomore in college lacks years of experience working in their career field, but these students should not feel stressed or anxious about the lack of experience represented on their resume. There is a way to promote healthy competition as long as that competition is realistic. Underclassmen should not feel stress because they do not have the same resume as upperclassmen.

In moments of stress, college students need to realize what expectations are within their reach. Having multiple years of experience in their career fields by their sophomore year of college is extremely unlikely for underclassmen. However, students are not wholly responsible for recognizing this during their internship and job search. Companies, corporations, and hiring officials should be responsible for addressing realistic expectations for internship candidates. This recognition will address rising levels of stress and aniety amongst college students, spreading awareness about growing mental stability concerns.

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