Place Your Bets Now: NBA 2017-2018 Season

Place Your Bets Now: NBA 2017-2018 Season

It seems like the best time to let the world know who is going to win the major regular season awards.
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First, happy New Years to all! In what is bound to be an exciting year in the world of sports, the NBA remains prominent as just about half of the regular season has been played. With that, it seems like the best time to let the world know who is going to win the major regular season awards. Without further ado, let's get into it.

Coach of the Year: Gregg Popovich

Runner-up: Brad Stevens

Gregg Popovich could be the pick just about any year he's coached in the league, but this year holds as one of his best. Despite not having Kawhi Leonard for the first 26 games of the year, the Spurs held afloat. They give up the fewest points in the league, and that is without arguably the best defender in the entire association. They've held an offensive rating of 107.4 which is good for 15th in the league. Along with that, their pace, which currently ranks 29th, has greatly benefited their defensive rating as they are ranked third in that category. With all of these stats shining through, the attention has to go to Popovich. He has consistently lead the Spurs to levels of consistency that are unheard of, but this year has been different. With a roster that is assuredly lesser of others he's had, albeit this is without Kawhi Leonard, the Spurs are still the same old Spurs. Pop deserves some hardware for that.

Sixth Man of the Year: Dwyane Wade

Runner-up: Eric Gordon

Dwyane Wade did not fit in the starting lineup for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Nobody's debating that. But man, has he been great off the bench. While his stats won't jump off the page compared to Gordon or Iguodala, but he passes the eye test. Wade's playmaking, over 4 assists in less than 24 minutes per game, is huge for the Cavs when Lebron isn't there to make everything better. Cleveland has needed a playmaker like Wade for a couple years now to ensure Lebron doesn't have to play 46 minutes a game, and they got him. While this is a more surprising pick, voter fatigue and name recognition along with a solid year by Wade will get him this award in a close one.

Defensive Player of the Year: Draymond Green

Runner-up: Kawhi Leonard

Repeat! In the only back-to-back winner in these awards, Draymond Green is the undisputed best defensive player in basketball. His stats, while not exactly eye-popping, are solid enough to ensure that he takes home his second defensive player of the year award. His ability to get on the court and defend the best player on the other team every night cannot go unnoticed. He gets 1.6 steals a game and 1.4 blocks. While Kawhi's numbers are sure to be more exciting, his injury to start the season would seem to eliminate him from contention, thus leaving Draymond Green as the DPOY.

Most Improved Player: Devin Booker

Runner-up: Giannis Antetokounmpo

In what will be a stunner, Devin Booker is going to win Most Improved Player this year. He's the best player on a bad team, and those kinds of players don't get much attention unless you're scoring 70 points in Boston or 46 in Philadelphia. Before Booker's injury, he was tied for the most 30 point games in the league and was constantly dominating good defenders. Despite that, he's been labeled as a high volume scorer who can only do what he does because he puts up 25 shots a game. That's simply not true. He's posting career highs in points, assists, free throw percentage, 3-point percentage, field goal percentage and effective field goal percentage. He's doing this on a little over 18 shots a game. The narrative around Booker is wrong right now, but the voters know that. He will win the Most Improved Player award.

Rookie of the Year: Ben Simmons

Runner-up: Jayson Tatum

This one's easy. Ben Simmons is averaging 17 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists per game while shooting 51 percent from the field. He's playing better than some superstars in this league and he has shown no signs of stopping. Simply put; Ben Simmons is a monster. He's a 6'10" point guard that can handle, pass and score. There's not even a serious argument for any of the other rookies, but Tatum's insane three-point percentage is probably the closest thing you can find. Nonetheless, Ben Simmons is going to win Rookie of the Year.

Most Valuable Player: James Harden

Runner-up: Lebron James

James Harden is absolutely ridiculous. Never have I seen a player that makes it look so easy. He's the only guy in the league averaging over 30 points a game. He's got a field goal percentage of 45 percent, almost 40 percent from deep and an effective field goal percentage of 55. Along with that, he's top 5 in the league with 9 assists a game. Again, he's ridiculous. With the Rockets having the best record in the league, this decision seems to be a simple one. Even though Lebron is having arguably his best season ever, Harden's has been better. Harden scores more, shoots better and is on the better team. Easy.

Cover Image Credit: Wikipedia

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7 Things That Annoy Volleyball Players More Than Anything

How to get under a volleyball player's skin in two seconds.
Sam
Sam
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I'm not sure why but volleyball players are a very particular group of people — we like what we like and we HATE what we don't, especially when it is volleyball-related. If you're a volleyball player, I'm sure you can relate to this list and if you're not a volleyball player, now you know exactly how you will be able to get under our skin.

1. Girls who wear spandex in public

Don’t get me wrong, we wear spandex for a living. We understand WHY people wear them to workout. But wearing them to the dining hall, class or anywhere that isn’t the gym… please don’t. Put on some shorts or leggings — PLEASE.

2. The “I’ll beat you in volleyball” line

For some odd reason when someone who likes you finds out that you play volleyball, they say this. I’m not sure why, but its really annoying that people think they’re better than you (a collegiate athlete) at the sport you’ve been playing your whole life.

3. When guys mention that they only come to your games because you wear spandex

You’re right, why would any appreciate our athletic ability when you can simply appreciate our butts.

4. Freshman who don’t think they have to do their Freshman duties

PSA: Every single school has freshman duties; YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY FRESHMAN WHO HAVE TO DO THEM. Everyone has done them when they were a freshman. Stop complaining, do your duties, and play volleyball because after your freshman season you’ll never have to do it again.

5. When people try to tell you that volleyball isn’t hard

Why don’t you jump for three hours straight and throw your body on the ground hundreds of times and tell me how easy it is.

6. The word "spike"

I honestly feel bad about hating this so much but nothing nothing NOTHING annoys us more than when someone uses the work "spike". For some reason this word went out of style a longgggg time ago and nobody got the memo except the people in the volleyball world. Instead of telling your friend that they had a good spike, tell them that they had a great "hit." HIT = SPIKE.

7. Balls that aren't perfectly blown up

Volleyball players are hands down the most high maintenance group of people when it comes to our sport. I will go through an entire ball cart to find the best ball possible... if the ball is flat, no matter what contact you make it is going to be bad. If the ball is too hard, no matter what contact you make it is going to be bad.

Cover Image Credit: Sam
Sam
Sam

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There's A Double Standard Between Male and Female Athletes In Professional Sports

Women get the short end.

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Take for example the most recent World Cup winners Germany and the USA. The 2014 Men's World Cup champions took home 35 million dollars in prize money. The 2015 Women's World Cup champions took home a measly 2 million in comparison to their male counterparts. Why is it that FIFA only paid six percent of what they paid the men?

This is only one of the many problems facing women's sports.

Their own federation United States soccer does this to them as well. The women are not paid equally. One could argue that they should make more. The US Women's team has won three World Cups. Meanwhile, the US Men have not won a single World Cup. Not to mention, they did not even qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The women have to win their games to be paid. The men can lose and still get paid.

Another problem in women's sports is the treatment they receive in the media. Hope Solo a former standout had her contract terminated after she made remarks following a match. In reference to playing the Sweden women's team, "we played a bunch of cowards the best team did not win." These comments came after a loss in the 2016 Olympics.

US Soccer wasted no time and Hope Solo found herself unemployed. Obviously, this was in the heat of the moment. She was also being asked to describe her feelings. Take recent comments made by Cristiano Ronaldo regarding Portugal's loss to Uruguay. "We played better than Uruguay." Why has he not been fired? He basically said the same exact thing.

The truth is that women athletes are still expected to live up to gender roles. Women are supposed to be quiet and polite. Men are allowed to be mean and nasty. This is also on display in tennis. Serena Williams is constantly attacked by the media. Particularly because of how outspoken she is. If you have ever watched a tennis match you know some athletes throw tantrums Where were all angry fans when John McEnroe was not having any respect for the rules. Instead, he was applauded for his outbursts.

Boys will be boys. No boys will be men and take responsibility for their own actions.

Jamseis Winston is an example of how men are let off the hook. In college, FSU and his team of lawyers got him off the hook for the rape of a student. Winston has found himself in trouble once more most recently for groping an Uber driver. We cannot allow this to continue.

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