Thursday, February 22, 2018

The Pretenders

The Pretenders | "Back on the Chain Gang" | Learning to Crawl


Chrissie Hynde is a rock star. So too is Doug Martsch. His band, Built to Spill, covered "Chain Gang" at the Fillmore on Tuesday (2.20.18) for noise pop. It was a fiery show, well worth the hype. Big thanks to Molly Proctor and the band for shredding.

eightychoices.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

NBA All Star Break

Team LeBron vs. Team Steph
The All-Star break is taking place February 16-18 at Staples Center in Los Angeles. The players will probably enjoy the friendly confines of LA, most NBA stars have a home there. This year the Association decided to mix it up by having the leading vote-getter from each conference draft their team—Team LeBron versus Team Steph. I'm leaning toward Team LeBron, although Steph does have, James Harden, Giannis, Klay, Towns and Butler. But damn, LeBron, KD, AD, Russy, Kyrie and PG, that sounds scary and I haven't even named the other six—plus the reunions, Bron and Kyrie, Russ and KD.

Hopefully this new way of creating teams brings more intrigue. I don't expect this contest to become super intense, after all it's an exhibition game. I prefer not to see a two-time MVP lay down in the lane so someone can dunk. That type of play embodies the criticism of those who say the All-Star game has lost its way. NBA athletes can dunk over and around you in real-game situations. I'll always tune in for All-Star weekend. I'm a sucker for the three point contest and the annual pickup game. And, don't tell me that great dunk contests aren't awesome.

Earlier in the year I made conference predictions. The NBA All-Star break gives me a chance to rekindle those thoughts and reflect on my projections. In the East I missed on two teams. I thought the Hornets and Pistons would make the playoffs, and they still might. Thus far, those teams are on the outside looking in, my apologies to the Pacers and 76ers. Detroit landed Blake Griffin and is currently the first team out, we'll see how he impacts the standings. Indiana plays hard, appears to be legit and Oladipo looks amazing. Philadelphia has the talent, they could use a perimeter scorer/creator. Simmons looks like a star, if he develops a respectable jumper, yikes. For my take on Cleveland's trade deadline moves click here.

The Western Conference is shaping up to be what most expected. I'm still pulling for the Jazz and Clippers. For a brief stint, Utah was again being robbed by injury. They definitely defend and are superbly coached. The Jazz have shown an ability to string wins together during late January and into February—they're hot. Donovan Mitchell is a breath of fresh air, he could literally fly in and snatch R.O.Y. He and Gobert appear to be the building blocks of Utah's future. The Clippers are currently the first team out. It's probably safe to say that Portland and Denver will make the postseason, it's New Orleans that could slide out of the playoffs due to Cousins' injury. 

This year's All Star Game will showcase the embarrassment of talent the NBA currently possesses, hopefully they show a little intensity as well, it could happen. Look no further than Giannis and Westbrook, my picks for AS MVP, they're ├╝ber competitive and on opposing squads. I'm excited to see how the season shakes out. 

Thanks for checking in,
eightychoices.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

NBA Trade Deadline

Game Winner...
Let's not forget about the team with LeBron James. The Lake Erie LeBron's made some solid trades to upgrade their roster, and perhaps more importantly, improve their locker room chemistry. Clarkson and Nance will help the Cavaliers on both sides of the ball, they have size at their positions and are more dynamic athletes. It's bittersweet to see Frye and Shumpert leave. (LA just shed a ton of money as they clear the decks to pursue free agents this summer and beyond.) Cleveland also acquired Rodney Hood and George Hill. Hood is an athletic wing who can provide more offensive punch than any of the players Cleveland sent out. Hill is another perimeter guy who can matchup better defensively on either guard position and shoot the three. This made-over roster looks more apt to compete. All of these acquisitions add length, athleticism and better compliment James, they also got a lot younger. Personally I'm excited to see how this team gels over the next 29 games or so. By the way, the Cavs and Wolves played one hell of an entertaining game the night prior to the trade deadline.

Houston looks legit
Elsewhere in the NBA; the two best teams I've caught (in a single game) this year are Houston and Oklahoma City. I was able to watch the Rockets absolutely destroy Cleveland. Chris Paul looked as good as he has all year and Harden did things only he's probably capable of. Houston's defense was solid and their hustle was how I wished every game looked; their role players are super solid. They won by 30 without Trevor Ariza or Eric Gordon. When Houston has Harden, Paul and Clint Capela, their record's insane. Cleveland's effort was lackadaisical to say the least, regardless, Houston showed them firsthand the competition that looms out West. The NBA has taken notice, so have I.


OKC is figuring it out
The Thunder went into Oracle and hung 70 on Golden State in the first half, eventually winning by 20. Russ was in attack mode from the jump. He puts so much pressure on a defense with his relentlessness, especially when he couples his ability to get the rim with high quality decisions. Paul George looked like the best two-way player in the NBA, guarding damn near every Warrior at some point. George's ability to play stellar defense while still dropping 30 is amazing. This game meant something to Oklahoma City, their tenacity was on full display, highlighted by their two stars; Russ and PG showed out in Oakland. Melo barely played due to a tweaked ankle. I'll go on record, Steven Adams is their third best player, dude's a beast. He owned the second half and no one on Golden State could guard him. The Thunder played exceptionally well on defense with tight, controlled rotations, that took away threes. It was a dominating win on both sides of the ball.

Only in the NBA,
eightychoices.

Friday, February 2, 2018

PARAD(w/m)E

Best New Music

Sylvan Esso | "PARAD(w/m)E"

...
yeah there's nothing left to ruin
yeah we finally got free
how's that for manifesting our destiny

eightychoices.

Ps. Resist Fear Assist Love