2015 NBA Finals Prediction

Coming out of the Eastern Conference we have the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavaliers making the finals just goes to show how much one player can help a whole team. When LeBron James played for the Heat, they made the finals all 4 years he was there, and the Cavaliers didn’t even make the playoffs. LeBron James comes back to the Cavaliers and BOOM, they are headed to the Finals.

Out west we have the Golden State Warriors advancing to the finals. Wait, who?! That’s right, without any roster upgrade, the Warriors go from the 6th best team in the West to the best team in the NBA. Many, including Warriors superstar Wardell Curry, were upset at the firing of coach Mark Brown after last years first round exit. However, no one can complain now, as they have a 50% chance at becoming champions.

Many feel this will be a tightly contested series, and I agree. You have the best offense and defense in the NBA (Warriors) playing against one of the most talented teams in the NBA (Cavs). Superstar forward Kevin Love is out with a shoulder injury, and star point guard Kyrie Irving has been on and off due to injury. The fact that the Cavs were able to get to the Finals so easily without consistently having 2 of their best 3 players just goes to show how great LeBron James is. All in all, I’d say the experience of LeBron James gives the Cavs this series, as the Warriors are too dependent on the 3 point shot. The absence of Kevin Love will be felt, but I still feel that Cavs will be able to get the job done and win this series. steph-curry-lebron-james

The Lakers might actually have some hope!

“The 2nd pick in the 2015 NBA draft will be chosen by, the Los Angeles Lakers!” Our luck in this years draft was absolutely huge, as our record indicated we would not have a top 3 pick, and somehow, the basketball gods blessed us with the 2nd pick. That means we can get one of the two dominant big men, Karl Anthony Towns or Jahlil Okafor. Also available is the explosive shooting guard Deangelo Russell, who has drawn comparisons to the likes of James Harden.

So one draft pick will suddenly put us back in basketball contention? Absolutely not. However, having this young talent actually makes us attractive to the 2015 free agent pool, as we gave a great chance at superstar forward Kevin Love. The starting line up is potentially Jordan Clarkson, Kobe, Randle, Love, and Okafor. Suddenly, our terrible season doesn’t seem so terrible at all.

Even if we aren’t able to attract a great free agent, not doing great this year can be a blessing in disguise. That’s because it would potentially give us another lottery pick in the 2016 draft, and more cap space for the DEEP free agent class of 2016. All in all, I believe we will be a force by the 2016-2017 NBA season.


Does Anyone In the East Pose a Threat To LeBron’s Reign?

Over the past five years, multiple teams have attempted to take down a LeBron led team and represent the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals. During that time period, every single team has failed and it doesn’t seem like there is much of an opportunity for that to change in the upcoming years. Throughout the past couple years we watched as the Indiana Pacers rose to the top two years in a row only to lose to LeBron and the Heat in the conference finals both times. Before that it was the Chicago Bulls lead by Derrick Rose, the youngest MVP of all time, but they too were quickly dispatched by the Heat. This year, LeBron returned to a young but talented Cleveland roster and they essentially walked to the Finals, only losing two games in the whole postseason. They faced a young and inexperienced Boston Celtics who are multiple years away from credibility. They faced temporary struggles against Chicago as they adjusted to a setting without Kevin Love, who was injured for the remainder of the postseason, but even Chicago proved to be too injured and broken to pose a serious threat to The King’s throne. And finally they closed it out against the sensational Atlanta Hawks who had a franchise record 60 wins, but the Hawks team basketball philosophy proved ineffective against the force of LeBron as the Cavaliers swept the Hawks. It just seems that nowhere in the Eastern Conference is there a team with enough talent to face LeBron. Milwaukee and Orlando?Perhaps in a couple years but not quite yet. The Miami Heat could have a chance to pull it together, like the Indiana Pacers, but both teams have faced devastating injuries with their team’s star players. Year after year LeBron rises out of the East only to be crushed by the Western Conference competition, that seems to get deeper every single year, shown by LeBron’s 2-3 record in the Finals, with a strong likelihood he will be 2-4 as they face a historically strong squad in the Golden State Warriors. While the conferences stand the way they are, it could be many years before we see an NBA Finals without LeBron James playing out of the East.

6 Reasons Not to Trust the Media

Websites like Yahoo, MSN, Huffington Post, CNN, etc. do not really care if you are aware of domestic or international topics.

1. The media simply want more views for more revenue. The larger the traffic will result in a larger profit. They create intriguing titles and images so that many people will click on the link and go to the article.

2. The press is monopolized and few corporations control a large share of the mass media. This limits diversity and gives too much power to each of the large companies.

3. The government has strong ties with the media. We believe in freedom of the press, but fail to realize that the government is still able to monitor and object to content and this could affect what the citizens see.

4. Far too much of today’s media focuses on celebrity news and events. They think that writing a title that draws interest but is not based off of fact will attract a lot of views. For example, “Beyoncé’s dazzling, curve-hugging dress” or “Strangest Kate Middleton portrait we may ever see” or even articles about Justin Bieber’s recent DUI arrest all supposedly get a lot of traffic.

5. Facts are not always checked and reporters are not always accurate on the topics in which they speak about.

6 Too many articles are opinionated and with not enough facts. This includes speculation and it does not fulfill the need for unbiased information to be available to the general public.


The Uncertainty of the Future

What do you think of when someone says “the future”.

There are countless novels about dystopian and utopian societies depicting a world that is much worse or much better than today.

Are you one to think of the future in a positive way and with hope (bottom left) or are you a bit more pessimistic about the future (as the top right picture suggests). Is it going to be a time when humanity increases in knowledge and the world becomes a happier place or a time like the dark ages when humanity wasn’t living in the best conditions?

In a book I have been reading called The Scorch Trials by James Dashner a group of kids are from a dystopian society where a disease called “The Flare” has wiped out most of the Earth’s population. All of the governments of the world have put their resources together to form a group called WICKED (World In Catastrophe Killzone Experiment Department) to find a cure to this devastating illness. Sun flares have also made most of the planet a dry empty space with few inhabitants.

I am curious as to what others’ opinions are of the future and how it will most likely look like.

The Dubs Have Everything

As we take a look back at this past season of the NBA, we reflect on what was considered a sudden and unexpected rise of the Golden State Warriors. But when you really break it down, the Warriors have everything they need for a title and then some and they’ve had it for a while. All they needed was someone to put it all in place and they finally acquired that man last summer: Steve Kerr. He was brought in after the decision to fire Mark Jackson that angered many Warriors fans but ended changing the team drastically for the better. He brought in reserve Draymond Green as the starting power forward, which turned out to be a revelation that produced a 2nd place Defensive Player of the Year candidate. He reinstated Harrison Barnes to his starting spot and moving beloved veteran Andre Iguodala after convincing him to take a step back and be the leader of the second team, now considered the strongest in the league. Throughout the roster, we can see just how stuffed it is with selfless talented players. The Warriors have two All-Stars coming off the bench in Iguodala and David Lee. They have a wide variety of quick and lengthy defenders that allow a defense based on switching that won’t give any advantages to the offensive player. Everything has gotten organized and put into place that allowed the Warriors to crank out a 67-15 record from the regular season, the best by a large margin. They’re led by the reigning MVP Steph Curry, an All-NBA first and second team player in their starting lineup with Green and Andrew Bogut respectively. No matter where you look in the roster there is depth to spare at every single position. Their 2nd string of Livingston, Iguodala, Lee, Ezeli, and Leandro Barbosa that could be a strong starting five in the Eastern Conference. Through the season and postseason, we have seen a continued dominance that was one of the best season of all time. They lead the league in assists, defensive and offensive field goal percentage, as well as defensive efficiency with a second place finish in offensive efficiency. They posted a 10.1 net rating, only the 8th double digit one of all time. The all around team has truly shown off all sides of themselves as they’ve dominated throughout the league, and I don’t expect that dominance to end, even if it is LeBron in the Finals.

Cavs vs. Warriors: Individual vs. Team

Although not officially set, it seems a given that the NBA Finals will pit the talented multi-functional Golden State Warriors vs LeBron James and his Cleveland Cavaliers, with each team having a commanding 3-0 series lead over their opponent and the opposition showing little resistant. But if you look at the two teams, the ideology and method of moving onto the NBA’s greatest stage have varied to an extreme degree. Over in Cleveland, we saw the formation of a Big Three behind LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love. The rest of the team seemed unimportant as they were instantly pegged title favorites. But after limping out to an unimpressive 19-20 start to the season, the Cavs realized that they needed some backup firepower to propel this team to any degree of success. They made multiple mid season acquisitions in Timofey Mozgov, JR Smith, and Iman Shumpert that helped the Cavs catch fire and rocket to the second seed in the East and, with the decline of the Hawks, back into the spot for Eastern Conference favorite. However, as they entered the playoffs, disaster struck. Kevin Love was disabled in a brutish attack by Kelly Olynyk in the first round and it looked like the Cavs would be in trouble. But LeBron and Kyrie stepped up to fill the scoring load for the next series against the Bulls until it was revealed Kyrie had been playing on an injured ankle and would miss time. As the Big Three began to diminish, we began to see LeBron take over, willing his team deeper into the playoffs, and taking all responsibilities of scoring on himself. LeBron believes that he is the one who must take his team to the next level. Which is almost exactly the opposite of the Warriors. The Warriors were one of the most cohesive teams, cranking out assists and high percentage shots. Although their clear leader was MVP Steph Curry, the whole team made vast contributions all over to lead the team to a franchise best 67-15 record. Like LeBron, Curry can take over a game and torch the opponents with his vast arsenal, but he also has the ability to pass the torch to a teammate when he recognizes an opportunity. Watch any clip from Klay Thompson’s 37 point quarter, and there Steph is, trying to assist Klay. The Warriors team friendly offense has thrived and annihilated opponents by an average 10.6 points per game, one of the highest of all time. As these teams meet up, we get ready to watch a battle between two philosophies. On the one hand, the Cavs give the ball to LeBron and let him run, while on the other hand, the Warriors as a team work towards their ultimate goal. With the NBA Finals a mere week away, the excitement builds towards what is certain to be a match up no one will soon forget.

Do Exams Really Measure Intelligence?

back48_testingIs the modern practice of test-taking ideal for gaining knowledge of topics? There is multiple choice, essays, true/false sections, etc. Are there better ways of learning topics and retaining them? 

Most high schools at this time use some form of multiple choice in tests, quizzes, and other exams. The students’ answers depend on the wording of the question rather than depending solely on knowing the topic completely. Sometimes, a guessed answer could be correct. These types of tests do not promote free thinking and do not work the brain enough. These tests require a type of memorization that is rarely long-term.

I think teachers should have students write essays connecting the majority of the concepts learned into one area. This could potentially increase the difficulty of the tests but will simultaneously help memory retention of the concepts.

Another aspect of this controversy relates to how multiple choice does not require students to think of concepts and relate them to other things.