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Rowan’s Rankings | NBA Week 24

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For people that like to read too much into regular season games, March has provided plenty of fuel for overreacting. With the Warriors, Cavs, Celtics, and Raptors struggling, it has left much up in the air when it comes to the seeding in each conference.


  1. San Antonio Spurs last week 1

It’s been a tough week for the Spurs. Kawhi Leonard was put in the concussion protocol, while LaMarcus Aldridge was declared out indefinitely with a heart arrhythmia. After dropping a game to the Thunder, the Spurs bounced back in “The Rest Bowl” against the Warriors. With Aldridge out, if the Spurs can still get the top seed in the West, it may swing the MVP race into Leonard’s favor.

  1. Houston Rockets last week 4

A signature win over the Cleveland Cavaliers helped the Rockets get over their early week losses to the Spurs and Jazz. James Harden continues to build a convincing MVP case for himself.

  1. Cleveland Cavaliers last week 2

Continuity has been missing for the Cavaliers. Between integrating Deron and Derrick Williams, a recovering J.R. Smith and dealing with Kyle Korver and Kevin Love being out of the lineup, the team has struggled. In the meantime, LeBron James and Kyrie Irving have continued to shoulder a massive load for the wine and gold.

  1. Golden State Warriors last week 3

It was expected that the Warriors would struggle to some extent with Kevin Durant out, however the shooting slumps of Steph Curry and Klay Thompson occurring at the same time has exacerbated the issue. They haven’t been as bad as their recent play, but they are currently facing a level of adversity that they haven’t seen throughout Steve Kerr’s tenure.

  1. Washington Wizards last week 6

The Wizards have rode a five-game winning streak to the second seed in the Eastern Conference. While only the tiebreaker separates them from the Celtics, the Wizards are showing a level of resilience and consistency that’s been missing in recent years.

  1. Utah Jazz last week 8

A four-game winning streak for the Jazz came to a halt after running into Russell Westbrook and the Thunder. However, the strong play the Jazz have shown recently has helped keep the L.A. Clippers at bay.

  1. L.A. Clippers last week 9

Like the Jazz, the Clippers are also 4-1 in their last five games. It turns out the team is really good when Chris Paul and Blake Griffin are healthy. Who knew?

  1. Boston Celtics last week 5

The Celtics got quality wins against the Warriors and Bulls, but are just 2-3 over their last five. Their slide has caused them to relinquish the second seed in the East.

  1. Toronto Raptors last week 7

While the defensive additions have helped the Raptors tread water, the absence of Kyle Lowry has started to catch up to the team’s offense. With a 2-4 record over their last six games, it seems unlikely the Toronto will be able to catch the Wizards or Celtics.

  1. Detroit Pistons last week 10

I feel somewhat vindicated putting the Pistons in this spot last week. Detroit is 5-2 over their last seven and got a quality win over the Cavaliers. The Pistons are in a good position in a tight race for the sixth seed in the East.

  1. Milwaukee Bucks last week 19

The play of Khris Middleton has helped the Bucks excel during the absence of Jabari Parker. The Bucks have won six straight games and are currently in position to make the playoffs.

  1. Oklahoma City Thunder last week 14

The Thunder bounced back from their four-game losing streak with wins over the Spurs and the Jazz. Russell Westbrook has shown no sign of slowing down lately, and is helping drag the Thunder up the standings.

  1. Miami Heat last week 16

The Heat swept a home-and-home against the Cavaliers, and got wins over the Raptors and Hornets. It appears like this late season surge from the Heat is legitimate.

  1. Dallas Mavericks last week 12

The red hot Mavericks suffered a setback with their loss to the Phoenix Suns. It was a surprising letdown for a team that’s won six of their last seven. Dallas’ hot play has them within striking range of the playoffs.

  1. Atlanta Hawks last week 17

The Hawks were able to pull out of their nose dive with three straight wins, highlighted by wins over the Raptors and Grizzlies.

  1. Indiana Pacers last week 15

The Pacers have alternated between wins and losses over their last ten games. For a team that’s shown inconsistency all season, at least they’ve developed a pattern for their inconsistency.

  1. Denver Nuggets last week 18

With Nikola Jokic back in the lineup, the Nuggets are 2-0 including a blowout win over the Celtics. As Jokic goes, so do the Nuggets as they try to hold on to their playoff spot.

  1. Portland Trail Blazers last week 20

The Blazers have been red hot lately since acquiring Jusuf Nurkic, winning five of their last six games. Portland has always had the talent to make playoffs, but with Nurkic they may have the interior needed to push the Nuggets for a playoff spot.

  1. Minnesota Timberwolves last week not ranked

The Timberwolves achieved impressive wins over both the Clippers and the Warriors. Their remaining schedule is tough, but the team is doing everything they can to keep their playoff hopes alive.

  1. Chicago Bulls last week 13

The wheels on the bus have fallen off. The success of the Bulls hasn’t seemed sustainable all year, and with the departures of Taj Gibson and Doug McDermott, the team is on a full on nosedive.

From the heart of continent, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Justin is a life-long hoops head with a love of the team from Northeast Ohio. He’s written for Fear the Sword as well as Hoops Habit. And he’s never blown a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals. "It's kind of boring when you take open shots." - J.R. Smith. Checkout Justin’s weekly NBA Power Play called Rowan’s Rankings.

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Featured Article

Ride The Wave

Back in October the sky was the limit. LeBron had decided to move to LA and join the Lakers. Things were good then.

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Back in October the sky was the limit. LeBron had decided to move to LA and join the Lakers, drawing in a decent support team and a lot of talk that the West was looking incredibly dominant next to a “weaker” East. Things were good then.

Five months later and things couldn’t be farther from that idylistic picture. The East thrived without the King and GMs put together some of the most noteworthy teams in a while. And the Lakers? The Lakers currently sit in the 11th spot of the Western Conference with very little hope of making it to the playoffs. They’re a team that is constantly attacked for their lack of chemistry, skill, and effort. For the first time in a long time, LA became synonymous with “hopeless”.

This wasn’t the future we saw for the King.

On the heels of a night filled with one of his greatest achievements ever, the Lakers as a team walked away with a loss to the Denver Nuggets. A night that began on a high note went out on one that was equivalent to sour candy. Furthermore, a frustrated team left an arena, hopped on social media, and found a bevy of congrats for their star player, while enduring the storm that came with another Lakers loss.

It seems that James’ stardom has reached a tipping point, one that makes him a GM one moment, the King of the league the next, and finally the biggest point of contention within the locker room. The most notable thing is that it is clearly wearing him down. Chris Martin let us know that “nobody one said it was easy”, but you’ve got to ask yourself, does it have to be so hard?

The answer is unfortunately, yes. It’s always going to be this way, and there is no fighting the current, but there is beauty in riding the wave. Embracing that moment when the wave comes crashing down on you is important, because it’s always going to happen, but your attitude will always be remembered. LeBron rides high, and keeps things in the positive light for the media, but he’s got to realize that they are writing his story, and he doesn’t have to play into their’s. Ride the wave, and take the loss in stride with all the great that has come with it, but take the loss because your part of a team that is.

The wave has crashed down, but the current will bring another.

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Year 15 | A Mini Documentary

Year 15 of a legacy…

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What’s to come for the man on top, and what got him here?

It’s Year 15 of a man’s career, but it’s also Year 15 of a legacy…

Created by Tristan Laughton | Twitter: @Ctrice

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Editorial

Something Out of Nothing

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It’s March 2016, and I’m driving with Alan Shane Lewis to Montreal to meet with Marc Griffin and Phil Boileau. We’re meeting to speak about this exciting new idea I pitched to them. We were tired of spinning the wheels on our own individual internet shows, and I told them that it was time we stopped waiting for a network and became the network.

We spoke that weekend about creating a community of content creators that all loved ball and came together to make unique content with unique voices – voices we felt were never heard in the mainstream. This community was the base of Press and we’d continue to push forward from that spot. We spoke about some amazing show ideas, article ideas, social media plan. It was truly an exciting time, and still one of the best weekends of my life.

Two years later and that group is a lot smaller, and that idea is Press Basketball.

It caught fire at the beginning and we had people joining our bright shiny new plaything left, right, and center. It was exciting, but now I kind of realize that a lot of it was just that we were that “bright shiny new thing”.

We ended up with a lot of Press Basketball “members” but when I stepped back and looked at what was happening… it wasn’t what I’d imagined. The fire burned out. The idea was gone. We had just become another thing trying to stay alive, waiting for some deus ex machina to show up with money and make everything okay.

I’ve gone through most of my life making something out of nothing. It’s never easy, but when it happens it’s always worth it… ALWAYS. Press made me feel alive at a point. It was literally all I could think about, and while it still is on my mind, it doesn’t make me feel alive. This hurts more than I can ever explain.

Changes are coming my friends. We’re not laying down and dying, and if we do it’s not going to be like this.

The core of Press will be setting fire to a lot over the next few weeks and I personally can’t wait for this to start. From the ashes something new will rise (I watched a lot of XMEN growing up).

Stay tuned, because it’s not over.

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