EA’s Press Conference Recap – E3 2017

Each year it feels like the Electronic Entertainment Expo or E3 starts earlier and earlier. With that being said, I took a day to process the information shown in the first major conference of E3 2017.

Electronic Arts or EA is one of the biggest game developing companies in the world and this year they were also the first of the large-scale conferences that large developers hold each year to show fans their latest games or updates.

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New Pokémon games? What happened in the Pokémon Direct?

To many, Nintendo’s Pokémon Direct that happened early on Tuesday morning was disappointing.

Being heavily involved in the Pokémon community on YouTube, Twitter and pretty much anywhere else I got to see the reactions to those announcements even while I was unable to watch the actual event. Continue reading

Is Cartoon Network doomed?

Cartoon Network is one of the reasons so many people, including myself, have such a fond memory and passion for animation. They were one of the three main sources of cartoons for American audience alongside Disney Channel and Nickelodeon.

 

While the animated motion picture market was, and still is, dominated mostly by Disney; Nick and Cartoon Network have been battling it out for the tops spot in the television department for nearly three decades now.

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The Game Plan Podcast – Episode 1

With the NBA season slowly coming to a close, I brought my good buddy Chris Morrison, analyst and host of the Hooper’s Log podcast over on NBALead, to talk about potential landing spots for some of the players that have no contract or options for this summer.

As always, the podcast is available on my YouTube page as a video and in audio format on my SoundCloud and soon, ITunes!

NBA Draft Lottery 2017: Winners and Losers

The NBA Draft Lottery took place last night, and with it, the future of many teams either became brighter or sunk further into the depths of despair.

There were a few teams that now have much more to look forward to come draft night, while others will feel the need to panic and hope a player will fall to them at their position. Time to break down the Winners and Losers of the 2017 Draft Lottery.

Winner: Boston Celtics

Boston is in a very good position for multiple reasons:

They are not only competing in the Eastern Conference Finals against the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers for entry into the NBA Finals, they also just secured the number one overall pick in the draft.

Their core is locked up for another season, barring the impending free agency of former first round pick Kelly Olynyk and the replaceable Amir Johnson.

They have young, overseas talent ready to step in on the roster. Headlined by Guerschon Yabusele, a big-bodied young player with the potential to become a solid two-way stretch forwards, and Ante Zizic, a high motored big man that many hope can fill the starting center spot next season.

They have last year’s number three overall pick in Jaylen Brown, who had a rather impressive start to his career on a team that is competing for a championship.

Lastly, they also have the ability to make room for another max-contract free agent this summer to pair alongside last year’s addition of Al Horford.

Celtic’s fans have a lot to be happy about in their future.

Loser: New York Knicks

The team with in the most turmoil failed to get any luck going their way on the night they needed it most. With the eighth pick, most of the top options for New York will be off the board barring a crazy shake up in preference.

“I think that we’re good at what we do,” is what President of Basketball Operations and subject of much of the New York fan base’s ire, Phil Jackson said when asked about their position in the draft.

That statement is unfounded and if we are being honest, probably won’t change in the near future. Jackson has done nothing positive for the team besides drafting Kristaps Porzingas and has all but guaranteed he wants Carmelo Anthony off of the team before the season starts.

If the former championship coach is deadest on moving the insulted Melo and running his outdated triangle, then we might see the Knicks fall into the lottery team category for years to come.

Winner: Los Angeles Lakers

No one really thought the Lakers were going to lose out on two first round picks, but the possibility was there. Magic Johnson seemed slightly nervous about that fact, but I feel it was more for comedy’s sake and bantering with Joel Embiid.

This is good news for LA in multiple ways too. LaVar Ball has stated throughout his many media appearances that his son and presumed second overall pick, Lonzo Ball, will only play for the Lakers.

“I just think it’s lined up for him to be a Laker.” – LaVar Ball

If the team sees that the player fits their system and are willing to add him to their rebuilding process, then no one will need to hear Daddy Ball complain on the air again.

Something that only Fox and ESPN will lament over.

Magic and Rob Pelinka have cap space, picks and players to work with now as they try to return the purple and gold to their former glory.

Loser: Phoenix Suns

It was really a bad night for any small market team, but the Suns got the shaft compared to some of the other franchises.

They came in with the second highest chances at the number one slot. Instead, they walked away with the fourth pick, and dashed hopes of a player that will likely be gone by their selection.

They have a promising young core in Devin Booker, Dragan Bender and Marquese Chriss to name a few. They are missing the player that will be the go-to for them though. They have their scorer in Booker, but who will be their distributer?

Eric Bledsoe can’t stay healthy, they traded Goran Dragic and IT and Brandon Knight is not the answer. Fultz or Ball would have helped them tremendously, but now they need to work with what the basketball gods have given them.

Winner: Sacramento Kings

Two lottery picks? Let’s hope that they have better luck this year then their track record shows from previous drafts.

Winner: The Process

Hey Sam Hinkie, you doing ok? I know you don’t work for the Sixers anymore, but I swear your name must be legend in that town by now.

With the third selection in this loaded draft, Embiid announcing he could be back in less than a month and a slew of other young talent to look forward to, this franchise could be another young riser in the East.

State of the blog

As of this previous weekend, BoosterBlogs has officially become a registered domain. It took a lot of planning on the part of myself and my VP Collin, but in the end I am just happy this side project has come this far.

I originally made this site on WordPress because I liked the name and wanted to start writing independently. Nothing really came of that until I wrote my 2015-16 NBA Season preview, which ended up landing me a gig over on NBALead.

I came back to the website briefly when I wrote a few pieces for a class during my freshman year of college and needed to post them to my own site. It was then I decided to bookmark the idea for a dedicated run on BB for the future.

Thankfully things played into my favor during this most recent semester of college, the end of my sophomore year, so that I had a good amount of spare time on the weekends to start this up. Collin, who I knew previously from working together in NBALead, was also working on his own site and I reached out to see if he was interested in contributing.

What spawned from that partnership is nearly two going on three full months of constant content flowing from our collective brains as the two of us try to build this thing up.

He has anchored the site for nearly three weeks as I have been busy moving back home from college, adjusting to my new work schedule and started more projects for the site.

The state of the blog has never been better over our four-month life span. Here are some things you can expect soon.

Collin is going to be on vacation soon, but his articles will continue. He is our lead writer when it comes to sports and going forward he will have control in that department, barring my occasional column and anyone else we bring on.

My columns will return this week after taking an absence. I have some topics I really want to write about and I think that you all will enjoy and learn something from them.

Our coverage of eSports will be expanding from just our weekly League of Legends recap that Richard puts out. I will start covering more professional Super Smash Bros. competitions and the ELeague Street Fighter V events I watch.

Other content will also be joining our normal content. I am bringing The Gameplan Podcast to BoosterBlogs in the coming weeks. This will feature discussions about sports, video games, eSports and a lot more.

On top of that, I have also started streaming again on my Twitch channel. Those streams usually consist of myself and occasional guests playing games we find fun or interesting. They frequently turn into Q&As with the chat as I answer questions about anything you ask. If you want to talk to me about a specific topic or just need some background noise while you work, that’s the place to go.

After wrapping up all those upcoming projects, I do have one final announcement.

We have only gotten this far due to the dedication both Collin and I have for what we do. We are thankful to each person that reads our work and shares it with others.

That being said, the two of us are not enough to make this thing reach its full potential. We have three writers on staff, one of which is only a weekly column writer, and that will eventually make us cap out to how far the site can grow.

If you know anyone interested in writing that just wants to get their thoughts on a subject or maybe even become a contributor to the site on a frequent basis, please contact us or share our site with them so we can get in touch. Editing is provided and nearly any topic is accepted.

Thank you for your time and support. We hope you continue to like our works.

Signed the Blue and Gold duo,

Collin Loring and Cale Michael.

Playoff Predictions of the first degree

It’s that time of year NBA fans, the playoffs are here. Fourteen teams have been sent home for the year, and sixteen remain, ready to compete for a title. With such an interesting post season awaiting, Cale and Collin offer up their first round predictions:


Eastern Conference

 

Boston Celtics (1) vs Chicago Bulls (8)

 

Collin: Boston versus Chicago will be a fun series, for the Celtics fans. I will say this however, both team went 7-3 in their last ten games of the season, but Chicago was fighting for its life. The continuation of this disorderly system ran by Hoiberg and the front office guarantees an easy series win for Boston. Don’t doubt Jimmy Butler takes one game in a shining performance. 4-2 Boston 

 

Cale: As a Celtics fan, I want to say it will be easy for us to take the series, but I can’t guarantee that. Despite how dysfunctional the Bulls have been all season, Butler is the best two-way player on either team by a mile and if he has a big series the Cs might have issues. I have no faith in Hoiberg as a coach so that is a plus. At best, I can see the Chicago taking one of the first two games in Boston. 4-1 Boston

 

Cleveland Cavaliers (2) vs Indiana Pacers (7)

 

Collin: This is one of the more interesting match ups, and one I will be paying close attention to. Paul George has been on fire, and averaged 30.5 points and 7.5 rebounds in his last ten games this year. Although he’s averaged 24.7 points a game against Cleveland, he’s only lead his team to one win out of four games against LeBron this season. Cavaliers have had a rough finish to the regular season, but will take the series after a sloppy start. 4-2 Cleveland 

 

Cale: With the first game in the series featuring little to no defense and coming down to a missed shot by C.J Miles, I think it is safe to say the Pacers put the Cavs on notice. Coming into the postseason the biggest question mark for me was Cleveland’s defense. I don’t think they will be exposed in this series, but in the future, I wouldn’t be so sure the King still reigns. 4-0 Cleveland

 

Toronto Raptors (3) vs Milwaukee Bucks (6)

 

Collin: I’m a firm believer that Milwaukee can land an upset over Toronto. As they’ve shown in the past, (round 1 against the Bulls) they can be resilient in the face of elimination. In their most recent game together, Giannis was a huge problem for the Raptors. He finished the game with 21 points, 10 rebounds and 4 assists all while shooting 62%. We can’t forget the Raptors mid-season additions, who have really found their stride in the final month of the season (Ibaka: 14ppg/7rpg/1.2bpg in last 10). It will be through an immense defensive effort on Milwaukee’s end, but their size and length will pull through in the end. 4-3 Milwaukee

 

Cale: Going into the first game, my pick was Toronto. After the showing from Milwaukee my faith is a little shaken, but I will remain pact. I think the diversity and depth of the Raptors will eventually wear down the Bucks. Please for the love of basketball though, let P.J Tucker guard Giannis Antetokounmpo more in the second game. Put positions out of the way, that is the matchup I want to see going forward. 4-2 Toronto

 

Washington Wizards (4) vs Atlanta Hawks (5)

 

Collin: There’s no doubt in my mind that the Wizards will silence all doubt in this series. Washington finished the season 49-33, their best record in over 30 years! John Wall and Bradley Beal have really meshed as a back court, and their bench rotation has been a key for their success. After a great start to the season, Atlanta has fallen apart and shown huge signs of inconsistency. Should Millsap remain healthy, this series could likely go to seven games. Nonetheless, the success of Washington is hard to look past. 4-2, Washington

 

Cale: In the words of Bill Simmons. Atlanta is like the crazy drunk guy at the bar that everyone wants to steer clear of. They have about five wing players that can knock down three-pointers and with the low-post pairing of Dwight Howard and Paul Millsap, I don’t know if the bigs on Washington will be able to slow them down. The bench will be the deciding factor for both teams. Looking at you Ersan. 4-3 Atlanta

 

Western Conference

 

Golden State Warriors (1) vs Portland Trailblazers (8)

 

Collin: Damian Lillard and the Trailblazers had a strong finish to the regular season, going 7-3 in their final ten. Lillard even had the audacity to announce: “Blazers in 6,” when asked about facing Golden State. Dame, we appreciate the enthusiasm, but Portland is 0-4 against the Warriors this season (including a 135-90 blowout back in December). Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t the same Warriors team that went to the Finals back to back, but they’re simply on a different level of basketball. 4-1 Golden State

 

Cale: KD is back and Nurkic is questionable. Not much to say here. Unless Damian Lillard can drop 60 or get some major help from more than just CJ, I see no challenge. 4-0 Golden State

 

San Antonio Spurs (2) vs Memphis Grizzlies (7)

 

Collin: Alas, the poor Memphis Grizzlies have found their fate once again in the hands of San Antonio. It’s rare that Pop and the Spurs get taken down in the first round of the playoffs, and sadly I don’t think Memphis is capable. I will say this for the Grizzlies: they are a strong defensive team and have tied the season series, 2-2. For this reason, I’m giving them one Mike Conley-Marc Gasol performance that results in a win. 4-1 San Antonio 

 

Cale: The last stand of the grit and grind. Z-Bo will get his in this matchup but after the first game it is clear LaMarcus Aldridge is ready to play. Tony Parker even turned back the clock for an 18-point performance. Tony Allen’s injury is going to open a hole that I think the Spurs will take advantage of. 4-1 San Antonio 

 

Houston Rockets (3) vs Oklahoma City Thunder (6)

Collin: Houston vs Oklahoma is the series we all deserve. It’s (arguably) the top-two candidates for the MVP award facing off once again. A Russell Westbrook that wants to win is a very dangerous one. Against the Rockets and his former teammate, Westbrook is averaging 36 points, 9 rebounds, and 9 assists per game while shooting around 45% from the floor. As much as we want to root for Russ, we can’t deny that he’s up against the best offensive team we’ve seen in years. Harden has been phenomenal and he’s got two sixth man of the year candidates in his secondary rotation. In honor of the season he’s having, I say Westbrook pulls his team to three wins. 4-3 Houston 

 

Cale: Hometown bias aside, I think the Thunder have the most to prove in the playoffs outside of the two teams that played in last year’s finals. Russell is out to destroy anyone put in front of him and he has some beef with Patrick Beverly from a previous postseason matchup. This will come down to if OKC can keep the score even remotely close. The abundance of shooters on Houston will make it difficult, but only time will tell us the victor of the MVP Bowl. 4-2 Oklahoma City

 

 

Los Angeles Clippers 4) vs Utah Jazz (5)

 

Collin: I’m counting on the Utah Jazz to pull this one out for the underdogs. As a team they’ve emerged as one of the biggest surprises this season. Gordon Hayward, George Hill, and Rudy Gobert have become a not so big three and lead this team to the playoffs for the first time since 2012. The Los Angeles Clippers are known for their lack of championships and failure in the post season, and I don’t expect them to disappoint in this match up with Utah. The Jazz are fighting to make a name, and have played just as well (if not better) as Los Angeles. Chris Paul and his squad certainly have playoff experience, so I’m predicting a push for seven games. 4-3, Utah

 

Cale: One game in and the predictions of this series being the one to watch is already looking accurate. The loss of Rudy Gobert just seconds into the game is a crushing blow to Utah, but the depth of their team and key performances from veteran role players have the series leaning their way. I don’t know what the Clippers need to do outside of be more efficient, but even without Rudy, Gordon Hayward and crew look poised to take the next step. Key factors will be the return of Gobert and if Derrick Favors can stay healthy.  4-1 Utah