Golden State defeat Oklahoma City 96-88. Get Finals rematch against Cleveland.

It’s the Finals matchup that everyone wanted to see. The Golden State Warriors punched their ticket to the NBA Finals with a 96-88 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder Monday night and have the chance to win back to back NBA Championships. They will be once again facing the Cleveland Cavaliers for the second year in a row but they will be facing a completely healthy Cleveland Cavaliers team this time.

Last year, Cleveland played the Boston Celtics in the first round of the Eastern Conference Playoffs and it got chippy. It was a very physical game and hard fought but the Cavaliers would win the series 4-0 but not without cost. Boston PF Kelly Olynyk got tangled up with Kevin Love while fighting for a rebound in game 4 and ended up pulling Loves shoulder out of its socket and dislocating it. He was out for the remainder of the Playoffs.

Even without Kevin Love, the next two rounds were relatively a breeze for the Cavaliers. They only lost two games to Chicago in the Semifinals and swept Atlanta in the Eastern Conference Finals and held the ECC Trophy in front of the home crowd. Meanwhile, in the West, Golden State was taking care of business by handling the Houston Rockets and ended up winning the WCC 4-1. 

With Golden State having home court advantage, it was already going to be a tough series for the Cavaliers. Game 1 was as close as it could be that it ended up going in to overtime. Kyrie Irving, starting in his first Finals apperence, was driving to the basket in overtime when a wrong turn on the court fractured his left kneecap. Ending his season after appearing only one finals game. The Warriors would go on to win the game.

LeBron, who won the next two practically by himself, was a man on a mission and a city and team on his back. He almost averaged a triple double in almost every single one of the six games they played. Unfortunately, even after his historic performance, the bench wasn’t deep enough and the offense of the Warriors was too much to keep up with and the Cavaliers fell to the Warriors 4-2.

This year, Cleveland is completely healthy and has had plenty of rest and practice. The two most important games of the regular season were the two against the Warriors to prove they can beat them while health and last year was a fluke. Golden state beat the Cleveland both time, one game by 30+, but as these playoffs have shown, the regular season is nothing compared to the playoffs. Game 1 of the finals start Thursday in Oakland and this will be a Finals that no one will ever forget. 

Predictions: For game 1, Golden State will win convincingly by 8 or more points.

For the Finals overall, I’m a born and raised Clevelander. I love this city and every team in it but I can’t see Cleveland beating this team. I say they lose in 5. Sorry guys. 


Post game Interviews with Cleveland Gladiators coach and players after 63-49 win against Soul


Post game interviews after the Cleveland Gladiators defeated the Philadelphia Soul on Saturday May 28th.

Coach Steve Thonn

QB Arvell Nelson

Cavs rest. Game 7 of WCF in GS. Who do you want in the finals?

As the Cleveland Cavaliers wait to see who they will be facing in the NBA Finals, the fans have been vocal on who they would want to see. Personally, as much as I hate to say this, I don’t think the Cavs can beat EITHER team BUT, I am not giving up hope. That being said, I would rather face OKC based on the matchup problems the Cavs, especially LeBron, would give them. 

I’m terrified of Golden State. They beat us last year and weren’t as good as they were this year. I know Kyrie and Kevin Love weren’t there to help out James but they’ve have their troubles on the road last series against Toronto. 

So I was curious as to what you guys thought. So vote in the poll and let’s see who you would rather have. 

Gladiators win four straight. Win shootout 63-49

For the first time in almost two years, the Cleveland Gladiators defeat the old Rival Philadelphia Soul 63-49.

With the Soul’s first possession and play of the game, QB Dan Raudabaugh launched a 40 yard bomb to put them in great position to score early, but a tough fought goal line stance by the Gladiators held them off and forced the turnover on downs. Cleveland QB Arvell Nelson marched the Gladiator offense down 35 yards to hit Collin Taylor for the 10 yard touchdown as Taylor continues his impressive streak to 25 consecutive games with a receiving touchdown. 

After Cleveland went up 7-0, it was back and forth scoring by both teams as Philly answered back with a touchdown by Ryan McDaniel. Nelson hit Larry Beavers for a 49 yard touchdown but an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after the score by Beavers gave Philly decent field position and Roudabaugh found Darius Reynolds for another score. With the score 14-14 and the Gladiators driving, the feared Philly defense forced a Larry Beavers turnover. Philly took over and a 11 yard touchdown pass put the Soul 21-14 at the end of the first quarter.

Quentin Simms came up huge in the second quarter as he caught three touchdowns in the quarter and putting up 85 yards in the first half. Simms has shown great athleticism and play making ability in Thyron Lewis and Dominick Goodman’s abcences. With him and Collin Taylor on the field, they can be a dangerous duo. Darius Reynolds had another score in the second but thanks to Simms and a turnover by Joe Phinisee, The Gladiators end the half up 35-28. 

With Cleveland getting the ball back at the beginning of the second half, they wanted to keep piling on the score because the Soul offense is arguably one of the best, if not the best, in the league and can turn a game around in no time. With no hesitation, Nelson found Beavers for another touchdown for 26 yards. Raudabaugh found McDaniel for quick 10 yard score trying to catch up to the Gladiators. 

Cleveland answers back quick with a touchdown to Collin Taylor for a 16 yard pass as Taylor dove to the ground to catch the low thrown ball. Raudabaugh once again found his go to receiver in McDaniel who once again found the endzone. At this point in the game, McDaniel has been pivotal for the soul as he accounted for 71 yards and three touchdowns. The quarter ends with a 41-56 Gladiator lead.

The fourth quarter slowed down a bit. Philly starts off with the ball and score early as Raudabaugh hits Darius Reynolds for the four yard score. As the gap between the score grows smaller, the Gladiators need a pivotal drive and score but come up short as Nelson misses Taylor for a forth down conversion and turns the ball over on downs. Philly has a chance to tie this game up but the pressure gets to Radabaugh on fourth and 35 as he throws into the middle of the field where DB Marvin Ross intercepts the ball and runs it back for a pick six and stop any hope of a Soul come from behind victory.

This is Clevelands first win against Philadelphia since the 2014 season. They’re now riding a 4 game winning streak and next week at Quicken Loans Arena, they take on the division leading Arizona Rattlers who they’ve also had trouble getting a win against in the past years. 

STATS: Arvell Nelson 22-36, 307 yards and 7 TD. Quentin Simms 10 catches for 114 yards and 3 TD

Dan Radabaugh 25-44, 342 yards, 7 TD and 1 INT. Darius Reynolds 9 catches for 144 yards and 3 TD

Indians bounce back. Beat Baltimore 11-4. Clinch first in AL Central

The Cleveland Indians wasted no time today trying to get the lead against the Baltimore Orioles. After a 6-4 loss at home yesterday, Cleveland came out on a mission and looking to take over the top spot on the AL Central. 

Yan Gomes scored three times in the win. A solid outing by Danny Salazar only allowed two runs in six innings. The team had 13 hits total against a pretty good pitching rotation. 

Salazar (5-3) had his worst start of the season last game but came up big even though he allowed 6 hits. Baltimore’s Ubaldo Jimenez (2-6) was charged with six runs in 1 2/3 innings. Three runs in the first were counted as unearned runs due to Orioles third baseman Pedro Alvarez.

This is the first time since 2013 that Cleveland has been alone at the top of the standings in the AL Central. Hopefully the good fortune sticks around for the team as they look to get back to playoff form.

RECAP: Cavs route Raptors 113-87. Win second consecutive Eastern Conference Championship.

For the first time in team history, the Cleveland Cavaliers are headed to their second consecutive NBA Finals apperence. They defeated the Toronto Raptors in a convincing 113-87 win. 

Clevelands big three came through with flying colors in this game. LeBron notched his first 30+ point game of the entire 2016 playoffs and tacked on six assists and 11 rebound. Good enough for a double double. Kyrie was phenomenal on both sides of the ball with 30 points, playoff career high nine assists, one block and three steals.

Kevin Love showed that he can produce on the road in the playoffs. He had 20 points, four assists and 12 rebounds for another postseason double double. J.R. Smith made his usual ridiculous contested three point shots to add on 15 points.

Nothing but praise for the Toronto Raptors. This team battled in two seven game series against Indiana and Miami and left everything they had on the floor in every game. They were only one game behind the Cavs in the standings for a reason. The fans are unbelievable. Even late in the fourth quarter, when the game seemed to be out of hand, they stayed until the very end chanting “Let’s go Raptors!” and even after the loss, they chanted “we the north.” They did an amazing job against the Cavs and the rest of the teams they faced in the playoffs. 

DeMar DeRozen (20 points, three assists and three rebounds) is a phenomenal player and was on the All Start team representing the east for a reason. An outstanding performance from Kyle Lowry (35 points, three assists and three rebounds) brought Toronto back from 21 points down in the third quarter to cut the Cavs lead to 8. Lowry had 18 points in that quarter alone.

The Cavaliers now wait patiently for the Western Conference to conclude as defending champs Golden State Warriors go into Oklahoma City Thunder where the Thunder have a chance to end the series at home being up 3-2 in the series.

PREVIEW: Cleveland @ Toronto Game 6.

The Cleveland Cavaliers, after dismantling the Toronto Raptors in game five 116-78, are headed back to the great white north to try and end the Eastern Conference Finals once and for all. Cleveland is 0-2 so far at Toronto and it’s a chance for Raptors fans to be hopeful.

When the Cavs have won, they have an average of 113 points a game and a victory margin of 29.3 points per game. It’s surprising to read those stats and believe that Toronto is only down one game in the series. 

Toronto has shown that they can keep up with the Cavs when they play at home. The Raptors won game three by 15 points and held off a late Cavs rally in the second half of game four and won by six. They’re not the offensive juggernaut that the Cavs are but their home court defense can stop anyone. 

Kevin Love, Kyrie Irving and LeBron James combined for 71 of the 116 points scored in game five. That was almost enough to outscore Toronto’s point total for the game (76) and Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan combined for only 27 points in the game. When the duo of Lowry and DeRozen score under 30 points in a game, the Raptors are 1-7 in the playoffs this season.

The Cavaliers need to keep their offensive dominance going from game five if they hope to finally get a win in Toronto. It seems that Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love have trouble finding their shot in these road games. 

Speaking of which, Kevin Love needs to keep getting fed inside the paint to open up the floor for the other shooters to get open shots. LeBron should have no problem driving to the basket but like I said, this Raptor defense at home is nothing to be taken lightly. 

Kyrie isn’t having trouble penetrating the paint and getting to the rim, but finishing seems to be his problem. Although he’s been efficient scoring the entire playoffs, Kyrie should sit back and play more of a true point guard role and let Love, James, J.R. Smith and the bench do the heavy lifting.

As for the Raptors, Lowry and DeRozen need to take over this game early like they have in past road game. They need to score more than 30 combined and have another 20+ rebound and defensive perfection from Bismack Biyombo. It’ll be interesting to see how Biyombo will be used now that Jonas Valanciunas is now back in the rotation. 

I think the Cavs will close out the series tonight. It won’t be pretty but I don’t think Kevin Love will show up and be a factor in the win. Although Lowry and DeRozen will have a good game, it won’t be enough to outscore the red hot Cavs. I say Cavs 99-87.