After seeing how both the Cubs and Indians relied successfully on their bullpens to make it through the postseason, other teams have begun to copy the strategy in hopes of pulling through the postseason. The Yankees pushed hard for David Robertson and the underrated Tommy Kahnle — who is quietly having a terrific season and striking out a career-high 16.2 per nine innings — to be included in the Todd Frazier deal. We’ve also seen reports linking the Dodgers to Zach Britton, one of the best relievers in the game. The Nationals are seemingly locked for a playoff spot, but picked up Ryan Madson and Sean Doolittle from the Athletics to shore up a terrible bullpen.
Kyrie Irving. With apologies to Millsap and Anthony, tonight’s Stud of the Night honor goes to the Cleveland point guard.
Irving, going head-to-head against Russell Westbrook for much of Sunday’s game, led the Cavaliers with 29 points and 10 assists in a 107-91 win over the Thunder. It was his seventh double-double of the season.
While Westbrook had his typical scoresheet-stuffing night — 20 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists for his 24th triple-double of the season — he got all turned around by Irving on this three-point play in the second quarter.
Irving got that laugh, and the last one, too, as the Cavs won for just the third time in their ten most recent games.
But it’s not just Boston. The Raptors have reconfigured and, they hope, revitalized their rotation. The Wizards took the Celtics to seven games in the conference semis last year. The Heat were among the best teams in basketball in the second half of last season. The Bucks, with budding star Giannis Antetokounmpo, will be angling for a breakout season.
This is almost always the way with modern NBA superteams. They sprout, and Wholesale NHL Jerseys they flame out ahead of their time. The Cavaliers are not dead yet, of course. But they’re already UK Cheap Jerseys limping into next season.