Entrance Exams and meeting Kise Ryota | Japanese Lunchtime Rush (Ep. 2)

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-te6mu-aabd19

Welcome to Japanese Lunchtime Rush, a podcast within the WHY Cast? podcast feed where Cale and GeOm take a break from talking about entertainment and gaming to dive deeply into the world of the popular anime, Kuroko no Basket. This will be a series updated every Wednesday that will feature the hosts recapping the episode of the week, discussing various parts in detail, and comparing the show to actual basketball. 

If you want to watch along, every episode of the show can be viewed on Crunchyroll and VRV for free with ads or ad-free with a membership. The hosts watch one episode per week, so there is always plenty of time to catch up!

This week, the crew watched Episode Two and talk about the hijinks of the newly recruited Kagami, Kuroko, and Freshman Trio as they officially join the basketball club and meet the first member of the Generation of Miracles – Kise Ryota. 

CONNECT:

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The Basketball Which Kuroko Plays | Japanese Lunchtime Rush (Ep. 1)

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-h94cf-a9eb2e

Welcome to Japanese Lunchtime Rush, a podcast within the WHY Cast? podcast feed where Cale and GeOm take a break from talking about entertainment and gaming to dive deeply into the world of the popular anime, Kuroko no Basket. This will be a series updated every Wednesday that will feature the hosts recapping the episode of the week, discussing various parts in detail, and comparing the show to actual basketball. 

If you want to watch along, every episode of the show can be viewed on Crunchyroll and VRV for free with ads or ad-free with a membership. The hosts watch one episode per week, so there is always plenty of time to catch up. 

This week, the crew watched the first episode and reminisced about their first time viewing the show, discussed character introductions, and focused on some of the main themes that will become reoccurring over the next several seasons. 

CONNECT:

Website: https://xjustified.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/XJustified
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/xjustified/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/XJustified

SUBSCRIBE HERE:

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/0HDyF3VydL5oVlAIERVdjz
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/why-cast/id1451562626
Google Play: https://play.google.com/music/listen?u=0#/ps/Ivnqjalajqqjvgryfjibf3mx5rm
Podbean: https://calesmichael.podbean.com/
Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/cale-michael/why-cast?refid=stpr
Pocket Casts: https://t.co/GDuZHPOQqk
Castbox: https://castbox.fm/channel/WHY-Cast%3F-id2034757?country=us

JOIN OUR DISCORD:

Discord: https://discord.gg/nTX94zn

Trade Deadline Talk and Kevin Durant’s Mindset, with Zach Cronin | The W.H.Y. Cast? (Ep. 2)

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-hybck-a73a17

Cale Michael and Zach Cronin hop on their mics to talk about everything that happened at the NBA Trade Deadline, what some of these trades mean for the league and how all of these moves could end up shaping the NBA in the near future. 

Timecodes:

No timecodes for this episode, listen at your own risk!

A simple letter to Gordon Hayward

A simple letter written by a fan to Gordon Hayward.

Dear Gordan,

You don’t know me and I don’t know you, and that’s fine. I fully expect you not to read this article at all, but I need to get this off of my chest regardless.

Continue reading “A simple letter to Gordon Hayward”

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

Who won the 2017 NBA Draft Lottery?

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.

NA LCS Finals: Thoughts and Predictions

With this weekend being Finals, the North American LCS 2017 Spring Split will soon come to a conclusion with the 3rd place match between Phoenix 1 and FlyQuest and the 1st place match between Team Solo Mid and Cloud 9.

Meaning that the split will come to an upsetting and predictable end. Upsetting not because I dislike the teams in the finals (this shows that they are the best in the region and thus deserved the spot), but rather because I feel that we all wanted something different, given that this year’s finals is simply a mirror of the 2016 Summer Split.

The regular split and finals thus far were full of excitement and upsets only to end on the same terms as last time. It does however give these two teams (which let’s be honest are the best hope this region has to win internationally) a chance to gain momentum going into summer spit and possibly worlds.

The winners will also earn a spot in the 2017 MSI where they will test the waters against the international teams they will most likely see at worlds. As far as which team I think will win, I have to go with TSM.

 

Though they had a rough beginning this split, TSM has shown significant progress as a team. They came in with a new ADC and it really seemed to mess them up at first. But since TSM WildTurtle has settled in to his past home the team is functioning as well as ever.

Whereas C9 synergized from the start with their new top lane they steadily lost their lead towards the end. And though they seem to have fixed their problems (judging from their 3-0 victory against P1) I still feel as though TSM is stronger at this point.

Given that TSM Hauntzer has shown time and time again he can survive (and mostly win) against anything a team can throw (It’s been awhile since I’ve seen a top lane 2v1 so well) and with TSM Bjergsen being able to stomp anyone in the region who is put in his lane, I see little room for C9 outside of bot lane (where TSM should be able to hold the line as well).

But seeing that TSM likes to throw the first games in these matches then sweep the next 3 I suspect the series will end 3-1 TSM (maybe 3-2 if things don’t go as planned one game).

After Finals the team that wins will compete at MSI where they face off against the winner of the splits around the world and where the season gets truly exciting.

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

NA LCS Quaterfinals Recap

This past weekend marked the completion of the quarterfinals for the North American LCS spring playoffs.

In this, the teams that earned 4th -6th place during the regular season competed to earn a spot in the semifinals against the first seed Team Solo Mid and the second seed Cloud 9. Team Dignitas competed against Phoenix 1 and Count Logic Gaming faced off against FlyQuest.

The first match between Dignitas and P1when about as well for Dignitas as you’d expect. P1 came out strong from the start and swept them in a 3-0 series leaving Dignitas behind.

P1 has shown time and time again that they are a formidable team (if getting 3rd in their first season wasn’t enough) and they showed that again with the only clean sweep thus far in the playoffs.

As for Team Dignitas, they will be going home for now, but they will return for a chance at redemption in the summer split.

The second match of the quarterfinals however, didn’t go as many expected. CLG started off strong coming out of the gate winning the first two games of the series. But then things went horribly wrong for CLG.

Their opponents FlyQuest came of the second game ready to play and showed it by winning the match with a reverse sweep making the final score 3-2 FlyQuest. Though I will say that CLG has certainly not been playing as well as they have in the past but this was unexpected.

In previous splits where CLG seemed to fall short in the regular season they have picked up the slack and performed very well in playoffs, but that just wasn’t the case this split. However much like Dignitas they will have a chance in the summer to show that they can perform when it matters.

This weekend is the semifinals. Meaning C9 will face off against P1 and TSM against FlyQuest. And though I had hoped to see the rivalry of TSM vs CLG I’m sure both games will hold plenty of excitement.

NA LCS Promotional Tournament Wrap-Up

The last few weeks have been stressful for every team in the North American professional scene as they prepare for playoffs. But the teams with the hardest week were those competing in the promotional tournament this past weekend.

The winners of which are given a spot in the North American LCS Summer Split and a chance to compete for a spot at the World Champions. Team Liquid of course, competed in the LCS this past spring split, and though they fixed many problems with the movement of Piglet to Mid lane and the addition of DoubleLift as ADC, they still fell short due to their poor performance in the beginning of the spit.

Team Envy on the other habitually showed poor macroplay that allowed teams with less individual talent to out scale the typically strong individual players in Envy. These teams competed against the first and second place of the Challenger Series Spring Split.

Team Liquid played against first place eUnited and Team Envy faced off against the second place Gold Coin United.

Going into this series I wasn’t sure what to expect. Both LCS teams had the potential to win but could have easily fallen short had they not showed up to play. The first matches saw a Team Liquid win (with DoubleLift and Piglet winning at this level isn’t surprising) and a Gold Coin United win (also not surprising).

These teams then faced off against each other. But Team Liquid was able to pull the win (3-2) leaving Gold Coin United to play against Team Envy who were able to eliminate eUnited. Envy Tried to throw the games but were able to pull out a win, keep their spot and return to the LCS along with Team liquid.

I can’t say these games weren’t close and the challenger teams played well but they fell just short, but the promotional was just the beginning of the playoff season.

This weekend is the beginning of the NA LCS spring playoffs, where Counter Logic Gamming will play against FlyQuest and Phoenix 1 will play against Team Dignitas. So I’m sure many surprises are in store in the coming weeks.