Breven’s Sports Blog: NBA Finals Preview

Thus far, the NBA Playoffs has been pretty predictable, but still very exciting. Tomorrow, the NBA Finals begins with the back-to-back champions, the Golden State Warriors looking to go for a three-peat against the Toronto Raptors.

Let’s take a look back at how these two teams got to the Finals; The top-seeded Golden State Warriors were able to get past the Los Angeles Clippers in six games, despite losing center Demarcus Cousins to injury. Warriors’ forward Kevin Durant got past the Clippers and was one point shy of recording an NBA-record for most points scored in the first half of  playoff game. He did this in game six by tallying 38 points. Durant would finish with 50 points in the Warriors’ close-out game. Although Durant could not quite make history, one of his teammates did.

The two-time Most Valuable Player and Warriors’ Captain, Stephen Curry passed Ray Allen for made 3-pointers in the playoffs in game one, which he finished with 38 points and made eight shots from beyond the arc.

The Toronto Raptors entered the playoffs as the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference and was able to hold off the No. 7 Orlando Magic in five games. The Magic was able to pull off a game one upset win in Toronto, but the Raptors would win the next four.

The Raptors have been on the rise. They were the best team in the Eastern Conference last year and lost to the Cavaliers in Round two. After trading a star (DeMar DeRozan) for another star (Kawhi Leonard), it elevates a franchise to win more. Even though the Raptors have former SDSU Men’s Basketball player, Leonard, the difference maker is Kyle Lowry.

In the loss to the Magic in the first game, he did not score and was 0-6 beyond the 3-point line. But in game two, Lowry would give the Raptors 22 points in the 111-82 blowout at home.

Not saying that Leonard is not good (I mean he is one of the best players in the NBA), but it is Lowry who was drafted by the Raptors and been a part of the organization for seven years while getting the Raptors over the ‘hump’ against teams. He knows the fans, the fans know who he is and when a player becomes a franchise player, like Curry, like Kobe Bryant, and like Dwyane Wade (in Miami), they step up and change the culture of the franchise.

Conference Semifinals

Round two of the playoffs featured a rematch between the Warriors and the No. 4 Houston Rockets. Both teams were able to hold home-field advantage from one another through the first five games.

However in game six, the Warriors lost their superstar, Kevin Durant to a right calf strain, but the Splash Brothers of Steph Curry and Klay Thompson combined to score 60 points and overpowered the Rockets’ backcourt of Chris Paul and James Harden, winning 118-113 on the road.

With the road victory, the Warriors secured their 21st straight series win with at least one road victory. The Rockets kept saying all year long about how they were going to take down the Warriors.

The Raptors played a good Philadelphia 76ers team in the semifinals that had a starting five, similar to the Warriors, led by center Joel Embiid. In addition, they had Ben Simmons, Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris.

In seven games, the Raptors would be the team to win all four games, but it was Leonard to put the icing on the cake.

He went from the top of the key to the baseline, right in front of the Toronto bench and nail the shot at the buzzer, making him the only player in NBA history to hit a buzzer-beater to win game seven. Not only did he make the shot, but the ball bounced on the rim not once, not twice, but three times, just to make the play more intense.

Conference Finals

In the Conference Finals, the Raptors faced the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks and the Warriors faced the No. 3 Portland Trailblazers. The Warriors secured home field by winning the first two games of the series. Warriors’ head coach Steve Kerr called the game two victory, “a steal.”

For the first two games in Milwaukee, the Bucks were able to also hold home field over the Raptors with Bucks’ Brook Lopez hitting a key three-pointer to seal the game one victory.

When it was Portland’s turn to play in front of their home crowd in both games 3 and 4, they would get out to big leads, but would lose it in the second half of both games and get swept to the reigning champions.

The Warriors were used to being down and finding a way back to ignite a push for the win. Remember last year in the Western Conference Finals against the Houston Rockets when they were down in game six facing elimination and came back to win. In addition, it also came in the following game in a game seven, where the Warriors had to do the same thing, but on the road to win the game and the series.

Warriors’ guard Stephen Curry, who averaged 36.5 points in the series, and Portland’s Seth Curry became the first brothers to play each other in a Conference finals series.

The Eastern Conference Finals series was not like the Warriors sweeping Trailblazers in the West. After being down 2-0 in the series, the Raptors were able to win game three in two overtimes with Leonard keeping them in the game playing 52 minutes, the most he’s ever played in a game. The Raptors would take over for the rest of the series. They overpowered the Bucks and would win a total of four straight games, en route to winning its first Eastern Conference Finals series in franchise history.

The Finals

Now it is time to see who will heist the Larry O’Brien trophy. It all comes down to this series between the Golden State Warriors and the Toronto Raptors to determine will be named the 2018-19 NBA Champions. The Warriors, who have made it to the NBA Finals for a fifth straight year, look to win the title and bring another championship back to the bay area and in the final season of Oracle Arena. Will the Warriors be able to defend the title for a third consecutive year and be the first team to three-peat since the 2001-02 Los Angeles Lakers with Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal? Or will the Raptors win their first championship since joining the NBA and overthrow Dub Nation’s reign?

Here’s my prediction: Warriors in 6 games;

Finals MVP: Stephen Curry

With or without Durant, the Warriors have the experience with Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Andre Iguoudala and Shaun Livingston. The Warriors, whether they are the favorites or not have the ability to win. This is the final year at Oracle Arena, home of Dub Nation for the past 47 and they will send Oracle the right way: a championship in the final game, game six.

Written by: Breven Honda

The Pansexual Panel: Group Sex and Polyamory

The Pansexual Panel

Group sex, polyamory, and most importantly, taking care of yourself is the core message of the latest issue of The Pansexual Panel.

Let’s all collectively admit that people are giving polyamory a bad name by slapping it on every instance of group sex and calling it a day. Okay, now let’s take a step back and really dig into what the heck I’m talking about. Just the other day a question threw me for a loop; how do people even get into a situation were multiple people want to have sex with you?

It’s a fair question. And on my part, all the situations I’ve ended up in before just happened naturally. Not to say some didn’t have a few kinks (no pun intended) to work out. But to be perfectly honest it was more of a “right time, right place” kind of situation. Before delving into the topic, it should be noted that when polyamory is done right, when everyone is open and honest about their needs and wants, it works really well. It does require that you put out a lot more effort, but the payoff is almost always worth it.

And for the uninitiated: “Polyamory is the practice of, or desire for, intimate relationships with more than one partner, with the consent of all partners involved.”

Let’s assume for this round that you are in fact looking to get into a sexual encounter with multiple people at the same time. Well good for you! Most people feel weird about sex in general but here you are wanting to dive head first into sexual exploration. My first instinct is to over plan, so definitely do not do that. However, this doesn’t mean you should skip expectations and limits. That’s right: LIMITS! Just because it’s a more open group doesn’t mean you have to compromise something. Establish these rules before moving forward and people will know you are serious about your boundaries.

Safety should always stick at the top of the list, both mentally and physically. Are you sexually active? Then get tested every 6 months to a year, or better yet, every 3-6 months. As long as you are making yourself top priority, you can literally do anything you like. Oftentimes people will try to rain on your parade and limit what you do; don’t let them! That message is especially directed towards femmes and ladies: slut shaming isn’t cool, “dude,” and I’m here to tell you that everyone else is just JEALOUS. That’s right, full on Jelly!

But all in all, if you want more legitimate information about sex in general check out the book: The Guide to Getting It On by Paul-Joannides

This book changed my life when I first read it 8 years ago, and I sure hope it gets you started down a road of sexual positivity. Until next time, enjoy your sex and make sure you don’t compromise your comfort for some else’s pleasure.

Written by: Jonathan Sotelo

How Will Rashaad Penny Do In His 2nd NFL Season?

Speculations on the Seattle Seahawks decision to draft Rashaad Penny as their 27th overall pick, and what’s next for the SDSU alumni.

With the 2019 NFL Scouting combine, the top talent from this year’s NCAA class will be showcasing their skills in order to land themselves on a professional football team come time April. A couple of those prospects include junior defensive end Nick Bosa from Ohio State (L.A. Charger Joey Bosa’s brother), Christian Wilkins from the national championship winning Clemson Tigers, and the University of Alabama’s running back Josh Jacobs. However, I was left wondering how some of the prospects that went onto to be drafted from last season were holding up in the National Football League? One person stood out to me right away… Rashaad Penny.

Rashaad Penny, a San Diego State University graduate and former Heisman Trophy candidate, weighed 220 pounds and ran a 4.46 second 40 yard dash at the 2018 combine in Indianapolis. Though some scouts believed him to be a slow and heavy running back, I knew from my time watching him at San Diego State that he was going to be a threat at the professional level.

Expectations for Rashaad Penny were initially low, but then…

The Seattle Seahawks decided to trade one of their draft picks to acquire Rashaad Penny as the 27th overall pick. I guess San Diego State alumni make 1st round picks too! Immediately, there was buzz surrounding the Seahawks’ latest 1st round draft choice. Pete Prisco, a sports writer, did not take too kindly to the choice and gave the Seahawks a D grade.

“He’s a nice runner, but they have so many other needs and there are better backs. Weird.” Prisco said.

The pick started to make more sense to me as I thought about it. With the loss of Eddie Lacy and Thomas Rawls to free agency because of a plagued offensive line and lack of production in the run game, nobody was there to receive a handoff from Russel Wilson for Pete Carroll’s offense except for Chris Carson & Mike Davis (who combined for a lackluster 448 rushing yards all of 2017). I guess this is where head coach Pete Carroll thought Penny could fill in.

“He’s a fantastic competitor in that he’s applied himself so much to get his pass protection stuff right, which he knew he needed to do in terms of the scheme and physical side of it.”

Rashaad Penny has done a decent amount of work out of the gate for his new home team…

Over the course of the first four games, Penny managed to carry the ball 29 times. However, his carries were limited to Carson and Davis for the next 4 weeks and only received 54 rushing yards over that time span. I was afraid that Penny was starting to turn more into his SDSU teammate, Donnel Pumphrey, who got cut by the Philadelphia Eagles after just one season. However, that all changed when Penny went off against the Los Angeles Rams at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum where he ran 108 yards and scored first career rushing touchdown. Penny then went on to score one more touchdown later in the season against the San Francisco 49ers.

Let’s get some things straight. The Seahawks like to use the West Coast offense behind offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer. They also utilize the run-pass option in which Russel Wilson can hand off in case of a blitz, or tuck and run to pick up a few yards if need be. I believe Rashaad Penny is perfect for this style of play. He can pass block while receivers such as Baldwin and Locket get open in the slot, or he can take the ball up the center of the field pick up some yardage on a draw play.

Will Rashaad Penny produce more in his second year?

I believe so. He is a big, versatile back that can run the ball and catch passes when he needs to. It appears that he has found a home in Seattle for the time being and I can’t see any reason why Coach Pete Carroll would want to get rid of him anytime soon. Unless the Seahawks trade up again to acquire another back in the draft or they pick up one in free agency this summer, I can’t see him getting less touches than he had the previous year.

I predict that Penny will at least match and/or increase his total of touchdowns in the 2019 season. I also believe he will double his all-purpose yards to bring him in somewhere between 800-900 yards. This is all being said if he stays healthy.

I guess only time will tell.

Written by: Jacob McCulloh

SDSU Lacrosse Falls 13-9 to Arizona

Aztec men’s lacrosse

The San Diego State men’s lacrosse team went up against one of their rivals on Saturday, losing 13-9 against the University of Arizona.

The Aztecs men’s lacrosse team welcomed Arizona’s Wildcats over at the Mesa in what was a very anticipated game. Arizona came into the game with a 2-2 record and the Aztecs came in to the day at 3-2.

SDSU came out firing quickly taking a 4-0 lead just 4 minutes into the first quarter. Junior Pat Greene scored three of the goals and assisted on the fourth. Arizona was able to adjust to the Aztec offense and eventually go on a 4 goal run of their own ending the first quarter at a 4-4 tie.

Arizona took a 7-4 lead into the second half.

The offense continued to look flat starting the second half as bad turnovers and missed shots began to pile up for the Aztecs. They were finally able to break through towards the end of the third quarter but Arizona answered with two quick goals making it 9-5 heading to the fourth quarter.

The Aztecs offense finally started to click after Arizona was given a 3 minute non releasable penalty early in the fourth. SDSU scored 3 goals on the man up advantage cutting the deficit to just one. A few minutes later Junior Ben Borglin ripped a shot beating the Arizona evening the score at 9.

After they tied the game the Aztecs started to play undisciplined, leading to bad penalties and Arizona was able to capitalize scoring 4 unanswered goals of their own. Arizona would hold on to this lead and ultimately beat the Aztecs by a final of 13-9. After the game Junior captain Pat Greene had this to say about the loss.

“It was a tough loss, we had a chance to come back and win but we just lost our composure a little at the end,” Greene said. “We have to make sure not to let our emotions get the better of us in these close games.”

The Aztecs are now 3-3 on the season and will be on the road for two critical conference games this weekend. The Aztecs will take on Claremont on Saturday and Concordia Irvine on Sunday. Concordia Irvine is led by former Aztec Coach Jesse Foss and are currently ranked 5th in the MCLA with a 5-0 record.

Written by: Anthony Romano