Hello Sports fans! It is here! The NBA 2015-2016 kicked off last night.
Who played and what happened?
The Hawks lost to the Pistons, 94-106. The Bulls overcame LeBron James’ 15 points and 10 rebounds to beat the Cavs by a narrow margin of 97-95. President Obama was also in attendance.
The Defending Champs, Golden State Warriors received their rings and their opening game was versus the Pelicans. It was raining 3s from reigning MVP Stephen Curry who made 40 points. When he had 20 points, so did the Pelicans. Amazing. The Pelicans’ Anthony Davis struggled and managed to make 18 points. Final score was Warriors 111- 95 Pelicans.
The Spurs vs OKC and other teams will be up tonight!
Nobody saw the Clippers yielding so easily to the Rockets. After being ahead in the series, they allowed a 19-point lead to slip away in a crucial Game 6 and were totally blown away by the Rockets in the second half of Game 7 yesterday. Quite disappointing and hard to watch. The Defending Champs, the Spurs would have put up a better fight. So it will be the Cook vs. the Splash Brothers! Can the runner-up MVP beat the MVP?
Hawks vs Cavs for the Eastern Conference Division this Wednesday! Did Kyrie Irving get enough rest after injuring his knee in the last game? Suga thinks he will be alright and the Cavs should make it to the Finals with or without him.
The Warriors vs Rockets for the West should be an interesting match up. Both faced elimination with their previous opponents. It shall come down to the power of the 3s and defense.
It all starts this Tuesday with the Rockets at the Warriors and Wednesday it will be the the Cavs at the Hawks! Get your popcorn ready!
What is happening to the unguardable MVP, Steph Curry?! Has he met the best defense team in the league? A big part of the Grizzlies’ success has been Tony Allen, who, after an athletic diving steal from Klay Thompson in the 3rd quarter last Tuesday, kept shouting convincingly, ‘First-team all-defense!’. For the N.B.A. all-defensive team, voted on by writers and broadcasters, Allen was second team in 2011, and first team in 2012 and 2013. He was passed over last year and this year’s selections have not been announced as yet. The Grizzlies now have a 2-1 lead in the series.
The Bulls-Cavs series is now drawn at 2-2. The last 2 games have been won by buzzer-beaters. LeBron James missed the lay-up in the game Friday, then D. Rose hit the buzzer-beater, game-winning 3-point shot to beat the Cavs 99-96. Suga’s Play of the year nominee! Bulls led series 2-1 then LeBron James of the Cavs came back with a vengeance and worked hard for his Buzzer-beater yesterday to make up for the last game, beating the Bulls 86-84. Pau Gasol from the Bulls continues to sit out the game with a hamstring injury.
Paul Pierce of the Wizards also hit a buzzer-beater, a jump shot to beat the Hawks 103-101 on Saturday to lead the series 2-1 without John Wall who is still out with a hand injury.
Meanwhile, the Clippers are smoking the Rockets, burning down ‘the Cook’, Harden’s kitchen, with or without CP3. Despite a great team effort, Austin Rivers from the bench has been showing up big time along with starter, J.J. Redick. Last night they rolled to a 128-95 win over the Rockets to lead the series 3-1.
Tonight will be Wizards vs Hawks in Washington (2-1) and Warriors vs Grizzlies in Memphis (2-1).
We are getting closer to the Conference Finals! Who will it be?
What are we paying to see at the moment? Hardly anything. This situation has been brewing in the open since local television decided to buy the rights for The Voice to see our local artist, Tessanne Chin’s season. Coverage was choppy and delayed. Then went the USA series, Suits followed by Empire. What was alarming was that in the case of the new hot series, Empire, they expected viewers to wait an entire WEEK to see the 2-hour season 1 finale. Unacceptable. The only reason they did not try the same thing with Scandal, is because they are so far behind in the season they are currently showing. The same thing has also been happening with football fans for years, not being able to see some games live or getting crappy commentary. This pushes persons to watch shows or sports online and defeats the whole purpose of local television showing desired content and thus boosting its viewership. Also remember that the west channels such as ABC west etc. with a later feed (3 hours after) are no longer available from FLOW. So if we do not make it home in time, we cannot watch the show later in the night.
Now here comes Digicel Sportsmax acquiring the rights to show the NBA. Which group of so called ‘Sports fans’ sat around a table and made the decision to show SOME of the NBA playoffs this year? Who gave them the right to choose what games we can see, or how do they choose what games should be shown?! How can that be logical in any way, shape or form? If they could not afford to show ALL of the games, then they should not show any at all. Simple! And how could the Broadcasting Commission of Jamaica approve this madness? Where is the balance of interest for us, the consumers? How could a contract be signed for only Digicel Sportsmax to show the NBA 2015 Playoffs even though they stated they are only showing 18 NBA Playoff games, the Conference finals and the Finals? 18 games are not even 5% of the games before the Conference finals, not even knowing which series will go to a Game 7. So any other channel that we are currently paying for, and that is showing the game is blocked?
Now it seems Digicel Sportsmax opened a can of worms because they have stated on Facebook that, ‘the blocking of channels showing the NBA has been done because the cable operator does not have the rights to that channel for broadcast in the Caribbean.’ Also that, ‘it has nothing to do with Sportsmax.’ Of course it does, because if it was not for Sportsmax putting this contract forward to the NBA and drawing attention to us, (although we should run things legally but who cares) the NBA would not have looked into our cable providers, i.e. FLOW and realise they have not been showing NBA on channels like NBA TV and ABC legally in the first place; hence blocking them now. Then FLOW has its customer service agents lying to the public saying that channels such as TNT US are blocked because only Digicel Sportsmax has the legal right to show the NBA games. Fortunately for us, the NBA authorized that ESPN and SPACE (Who knows what or where is SPACE) cannot be blocked in this region. However, unfortunately for us, not all NBA Playoff games will be shown on ESPN but on many other channels that are blocked such as TNT US, NBA TV etc.
Also, how many years is this stupid contract for? We have gone from All Access to almost zero access. Where are the answers? Where is the communication from FLOW and how are they going to fix this moving forward? Will they only make an effort if they see a dip in subscribers or are we to accept that they are not going to fix this, purchase NBA League Pass and stream to our big screens or set up an American cable system such as DSS? All this contraption, instead of simply turning on the television?! There goes supporting Brand Jamaica because I know for sure many persons will not be supporting this inconsiderate act.
By the way, not showing the games was just scratching the surface. I will not even begin to go into the quality of feed and commentary. Isn’t this counter intuitive to growing the sport as well?!
So where do we go from here? How many more shows and programmes will be taken? And WHEN will our bills or charges be reduced by FLOW? Robbery. That is what this is. Robbery of our money, joy, bar time and sanity in our living rooms.
Yesterday was the last day of the 2014-2015 regular season. The 2015 NBA Playoffs begin this Saturday, April 18. The Atlanta Hawks clinched the Eastern Conference division, while the Golden State Warriors clinched the Western Conference division. The NBA broke its attendance record by drawing nearly 22 million fans during the 2014-15 regular season.
Russell Westbrook closed the season as the highest scorer with an average of 28.1 points per game, although that meant nothing to him because he will be sitting at home watching the playoffs as OKC finished 9th in the Western Conference division.
Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade will also be watching the playoffs from home for the second time. While the Lakers and Knicks closed their worst seasons in franchise history. Lakers with a 21-61 record and Knicks with a 17-65 record. Shameful.
Of course, the Cavaliers open playoffs as favourites to win the title. But let us see, as the Spurs or Warriors will be great contenders!
After a long day of work, ready to unwind with the Spurs-Heat NBA game on TNTUS, I saw it was blocked. I was not the least bit amused. It was a mixed feeling of panic, shock and anger all at the same time. My favourite sport blocked?! This was not a Tv show I could find online later or watch at my leisure when ready, it was a LIVE game. FLOW stated, ‘Digicel Sportsmax have bought the rights’, so I called immediately to subscribe. What about persons that do not have or wish not to spend more money on subscription channels? After all, I AM already paying for TNTUS. I then think I am missing a huge part of the game since it took 35 minutes to speak to a FLOW agent. The 2 Sportsmax channels were finally added. Angry but ready, what do I turn to Digicel Sportsmax to see? Football! on one channel, ok, the next? Sports Zone! News!, telling me about their big announcement yesterday about their ‘ideal’ acquisition with the NBA to show the games. Great. How about actually showing the game then?! Waiting any minute for them to cut and show the game, nope, did not happen. They chose to only show the second game scheduled on TNTUS that night, Warriors vs Clippers. At this point I was Irate.
So with investigation and according to digicelgroup.com, yes, Digicel Sportsmax have secured NBA rights in more than 30 Caribbean territories, making Digicel the official partner of the NBA in the region. They now have a MULTI-YEAR partnership with the NBA that will deliver live games and extensive NBA programming. Where was my Spurs-Heat live game?!
They will show 48 regular season games and 8 playoff games each season. They also claim to include the highlights show ‘NBA Action’, NBA TV and select classic games. So what about the games they don’t select? Are they going to block them too like last night?
For a full broadcast schedule, we are to visit digicelsportsmax.com but up to last night they still only had last week’s schedule up. The FLOW guide is also useless. Today I see a schedule in the paper. I am not going to have the paper at home when I am ready to watch tv, nor feel like going through the hassle to look up a Sportsmax schedule online.
I am all for progress and admire the ambition of our local television networks and the fact that Digicel has made a significant step in evolution from a pure mobile generator to a total communications and entertainment provider, but they have crossed the line with this one. I admire it but I do not care and I don’t think half of the passionate basketball fans in Jamaica and the Caribbean care either. No money is going into our pockets. More is being taken out. President and Sportsmax CEO, Olly McIntosh stated that ‘For fans this is a real treat with Digicel Sportsmax bringing a true Caribbean feel to the programming and basketball fans closer to court side than ever before’. What treat?! Not showing all the games? I already felt close to court side before this. Why must customers pay for a cable service that is constantly being disrupted? Why must customers be subjected to this? What am I left with? When will it end? It is unfair. We are expected to pay extra for channels that some of us do not want to watch, to see only SOME of our usual programmes. They block the channel from showing the programme and they do not show the programme on the station that they forced us to subscribe to. In the case of TV shows, for instance with the new show, EMPIRE, local Tv waits a whole week to show a finale that has been aired. Are they serious? Who waits a whole two weeks for a finale? Did they do the maths there?
Thank goodness for NBA League Pass, but you have to pay for that as well. I personally prefer to watch the game on the big screen and not a computer or phone if I don’t stream to the tv or have All Share Cast. The NBA League Pass does not show ‘Inside the NBA’, which was also blocked, or Halftime shows.
If our cable providers or television networks plan to make such a huge step, being inconsiderate of fans that not only just watch the game but all the juicy, in-depth analysis that comes with it as well, be prepared to show the game in the first place and have quality feed too.
I already looked through the newspaper in the early am, so after an extremely long work day, like others, I would have loved to unwind in peace, watching the channels that I just finished working hard all day to pay for. I do not feel like watching the news or anything else, I had a timer set on my phone app to watch a specific game. My therapy. Others who have to work and to a larger extent kids to take care of etc. and needed this outlet, that small time for themselves, were robbed last night and sadly may be robbed even further by Digicel Sportsmax. If I was so irate last night, I don’t want to see myself during the Playoffs! Fix it Sportsmax! Fix it! Or jus do not bother to psychologically and emotionally mess with our daily lives and routines. It affects our health as well by raising our blood pressure. Fix it.