Famous quotes

"Happiness can be defined, in part at least, as the fruit of the desire and ability to sacrifice what we want now for what we want eventually" - Stephen Covey

Monday, May 29, 2017

NBA finals : The trilogy

An article from TheGame Haus
2017 NBA Finals Preview

 The 2017 NBA Finals are set and the wait is finally over. The world gets to see the Golden State Warriors matchup with the Cleveland Cavaliers for the third-straight year in the Finals. It is the grudge match of all grudge matches. Everyone has been waiting for this series since the season tipped off on Oct. 25, 2016. Some have been waiting for this since Kevin Durant signed with the Warriors in July. This third fight between the Warriors and Cavs will be bigger than the “Thrilla in Manila”.

The Golden State Warriors went 67-15 this season following a record-breaking 73-win season in 2016. Golden State also broke the record for most wins over a three-year span.
This Warriors team is actually better than last year’s team thanks to the signing of Kevin Durant. The Warriors took it easy in the regular season because their goal all year was to meet the Cavs in the Finals.
Golden State made quick work of their playoff opponents. They swept all three opponents in a tough Western Conference. What the Warriors have done this postseason has been impressive and they sent a message. Winning the Finals is an obsession to them and nothing else is considered acceptable.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have not had it as easy as the Warriors. Cleveland went 51-31 and finished as the second seed in the East. The Cavs really struggled in the second half of the season. After Jan. 1st the Cavs went 26-24. They looked bad defensively and some started to question whether or not they were capable of another Finals run.
All those questions were put to bed quickly once the playoffs started. The Cavs easily swept the Pacers and Raptors before meeting the top-seeded Celtics in the conference finals. Cleveland then wiped Boston off their home-court in embarrassing fashion. Boston stole game three but all that did was delay the inevitable. Cleveland went on to finish the next two games easily to reach the finals for the third straight year.

The first year these two teams met in the Finals was in 2015. Kevin Love had been hurt in the first round and would miss the remainder of the playoffs.
Game 1 of the Finals dealt another injury to a Cleveland star. Kyrie Irving went down with a fractured kneecap in the first game of the series during overtime. Golden State would win that game and win the series 4-2 to capture its first title in 40 years.

Many called the Warriors title tainted claiming that they would not have won the championship had the Cavaliers been healthy. They were champions without respect and it was their mission to prove they were worthy of the crown.
LeBron had failed to bring a title to Cleveland and many were wondering if it was the right move to leave Miami. The criticism was high despite him averaging 35.8 points per game, 8.8 assists per game and 13.3 rebounds per game while shooting just 38.9 percent from the field. Just as the Warriors were determined to prove they were worthy of the crown, LeBron was determined to bring a title home.

Cleveland and Golden State would meet again in the 2016 Finals for a rematch. Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving were both healthy for this matchup and many thought the Cavaliers would prove they were truly the better team. Coming into the Finals the Cavaliers had only lost two games in the East.
The Warriors had a much tougher road in the West. They had to comeback from being down 3-1 in the Western Conference finals. Throughout the playoffs, Steph Curry and Andre Iguodala were dealing with nagging injuries. They played through those injuries but were not at full strength and expanded tons of energy just to get to the Finals.

In the beginning of the series, none of that seemed to matter. Golden State took a 2-0 series lead and had the largest combined margin of victory in NBA Finals history. Cleveland would win Game 3 and Golden State won Game 4 to take a 3-1 series lead. In that game, Draymond Green was assessed a flagrant foul, setting his playoff total to four, resulting in a suspension for Game 5. No team had ever come back from down 3-1 in the NBA Finals.

Cleveland was able to win Games 5 and Game 6 to force an epic Game 7.
After six games the teams were tied in games won and total score. It was as close as a series as it could ever be and the final game of the year would truly decide a champion.

In Game 7, LeBron James blocked a late layup attempt by Andre Iguodala that set up a game-winning 3-pointer by Kyrie Irving. The Cavs won Game 7 93-89 and ended a 52-year championship drought in the city of Cleveland.
The Warriors had lost in the Finals and believed that had Iggy been healthier he would have dunked the ball. Golden State fans also believed that Curry wasn’t healthy and that if Draymond had not been suspended they would have won Game 6 and the series.

Fast forward to now and here we are set for round three. The Warriors added superstar Kevin Durant to help them get back to the Finals for a third-straight season. The Cavaliers added minor pieces but have made it back to defend their title.

Golden State ended a 40 year drought and Cleveland ended a 52-year drought.
As mentioned earlier the Warriors enter the Finals 12-0 and the Cavaliers enter the Finals 12-1. Both teams sprinted to the Finals as fast as possible, and as rested as possible.

In round three, there are no excuses. Both teams are healthy and both teams will be rested. It is time to put up or shut up. It is time to make a mark on history.
Who’s era is it really? Without trying to predict too far ahead, it is unlikely these teams meet for a fourth straight Finals appearance.

Cleveland comes into the Finals averaging 116.8 points per game while Golden State comes in averaging 118.3 points per game. Both teams are great offensively but the team who plays the best defense will win this series.
There are so many fun matchups the world gets to see in this series as well. Steph Curry and Klay Thompson versus Kyrie Irving. Draymond Green versus Tristan Thompson, LeBron James or Kevin Love.

The most intriguing though is when Kevin Durant and LeBron James match up against one another. Two of the best players in the world will fight it out to be called the champion.

This series will go down in history. At the end of the day, the Warriors are going to win because they have just too much firepower. They lost last season by four points in Game 7. Adding Kevin Durant to the mix will just be too much. All eyes are on the Finals to see who really is the best between these two franchises.
The new greatest rivalry in sports will write the newest chapter this summer, changing legacies forever.

Prediction: Golden State Warriors 4-2

I agree with the above prediction by TheGameHaus. GSW should be able to win this one based on the talent on paper. I have some doubts on Steph curry as he usually comes up short in the finals. The first year Iggy showed his resilience for the Warriors to get though a severely depleted Cavs. so I believe the Durant addition would be a saving grace for them. But it is tough to count Lebron out. The way he motivates his team and somehow manages to get the best out of them by putting them in positions they can excel. Remember how Delly looked like a top 10 player against Steph in 2015 finals. GSW still can outlast an epic performance from Lebron, just assume Lebron is able to shutdown Durant, it has to be Lebron defending cause I dont see anyone else doing it. A simple pass to Draymond with Kevin Love or Tristan against him would be sufficient to take advantage of the matchup. Last year,Cavs attacked Steph defensively but they missed Bogut and Draymond protecting the basket for most of the series. So even if Kyrie attacks Steph there should be Durant(who has shown tremendous improviement in his defensive skills) ,Dray (if he manages to keep off suspension) & JAVALE MCGEE to alter and block shots. Not to mention that GSW went 12-0 without any output from Klay. So all analysis points to the Warriors taking the title. If Cavs still manages to take the title without any injuries on GSW then we have to accept Lebron is on his way to surpass Jordan and Durants legacy would be on hold.
Makes up for a great time for the basketball fans though they have to endure a boring regular/playoff season.

Sunday, May 07, 2017

Focus - Vaibhav Bundhoo

Kimi No Na Wa

Due to my tight TV/Movie viewing schedule, not to mention the renewed interest in reading novels. I have put my anime interest to the backburner. I decided to rather wait for any top reviewed anime. So i was waiting till i noted this..

Kimi No Na Wa

I downloaded the movie in good jiffy speed of 20mins Thanks to my vodafone connection.


My first impressions from this movie has to be the detailed lighting and cinematography in the anime. How is it possible that Japanese animators achieve to portray emotion, atmosphere and human interactions more realistic than the billion dollar creations of Hollywood. It is a testament of their unflinching dedication to telling a "human" story.

Though i dont want to dwell on the story which is reminiscent of the time bending, mind bending saga of Haruhi Shizumiya.I believe the story did look incomplete with probably a second or third chapter left before the ending. ala you would feel somewhat of an abrupt ending.

It is the following motifs which makes this movie incredible


The anime depict real places in Japan.See the side by side comparison of places and the anime imageries


Shinto religion believes the connection of the human with their KAMI - spiritual energy which is frequently mentioned in the movie

The famed Kagura dance performed by Mitsuha

The red string of fate

It references the connection between people who are destined for each other.The red string which Mitsuha makes for Taki.As Mitsuhas family has the power to connect with people as evidenced by the conversation with her granny which suggests both her granny and mom has the same capability. The fact that her family performs the religious shrine ceremony might be associated with their powers.

It symbolises the link between Mitsuha and their association. When in 2013 Mitsuha gave the red string to Taki, he wasnt aware of her. But 3 years later it enabled them to switch places which they initially though to be a dream. When the comet destroyed the place, Taki still had the connection to Mitsuha as he was wearing the string. Also note that he was drawn to the shrine in the underworld which holds the.....

"kuchikami sake" which is believed to contain half a soul of Mitsuha which enables the connection to still exist. Also note that Taki leaves his memories of Mitsuha as "offer" to the underworld which enabled him to save Mitsuhas town. Similar to Mitsuha who left the "sake", his offer of the memories also lead to him forgetting about Mitsuha.

Also note that Taki returns the red string just before they forget each other thereby breaking the link between them

The message in hand

It should be noted that when she asks him to write his name so that she never forgets him, he didnt write hiw name but rather states I love you.. this was intentional on his part as he knew that any empirical evidence of his existence would be erased as part of the breaking of the string - connection between them, so he just expressed his love which would atleast keep the feeling intact. He knew about this as evidenced by the erasing of all the calendar notes and messages from his phone about Mitsuha.So it is possible that he did it on purpose.

Also note that even Mitsuha doesnt write her name as the hiragana character which she started to write was not "mi" suggesting it was something else.

there are also other motifs like the multiverse and the infinity symbol in the lake. All these references and motif make this anime memorable. "Kimi no na wa"