FIVE THINGS TO WATCH OUT FOR WARRIORS VS. CAVALIERS REMATCH

The Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers have spent the past six weeks dismantling all comers, methodically advancing toward the NBA Finals rubber match the entire basketball universe has been waiting for.

Now, it’s finally here.

Starting Thursday, the Warriors and Cavaliers will duke it out for the right to hoist the Larry O’Brien Trophy for a second time in three years. It’s the first time in NBA history the same two teams have met in the finals three straight seasons.

Here are five things to focus on when the Warriors and Cavaliers take the floor Thursday night at Oakland’s Oracle Arena for Game 1 of the NBA Finals.

1. Will the Cavaliers be able to successfully defend the Warriors? And if so, how?

This is the key to whether this series will be a noncompetitive rout by the Warriors or a longer series that the Cavaliers can win. Cleveland was second-to-last in the league in defense after the all-star break and has won its past two series against teams missing their best offensive player (Kyle Lowry for the Toronto Raptors and Isaiah Thomas for the Boston Celtics) due to injury.

Guarding the Warriors, who feature three of the game’s top scoring threats in Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson, is immeasurably harder than anything the Cavaliers have done so far in these playoffs, and there is no proof they can up their defensive level to the point it will have to be to take on one of the most explosive offenses of all time.

If Cleveland can manage to slow down Golden State, the Cavaliers have enough firepower of their own to make this series a toss-up. But if the defense they displayed the final two months of the regular season appears during the Finals, then it’s hard to see this series being anything other than a Warriors in a walk.

2. Can Kevin Love stay on the court?

This is a parallel question to the first one. Love has been on fire during the playoffs, shooting 47.5 percent on three-pointers as part of Cleveland’s own devastating offensive attack, and can be a particularly deadly matchup nightmare for opponents when he’s playing at center. The problem for the Cavaliers, though, is finding a home for Love defensively.

Although everyone remembers the one stop Love had against Stephen Curry on the perimeter in Game 7 of last year’s Finals, he’s a liability on that end — particularly when the Warriors go small. The more minutes Cleveland can find to keep Love on the court, the more he can keep the floor spaced and give LeBron James another option to hit with one of his pinpoint passes.

Love’s role will be one of several cat-and-mouse games these two teams — and, more specifically, their coaching staffs — will be conducting as this series goes on. If Love can tip the scales in his favor, that will be a big victory for Cleveland.

3. Can the Warriors’ centers contain Tristan Thompson?

When the Warriors and Cavaliers go against each other with their base lineups, there will be plenty of focus on the star power at positions like point guard (Curry vs. Irving) and small forward (Durant vs. James). But the most fascinating matchup on the court might very well be Tristan Thompson vs. Zaza Pachulia. Really.

I know, I know. Thompson vs. Pachulia? Why? Well, because if Pachulia — as well as his backups, JaVale McGee and David West — can somewhat neutralize Thompson, one of the true “star” role players in the NBA, it will open up everything for the Warriors. For as much as Golden State thrives when it goes to its small lineup, if it can stick with a traditional big man on the floor against Thompson, a rugged, mobile big man and a strong rebounder, that will allow defensive wizard Draymond Green to stick to Love. And if Green is able to do that, Love will be neutralized.

If Thompson dominates that matchup, however, the Warriors then have to shift over to Green playing at center — wearing him down and also allowing Cleveland to potentially do some things to free up Love and others elsewhere. This will be a fun matchup to watch — especially considering it won’t get nearly the attention that the many other high-profile matchups in this series will.

4. Can Kevin Durant stay out of his own head?

One of the most fascinating quotes of the playoffs came from Kevin Durant after Game 3 of the Western Conference finals against the San Antonio Spurs.

“I just play, man. I just play. If I see a lane open, sometimes I think too much. Sometimes I look to pass when I should look to score. Sometimes I look to score when I should pass. But I figured out if I just don’t think at all, that’s when I’m best.

“So I try not to think out there. The times when I do think, early in the game I was battling on the defensive end because he was thinking too much. The third quarter I just went out there and played and not worried about anything. Just played every possession and tried to play as hard as I can. I was able to score, because it started with my defense first. So that’s what I think about offense. Whatever happens, whatever Coach calls, I just try to go out there and run it as hard as I can.”

Durant has always been one to climb into his own head. Well, now he’s playing against James, who owns a 16-4 edge in their career head-to-head series, in the NBA Finals, where he and the Warriors were always supposed to get — and win — from the moment he agreed to sign with Golden State last July. It will be fascinating to watch how Durant handles this moment. That will be particularly true if the Warriors run into adversity early in the series — something they’ve avoided throughout this entire playoff run.

5. Is this finally Stephen Curry’s time to shine on the biggest stage?

Two years ago, Curry lost out on the NBA Finals MVP award to Andre Iguodala. Last year, Curry had his moments in coming back from a knee injury early in the playoffs — including 36 points in Game 7 of the Western Conference finals and 38 points in Cleveland in Game 4 of the NBA Finals — but wound up being the face of Golden State’s collapse from up 3-1.

This year, he enters the NBA Finals playing as well as he ever has in the postseason, averaging 28.6 points, 5.5 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game while shooting 50.3 percent from the field and 43.1 percent from three-point range. Everything is set up for this to be the moment Curry finally delivers on the NBA’s biggest stage.

If he can do so, the Warriors will be celebrating a second title in three seasons — and Curry will likely be holding the Finals MVP trophy, as well, giving him the last piece of missing hardware he’s looking for.

Prediction:

The Warriors needed about a million things to go wrong last year — Curry’s lingering knee injury, Green’s suspension for Game 5, Andrew Bogut getting hurt, Andre Iguodala’s back tightening up, Harrison Barnes going 5 for 32 on virtually all wide-open shots in the final three games, not to mention spectacular performance from James and Irving for the Cavaliers — to blow that 3-1 lead and watch the Cavaliers celebrate on Golden State’s home court.

Then the Warriors went out and added Durant. They return with an even deeper supporting cast this time around. Despite James, it’s hard to see how the Cavaliers can get the job done this time. Even Cleveland, with all of its talent, doesn’t have enough to keep up.

Warriors in five.

WHEN THE PRESIDENT’S MISSPELLED TWEET GOES VIRAL!!!

Half a sentence and a typo from the President of the United States are the most-talked about trends on the Internet.

Pretty much 2017 in a nutshell so far.
So here’s what we know happened.
President Donald Trump tweeted “Despite the constant negative press covfefe,” a clause with no context, at 12:06 a.m. ET Wednesday.
US President Donald Trump tweeted "Despite the constant negative press covfefe," a clause with no context at 12:06 a.m. ET on May 31.

Trump’s tweet is the latest example of his ability to draw attention on social media — and keep the public guessing as to the meaning behind many of his remarks. It’s also a reminder of how different he is from past presidents and the traditional, carefully orchestrated pronouncements typically associated with the office.
The President’s Twitter feed was largely quiet during his recent trip abroad, but hours after returning home, he unleashed a social media blast that felt like a pent-up release of fury that had been simmering over the nine days of his debut foreign tour.
As usual, he took aim at the media and decried the ongoing Russia investigation.
The tweets represent Trump at his most authentic and defiant, lashing out when he feels he is under attack, and appeared to reflect a belief that only he, and not his staff, is qualified to speak in his own defense.
Wednesday’s tweet quickly drew a deluge of attention.
As of 4 a.m., the tweet garnered more than 108,000 retweets and more than 135,000 likes. To put that in context, the tweet in which he claimed — without proof — that he would have won the popular vote if it were not for voter fraud had more than 52,000 retweets and more than 160,000 likes at the time of writing this article.
Some of his more recent tweets got in the lower tens of thousands of retweets.
The tweet was finally deleted about 5:50 a.m. ET Wednesday.
At 6:09 a.m., Trump tweeted again: “Who can figure out the true meaning of “covfefe” ??? Enjoy!”
It seemed like the President was going to complain about the press — something he’s wont to do — but it wasn’t part of a Twitter rant. It was his first tweet in 20 hours (the last one was a retweet of a Fox News article saying Jared Kushner did not suggest opening Russian communications channel, citing an anonymous source.)
Though covfefe likely was a typo when the President meant to type coverage, he woke up to a lot of Twitter sass.

BOOSIE BADAZZ CALLS OUT THIS RAPPER FOR PUSHING THE “GAY AGENDA”

Lil Yachty is no stranger to controversy!

The rapper has been criticized for being a poster child for wack music, hated for claiming Tupac & Biggiewere overrated, and he’s even faced much backlash for having a same sex couple kissing on his ‘Teenage Emotions’ album cover.

Well rapper Boosie has always be unapologetic about not accepting or believing in homosexuality, and in #PostAndDelete files, he let it be known again. Boosie posted,

“That’s two boys kissing on this album cover bro smh wtf.”

In the past Boosie has expressed that none of his children could come home and tell him that they are gay. He also blamed TV and the media for “forcing” the “gay agenda” on people, and he expressed his disapproval of homosexuality being “forced” onto children at a young age through these platforms.

What’s interesting is the fact that Boosie has seemingly expressed that while he doesn’t believe in homosexuality, he also doesn’t have a problem with the gay community. Hmmmmm.

What are your thoughts?

NAS AND LAURYN HILL TOURING TOGETHER

Rap star Nas and Lauryn Hill are heading out on the road together this summer.

The “If I Ruled the World” collaborators have announced the “Ms. Lauryn Hill and Nas Tour,” a co-headlining outing, which will kick off on September 7 in Chicago.

The pair will roll through cities like New York, Miami and Los Angeles, before wrapping up on October 11 in Vancouver.

Comedian Hannibal Buress and reggae artist Chronixx will warm up the crowd on select dates.

TIDAL members will have access to a special pre-sale beginning on Thursday, June 1 at 10 a.m., while
tickets for the tour go on sale to the general public beginning Friday, June 2 at 10 a.m.

Check out the dates below:

MS. LAURYN HILL & NAS TOUR

9/7/17
^Chicago, IL
Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island

9/8/17
^Sterling Heights, MI
Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre at Freedom Hill

9/10/17
^Toronto, ON
Budweiser Stage

9/12/17
^Boston, MA
Blue Hills Bank Pavilion

9/14/17
+Camden, NJ
BB&T Pavilion

9/15/17
9/20/17
+Bristow, VA
^Raleigh, NC
Jiffy Lube Live
Red Hat Amphitheater

9/22/17
+Miami, FL
Bayfront Park Amphitheater

9/23/17
9/27/17
^Jacksonville, FL

^Houston, TX
Daily’s Place
Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land

9/28/17
^Dallas, TX
The Pavilion at Irving Music Factory*

*On Sale Friday, June 2 at 12 p.m. local time

9/30/17
10/3/17
^Austin, TX

+San Diego, CA
Austin360 Amphitheater

Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre at SDSU

10/5/17
^Los Angeles, CA
Hollywood Bowl

10/7/17
+Mountain View, CA
Shoreline Amphitheatre

10/10/17
+Seattle, WA
WaMu Theater

10/11/17
^Vancouver, BC
Pacific Coliseum

^with Chronixx

+with Hannibal Buress and Chronixx

BLAC YOUNGSTA GOING ON TOUR CALLED “I’M INNOCENT”

Memphis, Tennessee rapper Blac Youngsta is hitting the road to declare his innocence, in a shooting involving rival rapper Young Dolph.

Blac Youngsta is going out on the road for the “I’m Innocent” tour, in support of his mixtape with the same title.

The new mixtape serves as Blac Youngsta’s reply to the six felonies he was charged with, due to his alleged involvement in a shootout in downtown Charlotte this past February.

Blac Youngsta and two associates were charged with six counts of discharging a weapon into occupied property and felony conspiracy, for allegedly spraying over 100 rounds at Young Dolph during CIAA weekend, on a busy downtown street.

Many believe the shooting was the result of an escalating feud between Young Dolph, and Yo Gotti, since the two men had been trading insults on records and radio interviews in the months prior to the shooting.

Blac Youngsta, who is free on bond, will hit the road on June 21 in New Orleans during his 13-date outing, before winding down in Houston on July 9.

Check out the artwork for “I’m Innocent” and the tour dates below:

6/21- New Orleans, La @ Howlin Wolf
6/24 – Roanoke, Va @ Bergalund event center
6/25 – Cleveland, Oh @ Agora Theatre
6/28 – New York, Ny @ Gramercy Theatre
6/29 – Lawrence, Ma @ Centro
6/30 – Tallahassee, Fl @ Club Play
7/1 – Pittsburgh, Pa @ XTAZA
7/2 – Toledo, Oh @ FOUR19
7/3 – Philadelphia, Pa @ TLA
7/6 – Birmingham, Al @ Sloss Furnaces with FAMOUS DEX
7/7 – Dallas, Tx @ The Door
7/8 – Austin, Tx @ Empire Garage
7/9 – Houston Tx @ Eastdown Warehouse

CONGRATULATIONS TO HUSTLEBOY DJ CAIN BEING THE NEWEST MEMBER OF #MMG #BLACKBOTTLEBOYS

LES “MIDNIGHT 2017” DOWNLOAD

BLAC YOUNGSTA ARRESTED FOR YOUNG DOLPH SHOOTING

In February of this year, Young Dolph‘s SUV was shot at over 100 times outside the annual CIAA event in Charlotte. His vehicle was luckily bulletproof, so nobody was harmed, but ever since, police have been pursuing suspects in the case. On Tuesday (May 16), fellow Memphis rapper Blac Youngsta surrendered to Charlotte authorities on charges related to the shooting.

TMZ reports Youngsta, along with two other men, surrendered to police after warrants were issued for their arrest in the investigation of the shooting. Jail records show the rapper born Sammie Marquez Benson was charged with four counts of discharging a firearm into occupied property.

Back in March, we hung out with Dolph after the shooting took place. When asked who he thought targeted him, he said, “I got no clue. I really don’t even give a damn. Like, to tell you the honest truth. I really don’t give a damn.” He continued, “I come from the streets. I come from, like, this shit been happening. I been having haters, I’ve been having, I’ve been a target, know what I’m saying, to people that I intimidate, know what I’m saying? So, only thing that I can do is take this shit and keep going, know what I’m saying? And what I don’ figured out is like, the more I live, the bigger and greater I’ma get just because the person that I am, know what I’m saying? So that mean, the haters and the negativity, that shit gonna get bigger too, you know what I mean? But, at the end of the day, man, I’m good.”

XXL has reached out to Youngsta’s team for comment.

10 Rappers Who Were Shot While They Were in the Spotlight

Read More: Blac Youngsta Arrested for Young Dolph Charlotte Shooting – XXL | http://www.xxlmag.com/news/2017/05/blac-youngsta-arrested-young-dolph-shooting/?trackback=tsmclip