Maryland basketball fans have been waiting for signature performance from freshman star Diamond Stone. On Wednesday night he finally delivered that game, with a dominating 39 point (19-25 from the free throw line) and 12 boards. In a game where Melo Trimble, Rasheed Sulaimon, and Jake Layman struggled to get a bucket, Stone showcased his potential and kept the Terps in a game they should’ve lost with grown man plays like this:
In the first half the Terps where out-played thoroughly on both ends. Penn State controlled the tempo, dominated the paint, and basically outplayed and out hustled. Shep Garner and Brandon Taylor led the way for the Nittany Lions, securing rebounds and hitting big time shots to keep there team ahead. The 31-23 score indicates otherwise, but at the end of the first half the deficit should’ve been higher.
Once the second half began, the Terps team came out hot and inspired. They showed why they were the 4th ranked team in the nation scoring and defending well for the first 10 minutes of the half. Melo Trimble and Diamond Stone showed why they can be a great inside outside combination throughout this stretch. Melo Trimble at this point understood that in order for him to make more of an impact he had to become a facilitator, and that’s exactly what he did. He penetrated the paint at will numerous times and dishing it off deep in the paint, often times to Stone. Those two set the tone and really helped Maryland get back into this game. Trouble came a brewing late in the half, Penn State came roaring back and hit great shots. However Diamond Stone came to the rescue and took over the game with plays like this:
And my personal favorite bucket:
Even Melo Trimble was able to join in on the late game heroics with this late three pointer:
With Big 10 season just beggining it’s a very encouraging sign to see Stone have such a dominating day, and as a Terps fan I look forward to more games like this from him. Stone and his teammates next face Northwestern at 8 on Saturday in their first conference road game.
The date June 5th, 2015 could live on as the day the Cavaliers lost the NBA Finals. Daryl Ruiter, of 92.3 The Fan in Cleveland, was the first to report the dreadful news that Kyrie Irving is lost for the rest of the Finals with a fractured left kneecap that will keep him out for 3-4 months:
Hearing that Kyrie Irving is injured again isn’t exactly unfamiliar to Cavalier fans. He controversially only played 11 games in his first and only season at Duke University. Over the course of four professional seasons, Kyrie has missed 72 out of 328 career games due to several injuries. The graphic below will highlight just how fragile Kyrie Irving’s body has been:
Not only is Kyrie Irving gone, but so is Kevin Love. The power forward was hurt in Game 4 in the first round against the Celtics when Kelly Olynyk pulled his shoulder out it’s socket on a loose ball play:
When both are playing at 100 percent healthy, Irving and Kevin Love play like perennial All-Stars. Luckily for the Cavs, they still have the best player in the world in Lebron James. In Game 1 the Warriors game-plan was to let James get his points, but not allow him to get anybody else involved in the offense. Rest assured, for the rest of this Finals series James will do everything in his power to make sure guys like J.R. Smith, Matthew Dellavedova, and Timofey Mosgov involved in the offense as well as Iman Shumpert, and even Tristan Thompson. If any of those players can relieve a little burden off James by contributing at least double digit points than the Cavs will have a better chance than most believe. Lebron James will have to play out of his mind to make sure the Cavs have a fighters chance, but if he gets some help than the Cavs instantly become a bigger threat. The Cavs aren’t as great of a team as they would be with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, but they will always be a threat if they have Lebron James. As long as he dominates and he gets everyone else involved, the Cavaliers will have a chance of winning this series.