Category Archives: Pro Sports

BMX at AHS

 

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Biker Allen, before he does a back flip off a ramp over Mr. Runey      Photo By: Ashley Liriano

By: Delaney Nisbet

On May 6, Attleboro High School (AHS) held an assembly that was supported by the National Guard. It featured a BMX group called “Bring Your A Game,” which showed students the five core “As” that all students should follow throughout their day.”

Alliance, Attitude, Authentic, Ability, Active, Anti-Bullying and Achieve.

The National Guard believes that these five As will be able to make students successful with things they hope to accomplish. “I want them to come back to AHS, they did the coolest tricks I have ever seen,” said sophomore Emma Humphrey.

To show a core A, the BMX group asked volunteers from the crowd to help one of the bikers perform a trick. Four students lay on the floor while Allan, one of the members, jumped over them. “I thought it was very cool and dangerous. That’s something I would never do,” said sophomore Julia Hayes about the stunts the group performed.

The National Guard members explained that they were able to help to pay for college in the future. They offer many assistance programs that help pay for college tuition. “I would definitely join the National Guard as long as they help me pay for college,” said sophomore Arianna Susi.

“I wish that seniors were allowed the opportunity to go to the assembly because I heard it was super cool” said senior Angelia Littig who wasn’t able to attend the event. Some  seniors said that they wished they were able to go to the assembly because some students like to feel involved with the school as well.

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Opinion: ’96 Bulls vs. ’16 Warriors

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Basketball (from: Clipartpanda.com)

By: Jonathan Kermah

The 2015-16 Golden State Warriors located in the Bay Area of California are already having a historically great season. They hold the record for the best start to a season of all time with a 24-0 start. Currently with a record of 60-6, the Warriors are on pace to possibly beat the record of the ’95-’96 Chicago Bulls’ regular season record of 72-10. The Warriors are very talented but what many question is how they would stack up against the Bulls.

Many former NBA players have weighed in on this debate, and often side with the Bulls without hesitation. From Hall of Famers like Charles Barkley on TNT to former members of the Bulls like starting guard Ron Harper, there seems to be a consensus that the current Warriors would not stand a chance against the Bulls.

Rosters

 Position   Warriors  Bulls
Point Guard Stephen Curry Ron Harper
Shooting Guard Klay Thompson Michael Jordan
Small Forward Harrison Barnes Scottie Pippen
Power Forward Draymond Green Dennis Rodman
Center Andrew Bogut Luc Longley
Bench Andre Iguodala, Leandro Barbosa, Festus Ezili, Shaun Livingston, Brandon Rush, Jason Thompson, Ian Clark, Kevon Looney, Marreese Speights Toni Kukoc, Steve Kerr, Jud Buechler, Randy Brown, Jason Caffey, James Edwards, Jack Haley, John Salley, Dickey Simpkins, Bell Wennington

 

The Case for the Warriors

The Warriors have a much greater chance than people realize. Some of the statistics of this team are astonishing. Currently the Warriors hold an all-time record for consecutive home wins with 46 and counting.

As a team, the Warriors shoot 41 percent from behind the three point line. That is normally the percentage of an astonishing individual three point shooter, but they are doing that as a team. They also lead the league in total assists. The combination of shooting and passing makes them very hard to guard, which is the reason the team averages a league high 115.5 points per game.

The reigning MVP and leader of the Warriors, Stephen Curry, is having a transcendent season on his own. He currently averages 30.5 points per game (ppg), 5.4 rebounds per game (rpg), 6.5 assists per game (apg), 5.1 three pointers per game (3pg), and has a firm spot in the 50-40-90 club with a field goal percentage of 51 percent, a three point percentage of 46 percent, and a free throw percentage of 90.4 percent. While that’s impressive, it’s not the biggest highlight of his statistically great season.

At this point in the season Curry is on pace to hold the all time record Player Efficiency Rating (PER), with a PER of 32.2. That edges out Michael Jordan’s personal best PER of 31.71 during the ’87-’88 season; during the ‘96 Bull’s season Jordan’s PER was 29.35.

Alongside Curry, is the other half of the “Splash Brothers,” elite sharpshooter Klay Thompson. Averaging 22 points per game and shooting 41 percent from deep, he isn’t someone to be overlooked. Defensively he may even be able to challenge Pippen with his size and athleticism.

Throw in the “Swiss army knife” in Draymond Green and this team becomes unstoppable. Green averages 13.7 ppg, 9.6 rpg and 7.4 apg, and his passing ability from the forward position is only matched by that of Cleveland’s LeBron James and Boston’s Larry Bird.

That elite passing comes into pick and roll combinations between Curry and Green. Teams often elect to double Curry off of a pick, allowing Green to run the offense from the top of the key with a four on three advantage. Throw in an elite bench and capable veterans in Harrison Barnes and Andrew Bogut and this becomes the standout offense of this generation.

The offense is one of the most beautiful ever seen, but defensively the Warriors are also elite. While they lead the league in pace, the Warriors are still top 10 in points allowed per 100 possessions with 103.7.

What makes the team so special defensively is its versatility. Yes, they have standard defensive center types in Bogut and Festus Ezili who protect the rim, but what takes them over the edge are players like Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston, and even Thompson to a certain extent.

These four players, especially Green can guard multiple positions. Green can guard just about anyone in this league from, Chris Paul (6’0”) to Deandre Jordan (6’11”). The others are not too far behind in their versatility, allowing the Warriors to continuously switch on pick and rolls without much risk.

They would have plenty of options to throw at Jordan defensively, similar to the finals last year against James, but stopping Jordan is easier said than done.

The Case for the Bulls

Yes, the Warriors Defense is great, but Michael Jordan is considered the greatest of all time for a reason. The closest level of talent in an individual the Warriors have faced would be King James, who in the NBA finals last year averaged 35.8 ppg, 13.3 rpg and 8.8 apg.

In the Finals, what made the Cavaliers able to compete with the Warriors was their ability to slow the tempo against the face paced Warriors by running meticulously slow isolation plays for James. This lead the Cavaliers to win two games with an injury depleted roster.

Jordan is a whole different beast than James. In the ‘95-‘96 regular season, Jordan averaged 30.4 ppg, 6.6 rpg, and 4.3 apg. With the talented Bulls’ roster around him, he would be deadly against the Warriors.

Jordan built much of his career around isolation scoring. James had a field goal percentage of 40 percent in the Finals against the Warriors. Jordan would most likely be more efficient scoring on isolation plays because that is something he did for the majority of his career.

The Bulls revolved around Jordan, but there was a very strong roster around him as well. Rodman and Pippen, and even Harper could cause serious problems for the Warriors as well.

Curry might not seem guardable this season but the ‘96 Bulls were known for their defense especially on the perimeter. Jordan, Harper and Pippen could make it real tough for Curry to score and might make Thompson look nonexistent.

Rodman is often looked at as the greatest rebounder of all time, which may be a problem for the Warriors’ deadly small ball lineup where Green, a 6’7” power forward, is placed at center. Rodman averaged 14.9 rpg in the ‘95-‘96 season and 5.6 offensive boards specifically.

He would be the perfect piece to combat the small ball Warriors. Like Green, Rodman is extremely versatile defensively and could guard wing players as well as big men. Rodman could easily be placed at center when Green is at center, and has the versatility to switch onto Curry on pick and roles for brief moments.

Pippen could possibly take any player on the Warriors out of the equation offensively. He was that great defensively. In 1991, he even caused trouble for the 6’9” Magic Johnson in the finals, so imagine what he could do against Green or Thompson. His 6’8” height would also cause problems for Curry and make it tough for him to get shots off that he is accustomed to.

On the offensive end, Pippen functions as the team’s playmaker. In ‘96 he averaged a team high of 5.9 apg. He was also a capable scorer with 16.9 ppg.

Harper would be a major key in defeating the Warriors. With his 6’6” height, he is automatically a mismatch for Curry. There is nowhere to hide Curry defensively against the starting lineup. Harper could post up Curry, and Jordan would demolish Curry.

The Verdict

This series would be unbelievable to watch, but by the end of it, the Bulls would come out on top. Home court advantage would have a serious effect on the series but the 96’ Bulls hold the best road record of all time, so if any team could go into the Oracle Arena and pull out the win, it would definitely be the Bulls.

For Curry, this would be the hardest match-up of his career. Defensively there would be no one he could guard in the starting lineup and the combination of Jordan, Pippen and Harper would cause him to throw fits offensively. Would he score? Yes, but it would be harder than ever dealing with the physicality of the trio.

The opposite could be said for Jordan; defensively there may be no match for him. Yes, Iguodola and maybe even Green would cause him problems but he would still have a dominant series similar to James last year and unlike James, he has all-stars on his team as well.

Rodman would have a field day on the boards and Scottie might make Thompson a shell of himself. The Bulls might just have the ideal players to counteract the Warriors’ “small ball of death lineup” with Harper, Jordan, Pippen, Kukoc and Rodman at the center to destroy the boards.

With that being said, the series would at least go to six games. Losing to what is considered the greatest ever does not mean the Warriors themselves are not a historically great team. This is the best team of the 21st century, but the ‘96 Bulls would be of the select few to have their number.

 

 

 

 

 

Should the Washington Redskins keep their name?

(Dueling Pens Article)

Dueling Pens

By: Jonathan Kermah  By: Osiel Orellana 
Imagine a sports team using an African American as a mascot and it being named the “Alabama Negros.” If that happened today the country would riot. How is using Native Americans as a mascot any different?Native Americans have been through a lot as a race. Once America became a country, the government continuously took away their land.

The “big” argument for keeping the name is that only nine percent of Native Americans are offended, but isn’t that enough? It shouldn’t be fair for a white team owner to use a derogatory term as a team name; if 10 percent of a group of people is offended that should be enough given their rough history.

Mascots and team names are often named after animals or objects like the Chicago Bears or the San Diego Chargers. By naming a team for a race of people, especially a derogatory name like “Redskin,” teams are pretty much equating a race to something less than human.

Fans will probably buy gear for their favorite team, no matter what the name is. Money shouldn’t even be an issue in this debate.

In 2013 Forbes ranked the Redskins as the league’s third most valuable team at $1.7 billion; the team could definitely afford a name and mascot change. A moral issue should outweigh an economic one.

The derogatory term of “Redskin,” is a huge part of the issue, but it’s more than that. It’s not the word itself but the intent behind it – equating a  race to a symbol. The Redskins aren’t the only team that needs a name change. What about the Cleveland Indians, Chicago Blackhawks, the Kansas City Chiefs, and any other professional or nonprofessional team with a name relating back to Native Americans?

America is a country that strives to be free of racism; a simple team name change could bring the country one step closer to this goal.

 

Professional sports are a great form of entertainment. They’re competitive, exciting and inspire a sense of local pride. Citizens have their team names everywhere, on their clothes, cars and screensavers. One of the most controversial team names though, belongs to the NFL’s Washington Redskins.Their name is being criticized for its double meaning, which refers to Native Americans. Although the meaning can be seen as offensive to some, that is not its purpose. The name was established over 70 years ago.

For decades, local fans have been cheering for this team and it is only recently that people have begun to take notice of the name, which does not represent the franchise’s views or opinions on Native Americans. Never have the teams shown any type of discrimination or racism toward any race.

In a 2004 poll published by the National Annenberg Election Survey, 90 percent of Native Americans said the name did not offend them while nine percent said it did and one percent had no answer.

In a poll published by ESPN in 2014, 71 percent of Americans said the Redskins should keep their name. It is not that hard to see why this team should stay the same. If they changed their name they would also have to change everything in their franchise.

They would have to completely redesign all of their merchandise, change their uniforms, the stadium, and even the mascot. It would take months, if not years, to scrap 70 years of building a team name and tradition.

By changing their name, the Redskins would have to use a lot of money to pay for the changes, and they would be changing the name of a traditional football team.

 

 

Top point guards in the NBA

NBA guards: Russell Westbrook (0), Chris Paul (3), Stephen Curry (30) (Picture from/ http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/11369866/nba-projecting-top-10-point-guards-warp-2014-15)

NBA guards: Russell Westbrook (0), Chris Paul (3), Stephen Curry (30)
(Picture from/ http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/11369866/nba-projecting-top-10-point-guards-warp-2014-15)

By: Jonathan Kermah

Point guard is considered the toughest position to play in the National Basketball Association (NBA). In previous eras, the point guard was just expected to lead their teammates in the right position to score, but today they are expected to run an offense smoothly while also scoring for themselves.

In the league, it is pretty hard to find a team that doesn’t have a good starting point guard. Even teams that are currently out of the playoffs have solid point guards like the Denver Nuggets’ Ty Lawson, Minnesota Timberwolves’ Ricky Rubio, or Charlotte Hornets’ Kemba Walker.

To be a top point guard in the league, the player has to be elite. They need to be great at almost everything and extraordinary in one or more parts of their game. The top three point guards and an honorable mention (John Wall) this season are:

Honorable mention: John Wall

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John Wall (Washington Wizards) has developed into a near top three point guard. When he came into the league he was extremely athletic but raw. No one could really match his speed but he didn’t really know how to play at the professional level.

In Wall’s rookie season he was out of control and couldn’t really shoot. Currently in his fifth season, Wall has made great progress in his areas of weakness. He increased his field goal percentage from 40.9 to 45.1 according to nba.com. The increase in percentage can be contributed to taking smarter shots and developing his jump shot.

Now that Wall has learned to balance his speed with control, almost no one can stop him from getting to the rim. With this ability he has become one of the best distributers in the league. He is currently leading the league in assists at 10.1 per game according to nba.com. His speed also has contributed to him becoming a very strong defender.

Wall’s elite speed also lends itself to his greatest strength of playing in transition as seen on this NBA YouTube clip. His speed and great finishing ability make his fast break unstoppable to contain, especially when combined with his great vision.

Although Wall has come a long way, he could still be better. He has greatly improved his jump shot, but his three point shot is below average. His three point percentage is slightly below 30 percent and is making less than one a game according to nba.com. In today’s league the three pointers is an essential part of the game and to be a supreme point guard, that’s what he has to improve.

Alongside Wall’s inconsistent shot from deep, Wall averages almost four  turnovers a game according to nba.com. This is reasonable seeing that he leads the league in assists per game, but he could be more efficient. If he wants to be the best he has to be efficiently elite like Chris Paul’s league leading 4.5 assists according to nba.com.

Despite a few minor issues, Wall has developed into a top point guard in the league, and don’t be surprised if he is number one in a few years.

  1. Chris Paul

     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clippers) for a long time was considered the best point guard in the NBA. Today he still plays at a high level, and some might view him as still the best, but there are younger point guards this season that can be argued as better than him.

Paul is the perfect example of what an NBA point guard should be. He blends scoring and distributing better than anyone else in the league. He is better than most point guards in switching from passing to scoring; this season he currently averages 17.9 points and 9.9 assists per game according to nba.com.

Paul’s balance of scoring and passing also shows in his efficiency. By picking his spots to pass, he is one of the most efficient passers in the league. He averages a league high 4.5 assist to turnover ratio, which means that for every four and a half assists Paul has only one turnover.

This season Paul currently averages 1.8 steals per game according to nba.com but his defensive ability can’t be measured statistically. He manages to be an elite defender even though he is only 6 feet and 175 pounds. An example was a game against the Cavaliers this season on Feb. 5; Paul guarded Lebron James (6 ft 8 and 250 lbs) for a short period of time.

Paul is going to be an NBA Hall of Famer, but this season there are younger players ahead of him. Paul has lost the “wow factor” that other point guards have. He doesn’t have freakish athleticism like Russell Westbrook or John Wall and he doesn’t have the elite outside shooting of Stephen Curry.

Chris Paul is a consistent double-double, excellent leader, and one of the best point guards in the game, but at the age of 29, he just isn’t as great as other point guards listed below.

  1. Stephen Curry

     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors), often referred to as Steph, has become one of the most deadly offensive players in the NBA. He is currently one of the league leaders in MVP votes because of his elite offensive ability.

Curry is one of the best shooters to play point guard in NBA history. This season he averages 23.8 points per game with a league leading 3.2 three pointers per game according to nba.com. His stats don’t even show how great his scoring ability is. His accuracy from deep is unbelievable.

“The baby faced assassin” isn’t just shooting spot up jumpers like players like Kyle Korver or his teammate Klay Thompson, a large amount of his three pointers are made off the dribble which can be seen on NBA’s YouTube channel.

Curry’s skill set isn’t just limited to shooting; he is an elite passer and ball handler. He currently averages 7.8 assists per game according to nba.com and leaves many players embarrassed when they try to guard him as seen on this YouTube clip.

Although Curry is one of the most offensively skilled players in the game, his defense holds him back as the best point guard. Curry has definitely improved defensively under new head coach Steve Kerr and with the help of defensive anchor Andrew Bogut.

Because the Warriors are a great defensive team, Curry’s defensive weaknesses are often hidden. There are many times when Curry’s teammates are assigned to guard the opposing point guard for him while he guards the team’s weakest offensive player.

Even with Curry’s mediocre defense, Curry has to be recognized as a top point guard. His offensive skill set is unmatched and is a huge contribution to the Warriors league leading record of 52-13.

  1. Russell Westbrook

     

 

 

 

 

 

 

Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder) is the most dominate point guard. This season Westbrook has willed his team back into the playoffs after a slow start and without his teammate and reigning MVP, Kevin Durant, sidelined due to a foot injury.

For years NBA analysts talked about how Westbrook is detrimental to his team, but more than ever before anti-Westbrook statements are just ludicrous. Westbrook is currently averaging 27.3 points, 7.1 rebounds, 2.1 steals and 8.3 assists per game this season (nba.com), which are all career highs.

Westbrook makes plays that no other point guard can, like dunks seen in this Youtube clip. His athletic ability is something unheard of in all of NBA history. The only point guards in the past five years comparable in athleticism are John Wall and Derrick Rose and both aren’t even close to his level of play this season.

Westbrook is currently leading the league in triple doubles with six, and he collected five of the six in Feb. The triple double is arguably the toughest stat line to get in basketball and Westbrook took it one step further by scoring 49 points with 16 rebounds and 10 assists on Feb. 17. These stats are comparable to that of a videogame’s.

It’s no secret that Westbrook has a tendency to be reckless in his play. For years Westbrook naysayers have tried to tear him down because of his high number of turnovers and field goal attempts. This season is no different; he is averaging a career high of 4.1 turnovers and 21.2 attempted shots per game according to nba.com.

There is no arguing that there are times in which Westbrook is aggressive to the point of hurting his team. There are times when he makes bad passes, takes bad shots, and gambles on defense but that comes with his aggressive plays, which make him almost unstoppable.

Westbrook plays with a fearless attitude that leads to unbelievable plays and sometimes frustrating plays; this season unbelievable clearly outweighs frustrating. Westbrook plays with an energy that has other point guards scared. Curry even admitted that Westbrook is his hardest matchup in an interview with Bill Simmons for Grantland.

Westbrook’s endless energy, inhuman athleticism, and fearless attitude have made him the best. Point guard may be the toughest position in the NBA but most nights Westbrook makes it look easy.

Cowboy’s Decision

Demarco Murray (29) and Dez Bryant (88) in game.  (Photo by/ Christopher Hanewinckel)

Demarco Murray (29) and Dez Bryant (88) in game.
(Photo by/ Christopher Hanewinckel)

By: Osiel Orellana

Free agency is an exciting and unpredictable process for any professional sport league when a player’s contract expires, which means he/she is free to join any team. Free agency begins March 10 in the National Football League (NFL).

One of the most popular cases of free agency in the 2014 postseason involves two Dallas Cowboys’ players, wide receiver Dez Bryant and running back Demarco Murray, who were both selected to the 2014 All-Pro team, and broke Dallas Cowboys’ records in their respective statistics.

Receiver Dez Bryant broke a franchise record and holds the 2014 season league record 16 touchdown receptions. Running back Demarco Murray broke a team record lead the league with 1,845 rushing yards.

Both of these players’ contracts are due to expire March 7 and due to their top players status in the NFL the Cowboys will not be able to afford them both, forcing the team to choose the player they believe will give them the best chance to a Super Bowl berth.

Keeping Bryant would seem like the logical choice for the Cowboys. He is larger than the average receiver and possesses great catching ability. His notorious skills and frequent targeting cause the opponents to double team him and keep extra coverage on him. This allows the Cowboys’ other receivers to only have to deal with one defender allowing for an easier opportunity to become open.

The opposing argument is that Murray should be re-signed if the Cowboys want to repeat another successful season. The Cowboys would always have a steady gain of yardage with Murray’s fast and powerful frame. The Cowboys would also be dependent on one elite, consistent running back instead of several receivers who are being covered if Murray is re-signed.

Another reason to keep Murray is due to the Cowboys having one of the best offensive lines that allows easy blocking for big runs.

Although both players have great reasons to be re-signed, Bryant would be the best choice for the Cowboys if they want to remain an offensive threat. Bryant (26) has several years ahead of him, while Murray (27) only has three or four years left due to the pounding running backs receive.

Bryants’ ability to attract double coverage, yet remain open, is one of the reasons the Cowboys’ quarterback Tony Romo had a star season and was placed on the All-Pro second team.

Bryant is who the Cowboys need to make their team a threat for a long time, even if it means giving up one of the best running backs of the National Football League (NFL).

Andrew Wiggins

Wiggins drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers (Picture from/ http://www.buckeyestatesports.com)

Wiggins drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers
(Picture from/ http://www.buckeyestatesports.com)

By: Sam Iampietro

Andrew Wiggins is the best rookie in the NBA. There are people who would argue, but he continues to make their opinions look ridiculous.

Wiggins was the number one prospect coming out of the University of Kansas, and as expected, was picked first overall in the NBA draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers. Basketball fans and coaches have had high expectations ever since.

In 2013 Wiggins was in his freshman year of college and considering entering the NBA draft but was uncertain. He had some great games in college, but there was speculation by NBA scouts as to whether the young player was ready for the next level. “Was he ready for the pace, the rules, and the intensity of the league? With his slender body type it didn’t appear he was prepared for the jump, just yet.”

Despite the questions, Wiggins entered the draft and is now on the Minnesota Timberwolves after being traded for Kevin Love in Aug. On the Wolves, Wiggins has been averaging a rookie-best 15.1 points per game, which continues to rise as he improves.

Wiggins’ 15.1 points is leading the team in scoring. He replaced shooting guard Kevin Martin in the starting lineup following his injury. Martin was the team’s scoring leader prior to that. Wiggins had to step up with him out, and he has done just that, scoring 20 plus points in six straight games, which only a handful of players in their rookie seasons have done. After these accomplishments, he proved to even be a starter over a healthy Kevin Martin.

There were a lot of very talented rookies coming into the draft, including Jabari Parker from Duke, who was off to a great start, which was unfortunately ended by a left knee injury, which is expected to keep him out for the rest of the season.

The second highest scoring rookie from Italy, Nikola Mirotic, has a scoring average that is about five points lower than Wiggins’average. In the top five list of players based on steals per game at 1.5, Wiggins is also in the top three in field goal percentage at 36 percent, which means he is mature enough to take smart shots and not be ahead of himself, while playing with confidence.

The most significant statistic to see in this young man’s game is that his team overall only averages about 90 points per game, which makes his 15 points about 17 percent of the total, while Parker’s scoring average 12.1 was only about 14 percent and is second best.

On Feb. 1, Wiggins had his most memorable game in Cleveland, scoring 33 points. The Cavaliers, who traded Wiggins away, won the game, but Wiggins still had a monster game going up against forward Lebron James, the best player in the world.

Wiggins’ high expectations have been fulfilled, and it’s fair to say he has delivered. Someday this man may be the best basketball player on the planet.

NHL 15 Gives Glimpse into Next-Generation Hockey Gaming

 

St. Louis Blues score goal against Chicago Blackhawks                                  (Screenshot by/ Mike Cotsalas)

St. Louis Blues score goal against Chicago Blackhawks (Screenshot by/ Mike Cotsalas)

By: Mike Cotsalas

It’s time for the future. EA Sports has released its new wave of sports video games, including NHL 15. This year marks the first year that the series has become a part of the eighth generation gaming consoles, the Playstation 4 and the Xbox One. The game was also released on seventh generation consoles, the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3, marking the eighth year in a row for the game to be featured on those.

Out with the old and in with the new. EA revamped the presentation of the game completely, including new commentators, score-keeping graphics, puck physics, jersey physics, ice design, home arenas, player models, player animations, and much, much more. The game has never looked more beautiful.

However, the menus are clunky and take away the simplicity and ease found in earlier installments. The developers have every right to create a new look for future installments to go by, but there was definitely a better way to design those menus.

While presentation is what makes the game appealing to the eye, a game is played for the experience had with the controller. NHL 15 runs incredibly smooth. The controls are intuitive and easy to pick up on, as with any sports game, and if new to the series the learning curve will be only a few games. The problem that might completely turn people off from buying this game is the lack of game modes. It is as if the developers were so focused on creating a beautiful game, something so appealing to the eye, that they left all the substance out.

The game features offline game modes such as Be a Pro, control a custom-made player with a team of your choice, Be a GM, control a franchise and its players as the General Manger, and Play Now, the traditional Team vs. Team hockey experience.

Be a Pro and GM both feature clunky menus and are simplistic at best, with many of the core features from previously installments missing.

Online game modes feature Hockey Ultimate Team, a trading card mode popular among the game’s main community, Online Versus, a head-to-head version of Play Now, and Online Team Play, a 5 vs. 5 matchup with everyone controlling an NHL player.

All of these game modes feature no way to play with or against friends, and also like the offline modes, are missing many key components from the earlier games making them average at best. However, what they do provide is playable gameplay, although bare to bone.

This game may take some convincing to buy. What EA Sports produced is a great sample of the potential these consoles can give to sports gaming, but not much else. NHL 16 will have to be a rather large jump in quality for this game to be forgiven for what it lacks.

If a passionate-enough hockey fan, consider buying this game, if the price is right. Do not buy this game at full price for what it has; wait until the price drops below $40.

NHL 15 deserves three stars out of five for its new and refreshing gameplay, but ultimately falls short when it comes to variety and accessibility.