Sportige http://sportige.com The Sports Know-It-All Sat, 25 Apr 2015 18:03:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.3 NBA Playoffs – Don’t Let the Postseason Change Your MVP Perception http://sportige.com/nba-playoffs-dont-let-the-postseason-change-your-mvp-perception-04-25-2015/ http://sportige.com/nba-playoffs-dont-let-the-postseason-change-your-mvp-perception-04-25-2015/#comments Sat, 25 Apr 2015 18:03:44 +0000 http://sportige.com/?p=77584 More ]]> LeBron James

One day it’s James Harden, the other it’s Stephen Curry. LeBron James is still worth talking about, and some days Kawhi Leonard is amazing. But nothing these guys do should change the way you think about the NBA MVP award.

The league doesn’t reveal all of its awards in one quick swoop. First comes the Sixth Man of the Year (Lou Williams of the Raptors), then the Coach of the Year (Mike Budenholzer of the Hawks), followed by the Defensive Player of the Year (Kawhi Leonard) and that’s where we’re at right now. There’s a bit more to follow, including the most prestigious MVP award in all of sports.

When Dirk Nowitzki was awarded the MVP in 2007, the Dallas Mavericks were knocked out in the first round of the postseason. After a huge individual season for the German who also won it because it was refreshing to see him take the Mavs to such heights and also have a foreign player be this dominant for this long without any American basketball training before his pro debut, suddenly everyone was mentioning how he doesn’t deserve the award because he couldn’t get the Mavs past the first round.

The playoffs, sadly or not, don’t have anything to do with this. The NBA Finals have their special award for the best player of the series, which isn’t too far away from giving ‘MVP of the playoffs’ although it’s not exactly that. And despite the impression left by some players during the first few games of the postseason, even if it’s a continuation of their excellent regular season, it has nothing to do with the voting and the award, or the taste left in your mouth once the player you were pulling for doesn’t win.

Stephen Curry, James Harden, LeBron James, Anthony Davis and even Derrick Rose and Kawhi Leonard have been fantastic in this postseason so far. It doesn’t mean anything about the regular season they’ve had. It all ended the moment this postseason began and as dominant as Leonard has been or how impressive the resurgence from Rose is since he got back from his injury, this is still probably between Harden and Curry, but 40-point games, as impressive as they are, should be viewed in the right context and not be used as “Evidence” for arguments about the regular season MVP.

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24 Best Memes of the San Antonio Spurs & Kawhi Leonard Humiliating the Los Angeles Clippers http://sportige.com/best-memes-of-the-san-antonio-spurs-kawhi-leonard-humiliating-the-los-angeles-clippers-04-25-2015/ http://sportige.com/best-memes-of-the-san-antonio-spurs-kawhi-leonard-humiliating-the-los-angeles-clippers-04-25-2015/#comments Sat, 25 Apr 2015 13:45:20 +0000 http://sportige.com/?p=77558 More ]]> Kawhi Leonard Meme

The San Antonio Spurs unleash Kawhi Leonard to run all over the Los Angeles Clippers and take the series lead, although more importantly, it produced a lot of meme creativity regarding this dominance.

Leonard is the defensive player of the year, but he’s turning into quite the unstoppable player on offense. More and more we’re seeing performances from him that have nothing to do with his player-stopping ability or his tendency to steal everything that’s in front of him.

The Clippers looked very good in game 1 and were some free throws short of winning game 2. But they completely embarrassed themselves with their game 3 performance, looking like a team that’s easy to break and eventually knock out of the postseason.

Now it’s up to them to bounce back and try and win back home court advantage. With Leonard playing like this and no one having an answer to it? The Clippers don’t stand much of a chance.

Pop Faces Kawhi Warning Kawhi faces Game 3 summary Kawhi-It Kawhi-Fi Stop Stop Spongebob reference Only Clippers with a ring Excuses Hide yo MVPs Losing to Old Guys Sob City At 70 Quest for six One more selfie Spurs fans meme This is just the beginning Nothing can stop the claw The Klaw Spurs 316 I'm sorry They lied to us

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NBA Playoffs – San Antonio Spurs & Kawhi Leonard Teach Los Angeles Clippers a Postseason Lesson http://sportige.com/nba-playoffs-san-antonio-spurs-kawhi-leonard-teach-los-angeles-clippers-a-postseason-lesson-04-25-2015/ http://sportige.com/nba-playoffs-san-antonio-spurs-kawhi-leonard-teach-los-angeles-clippers-a-postseason-lesson-04-25-2015/#comments Sat, 25 Apr 2015 13:26:59 +0000 http://sportige.com/?p=77540 More ]]> Spurs beat Clippers

No one speaks about Kawhi Leonard and mentions a regular season MVP, but when he’s in his zone on offense, it’s hard to argue that he’s not one of the best player in the NBA, leading the San Antonio Spurs to a 100-73 win over the Los Angeles Clippers, taking a 2-1 lead in the series following game 3.

Leonard, the Finals MVP last season, scored 32 points in only 29 minutes, adding fantastic, aggressive, relentless offense to his excellent defense. He was the only Spurs player to finish with over 15 points, and only two others had scored in double figures: Boris Diaw with 15 and Danny Green with 11. When the Spurs are at their best, the wins are easy, and the points are spread out wonderfully, not to mention the old guys get to rest.

Doc Rivers saw the ugly side of his team. The one that shows up now and again throughout the season, demonstrating why the Clippers might be as talented as anyone else in the league, but continue to be a step or two behind the more serious title contenders season after season. It has something to do with maturity, discipline and mental fortitude. Maybe it has something to do with their coach, who enjoyed some sort of criticism shield for a championship three hall of fame players helped him win seven years ago.

J.J. Redick

We’ve had this happen a couple of times this year; we lose our spirit because we can’t make shots. I thought that’s what happened as the game went on. Every time we missed a shot, we played less and less defense.

Spurs players were mostly busy saying nice things about Leonard, who also won the Defensive player of the year award this week. The 23-year old out of San Diego State was always useful since his rookie season, but his transformation or simply natural evolution as a basketball player has been incredible to see over the last two years, possibly rising to a level that’s not just an All-Star, but maybe a Superstar.

Right now isn’t the time to debate whether it’s the Spurs system bringing out the best in Leonard or is he player that would be more popular and not so surprising to see score 30 points or more had he be playing on a team not so well known for being about unselfishness. The Spurs are more than willing to follow his lead, as he seems to zap the will out of opponents by his two way excellence.

The Clippers can win in San Antonio, they have all the tools to make things difficult for the Spurs, even when Leonard is having a good day. But things can’t fall apart just because shots aren’t falling, hitting only 34.1% from the field in game 3. They were a few free throws away from being 2-0 up as they made their way from California to Texas. Nothing has changed except their attitude and maybe their confidence. If Rivers is such a good coach, he should find the solution to that deterioration, instead of slowly throwing his players under the bus, again.

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12 Best Memes of the Houston Rockets & James Harden Destroying the Dallas Mavericks http://sportige.com/best-memes-of-the-houston-rockets-james-harden-destroying-the-dallas-mavericks-04-25-2015/ http://sportige.com/best-memes-of-the-houston-rockets-james-harden-destroying-the-dallas-mavericks-04-25-2015/#comments Sat, 25 Apr 2015 13:00:01 +0000 http://sportige.com/?p=77544 More ]]> Dwight Howard Rebounds Meme

The Texas derby in the first round of the playoffs isn’t exactly a close, unpredictable affair. The Houston Rockets, led by Dwight Howard and James Harden, are walking all over the Dallas Mavericks, as these memes can help you see.

The last game (game 3, the first one in Dallas) was close. The Rockets won by only two points. But it seems like anything the Mavericks try and surprise the Rockets with, Houston have an answer for. Overall, they’re the much better, more talented team. The Mavericks? Ellis and Nowitzki are playing well, but that’s not nearly enough.

Not when the team is falling apart from the inside. Rajon Rondo is pretty much kicked off the team and won’t be coming back. Chandler Parsons is injured, maybe out for the series. Tyson Chandler is being manhandled in the paint.

This might not be a sweep; not yet. The Mavericks have the firepower to drag it on for a few more days. But winning the series? That’s just not happening. A different class of teams, despite everything Mark Cuban has tried to do this year. Considering his goals and expectations, he’s failed.

We are one meme

Where's Rondo

Rockets Drive By meme

Rockets Sweep Meme

Angry Cuban Meme

Sweep Packing

Get the rebounds

Dwight Howard Meme

Summer vacatio meme

Jason Terry meme

tyson-chandler-applying

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NBA Playoffs – Houston Rockets Finally Get James Harden in MVP Form http://sportige.com/nba-playoffs-houston-rockets-finally-get-james-harden-in-mvp-form-04-25-2015/ http://sportige.com/nba-playoffs-houston-rockets-finally-get-james-harden-in-mvp-form-04-25-2015/#comments Sat, 25 Apr 2015 11:45:34 +0000 http://sportige.com/?p=77536 More ]]> James Harden

Things were going well without James Harden exploding, but the Houston Rockets need him to play like the best player in the league from time to time, and got exactly that in a 130-128 win over the Dallas Mavericks in game 3 to take a 3-0 lead in their playoff series.

Harden scored 42 points on 15-of-24 from the field to go with 7 rebounds and 5 assists, a playoff career scoring high for him. Dwight Howard didn’t join him on the scoring spree, but did grab 26 rebounds (tying the franchise record), including 11 offensive rebounds as the Rockets overcame a fantastic shooting night from Dirk Nowitzki and Monta Ellis, scoring 34 points apiece.

The Rockets, maybe finally finding the right combination to take them through a postseason series, something that hasn’t happened since 2009 and is going to be a first for Harden since joining the team, almost lost a 10-point lead in the final minutes as the Mavs ate away at their lead. In the end, Monta Ellis missed a 20-foot jumper to try and beat the buzzer after his basket with 8 seconds to go narrowed things to just one point. Corey Brewer didn’t miss from the line.

Dirk Nowitzki, Tyson Chandler

The second leading scorer for the Rockets in this game was Josh Smith who is having a fantastic series in what has been something of a career saving move to sign with the Rockets. He was released by the Pistons because it seemed that he was ruining things from inside. He is averaging 14.7 points per game in this series and is a vital part of what now looks like a viable title challenge.

Besides Smith, there was 15 from Corey Brewer, 13 from Trevor Ariza and 12 from Terrence Jones. But even though this wasn’t one of those games in which Harden defers to his sidekicks and role players, they were a lot of help in any case. Howard, despite not scoring a lot of points (averaging 17.3 for the series), was once again too much for Tyson Chandler to handle.

The Mavericks are playing without an injured Chandler Parsons. They’ve also chucked Rajon Rondo, excusing his dismissal by saying he has a back injury, but the truth is that they’re simply tired of his antics, which we will probably learn more about when the season ends. Raymond Felton started in his place, but he’s a guy who shouldn’t be in the NBA anymore. Both J.J. Barea and Devin Harris weren’t half bad, but their defense could have used a little bit of touch up. After making two big trades since the end of last season, the Mavs are exactly in the same spot, and probably worse off for it.

It’ll be the fourth straight season without winning a playoff series for the Mavs since winning the NBA title. It’ll be time to do some serious thinking when this series is over. No one comes back from 0-3 down, although the Mavs were more than close in this one, giving them some hope they can at least win once to avoid the humiliating sweep. The Rockets don’t mind getting caught up in the fast pace and matching the Mavericks shot for shot. They have the firepower, they have the dominant big man to rule the paint, and they have the best player on the floor most of the time. There’s nothing to fear.

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NBA Playoffs – Washington Wizards Making This Look Easy http://sportige.com/nba-playoffs-washington-wizards-making-this-look-easy-04-25-2015/ http://sportige.com/nba-playoffs-washington-wizards-making-this-look-easy-04-25-2015/#comments Sat, 25 Apr 2015 10:45:52 +0000 http://sportige.com/?p=77532 More ]]> Wizards beat Raptors

The Washington Wizards are turning a series that should have been one of the closest (and possibly boring) in the first round of the playoffs into a breeze, beating the Toronto Raptors 106-99 to take  3-0 lead with game 4 being played at home, making the sweep a very likely possibility.

The Raptors continue with their inconsistent shooting, making only 37.4% of their shots. But they stayed in the game thanks to DeMar DeRozan, scoring 32 points (on 11-of-29 from the field). The game was still tied at 88-88 with 4:30 left on the clock, but the Wizards pulled away from there, as Paul Pierce and Otto Porter hit two 3-pointers each.

For Pierce, more than anyone else, this is a series to show he is more than just an old man riding to coattails of younger players towards hopeful glory. He scored 18 points and is averaging 16 per game in this series. He handles the ball quite a lot when it’s the slower pace of the game, and there doesn’t seem to be any doubt about the leader on this team, the guy everyone turns to.

Terrence Ross

John Wall finished with another impressive double double, scoring 19 points and dishing out 15 assists. He’s averaging 13.3 assists per game in this series and while he and Bradley Beal continue to be much less than desirably accurate, the Raptors can’t keep up with him as he easily finds way to get to the basket, and from there either finds open players or goes to the line.

The point guard on the other end, Kyle Lowry, looks exactly the opposite. The Raptors may have dominated the regular season with three wins in three games, but that seems like something that happened long ago, in a different age and time. Lowry is ill and bruised, but who isn’t at this stage of the season? He finished with just 5-of-22 from the field, scoring 15 points. A team that relies so heavily on not just his points but on him not making mistakes can’t afford to have him miss so many shots, taking too many bad ones.

The Wizards turned the ball over 17 times but their defense and discipline are surprisingly intact and solid through transition, allowing just nine points on the fast break. Wall is sharing the ball wonderfully, helping Marcin Gortat lead the way with 24 points (and 13 rebounds). Bradley Beal scored 16 points, Drew Gooden continues to be extremely efficient with 12 points in 18 minutes while Porter finished with 11, becoming a much more capable replacement to Pierce, even playing more minutes than him.

The Raptors insist that they’re not quitting and they still have some fight in them. But no one has ever come back from 0-3 down in an NBA playoff series, and the Raptors don’t look like a team remotely good enough to be the first. More importantly, the Wizards don’t look remotely like a team that seems fragile in any way, not under these circumstances, to let it happen to them.

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NBA Playoffs – Golden State Warriors & Stephen Curry Break the Hearts of the New Orleans Pelicans http://sportige.com/nba-playoffs-golden-state-warriors-stephen-curry-break-the-hearts-of-the-new-orleans-pelicans-04-24-2015/ http://sportige.com/nba-playoffs-golden-state-warriors-stephen-curry-break-the-hearts-of-the-new-orleans-pelicans-04-24-2015/#comments Fri, 24 Apr 2015 12:45:35 +0000 http://sportige.com/?p=77528 More ]]> Stephen Curry

If the New Orleans Pelicans couldn’t beat the Golden State Warriors this time, it’s not going to happen. Stephen Curry scored an impossible 3-pointer to send the game into overtime and eventually a 123-119 win to give the Dubs a 3-0 lead in a series that seems over, despite the fight being put up by their rivals.

The Pelicans held a 89-69 lead going into the fourth quarter, but managed to lose it step by step, as the offense entered protect mode instead of the same aggressiveness and speed of moving the ball like previously. The Warriors slowly ate away at that lead and down by five points (107-102) with 17 seconds to go, turned to Stephen Curry.

First came a 3-pointer to cut the lead down to two points. Anthony Davis on the other end went to the line, but made just 1-of-2. The Warriors went to Curry who missed a 3-pointer, but the Warriors grabbed the offensive rebound. Marreese Speights quickly dished it to Curry in the corner, who was fouled on his way out of bounds, still somehow making the shot, sending the game to overtime.

Tyreke Evans managed to come close with his desperation three, but the game went into overtime, where Curry got off to a quick start with another 3-pointer and closing it out with four shots from the line. With the Warriors leading by two points (121-119) and only 10 seconds to play, Davis attacked the rim but couldn’t get past Andrew Bogut, throwing away the last chance to make this series close and interesting. Enthusiasm, faith, belief, motivation; it got all sucked out of the building when Davis missed that shot, or maybe even before, when Curry made that “impossible” three.

Curry was in Russell Westbrook mode. What does that mean? He did score 40 points, but he shot just 10-of-29 from the field (7-of-18 from beyond the arc). He added 9 assists. Klay Thompson scored 28 points with six 3-pointers of his own. Draymond Green, as always, with 12 points, 17 rebounds and 5 assists, including 7 on the offensive glass, did a lot of the work that allowed Curry and Thompson to be so successful.

Anthony Davis had a big night with 29 points and 15 rebounds. Ryan Anderson was almost in ‘can’t miss’ mode with 26 off the bench, 10-of-14 from the field. Tyreke Evans looked better on his game back with 19 points. But the defense wasn’t there when it was needed, as Quincy Pondexter lost Curry a few too many times. The Pelicans haven’t found a way to get around those screens, although most of the league hasn’t when facing the Warriors.

Warriors beat Pelicans

It’s all but finished. The games were more difficult than the 3-0 lead in the series suggests, but even when you compare it between just the two stars of each team, the Warriors always have that extra something to pull through. It helps when you have a player who doesn’t need more than a split second of room and time to hit even the most difficult of shots, and everyone else is working to make it possible for him. That’s a winning formula, probably even a championship formula.

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NBA Playoffs – Chicago Bulls Getting the Best of Derrick Rose http://sportige.com/nba-playoffs-chicago-bulls-getting-the-best-of-derrick-rose-04-24-2014/ http://sportige.com/nba-playoffs-chicago-bulls-getting-the-best-of-derrick-rose-04-24-2014/#comments Fri, 24 Apr 2015 11:45:40 +0000 http://sportige.com/?p=77524 More ]]> Derrick Rose

The Milwaukee Bucks pushed the hardest they could and still lost. The Chicago Bulls overcame huge deficits to come away with a 113-106 double overtime win and moving up to 3-0 in the series, getting the kind of performance from Derrick Rose they’ve been dreaming of since he began his comeback.

The Bulls managed to come back from an 18-point deficit. They were down 49-31 in the second quarter, but closed the half on an 18-4 run, and carried on the good work in the second half, opening a 10-point lead after a 3-pointer from Tony Snell (94-84) with 2:50 remaining. The Bucks took control, and scored 11 consecutive points, most of them by Khris Middleton (18 overall) to give Milwaukee a 1 point lead with 10 seconds remaining.

Too hot to handle, Rose attacked the basket and drew the foul. He made only 1-of-2, which left the Bucks with 4.2 seconds to try and win the game, but Middleton missed his shot, sending the game to overtime. The teams scored a total of 12 points in the first overtime, as Butler missed a shot that could have won the game, while O.J. Mayo did the same with an air ball on the other end.

Bulls beat Bucks

There, it seemed like the Bucks ran out of ideas. The Bulls scored 12 consecutive points to start the second overtime, including more from Rose who ended up with 34 points on 48 minutes, including going 5-of-9 from beyond the arc, and we mean way beyond the line. He also added 8 assists and 3 steals in his best performance of the postseason when the Bulls needed him the most.

Without Nikola Mirotic, the Bulls limited their use of the bench to mostly Taj Gibson and Snell, who surprised with 16 points on 4-of-8 from beyond the arc. The Bulls had a very good day from long range with 42.4% from downtown. They were actually weaker in the paint, allowing 17 offensive rebounds, struggling to contain the length of Giannis Antetokounmpo and John Henson, grabbing six offensive rebounds each.

Antetokounmpo led the Bucks with 25 points, followed by Michael Carter-Williams with 19 and Middleton with his 18. Henson finished with 15 points and 14 boards in 39 minutes, as it was mostly the bench unit that got things going for the Bucks. However, when it came down to a game of one or two players rising above to decide the game, the Bucks didn’t have anyone good enough to make that switch into a higher gear.

This isn’t basketball that will win championships for the Bulls, but there’s a connecting thread in these playoffs. All series except one (Clippers and Spurs) seem to be going in one direction. However, with the exclusion of the Grizzlies dominating the Blazers, no wins are coming easy. The Bulls aren’t the type of team to run over opponents, especially not physical teams like the Bucks, who have the ability to make things difficult for anyone.

One thing the Bulls should pay special attention to is how Joakim Noah seems almost afraid to shoot the ball now. Sure, Pau Gasol was brought over to take over the offensive load in the paint, but Noah scored just two points on 1-of-5 from the field, playing 46 minutes. He’s averaging just 4.7 points in this series, and although there are a lot of other things he does, having a player that defenses don’t pay attention to doesn’t get you very far.

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NBA Playoffs – Cleveland Cavaliers & LeBron James Closer to the Sweep http://sportige.com/nba-playoffs-cleveland-cavaliers-lebron-james-closer-to-the-sweep-04-24-2015/ http://sportige.com/nba-playoffs-cleveland-cavaliers-lebron-james-closer-to-the-sweep-04-24-2015/#comments Fri, 24 Apr 2015 10:45:13 +0000 http://sportige.com/?p=77520 More ]]> LeBron James

The Boston Celtics tried a new approach – physically rattling the Cleveland Cavaliers. It didn’t work. LeBron James had his best game of the series, and along with Kevin Love and J.R. Smith led his team to a 103-95 win, taking a 3-0 lead in the series.

While none of the games have been blow outs, home or away, the Cavaliers keep showing just how much better they are than their rivals when it comes to focusing, honing in on a certain minor goal and completing it, be it small runs or consecutive stops on defense, leaving the Celtics more and more frustrated as the time goes by, even though they’re not giving up.

So after Evan Turner and Jonas Jerebko failed in their wrestling tactics during the first half, it turned out basketball, simply playing and trying to score, wasn’t a bad idea. Turner hit a 3-pointer with 2:45 left in the game to cut the lead down to 3 points (95-92) but two consecutive 3-pointers from Kevin Love, who started strong (9 points in the first quarter) and finished even stronger, made sure the Cavaliers weren’t going to find themselves in a complicated finish.

Brad Stevens

Running out of ideas (Brad Stevens, Celtics head coach)

 

LeBron James didn’t mind the booing, playing in the postseason in Boston for the first time since 2012 and the conference finals. James scored 45 points that night, making it 3-3 between the Celtics and the Heat, taking the series back to Miami, sealing the deal and moving on to the finals, winning his first NBA championship. He has never been loved in Boston, but he’s had a few big nights there despite the hate.

James scored 31 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, adding four steals and two blocks. The numbers don’t show it, but he played a big part in the focus the Cavaliers put on stopping Isaiah Thomas, limited to just 5 points on 2-of-9 from the field. Cleveland had enough of him causing problems, although it helped others find their rhythm offensively.

Someone who struggled all game long was Kyrie Irving, scoring his first field goal in the third quarter. Irving ended up scoring 13 points, but the Cavaliers had more than enough to make up for his weakest night of the postseason. Kevin Love scored 23 points including six 3-pointers while J.R. Smith enjoyed a hot start, finishing with 15 points. Tristan Thompson scored 12 and was fantastic on the offensive glass, grabbing five offensive rebounds.

Brad Stevens is coaching in his first playoff series, and keeps finding new excuses as to why his team ends up losing games that aren’t blowouts. This time? Poise. But some of his words don’t make sense. He said he loved the energy and spirit from his players, but later complained that Tristan Thompson especially outworked them sounds a little bit weird.

The Cavaliers are working with a small margin of error. They’re not giving complete 48-minute performances without drops in their ability, but that’s understandable. They’re not a perfect team or even close, and it’s too early in the playoffs to get into that mindset, especially when the level of basketball shown by the Celtics is dragging them down, which is part of the failed Stevens plan. James (but not just him) so far isn’t getting dragged anywhere, marching to his own beat, which as always, is a bit above and beyond the rest of everyone of else.

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Barbara Palvin With the Cutest Sexy Gif of All-Time http://sportige.com/barbara-palvin-with-the-cutest-sexy-gif-of-all-time-04-23-2015/ http://sportige.com/barbara-palvin-with-the-cutest-sexy-gif-of-all-time-04-23-2015/#comments Thu, 23 Apr 2015 20:23:15 +0000 http://sportige.com/?p=77516 More ]]> Barbara Palvin

Not everything is about nudity and revealing a lot of skin, even here in the babes category. This short gif of Barbara Palvin giving the camera little smile and eyebrow raise is more than enough to keep up more than interested.

Palvin, 21, is a Hungarian fashion model and actress. She was discovered on the streets of Budapest when she was 13, and since then has worked for Armani Exchange, H&M, Victoria’s Secret, and Pull and Bear while featuring on the covers of L’Officiel, Vogue Russia, Glamour Hungary and Jalouse Magazine.

Calling her an actress might be exaggerating a tad. She’s appeared in just one film, the 2014 version of Hercules, starring Dwayne Johnson, aka “The Rock.”

If you’re looking for a sports connection? She loves football (soccer, that is) and actually played quite a bit before taking up modeling.

Barbara Palvin

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