It’s Conference Finals Time!

The time has come for the 2015 NBA Eastern and Western Conference Championships! Both match-ups are between the one and two seeds, having the one seeded Atlanta Hawks take on the two-seeded Cleveland Cavaliers in the East and the top-ranked Golden State Warriors battling the second-ranked Houston Rockets.

All four teams haven’t won a championship since the 20th century, including the Cavs who have never hoisted the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy. The Warriors haven’t seen the finals in 40 years, since their last trip in 1975 as the newly renamed Golden State Warriors. Houston, who are the most recent winners of the four, last played – and won – in 1995. The Atlanta Hawks have had the longest drought since winning their lone championship in 1958, although they came close to another victory in 1961. lebronThen there is the Cleveland Cavaliers. Although LeBron James led them to the championship in 2007, the Cavs were swept by MVP Tony Parker and the San Antonio Spurs. After the 2010 season, James decided to take his talents to South Beach and won to back-to-back championships with the Miami Heat, but eventually returned to bring back a championship to his home state of Ohio. With the finals in sight again, LeBron, Kyrie Irving, Kendrick Perkins, J.R. Smith, without the help from injured Kevin Love, are pulling out all of the stops to finally call Cleveland the home of the NBA Champions.

With Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals, the Golden State Warriors have taken the advantage on the Rockets with a 110-106 win with the help from MVP Stephen Curry and a smaller than average lineup. The Warriors found themselves down by 16 in the second quarter but ended the first half on a 21-4 run and entered the locker room at halftime up by three. stephcurryRunner up to Stephen Curry in the MVP race, James Harden held on with a near-triple double of 28 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists, but once center Dwight Howard left the game in the fourth quarter with an apparent knee injury, Harden continued to push off defeat. Eventually evening it up at 95, Steph Curry went out and proved why he was the MVP and continued to nail three pointers as the game eventually came to an end, sending the Warriors up with a 1-0 lead on the Rockets going into Game 2.

Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals tips off today (5/20/15) at 8:30 PM EST, with coverage on TNT.

NBA Playoff Update

The first round of the 2015 NBA Playoffs is nearly complete with three teams already punching their tickets for the second round of action. While the series are coming to an end, teams are fighting their way to survive and advance.

In the West, the top-seeded Golden State Warriors took a demanding lead against the New Orleans Pelicans and ousted them from a chance at the championship 4-0. Guard Stephen Curry continued his historical season with a monumental 39 points and 9 assists in the final game.


The second-seeded Houston Rockets’ attempt at a series sweep was denied by Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks, winning Game 4 121-109. Tip-off for Game 5 is at 8:00 PM tonight on TNT.

In a hotly-contested Game 5, the third-seeded Los Angeles Clippers evened the series with the defending champions, the San Antonio Spurs, with an outstanding performance by Chris Paul who had 34 points to help the Clippers. They will battle for the series lead again tonight at 10:30 PM ET, following the Rockets and Mavericks game.

The Portland Trailblazers narrowly avoided elimination with a memorable 32 point, 7 assist performance from Damian Lillard. The Memphis Grizzlies had a 3-0 lead on the Blazers going into Game 4, but couldn’t hold off Lillard’s strong play. The Grizzlies have a chance to advance with Game 5 in Memphis on April 29 at 9:30 PM ET on TNT.

In the East, Cleveland swept the Celtics in a scrappy Game 4, with J.R. Smith being ejected in the third quarter on a physical play against the Celtics’ Jae Crowder who didn’t return after spraining his knee on the play. Cavs forward Kevin Love left the game with a dislocated shoulder after Celtic Kelly Olynyk and Love got tangled while fighting for a loose ball. The Cavs are unsure of Love’s return in the second round, and even in the playoffs all together. 635656656136938690-USP-NBA-PLAYOFFS-CLEVELAND-CAVALIERS-AT-BOSTON-CE-72618160

Also advancing out of the East, the fifth seeded Washington Wizards defeated the Toronto Raptors 125-94 to gain the series sweep. Wizard Marcin Gortat had 21 points in the win.

The top-seeded Atlanta Hawks lost to the eighth-seeded Brooklyn Nets after a monstrous 35 point, 7 assist overtime game. The series goes back to Atlanta for a pivotal Game 5 on April 29 at 7:00 PM ET on TNT.

In a thrilling Central Division match-up, the Bulls have a one game lead on the Bucks as the series heads back to Milwaukee. After a double overtime loss in Game 3, and a buzzer-beating  win for Game 4, the Bucks won and survived for one more game against the Bulls in Game 5.

As the Playoffs go on, it will be exciting to see who makes it to the 2015 NBA Finals. Only time will tell which teams has the most talent to make it all the way

Athletic Hardwood & Synthetic Flooring

Oglethorp Gym, basketball, flooring, hardwood, maple, athleticBasketball Hardwood vs. Synthetic Flooring – Is one better?

When considering what type of hardwood, maple flooring that will be used in a new or renovated gymnasium, the athletes, basketball and others, playing on the floor are of up-most importance, but so is the maintenance of the hardwood flooring.

When purchasing a sports floor, you should consider a floor that:

  • Follows PUR standards, set by the Maple Flooring Manufacturers Association (MFMA)
    • PUR standards focus on:
      • Shock absorption
      • Vertical deflection
      • Area of deflection
      • Ball bounce
      • Surface friction
  • Is safe, providing proper surface friction for the intended use, like basketball games and other athletic activities, for the life of the floor
  • Provides ample shock absorption, for those basketball free throws, to reduce the risk of injury
  • Couples a reasonable initial investment with added Life Cycle Cost Benefits
  • Has a track record for longevity and documented history of success in similar applications, like the many floors Horner Sports Flooring has installed
  • Is manufactured by a reputable company that stands behind their product, like Horner Sports Flooring
  • Is installed by factory-trained, accredited professionals, like one of Horner Sports Flooring’s many partners
  • Is easily maintained

Horner Sports Flooring is the oldest and longest-standing member of the MFMA, with roots dating back to 1891 – the same year basketball was invented.

We have a long history in hardwood flooring, but we also have a product line of synthetic systems. All of our systems are specialized for virtually every sports activity and engineered for the very best in athletic performance, structural integrity, trouble-free maintenance, and long-lasting appeal.

We encourage those looking into athletic, hardwood flooring to consider all the uses that their flooring will be experiencing – that is what makes the difference between hardwood and synthetic flooring.

Hardwood flooring has the aesthetics and performance that is associated with competing athletes. The sub-flooring for hardwood is designed specifically to have shock absorbency to prevent injuries in the athletes. The downside to purchasing hardwood flooring, though, is the cost and maintenance.

Michigan Tech Multipurpose, athletic, hardwood, synthetic, basketball, flooring, maple

So, although hardwood flooring is ideal for the athletes playing on it, multiple uses of the gymnasium may warrant for consideration of synthetic flooring. Frequent conversions between uses will have less wearing to synthetic flooring at it will to hardwood flooring. Also, a much considered benefit of synthetic flooring is the price.

Deciding what type of athletic flooring to use is an important endeavor and one should ask themselves some questions.

Consider these:

  • Sport-specific, multiple sports, or multi-purpose?
  • Top level competition or recreational activities?
  • Number of participants and spectators
  • Number of hours/day and days/year the facility will be used?
  • Special equipment use (bleachers, sound stages, lifts, portable backstops, etc.)?
  • Desired life expectancy of floor?
  • Budgetary considerations – initial cost versus total cost of ownership?

We hope you research and make the considerations you need to make the best choice for your gymnasium flooring. Horner Sports Flooring is happy to help with any of your questions or concerns. We look forward to hearing from you!

Fundraising through Crowdfunding for A New Gym Floor

crowdfundingWhat is Crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding is becoming an increasingly common method of fundraising, it’s time to spread the word about it! So what is crowdfunding? It’s a type of fundraising which usually takes place through the internet on secure websites. It allows for citizens (anywhere in the world) to donate whatever amount they would like if they like the project.

There are many examples of projects that have been fully sponsored by this type of fundraising. Gateway Green, a public works project, fully funded a $100,000 project through crowdfunding. And, Michigan State University raised over $15,000 for its Extreme Makeover: Sparty Edition crowdfunding initiative.

Crowdfunding is a great way to start fundraising for a new gymnasium floor for your basketball, volleyball, and other athletes.

How do I know when it’s a good project?

So, you have a project in mind, but is it the right one? It’s important to pick a project that resonates with people – those people are going to be the ones that push your project to the next level and help it become a reality. Crowdfunding makes it easier for people to market their passions and gain a following.

A new gymnasium floor for a high school basketball team, for example, not only benefits the school, but the students playing on it. Parents, community members, and students have a reason to back a new floor that could benefit everyone.

For a funding goal, start small. These passionate people want to see how they are contributing, and from then on, your crowdfunding can grow.

How do I choose a crowdfunding site?

There are so many crowdfunding websites, how do you know which one to use?Some sites are tailored to one type of project or another.

Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and Crowdfunder are all well-known crowdfunding sites. RallyMe, NLAB, and Sportyfunder are a few sites that are built to support the funding of athletes, teams, or other sports initiatives, like a new gymnasium floor.

While selecting a crowdfunding site, it comes down to the terms of use. When looking at each one, consider the following questions:

  • Does your project fit into the site requirements?
  • Does the site charge a fee?
  • Is the fee dependent on your project’s success?
  • Will you still receive the donations if your goal is not met?
  • What other tools does the site offer to help promote your project?

What do I do once it’s on a crowdfunding site?

Once the site is up, it’s like any other fundraising campaign: promote and spread it! Use word of mouth, social media, local media, press releases, and get the people close to it pumped about it.

It is like other fundraising campaigns – and it may fail in reaching the goal in the allotted time. But, don’t let that discourage you. It could be your best way in finding out what your supporters really want and help future initiatives.

You won’t know until you start; so, go out there and try!

For more in-depth information, check out Mass Appeal in Athletic Business.

State-Farm All-Star Saturday Results

Did you tune into the All-Star events this past Saturday? Read on for full results!

State-Farm All-Star Saturday Results:

  • Foot Locker Three-Point Contest:
    • Overall Winner: Marco Belinelli of San Antonio for the West
      • The East Winner: Bradley Beal with 21 vs. Kyrie Irving with 16
      • The West Winner: Belinelli with 19 vs. Damian Lillard with 18
      • Final Round: Three tie breaker rounds with a final score of 24 for Belinelli, an event-high score.
2014 Foot Locker Three-Point Contest

Belinelli shooting a 3-pointer (Photo from CBS sports)

  • Taco Bell Skills Challenge:
    • Overall Winner: Damian Lillard of Portland (for the second year straight) for the West
    • First Round:
      • Lillard and Trey Burke beat Goran Dragic or Phoenix and Reggie Jackson of Oklahoma City to represent the West
      • Michael Carter-Williams and Victor Oladipo beat Giannis Antetokounmpo of Milwaukee and DeMar DeRozan of Toronto to represent the East
    • Final Round
      • The West Team edged out the East Team by a tenth of a second for a winning time of 45.2 seconds to dribble around obstacles, pass, and shoot from medium and close range
  • Sprite Slam Dunk Contest:
    • Overall Winner: East Team with John Wall of Washington, Paul George of Indiana, and Terrence Ross of Toronto.
      • Freestyle Round: East Team: 3, West Team: 0
      • Battle One: Terrence Ross: 2, Damian Lillard: 1
      • Battle Two: Paul George: 3, Harrison Barnes: 0
      • Battle Three: John Wall: 3, Ben McLemore: 0
    • John Wall was named the Sprite Slam Dunker of the night.

John Wall dunking (Photo from CBS sports)

  • Sears Shooting Stars:
    • Overall Winner: East with Team Bosh with Chris Bosh, Dominique Wilkins, and Swin Cash (WNBA)
    • First Round:
      • Team Bosh beat Team Hardaway with Tim Hardaway Jr., Tim Hardaway Sr., and Elena Delle Donne (WNBA) to represent the East
      • Team Durant with Kevin Durant, Karl Malone, and Skylar Diggins (WNBA) beat Team Curry with Stephen Curry, Dell Curry, and Becky Hammon (WNBA) to represent the West
    • Final Round, East vs. West:
      • Team Bosh: 31.4 seconds
      • Team Durant: 43.6 seconds

For complete details of the NBA-All Star weekend, check out the NBA’s website.

For more information on Horner Flooring, the manufacturer of the NBA All-Star floor, visit

NBA All-Star Game Results

Did you tune into the NBA All-Star game this past weekend? Read on for full results!

All-Star Game:

The East won with a final score of 163 to 155, ending it’s three year losing streak with the highest scoring All-Star game yet (the highest All-Star score was previously 155 points for the West in 2003). The game’s MVP was Kyrie Irving, who scored 31 points and made 14 assists. An All-Star record was made by Carmelo Anthony, who made eight 3-pointers and scored 30 points.

The West scored 44 points in the first quarter and 45 in the second for a total of 89 points in the first half, another All-Star record. However, the East brought their score up in the second half as Irving helped the East get 87 points.

2014 NBA All-Star Game

Photo courtesy of

On a more musical note, Magic Johnson encouraged the All-Stars to sing “Happy Birthday” to Bill Russell, a Hall-of-Famer and a great NBA champion, at the All-Star game. Russell turned 80. What a way to spend your birthday!

2014 NBA All-Star Game

Photo courtesy of

For complete details of the NBA-All Star weekend, check out the NBA’s website.

For more information on Horner Flooring, the manufacturer of the NBA All-Star floor, visit