Monday, February 28, 2011

The Team to Beat...

'Melo to the Knicks, D. Williams to the Nets, Hinrich to the Hawks, K. Perkins to the Thunder, the Celtics get Jeff Green; these are some of the trades made prior to the NBA deadline. The NBA is unlike any other league because it completely revolves around its' individual stars. One key addition can turn an entire franchise into a contender while one major subtraction can handicap an organization (insert Cavalier joke here). So after all the dust has settled, what teams do you consider to be the favorites to make the Finals this season?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

What Would Robin Hood Do?

The rich are getting richer, and the poor are getting Raymond Felton. To imitate America's current economic condition, the gap between good teams and bad teams is growing. We have our contenders, and we've had them since day one of the season. Which of the five or so teams will win the NBA Championship? There is no chance for the other teams. Is it good for the league that its superstars are assembling themselves together?

Top 25 Under 25

We all know that the NBA still belongs to the likes of Kobe and LeBron, but there is a flood of young talent coming up so I looked at what the NBA is going to look like in the future. This is the players that I'd want for the next 10 years in this league. This is based on previous accomplishments, future potential, and a little personal preference thrown in as well.

Honorable Mention: Andrea Bargnani, Rodney Stuckey, JaVale McGee, Ty Lawson, DeJuan Blair, Michael Beasley, Tyrus Thomas

25. Brandon Jennings
24. Brook Lopez

Both will probably be higher in most people's opinions, but Lopez is 7 feet tall and just doesn't rebound while Jennings shoots an awful percentage from the field. They're also below average defenders.

23. Paul Milsap-
22. Serge Ibaka

These two will be top 10 power forwards for years to come. Milsap has the ability to put up 20 points a night, while Ibaka is more of a rebounding and shot blocking presence in the post.

21. DeMarcus Cousins- So maybe he's insane. Wasn't Dennis Rodman too?

20. Tyreke Evans- Tyreke's numbers are down from his rookie campaign, but I'm not too worried considering he's only 21 years old

19. Andrew Bynum- By now he should probably be in the top 5 of this list but it just hasn't happened yet. I still believe though.

18. Eric Gordon- The urban legend says that he played MJ's son in Space Jam. Apparently he learned how to shoot while on set. The kid can score.

17. Josh Smith-Undersized for a Power Forward, but doesn't have quite the skill set to be a Small Forward. Still a physical freak who can block some shots.

16. Luol Deng- An all around good player who will never be a great player. Still I'd love to have him on my team.

15. Rudy Gay- The rich man's Luol Deng.

14. John Wall- Could be the next great floor general.

13. Al Horford
12. Joakim Noah

These two are gonna be dominant Centers in this league for the next decade. They're both well rounded offensively and defensively. Horford is more of a scorer, while Noah is a top rebounder in the NBA

11. Monta Ellis
10. Stephen Curry
9. Rajon Rondo

All three are excellent guards but lack something. Curry is a well rounded offensive player but lacks the proper on-ball defensive skills. Ellis is an incredible scorer but is lackluster on defense. Rondo is an assist machine and an excellent defender, but his shot is less than impressive.

8. LaMarcus Aldridge- He has improved in every category this season. He already was a good player and has transformed into a great one.

7. Blake Griffin-I don't think I really have to say a lot here. Everyone knows about BG.

6. Russell Westbrook- He rebounds well, plays solid defense, and dishes out 9 assists a game. Also, the 22 a night isn't shabby. He's only getting better.

5. Kevin Love- When you're 22 and getting compared to Moses Malone you must be doing something right.

4. Derrick Rose
3. Chris Paul

Rose is an incredible scorer who contributes to his team in every other possible way as well. Paul is an outstanding player who could shine even more on any other team. I can't wait to see him in 2011-12 on another team.

2. Kevin Durant- He's only 22 and is most likely going to grab his second consecutive scoring title. Did I mention he's only 22?? He's also an above average rebounder for a small forward.

1. Dwight Howard- An absolute physical freak at the Center position. Howard could go down as a top 5 or 6 Center in NBA history.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

In the Knick of Time

The Knicks finally put an end to all the Carmelo Athony trade talks. The Knicks decided not to wait until free agency and take the chance of losing Anthony. So are the Knicks a contender now? If not, how long until they become one? Should they have parted with so much to get Anthony?

Maximum Contraction

A list of ten teams that shouldn't be, from the three major sports.

10. & 9. NFL – Seattle Seahawks & Arizona Cardinals – The NFL has a perfect product, but they must be included in the list, if only to hope for a talent overflow somewhere in the league. (If I didn't enjoy the Jaguars, I'd have them and Houston here. The two teams picked have been to Championships in the last 6 years.) At least two teams really stink every year, but the Bills and Lions and Bucs and Browns (no, not them) all have great histories. Take Carolina, if you want, but two teams must go.

8. NBA – Minnesota Timberwolves – Didn't they draft two point guards in the top six overall in 2009? No one's seen either of them since (Sure, Jonny Flynn plays almost 20 MPG, but I don't watch Minny, and neither do you). They didn't draft their two best players: Kevin Love and Darmichael Beaslicic. And Nick Calathes went there and died along with the real Jonny Flynn and Rubio's rights.

7. MLB – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim – This is a good team with a great manager (like that matters in baseball). But the name makes me want to eat Bartolo Colon's hair. No one does this. They are the Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie of the MLB. Or the nerd wearing a Hollister T-shirt, when his glasses and pocket protector scream Bugle Boy. Anaheim, stop using Los Angeles' name to look cool.

6. MLB – Pittsburgh Pirates – History doesn't matter; look forward. The biggest splash they've made in the last three years is dumping Jason Bay. And we all thought he was good. I'm sorry, Andrew McCutchen. We know your secret.

5. NBA – Charlotte Bobcats – Supposedly, this is a real NBA franchise (No confirmation, as Collin is my source). If your most attractive personality is a non-player, you need contraction, even more-so if he's your owner. I'll let you keep your team when you re-replace your mascot: back to the Hornets now, jerks.

4. NBA – Toronto Raptors – Canada has a basketball team—not football or baseball, basketball. I'm no sociologist, but something seems off. Yeah, Montreal wasn't right for baseball, but Toronto would be. With all of the traveling-between-countries-with-customs woes, I'd rather the Buffalo Bills move to Toronto, then the players would only have to travel over a border 10-12 times a season (or 24, depending on the NFL's new CBA) instead of the 41 (and only 41, because Toronto doesn't make the Playoffs—don't Google, just trust......Darn you). Note: the previous portion of this paragraph was written in a Who Jays Haze. Yeah, there sure are four teams in the AL East. You're cute. What? Five? Now you're just talking crazy.

3. MLB – Florida Marlins – Yeah, they have two World Series wins in their short tenure. But their dumping of players upsets me, wins Boston a ring and puts Miggy the Alcoholic in a bad situation. You can't tell me that he would have been arrested or even drunk if he was in South Beach. Also, Hanley Ramirez told me he's tired of playing in front of twenty-nine people every night. If a city cannot fill seats for a team, they don't deserve it (Oh God, what am I saying? Mr. Weaver, I didn't mean it.)

2. NBA – New Orleans Hornets – There are three simple reasons to get rid of you, NO: it would release CP3 to run freely on a good team with management that appreciates him (or just management, which bring me to reason two) ; the NBA owns you; somehow, you're in the Western Conference. The last one discredits all names in the NBA, with New Orleans being farther East than like fourteen Eastern teams (but I'm no geographer either) and...You aren't the real Hornets.

1. NFL – Oakland Raiders – Al Davis is Jerry Jones without charisma (or the need to be liked and known, whichever Jones has). If you are affluent enough to own a professional sports team, you are not qualified intellectually to manage one. So Al, stop.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Something Has To Fill Our Time

Do you sense that the NBA is being pushed harder now than any other time in the last ten years? We hear about the deep pool of talent (though the last two drafts were pretty weak: maybe 4 players have a shot at being a superstar). And we have the classic powerhouse teams (but neither LA or Boston has changed much through the last four seasons). Is fear of an absent NFL season driving the media charge?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Fat Lady Sit Down

"Carmelo Anthony will end up in...", "Blake Griffin in the dunk contest", and more Blake Griffin were the headlines heading into All-Star weekend. Youth was served in a huge way by players like Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook. Players showcased in the Skills Competition, Dunk Contest, and the All-Star game itself included stars like Blake Griffin, Rajon Rondo, Blake Griffin, LeBron James, Blake Griffin, Kevin Durant and even Blake Griffin. Yet, after all was said and done, one man reminded us of who is STILL the best in the league. Kobe Bryant.
37 points, 14 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals. That was Bryant's stat line at the end of the game. He was awarded with his 4th MVP of an All-Star game. Bryant sent a reminder to the rest of the league that he is still the best player in the league. No play summed up Bryant's statement greater than his dunk on LeBron James. It made you ask yourself if Kobe really ages. Speaking of if someone ever ages, Halle Berry, is she still in her twenties?
Veterans like Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan, and Paul Pierce barely combined for 30 minutes in the game while Kobe played 29. Those same veterans combined for a total of 12 points on 5-13 shooting. Kobe shot 14-26 from the field. I understand the world is ready for Kobe to move off into the distance but the man refuses. In a game catered to the high energy of young players, Kobe shone the brightest.
Sure, the Lakers are on a three game losing streak and one of those was to the Cleveland Cavaliers (yes, those Cleveland Cavaliers). Yes, the Lakers have looked too old at times to even make a jog in the playoffs much less a run. Sure the league is better served by the explosive dunks of Blake Griffin, "Dream Team" in the Miami Heat, and a team in New York that is not a complete eye sore but in our haste to look for the next great "thing" we may have neglected the greatest thing since "His Airness". So Fat Lady please sit back down. Mr. Bryant still has some games to play.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Greatest Dunk...

The 2011 NBA dunk contest is upon us. Blake Griffin, unless he does a layup drill, will be the winner. That had us thinking, what is the greatest dunk you have ever seen?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

MJ really the greatest?

Michael Jordan turned 48 today. We want to know is he really the greatest NBA player of all-time? What about greatest athletes in general? Has any other icon become as big of a global icon?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Look Out the Lockout

You've heard, "Any press is good press." But are labor talks between the NFL and its union surrounding a CBA--now that it has become the story from the offseason--inflicting a black-eye on the image of Goodell's good league?

NBA Finals Rankings

With the All-Star break coming up this weekend, we thought we'd take a look at all the teams in the NBA in some sort of season-so-far column or maybe a look ahead. After some thinking, I decided to go with a power rankings, but with a twist. These aren't just ranking the 32 teams, but ranking them in the order of who has the best chance of holding up the trophy come the end of the season.

1. San Antonio Spurs- The Spurs gaudy 45-9 record is the complete opposite of their "boring" play. Come playoff time the experience this team has is going to best friend. They just hope the age of their stars doesn't start to become a problem when game 100 rolls around.

2. Boston Celtics- The Celts are in the same boat as the Spurs. They have lots of experience, but their stars are getting up there in age as well. Their bench is pretty deep but they are also being hit by the injury bug, which could turn out to be a big problem.

3. Los Angeles Lakers- Things are somewhat ugly in LA right now, but I don't think anyone is worried about the two-time defending champs. There's definitely still a strong possibility of a three-peat.

4. Chicago Bulls- The Bulls have arguably the NBA MVP right now in Derrick Rose and lead the league in team defense. Also, they're 36-16 without Boozer and Noah being on the court at the same time. Throw in a nice bench, and this could be a sleeper pick to make the finals.

5. Miami Heat- They definitely have the star power to make the finals, but what worries me is their 0-5 record this season to the teams listed above. Though I still have them ranked high because you can't ever count out a team that has Wade and LeBron

6. Dallas Mavericks- This team is actually pretty deep as well. I think they live and die by Dirk a little bit to much, but if players like Butler can step up, and they can keep getting excellent play from Barea and Chandler, then they definitely have a good shot at making a run.

7. Orlando Magic- The 8 game losing streak to teams with a winning record was ugly, but the stomping of the Lakers Sunday was impressive. Inconsistency is their downfall, but this team does have the talent to take them there.

8. Oklahoma City Thunder- They're an extremely young team which is great for the future, but could be their downfall in this year's playoffs. Durant and Westbrook are gonna be stars in this league for years, but I don't know how far they can carry the rest of the team this year. Especially without a legitimate big man.

9. Atlanta Hawks- I'm not sure if Atlanta is ever gonna make the jump from 4-5 seed to legitimate Finals contender. Joe Johnson is playing outstanding this year though, as well as Al Horford. If they can consistently get big games out of Jamal Crawford and Josh Smith, then this might be the year that they start scaring people.

10. New Orleans Hornets- Okafor has been a nice addition for the Hornets this year, and could help take some of the pressure off of Chris Paul in the playoffs.

11. Memphis Grizzlies- This team reminds me a lot of the Thunder with all the young talent that they have. Rudy Gay is a stud, and Zach Randolph is playing like a man possessed. I just wonder if they're going to get absolutely anything positive out of OJ Mayo this year.

12. Portland Traiblazers- LaMarcus Aldridge is tearing it up this season. His numbers are ridiculous. I'd have this team a little higher, but Brandon Roy scares me if he's not completely heathly. They need him to come back strong.

13. Denver Nuggets- This ranking is only this high if they keep Carmelo. I like the rest of the Nuggets alright, but they will need 'Melo if they want to make a push for the finals.

14. Philadelphia 76ers- It's definitely not been pretty all season, but the 76ers have seemed to fare pretty well against the better teams in the league. They could put together a little run come playoff time.

15. New York Knicks- If they pull off the Carmelo deal then I'd rank them a few spots higher, but until then they stay here in the middle of the pack. Felton and Landry Fields have been playing well, and Amare has been quite the addition but without 'Melo they don't have much of a chance.

16. Indiana Pacers- The Pacers aren't very good, but the Eastern Conference is weak and so the Pacers would make the playoffs as it stands now. I give them slim to no chance on winning the finals.

17-21. Still a shot at the playoffs, but at this point wouldn't make it: Charlotte, Milwaukee, Utah, Phoenix, Houston.

22-25. Barely alive: Detroit, New Jersey, Golden State, LA Clippers.

26-31. No chance: Washington, Toronto, Sacramento, Minnesota

32. Cleveland Cavaliers- They had to be grouped by themselves considering how awful they are.

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Chat with George Wrighster:

In 2003, the Jacksonville Jaguars selected a Tight End from The University of Oregon by the name of George Wrighster in the fourth round. In just two years at Oregon, Wrighster had 8 total touchdowns as well as 52 receptions and 691 yards. George played for six seasons with the Jaguars ('03-'08) and totaled 9 Tds, 94 receptions and 850 yards. Recently, Wrighster won the UFL championship with the Las Vegas Locomotives while grabbing 18 receptions.

George Wrighster was willing to take the time to answer questions for us at Salute Your Sports about life, the draft process, and the potential NFL lockout. Here is the interview:

SYP: Pepsi or Coke?

GW: Neither. Sprite. I rarely drink soda anyway.

SYP: Oregon Championship or UFL Championship?

GW: Oregon. I love the Ducks

SYP:Madden or Call of Duty?


SYP:Tom Brady or Peyton Manning?

GW:Peyton every time

SYP:Kobe or LeBron?

GW:Lol. Kobe #Lakers

SYP: Favorite stadium to play in the NFL?

GW: Baltimore Coliseum

SYP: Best player you ever played with?

GW: Fred Taylor

SYP: Funniest player you ever played with?

GW: Adrian Awasom

SYP: Who was the hardest hitting defender you ever took a shot from?

GW: Donovan Darius in practice.

SYP: You are very active on Twitter (@georgewrighster), what is the funniest thing someone has ever said to you on Twitter?

GW: It's funny when people have such strong opinions and get mad about things I could care less about.

SYP: If you could have one person follow you on Twitter who would it be and why?

GW: Obama- that means I'm making moves for real!

SYP: You are on a desert island and can have three items with you? What are they and why?

GW: I only need 1. iPhone. I have everything I need. All the tools I need to get off and books to read/music to listen to to keep me busy till help arrives or I build a raft off. Lol.

SYP: After a game you can go get a drink with three players, who are they and why?

GW: Adrian Awasom, Samie Parker, and Rashad Bauman

SYP: The draft is the next big item in the NFL "off" season, what was your experience like leading up to draft day?

GW: If was hectic. Flying to teams and working out. U just want to put yourself in the best possible situation to succeed.

SYP: You were drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2003 in the 4th round out of Oregon, what was the feeling like when you got the call?

GW: Instant chip on my shoulder. I felt like I should have been drafted higher.

SYP: You recently won the championship in the UFL with the Las Vegas Locomotives, how was that experience for you?

GW: It was so much fun. The business of football is still there but not as prevalent so it's was a lot of fun. Winning is always great!

SYP: You've said on Twitter that you hope to get back in the NFL, what does that process look like for you?

GW: Trying to get workouts lined up. As soon as I get on a team I will prove I'm still one of the best TEs around.

SYP: When was the moment in your career that you realized you could not only compete but succeed in the NFL?

GW: In training camp my rookie year. I was making some plays and a light when on and I said, "Hey I can do this. "

SYP: What was it like to score your first TD in the NFL?

GW: Bittersweet. We were getting blown out by the Buffalo Bills the 1st or 2nd game of my rookie year.

SYP: Is there a play that you made that stands out in your mind?

GW: Yes. 2. A TD against the Bengals on Monday night and the game winning TD against the Browns in the snow.

SYP: What is your perspective on the potential lockout looming over the NFL and how does it, if at all, impact your return to the league?

GW: It affects your health care for your children and yourself until the deal is done. Everyone knows a deal will get done eventually it's just a matter of when. It does affect my return to the league because free agency will be non existent until CBA is done.

Hopefully, the NFL will be able to reach an agreement sooner rather than later so athletes like George Wrighster will have the opportunity to continue living out their dreams. Again, we would like to thank George Wrighster for taking the time to share with us his perspective on issues and his life in general.

Friday, February 11, 2011

"With the 1st Pick..."

NBA All Star weekend will start this Saturday with all the skills challenges including the highly acclaimed "Slam Dunk Contest". Sunday will showcase the top players in the league from both conferences playing against each other. Let's adopt the NHL's policy of handling their All Star teams ( they do a fantasy draft with all the players selected to the All Star team. Eliminating conferences and allowing coaches to pick the teams) and you are the coach of the NBA All Star team, who is your first pick and why?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

2011 QB Rankings?

Rankings are one of the best things about sports. There is nothing better than ranking athletes because everyone sees it differently. Sometimes we have "Shallow Hal" eyes and sometimes we just see the facts. Either way let's look at NFL QBs heading into the 2011 offseason.

The NFL is a quarterback driven league. Unfortunately, not all offensive systems are the same so it makes it difficult to determine the top quarterbacks in the league. Do we base it strictly off numbers? Wins? Clutch plays? Potential?

My rankings are based on the premise that all things are created equal. This means that coaching staffs, offensive weapons, and defenses are equal across the board. [I.e. Is it really fair to compare Drew Brees (41 passing attempts per game) to David Garrard (26 att/game, which was an NFL low) based strictly on numbers?] Some QBs in the rankings were backups in 2010 but I expect them to be starters in 2011. Obviously, rookies from the 2011 draft are not included. Also, only 32 QBs are ranked (Sorry Alex Smith). So with all things considered, here are the rankings:

1. Tom Brady- 36 TDs and 4 INTs. This man succeeds regardless of who he throws to.

2. Peyton Manning- Arguably the greatest regular season QB of all time but it's his post season accolades or lack there of that hurt.

3. Phillip Rivers- I know he has never one a SB. However, he finished 2010 with 4710 yards, 30 TDs and a 101.8 rating. Who did he throw to again? Exactly.

4. Aaron Rodgers- Fresh off the best post season we have ever seen played by a QB, yes the best, Rodgers only knock for me is that compared to Rivers he has better weapons at his disposal and never ever hands the ball off. Lower yards per attempt but he could be higher in most lists.

5. Ben Roethlisburger- Morals aside, this man wins. I am not even sure if this is truly accurate but he seems to make the most crucial plays more than any other QB. This SB aside, he is the one QB I would not want against me.

6. Drew Brees- He looks good throwing but his offense is strictly a passing offense and I'm not sure he has the same success in a balanced offense.

7. Josh Freeman- Love everything about this guy. he made the Bucs relevant this year and has them on a course to greatness. Has that it factor that everyone looks for.

8. Mike Vick- When healthy he is a weapon all to himself. He showed this year that he has matured as a QB and leader.

9. Matt Ryan- Matty Ice is clutch. He is one of those guys that seems to make the big play when it is most needed. By the way, is the NFC South really this loaded with QB talent? It is.

10. Joe Flacco- The Ravens play calling is horrible. Flacco is often times placed in situations where odds are against him. Plus, if TJ Houshmanzadeh catches that long 4th down reception against the Steelers, Flacco might have been playing last Sunday.

11. Sam Bradford- This guy impressed me because he took every snap as the STL QB last season and performed extremely well. He won at home and will learn how to win the tough game on the road.

12. Tony Romo- He's too high. Probably five spots too high but he has above average numbers and wins in the regular season.

13. Matt Schaub- Great numbers and great arm. Sometimes he seems to lack the ability to lead a team to victory.

14. Kyle Orton- Why is he getting moved so much? He won in Chicago but they chose Cutler. Now the Broncos are forced to try Tebow and part ways with Orton. If my team were to get Orton I would-be more than pleased. ( see #25)

15. Ryan Fitzpatrick- I'm a fan. He had no running game. No WRs until he made S. Johnson a name. No Defense yet he finished with 23 TDs.

16. Matt Stafford- Please stay healthy. My God you have Calvin Johnson to throw to!

17. Jay Cutler- hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

18. Kevin Kolb- He will be a starter next year. Crazy how one year can make us forget that he was projected borderline top 10 QB heading into last year. I will take him. ( see #25)

19. Matt Cassel- It's not that he has had great numbers but I blame the offense he plays in more than his actual ability.

20. Tim Tebow- He played better than I expected in his four games last year. He has all the intangibles but is inconsistent in passing plus he can not run all the time with his bruising style.

21. Carson Palmer- Where has this guy gone?

22. Eli Manning- see #21.

23. Donovan McNabb- He is getting old. But for me it's the drama that follows this guy. Every season he is involved in some story. It has to be bad for a locker room.

24. Chad Henne- He makes some great throws and then some horrible throws. He's young. In the right situation this guy could lead a team deep in the playoffs. Also, the Wildcat kills a QBs momentum.

25. David Garrard- He can not win a game by himself. He is as inconsistent as they come. I hate placing him this low and understand that personal heartbreak has influenced my decision. "The chip has been compromised."

26. Mark Sanchez- Who does he scare? He has had one of the best defenses, very good WRS and RBS and his numbers are still pedestrian.

27. Matt Hasselbeck- Often times hurt. Don't see much from him next season.

28. Colt McCoy- He will never be an elite passer. If he is going to succeed he will have to take the Mold of Big Ben. make big plays when they need to be made. I saw glimpses of that last year.

29. Vince Young- I actually would rank Jim higher if A.) he had a team and B.) he had only one personality.

30. Jason Campbell- mediocre on a good day

31. Kerry Collins- I believe Brett Favre laughed when he realized Collins was still playing. He's the next Mr. Wrangler.

32. Jimmy Claussen- Zero, yes zero, TDs to a WR last year. He has Steve Smith ( the crazy one) on his squad. I say Smith throws Jimmy under the bus around week 3, of the preseason.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Carmelo Soap Opera

Another day, another trade deal speculated for Carmelo Anthony. Every few days it seems as if another team is putting a package together to try and grab Melo for the rest of the year (and hopefully years to come). Though anyone not named New York or Los Angeles should probably stop wasting their time since he won't end up signing an extension come next year. Carmelo is averaging 25 a game for his career and just a litle over 6 boards a game as well. He's arguably a top 5 player in the game right now, so this trade is gonna shake up the league and make any team that gets him considerably beter. Let's look at the two possible deals that are supposedly on the table right now.

1. Los Angeles Lakers- There technically isn't even an actual offer yet but the negations are ongoing as we speak. From what I've seen the deal is Carmelo for Andrew Bynum straight up. It's a strong possibility that the Nuggets would throw in some players with expiring contracts as well, maybe Kenyon Martin or Chris Andersen. For the Lakers I think this a good trade because life after Kobe is coming fast and Melo is a superstar and will be for another 8-10 years. Gasol can play Center and Odom comes into the starting lineup and you still have a great team on the court. On the Nuggets side of the deal I like it as well. Melo isn't gonna stay so they must trade him and get some young talent for him while they can. Bynum is supposed to have already been a superstar if not for some injuries. The Nuggets have a good center in NeNe, but adding Bynum would be a great addition.

2. New York Knicks- Carmelo wants to go to the Knicks over almost anyone, so they have a little leverage, but I think the Lakers have put a better package on the table. The Knicks deal is actually a three team deal involving the Timberwolves as well. As it stands right now the Knicks would receive Carmelo, the Nuggets would receive Wilson Chandler and Corey Brewer, as well as Minnesota's first round pick. The Timberwolves would end up receiving Anthony Randolph and Eddy Curry. There's actually a couple of things about this deal that are holding it back. First, the Timberwolves want to receive more in this deal, which makes sense because I think they're getting completely screwed in this deal. Another think is that the Nuggets are concerned with the health of Wilson Chandler, and they could be looking to receive more as well.

Either deal is interesting and could really change things for the second half of the season. I'm just ready for a deal to happen and this Melo soap opera to be over with. Which trade do you like better? Any other interesting deals you think could be made? Heck, by the time this is posted there could be two more different trade scenarios everyone is talking about.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tim Tebow as Backup?

John Elway was asked two weeks ago who his starting QB would be and he said, "Kyle Orton". Orton put up very good numbers in 2010 (20 TDs 9INTs 87.5 QB rating) but Tebow, 2010 first round pick, also played well (11 total TDs, 3 INTs, and an 82.1 QB rating). So you are John Elway, who do you make your starting QB for 2011?

Monday, February 7, 2011

Super Bowl XLVI Contenders

Football season is officially over. That means it's time to start looking ahead to next season (if we have a next season). Here are the best possible contenders for next year's Super Bowl.

10. Philadelphia Eagles- I would probably rank them higher, but until I'm sure that Michael Vick is the official starter, I will leave them here. I believe they have the fastest offense, and the defense is solid enough to get them far in the playoffs.

9. Chicago Bears- They were close this year to making it, and I believe they can get back as long as Jay Cutler doesn't qui...I mean get injured again.

8. San Diego Chargers- Philip Rivers is a mad man from December on. As long as they don't put themselves in a hole next year by starting slow again, I believe we'll see them in the playoffs and see them make a run for the Super Bowl.

7. New Orleans Saints- They still have Drew Brees...

6. Atlanta Falcons- Matty Ice is young and should just keep getting better, and the rest of the offense is super talented. If the defense improves a little in the offseason then this could be the team to beat.

5. Baltimore Ravens- I really like this team, and if wasn't for a couple of huge dropped passes, then we could've seen them in the Super Bowl this year. The stars of their defense are getting a little old, but I think they can still hang with the youngsters for another year.

4. Pittsburgh Steelers- You can never count them out. This team seems to always be close every year, and I don't think next year changes anything.

3. New England Patriots- Belichick and Brady got as far as they did with arguably the worst possible supporting cast they've had in years. The defense is super young and should only get better. I like this team to improve and be even better next year.

2. New York Jets- Maybe I've bought into the "Hard Knocks" hype too much, but I loved this team this year, and like them even more for next year. A young, talented offense, and a veteran defense should take them far. Plus, I imagine Rex works his butt off to make sure he doesn't get knocked out in the AFC Championship game for a third year in a row.

1. Green Bay Packers- I think we all saw last night how dangerous this team is. Aaron Rodgers is an elite quarterback in this league, and he's only getting better. They also have one of the top defenses in the league. As long as this team stays together, they'll be the team to beat in 2011-12.

Top Story of the 2010 NFL season

Sure the games are over. The Super Bowl was just an exclamation mark on a rather exciting and unusual NFL season. The NFL has mastered the art of remaining relevant all year long. No matter if there are games being played, prospective rookies working out for potential coaches, or off the field issues that some major player finds himself in each off season, the NFL will remain in the news all year long.Now it is easy for us as sports fans to be caught in the moment and quickly remember the 2010 season with the scene of Aaron Rodgers holding the Lombardi trophy but is that truly the story of the 2010 season? Here are the top five stories of the 2010 season.

5. "Patriots trade Randy Moss and go 13-3."- After week four had come to an end, the New England Patriots WR Randy Moss had nine catches (season total) and one of the most disinterested performances in recent memory. The Patriots traded Moss to the Minnesota Vikings for a 3rd round pick and apparently knew something the rest of the world did not. While Moss would later be cut by the Vikings and rumor has it he was picked up by the Tennessee Titans(this can not be confirmed nor denied due to lack of evidence on the field), the Patriots would acquire Deion Branch and Tom Brady would go onto make NFL history for pass attempts without an interception (335). The Patriots offense became unstoppable for the remainder of the regular season. Tom Brady finished with 36 TDs and only 4 INTs and the first ever unanimous AP

4. "Pittsburgh Steelers overcome Big Ben's off field troubles."- It was no Tiger Woods story but news of Ben Roethlisburger's night at a Georgia college night club was pouring out of television screens worldwide. This
was the third off season that Big Ben found himself in some sort of controversy ( motorcycle crash while
not wearing a helmet, rape allegations in Vegas, and rape allegations in Georgia). The NFL commissioner stepped in and decided to suspend the Steelers QB for the first four games of the season. How did the Steelers respond? A record of 3-1 with a realistic chance of of finishing 4-0 had Joe Flacco not stolen one from them. Obviously, the Steelers continued to win regardless of Big Ben's off field distractions and finished the season one TD away from winning the Lombardi Trophy.

3. "Michael Vick Unleashed?"- Kevin Kolb, QB for Philadelphia Eagles, exits week one with a concussion and Mike Vick enters the game with the same electricity he possessed years prior as the starting QB of the Atlanta Falcons. The difference for Vick this season was that he threw extremely effective and relied more on his arm than his legs a
s in previous seasons. Vick finished the season with career highs through the air in TDs (21), passer rating (100.2) and career low in INTs (6). He rushed for 9 TDs as well. All this plus a division title led Vick to receive the NFL's Comeback Player of the Year Award.

2. "I'm retired.....NOT: The Brett Favre Story."- Sure this has been a story for the last 10 seasons or so but this year it took and
even more pathetic turn. 3 players from the Vikings (Jarred Allen, Steve Hutchinson, and Ryan Longwell) left training camp and flew down to Favre's ranch to beg him to return. He did. The Vikings have the 12th pick
in the draft of 2011. Favre finished the season on the sidelines, injured. Not only did his consecutive starts streak end but nude photos of Favre flooded the Internet after a former Jets employee, Jenn Sterger, reported that Favre had made advances on her during his time with the Jets. Needless to say, Favre found himself as the most talked about player on television, radios and articles during the 2010 season.

1. "Should I tackle him backwards?"- The number one story of the NFL 2010 season was the leagues office enforcement of
"helmet to helmet" contact as well as unnecessary roughness. Players like James Harrison of the Pittsburgh Steelers became the faces of players against the league office. Harrison at one point considered retiring because he felt like he could no longer play the game by the rules the NFL was enforcing. The reason this was the number one story to me was because once the league started fining players for its deemed "illegal", every hard hit was followed with a penalty marker or even worse no penalty in the game but a 25 thousand dollar fine. Once the league started enforcing and, in some cases, over enforcing the rules, it made the games hold a sense of reservation by the players that could be picked up by the viewer.

Super Bowl XLV: Afterthoughts

Almost everyone I asked about the game told me they didn't really care who won. Most leaned toward Green Bay if they had to pick. So, why didn't we care? Were we pleased with the game or happy we watched? Was it a good Super Bowl?

Friday, February 4, 2011

Super Bowl XLV winner and MVP?

Super Bowl XLV is less than two days away. On paper this is one of the best match ups in recent history. Top two defenses, two elite quarterbacks, big play wideouts, and sneaky ground games. With that said, when the confetti starts to fall from the heavens when the clock hits all zeros in the fourth, who will be Super Bowl XLV's champion and who will be the games MVP?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Bests Of The Year

Belichick wins his third Coach of the Year award amidst a pool of worthy choices. He receives 30 of the 50 AP votes. His peers didn't vote for him; members of the press did--and only 50 of them. By the way, neither Mike McCarthy nor Mike Tomlin drew a single vote. I guess the voting press weren't from Wisconsin or Pennsylvania (however Andy Reid did gain a vote). What is this award worth? Was Belichick the most deserving choice?

Top Ten: Potential Super Bowl XLV MVPs

The Super Bowl is one of the most watched television programs each year. Pre-game, halftime, and Post-game sights and sounds are on TV screens worldwide for hours. Scenes like Joe Namath running into the tunnel after the win in Super Bowl III with his hand flashing #1, Janet Jackson's wardrobe "malfunction", and Brett Favre running around like a little kid after throwing a TD pass to Andre Rison against the Patriots in Super Bowl XXX. Yet, it could be argued that the most famous moment of the Super Bowl is whats said after the game, "I am going to Disney World!". Its iconic and a phrase that has been adopted into our culture. Now lets take a look at who I believe will be the most likely candidates to make that trip to Mickey Mouse.

10. James Starks RB- GB Packers- After being non-existent during the regular season, this undrafted rookie has brought a threat to the Packers ground game. He only has 1 TD in the post season but has 70 carries (in three games). The Packers throw too often and effectively for Starks to be ranked any higher but he could vulture a score or two.

9. Troy Polamalu S- Pitt. Steelers- Newly crowned Defensive Player of the Year is always a threat to make a big play. The reason I have him ranked so low is because the Packers are very efficient on offense and will be very aware of where Polamalu is at all times.

8. Clay Matthews OLB- GB Packers- Finishing 2nd in DPOY voting, Matthews is capable of taking this game over by himself. But like Polamalu, Matthews will be targeted by the Steelers. The Steelers will try to not allow Matthews to beat them but if they fail, he will make them pay.

7. Lamarr Woodley OLB- Pitt Steelers- I know, I know, there are alot of defensive players starting this list but these two teams have players that can literally change the entire outcome of a game and Woodley is no different. Double digit sack years for three straight seasons plus James Harrison draws more attention on the opposite side allowing Woodley to destroy opposing Tackles.

6. Greg Jennings WR- GB Packers- Finally, some offense. Jennings brought his "A" game from the regular season into the Post Season. 12 TDs with 16 yards per catch in the regular season. He now has 14 yards per catch but with 0 TDs in the post season. Big play threat but the Packers throw to the open receiver so Jennings looks could be spare.

5. Ben Roethlisberger QB- Pitt. Steelers- WHAT? #5? Yes it feels weird to me to but facts are facts. Big Ben is not a stats guy. In his two championships a WR won the MVP. Big Ben is a rare player that can have a game like he did against the Jets last week ( 10-19 133 yards 0 TDs and 2 INTs 35.5 QB rating) and still make you say that he made the plays to win the game ( two crucial first down pickups on the final drive of the game).

4. Charles Woodson DB- GB Packers- The last defensive player listed I swear. Woodson might be the only defender I would want over Troy Polamalu. Woodson blitzes, covers the slot WR, covers TEs, covers the top WR, etc. He will make a big play in this game. Maybe big enough to visit Mickey after the game.

3. Mike Wallace WR- Pitt. Steelers- This is a tough sell. I just drooled over Woodson, downgraded Big Ben's stats, and have not even mentioned Tramon Williams (outstanding GB defensive back). Yet, Wallace is as explosive as they come. with a YPC during the regular season of 21 yards and 10 TDs he is a huge threat to make one or two big plays. I think he does.

2. Rashard Mendenhall RB- Pitt. Steelers- This guy is a workhorse. Its about quantity not quality with him. His YPC (yards per carry) is right at 4 yards. Not impressive but not horrible. With the Packers having a good pass rush and dominate DBs, Mendenhall could sneak a few big runs on them including a few scores.

1. Aaron Rodgers QB- GB Packers- If the Packers win it will be because of the "Peoples Champ". His QB rating has been historical in the playoffs thus far with a 113 rating in 3 games. He finds the open receiver as good as any QB in the league. The Steelers will not give up much on the ground so Rodgers will have to put his work in through the air. Aaron Rodgers has the best chance of saying "I'm going to Disney World!"- RF

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Story: Super Bowl XLV

Media Day has passed at Super Bowl XLV. Hundreds of people are charged to find a good story for the public, who haven't seen most of the season (maybe none). What is appealing about the matchup? Is it the hope that "good, ole boy" Aaron Rodgers will win, erasing some of the off-field smudge of Favre from the franchise and being a foil to Roethlisberger's nasty off-field story? Is it the Pack fighting through so many injuries? Is it the contenders themselves, being two of the three most storied franchises adding to their legacies? Mike Tomlin's youth? What is The Story for Super Bowl XLV?

A Different Twist on All Star Selections

The other day I was thinking about the NBA All Star teams, and I noticed something interesting about the projected East lineup. I saw that 10 of the projected 12 players were from Miami, Orlando, Chicago, Boston, and Atlanta. There is only going to be two players from the other 10 teams combined. Now I realize that it is the All Star game and that only the best players should go, but it got me thinking about what the All Star team could look like if every team had a representative (sort of how the MLB does it). Here are the stipulations of the list and how those teams would turn out.


  • One and only one player from each team. If there were multiple of each team, the lineups would be way too big.
  • The roster consists of three of each position: PG, SG, SF, PF, and C.
  • All stats listed are from 2/1/11 (before games played that evening).
  • You will notice some snubs, and some people who don't deserve to make an All Star game, but we did what had to be done to meet all the team and positional requirements.

Atlanta Hawks: Joe Johnson, SG: 20.1 PPG, 5.4 APG, 4.3 RPG

The 9 year vet hasn't lost a step as he is putting up numbers right at his career average, and in doing so he should make his 5th consecutive All Star appearance. Al Horford is also a very deserving candidate, but JJ fit our positional requirements the best.

Boston Celtics: Rajon Rondo, PG: 10.4 PPG, 12.6 APG, 2.4 SPG

There are arguably four, maybe five, deserving candidates from the first place Celtics. And I know that Rondo doesn't have much of a shooting game, but his 12.6 APG would be 11th all time if the season ended now. Throw in those steals and the fact that he's first on the team with 1.4 offensive rebounds per game. Easy choice.

Charlotte Bobcats: Stephen Jackson, SG: 18.4 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 3.4 APG

Shooting guard was a position that is a little more difficult to fill in the East, but Stephen Jackson fit nicely as he does lead his team in scoring and second in assists. D.J Augustin is also a consideration.

Chicago Bulls: Derrick Rose, PG: 24.4 PPG, 8.1 APG, 3.6 RPG

This is probably the easiest choice, considering I believe this is your first half of the season NBA MVP. The Bulls are third in the East with a 33-14 record, despite missing Carlos Boozer for half the year and Joakim Noah the other half. You can thank Derrick Rose for that.

Cleveland Cavaliers: Antwan Jamison, PF: 17.1 PPG, 6.6 RPG, 1.6 APG

Jamison has surprisingly decent numbers for someone on such an awful team—by far the only person we could've chose.

Detroit Pistons: Tayshaun Prince, SF: 14.6 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 2.8 APG

I think that about sums up your 2010-11 Pistons team—not a whole lot to see for a team that has somehow won 17 games. Rodney Stuckey is in the talks for Pistons, but doesn't fit our team's positional needs as well as Prince.

Indiana Pacers: Danny Granger, SF: 21.0 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 2.8 APG

Granger is another fairly easy decision from a woeful team. Detroit looks almost like a college All Star team to me with some of these big college names, but Granger is the only one really producing numbers.

Miami Heat: LeBron James, SF: 26.0 PPG, 7.3 APG, 7.2 RPG

The LeBron-Dwyane Wade debate on this one was extremely tough. Their numbers are so close to each other, but the slight edge goes to LeBron. James is also leading the team in Win Shares, the estimated number of wins contributed by a player.

Milwaukee Bucks: Andrew Bogut, C: 13.4 PPG, 11.7 RPG, 2.8 BPG

Brandon Jennings is a good player and a consideration for this team, but I don't see how we can leave off a guy who is averaging a double-double (and leading the league in blocks with nearly three a game!). Bogut also leads his team in Win Shares, Defensive Rating, and PER (Player Efficiency Rating, a standardized measure of minute-to-minute production.)

New Jersey Nets: Devin Harris, PG: 15.4 PPG, 7.8 APG, 1.1 SPG

Statistically speaking Brook Lopez probably deserves the nod from the Nets, but in the confines of the system we're working with, Devin Harris fit better. That being said, Harris is no slouch. He is right behind Lopez in almost all advanced team stat categories.

New York Knicks: Amar'e Stoudemire, PF: 26.2 PPG, 8.8 RPG, 2.2 BPG

First off I know that Amar'e plays lot of Center, but he also spends some time at PF which qualifies him for this position on our list. Second he is a statistical monster this season. Aside from the gaudy numbers above, he also has a hefty lead on everyone else on his team in Usage Rate (an estimate percentage of team plays used by a player while he is on the floor), which is unusual for a big man. Also, Raymond Felton deserves an honorable mention, who is also having a heck of a year.

Orlando Magic: Dwight Howard, C: 22.4 PPG, 13.6 RPG, 2.2 BPG

Is there even a question of who's going from the Magic? He is the second person we filled on our list after Derrick Rose. He is beating his career average in almost every category and looking at finishing 2010-11 with a career year. Another no-brainer.

Philadelphia 76ers: Elton Brand, PF: 14.9 PPG, 8.5 RPG, 1.2 SPG

That's a name I didn't expect to put on this list, but he's leading his team in the following: Scoring, Rebounding, Blocks, PER, Win Shares, Offensive Rating, and Defensive Rating.

Toronto Raptors: Andrea Bargnani, C: 21.1 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 1.7 APG

The Raptors suck. With that out of the way, the big man from Italy is putting up some nice offensive numbers. When's the last time you saw a 7 footer lead his team in 3 Pointers?

Washington Wizards: Nick Young, SG: 17.0 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 1.3 APG

Who? Exactly. The Wizards are another team who just aren't good. That being said, John Wall and Andray Blatche are thoughts, but Young leads the team in scoring. And we need another SG to fit our puzzle of a lineup.

Here's what your East lineup would look like under our rules:


Derrick Rose

Joe Johnson

LeBron James

Amar'e Stoudemire

Dwight Howard


Rajon Rondo

Devin Harris

Stephen Jackson

Nick Young

Danny Granger

Tayshaun Prince

Antwan Jamison

Elton Brand

Andrea Bargnani

Andrew Bogut

Dallas Mavericks: Dirk Nowitzki, PF: 23.1 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 2.5 APG

This is another fairly easy one to start off the West. Not only are his numbers the best on the team, but the Mavs saw how important his presence alone on the court is when they went on a losing skid while he was injured.

Denver Nuggets: Carmelo Anthony, SF: 23.9 PPG, 7.9 RPG, 3.0 APG

Even amidst all of the trade talk this season Carmelo has still put up solid numbers. He leads his team in scoring and, more impressively, rebounding from the Small Forward position.

Golden State Warriors: Stephen Curry, PG: 19.1 PPG, 5.9 APG, 1.9 SPG

I'm a big Monta Ellis fan and was about to write his name down as an automatic for Golden State until I took a closer look at the numbers. Monta may have better looking box scores, but Curry is leading the team in PER, Win Shares, and in Offensive Rating.

Houston Rockets: Luis Scola, C: 19.3 PPG, 8.4 RPG, 2.4 APG

Scola at Center might be a little bit of stretch, but the West is weak at Center and Luis is more than capable of handling it. Kevin Martin is also having a good season, but Shooting Guard is stacked in the West.

Los Angeles Clippers: Blake Griffin, PF: 22.8 PPG, 12.7 RPG, 3.6 APG

Props to Eric Gordon for having a heck of a season, but this is hands down Blake's team. No one deserves it more than him from the Clippers. Plus, I can only imagine what he could do in the All Star game with barely any defensive resistance.

Los Angeles Lakers: Kobe Bryant, SG: 25.5 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 4.8 APG

Pau Gasol averaging 18-10 is impressive, but the player from the Lakers has to be Kobe. He's averaging a 25-5-5 with a steal a game, and he's the NBA leader in Usage Percentage. This is still Kobe's Lakers.

Memphis Grizzlies: Rudy Gay, SF: 20.0 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 1.7 SPG

My deepest apologies to Zach Randolph who undoubtedly deserves it with his monster 20-13 season, but Power Forward is a tough position in the West. Rudy is a great player and fits the best with our team. He rounds out a stud group of Small Forwards on our West team.

Minnesota Timberwolves: Kevin Love, C: 21.6 PPG, 15.6 RPG, 2.5 APG

I could go on and on about the ridiculous numbers, consecutive double-doubles, or the insane box scores he's put up this year. Instead, I'll just say that the best stat I've read is this: according to the Win Share rate, he has accounted for 7.8 of his team's measly 11 wins. Thats nuts. And yes I know he also is a Power Forward, but he sees significant time at Center.

New Orleans Hornets: Chris Paul, PG: 16.7 PPG, 9.7 APG, 2.6 SPG

CP3 is another easy decision considering he does this stuff every year. He is your NBA leader in Steals and in Win Shares.

Oklahoma City Thunder: Kevin Durant, SF: 28.9 PPG, 6.7 RPG, 2.8 APG

Kevin Durant is a specimen. A 6'10” Small Forward who leads the NBA in scoring and his team in rebounds. Quite impressive. On a side note, I hate not being able to take Russell Westbrook. He is having a heck of a season as well.

Phoenix Suns: Steve Nash, PG: 17.0 PPG, 11.0 APG, 3.6 RPG

The two-time MVP may not be doing enough to make the actual All Star team, but he is absolutely making ours. There is no one even close to as valuable to Phoenix as Nash is.

Portland TrailBlazers: LaMarcus Aldridge, PF: 21.0 PPG, 9.0 RPG, 2.0 APG

LaMarcus is contributing every way possible for Portland. He is averaging a block and a steal a game, and he leads the team in Usage Percentage, PER, and Win Shares as well.

Sacramento Kings: Tyreke Evans, SG: 17.8 PPG, 5.5 APG, 4.8 RPG

Tyreke starts at Shooting Guard but runs a lot of the offense. He is extremely valuable to the Kings offense, but his 1.8 steals a game prove he's no slouch on defense either.

San Antonio Spurs: Manu Ginobli, SG: 18.8 PPG, 4.9 APG, 3.8 RPG

The best team in the NBA is arguably one of the more boring teams to watch. They definitely aren't flashy, but Manu can be very fun to watch as he takes over games. He leads the team in a handful of categories and very much deserves an All Star nod.

Utah Jazz: Al Jefferson, C: 16.6 PPG, 9.0 RPG, 1.9 BPG

Anyone who watches the NBA knows that Deron Williams is the best player on the Jazz. That being said, PG is heavy and C is weak in the West, so Big Al fits best on our team. He's quietly having a pretty good season and has been a nice addition for Utah.

So your West team looks like this:


Chris Paul

Kobe Bryant

Kevin Durant

Blake Griffin

Kevin Love


Steve Nash

Stephen Curry

Manu Ginobli

Tyreke Evans

Carmelo Anthony

Rudy Gay

Dirk Nowitzki

LaMarcus Aldridge

Al Jefferson

Luis Scola

Alright, there it is. Will this system ever happen? No. Should it ever happen? Probably not. Did the idea intrigue me? Yes. Did I enjoy the heck out of writing and researching it? Absolutely. Hopefully you will enjoy reading as much as I did putting it together. I'm interested in your thoughts, agreements or disagreements. Maybe even your own list.