and then there was 5?

We are almost finished with the 2nd round with only a game 7 left to play between the Celtics and Sixers. Boston should have taken care of business early but couldn’t blowing a huge lead in game 4 and then not showing up for game 6. Going in I thought they would have a great shot at the Finals if they could finish off Philly quickly, now even if they win they will be old and banged up bad. Peirce knee, Allen ankle and Bradley is done for year. The Heat will have an advantage getting 4 days rest before game one of the East Finals. Garnett has been the C’s best shooter and that is saying something. I expect the Celtics to win game 7 and move on but the fact they let Philly hang around will have really cost them in the long run.

 

Miami finished off Indy last night moving on, Indy had a great chance to pull off the upset but they got away from their game plan. In the first 3 games they pounded the ball into the post slowed the game down and produced 2 wins. In the last 3 games they stayed out on the perimeter and it cost them. Miami had no answer for Hibbert and West even last night Indy raced out to a big lead and their front court was 12-14 from the field. Then all the sudden we are seeing 3’s with 15 seconds left on the shot clock. The Pacers needed Hibbert to have at least 17 attempts instead he had 8, really? If they tried to slow it down and play in the post we might be talking about game 7 instead.

 

Miami is so dangerous in transition and the long rebounds produced by all the jumpers allowed Miami to run in the last 3 games and that’s what the Heat do best. I think all the trash talking and physical play really fired up Lebron and Wade they were absolutely terrific in the last 3 games averaging 65 points per game between them but if Miami wants to win a title they can’t continue down this path. Bosh needs to get healthy and they need more production out of other players.

 

If Boston beats Philly they provide several matchup problems for Miami, Rondo is too quick for Chalmers and if they slide wade over to that matchup they could expose him to foul troubles. If Bosh doesn’t come back Garnett will eat up the trio of Anthony, Turiaf and Haslem. The problem Boston has is their health, with Pierces knee problems he will have a tough time staying with James. It’s up to James to come up big something he has consistently failed to do thru out his career.

 

It’s hard to place blame on James especially when you look at what he has done in his career. The 25 straight points to beat the Pistons, The 41 pt 22 RB game 7 in Boston, or the way he dominated the Bulls last year, but I can’t get his failure to get involved in the 4Q in the finals last year out of my head. Until he actually wins something he will always be this generations Wilt. A freak of nature with all the ability in the world but someone who has come up short in his quest of what he covets most.

 

I think the Heat will win no matter which team they play but it won’t be easy if it’s Boston.

 

Moving West we have a great matchup. The Thunder and Spurs are talented deep teams probably the two best teams in the league this year. You have Duncan looking for his 5th Ring, and Durant looking for his 1st. The Spurs have the best record and are the model of consistency they have only 1 loss in like last 30 games. Tim Duncan is a Legend. Let me throw something out there, did you know in the Tim Duncan era the Spurs have a winning % of .703 That is the best for any team in any of the 4 major sports leagues!! He has 4 titles with little to no fanfare, the man is a BEAST!!! The rest POP gave him in the regular season is really showing right now he has been fantastic this postseason.

 

I had a debate with a friend earlier this year about whether or not Parker and Manu deserve HOF credit I think they do, they have won 3 titles and when healthy two of the most efficient players in the NBA. With Duncan now 38 and playing reduced minutes the Spurs are now Tony Parkers team and he needs to really play well for them to beat OKC. The bench will be productive and they will play great team D but Parker is the key. He runs the offense and affects the game on so many levels. He will need help keeping Westbrook out of the lane but the way the Spurs help his Offense will be a bigger indicator of who moves on.

 

For OKC the youth movement is over, they have been together for 3 years and this is their 2nd straight conference finals appearance. Durant can score from anywhere, Westbrook is a blur and gets to the rim with ease and Hardin is special as well. They get good D from Ibaka, Perkins and Collison and Coach Scott Brooks has instilled the right attitude for this team. If they stay together there is a possibility for the next NBA Dynasty. They are all under 24 and will continue to get better that’s a scary thought for the rest of the NBA.

 

I love about every guy on both of these teams (except Perkins) and I can’t wait to see it my heart wants one more for Timmy but my head tells me the run the Spurs are on is coming to an end and for the Thunder the time is now.

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And the 2nd round begins

Ok so we have concluded the 1st round of the NBA playoffs, no real surprises, Philly got by a banged up Bulls squad but with all the injuries, that was the most likely scenario.

The Lakers got pushed but that was more due to lack of effort from Bynum and Gasol, Kobe calling them out was absolutely the right thing to do. L.A gets OKC next and they will be an underdog and cant afford to give away games due to lack of effort. If they go down 0-2 on the road thing could get ugly real quick. Bynum just has surly demeanor at time and still doesn’t seem to get it, make no mistake the man can play but I just don’t see a consistent passion for the game and that bothers me. I think OKC should have no trouble advancing but I think Kobe and co can get at least 2 games. The Metta World Peace- James Hardin aspect of this series will be fun.

San Antonio gets the most rest and then a banged up Clippers team that was pushed to the brink by Memphis, I thought going in that Memphis had an advantage with their size but it was the Clippers quickness and Memphis lack of 3 point shooting that was the difference. Spurs are a different story, they are deep and rested and have 3 HOF’s along with a HOF coach all ready to go. It would shock me if this series goes deep, I think Chris Paul and Toney Parker is a great matchup but the Spurs are too good defensively and have too many options in the half court game for the Clippers to stop.

The Heat won the 1st game of their series with Indiana, but I think the Pacers showed why they are for real, not a lot of people are familiar with these Pacers, but I like them a lot. I said in previous post that they will be a tough out, they are long and athletic and get good production from the bench. Lebron won his 3rd MVP then dominated the 4th Q in game one, Bosh is out for now so the Heat will need James and Wade to play the way they can to control this series, the Pacers are not gona continue to get 1-11 from their stud Danny Granger so I can see them winning at least 2 games and possibly pushing the Heat to 7, The Heat are good but they will struggle to rebound in this series and will need more production from Miller, Battier, Haslem and Turiaf.

The Celtics get the good fortune of the D Rose injury and take on Philly and as game 1 showed this will probably be a real ugly series. Pierce has a bulky knee and Allen is still working into shape and while the C’s should handle Philly relatively easy they will need to find ways to keep KG off the floor. If Garnett continues to play 35+ minutes every game and this series has any length, he might be spent when it comes time to play the Heat. Then again the way the big men on the boston bench have played I don’t see how you could rest KG unless they build some big leads we will see.

where u cant smell the rose

So with just over a minute left in the 1st game of the Chicago-Philly 1st round series the NBA and all its fans were dealt a huge blow. Super-star and reigning NBA MVP derrick Rose blew out his ACL and will miss the rest of the playoffs. This is huge, Chicago is a really good team but when Rose is healthy they are a great team and could have won it all. As a fan we miss out on what could be a couple classic series with Chicago vs Boston and then Miami and then Possibly OKC/Spurs/Lakers, and that sucks plain and simple.

Losing rose hurts the NBA and the city of Chicago and i feel bad. what i dont want but will be discussed to no end is to hear about why he was in the game, its the playoffs and anything can happen, a 10 point lead while secure still could be blown. the other thing is people want to start blaming injuries on the condensed schedule, thats bullshit, Rose missed 27 games and has been nicked up all year it was a freak injury that happens all the time in the NBA, has nothing to do with the schedule.

The Bulls were 18-9 with out Rose, they are well coached and play great D so not all is lost they can still make a run but taking the crown is now highly unlikely. Deng Noah and boozer will need to step up, Lucas played really well in roses abscense so i can see them making it a series with the Celts if they get passed the Hawks.

The Rose injury is actually great for the celtics and bad for the Heat, The Celtics give the heat headaches with their play in the paint and they could actually beat the heat so the C’s have an opening to the eastern conference finals now can they beat the Heat 4x it will be hard but they can.

As for the Heat they stomped the Knicks, they forced a ton of turnovers and got to the line with ease, the game was over by the half with Lebron taking over in the last 5 minutes of the 1st half. The Knicks lost Iman Shumpert which is huge he is only a rookie but he is their best defender on the perimiter and in iso situations so that is going to hurt, i thought they could push the Heat to 6 but losing Shumpert will probably derail that thought as D-Wade now will have to work less to get his buckets. No way Melo shoots that poorly again but Lebron is on a mission, i cant see him choking in the 1st round.

The Thunder got pushed to the brink last night by the Champs but found a way to win, people tend to forget Durant is only 23 but he keeps getting better and this team is going to be good for a real long time. Its refreshing to see a superstar like him, he carries himself the right way and is a humble guy who is always giving credit for his team mates, Durant may have hit the game winner but the plays that stood out for me were a westbrook steal where he had a clear dunk but gave it up for Durant, who was struggling from the field, that got him going. the other was the 3 at half buzzer for Ibaka, with out that this was a different game. The Mavericks are a veteran team and will be  a tough out but the Thunder should handle them and winning a game when they didnt play their best is a good start.

I said in a previous post the Magic could still out of the 1st round with out dwight i dont think its likley but they showed us how it could happen with a gritty road win last night, J richardson hit a go ahead 3 late and the Pacers turned it over a couple times, this will be a long tight series.

HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL

 So with spring training under way I just wanted to wax poetic on hope and the general excitement baseball can bring its fans. In spring everyone is in 1st place, everyone is optimistic of what their team can do, some more than others but baseball is the ultimate what if game.

 

No matter how shaky your rotation is, or if you think you have issues in the pen, you can still be optimistic your team will be able to perform. Every year prospects step up, guys work hard and take the next step, anything is still possible. Maybe you have the next Albert Puljols coming up; maybe that player you just signed might be Jason Bay.

 

I try to have an unbiased opinion and I know baseball, but my love of the New York Mets prohibits that some times. If you believe the Pundits, the Mets are a 5th place team this year, they have lowered the payroll by over 50 million in the last two years. They have an owner being sued for like a billion dollars.

 

The Phillies bost one of the best rotations in baseball, and added Paplebon to upgrade the back end of the Pen, but they always have injuries and this year should be no different.

 

Atlanta has a great young core and veteran leadership and will be good again, they also have a ton of prospects ready to make the jump to the Bigs to help if needed.

 

Miami changed their name, their stadium and upgraded the roster and switched skippers, Hanley moves to third and should have a bounce back year if he doesn’t sulk, Reyes needs to stay healty, but adding Behrle and Zambrano to Johnson, Nalasco and Sanchez makes a quality rotation, they have Heath Bell too so him and leo nunez makes a solid pen, but they have no depth and if any everyday player goes down they will suffer.

 

Washington gets a full year out of Strausburg even thou they limit his innings, Super stud Bryce Harper should be up soon maybe ever break camp with the big guys, getting Gio Gonzalez really helps the rotation and Ian Desmond keeps getting better, The Nats won 80 games last year and may continue to improve.

 

That gets me to my beloved Mets, look everyone is down but they should play out the string the Mets showed last year they have some grit. Terry Collins has instilled his values on this very young team, and even thou lesser known than others we could have a terrific line up. Bay improved towards the end of the year and could have a big year, David Wright is dedicated and past the beaning incident, Lucas Duda and Ike Davis are monsters and Daniel Murphy can easily hit .315 with 15 hrs. Ruben Tejada is a 20 yr old defensive genious that has had success in the big leagues at the plate.

 

The last 6 years have been brutal and the Mets are due for something good, they may not win 100 games but I can see them winning 85-90 and being in contention. This team has been ravaged by injuries in the last couple years and I have a feeling that this year will be fun. Duda and Davis are going to be stars and David Wright is going to have a fantastic year. Pelfry will bounce back Dicky and Gee will be steady and Niese will break out.

 

There are a couple major league ready prospects ready to help out only time will tell how good the Mets can be

 

Here are my lineup and Projections

 

Cf- Tores- 400 ab’s .280/avg .320 obp 20 steals

2b- Murphy .315 .800 ops 16 hrs 80 rbi

3b Wright .305 29 hrs 117 rbi

1b- Davis. .299 32 hrs 115 rbi

RF Bay .280 23 hr 90 rbi

LF Duda .290 25 hr 93 rbi

C- Thole .265 30 xbh

ss- Tejada ..270 20 steals

 

Rotation

Santana 140 innings sub 3 ERA

Dicky sub 3.5 era

Pelfry 200 innings sub 4 era

Niese 200 innings sub 4 era

Gee- 13-10

 A lot needs to happen but it’s definitely possible.

 

 

Linsanity

LINSANITY TAKING THE NBA BY STORM

 

 

Jeremy Lin is the new sensation that has every one in NYC/USA going crazy, OK I understand the young man is playing great and has the Knicks doing something the Melo/Amare combo couldn’t win.

 

Lin has led the Knicks to 6 straight wins and averaged 26.8 and 8.5 assists, that’s a far cry from what he was thought to be capable of when he was cut by both Houston and Golden State earlier this year.

 

He is turning the ball over at an alarming 5/p rate but that’s ok in the up tempo Dantoni system that the Knick run. The D has helped as well the Knicks had been allowing 96ppg and in the last 6 games they are only giving up 90ppg.

 

When Melo comes back in a couple days it will be very interesting how Knicks run their offense. Melo is always better off the ball, He can knock down jumpers and cuts to the rim with ease. If the offense runs thru Lin then he can distribute and drive the lane when needed. His shots and points are destined to drop but that’s ok if he continues to facilitate for others.

 

Lin is definitely intriguing, he has parallels to other out of nowhere phenomenons, but the question is, is he the next Kurt Warner/Albert Pujols? Or is he Mark Fydrich/Hideo Nomo? We don’t know. Time will tell.

 

While it is a small sample size you don’t usually see people slide into the starting line up from the end of the bench and start lighting it up, Lin is hitting game winning shots and energizing a team. He has been fantastic.

 

I don’t want to hear that the only reason he is receiving all kinds of hype is because he plays in the biggest market in the U.S. If he was playing in Milwaukee and came in and played like this and got the Bucks into playoff contention people would still be talking about him. People don’t become stars on the court coming from Harvard, People don’t get cut by two teams in one year and then start dropping 27per.

 

He deserves the Hype like it or not the question is will it continue

NFL CHAMPS

So I have not been able to write anything for a while but that’s ok because no one really reads this shit anyways. Alas more Rings have been won this time by the NY Football Giants. Congrats you are world champions.

So Eli is really the story here he won his second Ring in his big brothers house (old House if you prefer) This basically opens the debate to who the better Manning is one has 1 ring 4 MVP’s and a SB MVP the other has 2 rings and 2 SB MVP’s. Peyton is obviously the better talent but on too many occasions has come up small in the end of year Tournament.

Remember at the beginning of the year when Eli did his best to try and convince the NY Media he was an elite QB, well he did a hell of a job he led all qb’s in 4th quarter TD’s and QB Rating and even thou the G-Men underachieved it was not really his fault. The Giants were 7-7 and people were talking about going after Coughlins head oh how quickly things change.

For a 2nd straight year a team fighting for their playoff lives till the last day of the season put together a run to take home the crown. They had to beat the 3 of the best teams record wise in the NFL to do it. Color me impressed!!

The game winning drive was absolutely fantastic; Manning hitting Manningham down the sideline was eerily similar to the David Tyree grab 4 years prior and really set them up. I totally agree with Bradshaw scoring even if it gave Brady another chance NEVER I repeat NEVER trust the kicker anything can happen take the points, I mean its not like Brady was lighting it up all game so take your chances.

As for the Pats they played solid on D and had every chance to win that game, Brady made a quality throw to Welker on that second to last drive that would have put the game away Welker should have had it but he didn’t and that unfortunately was the difference. The Pats made some mistakes like the too many men call that overturned a turnover, and the Giants caught some breaks like when Bradshaw fumbled and the Welker drop, What can you do that’s Football.

Eli and Coach Coughlin deserve a ton of credit and will be hero’s in NYC for a long time to come, Congrats and this concludes another Fantastic year in the NFL.

 Soon I will post a 2 rnd Mock Draft and I will rank the available FA’s after the Franchise window has closed stay tuned.

I hate to write about the same thing 2 weeks in a row but what the FUCK!!!, what is good enough for the league to accept for a Chris Paul trade. David Stern has to know he is handcuffing the entire New Orleans Organization, who would want to buy this team if they don’t get anyone for Paul, 1st they trade for 3 starters a competent back up PG and a 1st rounder and that’s not good enough then they trade for 3 young guys a starting center and a likely top 3 pick (Minnesota’s 2012 unprotected) and that’s not good enough.

Yes I know the later trade(clippers) is potential worse but if the Hornets are going to be bad why not get 2 top picks and really rebuild, it will be a extremely deep draft because a lot of people stayed in school because of the Labor issues, I mean 2 of the top 3 picks in last years draft stayed(Barnes, Sullinger) and you have a host of others who will be in the Mix. Stern and the League holding Paul ransom is only hurting the Hornets and Dell Demps. Im sure they would like to move on from this situation, Paul IS NOT STAYING NO MATTER WHAT!!!! So what’s the problem?

This isn’t about big market vs small market its about Stern being stubborn and loosing control of his league to the owners. David Stern was hardly ever able to be able pushed around but in the process of the Lockout he was usurped by the owners and now is lost. How can you possibly defend any of these actions how is 7 months of Paul better for the city of N.O then getting pieces back to help rebuilding process.

I can understand if your 1st move post lockout is to try and prevent even more super teams and I can understand if you want to keep Donald Sterling irrelevant but you have to make this stop. Its totally unfair to the league and the players involved for you to be hording Paul. You cant say its not good for Basketball reasons because that’s not true hell either of those trades would have worked for N.O long term and helped them stabilize and attract new ownership and that’s what should matter! Not a vendetta against Paul for being the only star player on the NBPA labor board.

I said it before you can’t control where players go, ultimately it’s their decision. Either its thru free agency or whether the player says you can trade for me but just to be clear I’m not signing an extension with you. That Handcuffs teams into sending players where they want or to a team willing to give up less knowing it would be a rental.

Orlando is in the same position, accept they really think they will be able to keep D12, they wont he is as good as gone and Otis Smith should find the best possible deal right away. Howard came out this week and was honest about wanting to leave, he was hammered in the press then flip-flopped saying “I can stay here if they make changes” Smith has proven over and over again he can not make deals to make his team better he doesn’t have the chips, no one wants Jameer Nelson, or JJ Redick. Hedo Turkolu contract is horrible and they Amnestied Gil, so what pieces do they have? Big Baby Davis? He is not the answer to help Dwight. The Magics scenario is better than N.O because they are an upper echelon team where the Hornets are likely a 7 or 8 seed with Paul one team can keep there player and try and win a title while the other has no shot at a title and needs to start rebuilding now and the Commissioner needs to get out of the way and tell the owners to eat crow, Why wasn’t Dan Gilbert crying when the Hornets traded for Carl Landry and took on salary last year? Because he didn’t care and even if he did you didn’t veto it then and you shouldn’t now.