Friday, April 30, 2010

2010 NBA 2nd round .................

Good news / Bad news for basketball fans in the T-Dot........Bad News = 2009-2010 Toronto Raptors.....Good news = a wow-wow-wow 2nd round of the NBA play-offs......big-time match-ups.....exciting match-ups.....unpredictable match-ups..but we'll try!


#4 Celtics vs #1 Cavs

Boston got Kevin Garnett back healthy and got off to a 23-5 start to the season ....the remaining 54 games of the season produced a very pedestrian 27-27 for a 50-32 final record....Talk was that age had taken its toll and there was speculation of Rasheed Wallace being a player that came in and corrupted the Celtics once unmatchable effort and tenacity......I may eat these words but I have been a believer for a while that this team is a legit title-contender....I don't consider it alarming that this veteran team played the way it did in the regular season......this is a play-off roster....keep in mind folks that every play-off series KG has played in for the Celtics they have won (4 series en route to the 2008 Championship - missed last years playoffs due to injury - 1-0 this year)......This team has 5 players that avg double-digit points per game plus 9 ppg for 'Sheed and in the Miami series Big Baby Glen Davis averaged 9 ppg also.....the team defense switch has been turned to HIGH also....just under 10 steals per game in the Miami series

2008 the Celtics beat the Cavs in Game 7 of a classic series......this should be classic part II.....my only issue for Cleveland is that every move they have made with the roster since last year (and there were many - SHAQ - Anthony Parker - Antawn Jamison) was meant to improve their chances with an Orlando Conference Finals rematch....unlikely they would have imagined that Boston would slip to #4 seed, instead of #3 which would mean a Boston-Orlando 2nd round where the Cavs would likely avoid the Celtics all-together.....It's easy to make a case that any team with King James on the roster has a legit chance to win a play-off series....the Cavs are the 9th team ever to have back-to-back 60 win seasons so clearly much more going on in the Cleve then just Bron Bron....Jamison and Mo Williams did a lot of regular season scoring and they both produced big in the Chicago series, plus steady contributions from SHAQ, Delonte West, Anthony Parker, and Sideshow Bob (Anderson Varejo)

Classic part II goes to the Celtics in 7 (yikes.....if Cavs win series I could see them doing it in 5-6 games and making me look bad!!!)

#2 Orlando vs either #3 Atlanta or #6 Milwaukee.......series is tied with the Hawks and Bucks at 3-3 so as I write this I do not know which of those 2 will be Orlando's 2nd round opponent, but either will be eliminated by the Magic.....Hotlanta can score - especially at home, and Scott Skiles has his under-manned Bucks playing very well which is really respectable but do we give either team a chance of even pushing Orlando past 5 games?!?! Doubt it.......

#7 San Antonio vs #3 Phoenix

4 of the last 5 times the Suns were in the playoffs they were eliminated by the group of Duncan/Parker/Ginobli/ Coach Popovich

A lot is made of Jordan with 6 Titles vs Kobe with 4.....well how about Tim Duncan with 4 also folks....the Big Fundamental has been getting it done on both ends of the floor every night in his Hall Of Fame career

The Spurs with the Big 3 plus contributions from George Hill / Richard Jefferson / Antonio McDyess / DeJuan Blair / Matt Bonner are very comfortable playing a game where the scoring is in the 70's or 80's....in the playoffs the scoring typical slows as there is a premium placed on every possession so it becomes much more of a half court game which often become problematic for teams who use high-powered offense to beat you.....Mavs were just bounced 4-2 by the Spurs and in the San Antonio wins the Spurs defense held a Mavs team that averaged 102 ppg in the regular season to 88,90,89,87

We know the Suns run on high-octane offense and the maestro is Steve Nash.....Grant Hill,in his 15th NBA season, is playing in the 2nd round for the first time.......Suns hope to have leading shot blocker Sideshow Bob II Robin Lopez (8 ppg) back at some point this series...as good as Tony Parker is at driving and creating inside the paint the Suns will really hope that Lopez can return from injury to provide a guy inside who changes shots.....this offense went to at least 99 points in 5 of the 6 games in the Portland series, impressive as Portland is a very good defensive team.....Nash / Amare / Jason Richardson were all great during the regular season and great again in the Portland series but the Suns will need contributions from Jared Dudley / Channing Frye / Leondro Barbosa to negate the massive Spurs advantage in the paint where Duncan / McDyess / Blair / Parker could dominate the Suns counter of Amare (STUD but check the drop-off after that) Jarron Collins / Louis Amundson

I think the Spurs Championship mettle will be on display in a 4-2 series win

#4 Jazz vs #1 Lakers

The Jazz are the poor-mans San Antonio Spurs......good teams every year that compete every night and play hard-nosed for their leader Jerry Sloan......the effort and the consistency are similar to the Spurs but the Championships are not.....

DANGEROUS Jazz team......Carlos Boozer could have been a free agent last summer but he decided to use his Player's Option in his current contract and return to the Jazz for one more year....this is exactly the scenario he pictured/wanted.....if Boozer can play a pivotal role in slaying the dragon (Lakers are 2-time defending Champs in the Western Conference) then cha-ching, that will cement a max-$ contract for him this off-season

Jazz also dangerous because Deron Williams is the best Point Guard in the NBA.....just ask him.....truth is I don't disagree......this guy is a very good facilitator and he can create for himself very well also so the offense can't really struggle for extended periods of time.....in fact with Williams running the show the Jazz had an amazing 8 guys average at least 9.4 ppg this year....plus Ashton Kutcher (Kyle Korver) also added 7 ppg in the regular season and 8 ppg in the Denver series.....the Jazz scored in the 100's in all 6 games in the Nuggets series and were #4 in the NBA at 104.2 ppg

Kobe and Pau are great every game.....pencil them in for a big-time contribution every game.....but for me this is a Lakers team that will need performances from other players to advance....as the advantage is Utah's at PG let's start there - Derek Fisher / Shannon Brown / Jordan Farmar none of whom are consistent enough to get huge minutes in this series, but each night the team will need at least one, and likely 2 of these guys to at least help negate the Utah PG advantage.....Jazz also has an advantage with consistency from their 3 through 8 players in their rotation....meaning Lakers fans will have to hope that inconsistent players like Andrew Bynum / Ron Artest / Lamar Odom put it together 4 times before they lose 4 times.....we saw in Game 5 of the Oklahoma City series that when this Lakers team is motivated and focused they will still have the ability to tap-dance on an opponent.....Kobe/Pau are good enough to steal 1 or 2 games but the role players will have to match Utah's intensity (especially in Utah where the BEAT L.A. chants have surely already started) if the Lakers want to advance to a third straight Western Conference Finals

.........Lakers in seven............


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

2010 NFL Schedule............ The NFL 2010 schedule is out.....likely we all feel that our team has a tough schedule, but this blog is a look at games outside of my Dolphins schedule that already have me excited....

Well alright......maybe I will mention one 'Phins game....


Miami @ Buffalo - this is my favorite game every single season....it's a personal thing......but on a strategic note road wins within your Division is always a key to a playoff team

Minny @ New Orleans - rematch of last years NFC Title game.......but will the September 9 season opener be a rematch at starting QB as well?!?! The annual Brett Favre will he/won't he watch is on and the defending Champs should have little problem with the Vikes if Minny starts any QB other then Favre (Tarvaris Jackson or Sage Rosenfels vs Drew Brees?!?! No thanks)

Sunday Night game Dallas @ Washington.....Redskins get their first look at new McNabb-led offense and get first taste of a Mike Shannahan offense......Cowboys unleash what they hope to be an improved WR duo now that Dez Bryant will be coupled with Roy Williams

New England @ New York Jets......2 teams that will likely be titans of the AFC East.....a clash of New England's offense vs NYJ/Rex Ryan's defense......Chapter 3 of Belicheck vs Ryan

Sunday Night is Eli Manning @ Peyton Manning......writes itself


Donovan McNabb and his Redskins @ Eagles.........all eyes will be on Philly this week as McNabb returns to Philly......in that city they boo Santa Claus so I don't like Donavan's chances of not feeling the Philly Phanatic heat.....where we are right now I would think that McNabb will beat the Eagles with his new team as it is possible/likely that Kevin Kolb will be a significant downgrade at QB, and the Eagles could really struggle


St Louis Rams @ Detroit Lions....surely by now (week 5) Sam Bradford (pictured right collecting last years Heisman) is the starting QB for the STL Rams and we know that Matthew Stafford (pictured left with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell as he was selected #1 overall) is the starting QB for the Lions, meaning we likely have 2009 #1 overall pick vs 2010 #1 overall pick

Sunday Night - New England @ Pittsburgh......with the 4-6 games Big Ben will be out for Blittsburgh this inter-conference game will likely be HUGE for the Steelers

Monday Night - Philly at Washington.......McNabb vs the Eagles part II


Happy Thanksgiving

USA Thanksgiving is on Thursday November 25th and the thanks are due to the schedule makers for the 4:15pm New Orleans @ Dallas Cowboys tilt....100,000+ will be on hand for what should be a great game and true spectacle

*WEEK 13*

whoa......what a week this could be for your team.....check out the HUGE Divisional games this week....is your team mentioned in this list?

Pitt vs Balt................... Denver @ KC

..............plus J-E-T-S JETSJETSJETS @ Patriots

....also Jax @ Tenn......STL @ AZ.......Chi @ Det.......Oak @ SD.......ATL @ TB.......Wash @ Giants

Divisions will be shaken and stirred during Week 13

*WEEK 15*

Washington @ Dallas......great rivalry already, and it gets a McNabb/Shanahan chapter added in front of 100,000 Dallas fans

*WEEK 17*
Did your fav team survive and thrive through that crazy week 13 and still have a chance at a Division Title? This week is a beauty as all 16 games are inter-divisional games.....likely a few wild card and Division Titles up for grabs on what looks like a exciting final weekend

Fav Blue Jays EVER........... Hello World Wide Web'ers ......I am coming to you from Toronto, Canada and as such I was certainly raised as a Toronto Blue Jays fan.....this blog is to sum up my fav Jays of all time (one for all 9 positions)

FIRST BASE.....Carlos Delgado

Blue Jays player from 1993 - 2004 ........1993 world series ring.........originally a catcher who converted to a first baseman.........2000 and 2003 All-Star...........
4 HR's in 1 game vs Tampa Bay in 2003..........MONSTER year in 2003 with 42 HR's - 145 RBI's - 2nd in MVP voting that year

SECOND BASE.......THE Roberto Alomar

Dec 5, 1990 the Jays trade Fred McGriff and Tony Fernandez to the San Diego Padres for Joe Carter and Roberto Alomar

1992 HR off Denis Eckersly in the American League Championship Series is my fav Blue Jays moment ever (pic on the left is his reaction to that HR).......without it do the Jays even win either the 1992 or 1993 World Series?!?!

  • his defense was the most amazing sports display I have ever seen.....the fact that it was so good for so long really impressed the hell out of me

SHORT STOP......Manny Lee

1985 Manny Lee and Lou Thorton jr moved into and lived in our building.....I became close with both of them and they always had time for me......for several years before that, and certainly several years after that, my family vacations were always in Dunedin to visit my GrandParents and to visit the Jays during Spring Training......Manny always got me into the clubhouse where to this day I have great memories of hanging with Manny, Rob Ducey, Fred McGriff etc....

  • part of the 1992 World Series Champions

THIRD BASE......Scott Rolen (2008 and most of 2009)

although only a Jay for a short period of time his defense at third was something else......as good as I have ever seen at the hot corner

CATCHER......Randy Knorr

Knorr was a big guy.....back up catcher for the 1991,1992,1993 AL East Champion Blue Jays......Randy has 2 World Series rings as part of the `92 and `93 Jays World Series wins

  • I always liked Randy for some reason....part of it was when he hit HR`s they were usually BOMBS

HONERABLE MENTION to Buck Martinez......the double play he helped pull off despite BREAKING HIS LEG mid-play vs Seattle in 1985 is one of the all-time great Jays replays and memories..... On a single to right-field by Gorman Thomas, Phil Bradley tried to score and he collided with Buck (pictured), who held on to the ball but suffered a broken leg and dislocated ankle. Martinez still was able to see the original batter (Stormin' Gorman Thomas) running from 2nd base to 3rd base and he tried to throw him out, only to have the ball sail into left field. (Heck, he did have a broken leg suffered and dislocated ankle from all of 10 seconds ago!). George Bell was backing up third base during the play and his throw back to home plate was straight and true, and hit the stationary Martinez target. As Martinez caughtthe ball he tagged out Thomas for the only 9-2-7-2 Double Play in MLB history.

LEFT FIELD......George Bell
  • my favorite postion player ever
  • one of many finds by scout Epy Guerrero
  • 1987 American League MVP
  • 1988 3 HR`s off Brett Saberhagen on opening day in Kansas City
  • May 28,1989 as I watched on tv the final game ever at Exhibition Stadium at my Aunt`s house with my GrandFather and Cousin David (both also huge Bell fans) George Bell hits a game-winning walk-off HR vs White Sox closer Bobby Thigpen

RIGHT FIELD........Frank Catalanotto

  • below average defensively but the Cat was one of my fav number 2 hitters ever.....usually hitting behind Reed Johnson and in front of Vernon Wells and Carlos Delgado.....I always expected the Cat to move Johnson along the bases and set the table for Wells and Delgado

CENTER FIELD......................Devon White

Acquired from the then California Angels for Junior Felix and Luis Sojo

.270 regular season avg but a .336 avg in the Play-Offs

5 Gold Gloves

His catch of David Justice`s 2RBI double/triple bid in the 1992 World Series (pîctured above) which led to the 2nd ever Triple-Play in World Series history is an amazing highlight (okay yes the 3rd out was never recorded despite Kelly Gruber applying the tag to Deion Sanders as the UMP missed that call.....and as early as the very next day that umpire, Bob Davidson, admitted he had seen a replay and he did miss the call....to the right is a pic of him calling Deion SAFE....inaccurately!)

PITCHER.......Roy DOC Hallady

Would you believe his 2000 e.r.a. of 10.64 is the highest single-season e.r.a. in MLB history?!?!

in 2001 he was demoted from MLB to Single A where Mel Queen worked with Doc to re-vamp his mechanics and release point and the results were magnificient, and continue to be

  • 6 time All-Star representing the Jays
  • 2003 Cy Young Award winner
  • 49 Complete Games
  • one of the best on-field, and classiest off-field athletes in the history of this city


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

NFC 2010 draft thoughts....

The NFL draft has come and gone so this blog is to welcome certain players to the League and look specifically at your favourite teams Division (this blog features NFC and there is also an AFC blog for this topic) and what future STUDS just entered your radar as far as a player you will see twice each year (Division foe) and hopefully someone will be mentioned from your fav team for you to throw your support behind......


Jimmy Clausen - QB from Notre Dame drafted by the Carolina Panthers.....wow - at worst the 2nd best QB in the draft and likely a top-10 prospect in the entire draft falls to the Panthers at the #48 spot.....questions about the health of his toe surfaced, but much more alarming were the questions of his personality/attitude....for a Panthers team desperate for wins asap to save John Fox's job this was a particular lucky scenario for them to add Clausen who will compete immediately with Matt Moore for the starting job in Carolina

Gerald McCoy - Defensive Lineman out of Oklahoma drafted #3 overall by the Tampa Bay Bucs.....all smiles in Tampa with this pick....even if the Bucs had the #2 or #1 pick they would have been all-over McCoy as their pick.....this guy disrupts everything on every play.....he will be the main man for 2nd year coach Raheem Morris and the re-vamping of this once feared TB defense

*NFC EAST* Dez Bryant (pictured above) - WR out of Oklahoma State drafted by the Dallas Cowboys....has the looks of a stud WR.....2nd WR taken in the draft and if not for questions about his attitude he would have not slipped to #24 and the Cowboys.....he seemed thrilled to be drafted by the 'Boys and Tony Romo is surely already looking forward to utilizing this player

Jason Pierre-Paul - #15 overall to the New York Giants out of South Florida.....this is one of my fav picks any team made......when you watch the Super Bowl Giants from a couple of years ago and then compare it to last years squad the difference that stands out is the consistent pressure the DL put on QB's during their Super Bowl run vs the non-existent pass rush for this team last year.....Pierre-Paul gives the Giants a chance to quickly upgrade on the DL as they try to re-establish themselves in the TOUGH NFC East

Mike Kafta - QB out of Northwestern selected in the 4th round by the Eagles......Kafta was the consensus #5 QB in the draft but he has solid skills (which will need an upgrade for this League) but has good leadership skills and can be called on to lead a team.....Kevin Kolb and Michael Vick are both ahead of Kafta currently on the QB depth chart but with the trading of McNabb and the fact that (imo) Vick is not an NFL QB Kafta could surprise and climb the depth chart for this team......especially if the Eagles evaluation that Kolb is their QB going forward is wrong - which is certainly possible

Trent Williams - Left Tackle out of Oklahoma selected #4 overall by the Washington Redskins.....STUD - one of, if not the best OL in the draft.....a 'Skins offense that averaged around 17-18 points-per-game last year they add Donovan McNabb and they add Williams as a likely rookie-starter and surely a big future.....his intelligence and skill are outstanding as he can play all 5 OL positions


Corey Wootton - Defensive End from Northwestern drafted in the 4th round....the Bears had zero 1st/2nd round picks and took FLA Safety Major Wright in the 3rd round and got a potential steal in the 4th round with Wootton....in January of 2009 he underwent surgery to repair his ACL which he is still recovering from and that is why his draft stock dropped but if he can regain his Junior season form he will fit in nicely for a re-vamping Bears defense

Ndamukong Suh - #2 overall pick form Nebraska drafted by the Detroit Lions....the Lions last year draft Matthew Stafford to be their stud on offense going forward and now they have their stud on defense in Suh.....there is no need for an instant replay to show you the path Suh took to the ball-carrier, just follow the path of beaten bodies Suh leaves in his wake.....monster attacker with a great motor

Jahvid Best - RB out of Cal selected by the Detroit Lions.....to follow their pick of Suh the Lions used their 2nd 1st-round-pick to draft the speedy TD maker Best.....either the fastest or 2nd fastest RB in the draft (he and CJ Spiller were both around 4.37 in the 40-yard dash) the quick Best had 27 TD's in his 2 years as a starter at Cal


Dan Williams - Nose Tackle drafted by the Arizona Cardinals out of Tennessee......as a Dolphins fan this is the guy I wanted but the Cards took him 2 spots before the 'Phins could draft him....this guy is physical and unmovable......likely does not have the closing speed required in the NFL to chase down QB's and rack-up sacks but on running plays he will not be moved and thus not allow interior holes for RB's to sneak through

Sam Bradford - #1 overall pick drafted by the St Louis Rams out of Oklahoma....injured for almost all of last year but he started the 2 previous years for the Sooners and his TD/INT comparison is stunning...86 TD's vs 16 INT's plus just under 8,000 yards (and those gaudy #'s are for just 2 seasons)....he and Tim Tebow have both won Heisman Trophy awards (Tebow 2007 and Bradford 2008) and with the current Rams QB depth chart listing Thaddeus Lewis (who?) Keith Nall (who? part II) and Mike Reilly (who? part III) listed as back-ups for AJ Feeley (long-time starter Marc Bulger was recently released) we see that Bradford will be given a shot very quickly to show his talent.....will he go down the path of the Manning's and Carson Palmer as recent #1 picks who were QB's and proved themselves to be elite NFL players, or will he follow the path of (gulp) JaMarcus Russell - Vick - Alex Smith - David Carr - Tim Couch as #1 overall picks who were QB's and who stunk....

Russell Okung (left) - OL drafted by the Seattle Seahawks #6 overall....many scouts had Okung ranked slightly higher then the #3 pick and fellow Offensive Lineman Trent Williams (drafted by Washington) and Okung will start immediately as he will replace the legendary Walter Jones...he was available for the Seahawks at #6 and they had similar "luck" a few spots later by having Safety Earl Thomas (right) out of Texas available at #14....the Seahawks also added Leon Washington and re-united former USC coach and newly named Seahawks coach Pete Carroll with his star USC running back LenDale White on draft day getting the Pete Carroll era in Seattle off to an amazing start