Saturday, November 30, 2013

Not the Savior..

The New York Knicks are 3-12 and dead last in their division looking up at the Toronto Raptors and I've heard on more than one occasion that the Knicks should look to trade away Carmelo Anthony the greatest offensive talent the Knicks have had since Bernard King. Carmelo is averaging 26.5 points per game, 2.5 assists per game, and 9.9 rebounds per game as solid as those numbers are Carmelo's player efficiency rating is 22.16 which middle of the pack for the type of player Carmelo is. The problem with the 3-12 Knicks is that they have looked either lost or completely incompetent on the defensive side of the ball (Carmelo included).

Blaming Carmelo is not the way to go. Blaming the decision-makers of the team is the way to go. The lone real defensive players on the Knicks is Center Tyson Chandler and Guard Iman Shumpert and with Chandler being hurt at the moment that makes the glaring weaknesses on defense even worse. Even though Iman Shumpert and Amare Stoudemire have expressed issues with "ball movement" (which really means that Carmelo Anthony and JR Smith don't pass the ball enough and chuck up and too many shots) on offense they haven't been enough of a force when they do have the ball to demand the ball anyways. This issue goes back to the decision makers once again when the new Collective Bargaining Agreement was signed each team was able to amnesty (an option to get rid of a player by paying the player the rest of his contract without having his contract counting against the salary cap) one player and the Knicks decided to amnesty Chauncy Billups instead the albatross contract of Amare Stoudemire who hasn't even thought of living up to his contract. A trio of Chauncy, Carmelo, and Chandler would've had given the Knicks the right veteran leadership that they need to control the often out of control Iman Shumpert and JR Smith. So don't blame or trade number 7...blame Knicks owner James Dolan.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

What the Chicago Bulls should do Now...

Once again Derrick Rose is out for the rest of the season leaving the Bulls without its most dynamic player, leading scorer, and overall leader. So what should the Bulls do now? In my opinion it's time to tank. Trade Luol Deng's expiring contract for picks for the upcoming super draft and FINALLY amnestying Carlos Boozer (or as I like to call him Boozer the loser). Starting over is the best option because the team that's on the court just can't compete with the New York Knicks, forget about the Indiana Pacers and Miami Heat. These Bulls can't beat the Knicks as they are constituted so it's time to strip it down and just start over.

The Bulls are very good at drafting talent so getting the picks from trading Deng and utilizing the draft picks the Bulls already have they can build a better team. So when Rose comes back next season the Bulls would be better set to compete against the juggernauts of the East. Even with how weak the East is I still say that tanking is the best solution because in today's NBA it's better to be either very good or very bad. Being very good would have your team always in a position to compete and have fans coming to the stadium, being bad helps the team build through the draft and if the picks pan out as they are supposed to bad teams can turn around in a hurry. So if I'm the general manager I'm making phone calls and trying to set up a juggernaut draft room for my super star next season.

Monday, November 25, 2013

When is it Time to Give a 'Legend' the Hook?

The term legend gets thrown around a lot, but I guess Kobe Bryant lands under this label. Personally I don't think he's a legend. Kobe is like Joe Torre who was on the right team at the right time since Shaquille O'Neal was in his prime mowing teams over in the paint leading the Lakers to several championships while Kobe kind of hid in his shadow, but here we are in the last year of Kobe's contract and after stating that he was going to retire after this contract today came the announcement that Kobe has signed a 2 year extension to continue playing basketball for the Los Angeles Lakers. Kobe Bryant has been in the league for 17 years and has played well over 40,000 minutes on the basketball court and it has been starting to show as of late since he's been dealing with nagging injuries the last few years and is coming off major knee surgery this past off season.

You would think that being on one team for as long as Kobe has been and with the decline in his performance and minutes (due to injuries) he would be more welcome to giving the Lakers a discount, but no his extension is for 48 million which isn't going to help his team make the necessary moves to be competitive with the Miami Heats and Indiana Pacers of the world. What free agent is going to want to go play with a ball hog that is taking up a solid chunk of the salary cap? The Lakers need a fresh start and with old man Kobe sticking around that isn't going to happen and the Lakers won't benefit from it anytime soon.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Oh the Good Ole Days

Social networking has become the biggest pain to both professional athletes and the leagues they belong to. Recently Knick guard JR Smith was fined 25,000 dollars for a "threatening" tweet in response to another player who called out the Knicks for signing JR Smith's brother who isn't talented enough to be in the Association. Tampa Bay Ray pitcher David Price got fined for tweeting negatively about umpires. I'm waiting for the day where professional teams ban their players from using social networks. Social networks can be used as tools where players can interact with the public, but when a player takes to Twitter to announce that umpires don't know what they're talking about or threatening other players that's when things go awry. Leagues do have social networking policies in place, but none of that controls when a player gets emotional and goes on a 140 character rant.

Before the explosion of social networks players didn't have the outlets that current players have,  so if a player was upset at something there was no Twitter or Facebook where a player could vent and make themselves or their team look bad. Along those lines professional athletes had much more privacy back in the day, they had more freedom to do whatever they wanted to without having someone posting pictures to Twitter and having ones dirty laundry aired out in mere seconds. I agree with players who have decided not to join Twitter they're able to be angry and not get fined 20,000 dollars for every thoughtless Tweet.

I Hate to Say I Told You So...

But the Brooklyn Nets are looking bad and Jason Kidd is to blame. According to scouts that have watched the Nets play recently have reported that from what they see Kidd isn't coaching the offense or the defense, but that his assistant coaches are, with Lawrence Frank coaching defensive and John Welch coaching offense with Welch setting up plays during games making Jason Kidd just a figure head. Just a dude standing on the sidelines in a suit with the best seats in the house and getting paid to walk around and watch. Fine, it has only been 10 games, but with a win now team hiring Kidd to coach this team was a huge mistake.

Another brilliant NBA mind that hasn't paid off just like Michael Jordan hasn't panned out as owner and/or General Manager of the Charlotte Bobcats. I was on the fence about Kidd's signing since he was a great on court leader, but coaching and running the court are two separate things and Kidd looks overwhelmed. There is still time for the Nets to turn it around and there are plenty injury concerns for the old Brooklyn Nets, but those are excuses and I'm done with excuses and professional sports teams. They should've hired a more experienced coach like Lionel Hollins or George Karl who would've been a better hire than Jason Kidd who before this season has called as many time outs from the bench as I have.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


I understand all the support that NFL golden boys (Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, and Drew Brees) are going to get, but in my opinion the NFL MVP is Andrew Luck. None of the golden boys are depended upon as much as the Colts rely on Andrew Luck. If the Colts are losing Luck does whatever it takes whether it be running or making throws to get the Colts a win. None of the golden boys put their team on their back the way Luck does in Indianapolis. His stats for the second half of football games so far this season are much more impressive than in the first half. Luck's completion percentage goes up from 57.5 in the first half to 61.7 in the second half, but where the big jump in Luck's second half stats is in his rushing, he's rushed 28 times for 154 yards and 4 touchdowns. For a team that picked up Trent Richardson in a trade with the Browns the fact that Luck has had to run for that many yards just shows the type of dedication he has toward winning.

Due to injuries to his favorite target wide receiver, Reggie Wayne, Andrew Luck has had to make do with an even more inexperienced receiving corp who aren't exactly on the same page with Luck as Wayne was which is why his yardage and throwing TDs aren't going to measure up to the golden boys, but the Colts are still 7-3 and poised to make a run in the playoffs. The golden boys are having their typical years, but everyone expected that from them, Andrew Luck has carried this Colt team to where they are now with his 2,430 passing yards, his 59.4 completion percentage, and 14 TDs.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Ladies and Gentlemen Your Indiana Pacers

The Indiana Pacers are 7-0 in this young season and it is looking like they're going to be a pain in the side to the defending champion Miami Heat. What makes the Pacers so annoying? Paul George has stepped his game up and is not only playing tremendous defense, but he is now the focal point of the offense. George is averaging 25.1 points per game, 4.0 assists per game, and 7.9 rebounds per game which are all higher than his career averages of 13.3/2.7/5.9. This is the best start by the Indian Pacers in the history of the franchise. Roy Hibbert is averaging 4.3 blocks per game which has to earn him the early favorite for defensive player of the year, but what the stats don't show is how many shots Hibbert has altered because of his presence in the paint.

I'm not about to say that the Pacers are going to come out the East, but they have already beaten the Chicago Bulls and the Brooklyn Nets which are supposed to be two of the powerhouses of the NBA. I believe the Pacers have the same chances that the Heat have to make the Finals. If Hibbert, George, and Lance Stephenson continue to develop and along with a very good bench that has the addition of Luis Scola on it the sky is the limit for these Indiana Pacers. Personally, I believe the loss last year in the playoffs was a lesson that the Pacers are showing that they have learned from and have put those lessons to work for them.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Message Lost in the Delivery

After his suspension for hitting wide receivers harshly Washington Redskin safety Brandon Meriweather returned to play and in an interview he said that he's got no choice but to hit offensive players at their knees and cause career ending injuries. This was welcomed with harsh criticism and overall disapproval by most gas bags on shows on ESPN and NFL Network, but most didn't catch his message. I heard what he said and I got the message. What I'm assuming he meant was that because of the new rules that the NFL has put in place in the name of safety defensive players aren't allowed to hit wide receivers or tight ends high (which includes the head or the chest) which only leaves hitting players low which aren't as protected as the head and chest.

Pads and helmet have been developed to the point where hits don't cause as much damage as they did 30-40 years ago so getting hit high won't cause as much of an issue as it did in the past, but the lower part of a football player is not as protected as the upper part. The typical football player wears thigh pads and knee pads that are as thin as paper and they don't protect players' knees, and that's where players like Meriweather are going to strike players since they can't hit a receiver high. Receivers are going to have to get used to players going for their knees and defensive players are going to have to swinging and missing a lot because hitting a player's knees isn't that easy. So there are going to be a boatload of missed tackles coming and things are look sloppier than they do already.

I don't blame Meriweather for his comments, but he does need to learn how to get his point across without coming off sounding like a maniac. The NFL didn't fine him for a reason because the powers that be know he's right.