Saturday, June 25, 2011

NFL Lockout... 100 Days Plus


Blog by Haz Bey
I love football, I mean I really love football, but if this lockout doesn't end soon, the type of football we will watch once it is over will be a mere shadow of it's former self. Don't get me wrong, if we do lose games & have a shortened season, it's a million times better than having no games at all, but I, like all other Americans, are used to a certain standard of quality of play associated with the NFL.  If you have ever played competitive organized football of some sort, semi-pro or what have you, then you know that just preparing for a season takes a lot of hard work & is very time consuming.  So just imagine preparing for an NFL season.  The Super Bowl ends first week of February, then next thing you know you are in late April, the draft has just passed & you are right back on the field doing mandatory OTAs.  Not to mention having access to team facilities to keep your body fit or to rehab nagging or serious injuries.  We on the outside just take that stuff for granted.  We just get excited for training camp, because we believe that is the 1st true sign of the upcoming season looming.  Well, sorry folks.  An NFL season is truly 365 days a year.  It's non-stop.  With complex offensive & defensive strategies, asserting incoming rookies & free agents to build chemistry is a job all in itself. 

No Comment Necessary
Now with the NFL Lockout 100 days & some strong, all we got was to see & hear was that the players taking responsibility by getting together on their own, running plays half-assed in a non-structured environment.  These players need their coaches to help them correct mistakes that the players themselves just would not recognize. 

Lately the talks between both the owners & the players have been heating up, but if they don't get a deal done soon,  then we are going to get some sloppy-played football.  We will get a rushed training camp, preseason & possibly less then 16 regular season games.  Which would also force teams to shrink their playbooks & run more basic sets.  We will still get the big plays & big hits, but the flow of the game would comprimised due to the stubbornness of the two sides struggling to get the deal that they want.  Both sides don't want to give in, but they both know that they will in some way, eventually.  I don't care how much money you make, when you start to miss pay checks, then you realize there's a huge problem & it still hurts your pockets.  So, yes, the Lockout will end, we will have our football, but it is just a matter of when.  And once we know when, we will see if we get the brand of football we are acustomed to or see if we get a watered-down version with low scores & sloppy plays.  Only time will tell.

Friday, June 17, 2011

The 2011 NBA Draft is...History

Were Dreams are Made
Blog by Mike McClendon
The 2011 NBA Draft is June 23rd and 60 Young men will hear their names called and their journey and dream of becoming a NBA star has begun. Congrats to all those who's names are called Thursday night and huge words of encouragement to those who are not because players like Ben Wallace, Avery Johnson, and Bruce Bowen were all Undrafted and won championships as vital contributors to their respective teams. Now on the "flipside" those drafted aren't always big time players. Look at these former Lottery picks: Michael Olowokandi and Keon Clark 98' Draft, Stromile Swift and Jerome Moiso 00' Draft, Joe Alexander and Anthony Randolph 08' Draft. Just to name a few, Bum's. With certain drafts the talent level isn't really that high or the scouts and GM's evaluating those guys aren't doing a good job. Here are some 2nd round names in those drafts that had better careers, not neccessarily great or good but definitively better: Rashard Lewis Cuttino Mobley 98' draft, Eddie House and Michael Redd (before the Knee issues) 00' draft, Mario Chalmers and DeAndre Jordan 08' draft. In my eyes these 2nd round guys capitalized on their NBA opportunity.

The two most talked about names in this years NBA Draft are Kyrie Irving and Derrick Williams. Most people say it's because there is no true stars in this years draft. I mean drafting a play maker like Irving or talent like Williams isn't like drafting those former 1st round BUM's I previously named, I hope not anyway. I do agree with names like Harrison Barnes, Perry Jones, Jared Sullinger, and John Henson not being in this years drafted has lifted Irving and Williams to the top. To me this years draft is lacking depth and the momentum of the foreign players is a bit questionable.This is similar to the 04' and 06' drafts that lacked star quality names and had 6 foreign players taken in the first round and 16 total taken in the drafts. I am not against foreign players but there has been more foreign players taken early in the draft that didn't pan out then those who have.

Potential Lottery Pic
For every Tony Parker there is 5 Jiri Welsch's (1st round pick by 76er's traded to Warriors 02 draft), for every Dirk Nowitzki there is 8 Nickoloz Tskitishvili (1st round pick by Nuggets 5th overall 02' draft). We could say the same for American born players but to me it is just harder to find a Tony Parker or Dirk when they play in another country and they play against tough but lesser talent. This years draft brings us guys like Enes Kanter, Dontas Montiejunas, and Jan Vessley, just to name a few. There are about 5 to 6 more foreign names that will be moving up and down GM's drafts boards mainly for what they have seen in workouts but don't think for a second that Dirk's play in the finals won't have one of these pro scouts and GM's salivating for a foreign prospect. 

To me this years draft is just to familiar to drafts of the past with only a few big time names at the top and a whole bunch of NBA role players or Bum's. The draft is how teams build for now and into the future and all teams have to trust their GM and scouts to make the right evaluations and decisions. The Cavs taking Irving over Williams to me isn't the right call but every scout and GM thinks Irving is the next CP3 but again nobody knows. With Kemba, Jimmer, and Brandon Knight available why not take Williams at 1 and then one of those serviceable PG's with their other top 5 pick? Just a thought. Taking a Foreign player like big man Bismack Biyombo might be a stretch as a lottery pick but it could happen and probably will because what other player on the board will fit a teams needs like a future foreign big that probably can't play in the NBA for at least one more season, apparently none of them.  I think this draft will make a big splash in the late 1st round and early to mid 2nd round. Names like Norris Cole PG from Cleveland St., Kenny Faried PF from Morhead St., Keith Benson C from Oakland, Jimmy Butler F from Marquette,  and Sharp shooter Jon Diebler from Ohio St. All can and in my eyes will play at the NBA level. Maybe not stars but definitely can be contributors to winning teams in their careers.  We shall see.

Sleepers, Overrated players and Position Ranks coming soon.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Winning is the only Cure

Two Stars Different Directions

Blog by Mike McClendon
The Dallas Mavericks beat the Miami Heat in 6 games to win the world championship, which is a surprise by many. The way they did it also came at a surprise. They played with more heart determination and will then the more talented Miami heat did. It's like the opening act to a Lil' Wayne concert performing better than Lil' Wayne the headliner would, not hard to do by the way, but I digress. The heat are younger and probably will be in this situation again and again or at least until they trade one of the 3 stars but for the Mavs the time was now and they played with that sense of urgency in every game of the series. Dirk hands down was the best player in the series even though he didn't play well in the first half of game 6, reminiscent of Kobe Bryant's Performance against the Celtics in 2010 Finals where he shot 6-24, just like Kobe in that game, Dirk came up big in the clutch with 10 4th Quarter points. Speaking of the 4th Quarter....

Two of the Best
Mr. James and D. Wade are going to go down as one of the best 1-2 punches to play the game of basketball. The problem is who is 1 and who is 2? Somebody has to be Scottie, damn that, Who the hell was Jordan in this series? Both players went into this series with extreme confidence but neither showed it in clutch moments which is in the 4th period not the first few minutes of the game or the first half. Dominique Wilkins was called the Human Highlight film but all his highlights never got him a ring (He did have to beat MJ, Bird, and Isiah). These two tremendous talents have to mature their already breath taking games and turn them into clutch moments or they will leave a legacy of all was falling short of their goal of a title, I'm sorry, multiple titles. Neither player stepped up and took control of games 4-6. Mr. James getting most of the blame because Wade at least was playing a more consistent "brand" of basketball in this series. We can argue the million and one reasons why these two phenoms came up short but at the end of the day it was simply that the Mavs had the sense of urgency and took control of the series.
Heart of a Champion

Dirk Nowitzki cemented himself in anybody's top 5-10 Power forwards of all time with his performance in this years playoffs and the finals especially, one more ring and he can be considered in the top 3. He was dominate in late clutch moments and proved to his teammates and fans that he had what it took to lead his team to a championship. One of the best purest floor generals in the game, Jason Kidd, was nowhere near what he was when he went to back to back finals in 02' and 03'. They lost both of those series but J. Kidd was, at that time, a little more consistent and aggressive. He did just enough though to help the Mavs in game 5 and 6 after not doing much of anything but taking up space in the previous games. Shawn Marion won't get much "pub" but he was also a key contributor to this championship run for the Mavs, along with the little guy with the big mouth Jason "Jet" Terry. Terry was phenomenal in the last two games and backed up is big heart with his those two big games. Much deserved and warranted championship for the Dallas Mavericks, even though some say Miami loss this ring others believe Dallas took it. I say the best TEAM won and that is usually what happens in a best of 7 series. On to the Next one!


Blog by Mike McClendon
First and foremost I want to say that we are all critics, not judges or juries, but critics. We criticize the mailman for not delivering mail on time when we need it, we criticize the waiter or waitress for not doing their job right, as if we can do better. We do it all the time and it's in our nature to let people know how they are performing at their job. We shouldn't judge others and say nasty things about them but in sports that is what many people do. It's their purpose to humiliate or discourage because they do not like that player or team. None of which makes it right it is just what most people do. For the most part it's for fun and competitive banter and that is what this blog is about, it's fun and it's all about competitive banter. Nobody is right or wrong, nobody is king or a know it all. It's about having a thought and making sense of it, so please make sense when you start to criticize me or what I am writing about. Now with that said lets talk Sports!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Pryor to Michigan..Thankful it Didn't Happen

Just Buried myself
Blog by Mike McClendon
A few years ago Michigan and Ohio State fans were on the edge of their seats to see where the All-World Terrelle Pryor was going to go to College. He chose Ohio State over Michigan after many had thought he would be a Wolverine. The drama leading up to his decision was indicating that he wanted to be in Ann Arbor, fools gold basically. Man with hindsight being 20/20 Michigan dodged a bullet there. Terrelle Pryor has been in the news for the last 6 or 7 months and not about whether he is going pro or not but all about allegations about receiving improper benefits, selling memorabilia, and receiving money for autographs. All of which supposedly was known by former Head coach Jim Tressel, who resigned last month because of all the heat the program and himself was receiving, much to the dismay of the team and Buckeye community.

Peace be with you my Son
Some college players and even pro players feel a since of entitlement and feel they are above the team and even the sport itself. So they do things here and there and feel it will leave no traces. they hang around the wrong crowed and get dollar signs in their eyes, all of which leads to them hurting their families, teammates and coaches. Pryor was suspended for the first five games of this upcoming season, but was still under investigation on a lot of other allegations. When coach Tressel resigned it was a lot of backlash towards Pryor and that led him to decide not to return to school and try to become a pro player. Whether it's NFL, CFL, or UFL, who knows but one thing we all know is that if we have gone to Michigan this would have never happen. Maybe, he would have gotten the right guidance and not just use for his talents. Maybe they would have gave a great support system and have him focus on his academics and life after football. Or, Maybe he is a knucklehead and would have been this type of guy where ever he landed. Who knows?

Money is the root of all Evil or a Corvette

DeShawn Stevenson just "Checked In"

Blog by Mike McClendon

You can't feel your face because you are not touching it!

DeShawn Stevenson aka Mr. I can't feel my face or better known as I can't find a team that loves me had some interesting words about Mr. James after Game 4 of the NBA Finals. "He Checked out", that is what Stevenson believes Mr. James did in the final moments of Game 4 Tuesday night. He later said that he feels the Heat are still getting know each other on the court so Mr. James was a little out of place in clutch time. Stevenson also thinks Mr. James can boost himself a little bit with some more media attention and fuel his fire with it and feed his ego a bit more. Really?? More media attention? Well, most people thought Jason Terry's southpaw right hand jab at Mr. James about guarding for 7 games would roast his nuts and get him to play hungrier and with the passion we all know he has for Tuesday's game 4 but that didn't quite work out the way the Bandwagon fans wanted it to, I think. We shall see what happens in the decisive game 5 but, If I'm the Mavs I would never want to wake a sleeping giant and it seems that is what they are trying to do, or do they know something we don't'? Maybe they feel Mr. James will crack under pressure and leave D. Wade to carry the load. Too late that's whats' happening now. Decisions, Decisions.

Trying to find my Talents and take them to Dallas

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Finals... 3 Games Down... How Many More to Go?

D-Wade has definitely put his stamp on this years NBA Finals, much like he did in 2006.  This time around he has another superstar in his prime along-side him to ease some of the pressure off him.  D-Wade is the Heat's captain, he is their leader & he is not bashful about it.  D-Wade the last few days has been letting the world know that he is the "Alpha-Male" of the pack.  D-Wade even got in "King" James' face late in game 3 & told him "what's up?"  Like Wade said in game 3, he's been there before & if he keeps playing like he has in the first 3 games, there is nothing Dirk & the Mavs can't do anything about it.  Look for Dwayne Wade to win MVP honors as the Heat end the NBA season in South Beach with the Larry O'Brien Trophy presentation.  Miami wins in 6 games

Blog by Haz Bey