Wednesday, April 27, 2005
Tuesday, April 26, 2005
The Mavs have to do some serious soul searching and step it up or they might just get swept. Right now I am just going to leave it at this, but I might add some real analysis to this before game 3 so check back.
The picture defines the series!
Sunday, April 24, 2005
I am not going to overanalyze what happened to the Mavs yesterday. They shot 35%. That will not happen again. Dirk went 5 for 19 and had more turnovers (6) than field goals (5). That will not happen again. I'll leave it at that.
As for the Cowboys day 1 draft, every one here in Dallas seems to love it. Even at ESPN.com Mark Clayton listed the Cowboys at the top of his winners. I have a slightly different take. While I don't hate what they did, I would have gone a different way. I don't like taking a guy from Troy State with the #11 pick. Especially when Shawne Merriman and Derrick Johnson are still on the board. Now I'm not a big college football guy. I do watch some games, but I do not follow it as closely as I do the pro game. I have never seen Demarcus Ware play, but neither have most of the people who are saying he is a great pick. And that is my problem with the pick. He has not played a really high level of competition. I prefer to take guys from big schools in the first round. I think I would have gone for Derrick Johnson first then Spears with the 20.
I also would like to have seen them get something on offense with the 2nd round pick. All I have heard since the end of the season is how they need to get defensive players. I agree that they needed that but which has been worse over the last 5 years. While the defense was bad last year. The offense has been HORRIBLE for 5 years! While they have been adding players and I think they are getting close to having a decent offense I would have liked to see a WR or OL taken at some point. My real question is what would they have done if the Lions had not picked Mike Williams at 10? If he is still on the board at 11 do they take him? I don't think so, but I think they should have. Some people, including Mel Kiper, have him listed as the top player in the draft.
Overall I think they did a good job, I just think it could have been better. I give them a B for the day.
Cowboy braintrust looks excited?
Friday, April 22, 2005
Ok sorry, enough of that, Time for my thoughts on Round 1.
Suns(1) vs. Grizz.(8)
Sorry Memphis you just don't have enough to hang with the Suns. They will run the Grizz out of the Gym. Too much speed and athleticism. This should be a fun series to watch, with both teams running a gunning. Neither team has a real big man in the post, with Amare Stoudemire and Lorenzen Wright manning the post for Phx and Memphis respectively. I would take the suns starter at every position with the exception of PF where I would take Gasol over Marion, although Marion really shouldn't even be put in that position as he really is a SF. I take the Suns in 5 although it wouldn't surprise me if the swept Memphis.
Spurs(2) vs. Nuggets(7)
There has been a lot of talk about how much Denver has improved under George Karl and how they are they have a chance to be the Cinderella story of the playoffs. Don't believe it. They will get beat in the first round unless Tim Duncan is still really off his game due to the injury or the suffer some other major injury to Duncan, Parker, or Ginobili. Denver just doesn't have the players to compete at those positions. Although don't be surprised if Greg Buckner holds Ginobili down in several of those games. He is a really nice defender. I take the Spurs in 6 (5 is Duncan is in normal form from the start)
Sonics(3) vs. Kings (6)
I really don't think the Kings lost that much in trading Webber. He had become a jump shooting PF who doesn't have that great of range. He does very little in the post anymore, and can be taken to hole a will be the better PF's in the league. However his thought that he was the man on the team hurt the teams ability to find a new identity. I think trading him was the best thing for the team and that they will be better off for it. However, it will be a a year or two before they really see that. They need time to gel and find a new identity. The Sonics have limped into the playoff, but I think they will pick it up. With Brad Miller the Kings would have a chance in this series, but without him they have none. The Kings have no one who can slow done Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis. My pick is the Sonics in 5.
Mavericks(4) vs. Rockets(5)
Once again the Mavs get seated lower than a team with a worse record(Mavs 58-24, Sonics 52-30). I REALLY hate the seating in the NBA. It was bad enough with 2 divisions in each conference but with 3 this is going to happen every year to some team. They need to go to a straight record based seating in the conferences. I already covered the Mavs below so I will make this quick. Mavs are a better and deeper team. They just need to watch out for McGrady. Mavs in 6.
Heat(1) vs. Nets(8)
This one all depends on Shaq. If he is healthy they role. If not it is a interesting series. The sad thing is that the Nets are in the playoffs at all. This team would not sniff the playoffs in the west. With Jefferson out ESPN.com has Brian Scalabrine listed as the starting SF going against Eddie Jones for Miami. That should be make for some odd situations. If Shaq is healthy I take Miami in 5. If not who knows.
Pistons(2) vs. Sixers(7)
Another team(the Sixers) that wouldn't sniff the playoffs in the West. Detroit however is a very good team. They had there problems throughout the year adjusting to being the champions. I think they have gotten over that and are ready to play. If so they will be a force to be reckoned with. If not they will still beat the Sixers. The sixers need a couple more starters and they might be able to become a nice team. As much as want to say I take the pistons in a sweep! I think Iverson will get them at lest one win, so I say pistons in 5.
Pacers(3) vs. Celtics(6)
Ahhh....what might have been but for one night in Detroit. You add Ron Artest to this team and take away all the drama and this team would have a chance to win the East. But without him, the mental drain that incident caused, and an uncertain shoulder for O'Neal they won't go far. They will however beat this spare Celtic team, another team that wouldn't come close to the playoffs in the west. The Celtics might be able to run on the Pacers some and get some easy transition buckets and get a couple of wins. But will Danny Ainge please, please get Paul Pierce some help!!! Lets hope Reggie Miller has a nice showing in his final playoffs. Pacers in 6.
Bulls (4) vs. Bullets(5)
Yeah, yeah, yeah I know they are the Wizards now but that is such a horrible name and logo I just couldn't use it. They should have gone back to the Zepyers before they used that. Anyway, man if only the Bulls had Curry and Dang this might be the most fun series to watch. Without them Washington has the edge. I look for a big series from Washington's big three(Jamison, Arenas, and Hughes) and from Ben Gordon. This still might be an interesting series to watch with several highlight reel players on each team. With the injuries to the Bulls I take Washington in my only 1st round upset in 6 games.
Wednesday, April 20, 2005
This Mavs team is more prepared to make a run at the title than any in Mavs history, including those of the '80's. They have a superstar that NO ONE in the league can stop. Dirk is the ONLY player in the league in the top 10 in both points(4th) and rebounds(9th). They are the deepest team in the league, with 2 guys coming off the bench that would start for many of the other playoff teams(Stackhouse and Van Horn). The have a viable big man in the middle(Dampier). A well balanced offense and good defense that has showed real stopping power at times late in the season.
There defense is much improved over previous seasons. And was so even before Avery Johnson took over. I love AJ but I do think he is getting just a little too much credit for the way this team is playing. I think it has as much to do with the players as him. The Mavs have never had a center even close to Dampier before and he is making a difference. Josh Howard's ability on defense showed last year but he has gotten even better this year. Jason Terry is defensively an improvement over Nash at the point. Dirk has really stepped up his game in this area. I do think AJ has made an impact but I just think the local media is going crazy with it. There defense has been improved all season. They have blocked 10+ shots in a game 8 times. They are 4th in steals and 7th in blocks. The Mavs are 4th in point differential, scoring 102.5 while giving up 96.8. Another interesting stat they have the best record in the NBA (41-15) since Jason Terry took over as the starting PG on 12/18.
All that being said they do have some problem areas. The biggest of which is that they still really don't have a defensive stopper at the SG/SF position. Josh is improving in this area, but he still gets burned for 40+ too often by the likes of McGrady, Bryant, Lebron, etc.. This could really come to haunt this year. With McGrady in the first round, and if they move on Q. Richardson and Shawn Marion in the second, Ginobli(Don't sleep in him, he is a VERY good player, all-star caliber) in the West finals and in the NBA final probably Wade or Rip Hamilton. In other words every team they will face has a great 2 guard or SF.
They also lack playoff experience. I know that sounds weird for a team that has been in the playoffs for 5 straight years but they do. Terry and Damp have never even sniffed they playoffs. Josh Howard is a second year man, and Stack, Van Horn, and Harris have little to no playoff experience. Avery Johnson has never coached a playoff game, and has only coached 18 games since he became head coach, and had never coached before that.
I'm not really sure how far they can go. I'm confident that they can and should make it to the Western Conf. Finals and could make it to the NBA Finals. The Spurs will be a real test but I think they can beat them. Not sure if they will, but they can. I think that this year will be an experience year. I think they will lose to the Spurs in 7 in the Western Conf. Finals and next year be ready to win it all.
Monday, April 18, 2005
Friday, April 15, 2005
The season starts with 3 out of the first 4 on the road. Not exactly the nicest way to start a season, but the teams aren't that good, with 1 exception. That would be the first game @ San Diego. Starting off the season against LT, Brees and Gates can't bring a smile to the defense. Especially after how bad they were last year. But I guess one way to look at it is that it will be a good test for the new guys. Lets hope they get a Safety or LB that can hang with Gates.
After that it's at home against Washington. You can never tell who will win a game between the Boys and the Skins but it is a home game so I will hope they can pull it out. The game will either be an exciting game between to old rivals with great coaches or a crapfest game between two bad teams with coaches that have lost it.
Then it's out to San Fran and Oakland. Need I say more. Even with Moss Oakland is a bad team. The schedule then evens out with 3 of the next four at home then the bye.
For the out of division games I thought the Boys caught a break. They got the NFC West and the AFC West. The NFC West was the worst division in the NFL last year with a record of 25-39. None of the teams(Seattle, St. Lou, Arizona, or San Fran) are that hard to beat. The AFC west was better at 34-30 but only San Diego scares me. Denver and KC are good teams but the Boys should win at least one of those. And Oakland's Oakland even with Moss.
2 for the wallet
The add on games are winnable with Detroit here and @ Carolina. Both teams could be much improved from last year, but so should the Boys.
Then you have the NFC East. Philly will be the dominant force in the NFC East while both the Giants and Skins should be better. But the Cowboys should split the series against both the Giants and Skins and hopefully pull one out against the Eagles.
My predicton at this point is 9-7, but that could change before the season starts. I will give my official predication after the preseason games.
Overall I think it is a pretty good schedule, but the NFL is such a crapshoot now all of this is really crap. who knows the Niners could win it all. That's todays NFL.
Finally to ensure this season will be an unparalleled success, the Cowboys have made the biggest signing yet. Here is the press release straight from DallasCowboys.com
The Dallas Cowboys signed free agent punter Clinton Greathouse on Tuesday.
Greathouse is a 5-10, 221-pound punter from Texas Tech. He originally signed
with Baltimore as a rookie free agent in 2004 but was released prior to the
start of the season. In three seasons as the Red Raiders punter, Greathouse
averaged 39.7 yards-per-punt on 131 career kicks. Greathouse joins Mat McBriar
as the two punters currently on the Cowboys roster.
Thursday, April 14, 2005
That is an amazing amount of consistency for a team that reworks it's lineup at least once, and usually twice a year. Up until this year the only consistency had been in the big 3(Dirk, Finley, and Nash) with all the others rotating every offseason and/or trade deadline. This year Cuban and the Nellie's(Don and Donnie) even broke that group up. Letting Nash go to Phoenix and relegating Finley to role player status. The one constant in the situation has been Dirk Nowitzki. He is now the unquestioned leader of the team and that is a good thing. The departure of his buddy Nash spurred him from being just very good player to a great player.
Dirks the reason
A lot of credit also has to be given to the front office (Cuban and the Nellie's) for being willing to change things, despite success, in order to make it to the next level as a team. They won't settle for just winning 50+ games, making into the playoffs and winning a series or two. They want to win it all and will do whatever it takes to do it. I have no doubt with those guys running things there will be many more 50+ win seasons to come.
Wednesday, April 13, 2005
No skating the Cup this year....
Well today would be the start of the NHL Playoffs, if they had bothered to have a season. I will be honest, I had not missed hockey at all until today. But today I do feel a little sadness knowing that hockey is not only going to lose a season but a lot of fans. From the people I talk with, articles I read, and sports radio I listen to it seems as if most really haven't missed the NHL all that much. The hockey season is cluttered with other sports for fans to involve themselves in, NBA, College hoops, Arena football. Lets hope that the 2 sides can get there crap together in time for next season and not let this carry on any longer. Lets also hope that they make some much needed changes in the game to open it up some more so we can watch the great players do their thing and not watch guys huggin' each other all the way across the ice. That way maybe they can get the majority of the fans back quickly.
Tuesday, April 05, 2005
Monday, April 04, 2005
Running Baseball into the ground for 13 years!
Welcome to Major League Baseball's Opening Day. But yesterday was Major League Baseball's Opening Game. So the opening game was the day before the opening day. The opening game on a day when there were 7 exhibition games. Makes sense. Well I guess it is better than last year when they had an opening series in Japan 2 weeks before the season. Where the teams played real games then came back and played more exhibition games. Makes sense. Few things to me are more pleasurable than going to the ballpark and enjoying a dog, a beer, and a game, but it is really hard to get involved when the league keeps running itself into the ground. The Opening Game fiasco is just a laughable symptom of a rotted system. The strikes/lockouts, the ignoring of steroids for so long, the refusal of the league to go to a revenue sharing program, etc., etc. I just have a really hard time getting emptionally involved in a league that is always shooting itself in then foot while holding up it's middle finger to it's fans.
And for tonights big game all I have to say is