On The Clock NFL Mock Draft from Fanspeak.com

You are browsing the archive for Washington Wizards Archives - steveospeak.

Weekly Sports Blogger Debate – Top 5 Sports Questions of the Week:

January 6, 2012 in Uncategorized

We've asked some of our favorite bloggers the top 5 sports questions of the week to have a fun debate!  Thanks to Nolan, Howard, Alan, Cody and Rob for joining in the debate!

What do you think?  Give your opinion below!

1.  Who wins the 4 NFL Wildcard Playoff games this weekend?

Will Eli & the NY Giants beat the Falcons?

ROB YUNICH – STORMING THE CREASE:

Saints, Steelers, Giants, Texans

HOWARD TICKER:

1) Bengals, Saints, Giants (very iffy), Steelers

ALAN ZLOT:

Wildcard weekend has always been just that, wild. I think this weekend will continue with that theme. I like two road teams, and two home teams. I like the Steelers over Denver, and Atlanta over the Giants. I think the Super Bowl bound Saints will easily take care of Detroit, especially after losing in Seattle last year during the opening round of the playoffs. Finally, I look for Houston's rookie QB to edge out the Bengals rookie QB, and the Texans to play the play my Ravens next week in Baltimore.

NOLAN MUCCIARONE – ALLIGATOR ARMY:

Steelers over Broncos – Tebow isn't quite ready yet.
Saints over Lions – Sure the Lions defense is good, but the Saints offense is better.
Falcons over Giants – The Giants are a disaster waiting to happen.
Bengals over Texans – Do the Texans even have a quarterback anymore?

CODY TYSON – BRYCEHARPERFACTS.COM:

Texans over Bengals, Steelers over Broncos (Sorry Tebow), Saints over Lions, Giants over Falcons.

2.  Who wins the National Championship Monday and why?

ROB YUNICH – STORMING THE CREASE:

Alabama, courtesy of Nick Saban’s coaching wizardry.

HOWARD TICKER:

I want to say LSU but I don't think Bama will let them lose again. They should have won last time with all of those missed field goals. I say both offenses wake up a little bit more and its 16-13 Bama. I took LSU in my ESPN Bowl Pool thing.

ALAN ZLOT:

Alabama wins, and they score points doing it. I think these two teams are as evenly matched as two teams can be for a National Championship. When that happens in my book, the game then comes down to coaching, and execution. Although Les Miles is a great coach, he's too much of a wild card for this game against a Nick Saban coached team. Saban will be sure that field goals wont matter, and AJ  McCarron, who threw for 199 yards in the last game, will find success early and often against the LSU secondary. Despite losing at home to LSU, which they should have not have done if their kicker was accurate (Alabama was 2-of-6 on field goal attempts) the Crimson Tide will "roll" on Monday night. Final score prediction……..Alabama 27 LSU 17

NOLAN MUCCIARONE – ALLIGATOR ARMY:

LSU over Alabama. The Mad Hatter, New Orleans, Nighttime … Ballgame.

CODY TYSON – BRYCEHARPERFACTS.COM:

Alabama. It was a close game last time and it will be even closer now. With the long break between games, LSU will lose the undefeated momentum. They’ll have to rebuild the mentality. This also gives Alabama more time to devise a game plan to score. Besides Alabama has nothing to lose. LSU has the undefeated season on the line.

3.  With their performance in the Winter Classic, are the NY Rangers the team to beat in the Eastern Conference?

How will the Rangers do the rest of the season after their impressive Winter Classic performance?

ROB YUNICH – STORMING THE CREASE:

They’re certainly playing the best hockey since John Tortorella took over as coach, but they’ve got a lot of challengers – including the Philadelphia Flyers, New Jersey Devils and a resurgent Washington Capitals.

HOWARD TICKER:

As much as I want to say they are, I think they will cool off and be the 4th or 5th seed. I see the Flyers being the team to beat when the season is over even though the Rangers are 3-0 against them this year.

ALAN ZLOT:

This is not the Rangers season, and while they look great now, there is still a long way to go in this season. In my opinion, and not because I'm a homer with this prediction, but the Capitals are building something pretty special in D.C. Ovie seems to be back, and not for the short haul, and it is possible that Tomas Vokoun has finally cleared out his head from a very disappointing off-season. The Rangers play in the Atlantic division and that can take a lot out of a team. I just cannot see Marian Gaborik continuing on his hot scoring pace, and they always seem to have a tough time scoring in late March and April. They may be the team to beat next year, but not this season.

NOLAN MUCCIARONE – ALLIGATOR ARMY:

I'm going to go with no, the NY Rangers are not the team to beat in the Eastern Conference. I say that because, well, they are the Rangers.

CODY TYSON – BRYCEHARPERFACTS.COM:

They are at the top of the division and running a two game win streak. Maybe they’ll keep that going when they face the Bruins.

4.  What will the winless Wizards final record be this season?

ROB YUNICH – STORMING THE CREASE:

0-66… no, seriously, they might not win more than 15 games.

HOWARD TICKER:

Wizards will go 17-49.

ALAN ZLOT:

15-51, but isn't it great to John Wall on shoe commercials during the lockout. They suck, and this organization is still paying for having Wes Unseld as a GM for entirely too many years.

NOLAN MUCCIARONE – ALLIGATOR ARMY:

I had forgotten until the Celtics played them this year, that there was even a basketball team in D.C., so I'll say 10-56.

CODY TYSON – BRYCEHARPERFACTS.COM:

25-41.

5. Of the NFL teams with head coaching vacancies, who will land the "biggest name" as their new head coach?

ROB YUNICH – STORMING THE CREASE:

Whoever lands Jeff Fischer… my guess is Jacksonville, but it could be St. Louis or Miami too…

HOWARD TICKER:

Jeff Fisher to the Dolphins. If Colts fire Caldwell I think they will land Fisher. I don't see the Bucs, Rams, or Jags will land a big name coach.

ALAN ZLOT:

I would no be at all surprised to see Brian Billick end up with one of the Florida teams. Each have a young QB, and Billick was supposed to be a QB guru wasn't he? Of course Billick's arch rival, Jeff Fisher will end up with one as well. If you had to pick which Florida franchise was best equipped for success the quickest, I would obviously pick the TB Bucs, who won 10 games last season, but ultimately the fun and sun in south Florida ends up with the biggest fish in the pond, and whom that is may still yet be determined. Carl Petersen, who will have all of the say in the choosing of the next head coach in Miami loves Chip Kelly of Oregon, which ironically NFL.com also wrote this week is a possibility. Do not be surprised to see Jon Gruden go back on his word and leave the MNF booth.

NOLAN MUCCIARONE – ALLIGATOR ARMY:

The Dolphins. Though if Bill Cowher and Jeff Fisher both sign on to coach, it's a tie.

CODY TYSON – BRYCEHARPERFACTS.COM:

The Rams. They have some good players now like Bradford and Jackson but whoever the next coach may be will have the ability to build the team to his liking either by draft or trade. It would be an attractive deal to any coach. Maybe we’ll see Jeff Fischer there next season.


 

Grading The Kirk Hinrich Deal

February 24, 2011 in Uncategorized

WIZARDS GET:

PG MIKE BIBBY, G JORDAN CRAWFORD, SF MAURICE EVANS, 2011 1ST ROUND PICK

HAWKS GET:

PG KIRK HINRICH, C/PF HILTON ARMSTRONG

WASHINGTON'S GRADE: A-

I absolutely love this deal for the Wizards, and in fact I fail to see any downside. Mike Bibby might no longer be the Mike Bibby of 1998, in fact he's not even the Mike Bibby of 2008, but he still has a place in the NBA. He can give the Wizards valuable veteran minutes off the bench, while at the same time mentor John Wall. Is there a talent drop off between Hinrich and Bibby? Of course, but it isn't so much so that it is a real negative for this trade. Bibby was at one time on a higher plateau than Hinrich has been on, making him an even better example for Wall to follow.

The real area where the Wizards win in this trade is with Jordan Crawford and a first round pick in this draft. Crawford was a first round draft pick this past April, and a player I had long hoped the Wizards would acquire. He is an impressive young combo guard, who can create off the dribble, or be deadly sitting behind the arc. Crawford's numbers don't jump out at you, but he's only averaged 10 minutes per game this season, and couldn't crack the Hawks back court rotation of Bibby, Jeff Teague, Jamal Crawford, and Joe Johnson. I'm guessing he fairs better with the Wizards, and he has great developmental potential down the road. While it is a down draft, and it will likely be a pick in the early-to-mid 20's, the Wizards should still be able to find a quality player there. If not they could always trade the pick for a player, or a future draft consideration.

This was a no-brainer deal for the Wizards as Crawford alone would have been enough to make the trade worthwhile, adding a first rounder was the icing on the cake for Washington. While this move alone doesn't help make the Wizards contenders, they added two promising young prospects for a player that was superfluous to their team.

ATLANTA'S GRADE: C

I understand the Hawks needed to make some sort of move as they head into the playoffs, but I'm not sure that this is the right move. Hinrich is a little bit better than Bibby, but we aren't talking about a vast improvement. While barring a major injury they won't miss Crawford this season, I'm thinking they could miss him next year, when Jamal Crawford is a free agent and likely to leave. I do think that Hinrich could flourish in Atlanta given the level of talent around him, and his unselfish attitude, but I just get the feeling the Hawks will regret this trade. Had they even added another role player I might have understood this deal for their playoff run, but Armstrong is completely inconsequential. He is only going to see minutes if Atlanta is up or down by 20+ points, and even then he's not going to do much for them. The Hawks may be better this season, but I'm guessing by next year Jordan Crawford alone will have turned the deal in Washington's favor.

Morning Links:Wizards Win, Pujols Can't Reach Agreement With Cardinals

February 14, 2011 in Uncategorized

Wizards Win on the Road:

In a battle for ineptitude the Washington Wizards knocked off the Cleveland Cavaliers 115-100 last night in Cleveland. The Cavs who are now  1 for their last 27 games, couldn't continue the Wizards streak of losing on the road. Washington had lost 25 straight road contests before last night, and if not for the Cavaliers would be recognized as the most embarrassing team in the NBA. While I'm sure the Wizards are happy to get that monkey off their back, they didn't exactly overcome 'Goliath' last night and should be hesitant to celebrate. Washington is still among the worst teams in the NBA this season, and have yet to find their winning formula. The Wizards did come out on fire last night, and if they had showed that fundamental basketball earlier in the season, there would be no story here. It will be interesting to see if, they were only able to play that good because it was the Cavs or if they have turned the corner. Both teams will have to make some tough decisions these next two weeks as the trade deadline is fast approaching. One thing that is clear, neither team is anywhere close to competing in this league, and will need a lot of help to get there.

Pujols Rejects Contract Offer, Puts Negotiations On Hold:

Wow, I really never thought it would get to this point, but apparently no movement has been made in the last couple of weeks, and the two sides are far apart. I thought an extension by this point was a foregone conclusion. At the very least I figured they'd be close enough that Pujols would announce that he would continue negotiations through February, or even through Spring Training. I understand not wanting to have negotiations during the season, but that is still 6 weeks away. And while the Cardinals could maybe make an offer during that window, it better be pretty close to what Pujols wants or you will now have offended him by breaking his anti-negotiation stance. With Pujols holding firm on this, and also making it clear he won't accept any trade this season, the Cardinals will need to do everything they can to convince their star they can contend this year. Their negotiation window after the season will be short, and if he hits the open market it could spiral out of control. Lets face it the Cardinals will have to significantly increase their offer to Pujols' range, as there is no way they can risk losing him this offseason. The fans in St. Louis will simply stop showing up if that is the case, and this team would go into a tailspin. This is quickly becoming a major story and will be interesting to keep an eye on as this season progresses. Just how happy is Albert in St. Louis and where might he look to play if he leaves the Cardinals.

Scheduling Oddities

February 8, 2011 in Uncategorized

By Guest Blogger Rob Yunich:

The Washington Wizards are amidst a season where they twice play home games on consecutive nights. The last time that happened was the 2005-06 season, when it happened just once. The Atlanta Hawks are the only other Southeast Division team to go through this, and they’ve also got one (March 15 and 16).

Part of it may be due to the fact that nearly every Friday and Saturday night during the NBA (and NHL) seasons are booked and nearly every Saturday at Verizon Center is double-booked, with this Saturday hosting a rare afternoon Washington Capitals game followed by an evening Wizards game. Only two of the other Saturday doubleheaders at Verizon Center included hockey, and in both cases (Dec. 4 and Jan. 8), hockey had the late slot.

The Caps, meanwhile, haven’t hosted games on consecutive nights since Jan. 31 and Feb. 1, 2009 against the Detroit Red Wings and Ottawa Senators (they won both games).

*Rob's blog is Storming the Crease – http://www.stormingthecrease.com/, so be sure to check it out!

Thoughts on Wizards

January 28, 2011 in Uncategorized

By Guest Blogger Geoff Nelowet:

Andray Blatche Should Be Traded:

There was a point last season when I was ecstatic about Blatche’s progression as a long and dynamic power forward who could kill a team in a multitude of ways. Blatche was putting up something like 22 and 9 over the last 30 games or so of last season, and he looked like a major part of the Wizards’ future.

Well, things have changed this season, and Blatche has become a black hole on offense with his horrendous shot selection, and coupled with his lazy, indifferent collective attempt at playing defense, he has undoubtedly become the archetype for a “stats guy”. People like to gawk at his size and skills, and when they see he’s only 24, they peg him as a future star. These would be shrewd observations, but when taking into account just how effortless Blatche’s play really is, it’s evident that he’ll never be more than an inefficient jump-shooting seven-footer who has an aptitude for avoiding contact on defense. I think the Wizards should trade him before the deadline. He hold some value and he currently has decent numbers (16 and 8), and I think a contender along the lines of the Oklahoma City Thunder might consider him a good option off the bench.

The Wizards Need To Be Careful With Nick Young:

Nick Young is having a career year averaging nearly 17 points per game, and this is not discounting his time on the bench behind Arenas. Young has essentially been scoring well over 20 a game since he’s taken over as a starter, and all signs point to a pretty big payday – whether it’s justified or not – come this off season.

My fear is that the Wizards will overpay as they historically have done. Obviously, the Wizards are operating under new ownership, but the Gilbert Arenas contract still burns, and Antawn Jamison’s contract was clearly a mistake considering his age and his value to his team. Young is looking like an efficient scorer – but not much more than that. There’s a lot of excitement surrounding Young because of his age and the perceived potential that he ostensibly hasn’t unleashed, but the reality is that he’ll never be more than a good scorer in the NBA, and the last time I checked, guys that can put up 20 a night aren’t that uncommon in this league. I see Nick Young in the J.R. Smith vein, and that doesn’t amount to more than a very good role player. I think they should let Nick Young walk. They’ll likely have to overpay for a guy whose stock couldn’t be higher right now.

John Wall Looks Good, But Has Work To Do:

Wall has been mostly impressive in his rookie season thus far averaging 15 points and 9 assists. I believe his assist numbers, assuming he’ll keep them up, will be the highest for a rookie since Mark Jackson’s 10.5 in 1987-88. Aside from that, Wall has been shooting poorly of late, and he hasn’t had much success with his jump shot.

There have been countless comparisons between him and Derrick Rose, and I think at this point, Wall is actually farther along. Rose is having an MVP-caliber season, but prior to this year, he had a number of issues with his game. Mainly, he wasn’t getting to the free throw line nearly enough to be considered an elite point guard, and what made things worse was that his jump shot was slightly worse than Wall’s is now. Rose’s free throw numbers have gone from 3.1 attempts per game, to 4.3 in year two, to now 6.2 thus far this season. On top of that, his three point percentage has gone from 26% last year to 37% this year. Both his free throws and jump shooting have drastically improved.

Wall, on the other hand, is putting up better overall numbers than Rose did his rookie year. He’s shooting 30% from three, and he’s averaging 4.8 free throw attempts per game. More importantly, he’s averaging three more assists each night than Rose did during his rookie campaign (6). The fact remains that if Wall puts the work in, he’ll be at least the player Rose is today, and in my opinion, he has a higher ceiling as he’s a better passer.

Winter Classic, Wizards & More…

December 28, 2010 in Uncategorized

By Guest Blogger John Manuel:

The Winter Classic is now just days away and finally the Caps are showing some life.  Winning three out of four with only the shootout loss against the rival Pens.  Saturdays upcoming game will be interesting if the weather does produce rain.  I don't have a hockey playing background so I am not sure how this will effect the game.  Feel free to comment.  This game is huge but we all know what it will come down to is the playoffs.  Winning the Southeast Division is nice but it seems to not matter.  Visiting teams can win in the playoffs.  Its all about getting in and playing your best for those couple months.

I still think the Caps will make a major move before the trade deadline.  They have some cap room and General Manager George McPhee and Coach Bruce Boudreau could be under fire if the Caps do not produce in the playoffs.  Players like Martin Brodeur or Jerome Iginla could be available.  Most of all they will need their big guns to produce come this Spring.  Mike Green hasn't shown up in the past two playoffs and Alex Semin had a tough past playoff run. Green is key and changes the whole team but him and his sweet scooter will be under a lot of pressure.  You have to wonder if this why he was left off Team Canada for not being a big game player.

The Caps have a few months to see if Mattheiu Perrault and Marcus Johansson are going to be immediate impact players for the playoffs.  Perrault is fun to watch and looks to be getting more confident although the Tim Gleason hit may set him back a short time.  But what we have seen from the 24/7 show is that hockey players are crazy tough and have the scars to show.  Thank you HBO for the facial closeups on the interview.  The show is great and I won't even make comments on cursing.  It was great to see a vet like Mike Knuble step up.  This what makes the show great.  Could you imagine if they had done 24/7 or Hard Knocks on the Skins this season?

On the Wizards front, the Rashard Lewis is off and running to more road losses.   Lewis has made it to the starting lineup but more talk is about his contract.  There is doubt that someone will take on his current deal so we are probably stuck with hoping he can bridge the gap until the Wizards are real players.  The trade was simple, get rid of Gilbert no matter what they could get.  Good to see Nick Young get major minutes.  I think he can still be a viable option at shooting guard for the future.  And watch out for JaVale and Andray at the bars now.  It seems like these two find themselves into Flip Saunders doghouse way too much.  Could see them both gone at some point.  McGee has a lot of potential to be something but we said the same about Brendan Haywood and he was a marginal NBA center we kept waiting to take the next step.  He kinda did and then we traded him.

The recent loss to the Heat was brutal.  Had the game in hand until the final minutes and blew it.  Its going to be a tough season but just hang on until they open the lottery cards in Seacacus.  Winning again is not out of the realm of possibilities.  Adding a Perry Jones, Harrison Barnes and hopefully Jared Sullinger to run with Wall is a start.  I have watched more Wizards basketball this season than I would have expected even with Wall missing games with injuries.  They have come to play against good teams many nights and have energy.  Then again I haven't been racing down 95 to get to the Verizon Center either.

I wanted to add that it was great to see the Yankees miss out on Cliff Lee.  Finally someone turned down their money.  My favorite part was when Sportscenter played some Yankee radio callers after the news broke crying about Lee's decision to return to Philly.  Still think the Yankees will make something happen before the season since the Red Sox made major additions.  I hope both teams blow next season but that probably won't happen.

And finally thanks to the San Diego Chargers loss to two win Cincy, my 40-1 bet on them winning the Super Bowl is done.  Didn't count on it but thought they would at least make the playoffs.  The Chiefs deserve to go and San Diego has to endure another season of Norv Turner.

Tuesday's Morning Links

December 21, 2010 in Uncategorized

Wizards Win Without Wall or Lewis: It was either an impressive win by the Wizards or an utter collapse by the Bobcats, either way Washington walks away the victor. The Wizards were without newly acquired Rashard Lewis and star rookie John Wall, yet still won by 30 points. They were helped by the Bobcats being completely inept in the 3rd quarter when they shot just 1-14 from the field and managed just 11 points. Washington scored 31 points that quarter and were helped greatly by the Bobcats 9 turnovers. Although it was a nice win without their top players, the Wizards will need both Wall and Lewis back as they try to make this a respectable season.

Bears Knockout Favre and Clinch The North: When this season began no one was giving the Bears a chance to win the NFC North, but they again showed just how good they can be last night. While the Vikings aren't the same team, they still possess a good amount of talent, especially on defense and the Bears torched them for the 2nd time this season. Chicago is going to be a force to be reckoned with this postseason, and are looking strong with a balanced offense and a pretty good defense. This was a nice comeback game after getting crushed by the Patriots last week.

Tim Tebow Era Continues In Denver: The Broncos have already announced that Tim Tebow will be the starter this week against the Houston Texans (note to Mike Shanahan that is how you make a quarterback change). Now part of the reason given is the fact that Kyle Orton is still recovering from an injury, but the bigger reason is that Tebow showed a little promise in his first start. Everyone knew that Tebow could be a dangerous runner, but 70+ yards later including a 40 yard TD run showed just how big of a threat he could be. While Tebow's delivery is still a bit awkward and not the most efficient, he threw the ball well in his first start. It was a very conservative game plan, but I was impressed that Tebow didn't force the ball and throw a pick. The Texans also represent a good opportunity since their defense has been so horrible. They have one of the most inept pass defenses in the league, so Tebow should have no problem getting comfortable against them.

Zards, Lebron and More:

December 2, 2010 in Uncategorized

By Guest Blogger John Manuel:

Its going to be wait and see on the Washington Wizards this season.  Will Gilbert Arenas continue his return to form of the pre-knee injury?  Will someone make a move for him?  Will JaVale McGee show improvement to become a legit NBA center on both ends of the court?  Will they go back to being the Bullets?  Is Cartier Martin the next Ledell Eackles?  All questions we will need answering on.

Gilbert Arenas' play of the past two weeks has overtaken the John Wall talk.  Gilbert has become a consistent scorer the team has much needed to help John Wall.  Kirk Hinrich showed us why the Bulls were willing to give us a mid first round pick to take him off their books.  My favorite memory of Hinrich will always be the Final Four and Juan Dixon taking it to his Kansas team.  Hinrich is from my mom's hometown of Sioux City, Iowa and even she thinks he is not good.  Back to Gil.  I like what I have seen so far, especially in last weeks win against Philly in OT.  Arenas can't be faulted for taking the deal the Wizards gave him a couple years back.  I remember my friend saying they should have let him walk and gone after Elton Brand.  Brand has also struggled since getting a mega-deal from the Sixers, but has been playing better this season.  What was he thinking on that flagrant foul last week?  And JaVale waving him good bye after that cheap shot was great.  I would still prefer Arenas over Brand.

I can't figure out Gilbert Arenas.  He seems like an interesting guy from my perspective.  Every time I think he has turned it around, he says or does something stupid.  After a win, he is a great interview and very likeable.  I know when he brought the guns in the locker room he thought his joke would be funny and not a big deal.  Who knows about Gil?  When he playing days are done he could be a great entertaining analyst like Barkley, Webber or Kenny Smith or a regular on Basketball Wives.  Not sure how this ends up on the floor or off.

Jared Sullinger would be a nice addition next season to continue the building process.  He already looks like the best freshman in the country over Harrison Barnes.  Although Terrence Jones has had some monster efforts for Kentucky.  My next blog may be about how much I can't stand Kentucky and John Calipari.  As a Maryland grad, I may even root for Carolina Saturday.

To get Sullinger we will have to lose alot this season, which could happen.  If your in that thinking, the eventual return of Josh Howard won't help.  Howard will be a big help to this team.  Howard was great when the depleted post Jamison/ Butler/ Haywood trade Zards upset the Nuggets last season.  Howard had every reason to pull a Drew Gooden and not be in Washington after the trade from Dallas but showed up and right away said he wanted to be here.  Too bad he tore his ACL only after a couple games.  I think he mixes well with Wall and improves this current more than most think.

Check out the NFL Today story from last week on Chris Henry's mom donating his organs after his unfortunate passing if you have not seen it.  Its very moving.  I remember I was in Cincinnati for work a couple years ago and was driving listening to a local sports station.  It was the day after Henry's first game back after his 8 game suspension.  A caller called in to say that he saw Chris Henry and his entourage the night after the game at a Kentucky Taco Bell stirring up problems and causing a huge fight.  It was such as BS story but the host kept talking about it and asked for anyone to call in and confirm.  Only reason I bring up this story is because its crazy how stupid some people are.   RIP Chris, and your mother is a great person.

Off to get prepared for Lebron's return to Cleveland, and I have no problem if he hears it.  Dan Gilbert went overboard with his comments towards Lebron after "The Decision", but in some points I agree with him now that I have heard how they catered to James and his entourage.  And have you noticed all the empty seats in Miami for home games?  Bars in Cleveland should give out free Lebomb James' tonight if the Cavs win.  If I was Dan Gilbert I would have Peyton Hillis stand under the Heat's basket, arms crossed looking pissed every time Lebron goes to the line.  Or have Delonte West escort Mom James to her seat since West is out of action.

General Sports Roundup

November 11, 2010 in Uncategorized

A Guest Blog By Fanspeak contributing Writer John Manuel

Back from a trip to Vegas and ready to drop some knowledge on the current world of sports. When I last commented on the NFL the Cowboys were a relevant team. Not anymore, coach is gone, the celebrity QB can take a long trip to Mexico and not get criticized and Jerry Jones is faced with having to bring a top of the line coach in and give up some say on the direction of the team. Trust me I am not sad they suck. I enjoyed my Sunday a couple weeks back of watching David Garrard look like Joe Montana. Although I wouldn't have predicted them to win the Super Bowl I am shocked how bad the defense has played recently. This week could get ugly against the rolling NY Giants. Dallas would struggle with the Little Giants based upon the past few weeks.

I did just return from my second Vegas trip in a month. Unfortunately it was for work both times but I spent a few minutes in the sports book. Last spring I was able to grab the Ravens winning the Super Bowl at 18-1 a week after trading for Anquan Boldin. That is very much in play but this time I went another route. I couldn't resist dropping a small amount of cash on the 40-1 San Diego Chargers. At 3-5 when I made the bet I knew it was a long shot but you never know. They always play horrible the first two months, then run off like eight in a row and win the division. Winning the division means at least one home playoff game. And with the tough AFC teams beating on one another, who knows, maybe the year the Chargers aren't supposed to go, they do. This scenario happened with the Colts the year they beat the Bears. Phillip Rivers is a beast. Just look who he is throwing to. Robin Williams' character from the "Best of Times" caught 6 for 98 last week from Rivers I think. Vincent Jackson will be back for the stretch also don't forget.

Side note. I actually have a friend who thinks Derrick Brooks had a better career and is a better player than Ray Lewis. I thought I would add this in because it makes me laugh every time.

On a second side note, there is nothing worse than getting an awful fantasy football trade offer. The excitement of an email saying you have a trade offer and then the disappointment of being offered Seattle Seahawks defense for Ladanian Tomlinson. Then it gets better when the person tries to fool you by adding, "LT is going to have no legs by Week 13." Or when someone just thinks because I am a Redskin fan I would give up Andre Johnson for Santana Moss. In my league, we call these offers "Matzies" after one of the league owners.

When the Yankees officially sign Cliff Lee I think I am done with Major League Baseball. This is getting old just like the Yankees are. I hope he gets some crazy amount of money, as does Jeter and in 5 years maybe I will come back to being fan when they have to deal with a bunch of guys in their late 30s or 40s making ridiculous contracts. Although I did say the same thing a couple years ago when New York said they weren't players on Mark Teixeira giving National and Orioles fans hope. Then at the last second crushed theirs and the Red Sox and Angels offers. Thank you again Texas Rangers for beating them.

When Manny Pacquiao steps into the ring Saturday with Antonio Margarito I think of another boxer first, Miguel Cotto. Not that he lost to Pacman but because how he probably was screwed over in his loss to Margarito. They should have thrown out that loss once it was found Margarito had illegal substances in his gloves when he lost to Shane Mosley. And Margarito shouldn't have the chance to fight in the US after I watched that HBO special where "Irish" Billy Collins back in the 80s life went downhill after suffering a similar loss by cheating. To get cleared to fight in the US Margarito should have had to go first through the gauntlet of Cain Velasquez, Alton from the Real World/ Road Rules Challenges, The Great Khali, Clubber Lang, and Charlie Sheen at his craziest.

And how good is John Wall? A triple double in his fifth career game. Thank god the Wiz won the lottery because this would be maybe the worst team to watch in recent history of any sports. Even worse than Norv's first Skins team of John Friesz, Ethan Horton and well I am trying to forget those teams. Wall leads the NBA in turnovers but who really cares? Watching him go baseline to baseline after a defensive rebound is sick. Gilbert Arenas even has to be impressed if he has time watch in between dropping number twos in Andray Blache's shoes.

And finally there will be a Memorial Service for my friend Josh Matz's Fantasy Football Team after this weekends play you can check it out at:

http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/event.php?eid=105850812817526

Morning Links

October 29, 2010 in Uncategorized

Giants Take A 2-0 Lead In The Series:  Wow… I thought this would be a close series, both in the box score and going down to a 6th or 7th game, but so far it has been anything but. The Giants have taken advantage of their home field, winning both of the first two games. Not only did the Giants win the games, but they are simply blowing out the Rangers. The Giants have a 20-7 run advantage in two games, and have had no issues against Cliff Lee, and the Rangers bullpen. The Giants did only manage 2 runs against C.J. Wilson last night, before he left with a blister, but that is two more runs than what the Rangers put up against Matt Cain. Cain pitched brilliantly last night, absolutely shutting down the Rangers mighty offense. Texas is supposed to have one of the best lineups in baseball, but they went quietly into the night yesterday. This series is far from over yet, but the Rangers need to turn it around if they want a chance. They should fair better at home, where they can have their DH back, but the Giants have the momentum now.

Wizards Hit A 'Wall': It was an ugly game on all counts (unless you are a Magic fan), as the Wizards and their rookie John Wall, got embarrassed in their 2010-2011 season debut. The Magic beat Washington by 29 points, and showed Washington that they are still a bit aways from playing with the big boys in the East. Now the Wizards are a young team so you expect growing pains, but OUCH did that hurt. Their young forwards and centers, did nothing as Al Thornton, Andray Blatche, JaVale McGee, Yi Jianlian, Hilton Armstrong, and rookies Trevor Booker and Hamady Ndiaye combined for just 35 points (or one point less than what Dwight Howard and Rashard Lewis combined for). With no inside help, it fell on Wall and the rest of the guards to keep the game close. While the Wizards got solid performances from Wall, Kirk Hinrich and backup Cartier Martin, they couldn't match up with the Magic's talent or defense.

It's a long season so I wouldn't write off Wall or the Wizards just yet, but I'm not sure if Washington has the inside game to go along with their perimeter play. Washington will need a couple of their big men to step up this season if they hope to win more than 25-30 games. Not only do they need to step up from an offensive stand point, but they need to play better defense as well. The Wizards were basically a non-factor in the paint last night, and that needs to change if they want to compete (not contend, but compete). Washington was without Gilbert Arenas last night, so that could be part of the blame, but at the same time Arenas has a history of injuries so you had to know you weren't going to get 82 games out of him. Also, lets be honest if the Wizards have their way Arenas will be traded by the time this season is out. Arenas or no Arenas, this team needs to step up to give Wall support, as he can't be shooting the ball as much as he did last night. Wall had 10 more shots than the next highest shooter, and that simply can't happen if the Wizards want to win.