Friday, October 31, 2008
Los Angeles Lakers - This is what height is worth. Andrew Bynum and the Lakers agree to a 4 year $58M deal. This is for a guy that took the majority of last season off (yeah it was an injury, but I'm saying). For all of you single people out there, if you're tall, get with a tall woman and make a baby, you can get paid some day. All joking aside, Bynum will be the reason the Lakers win the title this year, mark my words.
New York Knicks - What are they going to do with Starbury? Everyone knows the Knicks want to get rid of him, but at what cost? Marbury would only be bought out for what he's owed this year from the Knicks (and do the Knicks want to do another buyout), and the trade market is looking terrible right now since the Knicks are trying to unload Eddy Curry, Malik Rose, Starbury, James Dolan's mother, and anyone else on the roster so that they can try to lure LBJ to NYC. This isn't looking good right now for Marbury, but he and Jamal Tinsley are the two big name point guards on the market right, although the biggest difference is the money they make.
Cleveland @ Charlotte - Yes, I will even admit that this game was good, although it was a blow out. The Cavs dominated the Bobcats from the tip and ran out to an early 17 point lead. LeBron James led the Cavs with a 22 pts, 9 rebs, 9 asts performance and he was sitting on the bench in the 4th. Daniel Gibson, the mini Hibachi, was on FIRE last night. getting 25 points in 31 minutes and he missed 4 free throws. The Bobcats looked horriawful. Between Okafor and May they had 9 points and 15 rebs. You're just not going to win many games with those types of numbers. Adam Morrison made a somewhat good impression off the bench going 4-9 for 9 points.
Houston @ Dallas - Who knew that it would take two games before Ron Artest was in the middle of something? The game was close most of the night and when Josh Howard fouled Yao Ming a little to hard, Ron Ron took exception. I think America was waiting to see if he was going to knock Howard out, but Ron came over and tried to calm things down between Howard and Yao. He received a technical foul for his work. (The only thing he did wrong was grab Howard's arm first, before trying to move the two away from each other). This probably incensed Artest a little because we all know he's playing for a new contract and doesn't need any black eyes. So Artest did what we knew he could do, he played ball and ended the game with 29 pts and 7 rebs and hit timely shots down the stretch to guarantee a Rockets win. Yao chipped in with 30 pts and 13 rebs, while Tracy McGrady had a sub par game with 16 pts, 5 rebs, and 7 asts. For Dallas Nowitzki (36 pts, 7 rebs) and Howard (28 pts, 11 rebs, 4 asts) both had great games but it wasn't enough.
New Orleans @ Phoenix - This is why you pay money for James Posey. Posey came in to seal the deal (along with Rasual Butler) on the Phoenix Suns. Posey (13 pts) and Butler (6 pts) hit some very clutch shots to go along with Chris Paul's almost triple double (21 pts, 8 rebs, 10 asts). After playing well a night earlier, I think we learned that the Suns are going to have to limit the Big Sensei's minutes in back to back games. The Suns just seemed to run out of gas on the offensive side of the ball, although Steve Nash (24 pts, 9 asts, 4 rebs) looked like he could possibly play another quarter.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
New York Jets @ Buffalo - Well, Favre had a terrible last game and so did the entire Bills team. The Jets will need to work more on the ground while the Bills will need to make sure their receivers still work, well actually their quarterback. Trent Edwards has got to make something positive happen this week. The Bills are at home and this game is important if they want to show the league that they are for real. Both teams should run the ball well but this will come down to quarterback play and I think that Favre is either showing his age or he's hurting. Winner - Bills
Detroit @ Chicago - Just when the Bears thought it was safe to come out and play they get the Lions. No I don't think that the Lions have the team to beat the Bears, but this is the trap game for the Bears. They are coming off their bye and they are at home. Calvin Johnson could wreak havoc on the Chicago secondary and make this game a lot closer than it needs to be. In the end, I doubt the Lions defense has enough to stop a potent Bears offense (when's the last time you could say that about the Bears?). Winner - Bears
Jacksonville @ Cincinnati - TJ Houshmandzadeh has come out and said that the Bengals won't go winless this year. He didn't promise a win against a certain team, but he said there's no way they go 0-16. Is this the week? I'd have to say 'NO'. The Jaguars are on a roll and their quarterback is playing good ball. The Bengals really don't have any offense and Ryan Fitzpatrick can be good in spurts, but that's it. I imagine that the boo birds come out, against the home team, right before halftime. Winner - Jaguars
Baltimore @ Cleveland - With all of the craziness that's been going on in Cleveland, they luck up and get the Ravens at home (tongue in cheek). It's about time for a Brady Quinn sighting in my mind. Jamal Lewis doesn't look like a good pick this week in Fantasy Football because he's going against this Ravens defense. The Ravens are showing that they trust Flacco a little more and opening the offense for him. The worst case if he doesn't succeed is that they have a good player in Troy Smith right behind him. Maybe, just maybe the Browns head coaches will find a way to text the Ravens defense saying 'I'm going to have a big game against you guys - signed Kellen Winslow' and then all of their problems will be solved. Winner - Ravens
Green Bay @ Tennessee - After beating the Colts on Monday night, the Titans get to host the Packers. The blueprint will be the same. Run the ball, make timely passes, and win. The Packers come in a little beat up at quarterback and running back. After having some success early in the season, Aaron Rodgers is looking to bounce back. This is going to be a tough game for the Packers and I don't think they have the moxy to pull it off. Winner - Titans
Arizona @ St. Louis - This is a hard game to pick. Early word is that Stephen Jackson is out, but I'm not buying that one, not yet. The Cardinals get back to full strength with Boldin back in the lineup and Kurt Warner wants a new contract. Nothing like stating your case by beating the Rams, soundly. The Rams are playing better, and if they can finally break out (Torry Holt, I mean you), they can actually make some things happen. I just don't think this is the week for the Rams. Winner - Cardinals
Houston @ Minnesota - What happens in the course of a week? I think the Vikings got healthier during their bye week and the fact that they aren't losing their big beef on defense (at least for this game) makes this game that much more interesting. The Vikings will continue to run the ball and try to manage the game. I'll say it again, we haven't seen an AP breakout game yet. Houston has quietly played well this year and it looks like they are turning the corner. Matt Schaub has provided some direction on offense while Mario Williams is finally making people think that maybe the Saints got it wrong for picking Reggie Bush instead of him. Going with the home team here coming off the bye. Winner - Vikings
Tampa Bay @ Kansas City - I can sum this game up in about 2 sentences. The Chiefs are without Larry Johnson for an extended period of time and the Bucs are coming off a close loss to the Cowboys. Nothing like giving the Bucs a reason to play better. I feel sorry for Tyler Thigpen this week as he is sure to get hit and hit hard sometime (probably often) during this game. Winner - Bucs
Miami @ Denver - This will be an interesting game. More interesting is my pick. Denver had been a high flying point producing team on offense, but that has slowed down as of late. The debacle at New England being the ultimate loss. They welcome the Dolphins into town this weekend. The funny thing is that I think the Dolphins are talented enough to win this game. They may not shock and awe you, but they will be prepared and they will play it tough. Dolphins don't do well in the cold, but I'll take them. Winner - Dolphins
Atlanta @ Oakland - The Raiders are still having all types of problems and I doubt they get any better anytime soon. I am however pulling for JaMarcus Russell who is having a decent year. Atlanta comes in with a good all around offense led by rookie Matt Ryan. The Falcons defense will get a chance to come after the Raiders after they get behind. I expect this one to be a blowout. What is former Falcon DeAngelo Hall going to do when he has to go against his former team? Winner - Falcons
Dallas @ New York Giants - This will be the game I watch. I'm not sure why though. All signs point to this being a blowout in the Giants favor because Brad Johnson can't stretch the field and all of the offensive play calls seem to forget that they have a beast in the Dallas backfield. But, isn't this the type of game where the Cowboys could come out and dominate. No one is giving them a chance and they are playing in NY. I can just see it now, Brad Johnson dropping back and throwing a deep ball to TO for a 50 yard TD,........then I wake up. Winner - Giants
Philadelphia @ Seattle - Matt Hasselbeck might as well hit the campaign trail with his wife since he won't be playing anytime soon. The Eagles defense won't allow Seneca Wallace to play like he did last week, although, he may be able to give them problems with his legs. I look for Donovan to play well and send his Eagles home with a win. Just call it the residual effect of the Phillies winning the World Series. Winner - Eagles
New England @ Indianapolis - At the beginning of the season this looked like the game of the week. 8 weeks later it's two struggling teams trying to right their ships, although the Patriots seem to have a head start on that. The Colts can't pass, run, or do anything right during game time, but you still can't count them out at home. Joseph Addai may play which will help, but for some reason these Patriots are giving me heartburn. Maybe they have found a way to make Matt Cassell a household name or maybe he is good? We'll see during this game. I still have faith in Peyton to get it done. They were thisclose last week to beating the Titans, so let's see if they can't finally make it happen. Winner - Colts
Pittsburgh @ Washington - This is going to be a better game than most think. The Steelers are playing off of fumes after a few close ones and the pounding that Big Ben has been taking. They do get 'Fast' Willie Parker back this week which will help their running game. Washington is sporting an equally good running game with Clinton Portis leading the way. This game is going to come down to Jason Campbell and whether he's made that step or he was just faking. Mike Tomlin has never lost on Monday night. There's a first time for everything. Winner - Redskins
**According to ESPN, the Presidential candidates are going to be interviewed during Monday Night Football.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Toronto @ Philadelphia - While the Phillies were on their way to winning the World Series, the Sixers were stinking the joint up at the Wachovia Center. The Sixers didn't seem to worry about this game and they came out flat. They needed to get out and practice shooting with Brand (5-14), Iguodala (5-17), and Miller (6-16) not able to hit the broadside of a barn. The Raptors came out with their big guys blazing. Both Jermaine O'Neal (17 pts, 8 rebs, 4 asts) and Chris Bosh (27 pts, 11 rebs, 4 asts) showed up big for the Raptors. At least the Phillies won.
Atlanta @ Orlando - One of these teams was supposed to step up and show the rest of the world that they are for real, that last season's success wasn't just a blip on the radar. The team that stepped up wasn't the one that many had picked as the Hawks came out screaming. Joe Johnson got it going in the first quarter and finished with 25 points. The Hawks also got a monster game from Josh Smith (17 pts, 10 rebs, 4 stls, 5 blks) and a very unexpected 14 pts from Ronald Murray. The Magic were led by Dwight Howard with his own monster game (22pts, 15 rebs, 5 stls, 5 blks) but the Magic bench played a dissapearing act with only 11 points. Atlanta starts the season at 1-0 and they look like they are for real. Hopefully Bibby didn't hurt his hip too badly.
New Jersey @ Washington - Jarvis Hayes got a chance to play against his former team and was able to drop 14 points on them off the bench. Vince Carter chipped in 21 and Yi Jianlian helped with 17 points. The Wizards didn't look too interested and they also experienced a rough shooting night with Butler (3-11), Jamison (6-18), and Stevenson (5-13).
Miami @ New York - Is this the statement that D'Antoni wanted to make? All I have to say is Starbury got a DNP. Not one minute. Other than that, this was a decent game for the Knicks. They were led by Crawford (29 pts) and Zach Randolph (20 pts, 9 rebs), while they got all around production from the rest of the team. The Heat got their first look at Michael Beasley and he didn't impress going 4-14 for 9 points and 4 rebs. Wade had 26 pts and 9 rebs, while Udonis Haslem had an impressive 23 pts and 10 rebs. If both of these teams were actually good, I'd have a lot of positives to say, but this game proved very few things: 1) Neither of these teams can play defense 2) Niether team has a lot of size (that will play in the Knicks case) 3. This is what the bottom of the East is going to look like.
Milwaukee @ Oklahoma City - Maybe I was wrong about Charlie Vilanueva. After a lackluster game against the Bulls, he showed up and dropped 20 pts (along with Michael Redd and Richard Jefferson) to lead the Bucks to a win. This was a terrible home opener for the Thunder as none of them impressed. The Thunder were led by Chris Wilcox (15pts and 7 rebs).
New Orleans @ Golden State - Chris Paul is still the man. He got the winning layup late in the game (with 19.4 seconds left). Paul led the Hornets into Golden State with 21 pts, 11 asts, and 5 rebs. David West chipped in 24 pts and 7 rebs, while Tyson Chandler had 13 pts, 16 rebs, and 3 blks. Corey Maggette showed the Warriors that he can score with the best of them with an efficient 27 point outing (8-11 fg, 2-4 3ptrs, 9-10 free throws). He was helped by the ever present Stephen Jackson (26 pts, 3 rebs, 5 asts) and surprising Kelenna Azibuike off the bench (17 pts). Al Harrington did nothing to help his wish of being traded by turning in a clunker with his 5-17 shooting. This Golden State team can't wait for Game 31, and the return of Monta Ellis.
Los Angeles Lakers @ Los Angeles Clippers - This was supposed to be a Clippers home game and the return of the Baron to La La Land, but this turned out to be a roasting. The Clippers showed up and played the Lakers close for about 1 1/2 quarters and then it got ugly. The Lakers showed that they were the better and deeper team as 7 players ended up with double digit scoring. The Lakers were led by Kobe Bryant (16 pts), Jordan Farmar (15 pts) and Derek Fisher (15 pts). The Clippers were without new addition, Marcus Camby, because of a heel injury but Baron Davis put on a valiant effort with 11pts, 7 asts, 2 rebs, and 3 stls. Al Thornton (16 pts, on 7-15 shooting) played well early but dissapeared down the stretch. The Clippers are in trouble, even with Camby back there. They don't have enough scoring on the wings.
Atlanta Hawks - Mike Bibby is in the last year of his contract and if things go as they normally go in the ATL, he'll be traded by the deadline if the Hawks aren't winning. Bibby feels that he'll be in the ATL this year and going forward, but I doubt he's still around after the All Star break. The Hawks aren't talking new contract with Bibby yet either.
Denver Nuggets - Linas Kleiza is hoping that his new contract will be completed soon. The Nuggets, in my mind, have to pay this guy because who else do they have? Look for a multi year deal coming at a little more than the mid level. The Nuggets are also considering picking up the option on newly acquired Renaldo Balkman.
Detroit Pistons - Jason Maxiell has declined a 4 year deal for $20M from the Pistons. He'll be an unrestricted free agent at the years end. I've said it before, Detroit can't let this guy go. Joe Dumars, up that offer to about $7M a year (at least $6.5M) and you'll get him.
Los Angeles Lakers - $85M is the number. That's what the Bynum camp is expecting for the Lakers center, Andrew Bynum, to resign with them. I guess that's the going rate for a young, agile, decent, 7 footer in the NBA. Someone from the Lakers will have to go if they pay Bynum that money. Plus the question is, is he worth it?
Golden State Warriors - Monta Ellis is filing a grievance with his present employer. The Warriors have suspended Ellis for 30 games, but they have also told him that if he doesn't come back as the Monta Ellis of old, they still hold the option of terminating his contract. Well, that's not exactly right. The team has the option of either suspending him (which they have done) OR terminating his contract, but not both. This is not the type of relationship you want to have with your franchise player.
San Antonio Spurs - New digs. The Spurs are no longer flying Champion Air and have now (the NBA) signed a 10 year deal with Northwest Airlines as their airline of choice (there are 15 other teams who have done the same). What happened to the NBA and Southwest Airlines?
Milwaukee @ Chicago -The Bulls open their season by welcoming their former coach, Scott Skiles, and his new time to the United Center. It was fan appreciation night, so all of the hoopla was brought out last night. The Bulls unveiled their #1 Draft pick Derrick Rose and he didn't disappoint. Rose and the rest of the Bulls shared the ball all night long and ended up beating the visiting Bucks. I thought Ben Gordon was going to get beat up last night by the fans because he came out going 0-5, but he righted that ship in the second half, finishing 6-12, for 18 points. Michael Redd probably never hoped that the summer would have ended because of the talent he was playing with at the Olympics, but you could see that he was the only bright spot for the Bucks last night as he ended the game with 30 points. Rose's final stat line was 11pts, 9 asts, 4 rebs, and 4 turnovers. Not a bad night at work for the rookie. Luol Deng paced the Bulls with 21. Vinny DelNegro is 1-0. Quit now Vinny, and you can say that you've never lost a game that you've coached. The Celtics are up next for the Bulls. Looks like they are staring 1-1 in the face. The Bucks get some (OKC) Thunder tonight.
Cleveland @ Boston - This is what they've waited for all summer. While it seemed the rest of the upper echelon of the NBA was off playing for a gold medal, the Celtics' Big Three were at home waiting for this, the banner raising ceremony. As we all knew, Paul Pierce needed about 12 boxes of Kleenex, and everyone was happy to show off their new $30K ice. The Celtics followed the ceremony up with a close win against the Cavs. LeBron was his normal self, although I think he is jumping higher this year (did you see those dunks? here's one. recap of the game brought to you by NBA.com). Mo Williams, played decently, but it'll take time for that combo to be well oiled. Ben Wallace looked about 40 something out there and that's not good since this is the first game of the season. The Cavs start out 0-1, but I expect that these two teams will see each other again in the playoffs. I hope that the Cavs have their game in order. The Cavs host the Bobcats on Thursday, and the Celtics host the Bulls on Halloween.
Portland @ Los Angeles Lakers - Well, the Lakers have been waiting for this all summer, the return of Andrew Bynum. The Lakers want to make sure that Bynum is back and healthy since a) he's up for some big money this summer and b) they need him to add some much need oomph in the paint for them. This game wasn't a pretty one, but Bynum made it through. No mind blowing stats of yet, but you could see that he was finding his way last night. The Blazers on the other hand looked outmatched for most of the night. Kobe took the challenge of guarding Brandon Roy and he shut him down. Greg Oden, playing his first game of any NBA season seemed very nervous and anxious, all of which we could understand. Then the unthinkable happened and Oden twisted an ankle and left the game. You have to hope that this is just an ankle sprain (and all the reports are saying just that), because the Blazers need Oden if their going to build on what they did last season. Let's hope the big guy gets back in the lineup soon. Kobe led the team with 23 pts, 11 rebs, and 5 asts. The Lakers face the Clippers tonight while the Blazers face the Spurs on Halloween.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Well, we had another interesting weekend on the gridiron. I thought, just maybe that this would be the week that I picked all the games correctly, but that’s why they play the game. I was surprised by a few of the outcomes, mainly the first one on deck.
Tampa Bay @ Dallas – I didn’t think that the winner of this game would have 13 points. The Bucs came out and dominated early but got only 2 field goals. They need those TDs and the Cowboys would have folded. The Cowboys didn’t look like the team that many thought they’d be. The offense couldn’t get it going, but maybe Mark Colombo smacking some heads around really did get the Cowboys ‘interested’ in this game. Roy Williams gets his first TD as a Cowboy. Inquisitive Mind 0 -1 for the week.
Washington @ Detroit – The Redskins don’t seem interested in their games either. They have started slow the last two weeks and this was against a terrible Detroit team. Thanks to Santana Moss (1 receiving TD, and 1 return TD), the Redskins live another week in a game they should have lost. Inquisitive Mind 1 -1 for the week.
Buffalo @ Miami – I think that I am going to refrain from picking the Dolphins games for the rest of the year. It seems that every time I pick them, they lose, but every time I pick against them they win. This was a sloppy game but Tedd Ginn Jr. finally showed up. He had 7 catches for 175 yards and looked great. Can he do it next week is the big question. 4 turnovers by the Buffalo Bills killed any chance of them winning this game. The Bills are now tied (5-2) with the Patriots in the AFC East. Inquisitive Mind 1 – 2 for the week.
St. Louis @ New England – The Patriots came from behind to win. The Rams are playing better since losing their head coach and having their new coaches deal nullified by the NFL. They just could close the game out. Randy Moss had a good game with 102 yards and Kevin Faulk filled in admirably for the injured Maroney. Inquisitive Mind 2 – 2 for the week.
New Orleans @ San Diego - I can't believe this one. San Diego is officially off the list as a favorite. They haven't been able to close a game out all year. They get a hobbled Saints team at home and get killed. Both QBs threw for over 300 yards and 3 TDs, but Rivers threw his only pick late in the game. I can't pick the Chargers anymore, someone please remind me next week. Inquisitive Mind 2 -3 for the week.
Kansas City @ New York Jets - Were those boo birds we heard aimed at Brett Favre? Yes, they were and rightfully so. Brett does look beat up a little, but the three picks were bad throws. The Jets got lucky ans snuck out a win over the Chiefs who were without their top offensive threat and down to their third QB. Inquisitive Mind 3 -3 for the week.
Atlanta @ Philadelphia - Welcome home Matt Ryan. Ryan and the Falcons jumped out to an early lead, but that was about it. The Falcons played decently but the Eagle defense and Brian Westbrook turned the tide. The Eagles gave up two TD catches to Roddy White but forced Ryan into two interceptions, and kept the Falcons running game under 70 yards. Brian Westbrook came back from broken ribs to rush for 167 yards and 2 TDs while leading the Eagles to victory. Inquisitive Mind 4 -3 for the week.
Oakland @ Baltimore - This was over after the the first half. The Raiders were already down 19 by that time and their offense looked atrocious. The Ravens defense ruled this game by getting a safety to put the first 2 points on the board. Inquisitive Mind 5 - 3 for the week.
Arizona @ Carolina - In a matchup of former NFL Europe quarterbacks, Jake Delhomme and Kurt Warner impressed. Each had a good day passing, although Warner almost eclipsed the 400 yard passing mark (381 yards). It was his understudy Jake Delhomme who was lucky enough that Steve Smith has small feet on his 'stay in bounds' 65 yard TD that ended up being the game winner. Welcome back Anquan Boldin, who quickly got back in form by scoring 2 TDs. Inquisitive Mind 6 - 3 for the week.
Cleveland @ Jacksonville - The Browns played their second most impressive game (the first being a loss in a close game at Pittsburgh) with a win in Jacksonville. They didn't make the mistakes that they normally make and they didn't really have the numbers to show how they won. Derek Anderson was average going 14 of 27 for 246 and 1 TD, while Jamal Lewis had 20 carries for 81 yards and a TD. The Browns defense played that bend but don't break in allowing the Jaguars to control time of possession, total yardage, and first downs. Inquisitive Mind 6 - 4 for the week.
Cincinnati @ Houston - Matt Schaub was almost perfect going 24 of 28 for 280 yards and 3 TDs. That pretty much says it all. Houston dominated a terrible Bengals team (are the Bengals regressing to their losing ways) from the start. Andre Johnson had his 4th straight 100 yard game. Things are looking good in Houston now. Inquisitive Mind 7 - 4 for the week.
New York Giants @ Pittsburgh - I picked the Giants but I have to admit that the Steelers gave this game away. The Steelers went for it on 4th down twice late in the game and couldn't get first downs either time. An injury to their long snapper cost them a safety, while the Giants defense hammered Big Ben into 4 INTs. At the end of the game, the Steelers let the Giants hang around and win this close game. Inquisitive Mind 8 - 4 for the week.
Seattle @ San Francisco - Talk about a bad gift. The 49ers made the Seahawks look like an NFC West power. Seneca Wallace, filling in for Matt Hasselbeck (again), went for 15 of 25 for 222 and 2 TDs. The Seahawks had a total of 39 yards rushing and won this game. The highlight of this game was new head coach Mike Singletary sending Vernon Davis to the showers early and then his post game interview. Inquisitive Mind 8 - 5 for the week.
Indianapolis @ Tennessee - The Titans underperformed and still beat the Colts. Their running game has been their bread and butter but the Colts limited the Titans to 88 rushing yards. Kerry Collins picked up the slack and had a great game passing the ball. His numbers aren't going to jump out at you, but he managed the game and used the passes to get those much need first downs as they kept Peyton Manning on the bench. Manning hooked up with Dallas Clark twice for TDs, but his timing with his receivers is still off. The Colts have a chance at the playoffs, as a wildcard, but I don't see them making it this year. Inquisitive Mind 9 - 5 for the week.