Friday, April 30, 2010

Start of Something New: Can The Bucks Finish Off The Hawks?

Milwaukee hasn't made it to the playoffs for awhile. This year is different for them. Michael Redd was gone but Brandon Jennings came in and delivered.

He was slick. Smooth. Unstoppable. And he was only a rookie.

Andrew Bogut helped out and Luc Mbah-a-Moute flourished. All is going good. Now in the first round of the playoffs, many expect their season will end there. Whoah, buddy, not so fast there.

The Hawks started off strong here, but now, they are desperate for a win; trailing behind with a 3-2 margin. Tonight, their season can be all over to this Milwaukee team. The Bucks can get these guys in six games.

Surprising, it seems.

But nobody knows that this team is something else. A dark horse. If they win tonight, they'll be heading off to Orlando to face Dwight Howard, Vince Carter, and the rest of the Magic squad.

It may seem like a tough test, but let's worry for the first round for a minute.

All I can say is: "Wow." Really. I didn't expect this team to even make the playoffs. A lot has been going good for this team. They finally swept their rival, the Indiana Pacers, for this season and it's been a long time since we've seen that.

The person who made the difference is obviously Jennings himself.

Milwaukee also has some other nice players on the team with guys like Alexander and Luke Ridinour.

Milwaukee has made a huge impact in the playoffs even when nobody has expected it. To me, this series seems like a boring one. It's not as exciting as the Thunder-Lakers or the Nuggets-Jazz. Even the Mavs-Spurs and Bobcats-Magic for crying out loud.

But Milwaukee is getting the job done, even it's not as exciting as other teams do it.

But they can make a good run here and be one of those surprising teams for this year's playoffs. Bucks are doing good.

First, they need to finish off the Hawks.

Can they do it?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

JaMarcus Russell Is a Laughable Bust As Raiders Are Mired in Disarray

The common word, of course, is 'bust'. And the simplest way to describe the Oakland Raiders is a worthless, pathetic, chaotic franchise mired in disarray. If there was ever a proper time to bash an enigmatic front office that has made some of the dumbest blunders as far as draft picks goes, now marks a suitable time to critique the Raiders' draft selection.

His name, of course, is JaMarcus Russell, the No. 1 overall draftee in the 2007 NFL Draft. It’s always a risk to venture and trust in an athletic prospect, a usual trend ruining the Raiders rebuilding projects and wrecking self-motivation.

Nowadays, the Raiders are committing suicide with all the terrible mistakes. And nowadays, it’s almost laughable whenever a disoriented organization is discredited or obligated to mockery. Each season has been a downgrade with all the turmoil surrounding the dysfunctional Raiders.

The result of late is that Russell is an unproven quarterback who failed to confirm his potential as possibly the next solid franchise superstar to remove Oakland from the hellish age of collapses and struggles. The man running an esoteric business, Al Davis, gambled and cost his organization millions by trusting in Russell.

Whether he was desperate or allured by his exceptional passing game during his collegiate career or aroused of his intelligence and throwing strength, Russell was never the solution to the Raiders' breakdowns. It’s obvious that the Raiders are run by a confounded owner unsure of which direction he’s willing to take his futile team.

In other words, it will be until next decade or never that Oakland tosses out misery and dismiss futility. According to reports, the Raiders could be on verge of releasing Russell, a disappointing athlete and probably the most notable bust since Ryan Leaf.

It’s very pathetic and overwhelming that he’s the prototype of rookie salaries amiss, earning $39 million from the Raiders over the past three years. More than ever, he was able to feed his family and live a wealthy lifestyle, thanks to a livelihood in which he never proved worthy or enhanced his abilities to mellow as an elite and franchise quarterback.

With much uncertainty, the Raiders' mandatory three-day minicamp begins Friday, but as usual, it’s mired in a chaotic mess that will likely educe media frenzies and dilate distractions. In theory, he’ll be released and become a free agent in which he may have to find a landing spot come next season, even though the organization is wisely deliberating whether to allow the overpaid former No. 1 overall pick near the team’s practice facility. He was brought in to resuscitate a horrible franchise and satisfy disgruntled and avid fans, finally garnering an assumption that it was the year to climb into contention.

In three seasons, Russell has lost trustworthiness among fans and ownership. In three seasons, the franchise has succumbed to reality, interpreting that he’ll never transcend as an exquisite quarterback.

Recently, there’s much buzz that the Russell era has reached a closure, and his relationship is suddenly dwindling. So now, no later than this week, it’s sensible if the Raiders cut a scrutinized Russell. But it’s hard to evaluate and forecast Oakland’s suggestions, with an egomaniac owner in Davis.

Worst is, he has debilitated revamping teams in the past, taking command with his overbearing demeanor and his penchant for coaching and dictating the schemes from the owner’s press box. It’s clearly inevitable to fail if he demands dictatorship and denies permitting coaches with leeway to muster personal decisions. It’s worth mentioning Mike Shanahan and Jon Gruden were driven away for Davis’ faulty communication with his employees. So does that mean he blundered by choosing Russell? Absolutely!

At the finish of the ’07 season, the Raiders faced much humiliation and misery. Coming off their worst season in 44 years under Davis, the rebellious boss' intent was to rebuild around a promising quarterback. Russell was a mere impressive quarterback at LSU, and was named the starting quarterback, but didn’t amaze executives or committed fans.

It’s likely the last time the Raiders will ever see or employ Russell, if he’s released and signs elsewhere. Some time soon, he’ll be declared a bust and quickly his name will fittingly stand in the company of Leaf, Andre Ware, Rick Mirer, David Carr, and Terry Baker. So he’ll still be recognized in some way, unfortunately just as a bust.

In his pro career, Russell disappeared. He unraveled at the pro level, and stunned scouts and coaches who actually evaluated and glimpsed at his accuracy and arm strength, but have yet seen him break out in a real game. For whatever reason, he has unsteadily disintegrated ever since he started cashing in huge bucks.

The Raiders are disgusted with his abundance of flaws over the past three seasons, aiming now to move forward with Jason Campbell, the newly acquired quarterback from the Washington Redskins, who’s expected to replace him as Oakland’s starting quarterback this season.

Do you blame the Raiders? Here’s a tip:

The organization paid Russell over $30 million in guaranteed money as part of his six-year, $68 million rookie deal. A few years later after he signed the mammoth deal, his work ethic declined and he started having indolent performances by committing careless miscues to cost the Raiders a significant amount of games. It started to become ugly, to the point teammates were questioning a level of concern with Russell’s immediate debacles.

Last season alone, he possessed a 50 passer rating, the lowest in the NFL in 11 years. And shortly after, he was benched in the favor of Bruce Gradkowski, who has proven that he could conduct a decent offense.

Oh, sure, it could be one of the most compelling franchises in an undermined AFC West division. Darren McFadden is an explosive running back and Nnamdi Asomugha is a premiere cornerback, a top-notch defender in the secondary. But none of that matters if the Raiders' dysfunctional delay their normal ritual. That is, “Commitment to Excellence.” But these days, it’s more appropriate to say “Commitment to Failure,” after bringing in the NFL’s most disappointing bust, if not in this era, in league history.

It’s time to wave good-riddance and farewell to a worthless bust. Bye, Russell. Too bad it ended so agonizingly.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Lakers Keep Us Guessing, Kobe's Toughness Keeps Hope Alive

What, the team representing Hollywood has finally awakened?

If the Lakers establish the difference between a riddle and legitimacy, then maybe celebrities and non-celebs in L.A. will understand the minds of a defending champ.

So now, we are left in a mystery in a year the Lakers wilted and deteriorated to the younger and inexperienced Oklahoma City Thunder, a team that has broken down the Lakers' disoriented (of late) franchise with blazing speed, heart, and athleticism.

The image of the Lakers' erratic postseason has brainwashed our senses, awed and touched by Kevin Durant to suddenly become Durant-addicts and adore his shooting extravaganza.

In an unpredictable postseason, the Lakers have found ways to alleviate near-tragedy, and have recovered from humiliation. Mired in disarray, somehow the Lakers returned to championship form and rebounded by playing aggressively and energetically in Tuesday's Game Five.

Even if the Lakers survive the Thunder, a team with nothing to lose amid an inconceivable postseason run, Kobe Bryant, the man with the hideous facial expressions, will have to wear more than just a ferocious game face.

He’ll have to orchestrate aggressive physical defense and find ways to slow down the explosiveness of the young and speedy Thunder.

And just when it seemed as though his body was breaking down, Kobe still executes and leads the Lakers almost as if in his prime. This isn’t the Black Mamba the world has grown accustomed to, though some may still loathe his one-man team playing and reckless jumpshots.

Even if he is arrogant and self-centered, the fact still remains that he could win multiple titles and surpass the legendary Michael Jordan with the most championship rings as an NBA superstar.

As Kobe enters the late stages of his accomplished career, he’s become notably less selfish, and has been setting up teammates for easy shots inside the paint.

It’s an atmosphere in which celebrities produce TV shows and movies.

If there’s ever been a captivating regular scene in Hollywood, it’s the Kobe Show, a dramatic, mesmerizing basketball spectacle. He always sets the tone, which has been a blueprint to championships during his remarkable career in Los Angeles.

With an injured Kobe, the question now becomes can the Lakers repeat for another NBA Championship?

Whether or not the decision to keep Kobe on the court with injuries in the postseason has backfired for Phil Jackson's Lakers is debatable. In this disappointing first round, he has been shooting under 40 percent, but has also been getting his teammates involved, limiting himself to 16-20 shots per game.

Kobe has so far withstood two broken fingers on his shooting hand, wobbly knees, a bruised elbow, hamstring issues, and back spasms. He has still played. He has still attempted shots.

He has still bailed the Lakers out of tough situations, such as drilling buzzer-beaters and hard-driving in the paint.

Like it or not, Kobe’s health status raises concern, even if he wants all people to believe that he's robust.

If he’s not healthy enough to be on the court in pivotal minutes of a tight game, then the Lakers chances of sustaining the back-to-back triumph could be tarnished.

With the way things have been going, it seems that Kobe is incapable of scoring 40-plus points. Just look at his performance in Game Four, when the Thunder pummeled the Lakers at the Ford Center in front of a delirious and rambunctious crowd. In that game, the Thunder kept Kobe from even getting a shot up in the first 15 minutes.

Not long ago, Kobe signed an $83.5 million extension that will pay him $30.4 million in 2013-14. As the years have progressed, he has matured and trusted in his teammates to produce.

This made for a markedly different Game Five, in which he was a playmaker and facilitator, passing the ball to teammates to create the better play, at times even in situations when he could have taken the open jumpshot.

Kobe may be a bit slower in his step and not as explosive as he used to be on the inside, but he’s still the determined and competitive superstar for Los Angeles.

By delivering on both ends of the court, Kobe held Russell Westbrook, the Thunder’s explosive guard, to 4-of-13 in field goals, and forced him to commit eight turnovers. This was enough to save the battered Lakers from doom.

They took a quick lead in the beginning of the game, and bounced back in a 111-87 rout to take a 3-2 lead in the Western Conference quarterfinals.

Kobe had once again saved the Lakers, and he is praised for accepting the challenge of shutting down Westbrook. His team even kept Kevin Durant, the youngest player ever to lead the league in scoring, to only 17 points.

The Lakers have gained more momentum with the impressive game of Paul Gasol, who had 25 points on 10-of-16 shooting, 11 rebounds, and five assists. Their gigantic center, Andrew Bynum, also had two dunks in the first five minutes.

We never know what to expect from the Lakers in the playoffs, but you certainly cannot rule L.A. out of the championship equation, especially if Kobe is healthy and ready to play.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The 'Durantula' Kevin Durant Hijacks NBA's Spectacle, Thunder Will Beat Lakers

We’re witnessing an NBA postseason of drama with an unexpected franchise that resides in Oklahoma City, where the crowd intensifies the loudest frenzy at Ford Center, arguably the most clamorous building in the league. Whoever predicted that an erratic postseason would be entertained with action-packed, dramatic performances from Kevin Durant, the league’s youngest scoring champ and now the potential Most Valuable Player?

All of this frightens the Los Angeles Lakers, the defending champs who are bullied, harassed and tortured by a young and inexperienced franchise with nothing to lose. In a probable upset, the Thunder is testing the Lakers mentality and brings out Kobe Bryant’s age, when the recent letdowns and ineffectual shot attempts unmask that he’s aging and breaking down physically. The nagging injuries makes the Black Mamba appears as if he’s the oldest veteran remaining in the league, close to retiring and hanging his No. 24 jersey in the rafters of Staples Center.

While the Lakers gently recede, the Thunder ripens as a serious contender and scares a community, yet awaiting another championship banner to add title No. 17 and embark on a celebration in a city accustomed to winners. However, let us rise and appease the flourishing Oklahoma City Thunder, a compelling team alarming us all with heart, diligence, maturity and unthinkable capacity to take down the defending champs in the biggest and craziest upset in NBA history. It’s amazing and stunning to see the Lakers deteriorate tremendously and deliver perplexing riddles, leaving us guessing and utterly befuddled.

Each year, the cumulative effects are different and appealing, especially when young athletes develop faster than usual. It vindicates that NBA’s slogan advertises everything the league offers, overwhelming us with dazzling series. It’s an association “Where Amazing Happens.” And this postseason, it’s the Thunder nearing the improbable, quickly legitimizing its own fate and making all people gather an assumption that Oklahoma City isn’t a mirage or undervalued. Like never before, the Thunder is real, dominating the most talented team at will, humiliating and demoralizing a team with powerful depth and the greatest scorer on earth.

This time, the Thunder is recognized as a premier franchise, braced and glorified when Oklahoma City never earned account during the regular-season. And with an impressive postseason run, it’s only appropriate to believe the Thunder can beat the Lakers. Lately, L.A. is soft with an apathetic mindset, when it consists of all the ingredients to thrash the hell out of a near-developed and inexperienced team. It’s a whole different scenario at this point, when it’s fair to greatly eulogize matured youth. What makes the Thunder unique is Durant’s impact on his prosperous team, expanding and advancing to new heights this postseason, in which it has caused trouble.

Fear Durantula.

As he’s portrayed as the heart and soul of a team quickly emerging, he’s a humbled sporting figure. His tremendous talent has allowed him to excel in a league where big-name players were fearful, but it turns out Durant is alarming, too. The consensus in an incredible upstart is that he’s already a superstar and MVP nominee, when his fascinating season assured prosperity in the next few years. In some ways, the Thunder amounted to the stature of superiority in a season it clinched an eighth-seeded berth and qualified to play in the postseason, meeting the disinterested Lakers in the first-round. The noisiest crowd, the one-sided energy of younger and faster legs ran the defending champs out of the building forlorn and petulantly worried.

And so here they are again, taking games for granted. It has been painful to watch the Lakers, who aren’t physical or shooting effectively. Leave it to the Thunder. In what felt like a Game 7, Oklahoma City embarrassed the visitors badly in a 110-89 rout Saturday. That’s evidence the Lakers are weakened and defenseless against the Thunder’s unstoppable speed.

It’s rational an upset looms in an unpredictable best-of-seven series, unless Phil Jackson arranges his tactics and maneuvers a defensive foundation that a pesky Thunder team cannot study and outsmart. It’s the transition style offense that slaughters the Lakers of late, unable to dictate the half-court game and allows the youngest team in the league to outrun them and control the tempo by posting a 24-2 margin in fastbreak points of Game 4.

Generally speaking the two wins build confidence, and even more so, there’s a realization the Thunder can win its greatest series in team history. Remarkably it’s a historic arrival, finally getting the nod because of the Thunder's fierce approach and composure against the defending champions. The perception is that the Thunder is a much-maligned unit, even if they lack experience and veteran leadership.

Hardly ever does first-time arrivals beat a well-balanced and veteran team, but when there’s a matured superstar in Durant, winning is feasible. Each game the Thunder is enhancing and morphing into a dramatic competitor, invoking misery for an unhealthy Kobe, who has been slowed down by a right knee injury and broken index finger. He’s averaging 24 points, six points below his scoring average during last season’s run.

As for Durant, he said he felt disrespected when Phil Jackson irritated him by criticizing league officials for awarding him more free throws. For the real perspective, Jackson was able to psychologically pester the scorching forward with his typical mind games. But at his age, Durant is a very special talent and an intelligent basketball star, finally getting recognized for his unstoppable drives to the basket, a trend dismantling the Lakers defensively. The masses in Oklahoma City never had their own basketball franchise to embrace, thrilled to watch a marquee superstar deliver on ambition and enthusiasm.

It’s a town that now prides itself on its major franchise, deeply saluting a humbled and matured athlete. Years ago, you probably recall when the team was called the Seattle SuperSonics, before it migrated and renamed itself the Oklahoma City Thunder, exciting a city that never had its own franchise and rooted on the Oklahoma Sooners or Oklahoma State Cowboys.

But now, the good people in a southern territory are obsessed with the Thunder and have cheered on Durant, amazed and touched by his 28.3 points on 36.5 percent shooting from the field in three games. In the postseason, the 6-foot-9 forward has stayed composed and energetic, dominating the paint and boards with a 7-5 wingspan.

At this point, it seems the emergence of the Thunder is too efficacious and unbeatable. They are delighted by the loudest crowd in a town of madness. Nobody had this in mind. But when a star player had amazing scoring spectacles, a streak of 29 consecutive games in which he produced at least 25 points, expect the improbable to happen.

Surrounded with a relentless supporting cast, guard Russell Westbrook has been a working tandem in the league, thriving on a stunning team in an erratic Western Conference. From 23 wins to 50, the Thunder advanced to the playoffs. And Scott Brooks had the interim tag removed, named Coach of the Year.

All that said, Durant is a superstar, and the Thunder cannot be denied.

If no one paid attention, they are now.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Quit Dreaming: D-Wade Ain't Leavin' the Miami Heat

Why do people keep thinking that Dwyane Wade will be leaving the Miami Heat? I mean, seriously, come on!

Wade has done so much for the Heat and won the Finals with them. He won't leave the Heat. He's been making the playoffs with this team recently and is building a new team here with new weapons.

First of all, there was only one bad season for this Miami team recently, which was just a few seasons ago where they only won like ten games. The Heat have been rollin' since then.

And Wade has been the leader of the attack. He just dropped 46 on the Celtics, including a monster jam on Kevin Garnett (no disrespect).

The 2010 NBA Free Agency is so close to coming. People see LeBron James leaving, but I don't think so. Chris Bosh, maybe. But Dwyane Wade? No way. I just laugh when I see that happen. Everybody always predicts a future of him in Chicago.

Wade announced so many times that he'd like to play in Chicago, but he wants to stay in Miami. I have heard that so many times. Wade to Chicago might even be a problem. Two superstars in Rose and Wade could create a problem.

Wade is just fine with Miami. He is so dominant at the shooting guard position, he makes you scared he like as if he is a big, strong power forward. The Heat look to give him a big contract this season as well.

Yes, they probably will have to cut some guys. Right off the bat, I heard Udonis Haslem's name as Michael Beasley and Jermaine O'Neal will be taking care of the PF/C spots.

Wade is the future of this squad. He's a premier All-Star and make things happen even by himself with Miami. He never gives up. Miami is his team. If Wade really wants to keep up what he's doing, literally putting up an MVP season every year, he needs to stay in Miami.

I can bet you all amounts of money that Wade would pick Miami over teams like Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles (Clippers). He wants to stay with a team that has an absolute sure bet for the playoffs.

Miami is the choice.

So please, people, stop writing or commenting about things that Wade will be leaving Miami for a huge max $50M contract for a team with New York or Chicago, or even the Clippers.

It won't happen.

Miami is his home forever.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Broncos' McDaniels Takes a Gamble On Tebow, But Might Be a Good Pick

It’s fair to judge that the Denver Broncos gambled, a heavy burden many NFL franchises take every year. It’s a franchise equivalent to Oakland of making a fool of itself in the NFL Draft, even though it remains a mystery as to whether Tim Tebow develops and flourishes as an immediate impact at quarterback in the NFL.

Whenever critics and skeptics do the Broncos a favor, and quit doubting the mental capacities and passing mechanics of Tebow, maybe it won’t be considered franchise suicide. Like other players who were selected off the boards, he can very well emerge and adjust to the pro-style offense, be observed as a megastar, and shimmer in the pro spotlight.

In reality, he’s the least NFL ready among big names, polarized for his religious beliefs and throwing deficiencies. His presence means a lot to a league with many off-the-field issues and criminal misdeeds that has pillaged the valuable NFL image.

Every season, a misbehaved athlete brings chaotic drama and pointless baggage, sabotaging teams’ personality and soundness. So when Tebow was picked by the Denver Broncos with the 25th pick overall, the franchise drafted a player worth trusting, and a quarterback with acceptable class. He acts with strong character and manages to keep his self-control on the field. He’s not a wicked individual or a suspect of unlawful crimes, but an evangelistic and polarizing figure. It’s amazing that he handles adversity with maturity and humility, devoting much of his life to the practice of Christianity.

If there’s someone as modest and humble as Oprah within our violent, senseless, and poor economic society, it’s Tebow, setting positive examples and unselfishly giving back to children and prisoners. The league is laughing at Denver, a franchise suddenly portrayed as a laughingstock. All of the sudden, people are taunting the Broncos for all the wrong reasons, after a unanimous selection is calculated as an inauspicious blunder and the dumbest decision.

In a strange draft, of which the top projected quarterbacks were outcasts, other than Sam Bradford, who found his first NFL home with the St. Louis Rams as first choice overall in the NFL Draft, Tebow was the second quarterback taken and appreciated.

He is, indeed, an endearing and hyped athlete because of his passion, prodigy, and prosperous status in the playing days at Florida, where he captured national limelight in his four years, and engineered the Gators to a pair of national championships. It’s almost easy to suggest that the Broncos are revamping its franchise, when it nearly advanced to the playoffs a year ago after getting off to an unexpected start. Whichever way anyone reckons this pick, it wasn’t an awful or wasteful pick, and he wasn’t chosen with the perception of being the savior in the NFL and the one player who cannot do wrong.

Even though it’s a huge gamble, Josh McDaniels, the 34-year old head coach of the Broncos, was willing to give Tebow a chance of showcasing his abilities and perspicacity. By trading three second-round picks to the Baltimore Ravens, McDaniels was given the 25th pick, and recognized the improvement in his accuracy and throwing mechanics during workouts, when he began building a relationship with Tebow.

And now, he has a liking for his personality and talent, in which he demonstrated at Florida by conducting a high-powered offense with his option style formations, stamina, and explosiveness on the ground. During his collegiate career, we were accustomed to witnessing his powerful stiffed-arms, his unstoppable speed, and his agility and strength to exert effortless speed and find the end zone, which normally resulted in a touchdown.

The last three months, he has spent ample time working on his passes and precision, convincing McDaniels that in prior weeks he has improved his throwing motions. In short, the Broncos and McDaniels weren’t reluctant acquiring an uncertain quarterback whose delivery still has an unsettling and dubious throwing motion. Tebow is precisely a nice fit in Denver, where he’ll be cultivated and could excel at the highest level under McDaniels, who’s profound at molding and developing quarterbacks into an elite thrower.

Convincingly, Tebow’s style was relevant and beneficial at Florida, but in a transition to the NFL, he’s irrelevant and skeptics doubt that he’ll ever thrive as an elite quarterback.

He’s a beloved and iconic college athlete, while some dislike his overexposed and overhyped exaltation. We’ve either revered Tebow as a religious savior, or an overrated quarterback without an assuring throwing motion. But whatever critics believes, he’s relentlessly a valuable piece.

And he also can fool us all, becoming an instrumental piece in Denver’s offensive schemes. It’s easy to foreshadow that he’ll turn into a bust and disappoint all. Because he’s an unproven and polarizing athlete, he’s figured a fallen star and discounted for his irritating flaws.

Many people are judgmental and categorize Tebow as a high risk, questioning whether his lack of arm strength and footwork is well-equipped for a pro-style offense. Very well, he can develop a brilliant delivery and nifty footwork, and evolve into a pro quarterback. Consider it a gracious landing spot, where he’ll learn under McDaniels, a coach with overwhelming confidence and hopes he could upgrade his level of consistency.

But if there’s someone more skeptical of Tebow, it’s Todd McShay. He’s clearly critical of the Broncos wasting a valuable first-round pick on an unproven player. “When you still have so many needs to address as a Denver Broncos team, how do you draft Tim Tebow,” said McShay during the draft on Saturday.

"You brought in Brady Quinn, you hope that you can handle your situation at quarterback inside. And the bottom line is Tim Tebow is not an NFL quarterback. You now have to take the next two years and try to get some contribution out of him or develop him into a good starting quarterback to make that pick worthwhile. I understand Josh McDaniels is as good as anyone in the business at developing quarterbacks, but Tim Tebow I just don’t know that he can be develop into a good starting quarterback.”

At the expense of McDaniels, Tebow brings in cleverness and inspirational leadership, appropriate character that the Broncos demand. This was a gamble, but a smart gamble, one any franchise should have been willing to take. Image is important to most teams, particularity with the Broncos, after recently trading its top receiver Brandon Marshall to Miami because of detrimental behavior and foolish baggage that became weary in an organization, seeking to climb atop an undermined AFC West division.

Was this a good pick? Maybe it was. Then again, maybe it wasn’t. I personally think it was a nice pick. These days, hypocrisy and riskiness engenders thought whether a player becomes an NFL superstar or a bust. It’s the NFL. Any pick is near-dangerous, and could settle as the worst selection ever, which means picks that don’t seem valuable might mean much to a franchise years later.

It’s simple to overstate that Tebow is destined to dazzle as a big-name quarterback. As a franchise that emphasizes strong character, a trend religiously followed by Tebow, he grasps a sense of humility within a Heisman Trophy winner and decorated college player.

In pregame warm-ups and talks, he writes Bible verses and inspirits teammates with his advice. Across the world, he’s admired for his missionary and charitable work, he’s well-known for writing Bible verses on his eyeblack, and he’s a gracious athlete with much promise.

It’s really not foolish of the Broncos to pick Tebow. He’s an authentic and generous individual, and also can prosper as a pro quarterback.

Eventually, he’ll glorify football with thrilling throws and accurate passes, just as he does by the heartwarming goodness that he exposes in our society.

NBA Rumor Talk: Bosh to Thunder?

The latest rumors among the offseason that is coming is of Raptors' PF going to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Oh, whoops, let me rephrase that really quickly: of former Raptors' PF going to the...

Yes, Raptor fans, Chris Bosh will be leaving Toronto. He's done a lot there and I know you probably will miss him. But Bosh needs a team that can take him to the playoffs. I know Toronto was close, but face it, he's leaving.

If Bosh wants a team to take him to the playoffs, the 2010 NBA Free Agency is where he should look into. And for him going to the Thunder, it'll be the perfect fit. A lot of things can happen with Bosh in OKC.

First of all, he'll play in an important role with Oklahoma City, who consists of skilled players like Jeff Green, Russell Westbrook, and of course Kevin Durant. Bosh will just be the key to unlocking a team that has sure bet into the playoffs.

The Thunder made it this year with over 50 wins.

They can reach for 56-60 now with acquiring such a player like Bosh. Bosh can score from a lot of places, he's fast, strong, and somebody you can rely on. He'll be a happy man in Oklahoma.

Not so sure on Toronto, though.

But as the rumors go, Bosh still wants to leave Toronto. But don't get excited Knick fans, because I don't know if Bosh wants to go there either. Because as of right now, the Knicks aren't a playoff team, though they are greatly improving.

But how do we know if the Knicks do in fact make the playoffs for the upcoming season? That's why Bosh should go to the Thunder, who have a better chance.

But the question is, if the Thunder do land Bosh, where will he be?

Will the Thunder keep Russell Westbrook at PG and move Durant to SG? Then Jeff Green goes to SF and Bosh goes to PF? Or will the Thunder will have their normal lineup, but instead, replace the Center spot with Bosh.

There's many possibilites and lineups OKC can arrange. The Thunder can acquire Bosh. I think Bosh will like it here.

We'll see what happens.

But for right now, let's enjoy the playoffs.

Friday, April 23, 2010

NBA Playoffs 2010: Stop Dreaming...Lakers-Cavs Won't Happen This Year

I keep getting sick of this conversation over and over again.

It won't happen this season, that's for sure. You should know by now what I am talking about here.

Lakers-Cavaliers: NBA Finals. Who will come out on top: LeBron James or Kobe Bryant? Oh, just cut it out people.

Yes, yes, I know it will seem like the ultimate matchup but we've been hearing about this for the past two-to-three seasons. Don't you think you should stop? It won't happen this season.

For one, the Cavaliers probably might not even make the playoffs at all. They've been choking lately for the past few years in the playoffs and they may very well face Orlando in the Eastern Conference Finals again, and lose there.

Or it could happen to the Lakers. It may seem weird for Los Angeles to make it to the Finals three times in a row. I don't think it'll happen, but hey, it can be possible.

But they've been pretty darn good this season so I won't be surprised.

However, it just seems so unlikely for a Lakers-Cavaliers matchup. Many expected it last season during the 2009 NBA Playoffs. It seemed like it was destined. Everyone was acting like it will happen for sure.

But it never did.

The Cavs got beaten by the Magic. They got stunned. Here they are as the best in the East and they didn't make it. I was shocked.

That's why I won't be taking the Cavs as serious. Okay, probably I do because I like them there but so do a bunch of other people out there. And there are bunch of people who keep having the stupid fantasies of LeBron James vs. Kobe Bryant in the Finals.

It could happen some other year. But no, definitely not this year.

So cut the talk about it.

It's not gonna happen.

Keep dreaming.

It will happen soon, but just not this year.

Boston Rolls V. Heat, 100-98; Lead Series 3-0 of Buzzer-Beater

CELTICS 100     Heat 98
We all know how important Paul Pierce is to the Celtics. Tonight, he was really important, helping the Celtics slip by the Miami Heat in a 100-98 thriller. Pierce buried a 21-foot-jumper as Dwyane Wade watched horribly from the bench.

This win not only brought a 3-0 advantage over the Heat in the series, but also the momentum. The Celtics need one more win for the sweep. They're making this Heat time look like they never want them coming back to the playoffs again.

Pierce saved the day.

"That's a shot I hit a number of times in playoffs and regular season," Pierce said after the game. "I told the coaches, 'Give me the ball on the right side.' I got to my sweet spot, made sure there wasn't any time left and drained it."
Paul Pierce had 32 points. Those points he hit in the closing seconds of the game were the ones that really mattered. This game could easily wrap up the series now. No team has ever came back and win from an 0-3 deficit. And the way the Heat have been playing, it seems highly unlikely of them accomplishing a feat like that. 

Ray Allen put up 25 points, Rajon Rondo 17, and 16 for Kevin Garnett. Dwayne Wade had 34 points and five rebounds, along with eight assists for the Heat. Udonis Haslem put up eight boards. Kendrick Perkins had twelve.

"We certainly fought the fight in terms of bringing the appropriate level of intensity to the game," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "That was there. Couldn't ask for much more in terms of effort plays and just bringing the fight."

It was a tough loss for the Heat, indeed. But can they come back? It can be possible, you never know. We'll see.

But another great showing of the Celtics. They are sending a message to all the other teams right now: Watch out.

NFL Draft Live Blog Rounds 2-3

2010 NFL Draft: Jerry Hughes Could Be What The Colts Need

For the 31st pick of the NFL Draft, many expected the Colts to draft an offensive tackle or someone like that. People were just hoping for someone who can contribute on offense.

But I guess the Colts will do that in the later rounds, picking up Jerry Hughes, defensive end/linebacker from TCU. In my opinion, I really don't see this as that bad of a pick.

I say Hughes could be one of the futures of the Colts. I think the Colts will rotate him at many positions. He could be a very valuable asset to the franchise. Before we get into this, let's take a look at his career profile in college and such.

Hughes was probably the anchor of this Horned Frogs' defense. His last two seasons have been the most significant of his career, putting up 31 tackles and 15 sacks in 2008 and 32 tackles and eleven sacks in 2009.

For his career, Hughes has had 142 tackles, 28 sacks, and three interceptions. Hughes is also a fast athlete for his size at 6'3" and 260 pounds.

After seeing his stats, it seems like he is one of those combo 3-4 linebackers you see today. Putting up tackles and sacks. But since Indy has lost Raheem Brock, the Colts will look to replace him with Hughes.

The Colts are known for fast defenders. I mean, just look at Robert Mathis and Dwight Freeney, possibly the fastest defensive-end combo in the league. Hughes will be just another one of them. He will look to pair up with Mathis, Freeney, and Daniel Muir.

The Colts could also do this, too: put Mathis at left defensive end, Hughes at right defensive end, and Freeney and Muir as the tackles. It might fit better. But the Colts probably might not be look towards that.

Just an idea.

Indy sometimes does a rotation with their ends. Hughes could play DT and sometimes replace Mathis and Freeney at end when they need breaks throughout the game. We seen it happen last season. Sometimes Mathis and Brock went into rotations.

The Colts also do more with Hughes.

They could use him as a DE/LB combo. He could play some minutes at the linebacker position. Since TCU played a different defense, I believe, Hughes will probably have to adjust to the 4-3.

Like I said before, he is playing defensive end as the Colts announced. Bill Polian says the Colts have been looking for third pass-rusher for a while. It could work with Hughes at linebacker sometimes.

The Colts could use him in a blitz package when they put him at LB.

It'll look pretty good to me.

But as the day ended yesterday, the Colts got who they got and they're happy to have him. I am, too. I say it's an excellent pick.

The Colts should get him into business right away. Probably start him somewhere or be in a rotation with Mathis and Freeney. But whatever they do, Hughes is gonna make a difference.

Get excited Colts fans.

This year is gonna be different.

NFL Image Reflects On Bradford, Tebow: They Set Positive Examples

And to think we were concerned with his draft status.

There were times, when Timothy Richard Tebow was expected to fall as low as a second-rounder, with speculations of him converting to the tight end or linebacker position, given his muscular size and incredible speed.

In an unpredictable, crazy, out-of-this-world draft, enormous bucks and talented youth was guaranteed for two gifted quarterbacks.

The nuisance, rowdy crowd sat petulantly or tensed and were curious to know what the home franchise’s ideas were. To all the prejudices and nonsense that he’s not NFL-ready and a bust, today it seems he’s the second-best quarterback in the draft, other than Sam Bradford, the first selection in the draft who went to the revamped St. Louis Rams with the No. 1 pick overall.

He was selected later than expected, in which he was snatched late in the first round of the NFL draft with the No. 25 overall pick after the Denver Broncos traded twice and with the Baltimore Ravens.

Throughout Radio City Music Hall in New York, it was a dramatic night, delivered with raucous shouts and obnoxious chants on a surprising evening and a million-dollar future for all the players departing the campus lifestyle.

As we are aspired to escape outrageous images that has poisoned the highest market and a productive enterprise, the kids are enhancing upon an upstart and soothing a troublesome league and enduring emotional memories. And now, we really know how touching it is receiving a phone call from executives, then moments later, hearing their names called by commissioner Roger Goodell.

So this is an event when we’re forced to take a bold guess, and evaluate whether the selection was the next biggest bust, akin to JaMarcus Russell, an abysmal pick that the Oakland Raiders squandered when the world projected him as the most talented quarterback in the draft.

These days, however, teams take a huge gamble on draftees, and later blow an ill-advised pick. But happily, the St. Louis Rams selected wisely and was impressed with Bradford ever since evaluating his throwing motion and passing mechanics during workouts.

This wasn’t much of a surprise, mainly because the Rams released veteran quarterback Marc Bulger on his 33rd birthday, and emotionally ended an eight-year tenure with a franchise that plunged and transformed into a disoriented team.

It’s easy to predict that he’s the next Tom Brady or Peyton Manning in football, but at this point, his mental capacities and pro-style adjustments remains a mind-boggler. Either way, he validated his stock and value during pre-draft workouts, after traveling or approving Dr. James Andrews (a.k.a. Dr. Doom), to surgically repair his right shoulder, an injury that he re-injured and blew-out and horrified the Oklahoma crowd with his frequent shoulder episodes.

It was quite enough fear to jeopardize Bradford’s college career and future in the pros, affecting his accuracy and abilities to loft downfield throws.

The saga surrounding his health enlarged Bradford’s willpower and devotion in a sport he zests and is confident he’ll produce consistently, and now become the face of a renovating franchise still developing as a divisional competitor. Given the assortment of his injuries, skeptics doubted he’d be selected in the early rounds, but taken in the late rounds.

He may have fooled us all, viewed as the comeback player with heart and determination to compete at the next level, seizing the national spotlight among all quarterbacks.

He received a phone call, while the Rams were on the clock. Moments later, he was beckoned to the stage and walked across, where Goodell greeted him with a friendly, welcome-to-the-NFL handshake. Relieved of the draining anxiety, he wore his Rams cap and acted with class and was gracious to absorb sentimental attainments.

As it happens, it’s a risk the Rams couldn’t turn down and had to take Bradford with the No. 1 choice. In short, it justified that he has potential as a promising superstar with the commodities to make an immediate impact, proven to be a durable gunslinger entering from the collegiate level.

“I’ve had NFL teams ask, ‘Why did you come back?’” Bradford said. “I dreamed of playing for Oklahoma my whole life, and I wasn’t going to let an injury take that away. I couldn’t have lived [with] myself if I did. To have my career at Oklahoma end like that was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to go through.”

He’s not necessarily expected to win now, but he’s a blossoming athlete. If there’s early success, he’s the savior in a dispirited town that hasn’t sold tickets in years, while mired in disarray with a horrid track record. Assuming that he’s the biggest attraction to gladden a town, he’ll increase ticket sales and hopefully improve any porous results.

It’s quite humbling and rewarding that he’s guaranteed $42 million in bonuses, in which he was an early first-rounder and portrayed as the incomparable quarterback, as was Tebow, who had been relentlessly debated weeks prior to the draft. And the more critics polarize him, the more he normally proves skeptics wrong, like when he was drafted higher than expected.

In fairness, he has been called one of the greatest and rarest collegiate athletes ever, but has been criticized for overly practicing his religious trends publicly and he wasn’t caliber to start at quarterback in the NFL.

At this point, no one can refer to him as a bust, until he makes his debut and tosses the football next season. In Denver, coach Josh McDaniels demands high character, and bringing in a humble-minded Tebow was a brilliant move. Although it was a risk, he’s an evangelistic and endearing figure and exposes positivity for his strong character and dignity as a charity worker and preacher.

He doesn’t have the similarities of an average 21-year-old, who listens to hip-hop and curses in nearly every sentence, but instead he’s a spiritual and folksy individual. Instead of listening to Lil Wayne or Jay-Z, he likes hearing the benevolent sounds of Gospel music.

He’s the one lad we need to appreciate and be more polite to, always vowing to alleviate children’s pain and minister to prisoners by spending his ample time in the Philippines and prison cells.

Very wisely, he’s not the next Matt Leinart. Last year, Tebow avowed he’s a virgin. So I guess that means he won’t be seen on a photo with hot chicks relaxing with him in a hot tub and drinking a beer.

But the more likable and targeted quarterback was Bradford. It’s no secret Tebow’s flaws are worth questioning, whether his accuracy and reading plays have improved. Recently, he’s developing his passing ability and working on his throwing efficiencies, to flourish into an elite quarterback and not a bust.

And Tebow knows in the NFL, he’ll have to limit his singular jump passes, stiff-arms, and driving the ball to the end zone on the ground. It’s important his style converts into a dimensional and versatile motion, unlike in the college-style offense when he was allowed to exploit his speed and execute options within a spread formation many teams couldn’t slow down.

The Rams cannot afford setbacks. And Bradford potentially gives St. Louis a legit chance to heighten its level of consistency at a crucial position.

At such a young age with no experience at the pro level, he’s a NFL-ready quarterback. With very few blemishes, he throws with precision and releases quick passes. Also, he has a strong range of connecting with receivers in downfield throws, predicating all the components that come with the rigid task of conducting offensive schemes.

Soon, he’ll be the instrumental piece to their climbing success, as he’ll now have to adapt and learn the concepts from the playbook. Weeks ago, he past the Wonderlic test, as a 3.89 GPA honors student. But people are still worried about his shoulder, and according to doctors he’s healthy and has proved it with his remarkable throws.

“I feel great,” Bradford said. “Obviously, it’s a dream come true. You grow up and you dream of playing in the NFL and you dream of being drafted. But to actually have it happen, it’s really unexplainable. It’s pretty exciting.”

For some, it’s worth the wait. Jimmy Clausen, the dynamic Notre Dame quarterback, has to wait until the second-round after a disappointing evening turned startling. It’s more devastating when he was projected to fall in the laps of the Cleveland Browns, a franchise who desperately needs a quarterback to diminish a woeful age, in which its name altered to the Clowns.

Laughed at before the Mike Holmgren regime took over, the Browns blundered when it failed to select Clausen.

Eventually someone will pick him.

As a prolific quarterback, he missed out on millions because he wasn’t taken in the first round. And Colt McCoy, Texas star quarterback, who expanded his stardom when he engineered the Longhorns to the national championship game (but fell short against Alabama), went undrafted.

Seems the Rams pulled off the blockbuster deal, considering that defensive tackles Ndamukong Suh of Nebraska and Gerald McCoy of Oklahoma were available and impressed the organization and would’ve suited a depleted defense.

More than ever, St. Louis head coach Steve Spagnulo, a defensive specialist, is satisfied to know he has upgraded the weakest position.

And if Tebow wasn’t drafted, it would have been a huge disappointment. His relatives and friends gathered at a Tebow NFL entering party, waiting nervously for his lifelong dream that he has devoted much of his energy and focus on since he was six years old.

When his name was called his blissful family and friends cheered and congratulated him.

“It’s all been worth it,” said Tebow. “The good stuff is usually worth the wait. You’ve just got to be patient.”

Certainly, each of them had character and class, positive signs for protecting a NFL image.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

NBA Playoffs 2010: Is It Time For The OKC to Show Who They Really Are?

The Lakers exploded in Game One, topping the Thunder 87-79. During Game Two, the Lakers barely got away but they were led by Kobe Bryant and his 39 points.

Now it is time for Game Three, and the Thunder should be worrying right now. Behind 2-0, you never know, Oklahoma City can emerge now. It's time for them to.

The Thunder should be sending a strong message right now to Los Angeles: "We're not giving up. Watch out L.A." I think it is time for the Thunder to show who they really are now. It's time.

It is time for Kevin Durant to turn into Durantula. Time for him to turn into the monster everyone has known him as. It is time for him to run all over Ron Artest, making shot after shot and owning on every possession.

It's time for Russell Westbrook for faking out defenses. Making smart shots, good moves, and slick passes.

It's time for Jeff Green to really attack on the boards, shoot from the perimeter, and make you look like your trousers are falling (okay, I think I should stop right there).

It's time for Thebo Sefalosha to surprise this Lakers time. Stopping Kobe Bryant on the D. Playing tough, hard, and aggressive.

Oklahoma City will be playing at home tonight, and are 27-14 there. It's time to please the crowd and make the Lakers feel very unwelcome. The Thunder have a good chance of winning this one.

Durant will be the key.

Nenad Kristic will have to play some strong defense on Andrew Bynum, who is continuing to be more scarier by the second, each time he palms the ball in his hands in the paint; either going for an easy layup or a terrifying dunk.

Thunder coach Scott Brooks has recently won Coach of the Year for his improvement on OKC. Now he can really show how good of a coach he is if he brings this team back into the series.

"We were improved once he took over as the coach. We still lost some games that were tough but we were learning and we were getting better each day in practice," said Durant, who developed into the NBA's youngest scoring champion this season.

"I knew if we continued to do that and not come in and just say, `Our season's done. Ain't no need to practice. Ain't no need to work hard.' We still came in and worked every day, and he made sure he brought it every day as a coach."

Other players that can be a key in tonight's game can be James Harden, Serge Ibaka, and Eric Maynor.

It's time to show what the Thunder have in them. Can they surprise?

We'll find out tonight, I guess.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Critics Are Wrong About Tim Tebow: NFL Needs Role Model

As the prejudice, brain dead hypocrites hates on Tim Tebow, a cynical nation debates whether he can have an impact in the NFL and satisfy a franchise’s agenda by excelling and contending for a playoff run -- and even greater -- a championship.

What the NFL needs is a humbled-minded and evangelistic Tebow. He is a perfect role-model and religious individual, hallowed for his charitable work by visiting and ministering troubled inmates inside prisons and announcing his virginity beliefs to the world. What a troubled league needs, which is exposed to crime and rapidly turned into a horrible CSI league, is a community supporter, a true family man and a team leader.

The 21-year-old football hero has much wisdom and perspectives on life. But he isn’t espoused or embraced, and instead doubted and overlooked. Even though he represents everything we believe an athlete contains, such as his strong persona and heartwarming mindset, he’s disdained and recently is projected to be selected late in the first round or early in the second round.

For all the antipathy, the sporting society refuses to appreciate an impeccable and gifted athlete. The immediate reaction has been to express bitterness and doubt a two-time national champion at the collegiate level with high character that he revealed during a four-year span at Florida.

Plenty of athletes are unappreciated, but now we turn our eyes towards Tebow, unconvinced of his natural powers as he makes his transition to the pros. These days, the harassed prospect with much potential and dedication draft status has declined.

And, here in America, he’s not justified as a big-name worthy of emerging in the NFL in the next five years, but verified as a bust. To all the doubters, it’s hard to tell whether he’ll produce and shimmer in the spotlight, paralleled to all the eulogy he endured in Gainesville, Florida.

Can the perplexing citizens give him a chance to play in his first game, before they begin making observations?

It’s premature that half of the country denies acknowledging and adoring Tebow as a quarterback. For some absurd reason, he takes more criticism and skeptics pontificate whether he’s equipped to be drafted as a tight end or linebacker. You make your pick.

But I still say he’s worthy of calling the snaps and tossing the football on Sundays. If you disagree, that’s fine and dandy. It’s a bit strange the average individual has dubious reactions, without him even making his debut.

It’s no secret that he was portrayed as a beloved maestro and a spotless role model at a young age. Not too many athletes have nearly devoted much of their time and profit, or even brightened the hearts of prisoners and sick children.

When he was at Florida where he showcased his erratic jump passes, stiff-armed defenders and carried the ball for touchdowns, he was worshipped in a community in which he danced and celebrated with a frenzied Gators crowd. However, he now suffers all the mockery and disrespect.

He’s either hated for all the hype he’s pampered with or his religious backgrounds that he exposed too much in the game. Rarely, do we hear about a 21-year old walking into prisons with his bible, traveling to the Philippines as paragon and posing as a remedy for a helpless country.

Nevertheless, it’s still a mystery if Tebow can throw accurately and release it quickly. But it’s a no-brainer that he’s the greatest newcomer entering the NFL. His positive beliefs and great class are needed badly in a petulant league, where an image stained with timeless scandals and poor judgment among players because of their apathy and lack of maturity.

With the entire buzz heard publicly, including much doubt from ESPN Todd McShay, he’s a quarterback and may probably land at Denver, Arizona, Seattle or even in his home state Florida as a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars?

Sure, an organization will snatch Tebow away from his table Thursday night at the Radio City Music City Hall. And of course, the franchise will take a huge risk, but also bring in morality and inspirational leadership. As an athlete, he dreamed of playing quarterback since he was a kid, finally reaching a lifetime opportunity.

“My dream is to be a quarterback,” Tebow said. “And I’m going to pursue that as much as I can. I want to be a quarterback in the NFL. It’s been my dream since I was six…I’ve heard it since high school.”

He’s gradually developing and improving his passing abilities, taking on massive preparations and practicing daily with his throwing mechanics.

Before you know it, he’ll blend in nicely with someone’s offensive schemes, especially if he goes to a team that implements the Wildcat or West Coast offense. It’s obvious that he has the features of a star quarterback and establishes himself as an instrumental piece, while adapting to the playbook and pro style offense.

A few weeks ago, a reporter accurately quoted Bengals receiver Andre Caldwell, who impetuously said, “I don’t think he’s going to be an elite passer ever.”

Everyone is entitled to an opinion. But lately, he has impressed scouts and league executives in his workouts, in which he has displayed powerful arm strength and ideal precision within a two week span. Whatever is happening now, he’ll eventually have to alter his game in a real competition.

For the frontrunners and observers, Jacksonville general manager Gene Smith is impressed with the upgrading in his passing game and seems obsessed of his work ethic.

“I know he’s been working at it, and if anybody can do it, it would be him,” Smith said. “He certainly has a will to prepare. People say there’s always exceptions to the rule. If there’s to be one at quarterback spot, it will be him in terms of going against everything everybody has said negatively about him with his long release. He’s out to prove to everybody that he’s certainly capable of competing at our level.”

Ordinarily, all prospects have flaws whenever they enter the NFL Draft. But in many ways, Tebow is a remedy for all the shams that have poisoned baseball, for all the jailbirds who have violated the NFL’s conduct policy, for all the NBA thugs who haven’t learned to leave concealed weapons at home and for a disturbing Tiger Woods who couldn’t keep his pants zipped. He's an encouraging and gifted role model.

He’s the greatest and coolest man in sports, a true perfectionist and likable figure.

No Holmes, No Ben; Are The Pittsburgh Steelers In Serious Trouble Now?

We’ve heard the latest news.

First, there was Santonio Holmes. A bad apple lately, the Steelers sent him off to the New York Jets.

Then there was Ben Roethlisberger, who was accused of sexual assault a year ago. The case continued, and he is now suspended for six games (four if he puts up good behavior).

With all this, are the Pittsburgh Steelers in serious trouble? Is this true? In fact, it is. The Steelers are now stuck in the draft, possibly needing to draft a receiver, a quarterback, and possibly a running back.

The Steelers need help, now. They look to start either Byron Leftwich or Dennis Dixon for those four games. I believe Roethlisberger will put up good behavior. But the question is, can the Steelers handle those four games?

Those games can be very critical in making the playoffs for Pittsburgh, who haven’t made it since the 2008-09 season, their championship year. So, can the Steelers do it? Probably not.

I really don’t see it. But they’re gonna have to find a way. They need to work together and back up Big Ben as much as possible.

I really don’t think he will be traded. It’s kind of stupid mentioning the Browns. Why in the world would they send Big Ben to a rival team? Why trade him at all? If anything, they should keep him for the playoffs.

I really wouldn’t trust Dixon or Leftwich leading the Steelers to the playoffs. It just doesn’t seem so likely. But Pittsburgh is in serious trouble, that’s for sure.

They need to find a way to fix themselves. And a receiver is needed in my opinion. Holmes is gone, Sweed drops balls. Their main weapons in the passing game would be Hines Ward and Miller, that’s all.

So there’s another reason. A quarterback would probably needed if the Steelers would be without Big Ben for six games. Also a running back, to help out with Rashard Mendenhall.

So what will the Steelers do?

Can they do it?

The Case For JaMarcus Russell and Why He Can Still Succeed
He’s a bust. He sucks. He will never be a good quarterback, ever. He will never succeed. Worst draft pick in Raiders’ history. Worst quarterback ever. Number one bust of all-time.

These are just some of the few comments recorded Raiders’ quarterback JaMarcus Russell for his three total seasons in the NFL. But some of these comments, in my opinion, are people taking it too far.

Really, I am serious. I like JaMarcus Russell. I don’t consider him a bust at all. I wouldn’t say he sucks right now. He does kind of, but not as much. Worst draft pick in Raiders’ history, I don’t think so. Worst draft pick of all-time? There’s been worse. Worst quarterback ever…seriously?

Let’s go on a case, a case for JaMarcus Russell.

Is He Really a Bust?

No, not necessarily.

Okay, sure, we didn’t expect him to be what we thought as being a number one draft pick. Truly, he’s only played two seasons and I think that’s early for being a bust.

In his last four games or so with the Raiders in his rookie year, Russell had thrown for 373 yards with two touchdowns and four interceptions. That resulted in a 55.9 QB rating. That really didn’t count as a year to me.

First of all, there were money problems and the Raiders decided to go elsewhere with playing their other QB’s. Russell really started during the 2008-09 season. And I really didn’t think he was that bad.

He put up 2,423 yards with 13 touchdowns and eight picks for a 77.1 rating. Wouldn’t you think that would be pretty good for a rookie quarterback? I mean, Mark Sanchez had worse stats and we don’t see him being called a bust.

Then why Russell?

Sure, his next season was just terrible but he got pressure. How about Alex Smith? He had that one season with only like one touchdown and eleven interceptions and now he is returning and people aren’t calling him a bust anymore.

Why Russell? Why?

He’ll never be a good quarterback?

I don’t get that. Didn’t Vince Young and Matt Leinart struggle as they both were being called busts. Now both are entering their fifth year and are considered to be futures of their teams.

Russell is entering his fourth year. This could very well show what he has with Oakland. Russell knows what coming towards him after he got benched from Bruce Gradkowski. This happened to Young and Leinart when they got benched by Kerry Collins and Kurt Warner.

Now both are starting and aren’t half bad.

Then why Russell? Young and Leinart had some pretty crappy stats in their first few years. Now they know what happened and have fixed themselves. Nobody is considering Brady Quinn a bust?

He will never succeed? Again, just like the Young and Leinart comments. They both succeeded. It could very well might happen to Russell.

JaMarcus has a good arm. He just needs to work better with his accuracy and all of that. Along with that, we heard those rumors of him weighing in at 290 pounds. Those were rumors. Just rumors.

How are we sure if that’s true?

Look at LenDale White, who was weighed in overweight. He fixed himself up. Why not Russell? Can’t he do it?

Worst draft pick in Raiders’ history? Um, I think Al Davis has made far more worse picks. I mean, look at Robert Gallery. Derrick Gibson? Marquis Tuiasosopo? There’s so many other picks that are worse than Russell.

Worst quarterback ever? Worst draft pick ever? No, no way. You gotta be kidding me. Look at Ryan Leaf. Russell has better stats than him. Look at Mike Williams, the wide receiver and the offensive lineman. How about Carter from the Bengals?

And here are some other reasons why it isn’t all Russell’s fault:

1. Offensive line anyone? Russell has been sacked so much because this team’s O-Line can’t block.

2. Al Davis. This guy sucks at decisions. He picks up the worst players and just ruins the Raiders’ reputation.

3. Russell doesn’t have any weapons. Darren McFadden, Darrius Heyward-Bey, and Zach Miller are his best weapons on the squad. The Raiders either need to draft some good players and wisely or sign players wisely.

4. Russell always gets down for the comments people throw at him. What did he do to you? He’s trying and he’s getting better. Russell still has it.

Russell has so many years to improve. Sometimes the top picks in the draft don’t turn out the way you want to. But they can if you give them a chance. It just doesn’t happen in just one or two years. It may take three-to-five years.

Look at the NBA. People are still giving Greg Oden a chance. How about Reggie Bush at the No. 2 pick? People kept calling him a bust and after last season, fans are now past that. Seriously, guys.

How about Mario Williams? He got good after his second year. Last season for Russell, which I would really call his second year, Oakland didn’t give him a chance. Nobody did. Stop giving him pressure.

Russell still has a chance.

The stats may not show it, but he still has many years to improve. He has so much time to improve. This offseason, he’s probably working on his throws and stuff. Raiders fans are still giving him a chance.

I would, too. I would just leave him alone. He has a chance.

He can improve.


You would give your friend chances when he messes up? What about you fathers or mothers out there? Your son/daughter will make many mistakes. Would you give up on him? Russell hasn’t made that many mistakes.

Why give up?

Maybe he can turn out to be something special.

Just maybe.

I still see something in him.

I’m not giving up.

NBA Playoffs 2010: Can The Los Angeles Lakers Return Once Again?

It's been two seasons in a row the Lakers have been dominant in the playoffs. It's been two seasons in a row that the Lakers have made it to the Finals, winning one of them in 2009.

Now Los Angeles will be aiming for their third. Third straight year where the Lakers are one of the favorites in the Western Conference. Could it be the third straight year L.A. will be in the big show?

Hell, it may very well be possible. Many people don't think so and it may seem odd, but hey: they can do it.

Didn't the Buffalo Bills reach the Super Bowl four times in a row (sadly losing them all)? Didn't the Celtics win like ten titles in twelve years back in those days? How can it not be possible for the Lakers?

So what, Kobe is getting old. But it doesn't seem like it, not at all. The Lakers will slip by the Thunder, already leading 2-0 behind Kobe. In Game Two, Kobe scored 39 points. Count that: 39. Doesn't seem like he's 30-year-old to me, does it?

Not old. Not at all. At least, it doesn't seem like it.

Kobe also has his weapons. He has a dunking nightmare in Shannon Brown. A terrifying center in Andrew Bynum, who has been getting better and better each season and is turning himself into an All-Star caliber center.

And then Pau Gasol, another dominant center for L.A. The Lakers also have a defensive specialist in Ron Artest, who is tearing it down on Kevin Durant and continues to no matter what. Ron-Ron is the man so far.

The Lakers may very well be returning to the Finals. I already have them for the Western Conference Finals. Who will they face? The only teams that have a shot for beating L.A. are the Nuggets, Mavericks, and the Spurs.

Can they beat Kobe and Co.? Maybe.

But I guess we'll just have to find out.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

NBA Playoffs 2010: Keep Trashing Mavs, You Know You're Gonna Get Beat

We remember what Dallas Mavericks' owner Mark Cuban did last season during the 2009 NBA Playoffs. After the Nuggets humiliated the Mavs in a critical game, Cuban was furious and eventually went up to Kenyon Martin's mother saying he was a "thug."

There was a heated contest between Martin and Cuban during that time. It seemed Cuban was in for it. But however, the Nuggets ended up winning the series.

But now, Cuban is looking to cause more trouble for his Mavs. It feels that his Mavs will slip by the Spurs. Sure, they're old, but they can still work. Just like the Celtics. But I have had enough of Cuban, and the Mavericks as a whole.

Said Cuban of San Antonio and the rivalry between both teams:

"No, I mean I hate the Spurs. I have a hard time being civil to [Spurs owner] Peter Holt at the board of governors meetings and he has a hard time being civil to me even though we both like each other. It's what it represents. We can both be 0-80 and if those last two games are Spurs-Mavs, it's going to be like a playoff game because we dislike each other that much."

It doesn't seem as harsh as what Cuban did last season, but I still feel the Mavs have this trash-talking sense. I'll just say it right here: The Mavs won't win it all. Hell, they probably won't even get past the first round.

I vote for the Spurs. Sure, they got that nice veteran in Jason Kidd. Sure, they have Caron Butler. Yes, they do have Dirk Nowtizki. Yes, yes, that all sinds nice and all, but seriously!

We've seen a better Mavs team a few years ago as they were No. 1, and look: they lost to the No. 8 seed Warriors in the first round. The Mavs are known for choking. Their great regular season performance doesn't surprise me at all.

Yes, they did beat San Antonio last season. So what? Right now, I feel the Spurs are the better team.

And look at the Finals back about four-to-five years ago against the Heat. They choked, once again. They were leading the seires 2-0 and then the Heat got this click, and eventually won four games in a row to win it all.

The Mavs won't win it all. They don't have it in them. Though it will be a tough, hard-fought battle between both teams, I see Tim Duncan to make a move or two. Tony Parker is finally returning, so expect something from the kid. How about Manu Ginobili? There's a lot of guys that still make impact to this squad.

I say the Spurs in seven. The Mavs aren't ready, once again. I just don't see them. I ain't feelin' them.

What do the Mavs have? Prove me wrong. I mean, even if they do win this series, what makes you think they'll win the Finals? Maybe even make the Finals? Hell, even making the Western Conference Finals!

What can they do?

Cleveland Browns Must Pick Jimmy Clausen, Remove Clowns From Its Name

If April is the month of fools and when hapless NFL franchises tries to end the woeful season by procuring the highest selection for a chance to land the top prospect in the nation, then the Cleveland Browns can rejuvenate a feeble and hopeless franchise and shrewdly select a franchise quarterback.

Like the rest of the major sporting teams in an impetuous town, fans suffered with agonizing indignities after a major championship drought has caused anguish and lasted eternally.

About a month ago, team president Mike Holmgren convinced a championship-starved city that he’s willing and angling towards a rebuilding project, installing ambition in the near future to erase all the horrid times and remove from the loss column. To Cleveland’s chagrin, their pro football team was doomed and sorely dropped the demised of the Browns, a trend seen frequently at the Dawg Pound.

Last season, the Browns heard downgrading drivel from analyst and journalist, and were renamed the Cleveland Clowns, during a time when a beleaguered coach Eric Mangini, the so-called Man-Genius, name was on the hot seat and potentially was expected to be canned by the end of last season. Thank goodness the signing of Holmgren might have saved his job status. His convincing voice and smart decisions, urged Holmgren to retain Mangini, satisfied of the direction he’s pointing towards in the near future. There were moments, such as last season, when the front office failed to stick with priorities on rebuilding a playoff contender.

But now, one thing is certain about the NFL Draft. It turns out the Browns’ recent draft selection could determine its progress in the next five seasons. Two days away from the draft, Holmgren can do the town a favor when the Browns are on the clock come Thursday night and select Jimmy Clausen, a valiant quarterback who could land with the seventh pick.

All because the Browns emphasizes strong persona in potential draft picks, there’s a good chance that Clausen will be available and embraced as an endearing franchise curer in the upcoming seasons. As it stands, quarterback woes have dented their ability to contend with division rivals, the Pittsburgh Steelers, or any team for that matter.

It seems doubtful that the Browns will take Clausen, who still needs growth and lacks poise at times as his accuracy is shaky on certain occasions and unwise passes turns into turnovers, mental lapses that could bring back unpleasant setbacks.

Asked about which team he’ll call home as a rookie in the pros next season, Clausen said he thinks the Browns is a suitable fit, partly because the pro style offense is paralleled to Notre Dame’s tactics. At Radio City Hall in New York, someone’s name will be called when the Browns are on the clock, but the question as to whom remains to be seen.

For now, apparently, Clausen’s name is portrayed as rumor, but really is a suit for refurbishing a motionless and attenuated organization that mangled in seating attendance and even in producing quality wins to qualify for the postseason. So the mental welfare of a doomed sports town is an unstable mess until Holmgren begin his regime by drafting a quarterback. Last season, the Browns were a dysfunctional franchise and had the emptiest seating among all venues, without disgruntled fans prompting an untamed protest or entering the stadium with paper bags over their heads amid the entire travesty, surprisingly. None of the Browns faithful boycotted, but now actually have reason to believe there’s hope with Holmgren’s calls and Clausen’s availability.

Perhaps, this season we’ll be able to see whether or not Mangini is worthy of coaching an NFL franchise. Most of the folks in Cleveland were furious with Mangini, encouraging the team to terminate him and hire someone with experience and measured leadership.

The biggest sporting calamity exists in Cleveland, even though there were front office transitions, such as an ineptness era of coach Romeo Crennel and general manager Phil Savage. As a result, the Browns degenerated amongst a lingering farce and left behind humiliation.

All this materialized before Holmgren accepted a challenging assignment and stressful duties. But a troublesome issue that affects a fragile team is the quarterback deficiencies, a weakness the Browns haven’t been able to erect. For some weird reason, Holmgren isn’t as impress or leaning towards drafting Clausen, though his team sorely lacks a trustworthy quarterback. There’s nothing personal, I’m sure. Maybe he thinks Clausen doesn’t blend in nicely with the coaching staff, players or even the formation. Maybe he feels an NFL-ready quarterback will be available and make an immediate impact.


Or maybe he’s not convinced that Clausen is ready to make a sudden transition and turns into a bust?

With numerous flaws, he’ll probably decide to past on offering the young prospect from Notre Dame an enormous paycheck as a NFL rookie. As for the Browns, it makes perfect sense to snatch a quarterback in the first-round, and depart from all the porous collapses at a hard-driven position that generates momentum and effectuates scoring drives. As it was, at one point last season, the Browns were doubted and sluggish at the most important position on the field.

Meanwhile, Clausen is the second-best quarterback in the draft, and executed throws and completed brilliant passes on a stagnant football team. For instance, he completed 28 touchdown passes with only four interceptions while playing most of the year with an injured toe. He still played with resiliency, toughness and poise, all commodities that the Browns need to improve and revoke misery. If you’re obsessed with numbers, his were more efficient and settling than former quarterback Derek Anderson, who was the biggest bust in Browns history and the biggest enemy when he ripped Cleveland fans via e-mail sent to the News-Herald.

You might recall this remark:

“The fans are ruthless and don’t deserve a winner,” Anderson said.

Well, I hate to break it to Anderson. With Holmgren voicing ambition and Clausen as the potential target, the Browns might have a winner.

Rather than picking foolishly and wasting the seventh overall selection, the executives as well as Holmgren has to ponder and wisely choose a superstar prospect that could benefit Cleveland in the future. They are in desperate need of a promising quarterback, after winning a mere five games last season with Anderson completing 33 passes.

There’s one man who likes what he sees from Clausen. The former coach Jon Gruden said, “He plays his best football in the fourth quarter when the games are tight or they’re behind.” As it is currently, the availability of Colt McCoy might be the direction that he has turned towards, while it’s certain that the St. Louis Rams takes Sam Bradford with the first choice.

If Gruden sees much drive and promising results, then Holmgren should take his advice.

Monday, April 19, 2010

NBA Playoffs 2010: Will The Phoenix Suns Be an Upset and Choke? 
Last night against the Portland Trailblazers, mostly every NBA fan expected the Suns to get the Blazers. Brandon Roy wasn't there, so it seemed easy.

Not so fast there.

The Blazers rolled, surprising Phoenix 105-100. Just what the hell happened here? Did Phoenix seriously just do this? Did they actually lose to a team without their star player? But Portland got them.

But this also brings up something else. Will the Suns do it again? Are they going to pull of the same old bullcrap every single year?

Last season, the Suns didn't even manage to make the playoffs with their 46-36 record. And they even had Shaq that time, but he didn't fit well. It just showed the Suns kept disappointing year after year, playoffs or not.

So what if they made the playoffs? They always lost there.

Sure they, made the playoffs in the 2007-08 season with a 55-27 record, but they lost in the first round! Typical Phoenix.

How about we go back a bit farther?

2006: Won first round, killed Lakers but got beaten in six by the Spurs, who eventually became champions that year. 2004 and 2005, the Suns managed to make it to the Western Conference Finals, but choked.

They haven't made it that far or farther since the 1992-93 season when they made it to the Finals, later losing to Jordan's Bulls.

So it's been awhile. The new century Suns just don't get it. They just can't win in the postseason, no matter how good they do in the regular season. And now it may begin to happen again.

Steve Nash is the fuel of the time and Amare Stoudemire helps out. Robin Lopez helps brings in those boards. The Suns are a working package, but they seem to be delayed and mixed up like the packages with the flights in Europe.

They can't get it together. Like Europe, they got a Volcano in their way. They can't get past it. They can't past the slump, the slope, the monkey on their back, any reference!

The Suns need to get it together. Though it's the first game of the series, they should get it together. I expect something better coming Game Two.

Or else, it's like the same old Suns we always see.

Don't choke!

NBA Playoffs 2010: Watch Out! These Celtics Can Make a Run

It was Game One with the Heat and the Celtics. Some people vote for the Heat. Some for the C's. Most people expected this: Dwyane Wade vs. Paul Pierce, who comes out on top?

That's definitely and totally not the case here.

The Celtics had this with them: they are gonna dominate your freaking ass! They know about the comments and the criticism people have been lashing at them throughout the regulars season.

We heard them:

"They're getting old, they're getting slow, they're just not what they used to be, they only had one good season: 2007."

Now Boston is going to shut all of y'all up. Shut you up good. I believe in them. Sure, the stats don't show as much in the regular season. But after what the C's displayed during Game One, they mean business.

Especially since it's the postseason.

This is when they mean business. Though Kevin Garnett will be suspended for Game Two, he showed heart. He won't back down. He will do everything get in your face, get you pissed, make you feel intimidated.

Make you feel that you already lost this battle.

He showed that in Game One. He has it in him. He wants another ring, and bad. He's not like those other guys who don't mind if they don't win another championship since they already got one before.

He will keep climbing on for more.

Rajon Rondo will keep being himself as a top point guard. Paul Pierce will continue with driving down the lane for breaking layups, big shots, dunks, etc. Ray Allen will be the sharpshooter and can make a difference during the postseason.

Garnett will be the key of all of this. And plus, don't forget the X-Factor: Tony Allen. He killed it in Game One. He can continue to do that. He's underrated, and that's what you want. People won't expect it, but when it's playing time, they will see it: "Goddamn, where the hell did this guy come from?"

It was just like Mike Singletary last year in College Basketball with Texas Tech. Nobody knew who he was, until that amazing performance. What did he score, like over 45 points or something? But at one point, he hit 28 straight points I believe. None of them missed. All in a row.

And now it's Tony Allen's time. Time to bring his name up.

James Posey helped big for the C's during the 2008 Playoffs. Now it's time for Allen in the '10 Playoffs. It just fits.

The Celtics won't back down. I expect them to dominate Miami. I can see Boston easily in the Eastern Conference Finals. But can they show their greatness there to reach the big show.

Can they return as champions like two years ago?

We'll find out.

But right now, don't underestimate this team.

We're looking at a really hungry Celtics team here, my friends.

NBA Playoffs 2010: 'Melo Is Seriously On Fire; Leading Denver To Finals

We on fire
Up in here, it's burning hot
We on fire

- Chorus, On Fire by Lloyd Banks

More like...Carmelo Anthony is on fire!

Anthony made a great showing against the Utah Jazz, dropping 40 points on them. He just makes it look easy. It was shot after shot, dribble after dribble; no matter what happened, he was simply just unstoppable.

Last year, the Nuggets felt a little too much of underdogs, especially against the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference Finals.
This season of the playoffs, it's totally different. Carmelo will stop for nothing.

This season is for George Karl, who is battling throat cancer. This is for the Nuggets, who need a championship. This is for the whole city of Denver, to make their sports team feel like greatness, since the Broncos have done nothing lately and other sports teams.

This season is something else. Anthony will take more control. Melo still has most of the same crew from last postseason, but they are better and more experienced.

It seemed that Denver would fail again when they had late regular season struggles. Against this Utah team, Melo will not be intimidated. Not against anyone this year.

So what if they have Boozer? So what if they have Deron? So what if they have Okur? So what? As of now, the numbers show it: Melo is on fire, and the Nuggets lead the series 1-0.

The score brought a word to the Jazz: watch out.

They certainly should.

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