Tag Archives: 2009

NBA Early Season MVP Rankings

1. Lebron James (66 pts)

This race is nowhere near decided. In fact, it’s barely getting started. Lebron only got one first place vote from our panel, but coming in at the top based on our points system just shows that we all agreed he’s one of the frontrunners. As is the case with all superstars, the Cavs have been trying to surround Lebron with quality talent to compete for a championship. Nonetheless, it’s still a one-man show, as James is accounting for about 30% of his team’s scoring. After starting 0-2, the Cavs have rung up 13 of their last 16, placing them at the top of the Central, and Lebron at the top of our list.

2. Steve Nash (65 pts)

Nash is back to his form that he won his back to back MVP awards with! Even more impressive, is how well his team is playing! They look like contenders again with Nash leading them to a 14-4 record! He’s averaging nearly 12 assists per game, and is the best on-court offensive general of this era.

3. Kobe Bryant (64 pts)

Interesting that Kobe fell behind Nash in our voting, alas at such an early stage of the season I might not begrudge it. Nash has the underrated Suns playing at a high level, while Kobe is doing what he has done for years, on a team that is suppose to win every game they play. Having said that, it’s hard to argue with the numbers Kobe is putting up. Through December 2nd his 28 pts, 5 brds, and 4 assists are extremely impressive. And his early November stretch of three 41 point games in four games was an early warning shot to the rest of the league he intends to grab his second MVP award.

4. Carmelo Anthony (62 pts)

Melo, seems to have kicked his habit of showing up two out of every three games. Maybe he finally realized that they NEED him every game and he is the main key to their success. If he can keep from having those down games and continues to play D, he should be in the MVP conversation at the end of the season.

5. Paul Pierce (54 pts)

Pierce has been Mr. Everything for the Celtics, and has been the superstar of the team. He’s shown that he can single handedly win games for them, and he knows when to take a back seat to let the others make plays. The question for him is, will his age catch up to him later in the season?

6. Dwyane Wade (48 pts)

Miami has cooled off since their hot start, and they’ll struggle to keep up with Atlanta and Orlando in the Southeast, but it’s no secret who’s running the show. They still have a respectable 10-7 record at the moment, and it’s no wonder where they’d be without D-Wade dropping 27, 5, and 5 each night.

7. Dirk Nowitzki (46 pts)

I’ve got to say Dirk is being screwed here at the 7th spot. Boiling it straight down to numbers, Dirk is averaging 27 points, 9 boards, and 3 assists a night. Factor in his 88% FT and 47% FG and he is making a massive impact on a surging 13-5 Mavericks team. I’m pissed… forget the rest of what I was going to write.

8. Joe Johnson (45 pts)

Atlanta has been taking steps forward each season, and this year looks like they might finally be on the brink of contention. They aren’t quite mentioned with the likes of the Lakers, Celtics, and Cavs, but they’re nipping at their heels. The Hawks are one of the more balanced teams, with huge contributions from Josh Smith, Al Horford, and Jamal Crawford, but this is still Joe Johnson’s team. He could probably afford to cut down his 3 point attempts, but the sky is the limit for this team. If they’re in the thick of things come April, Joe could very well find himself getting a handful of second and third place votes.

9. Kevin Durant (39 pts)

KD made his leap into the fantasy elite last season, and now is poised to make MVP runs regularly as he continues to improve his game. He’s a better version of Dirk in my mind, and has a lot more room to grow. I don’t see him winning the award this year, but as the Sonics, I mean Thunder get better he will surely be a candidate!

10. Deron Williams (22 pts)

Trailing only Steve Nash DWill is having himself a special season out in Utah. He’s very close to averaging 20 and 10, and if you round up, that’s exactly what he is. He’s helped make Boozer turn back into a superstar, and looks to make the Jazz a force come playoff time!

11. Brandon Roy (15 pts)

Has Portland keeping pace (2 games back) with division leader Denver. Plays 37 minutes/night while carrying Greg Oden around so he doesn’t hurt himself.

12. Josh Smith (11 pts)

Finally stopped jacking up threes and is blocking more shots instead.

13. Chris Bosh (9 pts)

He’ll get more love if Toronto’s record improves – or he makes more Youtube videos.

14. Dwight Howard (9 pts)

Probably should be a little higher, but collective effort in Orlando has taken away from his shine.

15. Tyreke Evans (8 pts)

A lot more likely to win the ROY than MVP, but he’s the primary reason for the NBA’s biggest surprise team in Sacramento (9-8)

16. Trevor Ariza (5 pts)

Like the Kings, the Rockets were supposed to struggle. Instead, Ariza is dropping 18 per game and leading the Rockets to an impressive start.

17. Brandon Jennings (4 pts)

Had the world in his hands after his 55 point outing, but his scoring, and the Bucks record, has been sliding of late.

18. Carlos Boozer (3 pts)

Back to his old form, averaging 20 and 10, just in time for a contract year.

19. Vince Carter  (1 pt)

Averaging 20 ppg, but jacking up wayyyyyy too many shots. Pass it to Rashard, Vince.

20. Rajon Rondo (0.5 pts)

Easily the most debated spot on our list. Rondo gets the nod over Kidd for being a better PG on a great team.

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Doin Lines Week 9

Rachel_Watson Bucs Cheerleader

Last week was good to get out of the way! The teams that had been covering all season (Indy and New Orleans) finally let me down. Oh well, I’m sure they could care less that their undefeated streak vs. the spread was broken. I had a really hard time last week flip flopping on my choices all the way up to game day, and this week looks like I might be having more tough decisions again. I went 2-4 and now am 20-22-1 on the year. You know how there are people that smell so bad that you can almost taste their awfulness? That tasty smell are the teams that have a week 9 bye; Oakland, Cleveland, Buffalo and St. Louis. What makes this week even more interesting is that there are a lot of 10+ point spreads with the mentioned teams sitting it out! I guess that shows you the parity in the league this season. As usual the home teams are in bold.

Cincinnati (+3) Over Baltimore

Carson Palmer Chad Ochocinco

Carson's been with Chad long enough to understand him... Or not!

The cardiac cats always seem to be in very tight games whether they end up pulling out the W or having a heartbreaker. Baltimore played an inspired game last week blowing out the Broncos and showed that they are still the force that many people put as the best team in the league early on. Baltimore seems to have a hard time putting in efforts like that in back to back weeks, so I see this being a close one. Cincy showed some promising flashbacks from that very explosive offense they had a couple of years ago. I don’t see Palmer and Benson having that same kind of success they had against the Bears, because this Ravens unit is better. It does look like their offense is rejuvenated, and with the presence of a running game they can move the ball late to tire out the elders on the Baltimore D. Since the Bengals are at home it’s tough for me not to take the points, especially since I could see them winning outright!

Atlanta (-10) Over Washington

roddy white catchWashington is arguably the worst team in the league, and I doubt they have enough in them to pull out any kind of upset on the road or even have enough defense to keep this one close. Atlanta is coming off a short week, but who cares when you get to play a team that can’t seem to do anything right. Matt Ryan and Gonzo should shred the middle of this defense all day long. If Zorn was a brand, he should probably start looking for a bailout plan. It’s been so bad in DC that the fans aren’t even allowed to bring in signs that make fun of this pathetic team. If I wasted my money to go watch my team lose games, I would demand the right to bring whatever sign I want into the stadium! I forecast Atlanta going up big early, and heavy doses of Turner throughout the second half.

Announcers talking about Brett Favre on Minnesota’s Bye Week (-50) Over the amount of coverage the Rams receive for the rest of the season.

I mean this line is self explanatory, but I would seriously bet on this!  This would be exclude plays and mentions of the Rams defense getting shredded against a good team!

Green Bay (-10) Over Tampa Bay

Ah, we move onto the only team left that still could match the Lions amazing winless record. The Bucs haven’t really shown that they even want to be out there on Sundays, and especially don’t show up against any team that is deemed competent. I wonder if you’ll be able to hear Packers fans in the stands since there’s no way this one will be sold out. Tampa does have an amazing crop of cheerleaders though, so fortunately Rachel won’t be the only one we see this season! It could very well be a fantasy firework show from Aaron Rodgers who has put up big numbers against some of the best of defenses in the league, and going up against one of the worst I foresee a 5 TD day. I bet the Packers D might even out score the Bucs in this one.

New Orleans (-13) Over Carolina

Darren Sharper interceptionI was disappointed to see the Saints not cover last weekend. I guess it was the opposite of the week before where Sharper snagged a pick 6 to cover with two minutes to go. This weekend, Atlanta scored in the last two minutes to cut the lead to 8 which killed the beating the spread hope, oh those Vegas guys always get you back (shaking fist in the air)! It was easily the Miller Lite disappointing moment of my Monday. New Orleans has proved they are good at two things. Scoring points, and putting pressure on opposing offense and making them make mistakes. Carolina’s offense just happens to have Jake Delhomme, who is turning the ball over like Matsui getting RBI’s. NOT a good thing going on anytime they are trailing, so I see no reason to doubt that the Saints will have neutralized the Panthers running game by being up by 21 at the half and forcing them to put it in Delhomme’s hands.

San Francisco (-4) Over Tennessee

I don’t really like this pick that much, but since the Niners held Indy in check I don’t see any reason that they can’t take the Titans down during their miserable season. The SF offense has looked a little better as of late with Alex Smith taking over. The emergence of Crabtree last weekend coupled with Vernon Davis’s breakout year it has to mean only better things are in store for them! Having some threats will even open up some more room for Frank Gore to run, and maybe give him a little less wear and tear so he can stay in the lineup. Tennessee has officially fallen into the crappy team section, which confirmed my preseason thought that they were a fluke last year. A Kerry Collins led team is never the way to go! They finally figured that out and threw Vince in there, but it doesn’t seem to matter at this point. The only thing exciting about them is Chris Johnson.

Philadelphia (-3) Over Dallas

Frank Drebin Naked GunThis should be a good one. I think it all comes down to Romosexual and whether he shows up or not. The Cowboys are so reliant on him, it’s pathetic. Any game he plays bad in they never win. In the always unfriendly City of Brotherly Love, I have my doubts of him settling down in this one. Frank Drebin, I mean Wade Phillips is lucky anytime they are successful. He doesn’t put them in good positions to succeed, but just gets plain lucky. On the other side Philly looks about as good as they ever have. Team chunky soup was supposed to be explosive because of Westbrook and Vick, and Brian has been in and out and Vick is ineffective thus far. The good news is they haven’t needed them as they have weapons all over the field, in Desean, Maclin, and McCoy. Mcnabb is always on the verge of Romo type stinker game too, but it usually comes on the heals of an injury opposed to randomly popping up, except that Oakland one he got a pass since the offensive line forgot they were blocking that day.


Warriors 2009-10 Season Preview: Lots of Upside, and Probably Lots of Growing Pains

Anthony Randolph won't hit his full stride for a few years, but this season we will see his true potential!

Anthony Randolph won't hit his full stride for a few years, but this season we will see his true potential!

Ready or not dubs fans the season is about to start for us on Wednesday against the Suns. We have about the same ceiling/basement as most recent Warriors seasons. I’m guessing our ceiling would be a 7th or 8th seed in the west, and our basement is, well, we know what the basement is all about from the last decade plus. I can understand why some of the players (Jackson and Ellis) are somewhat confused at the organizations lack of movement in any one direction this offseason. Even the movement they did make it was pretty suspect as they added even more guards to the roster. I can’t say there’s any reason to be shocked, and nor should any long time Warriors fan. It’s rough watching Rowell sign extensions and trade for point guards, but we understand that our ownership just doesn’t like to make normal decisions. Maybe Al Davis and Cohan speak regularly on how to make Bay Area fans miserable. The thing that has bugged me the most out of all of these years, is that we do have a great fan base, and are the fifth largest basketball market in the country. It’s been a widespread hope for years that Cohan would sell the team, but fans have been disappointed as talks died down each time. It’s just amazing that bigger named players can’t be brought here, since they are in such a good market. I guess the Cohan’s (losing) label has stuck a little too well forcing all free agents to head for the hills when the W’s call. Anyways, I have high hopes for this team in the near future maybe not this year per say, but sooner than later they should  mold into a solid cast, if we actually CAN keep them together.

Let’s start with the trouble makers that kept the Warriors camp relevant in the NBA news over the summer. I think I’ve said about all I can on Stephen Jackson, and how his time in a Warriors jersey was much appreciated, but now it’s time to for us and him to move on. I’ve been a huge fan of Monta Ellis since he was drafted by the Warriors, but this summer he proved that he still is slightly childish. He didn’t want the W’s to take a guard in the draft. Sure enough, they did. At the time I felt it would have been a big mistake to take anyone other than Curry, so I’m glad we did. He said that Curry and himself couldn’t play together, and it looks like they’re both in the starting lineup for Friday night. Maybe I just never noticed it, or maybe Jackson has rubbed off on Monta with his gripes. I can understand his points and where he’s coming from, but he should have done a little more research before he signed his contract! I hope he can suck it up, and just play like the guy that flew around the court and gave oppositions nightmares on defense. I think he will, and Nelson will use his ability’s well at the 2. I haven’t really seen anything promising as far as distributing the ball with him, so I’m not really buying he was cut out to man the point. I’m down for a surprise, if he can prove me wrong!

Curry didn't shoot well in the preseason, but he'll find his stroke.

Curry didn't shoot well in the preseason, but he'll find his stroke.

Which moves us to Curry. He seems to be the most professional about all the drama that has unfolded this offseason (maybe his daddy Del helped him out with that), but he’s been very composed considering a lot of it has surrounded him. I had mixed feelings when we drafted him as I’ve had a mancrush on him for at least three years, but it sounded like he didn’t want to come to Golden State. Before the draft he didn’t even want to work out for the W’s, and it was already upsetting one of our young stars (Monta) that he was being considered. Alas, I’ve come around after watching him play in a few games this pre-season with some actual pros. I really liked how he managed the game, and seemed to know how to run an offense showing off his high basketball IQ, which must just be a hereditary thing. Now that he’s been named the starter for opening night, I can only hope he makes more correct decisions that wrong ones. If he struggles early, I could see him out of the starting lineup quick, but with very little competition at PG I think he might stick. I’m sure some of his training this offseason with CP3 taught him a thing or two about being prepared. Nellie has been glowing about him, calling him a young Steve Nash. It’s pretty high praises, but Nellie says a lot of weird stuff!

Stephen Jackson, Anthony Randolph, and Andris Biendris are supposed to round out the lineup. Although Jackson and Randolph are both questionable it looks as though they will both play in the opener. Randolph’s back is slightly more concerning, but there are still a few days before the season starts for him to rest. The freakishly gifted Randolph showed off at the Summer Leagues, and is rinally ready to reel in some minutes, that should bump up his already impressive stats in a small sample size. It’s crazy that he might not even peak for another five years! He is finally out of Nellie’s doghouse through working extremely hard through the offseason, and once again is a main reason for optimism in Oakland. He added 20 pounds of muscle, and was constantly working on his game which should translate to a breakout campaign.

Biens blocking Josh Smith!

Biens blocking Josh Smith!

Biens could possibly be my favorite player on their team. I guess that Latvian charm wore off on me because I’m not really big on his style of play or the excitement level he creates when he’s on the court. It’s more on how he approaches the game, and has handled himself throughout his career as a Warrior. He never complained once about not having a contract until his was up. He has consistently gotten better each season in one area or another. He’s only 23! He appreciates the game and what he is a part of. This summer he reportedly has been expanding his offensive game. Word is he has been working on facing up, and post moves as defenders were playing his tendencies too much last season. It’s the one facet of his game that has always had criticism, and now he’s addressing it. Just one more reason to like this kid! No matter what happens, I think we’ll get our money’s worth out of him on the court.

Morrow was stroking it in the preseason!

Morrow was stroking it in the preseason!

Our bench should be very interesting this year. It will be shuffling who is coming off the bench based on who is starting, but with Morrow/Curry, Maggette, Turiaf, and Azubuike it looks like we should be able to outscore a lot of second teams in the league. Morrow and Maggette have been great this pre-season, and possibly the best looking players on the team at times. They are very efficient in scoring, so hopefully that will continue to through the start of the regular season. Morrow could be the most interesting Warrior this year. It’s likely he’ll see the same 20-25 minutes per game since Nellie loves the three, but since he has been working hard on his defense, he might find a few extra minutes if he truly has improved. I find that a lot of people forget we even have Maggette, which is understandable, but he is the physical type of player we need to wear teams down and get the foul counts up to be in the bonus late in games. We have plenty of scoring, but our main problem once again is that we’re painfully thin at forward, and really only have one true center on the roster. Hopefully a speedy recovery from Branden Wright can help that. I’m worried having a rotation of bigs that includes Mikki Moore. Should be an interesting season! I’m hoping for the best, but as always I will be prepared for the worst!


Who is the Best of the NFL’s Undefeated Teams?

The game looks easy for great players!

The game looks easy for great players!

After debating with some friends and co-workers about who is the best undefeated team in the league, I think I’ve made my choice,  and that choice would be the New Orleans Saints. The Saints have made the best case for this spot, and it all starts with Breeeeeesss! His complete demolition of the #1 rated NFC Giants defense was pretty much the marker for how good they are this season. I thought they were good before, but this past weekend has made me see the light! Their run so far has been nothing short of amazing, and their whole team seems to be on the same page on offense and defense. They’ve even showed they can run the ball, but teams will still scheme to stop Brees. They are truly a team that has everything working on all cylinders.  They have a great leader to keep the ship steered straight, and fired up at the same time. I think they are a gambling mans goldmine as they cover the spread every week. One more crazy Brees stat since I’m all over him like Tim Mclelland on those 3rd base calls tonight during the ALCS. He’s got 13 TD’s this season which is only 7 less than all the QB’s in the NFC South combined and he’s had a bye week.

I'd give Peyton the ball in a game against Bears...

I'd give Peyton the ball in a game against bears...

The Colts came in a close second, and it’s really hard to pick against the reasonable early choice for MVP, Peyton Manning, but at the moment I have them slotted in at #2. We really haven’t seen the Colts at full strength, so it’s tough to say what they’ll be like when Bob Sanders and corner back Kelvin Hayden return on defense. With the relentless Mathis and Freeney, it can only give offenses more problems to worry about. They also recently lost Vinitari the most clutch kicker in a long time! If they get healthy, they might be getting the ball back more often for Peyton to work his magic. Maybe it’s because they haven’t been tested by any truly good teams yet, so there isn’t real measuring stick to go by for them. It’s too bad we won’t find out this week as they should run over a hapless Rams team. I don’t think Vegas can set a line high enough for the Colts coming off a bye week playing the Rams. It’s probably my top pick in doin lines week 7! Anyways, the Colts have the most room to improve of the undefeated teams as Peyton gets better acquainted with his receivers, and their defense gets some extra swagger back with Sanders. Either way, they are going to be a force through the rest of the season.

I think Marshall is as surprised as everyone else that it's all working out in Denver!

I think Marshall is as surprised as everyone else that it's all working out in Denver!

The Broncos are a shocker to everybody except maybe, Bill Simmons… I might root against them because they are in my beloved Raiders division, but in the end they have been very impressive. They are balanced, and Orton doesn’t make mistakes. Who cares about his winning record as a QB, it’s all about their defense and preparation for the games. Sure Orton might be a good game manager, but he’s not anywhere near the same league as the two guys mentioned above.  The Broncos have seemed to be one step ahead of their competition every game, and at the perfect times. I along with many kept waiting for the, I told you so loss, but it keeps not happening. I guess they are for real. I kinda thought they were the real deal last year, and crumbled epically bad down the stretch, but this feels like and is a much different team. The only reason I still have a mild doubt is that they haven’t had one injury this year. They haven’t made one change to their regular season opening roster, which makes me wonder if they have any big holes in the backups positions. One crazy stat; they’ve only allowed 10 points on defense in the 2nd half of games. They’ve given up more special teams points in the 2nd half than defensive points. This just shows how great they are at making crucial halftime adjustments. If you can win half the battle you can win a lot of games, even the Raiders D proved that against the Eagles. Bystradaumas wrote a good piece on the Broncos D.

The Vikings come in fourth in this race. I think they have the weakest coach of the bunch, and seem to struggle to hold the big leads that they have had in nearly every game. Giving teams chances could have cost them two games. They could have easily lost to the 49ers and the Ravens. I just don’t have confidence in Childress when the game is on the line, but he’s been lucky so far. Childress feels like a guy that would rather have the clock run down instead of going for an extra score with :40 seconds before the half. His weak decisions will cost them a game at some point, and almost led them to a 4-2 record, which makes me feel like they are at the bottom of these four undefeated teams. I’m really mixed with the Vikes as I like AP and Jarred Allen, but Favre annoys the crap out of me! It’s really hard for me to like or dislike them. It’s really confusing me! So I’ll leave it to you to decide!


Doin Lines Week 6

This picture might be better to look at than watch the Raiders play this week.

I think she might be more accurate than JaMarcus... We should give her a shot at the starting job, right?!?

Ouch, I think that was about as good of a week as Rush Limbaugh’s had in the press. Just like his run it’s not the first time it’s happened! I think I must’ve been distracted making my picks like JaMarcus reviewing the game plan with a burger sitting in front of him. A rocky 1-6 weekend has led me to my first, uh oh, did I jinx myself by thinking I had it figured out!?! It’s a second straight week I’ve taken a Brady like roughing the QB ankle biter hits to my once amazing record. Now I’m 17-14, which isn’t anything to write home about. In all honesty, I expect better from myself. I think this was the week I was talking about on Doin Lines Week 4, when I thought a Brad Lidge type meltdown was coming. It did happen, but strangely it was a Ryan Madson type meltdown two weeks later, weird… Anyways, it’s good to get that bad week out of the way, and now I’m ready for a big comeback this Sunday! Here are my Week 6 picks. Same as before the home teams are in BOLD.

Minnesota (-3) Over Baltimore

It’s funny how after the first couple weeks of the season everybody had the Ravens as the best team in the league, which I really never agreed with. Minnesota will be tested in this game, but I think they have the firepower to get it done against the Ravens D. I really like how balanced they are. It used to be all AP, but now defenses have to scheme around the passing attack as well. Speaking of AP, he hasn’t had one of those freakish highlight reel games in awhile, so maybe he’s due. Chances are against that against Ray Ray and the Ravens, but he is the best back in the league so it’s always possible.

Chiefs (+6.5) Over Redskins

Jason Campbell looks confused way too much for me to have any confidence in him.

Whatever coach, just give me the damn play!

Exqueeze me? Baking powder? Did Vegas give the Redskins a touchdown spread? The Skins haven’t shown me enough to prove that they are worthy of being nearly a 7 point favorite. They barely escaped the Lambs by two! If the Skins showed any life against the really easy schedule they’ve had so far I might pick them, but when I honestly think KC could win this game outright I may as well take some points with that. It’s not that I think KC is close to good this year, but it seems like they actually are showing up to compete every game, and I do see them playing hard in this one. Kansas City gives up a lot of points, but Washington just can’t move the ball no matter who their playing. I look for this to be about as entertaining as last week’s Bills and Browns suckfest, so put your money on KC and just check the ticker.

New Orleans (-3) Over NY Giants

This is a tough one, and even though they both came off the bye weeks, I have to take the Saints at home. You might say the Giants played last week, but it was against the Raiders, so it was just a long scrimmage for them.This is a pretty good pregame ritual!

You could argue that the Saints have played better teams so far, and that would be true, as four of the Giants games were against teams with a combined 3-13 record. So by strength of schedule the Saints are the better team. I like good teams coming off bye weeks with plenty of time to study their opponent. Drew Brees with lots of time to prepare sounds like a setup for one of those MVP case building games. His crazy chant and dance ought to fire up the home team enough to put up 10 a quarter and give this Giants D something to actually test them. With Eli’s sort of injury, it’ll be interesting to see if the Saints bring some pressure early to test his durability.

Pittsburgh (-14) Over Cleveland

I’m not sure I buy that the Steelers are good this year, but I do buy that they are two touchdowns better than the  Browns. I’m still kind of shocked that the Browns are even in the win column, but someone had to win that game last week. I think Pittsburgh will blow this one open early, as their passing attack looked pretty good last week. I feel like they’ve been playing down to their opponent, but they’re due for a big blowout. It looks like Mendenhall is getting some nice big holes to run through lately, and I think that’s why the passing game is opening up for them. The Browns boast a 32nd ranked rush defense so I’m hoping we get to see Ben scramble for some always fun awkward white guy running moments.

Detroit (+13.5) Over Green Bay

I’m not sure why I like them to cover. Maybe it’s a little because I’m turning into a mini Lions fan from a gambling standpoint, or maybe it’s because they only lost by 8 to the defending champs. Either way, I like taking the points against an inconsistent Green Bay team. Do I think Detroit will win? Doubtful, but seeing their new frisky attitude shows me that they are starting to be considered a “team” instead of a “speed bump”. Also, since the Pack have had such a hard time protecting Rodgers it helps this choice, because the Lions pass rush is actually pretty good. I also think the surprisingly good Lions running game could do well against a bad run defense. Hopefully Megatron will be on the field, he’s definitely worth about 6 points to in this game.

TJ Houshmanzadeh Seahawks SeattleSeattle (-3) Over Arizona

I still think that both these teams suck, but one has to win, and I think it will be the home team as they get healthier. Seattle has the 9th ranked passing defense, so they should be able to at least somewhat contain the Arizona passing attack. On the other side, the Cards have the worst passing defense in the league ranked 32nd. Last week against Jacksonville it finally looked like Hasselbeck was getting comfortable with his receivers, which included a sighting of their big offseason acquisition TJ Whosyourmama. Maybe I got caught up after watching Sonicgate and am picking a bad team foolishly, but it’s tough to convince me Arizona wasn’t a red hot playoff fluke last season.


Doin Work’s 2009 NBA Fantasy Mock Draft

nbadraftIt’s hard to not get fired up about the basketball season by doing a mock draft! The NBA kind of sucks in some ways because if you are unfortunate and a few of your top two picks get injured your team is already pretty much done for the season. It’s weird how there are the top 35 guys in the league that help your fantasy team win, and the rest of your team is filled with streaky guys that can impress or disappoint you nightly. We did the first three rounds in a 12 team league, bookmark it if you need to for your draft!

#1 – Odom’s Shoulder Vein – Lebron James, Cleveland

Its Lebron enough said…..Last year however I took Chris Paul at #1 over Lebron and was able to run away with a league title. So, there is a possible consideration with not going with the King here. That thought is fleeting though, Lebron is easily the most multi-cat producer in the game, and will only get better and more dominating, and he is simply too good to pass up under any circumstance.

#2 – Hard on for Rajon – Kobe “Doin Work” Bryant, Los Angeles

He is the best guard in the league, he’s still in his prime, and they’ve added one of the best defenders in the league to help take a bit of pressure of him in Artest.  Let’s not forget Ariza wasn’t more than a role player still at mid-season before he started to get more minutes with Walton injured.  Kobe will get his shots and be fresher in the 4th qtr this year.

# 3 – Oden Retirement Home – Chris Paul, New Orleans

Chris Paul CP3 Dwight Howard Superman

CP3 over Superman

In 2007, I took Chris Paul with the 8th pick overall.  It was a great pick and he led me to an 8th place finish.  This time, getting him up at #3 means better picks to surround him with championship talent. Or does it?  Even though I missed the playoffs last year, this yahoo snaking order isn’t helping me get competitive!

#4 Walker Texas Granger – Danny Granger, Indiana Pacers

He may not be a superstar in the NBA like the guys picked around him, but he is a fantasy stud. He fills up the stat sheets, and I named my team after him, so I had no choice but to pick him! He killed me last year every time I was against the team that had him, and my strategy is to pick those guys this year.

#5 Cross Over Kings – Dwayne Wade, Miami

Extremely happy Dwyane Wade was available here at 5. I think a case can be made that is a top three player, and with his huge scoring ability I would consider drafting him ahead of Chris Paul. Health concerns the last several years have been an issue you can’t ignore with Wade, however last years strong season should temper some of those larger concerns. No reason not to consider Wade a corner stone player with your squad come draft day.

# 6 – Nelly’s Belly – Kevin Durant, Seattle

At least we briefly saw KD in a Sonic jersey

At least we briefly saw KD in a Sonic jersey

That’s not a typo.  Much like I refuse to call South Florida USF, I choose not to acknowledge that there is an NBA team in Oklahoma City and not Seattle.  Anyway, Durant has proved he can do more than just score, and he’s the Yahoo cover boy! He has to have a big year right?

#7 – Pippen Ain’t Easy – Dwight Howard, Orlando

Superman, nuff said.  Would like to see that FT % finally go up, lot’s of hype last year and only a small increase.  Losing Hedu can’t hurt him too much, especially with Nelson coming back healthy.

#8 –  Who’s the Bosh? – Dirk Nowitzski

I can’t lie, the clock was running down on my turn, and I figured I may as well start my team off with a the top white guy on the board who plays nearly every game every season, and is consistent. I almost picked my boy Bosh, but I’ve always believed that picking your favorite player will jinx your team ,so I’m staying away from my Canadian brethren.

#9 – Artest Dog Kennel Co. – Pau Gasol, Los Angeles

Yikes where did all of the players I have targeted go? Crap, literally every player I wanted (some I had no chance to grab at 9) went flying off the board in round one. I had to quickly scramble for a player I want that would deserve a top 9 pick…..With only a few seconds left to spare I took a leap of faith on Pau Gasol. 20 & 10 a night at PF is not a bad building block for your team I guess, however Gasol lacks that buzz you might want from your first pick. Pau is a totally different type of player I’m use to building around so early out of the gates.

# 10 – Sovinet Union – Chris Bosh, Toronto

If we were drafting haircuts, I wouldn’t take Bosh in the first round.  But, when it comes to ball, I’m a fan of lanky guys, and he fits the mold.  Plus, he’s in a contract year, and although he seems to have a good relationship with Toronto, I’m sure he wouldn’t mind being courted by a few large market American teams.

#11 – Be All You Camby – Al Jefferson, Minnesota

Al Jefferson dunk MinnesotaTalk about a team built around one player.  It’s like Big Al and a bunch of speedy guards and forwards (except Kevin Love of course).  And they are all mediocre at this point in their careers.  The Twolves will struggle, but Big Al will get his.  Let’s put it this way, the active backups at C currently listed on the roster are Ryan Hollins and Jared Reiner.  Exactly.

#12 – Baby Curry – Deron Williams, Utah

With an injury plagued start to his season last year, I look for Deron to have a big bounce back fantasy season. It’s not like he didn’t show that he wasn’t healthy last year as he averaged 11.5 assists after the All-Star break, and looked like a top fantasy player for a month or so. I didn’t hesitate to pick him with the last pick in the final round.

ROUND 2

#13 – Baby Curry – Amare Stoudamire, Phoenix

The Suns can only hope!

The Suns can only hope!

Goggle boy should fit nicely with Deron, as I now have a solid base for nearly every category. I see Stoudamire having a great year under Gentry, and without Shaq he is the unquestioned low post option everytime down the floor. He once again has something to prove so I’m betting he steps it up a notch! Rumor has it he’s even been working on his defense.

#14 – Be All You Camby – Tim “TIMMAY” Duncan

I won’t lie, I just went with a huge line up drafting Tiny Tim and Big Al back-to-back.  Timmy might have lost half a step, but we know him as the Big Fundamental for a reason: he’s always textbook in every move he makes.  And he’s one of the strongest two-way players in the game at his size.

# 15 – Sovinet Union – Brandon Roy, Portland

I don’t have any fancy numbers or theory on this pick.  I was just simply taking the best player on the board.  He may not put up all-around numbers, but I’d sure rather check his box scores than JR Rider, who was my other choice at this spot.

#16 – Artest Dog Kennel Co. – Chauncey Billups, Dever

With my rebounds and pts locked up early, my attention quickly turns to grabbing a top flight PG before they all disappear. I’ve always marveled at the consistency of Billups and the fantastic stat line he puts up each night….This was an easy pick for me.

#17 – Who’s the Bosh? – Gilbert Arenas, Washington

Does Gilbert have any game winners this year?

Does Gilbert have any game winners this year?

I can’t say that this isn’t a reach, but there is a ton of upside here. I hope he’s back to dominant form. I somehow feel like I could get him later, but why wait for something that feels so right. He could be the NBA and fantasy comeback player of the year, so I’ll roll the dice. I usually lose leagues anyways, so I may as well try out a new strategy.

#18 – Pippen Ain’t Easy – Carmelo Anthony, Denver

I can’t tell if this is a gamble or an insult to Melo, being drafted 18th after the likes of Roy, his teammate Billups, and Arenas who has been bed ridden for the past 3 years.  Melo is such a moody player, it’s ridiculous.  I can only pray his in whatever mood it takes to put up his potential more often than not.  He’s 30-10 followed by 15-5, but he is becoming a slightly more consistent at least.

# 19 – Nelly’s Belly – Derrick Rose, Chicago

Maybe I’m reaching here, but I’m probably still thinking about Game 1 of the Bulls – Celtics series last postseason.  I know he didn’t live up to that game for the remainder of the season, but he ended up averaging 20, 6, and 6 for the series.  If that’s where he’s leaving off, I can’t wait to see how he progresses in his second NBA season.

#20 – Cross Over Kings – Steve Nash, Phoenix

Point guards, point guards, point guards…..Did I say point guards? Teams that win fantasy basketball titles are rich with talent at the PG position, and if the opportunity presents itself in the early rounds I’ll be drafting the best player at this position every time. This is a keeper league we’re drafting for, so I didn’t think twice about snatching up Steve Nash here, and team him up with D-Wade. I love the nightly production I can expect from these two, but now will be turning my attention to boards, and three pts with future draft picks.

#21 – Walker Texas Granger – Devin Harris, New Jersey

With Vince gone, I think Harris will have to assert himself all season long, and that’s going to be good news for fantasy owners. Although he usually gets injured at one point in the season, he was probably my steal of the draft last year, so I’m thanking him by taking him here.

# 22 – Oden Retirement Home –  Joe Johnson, Atlanta

Joe Johnson Hawks jump shotJoe Johnson is like that girl who looks pretty good most of the time, but isn’t quite gorgeous.  But, every once in a while she’ll look smokin and she’ll, I mean he’ll put up a triple double and you fall in love.  We’ve had an on and off relationship in fantasy hoops over the last few years, but with Atlanta emerging as a playoff threat and rounding into their prime, I’m ready to commit to Joe.  Flanked by Josh Smith, Bibby, and Jamal Crawford, I think he’ll be at the center of that offense dishing out plenty of dimes to go with his strong scoring numbers.

#23 – Hard on for Rajon – David West, New Orleans

David West can thank two guys for making his job pretty damn easy: the unbelievable CP3, and Peja when he’s healthy.  We already know about CP3, he’s the best PG in the league.  But Peja takes a lot of bodies out to the perimeter to get a hand in his face, opening up the post for the talented West to operate.  Lots of chances for Off Rebs and he’s solid on D as well.  Nice balance to first pick Kobe.

#24 – Odom’s Shoulder Vein – Jose Calderon, Toronto

Waiting an entire two rounds to draft again is a steep price to pay for having the number pick, however I find in basketball rounds three and four are still rich in talent. Top tier point guards disappear quickly in the first three rounds and had to make my move here to pick one up. I was excited to see Calderon available and didn’t give anybody else serious thought. He seems like an ideal PG to team up with Lebron…Assists, steals, FG%, Pts, 3pts are already in good hands two picks in.

#25 – Odom’s Shoulder Vein – Gerald Wallace, Charlotte

Gerald Wallace BobcatsNot sure about this pick after I made it….In retrospect I think Vince Carter was the better value. It’s not like Wallace is a bad player or won’t even put up very similar numbers…but if I can the player that is on a much better team (ie Orlando) with less health concerns that’s usually the better move. In terms of over all production, I’m extremely happy with my first three picks.

#26 – Hard on for Rajon – Andre Igoudala, Philadelphia

The other AI is in for an even bigger season with the loss of veteran PG Andre Miller.  Besides, with so many Andre’s on the court it was getting confusing.  It looks as though Iguodala will be starting with Lou Williams at the point and Thaddeus Young at the 3, so there will be plenty of opportunity to score in this offense.  We all know his athletic ability alone is pretty special.

# 27 – Oden Retirement Home – Shawn Marion, Dallas

I’m not a Shawn Marion fan by any stretch of the imagination.  Once he left Phoenix, his fantasy value has deteriorated.  However, I feel like this is the year the Mavericks either make one last push, or blow it up completely.  If it’s the former, it’ll be because Marion is enjoying a comeback season pertaining to his fantasy relevance.

#28 – Walker Texas Granger– Kevin Garnett, Boston

This pick is a risky one, since Garnett’s production has been falling off faster than Raiders ticket sales, but hopefully he’ll be rejuvenated after getting the last couple months of last season off. I have little doubt that when he’s in there he’ll produce, the question is will he be in there?

#29 – Cross Over Kings – Antawn Jamison, Washington

Antawn Jamison WizardsHere in the third round I was looking for an all-around producer from either the SF or PF position. If I can find a scorer who boards, and can knock down some threes as well, I feel like this would be an ideal addition. Paul Piece was a serious candidate, but I was hoping to get a few more rebounds, which made Jamison the most viable player to go with. His average of 8+ boards a night to go along with 20 pts, and a few threes seem like a good fit. I would argue Jamison is one of the most under valued players in the league when it comes to fantasy players….

#30 – Nelly’s Belly – Josh Smith, Atlanta

The Josh Smith saga continues.  I jumped on the bandwagon early, and by the time he hit his fantasy peak, he was in someone else’s hands.  In his third run on my team in 5 years last season, he had a disappointing campaign.  This year, I’m hoping to pair him with Anthony Randolph in a later round and have the scariest fantasy team ever on paper!

#31 – Pippen Ain’t Easy – Rashard Lewis, Orlando

I guess I’m all in on the Magic offense after the loss of Hedu in the off-season.  Long-range Lewis and Superman will get a few more touches, and a healthy Jameer Nelson will give them great opportunities to excel.

#32 – Who’s the Bosh? – Rajon Rondo, Boston

Woohoo, hi-five!

Woohoo, hi-five!

I guess I might need a backup plan at PG in case Gilbert goes down, and Rondo is a dishing machine that should only get better with age! I’m not sure if he’s an alien or not, but it’s good to have another Sam Cassell looking guy in the league.

#33 – Artest Dog Kennel Co. – Vince Carter, Orlando

Wow….Vince Carter sitting here so late is a nice gift if you ask me. And it’s these types of players you draft in rounds 3, 4, and 5 that can net you a fantasy title. With Carter playing for a winning Orlando team full of talent, I think it’s reasonable to think he has a decent chance to put up top 15 type numbers this season. I feel great about having top players at PG, PF, and SF….Carter does carry some health risks, but those fears seem to only come up when he is playing for bad teams!

# 34 – Sovinet Union – Paul Pierce, Boston

The Celtics took a year off to celebrate, and this season should be the last chance for Pierce, Garnett, and Allen to get one more ring.  Since KG and Ray both have the durability of a pine cone, Paul Pierce is going to have to hold down the fort through much of the regular season.

#35 – Be All You Camby – Jason Kidd

After taking two big men, I’m delighted to see two great PGs left to choose from: Kidd and Tony Parker.  I’m going with Kidd only because he outs up better assist numbers and more 3 pointers.  The Dallas offense looks filthy with a healthy Josh Howard, Dirk and Terry, plus new addition Shawn Marion keeping plays alive and providing a bit of energy.

#36 – Baby Curry – Monta Ellis, Golden State

The Warriors camp has been the most active, and not in a good way. I hate to pick the guy that told my mancrush that he couldn’t play with him, but he should be primed for a big season whether or not they end up being competitive. Anyone guaranteed starters minutes on the dubs should be a good pick!


The MLB Playoffs on TBS!

TBS PostseasonThe MLB Divisional Series was kicked off today, and the most exciting game TBS has covered so far was the last game of the regular season. Not to say if your a Philly (won 5-1) or Yankee (won 7-2) fan it wasn’t a good day, but it just wasn’t all that exciting for the rest of us. The Dodgers game is the only one that’s been interesting so far. The Dodgers are currently up 3-2 going into the bottom of the 5th and are surprisingly ripping Carpenter. So this game could be promising! Watching the playoffs and the amazing last game of the regular season it has made me realize I just don’t enjoy any announcer combos baseball has to offer. Maybe they’re dumbing it down too much for the people who don’t know what’s going on, but I rarely hear anything remotely insightful. Maybe they use the sideline reporters too much, I think Craig Sager always scares me a little the first time I see him everynight. He gives me that hide your kids because I don’t know about this guy vibe, but at least we don’t have to hear them more than five or six times a game. One thing I’m a HUGE fan of TBS for having, is the pitch-by-pitch K zone up they throw in the corner for every batter. It almost makes up for the weak announcing crews that are scared to make anyone sound like a bad person. I’d love to hear them call guys out, and stop playing the soft story line. We need some more Charles Barkley’s on the air!

You can vote for more than one combo of announcers if you really think they are equally good… Is that even possible?


Doin Lines Week 2

Chalk Lines FootballOne week of the NFL season is in the books, and I could have sworn going into Monday Nights games with an 8-6 record vs. the spread I would come out with a winning week. Low and behold neither were blowouts, and I’m 8-8. I’ve always believed that the NFL is nearly impossible to win bets on a consistent basis. I guess it’s that way for pretty much any other sport too, unless you count the NBA in a Donaghy officiated game. As our blog mate (cali4dre) eloquently put on his post “Even the biggest underdog can rise up and play inspired football on any given week”. I felt good come out of the week going 5-2 on my confidence picks of 4 or 5. I’m glad to see the NFL back, and hopefully this is a good season! Anyways, here are my picks for week 2. It’s the same rules from last week as I will pick the winner, the home teams are in CAPS, and I will also give a confidence rating from 1-5 on how I feel about the pick.

Oakland (+3) Over KANSAS CITY

4, we live blogged the Raiders Monday Night game, and as a fan of the Raiders I have to say I was extremely satisfied with their efforts.Jamarcus Russell over throw There were so many question marks coming into the game, and unlike last year they showed up! Jamarcus will need to get past the, I hope this pass goes close to that wide open receiver, phase if they are going to ever get better. Kansas City played Baltimore tough, but if McGahee ran all over them, and I think McFadden and Bush will surely break off some big runs. Hopefully this can give Russell fewer opportunities to make mistakes aka wild throws. Oakland won in KC Week 2 last year, so I’m taking the points!

TENNESSEE Over (-6.5) Houston

2, this is a tough one for me, as I have a very hard time believing in Kerry Collins. I remember watching the post game interview after they lost Thursday, and he looked more dazed that Chong. He continually kept saying uhhh over and over in the interview. Pretty classic Collins. On the same notion I’ve always liked Jeff Fischer. Houston was disappointing at home against the Jets, and their offense will probably struggle more as they face a defense that brings even more pressure than New York. I’ll take my chances with the Titans at home!

New England (-3.5) Over NEW YORK JETS

5, Brady looked really rusty in the first half, but found a way to shake it off. I think this might be the game he breaks out in putting up the numbers that made him an MVP. Even last week in true lame Patriot form the ball rolled their way with a fumble, and all of a sudden they turned into 2007 Patriot mode. Is there any luckier franchise over the last decade getting those breaks?

The Jets, Mark Sanchez, looked very good in his debut. It had to have helped that Thomas Jones had a big day on the ground keeping some of that rookie QB pressure off Sanchez’s shoulders.Mark Sanchez Mexican Flag Mouthpiece I think Sanchez is going to need more than a running game and his Mexican Flag mouthpiece to take this one.

GREEN BAY Over (-9) Cincinnati

3, I don’t have much on this one, except I’m pretty confident that this will be won by the Packers in a major way at Lambeau Field. I’m always a believer that a team that is supposed to be a dynamic offense won’t struggle two weeks in a row, buy you can always count on the Bengals for the unexpected! If the Bengals can’t put up points against one of the worst defenses in the NFL (Denver) then how are they going to do against a pretty good looking defense? That’s what I thought…

Minnesota Over (-9.5) Over DETROIT

5, As much as I hate to take a road team at over two scores I have to do it. Detroit is the worst franchise in professional sports, and even a divisional rivalry game isn’t enough to sway me on this one.Adrian Peterson Stiff Arm The way the Saints marched all over the Lions should show signs that the Vikings should be doing the same. I would go back to the Monday Night games to re-think this one, but Detroit doesn’t have nearly enough talented players in this underdog story. On a side note, AP is on pace for 2,880 yards rushing with 48 TDs! I think he might even increase those projected numbers this weekend.

New Orleans (+1.5) Over PHILADELPHIA

3, With McNabb’s injury sounding like he’s probably going to be out, I’m forced to take New Orleans at this point in the week, even if it is in Philly. I actually think I might have picked the Saints either way with or without McNabb. The Saints weren’t all that consistent last year, but I think having a healthy roster is already making a difference.Drew Brees throwing And seriously if you had to pick between Kolb vs. Brees you have to put your money on Drew!

Carolina (+6.5) Over ATLANTA

2, I really don’t know what to expect with this one. Carolina played about as bad as you can last weekend, but they are a pretty good team. Atlanta on the other hand played okay, but showed some weak spots as they only had one drive longer than 50 yards. I think this one will be tight, so I’ll take the points.

WASHINGTON Over (-9.5) St. Louis

3, I was watching the Skins and Giants game when the Santanna Moss and Corey Webster scuffle broke out, and it made me smile. I think that was the moment I really felt like football was back! I can’t say I really liked the way the Redskins played, but they are going to play a terrible team in the Rams. The Rams seem to go backwards on offense, as they’ve racked up more penalties than the Raiders lately. Ten points is a lot to ask from the Redskins, especially since I think they might not take the Rams seriously enough, but in the end probably their second squad could probably cover ten…

JACKSONVILLE (-3) Over Arizona.

1, This game feels like a trap. I think Arizona might be pissed after their loss to SF, but do Jesus freaks like Kurt Warner even get pissed? I didn’t think so either, so I’ll have to take the Jaguars at home in this one. As you can see this is the first 1 confidence rating I’ve ever given, so to sum it up I really don’t care about this game.

SAN FRANCISCO (-1.5) Over Seattle

5, I really like this game. Seattle turned it over three times in the first quarter against the RAMS, with no consequence. They were at home, and failed to put up 50 which they could have against their horrendous D. I don’t think they can turn the ball over that much against anyone as good as the 49ers or a team at home. I’m not sold on everyone liking Seattle, because beating up the Rams is like giving up your spot in the drink line at the bar to a dude, it just doesn’t happen. I still wonder how much Crabtree could have helped SF out…

Tampa Bay (+4.5) Over BUFFALO

3, Can a team survive when their teammates house is being vandalized for losing the game? Can a team that blew a double digit lead on a short week come in fired up?Marshawn Lynch Stiff Arm My prognosis is, doubtful. They need a healthy Marshawn to soften up those coverages to get Evans and Owens some more looks. Tampa played decent against a good Cowboys squad. I think they could take this one from a flat Buffalo team. It’s my bold pick of the week.

DENVER (-3) Over Cleveland

2, This game has boring written all over it, and I don’t like to bet on bad teams. Even though the Broncos squeaked out a win, I feel like Josh McDaniels is coaching for his job already, and we’re only in week 2! I think he will deliver a win in their friendly confides of Mile High. Cleveland can’t even decide who they should have at QB as it took them until just before the season to pick between Anderson and Quinn. I almost thought they were going to change at the end of their game last week.

SAN DIEGO (-3) Over Baltimore

2, Not that I thought SD looked good last weekend against the Raiders. They seemed to sleep walk the same way the Patriots did through most of their game.Philip Rivers Crying pissed I think their home opener will be a win especially with the Ravens not taking it to Kansas City more. With Rivers temper is hotter than Derrick Jeter’s press coverage in New York, I hope we see Ray Lewis get into his head in this one!

Pittsburgh (-3) Over CHICAGO

1, Giving Da Bears three points in a home game. If there’s one thing we saw in their game against the Packers is that they still have a good defense. Another thing we saw was that Cutler might be missing something, like his receivers! One plus is Cutler won’t be having to scan the field with Polomalu roaming. I wouldn’t pick this game if I didn’t have to!

New York Giants (+3) Over DALLAS

3, New York wasn’t flashy last weekend, but they did show they could be very efficient. Their defense looks great with Osi in there again. I didn’t see any of Dallas and Tampa game, so that’s all I’ll say…

Indianapolis (-3) Over MIAMI

4, I don’t mind that Indy’s not the home team. They usually don’t let bettors down two weeks in a row. They will correct those drive ending problems they ran into last week, and put Flipper into submission. Has anyone else noticed there aren’t as many Peyton Manning commercials lately? I’m so happy that the networks got the hint! I mean he had a couple good ones, but how much does anyone want to see his face that much.


Doin Lines Week 1

Chalk linesThroughout the season I will be try to predict the outcomes of the NFL spreads. I used to gamble quite a bit, and had good and bad times with it. I think I would’ve done better if I hadn’t gone for so many parlays, but that makes it more exciting. Anyways, I’ve never kept track over a whole season, so this should be interesting. The home teams are in bold, and the first team listed is the favorite. I will also be giving a confidence rating on my picks with a scale of 1-5. A one would be “I like me betting on the Raiders, because they’re my favorite team”, and a 5 would be “Parlay this one with any other 5 on the board” Without further ado here is the predictions.

Pittsburgh (-6) Tennessee

3, It’s going to be tough for everyone going to Pittsburgh, but Tennessee proved last season that they are for real with their 12-4 mark, but are a fairly big underdog against the Steelers. The Titans have pretty much the same look as last year minus Haynesworth. They should be ready to at least cover in this one, since I feel like this line should be around -3. Plus, I have a feeling the Titans will want to pull out everything they have to get a win off the newly crowned champs.

Atlanta (-4) Miami

4, I felt like the Dolphins were huge overachievers last season. They wouldMichael Turner stiff arm Falcons probably do fine in the AFC West, but in their division I think it’ll be a long tough road for them. Their first game is going to be in hostile territory against a team looking to see improvement through acquisitions and growth from their young QB. The Falcons should cover this spread with all the offensive firepower they have.

Baltimore (-13) Kansas City

2, It’s always hard to tell how crappy a team is going to be. I doubt that KC will win this, but can you really give a guy named Flacco enough confidence in covering a two TD spread? I didn’t think so. KC will kill a few bettors at the end of this game scoring some points in garbage time. They seemed to do that well last year even with Thigpen.

Philadelphia (-1.5) Carolina

2, this is a tough one. I don’t like it when the home team isn’t favored, but in this one I can’t argue. Carolina’s often stalling offense is always a roller coaster that I wouldn’t bet a replica ring on.Donovan Mcnabb McNabb has two weeks to prove he is the undisputed starter, so I like Philly taking this one either by a good offensive effort or Jake Delhomme choking it away.

Cincinnati (-4.5) Denver

3, With all the drama in Denver this off-season it’s hard to tell what is going to come out of the once proud franchise. Saying they are dysfunctional is an understatement, but saying Cincinatti hasn’t had it’s problems isn’t fair either. I don’t like any team coming off as many problems and changes as Denver had this off-season, and they won’t figure it out until it’s too late.

Minnesota (-4) Cleveland

5, Like I said before I don’t like road teams being favored, but I really can’t bet on a franchise that just named it’s starter today, Quinn. Cleveland didn’t make any upgrades and sorely needed to over the off-season. Minnesota should run away with this one. We could even see a chunk of playing time for Tavaris or a tryout from Anderson if Quinn struggles…

Houston (-4.5) NY Jets

4, it’s Mark Sanchez’s first start as a pro, and I have a feeling that he’s going to get acquainted with Mario Williams early and often.Mario Williams If the Jets had a solid running game or receivers that didn’t disappear, I’d give them a chance. Schaub is expected to go today, so as long as that stays the same I’m taking the Texans.

Indianapolis (-7) Jacksonville

3, I think it would be impossible to pick anyone but Indy at home. Jacksonville usually gives them a good fight, but in a home opener it’s going to be hard for the Jaguars to pull it out especially with their disappointing 5 win campaign last season. I think the Colts will start the season as they usually do undefeated with a convincing win.

New Orleans (-13) Detroit

5, The question is when will the Saints be up by 13? First half? First quarter? Watch the bottom line or your stat tracker to see just how many they can put up. I don’t see the Lions 20 game losing streak ending in week 1 especially in a tough environment.

Dallas (-6) Tampa Bay

4, Tampa Bay is in shambles after barely missing the playoffs last year. They are doing an overhaul with minimal talent, so it’s pretty hard not to like the Cowboys in this one. Dallas will probably run a little more smoothly with TO out of the way. Look for the Buccaneers fans to be one of the blackout teams soon.

Arizona (-6.5) San Francisco

2, I really don’t know what to expect from this one. I’ll loosely pick the Niners to cover.Kurt Warner Cardinals old Arizona had an incredible season last year, but I don’t see lightning striking twice. It was kind of funny watching Kurt Warner fall to late rounds in nearly all my fantasy drafts. That has to say something about their chances.

NY Giants (-6.5) Washington

2, it seems like the Giants start off strong and slowly fade away as the season wears on. If Eli had one good receiver, I’d probably bump up my confidence rating, but in this rivalry game it’s always tough to give a team nearly a TD. Washington just ends up being disappointing every season, and this year doesn’t look much brighter, as I see the Giants taking this one.

Seattle (-8.5) St. Louis

3, One rule I have is never to bet on crappy teams, because you never know what you’ll get. Seattle vs. St. Louis definitely fits that mold, and I can’t really give more than a TD to any team I deem crappy. St. Louis should make this competitive while they cover the spread.

Green Bay (-3.5) Chicago

4, I like the way the Packers look this year.Greg Jennings Packers Rodgers has a lot of guys to throw to, and proved that he is going to be a good starter for years to come. The Bears have issues on defense especially against the passing game. I like the Pack to set the division tone with a convincing win.

New England (-11) Buffalo

4, If Brady is indeed back to 07′ form, we could see the stats that only a QB on Madden puts up. I don’t really see the impact of TO on the field overshadowing the gaping hole left by Lynch in the backfield. I think Buffalo is a decent team, but they are no match for the Pats in Foxboro on opening night. There could be two Monday night blowouts.

San Diego (-9.5) Oakland

2, it’s never easy picking against your team especially when they are giving a TD plus, but the Raiders are starting to mirror the Timberwolves as their franchise spirals out of control. They have talent, but no direction. On a side note, I hope Gruden calls this game on ESPN, it would be nice to hear what he has to say about his former employer! Plus I caught him during a pre-season game and he was pretty funny.


Early Predictions for the MVP

Joe Mauer batting

Mauer has been my fantasy teams MVP this season, but does he have a case for the AL MVP this year? Currently ranked 3rd in Yahoo fantasy games, Mauer figures to be a top contender in the running for AL MVP. You can’t say that he’s been a huge surprise, because he’s always been an elite hitter consistently in the batting title race, but it’s his home run totals that have made his case much stronger for being the MVP this year. It’s pretty tough to argue with the man’s stats so far, .383 average (1st in majors), slugging .643 (1st in majors), 1.088 OPS (1st in majors), 25 homers (10th in AL), and 77 RBI’s on the season even after missing nearly the whole first month. It’s too bad the Twins are starting to fade back in the race for the central, but I feel he should win the AL MVP if he keeps his current pace. Who knows, a .400 batting average may not be out of reach either!

I don’t blame people for picking Mark Teixeira as he is having a great season with 30 homers and 86 RBI’s, but he hasn’t had the better overall season that Mauer has.Mark Teixeira home run They are both top notch gold glovers on the defensive side at their positions, so that’s a wash. Besides, nobody picks the MVP based on their defense, because that’s what gold gloves are for. If I did for argument’s sake, I’d have to say playing catcher would have to be a little more difficult than first base. In evaluating an MVP, you have to include other factors like the ballparks they play in. The new Yankee stadium is obviously a hitter’s park, while the Metrodome is much more of a pitcher’s park. Maybe that doesn’t even out the home run totals, but when you look at the fact that only 11 of Teixeira’s homers are on the road, it has to be weighed in. The Yankees have scored sixty more runs than the Twins this year. I’d assume that that is why Teixeira has more RBI’s as he has more chances. Stats would support that as well as Mauer is hitting .403 with RISP, and Tex is hitting .258 with RISP. Who is more clutch for their team? Numbers say Mauer.

Many argue that the MVP should come from a team that is going to the playoffs. This definitely hurts my Mauer argument, but it’s unlike basketball where it’s basically a requirement to be on the best team.Kobe Bryant Shooting Baseball’s voters don’t limit their view to the best teams as there have been 47 MVP’s that didn’t make the playoffs. It is one of the criteria, but it isn’t weighed nearly as heavily as football and baseball. If Kobe wants to try to take the MVP he can chuck up 50 shots a game, and surely he’ll average 35 per. Drew Brees can throw the ball 50 times in a game to put up crazy numbers (Wait, he already does that. Bad example.), but in baseball a hitter only comes to the plate once every nine players. He can’t control how many times he bats or if his teammates don’t do anything at the plate. So penalizing Mauer because his teammates are worse is unfair.

As for the NL MVP race, it’s pretty clear cut that Pujols is leading the way. He doesn’t look like he’ll win the triple crown, but it’s still not out of reach for him. He should be going for his fourth or fifth MVP by now, but for some reason the voters decided to pick someone that is more valuable to a team than him a few times. Most recently, I don’t see how Ryan Howard won the MVP over him last season. Not that Howards numbers weren’t incredible, but how can anyone really say that Pujols isn’t more valuable to his team than Howard?Albert Pujols home run The Phillies have three guys that can potentially win the MVP  every year. The easiest way to prove this theory is seeing how well Ibanez has benefitted from moving to a hitter friendly park and hitter friendly lineup. He is even in the race for the NL MVP if he can shake off the post injury rust. It’s like the Teixeira argument; he just has better players around him to help him put those stats up. Now that Pujols is matched with Holliday, his numbers should be indisputable by seasons end.


Some Contracts Really Are Killers

Homer Simpson Doh

There are a lot of bad contracts for baseball players every year, but there are a few of them that must have had Ray Charles reading them over before they were inked in. In making this list, I decided to make a couple of parameters. The contract has to go through at least next season. The entire body of the contract has to be bad. For example, you really can’t argue against the $18 million Derek Jeter is due to make next year as being overpriced.Derek Jeter If you look at how great the first seven years of his contract were for the Yankees, I’m sure there would be no hesitation in a do-over situation. You could say that someone like Eric Chavez would qualify as he’s due to make $11 million next season, and he has only played 418 games over the last 5 years of his 6 year contract. But on the flip side I can understand why they picked him to build a team around him at the time. He was never on the DL and won six straight gold gloves averaging nearly 25 HR’s and 100 RBI per season. So really when they signed him, it wasn’t quite as ridiculous as it looks. Here are a few of the ugliest contract situations in the MLB right now.

It’s hard not to ignore the third Blue Jays since they have been under the Riccardi regime, they seem to like to cut contracts short. BJ Ryan, who is now out of baseball is owed $10 million next year. I guess they shouldn’t sign pitchers at the ripe age of 30 to five year deals coming off their first and really only good season of their career. They also dumped Frank Thomas last year and nobody wanted to pick up the tab on him either. They were scared of Alex Rios and his outrageous contract, but were lucky enough to get bailed out by the White Sox earlier this week. Come to think of it, just based on these three horrific contracts, how is JP still running things across the border!?! Must be some kind of Canadian loyalty or a forgive and forget kind of thing.Vernon Wells Vernon Wells is about as ridiculous as it gets! He’s owed $23 million in 2011 and $21 million in 2012. He isn’t a good defender, and isn’t exactly tearing the cover off the ball. He has a no trade clause as if anyone would want to take on that money. Wait, maybe the White Sox will!?!

Sorry Tony, but your Cubbies have a few monster contracts on the list. Soriano is tough to top as he’s due to turn 34 this off-season, and the Cubs owe him $18 million annually through 2014. He was a 40-40 guy when they signed him, but he was turning 31! It’s tough to justify giving him 8 years, and he may prove me wrong but since they signed him he’s been more of a 20-20 guy, and you can definately get that for cheaper. Milton Bradley is owed $9 million in 2010 and $12 million in 2011, for having half a good season in Texas before they signed him. Zambrano and Ramierez could be killers at the end of theirs, but we’ll see since they’re still doing well.

It’s impossible to avoid Barry Zito’s contract in San Francisco. He’s going to get about $19 million for the next four years, and it’s the most widely criticized contract among the baseball world.Barry Zito If anything, you just hope the Giants learned their lesson after this one. They really didn’t though as they overpaid for Renteria this offseason, but not to the extent of Aaron Rowand’s deal that is in place. Rowand is going to make $12 million annually for the next three years. He did come off a great season, but since going to SF he hasn’t really showed that he was worth the money. I think he was on the over-rated side defensively to begin with. Yeah, he made some amazing catches, but overall he isn’t anything that special to warrant that much money.

My favorite team to hate, the Angels, and Gary Matthews ugly contract will always makes me smile as long as it exists. He’s got two years left for nearly $12 million a year. He hitting a solid .250 in his Angels career and is holding down the fourth outfielder spot.Gary Matthews Jr. Fuentes contract isn’t ridiculous, but personally I would have gone for something cheaper as he’s owed $10 million next year. At least his contract is a short one. Carlos Lee gets an honorable mention. He’s still a solid hitter, but how long can it last? He’s going to make $18.5 million annually for the next three years. He can’t run the bases or play in the outfield, so once he stops hitting it will look ridiculous. He looks to be on the road to being the next Travis Hafner, but at least the Indians only owe him $13 million annually over the next three years. As we wave goodbye to the steroid era (At least, I think) and the gross over spending on contracts for players on PED’s, I think lists like mine will shrink. If it doesn’t, we can blame it on GM’s like JP Riccardi!


Doin MLB Power Rankings

mlb team logos

#1 Los Angeles Dodgers – In the 2nd edition of the Doin Work Power Rankings, the Dodgers are still in the #1 spot. We’ll see if Schmidt can do anything for them. manny bobbleheadI almost dropped them to #2 after seeing the new look Cardinals win their second in a row against them, but you can’t argue with the best record in the league!

#2 New York Yankees – The Yankees have won 23 of their past 29, and have seemed like the unstoppable machine that we had expected when they signed all those $100 million contracts this off season. They seem to be rolling full steam ahead and good luck to anyone playing them now. They are closing in on the Dodgers for the #1 spot.

#3 Boston Red Sox – You can’t go against a team with good pitching and depth! They are in the toughest division, and are surviving the worst team wide hitting slump of the season. I’m guessing they will make a run at Cliff Lee to sure up those holes in their starting rotation that injuries left behind.

#4 Los Angeles Angels – Yes, 2 Los Angeles teams in the top 4! And yes, I assure you there are plenty of fair weather fans roaming the streets of Southern California, I see them every day. ervin santanaThe Angels seem to be catching fire winning 3 out of 4 from the Twins, and winning 12 of their last 15. They need to get someone so they don’t have to rely on Santana, because he looks like a black hole in the rotation.

#5 Philadelphia Phillies – Looks like they keep getting denied on the Halladay offers. If that goes through they’ll be impossible to beat when he’s on the mound. They are averaging 5.49 runs per game second to only the Yankees. They look like they could wrap their division up by Labor Day if nobody gets hot.

#6 Texas Rangers – The Rangers look for real this year, keeping the Angels in check. They’ve won 7 of their last 8. Their offense struggled after the All-Star Break, but it looks like they found their swings again putting up 12 runs in their last two games.

#7 Tampa Bay Rays – It might be a good thing for them to be somewhat “under the radar”. Scott KazmirMaybe not to the extent they were last year, but if they can figure out a way to get Kazmir and Price functioning properly they should make a push at the wild card spot.

#8 Chicago Cubs – They are on fire winning their last 5 games and 12 of their last 14. Although it’s been weak competition, they still have overtaken the Cardinals for the top spot in the division. We’ll see if this winning lasts when the competition gets better.

#9 Detroit Tigers – The Tigers have a plethora of pitching and a ballpark that caters to pitchers, which probably explains their 31-16 home record. Rick Porcello has been a nice surprise, but it’s been Fernando Rodney’s 21 saves in 21 opportunities that has stabilized the 9th inning all year.

#10 St. Louis Cardinals – With Holliday and Derosa in the lineup, they looked really good against the top ranked Dodgers. You could even say they have a lineup that’s scary! I think they look poised to battle with the Cubs in the NL Central.Matt Holliday

#11 Colorado Rockies – The Rockies have gone 34-13 since June 4th which has them in the lead for the NL Wild Card at the moment. Surprisingly, their pitching has been the part of the team that has shined over that stretch. We’ll see if that keeps up in the thin air.

#12 San Francisco Giants – If the Giants make a trade for a hitter, they could make the jump into playoff contender. As it stands they may win the Wild Card, but I don’t see them making it very far if they do make it. Their pitching can only get them so far.

#13 Chicago White Sox – Their bright spot was Buehrle’s perfection. Their bad spot, is the middle of their order where they are getting no production in the home run department from Dye, Thome, or Konerko. If they are going to go anywhere, they need these guys to start hitting.

#14 Atlanta Braves – They’ve been playing well, but they aren’t going to even get a whiff of the Phillies in the division race. Say what you want about Ryan Church for Jeff Francoeur, but it seems like there’s a change in the clubhouse attitude.  Their starting pitchers have a combined 3 loses in the month of July.

#15 Seattle Mariners – King Felix finally looked human tonight giving up more than one earned run for the first time in his last 13 starts! Felix HernandezSeattle seems to be fading behind the Rangers and Angels, but look much improved over the past few teams they put out there.

#16 Florida Marlins – Han Ram is hitting a eye-popping .427 with runners in scoring position. He is also the league leader in BA. They are so up and down, I’m not sure what to make of them. I think they’ll finish out the season around the .500 mark.

#17 Houston Astros – Nobody could figure out how they were doing as well as they were, but it looks like they are falling back to earth as the wins aren’t coming as easily as they were. A rough series against the Cubs pushed them backwards in their quest for a division title.

#18 Milwakee Brewers – The Brewers, just like the Astros have hit a rough patch going 3-7 in their last 10 games. prince fielderIf they don’t make a move at the trade deadline, Prince and company may have to slug their way into the playoffs. I don’t like the odds of that happening.

#19 Minnesota Twins – Minnesota looked bad on their westcoast swing losing games to the A’s and the Angels in every way possible. They should have a shot at the division if they can straighten out that rotation, and stop letting other teams put up those crooked numbers on a nightly basis. Their offense has been good, but that means nothing when you can’t stop the other team.

#20 New York Mets – They haven’t looked like a playoff team, and the injuries have piled up over the season. It may have been too much to overcome. Since no New York team is ever a seller, look for them to try to make a move that will give their fans at least a little hope.

#21 Toronto Blue Jays – We’ve all been wondering where Halladay will go or if he’ll even go. It’s starting to remind me of the Favre saga. The Blue Jays have had a nice run lately with all their players trying to showcase their skills in hopes of being traded out of the Canadian black hole to a contender.

#22 Cincinnati Reds – At least they stopped their losing streak against San Diego. Brandon PhillipsThey haven’t shown signs of anything good or consistent. The emergence of Brandon Phillips bat has helped fantasy teams out though. They seem to be stuck in the same situation year after year, and yup, it’s a bad one.

#23 Oakland Athletics – Possibly too high for a bottom dweller, but their pitching continues to mold towards next year as some of the rookie starters have shown promise. The question now is, when will they throw Brett Wallace into the mix!?!

#24 Pittsburgh Pirates – The Pirates have been shut out a league leading 11 times this season. I thought they may add to that total, but Lincecum settled for striking out 15 of them and going the distance.  The Pirates should be sellers at the deadline, but they really don’t have much to sell…

#25 Cleveland Indians – Cliff Lee has regained his Cy Young form after a rocky start. It seems like everyone on their team is on the trading block. We’ll see if any deals get done, as they have some players that could be very valuable to a contender.

#26 Arizona Diamondbacks – Mark Reynolds and Dan Haren have been the only two bright spots to their season so far. Maybe they gave up too much a couple years ago to get Haren, so they have no options behind him. Maybe the fans have something to look forward to other than every Haren start, but I’m not sure what that is.

#27 Baltimore Orioles – The Orioles are letting the young guys take over, and the young guys aren’t winning. They need to move some guys like Mora to shake it up and get some pitching.

#28 Kansas City Royals – The Royals are good at one thing, and they keep doing it well. Being in last place is a staple for this team, and they are making a push to stay there losing 80% of the time over their last two weeks.

#29 San Diego Padres – They have Adrian Gonzalez, so at least it’s worth it to go to the park to watch him bat a few times. He has played in 308 consecutive games, which is a club record and the longest current streak in the MLB.

#30 Washington Nationals – Willingham got them in the news with his 2 grand slams. They might even be able to trade him for something now!


Doin Work 2009 NBA Mock Draft

Maybe it’s no coincidence that the NBA Draft falls on June 25th this year, which happens to be my birthday. Since I’ll be getting crushed at a bar Thursday with my iPhone out, watching each pick unfold, and then going home and watching it again on DVR I figured I might as well come up with a mock draft. So, let’s get started………

blake-griffinLos Angeles (Clippers) #1 Blake Griffin: What can we say about this pick? Nothing really, it’s the brain dead easy choice in a parity driven draft. What we’ll be writing about it in a few years is anybody’s guess, especially with the Clippers landing the golden ticket. My hunch, Griffin is a three or four time all-star by the time his career is over. If he can achieve that in a Clippers uniform, then this is the best thing to happen to the organization since Don Sterling died….wait……never mind.

NCAA San Diego Connecticut BasketballMemphis #2 Hasheem Thabeet: Speaking of the Clippers, I think the Grizzlies are the “New Clippers” of the NBA if that makes any sense. After GIVING away Paul Gasol last year, you have to wonder what motives this team has to field a quality product. Anyhow, the front line is the worst in the NBA, and the Grizz haven’t had any success with their other Spanish players (Gasol & Navarro), touching another doesn’t seem plausible. Thabeet and his 153lbs shot blocking force seems like the easy pick here.

rickyrubioOklahoma City #3 Ricky Rubio: Who knows what happens here. Sam Presti is a genius, and will take in every scenario before pulling the trigger on anything. The back court is young, dynamic, and flexible. Rubio seems to fit the mold of an upside-rich player who will have time to grow as the team continues to build over the next few years. Side Note: a trade here is very possible for a team that may have an offer which includes a veteran and salary cap relief.

33817685_Nike_Hoop_SummitSacramento #4 Tyreke Evans: “It was a man beating up boys.” Strong words coming out of Sacramento…especially with the likes of Flynn and Curry he was apparently dropping whoop ass on. Evans strikes me as the type of player who gets drafted with little hype and immediately kills it in the NBA, leaving everybody saying “why the hell didn’t we see this coming.” I love this pick much more for the Kings, who don’t seem to have a situation that allows Rubio to mold his game into NBA form in the near term. Kings fans should be happy if this pick pans out.

harden3Washington #5 James Harden: First things first, Washington trades this pick. But for simplicity (and because I’m not a wordsmith like Bill Simmons) we’ll just select Harden. I don’t have much to say about Harden….I’m totally at a loss after his NCAA Tournament showing, and I can’t shake his final game from my mind. I’m guessing the Wizards can’t either to be honest. His overall skills and ability can’t be argued however, and he makes a nice addition to the Wizards back court. Nick Young may not be the long term answer at SG anyhow.

*Nov 21 - 00:05*Minnesota #6 Jonny Flynn: Flynn has been making waves in pre-draft work outs, and I can’t see him slipping very far. He may not be the best fit for Minnesota, but I think he has convinced enough GM’s that letting him slide would be at their own risk.  He’s a ballsy East Coast point guard, who has the skills and moxy to step right in and be a leader. No other PG is on the table with so few questions (ie. holiday, Jennings).

amd_stephencurryGolden State #7 Stephan Curry: Cloudy times in Golden State, with Larry Riley taking over the helm for Chris Mullen in the front office, and Monta Ellis apparently speaking out that he wants to be the lone ranger at point guard or risk demanding a trade. If the Warriors were to take the easy way out, Jordan Hill from Arizona slides in here. But this is Golden State we’re talking about!! Despite Curry refusing to schedule work outs with the Warriors, his leverage to avoid getting drafted here is nil. Tons of buzz, deadly outside shooting, and an identical player to Ellis makes drafting him impossible to pass up for the always entertaining Golden State Warriors (oh and his gun slinging tendencies make Nelly want to break out another twelver of bud light).

jrueholidayNew York #8 Jrue Holiday: I’m not sure who is more distraught here: Stephan Curry or the Knicks! Having said that, New York must immediately shift there focus to the remaining young point guards left on the board. Despite Holiday’s struggles at UCLA, he showed flashes of amazing skill, and it became obvious later in the season that Ben Howland’s system was reining in Holiday far too much. The fast pace, open floor offense of D’Antoni’s makes Holiday a better choice then Brandon Jennings, who lacks some of the physical attributes of Jrue. Not an ideal situation for the Knicks, but still a solid upside pick nonetheless.

demar-derozan-deuxToronto #9 DeMar DeRozan: With Anthony Parker and Shawn Marion approaching free agency in July, addressing the wing position seems like the most realistic direction. Let’s assume Parker re-signs, and Marion walks shall we? Bringing in an offensive scorer at the two guard spot seems ideal, and DeRozan looks like a pretty good fit. His overall game is still extremely raw, but no other pick really jumps out here. An outside chance exists that the Raptors take Jordan Hill instead based on just the value of his slide, but not likely.

brandon-jennings-u-of-aMilwaukee #10 Brandon Jennings: Ramon Sessions is a free agent this summer, and Luke Ridnour is not the answer in a full time role. Brandon Jennings is a great fit here, especially if Sessions bolts for more money elsewhere. Milwaukee would also be a low key franchise for Jennings to play as he adapts to the NBA. Although his struggles overseas were well documented, he may posses some of the greatest upside and flash in the draft. Picking him on the back end of the lottery is a low risk situation for the Bucks, and a great fit for Jennings.

jordanhill2_mediumNew Jersey #11 Jordan Hill: Rod Thorn, the Net’s GM has been very public in his desire to draft a forward and get a bruiser in the process. I’m not sure Hill qualifies as any sort of enforcer at the NBA level, but his skills and size certainly outweigh  the other limitations of say Tyler Hansbourgh. Hill and Lopez would actually be a solid young core at center and power forward, on both sides of the ball. This could be back to back draft coups for New Jersey if Hill in facts slips this far.

terrence_williams_80236187Charlotte #12 Terence Williams: I have to site my sources on this one. After reading Chad Ford’s intel on his buzz page over at ESPN I’ve gone ahead and taken this pick from him (hell the man get’s paid to know his shit right?). I’ve had Gerald Henderson slotted here from the day he announced he was entering the draft. In fact I’ve had any player from Duke or North Carolina in this year’s draft here as well for back up. Apparently much has changed in the last week, and Williams has impressed everybody in Charlotte with his workouts and interviews. With rumors flying that Gerald Wallace is on the trading block, Williams maybe an ideal replacement, and makes more sense over Henderson who comes with questions marks.

TP_262134_CASS_acc11_12Indiana #13 Ty Lawson: Unless somebody out of the blue falls to Indiana, the Pacers have said there looking to draft a point guard. Although Jeff Teague and Eric Maynor may have some more desirable upside, you can’t match the hard nosed, winning background of Lawson. He brings solid ability and ball handling, and an impressive resume of winning at the college level. He may not have some of the athletic flash NBA scouts covet, but you’re also not drafting a bust here either. Long term stability, and a productive NBA player isn’t a bad get at 13.

gerald-hendersonPhoenix #14 Gerald Henderson: Ugh, I’m not sure what Phoenix does here to be honest. There are a million different places that they can go, including the chance they move up the draft board or trade out of the first round entirely in a deal that includes Shaq getting shipped out town at the same time. If Phoenix is set on drafting completely on upside, Austin Daye from Gonzaga seems logical in the Sun’s system. In the end I think Henderson gets the nod, but nothing surprises me at this point if the Suns go a different direction.