Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Timmaayy Drops the Ball..

So here is my take on the Tim Thomas situation.. I wouldn't call myself a person who is into politics, I watch some debates, I usually know the candidates and where they stand and I vote, that's about it. I will never pretend to understand what Tim Thomas was trying to prove yesterday because he clearly has much more deep rooted beliefs about politics than I do, but in my opinion yesterday had nothing to do with politics and Thomas chose to make it about that.

For any of you who do not know, The Boston Bruins were hosted at the White House by president Barack Obama on Monday. This is an annual event for the championship team of the 4 major sports. Tim Thomas decided because of his "beliefs" he was not going to attend this event even with the urging of the organization over the last 2 months leading up to the event. Here is what Thomas later posted about the situation on a facebook page..

"I believe the Federal government has grown out of control, threatening the Rights, Liberties, and Property of the People. This is being done at the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial level. This is in direct opposition to the Constitution and the Founding Fathers vision for the Federal government. Because I believe this, today I exercised my right as a Free Citizen, and did not visit the White House. This was not about politics or party, as in my opinion both parties are responsible for the situation we are in as a country. This was about a choice I had to make as an INDIVIDUAL."

Tim here is what I have to say to you.. You say it wasn't about politics and you say it wasn't about party (Thomas is a strong supporter of the Team Party), but then everything you said was about politics? But whatever, that is all fine and dandy and you are more than welcome to have your beliefs, butttt Mr. Obama invited the Boston Bruins TEAM and organization, he did not invite everyone as INDIVIDUALS. Mr. Obama did not invite the team to the White House to talk politics, share political beliefs or to support a campaign of his. It was a celebration of what you and your teammates accomplished this past year together. Yesterday you chose to not be a part of your team, a team comprised of players from countries all around the world and who I am sure disagree with how our government is run, but you decided you are better than everyone else, your beliefs are stronger than everyone else, you decided you didn't want to be a part of your team yesterday for personal reasons. And to that I say, wrong place wrong time.

I hope you understood what was going to happen when you made this decision. You have now stood up for your beliefs but you have also caused unnecessary negative publicity to surround your entire team that just won a Stanley Cup due to how "together" you guys are. You have forced your management team to have to tap dance around trying to defend your actions but at the same time saying they do not agree with them. You also forced them to decide to have you stay in your hotel room, probably the most notable player on the entire team while the rest of your "brothers" attended a charity event for the Boy and Girls Club of Greater Washington because they worried about how much negative energy you would bring to event through the media.

And to that I say I am sorry, I am sorry that you have brought this upon your team, I am sorry that the kids at the charity event didn't get to meet you because of your "beliefs". I am sorry that you couldn't see the event for what it was, a celebration for what you and your TEAM did on the ice NOT a celebration of what our government is currently doing.

I hope Timmy the Tank, I really hope, that your teammates just brush this off, the media let's it fizzle out and the effects of this situation do not trickle into the performance on the ice. But I hope you understand that the issue isnt with what you do did because of your beliefs, it is an issues because you let your team down and you let your fan's down.. And really, in the end, I am not sure what you proved??

Monday, January 23, 2012

Pats Back In The Super Bowl

Boy did I miss this feeling! The Pats are finally back in the big game!

After being at that game yesterday, I am physically and mentally exhausted. I feel like I played in the game. Didnt have a voice at all last night and barely had one today at work. But it was all worth it. The big bad Ravens came into town - fairly quiet leading up to the game - and left like they usually have in the past; losers.

You gotta give the Ravens defense a lot of credit though. This really could have been over pretty earlier - they held the Pats two 3 field goals (all of which came in or very close to the red zone). If the Ravens don't force those field goals, they could have lost this game by 14 points.

On the other hand, the Ravens offense killed them. Plain and simple. The lack of a passing game really hurt them. The Pats took away Ray Rice and that kind of handcuffed them. Yeah, I know they broke some 5 plus yard runs to Rice, but they didnt allow him to break a huge play like he has done to them in the past. Whether it was a run or pass, they did a great job keying on him and knowing where Rice was at all times. Next, the Pats matched up Edelman on Boldin for basically the whole game. When did we start hearing Boldin's name being called? Pretty much the final drive of the game. That's all Flacco's fault. He needs to know that their best receiver is being covered by the Pats 5th receiver. Flacco also missed a wide open Torrey Smith about 3 times. Oh, and he threw a costly INT while they had a great drive going in the 4th quarter. I'm sorry, but Joe Flacco sucks. He is garbage. I don't care how big of an arm he has, the Ravens won't win a Super Bowl with Flacco at QB.

This was a great team game by the Pats. No question about it. Brady played like absolute poop, but the D kept the Pats in the game and made huge plays at the most crucial times. 3 players on defense who deserve the most credit after the AFC Championship win.

1. Big Vince - 75 set his place in Patriot history with his performance yesterday. Yes, he has been great for a while but he became a face of the franchise last night. When the D needed a big stop or needed someone to get pressure on Flacco, Vince was there. He stuffed Rice on a huge 3rd down causing the Ravens to go for it and eventually turn the ball over on downs.

2. Brandon Spikes - This man is an animal. He brings so much energy to the defense when he is out there. Spikes has improved greatly in the past 2 seasons. He took a lot of heat when he was hurt this season about taking so much to come back from the MCL injury when players like Mayo and Hernandez rehabbed much faster than Spikes did. He got absolutely blown up by Vonte Leach leading the Ravens to picking up a huge 1st down, driving into Pats territory in the 4th quarter. What happened next you ask? Well, Spikes made a great read in pass coverage and picked off Flacco, killing the momentum that the Ravens had on that drive. Yes, Brady threw a pick on the next play but he gave the Pats an opportunity go put the nail in and "drop the hammer" and close out the game. You know it's something huge happened when you get a text after a play like that from Dan saying "I'll (expletive) Gator chomp to that."

3. Lastly, Sterling Moore. Who? Exactly. This just shows you that its all about the next guy up on this Patriots team. He got all sorts of turned around on the Lee Evans play but had great instinct to knock the ball away at the last second. Wasn't a catch. Harbaugh said he was surprised that they didn't review it. There was no need. Big time receivers make those catches. There is a reason why the Buffalo Bills traded you, Lee Evans. The next play, Moore batted away a 3rd down pass forcing the Ravens to kick a field goal...well, attempt a field goal.

We all know what happened next. Cundiff went wide left and the Pats went to Indy. There is still one more piece of business to accomplish on February 5th vs. the Giants. People are talking about revenge for the Super Bowl loss in 2007. Yes, it's a revenge game. No, its not about 2007. Its about the when the Giants came into Foxboro earlier this season and beat the Pats on the final drive (thank you Sergio Brown. Btw I hope he doesnt step on the field in the Super Bowl). Expect the Pats to be well prepared for this game. This defense is completely different when they play with confidence. Should be a fun two weeks. How sweet would it be to beat Eli in Peyton's building? Would there be anything better than that?

One last thing in regard to the missed field goal. Now, I'm probably the last person who would believe in spirituality and stuff like that. But you have to be completely out of your skull if you think Myra didn't have anything to do with that kick going wide left. There was no way in hell that Myra was going to let that ball go through the uprights. Absolutely no chance.

Bob Kraft said it best to Ian Rapoport postgame "There were forces at work that's beyond anything we can understand... Someone was smiling. We had an angel."

Go win this for MHK.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Kill Some Bird

I couldn't be more nervous for the game today, the Ravens defense is still the Ravens defense.  They still have Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Terrell Suggs and (yeah I'm gonna say it) Bernard Pollard.  Pollard scares me not because he's good but he has a knack for being in games that weird things happen in.  I have a feeling the Ravens are going to really key on the Pats' biggest strengths in Gronk and Welker.  Which is why Deion Branch is my key for the offense today.  On defense, Brandon Spikes is my key, his goal will be shutting down Ray Rice in the running and receiving game.  We all saw Rice light us up a few years ago, this is what scares me.  I am not going to write anymore because I can't even put together a logical sentence right now.  Hopefully the two guys below key our victory today, let's go kill some birds.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Is Father Time Here Already?

Hey guys, in case you forgot, I do blog for this site.  I apologize I have been away in Hawaii for a while.  Anyways, after Monday night I had two possible things I could write about, the rise of Kansas’ Thomas Robinson for National Player of the Year or the Celtics looking old, slow, and just plain bad.  Well I decided to be negative and write about the Celtics.  (The TRob piece may come later this week.)

Where oh where do I start with these Celtics, it just breaks my heart every time I have to watch them.  This is like watching the Celtics right before they acquired KG and Ray except the opposite.  At least with that team, they were young and maybe could surprise a few people and there was hope that they could eventually turn that team around.  This team is old and is loaded with bad contacts.  Plenty of people have asked me what my thoughts are about blowing this team up.  My question is how do you do that?  Who wants to take on KG’s contract?  He has an expiring deal but is making over $21 mil this year, you would have to be crazy to take that on.  He also is no where near the player he once was, he can’t make post moves, lacks quickness, and can’t jump anymore.  Basically he is a 7-foot $21 mil jump shooter. 

What other pieces are possibly tradable?  There have been recurring rumors about trading Pierce, but what will you get for him?  Honestly unless you get 2 young studs and multiple draft picks, I say no.  Trading Pierce would be like trading Bird or Tom Brady.  This guy was loyal to the Celtics when they were terrible, doesn’t that mean anything?  This is a future Hall of Famer who will have his number retired one day for the Celtics, he deserves to be here, because he still has a lot left in the tank.  The other possible trade piece is Ray Allen.  To me, he seems the most realistic to be traded if the Celtics do decide to blow this team up.  Most teams need shooters, his contract isn’t unreasonable and he is still in phenomenal shape.  You can get good picks in return for him as well as at least one young stud.

To me though, it is too early to give up this core.  If say they are still under 500 in 15-20 games then I would think about it, but not right now.  There are still over 50 games to be played.  Father time will eventually come, I just hope its not here already.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Thornton vs Canuck's Media

Sorry but this was just too good to not discuss..

I have already posted about the Bruin's vs. Canuck's game, I know but this part deserved it's own post. During the the latter part of the first period Bruin's tough guy Shawn Thornton challenged Vancouver "tough guy", Dale Weise to a fight. The reason Thornton challenged him is because Weise was one of the 7 guys punches him in the back of the head earlier on the period when it was 7 on 1 and then decided to pick a fight with the much smaller guy in Nathan Horton who was also recently coming off a major head injury, you know the one the Canuck's Aaron Rome gave him in the Stanley Cup finals last year? Anyways.. So Thornton challenges him as you see from the video above, Weise apparently agrees and the referee standing between them hears it all and gestures to them just to get set for the faceoff and then go about their business. Puck drops, Thornton drops his gloves, Weise pretends to drop his gloves and then skates away. BAHAHAHAHA!! Weise tried to "trick" thornton into taking a roughing penalty by getting him to drop his gloves and then skates away like a coward afraid to fight. The ref who heard the entire conversation knew Weise just disobeyed the ethics of the game and hit him with a 2 minute misconduct penalty to go along with Thornton's roughing penalty. Here is where it gets good..

Tony Gallagher, one of the larger Vancouver Canuck's media guys does an interview with Mike Felger on CSNNE earlier this week. Gallagher starts trashing Thornton saying that Thornton knows better than to challenge a guy to a second fight in the same period (it was also Thornton's second it happens often especially with enforces). What Tony doesn't know is that Thornton happens to be in the CSNNE studio so Felger asks Gallagher if he would like to have this conversation with Thornton personally, Gallagher agrees and this is what happens.. I will leave you with this tv interview gold..

HAHAHAHA.. Side note, Weise is 6'2'' 210 pounds according to the Canuck's official roster, NOT 170, NOT 180, NOT EVEN 190 Tony hahaha. Thornton is 6'2'' 217 according to B's official roster, so what was that argument again Tony? I missed it, can you tell me that again? Vancouver Canucks player's and media at its finest right there, try to defend their players with information that isn't even remotely accurate.

Oh wait I almost forgot, a day later the Canuck's coach held an interview whining about how dirty Marchand is, saying that if he continues to be a "rat" (like Vancouver's entire roster) then he is going to get hurt real bad some day. Fast forward to the 1 minute mark if you have already seen the actual hit.

I am just curious though, since Marchand is going to get his for that hit, COACH!! How do you feel about your own player's hit on Lucic last year? Is Hamhuis going to get his at some point too? Seriously though how is there not even a penalty called on that one again lucic but Marchand gets 5 games for his? I will admit I think Marchand's was dangerous and deserved a suspension but how does the league not even bat an eye at Hamhuis'?

K I am done, I ranted, oh well..

B's vs Montreal and Canucks..

We have a lot to catch up on here. It took me a while to get over the B's game this past weekend against the Canucks, but I think I am finally of sound mind to discuss it without being too biased. First off, if you are a hockey fan that game was hockey porn, yes even with the Bruins losing. You could just feel the hatred leading up to the game and it didnt take long for it to show during the game. If you dont mind I would like to run through the key moments in this game, give you my opinions and then hopefully you will share yours..

The 7 on 7 scrum (or as Jack Edwards says 8 on 8 but I count 7) 5 minutes into the game..
If any of you haven't seen it I have posted the video above which basically runs thru all of the key moments in the game there it's too much for me to touch on all of it.. So this pig pile led to following, Milan Lucic was ejected for the rest of the game for "leaving the bench to fight" and the Bruin's were short handed 2 men leaving the Vancouver with 2 full minutes of 5 on 3. Now watch the video again and tell me if that makes any sense. This all started with Thornton and Borrows going 1 on 1 and then turned into 7 on 1 as 6 other Canucks dove onto Thornton knowing that Borrows could never stand up for himself, after a couple seconds the Bruins responded they did their best imitation of superman flying into the pile to pull all of the Canucks off of the Thornton. The reason that there was so many players on the ice was because both teams were in a line change. Milan Lucic was one of the players that had just come on the ice during the line change right before the scrum started. When the scrum started he realized that in all of the confusion of the change and the scrum that there might be too many guys on the ice so rather than take a too many men penalty he went to step back into the bench. He didn't get all the way back in before realizing that there was also more than 5 Canucks player's on the ice so rather than leave his team short handed in the scrum he decided it was worth the too many men penalty and joined in. Unfortunetly, the refs didn't see it that way, they thought Lucic was never on the ice to begin with and just hopped the boards for the sole purpose of knocking someones face in. The Bruin's obviously protested but do to Lucic's tough guy reputation they weren't going to win that battle. Now if the league saw what the ref's thought they saw, Lucic would have faced an automatic 10 game suspension, fortunetly for the Bruin's the league knew the ref's made a mistake and immediatly following the game took back the call and did their best "whoopsie, sorry our bad" impression. So to sum this moment up, Thornton challanged Borrows, Canucks responded by trying to go 7 on 1 (with players also punching Thornton while they stood on their bench), the Bruins tried to protect Thornton and in the end the Bruins lost Lucic for the game and were penalized for 2 extra penalties leaving them down 2 men for a full 2 minutes.. hmmmm..

Moving on..

During the third period Brad Marchand joined Milan Lucic in the locker room for the rest of the game. Marchand was tagged for "clipping" a rule that does not often come up but nonetheless Marchand got the gate for it. I dont have much defense on this one, it looked questionable when it happened, it looked dirty on the replays and no matter how you want to chalk it up Marchand knew exactly what was going to happen when he decided to drop low to obsorb the hit. The league agreed, they hit Marchand with a 5 game suspension costing the Bruins a top 6 forward for 5 games and costing Marchand $150,000. Had Marchand not have just come back from a 2 game suspension for "slew footing" a guy it may have been a 2 or 3 games suspension but the more Marchand gets the attention of the league with borderline hits the longer the suspensions are going to be. Oh and yes the Canucks also went on a 5 minute power play, meaning it was a major penalty so no matter how many times they scored in those 5 minutes the Bruin's were going to be short handed for a full 5 minutes. Which they did score, essentially costing the Bruin's the game.

In the end the Bruins lost, Lucic couldn't play due to a ref's mistake, Marchand got suspended for 5 games and Borrows and the Canucks continued to look like the rattiest, punkiest pieces of shits in the entire NHL.

*I am very proud of myself for writing this post without turning it into an all out rant on how much I hate Vancouver players, coaches, media and fans.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Pats vs Broncos Prediction (Playoff Edition)

I feel like I have written this post before...oh wait, I have.

It was only a few short weeks ago when these two teams met in Denver. As we all know, the Pats struggled early and then took advantage of some key turnovers, mostly fumbles, en route to a 41-23 victory.

As we all know, everybody is talking about Tim Tebow this week. Everybody seems to say he sucks and can't throw the ball, but when he throws a 10 yard pass to Demarius Thomas (who then sprints 70 yards to beat the Steelers) the man all of a sudden becomes the chosen one. Like he can do anything; walk on water, cure the sick, turn water in wine, blah blah blah. Tim Tebow is still Tim Tebow. He struggles in the passing game. Force him to throw the ball. You can let the Broncos run the ball all they want, but Tebow is going to have to make a couple big plays with his arm to win this game.

Lets start on the defensive side. You need to get pressure on Tebow when he drops back to pass and contain him inside the pocket so he can't scramble. Player to watch on D this week is Big Vince/Kyle Love. You need to get pressure up front from these two, force their guards to block them so Mayo and Spikes (both of whom should make a huge impact in stopping the run game Saturday night) are free to make plays. Plain and simple. Yes, McCourty is still going to have to play a whole lot better than he did during the regular season. Now with Eric Decker out, the Broncos really only have once threat at receiver; Thomas.

On offense, I'm not going to get fancy or cute here. Tom Brady needs to be Tom Brady. The Pats have sucked it up in the playoffs for the past two seasons all because of Tom. He has played like crap, which means the offense can't get going, which leads to three and outs, which leads to a tired defense who gives up tons of points, which leads to a 1 and done in the playoffs. I don't care if they double welker, or take away Gronk, or focus on Hernandez. Like Aaron said earlier this week "they have to pick their poison." The Broncos aren't going to take all three out of the game. Brady will find the open man and lead this offense to a crap ton of points Saturday night. They need to score early and often. If they can accomplish that, this game could be over early.

Pats win 38-10. See you next Sunday for the AFC Championship game.

Oh. And by the way, don't think Josh McDaniels isn't going to have an impact on this game. I love that they brought him back. Absolutely love it. The Broncos can all they want that McDaniels doesn't matter. Come on, this guy was the head of the Broncos like 13 months ago. Of course this is going to be in the back of the minds of John Fox, Tim Tebow, and the rest of the team. Josh drafted Tebow and Thomas, both in the first round. He obviously knows these two inside and out. The facts might not come out about how much impact McDaniels had this week, but you better believe that he is lickin his chops ready to stick it to his old team.

The Social Conundrum

Boston has become a championship-caliber sports town with the successes of the Patriots, Red Sox, Bruins and Celtics in the past ten years. Both the athletes and the fans have become spoiled with high expectations. It's a ring or bust. Boston is notorious for harsh judgments on players from both media and fans. Perfection is a necessity. Because of this do-or-die mentality, public relations personnel train athletes on what to say during interviews to prevent controversies from occurring. The Twitter world, however, has changed that. And it's for the better.

The players who choose to join Twitter expose themselves in a way that fans have never experienced before. Hometown favorites like Wes Welker, Paul Pierce, Jon Lester and Tyler Seguin are now more accessible to anyone who wishes to tweet at them. The chances of them actually reading your tweet and/or retweeting it, however, are doubtful at best.

Twitter has become so popular among professional athletes that there is a specific website dedicated to their accounts: www.tweeting-athletes.com. The site allows fans to search by league and team, to see the number of followers and shows each individual's Twitter time line without even linking to the original page. Talk about easy access.

The question remains whether this change in player-fan interaction benefits the athletes or the fans or neither. When it comes down to it, it really depends on the athlete and how they use Twitter, but I believe that in the end, Boston athletes tweeting about what is on their mind is going to benefit their relationships with fans.

Teams in every sports town have hired social media consultants to attempt to control the potential damage done through Twitter since p.r. representatives can no longer control post-game comments through every media outlet. Reporters still receive the standard "We-played-our-best-but-could-do-better" quotes, but players can now express themselves with their real voices through tweets. They even make them sound human. No scripted crap.

The NFL and NBA have already issued fines to players ranting about their teams or leagues on Twitter. One would think the threat of fines would limit what players say in their tweets. But constant misspellings, incorrect grammar and jock-like exclamations that fans don't see during television interviews and radio broadcasts portray players' true voices. This is what fans want to see; they make mistakes just like us.

Take Rob Gronkowski, the Patriots' star tight end and this season's favorite TB12 target, for example. He often composes his tweets with the likes of getting "Gronk'd" and "hyped" while working out. His language on Twitter only enhances his explosive presence on the field; whether fans label him as a dumb jock or a gentle giant, they love him because of his personality on and off the field.

Gronkowski can also be used as an example of a social media mishap. He recently posed with a porn star (pictured below) to supposedly increase his number of Twitter followers. The woman, BiBi Jones, tweeted the picture, and the controversy spread like wildfire throughout New England. Whether Gronkowski meant for the picture to be innocent or not, he apologized to Bob Kraft, the owner of the Patriots, and Gronk's reputation hardly suffered. He made a mistake? He's a real person? Who knew.

Rob Gronkowski and BiBi Jones
Photo courtesy of www.nypost.com
While Gronkowski's tweets enhance his persona as the fun-loving, hard-working athlete, some players' tweets are unexpected and allow fans to experience their favorite athletes through their own voice. Wes Welker, one of the Patriots' wide receivers, recently joined Twitter and has already shown fans his carefree attitude off the field. During games, cameras rarely catch a smile on Welker's face when he's on the sideline. All business, no play. But his tweets prove otherwise. He lists himself as a "Professional tweeter that wastes his talents playing American Football." Besides his creative Rex Ryan feet interview (which he was fined for), Welker has always followed by the neutralizing post-game interview rules. Maybe it's the wanna-be sports journalist in me, but I would like to know when he's getting Gronk'd with Gronk (which happens quite frequently, in case you were wondering) if only for pure entertainment.

Boston fans need to see their athletes in their own elements and in their own voices to establish emotional connections. Chemistry between fans and players is important because it keeps up momentum during the season -- and sells tickets, for that matter. No one wants to attend games played by emotionless, repetitive athletes. Fans crave personality. Anything less than extraordinary becomes boring (i.e. 2011 Red Sox).

Twitter allows players to use their own voices, but now more and more athletes tweet only to endorse products and causes. This, of course, is not a bad thing, especially if they preach for donations to certain charities. However, it's sometimes hard to tell whether the cause is important to the player or it's just the voice of the team representatives coming through. Twitter should not turn into another form of post-game stoicism. But it will.

Red Sox designated slugger David Ortiz and Celtics stars Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo tweet to endorse their sponsors and charities, almost never giving away personal details. It proves Twitter can be used for marketing purposes only, but it still leaves a feeling of detachment from everyday life. Do I want Pierce to tweet every time he lights up a blunt? No. But something a little more personal to let fans know that he's human would be nice.

(Side note: I would love, love, love to see Kevin Garnett on Twitter. It's hilarious just thinking about it. There isn't an account that has been verified for him. It will never happen, but one can hope.)

Some athletes have perfected the art of using Twitter for both professional and personal reasons. Vince Wilfork, who boasts a resume of Patriots nose tackle, body slammer and hug-able teddy bear, tweets about endorsements and family life but never crosses the line into the world of inappropriate athlete etiquette. His tweets allow fans to peek into his daily life -- something they wouldn't have been able to understand otherwise, unless it became an HBO special. (I believe an HBO special on Wilfork's life would be highly entertaining. If you don't believe me, check out his wife's Twitter feed.) His account also acts as a promotion tool for his endorsement labels -- one of which, funny enough, is Big Y Foods. It's having your cake and eating it, too.

Even when used as a so-called inappropriate outlet to complain about leagues, teams, other players, and announcing retirement (thanks, Shaq), social media represents the only place where fans can "know" the person first and player second. Boston athletes have been so separated from normal life that they have risen above celebrity status and almost appear as gods. (It doesn't help that some fans actually worship them as such.) It's hard for fans to relate to unflappable immortals.

If leagues restrict athletes' Twitter accounts like they have for comments during television interviews, then how are fans supposed to realize their normality through freedom of expression? A big part of life is messing up and learning from mistakes. If leagues take away the chance to make those mistakes, how can an athlete mature into a role model?

Social media provides that outlet in which they can mature. Twitter permits truth. Truth composes reality. Without our beloved Boston athletes being able to express themselves freely, how do we know what is reality and what is mirage? Answer: we don't.

Keep those tweets coming, Gronk.


Sara Amaral is a guest blogger for The Truth. You can view more of her writing by clicking here.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Final Four and More...

Watching these college bowls has me thinking about how much better college basketball has it, they actually have a playoff.  So because it’s never too early to talk about March, I am going to give you my early early Final Four picks and All-Americans.  Obviously I can’t tell you the actual Final Four yet because more than one of my picks could be in the same region.  Just note, I don’t necessarily think these are the best four teams yet, but by March they will have what it takes to make a long run.  So without further ado:

The easiest lock of the century: Kentucky.  What can I say about this team?  They have it all.  Shot blocker (Anthony Davis), guard/wing player who can create his own shot (Michael Kidd-Gilchrist), deadly 3 point shooter (Doron Lamb), glue guy (Darius Miller), a two guys who have the potential to be fantastic (Marquis Teague and Terrence Jones).  All of those guys are NBA guys.  Did I mention that they play great defense too?  The difference between this team and past Kentucky teams, this team can shoot to go along with their extreme athleticism.

The most slept on undefeated team: Baylor.  Man this is killing me to pick a member of the Big 12 not named Kansas to make the Final Four after already picking Kentucky.  But I don’t think even I can deny how great this Baylor team is.  They have such great length and shoot at such a high percentage.  They have possibly the number 1 pick in the NBA draft in Perry Jones III.  Two guys who can light it up from 3 in Pierre Jackson and Brady Heslip.  The biggest thing about them though is how deep they are.  They have 5 guys who score in double figures every game and 11 guys average over 10 minutes a game (that’s almost the whole team).  Look at this team to really dominate Big 12 play and cruise in March.

My two other teams: Marquette and Ohio State.  Both teams have a lot of similarities to me.  Both teams play great defense and are extremely tough.  Both teams are led by a great guard (Darius Johnson-Odom for Marquette and William Buford for Ohio St) and a great big guy (Jae Crowder for Marquette and Jared Sullinger for Ohio St).  Both teams have underrated coaches with Thad Matta of OSU and Buzz Williams for the Golden Eagles.  The one thing that puts these two just below Kentucky and Baylor is their 3-point shooting.  But, both teams are so efficient from two that it almost doesn’t matter.
Sleepers: Georgetown, Wisconsin, Indiana and Missouri.


1st Team
Guards: Jeremy Lamb (Uconn), William Buford (Ohio St)
Forwards: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (Kentucky), Thomas Robinson (Kanas)
Center: Jared Sullinger (Ohio St)

2nd Team
Guards: Scott Machado (Iona), Darius Johnson-Odom (Marquette)
Forwards: Doug McDermott (Creighton), Harrison Barnes (UNC)
Center: Anthony Davis (Kentucky)

Design by Free WordPress Themes | Bloggerized by Lasantha - Premium Blogger Themes | Press Release Distribution