November 21, 2012
With Dirk Nowitzki out until mid December while recovering from knee surgery, the Mavericks have managed a 7-6 start despite their star’s absence. Dallas has undergone a roster overhaul since they won a championship in 2011 (Shawn Marion and Dirk Nowitzki are the lone starters remaining from that team). The new additions have played well together, led by rising star O.J. Mayo. Mayo was acquired from the Memphis Grizzles and has taken advantage of being in the starting lineup. He is scoring career highs in ppg (22) and field goal percentage (50%).
Last night the Mavs knocked off the previous 1 loss Knicks, 114-111. Mayo and Vince Carter carried the scoring load, combining for 52 points. Things are looking good for Dallas so far this season and if they can manage to stay above .500 until Dirk gets back, I’m sure coach Rick Carlisle will be satisfied. If Dirk can return to his 2011 playoff form like in the video above, the Dallas Mavericks will be right in the thick of things in the Western Conference.
November 20, 2012
Its been a while since I have done an update on my fantasy squad. As of Week 11, the Living Legends are 7-4 and tied for 1st place in the division. My top playmakers are pulling their weight, and despite some tough losses my team is looking good as the playoffs approach.
Tony Romo: The Cowboys threw the ball early and often against the Cleveland Browns and Romo delivered. He threw the ball 50 times, had 313 yards passing, and a TD. His 45 fantasy points were my team’s high for the week.
Danario Alexander: I picked up Danario last week, after I noticed his breakout 5 catch, 134 yard performance against Tampa Bay in week 10. Alexander seems to be developing a chemistry with QB Phillip Rivers and is really making the most of his opportunity as a free agent pick up with the Chargers. The young WR has been going through some tough knee injuries and was recently cut by the St. Louis Rams. He followed up his week 10 performance, with 7 catches for 96 yards and 2 TDs against the Broncos.
Ahtyba Rubin: After struggling the past few weeks with a leg injury, DT Rubin is starting to look healthy again. This past week against the Cowboy’s, Rubin was his dominate self. He registered 6 tackles, and a sack for 15 fantasy points.
Cecil Shorts III: WR Shorts was one of the recipients of a Jaguar offensive explosion on Sunday. Chad Henne and the Jaguars torched the Texans’ defense for 458 yards. Shorts in particular accounted for 81 yards and a TD.
Robbie Gould: Can’t really blame this one on Gould. The Bears offense was horrible against the 49ers. They couldn’t even manage to get in field goal range the entire night and managed only 1 TD.
Greg Olsen: Olsen continues to have an up and down season. In Week 10, the Panthers TE racked up 31 fantasy points. This week he managed only 2 catches for 42 yards. Hopefully he can find a way to stay consistent during the last quarter of the season.
This week in free agency I picked up TE Ben Watson and K Rian Lindell. Both players had solid weeks last week and I decided to take a chance on them. Browns TE Watson found the endzone twice against the Cowboys and seems to be on the same page with QB Brandon Weeden. Bills K Lindell scored 13 fantasy points last week against the Dolphins. With Jay Cutler out for the Bears, their offense looked lackluster and opportunities for points for K Robbie Gould will be at a premium. I might pick him back up when Cutler gets back. Team “Slim Shaddy” up next, stay tuned…
November 20, 2012
In August, there was a feeling of optimism for the Philadelphia Eagles in the upcoming season. Despite a talented roster, the team limped out of the gate last year but finished strong and won their last 4 to finish 8-8. During the off-season HC Andy Reid’s son Garrett, who was an assistant coach for the Eagles, died from a drug overdose. The team seemed to rally around their coach, and wanted to give Reid their all this season. Mike Vick proclaimed that there was a dynasty brewing in Philly and that they just needed to eliminate the small mistakes in order to fulfill their potential. The Eagles continued to committed the turnovers that plagued them last year, but managed to start this year 3-1. It wasn’t pretty, but Philly found ways to win early.
That all seems like a distant memory now, as the Eagles have gone on a 6 game skid. They have looked awful during the month of November, surrendering an average of 32 ppg. Michael Vick suffered a concussion in a loss to the Cowboys 2 weeks ago and his status for Monday’s game against Carolina is uncertain. Rookie Nick Foles started against the Redskins last week and couldn’t get any type of rhythm going. The rookie QB threw for 204 yards but had 2 interceptions, and was sacked 4 times. The fact that Foles threw 46 times on the road baffles me. You have to give All Pro RB LeSean McCoy more than 21 touches, especially knowing that you have a young QB making his 1st start against a divisional foe on the road. The offensive line has been decimated with injuries, starters Jason Peters and Jason Kelce are out for the year with various injuries. Eagle QBs have been under duress all year behind their current make shift line.
Don’t even get me started on this defense… Jim Johnson is currently tossing and turning in his grave. During this 6 game losing streak, the Eagles have given up 381 yards pg. The secondary led by CB Nnamdi Asomugha has been getting torched for big gains all year. The defense isn’t causing many turnovers, and the pass rush has been non existent. Last year DEs Jason Babin and Trent Cole combined for 29 sacks last year, they have only 6 so far this season.
The chances of the Eagles turning this season around and making the playoffs are very slim. Stranger things have happened in the NFL, but they way this team has looked, I don’t see them winning 6 straight to finish the year. Even if this miraculous comeback were to happen, Philly would still need some help from other teams who are fighting for the last 2 Wild Card spots.
Now the question is what to do with Andy Reid? The long time HC has been with the Eagles organization since 1999 and has coached the team to 5 NFC titles games and 1 Super Bowl appearance. He has been a model of consistency in the rugged NFC East, and his teams are usually always contenders. However, the Andy Reid era in Philly has come to an end. The team seems to have packed it in this season and looks bad in just about every phase of the game. The honorable move for ownership would be to let Reid finish the year and look in a different direction during the off-season In this circumstance though, I think it would be best to fire Andy and start the rebuilding process as soon as possible. Let’s face the facts, as good a coach Reid is, the Eagles are not winning the Super Bowl this year and probably won’t even make the playoffs. Eagles’ management must find someone who is better suited to maximize the talents of this loaded roster. The likes of Bill Cowher and Eric Mangini should definitely get a phone call…
During his 13 year tenure, coach Andy Reid has done everything the Eagle organization has asked for, short of winning a Lombardi Trophy. He has produced quality teams, year in and year out. Unfortunately, all things must come to an end. I’m sure Andy won’t be without a job for long. He has an impressive resume, and will surely peak the interest of several teams this off-season. The Eagles have to make a coaching change in order to begin damage control. Philly’s top playmakers aren’t getting any younger, and the organization must take advantage of a championship window that is getting smaller by the year.
November 13, 2012
Last night the Heat went into Memphis and got roughed up by a very good Grizzles team. Many people have overlooked this team as Western Conference contenders, but tonight proved this team is right in the mix. With Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol, Mike Conley, and emerging 3 point assassin Wayne Ellington (he hit 7 three’s last night) Memphis is already a handful. Add in budding superstar Rudy Gay and you’re going to have a dangerous team come playoff time. LeBron James and company found this out the hard way.
In the clip above, Rudy Gay hits LeBron with a behind the back dribble, powers down the lane, and drops a hammer! Chris Bosh got an up close view, and thought wisely not to jump with Gay. Many forget how talented Rudy was coming out of UConn. At 6’8, 230 pounds, Gay can score from anywhere on the court and is a solid defender when he puts his mind to it. Head coach Lionel Hollins thought Gay had a phenomenal offseason, and has a chance to have a great season if he can continue to stay healthy.
November 7, 2012
The start of one the most anticipated NBA regular seasons ever, has been as good as advertised. The elite teams have been vulnerable to start. The Lakers have lacked chemistry and limped to a 1-4 start (0-2 at Home). The Heat ran the Celtics out the gym on ring night in Miami, then got rocked in the Garden, surrendering 19 3’s in a 20 point loss to the Knicks. OKC has turned the ball over a ton, and lacked defensive intensity in the backcourt. They seem to miss Harden’s playmaking abilities (Who is BALLIN’ for the Rockets by the way).
Kobe has been efficient scoring 25 ppg including a 40 point outburst against the Clippers. Dwight Howard doesn’t look 100%, but has shown flashes of brilliance, but hasn’t fully returned to his DPOY level. He seems to lack the elite athleticism that has helped him dominate the league for years. Despite not being fully recovered from offseason back surgery, Howard has still managed to average a career best 23.3 ppg. Steve Nash has had a rough start in LA. He is averaging a pedestrian 4 and 4 and will miss 4 weeks due to a small fracture in his leg. The Lakers “Princeton offense” has looked out of whack at times, but the defense has been a concern. Teams are exploiting LA’s lack of quickness, and the Lakers haven’t found many answers. They gave up 116 to Portland and 105 to the Clippers. Despite the boat loads of talent, the Lakers have a lot of work to do this season.
The defending champion Miami Heat seem ready to win again with free agent pick ups Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis in the fold. This season will present new and difficult challenges, as the Heat have found out early. There have been moments when this team has looked unstoppable like their opening night win against the Celtics. The Heat are at their best when they are causing turnovers and racking up transition buckets. Ray Allen has produced well for Miami off the bench so far this year. His production has helped them tremendously In the Heat’s 4 wins Allen has averaged 19 ppg, in their lone loss he had 5 points. Miami will surely get everyone’s best shot this year, so they must continue to improve if they want to win back to back titles.
The Thunder have been up and down to begin the 2012 season. Durant has turned the ball over too much (5+ turnovers pg), and Westbrook has been been streaky to say the least (38% on FGs). Kevin Martin, who was acquired in the Harden trade, has had no problem scoring for OKC. He has averaged 19 ppg and shooting 51% from the field. Despite being a little careless with the ball, Durant is averaging a career best 12 rebounds pg. This young OKC team will definitely miss Harden’s playmaking ability, but with elite talents like Westbrook and Durant I’m sure that by the end of the regular season this team will be ready for another deep playoff run.
In addition to the elite teams experiencing a few hiccups to start the season, there have also been a few other surprises The New York Knicks are 3-0 and haven’t seemed to miss Amar’e Stoudemire who is out 8 weeks with a knee injury. Carmelo Anthony has carried the team, averaging 26 and 7. New York has also received key contributions from veterans like Jason Kidd, Kurt Thomas, and Rasheed Wallace. Led by 2nd year head coach Mark Jackson, the Golden State Warriors are tied for 1st atop the Pacific Division at 3-2. They have played solid defense and shared the ball. They have allowed over 100 points once this year and have 4 players that average double digits in scoring. The Dallas Mavericks have also turned some heads and have a 4-1 start to the year. Despite missing their All Star Dirk Nowitzki, the Mavs have played well with a sound group of veterans. All 5 starters are scoring 10+ pg, lead by OJ Mayo who is averaging 21 ppg. Once Dirk gets healthy again, this team could be a legit contender.
The NBA is back, and certainly won’t disappoint as the season progresses. The West Conference is as deep as ever, and there will be several teams fighting to reach the Finals. In the East, the Heat can’t dwell on the past, as teams like the Knicks, Celtics, and the 76ers will give Miami all that they can handle. After a fast and furious start to the NBA season, basketball will surely have my full attention as the year moves forward.