Time to try out some new slants on stuff. On topic that I have yet to tackle is the Association (NBA for short). This is mainly due to the fact that I have little experience with the NBA being from the Kansas City area. With no team to root for in my short lifetime, its difficult to make good opinions on everything, but I am going to give it a shot.
The first thing that shocked me about the NBA this year is that 6 coaches have been fired. Those coaches are as follows:
PJ Carlesimo (Seattle-no-more SuperSonics-no-more, OKC)
Eddie Jordan (Washington Wizards)
Sam Mitchell (Toronto Raptors)
Randy Wittman (Minnesota T'wolves)
Maurice Cheeks (Philly 76'ers)
Reggie Theus (Sacramento Kings)
So 6 coaches have been fired from teams with a combined record of 38-112. That's bad. That's really bad. The leader of the group, the midwest's own OKC (I refuse to call them by their actual team name), is 2-24. They are doing so with Kevin Durant averaging 23.2 points per game and shooting 48.4% (last year he shot 28.8%) from 3-point land. Pretty astounding.
The point is that these teams are bad. But, there are only 30 teams in the NBA. Six of them have been fired. That's 20%, and it's not even halfway through the season.
Are these teams really going to be better off with an interim coach and finding some bottom of the barrel coach next year? Probably not. Maybe a couple of teams will improve cohesiveness this year and try to build upon it next year, but the majority will not improve by firing a coach in the first half of the season.
Philadelphia, the best of the bunch with a record of 11-14, is only one game out of the eigth spot in the Eastern Conference. Over the course of the season a couple of lucky bounces could put the team in the playoffs. It wouldn't matter because the East is so loaded at the top with Boston (3 superstars and Rajon Rondo quickly becoming an allstar), the Cleveland Lebrons and Orlando with the best big man in the game Dwight Howard.
Quick interjection. If someone told you 10 years ago that the best big man in the NBA would be named Dwight, what would you think? With the Association being a "Hip-Hop" league and the likes of Shaquille, Rasheed, Kevin (ok, normal name), and Yao dominating the league how can Dwight fit in? Have you seen The Office on NBC? Dwight is the dorkiest character in the world. Let that name roll off your tongue.... Dwight. Dwwwwiiiiightttttt. Six letters and only one vowel.
Don't even get me started on Dwayne.
Back to point. The East even has the Pistons, always dangerous in the playoffs, and the Heat with D-Wade and a cast of newbies who will only get better as the year goes on. These bad teams really don't have a chance this year with the talent they have on their rosters. Something big needs to happen like a large free agent signing. A new coach, especially the ones that would be available now, is not going to make the difference.
Now, I'm going to make some picks for y'all on the upcoming NFL games this weekend. I would do the college bowl games, but the games this weekend are not worth it (c'mon the New Mexico Bowl?!?!?). I'll do more later when the games start to get good.
at Dallas (-4.5) vs. Baltimore
I have Dallas because I think they need it and Baltimore is frustrated. This also opens the door for a second AFC East team to make the playoffs
Pit (-2) at Tenn
Pittsburgh is the hot team. They can stop the run and have a game changing QB in Big Ben. Collins is not the same QB Ben is.
Miami (-4) at KC
Kansas City has been so close recently, especially last week at home (22-21 lost to SD), I have them covering the spread. Tony G will have a big game in his last home game of the season.
Zona at NE (-7.5)
The Pats have been hot and are battling for a playoff spot. The game is outdoors in the cold and Anquan Boldin has not produced for Arizona (159 yards, 0 td's, 1 fumble lost in last 3 games), he was one of the reasons for their early season success.
Cincy at Cleveland (-3)
I'll take Cincy. They've played better lately and Ken Dorsey is starting for Cleveland. The Browns haven't had much time to get situated with him at QB.
Philly (-5) at Washington
The Eagles. The better team. The hot team. Washington lost to Cincy last week for crying out loud. Washington is the old busted NFC East team and Philly is the new hotness.
San Fran (-5.5) at STL
49'ers take this one by a score. They are playing for Mike Singletary and want him to stay head coach next year.
Atlanta at Minnesota (-3.5)
This is a tough call. Minnesota just lost half of the Williams monster on the D-Line, so I have to give the edge to Burner Turner and Matty Ice with the ATL. I think the loss will have a huge impact on the Vikings.
NO (-7) at Det
Detroit only has 2 more chances to win a game. I dont think they do it this week as Drew Brees lights them up for an absurd amount of yards. The Saints still have a shot at the playoffs.
Carolina at NYG (-3)
The G-Men need to rebound, but I don't think they do it against the hot, hot, hot Panthers. They take it with a mix of Steve Smith and their incredible running game.
NYJ(-4) at SEA
Brett Favre and the Jets have been 0-3 on the West Coast this year, but they take this one to setup a huge matchup with Miami for the AFC East title. Watch for Leon Washington to have a big day in the return game and sneak in a TD somewhere.
Hou (-7) at Oak
Wouldn't be a shame if Houston finishes 9-7, first time in franchise history above .500, and don't make the playoffs. They consistently find ways to finish strong, which is why they win this game, but can't win early in the year. If they hadn't blown a huge lead against Peyton and the Colts in Week 11 they'd be in the mix.
Buff at Den (-6.5)
Denver needs a win to lock up the AFC West and does so at home against a struggling Bills team. After starting 4-0 and then 5-1, their only victory has come against the hapless Chiefs 54-31. No other team has fallen from grace as quickly or as far as the Bills.
SD at TB (-3.5)
Jeff Garcia is expected to start this week for the Bucs, who have a perfect home record this year. Look for them to take the game and make SD irrelevant until next year. Of note, former Jayhawk Aqib Talib, is leading all rookies with 4 int's on the year. Rock Chalk baby.
GB at CHI (-4.5)
After the last meeting in week 11, the Packers looked like favorites for the division taming the Bears and getting their running game back (Ryan Grant 145 yards rushing). Since then the Pack has gone 0-4 and look like the Lions best chance for a victory in week 17. The Bears take this one, and the Pack looks to next year.
That's all for today. Have a great weekend and any feedback is awesome. Until next time...
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