Thursday, October 27, 2016

Are the Grizzlies Contenders or Pretenders?

A lot was made about point guard Mike Conley’s pricey contract extension that he signed this past off-season, which surprised a few considering the direction the team was heading. During an interview on the radio, Conley was later quoted saying he wanted to bring a championship to Memphis one day.
While Conley’s words could be seen as impactful, it’s worth mentioning the struggles that Memphis has been faced with in years past. Despite qualifying for the playoffs each of the last six seasons, the Grizzlies have only had one real shot at the NBA title which came in 2013. Every other year they have been dealt with an arduous path through the playoffs due to a murders row across the Western Conference.
Last year, I illustrated in a column that the Grizzlies window had closed and that there was no way Memphis would get back to the Western Conference Finals anytime soon. This was going to be the case again this season until Memphis went out and signed Chandler Parsons. Parsons, who at 28, already possesses loads of experience on the court to provide the Grizzlies a boost from beyond the arc as well as a threat to be another versatile big man. In addition to making deals in free agency, Memphis did some work on draft night by selecting Wade Baldwin IV and Deyonta Davis. Both will try to implement depth to a completely depleted roster last year that lacked young stars.
Other complimentary pieces like Andrew Harrison, Troy Williams, Troy Daniels and James Ennis all flashed impressive preseason campaigns. For now, the Grizzlies are a younger version than in past years, but their deficiency to shoot from the perimeter as a team has cost them annually. For the past four seasons, Memphis has finished near the bottom in three-point efficiency as a team, shooting just 32 percent respectively. If Memphis wants to erase signs of skepticism in a loaded Western Conference, then their perimeter shooting must improve, even in the slightest. With veteran guard Tony Allen battling injuries, depth at the shooting guard and small forward position could take its toll. Will this be enough to form themselves as a threat in the West?

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Why Tampa Bay will Win the NFC South

They have been a laughing-stock of the NFC for about five years now. But when you glance over at their remaining schedule, they bear a decent shot at making the playoffs for the first time since 2007, and no one is talking about them.
That team would be the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. At 3-3, first year head coach Dirk Koetter has a team that finished last in the division a season ago to now controlling their own destiny in an NFC South division that features an underachieving Carolina Panthers team and suddenly spiraling out of control Atlanta Falcons squad which has lost two in a row.
Buccaneers’ faithful have had to wait since their 48-21 triumph over the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl 37 to be this opportunistic about their chances of stardom. In fact, they haven’t won a playoff game since that dream 2002 season. But after countless years of misery combined with a couple of years of double-digit losing seasons, this could be the year that Tampa Bay breaks through with second year QB Jamies Winston. The first six weeks of the season have tested the will of Tampa, who’ve endured lingering injuries to their workhorse tailback Doug Martin and grizzled veteran receiver Vincent Jackson. But through it all, Winston has managed to right the ship with complimentary back Jacquizz Rodgers (rushing for 4.7 yards per carry) and elite wideout Mike Evans (who already has amassed 545 receiving yards for six TDs).
With a two-game winning streak on the line Sunday when the Oakland Raiders come to town, this proves to be an impactful point of the Bucs season, as their division aspirations lay in the balance of a brutal stretch of games against playoff opponents in Atlanta, Kansas City, and Seattle to end November.
With division-leading Atlanta going through a rough stretch, things don’t get any better for them when they welcome the Green Bay Packers to town this Sunday. The next two weeks will go a long way in determining who will win the NFC South. If Tampa can pull one out of the hat this week and follow it up with a series sweep over the Falcons, then the Bucs positions themselves nicely to be the favorite to take the NFC South crown. Right now, the pendulum has swung in the southeast, where suddenly this young Bucs squad have arrived a year early.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

2017 NBA Predictions

Western Conference                                                                                             Eastern Conference 
1. Golden State                                                                                                        1. Cleveland
2. San Antonio                                                                                                        2. Toronto
3. LA Clippers                                                                                                        3. Boston
4. Oklahoma City                                                                                                   4. Indiana
5. Portland                                                                                                              5. Washington
6. Memphis                                                                                                            6. Miami
7. Houston                                                                                                              7. Atlanta
8. Utah                                                                                                                    8. New York

9. Denver                                                                                                                 9. Detroit
10. Minnesota                                                                                                         10. Chicago
11. Phoenix                                                                                                             11. Charlotte
12. Dallas                                                                                                                12. Milwaukee
 13. LA Lakers                                                                                                         13. Orlando            
14. New Orleans                                                                                                       14. Philadelphia
15. Sacramento                                                                                                          15. Brooklyn

Western Conference Quarter Finals                                         Eastern Conference Quarterfinals

Golden State over Utah 4-2                                                                      Cleveland over New York 4-1

San Antonio over Houston 4-1                                                                  Toronto over Atlanta 4-3

Memphis over LA Clippers 4-3                                                                  Boston over Miami 4-0

Oklahoma City over Portland 4-0                                                             Washington over Indiana 4-2

Western Conference Semi Finals                                                 Eastern Conference Semi Finals 

Golden State over Oklahoma City 4-1                                                  Cleveland over Washington 4-2

San Antonio over Memphis 4-2                                                             Boston over Toronto 4-3

Western Conference Final                                                                       Eastern Conference Final 

Golden State over San Antonio 4-2                                                        Boston over Cleveland 4-2

                                                                            NBA Final 
                                                               Golden State over Boston 4-1

MVP Stephen Curry

Coach of the Year Brad Stevens

Rookie of the Year Buddy Hield

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Blues vs Canucks - October 18th

I still don't think the Canucks will do very well this year. Too many unknowns on this year and on top of everything else, all the other teams seem to be much better on paper.

There is still 80 games to go and Canucks nation is kinda waiting for this team to either play a tougher team or have reality set in and lose a game for the first time this year. They will play a tougher team tonight when a Stanley Cup favorite comes into town in the St. Louis Blues tonight who have started the year on fire winning all three games and only giving up 6 goals in the process.

Regardless of how much skill this team has, or lack of skill, if the Canucks bring work ethic and heart they will win their fair share of games. The 2007 team is good example of that where the team came into the season with low expectations but the whole team chipped in and were able to reach the second round of the playoffs.

Look for Ryan Miller to be back in net tonight facing his old team and it will be interesting to see if the Canucks can open the scoring for the first time this year.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Week 6 NFL TV Guide

Already Week 6 in the NFL. At this point in the season, we are not only able to figure out what teams are contenders but also we are able to figure out which divisions are strong and which divisions will keep teams in the playoff hunt for longer.

Same formula as last time, will try to do this weekly down that I have settled down in Vancouver.

Here is NFL's 506 Map.

The four games I am interested in are:

Philadelphia VS Washington 10AM FOX

Washington has won three in a row and have got themselves right back in the division race. With Dallas in Green Bay this week, it isn't that far fetched to imagine the Redskins being in a first placed tie for the NFC East.

Cleveland vs Tennessee 10AM CBS

The Titans are in a playoff race in a must win game considering who they are playing. However, this is the exciting part of the NFL. No game is a gimme. Titans need a win over the Browns.

Kansas City vs Oakland  1:05PM CBS

The first place Oakland Raiders host Kansas City who are still winless on the road this year. With every win the Raiders get there are more and more people jumping on the bandwagon.

Atlanta vs Seattle 1:25PM FOX

For the first time in awhile, Seattle might be the underdog at home to an eye. Atlanta comes in to damp Seattle looking to take control of the NFC South. Forecast calls for major rain so taking care of the ball might be a huge priority.

San Diego
5:25 PMCBSQualcomm Stadium, San Diego6,498 tickets available from $78

Sunday, October 16

Monday, October 17

New York
U of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale8,574 tickets available from $37