Lakers beat Hornets (4-2): A Series in Review

The Lakers played traditional Laker basketball keeping the 6 Game series win stressful, yet pulling it out decisively.

The Lakers struggled through their series as they always do dropping not only Game 1 but the jaws of everyone watching.

The Lakers proved why they have the most well balanced team in the NBA. In the 4 wins they had at least 4 players in double digits.

Kobe had true Kobe form in this series. Among the starters he was the leading scorer, however, he was 4th in APG, the only player with less was Andrew Bynum. As for rebounds, he was also 4th amongst starters, the only player having less rebounds was Derek Fisher.

In the New Orleans wins, Chris Paul avergaed 30 PPG, 10 RPG, 14.5 APG, 3 SPG, and a +/- of +8. He showed why he is still one of the most dominant point guards in the game.

The Lakers look like they are on a collision course for the Thunder in the Western Conference Finals. For the Lakers to win they need to be lightning and show up before the Thunder. They can’t afford to lose a home game against a Thunder team who last year gave them a run for their money and are now greatly improved with the addition of Kendrick Perkins.

Hawks beat Magic (4-2): A Series in Review

The Hawks beat the Magic in 6 games in a series marked with great coaching.

The Hawks let Dwight Howard do whatever he wanted. The Magic’s offensive scheme is designed around teams collapsing around Howard and him kicking it out to the outside for 3-pointers.

The Hawks passed their basic math classes and realized that to get to 100 points, which is an average score for an NBA team, you need to score 50 2 point shots but only 33 (rounded) 3 point shots. That is an extra 17 possessions the Magic would need to get to 100 points. If any NBA team gets 17 extra possessions to score they will win. This almost acted as a turnover without actually turning the ball over.

In the loses, Dwight Howard averaged 30.25 PPG and 16.5 RPG. In the decisive Game 5 victory he only had 8 points and 8 rebounds. Dwight Howard showed that despite being one of the most dominant players in the NBA he is better used when he is not being used.

On the Atlanta end of the series Jamaal Crawford and Joe Johnson were the most influential on the outcome for the Hawks.

In the wins Joe Johnson put up 22.25 PPG, 7.25 RPG, and 3.75 APG. Jamaal Crawford put up 22.5 PPG, 2 RPG, 3.75 APG in the wins.

The Hawks are looking good and match up well against the Bulls.

2011 NFL Draft First Round

The NFL Draft started with a statement from the fans. A little over 20 minutes before the draft Roger Goodell came out trying to get a moment of silence for the tragedy in Alabama, however, before he could get a word in edge wise he was booed and greeted with chants of “Let them play!” and “We want football!”

But to the actual draft, the picks are as follows with my personal grades and justification for those grades.

  1. CAR – Cam Newton/QB/Auburn/B-
    Cam Newton is too risky to give an A grade to. He could be a bigger and more unstoppable version of Michael Vick or he could be Jamarcus Russel.
  2. DEN – Von Miller/OLB/Texas A&M/A
    Von Miller is simply one of the most explosive players in the draft. He is an insane talent.
  3. BUF – Marcell Dareus/DT/Alabama/B
    I mainly gave him a B because I was unaware of this guy but he seems to have pretty good numbers behind him. Although numbers can be deceiving.
  4. CIN – A.J. Green/WR/Georgia/A-
    A.J. Green is a great talent that was vital to Georgia. However, I do not like a pick this high in the draft because wide receivers simply do not get that many touches throughout a game.
  5. ARI – Patrick Peterson/CB/LSU/A-
    Many considered Patrick Peterson the best player in the draft, however, Whisenhut’s stead fast views of take the best player available may have hurt them here considering they desperately need a quarterback.
  6. ATL – Julio Jones/WR/Alabama/B-
    No disrespect to Julio Jones, in fact, his skills are what made this grade even a B-, but Falcons, WHAT WERE YOU THINKING? You have Roddy White! You don’t need a wide receiver.
  7. SF – Aldon Smith/DE/Missouri/C-
    Someone please explain this pick to me because I don’t get it.
  8. TEN – Jake Locker/QB/Washington/C
    Jake Locker could be a very good talent but you good have easily waited on him. This is a big reach.
  9. DAL – Tyron Smith/OT/USC/B-
    He is a very good tackle and the Cowboys need a tackle. The only thing is he might be to skinny and might be pushed around.
  10. JAC – Blane Gabbert/QB/Missouri/B+
    Blane Gabbert has great skills but can he adjust to the NFL game. This was a solid pick because he can learn under Garrard for a couple of years, take over, and be turned into a franchise QB.
  11. HOU – J.J. Watt/DE/Wisconsin/A
    A great, great player out of Wisconsin. He is incredibly impressive and could be a stud for a Houston defense that needs some serious help.
  12. MIN – Christian Ponder/QB/Florida State/D+
    Very smart guy but a HUGE reach. He might have dropped all the way to the third round. Saying this is a questionable pick is being nice.
  13. DET – Nick Fairley/DT/Auburn/A+
    Although this does not fill a need I do not see anyone running inside on the Lions anymore. Fairley was considered the best player after the last College Football game in the draft. Due to some behavioral problems he dropped, however, his attitude might be a problem but he is a terrific talent.
  14. STL – Robert Quinn/DE/North Carolina/B
    Quinn was a top prospect but had to sit out the year for NCAA violations. Will that affect him? If not he seems promising.
  15. MIA – Mike Pouncey/C/Florida/B-
    A solid player although he is definitely the lesser of the two Pouncey brothers. He won’t be a bust but he wont be a star.
  16. WSH – Ryan Kerrigen/DE/Purdue/B+
    A guy with a tireless work ethic. He will be constantly improving and constantly getting better. He’s already pretty solid and just needs to work on a little more to become a stud.
  17. NE – Nate Soder/OT/Colorado/B-
    A solid player and I never question Belichick after he draft Tom Brady in the 6th round.
  18. SD – Corey Luiget/DT/Illinois/A-
    Luiget is legit! You know when you draft him you get a solid player. The Chargers got a steal here.
  19. NYG – Prince Amakumara/CB/Nebraska/A+
    Personally, I think Amakumara is the best corner back in the draft. He shut down Jake Locker who was picked 11 spots ahead of him. This was a huge steal.
  20. TB – Adrian Clayborn/DE/Iowa/B+
    Again, a solid pick, and a great guy. He overcame Erb’s Palsy and if he didn’t have this as a child he might have been picked in the top 10.
  21. CLE – Phil Taylor/DT/Baylor/B
    He will stuff up the middle against a division that runs the ball furiously. Holmgren knows what he is doing.
  22. IND – Anthony Castonzo/OT/Boston College/B
    Castonzo will day in and day out give you his all and you need that with someone protecting Peyton Manning. Castonzo was a great need filler for the Colts.
  23. PHI – Danny Watkins/OG/Baylor/C-
    I don’t want to bad mouth a service man too much so I’ll just say, I don’t see him being that amazing.
  24. NO – Cameron Jordan/DE/California/B+
    The Saints needed a pass rusher and they got a good one in Jordan.
  25. SEA – James Carpenter/OG/Alabama/F
    I hate giving an F because I don’t think you can fail with a pick. This was a fail. He was slotted late second round. I do not understand.
  26. KC – Jon Baldwin/WR/Pittsburgh/B
    Dwayne Bowe seems solid. Maybe they want some height. Not a bad pick, not a good pick.
  27. BAL – Jimmy Smith/CB/Colorado/B+
    He dropped this low because he had behavioral problems, however, the Ravens might be the best situation for him with having Ray Lewis as a mentor.
  28. NO – Mark Ingram/RB/Alabama/A+
    A Heisman Trophy winner at 28. Enough said. Great pick.
  29. CHI – Gabe Carimi/DT/Wisconsin/A-
    Big Wsiconsin man at 29. That sounds good to me.
  30. NYJ – Muhammad Wilkerson/DE/Temple/B-
    A guy with a huge wingspan, quite the physical specimen. The Jets know defense, lets see how this works.
  31. PIT – Cameron Hayward/DE/Ohio State/B
    A nice pick here as I said with the Jets they know defense, although, do they need a defensive player.
  32. GB – Derrick Sherrod/Mississippi State/B+
    The rich get richer. Sherrod is a very solid player and will greatly impact the Packers from the get go.

Important things to note:

There were 12 defensive lineman pick. That is an NFL record.

Andy Dalton and Daquan Bowers are still on the board.

Thunder beat Nuggets (4-1): A Seires in Review

With a defensive Serge and a Durantula bite the Thunder clinched a spot in the Western Conference semi-finals.

In Game 5 Serge Ibaka exploded on the defensive end putting up 8 rebounds (4 defensive), 9 blocks, and even 2 steals. Serge Ibaka has never been an offensive powerhouse, in fact he only put up 1 point in the entire game, however, during the game the Nuggets were stifled if they tried to drive the ball into the paint.

Also, Kevin “The Durantula” Durant exploded in the fourth quarter finishing with 41 points (also did that in Game 1), 5 rebounds, 2 blocks, and shot 92 percent from the free throw line. Kevin Durant rose to the occasion in the fourth quarter after TNT’s announcers were denouncing Durant saying he was having an off game, but then the Durantula poison set in and he took a Thunderous responsibility on his shoulders and powered through.

Durant averaged 32.75 PPG and had a  +/- of +8.5 over the 4 wins. Westbrook averaged 22 PPG and had a +/- of +8.75.

The Thunder showed why they have a serious chance to take the West even though they are a 4 seed. The next match up will be either the Spurs or Grizzlies and it seems likely the Grizzlies. The Grizzlies have a horrible road record and do not match up well at all against the Thunder. If the Spurs manage to win the series through some peculiar providence those old legs will be tired going up against a young Thunder team. A grueling 7 game series does not look good for a Spurs team that is already showing their age.

The Thunder look to have a promising series ahead of them and might be the favorite right now to make it to the finals out of the West.

Heat beat 76ers (4-1): A Series in Review

The Heat shined in their series, showing the most dominance of any Eastern Conference team in route to a 4-1 series win.

Despite uninspired starts against a team the Heat were head and shoulders above, the heat dominated. From the 2nd quarter on in the 5 game series the Heat outscored the 76ers 368-309. In the first 3 games of the series the Heat outscored the 76ers by 49 points. In every game the Heat outscored the 76ers with the lowest being 2 points in game 5.

The Big Three average 66.4 PPG, 29 RPG, and 12.2 APG over the course of the series. LeBron James average 24.2 PPG, 10.2 RPG, and 6.2 APG. Chris Bosh averaged 19.8 PPG, 9.4 RPG, and .8 APG. Dwyane Wade averaged 22.4 PPG, 9.4 RPG, and 5.2 APG.

The Heat showed in this series that when they show up they are nearly unstoppable. Even though they sleep walked through the first quarter they still won 4 games showing dominance for 3 quarters.

Every team has had their struggles. The Celtics could barely win at home against the Knicks and had a hard time closing them out in the fourth game. The Celtics were also playing a depleted Knicks roster, whose injury troubles greatly affected the series (https://journalisticjustice.wordpress.com/2011/04/24/celtics-sweep-knicks-a-series-in-review/). The Bulls showed their futility against the Pacers winning 3 of their 4 games by 6 points or less even though the Pacers were 8 games under.500 in the regular season (https://journalisticjustice.wordpress.com/2011/04/26/bulls-beat-pacers-4-1-a-series-in-review/).

The Heat showed subtle glimpses of dominance in their way to a 4-1 series win against the 76ers. If they can continue this dominance into the later play off series they can make a deep run and possibly live up to the massive ring promises LeBron made.

Bulls beat Pacers (4-1): A Series in Review

The Chicago Bulls, the team with the best record in the NBA, barely beat the Indiana Pacers, a 8 games under .500.  This series shows why the regular season is designed for players and the play offs is designed for teams.

Derrick Rose the single most dominant player in the NBA this year which is why they pulled out the best record. However, when you look past Rose and Boozer there isn’t much depth on their roster.

Joakim Noah would be considered the third best player on the Bulls and Noah is a scrapper and not a superstar. He gets all his points off of offensive rebounds. Noah is not a reliable threat on the court.

Then there is Taj Gibson, Kyle Korver, Luol Deng who are again solid role players. However, if you move past them who’s their seventh best player? Keith Bogans? He’s their starting shooting guard. How does Bogans match up against the star shooting guards in the East? It seems like they’re going to play the Hawks in the second round. There is no way Keith Bogans can match up with Joe Johnson. Will the Bulls move Rose over to guard Johnson and have Rose use up energy guarding a bigger, more athletic player. Even if they do move Rose over will Bogans be able to handle Kirk Hinrich and Jamaal Crawford at point guard? The Bulls were lucky enough to face a team who’s best shooting guard is Dahntay Jones.

The Bulls better be apprehensive because they might be facing Joe Johnson, Dwyane Wade, or even Kobe Bryant later on in the play offs. They better be aware of their weaknesses and not get cocky after this lackluster 5 game series win.

Scandal U: Ohio State

Scandal U Post 1 Ohio State

Jim Tressel is now being accused of lying to keep players on the field which would be a major violation.

Ohio State’s struggle with scandal has been well documented. Terrell Pryor and 4 other players were caught selling memorabilia, which is against the NCAA’s tyrannical rules.

Coach Jim Tressel was handed a 2 game suspension for not telling the NCAA when he knew about the violations. Coach Tressel voluntarily expanded it to 5 games saying that he should get the same suspension as his players.

The problem with the suspension is how does it really affect the Buckeye season. The first 5 games on their schedule are Akron, Toledo, at Miami, Colorado, and at Michigan State. Excluding Michigan State, who Ohio State seems to beat regularly, the teams’ combined record is 21-29 with an out of conference record of 6-12. The only foreseeable lose in this 5 game stint, even without Pryor and the 4 other players, is at Miami, and that might even be a win.

The suspension seems to be worthless when the suspension might not cause any loses, if anything it will cause a maturity of back up players.

The only way “The Great Buckeye Memorabilia Sale” can actually have a significant affect on the Buckeyes is if this new allegation the NCAA is accusing of Tressel causes a bigger suspension and affects recruiting. However, as of right now, 5 games may seem big but its merely a smack on the wrist.