Sports Buffet for 06/03/10

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SptsBuf

NFL

The Browns have announced that Hall of Fame RB Jim Brown and WR Paul Warfield will no longer serve as an advisers to owner Randy Lerner. Given the history of the Browns since the team returned in 1999, the leadership of the team needs all the advice they can get. Both will be missed.

Steeler QB Ben Roethlisberger’s biggest test of the suspension is not now going back with the team and participating in the OTAs. The biggest test will be how he completes what the league has asked him to do to reduce the suspension from 6 games to 4. The other half of that test will be how he behaves or misbehaves during the time from the end of the last preseason game until he gets reinstated by the league. Under NFL rules he can have no contact with the team at all during that time except for medical staff as prescribed by the terms of the suspension. If he has another incident like the ones that got him suspended in the past, there could be games added to his “unpaid leave.”

The talk around Dolphin land at their OTA last weekend was all about the passing game. QB Chad Henne has developed nicely after replacing Chad Pennington in 09. The one thing that he needs to improve on in 2010 is his TD to Int ratio. In 09 he threw 12 TDs but 14 picks. He looked even better in the OTAs. However, a lot of “want to be” guys look good in shorts.

Eagle CB Marlin Jackson is out for the season after rupturing an Achilles tendon in the team’s OTA. The team signed Jackson from the Colts to start despite his ending the 09 season on the IR.

Packer CB Al Harris is behind schedule on his recovery from knee surgery that ended his 09 season. He was expected to participate in the OTA last week but is still on the sideline.

Ram S Oshiomogho Atogwe did not sign his tender with the team. On June 1 the Rams could have increased their offer to 7M to keep their exclusive rights for him. They did not. Atogwe is now an unrestricted free agent but the Rams are still hoping they can come to a long term contract with him. He has a history of being a ball hawk. The only question is how much in this economy is he worth. The Packers and Vikings are teams that might be interested.

Lion RB Kevin Smith is not ready to participate in OTAs and will likely start training camp on the Physically Unable to Perform list. Players on that list do not count against the roster limits but only qualify if they are hurt away from football or from an injury in the previous season. Players that are on the PUP on the final cutdown day may not be activated until after week 6.

NBA

Game 1 of the Finals goes tonight. The 2-3-2 format puts the stress most on the Celtics. To win the title, in my opinion, they must win one of the first 2 games. The latest on injuries indicates that Celtics PG Rondo will play and is 85-90% while C Perkins is OK. For the Lakers C Bynum is as good as he can be expected to be with his knee problem. He had more than 70 ccs of liquid taken out of the knee on Monday.

MLB

Tampa Bay continues to lead the AL East by 2.5 games over the Yankees. The secret has been a 21-6 record on the road. As long as the pitching holds up, the Rays could be in the race for the duration.

The Twins have built a 3.5 game lead in the AL Central over the Tigers. The Twinkies have been helped by the Tigers going 3-7 over the last 10.

The Rangers lead the AL West but both the As and Angels are coming on. The Rangers were 4-6 over the last 10 while both their pursuers were 6-4.

The two best races in MLB are in the NL. The Central and West divisions are both tight. The Reds and Cards have been trading leads in the Central for a couple of weeks. Last night the Cards beat Cincy 4-1 to climb back into a tie. The Padres have the best mark in the NL with a 32-21 record but only lead the Dodgers by 1 game in the West.

The Tigers traded former All Star P Dontrelle Willis to the Diamondbacks for P Billy Buckner and cash. The Tigers will pay all but the prorated remaining part a minimum veteran contract for Willis in 2010. Despite being a big dollar FA signing in 2008, he has only be able to start 22 games for the Tigers. In 2010 he had a 4.98 ERA and was 1-2 for Detroit.

NHL

The Flyers got back into the finals series with a 4-3 OT win yesterday. The key for Philly will be to win game 4 at home then take game 5 at Chicago. Otherwise, they could be in trouble. The Black Hawks are a lot deeper than the Flyers. As the series goes on, that should give them a real advantage.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on

and edits .

Technorati Tags: NFL,NBA,NHL,MLB,NBA Finals,NHL Finals,Browns,Eagles,Rams,Lions,UFA,Atogwe,Brown,Roethlisberger,Steelers,Dolphins,Colts,Jackson,Packers,Vikings,Celtics,Lakers,Bynum,Rondo,Perkins,Rays,Twins,Rangers,Tigers,Angels,As,Reds,Cardinals,trades,Willis,Diamondbacks,Black Hawks,Flyers
  • Author:
  • Published: May 14th, 2009
  • Category: NBA Basketball
  • Comments: Comments Off on NBA Playoffs—What have we learned?

NBA Playoffs—What have we learned?

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Bulldoz

Here comes Lebron and the Cavs!

We would like to thank the Hawks for participating in the playoffs. Please pick up your parting gifts as you leave the arena: The Cavs are serious! The Cavs are undefeated in the playoffs so far. They are disposing of the undermanned competition by an average of nearly 20 points a game. This team for the first time in franchise history looks like it has no intention of taking a game off let alone allowing a team to beat it in Cleveland.

The team seems to be totally focused on winning and that focus is provided by Lebron James. He has the will to win regardless of the situation and has willed the team to comebacks against some of the best teams in the league during the regular season. Now, he and his mates are making playoff teams look like the Washington Generals against the Globetrotters.

Don’t expect them to get pressed by any team until the finals.

Boston is struggling with the Magic: This version of the Celtics is a shadow of the team that won the championship last year. They are hurt and seem to be using that as an excuse to explain losses to an inferior Magic team. The Celts were lucky to win Game 4 and that luck will not continue. The Magic will win the series as soon as they begin to remember to get the ball to their superstar Dwight Howard in the last few minutes of a game. Magic win in 7 games.

The Lakers seem to take games off: How else can you explain the Lakers losing to Houston in Game 4 even though the Rockets are missing their biggest piece? The Lakers looked like a team that expected the Rockets to give up after C Yao Ming went down with a foot injury in Game 3.

Kobe Bryant doesn’t seem to have the ability that Lebron does to keep the team focused. In addition, Andrew Bynum struggled while Yao was on the floor. Even in game 4, the shadow of Yao seemed to be effective against Bynum. Bynum recovered in game 5 and helped the Lakers take a 3-2 advantage in the series.

Now that Yao is out for the rest of the playoffs, the Lakers will win the series. Had he been healthy, the Lakers would have gone down in 6 games. However, the Lakers will have to get focused in a hurry if they are going to get to the finals. They are probably the deepest team in the league but they had better take Denver more seriously than they have Houston. The Nuggets will not be an easy out.

Owner Mark “the punk” Cuban is going to blow up the Mavs: Look for a lot of changes in Dallas after the season. They are not competitive now and need to upgrade their team overall. The bench has been particularly unproductive in the playoffs this season except for Jason Terry. The trade for Jason Kidd was like throwing a piece of spaghetti against a wall to see if it’s done. It has not worked out like the Mavs thought.

It looks like Erick Dampier got old all of a sudden. The Mavs have tried to shake up the starting lineup without much success. Look for a lot of changes in Mav Land. Unfortunately, the exit of Cuban will not be among them.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

Technorati Tags: NBA Playoffs,NBA,Cavilers,Celtics,Lakers,Nuggets,Magic,Cuban,Maverics,Rockets,Yao Ming,Lebron James,Kobe Bryant,Bynum,Kidd,Howard,Terry

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