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
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Comments on the NBA and NHL finals.

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nba

NBA

Game 1 will tip off Thursday. That gives the “old” Celtics time to recover from injuries to PG Rajon Rondo and C Kendrick Perkins. The schedule of the Finals will allow more rest than the Celtics to play at a very high level of energy.

One thing that came out of the last game against game against the Magic was the outstanding performance by the diminutive PG Nate Robinson. Robinson had not played much in the post season but came off the bench to replace Rondo and scored 13 point, got 2 rebounds and a steal.

The Lakers have some injury issues of their own. C Andrew Bynum had fluid removed from his right knee which has given him trouble for most of his career.

The format of the finals gives the team with home court advantage an additional benefit. With the 2-3-2 format, the team without HC advantage usually struggles to win all 3 games on their court.

Keys to the series:

1. The biggest key is who is going to stop Rondo from controlling the Celtic O. When he has been distributing the ball and driving to the hoop, the team has been unbeatable. He has averaged nearly 17 points and 10 assists per game in the playoffs. The Magic didn’t have an answer for Rondo and neither did the Cavs. The biggest question who gets the assignment to stop Rondo?

Laker PG Fisher is not nearly quick enough to slow Rondo. Bryant would be another prospect but by spending his energy on the D end of the floor could hurt his scoring. The backup Gs on the team are not known for their D. One possibility would be Ron Artest. When he feels like doing the job he is an effective defender but is not as quick as Rondo.

2. Which Kevin Garnett will show up? When he is on, the Celtics are really active on the O side of the floor. But at 34 he takes some quarters off. He can not do that against the Lakers and expect the Celtics to win.

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NHL

In the first 2 games, the Flyers have outplayed the Black Hawks but come up short twice on the scoreboard. Now the series goes back to Philly and we will see if the Hawks can shake off the cobwebs to play at the level they have in previous series.

If the Flyers win the games at home convincingly, expect them to steal one in Chicago and win the series. The Hawks need to win one in Philly to prove to themselves as well as the opponents. If not, the Flyers could well win the championship.

The first two games were as different as they could be. Game 1 looked like an NBA All star game where nobody even tried to play D in a 6-5 win for Chicago. Game 2 was much better hockey and ended up 2-1. Expect the games in Philly to look a lot more like the 2-1 game than the 6-5 game.

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: NHL,NBA,NHL Finals,NBA Finals,Boston Celtics,Lakers,Rondo,Bynam,Garnett,Fisher,Artest,Black Hawks,Flyers,NBA All Star Game
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Niblets for May 2010

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Best comment of the month: A Tale of two NCAA Violations

From justbuster

Good job on listing just a few of the violations at USC. Reading the blogs and comments that USC fans have left on other sites, I hope you’re prepared for the avalanche of infantile and just plain dumb invective that the minions of Troy are about to hit you with. They talk among themselves about ‘losing a few scolies’ and/or ‘minor probation’ but they just don’t seem to get it. They’re four square against ‘punishing the kids of today for the sins of yesterday’. Keep telling it like it is.

Having the political site Fryingpanpolitics.blog.com, I am used to people taking shots at me verbally. So far no shots from a gun. I do my best to let my readers know exactly what I think and really appreciate you and everyone else that has taken the time to leave a comment.

Updates on previous columns:

First round QBs in the NFL Draft may disappear.

The Raiders have filed a grievance against former QB and top overall pick JaMarcus Russell. The team claims in the filing that he owes 9+M of the money he was paid because his contract was changed and that money was intended to be advances on his salary for 2010-2012. Davis better sue Burger King because chances are they have more of Russell’s money than he does. One of the reasons he looks more like a NT than a QB is that he has 2 double Woopers as a snack between meals.

The Steelers are having off field problems with their players.

QB Ben Roethlisberger has been cleared by the league to rejoin the Steelers and participate in preseason activities. However, he must be away from the team from the end of the last preseason game until his suspension is over or Commissioner Goodell reduces it and again allows him to return.

Niblets fresh from the cob:

It looks like the NBA Western Conference Finals will go 7 games.

Both teams have held in home games. But Los Suns almost stole game 5 in LA coming back from 20+ down to take the game to OT. The Lakers will lose tonight at Phoenix then we will see who is the tough guy in game 7. I think the Lakers will win but I wouldn’t bet the farm on it.

Look for the Magic to make some changes in 2010-2011.

The Magic looked bad, horrible, OK then bad again in losing to the Celtics. The Magic just had no answer for PG Rondo but neither does anyone else. Right now he is playing the best ball in the post season. But the Magic need to get some help for Howard or look to lose again next season.

The Black Hawks look like the favorite in the NHL final series.

While the Flyers have been magic this playoff season, the Black Hawks just have too much talent to be denied. IF they can keep this team together financially, they could be a favorite for the next couple of championships.

Political Correctness strikes the NFL again.

The owners voted to give the 2014 Super Bowl to New Jersey. Enjoy the city of New York but they had better hope that Obama is right about global warming. They will need a lot of it to have a reasonable day in February.

Cowboy WR Patrick Crayton is in limbo. The Cowboys don’t really want him because he at best figures to be the 5th WR but is making 2M. But the Boys don’t want to trade him either even though he has asked to be dealt. They are waiting to see if they get a really good trade offer if a team loses a player.

Reports from Raider land say the O looks much improved.

The replacement of Russell with QB Jason Campbell has to have improved things. I could be more accurate than Russell and I am 62 years old.

RB LenDale White is cut by his college coach.

Former USC Coach Carroll traded for his college RB White during the 2010 draft. But despite losing 45 pounds, White was not in football shape and was cut. White is also facing a 4 game suspension for violating the NFL’s drug policy. If the guy that recruited you out of high school doesn’t think you can do the job, good luck getting another contract.

NFL RBs are struggling with injuries.

Titan RB Javon Ringer and Texan RB Ben Tate are both suffering with hamstring injuries. Dolphin Ronnie Brown is recovering from foot surgery. He will take part in the team’s minicamp even though he is a RFA. The problem is greater for Tennessee because star RB Chris Johnson is holding out and RB LeGarrette Blount may not be there for minicamp.

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: USC,Michigan,NCAA,Rule violations,NFL,NBA,NHL,Playoffs,Finals,Raiders,Russell,White,Seahawks,Magic,Lakers,Celtics,Suns,Los Suns,Political Correctness,Super Bowl,New York,Cowboys,Obama,Crayton,Texans,Dolphins,Titans,Black Hawks,Flyers
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Sports Buffet for 5/25/10

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SptsBuf

Note: I will have a B I G announcement about getting back on the Internet radio very soon. We will also have Niblets this Saturday.

NFL

The NFL took a huge loss in the Supreme Court Monday. The Court in effect said that the league is not a single entity in regards to licensing producers of apparel but 32 separate businesses. For the details about what this means, check out my NFL News, Notes and Rumors on NFLDraftDog.com.

Vikings QB Bret Favre had the surgery on his ankle that he had said would be required to play in 2010. Expect him to be back this season the day AFTER the team breaks camp. At 40 timing is everything.

NBA

Most analysts are saying that the Magic just have not shown much effort in their series with the Celtics. They said the same thing about the Cavs. Could it be that the Celtics are just so good that they make their opposition look inept? Yes. The combination of very good coaching, experienced veterans that know how to play the game and the fact that for the first time all year the team is healthy have all contributed to the Celtics success in the playoffs.

The Magic did squeak out a win Monday in Boston. Don’t expect that to save them. The series will be over in 6.

Los Suns finally won a game. They trail the Lakers 2 games to 1. Los Suns will Los–e. The series will only last 2 more games.

The Cavs finally fired CINO (coach in name only) Mike Brown.  This will not keep LeBron in Cleveland.

MLB

The Astros are trying to trade SP Roy Oswald. There are a lot of challenges including his contract, history of injury and the fact that he can’t seem to find the plate. Because Roy is one of the faces of the franchise Astros ownership is not going to be willing to give him away just to make him happy. With most teams looking to reduce payroll, it is unlikely that the team will be able to get a deal.

The Reds are hanging in against the favored Cards in the NL. The Rays are hanging in to the always tough AL East. As long as both teams pitching stays healthy, they could be around past the All Star game.

Congrats to MLB for keeping politics out of the game. We don’t see that kind of guts out of many pro leagues these days.

NHL

The Black Hawks haven’t won the Cup since 61. Their goal tender Antti Niemi was driving a Zamboni not that long ago for a little extra cash. Now he is the toast of the city and the league. Great D helps win in the NHL but nothing will get you to the Cup Finals faster than a really hot goalie.

The Flyers will represent the East in the finals. This should be a great series. I have heard that the Flyers looked really good but since I don’t have the Verses network, I can not comment on that.

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,NHL,NBA,MLB,NHL Cup finals,Favre,American Needle v. NFL,Supreme Court,Celtics,Cavilers,Magic,Suns,Lakers,Astros,Oswald,Reds,Cardinals,Rays,Black Hawks,Niemi,Flyers,Verses Network
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  • Published: May 20th, 2010
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Sports Buffet for 05/20/10

Sports Buffet for 05/20/10

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SptsBuf

NFL

Former pro bowl CB Shawn Springs was released by the Pats. He has lost some speed and will end up as a decent FS but is no longer to play CB at this level.

DL Glenn Dorsey was the 5th pick in 2008. He was less than effective in the 4-3 and is a liability in the Chiefs 3-4 at DE. A trade would do him a world of good. However, don’t expect the Chiefs to get anything even close to full value for a player that has not developed as expected.

NBA

We would like to thank the Orlando Magic(less) for participating and don’t forget your parting gift–the home version of our game. Losing 2 games at your house to start a 7 game playoff is like Florida Republican Gov. Crist lose the primary for the Senate and enter the race as an independent. He could still win but the odds are very much against it.

The problem for the Magic is that the two losses were from different causes. They lost game 1 because Howard was shut down and the team looked out of sync from the long layoff. They were just out hustled in game 2 by a supposedly over the hill team. They could still win but I believe the series will be over in 5 games.

The Cavs are done. They were done in by LeBron James quitting on the team. He is almost certain to leave and go to Chicago or Miami. After the second surprising win by the Celtics in Cleveland, it looked like James came to the conclusion that he was not going to win a title with the Cavs and had already decided he would not be back. Danny Ferry should have fired Coach Brown right after the game in Boston and made him get his own way back. That would have given LeBron some hope that Ferry was willing to do more to help James win a title in Cleveland. Without James, the team is in serious trouble. I will have more on this later.

There is talk about building a state of the art basketball arena in downtown Los Vegas. They people there feel they can recruit an NBA team to share it with UNLV. While there are several teams struggling to get fans in the seats, I am not sure that LV will be better.

I have always been a fan of Grant Hill of the Suns. He has been through so many injuries but has come back to play very well this year. He plays hard at both ends of the floor and had a great game last night in LA.

MLB

The Reds have shown some life. They beat the Cards and moved into first place in the division. They won’t win it but at least have given their fans some fun watching better baseball than they have played in the last few seasons.

Some businessmen in Tampa are trying to figure out how to build the Rays a new stadium. It won’t work because the team will still have trouble drawing fans. While new buildings help for a year, in the 2nd year they will not increase the revenue but will hurt by adding unnecessary debt to a franchise already struggling financially.

The current MLB CBA has 2 years remaining. Look for serious labor issues because a number of teams are losing money now.

NHL

The Flyers are the 7th seed but had home ice advantage vs the Canadians the 8th seed. Philly has a 2-0 lead in the series and it looks like Canadians have hit a brick wall. That wall is named Michael Leighton goalie for the Flyers. He is supported by a solid D in front of him that is playing very well.

The 2nd seed Black Hawks have a 2-0 lead as well and have an even stronger hold on the ticket to the finals. Capt. Jonathan Toews has 7 goals and 16 assists in the playoffs.

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,MLB,NHL,Florida,Magic,LeBron James,Cavilers,Celtics,Los Vegas,Grant Hill,Toews,Black Hawks,Reds,Cardinals,Rays,CBA,Collective Barganing Agreement,Canadians,Leighton,Flyers,Springs,Chiefs,Dorsey
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