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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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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  • Author:
  • 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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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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Analysis: The Cavs take 2 steps up and 1 step back.

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The Cavs took 2 steps up with the trade for C Shaquille O’Neal. Most of the experts are saying that Shaq won’t impact the Cavs that much. That is both true and false. But then they threw away their 1st round pick by drafting Christian Eyenga of the Congo via Spain. One step WAY back.

False: The thing that Shaq gives the Cavs is an inside scorer. Shaq is also a better passer than almost any other C in the league. When the Cavs get the ball inside and the D begins to collapse on him, he can pass to the perimeter for a 3 point shot. That will work if anyone other than LeBron James is capable of hitting a 3 in the playoffs. Mo Williams was brought in to be the other outside scorer and take some pressure off LeBron. That worked well in the regular season and the first two rounds of the playoffs. However, in the series against Orlando, Mo became one of the statues standing watching LeBron take on the entire Magic team. Add to that the fact that Mo couldn’t have hit the Mississippi River from the middle of a bridge and the Cavs get blown out of the playoffs.

The older C Zydrunas Ilgauskas gets the farther away from the basket he seems to play. Over the last couple of years, no one doubled Z. And most of his points have come from 10 feet and out. He has not been an inside scoring force that LeBron needs. He has never been physical. Given the ability of Shaq to catch the ball and score inside, he is a major improvement in the middle over Z.

True: The addition of Shaq does nothing to help pick and roll D which was half the reason that the Cavs lost to the Magic. The Cavs needed the addition of one more outside shooting threat that can also play D against the opponent PF or SF with some quickness. Don’t even think that Cleveland can play Z at the PF against teams like the Magic. Forward Richard Jefferson that was traded to San Antonio from Milwaukee is EXACTLY the kind of player that could have made the Cavs much more effective against the Magic. He also would have helped against the Celtics. By getting Jefferson, the Spurs can challenge the Lakers in the west.

That brings us to the draft. ESPN NFL draft guru Mel Kiper said of a team during one draft “They clearly don’t understand what the draft is all about.” He was right then and it applies to the Cavs’ 2009 NBA draft as well. Eyenga is supposed to be very athletic. Ok, that’s nice. But any prospect that has a highlight tape that looks like it was taken by a $9 cell phone is not worth a 1st round pick—even the 30th pick. I admit I had never heard of Eyenga. I have a list of 150 players that I have seen and Eyenga is not on that list. He was also not on the lists of any website I have been able to find.

The point that Kiper was making is that having a good draft is a product of getting value with each pick. Do the Cavs really think that Eyenga wasn’t going to be there at 47, their other pick in the draft? He would have been there in September of 09 as an undrafted and unknown FA. With that 30th pick, the Cavs could have gotten DeJuan Blair (PF Pittsburgh 16th on my ranking) who is a good defender and rebounder and can score a little. The Spurs will work Blair into the rotation immediately and he will develop into a starter down the line. They could have gotten Sam Young (SF Pittsburgh) or Dante Cunningham (F Villanova). Even Richie Cunningham would have been a better pick. He played for his high school team on Happy Days didn’t he?

I did like the pick of Danny Green (SF North Carolina). He is as ready to contribute as anyone picked around him (47 overall).

So what do the Cavs do now? Get into the Hedo Turkoglu (F FA from Orlando) sweepstakes. Turk could be the guy they need to fill that other F position opposite LeBron. Turk as I predicted has opted out of his Magic contract. The Cavs need to spend the money now to get Turk and pay the luxury tax. If they fail to win it all in 09-10, they will lose LeBron and 90% of the value of the franchise.

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,NBA Draft,Shaquille O’Neal,LeBron James,Cavilers,Lakers,Magic,Kiper,Jefferson,Turkoglu,Happy Days,Blair,Cunningham,Young
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Analysis: When is a deal not a deal? When it's a DUMP!

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Lebron

The Bucks traded their best player, Richard Jefferson, for a trio of decent but not winning players. The Milwaukee Bucks have sent a message to their fans—“We lost with Richard Jefferson. We lost paying the NBA Luxury tax for being over 71.5 million. So this year don’t bother watching us. We are going to save money and dump the 2009-10 season.”

Like all the NBA teams that are dumping payroll this year and next, the excuse is that “we are preparing to make a big splash in the free agent market in 2010.” Don’t believe that for a second. No major free agent is going to go to Milwaukee, Detroit, Cleveland (if LeBron leaves), Washington, Oklahoma City, or any other of the cold weather and traditionally mediocre teams in the league.

The reason that teams get away with these half-truths is that all sports fans are gullible. As a Cavs and Cubs fan, I include myself in that group. We all believe that all we need is one more really good player to bring a title to our long suffering team.

There are several BIG names in the 2010 free agent pool. But the pool is not nearly as deep as it looks.

CLE – LeBron James

The future of the Cavs begins and ends with James. If he leaves, it ends for sure. No free agent would ever come to Cleveland except to play with LeBron. There is a 33% chance that LeBron will stay in Cleveland. I believe it will depend on what the Cavs do this off season. If not, he is bound for Orlando, LA, NY, or maybe even San Antonio.

Miami – Dwayne Wade (Player option)

Wade is the most valuable PG available in the next 2 years. He will likely move to a contender. The Bucks fans don’t have to worry. No way will Wade or any other big time FA go there.

Bos – Paul Pierce (Early Termination Option ETO)

The BIG 2.5 (Ray Allen is only half) is getting older. We saw this year how important the loss of Kevin Garnett was. If Pierce leaves, the Celts are the 4th or 5th best team in the East. The team will do whatever it takes to keep him. Allen will also be unrestricted in 2010 and will likely be allowed to leave.

Hou – Yao Ming (ETO)

Since a group of Chinese businessmen bought into the Cavs, there have been rumors of Yao going to Cleveland to join LeBron. Don’t bet on it. Yao may well take a hike if the team loses more of his support. Ron Artest is a free agent this year, and Tracy McGrady is a free agent in 2010. If they both stay and the Rockets bring in someone else, he will likely stay. The problem that the team faces is that Yao is the only young C in the pool. He will receive a lot of offers.

ATL – Joe Johnson

There is no way that a team that is young and building is going to let a scorer go. Johnson will be super-glued to the Hawks roster. With the Hawks coming along nicely, he won’t leave.

Milw – Michael Redd

Redd will likely put his house up for sale this year because the housing market is down. That should give him plenty of time to sell the house prior to him leaving the Bucks. He is the one player that might go home to Cleveland but only if LeBron is there. Since Redd is a SG, he is not exactly what the Cavs need the most.

There are a lot of other players including Amare Stoudemire (ETO Suns) who is an oldie but goodie.

Most teams are using the 2010 season of LeBron as an excuse to lose now and save money. But we all get lied to a lot, so why the NBA team owners be any different.

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,Trades,free agent,LeBron,Dwayne,Wade,Pierce,Allen,Ming,Yao,Redd,Stoudemire,Bucks,Jefferson,Cavs,Rockets,Celtics,Lakers,Magic,Knicks,Spurs
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  • Author:
  • Published: Jun 16th, 2009
  • Category: NBA Basketball
  • Comments: Comments Off on LeBron is good as LeGone—Unless…

LeBron is good as LeGone—Unless…

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Cavs

The facts:

Fact 1: Given the debacle of 08-09, unless the Cavs do something spectacular, LeBron is LeGone. The Magic were better than the Cavs this year and the Magic will be significantly improved with the return of PG Jameer Nelson next season. The Magic’s key players are getting better.

Fact 2: The Cavs are likely to be worse next season unless they make some spectacular and admittedly desperate moves. Ben Wallace has already mentioned retirement. Despite his efforts, he is no where near the player he used to be. If some team offers Anderson Varejao a deal, he is likely to go. While he is not the answer for the Cavs, his departure will hurt the Cavs more than his arrival will help another team.

Fact 3: Mike Brown is not the kind of coach that is likely to be able to convince LeBron than the Cavs have a future. The Cavs should look for a high energy high profile offensive minded coach immediately.

Fact 4: Cleveland without LeBron could not attract a free agent offering a magic carpet ride through Shangra La. The ONLY hope the Cavs have for any kind of future is to do whatever the team can to try to keep LeBron.

Fact 5: The salary cap for 2008-09 was $58.680 million. The Cavs had one of the highest salary totals in the league last year. It was around 94 million.

Fact 6: Any team that goes above the salary tax level of 71.15 million pays a dollar for every dollar above that level. That meant that the Cavs had to give the league around 23 million in tax penalty payments.

Fact 7: There were only 2 teams, Miami and Portland, under the salary cap. And they were only popcorn money below the cap.

Plan 1 Amar’e Stoudemire (Pheonix 2008-09 Statistics PPG 21.4 RPG 8.10 APG 2.0)

Stoudemire is coming off an injury and there is reason to believe that the Suns are thinking about reworking their team. There are also rumors about the Suns needing to drop payroll to get under the tax level. Stoudemire is only 27 and is a consistent 20+ point 8+ rebound guy. Having another shooter to draw attention is critical. He would make Zydrunas Ilgauskas better by giving the team a 3rd rebounder. Stoudemire would create a very tough front line match up for opponents and someone that could slow down Dwight Howard.

Plan 2 Hedo Turkoglu (ETO) (Orlando 2008-09 Statistics PPG 16.8 RPG 5.30 APG 4.9)

The Turk has already announced he plans to opt out of the contract with the Magic. If the Cavs could land him, he would not only help Cleveland but hurt their prime opponent. A great thought if they could pull it off. Don’t hold your breath. Turk is looking for BIG money. He may not find it but other teams have a better chance of giving it to him than the Cavs.

Plan 3 Shaquille O’Neal (trade only) (Pheonix 2008-09 Statistics PPG 17.8 RPG 8.4 APG 1.7)

There has been a lot of talk about the Suns trading Shaq to the Cavs for Aleksandar Pavlovic and Ben Wallace. Shaq MIGHT be willing to take that trade for one reason—to beat Kobe Bryant and the Lakers in a final. Shaq has only 1 or 2 seasons left at best. He would be a short term fix that would not entice LeBron to stay. But it might get LeBron a title as a thank you for what he has done for the Cavs.

The bottom line: No team can afford to lose a key player and stay competitive. Because they are all over the salary cap, they have only a mid level exception to bring in a free agent. That is expected to be around 6 million next season. The teams will do whatever it takes including overpaying marginal stars because they can’t afford to take any big money free agents.

The only chance the Cavs have is to make a trade but they just don’t have much to trade with. The Cavs have to do something but there are very few options. Look for them to try but I can’t see them being able to do much.

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,NBA Draft,NBA Playoffs,Cavilers,LeBron,James,Suns,Varejao,free agent,trades,Wallace,NBA Salary Cap,Miami,Portland,cap tax,Stoudemire,Turkoglu,Shaquille O’Neal,Shaq,Pavlovic,Kobe,Bryant,Lakers,Magic
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