Niblets for May 2010

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nib

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 https://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

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 https://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
  • 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 https://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

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 https://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
  • Author:
  • Published: May 29th, 2009
  • Category: NBA Basketball
  • Comments: Comments Off on The Cavs are a 1972 Comet with a Ferrari engine.

The Cavs are a 1972 Comet with a Ferrari engine.

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Our Comet is old and looks slow. But the horsepower provided by the engine will eventually tear the car apart.

The Cavs won last night. Lebron James, the Ferrari engine, had a direct hand in the last 32 points by his team. He either scored or had an assist on each of those shots. The problem for the Cavs is no matter how this series turns out the team needs to be reworked this off season if they want to have any chance to keep Lebron in town after June 2010.

The Cavs are fine as they stand for the regular season. They feed nicely on the Knicks, Wizards, Pacers and such. They can win at home against the Bulls and Celtics. The problem is that in the playoffs, they have one REALLY bad match-up—The Magic. And unless the Cavs can win a title this year or next, Lebron is most likely going to go to a team that can. Could you even imagine how good the Magic would be with Lebron? Would you rather spend the winter in Orlando or Cleveland?

If Lebron went to the Magic, that team would win 6 or 7 straight titles.

Due to the Bird exception in the salary cap, the Cavs are going to be able to offer Lebron more money than any other team. But money is not what motivates Lebron. He is a winner. He doesn’t want to be saddled with a team that wins in the regular season but falls short in the playoffs.

What the Cavs have:

In the NBA, it is not a question of what a team should do to improve. It is a question of what a team CAN do to improve. With guaranteed contracts, NBA players are a lot like the Scud Missile under Saadam—You can’t fire it and you can’t make it work. But the Cavs should have a lot of wiggle room in the 09 off season.

Joe Smith, Wally Szczerbiak, and Lorenzen Wright are unrestricted FA at the end of the season. That should free up over 29 mil in salary cap. In addition, Zydrunas Ilgauskas has an early termination option (ETO) in his contract. The team could lose him as well freeing up another 10.8 mil.

After next season, Sasha Pavlovic and Ben Wallace are free agents in addition to James with his player option. Together the three will provide 33 million in free money.

Anderson Varejao has a player option. If he doesn’t like what the Cavs are doing, he is likely to go. He has played fairly well this season. He is not starting quality but would be an excellent off the bench energy player for a contender.

What the Cavs need:

The series against Orlando makes one thing clear—to win championships they are going to have to beat the Magic in the playoffs over the next few years. They can not do that now.

The most critical needs for the Cavs are a reliable 3 point scorer and a quick big man with the feet to defend Howard and rebound. The Cavs had a chance to bring Ohio State alum SG Michael Redd to Cleveland a couple of years ago but did not. He is a consistent 3 point gunslinger.

The plan of all plans for the Cavs (that will never happen but should):

Kobe Bryant has an ETO in his contract this season. He want the max contract but he wants to win more. Bring Bryant in to pair with Lebron. You have 33 mil next year to give to Lebron. If Bryant comes in, Ilgauskas will stay. That would provide the Cavs with the scoring they need and one more outstanding defensive force. You can find another D player with a little scoring ability for the mid range exception.

Would Bryant come to Cleveland? Good question. To win a couple of titles, he might. There is no question that Bryant wanted to prove that he could win a title without Shaq. But given a chance with a short contract, he might be willing to come.

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 https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

Technorati Tags: NBA,Playoffs,Cavilers,Magic,salary cap,Howard,Lebron,James,Redd,Bryant,Kobe Bryant,Knicks,Wizards,Pacers,Bulls,Celtics
  • Author:
  • Published: May 21st, 2009
  • Category: NBA Basketball
  • Comments: Comments Off on Lebron's teamates had the most expensive seat in the house.

Lebron's teamates had the most expensive seat in the house.

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Lebron

Game 1 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals was a debacle for the Cavs. The loss was potentially devastating for the Cavs chances of getting their star the only thing he doesn’t have and wants—an NBA title. The problem was not rust after the long layoff. The Cavs started fine and built a double digit lead. The problem wasn’t an off night for Lebron—he scored 49. I can’t believe that the Cavs took the Magic lightly because they had just finished off the NBA champion Celtics.

The problem was that the other 4 starters for the Cavs had the most expensive seat in the house—standing on the floor watching Lebron take on the Magic alone.

I am a self admitted Cavs fan. That aside, I couldn’t believe that with less than 15 seconds left, the Cavs kicked the ball out for a 3 when they were only 1 point behind! With all star big man Dwight Howard on the bench with 6 fouls, take the ball to the hole!

The thing that worries Cav fans the most was watching the Cavs in the 4th quarter turn into Lebron and the 4 statues. He can do a lot but can’t beat the Magic all by himself.

This was the kind of game that the Cavs won regularly even when the Magic got close and took the lead in the last 2 minutes. They would come back and hit the last couple of shots then get a stop at a critical juncture to preserve the win. But Lebron’s mates were just standing there.

This was potentially a very expensive loss. The Cavs have to win a championship this year or next and preferably both in order to keep Lebron from leaving as a free agent. The key to this series will be games 2 and 3. If the Cavs come back and win the second game in Cleveland and then go to Orlando and win game 3 everything will be fine. But if the Cavs can’t take back home court advantage in the 2 games at Orlando, they could be in trouble.

Orlando has as good a team as the Cavs and maybe better. The Magic has no answer for Lebron. But Cleveland seems to have no answer for Howard. Rashard Lewis has been outstanding in the playoffs. Hedo Turkoglu has also been strong for the Magic.

For the Cavs Delonte West has stepped up during the playoffs but both Mo Williams and Zydrunas Ilgauskas are several points under their scoring per game in the regular season.

There is nothing in the NBA more exciting than watching Lebron James live in person. Cav fans will just have to hope the other 4 players on the floor don’t stop playing to enjoy the James show. If they do, the Cavs will be watching the finals from their living rooms.

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 https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

Technorati Tags: NBA,NBA Playoffs,Cavilers,Magic,eastern conference finals,Howard,James,West,Turkoglu,Lewis,Ilgauskas,Williams,Celtics

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