I’m Baaaaack and I Apologize for the delay !!!
This week, let’s begin with the NFC North !!!
- Green Bay Packers: What can we say about the Packers !?!?!? Arguably the Best QB in the game, Aaron Rodgers will again have a Great Season, as he did last year. However with the way the Packers exited last season, I’m quite sure still stings and lingers in the back of their minds !!! The Packers, still have their offensive weapons, minus WR Jordy Nelson. Rodgers will not lose stride and the other weapons for the Packers will fill the void. WR Randall Cobb is looking a little gimpy after Sunday’s win. WR James Jones, had an EXCELLENT return game this weekend and Bruising RB Eddie Lacy also contributed to the W against My Bears. The Offensive line is also where the strengths is with this team. The Biggest Question with this team is Defense !?!? The Packers Defense gave up 23 points to a woeful Bears Offense. Can they put it together and get some key stops as the season progresses. I have the Packers easily winning the division and as much as it Bothers me to say this, it’s the TRUTH !!! Mike McCarthy will (As Always) have his team running on all cylinders and the Packers will finish 12-4, no worse than 11-5.
- Detroit Lions: The Lions have the Gun Slinging QB in Matthew Stafford. The Lions have drafted RB Ameer Abdullah has shown some promise in the preseason and actually had a pretty respectable 1st game as a Rookie. Veteran Joique Bell has returned, however is his health going to allow him to return to form !?!? We all know the Lions have 1 of the Best WR in the game …. Calvin “Megatron” Johnson. Megatron consistently puts up BIG numbers every year. Can Megatron do it again and can the Offensive line keep Stafford upright !?!? That has yet to be seen. The Lions Defense is “SUSPECT” !!!! With the loss of DT Suh and DT Nick Fairley, their D-Line will feel the affects of this loss. Coach Jim Caldwell is definitely changing the culture in Detroit and has them treading in the right direction. As long as the Lions can keep Stafford upright and his uniform as clean as possible and Main thing is DEFENSE, can they stop anybody !?!? Time will tell with this team. Also, when it comes to the come down, can they win the BIG GAME, against the Green Bay Packers for the division !?!? We shall see. I have the Lions finishing 2nd in the division with a 10-6 record.
- Minnesota Vikings: The Vikings have fixed 1 key position in an attempt to change face of the franchise …. QB Teddy Bridgewater !!! Teddy will make this Offense Better in all aspects, however can the O-Line protect the Young Gunner and allow him to become a franchise QB in this league. The highly anticipated return of RB Adrian Peterson aka All Day aka AP …. After being out for most of the season last year, can All Day return to his bruising style of running and making opposing defenses look and feel bad !?!? The Vikings and Running orientated Coach, Norv Turner will get to see if AP is fully back or will it take a couple of games to return to form. Last night against the S.F. 49ers, Adrian Peterson looked a little rusty. Grant it, he’s missed all but a couple of games last season. The Vikings have added WR and Long Ball threat Mike Wallace. This addition is helpful in a sense that it would allow Teddy to stretch the field and once AP kicks into gear, this would hope to place his other weapons in play to be big for the team. I’m Not a believer at all in the Vikings Defense. Their Defense is SUPER SUSPECT !!! I don’t believe they can stop anyone and it showed in last nights game against the 49ers. I have the Vikings finishing last in the division with a 6-10 or even 5-11 record.
- Chicago Bears: Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa BEARS !!! My Team !!! Where should I start with My Team !?!? The Bears have gone thru a complete makeover in the Front Office. With the much needed firing of Phil Emory, the Bears signed New GM Ryan Pace, Head Coach John Fox (Formerly of the Denver Broncos), Offensive Coordinator Adam Gase (Formerly of the Denver Broncos) and Defensive Coordinator Vic Fangio (Formerly of the S.F. 49ers) We’ve completely revamped the coaching staff and hopefully that’ll transition to the team. We’ve drafted WR Kevin White (West Virginia), however White hasn’t played a down in Preseason due to a Stress Fracture in his left shin. This kid is needed to fill the void left by Brandon Marshall (NY Jets) Hopefully he can get healthy and help us out next season !!! We have the workhorse RB Matt Forte who showed out last season. 100+ Receptions as a RB is a Great accomplishment. We have WR Alshon Jeffery returning again, however can he play a whole season without being injured !?!? We shall see. TE Martellus Bennett adds that Veteran Leadership that the teams needs on offense. 2 Very Important things that concern me with my team …… QB Jay Cutler … This guy is paid $20 Million and has only produced 1 playoff appearance in 7 years with the team. The Bears shopped Cutler in the off season & are we surprised that there was No Takers !?!? Of course not !!! LOL. Jay Cutler has to make better decisions on the field. He’s here to stay for a little while, but he has to get better all around. He’s talented, however we need Efficiency !!! The Defense is the other aspect where my team lacks …. Vic Fangio changed to the 3-4 Defense. It looked like it isn’t working yet as of Sunday against Green Bay, as they drove Up & Down the field as they pleased. We lost CB Charles “Peanut” Tillman (Carolina Panthers), CB Tim Jennings and Longtime Bears LB Lance Briggs. We did add Veteran Safety Antrelle Rolle and as mentioned a new Defensive Coordinator. Will these additions in the front office and on the field help any !?!? I remain optimistic when it comes to my team, but it doesn’t look to good in a division that is improving each year. I have My Bears finishing 3rd in the division with a 8-8 record and that may be me being generous !!!!
- 2015 Predictions: Packers, Lions, Bears & Vikings.
Next week, we will discuss the NFC West ….. Stay Tuned Sports Fans !!!
Sports Outlook – Life and Sports // Sports and Life. Enriching
Good Day Sports Fans !!!!
As a young kid coming up in the heart of New York City (Staten Island), in a single parent home with 2 siblings, I was fortunate to have been blessed with God giving ability to play sports. When my dad was at home with me, we used to put the helmets on (Baseball & Football) and get that work in. My Dad was a Semi-Pro Baseball player who played in 1 of the best leagues in NYC in Central Park. My dad used to get paid under the table to come to play each Sunday. I used to enjoy going to the games with him. I’d pack my glove, bat, batting gloves and my bag. I was READY, each and every Sunday. Life was Great !!!
As time progressed, my parents couldn’t weather the storm a marriage brings and my dad bailed. It was a tough time for me and my younger siblings. I took it the hardest because I’m the only boy and I was the closest to my dad. I missed our Sunday sports days …. Soup, Sandwiches, Chips, Pickles and Soda.
Now, my neighborhood wasn’t bad. There were No Shootings or out of control drug use or drug selling. It was a Nice neighborhood, where all the parents worked hard & a lot were single just like my mother. My neighborhood produced Athletes, Entertainers and Productive People In Society Overall …. Demetrius Dotson (All-City-NYC WR Curtis H.S. Staten Island. NY & UVA) Dewan Reeves (All-City-NYC-DE Curtis H.S. & University of Rhode Island) Cassel Smith (All-City-NYC- RB Tottenville H.S. Staten Island, NY & University of West Virginia) Just to name a few. We were Good kids, coming from Good homes and stable lives. My Mother worked her tail off to ensure that we were Ok as kids & whatever we didn’t have, she went out & got it for us, as long as we earned it.
As much as my mother was disappointed with my dad, I was to young to understand what was going on in the home. I do recall the night my dad left the house. It was late and I woke up due to loud talking and items being thrown around. I remember clear as day seeing my dad leaving the front door, me running to him, my mother trying to stop me & me giving my dad his baseball glove and telling him Papi (Dad in Spanish) you can’t play without your glove. The face he made when I looked in his eyes was a look I will NEVER Forget. He knew at that time that he wouldn’t be seeing his Only Son for some time !!!
I gave my mother hell throughout the transition. The 1 thing that My Mother seen in me that My Dad had was True Athletic ability !!! She seen the same ting that My Dad has seen in me. I spent years begging My Mother to put me in organized sports, however with the financial strain of raising 3 kids on her own and no assistance, it was TOUGH !!! I spent years playing in the school yard and in the neighborhood. My Mother actually got to see me in action and was like …. Yeah, I have to get this kid involved in some sports.
8th Grade Year (1990), My Mother was able to get me signed up to play organized football. Staten Island Pee Wee was the name of the league. This league was predominantly white in a predominantly white neighborhood. I was raised NOT to see color & I didn’t. The only color I cared about was the color of the football, Brown !!! I played for the Verrazano Vikings (Green, Yellow & White) number 3 was my number. I was smiling from Ear-to-Ear !!! I haven’t played organized ball before so some of the rules were new to me. I adapted very well to my team, rules & the game. I was seriously undersized at 4’9 115 pounds, however I had tremendous speed, hands were awesome and my love for the game was like no other at a young age.
It was at this moment, that I knew Sports was going to raise me when My Mother couldn’t. I embraced practice, I loved learning and getting better. I didn’t like to lose as any kid or athlete. I would be upset that I wasn’t getting the ball as much as I wanted, I mean I barely touched the ball, as my team would run the ball 44 times per game. Grant it we did have a Horse for a Running Back. I just believed that I could’ve done what he was doing too, as long as an opportunity was given. Finally, 1 game my coach placed me at QB. It was a tough decision for him, I’m sure because I was short and it was difficult for me to see over the offensive line. The coach had a plan though. I seen it …. He was thinking this kid is Fast and Has a good arm. He rolled me out of the pocket and there it began !!! I had 2 Touchdown passes that game !!! After the game, I just knew I was in Love with Sports !!! I Loved Sports more than the guy who introduced me to them … My Dad. Whenever I thought of him and how he left, I embraced sports more !!! Sports was like My Dad, Big Brother, Uncle & Grandparents all in 1 !!!
Sports took me away from the Pain that I was harboring. It made me feel Loved, It made me feel like I’m here to succeed !!! The summer of 1991 prior to my freshman year of High School, I had gotten word that Football Camp was coming up. I was very excited and told My Mother about it. You can tell that she wanted to sign me up & she knew that she was going to have to sacrifice something to make it happen. That week that camp started My Mother called me into her room and she informed me that I would be attending High School Football Camp. I was Ready for the experience and Ready to play !!! I still remember this day clearly and I was ecstatic.
It was a great experience for me and it helped a family in need a lot. To have the accessibility to sports helped heal a young wounded soul.
Case in point, Sports can be a major influence in a child’s life. It can be the Dad or Mother influence that our kids would need to escape these evils that await us in this cold world. Sports played a Big part in my life and still does til this day. I continue to play recreation sports (Flag Football & Basketball) and tie this day it helps me deal with anything thats tough in life.
This is why it’s important to understand your child and get them engage with activities to help, #1 keep them Healthy/In Shape, #2 Gives them something to look forward to and gives them a sense of accomplishment, makes them feel apart of something (A Team) and can substitute as it did for me for the lose of a parent or friend.
Sports is Therapeutic for the Mind, Body and Soul.
Sports Outlook – NBA
Good day NBA Fans,
This season is vastly approaching and Man O’ Man do I look forward to this season. Let’s Chop It Up and See what the season could be…….
- Atlantic Division:
- NY Knicks: I LOVE what Phil Jackson is doing for my Hometown Team. All Knick fans were sick to their stomach watching the draft and hearing Kristas Porzingis name called as the 4th overall pick in the draft. We’ve seen highlights and obviously Knick fans were still skeptical with this pick. Personally, I’ve seen Youtube videos and I do like what I’ve seen. The same would apply watching this kid in the Las Vegas Summer League. The kid played with heart, IQ and looked as if he was having fun which is important. It is a gamble that Phil has taken, however, I believe this kid is going to be the steal of the draft, as long as he can sustain a long 82 game NBA Season. The additions of Robin Lopez, Aaron Affalo, Kyle O’Quinn, Derrick Williams and drafting of Jerian Grant. Phil is putting solid systematic players around Melo, just as Phil did with Kobe in Los Angeles with Odom, Sasha Vujacic (Whom the Knicks signed this year), Gasol etc. It’s going to boil down to Melo being able to make his teammates better. If Melo can put up 21 PPG, 7-8 RPG and 5+ APG then this would allow his team not to just stand there and watch him with the ball. The Triangle should put players in the right spot, along with good ball movement. I believe in Phil and Melo. The Atlantic division is still weak compared to other divisions in the conference and I feel the Knicks have a chance to Win their division and make it to the playoffs. I have the Knicks finishing either 1st or 2nd in the Atlantic division and anywhere from 6th-8th seed in the playoffs. Call it a fan dreaming if you want, this can be a reality. The NY Knicks will finish this year with more than 17 wins. I’m going 35+ this year !!!
- Brooklyn Nets: The Nets finally got rid of Coach killer Deron Williams ….. When you have a Hall of Fame coach like Jerry Sloan resigning due to indifferences with a player, thats a Problem !!! He arrived in NJ/Brooklyn and Avery Johnson (Coach of the Year -2006) gets fired due to who knows what, thats a Problem !!! Since leaving Utah, Deron Williams has Never been the same player at all. Injuries, Lack of Confidence, Coaching and Player/Personnel changes have really affected this guy. I believe its Karma !!! In my opinion his career is going to be short lived moving forward. Dallas will be his last stop in the league. Veteran Joe Johnson is still on the roster, more than likely Billy King couldn’t find a taker for the overpaid and under performed former all star. Joe would provide veteran leadership, however can he actually lead and perform when it counts most…. The Playoffs !!! I do like Brook Lopez and what he brings to the team. The main concern with Brook is Health. Can the Big Fella play at least half or 3/4 of the games this season to really help this team. Who knows !?!? The Nets had some decent free agent signings that can help the team…. PF Thomas Robinson, PG Shane Larkin & PF Andrea Bargnani (If Healthy). They have a good coach in Lionel Hollins, however can Coach Hollins get these fellas to come together collectively and make some noise in the division and conference. Time will tell….. I have the Nets finishing 3rd or 4th in the division & possibly 7th-8th seed in the playoffs.
- Boston Celtics:Danny Ainge has to be 1 of the smartest General Managers in the league. Ainge has rebuilt this Celtic roster thru the draft and making smart free agent signings. It starts with Coaching and Danny Ainge thus far has gotten the right man for the job. Brad Stevens has got these young fellas in Boston balling !!! He’s getting them to buy into his system and play well. The Celtics did make the playoffs last season & even though they were swept by Cleveland, they put up a Respectable effort. They’ve added some much needed depth in the front court with PF David Lee (Formerly of Golden State), C Amir Johnson (Formerly of Toronto Raptors) SF/PF Perry Jones (Formerly of OKC) & drafting sharp shooting SG R.J. Hunter (Georgia State University) In my opinion what hurts the Celtics is No Veteran Leadership. They have good young talent … PG Isaiah Thomas, SF Jae Crowder, G Avery Bradley and SF Evan Turner. When it comes down to the come down, who’s going to take that key shot in a key game !?!? No one on this roster has been in this position. This team will need to add a veteran or two to help these young guys get thru a loooong NBA Season, On & Off the court. I do not see the Celtics making the playoffs this year. I see them finishing next to last in this division and not getting more wins then they did last season. They will finish with less than 40 wins they accumulated last year. The good thing with Boston is they have draft picks thru the roof over the next couple of years and I can see this franchise getting back to the status they once were, Sooner than Later.
- Toronto Raptors: Toronto has a solid roster and they’ve made some pretty good additions in the off season. The Raptors have a Veteran Leader in PG Kyle Lowry, SG DeMar DeRozan mixed in with solid role players …. C Jonas Valanciunas, SF DeMarre Carroll (Formerly of Atlanta Hawks), PF/C Louis Scola (Formerly of Indiana Pacers), SG Terrence Ross and Toronto Native PG Cory Joseph. When it comes to the Raptors, I just don’t believe in them to get past the 1st round of the playoffs, They will be in the hunt each season for the Atlantic Division, however when it comes to playoffs they do not reflect what was displayed during the regular season. It’s easier said than done, Coach Dwayne Casey has to get these fellas to buy into the system in Toronto and follow thru with a consistent effort especially in the playoffs. Now grant it the Raptors have back to back division titles…. But we play for more don’t we !?!? I can see the Raptors having a solid regular season as normal, but when it gets to the playoffs, 1st or 2nd round at best !!!
- Philadelphia 76ers: This franchise has me scratching my head each season !!! Lottery pick after Lottery pick each year and Still this team gets no better !!! I call it the Curse of Bubba Chuck !!! How the 76ers handled A.I. is coming back to haunt them, I believe. A.I. should’ve Never been allowed to leave the team, PERIOD !!! Anyway, I had to vent a bit, LOL !!! They’ve drafted PF/C Nerlens Noel, C Joel Embiid & This Year C/PF Jahlil Okafor !!! Nerlens Noel is coming into his own in his 3rd year in the league. I haven’t seen enough from him yet to fully believe in his skill set as an NBA player. Joel Embiid hasn’t played 1 NBA minute and has encountered another setback with his injured foot. This franchise is in trouble with no end in site no time soon. I look at this roster and believe I can put together a team that would & can compete with this NBA Team. The positives for this team is they have tons of draft picks coming up in recent drafts. If I’m not mistaken they have damn near 4-5 draft picks in next years’ draft alone. History shows, whomever is drafting for Philly needs some help or get rid of him, Goodness !!!! Come to think of it Philly had 5 picks in last years draft….. C/PF Jahlil Okafor, Guillermo Hernangomez, Richan Holmes, Arturas Gudaitis, JP Tokoto & Luka Mitrovic. I guarantee that 4 of the 5 draft picks will never see an NBA Arena !!! Just Turrrrrrible (In My Charles Barkley voice) This franchise is going nowhere FAST !!! LMAO !!! I just can’t understand how the front office continues to fail this franchise & city. The 76ers have had multiple draft picks (At least 3 total) in each of the last 10 seasons and have only gotten to the finals 1 time and the playoffs 5 times. Maybe 5 years down the line this franchise maybe something to talk about. The 76ers will finish last in the division as well as the league.
- Predictions: 1st – Toronto Raptors // 2nd – NY Knicks // 3rd – Boston Celtics // 4th – Brooklyn Nets // 5th – Philadelphia 76ers.
NBA Chop Up
There are a couple Main Things I Love About The Winter Time …… Family Thanksgiving, My Birthday, Professional Football and “The NBA” !!!
It’s been a Loooong and Entertaining Off Season Thus Far !!!!
Let’s Chop It Up Briefly about this Off-Season and the Upcoming Season…..
Let’s start with the Defending Champions, Golden State Warriors. The Warriors have made some minor additions in the Off-Season thus far. They’ve traded PF David Lee, whom was somewhat important in the Championship Series to the Boston Celtics for F Gerald Wallace and then traded Wallace to the Sacramento Kings for Jason Thompson, which was an Excellent trade for the team. This move gives them more depth in the front court to help bang against some of the elite teams in the conference (Spurs – Duncan/Aldridge) (Clippers – Griffin/Jordan) (Thunder – Ibaka and Adams) just to name a few. Of course the Warriors return their Main Core, Splash Brothers (Curry/Klay), Finals MVP Andre Iguodola, Draymond Green (Fresh Off that NEW CONTRACT $$$) They will Definitely be in the running again this year. Will they Repeat …. I Don’t Believe so. I feel the Spurs, Clippers and OKC if Healthy has improved their team and will show up when it counts most. P
Lebron James and The Cleveland Cavaliers, have also added some depth for Lebron’s 3 Championship run in Cleveland. Added that much needed scoring at PG Mo Williams. Mo has been here before. Will this 2nd go around work out this time ??!! They’ve resigned Kevin Love even though he’s coming off his playoff shoulder injury versus the Celtics. He will definitely give them that much needed Scoring and Rebounding from the Post or Perimeter that they could’ve used in the Finals. For me the X-Factor with this team will be the return of a Healthy “Uncle Drew” aka Kyrie Irving. Kyrie has embraced playing with some support behind him. I feel that LBJ has taken the Wade approach with Kyrie, meaning it’s Kyries’ Team, I’m just part of the supporting cast. Rightfully so, LBJ should take that approach to improve the confidence of his young Co-Star of the show. Another factor with Cleveland is, can they get thru this contract issue with PF Tristan Thompson ??? He will be VERY Important to have going into the season. J.R. Spliff, I mean Smith will return as well making this team complete and ready to go.
Quick Briefing on Key Players with New Teams:
- LaMarcus Aldridge: (Spurs) Man O’ Man is LA going to take this team to another level !!! He will give them that low post scoring and rebounding that is needed in this conference & in the playoffs. He will also help to relieve some of the work load off Hall of Fame PF Tim Duncan, as well as some of the other aging starts on the team … Tony Parker, Manu Ginobilli. The Spurs have 2 Great Young Pieces to build off heading into Life After Duncan, Parker & Ginobilli with Extending the contract with 2014 NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard. Great Move !!!
- Greg Monroe: (Bucks) This guy was probably the next Big Man of Free Agents who was most coveted during this off season. Greg Monroe is a very agile Big Fellas and can play both the Power Forward and Center position. He will bring some inside toughness to a Young Milwaukee team and it’s going to be interesting to see how this will formulate. I personally like Greg Monroe, still a little bothered that he chose the Bucks over My NY Knicks !!!
- Monte Ellis: (Pacers) Monte, is a unique player. He can put the ball on the floor, play some defense and get other players involved. My thing with Monte is he takes to many bad shots during the course of a game. Being in a disciplined system with Frank Vogel and having some backcourt support with Paul George, Rodney Stuckey and George Hill. I don’t think it’s enough though. Indiana lost their Big Fellas up front … Roy Hibbert (Lakers) David West (Spurs), which leads to my other 2 players on new teams…..
- Roy Hibbert: (Lakers) The Big Fella will definitely bring some much needed Offense & Defense to Kobe’s squad. After Shaq, Pau Gasol & Andrew Bynum, the Lakers haven’t had a Solid Post presence since. Roy will also bring a veteran presence to the team, as we all know the Lakers are rebuilding the franchise.
- David West: (Spurs) Mr. West will provide EXTRA Veteran Leadership to a squad that really doesn’t need it, however it won’t hurt to add more depth, especially with Tim Duncan getting to the end of the road.
- Deron Williams: (Mavericks) Deron has finally returned home to Dallas. After a great start in Utah and a Subpar performance in NJ/Brooklyn (Nets) Deron gets 1 last chance to revive his career. Deron will bring some veteran leadership to join forces with PF Dirk Nowitzki and Coach Carlisle. I like Deron in the mix with the Mavs, as I believe he will help them as long as he’s healthy and playing with confidence in which he seemed to have lost while playing in Brooklyn the last couple of years. It should be a better transition for D-Will as he won’t have to shoulder much of the load with Dirk & Chandler Parsons. It will be fun to watch this upcoming season.
This NBA Season will be very interesting with all the new draft picks ….. PF/C Karl Anthony Towns (Timberwolves – Kentucky), C Jahlil Okafor (76ers – Duke), PG DeAngelo Russell (Lakers – Ohio St.), PF Kristas Porzingas (Knicks – Latvia)
I can’t wait as this NBA Season is going to be exciting. The league should be well balanced this season with all the draft picks and new faces in different places.
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