Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Random Sports Thoughts- Dec. 17, 2008

-Shawn Marion for Wally and Andy? You don't say. My thoughts on this potential trade are twofold: trading two key bench guys for potential impact player has it's positives. Marion can be a solid defender and rebounder when he's on. He also can drag a team down at times, as he did with Phoenix. Why do you think they got rid of him for a Shaq's corpse? The Cavs depth would be affected, causing JJ Hickson and Darnell Jackson to step into much more prominent roles. Maybe they're ready for it, maybe they're not. But, when your 20-4, I don't think you take the time to trade two parts away for one. Marion is good but won't put the Cavs over the top like many would think on the surface of this deal.

- Baseball contracts, especially for pitchers, have gone through the roof. AJ Burnett, CC Sabathia, Kerry Wood....unbelievable contracts. But hey, if pitching is at a premium, the Yankees and Indians are willing to spend a bit to close the holes. The Red Sox, Angels and Rays seem to be the favorites in the A.L. but these teams believe they can rebound from missing hte playoffs last year with these aquisitions.

-The Orioles made a few nice moves last week. Trading Ramon Hernandez was a plus. Getting Ryan Freel and Caesar Izturis adds to the team's speed and defense. Picking up a couple of solid corner infielders for the minor league system will help as well. The O's need Mark Teixieria badly but it'll be tough to convince him to pick Baltimore over Boston or Los Angeles.

-With the Celtics and Lakers "chasing history and 70 wins", the Cavs haved slipped a bit under the radar. Not by much but they've still afforded themselves a comfortable cushion in the division. The team comes to play every night, as evidenced by the many blowouts they've provided. They have also played some weaker competition but you can't blame them for playing their schedule. We'll see how they do against Boston and Detroit, two teams they're a combined 0-2 against so far.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Review of Past Predictions

I think it's a good time to reflect on some of the predictions I've made in past here goes nothing....

NFL (Preseason):
With the season almost half over for most teams, there are some surprising teams that have already won more games than I thought they could in 16. Miami has 3 wins already which was what I predicted for the season. The Bengals and Lions are both 0-7 but I had them both at 7-9....woops. The Titans are the reverse, at 7-0 with me picking them for 8-8. San Diego was a team I thought would have a big year in a weak division....I said 13-3 but they're 3-5 right now. I also had the Raiders at 9-7, another pick that isn't looking too great. I had the Falcons winning 2 games on the year which they've already doubled. One last definite wrong is the Seahawks at 9-7 while they are 2-5 right now. A lot of my other picks should be close but these are the ones that look bad right now.

NCAA (Top 10):
I had USC at 1 going undefeated. That one hurts. My #2 was Oklahoma with their only loss being to far so good with that one. #3 is Florida with losses to Georgia and Florida State. They've already dropped a game to Ole Miss so we'll see how the Gators do in these games later in the year. #4 Georgia.....loss to Florida and Auburn. I don't see the Dawgs losing to Auburn but they very well could lose to the Gators tomorrow afternoon. I had Ohio State losing to USC and Illinois. Half way there but didn't call the Penn State victory over OSU. West Virginia was another dissapointment as I had them losing once, to USF. VA Tech has struggled at times as well. I had them losing once, to Florida State. Missouri was supposed to lose to Texas according to my preseason picks but not Okla State. I also had Oklahoma beating Mizzou in the Big XII Championship Game. I had Illinois with 3 losses and they've dissapointed as they are 4-4 right now. One prediction I am proud of is my pick of Oregon State to the Rose Bowl. This can still happen amazingly. If the Beavers run the table to finish the year, they will win the Pac-10 title over USC in a tiebreaker at worst case scenerio. We'll see if they can do it but I remember picking that as my major upset pick for the year. Out of the 10 teams I picked for BCS games, I expected probably 6-7 to actually make it. Right now, BYU won't make it, cutting my chances down to 9 of 10. West Virginia, Virginia Tech, Oregon State all need to win their conference title to have a chance. Ohio State can sneak in after Penn State as the Big Ten #2. Oklahoma and Missouri both are not going to the BCS but one could certainly make it as the conference champ qualifies automatically.

These were made at the All-Star break with win total predictions. Here's a breakdown of how it turned out: (Predicted Total- Actual Total= Score)
Boston (-1), New York (-1), Tampa Bay (+11), Toronto (+7), Baltimore (-9)
Detroit (-14), Chicago (+3), Minnesota (+4), Cleveland (+10), Kansas City (+7)
LA Angels (-2), Texas (-7), Oakland (-7), Seattle (-2)

Philadelphia (+1), New York (+1), Atlanta (-10), Florida (+10), Washington (-6)
Chicago (+2), Milwaukee (+1), St. Louis (Correct), Houston (+1), Cincinnati (+1), Pittsburgh (-2)
Los Angeles (+1), Colorado (-4), Arizona (+6), San Francisco (+1), San Diego (-4)

Well I did pretty well with the NL Central with every record within two games including my one exact prediction (St. Louis). I should have flip flopped the Braves and Marlins. I predicted the D-Backs to struggle more than they ended up doing but overall my NL was pretty good. I had some bad picks in the AL (Cleveland, Toronto and Tampa Bay outperformed by double digits). Detroit never came around to play well. Overall I would say I did okay. I would have liked to have seen what numbers I would have made in the preseason. We'll see next year when I make my picks in March. I did call all four NL playoff teams including my switch of the Mets with the Brewers, saying they'll finish within a game of each other. That was solid. In the AL, I had the Yanks and Tigers going while it ended up being the Rays and White Sox. Oops....I also had Boston winning the division which they did not.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

2008-2009 NBA Preview

I'll keep it simple this predicted records, just standings and playoffs. I'll also do MVP, Most Improved, Rookie of the Year, Coach of the Year etc.

Eastern Conference
Boston (#2 Seed)
Toronto (#5 seed)
Philadelphia (#6 seed)
New York
New Jersey

Detroit (#1 seed)
Cleveland (#4 seed)

Orlando (#3 seed)
Washington (#7 seed)
Miami (#8 seed)

Utah (#1 seed)
Denver (#7 seed)
Oklahoma City

Los Angeles Lakers (#2 seed)
Golden State (#5 seed)
Phoenix (#8 seed)
Los Angeles Clippers

San Antonio (#3 seed)
New Orleans (#4 seed)
Houston (#6 seed)

Eastern Conference Playoffs
1-Detroit over 8-Miami
4-Cleveland over 5-Toronto
6-Philadelphia over 3-Orlando
2-Boston over 7-Washington

4-Cleveland over 1-Detroit
2-Boston over 6-Philadelphia

4-Cleveland over 2-Boston

Western Conference Playoffs
1-Utah over 8-Phoenix
4-New Orleans over 5-Golden State
6-Houston over 3-San Antonio
2-LA Lakers over 7-Denver

1-Utah over 4-New Orleans
2-LA Lakers over 6-Houston

1-Utah over 2-LA Lakers

1-Utah over 4- Cleveland in 6 games

NBA MVP: Deron Williams, Utah PG (23 PPG and 11 APG)
Coach of the Year: George Karl, Denver
Rookie of the Year: Derrick Rose, Chicago PG (13 PPG and 7.5 APG)
Most Improved Player: Corey Maggette, Golden State SF (26 PPG avg)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sunday Oct. 19 Rant

where do i start tonight.....Well here's a short list of things we've found out in the past few days:
1) Jon Lester can beat cancer but he can't beat Tampa Bay in Game 7 of the ALCS. "No cent month" continues.
2) Carl Crawford's leg looks fine now running in from LF but he couldn't go in July when I was in my fantasy baseball playoffs for 10K. Heartless.
3) If you have 10 top 5 picks in a row, you are going to have a good team eventually. Except if your the Browns.
4) I could make 10 notes about the Browns but I'll leave it like this....Anderson= Forever Inconsistent....Dawson= Not Clutch, Running game= terrible and lacking creativity.
5) Fox is showing the World Series. Toledo decides not to have Fox on anymore due to money. Ok thanks because I watched hundreds of games all year to miss the NLCS and World Series.
6) Red Sox: 9 straight elimination game wins vs Worst Team Ever through 10 seasons. Which one wins? I still hate Boston but cent.
7) No more Boston hats around campus right? Thank god....only a week until the Celtics jerseys reappear.
8) Despised Team Plane Crash Theory. IM DaRcEeW1 for further explanation. Let's just say it started with the Tennesse Titans after Week 17 last season.
9) NFL Season through Week 7.....lots of things still to learn but here's something I can tell you....SD, Indy and NE will not win the AFC. That's a good thing right...unless it opens the door for the Steelers

I'm done for now, I could go on forever.....worst mood ever.....oh well. Go Arizona Cardinals....because most importantly, we've learned any team (I'm talking to you Lions, Browns, Bengals, Clippers, Insert bad team name here) can win it all.....or at least come close enough to sell a few more hats.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

MLB Playoff Predictions

The time for new October legends to be born is here....who will win the 2008 World Series? Here's my take on the first round series:

Philadelphia vs Milwaukee
My preseason NL Champion pick, the Phillies, will come through in this series. Milwaukee hasn't been playing that well of late but snuck in when the Mets collapsed. The Brewers will find a way to win a game (most likely Game 2 with C.C. pitching). Otherwise, the Phillies will roll as they have a superior offense in a hitter's park for the first two games.
Prediction: Phillies 3-1

Chicago (NL) vs Los Angeles
An interesting series in that I can see it going a million different ways. Cubs sweep? No, LA is playing too good. I like the Dodgers chances if they can get one of the first two in Wrigley. This is the playoffs, a place the Cubs traditionally don't perform well in. It will continue as the Dodgers shock the world in 5 games to leave Wrigley a silent place. Names to keep an eye on: Andre Ethier, poised to break onto the national stage here.
Prediction: Dodgers 3-2

Anaheim vs Boston
The best of the four first round series. The winner is the odds on favorite to win the A.L. pennant but it will be a grueling series. 5 games is definite as both bullpens will keep solid offenses down late in games. The Angels were my preseason World Series pick and they have the home-field in this series.
Prediction: Angels 3-2

Tampa Bay vs Chicago (AL)
The dream will end at some point here for the Rays. A great season for a good up and coming team. They have the home-field but it will be relegated to nothing as the White Sox postseason experience will loom large. The Sox come in on a bit of a roll and they are a superior team if you look at all positions. Older teams tend to beat younger teams in the playoffs and I see it happening here.
Prediction: White Sox 3-1

Rest of the Playoff Predictions:
Phillies over Dodgers 4-1
Angels over White Sox 4-2

World Series:
Angels over Phillies 4-1 (my preseason prediction stays for now)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

NFL Preview and Predictions

AFC East
X-New England 12-4
Buffalo 7-9
NYJ 7-9
Miami 3-13

AFC North
X-Pittsburgh 9-7
Y-Cleveland 9-7
Cincinnati 7-9
Baltimore 6-10

AFC South
X-Jacksonville 11-5
Y-Indianapolis 11-5
Houston 8-8
Tennessee 8-8

AFC West
X-San Diego 13-3
Oakland 9-7
Denver 6-10
Kansas City 2-14

NFC East
X-Washington 11-5
Y-Dallas 10-6
Philadelphia 9-7
NY Giants 9-7

NFC North
X-Minnesota 11-5
Chicago 9-7
Green Bay 8-8
Detroit 7-9

NFC South
X-New Orleans 10-6
Carolina 9-7
Tampa Bay 8-8
Atlanta 2-14

NFC West
X-Arizona 9-7
Y-Seattle 9-7
St. Louis 6-10
San Francisco 3-13

NFL Playoff Predictions (Wild Card Round)
#5 Colts 33, #4 Steelers 17
#3 Jaguars 24, #6 Browns 14
#5 Cowboys 30, #4 Cardinals 10
#3 Saints 28, #6 Seahawks 24

Divisional Playoff Round
#5 Colts 31, #1 Chargers 14
#3 Jaguars 20, #2 Patriots 17 (OT)
#5 Cowboys 41, #1 Vikings 17
#3 Saints 24, #2 Redskins 10

Conference Championships
#3 Jaguars 21, #5 Colts 14
#3 Saints 31, #5 Cowboys 28

#3 Jaguars 27, #3 Saints 14

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Top 10 Prediction

Here's my prediction on the final BCS standings before the bowl games. These are the ones which determine who plays for the national title.

1) USC (undefeated)
2) Oklahoma (loss to Texas)
3) Florida (loss to LSU and Florida State)
4) Georgia (loss to Florida and Auburn)
5) Ohio State (losses to USC and Illinois)
6) West Virginia (loss to South Florida)
7) Virginia Tech (loss to Florida State)
8) Missouri (loss to Oklahoma (CC) and Texas)
9) BYU (undefeated)
10) Illinois (losses to Missouri, Michigan and Wisconsin)

BCS Bowl Predictions:
National Title Game: USC over Oklahoma
Rose: Ohio State over Oregon State (not a missprint, read the Pac-10 preview)
Fiesta: Missouri over BYU
Orange: Georgia over Virginia Tech
Sugar: Florida over West Virginia

CF Preview 2008: Big 12

An underrated conference in terms of talent normally, now the Big 12 has stepped onto the forefront of college football fan's interest with 3 great teams last season. This year should be no different. Oklahoma and Missouri will be back as national title contenders. Kansas will take a step back while Texas will show some flashes of past success with another good season. The team I'm torn on is Texas Tech. They seem ready for a breakout season but we've yet to ever see their defense play 12 solid games. It doesn't seem likely to happen this year either but their high preseason ranking indicates that some believe in the hype. Colorado and Oklahoma State are the teams on the rise, as both will make bowl games as well as significant strides towards a conference title. Kansas State and Nebraska, two teams that were national powers in the beginning of the decade, will continue their slide towards irrelevance.

Prediction Time:
1) Missouri
2) Kansas
3) Colorado
4) Nebraska
5) Kansas State
6) Iowa State

1) Oklahoma
2) Texas
3) Texas Tech
4) Oklahoma State
5) Texas A&M
6) Baylor

Conference Championship Game: Oklahoma over Missouri

CF Preview 2008: SEC

The toughest conference in the country. Most talented as well. These are opinions but they can double as facts. This conference has produced the past two national champions and seems to have the inside track on a third straight....except the gauntlet that is conference play. Florida (1 loss) and LSU (2 losses) have proven that going undefeated in the SEC is a rough task. A one loss champion in the SEC will be in position to claim a spot in the national title game in January again. Georgia and Florida are the heavy favorites, with defending national champ LSU another contender. LSU must replace Dorsey, Flynn, Hester and Doucet among others, leaving some to believe they are vulnerable. I can't possibly see anyone going undeafeated in this conference but LSU has the misfortune of playin Florida and Georgia along with their divisonal teams. Mississippi State and South Carolina are the two teams on the move up while I see Arkansas and Kentucky struggling to replicate last year's success.

Prediction Time:
SEC East
1) Florida
2) Georgia
3) South Carolina
4) Tennessee
5) Kentucky
6) Vanderbilt

SEC West
1) LSU
2) Auburn
3) Mississippi State
4) Alabama
5) Arkansas
6) Mississippi

Conference Championship Game: Florida over LSU

CF Preview 2008: Pac-10

Is it still USC and everyone else? USC goes for its' 7th straight title and seemingly doesn't have a team close to stepping in its' way. The Pac-10 has a true round robin, meaning each team will see everyone in the conference. Oregon State is a sleeper team for me with a possible Rose Bowl trip ahead if they can put together a dream season. California needs to figure out their QB situation but they're further away than a few years ago to toppling USC. I see Arizona State taking a step back after a good season last year and Oregon doing the same. Arizona is the team to watch with QB Willie Tuitama leading the Mike Stoops coached team. They have shown strides of improvement over time and this is the year I believe they step up. UCLA and Washington have some talent but will be overmatched on most Saturdays. Stanford and Wazzu will be at the bottom of the conference but as Stanford showed last season, anyone can beat anyone on a given Saturday.

Prediction Time:
1) USC
2) Oregon State
3) Arizona
4) California
5) Arizona State
6) Oregon
7) Washington
9) Washington State
10) Stanford

CF Preview 2008: Big East

One of the weaker conferences in the BCS always produces an interesting title race. West Virginia is as good a team as anyone in this conference but they have some competition. Most believe it will come from rival Pitt, who knocked the Mountaineers out of the national title picture last season. South Florida continues to put together an improving program and have given West Va. tons of problems in head to head matchups. Cincy, Uconn and Rutgers have all gotten much better over the past few years but each may take a step back. Louisville and Syracuse will be the bottom feeders but will most certainly each pull one big upset inside of the conference.

Prediction Time:
1) West Virginia
2) South Florida
3) Pittsburgh
4) Connecticut
5) Cincinnati
6) Louisville
7) Rutgers
8) Syracuse

CF 2008 Preview: Big Ten

This year will be an interesting one in the Big Ten. Illinois must replace Rashard Mendenhall, the most talented player in the conference last season. Ohio State must fight boredom as they will likely run the table. Everyone else seems to have multiple flaws, leading me to believe that teams like Michigan and Penn State can step up and replace Wisconsin and Illinois as the real contenders to OSU's dominance. Purdue is another team I believe could break out and win 10 games. The bottom of the conference is bad again, as Minnesota and Northwestern will continue to get trampled on week after week.

What I like about the Big Ten this season:
1) Who will be the team to knock off OSU this season? While I believe Ohio State will win the conference, they will get knocked off once inside of conference play. Who will it be? Your guess is as good as mine.

2) Second place team race. Illinois, Purdue, Michigan, Wisconsin, Penn State....maybe Iowa? Anyone could finish 2nd this year in the Big Ten.....another race to follow as it may lead to Pasadena if OSU goes back to another national title game.

What I don't like about the Big Ten this season:
1) The overall talent in the conference seems to have diminished in the past few years. Earlier in the decade, the conference was one of the it's tough to make a case for third best.

2) We all know who's going to win the conference. No other conference has as big a difference in it's first place team and everyone else. OSU will win at least 4 conference games by 20 points....not good for those who like close races.

Prediction Time:
1) Ohio State
2) Illinois
3) Penn State
4) Wisconsin
5) Michigan
6) Purdue
7) Michigan State
8) Iowa
9) Indiana
10) Northwestern
11) Minnesota

CF 2008 Preview: ACC

The fun that is the ACC begins with N.C. State traveling to South Carolina on Thursday night, giving me the chance to preview the conference and tell you what I think is going to happen in one of the weaker ACC seasons in years. No one in this conference (Clemson, Va. Tech, I'm talking about you) has a realistic chance to go undefeated or win a national title. These 12 teams will be playing for the right to win their divisions and go to the conference title game....which sends the winner to the Orange Bowl.

Here's what I like about the ACC this year:
1) Florida State and Miami...two powerhouses are getting no respect. One of them is due to have a big bounceback year. Both teams have too much talent to not be mentioned among the elite in college football. The problem with both schools remains the QB situation, as neither has been able to replace Chris Weinke or Ken Dorsey from earlier this decade.

2)Clemson's ability to run the football. Spiller and Davis are a sick tandem that will shred defenses throughout the conference. Cullen Harper is a solid QB as well and Clemson has as good a chance as anyone to win this conference.

3)North Carolina will be improved. Butch Davis is a successful college coach and he will get the most out of his ballclub. He can recruit and eventually this program will move to the upper echelon of the conference.

What I don't like about the ACC this year:
1)No national title contenders. This conference might have a few undefeateds going into October, maybe even November. But there's no way any of these teams win a national title. That hurts the conference in terms of nationally televised games as well as publicity. Even the Big East (a conference I rate as tied for 5th out of 6 conferences in the BCS) has a national title contender (West Virginia).

2)Bottom feeders galore in the ACC. Duke is terrible. N.C. State will be bad this year. Georgia Tech is implenting a whole new offense under Paul Johnson. There will be many bad teams at the bottom of this conference with potential for more if Maryland and North Carolina struggle. Just a lot of blowouts on Saturday afternoons...boring :(

Prediction Time:
Atlantic Division
1) Clemson
2) Florida State
3) Wake Forest
4) Maryland
5) Boston College
6) NC State

Coastal Division
1) Virginia Tech
2) Miami
3) North Carolina
4) Georgia Tech
5) Virginia
6) Duke

Conference Title Prediction: Virginia Tech over Clemson

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

MLB Second Half Predictions

I've already put down about a month which 8 teams are going to make the playoffs. I also stated who's going to win the major stat categories. Here's my prediction of the final standings:

y-Boston 96-66
x-New York 90-72
Tampa Bay 86-76
Toronto 79-83
Baltimore 77-85

y-Detroit 88-74
Chicago 85-77
Minnesota 84-78
Cleveland 71-91
Kansas City 68-94

z-LA Angels 102-60
Texas 86-76
Oakland 82-80
Seattle 63-99

x-Philadelphia 91-71
New York 88-74
Atlanta 82-80
Florida 74-88
Washington 65-97

z-Chicago 95-67
y-Milwaukee 89-73
St. Louis 86-76
Houston 85-77
Cincinnati 73-89
Pittsburgh 69-93

x-Los Angeles 85-77
Colorado 78-84
Arizona 76-86
San Francisco 71-91
San Diego 67-95

LA Angels over New York in 4
Boston over Detroit in 4
Chicago (NL) over Los Angeles in 3
Philadephia over Milwaukee in 5

LA Angels over Boston in 6
Philadelphia over Chicago (NL) in 7

LA Angels over Philadelphia in 5 (Sticking with my preseason picks to win all 6 divisions...changed my NL wild card from NY Mets to Milwaukee)

Friday, July 11, 2008

Random Thoughts

Random Thoughts for July 12, 2008:

-Cleveland is two wins away from a Arena Football. While this won't be embraced on any comparable level as a Cavs, Browns or Indians title, it would still be nice to see the team win it all in it's first year in Cleveland. They've played well so far in the playoffs and go up against the best team in the league (Philadelphia) Saturday at 1 p.m. They defeated Philly at home while dropping a one point game in Philly. The game is an essential toss-up as Cleveland comes in after an impressive upset over Georgia while Philadelphia needed a last play TD to avoid an upset to New York.

-The Indians season is over....even though they just beat the Rays twice in a row. Sorry Indians fans. This team might have a few good streaks of play in it but there's no way this team finishes higher than fourth this year.

-I'm liking the Cubs deal to get Rich Harden....except for the fact that the few tradeable commodities that they had were all dealt in this deal. Harden has injury troubles (to say the least) but he brings dominant stuff to the NL. This should work out in the short term for them while the Brewers will continue to reap the benefits of CC Sabathia (while giving up much more, even for essentially a rental).

-Elton Brand spurned the Clippers for the Sixers. No big deal to me. I don't think anyone would choose the Clips over the Sixers if their really interesting in winning. Sorry Baron, while Golden State wasn't really an option, enjoy the money in LA.

-Other big moves in NBA Free Agency seem to be imminent...except there aren't really big FA's still out there. Josh Smith is quality but someone will overpay for his limited skill set. Same goes for James Posey....who everyone thinks is an invaluable piece to a championship team. What is the next Robert Horry? Success follows him? I don't get it...but hey again, someone will overpay for him (I've heard the Cavs are in the discussion....great). Wouldn't be shocked to see Emeka Okafor and Josh Childress signed away from their respective teams (their both restricted FA's). They both have value and a team looking for depth could sign them for reasonable prices. Some teams may want to consider saving money for the next two summers though. The amount of stars on each list in some of these guys will certainly resign with their current team before they hit the market. But, here's a short list of who will be available during the next two offseasons....

Kobe Bryant, Rasheed Wallace, Carlos Boozer, Allen Iverson, Shawn Marion, Ron Artest, Richard Hamilton, Jason Kidd, Andre Miller, Lamar Odom.

LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Amare Stoudemire, Tracy McGrady, Ray Allen, Tyson Chandler, Manu Ginobili, Joe Johnson, Richard Jefferson, Yao Ming, Steve Nash, Dirk Nowitzki and Michael Redd

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Today's Views on the Sports World

-Baron Davis's signing with the Clippers gives them a reasonable chance to believe they can win as soon as next year. Assuming they can resign Elton Brand, this team has potential next season. They will lose Corey Maggette and his 22 pts a game but that's easily replaceable by Davis. Drafting Eric Gordon gives the team offensive punch. Chris Kaman (if healthy) can get back to being a 16 and 10 guy down low with Brand. I'm not saying the Clips are going to take the division or win 45 games but they will be better because of this signing.

-JJ Hickson and Darnell Jackson. The two newest Cleveland Cavaliers. Two bigs to replace (eventually) Z and Wallace. Problem is neither is a true center, leaving the team in a vulnerable position if injuries hit. It seems that they have many PF's but really only one C. Neither pick makes me jump out of my seat but I think the Cavs have to make some kind of trade (expiring contracts for talent) at some point here. They're going to sign a few players to fill the roster as well so that should be interesting to see where they go with that.

-The Indians blew another game against the White Sox. Funny how Borowski had one quality year (lots of saves, really didnt pitch that great) and the Indians expected the same out of him this year. The same goes for Perez and Betancourt. These guys had career years last year, leaving them with unreasonable expectations to meet this year. It'll be interesting to see what this team does before July 31...with saying goodbye to C.C. being the major plot.

-Tampa Bay beat Boston again. As much of a "Ray" hater as I have been, it's fun to see this team scaring the daylights out of Boston. Earlier in the year, Boston swept TB and everyone said that TB will likely fall back, never to get back into the race. Well their in first and they are showing no signs of slowing down. Carlos Pena is coming back, giving them their best power hitter back. Just great. I can hear the groans from NY and BOS from here. Don't count the Yanks out of this division....I see TB slowing down at some point while Boston hasn't looked all that flattering on the road....just enough to let everyone stay close.

Today's Burning Questions

-Can the Baltimore Orioles and Pittsburgh Pirates end their 10+ year streaks of having losing seasons? (One will)

-Can Milwaukee make the playoffs for the first time since 1982? (They will)

-Is there any reason that Colorado and Atlanta to keep Holliday and Teixeira? (No, neither is making the playoffs and neither is going to resign their slugger)

-Is it just me or are there more big stars hurt now than usual? I mean counting guys like Pujols and Chipper Jones who are playing hurt.

-Can the A's really give the Angels a race out west? They are playing this week and the A's were only 3.5 out as of this morning. Texas sits 6 back as they continue to hit well. (I say no, the A's will be relegated to 80+ win status soon enough, leaving them in the second pack of the wild card race)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Random MLB Thoughts

-Who's the AL MVP right now? Josh Hamilton? On a .500 team? Manny Ramirez...on an off year? Carlos Quentin...because Thome, Konerko, Swisher and Dye all have had less than stellar first halves while your team resides in first still? Think about it....this isn't a question that will be answered before mid September.

-Can anyone deny that the Minnesota Twins and Oakland A's don't get anywhere near the credit they deserve? Look at the teams in similar situations financially...KC, FLA, PIT...these teams almost never contend yet OAK and MIN are right back in contention every year. Here's the kicker: both of them traded their aces in the offseason. That one blows the mind. They have simlarly built offenses with young SP's and a rock solid bullpen. Seems there is a formula after all...

-I have no doubts that the NL West will be the most fun race for the summer. But eventually one team will decided enough is enough (I say LA) and move out in front for good. I can only hope that COL and SD decide to play the 2nd half like they did last year....we'll be in for a possible 5 team race. Don't count out SF either....they're scrappy and have good, young starting pitching (at least as good anyone else in the division). AZ has Haren and Webb but a struggling offense. Fun, Fun, Fun.

-MLB trade talk is always fun now but how many trades actually happen before the all-star break? None basically. Teams wait and see how they go into the break and that will determine the buy/sell strategies for the next two weeks after the break. I predict the Indians will trade C.C. to a NL Central team (Cubs or Brewers) while the Braves hold on to Mark Teixieira (Is anyone besides Washington out of that race?). The big bat for trade will be Matt Holliday. The Rockies have struggled of late (worse than earlier in the year) and they will be looking to unload the potential free agent. Holliday had a great year last year (my NL MVP but who asked) but his batting average and OBP are higher this year. He's hitting less HR's and the RBI's are way down due to his team's performance more than his individual performance. I look for someone to ante up for him and look to sign him long-term.

Random Sentences of Thoughts

-The Dodgers won a game on Saturday night and didn't get a hit. The Tigers are back in the hunt for the AL Central. The Royals would be a contender in the NL (just kidding but the way they've played, who really knows?). Carlos Delgado had 9 RBI in one game while I wasn't sure if he had that much in a month so far this year. MLB parody is at a ridiculous high but it's still fun. Manny Parra is the best pitcher you've never heard of (Brewers starter). The SP market has to be bad when Bronson Arroyo and Paul Byrd are available. What team can't come up with a minor-leaguer to do the same job? Seriously.

My NBA Draft Thoughts (Cavs Thoughts too)

Draft Day Dilemmas:
-If I was drafting 2 (aka Mr. Riley and your Miami Heat), just draft OJ Mayo. Put him with Dwayne Wade, Shawn Marion, Ricky Davis and Udonis Haslem.....can you imagine that lineup playing in the weak Eastern Conference? Now replace Mayo with Beasley or Bayless....nowhere near the same team at all. It's simple....stand Pat and pick Mayo.
-Memphis at 5: Kevin Love....easiest pick outside of the top 2 (Rose, Mayo).
-Scenario 1: Chi picks Rose, Mia picks Mayo....McHale, who do the Wolves take? Beasley
-Scenario 2: Chi picks Rose, Mia picks Beasley...McHale, who do the Wolves take? Mayo.
Overall, these three (Rose, Mayo, Beasley) should be the top 3 in this draft. No one else is justifiably good enough to overtake one of these three as a top 3 pick.
-The trade of Jermaine O'Neal means the Pacers have the 11 and 17 picks. This is great Mr. Bird as they will add two more quality ballplayers to a team that I thought was underrated last year. I felt they could sneak into the playoffs as the 8 seed but couldn't catch Atlanta. The Pacers have issues right now in terms of salary cap and having bad players under bad deals. Troy Murphy, Mike Dunleavy (although he showed signs of being a quality player last year) and Jamaal Tinsley are all under huge deals for the next three years. This won't help but they can build around Danny Granger (most underrated player in the NBA...nobody talks about him) and TJ Ford. They will likely add frontcourt depth to Murphy, Nesterovic, Diogu, Foster, Harrison and Shawne Williams (I expect him to be a quality player someday).
-The Hornets sold the 27th pick to Portland. The Nuggets sold to the 20th pick to Charlotte. Both the Bobcats and Blazers should be commended in their efforts to add young talent. Both teams have playoffs written all over them next year (okay, Bobcats as a 7 or 8 seed). Glad to see that NO and DEN have decided Free Agency is the way to go for them as they continue to add to playoff teams that fell short a year ago.
-In terms of names being thrown out for trades, I don't see any big names moving. Elton Brand is a possibilty but LAC can't afford to trade him unless it's for the 2nd pick. When healthy, he gives them something they'll spend years searching for once he's gone.

Cavs Dilemmas:
-Danny Ferry calls me (hypothetically of course) and asks what to do in the Draft (Apparently he's forgotten since we didn't have a pick last year and the last first round pick he had was Shannon Brown in a similar spot to this year's pick). I tell him simply: trade up for Augustin...don't break the bank or anything...but we need a true PG. He's small but durable, can shoot (better than Delonte West) and will give this team an impact ball player that will make Lebron and teammates better now. Isn't that what we're doing here? We're not drafting prospects for the future (3 or 4 years from now...hmmm Hickson, Koufos....sorry these are the names I've seen mentioned with the Cavs on mock draft).
-The Cavs have to add a 2nd round pick. They need two players from this draft...not one. Unless they plan on dumping some of that $30 mil of expiring contracts for bodies after July 1, I think they need another body. I'm not asking for an all-star, just a guy who can come off the bench and play (preferrably defend since Devin Brown will be gone).
-No matter what happens at the Draft for the Cavs, LeBron can't help but think his team is still not quite there as a preeminant favorite in the East. He needs help and the 19th pick just won't be enough.
-Interest in Baron Davis is possible but it would have to be through a trade (He isn't opting out). What is simply seen through the league the past few days is that Shawn Marion and Baron Davis are staying under contract for one more season for another monster salary. Neither could have possibly received that much through free agency and they're both smart to stay under contract.
-Jermaine O'Neal for Rasho Nesterovic, TJ Ford, 17th pick and another player TBNL. LOL. Sorry but all of these guys are useless right now. O'Neal, if healthy (BIG IF) with Bosh will be a good frontcourt but the rest of their team is average at best. Toronto is not winning the East with that team. Ford's addition will be meaningless for most but it could help the Cavs. DJ Augustin was likely to go to Indy at 11 but now Indy sees Ford as their starter. This is the development I could see as the biggest of the draft in terms of what it means to the Cavs. Possibly, Augustin could fall to 19 or at least closer to 19 so the potential trade up won't hurt the Cavs as much.

NBA Draft: Who's good and Who ain't?

It's simple really: either a player is good or he ain't. Anthony Randolph, DeAndre Jordan, every foreign player in this draft....your not good, you won't make it in this league. Derrick Rose, OJ will be the two multi-time all-stars from this class. Michael Beasley, Kevin Love, Russell Westbrook, The Lopez Twins (why do they both have girls names?)....we will be asking why your all too soft to have star impact in the league. And so's my listings of the draft picks and where they fall in my pecking order. Every player falls into one of these categories.

-Future MVP Candidates: Derrick Rose, OJ Mayo
-Terribly Overrated but still could be an All-Star once or twice: Michael Beasley, Jerryd Bayless
-Much skills but not enough to be a star: Eric Gordon, Joe Alexander
-1st Round Sleepers: DJ Augustin, Donte Greene, Chris Douglas-Roberts, Courtney Lee
-No Chance to be Anything but a role player: Kevin Love, Russell Westbrook, Lopez Twins, All foreign players (including the clown from Italy), Kosta Koufos, Mario Chalmers, Brandon Rush, Darrell Arthur (these Jayhawks weren't stars in college, don't expect anything more of them in the NBA), Jason Thompson, Ryan Anderson
-BUST CITY: Anthony Randolph, Roy Hibbert, JJ Hickson, Marreesse Speights, JaVale McGee, DeAndre Jordan
-Ultimate 2nd Round sleepers (Two of them will become quality starters at some point in his career): Bill Walker (could go in first), Davon Jefferson, JR Giddens (the most talented former Jayhawk in this draft....just doesn't have a head on him), Sonny Weems, Shan Foster, Jamont Gordon (these 3 SEC products can ball but may not be more than an offensive spark off a bench...aka Eddie House)

A couple of comments to help understand my thinking here:
-Bill Walker and Davon Jefferson are top 1o picks next year if they come back to school for another their 2nd round picks.
-All of the BUST CITY citizens are big men. I know this....they are all overrated (similar to the big foreign players in this draft)....This draft has an eerily bad smell about it once you get past the top 12-16 picks....these big men are all soft, young and have no chance to make a real impact in this or anyday.
-Michael Beasley is good...I will admit that. But, I don't see him averaging more than 21-10 a game in his that enough to pick him over a swingman, game changing offensive player like OJ Mayo? I don't think so but the top 3 teams should all get good players regardless.
-Those four names on the 1st round sleeper list are four guys any team can add to their roster and be better because of it. I especially like Augustin and Greene. CDR will be solid as well but probably can't start in this league. Lee is the type of player that just won't be denied...that's why I see him having a good career.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Cavs Draft Dilemmas

What kind of market are the Cavs looking to explore in July? They have a mid-level exception, which could net a solid role player. They also have the famous $30 million in expiring contracts that they could get rid of. Resigning Daniel Gibson to a nice 3 or 4 year deal would be another thing on the checklist for Mr. Ferry. Here's where I see the Cavs standing at this point:

Damon Jones (4.4 mil), Wally Sczerbiak (13 mil), Eric Snow (7.3 mil) and Joe Smith (4.7 mil) are the expiring contracts. Delonte West will make 2.7 mil as a restricted FA but I don't see much interest in anyone swooping in to give him a big offer sheet. All of these guys can be traded and sought by teams looking to open up cap room after the 08-09 season. Jones and Snow are basically useless to this team, making their tradeabilty greater. Snow needs to apply for the insurance to get that 7 mil off of the Cavs cap. With that being potentially erased, the Cavs would have more money and leverage to deal with in this offseason, as opposed to waiting until next. Plus, no one is going to trade for Snow, even if he comes off the cap in a year. Maybe they can trade him in February but no one wants that 7 mil on their cap for a whole season.

In terms of the draft, the Cavs need to be resourceful in trading up. I haven't heard much about this other than the 14 and ??? for the 19 and Varajao deal that keeps popping up here and there with Golden State. There's a possibility of getting Brandon Wright, a solid young big guy who can eventually replace Smith and Varajao in the lineup. Andy is due to make 12 mil over the next two years in his contract. For the limited minutes and offensive potential, he certainly isn't worth it in my mind (I thought that throughout the holdout and continue to believe the Cavs made a mistake resigning him). The bigger mistake and more untradeable is Mr. Pavlovic. While he is due less than Andy (9.4 mil over the next two years), he is untradeable until his contract is expiring (aka next summer or Feb. 2010).

For the Cavs, I would suggest one of two things: Trading back in the first round and getting a 2nd round pick (Trading a future #1 pick is another possibility; also in the NBA, you can literally buy a draft pick for 3 mil...maybe we can do one of these two). The Seattle Sonics have the 32, 46, 50 and 56 picks in the 2nd round. Does anyone really believe that this cash hungry team won't sell or trade away at least one of these picks? They have the #4 overall as well so adding five players (potentially; second round picks aren't guaranteed contracts) is outrageous. They have 12 players under contract right now with 8 of them having at least 2 years left. They've been rumored to be trading Wilcox (6 mil, expiring) while trying to move up. But, who knows what they'll do? The only thing I can say for sure is that they have multiple first round pick in future years, Durant, Green, the #4 pick (as of now) and many second round picks. Not to mention all of the grossly overpaid, multiple year deals they still have left (Collison, Ridnour, Watson). I believe the Cavs can trade for a second round pick from Seattle, add that player to the roster for less than a million dollars and have a quality player on the bench.

Monday, June 23, 2008

MLB Final Predictions

My Predicted Final Leaders in the MLB (and Playoff Predictions too):


-Batting Title: Johnny Damon, NYY

-HR Title: Manny Ramirez, BOS

-ERA Title: John Lackey, LAA
-Wins Leader: Joe Saunders, LAA

-RBI Leader: Josh Hamilton, TEX

-SB Leader: Jacoby Ellsbury, BOS


-Batting Title: Albert Pujols, STL

-HR Title: Ryan Howard, PHI

-ERA Title: Edinson Volquez, CIN

-Wins Leader: Ryan Dempster, CHC

-RBI Leader: Ryan Howard, PHI

-SB Leader: Juan Pierre, LAD


-6 division champs: Boston, LAA, Detroit, Philadelphia, CHC, LAD

-2 Wild Cards: NYY, Milwaukee

-Best race: Milwaukee, St. Louis and the Mets all within 3 games of the wild card at the end of the year.

-World Series: Angels vs Phillies (Angels win in 5)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Case for Augustin

Here's my hypothesis: The Cleveland Cavaliers would be a better team with a true point guard (Delonte West isn't a true point guard; he played SG to Jameer Nelson in college and has the shooting tendencies that leave me desiring more out of him). The answer is simple: DJ Augustin, PG from Texas. Now most may say why pick another small PG out of Texas when you could just trade for TJ Ford? Well, I believe Augustin is a game-changer at PG, leaving Lebron and his teammates happy with his abilities. Augustin can pass and shoot, play solid D and give the Cavs the true PG they have lacked since (gasp, Andre Miller).

It's not that simple though for Cleveland. Most mock drafts I've seen have Augustin being picked anywhere from 10-13. 11 to Indiana is the popular place at this point. Being that the NBA is backwards from the NFL (the draft is before free agency; in the NFL, free agency is first). The Cavs need to address this situation through the draft. I shudder to think what PG they can pick if they stay at 19. Trading up is the only option right now. Make your move. Show LeBron your serious about improving the team by adding the second best PG in the draft to the team (Rose being 1). After that, you can go about adding a SG (Michael Redd, another rumored name; although I'm quite scared of Redd being a Cav for multiple reasons I'll get into in another post leading up to free agency) or addressing whatever needs that the team may see itself needing. DJ Augustin is a solid talent that can elevate the offense to a higher level (that offense in the playoffs was unoriginal and so inconsistent). Trading up 8 picks or so might leave you without a first rounder in a future year or you may have to part with a player from this year's team. But the overall makeup of the team would be much better with a true PG, DJ Augustin.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Random Rants and Raves

Here's some random opinions on things going on in a lovely Friday in Ohio:

-Coco Crisp vs James Shields: Well, no one could say they didn't see it coming. Coco's over aggressive slide on Wednesday caused Shields to put one on his hip. Surprising to everyone, Coco charged the mound...and nearly paid for it. While I don't advise fighting in baseball (injuries, suspensions...not much good can come from it), this fight might rejuvanate Tampa Bay. They just got swept by Boston, disrespected by them and had to do something about Coco Crisp. Jonny Gomes was landing blows to Coco when he was on the ground and I don't blame him. Shields missed with a haymaker and Dionar Navarro took Crisp down after that. Overall, this was less of a fight than the Kemp/Torrealba escalated incident earlier in the week and we should see some suspensions coming from this.

-The Celtics did what I thought they would do last night: win Game 1. They are the better team while LA has the best player on the court. That best player looked pretty angry after his 9-26 performance but I expect him to play at a higher level at some point in this series. Remember, my prediction has Boston winning the first two games so their going to need to bring the intensity again on Sunday night. Pierce was heroic, Garnett was solid (too many jumpers, go down low and bang with Gasol....he doesn't want any piece of you) and Allen looked as good as he has all playoffs. For the Lakers, their near useless bench (other than Vujacic, who continues to annoy everyone when he's one the court) was exploited again. The Lakers only chance of winning games is Kobe 35 points or more. This became more evident last night.

-The Indians and Tigers are playing an interesting series this weekend in Detroit. Both teams are playing terribly while the Indians just allowed Texas to score 9 runs or more in each game against them. I thought this team was based around pitching? Their offense showed up one night with 15 runs but I expect a high level of tension in Detroit tonight. The Tigers are close to be passed by the Royals and they really need to pick it up on offense. Pitching has certainly been their main issue but I expect them to take 2 of the 4 games from Cleveland.

-MLB names to keep an eye on in the next couple of weeks: Carlos Gonzalez (OF-Oak), Jerry Hairston Jr. (SS-Cin), Radhames Liz (SP-Bal), Shin-soo Choo (OF-Cle).

-In the French Open, Rafael Nadal may never lose in this tournament. He's won three in a row and is in the Final on Sunday again. His opponent looks to be Roger Federer (Fed's up 2 sets to 1 on Monfils as we speak). For me personally, I'm a huge Federer fan. He's the best player in the world who just can't beat this giant on the clay courts. Nadal crushed Djokovic in straight sets this morning. To me, Federer has a huge hill to climb on Sunday (assuming he gets there). Nadal is 27-0 at this tournament. He's not winning close matches either; he's dominating the competition. Federer is one French Open title from the career Grand Slam, 13 Majors (Australian, French, Wimbledon, US) and a chance to erase the one question mark on his legacy at this point. We shall see if he can overcome the odds on Sunday.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Celtics Lakers Positional Breakdown

Here's the interesting part of this series: the individual matchups. Here's how it see it breaking down.

Point Guard: Rajon Rondo vs Derek Fisher
I don't really know who has the advantage here. Most would say Fisher should be able to outplay Rondo, at least offensively, giving the Lakers a big advantage. But I'm not so sure about that. I think that Rondo can stimulate the Celtics offense enough to have a big impact on the offensive end, even if he's not scoring. Fisher knows where the ball belongs (MVP's hands) which should make his job easy.

Advantage: Equal (As long as Rondo doesn't turn into the scared kid we've seen at times throughout the season)

Shooting Guard: Ray Allen vs Kobe Bryant
Um simply put, Allen can't guard anyone, let alone the world's best player.

Advantage: Lakers (huge)

Small Forward: Paul Pierce vs Lamar Odom/Vladimir Radmonovic
Here's the problem for the Lakers that I see as GLARING: who's going to guard Paul Pierce? Yes, Odom can give you good defense but over the course of a game, on an all-star player, he is likely to find foul trouble. It's happened before and I think the best thing the Lakers can do is put bodies and fouls on Pierce. Now I'm not advising hack-a-Pierce but they need to use their bench to stop/slow down Pierce.

Advantage: Celtics (huge)

Power Forward: Kevin Garnett vs Odom/Radmonovic (whoever doesnt guard Pierce)
Garnett is going to have a big series, I'm anticipating at least 3 or 4 games of 25 and 15. That may seem extreme but I see him being motivated and outplaying his defender throughout the series. Who off the Laker bench can come in and give minutes on Garnett? No one. Turiaf will definately be exploited when he comes in and Mbenga (if he even sees the floor) won't be able to play the 4 or 5 well enough to deserve minutes.

Advantage: Celtics (Biggest advantage in the series)

Center: Kendrick Perkins vs Pau Gasol
The most interesting matchup of the series for me personally. Perkins has done some things well in the playoffs and had some solid games. I don't think he'll outplay Gasol but this won't be as lopsided as it seems on paper. If anything, Garnett can help double on Gasol enough to really affect the Lakers offense strategies.

Advantage: Lakers (smaller than it seem)

Bench: Posey, Brown, Cassell, Powe, House, Davis vs Vujacic, Farmar, Walton, Turiaf, Mbenga?
This is another advantage that I earlier thought could be really exploited. The Celtics bench is so much better than the Lakers, leaving Phil Jackson to play his starters for more time than usual. Seriously, is Luke Walton going to give you 10 and 5 off the bench every night? Doubtful. The fact that the Celtics can avoid playing Cassell altogether and be better for it shows how solid this bench is.

Advantage: Celtics (this advantage will win the Celtics at least one game)

Coach: Rivers vs Jackson
Major advantage clearly to the man with 9 rings. Looking for the full two hands of rings, Jackson should be able to outcoach Rivers enough to where this series is full of close games. Jackson needs to give Bryant the ball in most situations and let him work off of that. Not waiting for the fourth quarter to give Kobe the proper treatment could also decide a game or two.

Advantage: Lakers

My prediction is still Celtics 4, Lakers 2. I think Boston wins the first 2 at home, LA responds with a Game 3 blowout, then blows Game 4, takes Game 5 and sees the Celtics win the championship in Boston in Game 6. My MVP is Kevin Garnett. If the Lakers somehow pull this thing out, it will be in 7 games and Kobe will have established himself as a top 5 player of all time with a 35 point a game series. This is the only way LA wins, unless Gasol and Odom can somehow outplay the Boston bigs enough to give Kobe a chance to take over in the end of games.

Celtics Lakers Preview/Prediction

The eyes of America will be on these two great franchises tonight as Game 1 will take place sometime starting sometime after 9 eastern in Boston. For both of these teams, the past 12 months have been a startling change. For the Lakers, they were bounced in the first round of last year's playoffs for the 2nd straight year by the Suns. For the Celtics, they were terrible throughout the year, even having to endure an 18 game losing streak.

Both of these teams used major trades to turn around their fortunes. The Celtics were able to pick up two legitimate all stars in Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen in the offseason. The Lakers saw a developing Andrew Bynum go down and then they went out and "stole" Pau Gasol. These teams are also full of role players that have played way above their heads in the past few months (Just to name a few: Rondo, Perkins, Walton, etc.) There are 6 legitimate stars in this series: KG, Allen, Pierce, Kobe, Gasol and Odom. The rest of these rosters have complimentary players that could very well decide the series. I like Boston's rotation much better than LA's for some reason and I see this winning the Celtics at least a game.

I'm going against the great Kobe Bryant and the revitalized Lakers in this series. I think the Celtics have shown themselves to be an improving team throughout the playoffs. They looked terrible against the lowly Hawks at certain points, better against Cleveland and similar to the regular season team against the Pistons. Remember when people asked whether they could win a road game in the playoffs? Well, they won 2 against Detroit (although I would argue Detroit is the worst "good" team at home in the playoffs the past 6-8 years; look at how many big games they lost at home. Game 5 of the 2005 NBA Finals comes to mind along with two straight Game 5 losses to Cleveland two years in a row. If you're a great team or one that supposed to contend for an NBA title, you have to be able to win almost all of your home games.)

The Lakers haven't lost a home game yet in the playoffs but they aren't that great of a home team either. I don't see the Celtics fearing going into LA, even though the series will be 2-3-2. I think the winner of Game 1 will have a huge advantage in this series, even more than usual. Game 2 isn't until Sunday night while the teams will then travel all the way to LA after that game to play Tuesday/Thursday/Sunday. This is why I think the Celtics will have an advantage. They are good enough to win both games in Boston (my prediction), go to LA and win one of three there and come home to close it out in 6. Kobe is good enough to take this team on his back, average 35 a game, get to the line a ridiculous amount of times and pop the champagne in LA in Game 4 or 5. But I don't see that happening.

I will give you position by position matchups a bit later. I will also discuss the tremendous advantage LA has in the coaching department and why this isn't going to kill Boston.