Archive for March, 2012

It was only a matter of time. Everyone saw it coming. There was no way the Carmelo Anthony and Knicks head coach Mike D’Antoni could coexist. One of them had to go.

As it turned out, D’Antoni was the one to go.

The first reports were that D’Antoni had resigned. Then reports surfaced the he was fired because Melo wanted him gone. Then it was reported that it was a “mutual decision.” Whatever the case, it is pretty clear that Melo had something to do with it. It has been no secret that the Knicks star and D’Antoni have clashed. The writing was on the wall.

The only reason D’Antoni lasted this long was because of Jeremy Lin. With Carmelo out with an injury, it was Linsanity in New York as Lin lead the Knicks to a six game winning streak. Everyone was talking about how perfectly Lin fit into D’Antoni’s system. There was even talk about how this Knicks team could challenge the Miami Heat for the East crown. Everybody was happy in New York.

But deep down, people were worried. “What’s going to happen when Melo comes back?” was the question on everybody’s lips. We all saw what happened. Carmelo Anthony killed Linsanity. The Knicks are in the midst of a six game losing streak and have lost 8 of their last 10.

Mike Woodson will replace D’Antoni and that should keep Melo happy because Woodson runs a lot of iso-possessions. This, of course, will certainly spell the end of LInsanity. Jeremy Lin’s touches will certainly be reduced and if he isn’t handling the ball how is he going to create for the rest of the team?

Calmelo Anthony hasn’t just ended Mike D’Antoni’s career with the Knicks, ruined Linsanity, but he may have ended the team’s chances for the playoffs.

I have been watching the Dwight Howard Saga all season. As a Sports Blogger it was an interesting story. As a Lakers Fan I wanted to see if he was coming to LA. That was, of course, until Andrew Bynum started playing like the best center in the league. I became an objective observer at that point.

I watched Howard go from city to city and say how much he would like to play there. After a while it seemed like there WASN’T a city he didn’t want to play for (that is, except for Orlando).

He delivered to Magic management, a list of teams that he wanted to be traded to. And that list kept growing. After a while, it got to be tedious. Then it became embarrassing.

Everything came to a head yesterday when Howard said he was going to stay in Orlando through the end of the season and wanted the Magic to “roll the dice.”

It’s no secret what Dwight Howard is doing. He’s doing exactly what LeBron James did when he left Cleveland. Only Dwight is doing it in public. LeBron let the Cavaliers believe they had a chance to keep him so they wouldn’t trade him. That way, when he was a free agent he could go to a team that wasn’t completely gutted. Think about what Miami would have to have traded to get LeBron.

It’s no secret that Dwight wants to go to the soon to be Brooklyn Nets. The Nets would have to give up Brook Lopez and a few other players to get Howard. But if Dwight waits until July 1, when he is a free agent he can simply sign on the dotted line and call the movers. Of course the magic would be without a superstar and would have nothing in return. Just like the Cavs ended up.

And the Magic can’t really trade him either. He has stated that he would not sign an extension with a team to which he was traded. Who in their right mind would rent Howard for half a season, trade away big parts of their team, only to watch him walk out the door on July 1? I don’t see any team willing to take that risk.

So, in effect, Dwight Howard has destroyed the Orlando Magic for the foreseeable future.

The Washington Redskins pulled off one of the biggest trades in recent NFL history when they sent three first round and one second round pick to the St. Louis Rams for the second overall pick in this year’s draft. With the Indianapolis Colts taking Andrew Luck with the first pick, Washington will certainly take Robert Griffin III.

Skins owner, Dan Snyder has moved all his chips into the middle of the table and bet the future of his team on the Heisman Trophy winner from Baylor.

After being eliminated from the Peyton Manning Sweepstakes, the Redskins wasted no time in making this deal. But did they pay too much? The Skins won’t have a first round pick for the next three years, thereby making it nearly impossible to build the team with young talent. They are going to have to do it through free agency and trades. Unfortunately they don’t have a whole lot of talent to trade.

So this means that free agency is their only hope to build a Super Bowl contender. Starting this year. While Robert Griffin III may be a franchise quarterback, he really doesn’t have anyone to throw to. It’s been widely speculated that Washington will go after Vincent Jackson, but so will a number of other teams. That is certainly going to drive the price up.

After they get a wide receiver, Washington then needs to turn its attention to the offensive line and the secondary.

Washington was $40 million under the spending cap until the NFL took away $36 million of that for front loading contracts in the uncapped 2010 season. They can spread that amount over the 2012 and 2013 seasons but that just means there is a lot less money Washington has to spend on free agents. And it also means that they have virtually no margin for error.

Too many things need to fall into place to make the RG3 trade worth it. If one thing goes wrong, the Skins are going to be a bad team for a long time. But that’s what can happen when you take a big gamble.

I never thought I would be writing these words but, you guys need to stop picking on LeBron James!

I have stated many times that I am not a LeBron Hater and now I have to state that I am in no way a LeBron Apologist.  But the way the media is getting on him for every little thing this season is maddening.

The latest is the debate going on about LBJ waving his arms to quiet down the fans in Miami during a Dwayne Wade freethrow last night. People are trying to say LeBron was trying to steal the spotlight from Wade. That has got to be the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. Not surprisingly, the main culprit in this “scandal” is Skip Bayless. It’s no secret that Bayless really hates LeBron. His blind hatred of LeBron is rivals only by his blind love for Tim Tebow. In Skip’s eyes Tebow can do no wrong and James can do no right.

If you want to hate LeBron for the way he left Cleveland, go ahead. Dislike him for the self serving “The Decision” debacle. Ridicule him for not showing up for the fourth quarter of every game of last year’s NBA Finals. Be mad at him for his “you little people have to go back to your pathetic lives” press conference after said Finals. But stop picking apart every little thing he does.

No matter what you, or I, say, the guy is still a once-in-a-lifetime talent. We need to at least appreciate that.

I am in no way becoming a LeBron Apologist by writing this; there are enough of them out there. What I am, deep down, is a fan of the great game of basketball. And I also know when someone is getting a raw deal.

Let LeBron play. If he falters on the court, get on him for that. Other than that, leave the guy alone.

It came as no surprise to anyone yesterday when the Indianapolis Colts parted ways with Peyton Manning. After 14 years, two Super Bowl appearances and one Championship, Manning will be playing for another team.

No sooner did the tear soaked press conference end then the speculation as to where Manning will play next year began. Listening to the talking heads, it seems like EVERY SINGLE team in the NFL is in the Manning Sweepstakes.

After careful consideration there really are only four teams that make some sense and only one that seems logical.

Washington Redskins. Owner Daniel Snyder has deep pockets and has a history of bringing in big name veterans. Unfortunately, the Skins are in the same division as Peyton’s baby brother, Eli, and Peyton is not going to want to play him twice a year. And he certainly would want to be in a position where they might have to knock one another out of the playoffs. Plus the Redskins aren’t built to win now. They would have to sell Manning on “the future.”

New York Jets. After last season the Jets seem to be in a bit of disarray. While many fans would welcome Manning in place of Mark Sanchez, the Jets may be too much of a circus for Manning. Plus he would be in the same city as Eli. And no one thinks he could co-exist with head coach Rex Ryan.

Arizona Cardinals.  The Cardinals can offer Manning a superstar wide receiver in Larry Fitzgerald and they also play on turf which he is used to. Unfortunately, they don’t offer much more than that. Plus, the rumor is that Manning wants to stay in the AFC.

All this leads us to the leader in the Manning Sweepstakes, the Miami Dolphins. Forget that Peyton already has a home in Miami; the Dolphins give him the best chance to win now. Miami came on strong in the second half of last season. They have a solid defense and a pair of great receivers in Brandon Marshall and Devone Bess. They also have a solid running back in Reggie Bush. The Dolphins could also go after Reggie Wayne and Pierre Garcon to make Manning feel a little more at home. And don’t forget, Miami has the 8th pick in this year’s draft.

Everything is set for Peyton Manning to come to South Beach and when he does the Dolphins will immediately become a contender for the AFC Championship.