With all the new faces on the team, it was the Bucks from last year that did most the scoring. Delfino, Jennings, Salmons, and Bogut all scored in double figures. Most importantly, they just seemed to play more as a team in this game than in the first two of the season. Milwaukee got off to an early lead being up 27-18 after the first quarter. The bench failed the Bucks right away, but they were still able to keep a lead going into half. The Bucks were able to build the lead in the third, and hold on at the end for a much needed first win of the season.
Lets check out some highlights from the Bucks 98-88 win over the Bobcats.
* The first Bucks POTG award of the season goes to none other than Brandon Jennings. Jennings had the first triple-double of his career finishing the game with 20 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists. I said someone needed to step up for the this team, and Jennings did just that.
* Andrew Bogut played 35 minutes which is awesome to see. He finished the game with 14 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 blocks. He really played well, and he is always huge on the defensive end of the floor. So lets hope he can keep playing 30 plus minutes a game.
* Salmons still didn't have a great shooting night, but he seemed to have his head in the game more Saturday night as opposed to the first two games. He finished with 14 points, 4 assists, and 3 rebounds. Good to see that he still cares, and because of that he played more than 22 minutes.
* All five starters were in the plus for the +/- category. They will win a lot of game if they can keep that up, as they have to outplay the other teams starters.
* The Bucks had 14 offensive rebounds!!!!!!!!!!!!! After getting crushed by the Wolves on the boards the Bucks really cleaned up the glass on Saturday night.
* Bango was given his Mascot of the Year award, congrats again to him. Also if you were at the game you got the see the awesome new scoreboard. Can't wait to see it when I get to head to the BC this Saturday night.
* With the loss, the Bobcats drop to 0-3 on the season. Not a good start for this team, especially with some of the high expectations surrounding them.
A performance like this is what I thought we would see this season from the Bucks. Good defense, strong rebounding, and the scoring was spread out. They will have a big test on Tuesday night in the Bradley Center when Portland comes to town. So now the question is what Bucks team will show up? Will it be the Bucks team from Saturday night, or will it be the half-hearted team we saw in the first two games? I Guess we will find out Tuesday night, but for Bucks fans sake lets hope the Saturday night version shows up. For the box score click the quote of the night.
"I was a floor general tonight."
No Badgers game today so it's slower than normal round these parts, so let's fill some time watching a video that is, for a lack of a better word, cool. It's just random people doing random sports related things, set to a song that I can't get out of my head. If you're looking to kill five minutes, watch this video consisting of things I would clearly die doing if I attempted.
If Life Were a Video Game We Could All Do This (Kotaku)
I have to be honest with you, I didn't think this Milwaukee Bucks team would be 0-2 coming into their home opener Saturday at the Bradley Center. But when you only play well in the first quarter I guess that is what is going to happen to your team. The Bucks had a one point lead after the first quarter on Friday, but lost the final three quarters and the game. This Minnesota team is very young and therefore not in tune defensively, so you have to figure they will give up an easy 100 each game. They way that teams like Minnesota are going to get victories is normally when they get hot shooting, but Friday night it was the T-wolves playing smarter, and actually getting to the line.
All the Bucks big men had three fouls by halftime, and Milwaukee was forced to play Ilyasova at the center. It should have been a good thing for the Bucks that Minnesota isn't a huge team, but so far the Bucks just seem sluggish this season and couldn't capitalize. They're not moving their feet on defense, they have no passing on offense, and no one is taking leadership on the court. Both games they've played so far look like a summer league game where everyone is out there to try to make the team, so they are just pressing to score.
Time for the "highlights" from Friday nights 96-85 Wolves win:
* Corey Maggette and Brandon Jennings led the team in scoring on Friday. Maggette had 23 points, and Jennings had 14 points. That's fine and dandy, but combined those two had a +/- of -28. We all knew Maggette doesn't play solid defense, but I figured Skiles would make him work harder than this. There was even one possession where he was on the floor the whole time, and his guy scored easily.
* Michael Beasley and Kevin Love shot the 30-point Buck on Friday. They were the two Hunters of the Night both throwing in double doubles. Beasley finished with a game high 21 points and 10 rebounds. Kevin Love had 17 points, and a game high 16 rebounds. So the "bigs" for the Wolves did work on the Bucks Friday night.
Overall I was seeing us going 1-1 with no problem, and if we were 2-0 going into the home opener I wouldn't have been surprised. But 0-2? I'm almost shocked right now about what is going on. It would be one thing if we looked good, but that is just not the case. Maybe all we need is a home crowd, Bango getting his mascot of the year award, and a Saturday night game to turn things around. Hopefully the Bucks can get on track this season starting Saturday at home against the Bobcats at 7:30 central time. For the rest of the box scores click the quote of the night from a Bucks player below.
"They just seemed like they wanted it more than we did tonight. I think right now we're in like cruise control, and we need to change that. Fast."
Just a quick note to posit something in the back of your minds entering another big football weekend. It seems that the NFL had a conference call that included all officials Friday. What was truely discussed is unknown to us but with the recent rash of poor calls, we're inclined to believe that this was obviously aimed to refocus these guys and make sure they all know how important their calls are. While replay is a back-up and a tool for coaches to use, it is certainly limited and the initial calls are of utmost importance.
To emphasize this point, consider that should the video replay prove to be inconclusive, the call made on the field is defaulted to. Likewise, as was previously stated, coaches are limited to 3 play challenges at most and these are things that are saved for crucial times. To force a coach to waste a challenge on a somewhat trivial play or to fix a blatantly poor call is ridiculously callous. The Non-touchdown touchdown to Percy Harvin last Sunday is just one example. The line judge was right there. He could not have been any closer or in better position yet still made a snap call. Harvin's foot wasn't even partially in-bounds.
We're hoping the NFL got these gentlemen straight because these games are getting crucial quite quickly with the records bunching up like they are...especially in the NFC.
So it's Friday morning and ESPN flashed BREAKING NEWS across the bottom of the screen while I struggled through yet another horrendous Mike & Mike in the Morning show. Brad Childress is apparently leaning toward starting Tarvaris Jackson. Really? THAT'S breaking news? Breaking news would be if Jackson IS going to start. That is simply a nugget of news, a rumor, a report...something the local beat writer heard from the masseuse giving him a handy behind the Mall of America. It's no secret that ESPN has a hard-on for ol' Brett, but good grief!
Also, I find this whole situation fishy. This whole suspension is looming large, though you wouldn't know it if all you read/see comes from ESPN. Think about it...how would one of the NFL's all time stars and the holder of, let's be honest, one of the greatest records ever look if he has that record snapped by a suspension? Not a suspension for bumping a ref or even DWI but a suspension for sending cock shots and other messages to a sideline reporter. Tell me, what sounds better: "NFL's Iron Man finally grounded by injury" or "'DONG' the bell tolls, Favre's record over"? Sterger is still fishing for cash from Favre and if she gets it, this all most likely gets swept aside, but if she talks...I have a feeling that ankle's going to really flare up and cause this record to end.
By the way, is the Mike & Mike show not THE WORST show? The only redeeming quality is the guest line-up. Buster Olney, Tim Kurkjian, Jon Gruden, the occasional athelete, etc. Take away the awful Dick Vitale segment and their GOD AWFUL fake laughing (that's enough fellas, we know YOU don't even think that stuff is funny) at the ridiculously tired and unfunny jokes and you might have something. Oh, and their opinions are simply just retreads which we hear weekly as well as their banter between guests. Also, the stupid skits, games, EVERYTHING is branded...holy shit, I just realized, the entire show is pure dreck! It time for a changing of the guard...Van Pelt in the Morning?
The memories were ranked 1-5 and submitted by 5 writers (a thoroughly scientific poll). Findings will be present much like an AP basketball poll, with 5 points for #1, 4 for #2 and so on. I think you’ll find the results very interesting, as the dichotomy that is Brett Favre remains, the polar opposites.
1. Favre dominates Raiders after his Father died (2 #1 votes)
I called it “Dad’s dead game” in my rankings. 2003 versus the Raiders the day after his father passed away. This one will be polar opposite from #2 on our list and contrary to opinions on Favre today.
I think this one is so high because it goes beyond just sports. It somehow transcends into our personal lives. Favre was here so long, we think we know him, we grew up with him, we feel bad for him, we compare his sufferings to ours, we create this “Green Bay Packer Family”. I still even remember the story of how Longwell told him what happened on the golf course. And the game itself, Brett dominated. His team lifted him up and played their best. His fans lifted him up too. Transcendence for sure.
This is how I remember Favre, or at least how I prefer to remember Favre.
2. Vikings Game October 2010 (1 #1 vote)
As I said, polar opposites. This one fresh in our minds, in fact a few of our voters turned in their results before the game, so this could be #1. Contributors sited the Bishop INT return, Favre’s premature celebration, and Favre’s getting booed off Lambeau. I just bunched them all into one. I’ll let Winks expound upon this one.
“When I write anything about Favre, I try to think to myself, "Am I overreacting? Am I going to look back at all this stuff I've written years from now and wish that I hadn't said all the things that I said?" I then I quickly realize, that the answer is no. With all that has happened, I am at the point where Brett Favre means nothing to me, and I've basically erased any good memory of him during his days with the Packers. Super Bowl XXXI? That was won by Desmond Howard and Reggie White. The three MVP seasons? Barry Sanders should have won the last one anyway. The snowy playoff game against the Seahawks en route to the NFC Championship in 2007? Too drunk to remember. I'm pretty confident that no matter how long I live, I will never like Favre again.
The top moment (Bishop INT) is number one for me because if I were to sum up Brett Favre's career in one play, that would be it. You had it all. Favre at Lambeau, on the big stage. Favre making a move to elude the defense, but then trying to do too much and giving up yet another crucial interception. But most importantly, you had the Packers making the play that they've been waiting three years to make, picking off Brett Favre and taking one to the house. It's the play I'll show my kids when they ask me who Brett Favre was, and then I'll also show them the blog I wrote for in my mid-20's, which basically turned into random essays about how much I hated the bastard.”
Lots of emotion from Winks. I like it.
3. Retirement (1 #1 vote)
This my be slightly anachronistic, as Favre has never really retired, but you know what I mean. Favre’s retirement was a soap opera-esque ordeal. Some recall the first one, being sad, thinking it the end of an era. Others will remember the constant back and forth, the constant ESPN updates, and the dance Favre continually played. Urghh.
4. Playoff Ints
Again, I’m putting multiple votes together into one category for playoff ints, and there were a lot of them – Giants in NFC Championship, Eagles 4th and 26 game, 6 vs Rams, and probably more. Let’s face it, Favre had a way of choking when it mattered most. He wanted to be the hero, but was often the goat. These INTS are amongst my worst sports moments and memories – things broken, obscenities yelled, wall kicked. Thanks Brett.
5. Superbowl pass to Rison
We all remember the kid like Favre sprinting down the field.
6. 80-yard OT winner vs. Broncos (2007)
This may be an odd entry on the list, but it was submitted by 3 voters. It was on 80 yard pass to Jennings on the first play of OT. It was vintage Favre and harkened back to the good old days. We were glad Brett came back after 4-12 and 8-8 seasons. We thought we were destined to win the Superbowl and have Brett retire on top. Wow, how reality differs.
7. Media (one first place vote)
The generally negativity working from a media stand-point, how much Favre dominated our news when he went to the Jets, and then the Vikings.
8. Kitrick Taylor TD pass for Favre’s first Packer Win
A great way to start a career. Plus the extra point hold to win by one.
9. NFC Championship INT against Saints
I had some friends celebrate this one more than any Packer win ever. Wow.
Also receiving votes: TD run vs Falcons to clinch playoff berth in final County Stadium game, my grandpa and dad finally admitting they hate Favre (via Winks), The Streak, 1st Packers pass completed to Favre.
Ok, that is our list folks. A nice and varied list. Favre always brought some bad with the good and is now an even more polarizing player. Some will not forget him going to the Vikes. Some will not forget his great years with the Pack. For now, this is the Brett Favre legacy. Who knows what tomorrow will bring?
Let us know your memories.
Giants Fans Smoke Pot and Disrupt Dallas News Telecast (Awful Announcing)
- coming off the huge win against #1 ranked Ohio State, if Wisconsin lost against Iowa, the Ohio State game would have much less meaning. Then it would just be another typical Wisconsin season, with the Ohio State winning being a great memory, but not too meaningful aside an Aflac trivia question answer
- Iowa, I don’t like them. They beat us last year at home, prevented us from going to the Rose bowl in a 2004 loss in the last game, and beat us in Barry Alvarez’s final game in Madison.
- BCS – if we lost this game, our BCS hopes are gone. I think the Fiesta or Sugar Bowl would love having Badger fans there
- The game itself was great, an awesome back and forth game. I actually had to take a friend to a wedding, so I missed most of the 3rd quarter, so I was sober for the end, which might be part of why I enjoyed it more.
- I feel like lots of pieces had to come together for Wisconsin to win this one, and they did. Blocked extra point, bad Iowa field goal, fake punt, 4th and 5, Monte Ball, TD with a minute left, and my favorite, the shovel pass with the time running out. Great, that’s the way to save the game. So tense.
- Oh, and being on the road made it all better. Lots of shots of pained Iowa fans. I’ve felt that before many times. Those Hawkeye fans looked pretty stupid. Glad they got there’s. And, there were lots of Badger fans. On rewatching it, I saw Sorenson jump in the Badger crowd. Yes!
- Venue – Anyone watching any Badger sporting events in Milwaukee should definitely go to Replay Sport Bar (North and Farwell.) It was Madison 2.0. Awesome atmosphere! Lots of TV, lots of Red, lots of good looking Badger girls, just enough Iowa fans to make fun of. You can hear the bar outside from a block away. On TV shots of sad Iowa fans nice sarcastic “Awws” came from the entire crowd. People were jumping and chairs and tables. My crew gave a rousing rendition of Varsity after the game in which a good number of other patrons joined in. Good food, and $5 liters of Miller Lite or Schlitz all day Saturday. Definitely added to the experience.
- Overall, best game watching experience since USA/Algeria. I was on the edge of my seat with each play, living and dying with every play. I don’t totally know how to react when things like this happen to teams I root for because they so rarely do. Maybe I’m just an elitist Wisconsin grad.
- I think this one all comes down to Favre. Without Favre, it is just a normal midseason win against the hated Vikings. It puts us at 4-3 and is nice after some tough close loses. But in the end, the enjoyment will come down to how much you hate Favre. If you deeply hate Favre, this definitely trumps the Badger win.
- The game itself did have some pretty awesome points – Favre to Hawk, Favre to Bishop, Favre to Collins, Favre’s premature celebration, Favre getting booed off the field. So you get the picture, all about Favre.
- The Pack had some chances to put it away, but the game did lack a little flow. Rodgers looked a little off. I don’t really remember too many huge plays except for the fake punt and Shiancoe TD reversal.
- Venue – I watched his with my buddies as part of our Fantasy Football League. It’s a pretty cool league idea – every week you lose head to head you pay $5 and the money is collected for a Packer parties in weeks 7 and 15, which correspond with the two Packer Sunday night games. Winner gets to choose the venue, last place collects all the money and buys the food. Not a bad idea. I was 2-4 and paid $20 for lots beer and BBQ and a big Packers win. A good atmosphere, with about half the people down to get wasted and half leaving directly after the game due to Monday morning work. I was in the former half.
- What does this mean to the season? Well, a lot of that depends on what happens this weekend at NY. It could be the push we need to get back on track, or it could be the high point in an 8-8 season. Big win. Satisfying win. But a long way to go.
All and all, no matter which way you look at it, an amazing football weekend for the state of Wisconsin. We exorcise the Favre demon/jinx/bs/some of the hatred. Wisconsin wins an incredible game in the final minute to keep BCS bowl dreams alive. Sports are fun.
All that will be remembered from this one happened in the fourth quarter anyway, as the Bucks had a chance late to tie it or to cut the lead to one. They had 27 seconds to work with, but for some reason they chose to run down the shot clock. John Salmons was forced to get a shot up, and he was stripped by Trevor Ariza. It maybe should have been called a foul, but the fact this was the best shot we could get off with the game on the line is a question mark.
From there, the Hornets made one free throw to put the game out of reach. So I guess the Bucks will not be going 82-0 this season, to quote Dwyane Wade. The good thing is we get another shot at the Hornets not this coming Saturday, but the one after. I don't think a good defensive team like the Bucks should be giving up 95 points to this Hornets team though, so we will find out in a week and a half if Milwaukee really is as good as they are advertised defensively.
Lets look at some highlights from the game:
* Five Bucks scored in double figures. Good to see the ball getting moved around. Delfino led the way with 19 points.
* Both starting big guys put up double doubles. (Gooden 15 points, 11 rebounds. Bogut 15 points, 15 rebounds.)
* John Salmons, this better not happen a lot. When I was able to watch him he looked a bit lazy, and apparently that's how he appeared the rest of the game as well. I was worried all those numbers he put up last season was just a way to get a contract, now I'm worried a bit more. He finished 2-8 from the field scoring just five points, and he had four turnovers.
* Unfortunately, 17-28 from the free throw line is not going to cut it. If you want to be a top team in this league you need to make free throws when you get to the line. Andrew Bogut himself was 3-10 from the line, so that has to improve. Those are Shaq like numbers. Bogut is a guy that was able to make three pointers in college, I just don't get how free throws are so hard!
* Brandon Jennings had a double double scoring 15 points and 10 assists. Good to see him get off to a good start again. The only problem for the Bucks is Jennings had 10 assists, while the rest of the team had only had four. Start passing the ball around boys, because this team doesn't have a good-to scorer.
* CP3 is awesome. He finished with a double double scoring 17 points, and 16 assists. He will get the first Hunter of the Night award for the season.
Like I said, there are 81 games to go so I'm not worried one bit. This season I will only award a Bucks player of the game with a win, and Hunter of the Night with a loss. Because really, it makes the most sense. The Bucks will be back on the court Friday night Minnesota at 7:00 Central time. This would be a good game for the Bucks to win, so they can play the home opener with a win under their belt. I'm not sure what to do for Box Scores this season. Give suggestions if you have any for tonight, other click here for the stat lines.
How often on this site have I posted a column, proclaimed it to be a weekly sort of affair, only to never follow up on it again? Well, if you haven't noticed, times are changing, so let's give the Bucky Channel Standings another stab. As of now, the goal is still to see a BCS National Championship Game featuring TCU and Bosie State, and then to see Wisconsin in the second highest bowl game. But here my standings on who deserves a shot in the title game if the season ended today:
Dropping Out: Oklahoma (4th), LSU (6th)
10. Ohio State (LW: NR) - It was between the Buckeyes and two other one loss teams (LSU, Oklahoma) for the ten spot, but of the three I think that Ohio State still has the best team. Had Ohio State beat the Badgers, they would still be the number team even if the other two were still undefeated as well. The Buckeyes will look to re-establish themselves in front of a primetime audience again this weekend as they take on the Golden Gophers Saturday night on ABC. Minnesota will have no idea what they are doing in primetime, expect the Buckeyes to win by at least 40.
9. Wisconsin (LW: 10) - Huge win for the Badgers against Iowa last weekend, and if they were undefeated I would rank them either two or three. The homer in me would probably put them at two, hell I might even just put them all the way at one, why not? But it's irrelevant at this point, and because there is no playoff system. The goal for Bielema and his squad is now getting a high BCS bowl bid. Bucky has a much needed bye week this week and then really shouldn't be tested the rest of the way, unless they blow one or something. Expect them to finish near the top of the BCS standings once a couple more of these teams in front of them start fading.
8. Utah (LW: 9) - I really don't know a thing about this team, and I'm not sure who really does. Nothing they do will matter though until their big showdown with TCU on the afternoon of Saturday November 6th. That's when we will find out a lot about both these squads, and see which one is actually for real. Still, even if Utah does win that game and still goes undefeated, I just don't think voters will give them that boost to make it to the title game.
7. Alabama (LW: 8) - Part of the reason that Utah wouldn't make it if they were undefeated is because it's widely assumed that a team like one-loss Alabama would still take care of them on a neutral field. Again, we'll never know because playoffs is a curse word in D-I college football. However, if things shake out just right for Alabama, they could still have a shot at this thing. Three top 25 teams remain on their schedule, including a showdown with current number one Auburn at the end of the regular season.
6. Michigan State (LW: 7) - I got some heat for putting Sparty even as high as seven last week, but until they lose they deserve to be this high. Not having to play Ohio State this year is unfortunate, but we'll get a pretty good test on how good they are after this weekend when they play Iowa. Actually, shit this team almost lost to Northwestern last week. Let's just pretend I kept Sparty at seven and we'll go with Bama at six. I hate Northwestern, almost losing to them might as well just be considered a loss.
5. Missouri (LW: NR) - I don't think that they are going to sustain this ranking for very long (they could very well lose to Nebraska this weekend), but right now they are undefeated and they just knocked off the top ranked team in the county. By the way, shoutout to the two fans decked out in Missouri Tigers gear last weekend at the Fond du Lac bar I was at. Quite random. The couple got pretty loaded during and after their team's big win, and there is an unwritten rule at this bar for myself and my friends that the more money other people spend, the less money we get charged. So, go Tigers!
4. TCU (LW: 3) - If they want to play in the national title game, they have to blow out their remaining non-Utah opponents, and beat Utah by at least twenty. And Auburn needs to lose. Oregon probably too. Man, sucks to be a mid-major. Again, why isn't there a playoff system yet? (Don't answer that.)
3. Auburn (LW: 5) - The BCS has them at the top due to their big win against LSU last weekend, and I'll give them the credit to leapfrog them over TCU. But the two teams in front of Auburn in my standings didn't do anything last weekend to merit a drop either, so Auburn slides in at number three. The Tigers have Ole Miss, Chattanooga (???), Georgia, and then the aforementioned game against Alabama on their schedule. I don't know if we'll see the number one team fall for the fourth straight week at Mississippi, but you know the fans at Ole Miss will be ready.
2. Boise State (LW: 2) - I still have no idea if the game that Boise State played on Tuesday night technically counted as happening last week or if it was on the schedule for this week, but whatever, they got the win. I really think that Boise State's chances on a title game rest on how Nevada does, a team that is currently ranked #24 and a team that the Broncos face on November 26th. Nevada lost at Hawaii earlier in the year which hurts Boise in the whole strength of schedule rigmarole, but if they play well down the stretch that will only help my boys in blue. Although I'm not very happy that Rick Reilly has joined me in the crusade, and I'm not sure why I even just linked to that asshole.
1. Oregon (LW: 1) - Okay UCLA, thanks for trying. When you are a team trying to bid for that number one spot, beating a conference opponent 60-13 on national television usually helps do that trick. Big primetime matchup at USC this weekend, but they way this Ducks team is playing I don't see them coming up short. Until they lose they'll be staying number in the Bucky Channel Standings, as if that means anything.
I'm going to tell you about another Packer that has been placed on injured reserved, and I don't think you're going to have a hard time believing me. The amount of injuries isn't even comical at this point, it's just come to be expected. And how bad is our training staff? Does every injury have to be a season ending injury? Ugh. Anyway, this week's victim is linebacker Brad Jones, who I thought had stepped up nicely for a second-year player after all of the previous injuries to the linebacking core so far in 2010.
I've always liked Brad Jones just because of some video I watched last year featuring Packers draft picks and their families touring Lambeau Field, so this one especially hurts for me. At least he left a lasting mark on the season before he left, as it's his hit on Brett Favre that really seems to have done a number on the old man's ankle. By the way, there are still a ton of Favre stories this week about the ankle, but doesn't it seem like the media is just going through the motions at this point? It's like they have been used to cranking out three to four Favre stories a week that it's now like second nature to them. Kind of like what I'm doing now. But I digress.
Brad Jones being placed on IR was just one in a flurry of moves that the Packers have made so far this week. None of them yet include the activations of either Al Harris, Atari Bigby, or James Starks from the PUP list, but we'll list them here just so that you don't end up saying "Who the hell is that guy?" up to four times this Sunday.
First off, LB Maurice Simpkins' cup of coffee has cooled off, as he has been released just three weeks after he was signed to the active roster. In addition to Jones, LB Brady Poppinga and DE Mike Neal were placed on the injured reserve list as well. Signed to the roster in their places are LB Diyral Briggs (off of waivers from Denver), LB Matt Wilhelm (who last suited up for San Francisco in 2009), LB Erik Walden (waived by Miami) and NT Howard Green (off of waivers from the New York Jets, who we also play against this weekend, a move that was clearly not a mistake). Those are the names of the new guys so you have some reference this Sunday. Don't get too know them too well though, because I'm sure we'll continue to make seemingly minor moves like this to fill the roster in the weeks to come.
It is DONE! This was an extremely important win. Not only was it a much needed divisional win that kept the Vikings in theNFC North basement with the Lions but it also left the Packers tied for first place in the division. This was also a close one that has eluded this team the last two weeks and eluded Aaron Rodgers far too often in his short career. Hopefully it gave this team some confidence going into a big game against a tough opponent next week, the New York Jets. Remember, the Packers were coming off an embarrassing win (Lions) and two humiliating overtime losses (Redskins and Dolphins). They needed a pick-me-up badly.
- Play-calling: It took guts to call that fake field goal. A play that featured an almost perfect throw by the back-up quarterback to a wide open tight end who got so excited, he tripped over the 10 yard line. There are two things that make that play better; Quarless catches the ball or Flynn hits Mason Crosby for a first down. After seeing the Browns Punter Reggie Hodges run 68 yards against the Saints, seeing Crosby on the receiving end of a fourth-down conversion would have been pretty fantastic and given a maligned special teams unit something to build upon.
- Offensive Line: Give Clifton credit, for all the injury problems fans have had to endure and the nightmares from last year's series versus the Vikings, Aaron Rodgers was clean and had that dump-off mis-hap not occured in the first quarter, Jared Allen's name wouldn't even be mentioned...other than people asking where he was. Bulaga had the lone offensive penalty but the more reps he gets, the better he looks. This is a formidable front line for the Vikings so for what it's worth, I applaud the effort.
- Defense: Three interceptions, a sack and a handful of quarterback hurries, that's all it took. This unit stepped-up big time considering the injuries coming into Sunday and adding the losses of Jenkins (strained calf) during pre-game warm-ups and Pickett (ankle...again) during the game. Desmond Bishop continues to impress the more he plays and other than a border-line unnecessary roughness call on Nick Collins, they played penalty-free. Clay Matthews was not the only guy pressuring Favre and that really meant a lot. If not for a couple drops and Favre's quick delivery, this team could have had five picks and a few more sacks. This was a statement win for a defense that has been decimated by injuries but should be bolstered by the return of Atari Bigby and Al Harris in the coming weeks. If Jenkin's calf isn't too serious and Pickett's ankle isn't as bad as before, this team might be able to regain some of last year's glory. Also, the image of Clay Matthews slinging Favre down by his shirt was pretty hilarious.
- Play-calling: Does McCarthy have that little confidence in Brandon Jackson that he's not willing to try and establish the run? The way the line was playing, Jackson could have salted away some time instead of giving the Vikings so much at the end. Thirteen carries for the #1 running back? Why not just put Matt Flynn behind Rodgers so there's ALWAYS the pass option? Perhaps the addition of James Starks will help shore up the running game and get Kuhn back into his primary fullback role. Similarly, the fourth-down calls were horrendous at best. Yes, Kuhn did convert the first one (barely) but to run the same play a few plays later suggests that McCarthy's playbook is lacking. Perhaps he's only got those 2 plays; a fake field goal and the fullback dive. If so, then pray like hell the Packers don't encounter any fourth and ten situations for the rest of the season. Obviously, it wasn't all bad but when it counted, it wasn't what it needs to be.
- Rodgers and his receivers: The fact that Rodgers and the wide receivers have not been on the same page thus far is disconcerting and this fact was blatantly evident against the Vikings. The "back shoulder" passes and option routes are not being seen the same way by the receiving corps and the quarterback. This is one of the things that made the passing game so deadly last season; everyone thinking the same thing, recognizing the same coverages and that is not happening this year, especially not on Sunday night.
- Injuries: This is a reoccuring theme. Add to the list of injured reservists DE Mike Neal and Brady Poppinga. For those keeping score at home, the count is now at 7 players (all starters at one time or another) on IR, Mike Neal, Brady Poppinga, Ryan Grant, Morgan Burnett, Nick Barnett, Justin Harrell and Jermichael Finley. Add to that concerns about Cullen Jenkins (broken hand, strained calf, pissed about contract status), Clay Matthews (hamstring), Donald Driver (quad), Ryan Pickett (ankle), Brandon Chillar (shoulder), Charles Woodson (toe), Chad Clifton (knee), Nick Collins (knee) and Mark Tauscher (shoulder) and this team seems like they are more candidates for the Cowboys record than leading their division. By the way, does Brandon Chillar ever wear a fucking shirt during an interview? Come on dude, shirt it up!
* Chris Douglas-Roberts will miss the first month after getting poked in the eye at practice Sunday. It was so bad it will require surgery. Look for him to return around Thanksgiving.
* No starting five has been announced yet, but my guess is this: (PG) Brandon Jennings, (SG) John Salmons, (SF) Carlos Delfino, (PF) Drew Gooden, (C) Andrew Bogut.
Fear the Deer!
The least kept secret of the daily goings on here at The Bucky Channel is that all too often I really blow it when it comes to proof-reading my posts, and for that I apologize. I deserve criticism for that, I know, and I should get better at doing that. Also, when I write a post that sucks (as rare as that is, I know) I deserve criticism for that as well. It's all a part of the process when you put your writing online for anyone and everyone to see. If you write a good post, you will be complimented. If you write a shitty post, you will be torn to shreads.
And someone named Dave Begel just got demolished.
This Dave Begel hack apparently writes for OnMilwaukee.com, at least as a part-time hobby, and while that is something that we here can respect we just can't get behind the awful article he just wrote. The piece is entitled "Favre Showed Once Again Why He is a Legend", and it's basically Begel's best effort at a full fledged Gene Wojciechowski impression. Instead of slamming this Begel guy unfairly anymore, I'll let you first go read the article. Seriously, read at your own risk.
Alright, you're back. How bad was that? It's amazing to me that even in a defeat the Favre homers seem to be as strong as ever. I'd love to rip on this clown further, but as mentioned Quevedo at the Buffet already did a brilliant job of that, Fire Joe Morgan-style. Now that is something worth reading.
After what could be easily referred to as perhaps the biggest offseason in league history, the start of the NBA season is finally upon is. Things are getting started in less than 24 hours, as we will finally see the debut of the LeBron James era in Miami, with a 6:30 Central time start on TNT. After all the hype, we will finally get to see what this team will do in the regular season. Also it will be the first time they play a whole game together, as Dwayne Wade sat out all but three minutes of the preseason with hamstring injury. So it will be interesting to see what these guys will do when they are all on the court at once.
So I know I had my NBA preview a few days back, and I took some crap for not projecting the Championship. Well one of the big reasons I didn't do that was because I had no clue to even pick who would win. Since I still had some time to think about it I did, so let's kill the suspense and reveal my NBA Finals pick.
NBA Finals Prediction
I just couldn't go with the Heat, somewhat because of Mike Miller being hurt in the early stages of the season. Also I just don't know if that bench will be able to carry them all the way, even with the stud that is Jerry Stackhouse. The thing I like the about the Magic is that they have been there before and should be able to handle themselves. I see the Lakers falling apart come Finals time, as their core is getting too old for them to keep going this deep into the season.
So sorry for the delay on my Finals pick, but it really isn't an easy year for these kind of predictions. Come Tuesday we get to see the Heat against the Celtics, and Rockets against the Lakers on TNT. That will give us a good start to see who will be the team that gets to visit Obama next summer at the White House.
1. Thank God - In the three years that I have been doing this blog, I've pretty much said everything that I could possibly say about why I hate Brett Favre, and why I know that no matter how much time passes, I will never like this guy again. And when you hate an opposing player as much as I hate Favre, watching these kind of games is a completely different kind of experience. I'm not sure what I would be writing right now if the Packers lost this game, or if I even would have written anything at all. Standings aside, this was a must win game for the Packers organization because had they lost, this would have been three loses (two at home) to the guy who left you for "retirement" in one of the ugliest divorces in sports history. As a Packer fan, I just don't know how I would have been able to deal with that reality.
The Packers did thankfully win the game 28-24, although it looked like Favre pulled out another miracle when he hit Percy Harvin in the back of the zone with under a minute left. Seeing Favre celebrate after that catch in front of the fans that used to adore him always breaks my heart, and this was no exception. But Harvin never came down in bounds, and the touchdown was wiped off the board. That lead to a 4th and 15 opportunity for the Vikings, and one final chance for Favre to be the hero. I can only imagine what the talk would be if he ended up hitting Randy Moss on the same play where he first fell down, but again, thankfully that was not the case. Favre couldn't pull off the magic, and that was the ballgame (although what's the deal with just a three man rush? Injuries or not, we need a pass rush there). The Packers got a crucial win against a division opponent, and they now sit at 4-3 in a tie for first place. The season, at the moment, appears to be back on track.
As for Favre, I'm done with him on all accounts. Watching him throw those three interceptions tonight was some of the best television I have ever seen, most especially the Desmond Bishop return for a touchdown. I mean, I still can't believe that there are people that call themselves Packers fans even though they still root for this asshole. Classic Favre tonight on all accounts too. Oh, I threw a pick? Better limp off the field now. Love the way that he looks fine all drive long only to limp back off the field once the drive is over (either via a touchdown or interception). If you didn't see his post game press conference either, it's quite a treat. Favre actually grabs a light pole for help as he is walking off of the stage, and then limps his 41-year old ass all the way to the bus. What a douche.
Sadly, I drafted this fuck on my fantasy team because at the time it was the eighth round, and he was in fact the best quarterback available. I've only started him once this season (I think against Detroit), but I will be starting him no more. Just cut him about twenty minutes ago. Not for anyone either. Just outright cut him. Any Facebook friends of mine that put up pro-Favre messages, they have been deleted. My Facebook status right now is "Thank God", and a Viking friend of mine responded "No, thank the officials." He won't be making any more comments, as he has been deleted as a friend. I'm not messing around here. Favre is a dick, and I don't want him anywhere in my life ever again. I know for a fact that I will never like this guy again, good riddance.
2. They Are Gone Now, But For a Moment There I Had Gay Feelings For Chad Clifton - Gotta agree with Cris Collinsworth on this one, Chad Clifton was the MVP of this game. In two games against the Vikings last season, Aaron Rodgers was thrown to the ground fourteen times. It was the difference between two wins or two losses against the Vikings last season. Sunday night, not a single sack, and that was mainly because of how Chad Clifted just pwned (ha, I hate that word, not sure why I just did that) Jared Allen. Sure Allen did get a pick because Aaron Rodgers made an incredibly weird mistake, but never once was Rodgers in jeopardy of being thrown to the ground. Also in the running for MVP? The fans that stayed by the tunnel to boo the shit out of Favre as he left the field. Earplugs or not, I know he heard those loud and clear. Just retire arleady you jackass.
3. Rodgers Still a Bit Off - There were feelings among us that perhaps Aaron Rodgers would never be able to beat his mentor, but he did finally get that monkey off of his back with the victory. Still, he wasn't clicking on all cylinders at all tonight either. The term "back-shoulder throws" has now entered our vocabulary because of how inaccurate Rodgers was on some of those passes, and there were many times he and his receivers just did not appear to be on the same page. He did end up with nearly three hundred yards and he did have two touchdowns, one of which came via Greg Jennings PUTTING THE TEAM ON HIS BACK THOUGH! DAWG! FUCK YOU GUMBY! I'm not too worried about him however, and watching him celebrate after the game almost brought tears to my eyes. Kind of like the way that Favre used to do. Sad.
Oh and just saw this on ESPN - Rodgers won for only the second time in his career on games decided by four or less points. Incredible.
4. I Can't See Real Well, Did We Just Establish a Running Game? - Nothing spectacular, but very solid performance from the backs tonight. Brandon Jackson finally looks like he's settling into this role and even though we'll always be pass first with this team, Jackson is becoming a legit starter. Fifty-eight yards isn't going to blow up the box score, but I'll take his 4.5 yards per carry tonight anyday. John Kuhn had a great second effort to get a first down on fourth-and-1 late in the game, but running that play twice on the same drive was a bit questionable (a bit questionable = incredibly stupid).
5. Oh, But That Pass From Matt Flynn - Oh man was this play brilliant. Early on in the game, the Packers lined up for a long Mason Crosby field goal, only to flank Crosby out right and then bring Matt Flynn (set up to hold at the time) to take the snap. The Vikings had to quickly adjust, and even in doing so Andrew Quarless was still wide open after a beautiful pass from Matt Flynn (easily the best throw of the night, by any quarterback). Quarless must have been nervous though for such a big play, because his legs buckled from under him and he fell on his own accord. It's worth noting here because of how uncharacteristic it was to see McCarthy run something like that, and I hope he continues with that kind of play calling and trickery in the future. Great play, just not a great result.
We'll have more Packers coverage in the coming days, but this is going to be a good week. This whole beating Favre thing is a new experience for me, and I'm definitely going to enjoy it. After that throw sailed over Moss's head on the final play (which Moss short-armed for some reason, but thank you), I was silent and fell to the ground and planted my face in the carpet, not saying a word. Coincidentally, that likely would have been my same reaction had the Packers loss, but I was so exhausted with emotion (actually sweat during this one) that I just needed to collapse. It's insane that I feel this strongly about something I have no control over, but finally I was rewarded for all the time I spend worrying about, caring about, and following this team. This was one of the best Packer wins of my lifetime no question. I'll have to let it settle before I see where it ranks, but I'll remember this night for a long, long, time. Thank you Packers. Thank you so so much.
I, like I'm sure many of you, are sick to death of hearing about that damn Hawkeye tattoo and Bielema's calf. Though that tattoo will surely physically remain on Bielema's leg forever, in the hearts and minds of many Badgers fans it was erased yesterday, along with Bielema's ineptitude in getting Bucky over the hump on the road against a ranked team.
Going into yesterday's game Bielema was 7-10 in Big Ten road games and 0-5 against ranked teams on the road. With one scamper of Brad Nortman's scrawny legs and one beauty of a finishing drive all was erased, and a lot a hope was restored in Buckyville after a killer of a two game stretch that followed a less than enthusiastic effort in East Lansing.
In last week's column I asked, "Is this the one?" Was Bielema finally ready to step out from Barry Alvarez' shadow and lead this team to victories against upper echelon teams in the Big Ten and stop playing down to the level of competition (see San Jose St. and Arizona St. for starters)? Undoubtedly no one in Madison wants that more than Alvarez himself. Ever since Bielema's first year when he went 12-1 with Alvarez' recruits, the clamoring from Badgers fans has been getting louder and more consistent as people were becoming convinced that this smug kid who played for Iowa was simply too young and inexperienced to man the opposite sideline from Tressel, Paterno, and Ferentz. Well folks, don't look now but Bielema has taken down two of those three on consecutive weeks with Paterno, who let's face it, is a shell of his former self, as is his team, not on the schedule this year. This team has an excellent chance to run the table, though let's not even start thinking about the debacle that happened at Michigan the last time Bucky was there. The bye week comes at an excellent time for this team as it tries to heal the wounds from two physically and mentally draining weeks of beautiful Big Ten football. Should this team finish 11-1 in the regular season a BCS bowl should be waiting for them as a reward, most likely the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans against Auburn.
For my money the Player of the Game yesterday was Montee Ball. This kid has James White absolutely blow by him at the beginning of the season and he gets pushed to third string tailback on this team. Now third string is never a good place to be once you get into the conference season and the Austin Peays of the world are no longer lined up across from you on Saturday afternoons. But this kid made EVERY play and took advantage of EVERY opportunity that came his way yesterday. He only had 8 touches but everyone of them was huge for this team and that run and final extension over the goal line while keeping his knees off the ground for the winning score was why most of us watch and love college football. Third string at 2:30 and Player of the Game at 6:00, this kids has a ton of heart. Good for him.
1. Offensive line. Only 142 yards of rushing but that was against the #1 rush defense in the Big Ten and Tolzien was only sacked once and generally had plenty of time to pass.
2. Tolzien. 20-26 for 205 is very workmanlike and exactly was is needed in this offense, though for God's sake take the short guy in the flat and do not try to force the ball downfield for a pick in the 4th qtr when you are down 3. To his credit he kept his head up and led them down the field to the win. This game ball is for that as much as it is for the entire body of work yesterday.
3. Brad Nortman. Oh my, that was the UGLIEST slide/dive I think I have ever seen on the football field but he kept his cool, waited for the Hawks players to turn their backs, and didn't take off to early. Great call and great execution.
As a sidenote:
WHY, WHY, WHY is Brian Gorman umpiring playoff baseball? This guy should not be umpiring the Venezulean Winter League in Caracas. As bad as the umpiring is AGAIN this postseason, this guy seems to go out of his way to make the incorrect call. I'm just saying...
It is still unclear who will be the manager for 2011, but Doug Melvin has stated that he has narrowed his search down to four. Though those four are currently being unnamed, one name that won't be in that group is Pat Listach. Listach was contacted by Doug Melvin yesterday and informed him that he is not one of the four finalists for the team's managerial vacancy.
"Doug called me and told me I'm not in the final group," said Listach. "It was disappointing, of course, but I look at it as a positive experience to interview for the job."
It is hard to speculate on who the final four could be, but from my stand point the list would include Bob Melvin, Joey Cora, Tim Wallach, and Ron Roenicke.
Melvin stated that his search would last another seven to ten days.
1. Ricky Stanzi has dropped back to pass 17 times in the first half and not a single blitz. This kid threw 15 interceptions last year and anyone who has EVER watched this kid knows he cannot function with people in his face. Instead of blitzing we are rushing 4, dropping back 7 and still getting picked apart.
2. Kendricks and White both hurt in the first half. Are the Packers rubbing off on the Badgers?
3. Has anyone seen J.J. Watt? They've moved him around, bringing him from both the right side and the left side of the defense, yet he's not getting it done.
4. That's some kicking game the Hawkeyes have. Should really be 17-10 at half but their kick game has left 4 points on the field. As a Badgers fan you have to really hope that comes back to bite them in the end.
5. Bielema, you really think a 67 yard field goal has a better percentage of success as a Hail Mary.
Team MVP - Rickie Weeks, Corey Hart, Ryan Braun
* Weeks was on his way to an MVP type season before he was injured in 2009, and he definitely picked up where he left off in 2010. As Vince from MPD alluded to in his post, Weeks lead the Brewers with a 6.1 wins over replacement margin which is all the stats that I need. However, his 29 home runs and 83 RBI as a leadoff hitter don't hurt either. Corey Hart went from a platoon with aging Jim Edmonds to a bonafide All-Star, while Ryan Braun still put up respectable numbers despite a down season. In a season where no one was truly "valuable", Weeks performed at the highest level to get the award.
Best Pitcher - John Axford, Yovani Gallardo, September Randy Wolf
* I give the nod to Axford simply because he came out of nowhere. As we build towards the future, finding a new closer was in some ways the only accomplishment made by this team over the summer. Gallardo, much like Braun, had a respectable year even without living up to somewhat lofty expectations, and if Randy Wolf pitched a full season like he did in September, Ken Macha still might have a job right now.
Top Newcomer - John Axford, Lorenzo Cain, Jonathan Lucroy
* These guys were either question marks or no-names at the beginning of the season, but all three will contribute heavily to the Brewers success next season.
Unsung Hero - Prince Fielder, Trevor Hoffman, Adam Stern
* Before this season, I thought that trading Prince Fielder would making a run towards the playoffs impossible for years to come. But he managed to play so underwhelming this season that now pretty much every Brewers fan I know is ready to trade him off for pitching. His name used to get tossed around in trades for top flight aces, now basically as long as we get a pitcher that isn't half-bad is good enough for me. His lackluster season made the thought of trading him go from seeming devastating to a welcome move. Hoffman gets the unsung hero for a) sucking so bad that we were able to find a new closer for the future and b) getting his 600th save which made the Brewers seem relevant late in the season. And God Bless Adam Stern, who made the trip to and from Nashville three times in one month to help the Brewers balance their roster against early season injuries.
Good Guy Award - Chris Capuano, Gregg Zaun, Craig Counsell
* Because Cappy deserves something for this comeback. Zaun gets it for being a trooper and helping the new catchers while he likely fades off into the sunset, and Craig Counsell gets a nod because scrappy white guys usually get this award in the first place.
Thoughts on my selections or those of the other ten bloggers?
The man pictured above, Corey Maggette, saw his first action for the Bucks this year scoring 17 points. All of his 17 points came from the free throw line where he was 17-20. This is the exact reason the Bucks brought this guy in, because getting to the line was something no Buck could do last season.
Some highlights from the last preseason game Friday night.
* Milwaukee had 27 assists. This will be a key all year, because Milwaukee doesn't really have a guy that can take someone one on one.
* Andrew Bogut had 4 blocks in 25 minutes of play. This has to be a good sign to see he isn't afraid to still be that solid defender he was last season.
* Milwaukee coming in at 35-42 from the free throw line is something I will take all year. That is a good percentage, much better than their opponent who missed 14 shots from the line.
* Twenty-four turnovers for the Bucks. Ouch, this has to be cut down, but it still is only preseason. Plus this is what preseason is for, a chance to get those turnovers out of your system.
Wednesday comes the first real test to this season, as the Bucks open up the year on the road at New Orleans. Not sure what he Hornets are going to be like this year, but I would think they will be better than last year. So it will be a tough match up for the Bucks, but one I think they should win. Tip is at 7:00 Central time, and the game will be on FSNHD.
I came home from work last night to my roommates saying "Dude, Doug Melvin was on Night of Too Many Stars with Jimmy Kimmel." My obvious response was "are we talking about the same Doug Melvin here?"
Hello again, loyal Bucky Channel readers, and thanks for once again tuning in to a new season of The Lemmy Channel. This time around, we're doing things a little differently, actually joining The Bucky Channel's staff for these semi-regular looks into betting on Wisconsin's sports teams.
The Bucky Channel's Department of Upset Security has issued the following threat level warnings for the weekend of October 23, 2010:
Threat Level Green (Low Chance of Upset)
Nebraska -6 @ Oklahoma State: On the surface this one looks like a prime opportunity for the Cowboys to pull a big win for their program and send the Huskers out with one more kick in the pants before they leave for Big Ten Country. But Nebraska is coming off of a tough loss to arch-rival Texas last week and believe me QB Taylor Martinez and company don't want to make it two in a row. OSU's defense won't be able to slow down Nebraska's high powered offense and Bo Pelini will keep his team in the hunt for the Big 12 Title.
Threat Level Blue (Guarded Chance of Upset)
Michigan State -6 1/2 @ Northwestern
As one Michigan State fan told TBC this week, "this is usually where Sparty falls. Big game next week against Iowa, and whoops we forgot to play Northwestern first." As all Badger fans know, it is no easy task to roll into Evanston and come out with a win. But Michigan State knows these things as well. With their schedule, this could be a year of destiny for the Spartans. Last week MSU's defense showed that they can make big stops when they need to in big spots. Look for Le'Veon Bell to have a big day.
Threat Level Yellow (Elevated Chance of Upset)
Oklahoma -3 @ Missouri
The Missouri Tigers may be the best team that nobody is talking about this season. Some people would say it's because they have yet to play a really tough opponent. Personally, I don't care who they've played Blaine Gabbert can sling it, and Columbia will be rocking. The #1 ranked team in the country (according to the BCS anyways) is rolling into town for a 6pm start (sound familiar Badger Nation?), this will be a battle to say the least. If the Tigers want to pull this one off it will start with containing DeMarco Murray. If that happens, watch out Sooners.
Threat Level Orange (High Risk of Upset)
Iowa -6 vs. Wisconsin
No surprise here. You all know the story on this. To me it comes down to two things: Can Wisconsin's O-Line move Iowa's D-Line? And can Wisconsin hang on to the football? With scattered thunderstorms predicted for Saturday afternoon, this could turn into a sloppy mess, which usually favors the underdog.
Threat Level Red (Severe Risk of Upset)
Auburn -6 vs. LSU
In my opinion, this is THE must watch game of the weekend. This is the perfect storm of both teams' strengths being pitted against one another with Auburn's amazing offense (scored 35+ in each of the last four games) going up against LSU's vaunted defense. On the flipside, Auburn's defense is pourous at best, and I'll take the first 11 readers of this post to stop LSU's offense. So who comes through when it matters most? I'm thinking that it will be Auburn's D, but I really have no evidence to back that up, so here Auburn sits at threat level red, looking to escape and keep their National Title hopes alive. It would be nice to say that the winner of this game will play for the National Championship, but both have Alabama remaining on the schedule, and the BCS computers are already starting to short-circuit looking at what could happen when all of the pieces finally fall into place.
Hello all, it is that time of the year again as the start of the NBA season is right around the corner. Will Kobe be adding another ring to his collection? Will South Beach be the city where the heat is on? Will thunder roll in Oklahoma City? Could the Big Three plus Shaq bring the Celtics back to form? Or will some team just shock the world to became top dog, perhaps one that goes by the chants of Fear The Deer??? A man can dream right, but for real lets take a look at some off-season moves so people have an idea of where everyone is in the NBA, a league that seems to have more player turnover than any other. Also, in the next few minutes of your life you will know how many wins I predict the Bucks to have this season. So strap on in, and enjoy some NBA 2010-11 knowledge.
Some faces in new places.
1. Lebron James and Chris Bosh take their talents to South Beach to join Dwayne Wade. This team will be fun to watch, but will they be able to play all year without injuries is the only thing I would be worried about. Bosh missed the end of last season, and Wade is already out with a hamstring injury. That is the only thing that can bring this team down. Also like the additions of Mike Miller and Eddie House to the Heat to compliment their version of the Big Three.
2. Amar'e Stoudemire will be the King of New York. He will be free to do whatever whenever for this team, and I really think Amar'e will enjoy it. They also added Raymon Felton at point guard, so this Knicks team won't be a walk in the park anymore. They will come to play and they will look to score a lot of points night in and night out. Keep your eye on those Melo to Big Apple rumors as well.
3. Drew Gooden, Corey Maggette, Chris Douglas-Roberts, Keyon Dooling, Jon Brockman, and Larry Sanders. That is what we can call a makeover that should bring more wins and depth to a team that made the playoffs last season. What team is that you ask (as if you had to), because it is none other than your Milwaukee Bucks. I love what they did over the summer, and it seems a lot of other people do too. Should be a fun team to watch this season.
5. The Minnesota Timberwolves added a full five person squad this summer. Michael Beasley, Luke Ridnour, Martell Webster, Kosta Koufos, and Anthony Tolliver. Not sure if any of these guys will be huge for them, but it does add depth to this team. You can't say they are not trying over in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.
Those are just a few of the moves made this summer, but the main ones that you should keep an eye on to see if they can improve their respective teams.
1. Miami Heat (Wade, James, and Bosh. Need I say more.) 60 wins
2. Boston Celtics (Big three plus Shaq. Also Rondo/Robinson.) 58 wins
3. Orlando Magic (Any team with Dwight Howard will win games.) 54 wins
4. Milwaukee Bucks (Fear The Dear!!! They have depth like no other team.) 52 wins
5. Chicago Bulls (Boozer out for awhile will cost them the Central.) 50 wins
6. Atlanta Hawks (Needed to get rid of Bibby, and they didn't.) 45 wins
9. Philadelphia 76ers (This team could make a run, but just not 100% sold.) 37 wins
10. Washington Wizards (Should be fun to watch some nights, other nights not so much.) 35 wins
11. Indiana Pacers (Sleeper in the East, love the Collison pick up.) 31 wins
12. New Jersey Nets (Brooke Lopez can't do everything.) 27 wins
13. Cleveland Cavilers (LeBron left. Sorry Cleveland, you will suck again.) 25 wins
14. Detroit Pistons (What is this team doing? Tracy McGrady????) 24 wins
15. Toronto Raptors (Not sure what to say about this team, but Bosh is gone.) 19 wins
This is a quick run down of the East. I really feel that the top six are locks for the playoffs. Teams 7-12 could fight for the last two, and well the bottom three are just the bottom three. It is nice to see the East getting bigger name players, and forming teams that can battle the West for the title. Wouldn't be upset to see the East take home the championship this season at all.
1. Los Angles Lakers (Kobe and crew, how can you bet against them.) 57 wins
2. Dallas Mavericks (Kidd is getting old so this might be their last chance.) 55 wins
3. Oklahoma City Thunder (Durant + Westbrook = A lot of wins.) 54 wins
4. San Antonio Spurs (They just always find a way to win.) 53 wins
5. Portland Trailblazers (If Oden stays healthy they could be higher then this.) 53 wins
6. Denver Nuggets (If Melo stays yes, but if not I don't know what this team will do.) ??? wins
7. Utah Jazz (Williams/Jefferson should be able to carry this team, but must stay healthy.) 47 wins
8. Phoenix Suns (Not sure if Nash will be able to lead this team or not.) 46 wins
9. Houston Rockets (Yao is back but not 100%, so this is a hard team to pick.) 45 wins
10. New Orleans Hornets (Chris Paul is awesome. He should leave town soon.) 44 wins
11. Memphis Grizzles (Will O.J. Mayo be able to run the point?) 37 wins
12. Golden State Warriors (New coach, but I don't see a big change in the wins.) 28 wins
13. Sacramento Kings (Evans needs another play maker to help him.) 25 wins
14. Los Angles Clippers (Blake Griffin will play this year!!!) 22 wins
15. Minnesota Timberwolves (Tons of off-season moves, but still need work.) 20 wins
Same here as in the East as I like the first 6 teams for sure. I really feel a good battle for the 8th spot in the West this season. I see it coming down to the final night before the seeds are finally determined. I really like the Thunder this year after they got some experience in the playoffs under their belt from last year. Another team to watch would be the Trailblazers. They have the talent, but can they keep everyone healthy and play well?
Sorry LeBron, but I have to go with Durant on this one. He looked awesome in the World Championships, and I see him rolling that momentum right into the season. LeBron has a little leg cramp going on, and Kobe has been off this preseason. Look for Durant to come out firing right out of the gate and keep it going deep into the season.
SIXTH MAN OF THE YEAR
I'm coming out of left field on this one, but I really like Terrence Williams from the New Jersey Nets. He is just a guy that seems to do it all. He can shoot, pass, rebound, and steal so look for him to put up some sixth man of the year numbers coming off the bench, but still logging a ton of minutes. Since this is a way out there pick, if he doesn't do what I think he can do then Jamal Crawford would be the obvious pick here, but I didn't want to take the easy way out.
MOST IMPROVED PLAYER
Greg Oden baby!!! This is the year he plays 70 plus games and puts up the numbers he was meant to put up. No I'm not drinking as I type this, but I really feel this is the year the Ohio State alumni brings his game. I also think the Trailblazers could be dangerous if he is able to play this many games. Another long shot pick by me, but would you really expect anything else. C'mon man!
COACH OF THE YEAR
So I don't know if any of these projections will become true, but I do know that the season starts Tuesday of next week. So from that day on we will figure out what teams will come to play, and what teams will get the chance to earn first pick in the draft next season. It should be a fun season as it seems to me that a lot more teams have a chance than most years. If you are not huge on the NBA this might be the year you want to start investing time in it. If you don't know what team to start watching then why not FEAR THE DEER!!!! More Bucks updates to come, so stick around for a 82 game season of many wins I hope.....
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