Thursday, January 29, 2009

No Sixers in the All Star Game

The 2009 NBA All Star rosters have been announced. There were no Sixers elected to the squad. Elton Brand certainly did not earn the spot (although he may win the "Biggest Waste of Money" award). Andre Iguodala isn't consistent enough to win a spot among the stars. But I think I could make a case for point man Andre Miller. Miller is the best player on the Sixers. Well, he seems to be playing the best at least.

Miller averages 16.2 points per game, to go along with 6.3 assists. That means he usually contributes 22 points per game (add the points and assists). Even though Miller is shooting style a little bit unorthodox (I wouldn't exactly call it a rainbow), he comes up clutch game after game for the Sixers.

Shaquille O'Neal also was elected to his 15th All Star contest. Most people will argue against this decision. They will say that Shaq is too old, and they only voted him in because of his popularity. Basically, they are calling him a has-been. I support Shaq going to the All Star game. He still has great numbers for a center (18.2 ppg, 9.1 rpg). The fans vote, so you know it is a popularity contest. Shaq is liked by the fans because of his personality. Maybe if Andre Miller showed some of Shaq's personality, it would be him going to the All Star game.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Briere Out Another Four Weeks

Daniel Briere Pictures, Images and Photos

Flyers center Danny Briere is still not healthy. Heck, that could be an understatement. We are at the All-Star break and Briere has only played in nine games all season. Briere underwent groin surgery without problems earler in the week. He will be out another four weeks (at the very least).

Flyers GM Paul Holmgren has reportedly said that the Flyers are seeking the services on Peter Forsberg, if he wants back in the NHL. Forsberg is a very elite player. But at his age, his skills are probably dwindling. I don't think it is a good idea for the Flyers to ride the Forsberg carousel again. He is hurt too much to be an effective investment.

This would also be a bad move financially. The Flyers always are battling to stay under the cap. Forsberg would come cheap, but he would likely take away playing time from talented rookies Claude Giroux and Luca Sbisa. Both of these players have tons of potential, and they should get the nod over Forsberg.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Phils Ink Victorino, Howard Will Go to Arbitration

The Phillies have signed two arbitration-eligible players. Outfielder Shane Victorino signed a 1-year deal worth $3.125MM. This is a good move for the Phillies, because Victorino was a key player in the Phils Championship run. Also a key player, Joe Blanton was signed to yet another single year deal worth $5.475MM.

The Phillies front office staff will yet again go to arbitration with slugger Ryan Howard. Howard has asked the Phillies to empty their pockets and give him $18MM. The Phillies say they want to give him $14MM. Howard made $10MM last season, and he lead the league in both homers and RBIs. I think he will have a convincing argument, and he will get his money.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Rollins, Vicotrino on Team USA

The rosters for the World Baseball Classic have been released. The Classic is supposed to be the "Olympics" for star players. All in all, eleven Phillies players will play in the Classic. Although, five of them are minor league players. Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino will both star for team USA. Carlos Ruiz will be on the Panamanian Team, and Matt Stairs will be on the Canadian team.

Team Japan won the Classic in 2006, so they are the defending champions. The American team is stacked with stars like Derek Jeter, David Wright, and Rollins. This Classic should be very competitive. I you want to see the full rosters click here.

The Eagles Blew It!

The Philadelphia Eagles have done it again. Just when you think that they might win their first Super Bowl Championship, they come out and have a lousy game like that. I thought this team was the team destined to win the Super Bowl. But they lost to the Arizona Cardinals in a game they should have won easily, had they showed up before halftime.

When the smoke had cleared (and the confetti started falling), the Eagles lost 32-25 and it was all over. It was their fault and only their fault that they lost. Donovan McNabb played horrendous in the first half. He looked good in the second half, but by then it was far too late.

I was very surprised by their second half surge, as almost everyone watching the game was. I thought the game was over when the clock ran out to end the second quarter. The defense had not played very well up to that point, and the offense was downright ugly. But then in the second quarter, Brent Celek showed why he is the starting tightend. An acrobatic catch by the rookie Desean Jackson gave hope to all the Eagle fans. But it was all for nothing.

Donovan McNabb will never win the big one. It is that simple. The great quarterbacks are consistent in their dominance. McNabb is anything but. It is as if he needs to warm up for a half until he can throw the ball in the hands of a receiver. You can blame the defense, but I can't. They weren't getting any help, and McNabb was only hurting the team.

Many people will blame Andy. But I can't really blame Reid. The players are the ones that have the final say on the outcome of the game, the coaches can only sit and watch. Of course, Reid must have made some kind of halftime adjustment. How do you think they played so much better in the second half? But it was not enough. It will not ever be enough with McNabb around.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Eagles-Cardinals Preview

Asante Samuel  WOOOO! Pictures, Images and Photos

The Philadelphia Eagles will be playing the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium in the NFC Championship Game. The Eagles are favored in this game by four points. Personally, I think they will win by more than that. But let's break down these two teams.

Running Game

The Eagles have a first class rusher in Brian Westbrook, but he is not 100%. Westbrook will most likely play in this game but maybe in a limited role. He may need the help of backup Correll Buckhalter. The Eagles need Westbrook to be more of a factor in this game than he was in the previous two playoff games.

The Cardinals have a aging Edgerrin James at running back, complemented by Tim Hightower. I am pretty sure the Eagles defense will have no problem with this running game (or lack there of). The Eagles have stopped the likes of Adrian Peterson and Brandon Jacobs. They should be able to keep James in check.

Edge: Eagles

Passing Game

Donovan McNabb needs to have a great game for the Eagles to win. It is as simple as that. He has been playing superb in the last two playoff games. It was good news to hear that wideout Jason Avant will be playing tomorrow afternoon, after suffering an injury. Avant has been a key receiver on third downs. McNabb needs to run a lot a screens to Westbrook to keep the Arizona defense honest. I do think that tightend Brent Celek will have a big game on Sunday.

Arizona's passing game is one of the finest in the entire league. Kurt Warner is playing very well. Heck, it's not that hard when you have guys like Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald on your side. I notice that Warner has played very well only when he has had two great wideouts on his team. When he was in Saint Louis he had Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce. Now he has Boldin and Fitz.

Edge: Cardinals


The Eagles defense is the reason that the Eagles keep coming back for more. They have kept the offense in the game. Just when it looks like the game may slip away, the defense comes up with a big stop or turnover to give the Eagles the momentum. Asante Samuel is absolutely on fire. He is the MVP of the Eagles playoff run so far. No doubt about it.

The Cardinals defense has been playing surprisingly well lately. The Eagles may have a little trouble with them. The Eagles played against two very good defenses in the first two rounds, so I think they will be able to handle these guys.

My Prediction: Eagles 35
Cardinals 13

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Bring On Arizona!

The Eagles are heading back to the NFC Championship game after their 23-11 win over the division-rival New York Giants at the Meadowlands. If you remember I picked the Eagles to win 24-14 prior to the game. My prediction came dangerously close.

The Eagles played very well earlier this afternoon. Well, let's say their defense played very well. Asante Samuel came up with a big pick that led to the game's first touchdown. Samuel has been worth every penny the Eagles gave him. He consistently comes up with clutch interceptions.

Donovan McNabb played alright in this game. He makes some good throws and he makes some throws that make you scratch your head. As long as he can score enough points, the defense will hold the other team. That's one of the things I have learned about the Eagles in their two playoff games.

The Eagles will now have a shot to go to their third Super Bowl in team history if they can just beat the Arizona Cardinals in the desert. They killed the Cardinals 48-20 on Thanksgiving Day earlier this season. So why can't they do it again? I have a feeling it won't be as easy as last time. It's always harder in the playoffs (just ask the New England Patriots). Even without their star wideout Anquan Boldin, the Cardinals will still be tough to beat.

Reminder: McNabb is 1-4 in NFC Championship games. But, hey, that's better than not getting that far at all. McNabb has had great games against the Cards in that past, but that's mostly because they stunk.

These Eagles may be ones destined to win the Super Bowl. They have no pressure on them. Most Eagles fans still can't believe their in the playoffs. That's why they are playing so well. Did you see McNabb pick up the phone on the Giant sideline? He calm, cool, and collected on the field. He is having fun and enjoying the moment. He used to get nervous in the big games (cough, puking incident, cough). He knows this may be his last chance. Not just his last chance, maybe team leaders Brain Dawkins and Jon Runyan's last chance to. They want to make the most of it.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Go Eagles!

Brian westbrook Pictures, Images and Photos

Tomorrow afternoon the Philadelphia Eagles will face off against the defending champions New York Giants in the second round of the NFL Playoffs. Now you obviously know who I think will win. Tomorrow will be a tough game for both teams. It will be a low-scoring, defensive game where no team pulls away until maybe the end. I will compare several aspects of the way these teams play the game:

The Running Game
The Giants running game is one of the best in the league. Brandon Jacobs is an absolute Juggernaut when running it up the gut. He defies logic. He is bigger than a defensive end and can run just as fast as any other running back. Jacobs is coming back from an injury. An important note is that the Giants beat the Eagles in the first game they played with Jacobs but the Eagles beat the Giants late in the season when they were without him. Reliable backups Derrick Ward and Ahmad Bradshaw will come in to relieve Jacobs.

The Eagles also have a very good rushing attack, too bad their coach doesn't know that. Brain Westbrook is one of the versatile players in the entire league. He can run up the middle. He can use his speed to get outside. He can line up as a receiver. But his specialty is a screen pass, which he is liable to break open for 30-plus yards. All you have to do is give him space.

Slight Edge to the Giants (mostly because Andy Reid doesn't believe in running the ball)

The Passing Game
Both of these teams can throw the ball well (let's use that term loosely). Giants quarterback Eli Manning can throw well when he has time. But when he doesn't have time, he will sputter like a deer in the headlights. I will guarantee it. The Giants miss Plaxico Burress, even though they won't admit it. He was their red zone target because of his size.

Donovan McNabb can be a good quarterback. It really depends on how he starts off the game. If he leads the Eagles to a touchdown on the first drive, he'll probably have a good game. Now if he throws an interception on the first drive, the receivers will be getting the ball at their feet for the rest of the game. Wide out Jason Avant has been clutch on third downs this season.

Edge: Even


Edge: Eagles

Special Teams

Edge: Eagles

Predicted Score: 24-14, Eagles advance to NFC Championship

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Why Tebow Will Lead the Gators to a Victory

Tomorrow's college football championship game will be very interesting. Two very talented teams will be facing off for all the marbles. Everyone knows Oklahoma's offense is great (if not THE greatest). Sam Bradford (right) is the best pocket passer in the nation, and he has a star-studded group of players around him. Tim Tebow is the complete quarterback. In my opinion, he IS the best player in college football. The man can run like a bull, and throw with precision, the absolute complete package. Florida Running back Percy Harvin is widely recognized as one of the fastest men in the game.

My pick in this game is Florida. I think the speed of the Gators will overwhelm the Sooners. Also, I think that Tim Tebow is a great leader and he will do absolutely anything to win this game for his team. He should have won the Heisman, but more importantly he'll win this game. A member of the Oklahoma squad said that if Tebow was playing in the Big 12, that he would be the fifth best quarterback in the conference. It was foolish for him to say something like that. Doesn't he realize that that kind of trash talk just makes Tim more determined?

Bradford is a great player, but Tebow is a clear notch above. Maybe Tebow doesn't get any respect from the draftniks but he contributes more to his team than Bradford. He is more valuable. Whether he's running up the gut, or threading the needle, Tebow is always trying to do what's is best for his team.

My Projected Score: Florida 37

Oklahoma 30

This will most certainly be a close game, making it a close one to call. I would appreciate it if you listed your projections for this game in this comments below.