1-Man’s Opinion on Sports-Wednesday “NBA Draft–Pick em Pal”

Posted by on June 22nd, 2022  •  0 Comments  • 

NBA Draft-Pick em Pal’
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The NBA Draft is Thursday night for all the troubled teams in the NBA.

It is full of promise, hope, intrigue, and gambles.

The top 3-picks look like locks, but after that you could see a flurry of trades.  The rumor mill has worked overtime projecting that some teams like Sacramento and Portland will trade their high first round picks, to try and get ‘win now players’.

Other reports are that teams with multiples of first round picks, may package them and try to move high into the first round. See how active Houston and Denver get?

Will be a fun night, except for Lakers-Clippers fans, who don’t have #1 picks this year.

Here’s an updated NBA Mock Draft-courtesy of the LA Times:  —————–
1. Orlando: Jabari Smith, 19, PF, 6-10, Auburn

Though young, his size, length and athletic ability are intriguing.

2. Oklahoma City: Chet Holmgren, 20, F/C, 7-0, Gonzaga

Agile for his size, he can shoot and has good ball-handling skills. His weight (195 pounds) is worrisome.

3. Houston: Paolo Banchero, 19, PF, 6-10, Duke

Considered to be NBA-ready. Can pass and score. But how much better can he be?

4. Sacramento: Jaden Ivey, 20, SG, 6-4, Purdue

He’s aggressive and explosive. It’s likely the Kings trade the pick to a team needing backcourt help.

Purdue guard Jaden Ivey is likely to be selected fourth in the NBA draft on Thursday, but will the Sacramento Kings be making the pick or will they trade it?
(Morry Gash / Associated Press)
5. Detroit: Shaedon Sharpe, 18, G, 6-6, Kentucky

Great fit next to point guard Cade Cunningham to give Pistons a backcourt of the future.

6. Indiana: Keegan Murray, 21, F, 6-8, Iowa

Nice mid-range game and can put ball on the floor to score off the drive.

7. Portland: Dyson Daniels, 19, G, 6-8, G League Ignite

Has really good point guard skills and is a really good defender, on and off ball.

8. New Orleans: Bennedict Mathurin, 19, G, 6-6, Arizona

Has good size for a shooting guard and is a good defender.

9. San Antonio: Ousmane Dieng, 19, F, 6-9, France

Has been impressive in workouts during draft process, moving him up.

10. Washington: Johnny Davis, 20, G, 6-5, Wisconsin

A slasher who is tough and can defend, but needs to improve three-point stroke.

Wisconsin guard Johnny Davis drives against Rutgers during a game last season.
(Adam Hunger / Associated Press)
11. New York: A.J. Griffin, 18, F, 6-6, Duke

Perhaps the best pure shooter in the draft, he’s a natural scorer.

12. Oklahoma City: Blake Wesley, 19, G, 6-5, Notre Dame

He is super explosive with plenty of athleticism and scoring ability.

13. Charlotte: Jeremy Sochan, 19, F, 6-9, Baylor

His seven-foot wingspan helps make him a good defender.

14. Cleveland: Malaki Branham, 19, F, 6-5, Ohio State

Has a strong work ethic and ability to score in a variety of ways.

15. Charlotte: Mark Williams, 20, C, 7-0, Duke

Was a top rim protector in the NCAA last season.

16. Atlanta: Jalen Duren, 18, C, 6-11, Memphis

Not a bad rim protector, but Hawks probably willing to move this pick.

Memphis center Jalen Duren blocks a shot by Tennessee Tech’s John Pettway during a game last season.
(Karen Pulfer Focht / Associated Press)
17. Houston: Ochai Agbaji, 22, G/F, 6-5, Kansas

He’s more of a small forward who needs to improve ball-handling skills.

18. Chicago: Tari Eason, 21, F, 6-8, Louisiana State

A defensive-minded player who is raw offensively.

19. Minnesota: TyTy Washington, 20, G, 6-3, Kentucky

Could add depth to Timberwolves’ talented backcourt.

20. San Antonio: Kennedy Chandler, 19, PG, 6-0, Tennessee

He’s super-fast and can score.

21.Denver: Jalen Williams, 21, G/F, 6-6, Santa Clara

His size and strength make him a good defender.

22. Memphis: MarJon Beauchamp, 21, F, 6-6, G League Ignite

Long and athletic, a driver and slasher.

23. Philadelphia: Jaden Hardy, 19, G, 6-4, G League Ignite

Is a talented scorer with handles who can shoot the three-pointer.

24. Milwaukee: Nikola Jovic, 18, F, 6-10, Serbia

Has really good ball skills and is athletic.

25. San Antonio: E.J. Liddell, 21, F, 6-7, Ohio State

Undersized power forward, but is strong and tough.

Ohio State forward E.J. Liddell works in the post against Michigan State’s Malik Hall during a game last season.
(Jay LaPrete / Associated Press)
26. Houston: Wendell Moore, 20, F, 6-5, Duke

Likes to drive to the basket.

27. Miami: Dalen Terry, 19, G, 6-7, Arizona

Good size for a point guard who looks to pass first.

28. Golden State: Walker Kessler, 20, C, 7-1, Auburn

Has size, but what does that matter to the NBA champions?

29. Memphis: Patrick Baldwin, 19, F, 6-9, Milwaukee

Has the skills to be a stretch-four.

30. Denver: John Butler, 19, F/C, 7-1, Florida State

Has good shooting range for his size and length.

1-Man’s Opinion on Sports-Tuesday “Padres–In Trouble”

Posted by on June 21st, 2022  •  0 Comments  • 

“Padres–In Trouble”

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Last year it was a year long siege to the pitching staff.
Now the everyday lineup has taken the biggest hit possible.

How long can the Padres stay in the pennant race with what is happening to its roster now?.

Manny Machado is out at least 4-weeks with what looked like a gruesome ankle sprain.

It looked horrible when his left foot hit the first base bag trying to beat out a hit.  It bent at such at bad angle, my first reaction was that he dislocated it.  High ankle sprains take forever to heal.

How do you replace the batting average, the home runs, the RBIs, the OPS number, and what he means to the batting order?

You don’t.  There’s no proven talent left at El Paso.  The candidates on the Padres roster have no proven record.

Who knows if there is a cheap 1-year rental they could get in a trade.

The most established 3rd sacker who might be out there is unhappy Yankees infielder Miguel Andujar, who hit 21-homers a couple of years ago but has been up and down like a yo-yo since then.

The Reds have seen Brandon Drury, the ex-Diambondack have a nice comeback season.  His teammate Mike Moustakas, the ex-Royal, right be more attainable.

Can you call Seattle and get Ty France back?  Eugenio Suarez of the Mariners?

Revisit Brian Reynolds-Pirates?

Whit Merrifield of the Royals? Go shop around the American League?

Would they bring Robby Cano back and shift Jake Cronenworth to 3B?

Is CJ Abrams coming in to play short so Ha Seong-Kim can go to third?  But will either of them hit?

But who is going to hit among those guys now in the lineup in that there is no Manny to protect them in the batting order?

Machado in the middle of that batting order, made everyone else dangerous, because they got better pitches to hit.

This big Padres picture doesn’t look good right now.

Add Machado’s name right next to the 6W-DL stay right fielder Wil Myers is serving right now for cartilage damage in his right knee.

There is no Fernando Tatis sighting yet, and his layoff from the fractured wrist surgery is likely to spill into late July, if he has no setbacks, and no one knows how the power torque in his swing will impact the surgically repaired left wrist, courtesy of his stupid motorcyle accidents in the Dominican this winter.

And if that’s not enough, Eric Hosmer has reverted back to being a slump ridden Eric Hosmer, hitting (.194) in the last month and a half after that torrid  start he had to the season.

The dominant starting pitching can’t be expected to go out there and throw shutouts each game.  That’s what might have to happen with the loss of an MVP candidate in the heart of your batting order.

Hate to think this season of summer baseball might wind up like last year’s summer of disappointment, a season caved in by injuries.

Add to the woes, the Padres are finishing up with the easy to beat schedule they have played for alot of this season.  Here come a ton of games with the Dodgers-Giants  and the better teams in the National League.

Padres in trouble?  I think so.  Wonder if GM-AJ Preller believes they are too?

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1-Man’s Opinion on Sports–Monday “NBA & Dynasties”

Posted by on June 20th, 2022  •  0 Comments  • 

“NBA & Dynasties”

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So what defines an NBA dynasty?

Dominance.  Devastating Firepower.  Chemistry.  Luck.

The NBA has had them in the past.

Red Auerbach built the first big one with the 1950s Boston Celtics, aided of course by a lopsided trade he made to get the rights to draft C-Bill Russell from the University of San Francisco.  They surrounded him with great role players, from Bob Cousy to the Jones Boys, to a bench bunch that played bully boy.

The Lakers did a deal that brought them Wilt Chamberlain from the Philadelphia Warriors, where he joined Jerry West and Elgin Baylor.  That was pretty dominant basketball, though Boston was always in the way each spring in the playoffs.

The second round of Lakers greatness came because Lew Alcindor wanted out of Milwaukee, and became the next cornerstone of a collection of star players.

Los Angeles duplicated it again by virtue of wheeling and dealing that netted them Magic Johnson in a deal that sent virtually nothing to the Utah Jazz.  Here came Showtime.

And the Lake Show rebuilt again, with the arrival of big money Shaquille O’Neal and the trade with Charlotte that delivered teenage star Kobe Bryant, in the era before the NBA salary cap was put in place.

The Air Jordan era in Chicago was built around Portland’s failure to draft Jordan because of a foot injury,  the arrival of small college star Scottie Pippen, a deal for Bill Cartwright and so many more acquisitions, aided by the brillance of Coach Phil Jackson.

Boston did it again after a dry spell with Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, and the blockbuster acquisition of the Big Chief, Robert Parish.

San Antonio and David Robison and Tim Duncan and all those European players dominated the Association in a short five year span..

Detroit gave us the rough and tumble ‘Bad Boys’ and a couple of titles too, with the fierceness of Isaih Thomas,Bill Laimbeer and the idiosyncracies of Dennis Rodman..

Where do you rate Golden State?

In a different era, where basketball is dominated by ‘mercenaries’ looking for their next paydays, an era where agents and players run the league, not Coaches-GMs or the Commissioner, the Warriors are an electric-eclectic group of players.

Star studded-selfless teammates.  It’s that makeup that has allowed this Golden State franchise to go (73-9)..(67-15)..(67-15) and add on seasons of 58-57 wins.

But it is a different type franchise, led by guys who came out of nowhere to become someone.  Davidson College, on the fringe of Division 1-basketball, delivered Steph Curry, whose DNA included a great shooting father Dell Curry.

Klay Thompson came from Washington State, son of a great center Mychael Thompson.

Draymond Green was surely not a first round pick, but evolved into a first rate leader, doing lots of dirty work.

Kevin Durant was here today-gone tomorrow, injured and in search of paydays, moving around the league like a soldier of fortune.

Buttressing all this was an array of journeymen, who came in to help win rings and hold the team together, from Andre Igwodala to Andrew Bogut, Shawn Livingston, DeMarcus Cousins and so many more.

The ‘Splash Brothers’ , Curry-Thompson, have carried this franchise thru the four NBA rings they have won in that eight year span.  But instead of just taking tons of the shots, scoring lots of points, they evolved a game that made so many other players so dangerous to score.  Just ask Boston what happened when Curry or Klay had a bad night.

In the middle of all this came devastating injuries that many thought would end the era.  Curry and Thompson combined to have 4-major injuries in a two year span.  Add Kevin Durant to a devastating injury list too, and you wonder how they rallied this team back.  The hated word in the NBA might be Achillies or Foot or Knees.  Golden State survived all that.

In this time frame, Warriors players took less money to keep the team together.  Aside from Durant, no big names left.

The glue in all this Coach Steve Kerr, part coach, part psychologist, part genius.
He manages talents, ego, personalities, a very different culture from when he was a player, winning all those rings in Chicago and other places..

His career record is (429-200) at Golden State.  Not bad for an assistant who was shoved into the job as an interim coach.  He learned at the feet of Phil Jackson and Greg Popovich..

Curry bought in, took less money, became more than just a mad bomber.  He became a spiritual leader, getting shots,making shots, driving-dishing and making other’s dangerous because of his own skill level.

At Golden State, it’s not about ‘me’…it’s about ‘us’.  It’s Kerr’s team, Curry’s team and everybody’s team.

It would be fun to run a computer and see who would win if this Golden State team were to face one of the Lakers great rosters, matchup against Bird, face Duncan-Robinson in San Antonio, or go head to head with Phil Jackson’s Bulls.

But in an era of Max contracts, free agency, injuries, what the Warriors have done, 4-rings in 8-years, is as good as any other franchise from the different eras we have followed.

Dynasty-Warriors, you bet, as good as any of the others

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1-Man’s Opinion on Sports-Friday “That’s What an NBA Champion Looks Like”

Posted by on June 17th, 2022  •  0 Comments  • 

“That’s What an NBA Champion Looks Like”

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So what defines the NBA-Champion Golden State Warriors.  Star player or collection of talent that shines in a galaxy?

Without question, Steph Curry is the greatest shooter of modern day NBA basketball.  But his game is more than just the abundance of 3-point baskets, any time or any place.

Curry reeled off 33 on Thursday night as the Warriors won the ring, burying Boston on their own floor.

But it was Curry hitting bombs, driving to the basket to score, and grinding on defense, something he had hardly done before.  Complete players now.

Golden State got beat by 55-points in one playoff game early in the postseason.

They fought thru so many injuries to everyone of their star players, and they had a championship season with no contributions from their last two first round picks, Jon Kuminga and James Wiseman, guys who were supposed to be cornerstones.

But they would never cave in, regardless of the bad situations they were.  They lost at home in the first game, but roared back to win twice in Boston to change the chemistry of the series.

Klay Thompson, the other half of the ‘Splash Brothers’ has fought back from major injuries too, even if he is half the player he used to be.

Andrew Wiggins, a bust in Minnesota, has grown up as a player, a complete player, highlited by that 26-point 16-rebound game when they needed him the most.

Add in Jordan Poole and others from that bench bunch, and you see how good a team this is.

Watch them share the ball, run the floor, go to the boards and play defense.  Golden State is everything the Lakers are not.

And recall this.  This was a team with the worst record in the league two years ago.  A team that got knocked out in the play-in game last year.  Now they are carrying the Larry O’Brien Trophy around.

What a job by Steve Kerr as coach, finding the right roles, building team chemistry, allowing the players to be themselves but become champions.

For Boston, they ran out of gas.  They had to be more than a Jaylen Brown-Jason Tatum team, and they weren’t in terms of consistency.  They looked leg weary chasing Curry and those other guys around.

No shame in losing in the finals, but the Warriors sure look far and above in another galaxy compared to everyone else.

What defines Curry?  He has 4-rings, a Hall of Fame induction waiting.  He’s the guy who checks off all the boxes on his NBA resume.

Earned it.  Owns it.  Greatness.
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1-Man’s Opinion on Sports-Thursday “This-That-The Other”

Posted by on June 16th, 2022  •  0 Comments  • 

“This-That-The Other”


 

Jumping around the checkerboard in sports:

 

The Padres conducting batting practice against the sad-sack Chicago Cubs pitching staff.  Amazing, not that Manny Machado and friends posted a (19-5) hammering of the Cubs, but that Cubs ownership would put such a shabby product on the field.  The Friars have outscored the Cubs (35-11) in the three games at Wrigley this week, heading into the Thursday afternoon likely beatdown.  What a disgrace owner Tom Ricketts has turned the franchise into.  You do remember just a few short years ago, a lineup of Javy Baez, Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Jason Hayward and others, all traded away.

 

The Dodgers don’t have Walker Beuhler, don’t know how much Clayton Kershaw has left, are wafer-thin in the rotation, and have a very shaky Craig Kimbrel in the bullpen.  They haven’t given up first place yet, because they keep winning, like the Padres, because both have played the bottom feeders in the standings.

 

The Angels are a disaster.  Losers of 18-of-20, beset by constant injuries, a weak rotation.  Joe Maddon let it get away from him.  His replacement Phil Nevin has yet to find hits in his batting order.  This is a pretty bad slide.

 

Boy there is a lot of bad baseball out there.

 

The A’s, playing before mid week crowds of 2900…that’s right 2900 ,traded away all their established players and have now lost 16-of-18.  What did lousy ownership think would happen to fan support.

Pittsburgh had a 9-game losing streak, filling their lineup with AA-callups from Altoona.

Detroit is (24-38), their rebuilding drive derailed by injuries to 3-starting pitchers including prized right-hander Casey Mize, who had elbow surgery this week.

Washington is now (23-42), having lost Stephen Strasburg after just one start after blood clot surgery.  There will be a new owner by the off season, and probably a new President, GM and manager.  What was a great franchise was allowed to leave.

Wonder if they will ever win again in Kansas City.  The Royals are now (21-41).  Go back more than a decade and you can count winning seasons on your left hand only.

The Reds shiny new ballpark is stained by their ownership too.  Moved out all their power hitters, dealt away pitching, and you can find them in last place at (23-40).

 

We will just wait and see what happens in two weeks.  That’s when the Dodgers-Padres renew their fight for place, when they meet with 16-games between them still on the schedule.

And yes there are some good teams trying to create pennant races now, the Mets-the Phillies-TampaBay-maybe Houston and Atlanta with its 14-game win streak.

But let’s be honest, as of right now, does anybody really think the Padres-or-Dodgers are equal to the (46-16) New York Yankees, a new updated version of the Bronx Bombers?

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