Wednesday, June 25, 2014

2014 NBA Lottery Mock Draft

The most exciting draft in recent memory is almost upon us, so it's time to lay out my best guess at how the lottery is going to play out (there will be so many trades that trying to predict the rest is a crap shoot). The picks are how I think the draft actually will play out, but I make sure to specify how the teams should pick. Player details (age on draft night, height in shoes, weight, wingspan) are courtesy of draftexpress.com and ESPN.com.

1. Cleveland: Andrew Wiggins, Kansas SG/SF. 19, 6' 8.75", 197, 7'0"
Wiggins caught scouts' attention in 2012
What the pick should be: Wiggins. Longtime followers know that I've been a fan since he dominated the 2012 Nike Hoop Summit as the youngest player there, and he topped my draft board even before Embiid broke his foot. He has the second highest ceiling while also maintaining a high floor; at the very least I expect a 3-and-D wing similar to Trevor Ariza, which isn't bad at all considering Ariza is about to get another large free agent contract. I can see the comparisons to Tracy McGrady due to his size and fluid athleticism, but for now, he reminds me most of a young Paul George (it's no coincidence that I compared PG to T-Mac before the 2010 draft). He'll provide lock-down perimeter defense right away while his ability to create remains a work in progress. His jumper was streaky, but his form looks improved in his workouts in Santa Barbara (catch UCSB's Thunderdome make an appearance near the end).
Why this is the pick: The Cavs were ready to take Embiid after he impressed them in workouts, but that is when the stress fracture in his foot was discovered. They could trade down to a team that is in love with Wiggins like Philly and pick up Thaddeus Young and one or two of the Sixers' five 2nd round picks while still getting the other Jayhawk at #3. A young veteran like Young would fulfill ownership's mandate to add an impact player to compete now. If they keep the pick, Parker may be the choice because he is the most NBA-ready prospect on offense while bringing the least risk, but I believe Wiggins will help this team the most since he'll fit in at both the 2 and the 3, he'll provide defense for a team that badly needs it, and he won't need to fight for shots with Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters, or Anthony Bennett. He should benefit from the spacing of the NBA game, and I'm intrigued by the system new coach David Blatt will bring from Europe.


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Warriors nab Kerr; now what?

After a year off due to focusing on work, I finally found some personal time to dust off this blog. The timing of Steve Kerr's official press conference and the NBA Lottery results didn't hurt, either.




The meme on the left comes (courtesy of Steve McPherson) hilariously depicts just how much Warriors owner Joe Lacob wanted Steve Kerr to coach his team, while the picture of Kevin Love on the right (from two years back) happens to resemble Joaquin Phoenix in the Spike Jonze film that the meme orginiates.

Kerr said at his introductory press conference yesterday that this team could use a stretch 4.

Love shot 37.6% on 6.6 three point attempts per game this season, is threatening to leave Minnesota next summer, and is apparently intrigued with the Warriors.

See where I'm going with this?

Now that the Warriors have gotten the coach they set their eyes on, the next logical question is "where does he want them to go from here?" My answer is an all out trade for Kevin Love.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

2013 NFL Mock Draft V2

I wrote a bit too much about team needs and fit in my first mock draft, so here's a more succinct version that now includes trades. These trades are purely based on gut calls. Happy Draft Day everyone!

1. Chiefs: Eric Fisher, Central Michigan OT: The media buzz is that Fisher is now the pick.

2. Jaguars: Dion Jordan, Oregon DE/OLB: I think the talk of taking one of tackles is a smokescreen, or a trade is still a possibility.
Jordan's versatility makes him appealing to a lot of teams.

Friday, April 19, 2013

NFL Mock Draft 2013


It's been a while since my last post since I started working with Krossover Sports as a game analyst, where we help teams such as Amherst, the D3 national champs. With the NFL Draft fast approaching, it's time to dust off the keyboard. This mock draft is based on how the prospects fit with each team in a way that reflects my personal rankings.
Joeckel may not have as much upside at #1, but he's the safest pick.
1. Chiefs: Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M OT: The new regime in Kansas City has inherited a talented, albeit underachieving, roster that has been supplemented by strong free agent signings and the Alex Smith trade. One of those free agents is left tackle Branden Albert, who was given a one year deal via the Franchise Tag. That gives the Chiefs the option to let Joeckel, the safest prospect in the draft, develop on the right side for a year, or they can trade Albert to a tackle needy team in order to regain an asset.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

The Big Game: Harbowl, 2013

After what has seemed like the longest two weeks since the Conference Championship games, Super Bowl Sunday is finally upon us. I avoided writing posts for the previous rounds out of fear of a jynx for my favorite team and my pre-season Super Bowl pick. You see, the last time the 49ers beat the Packers in the playoffs at home, they also went on the road to Atlanta the following week, in the 1998 playoffs. The win over the Packers needed a miracle catch by Terrell Owens on a day in which he struggled with drops (and on a play in which it seemed like virtually anyone else was open instead), and then on the first play from scrimmage against the Falcons, runningback Garrison Hearst's ankle exploded. So you can understand my superstition.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

What I'm Watching on Wildcard Weekend

I'm back from a much longer hiatus than I intended, and I'm proud to say that I have made my long awaited return as a graduate of UCSB. I got too bogged down by schoolwork (and the holidays), but there's no way I'm complaining about the school that gave me the greatest 3+ years of my life. Perhaps now you'll even notice the improved writing of a UCSB graduate as I go over some quick thoughts about this weekend's slate of playoff games.

Just kidding; I've always been this good.

HOUSTON over Cincinnati
What I'm watching: How the Texans' secondary assign their coverage. It's well noted how much of an A.J. Green fan I am, so it's no surprise that I believe he could win this game by himself against the likes of Jonathan Joseph and Kareem Jackson. They tend to each stick to their side of the field, so expect a safety to give help to whichever side Green lines up on a play to play basis. Joseph was a shutdown corner in his first year in Houston, but injuries have slowed him down this season. Jackson has been merely solid as a former first round pick out of Alabama while Brandon Harris, a 2011 second round pick, might be over matched in the slot against the slippery Andrew Hawkins. Thus, the soon-to-be Defensive Player of the Year, J.J. Watt, will have to consistently generate pressure in order to help his team win this key matchup.

Prediction: Texans 24, Bengals 20
Houston's secondary will need help from Watt like last year's playoff game.

Friday, October 12, 2012

1st Quarter NFL Power Rankings

Now that every team has played at least four games, it feels like a good time for some Power Rankings a quarter into the season.

1. Falcons 5-0: The defense looks sharp, and Matt Ryan is running the no huddle offense beautifully. If "The Mattural," as Rich Eisen coined him on his podcast, can keep up the heroics in close games, this team will be a tough out in the playoffs.
Ryan's connection to Roddy White on their GW drive was one of the best big time throws I've ever seen.