A couple of week into the NBA season there are three teams still unbeaten and two teams looking for their first win. The Houston Rockets at 6-0, the Memphis Grizzlies at 6-0 and the Golden State Warriors 4-0, while the Philadelphia 76ers 0-6 and the Los Angeles Lakers 0-5 are still trying to get that first win. One of the unbeaten teams will lose tonight (Saturday) as Golden State travels to Houston to play the Rockets. Memphis will also put its undefeated season on the line tonight against the 2-4 Milwaukee Bucks in Milwaukee. Of course the big story these first few weeks of the NBA season is the 2-3 start by the Cleveland Cavaliers. With LeBron James returning to Cleveland and the trade for Kevin Love you had to think it might take a little time for this team to gel, but I don’t believe people thought it would start like this season has. Cleveland did get a 110-101 victory over the Denver Nuggets Friday night with James leading the team in scoring with 22 points as well as leading the team in assists with 11. Love had 19 points and a team high 8 rebounds. Kyrie Irving (12 points) and Dion Waiters (17 points) took a combined 25 shots after possible taking a few too many shots in the Cleveland losses. Early in the season James seems content to let the younger players try to take over games and use these moments to teach. Love is still looking for the place where he fits with this team and Irving and Waiters have to learn when to give way to their superstar. It’s very early in the NBA season and there’s a lot of time for this Cleveland team to come together. If you thought they where going to come out of the gates firing on all cylinders you where fooling yourself. If they’re still having these issues or other after the All-Star break then you can worry about the Cavaliers.
It was the battle of Ohio on Thursday Night Football this week as the Cleveland Browns went into Cincinnati and beat the Bengals pretty easily 24-3. Andy Dalton 10 of 33 for 86 yards while throwing 3 interceptions and ending up with a quarterback rating (RTG) of 2.0 had a lot of issues with the wind. Brian Hoyer 15 of 23 for 198 yards and a RTG of 92.3, was able to beat the weather and lead the Browns to the win. The Cleveland running backs took turns putting the football in the end zone. Ben Tate started the Browns scoring with a 4 yard touchdown run in the 1st quarter giving Cleveland a 7-0 lead. Cincinnati answered with a 43 yard Mike Nugent field goal to make the score 7-3, but who knew those would be the only points for the Bengals. Isaiah Crowell got the Browns next rushing touchdown; a 2 yard run in the 2nd quarter making the score 14-3 Cleveland. A Billy Cundiff field goal put Cleveland up 17-3 going into halftime. Terrance West got the final touchdown of the night for Cleveland. A 1 yard run in the 3rd quarter to make it 24-3 in favor of Cleveland. West got 26 carries and 94 yards along with his touchdown to lead the Browns rushing attack, Crowell had 12 carries for 41 yards and his touchdown while Tate had 10 carries for 34 yards and his touchdown. Jeremy Hill was averaging 4.6 yards per carry for Cincinnati, but with his team down only got 12 carries for 55 yards. Miles Austin had 5 catches for 48 yards for Cleveland to lead all receivers while it was Jermaine Gresham with 3 catches for 29 yards that led the Bengals. Fantasy wise if you started a Cleveland running back you at least got a touchdown out of him, but receiving wise there wasn’t a lot of help for you. A.J. Green had 3 catches for 23 yards while Mohamed Sanu caught 2 passes for 20 yards; ouch. With Browns tight end Jordan Cameron out dealing with a concussion Gary Barnidge filled in at tight end picked up a few fantasy points for you catching 2 passes for 46 yards. If you have a league where defensive players count the Bengals had three players get some good tackle numbers. Linebacker Emmanuel Lamur led Cincinnati with 11 tackles while two other linebackers Nico Johnson and Vincent Rey getting 10 tackles each. Buster Skrine picked off 2 Dalton passes and Craig Robertson got the other Cleveland interception.
It looks like it’s Jon Lester, James Shields and Max Scherzer who are at the top of everyone’s fee agent lists this off-season. You can never have enough starting pitching and there’s been a lot of predictions on where these three pitchers will end up. Most people see Lester ending up with the Chicago Cubs, but I have a feeling he’ll end up back with the Boston Red Sox. Shields has been predicted to stay with the Kansas City Royals and there’s a very good chance that will happen unless a team throws a lot of money at him. Scherzer is a tough call. He’s a Scott Boras client; so that means he’ll be one of the last players to sign with a team. Scherzer turned down a 7 year $144 million dollar deal before the 2013 season from the Detroit Tigers. This sounds like a signing for the New York Yankees, but would a team like the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim jump in and sign Scherzer. If your team doesn’t land one of the top three pitchers the next level of pitchers features Ervin Santana, Brandon McCarthy, Francisco Liriano and Kenta Maeda the 27-year-old Japanese pitcher who the Hiroshima Carp are expected to post. How would you feel if your team signed a Justin Masterson, Jason Hammel or Jake Peavy. This seasons playoffs and World Series proved that you need good arms in your bullpen and in this years free agent crop it looks like closer David Robertson is the best reliever on the free agent market. Andrew Miller the left-handed set up specialist is also available along with another set up guy Luke Gregerson. The closers who are free agents after Robertson look like Rafael Soriano, Francisco Rodriguez (K-Rod) and Sergio Rome. Is your favorite team looking for pitching? Are these some of the names you’re looking for your team to sign?
As the baseball off-season gets started will try to look at the free agents out there and see where they might end up or if they’re a good fit for your favorite team.
We featured some good interviews this week on Sports Time Radio this week. On Tuesday and Wednesday Mark O’Neil from Around the Foghorn joined us to talk San Francisco Giants baseball. On Thursday we had Al Yellen from Bleed Cubbie Blue with us to talk Joe Maddon and possible Cubs free agent targets as well as which young prospects should be on the team in 2015. You can go into the archives at Sports Time Radio and listen to these podcasts.
So how was your week?