The NFL 2015 officially opened yesterday with a flurry of free agent signings some trades and even a couple of retirements. Now some of these moves had already been announced, but they couldn’t become official until March 10th. I think the transactions that surprised me the most were the trades that were made. The Detroit Lions acquired Haloti Ngata and a 7th round draft pick for a 4th and 5th round draft picks. Since Ndamukong Suh has agreed to terms with the Miami Dolphins the Lions need someone to fill his spot and they got Ngata to do that and it didn’t cost them a ton to do that. Most experts will tell you that the Seattle Seahawks need a threat in the receiving game. I think most experts thought it would be a wide receiver, but would they settle for one of the top tight ends in the NFL Seattle sent center Max Unger and their 2015 1st round draft choice to the New Orleans Saints for Graham I’m not quite sure what the Philadelphia Eagles were thinking when they sent Nick Foles plus a 4th round pick in the 2015 draft and a 2nd round pick in 2016 for Sam Bradford and a 2015 5th round pick. Are the Eagles under the impression that Bradford will stay healthy with them. It had been reported that San Francisco 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis was going to announce his retirement, but it was a bit of a surprise when Tennessee Titans quarterback Jake Locker and Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Jason Worilds also announced their retirements yesterday. There where a bunch of free agent signings announced and I’m not going to go through and list them all for you. There will be a lot more to come as things move forward. It’s just interesting to me that with spring training moving along in baseball and both the NBA and NHL teams making playoff pushes the NFL found a way to rule the day in their off-season. Is the NFL the #1 sports league in America?
Would you believe that the hottest team in the NBA Eastern conference are the Indiana Pacers. The Pacers are on a six game winning streak and have moved into the #7 playoff seed. The Pacers put their winning streak on the line tomorrow (Thursday) when they take on the Milwaukee Bucks. The Bucks are currently in the #6 playoff seed and are four games ahead of the Pacers in the standings. I’m not sure if anyone had the Pacers making the playoffs this season when Paul George suffered that horrific injury playing for Team USA and there are rumors that George may return before the season ends. While I’m not sure if a return would be in George’s or the teams best interest, but it would be an emotionally lift for this team. Right now the Charlotte Hornets are holding on to the #8 seed in the Eastern conference and are one game behind the Pacers. The Miami Heat are the team on the outside looking in at the moment, but are just a half of a game behind Charlotte and a game and a half behind the Pacers. With a little over a month left in the NBA season these final two playoff spots look to be up for grabs between these three teams.
In the Western conference the team rolling along on a six game winning streak are the San Antonio Spurs. Are you surprised that at this time of the season the Spurs seem to be playing better? The Spurs also out their winning streak on the line Thursday night as they take on the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Spurs currently hold the #7 playoff seed in the Western conference, but they are just one game behind the Los Angeles Clippers for the #6 seed. San Antonio has a five game lead on the Oklahoma City Thunder who hold that 8th and final playoff spot. The Spurs are also just three games behind the Houston Rockets and if they catch them they could move up to a 4th or 5th playoff seed. The Spurs have had a very San Antonio type of season. They’ve had their share of injuries and of course Gregg Popovich has rested his veteran players when he thought they’ve needed it. Would you be surprised if San Antonio ends up in the Western conference finals or even the NBA finals when it’s all said and done.
Over in the NHL it looks like the Eastern conference might have it’s eight playoff team set. The top three in the Atlantic division Montreal Canadiens, Tampa Bay Lighting and Detroit Red Wings are in. The top three in the Metropolitan division the New York Islanders, New York Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins are in. The two wild card spots look like they’ll go to the Washington Capitals and Boston Bruins unless the Florida Panthers who are currently six points behind the Bruins or the Ottawa Senators who are seven points behind the Bruins can get on a roll the Eastern conference is all set.
Over in the Western conference there are still playoff spots up for grabs. While it looks like the Nashville Predators and the St. Louis Blues will get into the playoff out of the Central division, but the final division spot and the wild card position have three teams looking to fill those two spots. The Chicago Blackhawks hold the 3rd division spot right now with the Minnesota Wild as the wild card team. It’s the Winnipeg Jets who are 3 points behind the Wild and six points behind the Blackhawks are hanging onto the 2nd wild card spot, but just by one point over the Los Angeles Kings. The Kings are actually tied with the Calgary Flames for the 3rd playoff spot in the Pacific division, but the Flames own the tiebreaker. The San Jose Sharks are still hanging around looking for a wild card spot. The Sharks are three points behind the Kings and Flames, 4 four points behind the Jets and seven points behind the Wild. The Vancouver Canucks hold the 2nd spot in the Pacific division, but they only have a three point lead over the Flames and Kings. It looks like the only team safe in the Pacific division are the Anaheim Ducks who have an 11 point lead over the Canucks. We should be headed for quite a finish. With all these teams having about 15 games left any opportunity to pick up two points will be huge.
We’re doing are baseball previews on Sports Time Radio and today (Wednesday) at 5:00 pm Tim Kelly from Section215.com will join the podcast to preview the 2015 Philadelphia Phillies. The at 5:30 pm Matt Gajtka from CityofChampionsSports.com will come on the podcast to preview the Pittsburgh Pirates 2015 season.
You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast cast at BlogTalkRadio.com
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