Posts Tagged ‘Brandon Marshall’

It’s the time of the year in the NBA where the M.V.P. talk starts. For some reason this has been the week where everyone who supported Russell Westbrook earlier in the season have now turned their backs on him and are looking for other candidates for M.V.P. The other names that keep coming up are James Harden, LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard. So let’s take a look and see how these players match up.

Westbrook’s Oklahoma City Thunder are 35-29 and currently holding on to the 7th spot in the Western Conference. In 64 games Westbrook averages 32.1 points per game, 10.5 rebounds per game and 10 assists per game. Westbrook is the leagues leading scorer and he is 3rd in assists he is also 12th in rebounding, but remember he’s a point guard. That’s right Westbrook is averaging a triple-double per game so far this season. The last player to average a triple-double in a season was Oscar Robertson who did in during the 1961-62 season for the Cincinnati Royals.

Harden’s Houston Rockets are 44-20 and are currently in 3rd place in the Western Conference. In 64 games Harden is averaging 29 points per game, 7.9 rebounds per game and 11.5 assists per game. Harden is the leagues 2nd leading scorer and is leading the NBA in assists. Harden is tied for 25th in rebounding.

James’ Cleveland Cavaliers are the top team in the Eastern Conference with a record of 42-20. James has played in 57 games this season and is averaging 26 points per game, 8.2 rebounds per game and 8.8 assists per game. James is the leagues 8th leading scorer. He is 4th in the league is assists and is tied for 22nd in rebounding.

Leonard’s San Antonio Spurs are 49-13 and in 2nd place in the Western Conference. Leonard averages 26.3 points per game, 3.4 assists per game and 6 rebounds a game. Leonard is the leagues 7th leading scorer. He is tied for 53rd in assists and is tied for 60th in rebounding. I’m sure you’ve noticed that with the exception of scoring Leonard’s stats don’t compare top the other M.V.P. candidates. While that may be the case Leonard is far and away the best defensive player out of the four candidates; so that should help his M.V.P. case.

Now it looks as even if Westbrook puts up the best numbers he’s not going to win the M.V.P. award and that’s even if he averages a triple-double. Since Oklahoma City isn’t really considered a threat to win the NBA title that will hurt Westbrook’s case even though it’s a regular season award. I’m not sold on the Rockets being a title contender either, but the team is much improved this season and Harden is being given the credit for that. I’m not sure why James is even in this conversation. Most people still consider him the best player in the NBA ; so I’m guessing that’s why his name keeps coming up, but he doesn’t deserve to win this award. Leonard is kind of a sleeper pick at this point, but he’s gained some support lately. San Antonio is always a title contender, but I’m not sure that Leonard’s stats are M.V.P. worthy especially when you compare him to the other candidates.

If I had a vote which I don’t I’d cast mine for Westbrook. What he’s doing is historic. Harden would be 2nd on my ballot with Leonard 3rd and James a distant 4th. When it’s all said and done look for Harden to walk away with the M.V.P. award when the voting comes out.

The Dallas Mavericks beat the Los Angeles Lakers 122-111 last night. Neither team is going to make the playoffs this season; so the importance of this game was would Dirk Nowitzki break the 30,000 point mark for his career in this game. Nowitzki came into the game needing 20 points to reach the 30,000 point mark. With 10:58 left in the 2nd quarter Nowitzki hit a jumper to reach the scoring milestone. Nowitzki became just the 6th player to reach the 30,000 point milestone. The other player to reach that mark are Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jordan, Karl Malone, Kobe Bryant and Wilt Chamberlain. Nowitzki is in his 19th season and has said he plans on returning for a 20th; all with the Mavericks.

Nowitzki has played in 1377 career games. For his career he averages 21.8 points per game, 7.8 rebounds per game and 2.5 assists per game. Nowitzki is a 13 time All-Star, he was the M.V.P. for the 2006-07 season and was the finals M.V.P. in 2011 when the Mavericks won their only title over the Miami Heat, Dallas made the finals in the 2006-07 season, but lost to the Heat in the finals. Nowitzki is a sure bet to make the basketball Hall of Fame when his career is over. Don’t forget that Nowitzki was actually drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks with the 9th pick in the 1998 draft. Nowitzki and Pat Garrity where traded to Dallas for Robert “Tractor” Traylor on draft night. Dallas had taken Traylor with the 6th pick of the draft.

NFL free agents can’t officially sign with teams until 3:00 p.m. tomorrow. Of course that isn’t going to stop reports from coming out on who’s going to go where. The first such report that came out has Brandon Marshall staying in New York, but moving from the Jets to the Giants. It’s being reported that Marshall will sign a two year $12 million dollar deal to join the Giants. Marshall had hoped that the Jets would grant him his release and they did saving $7.5 million dollars on their salary cap. There was some talk that the Jets and Marshall engaged in contract extension talks, but in the end the two sides parted ways. The Jets didn’t look for any type of trade for Marshall as the team considered it a “long shot” on getting a deal done. Marshall spent two seasons with the Jets with his first one being much more productive than his second one. Of course quarterback play has a lot to do with how a wide receiver is going to do and the Jets didn’t have very good quarterback play last season. Marshall should be a good fit for the second receiver slot behind Odell Beckham Jr. in the Giants offense. Marshall also gives  Giants quarterback Eli Manning another target to throw to. With the release of Victor Cruz the Giants have found a solid veteran replacement for that wide receiver position. Of course by staying in New York Marshall will also be able to continue to do Inside the NFL.

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The NFL off-season is running at full speed as teams make moves to try to get themselves under the salary cap and sign free agents. Peyton Manning restructured his deal with the Denver Broncos to give them some salary cap space. Manning knocked $4 million off his 2015 salary, but don’t worry they added a couple of bonus clauses; so he can get that money back. He’ll earn $2 million if the Broncos go to the AFC title game and then another $2 million if Denver wins the Super Bowl. Brandon Marshall was traded for the 3rd time in his career as the Chicago Bears sent him to the New York Jets for a 5th round draft pick. On a side note; Marshall is the 4th player to be traded three times in his career since 1995. The others are Randy Moss, Glyn Milburn and Sage Rosenfels. The Jets would have an interesting trio of wide receivers if they hang on to them with Marshall, Eric Decker and Percy Harvin. Harvin is due a roster bonus soon and reports are the Jets may release him. When the Marshall rumors started I was wondering what his value might be. When the Bears traded for Marshall they the Miami Dolphins two draft picks; a 3rd round pick in 2012 and a 3rd round pick in 2013. Now we have to see who the Jets decide will be throwing the football to these receivers. Marshawn Lynch is staying with the Seattle Seahawks as he signed a two year deal worth a reported $24 million. There have been rumors of holdouts and retirements involving Lynch, but with this deal those rumors should disappear. There was one retirement announced as Maurice Jones-Drew (MJD) is ending his NFL career after 9 seasons; eight with the Jacksonville Jaquars and one injury plagued 2014 season with the Oakland Raiders. Jones-Drew rushed for a career 8167 yards and led the NFL in rushing with 1606 yards in 2011. The Jaquars drafted M.J.D. in the 2nd round of the 2006 draft. He was a three time Pro Bowl selection and was 1st team All-Pro one time. It is also being reported that the Pittsburgh Steelers will release Safety Troy Polamalu if he doesn’t choose to retire. Polamula has spent his entire 12 year career with Pittsburgh. Two other long time veteran players will be looking for new teams after in 2015 as their teams announced they’ll be moving on this week. After 14 seasons and more games played than any other Indianapolis Colts player it was announced that the team won’t try to re-sign wide receiver Reggie Wayne. The New England Patriots declined the contract option on defensive lineman Vince Wilfork after 11 seasons with the team. This may be the first set of moves by NFL teams as they get ready for the draft as well as being able to sign free agents starting March 10th.

Did the Atlanta Hawks make a statement last night? They beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 106-97 last night in what may have been an Eastern conference finals preview. Atlanta got out to a 17 point lead in the 1st quarter, but they had just a 2 point lead at 81-79 going into the 4th quarter. Atlanta outscored Cleveland 25-18 in the final quarter to seal the victory. Al Horford led Atlanta in scoring with 19 points and rebounds with 9. Mike Scott came off the Hawks bench and hit seven of nine shots scoring 14 points while Dennis Schroder added 15 points off the bench as well as leading the team in assists with 8 . Jeff Teague and Paul Milsap each scored 16 points.  DeMarre Carroll drew the defensive assignment of guarding LeBron James and James struggled. James played a little over 40 minutes going 5-13 from the field including 1-4 from behind the 3-point line. James scored 18 points grabbed 6 rebounds and handed out 8 assists, but committed 9 turnovers in the game. The best part of James game was his free throw shooting was much better as he went 7-8 from the foul line. With James Struggling Kyrie Irving led the Cavaliers in scoring with 20 points while Kevin Love had 14 points.  The hawks improved to 49-12 for the season and have actually won 42 of their last 48 games. Cleveland’s record falls to 39-25. Maybe Atlanta drew some extra inspiration from Dominique Wilkins. The Hawks unveiled a statue of Wilkins outside Philips Arena, wore throwback jerseys from the Dominique era, and honored No. 21 at halftime with a painting and a framed jersey autographed by all the current Hawks players. Up next; the Cavaliers: return home to face the Phoenix Suns on Saturday to complete a stretch of four games in five nights. While the Hawks travel to Philadelphia on Saturday to take on the 76ers.

Spring training is up and running and the defending champion San Francisco Giants lost one of their best players Hunter Pence for 6 to 8 weeks with a broken arm. While it’s very early in spring training; so Pence should be back in the line up by late April or early May. I guess if you must have an injury you’d like to have them early and get it out-of-the-way. Pence has played in every game for the Giants the last two seasons and isn’t going to be easy to replace. While the Giants aren’t a home run hitting team Pence was one of only two Giants with 20 or more home runs. Pence hit 20 home runs on the nose while Buster Posey led the team with 22 home runs. Pence was also 2nd on the team in RBI’s with 74. Posey was the team leader in this category as well with 89. Pence was also tied for the team lead in triples with Brandon Crawford; each had 10. Pence was 2nd on the team in doubles with 29. Michael Morse led the team with 32 doubles. Bruce Bochy may be the best manager in baseball at juggling his line up when needed. Look for the Giants to fill Pence’s spot with players like Gregor BlancoJuan Perez or maybe  Travis IshikawaNori Aoki may move over from left field to fill in for Pence in right field on the defensive side. The Giants also have non-roster invitee Justin Maxwell in camp; so this may be his shot to make the team and fill this role until Pence comes back from injury. This is Maxwell’s 4th team after stops in Washington, Houston and 20 games last season with the Kansas City Royals. Let’s see who Bochy chooses to fill Pence’s spot to start the season.

We covered the National League West on the podcast last night as we had four team previews. No one from the Colorado Rockies wanted to come on and talk to us. Maybe that says something about how their season might go. Tony Fischer started the podcast off talking Arizona Diamondbacks with me. You can find Tony’s Diamondbacks coverage at We talked Los Angeles Dodgers next as Scott Andres from came on the podcast with me. I wrapped up the night with two of my favorite guest. First Mark O’Neill from join me to talk San Francisco Giants baseball and I wrapped up the podcast talking to Billy Brost about the San Diego Padres. While Billy has left the Site that covers the Padres he is staying involved with writing about baseball. Look for Billy’s new venture starting soon. You can listen to any or all of these interviews in the Sports Time Radio podcast archives. Click on Sports Time Radio and you can pick and choose the podcast you’d like to listen to.

So how was your week?

You can follow me on Twitter @Burketime you can follow the show as well @SportsTimeRadio

With the Major League Baseball pennant races heating up in a big way, the NFL getting ready to start and the Team USA keeping the NBA in the news people have a tendency to forget about the NHL in their off-season. The NHL did find a way to grab some headlines when a rumor came out that they where looking to add 4 expansion teams by the year 2017. The cities rumored to get expansion franchises are Las Vegas, Seattle, Quebec City and a second team in Toronto. NHL spokesman Gary Meagher has said that there’s no talk of adding teams and expansion isn’t on the Board of Governor’s agenda. NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly confirmed as much in an interview with TVA Sports that expansion was “Not in our plans,” he said. “Nothing new to report on expansion.” Any time you add teams to your league there’s a chance that it will water down your product but I like the idea of adding teams to the NHL. I think the cities that were mentioned would be good choices for NHL teams. Seattle has been looking for and deserves another professional sports team since the NBA’s Seattle Supersonics moved to Oklahoma City and became the Thunder. If you remember Quebec has had an NHL team before the Nordiques. The Nordiques started in the World Hockey League before moving to the NHL in 1979. They played in Quebec until the end of the 1995 season, after that season the team moved to Colorado and became the Avalanche. The Nordiques hold the distinction of being the only major professional sports team to have been based in Quebec City in the modern era, and one of only two ever; the other, the Quebec Bulldogs, played one season in the NHL in 1919–20. If you’re a Toronto Maple Leaf fan you might not like the idea of adding a 2nd team to the city there but it would be a good place for the NHL to add a team. The Maple Leafs are always among the best drawing teams in the NHL and as long as the 2nd team had an up to date stadium to play in and it wasn’t to close to where the Maple Leaf Gardens the team should do well. The interesting choice of cities would be the rumored team in Las Vegas. The first question that came to my mind was how would a professional hockey player handle the lifestyle of living in Las Vegas. A team in Vegas always raises the question if corruption might be an issue but players make so much money now; could someone actually buy an athlete off? I think at one point in time every major professional sports league has been rumored to be looking into having a team in Las Vegas and it looks like the NHL may be the first one to do it. How about you, are you for or against NHL expansion?

WE had our 1st of two fantasy football drafts last night. It was our traditional snake style draft. Snake style means you select #1 through #20 and then the team with the 20th pick gets the 21st pick and the draft heads back down to #1. I ended up with the 3rd pick in the draft. Dan the Man was picking 8th and Mr. Fantasy was way down at pick #17. At #3 I went with Philadelphia Eagles running back LeShon McCoy. Dan the Man also went running back in the 1st round taking Eddie Lacy of the Green Bay Packers. Being the homer that he is at #17 Mr. Fantasy selected Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall. Picking 4th in the 2nd round Mr. Fantasy took running back Alfred Morris of the Washington Redskins. With the 13th pick of the 2nd round Dan the Man went running back again taking C.J. Spiller of the Buffalo Bills. My next selection was the 18th pick of the 2nd round and I took another running back like Dan the Man did. I went with Toby Gerhart of the Jacksonville Jaquars. I don’t want to go over every selection we made, but I’d like to go through two more rounds with you; so you can get an idea how we try to build our teams. In the 3rd round I took Percy Harvin; wide receiver Seattle Seahawks. Dan the Man took New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz and Mr. Fantasy’s 3rd round pick was Cleveland Browns tight end Jordan Cameron. Working the other way for the 4th round Mr. Fantasy selected another Cleveland Browns player. This time he went with running back Ben Tate. I know you where hoping I was going to type Johnny Manziel, but the 4th round would be way, way early to take Johnny “Football” that would be really early. In the 4th round Dan the Man selected Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson. When it got to my pick in the 4th round I took Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten. The Mr. irrelevant pick in our draft was New Orleans Saints safety Kenny Vaccaro. Vaccaro was the 20th pick in the 22nd round to end our draft last night. Our auction league draft is tonight and that has an entirely different strategy that the draft we had last night does. There are many. many theories on how to put your auction league teams together and I haven’t found one that works for me yet. I’ve always looked for players I thought would put up good numbers and tried to land them at a value price. Or I’ll take a player who seems to be a good value at the price he’s at when his name is on the board. The example I’ll give you from last season that blew up in my face was the quarterback position. I ended up with Eli manning and Matt Schaub at the quarterback position last season and I paid less that $15 dollars for them. I thought I was in a good position with 2 choices at quarterback that may not have been spectacular but very solid players. Not to go into too much detail, but you know how those 2 picks worked out for me. I have to find a way to either spend my money better or just get better performance out of the guys I pay for.

On the Thursday edition of Sports Time Radio we had on a guest. Al Yellon of joined the show to talk a little Cubs baseball. We’re always looking for guest on Sports Time Radio; so if you know someone we should have on to talk any sport, contact us

So how was your week?

You can find Sports Time Radio on BlogTalk Radio and you can find me on Twitter @Burketime.


If you caught our last episode on BTR, I promised to blog about my Christmas sports presents. It was a pretty great day, present wise for me. I know, I know that’s not what it’s about but We are all about sports. Lets start with my mother-in-law. I was secretly hoping she’d get me another gnome of some Chicago team but even better a brand new stainless steel barbecue set which are not cheap by any means. The other Cubs set I own is more for display than cooking. I can’t wait to use them, what the hey, regardless of the weather this weekend in Chicago, I might have to fire up the grill. I was very excited to open up the box with my brand new Brandon Marshall T-shirt. Now I know it isn’t formal or really even business casual but I showed to her moms house on Christmas wearing this shirt with my New Era Fitted hat to match. Speaking of New Era, check out my blog about how much I love their fitted hats. My brother-in-law and I had a game of touch football against the youngsters and we probably would have won if he didn’t blow out his knee. We didn’t think it was that bad until he threw his cigar. I know what your thinking, but our last game on thanksgiving was won and he had his cigar the whole time we played. That morning I had another box to open and inside contained my brand new New Era 5950 San Francisco Giants 2012 World Series fitted cap. If you follow me on twitter you probably seen the pic before but now it’s officially on my dome. After tweeting a pic of me wearing it New Era favorited my tweet. Yes I am that cool! At least I think I am.
But nothing tops the gift I didn’t open that morning, my brand new weight set and adjustable bench. I found it on Craigslist a couple of weeks ago. Fortunately the seller lived within 10 mins from me. I have actually been watching Craigslist since the summer and I just couldn’t find what I was looking for, for a good price. I bought an adjustable bench with adjustable arms for the Olympic bar. The weight tree included the standard barbell set. He also threw in an E-Z Curl bar and the few barbells that attach to it, along with two individual curl bars. And the added bonus of just one 30lb dumbbell. That’s right ONE dumbbell. Who goes out and buys one dumbbell? That guy but its cool, ill just get the funny looks when I go to buy 1 dumbbell. Now I just need some heat in the garage.

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