Posts Tagged ‘J.R. Smith’

Week 15 in the NFL just wrapped up and Dan the Man came out on top of our picks with a 13-3 record. The difference was Dan the Man was the only one who had the Carolina Panthers beating the Washington Redskins on Monday night. Schaumburg Stu and Mr. Fantasy where both 12-4 for the week while I was 11-5. Overall Schaumburg Stu looks to be on his way to winning this years contest as he is 148-76through 15 weeks. Dan the Man took 2nd place back by a game over Mr. Fantasy. Dan the Man is 141-83 and Mr. Fantasy is 140-84. That of course means I am in the cellar and it looks like I’ll be staying there. I’m 130-92 overall. There are two weeks left for our picks.

With the NHL coming up on there Christmas break it’s a bit of a surprise that the Chicago Blackhawks have the most points with 48. With the hard salary cap the NHL has the Blackhawks have had to allow top players leave through free agency and others have had to be traded away to keep the team under the salary cap. The Blackhawks are carrying six players 25 or under on their roster. The Blackhawks have six rookies that are contributing to the teams success. Ryan Hartman has 6 goals and 6 assists in 30 games. Vinnie Hinostroza has 3 goals and 5 assists in 26 games. Tyler Motte has 4 goals and 3 assists in 28 games. Gustav Forsling has 1 goal and 3 assists in 29 games and Michal Kempny has 2 assists in 23 games. The Blackhawks had to pick up a lot of these points while there captain Jonathan Toews and #1 goaltender Corey Crawford have been out injured.

While the Blackhawks are at the top right now there are some teams right behind them. The Pittsburgh Penquins and the New York Rangers have 47 points on the season. The Columbus Blue Jackets who are on a 10 game winning streak right now and the Montreal Canadiens have 46 points on the season. The Philadelphia Flyers and the Minnesota Wild each have 42 points and the Washington Capitals, Ottawa Senators, San Jose Sharks and St. Louis Blues all have 4 points this season. Either way it should be an interesting race for the President’s Cup.

Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers is the NHL points leader with 40. McDavid also leads all other players in assists with 28 while Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penquins leads the league in goal scoring with 22. Ryan Suter of the Minnesota Wild is the plus-minus leader at +22. In goal Devin Dubnyk leads all goalies in three of the four major categories. Dubnyk leads in Goals Against Average with a 1.55, Save Percentage at .948 and shutouts with 5. Sergei Bobrovsky of the Columbus Blue Jackets in the wins leader with 19.

As for the rookies. Patrick Laine of the Winnipeg Jets leads in points with 29 and goals with 18. Mitchell Marner of the Toronto Maple Leafs leads in assists with 15. Xavier Ouellet of the Detroit Red Wings is the plus-minus leader at +9. In the goal it’s all Matt Murray of the Pittsburgh Penquins as far as rookies go. Murray leads in Goals Against Average at 1.85, Save Percentage at .938, Shutouts with 2 and Wins with 13.

The Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Milwaukee Bucks 114-108 in overtime Tuesday night. LeBron James scored 34 points and in the process passed Moses Malone for 8th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. James now has 27,442 career points. Shaquille O’Neal is 7th on the list at 28,596. James has a good chance to get past O’Neal before the season ends.

While James moving up the scoring list on the Cavaliers win was a positive the chance that they may loss J.R. Smith with a broken thumb is the negative. Smith exited the game in the 1syt half when it appeared he injured his thumb trying to strip Giannis Antetokounmpo of the basketball as he drove to the basket. The X-rays taken at the arena were inconclusive, according to the Cavaliers. Smith will travel back to Cleveland with the team and be re-evaluated Wednesday. Smith, who signed a four-year, $57 million extension with Cleveland in the offseason after the Cavaliers championship win entered Tuesday’s game averaging 8.8 points on 33.7 percent shooting (35.8 percent from 3). Smith  previously missed six games because of knee and ankle injuries this season. The Cavaliers take on the Bucks again Wednesday night this time in Cleveland as the teams are playing a back to back; home and home series. The Cavaliers are on top of the Eastern Conference with a record of 20-6 while Milwaukee is currently .500 at 13-13.

We’re coming up on Christmas day where the NBA will run out five games for fans to watch. The first game is at 11:00 a.m. and features the Boston Celtics at the New York Knicks and is on ESPN. The second game with a scheduled 1:30 p.m. start time has the Golden State Warriors at the Cleveland Cavaliers in an NBA finals rematch is on ABC. Game three has a 4:00 p.m. scheduled start time has the Chicago Bulls at the San Antonio Spurs on ABC. The fourth game is scheduled to start at 7:00 p.m. and has the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Oklahoma City Thunder on ESPN. The fifth and final game of the night is scheduled to start at 9:30 p.m. and has the Los Angeles Clippers at the Los Angeles Lakers on ESPN. I know the Clippers and the Lakers play in the same building, but for scheduling purposes the Lakers are the home team. All the game times I listed are for the Central time zone.

The top series in NASCAR is getting a new name. Sprint will no longer be the top sponsor for NASCAR. Starting with the 2017 season will have the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. Monster Energy will be the 5th different name for the top series. It was known as the NASCAR Winston Cup Grand National Division from 1971 to 1985, the NASCAR Winston Cup Series from 1986 to 2003, the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series from 2004 to 2007 and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series from 2008 to 2016. Even with the new sponsor and the modernized NASCAR logo that moves the colors solely to the left of the wording instead of having colors behind it, includes the sanctioning body’s name after the series sponsor for the first time. NASCAR kept one thing the same; the word Cup is still in the title.

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I’ll start off by saying I’m not a fan of the Detroit Lions. I am also not a fan of the Dallas Cowboys. The outcome of their playoff game was good for me as a Seattle Seahawks fan. To be fair I did pick Detroit to win the game in the Sports Time Radio playoff picks. Dallas winning sends them to Green Bay while Seattle will play the Carolina Panthers instead of the Lions. With all of that out-of-the-way if you are a fan of the Lions you got robbed of any chance to win that playoff game against the Cowboys. The referees throw a flag for pass interference and then it’s picked up with no explanation that I heard. If it wasn’t pass interference it was what they used to call face guarding. Either way it was a terrible call by an officiating crew that was given this game on merit. Not only did the officials blow that call they missed a clear as day holding call on 4th down. I know people will say they could call holding on every play, but when it’s as blatant as this holding was it needs to be called. The Cowboys gained 21 yards on this 4th down on the drive that led to the eventual game winning touchdown. If they would’ve called the holding penalty it would’ve been 4th down with 16 yards to go and the Cowboys would’ve opted for a punt. No there’s no guarantee that Detroit would’ve scored had they gotten the football, but it might have changed the way the game ended. Maybe it goes to overtime and we have a different finish. Detroit was in the process of getting the momentum back when the first missed called happened and that drive could’ve also changed the outcome of the game. While I understand that this was just terrible officiating and hopefully the referees who worked this game are done for the rest of the playoffs, but since everyone is always looking for a good conspiracy; how about this one. I’m sure the NFL was happy with the AFC match ups. They have Peyton Manning with his new team the Denver Broncos against his old team the Indianapolis Colts. The other AFC game has the New England Patriots against the Baltimore Ravens A couple of really good solid match ups, but the NFC side was lacking something. With the Carolina Panthers in the playoffs as an under .500 team the NFL would like a match up to take the interest away from an under .500 team. How about a game between two marquee teams; the Dallas Cowboys and the Green Bay Packers. The Cowboys and the Packers haven’t met in the playoffs since about 1900 with Schaumburg Stu in attendance. I’m just kidding about that; it was the 1967 NFL Championship game which is referred to as the Ice Bowl. I don’t know if Schaumburg Stu was in attendance for that game or not. I’m pretty sure the NFL got the marketable match up they wanted with this game and all it took was a few referees looking the other way and picking up a flag to make it happen for the fans.

We wiped the slate clean for the playoffs and made our picks for the Wild Card weekend. Mr. Fantasy ended the weekend with a one game lead going 3-1. Dan the Man, Schaumburg Stu and I all started the playoffs off by going 2-2. Four more games for us to pick this weekend; so we’ll see how this goes for us.

Okay let’s see if I can get this three team deal correct. The Cleveland Cavaliers traded guard Dion Waiters to Oklahoma City Thunder for a protected 2015 first-round draft pick. Cleveland also traded forward Lou Amundson and center Alex Kirk and a 2019 second-round draft pick to the New York Knicks for guards J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert. The Knicks also get forward Lance Thomas from Oklahoma City. The Knicks also waived center Samuel Dalembert. Did you get all that? Oklahoma City gets a player they hope can replace James Harden. Cleveland gets a former 6th man of the year with some issues and an upgrade on defense at the guard position. The Knicks get the valuable salary cap room they where looking for. You have to wonder if the Cavaliers and the Thunder are done dealing. The Cavaliers still haven’t found a way to replace the injured Anderson Varejao. Smith and Shumpert won’t fill the void created by Varejao’s season ending injury. The Thunder now have quite a bit of back court depth and you have to wonder if a Anthony Morrow, Reggie Jackson, Jeremy Lamb or even Ish Smith might be on their way out of Oklahoma soon. The Cavaliers have had their eye on Denver Nuggets big man Timofey Mozgov, but getting him is proving difficult. Kosta Koufus is another big man on the Cavaliers radar and may not command a hefty price tag, but don’t be surprised if Memphis is reluctant to move him. Those are a couple of the rumored deals out their for the Cavaliers, but with Waiters being dealt will they have the pieces to land the center they need. In a bit of what I’d considered odd NBA news it’s being reported that Milwaukee Bucks center Larry Sanders has informed team officials that he doesn’t want to play basketball anymore. Sanders, who is averaging just 7.3 points and 6.1 rebounds per game this season, has not played in the team’s last six games due to a combination of an illness and personal reasons. It will be interesting to see how this story plays out in the coming weeks. If Sanders were to retire, he wouldn’t earn the $33 million remaining on his contract after this season.

For the first time since 1955 four players will enter the baseball Hall of Fame. Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and John Smolts all made it into the Hall of Fame on their first ballot while Craig Biggio gets in this year after just missing by a couple of votes last year. For the most part I believe they got the voting right this season and you can’t always say that. I wasn’t as sold on Smoltz as a lot of people where, but the writers like him and he’s working for the MLB Network now; so he gets in with 82.9 % of the vote. With Smoltz getting in this opens the door for two pitchers that are on the ballot with similar stats as Smoltz. That would be Curt Schilling and Mike Mussina; Schilling got 39.2 % of the vote and Mussina got 24.6 % of the vote. Of course I don’t have a vote, but I don’t believe that either of these players belong in the Hall of Fame. While it is just my opinion and I did see both of these players throughout their entire playing careers. I’m guessing they both get in down the road, but they wouldn’t get my vote. A player that would get my vote, but didn’t get a lot of votes from anyone else was Gary Sheffield. Sheffield’s problem is he is part of the steroids era of Major League Baseball and those guys don’t get a lot of votes, but Sheffield only got 11.7 % of the vote in his first year on the ballot. No player has ever gotten into the Hall of Fame after getting less than 15% of the vote; so it looks like Sheffield won’t ever get a call from Cooperstown and I wish he would.

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