Posts Tagged ‘Stephen Curry’

Even though it was a home game for the Chicago Bulls it has to be considered an upset that they beat the best team in the NBA (record wise) the Golden State Warriors 94-87 Thursday night.

This is the first time since April of 2015 that Golden State has lost back to back games. That time the Warriors lost to those two games in a row one was to the San Antonio Spurs and the other was to the New Orleans Pelicans. Both of those games where on the road like both of these losses were. The Warriors first lost was on Tuesday night 112-108 to the Washington Wizards. This also happened to be the first full game Golden State played without the injured Kevin Durant.

This game was broadcast national on TNT. In an odd stat the Bulls have won 18 straight home games that where shown on TNT and have won 19 games in a row that where televised on TNT. An even stranger fact to this streak. The last team to beat the Bulls on TNT was now Bulls player Dwayne Wade’s Miami Heat back in February of 2013.

The game was tied six different times in the 1st quarter. The last time was at 15 all with 3:13 left in the 1st quarter. After a Rajon Rondo turnover Golden State went on a 11 to 4 run to end the quarter and take a 26-19 lead at the end of the 1st quarter.

After Matt Barnes hit a lay up Golden State had it’s first double digit lead of the game at 34-24 with 7:50 left in the quarter. Chicago used a 10 to 2 run to cut the Warriors lead to just two points at 36-34 with 5:22 left to play in the quarter. The Warriors built a six point lead two different times the rest of the quarter, but after Jimmy Butler hit two free throws to end the quarter the Warriors had a 51-47 lead going into halftime.

Golden State was able to maintain the lead until Jerian Grant hit a 3-pointer with 8:25 left in the quarter to give the Bulls a 59-58 lead. The Warriors were able to take the lead back, but the Bulls then tied the game at 65 all. Chicago finished the quarter on a 14 to 8 run to take a 79-73 lead after three quarters.

Now you would think down just six points that this is the type of game the Warriors would come back to win. It didn’t go that way for them in this game. Both teams combined for just 29 points; that’s right combined! The Bulls put up 15 points while the Warriors managed just 14 points in the 4th quarter. Golden State actually took the lead one time in the 4th quarter, but couldn’t hold it as the Bulls where able to hang onto to get a 94-87 win.

Jimmy Butler made all 10 of his free throws on his way to being the Bulls high scorer in the game with 22 points. Bobby Portis posted a double-double with 17 points and a game high 13 rebounds. Dwayne Wade scored 12 points while Robin Lopez added 10 points. Cristiano Felicio grabbed 11 rebounds off the Bulls bench while Butler was the teams leader in assists with 6.

Steph Curry was the games high scorer with 23 points. Klay Thompson scored 13 points; Draymond Green scored 12 points handed out a game high 7 assists and grabbed a team high 8 rebounds. Patrick McCaw starting in place of the injured Kevin Durant scored 11 points. Andre Igoudala came off the Golden State bench to score 10 points.

With the win the Bulls go a game over .500 at 31-30. Chicago will have another nationally televised game, but this time it’s on ABC. The Bulls will host the 36-24 Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday night. This was the 4th of a 6 game road trip for the Warriors. Golden State will have a couple of days off before they try to break their two game losing streak Sunday afternoon when they face the 25-36 New York Knicks.

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NFL

Last week the Tennessee Titans sent the #1 overall pick in next weeks NFL draft to the Los Angeles Rams for multiple draft choices. It appears as tough Los Angeles will use that pick on a quarterback either Jared Goff or Carson Wentz. Now there are reports that multiple teams have contacted the Cleveland Browns in hopes that they would be interested in dealing the #2 pick in the draft. Is there a team out there that wants t move up and make sure they get the quarterback that Los Angeles doesn’t take? It appears as they may be more than one team. Now this is exactly what Cleveland needs. They signed Robert Griffin III (RG III) this off season to be their quarterback; so taking another quarterback with that #2 pick might not be the smartest move. Looking at Cleveland no matter who they would end up taking with that #2 pick is going to turn this team into a contender; they are a few years away from that. What Cleveland needs is players; so if they can deal the #2 pick in the draft for more draft picks it may be the best thing to happen to Cleveland. While multiple draft picks still won;t make Cleveland a contender this season it gives them a chance to rebuild a team that hasn’t made a playoff appearance since 2002 and haven’t won a playoff game since 1994. The difficult part in all of this is it’s Cleveland we’re talking about here and it seems as though they don’t do what’s best for the  organization; so will see how they handle that 2nd pick. It’s doubtful Cleveland would get as much for that #2 pick as Tennessee did for the #1 pick, but even if they moved down in the 1st round and where able to add the extra draft picks; it would seem like the right move for Cleveland. Tennessee received 6 draft picks for the #1 pick; so if Cleveland could get 4 or 5 draft picks to deal the #2 pick; should they take that?

Teams that are still in the market for a quarterback had a new name added to the market as the Houston Texans cut Brian Hoyer yesterday. Hoyer started 9 regular season games for Houston last season and appeared in 11 games total. Hoyer threw for 2606 yards last season with 19 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. I’m sure what most people remember about Hoyer’s 2015 season was the terrible playoff game he had against the Kansas City Chiefs. Kansas City won that game 30-0. Hoyer was 15 for 34 for 136 yards and he threw 4 interceptions. The playoff game aside Hoyer has made 26 career starts and has a winning record at 15-11. With the late addition of Hoyer to the off season quarterback market you have to wonder how this will affect the contract demands of Ryan Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick was the top quarterback left on the market and it appeared as though his contract demands reflected that. Hoyer and Fitzpatrick are very comparable quarterbacks; so will see if the teams that Fitzpatrick turned down or couldn’t come to a contract agreement with contact Hoyer. It didn’t take Fitzpatrick’s former team long to meet with Hoyer as the New York Jets had him in for a visit on Tuesday. It seemed as though Hoyer’s time in Houston was over when they signed quarterback Brock Osweiler to a 4-year $72 million dollar free agent deal this off season. Houston was Hoyer’s fourth career stop. He spent 3 seasons with the New England Patriots, a year with the Arizona Cardinals, 2 seasons with the Cleveland Browns and last season with the Texans. We’ll see where Hoyer’s next stop is and if he’s brought in there as a starter or if he ends up being a back up. On a side note the Texans also cut Hoyer’s back up on Tuesday as they released quarterback B.J. Daniels.

NHL

The St. Louis Blues beat the Chicago Blackhawks last night 4-3 to take a 3 games to 1 lead in the opening round playoff series. The Blackhawks are the defending Stanley Cup champions; so you have to think that if a team could comeback from a 3 games to 1 hole it would be the Blackhawks. If the Blackhawks are going to comeback in this series they might have to do it without Andrew Shaw. Shaw was sent off for interference at 17:56 of the third period. While sitting in the penalty box; Shaw pounded on the glass with his stick and then yelled what looked like a slur toward someone on the ice.  Shaw scored a goal in the second period and had two assists in the game, but when he was asked about the incident Shaw said he “didn’t remember”. The NHL said they are investigating the incident. The NHL has a working relationship with the You Can Play Project. The Project aims to ensure equality, respect and safety for all athletes, without regard to sexual orientation. The You Can Play Project immediately reached out to the NHL. Coincidently the Blackhawks highlighted its partnership with the You Can Play Project. Defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson and goaltender Scott Darling participated in a video supporting the group’s mission. The nest game in this series is on the schedule for Thursday night in St. Louis; so you’d expect the NHL to rule quickly on the Shaw incident. If there’s a suspension involved with this and the Blackhawks just one loss away from elimination Shaw may have played his last game for the 2015-16 season.

NBA

Do the Golden State Warriors need Stephen Curry to win their 1st round series against the Houston Rockets? The Warriors did win Game 2 of the series as Curry sat out with an injured ankle. Curry had an MRI on Tuesday and the test didn’t show anything of concern. Curry is listed as questionable for Thursday nights Game 3, but should he play is the question. Golden State is up 2 games to none on the Rockets; so there is a bit of a cushion right now for Golden State to rest Curry. Even without Curry I don’t think Golden State would lose a 1st round series to the Rockets, but they’re going to need him down the road in the playoffs. It seems to make sense to rest him and not bring him back until he’s 100%, but that will be Golden State’s head coach Steve Kerr’s decision. Curry did try to warm up before Game 2; so you think he might try the same thing before Game 3 and then Kerr will make his decision on Curry’s game status.

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It’s NBA All-Star weekend or I guess I should say All-Star week. I find it a little odd that the NBA of all the major sports has the longest All-Star break. If you remember last season LeBron James cried quite a bit about how the All-Star break wasn’t long enough and he couldn’t spend time with his family. Of course this is the same guy that when he had time off ended up in Miami. If I remember right his family lives in Cleveland. I think he used the excuse that he was in Miami to see a certain doctor, but I don;t think anyone believed that. Now in no way am I saying that that basketball isn’t a physical sport. With all the running and the jumping has to be tough on the knees and ankles. I’m just not sold on it being tougher than playing in the NHL which got just 3 or 4 days off for their All-Star break. I have to wonder if it’s even as tough as playing Major League baseball with the long season and the fact that you play in the heat of the summer. Baseball also gets just 3 or 4 days off for their All-Star break. The NBA season is long enough as it is; do they really need an extended All-Star break?

Like I said it is All-Star weekend for the NBA and it kicked off yesterday wit 2 games I could care little or nothing at all about. The first game is the celebrity game which has a few former players mixed in along with a couple of WNBA players as well. All this game really proves is that all the entertainers playing in it made the right career choice. I was actually a little interested to see the Rising Stars Challenge until I turned it on. I thought the format might be interesting with the best young American players against the best players from the rest of the world. Now the game is just for first or second year NBA players, but when I turned it on I quickly realized that even these players knew they where n an All-Star game. Just like the All-Star game that will be played on Sunday there was ZERO defense played in this game was the World team won 121-112. I thought maybe the young players would try and play an actual game of basketball and not just let guys dunk at will and throw up 45 foot 3-pointers; sadly I was very, very wrong. It took me about 2 minutes of actual game action to realize this game was a joke and went and found something else to watch. So Friday is a complete waste of time for the NBA All-Star weekend and everyone knows that the game on Sunday will be a joke; so the only hope is the Saturday night events will be worth watching.

All-Star Saturday night kicks off with the Shooting Stars event. I was unable to find out who’ll be competing in this event, but if I remember right it’s a former NBA player teamed up with a current NBA player and a current WNBA player and they have to make a series of shots from different areas of the court ending with a half court shot. The team that makes all their shots in the fastest time wins this event. Then they move on to the Skills Challenge which features the players skills in ball handling, passing and shooting. This is the first season that more than just guards will compete. Patrick Beverly (Rockets) is the defending champion, but he is injured and won;t be in this seasons competition. Here’s the list of the players competing. DeMarcus Cousins (Kings), Draymond Green (Warriors), Anthony Davis (Pelicans), Karl-Anthony Towns (Timberwolves), Jordan Clarkson (Lakers), C.J. McCollum (Trailblazers), Isaiah Thomas (Celtics) and Emmanuel Mudlay (Nuggets). Dan the Man is picking Cousins to win this event. Next is the 3-point shootout with Stephen Curry (warriors) back to defend his title. Curry is up against Devin Booker (Suns), J.J. Reddick (Clippers), Kyle Lowry (Raptors), James Harden (Rockets), Khris Middleton (Bucks), C.J. McCollum (Trailblazers) and Klay Thompson (Warriors). Dan likes Thompson to unseat his teammate Curry in this event. With what the NBA game has turned into I’m a little surprised that the Slam Dunk contest still wraps up All-Star Saturday night, but it does. Zach LaVine (Timberwolves) is back to defend Slam Dunk his title against Aaron Gordon (Magic), Andre Drummond (Pistons) and Will Barton (Nuggets). Dan likes the big man Drummond to win this event. Tune into Sports Time Radio 5:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. live at http://www.BlogTalkRadio.com and we’ll review how Dan the Man did with his picks. Do you agree with Dan’s picks? or do you have someone else winning these competitions.

Major League Baseball made history on Friday and not in a good way. Jenrry Mejia of the New York Mets became the first player to receive a lifetime ban for failing 3 drugs tests. Not only was this Mejia’s 3rd positive test, but his 3rd positive test in a year. It was reported that Mejia tested positive for Boldenone, which athletes have used to increase muscle mass and once was popular for use in horse racing. He is just the 2nd player to ever test positive for Boldenone and he’s done it twice. Mejia is just 26 years old and may apply to commissioner Rob Manfred for reinstatement in one year. If reinstated, he would have to sit out a minimum of two years before being able to pitch again in the majors. If an application is made and denied, Mejia could ask baseball’s arbitrator to end the ban, claiming the penalty is without “just cause.” The arbitrator cannot reduce the ban to less than two years. MLB suspensions are honored by affiliated leagues in other countries, such as in Japan, South Korea and Mexico. However, suspended players are allowed to compete in winter leagues, such as in Mejia’s native Dominican Republic. Independent leagues are not compelled to honor MLB suspensions but may choose to do so.There are a few comparable cases, but nothing quite like Mejia’s. Josh Hamilton who was in the minor leagues at the time had some issues and was suspended several times for drug abuse from 2003-05, but was allowed to return each time. During a time when there was not a drug agreement, Steve Howe was suspended for life by Commissioner Fay Vincent in 1992 after the pitcher’s seventh drug- or alcohol-related incident. Arbitrator George Nicolau said doctors concluded Howe suffered from attention deficit hyperactive disorder and cut the suspension to time served, which was 119 days. I’m not sure what Mejia was thinking, but he has talent and I’m sure will get another chance if he’s reinstated. You just have to wonder how a player can be so, so stupid to fail 3 tests in a year.

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The Golden State Warriors improved to 24-0 last night (Friday) with a 124-119 victory over the Boston Celtics in double overtime. It was the 2nd time Golden State has went to overtime to keep the streak alive, nut their first double overtime game. On November 14th the Warriors needed overtime to beat the Brooklyn Nets 107-99. Klay Thompson missed this game with a sprained ankle and the Warriors could’ve used his shooting touch. Golden State shot 39.3% from the floor (42 for 107) in the game. It was an even tougher night from behind the 3-point line where the Warriors shot 29.0% going 9-31. Even shooting poorly Golden State was able to build a 7 point lead 82-75 at the start of the 4th quarter. The Celtics outscored the Warriors 28-21 in the 4th quarter and both tams had chances to win the game late, but neither could score and they headed to overtime tied at 103.  Neither team could get anything going in the 1st overtime. They each managed to score 7 points and we headed to the 2nd overtime period tied at 110. Golden State was able to take advantage of a couple of Boston misses and built a small lead. They where able to hold on by making their free throws late in the 2nd overtime. Golden State scored 14 points in the 2nd overtime while Boston scored just 9 points to get them their 24th straight victory to start the season 124-119.

Stephen Curry scored 38 points to lead the Warriors, but didn’t shoot very well. Curry was 9 of 27 overall, but did go 6 of 13 from the 3-point line and did make all of his 14 free throw attempts. Curry also tied for the team lead in assists with 8. With Thompsom out Draymond Green tried to fill that scoring void. Green played a game high 50 minutes and scored 20 points and tied Curry with 8 assists. Andre Iguodala saw increased playing time with Thompson out. Iguodala played 44 minutes and scored 13 points. Festus Ezeli and Shaun Livingston also came off the Warriors bench to score 12 points. Ezeli also had a team high 12 rebounds. Golden State shot 39 free throws in the game compared to just 16 for Boston.

Kelly Olynyk came off the Celtics bench and went 11 of 21 shooting overall, 3 of 6 from the 3-point line and 3 of 4 on free throws to lead Boston wit 28 points. Avery Bradley scored 19 points before fouling out while Isaiah Thomas 18 points and a team high 10 assists and Jae Crowder 15 points where the Celtics starters who scored in double figures.Besides Olynyk Evan Turner (13 points) and David Lee (10 points) scored in double figures off the Boston bench. Jared Sullinger grabbed a game high 13 rebounds for Boston.
Golden State wraps up their road trip tonight as they’re in Milwaukee to play the Bucks. Milwaukee has lost it’s last 2 games including a 90-83 loss to the Toronto Raptors Friday night. Milwaukee is 9-15 on the season, but with Thompson’s injury and Golden State coming off a double overtime game could tonight be the night they suffer there first loss?
There was another close game on Thursday night as the Arizona Cardinals beat the Minnesota Vikings 23-20. With the victory the Cardinals improved to 11-2 and clinched a playoff berth in the NFC. Minnesota fell to 8-5 good for 2nd place in the NFC North right now 1/2 game behind the Green Bay Packers.

There was quite a bit of discussion about the end of this game and who to place the blame for the Minnesota loss on. The Vikings had the football last and with about 12 seconds or so on the clock they decided to run 1 more play instead of try a 48 yard field goal to tie the game. Minnesota quarterback Teddy Bridgewater dropped back to pass and was sacked by Arizona defensive lineman Dwight Freeney. Freeney was also able to strip the football from Bridgewater. The Cardinals recovered the fumble, but with the Vikings out of timeouts they wouldn’t of been able to get the field goal unit set up in time to even make an attempt to tie the game. This is where all the debate starts. Is it Teddy Bridgewater’s fault for not throwing the football away? Or is it Mike Zimmer and the Vikings coaching staffs fault for the play call? While all these experts where trying to assign blame to someone they where all assuming that Blair Walsh would’ve made the 48 yard field goal to tie the game in the closing seconds. maybe it’s just me, but I don’t remember 48 yard field goals being gimmes, but they sure acted like it was. Now on the ill fated play it’s been pointed out that Bridgewater took a 5-step drop. In most late game situation like that you’ll see the quarterback take a 3-step drop and try to get rid of the football quickly. As the play develops it looks like Bridgewater wants to throw the football down the field instead of an out to the sideline. A shot at the end zone would be an interesting play call in that situation, but I don’t know if that’s what the Vikings where going for. While Bridgewater is dropping back to throw the Arizona defense does a great job of keeping him in the pocket and only allowing him a little room to step up. Now let me remind you that while Freeney might be at the end of his career he does have 115 1/2 career sacks and leads the Cardinals in that category this season with 4. Arizona signed him for just this type of play and they monitor how many snaps he takes so he’s ready for this type of situation. Freeney used a spin move to beat Vikings left tackle Matt Kalil giving himself a clear path to Bridgewater. With the Arizona defense doing there job and containing Bridgewater in the pocket there was nowhere for him to go. Bridgewater tries to step up into what little room he has and throw the football, but Freeney was able to close the distance and strip the football while he was taking Bridgewater down. So if you still feel the need to find fault in the Minnesota loss maybe it was Dwight Freeney’s fault they lost.

 

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Matt Kalil

The Jacksonville Jaquars beat the Tennessee Titans Thursday night 19-13. With the win Jacksonville improves to 4-6 and is a 1/2 game out of 1st place in the AFC South. If the Houston Texans and the Indianapolis Colts lose on Sunday Jacksonville will be in a 3-way tie for 1st place. As for our pick Schaumburg Stu and I had Jacksonville; so we start off the week 1-0. Dan te Man and Mr. Fantasy picked Tennessee to win; so they’re 0-1 to start Week 11.

Fantasy wise on Thursday night there looks like there where a couple of solid plays. Blake Bortles went 21 for 30 for 242 yards. He threw 1 touchdown; 1 interception and did fumble once. Bortles did run the football 2 times for 9 yards. Not a huge total, but it could add a point or two for your team. Marcus Mariota went 22 for 35 for 231 yards. Mariota didn’t throw a touchdown pass, but he also didn’t throw an interception either. However he did have 5 rushing attempts for 29 yards and a touchdown. While it’s not giant fantasy numbers for either quarterback their stats aren’t going to hurt you.

I doesn’t look like the running game for either team will be a lot of help to you this week. T.J. Yeldon led Jacksonville in rushing with 54 yards on 14 carries; he also had 3 receptions for 28 yards. Denard Robinson added 27 yards on 7 carries, but neither player got into the end zone. Antonio Andrews was Tennessee’s leading rusher with 78 yards on 15 carries plus 2 catches for 16 yards. Dexter McCluster had 2 carries for 0 yards, but did catch 2 passes for 18 yards. While David Cobb returned for injury and carried the football 4 times for -3 yards.

Each tam had a receiver go over 100 yards in the game. Allen Robinson (Jacksonville) had 5 receptions for 113 yards while Tennesse’s tight end Delanie Walker had 8 catches for 109 yards. Other than Robinson no other Jacksonville receiver put up huge numbers. Brian Walters had 2 catches for 35 yards and just missed connecting on what would’ve been either a long gain or a touchdown pass, but he under threw the football. Julius Thomas had 5 receptions for 28 yards and caught a touchdown pass. Allen Hurns had 3 catches for 19 yards. Clay Harbor caught 2 passes for 17 yards and Rashad Greene had 1 catch for 2 yards. Dorial Green-Beckham had 3 receptions for 40 yards. Harry Douglas (16 yards), Phillip Supernaw (16 yards and a fumble) and Anthony Fasano (14 yards) each had 2 catches and Jalston Fowler added 1 catch for 2 yards.

Jacksonville’s kicker Jason Myers had a good fantasy night going 4 for 4 on his field goal attempts with a long of 36. He also made his only extra point attempt. Ryan Succop went 2 for 3 on his field goal attempts with a long of 49 yards and he hit his only extra point attempt.

Telvin Smith led Jacksonville with 9 tackles while Aaron Colvin, Jared Odrick, Andre Branch and Ryan Davis each recorded a sack. Cody Sensabaugh and Wesley Woodard tied for the Tennessee team lead in tackles with 6. Woodard along with Avery Williamson, Brian Orakpo and Jurrell Casey each had a sack.

The Golden State Warriors improved to 14-0 winning Thursday night 124-117 over the Los Angeles Clippers coming back from being down 23 points at one point in the game. Then last night the Warriors beat the Chicago Bulls 106-94. The Bulls led by 1 after the 1st quarter 29-28, but that was the only lead they had at the end of any quarter. Golden State led 50-47 at halftime; then 77-73 at the end of the 3rd quarter before adding 8 points to their lead in the 4th quarter to get to the 106-94 final score. Stephen Curry led Golden State in scoring with 27 points, but had a tough shooting night. Curry was 9-20 from the floor and just 3-11 from behind the 3-point line on the night. Jimmy Butler was the Bulls and the games leading scorer with 28 points. Butler went 11-21 from the field and 2-4 from behind the 3-point line. Harrison Barnes, Draymond Green and Festus Ezeli each grabbed 9 rebounds to lead Golden State. Pau Gasol and Nikola Mirotic each had 10 rebounds to lead the Bulls. Green also led the Warriors in assists with 5 while Butler was the Bulls leader in assists with 7. Derrick Rose sat this game out with a sprained ankle.

With 14 straight wins to start the season you have to start wondering when the Warriors might lose a game. They have 5 games left in November and they all look winnable. Sunday night they play in Denver against the Nuggets. Tuesday they’re at home against the Los Angeles Lakers. Friday they play in Phoenix against the Suns. They go back to back, but are at home Saturday against the Sacramento Kings. They wrap up the month on Monday the 30th in Utah against the Jazz. Of course in the NBA any team can lose on a given night, but looking ahead you’d think that Golden State would be favorite to win all of these games. Maybe it would take a Kobe Bryant flashback type of game or a DeMarcus Cousins 50 point type of game to hand Golden State there first loss.

If you’re a fan of the Atlanta Braves do you believe them when they say they want to win more games in 2016 then they did in 2015. While it’s easy for someone in the front office to come out and say that the off season moves they’ve made seem to tell a different story. First they sent Andrelton Simmons to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and then yesterday Cameron Maybin was traded to the Detroit Tigers. Maybin made his major league debut with the Tigers in 2007. In return for Maybin the Braves got 2 left handed pitchers in Ian Krol and Gabe Speier. Krol appeared in 33 games last season all in relief; he was 2-3 with and ERA of 5.79 while Speier made 33 relief appearances in Class A where he was 4-2 with a 2.86 ERA. Now there’s also been talk that the Braves had had talks about trading Shelby Miller. With the moves they’ve made so far; do the Braves look like they’ll win more than the 67 games they did in 2015?

After the way the deal between the Oakland A’s and the Toronto Blue Jays went last season. Where the A’s sent now AL MVP Josh Donaldson to Toronto for Brett Lawrie, Kevin Graveman, Sean Nolin and Franklin Barreto you thought that these teams might be done dealing with each other, but no. Yesterday in a swap of pitchers the A’s sent Jessie Chavez to the Blue Jays for Liam Hendricks. Chaves appeared in 30 games making 26 starts. He was 7-15 with an ERA of 4.18 and had 1 save. Hendricks was 5-0 in 58 games last season all in relief with an ERA of 2.92. By picking up another starting pitcher you have to think the Blue Jays are covering themselves in case they can’t re-sign David Price or another top free agent starter.

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There are very few blockbuster player for player trades in the NFL; so when the Philadelphia Eagles traded LeShon McCoy one of the top running backs in the NFL to the Buffalo Bills for linebacker Kiko Alonso it caught me a bit by surprise. McCoy rushed for 1319 yards and 5 touchdowns last season on 312 carries. He also caught 28 passes for 155 yards. Alonso missed the entire 2014 season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), but is expected to be ready to go for the 2015 season. 2013 was Alonso rookie season where he had 87 tackles, assisted on 72 other while picking for 4 passes, recovering 2 fumbles and forcing 1 fumble. He also had 2 quarterback sacks. Looking at this trade it may be one of those that turns out to benefit both teams. Philadelphia gets some salary cap room and if they cut linebacker DeMeco Ryans as it’s being reported they will it will open up a little over $14 million dollars in salary cap room for the Eagles. Buffalo has a new head coach in Rex Ryan and with Fred Jackson getting up there in age and C.J. Spiller never really becoming the running back the Bills had hoped he’d be when drafted McCoy gives them the go to running back that Ryan likes to have. I did see some reports out there that say this is the first move in the Eagles going out and getting Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota in the upcoming draft. Mariota won’t be on the board when the Eagles 1st round pick comes up at #20; so if he’s their guy they’re going to have to find a way to move up to get him. There’s a chance the New York Jets might take him with the 6th pick. The St. Louis Rams pick 10th and they might be looking for a quarterback and then there’s always the chance that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers take Mariota with the #1 pick in the draft. You’d have to guess it will cost the Eagles Nick Foles that #20 pick and more to move up high enough to get Mariota. Then the question becomes is he worth that? Even though he’s familiar with coach Chip Kelly’s offense. Is he a franchise type of quarterback? The Eagles also seem to have quite a few needs on defense and while they’ll have that extra salary cap money some of it will go to re-signing wide receiver Jeremy Maclin. It looked like the Eagles would address their defenses issues in the draft, but if they make a deal for Mariota how many of those draft picks would be included in that deal. Don’t forget that the Bills may not be sold on E.J. Manuel as their quarterback, but remember the Bills dealt their 1st round pick to the Cleveland Browns; so they could move up and select wide receiver Sammy Watkins in 2014. Free agents can start signing with teams on March 10th; so the NFL off-season is getting ready to roll.

So who are you picking for NBA MVP for this season? I’ve heard a lot of talk about this the last week or so and it seems to have been narrowed down to four players. Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors, James Harden of the Houston Rockets, Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder and of course LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Curry is averaging 23.9 points per game (PPG) is handing out 7.8 assists per game (APG) and leads the NBA. averaging 2.1 steals per game. Curry also leads the N.B.A. in 3-pointers attempted with 454 and 3-pointers made with 187. Don’t forget the Warriors also have the best record in the NBA at 46-12. James Harden is leading the NBA in scoring averaging 27.1 PPG he’s handing out 6.9 APG He leads the NBA in free throws made (492) and free throws attempted (568) and has taken the most shots in the league this season with 1062. The Rockets are in 2nd place at 41-19 a 1 1/2 games behind the Memphis Grizzlies in the Southwest division of the Western conference. Westbrook is averaging 26.5 PPG and handing out 8.1 APG The draw back with Westbrook maybe the fact that he’s missed 15 games so far this season and right now is recovering from surgery to repair facial fractures; so that missed game total may go up. The Thunder are 33-27 and hanging on to the 8th spot in the Western conference. You’d have to think if they don’t make the playoffs Westbrook may drop out of the MVP race. James may be in the same area as Westbrook is as he’s missed 11 games so far this season and you wonder if that total will go up as he takes games off getting ready for the playoff run. James does average 26.2 PPG he is also handing out 7.2 APG he does lead the NBA in field goals made with 479. The Cavaliers are in 2nd place at 38-24 and just a 1/2 behind the Chicago Bulls in the Central division of the Eastern conference. The votes are supposed to be turned in before the playoffs start; so that shouldn’t impact the voting. If I’m picking right now I’ll take Curry as the MVP with Harden 2nd, James 3rd with Westbrook 4th. How do you got?

We’ve been previewing the upcoming baseball season on Sports Time Radio by talking to different bloggers who cover the teams. Yesterday we had Brian Helberg from HaloHangout.com on with us to discuss the Los Angeles Angels 2015 season. On Friday we have a loaded line up of guests to talk baseball. Tony Fischer from HeatWaved.com will joins us at the start of the podcast (9:00 p.m.) to talk about the Arizona Diamondbacks 2015 season. At 9:30 p.m. Scott Andres from LasordsLair.com comes back on the podcast to talk about the Los Angeles Dodgers 2015 season. Mark O’Neill from AroundtheFoghorn.com joins us again (10:00 p.m.) to preview the San Francisco Giants 2015 season. Will wrap up the night with Billy Brost from FriarsOnBase.com talking San Diego Padres baseball starting at 10:30 p.m. It will be a full night of baseball on the podcast; so the season must be getting close to starting.

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The Anaheim Ducks are on a roll right now. Even with a 4 – 2 loss last night (Friday) to the Chicago Blackhawks the Ducks have won 18 of there last 20 games. Anaheim has 77 points and are in 1st place in the Pacific division. They are 11 points ahead of the 2nd place San Jose Sharks. The Ducks are also 1st overall in the Western conference 4 points ahead of the Blackhawks. Ryan Getzlaf leads the Ducks in scoring with 56 points. Corey Perry leads the team in goals with 27; Getzlaf leads the team in assists with 32. Francois Beauchemin and Hampus Lindholm both lead the team in plus/minus with a +25. Perry has 8 game winning goals for the Ducks while Getzlaf is right behind him with 7 game winning goals. On Wednesday Anaheim put up 9 goals against Vancouver. The Ducks play tonight (Saturday) for the second night in a row against the St. Louis Blues. The Blues are 3rd in the Western conference standings with 69 points and it’s a home game for St. Louis.

There’s been some talk of who will be the MVP in the NBA this season. If you where up a little late last night you got to see two guys state their case. The Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Golden State Warriors 127 – 121. Kevin Durant set a career high in scoring with 54 points for the Thunder while Stephen Curry scored 37 points for Golden State. Durant was 19 for 28 from the field including 5 of 9 q from behind the three-point line. Durant was also 11 for 13 from the free throw line and added 4 rebounds and 6 assists. Curry was 37 of 57 from the field hitting 6 of 10 from behind the three-point line. Curry was also 9 of 11 from the free throw line adding 3 rebounds and 11 assists. Two pretty good nights to get yourself into the M.V.P. conversation.

I didn’t forget about it or anything like that. Tomorrow (Sunday) is the conference finals to see who goes to the Super Bowl. 11:00 a.m. Mr. Fantasy and I will make our picks. You can listen live at BTR the show can also be found on Ultimate Sports Talk. Last week in our picks Dan the Man and Mr. Fantasy where 2 – 2; I was 4 – 0. For the first two rounds of the playoffs Mr. Fantasy and I are 5 – 3 while Dan the Man is 4 – 4. It’s the Seattle Seahawks vs. the San Francisco 49ers to see who represents the NFC in the Super Bowl. Over in the AFC it’s the Denver Broncos vs. the New England Patriots. Seattle and Denver are the home teams for these games; so will see if that helps either team. Who are you picking?

Clayton Kershaw signed the largest contract in baseball history for a pitcher. The Dodgers signed Kershaw for 7 years and $215 million. It’s always a risk to sign a pitcher to a long-term deal, but Kershaw might actually be worth the risk. Kershaw was 16 – 9 with a 1.83 E.R.A. last season. Kershaw won the Cy Young award last season; his second. Kershaw also won the award in 2011. Do you think this is a good deal?

So how was your week?

You can follow me on Twitter @Burketime