Posted Saturday, July 14, 2012 11:50 AM
Like a tree falling in the forest, the WNBA will shut off the lights and lock the doors for five weeks during its Olympic break – but is anyone around to care?
The women’s pro basketball league is officially on hiatus until August 17 with the top talent in the WNBA headed to play for their respective countries at the 2012 Summer Games in London.
The break makes sense from a marketing standpoint. The fans that are going to WNBA games aren’t going to reach deep into their pockets (or purses) if the stars, who are best – if not only – reason to watch, are away at the Olympics.
For sports bettors, the WNBA serves its purpose. It’s a break from the day-to-day grind of the baseball season, which can quickly make a Sunday afternoon women’s hoops matchup seem like March Madness. And for those cappers who dive into the “Dub” head first each summer, it’s a major wrench in their wagering plans.
While this stoppage may seem like a pain in the ass right now (hey, you can always wager on the Olympics), it may be a blessing in disguise when the WNBA restarts in mid August.
Unlike the other sports which take breaks during the Olympics, the WNBA will not be limited to how much teams can practice. In fact, there is a league mandate that states teams can’t go more than seven days without a practice.
That means toilet teams like the Washington Mystics or Tulsa Shock can work out the kinks while top squads like the Minnesota Lynx, who send stars Seimon... [More]
Posted Monday, July 09, 2012 12:34 PM
Some call it the worst day in sports. Others call it time off.
The Monday heading into the MLB All-Star break is the deadest day in sports betting, with no baseball action or even WNBA to get down on. The PGA Tour doesn’t start rolling until Thursday and NASCAR events are still a few days away.
For the die-hards - or the compulsives as they’re better known - there are some options. You can go nuts on the MLB Home Run Derby and the numerous props involved with that. Or, there is tennis action, random soccer games around the globe and even some international friendlies on the basketball court with the Olympics around the bend.
But for most of us recreational bettors, the “Mundane Monday” is a chance to step back, catch our breath and take a break from sports betting. Or maybe play some online poker…What are you doing this Monday: Betting or breaking?
Posted Wednesday, June 27, 2012 04:06 PM
No NBA team has drafted more poorly than the Toronto Raptors.
Sure, the Los Angeles Clippers have a longer history of piss-poor picks, but they selected Blake Griffin and he’s erasing a lot of those draft mistakes from the Clips’ history books.
But the Raptors – or the Craptors – as many Canadian hoops fans have come to know them, have bobbled the draft more times than not.
They’ve been sub-par for so long. But unlike other bad teams, like the Sonics - now the Thunder - the aforementioned Clippers and Timberwolves, Toronto doesn’t improve despite having some of the best young talent in the world at its finger tips.
The Raptors have wasted top picks on guys like Aleksandar Radojevic, Michael Bradley, and Rafael Araújo but have been able to acquire guys like Vince Carter (draft day trade), Tracy McGrady and Chris Bosh through the draft. However, those stars ran for the border the first chance they got.
The jury is still out on former No. 1 overall pick Andrea Bargnani and most recently Jonas Valanciunas, who was sold to Raps fans as the Lithuanian Dirk. The 7-footer, who was drafted fifth overall last year, is expected to join the team after the Olympics.
As for this year’s draft, it seems like the deep talent pool has made this nearly a foolproof draft for Bryan Colangelo and Co., who own the No. 8 overall pick.
The college ranks have produced one of the best crops of born-and-bred talent in some years, with French SG Evan Fou... [More]
Posted Wednesday, June 20, 2012 01:16 PM
Starting your fantasy football season in June seems like putting up the Christmas decorations in August or telling an ill-timed celebrity death joke. Too soon, bro.
I was shocked to see a notice from Yahoo!Sports in my inbox this morning, announcing the official start to their 2012 fantasy football campaign. Starting at 6:30 p.m. ET tonight, I could log in, create my team and start drafting players even though NFL training camps don’t open for about another month.
While the excitement of the upcoming NFL season is tough to contain, I know better than to start drafting up my fantasy strategy and making doe eyes at guys like Arian Foster and LeSean McCoy.
Training camps and preseason tilts always dish out some unhappy injury news for fantasy owners and players that we thought would be high on the depth chart become buried.
I know a few of you will jump all over the chance to start playing something other than the daily grind of MLB fantasy, but remember that Week 1 doesn’t start until Sept. 5.
That’s a long time to think and overthink possible trades, read and re-read every NFL preview mag, and watch and re-watch all the DVR’d camp coverage on the NFL network.
Chances are if you played fantasy last year, you know who you want to select No. 1 overall this season. The toughest choice in many drafts is who do you select second?
Most years, this decision can make or break your entire season, whether you draft your team in J... [More]
Posted Friday, June 15, 2012 10:22 AM
The July issue of Men’s Journal
looked beyond the diamond and polled 100 major leaguers, asking them to be open and honest on a number of questions about players, teams, managers and cities.
Some of the answers were shocking while others weren’t – 34 percent voted A.J. Pierzynski as the league’s most hated player. No shit.
The polls ranged from which teams would you like or least like to play for (Yankees 15%/A’s 19 %), smartest manager (Joe Maddon 25 %), most underrated player (Michael Young 15%), and are there gay players in the majors (Yes 72%).
The most intriguing poll – at least from a betting standpoint – was which city has the best groupies? Out of the 100 players, Chicago was voted the best by a whopping 27 percent.
“If you’re asking me for the best city for chicks, that would be Chicago,” one National League reliever told Men’s Journal. “Everyone likes to enjoy themselves there.”
Looking at the home record for the Cubs and White Sox, you’d think those Chitown beauties would keep opposing players out all night, leaving them gassed for day games at Wrigley or stiff (hehehe) for those cold nights at U.S Cellular Field.
However, it seems the Windy City groupies are taking their toll on the home teams. The Cubs and ChiSox have a combined 29-35 record as hosts this season, burning Chicago backers for 9.83 units heading into Friday’s action.
Posted Wednesday, June 06, 2012 03:15 PM
Euro 2012 has soccer fans frenzied heading into Friday’s opening games, but sportsbooks aren’t expecting those masses to equate to big numbers at the window.
The general consensus around Las Vegas is that a large soccer crowd in the book doesn’t mean a large handle. In fact, of all the major sports available on the betting board, soccer fans are the least active when it comes to wagering.
“The book is packed for some of those Champions League and World Cup games,” John Avello, sportsbook manager at the Wynn in Las Vegas told Covers. “But only about 20 percent of the crowd actually places a bet. Compared to something like the basketball playoffs – everyone in the book has a ticket”
From discussions with sportsbook managers, soccer fans are just behind hockey fans in terms of big crowds and small handles. Other sports, like open-wheel racing, have small followings but they are loyal bettors as well.
According to Vegas books, early action is good on the Euro 2012 matchups. Books are offering odds on all the games and will also have specials and halftime odds available, as well as props on team to win outright and group winners.
Soccer prop bettors won’t find odds on tournament MVP, due to Nevada Gaming Control rules, but there could be prices on the Golden Boot Award, which goes to the tournament’s top goal scorer.
Check out Covers.com's coverage on Euro 2012, including previews for ... [More]
Posted Thursday, May 31, 2012 12:38 PM
We should have seen this one coming from a mile away.
Of course the New Orleans Hornets were going to win the No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming NBA Draft. I just hope some of you were wiser than me and took the free money with the Hornets priced at +650 to win the draft lottery.
Despite having just a 13.7 percent chance of landing the first pick – and a shot at selecting Kentucky superstar Anthony Davis – the Hornets continued to move up and ousted the Charlotte Bobcats, who had a 25 percent shot at No. 1.
New Orleans’ luck has many league owners up in arms and shouting conspiracy theory, stating that the Hornets are still run by the NBA - regardless of Tom Benson’s supposed ownership of the franchise - and that the league rigged the lottery.
"It's such a joke that the league made the new owners be at the lottery for the show," one team executive told Yahoo! Sports. "The league still owns the Hornets. Ask their front office if new owners can make a trade right now. They can't. This is a joke."
If you want to throw more gas on the fire, it would seem plausible that one of the stipulations that Benson could have made in his move to purchase the team was that the NBA gift wrap in the No. 1 overall pick for 2012.
There’s no way to prove it happened – just like the shady 1997 Tim Duncan draft or the 1985 Patrick Ewing draft, which was the first-ever NBA lottery, conceived by none other than league commissioner David Stern.
Posted Friday, February 17, 2012 11:36 AM
If you thought Carmelo Anthony’s imminent return to the New York Knicks lineup was going to put an end to “Linsanity”, just wait until J.R. Smith takes the floor at MSG.
The New York Post
is reporting that the Knicks are going to sign the free-agent guard, who is almost as bad as Anthony when it comes to stopping an offense dead in its tracks. Smith never took a shot he didn’t like, which makes him even worse than Anthony, who at least hits some of those terrible tosses.
Funny enough, Smith and Anthony played together in Denver, with Smith coming off the bench in place of Melo most nights. It’s no wonder these two are good buddies, they both subscribe to the same style of me-first basketball.
Don’t expect Jeremy Lin to act as anything more than a go-between when either Anthony or Smith are on the wing.
This is the end of Linsanity as we know it…
Posted Sunday, February 05, 2012 12:42 PM
I’m all for superstition when it comes to sports. Anything you think will help win the game probably can - and will.
And with that comes good karma. I’m not a tree hugger, but I do enjoy the occasional cup of herbal tea and I do believe in keeping a positive energy heading into big events like the Super Bowl.
And neither the Patriots nor the Giants have done that in the hours leading up to Super Bowl XLVI.
It started last night, when the Giants’ website accidentally posted a celebratory page, congratulating themselves on a win over the Patriots in Sunday’s Super Bowl – 24 hours before the game even started.
Then in the early hours of Super Sunday, news spread that New England had cut receiver Tiquan Underwood the night before the Big Game to make room for defensive lineman Alex Silvestro from the practice squad.
You may or may not buy into the case for bad karma, but which team has angered the football gods more with their moves – the Giants' premature celebration or the Pats' cutthroat cut?
Posted Thursday, December 22, 2011 01:19 PM
With the NBA getting a makeover during the lockout, players have followed suit.
A couple guys are trying out new looks this preseason – for better or worse – including Dallas Mavericks forward Shawn Marion and New Orleans Hornets newly-acquired center Chris Kaman.
Kaman looks like a ginger lumberjack with his beard-shaved head combo while Marion is rocking the Demolition Man like Rodman in the 90s.
I’ll let you be the judge on which new look is the best...
Posted Friday, November 18, 2011 01:52 PM
As a kid watching professional wrestling, there were only a handful of PPV events that defined the landscape in the WWF – now WWE.
You had, of course, Wrestlemania, Summer Slam, Royal Rumble, and my favorite, Survivor Series.
While all the other events were loaded with single and tag-team matches (and a 30-man battle royal at the Royal Rumble), Survivor Series was a unique card made up of team matches, pitting the best babyfaces (good guys) versus the best heels (bad guys).
The WWE has kept this format rolling and will uncork another Survivor Series this Sunday. I don’t follow wrestling that closely anymore, and don’t know who half the guys are, but I still enjoy the team vs. team format.
But what if other sports (real sports) started their own Survivor Series showdown, pitting the best good guys against the best bad guys? Here’s how it would shake down for each league:
Aaron Rodgers, Larry Fitzgerald, Adrian Peterson, Jason Witten, Jared Allen
Philip Rivers, DeSean Jackson, Chris Johnson, Vernon Davis, Ndamukong Suh
Team Rivers would take an early lead, knocking out Witten, Allen and Peterson, thanks to some underhanded tactics from Suh. But, Rodgers needs just a single receiver, and he and Fitzgerald clean house, before Rivers grabs a handful of trunks and gets Fitz for the 1-2-3.
That leaves just Rodgers and Rivers, with the Packers QB doing the classic Hogan finger point - “You!” - and beatdown... [More]
Posted Thursday, October 27, 2011 08:51 AM
Most Valuable Player awards have always been skewed a bit when it comes to the true meaning behind the honor.
A lot of the time, the best player on the best team wins the MVP – not necessarily the player who means the most to their franchise.
In the NFL, Aaron Rodgers looks like the runaway winner for 2011, even though the Green Bay Packers gunslinger may not be the most valuable player to his team when you take a good look at the league.
In fact, the 2011 NFL MVP hasn’t even stepped on the field this season – and probably won’t – for a squad that is 0-7 heading into Week 8 of the schedule.
To see how far the Indianapolis Colts have fallen without quarterback Peyton Manning is astonishing. While, in essence, he only throws the football, Manning’s absence has seemed to impact every aspect of the Colts.
You want to know Manning's impact, just look at this week's spread against Tennessee. Cantor Gaming made the Colts as 3-point favorites back in June when they posted lines on every NFL game of the season. The line has swung 12 points now with the Colts getting 9 points against an average Titans team.
"I am not sure how Peyton Manning doesn't win the MVP this year," Andrew Patterson, an oddsmaker with Las Vegas Sports Consultants, told Covers.com. "It is clear he means more to the Colts than any player on any other team."
The offense, obviously, has taken giant leaps backwards with backup Curtis Painter under center. But the de... [More]
Posted Wednesday, October 19, 2011 09:30 AM
When it comes to my favorite flavor of hoops, I’d always choose college over pro. And, with the NBA lockout threatening even more NBA games, it looks like every basketball fan will be down to one choice this winter.
However, while I prefer to watch more NCAA action than NBA, I do enjoy just how good the pro game is. Leave a guy open in the corner and it’s a sure-fire 3-pointer. Late to pick up the ball, they’re already in full stride and slicing through the paint.
I’m not missing the NBA yet, mostly because we’ve only lost preseason games so far and the original start to the season isn’t until November 1 (New start is Nov 15). But, talk about canning the season up until and past the Christmas Day games has me a little on edge.
The December 25 matchups are a holiday tradition in my family. As a kid, I can remember opening presents, eating a big breakfast, visiting family and then settling in for hours of classic Xmas Day NBA action.
I can take the loss of the first few weeks, and maybe even up to December. But for all that’s sacred, don’t take my Christmas Day games away!
Without the NBA, I’ll be forced to visit with relatives I haven’t seen in years, drink bad punch, and sit through endless stories about “How when we were kids, we got an orange for Christmas”.
And this year’s Christmas Day games are especially great: Bulls at Lakers, Celtics at Knicks, and Heat at Mavericks. They’ll all keep me parked in my La-Z-Boy from noon until ... [More]
Posted Wednesday, October 12, 2011 03:00 PM
After falling to 1-4 with a 31-24 loss to the Buffalo Bills Sunday, the Philadelphia Eagles are grasping for straws when it comes to a quick fix for their already-broken season.
The Eagles reportedly offered a defensive consultant gig to former Jets and Browns coach Eric Mangini, hoping the defensive mastermind could tinker with their lackluster stop unit. Mangini allegedly turned Philadelphia down.
The Eagles were supposed to be the NFL’s “Dream Team”, after signing a slew of free agents and trading for some big-name talents. But, after just five weeks, it’s safe to say Philly has been a disappointment.
However, as bad as the Eagles have been, they might not even be the biggest disappointment in the City of Brotherly Love.
Baseball’s Phillies were supposed to ride their stellar pitching staff all the way to the World Series this year. But instead, their bats went ice cold versus St. Louis and provided nothing in the way of support for Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, and the rest of the gang.
Philadelphia’s loaded rosters, on paper at least, seemed to be in the same vein as the Miami Heat’s moves to ink three of the best players in the NBA two summers ago.
We all know how that came out. LeBron, Wade and Bosh lost to the Mavericks in the NBA Finals.
So, with the Eagles dogged on the road in Washington this week, the Phillies licking their wounds (and surgically-repaired Achilles) this winter, and the Heat perhaps having to wait until N... [More]
Posted Friday, September 30, 2011 02:42 PM
As a Phillies fan, I’ve been waiting all season for October. Ever since Philadelphia added Cliff Lee to its rotation, a postseason appearance was basically a formality for this squad.
But even though the Phillies won 102 games this year, it was game No. 162 that worries me the most. Philadelphia didn’t roll over for NL East rival Atlanta in the final game of the schedule, and eliminated the Braves’ shot at the NL Wildcard with a win in extra innings Wednesday.
That allowed the St. Louis Cardinals, a team that went 6-3 versus the Phillies this season, to waltz into the Wildcard spot and face Philadelphia in the Division Series starting at Citizens Bank Park Saturday.
Oddsmaker and pundits have the Phillies as sizable favorites over the Cardinals. However, St. Louis brings a ton of momentum into October after storming back from a 10.5-game hole in the Wildcard race to win 23 of its final 31 games – including taking three of four in Philly last month against the likes of Halladay, Hamels and Worley.
I think it would have been much safer to tank that final game of the season, and at least give Atlanta a chance to make the Wildcard in a play-in game versus St. Louis. The Phillies could have drawn the Arizona Diamondbacks in the NLDS – a team they went 3-3 against in the regular season but have far less to fear from than the Cardinals’ veteran lineup.
Perhaps Philadelphia’s pride got in the way. Maybe the Phillies relished the opportunity to snu... [More]
Posted Saturday, September 24, 2011 02:07 PM
High scores and over bets have been the talk of the town when it comes to NFL betting.
Through the first two weeks of the season, the Over has gone an amazing 23-8 (74 percent).
Many thought the shortened offseason, due to the lockout, would take its toll on conditioning and timing and keep scores low until teams got back into shape. But it appears that the offensive players are less impacted by lack of practice than those on the defensive side of the ball.
A lot of coaches have been quick to pick up on this and have switched their offense into high gear to exploit the rusty defenders. Teams like the Patriots have gone with no-huddle attacks in order to keep defensive players on the field, sucking wind while Tom Brady picks apart the secondary like it’s stuck in cement.
Jay Rood, sportsbook manager for the MGM Mirage in Las Vegas, believes Week 3 might be the last time bettors can really ride this total trend. He expects defenses to round into game shape at some point during this Sunday’s action.
“There’s been a lot of rust falling off those guys,” Rood says about NFL defenses. “The smart coaches, like Belichick, noticed this. But I think you’ll see less and less no-huddle in the next two or three weeks.”
Rood also blames the rash of injuries plaguing the NFL through the first two weeks on the lockout-shortened offseason. Plenty of marquee talents, on both sides of the ball, have suffered season-ending injuries.
“That’s what ... [More]
Posted Tuesday, September 13, 2011 10:58 AM
For the all guff Plaxico Burress get for shooting himself in the leg, the Dallas Cowboys should get twice the trouble after once again shooting themselves in the foot.
Dallas handed its fans, me included, another horrific and painful loss in Week 1. By now, you already know the gory details, but just to review: Goal-line fumble, blocked punt, interception, botched snap, stupid Romo smile = blown 14-point lead in the fourth quarter. Even a cover as 3.5-point underdogs couldn't get the taste out of my mouth.
Tony Romo took the blame for the 27-24 loss, and so he should. Despite a terrific stat line (342 yards and two touchdowns against the top pass defense in the NFL), Romo’s goal-line fumble snowballed into the mess mentioned above.
While the loss was a tough pill to swallow, like sucking back a pine cone dipped in hot sauce and rolled in fiberglass, I can’t help but be optimistic about the Cowboys’ efforts.
They managed to push around one of the league’s best stop units and, until the secondary started dropping like flies, did a great job on defense. Dez Bryant looked like a killer (before he got tired) and Miles Austin threw Antonio Cromartie around like a rag doll all night. And the pass rush was able to get to Sanchez, most notably DeMarcus Ware, which is key if the secondary continues to suck.
Dallas finds itself in a similar spot to last year’s Week 2 matchup. It’s coming off a crushing opening-game blunder and takes on a respe... [More]
Posted Tuesday, September 06, 2011 03:33 PM
All the buzz in the college football world Tuesday morning wasn’t the Maryland Terrapins’ win over the scandal-plagued Miami Hurricanes Monday night, but the uniforms they did it in.
The Terps rocked home uniforms incorporating the Maryland state flag, splitting red and yellow on the helmet, shoulder pads and gloves. The uniforms, provided by Under Armor, whose founder Kevin Plank is an alumnus of the university, have received mixed reviews from football fans and fashionistas alike.
Another uniform under scrutiny in Week 1 were the black and neon green outfits worn by the Oregon Ducks in their loss to LSU Saturday night. Oregon gets numerous uni sets from Nike founder Phil Knight, an alumnus of that school’s track program. The Ducks' getup bordered on safety vest/electric Tron suits, and those radioactive gloves sure didn't help when it came to holding on to the football.
So in the spirit of those “Who wore it better?” debates in the rag mags, which college program rocked the best Week 1 uniforms – Maryland, Oregon or someone else?
Posted Friday, August 19, 2011 10:14 AM
Georgetown head coach John Thompson III wanted his program to experience another country and culture while testing their might against some professional talent when he took his Hoyas for a preseason tour of China.
“It’s going to be a huge, huge cultural change for us, but I think as a team we’re all looking forward to seeing something new,” guard Jason Clark told the Washington Post before the team left for the 10-day trip. “Everybody wants to go to China because it’s something different. The basketball is going to be fun too, getting to play against different people. Here you play against Americans most of the time. Now you get to go over and see how other people play.”
Coach Thompson and Georgetown got a lot more than they bargained for. By now, most sports fans have heard about the violent brawl that erupted when the Hoyas faced pro team, the Bayi Rockets, in Beijing Thursday. Check out the video below to get an idea of all the chaos, haymakers, and chair throwing that went down:
It appears as if the Hoyas and Rockets have smoothed over their animosity, with Bayi players meeting Georgetown at the airport and exchanging souvenirs before the Hoyas left for Shanghai. And don’t expect another brawl when these teams play again Sunday - although we'll all be keeping an eye on it.
While this incident is a black eye for what was supposed to be a goodwill trip to promote “sports diplomacy” between the United States and China, it’s the ultimate ... [More]
Posted Saturday, August 13, 2011 04:00 PM
Football fans, who normally push the NFL preseason away like a clingy leper, are welcoming the warmup games with open arms after the lockout threatened the entire 2011 season this summer.
Football fever is spreading across North America ever since the players and owners kissed and made up. It seems everyone is thinking about the NFL, be it casual fans, fantasy heads, or the sports betting community, which breathed a huge sigh of relief when the lockout ended last month.
“Human mentality is that once you realize you could lose something, you appreciate it more and you notice it more,” says Tony Williams, sportsbook manager for 5Dimes.com. “The same can be said for relationships and football.
“A lot of guys have a better relationship with the NFL than they do with any girlfriend. The NFL has always been there. For most guys, women come and go throughout their life. But the NFL has always been there.”
Williams admits he’s feeling giddy about the new NFL schedule, but that frenzied interest hasn’t translated into a bigger handle for sportsbooks over the first two days of preseason action.
Some blame the lack of television coverage for the tuneup games while others, like MGM Mirage sportsbook manager Jeff Stoneback, believe the short offseason and abbreviated training camps are keeping bettors from wagering on the unknown.
Stoneback says the ignited interest in the NFL is bringing in record crowds to watch the preseason tilts, but few of ... [More]
Posted Tuesday, August 09, 2011 01:12 PM
Ah, summer love.
And I’m not talking about that shit John Travolta was singing about in Grease.
I’m talking about that relationship we’ve all had at one point in our lives over the summer months, that wasn’t so much about “love” but about having someone to go to late in the game – like a solid closer in baseball – if you know what I’m sayin’?
For the most part, summer relationships are there to kill time and fill the space between the end of the school year and the start of it. For a young man, the fall, especially in your university run, is like the NFL Draft for potential girlfriends. There's talent at every corner and every class.
The summer months, while they’re carefree and lack the daily grind of school, are more like the CFL Draft – you really need to put in some serious scouting if you want to find a gem.
And chances are, at one point, you’ve dropped your summer gal just in time for the school season, and its buffet-style dating options. It’s a cruel reality in the relationship game, one that is mirrored in the world of sports betting each and every fall.
Baseball has been sports bettors’ summer fling since the NBA Finals wrapped in June. She’s been there every day to get you through this slow period in action, but you were never really in love with her and most days, didn’t even feel like having her around.
Sure, you had some good times. Like that five-game parlay you nailed in July or jumping on the Pirates before t... [More]
Posted Saturday, July 30, 2011 10:35 AM
Remember that time you were going to get an awesome deal on that autographed Wayne Gretzky jersey on eBay, and someone swooped in with a last-second bid and stole your prized item?
Chances are that person was from Philadelphia.
And that sweet parking spot you noticed right next to the gate of you local arena, and just as you were pulling in, some jackass swerved in and took it?
More than likely, that car had Pennsylvania plates and 76ers sticker in the back window.
Philadelphia may be known as the City of Brotherly Love, but in the world of big-name free agent shopping, Philly is getting a reputation as a stealth-bombing, wildcard city that creeps in through the window in the middle of the night and carries free agents off to the South Philadelphia Sports Complex – home to the Eagles, Phillies, Flyers and Sixers.
The Philadelphia Eagles made waves Friday, scooping shutdown corner Nnamdi Asomugha from right under the New York Jets’ nose. Reports around the NFL were that Asomugha was destined to go to either the Jets or Dallas Cowboys. But instead, the Eagles landed the most sought after free agent on the market, and shocked the league and its fans.
But this isn’t the first time a Philadelphia franchise has pulled off a surprise move. Earlier this month, the Flyers acquired returning NHL veteran Jaromir Jagr, who appeared to be headed back to the Pittsburgh Penguins, where he won two Stanley Cups. But instead of a happy reunion, Jagr j... [More]
Posted Friday, July 08, 2011 03:44 PM
Yao Ming was one of the best things to ever happen to the NBA.
But, with the international sensation suddenly retiring Friday, his legacy will be more about being an ambassador for the sport of basketball than his work on the court.
After being drafted No. 1 overall in 2002, and bringing in a massive audience to the NBA from his home country China, the 7-foot-6 monster took the sports world by storm. Unlike many 7-footers, who served more as gimmick projects than real prospects, Yao proved he belonged in the Association.
He went head-to-head with the finest big men in the Western Conference every night, holding his own against the likes of first-ballot HoF’ers Shaquille O’Neal and Tim Duncan. For his career, Yao averaged 19 points, 9.2 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks, with his best season coming in 2006-07 when he scored 25 points and pulled down 9.4 boards a night, but only played 48 games due to injuries.
Yao would continue to slow down after multiple foot and knee ailment, having played in just 160 games between the 2005-06 and 2007-08 seasons. He came back strong in 2008-09, putting up more than 19 points per game and suiting up for the Rockets 77 times, but again foot injuries would limit him to only five games in the next two seasons and eventually force Yao to retire.
Yao’s accomplishments were impressive for such a short time in the NBA - eight-time All-Star (thanks in part to the large Chinese fan vote), two All-NBA Second Team nods, ... [More]
Posted Thursday, June 30, 2011 12:30 PM
Sports teams could have put a man on Mars with all the money thrown away on dead-fish talents and over-the-hill has-beens.
And, with the NHL free agent market open for business Friday and the NBA offseason posing a ton of money questions, two recent contract moves have many people scratching their heads.
In the NHL, the Penguins, Red Wings and Canadiens are waiting on future Hall of Famer Jaromir Jagr and his expected return to the league.
Jagr, who won numerous scoring titles, league MVPs and two Stanley Cups, has proven there is something left in the tank after his performances on the international level the last few years. Rumor has it, the Penguins tossed their former forward a one-year deal but are waiting on the green light from Jagr and his agent.
Sure, Jagr has been able to pick up his game versus a mishmash of international squads, but can he still cut it in the NHL after playing in the KHL since 2008? He’s one the greatest international player to ever grace the NHL ice but he’s 39 and a well-documented malcontent when things aren’t going well.
Over in the NBA, a looming lockout hasn’t stopped the Trail Blazers from pulling the trigger on the $8.8 million qualifying offer on former first-overall draft choice, Greg Oden.
The highly-touted center was the top pick in the 2007 draft but has only played a total of 82 games since, due to multiple knee surgeries and minor dings. The action allows the Blazers to match any offer t... [More]
Posted Wednesday, June 08, 2011 11:46 AM
It’s been an especially long year for Miami Heat – LeBron James in particular.
Starting with the circus surrounding his signing with the Heat last summer and spanning into Game 5 of the NBA Finals Thursday, James has been going non-stop since he dropped the bomb on the NBA last July.
It seems, looking at his performances versus the Dallas Mavericks, that LeBron may be running out of gas. He’s far less active on the offensive end compared to the previous series and mustered just 11 shots (hitting only three of them) in Game 4’s loss in Dallas Tuesday.
James is 26 for 56 from the floor in the finals, averaging just 14 shots over those four contests. Looking at the previous two series, it seems he’s sucking wind as the finals get into - to take a page from boxing - the championship rounds.
He was 42 for 94 in the five games versus the Chicago Bulls in the Eastern Conference finals, averaging just under 19 shots a game. And, against the Boston Celtics in the second round, James went 51 for 108 during the five-game series, hoisting an average of 21.6 shots per outing.
Credit must be given to the Mavericks and their defense, which is the main reason they’ve been able to get over the hump in the Western Conference and complete so many miraculous comebacks this postseason. But scorers like LeBron don’t dip this low just because of guys like Shawn Marion and Deshawn Stevenson.
An elite scorer should score as many points from the field as the... [More]