LeBron Is KING.

LeBron James has been keeping the cavaliers relevant since he rejoined the team. He delivered on his promise of a championship and has done outstanding things in the community. He receives a lot of hate like he is a bad guy but I believe that hates comes from him being so good at what he does.

This season is going to plan but the Cavaliers might want to beef up the roster because they don’t quite measure up to the top teams from the western conference. My sleeper team this year is the Rockets because they are a deep team with a lot of shooting from behind the arch and a few scrappy big guys who are hungry for rebounds and hustle points.I think they can give the Cavs a run for their money but they have to get past the Spurs and the Warriors.

The Cavs are signing Deron Williams who is on the back nine of his career and it is rumored that Andrew Bogut will sign with them as soon as he gets a buyout from the 76ers. To me on paper this does not make them deeper, but it makes them have some names that are now washed up and hoping KING LEBRON can carry them on his back and win them a championship.

I do think he will win it this season because the Warriors are all hype and no bite. They just will have a hard time this year getting past the Spurs and the Rockets and I do see them losing in the playoffs this year. Look for LeBron to get his 4th ring this season and remain the king of the NBA.

written by Melvin Jackson III

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NBA Transactionology: Let’s Make A Deal

Will Stevenson

*Remember in The Hunger Games when Katniss and Peeta were going to eat the berries because they didn’t want to kill each other. Remember when the higher ups did not appreciate being shown up? The Kings-Pelicans trade was a cop-out, and now everyone in the NBA thinks they too can devalue other players to acquire better talent. We Need Order!*

With the trade deadline tomorrow afternoon, the NBA has presented us with another moratorium to discuss the one thing we love above anything else in sports: Transactions. Every year we do this, with every sport, but with the rotations only being around nine deep for most teams and sometimes shorter during the playoffs, a well-timed acquisition can dynamically change the fortunes of any given franchise. I was listening to the TruHoop podcast yesterday, and Brain Windhorst admitted that 98 percent of the information he receives around the trade deadline are all lies, which is quite believable. He also admitted that all the work and texts from last year’s trade deadline meant absolutely nothing. Most of everything on basketball-reference or Hoops Rumors are just that, rumors. There is a stat that only two or three teams have ever made the playoffs, after January 20, after making a trade while being out of the playoff picture. I have a better stat for all of the 28 teams in the NBA besides the Cavaliers and Warriors:

Can you beat the Warriors? Can you beat the Cavaliers?

If you are a team that is looking for a player boost in the next day, will that player be able to propel you to the Eastern and Western Conference Finals? We’ll get back to this.

The worst thing to happen to the trade deadline was the Kings-Pelicans trade for Boogie Cousins. The trade was such a low-ball, that teams like the Nets have to soften their stance on Brook Lopez. The Kings have every NBA front office person thinking they too can send over lint and green tea to acquire a star in this league.

Celtics

I think most teams realize there is no reason to mortgage their future draft picks and prospects for the chance to get knocked out in the 2nd round of the playoffs. The Celtics have been hanging on to those picks for a few years now, and it’s actually worked out with the acquisitions of Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Al Horford, and the drafting of Marcus Smart, Terry Rozier, Avery Bradley and Kelly Olynyk. Let’s be honest, the Celtics aren’t beating the Cavaliers, and they may not even surpass the second round with their 1-4 offensive-give all the shots to Isaiah Thomas in the fourth quarter-strategy. P.J. Tucker will not enhance their ability to win the title, but maybe Blake Griffin will. Griffin can and most likely will opt out this summer for free agency in any event of a trade, but it’s worth the risk. Maybe Blake Griffin or Jimmy Butler won’t get you the chip you want, but you’ll feel better about your chances. I actually think the Celtics want to play the underdog role for another year and keep the championship expectations off their backs. Thomas and Bradley are up for contracts next summer, and Jae Crowder is a movable piece as well. With the draft picks from the Nets, they can rebuild on the fly and keep cap room while staying an underdog. Genius.

Clippers

The Clippers have one move: Carmelo. That’s it, that’s all they have. Paul, Griffin and Reddick are all free agents this summer, and Steve Balmer doesn’t seem like the patient person. The Clippers have produced a great starting lineup for the past few seasons, but it hasn’t pushed them past the second round. Their bench is better this year, but it’s too late because the Warriors are here.

Raptors

The Raptors are the Clippers of the East, they have longed for a stretch four since Chris Bosh left for the Heat. They acquired Serge Ibaka from the Magic for a bag of sticks and a late 1st rounder; but was it too late? Think of this for the Raptors: They traded for Lowry, drafted Derozan and Valanciunas and that’s the core. Demarre Carroll and Corey Joseph aren’t free agent flops, but their production is average at best. They extended Terrence Ross, who they traded for Ibaka, and let Biyombo go to the Magic. Norman Powell and Delon Wright have been injured this season, along with Jared Sullinger. The Raptors have enough to get to the ECF, barring an epic shooting performance like last playoffs.

Wolves

Thibs has been trying to get the band back together since he took over the personnel in Minnesota, and with Zach Lavine down with an ACL until next spring, the Wolves are searching for scoring. This is an issue with many teams who have struggled this season: A veteran coach takes over a losing team with young players, but the pressure of making the playoffs is so great that the young players can’t break the rotations. Thibs has tried to trade for Derrick Rose, Taj Gibson, Noah and Jimmy Butler. I’m surprised he didn’t go after Loul Deng or bring up Ben Gordon from the D-League.

Although the Finals looks like a foregone conclusion for the next couple seasons, it is nice to see teams still out here trying to compete for the playoffs. It’s cute.

The Quarterback Carousel in February: Great

Will Stevenson

With actual basketball games being out of service since the All-Star Game, the sports world has decided to give us all the transaction stimulation we could handle. The NFL was so taken aback by the NBA, they decided to throw out possible quarterback trade destinations for old guys who either get injured or don’t play well anymore-but they use to play great and now teams who don’t have a quarterback will trade for them-but maybe they shouldn’t because they are old-but then again you could catch lightning in a bottle.

Whew. Football.

The New York Jets, who have fumbled around the past few seasons with quarterbacks we knew to be average, will once again seek out another plus-30 quarterback to lead their team. The Jets have had their chances in the draft, but have not been able to develop a young quarterbacks over the past few seasons with Geno Smith and Christian Hackenberg. They went the Ryan Fitzpatrick route and it got them as far as not making the playoffs, again.

The Houston Texans, a punch line for quarterback play over the past few seasons have began to test the waters for the “Used to be good quarterback” club. Somehow, Head Coach Bill O’Brien hasn’t been able to whisper sweet nothings into the ears of these quarterbacks yet. Brock Osweiler was pretty bad last season, and the Texans once again wasted another year as the defense was as strong as usual, but the offense could not sustain consistency in the passing game.

We like to take the video game approach when it comes to the transaction. We have watched Jay Cutler and Tony Romo for the past two seasons and we know they aren’t who they use to be: but that doesn’t matter when it comes to hope. Tony Romo has a back that couldn’t carry his own shoulder blades, and for some reason we think Jay Cutler can “turn it around” with the Jets, even though the Jets haven’t shown the ability to be an offensive threat since the first half of Brett Favre’s only season there in 2008.

So all offseason we will do this whole song and dance all over again. Teams will talk themselves into trading or signing reformation projects  at quarterback. Even though they did not perform well, teams still feel they can be the ones to extract the greatness that was once there.

Somebody is going to be a sucker for Jay Cutler, and I’m just hoping it’s the Jets. Maybe they will go after Romo, God I hope so.

The Magic Jeanie: The Lakers clean house

Will Stevenson

Jeanie Buss is spreading her wings. I feel like Jeanie is getting her groove back after all those years being stuck listening to the same song, over and over again. The simple fact that Magic Johnson was made President of Basketball Operations, two days before the trade deadline, in February is odd timing. Magic was hired almost a month again, and he’s been on a “I’m taking your job” tour ever since. The talk yesterday was centered around the Demarcus Cousins trade and how the Lakers did not obtain him.  Instead they decided to keep Brandon Ingram. Even funnier than that sentence: Neither Magic nor Jeanie Buss were consulted about the possible trade by Jim Buss or Mitch Kupchak. Let’s go back a few years to gain some perspective.

There was Jeanie, saddened after the death of her father, leaving her and her brother Jim to run the franchise. Kobe started to break down, Phil Jackson was fired, and the Lakers were free-falling into mediocrity. In 2014, Jim Buss announced that he would step down if the Lakers weren’t making deep playoff runs. Why he said that, I don’t know. With the Kobe contract around their neck and a coaching carousel that had them paying four head coaches at one time, the Lakers began to whiff on the one thing they thought they could count on: Big-Time Free Agents. The Lakers have been able to draft Russell, Clarkson, Randle, Ingram and Nance Jr, so it’s not as if they haven’t scouted well for young talent. The Lakers have been stuck in rafters, rather than the product on the court. The Kobe send off took three years of development, and having Byron Scott at the helm didn’t help at all. What could the Lakers do to regain relevancy?

Magic Johnson has a mouth-piece that only Jerome from Martin could respect. Magic sat back and waited for his opportunity to take the Lakers. The only way Jeanie could free herself from this Hollywood nightmare was to divorce all the men that have been in her life, starting with Phil Jackson. Phil was fired from the Lakers, and took the opportunity to join the New York Knicks front office.  What a garbage truck juice fire that has been. Jeanie got rid of Phil through a tweet, and with that transaction happening, Magic was only inching closer to his position. The Lakers hired Luke Walton as their head coach, and things seemed to be looking up for the coming season. Then, Kupchak and Buss decided that Loul Deng and Timofey Mozgov were the priorities of the free agent landscape. Magic continued to bash Jim Buss on Twitter as his timeline was becoming an actual deadline, and with the Lakers having a record that could ensure them a top 3 pick in this years draft, things were coming to fruition.

So yesterday, Jeanie freed herself totally. She rid herself of her basketball connections with Jim Buss, the man everyone in LA wants to blame for their recent struggles. She also fired Mitch who’s been at his position since 2000, and even some PR staffing. Jeanie cleaned house and aligned herself with a Laker great that would captivate the fan base and bring some much need flare back to the Lakers.

Think about it, who’s going to fire Jeanie Buss? Who’s going to fire Magic Johnson? Nobody, that’s who. Magic has another day or so to wheel and deal before the deadline, and will be the decision maker when it comes to player personnel. The Lakers were supposed to take a step forward this year, but there is no step forward if the management style continues to be the same as it has always been.

A sister fired her brother yesterday. The Lakers found a way to upstage the Knicks and the Kings at incompetence during a time in which the Knicks and the Kings were dominating the headlines for that very thing.

Tag Or No Tag

The Washington Redskins are faced with a hard decision this offseason. They have ample of cap space because they don’t have any one player taking up a lot of their room except for Josh Norman who will count for almost $18 million against the cap this season. The cap killers are usually the quarterback and the linemen but the Redskins don’t have their quarterback locked up for the long-term.

Last season Kirk Cousins played on the franchise tag after wanting to sign a long-term deal but the team was not convinced that he was the man to lead the team so they wanted him to prove it. He played on the tag and he lead the team to finish 3rd in the NFC East and a winning record for the second seasons. They had a chance to get into the playoffs but in the usual fashion, Kirk Cousins didn’t show up in the big game and threw an interception at the end that sealed the deal of the Redskins going fishing for the summer.

Once again, the franchise tag is available for the team to use on him but it will cost even more money this time. The tag will be $24 million for one year and Kirk Cousins has stated he will sign the franchise tag but he will not sign a long-term deal unless it’s the dollar figure that he wants. This man wants Aaron Rodgers type of money and he is not on Rodgers’ level of play. I love the Redskins but I don’t think they should tag this guy. He has shown he can’t get it done and he reminds me of a watered down Tony Romo.

Kirk Cousins had a bad defense this season and Tony Romo has had a bad defense for years and just over the last few years got an offensive line. Yes he choked in big games and only has two playoff wins but at least he has a playoff win. Kirk Cousins has only been to the playoffs once and they lost bad at home against the packers in 2015 season. This man can’t get it done and its time to move on and grow with someone else.

Written by Melvin Jackson III

The Little Known Receiving Prospect Who Can Be the Steal of the Draft.

By Leo Silbert

Air Force vs New Mexico Football

When you think of universities who produce quality wide receivers you probably think of places like the University of Miami, Clemson, USC and recently LSU.  A school you wouldn’t expect to produce an NFL caliber wide receiver though is the option based offense at the United States Air Force Academy, but that is where the focus of this article comes in with Jalen Robinette.  Robinette is 6’3 and 220 pounds of a receiver who showed a great ability to get open and when he was unable to get open he was able to win jump balls. There is a reason not many receivers come out of offenses like Air Force as option offenses are running based and the receivers don’t run traditional routes.  There have been a few recent examples of option receivers finding success in the NFL though in Calvin Johnson and Demaryius Thomas who both came out of Georgia Tech, but it still isn’t a common occurrence.  Robinette coming from Air Force makes it even more rare, since the last time a player who went to Air Force was drafted was back in 1999, when Robinette was only 5 years old.

What makes Robinette a viable prospect is that he has all of the desirable traits in the world for a great wide receiver.  He has the size and weight to win 1 on 1 matchups, he was able to do great after the catch (as the gif following this paragraph will show) and he averaged over 27 yards per catch this past season. He was the guy on Air Force’s offense who was always the guy they looked to when they needed a big play.  He also happened to be an incredible blocker for his position due to his size and the fact that in an option offense is absolutely necessary.

jalen-robinette-td

Now, there are a couple of reasons why he isn’t being heralded as the next great thing at the receiver position.  He didn’t have ridiculously over the top stats like Calvin Johnson had at Georgia Tech and he doesn’t have the same sub 4.4 speed at over 6’4 like Calvin Johnson or Demaryius Thomas had so it isn’t likely that he’ll get first round noise like the other two had.  He also is extremely raw as a route runner due to the option offense being mostly a deep passing game with few short routes because when they wanted to have a short gain, they would just run the ball.  Robinette is too raw of a prospect to take a chance on early in the draft, but if he is given the time to develop properly, he can be one of the best and toughest red zone threats in the league.

If you want to see more of Robinette, here is his entire catch reel from this past season: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J66XahiG4gk

The new Twin Towers?

By Lawrence Edwards 

 

Sampson + Olajuwon, Duncan + Robinson, Gasol + Bynum; there have been several duos dubbed the “twin towers” in the NBA and each of them special in their own right. Depending on the era you grew up in you got to witness how special it can be to have two dominant big men supplying rim protection and rebounding down low, it forced other teams to think twice about going inside. Yes in this era the flashy 3 point shooting is slowly becoming more popular than the drive to the hoop. But if all goes well this generation could witness one of the best instances of twin towers that we’ve seen in years. Last night the Sacramento Kings sent shockwaves through the NBA and the All-Star game wasn’t even concluded yet. They traded DeMarcus “Boogie” Cousins to the New Orleans Pelicans for Buddy Hield, Langston Galloway, Tyreke Evans and 2 1st and 2nd round picks.

New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) blocks the shot of ...

DeMarcus cousins is the best PF/C combo in the NBA right now and he just teamed up with another one of the best PF/C in the NBA in Anthony Davis. With teams looking to team up super stars the Pelicans decided to do it the old school way with making their own version of the twin towers. When the news of this trade was first announced there were two immediate thoughts to this from what I saw – “They won’t be able to coexist”, “This will be the best big man duo in years” now both of these are valid assumptions. On one hand you have two big dominant post players who both demand the ball in their hands and can make special things happen with it and that could be a recipe for selfishness and tension between the two but I don’t think that happens here…

DeMarcus Cousins Has Added a New Skill: Draining 3-Pointers | STACK

Here’s why it will work…

  1. Both Boogie and Davis can play the center position so they can switch out between the 4 and the 5 spot
  2. Both are averaging over 27 points a game double digit rebounds and couple blocks a game
  3. DeMarcus Cousins is actually an underrated passer, he is averaging almost 5 assist a game – 4.8 to be exact – which will bode well for Davis down low
  4. Cousins is a big man who can shoot and play from the perimeter which mean less bodies down low for Davis to contend with, with offensive rebounding
  5. They come from the same school coached by the same coach during the John Calipari era at the University of Kentucky

The chemistry for these two should not be hard to come by. Anthony Davis obviously needed help in NOLA and Boogie gets the chance to breathe fresh air after a toxic stint in Sacramento. This could be possibly the best move for both players and organizations. Yes Sacramento hasn’t been too good at developing their young players lately like Nik Stauskas and Ben McLemore to name a couple, so fans being skeptical and concerned about getting Buddy Heild and draft picks in the trade for what was their franchise player of elite caliber should be normal, but how long do you expect Cousins continue to give his all for an organization he has a rocky relationship with? For the New Orleans Pelicans however, this is a slam dunk trade. Yes they traded away a young player in Buddy Hield but in it they gained another player whom you can build a franchise around. Of course I don’t expect this to just work right out of the gate, you need time to mesh, but I think it could happen quickly between these two. If this works out well, NOLA just made a massive contribution to ensuring their future is bright. Once they get a viable backcourt, the sky’s the limit for this team now. In an era where you live and die by the 3 pointer, teams had better hope their shooters bring their A game when they play NOLA because anything inside will be near impossible to accomplish with the amount of rim protection NOLA is boasting. I really hopes this works out, it will be very nice to see the dynamic of the “twin towers” make its way back into the NBA.