Monday, June 21, 2010

NBA Draft: Point Guard Preview

The point guard class of the 2010 NBA Draft class is not super deepn, but it is strong at the top. The top pick in the draft will be John Wall, a PG from Kentucky, one of the best prospects to enter the draft from the college game in a while.

Wall only played one season at Kentucky, but he mad the most of it. He is a dynamic athlete, and could eventually be the most athletic PG in the NBA at 6'4''. He is not a great shooter yet, but he has all of the other skills necessary to be a great PG in the Association. He is unselfish with the ball, extremely quick (he is lethal in transition, and can get to the rim almost any time he wants), and he steps up his game in big moments. He hit the game-winner in his first collegiate game. As a hyped freshman, he was among the nation's leaders in assists on a 3-loss team that was very young. He will be a great player, and will be excellent from day one.

The next best PG in the draft might be one of Wall's teammates, Eric Bledsoe. Even though he was largely overshadowed by Wall, pro scouts love his potential, and he is the only other true PG that has a chance to be drafted in the lottery. He can play on the ball or off the ball, has a good handle and jump shot, and should be a solid contributor in the NBA. He is not as ready as Wall to contribute in the NBA, but he should be a solid pro.

Terrico White out of Mississippi is not a true PG, but he should be able to play the position in the pros, kind of like Tyreke Evans (though he doesn't have that type of talent). He is very athletic, and can score in a variety of ways. He will be a solid player if he gets to go to a fast paced club.He can fill it up and make plays above the rim, which is vital for success as an athletic guard in the NBA. He has a chance to get drafted in the first round.

The PG position is not very deep at all, as likely only one point guard will get drafted in the lottery, and there will be very few true point guards in the draft. However it is strong at the top, as John Wall will be the top pick and the best player of this class, representing the point guard position well.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

World Cup and NBA Finals

Like many people, I am not much of a soccer fan, but I do love the World Cup, which starts on Friday morning.

Perhaps the greatest sporting event in United States history is the Miracle on Ice in 1980. As I'm sure you remember, a team of U.S. Amateurs shocked the powerful Soviet Union team, going on to win the Olympic Gold Medal at Lake Placid.

Really, the World Cup is the best chance for something like that to ever be duplicated for the United States. It is our last popular sport in which we are extreme underdogs. If the USA were to win the World Cup, it would be even more shocking than the Miracle on Ice, indeed, the goal really is to get out of group play. It will be a fairly successful World Cup if that is all that we accomplish.

The United States is a team without an international star, hoping to get by on superior teammwork and unity. We won't win anything on talent alone (which is not to say that the talent level is terrible, it is not, but it is nowhere near other country powerhouses). It is very exciting... to root for your country in the biggest sporting even in the world, with the extra thrill of them being an underdog.

I wouldn't make any gambling deposits on them at a Moneybookers Casino, but it sure will be fun to watch them play and try to advance. They look as ready as they have been, as the team is playing well (second in the Confederations Cup last year), and Coach Bob Bradley has them playing as one unit.


The Lakers have a 2-1 lead in the NBA Finals after taking out Boston in a weird Game 3, and the series stays in Boston for games 4 and 5. Boston obviously needs a better effort from Ray Allen, who was as awful in Game 3 as he was brilliant in Game 2.

The bright spot for Boston was Kevin Garnett, who looked like he would provide very little in the series after games 1 and 2. However, he had a brilliant game 3, and put up numbers reminiscent of KG of old. If he can do that again this series, Boston should have a great chance, especially if Pierce and Allen step up.

If I was check out casino deposit options at something like the Roxy Palace Casino, my money would still be on the Lakers in this series. They have the best player in this series, and they might have the second best player as well (depending on whether you prefer Pau Gasol or Rajon Rondo.

It seems clear that home court does not matter that much anymore, as both teams have one on the opponents home court. This is a series that seems ready to go 7 games, and I'll take the Lakers at home in that one, giving Kobe a 5th title and firmly planting him as one of the 10 best players in NBA history.

All in all, it's a good time to be a sports fan!

Friday, June 04, 2010

Minnesota Vikings Draft Analysis

The Minnesota Vikings are coming off of a disappointing end to the 2010 season. Despite a great record and a high-powered offense, they came up just short in the NFC Championship game, losing to the New Orleans Saints in OT. They played well enough to win, but just made a few crucial mistakes that caused them to lose.

Heading into the offseason, there were a few different holes that they needed to address. One was depth at CB, especially with Cedric Griffin and Antoine Winfield going through injury problems. Another was depth at RB, as Chester Taylor was not resigned, and instead went to the Chicago Bears. Last, they needed to look at the offensive line, and get more depth to challenge the starters for playing time.

They traded down out of the first round, but then were able to add Chris Cook out of Virginia to try to beef up the secondary. He projects to be a cornerback, but he can likely also play a little of bit of safety if they need him to. They hope he will challenge for a nickel role, and has the size to eventually be a starting cornerback in the NFL. They should be able to give him time to develop, and perhaps contribute on special teams.

Their second round pick was much more well known and accomplished in college, and that was Toby Gerhart, a RB out of Stanford. He is very versatile, and should be a nice complement to Adrian Peterson, as they hope that he can fill the void left by Chester Taylor. They would like him to be a solid pass catcher out of the backfield, good blocker on third down, and give Peterson the occasional rest by getting some carries. He seems to know his role well, and looks like he will be a nice extra piece of the offense for the Vikings.

Their next pick was Everson Griffen, a DE from USC. This was not a position of need, but he fell a lot farther than expected, and so the Vikings simply saw him as the best player available, and thought he would provide nice value for them, The rest of their draft was not filled with many big names, but simply guys they hope can compete for roster spots at WR, OL, and LB. It will be interesting to see if any of them stick. However, this draft will be measured by how well Toby Gerhart and Chris Cook play for the Vikings.