Today's Names to Know: NBA, Joe Torre, Kevin Garnett, Brett Favre to Greg Jennings, Tony Romo, Kellen Clemens, Tom Brady, Kobe Bryant, Joe Girardi, Alex Rodriguez, Trinity-Millsaps video and More!
Torre reportedly to be hired by Dodgers (and taking Mattingly with him): Now THIS is a big "F-You" to the Yankees and a huge splash for relevancy by the Dodgers (who could use some). What a way to steal the spotlight from the Yankees' own managerial search.
New NBA Season Starts Today: Lots of intrigue. How will the Celtics' "Big Three" do? Is this the Suns' year to finally break through to a West title? How good can Kevin Durant be right out of the box? Where (if anywhere) will
That's all in play as the season tips off tonight. I'm picking the Spurs over the Celtics in the Finals (though if I had my choice, I'd much rather see the Suns than the Spurs in the Finals, given last years Finals debacle).
So if the Question of the Season is: How will the Celtics do with their new "Big Three" lineup, my answer is: Matching the hype.
I think they'll finish with one of the best records in the East and, more importantly, win the East title behind league MVP Kevin Garnett. (How has his name not come up more often as a candidate? I see this as a slam-dunk.)
Here are the rest of my picks (* = Div Champ):
East: 1. Wiz* 2. Celtics* 3. Bulls* 4. Pistons
5. Cavs 6. Raps 7. Heat 8. Bucks
East Finals: Celtics over Wizards
West: 1. Suns* 2. Spurs* 3. Mavs 4. Nuggets*
5. Jazz 6. Warriors 7. Rockets 8. Blazers
West Finals: Spurs over Suns
(I congratulate Chris Sheridan on picking the Wizards to be No. 2 in the East, going against the grain of virtually all of his colleagues, including John Hollinger, who picked the Wizards to finish 13th. Before the injuries last year, they would have finished with the best record in the East and probably won the conference title. Everyone has to stay healthy, but with a better bench, they're a better team. Meanwhile, looking over my playoff picks after a few more cups of coffee, I think I'm overlooking the Nets -- who have their own Big Three, plus a return-from-injury for Krstic -- and the Magic, who only have the best young big in the East. In the West, I will re-evaluate the Lakers if/when they do a Kobe deal, and if I had to pick a Warriors-style freak, it's the Grizzlies.)
Here's another look at my Awards Predictions:
MVP: Kevin Garnett (2nd: Gilbert Arenas)
Rookie: Kevin Durant (2nd: Al Thornton)
Coach: Doc Rivers (2nd: Eddie Jordan)
Fantasy Breakout: Al Jefferson
MNF: Favre to
First of all, if it wasn't for the Pats, Favre and the Packers would be the NFL's most incredible story in years.
Tony Romo signs 6-year, $67 million extension with the Cowboys, including $30 million in guaranteed money. Not bad for an undrafted QB out of
I love this debate over the Pats' sportsmanship or "classlessness" in the wake of their path of destruction this season, most notably this past weekend against the Redskins.
I say: Hell, as long as you're trying to break the spirit of the league (as Belichick seems intent on doing), you almost have to pour it on. But then there's this meme, highlighted at PFT (and kind of started by KSK a few weeks ago with their "Brady Bounty") and elsewhere, including the normally genteel Michael Wilbon, who all but demanded it:
At what point will a frustrated opponent, frustrated that Brady is in the game late in a blowout, simply KO the QB with a shot to the knees? (Cripes, talk about sportsmanship; how about taking your beatings like an adult?)
The Pats have every right in the world to continue marauding through the NFL, but they would be crazy not to expect blowback from a rogue opposing player.
First of all, I'm not sure
Second, Arenas is the most entertaining player in the NBA (factoring in on- and off-court entertainment). That's not worth giving up.
World Series Hangover: The resounding meme among fans and analysts seems to be that the Red Sox didn't just win their second title in four years, but have the foundation to continue to win championships through the rest of the decade and beyond. "New Yankees?" Only if "New Yankees" means "championship dynasty."
Will Joe Girardi join the Yankees? I presume so. How long will he last? Let's set the over-under at Halloween 2008.
Where will Alex Rodriguez end up? I have been saying the Angels for a while, but how about... the Yankees?
MLB Trade: SS Edgar Renteria goes to the Tigers from the Braves.
Jets to start Kellen Clemens at QB: The Chad Pennington Era is effectively over.
CFB: Here's a great story on the student play-by-play announcer who called that wild Trinity-Millsaps D-3 finish this weekend, the best play of the year in college football (and perhaps sports). This is an inelegant analogy, but this was college football's "J-Mac" moment.