Archive for April, 2012

Posted: April 27, 2012 by LBC in NFL

I would like to see the Cowboys get rid of Jenkins. Scandrick can play the nickel and maybe we can get rid of him and get Upshaw in the second round. #CowboysNation

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"But Mike, Your Team Barely Got 7 Wins..."

And just like that, this shorten NBA season is over.

As I said earlier this week, this season turned out to be a lot better than I predicted.  This season turned into a memorable season, unfortunately, for the Charlotte Bobcats.  The franchise owned by the guy who led the greatest team of all time, the 1996 Bulls, finished with an all-time NBA worst .106 win percentage.  The Bobcats finished the season on a 23-game losing streak (how ironic, 23) which blew away another 16-game losing streak from earlier this season.  And it doesn’t look like it will get any better.

After hearing Larry Brown’s comments from earlier this week, and knowing how well Jordan does as a GM, I am not surprised the Bobcats are terrible.  But this bad?  I hope David Stern rigs the draft to ensure Anthony Davis doesn’t go to that cesspool.  In fact, can the Bobcats just give up their pick because no one deserve that punishment.  And I won’t punish you with more talk about losers.

There is no time to catch your breath before the playoffs; they start tomorrow with some excellent games.  Without further adieu, here is your NBA playoff preview, Mancave style

Eastern Conference:

#1 Chicago Bulls vs #8 Philadelphia 76ers (Game 1, Saturday 1pm, TNT): Evan Turner said that the 76ers matched up better with the Bulls than the Heat.  Hey Evan, just make sure you don’t get benched without a reason by Coach Doug Collins.  Also, this might be the last time Andre Iguodala can throw Lou Williams under the bus or pull out the chair under him since he will test free agency. Pick: Bulls in 5

#2 Miami Heat vs #7 New York Knicks (Game 1, Saturday 3:30pm, ABC): If Jeremy Lin was playing, I would give the Knicks a better chance to win.  But Carmelo Anthony is on the short list of guys in the league that can put his team on his back and win a series.  Unfortunately, 2 other guys on that list play for Miami. Pick: Heat in 6

#3 Indiana Pacers vs #6 Orlando Magic (Game 1, Saturday 7pm, ESPN): Ah, the go-old NBA TV series.  I want to root for the Magic just because I want them to show that they can win without Dwight Howard after all the hoopla this season.  But I ain’t stupid. Pick: Pacers in 6

#4 Boston Celtics vs #5 Atlanta Hawks (Game 1, Sunday 7pm, TNT): Remember when this season was hype as hell in 2008?  Yeah, the Hawks just never did get any better did they?  And the Celtics just got greyer. Pick: Celtics in 7

Western Conference

#1 San Antonio Spurs vs #8 Utah Jazz (Game 1, Sunday 1pm, ESPN): Apologies to faithful reader @NowByAP but if there was a channel below NBA TV this series would be on it.  Luckily for the Spurs, there’s no talk of them blowing this 1/8 matchup.  And it looks like this series will get love on TNT and ESPN. Pick: Spurs in 4

#2 Oklahoma City Thunder vs #7 Dallas Mavericks (Game 1, Saturday 9:30pm, ESPN): This was the Western Conference Finals last year.  I think Dirk Nowitzki is still hungover from that Ace of Spades bottle in Miami last year. Pick: Thunder in 5

Who wants to face these guys in a series?

#3 Los Angeles Lakers vs #6 Denver Nuggets (Game 1, Sunday 3:30pm, ABC): Lakers, still the Kings of LA.  Don’t ever count out a team with 2 7-footers and a guy named Kobe Bean Bryant.  I will enjoy watching Javale McGee attempting to play defense in this series. Pick: Lakers in 6

#4 Memphis Grizzlies vs #5 Los Angeles Clippers (Game 1, Sunday 9:30pm, TNT): I know the Heat-Knicks is the sexier series, but I think this will easily be the best.  Memphis has done this before, but Chris Paul has a will to win like no one else.  Coaching (or lack thereof for the Clippers) will be a factor. Pick: Grizzlies in 7

Picture kind of says it all about Javale McGee's season this year

Madden 13

Posted: April 26, 2012 by LBC in NFL
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So the hype as ended and Calvin “Megatron” Johnson has won the cover of Madden 13. Only time will tell if he can defeat the dreaded Madden Curse. With that being said all eyes are not set on the release of Madden 13. I am expecting a much better Madden gameplay experience than the previous Madden. Here is a few updates that will be coming in the newest edition of Madden 13. The passing game has completely been redesigned. CLICK TO READ UP ON THE PASSING GAME!

This might make me the most dangerous Madden player ever.

 

Megatron vs. Madden Curse

The Most Exciting Game in All of Sports

Posted: April 26, 2012 by dontbeskerritt in Hockey, MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL
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We at the Mancave have a stern rule, don’t talk about a subject you don’t know anything about (which you could argue we violate every time we come up here).  So that is why it is rare we talk about hockey on here.  But this is one thing I know about hockey; Game 7 in the playoffs is by far the best, most exciting game in all of sports.

When you pit hockey’s do-or-die game against those in basketball and baseball, it is usually no comparison.  In basketball,  the home team, or the better team (which is usually to same), win out in the end.  In baseball, the hotter team, or the better pitching staff is triumphant.  But in hockey, there is no rhyme or reason to anything in Game 7.  A hot goalie usually is the one to root for, but pucks can go anywhere and everywhere.  One lucky (or unlucky) bounce can doom your team.  Every shot on goal is nerve-wracking and as time ticks down, your hair stands on end.  And what happens when the game goes to OT?  Better have your defibrillator ready.

So congrats to the Capitals for their Game 7 win.  I hope you check out the 2 game 7’s tonight, in the Rangers vs Senators and Panthers vs Devils.  I hope we get a bunch of Game 7s in the NBA playoffs.  I hope every series from now on goes 7, because there is nothing like it.  I’ll leave you with my most memorable Game 7s of all time.

#5 – 2003 Red Sox vs Yankees: The year before the Red Sox finally crushed the curse of the Bambino, the curse of Aaron Bleepin’ Boone began.  Boone’s moon shot in the 11th inning of Game 7 lifted the Yankees to the World Series.  Considering the Red Sox would win 2 World Series after that homer run, I guess every disappointment can be a blessing.

#4 2009 Celtics vs Lakers: Kobe Bryant 6-24. Ron Artest the clutch player.  And Boston going stone cold in the 4th.  Lakers stealing the game and the title at home.  It was the first sign of the end of the world.  This may be the worst, but best basketball game I have ever seen.

#3 2000 Trail Blazers vs Lakers: The beginning of the Lakers most recent dynasty.  The Blazers blew a 15-point 4th quarter lead.  Of course, they had Mike Dunleavy as a coach so it’s no surprise.  The iconic alley-oop from Kobe Bryant to Shaq still haunts my memories.

#2 2012 Capitals vs Bruins: I’m a homer with a short memory, sue me.  You can also put 2009 1st round game 7 for the Caps vs the Rangers right here.  The 2nd round Game 7 when the Caps got smacked by the Penguins ranks #666.  But that series was fantastic.

#1 2001 Yankees vs Diamondbacks: No one could get a hit off of Mariano Rivera…until Luis Gonzalez smacked the ball back through the middle to stop the Yankee’s dynasty.  The fact that Sports Illustrated called this the best postseason game of the decade means nothing to me whatsoever.

The Hit Heard Around the World

3pt Play: And Now..the Rest of the Playoff Teams…

Posted: April 24, 2012 by dontbeskerritt in NBA
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The Team You Hate to Talk About

We’ve finally made it to the end of this 66-game rush job that is the NBA season.  You know what, for bearing with often terrible, lackluster, uninspired play for most of the season, the league was actually pretty entertaining this year.  The playoffs, especially in the West, look to be wide open.  The East promises to have great matchups.  If Sunday’s Lakers-Thunder game is any indicator, this year’s playoffs will be BIG.

But we still have a couple of games and some playoff spots to decide before the festivities begin.  We here at the Mancave have talked about Chicago’s injury woes, Linsanity making way to Melosanity, the Heat’s dominance and LeBron’s hairline receding, the Lakers still being the King of the west, Blake Griffin needing to play some interior defense, and Russell Westbrook still cooking for the Thunder.  But there are other teams that need some love.  So our 3 point play this week is about 3 teams that are under the radar.

#1: So About That Window of Opportunity – Where did the Spurs come from?  Remember when you probably last saw Spurs, they were getting it handed to them by the Grizzlies in last year’s playoffs.  Yeah, don’t lie and say you watched the Spurs this year.  The team that loves to lie low are back as the #1 seed, and no one seems to notice.  It’s all about the Thunder (who have fallen off slightly), the Lakers (who has a softee and a knucklehead as their 2 7-footers), and the Clippers (who will go as far as Chris Paul will take them).  There is no room for the boring Spurs.  But now they are the supposed favorites out the west.  How did this happen?

A Real NBA Boxscore

Sacre bleu, Tony Parker may be the best point guard in the league.  He is averaging 18.3 points, and 7.7 assists per game, hardly MVP-type numbers but consider the Spurs.  Manu Ginobili has played just over half of the games this season.  Coach Popovich sat Tim Duncan one night because he was ‘old.’  Parker has had to carry the Spurs by himself for many games.  And who else is on the team to help him?  Don’t worry, I’ll wait.  Parker may have an MVP case with how the Spurs have performed.

Coach Popovich has managed this season brilliantly.  He has made Tim Duncan into a double-double machine again (15, 9).  Ginobili is still a premier player despite his injuries.  Guys like Tiago Splitter and Kawhi Leonard are making contributions.  He even has fat Boris Diaw running the floor! You may not like the Spurs, you may find them boring, but they still win and win a lot despite having that crippling injury called ‘old.’

#2: Speaking of Point Guards – I can’t go on without paying homage to Steve Nash.  Maybe I don’t love the NBA as much as I say I do, but other than Jared Dudley, I can’t name another Phoenix Sun.  And yet, tonight they can make a gigantic step into the playoffs, when they face the Utah Jazz with the 8th seed on the line (don’t worry I won’t mention the Jazz in any 3pt blog post, it’s a Mancave Rule).  But the Suns shouldn’t even be in this position.  But nothing is impossible on the basketball court for Nash.

Nash has led a cast of cast-offs within a game of the playoffs.  Amazingly, he averages over 10 assists with their roster.  Six guys average over double figures in scoring; it helps that your point guard gets you the ball where it is the most comfortable for you.  Not bad for a 38-year-old playing a young man’s position.

Nash Made Shannon Brown Relevant

I remember when I fumed when Nash won back-to-back MVP awards, citing conspiracy.  I wanted Nash to be traded to a contender so he could win a ring and retire and coach the Canadian basketball team.  Now, I just stare in awe that this guy is still going at a high level despite not having any help.  Please Steve, beat the Jazz tonight so we can watch your marvelous works on the court in the postseason.  Actually, I just don’t want the Jazz in the playoffs.

#3: The One-Year Away Wonder – Everyone knew that the Indiana Pacers would be a fun team to watch this season.  We even knew they would make noise in the playoffs after last years series vs the Bulls.  But could the Pacers help decide the Eastern Conference Finals.  Right now, the Pacers are third seed, and it looks like it will stay there.  If they get through the Magic (who won’t have Dwight Howard), that means they would most likely play the Heat after they dispatch the Knicks.  The Pacers are 3-1 against Miami, but their last two games against the Heat were an OT loss and a 15-point win.

Now I’m not saying that the Pacers have the horses to win 4 games in a series vs the Heat.  Their best player, Danny Granger, has had a down year (18.7 PPG compared to 20.5 last season and 25.8 at the end of the 2009 season).  But like we have seen with the Nuggets and the Sixers, the Pacers play and win as a team.  Six guys are averaging double-figures scoring.  They are a rugged team on the boards as they are 3rd in the league in rebounding.  All they need is one more big piece next year, and they could take that next step.  But as for this year, do you think the Heat want to face this bruising team in the 2nd round when they need to get ready for the Bulls?  The Bulls get a better matchup with the Celtics or Hawks while the Pacers could beat up the Heat enough to make the Eastern Conference Finals a little bit tougher for the defending Eastern champs.

But after all of this, I am still predicting a Miami Heat Championship (cross my fingers).

#TheMaddenCurse vs. Cam Newton

Posted: April 20, 2012 by LBC in NFL
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As you know football season is near, and one of the most anticipated events will be the release of Madden 13. Who will be on the cover? Will the curse be broken? If you don’t know about the Madden Curse. To make it simple here are a few names who have appeared on the cover. Daunte Culpepper, Michael Vick, Eddie George, Troy Polamalu, Brett Favre, Shaun Alexander, Peyton Hillis, Larry Fitzgerald, and others. All of these players suffered injuries the year they appeared on the cover, and Vick went to jail! lol. So why would anyone want to be on the Madden Cover and face the dreadful #MaddenCurse?

Sportsnation put this decision in the hands of us; the fans. In a tournament style of voting that had many players who had great seasons. I voted for Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, and Victor Cruz. I am a Dallas Cowboys fans so that will explain my vote. The final battle is here and it is between Cam Newton and Calvin Johnson. Can either of these two defeat the curse? Place Your Vote.

So your boy Cam Newton who has more nicknames than I have years on earth released a video giving his rant on why he should be on the cover. Check out the video to see his reasoning and all of his nicknames which I will not list, but I will tell you my favorite one; “Mr. SwagMan”. Sit back and enjoy some Friday laughter.

Gamers you can also challenge your boy *insert your favorite Newton nickhame* by sending your full name, phone number, and gamertag to playcam@cam1newton.com. He is on both Xbox and PS3. Cam xbox gamertag “CamdaGreatx2” and PS3 “theAceboo1e”. I will be sending my info especially since he stole my name lol.

First of all, congratulations to the Kentucky Wildcats and Baylor Bears for winning their respective championships this year in college football.  Amazingly, the best team won in both of these tournaments, which rarely happens in these single-elimination tournaments.  What makes the NBA great is that the best team always wins.  The 7 game series makes the upset a rare thing to behold, which makes the phenomena mystifying and gratifying at the same time.  Let’s be real, last year’s NBA Finals was an upset.  The Heat were the best team in that playoffs by far, despite the better record than Chicago.  Dallas was a chic pick to make the Finals much less win it.  But it took 6 games for the Mavericks to dismantle the Heat and send Chris Bosh home crying.

Where Would the Heat Be Without Wade's Play?

Now in 2012, the Heat were back to playing dominate ball early in the season.   LeBron James played like a sure MVP.  Dwyane Wade did Superman-like things.  You couldn’t talk trash about Bosh (well yeah you could but he knew his role and did it well).  And the ManCave declared the result of this season to be a done deal.  And we still hold to that.  But, color us a little nervous because the Heat have not been playing as the NBA Champs as of late.  The Heat are 11-7 since the All-Star Break, going 4-7 on the road.  The Heat have been drubbed on the road in games against the Thunder, Pacers, and the AARP Celtics.  LeBron had gone 10 straight game without scoring 30 points until Tuesday night vs Philadelphia.  Not only have the Heat struggled, but other teams are starting to show that they can hang with Big Three, which is the subject of the rest of the 3-point play.

2. Well at least the Heat only have to worry about the Bulls in the East.  The Knicks, if they even had a chance, lost it when Jeremy Lin went down.  The Pacers are too young, the Celtics are too old, and the Magic and Hawks are too goofy.  But the Bulls?  Somehow they have kept their lead in the East without Derrick Rose and Richard Hamilton. In fact, the Bulls are 14-7 without Rose this season.  They beat the Heat at home without the MVP just a couple of weeks ago behind John Lucas III’s best impersonation of Rose.  But weren’t the Bulls dominant last year before they fell apart in the Eastern Conference Finals?  Why are things different this year?

I think the confidence that has been instilled in this team, winning without Rose is what sets these guys apart.  Last year, only Rose and Taj Gibson (to an extent) showed up for the series.  Kyle Korver was nowhere to be found.  Carlos Boozer proved he was a loser.  Loul Deng had his hands full guarding LeBron and he really didn’t even do that.  And the burden of having to be the entire team’s offense finally broke down Rose.  I don’t see that happening this year unless injury hampers Rose.  The team has confidence in their own skills.  They can carry themselves for short spells in the playoffs.  They already beat the Heat at home.  As long as hold onto home-court advantage, they have a great shot.  Of course, I believe the Heat could win a game in Chicago more than the Bulls can win in Miami.  But this is a series that will not be for the faint of heart.

3. The West could be even more interesting because I count 3 teams that could upend the Heat.  First off, the Thunder are scary good.  That blow out win last week Sunday vs the Heat was no fluke.  When they are going, the Thunder may have two of the most unstoppable offensive forces in Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant.  The Thunder have the size to destroy the Heat on the glass and stymie our friend Bosh.  But the Thunder may not even make the Finals…

The Memphis Grizzlies have come on lately and look like the chic pick Dallas was last year.  Now I am bias because my favorite player, Gilbert Arenas is on the squad.  But the Grizzlies are a load to handle on the block with Marc Gasol, Marreese Speights, and Zach Randolph coming off the bench!.  Tony Allen can channel his work on LeBron in 2008 if they meet in the finals.  Rudy Gay is as good a go-to guy as any.  O.J. Mayo and Arenas can contribute off the bench.  And Mike Conley can give Miami fits because he is a competent point guard, a Heat bugaboo.

Speaking of competent PGs, Tony Parker’s Spurs are a team that nobody talks about that can make the Finals.  Parker has been playing on another level this year.  Manu Ginobili is still playing on a Hall of Fame level.  Tim Duncan still ain’t fronting.  Their role players may be the best in the league.  That’s because they have the best coach in the league.  Even though nobody talks about them, do know that the Spurs have the ingredients to beat the Heat this June.

So, yes we are a little worried about our prediction from earlier this year.  But the thing that is most disappointing about the Heat is that they act like they can turn on the switch, like the squad has been there, done that.  I’m sorry, but what has the Heat won?  They choked away a sure Finals victory after the 4th quarter of Game 2.  Dwyane Wade never got past the 1st round of the playoffs between his stints with Shaq and LeBron.  LeBron’s ailments in the playoffs go without saying.  It actually makes me mad that this team is arrogant enough to think that they can turn on the switch in the playoffs.  You guys aren’t the 2001 Lakers!  You aren’t the 1996 Bulls!  The Heat played like there was something to prove early in the season with wins against the Mavs, Celtics, Spurs, and Lakers.  Now, on Wednesday vs the Thunder at home and for the rest of the 14 games this season, I hope the Heat play like the champions they are destined to be this year.  Because the Finals are anything but a foregone conclusion.