Wednesday, December 1, 2010

NFL Draft 2010: QB's the Vikings Should Target


1. Andrew Luck, Stanford: 245/349, 70.2%, 28 TD, 7 INT
Positives: Extremely poised, strong arm, accuracy, athleticism, technically sound
Negatives: Needs more experience
Thought: Likely to be the first QB taken off the board


2. Ryan Mallett, Arkansas: 242/364, 66.5%, 30 TD, 11 INT
Positives: Very strong arm, has improved his accuracy and decision making this past season
Negatives: Still needs to improve his touch and accuracy, footwork still a work in progress
Thought: Likely a first round pick

3. Jake Locker, Washington: 165/294, 56.1%, 15 TD, 8 INT (One game to go)
Positives: Great arm strength, good footwork, very mobile and athletic QB who can make plays with his feet, pro style West coast offense
Negatives: Raw as a passer, moves around the pocket too much, tends to look down his primary receiver, limited field vision
Thought:  Probably has the most upside of all QB's in the draft. Likely to go in the top 15.

Others:

Andy Dalton, TCU: 194/293, 66.2%, 26 TD, 6 INT
Ricky Stanzi, Iowa: 210/324, 64.8%, 25 TD, 4 INT
Christian Ponder, Florida St: 183/294, 62.2%, 20 TD, 8 INT (One game to go)
Nick Foles, Arizona: 232/340, 68.2%, 16 TD, 7 INT (One game to go)
Pat Devlin, Delaware: N/A
Colin Kaepernick, Nevada: 200/309, 64.7%, 20 TD, 7 INT (One game to go)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thoughts on the Timberwolves So Far

With a record of 2-7, let's take our first look at the Timberwolves' season:



- Fun to Watch: This team is so much more fun to watch than last year's squad. It may not show in the win-loss column yet but these Timberwolves are a lot more talented and athletic than they were last season. They are potent on the offensive side and are one of the best rebounding team in the NBA.
- Thin at PG: With the Luke Ridnour sidelined for at least one more week, the Wolves are forced to start Sebastian Telfair as well as pick up a street free agent Sundiata Gaines to back him up. Jonny Flynn is practicing and is targeting to return on Wednesday, November 17
- Michael Beasley: His 42-pt career night lifted the Wolves over the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night. He seems to be having the proper attitude and motivation so far this season. He is also showing some effort on the defensive side and some leadership abilities. Looking forward to see if he can come into his own as a dependable all-star type forward.


- Wesley Johnson: I like what I'm seeing from Wes so far. He is a dependable outside shooter and has shown some flashes of his athleticism and court vision.
- Darko Milicic: It's fairly incredible how raw his offensive game is after 7 years in the league. Although he provides a nice presence defensively, he is virtually useless on the offensive side with a 29% field goal rate. Darko still consistently misses easy hook shots that he should be mastering by now.
- Corey Brewer: I agree with the team's decision to not sign his option for next season. Although he provides great energy and hustle on defense, Brewer is an expandable player with the Wolves' glut of wing players. He wi



- Kevin Love needs to be more consistent as an offensive player. He still has trouble getting off his shot in the paint.
- Martell Webster: The swingman is looking to return at the end of the month. The Wolves need him to provide more consistency at the shooting guard position.
- Ricky Rubio: ESPN's Outside The Line will interview Ricky Rubio on Sunday, November 14.

Season Prediction: 25-57, 5th Northwest Division

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

NFL Draft 2011: Early Look At The Vikings Needs

With the Minnesota Vikings currently standing at 3-5 after an overtime victory against the hapless Arizona Cardinals, I thought it would be a good time to take a look at the position of needs for the NFL Draft 2011. Although they are still alive to make the playoffs, let's face it: The Vikings simply aren't a very good team and most likely will have a hard time even finishing the season as a .500 team. At this point, the Vikings currently project to select in the top 10 in the upcoming draft, a high spot that could net them a franchise player if they make the right pick.

Team Needs:



QB
: Is Tarvaris Jackson the future of the franchise? It's very unlikely that Jackson will ever turn into a solid starter for the purple and gold at this point. He has been extremely unimpressive so far in his career and it says something when a 41-yr old man with two broken legs and various other injuries is still starting over him. Joe Webb is a nice developmental QB but it will probably take a few more years for him to even be considered a candidate.

S
: As feared, the Vikings weren't able/willing to get a playmaking safety in the 2010 draft. This is coming to bite them this season as the secondary is consistently getting torched. Madieu Williams is barely adequate as a finesse player, Tyrell Johnson is a complete bust, Hussain Abdullah and Jamarca Sanford are special team players who have no business starting in the NFL. Is anyone really expecting the secondary to hold with these kind of players?

DT: Pat Williams is most likely playing the last season of his career and it has become quite apparent that the Vikings once-stout run defense is only a memory at this point in time. Minnesota needs someone who can take pressure off Kevin Williams. Arguably, most of the Vikings pass rush issues comes from the declining play of Pat Williams.

OL: Center John Sullivan should be upgraded. Bryant McKinnie, 31, is overrated and can be upgraded with a top-of-the-shelf prospect. Phil Loadholt is better suited as an interior offensive lineman.

WR: After the recent Randy Moss debacle as well as the numerous injuries that have ravaged the Vikings WR, the team would be well served to draft a middle-round prospect to develop as a capable 3rd or 4th behind the injury-prone Sidney Rice and Percy Harvin.

Any thoughts or comments on the state of the Vikings?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Wolves Draft Recap


First round, #4: Wesley Johnson, SF, Syracuse

It was a given that Wesley Johnson was going to be picked by the Wolves and I like the pick. With his length, athleticism and ability to stretch the floor, he will be able to contribute from day one and give some room for Kevin Love and/or Al Jefferson to operate under the basket. Johnson shot 42% from 3-pt range, 50% from the floor, and 77% from the foul-line and he also grabbed 8.5 rebounds per game. You have a guy you know wants to make the best of his situation and will work hard every day. Some fans wanted Cousins but I don't think the Wolves can afford to gamble on a guy who has questionable attitude and work ethic especially given the fact that these kind of problems can quickly get contagious in a very young locker room. Expect Johnson to contribute right away with his outside shooting, ability to run the floor and rebounding.


Martell Webster for Luke Babbitt and Ryan Gomes

I personally loved this move and I know the Wolves have caught a lot of flak from so-called armchair "experts" who have suddenly come out of the woodwork to criticize the Wolves front office. Although Webster has been in the league for 5 years, he is only 23-yr old with a lot of upside remaining. He provides the Wolves with length at the shooting guard position (6'7") and outside shooting and give the Wolves a young player who could continue to improve. Luke Babbitt certainly was a solid pick but he wasn't really needed since we drafted Wesley Johnson earlier. Ryan Gomes simply hasn't improved as much as he should have in the last couple years. In all, I expect Webster to stretch the floor and help improve the Wolves 3-pt shooting which was an abysmal 34% last season.

Layzar Hayward, Nemanja Bjelica, Paulo Prestes are players I don't much about but I expect the Wolves to keep the last two overseas while Hayward will provide some reinforcement at the power forward position as the Wolves are trying to deal Al Jefferson away. The Wolves will now try to address signing Darko Milicic and Nikolai Pekovic who will provide the Wolves with some size up the middle. On July 1, the free agency period will begin and the Wolves will attempt to woo someone via a sign-and-trade involving Al Jefferson.

Grade: The Wolves had a very solid draft and the team certainly did improve which is all you can ask for.

C+

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Pick of the Litter: T-Wolves Draft Prospects


Hassan Whiteside

While there is plenty of competition at the Center position, Hassan Whiteside tops our list as the best Center in the 2010 NBA Draft. The Marshall big man enters the Draft after finishing what was the most dominate performance by a freshman since Michael Beasley at Kansas State in the 2007-08 season. Beasley dominated the scoring column during his only season with K-State while Whiteside's stats were more impressive across the board. To call him a stat stuffer would be an understatement as he recorded 3 triple doubles in points, rebounds, & blocks (he also had games were he ended having a double double with 9 & 8 blocks on the side).

Needless to say Whiteside possesses natural shot blocking abilities that are a combination of his great anticipation and freakish 7'7" wingspan (tied with Shaq for 3rd longest in past 20 years). Aside from his potential as the anchor of a teams defense, he also has an offensive game that is quite diverse and well developed.

His size and athleticism alone made him an instant force playing the post in Conference USA. If a body was not placed on him while in the post he would consistently collect the offensive boards followed up by letting the BEAST OUT on the unsuspecting rims with his Monster put backs. While his freakish length allows him to catch any ball lobed up near the basket for and easy layup or ally-00p, he is also able to effectively shoot the mid-range jump shot.

His jump shot has a very fluid motion to it, lacking the usual hitches that most big men have. He gets set using the B.E.E.F. fundamentals, keeping his body straight as he elevates for the shot (most bigs shoot more of a set shot). Getting this type of elevation makes blocking his shot nearly impossible given how long he already is.

Whiteside is very comfortable with his jump shot, which he showed this year taking and knocking down the occasional turn around jumper a la his idol Kevin Garnett. He even finished the season shooting .600 % from the 3-point line which measures 20.9 ft in college compared to 23.9 ft in the NBA (but relax he was only 3-5). None the less his 15- 18 ft jumper should translate immediately to the pros. Defenders shouldn't be mistaken if Whiteside is left open he will knock down the shot.

While his shooting is very exceptional for any player his size, his shooting form (see picture above & to the left) is a little unorthodox. Its clear to see that his left hand (guide hand) is holding the top of the ball instead of being placed on the the left side on the ball (Ray Allen pic). Its obvious no one expects the same type of shooting results in Whiteside that have made Ray Allen an All-Star player. Still I believe that pro coaches will work with him to try and get him to move his guide hand down do the side of the ball.

Combine Measurements

While making player evaluations it is helpful to have current player comparisons in terms of size and athleticism. These comparable measurements allow us to help envision what types of advantages and/or disadvantages a player might have at the NBA level. Strengths/weaknesses that may not be apparent through studying game film. As well as giving GMs a way to determine who is the better fit between two players based on the smallest margin of an athleticism grade.

*Note all measurements and data below were taken during the NBA Combine before a month before the players were drafted. So these represent where each player was physically when entering the league.



As you can see in the chart above, Whiteside measures out nearly identical as 5 time NBA All-Star Chris Bosh in both height and weight. The only exception being that Whiteside has a wingspan long enough to land planes on. Although at this point he is listed at the same weight Bosh was as a rookie, it appears that Whiteside possess a frame that will able to take on more weight as he matures. Which would only benefit him as a Center having to go up against big bodied interior players on a nightly bases who weigh in the neighborhood of 250 lbs.





Once again Whiteside and Bosh test favorably by both having equal sprit times and nearly equal lane agility scores. While the sprinting test is more important for guards the lane agility test is much more informative. As it measures a players lateral quickness which is very important for man on man defense. The old saying goes "your only as good as who you can guard" In that case Whiteside should excel in the league because while his agility is not elite (Noah got 11.79) it is still a good score for most PFs. The most encouraging category of the list are his 12 bench reps, this shows that while thin he is deceptively strong.

Whiteside Vs. Bosh(2003): They both attack the rim, can stretch the floor and shoot with rang, good rebounders. Whiteside is a better Shot Blocker & overall defender, more active on offensive boards, stronger & longer. Bosh had better handles and a more developed post game.
















Recap of USA - England World Cup Match: LEGO STYLE


If you just watched this video without seeing the real life highlights, than let me be the 1st to tell you that you are not a REAL Sports Fan.
Because 1st of all the World Cup is amazing and secondly who doesn't watch Sports Center or go to the ESPN website?

So here go check out ESPN to find out more about the World Cup.
Pick a Country to support or just cheer on team USA and join the rest of the world in watching one of the greatest sports tournaments in existence!

For those of you who do keep up with World Cup action I think you will enjoy the reenactment of England's Goalkeeper Green and his now infamous allowed goal.

I swear that Goal will NEVER get old especially this Lego version!



Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Timberwoof Sad :(

Contemplating running under the garbage truck

Friday, May 7, 2010

NBA MOCK DRAFT (Post NCAA Tourny)


1. John Wall, PG - 6ft 4 - 195 lb. - Kentucky




2. Evan Turner, SG - 6ft 7 - 217 lb. - Ohio State



3. Derrick Favors, PF - 6ft 9 - 245 lb. - Georgia Tech



4. Wesley Johnson, SF - 6ft 7 - 205 lb. - Syracuse



5. Demarcus Cousins, PF/C - 6ft 11 - 280 lb. - Kentucky



6. Cole Aldrich, C - 6ft 11 - 245 lb. - Kansas



7. Greg Monroe, PF - 6ft 10 - 240 lb. - Georgetown



8. Al-Farouq Aminu, SF - 6ft 8 - 220 lb. - Wake Forest



9. Xavier Henry, SG - 6ft 6 - 220 lb. - Kansas



10. Ed Davis, PF - 6ft 9 - 225 lb. - North Carolina



11. Hassan Whiteside, C - 7ft - 235 lb. - Marshall



12. Ekpe Udoh, PF - 6ft 10 - 235 lb. - Baylor



13. Patrick Patterson, PF - 6ft 8 - 235 lb. Kentucky




14. Donatas Motiejunas, PF - 7ft - 225 lb. - Lithuania



15. Paul George, SF - 6ft 8 - 210 lb. - Fresno State



16. Luke Babbitt, SF - 6ft 8 - 220 lb. - Nevada



17. James Anderson, SG - 6ft 6 - 195 lb. - Oklahoma State



18. Solomon Alabi, C - 7ft 1 - 240 lb. - Florida State



19. Devin Ebanks, SF - 6ft 7 - 205 lb. - West Virginia



20. Gani Lawal, PF - 6ft 9 - 235 lb. - Georgia Tech



21. Daniel Orton, PF - 6ft 10 - 255 lb. - Kentucky



22. Gordon Hayward, SF - 6ft 8 - 210 lb. - Butler



23. Jarvis Varnado, PF - 6ft 9 - 210 lb. - Mississippi State



24. Avery Bradley, PG - 6ft 2 - 180 lb. - Texas



25. Stanley Robinson, SF - 6ft 8 - 220 lb. - Connecticut



26. Willie Warren, SG - 6ft 4 - 207 lb. - Oklahoma


27. Jerome Jordan, C - 7ft - 245 lb. - Tulsa



28. Larry Sanders, PF - 6ft 10 - 235 lb. - VCU



29. Eric Bledsoe, PG - 6ft - 195 lb. - Kentucky



30. Damion James, SF - 6ft 7 - 230 lb. - Texas