…some more random crap as I find the time to write something lucid…
*Tom Brady, Tom Brady, Tom Brady, Tom Brady, Tom Brady, TOM F’NG BRADY!!!!
Had enough yet?
As I noted last time, yes I sure have. February is typically a slow sports month and Brady coverage during that time was everywhere. Heading into March…no change.
I said, “wake me up in a few weeks”. And it’s almost time. The NFL CBA will be presumably ratified on March 12. Then get ready for even more rampant rumors.
The rumors thus far? Fun. But how seriously do we take them? Tampa, Miami and Indy? Not seriously. LA Chargers and Vegas Raiders? Somewhat. Dallas? Intriguing…obviously depends on how the Dak Prescott negotiations/franchise tagging goes. Tennessee? Perhaps real…but the latest is that the Titans are using Brady to leverage Ryan Tannehill in their negotiations. Brady won’t be happy with Mike Vrabel if that is true. San Fran? Hmmmmmm…GREAT speculation about Tom going home to the team he rooted for growing up. And Billy Belichick getting Jimmy Football back. I deem this extremely unlikely, however.
Pats? Seems like the most realistic option still, to be honest. They won’t offer even close to the most money if it comes to that. That’s a no doubter. But I think a lot of us think it’s hard to believe that Brady goes to a new organization and has to learn a new offense, or at least new teammates and tendencies and all that if Brady gets to “bring his offense with him”. Probably be forced to go to all offseason activities, when he has avoided every one of these other than the mandatory ones in recent years here. Plus, when push comes to shove, will Brady have the stones to leave? Will Bill actually let him leave, also when push comes to shove? Also, more importantly, will owner Robert Kraft let him leave? That’s ALWAYS the wild card.
Nothing would shock me at this point. I think Bill would let him go. Robert? Not so sure? Brady? He may just want the love and attention in his first foray into unrestricted free agency. And in the end, he comes back to NE. I wouldn’t rule that out at all. That actually may be the leader in the clubhouse at this point.
Again, crazy enough, I don’t even care either way. I am not going to worry about a 43 year old quarterback, even though it will be weird (sad?) seeing him in a different uniform. But I root for the laundry overall, so I will root for the players that wear the laundry (See: Betts, Mookie). I will not wish for Brady to fail if he departs, let me get this straight. I am extremely grateful that arguably the best player of all time played 20 years in New England. But my allegiances are with the Patriots, not Brady himself, despite all the success he has led us to. I suppose the six rings have influenced me a bit in my thinking. But wouldn’t they for most people?
Since Brady is the biggest chip on the free agent market, even at his advanced age, he should be among the first dominos to fall…at least among the QBs. 8 days until the official tampering period starts. 10 until the gates officially open for business.
At this point, my interest is about back to being all in. Can’t wait.
*All the above being said with being ok with Brady leaving, I’m pumping the brakes on former NFL third stringer Jordan Palmer coming out this week and saying current Pats backup Jarrett Stidham is going to be “a stud”. And for all of us to “jump on that bandwagon”.
I would have liked to have seen Stidham more last year in a real game. Looked like he had potential from his performance in the preseason (from whatever real stuff we can actually take from preseason action). But, let’s hold off on those kinds of bold predictions…for now anyway.
Though Brady didn’t play much his first season either…just sayin’…
*Looks like Kyrie Irving wanted a new coach.
Kenny Atkinson and the Brooklyn Nets “mutually agreed to part ways” the other day. Kind of out of nowhere. Atkinson was probably not a Hall of Fame coach. But coached a couple of bad teams before getting the Nets into the playoffs in his third year. Not to mention had a hand in developing players such as Spencer Dinwiddie, Joe Harris, Caris LeVert and Jarrett Allen during his tenure.
Sure, they were a smidge under .500 this year. But they were also missing Irving for most of the season and Kevin Durant for the whole season. Those two, in combination with the aforementioned four and others, would help vault you into competition, no?
So Atkinson gets the gate before he presumably would be able to see all that come to fruition next season.
Then when listening to GM Sean Marks’ rambling comments about “it was mutual between me and Kenny”, “the players had nothing to do with it”, “I would have loved for Kenny to coach Durant and Irving and all these guys” and all that nonsense…all it did was tell me that at least some players didn’t want him there. And, as always, the finger naturally points to Irving. And some reports are coming out that Kyrie prefers Tyronn Lue to coach the team. Big surprise.
I don’t know if Atkinson can coach or not. But this one completely feels like it has Irving’s fingerprints all over it. And it again reminds me that I am so glad Kyrie is out of my town.
*Speaking of “my” town and the Nets, that overtime lineup Brad Stevens used against Brooklyn last week was awesome, right?!
In all fairness, Brad had his hands tied a bit…ok, actually, a LOT. Jayson Tatum didn’t play because of illness. Kemba Walker was just back from injury and was on a minutes limit. Jaylen Brown and Gordon Hayward got hurt during the game and were unavailable. And Marcus Smart took a couple of dumb fouls at the end of regulation and the beginning of OT and as a result fouled out of the ballgame.
There shouldn’t have even been overtime. Smart fouling a dude on a three pointer with 0.2 seconds left was just colossally stupid. As much as I love what Smart brings to the table each game, he still does stupid stuff like this, pushes refs, flops and takes waaaaay too many shots. I guess we have to just deal with it. In any event, it wasn’t all his fault, as the 51 points allowed in the fourth quarter and the blown 21 point lead was simply atrocious work by the team overall.
So, back to the OT lineup. Daniel Theis, Carsen Edwards, Brad Wanamaker, Semi Ojeleye and Javonte Green were your guys. At least that is what I recall since I don’t even want to go back and confirm it was specifically all of them.
As much as I love myself some Danny Theis, this unit may have trouble beating an over-50 team at the local YMCA.
Hyperbole, I know. But you get my point.
There needed to be some veteran depth bench moves made by GM Danny Ainge at the trade deadline a ways back. And he didn’t get it done. We’ve written about that. But this just proves it.
As well as that Friday night atrocity against the Utah Jazz at home. No Brown or Gordo. And limited Kemba. But when you are forced to throw Wanamaker out there in crunch time and watch him throw up wide open bricks, including an airball, then you should know you have a problem.
Wanamaker was something like -25 in 26 minutes. That’s hard to do on a good team.
Sure, once everyone is healthy, the C’s should be competitive. But not enough for a championship, in my opinion.
I am beginning to think that Ainge and Stevens knew this. And didn’t want to overpay for anyone at the deadline. See which, if any, of the kids pan out, see if Gordo opts out after this season…then make appropriate moves over the summer to form a REAL contender.
Wouldn’t make them bad guys or even wrong.
But frustrating, nonetheless…
Speaking of turkeys, one non-football note (about time?) before we dive into the New England Patriots and then the three Thanksgiving Day games.
Kyrie Irving is coming back to Boston tonight. Oh wait, nevermind. He’s out with a shoulder injury. BIG surprise.
Kidding, of course. Kyrie has actually missed several games, so it’s not like he is ducking Boston. That would be hard to do over the course of a long NBA season.
When healthy, Kyrie is lighting up Brooklyn. But who else do they have? Kevin Durant? Sure, but not this season. Spencer Dinwiddie can apparently play. But what else? Joe Harris?
So, of course, he is going to have monster numbers. I mean, he is truly a great player for sure, there has never been any debate on that.
But I think most people have noticed the turnaround (thus far) in Boston this season. The Celtics are 12-4. Yup, it’s early and there is a loooooong way to go. It’s also worth noting that the Nets are 9-8…but something like 5-1 without Irving. Nice.
Sure, Kyrie wasn’t the only player leaving Boston after last season. But I find it hard to believe that Al Horford or Aron Baynes caused any locker room turmoil. Marcus Morris? Perhaps…he is kind of a hothead. Terry Rozier too, but as a part-time player, we can’t really say he led the charge or anything.
It’s all about Kyrie.
The players seem different on the floor as well. The whole thing is obvious. Of course, it hasn’t hurt that Gordon Hayward seemed to get back to his previous self before missing some games with a different, and lesser, malady. And the younger guys have taken a step up as well.
But the general feeling cannot be mistaken.
It’s just awesome to see the Nets winning without Kyrie, while the Celtics come off a West Coast trip, don’t have Kemba Walker, Hayward (and Daniel Theis, if you will), have to play dudes like Semi Ojeleye and Tremont Waters 20 minutes plus and still win their game.
We said it here at the time: Good riddance.
And…the most laughable thing I have heard in recent days is “will Kyrie get a tribute video?”
SERIOUSLY??! FOR WHAT??! Two years of a bad attitude and “leading” an underachieving team?
Listen, Isaiah Thomas wasn’t here all that long either. But he absolutely deserved a tribute video upon his return. 100 percent.
Ok, back to football and the Patriots.
Though I am not sure I have anything to add on them.
I mean, it was certainly a nice win against Dallas on Sunday. But what did we learn?
The game was played in a monsoon. It was raining sideways. Wind. All that.
The defense sure played well. The offense still needs some work. But if this game is played in better conditions, do the Cowboys score many more points? Wouldn’t surprise me. That’s why I am not sure I can put much stock into this game.
What did we learn about the kid wide receivers? Not sure there either. Jakobi Meyers and N’Keal Harry had their moments…both good and bad. Isn’t that to be expected though?
I am glad that they played basically the whole game, however. How can the experience hurt?
Nice win at home against a fairly decent team in less than ideal conditions.
But that’s all I’m taking from it.
Chicago (-2.5) at Detroit
The Bears probably think they have a shot at the playoffs still, while the Lions lost to Washington last week. ‘Nuff said.
Chicago 20, Detroit 10.
Buffalo at Dallas (-6.5)
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is pissed off. About time! He should have fired coach Jason Garrett years ago. Not sure he picked the right time to sound off a little here, after those conditions last week, but better late than never I suppose. That being said, I expect the ‘Boys to bounce back at home on Turkey Day. The Bills are 8-3, but I am still not buying into any of that nonsense.
Dallas 27, Buffalo 13.
New Orleans (-6.5) at Atlanta
The Saints should have lost to Carolina last week. They amazingly got smoked by these same Falcons three weeks ago…at home. New Orleans is 3-1 since Drew Brees’ return, but things have been seemingly a little uneven. The Falcons seemed to be a little resurgent after that win at the Superdome, but then got hammered last week by an extremely average Tampa Bay team. Combine that with my track record this season, well, who the hell knows? But I am thinking that the Saints return the favor in Atlanta.
New Orleans 38, Atlanta 24.
Week (against the spread): 7-7
Week (straight up): 8-6
Lock Of The Week (season, ATS): 5-7
Season (against the spread): 87-89
Season (straight up): 114-62
Ok, so I’ve had several days to chew (stew?) over the NBA draft that occurred last Thursday. Well, not the draft as a whole. Just the Boston Celtics performance throughout it.
As usual, the delay in commenting is partly by design. Part laziness of course. Maybe part “life getting in the way” too. But definitely some by design. And that can be a good thing in cases such as this. Because Thursday night I was furious. And now? Not as much. Disappointed? Yup. But I’ve certainly cooled off quite a bit.
That’s because Kevin Durant is coming to Boston!! Haha…no, I still believe that has zero chance of happening. It’s great that they are one of the 6 teams that will get a meeting with him. But maybe that’s only because Ainge has been trying to schmooze KD’s Mom for quite some time and Kevin is just doing a solid for Danny…or something like that. But in any event, it’s hard to believe he would come to the Celtics over the other teams, specifically the teams from the West. Still feel like he isn’t leaving Oklahoma City. We’ll find out soon enough, but I digress…
To recap briefly, with their 8 picks, the C’s took 6 bodies and traded 2 of the picks for a protected (1-14) 2019 first round pick or a protected (1-14) 2020 first round pick or a 2022 second round pick from the Los Angeles Clippers. 2022 is a long ways away, but it looks like it may be the 2nd rounder. Whatever. More on that later.
Most of the locals thought the Celts would trade their first pick at #3 overall. After all, it was supposed to be a 2-person draft in Ben Simmons and Brandon Ingram. After that, maybe from 3-8 you could get some pretty good talent still, but no one had a consensus of which order they would go in and what each of those players’ upsides may be. Lots of question marks. Many also thought a trade was a given because of all the rumors swirling around and the long-standing promise by C’s management of “fireworks” and all that nonsense.
Of course, if you have the #3 pick in what is considered a “2-person draft”, well, that can impact the value of that pick…thank you, Captain Obvious. But I think the fans were buoyed by the fact that rumors were rampant. Not that one is supposed to believe any and all rumors out there on the mill. But where there is smoke there is fire. If you hear enough rumors, maybe one will come true. And I think most of us were hanging our hats on that.
The one that got a lot of us, maybe most of us, including definitely myself, were the rumors with Philly. The Sixers have plenty of big men and were set to take Simmons. The C’s have plenty of guards. The Sixers lacked guards. The C’s lack big men. It looked like a perfect match.
As the week went on, as a C’s fan, you hoped they could pry Jahlil Okafor or Nerlens Noel for the #3 pick alone. You thought the Sixers would want more. As draft time moved closer, you heard that Danny wanted one of those two for the pick, but he also wanted Philly to sweeten the pot. Then after the draft you heard Philly offered Noel, picks #24 & #26 and Robert Covington for the #3 pick alone. But Ainge wanted next year’s Philly first round protected Los Angeles Lakers’ pick and Noel for the #3. Blah, blah, blah…and nothing happened.
I don’t blame Philly for balking on next years’ pick. But I wonder why Danny didn’t take Noel, Covington and the picks? The picks were low, I get it…but there’s your 2 foreign guys you actually took this year, if you wish. Noel should be an upgrade down low and Covington is useful. Seems like it may be fair enough…from my observation anyway. But maybe Noel is overrated…according to people more connected to the league than I am…and therefore likely more knowledgeable as well.
Was Ainge thinking he could’ve done better with that pick? I don’t know. Apparently, the Chicago Bulls were asking for all 3 first rounders, next year’s Brooklyn pick (likely a good one also), Jae Crowder, Marcus Smart and Avery Bradley all for Jimmy Butler. Yikes! Glad they didn’t do that one. I’m pretty sure anyway. You would also have to think there was some team out there that liked one of the players from 3-8 and they may have been trying to make a last-minute push to land at #3. Sure, no one was going to ridiculously overpay to move to #3. But you have to believe there were more offers out there. And Danny obviously stood pat.
In any event, the Celtics took Jaylen Brown at #3. Underwhelming, to say the least. When it became apparent that they were keeping him, that’s when I was pretty aggravated. Angry, actually. Celtics fans were clearly feeling the same, judging by the negative response…everywhere…and by the booing of co-owner Wyc Grousbeck at the Celtics draft party when he announced the pick. Ouch.
Brown may be a helluva player. And a model citizen to boot. But he’s 19 years old. Unproven. Among other things. The reports on him are that he COULD develop into a stud…but right now he can’t shoot. Ummmm…WHAT?! The C’s need big men and shooters. Brown is neither. If you can’t shoot at 19, presumably after hoisting up thousands and thousands of shots as practice throughout all your youth, can you really learn to shoot as you get older? And he is the crown jewel of their draft. Yuck…I think…
Then the 2 foreign dudes, at #16, Geurschon Yabusele (who?) and Ante Zizic at #23. A lot of “experts” actually had Zizic in that very spot, so maybe he is ok, but no one has ever heard of Yabusele I don’t think. Not that high in the draft anyway. If they both stay overseas, how does that help the team next year?
I normally don’t care about 2nd rounders, but #31 and #35 are kind of high. Great players like Draymond Green and DeAndre Jordan have fallen to this area in the past. So the trade irked me that night as well. I have no idea if Deyonta Davis can play even a lick. But seeing that he was a lottery consideration at one point, and a big guy the C’s need, when he went at #31, it got me a little riled up. Rade Zagoric at #35? No clue. But there could’ve been another flyer taken on someone with potential there, even if it wasn’t Zagoric specifically.
Then you could have given away the later 3 picks if you wished. Though some thought the C’s did well to get Demetrius Jackson and Ben Bentil with 2 of them.
So to make a short story long, the masses, myself included, were hoping to land an established star for the pick, obviously with the Celtics adding other assets to get that star. And instead, all we got was a 19-year-old kid, 2 foreign guys that may stay overseas and maybe a 2022 draft pick. Oh, and some probable roster filler.
No wonder we were all sour, when you put it that way.
BUT, I have kind of changed my tune on it…at least a little. Why? Well, allow me to explain!
In the next post…