OK, everything is in order and I'm ready to get back at this blogging thing. I want to thank EVERYBODY for their kind words and e-mails. But I've missed a lot since early January, so I've got some ground to catch up on.....
Let's go pro first, shall we?
Raise your hand if you wrote the Cavaliers off for dead. OK, everybody put your hands down now.
After a meh November and an absolutely horrifying December, the Cavs are looking like the strongest team in the NBA right now. They've now won 13 of their last 17 games, and they even looked strong in three of those four losses. Hell, they even came close to winning on the road in Seattle last night without LeBron James on the court.
Currently occupying the 4th seed in the Eastern Conference, the Cavs have managed to get the critics off their backs by....well, let's be honest, they're fucking scary right now.
If you want to see how good they are, look at last week's Lakers game. They started the game without Sasha Pavlovic, Anderson Varejao went down with a bad injury in the 3rd quarter, and Zadrunas Ilgauskas fouled out midway through the 4th quarter. You put those together, and you're usually going to lose. Plus, it was being played IN Los Angeles against a Lakers team that is playing like they FINALLY should be.
But the Cavs made Kobe Bryant look like a fool with a stifling defense late in the game, and LeBron was clutch down the stretch, adding up to a 3-point victory in the Staples Center.
Oh, and by the way, if you have front-row seats to a game against the Cavs on the road...PLEASE taunt LeBron during the game. Go ahead. See what happens.
As for the injuries to Varejao and Pavlovic, we're going to have a rough time while they're out, but we should have AV back around February 20th, and Pavs back in late March. That'll mean that we get the full team back on the court with three weeks to tune things up for the playoffs.
And if you're wondering, the Cavs first fielded a full team in the second week of December...about three weeks before they gelled into the team that has rattled off 13 of their last 17.
The Super Bowl
When the Giants kicked the field goal to beat the Packers, I said "worst Super Bowl ever". Frankly, I still believe it.
Yes, I know the Giants have played awesome football in the playoffs. The week off will destroy them. They just don't have the talent to win this game on momentum anyway, and now that's gone, so who cares?
Yes, I know the Patriots have looked weaker the past month. They're not playing a cold-weather game this weekend though. They seem to be weaker in those games. Plus, they're not going to get rattled by the media frenzy in this game. They've been in this spotlight over and over again.
As much as I want to see Bill Belichick and Tom Brady and Randy Moss die a slow painful miserable death on the field, it ain't gonna happen. Maybe their bus will get lost on the way to the game this Sunday.
And if not....hey, at least Mike Vrabel gets another ring, huh? How bout that?
Ohio State basketball
Damn...imagine what we'd be if the NBA had the same age rule as the NFL. We'd have Mike Conley Jr. and Greg Oden on this team. Would we be 21-0 instead of 15-6? Absolutely.
But that's fantasy, and besides...what the hell is so bad about 15-6? The Buckeyes have looked great at times (beating Syracuse and Florida), and have looked rough around the edges at times (the whole second half against both A&M and Butler...did we send the same guys on the floor as in the first half?).
But I can honestly say that of the six games we lost, I think we probably should have lost. Take a look at this week's rankings....here's who our six losses are to;
- #4 North Carolina (19-1)
- #7 Tennessee (17-2)
- #8 Michigan State (18-2)
- #12 Butler (19-2)
- #23 Texas A&M (16-4)
- Purdue (16-5)
All of those teams will be in the NCAA tournament. Three of those teams have an excellent shot at being a #1 seed, and four of them are leading their own conference (it'd be five, but Duke has a half-game lead on UNC).
Realistically, we're going to need 22 wins to get into the NCAAs. Most teams would not get in with 22, but in order for Ohio State to get to that number, we will NEED to get at least 2 "quality wins". So we need to get 7 more wins, and we have 11 games to do it (but we could have up to 13 chances as we advance in the Big Ten Tournament).
Here's the remainder of the schedule...I think this looks like an NCAA bid for us, but see if you agree with me;
- @ Iowa (10-12)
- Michigan (5-16)
- Indiana (17-3)
- @ Northwestern (7-11)
- @ Michigan (5-16)
- Wisconsin (17-3)
- @ Indiana (17-3)
- @ Minnesota (13-6)
- Purdue (16-5)
- Michigan State (19-2)
- @ 2008 Big Ten Tournament
Four games are "must wins" (@ Iowa, @ Northwestern, @ Michigan, Michigan).
One game is a "should win" (@ Minnesota)
Of the five difficult games, four of them are at the Schottenstein Center (Indiana, Wisconsin, Purdue, and Michigan State). Win two of those five games, and you've got up to four quality wins and your 22-win season. And that's even before the Big Ten tournament.
This team is going to end up between 19 and 25 wins. 19 gets you a nice shiny NIT bid. 25 gets you a top 4 seed in the NCAAs.
Let's see what the boys are made of.
Oh, and by the way...Memphis is ranked #1 at 20-0. Last team to beat them?
One last item....hat tip goes to Boiled Sports for this one.....here, in all his douchebaggery, is Chris Berman.
Hey, Chris...you've worked in TV for a long time. How about YOU learn to concentrate and let everybody else do THEIR jobs? As long as they don't wander onto the set and get on camera, what the fuck do YOU care? Concentrate, tubby!