Tag Archives: Portland Trailblazers

Weekly Nickel 7-2-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Tiger Woods (pictured above) leapfrogged Jack Nicklaus with PGA Tour win number 74 yesterday.

By Josh Kramer

Spain took their place among the elite teams in soccer history this weekend after taking home a third consecutive major title.  Wimbledon has had a March Madness type of feel with Venus Williams exiting in Round 1 and Rafael Nadal going down in Round 2.  Brad Keselowski was the king of the Kentucky Speedway.  And the “Dwight Howard Soap Opera” has opened up Season 2.  Last week was a great one, but this week will be jam-packed in its own right.  Here are the events to keep an eye on.

5.  Kentucky Speedway got it right this year.  Brad Keselowski was a happy man on Saturday night as he moved into 10th in the Sprint Cup Standings.  Now the NASCAAR crew heads to Daytona to see who can take home the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Daytona.  David Ragan came out victorious last year at this event, while the current leader of the Spring Cup Standings, Matt Kenseth, finished second.

4.  Tiger Woods is back in the building.  Or at least in the win column.  Woods has leapfrogged Jack Nicklaus in terms of PGA Tour wins and now ranks second all time at 74.  I am not going to get carried away though.  He is still out in the “Woods” in my eyes and the Tiger we once knew will never return.  Next stop, White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia for the Greenbrier Classic. Continue reading

NBA Mid-Season Awards

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Chris Paul (pictured above) has made "Lob City" possible and turned the Clippers into a contender. He is also Wesley Kaminsky's pick for the MVP thus far.

By Wesley Kaminsky

With half of the condensed season done, the NBA world has seen everything from the Clippers becoming relevant to the legend of Jeremy Lin, also known as “Linsanity.” For NBA fanatics, this season has been fantastic, as there are games on every night. With a much-needed All-Star break coming up for the players, who is making the biggest impact this season? Here are my mid-season awards.

MVP: Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers:

Look, the obvious choice for the MVP award this season is LeBron James, who has been simply sensational from Day 1. He’s averaging 27.6 points, 8 rebounds, and 6.8 assists per game. He’s also on the team that has the best record in basketball. Having said that, he doesn’t get my vote. Chris Paul does. Paul inherited a 32-50 Clipper team and has turned them into a contender. At 20-11, the Clippers are sitting atop the Pacific Division, with Paul averaging 19.2 points and 8.6 assists per game. He has been the catalyst all season long and is the main reason why the Clippers are for once relevant. I continue to try to make my case that on a team that features both LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, neither of them should win the MVP award. Continue reading

“Weekly Nickel”

This is the big week for ESPN NFL Draft gurus Mel Kiper (left) and Todd McShay (right). You will be hearing these two go at it all week and into the weekend.

It is another Monday in the wide world of sports.  We have a stellar week ahead full of exciting action across the board.  Lets take a look at what the key events of the upcoming week will be. Continue reading

“Fairy Tale Ending”

Portland Trailblazer's star Brandon Roy (pictured above) was back to his old tricks yesterday in leading Portland to a huge Game 4 victory over Dallas.

I will admit that I am not typically the fairy tale guru.  I also am not the type of guy that likes to cry at cliché moments or during tear jerker movies.  But yesterday in Portland, was truly a thing of beauty regardless of if you are a fan of the Trailblazers, the Mavericks, or some other NBA team. Continue reading

“Are the West’s 5-8 that Great?”

Allan Houston (pictured above) played a key role in helping lead the 8th seeded New York Knicks to the 1999 NBA Finals. Do not expect the Memphis Grizzlies, despite a big time win today, to roll all the way to the Finals. But the Western Conferences 5 through 8 teams are pretty solid.

2 shockers already on this first Sunday of the NBA Playoffs.  The top 2 seeds in the Western Conference went down at home.  Could the Spurs and Lakers legitimately lose these series and turn the NBA Playoffs into April/May Madness?  It would be totally awesome with a capital A, but it will not happen. Continue reading

“NBA Playoff Preview”

As I predicted in the preseason, I am taking Kobe, Phil, and the Lakers to complete the 3-peat with another amazing playoff run. Will this be the end of the line for Phil Jackson?

The grueling 82 game regular season is finally over and playoff time is upon us.  Most casual fans do not invest a heavy interest in the regular season, but come playoff time, the NBA takes center stage.  There is no questioning the effort of these amazing basketball players at this time of year.  It is all or nothing.  This is where the men are separated from the boys.  As promised, I am going to provide my predictions on how this year’s postseason will play out. Continue reading

“NBA Awards”

 
 

Many have Chicago Bulls Head Coach Tom Thibodeau (pictured above) tabbed as the NBA's Coach of the Year. Our very own Grant Freking is one of those people.

Grant Freking is a Lantern (OSU Newspaper) sports writer. Ology magazine managing editor. OSU football featured columnist for Bleacher Report. High school football reporter for Newark Advocate.  You can follow him on Twitter @GrantFreking.

MVP: Derrick Rose

A case, and a strong one at that, can be made for Dwight Howard. My main problem with that is I don’t believe Howard gives it everything he has on every night. How can the leader of a team, let alone the MVP of the NBA, not be stuck in overdrive every night? Rose’s effort and commitment will never be questioned.

Coach of the Year: Tom Thibodeau

He got a quiet point guard, a big-contract power forward, a mercurial center and a bench full of both young pups and old dogs to play as a unit and more importantly, morph into the league’s best defensive team. And they won the East. A golf clap for Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau is in order. Continue reading

“Weekly Nickel”

The Final Four will be the top sporting event of the week, but Major League Baseball Opening Day on Thursday is not far behind at number 2.

After the week that just ensued, it would be hard to imagine a more exciting week in the wide world of sports.  But this week will be a good one.  All capped off will the Final Four Showdown in Houston.

Here is this week’s top 5. Continue reading

“Weekly Nickel”

One of the NBA's All Time Greatest Coaches, Jerry Sloan (pictured above), has the Jazz at the top of the West. Are the Jazz a real deal contender?

The College Football regular season is all but finished.  People got their dream BCS National Championship which will pit Auburn versus Oregon.  Also, people got to see the Steelers go to work last evening and they once again showed America that all they do is “Win, Win, Win, Win.”  So I will admit, this week will be a little weird without a full slate of College Football games.  It is the first time since early September actually.

But here is a look into the excitement in store for this upcoming week.

5.  In the NHL, the season is slightly past the quarter marker, and the League’s two best players seem to be leading their teams to an epic Eastern Conference Finals Showdown.  Tune in this week and watch Pittsburgh and Washington continue to ride their stars toward deep playoff runs.

4.  Jayson Werth has signed with the Nationals.  Lance Berkman will return to the NL Central, but this time as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals. The Captain will remain in the Pinstripes for at least 3 more years.  And the Red Sox are on the cusp of a major deal.  Could Adrian Gonzalez land in Boston?  This will be a huge pickup for the Bo Sox and really aid in picking up their offensive production.  The million dollar question still remains though.  Where is Cliff Lee, Mr. October himself, going to end up?  Also there is a guy named Carl Crawford that can run a little bit who is available out of Tampa.

3.  College Basketball is starting to heat up as teams continue to prep for big time conference play.  There are a good few major non conference matchups.  Here is a closer look.

Tuesday:

Memphis at Kansas:  This duel between top 20 foes should be very exciting.  In this rematch of the National Title Game of a few years ago, each squad looks to make a major statement and pick up a big time non conference win.  It is a shame that Kansas Freshman phenom Josh Selby will not be eligible for this one.

Michigan State at Syracuse:  A matchup between two of College Basketball perennial forces.  Two programs that have really been at the forefront of the game for the past decade.  Also, these are two programs led by two of the best coaches in America.  Which squad will come out victorious as each not only fights for a big non conference win and to maintain their top ten ranking, but each are looking to make a statement about their conference.  This game should help in the debate about which conference is the best in America, the Big Ten, or the Big East.

Wednesday:

Notre Dame vs Kentucky:  What a game this should be.  Notre Dame has been a pleasant surprise so far and looks to maintain their undefeated record vs their first ranked opponent of the season.  Sadly for the Fighting Irish, they get to take on a Kentucky team that is coming off a heartbreaking loss at the hands of the Tar Heels.  This should be a very high scoring affair between two teams that can really put the ball in the basket.

Thursday:

Butler at Xavier:  A matchup between the two top “Mid Major” programs in America.  So what if both teams are off to a slower start out of the gates than most expected.  Both teams always find a way to sneak into March, and I expect nothing different this year.  Also last year, Butler beat the Musketeers on one of the most controversial calls I have ever witnessed in my life.  Will the Muskies have lady luck on their side this time and pick up a much-needed non conference victory over a solid opponent?  The home court advantage could really help XU in this one.

Saturday:

Tennessee at Pittsburgh:  A game that pits two top 20, undefeated squads.  The Vols have looked awesome thus far and already have knocked off a top 10 Big East foe this year.  Freshman, Tobias Harris, and seasoned vet Scotty Hopson have been simply awesome in the early going.  Can Pittsburgh continue to ride their very experienced group and amazing rebounding ability to another big time non conference victory?  This game should be close from start to finish.

2.  The NBA Bus rolls on.  The Knicks are over 500 and have won 4 straight games.  Plus the team that was “too old,” San Antonio, sports the League’s best record.  It is the NBA and you got to love it.

Some of the marquee matchups for the week.

Monday:

Oklahoma City at Chicago:  Two of the League’s best teams go to war in the Windy City.  Who is a better young point guard, Russell Westbrook or Derrick Rose?  Take your pick because both guys are capable of taking over a ball game at any time.

Wednesday:

Miami at Utah:  The South Beach Show travels to Utah to take on a surprise Utah team that is really showing the power of team basketball.  Jerry Sloan is one of the League’s all time great coaches, and this year, he is putting on one of his best performances. 

Thursday:

Orlando at Portland:  Yes, I realize that Portland is under 500, but they are always dangerous.  The year is still young, and Portland could really gain some confidence in knocking off the team sporting the 2nd best record in the Eastern Conference.

Friday:

Los Angeles Lakers at Chicago:  It is always fun to watch two first place teams get together.  Neither of these teams are off to as stellar of a start as expected, but both are definite contenders in their respective conferences.  Look for Kobe to provide some fireworks in this one.

Atlanta at San Antonio:  Can the talented boys out of ATL show the “old men” of San Antonio a lesson?  San Antonio has been outstanding all season and are really a remarkable story.

Orlando at Utah:  Two of the League’s best go to battle in Salt Lake City.  This is a definite game that I would love to tune in and watch.  Could this be a possible preview of the Finals?

Saturday:

Utah at Dallas:  Both of these mainstays in the West continue to win each and every  year.  It never gets old watching two of the best and most consistent franchises in basketball go head to head.

1.  We enter Week 14 of the NFL Season.  Real football weather is here.  And all teams are getting ready for the stretch run.  Next week’s lineup features two great matchups. 

New England at Chicago:  Two of the best teams meet at Soldier Field.  I will tell you that I would much rather watch this one from the couch.  It will be bitterly cold.

Kansas City at San Diego:  The amazing AFC West race continues.  Can the Chargers rebound and pick up a must win vs KC?

So there you have events to look for regarding the sporting stratosphere for this week.  Make sure to take it all in.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze

“Weekly Nickel”

Thus far this season, Cowboy's Owner, Jerry Jones (pictured above), has not done much smiling or clapping. Is a fire sale on the way out of the Big D?

The “Weekly Nickel” is back and ready to provide you with the top 5 happenings in sports for the upcoming week.  What a week last week was. And what a week this promises to be.

5.  A fire sale in Dallas?  Keep a keen eye on “America’s Team” after a humiliating 45 to 7 loss at the hands of Green Bay in the Sunday Night game.  The heavy favorites in the NFC East now sit at 1 and 7.  The actions of Jerry Jones should provide for much entertainment.  Also keep an eye on Minnesota to see what happens to Brad Childress.  These should both be fun storylines to follow.

4.  The World Series is over.  And you know what that means.  Free Agency has begun! Some of the big names out there are Cliff Lee, Carl Crawford, Adrian Beltre, and Jayson Werth.  Also there is a guy they call “The Captain,” Derek Jeter, that is on the open market.  Will Jeter remain in Pinstripes?  All eyes are always on the Yankees during free agency and rightfully so.  Make your move.

3.  The NBA treks on highlighted by 3 major matchups this week.  Tonight, the two leaders in the Southeast Division square off in Orlando for divisional supremacy.  Can the Hawks remain atop the Southeast over the Magic?  Then fast forward to Thursday.  The two favorites in the East, the Celtics and Heat square off for Round 2 in Miami.  Can the Heat redeem themselves after an embarrassing loss in the opener?  Then finally on Friday, arguably the two most exciting young teams in the League do battle in Oklahoma City.  The Trailblazers take on the Thunder in a matchup that nobody will want to miss.  I love this game.

2.  Gridiron play continues at the Collegiate Level. Though there are not too many marquee matchups between ranked foes in the Week 11 College Football stratosphere, this is the time of year where there are upsets galore.  So pay close attention and expect ranked teams to go down. 

1. The NFL is entering Week 10.  There are two big time matchups in my eyes.  The week starts with a bang with the first Thursday night game of the year in Atlanta.  AFC North leading Baltimore heads down to Georgia to take on the NFC South leading Falcons.  These are arguably the two best teams in their respective conferences.  Super Bowl preview?  It’s a possibility.  The other major matchup occurs in the Monday Night Game.  In an NFC East rumble, the Eagles fly to the Nation’s Capital to take on their old savior Donovan Mcnabb.  Can Vick provide more fireworks?

So there you have it.  What a week we have in store.  Great football, great basketball, and of course the business of baseball unfolding before our very eyes.  It does not get any better.

Let me hear your thoughts.  What is your version of the “Weekly Nickel” or do you agree with mine?

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze