Tag:Mario Chalmers
Posted on: November 12, 2011 9:04 pm
Edited on: November 12, 2011 10:03 pm
 

Heat to waive Mike Miller with amnesty clause?

Posted by Ben Gollivermike-miller

Will it be one-and-done for Miami Heat forward Mike Miller?

Miller represented the final piece of the Heat's free agent puzzle bonanza during the summer of 2010, hopping aboard after guard Dwyane Wade re-signed and forwards LeBron James and Chris Both took their talents to South Beach.

Targeted as a floor-spacing shooter and all-around team guy, Miller dealt with injuries throughout the 2010-2011 season and never had the impact his 5-year, $30 million contract demanded.

This week, the Sun-Sentinel reports that Miller has put his Miami mansion on the market, listing it for $9 million, and is openly discussing the possibility that he might be waived by the Heat using the amnesty clause that is expected to be a part of the new collective bargaining agreement.
The veteran forward said Wednesday he is just taking stock of the current situation in both his career and the NBA. And that means taking stock of his 9,968-square-foot estate with the $180,000 in annual property taxes.

"It's a couple of things," Miller said. "Just preparing myself; never know what can happen."

"If anything happens with the amnesty, this is just going to be a business decision and I can respect that," he said. "Teams will only get one opportunity to use it. I can respect that part of it."
The Heat face two questions with regard to Miller and the amnesty clause. Do they amnesty him? And, if so, when? Remember, the current amnesty clause proposal would let a team use it at any apoint during the next two seasons and potentially for the duration of any current contracts. In other words, the decision wouldn't need to be made immediately.

Besides Wade, James and Bosh, the Heat have just three players under contract that can meaningfully contribute: Miller, forward Udonis Haslem and center Joel Anthony. Point guard Mario Chalmers is a restricted free agent and could return to the team as well. The Heat will also have a mid-level exception to play with, and they figure to use that to beef up their frontcourt depth. So, at most, that's a core of eight players (including the MLE target) plus a whole lot of youngsters and minimum salary players to fill out the roster. The Heat are stretched thin with Miller; without him, they would be stretched really thin.

While Miller didn't live up to his contract last year, finances alone aren't the major concern in any amnesty decision, as using it would require Heat owner Micky Arison to pay Miller the balance of his salary and settle for zero on-court production in return. Waiving Miller now would be all about reducing the payroll to free up salary cap flexibility, but it's not totally clear yet how helpful shedding his salary will be. If the Heat do retain Chalmers and use their mid-level exception, they will be fairly close to the luxury tax line, and probably above it, even if they waive Miller. They'll be paying out big dollars with or without him, an eventuality that Arison seems to have no problem with. 

There is talk, however, that the value of a mid-level exception would be significantly smaller for luxury tax paying teams than for non tax-payers. If this winds up being true, keeping Miller and re-signing Chalmers could put Miami in the luxury tax and, theoretically, could limit their potential targets in free agency by reducing the total dollar amount Miami is able to offer with their mid-level. In other words, if Miller is cast out immediately it's likely to happen so that Miami can bring in a full mid-level free agent who can play meaningful minutes and wouldn't settle for the smaller mid-level available to luxury tax payers. (Note: The specific mechanics for what would be available to Miami, and when, will not be set in stone until a new CBA is reached.)

Let's not lose sight of the fact that it's a virtual guarantee that Miller has a better season in 2011-2012 than he did in 2010-2011. He played a career-low in games last year and averaged career-lows in minutes, points and assists. He's still just 31; he's primed for a bounceback campaign in one form or another. Even if he underperforms his past peak production, he's only on the books for $5.4 million, so it will be very difficult for him to be outrageously overpaid unless he can't physically take the court. On paper, he's still the same versatile, intelligent perimeter threat that can serve as an outlet for Wade and James. If Miller goes, Miami would need to address the hole he leaves and they will need to pay to do so.

An attractive option, then, would be to simply punt on the Miller decision. While Miller is on the books officially for $24 million over four more years, Miami essentially has a team option for $5.4 million thanks to the amnesty clause. Waiting until next season to execise the amnesty would give Miami another year to show why he was a top Heat target in 2010 and to see if the developed chemistry between the Big 3 and their supporting pieces that was often on display during playoff series victories over the Boston Celtics and Chicago Bulls can be realized in the sequel season. If injury does strike again, Miami could always amnesty Miller prior to the 2012-2013 season and go mid-level exception hunting at that time. 

The least risky play for Miami, then, is to give Miller a swan song, bring back Chalmers (unless his price is really stepp), and get the best big man they can find with the mid-level, regardless of whether they are able to use a normal mid-level or a reduced luxury tax payer mid-level. If the season does wind up starting sooner rather than later, maintaining continuity from last season and keeping their options open going forward would seem to be the prudent play during a crunched free agency period and a shortened season.

Miller is smart to list his house for sale so that he has a jumpstart if things go south for him in South Beach. But there's still a decent chance he's back for redemption with the Heat whenever the lockout ends.
Posted on: November 5, 2011 10:54 pm
Edited on: November 5, 2011 11:19 pm
 

Indy charity game canceled due to possible deal?

Posted by Ben Gollivernba-lockout

If we weren't so desperate for good news in the ongoing NBA labor negotiations, and if it wasn't such an obvious excuse, the following would qualify as genuinely exciting. But we are desperate, and it is an obvious excuse, so you'll just have to judge for yourself.

Miami Heat guard Mario Chalmers, who is set to become a free agent, organized a charity game to be played in New Castle, Indiana. Where is that? Who knows. Chalmers, probably, but that's about it. But less than 24 hours before tipoff, organizers sent out a press release saying that the game was canceled because of the NBA lockout.

Due to the uncertainty of the outcome of today’s meeting in New York City, many of the professional players scheduled to participate in tomorrow’s (Sunday, Nov. 6) “King of the Castle” match-up in New Castle, IN were advised to prepare for the NBA and NBPA reaching an agreement; leading to today’s cancellation. 

Carlos Knox and Mario Chalmers, organizers of the charity game, issued the following statement: “We hate that we have had to cancel the game and disappoint so many Indiana basketball fans.  It is our hope that we will be able to find a way to show our appreciation to Mike Bergum, New Castle Chrysler High School, and the City of New Castle, IN for their support and hospitality.”

Carlos Knox, Founder of the Knox Indy Pro Am, added, “We were all excited about coming to New Castle and playing in The Fieldhouse.  I hope we will have another opportunity in the future.  Maybe during next summer’s Pro Am.”

Ken Berger of CBSSports.com sends in the following dispatch from New York City.

Despite the tantalizing news release, the spokeswoman for the event told CBSSports.com Saturday night that organizers had no direct information from players or agents that a settlement was imminent in the Saturday night meeting in New York.

"They were all going into it wanting to come to agreement," said Kathryn Jordan of KJ Jordan Consulting. "I wouldn't put a lot of weight on it because guys were being told just to be prepared."

In addition to Mario Chalmers, who helped organize the event, other NBA players who at one time or another were committed to it included John Wall, Brandon Rush, the Morrris twins, Lance Stephenson and Josh McRoberts.

If there's one thing that we've learned during the ongoing NBA lockout, it's that you can blame the ongoing NBA lockout for anything.

If you want to play overseas, blame the lockout. If you want to stop playing overseas, blame the lockout. If you want to slash payroll, blame the lockout. If you want to take a minimum wage job because you're broke, blame the lockout. If you want to go on a world tour, blame the lockout. If you need to cancel a world tour, blame the lockout. Pretty much regardless of the situation that you're in as a player or as an NBA team, you can blame the lockout if things don't go as planned.

The lockout is essentially the worst thing in the world. Everyone agrees about that. Much like politicians blaming the economy or the recession for any decision they make, the lockout is the perfect scapegoat for NBA owners and players, regardless of whether progress in the labor negotiations have been made or not. If serious progress is actually made, then no one in New Castle or anywhere else will care that this charity game is canceled. But if progress isn't actually made and this was a cover for a lack of ticket sales or a failure to deliver enough players to the game or whatever other fate might befall a charity game, then the big, bad lockout is just what the doctor ordered.

It's worth noting that charity games starring NBA players are scheduled to take place in Oregon on Sunday and Utah on Monday. Neither of those games has been canceled yet.
Posted on: June 15, 2011 4:00 pm
Edited on: June 15, 2011 4:17 pm
 

Heat extend qualifying offer to Mario Chalmers

The Miami Heat have extended a qualifying offer to guard Mario Chalmers. Posted by Ben Golliver. mario-chalmers

In a procedural move, the Miami Heat announced on Wednesday that they have extended a qualifying offer to point guard Mario Chalmers. Doing so makes Chalmers a restricted free agent, allowing the Heat to match any offers made to Chalmers.
Chalmers, a 6’2”, 190-pound guard, has appeared in 225 regular season games (132 starts) averaging 7.9 points, 3.7 assists, 2.3 rebounds, 1.45 steals and 26.7 minutes while shooting 40.9 percent from the field, 35 percent from three-point range and 77.8 percent from the foul line. Among Miami’s all-time leaders, he ranks eighth in steals (327), tied for ninth in three-point field goals made (272), 12th in assists (826), 19th in minutes (6,012), tied for 19th in games played (225) and 22nd in three-point field goal percentage (.350).

In 33 career postseason games (eight starts), he averaged 8.1 points, 2.7 assists, 2.1 rebounds, 1.52 steals and 26.4 minutes while shooting 43 percent from the field, 36 percent from three-point range and 75 percent from the foul line. During the 2011 NBA Finals, Chalmers increased his postseason averages in the six-game series against Dallas in points (11.8), assists (3.5), rebounds (2.7), minutes (29.0) and three-point field goal percentage (.400).
Extending a qualifying offer was a no-brainer, considering that the size of the offer is for just $1.1 million. Chalmers, 25, was used off the bench for much of the season but played starter-type minutes and fits pretty nicely alongside the Big Three of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

Without another point guard on the books for next year, one would assume that the Heat are very motivated to keep Chalmers. It's unclear what the market is for his services but given the lack of quality point guards on the market this summer and a weak draft crop, he should elicit some interest. It might be going too far to assume that his return to Miami next season is a foregone conclusion, but it's also difficult to imagine someone offering him so much money that Miami fails to retain him given their positional need and his solid fit.

If I'm Miami, I might explore the option of signing him to a multi-year extension. He's a known quantity, he can be used as a starter or off the bench and he held up fairly well under the spotlight. Surely South Beach -- and the opportunity to compete for multiple titles and revenge the 2011 NBA Finals loss -- would be his preference too. In a normal year, reaching an extension agreement makes all the sense in the world. Given the looming CBA issues, though, who knows.
Posted on: June 14, 2011 12:32 pm
Edited on: June 14, 2011 3:20 pm
 

Heat partied with Mavericks after Game 6?

Posted by Matt Moore

See, when people question their will to win? This is what they're talking about.

Reports surfaced Monday on 790 The Ticket in Miami that some Heat players joined the Mavericks on Sunday night while the new NBA champs partied on South Beach (photos!) after their Game 6 win. One trusted member of Mavs media confirmed that Erick Dampier was one of the Miami members in attendance, along with unnamed others. 

Just so we're clear on this. The Mavs trash-talked you all series long, dashed your title hopes, put even more criticism on your squad, celebrated on your floor and then in your city, and you go party with them? Nice chemistry guys. A few assorted thoughts:

  • The Big Three reportedly were not part of the celebration, but would it surprise you in the slightest if they were? Would that shock you in any way? If LeBron James had gone down there to party with JET, it would have been just more delight for the millions of people that took abject glee in the fall of the Heat and James in particular. It's a good thing they didn't head down there as far as we knew.
  • On the flip side of this, I tried explaining to people how much of this entire process is theatrics. Do the Mavs and Heat organizations like each other? No. Do Dirk and Wade get along? Probably not. But it's not personal, and all of these players consider themselves part of a brotherhood of players. Once the buzzer sounds, most of them are friends with one another. We like to think of these as blood rivalries like the one that existed with the Celtics and Lakers of the 80's but things aren't like that. Kevin Garnett and Kobe Bryant are buds, though they try and keep that one quiet for PR purposes. That said, KG would never celebrate with the team that defeated him.
  • How does one make that decision? "Well, I just lost the NBA Finals. What can I do? I guess I'll go out, since I live in Miami. Hmm. Maybe I should go drink and dance with the guys that just made me look like a group of slugs offensively and shut us down on our own floor. That sounds fun! Surely no one will see me!"
  • There likely won't be repercussions from this for Maimi, but there should be. Players that partake in that kind of behavior shouldn't be allowed to return to the team. Dampier is old enough to where he probably doesn't care, and after so many years in Dallas, you can understand him wanting to see his guys celebrate. But at the same time, one of the Heat's biggest issues this year was chemistry, and having guys who aren't fully committed to the organization is part of that. 
  • It's an insult to Chris Bosh, who was emotionally wrecked after the loss. Say what you want about Bosh, he played his face off in the postseason and wanted to win badly. He cared. 


(HT: BDL via PBT)
Posted on: June 13, 2011 7:45 pm
Edited on: June 13, 2011 8:13 pm
 

Rick Carlisle and strategic believing

Posted by Matt Moore

MIAMI -- The word "believe" is one that pretty much passes through me these days. I mean, it couldn't get more cliche, could it? It's said so often in sports, it has the same impact as "points" or "effort." It's nothing more than an overused phrase that players and coaches use to deflect the conversation into the most bland terms. It doesn't actually mean anything. 

Right?

All series long, all  playoffs long, all season long,  Carlisle has preached the word "believe." When asked about their resiliency in coming back from fourth-quarter deficits time and time again, Carlisle would talk about how the team believed. When facing a 2-1 deficit going into Game 4 against the Heat, Carlisle said they needed to believe in themselves. And each time I rolled my eyes. They don't actually think this. It's about strategic adjustments, and about focus.

Right?

But then there's Shawn Marion, screaming his face off in a tiny visitor's locker room that reeks of sweat and stale champagne, running his mouth constantly but pausing to talk about Carlisle.

"Coach just told us to keep believing in ourselves," Marion said, "and that's what we did. We believed in this team." 

Then there's Ian Mahinmi, basking in the glow of finally contributing in a meaningful way on his way to a championship, just two years after he left the NBA D-League. I asked him what it was that gave Carlisle the ability to get all these role players, to get every single player to be ready to go full bore and make the right plays at a moment's notice. 

"He just kept telling us to believe in ourselves. Going into a game like this, there's so much pressure, you don't want to be the one to make a mistake, and he just kept telling me how much he believed in what I could do."

The tenth guy on the roster, and he's ready to go because Carlisle had him believing it. Carlisle was asked by a bombastic reporter to talk himself up after Game 4 and simply laughed the question off. He refused to take any credit, even after it was his strategic decisions that helped the Mavericks shut down the best talent in the league, even after it was his motivational work that got a team of players who are quite honestly old to be the first to the ball every time. Carlisle still wouldn't take his bow. 

Carlisle in his post-game comments credited "the collective toughness" of his team, Dirk Nowitkzi, Jason Terry, Jason Kidd, Ian Mahinmi, Brian Cardinal, ownership, everyone but himself.  The man had just finished off one of the best postseasons of any coach since the turn of the century, and done it with an aging roster and using players like a 5-10 (if that) former D-League player and a throwaway from the Caron Butler trade (oh, yeah, and Butler was injured). And he still wouldn't take credit. 

Don't be mistaken, Carlisle's tactical adjustments were the key to this series. Starting J.J. Barea and providing that initial burst of speed allowing Stevenson to guard James late as a backup to Marion and putting together a pick and roll defense strategy against one of the best combinations of talent this league has ever seen, those are the strategic elements that brought the Mavs the title. They were always going to get an amazing performance from Dirk Nowitzki

There was a possession in the second quarter of Game 6. After Tyson Chandler beat his man once again to the offensive rebound and the possession reset, Jason Kidd went around a wing pick, and when the double came, immediately slung the ball to J.J. Barea. For the Heat, or most teams, really, this is either a contested three from Barea, a dribble probe, or some other individual effort with the clock winding down. Barea instantly slung a sidearm pass to a cutting Shawn Marion who went right to the basket, his defender back screened by Chandler. It was cohesive, it was flawless, it was the type of play you need veterans for. But more importantly, that play requires a coach to drill consistency and an understanding of teammates in. There was no improvisation, it was a practiced set that worked to perfection, performed by players that understand the sacrifice and devotion to the team concept that can lead to real success.

After the play, Carlisle merely nodded his head, acknowledging the good work, then turned his attention to the defensive end.

After so many years of good work in Indiana and Detroit, it finally came home for Carlisle Sunday night. He adds his second ring, his first as a coach, and even in the presser, he didn't bask in the warm glow of his greatness like so many coaches at the top of the Western Conference outside of Texas would. He just credited his players and sat back amazed at what this incredible group of players had accomplished, in his mind, for him. Hopefully somewhere he knows just how much of a hand he had in it. There's talk today of the Mavericks' future with aging players and what tomorrow brings. But with Carlisle at the helm, the Mavericks will always know what they're getting, what they got this year that rewarded them with a championship: a winning coach that understands the way the game should be played.  

And a guy who made believers out of everyone.
Posted on: June 13, 2011 3:17 pm
Edited on: June 13, 2011 4:25 pm
 

Five offseason questions for the Heat

Posted by Royce Young



MIAMI -- They didn't win it all. They came up short. And so the Heat are left asking themselves questions today. Why didn't they get it done? What went wrong? And what can they do to fix it?

Reality is, they were two games short of an NBA title and the way the series went, they can kick themselves quite a bit for blowing it. Dallas was absolutely the better team and rightful winner, but remember: The Heat blew a 15-point fourth quarter lead and had Game 4 in their grasp before faltering late again. So it's not like they have a thousand mile road to walk. They're at the gates. They've just got to break through.

But here are five questions they'll be asking this offseason.

1. What's missing?
Obviously the weakest link on the team is the point guard position. The Heat tried out Carlos Arroyo, Mario Chalmers and eventually Mike Bibby before coming back to Chalmers in Game 6 of The Finals. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade handle most of the playmaking responsibilities, but they need someone reliable and responsible to run the offense well and defend his counterpart.

So much the reason the Heat's offense bogged down in big spots was because there wasn't real chemistry or cohesiveness on the court. That could be remedied by having a solid floor general next to LeBron and Wade to make sure each set is ran properly. Chalmers isn't a horrible option, but he's a really strange player. One second great, the next horrible. And consistency is extremely key here.

2. Is Erik Spoelstra the right man for the job?
My opinion (because who else's would it be?) -- yes. There's absolutely no reason to give up on Spoelstra just because of the way The Finals played out. Everyone wants to find a reason for the Heat's demise, and while Spoelstra certainly has blood on his hands, if LeBron hadn't disappeared, Miami would probably be planning a celebration today or at least practicing for a Game 7.

Spoelstra is still one of the youngest coaches in the league and considering all that he managed and had to work through this season, I'd say he did a pretty terrific job. So much outside distraction, so much drama. But Spoelstra took his team -- which has a ton of talent of course -- to within a couple wins of a championship. Could he have done better? Duh. But there's a lot of blame to go around with the Heat. Just like the Mavericks won as a team, the Heat lost as one, top to bottom. Continuity is a good thing and pinning it all on Spoelstra simply isn't fair.

3. Is there something structurally wrong with the roster?
Yes, absolutely. Not in terms of Wade and LeBron not fitting together. But just in terms of vision. Pat Riley, for as good a job he did in constructing this monster of a team, sort of panicked and didn't stick to his original plan of filling out the roster with young talent that can grow alongside Wade, LeBron and Bosh. Instead, he sort of panicked and started piling up aging veterans at minimum contracts.

I mean look at the back end of that roster. Jamaal Magloire, Erick Dampier, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Eddie House, Mike Bibby, Juwan Howard -- that looks more like a group that should be playing in a Saturday morning men's league, not the NBA Finals. That's half the active roster too.

Riley needs to scrap the veteran plan and look to find some young talent to develop that fits around his big three. Players that can adjust, adapt and improve as they go along. A really nice core is there. Bosh, Wade, LeBron, Mike Miller, Udonis Haslem and even Joel Anthony can be a good piece. But the Heat need talent, not older guys trying to sail one last championship. There might be some growing pains to go through next season if Riley went that direction, but that's what LeBron, Wade and Bosh are for. They can carry you through while the young guys figure it out.

4. What's the offseason plan?

Say goodbye to all the expirings. Just let them walk right out. Peace out Mike Bibby, Zydrunas Ilgauskas (he's retiring anyway), Jamaal Magloire, Juwan Howard, Erick Dampier and even Mario Chalmers. I'd let them all go. Eddie House and James Jones both have player options so you have to think they'll exercise those.

But between Miami's top six players, they have almost $67 million tied up. So figuring out how to fill in a roster around those guys will be a challenge. And a lot of where their future goes depends on the new collective bargaining agreement. Assuming the system stays somewhat similar to what we have now, a couple veteran minimums and a then younger players that can develop. The Heat don't need a ton of depth. There's a flaw in the plan because they need a good point guard and they'll never have the money to get one, but that where Riley's got to earn his money. Go find one.

5. Are they the favorites in the East again?
Right next to the Bulls, absolutely. It'll likely be a three-team race between the Heat, Bulls and the aging Celtics. Orlando could make some noise and the Hawks aren't terribly far off. Even the Knicks could challenge for that four-seed with a full season of Amar'e and Carmelo.

But the Heat simply have the most talent in the conference. There are issues on the roster -- big ones -- but that should tell you how talented Wade, LeBron and Bosh are. They were able to win 58 games and reach the NBA Finals in spite of all those flaws. They need a little more help and a little more structure to the team, but there's absolutely no reason this group can't find themselves right back in The Finals again.
Posted on: June 13, 2011 2:27 pm
Edited on: June 13, 2011 2:45 pm
 

Governor Kasich: Mavericks are 'Honorary Ohioans'

John Kasich, Governor of Ohio, declared the Dallas Mavericks "Honorary Ohioans" after their 2011 NBA title. Posted by Ben Golliver. john-kasich

Revenge for "The Decision" now bears an executive seal.

John Kasich, Governor of the state of Ohio, took the unusual step of honoring a team with no geographical ties to his jurisdiction. On Monday, one day after the Dallas Mavericks defeated the Miami Heat in the 2011 NBA Finals, Kasich's office released a press release noting that the governor had issued a resolution that declared that the Mavericks, their friends, family and fans are now officially "Honorary Ohioans."

Why would he do this? Retribution, of course.

The Heat were led by Ohio native former Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James, who opted to take his talents to South Beach last summer rather than return to play for the Cavaliers. In return, fans in Ohio booed him mercilessly during his two return visits to Cleveland and openly rooted for the Heat to get bounced from the playoffs.

The resolution specifically praises Dallas' "loyalty, integrity and teamwork" and specifically praises Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki for choosing to re-sign with the Mavericks last summer. Kasich's resolution bears the official seal of Ohio, bestows upon the Mavericks "all privileges and honors" that goes with the title "Honorary Ohioans" and is signed at the bottom.

You know who definitely finds this hilarious and awesome? Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, who issued his own decree on Sunday night. 

Below is a small version of the official resolution. Click here to read the whole thing.

Hat tip: IAmAGM.com.

governor-resolution
Posted on: June 13, 2011 1:37 pm
Edited on: June 13, 2011 1:44 pm
 

DeShawn's shirt: 'LeBron, How's my Dirk taste?'

DeShawn Stevenson wears a shirt that says, "Hey LeBron! How's my dirk taste?" Posted by Ben Golliver. stevenson-shirt-small

After poking and prodding Miami Heat forward LeBron James throughout the 2011 NBA Finals, Dallas Mavericks guard DeShawn Stevenson got in one final shot following Dallas' NBA title. 

The Mavericks closed out the series on Sunday night with a 105-95 win in Game 6 before taking to South Beach club LIV to celebrate with the Larry O'Brien trophy.  

On Monday, the Mavericks flew home to Dallas, where Stevenson was spotted wearing a Mavericks blue and white t-shirt with lettering that read: "Hey LeBron! How's my Dirk taste?"

That slogan is an obvious reference to a Shaquille O'Neal freestyle rap. O'Neal used the line, "Hey Kobe, tell me how my a** taste" to mock his former teammate with the Los Angeles Lakers, Kobe Bryant.

To add a play on teammate Dirk Nowitzki's name here is incredibly inspired work from Stevenson, who may well have created a legacy for himself as "The Guy Who Got Into LeBron's Head Completely" in these 2011 NBA Finals.

The most underrated part of this shirt is that it bears the sponsorship of HDNet, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban's television station. It's almost like Cuban is personally endorsing the joke.

Picture via BallinWithBryan on YFrog.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com