Posted on: May 14, 2009 6:38 pm

The Ultimate Picks Competition: Experts Only

I've started a picks competition (actually started it a couple of days ago). The rules can be found here .

Tonight's Picks:
Ron Artest + Ray Allen points in Game 6s
Home Team that will score more:HOU or ORL (Tot for Tie)
Kobe Bryant + Paul Piece: Total Points in Game 6s
More 3s: Shane Battier or Ray Allen
Total NHL Goals Tonight (Two Game Sevens)
More Runs Tonight: Rays or Yankees (Total Runs for Tie)

If you want to pick here for fun then go ahead. If you want to pick against me then view my picks (as well as Wizardkings) here and post your picks on that page.
Category: NBA
Posted on: June 4, 2008 12:11 pm
Edited on: June 4, 2008 3:07 pm

Kobe Bryant will not be denied

This article is from, that I own and edit for.

Kobe Bryant will not be denied his fourth NBA championship. I'm sick and tired of hearing that the Boston Celtics are a team of destiny. They aren't.

I'm also sick and tired of hearing how Bryant doesn't deserve this title because of his actions last summer, when he demanded to be traded on the Stephen A. Smith show on ESPN Radio.

He deserves it more than ever because of that.

I'm not saying what Bryant did last summer to the Lakers organization was right. I'm not saying that demanding a trade and throwing his entire team under the bus was the best move. What I'm saying is that Kobe has turned it all around and has now become well appreciated by the Lakers. They all know that Bryant is sorry for his statements during that time, and that he feels completely different now.

Last summer a frustrated Bryant looked up and down the Lakers roster and saw what everyone did. No talent. At 29 years old he knew his prime is running out quickly, and that the Lakers didn't have the pieces around him to win a title. He went about it the wrong way but he put the Lakers in a position where something had to be done.

It worked.

After a failed trade for NBA Finals counterpart Kevin Garnett the Lakers appeared to be in the same boat as they had been for the last few seasons. The season started without any major roster changes. Then something unbelievable happened. Andrew Bynum became a beast and Derek Fisher and Lamar Odom revived their careers while they helped Los Angeles compete for the Western Conference regular season crown.

Then it appeared Kobe's luck turned bad once again. Bynum went down with a knee injury and Los Angeles appeared to be another pretender out West with just one threat and lots of role players, but a deal a few weeks later had everyone amazed. The Lakers trade for Pau Gasol is now referred to as a "steal" by league owners, and man was it ever.

That trade helped Los Angeles win the West and the momentum of Bryant's MVP season and Gasol's arrival has Los Angeles in the NBA Finals.

Somehow Bryant is called "selfish". I'm not sure how this can be. The critics say that Bryant cannot be talked about in the same breath as Michael Jordan because unlike Kobe, Jordan got his teammates involved and made them better. To those guys I ask some simple questions.

What about Andrew Bynum's sudden development into a great post scorer? Sasha Vujacic is all of a sudden a legitimate scorer on the perimeter. Jordan Farmar is developing into a starting point guard. All these guys can give a lot of the credit for this to Bryant because he gets them all involved in the game.

Now let's dwell even farther into Bryant's past.

In the summer of 2004 Bryant is credited with breaking up the Lakers, but after reading Phil Jackson's book The Last Season I know that isn't what happened. Karl Malone was done, too old to play at a high level at that point. Gary Payton's attitude was killing morale. Shaquille O' Neal wanted the ball because his prime was coming to an abrupt end. Bryant wanted to score and show the world it wasn't just Shaq's team, that he could be the star. And Phil Jackson, well he was just tired of it and decided to retire. Detroit capitalized, beating the Lakers in five games for the NBA titles.

Even if he did temporarily destroy the franchise, Bryant has pulled Los Angeles all the way back together and has led them four wins away from the top of the world.

Want to know why he won't be denied? Look in the man's eyes when you watch him do an interview. Look at the determination, the hunger to get back to the top. Kevin Garnett has that same hunger, but as sad as it is to read for Boston Celtics fan I have to say this bit of truth. Garnett is one of the most talented players in the league, but Bryant can take over a game at any moment and is one of the most talented players to ever pick up a basketball.

He might just be the best ever.

But please nobody tell that MJ guy.

Category: NBA
Posted on: May 31, 2008 12:51 am

LAKERS-CELTICS: Who wins? I break it down!!

Alright so the NBA has its matchup. Lakers-Celtics. Bird-Magic. Kobe vs. KG. Pau vs. Paul.

So let's break it down.

Point Guard: Rajon Rondo vs. Derek Fisher
Fisher is the more experienced guy. Rondo is very athletic and very quick off the dribble but doesn't shoot exceptionally well. Fisher can be relied on for big shots and like I said has been here before, with Kobe and Phil Jackson. Advantage: Fisher

Shooting Guard: Kobe Bryant vs. Ray Allen
Alright let's be honest here guys. Ray Allen is an elite shooter. He has been struggling with his shot in these playoffs though.. He probably can't light up Kobe Bryant and even if he does it will mean he won't be working on the defensive end of the floor, meaning Bryant will light up the Celtics. Bryant is the best player in the league, and he owns the NBA MVP award for a reason. Sorry Ray. Advantage: Bryant

Small Forward: Vladimir Radmonovic vs. Paul Pierce
Pierce is a scorer and he likes that midrange jumper. Radmonovic is a decent player but he just isn't Pierce. Paul should be able to score at will in this matchup against Vlad. Advantage: Pierce

Power Forward: Kevin Garnett vs. Lamar Odom
Garnett and Odom....this is tougher than a lot of people might think. Odom is a do it all man. He can shoot, rebound, and make great passes. Garnett can get 20 and 10 every night without too much effort. This is the matchup of the Finals. Advantage: Garnett

Center: Pau Gasol vs. Kendrick Perkins
Gasol is the reason the Lakers are here. Without the trade for him LA probably wouldn't be in the NBA Finals. Perkins has played well for Boston but is not Gasol. Expect Pau to play well in this matchup. Advantage: Gasol

Bench: Walton, Turiaf, Vujacic, Farmar vs. Cassell, Brown, Posey, House
Production wise the Lakers bench scores a lot more. They continue running Phil Jackson's offense and they play well together. House and Cassell are brought in as scorers for Boston but the Lakers don't need that out of their bench. They just need a few baskets from them in stretches. Advantage: Lakers

Lakers. I think LA wins this series in 6 games.

Everybody tell me what they think about my breakdown and about this series.
Category: NBA
Tags: NBA Finals
Posted on: May 5, 2008 11:19 pm
Edited on: May 6, 2008 8:42 am

2008 NBA Mock Draft

One of my writers and I did our own lottery and then did the NBA Draft. Here's what we came up with:

1) Clippers: PG Derrick Rose
2) Heat: PF Michael Beasley
3) Timberwolves: SG
O. J. Mayo
4) Grizzlies: PF Brook Lopez
5) Bobcats: C DeAndre Jordan
6) Knicks: PG Jerryd Bayless
7) Sonics: SG Eric Gordon
8) Bucks:
PG Danilo Gallinari
9) Nets (via trade with CHI): C Kevin Love
10) Warriors: SF Anthony Randolph
11) Bulls (via trade with NN): SG
Chase Bundinger
12) Blazers: PG
D. J. Augustine
13) Pacers: C
Kosta Koufos
14) Kings: PF
Marrese Speights
15) Wizards:
PF Darrell Arthur
16) Rockets:
SG Russell Westbrook
17) Raptors: PG
Nicholas Batum
18) Nets (via trade with Mavs): SG
Brandon Rush
19) Sonics (via trade with Suns, via Hawks): C Javele McGee
20) Nuggets:
PF Robin Lopez
21) 76ers: SG Chris Douglas-Roberts
22) Suns: SG Donte Green
23) Cavaliers: PG Ty Lawson
24) Timberwolves (via trade with UTAH): PF Joe Alxander
25) Magic: PF Bill Walker
26) Hornets: SG Davon Jefferson
27) Celtics: PF Roy Hibbert
28) Grizzlies: PF D. J. White
29) Pistons: SG Courney Lee
30) Spurs: SG Danny Green
Category: NBA
Posted on: April 23, 2008 12:57 am
Edited on: April 23, 2008 12:59 am

Chris Paul....I was wrong, he's my MVP


Man was I wrong.

Just last week I wrote an article claiming that Kobe Bryant was the NBA MVP and not Chris Paul. What was I thinking?

In two games Chris Paul has completely changed my mind. In the first game against Dallas the other night he had 35 points and 10 assists. I was completely, utterly amazed. Still, even after that I gave Kobe a chance to make a statement on Sunday against the Nuggets. He played well in the second half but was obviously nowhere even close to the level Paul played at on Saturday night.

Then I watched Tuesday night and the Hornets young star amazed me even more. What about this statline? 32 points, 17 assists, 6 rebounds. In the first quarter alone Paul had nine assists.

Hornets 127, Mavericks 103. I wouldn't believe it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes.

I am one of those guys that believes the MVP should be awarded to the best player in the NBA year in and year out. I'm pretty sure I just nominated the best player in the NBA and that man is Chris Paul.

I don't want to go crazy with my predictions but I have seen a lot of NBA teams play through the years and none of them have played better than the Hornets are right now. They play team ball to the maximum.

New Orleans has no superstars (other than Paul, who is a developing superstar) but they are the most improved team I have ever seen from one year to the next. Last year they were 39-43.

This year they just might be the best team in the NBA.

When you talk about playing textbook basketball the Hornets have wrote the book. Six Hornets scored in double figure points against Dallas on Tuesday. 29 of their 47 shots were assisted.

New Orleans is building a dynasty. They are going to be one of the NBA's best for a long long time.

Category: NBA
Posted on: April 19, 2008 5:08 pm
Edited on: April 19, 2008 5:36 pm

Lebron leads the Cavaliers to game one win


First things first. LeBron James is anything but "overrated". Washington's DeShawn Stevenson used those two words in the same sentence earlier this week when discussing the Cavaliers superstar.

How dare he.

Lebron did not answer by going to the media and I applaud him for that. Instead he answered with his actions on the court on Saturday, leading the Cavaliers to a 93-86 win by scoring 32 points against Stevenson's Wizards.

Down four with less than two minutes to go the Cavs turned to their leader and Lebron responded. I don't want to compare him to the all time greats too early in his career but after today I just have to.

We remember Michael Jordan for his playoff heroics and buzzer beating shots in the closing minutes of big games. James is doing the exact same things early in his career. When Cleveland needs someone to step up with a big shot he does.

On Saturday he did it all. After missing his first four shots from the field he erupted with a thunderous jam that shook Quicken Loans Arena.

The whole league knows that this is going to be Lebron James' league for a long time. Tim Duncan even told the young superstar that last year when San Antonio beat Lebron's Cavaliers for the NBA Championship. It might not be his time yet, because even with the win on Saturday the Cavaliers do not look like a team that can stack up with Boston, Detroit, or the powers in the Western Conference. He still needs some help to reach that plateau.

One thing is for sure though. King James reign is coming soon.


Category: NBA
Tags: NBA Playoffs
Posted on: April 15, 2008 10:43 pm

NBA MVP: Chris Paul or Kobe Bryant?


Chris Paul or Kobe Bryant? That’s a question I get asked a lot as a sports writer, so who really should be the NBA MVP? I will give you three reasons for each player and then give you my winner.

First in favor of Chris Paul.

1. He’s revived the city of New Orleans. He has been fantastic and he has led a franchise that seemingly had nothing back to the top tier of teams in the Western Conference. The Hornets have been one of the best teams in the NBA all season and he should receive most of the credit for that, giving these fans something to cheer for outside of Saints football.

2. Without him New Orleans would be nowhere. There’s no doubt about this one. Yes the Hornets have other talent on their roster but no one can match up with Paul. He can make plays that make his teammates look better. He can shoot, he can pass, and he just does whatever it takes to win. Without Paul I’m not sure the Hornets would even make the NBA playoffs as tough as the Western Conference is this season.

3. Paul does it all, but all that matters is winning. Chris Paul does anything and everything he can to help New Orleans win basketball games. This limits his shot attempts in a lot of games while he distributes the ball to teammates but he could care less. It’s all about winning ballgames.

Now Kobe.

1. He’s played without Bynum and Gasol a lot of the year. At the beginning of the year the loss of Bynum would’ve meant nothing to the Lakers because he had not become a dominant player yet. Gasol wasn’t even on L. A.’s roster. Both became major players for the Lakers but Bryant was the constant force behind the Lakers victories when he played with these two and when he was forced to play without them.

2. He’s been the best player in the NBA the last decade but hasn’t won a NBA MVP award. This is absolutely amazing isn’t it? Bryant has been the best player in the NBA for the last decade and has not won the award yet. Doesn’t he deserve to win at least one?

3. Without him the Lakers would not be a title contender. The Lakers would be nowhere without Bryant and they know it. The NBA would be nowhere without Bryant and they know it to. He asked to be traded during the summer but wasn’t and since then he has earned the respect of him teammates back. Without him Los Angeles probably never would’ve traded for Pau Gasol and would likely be fighting for a playoff spot with just Bynum. 
Winner? Bryant. Kobe also does whatever he needs to win ballgames and it’s about time the NBA actually gave the award to their league’s best player.
Category: NBA
Posted on: April 5, 2008 11:27 am
Edited on: April 5, 2008 11:27 am

Daily: 5 things we learned in sports on Friday

What we learned in sports on Friday:
1) The Tigers are 0-4. Uh oh Detroit. The Tigers are a favorite to win the AL and compete for the World Series title but they have struggled out the gate. On Saturday they play Chicago again, still searching for that elusive first win.

2) The Lakers have made the playoffs for the 55th season after knocking off the Dallas Mavericks 112-108 on Friday night. Lamar Odom scored a season high 31 points.

3) Also clinching playoff spots in the NBA on Friday night were the Hornets, Raptors, Wizards, and 76ers. One thing is for sure, in the west Toronto, Washington, and Philadelphia wouldn't have a chance at winning a playoff series.

4) The Royals won't go 162-0 after losing to the Twins. Anyone that expected an undefeated season must be crazy, but hey it was possible until they lost on Friday. Kansas City starting the season 3-0 was news to me.

5) Tyler Hansbrough won the player of the year award in college basketball. Drake's Keno Davis won the coach of the year award. In case you are wondering Michael Beasley finished second in the POY voting.
Category: NBA
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or