Golden State Warriors- Will they be Champs Again?

Golden State Warriors In the Playoffs

Golden State Warriors celebrating a Win
Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Golden State Warriors are incredible at basketball with 5 All -Stars on the roster. After they added Kevin Durant in 2016, they only improved. They were 57-25 in the regular season this year, in the playoffs (so far) they’re 9-4. The chemistry has altered between egos. With KD & Curry running the show, this team remains unstoppable.

KD injured; the team going forward

Warriors KD & Curry

With Durant being injured with a calf sprain, I believe this team is still finding ways to win, beating the Houston Rockets 4-2. I think they desperately need Cousins back as well. Adding another big man gives them the advantage they need on both defense and offense. Green and Thompson have stepped up and are committed to this team and winning another Chip. Surprisingly the team performs better without Kevin Durant. KD will be able to play against Portland, but he’ll miss a few games.

How they can win

Golden State starting 5

Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and DeMarcus Cousins.  Those five in the starting lineup are lethal. If the Warriors want to continue to win, they’ll have to stick together. They need an improved bench because the starters are doing all the work. This team plays well, just a matter of staying consistent.

Coaching & Health concerns

Golden State in the playoffs

Steve Kerr is the head coach. Since taking over the Warriors are 3-1 in the Finals. He’s a winner, and it shows. KD & Boogie being injured hurts, but doesn’t shut them out. They will still win. Adding those 2 Superstars gives them the bigger advantage. Durant playing right now, he’s the best player in the league. He dominates on each side of the floor.

5th Finals trip

Warriors Champions

The Warriors are currently 1-0 in the Conference Finals against the Portland Trailblazers. The 2 Curry brothers battling it out will be interesting to watch. If they win this series they’ll face either the Toronto Raptors, or the the Milwaukee Bucks in the Finals. Assuming all 5 All Stars are in the lineup, Giannis or Leonard don’t stand a chance against this squad.

Golden State next series

Boston Red Sox current slump – no worries for the future

Boston Red Sox Up & Coming

Boston as the current champs

The Boston Red Sox are 2018 World Series champions. However, at the start of he season they seem to be in a slump. They currently sit 6-10. What seems to be the reason for the collapse?

After winning the World Series the Sox are sort of hasty right now.

The Best is Yet to Come

In the 2018 season the Sox went 108-54 in the regular season.  They still have Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Chris Sale and David Price, so what’s going on? Their manager, Alex Cora is so smart, and knows what to do with this team’s talent, I’m not worried. It’s only a matter of time before they’re on a winning streak.

Winning Team

Boston Champs 2018

After coming off a very successful season, the Sox aren’t doing too great. That sometimes happens, but it shouldn’t with this team. The Sox are going through what we call a Championship Hangover. This team is solely going to rely on the hitting of Betts, Bogaerts, Martinez, Bradley JR, and possible Pearce. The team isn’t lacking chemistry that’s for sure. Just knocking off some rust, and the hits will be coming. The talent is undeniable with this team.

Injuries Not a Problem

While the team is suffering from few injuries, if they can stay healthy, they can most certainly repeat as Champions. We’re waiting for Pedroia to explode like he used too and hopefully he will. While he’s expect to make $15 million in base salary, he’ll definitely need to show improvement this year. And Sadly Steven Wright is still serving his suspension but nothing to fear, he’ll be throwing knuckle balls rapidly.

Impeccable Pitching

Boston Pitcher Chris Sale

Of course, the Pitching will need to be immaculate. The division could be up for grabs with the Yankees getting better, and Tampa Bay on top. The Sox won’t just settle for the wild card, they want to win the Division and be on top as they were last year.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. = Superstar

Background:

SURPRISE, AZ – NOVEMBER 03: AFL West All-Star, Vladimir Guerrero Jr #27 of the Toronto Blue Jays bats during the Arizona Fall League All Star Game at Surprise Stadium on November 3, 2018 in Surprise, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)The Toronto Blue Jays have an upcoming talent that is in Triple AAA and shortly will be called up to the 40 man roster in the near future. Son of former player Vladimir Guerrero. He signed as a 16 year old in 2015 with the Jays. Vlad JR has shown that he is ready to take it to the big stage and help the Jays be a contender in the American League East. He could bolster a lineup in need of a spark. Toronto is in no rush to put this kid to the majors and should nurture the young talent.

Minors:

Vlad JR spent most of his 2018 campaign with the Double AA affiliate the New Hampshire Fisher Cats posting 14 homers and 60 RBI’s in sixty games. Later that season he got promoted to play for the Buffalo Bisons, hitting 6 home runs and 16 RBI’s in just thirty games. I’d say those stats are good for a 19 year old. Remember, he’s just coming through the minors and learining how to be a professional. Vlad obviously has his families support and blessing.

Future:

Toronto will have a bright future with this kid. He will be playing the hot corner for years to come. I could see him being a future MVP of the league. He could be the player to start the turnaround for the Blue Jays and get them back into contention for the playoffs. He could be “the guy” to get them to a world series for the first time since 1993. One player won’t change the whole team but Vlad can make a big splash to help the organization. Toronto should be happy he’s not going against them with any other MLB teams that visit the Rogers Center. Look up Toronto you have a great player coming to you very soon.

Lakers in Trouble with Organization on the Rocks

The Lakers Franchise is a Mess

Lakers front office addressing media

Los Angeles Lakers President of Basketball Operations, former All Star and Champion Point Guard, Magic Johnson decided to step down from the job. He cited that he “wasn’t having fun, and missed being the bigger brother” to the organization.  It’s assumed that the entire coaching staff will be fired, after they failed to make the playoffs, for the 6th consecutive season.

Known for being a successful franchise, and winning 16 titles, right under the Boston Celtics having 17 titles.

This season though, has been the worst so far.

Landing LeBron James

lakers SF LeBron James upset

They managed to sign the best NBA player right now, but still missed the playoffs. Regardless of injuries, LeBron did more with less last year with the Cavaliers. I’ll give LeBron a little leeway because of his injury, because before he was injured they were sitting at the 4th seed in a very competitive West. I honestly believe signing LeBron was a bad move, on both sides. Now LeBron is in the middle of a disaster season, and the team around him is crumbling.

Distractions, Distractions, Distractions…

LA pickups

Anthony Davis is one of them. The Lakers tried too hard to acquire him in a trade. LeBron’s agent, Rich Paul, leaked the trade information so that made things awkward in the locker room. Lavar Ball managed to stay semi quiet during the year, but still managed to insult the coach, Luke Walton.

Even Magic Johnson got sick of the “backstabbing”. When the President of the team is sick of it, something’s gone wrong, and the public just isn’t aware of it yet.

Lakers coach and LBJ

LeBron James is focusing too much on being “Hollywood”. I get it, that’s why he came to LA, it wasn’t a basketball move. But for one of the greatest franchises, it should’ve been. Lakers are all about winning championships, not just games.  James is focusing on movies, shows, simply soaking up that California Love.

Lakers front office
Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images

This team can be in the playoffs next year, it’s going to be an interesting free agency and off season. They’ll need a new president, coach, basically a new team as well.

Starters

Boston Celtics – Playoff Preview

Boston Celtics

Background:

AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

The Boston Celtics ended the season on Tuesday night with a win over the Washington Wizards. Boston’s record was (49-33) and was good to be placed 4th in the Eastern Conference. Celtics did have an up and down season with injuries, Kyrie Irving turmoil and being linked to Anthony Davis. Albeit, the team had high expectations heading into the 2018-2019 season.  Did high expectations get to the C’s early on leading to struggle? I believe the hype is what happened, but now its playoff time.

The Opponent

Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The Indiana Pacers held the 5th seed at season’s end right behind Boston. Victor Oladipo went down with a season ending injury. C’s won the season series (3-1) against the Pacers. Myles Turner has been a nice player for them. Will Indiana continue to play well without their top superstar or will injuries finally throw them off their “A” game?

Player to Watch for

Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images

Kyrie Irving should be the player to keep an eye on throughout the series. Seeing Irving missed the end of last season into the playoffs and Boston was one game short of the finals. He has to be the leader of this team and have the young core of players on the same page going forward.

Prediction

Firstly, the Celtics should not take the Pacers lightly. If they take it game by game they win this series in six games. Secondly, Brad Stevens will have a good game plan to make sure the team is ready to go. Guys like Marcus Smart, Gordon Hayward, Jayson Tatum need to be healthy and will have to be ready to go. The Celtics will advance with Kyrie Irving as the entire cast will be playing together for the 1st time in the playoffs.

Marcus Stroman – On the Comeback

Overview:

Toronto Blue Jays ace Marcus Stroman is poised to have a break out 2019 campaign. Its been a rough past couple of seasons for the Toronto star because of injures and such. There was a lot of hype when the “Stro Show” entered the MLB as a rookie in 2014, as a 23 year old protege. The intensity that Marcus brings to the table when he is on the mound is incredible. He was recently quoted saying that “I’m going to be special this year”.

Linked to trade talks:

In recent days and over off the season a lot of ball clubs were looking for starting pitching to boost their rotations. The Houston Astros were the most recent team looking at Marcus to make their rotation better. If he were to get traded at some point during the season he will help a team instantly. If Toronto doesn’t have the season that they have hoped for I see him getting dealt by trade deadline. Even though Stroman would prefer to stay with the Jays, it’s inevitable.

A.L. CY Young Candidate:

The CY Young award is equivalent to the M.V.P award but instead of going to the best player it goes to the best pitcher.If Stroman comes back to the right form he will be considered in the running for the CY Young award. The American League has a lot of dominant pitchers but if he’s healthy, he’ll be a top ten candidate.

Expectations for 2019:

 

Stroman can be a legitimate all star consideration if healthy. Toronto fans must be excited to see what he brings through the first half of the year. The upside that he has is tremendous. Toronto has a new manager at the helm for this season. Marcus Stroman 2019 Predictions; Win 12-15 games, ERA between 2.80 – 3.00 and about 180 strikeouts.

New England Patriots Still Contenders – Without Gronk

The Team Going Forward

New England Patriots Tight End Rob Gronkowski has retired, Brady’s years are winding down, now the owner, Robert Kraft is in legal trouble? What’s the next move? The Team can’t be falling apart! Can it?

Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski have been an incredible QB-Receiver duo over the last 9 years. Brady is losing his most trusted guy. So what will the Patriots do next? It’ll be hard drafting the next Gronk, and TE’s like him don’t come around often. The Pats have 12 total picks for the upcoming draft. That’s more than enough picks to build back the offense, and make improvements on defense.

Bill Belichick certainly knows how to draft correctly so this will be exciting to watch. Fellow Terrible Call writer, Ken Matias is a huge Pats fan and also predicts them drafting a young Tight End so this team can continue to dominate. It’s unclear if they get a franchise TE like Gronk, but only time will tell.

Gronk Celebrating9 Years of the Best TE

Since entering the league 9 years ago he’s suffered 15 injuries, including concussions, sprains, fractures, etc. Sad to see such a talented player have to hang up the jersey this early. He retired to preserve his health and body, by doing so he made the best decision for his long term health.

Rob’s leaving the game with 79 touchdowns, 7861 yards and 521 receptions in 113 games played. He’s absolutely heading to Canton as a 1st ballot Hall of Famer.

Gronk dancing after scoring a touchdownThe future

What’s next for Gronk? It’s Hollywood. The man is all about attention, he’s a well liked guy, so there’s nothing wrong with that at all. WWE, movies, more commercials, you’ll continue to see his face EVERYWHERE. He made his mark in the NFL now he’ll look to make it on the silver screen.

As for the Patriots – everything will work out great. With Brady still at QB, they’re still a Superbowl bound contender. Drafting a talented TE, and WR need to happen in this draft because Brady needs another go to man. Expect improvements on both offense and defense. As long as Belichick is still coaching, the New England Patriots will always be contenders.

Gronk as a Champion

 

Boston Red Sox 2019 Preview:

Opening Day Around the Corner:

(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Just under a week away and the reigning world series champions will begin their quest for another title in Seattle against the Mariners. It’s hard for a team to win back to back championships. They have to ride the ups and downs a team endures throughout the season. The team remains mostly in tact, besides reliever Joe Kelly signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers this past off season. Expect the Red Sox to compete for another A.L. East title and be high in the standings as the season progresses.

Chris Sale Extended:

As of Friday Chris Sale had signed an extension that keeps him in Boston throughout the 2024 season. The deal that was reported by Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic was five years for 145 million. Sale can opt out after three seasons. Sale is one of the most dominant pitchers the game has seen in awhile with his lights out performances. The downfall I see is him getting shut down late August early September. Alex Cora and ownership both understand that he’s the workhorse of the pitching staff and will be cautious going forward.

Season Outlook:

Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees went all in on there bullpen acquisitions over the off season. The Red Sox didn’t add any depth to their bullpen to keep up with other organizations. However, they are still in good shape as far as the starting pitching and offense going forward. J.D. Martinez and Mookie Betts have to keep putting up the numbers on offense and continue with stellar defense. Sale, Price and Porcello need to lead the pitching staff in order to back up last season’s performances if this team wants a chance at another ring.

Mookie Betts Future:

Mookie will not be a free agent until after the 2020 season. Does he deserve 400 million like Mike Trout of the Angels? Should he have taken the previous offer of 200 million? A player with the talents and caliber like him deserves a good chump of change coming off an M.V.P season a year ago. Those discussions will be on hold until future talks. Mookie’s numbers were outstanding last season, 32 HR’s, 80 RBI’s, 30 SB’s.

New York Giants – Rebuilding

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New York Trade & Free Agency

Odell Beckham Jr. is no longer a New York Giant. It’s been a few days for me to process the Giants trading away their All Star WR to the Cleveland Browns. Hopefully in the long term, it’s for the best. Time will only tell. Until then, it may be a rough year or years to come. For Giants fans just trust in the front office and Dave Gettleman to improve this team.

The Drama in New York

It shouldn’t be a big surprise the Giants traded Beckham. Although the GM Dave Gettleman said “we didn’t sign Beckham to trade him.” Why he said that, then went against his word, we’ll never know. The New York Giants are a class act organization and won’t tolerate any drama. That’s what Beckham was bringing  – unnecessary drama.

A suspension, multiple fines, talking about his teammates, also who can forget the infamous “boat trip”. Odell is talented and plays with heart, while we can respect that, he’s also a prima donna. It’s clear the Giants are in rebuild mode, and Beckham isn’t a part of that future. Even though last year the Giants signed him to a $90 mil, 5 year deal. He’s been battling injuries, he hasn’t played a full NFL season since 2016. While definitely a superstar, the Giants feel he’s too much a liability rather than a team leader.

Rebuild Mode

Eli Manning’s in the final year of his contract. Beckham is gone. It’s going to take a lot more than just RB Saquon Barkley to improve this team. The offense isn’t too promising. The defense? Well it’s bad, just awful. Offense ranked #17 altogether in 2018, while defense ranked #24. This team needs to rebuild fast to meet any playoff aspirations.

New York Will Improve

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Yes, Beckham is a once in a lifetime player. Trading him saves money against the cap, and gives them another 1st round pick (6 and 17 overall first round). With the draft picks they have, they’ll find a solid QB & WR, while still having picks to improve the defense. Even if they tank this year, they’ll have a “boat” load of money to work with next year, clearing up Manning’s contract.

It may seem as the end is near for Giants fans, but don’t count them out just yet. Beckham is not a major loss. Drafting correctly, spending money where it should be spent will be important while free agency is still going on. Don’t count out the Giants trading up, looking to draft Kyler Murray.

 

Kyler Murray – Successful Pro Day

Reflecting on Pro Day

On Wednesday top draft pick Kyler Murray was throwing in front of all 32 NFL scouts at his pro day in Oklahoma. Murray wasn’t seeing running, but looked precise with his throws to his wide receivers. Led by former NFL QB and head coach Jim Zorn. Zorn was guiding and talking to Kyler after every throw. Seeing that he didn’t run or throw at the combine; he lived up to his expectations. All he did at the combine was get weighed in and provide measurements. Murray didn’t perform there as he just sat back and observed the rest of the prospects.

What’s Next

Firstly, Kyler will interview with teams, coaches and scouts.  Every mock draft has him going #1 to Arizona Cardinals. That means Josh Rosen would be out of town for that to happen. The best situation for the young man is a team that needs a quarterback or at least a shot to compete for the starting gig. Secondly, he needs to have patience and wait on the big day. Landing on a team where a veteran to guide him will be an important factor in his success.

Prediction: Where He Gets Drafted

Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

My prediction is, if he falls past the top spot, the New York Giants will draft him. Dwayne Haskins has been linked to the G-Men since the draft process started; but we will see what happens. Pat Shurmur is a good offensive minded coach that would be willing to develop Eli’s successor. I know that Murray said he is grateful is to be put in this position and excited for the opportunity to play in the NFL.