A Melo Solution

This might be crazy, but what about this for a Melo solution… http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=4zusvzf

The Upside -
– Anthony lands close to New York, for his families sake and his wives career, while instantly becoming the hottest thing to hit Philly since Iverson.

– The 76ers step into line behind Boston, Orlando, Miami, Chicago, and New York at the top of the East

– Denver replaces Anthony with Jamison, who deserves a life line, and Turner, who is young enough to build a mini-rebuild around.  Denver can’t save the next 3 years if they lose Anthony, but they don’t have to become Cleveland West.

– Cleveland gets Iggy and Harrington, two guys that can put up numbers and might excite the Ohio fans while they wait for Contraction to take down their team.

The Down Side -
– Anthony is alone, except Brand, for the next couple years until Paul can join him in the city of brotherly love.

– Denver doesn’t get anything super flashy in return for Anthony or a lot of wiggle room.  They might even stay good enough to lose out on high lottery picks.

– Cleveland gets better… no downside, except the possibility that Harrington causes problems in the locker room.

– Jamison doesn’t move to a contender, but at least he’s out of Cleveland in time to avoid being on the worst team in NBA history.

So has TheLongTalk figured this thing out or what?  New York, New Jersey, blah… Philly electric.  Melo would light up the city.

Probably just day dreaming,

Who Will Play in Super Bowl XLV?

This week,  I pose a simple question. Who will play in Super Bowl XLV? From the NFC we have the Packers and the Bears, and from the AFC we have the Steelers and the Jets.

Let’s take a look at the NFC first.

I have to be honest, I actually watched more of the Bears-Seahawks game than I did of the Packers-Falcons. To me, this one seems sort of split down the line. They’re division rivals, so they know each other well. If I were to pick solely based on last week’s performance, I’d have to go with the Packers after their manhandling of the Falcons (the number 1 seed for the NFC). Chicago did well against Seattle, but to me, Seattle looked terrible.

Now the AFC.

Here is where my bias kicks in. I’m a Steelers fan at heart, but this game has me worried. The Jets have just gone through the Colts and the Patriots over the past two weeks. Combine that with the fact that Pittsburgh looked absolutely awful during the first half against Baltimore, the Jets win against the Steelers on 12/19, and you have what makes for quite the matchup. I’m going to go with my boys though and say Pittsburgh wins the AFC.

There you have it, Steelers-Packers for Super Bowl XLV. What’s your take?

Cleveland Browns, this is why you will never win…

I almost wrote blog entry after the St. Louis Rams lost to the Seattle Sea Hawks in week 17 of the NFL season to call for the firing of St. Louis offensive coordinator, Pat Shurmur.  I didn’t write that blog, but I wish now that I had.  Let me explain why I wanted Shurmur fired the Monday after that game.  This season Shurmur did an excellent job of developing rookie QB Sam Bradford, but a terrible job of play calling in the season finale, which was a game to determine if the Rams would make it into the playoffs or not, the Rams lost and the Sea Hawks got in.

But, Shurmur, assuming as the offensive coordinator that he called the plays for the Rams vs. Sea Hawks game, did a job worthy of being fired.  Rookie QB Sam Bradford threw the ball 36 time for 155 yards (137 if you count the yards lost for sacks), no TD’s and one interception.  However, pro bowl running back Steven Jackson ran the ball ONLY 11 times for 45 yards.  Bradford averaged 4.3 yards per attempt without taking sack yardage into account, and 3.8 yards per attempt when counting sack yardage.  Jackson averaged 4.1 yards per rush, which is a great average.

The final score of the game was Seattle 16, St. Louis 6.  Most of the game the Rams were down by only 4 points, and only trailed by 7, until the Sea Hawks added another field goal with less than two minutes to go.  So the Rams weren’t down by a bunch and didn’t have to try to throw to get back into the game.  So my question in simple, why Mr. Shurmur did you hand the ball off to your pro bowler instead of rely on the arm of a rookie QB?

This was basically a play-in game for the Rams as the winner went to the playoffs and the loser went home.  If I’m in that situation I’m trusting the legs of my pro bowl running back instead of the arm of a rookie.  Watching that game it was simple to me that the poor, poor play-calling by the Rams is what lost them that game.

And now, congratulations Cleveland Browns, you now have a coach that has the worst play-called game I have ever seen on his resume.  Isn’t there anyone better out there?  Did you not watch the Rams vs. Sea Hawks game?  I could have called a better plays that Shurmur did.  They were short passes and dinks and dunks rather than calling plays that give you a chance to win.  I was shocked when Shurmur was hired as the Browns head coach, but then again it is the Browns.  But on the plus side, as a Steelers fan, I have to say thank you Cleveland it looks like we’ll be getting two easy wins each season for years to come.


Resistance is Futile

“We are the Clippers.  Your team will be assimilated.  Your roster and payroll will be added to our own.  Resistance is futile.”

This statement, although not as frightening to mankind as the Borg’s original, might be just the thing to light a fire under the ass of the NBA’s cellar dwellers.

What if, instead of engaging in all this crazy Contraction talk, the NBA decided that at seasons end they would simply merge the eight weakest teams into four?  With the stronger team assimilating the weaker one.

As of Monday morning, January 10th the lowest ranked teams in the NBA were; Toronto, Detroit, Los Angeles, New Jersey, Washington, Sacramento, Minnesota, and Cleveland.  If the NBA merged these guys based on a 1 through 8 ranking the results would be…

(1) Toronto assimilates (8) Cleveland

– Why This Would Work:  Once again the National Basketball Association would be contained within one nation when the Raptors moved to the newly acquired Quicken Loans Arena, adding Mo Williams, Antawn Jamison, Anderson Vaerjao, and J.J. Hickson to their roster.

(2) Detroit assimilates (7) Minnesota

– Why This Would Work:  Detroit isn’t really that much of a move from Minnesota and the Wolves lack the history of the Pistons, so the league wouldn’t miss them.  Plus a team featuring Kevin Love, Michael Beasley, Ben Gordan, Charlie Villanueva, and Tayshaun Prince would be insanely talented and one of the weirdest looking teams in NBA history.

(3) Los Angeles assimilates (6) Sacramento

– Why This Would Work:  Commissioner Stern could step in and force Don Sterling to sell his shares to the Maloof’s.  Then the billionaire brothers could, move the whole dang operation to Vegas with a new name or reestablish the Sonics in Seattle.  Plus Evans would be an upgrade over Davis.

(4) New Jersey assimilates (5) Washington

– Why This Would Work:  The Nets are moving to Brooklyn and looking for a franchise player to sell to the public.  While the Wizards aren’t really moving at all and happen to have a franchise player.  Plus a starting line up of Wall, Hinrich, Lewis, Lopez, and Anthony wouldn’t be that bad.  (Assuming they make the trade)

Instead of Contracting a couple of teams and spreading their rosters to the winds, why not Assimilate the weaker into the weak, making them just the slightest bit stronger?  It’d certainly be interesting to see how these different organizations blended to become new operations.

Give it a chance,

Where We Stand

So where do TheLongTalk’s preseason predictions stand at the start of 2011?

In the Eastern Conference things are looking OK.  The first four are right, but the order is wrong.

1 – Boston – Predicted (P) 4 – Which is where they might be heading with Garnett hurt
2 – Miami – P 1 – Which is where they might be heading now that they’re clicking
3 – Chicago – P 3 – TheLongTalk’s first correct call
4 – Orlando – P 2 – They’re doing pretty good considering they retooled on the fly
5 – Atlanta – P 6 – They’re moving down before seasons end
6 – New York – P 5 – They’re moving up
7 – Indiana – P 10 – This is TLT’s biggest mistake so far, TheLongTalk thought Indy would miss the cut
8 – Milwaukee – P 7 – Hanging in there, but TLT was right about the Jennings injury
– – – –
9 – Philly – P 8
10 – Charlotte – P 9
11 – Detroit – P 12
12 – Toronto – P 15
13 – New Jersey – P 13 (TLT’s second hit)
14 – Washington – P 11
15 – Cleveland – P 14

The Western Conference is not nearly as good as the East’s predictions, but again TLT nailed the first four, without the order. (Although anyone could do that considering these 4 teams are always the top 4)

1 – San An – P 4 – Both of TheLongTalk’s #4 picks have become #1’s
2 – Dallas – P 1 – They might be in danger of falling even farther then 2
3 – Utah – P 2 – They’re almost were they should be, give or take a position
4 – LA – P 3 – Once again TLT gets the top for right, but not the order
5 – OK – P 5 – Another solid call
6 – Denver – P 10 – TheLongTalk’s biggest West Coast mistake
7 – New Orleans – P 9 – They’re on their way down
8 – Portland – P 6 – But that was if they could stay healthy, which they haven’t
– – – –
9 – Houston – P 9 (Another correct call)
10 – Memphis – P 13
11 – Phoenix – P 7 (Way off)
12 – Golden State – P 14
13 – Clippers – P 11
14 – Minnesota – P 15
15 – Sacramento – P 12

Where we are now is … if the Playoffs began today (which they don’t) and if they used a 16 team bracket instead of two 8 team ones (Which they never will) we’d see some pretty cool matchups…

1 San An vs 16 Memphis (not great)
9 Orlando vs 8 Oklahoma (this one would be wild, and the press would love it Durant-V-Howard)
– – –
5 Chicago vs 12 New Orleans (OK at best)
13 New York vs 4 Miami (a great first round matchup)
– – –
3 Dallas vs 14 Portland (not amazing)
6 Utah vs 11 Denver (this is a rivalry, these guys always seem to bump into each other)
– – –
7 Lakers vs 10 Atlanta (sort of lame)
15 Hornets vs 2 Boston (CP3-V-Rondo)

The best one by far is New York-V-Miami, but Orlando-V-OK would be cool also.  The worst would probably be San An-V-Memphis.  It’d be nice to see the top 16 Teams go to the Playoffs regardless of division, but it’s never going to happen.  Instead we’ll see sub .500 teams like Indy and the Bucks making it, come seasons end.

Still got time to get these right,