NBA Preview 2013 / 2014

Unbelievably, it the NBA season kicks off in around twenty four hours.  Unreal.  Probably the right time to run some sort of preview, so like last year, here is a two word prediction for each NBA team (amazingly, last year was frighteningly accurate…)

 

Eastern Conference

Miami Heat – Heat threepeat (BONUS TWO WORDS): Without doubt

Chicago Bulls – East #1

Indiana Pacers – Title contenders?

Brooklyn Nets – Old men (BONUS TWO WORDS): No rings

New York Knicks – All Melo

Atlanta Hawks – Playoffs again

Detroit Pistons – Many jumpers

Cleveland Cavaliers – Waiting game? (BONUS TWO WORDS): LeBron returns?

Milwaukee Bucks – Better now

Washington Wizards – Overrated already

Toronto Raptors – No lottery

Orlando Magic – Not horrible

Charlotte Bobcats – Still horrible

Boston Celtics – Trade Rondo? (BONUS TWO WORDS): Humphries rebounds?

Philadelphia 76ers – 2014 already…

 

Western Conference

OKC Thunder – Durant rises (BONUS TWO WORDS): First title?

Los Angeles Clippers – Title Only!

San Antonio Spurs – Simply amazing

Houston Rockets – Harden leads (BONUS TWO WORDS): Dwight follows

Golden State Warriors – Darkhorse contenders?  (BONUS TWO WORDS): Shootout winners

Memphis Grizzlies – All D

Minnesota Timberwolves – Love in!

Denver Nuggets – Sliding quickly

Dallas Mavericks – Pretenders now

Portland Trail Blazers – Almost there

Sacramento Kings – Boogie Sugar!

New Orleans Pelicans – Davis awesome

Utah Jazz – Young team

Phoenix Suns – Loaded draft (BONUS TWO WORDS): Next year…

Los Angeles Lakers – Wiggins & Kobe (BONUS WORDS): EPIC FAIL…AGAIN…Kobe shoots…2014 Draft

Awards:

MVP: LeBron James – could this be the year he finally reaches his ceiling?  Is a triple double in play?  Is literally anything possible?

Rookie of the Year: Victor Oladipo – can anyone name another rook that seems to be in contention?

Most Improved: Anthony Davis – makes the leap this year, 20 / 10 in play.

Defensive Player: LeBron finally gets the recognition he deserves.

Coach of the Year: Might as well give this to LeBron as well.

Executive of the Year: Ditto – is there an award he does not deserve? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Big Changes Coming Soon!

As the few scattered readers of this blog may have noticed there has not been a lot of posting lately – well actually for some time, but that is neither here nor there.  Work has been very busy and time has been in increasingly short demand.  Overall, I have not been happy with the ability to write all the things about the sports world that I want to say. 

Sports is an ever present, ever dynamic and ever fluid business and it never stops.  When you slow down, things move too quickly to catch up and you end up jumping back in, seeming increasingly muddled and confused.  The goals of the Cover Corner when it began were to provide (somewhat) unique perspectives on Sports – all sports.  All of this was of course, perfectly timed with LeBron James and his “decision” which altered the course of the NBA and this Blog spectacularly.  Suddenly, there was always something to write about and always something to be interested in.  Later on, a good friend of mine,  @madadub encouraged me to get into the Premier League which I did with great gusto selecting a team (Chelsea!) over a long stretch of posts.   The natural progression moved to writing about my experiences as a new fan of the Premier League squad. 

As for the NFL, I wrote a weekly “Quick Hits” section where I provided short takes on some of the bigger stories of the week.  Occasionally there were articles about College Football or the NBA or other topics.  Now though they have become scattered and drag slowly and sparsely.  

The bottom line: like everything else The Cover Corner had to evolve and move forward in a new direction.  Without moving forwards you stagnate and eventually fail.  It was time for something new – a direction that is somewhat bold but mostly, I hope, entertaining.  The thought was simple: how can I encompass all of my love of sports in an exciting and unique way.  What perspective is unique and enlightening? 

As I read Peter King’s MMQB article this week (on Canadian Thanksgiving no less) it hit me:  a weekly column, something that could touch on multiple aspects of sports but also be specific enough that it is not simply a surface skimming.  For the past week the thoughts have been turning over and over – how to structure the column, what pieces to include, how to frame the discussion about sports in a new way. 

How indeed.

Stay tuned, because in the next few weeks we will be rolling out a new, (somewhat) fresh take on the weekly column – not up to the standards of King or Simmons, but somewhere (hopefully) in the middling ranks of wannabe sports writers.  Thank you, as always for your patience and your readership.   

NFL Quick Hits – Oct 1, 2013

Has October really crept up on us this quickly?  Is the NFL Season already one quarter of the way finished?  The answer to both questions is a resounding “yes”.  Here we go with some quick hits from this past week of football and the season so far:

The 9ers and Seahawks look destined for an epic playoff clash – At some point the NFL’s best rivalry has to explode in the playoffs, and it will be pretty epic.  The Seahawks have had the upper hand so far this year, but the Niners made some positive strides on Thursday night (both defensively and offensively).  Seattle just continues to be in the right place at the right time and play the right kind of football.  Slippery Pete continues to know just how to perfectly coach his team and garner the maximum results from them each and every game.  The playoffs could be decided simply by where the game takes place: QWEST Stadium is such an advantage for the Seahawks that if they get the No. 1 seed it could be all but over.

Peyton Manning and Tom Brady find themselves in another unique battle – Manning has been far and away the league’s best player of the season’s first quarter.  He is on a record setting pace and his team has yet to be troubled in any way by any opponent.  Tom Brady’s team has the same record as Manning’s, has half the star power (aside from Brady) and has barely clung to every single win.  Who has been more important to their team through the first quarter of the season? 

Some surprises – The Giants continue to look like the (2nd) worst team in football and are already looking to add a certain defensive lineman to their team through the draft (or QB?).  In any event, no one thought they would be this bad.  The Jags horribleness; we could see coming a mile away.  How about the division leading Lions; or Cowboys or Saints?  Just a year ago New Orleans was reeling from scandal with their coach off the sidelines for a whole year.  What a difference Payton makes on the sidelines: the team is 4-0 and looking incredibly strong on both sides of the ball. 

Farewell awful QB’s – A moment of silence for the careers of Blaine Gabbert, Mark Sanchez (who I am pretty sure I would like on any other team), Josh Freeman (horrible decision maker: went from potential franchise player to a player desperately seeking a franchise to take a flyer on him), Tim Tebow, Josh Weeden, and tragically, Carson Palmer who seems to have lost the ability to win football games.