A lot has happened in sports in the last little while, which can only mean it is past time for a mega blast with quick takes on everything that has gone on.
The Cavs cannot win simply playing hero ball – Watching Cleveland play against Denver was an interesting exercise in seeing a stagnant offense both inhibited and freed by the wealth of players on the court. LeBron could not be stopped when he drove on three consecutive plays to the basket after a series of dribbles and high picks by Kevin Love. There are too many shooters on the floor for any kind of double teams to take place. Still the ball movement was completely stagnant and LeBron seemed oddly detached for a guy who was completely dominant. Love seems to be a bit lost right now finding his place and Kyrie Irving needs to understand what it means to win instead of simply ensuring he gets to score his twenty-two points per game. Against the Pelicans they were way better, LeBron recording an astounding triple double (including 32 points) and both Love and Irving playing well. To succeed this team may need the ball in LeBron’s hands – something he was hoping to avoid in coming to Cleveland – in order to facilitate movement. These things take time and patience, but with the prime and legacy of the best player in the world at stake, time and patience may be something Cleveland finds in very short supply.
Chelsea are unbeaten, at the right time – As their main rivals for the Premier League title continue to play like shells of their former selves (Man City) and other teams are falling off bit by bit (Arsenal, Liverpool), Chelsea continues to rise. They are a frighteningly consistent team, who are not afraid to play from behind and are not afraid to go into the last few minutes with their backs against the wall. Their mid-field depth is astounding: Matic, Willian, Hazard, Oscar, Cesc and Schurrle are all fighting for playing time when any of them would be the top choice for any other squad in the premiership. The depth has been astounding but what has been more impressive is how Chelsea have used their signings to make the team more complete; not simply to make a splash. Obviously both Fabregas and Diego Costa have played wonderfully, but they have also served to make other Blues players more dangerous (Eden Hazard has been playing some of the best football of his career). Additionally, it is more than past time that right back Ivanovic properly takes his place as the best right back in football; seriously, who else would take over him? Even more impressively, Chelsea’s back line of Ivanovic, Cahill, Azpeliqueta and Terry have been consistent and strong. There has been no major injuries and they have had time to develop a deep bond. Could they run the table? No, but a runaway league title is not out of the question at this point.
The Canucks are bad…and should admit they should be worse – Band aiding your team for several years is not the way to get better. The Canucks have had some strong signings (Vrbata) but otherwise look like the same 8 or 9th best team in the West which continues to be the worst place to be in the league. You have no chance of winning the Stanley Cup and you have no chance of getting better through the draft. Had the Canucks hung on to one of their starting goalies perhaps they could have moved up…especially in this draft with the next Sidney Crosby potentially coming down the pipe (Connor McDavid). Look at how the Avalanche or Chicago got better: by building through the draft and giving players an opportunity to develop the right way, not by scrapping with Minnesota to sneak into the playoffs and then getting run over by a California team. The time to be bad is now and the Canucks are probably years from realizing it.
JJ Watt is the best player in the NFL…by far – JJ Watt is an incredible talent and his impact on the football field is far beyond that of any other defensive player and is on the same level that Tom Brady and Peyton Manning have. Seeing what he has done on the field this year is amazing and it is unfortunate he will not be up, rightly, for MVP consideration. Please appreciate him, and what he does.
Will the NFL’s best team please stand up? – Is Arizona the best team in the NFL or is it New England? Or is it Indy? Or is it…(insert 3 loss team here). We do not know, because it seems as if parity is more and more prevalent. Anyone could win the title this year and that is an awesome thing.
Are the days of talent ending? – Cam Newton, RGIII, Mike Vick…all are players who get by on their natural abilities. Peyton Manning, Philip Rivers, Tom Brady…all are players who seek to get better each and every day at what they do. The best quarterbacks in the league seem to be those who strive to better themselves each day and work, intelligently, at learning their craft. Tom Brady throws the ball to where it needs to be, avoids contact and makes plays when it matters most. Cam Newton relies on his skills and does not seem to be interested in learning the intricasies of the game because he can run fast and throw the ball far. Mike Vick played the same way each but has become better over time, learning to make two or three reads (one of the reasons he played so well against Philly) and becoming a stronger player. Colin Kaepernick (one of the smartest players in the league) will be similar to Brady I think with how he uses his brain to get better. Or at least I hope he will…