Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Boston Celtics Big Man Options 2

The Celtics are finally healthy and playing like most people expected them to. They however still have a rebounding problem. Now I have another handful of big men the Celtics should target at some point this season. This time they will strictly play Center.
First off I have Omer Asik. With small ball taking over the NBA and Anthony Davis able to play both Power Forward and Center, Asik doesn't see too many minutes. Like Nikola Vucevic in my previous article, Asik is a professional rebounder. In his first season with New Orleans he averaged 3.2 offensive rebounds and his offensive rebound percentage sat at 14 percent in 26.1 minutes. This season he hasn't seen nearly as many minutes but the rebounds are still there. He's averaging 1.7 offensive rebounds, which is good for 10.2 percent in only 18 minutes. Give him about 22 to 24 minutes a game and he'll be back to 3 offensive rebounds a game. Another plus is he's a legitimate 7 footer, making it easier for him to box out shorter centers. Getting him should be pretty easy since the Pelicans kind of want to move him. Send Amir Johnson over for Asik and a future 2nd Round Pick.
Next is Nerlens Noel. Rumor has it that the 76ers prefer to move him over Jahlil Okafor and the Celtics had been linked to him all offseason. Noel is plus defender and a good rebounder. Among the players on this list he is the weakest on the offensive boards. His shot blocking, on ball defense and boxout game should make up for his fewer offensive rebounds. He hasn't played this season so I'll use his career stats. In 30.1 minutes Noel is averaging 2.4 offensive rebounds per game on an 8.3 percentage. He also averages 1.8 steals and 1.7 blocks per game. He likely won't play 30 minutes but more likely 25. I think Demetrius Jackson and two or three 2nd Round Picks would suffice. The problem that the 76ers have then belongs to the Celtics in that they have too many big men. They would likely have to send Zeller or Johnson away to another team for a veteran guard. Maybe Jose Calderon of the Lakers.
Next I have the return of Sully, Jared Sullinger. Like Noel, Sully has not played this season. I've always been a huge fan of his and was very sad to see him go. I believe that he would fit this team even now than before. Last season he averaged 2.4 offensive rebounds a game and had a 10.6 offensive rebound percentage in 23.6 minutes. His career percentage is a little better at 11.5 so anywhere being that would be where he'd sit. He is an undersized Center at only 6'9" but he's strong and a good on ball defender. If Brad Stevens has him stick to low post offense and mid range jumpers he should also be better on the offensive game. To get Sully they'd likely just have to send Johnson over. Both men are on one year deals so money likely won't be an issue.
The final player to target is Enes Kanter. Unlike the others on this list, Kanter is a plus offensive option. He's been came off the bench last and has been so this season as well, so I'm going to use his starter stats from the two season ago. In 28.5 minutes for the Thunder and Jazz he averaged 3.7 offensive rebounds and a 14.6 offensive rebound percentage. Plus he averaged 15.5 points per game. Getting him will be more costly than the others however. His 17 million dollar contract is the main issue. The Celtics would have to send Amir Johnson and his 12 million dollar contract over in any deal. So I have Amir Johnson, Kelly Olynyk, Demetrius Jackson and the Celtics 2018 1st Round Pick for Kanter and Anthony Morrow. The Thunder might want to send over another player instead of waiving one. I would say Nick Collison but the Thunder are very loyal and might not want to move him.
To me these option are more realistic than in the previous article and possibly better option. I am also going write an Anthony Davis trade article despite the fact that the Pelicans won't trade him.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Boston Celtics Big Man Options

To be fair I am probably overreacting by writing this article. The Celtics are 3 and 4 but are without Jae Crowder and Al Horford. Those two leave two huge holes on both sides of the court. The problem however is in the rebounding game. Even with Crowder and Horford back they are still very poor when it comes to offensive rebounding. Tyler Zeller has been fine on the glass but Amir Johnson has been underwhelming. So I have three big men in mind for the Celtics to targets. Initially I had five targets. Derrick Favors of the Jazz and Anthony Davis of the Pelicans. The Jazz are winning and Trey Lyles is not ready to take over for Favors. As for Anthony Davis, expect an article about him soon.
The first target I have in mind is Kenneth Faried. I have mentioned the idea of acquiring Faried before and now looks like the perfect time. The Nuggets have a very crowded front court and Faried has been pushed to the bench. His rebounds have not suffered however. He's averaging 9.0 rebounds, 3.6 offensive rebounds in only 23.9 minutes. His offensive rebound percentage is well above average with 16.9 percent. His defense is lacking but with Al Horford and Jae Crowder should make up for his shortcomings. The Nuggets have several power forwards but no pure backup center. So I have the Celtics sending Amir Johnson and their two 2017 2nd round picks for Faried. That should be enough to land him. If not send their 2018 1st round pick instead. I'm willing to do that because the Celtics will still have Brooklyn's pick.
The next guy on my list is Nikola Vucevic. The Magic have been disappointing so far and with Bismack Biyombo on the team Vucevic may be available for the right price. Vucevic is a professional rebounder on both the offensive and defensive end. He's averaging 11.1 rebounds, 3.5 offensive rebounds in 28.3 minutes. His offensive rebound percentage is not as good as Faried but is still above average at 12.7 percent. He's also a plus passer and has a great mid range game. Like with Faried he isn't the best defender but the others can make up for it. He will be more costly than Faried but not out of the Celtics price range. Give them Amir Johnson, Demetrius Jackson and the Celtics 2018 1st Round pick for Vucevic and Damjan Rudez. Rudez gives them an extra wing/stretch forward.
The final target is Zach Randolph. The Grizzlies have also disappointed and push Randolph to the bench. Randolph is also in the last year of his contract with the Grizzlies. He has always been a great rebounder and has improved on defense with the Grizzlies. He also know how to play in the playoffs. He's averaging 8.0 rebounds, 1.8 offensive rebounds in 21.5 minutes. His offensive rebounds percentage isn't nearly as good as the other two but is still far better than anything the Celtics have. The flexibility of his contract makes it worth it. The Celtics will probably have to give up Tyler Zeller and two 2017 2nd round picks. James Young and Troy Daniels could be in the mix as well.
The Celtics are desperate for rebounds and these guys could save them.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Boston Celtics Offseason: Scenario Number 2

The 2016 Draft is done, free agency is cooling down and the Summer League is on going. All three of which have been a success for the Celtics. Al Horford signed a max deal, Amir Johnson and Jonas Jerebko had their contracts guaranteed and Jaylen Brown was drafted with the number 3 pick. Jared Sullinger and Evan Turner also left for other teams. With all that there is still work to be done according to Isaiah Thomas and GM Danny Ainge. One rumor in particular is what I want to talk about today. That rumor is a trade for Clippers All-Star Blake Griffin. The trade is speculated as being a three team trade that also includes the Kings. The Celtics would send Jae Crowder to the Kings and Picks to the Clippers, the Kings would send Rudy Gay to the Clippers and the Clippers would send Blake Griffin to the Celtics. There would likely be other pieces as well. I am against trading Jae Crowder in general but I would do this deal if the Celtics got Paul Pierce as well. He would be the sixth man and mentor Jaylen Brown. I don't think we have to give up Crowder however. I have a trade where the Celtics wouldn't have to give up Jae Crowder.
This would be a trade between the Celtics and Clippers straight up. The Clippers would get Jaylen Brown, Kelly Olynyk, the Nets 2017 Pick and a 2017 Second Round Pick for Blake Griffin and Paul Pierce. Brown is an upgrade from Wesley Johnson and Kelly Olynyk is the stretch the Clippers need next to DeAndre Jordan. The Nets 2017 Pick is the big piece of course. Blake Griffin has the inside game the Celtics need. His rebounding percentages have declined since DeAndre Jordan started playing big minutes but they should go way up next to Al Horford. As for Paul Pierce he brings leadership and playoff experience that is much needed on this Celtics team. Not to mention it'd be nice to have him finish his career back in Boston. The line up would look like this
  1. Isaiah Thomas
  2. Avery Bradley
  3. Jae Crowder
  4. Blake Griffin
  5. Al Horford
  1. Marcus Smart
  2. Young/Hunter
  3. Paul Pierce
  4. Jonas Jerebko
  5. Amir Johnson
 Of course Marcus Smart would have to improve his percentages and Pierce would have to play better than last year. I don't think Pierce would be an issue because the Clippers were never the best fit for him. I'd say that is easily the second best team in the East. In my opinion the best in the East.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Boston Celtics Offseason: All Defense Scenarios

Being the night before the draft, the Celtics are still looking for a partner to trade the 3rd pick to. In these scenarios I have the Celtics trading the 3rd pick to build a defensive juggernaut. One scenario has Kevin Durant coming to Boston, one does not have him coming to Boston. I'll start with the one without Durant.
There are a few teams I think need a rebuild. One of those teams is the Hawks. Earlier today they traded away Jeff Teague in a 3 team trade and acquired the 12th pick. This allows them to use Dennis Schroder as their starting point guard. I believe they need to rebuild the team completely around Dennis Schroder and a few other players. So that means I have them not re-signing Al Horford and trading Paul Millsap. I can think of a couple other teams I'd trade Millsap to, but this is a Celtics article. In the trade I have Jared Sullinger, Terry Rozier, the 3rd Pick and the right to swap picks with Brooklyn in 2017 for Paul Millsap. Sullinger would bring an offensive rebounder with a great mid range jumper, similar to Horford, on a smaller salary. Terry Rozier is plus defending point guard who can rebound and will get better as he puts on muscle. The 3rd pick can grab them Jaylen Brown to take over at Small Forward. For the Celtics Millsap brings another defensive force to the team. The Celtics still needs Center however. I don't have them signing Al Horford however. I don't like the pairing of him and Millsap because of the lack of low post offense and rebounding. I have them bringing Hassan Whiteside. I believe with the right pitch Whiteside would definitely come to Boston. It wouldn't hurt to offer him a max deal in this scenario either. The two other moves I have the Celtics making are re-signing Evan Turner and guaranteeing Jonas Jerebko's contract. Turner has been great for the Celtics, doing anything they've asked him to do and he has said he'd take a hometown discount to come back. Jerebko brings energy and the ability to stretch the floor off the bench. He paired well with Kelly Olynyk and did great when inserted in the starting lineup during the playoffs. Bringing him back would also allow Jordan Mickey to continue his development. So here is what the Celtics would look like in this scenario.
  1. Isaiah Thomas
  2. Avery Bradley
  3. Jae Crowder
  4. Paul Millsap
  5. Hassan Whiteside
  1. Marcus Smart
  2. R.J. Hunter
  3. Evan Turner
  4. Jonas Jerebko
  5. Kelly Olynyk
In my opinion that's an absolute defense that every team will hate playing. I do believe this trade will be harder to accomplish than the Durant scenario trade.
For the Durant scenario the trade I have to acquire Paul Millsap is Jae Crowder, the 3rd Pick and the right to swap with Brooklyn in 2017. I could also have them adding the 16th pick or a young player like Rozier or James Young. After the trade the Celtics would sign Hassan Whiteside for slightly less than max. The Celtics would have to sign him first in order to lure Durant to Boston. I would have them bring back Evan Turner here as well but not Jonas Jerebko, because of their need for cap space. Here is what the Celtics would look like with Kevin Durant.
  1. Isaiah Thomas
  2. Avery Bradley
  3. Kevin Durant
  4. Paul Millsap
  5. Hassan Whiteside
  1. Marcus Smart
  2. R.J. Hunter
  3. Evan Turner
  4. Jordan Mickey
  5. Kelly Olynyk
This team would be a nightmare on both ends of the floor. With a quality bench like this it makes it even worse for opposing team. I believe this team could outplay the Cavs and Raptors next season. On another note I realize I said bringing back Jerebko would allow Mickey to develop more but he's already a plus defensive player with good low post offense. His mid range game has improved dramatically and he has the ability to hit 3s. Give him time in the rotation and he'll flourish.
So let's see what Danny Ainge can do before or on draft night. I have faith in him.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Unlikely Money In The Bank Predictions

So WWE Money in the Bank is this Sunday and it should be pretty good. The MITB Ladder Match will most likely steal the show. John Cena vs. AJ Styles could be a classic, maybe even a 5-Star Match. The Main Event is being billed as a WrestleMania quality match. I disagree because Roman Reigns has to be carried through matches for them to be good. If Seth Rollins knee is one hundred percent he should be able to carry Roman. I have predictions that are almost guaranteed not to happen. Let's start with the not so crazy predictions.
In the U.S. Title match I have Titus O'Neal going over Rusev. I think after the silly suspension and the fact that it's Father's Day, Titus will get his first major singles title. I also have a feeling it will be a Zack Ryder like reign unfortunately.
Next Apollo Crews will go over Sheamus, probably on the pre-show.
Natalia and Becky Lynch will probably go over on Charlotte and Dana Brook in order to build more tension between Charlotte and Brook.
For the Fatal Four Way Tag Team Match for the titles I have the New Day retaining. I think Xavier Wood will play a big part and give them the win. I would like the Club to win but I think WWE is saving that for Summerslam.
Now for the crazy predictions.
The Miz comes out to brag about his latest movie and that he's much too tired to defend his title. Then Shane or Stephanie comes out and tells him he has to defend his title or he'll be striped of it. Miz says he'll beat anyone they throw at him. Music hits and out comes Shinsuke Nakamura. After a good match and end of the match beating by Nakamura, there is a new Intercontinental Champion. I have Nakamura coming up because of the upcoming draft and so Nakamura and Finn Balor can feud over something and so they don't have to work both main roster and NXT.
Next is the Money in the Bank Ladder Match and the Main Event. As the six men make their entrances, Shane or Stephanie come out again to announce a seventh participant. Out comes Bray Wyatt. For this I have two outcomes, both I would be fine with. First Bray goes over and wins the briefcase. Second Dean Ambrose goes over and with the briefcase. The only other person in the match that I believe is ready for a main event push is Kevin Owens, but I don't think WWE is ready to push him. Regardless of who wins I have both men cashing that night. If it's Dean, I have him turning the match into a triple threat and being pinned by Rollins. That way Reigns still looks unbeatable (Which he shouldn't) and Dean can put them over...again. If Bray wins, I have him and the Wyatts attacking Roman after he wins. Bray hits Sister Abigail to become the NEW WWE champion.
Finally we come to John Cena vs. AJ Styles. I'll start with what I think will happen. I believe at towards the end of the match the Club will run out but only as a distraction. Then Finn Balor will appear from the crowd and take out AJ Styles. John Cena hits the AA for the win. Balor Cub beats down AJ before Cena makes the save. I have two crazier outcomes in mind. First after the bell rings, the Club immediately runs down. AJ tells them to wait before laying down in the ring. John Cena makes the cover and they join forces. The other outcome has a great match between Cena and Styles before the Club runs down. The jump in the ring and betray Styles.  The ref calls the DQ and Cena pushes Gallows and Anderson away then begins stomping out Styles. This should be a successful double turn meaning the much awaited John Cena heel turn. Cena gives Styles the You Can't See Me and they leave him a crumbled mess.
That's what I want Money in the Bank to go, but of course I'm just a crazy fan.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Boston Celtics Offseason: Scenario Number 1

This is the start of a series of post about Celtics offseason moves. Some moves are very realistic and some moves are very unlikely. I'll start by saying I have a couple of Kevin Durant scenarios but don't make a significant move right away, they have no chance of getting Durant. Also I have the Nets draft pick that the Celtics owns being the third overall pick. The draft lottery could fall in the Celtics favor by giving the first or second pick, but they are more likely to get the third. First let's talk about the Celtics needs. The first is they do not have a superstar player. Isaiah Thomas led the Celtics in points per game, assists per game and free throws per game. He was an All-Star for the first time and he did all that at 5'9". He may be an All-Star but there are too many things he can't do. Getting another scorer on the team would take the pressure off Thomas and he'd end up taking more high quality shots. In my opinion however that is not the Celtics biggest problem. They have three bigger problems that need addressing in order to get a superstar. Those are 3-point shooting, offensive rebounds and rim protection. This scenario will cover all of those problems. Also this scenario does not end with the Celtics getting Kevin Durant. That's for another time. I'll start with the three trades. The first target is Jimmy Butler. The Bulls are a team that I believe should start the rebuilding process. Jimmy Butler will net them enough draft pick and players to accelerate the rebuilding process. Danny Ainge is very crafty and knows the relationship between Jimmy Butler and the Bulls head coach isn't the best, so I believe he won't have to give up an arm and a leg to get him. I see him trading Avery Bradley, James Young, the Nets pick & the Celtics pick for Jimmy Butler. The Bulls will ask for Jae Crowder but I believe they will give in if this is the deal.
Next is a trade for Kenneth Faried. Faried was had the second most offensive rebounds per game this season only behind Andre Drummond. The Nuggets have a lot of holes they need to fill but also a lot of draft picks. I believe they can package Danilo Gallinari with pick they can get the superstar they need. They'll need role players to surround that superstar with though. So the Celtics would trade Marcus Smart, Jared Sullinger and the right to swap with Nets in the 2017 Draft for Kenneth Faried. This fills the fixes the offense rebounding problem the Celtics have.
The last trade is pretty minor. Since they trade Marcus Smart away, Terry Rozier would move in as the back up. I'm not sure how I feel about that so I have the Celtics trading R.J. Hunter and a second round pick to the Knicks for Jose Calderon and cash. This helps with shooting off the bench and he's a better at the assist than Marcus Smart. With those trades there are still holes to fill but letting Amir Johnson and Jonas Jerebko go would allow for one more big contract and a medium contract. They start with Al Horford. If the Hawks are smart they will not resign Horford. He's great on defense and a great mid range and perimeter shooting. His rebounding and lack of low post skills is a huge problem for a team like the Hawks. If you pair him with Faried however you have a devastating combination. The medium signing is of course Evan Turner. His ability to do everything well and his love of Boston makes it almost impossible not to re-sign him. There are also a handful of smaller signings that would help and provide insurance. Re-Signing Tyler Zeller for a two year deal would be beneficial. If he asks for too much money however, they can sign someone like Kendrick Perkins. He loved playing in Boston and would come back if Danny called. Now the Celtics also have the Mavs pick to fill a few other roles. I'd also be happy to see Paul Pierce come back if he doesn't retire. So let's at the line up.
  1. Isaiah Thomas PG
  2. Jimmy Butler SG
  3. Jae Crowder SF
  4. Kenneth Faried PF
  5. Al Horford C
  1. Jose Calderon PG
  2. Terry Rozier SG/PG
  3. Evan Turner GF
  4. Jordan Mickey PF
  5. Kelly Olynyk FC
With Brad Stevens defensive coaching style and ability to make adjustments depending on opponents and situations, these Celtics could challenge the Warriors and Cavs for the NBA Title.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The Disaster That is WrestleMania 32

WrestleMania 32 will be my first WrestleMania since I started watching wrestling again. This WrestleMania may get me to stop watching again. The passed two WrestleManias the WWE has tried to push a garbage main event on the fans but bailed themselves out at the last minute. At WrestleMania 30 when Daniel Bryan won the right to make the main event a triple threat and at WrestleMania 31 when Seth Rollins cashed in Money in the Bank. This year the WWE had another chance to fix the mess they made with Roadblock. Make the matches the fans want and cut out the crap. They could've even compromised with the fans. Make Dean Ambrose the WWE Champion going in and have him lose to Roman Reigns at Mania. Instead we Triple H vs. Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose vs. Brock Lesnar. Every match announced for the card makes me not want to watch. If I didn't have the WWE Network, I wouldn't spend money on this event. Why? It is because WWE is pushing everyone the crowd dislikes. That is not an exaggeration. Let's look at the matches.
  1. WWE Champion Triple H vs. Roman Reigns
  2. Undertaker vs. Shane McMahon in Hell in a Cell
  3. Brock Lesnar vs. Dean Ambrose in a Street Fight
  4. Kevin Owens defends his IC Title in a multiman ladder match (Rumor)
  5. US Champion Kalisto vs. Ryback
  6. WWE Tag Champs the New Day vs. League of Nation in a 4 on 3 tag match
  7. WWE Divas Champ Charlotte vs. Becky Lynch vs. Sasha Banks
  8. AJ Styles vs. Chris Jericho
  9. The Usos vs. the Dudley Boyz
  10. Andre the Giant Battle Royale
Let me start with the IC Title Match. Why is this the ladder match? WWE could have easily made this a triple threat between Kevin Owen, AJ Styles and Chris Jericho. This match could've been AJ's big WrestleMania moment or Jericho's tenth IC Title Reign. Instead we get match where Owens will lose it to Ziggler or Miz or Zayn or Sin Cara. He could retain it, which is my preference, but I bet Ziggler wins to stick it to the Authority.
The Kalisto/Ryback match will be announced on the March 17th edition of Smackdown (Spoilers.) I understand that this is to build up Kalisto as the next Rey Mysterio but why can't this be the multiman ladder match. Stick Ryback in the Battle Royale until they can come up with a good gimmick for him.
The New Day vs. League of Nations is a thing still. Let me start by saying I love the New Day as heels. They are really good at it. So let's turn them face and have them face the most boring stable in WWE. Who the hell is booking for the WWE? Is Vince the head booker now? I'm not even done with all the matches and I'm annoyed. Anyways, a handicap match for the titles is something I've never seen, at least not recently. This could have been Enzo & Cass' big chance to win gold, but no we get the League of Nations. The Bullet Club could've debuted and brought chaos, but no we get the League of Nations.
AJ Styles vs. Chris Jericho, this match just doesn't make sense to me unless they're burying Styles on the grandest stage of them all. I love heel Jericho but I just don't care about this match again.
The Usos vs. the Dudley Boyz, I'm just going to say no thanks and move on.
The Divas Title Match, may be the show stealer. The three best woman on the main roster battling for gold on the biggest Pay Per View of the year, this match screams great. Any outcome would be fine with me but I'd prefer Sasha Banks come out as champion. I love Becky Lynch and would love her as champ too. Charlotte is kind of getting old and I'd like to see her fight her way back up. This will be match of the night.
Brock Lesnar vs. Dean Ambrose in a street fight. I know exactly how this is going to end. Dean's going to kick out of the second F-5, but finally gets pinned after a third one. Brock Lesnar picks him up and raises his hand earning the Beast's respect. Then they're both attacked by the Wyatt Family before they carry Brock away. The Wyatt's don't have a match for WrestleMania and will probably compete in the Andre The Giant Battle Royale. The Wyatt's could also cost Lesnar the match and Dean could win that way but either way this match is lame.
The Undertaker vs. Shane McMahon is another match just to get people to buy tickets. Shane is going to lose. It's as simple as that. WWE isn't going to make the Undertaker lose at Mania again.
Then there is the Main Event. Roman Reigns challenging Triple H for the Title. As predictable as they come. Roman Reigns is the new John Cena, minus the fact John Cena is good on the mic and some fans actually like him. This will be the first WrestleMania that will end in boos, beers being thrown from the crowd and the Champ being rushed to the back so he isn't attacked by fans. Triple H will have to win after big interference for the crowd to put this match over.
This may go down in history as the worst WrestleMania yet. They've had some bad ones but this one could take the cake. You've been warned.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

How I Would Book the Bullet Club in WWE

I am not very happy with the WWE right now. It is mainly due to WWE shoving Roman Reigns down our throats. I honestly don't hate Roman Reigns, but I don't want him as my number one contender and I certainly don't want him as my champion. WWE however doesn't care. Roman Reigns is going to win the title at WrestleMania against Triple H. Sorry to Dean Ambrose, unfortunately you are probably going to lose at Roadblock. WWE also has no plans for turning Roman Reigns or Dean Ambrose heel. This leaves a big hole for a new heel to take on Reigns for the title after WrestleMania. I would love Bray Wyatt to do so, but that probably won't happen. The Raw after WrestleMania sees Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose celebrating in the ring when they are confronted by Finn Balor and the debuting Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson. That's right the Bullet Club or in this case the Balor Club. Before I go further they could also use AJ Styles for this role if they want to keep Finn Balor as NXT Champion. Balor challenges Reigns for his title and when Ambrose tells him to get in the back of the line, Gallows and Anderson attack them. After a bit of a stalemate the main event is book for Reigns and Ambrose in a tag match against Gallows and Anderson. During the main event Gallows and Anderson control the majority of the match, but when Reigns finally fights back Finn Balor interferes and the referee calls a DQ. The Balor Club proceed to beat downs Reigns and Ambrose before stealing Roman's title. The next several weeks have Roman Reigns trying to get his belt back from Finn Balor, who keeps escaping with it until the week before the PPV after WrestleMania. (I honestly have no idea which one that is.) Finn Balor tells Roman Reigns he can have it back if he beats him at the PPV. Reigns says if Balor Club can beat his team he can have the belt. Balor Agrees and the Balor Club begin their beat down on Reigns and Ambrose until the returning John Cena makes the save. The three stand tall as the Balor Club live to fight another day. When the PPV rolls around, footage is shown of John Cena being attacked before the match. Reigns and Ambrose decided to go on with the match and have it be a handicap match instead. The Balor Club control the whole match but towards the end Reigns mounts a comeback. He takes out Gallows and Anderson, but is blindsided by Finn Balor. Out comes John Cena, miraculously healed and jumps on the ring apron reaching for Reigns to tag him in. Reigns fights Balor off long enough to tag Cena in. Cena stares down Balor, but quickly turns and F-U's Reigns. Notice I said F-U and AA. Balor proceeds to cover Reigns 1-2-3. Balor grabs the belt and a microphone and hands them to Cena. Cena holds up the belt and declares, "The Champ is here!". Now because a John Cena heel turns is like an urban legend, no one will see this coming and the crowd will be left in shock. This will be the birth of Hollywood Cena. In my opinion this would increase viewership tenfold. People have been wanting a John Cena heel turn for a while now. This could also build up for Seth Rollins' return as a face and could lead to a Shield reunion in an attempt to take out the growing Balor Club, which will not be renamed Cena Club. It could also lead to a completely dominant run that leads to an implosions. Now I know people say a Cena heel turn will never happen because it's bad for business, but what would WWE rather have? A face that some people will pay to see win or a heel that everyone will pay to see lose?

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Chicago Cubs vs. St. Louis Cardinals

Let me start by saying that I do not believe the Pirates are going to be a bad team this year, however they didn't make significant additions but lost key players like Neil Walker and Pedro Alverez. I believe they are going to be the third place team and I apologize to all Pirates fans. Don't worry they'll be back in the spot light soon. Now onto the battle for first place.
The Cubs are the favorites to win the NL Central and the World Series. Now if you've read my blog before you'll know I am a Cubs fan. I'm going to stay as unbiased as I can because the Cardinals are a good team. So let's start with the additions, subtractions & re-signings for both teams.
Cubs Additions & Re-Signings
  1. Jason Heyward OF
  2. Ben Zobrist 2B
  3. John Lackey RHP
  4. Adam Warren RHP
  5. Rex Brothers LHP
  6. Trevor Cahill RHP
Cubs Subtractions
  1. Dexter Fowler CF
  2. Starlin Castro SS/2B
  3. Chris Denofia OF
  4. Austin Jackson OF
  5. Dan Haren RHP
  6. Tommy Hunter RHP
  7. Jason Motte RHP
  8. Fernando Rodney RHP
The Cubs additions are significant, especially for the Cardinals. They pouched the Cardinals two best players from 2015 in Heyward and Lackey. Adding Zobrist as well gives them a switch hitting On-Base threat that can play almost every position. The addition of Adam Warren will have him competing with Kyle Hendricks for the fifth starter spot. He did very well for the Yankees in an AL hitter friendly ballpark. I believe Warren will end up taking the fifth spot at some point. The subtractions are also fairly significant. Dexter Fowler was a great lead off hitter but a bad defender. His lose is a win-lose, but the addition of Heyward makes it lean towards a win. The lose of Starlin Castro was had me fairly disappointed. He was a fan favorite of mine and going to the Yankees makes it cut a little deeper. Javier Baez' transition to the outfield this winter will make up for the loses of Denorfia and Jackson. He's should play better in the outfield with his range and throwing arm. John Lackey is a vast improvement over Dan Haren and they already have a stacked bullpen to make up for those loses. I would have liked them to have added another lefty in case Brothers falters. The Cubs still have plenty of prospects to add if someone gets hurt.
Now to the Cardinals.
Cardinals Additions & Re-Signings
  1. Jedd Gyorko 2B/3B
  2. Brayan Pena C
  3. Mike Leake RHP
  4. Jonathan Broxton RHP
  5. Adam Wainwright RHP (Return)
Cardinals Subtractions
  1. Jason Heyward OF
  2. Mark Reynolds 1B
  3. Jon Jay OF
  4. Pete Kozma 2B
  5. Peter Bourjas OF
  6. John Lackey RHP
  7. Steve Cishek RHP
  8. Randy Choate LHP
  9. Carlos Villanueva RHP
  10. Lance Lynn RHP (Tommy John) 
The Cardinals additions are not significant but their loses are huge. The return of Wainwright to replace Lackey is an improvement at the top of the rotation. I have previously stated that I don't think Cardinals pitching is very good. I predicted it would be their downfall in the NLDS against either the Cubs or Pirates because of their WHIP. I was right. Wainwright makes a big difference because Lackey's WHIP is not good for a number one especially compare to Wainwright. Mike Leake as the replacement was not my favorite move. I Cardinals missed out on David Price, but I was disappointed that they didn't have a better back up plan. Leake has the same problem the rest of the Cardinals rotation have and that's a high WHIP. If the bullpen fixes that it won't be as problematic. I did however have trouble building the deeper part of their bullpen. Tyler Lyons and Tim Cooney break the bullpen but they are primarily starters so they'll have to make a transition. Jordan Walden and Miguel Socolovich didn't pitch at much last year and will need to prove they still can go. Then there is Sam Tuivailala. He's flame throwing rookie who had is cup of coffee last season. He also has a big WHIP issue but he's young and will make adjustments. The rest of the bullpen I have issues with, mainly WHIP like I've been preaching. Trevor Rosenthal is a good closer, but he get's in jams too often and it will come back to haunt him. I like Kevin Siegrist as a set up man, but I don't like Jonathan Broxton for the 6th or 7th inning. He did better for the Cardinals than the Reds so it's a wait and see for him. The rotation is still an issue for me as well. You guessed it, WHIP. I believe Michael Wacha's will go down as he gets older. I prefer him as a three but he's a fine two. Mike Leake is their three and Carlos Martinez is probably their four. Jaime Garcia did well in his return from injury but got lit up in the NLDS. He can be a good three but will have to work his way back up.
To finish this off let's highlight strengths and weaknesses.
Cubs Strengths
  1. Power Hitting
  2. On-Base Percentage
  3. Clutch Hitting
  4. Starting Pitching
  5. Bullpen
  6. Management
Cubs Weaknesses
  1. Outfield Defense
  2. Reliance on the Long Ball
  3. Striking Out
  4. Experience
Cardinals Strengths
  1. Clutch Hitting
  2. Lead Off Hitting
  3. Number 1 Starter
Cardinals Weaknesses
  1. Power Hitting
  2. Starting Pitching
  3. Bullpen
  4. Management
Let me clarify a few things. Strength and Weakness not listed for one team means it's neutral. A good example is the Cardinals On-Base Percentage. It's fine probably middle of the pack or a little higher. As for management, I don't like Matheny. He doesn't like change and doesn't make enough adjustments when it comes to young players.
 The Cubs have more strengths than the Cardinals and a little of that is probably bias, but the Cardinals are neutral in a lot of category. So I have the Cubs winning the NL Central. I have the going to the World Series. I believe they can win, but the defending champion Royals, the youthful Astros, the revamped Red Sox and power hitting Blue Jays can give them trouble. Plus the Mets stopped them last year before they could reach the World Series. With all that said, Go Cubs Go!!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Boston Celtics Double Blockbuster Trades

The Celtics have 13 of their last 17 games before the All-Star break. While this makes me quite happy I am skeptical that they can keep it up. So I've come up with a double trade that could push them to become the best team in the Eastern Conference.
First is to acquire Dwight Howard from the Rockets. This shouldn't actually cost the Celtics a lot in all reality. Dwight Howard is going to opt out of his contract with the Rockets at the end of the season and he will likely do so with any team that acquires him. I do believe that if the Celtics make run or even reach the Finals that he'd likely come back. So the Celtics would give up David Lee, Tyler Zeller, their 1st Round Pick and Dallas' First Round Pick for Howard. Lee and Zeller are both expiring contacts and trading Lee would also absorb some of Howards contract. As for the picks, neither are in the lottery but the Rockets could flip the picks with their own for a lottery pick or better players.
Second is to acquire Carmelo Anthony from the Knicks. Carmelo has a no trade clause and believes in New York, but the appeal of winning a title and playing for Brad Stevens could make him waive it. This trade would require the Celtics to give up more talent. They would give up Amir Johnson, James Young, Marcus Smart and Brooklyn's First Round Pick for Carmelo and Jose Calderon. Giving up Amir Johnson is mainly to absorb some or Carmelo's contract, plus he has a none guarantee for next year. Marcus Smart has a very high ceiling and already is a plus defender. I also believe James Young has an equally high ceiling. He's barely 20 and is already a great shooter. He really just needs more consistent playing time. Then of course there is Brooklyn's unprotected pick. Brooklyn is the third worse team in basketball and that pick has a legitimate chance of becoming the first pick. That pick could land them Ben Simmons or Brandon Ingram who are both going to be elite NBA players, in my opinion. As for the Celtics they will also acquire Jose Calderon. Calderon is a better facilitator than Smart and is a better shooter. He also plays the same amounts of minutes and would make the bench better offensively.
With Carmelo Anthony I believe he is having one of the better seasons of his career when it comes defense and sharing the ball. His scoring is a bit down, but he's taking less shots however he's finding his teammates and making them better. Dwight Howard is in a similar situation when it comes to taking less shots. The difference is James Harden is a ball hog and takes a lot of bad shots. Howards offensive production is up despite taking less shots this year. He's averaging 12 rebounds a game and is still a great defender who would flourish in Stevens system.
So the Celtics would look like this.
  1. Isaiah Thomas          32.5   21.5/3.0/6.6 (2.0 3PTM)
  2. Avery Bradley          33.1   15.1/2.7/2.1 (1.6 Steals, 2.1 3PTM)
  3. Jae Crowder             32.1    14.1/5.6/1.9 (1.8 Steals, 1.7 3PTM)
  4. Carmelo Anthony     34.8   21.4/7.9/4.0
  5. Dwight Howard        32.3   14.6/12.0/1.5 (1.3 Blocks)
  1. Jose Calderon           27.6   7.5/3.1/4.1 (1.3 3PTM)
  2. Evan Turner             27.1   9.9/4.7/4.4
  3. Jonas Jerebko           13.8   3.9/3.4/0.7
  4. Jared Sullinger         23.4   9.9/8.5/2.3
  5. Kelly Olynyk           20.3   10.1/4.3/1.6 (1.3 3PTM)
Now Crowder and Bradley will likely take less shots and Carmelo and Dwight will play slightly fewer minutes in Brad's system because they have such a strong bench. A bench that will get even better with Jared Sullinger on it. Both Sullinger and Olynyk have surprisingly great defensive ratings. Evan Turner plays a facilitator roll at the small or two guard, which would give Calderon the ability to shoot more. I truly believe this team would beat the Raptors and the Cavaliers to make the Finals. Can they beat the Warriors? Well, anything can happen is sports.