Michael's Sports Blog

2011 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 17,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 6 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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January 1, 2012 Posted by | Sports | 1 Comment

NBA Draft 2011 First Round Results

The Cavaliers took the player most people expected them to pick, Kyrie Irving.  I actually thought that the Cavaliers would have been more well-suited by picking Derrick Williams, but they were able to land Irving and Tristan Thompson, who is also a great player.  Williams is more of a small forward in my opinion, so maybe they were looker for a better inside presence by picking Thompson.

I was surprised by the Jazz pick of Enes Kanter because he didn’t do that well in the leagues he was in outside of college.  I also didn’t think Jimmer Fredette would go as high as he did because he does not play good defense.  Although a scorer, you can’t put a player in the game who isn’t going to help out much on one side of the ball.

There were a lot of foreign players taken in the first round of this years draft this year.  Many teams have decided to take their chances that these foreign players will be better than the American players who attended college in the United States.

Nikola Vucevic, a USC player, was drafted as a lottery pick.  He has the size to help out his team right away.  I always knew he would be an NBA player after watching him play in his freshman year.  I’ve also seen Jordan Hamilton play in person in high school, and although he can be streaky player sometimes, he is very talented.

I like that Kenneth Faried and Norris Cole were drafted in the first round.  Faried (Morehead State) and Cole (Cleveland State) both go to small schools and played against less competitive teams in their time, but are still impressive players.  Faried led the NCAA in rebounding and averaged a double-double his last three years in college.  Cole is a great rebounding and assisting point guard, and should have an immediate impact on his team.

No. Team Player Pos.
1. Cavaliers Kyrie Irving PG
2. Timberwolves Derrick Williams PF
3. Jazz Enes Kanter C
4. Cavaliers Tristan Thompson PF
5. Raptors Jonas Valanciunas C
6. Wizards Jan Vesely SF
7. Kings Bismack Biyombo PF
8. Pistons Brandon Knight PG
9. Bobcats Kemba Walker PG
10. Bucks Jimmer Fredette PG
11. Warriors Klay Thompson SG
12. Jazz Alec Burks SG
13. Suns Markieff Morris PF
14. Rockets Marcus Morris PF
15. Pacers Kawhi Leonard SF
16. 76ers Nikola Vucevic C
17. Knicks Iman Shumpert PG
18. Wizards Chris Singleton SF
19. Bobcats Tobias Harris PF
20. Timberwolves Donatas Motiejunas PF
21. Trail Blazers Nolan Smith SG
22. Nuggets Kenneth Faried PF
23. Rockets Nikola Mirotic SF
24. Thunder Reggie Jackson PG
25. Celtics Marshon Brooks SG
26. Mavericks Jordan Hamilton SF
27. Nets JaJuan Johnson PF
28. Bulls Norris Cole PG
29. Spurs Cory Joseph PG
30. Bulls Jimmy Butler SF

June 26, 2011 Posted by | NBA, Sports | , , , , | Leave a comment

Mavericks Win the NBA Finals

The Dallas Mavericks beat the Miami Heat in six games in what many people didn’t think was possible (including myself).  The Mavericks were an older team with many veterans, and this allowed them to handle the pressure in the series.  Their players stepped up in game six and were able to defeat the three-star tandem that the Heat brought.

LeBron James received criticism from the press that he and the rest of his team choked during the series.  LeBron specifically didn’t do well in the fourth quarter, and also had a game in the series under ten points.  This is something that couldn’t happen from a star player in an attempt to win an NBA championship.  Michael Jordan was a clutch player when his team needed him, and LeBron was unable to show that during this series.

When the Heat’s three players came together, LeBron said that he believed the Heat would win not 1, not 2, not 3, not 4, not 5, not 6, and not even 7 NBA championships (in the video below).  However, he is now an aging player, making eight NBA championships seem unlikely unless he is able to win the next eight in a row.  This has never happened before and I don’t think the Heat will be the first to do it.

I would like to congratulate Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks on winning the NBA championship.  They were able to defeat the team that beat them five years ago, redeeming themselves.  This was Nowitzki, Terry, and Kidd’s first NBA championship, and it was well deserved.

June 13, 2011 Posted by | NBA, Sports | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Two NBA Coaching Hires That Make No Sense to Me

I don’t understand the signings of Mike Brown (Los Angeles Lakers) and Mark Jackson (Golden State Warriors).  I think both teams should have taken more time to decide on the coach of their future.

Brown coached LeBron James when he was on the Cleveland Cavaliers, leading the team to a sixty-six win season in 2009 and won coach of the year that year.  There were many talented players on the Cavaliers teams he coached, but they didn’t win a championship under his leadership.  The Cavaliers didn’t think he was good enough to bring back after 2009, and Brown wasn’t signed again after the 2009 season.  The Lakers are a storied franchise, and although Brown may have some experience coaching a big name player, I thought there were many better options out there.

Jackson has no coaching experience, but played 17 years as a point guard in the NBA, and has been an analyst for the NBA for the last few years.  The team must have liked his leadership ability shown through his in-game commentary in their decision to choose him as coach.  Jackson lured long-time assistant coach, Michael Malone, from the New Orleans Hornets, so he will at least have an experienced coach on his staff.  The Warriors have a young team so maybe the owner thought Jackson would be able to draw some fire into the team.

June 10, 2011 Posted by | NBA, Sports | , , | Leave a comment

Ohio State/USC Sanction Updates

USC

The NCAA has ruled even further on USC’s sanctions, stripping the team of its 2004 BCS National Championship, and also wiping out their appearance in a BCS bowl in 2005.  According to the N.Y. Times “this is the first time that a consensus major college football champion has been stripped of its title.”  The NCAA has decided that their will be no team that was the BCS national champion in 2004.  USC will still be the Associated Press national champion that year, but the BCS Championship is the game that you play to prove that you are the best team.

I think that this is a very harsh punishment for the NCAA to place on USC.  What about the other players who were part of the national championship winning team?  Is it fair that all of their hard work no longer makes them winners of the biggest bowl in college football?  I don’t think so.  One player receiving illegal benefits should not force all of the players on the team to suffer such a punishment.

Ohio State

While the school is still under investigation for NCAA violations, Terrelle Pryor has decided to leave Ohio State instead of returning for his senior season.  First the well-renowned coach leaves, and now the star player.

Pryor was already suspended for the first five games of the season, shocking many people when he first said he was going to come back.  Now he decided it is his time to leave.  I’m sure his reason was due to the fact that the NCAA has already been looking at the school and will probably find more information linking Pryor to more NCAA violations.  After his news broke about leaving, a former friend came forward with more news about how Pryor received thousands of dollars in return for signing memorabilia for Ohio State fans.  This violation is even more severe than the other violation where he received tattoos for signing memorabilia.

The team looks to be in shambles, and we’ll see if the rest of the NCAA probe can find more information about the violations the school’s players were involved in.

Overall Thoughts about Violations

One thing I’ve began to notice is that coaches seem to know of their team’s violations, and when finally found out, they leave the school.  In the case of USC, Tim Floyd resigned as coach of the men’s basketball team when information was brought to attention about O.J. Mayo.  Pete Carroll, the USC football coach, left for the NFL when Bush’s violations stemmed.  The coach of Ohio State, Jim Tressel, resigned after violations were found out about many of his current and former players.

I don’t think it’s right that these people are not given penalties along with their former school.  Does it really seem fair that they may have known of such violations-or were at least the person in charge when people under their watch were taking violations-but yet don’t receive any penalties?

June 7, 2011 Posted by | NCAA Football, Sports | , , , , , | Leave a comment

NBA Finals 2011

This year’s NBA Finals is a rematch of the 2006 NBA Finals, where the Miami Heat beat the Dallas Mavericks.  The two meet again five years later.  That year the Heat won in six games.  During that season, the Heat didn’t have the big three; they only had Dwayne Wade.  And now with the addition of LeBron James and Chris Bosh, I think this year’s outcome will turn out exactly the same with the Heat winning the NBA Championship.

Although this isn’t really a rematch because the teams are completely different, this is going to be a great series.  The Mavericks were on fire in their last series, and I’m looking forward to seeing if they can bring that intensity to the new series.  The Heat showed that their three superstar players can prove to be too much for a team to handle.

I think the Heat will end up winning the series in six or seven games, but I think six is more likely.  The Heat just have too many talented players on their team to fall to the Mavericks.  The one thing the Mavericks have on their team are players with lots of experience, and this could help them possibly pull the upset over the Heat.  However, I think that the big time players on the Heat will cause problems for the Mavericks (ex: matchups, rebounding, spreading the floor).

Prediction: Miami Heat in Six Games

May 31, 2011 Posted by | NBA, Sports | , , , | 2 Comments

Jim Tressel Resigns as OSU Coach

Jim Tressel

In relation to my last blog post, I mentioned how Ohio State coach Jim Tressel was involved in an NCAA violation involving his players.  He resigned yesterday amid findings that there were more than just the six current players who had received tattoos for signed memorabilia.  Upon resignation he said this: “After meeting with university officials, we agreed that it is in the best interest of Ohio State that I resign as head football coach.”

According to Sports Illustrated, “the wrongdoing by Tressel’s players was far more widespread than had been reported. The memorabilia-for-tattoos violations actually stretched back to 2002, Tressel’s second season at Ohio State, and involved at least 28 players — 22 more than the university has acknowledged. Those numbers include an additional nine current players as well as nine former players whose alleged wrongdoing might fall within the NCAA’s four-year statute of limitations on violations.”  This shows that Tressel knew for many years about his players violating NCAA rules, but didn’t say anything.

He resigned, however, he would have been fired even if he didn’t resign.  When so many players are involved in a scandal like this, a coach would definitely get the boot.  Ohio State is still under investigation by the NCAA for the violations, and it will be interesting now to see what action the NCAA takes.  I sure hope that they receive worse punishment than USC did.  USC only was involved in scandals with a few players, not almost thirty over a 10-year period.

May 31, 2011 Posted by | NCAA Football, Sports | , , , , | 1 Comment

USC Appeal Denied

The NCAA’s “Infractions Appeals Committee upheld all findings and penalties against USC in their infractions case involving former players Reggie Bush and O.J. Mayo.”  This decision was very disappointing to the school, and many officials of the school were upset.  The USC appeal had “asked that the 30 scholarships lost over three years with a maximum of 75 allowed and a two-year postseason bowl ban be cut in half.”  However, the NCAA upheld the ruling.

The ruling makes sure that USC will have less scholarships than teams not under sanction-those not under sanction can have 85 scholarship players on the roster-and seniors are allowed to transfer without having to sit out a year.  The decision to deny the appeal also will not allow USC to play in the first Pac-12 championship game, as well as a postseason bowl game.  The basketball team did not receive any more sanctions.

I’m not a fan of the NCAA’s decision.  I know I am a fan of USC so obviously I am upset, however, the NCAA has taken other similar issues more lightly, so I think their decision against USC is unfair.  There are many teams who have used ineligible players or have been rumored to have paid players to come to the school, but nothing has been done that has been as detrimental to the program as the sanctions against USC.

Recently, Ohio State has been in the news for players and coaches violating NCAA rules.  The coach of the Buckeyes, Jim Tressel, knew his players were receiving tattoos in return for signing/selling memorabilia, yet he did nothing to stop this.  The players were therefore ineligible, but the coach continued to play them, allowing the team to make it to the Sugar Bowl.  The players and coach were suspended for the first five games of next season and also had to forfeit most of their wins from the previous season, but nothing has affected their postseason ability or scholarship amount.  As you can see, USC football was harmed much worse than the Buckeyes.

May 26, 2011 Posted by | NCAA Football, Sports | , , , , | 3 Comments

Bulls and Thunder Going to Make Comeback?

The Chicago Bulls and Oklahoma City Thunder are now down 3-1 in there respective series.  According to USA Today, “of the 189 NBA teams that were down 3-1 in a best-of-seven playoff series, eight advanced.”  It doesn’t look good for either team down 3-1.

The Thunder and Bulls seemed to be in control in game four of their series, however, both the Mavericks and Heat were able to win.  If the Thunder and Bulls had won their fourth game, each series would have been tied 2-2, leaving much better odds of advancing.

In the Heat-Bulls series, it seems as though the three-pronged attack of the Heat team is proving to be too much.  LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh came together because they thought this would be the best chance to win an NBA championship, and it seems like this is working.  I think that these three big-time stars are enough to cause the Bulls trouble, and even the team they may play in the finals.

In the Mavericks-Thunder series, Dirk Nowitzki is on fire, and the Thunder don’t seem to have a way of stopping him.  His size and ability to make shots is causing a lot of problems for the Thunder and unless they are able to stop him, they will not advance.

I think the Heat and Mavericks will advance to the NBA Finals easily.  The Heat I believe will win the finals though because they have too much talent not to win.

May 25, 2011 Posted by | NBA, Sports | , , , , , | 2 Comments

USC Football Schedule 2011

All the dates and almost all the times have been set for the USC football games next season.  There are five away games and seven home games for Trojans.  We will now play Utah and Colorado this year instead of Washington State and Oregon State with the addition of the two new teams.  I don’t know what to expect since this is the first year Colorado and Utah are in the conference, but we’ll see how those games go.

With the new television deal with Fox and ESPN, some games will not take place on the typical Saturday.  The Cal game (also known as the Weekender game for 2011) will take place on Thursday night, unlike previous seasons where the game was on Saturday.  This is going to make it hard for some students to make the trek out to the game because of classes.  The game against Colorado will take place on Friday.  This is supposed to give the Pac-12 more national exposure as one of the only games on during that day, so more people will be inclined to watch.  All the rest of the games will take place on Saturday.

Here’s the schedule:

2011 SCHEDULE
Date Opponent / Event Location Time / Result
09/03/11 vs. Minnesota TV L.A. Coliseum 12:30 p.m. PT
09/10/11 vs. Utah * L.A. Coliseum TBA
09/17/11 vs. Syracuse L.A. Coliseum TBA
09/24/11 at Arizona State * TV Tempe, Ariz. 7:15 p.m. PT
10/01/11 vs. Arizona L.A. Coliseum TBA
10/13/11 at California * TV San Francisco, Calif. 6:00 p.m. PT
10/22/11 at Notre Dame TV South Bend, Ind. 4:30 p.m. PT
10/29/11 vs. Stanford * TV L.A. Coliseum 5:00 p.m. PT
11/04/11 at Colorado * TV Boulder, Colo. 6:00 p.m. PT
11/12/11 vs. Washington * TV L.A. Coliseum 12:30 p.m. PT
11/19/11 at Oregon * TV Eugene, Ore. 5:00 p.m. PT
11/26/11 vs. UCLA * L.A. Coliseum TBA

May 20, 2011 Posted by | NCAA Football, Sports | , , , , , , | 1 Comment