The Versatile Forwards

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 The forwards will dominate this year. They will dominate in statistics, highlights, and hardware. What makes these forwards so dangerous is their ability to shoot from anywhere on the court. Also they are able to dominate down low. Although the small fowards and power forwards are different players, they will be using there unique versatility to dominate the smaller, weaker, and slower defenders.

 The top three small forwards are Kevin Durant, LeBron James, and Carmelo Anthony. All three players can take over the game better then anyone else in the league. These select forwards can be a major threat from the three and also driving to the basket. The place where James is most dangerous is in transition. He runs the floor better then anyone I have ever seen. Kevin Durant makes his opponents take away one aspect of his game and kills him with the other. Melo is most dangerous posting his opponent up. With his post-up he can drive or shoot over the defender. All three players have a chance to win the MVP but I give the early edge to LeBron James. Durant closely follows, and he will lead the league is scoring. These super stars are always a high light real waiting to explode.

The power forward position is a much longer list without the complete stand outs. For the highlight real player Blake Griffin is on top of everyone lists. With the addition of Chris Paul the top 10 plays will be half of the Clippers for the first time. It may be the only air time the Clippers get. Furthermore, Griffin will be along players such as Kevin Love, Amare Stoudemire, Dirk Nowitzki, Pau Gasol, and Al Jefferson. The power forward position is extremely different from the small forward because these players like to dominate in the post. Players like Kevin Love and Al Jefferson love to grab every shot that is put up. I expect Stoudemire and Love to dominate the statistics.

The hardware for the year will be dominated by the forwards. I believe Derrick Williams will win Rookie of the Year. James will snag the MVP barely. Lastly, I predict that the Champions will be James and the Heat over Durant and the Thunder.

For the record, I predict that the addition of Rip Hamilton to the Chicago Bulls will end up being huge because it makes defenders respect the the outside shot which allows Derrick Rose to attack the paint. In addition, the Mavericks will be a major disappointment. The loss of Tyson Chandler and Caron Butler will destroy the team. They do not have enough pieces to be able to compete. Also, the age factor of Nowitzki and Jason Kidd will be huge with less rest between games because of the shortened season.

The rankings come from ESPN

Spencer/Blase

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A fan’s shame

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Oh, my Ryan Braun, what did you do to me? My favorite team. My favorite player. Oh, what art thou done?

Everything that could be good in a baseball player, you ruined-and for what-a couple more homers?

Your swing was so smooth, smoother than Keith Stone, smoother than a baby’s bottom, smoother than my pinewood derby car after hours of sandpapering (Did anyone else do that or was that just me? It’s like I had a disorder: the car had to be perfectly smooth)

And don’t think for a moment I forgot about your hair. It’s as if the flow gods took a chunk of hair from Zeus and said, “This mortal is going to have some sick flow.”

We had such a good year. We won our first division title since 1982. You had a healthy .332 batting average complimented by 33 homers. You won an NL MVP. For once, I was proud of my team, proud of the players on my team.

But you shamed me. When I first heard the allegations, I felt embarrassed. Embarrassed that one of my favorite players actually broke such an important rule. I felt naked. I wanted to go home and wrap myself in a blanket and cry. I’ve always wondered how it felt to be a fan of a player accused of using PEDs, but I never liked Manny’s antics or Roger Clemens’s I’m-the-better than you attitude. I laughed at others when I heard such allegations. I shouted, “Cheater!” at my TV. I yelled. I yelled because of players like you. Because, I thought you were clean.

You seemed so sure of yourself. I never thought for a second, you, out of all players would even think of taking such drugs, much less actually using them. I was in denial. I cheered you on when you said you would appeal. Hey even a drug test can go wrong, right?

But as time passed, I moved on to acceptance. Oh, it hurts too much to say, but I must. Ryan Braun, you should be banned from baseball. It’s in the best interest of all of us for this to happen. You broke my heart, and for that I cannot forgive you. The game needs to remove the steroid culture that has permeated it since the days of Jose Canseco. It needs to remove any desire or even the remotest thought of using PEDs by players. What better way to stop such thoughts by banning a player who used it at the height of his career? What better way to prevent steroid use, with a strong, absolute ruling? If the game wants to be serious about moving on from the steroid era, it must set an example, and here’s a perfect opportunity.

I realize Ramirez was only given 50 games, and A-Rod was only given 15 games, but Commissioner Bud Selig has a chance to crack down on the use of steroids and you, Ryan, must be the sacrificial lamb. I’m all for second chances, but Ryan, a second chance you don’t deserve.

I wanted to tell my sons about the “Great Ryan Braun” leading the Brewers to prominence, but now I cannot even think of such ideas, for you left a void in my heart- a void that cannot be filled by a mere suspension.

Blase

“Uncle Sam” NBA Style

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I don’t want to say I told you so, but I told you so. Commissioner David Stern’s decision to decline the three team trade, which included Chris Paul heading to the Lakers, only proves that the NBA might not seem as fair as almost everyone believes.

This has to be one of the most embarrassing moments for the NBA. This has to rank up there with the “Malice at the Palace” or the Tim Donahue referee scandal. For David Stern to decline the trade because “it wasn’t in the best interest of the league” has to be some kind of sick joke. I’m just waiting for the “Gotcha!” that has been about 20 hours late.

When I first thought the NBA was fixed and told my friends what I thought, at first, they laughed in my face, which was then proceeded by “you are crazy”, which was then followed by “you are stupid.”

Back then I took it. But not now, now I have some undeniable proof that the NBA might be one of the most corrupt leagues in the United States. How can Stern justify declining the trade when the Hornets arguably had the best part of the three team trade. Luis Scola is a solid offensive big man, Kevin Martin is a scoring machine, and Lamar Odom is a proven six man.

I’m curious as to why Stern even did this. The NBA has thrived when there are power teams. Think Lakers-Celtics in the 80s and Bulls- in the 90s. Picture this. Chris Paul, Kobe Bryant, Andrew Bynum versus Dwayne Wade, Lebron James, and Chris Bosh in the NBA Finals. Minus well throw away the All-Star game, it’s not like it has a point anymore, because this is about as good as it gets. Throw in the Knicks with Amare Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony, and Tyson Chandler and things just got a whole lot more interesting in the Eastern Conference.

I’m all for equality for all teams. But let’s face it; these players don’t want to play in Indianapolis or Minneapolis. That’s what these NBA players have started doing. They have options as free agents, and they aren’t always necessarily following the money.

This move by David Stern will be remembered as one of the most immature, stubborn move of his career. As long as he the Commissioner of the league, I won’t be able to take the NBA seriously. There will always be that lingering doubt, that “maybe there is someone controlling the league.” And that someone might not be the players.

Blase

DraftKings Lineups

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Kcyoungguns.com now provides Daily Fantasy Sports lineups on DraftKings for the NFL or MLB. To subscribe and get daily lineups email smontgomery2012@gmail.com