What’s going on in the sports world as only I can see it…
-This year’s Golden State Warriors were the best NBA team of my lifetime. There…I said it. How can you argue? They had FOUR ELITE PLAYERS, including two of the top five in NBA. And as long as Kevin Durant stays a Warrior, no one is beating them. Period.
-Here’s what SHOULD happen in next week’s NBA Draft:
1. Boston – TRADE THE PICK!! They don’t need Markelle Fultz or any other rookie at this point. They need a veteran scorer like Jimmy Butler or Paul George.
2. LA Lakers – Just take Lonzo Ball and be done with it. He’s the perfect Lakers PG despite the fact that his dad is a pain-in-the-ass.
3. Philadelphia – Trade this pick to Sacramento along with something else for Picks 5 &10. The Kings would get the best player in the draft as I see it, De’Aaron Fox while the Sixers could add multiple quality pieces to their already strong stable of young prospects.
4. Phoenix – If Fox is gone as I predict, then Josh Jackson is the EASY pick. If Philly stays at 3 and takes Jackson, the Suns have to take Fox. Or they trade with the Kings…
5. Sacramento – Anything short of landing star point guards Fultz, Ball, or Fox is a complete failure by Kings management. Then again, look who we’re talking about here…
-I really enjoyed the Stanley Cup Playoffs this year – it’s just too bad Nashville forgot how to score in Games 5 and 6 of the Finals. Would’ve been very cool to see a Game 7 considering Games 1-4 and 6 were played at such a high level.
-What was I saying on Wednesday about the U.S. Open being difficult? Rickie Fowler shoots a 65 on the first day?! I love watching this golf tournament especially, just like The Masters, but come on USGA, make it more difficult this year!
-If I were playing Erin Hills, I’d probably think differently…but as a viewer, I love to watch players struggle to make par.
-We’re getting close enough to football season where I think I can start talking about it extensively…THANK GOD!
-Starting with the NFL – let me try to break down the 12 playoff teams as I see them now:
AFC East – New England is automatic…that’s an easy one. The Jets might not win a game, the Bills should be around .500 give-or-take and Miami is on the fringe at 9-7.
AFC North – Pittsburgh should be very good and Cleveland very bad (yet again). Cincinnati won’t win more than 7 or 8 while Baltimore is like Miami, on the fringe of playoff contention.
AFC South – I could actually make an argument for any of these four teams. But give me Tennessee to win the division with a 10-6 record. Houston has QB issues though I like rookie Deshaun Watson to eventually be the savior the Texans have been looking for at the position. Jacksonville should be much improved but I can’t call them a playoff contender with Blake Bortles at the helm. Indy has Andrew Luck but what else?
AFC West – The third best division in football this year. Oakland wins it and Denver gets solid-enough QB play to make the playoffs. Kansas City goes 9-7 but misses out. The LA Chargers (wow I hate saying that…poor San Diego fans) win 6 or 7 in their new digs.
NFC East – The second most competitive division in football in 2017. Dallas will be good but not to the extent they were last season…a Wild Card team. I’ll take the New York Giants to win the division…with Philadelphia and Washington right around the .500 mark.
NFC North – Of course I’m going to pick Green Bay as I don’t think all that highly of the other three teams. Minnesota and Detroit are 7-9, 8-8 kind of teams while the Bears might be lucky to win 5 games. Poor Chicago fans.
NFC South – Calling this one early – this division is going to be LIT this season! Give me Tampa Bay at 10-6 to shock the football world and win the South followed closely by Atlanta and Carolina. Panthers coach Ron Rivera loses his job at the end of the season after they find themselves out of the playoffs for the second straight season. New Orleans should be improved – maybe 8 wins or so.
NFC West – A two team race as it has been for the past several years. As much as I don’t want to pick them as I think they’re on the decline, give me Seattle at 10-6 to win the West. I have a feeling Arizona will be doomed by injuries this year and will fall a game short. Their window with this current team might have passed. The LA Rams should be improved with a new coach…while San Francisco should be predictably terrible with the future being brighter going forward.
-If you’re scoring at home that’s four new playoff teams from a year ago: Tennessee, Denver, NY Giants, and Tampa Bay. The one team I could see declining even further from last year is Dallas…but I’m hesitant to pick against them for now.
-I have no idea what to think in college football just yet. I need to go through my Phil Steele magazine before I make any official predictions. Offhand though, Florida State looks pretty solid to me…and if they beat Alabama on Opening Night, watch out. Another team I’d watch out for to crack the Final Four: Oklahoma State. Veteran QB and favorable schedule. I’m fading Alabama (at my own risk) and Oklahoma this year.
-In the Pac-12, if it’s anything but USC and Washington, I’d be downright shocked. I’ll predict the winner of that Pac-12 Championship Game matchup also makes the College Football Playoff (Final Four).