Cohen’s Corner Quick Hitters: January 25th – My bad picks + Cardinals, Suns, Wildcats, DBacks, and more!

Did I not warn everyone several weeks ago that my playoff picks were going to stink? After another winless weekend, I stand 3-7 picking games in the postseason. I did pretty darn well in the regular season so not entirely sure why the awfulness in January,

With that said, I’m not going to give you my Super Bowl pick in this column. Why not you ask? It’s simply because I don’t have one yet…I have gone back and forth as to who will win the big game. Stay tuned for next week’s column with Super Bowl and Phoenix Open picks. One thing I will say, however, I expect this game to be very close and lower scoring than the public thinks. Right now the line is Patriots -3 with an over/under of 57.

The right way to go might be to just play the long shot MVP odds…

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-The NFL officiating was horrible last weekend…I get it. But New Orleans (especially) and Kansas City had plenty of chances to win their respective games. Instead of complaining about awful calls, try stopping your opponent late in the 4th quarter and overtime.

-Three scenarios…which would you choose Cardinals fans?:

1. Cardinals keep Josh Rosen and draft either Nick Bosa (DE) or Quinnen Williams (DT) to strengthen the defensive line with Pick #1.

2. The Cardinals trade Rosen to Denver for 2nd and 3rd round picks (41 and 72) and draft Kyler Murray at #1 to replace him. Under this scenario, although Rosen might command more of a return, Arizona would have two picks in each of the 2nd and 3rd rounds and could therefore draft Murray, 2 new o-lineman and a WR (maybe ASU’s N’Keal Harry?) with those picks.

3. Keep Rosen and trade the #1 pick for a top-10 pick this year, a 2019 3rd round pick, and a first round pick next year.

#1 is most likely…#2 not so much…and #3 is plausible. Which one makes the organization better? Probably 2 or 3 as I see it…(and yes I’m an uber Murray believer as I’ve said repeatedly on the radio over the last few weeks).

-Which is more likely to come true next season: the Suns win at least one game in the playoffs or Arizona Basketball makes a run to the Final Four? I’m legitimately torn. The Wildcats currently boast the #1 recruiting class in the country led by future stars Nico Mannion and Josh Green. Assuming the NCAA doesn’t unleash hell on the program before next March, the 2019-20 squad will be among Sean Miller’s most talented during his tenure at UofA. But don’t count out the Suns – who currently boast solid depth but with a GAPING hole at point guard. If management can make a significant addition this offseason, look out Western Conference.

The 2019-20 Suns can contend for at least the #8 seed. My solution to the Suns offseason this Summer: find a way to take Murray State’s Ja Morant. I’ll be honest, I’ve seen limited tape on this guy, but if the reports are accurate he’s incredible athletic and a phenomenal passer. I don’t care that he doesn’t go to a brand name school either…last time I checked Damian Lillard is among the NBA’s best point guards and he’s from Weber State! Morant is likely a top-5 draft pick and we know the Suns should be drafting in that range.

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-Remember when I wrote this in the summer of 2017? To sum it up, I said the Suns had to find a way to acquire DeAaron Fox, the then-Kentucky PG in the draft. And they chose Josh Jackson instead. This season Fox is averaging more than 17 points and 7 assists for the Kings, who are surprisingly .500 at this point. And the Suns have WHO at PG? Another terrible decision by former GM Ryan McDonough.

-To answer the question above, I’ll say the Suns…but barely over my Wildcats. With the addition of an impact PG such as Morant, I think this team could make a Kings-like jump into the playoff race. And let’s see they got in to fact Golden State…stealing one game might not be impossible. I think Arizona can make a big move next season but predicting a Final Four for a coach who has a reputation for earlier than expected tournament exits is more difficult.

-I really feel badly for Diamondbacks fans…at least the loyal ones. Arguably 3 of their 4 best players, Paul Goldschmidt (Cardinals), A.J. Pollock (Dodgers), and Patrick Corbin (Nationals) are gone and soon former ace pitcher Zack Greinke will follow them out of town (when someone wants to take on his absurd contract). Who the hell is going to want to pay premium prices to watch this ‘garbage’ product? Unless Torey Lovullo goes all (Rays manager) Kevin Cash when it comes to pitching philosophies, the DBacks are staring a 70 win season, at best, in the face. I’m disappointed in management for not ponying up…but apparently that’s what happens when revenue isn’t being brought in as necessary.

-Which will have a higher attendance at Chase Field this season…?
a. The Billy Joel concert on Saturday, March 9th
b. Any of the 81 DBacks home games

-Lovullo, might I add, is a dead manager walking. Unless the DBacks overachieve in 2019, he won’t be back for 2020 as I see it. Their choke job down the stretch last season in what was the organization’s last chance to compete in the near future was pretty awful.

-I hate to do it…but it’s where I’m leaning. If I can get the Yankees at 8-1 or better odds, I’d pick them to win the World Series this season. That bullpen of Ottavino-Britton-Betances-Chapman (with other talented arms not named here) is among the best we’ve seen in recent memory and takes a huge amount of pressure off their starting pitching. With the lineup they have and motivation to get even with the Red Sox from last season’s title, the Bronx Bombers are due.

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-Haven’t done this in a while so time to update…my projected championship game / matchup predictions in all major sports:

College Basketball:
Duke vs. Michigan
NHL (2019): Lightning vs. Sharks
NBA (2019): Warriors vs. Celtics (sticking with Boston though I probably shouldn’t considering how they’ve played thus far)
MLB: Yankees vs. Dodgers
College Football (2020): Clemson vs. Georgia (though if former UGA QB Justin Fields is eligible right away at Ohio State, give me the Buckeyes over the Bulldogs.
NFL (2020): Chiefs vs. Rams

For more NFL analysis and thoughts, listen to The Daily Blender, weekdays from 3-6pm on 1580TheFanatic.  You can tune in here.

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