Monday, April 23, 2012

Around the Web

  • Ricky Williams wrote an exceptionally enlightening piece on 4/20, a holiday that is widely celebrated by "potheads" as Ricky used to be.
  • The Vikings announced if they don't trade out of the #3 pick on Thursday, they'll select either LT Matt Kalil, CB Morris Claiborne or WR Justin Blackmon.
  • In my most recent mock draft, I have the Vikings selecting CB Morris Claiborne.
  • Starting pitcher Philip Humber, acquired by the Twins in the Johan Santana trade, pitched the 21st perfect game in MLB history on Saturday for the White Sox.
  • I spent the weekend on a road trip, which I'll cover later this week, but I was at this game.
  • Dwayne Johnson, better known as the Rock, proved via Twitter that's exactly what's inside his head: rocks.
  • I know guys say they like girls who look like Barbie... but this is just creepy.
  • This was 8 hours before Rubio began signing. Kind of popular, no?
  • The 21 worst things in the world.
  • Dumb and Dumber 2 will begin filming in September. Both Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels are back, which means I will probably see it on opening night.
  • A baseball should not move this way when thrown by a human. Then again, King Felix is probably an alien. As Aaron Gleeman said, from now on, Bugs Bunny throws a Felix Hernandez changeup.
  • This is Ryan Tannehill's wife. No commentary necessary.
  • And finally, with the Vikings looming stadium still in limbo, check out my thoughts last season. Just switch the 2012 to 2013 and it still rings true.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

2012 NFL Mock Draft 4.0

This will be my second to last 2012 mock. I'll post my final one Thursday morning the day of the draft.

1. Indianapolis Colts - Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
2. Washington Redskins - Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
3. Minnesota Vikings - Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU
4. Cleveland Browns - Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Matt Kalil, LT, USC
6. St. Louis Rams - Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State

Cleveland trades #22, #37, #205 and a 2nd rounder in 2013 to Jacksonville for #7 overall

7. Cleveland Browns - Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M
8. Miami Dolphins - Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
9. Carolina Panthers - Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State
10. Buffalo Bills - Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa
11. Kansas City Chiefs - Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis
12. Seattle Seahawks - Melvin Ingram, DE, South Carolina
13. Arizona Cardinals - David DeCastro, OG, Stanford
14. Dallas Cowboys - Mark Barron, S, Alabama
15. Philadelphia Eagles - Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama
16. New York Jets - Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford
17. Cincinnati Bengals - Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
18. San Diego Chargers - Harrison Smith, S, Notre Dame
19. Chicago Bears - Cordy Glenn, OT/OG, Georgia
20. Tennessee Titans - Stephen Gilmore, CB, South Carolina
21. Cincinnati Bengals - David Wilson, RB, Virgina Tech
22. Jacksonville Jaguars - Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor
23. Detroit Lions - Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State
24. Pittsburgh Steelers - Luke Kuechly, ILB, Boston College
25. Denver Broncos - Michael Brockers, DT, LSU
26. Houston Texans - Whitney Mercilus, DE, Illinois
27. New England Patriots - Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina
28. Green Bay Packers - Shea McClellin, DE/OLB, Boise St
29. Baltimore Ravens - Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin
30. San Francisco 49ers - Alameda Ta'Amu, DT, Washington
31. New England Patriots - Devon Still, DT, Penn St
32. New York Giants - Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan State

If you haven't already, make sure you check out WalterFootball's mock draft database, as well as Walter's most recent mock, which is an incredibly deep six rounds. Well worth your time.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

LeBron James Was Always the MVP

All night last night Twitter and ESPN and every other sports network today was shouting that LeBron James had regained his status as the league MVP. I mean, forget the fact that LeBron has been the best player in the league from start to finish, it seemed to be a good thing that fans in general had decided LeBron was just simply more valuable than anyone in basketball, including Kevin Durant.

Unfortunately, the sudden change in the MVP debate wasn't because people woke up to just how unbelievable LeBron's season is. It's because he scored the final 17 points for the Heat last night and they came from behind without Dwyane Wade to beat the 95-96 Chicago Bulls** by 3 points, 101-98.

**By 95-96 Chicago Bulls (72-10) I meant the 2012 New Jersey Nets, without star Deron Williams (22-40)

I've been hard on LeBron James since he foolishly made mistake after mistake in leaving Cleveland. But I've consistently been fair in arguing that LeBron is the best player in basketball and has been for some time. I even suggested people should forgive the guy.

But facts are facts: LeBron James has been the league's best player by every statistical measure. Whether you value the more traditional stats (Points, assists, rebounds, steals, blocks) or the more advanced stats (Win Shares, PER, TS%, etc) LeBron is elite.

Traditional: He's averaging 27.1 points, 6.3 assists, 1.9 steals, 7.9 rebounds and 0.8 blocks per game. 

Advanced: He's been worth a league best 13.6 wins so far this season (Chris Paul is second at 11.6), his WS/48 is a ridiculous .293 (Paul is again second, at .274), his PER rating is the second best of all-time behind MJ and his TS% this season is a very good .603 (In fairness, Durant's .611 is better here).

LeBron has been unbelievable this season.

Of course, because the media has become so knee-jerk, the second Durant outplayed LeBron James one day in the middle of the season he became the favorite for the MVP. Then, because LeBron James scores the final 17 points in a game to win it for the Heat, against a team they should have beaten easily nonetheless, he's again the MVP.

No. That shouldn't be how it works. Also, James shouldn't have had to "prove" he could finish close games, because a made three pointer to start the game is worth just as much as a made three pointer to end the game. James whole package of work* is pretty unheard of in not only today's NBA, but over the history of the game their are very few players who can do as much as James has so well.

*This refers to the regular season only. I repeat, the regular season only.

All I'm saying is not to jump to conclusions based on one game out of sixty-six. James has been the MVP since day one, and while I'm happy the media seems to again consider James the MVP, how they came to that conclusion is predictable and frustrating. But hopefully, if nothing else, they'll at least get the MVP right. It's LeBron's this year, don't let anyone convince you otherwise.



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