2017 NBA All-Star Weekend


February is one of my favorite months for sports because of the Super Bowl, pitchers in MLB report to spring training, college basketball is starting to get down to the wire, and NBA All-Star Weekend. This year, the festive event will take place in New Orleans. I took a trip to New Orleans in May of 2015, and that was one of the best experiences of my life. The culture in “NOLA” is truly one of a kind. The original destination was Charlotte, but due to anti-gay laws within the state, the NBA elected to change locations. The NBA just hosted the All-Star Game New Orleans in 2014.

Besides Kyrie Irving’s belief that the world is flat, the most intriguing headline of the weekend is Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook reuniting as teammates. Their brotherly friendship has been derailed since KD’s departure to Golden State. The two has yet attempted to patch things up so that should make way for an interesting interaction in the locker room. 

The events for Saturday includes the Taco Bell Skills Challenge, JBL Three-Point Contest, and the Verizon Slam Dunk Contest. I’m picking Isaiah Thomas for the Skills Challenge, Nick Young for the Three-Point Contest, and Glenn Robinson III for the Slam Dunk Contest.

As for the NBA All-Star Game itself, I have Anthony Davis as the MVP. With that being said, I hope all the events live up to the hype! 
JGOOD

Super Bowl LI


Today is bittersweet for the NFL. Even though this is the biggest game of the year, this is also the last game of the NFL season until the summer time. I do enjoy other sports that are active during the NFL offseason, but not having Sunday NFL Countdown, Monday Night Football, and even fantasy football leaves an unreplaceable void. With that being said, let’s hope this game ends with a bang.

At 39 years old, Tom Brady is making his 7th trip to the Super Bowl. The New England Patriots have looked dominant the whole season, even with Brady being suspended the first 4 games of the regular season due to “Deflate-gate”. Even though New England has been without their superstar tight end Ron Gronkowski since November 13th, the additions of Chris Hogan, Martellus Bennett, and Michael Floyd have given the offense more depth. Already having Julian Edelman, LeGarrette Blount, Danny Amendola, and Dion Lewis, the New England Patriots have never lost a step.

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This season’s league MVP, Matt Ryan, has led his team to the Super Bowl for the first time since 1999. Ryan is the ringleader to this high-power offense, who was the highest scoring team in the NFL (33.8 points per game) 2nd in the NFL in total offense. Center Alex Mack has been the unsung hero of this offense. Atlanta arguably has the best 1-2 punch at running back with Devonta Freeman and Tevon Coleman. Atlanta finished top 5 in the NFL in rushing this season. The Atlanta Falcons have improved their wide receiver core by adding speedster Taylor Gabriel and possession receiver Mohamed Sanu. I forgot to mention that Atlanta already has arguably the best wide receiver in the NFL with Julio Jones.

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It’s kind of hard to bet against New England. They have had consistency at the coaching and quarterback positions between Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. Also, those 2 individuals had plenty of experience in the Super Bowl. Their offense is good because of their versatility. Their defense has played well at times, but it’s not as consistent as their last Super Bowl appearance 2 years ago. I wouldn’t be surprised if New England wins today for these reasons alone. However, I believe Atlanta’s offense will be a problem. Once this offense gets rolling, it’s almost impossible to stop it (I think of it like a snowball running downhill). New England has never scored a touchdown in the first quarter of any Super Bowl. This will probably be the toughest offense New England has ever seen in the biggest game. As good as Malcolm Butler is, I don’t think he can stop Julio Jones by himself (if he is to cover him). Atlanta’s defense has stepped up in the playoffs, getting consistent pressure on opposing quarterbacks. I’m officially going with the “underdog” tonight. I have the Atlanta Falcons defeating the New England Patriots 27-21.

JGOOD

Cy Young and MVP Contenders


One of my good friends, Chris (follow him on Twitter @mrwsa11), and I have compiled a list of contenders for this year’s Cy Young and MVP awards in each conference.

A.L. Cy Young 

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Zach Britton (Baltimore)

The Orioles closer has been unreal pretty much all year. He has 40 saves, 62 strikeouts, and an insane 0.65 ERA. Since May 1st, Britton has only allowed one earned run, and is the clear cut favorite for the Cy Young.

Corey Kluber (Cleveland)

The Indians ace is sporting a win-lose record of 15 and 9, helping to lead the charge for the club’s rotation. With 198 strikeouts and an ERA slightly above 3, he may benefit from the fact that voters usually don’t consider voting for closers (i.e. Britton) for the Cy Young.

Rick Porcello (Boston)

With an outstanding 20-3 record, Porcello has the best record amongst all pictures. It has been a resurgent year for him as he leads the Red Sox staff.

N.L. Cy Young

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Max Scherzer (Washington)

The Nationals ace is top 5 in wins, strikeouts, WHIP, and ERA. He is also tied for the most wins in all of baseball. It’s hard to argue against him.

“The 3 Cubbies” (Chicago)

Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks, and Jake Arrieta are all candidates for the Cy Young. Lester is top 10 in ERA, WHIP, and strikeouts. Arrieta is tied for wins in the N.L with Scherzer and Lester (16). The surprise, Kyle Hendricks, leads all of baseball in ERA. His pitching isn’t as dominate as the others, but he still makes it difficult for opposing batters.

A.L. MVP

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Jose Altuve (Houston)

The Astros captain and leader, is batting .339 on the year. He leads the MLB with 190 hits, and is boasting a career best with 22 home runs and 92 RBIs. He’s your complete player.

Josh Donaldson (Toronto)

The Blue Jays star continues to be a solid all-around player in the MLB. Doesn’t matter from his bat to his glove, he has the opportunity to win his second consecutive MVP.

Mike Trout (Anaheim)

The game’s best player continues to put on a show. With his amazing defense and great hitting, Trout has proved that he will continue to dominate the majors, night in and night out.

Mookie Beets (Boston)

Beets is hitting .315 on the year with career best in home runs and RBI’s. If Beets can lead the Red Sox to a division crown, he has a legitimate chance of  walking away with his first individual award.

N.L. MVP

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Kris Bryant (Chicago)

In only his second year in the league, Bryant has become one of the top hitters, fielders, and base runners in all of baseball. With his versatility in these categories, he has become a clear favorite for taking home the N.L. MVP.

Daniel Murphy (Washington)

Murphy leads the N.L. in batting average, slugging percentage and OPS. This makes him a viable candidate.

Nolan Arenado (Colorado)

He leads the N.L. in home runs and RBI’s for the second straight year. You can’t argue against those accolades.

Anthony Rizzo (Chicago)

Rizzo is on track to hit 30 homers and over 100 RBI’s for his second consecutive year. With him being the leader for the best team in baseball, he will continue to be a contender.

 

NFL Season Predictions 2016


My good friend D.Reed and I are making our predictions for this upcoming season. Make sure you check him and myself out on social media for NFL updates and Fantasy Football advice.
D.Reed @freshprynce23 (Instagram)
JGood @jgoodwithsports (Twitter and Instagram)

Divison Winners and Wildcard

AFC North
Cincinnati – JGood
Pittsburgh – D.Reed

AFC South
Jacksonville – JGood
Houston – D.Reed

AFC East
New England – JGood
New England – D.Reed

AFC West
Oakland – JGood
Kansas City – D.Reed

Wildcard Spots
New York Jets/Pittsburgh – JGood
Denver/Indianapolis – D.Reed

NFC North
Green Bay – JGood
Green Bay – D.Reed

NFC South
Carolina – JGood
Carolina – D.Reed

NFC East
New York Giants – JGood
Washington – D.Reed

NFC West
Arizona – JGood
Seattle – D.Reed

Wildcard Spots
Seattle/Dallas – JGood
Arizona/Minnesota – D.Reed

Superbowl Outcome
Arizona 24, New England 21 – JGood
Pittsburgh 30, Seattle 27 – D.Reed

AWARD WINNERS

MVP
Carson Palmer – JGood
Russell Wilson/Ben Roethlisberger – D.Reed

Offensive POY
Antonio Brown – JGood
Antonio Brown – D.Reed

Defensive POY
Khalil Mack – JGood
Khalil Mack/Von Miller – D.Reed

Offensive ROY
Carson Wentz – JGood
Ezekiel Elliot – D.Reed

Defensive ROY
Jalen Ramsey – JGood
Jalen Ramsey – D.Reed

Coach Of The Year
Bruce Arians (Arizona) – JGood
Jack Del Rio (Oakland) – D.Reed

Comeback POY
Jordy Nelson – JGood
Kelvin Benjamin – D.Reed.

 

 

The Big Fundamental


Tim Duncan is one of the last NBA players to have played when Michael Jordan was still on the Chicago Bulls. With his retirement, the San Antonio Spurs won’t be the same. His legacy comes second to only a handful, and can definitely make a case to be in “the conversation” for THE GREATEST (particularly at his position). 

In his 19 seasons in the NBA, Duncan has never missed the playoffs. He’s won 5 NBA Titles (1999, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2014), 3-time NBA Finals MVP, 2-time league MVP, 15-time all star and is the master at shooting the ball off the glass. He’s definitely a top 10 player of all-time and can make a case for top 5 in my eyes.

Where do you rank Tim Duncan all-time?

How is his legacy compared to Kobe Bryant?

Compared to Shaq?

Will anybody that’s currently in the NBA be able to surpass his greatness at the Power Forward position?

How will you remember Tim Duncan now that his career is over?

JGOOD

A Rose With Thorns


When Michael Jordan retired, Tracy McGrady became my favorite player in the NBA. He was unguardable. When you’re 6’8 with a long wingspan, that can shoot, attack, post-up, rebound, and create for others, you can’t be stopped. The only that did stop him was injuries. Besides the fact he was never the same player, he never played for my favorite team.

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When Derrick Rose was drafted to the Chicago Bulls in 2008, I instantly became a fan. Once I saw his energy and heart, him and McGrady shared being my favorites in the NBA. 

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Rose became the engine of the organization. He gave hope to a franchise that has been in the cellar since the Jordan era. I mean, yes we had the “Baby Bulls” but we weren’t a title contender then. D.Rose elevated the expectations in the city. We, as Chicago fans, “Bullieved” that we can return to the glory days. Nobody was more important and had a bigger impact for a team than Rose was during his MVP season in 2011.

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Rose has had his number of injuries including a torn ACL and a torn meniscus. Even then, Rose showed his efforts of fighting through rigorous rehabilitation to try to get back to MVP form. This past season, he looked like his explosiveness was back to elite status more times than not.

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It’s sad that he has carried the weight of his city on his back for so many years (he didn’t have any help for multiple seasons) that when he finally has help, his career is derailed by injuries. Also, a lot of fans have turned on him because he’s not the Derrick Rose that they are used to seeing (even though he’s been in the top 5 in jersey sales since his MVP season).

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The fact that my favorite player, who happens to play on my favorite team (also born and raised in Chicago), is traded away, it takes something out of you. My Bulls didn’t play well last year and that probably won’t change this year (pending something drastic). With Rose gone, that extra nudge… that determination, dedication, motivation… that initial spark that generated hope for the city just died.

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And what a lot of people don’t know is that not only he was humble on the court, he was humble off the court as well. Rose was active in the community. He paid for a funeral for a kid that was murdered. He spoke up for the teachers of the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) who went on strike. D.Rose also donated money to help bring up the community.

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Now that he belongs to the New York Knicks, I’m torn. I will always be a Bulls fan, but I will buy a Derrick Rose Knicks jersey and/or shirt. He will continue to be my favorite player. Also, I hope he has career nights against the Bulls just to show management that they made a mistake. He has too much heart to give up and too much motivation to fail.

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JGOOD

Curry Vs LeBron 2.0


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The rematch, that most of America wanted to see, starts tonight. Golden State virtually have the same team with (ironically) the additional of former Cleveland Cavaliers player Anderson Varejao. The Cavs (basically) have the same team except that they have included a “seldom-used” Mo Williams, and Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love are actually healthy.

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Cleveland has looked “championship-ready” by only losing 2 playoff games (sweeping the first 2 opponents). Golden State on the other hand has dealt with a knee injury to Steph Curry (early on) and has won 3 straight elimination games, including game 7 against an elite Oklahoma City Thunder team, to earn their consecutive trip to the NBA Finals.

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I expect this series to be VERY entertaining and fun. Kyrie Irving and LeBron James should put up big numbers, the unanimous MVP and fellow splash brother Klay Thompson should put on a show, both benches will perform well, and only the “hungriest” will prevail.

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I think the key matchup is Draymond Green against Kevin Love. Earlier in the year I’ve called Love the most overrated player in the league because of his contract and lack of playing time in the 4th quarter (if any). I think Green will dominate this matchup as long as he’s not kicking anyone like Lui Kang. I got the Warriors in 7.

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JGOOD