Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Lakers Want the Title Now

 Don't bother asking why the Lakers are trading away their draft picks and don't even bother asking why they are not even in rebuilding mode yet because if the Lakers were in rebuilding mode, Pau Gasol and Metta World Peace would of have been traded away already for draft picks and/or younger players. The Lakers acquired Steve Nash in a sign-and-trade deal and traded Andrew Bynum for Dwight Howard during the offseason. They also signed Antawn Jamison from the Free Agency market. It is obvious Lakers want to win a title now. Kobe Bryant has two years left in his contract and said that it is a possibility he will retire after his contract expires. Steve Nash has been a great point guard throughout his career, but why in the world are the Lakers signing the aging veteran? Well, it is because he has never won a championship and his career is coming to an end for the 38 year old veteran. Since there is only two years left in Kobe's contract, that is possibly the years they are giving themselves for this team to win a championship because if they do not win a championship in two years it has all been a waste of time in acquiring Dwight Howard and Steve Nash.
Yes, Howard is still young and is not even 30 years old and is may be the face of the franchise after Kobe retires, but Dwight Howard is not going to want to be in a full circle again like he was with Orlando Magic where he was really the only player carrying the team on his back. So, do the Lakers have the talent to win it all? Of course they do. Steve Nash is a soccer player on the court. He has great court vision and is able to find his teammates open by drawing a double team or the good ol' pick and roll play with ease. With that being said, he should have no problem finding Dwight Howard open in the paint. Dwight Howard is a great shot blocker and rebounder. The only negativity these players have is Nash's defense is not all that great and Dwight Howard's free throws is just terrible. Nash is not as fast as he use to be and he will definitely have a hard time when he is defending explosive point guards like Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul, Derrick Rose, etc. As for Dwight Howard, his free throws are what makes the fans cringe, unless you are the opposing fans. Dwight Howard is a terrible free throw shooter and since he is with the Lakers, hopefully he will improve his shooting percentage and shoot at least over 60% instead of 55% or below.

It does seem the Lakers do have enough talent to win it all because let's not forget about Kobe Bryant. Kobe was second in scoring last season, however he shot a career low 43%, which has was his worse since his rookie year. Kobe is not getting any younger. He is going to have to play his best ball in his final two seasons if he wants to win another title. Despite Kobe Bryant shooting only 43% last season, he was still able to average 25 points per game so as long is he is able to average the same points like he did last season, there really is nothing much to worry about except for injuries. Then comes the bench. The Lakers never really have had a great bench. When Lamar Odom was with the Lakers, he was a solid ball player, but after the Lakers traded him away, the bench has had its struggles. Jordan Hill and Steve Blake are really the only reliable players off the bench. But the problem is not being consistent throughout the season. Steve Blake will have a few good games and then all of a sudden he goes on a drought. As for Hill, he has been reliable. He seems to spark the team with his hustle at playing and when it comes to the rebounding, he is great, especially at grabbing offensive rebounds which helps the Lakers get second chance points. With the addition of Jamison, the bench has improved and should be even better. Jamison has been a good player throughout his career there really is no problem with him. Lakers should dominate in the paint against every team they play since they have Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol. The only problem the Lakers will face this season are the teams with speed. The "old" team Lakers are not as fast as other teams like the Thunder and the Heat. If the Lakers can control the tempo of the game and play how they want to play by slowing the game down, they will once again be crowned as NBA champions.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Frankie Edgar will face the UFC featherweight champion, Jose Aldo in Brazil

A little over a week ago it was announced on UFC TONIGHT show that Frankie Edgar was moving down to the featherweight division. If you did not know, Frankie Edgar was the former UFC lightweight champion. He would lose his belt to Benson "Smooth" Henderson at UFC 144 in Japan by decision. Frankie Edgar was then offered an immediate rematch with Henderson, but will lose again by decision in a tough and close bout at UFC 150. Disappointed, but now looking to bounce back, Frankie Edgar is hoping to make some noise in the featherweight division when he faces the featherweight champion, Jose Aldo. Jose Aldo was expected to defend his title against Erik Koch at UFC 153 in Brazil, but unfortunately, Koch suffered an injury. Frankie Edgar VS Jose Aldo is an intriguing matchup and should be a fight the mma fans should be excited about.

Edgar is known for his wrestling and boxing. He has the speed and footwork to avoid danger and loves to counter. But what the fans love most about him is his heart. In three of his last four bouts, Edgar has been rocked and dropped by Maynard(twice) and Benson Henderson, but has managed to hold up the torch and not get finished. Jose Aldo is a great striker, or what you can call an elite striker, with great take down defense. He has knockout power and delivers the most brutal leg kicks in the division. If Frankie Edgar wants to win this fight, he must avoid Aldo's striking, especially his leg kicks. He should do what he does best. Frustrate fighters with his constant movement and speed, counter punching, and use his wrestling. As for Aldo, he must slow down Frankie Edgar by delivering the leg kicks and when he has the chance, finish Edgar. But nobody finishes Edgar. Not even the lightweight fighters could finish him. Edgar was a natural lightweight. Unlike other fighters, he fought at 155 while other fighters fought 15 pounds or heavier on the day of their scheduled bout(which is normal for most fighters). Even Aldo is a big and strong fighter in his featherweight division. This fight may go down the way the Aldo and Faber fight went at WEC 48, with Aldo chopping down Faber like a tree with his leg kicks and slowing him down, but not finishing him. It's hard to see Edgar winning this fight only because he is facing an elite striker. Edgar has never fought a striker like Aldo who is pinpoint with his striking, but Aldo has never fought a fighter like Edgar too. This fight is really a toss up, but these two are definitely going to leave it all in the octagon and give the fans what they want. The worst thing that could happen in this championship bout is neither fighter willing to engage and/or fighting cautiously.

For more info about Edgar and Aldo fight click on MMA JUNKIE

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Mcfadden and Palmer Looking to Lead The Raiders To The Playoffs

The Oakland Raider fans have been waiting for their team to make it the playoffs for nearly 10 years. The last time the Silver and Black made it to the playoffs was in 2002, which happened to be the year they made it the Super Bowl, but unfortunately lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Since then, it has been a black hole for the Raiders in which they have gone through seven head coaching changes and over five different starting quarterbacks and losing seasons one after another. However, in the past two seasons the Raiders have looked like a much better team finishing 8-8. A huge improvement from the previous seasons, but still no playoffs. Last season the Raiders' owner, Al Davis, passed away at the age of 82. In week 5 of the 2011-2012 season, the Raiders had a huge win over the Houston Texans, just a few days after the death of their owner. It seemed as if the Raiders were headed in the right direction and would finally finish with a winning record. They were leading their division and the fans were ecstatic. In week 7 the Raiders would lose their starting quarterback, Jason Campbell, to a season ending injury. Hue Jackson, head coach at the time, decided to make a trade for quarterback Carson Palmer, who was sitting out the season because he demanded the Cincinnati Bengals to trade him. After the Raiders were able to acquire Palmer, the season would go downhill from there. The Raiders would also suffer a major blow which was losing their star running back, Darren McFadden, for the rest of the season do to an injury and Carson Palmer would struggle at the quarterback position and finish the season with 2,753 passing yards, 13 touchdowns, and 16 interceptions in the 10 games he played. After the season ended the Raiders decided to fire their head coach, Hue Jackson and hire former Broncos' defensive coordinator, Dennis Allen.

With Darren McFadden being back from injury and healthy and Carson Palmer looking to bounce back from last season, the Raiders are looking forward to become playoff contenders this season. Mcfadden has had his struggles due to injuries the past two seasons. If he is able to play at least 10 games or more, Raider fans should not worry about him at all. If it is any Raider the fans should worry about, it would have to be Carson Palmer. He has been a good quarterback throughout his career, but what has set him back from being a great quarterback is his decision making. Palmer has a tendency to throw too many interceptions in a season. The Raiders have a pair of good wide receivers in Derrius Heyward-Bey and Denarius Moore and if Palmer is looking to have a great season he should have no more than 16 interceptions and find his pair of wide receivers with ease. The AFC west division is always up for grabs, but with Palmer and Mcfadden looking to turn things around, they can definitely clinch their division for the first time since 2002.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Jon Jones to defend his UFC title against "The Phenom" Belfort

Jon Jones was set to defend his UFC light heavyweight title against the hard hitting wrestler Dan Henderson on September 1st. Unfortunately, Dan Henderson was forced out of the title fight because he sustained a torn mcl in his knee. Now it has been confirmed by the UFC that Vitor "The Phenom" Belfort will have a title shot against the light heavyweight champion, Jon "Bones" Jones on September 22nd in Canada. Jones was offered to fight Chael Sonnen by the UFC, but declined. That forced UFC 151 to be canceled on September 1st. Lyoto Machida was offered the fight, which would have been a rematch with Jon Jones in a fight which he lost by submission, but declined. It is understandable that Machida would not take the fight because he fought on August 4th and will not be prepared for a 5 round fight with the champion. As for Jones' decision to decline the fight with Chael Sonnen is inexcusable. A champion is suppose to be looked at as the person who will fight anyone at anytime whether or not it is a short week notice. As for Dana White, to cancel the whole UFC 151 card is not fair to the fighters that were suppose to fight on that card and as well as the fans who booked their flight to Vegas to see the event. Dana White should of had Jake Ellenberger and Jay Hieron as the main event and move it to a UFC ON FX or a UFC on Fueltv instead of a ppv. The decision has been made though, so mma fans, prepare yourself for the unorthodox champion, Jon Jones, to defend his title against the knockout artist, Vitor Belfort.