NFL Wild Card Round Preview

imagesToday marks the beginning of the NFL Playoffs which means it’s time for me to tell you how you can make some money. I have to be honest though, this year might be one of the toughest years to pick the winners. Every game it seems like could go either way and to me it’s one of the most balanced out fields in a long time. Except the Broncos. They’re good. But I hate them. Anyway, here are you’re expert picks for the two games today and tomorrow.

Chiefs @ Colts (+1)– Here’s one of the most intriguing games of the first round. You have the Chiefs who may be the biggest fraud team in the NFL and the Colts who are the best Jeckyl and Hyde team of the season. To me the Colts are a better team on paper. Losing Reggie Wayne was a big blow offensively but they’re young wide receivers have picked it up and their defense has been playing pretty good. The Chiefs seem to have lost their purpose in life after losing to the Broncos and their defense has just disappeared. They’ve lost 5 of their last 7 games including a demoralizing home loss to the Colts in week 16 which makes me think the Colts will roll today. Andy Reid has a history of not getting it done in the playoffs and the Chiefs just simply put are playing their worst football at the worst time of the year.

Tbow’s Pick– 30-14 Colts +1

Saints @ Eagles (-3)– Everyone knows I am an Eagles fan so this pick may be biased, but let’s be real when I have ever done something like that? I have high hopes for the Eagles in the playoffs this season. The stars have aligned and they can very well have a smooth road to the NFC Championship game. Saints are 3-5 on the road this season and have always struggled in poor weather conditions. The Eagles have also won 7 of their last 8 games and that is the recipe for deep playoff success in recent years. It’s not always the better team on paper who wins this time of year, it’s the teams that are playing the best and the Eagles are doing that. They played a playoff game last week against Dallas and I believe they are ready to get their first playoff game in forever today. I expect the Eagles to get to Drew Brees on defense and make his life hell tonight. So let’s go Birds!

Tbow’s Pick– 27-17 Eagles -3

Chargers @ Bengals (-7)– Very interesting game here. Biggest spread of the first round and in the playoffs I almost always take the points. Both teams have had some impressive wins as of late but it is just sticking in my brain that San Diego should have lost to the Cheifs last week who sat all of their starters. Andy Dalton hasn’t been able to get out of the first round but he’s built some experience now and there’s no question the Bengals are a much better team. I also say every year how hard it is in the NFL to beat a team twice, and the Bengals beat the Chargers in week 13, 17-10 so you know what, I think I will take the underdog in this one. I really like Keenan Allen and I think this game will come down to a last second field goal but could go either way.

Tbow’s Pick– 21-20 Chargers +7

49ers @ Packers (+3)– Was very surprised to see Green Bay getting 3 points at home in a playoff game. Don’t see that very often. It is gonna be a bit nippy out in Green Bay but I don’t see that as an advantage or disadvantage for either team. Both have big running backs who can pound the ball all day. The difference will be if Green Bay’s defense can limit the big plays. This is one of those games that really can go either way, but the Packers offense is much better than the 49ers offense now that Rodgers is back so that is why I will give them the slight edge.

Tbow’s Pick– 24-20 Packers +3

So there ya have it. Put you’re money where my mouth is because I don’t have any, so take my advice, win some money and then throw some my way. Thanks.

Bye Bye Jrue

Nerlens-NoelAfter a few months of drinking myself into forgetting that Andrew Bynum didn’t play a single game for the Sixers last year, I decided to check in on the NBA draft the other night and see what the future might look like for the Sixers. First words I hear are that the Sixers traded Jrue Holiday for Nerlens Noel, a big man with knee problems. Then I thought to myself, hmm, that sounds familiar. Oh that’s right, I was subject to watching Spencer Hawes shoot 3 pointers every night last season because Andrew fucking Bynum didn’t play. The Bruins had just lost the Stanley Cup, and now the Sixers trade by far their best player for a rookie who won’t be able to play until December. I honestly jumped out the window, luckily for me I live on the first floor but still. So I let it sink in after a few days, tried to play the “NBA didn’t confirm it so it’s not true” card for a while. Then I finally came to my final conclusion of how I felt about this trade, I wish I could have been standing next to Sam Hinkie myself and just been like, “Sam, just when I think you couldn’t do anything dumber you go ahead and do something like this. And totally redeem yourself!” I like this new GM, he’s got balls clearly and knows that the Sixers are so awful that it’s going to take a few years to bring a championship to Philly. Sure Jrue was an awesome player and I’m sure he’ll do great things if he can ever get past the fact he’s playing for a team named the Pelicans. But let’s face it, Jrue wasn’t a leader at all. Some guys can lead, some can’t. Jrue couldn’t and that was apparent last season. Now we have a guard in Michael Carter-Williams who has the same size as Jrue and could turn into the same type of player, and a legit big man as long as we keep him off the bowling lanes or anywhere near Spencer Hawes. Not to mention if we play bad enough this year we could lock up Andrew Wiggins AND have the Pelicans 1st round pick which will easily be in the top 10. The last time I’ve been this excited about the Sixers future was this time last year when we traded for Andrew Bynum, so I’m not sure what any of this means but all I can say is I can’t wait for another season of Shitty  Sixers basketball.

P.S.- If your looking for somewhere to buy confetti the Wells Fargo will have plenty because there is no way those confetti machines are going off more than 5 times next season

Sixers Celts Home and Home Preview

Looking-great-Drew.-Screencap-via-@SmoothShawonSixers are hosting the Celtics tomorrow night followed by a game at the Garden on Saturday. We are almost a quarter of the way through the season and the Sixers and Celts are both sitting at 10-8. These two games probably don’t mean as much to the Celtics as they do to the Sixers. Who knows when Bynum is going to be back. I have said it all along that if the Sixers can go .500 until Bynum is back they will be able to contend for a championship. However, if he gets pushed back any later than mid January I will have to retract that statement. Most years .500 would get you a spot in the playoffs easily in the East. This year I’m not so sure. I thought the Sixers would have the Atlantic locked and have Boston as their biggest threat but Brooklyn and New York decided to show up this season. The reason I say these two mean more to the Sixers than the Celtics is because this could possibly be the team going forward for the duration of the season. It’s possible there is no Bynum at all which should result in a blanket party for Sixers upper management for leading us all on, so this is really a test to see if they have what it takes. The Sixers beat them in the first match-up this year, and that is the game where I think something clicked with Evan Turner because he has been on a tear ever since. I think he is the X-factor in these two games along with Thad Young. Celtics don’t really have anyone who can match up with Thad because he’s big and athletic.

Unfortunately, it looks like the Sixers might not have Nick Young for these two games because he’s still battling vaginitis turf- toe. While Nick Young really helps the Sixers bench scoring which is the reason they have been struggling the past few games without him, I don’t think his absence will hurt them too much. Celtics can score at times but at other times they can be shut down with good, solid D which is what the Sixers play. Plus when the Sixers played the Celts earlier, the Sixers were without J-Rich who is a more consistent 3-point shooter so I’ll call it a wash. I honestly wish this wasn’t a home and home because I think most likely we are going to see a split. It is just human nature for Team A who won last night against Team B to relax while Team B needs to play harder to make up for the night before. But, since the Sixers have been owning the Celtics the past few years in regular season games I like a nice clean sweep. Jrue has been playing like an all-star point guard, and quite frankly if he doesn’t make it I will never watch an all-star game again. He’s averaging 18 points a game and 9 assists and has just simply taken over close games in crunch time and hitting clutch shots.

Keys in the Sixers 2 wins- Lavoie Allen plays shut down defense on KG, Dorell Wright and Jason Richardson are dripping like a Hanukkah candle from the 3 point line, and Thad Young and Turner rack up double digit points. Game. Set. Match

Game 1- Sixers 100-83

Game 2- Sixers 97-92

Maybe Rondo can try not to get thrown out of another big division game over a regular foul.

Do or Die

Tonight will reveal which team will have the opportunity to be swept by the Miami Heat beginning next week. The Sixers and Celts are about 2 hours away from tip-off in a do or die game 7 at the Garden. I won’t pull a KG and call the Celtics fans “fair weather” even though  for about 10 years a significantly less amount of people went to the games because they were bad and even this year I did not hear one word about the Celtics from fans until about one month remaining in the regular season because they had finally taken first place from the Sixers. Quite frankly, I think any team that is bad for a long period of time is bound to lose fans and have low attendance. Why would you buy season tickets or pay to go to games to watch your team put on a bad show? That’s like hearing every critic tell you this movie was the worst they have ever seen and you still paying 14 dollars to go see it in the movie theater. Anyway, I don’t care what KG says, he is a thug who would have been booed out of Boston this year if he did not have an epiphany at the beginning of the playoffs and found some way to play like he had in his prime. 

This series has been ugly, brutal at times, and I do not think either of these teams has any chance at beating the Heat. You cannot honestly call yourself a championship contender and consistently have multiple quarters a game scoring under 15 points. That is unacceptable and will not get you a sniff at the championship. I am extremely surprised the Sixers have managed to get to a game seven. Maybe the NBA really is rigged and was telling the refs not to call anything for the Sixers all series. I am leaning towards the fact that the refs have no respect for any of the Sixers players yet and that is why they are getting no calls. During the regular season the Sixers were a mid-range jump shooting team, that rarely drove to the hoop. In these playoffs, Lou Williams and Jrue Holiday have been attacking relentlessly. However, the back of their jerseys do not say Pierce or Garnett so they have not been getting any calls. It’s a sad trend in this league, and I think the NBA needs more teams like the Sixers to bring respectful play and gamesmanship back to the league. You don’t see them falling down when getting bumped at the 3 point line just to emphasize the fact that they got fouled, or see them complaining to the referees every time a foul is called on them. The league is full of floppers and embellishers, and the Celtics have one of the worst offenders in Paul Pierce. Pierce is a good player, but to constantly drive to the hoop and throw your arms up in the air with no expectations of the ball ending up anywhere near the basket is embarrassing, especially when he gets calls from the refs every time. Why can’t he take the ball to the hoop and go up strong without flailing his arms and screaming like he just got hit by an 18 wheeler? In the 3rd quarter of game 6, he was dribbling 4 feet behind the 3 point line and got bumped by Lavoie Allen. It was a clear foul, and it would have been called yet he felt the need to flop to the ground.

I’m not trying to pick on Paul Pierce, because there are many other players in the league who do it, but I can honestly say nobody on the Sixers plays that way. They play hard, honest basketball which is something every team should do. You wouldn’t catch Julius Erving and Larry Bird flopping around the court or snapping their heads back when a guy puts his hand on their chest. The Sixers might not be as talented as other teams, they might not have as much experience, but they play as a team and play the game the right way. That is why I think the basketball God’s are looking down on them tonight and helping them fight through the adversity of being in a game 7 at the Garden where the refs will continue to be favorable for the Celtics. If they lose, they lose and it won’t be the refs fault. The whole series the refs have been against them and they’ve won 3 games, so there is no reason they can’t win game 7. I honestly think the Celtics have realized once Avery Bradley went down for the season that their chances of beating the Heat or one of the West teams was slim to none. That is why I like the Sixers to come out smoking tonight as they did in game 5, but they won’t relinquish the lead this time. Sixers advance to the East Finals to get swept by LeBron, but tonight is every Sixers fan’s championship. The chance to end the Big 3 era. It will be sweet.