Thursday, June 3, 2010

Lebron, do the Grizzlies have a chance?

The most talked about news this summer is the NBA free agency. The most sought after prize being Lebron James. To think that Lebron will end up in Memphis is, to be honest, a little far-fetched. In this day and time though, anything is possible. The Grizzlies may not have the money to sign Lebron, but they do have an outstanding group of young talent. With Rudy Gay expected to hit the free agency market as well, the Grizzlies will need to find someone else to fill that scoring hole. Lebron has recently stated that he would like to go somewhere that he can win. Of course the Bulls and the Cavs are already built for success, but the Grizzlies are also just one key player away from making waves. Memphis finished 10 games back from the 8th spot in the Western Conference. Most skeptics would look at this stat and think they were a sub-par team. What most people forget about is that Memphis was in the middle of the playoff hunt for most of the season. They had faltered in the end which cost them a playoff spot. This was partly due to the fact of inexperience on the team. Lebron would bring that next level of play that the Grizzlies have been looking for in a player. Maybe I am thinking too big for the Grizzlies. I mean let's be honest, we all know that Lebron is most certainly not going to come to Memphis. So instead of focusing on Lebron, why not try going for a different free agent. Suppose the Grizzlies were to go after Manu Ginobili and either Carlos Boozer or Amare Stoudamire. Bringing in Manu would give Memphis depth in the gaurd position. Boozer or Stoudamire would provide a perfect complement to Marc Gasol in the interior. Here is my projected lineup for the Grizzlies assuming Rudy Gay leaves to free agency:

C - Marc Gasol
F - Carlos Boozer or Amare Stoudamire
F - Zach Randolph
G - O.J. Mayo
G - Manu Ginobili

This is a much improved lineup from this past season. This allows Memphis to bring Brewer, Conley, and Tinsley off the bench. Ultimately giving them a deeper bench than last season. Signing either Boozer or Stoudamire will be costly, but not bringing back Rudy Gay and signing the likes of Ginobili should be enough incentive for one of the two to make their way to Memphis. Everyone has there own ideas and opinions of what will happen this summer during free agency. The truth is, no one knows for sure. Only time will tell, and come July 1st, the madness will unfold.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Power Rankings

Hey guys, I know it has been a long time since the last post. I have gotten pretty busy that past few weeks. No worries though, I am back and ready to roll with the second edition of the Power Rankings. The Preds and Titans are moving up the chain as the Vols slip a little bit. In parentheses will be the teams previous ranking.
  1. (2) Nashville Predators (15-10-2): The Predators are easily one of the hottest teams in Tennessee. They were on a seven game win streak this month which propelled them into the playoff hunt. Nashville ranked dead last in offense earlier this month but were still able to go on a tear. Barry Trotz has his team prepared for the long haul. Trotz should be considered for the coach of the year thus far.
  2. (3) Tennessee Titans (5-6): The Titans were a very close second in this edition of the rankings. Winning five in a row under Vince Young and back in the playoff picture has teams in the AFC turning heads. The Titans face their toughest test this season against the Colts this Sunday. The Titans always find a way to play the Colts hard and close. Expect a drag out knock down battle this Sunday as the Titans make a playoff push.
  3. (1) Tennessee Volunteers (7-5): A late season loss against Ole Miss has the Vols at the 3 spot this week. Lane Kiffin has this Vols team bowl eligible after missing out on a bowl last season. Lane Kiffin has had a great season thus far and should have a better one next season. Expect the Vols to be a serious SEC contender next season.
  4. (4) Memphis Grizzlies (7-12): The Grizzlies have great talent but are having trouble showing it on the court. They are playing in a tough division and will probably not get out of the bottom of the division. Now that Iverson has left the team, they can focus on making the right strides to becoming a better team.
  5. (5) Vanderbilt Commodores (0-8): I am not even going to waste my time to talk about the Dores. Dead last in the SEC and unable to win a single game this season. The only thing I can say to Vanderbilt fans is that I'm sorry.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Power Rankings

Every few weeks I am going to begin to rank the sports teams in Tennessee according to how they are doing. This is the first installment of my Power Rankings.
  1. Tennessee Volunteers (4-4): The Vols take the top spot in the first edition of the power rankings. After a heartbreaking loss to Alabama, many of the fans wondered how they would bounce back against South Carolina. The questions were answered after a convincing 31-13 victory.The Vols are starting to pick up some momentum going into the second half of the season.
  2. Nashville Predators (6-6-1): The Predators are starting to find their rhythm on offense and defense. They are on a three game win streak win big wins over Chicago and Dallas. Nashville's goaltender Pekka Rinne was given the honor of one of the three stars of the week last week. He shut down the Blackhawks and was phenomenal against the Wild and the Stars. This is a great sign for the Preds, but every fan knows that the Predators are very streaky and could easily go on a three game losing streak this week. They hold on to my number two spot for this week.
  3. Tennessee Titans (1-6): There were a lot of questions that needed to be answered coming off a bye week. We knew that Vince Young was going to be the starter coming into the game against Jacksonville. The main question was if the defense was going to be healthy and how well Young would perform. Vince Young played like a mature quarterback who knew how to manage the game. He completed 83% of his passes and threw for a touchdown. The biggest stat was that he had no turnovers in the game. It helped that Vince Young had Chris Johnson in the backfield to hand it off to. Johnson had a career day with 220 yards rushing and two touchdowns. As for the defense, Cortland Finnegan and Vincent Fuller both returned from injuries this week. With the majority of players healed up and the acquisition of Rod Hood, the Titans defense looked like the defense of old on Sunday. We shall see if they can carry the momentum in up-coming weeks.
  4. Memphis Grizzlies (1-3): The Grizzlies are off to a slow start this season. Allen Iverson played his first game last night. He came off the bench in his first game with Memphis. The main story line here will be if Iverson can handle being the sixth man for the first time in his career.
  5. Vanderbilt Commodores (0-5): There is nothing you can even say about the Dores this season. They showed glimpses of talent this past weekend as they played Georgia Tech tough for the first half. It was only a matter of time before Tech would turn it on and blow Vanderbilt out of the water. The Commodores have official been eliminated from bowl eligibility this season. If they don't turn things around, they could stay at the bottom of the power rankings all season.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Titanic Collapse and a Predator without bite

The season is still young for both the Titans and the Predators, but with both on a six game losing streak, it feels like the season is all but done.
  • I know that the NHL season has just begun, but with the Preds in a six game slide, it almost feels like it is going to be a very long season. After winning their first two games, the Predators have been outscored 22-6. Defense and goaltending were once the mainstay for the Preds. Now it seems like it is just another weak point in the team. One bright note is emerging young talent Colin Wilson. Wilson scored is first goal in last night's 3-2 loss to the Bruins. Wilson has been getting great looks in front of the net and has been distributing the puck well in the offensive zone. Expect Wilson's point total to increase with Jason Arnott on injured reserve. Injuries have plagued the Preds all season long. With the absence of Arnott and Dan Hamuis on defense, the Predators lose veteran presence and leadership. The Predators have been streaky in the past, so expect them to get on a few small winning streaks when Arnott and Hamuis return.
  • The Titans suffered their worst defeat in franchise history last Sunday when they lost to the overpowering Patriots 59-0. An injury ridden secondary was exactly what Patriot's quarterback Tom Brady needed to get back on track. With the absence of Cortland Finnegan, Nick Harper, and Vincent Fuller; Brady threw for 6 touchdown passes and 5 in one quarter. This type of beating is one you only see in video games. I personally did not get to watch the game, but it seems like i did not miss much. When I watched highlights of the game, it looked like the Titans' just quit. There were only two players that looked like they were trying the whole game. Those two players were Keith Bulluck and Chris Johnson. The Titans are going into a well needed bye week this weekend. The fans are on edge and are wanting to see results fast. Earlier this week, Jeff Fisher was seen at a charity event with a Peyton manning Colts' jersey on. Many of the fans that I have talked to are livid by what he did. I think this is an overreaction. What a lot of people don't realize is that he was introducing Tony Dungy at the event. It was a simple joke that people are blowing out of proportion. With that said, I would rather see him on the practice field trying to make adjustments for the second half. The Titans' will be able to heal up this week and host Jacksonville the following weekend. The schedule looks favorable in the second half of the season with them facing teams such as the Jaguars, Rams, Seahawks, and Bills. Jeff Fisher is too good of a head coach to let the team spiral out of control. I expect the titans to finish 7-9 this season.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Weekend Wrap-up

The weekend played host to three games in Tennessee. We had the Titans, Predators, and the Volunteers who all played at home. The Titans and Predators had no luck against their respected opponents, however; the Volunteers were able to put together an impressive victory over their heated rivals, the Georgia Bulldogs.

  1. Titans vs. Colts (L, 9-31): In years past, this game was one that would come down to the last possession of the game. This was not the case last night. The Titans looked like a team the was dejected and had no hope. The Colts were able to get an early lead and never looked back once they got it. The Titans' offense looked pathetic out there. The problem with receivers dropping passes proved evident once again last night. I can think of at least five times off the top of my head when the Titans' receivers dropped passes that him them in the hands. Most of their dropped balls were in crucial third down plays which ended up killing out drive. My roommate(Eric Bigness) put it best when he said it looks like the Titans have no "swagger." The season is only going to get harder for the Titans.
  2. Predators vs. Sabres (L, 0-1): The Predators season has just begun, and already we are starting to question the offensive power they have. Predators' goaltender Pekka Rinne stopped 41 of 42 shots faced in a losing effort on Saturday. That performance from a goalie will usually get you a win on most nights. Predators first-round draft pick from 2007, Colin Wilson, is hoping to be the answer. Colin Wilson single-handedly took Boston University to the NCAA national championship game earlier in the year. With Colin Wilson and a healthy Steve Sullivan, look for the Predators to pick up the scoring in the near future.
  3. Volunteers vs. Bulldogs (W, 48-19): This was a key win for Lane Kiffin and his Volunteers. The Vols were a mere 2-3 coming into the showdown with the Bulldogs. The defense played exceptional as always and the offense looked like they were able to get in rhythm. Jonathan Crompton had a career day with 300+ passing yards and four touchdown throws. I believe the defining moment for the Vols season came late in the third quarter after Crompton's 50-yard touchdown bomb. After the touchdown throw, the entire Volunteer team gathered in a circle and sang Rocky Top with the fans (this was truly a moment that would have given any UT fan goosebumps). This game may just have been the turning point the Vols have been looking for this season.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

State of the Titans

The Tennessee Titans are off to a dismal start this season. Most of this is due to the lack of a pass rush. A lot of spectators can take the easy way out and say it is because of the departure of Albert Haynesworth. Albert was a big loss to the Titans defense, but if you consider what he has done this year with the Redskins, he has been relatively quiet. So to say that the Titans lack of pass rush comes from the departure of Haynesworth is irrelevant for this season. I believe that the biggest reason why the Titans pass rush and secondary are lacking is former defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz leaving for Detroit. New defensive coordinator Chuck Cecil has not lived up to what Jim Schwartz did with the Titans defense. Going by the first four games of the season, it looks like the secondary is almost confused and doesn't know what to do in late game situations. It almost looks like Cecil has the linebackers and secondary playing prevent defense. The corners are playing ten yards off the receivers and the safeties are playing even deeper than that. I have always believed that prevent defense is a way to "prevent" yourself from winning. Any time you give a quarterback more than four seconds in the pocket they are going to pick any defensive unit apart. It also looks like Cecil is almost trying to hard to solve the pass rush problem. Cecil has tried putting together blitz packages and rotating players in and out on the front line. Blitz packages have not yet worked for the Titans this season. Every time the Titans have blitzed, the secondary has left a hole in the defense thus leaving a man open every time. Part of the reason for the secondary lacking is because of injuries to Nick Harper and Cortland Finnegan. The Titans' defense has been banged up for the past two games. Getting healthy is a key part in any successful team. Tonight's big showdown with the Colts should be a defining moment for the Titans' season. The Titans have always played the Colts tough and tonight should not be any different. Tonight is a chance for the Titans to show the nation on national television what they are capable of. The Titans are too good of a football team to let the season get away from them this early. Expect them to come out guns blazing tonight against the Colts.