In Part One of this mock draft I outlined how youth is going to be a key factor this offseason. While the first round is a big part of getting younger, it is just as important to build depth with your later picks so you can develop those players into guys that can step in and produce. The Seahawks illustrated how vital this process is. Before the Super Bowl, both teams learn that one of their starting cornerbacks would be unavailable (Tony Carter for Denver, Brandon Browner for Seattle). Denver’s back-up plan was the aging Champ Bailey, who was exploited repeatedly in the game. The Seahawks, on the other hand, had drafted little known Byron Maxwell in the fifth round and work him into their scheme so that when he had to step in for Browner the Hawks hardly missed a beat. There are guys like that in every draft if you know where to look. Here is one player from each round that could make or break a team next season.no comments
The Portland Trail Blazers started off hot. They were the ‘Cinderella Story’ of the NBA. It didn’t just last through the first month, it continued from November through most of January. Then, all of the sudden, they ran into a wall. Was it fatigue? Was the schedule that much tougher? Did the switch in rotation minutes mess with chemistry?
These are all valid questions, and it could very well be a combination of the three. No matter the cause, the All-Star break is here and it couldn’t have come at a better time. Portland needs to get back to their winning ways. The break, for all but two – LaMarcus Aldridge and a packed weekend for Damian Lillard will stop these two from getting much rest – is a much needed one for the Blazers.
I will break down the grades into separate categories of the following: coaching, starting backcourt (guards), starting frontcourt (forwards and centers), bench backcourt, and bench frontcourt.no comments
Heading in to the season, the Oregon State Beavers basketball team stood in the shadow of their hot starting rival from down south, the Oregon Ducks. They stumbled through their preseason games, losing notably to Coppin State to start the year, all while watching Oregon surge in the national rankings, reaching as high as 10th in the country.
However, PAC-12 play seemed to bring Oregon back down to Earth, and Oregon State was no longer playing second fiddle.no comments
If you’re thinking that the buzz surrounding the Portland Trail Blazers sending two players (F/C LaMarcus Aldridge and PG Damian Lillard) to the All-Star Game in New Orleans this weekend is over the top, it isn’t.
It’s not unusual for elite teams to send multiple players, yet it’s been 20 years since the Portland Trail Blazers have sent two or more players to the NBA’s All-Star Game.
Let that sink in.no comments
Every business, institution, and individual have at least this in common: If you've heard of them, they matter. They're doing something right.
To what degree they matter is the next question, which often depends on branding.
Consider sports branding as a current model for success.
Not everyone understands, or enjoys, a rabid fan base but the numbers don't lie. Effective branding fills stadiums, keeps televisions turned to game channels.
Teams create a new identity in the community. For some, wearing team gear reconnects emotions impossible to explain. There's a power at work, an undercurrent found in few regions.
Portland is one of them.no comments
The NFL Scouting Combine begins next weekend and will mark the beginning of one of the most important offseasons in the Super Bowl era. These last playoffs served as a reminder that the league that was once the definition of parity is seeing its level of competition spread farther and farther, especially between the top and bottom playoff seeds. Just five years ago there were two #6 seeds and a #4 seed in the conference championships. This year every team that had a bye advanced, with NFC first seed Seattle Seahawks beating fellow top seed Denver for the title. So much for parity.
For the first time since the New England Patriots won its second title, the question has shifted from, “Can the champs repeat?” to “Can anyone top these guys?" and though the league may have lost its equality it will never stop plagiarizing from the teams at the top. If a league executive were to look to see what this Seahawks have done to be effective he will see many things depend on where his franchise is at. If the executive is in charge of a team in the bottom quarter of the league, it will see how John Schneider was able to build an offense without a quarterback that was effective enough to win half its games. If he is the head of a team on the fringe of the playoffs (about half the league right now) then they would look to the synchronicity between the coaching staff and front office that plugged up every hole on the roster. Everyone else is looking at what separated the champs from an outmatched Denver team two weeks ago; Youth.no comments
The NFL is not a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately business. It’s a what-will-you-do-for-me-next business. NFL rosters churn in excess of 20% every year. The 2014 Seattle Seahawks will be no different, which is to say they will look significantly different this September.
Here are five current Seahawks that have played their last downs for the home team in Seattle. They won’t be around for a chance at a repeat Super Bowl season. Not included on this list is current Seahawk defensive end Michael Bennett, who may have only a 50-50 shot at returning. While his production warrants an extended stay in Seattle, the free agent-to-be has indicated he does not plan to give the Seahawks a hometown discount after his single season in Seattle. Bennett wants Super Bowl money.no comments
The Portland Winterhawks had just barely finished their game this past Saturday night when the bus pulled into the lot at Veterans Memorial Coliseum and loaded up for a 700 plus mile trip to Prince George, BC. The Hawks were there to play the recently hot Prince George Cougars, who had won six straight going into the two game battle. The Hawks with a 12 game streak weren't about to let that stand in their way.
The first game was played on Monday at two in the afternoon as part of the BC Holiday “Family Day,” but the long drive didn't seem to affect the legs too much. By the end of two periods, the Hawks were comfortably up 5-2 and walked away in the third period with a final score of 8-4. Chase De Leo netted a pair along with 2 assists, but it was all around scoring again as the Hawks shared the scoring around and capitalized with a 50% power play success rate. Though they did surrender 3 goals on the penalty kill, it happened well after they'd built up a nearly insurmountable lead. Adam Beukeboom faced 50 shots while Burke looked at 32.
In every game, every competition, fans hope sports bring out the best from the best. It's supposed to be the best of the participants, but don't we secretly want sports to bring out the best in us?
Great games and great players sweep us along with them. They give us a temporary space in time that bonds us all together in greatness.
This could be the reason networks give us so many non-sports looking people to explain events. They make the rest of us look better in comparison.no comments
Commissioner David Stern is officially retired but he leaves behind a legacy of being one of the most successful commissioners in major sports history. Not only was the NBA struggling to fill the stadiums with fans when Stern took over as commissioner, they were struggling to get their games broadcast on live TV. That is a complete foreign concept today when the NBA really only looks up to the NFL in popularity.
One of the main things that Stern will be remembered for is his ability to manufacture and promote superstars. Stern was blessed with being the commissioner during the Magic/Bird/Jordan/Kobe/LeBron eras but the reason those guys are who they are is because the league did a superstar job at promoting and marketing these high level athletes.no comments
The Portland Timbers have breezed through the offseason like a cheetah moving through the daisies on a warm spring day before the real hunting commences.
The drama, derision and uncertainty of 2012 is out of view. Portland now has in its playing and coaching staff enough harmony to be a string quartet.
Last offseason, there was a total clear-out as the organization recharged and rebooted itself. This year, the Timbers have been able to pick their spots, acquiring three starting-caliber players while losing no key players in the process. There has been a shuffling of role players, but the core of the team that won the Western Conference last season has only been added to.no comments