Archive | June 2014

The Three Major Questions Heading Into Tonight’s NBA Draft Plus Mock Draft 2014

By Nick Guy

  1. What will Cleveland do?

The choices seem to be down to three: Jabari Parker, Andrew Wiggins or Trade out. While nobody would ever imagine trading out of the first pick in a draft where there are such high ceiling players, we ARE talking about the Cavs. One rumor has the Orlando Magic offering the 4th and 12th picks plus scoring forward Aron Afflalo. If Cleveland is truly in love with Joel Embiid this might make some sense as they could try to add Embiid with the 4th pick and add a second lottery pick and a good player in return. On the other hand if Embiid’s injury problems are chronic and Wiggins or Parker turn out to be…well you know the rest. As for Parker, there are rumors swirling that he wants no part of Cleveland and would be much happier in Milwaukee. If I am the Cavs I would not listen to anyone or anything and just take the best player, pair him with Kyrie Irving and move on. In my eyes that would be Andrew Wiggins. Wiggins has the most upside of anyone in the draft and will be a future star in the league.

 

  1. Where will Joel Embiid land?

Is Embiid’s injury bad timing or good timing? Depends who you ask. I would say bad timing for Joel Embiid but maybe lucky timing for the Cavs? As the draft banter has progressed in the last month or so all I kept hearing was Embiid was going first to the Cavs who were drooling at his potential. My thoughts? Always take the best player which to me means Andrew Wiggins 1st, Jabari Parker 2nd and Joel Embiid 3rd. I wondered if Cavs management had been stuck in a cave for the past 30 years and never heard the stories of Sam Bowie and Michael Jordan or Greg Oden and Kevin Durant? Is it possible they would pass on Wiggins and Parker to pick the injury prone big man with potential? Bad timing for Philly who at pick number 3 had to be giddy in thinking the Cavs would leave them Wiggins or Parker. How lucky can Cleveland be? First they come all the way up to win the lottery and snag the 1st pick and then an injury might actually force them to take the best player? WOW!! With that said, please understand that this is not to denigrate Joel Embiid who is an exceptional prospect. Just not the top prospect. So where does he land? I think the highest spot he could go is 3rd. The 76ers will choose between Embiid and Dante Exum or possibly maneuver within the top 6 or 7 with someone who will take a shot at Embiid. I don’t think he will last past Boston at number 6 and the teams most involved seem to be the 76ers, Celtics, Lakers and Magic.

Look for Joel Embiid to go in that 3-6 range in tonight's NBA Draft (Via USA Today)

Look for Joel Embiid to go in that 3-6 range in tonight’s NBA Draft (Via USA Today)

  1. How will LeBron and Melo’s free agency impact the draft?

When you are chasing free agents of this magnitude there are always two things to remember. First, the more cap room you have the better off you are and second, only one team gets them and the rest are left in limbo. So what does this mean for the draft? Teams will look to couple expiring deals with draft picks to create room for marquee names. The Lakers have already offered #7 with Steve Nash’s contract to suitors. The Bulls are looking to offload their 2 first rounders with Carlos Boozer to fit a max guy. Houston, Miami and OKC are all looking at moving out of the bottom of the first round and into the top of the second round where contracts are not guaranteed. The NBA draft has become a chess board where cap space has become more valuable than a mid level prospect. Expect to see at least a half dozen and potentially more first round picks move tonight. All the movement will be designed to free up valuable space and the beneficiaries of that could be teams like Philly, Utah, Detroit, Phoenix, Cleveland and Milwaukee. Those are the key teams that will have the maneuverability to add a player with an expiring contract without trading one away plus get a sweetener in return. Should be a very interesting night.

 

And now Mock Draft 2014

I will not include trades but I expect at least 6 or 7 and maybe as many as 10 or 12 before the night is over.

1. CLEVELAND- Andrew Wiggins-Kansas

2. MILWAUKEE- Jabari Parker-Duke

3. PHILADELPHIA- Dante Exum-Australia

4. ORLANDO- Joel Embiid- Kansas

5. UTAH- Noah Vonleh-Indiana

6. BOSTON- Doug McDermott-Creighton

7. LA LAKERS- Marcus Smart-Oklahoma State

8. SACRAMENTO- Aaron Gordon- Arizona

9.CHARLOTTE- Nik Stauskas-Michigan

10.PHILADELPHIA-Julius Randle-Kentucky

11. DENVER- James Young-Kentucky

12. ORLANDO-Elfrid Payton-Louisiana Lafayette

13. MINNESOTA- Rodney Hood- Duke

14. PHOENIX- Dario Saric- Croatia

15. ATLANTA- Zach Lavine-UCLA

16. CHICAGO- Gary Harris- Michigan St

17. BOSTON-Jusuf Nurkic- Bosnia

18. PHILADELPHIA- Kyle Anderson –UCLA

19. CHICAGO-Adreian Payne- Michigan State

20. TORONTO- Tyler Ennis- Syracuse

21. OKLAHOMA CITY- Jerami Grant- Syracuse

22. MEMPHIS- Shabazz Napier- UCONN

23. UTAH- Mitch McGary- Michigan

24.CHARLOTTE- TJ Warren-NC State

25.HOUSTON- Jordan Adams-UCLA

26. MIAMI- Patric Young- Florida

27. PHOENIX- KJ McDaniels-Clemson

28. LA CLIPPERS- PJ Hairston_ Texas Legends

29. OKLAHOMA CITY- Cleanthony Early- Wichita State

30. SAN ANTONIO-Clint Capela- Switzerland

 

 

Carmelo Opts Out of Contract to ‘Explore his Options’

By Brett Malamud

Reports surfaced last night that Carmelo Anthony has informed the New York Knicks that he will opt out of the final year of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent. This morning it became a reality. Melo’s agent Leon Rose announced this morning that Anthony will become an unrestricted free agent this July. “Carmelo loves being a Knick, he loves the city and he loves the fans,” Rose said. “At this stage of his career, he just wants to explore his options.” The Knicks have recently communicated to Anthony their desire for him to opt in to his final year of his contract. Since his introductory press conference, Knicks President Phil Jackson has privately and publicly expressed interest in keeping Carmelo Anthony, and newly hired coach Derek Fisher has said the same of their top player.

Could Carmelo Anthony be joining forces with Derrick Rose? (Via ChiCitySportsFan)

Could Carmelo Anthony be joining forces with Derrick Rose? (Via ChiCitySportsFan)

But Anthony didn’t listen and come July 1st, he could be on his way out of the Big Apple and on his way to the Windy City. That’s right, the Chicago Bulls. The idea of playing with Joakim Noah and Derrick Rose is a dreamland for Carmelo. Melo recently said, “The most important thing right now is winning.” Sound familiar? Sounds to me like the man who left his hometown to take his talents to South Beach. It was reported yesterday that Carmelo was already researching places to live in and around the Chicago area. If I’m the Knicks, I’m worried but not panicked. Who’s going to lead the team next year if Melo bolts? You’re telling me that Iman Shumpert, Tyson Chandler, and Tim Hardaway Jr. going to lead the Knicks to the playoffs? No way! As of this morning there are rumblings that Jackson may flip Shumpert for a late first round pick in Thursday’s draft. But there’s no room for panicking. In fact, with Carmelo gone, the Knicks will have a lot of cap room come 2015 and you can bet they’ll be knocking on Kevin Love and Rajon Rondo’s doors. Then of course there’s the Knicks fan’s ultimate fantasy of Kevin Durant dropping the only team he’s ever played for to go to the bright lights of Broadway in 2016. The recent Knicks hire of his good friend Derek Fisher has added some spark to that rumor, but who knows if Fisher will even still be coaching the Knicks in 2016.

As a Syracuse basketball fan, Carmelo has been my favorite NBA player and I’ll be sad to see him go. However, the move will allow Phil Jackson to start fresh with a team that’ll struggle this upcoming season (of course not having any draft picks won’t help), and a boatload of cap room in the next few seasons. So as a Knicks fan, if Chicago is what Melo really wants, all I can say is good riddance.


Brett Malamud is a Computer Science Major at Binghamton University. He is the co-founder of dabuzzza.com. His favorite athletes are Derek Jeter and Todd Bertuzzi. You can follow him on twitter at @brettnyy

World Cup Predictions

By Vishnu Nagaraj

For Group A Preview, click here.

For Group B Preview, click here.

For Group C Preview, click here.

For Group D Preview, click here.

For Group E Preview, click here.

For Group F Preview, click here.

For Group G Preview, click here.

For Group H Preview, click here.

Match 1:

Group A Winner: Brazil

Group B Runner-up: Netherlands

Winner: Brazil

 

Match 2:

Group C Winner: Ivory Coast

Group D Runner-up: England

Winner: England

 

Match 3:

Group E Winner: France

vs.

Group F Runner-up: Nigeria

Winner: Nigeria

 

Match 4:

Group G Winner: Germany

vs.

Group H Runner-up: South Korea

Winner: Germany

 

Match 5:

Group A Runner-up: Croatia

Group B Winner: Spain

Winner: Spain

 

Match 6:

Group C Runner-up: Greece

Group D Winner: Italy

Winner: Italy

 

Match 7:

Group E Runner-up: Switzerland

Group F Winner: Argentina

Winner: Argentina

 

Match 8:

Group G Runner-up: Portugal

Group H Winner: Belgium

Winner: Belgium

 

Match 9:

Match 1 Winner: Brazil

vs.

Match 2 Winner: England

Winner: Brazil

 

Match 10:

Match 3 Winner: Nigeria

Match 4 Winner: Germany

Winner: Germany

 

Match 11:

Match 5 Winner: Spain

Match 6 Winner: Italy

Winner: Spain

 

Match 12:

Match 7 Winner: Argentina

Match 8 Winner: Belgium

Winner: Argentina

 

Match 13 (Semi-Final 1):

Match 9 Winner: Brazil

Match 10 Winner: Germany

Winner: Germany

 

Match 14 (Semi-Final 2):

Match 11 Winner: Spain

Match 12 Winner: Argentina

Winner : Spain

 

Match 15 (Final):

Match 13 Winner: Germany

vs.

Match 14 Winner: Spain

Winner: Germany

 

Match 16 (3rd Place Game):

Match 13 Loser: Brazil

Match 14 Loser: Argentina

Winner: Brazil
In this World Cup I am predicting Germany to win. They are arguably the most complete team in the world and they have perfect chemistry and balance. Spain will finish second as their lack of height and strength will harm them in the end. I expect Brazil to finish a disappointing third and Argentina to finish fourth. I am predicting Germany forward Thomas Muller to be named the MVP of the tournament however, I am predicting that Argentina forward Lionel Messi to be the leading goalscorer in the tournament.

online-sportsbooks-favor-brazil-world-cup-trophy-in-2014


Vishnu Nagaraj is a finance major at Binghamton University. He is a self-taught DJ and sports fanatic. His favorite teams are the Yankees, Brooklyn Nets, San Diego Chargers, and FC Barcelona. You can follow him on twitter at @DJVishMusic.

World Cup Preview: Group H

By Vishnu Nagaraj

For Group A, click here.

For Group B, click here.

For Group C, click here.

For Group D, click here.

For Group E, click here.

For Group F, click here.

For Group G, click here.

Group H consists of Belgium, Algeria, Russia, and Korea Republic. This is another group that promises to be very entertaining. With the young stars of Belgium to the veterans of Russia, one can expect plenty of great games from this group. Belgium could potentially be the biggest sleepers in the World Cup. They have the talent to go all the way but can the youngsters handle the pressure of playing on such a big stage. Eden Hazard and Vincent Kompany are the two big stars for Belgium and they will be expected to carry the load for the team. Algeria and Korea Republic will be looking to pull an upset and knock off the two European powers in an attempt to advance to the knockout rounds. Russia will expect to advance from this group but they cannot get complacent. They are a team that has been known to disappoint and they cannot let that happen to them this time around. Midfield star Alan Dzagoev and veteran Alexander Kerzhakov will be asked to lead the Russians in the tournament.

Chelsea Midfielder Eden Hazard will try to take Belgium far into the World Cup this year (Via Getty)

Chelsea Midfielder Eden Hazard will try to take Belgium far into the World Cup this year (Via Getty)


Vishnu Nagaraj is a finance major at Binghamton University. He is a self-taught DJ and sports fanatic. His favorite teams are the Yankees, Brooklyn Nets, San Diego Chargers, and FC Barcelona. You can follow him on twitter at @DJVishMusic.

World Cup Preview: Group G

By Vishnu Nagaraj

For Group A, click here.

For Group B, click here.

For Group C, click here.

For Group D, click here.

For Group E, click here.

For Group F, click here.

This is the group that I and most of the country will have their eyes on. The United States, Germany, Portugal, and Ghana make up this group. One of the favorites to win the entire thing, Germany will most certainly bring their A-game to this year’s World Cup. With a stunning midfield comprised of Bastian Schweinsteiger, Mesut Ozil, Mario Gotze, and Marco Reus, Germany will be one of the best teams to watch. German players have an incredible work-ethic and they very rarely make careless mistakes which is what makes them so hard to defeat. In order for Germany to win this group, they will have to stop the world’s most physically dominant player, Cristiano Ronaldo and his Portugal squad. Ronaldo’s incredible combination of speed and power make him the most entertaining player in the world. He has a strong supporting cast and he will look to them to play at the same level that he plays at. Portugal are a very strong side that will be sure to challenge Germany at the top of this group. Next we have Ghana. They are side filled with passion and intense pride. They never give up and are always running and hoping to create chances. Ghana will be led by flamboyant midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng. They will look to him to run the game from the midfield. Lastly, we have the United States of America. I would have given the USA a much better chance of causing some damage in the group but with the omission of their all-time leading goal-scorer Landon Donovan, I believe that advancing to the knockout round from this group will be extremely difficult. The USA will look to Clint Dempsey to be the talisman for them and inspire them. Someone to look out for is young winger Julian Green. Not too many people know about him but he has the potential to be a special player for the Americans. This is group that promises to create fireworks and there could be a surprise or two.

It should be a little strange seeing Landon Donovan sitting in an ESPN studio rather than playing on the field. (Via AP)

It should be a little strange seeing Landon Donovan sitting in an ESPN studio rather than playing on the field. (Via AP)


Vishnu Nagaraj is a finance major at Binghamton University. He is a self-taught DJ and sports fanatic. His favorite teams are the Yankees, Brooklyn Nets, San Diego Chargers, and FC Barcelona. You can follow him on twitter at @DJVishMusic.

 

World Cup Preview: Group F

By Vishnu Nagaraj

For Group A, click here.

For Group B, click here.

For Group C, click here.

For Group D, click here.

For Group E, click here.

Group F consists of Argentina, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Iran, and Nigeria. This has the potential to be a very interesting group as Argentina could fail to live up to expectations. They have the best attacking arsenal in the world with the likes of Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain, Ezequiel Lavezzi and Angel Di Maria among others. Even with the shocking omission of striker Carlos Tevez, Argentina definitely has the skill to win the whole thing but they will most certainly be tested. Bosnia & Herzegovina were an under-the-radar team to qualify for the World Cup, they have a core of Edin Dzeko, Miralem Pjanic, and Asmir Begovic, who all can change a game instantly. Next, is Nigeria. The reigning African champions have a very physical side who can present problems to anybody they face. This is where I believe they can challenge for a place in the knockout by using their sheer physical power to bully their opponents. Look for the weakest side in this group, Iran, to leave to everything on the pitch and make the other teams earn a win. They have nothing to lose and I am sure that they will give it their all. This is a group that could surprise most of us due to unpredictability and inconsistency. Watch for this to be one of the most watched groups especially with the presence of the world’s best player, Lionel Messi.

Messi is Argentina's top weapon and he hopes to prove that during the World Cup. (Via AP)

Messi is Argentina’s top weapon and he hopes to prove that during the World Cup. (Via AP)

 


Vishnu Nagaraj is a finance major at Binghamton University. He is a self-taught DJ and sports fanatic. His favorite teams are the Yankees, Brooklyn Nets, San Diego Chargers, and FC Barcelona. You can follow him on twitter at @DJVishMusic.

World Cup Preview: Group E

By Vishnu Nagaraj

For Group A, click here.

For Group B, click here.

For Group C, click here.

For Group D, click here.

Group E:

Group E consists of France, Switzerland, Ecuador, and Honduras. In my opinion this is the weakest among all of the groups. The clear-cut favorite to win this group is France. They possess a complete team that can give many of the other favorites a run for their money. France is led by Bayern Munich winger Franck Ribery and Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema. These two along with a physically powerful midfield and defense have the opportunity to help France go far in this tournament. One of the most notible omissions from any of the world cup squads was French midfielder Samir Nasri. A regular starter and a key figure in his club team Manchester City’s run to the Premier League title. Nasri and French manager Didier Deschamps do not see eye to eye and this had to be the reason for Nasri’s omission. Ecuador and Switzerland will be battling to advance from this group to the knockout rounds. I believe that both teams are fairly equal on a talent perspective and this could provide for an interesting encounter when these two sides meet. Lastly, we have Honduras who are one of the weaker teams in the tournament. Lack of quality when it comes to scoring goals and preventing the opposition from scoring will lead to the Honduran downfall which could see them fail to win a single game.

Karim Benzema hopes to make an impact at this year's World Cup (Via Reuters)

Karim Benzema hopes to make an impact at this year’s World Cup (Via Reuters)


Vishnu Nagaraj is a finance major at Binghamton University. He is a self-taught DJ and sports fanatic. His favorite teams are the Yankees, Brooklyn Nets, San Diego Chargers, and FC Barcelona. You can follow him on twitter at @DJVishMusic.

2014 Stanley Cup Preview

By Brett Malamud

The puck drops in Los Angeles tonight as the New York Rangers and Los Angeles Kings will battle it out for all the marbles. It should be a great series, as both teams deserve to be there. After missing out on the finals berth last year, the Kings return to hockey’s biggest stage for the second time in three years. At the same time, the Rangers return to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 1994.

 

The Goalies

An interesting matchup to say the least, the series will feature two of the top goalies in the league going head to head. Henrik Lundqvist has stood on his head, making some pretty acrobatic stops these playoffs. If it weren’t for him, the Rangers would probably not be playing in this series. With a 2.03 goals against average, he has carried them the distance and hopes to continue that over the coming games. On the other side of the rink is Jonathan Quick, who will look to capture his second Stanley Cup. He’s had quite the experience in net, and that should help as he has been playing well this playoffs.

Edge: Rangers

Henrik Lundqvist must be on his game for the Rangers to take home their first cup in 20 years (Via ISN)

Henrik Lundqvist must be on his game for the Rangers to take home their first cup in 20 years (Via ISN)

 

The Defense

Defense should be a huge part of this series. The Kings can score in a blink of an eye, and the Rangers…well let’s just say they can thank the opponent’s lack of defense for a handful of their goals during the playoffs. The Rangers shot blocking may be the storyline going into this one. Dan Girardi, Marc Staal and Ryan McDonagh have led the charge on that front. The Rangers did a good job holding down PK Subban, but it’ll be interesting to see how they do with the quicker Jake Muzzin and Drew Doughty.

Edge: Kings

 

The Offense

Well not a lot of debate here. The Kings average 3.48 goals per game. The Rangers average 2.70. The Kings scored 28 goals in their seven-game Western Conference Finals series. The Rangers scored 19 goals in their six-game Eastern Conference Finals series. It’ll be interesting to see Marian Gaborik this series. The former Rangers forward leads all playoffs scorers with 12 goals. Jeff Carter, Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams will all play a major role as well. For the Rangers, the newly acquired Martin St. Louis leads the way, as well as Rick Nash, who hasn’t done much this postseason

Edge: Kings

 

Verdict

At the end of the day, the Kings are the better team. Don’t think that the Rangers will go down easy though.

Prediction: Kings in 6


Brett Malamud is a Computer Science Major at Binghamton University. He is the co-founder of dabuzzza.com. His favorite athletes are Derek Jeter and Todd Bertuzzi. You can follow him on twitter at @brettnyy

 

World Cup Preview: Group D

By Vishnu Nagaraj

For Group A, click here.

For Group B, click here.

For Group C, click here.

Group D consists of Uruguay, Italy, England, and Costa Rica. This group is loaded with talent. Uruguay could quite possess the best striking partnership in the world with Liverpool forward Luis Suarez and PSG forward Edinson Cavani. Uruguay will look to the two of them to lead the line against some very formidable competition. Veteran forward Diego Forlan will also be making a return to the national team and he could be a key player for the Uruguayans. Next we have Italy. They have been one of the most consistent national teams in the past few years. Just like Spain, Italy possess an extremely talented midfield with the likes of Andrea Pirlo, Daniele De Rossi, and Claudio Marchisio. They also have one of the most scrutinized players in the world, AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli. He is mainly known for his hot-headed nature but also for his incredible ability to score goals. Another name to keep an eye out for is New Jersey-born forward Giuseppe Rossi who has recovered from several terrible injuries to make the Italian team. Next is probably the most talked-about team in the world, England. They have the talent and they have the leadership to make a deep run but inconsistency and drama from the players could threaten to wreck their ambitions. Manager Roy Hodgson has placed an emphasis on youth as he has selected six players who are 22 years of age or younger. This team, however, will be lead by their veterans. Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard, and Wayne Rooney will be tasked with moving this team as far as possible. Lastly, we have Costa Rica. They are without a doubt the biggest underdogs of this tournament. Most experts have given Costa Rica a zero percent chance of advancing from this group and I would have to agree with that. As big a soccer fan as I am, I can only name one player of the top of my head who plays for Costa Rica and that is easily their best player, Bryan Ruiz. My hope for the Costa Ricans is that they play with pride, enjoy the experience, and have fun. This, in my opinion, is the true “group of death” as I believe that three out of the four teams have a legitimate chance of advancing to the knockout round.

Wanye Rooney hopes to bring the World Cup trophy back to England for the first time since 1966 (Via PA Images)

Wanye Rooney hopes to bring the World Cup trophy back to England for the first time since 1966 (Via PA Images)

______________________________________________________________

Vishnu Nagaraj is a finance major at Binghamton University. He is a self-taught DJ and sports fanatic. His favorite teams are the Yankees, Brooklyn Nets, San Diego Chargers, and FC Barcelona. You can follow him on twitter at @DJVishMusic.