NBA Teams That Could Knock Off The Cavaliers

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These 3 NBA Teams Could Knock Off The Cavaliers 
It’s obvious that because of Lebron James having some serious leadership skills, nobody can question the fact that he is leading the Cavaiers towards another champiopnship title. It is known that every championship team has a player that outshines their team, but at times it can seem necessary to maintain their on-court superiority. Their record of 52-33 has proven that.

There is no doubt that the Cavaliers could head to the finals again. So, the question that everyone wants answered is this: Which team(s) have the potential to prevent the Cavaliers from making another repeat finals appearance? Well, i have three teams listed here that have the greatest chance, check ’em out.

The Celtics

The Celtics success rests heavily on the shoulders of Jae Crowder and his health. Never-the-less, the Celtics have a huge potential of preventing Lebron’s return to the finals. Although the Celtics would require many things to happen in their favor, they DO have the defense required to stop the Cavaliers in their tracks. This would be interesting to see.

With the Celtics defense ranked fourth in the league, they respectfully ranked number two for the season up to the point when the absence of Crowder began to affect the teams overall numbers. Regardless of that, having a healthy Crowder back now will be a huge threat to the Cavs.

Another potential threat is Isaiah Thomas. Although his performance against the Cavs has been less than par, i believe his potential will soon be great when he meets the Cavs again. Of course, i say this only if his points and assists are the only factor for success. Thomas’ average points per game are 17.6 and his assists per game are 5.3,

The Hornets

The Charlotte Hornets have become a force to be wreckoned with since their roster is all healthy now. This is perfect timing with the Courtney Lee acquisition.

The Hornets NBA record of 20-6 has been third since February. This is not bad when you compare it to the Spurs and Warriors.

Although the Hornets are 1-2 against the cavs, they show more consistency as compared to the inconsistencies of the Caveliers. I would make sure to keep my eye on the Hornets as they are certainly underdogs who are fully capable of giving a surprise defeat to the Cavaliers.

The Raptors

This brings me to the Toronto Raptors. Their season record is 2-1 against the Cavs and they have also captured the season series against them. Toronto is also only 2.5 games behind Cleveland. Toronto does have odds against them if they plan to get into the number-one seed spot while having eight more scheduled games to play. I don’t think Canadians are too worried about their Cavs matchups.

As far as the Raptors defense goes, it could use a lot more work. But despite this, they do have a point differential which is currently number two and two of the league’s best guards who are fully capable of tearing apart the Cavs defense throughout the perimeter.

An example of this capability will most likely come from Kyle Lowry. His performance has been nothing short of great. Per game, Lowry has points averaging around 21.5. His assists average 6.5, his steals average 2.1 and rebounds average 4.9 per game. His performance against the Cavs has also been dominating, with points averaging around 31.0, assists averaging 8.3 and rebounds averaging 4.0.

It’s obvious that Kyrie Irving won’t be able to keep up with Lowry as i see Lowry working him from both sides of the court. Plus, DeMar DeRozan is very consistent with foul line attempts. Then there’s Jonas Valanciunas who can be viewed as the Raptors sleeping giant waiting to be awoken to help dominate the series.

NFL Draft Day- Who Could Win?

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With Super Bowl 51 (which was epic) out of the way, it’s time for the NFL offseason, which means months of mock drafts and people telling you who they think will end up playing for your favorite team. Well, I’m just going to preface this by saying, if these five teams take these players, they could very well end up winning the draft when all is said and done.

5. Dallas Cowboys
Last season, the Dallas Cowboys were one street-ball type play from possibly hosting the NFC Championship. They ended the regular season with an impressive 13-3 record. When I say impressive, I mean really impressive. They ran roughshod over the division (with the exception of the Giants), and they beat some pretty darn good teams.

The Cowboys have a pretty big need for an outside pass rusher, which is a position they have gambled on before, but I don’t think it would be a gamble to take another edge rusher here. They have the 28th overall pick, and I think they can probably get Taco Charlton, a very big, very speedy defensive end out of Michigan at the end of the first round. Couple that with some secondary help in the second round, and the Cowboys could end up with a very good first couple of rounds.

4. Philadelphia Eagles
2016 started out with so much promise for the Eagles before stumbling down the stretch. In the first round last year, the Eagles took Carson Wentz out of North Dakota State, and he started all 16 games for the Eagles last year. While they could use this pick to help Wentz out, the defensive needs more help in the secondary.

The Eagles will pick either 14th or 15th, depending on if they win a coin toss. Either way, Philadelphia can get a steal. I imagine Sidney Jones, a corner from Washington, will still be available at either pick. With great ball skills and recovery speed, Jones could very easily end up playing the nickel this season, before becoming a breakout player in the future.

3. Carolina Panthers
Two seasons ago, the Carolina Panthers went into Super Bowl 50 with a 17-1 record, the league MVP, and an impressive pass rush. Then they met the Broncos, and it seemed like they lost their mojo heading into this past season. A mere year later, the Panthers were watching the playoffs from home with a 6-10 record, and wondering where the season went wrong.

The only silver lining for the Panthers, is that they get a Top-10 pick this draft. For the past couple of seasons, the Panthers have needed to draft an offensive tackle, and they have neglected to do so. This year, they would have to reach to take one that early, but if they don’t reach, I can see them taking Leonard Fournette from LSU. The pre-season Heisman Trophy favorite the past couple of years, could find his way into the starting lineup, replacing Jonathon Stewart.

2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2016 was a resurgent season for the Bucs, as they finished 9-7. The offense was explosive at points last year, but the defense lacked any real firepower. The lack of pressure they put on quarterbacks makes it even more impressive that they ended with a winning record.

Fast forward to April, and I think the Bucs address the need for an edge rusher, and the draft Derek Barnett from Tennessee. He has size and speed, and also has the ability to move inside on passing downs. He is a pretty good pickup at the 19th overall pick.

1. Tennessee Titans
The Titans were the surprise of the AFC last year, finishing with a 9-7 record, and a shot at the playoffs going into Week 14. What makes it even better, is they traded away there first round pick last season for one this season, all while keeping there original pick.

Not only do the Titans pick 5th overall, but they also pick 18th. I think the Titans can continue to play the number-of-picks game, and trade away the 18th pick to a team that doesn’t have a first round pick this season. With the 5th overall pick, I think they take maybe the best athlete on the board, and draft Jabrill Peppers out of Michigan. A safety by trade, Peppers is also very reliable in the return game. The Titans could use a defensive playmaker to put them over the top.

MLB Potential Rule Changes That May Happen

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MLB Potential Rule Changes 
Baseball fans have been watching the dance between MLB’s management, in the person of commissioner Rob Manfred, and the players’ union, led by executive director Tony Clark, over potential rules changes. While Manfred has been eager to see several changes to the rules to speed up games, Clark and the union have been holding firm against most of Manfred’s suggestions.

This year, Clark and the union have won out. There will be no major changes to the rules for the 2017 season. Manfred has suggested several changes, but almost all have been shot down by the players’ union. However, baseball’s collective bargaining agreement allows management to make changes to the rules without player consent as long as they give one year’s notice. So more rules adjustments are likely to come in the 2018 season forward.

The one change to this year’s rules that the union agreed to was regarding intentional walks. Instead of requiring the pitcher to throw four balls, the dugout can now simply signal for an intentional walk and allow the batter to take his base. Even this change has been criticized by fans and players, who point out that it’s possible for an intentional walk to be interrupted by a wild pitch or a lucky hit by the batter. Making the walk automatic removes the chance for these unusual plays to happen. And intentional walks happen rarely enough that this change’s effect on game length will be negligible.

Since taking office, Manfred’s major focus has been on increasing the pace of play. He has expressed concern that long games with too many delays are at fault for declining interest in baseball. While Manfred has said he’s unwilling to discuss specifics of his negotiations with the players, some of the proposals floated this year include:

– A twenty-second pitch clock, similar to that used in AA and AAA leagues.
– A limit on the number of mound conferences allowed per game.
– A larger strike zone, with the bottom at the base of the hitter’s kneecap instead of above it. This would be a return to the dimensions used before 1996.
– Starting extra innings with a runner on second base.

Manfred has declined to pursue the last of those, saying its use will be restricted to developmental leagues, but the others may possibly be implemented in 2018 or later. In a press conference on Tuesday, February 21, Manfred expressed clear frustration with what he termed the union’s “lack of cooperation” on rules changes. Clark responded, “Unless your definition of cooperation is blanket approval, I don’t agree that we’ve failed to cooperate with the commissioner’s office on these issues.”

One possible wrinkle may be the new collective bargaining agreement that is still being worked on. While players and management announced they had come to an agreement in December, the details of the agreement have not yet been formalized. “From time to time there are small adjustments that may need to happen, but everything has been agreed to with respect to the big moving pieces,” Clark said.

San Diego Chargers vs. Atlanta Falcons Prediction

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The San Diego Chargers are on the road this weekend in Atlanta. Both these teams are performing a little differently than people guessed they would of been before the season. A Falcon’s win could put them farther ahead in their division. A Charger’s win would be a step towards keeping the momentum going in the right direction. Though, it is more of a must-win for the Bolts.

The Chargers will take the field in Atlanta with a 2-4 record. Most football pundits predicted the team would have a much better record at this point in the season. Adding further insult to injury, each of the Chargers losses have come in a different heartbreaking manner.

The Charger’s disappointing start is a result of injuries. The most notable player missing from the roster is Keenan Allen. The number 1 receiver suffered a season-ending knee injury in the first half of game 1. On top of that, multi-faceted running back Danny Woodhead has missed some time on the field. Luckily, there is a world class quarterback in San Diego by the name of Phillip Rivers. He is talented enough to make up some of what they are missing to keep them in games.

The Falcons 2016 season is a bit different story. Nobody expected much from the team coming into the season. Quarterback Matt Ryan has had a resurgence this year with the help of his primary receiver, Julius Jones. One could argue that Jones is the best receiver in the NFL this season. He is by far Ryan’s favorite target. The Falcon’s offense currently leads the NFL in yards per game. The explosive offense has helped them earn the best record in the NFC South. Atlanta is the only team in the division with a winning record.

Despite the disappointing record, the Chargers are heading into this matchup with some momentum. San Diego will also have a little bit of extra rest. They got a huge road win against the defending Super Bowl Champs, The Denver Broncos last Thursday. A win in week 7 will elevate their win-loss record to 3-4. This could put them back in striking distance for the playoffs. A loss will likely dash their playoff hopes.

Expect a shootout. The Falcons have the most productive offense in the NFL. San Diego’s offense is currently ranked fifth, despite their injury woes. The matchup features Matt Ryan and Phillip Rivers, two experienced quarterbacks with a high level of confidence.

One thing to look for is if the Chargers have an answer for Atlanta’s slew of offensive weapons. One thing that will help San Diego is the return of CB Brandon Flowers and Safety Jaheel Addae, two injured members of their defensive secondary. The Chargers D hasn’t been great this year, but they did hold the defending champs to just 13 points last week. This proves that they can defeat a good team.

This week 7 matchup will come down to which team can slow down the other team’s offense. No one is going to be able to completely shut either one down. The Falcons have the strongest offense in the NFL this year and are playing at home. I think this gives them the edge on gameday.