Friday, October 29, 2010

Writer's Roundtable: First Edition

  Due to a recent wave of significant events in the sports universe, we felt that it was time to break out the big guns, a writer's roundtable.  Nine questions and five writers, here we go:

1. How many games will the Cavs win this season? Will they make the playoffs?

Kevin:  As the roster currently stands, it's difficult to envision the Cavs being able to win 40 or more games this season. However, I do expect the Cavalier players to embrace Byron Scott's Princeton-style offense, which is vital considering how a team that provides a consistently strong effort in the NBA normally wins its fair share of games. Ultimately, I believe the Cavs will finish with a 38-44 record and clinch the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference where they will meet the Miami Heat in the first round of the playoffs. I hope to be in attendence for one of the games in the series sporting my "BEAT THE HEAT!" free t-shirt, while holding a sign reading: "Hey LeBron, you may have come from your mother, but Delonte came in your mother!"

Adam: The line closed at 30 1/2.  I will take the over for 1 unit not a lock by any stretch.  I think they are a 35 win team.  As a fan I want them to win every game but as a realistic fan I wish they would tank 2 years in a row and get draft picks.

Bobby: Cavs will win 36 games this year and obviously miss the playoffs...but I can see them contending for the 8th seed

John: Hopefully 9, but this being Cleveland I am sure they will win 30 or so, make the playoffs, lose in the first round and miss the lottery.

Andrew: I really think they'll exceed the pathetic expectations that they've been given by the national media. With Byron Scott uptempo offense, they should reach around 42 or so wins, especially if JJ Hickson develops puts up all star type numbers. Their frame of reference should be last year's Milwaukee Bucks, a team that most observers had rendered irrelevant in the preseason, and ended up being a playoff team thanks in large part to great coaching and leadership from Scott Skiles. If they end up securing the 7th seed, and Miami the 2nd, I will donate a spleen and a kidney to secure a Cavs upset.

2. Which teams advance to the NBA Finals and who wins the series?

Kevin: Lakers over Heat in the NBA Finals. Though the media will be fixated on the long awaited Kobe vs. LeBron matchup, the series will be determined by the battle of the big men. I expect the Lakers' bigs, namely Pau Gasol, to prevail against Miami's Chris Bosh and whoever they decide to stick at center. Phil Jackson rides into the sunset and off to his commune with his 12th championship and FOURTH "three-peat" as a head coach, while Kobe Bryant receives his sixth and final ring. Also, look for a massive parade down Euclid Avenue celebrating LeBron's failure.

Adam: In the East it is Miami, Boston, Orlando, Chicago and everyone else.  I think the Bucks,Bobcats, and Hawks get in for sure.  Then someone will back their way in only b/c you have to have 8 teams.  Pacers are my surprise 8 seed with a 35-47 record.  Everyone else is that bad. 

Bobby: Celtics over Thunder in 6

John: Orlando v LA. LA

Andrew: In the playoffs, great teams beat great players, that's why the Celtics will beat the Heat in the Conference Finals, and the Oklahoma City Thunder will represent the West. Celtics in six. I'm pretty sure I stole that prediction from Bill Simmons.

3. What major injury would you most enjoy see LeBron suffer from?

Kevin: In what can be referred to as a "douche-on-douche crime," the LeBrontourage clash with the scholars from "Jersey Shore" at a nightclub in South Beach where a dispute on the proper way to fist-pump turns into an ugly brawl. Bron-Bron suffers an actual sprained elbow, a broken leg and a scar on his arm that is inevitably covered up with some self-congratulatory tattoo.

Adam: Anything groin related.

Bobby: I would rather see him healthy and never wing a ring.

John: What an awesome question. I would like to see him take a 2k light to the face on a Nike shoot, and burst into flame.

Andrew: During the Cavs & Heat game on Dec. 2nd in Cleveland, former Mr. Tonya Harding and eternal sex tape king Jeff Gilooly, hires out his favorite goon, Shane Stant, to work his Kerrigan magic on Mr. Twitter.

4. How do you feel about the impending decade of the NBA considering the high possibility of a lockout next season and the new "superteam" trend?

Kevin: One of the primary reasons that "The Decision" by LeBron James to take his zero rings to South Beach was generally condemned was due to the fact that by teaming up with Chris Bosh and especially Dwyane Wade, James violated one of the golden rules in basketball: Two of the best players must play against each other not with each other. So, the birth of the "superteams" in the NBA, could very well be its death as one of the more popular sports in America. Especially in mid to small markets across America such as Cleveland, Milwaukee, Indiana, Minnesota, etc. where players generally avod those places as free agents, but may now scheme their way out of these franchises if they happen to suffer the cruel fate of being drafted there. During the negotiations for the new collective bargaining agreement, it is imperative that a franchise tag or another method is implemented that could help prevent a repeat of this past summer in Miaimi.

Adam: The League has to get free agency under control.  The can not allow players to manipulate the system that way they did this past summer.  It is not good for competition and it breeds ill-will with the fan base.  Proven by the reception Lebron received in Boston.  Celtics fans should love the guy, he laid down and let the C's breeze through a series on their way to the finals.  I can also foresee a cut in salaries.  This thing is going to get messy, not what the NBA needs right now.

Bobby: My answer is so long winded that it deserves a column to itself.

John: Impending decade? Shit man, my bookie says they only plan out the next 2 seasons. On a serious note though, I love labor disputes. Do you think we will see KG manning the blockades of Bentleys around TD Garden?

Andrew: Growing up as a child of the 90's, memories of Jordan's Bulls, Miller's Pacers, Stockton and Malone's Jazz, and Ewing's Knicks forbids me from embracing the "superteams." Although David Stern may be creaming his dockers with the thought of record-breaking ratings for the Miami threesome and a potential Knicks trio of Amare, Carmelo, and CP3, the majority of fans will simply turn off and tune out. A lockout seems inevitable, and it should be thrilling to watch Maverick Otis Carter try to survive while Bron Bron is on a yearlong paycheck hiatus.
5. Who wins the World Series?

Kevin: Giants over Rangers. The Giants win their first title in San Francisco thanks to an extraordinary bullpen, clutch hitting and bad-ass beards that most of the players have grown.
Adam: San Francisco. Brian Wilson's beard is the deciding factor, unless Ron Washington get grow the balding 'fro out in the next day or so.

Bobby: The World Series started?...Rangers in 6

John: Texas. Yawn.

Andrew: Giants in six. Brian Wilson introduces the rest of America to the machine.

6. What ride are you looking forward to riding the most at the Indians' first annual Snow Days event?

Kevin: Let me just say that I believe Snow Days at Progressive Field is a tremendous idea that could very well rescue the city of Cleveland's economy. I'm so excited to ride the Slide Down Into Irrelavence though I am concerned that the Dolans may get rid of the ride if it becomes too popular.

Adam: I am going to start a snowball fight with David Huff.  I know he will never hit me because I am not a bat. 

Bobby: Definitely the Winter Haven...who wouldn't want to stroll through the Indian's outfield featuring winter lights?

John: I'm looking forward to the Greg Brinda "Slide into Alcohol Fueled Depression". 

Andrew: The Burba Bobsled.

7. How many games do the Browns have to win this season for Eric Mangini to retain his job next year?

Kevin: Eric Mangini will likely have to win at least six games this season with eight victories all but guaranteeing his return to the sidelines next season as the Browns' head coach. However, I predict that the Browns end up with only five victories which would surely lead to Mangini's ouster along with the fact that Mike Holmgren and he possess two very different football philosophies.

Adam: I think he is around next year if they stay competitve.

Bobby: I'd say 6 or 7 to keep his job but he's already earned another year at least in my book. Not only have I been impressed by his weight loss, but this has been one of the more fun Browns team to watch that I can remember. I think he is getting a lot of our players, and our defense is solid. One of the main things that has set the browns back since 99' is the lack of continuity, so hopefully Holmgren sees this and lets him stay another year.

John: 3. Seriously. He is getting 3 years no matter what. I've been saying this all along. 

Andrew: Holmgen is probably going to move on without Mangini returning next season. However, if the Browns somehow get to 8 wins this year, Mangini will have a truly compelling case to come back to the sidelines next year.

8. If you had to decide now, do you believe Colt McCoy is a legitimate franchise quarterback?

Kevin: Although Colt McCoy has played in just two games thus far, I can't help but be very impressed with his performances in both games, especially his debut in Pittsburgh. McCoy's poise and high accuracy are both essential qualities that a legitimate franchise quarterback must possess. The only major questions concerning McCoy are his arm strength and whether or not his height will be too much of a detriment. It is because of those remaining questions that I believe it's imperative that the Browns start Colt McCoy for the remainder of the season, so the Browns can determine what they have with McCoy and whether or not they need to draft a quarterback next April. I'm also curious to see whether Holmgren makes the decision as to who starts at quarterback, or if he leaves the choice up to Mangini.

Adam: Yes, I like his attitude and confidence.  He is going to have to be a Drew Brees type; savvy, accurate and spreads the ball around.

Bobby: He's the next Drew Brees

John: What a Cleveland question. Right now. Sheee. Uh. I'll say yes because he seems to be calm and collected under pressure and the game doesn't seem like it moves too fast for him. 

Andrew: Too early to say. Brady Quinn had a pretty auspicious debut in '08, and we all saw how that that one turned out. However, McCoy's ability to throw accurately downfield, and manage the game without sabotaging his team's chances for victory, is certainly a welcoming sign. Colt needs to start for the remainder of the season to see if he possess all the intangibles necessary over the course of a schedule, and to spare us the sight of watching Jake Delhomme throw into quadruple coverage.

9. Who do you feel is the worst quarterback that the Browns have started since 1999?

Kevin: Ken Dorsey has to undoubtedly be the absolute worst quarterback that the Browns have trotted out since their return in 1999. Although the team has an entire generation of stiffs to line up under center, none of them forced me to contemplate whether or not I could watch another football game at any level. Except Dorsey. His noodle arm defied physics, while the fact that he was a quarterback in the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE defied logic. Although the Browns still remain an underwhelming bunch, just remember that it could be worse: Ken Dorsey could be the quarterback.

Adam: So many choices, is Spergon Wynn too easy??? OK Ty Detmer.  

Bobby: Mulled over this for hours and just couldn't decide between Doug Pederson and Ken Dorsey.

John: Either Luke McCown or Spergon Wynn.

Andrew: Bruce Gradkowski's 0.0 quarterback rating against Pittsburgh takes the cake.

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