Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Cuter-less High Five

My week got a little jumbled, so I was unable to post yesterday, but am back with some Non-Jay Cutler stuff to talk about today!

UP HIGH!!!!!

Is there more than one way to make Melo a Knick?
5. One month remains until the NBA’s trade deadline and to most surprise; Carmelo Anthony is still a Denver Nugget.  The rumor mill seems to have quieted down with the Nets apparently out of the game and the Knicks patiently waiting for free agency to begin.  With out the quantity or quality of pieces to make an attractive enough deal, New York must wait to spend their money this summer.  However, if a trade is not made before February 24th, it does not necessarily mean that the league can start printing #15 Knicks’ jerseys quite yet.  The trade deadline does not “kill” all possibility for the Nuggets to salvage some value for the 7-year vet.  For this to work, Melo would have to be a big part of “the decision” (pun intended) to pick up the existing option year (not the much debated extension on the table) on his contract and remain a Nugget commodity for another year.  Then Melo can be packaged as part of a summertime deal (ie on Draft Day).  It’s a long-shot, but still a possibility.  I have also heard recently that with the impending labor strife, passing up a long-term deal this spring could result in a net financial loss for Melo of up to $40 million.  (Yes, the opposition claims that he could make a large portion of that back up in New York City-area endorsements.) 

Call me crazy, but I am not giving up hope that Melo remains a Nugget for at least the remainder of the year.  A much-criticized season that finds the Nuggets not only competitive but at times dominate, such as in last night’s 120-109 win in DC over the Wizards.  The win was the starter of a five-game road stretch which may tell us a lot about this 26-18 team that is just two games out of first-place in the Northwest Division.  All of the five impending opponents fall into the “beatable” category and for a team that had won just five on the road coming into last night; a 4-1 trip might put this team close to the top of the league’s most competitive division.

As Melo’s coach, George Karl put it, “I’ve always believed there was a chance we’d have Melo for the whole year, and that was a bigger chance than most people were saying, and that’s what we’ve got to worth through.”

Cory Higgins battles KU guard Tyshawn Taylor last night in Boulder
4. A big game went down in Boulder, Colorado last night, as the CU Buffaloes suffered their third-straight conference loss at the hands of Big 12 top-dog, Kansas.  A quality loss if ever there was one, the Buffs played tough, fought back from several large deficits and had a chance to win in the game’s final minute, ultimately losing 82-78.  As usual, the Buffs’ guards were stellar (Alec Burks-25, Cory Higgins-19), but again the undersized home team was simply outmatched in the paint.  Guard play is supposed to dominate play in March, but on this night in late January, size and 2nd-chance points (largely attributed to KU’s Morris twins) were the difference.  I don’t expect to see Colorado lose at home again, all season.  Woody Paige has some extra thoughts on this team worth checking out.

3. For the first two months of the college basketball season, I was certain that the Duke Blue Devils were the top team in the nation.  No questions; no debates. They were deep, had experienced guard play, some new young blood and basically the entirety of its national championship team of a year ago. 

Now I am not so sure.

My doubts are not because Duke suffered a road loss in conference (@ Florida State), lost their young stud, Kyrie Irving for the season or their subsequent fall out of the (meaningless) top spot in both national polls.  No, the main reason I now question has more to do with the recent exploits of a possibly more superior team, the Ohio State Buckeyes.  Opposite of my views on Duke, I was not sold on the Evan-Turner-less Bucks until just this past week.  Wins at Illinois (one of the toughest places in the country to play) and an absolute boat-race at home last night over a strong Purdue team happened. 

I’m now buying. 

Throw in the far superior competition that OSU will face in the Big Ten (compared to the sudden mediocrity in the ACC) and I think that a healthy Ohio State squad should enter March Madness as the odds-on favorite.  However, I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a Duke team waiting in Houston (site of Final Four) for them.

2. HUGE MOUNTAIN WEST GAME TONIGHT IN PROVO!  The undefeated San Diego State Aztecs travel to Utah to face Jimmer Fredette and the top-ten ranked BYU Cougars.  It’s an 8 pm (MST) start on CBS College Sports, so some of you may need to take a nap to stay up for this one that will be well worth the wait.  SDSU has an awesome three-headed monster frontline, but the point guard match-up between national player of the year candidate Fredette and SDSU’s DJ Gay might prove the difference.

1. Gotta get some football in this hoops-heavy High Five!  The Daily Broncos’ Looksie would like to introduce you to Iowa defensive end, Adrian Clayborn.  While not someone that most see going in the top five, a trade-down might result in the Broncos ending up in the 10-15 range; a prime spot to pick up this pass-rusher.  

(Personally, I want Auburn’s Nick Fairly or no one else.  The NFL’s leading sack-man in 2009, Elvis Dummervil is coming back and I have faith that Robert Ayers is developing, so give me some muscle, size, dirt and talent right up the gut!)


Monday, January 24, 2011


Wow.  Snow has been falling all morning up at the house which is different.  Also different is going to be my rotation today.  I want to talk about football.  The Avs goaltending has been brutal (Peter’s back?), the Nuggets are pretty dang good when they play together, Melo is still here, CU lost on the road again and Ohio State has proven to be for real by beating Illinois in Champaign.  There you go; I want to talk JAY CUTLER!


With so much already written and said about Cutler and his “performance” in the NFC Championship game yesterday, I will not speculate nor hate, rather extrapolate on the whole “Jay Cutler Phenomenon.”  I will claim my usual ignorance, as I did not watch a second of this game (choosing instead to go swimming with my family and to watch my 4-year daughter scamper up this climbing wall) but I will not speak about Cutler’s game, injury or the subsequent criticism that his 2nd-half absence has provoked.  I knew this would all “end badly” for the Bears and am therefore not surprised by the result, but what really interests me was how this all affects my Broncos?

To wit, last week, there was much debate and disgust surrounding where the Broncos “were” following Josh McD’s infamous trade with Chicago.  Again, with the Broncos owners of a disastrous 4-12 record, a bizarre future at quarterback and a down-right awful defensive unit, it was spoken about often and agreed upon that the trade of Cutler to Chicago had killed the franchise.  Heck, many of the parts that resulted from the trade had done little as Broncos; Orton had been replaced by the guy that traded for him in the first place and that precocious, young gun-slinger we gave up on had led his new team just one game from the Super Bowl.

We had gotten jobbed in that trade!  This is an outrage!   Not only in what we “gave up,” but also in the return pieces. 

Now what?  The local media in Chicago appears to be supportive of Cutler in regards to yesterday and the impending future.  Of course, that’s not all that surprising considering the nature of relationship that the beat writer/columnist has with the public figures of the respective organization that they cover.  They see each other every “work day,” they are on a first-named basis with each other and the writer relies on the team for the access (quotes) that make up the personality and life of his/her work.  What they produce at work on a day-in/day-out basis.  It’s important; so for the “company line” rhetoric to be present, again, no surprise. 

But one national writer in particular, had me chuckling and full of thought early this morning.  A guy with a three-decade run as a writer for the Washington Post (now with but who as an unapologetic Chicago-sports team-homer, has a different prospective, for sure.  Almost if this was to be written about Michael Wilbon’s historically forlorn, Cubbies, the Pardon the Interruption host was woeful, but accurate while lamenting the Bears’ history at the quarterback position.  But amongst all of his misery about the long-standing lack of any real offensive playmakers on his team and that all-time great running back Walter Payton is also the franchise’s leader receiver (and some harsh criticism for Cutler smattered within) was his thoughts on the trade that brought Cutler to the Windy City in the first place.  The transaction that gave what he (and millions of Chicago fans) had craved for so long, an honest, to goodness “franchise quarterback.”  The very trade that the city of Denver, as a whole, seemed to be in agreement had ruined their precious Broncos. 

“The Bears are never the ones to draft and develop an Aikman or Manning or Roethlisberger, or wisely trade for a Brees. Hell, the Bears can't even come up with a Matt Ryan or a Joe Flacco. They gave two first-round picks and two other picks and a player for Jay Cutler, who at his best constantly has the metropolis holding its breath, looking at games through spread fingers, praying to God he doesn't screw it up by throwing it to the other guys. And at his worst, he looks for the perfect pass instead of moving the chains and managing the game and thinks his arm is stronger than John Elway's, which is both stupid and immaterial.”

Keep in mind that any affront to Elway is like a personal attack on Wilbon, who is one of the country’s biggest fans of our #7.  However, even for a guy that has both a personal/professional interest in the NFL and the Chicago Bears, he seems to easily assert the opposite of what our fair city had recently determined to be truth and cause for the demise of our most important public entity.  (Don’t kid yourselves on that notion, either.  The Denver Broncos are the one common bond that unites the largest percentage of the city/region’s population.)

At his best, he has the fans summoning aid from their “preferred creator” in a desperate attempt to avoid interceptions?  Wilbon is one of my favorite members of the media because he doesn’t always “toe the company line,” as he has even made enemies in the game of basketball (which is, mind you, his prime sporting/reporting focus). 

I always thought the Cutler trade was good for the Broncos not because it was our chance to rid ourselves of some “problem-child” quarterback.  (Like I have often admitted, I was a fan of Cutler and even cloaked my then 2-year-olddaughter in a #6.) On the flip-side, I thought the potential to get four (I think Wilbon said we got five) potential starters for just one was the deal of the century.  With over two dozen specialized positions in the game of football (while basketball has one) finding quantity often trumps quality (or in this case, potential quality).  Getting a competent, experienced quarterback that had won games in the league (Orton) in addition to the three high picks seemed like a no-brainer. 

THE DEAL: Broncos traded Cutler, and a fifth-rounder they had acquired in an earlier trade with Seattle, to the Bears for Kyle Orton, the Bears first-round picks in 2009 and 2010, as well as their 3rd-rounder in 2009. 

THE AFTERMATH: We know how the Cutler/Orton exchange has transpired.  The Broncos turned the Bears’ 2009 first-rounder into DE/OLB Robert Ayers, who has showed flashes, but the jury is surely still out on his pro prospects.  Josh McD and the Broncos brass decided to move the 2010 pick during that 2009 draft (hasty, no?) for the rights to pick defensive back Alphonso Smith at the beginning of the second round.  Since then, the infamous Smith did little in his one year in Denver and was moved to Detroit for back-up tight end/special teams guy, Dan Gronkowski, who was a seventh-round pick a year before.  The third-round pick in 2009 was traded to the Steelers in an attempt to move back up into the bottom of the second round to draft tight end Richard Quinn from North Carolina.  The same Richard Quinn that caught 12 passes in his ENTIRE college career, but was known more as “another offensive tackle.”  Now known more as…. Well, most Bronco fans do NOT know Richard Quinn. 

So at its very core, the trade seems to be a positive personnel move by Josh McD, but could the drafting be considered borderline, moronic? 

They got Orton, two back-up special-teams tight ends and an underachieving young pass rusher for Jay Cutler.  That’s not as good as it was supposed to look when this trade was made two summers ago.

So, I ask you all.  What do you think about the trade?  Did this trade really ruin the Broncos? 

If anything, though, it appears that what was produced with those picks versus what was given up does not matter much to Bears fans today.

PS- I did actually watch most of the AFC Championship Game and was startled by this little first-quarter gem perpetrated by Jets' quarterback Mark Sanchez.  Hilarious.

Friday, January 21, 2011

All Quiet on the Western Front (Range)

FRIDAY!  FINALLY!  Let’s get it on!


5. So it is truly “mums the word” around the Pepsi Center.  Following Thursday’s practice for the Denver Nuggets, the object of months of trade speculation, Carmelo Anthony, had nothing to say to the legion of curious media members.  His teammates were forced to endure the brunt of the “what’s it like playing in this situation-”type questions that have become the focal point of impatient scribes praying for something concrete to report upon.  With the Nets “officially” out of the hunt now, the scope of the Nuggets’ search must (and certainly has) expanded to include teams that haven’t even been publicly considered yet.  I wouldn’t be surprised if teams like Dallas, that are looking for a possible rent-a-player might make the move on the terms that the trade involves only Melo and not the hoard of players that had been rumored for so long with New Jersey.  With all of the rumors swirling around, the two-time defending NBA champs, the Los Angeles Lakers, come to Denver this evening.  I foresee this going down in one of two fashions: I think a blow-out is inevitable. 

4. Although, not normally a big fan of All-Star games, I am always a sucker for a lengthy NBA-related story by ESPN’s Bill Simmons.  Again, I must encourage all to make sure you have a copy of the Sports Guy’s The Book of Basketball near you favorite homebound commode.  

3. Home teams in college hoops did their things last night (although Maryland didn’t get the memo) with a couple “U-Dubs,” Wisconsin and Washington procuring necessary conference home wins.  The Huskies of the northwest came up the night’s big winners as they did their damage against the stiffest league competition (Arizona) they will face all year.  Otherwise it was a pretty quiet night in the power-conferences, but the rest of the nation was abuzz with important January games. 

One of my big sleepers come March, Cleveland State, also held serve at home over Detroit.  The Vikings’ heart-and-soul, Norris Cole had an off-night shooting the ball, but still put in work to put up 18 points, 11 assists, 4 rebounds and 4 steals.  One of the nation’s few (if only) 20/5/5 guys, Cole is a volume shooter, but not overly 3-point happy and a name that will get much more national shine as we near the springtime. 

Around these parts, there has been a lot of talk this week around one of the local teams (Colorado) finally losing their first game in-conference.  In actuality, there is still a Centennial State team that has an undefeated league record, the Denver Pioneers.  Despite being brutalized by a pre-conference schedule that was….. brutal, the Pios of Joe Scott.  No, I mean the Bears of Northern Colorado. Wait.  In truth, both of the mid-major teams that have always been overshadowed by the state’s two flag-ship universities, are each off to 6-0 starts in their respective leagues. After rough Novembers/Decembers that had even the most attentive Colorado college basketball fans (ie. ME) turning away, both teams have spurted out to impressive league starts.  Northern Colorado (road win last night at Sac. St.) has a nice foothold on the Big Sky as they have already beaten both of the two closest standing teams in Montana and Montana St.  On the other hand, DU (home blow-out win last night over Arkansas St.) travels this weekend to the Volunteer state before hosting a big game next Saturday with the reigning Sun Belt champs, the Mean Green of North Texas.

2. A really tough day for the Colorado Avalanche.  First, word came down that young forward, Thomas “The Flash” Fleishman was going to be sidelined for the remainder of the season (but shouldn’t be career-threatening) due to blood clots in his lungs.  Then, the Avs were sideswiped by the visiting Nashville Predators to the tune of a 5-1 defeat.  Our boy, Matty Duchene was the only thing keeping this one from being a shut-out as he netted his 19th of the season in the game’s final minutes.

1. So, a big Sunday in the American sporting calendar, as both teams for the Super Bowl will be determined with the playing of the conference championship games.  Much has been made of each game and both are littered with intrigue, history and excitement.  The Bears/Packers match-up is obviously the one drenched in history, but it is also so strange that these two divisional rivals haven’t met in the playoffs since, like, the leather-helmet days.  Both teams had up-and-down seasons, but to me it breaks down to a simple question of trust. 

Who do you trust more, Aaron Rodgers or Jay Cutler?  Exactly.

On the AFC side of things, I have to think that Pittsburgh will hold serve and beat the outspoken Jets.  Ben Rothlisberger is just not to be trifled with in January.  For a guy that is just a few years into his professional career, Big Ben is already the owner of a 9-2 career postseason record.  On the other hand, a contemporary of his, Peyton Manning, has a mark of 9-10.  I’ll take the Steelers.  Have a great weekend!


Thursday, January 20, 2011


I apologize for being absent yesterday.  I had the entire Mile High Five written out the night before, but yesterday was one of those days where I just never had the time to put the words onto my computer and posted to this space.  Sorry, Charlie.


5. The national narrative continues to turn, twist and snake in the entire Carmelo Anthony “melo-drama.” (It was kind of funny that the guys on yesterday afternoon’s SportsCenter/this AM’s used that term and started feverishly gesticulating about the need to trademark the expression.)  Things have now evolved from the Nuggets being patient this off-season/start of the season, to Melo holding up potential deals due to his lack of desire to sign the contract extension, to Melo holding up deals because he wanted more talent to come with him, to the Nuggets being difficult because they “want too much,” to now the New Jersey Nets pulling out of his discussions, due to seeming frustration surrounding the Nuggets’ greed.  This time, the “sources” have established, Nets’ rookie forward Damion James (and a long-time favorite of mine) as the newest object of the Nugs’ desire and the final straw to break Nets’ owner, Mikhail Prokhorov’s camel-like back.  Nuggets’ Head Coach George Karl said his team (and his superstar) looked distracted at Tuesday’s practice and then yesterday, Prokhorov decided his team was through with the whole shenanigans.  Blaming the whole situation (and his team’s poor recent record) on the Nuggets/Carmelo’s lack of desire to get the deal done: too drawn out; too public (which oddly the Nuggets had previously blamed on New Jersey); and in the words of Prokhorov, “simply too expensive.” 

Like many things in life, though, the cautious mind would be wise to not bury this deal.  Sometimes, these are the exact types of posturing and public displays that foreshadow the capitulation of the very deal that was given no chance of occurring.

4. All trade distraction aside, the Nuggets had a pretty important game last night with divisional heavyweights, the Oklahoma City Thunder in town.  While Melo’s demeanor on the court (and in the post-game interview) wasn’t great and he looked detached from his teammates (and the fans that took their turns cheering/jeering) his on-court fire was amazing in the Nuggets, 112-107 win.  (In a bit of irony, a side thank you, must go out to Prokhorov and his Nets who did the Nuggets a big solid in taking down the divisional rival, Utah Jazz.)  In the individual match-up with Kevin Durant, Melo dominated the young forward, blowing by him with ease off the dribble when he wasn’t facing up and burying jumpers.  A big win to be sure, as the league nears the All-Star break and with the season at its midway point, the Nuggets are now winners of 4 of 5, sit at 24-17 and stand just 2.5 games behind both Utah/OKC, as they welcome Kobe Bryant and the Lakers in tomorrow night.

3. Speaking of basketball in LA, Blake Griffin and the Clippers hosted Kevin Love and the Timberwolves for a match-up of the league’s top young power forwards.  Oddly enough, Blake’s double-double streak was snapped at 27, but his night of 29 points/8 rebounds/6 assists was plenty to propel his team to a 126-111 win.  The Clippers are now 16-25, have won 3 in a row and 7 of their last 10 games.  I watched the entire first-half of this one was continually impressed with the non-flashy parts of Blake’s game.  Yes, the athletic dunks are fun/impressive/jaw-dropping (pick your adjective) but the little things like finding open guys, not giving up on offensive rebounds and getting his hands on loose balls cannot be ignored. 

I hope this doesn’t come out sounding loony, but if he is able to keep this kind of play up, is Blake (now 23p/13r/3.5a) going to garner some MVP consideration?  I bet Clipper fans think he’s pretty darn valuable.

2. One night after the Colorado Buffaloes dropped their first conference game in a rough-and-tumble encounter with the Nebraska Cornhuskers, the Buffs’ neighbor to the north was taking down a conference titan on the road.  The Colorado State Rams were surely not expected to make much noise when they ventured to Sin City, but last night’s road win over the UNLV Rebels will be a huge resume point as they continue to posture for a postseason invite.  The well-balanced Rams have somewhat flown under the radar, not only here in Colorado, but also in the highly-touted Mountain West Conference where they sit at 13-5 and 3-1 in conference.  The stakes get considerably amped up this weekend, as the big, bad BYU Cougars (and Jimmer Fredette) pay a visit to Fort Collins.

1. I guess we can discuss something non-basketball related (although I have little time for much other than “roundball” these days) and I must mention the Colorado Avalanche’s thrilling 4-3 win over the untouchable Vancouver Canucks from Tuesday night.  It was a great back-and-forth contest where the Canucks took the lead on three separate occasions only to see the Avs continually knot up the score. Eventually, things led to an overtime period and “The Locker” (David Jones) backed up his earlier goal with the game-winner.  A 12-point difference between the two teams coming into the game all but made this one a “must-win” and the young high-flying Avs came through!  Nashville comes a-callin’ tonight at the Pepsi Center.

PS-There is sure to be some NFL talk tomorrow!


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

People Had to Work Yesterday?

Let’s get right to it!

5. Contrary to the popular belief that the reason there was no Monday Mile High Five was due to the fact that the two teams I’ve called “fakers” (CHI/NYJ) all year made the conference title game, yesterday’s lack of posting had much more to do with spending the MLK holiday with my family.  Also, keep in mind that I don’t really watch the NFL playoffs when the Denver Broncos are not involved; just have trouble watching these other “fakers” play meaningful football in January. 

Congratulations Jay!  You beat a sub-.500 team that even the “2nd worst team in the NFL" beat by 17!  The Jets win was, I guess, impressive considering their opponent, but I am certain that the season will end poorly for the Bears.  (ie. ONCE THEY PLAY A TEAM OF ANY QUALITY!)  Oddly enough, the one second of playoff football I watched (or happened to stumble upon) was a first half red-zone pass by our good friend, Jay that looked to be deliberately thrown directly at Seattle defensive back, Justin Babineau.  In true D-back fashion, however, the ball was dropped. 

“I don’t always throw interceptions, but when I do, I prefer the redzone.” 

4. Also somewhat contrary to the reported opinion, Carmelo Anthony is not only still a Denver Nugget, but he has also guaranteed being in a Nugget uniform all week!  In addition, the forward has denied reports that he has a meeting today with the New Jersey Nets.  While I don’t entirely trust him on those words, his “guarantee” has me wondering if there is truly something already in place with Jersey.  I assume there will be some more worthless “breaking news” coming out this week, but with still over a month left until the trade deadline, “we could be here a while.” 

As a team, the Nuggets finally came down to earth on Sunday.  Following three straight 30-point drubbings, the Nuggets were taken down by a superior Spurs team in San Antonio.  The team is still six games over .500 and is entrenched in the 7th spot in the Western Conference.  Where they will be come spring time, however, is still largely based on the geographical whereabouts of Carmelo.

3. 47!?!?  I mean, are you kidding me?!?!  The dunks have been legendary (and plentiful, as his 92 total lead the NBA) but the Clippers Blake Griffin even outdid himself in the Clippers’ win yesterday afternoon over Indiana.  An NBA-season high 47 (on just 24 shots) from a kid just 40 games into his professional career is the next astonishing thing on his resume.  Backing up wins against the league royalty (Lakers, Spurs, Heat) with one over the lowly Pacers is big for this up-and-coming young team, currently sitting at 15-25. 

Yesterday, though, Blake was attacking the rim, knocking down open jumpers and was hitting several 15-foot bank-shots from the wing that would have made even Tim Duncan blush.  With the Rookie of the Year already in the bag, the forward currently at 4th in Western Conference voting, realistically should be an All-Star in his 1st season.  Or maybe the league will force him into playing in the rookie/sophomore game.  I guess it goes without saying, but “Blake, I’d like to introduce you to your limit.  It’s that big blue thing up in the air.”

2. Big Monday is back!!!  Pittsburgh beats Syracuse and UConn takes down Villanova on a last-second Kemba Walker shot.  With seven ranked Big East teams, last night was the perfect way to kick-start the return of ESPN’s “best” Monday evening programming.  Elsewhere around the country, Ohio State moved into the #1 spot following Duke’s loss last week at Florida State, but don’t get too comfy, Buckeye fans.  With a crowded conference (filled with plenty of tough road games) and upcoming games at Illinois and versus Purdue, a loss is surely eminent, and fortunately, not season-ending. 

But, don’t fret though, rankings don’t matter!!!  You hear me, Colorado Buffalo fans, right?!?!  Get off that ledge!  Although, having a strong ranking does usually help on Selection Sunday, even then they can be largely ignored by the committee (ie. a couple years ago when Gonzaga finished the regular season in the 15-18 range, but still were given a 7/8-seed).  But seriously, a sold-out crowd in Boulder this past Saturday, saw a gutty come-from-behind victory over Okie State for the now 3-0 (in Big 12) Buffs.  Down 12 midway through the second half, the Buffs willed their way back into the game with a mix of defense and timely scoring.  They are back at it again, with two winnable road games this week, starting tonight when they travel to Lincoln to face Nebraska before heading to Oklahoma this weekend.

Just a quick note about the landscape of conferences in college basketball and which ones are truly, elite.  It’s a given that the Big East, Big Ten and Big 12 are easily the top three in the nation, but which is next?  All biases aside, I submit to you, the Mountain West.  From top-to-bottom and specifically at top-flight teams (BYU, SDSU, UNLV), I can’t say that the SEC, ACC or the Pac-10 can really stand up to the quality that is going on out here.  For the record, it’s a pretty quiet week in the MWC, but things get ratcheted up next week when San Diego State travels to Provo to meet the BYU Cougars. 

1. Seeing as how I have already spent some time on the NFL, I might as well mention myself getting a big victory in the 2nd week of this year’s Bushwood Country Club fantasy golf league.  That’s right fellas!  “What time you due back at Boys’ Town!?!?!”

PS- Welcome back Eric Studesville!  Yes, you weren’t hired as the next head coach, but at least you got your old job back, right?

PSS-Go get ‘em tonight, Avalanche!  Big one with the Vancouver Canucks at the Can!


Friday, January 14, 2011


“It’s Friday, you ain’t got no job…….”

I hope everyone is feeling good today.  Let’s go way…..


5. For the second straight game, the Denver Nuggets played beautiful team basketball, built a monstrous lead and were able to rest their starters during a 4th quarter cakewalk.  Last night, it was the Miami Heat (sans a gimpy LeBron James) that fell victim to a motivated Nugget squad, by a score of 130-102.  These past two performances naturally lend itself to the “why does Carmelo want to leave this team?” argument (and one that Mike “The Czar” Fratello even pondered last night during a 3rd quarter Nugget run).  Part of me is starting to be curious about how this team would finish the season if no alterations were made to the roster and they were allowed to play out the string.

If you weren't able to watch last night's game or saw the highlights, here is that reverse lay-up gem by Nuggets' guard, JR Smith.  As usual, the kid pushes the "ridiculousness envelope."

4. Melo’s most desired location, the New York Knicks, are again, attempting to insert themselves into this deal.  Memphis’ OJ Mayo has now been thrown in as a possible piece coming to Denver, alongside a draft pick they might acquire by moving forward Anthony Randolph.  Mayo, however, has already stated that he does not want to come to Denver. (Funny, seeing how this is coming from a kid that grew up in West Virginia and now lives in Memphis.  That’s funny to me.)   

For his part, Melo has again, “guaranteed” that he would be in a Nugget uniform for this Saturday/Sunday’s back-to-back games, but stopped short of going any farther.  While I would love to hear the surprise of the century, “MELO SIGNS DEAL TO STAY IN DENVER,” it now appears that a deal might already be in place.  Melo’s “guarantees” leave me feeling that he actually DOES know if/when he will be taking his talents out of the Mile High region.  By this time next week, Melo might finally be donning a new uniform.  I hope I’m wrong.

I must encourage you to venture away from my site to check out ESPN’s Bill Simmons’ recent piece on Carmelo.  I know that the Sports Guy is not adored by all, but his grasp of the NBA (and its history) is of the highest caliber and I find his writing some of the most enjoyable and at the same time easiest to read. 

3. In the world of big-time college basketball, I find it hard to call any conference home-win, an upset.  You are supposed to hold serve at home.  Regardless of those useless in-season, national rankings, when you play at home against your “contemporaries,” you should win.  Those that cannot pull off this feat are those that continually reside in their respective league’s basement.  Last night, teams like Stanford, Oregon, California and Minnesota held serve against “superior” opposition and in the process gave their conferences increased legitimacy.  (For the record, our PLAYER ALERT focus from earlier this week, Klay Thompson dropped an impressive 36 in the Cougs’ overtime loss in Berkeley.)  The Minnesota Golden Gophers got their home win at The Barn over Purdue (again, NOT an upset) but one Boilermaker was especially visible with a 29/11 night.

The PLAYER ALERT wants to break down the play of Purdue forward/center, JuJuan Johnson.  The 6-10 senior has improved on an annual basis and has truly evolved into one of the country’s most dangerous big men.  The Indianapolis native has several skills which should be attractive to NBA squads looking to add frontcourt depth.  In addition, to his craftiness around the painted area (his left-shoulder turn-around is his best weapon) Johnson is developing a competent perimeter game, even extending out beyond the three-point line.  He has a high shot release, has the aforementioned improving perimeter game and has played on a winner his whole life.  His library of post moves is not vast, but he is effective and athletic around the rim.  Johnson also could use a little more bulk as he prepares to bang against the league’s largest bodies.

2. So, are the New York Rangers the best hockey team in all of the NHL?  Their record might not bear that out, but they somehow figured out a way to beat the Vancouver Canucks; a near impossible feat, as of late.  The Colorado Avalanche, on the other hand, who currently cling to the last Western Conference playoff spot, have an important “bounce-back” game tonight in the Twin Cities with the Wild.  Chris Stewart?  Come on down!  And if you can, keep your gloves on your hands and focus on putting the puck in the net.

1. The Daily Broncos’ Looksie is slightly disappointed with the team not hiring Rick “Rico” Dennison (the clear choice of many former Broncos, aside from the one that does the hiring) but yesterday’s naming of former Carolina head, John Fox should be applauded.  He was clearly the best option with past head coaching experience and his defensive background and grasp of the 4-3 should be perfect as the team makes that transition back from the 3-4. 

Trade Kyle Orton for Albert Haynesworth, draft Da’Quon Bowers to be opposite of Elvis Dummervil and suddenly the team has a formidable defensive line.

PS-Here is another Rick Reilly article worth reading.  If you like Jay Cutler bashing, you’ll love this!  GO SEAHAWKS!!!


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Just Stopping In

Hello to everyone!  I am having some car/driveway issues this morning and could not find the time to put together my normal Mile High Five.  Needless to say, the big winners on the night were the Buffaloes of Colorado University.  Despite a sub-par shooting night by star guard, Alec Burks and a double-digit first-half deficit, the Buffs got an impressive 74-66 win at Kansas State. 

Big ups to local Arapahoe High School product, Levi Knutson, whose six 3-pointers (and 20 points) were instrumental in keeping the Wildcats at bay.  Simply put, wins on the road in this conference will mean NCAA Tournament berths and a seed somewhere between #4-8.  I will keep my fingers crossed that the Buffs can continue their strong play, make the tournament and then get placed in the Denver region. 

Oh yes, you know that I already have my media credential requests in-line for that Thursday/Saturday at the Pepsi Center!


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Wednesday Delight

Melo, CarGo and Jimmer, oh my!


5. In an inevitable turn of events following the bad game that Carmelo Anthony played on Sunday versus New Orleans, the Denver Nuggets overcame a slow start to mercilessly pound the visiting Phoenix Suns, 132-98.  Aaron Aflalo had a career-high 31 and the team put together a dominating performance after trailing by 12 to end the first quarter.  For the record, Melo really was the only guy who showed up in the two California road losses and he (again, somewhat predictably) finally laid an egg against Hornets.  Personally, I know that one game (whether bad or good) doesn’t mean that much, but boy, does that one game have over 90% of basketball fans in Denver in full-on “hater mode” of the 7-year vet.  7 years of quality hoops, playoff appearances and prolific scoring.  Granted most of these “fans” are predominately football diehards, so every in-game action is dissected like a fourth quarter series in the AFC Championship Game. 

I can’t hate on Melo.  I like him; always have.  I know he’s not perfect on or off the court but I also know that the local basketball team has been increasingly better off because of his presence. 

On the actual reported trade rumors, NOW “sources” are reporting that Melo will never agree to the contract extension with New Jersey (which would be a deal breaker).  Yesterday, much was made by the Nuggets about New Jersey leaking information about possible trades; today it’s those pesky, “league sources” at it again.  Unless you really read about/know the league, you might not know that most of these guys are just associates/friends of certain players.  For example, in this case, one of Melo’s buddies mentions to ESPN writer Chris Broussard that he had never heard Melo ever talk about wanting to play for the Nets.  This is then disseminated to the public as ‘Melo won’t sign an extension with New Jersey.’  Crazy.

Although I write about this situation on a daily basis, I would be fine if nothing else was “rumored” until a deal is actually in place.

4. Just three days after the fact, I must amend my statement that Alec Burks’ game in Colorado’s weekend win over Missouri was the best individual performance I had seen in the college game all season.  I wanted to change it 20 minutes into last night’s BYU/Utah game, just as BYU’s Jimmer Fredette threw in a buzzer-beating half-courter to give him 32 points for the half. 

The PLAYER ALERT watched as the senior point guard finished the night with 47 (missing a break-away dunk in there, too) in the Cougars’ 104-79 win, but did his damage in a variety of ways.  He obviously was flexing his ridiculous range, hitting several deep 3’s, but he was also penetrating and finishing amongst the trees.  I have been a big fan of Fredette’s since he first arrived in Provo (I watch WAY too many MWC games) and I have always thought of him in comparative terms with former Piston guard Isiah Thomas.  A deadly scorer that plays well beyond his diminutive size, a ferocious competitor and a confident leader, Fredette will be a solid professional player that will instantly give a team a perfect back-up point to bring in some scoring punch off the bench.  While Jimmer will probably struggle initially with defending the bigger guards of the NBA, his offensive skill set is so highly evolved that his stock will only rise from now until the draft this summer.  One last note, for those assuming that was a magical once-in-a-lifetime performance by Jimmer, the 47 was not even a career high.

In other college news, the Big Ten flexed its collective muscles again, with Penn State’s final-second home win over the Illinois Fighting Illini.  The Lions’ senior point guard, Talor Battle was instrumental hitting big shots in the game’s final few minutes, but it was his driving miss that led to Andrew Jones put-back dunk with less than a second to break the tied score.  The win was the second in a row against a ranked-opponent for PSU and proves the power of home-court advantage in a competitive conference.  By season’s end, I foresee an 11-team tie at 10-10 atop the conference.  (Side note-I wonder if our former Editor-in-Chief got trampled in the ensuing on-court student celebration.)

Big game tonight for those hoping that there may finally be some legitimate college basketball in Colorado, as the Buffaloes of CU travel to Manhattan (the Kansas version) to take on the struggling Kansas State Wildcats.  To say that the Buffs of the last decade have not fared well on the road, in-conference would be one of the biggest understatements.  This should be a great measuring stick game and one that tips at 7 PM MST on ESPNU.

3. Minnesota, Calgary and Edmonton all lost last night! Of course, the Canucks won.  Tonight, the Avs are in Chicago to face the Blackhawks, another quality opponent that seems to bring the best out in the young Avalanche team.  Our boy, the teenager, #9, Matty Duchene did get that All-Star call yesterday and will be the team’s sole representative at the annual event.  The first of many to come!

2. Carlos Gonzalez was back in Denver yesterday and clad in a nice shiny suit to put his “John Hancock” on his 7 year-$80 million extension.  The deal will keep the Little Pony in a Rockie uniform until at least the 2017 season.  Almost as enjoyable as watching this bona-fide superstar pen his contract was watching his agent, Scott Boras squirm and look about as disconsolate as an agent that just signed one of his young stars to an $80 million deal could look.   Classic.

1. The Daily Broncos’ Looksie wants to quickly examine the search going on for the team’s next head coach.  About a half-dozen or so candidates (including our interim, Eric Studesville) have made their way through Dove Valley and I have to think that John Elway must be leaning in the direction of former Bronco player and assistant, Rick Dennison.  The CSU great and Fort Collins native has proven himself at every coaching level and his new boss’ familiarity would only make the transition (and return to the zone-blocking scheme) that much smoother.  He’s got my vote!


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Case of the Tuesday's?

If ever there was a “you mean it’s only Tuesday?” type of day,today is that particular one.  Holy crap.  Really?  It’s only Tuesday?!?


5. Despite several breaking news stories from the ESPN’s reporters’ “sources,” there was no action in the Carmelo Anthony trade front. Like I mentioned yesterday, this trade might not happen anytime soon.  Over a month still separates today from the trade deadline (Feb. 24) so waiting a bit longer might be good for both teams and the prized forward involved.  The New Jersey Nets can take the extra days to attempt to woo Melo (with Russian jet-ski vacations, trips to the future Brooklyn home of the team, etc.).  On the other hand, the Nuggets will ultimately be granted a couple first-round picks (NJ has some extras from past trades) and they surely want the Nets’ own pick, with them currently just two games out of the league’s cellar (aka the team with the most ping-pong balls in the Draft Lottery hopper). 

Although this seems a bit out there, considering what is being discussed involved perhaps the largest player trade in league history, but keeping Melo in Denver might be good for the Nuggets as it might ensure a few more Jersey losses. 

Stay with me here.

If Denver makes the trade now, it could lead to the Nets getting a few more wins (with more experienced talent on the roster) and take a few more of those balls away from the Nuggets.  Is that crazy?  In addition, I read a lot of yesterday and gave up about midday when I grew tired of the “sources,” many of whom don’t have a clue what is really happening in the teams’ front offices.  Again, I know there is a lot of smoke with this story, but I won’t believe anything until the firemen are called in.

4. The Colorado Avalanche badly needed a win against a quality conference opponent and that was exactly what they got in their impressive 5-4 win over Detroit.  Exactly two weeks removed from out playing (but losing to) the Red Wings, the pattern continued last night, as the home team jumped on the Wings’ back-up goalie early and often.  Matty Duchene scored two 1st period goals (and a beautiful save kept him from getting the natural hat-trick) which helped the Avs build a 5-2 advantage.  #9 better make the All-Star Game.  (The remaining spots will be named later today.)

3. A quiet night in college basketball, save for the one loud chorus resulting from the beat-down suffered by Cub Scouts’ “unofficial team,” the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.  The Bradley Center in Milwaukee was the site, Marquette provided the shellac.  The final difference was 22 points, but the game wasn’t even that close.   

Here’s a thought.  Now with college football and Monday Night Football over for the rest of the winter, can we get our BIG MONDAY back on?  I’m sick of these “quiet” nights.  I also miss the old classic, “Midnight Snack in the WAC.”

PLAYER ALERT has a certain Klay Thompson on its radar today.  Washington State’s 6-6 junior guard has been “getting buckets” since he made the trip north to Pullman.  Just half-way through his third college season, the son of former NBA center, Mychel Thompson, is closing in on 1500 points all while pacing the Cougars to a 12-4 start, which included wins over Gonzaga, Baylor and Mississippi State.  Thompson is a flat-out gunner with one of the nation’s quickest releases (not Ray Allen, yet) and his shooting efficiency has increased significantly over last year’s 20 ppg campaign.  Now a leader of the team, Klay has upped his all-court game this year, as well, becoming more than just a one-trick pony that could knock down three-pointers.  Unofficially, I would bet that he is one of only a handful of guys that is averaging 22 points/5 rebounds/4 assists every night out.  Few players in the nation also have Klay’s on-court awareness or his hoops IQ.  He always seems to be in the right places on defense and his ability to get open/spot up/knock down the shot is arguably the most advanced of any collegiate player.  Stephen Curry comes to mind when pondering an NBA-equivalent, largely due to their similar frames and perimeter scoring prowess.  Klay could have attempted to leap to the league last spring, but obviously made the right move returning.

2. While I did watch the entire fourth quarter of last night’s BCS Championship Game, the game almost slipped by without me even noticing.  The NCAA’s whole “spread the bowls out” thingie is really just a bad idea.  Not only has it been like two months since either Oregon or Auburn had played an actual game, but it has also been another week and a half since New Year’s Day (which SHOULD close the season).  I truly miss the days when New Year’s Day was all about college football.  The excessive increase in the number of bowls has watered everything down to the point that a game like last night’s (which should have been HUGE) was almost lost in the shuffle of a slow sports evening. 

1. The Daily Broncos’ Looksie would like to introduce you to LSU cornerback, Patrick Peterson.  I would never spend a high draft pick on a WR/CB, as they are not “a part” of over half of the offensive plays run in a game.  Translation: they just aren’t that important.  Yes, having a true shut-down corner is nice (we’ve been spoiled) but how many true shut-down guys can you name in the history of the league?  Although, if we stockpile picks and trade back (and lose out of Champ and Namdia), I would be fine with picking this kid later in the first-round.  His size and return skills can’t be ignored, that’s for sure.  Check him out below.

PS-War Auburn Head Coach Gene Chexmix busting out about 15 “War Eagle’s” during his post-game on-field interview.  I guarantee that was directed at all of the Alabama folks that were incessantly squawking “Roll Tide” after their national title last year. 

PSS- Please, check this out, about the most random sports cross-over story I’ve ever seen.


Monday, January 10, 2011

The Good and Bad in Colorado Basketball

No Broncos?  No Ten.  Let’s go.


5. With no Friday or Saturday game for the Denver Nuggets, the Carmelo Anthony rumor mill got churned up again, and things appear to be on the precipice of actual action.  This time New Jersey appears to have gotten the Detroit Pistons involved.  The rumored deal included packaging Chauncey Billups with his counterpoint (guard) Devin Harris coming back with Derrick Favors, two first-round draft picks and a few other “money-balancing” players of little note (aside from Anthony Morrow, who I like).  Fortunately and unfortunately, it seems that CB is trying to nix the deal, stating again, his long-term wishes to not only end his career as a Nugget, but also with the hopes that he can step into the team’s front-office upon retirement.  I had this exact same conversation last season (part of a feature I wrote) and his desire to become a player personnel/general manager was genuine.  He is intelligent (about both business and the game), a local legend and very well respected around the league-all attributes that would serve Billups well in a front-office capacity.  For the long-term health of the Nuggets, Melo NEEDS to be traded, however, on the same token, long-term, CB NEEDS to stay.

There obviously is a lot of smoke (ie. fire) surrounding this situation, but all of the individual players’ and teams’ demands might just hold things up.

4. Oh yeah, the Nuggets did get back onto the court following their brutal two-game Cali-road-trip.  The New Orleans Hornets entered the town in a snowstorm, but the visitors had no trouble acclimating to an opposition that looked as listless and punch-less as they had just days earlier.  The Hornets grabbed an early lead, built a sizable second-half advantage and held on for a 96-87 win.  Many of those in attendance (or watching at home) thought a deal for Carmelo was being ironed out courtside at Pepsi Center.  Melo had his worst game of the year and was booed pretty mercilessly during a 3rd quarter substitution.  To this point, I believe this situation has been handled pretty well for all of those involved, but it was destined to get a bit sticky as the trade deadline (February 24th) approached.  Right about now, though, it looks like this team is slathered in honey.

3. College basketball had a crazy Saturday of upsets and “front-and-center” was a little ballgame up in Boulder.  The Colorado Buffaloes hosted the #8-ranked Missouri Tigers and sparked by sophomore guard Alec Burks’ (who we’ve talked a lot about in this space) career high 36 points, took the Big 12 opener, winning 89-76.  Please feel free to browse my notes and game recap scribbled from my courtside perch at the Coors Events Center.  Several highlights can be taken from the win, but more than anything, having a legitimate Division-I team in our state will do just fine for me.

Other ranked teams taking a weekend plunge were Kansas State (team missing key player(s) and in crisis), Michigan State (not living up to their talent level), Georgetown (3 Big East losses dampen their impressive out-of-conference start), Central Florida (wait, who?), Vanderbilt (a developing team that will scare some come March), Kentucky (of course, very young and therefore prone to be upset) and Texas (just lost in overtime to an equally quality opponent).  Luckily, this isn’t college football, where these teams’ new goal becomes qualifying for the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl.

PLAYER ALERT should have naturally broken down Alec Burks based on his Saturday performance alone (with all due respect to Kemba, it was the BEST game I’ve seen from a college kid all year), but I’ve decided to save some material for later works.  In his place, I will break down the play of Georgia junior forward Trey Thompkins.  A double-digit scorer since he first stepped foot in Athens, Thompkins is a developing player that has become more selective with his shooting all while scoring more points.  As a freshman, he was a volume shooter; now he shoots 51% from the floor.  At 6-9 and almost 250, Thompkins is not a proto-typical power forward, rather a hybrid that likes to score from the perimeter, work the midrange but also occasionally post a guy up.  He reminds me a lot of former Laker (current Clipper) and Illinois graduate, Brian Cook.   They both have that ability to bring their opponent out of the paint to knock down shots and each is adept enough with the ball to blow by their man off the dribble.  Thompkins has scored in double-figures in every game this year and his offensive game was integral to the Bulldogs upset on Saturday over Kentucky.  Thompkins considered making the jump to the NBA last year, and by all accounts, his decision to return should allow him to move up the draft board even more come next spring.

2. Another game, another loss for the Colorado Avalanche.  Fortunately it was worth a point (as it ended in overtime) but in all truthfulness, it appeared the Avs would come away with no points.  That is, until Milan Hejduk lit the lamp with just four seconds remaining in regulation.  The road does not get any easier, as a rematch tonight with the Detroit Red Wings awaits the Avs.  Anyone here going to be in the house?

1. The Daily Broncos’ Looksie spent the weekend denying the rumors that we don’t like Tim Tebow and that we want to trade him.  Oh wait, that was John Elway’s weekend. A rough start for the newly-minted Sr. VP of Player Personnel, as this “misunderstanding” came on the heels of #7’s insistence that Head Coaching candidate Mike Mularkey’s first name was Mark.

PS-While I would never suggest consorting with Oakland Raiders, if we really do lose Champ Bailey, I fully endorse going after Namdia Asomugha.


Friday, January 7, 2011

A Tough One in the 303

A down day to be sure, as there was “bad news” for each of our currently active professional sports teams.  The obvious on-court losses aside, our beloved purveyors of pigskin might have been the biggest losers when this guy decided he was too good for the NFL.  The ripple effect will not be kind.  No choice, but to go…


5. A short 2-game road-trip for the Denver Nuggets got off to a bad start with a disheartening loss on Wednesday night to the LA Clippers.  Matters worsened considerably last night, as the Nuggets outdid even the previous night’s anemic performance with an abysmal 122-102 loss at the hands of the Sacramento Kings.  So how does one team break 100, shoot over 50% from the floor and still get punked by 20 by an inexperienced team battling for the prime spot in the league’s basement? 

Defensive issues ultimately undid the visiting Nugs, as they really couldn’t corral one member of the Kings’ roster.  Tyreke Evans looked like the player of last year and DeMarcus Cousins, Omri Casspi and Carl Landry shot a combined 17-29 from the field.  While it would be easy to say that with Kenyon Martin forced to sit out the second leg of a back-to-back, the Nuggets interior defense is sure to suffer, Head Coach George Karl was using that excuse. “I’m really kind of blown away by our performance. Sometimes I think we need to think about playing harder.” 

Two straight nights of coaching criticism didn’t keep the team’s star, Carmelo Anthony (26 points), from piling on after last night’s debacle.

“Tonight was an embarrassing loss; that’s all I have to say about that.”

4. Back in Denver, we saw a tough loss for another Denver team, as the Avalanche’s recent scoring difficulties reared their ugly heads again, in a 2-0 home loss to the Phoenix Coyotes.  The visitors put home an empty netter with just seconds remaining, but the final few minutes were a fruitless, but frantic jailbreak at the ‘Yotes’ goalmouth.  A Saturday matinee with Islanders is up next.  Chris Stewart, we need you.

3. Last night was a pretty quiet one in the college hoops ranks.  No real shockers to report and the one individual game of note was the Cincinnati Derby between the Bearcats of UC and their cross-town rivals from Xavier.  Losers of the last three in the series, the still undefeated ‘Cats were not to be denied, grabbing an early lead and cruising to an easy 20-point win.  Cincy native Yancy Gates “beasted out” for his best game of the season; a performance that I expect more of, as I think Gates has a chance to be one of the Big East’s best frontcourt players.  Like a certain Brazilian center that plays pro ball in Denver, though, consistency has been the issue. 

**Check back this weekend, as I will be in Boulder tomorrow covering the CU Buffs’ Big 12 opener with the Tigers from Missouri.**

For several of you, this will be the first introduction to San Diego State’s sophomore forward, Kawhi Leonard.  The 6-7 225-pound power forward (which he won’t be at the next level) has been one of the main reasons for the undefeated Aztecs’ claim as the “best in the west.”  Extremely active in both the open floor and the half-court, Leonard is a slasher that likes to get inside the paint and is still working on his perimeter jump-shooting (easily the most curable weakness once you become a pro-JUST ASK MJ).  The Riverside-native has always had an uncanny “nose for the ball” whether it’s bouncing on the floor or caroming off the rim.  A 10 board/night guy since he stepped on campus, Leonard is tenacious and at the same time intelligent.  Again, his catch-and-shoot needs some improving and his consistency from the college 3-point line has been a concern in recent games.  To his credit, though, the 19-year-old is a capable playmaker and at times can become a bit too unselfish. 

More than any year before this, I look forward to how the Mountain West will compete in the NCAA tourney.  Specifically, it will be interesting to see how Leonard matches up as the Aztecs make a Final Four push.  While currently ready to be drafted (mid-late first-round) and compete at the next level, I strongly would encourage Leonard to stay one more year to continue to work on his “small forward skills.”

2. Despite my years of teaching and the personal importance I put on education (and my above advice to Kawhi), I must be the devil’s advocate in Andrew Luck’s decision to return to Stanford.  For someone that is the “put it in the bank” #1 pick this year, I think it is a bad choice and one that he might eventually regret, along the lines of Matt Leinart and Jake Locker (who each lost guaranteed MILLIONS by returning for another year).  Jim Rome has long used an analogy that I will poach right now. 


I hope that he stays healthy, doesn’t lose any momentum and becomes the #1 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, but consider this.  What is the ultimate goal and reasoning for going to college to get your degree?  I think the answer is to put yourself in the best position to get the best possible job upon leaving.  This company known as the Carolina Panthers have publicly displayed their desires to sign him to a $50 million guaranteed contract. 

Is the potential vocational situation going to be better next year?

1. The Daily Broncos’ Looksie wants to cry about not only my previous feelings about Mr. Luck’s decision, but how that might affect the Broncos ability to get the best defensive player.  Clemson’s De’Quon Bowers, who will likely now become the Panthers means in replacing Julius Peppers, is now being considered the draft’s top prize.  Damn, I even had the Mrs. watching Bowers’ highlight tape the other night and even she was impressed.  So do they move on to Auburn’s Nick Fairley or maybe move down and stockpile picks?  I think they need to get an impact player at the top of the board.  Bowers was the prize, but there are others (see previous DBL introductions) available that are worth the loot it will take to sign them. 


Thursday, January 6, 2011

So We've Got a New Boss!?!

A quiet football lull between the NFL’s regular season and its postseason, as well as the 15 weeks between the NCAA’s season and the “only game that matters,” was temporarily awoken with the press conference naming John Elway as the Denver Broncos’ Executive VP of Football Operations.  More on that to come….


5. The Denver Nuggets started a wee two-game roadie through the Golden State by facing off against the young, but exciting Los Angeles Clippers.  While the visitor’s two stars more than showed up for this one, the needed balance was completely missing.  Carmelo Anthony pumped in 31 and Chauncey Billups came through with 25 of his own, but with only 15 bench points, the Nuggets fell 106-93.  Playing with their full roster for the first time all year (that was until Ty Lawson went down early in the 2nd quarter), the Nuggets still had more than half of their points from Melo and CB and were victimized by an aggressively defensive Clipper attack.  It was the youngsters again, doing it for LA, as Eric Gordon led them with 28 points, while our boy, Blake Griffin got his 22nd-straight double-double (actually by halftime) with a 22/18/7 line.  Unlike the Nuggets, the Clip-Joint got production beyond their Big-Two, as second-year center, DeAndre Jordan was a force in the inside grabbing 20 boards along with swatting away about 3 dozen Denver shots. 

Shooting 37% from the field on the road rarely translates to wins (regardless of opponent) but the analysis was simplified by head coach George Karl, “We weren’t good at either end of the court.”

**(A special thanks goes out to the wonderful “Artist’s Rendition” of (L-R) Blake, Melo and Birdman Anderson courtesy of my 4-year-old daughter.)**

4. The winning machine that is the Vancouver Canucks got another divisional victory beating Calgary last night, 3-1.  Goalie Roberto Luongo, again, proves that he has feet on his head.  Oh, and that 16-1-2 record over the past 19 games is flat-out ridiculous.  On the Eastern side of things, Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay combine for 9 goals, but the only Sidney Crosby/Steven Stamkos play worth noting was one measly assist from Sid?!?!  

“Pretty weak, Milhouse.”

3. In the world of college basketball, I have to give some props to the Big Ten.  I pay little attention to individual team’s national rankings and I have no use for the conference rankings, but this conference is flat-out legit, this year.  Top-to-bottom, this large group of competent teams makes for a lot of quality games and the Big Ten network has been loaded with them already this season.  Home-court advantage is of course huge (especially in a deep, competitive conference) and the superior teams (Ohio State, Purdue, Illinois, Minnesota, Michigan State and Wisconsin) have been impressive.  Maybe most impressive last night, though, were the Cougars from BYU getting a blow-out win over UNLV in Sin City!  BYU's All-American Jimmer Fredette shook off a slow start to put up 39 to bury the "Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde" Runnin' Rebels.

2. One of those particular games (Wisconsin's win over Minnesota) got me thinking about my PLAYER ALERT!  This section where I break down a college player’s professional prospects will continue on a daily basis.  First up today, is Wisconsin senior forward, Jon Leuer.  A player that gets little national attention or mention as a top prospect, Leuer is arguably one of the most productive big men in the country and a favorite for Big Ten Player of the Year.  At a legitimate 6-10 230, Leuer is the most adept front-court player at stepping outside to the perimeter.  He is deadly from the long-range and his wide array of post moves make him a tough match on that end of the court.  However, he is a bit slow of foot, making it tough to check small forwards and he does not currently have the strength to muscle the power forwards in the NBA, either.  While I feel there is definitely a place in the league for Leuer and he should be taken at some point late in the first round, I feel his lack of explosiveness will scare away most teams.  Currently Leuer is averaging 20 points/7 rebounds per game, which is pretty impressive considering the Badgers never seem to ever break 60 points a night.  I am most curious to see how he fares against the bigger names in the league like MSU’s Draymond Green, OSU’s Jared Sullinger and Purdue’s JuJuan Johnson.

1. The Daily Broncos’ Looksie has just a quote from yesterday’s John Elway press conference.  During his intro/pre-questions “speech” Elway gave himself his own Q&A.

“Why am I here?”  (Brief pause.)
“Because I love the Denver Broncos!”

Word, #7, me too.

PS-ESPN 5 PM MST, Tim Tebow: Everything in Between, a special about his going from college legend to NFL prospect.