Underground Vision March 2015 - Page 2

Smackdown Sports

With The Smock

What’s going down sports fans? It’s time the March edition of the Smackdown Sports for Underground vision magazine with ya boy DJ Smock and it’s going to be electrifying! We start off madness of March with the start of the new league year for the NFL where free agency took center stage and the questions remained, where would some of the NFL’s biggest stars choose to play the 2015 season come September? It all began on March 10 at 10a.m. Eastern when the Philadelphia Eagles, in what would be the beginning of two blockbuster deals, made Head Coach Chip Kelly, who is also the Director of football operations, trade away star Running Back Lesean McCoy to Buffalo for Middle Linebacker Kiko Alonso who if coming off of a ACL knee injury which cost him all of the 2014 season. Coach Kelly was not done there, as with his second move he traded his starting Quarterback Nick Foles to the Rams for often injured starting QB Sam Bradford! The Eagles and Kelly then let startig Receiver Jeremy Maclin leave via free agency to the Chiefs to rejoin his old coach Andy Reid. The Eagles did manage to sign Cornerback’s Bryon Maxwell and Walter Thurmond III away from Seattle and land marquee Running Back Demarco Murray from Dallas, but Philly definitely get my "Rock Bottom" award of the week. They have managed to gut their offense and create more questions than answers for a team that was picked by many to contend for a championship. Kelly better be right with his decisions, or the fans in Philly are going to personally tie him up and drive him to the airport to get him outta town! Fans in Philly have booed Santa Claus before, so roughing up a coach is a cake walk. Good luck Chip. Meanwhile in Miam,i they landed the big fish in free agency in Defensive Tackle, Ndamukong Suh, paying him a whopping 6-year 114 million dollar deal with 60 million dollars in guaranteed money! A great move for the Dolphins defense which was stout last year, but not going to solve their problems offensively in the fact that defensive tackles do not win Super Bowls titles, quarterbacks do and if they do not address the offensive issues this will be another terrible free agent signing that will not help the team achieve the ultimate goal of winning a championship. They did manage to trade for a young receiver in former Saints WR Kenny Stills, after trading away their last major free agency signing in former WR Mike Wallace, as he was traded to the Minnesota Vikings and then signed former Cleveland Browns tight end Jordan Cameron who left northeast Ohio like his ass was on fire! I suspect he left because the Browns were extremely indecisive in who they wanted to be the starting QB, wanting to go with the wonder kid Johnny “Rehab” Manziel over the crappy veteran Brian Hoyer who managed help the team win 7 of its first 11 games before losing its last 5 games of the season as sending the organization in a tailspin that it has not recovered from yet. Fear not Browns fans, your bug moves in free agency where signing an old fart in former Tampa Bay QB Josh “Tears Of” McCown, who has only won 1 of his 11 starts in his only season in Tampa Bay, and signing former Dolphins and Ohio State Buckeye receiver Brian Hartline to stop the bleeding for a depleted receiving core which will once again be without Josh Gordon who is suspended indefinitely by the NFL for violating the substance abuse policy. But fear not Browns fans, for your version of Christmas Day is soon near as the NFL draft is almost a month away! In Baltimore, the Ravens have traded away Nose Tackle, Haloti Nagata, to the Lions who had just lost the anchors of their defensive line in Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley who signed with the Rams on Friday. The Seattle Seahawks managed to lose the Super Bowl on a last second defensive play to the Patriots, have improved their team offensively by trading for superstar Tight End Jimmy Graham, getting him from the Saints for starting Center Max Unger and a 2015 first round draft pick number 31 overall to New Orleans. However it is the New York Jets are the biggest winners in free agency in that they managed to re-sign cornerback Darelle Revis from the Patriots whom he helped win Super Bowl XLIX against Seattle to a 5 year 70 million dollar deal with 40 million guaranteed, then traded a 5th round draft pick in the 2015 draft to Chicago to acquire receiver Brandon Marshall to give their starting QB who at the moment is Geno Smith a solid option on offensive that is proven at the position but the rumblings for top five draft pick in Oregon QB Marcus Mariotta could be on the horizon for the Jets should he be there for them to draft at number six in the 2015 draft. The Jets also signed away former Browns CB Buster Skrine to play the slot corner positon on their defensive and have reunited Revis with his former teammate Antonio Crommartie to sure up the Jets defensive backfield.

We move on from the NFL free agency frenzy to the NBA where things ae starting to heat up as we head towards the playoffs. We start down in the dirty with the Atlanta Hawks who still hold the Eastern Conference’s best record at 51-14 and according to a good friend of mine and basketball analyst Allen Monroe, “they are playing a beautiful brand of basketball”. Atlanta is doing it with excellent ball movement, solid defense and unselfishness on the offense end with no set scorers or real superstars on the team. If they continue on their current pace they will finish with the best record in franchise history at 68-14. In Chicago, the injury to point guard Derrick Rose along with injuries to key starters shooting guard Jimmy Butler and power forward Taj Gibson have them reeling and heading for a first round playoff exit. Where things have gotten interesting is in Cleveland where the Cavs have found their swagger again after suffering a few late game losses to likes of the Houston Rockets. The Cavs who were all but left for dead this past Thursday in San Antonio against the world champion Spurs with 5 seconds left in the game and Kiwahi Leonard at the free throw line needing just one free throw to go down misses both giving the CAVS and opportunity to tie the game with a three pointer and Kyrie Irving seized the opportunity by hitting a game tying buzz beating three pointer to send the game into overtime. It was in overtime after an amazing second half performance by both Kyrie Irving and Spurs point guard Tony Parker in what would become a personal duel of anything you can do I can do better between the two that Kyrie single handedly delivered a must win statement game for the CAVS winning 128-125 scoring a career-high 57 points leading his team to a key road win against the champs in what some feel will be a future finals matchup.

Out west the Golden State Warrior have the league’s best record at 52-13 and the a possible MVP candidate in sharp shooting point guard Steph Curry who is in the discussion for the NBA MVP and has his team poised for home court for the Western Conference playoff and a legitimate chance at the franchise’s first NBA title since the 1974-1975 season. Meanwhile in Memphis the Grizzlies are the team that no one is talking about and has a chance to also get to the finals with tough defense and, efficient half-court offense that can execute come playoff time. In Portland the Blazers are primed for a deep run in the playoffs with their version of the dynamic duo in of power forward LeMarcus Aldridge and point guard Damien Lillard, but will it be enough to put them over the top to make a push for the title time will tell and the pressure will be on Nicholas Batum to help his teammate reach their desired goals. In Houston many feel that James Harden is the MVP of the league and with the return of center Dwight Howard in another week or so they will be a team to reckon with and is fully capable of beating anyone in the West in the playoffs. The Clippers have looked disinterested in the past few weeks and dropped a close game today against Houston which as it stands right now would be a first round playoff matchup and the Clippers who I picked to make it to the NBA finals have battled injuries all season but if they want to make it to the conference finals out West they have got to find their passion and become Lob City again or their season will end in the 2nd round or the playoffs again for a third straight season. The champion Spurs are fighting for their playoff lives right now as they are the 7th seed in the West and would not have home court advantage in any of their playoff series should they advance in the playoffs. Perhaps father time has finally caught up with Duncan, Parker and Ginoblli or are the crafty Spurs just playing possum until the playoffs start before they unleash their special playoff magic on the rest of the league. One thing is for certain, the season after the Spurs have won a championship they have not repeated as champion and is some instances have not made it out of the first round of the playoffs. In Oklahoma City, New Orleans, and Dallas they are jockeying for the last two playoff spots and attempting to fend off one another. In OKC, Russell Westbrook has become a triple-double machine recording the rare feat 6 times this season alone and attempting to lead his team to the playoffs and the final playoff spot while awaiting the return of his superstar teammate Kevin Durant from injury and stamp his name in the MVP trophy. In New Orleans center Anthony Davis is trying to lead the Pelicans to the playoffs for the first time in four years by being a one man show and Dallas Dirk Nowitzki is hoping for more shot in the hunt for a title and may get some help from newly acquired players like Rajon Rondo and Amare Stoudemire but may not have enough juice left to make a deep playoff run with an older squad.

We wrap up this month’s edition of SmackDown Sports for Underground magazine with the beginning of the greatest two days in sports and that’s the start of the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament. For long-time fans such as me it’s a reason to suddenly develop a case of the flu and take off Thursday and Friday of this week to watch the start of the tournament which begins at 9 a.m. out here in the west and will give us the highest of highs and upsets galore and last second shots that will have you on the edge of your seat. This year’s tournament according to some will not have the same drama because of the Kentucky team that is not only undefeated but will definitely have at least five of the top ten NBA draft lottery pick come this year’s draft with two seven footers and at least 6 additional players that are 6’8” inches tall and have a size advantage and coaching advantage on any team they face in this year’s tournament, but that’s why they play the games. Make no mistake about it Kentucky is better than any other squad but in a win or go home situation and they are undefeated the pressure to keep the streak alive which is at 34-0 may prove to be too much to handle. My prediction for this year’s final four is Wisconsin, Arizona, Duke and Kentucky. The national champion according to Smockdomaus will be…………. Arizona! Until next month’s edition for the million and millions of the Smocks fans, If ya smellllaaaa what Da Smock is cookin! Peace.