Underground Vision March 2015 - Page 3

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 are 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. 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 pac,e 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.

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