M!KEDROP DAILY brings you hot takes on the biggest stories in sports and recaps the previous days’ news and memorable moments.
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Check out the latest college basketball content, including:
Bracket of Champions – 2018 Villanova vs 2003 Syracuse was Wednesday and today, 2017 North Carolina faces 2004 UConn
What to know about every conference tournament
Some of these conference are already underway. Check out the MIKEDROPSPORTS crew’s picks for each tournament
Lebron James? Great! Lakers? Trash
I don’t feel like talking about how awful the Lakers are. It’s tiresome. They suck and they aren’t making the playoffs. Maybe it’s a blessing for Lebron James. 8 straight NBA Finals means at least 16 playoff games a year, for 8 years is 128 games, and we know he hasn’t swept every series during that time. Maybe it will be good for him and for his future health to have a full off-season of relaxation and rest (although the Knicks have had 6 straight off-seasons of relaxation and rest and seen zero improvement).
Lebron is now 4th on the all-time scoring list, passing Michael Jordan. I’m kind of sick though of the debates of who is better between Lebron and Michael. MJ was the best ever. Lebron is one of the best ever. Two different generations and quite frankly, two different types of players. Would MJ dominate in this era of super-teams and no defense? Would Lebron dominate the 90s? Who knows! And who really cares. Why can’t they both be equally special and incredible and everyone just enjoy the opportunity to have witnessed greatness from both.
But last night, it was an amazing moment in LA and for all those passionate, hardcore Lakers fans (most of whom still have the tags on their jerseys) to see their one true hero get the biggest moment of his career. I am sure they are all looking forward to seeing Lebron pass, that other guy that used to be a Laker, Kobe Bryant, for #3 all-time, most likely next year.
Around the NBA
Suns won the great tankathon battle of 2019. Or technically, the Knicks won I guess? Suns won the basketball game which means the Knicks have sole possession of last place in the NBA. How thrilling that losing is something that is celebrated almost unanimously in NYC.
The ending, specifically the last 0.5 seconds, of 76ers vs Bulls was wild. But more wild is the fact that the Bulls won! Chicago is playing well…well enough to win just enough games and impress the front office enough that they will rush to build a playoff contender for 2020 and once again fail.
Spencer Dinwiddie and D’Angelo Russell combined for 53 points to help the Nets get past the Cavs
The Hornets stink. I’m more convinced than ever that the Heat, who I do not believe are a good team, will manage to sneak into the playoffs. How can a team, whose leading scorer was Kelly Olynyk on Wednesday with 22 points, be in this position?
Pistons don’t stink. As I projected before the year, they will be a playoff team in 2019. They beat the Wolves by 17 points as Andre Drummond had 31 points, 15 rebounds and Luke Kennard had 21 points. Kennard is averaging 18 ppg over the last 5 games (4 of them wins).
Forget MVP watch. I’m over the Giannis/Harden debate. Time to focus on more important things like Rookie of the Year watch. Luka Doncic had 31 points, 11 rebounds, and 7 assists in a Mavs loss and Trae Young had 22 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists in a Hawks loss
Dropping the Mic on NFL Rumors
Lots of chatter and noise around the NFL as free agency opens next week. Many teams are making moves with cuts, franchise tags, draft prep and more. The latest…
Kyler Murray is Going #1
The question becomes who takes him #1. Will it be the Arizona Cardinals? Do the Oakland Raiders make a move up? Raiders have 4 of the top 34 picks, including 3 in the first round so they certainly have the ammo.
It doesn’t make sense for the Cardinals to take Murray as I adamantly noted in this week’s podcast (fast forward to 28:00 mark for my takes on Murray).
Antonio Brown Talks Heat Up
If you believe the latest reports, Antonio Brown will be traded before the end of this week, in large part because of a pending bonus due to him next week. The leading candidate seems to be the Raiders. WHY?! Brown is 31 years old and can have a major impact on a playoff-made offense. Raiders are far from playoff-made. They should be investing their resources (high picks and cap space) in young, developmental guys that fit their timeline. Raiders have arguably the worst roster in football. In 2-3 years, they should be competitive. In 2-3 years, Brown will be 33-34. Whereas, a guy like AJ Brown (the better Ole Miss WR draft product) can be 25, in the prime of his career, when the Raiders are potentially ready to take off.
But if not the Raiders, I’m not really sure who makes sense. It was mentioned a few weeks ago that the Bucs and Panthers would both be good fits for Brown and I still believe that. Several teams that have been reported to be out on Brown include Cardinals, Broncos, Jets. Patriots would be the best fit, but there’s a -25% chance the Steelers would ever make a deal like this with them.
Is LeVeon Bell Worth the Money?
My answer is no, without even seeing what the money is. I’m worried about him having sat out a full year, what kind of shape he is in. I would actually prefer to sign Tevin Coleman, likely for $5 million a year, over Bell for $15 million. I think you will get more value with Coleman and I think Bell will end up being a disappointment.
What Exactly are the NY Giants Doing?
On Tuesday, it was announced Giants would not apply the franchise tag to Safety Landon Collins, who made 3 Pro Bowls in 4 years with the Giants. The 25 year old will be free to sign anywhere. Why is the 25 year old free to sign anywhere, though? Even if the Giants didn’t want him they should have 1) traded him at the trade deadline last season or 2) tagged him, with intent to trade him. Letting him walk for no compensation is bad business.
Is it as bad as paying QB Eli Manning $24 million? Maybe. But what’s worse is the possibility that Odell Beckham Jr gets traded. I don’t buy the recent rumors and reports, if only because Beckham just signed a new deal last year. Even though he wasn’t a draft pick of this current regime, he was given a huge contract by them. I would be absolutely stunned if Beckham was dealt. And somehow I would question if it was a worse move than letting Collins walk for nothing. Bad week for the Giants
Who Needs a Safety
In addition to Collins, the following Safeties are also free agents – Tyrann Mathieu, Earl Thomas, Eric Weddle are among an all star class of free agent safeties. Earl Thomas wants to be the highest paid safety in football, even though he hasn’t played 16 games since 2015. Thomas isn’t going to lack suitors and will likely get paid nicely, but it’s unlikely it will be as nice as he would like.
In addition to Mathieu, Thomas, Weddle, and Collins, free agent safeties include Adrian Amos, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Lamarcus Joyner, Tre Boston, Adrian Phillips and others.
Lack of a WR Market
Tyrell Williams might make $12 million this off-season. Golden Tate is probably the #1 WR available. Adam Humphries and Cole Beasley are both going to be overpaid. Devin Funchess and Devante Parker are known busts, but will get an overhyped second opportunity anyway. John Brown is entering his 23rd year of “untapped potential”. Retreads like Michael Crabtree, Mike Wallace aren’t going to move the needle.
Unless someone like Desean Jackson becomes available or a surprise cut or two is made, this is a very underwhelming market for free agent WRs. Expect a lot of action and noise for minimal return in productivity.
Josh Rosen, reportedly, has not been shopped. But if Cardinals are going to go with Murray at #1, teams that make sense for Rosen may include – Patriots, Chargers, Bengals Dolphins, Redskins, Broncos
Patriots let the franchise tag deadline go without resigning DE Trey Flowers, LT Trent Brown or K Stephen Gostkowski. It’s still possible the Patriots resign any of these guys, but my guess is whoever signs elsewhere, will most likely suck in 2019 outside of New England.
Pop the Bubble
Last night wasn’t a great night for fringe/bubble NCAA Tournament teams. Let’s look at last night’s big losers.
Georgetown lost to DEPAUL! For the first time in 12 years, Depaul has won 7 conference games. Georgetown now has multiple “bad” losses, including Loyola Marymount and SMU and now Depaul. Their best OOC win is USF and the Hoyas will be relying on wins over St John’s and Villanova to get them into the tourney.
Ohio State lost to last-place Northwestern, who snapped a 10 game losing streak. Buckeyes are 18-12 but just 2-5 in their last 7 games. They are 8-11 in conference play, with the only worthwhile wins coming against Iowa and Indiana.
NC State is another team that lacks high profile wins (Auburn and Syracuse are the best wins) and includes too many bad losses with Wake Forest and now Georgia Tech, on Wednesday night.
Florida had a chance late to beat LSU, but lost at home to fall to 17-13. Florida MUST beat Kentucky on Saturday or their tournament hopes are done.
Iowa State, at 20-10, is probably safely in, but losing to last place West Virginia this late in the season is not a good thing. Cyclones have wins over Kansas, Texas Tech, Kansas State, Texas, Oklahoma (2), and Ole Miss.
Seton Hall picked up a major win over Marquette, who has now lost 3 in a row. Seton Hall’s resume is fueled by a neutral site win over Kentucky in early December. A win over Villanova Saturday will definitely lock in their bid. They probably need to win a few games in the Big East tournament.
The Worst Thing You Will Ever See on the Internet
(not including anything Barstool-related)
Seriously though – were these Diamondbacks players held against their wishes? Did the front office say they will revoke their contracts if they don’t participate? I….I don’t get it…
What to Watch – Thursday 3/7
Only one ranked vs ranked matchup in college basketball – #20 Cincinnati @ #25 UCF. Bearcats are 10-1 all-time vs UCF, including a 60-55 win back on 2/21. Cincy’s lone loss came in 2017 in Orlando. UCF is coming off a road win against a top 10 Houston team.
Indiana plays at Illinois in the most must win of all-time (slight exaggeration). With 14 losses, Hoosiers can’t lose if they want to maintain their bubble hopes.
In the NBA, a TNT double-header with the Pacers vs Bucks and Thunder vs Blazers. Bucks still have the NBA’s best record, but have lost 2 in a row for the first time this year. Pacers are third in the East, ahead of both Philly and Boston. In the West, Blazers/Thunder is currently the 4/5 matchup in the playoffs.
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