4/18 Running Thoughts

Warren Croxton and his running thoughts while watching 3 Philadelphia teams in action.

7:00- So with three Philadelphia sports teams in action, I thought it would be cool to write down everything I thought during the games. Mostly going to be Flyers and Phillies, but with some Sixers thoughts.

7:03- Marc Zumoff said Cleveland is a nice place to play. I completely disagree.  It was an awful place to visit.

7:08- Random MLB thought- the Blue Jays uniforms are awesome.

7:09- Mike Sweeney on my screen! He’s the man! Hugs for everyone.

7:11- My girlfriend is already bored.

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NBA Power Rankings

1. Miami Heat 27-7- DWade had a triple double in the All-Star and still wasn’t even the best player on the court.

2. Oklahoma City Thunder 27-7 Durant won his first MVP in Sunday’s defense slugfest.

3. Chicago Cubs 27-8- Derrick Rose had 14 points in his starting role and Luol Deng only played six minutes.

4.  San Antonio Spurs 24-10- They’ve lost once the entire month of February.

5. Los Angeles Clippers 20-11- Paul had 12 assists, while Blake finished with 22 in the West 3 point win on Sunday.

6. Dallas Mavericks 21-13- Dirk has averaged 28 in the last four games, but the Mavericks have only gone 2-2.

7. Houston Rockets 20-14- Have won four out of five games, Kevin McHale is certainly in the running for Coach of the Year.

8. Orlando Magic 22-13- Now the Dwight Howards rumors begin….

9. Philadelphia 76ers 20-14- Limped into the All-Star on a five game losing streak, Oklahoma City and Chicago this week on tap.

10. Los Angeles Lakers 20-14- A players’ only meeting after a win?  Kobe took a shot in the nose in the All-Star Game, getting evaluated today.

11.  Indiana Pacers 21-12- Four game winning streak heading into the All-Star Game, but all of the wins were against the bottom feeders of the league.

12. Atlanta Hawks 20-14- A below average month for the Hawks, beating the Warriors will get them to 7-8.

13. Memphis Grizzlies 19-15- Have gone 7-2 in their last 9 and have got back on track after a disastrous start.

14.  Portland Trailblazers 18-16- a 40 point win over the Spurs is a great way to head into the break.

15. Denver Nuggets 18-17- Have lost five out of six, having a tough go with Ganillari out of the lineup.

16. Minnesota Timberwolves 17-17- Kevin Love won the three point contest on Saturday, edging out some guy named Durant.  If the Wolves finish above .500, Love should garner the MVP votes.

17. New York Knicks 17-18- We’ll find out what the Knicks are made of soon. Their next nine games are Boston, Dallas, Spurs, Bucks, Sixers, Bulls, Trailblazers, and the Pacers twice.

18. Boston Celtics 15-17- Pierce was just as awful in the All-Star Game as his team has been in their past five games.

19.  Utah Jazz 15-17- The Jazz wish this month would just end, 3-10 so far with two more games left.

20.  Cleveland Cavs 13-18- Kyrie Irving was fabulous in the Rising Stars game and Cavs fans are excited about his future.

21. Golden State Warriors 13-17- Warriors have some very impressive wins at home, Miami, Chicago and the Clippers.

22. Phoenix Suns 14-20- It’s getting a point where it might wise to move Steve Nash.

23. Milwaukee Bucks 13-20- Have fallen off the map, losing six out of seven, still only 2 and half games back of a playoff spot.

24. Detroit Pistons 11-24- Their record is poor, but they’ve had a winning month with two games left.

25.  Sacramento Kings 11-22- One would think the big win over the Thunder would be a turning point…nope. They’ve won one game since.

26. Toronto Raptors 10-23- Not a great year for the Toronto sports fans, at least they have Jose Bautista.

27. New Jersey Nets 10-25- Unless Williams and Lopez make magic, Williams could be out the door in the summer.

28.  New Orleans Hornets 8-25- The Chris Kaman will be in full force now as we get closer to the All-Star Break.

29.  Washington Wizards 7-26- Well, At least the Nationals will be decent.

30. Charlotte Bobcats 4-28- They can’t score.  86 points per game won’t get the job done.

NBA Power Rankings

1. Miami Heat 25-7- Recently had a back to back to back and went 3-0, winning each game by double digits.

2. Oklahoma City Thunder 25-7- Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook became the first duo of teammates to score 40 points in a game since  MJ and Pippen in 1996.

3. San Antonio Spurs 22-9- 10 game winning streak for the old team that won’t win a championship according to the experts.

The injury bug hits Manu again. He’ll miss two more weeks with a strained oblique strain.

4. Chicago Bulls 26-8- Derrick Rose finally returns and they dominate the Atlanta Hawks.

5. Dallas Mavericks 21-12- Fell victim to the Linsanity on Sunday, but have won 7 out of 8.
6. LA Clippers 19-10- Weird game against the Spurs. Chris Paul turnover leads to a game tying three and then they lose in OT.
7. Philadelphia 76ers 20-12- That was an awful call to end the game.  That still isn’t a foul on Kevin Love.
8. Orlando Magic 21-12- When they don’t make their threes and Dwight doesn’t feel like playing, you have games like Sunday against Miami.
9. Houston Rockets 19-14-

Kyle Lowry is having a break out year, averaging 15 points, 7 assists, and 5 rebounds a game.

 10. Memphis Grizzlies 18-15- Have won 6 out of 8 with Philadelphia and Dallas coming up on a short home stand.

11. Los Angeles Lakers 18-13-Brutal stretch with Dallas, Oklahoma City and Minnesota coming up.

12.  Atlanta Hawks 19-13- A brutal stretch against Miami, LA, Phoenix, Portland and Chicago has gone 1-4 so far.  Knicks and Magic still left on tap before Golden State to end the month.

13.Indiana Pacers 19-12- Wins against New Jersey and Charlotte come after losing five in a row.

14.  Portland Trail Blazers 17-15- It’s been an up and down month for Portland. Wins over Denver and Atlanta are nullified by losses  to Washington and Sacramento.

15.  Denver Nuggets 17-15- Were apart of history Sunday…not in a good way.  The Nuggets were the first team to give up a 50 point, 40 point, and triple-double to a trio of teammates in NBA history in their loss to the Thunder.

16.  Minnesota TWolves 16-16- Rubio and Love are making it fun to be Timberwolves fan again.

17. New York Knicks 16-17-

That's all you need. LINSANITY 2012

 18. Utah Jazz 15-16- Continue to fall back to Earth with only three wins this month.

19. Boston Celtics 15-16- Just when you thought they figured it out, a 4 game losing streak including two losses to the Pistons makes you wonder.

20. Cleveland Cavs 12-17- Kyrie continues to marvel, averaging 18 points, 5 assists, and 3.5 rebounds per game.

21. Phoenix Suns 13-19- Steve Nash’s assists in his last four games, 16,17,14,11.

22. Milwaukee Bucks 13-19- Brandon Jennings doesn’t want to be there and that’s not good news for Bucks fans.

23. Golden State Warriors 11-17- At least the Run TMC bobbleheads will keep fans interested for a little while.

24.Detroit Pistons 11-22- Have had a really good month, going 7-3, including two wins over Boston.

25. Sacramento Kings 10-21- Since that impressive win over OKC on National TV, the Kings have lost 5 straight including losses to Detroit and Cleveland.

26. New Jersey Nets 10-24- At least Brook Lopez is back….

27. Toronto Raptors 9-23- Jose Calderon is in the top 5 in assists…and that’s about all I got.

28. New Orleans Hornets 7-24- Have actually won three out of four.

29. Washington Wizards 7-25- A lost cause….

30. Charlotte Bobcats 4-27- Could go down as one of the worst in NBA history.

Scotty B’s NBA Power Rankings

1. Chicago (21-6) – Derrick Rose is making quite an effort to win back to back MVP awards.

Rose is determined to get the Bulls to the finals this year.

2. Oklahoma City (20-5) – The one-two punch of Durant and Westbrook is so exciting to watch and tough to stop.

3. Miami (19-6) – Since getting Dwayne Wade back, this team is on a tear.

4. San Antonio (17-9) – Even though this team is getting older and has lost Manu Ginobili, they keep churning out the wins.

5. LA Clippers (15-7) – They still have a ton of talent but the loss of Chauncey Billups for the year will definitely hurt their depth.

6. Philadelphia (18-7) – They have surprised many with the way they have played against the elite teams in the league.

Doug Collins is the front-runner for Coach of the Year with how well the Sixers have played.

7. Indiana (17-7) – Four of five starters finished in double figures in a close win over Utah.

8. Atlanta (16-9) – They have lost three in a row as they struggle to find someone to replace Al Horford inside.

9. Boston (14-10) – Paul Pierce passed Larry Bird for 2nd all time on the Celtics scoring list.

10. LA Lakers (14-11) – Kobe Bryant has moved past Shaquille O’Neal for 5th on all time NBA scoring list.

11. Orlando (15-10) – 33 points and 14 rebounds for Dwight Howard vs the Clippers, just another night at the office for the big man.

Howard continues his dominance as he gets closer to his pay-day.

12. Denver (15-10) – They will struggle without Danilo Gallinari.

13. Dallas (14-11) – They need a guy to step up at point guard while Jason Kidd is out.

14. Portland (14-11) – LaMarcus Aldridge is the best player no one knows about.

15. Houston (14-11) – Kyle Lowery is the front-runner for most improved player.

16. Utah (13-11) – One of the best front courts in the NBA with Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap.

This front court of Jefferson and Millsap is why the Jazz will be in contention for a playoff spot.

17. Minnesota (13-12) – Kevin Love is the best power forward in the game but should very little class stomping on Luis Scola the other night.

18. Memphis (12-13) – Marc Gasol is becoming an elite center in this league.

19. New York (11-15) – With Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony missing a few weeks of action, Jeremy Lin has scored 53 points in his last two games.

20. Phoenix (11-14) – All five starters finished in double figures in a win over Milwaukee.

21. Milwaukee (10-14) – Drew Gooden is making people forget about Andrew Bogut with 29 points and 7 rebounds in 2 games.

Gooden has done a good job replacing Bogut.

22. Cleveland (9-14) – Kyrie Erving had 20 points and 7 assists in a win against the Mavericks, making him a serious contender for Rookie of the Year.

23. Golden State (8-14) – Monta Ellis dropped 48 in a close loss to the Thunder.

24. Sacramento (9-16) – The inside-outside presence of Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins keeps them in games.

25. New Jersey (8-18) – Deron Williams is having another all-star season, but if they cannot get Howard he will walk.

26. Toronto (8-18) – Their offense is not the same without Andrea Bargnani.

The Raptors offense does not have a flow without Bargnani.

27. Detroit (6-20) – Good win over Milwaukee as their rookie point guard Brandon Knight had 26.

28. Washington (5-20) – John Wall is very exciting to watch and JaVale McGee will be a trade piece for contending teams.

29. New Orleans (4-21) – When Emeka Okafor is your go to guy you’re in trouble

30. Charlotte (3-22) – Kemba Walker is about the only bright spot on this team.

Andy Reid speaks……

So Andy Reid took time from his busy schedule attending Sixers game to actually speak to the media (Apologies to Matt Chord).  He announced that Todd Bowles would become the secondary coach replacing Johnny Lynn who was fired.  Bowles went 2-1 as the interim head coach for the Miami Dolphins this year. Bowles went to Temple and played for three teams in his NFL career.  He’s been a coach since 1995 mostly as a secondary coach. 

Andy said he took all this time to speak to the media because he had to reflect on how the season went (poorly), what he needed to do (get better on game days) and how the team was going to go about free agency and the draft (linebacker please).  He also stated that Steve Spagnolo was offered a job, but apparently didn’t get into specifics about a job title.  Even though he did that, Reid said he never was serious about replacing Castillo and that Spags and Castillo would be dynamite together.  Andy also stated that he’s looking forward to quarterback Mike Vick’s first full off-season as the starter.

My thoughts: There’s no way that Andy Reid actually believe that by not offering Spags the defensive coordinator job that Spags would come here.  The fact of the matter is that if Reid really wanted Spags here, he would be the defensive coordinator for the Eagles.  If Andy really believes that Castillo is the guy for the job, that’s fine, I knew that was going to happen the second after the Eagles defeated the Redskins for the 4th straight win.  Jeff Lurie made the Castillo move a certainty when he basically said Reid has one more chance. Why would Reid change coordinators and  schemes when his job is on the line?  Don’t get me wrong, was the defense great? No. Was it awful as some of Philadelphia thinks it was? Consider this..the Eagles defense was second in the NFC in total yards given up,  second in passing yards given up and third in points per game.   People forget that the offense turn the ball over 35 times which was #1 in the league.  The offense, for all the gaudy numbers, scored 3 points in the five blown fourth quarter leads.  If this team expects to ever win a Super Bowl, it begins and ultimately ends with the quarterback. 


NBA Power Rankings

1. Miami Heat 16-5- Jump over the Bulls with the win Sunday afternoon.  Lebron goes for 22,11, and 8.

2. Oklahoma City Thunder 16-3- 8-2 road record is best in the league.

3. Chicago Bulls 18-5- 1-1 on a 9 game road trip. Trips to Philadelphia and Milwaukee up next.

4. Denver Nuggets 14-6- Number 1 in the league in scoring, not bad for a team without a star.

5. Dallas Mavericks 14-8- Have won 6 out of 7 since losing to both LA Teams.

6. Philadelphia 76ers 15-6- Beat Orlando, but have Chicago, Miami and Atlanta this week.

7. Los Angeles Clippers 11-6- Nice two game winning streak against Memphis and Denver.

8.  Indiana Pacers 13-6-  Went 2-1 on the three game road trip which included wins over Chicago and Orlando.  Derrick Rose was not happy with how the Pacers celebrated beating the Bulls either.

9. Atlanta Hawks 15-6- Jeff Teague had 24 in the win over New Orleans.  He’s averaging 13 points and 5 assists as the starter and has seen his field goal and three-point percentage jump to career highs this year.

10.  Houston Rockets 12-9- Team lost 5 out of 6 to start the month, won 7 in a row, and then ended the up and down month with a bad loss to Minnesota.

11. San Antonio Spurs 13-9- Would be ranked higher, but blew a 9 point lead with 5:30 to go in Dallas.

12. Los Angeles Lakers 12-9- 2-4 in their last six games against teams with a record over .500.

13. Utah Jazz 12-7- 3-4 against teams with winning records, play two of the next three against the LA teams.

14. Portland Trailblazers 12-9- 5-7 to end the month, but February starts with Charlotte and Sacramento.

15. Orlando Magic 12-9- They’ve looked awful in their four game losing streak. Blew a 27 point lead in Boston, got blown out by the worst team in the Western Conference, lost by 21 in Indiana and then scored 69 points in a loss against Philadelphia.

16.  Minnesota Timberwolves 10-11- Finished the month 6-4 including wins over San Antonio,  Houston, Dallas, and the Clippers.

17. Memphis Grizzles 10-10- Started 3-6, won 7 in a row, and now have lost 4 in a row.

18. Cleveland Cavs 8-11- Kyrie Irving is averaging 17.9 points per game and scored the game winner against Boston.

19. Boston Celtics 9-10- With games against Cleveland, Toronto,  New York, and Memphis coming, the Celtics can start to see their way out of the mess they made.

20. Milwaukee Bucks 9-11- Wins over the Heat, Rockets, Lakers give Bucks fans a glimmer of hope.

21. Toronto Raptors 7-14- Have won three out of four, only a half game behind the Knicks.

22. New Jersey Nets 7-14- Williams, Humphries, and Lopez are nice pieces, but it won’t be worth anything if they can’t keep Deron Williams this summer.

23.  New York Knicks 7-13- Have lost 9 out of 10 and now whispers are swirling that they are shopping Amare.

24.  Phoenix Suns 7-13- Nash is averaging almost a double double, 14.3 points and 9.9 assists.

25. Golden State Warriors 6-12- Friday’s loss to the Thunder (120-101) shows how far away they are.

26.  Sacramento Kings 6-14- Dead last in defense. This team is still a mess.

27. Detroit Pistons 4-18- Dead last in offense, rebounds, and 26th in assists per game.

28.  New Orleans Hornets 4-17- At least they beat Orlando!

29.  Washington Wizards 4-17- They still suck.

30- Charlotte Bobcats 3-18- Lost to the Wizards to give them the new title of the worst team in basketball.

NBA Power Rankings

1. Chicago Bulls 16-3- Keeping plugging along depsite injuries to Deng, Noah, and Gibson. First in assists, points allowed per game and 4th in rebounds

2. Miami Heat 11-5- 6-0 without Dwade. That shows how scary good they are.

3. Oklahoma City Thunder 14-3- Get knocked down a peg due to losing to Washington.

4. Denver Nuggets 12-5- Since the Carmelo trade, the team is 30-12.

5. Indiana Pacers 11-4- Have won 5 out of 6 since losing to Philadelphia including wins over the Celtics and Lakers.

6. Orlando Magic 11-5- Would be ranked higher if not for an embarrassing loss to the Boston Celtics.

7. Dallas Mavericks 11-7- Have won 8 out of 10. Perhaps their demise was overblown.

8. Philadelphia 76ers 12-5- Impressive win over the Hawks, holding them to 29 2nd half points. Disappointing game in Miami tempers expectations.

9. Atlanta Hawks 13-5- Not sure anyone expected a 5-1 record with Horford out of the lineup.

10. Antonio Spurs 11-7- Gave up a shocking 71 points to the Heat in a 120-98 loss.

11. Houston Rockets 10-7- Seven game winning streak includes wins over Portland and San Antonio.

12. Memphis Grizzles 9-6- Six game winning streak obviously because Mo Speights.

13. Utah Jazz 10-5- A 9-2 month with the losses to Dallas and the Lakers.

14. Los Angeles Clippers 9-5- The Clippers are 1-3 on the road and begin a 7 game road trip in February.

15. Portland Trailblazers 9-7- A 2-4 road trip brings them back to Earth.

16. Los Angeles Lakers 10-8- After Kobe, Pau, and Bynum, the Lakers’ 4th leading scorer is Matt Barnes. This team’s depth is gone.

17. Boston Celtics 7-9- Absolutely dominating performance against a very good Magic team.

18. Minnesota Timberwovles 7-10- Kevin Love had 39 points and Ricky Rubio had 12 assists and the Twolves still lost by 15.

19. Phoenix Suns 6-10- Steve Nash has plenty left in the tank. 26 and 11 against the Knicks at MSG.

20.Milwaukee Bucks 6-10- Impressive stretch of games with wins over New York, Miami and a tough loss to Atlanta.

21.New York Knicks 6-10- This team is a mess.

22. Cleveland Cavs 6-9- Big losses to Chicago and Atlanta shows how far Cleveland is.

23. Golden State Warriors 5-10- Monta’s points, assists, and rebounds per game are all up, but his shooting percentage is down from his career average.

24. Sacramento Kings 6-11- Dead last in defense and assists. This team is a bigger mess than the Knicks.

25. Toronto Raptors 4-13- Eight game losing streak has included a brutal stretch against Indiana, Chicago, Atlanta, Boston, Portland, and the Clippers.

26.. New Jersey Nets 5-13- Whispers of whether Deron Williams will stay or not will likely cause problems for the rest of the year.

27. Detroit Pistons 4-14- It could get uglier with Miami, Atlanta and Philadelphia up next on the schedule.

28. New Orleans Hornets 3-14- Without Chris Paul to start up the offense, the Hornets have fallen to 28th in the league in points per game.

29. Charlotte Bobcats 3-14- Kemba averaging 11 points since being inserted into the starting lineup.

30. Washington Wizards 2-15- They still suck.