Phaneuf will be missed by Leafs

The Toronto Maple Leafs traded Dion Phaneuf’s inflated contract is the good news for their fans. Many people don’t realize he will be missed more for the off-ice aspects of the game. Phaneuf was enemy number one; therefore, whenever the Leafs lose a game it was his fault and he doesn’t get any credit when they won.
The other area the defenseman will be missed is how he handled the media. The former Captain, except for one night , answered the questions after every game. He was able to keep his cool despite the majority of the time it was after losses and trade rumours about him.
Phaneuf is a 25 minute a game defenseman who was leading the team in assists (21) and was on pace to have his best offensive season (44) since he joined the Leafs. His – 4 is excellent for a defenseman who plays against opponents best lines, kill penalties and defensive partner the majority of the time was inexperienced. The team goaltending wasn’t good the majority of the year.
The main reason the Leafs fan should be ecstatic about the trade because the tanking is official. The organization is playing for a top 3 pick in the next draft with the hope a franchise game changers is available. The priority wasn’t the salary cap relief it was the possibility at a top pick. The third year of head coach Mike Babcock contract is when the Leafs expect to be playoff contenders.
This trade will only be worthwhile if the Maple Leafs pick the right player or this trade may delay their process for a few years.
Who will take over the enemy number on role and will they be able to handle it?
Have a great day!
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Knicks Jackson wants to make the playoffs

The New York Knicks fired Derek Fisher because Phil Jackson would like to be in the playoff hunt. The Knicks 23 wins puts them four games out of the last playoff spot. They won only one out of the last ten games played. The Knicks lost many close games recently against the Eastern teams that they are trying to pass in the standing. They are currently in the twelfth spot in the Eastern Conference.
Jackson must feel this is the right time to fire Fisher with the All-Star break this weekend. I’m sure he would like to make the playoffs this season and speed up his rebuilding plan by a few seasons. The Knicks organization want to at least challenge for a playoff spot to show the fans how close they are to the top 8. They have won too many games to get a top 7 pick in the next draft and are too far away from a playoff spot. The worst position to be in for a franchise.
The Knicks have 28 games left to get past four teams. The odds are against them that they can go on a long winning streak to get into the playoffs are minimal and their record within the Eastern Conference is 15 – 20 also puts them at a disadvantage.
The Knicks will be in the hunt for Golden State Warriors assistant coach Luke Walton or maybe 2011 NBA Coach of the Year Tom Thibodeau as their new head coach. Each front runner won a NBA Championship as an assistant and Walton won twice as a player under Jackson. This time Phil Jackson will hire a coach with NBA experience.
Can the Knicks make the playoffs?
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Broncos Von Miller imitated LT sack fumble technique

The Denver Broncos Von Miller seemed to be a clone of Lawrence Taylor coming off the edge with his 2 sack fumbles, constant pressure and causing the Panthers offensive tackles to get three false start penalties. He was a one man wrecking crew.
DeMarcus Ware and Miller seemed to be in the backfield on every passing attempt. The defensive ends had 4.5 of the 7 sacks registered by the Broncos and Miller caused two fumbles that were recovered and lead to touchdowns for the Super Bowl Champions. The Broncos linebacker Darian Stewart caused a Mike Tolbert fumble when the Panthers seemed to be gaining momentum. Safety T.J. Ward had 7 total tackles to go a along with 1 interception.
The only one that had a tough game was Aqib Talib who was a penalty machine for one quarter with three, which helped the Panthers offense score a touchdown.
I was wrong believing the Panthers had the better defense with Thomas Davis Jr. coming off an injury. The Broncos defense dominated the game and kept an inept offense in the lead throughout the game.
The main defensive stars are signed for a few years except Miller who is a free agent. The Broncos offense first drive and Peyton Manning completed four passes to lead them to three points shocked the Panthers.
Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips had his team well prepared and seemed to know all the Panthers plays before they were called.
Congratulations to the Denver Broncos for pulling out a major upset. They came to play and win, while their opponent were in awe of the moment.
Should Manning retire after winning the Super Bowl?
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The Panthers weakest links were exposed in the Super Bowl

The Carolina Panthers weakest links were exposed in the Super Bowl by the Denver Broncos defense. The wide receiving core was without Kelvin Benjamin and Corey Brown got a concussion on his spectacular diving catch on a post pattern. Jerricho Cotchery a sure handed receiver dropped three key passes and Ted Ginn Jr. catching balls and running straight for the sidelines. Greg Olsen first catch of the game was half a yard short of the first down inside the Panthers 30 yard line. Head Coach Ron Rivera couldn’t take a chance down 3 – 0 to go on fourth down in the first quarter and Panthers drive.
The Panthers have drafted many talented defensive players since they drafted Cam Newton. Benjamin was picked 28th in 2014 was an excellent one and should be a force for years to come.
The Panthers Biggest Weakness is Offensive Coordinator Mike Shula who didn’t make any adjustments to help his offensive tackles handle the Broncos end rushers DeMarcus Ware and Super Bowl M.V.P. Von Miller. The running backs caught two passes the whole game why weren’t they used to double team Miller? The Panthers were being beat by speed on every passing down.
Newton threw for 265 yards and was Panthers leading rusher with 45 yards despite the lack of pass protection. He was able to complete two passes for more than 40 yards. He was terrible and still had good statistics. His QBR was 55.4 with three total turnovers (2 fumbles and 1 interception) and many over throws.
Coach Ron Rivera may need to part with his OC Shula if he wants to win a Super Bowl who only added 1 play a reverse to Ginn Jr. and pass back to Newton. The Broncos on first down were loading the box to stop the run on first own.
Can the Panthers return to the Super Bowl next year?
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Super Bowl 50 point spread pick

Carolina Panthers (-5.5) against the Denver Broncos
The Broncos are the sentimental favourites because this game maybe Peyton Manning’s swan song. I’m surprised the spread is not more than 5.5 with the Panthers win differential in their 2 playoff games and the Broncos scrapping by their opponents. Let us break down the different areas.
The Panthers have the better defense turnover wise. Luke Kuechly has a pick six in each playoff game, safety Kurt Coleman had two against the Cardinals and Cortland Finnegan had one against the Seahawks. The Broncos edge rushers DeMarcus Ware and Von Miller are the main reason they are an excellent defense. They can apply pressure without blitzing. The Broncos got a key fumble recovery against the Steelers and they got two interceptions against Brady. Advantage: Panthers
The Broncos offense has been reduced to ground and pound with minimal risk taking. They no longer throw the ball 50 times a game. They would need a 9:29 second drive like the Giants did against the Bills to win Super Bowl XXV. Peyton Manning passing yards combined two playoff games doesn’t even total 400 yards. The Panthers have the edge right now with the multifaceted Cam Newton who can beat an opponent with his legs or arm. Advantage: Panthers.
Ron “Riverboat” Rivera will keep a drive going by going on a fourth and short to maintain possession of the ball. Gary Kubiak is not known to be as aggressive. Advantage: Panthers.
The Broncos might cover, but I can’t see them beating the Panthers. I expect a Panthers dominance and cover. The Panthers MVP candidates will be Cam Newton and Luke Kuechly. Ted Ginn Jr. maybe this Super Bowl Jacoby Jones.
Take the Panthers – 5.5
Good luck this weekend!
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Super Bowl 50 who has the better defense?

The Denver Broncos defense carried them to the Super Bowl, while the Carolina Panthers won as a team with each unit contributing to their victories. Many people believe the Broncos defense gives them a chance to win the Super Bowl. Who really has the better defense?
The Broncos have big name stars that every football knows their names: DeMarcus Ware (Future Hall of Fame player), Von Miller (sack machine) and Aqib Talib (top cover corner). The Broncos only gave up 296 points this season which ranks third in the NFL and not all were given up by the defense.
The Panthers on the other have given up 308 points, blown some big leads and don’t have big name stars like the Broncos. The Panthers defense are better at getting turnovers with four players with 4 or more interceptions (Kurt Coleman 7, Luke Kuechly, Thomas Davis and Josh Norman all tied with 4). The Broncos leader was Talib with 3. Carolina has two great defensive tackles Kawann Short (11 sacks) and Star Lotulelei run stuffer who can collapse the pocket up the middle and stop the run with the help of the best middle linebacking tandem in the NFL (Kuechly and Davis).
The defense that will be able to generate turnovers will win the game. The Broncos defense will have to be incredible to win because their offense is marginal even with the great Peyton Manning at quarterback. The Broncos offense had 5 turnovers against the Chiefs when they lost 29 – 13 with Manning throwing 4 picks and beat Chiefs earlier in the year because defense created 5 turnovers.
The best defensive player in the game to me is Kuechly who has scored on a pick 6 in each of the playoff games. He does everything and will have a double digit tackle game. He might win Super Bowl MVP.
Panthers have better defense.
Who do you believe has better defense?
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Not one NHL Canadian team is…

The Canadian teams in the NHL always seemed to a have a few teams at least make the first round of the playoffs. The Edmonton Oilers and Toronto Maple Leafs are playing for a top 5 pick. The Oilers fans hoped Connor McDavid pick would move the franchise out of the bottom of the standings unfortunately he was injured. The Leafs are three years away from being a competitive team. No surprise they won’t make the playoffs again this season.
The Calgary Flames, Ottawa Senators and Vancouver Canucks are middle of the pack teams. They will fall short this season and need to decide to stay young or trade future talent to improve their roster. They won’t be able to make a run to get into the playoffs.
The Winnipeg Jets need to trade both free agents to be or trade at least one of them. Dustin Byfuglien or Andrew Ladd should get you the type of young players who can play right now for your club and move the team towards a playoff spot next year. This season is over. The Jets management better not want to make playoff in the last spot to get knocked out of the first round.
The Montreal Canadiens is the biggest surprise. Carey Price goes down and the team fell apart. The organization has known for years that they need a sniper because the two best players on the team are a goalie and defenseman (P.K. Subban). Habs go out and sign Steven Stamkos.
The Canadian NHL market is having a down year and it will be first time in 45 years with no team from the Canada. The future does look bright for a few of them.
Will a NHL Canadian team make the playoffs this season?
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Super Bowl 50 outcome could be vital for the African American QB

NFL teams have been able to keep the explosion of African American starting quarterbacks down despite many of the top 25 teams in the NCAA have one as a starter. The NFL season started with seven African American starters, during the season two lost their jobs (Robert Griffin III and Colin Kaepernick), two didn’t make the playoffs (Tyrod Talyor and Jamies Winston) and three were starters in the playoffs (Cam Newton, Russell Wilson and Teddy Bridgewater) with one starting in the Super Bowl.
The NFL has seen Doug Williams, Donovan McNabb, Steve McNair, Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson start in the Super Bowl modern era with a 2 – 4 record. Williams was the first to play in the biggest game, his team won and he was MVP. Super Bowl 50 will see Cam Newton led the Carolina Panthers.
The dominance at the quarterback position by African American quarterback may be happening as we speak. A Black starting quarterback participated in the last four Super Bowls and they all represented the NFC Conference: 2013 (Kaepernick), 2014 and 2015 (Wilson) and 2016 (Newton).
Newton performance in the Super Bowl will have the added pressure of representing the African American quarterback. He understands some people who dislike him has nothing to do with what he does on the field. A dominating performance by Newton may open doors for Clemson Tigers DeShaun Watson to be a top 5 pick. The Panthers started off as 4 point favourites and now it is up to 6. It is an indication that many prognosticators believe Carolina will win despite injuries to key veteran starters.
America get ready because more than half the NFL starting quarterbacks within the next five years will be African American even if many people are not ready.
Can you foresee many more African Americans starters at the quarterback position?
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Raptors Casey a candidate for NBA Coach of the Year

The Toronto Raptors Head Coach Dwane Casey can win the NBA Coach of the Year this season. The Golden State Warriors fans will say their Head Coach should win the award because they will 70 games this year. Warriors will be the team of the year, Stephen Curry will be MVP and Draymond Green may receive the Most Improved Player. The Warriors Coaching duties have been split between official head coach Steve Kerr and head coach will Kerr was rehabbing from back surgery, Luke Walton. The Warriors Coach can’t win.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have fired David Blatt despite having the best record in the Eastern Conference. Tyronn Lue can’t win the Coach of the Year coaching 39 games this year; therefore, the Cavs head coach is eliminated from the equation.
The NBA Coach of the Year finalist will be Raptors Dwane Casey and the San Antonio Spurs Gregg Popovich. The Spurs look like a team that will once again win over 55 games despite resting key players throughout the year to keep them fresh for the playoffs. The NBA and writers would not want this type of behaviour because the fans who pay to watch the Spurs play on the road want to see their stars and legends. Toronto is one of the many organization who charge more money for the tickets to premium games.
The obvious choice if his team can maintain close to their pace is the Raptors head coach Casey. He publicly challenged Kyle Lowry to lose weight. Lowry showed up to camp in great shape and was voted to the All-Star team. Coach Casey advised his immediate boss Masai Ujiri that he needed tougher, defensive minded and team first players to improve their poor playoff performances. The Raptors were able to do it without the biggest signing of the summer, DeMarre Carroll.
Can Coach Casey win the NBA Coach of the Year?
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Clippers window of opportunity closing

The Los Angeles Clippers off season was a poor one with DeAndre Jordan almost loss to the Dallas Mavericks, signing Josh Smith and Lance Stephenson. Smith was returned to the Rockets. The Clippers are still relevant because they have .644 winning percentage and doing it without Blake Griffin. The Clippers were close to getting him back after the All-Star game and he breaks his hand beating up the Clippers equipment manager. The window of opportunity is closing on this team.
The 18 point defeat against the Toronto Raptors reminds us that the Clippers are not the same dominating scoring machine who won 56 games last year. The roster is full of players over 30 who are hoping that it all clicks once and they win an NBA Championship before they retire or move on to other teams. The list includes Chris Paul (30), Jamal Crawford (35), J.J. Redick (31) and Paul Pierce (38). Redick is the only one that seems to be peaking as he gets older.
Their dominating big men Jordan (27) and Griffin (26) will slow down due to injuries, age, and stress on their joints. They might not have many years left.
The Clippers organization have not drafted nor signed a quality free agent or added valuable players who can give them key minutes when a star player is in foul trouble, hurt or having a bad night. Wesley Johnson and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute have provided the Clippers with quality minutes due injuries and are playing a bigger role than expected. Can they do this in the playoff? Absolutely not.
So many prognosticators always put the Clippers in the conversation as one of the few teams that can win the NBA Championship since they got Paul. It is sad that a team with an excellent 5 can’t add a few players who can fill in, some nights win a game without the stars being the best players or keep a lead when starters leave the game.
The Clippers are one of the few teams that match-up well with the Warriors and could knock them out of a seven game series. At the same time they are a team that if they get knocked out of the first round, no one would be surprised.
Are the Clippers serious contenders for an NBA Championship?
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