New rookie salary cap encourages draft wheeling and dealing
With 30-50 million dollars in guaranteed bonus money a thing of the past, teams had no problems moving up and down the draft board to address their most pressing needs. Eight first-round trades (nine if you include RG III) highlighted a spirited first round that was completed in a little more than three hours.
The Dallas Cowboys made the biggest move in the draft moving up from No.14 to No.6 to take LSU’s bump and run cover corner Morris Claiborne. Cleveland gave up three late round draft picks to move up one slot guaranteeing they would get Trent Richardson at No.3. Jacksonville moved up two spots to get the drafts other elite player, grabbing WR Justin Blackmon from Oklahoma State.
Thursday winners in SP3s eyes were the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New England Patriots. The Bucs moved down to get some extra picks and still came away with the best safety on the board, Alabama’s Mark Barron. Tampa Bay pulled a real coup trading up to get the second to the last pick in the first round snatching up Boise RB Doug Martin right under the nose of the Giants. The Pats got two defensive studs and probable rookie starters in Chandler Jones (Jon “Bones” Jones brother) and Dont’a Hightower (Bama) thought by some to be the best inside LB in the draft. In addition to Trent Richardson, the Browns took 28-year-old Brandon Weedon at No.22 and will apparently move Colt McCoy.
NBA regular season ends with 13 games, playoff matchups set
There was plenty of garbage time on the final night of the NBA regular season as most of the playoff bound teams rested their starters. Ten of the 13 games were decided by double-digits, seven games by 17 or more. Kobe Bryant conceded the scoring title to Kevin Durant, sitting out a Laker 113-96 loss at Sacramento. Memphis beat Orlando 88-76 to lock up home court in their first-round playoff matchup with the Clippers. The Charlotte Bobcats ended their season on a run of 23 straight losses to finish the season with the worst winning percentage in NBA history. Now the debate rages, who was worse … the 1972 Philadelphia 76ers or the 2012 Charlotte Bobcats ???
On the court your winners were Toronto, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Denver, Utah, Washington, Memphis, Knicks, San Antonio, and Sacramento.
The playoffs start Saturday and the matchups look like this
In the East
No.1 Chicago Bulls vs No.8 Philadelphia 76ers
No.2 Miami Heat vs No.7 New York Knicks
No.3 Indiana Pacers vs No.6 Orlando Magic
No.4 Atlanta Hawks vs No.5 Boston Celtics
In the West
No.1 San Antonio vs No.8 Utah Jazz
No.2 Oklahoma City vs No.7 Dallas Mavetricks
No.3 LA Lakers vs No.6 Denver Nuggets
No.4 Memphis Grizzlies vs No.5 LA Clippers
Devils advance in 2 OTs, Rangers survive Ottawa
The Devils were looking for their first playoff series win since 2007. The Panthers were looking for their first playoff series win since 1996. After seven games and 23:47 of extra time, it was the Devils moving on. Adam Henrique scored his scored his second goal of the game, the winner, on a wrister when the Panthers couldn’t clear their own zone beating Florida goalie Jose Theodore on his high glove side. New Jersey now faces the Philadelphia Flyers in the Eastern Conference semis.
The Rangers got second period goals from Marc Staal and Dan Girardi and then made them stand up in a 2-1 Game VII win over the Ottawa Senators. Henrik Lundqvist was brilliant between the pipes for New York stopping 25 of 26 Senator shots. Daniel Alfredsson got the Ottawa goal on the power-play with a blast from the point. Next up for the Broadway Blues, the Washington Capitals.
The Western Conference semifinals start tonight in Phoenix with the Nashville Predators taking on the Coyotes. Phoenix opened at -106 but the Preds have taken the early money and are now -110 favorites. The total id five flat with under minus 35 cents.
From the Estonian Basketball Association, possibly the greatest basketball shot of all time. It kind of reminds me of a similar JR Rider shot when he played with the T-Wolves back in the day. Enjoy
At the Zurich Open in New Orleans, Ken Duke and Cameron Tringale both shot 7-under 65s to share the lead at TPC Louisiana. Dan Chopra, Steve Stricker, Ernie Els, and Chris Stroud are all one shot back. Last week’s winner Ben Curtis and Jason Dufner are two back.
Nascar is at Richmond International Speedway this week for the Capital City 400. Richmond is a 3/4 mile track and the defending champion is Kyle Busch.
Pep Guardiola will step down as the manager of Barcelona citing the need to take a break. Barca enjoyed an unprecedented four year run under Guardiola that included three league championships and two Champions League championships. Perhaps most importantly he was 9-2-4 vs rival Real Madrid.
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