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BY Couchsideshow.com staff
In this week’s episode, co-hosts Wade McMillin and Craig Paul unveil Couch Side’s official Super Bowl preview, dish out NFL postseason awards, and discuss Tiger Woods’ early season dominance and the latest baseball blockbuster trade. Also, Keith Van Horn is recognized as part of our new mini segment, honoring athletes who correspond with our episode number,
Delightfully, my quams with the NBA All-Star rosters are at a minimum this season (compared to past seasons). With a few minor exceptions, I think they got it almost right this year.
The starters are set in stone and while it’s typical for some fans act outright delusional and warrant restricted access to All-Star voting, there’s nothing us realistic fans can do to change it. Besides, other than Kevin Garnett, I’m actually fine with the ten starters. Normally I could rant all day about the flaws with fan voting, but I’ll leave it alone while the going is good for this season.
Even though the reserves (announced Thursday night) were in decent shape, there are always exceptions. Coaches of the NBA, you did alright, but there’s always an opportunity for improvement. Let’s discuss.
What They Did Right
Jrue Holiday. Of all the All-Star selections, the Jrue Holiday one pick is my favorite. There is no secret to how I feel about the Holiday All-Star scenario. With the guard situation in the East, he deserves to go over Deron Williams, over Brandon Jennings and even despite their better record, he certainly deserves to go over J.R. Smith. If you want the full rant, check the list posted above. Even though he’s already been named, I’ll slide in that he posted a career-high 35 points earlier tonight.
- Paul George. I was extremely happy to see the coaches select George to his first All-Star appearance in the Eastern Conference. Sitting at 26-18 (only 4 games out of 1st) someone had to represent the Pacers in this game right? With the absence of Roy Hibbert, who’s having an abomination of a season, George has stepped up big time to lead Indiana back after a disappointing start to the season. David West certainly warrants some consideration, but George has put together the complete package or scoring, rebounding and defense (he even averages 3.7 assists per contest). Logging a heavy 36.7 minutes per game, I personally thought George was a no-brainer. I’m glad the coaches felt the same way. (more…)
BY BRANDON J. SMITH, Couchsideshow.com blogger
The biggest takeaway I’m getting from the Justin Upton trade is this: If you don’t project enough outward and possibly a superficial appearance of playing hard and gritty, you aren’t qualified to play for the Arizona Diamondbacks.
But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s examine the trade at hand. Arizona dealt 25-year Justin Upton (career .278/.357./475 hitter) and 3B Chris Johnson (.276/.315/.430) for a year of useful utility player Martin Prado (.295/.345/.435), pitcher Randall Delgado (3.95 ERA), and minor leaguers Nick Ahmed SS, Brandon Drury 3B, Zeke Spruill P.
This appears to be the final straw in the Kevin Towers path of roster destruction. Three important players from the recent 2011 NL West winning squad (Upton, Chris Young, Ryan Roberts) have since been traded for what some would say is 50 cents on the dollar. Young was used to get shortstop Cliff Pennington, but then Towers decided he needed roughly 50 more of those, so he used their 2011 #1 pick Trevor Bauer to land Didi Gregorious from Cincinnati in a three-way deal. Veteran grit machines Willie Bloomquist and John McDonald are under contract for 2013, so you have a logjam of light hitting, good defending middle infielders.
So what is the ultimate endgame here? Their star power-hitting right fielder is gone, which would suggest that catcher Miguel Montero and first baseman Paul Goldschmidt and outfielders Jason Kubel and Cody Ross will now received the brunt of the pressure in the middle of the lineup. That’s fine I guess, but they aren’t perennial MVP candidates.
Fox sports insider Ken Rosenthal offered some insight on the motivation for this trade.
“The problem is that he didn’t play with a high level of energy,” said the former teammate, who spoke on the condition that he would not be identified. “What I think they want is guys who play with the speed, energy and intensity of the Oregon football team — all out, all the time. (more…)
WrestleMania season is upon us, and all the biggest players are stepping up their game. The Rock has come back, CM Punk has held onto the belt for over 400 days now, and John Cena has declared (for the umpteenth time) that his time is now.
But the first stop on the road to WrestleMania is the Royal Rumble, an event highlighted by its 30-man over-the-top-rope battle royal. The prize? A main event slot in the “Grand Daddy of ‘em All.” Sit back, relax, and enjoy two writers’ predictions of the Royal Rumble card, and tune in next week for a retrospective review of our experience at the Rumble. Yes, we’re going, and no Wade, we will not make a Couch Side sign.
United States Championship: Antonio Cesaro (c) vs. The Miz
• Matt: The Miz once again finds himself in pursuit of the U.S. Title, but this time, he faces what is perhaps his toughest test to date in the form of Antonio Cesaro. Ever since becoming a good guy, The Miz has floundered. That all changed on the 20th anniversary of Monday Night RAW, when he teamed up with WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair to lay the verbal (and physical) smackdown on Cesaro. Not only that, but Flair bestowed on Miz the figure-four-leg-lock, a move he has yet to fully master. Still, an endorsement from Flair and a new finisher may have people thinking Miz has turned a corner, but I feel the rut will live on for the “Awesome One.” Cesaro is just too over right now as a bad guy (and an excellent worker to boot) to lose his belt. While I don’t expect his title reign to last much longer, I don’t think that loss will come at the hands of the Miz.
Winner: Antonio Cesaro
• Brett: If you remember our previous post on the WWE, you will remember that I predicted that Antonio Cesaro will be the next big star that the company produces. His momentum has slowed down a bit since then, but he still carries that US Championship with dignity, power, and sophistication. Nobody that has challenged him for the belt, which he has held since SummerSlam, has been able to dethrone him and his claim saying that “no American can beat him” seems to have a solid base. That streak will live on this Sunday as I believe The Miz will fall victim to the “Swiss Sensation.” This was a match that was randomly thrown together and is based off a segment involving the two and WWE Hall of Famer and wrestling legend Ric Flair on Monday Night Raw’s 20th Anniversary show a few weeks ago. I guess that WWE just needed to fill something for part of their free pre-show. I fully expect Cesaro to reign supreme once more in another title defense, and do it with ease.
Winner: Antonio Cesaro (more…)
Players or coaches are generally sad to see a coach go when he’s fired. There’s always someone within the organization that marks this as a happy occasion. The Phoenix Suns recently fired Alvin Gentry from his post and I’m sure that there were some sad to see him go. Former Suns guard and current Los Angeles Laker, Steve Nash is glad that Gentry was set free.
Nash and Gentry got along well and reached the Western Conference finals back in 2010. The franchise has gone in a different direction since then and haven’t been a threat to make the playoffs since the run they had two years ago. Nash was traded prior to the start of the season and says it’s actually a good thing that the Suns fired Gentry.
“Obviously, I’m sad for Alvin (Gentry), but in some ways maybe this is a good thing for him,” Lakers guard Steve Nash said after practice Friday. Nash was coached the last four years by Gentry, reaching the Western Conference Finals together against Los Angeles in 2010. “He’s a great coach, a really good coach and any club would be lucky to have him as a coach, that’s for sure. He’ll land on his feet for sure because he can really do a good job.”
“I think the writing’s been on the wall,” Nash said. “It looks like it to me … They wouldn’t extend his contract. They just gave him the year to kind of play it out. It looked like they wanted to get their own guy in there.”
That statement is more of an indictment of the Suns’ franchise and their decision making. The team that is currently constructed has no chance to win right now or anytime in the near future.
I kind of feel sorry for Gentry, since he seems to be a good guy, he always get stuck coaching bad teams.
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BY Couchsideshow.com staff
Couch Side’s usual trio of Wade McMillin Craig, Paul and Sean Schoonover take on sports topics including, the AFC and NFC Championship, the best All-Star festivities in sports and MLK Day in this week’s show. Click below to start streaming, downloading or subscribing to the Couch Side Podcast: