(No picture today. I'm back at the library and these idiots won't allow such behavior on their crappy Compaq computators. Oh well...)
Three quick thoughts before posting my NBA predictions:
1. Cedric Benson carried the ball 37 times on Sunday. THIRTY FREAKING SEVEN! And thirteen of them came over the final 17:05, as the Bengals were clinging to a 38-3 lead. Related note: Marvin Lewis is a jackass.
Speaking of Marvin Lewis being a jackass, did I mention he's a dumb jackass?
Benson is on pace for 375 carries this season. That's an extraordinarily high number, but we've seen it before from backs who have posted monster seasons. So, it's possible he won't wear down before the end of the season, but it's also possible he might hit a wall around the 300-carry mark. After all, this is the first time Benson's ever been a feature back in his short NFL career. Regardless, why risk him in a blowout? What's the point?
Benson has been shockingly valuable this season (and for dirt cheap) and I can't fathom why Marvin Lewis allowed him to absorb hit after hit after hit in the 4th quarter.
Plus, Bernard Scott is just wasting away on the sideline. Maybe he's not as good as I think he is, and maybe the playbook is something of a mystery to him, and maybe he's allergic to picking up blitzing linebackers. But, again, it was a blowout, and I can't imagine a better learning opportunity for a youngster than an actual game against actual opponents. Besides, take a look around the NFL, and pretty quickly you'll find many successful teams employing two- and three-back systems. This happens for two reasons: (a.) To keep everyone fresh down the stretch and (b.) to significantly reduce injury risk to your best back.
Carrying the ball 37 times in a single NFL game isn't the biggest deal in the history of big deals. But receiving over thirty-five percent of those carries while holding either a 35- or 42-point lead is simply asinine.
Nobody's questioning Marvin Lewis for routinely making bone-headed decisions, and it's only because he's the head ball coach of a 5-2 division leader. But that doesn't mean I'm not right. And for those who think I'm too negative, and for those who think I'm going out of my way to make an issue where there isn't one, answer me this:
What would your reaction have been had Cedric Benson rolled his ankle on his 37th carry of the game, while his team was leading by 35 points?
That's what I thought.
2. Tony Pike might be UC's best player (worst case scenario he's number two, behind Mardy Gilayard), which makes the following statement a little odd: The best thing to happen to UC this season has been the injury to Tony Pike.
And this has nothing to do with getting Zach Collaros ready for next season and beyond.
Here me out: With a Heisman candidate (Pike) on the shelf, the Bearcats haven't missed a beat. Which proves they aren't just a one- or two-man team. In the end, Pike's injury gives UC a better chance of making the BCS Championship game than if he'd been healthy these last few weeks and shattered every single-game passing record in the process. Strange but true.
3. Tales from the bartending gig...Ruben Patterson, who only played ten seasons in the NBA and only banked $37 million, tipped me Zero Dollars and Zero Cents on a $209 bill Sunday night. Can I get a Hooray for registered sex offenders! Can I get a Hooray for pleading guilty to attempted rape!
(I took a picture of Patterson's signed receipt, and as long as it's not illegal I'll post it tomorrow. Stay tuned.)
Okay, with the NBA season tipping off tonight, I present to you...nothing, really. I'm running out of time, and I'm positive it wouldn't interest you. However, here's something that will: I just called my bookie and placed nearly $2,200 worth of NBA Futures bets, and I owe it to you to prove my degeneracy. Anyway, here's what I gots...
$200 Mavs UNDER 48.5 wins (+110) - Old + Old + Old x Old = Every significant Maverick not named Josh Howard.
$100 Pacers UNDER 34.5 wins (-125) - Yet another chance to root against Tyler Hansbrough
$350 Wizards OVER 41.5 wins (-120) - Additions of Foye and Miller should push the Bullets to 50 wins
$350 Jazz 49.5 OVER wins (-125) - Darkhorse title contender.
$350 Bulls OVER 41.5 wins (-125) - The only team who could jump up and challenge Orl/Bos/Cle in East.
$150 Spurs 54.5 OVER wins (-130) - Jefferson pick-up keeps Ginoboli fresh for playoffs.
$100 Rockets OVER 36.5 wins (-135) - Get ready to hear them described as "scrappy."
$100 Warriors OVER 34.5 wins (+105) - Ellis, Curry and Randolph = three of my five favorite NBA players (Nash, Durant).
$100 Heat 40.5 OVER wins (-115) - They cruise to 50 if Beasley brings it every night.
$100 Knicks 31.5 OVER wins (-125) - D'Antoni's too good to lose 50 games.
$100 Thunder 34.5 OVER wins (-125) - Hope they're not a year away. Depth scares me.
***NBA Finals Matchups***
$25 Magic/Spurs (+2000)
$12.50 Magic/Jazz (+4000)
$20 Magic/Nuggets (+2500)
$25 Celtics/Jazz (+2000)
$50 Celtics/Spurs (+1000)
$10 Kevin Durant (+3000)
***Rookie of the Year***
$25 Tyreke Evans (+650)
As for my plain old predictions, here goes...
West: Spurs over Jazz
East: Cavs over Celtics
Finals: Spurs over Cavs
end of words.
time to go.
-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)