Welcome to week 3 of the Sports Unbiased Mailbag. A lot went on this week and Chris and I are back once again to break it all down. We agree sometimes, but disagree most of the time giving you a multi-level article you can’t get anywhere else besides Sports Unbiased. Remember, if you want to be involved in the Sports Unbiased Mailbag email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet us at @SU_Mailbag, or, of course, Facebook us your questions at Sports Unbiased Mailbag, also you can comment at the bottom of this article with your question as well. This is a new weekly article to Sports Unbiased, and we need the readers to make it successful.
In a stunning upset, Syracuse lost to Boston College. Will the Orange lose another game this season, and will they make it far in March Madness (Elite Eight)?
Alex: This loss would have to be the most shocking of the season I would say, an unranked Boston College beating the number one team in the country, no one saw this coming. Yes, the Orange will lose again, once maybe twice. They have to travel to Duke – a possible loss, and travel to UVA, another game that they have to be on top of their game to win, so I see them losing one if not both of those games. They will however make it to the Elite Eight, because the saying in basketball is “you learn more from a loss than a win” and I believe that Syracuse will rebound from these losses and make a push in the tournament.
Chris: Four of the Cuse’s next five games are on the road, and two of those road games are against top-20 teams in Duke and UVA. I would not be surprised at all if they lost one of these games, especially since Boston College just created a blueprint for the rest of the NCAA to follow in how to beat the Orange. However, Jim Boeheim is not the kind of coach to lose control of his team after a fluke loss. They will go far in the tournament because of his masterful coaching and the senior leadership of C.J. Fair.
The Spurs lost their All-Star point guard Tony Parker. Does this change the outlook of the Western Conference finals for you, and who do you have coming out of the west now?
Alex: First off, huge blow for the Spurs. It changes the Western Conference in a huge way. A lot of people like Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Los Angeles Clippers in the Western finals, but the Parker-less Spurs just beat those Clippers so I don’t like them, with the Lob City mentality and they just don’t seem to have all the right pieces, even though they have great players in Paul and Griffin…. but I do like the Portland Trail Blazers. They play team basketball, something not seen much in a league of stars, and this attributes to their success. LaMarcus Aldridge has been playing at a very high level, and I’m not sure if there is another power forward in the league, other than Love, who is playing at a higher level. And what hasn’t Damian Lillard done this year? It is their time to shine, and this just makes it easier, but they are young and don’t have the playoff experience like the Thunder, so I see the Thunder winning in six games over the Blazers and moving on to the finals. It is just their year, with the high level of Kevin Durant and with Russell Westbrook coming back, and how Serge Ibaka is playing, they are the favorites right now for a good reason.
Chris: The Spurs are dead in the water now. As if the West wasn’t already hard enough to come out of, now they’re looking at losing their undisputed leader for the rest of the season. Not even the great Gregg Popovich can get the Spurs out of this pickle, not that I had the Spurs coming out anyway. The Spurs can win a first round series if they get lucky, but the West is still the Thunder’s to lose.
What are some NBA deadline deals you think should have happened?
Alex: The New York Knicks should trade for a big name to compliment Carmelo Anthony, and they should have gotten a great point guard like Rajon Rondo. The Boston Celtics weren’t sure what they were going to do with him, so they should have thrown J.R. Smith, Tyson Chandler, and a draft pick at the Celtics to get Rondo, and Melo would have stayed. The Knicks could then go after Chris Bosh in free agency. I would have loved to see the Thunder unload a worthless Kendrick Perkins for a young shooting guard, Dion Waiters preferably.Waiters is a good young shooting guard, and in a system with Durant and Westbrook, he could have flourished. Trade Perkins, Lamb, and maybe a draft pick, and that would have vaulted the Thunder to another level.
The Minnesota Timberwolves have a tough task in Love’s contract ending soon, so they should have traded him. It’s early, but he’s not staying there, so they should have traded for Pau Gasol, an additional player, and a first round draft pick, then Los Angeles Lakers would have had a player to build around and attract a few players that have expiring contracts this year. Both would benefited in the long run.
Chris: In the interest of the integrity of the Eastern Conference, I would have liked to see teams like the Toronto, Atlanta, or Charlotte make a move for a big name player on the market like a Pau Gasol or Rondo. A trade that went unnoticed but will make a big impact is Andre Miller to the Washington Wizards. I’ve been saying for a while that Washington is just one veteran guard away from being a force to be reckoned with, and Miller is that player. Also, since Melo is most likely leaving in free agency after this year, the Knicks should have cut their losses and actually gotten something for him in a trade rather than just lose him.