Random Thoughts 2/27/14

-MLB Spring Training really gets started today.  There were a handful of games yesterday, but nearly every team will have played after today.  I will say that yesterday didn’t disappoint with the amazing plays that Josh Reddick made.  He was in midseason form for sure.  If you haven’t seen them, check them out HERE.

-Kyrie put on quite a show last night in OKC.  OKC is in a bit of a tailspin, having lost 3 in a row.  They are now only 1.5 games up on the Spurs.  Meanwhile, Cleveland is getting closer and closer to making the Playoffs.  Atlanta has been really terrible lately.  They are 1-9 in their last 10 games.  Cleveland is 7-3 during that time.  They are only 4 games back of Atlanta for the 8 seed right now.  Sadly they are still only 23-36 on the year.  And even if Cleveland does sneak into the Playoffs, it will probably be all for nothing as they’d most likely play Indiana or Miami in the first round.  They’d have no chance against either of them.

-Speaking of NBA Playoffs, the West has really tightened up since the All-Star break.  Memphis, who is currently 9th in the West, is 10 games behind OKC.  The 3 seed (Toronto) is 9 1/2 games back of the 2 seed (Miami) in the East.  So the difference between 1 and 10 in the West is almost the same as the gap between 2 and 3 in the East.  If the season ended today we’d have 4 great match-ups in the West.  OKC/Phoenix, San Antonio/Golden State, Portland/Dallas and LAC/Houston.  Talk about exciting.  Plus all of those teams average 103 or more points per game.  Compare that to the East where only Miami is over 102 points per game.  Honestly, I’d have a tough time picking the winner of three of those match-ups.  I think OKC would definitely take Phoenix.  However, the other three match-ups are terribly hard to predict.  I really believe that Miami and Indiana are the two best teams in the league (and the records show that).  However, I think the next 9 best teams are all in the West.  I don’t believe any team in the East would make the Playoffs in the West after Miami and Indiana.  Can you tell I’m excited for the Playoffs?

-Huge win by UNC last night.  Marcus Paige had an amazing game.  He finished with 35 points, 5 assist and 6 rebounds.  I have a question for the scouts out there.  Why is Tyler Ennis rated so much higher than Paige?  I understand Ennis is a Freshman and a year younger than Paige.  However, let’s look at the numbers.  Paige is listed at 6-1 and 175 pounds.  Ennis is listed at 6-2 and 180 pounds.  Paige is averaging 17.5 points, 3.4 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 1.6 steals and 2.1 turnovers while shooting 43.6% from the field, 40% from 3 and 89% from the line.  Ennis is averaging 12.0 points, 3.5 rebounds, 5.6 assists, 2.1 steals and 1.6 turnovers while shooting 41.4% from the field, 36.7% from 3 and 75% from the line.  The numbers are very similar.  Ennis is a little better in assists, steals and turnovers.  Paige is better at scoring and he shoots better from everywhere on the court.  I’m not saying Paige is better.  However, if Ennis is a top 10 pick, is Paige not at least a 1st rounder? And I know people will want to compare Ennis’ stats this year to Paige’s from last year.  You can do that, but Paige played about 6 minutes less per game last year.  Meaning his numbers would be skewed.  If you account for that then you’d be looking at a line of about 10 points, 3 rebounds and 5.5 assists while shooting worse from the field and better from the line.  Stats, obviously, don’t tell the entire story.  Ennis has led his team to a 26-2 record as a Freshman.  That is huge.  UNC was “only” 25-11 last year and lost in the 2nd round of the tournament.  Either way, I’d rather have Paige in the 2nd round than Ennis with the 8th pick.


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