Post-NBA All Star Game Dojo Spar

Greg to Joe

So the NBA All-Star Game just happened… I didn’t watch. I prefer Saturday’s festivities, personally. I know that the Dunk Contest usually is quite boring, but I always have to watch. I watch so I don’t miss out on a never-before-seen dunk. I had also bet on that event, along with the 3-Point Contest. I had bet on Ben McLemore in the Dunk Contest. Unfortunately, McLemore had to “Battle” against John Wall, who had the best dunk of the night. I, also, did not like the format at all. It was a lot stupider than they led it on to be, and I was left feeling like there was no real winner. Bradley Beal had a valiant effort, but fell short to Marco Belinelli; meaning my bet fell just short.

(And you always have to Celly)

With the NFL season ending two weeks ago, I was able to think about this season as a whole. First of all, the Seahawks were the best team and deserved to win the Super Bowl. They were the best team all year and deserved the title. That is the first time that has happened in a long time. I can’t even think of the last time that happened. It may have been when the Steelers beat the Cardinals in 2009, I think.

I also have some thoughts about some sleepers for next year. Do you have any thoughts about that?

Joe to Greg

I actually listened to the first quarter of the NBA All-Star Game on the radio on my drive up to school. By the end of the quarter the announcers ran out of way to describe the dunks that Blake Griffin was doing. I’m with you though; I prefer Saturday’s festivities more, but I’d have to say I was disappointed. The format was too lackadaisical. The first round was an awkward 90 seconds, and the battle stage wasn’t really as exciting as I was expecting. Props to John Wall on his dunk, I was impressed with that and Damian Lillard‘s between the legs dunk.

I looked back to our past Dojo Spars and we both predicted 4 of the 6 NFC playoff teams in July. I didn’t get a chance to look at the AFC side but there is no question that the Seahawks were the best team this year. The only real concern I had for this team was playing outside of Seattle, and they handled that fairly well, I’d say. As far as sleepers for next year, you’re going to have to give me one more E-mail because I haven’t put much thought into it. I will say that I think some of the players coming out of the NFL Draft have the chance to immediately make an impact on some teams.

Greg to Joe

The NFL Draft is always fun. I can’t wait to see what happens at the combine. I don’t watch, but I like to see the crazy stats that come out of it. Apparently, Jadeveon Clowney said he is going to break a 4.4 40 yard time. That would be INSANE for a man his side. It is also fun to see the crazy changes in mock draft boards after the combine.

Rookies that will make an impact right away, I think, are Clowney, Sammy Watkins, and Mike Evans (You know what? That list really makes me wonder what I am doing with my life because they are all younger than me). I can’t say much about the offensive linemen, but they could be impactful as well. My reasoning for these three are Clowney is just a freak. If he wants to, he can dominate a game. He could end up being on the same D-line as JJ Watt, which would just be scary for all of the QBs in the AFC South and, quite frankly, the NFL as a whole. Watkins will improve any NFL offense he joins. He can stretch the field, but he is also big and can jump. Yet, he is also larger than most CBs in the league. Evans is a Wes Welker-type receiver, and it is not because he is white. He is a great possession receiver that can catch anything over the middle. He will do great as a slot receiver on any team (hopefully the Ravens).

My deep sleeper team for next year has to be the Browns. They have a great defense. If they can keep Alex Mack for their center position, draft one of three top quarterbacks in the draft, and get a receiver at the back end of the first round, they could be deadly. I mean they are the most dysfunctional franchise in the history of the NFL so this probably won’t happen.

My sleeper team for 2015 is the St. Louis Rams. They are in the toughest division in the NFL, but they are really talented. If they could dump Sam Bradford and draft a top QB and grab a lineman or receiver, they could have the offense to compete in the NFC West.

Joe to Greg

I think the Browns have a very good defense. They played extremely well in a game they should have won against the Patriots this season. One of my other predictions is that the 49ers are going to win the NFC West. I don’t think this is too far out of the question, or on the level of a dark horse like the Browns, but I think that they came so close to edging the Seahawks in the NFC Championship game. The 49ers have the team capable of dethroning the defending Super Bowl Champs. That division is only getting better as Arizona looks to improve on a strong finish to their season.

Another team I’m looking for next season is the Chargers. I think Phillip Rivers put together one of the best seasons of his career. He threw for close to 4,500 yards (4,478 is the actual number) and also had his highest completion percentage of his career (69.5 – compare to 64.1 last year). How the Chargers contend with the Broncos and Chiefs will be interesting. Will we see 3 teams from this division go to the playoffs? Is that possible? Who knows.

How do you feel about the O’s picking up Ubaldo Jimenez?

Greg to Joe

If 3 teams from the AFC West go to the playoffs again, I would not be surprised, but I think it will probably be different. I bet the Dolphins make the playoffs this next year. Tannehill is too good, and they will have finally gotten their Bully-Gate behind them.

But enough about football… IT’S BASEBALL SEASON

I am loving what the Orioles are doing. They are paying Ubaldo Jimenez a lot, but it should be worth it because, sadly, he is better than most of their pitching rotation. They also got a STEAL in Nelson Cruz. They get potentially 25-30 homers from him, if he can stay healthy. With the price only being 8 million dollars, that is awesome. I think they shouldn’t stop though. They need to pick up Ervin Santana and accept that they won’t have a draft pick until the 4th or 5th round in the upcoming draft. If they get Santana, the Blue Jays do not get him and he improves the O’s rotation. I am excited for this season and to see what happens with Ervin Santana.

Boston Red Sox starting lineup in Game 1 of the 2013 ALCS (Photo Cred: Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Boston Red Sox starting lineup in Game 1 of the 2013 ALCS (Photo Cred: Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

You like what the Sox have/haven’t done this off-season and are you excited them for to try and defend their title?

Joe to Greg

Coming into the season I’m extremely excited to see Xander Bogaerts play. That being said, I wasn’t expecting Ryan Dempster to leave. He was a great starter during the season, and I thought he’d stay for at least one more year. I like the addition of Edward Mujica, formerly of the St. Louis Cardinals, as well. I think he strengthens their bullpen going forward.

I think that Cruz addition is great for the Orioles. That just helps their line up out even more. I also agree that the O’s need to keep going. The Yankees have made a splash this off season, the Rays have a great rotation coming in, and the Sox have made a few additions. Its gearing up to be another competitive AL East. I love it.

Greg Danchik and Joe Meola

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