Saturday, April 28, 2007

Sunday Truth

The Nuggets are in deep waters.

Their backcourt has been outplayed in back-to-back outings and now the team is down 2-1 to San Antonio in the team's best-of-seven first-round NBA playoff series after a 96-91 setback Saturday at the Pepsi Center.

Tony Parker, Michael Finley and Manu Ginobli totaled 56 points, 16 rebounds and 14 assists while Allen Iverson struggled to get to 20 points. Steve Blake offered handouts as he always does, finishing with seven but he couldn't guard his shadow. J.R. Smith, well, everyone knows his defense is notorious for being worse than horrible.

Carmelo Anthony and Nene continue to play at a high level (46 points and 19 rebounds combined) but without more balance the tide will not change.

This game was big in the series. A Denver win and the Nuggets truly have the Spurs on the ropes. The loss gave San Antonio complete confidence and put doubt in the minds of eighth seed.

Call it negativity if you wish -- this series is over. The WSN will say it now, as it did before it all began, the final note will be played in five but for those fantasize about it going six, that works too.

Still laughing

Denver will always be jesters at the NFL draft. Yeah, once in a while they score a player but they continually jack up their postseason chances with moves that leave educated observers around the league punching the sky in joy.

Trading up to get Florida defensive end Jarvis Moss, a talented but unproven product?

With Florida playmaking safety Reggie Nelson still on the board?

Maybe the Broncos didn't need a cornerback but Texas' Aaron Ross, who also went after Moss, will become a better player. He could have become a safety, a good one.

Safety Brandon Meriweather of Miami who was snapped up by New England also would have been a more proven talent. The Patriots have won some games lately, haven't they? Wonder why?

Honestly, even Auburn guard Ben Grubbs going to Baltimore was a smarter move. He's the type of blocker the team would have loved.

Denver is well coached but like the Dan Reeves' era before, this leadership is poor at talent procurement.

Moss is not a scrub but he has serious question marks despite the glee you will hear from Broncos' management.

Denver will pay the price in the playoffs...again.

Unless they believe Moss will become the next Jason Taylor.

Outside the box

A truly creative-thinking mind would have seen Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn available at no. 17 and taken him.


Regardless of him slipping, Quinn is still a strong talent. You select him even with Jay Cutler on the roster then open up the bidding around the league. No doubt whatsoever that the Broncos would have been able to score a first-round pick, if not this year then in next year's draft, in addition to at least one other high selection.

On the other hand, the good news is Quinn came off the board one pick before Kansas City had a chance to grab him, which they would have.

Broncos first day
  1. Jarvis Moss, DE, Florida -- potential is there to hound QBs, but can he stop the run?
  2. Tim Crowder, DE, Texas -- guess Denver is selling out today to improve pass rush
  3. Ryan Harris, OT, Notre Dame -- position of need; Broncos-type lineman; a reach
How it should have gone

The team should have stayed at no. 21 and not dished extra picks to Jacksonville.
  1. Drafting and trading Brady Quinn would have been fresh thinking but since that never would have happened, it should have come down to CB/PR Aaron Ross of Texas, WR Dwayne Bowe of LSU and safeties Brandon Meriweather of Miami or Reggie Nelson of Florida with Nelson being the pick.
  2. Laurent Robinson, WR, Illinois State, because he is tall, polished and a solid no. 2 receiver-type.
  3. Aaron Rouse, S, Virginia Tech, and Paul Soliai, DT, Utah with Rouse taking care of the safety position, along with Nelson, for the foreseeable future with his size and productivity and Soliai stuffing up the middle.
White gets wake-up call.

What's it say about former Colorado prep Lendale White when a year after getting drafted, Tennessee grabs overrated, under-productive Chris Henry out of Arizona in the second round.

White obviously still doesn't get how to be a professional. Too bad because he isn't lacking talent.

NFL notes

As written here before, Brady Quinn will be a player in this league. Cleveland scored big. Also getting Wisconsin tackle Joe Thomas earlier just gave that organization the jump-start it needed.

How sad did Georgia Tech receiver Calvin Johnson look to be going to Detroit. I'd cry too.

John Clayton of reported that Oakland called Denver about a Randy Moss trade. Regardless of the mercurial Moss' issues the Broncos would be fools not to be interested if the contract terms of the Raiders' wide receiver weren't death.

If exiled Lions' wide receiver Mike Williams can be convinced to become a tight end for his former college assistant coach at USC and now top dog for the Raiders, Lane Kiffin, he could become a high-quality player. If he insists on staying split out wide, he will out of the NFL in two years.

Al Davis likely erred in not taking Quinn over LSU's JaMarcus Russell, who is talented but raw meat. Arizona State's Zach Miller will help at tight end and Georgia's Quentin Moses has potential at DE. Not a great draft.

The Chargers reached for LSU receiver Craig Davis, S Eric Weddle and LB Anthony Waters. All have potential but were picked too high. It looks like a Broncos' draft.

The Chiefs improved with quality receiver Dwayne Bowe of LSU and DT Tank Tyler or N.C. State but they won't move up in the AFC West standings unless they score big in Sunday's portion of the draft.

The Giants came up big with Texas CB Aaron Ross and USC receiver Steve Smith.

The Cardinals are a terrible organization and will remain so (sorry, Matt Leinart). Penn State OT Levi Brown at no. 5? Lazy Michigan DT Alan Branch? Can't-see-over-the-driver's-seat LB Buster Davis of Florida State in the third round?

What's Donovan McNabb thinking with Philly taking Houston QB Kevin Kolb in the second round? Thanks for the support!

The Falcons were rock solid for new coach Bobby Petrino getting Arkansas DE Jamal Anderson, Texas OL Justin Blalock, Arkansas DB Chris Houston and Illinois State WR Laurent Robinson.

Carolina was wonderful getting speedy Miami LB Jon Beason, a playmaker, USC receiver Dwayne Jarrett, who will catch 60 balls a season and USC center Ryan Kalil.

The Rams toughened up with Nebraska DL Adam Carriker and Rutgers' back Brian Leonard.

Pittsburgh getting Florida State linebacker Lawrence Timmons and Michigan DL Lamar Woodley continued the team's philosophy of getting hard-nosed players.

Minnesota hit paydirt getting Oklahoma RB Adrian Peterson and South Carolina receiver Sidney Rice.

Houston is gambling on potential with Louisville DL Amobi Okoye and Lane WR Jacoby Jones.

Bring it on

Here's a fantastic idea, although it needs to be refined as CU-Vanderbilt leaves me cold. Combining the SEC and the Big 12 is a power union sure to create something exciting as well as recruiting ties. Coaches may not like it, and they wield a lot of power, but fans would love the trips and visits by SEC schools and their legions. The tailgating would be memorable, too.

Smooth leads sweep

Chauncey Billups, the former George Washington High School and CU star guard, hit for 25 points Saturday to lead Detroit to a first-round playoff series victory over Orlando. The more years that go by the more you realize just how special he was in this state. Billups-type players just come around in the Colorado prep ranks very often. Surprising really that more top-notch talent isn't developed in the state.

Rockies Farming

AAA Colorado Springs -- outfielder Sean Barker (.462, 4 homers, 12 RBI) is off to a torrid start but is blocked at the big-league level, as are third baseman Ian Stewart (.313 average) and first baseman Joe Koshansky (3 homers, 12 RBI). Outfielder Ryan Spilborghs (4 homers, 1o RBI) is a spare outfielder in Denver or trade bait.

Reliever Josh Newman might be angling for a spot as a lefty reliever in Denver if he can continue his current pace (2-0, 2.16 ERA, one walk, no home runs, 8 1/3 innings).

AA Tulsa -- Starter Greg Reynolds, last summer's top Rockies' draft pick, has been mean on opposing hitters (1-1, 2.16 ERA), while showing more dominance than was expected of him. Power arm Franklin Morales is starting to come around (3.38 ERA) while reliever Jarrett Grube has been overbearing (one earned run, 12 innings) and former starter Steven Register (2.70 ERA, 14 strikeouts, no walks, 1o innings) may have finally found a comfortable place to pitch.

Shortstop Jon Herrera is hot (.337 average) but is showing little pop in his bat with only four extra-base hits.

A Modesto -- Starter Brandon Hynick remains a name to remember (no runs allowed, 23 innings). Alan Johnson dealing as well (2-1, 2.56 ERA). Reliever Pedro Stop shows promise (2.77 ERA, 16 strikeouts, three walks in 13 innings). No hitters are impressing to this point.

A Asheville -- first baseman Michael Paulk, a 13th-round pick in 2005, has but one homer but is hitting a torrid .397 with great strike-zone judgment (15 walks, 13 strikeouts).

Starter Josh Sullivan is winning (3-0) but has issues (17 walks, 23 innings). Fellow starter Keith Weiser (3-0) is hittable (22 in 23 innings) but his control is outstanding (20 strikeouts, 2 walks). Relievers Ethan Katz (no runs, 15 innings), Andrew Kreidermacher (one run allowed), Zach Simons (2.25 ERA) and Sean Jarrett (no runs allowed) are all on top of their games.

Scoreboard Grumblings

John Smoltz won his 196th career game at the expense of young Jason Hirsh, 6-2, at Coors Field. While Smoltz held the Rockies to two runs in seven innings, Hirsh was five runs by the Braves in six frames. Troy Tulowitzki did hit his second homer of the season and Matt Holliday continues to own opposing pitchers, bagging two more hits. Todd Helton did him one better with three knocks. Stats, stats, stats but the only one that matters is this one -- LOSS.

Random Ramblings

Seems White House staffer Karl Rove is upset that Sheryl Crow touched him during an argument he was having with another person. Maybe I just don't get it but regardless of how attractive or not that you believe her to be is him being wound that tight a little funny or what? Yeah, maybe he felt disrespected in the discussion but Crow was hardly coming on to him. I sure she finds this hilarious, "like I want Karl 'freakin' Rove!"

I'm not writing any manifestos against technology and I don't want to come off sounding like the Unabomber or anything and lead you to believe I'm any more loco than I am but what is it anymore where some web sites hide all people from you? Where are they? The supply closet? Out back smoking? Taking a nap? These companies are happy to solicit business, get the money and then offer zero human contact for customer service. You know they are trying to hide when you get one-line sentence responses via email. Three different web sites, same experience, all this week. Think they need to hire a business consultant.

being Tiger, don't you think? I guess you have to sacrifice to be great.

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