Submitted by Jim Hurley on Saturday, February 20, 2016 at 11:17 AM
THE JIM SEZ WEEKEND UPDATE
HERE'S THREE OF COLLEGE BASKETBALL'S BIGGEST POINTSPREAD LOSERS (EVEN IF IT SEEMS AS IF THEY'RE HAVING GOOD YEARS!) ...
NBA'S TOP 20 ALL-TIMERS - WE COUNTER THE FOLKS AT ESPN ...
THE NFL REPORT - COMBINE'S COMING NEXT WEEK AND WE'RE CHECKING OUT THE TOP OFFENSIVE/DEFENSIVE LINEMEN
Let's call it as we see it ... there's been a batch of College Basketball pointspread busts this here-and-now 2015-16 campaign and so it's finally time to put a few of 'em on the proverbial griddle and examine what they've done spreadwise thus far and what's straight ahead as we dig even deeper into this third weekend in February:
#5 NORTH CAROLINA - Believe it or not, the Tar Heels headed into Saturday's ACC home game against gritty Miami with a shabby 10-15-1 ATS (against the spread) log that, at first glance, doesn't seem to match up with the team's #5 ranking. Gotta realize that Roy Williams' squad can go into semi-long scoring droughts as was the case in last Wednesday's painful 74-73 home loss to 8.5-point underdog Duke - and why the UNC guards don't/can't consistently get the ball down low to the "bigs" is beyond us!
#25 BAYLOR - The Bears have loads of athleticism and they're probably even deeper than you think, but Scott Drew's team entered Saturday's road game at Texas with a shoddy 7-12-1 ATS mark that included an ugly 2-6-1 spread record in the team's last nine overall games. Maybe Drew deserves some of the blame here 'cause this Baylor bunch sports four twin-figure scorers and there's a handful of rock-solid three-point shooters on board. Maybe Baylor will start to strike up a winning pointspread tune soon enough but remaining regular-season games versus Kansas and West Virginia and a roadie against Oklahoma will be major challenges. Beware of this Waco team - they've been major pointspread underachievers all year long.
DAVIDSON - Steph Curry's alma mater has a winning record in the better-than-you-think Atlantic-10 Conference (7-6 while heading into Saturday's home game against St. Joseph's) and some folks even believe Bob McKillop's crew is a bubble squad at press time, but what's happened to Davidson at the wagering window? The Wildcats - who average 80 ppg and rank 25th nationally in terms of points-per-game scoring average - are a dreadful 7-15-1 against the odds this hoops season and gotta admit that wobbly mark even surprised us! Davidson is 3-11-1 ATS in its last 15 home games and it's become obvious that the good folks in Las Vegas have overrated this A-10 squad that just hasn't been able to answer the call away versus high-quality teams. Watch out when Davidson's favored down the stretch ... it just may not have the oomph to get over the top at crunch time.
Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers will keep on piling up the huge profits all this week with lots of NBA and NCAA Basketball winners right here online or at our exclusive toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 - so go ahead and win with all the hardwood action today!
THE NBA REPORT
Okay, so we know that when ESPN this past week released its "Top 100 All-Time NBA Players" that it was gonna stir up debates all around the land ... heck, in many ways that's what it was intended to do but now that show radio-head talk show hosts have delved into the topic and often flubbed (no, we won't name names!) it's our time to have some fun as we check out the top 10.
In case you missed it, here's how ESPN ranks the top 10 all-time NBA players:
10. Hakeem Olajuwon
9. Shaquille O'Neal
8. Tim Duncan
7. Bill Russell
6. Larry Bird
5. Wilt Chamberlain
4. Magic Johnson
3. LeBron James
2. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
1. Michael Jordan
Yes, as one could surmise there were plenty of "young" folks on this ESPN panel ... how else to explain how the likes of Oscar Robertson and Jerry West didn't make the top 10 cut? No doubt we're not trying to sound as if we're official NBA historians either, but both Robertson and West MUST be in the top 10 and - we feel strongly about this - "The Big O" should be in the top five.
Okay, we'll agree that Duncan is a top 10 player - we'd toss O'Neal and Olajuwon out - and no way is LeBron the #3 all-time greatest NBA player. Sorry.
In fact, just to have some week-after-the-All-Star-Game fun, let's do our own NBA All-Time Top 20 list and you can feel free to disagree:
THE JIM SEZ NBA ALL-TIME TOP 20
20 (tie). Dirk Nowitzki and Charles Barkley
19. Bob Petit
18. Allen Iverson
17. Isiah Thomas
16. Kobe Bryant
15. Julius Erving
14. Karl Malone
13. Hakeem Olajuwon
12. Moses Malone
11. Shaquille O'Neal
10. LeBron James
9. Jerry West
8. Larry Bird
7. Tim Duncan
6. Magic Johnson
5. Wilt Chamberlain
4. Oscar Robertson
3. Bill Russell
2. Kareem-Abdul Jabbar
1. Michael Jordan
Now, whatcha think?
In other here-and-now NBA News/Notes ...
The aftermath of the NBA Trade Deadline is being heard/felt and one gentleman "playing defense" this weekend is Houston Rockets' GM Daryl Morey who chose to not deal away C Dwight Howard. One report we heard on NBA-TV during the final moments of the trade deadline was that Morey believes he has a serious shot to land free-agent-to-be F Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder so that the Rockets next year will have a "big three" of Durant, Howard and James Harden but can Morey be "for real" here?
Why would Durant want to leave a better situation - and more money - to pay for a Rockets squad that interim head coach J.B. Bickerstaff just recently called a "broken team"?
Okay, so if Morey believes that the Rockets - right now on the outside looking in at a Western Conference playoff berth - can still get into the post-season and possibly make a run as was the case a year ago, then he has a right to that opinion but any genuine down-the-road thought that Durant could be part of the master plan and so that's why he held onto Howard seems downright silly ...
Finally, folks in/around Boston are wondering if Celtics' GM Danny Ainge should have dealt one or more of his many future draft picks for a "need" this season - we would have liked to have seen the Celtics make a serious push at free-agent-to-be F Al Horford whose told insiders that he wants to test the free agent waters this summer but a long playoff run in Boston might have convinced Horford to stay.
Just don't know just how far along those Atlanta/Boston trade discussions went but Ainge has so many picks ahead - including three first-round picks this summer thanks to past dealings with Brooklyn, Dallas and Minnesota - that we think he should have parted with one of 'em plus a body or two just to get Horford into the fold.
THE NFL NOTEBOOK
As we said in yesterday's edition of Jim Sez, there really is NO off-season in the National Football League where the upcoming year begins on March 9th but first the NFL Combine is on deck with all the "times" being checked in Indianapolis beginning this Thursday, February 25th - and so the hunt remains on full-speed ahead for the league's next great talents.
We brought you what is considered the numero one players at each of the offensive skilled positions in yesterday's Jim Sez -- so let's looks at what's generally considered the best offensive/defensive linemen:
OT - Laremy Tunsil, Ole Miss
The hands-down best tackle in this draft might also be the #1 selection here should the on-the-clock Tennessee Titans decide not to deal away the choice for some quarterback-needy team. P.S., if Tunsil gets past the third pick in the draft, then there will be a mad dash for teams to trade up and get 'em.
OG - Cody Whitehair, Kansas State
Not exactly a household name in this draft, but this former redshirt senior is considered the best guard here and should be an early second-round selection. The San Diego Chargers or the Baltimore Ravens could have early second-round interest. As you folks know, guards don't nearly have the panache that tackles do and the truth is there are probably a half-dozen OTs that will be gobbled up before the first guard is taken.
OC - Ryan Kelly, Alabama
Here's another redshirt senior who should get tabbed somewhere in the early stages of Round II though there is some calling for the 6-foot-4, 300-pounder to perhaps slip into the back part of Round I with New England and/or Seattle said to be interested.
DE - Joey Bosa, Ohio State
This brash Buckeyes alum is atop many draft lists as the top overall talent (all things considered, we wouldn't take 'em over Tunsil!) but be sure he heads up an impressive display of defensive ends with some folks projecting as many as seven DEs could wind up in Round I. Gut feeling is Bosa winds up in the laps of the Dallas Cowboys at #4.
DT/NT - A'Shawn Robinson, Alabama
This 315-pounder was the centerpiece for the 2015 champs and most draft boards have 'em as legit top 10 talent for this spring's NFL Draft. Odds are he'll be a mid-first-round selection who could fit in well with the Philadelphia Eagles at pick #13.