2015 NFL Mock Draft 1.0

Starting on Thursday night April 30th through Saturday May 2nd, the NFL will hold it's annual draft.  As usual the top of the list revolves around the quarterback position.  Sometimes we get that battle of who will be drafted first between the two best QB's coming out of college.  Examples would consist of Peyton Manning and Ryan Leaf and more recently with Andrew Luck and RGIII.  We have that again with two fantastic looking NFL prospects who both won the Heisman Trophy in Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota.

It's clear as of now that most people are leading towards Winston as the #1 overall selection.  It isn't quite clear if he and Mariota will go first and second overall in the draft.  But if a team needs a quarterback badly enough and has an A+ rating on both QB's, then a trade would likely occur.  If the Tennessee Titans who hold the #2 overall selection in the 2015 draft are set with Zach Mettenberger as their future QB, then they would probably trade out of that spot seeking an RGIII type offer for the second overall selection.

Every team has needs, even the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots have holes to fill and will use the draft to do so as they seem to every season.  They always draft late in the first round due to their regular season success on an annual basis and they still come out with quality be it by scouting ability, trading for more picks or even moving players using the draft as a platform during their off-season preparation.

Like I said, every team has holes to fill and it isn't done in the draft alone although the first round is usually the high quality round and the main focus for at least one night.  I don't know exactly which players will be drafted where and as we approach the NFL draft I will reveal my final first round predictions.  For now I will focus more on the position of need and speculate on a few trades I believe may be imminent.  So I suppose this is The Sports Prophet's Mock Draft 1.0

1. Bucs: Pick QB Jameis Winston - Need (QB/OL/DB)
2. Jets: Trade with Titans & Pick (QB) Marcus Mariota - Need (DB/RB/QB)
3. Jaguars: Pick (DE) Leonard Williams - Need (DL/OL/DB)
4. Raiders: Pick (WR) Amari Cooper - Need (OL/WR/DL)
5. Redskins: Pick (WR) Kevin White - Need (LB/DB/OL)
6. Titans: Trade Pick (LB) Dante Fowler - Need (OL/LB/RB)
7. Bears: Pick (DE) Shane Ray - Need (DL/LB/CB)
8. Falcons: Pick (LB) Vic Beasley - Need (LB/DL/CB)
9. Giants: Pick (LB) Randy Gregory - Need (LB/DL/OL)
10. Eagles: Trade with Rams & Pick (CB) Trae Waynes - Need (DB/QB/LB)
11. Vikings: Pick (DT) Malcolm Brown - Need (DL/WR/DB)
12. Browns: Pick (OL) Andrus Peat - Need (WR/DB/OL)
13. Saints: Pick (DB) Jalen Collins - Need (DL/DB/WR)
14. Dolphins: Pick (OG) Brandon Scherff - Need (OL/WR/RB)
15. 49ers: Pick (DT) Arik Armstead - Need (DL/DB/OL)
16. Texans: Pick (WR) Devante Parker - Need (DB/WR/OL)
17. Chargers: Pick (OL) La'El Collins - Need (DL/OL/WR)
18. Chiefs: Pick (DL) Danny Shelton - Need (DB/WR/OL)
19. Browns: Pick (RB) Melvin Gordon - Need (WR/DB/OL)
20. Rams: Trade Pick (SS) Landon Collins - Need (WR/DB/QB)
21. Bengals: Pick (OL) Ereck Flowers -Need (OL/DB/WR)
22. Steelers: Pick (CB) Marcus Peters - Need (OL/DB/LB)
23. Lions: Pick (OL) T.J. Clemmings - Need (LB/OL/DB)
24. Cardinals: Pick (DL) Eddie Goldman - Need (OL/WR/DL)
25. Panthers: Pick (WR) Dorial Green-Beckham - Need (OL/DL/WR)
26. Ravens: Pick (RB) Todd Gurley - Need (DB/LB/RB)
27. Cowboys: Pick (DE/LB) Alvin Dupree - Need (DL/LB/WR)
28. Broncos: Pick (OL) Jake Fisher - Need (OL/DL/RB)
29. Colts: Pick (LB) Shaq Thompson - Need (LB/DL/RB)
30. Packers: Pick (OL) Cedric Ogbuehi - Need (DL/OL/LB)
31. Seahawks: Pick (DE) Owamagbe Odighizuwa - Need (WR/DL/OL)
32: Patriots: Pick (CB) Alex Carter - Need (DB/WR/OL)
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Chip Kelly Gambles On Himself

Chip Kelly exudes confidence.  Or is it arrogance he exudes?  Guess everyone will find out a lot sooner than later.  Besides being head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, Chip Kelly also oversees the player personnel department.   The Eagles have shown their faith in what Chip Kelly can do, and now he's shaping up the roster anyway he seems fit.
When the news broke of the Eagles trading running back LeSean McCoy to the Buffalo Bills for linebacker Kiko Alonso it shocked mostly everybody.  Mainly because McCoy is one of the few all purpose and three-down backs in the league, who was without a doubt the biggest weapon in Chip Kelly's offense.   This wasn't a bad trade per-say for either side involved: The Eagles got a young stud linebacker on a rookie contract and also relieved a lot of cap room while the Bills, now coached by Rex Ryan, found an upgrade from CJ Spiller in what will be a run dominated offense.  The Bills defense did just fine without Alonso last season and with Rex Ryan there, they'll be just fine in that department.
What the move says though is that Chip Kelly has more belief in what his offense can do, than the players that are in it.  This should come to no surprise to those who have followed Kelly though. Remember last year, he departed with Desean Jackson as if he was a passing bug.
Acquiring Kiko Alonso might be just the beginning of Kelly's plan.  Alonso is a former Oregon Duck, who understands the physical demands of which a normal Chip Kelly practice feels like.  Kelly does things differently - where others break down a free agent or rookie prospects squat numbers and broad jumps - Kelly wants to know a players sleeping and eating habits.  He has to know that the player he puts into his system is not only smart enough to understand it, but is in the right physical state to play in it.
Remember when you were in school and the teacher brought out WIlliam Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar?"  A word that was thrown around during that lesson that you'll never forget was "hubris" - meaning excessive pride.  This is what led to Caesar's downfall.  He was so self righteous it made everyone around him sick - and they assassinated him.  Nobody is saying Chip Kelly is going to get stabbed 23 times to his death ("Et tu, Kelce?") but what his ego might do is lead to his downfall and maybe exile himself from the league.  Extreme?  Not really.  If a head coach is going to take a gamble on himself to this extent, he had better be right.
In terms of this trade, it was smart.  McCoy is entering his seventh season and last year was paid over $7.5 million.  Nobody is arguing whether he deserves the money or not - but the bottom line is, no matter how great one thinks McCoy is - they didn't make the playoffs. At the end of the day, he wasn't that big of a difference maker to Kelly, who still has Darren Sproles  and (ah hem) former Oregon Duck Kenjon Barner in his backfield.
If current rumors are true, Chip Kelly has another big deal to broker.  If Chip Kelly wants to get his hands on Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota, he'll have to trade up of the draft and most likely give up a considerable ransom for that pick which could be anywhere in the top 6 or 7.  Mariota himself is a gamble in the NFL, but there is no better place for him to be situated than with Chip Kelly if that was to come true.  The timing, language and chemistry would be true from the start.
If anything, the seemingly brazen arrogance of Chip Kelly is somewhat inspiring.  If you have that much belief in yourself and your abilities there should be no second guessing in the actions you take.  The city of Philadelphia are putting blind faith into Chip Kelly who seems more like a mad scientist than a football coach.  Or better yet, a super villain who has Metropolis nervous with his every move.   For Chip Kelly's sake, he'd better be right because we are talking about Philadelphia here. . . a scene similar to that of Julius Caesar may not be too far off if Kelly sinks this team into the abyss because of his own selfish pride. 
G.W. Gras
twitter @GeeSteelio
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The "Other" Quarterbacks in the NFL Draft

Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota have gotten most of the attention going into this years draft and for good reason.   Winston displays everything on the field that you want from the quarterback position, while Mariota's Heisman year was complete with eye popping video-game like statistics.   Believe it or not though, there are other quarterbacks in this year's draft.   This isn't the "sexiest" quarterback class to come out though and teams that are in need of that position, may want to tread lightly.
Brett Hundley (UCLA) - Hundley entered last season with expectations to rival the hype around Winston and Mariota.  Although his season wasn't awful, it also didn't make many take notice.  In his three years at UCLA there is really no sign of growth statistically.  At 6'3" and 225 pounds, he has ideal size and even brings a strong arm to the table, but his inability to read defenses consistently and relying on his athletic ability too much throw signs of caution.   Surprised that UCLA head coach Jim Mora didn't shy away from running an offense that is predominately run from the shotgun to help Hundley's transition to a pro style . . . Hundley is an intriguing prospect.
Best Fit: If the Arizona Cardinals get a shot at him in the second round, it would benefit Hundley greatly to learn behind a veteran like Palmer while being coached up by possibly the best coach in the league in Bruce Arians.
Bryce Petty (Baylor) - Much like Mariota in Oregon, Petty has a system at Baylor that is very quarterback friendly.  Unlike Mariota though - Petty was also blessed with having arguably the best wide receiver depth in college.  Baylor has become a place where top wide receiver recruits flock to because of it's aerial assault.  Petty is a big, strong and confident player but his tendencies to stare down a single target and check down as soon as the primary receiver is covered are things seen week to week in Baylor games.
Best Fit: If the Philadelphia Eagles resist the (rumored) temptation to trade up for Marcus Mariota in the first round.  They may just be patient and wait to see if Petty, who relies on a similar system will fall to them.
Garrett Grayson (Colorado State) : It seems like every year there's some quarterback that was on nobody's radar during the season and all of a sudden becomes a "sleeper" when it's draft time.   This year that player is Garrett Grayson.   He brings what the previous two lack, and that's that he played in a pro style system which gets the NFL scouts all giddy with excitement.  He is accurate but nothing special when it comes to arm strength or athletic ability.  The tape on Grayson is pretty clear though.  Coming out of the Mountain West conference, Grayson played well against the level of competition that was presented to him, and yes, that is a big deal.  Sure Grayson looked good against the likes of Wyoming, Hawaii and New Mexico, but once Grayson played against good defensive teams like Boston College, Boise State, Utah and Utah State, the struggle was evidently real. . .
Best Fit:  Alex Smith is in no danger of losing his job but injuries are a part of the league.  The Kansas City Chiefs have Andy Reid as their head coach who once upon a time made Kevin Kolb and Koy Detmer look serviceable, so this would be Grayson's best spot to land at.
Bo Wallace (Ole Miss):  Wallace is a great athlete with a pretty strong arm but he's inconsistent all across the board.  He is a fiery competitor and will impress some NFL types with his athleticism and demeanor but sometimes that demeanor of his turns into cockiness which results all too often in him making bad decisions.   He likes to talk trash and sometimes lets opponents get in his head as well.   Bo is a gamble if there ever is one in the draft, especially at the quarterback position.  When his number one receiver Laquon Treadwell went down for the season, Bo Wallace was exposed even further as he totaled 6 interceptions and zero touchdowns in his last 3 games of the season.  It also doesn't help that two of those games were losses to Arkansas and TCU in the Rebels offense was held to 3 and 0 points respectively.
Best Fit: Any desperate team that is primarily a run-based offense.  Buffalo Bills, maybe? . . .
G.W. Gras
twitter @GeeSteelio
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NBA: Is it a Foul to Foul?

We all remember the "Hack a Shaq" days in L.A.  Going back even further opposing teams would purposely foul Wilt Chamberlain because neither of these literal giants of the NBA were good free throw shooters.  So the strategy employed to Shaq, Wilt and countless others to foul them and put them at the free throw line was instated by many coaches which is perfectly within the rules.  It's just a killer of the flow of the game for the fans at the arena, watching at home and even those playing in the game.  But I have the solution that I believe everyone can get on board with.  It's in the last paragraph but hear me out!

Now we're seeing the same strategy on DeAndre Jordan of the Clippers who will likely set an NBA record for free throw attempts in a single season.  The problem is that it gets boring as basketball fans watching the final 2 minutes of a 48 minute match up take an hour.  It is horrifically unwatchable and I can't stand it.  The best solution I can come up with is LEARN HOW TO SHOOT FREE THROWS!  You're in the NBA!  Either that or coaches need to pull those less fortunate at shooting short, wide open shots and not worry about dealing with the consequences.  I can speak for all fans when I say that the hack a (insert bad free throw shooter here) is terrible for the game and it makes us lose interest.

This is basketball so let's not change the rules for a couple of players in the league regardless of how good they may be.  You don't change the rules of an entire sport because one or two all star players can't hit a damn free throw.  It's not even worth discussing in my opinion.  While I hate watching those type of games and may flick off the channel for a bit doesn't change the fact that it's within the rules and any professional basketball player should be able to hit a silly little free throw.

So I say hack away and if the opposition suffers for it then shame on that team and that player for not being smarter, better and more well prepared for the situation.  I may not like it but it's called strategy and it's perfectly within the rules.  The only thing the league can really do is lower the the number of fouls from 6 to 5 allowed per player like they do in college.  That can help the overall flow of the game but I don't want to see rule number whatever, article number whatever stating that a player will get more free throws if fouled a certain amount of times or an extra point awarded after a teams 7th foul per period.  That doesn't work for me personally.  I can however live with lowering the limit of fouls per person...
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EPL -Alexis Sanchez: Beyond the Glory

Arsenal’s ever-dynamic Chilean hero, Alexis Sánchez, spent his less than dynamic formative years in the poor industrial town Antofagasta, raised by a devoted mother who tirelessly worked numerous jobs (cleaning jobs and selling fish) to essentially make ends meet to support her then eight-year-old son who dreamed night and day of one day becoming a professional soccer player; Alexis Sánchez subsequently joined Universidad Catolica the same year.

Two years thereafter, a mere disillusioned - and then tactically naíve - Sánchez moved back home to the city of Antofagast; an jaded industrial town affectionately known as ‘Devil’s Corner’. The town exudes an undulating landscape underscored with incessant mountains, jagged cliffs, pollution, rocky roads and poverty; Antofagast was unceremoniously struck by an earthquake in 2007, which ultimately destroyed the abodes of Sánchez’s mother and aunt.

Alexis Sánchez seemingly grew up rapidly fast due to the fact that his father sadly exited prior to his birth in 1988, thus the child prodigy subsequently assisting both his mother and beloved sisters during adolescence years thereafter; Alexis Sánchez’s father-life figure uncle, José Delaigue (who legally adopted Sánchez), died of cancer four years ago. Sánchez would additionally wash cars for material gain as a child given that monetary wasn’t particularly easy to attain for his family, whilst ultimately funding a consuming dream.

Furthermore, during childhood, Alexis Sánchez would frequently compete in games bare footed, running nimbly and cautiously avoiding rocks throughout street soccer games in his beloved hometown. Moreover, the mayor of Antofagasta (25,000 population) provided Sánchez with his first-ever pair of soccer boots aged fifteen; Alexis Sánchez routinely loaned boots prior to being rewarded by the mayor of the town.

When Sanchez joined Chilean powerhouse Colo-Colo, he decidedly built a brand new house for his mother and sisters. Even today, Alexis Sánchez’s living legend demi-God status in his hometown is accentuated with graffiti art in his likeness, advertising billboards, and an array of photos of the Chile superstar distributed around the 25,000 populated city. During school years, the talented Chilean would cut class on a variety of occassions, primarily due to the precocious reputation and talent that Sanchez strongly exhibited in soccer; AlexisSánchez’s mother incidentally worked as a janitor at the school.

In Chile, die-hard soccer afficianados grossly sport Arsenal replica shirts bearing Alexis’ name, alongside the trademark number seventeen emblazoned on the back of the popular Gunners jersey. Despite attaining vast fortune and fame, Alexis Sánchez – known as Ninó Maravilla (Wonder kid) – is tremendously reserved and relatively shy, hence living a low-key routine that includes refraining from public events and A-list nightlife, whilst not expressing a fine interest in speaking with media internationally.

However, Alexis Sánchez’s ever-growing incredible journey and legacy has been nothing short of miraculous in hindsight. From Santiago to Buenos Aires, via Udine to Barcelona all the way to London, Sanchez continues to live and proudly cherish an elusive childhood dream that many in the sport take for granted. Arsenal’s second biggest acquisition in team history (after Mesut Ozil) has unquestionably delivered on promise to rabid observers of the English Premier League, his loving family, and above all else – himself.

by @DeanPerretta
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Atlanta Hawks Starting 5 Named Players of the Month

The Atlanta Hawks have been richly rewarded for the first-ever compiled 17-0 win-loss record in one singular month in history in an NBA regular season, with the presently in-form Atlanta Hawks five starting players officially selected as the NBA Eastern Conference players of the month for January 2015.
NBA All-Stars Paul MillsapJeff Teague and Al Horford were deservedly acknowledged with recognition by the NBA based on vastly stellar performances, alongside the sharpshooting Kyle Korver and DeMarre Carroll; all five starting Atlanta Hawks stars averaged in double figures in scoring in January, with no singular Hawks athlete averaging 20 points per contest throughout January.

Moreover, the
 Atlanta Hawks efficiently outscored opposition by an average of 11.9 points per contest in January. Paul Millsap ushered the Hawks in scoring throughout January (18.3 points per game), with Al Horford (17.1), Jeff Teague (16.6), Kyle Korver (13.4) and DeMarre Carroll (12.3) all contributing majorly in enabling the Hawks to accumulate an excellent campaign thus far in the NBA 2014-15 season; the ever-solid Paul Millsap cleaned up the glass for theAtlanta Hawks in rebounding (8.0), whereas the dynamic Jeff Teague led in assists (8.5) and steals (1.8). Meanwhile, Al Horford reigned supreme in blocked shots per game (1.4) with Kyle Korver being the elite three-point shooter for the Hawks in January (56.7 percent).

Furthermore, the Atlanta Hawks claimed an all-time franchise-record with nineteen consecutive victories before losing to Anthony Davis-led New Orleans Pelicans on February 2. However, the Hawks resiliently rebounded on February 4 with a consumate 105-96 triumph against John Wall-led Washington WizardsAtlanta Hawks presently lead in the NBA Eastern Conference. The Atlanta Hawks victory against the Washington Wizards extends their current winning streak in the NBA 2014-15 season against Eastern Conference opposition to thirteen games.

Written by: Dean Perretta
Twitter: @DeanPerretta
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Stephen Curry: 185 Pounds of Heart & Skill

We were all marveled at the shooting ability from Stephen Curry when he played college ball at a place called Davidson.  Not many people even knew that school existed until Curry showed up and started cooking it up on the court.  A lot of us basketball fans said that he's gonna be another great college player that will be mediocre in the NBA.  He was put in the same category as a guy like Jimmer Fredette who can shoot with the best of them but his overall game was in question.

Let's fast forward 5 years from the 2009-2010 season when Stephen Curry made his NBA debut.  Right away he started to prove his worth at the pro level.  He mostly got the job done the same way he did at Davidson and that's shooting a high percentage from beyond the ark.  In his first 3 seasons he averaged about 17 points per game and approximately 5 assists.

Then in the 2013 season a couple of years ago, his numbers started to shoot up not only in points but assists as well as he began to become a complete player.  He's been averaging 23 ppg and his basketball awareness has risen as well now that he's averaging over 8 assists per contest.  It's obvious he's seeing the court much better now and having Klay Thompson in the back court has certainly made Curry's life easier,  But if you just watch Stephen Curry play ball now you instantly recognize that this kid is a legit MVP candidate.

We know he's one of if not the best shooter in the NBA.  But the reason why he's an MVP candidate besides his scoring ability is the fact that he is passing the ball more efficiently, he is the best player on a team that's in 1st place in the Western Conference, he's become very good at driving to the whole and creating plays while penetrating in the paint and is one of the most beloved players in the league.

Curry gets that Golden State crowd going and was a Warrior last night as he put up 51 points and (10/16) from 3 point range.  He's 185 pounds but doesn't play like it since he has no fear and has the confidence to take over games like he did against one of the best in the West by beating down the Dallas Mavericks with those 51 points.  Stephen Curry has put the Golden State Warriors back on the map and the Bay Area in California
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Ohio State: Is it time to Buck Thad Matta?

Ohio State college basketball has always been up and down and can't compare to the powerhouses like Duke, North Carolina and now Kentucky. They had a nice run for a few years when Thad Matta was able to pull in the talents of Greg Oden and Mike Conely plus some others. They were cut down each time by Florida who had their own dynasty going at the time with Joakim Noah and Corey Brewer. The Buckeyes have always been known for their Football program which just experienced another National Championship this year. What will it take for Basketball to catch up?

First off to be successful in the college basketball world, we have seen the one and done method. Kentucky has made this method very popular with their players and Callipari has held it together coaching these young men because he has to get them together in little time. He has been able to do that and has had his team competing on a high level year after year. So you have to be able to recruit huge talent. Which leads me to my next point...

You have to be a big name coach in this day and age. Matta just seems to be outdated to me. Doesn't seem like he has the prestige of the other big name coaches to persuade big talent to come to Ohio. He has failed to get the nations top recruits for the past few years now... specifically the last one in the top 10 was Jared Sullinger in 2010.

Another thing to look at is the inconsistency of the program... they have made runs before but cannot sustain a year after year type play. Which is something that appeals to top recruits. With everyone wanting to jump straight to the NBA after one year, recruits want to get the maximum exposure so they can get drafted high. No one is interesting in building a program back up.

I think that Matta is a good coach don't get me wrong, but I do feel it maybe time for this program to take a hard look at what they have going on right now. It maybe time to move in a different direction and get some fresh blood that understands what it will take to get top recruits, build stabilty and have an inside track on whats going on in this world of basketball. The time for holding on to players for four years and developing players fully has sailed. Now the prizes go to the one and dones and sharks of the world. When I look at Matta... I don't see a shark honestly.

His overall record is 381-292-89 which is a 76% winning percentage
Do you think Ohio State needs a change? Should they buck Matta?
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Serena Aiming to Eclipse Steffi Graf Milestone

Tennis icon, Chris Evert, has firmly assured Australian Open 2015
champion, Serena Williams, that a celebratory invitation for dinner
will be cordially issued to the successful 33-year-old nineteen time
Grand Slam winner following the Michigan-born superstars stunningly
clinical Australian Open 2015 triumph over Russian rival, Maria
Sharapova; Williams' victory over the ever-dominant Sharapova in the
Australian Open 2015 Women's final in Melbourne surpassed Chris Evert
(18 Grand Slam titles) on the all-time Grand Slam Women' championship

The iconic Evert additionally insinuated that Serena Williams could
potentially surpass Steffi Graf's all-time revered benchmark of twenty
two Grand Slam major crowns if indeed Williams' overall health, form
and intense focus remain greatly intact in the very near future;
Australian tennis legend, Margaret Court, holds the all-time record
for the most Grand Slam titles in women's tennis history with twenty
four, with Steffi Graf leading in the contemporary Open Era with an
unprecedented twenty two Gram Slam trophies.

Williams has majestically claimed the Roland Garos French Open on two
seperate occassions in her distinguished career, with an array of
high-profile observers holding an extraordinary belief that the
renowned athlete is superior to the legendary, Steffi Graf.

After Serena Williams' well-documented Australian Open 2015 grand
final triumph on January 31 in Melbourne Park in Melbourne, training
intensely in the gym and on the court throughout practice is
undeniably currently on the agenda, with Williams subject to represent
the United States in the forthcoming Fed Cup. Players internationally
are eagerly anticipating the very prospect of the Fed Cup given that
it is a mandatory requirement - and gateway - to essentially qualify
for the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic games next summer.

Moreover, Serena Williams ultimately continues to muster innate inner
strength within to return to the inimitable form exhibited in 2013,
where the resiliently gifted five-time Wimbledon champion claimed two
major Grand Slam crowns.

Written by: Dean Perretta
Twitter: @DeanPerretta
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The Rebounds & Blocks in Week 14 of NBA Season

The Grizzlies winning streak hits 7 straight- Someday, the Phoenix
Suns will beat the Memphis Grizzlies. They haven't done it in two
years and it looked as though they finally had one Monday night. But
Suns turnovers and clutch Memphis scoring spelled another loss to the
play and the Grizzlies rallied from seven down in the final 1:35 to
Grizzlies. Jeff Green converted a three-point play with 4.5 seconds to beat the Suns for the seventh straight time, 102-101. The Grizzlies,
Phoenix up 101-94 with 1:49 to play. Mike Conley led Memphis with 23
who won their seventh in a row overall and 11th in the last 12 games, scored the final eight points after Isaiah Thomas' 3-pointer put points. Zach Randolph scored 19, including 17 in the second half.Anthony
defeat in 36 games. Davis, returning from a left groin strain that
Davis & the Pelicans stop the Hawks 19 game winning streak- The Hawks' 115-100 loss to surging New Orleans on Monday night -- in a game marked by Anthony Davis' ferocious play -- was only Atlanta's third sidelined him one game, had 29 points and 13 rebounds to help the
the Western Conference. Eric Gordon scored 20 points for New Orleans,
Pelicans win for the sixth time in seven games. New Orleans' recent run of good form has included victories over other contending squads, such as Dallas and the Los Angeles Clippers, and has pulled the Pelicans (26-22) within a game of Phoenix (28-22) for eighth place in
and slammed home in one roundhouse motion. Ryan Anderson added 15
while Tyreke Evans scored 15 points and tied a season high with 12 assists for the fourth time in five games. Omer Asik grabbed 17 rebounds for New Orleans, which out rebounded Atlanta 52-32. Davis grabbed eight of his rebounds on the offensive end, including one on a missed 3 that he corralled with his right hand
at least 20 points and seven assists in two straight games for the
points for the Pelicans, who out shot Atlanta 50 percent (43 of 86) to 44.9 percent (40 of 89). Davis had 19 points by halftime, when New Orleans led 55-42. ... Davis has scored at least 20 in 11 straight games. ... The Pelicans improved to 17-6 at home. ... Gordon has had first time in his career.The Hornets get hot, get into the playoff
perpetually middling Eastern Conference. The Hornets went 10-4 in
picture in the Eastern Conference- Charlotte's hot January carried over into Groundhog Day on Monday night with a 92-88 win over the Wizards. Al Jefferson had 18 points and 12 rebounds, and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist added 13 points and 13 rebounds for the Hornets, who have won six of eight to work themselves into playoff position in the January, and are 5-1 without Walker, who has a knee injury that will
Nuggets are fading fast in the tough Western Conference, the Nuggets
keep him sidelined at least six more weeks. His replacement, Brian Roberts was the leading scorer with 18 points on Monday, and Gerald Henderson put in 17. Cody Zeller, who had a career-high 21 points in the previous game, scored just two against the Wizards. Blocks Denver Nuggets are fading, lose 9 out of 10 including 2 straight- The are 19-29 & injuries to Kenneth Faried, Darrell Arthur & Javale McGee has really hurt the Nuggets.
injured Kevin Durant. Westbrook had 25 points, 14 assists and 11
The Nuggets along 104 Points a game, that the 4th most in the NBA. In the Nuggets 9 losses since January 16 they have allowed at average of 107 points a game.The Magic has dropped 9 straight- The Magic dropped their 9th straight with a 104-97 loss in Oklahoma City with Russell Westbrook's second triple-double of the season and 10th of his career helped the Thunder defeat the Magic 104-97 on Monday night without the rebounds. Orlando made just 7 of 22 shots in the third quarter. The
(20.3, 24th) & Points allowed (102.1, 24th/6th worst)
Magic since the start of 2015 record is 2-14, at 15-36 the Magic rank
in the bottom of the NBA with PPG (95.8, 25th), RPG(40.7, 28th), APG

written by Demarus Dye
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