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Tokyo’s Final Road To Gold

The Quarterfinals matchups start Monday night into Tuesday morning. I am so excited yet also sad that it is coming to an end. Iran, Nigeria, Czech Republic and the host country Japan are out of the tournament. A disappointing run from Nigeria, losing all 3 games after defeating USA & Argentina in exhibition play, plus a tough draw from Czech Republic having France and USA in their group play & Japan simply not having enough to defeat Argentina.

The stage is set. Here are the games for the Quarterfinals. Starting Monday Night (9 PM EST), Slovenia, led by Luka Doncic takes on Mo Wagner and the Deutschland squad. Spain’s last ride gets a bad draw with the United States. Italy vs France, then Boomers playing Argentina to end Tokyo’s night. As a prophet, this is how I think it will play out.

Slovenia(3-0) (-14) vs Germany (1-2) o/u 182.5

Luka Doncic (who is averaging 28.3 ppg, 10.7 rpg and 7 apg) is now 16-0 in the Slovenia jersey in his career. At this rate why wouldn’t they win Gold? Slovenia scored the most points in the 3 games so far totaling 329 points (109.7 ppg). With other talent like Mike Tobey and Vlatko Cancar look for Slovenia to take advantage of this opporutnity. Germany lone win came against Nigeria but they still made the quaterfinals. Mo Wager & Maodo Lo has been the bright spots for Germany, who are missing key pieces such as Dennis Schroder and Max Kleber. Averaging 86 points per game & allowing 91 points per game, all points to the over in this game. Slovenia is the best rebounding team and has the best player in the Olympics.

Pick: Slovenia by 14, Over 182.5

USA (2-1) (-12) vs Spain (2-1) o/u 179.5

The #2 Team in the world, according to FIBA arrives to the quarterfinals with their last chance to medal. Spain’s core is old and most likely we will see a different starting lineup in 2024 Olympics in Paris. I have Ricky Rubio as a Top 5 player in the Olympics and he hasn’t disappointed. The newly acquired Cavalier is averaging 21 ppg, 3 rpg, 7 apg and leads his team in efficiency. Rubio, The Gasol Brothers and company will give it one last shot but got the bad end of the stick after losing to Slovenia in their final group play. Consolation prize? The United States. After losing to France, the United States handed out 2 big blowouts: Iran by 54 and Czech Republic by 34. Averaging 119.5 points the last two games look for USA to build on the embarrassing lost to France. Kevin Durant has now surpassed Carmelo Anthony for most USA Olympic points of All-time, look for him to add to his legacy. We should see 3 more games of USA basketball, hopefully. Spains will show pride & USA will show dominance.

Pick: USA -12, over 179.5

Italy (2-1) vs France (3-0) (-8.5) o/u 168.5

Italy is well balance team that has numerous ways to put the ball in the hoop. Their strength is turnovers, meaning they are the best Olympic team in terms of NOT handing over the rock. That will be the key if they have success going forward. With 5 guys who can fill the ‘Pts” category, including Nico Mannion from the Warriors, look for them to bring a “Team” effort across the board. France, has been impressive the entire time. The game is all about matchups, they give me the most worry of advancing to the Final Four. Evan Fournier and Rudy Gobert are my 7th and 8th player coming into the Olympics, they will need both stars to bring their A-game if they want any shot at winning gold. France is a great rebounding team and one of the most efficient, look for them to pull out a close victory vs Italy. Note: 2 games of France has hit the under (USA & Iran)

Pick: France ML, Under 168.5

Australia (3-0) (-8.5) vs Argentina (1-2) o/u 170.5

Argentina made the quarterfinals after knocking out the host country Japan with a 20 point win. Luis Scola and Facundo Campazzo of the Nuggets, lead the squad to perhaps their last run together as a duo. Argentina ranks 3rd in points but doesn’t stand out anywhere else. This team isn’t the team that won gold in 2004, actually nowhere near. They’re clearly the worse team left in the field. Australia is the perhaps the deepest team outside of the US. With NBA talent such as Joe Ingles, Matisse Thybulle and Aron Baynes they provide key roles alongside their superstar Patty Mills. Perhaps the most important piece is Nick Kay (14ppg & 6 rpg) who filled in for the injured Aron Baynes. Here are the Boomers ranks so far: 4th in scoring, 2nd in steals, 1st in Free Throw %, 3rd in rebounding, and 2nd in team defense. The Boomers were my pre-Olympic gold medal pick. Every game has hit the under for Australia, even Germany couldn’t push over the 170.5 mark. Will Argentina?

Pick: Australia -8.5, under 170.5

FINAL FOUR TEAMS

This will be my Final Four here: Slovenia vs France & USA vs Australia. Hard to see any of them lose, even having Boomers to win gold, I know it will be very difficult to beat USA again. The odds for winning gold has USA 1st at -210, Slovenia 2nd at +550, France & Australia tied for 3rd place at +900.

Bronze Medal Game

Australia vs France

This matchup saddens me deeply because I believe both teams have what it takes to win Gold. The loser coming in 4th place just doesn’t sit right with me. However, if USA stays on this hot scoring pace & Slovenia finds ways to put up points, the “defense win championship” theory comes into question. The winner will find themselves on the podium but for Bronze.

Winner: Australia

Gold Medal Game

Slovenia vs USA

The most anticipating matchup in Olympic sport history, the dominance of Team USA, winner of the last 3 Olympics vs Slovenia led by the arguably the best player in the world, Luka The Don. For all reasons above in this article, the world do not want to miss this no matter the time. USA has the talent but will it outweigh the chemistry of Slovenia? This game will clearly be high scoring and one, I believe will come down to the wire.

Winner: USA

Top 10 Players in the Tokyo 2021 Olympics

This was fun to do especially with so many opt outs and top countries not making the final cut. Teams like Serbia, that have the 2021 NBA MVP Nikola Jokic alongside Hawks starting SG Bogdan Bogdanovic & the mighty Greece team, where their leader is celebrating his first championship & Finals MVP in Giannis Antetokounmpo are all missing out of 2021 in Tokyo. Other great players like Dennis Schroder couldn’t get insurance to play for Germany & other teams like Lithuania with Sabonis just didn’t qualify.

Teams in the Olympics

  • Japan (Host Country)
  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Czech Republic
  • France
  • Germany
  • Iran
  • Italy
  • Nigeria
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • USA

So here we go, ranking the top 10 Players in Tokyo 2021

10. Danilo Gallinari, Italy

He arrived late to the party due to the Atlanta Hawks making it to the Eastern Conference Finals but Gallo has been one of the most consistent international players the NBA’s ever had. In FIBA 2019, Gallo averaged 17.2 ppg, 5.6 rpg & 2.8 apg while shooting 50% from 3. Italy has more scorers now who can light up the scoreboard including the Warriors Nico Mannion, but look for the Italian veteran to prove he’s still the go to guy & the reason Italy could medal.

9. Tomas Satoransky, Czech Republic

The underdog role fits Tomas Satoransky perfectly. His 16 ppg during the qualifying round in Victoria, helped lead to upsets over Canada & Greece, including a game winner over Lu Dort. Along with Jan Vesely, look for Tomas to try and make a statement in a tough group with USA and France. Will the underdog become a hero and rise to the occasion? FIBA 2019 stats: 15.5 ppg, 8.5 apg & 5.6 rebs while shooting 48% from 3.

8. Rudy Gobert, France

The big man upfront, The Stifle Tower from the Utah Jazz, help leads a loaded France team looking to capture gold in the Olympics. Rudy Gobert is arguably the best defender in the WORLD, he’ll look to use his length to dominate the Olympics this go around. We last saw him help defeat Team USA in FIBA 2019, where he posted 21 points, 16 rebounds & 3 blocks. He’s the best big in the Olympics and he’ll prove that once again.

7. Evan Fournier, France

Just like his teammate, Evan Fournier is ready to bring France the gold. He poured in 22 pts vs USA in FIBA making France a dominating duo alongside other NBA players like Nicolas Batum & Frank Ntilikina. Fournier average 19.8 ppg, 4 rpg & 3 apg in 2019 and is poised for another great run. France takes on Team USA in their first game, Fournier will be counted on as the lead guy, to upset USA again.

6. Jayson Tatum, USA

Jayson Tatum is a top 15 player in the NBA so he has to make a top 10 list in the Olympics. This is the summer where Tatum take his defensive prowess to the next level. I mention on the Preach Kev Preach w/ Rashad Podcast Episode – Everything That Glitters Ain’t Gold – that Team USA needs to learn their roles. Tatum worked out with the late great Kobe Bryant and his role was defense. Taking the challenge to lock down France’s Evan Fournier & Czech Republic’s Tomas Satoransky in Group play is a task Tatum is made for.

5. Ricky Rubio, Spain

Man let me tell you about the one they call Ricky Rubio. As the Gasol brothers age out, Rubio remains the catalyst & most important player on the Spain team. This is Spain’s final opportunity to capture goal. If they do, it’ll all be up to Ricky. 16 ppg, 6 apg, 5 rpg from the FIBA World Cup shows all the confidence he’ll to return to the form or even better. Rubio’s game is exactly the way you want to model yourself in international play demonstrating great IQ & playmaking ability. Rubio led all scorers vs USA in the final friendly heading to Tokyo with 23 points.

4. Patty Mills, Australia

Superstar Patty Mills!!! That’s all I can say. He’s been a beast for the Boomers and if you watch international play, you’d know that by now. Australia has been disappointing the last few times out including when they had the opportunity to win Gold in 2019 but look for the team to look toward their best player to lead them to the promise land. Patty Mills has average 20+ points on the last 3 Boomer Teams (2019 FIBA, 2016 Olympics & 2012 Olympics), this is why we call him Superstar Patty Mills.

3. Kevin Durant, USA

I know what you’re thinking…THIRD? Well we know KD is arguably the baddest man on the planet, however his role is carved out for Team USA differently. He’s one of the best scorers in Team USA history and he’ll continue to do so, especially in the Carmelo Anthony role . KD is the Guard-Center of this team, which is a made up position, but he’s the tallest player on Team USA, aside from Mcgee and I think they’ll use him in numerous ways including controlling the glass which could take away from his superstardom we see in the NBA.

2. Damian Lillard, USA

Dame will take up the slack for Team USA. When in doubt, give the ball to Damian Lillard, he can make something out of nothing and he’ll be the key reason Team USA wins gold. Obviously, Team USA is loaded with talent, but he’ll still find away to lead the team in scoring and probably 3 pointers made. The Olympics is very guard centric right now and he’ll provide that as an elite option & probably the best Tokyo will see.

1. Luka Doncic, Slovenia

Are Kevin Durant and Damian Lillard better than Luka? It’s definitely a debate, but when it comes to International play, I’m taking Luka everyday and twice on Sunday. Luka won MVP at 18 and he’s carrying yet another team on his back. Slovenia has a shot and it’s all up to Luka. In the qualifying round Luka average 21 ppg, 11 apg & 8 rpg in 4 games, not to mention his historic triple double vs the mighty Lithuanian team in the Finals. Luka is the most exciting basketball player to watch in the world and honestly I don’t think that’s up for debate. Can’t wait to see how far Luka can take Slovenia.

THE NEW ALLSTAR WEEKEND EVENT?

Every year we see NBA free agency filled with talents that have us wondering, “how is he not signed” and wondering why our favorite teams are not filling these voids. I think I figured out the solution to this problem.

During All-star weekend the NBA should have a game that features the top available free agents and there are two ways this could happen or free agents that drew the most interest from the NBA Teams

-3 Game Tournament. 4 Teams of 10. Team A Vs Team B, Team C Vs Team D and those winners play one another. You get to see 40 players between those two teams & 8 coaches between the teams. 

OR

2 Teams of 12-13 Players

Benefits of this addition?

-NBA gets the other event they have been looking to add to All Star Weekend which will add more revenue to the weekend.

  • NBA gets the other event they have been looking to add to All-Star Weekend, which will add more revenue to the weekend.
  • Fans get a competitive meaning event to enjoy to begin All-Star Weekend
  • Teams get to checkout players that could potentially fill gaps and improve their team post All-Star weekend.
  • We have these players working their tails off during the summer waiting for their opportunity; they do not truly have a platform to showcase their improvements.
  • As of now, the most exciting event we have is the 3PT contest with the dunk contest constantly becoming a hit or miss, I feel that this will bring the viewers back while drawing new viewers to check out this event.

WWE Reviving Momentum in Women’s Division

*Disclaimer – Do not come into this article hoping to read a professionally written article. Just an article that makes so much sense

Currently the women’s division is in a interesting place, we have two new fresh faces as champions with Bianca Belair and Nikki A.S.H. and they are doing terrific jobs this far. However, with the release of so many women superstars, having a women’s tag team division on the main roster does not make much sense at the moment. Tamina & Natalya as a tag team seemed random at first but they ended up meshing well. It would be great if the roster still had other tags such as; Iconics, Bella twins, Riot Squad, Fire & Desire, Bayley & Sasha, Kabuki Warriors, Alexa & Nikki. The thing is, none of those tag teams exist anymore either from breaking up or no longer being with the company. Instead of forming random tag teams that don’t compliment one another WWE should replace the women’s tag team division with a mid-card singles belt. I am a fan of women’s division but having a tag division with the current constructed roster it does not benefit the company at this point.

Committing to someone as world champion is a big deal. Adding this title would allow WWE to test the waters of their women superstars to see if they are built for the responsibility of a champion and would allow the company to push women who they do not see as world champions but still see them as championship worthy, fan favorite superstars especially. In a tag division there are only so many rivalries you can have before you are repeating storylines or throwing random tags together. Women superstars such as; Naomi, Tamina, Sonya Deville, Mandy Rose, Liv Morgan, Dana Brooke, Natalya, Zelina Vega, Carmella, Eva Marie and so many more who may not be in the title picture anytime soon because management does not have evidence or confidence in them to be an successful title holder would benefit from this enormously. This mid-card belt could be that stepping stone for the superstars while still being a huge achievement within itself.

Other benefits of adding a mid-card single’s belt include:

  • Allowing women to stay relevant without being a world champion
  • You can have tag team matches without having a tag title and they don’t lose much meaning. Mid-card singles matches would mean more by having the title involved
  • Having a way to develop or discover mid-card talent as world champion talent
  • Allowing fans to see fan favorites hold a title.
  • Allowing the women who will always be mid-card to stay motivated to put on good shows and get better because they still have a chance to be a realistic title holder
  • If you are bringing a new superstar into the company or bringing a superstar from NXT and want them to hit the ground running but do not want to commit to them a world champion this allows that to happen.
  • It gives the women who feel that have already achieved their goals as world champion a new milestone to look forward to. Such as Charlotte Flair & Sasha Banks.
  • Giving fans a fresh reason to want to tune in.

Lastly, It’s just time. The women’s division has had some huge milestones in the last decade; from ‘Evolution’, wrestling in Saudi, being the Wrestlemania main event, women’s rumble and so many other achievements. I think we all can agree that for many reasons WWE main roster has had one too many stale storylines or repeated rivalries and too many missing superstar pushes. The historic history of the men’s IC and US title is legendary with some of the names who held that title from; Terry Funk, Ricky Steamboat, Razor Ramon, Jake Roberts, Bret Hart, HHH. It is time to offer that opportunity to the women.

WWE Reviving Momentum in Women’s Division

Hot time for Boxing

Boy are we getting blessed with some amazing fights in the months of June, July, and August! If you are a boxing fan then you could not be happier with these next couple months and if you are looking to get into boxing, these next few months are the time to do that. Check out the fights lined up and my predictions for the key fights.

Predictions in Red

JUNE

June 5: Shropshire, England

  • Title fight: Daniel Dubois vs. Bogdan Dinu, 12 rounds, for the vacant WBA interim heavyweight title–Dubois, coming off his last loss I feel like Dubois is on a mission to redeem himself. Also, Bogdan lost vs Big Baby Miller and I feel like Dubois is more active and a heavier striker than Big Baby
  • Nathan Heaney vs. Iliyan Markov, 10 rounds, middleweights-
  • Liam Davies vs. Stefan Slavchev, 6 rounds, bantamweights-
  • Daniel Buciuc vs. Naeem Ali, 6 rounds, junior middleweights-
  • Tommy Fury vs. Jordan Grant, 6 rounds, light heavyweights-
  • George Bance vs. Des Newston, 4 rounds, welterweights
  • Adan Mohamed vs. Luke Fash, 4 rounds, featherweights
  • Caoimhin Agyarko vs. TBA, 6 rounds, middleweights

June 6: Miami (Showtime PPV)

  • Floyd Mayweather vs. Logan Paul, 8 rounds, “special exhibition” – I am not a fan of this fight, OR The ‘celebrity exhibition boxing’ wave that is going on because I do feel like professional boxing is back. Collectively, boxing has some of the most depth of great boxers in a long time. Boxing is at one of it’s peaks and I feel like these kinds of fights take away from that.
  • Badou Jack vs. Dervin Colina, 10 rounds, light heavyweights- Badou Jack

June 12: Las Vegas (ESPN/ESPN+)

  • Title fight: Shakur Stevenson vs. Jeremiah Nakathila, 12 rounds, for the vacant WBO interim junior lightweight title Shakur Stevenson picks up a statement win in this Title fight
  • Jose Pedraza vs. Julian Rodriguez, 10 rounds, junior welterweights
  • Xander Zayas vs. Larry Fryers, 6 rounds, welterweights
  • Tyler McCreary vs. Manuel Rey Rojas, 8 rounds, junior lightweights
  • John Bauza vs. Christon Edwards, 8 rounds, junior welterweights
  • Bryan Lua vs. Frevian Gonzalez, 6 rounds, junior lightweights
  • Troy Isley vs. LaQuan Evans, 4 rounds, middleweights
  • Kasir Goldston vs. Maurice Anthony, 4 rounds, welterweights
  • Jahi Tucker vs. Ysrael Barboza, 4 rounds, welterweights

June 12: Newcastle, England

  • Lewis Ritson vs. Jeremias Nicolas Ponce, 12 rounds, junior welterweights
  • Cyrus Pattinson vs. TBA, rounds TBA, junior middleweights
  • Scott Fitzgerald vs. TBA, rounds TBA, junior middleweights

June 19: Las Vegas (ESPN and ESPN+)

  • Title fight: Naoya Inoue vs. Michael Dasmarinas, 12 rounds, for Inoue’s IBF and WBA bantamweight titles- Naoya Inoue 
  • Title fight: Mikaela Mayer vs. Erica Farias, 10 rounds, for Mayer’s WBO women’s junior lightweight title- Erica Farias 
  • Adam Lopez vs. Isaac Dogboe, 10 rounds, featherweights

June 19: Miami (Triller PPV)

  • Title fight: Teofimo Lopez vs George Kambosos Jr, 12 rounds, for Lopez’s WBA, WBO and IBF lightweight titles- Teofimo Lopez picks up a dominating win over Kambosos in his first title defense
  • Charles Conwell vs. Mark DeLuca, 10 rounds, junior middleweights
  • Title fight: Franchon Crews Dezurn vs. Elin Cederroos, 10 rounds, for Crews Dezurn’s WBC and WBO women’s super middleweight titles, and Cederroos’ WBA and IBF women’s super middleweight titles- Elin Cederoos 
  • Andy Vences vs. Jono Carroll, 10 rounds, junior lightweights
  • Michael Hunter vs. Mike Wilson, 12 rounds, heavyweights
  • Willie Monroe Jr. vs. Juan De Angel, 10 rounds, middleweights- Willie Monroe Jr
  • Zhilel Zhang vs. Daniel Martz, 10 rounds, heavyweights
  • Aaron Aponte vs. Gerardo Contreras Gonzalez, 4 rounds, junior welterweights
  • Ray Robinson vs. Ramal Amanov, 8 rounds, junior middleweights
  • Haven Brady Jr. vs. Manuel Lara, 4 rounds, featherweights
  • Nikoloz Sekhniashvili vs. TBA, 6 rounds, junior middleweights
  • Arnold Gonzalez vs. Gabriel Gutierrez, 4 rounds, welterweights

June 19: Houston (Showtime)

  • Title fight: Jermall Charlo vs. Juan Macias Montiel, 12 rounds, for Charlo’s WBC middleweight title- Jermall Charlo will have a dominating win as he tries to make his point that he needs to see GGG or Canelo next.
  • Kudratillo Abdukakhorov vs. Cesar Miguel Barrionuevo, 10 rounds, welterweights
  • Angelo Leo vs. Aaron Alameda, 10 rounds, junior featherweights- Angelo Leo
  • Isaac Cruz Gonzalez vs. Francisco Vargas, 10 rounds, lightweights

June 19: Jalisco, Mexico (PPV)

  • Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. vs. Anderson Silva, 10 rounds, cruiserweights
  • Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. vs. Hector Camacho Jr., 6 rounds, middleweight exhibition
  • Omar Chavez vs. Ramon Alvarez, 10 rounds, middleweights
  • Damian Sosa vs. Abel Mina, 10 rounds, junior middleweights
  • Kevin Torres vs. Jorge Luis Melendez, 8 rounds, junior welterweights
  • Manuel Jaimes vs. Francisco Arturo Ramirez Martinez, 8 rounds, lightweights
  • Mario Alberto Ramirez vs. Pedro Castro, 8 rounds, featherweights
  • Erik Inzunza vs. TBA, 6 rounds, junior lightweights
  • Karen Rubio vs. TBA, 4 rounds, women’s junior flyweights

June 19: El Paso, Texas (DAZN)

  • Jaime Munguia vs. Maciej Sulecki, 12 rounds, middleweights
  • Bektemir Melikuziev vs. Gabriel Rosado, 12 rounds, super middleweights
  • Title fight: Ibeth Zamora vs. Marlen Esparza, 10 rounds, for Zamora’s WBC women’s flyweight title- Ibeth Zamora
  • Blair Cobbs vs. Brad Brad Solomon, 10 rounds, welterweights

June 26: Las Vegas (ESPN+)

  • Vasiliy Lomachenko vs. Masayoshi Nakatani, 12 rounds, lightweights- Lomachenko 
  • Rob Brant vs. Janibek Alimkhanuly, 10 rounds, middleweights

June 26: TBA (Showtime PPV)- The best card from start to finish 

  • Title fight: Mario Barrios vs. Gervonta Davis, 12 rounds, for Barrios’ WBA “regular” junior welterweight title- Boy this will be an interesting fight. While Tank is the obvious favorite, Barrios size difference could be a big problem for Tank if he can’t manage to close the distance. I do believe Tank overcomes the size difference for the win
  • Erickson Lubin vs. Jeison Rosario, 12 rounds, WBC junior middleweight title eliminator- Rosario, I do feel Rosario will redeem himself after his last fight 
  • Batyr Akhmedov vs. Algenis Mendez, 12 rounds, junior welterweights-
  • Julian Williams vs. Brian Mendoza, 10 rounds, junior middleweights- This will be one amazing fight to watch but tough fight for both fighters. I feel as if this is a must win for Julian Williams career, I think he understands that and will get the job done.

june 27th: pbc, live on fox:

Title fight: David Morrell Jr vs Mario Cazares, 12 rounds, WBA Super Middleweight Championship – David Morrell stays unbeaten in his title defense, giving Cazares his first loss.


JULY

July 3: Carson, California (Showtime)

  • Title fight: Chris Colbert vs. Yuriorkis Gamboa, 12 rounds, for Colbert’s WBA interim junior lightweight titleChris Colbert, I feel as if Gamboa’s days are numbered. Gamboa is a tough fighter and will not be a cake walk but ultimately I think he loses in a stoppage.

July 9: Los Angeles (DAZN)

  • Gilberto Ramirez vs. Sullivan Barrera, 12 rounds, light heavyweights
  • Joseph Diaz Jr. vs. Javier Fortuna, 12 rounds, lightweightsFortuna

July 17: TBA (Showtime)

  • Title fight: Jermell Charlo vs. Brian Castano, 12 rounds, for Charlo’s IBF, WBC and WBA junior middleweight titles and Castano’s WBO junior middleweight title- Jermell Charlo – Jermell Charlo with KO of the Year candidate 

July 17: Germany

  • Tina Rupprecht vs. Katia Gutierrez, 10 rounds, for Rupprecht’ WBC women’s strawweight title

July 24: Las Vegas

  • Title fight: Tyson Fury vs. Deontay Wilder, 12 rounds, for Fury’s WBC heavyweight title- This one is hard for me. With Wilder having a new trainer he has shown actual boxing skills and not just being a slugger. If Wilder changes up his fighting style to what his training has looked like alongside his KO Power then I have a hard time betting against him. Fury is so skilled and agile for a fighter of his size. However I am nervous that he is doubting Wilder’s ability to beat him. By the skin of my teeth I have to go with Deontay Wilder. I feel a loss for Wilder would be more detrimental to his career than if Fury lost. 

AUGUST

August 14: TBA (Showtime)

  • Title fight: John Riel Casimero vs. Guillermo Rigondeaux, 12 rounds, for Casimero’s WBO bantamweight title- John Riel Casimero

August 21: Las Vegas (FOX PPV) (Fight of the year until further notice)

  • Title fight: Errol, Spence Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao, 12 rounds, for Spence’s WBC and IBF welterweight titles- Errol Spence Jr, Boy is this fight huge for the boxing world. We have Manny Pacquiao trying to cement his legacy against arguably the top boxer of today’s boxing generation. Errol Spence Jr has been calling Manny out for some time, so to add a win over Manny Pacquiao to his resume would be amazing. Please disregard Manny Pacquiao’s age, he will be even more prepared than he was for Thurman, however Errol Spence is no Thurman. Coming off a huge win against Danny Garcia, Spence says he currently feels 100% again and did not during Danny Garcia’s fight. I do not seeing 100% Errol Spence losing to Manny Pacquiao.

August 28: TBA (Showtime)

  • David Benavidez vs. Jose Uzcategui, 12 rounds, WBC super middleweight title eliminator- David Benavidez Winner 

Hot time for Boxing

The NBA’s Next – Set Me Free Players

Every year NBA players are on the move, looking to improve their chances on winning a NBA title. In the past, we had players team up to form unbeatable teams such as the Heat in the early 2010s, the Warriors on the back end & now a big three that just formed in Brooklyn. For the first two examples, they became champions and rightfully so. Lebron James & Kevin Durant took it upon themselves to make sure they could host the Larry O’Brien trophy and free themselves of that ever cloud of judgement from around the NBA and the world. Who needs to save themselves or need help saving? At the end of the day we should be shouting, ‘Free at last, free at last, thank God almighty, they’re free at last.

C Domantas Sabonis, Pacers

20.3 ppg, 12 rpg, 6 apg, 1.2 spg, 0.5 bpg, 53.5 FG%, 32.1 3pt%

Sabonis, in his 5th season, has taken a step toward stardom. Easily the best player on the Pacers, he couldn’t get enough from his team, to secure their place in the playoffs. A 2x time all star with 13 career triple doubles, what’s not to like about him. He’s one of four players to average 20 points, 12 rebounds and 6 assists, joining elite company like Kevin Garnett, Wilt Chamberlin, and Oscar Robertson. As great as he’s been where do we really see the Pacers going? In his 4 years with the Pacers, they have 3 playoff appearances including 2 sweeps.

With the turmoil coming out of Indiana with coach Nate Bjorkgren, can we save Sabonis before it’s too late? Outside of Joel Embiid and Nikola Jokic, is he not the 3rd best big in the league? At least its debatable, but I hope we can find a place for the Lithuanian Star.

G De’Aaron Fox, Kings

25.2 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 7.2 apg, 1.5 spg, 0.5 blk, 47.7 FG%, 32.2 3pt%, 71.9 FT%

First off, I’d like to say that Fox is from the University of Kentucky, which means he’s “damn sho” built different. What’s built different from the rest of the NBA, is the way the Sacramento Kings have been ran by the front office. The Kings haven’t made the playoffs since 2007 season. That’s a 14 year drought and haven’t won a series since 2004. With all the lottery draft picks, one of them that was right from Day 1 was De’Aaron Fox. He’s known as one of the fastest players in the league, who constantly applies pressure to opposing defenses. In 2021, he took a big step in a positive direction, in career numbers leading to impactful success. In the month of March, Fox averaged 29 ppg and 7 apg following that up with great April (27 ppg and 7 apg). If it wasn’t for the greatness of the point guard position, I would be standing on the table singing, “ALL-NBA, ALL-NBA”.

What will the Kings do this offseason… well Luke Walton will return as Head Coach, all the more reasons that Fox needs saving. At this point there’s no reason to continue to wait on the development of Haliburton and Bagley and even though Fox signed a 5 year – 163 million contract, that wont start until next season, its time to wave the flag.

PF Zion Williamson, Pelicans

27 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 3.7 apg, 0.9 spg, 0.6 bpg, 61.1 FG%, 29.4 3pt%, 69.8 FT%

Well obviously, he’s only been around for 2 seasons (only played 85 career games), however he’s already to big for the Pelicans. This is a team that has already lost Jrue Holiday, but already have talked about trading Steven Adams & Eric Bledsoe this offseason but potentially losing a piece from the Anthony Davis trade, in Lonzo Ball. Most players that pan out usually stays with their team for 7 years because of the contract they can sign after year 4, this may very well be the case for Zion but what will he have to gain?

How far will the Pelicans go? As a small market, I have no faith that this team can surround him with the talent that he needs to make deep playoff runs, especially with losing 3 starters in the 2021 offseason. It is not easy to carry a small market team as a big men, Anthony Davis tried, Kevin Garnett tried, Kevin Love, Chris Bosh, etc. When you look at bigs in big markets i.e. Joel Embiid, good things can happen. Free Zion, we don’t want him in New Orleans.

C Karl-Anthony Towns, Timberwolves

24.8 ppg, 10.6 rpg, 4.5 apg, 0.8 spg, 1.1 bpg, 48.7 FG%, 38.7 3pt%, 85.9 FT%

I may have spoke to soon when it comes to big men outside of Jokic and Embiid because KAT has something to say. KAT has made the playoffs once since entering the NBA and that was off the back of Jimmy Butler. I preach patience when it comes to KAT and the Timberwolves because I love the additions of Anthony Edwards and newly HC Chris Finch. The Wolves have made strives but to be fair the all 29 teams could use KAT in some shape or form. His only weakness is being a lock down defender but he’s a stat stuffer and can provide scoring on all 3 levels.

The wolves messed up their chances by winning a high percentage of their games in the 2nd half of the season as they do not hold the cards to their 1st round pick since it is Top 3 protected, that pick goes to the Golden State Warriors. As mentioned above, KAT is also from the University of Kentucky & has the tools but as a big needs help to contend in the West. There’s a free KAT available, even though he wants to stay in Minnesota, I may need to get on I-90 myself to move him out personally.

G Donovan Mitchell, Jazz

26.4 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 5.2 apg, 1.0 spg, 0.3 bpg, 43.8 FG%, 38.6 3pt%, 84.5 FT%

I know what you’re thinking, the Jazz are the No.1 seed in the West and have the best record in the NBA.

“History repeats itself, but in such a cunning disguise that we never detect the resemblance until the damage is done”

Syndey J Harris

Karl Malone, John Stockton, Deron Williams were Jazz players who couldn’t win a title in Utah. To be fair, two of them ran into Michael Jordan and one ran into Kobe Bryant but that’s beside the point. The Jazz are a complete team from top to bottom with an incredible Head Coach in Quin Snyder. When you talk about other elite teams around the league, there’s usually more than 1 star. Mitchell relies on Bogdanovic, veteran Mike Conley and 6th man of the year Jordan Clarkson for scoring, while someone like Jayson Tatum on the other hand, has a budding star in Jaylen Brown to rely on. Donovan Mitchell is box office and if you ask me, Utah shouldn’t hold him down for too long with or without a deep playoff run, he could be first in line to ask out.

NFL AFTER WEEK 3 RANKINGS

Week 3 is in the books, a lot of movement and finding out which teams are real and which team is not. The rankings has been consistent with teams at the top, as well as team at the bottom. Don’t let another moment go until you see the Prophet Rankings after week 3.

32. New York Jets (0-3)

Last Week Ranking: 32

(AP Photo/Gail Burton)

This could be the worse team in the NFL and I don’t think it’s close. Adam Gase is one more blowout away from being fired, but what would that really mean? The race for 0-16 is on.

Highest Ranking: 32

Lowest Ranking: 32

31. New York Giants (0-3)

Last Week Ranking: 31

Another team from New York and another way to open the season up with disaster. Rookie HC Joe Judge has a lot of improvements for this young team. However it is hard to judge them when they faced defenses like Steelers, Bears and the 49ers.

Highest Ranking: 31

Lowest Ranking: 31

30. Washington Football Team (1-2)

Last Week: 24

Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Washington biggest problem is the QB position. Dwayne Haskins hasn’t showed any real signs through 3 games that points to him being a franchise QB. The DL is dangerous and Terry is Scary but that’s all they have going for them

Highest Ranking: 28

Lowest Ranking: 30

29. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-2)

Last Week Ranking: 21

Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

They are who we thought they were! After impressive win over the Colts and impressive lost vs the Titans, the Jags showed the world on National TV where they really stand. Can they bounce back?

Highest Ranking: 23

Lowest Ranking: 30

28. Cincinnati Bengals (0-2-1)

Last Week Ranking: 28

Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

A Tie? Joe Burrow was a couple of plays away from making the 2019 NFC East Champs 0-3. They are showing signs of what could be an incredible offense in the near future. Stay Tuned

Highest Ranking: 24

Lowest Ranking: 30

27. Denver Broncos (0-3)

Last Week Ranking: 20

(AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

The injuries has piled up for the Broncos which make their ranking low. A team with promise seems to be stressing. Will they get their first win in Week 4?

Highest Ranking: 23

Lowest Ranking: 29

26. Carolina Panthers (1-2)

Last Week Ranking: 30

Got their first win without their star player in Christian McCaffrey. This team will be a pain in the butt all year but there is a lot to look toward for Matt Rhule and company.

Highest Ranking: 21

Lowest Ranking: 29

25. Philadelphia Eagles (0-2-1)

Last Week Ranking: 26

Someone tell me where the real Carson Wentz is. He hasn’t showed any signs of a good QB – I question can he even read the defense. Nonetheless, the Eagles are still hurt (as always) and it doesn’t appear to be getting any better.

Highest Ranking: 21

Lowest Ranking: 27

24. Atlanta Falcons (0-3)

Last Week Ranking: 22

The Comeback Kids got their name when they played the Falcons. Another late fashion lost, this team could be one of the best but they stand in their own way. The clock is ticking for Dan Quinn

Highest Ranking: 24

Lowest Ranking: 26

23. Miami Dolphins (1-2)

Last Week Ranking: 29

Dolphins went wild vs the Jags on TNF. Brian Flores has the team playing pretty well sticking with the Pats and Bills to start the season. How will they fair with another Mobile QB in Week 4, let’s find out.

Highest Ranking: 22

Lowest Ranking: 28

22. Los Angeles Chargers (1-2)

Last Week Ranking: 17

This team will be up and down all season. A team that has changed QBs plus with multiple injuries it is hard to get a real grasp if the lighting bolts are real.

Highest Ranking: 19

Lowest Ranking: 29

21. Minnesota Vikings (0-3)

Last Week Ranking: 25

Vikings made NFL History with a rusher over 175 yards and another player with over 175 yards receiving and still lost to the Titans on Sunday. They have looked better since Week 1 but still haven’t received their 1st win. Could be in store in Week 4.

Highest Ranking: 27

Lowest Ranking: 19

20. Houston Texans (0-3)

Last Week Ranking: 23

Watson is doing all he can but that isn’t enough right now. The schedule was not kind to the Texans, a very brutal start to the season.

Highest Ranking: 17

Lowest Ranking: 25

19. Las Vegas Raiders (2-1)

Last Week: 15

Raiders have to prove they can play from behind. Aside from the beautiful stadium there is still some ugly to their game.

Highest Ranking: 18

Lowest Ranking: 22

18. Detroit Lions (1-2)

Last Week Ranking: 27

Impressive win over the Arizona Cards, this team was one catch away from being 2-1 and being in control of the destiny. Stafford is Top 10 in passing without Kenny Golladay, put some respect on his name.

Highest Ranking: 18

Lowest Rankin: 20

17. Cleveland Browns (1-2)

Last Week Ranking: 18

Run the ball! That’s the success for this team — They’ll move up in they continue the 2 headed monster in Chubb & Hunt.

Highest Ranking: 17

Lowest Ranking: 18

16. San Francisco 49ers (2-1)

Last Week Ranking: 13

The injuries are mounting up yet they still win. Kyle Shanahan is doing all he can, hopefully the injury bug moves away.

Highest Ranking: 11

Lowest Ranking: 16

15. Arizona Cardinals (2-1)

Last Week Ranking: 12

Kyler Murray…. how could you lose to Detroit? It’s okay, things happen, we still believe in you.

Highest Ranking: 11

Lowest Ranking: 16

14. Chicago Bears (3-0)

Last Week Ranking: 14

The change at Quarterback helped them stay undefeated. Bears are who we thought they were.

Highest Ranking: 11

Lowest Ranking: 16

13. New Orleans Saints (1-2)

Last Week Ranking: 9

Don’t know where to peg the Saints. Brees Average Depth of Throw is extremely low. He’s missing Mike Thomas but the defense isn’t that great so far. They’ll clean it up.

Highest Ranking: 11

Lowest Ranking: 14

12. Indy Colts (2-1)

Last Week Ranking: 16

(AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Still can’t believe Colts lost to the Jags but they dominated the Jets. Real challenge in Week 4, will they live up to the hype.

Highest Ranking: 9

Lowest Ranking: 15

11. Dallas Cowboys (1-2)

Last Week Ranking: 13

The offense is the calling card for the team and right now they’re 1 for 3. Dak lead the league in passing, that’s it for now.

Highest Ranking: 8

Lowest Ranking: 16

10. Tennessee Titans (3-0)

Last Week Ranking: 10

They probably won Week 3 because they had the Coronavirus, either way they pulled out 3 wins by kicking game winning FGs. Can they dominate for 60 mins.

Highest Ranking: 8

Lowest Ranking: 15

9. New England Patriots (2-1)

Last Week Ranking: 11

Big follow up to Week 2 performance putting up a lot of points. The big task is if they can do that in Week 4.

Highest Ranking: 7

Lowest Ranking: 10

8. Los Angeles Rams (2-1)

Last Week Ranking: 7

Rams was a DPI call from being 3-0 and higher on this list but here they are looking so much better than initially thought. Goff and the offense has gotten back on track and that’s all you can ask.

Highest Ranking: 8

Lowest Ranking: 10

7. Tampa Bay Bucs (2-1)

Last Week Ranking: 8

(AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

They may have the best defense in the NFC but they played the Panthers and the Broncos. The offense is getting better, can we trust Brady down the line??

Highest Ranking: 7

Lowest Ranking: 9

6. Pittsburgh Steelers (3-0)

Last Week Ranking: 6

The defense played amazing in the 2nd half and the offense is getting better each week. All faith in Steelers this year to continually be in the top 7 all year.

Highest Ranking: 2

Lowest Ranking: 6

5. Green Bay Packers (3-0)

Last Week Ranking: 4

A-Aron and A-Aron are doing everything in their power making them one of the best offenses in the league. Week 4 make way for some more fireworks.

Highest Ranking: 3

Lowest Ranking: 5

4. Buffalo Bills (3-0)

Last Week Ranking: 5

Josh Allen continues to prove the doubters wrong. After giving up a 28-3 lead he proved how clutch he can be. The success is on his shoulders and he can handle it.

Highest Ranking: 2

Lowest Ranking: 6

3. Seattle Seahawks (3-0)

Last Week Ranking: 3

Russ Cooked and it was good. Another Shootout performance by Seattle and it seems that Tyler Lockett may be the most underrated WR in the game.

Highest Ranking: 2

Lowest Ranking: 4

2. Baltimore Ravens (2-1)

Last Week Ranking: 2

Lackluster performance but the only time the Ravens trail is when they play the Chiefs. They’ll be fine and will bounce back huge in Week 4.

Highest Ranking: 2

Lowest Ranking: 4

1. Kansas City Chiefs (3-0)

Last Week Ranking: 1

Is it Chiefs vs Everybody? Indeed it is. Mahomes and company looked great in Week 3 on both sides of the ball. They’ll look to keep that up vs another mobile QB in Cam Newton.

Highest Ranking: 1

Lowest Ranking: 1

NFL Pre Week 2 Rankings

Week 1 was full of exciting moments and surprising upsets. Which teams took a dive after one week of play and which team jumped. Only 1 game played so far, so no need to panic, but does your team has cause for concerns ? See the new Week 2 Power Ranking.

32. New York Jets (0-1)

Last Week Ranking: 31

(AP Photo/Gail Burton)

The New York Jets offense did not impress as predicted. Adam Gase gets another crack to show what this team can do. However, he’ll be without starting running back Le’Veon Bell and the ageless Frank Gore will start.

Highest Ranking: 32

Lowest Ranking: 32

31. New York Giants (0-1)

Last Week Ranking: 28

ESPN.com

Not a horrible start, but can this offensive line provide any room for Saquon Barkley to operate. This defense also has a lot of growing up to do.

Highest Ranking: 26

Lowest Ranking: 31

30. Cincinnati Bengals (0-2)

Last Week Ranking: 30

Bleacher Report

Bayou Bengal’s first game and it was almost a win, if not for AJ Green’s OPI call. Still needs improvement but it is good signs in the right direction for Joe Burrow and company.

Highest Ranking: 28

Lowest Ranking: 30

29. Carolina Panthers (0-1)

Last Week Ranking: 29

Charlotte Observer

Gave up a lot of points, but that was expected with a new young defense. The offense put on a show – will they be able to do it again?

Highest Ranking: 26

Lowest Ranking: 31

28. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-0)

Last Week Ranking: 32

Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Beating the Colts was definitely a shocker. Minshew played great, trying to hold off all of the Trevor Lawrence talk. Jaguars up this week.

Highest Ranking: 25

Lowest Ranking: 31

27. Miami Dolphins (0-1)

Last Week Ranking: 25

Bleacher Report

#TankForTua to #PlayTuaNow will be the new hashtag for Week 2 after a bad game from Fitzpatrick. Small decline after high hopes for this squad.

Highest Ranking: 22

Lowest Ranking: 27

26. Las Vegas Raiders (1-0)

Last Week Ranking: 26

Sports Illustrated

Las Vegas Raiders, led by Josh Jacobs, looked great on offense. A win over Carolina didn’t mean much but can they repeat said performance in week 2 over the Saints?

Highest Ranking: 21

Lowest Ranking: 28

25. Detroit Lions (0-1)

Last Week Ranking: 24

Athlon Sports

Another “Lions will be Lions” type of game as they blew another late lead vs. the Bears. Swift, in his rookie debut scored his first Touchdown and also dropped the Game Winning Touchdown, talk about your up and down, but that’s the Lion way.

Highest Ranking: 20

Lowest Ranking: 30

24. Atlanta Falcons (0-1)

Last Week Ranking: 21

ESPN.com

The offense did what the offense do but once again Dan Quinn doesn’t have the defense to stop anyone.

Highest Ranking: 17

Lowest Ranking: 29

23. Cleveland Browns (1-1)

Last Week Ranking: 14

Cleveland.com

Browns were blown this past Sunday vs a Super Bowl caliber team. Now they face one of the bottom teams. Are we sure they’re not a bottom team too?

Highest Ranking: 21

Lowest Ranking: 27

22. Los Angeles Chargers (1-0)

Last Week Ranking: 15

Draftkings Nation

Down in the ranking after a win. They were a good kick away from facing overtime vs the Bengals. The offense did not look good — How long until the fans rant “We Want Herbert”.

Highest Ranking: 17

Lowest Ranking: 29

21. Washington Football Team (1-0)

Last Week Ranking: 27

. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

That front 4 can be, will be and should be the best in the league. This defense can carry this team as far as it can go. Still some questions and reserve on starting QB Dwayne Haskins.

Highest Ranking: 17

Lowest Ranking: 25

20. Indianapolis Colts (0-1)

Last Week Ranking: 12

(AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Going down in the rankings should not be a surprise after losing to the Jags. What do you have left Rivers? The rankers are all over the place on this one.

Highest Ranking: 10

Lowest Ranking: 26

19. Houston Texans (0-1)

Last Week Ranking: 18

Click2Houston

Defense is swiss cheese, however Will Fuller looked good in DHop absences. The offense should take another step in Week 2.

Highest Ranking: 13

Lowest Ranking: 24

18. Chicago Bears (1-0)

Last Week Ranking: 20

Bleacher Report

Mitch with a comeback behind win vs the Lions. Keeping his job for another week.

Highest Ranking: 15

Lowest Ranking: 20

17. Denver Broncos (0-1)

Last Week Ranking: 16

(AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

Almost a win without Von Miller, Denver will still be a surprise team this season.

Highest Ranking: 16

Lowest Ranking: 21

16. Philadelphia Eagles (0-1)

Last Week Ranking: 13

Eagles Wire

Very thankful that Wentz is still upright after a brutal beating from the team in Washington. Hopefully they will get players back to help the North Dakota State alum.

Highest Ranking: 14

Lowest Ranking: 18

15. Minnesota Vikings (0-1)

Last Week Ranking: 9

Daily Norseman

Coming in to the season, the defense had all eyes on them, and so did Aaron Rodgers. Will Zimmer get his defense back on track in Week 2.

Highest Ranking: 13

Lowest Ranking: 19

14. Los Angeles Rams (1-0)

Last Week Ranking: 23

LA Times

Aaron Donald is the best non-QB player in football. That is all you need to know.

Highest Ranking: 8

Lowest Ranking: 17

13. Arizona Cardinals (1-0)

Last Week Ranking: 19

PFF.com

Great upset to beat the NFC champion from last season. Kyler looked great to get a comeback win in the 4th.

Highest Ranking: 10

Lowest Ranking: 18

12. New England Patriots (1-0)

Last Week Ranking: 22

(AP Photo/Steven Senne, Pool)

Cam Newton broke one record for the Pats already, how many can he get the rest of the year?

Highest Ranking: 11

Lowest Ranking: 15

11. Tennessee Titans (1-0)

Last Week Ranking: 17

AL.com

Thank God the kicker made 1 FG and it was to win the game. Derrick Henry pounded the rock per usual.

Highest Ranking: 10

Lowest Ranking: 16

10. Tampa Bay Bucs (0-1)

Last Week Ranking: 8

Newsday

First Game with Brady under center, there’s room for improvement for Arians with this offense.

Highest Ranking: 14

Lowest Ranking: 10

9. Dallas Cowboys (0-1)

Last Week Ranking: 6

BloggingTheBoys

Mike McCarthy is to blame for the week 1 loss. Deciding to go for it instead of tying the game is mind blowing. We all thought coaching wouldn’t cost the Cowboys anymore.

Highest Ranking: 6

Lowest Ranking: 12

8 San Fransisco 49ers (0-1)

Last Week Ranking: 3

NBC Sports

Super Bowl Hangover? The team banged up? Oh BOY!

Highest Ranking: 5

Lowest Ranking: 9

7. Green Bay Packers (1-0)

Last Week Ranking: 10

Forbes

Rodgers is still a badddddddddd man. If he continues this play, look out NFL.

Highest Ranking: 5

Lowest Ranking: 8

6.Buffalo Bills (1-0)

Last Week Ranking: 7

Democrat and Chronicle

Josh Allen impressed this past Sunday, he was a long shot for MVP, PLACE YOUR BETS!

Highest Ranking: 3

Lowest Ranking: 11

5. Seattle Seahawks (1-0)

Last Week Ranking: 11

Northwest.com

Did Seattle just let Russ Cook? You love to see it

Highest Ranking: 4

Lowest Ranking: 12

4 Pittsburgh Steelers (1-0)

Last Week Ranking: 5

Bleacher Report

Big Ben is back and that defense is straight up filthy. How do you score on them?

Highest Ranking: 4

Lowest Ranking: 6

3 New Orleans Saints (1-0)

Last Week Ranking: 4

Daily Advertiser

Didn’t even play a great game but the Saints fall into the Super Bowl or bust category. Even without Michael Thomas having 10+ catches the offense clicked, the defense clicked.

Highest Ranking: 2

Lowest Ranking: 5

2. Baltimore Ravens (1-0)

Last Week Ranking: 2

New York Times

The Ravens aren’t going anywhere and will probably destroy anyone in their way. Lamar providing his back to back MVP case already.

Highest Ranking: 2

Lowest Ranking: 3

1. Kansas City Chiefs (1-0)

Last Week Ranking: 1

Bleacher Report

As expected, you must score at least 30 to even have a shot. Team is too talented and Clyde Edwards-Helaire was amazing to watch.

Highest Ranking: 1

Lowest Ranking: 1

The Prophet NFL Rankers: Keven Myrick, Rashad Harris, Austin Hunt, Kevin Callair

Kev’s 2020 NBA Mock Draft

The Draft Lottery was surprising, for one it was done virtually and secondly, we seen two teams rise up — the Charlotte Hornets (picking 3rd) and the Chicago Bulls (picking 4th) and of course watching the Knick fans be disappointed yet again (falling from 6th to 8th). It’s weird that the first mock draft is in August but Covid-19 had other plans. See where these young tantalizing prospects are headed in the Prophet Mock Draft ⬇️

1. Minnesota Timberwolves

NBA.com

SG – Anthony Edwards, UGA

Edwards is the perfect fit for the T’wolves. With KAT and DLo, a tough-nosed player would help them toward making the playoffs. At 6’5 225 he already has a man body at such a young age. This trio could grow together and make some noise in a tough Western Conference.

2. Golden State Warriors

New York Times

C – James Wiseman, Memphis

Wiseman had to be dismissed from school but that won’t dismiss him from being a top pick. Warriors have duct tape the Center position with the likes of Mcgee and Chriss, imagine if they can get an elite Paint Patroller. He’ll get easy baskets in this system as he continues to work on his game.

3. Charlotte Hornets

USAToday.com

PG – Lamelo Ball, Australia

The Last Ball brother is here, LaMelo. We watched him grow up before our eyes and I believe he’s ready to take the league by storm. At 6’8 he can score from anywhere. The move to Australia was the best thing for him and it allowed him to mature. We seen the OKC Thunder pull off a 3 Guard set and be successful. Ball-Graham-Rozier could give teams hell.

4. Chicago Bulls

The Jerusalem Post

SF – Deni Avdija, Israel

THE player in the draft — Yes Deni is my #1 player on the board. I believe the top 3 teams could regret passing on the Israel Star just like teams did with Luka Doncic, Nikola Jokic and Giannis Antetokounmpo. Deni is an all around talented wing with great size, elite versatility and he can play from shooting guard to power forward. The Bulls luck up here to put him along side scoring machine Zach Lavine and Finland Star Lauri Markkanen.

5. Cleveland Cavaliers

The Athletic

SG/SF – Devin Vassell, FSU

Too much in the front court to get a big like Toppin or Big O and they spent high draft capital on the backcourt the last few drafts (Sexton in 2018, Garland in 2019). A defensive wing is necessary— enters Vassell. A 2-way player that can help the Cavs in so many ways. At 6’7 he has the length to be your prototypical ‘3 and D’ and can relieve some pressure of the backcourt of the Cavs.

6. Atlanta Hawks

RealG

SF – Isaac Okoro, Auburn

I love Okoro’s game, he also preaches versatility and he fits the prototype of an NBA small forward. Being 6’6 220 lb. with great athletic ability, the sky is the limit. For the Hawks, they didn’t get the wing spot right last year. Okoro has the ability to be 2-Way and can even help a small ball role by sliding Hunter to the 4. Hawks need to hit and not waste Trae Young’s talent.

7. Detroit Pistons

Sir Charles in Charge

PG – Killian Hayes, France

Rebuild is key for Detroit. Killian Hayes could be the best PG in the class while being able to play either guard position. Has great IQ and I believe he has the tools to run a NBA high powered offense. Derrick Rose is the starting PG but not only can Killian learn from him but they can play together seamlessly.

8. New York Knicks

Soaring Down South

PG – Tyrese Haliburton, Iowa State

Narrow frame but he’s fierce. The Knicks will continue to draft a Point Guard until they get it right. Tyrese is a 6’5 long-armed PG with a great assists to turnover ratio. I know they have plenty of guards but the jig is up for Dennis Smith Jr. and Frank Ntilikina.

9. Washington Wizards

Factory of Sadness

PF/C Obi Toppin Dayton

The National Player of they Year has found himself in a good situation. Bradley Beal and John Wall throwing you alley-oops? The Wizards would allow Obi to play his natural position at the 4. Yea he can be a tweener but in a positionless NBA, it won’t matter. Can Obi be a 20-10 guy like John Collins? The Eye test says yes.

10. Phoenix Suns

Wreck’Em Red

G – Jahmi’us Ramsey, Texas Tech

All I know is defense when I see Ramsey. I wonder if he’s related to Jalen Ramsey because he’s bringing the clamps just like his big cousin. The Texas Tech Freshman is a combo guard that can play either position and has the length to play small ball 3. Any chance I can help Devin Booker I will. Yea he can play defense, but the offense is just as impressive, he shot 43% from 3pt last season, he’ll look to improve.

11. San Antiono Spurs

Los Angeles Times

C – Onyeka ‘Big O’ Okongwu, USC

Big O, the 2nd Chino Hill Star in the Draft. The Spurs have a lot of guards right now and Jakob Poeltl may be something but Onyeka can be a elite rim protector right now. He’s slightly undersize but plays big like John Collins and Montrez Harrell. These young guards like Murray and White would love to have him as the defensive anchor and the Spurs organization should feel the same.

12. Sacramento Kings

Nova Athletics

F – Saddiq Bey, Villanova

Not going to lie, Saddiq Bey is my favorite player in this class. He can do it all, a Jack of all trades, the only thing is, he doesn’t do anything at an elite level, but that’s alright. For the Kings, getting a front court scorer who can play both positions will help out Bagley, Fox, Buddy and Boggie. His high energy can maybe upstart and propel Kings to the next level.

13. New Orleans Pelicans

Tennessean.com

SG/SF Aaron Nesmith Vanderbilt

Pelicans will lose wing players in free agency. They can make it easy on themselves if they surround the star players with shooters. Nesmith was one of the best in the country. I mean 52% from 3pt is unheard of. Maybe we can’t expect that but shooters like Nesmith will always be valued and always find a home.

14. Boston Celtics

Duke Athletics

C – Vernon Carey, Duke

REBOUNDING AND SIZE!!! Come on Boston it’s finally time, that’s been the weakness for years. For Carey, he’s just the opposite of weak. With his strength for both ends of the floor, he can also put the ball in the basket. 6’10 270 says it all. Come on Boston, beef up the front line for once.

UFC 251 Fight Predictions

***WE ARE 1 DAY AWAY FROM THE BIGGEST UFC EVENT EVER!!***

You can’t truly understand how excited I am for UFC 251. Dana White has done a great job at keeping this sport alive with all this COVID-19 mess going on. These fighters are literally going to Yas Island and Abu Dhabi because Dana White turned UFC into “Fight Island”, I mean how sick is that!? And there is 3, that’s right, 3 belts on the line. I am going to give my predictions on the Main Card alone.

Amanda Ribas (9-1) v. Paige VanZant (8-4)

              Paige VanZant knew coming to this fight that she was a huge underdog and still took the fight. The thing with her is she is coming off a very long layover of not stepping in that octagon. She has only fought once a year since 2016, didn’t fight in 2017, lost in 2018, and got a win by Submission in 2019. We know just by looking at her that she is incredibly fit, but to go against Ribas, is a different story. Ribas went to decision against Mackenzie Dern (a monster) and has shown a consistent fighting pattern in her career. I have seen crazy things happen in the UFC; I just question how successful Paige will be when it comes time to step into the octagon with a very tough opponent.

Prediction: Ribas wins; It’ll go distance or by submission

Jessica Andrade (20-7) v. Rose Namajunas (9-4) Part II

              This is one fight you DO NOT want to miss!! These women are great at Submissions and have very heavy hands. One of the ‘Fight of the Year’ Award this year in question is Joanna Jedrzejczky v. Weili Zhang and Rose beat her twice already. The first fight was crazy because Rose was already boxing Andrade, but she ended up being slammed on her head. I believe this fight will stay standing up, Rose is just faster at throwing those punches and I believe it won’t go to a decision.

Prediction: Rose Wins in TKO/KO

Petr Yan (14-1) v. Jose Aldo (28-6)

              This division has some SERIOUSLY scary Bantamweight fighters. Lately, all we have been seeing is Knockout-after-Knockouts from these guys, it is crazy! Petr Yan has got this in the bag. Now, I am not knocking Jose Aldo by any means necessary. The guy is a beast and I believe he won his last fight. The guy looked good for moving down in weight and would have a success at the weight class. I am going with Yan because he has been destroying guys, the power he possesses is something extraordinary. He has defeated Urijah Faber, Jimmie Rivera, and held the belt of an MMA establishment before UFC. Yan’s wrestling will not be a factor in this fight because Aldo’s Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is just on a complete other level. Both are ready for the fight to go the distance but whoever comes out on top will be our new Bantamweight Champion. These boys are going to bring their A-game!

Prediction: Petr Yan Knockout over Aldo

Alexander Volkanovski (21-1) v. Max Holloway (21-5) II

              Another fight, another rematch and last time we saw Max, he lost his belt to Alexander, now he has a chance of redemption. This one hurts me because everyone loves Max. He does not talk trash to anyone, he has been an internet sensation during quarantine playing Call of Duty: Warzone, he is everyone’s favorite Hawaiian. I did not expect Volkanovski to take that Featherweight Belt from him. The biggest thing from that fight were the kicks he was hitting Max with, just destroying his legs, and Max didn’t checking those kicks to block them. He cuts Volkanovski’s kicks away from them he can use his reach to do what he does best- wail on his opponent’s face. It went to decision when at the very end and that was the top factor for Volkanovski’s win. Max has fought some absolute dogs in his career- Frankie Edgar, Dustin Poirier, Brian Ortega, and Jose Aldo twice and One thing for certain, this guys chin is incredible. He has banged with some of the toughest guys out there including Conor McGregor. He has the cardio to go to decision majority of the time if he does not get the KO. I feel we will hear “AND NEWWWW” from Bruce Buffer and see that hand get raised.  

Prediction: Max Holloway Decision

Kamaru Usman (16-1) v. Jorge Masvidal (35-13)

              If you guys are a fan of the sport like me, you know that these two do NOT like each other. They almost got into a fight at a press conference and have voiced multiple times through social media exactly what they thought of each other. When looking at this fight we need to take in a few factors. One, Jorge took this fight on 6 days’ notice. That is insane. He has wanted to get in the octagon and settle his beef so bad that he hasn’t even went through a fight camp. Which brings me to my second point, Jorge does not need a camp. Yes, it would be ideal, but even Dustin Poirier brought up that he was training with him in the gym during his last fight. We must remember that Jorge started by his videos on YouTube with Kimbo Slice beating people up in a backyard. The dude is an animal! My third and final point, this guy has been on an outstanding streak. Started when he KO’d Darren Till, then gets the fastest KO in UFC history (0:05) against Ben Askren, and then wins a made-up Bad Mother F***er Belt against Nate Diaz. Now this guy has a chance to fight for the Welterweight Belt to add to his success. Most guys look at Usman’s stature and immediately think he takes peoples heads off. I mean look at his record, only one loss. That is not quite the case, he has gone the distance in his last 6 fights (Colby Covington doesn’t count because it almost made it). His last actual KO/TKO was in 2017. I am picking Jorge because he has the ability to go all 5 rounds, has fought longer than he has even been in MMA, and has KO power. Usman has been training for a completely different fighter (Gilbert Burns) but because Burns tested positive for COVID-19, can-not make it. Only way I see Usman winning is takedown, but if Jorge stops it, he goes home with that brand-new Welterweight Belt.

Prediction: Masvidal decision or KO

I know one thing is for sure, you guys will not want to miss this Main Card. These fights are insane and it is going to be a great show!!

Corbin Snellings follow me on twitter @cbizzle93

UFC Writer for The Prophets