NFL Week 12 Picks Podcast With Coach Gottlin: The Deli Counter

By Raimundo Ortiz (@AroundtheMundo

Coach Gottlin opens up the podcast yet again as we delve into our Week 12 games to bet.

NBA Talk With Coach Gottlin: The Deli Counter

By Raimundo Ortiz (@AroundtheMundo)

Coach Gottlin and I go around the NBA, assessing playoff chances, analyzing new faces in new places.

NFL Week 8 Picks Podcast With Coach Gottlin: The Deli Counter

By Raimundo Ortiz (@AroundtheMundo)

Coach Gottlin opens up the podcast to settle a bet, and we make a juicy wager.

Royal Blues: How Much Will Losing James Shields And Billy Butler Hurt KC?

By Raimundo Ortiz (@AroundtheMundo)

The Kansas City Royals’ magnificent postseason run ended just short of the ending many fans wanted, and despite all the promise they showed during this stretch, a return trip could be difficult to achieve.

Before the 2013 season the Royals front office dealt top prospect Wil Myers to the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for SP James Shields and SP/RP Wade Davis. The trade was widely panned by statheads who lamented the loss of “control” KC had on Myers. They also cried about Shields exiting his prime years soon, his big salary, and the fact that they might not be able to keep him when the deal expired.

The Royals wanted to win now, so the deal made sense in that respect, but with their history who thought they’d actually, you know, win now. They barely missed the playoffs in 2013, and this year–you know the story. The deal didn’t get sealed though, and now they are all but certain to lose their ace. Let’s look at how much it’ll hurt.

Continue reading

NFL 2014: Week 9 Predictions Against The Spread

By Raimundo Ortiz (@AroundtheMundo)

* indicates outright upset

Thursday Night

New Orleans (-3.5) over CAROLINA

CAROLINA (+3.5) over New Orleans

Sunday (Early)

*San Diego (+3.0) over MIAMI

MIAMI (-3.0) over San Diego

CINCINNATI (-10.5) over Jacksonville

CINCINNATI (-10.5) over Jacksonville

Tampa Bay (+6.5) over CLEVELAND

Tampa Bay (+6.5) over CLEVELAND

Washington (pk) over MINNESOTA

MINNESOTA (pk) over Washington

HOUSTON (+2.0) over Philadelphia

HOUSTON (+2.0) over Philadelphia

Jets (+9.0) over KANSAS CITY

Jets (+9.0) over KANSAS CITY

Arizona (+1.0) over DALLAS

DALLAS (-1.0) over Arizona

Sunday (Late)

St. Louis (+10.5) over SAN FRANCISCO

St. Louis (+10.5) over SAN FRANCISCO

Denver (-3.0) over NEW ENGLAND

NEW ENGLAND (+3.0) over Denver

Oakland (+13.5) over SEATTLE

SEATTLE (-13.5) over Oakland

Sunday Night

Baltimore (pk) over PITTSBURGH

Baltimore (pk) over PITTSBSURGH

Monday Night

Indianapolis (-3.0) over GIANTS

GIANTS (+3.0) over Indianapolis

NBA 2014-15 Preview: Playoff Picks, Awards Predictions

By Raimundo Ortiz (@AroundtheMundo)

Eastern Conference Playoff Picks

  1. Chicago Bulls
  2. Washington Wizards
  3. Toronto Raptors
  4. Cleveland Cavaliers
  5. Miami Heat
  6. Charlotte Hornets
  7. New York Knicks
  8. Brooklyn Nets

Eastern Conference Finals Representative: Cleveland Cavaliers (Will have 2nd-best record in East).

Western Conference Playoff Picks

  1. Los Angeles Clippers
  2. San Antonio Spurs
  3. Oklahoma City Thunder
  4. Golden State Warriors
  5. Houston Rockets
  6. Memphis Grizzlies
  7. Portland Trailblazers
  8. New Orleans Pelicans

Western Conference Finals Representative: Los Angeles Clippers

NBA Champions: Los Angeles Clippers

Awards 

MVP: Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers

Rookie Of The Year: Marcus Smart, Boston Celtics

Defensive Player Of The Year: Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans

Sixth Man Of The Year: Tim Hardaway Jr., New York Knicks

All-NBA First Team

PG: Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers

SG: James Harden, Houston Rockets

SF: LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers

PF: Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers

C: Dwight Howard, Houston Rockets

All-NBA Second Team

PG: Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder

SG: Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat

SF: Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder

PF: Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans

C: DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento Kings

All-NBA Third Team

PG: Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors

SG: Lance Stephenson, Charlotte Hornets

SF: Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks

PF: Kevin Love, Cleveland Cavaliers

C: Joakim Noah, Chicago Bulls

NBA 2014-15 Preview Southwest Division: Rockets Ready To Unseat Spurs?

By Raimundo Ortiz (@AroundtheMundo)

This is the sixth and final NBA divisional preview. For each team I will post my projected starting lineups, give a brief outlook on the season for each team, and highlight an X factor on the roster. The teams will be listed in the order I expect them to finish. Today we’ll deal with the Southwest Division.

San Antonio Spurs (Last season: 62-20) 

Starting Five: Tony Parker, Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, Tim Duncan, Boris Diaw 

Owing to the age of this roster, they shouldn’t be expected to win the most loaded division in the NBA. This is the Spurs though, and any bet against them to start a season is foolish. This team can lose just about any cog in this system (except Kawhi Leonard) for a chunk of time and not miss a beat. They are a well-oiled machine, with Leonard as the young stud who will keep the good times rolling even when the vets finally vacate the premises.

They haven’t yet though, and Tony Parker will keep reminding us all that he’s one of the very best players in the NBA, while Tim Duncan does likewise in every big moment he’s needed in.

Continue reading

NBA 2014-15 Preview Pacific Division: Clippers Ready For A Title?

By Raimundo Ortiz (@AroundtheMundo)

This is the fifth of my NBA divisional previews. For each team I will post my projected starting lineups, give a brief outlook on the season for each team, and highlight an X factor on the roster. The teams will be listed in the order I expect them to finish. Today we’ll deal with the Pacific Division.

Los Angeles Clippers (Last season: 57-25)

Starting Five: Chris Paul, J.J. Redick, Matt Barnes, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan

If some of the outside shooting Blake Griffin showed the preseason can be maintained once the games count, this could be an MVP campaign for the former No. 1 overall pick. Griffin’s become very underrated because of the focus on his highlights, but he’s gotten better defensively, has a very good post game, and looks like he’s added the ability to score a bit from the outside.

Paul, the best point guard in the NBA is back, and this team is among the deepest in the sport. If Jordan can maintain the tremendous strides he made on the glass and as a shot-blocker, the Clips might be the favorites to take home the trophy this summer. Like the Blazers, the Clippers have a slew of big men on the roster and many of them have varied skills, giving Doc Rivers multiple ways to adapt to opponents.

Continue reading

NBA 2014-15 Preview Northwest Division: Russell Westbrook Enough To Hold Off Blazers?

By Raimundo Ortiz (@AroundtheMundo)

This is the fourth of my NBA divisional previews. For each team I will post my projected starting lineups, give a brief outlook on the season for each team, and highlight an X factor on the roster. The teams will be listed in the order I expect them to finish. Today we’ll deal with the Northwest Division.

Oklahoma City Thunder (Last season: 59-23) 

Starting Five: Russell Westbrook, Jeremy Lamb, Anthony Roberson, Serge Ibaka, Steven Adams

The offseason hasn’t been kind to OKC, and only some of it was injury’s doing. Oklahoma City failed to grab a shooter/scorer in the draft despite owning two picks in the first round. They took big man Mitch McGary, who is already injured, and a swingman named Josh Huestis who was actually selected because he wouldn’t play in the NBA this season.

Then, reigning MVP Kevin Durant broke a bone in his foot that will keep him out for about two months. All this means the offensive machine that OKC was last year will be derailed a tad. It also allows Westbrook to undergo a maturation process that Durant went through last year.

Westbrook is among the Top 5 or 10 players in the Association, but the burden of not only scoring, but creating for the whole offense, is on his shoulders.

Continue reading

NBA 2014-15 Preview Southeast Division: Can Wade And Bosh Win Without LeBron?

By Raimundo Ortiz (@AroundtheMundo)

This is the third of my NBA divisional previews. For each team I will post my projected starting lineups, give a brief outlook on the season for each team, and highlight an X factor on the roster. The teams will be listed in the order I expect them to finish. Today we’ll deal with the Southeast Division.

Washington Wizards (Last season: 44-38)

Starting Five: John Wall, Martell Webster, Paul Pierce, Nene, Marcin Gortat John Wall had his best season as a pro last year, averaging a career-high 8.8 assists to go with 19.1 points and a 35 percent mark from 3-point range. Losing Bradley Beal for several weeks to start the season almost forced me to knock the Wiz down a peg, but Wall’s on such a high level that I left them alone.

Without Beal, the Wizards’ huge frontcourt will play a larger role. Marcin Gortat got paid a ton of money to stay in D.C., and he’s pretty reliable. Nene, on the other hand, must stay healthy for Washington to overcome the loss of Beal in this wide-open division.

X-Factor: Paul Pierce Pierce was clearly past his prime last season as he posted career-lows across the board for the Brooklyn Nets. Still, his leadership was invaluable, and he changed his game to fit a unique small-ball style that featured him as an extremely small stretch power forward. For the Wizards, they may need Pierce to find his scoring magic again with Beal out.

If Pierce can compete at a high level, he’s a player that could push Washington over the top. If he can’t, the Wizards will struggle early and possibly miss out on a home series or two in the postseason.  Continue reading