Angels lock up Trout for 6 years, $144.5M

L. A. – Mike Trout and the Los Angeles Angels agreed Friday night to a $one hundred forty four.5 million, six-yr contract, protecting baseball's brightest younger star beneath membership control through 2020.

The Angels mentioned the 22-yr-previous, two-time All-Star and his household shall be at a information convention Saturday in Anaheim to formally announce the contract along with owner Arte Moreno, supervisor Mike Scioscia and general supervisor Jerry Dipoto.

Few gamers in main league history have approached Trout's accomplishments in his first two full main league seasons. The speedy outfielder is a 5-software player and one of the darlings of baseball's sabermetrics crowd, known for putting up old style highlights and statistical superlatives on a regular basis.

"I feel all people is obviously thrilled that it got finished," Scioscia mentioned Friday night time at Dodger Stadium after the Angels' exhibition sport, which Trout missed with a abdomen virus. "He's a special participant and a particular individual."

The Millville, N.J., product was a unanimous selection for AL Rookie of the 12 months in 2012, and he completed second in AL MVP voting to Miguel Cabrera the past two years.

Mike Trout

The Angels agreed with star slugger Mike Trout on a $one hundred forty four.5 million, six-year contract extension.

Trout's deal came on the same day Cabrera finalized a $292 million, 10-12 months take care of the Detroit Tigers, the richest contract in American sports.

The free-spending Angels had been decided to reward Trout whereas locking up their prized possession past his first few years of eligibility for arbitration and free company. Los Angeles has been quietly negotiating with Trout's representatives all through spring training, and the club closed the deal three days before Opening Day at Angel Stadium.

Trout agreed on Feb. 26 to a $1 million, one-12 months contract for 2014, far more than the Angels have been required to supply him. His new deal runs from 2015-20.

The outfielder would have been eligible for arbitration for the primary time after this season, and without spending a dime agency following the 2017 World Sequence. Now, he cannot turn out to be a free agent until no less than age 29.

It is the latest massive-cash deal for the Angels, who are getting into the third season of a $240 million, 10-year contract with first baseman Albert Pujols, the second season of a $a hundred twenty five million, five-12 months settlement with outfielder Josh Hamilton and the third season of an $eighty five million, five-12 months contract with pitcher Jered Weaver.

But whereas the Angels' offers for Pujols and Hamilton have been criticized for their lavish nature and the 30-one thing sluggers' ensuing lack of manufacturing, Los Angeles is locking up Trout early in an uncommonly promising career.

Trout's contract is not worth as a lot as Cabrera's deal in Detroit, however it nonetheless would allow Trout to hit free agency at an age when he might be within the prime of his career.

And when his new deal ends, Trout will nonetheless be younger than the 30-yr-previous Cabrera is now.

Trout's average wage of $24,083,333 under the brand new deal is ninth in the majors, trailing only those of Clayton Kershaw, Cabrera, Alex Rodriguez, Justin Verlander, Ryan Howard, Hamilton, Felix Hernandez and Zack Greinke.

Trout is batting314 with 62 homers and 196 RBIs in just 336 profession video games, including 40 games in 2011. He additionally has stolen 86 bases while playing stellar protection and making two All-Star teams, starting for the AL last summer.

He's one in all 4 players in baseball history to bat320 with 50 homers and 200 runs in his first two full seasons, becoming a member of Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams and Pujols.

Trout has achieved nearly all the pieces besides group success during his quick major league career. The Angels have missed the playoffs in four consecutive seasons, and they finished seventy eight-eighty four final yr, their worst record in a decade.

The deal offers huge security for Trout. He obtained a bonus of $1,215,000 when he signed after the Angels selected him with the twenty fifth general choose within the 2009 newbie draft. He made $482,500 two years in the past and earned a $10,000 bonus for successful the rookie award, then was unilaterally renewed by the Angels last 12 months at $510,000 – $20,000 above the large league minimal on the time.

That deal sparked criticism from many Angels fans who thought Trout deserved more compensation for his outstanding play. They also nervous the relatively meager deal – and the Angels' resolution to maneuver Trout from his preferred middle subject to left final season – may bitter the budding famous person on the group.

Trout is again in middle discipline this season, and Moreno made certain Trout couldn't doubt the Angels' monetary dedication to him.


NBA Prediction Friday Night Preview/Pick- Memphis vs. Golden State

NBA Free Pick & Prediciton Grizzlies vs. Warriors

Memphis Grizzlies (43-28, 20-14 away) @ Golden State Warriors (44-27, 23-12 home) 02/28- 10:30PM EST


Line: GSW -2.0

Over/Under- 188.0


With the NBA season winding down and teams in the Western Conference still battling for positioning, the Memphis Grizzlies will try to move even with the Golden State Warriors when both teams take the floor in Oakland on Friday night.


The playoff seedings are still up for grabs and with not many games separating the fifth and ninth place teams in the tough Western Conference… both the Grizzlies and Warriors understand what is needed the rest of the way so they are not sitting at home come playoff time.


With a win over the Warriors, the surging Memphis Grizzlies (43-28) will have a chance to draw even with six-place Golden State… although I feel confident both teams will advance to the postseason.


The Grizzlies, since Jan. 10 have been one of the hottest and better teams in the league having won 28 of their 37 games, with only the San Antonio Spurs, which has won 15 straight the only hotter team with a better winning percentage. But, prior to the Grizzlies playing the type of basketball we’ve come to expect, they were sitting at the bottom of the Southwest Division at 15-19.


Memphis has won three straight and nine of 11 games and with the likes Portland, Golden State, Dallas and Phoenix all fighting for the final four playoff spots, the Grizzlies must continue to use what has gotten them to where they are… defense.


We know how important each of these games are for us,” said Marc Gasol, who along with Zach Randolph and Mike Conely are the cornerstones of this team.


With a win in Oakland, a place where they have had success in recent years, the Grizzlies can move a season-high 16 games above .500 and having won 15 of 19 games versus the West with the Trail Blazers coming up on Sunday, Memphis is poised to continue their success and make a strong playoff push.


After five days off, a well rested Golden State team will try to bounce back following last Saturday’s 99-90 home loss to San Antonio, a team that won without Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili in the lineup.


It’s a disappointing loss,” said Warriors’ coach Mark Jackson, who along with the Grizzlies are 13-5 since the All-Star break. “It’ll make us better.”


Starting swingman Andre Iguadala will be back in the lineup after missing the last three games due to a sore right knee and will give the Warriors another offensive weapon along with Stephen Curry, David Lee and Klay Thompson to go up against the tough defense of the Grizzlies who have allowed an NBA-low 90.2 points per game since the return of Gasol back on Jan. 14.


Golden State is a team that lives and dies from the outside and it’s all-or-nothing for them, where in their seven wins since March 5 have averaged 110.1 points per game and in their three losses have averaged only 94.0 ppg.


Memphis has won the last five contests in Oakland holding the home Warriors to only 88.8 points per game, but the oddsmakers are giving Golden State the slight edge making them a (minus -2.0) point favorite with an over/under of 188.0, but get the latest odds on the game up until tipoff right here at Wonder Punter.


It will be the high powered offense of Golden State versus the stingy defense of Memphis on Friday night and we all know defense wins games. Expect a good close game between these two teams but I predict the Grizzlies to continue form and leave Oakland with a tough road victory.


Prediction/Pick- Memphis



By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter

NBA Prediction Sunday Preview/Pick- Indiana vs. Dallas

Free NBA Pick and Prediction Pacers vs. Mavericks

Indiana Pacers (46-16, 17-12 away) @ Dallas Mavericks (37-26, 20-10 home) 03/09- 7:30PM EST


Line: IND -1.0

Over/Under: 197.0


The Indiana Pacers take to the court on Sunday night against the Dallas Mavericks as they try to regroup and end their longest slide of the season in what should be an entertaining game.


Dallas will be the second stop for the Pacers in Texas and hopefully they can give a better performance than they egg they laid against the Houston Rockets on Friday night when they suffered a 112-86 blowout loss. I truly believed they were going to leave Houston with a big win, instead what we got was a team that has looked awful since winning five straight not too long ago and now find themselves trying to avoid losing four consecutive games.


Indiana committed 19 turnovers and were outscored in the paint 48-30 against the Rockets, but more disturbing has been their lack of defense over the last two games as they gave up 109 at Charlotte and 112 at Houston while giving up a combined 51.9 percent shooting to both teams.


We just need to win games at this point,” center Roy Hibbert said. “We’re just putting the emphasis on trying to get better. We’ve been playing awful.”


The Pacers (46-16) still find themselves atop the Eastern Conference but now find the two-time defending champion Miami Heat hot on their heals for the top spot in the East.


Despite Indiana’s 37 turnovers over the last two ballgames and lack of defense, coach Frank Vogel doesn’t seem too concern…


Every team I’ve ever been a part of has had a stretch like we’re in right now. And since I’ve been here we’ve always worked our way out of it, so I’m sure we will. It stinks right now. It’s not fun right now, but we’ve got a good team and we’ll regroup.”


Another key to the Pacers getting back to winning other than their lack of defense will be the ability of small forward Paul George to get back on track putting the ball through the net, where he is a combined 5-of-21 shooting for just 15 points with nine turnovers in his last two games.


In Indiana’s 81-73 home defeat to Dallas back on Feb. 12, George was held to just 12 points while going a dismal 4-of-17 from the field as the Mavericks snapped a three-game losing streak to the Pacers.


The Mavericks (37-26) will look to keep it going after beating the Portland Trail Blazers 103-98 on Friday night, however they had to rally after blowing a 30-point second quarter lead. Dirk Nowitski poured in 22 points to help the Mavs snap a three-game losing streak going into the game.


It’s that close; you’re either feeling great about it or it’s a really tough, tough night,” said Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle, who’s Dallas ball club holds a slim lead against the surging Memphis Grizzlies for the eight spot in the tough Western Conference. “This is how it’s going to be the next 19 games; the games are all going to be hard like this.”


From here on out, the Mavericks realize it will be the defense that will propel them into the playoffs.. and let’s be honest, Dallas has never been known as a defensive team but after giving up an average of 109.0 points a game during their three-game skid, they understand what is needed the rest of the way.


That’s what it comes down to, one stop and one opportunity, one stop,” Carlisle said. “That’s how you’ve got to look at it. It’s going to be a character test. If we’re not up to it, then we don’t deserve to go to the playoffs.”


Although the Pacers seem to be going the wrong way, the oddsmakers have faith they can get together in Dallas as they have been made a very slim (minus -1.0) point favorite, but with the line likely to move before tipoff, stay up-to-date with the latest odds here at Wonder Punter.


Expect a close, well played game as both teams realize they must clamp down the rest of the way and play with a sense of urgency, but I am going to agree with the oddsmakers and favor the Pacers to win on Sunday night as I feel they are due to finally get back to playing the style of basketball we expect out of them.


Prediction/Pick- Indiana



By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter

NBA Prediction Friday Night Preview/Pick- Indiana vs. Houston


Indiana Pacers (46-15, 17-11 away) @ Houston Rockets (42-19, 24-7 home) 03/07- 9:30PM EST


Line: HOU -4.0

Over/Under: 201.0


Another great game on the docket on Friday night as two of the NBA’s best, the Indiana Pacers and Houston Rockets will take to the court on Friday night.


The Pacers became the first team in the NBA this season to lock up a playoff spot but having lost two straight has put their seeding in the Eastern Conference in doubt. The Pacers were running away with the East and were the early front runners but now have the Miami Heat hot on their heels in what many figure to be a two team race to the Finals for the East.


Indiana (46-15) has lost two consecutive games for only the second time this season and will try to avoid losing three straight for the first time against the Rockets… a team that has dominated the East this season.


The Pacers, it seemed all year could do no wrong, beating everybody in their path and had a stretch of winning 13 of 15 games but since Jan. 22 have put the brakes on and are just 13-8 to allow the Heat to contend for the top spot in the Eastern Conference but there is still some basketball left to be played.


But, if they want to stay in the top spot, they will need to get back to what has gotten them to where they are and that is defense… allowing 97.9 points per game over their last 21 games compared to 88.3 which propelled them to a 33-7 record to start the season.


Over the last 20 games or so, we just haven’t had our mojo,” forward David West said. “We’ve got to change some things up because these last 20 games is going to be a battle.”


Indiana has been shaky against the Western Conference recently having lost three of their last five and will try to stop the bleeding against a Rockets team that has had their way with weaker Eastern opponents having won nine straight against the East, are 19-3 overall and have are 13-0 at home, including their big 106-103 win over the Heat on Tuesday.


All-Stars Dwight Howard and James Harden continue to pace the Rockets (42-19) and are enjoying a 13-2 stretch as they try to catch the Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs for the top spot in the West.


On the minds for the Rockets on Friday night will be revenge as they were embarrassed 114-81 back on Dec. 20 in Indiana.. that was Houston’s fourth straight loss in the series to the Pacers.


The game in Indiana, we didn’t play our brand of basketball,” Howard said. “They were a lot better team than we were earlier in the season. We understand the game as a team a little bit better. I think it’s going to be a different game and we are looking forward to that matchup.”


And with the way the Rockets are playing of late, the oddsmakers agree as they have made the home Rockets a (minus -4.0) point favorite on Friday night, but get the latest spread on the game up until tipoff right here at Wonder Punter.


This is an important game for the Pacers to get back on track and show they are still the team to beat in the NBA and I expect them to have a great all-around game on Friday night. All signs point to the Rockets winning but I’m going to go with the Pacers on this one and feel they can steal one at the Toyota Center. It’s going to be close game but predict the Pacers in a tight one.


Prediction/Pick- Indiana Pacers



By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter

NBA Prediction Friday Night Preview/Pick- Memphis vs. Chicago


Memphis Grizzlies (34-26, 16-12 away) @ Chicago Bulls (34-27, 18-10 home) 03/07- 7:00PM EST


Line: CHI -2.0

Over/Under: 179.5


In what promises to be a great game, two of the league’s hottest teams since the beginning of the new year, the Memphis Grizzlies and Chicago Bulls will battle on Friday night at the United Center.


Both teams struggled for the first two months of the season, disappointing many around the league as they were a combined 25-35 from Oct-Dec, but since the start of January have put together 43-18 combined record.


The Bulls (34-27) has been the hotter of the two as they will be in search of their 11th victory in 13 games, including five straight at home by an average of 19.6 points.


Defense as been the swan song of the Bulls under head coach Tom Thibodeau, but it has been the offense surge sort of speak that has allowed them to win 10 of 12 giving them a nice balance between defense and offense.


A lot of guys are stepping up on this team right now,” said Taj Gibson, who is averaging a career-high 13.4 this season. “Everyone is working hard and helping in whatever way we need. The guys are just focused on the team right now.”


All-star Joakim Noah has been the leader in place of Derrick Rose this season averaging 13.3 points, 11.5 rebounds and 7.2 assists while shooting 54.o percent over his last 13 games, but has been less than effective against the Grizzlies over his last six games averaging just 7.9 points on 41.9 percent shooting. However, power forward Carlos Boozer (14.4 ppg) is averaging a career-best 20.1 points per contest against the Grizzlies.. his highest versus any other NBA team.


Memphis (34-26) will try to bounce back after an unexpected and disappointing 104-93 road loss to the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday night. The were without the services of power forward Zach Randolph (flu) and point guard Mike Conley (17.3) went 0-8 from the field after going for 22 against Cleveland and 20 versus Washington in back-to-back wins.


It was a tough night,” coach Dave Joerger said. “We had some guys, really, really struggle tonight.”


The Grizzlies are 7-3 and the Bulls are 8-2 over their last 10 games and the oddsmakers are favoring the Bulls as a slight (minus 2.0) point favorite but stay up to date with the latest spread as they may change before game time right here at Wonder Punter.


I’m really looking forward to these two teams clashing on Friday night and feel if Zach Randolph is able to suit up, I’m going to give a slight edge to the visiting Grizzlies to get out of the United Center with a win. Expect a great game with great defenses played on both sides.


Prediction/Pick- Memphis Grizzlies



By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter

NBA Prediction Friday Night Preview/Pick- Portland vs. Dallas


Portland Trail Blazers (42-19, 18-11 away) @ Dallas Mavericks (36-26, 19-10 home) 02/07- 8:30PM EST


Line: DAL -2.5

Over/Under: 217.0


On Friday night, the Portland Trail Blazers take to the road to start a stretch of road games against teams with winning records and first up is the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Arena.


The Blazers did well beating up on teams at home with losing records to get them back to winning basketball but now will get the task of playing the first of two five-game road trips this month after enjoying seven of eight at home following the All-Star break.


Portland (42-19), with the first leg of their road trip will consist of four of five teams above .500 in the likes of Dallas (36-26), the Houston Rockets, Memphis Grizzlies and San Antonio Spurs before completing their trip in New Orleans next Friday night.


It’s going to be a real tough road trip for us,” Portland forward LaMarcus Aldridge said. “But if we go out and take care of business and keep playing defense like we did tonight, anything is possible.”


That defense is in response to their 102-78 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night allowing for season-lows in points and field goal percentage (33.0). Defense wins ballgames and after slumping at 3-7, the Blazers started playing defense allowing an average of 39.7 in field goal shooting and 89.3 points per game… 13.3 below their season mark and the result has led them to win six of seven.


Difference is, none of those teams the Blazers beat up on had winning records and against teams that do… they are 1-9 and 3-6 on the road since Jan 18, which was a 127-111 win at Dallas.


If the Blazers wish to find success on the road, they must get more production from All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge, who missed the first five games after the All-Star game due to a groin injury has been off as he tries to get back into a groove averaging just 15.7 points and 6.7 rebounds since his return over the last three games. Aldridge was a dismal 1 of 13 from the field on Wednesday night… his season worst.


My timing is just off,” Aldridge said. “Since coming back, I haven’t felt like my timing has been great.”


For the Dallas Mavericks (36-26), they find themselves in a three-game slump after winning 10 of 12 and defense has been a question mark giving up an average of 110 points per contest over their last two road games, including a 115-110 defeat at the hands of the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday night.


The Mavericks will also find themselves facing tougher opponents as they will take on four of the league’s top seven teams record-wise, including games against the Indiana Pacers and Oklahoma City Thunder.


It’s not going to get easier,” Mavs forward Brandon Wright said. “We just have to come out and play hard. In these home games we have two tough opponents. We just have to keep trucking and we’ll see what happens. We have to lift the level up.”


Dallas is 0-6 against the Western Conference’s top five teams since winning in Houston back on Dec. 23 but oddsmakers have made the Mavs a slight (minus -2.5) point favorite against the Blazers, who are 6-9 on the road since Dec. 18… the worst for any team with a record above .500, but get the latest spread on the game up until tipoff right here at Wonder Punter.


I can easily see this game being a toss-up but will have to agree with the oddsmakers on this one with the Mavericks winning in a close one at home to earn a quality win.


Prediction/Pick- Dallas



By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter

NBA Prediction Friday Night Preview/Pick- Bulls vs. Mavericks

nba pick

Chicago Bulls (31-26, 14-16 away) @ Dallas Mavericks (36-23, 19-9 home) 02/28- 8:30PM EST


Line: DAL -4.5

Over/Under: 191.0


The all of a sudden ‘offensive’ minded Chicago Bulls will travel into American Airlines Center on Friday night in search of their eighth victory in nine games against a Dallas Mavericks team riding a four game win streak.


We all know the Bulls are a great defensive team under coach Tom Thibodeau as they have been ranked in the top three in the NBA under Thibodeau in his first three seasons and with an 91.3 points allowed per game this season are amongst the tops in the league again in the 2013-14 season… but it’s been the offense that has been stealing headlines of late as the Bulls have scored over 100 points in three of their last four games to put them over a season-high five games over the .500 mark.


Chicago (31-26) still ranks last in the league in scoring at 92.9 points per game and after losing Derrick Rose for the season again very easily could’ve just cashed it in and who could blame them?… but there is too much pride in them and Thibodeau has them believing in themselves once again. Let’s not forget they still have a lot of talent in the likes of All-Star Joakim Noah (12.1 ppg, 11.5 rpg), Taj Gibson, Carlos Boozer and a team that loves and takes in pride in hard nose defense and it showed on Wednesday night when they went into Oakland and gave the Golden State Warriors… the NBA’s highest-scoring team a lesson in defense by holding them to just 83 points in a 103-83 win.


We’re a confident group,” Noah said. “(Wednesday) was a big night for us. Played against a team with great offensive power, definitely one of the best teams in the West. To come out there and kick their (butts) like that feels great.”


Many feel the NBA’s Eastern Conference is a two-team race between the Indianapolis Pacers and Miami Heat, but the Bulls who are chasing the third-seed Toronto Raptors are poised to make a move as they have won four of six on the road and will play three of their next four away from home.


Now’s the time to step on the gas pedal and really get ready for the playoffs,” Boozer said.


As for the Dallas Mavericks (36-23), they may be in a loaded and dangerous Western Conference, but have to be feeling confident about they way they have been playing of late moving to a season-high 13 games above .500 as Monte Ellis (19.0 ppg) and Dirk Nowitski (21.6 ppg) continue to pace the team.


The last 12 games we’ve been playing together as a team,” Ellis said. “I think we are coming along at the right time. I think everybody is tuned in and accepting their role of what they need to do to help us win. The biggest thing is that everyone is playing together.”


The Mavs have won 10 of 12, four of five at home and an impressive 13 of 15 at A.A Center against the Bulls, so it is no surprise that oddsmakers have made the Mavericks a (minus -4.5) point favorite, but stay up to date on all the latest odds here at Wonder Punter up until game time.


Both teams are playing great and this will come down to the great defense of the Bulls (91.3 points allowed) trying to slow down the good offensive of the Mavericks (104.6 ppg) and although the Mavs can put some points on the board, their defense is questionable giving up 102.1 points per game and with that am going to predict the Bulls doing enough on both ends of the court to get out of Dallas with a big road win.


Prediction/Pick- Chicago Bulls

By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter

NBA Prediction Friday Night Preview/Pick- Grizzlies vs. Thunder

grizzlies vs thunder

Memphis Grizzlies (32-24, 15-10 away) @ Oklahoma City Thunder (43-15, 23-6 home) 02/28- 8:00PM EST


Line: OKC -6.0

Over/Under- 192.0


The Oklahoma City Thunder will take to the court on Friday night against the visiting and surging Memphis Grizzlies as they will be trying to avoid their fourth straight defeat at home.


It’s been almost five years since the Thunder have experienced a losing streak of this nature but most concerning is that the first three losses have all come at home. Granted, they played the Miami Heat and Los Angeles Clippers, but losing to the lowly Cleveland Cavaliers 114-104 on Wednesday night shocked everyone that knows the game of basketball.


More surprising is that with the return of point guard Michael Westbrook back in the lineup, the Thunder were expected to run the table the rest of the way, but instead have dropped their first three in the midst of a six-game homestand at Chesapeake Energy Arena and the blame can pointed on the defensive end where they have allowed 106.1 points per game in their last seven compared to an NBA ranking of seventh (97.4 ppg) in their first 51 games.


No one in the locker room, including myself, feels good about it,” Thunder head coach Scott Brooks said. “The exciting thing is we know we can do better. We just to maximize our potential.


Defensively we’re not getting after it enough. We just have to keep focusing on that end and it will turn back around for us.”


Despite their recent home slump, the Thunder still hold the best record (43-15) in a very tough and competitive Western Conference and had won 23 of their first 26 before the defense decided to take a break.


We just have to figure it out,” Kevin Durant said. “We have to help everybody else out and figure it out what were doing wrong out there. … we just have to focus on the next game.”


And that next game is Friday night against the Memphis Grizzlies, a team that they defeated 86-77 in a strong defensive showing back on Feb. 3 at home, allowing their second-fewest points of the season.


The Grizzlies have dropped two of three so far this season to the Thunder but have won four of the last six meetings at OKC, including two big games in last year’s Western Conference semifinal that saw them win in five games.


You know it’s always going to be a good game,” Memphis center Marc Gasol said. “Playing over there, you know the place is going to be packed, fans are going to get into it and it’s going to feel like a playoff game. We enjoy that.”


Memphis has won five of their last six and seem to be hitting their stride getting it done at stopping the ball, allowing only 94.6 points per game with an impressive 84.9 per road contest since Jan. 5—tops in the league in that stretch.


Despite the recent struggles of the Thunder at home and the Grizzlies being able to win in OKC, the oddsmakers have still made Oklahoma City a (minus -6.0) point favorite for Friday night’s game, but stay up to date on the latest spread up until tipoff right here at Wonder Punter.


NBA Prediction Friday Night Preview/Pick- Clippers vs. Grizzlies

nba pick & prediction

Los Angeles Clippers (37-19, 14-14 away) @ Memphis Grizzlies (30-23, 15-14 home) 02/21- 8:00PM EST


Line: LAC -2.5

Over/Under: 196.5


Two of the hottest teams over the last six-weeks, the Memphis Grizzlies and Los Angeles Clippers will square off in the final regular-season meeting between these two teams on Friday night at FedEx Forum.


The Grizzlies (30-23), winners of 15 of their last 19 find themselves one game out of the eighth position in the tough Western Conference for the final playoff spot while the Clippers (37-19), winners of 14 of 19 lead the Pacific Division.


The Clippers’ Blake Griffin has been a big reason for their success averaging a career-best 24.4 points, while going for a career-high 25 points or more over his last nine games and has posted six double-doubles in seven games, though his last effort of 35 points and 12 boards was not enough to defeat the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday night 113-103.


He scored like 60, didn’t he? Blake’s great,” Spurs veteran Tim Duncan said. “He’s been playing the best basketball of us career thus far.”


The Clippers had won three in a row prior to losing to San Antonio but their defense has come into question where they have allowed 110 points or more in four of their last six games… and that must improve if they expect to be a factor come playoff time.


Sometimes you can’t control if you’re shooting the ball well or things like that. But you can always control your energy on defense,” Griffin said. “Even when you’re tired, you can still bring a little bit more.


“…. It’s on me. I think I have got to show a little more energy at the start, especially defensively.”


For the Grizzlies, defense has been a vocal point all season, surrendering only 87.8 points per game since Jan 14. One of only two teams along with the Chicago Bulls (93.3) to allow less than 96.0 points per contest in that span.


The big front line of Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph have done a stellar job of containing Griffin since the start of last season allowing only 14.3 points per matchup and his 16.5 career average is the lowest against any NBA opponent.


Memphis, winners of three straight will be in search of winning the regular-season series for the first time since the 2008-09 year with both teams winning on each others home court thus far this season.


The Grizzlies have found their groove since dealing with early season injuries which found them four games under .500 in early January, but despite their winning streak and defense… find themselves a (minus -2.5) point underdog to the visiting Clippers. I’m not sold on the spread, but you can stay up-to-date on the latest lines on the game up until tip off right here at Wonder Punter.


I look for the Grizzlies to continue with their tough defense on Friday night, establishing themselves as a team to be reckoned with for the second half of the season and predict a good home win to extend their winning streak to four games.


Prediction/Pick- Memphis



By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter

NBA Prediction Friday Game Preview/Pick- Memphis vs. Houston

NBA grizzlies vs rockets picks

NBA Free Pick and Prediction Grizzlies vs. Rockets

Memphis Grizzlies (20-20, 9-7 away) @ Houston Rockets (29-15, 18-6 home) 01/24- 8:00PM EST


Line: HOU -7.0

Over/Under- 199.0


The Houston Rockets, in the midst of a three game winning streak look to continue their success against the Memphis Grizzlies at home on Friday night in the first game of a home-and-home series.


Memphis (20-20), winners of four of five, look to bounce back following a 95-92 disappointing loss to the New Orleans Pelicans, but have struggled this season with opponents in the Southwest Division where they are 0-10… the NBA’s only winless team in its division.


The Grizzlies go into Friday night’s game averaging 95.9 points per game, but during their last four games averaged only 88.8 points but thanks to the defense stepping up, allowed only 84.7 points in their last three… down from their season average of 96.6 points per contest.


We had a good thing going,” point guard Mike Conley said. “The schedule is not going to get any easier. We’re coming up against a tough stretch, and we have to get focused again.


We have to get ready for a very good Houston team.”


Memphis has won nine of their last 13 road games but have dropped 14 of 15 in Houston, which doesn’t bold well for their chances to get back over .500… a team that is better than their record indicates in my opinion.


They have the talent with Zach Randolph (17.1 ppg), Conley (18.1) and Marc Gasol (14.7) but haven’t seemed to get over the hump all season and not winning games in their own division is not helping their chances.


Shooting guard Tony Allen will be out for Friday’s game.


Houston (29-15), has been one of the better teams all season long and the duo of Dwight Howard (18.3 ppg) and James Harden (24.3) are getting it done. Now with a rash of injuries… Omer Asik, Terrence Jones, Patrick Beverly all out and Ronnie Brewer (sore calf) and Francisco Garcia (knee) listed as day-to-day, the Howard-Harden combo will continue to carry the team along with Chandler Parsons (17.2).


We’ve had a lot of guys hurt, lot of guys down. Whoever is out there is playing hard is playing for his teammates and that’s what makes you successful,” said forward Omri Casspi.


Despite the injuries, the Rockets have won four of five, won eight of 10 in January and are riding a three game win streak that has seen them light up the scoreboard to the tune of 119.7 points per game.


Houston is 2-0 against the Grizzlies this season, holding Memphis to just 89.0 points in those victories and it’s that success that has made the Rockets a (minus -7.0) point favorite according to oddsmakers, but get the latest spread on the game up until tipoff right here at Wonder Punter.


As much as I would like to think Memphis is due to finally win one in their division and against their division rival nonetheless… I just don’t see Friday night being the night to snap their woes in the Southwest. I’ve always been a fan of the Grizzlies but with the way the Rockets have been scoring at will, I have to predict the Rockets winning big and extending their win streak to four games.


Saturday night, the same two teams will be in Memphis to conclude their home-and-home series.


Prediction/Pick- Houston

By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter

James: Teletovic foul ‘not a basketball play’

"It was just a foul, " Teletovic said. "I just tried to make a foul, and he was coming down the court. He shouldn't be reacting like that. It's just basketball. "

James was whistled for his sixth foul with 36 seconds left in the first overtime. He was driving toward the basket with the Heat trailing 93-91, and Nets point guard Shaun Livingston stepped in to take the charge.

With James disqualified, the Heat tied the game at 93 and sent it to a second overtime. The Nets, however, scored the first 11 points of the second extra session and rolled from there.

James"I thought Kirilenko flopped a few times to be honest about it, and he got the call, " James said when asked about the fouls against him. "The last one that fouled me out could've been a charge for sure. He put his hands on me as I drove and that got him off balance and he got the call. But he definitely flopped a few times. "

James previously fouled out on Dec. 18, 2004 (Boston); Nov. 24, 2006 (at Indiana); April 2, 2008 (at Charlotte); June 3, 2012 (at Boston); and May 28, 2013 (at Indiana).



Beard is back: Napoli, Red Sox agree to deal

Napoli Returning To Boston


BOSTON – Mike Napoli came to terms with the Red Sox on a two-year, $32 million deal, agent Brian Grieper said Friday night, allowing the team to breathe a collective sigh of relief after the power-hitting first baseman left money on the table in order to return to Boston.

"Mike's really pumped, " Grieper said Friday night. "He loves Boston. "

Napoli tweeted the news himself, in a fashion that left little doubt about his affection for the city and a team for which he played an integral part in a World Series title.

The deal is pending a physical, but unlike last December, when Napoli had come to terms on a three-year, $39 million deal only to have it voided and reworked after he failed his physical, this will be a mere formality, Grieper said. In last year's exam, the Red Sox discovered a debilitating hip condition, avascular necrosis, and reduced their commitment to one year.

Napoli actually made money by failing that physical. He was paid $13 million in 2013 ($5 million base, plus $8 million met in performance incentives), and the additional $32 million will make his three-year earnings $45 million – or $6 million more than he would have been paid under the original deal.


Jamie Squire/Getty ImagesMike Napoli, left, agreed to a two-year deal to return to the Red Sox, then proclaimed on Twitter, "The beard is coming back to Boston! "

Napoli's agreement comes during the same week that former Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury agreed to terms with the New York Yankees on a seven-year, $153 million deal and former Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia reached a three-year, $21 million deal with the Miami Marlins.

Ellsbury's departure, while expected, created some urgency for the Red Sox to retain Napoli, who also was vigorously pursued by the Texas Rangers, with whom he had played in 2011 and '12, and by the Seattle Mariners. At least one team offered Napoli a three-year deal, and there was at least one offer for a larger financial package than what he took from the Red Sox.

Napoli, who very publicly celebrated winning the World Series in Boston watering holes, is already a fan favorite, and the news that he took less money to stay undoubtedly will endear him even more to the team's fan base.

Only one Red Sox free agent of significance remains unsigned: shortstop Stephen Drew, who a month ago was declared out of the running for a return by one baseball source who predicted he would receive a multiyear offer from another club. The Red Sox remain engaged in talks with agent Scott Boras about Drew returning, but the pressure to bring him back might be eased by Napoli's signing.

Had Napoli left, the Red Sox had discussed internally the possibility of signing Drew, moving rookie Xander Bogaerts to third, and employing a platoon of Will Middlebrooks and Daniel Nava at first.

Napoli becomes the third free agent signed by the Red Sox since the end of the season, joining catcher A. J. Pierzynski (one year, $8. 25 million) and reliever Edward Mujica (two years, $9. 5 million). Coincidentally, Pierzynski replaced Napoli as Texas' catcher after he left the Rangers following the 2012 season.

It didn't take Napoli's Red Sox teammates long to take out the needle.

"Took ya long enough, " pitcher Jon Lester tweeted.


Read The Original Article


Doyel: Grinnell show not all it’s cracked up to be


Jack Taylor heads to the hoop during his record-setting 138-point game in 2012. (USATSI) Jack Taylor heads to the hoop throughout his file-setting 138-point sport in 2012. (USATSI)


EDITOR’S NOTICE: Quotes on this column originally attributed to Grinnell School head coach David Arseneault are from David N. Arseneault, a Grinnell assistant coach and son of the top coach. Reached Tuesday, the elder Arseneault stated David N. Arseneault typically handles media requests, with the elder Arseneault adding, “I belief what my son’s going to say. I trust him to speak for me.”

The headline is astonishing, and that is what the coach is relying on. He is relying on all of us being blown away by the headline from Sunday, so staggered by the sheer preposterousness of all of it – Grinnell School participant scores 109 points! – that we don’t look past the plain.

And to his credit score, Grinnell coach Dave Arseneault is true. Most of us don’t look previous the astonishing headline, the preposterous number. Go to virtually any media website, local or national. Plug “Grinnell” into the search engine. Add the quantity 109 and the identify of the child, Jack Taylor, who scored all these factors on Sunday. See what you get.

What you won’t get? An explanation of how it happened. Why it occurred. You will not see the way in which those 109 factors had been scored, the best way the game came together, the unseemly means the whole headline got here to be.

Dave Arseneault is counting on that, too.

What he is not relying on is you being right here, proper now, and reading about the best way Grinnell College offered its sporting soul for title recognition and some seconds on SportsCenter.

Hold reading, please. I suspect Dave Arseneault is hoping you won’t.

• • •

A.J. Carson remembers it was weird. Arseneault referred to as him greater than a yr in the past desirous to schedule a game this season, however Arseneault did not call in the summer, when scheduling usually occurs. He known as a lot later, nearer to the actual 2012-thirteen season. Whatever, Carson figured. As the athletics director at Crossroad College, he was in no place to be picky.

“For us having simply 100 students and maybe 40 on campus, we’re a really small school,” Carson told me. “We depend on these video games. It is what it’s – a cash recreation for us.”

Arseneault was offering a guarantee of $1,400 for Crossroads to drive 4 hours from Rochester, Minn., to Grinnell, Iowa. Grinnell isn’t a giant college by any means, with an enrollment of about 1,seven-hundred, nevertheless it’s a Division III basketball powerhouse that may supply academic scholarships, which helps faculties at that stage lure athletes. Crossroads College? It is within the Nationwide Christian School Athletic Association, which is a step beneath NAIA, which is a step beneath Grinnell.


Triple digits again

Grinnell’s Taylor goes for 109 points vs. Crossroads


This was going to be a mismatch, but Crossroads has payments to pay and its athletes have garments to clean.

“We don’t have a washing machine,” Carson instructed me.

How, um, do the players get clear garments?

“They wash them within the dorms,” he said.

That $1,400 test from Grinnell was going to come in handy, Carson figured when he agreed to the sport, but he began to get a bad feeling a couple of weeks later when Grinnell made worldwide headlines. One of its gamers – the aforementioned Jack Taylor – scored a nationwide file 138 factors against another NCCAA member, Religion Baptist Bible Faculty.

All of a sudden, the timing of Arseneault’s call made sense.

“If I would identified that is the way in which they performed,” Carson stated, “I am undecided I would have mentioned sure.”

• • •

Grinnell did not always play exactly like this, however then, its coach didn’t always have a e book to promote.

Make no mistake, Grinnell has all the time played hard and fast and furious. It has run up and down the courtroom and pressed and scored greater than nearly any group within the country. Arseneault acquired there in 1989, and since then his crew has led the nation in scoring 17 times. There may be nobility in enjoying that hard, that unconventionally, that nicely.

However nobility has its limits. Grinnell hasn’t always played like this, taking part in as if its coach has a guide to promote. Which he does. In accordance with Grinnell archives, an Arseneault participant first erupted for a headline-grabbing day in 1998 when Jeff Clement scored seventy seven points. Arseneault had been at Grinnell since 1989, so why did this occur in 1998? Possibly as a result of that was the season he released a e book on “The System,” his high-scoring offense. A game like Jeff Clement’s 77-level outburst gets attention. If Clement’s coach has a recent e book to sell, effectively, that might be a coincidence.

I asked assistant coach David N. Arseneault on Monday why he performs the best way he performs, organising sure video games to let one player score a lot, and he didn’t mention the book.

“We’re trying to win the convention. We’re trying to steer the nation in scoring,” he said. “I actually consider our greatest hope of successful a convention title is our best participant taking part in at a excessive degree.”

Grinnell continued to win after Clement’s seventy seven-point sport and “The System” continued to score factors at nation-leading ranges, but it surely wasn’t until 13 years later when another of Arseneault’s players had another of those crazy games. Arseneault scheduled a school referred to as Principia – a faculty of 526 students that payments itself as an educational establishment for Christian Scientists – and unleashed Griffin Lentsch for an NCAA Division III document 89 points. Across the same time, Arseneault was developing with one other e book idea, one that was going to require contributions from coaches around the country. Was he generating more attention for his e-book by unleashing Lentsch on a bunch of Christian Scientists? David N. Arseneault says no, telling me “that’s simply the best way we play.”


Jack Taylor fires from beyond the arc against Faith Baptist. (USATSI) Jack Taylor fires from past the arc against Faith Baptist. (USATSI)


Final season Arseneault unleashed Taylor on Faith Baptist Bible College for 138 points, producing immeasurable attention. His second e book was launched in August of this 12 months, and three months later he unleashed Taylor for 71 factors against Finlandia. That was Friday night time. Taylor’s outburst generated little or no buzz.

Two days later, the varsity and not using a washing machine got here to city.

• • •

Crossroads was in trouble earlier than it began. A rash of accidents decreased the team to 9 accessible players, dangerous for any sport however untenable against a crew that runs up and down the courtroom for 40 minutes and has the manpower to do it. Grinnell has used 19 players this season, with 13 averaging double-figures in minutes.

“I talked to their coach beforehand,” the younger Arseneault said. “He said they’d somewhat little bit of a limited roster.”

Grinnell pressed from the opening faucet, and Arseneault stationed Taylor atop the press to defend the inbounds play and double-crew the recipient of the entry pass. Once the ball handed the free throw line Taylor stopped defending, crossing the midcourt stripe solely as soon as throughout a 11-minute stretch on Sunday – and as soon as he realized the place he was, he stopped. At that second Crossroads had a two-on-one quick break; Taylor was the one. When he stopped, it was two on none.


Mistaken id

Which Arseneault does the talking at Grinnell?


Most occasions when Crossroads was capable of get previous midcourt, it was a layup. Crossroads senior Andy Carson – youthful brother of the athletics director – scored 50 points on 25-of-27 taking pictures. A few of those photographs have been contested, but others looked like something out of pregame heat-ups.

On offense Taylor stored capturing until he scored or Crossroads acquired the defensive rebound. Taylor scored 49 consecutive Grinnell factors in a single stretch – I watched video of the sport Monday – taking three shots on a number of possessions, including one where teammate Cody Olson grabbed an offensive rebound of Taylor’s miss and saw no person between himself and the rim, eight feet away. Olson looked like he may need no selection however to shoot until he noticed Taylor reduce to the basket. Crisis averted, Olson handed to Taylor for the layup.

This can be a circus and Arseneault is the ringmaster, making it as simple as potential for Taylor to attain by subbing out help in waves. Whereas Crossroads had solely 4 players on its bench, Arseneault had 14 reserves at his disposal and was sending in 4 gamers at a time – Taylor stayed in – each 60 seconds or so. With Taylor playing only one-third of the court docket, this was one recent workforce from Division III towards one exhausted team from the Christian subdivision.

In that second-half spurt, Taylor outscored Crossroads 49-32 all by himself.

“It was hard for us to guard him,” A.J. Carson said. “They referred to as ticky-tack fouls on him [Taylor went to the line 17 instances], and we had been shorthanded as it was. Very last thing we might want to do is finish the sport with 4 gamers, knowing full properly they’d in all probability press us with 4.”

David N. Arseneault mentioned scheduling Crossroads was mandatory as a result of “Division III groups won’t play us. We’ll make hundreds of calls to fill a five-game non-conference schedule. A couple of years ago we played simply four games because we could not fill it.”

I asked him if that tells him anything about the way he conducts his business.

“I don’t look at it like that,” he said.

Arseneault sees what he sees and does what he does, dipping down into the NCCAA or Christian Scientist ranks for games – and when he has a severely outclassed foe, he unleashes Jack Taylor for max search engine optimization. Taylor scored 138 on Faith Baptist Bible Faculty final season, and Sunday he faced a Crossroads staff that is 0-10 and permitting 107 factors per recreation. He confronted a Crossroads crew that’s several rungs beneath Grinnell and had only nine accessible players, one in all whom played on a house-college staff in high school. And he shot it 70 instances to score his 109 Google-friendly factors in a 173-123 rout.

You’d like to suppose Jack Taylor is embarrassed about what Arseneault keeps asking him to do, but who is aware of? As for Arseneault, I can tell you this: He feels no disgrace at all. Word for word, I requested him this on Monday:

At what level do you feel embarrassed about what you’re doing to overmatched groups?

“At what level do I..” David N. Arseneault’s voice trailed off. “I am unsure I understand your query.”


Read The Original Article


Heat’s Chalmers banned for Dirk elbow


Chalmers was ejected Friday night for hitting Nowitzki. (USATSI) Chalmers was ejected Friday night time for hitting Nowitzki. (USATSI)


Warmth level guard Mario Chalmers was suspended for one recreation Satuday by the NBA for putting Dirk Nowitzki in the head with a forearm in the Warmth’s win Friday over Dallas in Miami. This is video of the hit.

Chalmers posted the following to Twitter Saturday:

By no means in my career been a unclean participant. It’s clear that my arm was being held and that’s wat brought on me to hit dirk. Enough is sufficient man

— Mario Chalmers (@mchalmers15) November sixteen, 2013

Chalmers advised reporters after the game Friday night time:

“Dalembert had my arm so I had to get my arm free,” Chalmers mentioned Friday of his swinging motion. “There was nothing intentional about it. I did not even see Dirk.”

Chalmers tried to appeal the call before he was ushered from the court docket by the Warmth’s director of security.

“I just instructed them, ‘Take a look at the replay and look at Dalembert holding my arm,’ ” Chalmers mentioned. “That is all I mentioned to them.”

by way of Miami Warmth guard Mario Chalmers faces sanctions after foul vs. Dallas Mavericks ahead Dirk Nowitzki – Sun Sentinel.

Chalmers will serve the suspension Saturday for the Heat’s game in Charlotte.

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NCAA Week 12 College Football Recap- #13 UCLA Wins!


Washington Huskies (6-4)- 31

UCLA Bruins (8-2)- 41


Line: UCLA -3.0

Over/Under: 61


UCLA freshman linebacker Myles Jack made history Friday night at the Rose Bowl becoming the 13th player in UCLA history to score four touchdowns as the thirteenth ranked Bruins (8-2, 5-2) beat Washington 41-31 to keep pace in the Pac-12 South race and stay eligible for a BCS major-bowl bid.


The story once again was newly crowned two-way player Myles Jack who ran for four touchdowns on thirteen carries for 59 yards and contributed on the defensive side of the ball with five tackles.


UCLA coach Jim Mora was somewhat hush-hush all week on whether he would use the redshirt freshman in the offense again, but after last week’s showing… how could he not?


Jack was used against the Huskies primary in short-yardage situations and he responded with four touchdown runs of 8, 1, 1 and 2 yards…. with three of those touchdowns coming in the first half.


I really don’t take much credit for it,” Jack said. “It’s just the line blocking for me. The holes are right there, and I just hit them. When I’m in there, everybody in the stadium knows what we’re about to run.”


He’s having fun out there,” said Brett Hundley. “I talk to him in the backfield and put a smile on his face. He’s a monster, that’s all I can say.”


Bruins quarterback Brett Hundley finished the night 13 of 22 for 159 yards and two touchdowns.


Washington made a game of it after falling behind 20-7 after the first quarter and down 27-17 at halftime, but in the end too much UCLA and the Huskies have now lost nine of their last 12 Pac-12 road games and have not won at the Rose Bowl since 1995.


We’ve got to get right back up, but it’s going to be a big challenge,” Washington coach Steve Sarkisian said. “It’s probably good we get an extra day (of rest), because that locker room is hurting right now.”


There was more bad news for the Huskies (6-4, 3-4) who lost starting quarterback Keith Price to a shoulder injury right before halftime.


Price, is a three-year starter who holds Washington’s career record for touchdown passes.


With Price out of action, Washington called upon redshirt freshman Cyler Miles, who has only played sparingly this season to step in for Price and he responded by going 15 for 22 for 149 yards with two touchdowns but threw two interceptions on consecutive throws in the final minutes.


The Bruins did a great job Washington running back Bishop Sankey holding him to just 91 yards on 27 attempts.


We fought back after we were down, so I couldn’t be more proud of our guys,” Sankey said. “We were confident in Cyler. We believe all of our guys can step in an do their thing.”


Big win for the Bruins who will build on it and will now set their sights on a visiting Arizona State Sun Devils team next weekend for first place in the Pac-12 South division on the line.


By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter




NBA Predictions Week 3 Friday Game Free Picks


Free Picks and Predictions for Friday week 3 NBA Games


It’s another Friday night in the NBA and with 11 big games schedule, pick your favorite games(s) and be it lines spread, over/under or straight-pick… place your bets here through Wonder Punter and Good Luck!


Milwaukee Bucks (2-5) @ Indiana Pacers (8-0) 11/15- 7:00PM EST


Line: IND -9.0

Over/Under: 186


Don’t see the Bucks challenging the Pacers on the road. Pacers are the team to beat right now.


PICK: Indiana Pacers


Chicago Bulls (3-3) @ Toronto Raptors (4-5) 11/15- 7:00PM EST


Line: CHI -1.0

Over/Under: 190


Important road game for the Bulls to get back to winning.


PICK: Chicago Bulls


Dallas Mavericks (5-3) @ Miami Heat (5-3) 11/15- 7:30PM EST


Line: MIA -8.5

Over/Under: 207.5


Good match-up, but expect the Heat to play a full game and win.


PICK: Miami


Charlotte Bobcats (4-4) @ Cleveland Cavaliers (3-6) 11/15- 7:30PM EST


Line: CLE -6.5

Over/Under: 189.5


Bobcats playing good ball early, but like the Cavs in this one.


PICK: Cleveland Cavaliers


Philadelphia 76ers (5-4) @ Atlanta Hawks (4-4) 11/15- 7:30PM EST


Line: ATL -8.0

Over/Under: 206.0


Another surprise team playing well early, but like the Hawks in this one.


PICK: Atlanta


Portland Trailblazers (6-2) @ Boston Celtics (4-5) 11/15- 7:30PM EST


Line: POR -2.0

Over/Under: 194


Look for the Trailblazers to continue winning with a road victory at Boston.


PICK: Portland


Minnesota Timberwolves (6-3) @ Denver Nuggets (3-4) 11/15- 8:00PM EST
Line: MIN -1.5

Over/Under: 210.5


T’Wolves looking good early and will win in a close one at Denver.


PICK: Minnesota


Brooklyn Nets (2-5) @ Phoenix Suns (5-3) 11/15- 9:00PM EST


Line: BRK -1.0

Over/Under: 195


Nets are underachieving and the Suns have been playing great at home… Suns win.


PICK: Phoenix


San Antonio Spurs (8-1) @ Utah Jazz (1-8) 11/15- 9:00PM EST


Line: SAS -8.0

Over/Under: 193


Spurs are solid, Jazz are bad…. Spurs win easy.


PICK: San Antonio


Memphis Grizzles (3-5) @ Los Angeles Lakers (4-6) 11/15- 10:30PM EST


Line: MEM -3.5

Over/Under: 197.5


Not sure what Lakers team will show up… but Lakers in an upset.




Detroit Pistons (2-5) @ Sacramento Kings (2-5) 11/15- 10:30PM EST


Line: SAC -2.0

Over/Under: 197.5


Toss-up for me on the this one… but slight edge to the Kings.


PICK: Sacramento


Once again, Good luck on your favorite picks.


By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter





NCAA Prediction College Football Week 12 Game Preview/Pick


Free picks and prediction for week 12 of the NCAA college football games


Washington Huskies (6-3) @ #13 UCLA Bruins (7-2) 11/15- 9:00PM EST


Line: UCLA -2.5

Over/Under: 60.5


On Friday night in a prime-time showdown, No. 13 UCLA will try to keep their PAC 12 South title hopes alive, as well as stay in contention for a BCS major bowl bid as they take on the Washington Huskies at the Rose Bowl.


With Bruins starting running back Jordan James still hobbled by a nagging ankle injury that has kept him out three games already, we may get to see once again Bruins’ freshman linebacker Myles Jack line up in the UCLA backfield.


Jack (just 18 years old) was heavily recruited as a running back but wanted the chance to play linebacker for the Bruins and has become solid at his position on the defensive side of the ball.


Last Saturday night he finished with eight tackles—one for loss, two pass break-ups and a fumble recovery, however it’s what he did when given the football that made heads turn.


UCLA coach Jim Mora in need of some offensive spark from the Bruins’ running back inserted Jack into the offensive scheme and he responded by running for 120 yards on just six carries.


Jack’s 66-yard touchdown scamper in the fourth quarter proved to be the difference in the Bruins 31-26 win over Arizona.


It worked, but there’s a saturation point, Mora said. “Everyone is going to want to see this and think it’s great, but what they forget is coaches are now prepared for it and they’re going to have an answer.”


Meaning of course, how many snaps Jack is involved with on Friday night is unclear.


It depends on the situation,” said Mora who’s Bruins team will be facing a Washington defense that has had no answer against the running game in their last four contests giving up an average of 209.5 yards rushing per game.


We’re not going to do something just to gimmick. Its got to have merit.” Mora also said.


If that wasn’t enough to worry about for the Huskies, they will also have to contend with way to slow down sophomore quarterback Brett Hundley who has bounced back in his last two games by completing 37 of 49 for 500 yards and four touchdowns. Against Oregon on October 26, he threw for a career-low 64 yards in their 42-14 loss.


The Bruins (7-2, 4-2 Pac 12) hope to continue their home dominance over the Huskies where they have won their last seven series meetings with them by an average of 13.9 points as they sit one game back of No. 21 Arizona State in the Pac 12 South for the division lead.


The two teams haven’t met since the Huskies’ 24-7 victory in Seattle since November 18, 2010.


Oddsmakers are expecting a close game making the Bruins a slight favorite (minus) -2.5 over the Huskies, but be sure to check the latest betting lines here at Wonder Punter up until game time.


The Huskies after a strong start to begin the season will bring a strong running game of their own powered by Bishop Sankey who is third in the nation with 145.0 yards per game.


Washington… once ranked in the top 25 lost three straight games to then No. 5 Stanford, No. 2 Oregon and Arizona State, but have won their last two over weaker California and Colorado.


Washington quarterback Keith Price will be seeking his third straight 300-yard game but will have to face a corps of Bruin linebackers regarded as one of the country’s best in the likes of…. Jack, Anthony Barr, Eric Kendricks and Jordan Zumwalt.


It’ll be a good game,” said Mora. “It’ll be exciting. They’re a good football team and there’s a lot at stake. It’ll be a fun environment in the Rose Bowl.”


Washington coach Steve Sarkisian agrees… “It’s going to be a hard-fought ballgame. That’s a good football team at UCLA. It won’t be an easy environment to play in on Friday night.”


I also expect a great game between the two schools, but with they way the Bruins play at the Rose Bowl allowing only 16.5 points this season, I predict a Bruins win.




By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter


Rose suffers minor hamstring injury in win

Rose Injures Hamstring In Bulls’ Win


CHICAGO – Derrick Rose sustained a “minor” right hamstring injury in the course of the fourth quarter of Monday night’s ninety six-81 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, according to Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau. Rose shall be re-evaluated Tuesday however doesn’t imagine the damage is that serious.

“It’s only a minor sprain,” Rose mentioned after the game. “Nothing severe. Hopefully I will be better in a few days, however it’s nothing big in any respect.”

Rose injured the hamstring on a drive to the rim, converting a layup with simply lower than 4 minutes to play. He would not keep in mind precisely when the damage occurred however was pulled out of the game by Thibodeau and replaced by Kirk Hinrich. Rose went toward the top of the bench and was checked by Bulls assistant trainer Jeff Tanaka.

“I really don’t know,” Rose said of when precisely the damage occurred. “I keep in mind coming down the court. Really did not really feel it till after I came down and went again to the bench and [the training workers] was asking me about it. Then coming again in, it was a play where any individual knocked the ball out of bounds or something like that, and they said I wasn’t moving good enough to be out on the court docket so they got here and subbed me out.”

Rose, who missed the past year and a half whereas recovering from reconstructive left knee surgery, admitted the hamstring harm was “irritating.”

“It had to be on the drive however stuff occurs,” Rose mentioned. “I simply got to play via it and get again wholesome. I don’t know if it was earlier than [the drive] or after. I don’t know if it was when I used to be working down the court docket or right when I took off. I actually don’t know; I used to be too caught up within the play.”

Thibodeau was being cautious about Rose’s status.

“He’ll be re-evaluated [Tuesday],” Thibodeau stated. “However it seems to be like a minor right hamstring. We called the timeout simply to get him out. He tweaked it. When he gets re-evaluated, we’ll have extra data. It appears to be minor.”

Rose believes he’ll be capable of play Friday night time against the Toronto Raptors.

“I must be,” he mentioned. “It is nothing huge at all. I am nonetheless capable of walk around, move around the way in which I need to. Just a bit sore.”

Rose said he knew straight away it was a hamstring damage. He stated this is the first time he has had a hamstring harm, however he noted during his rehab that he was having discomfort in his hamstrings last season. Rose has began stretching extra throughout games than in years previous.

“I believe I’ve been in the coaching room lengthy sufficient,” Rose joked. “Around trainers lengthy enough to essentially know every little thing about my body.”

Rose’s teammates admitted they had been pissed off for the previous MVP.

“I feel bad for him,” Bulls forward Carlos Boozer mentioned. “He works his butt off daily. Whether or not it’s rehab, lifting, capturing, no matter it is, you guys see him on the market. He places the time in, so I really feel dangerous for him, but hopefully whatever he’s got occurring proper now isn’t that unhealthy, we hope the severity of it isn’t that unhealthy.”

Rose tried to place a constructive spin on his latest injury as he acquired prepared to depart the locker room.

“[I’m] simply getting them all out of the best way early,” he said.

Chicago Bulls beat reporter

Nick Friedell is the Chicago Bulls beat reporter for ESPN Chicago. Friedell is a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse College of Public Communications at Syracuse College and joined for its launch in April 2009.

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NBA Power Rankings 2013



Week 3 Power Rankings for the NBA


With Week 3 of the NBA starting on Tuesday night, let’s take a look at this week’s Power Rankings for all 30 teams.


1. Indiana Pacers (7-0)- Paul George is leading the Pacers to their best start in franchise history. The team to beat right now.


2. San Antonio Spurs (6-1)- With Philadelphia, Washington, Utah and Boston coming up, they can distance themselves from the pack.


3. Oklahoma City Thunder (5-1)- With Russell Westbrook back in the fold, things are looking up.


4. Minnesota Timberwolves (5-2)- Having a healthy Kevin Love does wonders for a team.


5. Miami Heat (4-3)- A sore back is slowing down LeBron as they work out their chemistry issues.


6. Phoenix Suns (5-2)- Eric Bledsoe is leading this week’s NBA’s surprise team as they have won all four of their home games.


7. Los Angeles Clippers (4-3)- Big road win at Houston as they are still trying to find their way under coach Doc Rivers.


8. Golden State Warriors (4-3)- Warriors have four different players averaging at least 15 points per game.


9. Memphis Grizzles (3-3)- Coming off a big home win against the Warriors may jump-start them.


10. Houston Rockets (4-3)- They hit the road after dropping their last three-games.


11. Dallas Mavericks (4-3)- Monte Ellis leads the team in scoring averaging 23 points a game.


12. Chicago Bulls (2-4)- Derrick Rose and the Bulls have a showdown with the Pacers this week as they look to get back to winning and avenge an earlier loss.


13. Portland Trailblazers (4-2)- Two of their four wins came against Sacramento with more winnable games coming up against the East.


14. Philadelphia 76ers (4-3)- Went 1-3 last week after starting 3-0… is the clock getting ready to strike midnight?


15. New Orleans Pelicans (3-4) Big win at home against the Lakers on Friday night, can they repeat that performance on Tuesday night in L.A.?


16. Charlotte Bobcats (3-3)- Another early surprise team in the NBA so far.


17. Atlanta Hawks (3-3)- Ronnie Millsap is off to a big year for the Hawks so far with 20.2 points, 8.2 rebounds and 3.7 assists.


18. Detroit Pistons (2-3)- Josh Smith is fitting in nicely with his new team leading them 18.8 points per game.


19. Los Angeles Lakers (3-5)- As Kobe Bryant is still working his way back, Steve Nash is suffering from back pain once again limiting his play.


20. Cleveland Cavaliers (3-4)- Kyrie Irving is heating up having scored 25 or more in two of his last three games.


21. Brooklyn Nets (2-4)- Nets need more production from K.G who is only averaging six points per game and 6.7 rebounds a game.


22. Washington Wizards (2-4)- Still a better team them their record indicates but must finish games.


23. New York Knicks (2-4)- Can the return of J.R. Smith give them the shot in the arm they need?


24. Toronto Raptors (3-4)- Expect Rudy Gay and DeMar DeRozan to get their shooting touch back after struggling in the early season.


25. Orlando Magic (3-4)- Center Nikola Vucevic is averaging a double-double to begin the season with 15.7 points and 12.1 rebounds.


26. Boston Celtics (3-4)- The Celtics have won three straight including a win over the Miami Heat.


27. Milwaukee Bucks (2-3)- Their three losses have been by eight points or less.


28. Denver Nuggets (1-4)- Rough start under new head coach Brian Shaw as they are off to their worst start since 2004.


29. Sacramento Kings (1-5)- DeMarcus Cousins is a one-man show, but it will take more then that as they have dropped five in a row.


30. Utah Jazz (0-7)- Jazz are off to their worst start since going 0-11 in their first season in the league.




By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter



NCAA College Football Picks Friday Game Preview & Prediction- #20 Louisville vs. Connecticut


Free NCAA College football picks by WonderPunter

These are our Free NCAA college football  picks for week 11

#20 Louisville Cardinals (7-1) @ Connecticut Huskies (0-7) 11/08- 8:30PM EST


Line: LOU -28.0

Over/Under: 49.0


With No. 20 Louisville coming off their second bye week and going into Friday nights game against the winless Connecticut Huskies (0-7, 0-3 AAC), the one main thing that’s been on their minds is finishing games.


Louisville (7-1, 3-1 American Athletic Conference) with their second-ranked defense in the country look to play a complete game and get back into the BCS bowl picture by staying aggressive the entire game.


Cardinals coach Charlie Strong says, “We haven’t played a complete game yet.”


It was October 18 when the Louisville Cardinals suffered a heartbreaking loss at the hands of UCF squandering a 21-point lead with less then eight minutes to go and losing 38-35 that knocked them out of any talks for a possible BCS championship game.


The following week the Cardinals rebounded by shutting down South Florida 34-3.


Louisville defensive coordinator Vance Bedford says shaking off that loss was difficult.


We dragged around for about three or four days after that loss,” he said. “What we told them is this: ‘Don’t let that game beat you twice. Let’s get back to who we are’… They were back to having fun.”


With the betting lines making the Cardinals 28-points favorites, it’s a safe bet with their dominating defense that allows only 244.5 yards per game to win easily and cover the spread. They also rank second in scoring giving up an average of 10.6 points, right behind top-ranked Alabama (9.8).


We really needed that one,” said Cardinal defensive end Lorenzo Mauldin. “I know there’s a lot of people out there saying that we didn’t play up to our ability against UCF. We had to put our statement back out there, basically saying we needed to beat USF to get back on track.”


Despite the resurgent defense of the Cardinals, Mauldin believes there is room for improvement with Cardinals struggling in the sack department the last two games.


When the ball is in the air, I want them to have the attitude that the ball is our ball,” said Bedford. “I need more guys to feel that way… When we get that mindset, I’ll be ready to say I’m excited.”


For the Connecticut Huskies, they come in with loads of problems on the offensive of the ball…. Last in the ACC in rushing offense (76.3) and second-to-last in total offense (293.3) and scoring offense (16.4).


With their last loss of 62-17 at UCF, they have now loss eight in a row dating back to last season.


It’s hard to say we’re deficient. We got some weapons. I’m not going to say it’s a lack of talent,” Huskies interim coach T.J. Weiss said. “We’d like more depth, more explosiveness in certain areas, but we have talent. We’ve got to keep pushing to find answers.”


Louisville will be looking for revenge as UConn beat the Cardinals last year 23-20 in three overtimes, which was their last victory.


Last year’s game doesn’t mean anything because it’s last year,” Weist said. “It’s nice that they won, but that wasn’t this year. It sure gives you confidence, but it’s going to be a whole new game Friday night.


Any big game you go into, it comes down to momentum and making plays. We have to make catches and make throws and put it all together during drives. We’ve looked at last year’s film, but we’re not focusing on it. We’re starting over this Friday night.”


With a spread of Louisville -28.0 and over/under of 49.0, it’s a safe bet with the Cardinals offensive power and defensive dominance that they will cover all betting lines.


Look for another impressive performance from Teddy Bridegwater and the Louisville Cardinals on Friday night.


PICK: Louisville Cardinals

By Mario Martinez – Analyst for WonderPunter