How Kentucky Will Get Number 9

Kentucky is currently ranked fifth, the highest they have been since losing by 34 to Duke, the first game of the season. With a record of 18-3, the Wildcats are in prime position for March. Everything seems to be falling into place for them and it all started with PJ being the player everyone thought he would be.

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PJ is the player of the year for this team. He leads the team in rebounding, averaging 8.4 a game but over the last 3 games he has had 13, 12, and 12. Along with those double digit rebounds, PJ has scored 20, 26, and 15. PJ has been a huge part of this recent surge and the season begins and starts with him. I think of PJ has the motor of this team. Like Kenny Payne said, “if we play good or bad the first thing I look at is PJ. If he did well, so did we.” PJ is the heart and soul, without him this team goes nowhere. If he plays aggressive, it allows other players to get going, just like Reid. If this continues, here comes #9.

Ashton Hagans and Quickley are the 2nd most important player behind PJ. Ever since they came along once Quade left, this team has been completely different. They play with a spunk and it all starts with Ashton against Louisville. I’ve talked about Ashton before so I won’t harp on him too much, but if this team wins #9, he is a huge reason behind that. Quickley is just like Ashton. He is amazing defensively but he also has been working well offensively. The main issue with Hagans and Quickley was their shooting ability, but they have both been working on this and if they continue to find success shooting, this team will get the 9th.

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Reid had been going through as funk, until recently. Reid is an absolute beast if he gets going early. Reid is one of those players than can change the outcome of the game if he is involved. The main issue with Reid is if he doesn’t get going early, he’s pretty much going to be useless. But, Kentucky has been getting him involved recently. He’s averaging 12 points and 6.8 rebounds per game, which has improved recently. Reid has to stay steady. We need Reid. We need his aggressiveness, his body, and his lovely shot. Reid is one of those players that can easily get 10 and 10, but Kentucky needs him to do that consistently while taking on the big, athletic bigs from other opponents. Reid struggles against athletic bigs, but if PJ and Reid continue to play this well together and continue to help one another out defensively, this team could bring home #9.

Tyler Herro, Keldon Johnson, and Jemarl Baker need to be consistent. The main struggle of this team as of late is their offense. These are three of the most important offensive players they have, especially their 3 point shooting. Now, Jemarl is the 3 point guy. He needs to knock down his shots and not force them and he’ll be fine. Tyler is they guy we can most count on, right now. He has stepped up defensively, as pointed out by multiple coaches including Bill Self. If Tyler can continue his domination defensively, I trust his shooting enough and know it will start falling eventually. He needs to keep up the defense to remain special. Keldon is everything. We need Keldon to fight. He seems to be one of the main issues we have right now. He starts slow consistently and Hagans has to wake him up occasionally (see below). If Keldon can come to play, like he did before conference play started, this team will get #9.

Ashton Hagans would like Keldon Johnson to wake up pic.twitter.com/3VT7IIuXYv— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) January 19, 2019

Another huge part of this Kentucky team is Sophomore Nick Richards. Nick Richards is one of those players that we expected so much from and he just did not deliver…yet. Richards has been stellar as of late. He plays maybe 5-10 minutes a game, but within those minutes he records anywhere from 4-8 rebounds plus 2-4 blocks. Richards needs to keep playing aggressive when he comes in, because if he does, Reid and or PJ can truly get a breather and will allow them to be fresh down the final stretch. Richards may be the X-factor for Kentucky to get #9, but there is a final piece to this puzzle…his name is EJ Montgomery. EJ needs to be like Nick. He needs to come in, get some blocks, hit some shots, and allow Reid and or PJ to relax and get some rest. If he continues to dominate like he did against Florida, this team gets #9.

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This team had the opportunity to be special. To me, it starts with PJ and Keldon. Can they be consistent for 6 straight games? If those two are playing their best, Kentucky is hard to beat. You know Hagans will bring his A game day in and day out. Herro will knock down shots, Reid will get rebounds and fight. This team is probably the 3rd best team in the nation currently, behind Duke and Tennessee. Kentucky has 2 HUGE games against Tennessee coming up, I expect them to split them. If they split them, I feel confident for Kentucky and their opportunity to defeat Duke in the National Championship. Let’s go get 9.

Greatest of All Time

After last nights conclusion, I have reached a point in my life I never thought I’d reach. Tom Brady is the greatest of all time. If you know me, you know how much I hate Tom Brady. I think Brady is the most system QB of system QB’s, but at some point you have to concede this argument. My point came last night.

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Going into last night, we knew one thing for sure: Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are the greatest combination in football history. Don’t bet against them. So of course, I said f**k it and bet the Rams +3 and the under 56.5 (saving grace). If you ask me, this was Brady’s toughest test. Of course he’s lost 3 Super Bowls, but I feel like only one of them was a legit loss. Like one they did not deserve to win, and that was the Eagles. Both times against the Giants, it took a miracle. But with the Rams, the Patriots were the inferior team last night.

From the first snap, it was a defensive fight. The Rams got to Brady and pressured him constantly. They finally sacked him thanks to Fowler and they caused Brady to have a subpar Super Bowl. He was 21-35 with one interception and zero touchdowns. Imagine your best, most clutch player, essentially do nothing all game. That’s what happened last night. The Rams and Wade Phillips shut him down. So you’d think the Rams won heavily, right? Wrong.

What we saw last night from the Patriots defense was absolutely insane. The Patriots had the second rated defense all season and last night, it was no different. They held Goff to 19-38 with 0 touchdowns and 1 interception. They held one of the most lethal offensive weapons, in Todd Gurley, to 35 yards. They never the Rams get into a rhythm and ultimately that’s on Belichick.

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Bill Belichick is the greatest NFL Coach of all time and may even be the greatest defensive coach as well. The way he can draw up a scheme to success like he did last night, just shows that these new, young, pretty coaches will never be able to stop the giant that is Bill Belichick. He completely killed McVay and my dreams. I had to delete possibly one of my greatest articles titled “McVay and Goff are the new Bill and Tom” because of him. At some point last night, I finally accepted it and now I’ll tell the world. With his 6th Super Bowl, I now concede, Tom Brady is the greatest QB of all time. Dammit.

In 19 seasons, Brady has made 16 postseasons. He was injured 1 whole year. Meaning Brady has an 89% chance of making the playoffs. Of those 16 postseasons, he has won 6 Super Bowls. When the season starts, Brady has a 33% chance to win the Super Bowl which is just unreal. Brady has to most Super Bowl wins, most playoff wins, most regular season wins, most wins on the road, most division titles, most conference championships, and a plethora of more awards. Brady may be a system QB, but he is the best system QB of all time. I hate to say it, trust me, but no one will touch the numbers he has put up. He is the greatest of all time and it can no longer be argued.

Morning Juice, Part 2

Welcome back to the 2nd edition of Morning Juice. As a reminder, I will be previewing 4 games, which includes what ever game Kentucky is playing. Throughout this series, I will give you gambling options, which I killed last week by going 5-1. If you don’t believe me, check it out right here. https://soft7sports.com/2019/01/26/morning-juice/

So buckle in, let’s get started.

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#12 Virginia Tech @ #23 NC State

Let’s start in Carolina where we have NC State going up against Virginia Tech. This game may be one of the most overrated matchups in the history of college basketball. NC State is so inconsistent and the fact that they are still ranked is just silly. But here we are, and they’re coming off their best game in a while. They lost by one against Virginia and before that they hit a buzzer beater against Clemson. So mediocrity at its finest. As for Virginia Tech, I hate them too. I absolutely hate how they get blown out by North Carolina by 21, but then can beat all the minuscule teams in the ACC. I’m not going to harp on this game too much, but Virginia Tech +2. I think NC State loses 70-54.

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#9 North Carolina @ #15 Louisville

In Louisville, we have one of the most underrated teams in all of college basketball. Chris Mack has this team playing like they were in 2013, but this time hopefully without the strippers and the pending FBI investigation. Wait, I think they’re still under investigation, so never mind. But anyway, Louisville is playing amazing right now and most of it comes from Ryan McMahon. The six foot guard has been on a tear this season, averaging 7.7 points per game and is lethal from 3 point range. The Cards also get some of their help from Jordan Nwora who leads the team in points per game as well as rebounds per game. North Carolina has also been improving. After they got walloped by Kentucky, they then went on to lose to Louisville, at home, by 21. So this game, in a way, is a revenge game for UNC. I really do not think the outcome will be much different. I think Louisville wins this game down the stretch. I think it will be close due to Luke Maye and Cameron Johnson. I think Louisville wins 78-74. So I would take Louisville +1.5.

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#16 Texas Tech @ #11 Kansas

What a rough week for Kansas. After they jumped out to a 10 point lead at Kentucky, they have been embarrassed. Normally, I’d take Kansas, easily, especially at home, but this game concerns me. Kansas has not been themselves as of late, mainly because they lost Azubuike, but this team looks lost. Take that mixed in with the defense of Texas Tech, this will be a heck of a ballgame. Dedric Lawson will have to be a beast. He’ll have to above and beyond and probably get 25 and 15 for Kansas to have a chance. Texas Tech is allowing 58 points per game, so automatically the under is being taken. TAKE THE UNDER 133, it will hit. Cheering for the under is awful, but with the way both of these teams have been playing it will be ugly. I will take Kansas -3.5 and make sure you take the under 133. Texas Tech loses 67-60.

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#7 Kentucky @ Florida

Kentucky has been unreal as of late and most of it comes from their Sophomore, PJ Washington and their freshman Ashton Hagans. Kentucky has looked unbeatable, which is what is scary. Under Calipari, Kentucky has always been able to turn it around but never this quick. Kentucky always struggles at Florida too. This game has the opportunity to be very good, but it also scares me a little. This Florida team is scrappy. KeVaughn Allen is their leading scorer and is shooting 38% from three, which will turn into him hitting 10 3’s, we all know the drill. Kevarrius Hayes is an athletic big, which may give Reid some issues. In order for Kentucky to win this game, they need to win the rebounding battle as well as shut down KeVaughn. KeVaughn could give Kentucky some issues but if Ashton Hagans can keep him in check, Kentucky wins this game easily. I think they do win, 73-61. So I would take Kentucky -3 and the over 129.

Like I said, 5-1 last week. If you want to win some money, bet these locks.

Super Bowl Breakdown

Well, here we are. After 20 beautiful weeks of meaningful football, we have made it to the last game. For me, it’s bittersweet. This season was everything we could have hoped for and more, but I’m ready for it to end because of one word: Spring Training. That’s right, baseball is almost back and I can already smell the grass. Ah, what a feeling. But let’s look at this amazing Super Bowl matchup first.

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First off, I would have loved to see the Saints in the Super Bowl. We would have finally been able to prove how Brady is inferior to Brees, but the officials had different plans. Contrary to Parmesan Don, I do believe the NFL handled the situation the best they could. You can’t replay the final 2 minutes, that ruins football forever. You own your mistake and you get manhandled in the media while Sean Payton wears a clown shirt of the Commissioner. I get it, you’re mad Saints’ fans and rightfully so, there just isn’t any real solution to this, yet. But let’s move on…

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Seventeen years ago, this game created the double headed monster of Brady and Belichick in probably one of the most interesting Super Bowl games of all time. You had a Rams team that was named “The Greatest Show on Turf.” They also had the 2 time MVP Kurt Warner and MVP Marshall Faulk. On the other side you had a new quarterback, with tons of promise, and a head coach who quit the Jets by writing a note. There is one way this game should’ve ended: a Rams blowout, but it didn’t. The Patriots won that game 20-17, with the help of Tom Brady in what I call as his breakout game of his career. Now Tom did not win that game alone, he won this Super Bowl, like others, with the help of the greatest kicker in NFL History, Adam Vinatieri.

I’m not going to go too much into this game, but I feel like this years Super Bowl will be reminiscent of the one 17 years ago. It feels like a perfect book end to the Patriots run. They claim to be underdogs, but everyone believes New England will win, just like everyone thought the Rams would then. This time, we have the 2nd Greatest QB of all time going against a newbie and a Head Coach in their first Super Bowl, sound familiar?

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This game features one of the best defenses today versus one of the best offenses of all time, especially with Tom Brady behind center. Brady is 29-10 in the postseason, which is a .744 winning percentage. He has won 5 Super Bowls and has shown no signs of stopping. He has been crowned the greatest postseason QB of all time, with no argument from anyone. Brady’s success has been unparalleled, not even by Brees, Montana, Peyton, or Steve Young. On the other side, we have Jared Goff. Jared is 2-1 in the postseason with zero Super Bowls. Yet, people think he is ready to take on the 2nd greatest of all time on Sunday.

Honestly, this is just a beautiful matchup offensively. In the least offensive term possible, the Patriots offense is a bunch of old, washed up, people but yet they continue to dominate. Edelman should not be a #1 receiver for any team, yet here we are. Gronk literally cannot walk, but again, here we are. Rex Burkhead? How is he still in the league. The only one not washed up is apparently Brady and then James White, Sony Michel. But for the Rams, you’ve just got tons of young talent. Goff has the possibility of becoming a Tom Brady, just like McVay with Belichick, but he needs this win. They also have one of the most explosive running backs, Todd Gurley. IF and this has become a huge IF, Gurley can play like himself (not like the games recently) the Rams win this easy. Just looking, I’d take the Rams offense based on age and stats over the Patriots, but I’ve come to learn that you never bet against Tom Brady.

Defensively, the edge goes to the Rams. Any team that has Suh and Arnold lining up for them, should always have the edge. But, the Pats have been playing out of the mind. Against KC, they did not allow a point in the first half. Any other week of the year I’d take the Rams D, but for some reason I feel like the Patriots D is going to go off. I expect the McCourty’s to both have an INT and ride off in the sunset with one another. I’ll give the Pats the edge, based on Belichick always being ready for big games as well as the experience they possess.

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Lastly, the coaches. You have Sean McVay, the youngest coach ever to make a Super Bowl, going against Bill Belichick, the winningest coach in postseason history. The offensive genius vs the defensive genius. This game is going to be one of two things: a blowout or a close game. I think if it is a close game, that means the Patriots win. With their experience, especially with Brady, in a close game it is hard to bet against them. I think if the Rams win, it is a blowout due to their talent and if they all play like they should, the SHOULD win this. But here are my official prediction and bets…

I do not bet the spread in the Super Bowl, never have, never will. I took the over 56.5 as well as Rams moneyline. I think the Rams win this one. I think Goff throws 2-3 touchdowns and Gurley runs for 2 more. I think they’ll attack early and often and just like the Saints game, they’ll get a major turnover late in the game. I am also taking a few props….Goff MVP, Tails coin toss (tails never fails), and Michael Vick will tweet about the puppy bowl. Let’s go have some fun Sunday.

Porzingis to the Mavs

Breaking news: Porzingis has been traded to the Dallas Mavericks after requesting a trade with the Knicks. Story is developing but apparently they traded Porzingis for DSJ, DeAndre Jordan, and a pick. Buck will have more later on what this means later.

First off, wow. From a meeting to a trade in less than an hour. Absolutely wild to trade the biggest part of your team. Wild move, interesting to see how it plays out.

UPDATE:

FULL TRADE DETAILS:

Knicks receive:

Dennis Smith Jr.

Wes Matthews

DeAndre Jordan

Draft pick.

Mavericks receive:

Kristaps Porzingis

Courtney Lee

Tim Hardaway Jr.