Welcome to the Truda Report everyone. The biggest move in the NBA so far this season caused a lot of discussion about which side won the trade, something we haven't seen much of with blockbuster trades in recent years. Teams looking to start a rebuild have usually sent star players to good teams for barely anything in return making the question of who won the trade an easy answer, but the way things are working out for both sides makes this move a little harder to analyze. I'll break down what I think has been good and bad for both team, and then give my verdict in this article. If there are any suggestions for later topics leave them below, and let me know if you disagree with anything I said in this article because I love nothing more than a good sports debate.
Timberwolves Receive: Robert Covington, Dario Saric, Jarryd Bayless, future second round pick
76ers Receive: Jimmy Butler, Justin Patton
For the TWolves, this trade was about remaking their locker room and getting back the most value for Jimmy they could without handing him to a Western Conference contender. On the surface, Minnesota did a good job of this. After the trade Karl Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins should definitely feel more comfortable than when they had a very intimidating bona fide star in their face telling them to play harder and stop padding stats. KAT undoubtedly plays better without Jimmy on the court as he's allowed to take most of the shots and he doesn't feel crowded at the hoop. His play has not disappointed. Andrew Wiggins on the other hand has done exactly what I expected him to do: flop. Wiggins is on a huge 5 year $146.5 million contract and he still hasn't proven himself to be a capable NBA player. Minnesota banked on him coming into form with the exodus of Butler, but the opposite has happened. Wiggins continues to be a defensive liability and he can't find his jump shot. He has all of the athletic potential in the world, but after having gone number one in the draft back in 2014 he is quietly becoming a bust.
Helping offset the disappointment of Wiggins are the additions Minnesota made through the trade. Robert Covington continues to be exceptional of defense, and he can provide scoring in spots. Dario Saric gives the Timberwolves much needed three point shooting, and although he has taken a step back since last season it's still and upgrade from what was there. Bayless and the second round pick were more filler than anything else for Minnesota, who really only made the trade because of a player I have yet to mention.
I'm getting a little off topic with this mention, but this deal wouldn't have been done without the reemergence of Derrick Rose. Rose has been spectacular this season and is a clear All-Star. He's taken on some of the scoring load left by Butler, allowing for this trade to leave the Timberwolves in not that bad of a spot. Rose took on the scoring, Covington took on the defense, and Saric took on some three point shooting. All of that has helped Minnesota continue to win some games with the absence of Butler.
My goodness has Justin Patton been incredible! I'm kidding, of course. The only piece of value that the Sixers got back in this deal is Jimmy G. Buckets. Butler has been nothing less than what Philly could have wanted. Besides being lit up by point guard Kemba Walker for 60 in a Sixers win (Jimmy of course had the game winning block, save, and three pointer to seal the game) Butler has been himself defensively. On offense Jimmy isn't lighting up the stat sheet, although he has had his share of big games. Butler has been efficient though, and he's doing what the Sixers want: play second fiddle to Joel Embiid, and sometimes even Ben Simmons. Where Butler isn't expected to take a step back is crunch time though, and that is what makes this Sixers team so dangerous now. Butler already has two game winners in the about 10 games he's been with the team, and just Sunday he had a dagger to seal another game. Butler is clutch, having hit 5 game winners with less than 10 seconds left since the 2016 season. That's second to only Russell Westbrook who takes basically every important shot for his team, while Butler has been splitting crunch time touches most of his career. Butler is doing for this team what they needed, helping a poor defensive lineup lock up opposing team's main offensive threats, and providing experienced, clutch, play when it matters.
So Who Won?
In the end, this trade can be looked at a million different ways and all that will matter is wins and loses. Philly was the better team entering this season, and what they did was come out an even bigger threat. Minnesota on the other hand, came out of this a worse team, and despite winning four straight after Butler's departure they find themselves in the 10th spot in the West and an unlikely Playoff team. Butler had the TWolves as the number three squad in the NBA last year until his knee injury a little while after the All Star break, and now Minnesota can only dream about being that successful. Meanwhile, the Sixers, after a rough start, find themselves third in the East while still going through some growing pains in figuring out exactly what new lineups work best. Philly can be considered the winner of this trade for the foreseeable future, and Minnesota will have to wonder whether they made a mistake siding with the likes of Wiggins over Jimmy Butler.
Welcome to the Truda Report everybody. I'm here to talk about the Super Bowl today (sorry that it's taken so long for me to get this out), and I'm excited to analyze the biggest takeaways from the game. Also, make sure that you share this article as it helps TTR grow.
Okay, so first of all, I'd like to quickly note that I almost didn't include the first four paragraphs of my Super Bowl preview because I didn't know if many of you would care very much about the coaches on both teams. I am incredibly glad that I did write those sections, because now I can say that I beat everyone else to the chase. All that I've seen this week is how Doug Pederson had the coaching performance of a lifetime, and that it was his aggressive style that led Philadelphia to victory. It's Pederson's coaching style and decisions that made me pick the Eagles to win the Super Bowl, and I feel like I covered almost everything that he did right during the game in my preview (you can go check that out to see what I mean).
Anyways, this Super Bowl was one for the offensive junkies. This game had the most yards from scrimmage in a game in NFL Playoff history, and a game many said would be decided by defense ended up being a dominated by both offenses. The Eagles had a lot of success running the football, with LeGarrette Blount finding the endzone against his former team. Passing the football...lets just say Philly had more than just success. Nick Foles was absolutely incredible, throwing passes fearlessly into tight coverage time and time again, only achieving success due to his perfect ball placement. The man easily deserved Super Bowl MVP. Foles also caught a touchdown pass, although I don't want to dwell on that since everyone else has already beaten that trick play to death with praise (that play by the way is a great example of Pederson's coaching style).
Foles couldn't have had all of that success though without absolutely spectacular play from Alshon Jeffery, who I think deserves more credit than he's receiving. Jeffery came to play, making multiple spectacular catches. He deserves more praise than he's getting.
Zach Ertz also had a great game, catching seven balls for 67 yards and the games final touchdown. I said that New England would either game plan him or the run game out in my prediction, but obviously neither happened in what was the worst showing by the Patriots defense all year.
I feel like the Eagles defense doesn't deserve any of my time since they were disgusting, so I'm going to get straight into Tom Brady. Brady passed for 505 yards and 3 touchdowns, which on paper is by far the best quarterback performance in a Super Bowl. That's why on First Take, my favorite show on ESPN, Stephen A. Smith and Damien Woody both said that Max Kellerman was crazy for saying Tom Brady's performance starting next season is going to "fall off a cliff." I love both Smith and Woody, but they, along with the rest of the majority media, are really stupid sometimes. Honestly, how can football analysts go from saying "the tape doesn't lie" to completely ignoring the tape and looking only at statistics. What I'm getting at is that Tom Brady's tape was gross. He missed a lot of open throws, and the first half was apparently hunting season since he was heaving ducks all over the place. What Brady did have success with was the first two drives of the second half where he basically exclusively threw the ball to Rob Gronkowski (who is always open), throwing his same old dump offs and screen plays, and hitting receivers who had defenders not even within 15 yards of them downfield. Brady's stats are skewed from the number of wide open throws he had downfield, some of which by the way could have gone for touchdowns had he not been throwing so inaccurately.
So here is what I don't understand: How is it that analysis who watch football and report on it for a living can see the same game that I do, watch the same poor throws that I do, and then come back the next day and tell the nation that Tom Brady was, flawless, spectacular, and great out on the field when he clearly wasn't. I'm not trying to take away anything from his impressive performance, because it was impressive, but the lack of time and recognition that these broadcasters give to Brady's issues is astounding to me. By saying that Brady solidified himself as the greatest of all time by LOSING a Super Bowl, and on top of that ignoring the clear flaws in his performance is lying to the viewers. If any other quarterback had lost that Super Bowl despite having the greatest coach of all time on their side (with the exact same performance as Brady), their legacy would have been hurt rather than solidified. By the way, if Aaron Rodgers had missed those throws everybody would be talking about age catching up to him, since they weren't throws he'd missed in the past.
Now that I'm done with Brady, I want to talk about the Patriots dynasty moving forward. There was big news yesterday when Josh McDaniels backed out of the Colts head coaching job to remain with the Patriots, because Matt Patricia is also leaving for a head coaching job with the Lions. This gives the Pats way more stability with the coaching staff moving into next year, and that'll help a lot because of what I'm about to bring up:
The Patriots, multiple years in a row now, have looked old and slow compared to the top teams in the NFL. The best teams these days usually have a young, fast, big play offense with a solid pass rush, or they'll have an elite defense. That Patriots offense struggles when there is pressure on Brady because he collapses and makes poor decision due to his lack of mobility. The Patriots defense, although always in the top half of the league, usually the top ten, has looked slow against newer high paced and speedy offenses. All of this leads me to my point, which is that Brady and Belichick could only have a year left. With Patricia gone for good and McDaniels willing to leave (although he may now stay to take over when Belichick leaves), the Pats are going to lack continuity in the coaching staff, and that leads to worse performance on the field. On top of that, the majority of the Patriots top players are old and close to retirement. New England doesn't have a lot of time left, and although I'd be a fool to rule them out, the Patriots may have just seen their last Super Bowl appearance of this era.
Welcome to the Truda Report everybody. Today is the day of the Super Bowl, so I'm here to give a quick preview of what I think will be the most important things to watch in this game, and of course, to give my pick. Make sure to share this article as it helps TTR grow.
When you look back at the Patriots last two Super Bowls, the game was not won or lost on the field. I'd argue that both of those games were decided by those on the sidelines--the coaches. Bill Belichick is the greatest coach of all time, and I can't remember once in my life where he has made a mistake. Belichick thrives on opposing coaches making mistakes, and then finding ways to capitalize on that. In Super Bowl XLIX, Pete Carroll made the infamous mistake of calling to pass the football on second and goal from the one yard line, despite having the best power back in the NFL, Marshawn Lynch, on his team. In last years Super Bowl (LI), the Falcons came out in the second half playing aggressive, which is a great coaching decision, but when the game could have been sealed with a dagger field goal, on third down inside of field goal range Kyle Shanahan called a pass play. It resulted in a sack, and a punt on fourth down. Running the football would have taken at least forty seconds of the clock, and basically put the game out of reach for the New England Patriots. Instead, a coaching error lost Atlanta the game.
The most recent example of this is the AFC Championship game, when Jacksonville completely abandoned their short passes, screen plays, and outside runs. Those style of plays are what got the Jags their lead, but then in the second half they turned conservative, running the football almost every first and second down, becoming predictable. Being too conservative and running too much then cost Jacksonville the game.
I know that this seems like it has no correlation to today's Super Bowl, but I think it does. Over the years only one coach has been prepared enough to not make vital mistakes against Bill Belichick, and that's Tom Coughlin. The Eagles head coach, Doug Pederson, reminds me of Coughlin. He's aggressive enough to not fall into the trap of being predictable, and he's smart enough to know when to run the football (last game despite having a lead against the Vikings, Pederson and the Eagles started aggressive in the second half until running the ball when inside of field goal range helped run out the clock). If he can come into this game mentally prepared to not make the same mistakes as the previous coaches have, the Eagles have a real shot to win this game.
I think that the biggest part of Pederson being prepared is that it takes away a large chunk of the "fluke factor." The Patriots have a tendency to get lucky breaks, and usually that comes back to bad coaching. The calls that play right into the Patriots hands and undisciplined playing that leads to bad penalties can be directly correlated to coaching, and those two things are usually what give the Patriots a break. Pete Carroll's call to pass gave the Pats a break; Kyle Shanahan's call to pass gave the Pats a break; the history of bad pass interference penalties (Jalen Ramsey's from the AFC Championship game is a good example) give the Pats a break. Pederson is a good coach though, and I think he's disciplined enough to not make those same mistakes.
Okay, now that I've gotten that out of the way I can talk about the actual players. For New England, this game is going to be won at the line of scrimmage. That can be said of basically every game, but it is especially important today. Tom Brady completely falls apart when a team consistently gets pressure on him, especially when defenses use the NASCAR package or when they overload the center (I'll talk about this in a moment). If Brady can't make good decisions, which is by the way what makes him such a great quarterback, then the Patriots offense will be in serious trouble. With the defensive line, they need to get pressure on Nick Foles. He's a backup for a reason, and on a big stage like this he could fall apart if he gets hit a lot. Also, the Eagles are going to want to rely on the run game, and the defensive line needs to be able to slow that down if New England is going to win.
This brings me to my last section about New England, which is what Belichick is known best for. When he game plans, he takes away what he sees as the other teams best player and makes you beat them "left handed" per say. For Philly, that means Belichick is either going to stack the box to take away the run game, or he's going to stop Zach Ertz. Ertz was one of the best tight ends in football this year, and he's been a security blanket for Wentz and Foles. In the red zone Ertz is a threat, so I wouldn't be surprised to see the Pats try and make him ineffective. If Belichick decides to take away the run game though, the game would be on Nick Foles shoulders, and as I said earlier, he's a backup for a reason.
For the Eagles, I think that this game is in the hands of their defensive line, and their three running backs. The defensive line will be working mostly to push the pocket straight up the middle near the center, since pressure up the middle bothers Brady due to his immobility. That style of pressure works well, and since Philly ins't overloaded with speed rushers, we won't see much of the NASCAR package (four defensive ends all lined up to get pressure purely with speed). In the run game, the Eagles need to have a lot of success. New England was 20th in rushing yards allowed per game this year, and the Eagles need to exploit that to keep the pressure off of Nick Foles. Ajayi is a good lead back, Blount should see a lot of work in the red zone, and Clement is a great receiving threat out of the backfield. I'd actually like to see Clement a lot today, because he can be a threat to pick up yards out of the backfield by catching the ball in the flats (basically what New England does all of the time). If these three backs can carry the offense, Foles won't have too much to worry about.
After everything that I've just said, I now need to get something off of my chest. I said before the NFC Championship game that the Eagles would win because Case Keenum had been playing really well lately, and he was bound to finally have a bad game on a big stage. He's been a backup for a reason. Nick Foles just played one of the best games of his career two weeks ago, and has been lights out these Playoffs. I've said it multiple times already in this article--He's a backup for a reason. With that said, I'm taking:
New England Patriots: 24
Philadelphia Eagles: 27
Just so you know, I'm currently laughing since you probably though I said all of that to lead up to me picking the Patriots. I'm taking the Eagles because the Patriots defense, although it definitely isn't a joke and they've been good since about Week 6, isn't an elite group. The Eagles defense, Vikings defense, and Jaguars defense were all elite and that's why they made it to the Championship round. The Pats are going to have some issues against the Eagles offensively, and if Doug Pederson doesn't make the mistakes of his predecessors, this defense can keep New England under 25. That opens things up for a solid Eagles offense against a solid defense, where the match up could go either way. Anyways, I think that some people are forgetting how hard it is to repeat as Super Bowl champions, although if anyone is going to do that again it would be the greatest coach of all time and his beloved quarterback.
Welcome to The Truda Report everybody. Today I want to just quickly go over the biggest stories from Week 15 in the NFL. Make sure to share this article as it helps TTR grow. Also, it's a busy time in school, so this may be my last article before I take a Christmas break, so if there's nothing else posted after this Happy Holidays to everyone.
Patriots Controversial Win Over Steelers:
I'm going to have a hard time not being biased in this section because of the hatred I possess towards the Patriots. I'm going to try and keep it short and simple. Everyone watching that game understands that Jesse James caught the football, turned his body up field, and dove across the goal line to win the game. Everyone also should understand, though, that the NFL has spent so much time messing with the definition of a catch, that by rule, technically, James did not catch the football. I've heard people say this is a Dez Bryant situation, so they had to stay consistent with the call. This is not a Dez Bryant situation because Dez was sprinting with the ball, didn't clearly catch it, and THEN make a move towards the endzone. Dez was running, tried to possess the ball in stride and made a move towards the endzone too quickly for me to believe he actually caught it. James very clearly caught the ball, had possession, and then turned his body up field towards the endzone. Unlike Dez, the play was not all one motion, there were two very different portions to the play. The NFL needs to turn back towards common sense in deciphering what is and isn't a catch, and less about confusing phrases that have multiple interpretations. Otherwise, fans and players will continue to be frustrated with the league and its officials.
Quick side note on this play as well--not only does common sense show that he caught the ball, but he crossed the plain (goal line) with the ball, so the part where the ball shifts in James's hands shouldn't even be looked at. The NFL's rules about what goes on in the endzone are also screwed up, so that's something they need to fix (I'll talk about that more on a later date).
Rams Smash Seahawks:
As Colin Cowherd said, "This was not a passing of the baton, this was the Rams yanking it out of Pete Carroll's hands." The Rams thrashed Seattle 42-7 at the Seahawks home field. L.A. looked younger, faster, smarter, more creative, and like a cohesive unit; on the contrary Seattle had players calling each other out on Twitter after the game was over. I liked Seattle coming into this season, but the injuries have proven to be too much to overcome, and the Seahawks are now faced with the question of whether or not they need to rebuild. They clearly can't keep pace with younger teems anymore, and I'm saddened and scared that this year could be the end of the Legion of Boom.
Lets all be honest now, and admit despite widespread predictions for the Jaguars to be good this year, nobody thought they would be THIS good. Their defense is the best in the NFL in my opinion, and the offense has found rhythm, especially since they seem to get the ball around the 35 yard line every time a possession starts. This team could be dangerous in the Playoffs now that it's official, and they're in. They could also be hosting a Playoff game for the first time in about 20 years. This is crazy, as one of the leagues biggest laughing stocks is now looking like a powerhouse.
Dallas's Win Over Raiders:
This was a crazy game to watch, as it was close all of the way to the end. The game was host to a mind boggling moment though, as the referees had to take a folded over piece of paper, slide it in between the ball and first down marker, and judge whether the ball was far enough for the first. The referees gave Dallas what was a crucial first down, but there was a huge reaction across social media, as a sheet of paper pretty much decided the outcome of the game. The game was also important in that it kept Dallas's Playoff hopes alive for another week. These hopes are also getting a boost because of...
Zeke's Upcoming Return:
This week Ezekiel Elliot is returning to the Cowboys from his suspension, and he could provide them a lift as the regular season comes to its close. This is a huge boost for a Cowboys offense that has struggled at times without him.
Aaron Rodgers Shut Down For Season:
Today Aaron Rodgers was shut down for the season, as the Packers placed him on season ending IR. Head Coach Mike McCarthy said Rodgers took too many hits in that game, which is fair since he was sacked three times and hit seven times. After last night's win for the Falcons on MNF, the Packers were officially eliminated from the Playoffs, so I agree with this move, because the Packers should insure Rodgers is 100% healthy at the start of next season.
Welcome to The Truda Report everybody. Today's topic is one close to my heart, as the New York Giants are my second favorite team in the NFL (giving me the worst taste in history...honestly, the Dolphins and Giants?! I couldn't have chosen worse teams to root for this year). The first Super Bowl I remember watching is 47, when Eli led the Giants to the biggest upset in history, as New York ended the Patriots undefeated season. I haven't been happier in my entire life. It's been a long time since those glory days though, so I want to analyze what's going on for them right now, and give my opinion on what they should do from here on out. Make sure to share this article as it helps TTR grow.
The State of the New York Football Giants:
This team may be one of the biggest disappointments this season, as they were supposed to be NFC East Champions, and make a Super Bowl run this year. I don't think anything more the opposite of that could have happened. The team currently sits at 2-9, the bottom of the NFC East, and the third worst team in the NFL. The offense has been terrible, the defense not much better, and just today, the Giants announced they were basically conceding the season by benching Eli Manning...in favor of Geno Smith. The team wants to see how its younger quarterbacks play, and that's fine, except for the fact that that is THE OPPOSITE OF WHAT THEY SHOULD BE WORRIED ABOUT RIGHT NOW. Imploding is not, I repeat, is not, the direct New York should be headed.
The Giants heading into the season arguably had the best receiving core in the NFL with Odell Beckham Jr., Brandon Marshall, and Sterling Shepard being the three starters. They also had special teams aficionado Dwayne Harris as the fourth stringer. Three of those receivers were out for the season early in the year, and Sterling Shepard has missed multiple games with reoccurring injuries.
The Giants defense was in a similar spot as the offense, with all the talent in the world. Here is the issue though, when an offense is rendered completely ineffective due to injuries, the defense is on the field too long to perform well. This is especially the case with a team lacking a good offensive line and/or a good running back. So, instead of having an incredible defense, this team has had to watch as close games become blowouts in the second half. Once the missing offensive pieces return, though, the scoring will be back on track, and defense will be back to its original form.
To go along with all of this, the Giants poor performance this season will grant them most likely a top five pick in the upcoming draft, so they should be able to improve glaring holes on their roster as well heading into next year. All of this very clearly shows the Giants should not be worried about their QB of the future right now, because they are built to win today, not tomorrow.
Now, I'm not saying there shouldn't be any change. In fact, I think there should be lots of it, but only in terms of management and coaching. Multiple players now have come out and said Ben McAdoo has lost the locker room, and it doesn't take a genius to see that translating to the team's performance on Sundays. The general manager, Jerry Reese, should also be gone. I hate to say that because he built two Super Bowl winning squads that I got the benefit of rooting for, but his recent failures trump those past successes. His inability to draft well (of course excluding Odell) and build an offensive line have plagued the team the last multiple years, and he shouldn't get a pass for that.
I know that usually only imploding teams clear house, but that's not what I expect from this Giants team. They need a new head coach because the players won't play for McAdoo anymore, and they need a new general manager for the hopes of making this years high draft pick a cornerstone of the franchise. If they can get a good coach, do well in the draft this year, and lets not forget, GET HELP FOR THE OFFENSIVE LINE, this Giants team will be great next year, just under new leadership.
All of this is why I'm mourning the loss of Eli Manning's 210 game start streak, the longest of all active players. He is a two time champion who deserves better than what he has been given this season. I agree with Plaxico, Osi, and Coughlin: It's a shame this is what the Giants have come to.
Welcome to The Truda Report everybody. Usually on a Tuesday I'd give my reaction to the biggest story lines coming out of the NFL from that said week, but today I'm doing something different. On Fox Sports 1 Colin Cowherd said a couple things on his show that rubbed me the wrong way, so I want to quickly give my take on that. Make sure to share this article as it helps TTR grow.
Before I start I want to give some quick background. Colin Cowherd, on his show The Herd, claimed that the Patriots proved themselves to be the clearly superior team to the Falcons this past Sunday. I completely agree with that, and I have no issues. What I did find to be wrong is what I'll be discussing below.
"The Patriots are one field goal away from 6-1."
Cowherd said on his show that the Patriots, a 5-2 team, are one field goal away from 6-1. That may be true, but they also very well could have been 2-5. The game against the Houston Texans week three of this year the Pats should have lost. Brady almost threw 2 interceptions on that final drive, and he fumbled the ball after being sacked. In all three instances, the ball was either dropped by a defender or the Patriots luckily recovered the football. If the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had an NFL caliber kicker on their roster they also would have beaten the Patriots. Three missed field goals lead to the Bucs 19-14 loss in week five. Two weeks ago the Jets were robbed of a touchdown when Austin Seferian Jenkins had his touchdown nullified and the ball given to the Pats because of a fumble call that clearly wasn't a fumble. 99% of non Patriots fans who watched that game all agreed that the Jets should have gotten the touchdown, which would have left the Jets only down three. The Jets defense held the Pats to two punts to end the game, and if they had gotten the touchdown not only would they have had the momentum, they would have had a chance to win the game.
I guess what I'm saying overall is that the Patriots are not what their record shows. They have not been themselves this year and continually win close games due to a lucky call of fluke play. They are in NO WAY, a 6-1 team.
"The 28-3 lead is the anomaly, not that the Patriots came back from down that score."
Cowherd said on his show that the fluke in last year's Super Bowl was that the Falcons had a 28-3 lead, not that the Patriots came back from down that score. Everything that I just explained in the above paragraphs refutes what Cowherd said. THE PATS ARE NOT THE TEAM THEY USED TO BE. They are very close to being a bad team this year, and that is not like them. For the first time in over five years, the AFC East Champion is not a given. The Pats defense looks old and slow just like it did in the first half of the Super Bowl last year. The Pats are relying completely on the passing game and on multiple occasions defenses are taking away short routes forcing Brady to struggle and throw the ball deep...just like in the first half of last year's Super Bowl. I completely disagree with Cowherd, and if anything I believe that the second half of the Super Bowl is the anomaly. The first half and the 28-3 deficit has been more reminiscent of New England this season than anything else, and if it weren't for coaching errors on the Falcons side of the ball (which the Pats don't struggle with because everyone can agree Bill Belicheat is probably the greatest coach of all time) then we would be standing here talking about the Falcons odds to repeat as Super Bowl Champs.
As a Miami Dolphins fan I obviously have biases about the Patriots, but I have done everything to keep those under check while evaluating New England this year. I don't like how the media always gives the Pats the benefit of the doubt when their play is questionable. Admittedly, New England has earned that right with their excellence over the last decade and a half, but someone needs to stand up and really take a long, hard look at this team. They have issues, just like every other roster in the NFL. Don't just overlook the issues, analyze them and make a smart judgement about where New England is really headed this season, and seasons down the road. They aren't who they used to be.
Welcome to The Truda Report everybody. Today I'll be talking about the Carmelo Anthony trade to the Oklahoma City Thunder and what it means for the Knicks, Thunder, and NBA. Tomorrow expect an article about the NFL's week 3 action, and then Thursday I'll get around to my prediction for Dwayne Wade in free agency. Make sure to share this article as it helps TTR grow.
Carmelo Anthony Trade:
Knicks Receive: Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott, Chicago Bulls 2018 Second Round Pick
Thunder Receive: 10x All Star Carmelo Anthony
What should be listed under what the Knicks receive is a line of poop emojis. Has anyone heard of the phrase "don't trade a dollar for four quarters," because that applies right now. Never trade away a star for a bunch of assets, because in basketball it is much more valuable to have the best player. It is also widely known that the team that receives the best player usually wins the trade, and that also applies here. Not only did OKC get the best player, but they only gave up 3 quarters for the dollar.
I know I'm being harsh here, but come on New York. As a Bulls fan I can tell you that the Doug McDermott experiment won't go well, and although Kanter is a solid player, he is on a terrible contract. I understand Anthony is an aging player that has never proven himself able to carry a team to the promised land, but that's not what teams want out of him at this point. Melo wanted to be on a contender, and that meant either Cleveland, Houston, or obviously Oklahoma City. Melo is still one of the top 25 players in the league today (ESPN was greatly mistaken by placing him at 62 on their list) and his offensive ability can greatly benefit any team in the league.
So how is it that New York justifies this trade? I know. . . the development of Kristaps Porzingis! But wait a second, Porzingis has gotten better every single year with Anthony on the team anyways, so how is it the Knicks still want to make this move? My response is that the value of stars has gone down greatly this past off season. We have seen in the Jimmy Butler trade, Paul George trade, and now the Carmelo Anthony trade that teams entering or in a rebuild will take next to nothing for their stars if it allows them to tank the upcoming season. Analytics have ruined the values of stars because now teams will take prospects in hope of an incredible career turnaround over some of the best talents in the NBA.
What does this mean for the Knicks and Thunder going forward, now? This means that New York will be riding on the shoulders of the Latvian Unicorn, and the Thunder are going to be the third best team in the West. I'm not jumping on the Thunder bandwagon. Everyone thinks now that there is a new OK3 in the West that the Warriors will have to look out, but I don't think that even the Rockets should start worrying. Obviously this Thunder team is going to be good, and they look great on paper. The issue is that they have a lack of 3 point shooting, and they have 3 ball dominant players competing for shots. Again, as a Bulls fan I can tell you that this doesn't work. The Three Alphas movement in Chicago failed last year due to Jimmy Butler, Dwayne Wade, and Rajon Rondo all competing for the ball. This not only led to awkwardness on the court, but locker room issues. I just don't see the Thunder pulling ahead of the Rockets, a 3 point based team, when they have 3 alphas, 2 of which were shipped to this team without necessarily planning on letting their usage rates drop.
Overall I think this is still a great trade for the Thunder, and this further proves that the Knicks are a lost team. More will be revealed as the season gets closer, but for now lets all just appreciate what has been a very entertaining off season.
The NFL is Back!!! Brady is NOT the GOAT, My Super Bowl Prediction, and My Pick for Tonight's Pats - Chiefs Game
Welcome to The Truda Report everybody. Today has been marked on my calendar since the end of Super Bowl 51, because today football is back. Tonight the defending champion Patriots take on the Kansas City Chiefs, in what should be a great match up. Before I give you my pick for tonight's game though, I'll be giving my prediction for this years Super Bowl match up and winner. Remember to share this article, as it helps TTR grow.
Super Bowl Prediction:
New England Patriots vs. Green Bay Packers
Green Bay Packers
The rational part of my mind is telling me that the Super Bowl game consists of the Seahawks and Pats, but I've been dying to see Aaron Rodgers play Tom Brady in the biggest game on Earth. Rodgers has the most talent around him since his last Super Bowl appearance, and that can't go unnoticed. Green Bay has a real shot to make the Super Bowl this year. On the Patriots side of things, I don't really need to explain much. On paper this is possibly the most talented roster in history, and with Bill Belichick leading this team there isn't much that can stop this team. Except the Packers. I think that it's the Miami Dolphins fan inside of me that refuses to let me pick the Patriots to win the Super Bowl, but at the same time there are reasons to be worried about this team in February. Tom Brady, "the greatest quarterback of all time" (says nobody with any sense), has not played as well as advertised in Super Bowls. Here are his stats:
XXXVI: 16-27, 145 yards, 1 touchdown, 0 interceptions - 59% completion is not good, average yards per attempt was 5 (not good) and any other QB would be endlessly ridiculed for a 145 yard game in a Super Bowl.
XXXVIII: 32-48, 354 yards, 3 touchdowns, 1 interception - This performance against the Panthers was in my opinion by far his best in a Super Bowl, and there isn't much besides a pick to criticize. Once again though, his average yards per attempt wasn't incredible (7), although it definitely improved.
XXXIX: 23/33, 236 yards, 2 touchdowns, 0 interceptions - This was a solid outing from Brady, but nowhere near spectacular. The average yards per attempt was once again 7, which again is nothing to write home about, and 236 yards is average.
XLII: 29-48, 266 yards, 1 touchdown, 0 interceptions - The next two Super Bowls (both against the Giants) should be nicknamed Tom Brady meets a pass rush. Brady throughout his career has been a deer in headlights when defenses take away his short routes, and then he caves into the pressure of opposing defensive lines. His completion percentage was 60 (not good), and his average yards per attempt was only 5. This was not a good performance in the slightest.
XLVI: 27-41, 276 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception - In his second match up against the G-Men Brady improved upon his last performance, but once again wasn't great. 276 yards is once again average, and his aypa was 6 (not very good). Brady was once again flustered by the pass rush, and didn't preform like the G.O.A.T.
XLIX: 37/50, 328 yards, 4 touchdowns, 2 interceptions - Brady received a lot of credit for beating the Seahawks in this Super Bowl, but he didn't deserve it. He had a good completion percentage, posted over 300 yards, and had 4 TDs but those stats misconstrue his true performance. Brady completed almost no deep passes and continually dumped the ball off in the flats to avoid throwing at the Legion of Boom. He also threw 2 terrible interceptions, both of which would have cost them the game if it weren't for Pete Carroll making the worst call in NFL history. Also, his aypa was only 6, proving that he didn't have an incredibly efficient game.
LI: 43/62, 466 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception - I am not going to deny that this was the greatest comeback of all time. The Patriots were incredible in the second half, but a lot of things had to go right for this team to erase what was a terrible first half by Tom Brady and the Pats (ex. the Falcons didn't run the ball when that's ALL THEY HAD TO DO TO WIN). Brady threw a terrible pick-6, and through the whole game only completed 3 passes over 15 yards. That means the other 40 were the classic Brady quick slants to avoid turning the ball over. Even in the second half when the Pats comeback happened Brady was not making incredible throws, it was mostly short passes (aypa was 7). This was Brady's most memorable game, but it, along with his other Super Bowl performances, were not his finest.
Anyways, Brady has yet to go out and win a Super Bowl by himself, which is something I can see Aaron Rodgers doing any day. I think this year we will see a huge upset, and it will help boost Aaron Rodgers stock in the debate for all-time greats.
Kansas City Chiefs @ New England Patriots:
Tonight, like most of the country, I'm taking the Patriots to win. This is one of the best rosters in the history of the game, and I think they'll show all of that talent off tonight. I don't think it'll be a blowout though; quite the contrary in fact. This should be a close, gritty, and fun game to watch as an opening to this new season. I'm excited to see what happens.
Welcome to The Truda Report everybody. Today will be my final day dealing with the Jimmy Butler trade. I'll be giving my opinion on the pros and cons for each side of the deal, and just an overall consensus on who won the trade. At the bottom of this article I will list some big news topics that I will be covering the next couple of days, so make sure to let me know which you want to hear about most. To do that, follow my Instagram @thetrudareport and comment which topic I should do tomorrow.
The Chicago Bulls received last years 5th overall pick Kris Dunn, Zach Lavine, and this years 7th overall selection which was Lauri Markkanen. The Minnesota Timberwolves received 2 time All Star Jimmy Butler and the 16th overall selection which was Justin Patton.
The Bulls got fleeced. It's as simple as that. They gave up a top 10 player in the world, and got back what looks like a draft bust (Kris Dunn), an injured asset reliant on his explosiveness (Zach Lavine), and a decent draft pick (7th pick which was Lauri Markkanen). Now, obviously, when a team is entering a rebuild they can't be trying to get established veterans back; they need assets. My issue, though, is that one of those assets couldn't beat out RICKY RUBIO *gag* for the starting spot, and the other one is reliant on his explosiveness, but has an ACL injury. Markkanen seems like a good pick, and he could definitely become a great player, but getting back one promising player for an All Star is not enough.
Another thing completely wrong with this trade for the Bulls, is that they gave up their first round draft pick along with Jimmy Butler. When the goal is to acquire assets in exchange for a proven star, YOU CANNOT BE GIVING UP DRAFT PICKS. Justin Patton was selected in the 16th spot by the Timberwolves, which makes the Bulls look incredibly stupid, since he was considered a good fit for the Bulls. Markkanen and Patton could have been the Bulls big men of the future. Now, I'm not saying both Markkanen and Patton will turn out to be good players, because that's still and unknown. The point of drafting players, though, is to bring in young talent that could one day sprout into quality starters, or even stars. So in the Bulls situation, when your giving up Jimmy Butler for Dunn, Lavine, and Markkanen (which is not a good trade by the way), to then add in their draft pick is like exchanging a $20 bill for a $5 bill. It's just stupid and wasteful.
I'm a Chicago Bulls fan, so I spent a lot of time talking about the Bulls side of things. I want to turn quickly to the Timberwolves perspective. If you're Tom Thibodeau and you just got fleeced your former team, that makes this trade so incredibly sweet. Acquiring Jimmy Butler is a great achievement on any day, but the fact that he was able to leave a gash in the side of his former employer makes it a lot better. Butler's fit on the T-Wolves can be questionable in terms of floor spacing (they don't have many 3 point shooters) but his defense will help them infinitely. They are also reportedly shopping Ricky Rubio in hopes of getting back a good shooting point guard. If they can do that, this team is easily a Playoff contender. Minnesotans should be happy.
I'd like to say one last thing about the Bulls. I was a supporter of trading Jimmy Butler because I recognized the need to rebuild, but I also understood that his contract situation was perfect. He has two years left, so if the Bulls couldn't get the deal they wanted for Butler on draft night, there would still be no rush to trade Jimmy. The trade deadline of this upcoming season would then be the time to pull the trigger on a trade undervaluing Butler. Being a player with one year left on the contract significantly reduces their value (see Paul George) but players with multiple years left, at the trade deadline, INCREASE IN VALUE. Teams like the Celtics or Rockets that are on the brink of greatness would be willing to give up more than usual if they think acquiring a star could put them over the hump and win them a chip. This is especially the case when that said star has another year left on their contract, so they would be able to have multiple shots at a title with the team trading for them. It would be highly unlikely that Butler would go for this little at the trade deadline, so this was not a smart move by the Bulls front office.
Overall, I think the Bulls could either be lucky and come out of this with a starting point guard, shooting guard, and power forward, or come out of this like the losers they seem to be today. I hate to say it, but I think even Phil Jackson understands the value of players better than the Bulls do (and Phil thought that asking for the Celtics to give up this years number 3 pick, Jaylen Brown (last years number 3 pick), Jae Crowder, and the Nets 2018 first round pick was reasonable for Kristaps Porzingis). The Bulls got fleeced, and I'm ashamed to be their fan today.
Speaking of Phil Jackson, here are the possible topics for tomorrow:
Welcome to The Truda Report everybody. Today, just like yesterday, I'll be breaking down the reasoning for the Jimmy Butler trade. Yesterday I went through why the Bulls wanted to do the trade, so make sure to check that out if you missed it. Today I'll be going through the reasons the Minnesota Timberwolves wanted to make these moves, and tomorrow I'll be giving my opinion on the trade. Stay tuned for that. For updates concerning when I post these articles, follow my Instagram @thetrudareport.
The Chicago Bulls received last years 5th overall pick Kris Dunn, Zach Lavine, and this years 7th overall selection which was Lauri Markkanen. The Minnesota Timberwolves received 2 time All Star Jimmy Butler and the 16th overall selection which was Justin Patton.
Breaking Down the Trade:
For the T-Wolves, there was obviously a lot to gain and not much to lose. This roster was full of young talent, and they just needed one veteran to help put them into Playoff contention. Karl Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins can't do it alone, so enter Jimmy Butler.
Butler is a two time All Star, is the recipient of the 2014-15 Most Improved Player award, was on the 2016 All NBA Defensive second team, and is easily a top 15 player in the league (most would put him top 10, but I'm playing it safe). Butler is a top 5 two way threat in this league, and his work ethic is unmatched. After being selected with the last pick in the first round, Butler worked his way to were he is now. Butler on this T-Wolves team reunites him with his former coach, Tom Thibodeau, who helped bring him to the point where he is today. This means Butler will have his full potential brought out, and this will be huge for Minnesota. Although they have many young play makers, they haven't been great defensively. Jimmy G. Buckets can help change that, as well as increase their offensive output. He is a HUGE acquisition.
Minnesota also got Justin Patton with the 16th overall pick in the draft. Patton won't make much of an impact as a rookie due to Karl Anthony Towns being the clear starter, but Patton's offensive versatility could earn him some minutes off the bench. Although selecting 16th isn't considered a great pick, this was huge for the Timberwolves because it means despite giving up two young assets and a draft pick, they get a young player back alongside Jimmy Butler.
Overall, this could end up being the steal of the off season for the Timberwolves. If the teams chemistry clicks and progress the way it's expected, the Bulls front office could be left looking foolish. TO HEAR WHAT I THINK ABOUT THIS TRADE MAKE SURE TO READ MY ARTICLE TOMORROW.
High School Senior from Connecticut obsessed with sports stats, facts, and management.