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No Nene No Problem

No Nene…No Problem. The Wizards were able to take a commanding 3-1 series lead dominating the Bulls 98-89. Trevor Ariza had the hot hand all day scoring a playoff career high 30 points. John Wall recorded his first career playoff double double with 15 points and 10 assists, while Bradley Beal chipped in 18. The absence of the big Brazilian didn’t seem to affect the offense as the Wizards got off to a blistering pace jumping out to a 14-0 run to start the game. The score wasn’t truly indicative of the game as the Wizards dominated the offensively challenged Bulls.

Chicago struggled to generate any consistent offense outside of Taj Gibson who led all scorers with 32 points, shooting an impressive 13 of 16 from the field. Four year vet Trevor Booker filled Nene’s starting spot amicable providing the Wizards with relentless hustle and toughness inside. Booker, who fouled out with five minutes remaining, finished with eight points and nine boards. Marcin “The Polish Machine” Gortat filled up the box score with 17 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists.  

The Wizards will look to close out the series Tuesday when they head back north to the United Center. Even if the Bulls manage to win game five, it’s hard to imagine a scenario in which the Wizards don’t advance to the next round. Since the switch to a seven game playoff format, only eight teams were able to overcome a 3-1 series deficit and move on to the next round. Assuming they go through to the Eastern Conference semi-finals, the Wizards would await the winner of the Pacers Hawks series which is currently deadlocked at 2 games apiece. The upstart Wizards are peaking at the perfect time and have to feel good about their chances at advancing to the Eastern Conference finals where they will like find an old playoff nemesis and the 2 time defending champion Miami Heat. 

Wizards Playoff Seeding Scenarios

The final day of the NBA regular season has come.  Although they clinched over two weeks ago, the Wizards playoff seeding remains uncertain. Currently sitting in the 6th seed, the Wizards could potentially jump up the 5th, remain in place, or fall to the 7th seed.

With Indiana and Miami having already locked up the first two spots, I have compiled all the different scenarios that would impact the Wizards seeding.

1)      If the Wizards WIN they automatically clinch no worse than the 6th seed

2)      If Washington loses and the Bobcats win, the Wizards fall to 7th and face the defending champs and a first round exit

3)      If Brooklyn loses and the Wizards win, Washington would leapfrog Brooklyn into the 5th seed

First and foremost, the Wizards have to take of business against the Celtics (who are questionably resting players) before worrying about the following scenarios that would determine their foe if they clinch the 5th or 6th seed.

1)      If Toronto Wins or the Bulls lose they automatically clinch the third seed

2)      Vice Versa, if the Bulls win and Toronto loses the Bulls would secure the 3rd seed

I’d personally like to see the Wizards play Toronto as the 5th or 6th seed. I know that the Raptors took the regular series 3-1, but Chicago has been playing the best basketball as of late. Chicago also has a veteran laden team with multiple players having playoff experience.  As most of us now, the playoffs are completely different breed of basketball. The Raptors, just like the Wizards, find themselves with in the playoffs after a six year drought. Both teams will need at least a game to match the intensity brought forth by an experienced team. Now I’m not saying the Wizards couldn’t defeat the Bulls (because I think they could), but I think the Raptors would be the easier road to the second round. In either scenario the Wizards have to win at Boston because facing the Heat in the first round would be a death sentence. 

Bubba Watson Wins second Green Jacket

Simply put Bubba Watson owns Augusta. Bubba finds himself in some elite company after winning the green jacket for the second time in just three years. Bubba has qualified for the masters for six straight years, making the cut every time and winning the prestigious green jacket in 2012 and 2014. On Sunday, Bubba was at his absolute best. His trademark powerhouse drives gave him a leg up on the par 5 where he made two birdies on the day.

When Jordan Spieth took the lead as they approached the turn, Bubba responded with back to back birdies on 8 and 9 to reaffirm his share of the lead. He would never relinquish it and made the young Spieth crumble under the pressure of trying to keep up with his unrelenting composure. Spieth, in his first Masters outing finished tied for second with Swede Jonas Blixt. Spieth, who is just twenty years old, will definitely be a forced to reckoned with going forward.

The 2014 Masters suffered from a lack of big names. Tiger Woods, a 6 time Masters champ was unable to compete due to a back injury, and Phil Mickelson a three time champ, missed the cut for the first time in ten years. As always though, the Masters lived up to the hype as the best Golf course and Tournament in the world. It set the stage for what is surely going to be an intense 2014 PGA season. 

Salisbury defeats Virginia Wesleyan

The combination of strong pitching and hot bats allowed for Salisbury to enjoy dominating victory over Virginia Wesleyan. Senior Andrew Levy orchestrated a masterful performance on the mound, pitching 7 2/3 innings scoreless innings. Levy seemed to be in cruise control the whole game as he allowed only one hit while striking out four.

Salisbury would complement their pitchers dominance by ensuring him with plenty of run support throughout the game. Despite having only one extra base hit, Salisbury was able to manufacture 9 runs through 13 singles and 9 walks. After a scoreless first inning, Salisbury registered two runs in the second in what proved to be a tone-setter for the rest of the game. With the bases loaded and two outs, junior center fielder Bill Root slapped a single into left center field scoring two.

 After a quick Wesleyan three and out, junior infielder Quinn Griffith who tallied a game high 3 hits, led off the third with an emphatic double to left center.  Junior shortstop Ken O’Neill singled on the very next at bat, scoring Griffith and extending the lead to three. Salisbury would add another before the inning was over confirming that the rout was on as they took a commanding 4-0 lead into the bottom of the 3rd.

Virginia Wesleyan was unable to amount to any sort of offensive production throughout the game going 3 up 3 down in 6 of 9 innings. They were only able to put three men on base the entire game displaying an abysmal .069 combined batting average. With their opponent’s faltering at the plate, Salisbury showed great poise in manufacturing great at bats cultivating in an outstanding .578 on base percentage for the game. Salisbury had 5 players with at least two hits while Virginia Wesleyan only managed three for the game.

What the Texans should do with the first pick in the draft

With the NFL Draft a mere three weeks away, nobody seems to know how this draft will play out. The Houston Texans have been very coy with their intentions on what they plan to do with the first pick in the draft. NFL analysts have been shuffling players in and out of the top spot and there has also has been discussion that the Texans could trade out of this spot. This is a franchise that is not as bad as their 2013 record would indicate and very well could have quick turnaround in 2014. Newly appointed head coach has ties to UCF coach

The choice is simple; O’Brian should select Jadeveon Clowney with the first pick. Clowney has all the intangibles of a hall of fame esq player and can make an impact with from day 1. A team can never have too many pass rushers and the pairing of Clowney with JJ Watt would be a quarterback nightmare. While Clowney’s work ethic has been called into question on numerous occasions, Watt and locker room leader Andre Johnson would light a fire under Clowney forcing him to be great. Clowney’s imposing size and freakish athleticism (he ran a 4.5 40) are so grand that he is drawing comparisons to Hall of Fame great Bruce Smith.

O’Brian is a quarterback guru and has not fallen in love with this crop of signal callers in this year’s class. By taking Clowney, the Texans would boast one of the best defensive lines in all of football.  Derek Carr could also slip to the Texans at pick 33 if they decide they  want to go with a signal caller.