Well now, the NBA is still in its preseason and will not start the regular season until next week.
This coming Tuesday, the 30th, will be the Washington Wizards first game of the season. Last year they were 14th in the Eastern Conference yet some experts are expecting a bounce back season for them.
As the NBA is a sport where over half of the teams go to the playoffs by a seeding format, ESPN sees them finishing 9th in the East (which would mean they just fall one slot shy of the playoffs). Although it’s good that they traded away Gilbert Arenas when they did, as he has a huge contract with little to show for it.
Too bad Baltimore has no basketball team, albeit with basketball fans who usually pick being fans of either the Lakers or Celtics, however it is questionable for the cities who do have teams.
This season, New York City will be the second city in the US with two NBA teams, Los Angeles being the other. Not only does LA have two basketball teams, but they also have two MLB teams. (no NFL team though)
There are several cities whose only professional team is in the NBA: Portland, Oklahoma City, Orlando, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, Sacramento (Kings). What alarms me is that the Greater San Antonio area has roughly 2.2 million residents, but the Greater Cleveland area has less than 2.1 million yet it has 3 teams out of the 4 most popular major league sports.
Now our city may not necessarily deserve another professional team in our big CSA area where it is 6th in the nation, we could move one of two DC teams to a more neutral & shared place. I remember last year how many people I know in this area suddenly became Capitals fans when they had a good season.
Although the Wizards don’t get the same kind of admiration up here even when they have good seasons, so it may be time to integrate the team into a larger viewing area.
Several professional teams have broaden their marketing area by listing the state in the name rather than just the major city: Minnesota Vikings & Timberwolves, Arizona Cardinals, Utah Jazz, Florida (now Miami) Marlins, New Jersey (now Brooklyn) Nets and so on.
Maybe the Wizards could be moved to Annapolis, Laurel, or Columbia and given a new name like the “Maryland Maulers” or “Maryland Marauders.” Or, seeing as New Orleans’ team is the Hornets, how about the “Moths”? [Not serious at all for the last one]
Despite the University of Maryland being so far deep into the DC area, its Maryland name widens its fan potential for everyone in this state. The Terps’ basketball season starts on November 9th. This will be the second season under coach Mark Turgeon, who led the Terps to a 17-15 record last year. It is hard to replace someone like Gary Williams, who was coach for 22 years and had a remarkable winning percentage. Lets hope for a NCAA tournament bid this year!
For football, our boys are having the week off from playing. This week is the Ravens’ designated bye week, so they’ll resume action on Sunday, November 3rd versus the Browns in Cleveland.
Bye weeks have been historically good for the Ravens, as they have a very impressive record following those by weeks, including 4-0 under Harbaugh.
So for Week 9 they draw the lowly Browns who likely aren’t going anywhere this season and finally have a win for their record. I can see that game being a big momentum swing for the Ravens, who will come for repairing their pride, fix their problems on the road, along with continuing their dominance after bye weeks and versus the Browns.
Speaking of bye weeks, the Eagles under Andy Reid are an astounding 13-0 following the bye weeks. This week they are at home in Philadelphia versus the Atlanta Falcons, who are the last remaining undefeated team at 6-0. One of these records will end after this game, and the game is more important to Andy Reid whose job is on the line.
There is one Washington team that I’ll be rooting hard for this Sunday, and that is for the Redskins to defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers. Currently the Steelers are 3-3 and it will benefit the Ravens greatly if they continue to stay behind in the division, as they are the closest competitor in the AFC North.
In World Series news, the San Francisco Giants have taken a 2-0 lead against the Detroit Tigers last night. Yes, the same Giants who needed 7 games against the Cardinals and the same Tigers who swept the Yankees in 4 games.
This calls to mind another example in MLB & NBA postseasons where a team that dominates another in a divisional series early has problems in the next series against a team that played many more games. It may be a combination of rusty play and arrogance that causes these teams to make mistakes and lose. If the Giants win the series 4 games to 1, I will not be surprised.
Well, I hope you all enjoy this weekend. Since there are no local sports on, maybe spend some more time out & about with those closest to you. I somewhat hope that next time I update this blog that Dean Pees is replaced, but it’s never good to express displeasure like that in sports as it may affect the whole team’s mentality. So, I am once again hoping that the team comes to its senses and has Ray Lewis stand with our Defensive Coordinator and make “suggestions” of play calls for the defense.
P.S. I can’t believe I was wrong about my prediction of Ray Lewis being shown on the sidelines! It had to be the first time I watched a Ravens game and did not see Ray Lewis, even as a spectator. It may be possible he didn’t actually travel to Houston to see the game.