NFL Draft and NBA Playoff Game 3 Tilts

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THE NFL DRAFT NEWS & NOTES –

WE’RE SORTING THROUGH THE (LIKELY) SECOND-ROUND

“HITS” AND “MISSES” …

PLUS QUICK-HITTER LOOKS AT TONIGHT’S

NBA PLAYOFF GAME #3 TILTS IN

MILWAUKEE, CHITOWN & MEMPHIS 

     Hope you enjoyed our Jim Sez NFL Mock Draft of all the first-round picks … but we ain’t through yet with the gridiron world!

     As the curtain gets set to rise this evening at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, there’s plenty still to say about what rookie talent is available beyond the likely first-round selections and so in a moment we will examine a handful of players and we’ll tell you whether they are “Hits” or “Misses” here in this NFL Draft.

     First, this key reminder …

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    Now, let’s get back to this year’s NFL Draft and our Second-Round Projected Picks – let’s call them the gems and the junk (if you will) – they are our beyond-the-first-round “Hits and “Misses”:

THE “HITS” –

     TERRANCE WILLIAMS, WR, BAYLOR – Most draft boards place this 6-foot-2 Dallas native among the top 75 overall prospects in this field but we believe this TD-maker (11 scores for last year’s Waco crew) will be a steal for anyone drafting in the 35-thru-45 range. Williams sports great acceleration and is quite capable of making all the tough catches. The Arizona Cardinals at pick #38 would be wise to snatch Williams up if he’s still there. P.S., keep in mind that Williams was on the receiving end of plenty of passes made by Robert Griffin III just two years ago, Might RG3’s Washington Redskins than make a move to draft him in Round II (the ‘Skins are slated to pick #51 overall after not having a first-round choice and maybe they move up to #35-thru-40).

     SIO MOORE, OLB, CONNECTICUT – You might have seen some of the pre-draft hype regarding this 6-foot-1, 245-pounder who generally is considered a safe bet to get selected at the tail end of Round II or even in the early-to-mid- stages of Round III but bet your proverbial bottom dollar he’s gone by pick #45 or so as Moore has all the necessary tools to be a lot better than the seventh-best OLB as has been his projection. Note that Moore was a three-year starter as is considered a lock at #49 with the New York Giants if he’s still sitting there but our gut feel is Tennessee at pick #40 could use him big-time.

THE “MISSES” –

     EJ MANUEL, QB, FLORIDA STATE – If you listen to all the pre-draft scuttlebutt than you know this 6-foot-5 Virginia Beach native generally is considered the second, third or fourth-best signal-caller on the board behind West Virginia’s Geno Smith but we wouldn’t touch Manuel with a ten-foot pole as he telegraphs too many of his downfield throws and his ball security is a problem too as he fumbles way too much when pressured in the pocket. Look for Manuel to get snapped up early in Round II – the Jacksonville Jaguars might scoop ‘em up with that very first pick in the second round – but he could wind up being a second-round dud.

     DAVID AMERSON, CB, N.C. STATE – In what’s termed a cornerback-heavy draft, this former Wolfpack star is regarded as the seventh- or eighth-best CB on the board but if you watched him closely last year you know Amerson was torched in his team’s opener at Tennessee (and specifically WR Cordarelle Patterson) and he simply gets beat too often for our tastes. True, Amerson picked off an ACC-record 13 passes but last year was a bust and he simply lacks the necessary straight-line speed to handle the here-and-now NFL wide receivers. Look for Amerson to get nabbed somewhere in the lows 40s – we’ve seen Miami’s name attached to him – but we would merely pass on ‘em and instead look at him as a late third-round or else early fourth-round type pick.

THE NBA PLAYOFFS

     There are three games on the NBA Playoffs docket tonight (just in case you aren’t tuned in to the NFL Draft) and so here’s some quick-hitter comments:

EASTERN CONFERENCE –

     #1 MIAMI at #8 MILWAUKEE – Heat leads series 2-0

     No surprise that the defending champion Miami Heat is getting ready to chew up and spit out the lowly Milwaukee Bucks here – now does anyone out there not think this will be a series sweep? – but how about the fact that someone other than Miami’s famed “big three” is getting lots of publicity here?

     Forward Chris Andersen – a/k/a “The Birdman” – contributed 10 points and 6 rebounds in a mere dozen minutes in Miami’s 98-86 non-cover win in Game 2 and the heavily tattoed one was on the floor during the early fourth-quarter 12-0 scoring run that truly busted this game open.

     Hey, Bucks, think you’re gonna win when G Brandon Jennings is hitting just 3-of-15 FG tries?

     #4 BROOKLYN at #5 CHICAGO – Series tied 1-1

     Will the real Brooklyn Nets please stand up?

     The Game #1 Nets were simply superb en route to a 106-89 win at the spanking-new Barclays Center but who was that this past Monday night when P.J. Carlesimo’s crew fell 90-82 as 5-point home favorites?

     Point guard Deron Williams shot a horrid 1-of-9 from the field and finished with 8 points in 38 minutes for the Nets and overall Brooklyn shot a woeful 35.4 percent from the floor against a Bulls bunch that guarded more tightly and seemingly ran down all those so-called 50-50 balls.

     If the Nets needed any other bad news coming out of that Game #2 loss it was that G Joe Johnson (17 points on 6-of-18 FG shooting in Game #2) was hurting – again – with plantar fasciatis … ouch!

WESTERN CONFERENCE –

     #4 LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS at #5 MEMPHIS – Clippers lead series 2-0

     Through Wednesday night’s NBA Playoff action, home teams were a rollicking 14-2 SU (straight-up) for a sizzling .875 winning rate – okay, home folks were just 9-7 ATS (against the spread) after these first 16 post-season affairs – and one team that barely “held serve” at home were these LA Clippers who needed a 10-foot running jumper by PG Chris Paul to secure a 93-91 non-cover win against the Memphis Grizzlies in Game #2.

     No doubt Paul – who wound up with 24 points and 9 assists in that Monday night tilt – was the star of stars in that game but sixth man Jamal Crawford was key while scoring 13 of his 15 points in the opening half while not missing any of his six FG attempts.

     Safe to say that if the Grizzlies don’t get a major effort from their bench here than this could be a short-and-sweet series for Billy Crystal’s favorite pro hoops squad.

     Did someone out there tell the Clips that “you look mah-velous”?

     NOTE: Catch our NFL Draft First-Round Re-Cap in tomorrow’s edition of Jim Sez.

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