Three Things: Smith In, Blatt Out and NFL Divisional Championship Weekend

lebron-james-david-blattDavid Blatt Fired as Cleveland Cavaliers Head Coach

 

It has been announced that David Blatt, the second year head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers, has been relieved of his duties.  The Cavaliers hold a 30-11 record, good enough to claim the top spot in the Eastern Conference, after making it to the NBA Finals and losing to the Golden State Warriors 4-2 last season.

Blatt had the best record of any coach being fired midseason and had amassed an 83-40 record in a season and a half as head man in Cleveland.  Blatt will be replaced by Tyronn Lue who is a long time NBA veteran and has acted as the teams Associate Head Coach for the past 2 seasons.

LeBron James, has apparently “not been consulted” in the matter, though anyone with an inquiring mind would have to question that notion.  James has been a longtime supporter and advocate for Lue due to his playing and championship experience.

There are so many interesting story lines to keep track of, but the most pressing matter will be the upcoming All-Star game.  Typically each conference’s leading coaching staff assumes the responsibilities but seeing as how the Cavs situation is likely a first of its kind, it will be interesting to see how things play out.

 

kathryn-smith

Kathryn Smith becomes First Full-Time Female NFL Staff Member

The Buffalo Bills have turned the page in the NFL.  Earlier this week, it was announced that the Rex Ryan was set to hire the NFL’s first female staff member.  Kathryn Smith was hired as a special teams quality control assistant after multiple years climbing the ladder throughout the Jets and Buffalo Bills organizations.

If you remember, we covered the hiring of Jen Welter, an Arizona football operations intern, earlier this summer.  Welter did not stick in Arizona but it is refreshing to continuously see progress made in the sports and entertainment industries (The Grammy’s and Academy Awards excluded), and we applaud Rex Ryan & the Buffalo Bills for being at the forefront of that change in the National Football League.

 

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NFL Conference Championship Weekend

And then there were four… We are down to the Final Four of NFL football as the Carolina Panthers will face the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC Championship and the Denver Broncos will face the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship this Sunday.

Almost all of the focus will fall to the latest installment of Manning vs. Brady, but there are plenty of other exciting storylines to keep track of as the Super Bowl quickly approaches.

-How will Cam Newton continue to shape his legacy as one of the NFL’s elite QBs?

-Will Tom Brady and Bill Belichick continue to cement themselves as the greatest player-coach duo in NFL history?

-Is this Peyton Manning’s last go around?

-Will Bruce Arians, Larry Fitzgerald and Carson Palmer return the Cardinals to the NFL’s promise land?

All of these questions will be answered soon enough, we just get to sit back and enjoy!

 

Our Picks:

NFC                                                                                     AFC

Panthers 24- Cardinals 20                                   Broncos 10- Patriots  24

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