The State of the Reds
Watching Liverpool lose to Southampton yesterday was painful. First off, I have to give Southampton some credit. Their game plan was spot on. Every time they lost the ball, it seemed like they got back in 2 banks of 4 in record time. Liverpool resorted to passing the ball from one side to the other. They could’t carve the defence open. there were always about 4 men around Liverpool players when they got the ball. For me, Liverpool didn’t move the ball quickly enough. They also weren’t incisive enough in the final third. They didn’t have that bit of magic to unlock the defence. I’m going to rant about a few players now.
Firmino looks jaded (so does Lallana). They are covering the same distance but they don’t seem to be winning the ball back high up the pitch with the same frequency as they did earlier in the season. Coutinho seems like he has been forcing it since we came back. The defence? Well that’s another issue. I have never been convinced by Loveren and I get heart palpitations every time Klavan touches the ball. Hendo, Can and Wijnaldum are doing okay but I feel like we need Stevie G or someone just as inspirational to get us out of this rut. For the record, I don’t really care about the Carling Cup. I just want us to play exciting football and score some goals.
Liverpool hasn’t won a league game this year and have won just 1 of their last 7 overall. This pain is familiar to anyone who has supported Liverpool at any point over the last 15 years. You always know things will unravel at some point. It’s not like things will get easier. After Wolves in the FA Cup, the next game in the league is against Chelsea. Anfield was a fortress for most of 2016 but we have lost our last 2 games there. Bring it on Chelsea. YNWA!
On to NBA Happenings that caught my eye yesterday
What us up with the Raptors?
They started the season on a flyer, picking up where they left off last season. Derozan even lead the league in scoring after about 10 games. The turn of 2017 hasn’t been too good to them. It’s not like they have had any significant injuries but they have lost their last 5 games. Given that for my money they are the second best team in the east, I expect them to be doing better. I mean we all know Cleveland will come through in the East but I’ll need Toronto to put up more of a fight. I agree with people saying they need a trade to shake things up a little. There was a Paul Millsap rumour earlier this year but that seems to have died down (Even with Millsap I don’t think they will get past Cleveland in 7 but it makes them a much better team) and what has happened to Demare Carrol? I had him down as the Lebron stopper when he got to Toronto but he has been in a funk. He was really good in his last year in Atlanta.
(is he one of those guys who only plays well in contract years? Trevor Ariza I’m looking at you)
Are the 76ers now Good?
The first thing I do on most mornings is to read the NBA box score and over the past 3 or 4 years, one thing has been guaranteed. The 76ers will lose almost every game. I mean in 2016, they won 10 (out of 82) games. In 2015, they won 18 games. Recently I noticed they have been winning more than the 76ers should first they won 3 in a row then 4 out of 5. Now over the last 10 games, they have they joint best record in the East! Their best player hasn’t even played in the last 2 games. Robert Covington is hitting game winners, Nik Stauskas is dunking on people disrespectfully, Saric is playing good defence. Where did this come from?
I heard someone say they might make the playoffs and as Stephen A Smith would say, that’s asinine! This purple patch will end soon ans we will forget about it but in the meantime, I just wanted to show them some love. I’m sold on Embiid. I don’t like Ben Simmons much but I hope he and Embiid play well enough to give the fans in Philly something to cheer about this season.
My Man Dennis Mike
Every year when the draft comes round, I pick one or two players who I keep tabs on and root for. Mostly it’s people that have been written off or have question marks hanging over their heads. One of such players is Dennis Schroder. I started following him because they used to call him baby Rondo. At the time he was drafted, Rondo was my favourite player. Schroder had issues with turn overs and butting heads with his coach. He seemed to figure it out a bit last season. The Hawks decided to go all in on him and let Jeff Teague go. I was worried he might not live up to expectations but my man Dennis is balling out. He’s averaging 17.6 points, shooting .376% from 3. His Player Efficiency Ratio is up and after a mini slump, the Hawks are back to 4th in the east . I call him Dennis Mike because his twitter handle is @dennismike93.
One more thing. All Star Reserve picks are out tonight, I’ll write a post if there are any major omissions.