Let's just get right into this...
1. I have NBA League Pass so I've unfortunately watched all five of these Wizards losses. I won't lie, I'm concerned. Gilbert doesn't look healthy and some are saying the Wiz need to rest him for an extended amount of time (say a month) so he can get fully healthy. This team is built around Gilbert being the Gil of last year. They don't play defense so they need to be dynamic on the offensive end. Without a healthy Gil, they just don't have enough firepower to compete in a much more solid Eastern Conference. It isn't just Arenas, though. The whole team is having serious issues with consistently making shots. Don't blame Eddie Jordan because his players are in the right spot, they just can't execute. DeShawn Stevenson might be the worst starting player in the entire NBA. Blatche has been a non-factor. Antonio Daniels gets far too many minutes, especially if Gilbert is remotely close to healthy. That being said, it's still very early. The next six or seven games are all winnable, so we'll see how this team responds going out to Atlanta tomorrow against Joe Johnson.
2. I think it was the right call to rest Henne and Hart against Wisconsin. In the whole scheme of things, it was a meaningless game. This season will forever be defined by that Appalachian State loss, and to a lesser extent that Oregon game. But if Henne, Hart and Long somehow prevail next week against Ohio State, it will deflect some of the attention away from that devastating loss. It won't make it go away comepletely, but atleast there will be something to shield us from remembering it. And make no mistake, the only way Michigan has a chance against the Buckeyes is if Hart and Henne are out there for a full 60 minutes.
3. I have a prediction about what is going to happen over the next few months. The entire country is going to turn against the city of Boston. People are already starting to become disgusted by how many good teams they have. Bill Simmons is making it worse by writing every single one of his columns on a Boston sports team. For me, I haven't started hating the entire city yet. I like how Bill Belichick goes for the jugular. I like Manny being Manny. I'm an admirer of KG and Ray Allen (not really a Paul Pierce guy, though. But around the corner, it's coming. If they all win titles, people are going to be mad. People are going to aboslutely despise an entire city. However, I haven't bought into the Celtics are awesome train just yet. Yeah, they've played well the first few games, but every team goes through ebbs and flows over the course of a season. If this team stays healthy, they have the most talent in the Eastern Conference. But something tells me one of the Big Three is going to be hurt for a good portion of the season. My bets guess would be some sort of hamstring injury to Pierce.
4.Ummm...remember my predictions for the BCS Bowls about a month ago. Look at em again after what happened this week and well...I'll let the predictions talk for themselves:
-LSU vs. Oklahoma in BCS Title Game: Definitely a possibility with the Buckeyes loss.
-Va. Tech vs. Oregon in Orange Bowl: Check and Check, although Oregon could be in the natty title game.
-West Virginia vs. Kansas in Fiesta Bowl: Again, a very distinct possibility both these teams are BCS Bowl bound.
-Florida vs. Hawaii in Sugar Bowl: I was wrong about the Gators. Substitute either Tennessee or Georgia for them. If Colt Brennan wins out Hawaii is for sure going to be a top 12 BCS team making their inclusion mandatory.
-USC vs. Ohio State in Rose Bowl: This one's shaky, although USC can get here if they win out and the cards fall the right way.
As prescient as I've been so far, this could all implode in my face in the next couple weeks. Every team in this group has significant battles ahead where any team coule win or lose.
5. I'm anxious to see what the Nationals do in free agency. I would love to see them pursue Torii Hunter at the right price. If we could lock him in for something reasonable like a 4 or 5 year deal, that would be a coup. That being said, Hunter is a hot commodity right now. The other "elite" centerfielder available is Andruw Jones, who Stan Kasten is apparently enamored with. I disagree considering how poorly Druw played this year and the fact that he's got about two years left playing center before he'll have to be moved over to a corner spot.