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Pro Sports Wrap - Sports Personality of the Day:Patrick Marleau

And on I march with these historical player profiles, while listening to Nirvana of course. Is Dave Grohl not the best rock personality in recent history? While that would be a very entertaining topic to discuss, my "job" here is sports analysis. It's an equally fruitless activity in the eyes of the equally ignorant public, but why listen to the ignorant who have not reaped the rewards of sports? I mean, every diehard sports fan admits that they have learned a lot about life with sports as a medium. Life is like Shawn and sports are like Gus, Gus translates the incoherent nonsense Shawn says. Likewise, sports help translate the craziness and seeming randomness of everyday life. Alright, I'm gonna stop being philosophical- and not get religious- and hit up this HPP.

Before I start this post, I want to go off on another monologue (an aside would be if I was talking to myself, but I'm not Jack White). Why is Dwight Howard's nickname D12? Like, how does that make sense at all? I hate it when people make basketball player's nicknames out of their initial and jersey number. AK47 is cool, but D12 is as ludicrous as the rapper. The guys who made up this nickname are popping too many purple pills and seeing too many purple hills.

Otis Taylor may never have shown his All-Pro talent had legendary scout Lloyd Wells not spotted him and signed him on to the Chiefs. In his first full season, Taylor broke out in a big way. He was a Pro Bowler and First-Team All-Pro after hauling in eight touchdown catches for 1,297 yards and a league-leading 22.4 yards per catch. According to Pro Football Reference, his AV of 20 in 1966 was the best in the NFL

The way Otay went to the Chiefs is also interesting, because he was originally under the control of Eagles scouts. In the famous baby-sitting incident, Taylor snuck out of his hotel room and met up with Wells and the Chiefs scouts.

Len Dawson and Otis Taylor had an incredible rapport that is akin to what Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison had a few years back. At 6-3, Taylor was an incredible talent in the middle of the field and could beat you deep. Many agree that Otay revolutionized the wide receiver position and should be in the Hall of Fame. Without a doubt, however, Taylor is the best receiver in Chiefs history. He is deserving of a place in the Hall of Fame, even if he played before the AFL-NFL merger.

In 1967, his 11 touchdown catches were the highest in the league. Taylor was also a Pro Bowler in the years 1971 and 1972, as he caught seven touchdown passes with a league-high 1,110 yards in 1971. He was also a First-Team All-Pro in '71, and he wore the number 89 for the Chiefs for 11 seasons from 1965-1975.

In Super Bowl IV (the last before the merger), the Chiefs upset the Vikings 32-7 when the Vikes were supposedly the greatest team ever before that game. In that game, Otis Taylor caught a pass from Len Dawson and ran it the rest of the way for a 46 yards touchdown. He also had one of his signature stiff-arms on that highlight play.

However, Taylor was not just a great pass-catcher, he was also a formidable blocker. For a guy of his height, it's not exactly hard to see why. But more importantly, however, he was an elusive receiver who could get a ton of yards after the catch. Taylor was also athletic enough to make unheard of one-handed grabs.

"Otis made my job easy,"Len Dawson said. "If you got the pass to Otis, you knew he'd catch it."

A season after their Super Bowl victory, Otay had one of those games that a player just wishes it never happened. The Chiefs were beating their hated rivals- the Raiders- 17-14. It looked like a sure victory after Len Dawson's scramble led to a first down, but defensive end Ben Davidson pretty much jumped into Dawson's helmet while the star QB was already on the ground. As you now know, Taylor was great friends with Dawson and did what any good friend does; take action.

Needless to say, the ramifications of this incident led to an outcome that wasn't very positive from a Chiefs perspective. Taylor came at Davidson, and the benches cleared like it was a baseball game (or a Suns-Spurs game). Both penalties basically turned the first down into nothingness- under the awful rules at the time- and the Raiders would go on to register a comeback victory. What makes this worse is that the Raiders went into the playoffs, and the Chiefs were stuck at home because of a head-scratching rule that is- thankfully- not in place today.

So you can plainly see that Otis Taylor was a pretty damn good football player. I mean, he was one of the best players in football when he was playing, and he made the wide receiver position the marquee position that it is today. He was the guy who started the highlight-reel plays, and Otay is also the best wideout in Chiefs history. Taylor was slighted from the Hall of Fame, and that's because of the statistics. For his era, Taylor was as elite as a wide receiver as you can get.


Take a look at your standings. A .415 team, whether it be the Pacers or Bobcats, could actually make the playoffs. Yes, a team with no defensive effort and a team in rebuilding mode might actually get there. The disparity between good and bad in the Eastern Conference is so great that the Bulls have already clinched their division- which has the Pacers in it. Three teams have clinched the playoffs in the East, compared to just one- San Antonio- in the West. The Memphis Grizzlies have the 8th seed in the West, and they are a pretty good basketball team. The East is definitely playing better basketball than it has in the past couple of years collectively, but I still think that they are far behind the West. Depth Matters.

I love how Matt Bonner has the highest 3 point percentage this season. Yes, a power forward is the best three point shooter in the NBA this year. Who knew? Well, Bonner is like Nowtizki in that he is great at spreading the floor- Channing Frye is another one of those guys. They are becoming a little more used in the NBA these days, and that's a good thing for offenses. Best free throw percentage? Yeah, that's Stephen Curry. He's going to be great one day. I love that guy. He should have been rookie of the year last year. All the box score idiots looked at the stats and didn't watch how great Curry was when he played. Curry is a natural shooter- his father is Del- and he plays D, passes, attacks the rim, and can lead already at this age.

Turnovers per game is the most overrated statistic ever, because the top 12 people with the most turnovers are the guys that play over 30 minutes per game and are the focal points of their offense. They are the ones handling the ball and passing it the most. I just hate that stat. It's like, Steve Nash isn't really the 6th most turnover prone player in the league. That's why I love advanced stats. They actually make sense.

I really wish Kevin Martin was recognized as a star. He is one of the best scorers in the game that is very efficient, he shoots impeccably, and he doesn't get much recognition from fans. People don't think of Martin as a star player, but they should. He's better than Tyreke Evans- who isn't a star, I would take him over Andrew Bynum, and I think he is at least as good as LaMarcus Aldridge.
Should've Been 09 ROY

Let's open up March with a team scope. But unlike yesterday, this scope will be of an NBA team that is on pace for a record season. The Spurs have depth and star power along with coaching to become the best team in the league this season. First off, I would like to give a shoutout to Forest Bennett, a PSU fan just like me! How you doing man? Hope you enjoy this one Forest, and all you other great readers of this blog!

The Spurs just received that their star point guard is out for two to four weeks with a sore calf muscle. For most teams in the NBA, this would be crushing news. It is terrible news but having George Hill as your backup point guard softens the blow. Tony Parker is one of the three best point guards in the league at driving. He brings so much to the table for the Spurs, and his leadership is invaluable to the team. However, Hill is a good scorer in his own right that really stepped up last year when Parker was injured.

Manu Ginobili is another great driver that combines his ability to score and handle the ball- the shooting guard can also play the 1 when called upon- along with solid defense. Ginobili is also an indispensable leader for San Antonio. Backup shooting guard Gary Neal was undrafted this season as a rookie, but he has made a name for himself as a solid role player who has a decent shot. The Spurs have many of these kinds of role players, which is a testament to their ability to draft well and scout talent well and find key guys that they can plug in every night. The Spurs look for pieces to add to their team that can help support the main cast of stars. That's smart managing by the front office right there. That's why these guys consistently win.

I love Richard Jefferson. RJ has been one of my favorite players in this league for a while. I defended him last year when he struggled saying that it would take time for him to learn the system. He's got it down now, and he has now become a solid contributer. Nobody on this team has eye-popping stats. The Spurs spread the ball around and display teamwork instead of relying on one player. Jefferson has been solid overall this year, and that's the kind of production that really helps teams win games. I would rather have six solid players than three superstars, one average player, and two scrubs.

Tim Duncan doesn't need to dominate anymore, and he won't anyway at this stage in his career. However, Duncan still is an efficient player that also makes solid contributions. Duncan still gets the boards, and he has had an incredible defensive year so far. Backup power forward Matt Bonner shed the tag of "scrub" ever since joining the Spurs. Again, Bonner is another one of those solid contributors. I really love his 3-ball. Bonner can shoot, and he is one of the few big men- like Dirk and that guy named Channing who is today's Sports Personality of the Day and has two straight games with buzzer beaters in OT- that can shoot really well from behind the arc.

DeJuan Blair is another player that I love. The Spurs made a great choice in taking Blair, even when teams were scared that he plays with no ACLs. You read that right. San Antonio's medical staff said that it was worth the risk because he never showed signs of breaking down in college. Blair always dominated Hasheem Thabeet in college, so I wasn't surprised that Blair is a better player than Thabeet. Blair stepped in and became a quality role player even as a rookie for the Spurs. Now, the Pitt grad is the team's starting center. Antonio McDyess is a solid veteran presence for the Spurs.

Greg Popovich is obviously a great coach that gets the most out of his players. Although he is controversial, he is still a great coach that deserves his reputation. As you can see, the Spurs are a team based on the foundations of teamwork, chemistry, and a team that surrounds itself with solid role players that fit in well and do their job. That is why they are so successful. It's no shock as to why they are dominating in the league. The way the Spurs were built is the model for how teams should be built in the future. Don't make big 3's. Make a well-rounded and deep team.
Out 2-4 Weeks

The Boston Celtics traded Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson for a 2012 first round pick, Nenad Kristic, and Jeff Green. The Oklahoma City Thunder were the winners in this deal. Green really won't fit anywhere on Boston, and Kristic sucks. The pick is for 2012 from a trade that the Thunder acquired from the Clippers. It is a solid first round pick, but it's the best thing Boston got.

Boston did a good job of getting rid of Robinson, but they traded the best piece in this deal by trading away Kendrick Perkins. The Thunder now have a big to pair with Nick Collins and the others that can help stifle the Lakers. This makes them better in a matchup against LA. Boston got the short end of this stick, which is a surprise considering they have the best GM in Danny Ainge. Maybe he knows something that we don't. It wasn't a terrible deal for Boston, but it sure wasn't a good one.

The C's also traded Luke Harangody and Semih Erden to the Cavs for a 2013 2nd round pick. This is a trash deal that really doesn't matter for either team, but I like this deal for Cleveland. They get two average prospects that are worth more than a 2013 second rounder that will most likely net Boston close to nothing. Ish Smith and Shane Battier were traded to the Grizzlies for Hasheem Thabeet, a future first rounder, and DeMarre Carroll. Battier is a star defender, Carroll and Smith are scrubs, and Thabeet looks like a bust. The first rounder is alright, and it is enough to make this deal even. I am fine with what both teams got. There was no clear winner in this deal.

The Thunder acquired Nazr Mohammed from the Charlotte Bobcats for DJ White and Morris Peterson. Mo-Pete is an expiring contract and White is solid, but I love how the Thunder upgraded in the frontcourt with this deal by getting a rugged interior defensive player. Both teams did well in this deal. Mohammed is an underrated player. The Suns got Aaron Brooks from the Rockets for Goran Dragic and a first rounder. Brooks can become a star, and Dragic is a solid player as well. What makes this a fair deal overall is the first rounder. I like this deal for both teams, but I think it was better for the Rockets because they got rid of a headcase and got a nice pick for the future.

This was the deal of the day, and it was a deal that was surfaced in many rumors. Gerald Wallace was traded to the Blazers for Joel Pryzbilla, Dante Cunningham, Sean Marks, a 2011 first rounder, a 2013 first rounder, and cash. The picks are nice and so is the salary dump, but Pryzbilla was the only useful player they got. Wallace was Charlotte's best player, and he will certainly blossom on the Blazers. I can't wait to see his debut game with Portland. I thought the Cats could have milked out a little bit more.

The Celtics made one of the most garbage deals of the night. They traded Marquis Daniels to the Kings along with cash for a mere second round pick for 2017. That's right, 2017. As you already know, the longer into the future the pick; the less valuable the said pick is. Daniels may be injured, but he's a decent scorer and a player that I love. He will put up some nice numbers on a Kings team that will let him shoot. The Kings got some cash added to it, and they walked away with a nice deal.
Best Guy Traded on Deadline Day


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