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Mick Ciallela's Weblog Posts

Shaq Headed to Phoenix? posted on 02/06/2008

Apparently the Miami Heat and the Phoenix Suns have agreed on a trade that would send Shaquille O'Neal to Phoenix in exchange for Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks. I believe this is simply a knee-jerk reaction to the Los Angeles Lakers' acquisition of Pau Gasol (a brilliant move by L.A., by the way) and do not see how this trade can make sense from the Suns' vantage point.

Shaquille O'Neal did what was asked of him in Miami - he brought them a championship. But in looking at the numbers and having seen more than a few Heat games this season, it appears to me that not only are O'Neal's best days behind him, but that he is no longer truly a force to be reckoned with. He still has the ability to put up a 20-10 once in a while, but so does John Salmons. Meanwhile Marion has averaged 16 points and 10 rebounds per game this season despite the fact that Phoenix never runs a set play for him.

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Super Bowl XLII Prediction posted on 02/03/2008

I have never claimed to be an expert when it comes to predicting outcomes of football games, although last year I nearly predicted the exact final score of the Super Bowl while hitting on seven of my nine prop bets. (My prediction was 26-17, the final was 29-17.) For whatever reason I had a very good feel for that game. This year's Super Bowl, however, remains a mystery to me. Part of the reason I am having trouble getting a good feel for this game is that I am a bitter Jets fan and I can't stand either team. I'm finding it difficult to put my personal feelings aside and look at the game objectively. I think right now I am as close to objectivity as I am going to get, and with that being said, here is my official Super Bowl XLII prediction.

I believe that football is the most difficult sport to predict because there are so many variables. This may sound strange, but I truly feel the coin toss will be a major factor in how this game is played. On one side we have a Giants team that is best suited to try and play ball control and keep Tom Brady and the vaunted Patriots' offense off the field. But football is unique in that days of gameplanning can be shot to hell almost instantly. The Patriots can win the coin toss, receive the opening kickoff and, if they execute as they have for the majority of this season, put the Giants in an early hole. If this happens, how long will the Giants remain patient? If the Giants win the toss, they can at least attempt early on to slow the pace of the game and see what their running attack can accomplish against an aging New England linebacking corps. Given the fact that I do not like either team at all, I would at least like to see a competitive contest. So I'm using the premise that the Giants win the toss and at least keep the game competitive in the early stages.

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