1. So close, but so far away- On the Breslin Center’s illustrious court, there are 22 invisible strips of duct tape laid out in a perfectly jagged line to represent the “Spartan dawg” mentality of earning wins in the most unattractive way possible. It was almost a given that another strip of tape would be added this year to equal 23 pieces of tape; tape to represent Tom Izzo’s 22 straight NCAA Tournament appearances. As a lifelong fan, I have come accustomed to early-season struggles against high-powered juggernauts like Duke and Kentucky. However, I am not used to watching Michigan State teams struggle in January or February when the crops really grow. Fan or no fan, the errant turnovers and lack of presence down in the paint have to leave a bad taste in your mouth. For the sake of Cassius Winston and all of the players from last year’s team, let’s hope this year’s squad can finish the job Cassius started last year by competing to the last whistle in March.
2. Lamar Antetokounmpo? – According to the website, ClutchPoints, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Lamar Jackson could be brothers. Both are insanely athletic in their own special ways. Both contain unique athletic genes. Both have won regular-season MVP awards in their respective leagues, and both struggle when opposing teams force them out of their comfort zone. Embarrassing might be the perfect word to describe how I feel criticizing a back-to-back MVP who is averaging 27 points, 11 boards, and 5 assists per game. Nevertheless, every year since Giannis’s rookie year that he has slammed his hand into the cookie jar for highlight-reel plays is one year he hasn’t won an NBA championship. In order to get over the stigma surrounding him in the playoffs, Giannis must make a healthy habit of shooting free throws at a higher percentage and playing deeper in the post.
3. Welcome Jared – One question swirling around in my head is would I get beat up if I walked into a Detroit bar and said “I think that was a good trade for the Lions.” A part of me likes to think the people of Detroit would welcome me with open arms, but another part of me thinks that my kneecaps would be bitten off. In actuality, the trade wasn’t that bad of a transaction. Los Angeles handed over two future first-round picks, and they also threw in a third-rounder too. Not to mention they traded us (as if I’m actually a part of the franchise) Jared Goff. Goff, known for his colossal contract, might be one of the biggest question marks in the NFL. A pupil of Sean McVay, Goff could either suffer or thrive without him. No matter how Goff performs next season, I tend to see him as a bridge for the Lions’ next franchise quarterback—even if his contract is awkward to move. Fortunately for the Lions, his contract will be much easier to move in 2022 with a zero dollar dead cap hit if he’s cut.