Who to Watch (December 7 – December 13)


New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) passes against the Minnesota Vikings during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018, in Foxborough, Mass.
Credit: Elise Amendola/AP

Welcome to another edition of Who to Watch!

Since we last met, the Rams clinched a playoff birth, Mark Sanchez was seen on a football field, and Gordon Hayward came back to life.  OBJ and Tarik Cohen threw some touchdowns, Cam Newton threw a lot of interceptions, and Phillip Lindsey continues to make every GM in the NFL stupid for not drafting him.  Contrary to popular belief, LeBron James is not washed. Oh, and a belated happy birthday to the Greek Freak, who turned 24 yesterday… that’s right, nowhere near his peak, folks.

Lets see who the crew* has their eyes on for this upcoming week

*Kerm was not able to contribute this week.  He’s been working hard in the lab with 808s and Ankle Breaks (LISTEN HERE), so we forgive him.

Doing Good

Fredy: Paul George

If you’re an NBA fan, you know Paul George once went toe-to-toe with LeBron James way back when. We haven’t seen that player in awhile, but maybe, just maybe, we might see that this season. His last game against the Nets (12/5) he scored 47 points, grabbed 15 rebounds, and shot 55% from the field. The 28-year-old small forward is averaging a career highs in PPG with 24.3, APG with 4.3, and RPG with 8.1. He’s been good all around and the Thunder are currently 2nd in the West.

When to Watch: 

Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Chicago Bulls (12/7; 8:00 PM)

Utah Jazz vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (12/10; 8:00 PM)

Oklahoma City Thunder vs. New Orleans Pelicans (12/12; 8:00 PM)

Andy: George Kittle

San Francisco 49ers v Los Angeles Chargers
Credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images North America

The Tight End position does not include the most productive skill players in the NFL, unless you’re Travis Kelce and Zach Ertz. Now you might be thinking, “oh he forgot Gronk.” As a die hard Patriots fan, it hurts me to say Gronk has been awful this year. You can blame it on injury, Brady, the emergence of the run game in New England, whatever, but the bottom line is this: he’s unreliable. All that being said, a new TE has emerged this year, and his name is George Kittle. He has been a top TE in the leagye so far this season and that’s due to his consistent involvement in the 49ers offense. He’s a great player in a position where it’s hard to come by. The Broncos are not particularly great at defending the TE. so look to see him exploit some holes on the field.

When to Watch:

Denver Broncos vs. San Francisco 49ers (12/9; 4:05 PM)

Kerm: LeBron James

(Kerm was planning on picking LeBron, so lets let his most recent performance do the talking)

When to Watch:

Los Angeles Lakers vs. San Antonio Spurs (12/7; 10:30 PM)

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Memphis Grizzlies (12/8; 8:00 PM)

Miami Heat vs. Los Angeles Lakers (12/10; 10:30 PM)

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Houston Rockets (12/13; 8:00 PM)

Nick: Kawhi Leonard

Credit: Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP

I remember when Toronto initially got Kawhi, and you were all so shocked that something out of the blue happened, it took you two months to realize “holy shit, the Raptors got BETTER.”  Well, Kawhi is doing even more than Toronto could have hoped for, putting up an MVP-caliber statline of 26.1/8.6/2.9 on 49.1% from the field (36.2% from three) and 1.8 steals per game.  Toronto (21-5) currently has the best record in the NBA, and in a possible future playoff matchup against Philly on Wednesday, Kawhi had 36 points (13/24; 5/6 from three) with 9 rebounds, and five (5) steals.  If you didn’t believe in Kawhi before, you better start now.

When to Watch: 

Toronto Raptors vs. Brooklyn Nets (12/7; 7:30 PM)

Milwaukee Bucks vs. Toronto Raptors (12/9; 6:00 PM)

Toronto Raptors vs. Los Angeles Clippers (12/11; 10:30 PM)

Toronto Raptors vs. Golden State Warriors (12/12; 10:30 PM)

Doing Bad

Fredy: Chris Paul

Credit: Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

(Note: this was written before their game against the Jazz last night)

The old man really hasn’t done his part this season. He’s been injured for a bit and is struggling this season, which is only part of the problem with the Rockets thus far. His averages are down in everything but assists (I could give two shits about assists). His eFG% is down, 3 point % is down, etc. In the past 3 games, he’s averaged 10 PPG on a shooting percentage of 31.3%. If the Rockets want to play catch-up and grab a top 4 seed, they’ll need Harden and Paul to step up as leaders. Or maybe, it might not be fixable? Time will tell.

When to Watch:

Houston Rockets vs. Dallas Mavericks (12/8; 6:00 PM)

Portland Trail Blazers vs. Houston Rockets (12/11; 8:00 PM)

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Houston Rockets (12/13; 8:00 PM)

Andy: Courtland Sutton

Denver Broncos vs. New York Jets
Credit: Getty Images North America

I know that I had Courtland Sutton as my bad player of the week last week and I know that he just came off his best game of the season, but I had to highlight him again. I have him here because I don’t quite believe he is no longer in the “bad player” category. I need to see a repeat of last week’s production. He is once again primed for a stellar outing because somehow the stars just keep aligning for him. As you may have heard, Emmanuel Sanders has torn his Achilles and was placed on IR. With absolutely no more targets, besides a medley of rookie players and 3rd stringers, Courtland is now THE number one choice. He is playing an injury ridden 49ers defense that cannot protect the deep pass. Watch out for this big boy Sunday!

When to Watch: 

Denver Broncos vs. San Francisco 49ers (12/9; 4:05 PM)

Nick: Cam Newton

Image result for cam newton suggestion box
Credit: NFL Videos

Remember a few years ago when the Panthers started 1-5 and Cam Newton, with a straight face, brought up having a suggestion box?  Well they finished the season 7-9, winning 4 straight to end 2012, so maybe he had a point.  6 years later, it might be time to get the suggestion box out again.  After starting 6-2, and looking like they would surely get a top Wild Card spot (and maybe compete with the Saints for the NFC South), Carolina has lost four in a row.  Last week was particularly bad for Newton, as he threw 4 INTs in a losing effort to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  At 6-6, and right behind Minnesota for the final playoff spot in the NFC, all is not lost.  However, Newton is going to need to flip the switch fast, and it will be on him to turn Carolina’s season around.

When to Watch:

Carolina Panthers vs. Cleveland Browns (12/9; 1:00 PM)

The “Who to Watch” series drops every Friday, via Hold My Drink Sports

Author: Nick Collins

Boston sports fan sharing his love for sports and perspectives as a fan

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