Who to Watch (December 21 – December 27)

Image result for patriots steelers
Credit: Sports Illustrated

Happy Friday everyone! Since we last met, the Patriots lost to the Steelers, and the Celtics are in the midst of a 2-game losing streak.  Paul George and James Harden are going nuclear, while LeBron James was blocked (which according to Max Kellerman, means he’s done).  Josh Gordon hit a road block on the road to recovery (we wish him well), and Tom Brady might have an MCL tear.  As the NFL season makes its way towards a conclusion, it is playoff scenario season, as 14 teams are vying for the 7 remaining playoff spots in the league.  And finally, next Tuesday is Christmas Day, which means TONS of great basketball.

With that, allow us at Hold My Drink Sports to wish you a wonderful holiday season.

Andy is away this week in Minnesota, so we have Mike (who made his debut to the page this past week) filling in for him.

Doing Good

Fredy: Giannis Antetokounmpo

New York Knicks v Milwaukee Bucks
Credit: Stacy Revere/Getty Images North America

Holy shit, what a fucking name! Anyways… the 24-year-old point-forward has been having a great run this calendar year that dates back to last season. So far he’s averaging 26.7 PPG, 12.9 RPG, and 6 APG. Dude’s a fucking monster, to say the least. His last 3 games (the past week), he’s averaging 33.7 PPG, 11.3 RPG, and 7 APG. The 6’11 franchise player is making a name for himself and looks to continue his hot streak and go for the MVP. Tonight, his second seed Bucks take on the Celtics who just don’t seem to be the same Celtics from last year. He hasn’t lost his step and is a superstar who leads a dangerous team to look out for. We should look forward to him putting on a clinic these next few games…

When to Watch: 

Milwaukee Bucks vs. Boston Celtics (12/21; 8:00 PM)

Milwaukee Bucks vs. Miami Heat (12/22; 8:00 PM)

Milwaukee Bucks vs. New York Knicks (12/25; 12:00 PM)

New York Knicks vs. Milwaukee Bucks (12/27; 8:00 PM)

Mike: Jack Eichel

Buffalo Sabres vs. San Jose Sharks
Credit: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images North America

Jack Eichel is on fire. He has totaled eight points over his last four games, splitting goals and assists evenly at four apiece. With wins in two of those games, the Sabers are keeping pace in the Atlantic Division as they hold onto third place. As the second overall pick of the 2015 draft, Eichel has been an integral part of that success, leading his team in assists and total points this season while contributing over a point per game. One of Buffalo’s wins this past week came against the Boston Bruins, who are the team directly below them in the standings. In that vital 4-2 victory, Eichel rose to the occasion and played a part in every goal scored by the Sabres, assisting on two and putting two pucks into the net himself. If Eichel keeps up his stellar play and Buffalo holds on to a playoff spot, they would break the second longest playoff drought in the NHL.

Stats through 12/19

When to Watch:

Anaheim Ducks vs. Buffalo Sabers (12/22; 7:00 PM)

Buffalo Sabers  vs. St. Louis Blues (12/27; 8:00 PM)

Kerm: Paul George

Paul Goerge hasn’t played this good since…well…ever. He’s averaging career highs nearly across the board and is arguably the best player on the Oklahoma City Thunder this season. I’m still having a hard time digesting the stink face worthy 42-12-7 he hung on the Kings in Sacramento on Wednesday. I’ll just let the highlights do the talking.

When to Watch:

Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Utah Jazz (12/22; 9:00 PM)

Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (12/23; 8:00 PM)

Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Houston Rockets (12/25; 3:00 PM)

Nick: James Harden

Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

James Harden has been playing on a different dimension his past handful of games, putting up astronomical numbers along the way.  During the past 10 days, Harden is averages 38 PPG, 6.3 RPG, and 8.5 APG.  He is shooting 48.1% from the field during this stretch (41.5% from 3), and he’s making an impact on defense, averging 2.3 steals per game.  The Rockets were on a 5-game winning streak until losing to Miami last night, but with Chris Paul suffering a hamstring injury, Harden will be tasked with an even bigger load on offense moving forward.  I think he’s up for the task.

When to Watch: 

San Antonio Spurs vs. Houston Rockets (12/22; 8:00 PM)

Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Houston Rockets (12/25; 3:00 PM)

Boston Celtics vs. Houston Rockets (12/27; 8:00 PM)

Doing Bad

Fredy: Josh Gordon

Green Bay Packers vs. New England Patriots
Credit: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images North America

Man this is depressing. Just when you thought the comeback story would come true, it crumbles into pieces.

Josh Gordon was becoming an important part of the offense, often drawing the double teams Gronk used to have. Now? Gordon is suspended indefinitely for a violation in his reinstatement with the NFL. As of right now, it’s unclear whether or not it was marijuana, but even then, this is a sad story about a wide receiver who’s name could have been with the best of them.

His previous suspensions include 2 games in 2013 for a substance abuse violation, same thing in 2014 which got reduced from entire season to 10 games and 1 extra game for violation of team rules, then in 2015 he was suspended indefinitely. Now in 2018, indefinitely suspended. We at Hold My Drink Sports want to wish Josh the best and hope he finds the help he needs.

When to Watch:


Mike: Dak Prescott

Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Redskins
Credit: Getty Images North America

Just when we thought the Cowboys were back, they go and get shutout 23-0 by the Indianapolis Colts. After reeling off five straight wins to take control of the NFC East, Dallas laid an egg to make things interesting again. Right at the center of this failure is Dak Prescott, who only managed to throw for 206 yards on 39 attempts, completing 24 of them, along with tossing an interception. Prescott’s yards per attempt rested at a measly 5.3, which would be last place place for the season by almost a full yard behind Josh Rosen’s 6.1 Y/A. Dak also could not guide the Cowboys’ offense into the red zone after their first drive, the result of which was a missed field goal. If Prescott can’t rebound from this terrible game, the Cowboys could be in real trouble.

When to Watch: 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Dallas Cowboys (12/23; 1:00 PM)

Kerm: Donovan Mitchell

Donavan Mitchell is still one of the most exciting young players in the league. His athleticism alone is something that will wow us for the next decade. I mean who else can do this (start at 0:35)

Finishes like those are breath taking, but it’s still hard to over look the Utah Jazz’s 1-2 record since our last who to watch picks. Losses happen in the NBA, that’s forgivable, but Mitchell has shot below 40% from the field in his last three games as well. He even managed to shoot 5-26 in Wednesday night’s win against the Warriors. Mitchel has found ways to impact the game with passing and rebounding, but his shooting is why he’s my pick this week.

When to Watch:

Utah Jazz vs. Portland Trail Blazers (12/21; 10:00 PM)

Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Utah Jazz (12/22; 9:00 PM)

Portland Trail Blazers vs. Utah Jazz (12/25; 10:30 PM)

Philadelphia 76ers vs. Utah Jazz (12/27; 10:30 PM)

Nick: Case Keenum

Image result for case keenum browns
Credit: Broncos Wire

Following a win against the Pittsburgh Steelers, the 5-6 Denver Broncos had an advantageous schedule in which they were going to be favored until the final week of the season versus the Chargers.  After beating the Cincinnati Bengals the next week, Denver lost to the lowly 49ers, and the Cleveland Browns.  Since the Steelers game, Keenum is 67 for 111 (60.36%) with 594 yards (198 y/game), 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions (77.5 passer rating).  Officially out of the playoff picture, Year 1 of the Case Keenum experience is leaving a lot to be desired, as Keenum is regressing back to his pre-2017 norm.  Still a solid player in this league, he failed to lead Denver to the playoffs, and that may force John Elway’s hand moving forward.

When to Watch:

Denver Broncos vs. Oakland Raiders (12/24; 8:15 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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