Welcome back to another edition of “Three And Out,” created just for items that probably aren’t worth an entire blog by themselves (as if there’s a standard).
1. LeBron to the Hawks!
Don’t you hate misleading headlines? Well, it’s kinda, sorta true that the Hawks are listed as only 18-1 odds to sign LeBron James, should he decide to bolt Cleveland after the playoffs (which for the Cavaliers could be after a loss to Boston tonight).
The online sports book, Bodog.com, has listed odds on which team James will play for next season. There are nine betting choices. The Hawks technically aren’t one of them. But there is an “Any Other Team” bet at 18-1. So there you go.
Here’s the list.
1. Cleveland Cavaliers: 1-2
2. Chicago Bulls: 5-2
3. New York Knicks: 9-2
4. New Jersey Nets: 15-1
5. Any Other Team: 18-1
6. Dallas Mavericks: 30-1
7. Miami Heat: 35-1
8. Los Angeles Clippers: 40-1
9: Olympiakos (Greece): 150-1 (Think that would keep Josh Childress in Greece?)
The most intriguing thing about the odds is that when they first came out a couple of weeks ago, the Bulls were listed at 40-1. Does somebody know something?
2. Georgia cracks top 25 … in basketball!
Geez. And you thought various websites coming out with preseason college football rankings in January was premature. But here goes: ESPN’s Andy Katz has come out with his preseason top 25 BASKETBALL rankings. And look which school is listed at No. 25: Georgia.
The top five are Duke, Purdue, Michigan State, Baylor and Kansas State.
Georgia Tech didn’t make the list. Says something about the difference in perceptions about the Jackets and Bulldogs right now. Here’s what Katz wrote about Georgia:
If you’re looking for a sleeper in the 25 slot, then I’ve got one in Georgia. The Bulldogs have two of the top talents in the SEC in Trey Thompkins and Travis Leslie. If you haven’t seen these two perform, you’re missing a good show. UGA also adds a terrific scorer in Tennessee State transfer Gerald Robinson Jr. The Bulldogs slowly developed into a big-time pest in their first year under Mark Fox. Remember, this team beat Illinois, took out Georgia Tech and Florida, crushed Tennessee and Vanderbilt and gave Kentucky a serious scare in Lexington. Georgia will be taken seriously from the outset next season. Don’t sleep on the Dawgs.
3. OK, Chipper. It’s early, but …
Chipper Jones says he has no plans to retire just yet. Don’t take this as a push from me for him to do so. But the numbers right now say his body is screaming, “Bed!”
He has missed six of 34 games and has been limited in others. He is hitting .239 with two home runs and eight RBI. Here are his full season projections:
♦ 133 games (fourth lowest of all time)
♦ 419 at-bats (third lowest)
♦ 10 home runs (lowest)
♦ 38 RBI (lowest)
♦ 100 hits (lowest)
♦ .239 average (lowest)
♦ .386 slugging percentage (lowest)
♦ .407 on-base percentage (actually eighth best in 16 years, thanks to 25 walks).
The problem: He doesn’t get paid for walks.