In this week’s edition of Around the Dorm, “Ref” Bryan Penney-Hadewycz asked our panel of three experts — Michael Battista, Maximillian C. Burgos and Sean Reis — three questions: Should the NBA draft lottery be reformed to prevent teams from tanking? Have the Los Angeles Dodgers lost momentum after going through a 10-game losing streak? Will Deshaun Watson be a good quarterback for the Houston Texans?
1. Should the NBA draft lottery be reformed to prevent teams from tanking?
Michael: Yes, the NBA needs to reform the lottery badly. In no other sport is tanking that bad of an issue. The Philadelphia 76ers have been a mainstay in the top of the draft since 2014. Before that, “trusting the process” hasn’t done them any favors. Teams should not come into a season ready to tank for a top pick. If teams start to do this by excessively resting players, they need to be punished whether it is being fined or reducing their chance of getting into the Top 3 of the draft. Fans and rookies deserve so much better.
Maximillian: If teams play badly because of their rosters, they should be able to have high draft picks. The NFL has a similar drafting system to the NBA and it works for them. The Cleveland Browns burned a season, made some really good offseason moves and with the draft, they will be competitive within the next few years. Just because a team gets high draft picks doesn’t mean they’ll be that much better next year. Teams should be punished for purposely tanking, but I don’t think the system is in need of total reform.
Sean: Although I do believe that the NBA draft lottery needs to be reformed, I do not think that a new system would prevent teams from tanking to get higher draft picks. In any popularized draft system, the teams that do the worst either get the highest draft picks or in the case of the NBA, the teams have the best odds to get the highest draft picks. The NBA system currently enters the bottom 14 teams into the lottery, a number of teams far too high, so I do offer two possible solutions. The NBA should either cut the number of teams entered into the lottery in half or the league should remove the lottery system in its entirety.
Maximillian gets 3 points for comparing drafts between sports. Sean gets 2 points for offering a solution. Michael gets 1 point for poor examples.
2. Have the Los Angeles Dodgers lost momentum after going through a 10-game losing streak?
Michael: And here I thought the Rams would be the biggest dumpster fire in Los Angeles, but for a while it turned out a team with an actual stadium filled that role. The Dodgers definitely have lost momentum and they could not have picked a worse time to do so. This team is lucky that pitchers liked Alex Wood and Rich Hill have clawed their team to wins in the past few outings. Their bats were tired and they have little time to refuel every aspect of their team before October. Their home field advantage could have been in jeopardy with the Bryce Harper-less Nationals on their tail. But they are pretty much guaranteed a spot in the playoffs because they went on a 10-game losing streak and still hold a nine game lead in their division!
Maximillian: The Dodgers have lost big momentum, but they are still a solid team. They have the pitching talent to turn their destiny around in a hurry. Baseball is a game of trends and numbers. Kershaw is still one of the league’s best pitchers and the Dodgers are still firm contenders. They are just in a slump right now. Losing 10 games hurts any team, but they’ll be fine going into the playoffs.
Sean: Ask me the same question one week ago while the Dodgers were currently in the middle of the 10-game losing streak and I would likely answer with a concerned “yes.” However, following a turnaround during the team’s recent road trip, the Dodgers appear to be back on track. The Dodgers still sit atop the National League West with one of the best records in baseball, virtually clinching the team a spot in the playoffs and as long as the team continues to win during these last couple weeks, I see no reason why the Dodgers won’t go on a playoff run.
Maximillian gets 3 points for not doubting a team that has already proven itself. Sean gets 2 points for good analysis. Michael gets 1 point for being confusing.
3. Will Deshaun Watson be a good quarterback for the Houston Texans?
Michael: I don’t think so, but it won’t be through any fault of his own. Watson proved himself during his time in college with Clemson. Against Alabama in the 2016 College Football Playoff Championship, he threw for 405 yards, made four touchdowns and ran for 73 yards in a game where his team lost, 45-40. The next year he lead his team back to the promise land, losing only one game in the regular season to Pittsburgh and beating both Ohio State and Alabama in the playoff on their way to the trophy. He went on to become the 12th pick of this year’s NFL draft. Watson is good, but I’m not sure he’ll excel and dominate in Houston. With the team letting up 10 sacks in week one and barely winning against the Bengals in week two, Watson may be too hammered with Texans and may not shine like he should.
Maximillian: Deshaun Watson will be great for the Texans. When he is on the field, the Texans are a different team. They have a dynamic that opponents are not used to. Just look at his 47-yard run against the Bengals. He was solid. When he stepped in against the Jacksonville Jaguars, he put up points. If his offensive line cleans up their play and the wide receivers catch key balls, the Texans will be scary. Their defense is terrifying already. Deshaun Watson will be successful. He has a championship pedigree that not everyone can boast. He will help lift the Texans to new heights. Just watch.
Sean: Could any quarterback possibly be a successful quarterback for the Houston Texans? No. Just kidding, obviously an elite quarterback could manage to lead the Texans to a successful season. However, could an average quarterback be a successful quarterback for the Houston Texans? Definitely not. Watson is an average quarterback, at best. He’s a rookie with minimal upside, in my opinion, and while he may get the job done at times, it is likely that the Houston Texans will see little success with Watson at quarterback.
Michael gets 3 points for bringing up collegiate success. Maximillian gets 2 points for an easy take on the situation. Sean gets 1 point for no elaboration.
Maximillian wins ATD 8-5-5
“My name is Maximillian, it stands for the greatest. Don’t forget it!”