In this week’s edition of Around the Dorm, “Ref” Miguel Gonzalez asked our panel of three experts — Vinnie DeTommaso, Kevin Kistner and Andres Arango — three questions: 1. Did the Giants make the right call in trading Jason Pierre-Paul? 2. Can the Philadelphia 76ers qualify for the playoffs? 3. Will pitcher Shohei Ohtani help the Los Angeles Angels contend for the American League West division title?
1. Did the Giants make the right call in trading Jason Pierre-Paul?
Vinnie: The Giants made the right move trading defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul because they are looking toward the future. After last season’s 3-13 record, it only makes sense for the Giants to clear cap space to allow young talented players to prove themselves. The Giants also changed their defensive scheme to a 3-4, which outside linebacker Olivier Vernon fits well in. With no large role for Pierre-Paul along with his large salary, it’s time for the Giants to move on.
Kevin: To me, I agree with the Giants trading Pierre-Paul. However, that is only if the Giants are going to take defensive Bradley Chubb from North Carolina State University in the 2018 NFL Draft. Pierre-Paul was an elite defensive end before his injury and if the Giants do not see the same potential in him now, I believe the Giants made the right call for the future.
Andres: I think the Giants made an excellent choice trading Pierre-Paul. Not only does the departure of Pierre-Paul open up an enormous amount of salary cap, but it also helps the Giants gain much needed drafts picks to continue their rebuilding. Although Pierre-Paul is an elite player, the Giants need more passionate players that are capable of excelling together and not individually.
Vinnie gets 3 points for mentioning the Giants’ defensive scheme. Kevin gets 2 points for suggesting a draft pick. Andres gets 1 point for being vague.
2. Can the Philadelphia 76ers qualify for the playoffs?
Vinnie: The 76ers are most likely qualifying for the playoffs. The 76ers are only one win or one loss from the Detroit Pistons away from clinching a playoff spot. Currently standing as the fourth seed in the Eastern conference, it is highly unlikely that they crumble and fall below the eighth seed. This is where center Joel Embiid can prove to his fans and the rest of the NBA that he has what it takes to lead his team to the finals.
Kevin: Without a doubt, the Philadelphia 76ers will qualify for the 2018 NBA playoffs. As of right now, the 76ers are the fourth seed in the Eastern conference. With the East being very weak compared to the Western conference, the 76ers have a good chance to continue their season once the regular season ends. Embiid is a tremendous player but he still has some stuff he needs to prove to NBA fans. This year, he will prove that he is capable of bringing the 76ers to the playoffs.
Andres: In my opinion, the Philadelphia 76ers will most likely qualify for the playoffs. The 76ers are currently the fourth seed in the East which, in my opinion, is not as competitive as the Western conference. The 76ers have a talented team with players that are itching to prove their worth. It will be a driving factor for much of the team.
Vinnie and Kevin get 2 points for praising Embiid. Andres gets 1 point for his short answer.
3. Will pitcher Shohei Ohtani help the Los Angeles Angels contend for the American League Division West title?
Vinnie: Some say that pitcher Ohtani is the Babe Ruth of Japan. In a shocking turn of events, Ohtani chose to sign with the Angels instead of divisional powerhouses like the Houston Astros or Texas Rangers. With the addition of a potential superstar like Ohtani, the Angels are turning heads and are serious contenders for the AL West title. On top of Ohtani, the Angels already have stars like two-time MVP center fielder Mike Trout, left fielder Justin Upton and future hall-of-famer designated hitter Albert Pujols. With talented fielders, Ohtani’s 100-mph fastballs will only compliment the Angels’ play.
Kevin: With the addition of Ohtani, the Los Angeles Angels add a very nice scare tactic to their team. He pitches over 100 mph and can hit bombs. He is one of the most highly recruited players in the league this year will have a chance to prove himself. He gives the Angels a six-man rotation, which is sometimes necessary to give pitchers some rest. While he seems to be a great player and person, his talents can only up the Angels so much. The Astros as a whole are still a way better team than the Angels and for these reasons, I do not believe the Angels will come out champions of the American League West.
Andres: Shohei Ohtani is without a doubt a phenomenal player — his pitching is second to none. I believe his talents will improve Los Angeles’ chances of contending for the American League West crown and having a player of that talent will inspire and boost the team morale. However, I believe L.A. lacks depth and unity. They will only have a chance of clinching the AL West if they are able to overcome these obstacles.
Vinnie gets 3 points for highlighting the Angels’ roster. Kevin gets 2 points for acknowledging the Astros. Andres gets 1 point because boosting team morale takes more than talent.
Kevin wins ATD 8-6-3
“To understand the world of sports, you have to look at it with a bird’s eye view.”