Ebs’ Hot Takes: Villanova, Yankees, Brandon Drury, Philadelphia 76ers, LA Rams

CLIFTON PARK, NY – What a weekend.

Opening Day and the Final Four in a span of three days, it doesn’t get much better than that.

The New York Yankees started their season on Thursday and haven’t stopped playing yet. It’s great.

Sure, there are 162 games in all and many think the beginning of the season is pointless, but we must appreciate every game.

Oh, and Villanova, how about that win over Kansas? The Wildcats netted 18 3-pointers on 40 attempts. Eighteen! Absolutely nuts.

Oh, and the Buffalo Sabres actually won a game for once. And against the Nashville Predators no less. It was awesome!

So after a two-week hot-take hiatus, Ebs’ Hot Takes are back.


Villanova will be cutting down the nets Monday night. While I don’t think the Wildcats will win as easily as they did against Kansas, they’ll still come out victorious.

Michigan entered the tournament as one of the hottest teams in the country, and thanks to some upsets within its bracket, the Wolverines had a pretty easy path to the national championship game.

Here’s the thing, Villanova is one of the worst defenses in the country.

Teams often scored 70-plus points against the Wildcats. Even Kansas scored pretty easily for the most part. Villanova just shot the lights out of the gym.

But like Villanova, Michigan can score and score well. The Wolverines convert 43.2 percent of their 3-pointers and 42.7 percent of their shots come from behind the arc. That’s a high ceiling.

Is Michigan going to win this game? No. Villanova has Jalen Brunson and Mikal Bridges. But this game will be close.

Brandon Drury is the next Didi Gregorius. Remember Didi Gregorius before the Yankees traded for him?


He played for the Arizona Diamondbacks and was nowhere near his potential. He had never surpassed a .252 batting average, seven home runs and 28 RBI with the Diamondbacks, but now he bats cleanup and batted .287 with 25 home runs and 80 RBI a year ago. He’s one of the best shortstops in the game now.

Brandon Drury is the going to be the next Gregorius.

There’s a reason Miguel Andujar, a talented bat in his own right, was going to start the season in Triple-A. Even though he’s never done it, Drury has 20-home-run, 80-RBI potential. He could be a valuable piece of the Yankees’ lineup moving forward.

The Philadelphia 76ers will make the Eastern Conference Finals. The Philadelphia 76ers have one team standing in their way to an improbable NBA Finals appearance. LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Boston Celtics are nothing without Kylie Irving and Gordon Hayward and the Toronto Raptors always fall apart in the playoffs.

The Sixers are the team no one wants to play.

Ben Simmons is coming into his own and Joel Embiid is a beast. Markelle Fultz is the secret weapon to all of this. If he can catch up to speed by the time the playoff starts, the Sixers can make a real run at things.

The Los Angeles Rams will not win the NFC West. This is the boldest take of all and it’s why I saved it for last.

In theory each one of the moves the Los Angeles Rams made this offseason – the trades for Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib and the signing of Ndamukong Suh – make this team great on paper. That defense could be the best in the league.

But remember, there is a reason each one of these players was made available when they weren’t set to hit free agency this offseason. The Miami Dolphins are taking a huge cap sit by cutting Suh.

Isn’t anyone worried that these personalities could clash in the locker room and everything falls apart? Because I am.

And offensively, this team just lost Sammy Watkins. I know he wasn’t all that effective with the Rams, but he drew a lot of attention from opposing defenses. Sure, Todd Gurley II is one of the best backs in the league, but neither Robert Woods or Cooper Kupp are No. 1 wide receivers. And how will Jared Goff perform after defenses catch on to Sean McVay’s offense?

I don’t know. I’m just not sold.

Feel free to comment below, check out Ben Whitney and please follow us on Twitter at @ByDJEberle, @MeetTheMatts and @Matt_McCarthy00, Instagram at @meetthematts and like our Facebook page, Meet The Matts.

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About DJ Eberle 223 Articles
DJ Eberle: The youngest of our team, DJ is also the largest. Offensive Tackle Large. In fact, this Albany native used OT for Western New England University - until he graduated in May of 2014. Like Junoir Blaber, he's a regular on Rugby Wrap Up - his dad played rugby with The Matts. His cross to bear, however, is his love for the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres. As for baseball and basketball, it's the Yanks and Atlanta Hawks. Follow him on Twitter: @ByDJEberle.