Posted on: April 22, 2008 1:19 am
 

The Second Season (4/21)

So the long stretch known as the second season has begun, and I could not be more excited.  If this weekend showed anything, its that these playoffs in the NBA could be the best we've seen in years.  The first round match-ups are extremely even in the West, with every team having at least 50 wins. An unheard of feat in the NBA, but its sad that sub .500 teams can advance in the weak East, but 50 wins didn't even get the Golden State Warriors in. 

I made 2 bold predictions a few weeks ago....
1- The Mavericks would not advance out of the first round again, which seems all but a forgone conclusion after CP3's performance on Saturday. The kid looks like a man trying to prove he deserves the MVP, (Which he won't get) and I think this team is showing everyone they deserve that 2 seed.
2- The Celtics will not make the Finals. Now this one I think I might be wrong, because my feeling is the only team in the East that has a chance of beating them is Detroit. If you watched them play Philly on Sunday, you saw a team that is in no way capable of even hanging with Boston.  Philly and Detroit tied the season series, but the Pistons 2 wins were by a combined 13 points.  So it shows Philly has the ability to beat them, and that they need to step up there game if they are going to take out the Boston Three Party.

The Lakers looked great on Sunday, and Kobe did not.  They still won easily, which shows how much this team has grown since the addition of Gasol.  I guess it says a lot about a player when he scores 32 points and has an off night.  The Lakers will win it in no more then 5 games and hopefully will cruise into the NBA Finals.  The matchups are in there favor. All these other teams will beat each other up in the West,  the second round looks to shape up the same.  The Lakers are looking at a second round matchup of Utah, which isn't an extremely physical team. 

Here's my conference finals predictions.....
In the East I see Boston vs Detroit with Detroit winning in 6.
In the West its going to be Los Angeles vs San Antonio with the Lakers winning in 5.

I really want to see a Lakers/Suns match-up, but once again Phoenix looks like they won't have what it takes to beat San Antonio. If it happens again, theres no way Kerr can keep DeAntoni around with another choke job in the playoffs.  Game 1 was probably one of the most exciting playoff games I've seen in a while.  So everyone make sure you watch every game of this series, because when these 2 play its all out war.

Ok well we will go over the NBA and the NHL playoffs next week, until then peace and love.
Category: NBA
Posted on: April 3, 2008 10:34 pm
 

America's Pasttime/Final Four (4/3)

So its my second favorite time of year now, the beginning of football season of course being number one, and of course the baseball talk is already running the conversations here at work. Opening days brings all sorts of questions, you wonder if your team made enough moves or if they got the player to get them over the hump.  I know tons of people that take the first week seriously, which I find hilarious because baseball is not a sport where week-to-week records matter. In fact I feel the first few are still Spring Training, because unless your team tanks out of the gate with a 5-20 record theres really no reason to start worrying yet.  So crazy fans remember, don't get to worried yet because we have all summer to get this thing called the regular season squared away.

But this is my favorite time of year not only for the start of baseball, we also will crown a NCAA basketball champion. Its hard to believe that this is the first time all number 1 seeds have made it to the Final Four, but it just shows the balance in the sport. This year I feel all the number 1 seeds earned there spots in the Final Four by winning tough games, because everyone had at least one scare this year.  The match-ups this year have meaning this year with Roy Williams having to face the team he made a national power (Kansas v. North Carolina) and Memphis trying to avenge the loss in the West Regional to UCLA. That was memorable because even though Memphis was the one seed they were forced to play what some would consider a home game for UCLA in Oakland, hmm sound simliar to this year.  I expect 2 great games in the National Semifinals and would be surprised to see any blowouts.  I am still going to stick with my original picks when I started my bracket, which is a UNC v. UCLA National Title game. 

The one thing that worries me about my orignal picks is the fact that I had Memphis losing to Michigan St, and I can now say I think Memphis was the most underrated team in the tournament. This team came out of a weak conference and shot horrible from the free throw line, but this team has put it together when it matters and looked dominate againist the 'Horns and the Spartans.  Memphis has more talent but UCLA has the benefit of playing in a tougher conference and they have the experience of 2 straight Final Fours.  So I like UCLA to make the plays at the end of the game to pull out a tough victory. UNC v. Kansas should be a great game as well, but I think that the Hansbourgh/Lawson combo is just too strong for Bill Self's Jayhawk bunch. Kansas did make alot of mistakes in the Davidson game and they should have lost, so they can be happy with the fact that they even got to Final Four. All I can guarentee is that Saturday will definately be a great day of college basketball.

One last thing before we part for today, the NBA playoff race is coming to an end and next week we will hopefully have some sort of idea. I still stick by my guess that Dallas will not make it out of the first round, but theres still that small chance they might be getting a lotto pick. I'm out till next week.

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: March 17, 2008 10:29 pm
Edited on: March 17, 2008 10:29 pm
 

Let's Go Dancing (3/17)

First off Happy St. Patrick's Day....aka, drink and fight like your irish.  I don't know if anyone else got the chance, but this was a great weekend of college basketball.  This weekend definately set the bar for March Madness.  I am pretty excited for the tourney, I got my bracket all set and the first few days of the tourney off so i can really concentrate on the games. After watching the selection show I have decided that no matter what its never going to be the teams that deserve to get in, but who has the most fan support. Every year there are teams that more then deserve to get in but get overlooked for someone who doesnt.  Whatever, it happens. Time to just move on and talk about who did get in. I don't feel like going over all my picks, just a few.

I am going to start with my surprise Sweet 16 teams.  The first team I saw that I wanted to go with the second I looked at the brackets was Butler the 7 seed out of the East Bracket. This is a solid ballclub that doesn't get the credit a legitament Mid-Major should. Looking at the bracket they really have a good shot of gettting all the way to the Elite 8.  Their first round match-up againist S. Alabama might be a bigger test then a possible second round match-up with Tennessee. Don't get me wrong I love the crazy orange suit wearing Pearl but I just don't see his team making much noise this year. But the lower part of the East bracket is weak and Butler can turn some heads if they play well.  I really think this could be the year of Mid-Majors, with Drake also looking like a strong contender. I think USC will not only get to the Sweet 16 but I have them winning the Mid-West and playing in San Antonio.

As for some first round upsets, keep an eye on the 13 seed this year. I guarentee at least one will win this year, and I wouldn't be surprised to see at least 3. Siena, Winthrop, and San Diego all have very winable first rounds games and could even make a Sweet 16 run. My Final Four is as follows: North Carolina v. USC, UCLA v. Texas. I am looking forward to the possiblity of a UNC v. UCLA final, mostly because the match-ups in that game would be great. I know everyone would love to see K-Love/Hansbrough and Collison/Lawson. 

UCLA fans, this year is the year you can be disappointed if you don't end the year on top. The team is good enough to win it all and really won't have an excuse if they don't.

How about the Houston Rockets? They are the luckiest 22 win team in NBA history, I'm just waiting for Garnett to get hurt next. It seems like teams can't help but get injuried when they are getting ready for the Rockets.  If Pau is healthy the streak is over and their winless streak starts.

Note: if these teams stay healthy I see the Rockets starting a new streak...A winless one. The schedule is about to get really hard for them, lets see what kind of team they.

Next week we can get into some Sweet 16 talk so I can either brag about my bracket or get laughed at. Holler at you next week!

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: March 12, 2008 5:29 am
 

The Beginning (3/12)

So alot going on in the sports world. I'm going to touch on a few things tonight:

Pac-10 Basketball

Spring Training

The Powerful NBA Western Conference

The Pac-10 tourney starts today, and certain teams better win 1 or 2 games if they want to be dancing into March. There's the 4 teams that should get a bid no matter what happens this weekend/week. (Stanford, UCLA, USC, Washington State)

With the Fighting Catholics (USD) upseting Gonzaga in the WCC tourney, it really hurts the chances of quite a few bubble teams. The Arizona teams and the Ducks need some wins in the tourney, but I do think if U of A beats OSU, their RPI and SOS should be enough to squeeze them in. ASU needs to be USC if they want to dance, but even if they win that might not be enough. Oregon is in the same situation, its just a great thing for the Pac-10 to have two teams at 9-9 and one team at 8-10 in the March Madness discussion. I do feel the Pac-10 is the strongest conference this year, and dont be surprised if they get 2 or 3 teams to at least the Elite 8. Keep an eye on Cal in the Pac-10 tournament, they could win it and screw one of the 3 other bubble teams out of a spot.

So I spent this last weekend at Spring Training, got the oppurtunity to catch 2 games. Saw the Angels play a horrible Giants team on Saturday, then drove up to Peoria on Sunday to see my Padres spank the White Sox. (Sure they put up 7 runs on this knuckleballer who had no movent on the ball, but hey they lit him up) Spring Training is probably one of the best ways to see any sport. Unlike other sports, Spring Training is the best oppurtunity to meet the players and coaches. Its amazing how sociable everybody is, its like being at a Minor League game but you get the chance to see your favorite players up close. I am pretty geeked for this season, and going into the year here our my ALCS/NLCS predictions and World Series predictions.

ALCS- Angels def TIgers 4-2

NLCS- Mets def D-Back 4-1

World Series- Angels def Mets 4-3

I feel the Angels have the talent and the pitching in line this year to play with the powerful AL, but we shall see come October.

Speaking of October, did anyone see the NBA looking like it does now? If so you are the freaking man and I am taking you to Vegas. This year I think the Western Conference might be stronger then any one conference has ever been. You look at the playoffs teams as of right now and I think any of them can be holding the trophy in June. Everybody is starting the write the Suns off because of how they have looked since Kazaam joined the team, but mark my words, they will be in the Western Conference Finals. This team has the inside power presence they have been missing and I see this team getting ready to go on a tear.

Houston is tearing it up right now, and how are they doing what they are with what they have? Since Yao went down this team has seemed to jump on T-Mac's shoulders and he is ready to carry them all the way to a title. Even though they are on fire right now, what comes up must come down. They should run out of gas come playoff time, because no team can stay on a tear like they are without a legit 2 option. Sure the role guys are stepping up, but what happens when they start struggling?

In the West its the Lakers to lose, this team is powerful right now and Mitch Kubchak went from looking like an idiot before the season started to looking like a straight G. Stealing Pau away from Memphis the way they did might have been the move of the year. Giving Kobe another option makes this team very had to gameplan for. Its hard to double Kobe when you have all this talent on the court around him, and just think how much harder it will get once Bynum returns. I think its time to forget about the uglyness of the Kobe/Shaq ending and start talking about this team as the new Laker dynasty.

This is my prediction in the West for the playoffs: The Mavericks will NOT get out of the first round this year, sorry J-Kidd. At least you and Nash can talk about how you were two of the best to play the position, but never got to the top of the Mountian.

I don't feel like talking about the East, but I am saying this right now. Boston will NOT be in the Finals.

Thats all for this week. Come back next week!!!

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com