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!!!