Now round two in the NBA playoffs a tough struggle between teams. Some series were blowouts others a struggle all the way to game seven.
Teams that moved on and were triumphant in the first round are the:
The teams that fell short and have been knocked out are the:
·New York Knicks
The matchups for the conference semi-finals are:
·Philadelphia vs. Boston
·Indiana vs. Miami
I believe just to expect to see the Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics in the conference finals battling it out for the chance to be in the finals.
For the Boston and Philadelphia series I say the Celtics will win at least by game five as the 76ers are not really experienced enough to go far enough in the playoffs this year.
And for the Miami and Indiana game I would say about the same to happen as the Celtics/76ers series maybe six games instead of five with the Pacers winning at least a game or two, but not really having a chance to win any more than that.
WHAT TO EXPECT:
Boston with its age may struggle a little bit with the 76ers’ youth, but will have no problem taking down the team with high hopes from Philly.
Philadelphia will struggle most definitely with the experienced Celtics, but will put pressure on them as they are a younger more agile team, but the inexperience will be a weakness for them.
Indiana will have the same exact problem as the 76ers, they are not as experienced as most, but are younger and agile which could help in late game situations.
And the same thing with the Miami Heat they are just like the Celtics to the 76ers more experienced and just simply better than the Pacers who really don’t have a chance this year.
The NBA playoffs are now off and running. The WEST match ups are as follows:
San Antonio vs Utah (SA 1- UTH 0)
Oklahoma City vs. Dallas (OKC 1- DAL 0)
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Denver (LAL 1- DEN 0)
Los Angeles Clippers vs. Memphis (LAC 1- MEM 0)
TOP TEAMS TO WATCH:
San Antonio is planned to knock out Utah is the first round easily within just 4-5 games. After falling short for the past four years since the Spurs championship win in the 2006-2007 season. The spurs have experience, but with experience comes age so we’ll see how far they go.
Oklahoma City will be a huge team this year with all-star Kevin Durant leading the team through the year if he plays strong with his team playing very well they have a chance to win it all in the finals.
The Los Angeles Lakers key names there is Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum both major role players in Los Angeles right now. They will blow through Denver and are expected to be seen in the semi-finals.
Also from Los Angeles the Clippers star Blake Griffin will be expected to go hard with his masterful dunks against Memphis in the first round. The Clippers are expected to go right to Game 7 of the first round series against Memphis in a close battle between both teams.
MY TOP PICKS:
I expect San Antonio to move far into the playoffs after the win over Utah in this quick series.
Oklahoma City will beat out Dallas if they play together well as it doesn’t seem to be all there in Dallas.
The Lakers will have no problem advancing to the next round and could even be contenders for the championship title.
I see the Clippers winning this round, but they will most likely be eliminated in the next round as they will not go too far.
The NBA playoffs are now off and running. The matchups are as follows:
Boston vs. Atlanta (BOS 0- ATL 0)
New York vs. Miami (NY 0- MIA 1)
Orlando vs. Indiana (ORL 1- IND 0)
Philadelphia vs. Chicago (PHI 0- CHI 1)
TOP TEAMS TO WATCH:
The Celtics’, Ray Allen has a ’50-50’ chance of coming back for their game tonight. As the big three (Allen, Pierce, Garnett) hope to be able to put up a fight over the picked to win Atlanta Hawks.
The Miami Heat is expected to easily win over their first round opponents, the Knicks, as the won the first game by a 33 point margin. The team plans to move on as an unstoppable force blowing their way to the finals.
Orlando is expected to struggle without its humongous center Dwight Howard out with back surgery, and the Pacers will pounce on that opportunity as much they can.
Chicago Bulls starting point guard, Derrick Rose, has torn his ACL and is now out for the season leaving his team to fight for their own, Philadelphia hopes that with Rose out they have a better chance to move on.
MY TOP PICKS:
For the Celtics and Hawks my money is on the Celtics, because even though they have won less games they always pull through when it gets tough.
Heat and Knicks, it is all Miami in this series New York doesn’t have a chance as they will continue to lose to Miami with LeBron dropping big numbers against the Knicks.
This will be a tough competition with Orlando missing its power center no one can be sure of the outcome, but I have to say the Orlando will overcome.
Chicago without Derrick will have trouble just like Orlando missing Dwight, but with other all-stars the Bulls will have an easier road than the Magic.
Orlando, Florida’s basketball team the Magic has lost a key player essential to their success. Dwight Howard, the team’s huge 6’10” 264.6 lb. center is out in need out back surgery. With the surgery Dwight Howard will miss the rest of the season and most importantly the playoffs. The Magic will miss it’s enforcing center leading his team to victory. Dwight Howard is out with a herniated disc which has been said is not uncommon in younger people. Dwight Howard’s doctors say that he most likely got a herniated disc due to just simply bending, lifting, or twisting. Dwight Howard has only missed eight games in seven years of his career, and now with this surgery he will be out for four months. This just tops off this year’s season full of coach Stan Van Gundy and player Dwight Howard confrontations and arguments. The most recent update is that Dwight Howard has stated he no longer wants to play for his coach Stan Van Gundy. His people state that that it’s not that Howard wants Stan Van Gundy out of the city of Orlando, but that it shows that could be a option. Van Gundy may be unemployed after this season or Dwight may be in a different city. The struggle between this two is horrible, but we shall see where both of them end up by next season.
Happy Jackie Robinson Day!! Anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking Major League Baseball’s color barrier on April 15, 1947. The story of a man’s struggles and leading to his reward of setting history. Today is also a sad day in itself. After in 1997 when rosters were 27% of of African-Americans. In 1995 it was 19%, and now in 2012 it is down to 17.5% with a 9.5% drop since 1997. Former Athletics pitcher and now player agent Dave Stewart says, “It’s not getting better. It’s only getting worse. We’ve been in a downward spiral for a long time, and the numbers keep declining.” Many say that it is because of baseball as a sport. African-American kids today are dropping baseball for more active sports like basketball and football. It’s something to be watched in the next years if it’ll get better or worse. Hopefully kids these days wanna play baseball more the football or basketball, nothing against those sports but taking away African-Americans out of baseball is definitely a bad thing.
Almost superstar Jeremy Lin is out for six weeks. He has torn his meniscus and will be having knee surgery next week, which willl probably end this season for him. A meniscus injury is an injury to one of two cartilage pads in between the two joints formed by the femur and the tibia. Lin had an average of 14.1 points and 6.1 assists. Some would say he was this year’s biggest highlight and his fame rose immensely as he led the Knicks to many wins. He has been compared to Tim Tebow and his rise to stardom as the were never considered to be great, but proved people wrong. With Jeremy Lin out the Knicks are looking to shooter Baron Dais to step up and take charge. The Knicks are fighting to make playoffs and win a championship, but now it is that much harder without a key player like Lin. Many of the other players are also suffering from minor injuries which makes more trouble for the Knicks. I think it is safe to say the Knicks are not winning the big trophy this year, but next year with a healthier roster there is always a chance!
Magic Johnson was once a point guard for the Los Angeles Lakers from 1970-1991. He is now the owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Magic bought the Dodgers for around $2 billion from the previous owner who was nearing bankruptcy. Magic Johnson has stayed in the same city, but has switched sports; going from the basketball court and stepping onto the baseball field. Two completely different sports, and he thinks he will be a great addition for the franchise. As he states in an interview that he loves baseball and that he has been a Dodger’s fan for thirty plus years. He’s also said that the real reason he came aboard was some of the people reminded him of an old friend Dr. Jerry Buss (Lakers’ Owner). Player’s like Matt Kemp had their own personal ideas about him coming to the Dodgers. Things were said how L.A. loves Magic and he knows how important the Dodgers are to the city, how Magic being the owner just makes the day that much better. Now we wait in see if Magic has had an influence on the Dodgers and if they will being playing in the playoffs. Time will tell.
Ex-major league pitcher has now rejoined his previous teams the New York Yankees. Pettitte retired in 2010 with a 11 wins and 3 losses record and a 3.28 ERA (earned run average). Yankees general manager Brian Cashman signed Andy to a one year deal for $2.5 million. The deal Cashman stated would have no incentives or bonuses and he will only be a starting pitcher, in which Pettitte agreed. He previously turned down a $10-12 million deal given to him to consider after the 2010 season. He has a lot of potential for the Yankees as he has won them 403 games third on the all-time Yankees list, 19 postseason wins most of all time, and 1,823 strikeouts second-most in franchise history. The team is glad to have him back as he will make the pitching staff that much stronger. Things members from the Boston Red Sox have to say about him are:
3rd baseman Kevin Youkilis- “If the guy can pitch 200 innings, that’s great. There aren’t too many 200-inning guys you can get for 2.5 (million) these days.”
Manager Bobby Valentine- “I don’t think he’s coming back to where he was, Call it a hunch. But he’s a good pitcher — borderline Hall of Famer. Add someone like that to your staff and you’re doing good.”
Cole Hamels starting pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies will soon be a free agent. The question is whether he is going to be staying in Philly or looking to be picked up by a different team. A team to be a contender trying to add Cole Hamels to their pitching staff would be the New York Yankees. How badly the Yankees what Cole Hamels is not quite known yet, but Yankees fans would not mind picking him up. Yankee fans are being nice to Cole Hamels after an incident of losing Cliff Lee, because of fan’s so called being mean to Cliff Lee’s wife in New York during the playoffs. So to avoid something like that again, fans are being extra nice as Cole Hamels says, “The Yankees fans were real nice for some odd reason, I don’t know why.” All around if the Yankees get a chance to pick him up the question will be if they can afford it as they are dropping their salary cap to $189 million dollars by 2014. We all shall see where Cole Hamels ends up in these coming years. Could be in Philly, New York, or maybe even somewhere else.