West Playoff Predictions

The Western Conference has been very competitive all year long, and I know the competitiveness won’t stop now. The teams are fueled and ready to go, and quite frankly, I’m still unsure of who will come out of the first round.

1 v 8

The number 1 seed, and best team (by record) in the NBA, the San Antonio Spurs are matched up against their stately neighbors, the Dallas Mavericks. With the Spurs leading the season series 4-0, you’d think that they have this one in the bag. And you’re right. I think the last time the Mavericks even beat the Spurs on the road, I was in high school. Spurs win easily, 4-0.

2 v 7

The Oklahoma City Thunder, number 2 seed, take on a scary team in the Memphis Grizzlies.  Not because of their name, but because of their past. The Grizzlies have size, quick guards, and experience in the post season.  OKC has the regular season series 3-1. OKC also has the MVP and his thunder buddy for life.  This duo will be hard to stop, has they’ve proven it in the past.  OKC beats Memphis 4-2.

3 v 6

Already fueled by regular season feuds and back and forth words, the Los Angeles Clippers and the Golden State Warriors are set up for an entertaining series. The regular season series is tied 2-2. With the home teams winning each game this season, this series might go 7.  This series is so up in the air, I will predict that each game will by decided by less than 10 points. Clippers edge the Warriors 4-3.

4 v 5

Who’s set the record for most points in a 7 game series? If this one goes 7 games, I bet the Houston Rockets and Portland Trailblazers will make history. Number 4 seed Rockets are fueled by beards, brains, and backs. (Any basketball fan will get what I did there.) The trailblazers have a great team, but the Rockets won the season series 3-1. James Harden will average over 30 points a game.  Houston tops the Trailblazers 4-2.

-RV

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East Playoff Predictions

With the NBA Playoffs around the corner, aka, today and tomorrow, let’s take a long at what each team has to offer and why I think the Wizards have the best chance of winning. That’s not biased, I have a feeling that we are going to be a surprise to most teams and fans.

1 v 8
Number 1 seed Indiana looks hungry to dominate the number 8 seed Atlanta. The regular season series is tied 2-2. Paul George and Roy Hibbert look to avenged their lack-luster ending of the regular season. Will Atlanta upset the number 1 seed in the East? My prediction is no. Indiana wins 4-0.

2 v 7
Number 2 seed Miami, the defending champs, are matched up against the number 7 seed Charlotte Bobcats. Miami swept the season series 4-0, but that’s not going to stop the young and talented Bobcats. With Michael Jordan at the helm, they have the best player of all time as their owner. If that doesn’t get me ready for a series, I don’t know what will. Al Jefferson will go off for 30+ at least twice, they’ll make the series interesting. Miami wins 4-2.

3 v 6
Number 3 seed Toronto Raptors have surprised everyone, even me! They take on one of the most all around talented teams, the Brooklyn Nets. First year coach Jason Kidd has rebounded from a terrible start to get his team to the playoffs. With the regular season series tied 2-2, I think Brooklyn pulls it off in a close, 4-3 series to move on to face the Heat.

4 v 5
Number 4 seed Chicago Bulls take on my Washington Wizards. The Wizards have beaten the Bulls 2-1 in the regular season, with the only lose coming without big-man stud Nene. Now that he’s back, I think with the dynamic duo of John Wall and Bradley Beal, the Wizards will come out on top. The Wizards all-around depth, talent, and urge to win, will prevail the Wizards into the second round. Wizards take this series, 4-3.

-RV

DeSean to DC

It only took four days for the explosive wide reciever to pick his new home for the next couple years.  DeSean Jackson, 27, has played his first 5 seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles until signing with their NFC East rivals, the Washington Redskins. I am a huge Redskins fan and I think this addition will be perfect to fit into the offense already in place.

The speed of Jackson will open the top of the defense for the likes of Pierre Garcon, Santana Moss, and Andre Roberts.  Last year, Garcon caught an unbelievable 113 catches to lead the NFL last season. This is coming with numerous double teams in a game. Moss is a reliable slot reciever who brings leadership and experience to the wide recieving core. Roberts was recently signed in free agency earlier in the month and had a break out season along side all-pro Larry Fitzgerald.

I had a feeling this deal would work out before it was even announced when I saw an Instagram photo of DC rapper, Wale, Pierre Garcon, DeAngelo Hall, and Jackson. This comradery  between future teammates showed that the current Redskins would love to have Jackson on the squad.

Reports started coming in that noted that the starting quarterback of the Redskins, Robert Griffin III, was esctatic to have the talents of Jackson come on down the I-95 corrador.  The Philadelphia Eagles released Jackson due to “poor work ethic” and potential “connections to LA gang members.” The positives outweigh the possible negatives of Jackson. His act will change because we all know that the Redskins are a team to deal with in the NFC East.

This isn’t the first time an Eagles player became a Redskins player. Sonny Jurgensen played for the Eagles for 7 years before being traded to the Redskins. After the trade, he was named the the Pro Bowl 4 times.  Some may remember the Donovan McNabb trade that brought him to D.C. in 2010.

Let’s hope this trade with DeSean Jackson has a more positive effect along the likes of Jurgensen. I’m really looking forward to this season with the Redskins.

-RV

Playoff Bound: First time since ’09

The up and down season got summed up in a 48 minute game last night.  The Wizards will beat the first place team in the East one night, and lose to a team struggling to make the playoffs the next. Focus needs to be present when it comes to the final 9 games of the season. With the Raptors losing Kyle Lowry for an undisclosed amount of time.  This could open the door for the Wizards to make a push to get the third seed in the East.  Out of the three teams, Raptors, Nets, and Bulls, the Wizards are matched up to most likely play, I think the Raptors would be the easiest team to beat in four games to move on to the next round.

The Wizards lost to Charlotte last night after playing one of their best quarters of the season. 40 points in the second quarter wasn’t enough to beat the Charlotte Bobcats. They currently sit in the 7th spot in the East and are trying to make it higher. The Zards blew a 16 point halftime lead. The lack of focus cannot happen if a team wants to be successful in the playoffs.

Both the Bulls and the Nets have a number of players that have been in the playoffs before. Their experience and talent will make it a hard task for the Wizards to beat in a 7 game series.  The Wizards’ playoff hopes are looking more and more promising each day.  To clinch a spot, the next win by the Wizards or loss by the Knicks, will be the first playoff appearance by Washington since the Gilbert Arenas era in 2009.

Because the Wizards normally show up to play against the best teams of the league, I think we have a great chance to beat Indiana or Miami when we meet them in the second round… that is if we make it that far. I’m sure we will because Nene is coming back and Bradley Beal coming out of his slump. Behind John Wall, the Wizards have a strong case to be a force in the East.

-RV

1 Down, 161 To Go

Yesterday was opening day in the MLB and the local teams got off to a great start.  The Baltimore Orioles and the Washington Nationals got 2-1 and 9-7 wins respectfully against their rivals.

The Orioles beat the reigning World Series Champions, the Boston Red Sox all thanks to a huge pick up of free agent, Nelson Cruz. Cruz went 1-2 with a walk, and a home run.  His two runs were the difference maker in the opener. The home run in the seventh inning separated the Orioles from the Sox. Starting pitcher, Chris Tillman went a strong 5 innings, allowed 7 hits, 1 run, and 4 strikeouts.  Reliever Zach Britton, was an outstanding play in spring training and it paid off when he was awarded the win. Ryan Flaherty had an outstanding game at third base in replacing Manny Machado.  Adam Jones went 2-3 with two singles. This all around great play is what the Orioles need on a daily basis to come out on top of the AL East.

The Nationals made it interesting.  It took them 10 innings to beat their rivals the New York Mets. Anthony Rendon hit a bomb, three run home run during the top half of the inning.  The Nationals were at least very consistent.  Rendon was the only player with 2 hits. Everyone else had one hit. For a team to hit consecutive hits in the inning, they’ll be able to put runs on the board. And that’s exactly what the Nationals did.  With a pitching staff that’s arguably the most dominate in the MLB this season, Washington’s club will have to put up runs to balance that power.

Both teams are very good in different ways. I think the Orioles have a better offense, but the Nationals have a better pitching staff. Many Maryland baseball fans want to see a Baltimore vs. Washington World Series. With teams like they have, I can easily see that happening either this year, or in a matter of a couple years.

-RV

And Then There Were Eight

The NCAA March Madness Tournament is down to eight teams.  Two games are played tonight, and the remaining two will be played tomorrow night.  CBS has teamed with TBS, TNT, and TruTV to broadcast the games throughout the tournament.  They’ve also made it possible to stream the games online live. This technology has made watching this year’s tournament a lot more enjoyable for many users. I really liked when there were 16 games being played during one day. It kept me busy, but made me procrastinate my school work.

Number 8 Dayton play the number 1 seed Florida tonight. Florida is a 10 point favorite. Dayton is reaching the Elite Eight for the first time since 1984. Florida has made it there for the 4th time in a row. What’s a Flyer anyways. A gator is more intimidating. But I’d love to see an upset.
The Number 1 seed in the West, Arizona plays the number 2 seed Wisconsin tonight at 8:49. I’m pulling for the Badgers to beat the Wildcats. A badger is a short-legged omnivore who are very strong. A wildcat is a cat, and the only cat I see being dominant is the Lion. Therefore, I think Wisconsin might pull this win out.
Tomorrow, number 7 UConn takes on number 4 Michigan St. Husky vs. Spartan on this mascot battle. I feel as if the Spartan is a human, they should be able to dominate a husky. Husky dogs are friendly, but not a husky found in the wilderness. I think Michigan St. will beat the surging UConn Huskies.
Following that game, number 8 Kentucky plays against the number 2 Michigan Wolverines. Michigan might be playing the best ball of the tournament, but the wildcats are coming off huge wins against the undefeated-no-more Shockers and the rivaled Louisville Cardinal.

If i had to choose a team to win, I’d have to go with Michigan and Florida to be in the Championship. I’m a Michigan fan now, just hoping they’d win. If I can’t catch any game on TV, I’ll be able to stream the games online to my laptop. Thanks CBS!

-RV

Lakers: Behind the Scenes

The 24-48 Los Angeles Lakers lost by a lot last night. And by a lot, I mean they let up the most points, 143, to the Minnesota Timberwolves. This amount was the most by any team this season. It almost looked like the score to an all star game, except the Lakers didn’t keep up. They only scored a measly 107. This is a decent amount, but not compared to the 143 the Wolves put up.

The underlying story of the game was Kevin Love. He is set to become a free agent at the end of the season and the Lakers are one of the teams where he could land. It was a great tryout because he tallied a triple-double. But at the end of the day, Love gets to decide where he wants to play. Does he want to share the spotlight with two possibly three other hall of fame players?

Where are Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash? Kobe is out for the rest of the season, and Nash has been fighting some nagging injuries and scrutiny. He was quoted saying that, he’s only going to play next year for the money. He’s set to earn about 9 million dollars. Kobe defended his friend and teammate and pretty much said, professionals play for the love of the game, but at the end of the day, it’s a job. And if I was getting paid 9 million dollars to play basketball or hang up my shoes, I’d easily want to play. Nash has been in the league for 18 seasons, and is 40 years old. But a man with skills like him, will make an impact on any team he is on. He could get by with the help of Kobe’s new investment.

Kobe recently invested 4 million dollars in the energy drink Body Armor. It’s a sports drink that is supposed to be healthier than Gatorade and Powerade. I’m eager to see what the business mind of Kobe Bryant will have to offer in the near future.

The bigger news of the Lakers are definitely those that are happening off the court.

-RV