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

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

Hello Melo

Where will Carmelo Anthony play next season? This blog will talk about where the All-Star power forward will play his 13th season in the NBA.  His talents speak for themselves with the stats he has put up.  There are plenty of teams that will be shopping for Melo at the season’s end.

Did you know that Melo grew up around Baltimore. He went to Towson Catholic High School. He then transferred to Oak Hill where he won numerous games and MVP honors. He played against LeBron James when he was in high school at St. Vicent St. Mary’s.

He played one year at Syracuse where he averaged 22 and 10. He played seven and a half seasons in Denver before getting traded mid-season to the Knicks.

An up and mostly down season has led Melo to question his future. He is at risk for missing the post season for the first time in his NBA career.

Melo could join the likes of Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah in Chicago. This could be an extremely dominant 3 man team. I would not what that to happen.

Melo could be bribed by money and join Kobe Bryant in Los Angeles. I don’t think this is likely. Melo is a scorer, and so is Kobe. But their friendship is very strong and anything is possible.

Melo could maybe try and come back home and play for the Wizards. Personally, I wouldn’t like that mostly because the chemistry that the Wizards have right now.

Even though he’s said he’s definitely going to resign with the Knicks, that was a couple weeks ago. I think he will do this, because who wouldn’t want to play in Madison Square Garden every home game? And it’s all about the money, right?

With the talents Carmelo possesses, his skills can and ultimately will make any team better. I’m very eager to see what he does at the end of this season.  The summer of 2015 has a lot more hype behind it. More big name players will be free agents. A blog is to follow soon.

-RV

10 day contracts

Two interesting 10 day contracts have been signed in the past few days.

The Nets have resigned Jason Collins, like I thought they would. And the Kings have signed Royce White who was drafted by the Rockets in 2012, but never played.

I personally really like the move by the Brooklyn Nets in resigning Jason Collins. I think after this stint, they will sign him for the rest of the season. His presence in the paint and in the locker room is very much needed.  The Brooklyn Nets are this year’s light switch team. Yes, I just made up a new term. A light switch gets turned on and off regularly throughout the day, so therefore, this makes sense. The Nets can honestly beat any team on any given night. The talent that they have is unheard off. With first year coach Jason Kidd finally figuring out the dynamics of his newly formed team, he is adjusting the the coaching side of the game nicely.

The Sacramento Kings signed Royce White, who previously played for the 76ers during the preseason before getting waive, to a 10 day contract, but sent him to the D-League. The D-League is the developmental league, for the new readers of my blog.  This is a big deal because White suffers from an anxiety disorder that prevents him from flying. This disorder kept him from playing a single game with the Houston Rockets when they first drafted him.  He used to drive to college away games even if his team were to fly.  The more important thing about this signing is that they sent him to the D-League. Why? I have no idea. But they signed him because the Kings have recently bought out the contract of Jimmer Fredette. Fredette found a new home with the Bulls until the end of the season. A home I can see him living in for awhile.

-RV

And the award goes to…

The NBA team who made the best trade, the best pick up, or the best buyout goes to…

Indiana got Evan Turner.

Clippers got Danny Granger from a buyout with the 76ers.

Lakers got Kent Bazemore.

Warriors got Steve Blake to back up Stephen Curry.

Kings got rid of Jimmer Freddete (who signed with the Bulls).

Knicks have signed a number of free agents after buying out the contracts of Mette World Peace and Beno Udrih.

Nuggets got Jan Vesely, we’ll talk about that soon.

The standings all around the league are very up in the air.

And in my eyes, the biggest winners are the Wizards. We got Andre Miller and Drew Gooden. Two amazing pick ups to go along side Otto Porter Jr. and Al Harrington who are coming back from injury.  I’m so excited for the last quarter of the season because if the Wizards keep up the play they are on now, we could very much be seeing the 3rd seed of the Eastern Conference.

But could the biggest deal be the trading of Jan Vesely. I mean, when he was playing for the Wizards, I was a big fan of his play. But now that he’s on the Nuggets and I was this GIF from “The Big Lead” I couldn’t help but laugh.

Wide open– Pump fake, Jab step, Fade away… BRICK

I’m not the only one who’s laughing at this. I’m sure Jan is laughing at himself still from this. But let’s be real, he was a bust. Drafted 6th overall by the Wizards in the 2011 draft. If we look back at the players drafted after him, we could have started this turn around earlier.  A few names are Klay Thompson, the Morris twins, Kawhi Leonard, NIKOLA VUCEVIC, KENNETH FARIED, Jimmy Butler, Chandler Parsons (my favorite on this list)… The list goes on and on, but if we hadn’t wasted a pick, we might not be where we are today. But wow, think about a Wizards team today with any one of those players I just listed. I think the Wizards came out on top over these past couple days and our playoff picture looks bright.

-RV

Jason Collins

Is his coming out really a big deal? In my eyes, no. In society’s eyes, yes. I think it takes great strength and courage for what he has done, and I applaud him for it. This blog will be all about Jason Collins, and my point of view while listening to this podcast. A podcast is an audio or video segment of media that is available via the internet for your convenience. Collins is a 35 year-old NBA veteran who is seeing his first action this season with the Brooklyn Nets since coming out to be the first homosexual male in the four major professional sports.  He signed a 10-day contract with the team on February 23rd. He’s a 7-foot center out of Standard who has played for 6 previous teams since being drafted 18th overall in the 2001 draft, coincidentally by the New Jersey Nets. His size alone is intimidating, and he is a force on the inside.

In the podcast, Kevin Arnovitz and Jordan Heimer discuss the immediate and long-term implications of Jason Collins’ coming out. They highlight what he’s gone through, and the challenges he’s faced.

In the Social Media Bible, it says that podcasters find the easiest way to sound natural is to have more than one person speaking. Arnovitz and Heimer are having a discussion about Collins. They are paid analysts who are expressing their opinion. That’s exactly what a podcast is. I think of a podcast as an opinion-based radio or TV show that we can listen to on our own.

Back to Collins, his jersey was put on the NBA Store website and has been the top selling jersey since. This is a great way to show support for Collins. Collins is wearing the number 98 this season as a tribute to the 1998 torture and murder of Matthew Shepard. The article is here.

During my research of this topic, I have found numerous of podcasts on Collins or podcasts that have included his story. The Nets are currently in the 7th spot in the East, and as a surge to the top, they are in talks of signing Collins until the end of the season.

-RV