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

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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

10 To Go

How does a team lose to the Kings and Nuggets but come out and pick apart the best team in the Eastern Conference? Questions like this have come up throughout the season for the Washington Wizards. But nonetheless, the Wizards are currently in the 6th spot in the playoff race with a 1.5 game buffer between the two teams surrounding them.

I think the 6th seed is perfect for them. They will have a favorable match up against the Toronto Raptors if the season ended today. Then if they win, they’ll most likely play against the Heat. A team the Wizards can beat.

I watched the game on a livecast last night from my computer. I didn’t get the channel the game was broadcasting on, so I turned to my laptop to watch my team win. A livecast, also called video broadcasting, is a continual broadcast of events through digital media. I got to watch the game through the internet with little to no problems.

The Wizards have 10 games remaining. Half of the games are against teams currently making the playoffs. If the Wizards can go 7-3 during this span, I can see us going into the playoffs with a strong surge and a lot of confidence.

Maybe a video blog could be in the future if the Wizards go far into the playoffs. A vlog is exactly what it sounds like, a blog that you record with a camera. When the Wizards make the playoffs, I plan on going to at least one game with my friend. If GoPro or Google Glass would like to sponsor me, I would gladly record everything I see and do for my fans here on my blog. The Wizards have such a high ceiling, and I’m hoping we make it past the first round. If I’m lucky, I’ll be able to watch the game live, in-person, and not behind my computer. Go Wizards!

-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

All-Star Weekend Came and Went… Now What?

All-Star Weekend has come and gone, and on Tuesday, the second half of the NBA season began.  Twitter played a big role in the outcome of MVP votes.

On Friday night, we were reminded that the Secretary of Education Arne Duncan can play some basketball. He was awarded the MVP of the Celebrity All-Star game.  Andre Drummand, of the Pistons, set the record for most rebounds in the Rising Stars Game. He pulled in the MVP for that game with 30 points and 25 rebounds.  Fans used Social Media specifically Twitter, to vote for the MVP.

Saturday night, the Wizards’ Bradley Beal finished second place in the Three-Point Contest. His teammate, John Wall, won the Slam Dunk Contest… Like I predicted (see previous blog).  He was voted by the fans via Twitter. He was the last player to dunk, but the “speed and agility” of the voters “won the moment” for Wall, according to The New Rules of Marketing & PR book by David Meerman Scott.

The All-Star Game on Sunday ended as the highest scoring all-star game in history.  Kyrie Irving, of the Cleveland Cavaliers, brought in the MVP.  But does this mean the Cavaliers are on the road to improvement? Since firing their GM, Chris Grant, on February 6th, the Cavs are 5-0. The Cavs are trying to get their record above .500 so they have a better chance of making the playoffs.

The Lakers, well, lets just say being 17 games under .500, and their stars always hurt, it might be hard to make a push. The only thing the Lakers can look forward to is their 1st round draft pick that they cannot trade.

Speaking of trades, the trade deadline is on Thursday and there are a number of rumors out there. Will Rajon Rondo get traded? Will the Knicks get a point guard? Will the bottom feeders, Bucks and 76ers, make any moves to try and salvage their season?

The All-Star Weekend was fun, but now that the season has resumed, teams are going to make a push for the playoffs.  Because at the end of the day, the farther teams go, the more money players get paid. And at the end of the day, it’s all about money.

-RV

Wall-Star

The Washington Wizards are above .500 for the first time since 2009. They’ve had 8 other chances throughout this short season alone to climb the hurdle that’s haunted the Wizards for the past 51 months.  Can anyone guess who the starting line up was for that win against the Nets? Well, Gilbert Arenas is a definite, Brendan Haywood(not in the league today), Fabricio Oberto (who?), Randy Foye(well he did hit a game winner last night), and Mike Miller(old, yet still playing).   But today, the Wizards have a very talented starting lineup that includes the explosive John Wall, the sharp shooter Bradley Beal, the veteran Trevor Ariza, the big Brazilian Nene, and the bald one Marcin Gortat.  The win comes at a surprise to me because the Trail Blazers are one of the top teams in the east.  Wall had 22 points and 5 assists to lead the team.  Fresh off making the All-Star team, Wall has proven to the fans and coaches, that he is the player he once was.  Wall graduated from the University of Kentucky and was taken first overall by the Wizards in the 2010 draft.  A recent snub from the National team could be the reason for why he’s been playing so well. If you ask me, he deserves the chance to play for the USA in The Olympics.  His level of play this year has been overall better.  The past year or so, he’s been plagued with injuries and lack of support.  Now that his back court mate Bradley Beal is healthy and playing night after night with him, they have grown on and off the court to become one of the top back courts in the league.  I say this because what other team has two young high-flying guards that can do what Beal and Wall can do? The Wizards are on the up and up right now, and I see no signs of them slowing down.  Unless the injury bug flies from Southern California to the nation’s capital by the end of the season.

-RV