Lakers vs. Mavericks Western Conference Semi-Final Preview

Here are my predictions for the Lakers-Mavericks series that starts May 2nd.

Game 1 Mavericks 98 @ Lakers 108

Game 2 Mavericks 87 @ Lakers 104

Game 3 Lakers 111 @ Mavericks 103

Game 4 Lakers 93 @ Mavericks 95

Game 5 Mavericks 85 @ Lakers 101

Lakers win series 4-1

The Mavericks win Game 4 after the Lakers come out uninspired and manage to hold on to avoid the sweep. However, this only inspires the Lakers to dominate Game 5.

Bulls vs. Hawks Eastern Conference Semi-Final Preview

Here are my predictions for the Bulls-Hawks series that starts May 2nd.

Game 1 Hawks 98 @ Bulls 104

Game 2 Hawks 92 @ Bulls 91

Game 3 Bulls 103 @ Hawks 106

Game 4 Bulls 99 @ Hawks 87

Game 5 Hawks 92 @ Bulls 101

Game 6 Bulls 79 @ Hawks 86

Game 7 Hawks 85 @ Bulls 96

Bulls win series 4-3

The Hawks match up really well against the Bulls. Rose wins the point guard battle over Kirk Hinrich. Joe Johnson wins the shooting guard battle over Keith Bogans. Then in the front court there is too much size on the Hawks. The Bulls are in for a tough series.

Heat vs. Celtics Eastern Conference Semi-Final Preview

Here are my predictions for the Heat-Celtics series that starts May 1st.

Game 1 Boston 95 @ Miami 99

Game 2 Boston 106 @ Miami 93

Game 3 Miami 89 @ Boston 97

Game 4 Miami 96 @ Boston 93

Game 5 Boston 95 @ Miami 103

Game 6 Miami 98 @ Boston 97

Miami win series 4-2

Game 6 will be decided off of a missed game winner by Ray Allen.

Thunder vs. Grizzlies Western Conference Semi-Final Preview

Here are my predictions for the Thunder-Grizzliesseries that starts May 2nd.

Game 1 Grizzlies 86 @ Thunder 104

Game 2 Grizlies 91 @ Thunder 97

Game 3 Thunder 89 @ Grizzlies 81

Game 4 Thunder 94 @ Grizzlies 102

Game 5 Grizzlies 76 @ Thunder 94

Thunder win series 4-1

Congrats Grizzlies you were quite a story and might drive Duncan to retirement but the Thunder are too good.

Grizzlies beat Spurs (4-2): A Series in Review

The youthful Grizzlies beat an aged Spurs team in a 6 game series where the Grizzlies never trailed in games for the entire series.

Zach Randolph shined in this series putting up amazing numbers. In the wins Randolph averaged 23 PPG and 9.75 RPG. Randolph seemed unstoppable on the offensive end and has found a home in Memphis. In the Game 4 win, which was the greatest winning margin, Zach Randolph had a +/- of +12 and in the series clincher Randolph put up 31 points, 11 rebounds, and had a +/- of +14.

Marc Gasol put up 15.5 PPG, 10 RPG, and a +/- of +9.75 in the wins. The Grizzly big men showed their brawn all series long.

This series brings up the concern about the Spurs aged stars. Their big three (Duncan, Parker, and Ginobli) have an average age of 32 and Duncan is 35. The Spurs just seemed slower out on the court. This aged line up looked like they should have been checking in to an assisted living facility instead of the game.

It starts to conjure thoughts of Duncan retiring. He is 35 and has been in the league for 14 years. In this season he had career lows in points, rebounds, defensive rebounds, made field goals, free throws made and attempted. He has been on a steady decline in PPG for the past 4 seasons until this season where it dropped 24.6% from a previous career low last year. His rebounds dipped below 10 a game for the first time in his career after barely staying over at 10.1 RPG the previous season.

Ginobli had a solid series and had an amazing shot to bring the Spurs closer in their Game 5 overtime win. However, he is 33 and is not ageless.

It seems like the Spurs will need to do some major rebuilding because their better days are behind them.

NFL Draft 2nd and 3rd Rounds Key Picks

At pick 35, the Cincinnati Bengals picked Andy Dalton. This may signal a new regime in Cincinnati. Although Carson Palmer backed out of his retiring threat with the drafting of A.J. Green it seems like the Bengals are picking up an insurance policy against him threatening this again.

At pick 36, the San Francisco 49ers picked Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick is a solid quarterback and might fill that huge need the 49ers have. However, he may not be a franchise quarterback for a franchise accustom to Joe Montana and Steve Young.

At pick 51, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers picked Daquan Bowers. No I did not do a typo and he was drafted 41 or 31, he was drafted 51. In early Mock Drafts he was slotted as a number 1 overall pick and he dropped due to knee problems. This seems like a huge steal.

At pick 74, the New England Patriots picked Ryan Mallet. Mallet is a player with a gun for an arm and great general quarterbacking abilities. He has dropped because of behavioral concerns but if he learns under Tom Brady for a few years this could be a Steve Young/Joe Montana switch for the Patriots.

Mavericks beat Trail Blazers (4-2): A Series in Review

The Mavericks finally got past the first round beating the Trail Blazers in 6 games.

Dirk Nowitzki dominated the series putting up 29.75 PPG, 9 RPG, and a +/- of +12.5 in the wins. In this series, his offensive prowess showed why he is almost impossible to guard.

Jason Kidd provided a major jolt of energy at the point guard position. As a good point guard should, Kidd facilitated putting up 13.25 PPG, 8 APG, and had a +/- of +9.25 in the wins.

Jason Terry was huge off the bench putting up over 20 points in 2 separate games and he put up 22 points and 8 assists in the series clinching Game 6. In the wins, Terry put up 15.5 PPG, 3.25 APG, and had a +/- of +12. His +/- was the 2nd highest, in the wins, behind Nowitzki.

Shawn Marion also provided a solid effort at small forward putting up 10.5 PPG and 4.5 RPG, in the wins.

The trade for Gerald Wallace by the Blazers proved prosperous averaging 15.17 PPG and 9.17 RPG during the course of the series and put up 32 points and 12 rebounds in Game 6.

In the wins, the biggest contributor on the Blazers was Brandon Roy with 20 PPG, 4.5 APG, and had a +/- of +11.5. In Game 3, Wesley Matthews had a breakout performance with 25 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals. In Game 4, LaMarcus Aldridge put up 18 points, 6 rebounds, 4 steals and 3 blocks. Both Game 3 and Game 4 were wins for the Blazers.

The Blazers look to have a promising outlook for the upcoming years with the young players stepping up.