Monday, April 29, 2013

Monday Night Links:

It was a busy weekend in the sports world...and an even busier Monday.

Mike Freeman from CBS Sports on why Matt Barkley ended the "stay or go?" argument for college athletes. Link:

The Big 10 is already done with the "Leaders"and "Legends" divisions. Moving to a more natural east and west. Link:

Jason Collins became to first "big four" athlete to come out while actively playing. His story. Link:

Great documentary detailing RMU's upset win over UK a month back was released today by NEC FrontRow. Link:

Tim Tebow was released by the New York Jets. Link:

We also had the NFL draft, NBA playoff action, and the NHL season come to an end, not to mention some intriguing soccer going on across the pond. Oh yea, the MLB is heating up (except the Angels, they are still ice cold) as we approach summer!..... Enjoy all the action!

--Lee Kunkel

Sunday, April 28, 2013

NBA Playoffs

Sorry folks, been super busy with graduation approaching and finals starting up but I finally got some time to post my picks for the playoffs and thoughts on the first round.

Miami is the clear favorite to
repeat as Champs.
Heat over Bucks-- I promise I picked the Heat in this one. There really isn't much more to say on this one. Milwaukee had no shot in this series. Lebron James dominated from start to finish, and now the Heat will get to rest up a bit. A few days off will do them lots of good. Wade missed game four with a knee injury but should be back for the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Nets over Chicago-- I must admit I had Brooklyn in this one. After rolling in game one I looked like a genius but Chicago has won three in a row including a sweep in the Windy City. The Nets return home looking to starve off elimination, and I think they will. Problem for Brooklyn, I don't see the Bulls losing game six at home. Look for Chicago to move on and set up an epic Eastern Conference semifinals with the Heat. Underlying story line....Will D-Rose make an epic come back in an effort to knock out the champs? Just something to keep an eye on.

Indiana over Atlanta-- There isn't a whole lot going on here. I took the Pacers in five, and I'm sticking to it. If they can win game four in Atlanta this one is all over. No way the Pacers lose at home. They are a good team at home, and the Hawks have always struggled on the road in the playoffs.

New York over Boston-- This has been a fun series. I predicted the Knicks in seven. Boston has had a chance in every game but just couldn't get the job done in the second half in games one, two, and three! Thanks to the Jet, they won game four in OT. Can they stay alive and get a win in Madison Square Garden now? I don't think so. Knicks wrap it up in five.

In the East I have Miami over Carmelo and the Knicks in five games to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals.

Can KD carry the load without
Russell Westbrook?
OKC over Houston-- The story of this series is without doubt the injury to Russell Westbrook. He has a knee injury that will cost the rest of the playoffs. I have always been critical of Westbrook, but they need him to win the title. Mr. Durant showed us all they should still be considered a threat. He was remarkable game three. I think Harden has enough in him to win game four and send the series back to OKC, but it won't last any longer than that.

Clippers over Grizzles-- This has been a great battle. The home team has won every game so far. I expect that to continue and the Clips to pull it out in seven. Chris Paul has already won one game for LA. His game winner in game one may be the difference.

Denver over Golden State-- I had the Nuggets winning this one in seven but I'm really second guessing that now. The Warriors have been incredible all series long. They lost game one and David Lee, and everyone wrote them off but the play of Steph Curry and Harrison Barnes has elevated them. Denver is great at home, and I think the winner of game six in Oakland will decide who wins the series. If the Nuggets win it, they close it out at home game seven.

Spurs over Lakers-- I called this sweep from the get-go. The Lakers lost Kobe Bryant, and had no shot in this series. After Manu came out and scored 18 points in 19 minutes game one, the writing was on the wall. The Lakes lost a few more key players to injury, and it was all downhill from there. The Spurs are getting healthy and will now get some rest as they await the Denver/Golden State winner. Pop has to be happy with where his team is at.

The Thunder were the favorite to win the west but the Russell Westbrook injury changed everything. I think the Spurs become the team to beat. Also, I know the Nuggets are down 3-1 right now, but if they can win that game six on the road they can win the series, and I like there chances going forward.

--Lee Kunkel