NBA predictions, Derrick Rose, NHL playoffs, and Pep Guardiola

It sure has been an eventful week in sports, with more playoff games being played right now as well. First, and probably the worst news, is that Derrick Rose tore his ACL on a pretty routine play in Game 1 against the 76ers, and will be out for the next 6-9 months. This is really sad for the NBA, D-Rose is such a likable, humble player, and not to mention a tremendous athlete. The Bulls will definitely have a harder time without him, but they have already shown this season that they can win games while he is out. Expect C.J. Watson and John Lucas to fill the void at point guard for the Bulls. 

Now for my NBA playoff predictions (these are my picks before D-Rose got hurt): 

The NHL Playoffs are into the 2nd round right now, and have been as unpredictable and intense as ever. Here are my predictions from here on out:

Lastly, Pep Guardiola, the manager of one of the greatest soccer teams of all time, FC Barcelona, has decided to step down after the season is over at the Copa del Rey. In his 4 year term as manager, Barcelona has won two Champion’s League titles, three La Liga titles, two FIFA Club World Cups, two European Supercups, one Copa del Rey, and three Spanish Supercups. None of Barca’s players wanted him to leave, but he decided the stress from the job was too much, and with the work he has put in for this club, he’s allowed to quit whenever and will still be remembered as one of it’s greatest managers ever. 

pep

NBA Playoffs

The NBA regular season ends later this week, and play has been heating up the past few weeks as teams jockey for playoff position. The Chicago Bulls, San Antonio Spurs, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Miami Heat will be the likely favorites going into the playoffs, but there are some sleepers to watch out for that may cause a stir in the first few rounds. My sleeper pick of the year is the Memphis Grizzlies. They have been playing well since last year’s playoffs, getting Rudy Gay back from injury was huge seeing as he is playing at his highest level as a professional, as well as signing Gilbert Arenas to come off the bench. They have a great front court tandem with Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol, as well as a good supporting cast that includes OJ Mayo, Tony Allen and Mike Conley Jr. The Lakers are always going to be in the discussion, with Kobe and the Gasol and Bynum combo as their leading force. Two teams out of the East that need to be watched out for are the Celtics and the Pacers. The Celtics are that veteran team that has found some help from their younger guys, and have been playing some of the best basketball since the All-Star break, whereas the Pacers have been quietly playing solid ball all year and are poised to finish as the 3 seed in the East. With the playoffs starting on April 28th, sports fans are in for a treat with these and the NHL playoffs to watch. 

Here’s a preview of the playoffs by ESPN featuring Kevin Durant:

Weekend Recap

It was a great weekend to be a sports fan. There were numerous college basketball, soccer and hockey games, as well as the Accenture Match Play tournament in golf and the NBA All-Star weekend.

The dunk contest this year was lackluster… sure, there were great dunks, but the format was whack, the dunkers were mediocre for the most part, it just did not feel like the dunk contests of my childhood. They need to get the big names to participate again: imagine Blake Griffin, Lebron James, Russell Westbrook, Derrick Rose, Dwyane Wade and Shannon Brown as the participants, now that would be a dunk contest for the ages. The 3-point contest was very entertaining though, with Kevin Low beating Kevin Durant in an overtime shoot-off. 

Kansas took down rival Missouri in their last regular season meeting as conference opponents, winning a thriller in overtime. Kansas seems to be getting hot at the right time, they are working their way up to top contender status with Kentucky for me. Michigan State, Syracuse, North Carolina, and Duke won as well, while Ohio State and Michigan both fell unexpectedly. It’s crunch time now, with March Madness right around the corner, there will be a lot of entertaining and important basketball to be played between now and the start of the conference tournaments. 

Hunter Mahan took down Rory McIlroy to capture the Match Play title this weekend. Glad to see an American capture the title, the first since Tiger Woods in 2008. Speaking of Tiger, when will we see his resurgence? He has shown signs of progress, looking like he has everything under control, but it seems he still has some kinks to work out, more likely mentally than mechanically. Let’s hope he can figure it out soon, the game of golf is not the same without him at the top.

To end this post, I am going to just leave these two videos of the goals that Christiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi scored this weekend, they were magnificent!