I have some basketball things I need to get off my chest.
March Madness so Far
March Madness is here as I mentioned in my other post. One thing many analysts always look out for is upsets. there too many teams for me to keep up with so I have picked a few. Over the first few days, the the result that has caught my eye is Northwestern over Vanderbilt. I mean technically it wasn’t an upset because Northwestern is an 8 seed and Vanderbilt was a 9 seed but it was notable because Northwestern hadn’t made the tournament in 78 years or something and so even if they were an 8 seed, I thought they might struggle with the big occassion and Vanderbilt will all their experience might nick it. Indeed it was all going to plan until Vanderbilt, the team with all the experience decided to foul Northwestern’s leading scorer with 14 seconds on the clock when Vanderbilt was up by one! It goes without saying that the young man sank his free throws and now Vanderbilt have gone fishing!
Of my 6 teams to watch, only Gonzaga have played and they blew past the South Dakota Jackabbits (0_o – Jackrabbits?). Anyway, moving on, the rest of the teams to watch play between tonight and tomorrow. I’m going to try and catch some games. If you are trying to catch some games, don’t expect the best quality, expect a lot of passion and a few exceptional players but you watch for the story lines and the fairy tales. I know I love a good story.
In NBA news, the race for the playoffs is heating up and the thing to watch out for is injuries. As far as I am concerned, Golden State haven’t figured themselves out without Durant. He’s the X factor and without him, I don’t see how they come out of the West. They are basically a .500 team in the games he has missed. Don’t forget they got rid of Speights, Bogut, Barnes and even Barbosa. For the Cavs, it will be important for them to get everyone back healthy. Kevin Love is back but yesterday, Kyrie and Iman Shumpert got injured. I am not confident in the Cavs chances either if all their players are not healthy. The Cavs signed Larry Sanders by the way! How cool is that. I’m rooting for him. Why do I think neither the Cavs nor Warriors will win it all this year? Seems like all these guys will just force themselves to get healthy when they’re not 100%. You can’t fake some of these things. If you can’t play, you can’t play! Watch this space.
Race for the Playoffs
The following teams are locks – Cavs, Wizards, Celtics, Hawks, Raptors and Pacers. That leaves 2 spots and 4 teams vying – that will be the Bucks, Heat and Pistons and Bulls. Conventional wisdom says that even if the Heat are in 9th place right now, they should make it because although they started something like 11-30, they have gone 22-5 since the middle of January. I expect them to keep that going plus Dragic, Whiteside and Waiters have been carrying them very well. that leaves one spot and 3 teams. The Bulls lost Wade for the rest of the season and I think he took their playoff hopes with him. They have a chance though because Rondo has been starting and playing well and they still have Butler but they’re too unserious for me. The media is trying to act like Wade being out. I don’t buy that rubbish. No one cares about Wade and no one cares about the Bulls! Don’t fall for it! The Bulls are not serious and are a non factor in the NBA right now!
If you follow this blog, you know I root for the Bucks but they are tooooo inconsistent for me. I guess that’s what you get with a young team. Don’t forget their missing Jabari Parker and Michael Beasley. Beasley should be back soon though. Detroit have been inconsistent themselves and I am backing the Bucks to hold tight.
The following teams are locks – Golden State, Spurs, Rockets, Jazz, Grizzlies, Clippers and I want to say OKC. That leaves 1 spot and 3 teams – the Nuggets, Trail Blazers and maybe the Mavs with an outside chance. I think the only team with a realistic chance of making it is the Trail Blazers but ever since I got on the Jokic bandwagon, Denver have been playing very well. They have some decent players – Galinari, Wilson Chandler, Kenneth Faried (whatever happened to him) and some players I root for – Mudiay, Jamal Murray, Gary Harris, Jameer Nelson (Jameer Nelson is still in the league!). Since they traded Nurkic, they’ve been flying. Plumlee has slotted in very well into the rotation(he also bleached his hair 0_o). They beat the clippers yesterday and they’re looking playoff ready.
Portland play well for a few games then get their mouth smashed in. See recent loss against New Orleans followed by a win against the Spurs. If they want to catch the streaking nuggets, they will have to be more consistent but I don’t think they have enough games left in the season. In other news, I was wrong about the Pelicans making a run for the playoffs. They messed with their chemistry and floor spacing by trading for Boogie and they’re flying into the lottery. I still believe Boogie and AD are too good not to figure it out. Watch out for them next season.
My chest feels infinitely lighter now.
Bon Weekend! 😉