Here we are at the Final Four for both the NBA and NHL and there are some intriguing matchups and story lines. Of course, LeBron, Ovie, and Sid the Kid are nowhere to be found; but playoffs are about who wins …..period. If you are one of those that laments these stars being gone, then you should petition the leagues to institute a BCS and just skip ahead to a Lakers/ Cavs final.
Personally, I love it when upsets happen and guys can make anything happen in the post-season. That being sad, you can’t really call Phoenix or Boston being where they are an upset; that word is reserved for the Eastern Conference hockey finals.
Coming off my Preakness picks I’m feeling good. I had Looking at Lucky with a big Win bet. I also had Jackson bend and Yawanna Twist hitting my board. I am a Sarah Palin fan, but this time I wish the” First Dude” had not had a good day. Drop him off the board and I would be RICH!!!!!!
Alright, with that buildup here comes my probably wrong NBA/NHL picks.
NHL EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
#7 Philadelphia Flyers vs. #8 Montreal Canadiens
Scorers: Mike Richards Mike Cammalleri
Danny Briere Tomas Plekanec
Chris Pronger Brian Gionta
Goalie: Michael Leighton Jaroslav Halak
What do you say when you have the 7 seed versus the 8 seed. Really, who knows; but in this case I will go against injuries and with hotness. Not looks, but hot play. The Flyers are still a little banged up and not using their number 1 goalie. The Canadiens have taken out the two biggest stars in the sport and have the hottest goalie. Not too mention that Cammalleri is out of his mind.
MY PICK: CANADIENS in 6
NHL WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
#1 San Jose Sharks vs. #2 Chicago Blackhawks
Scorers: Joe Thornton Johnathan Toews
Joe Pavelski Patrick Kane
Dany Heatley Patrick Sharp
Goalie: Evgeni Nabokov Antti Niemi
This is more what you expect from a conference finals. These teams are stacked with talent. Offense, defense, goaltending. You are hard pressed to find any real weaknesses. This series will probably determine the Stanley Cup champion, it very least will determine the favorite. I do like Nabokov over Niemi, and I just think it’s the Sharks time. I picked San Jose in my preseason blog, and I don’t think Thornton and Heatley will let me down now.
MY PICK: SHARKS in 7
NBA WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
#1 Los Angles Lakers vs. #3 Phoenix Suns
Starters: Andrew Bynum Channing Frye
Pau Gasol Amare Stoudamire
Ron Artest Grant Hill
Kobe Bryant Jason Richardson
Derek Fisher Steve Nash
Lets start with the negatives for LA. Fisher can in no way guard Nash. With some age and injuries it will tax them to keep up with the Suns. Outside of Odom their bench is not as potent as The Suns. This series will not be as easy for the Lakers as the Jazz were. Kobe will need to be big in the clutch. Gasol and Bynum absolutely must control the paint and put up big board numbers to keep the Suns from running too much. In the end I am not sure if Grant Hill can guard Kobe.
MY PICK: LAKERS in 6
NBA EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
#2 Orlando Magic vs. #4 Boston Celtics
Starters: Dwight Howard Kendrick Perkins
Rashard Lewis Kevin Garnett
Matt Barnes Paul Pierce
Vince Carter Ray Allen
Jameer Nelson Rajon Rondo
Orlando won in seven last year, but it is a whole different ball game this time. The Magic didn’t have Carter or Nelson in that series, but they did have Turkoglu; and the Celtics were without their leader Kevin Garnett. It seems that the Celtics really pulled off this year what many teams try. Coasting through the regular season, to be fresh for the playoffs. They looked incredibly sharp versus Cleveland. The Magic provide a different challenge. They really are a perimeter team. Rashard Lewis is ostensibly their power forward for god sake. He is primarily a three point shooter, but then so is most of their squad. They are playing great right now, but if the 3′s stop falling; Garnett and Perkins will be able to collapse on Howard. I think the Nelson/ Rondo matchup at point guard will hold the key to the series.
MY PICK: CELTICS in 6