Thursday, June 5, 2008

NBA Finals Preview!


So, I am going to take a break from my 4-part series for a moment to take a look into the NBA Finals which kicks off tonight! As I am sure everyone knows by now, the Finals wil pit the Boston Celtics and the LA Lakers with Boston having the home-court advantage in a 2-3-2 format.

After doing some research, it appears a lot of the so-called experts are predicting the Lakers to win in either 5 or 6 games. Did I miss something? Did the Celtics not have the best record in all of basketball this past season? Sure, they have played 5 more playoff games than the Lakers and absolutely did the Atlanta Hawks make the Celtics look pretty damn vulnerable. But if you want to compare previous playoff matchups, I would have the say the Lakers had a bit of an easier task than did the Celtics. The Nuggets play absolutely ZERO defense, and seemingly backed their way into the playoffs. Let's be serious, the Jazz were never a legitimate contender in the West and failed to offer any real offensive threat. The Lakers did make the Spurs look like anything but a defending champion to their credit.

Let's take a brief look, position by position at the matchups going into Game 1...

Derek Fisher v. Rajon Rondo
Fisher definitely provides the experience and the clutch shooting, while Rondo provides explosiveness and has impressed a lot of people by how much he has improved his game through out the season. However, I think Fisher with the Finals experience will be the better player in the series. Advantage: Fisher

Kobe Bryant v. Ray Allen
Well Kobe Bryant is the best player in the league right now, basically enough said. Ray Allen is a classic sniper and when his shot is on, he's one of the best shooters of all time from beyond the arc. The problem is IF Allen is on, and even then Kobe is not the league MVP for nothing.
Advantage: Bryant

Vladimir Radmonavic v. Paul Pierce
Radmonavic is an outside shooter, who should not be more than a 3-point specialist off the bench role player, does not offer much for the Lakers. Pierce aka "The Truth", has undoubtably been the emotional leaders of the Boston Three Party and the Celtics. Pierce provides great defense and seems to be the go to guy when the game is on the line for the Celtics.
Advantage: Pierce

Lamar Odom v. Kevin Garnett
I do believe that Odom is one of the most underrated players in the NBA, and could basically be labeled as the X Factor for the Lakers. Odom can provide 20 points, 10 boards, and 5 assists on any given night with some sound defense. Garnett is much the same in that he provides everything for the Celtics and that also includes top flight defense and a presence that scares many from coming through the paint.
Advantage: Garnett

Pau Gasol v. Kendrick Perkins
Gasol was arguably the biggest steal of the season and has been the perfect compliment to MVP Kobe Bryant. Kendrick Perkins has improved by leaps and bounds this year and has given the Celtics exactly what they needed from a young player like him. Gasol will prove to be one of the key players in the series.
Advantage: Gasol

After breaking down the series position by position, it would appear the Lakers have the edge, not to mention when you factor coaching and Phil Jackson versus Doc Rivers. I think it terms of a bench, the group of Turiaf, Farmar, Vujacic, and Walton compare similarily to Posey, Brown, Big Baby and Cassell. I will have to also note that the Celtics bench does have some Finals experience to help compensate for the lack of experience from the big three.


Why 7 games? Well I think this has been one of the most entertaining and best NBA seasons in a while and I figure why not end the season on a classic historical 7 game matchup, with the Celts prevailing (And yes I was not sipping the green kool-aid early on).

Who do ya got in the Finals? Comment Below.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Top 10: NFL Players I would pay to see...

Here is part 3 of the series of players I would pay to see, ranging from 10 down to 1 in order. This particular post deals with National Football League players and this list was a bit difficult because of the quantity of players in the League.


10. Vince Young QB Tennessee Titans

09. Brian Westbrook RB Philadelphia Eagles

08. Devin Hester KR/WR Chicago Bears

07. Adrian Peterson RB Minnesota Vikings

06. Terrell Owens WR Dallas Cowboys

05. Tom Brady QB New England Patriots

04. Peyton Manning QB Indianapolis Colts

03. Randy Moss WR New England Patriots

02. Chad Johnon WR Cincinatti Bengals

01. LaDainian Tomlinson RB San Diego Chargers

I will admit that the NFL was very difficult to pin down in terms of athletes I would pay to see. Football is such a team sport that it is hard to really only watch one player. Interesting to note that no defensive player popped into my head when running down the teams and really I just picked from the Offensive "skill" positions.

What NFL players would you most want to see?

Comment Below.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Top 10: MLB Players I would pay to see...

So this is part 2 of the series of players I would pay to see, ranging from 10 down to 1 in order. This particular post deals with Major League Baseball players and I will admit it was a bit more difficult than the NBA list. Also, this list does not include any pitchers.


10. Albert Pujols 1B St. Louis Cardinals

09. Hanley Ramirez SS Florida Marlins

08. Jimmy Rollins SS Philadelphia Phillies

07. David Ortiz DH Boston Red Sox

06. Ichiro CF Seattle Mariners

05. Alex Rodriguez 3B New York Yankees (One of the all-time greats)

04. Vladimir Guerrero RF LA Angels (A personal favorite of mine)

03. Manny Ramirez LF Boston Red Sox (you never know what Manny will do)

02. Chase Utley 2B Philadelphia Phillies (yes a little hometown bias, but he is the best 2B in the game)

01. Ken Griffey Jr. RF Cincinnati Reds (it's hard to argue this one)

There you have it, the top 10 MLB players I would pay the price of admission to see no matter what players surround them on the diamond.

I would love to hear who is on your list of players you would pay to see. Do Comment Below.