Good afternoon everyone. All of my current sporting world predictions are 'in progress' as the NBA and NHL series for the current rounds are underway, so today I have the chance to touch on some specific sports topics. To start off, I am going to put a checkmark in the correct column regarding the NBA prediction that I made before the current season began. As soon as I looked at the Spurs schedule (my favorite team), I predicted here in the blog that this would be an injury-filled season of basketball, and that has been answered with a resounding YES by the league. The condensed schedule is still claiming players (and stars at that) with Derrick Rose and Chris Bosh being two of the more notable players to be sidelined. I'm really not surprised by the Pacers success in the Indiana/Miami series, as I had this series going to seven games even before the Bosh injury. Miami just does not have a deep team... Something that baffles me about the NBA scheduling this weekend is that after having played last night, now the Pacers and Heat do not play their next game until Sunday, while the Thunder and Lakers are being forced to play on back-to-back days???
I was watching ESPN yesterday (huge surprise) when I learned of the Major League Baseball wild-card format that is evidently going to be implemented this season for the playoffs (this idea is so absurd that I was actually wondering to myself if 'April Fools Day' had come late this year or something)... In a best-of-five format, the team who has the better record is going to have to open the series with 2 ROAD GAMES before returning home to host the third game (and games 4 and/or 5, if necessary). For having the poorer record of the two teams, your punishment is HOSTING a pair of games, TO OPEN THE SERIES... Really Bud, really??? Not only is this unfair from a competitive standpoint, but if the series does end in a sweep (by either team), the team that performed worse over the marathon 162-game schedule stands to make twice as much money at the gate, in concession sales, souvenir sales, etc... BRILLIANT! Just remember though, this is from the commissioner who brought you the All-Star Game that ended IN A TIE... Memo to Bud Selig: Get a clue...
In the hockey world, the Los Angeles Kings look OUTSTANDING... They have won the first three games in EVERY PLAYOFF SERIES that they have been involved in during this postseason. The Kings were the eighth-seed in the Western Conference and are now one win from advancing to the Stanley Cup Finals. Well done L.A.
The whole situation in the New Orleans football world continues to get more interesting. First, the Saints have failed to come to terms on a new contract with Drew Brees. They have the 'franchise tag' on Brees, so they can fail to negotiate with him if they want, and take the gamble that he really won't sit out this season (which is what they are apparently doing currently). It just seems ironic that they are being combative with the guy who turned their franchise around, the guy who rallied their city in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the guy who SHATTERED Dan Marino's single-season passing yardage record last season. Oh, and he led the Saints to a Super Bowl victory also (yeah, but they've been winning Super Bowls for YEARS in New Orleans, right???). Yeah... And now Jonathan Vilma is suing NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in New Orleans federal court for defamation (the league has failed to share any of the evidence that it collected regarding those allegedly involved in the 'bounty scandal'. Is it bad that I'm watching 'NFL Live' and 'NFL 32' on ESPN almost a full FOUR MONTHS before the start of the NFL regular season??? :)
I hope that you have a great weekend and I'll see you again on Monday!