The NBA basketball playoffs are in full swing and will be closing in on a final two by month’s end. Will it be a finals rematch of the Heat and the Spurs? It’s way too early yet to tell. The East has a couple of new contenders not usually seen in the playoffs. The Brooklyn Nets and the Washington Wizards. That’s right, the Washington Wizards.
Once a league doormat, it has been years since this franchise has even had a sniff of the playoffs. Not since the then-named Baltimore Bullets made run at the title back in the 1970s with Wes Unseld and Earl “the Pearl” Monroe.
This year’s version is a threat and has a good chance of knocking off the vaunted, but troubled, Indiana Pacers. As of Tuesday, the Wizards have performed their second round magic by taking a 1-0 lead over the Pacers by knocking off the discombobulated Indiana club on its home court. By the third quarter, a lot of the seats in the Indianapolis arena were empty. Fans had given up hope and abandoned the Pacers to their own resolve or lack thereof.
Washington in six.
Miami must wade through a second round match-up with the talented, but old Brooklyn Nets. The Nets have owned the Heat, winning all four regular season contests, but the playoffs should be a different story. The Nets are coming off a tough seven-game series, and the Heat have had over a week to rest and game plan for a team that beat them, barely, during the regular season. Three of the season tilts were won by the Nets by one point and the other went to overtime before a winner was decided.
The Heat are in their playoff mode. LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosch want another title to hang in the rafters and to post on their resumes.
The Nets will counter with aging former superstars Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett and Darren Williams, but it won’t be enough.
Heat in five.
In the West, it’s looking like a dogfight down to the finals. The Clippers, the Spurs, the Trailblazers and the Thunder all can be considered to make the finals. The Clippers easily handled the Thunder on Oklahoma City’s home court on Monday night behind the crazy shooting exhibition from Chris Paul.
The Spurs and the Trailblazers meet tonight (Tuesday) as I am writing this. If the old-timers in silver and black play like they did in game seven against the Mavericks, the Spurs should meet the Clippers or Thunder in the West finals. Got to go with the Spurs making it to the NBA finals against the Heat in that much awaited rematch. But this time, hopefully, it will be a different outcome. The Spurs, I feel, want it more.
And, there’s Major League Baseball entering its second month of the season, the Kentucky Derby just ran in front of 165,000 people at Churchill Downs with the rest of the Triple Crown to follow.
Almost forgot, the much (really too much) talked about NFL draft is scheduled to begin on May 8. I’ll be glad its over. But, then we have to listen to the next six to eight weeks of rehashing and analyzing the draft picks of the various clubs. What team got it right and what team didn’t.
The Texans are in a great position with the first pick. The Cowboys are in their usual mid-first round situation and I look to Jerry Jones to make it interesting.
Enjoy the month. Oh, and the NHL is also in the midst of their season ending playoffs, if you like hockey.