Posts Tagged ‘Boston’

It’s time once again for postseason greatness in the NBA.

Here are the Eastern Conference series:

(1) Miami Heat vs (8) Milwaukee Bucks

(2) New York Knicks vs (7) Boson Celtics

(3) Indiana Pacers vs (6) Atlanta Hawks

(4) Brooklyn Nets vs (5) Chicago Bulls

Break Downs and Predictions:

(1) Heat vs (8) Bucks:

image

This series hardly requires any breaking down. Simply put, the Miami Heat are out of the Bucks’ league.

It’s possible that the Bucks may come within ten points of the Heat in one or two of the games, but even that is being optimistic.

Prediction – Miami wins series 4-0

(2) Knicks vs (7) Celtics:

image

Much like the “2-vs-7” match-up in the West between the Spurs and Lakers, this series is very likely going to the final seventh game.

The New York Knicks have seen MVP level play from star Forward Carmelo Anthony and stellar support from J.R. Smith and Tyson Chandler.

The Celtics have been coping with the loss of All-Star Point Guard Rajon Rondo to an ACL injury. Stepping up to fill the void has been Avery Bradley. Forward Jeff Green has provided much needed scoring and will likely be the “X-factor” in the Knicks series.

Because both teams have formidable scoring threats as well as defensive abilities, I would give the edge to the better head coach. Doc Rivers is one of, if not the best coach in the East.

Prediction – Boston wins series 4-3

image

(3) Pacers vs (6) Hawks:

They should call this series the “under-the-radar” series.

Both the Indiana Pacers and Atalanta Hawks have done simply just enough over the course of the season to make the playoffs without turning many heads or making any waves.

This strategy worked well for the Pacers last season as they proved the first real test on the Heat’s road to their championship, nearly stealing the series while Dwyane Wade struggled and Chris Bosh recovered from injury.

The Hawks pose no such threat to the Pacers who, even without Danny Granger, should handle Atlanta without much issue.

Prediction – Indiana wins series 4-2

(4) Nets vs (5) Bulls:

image

The Chicago Bulls surely thought they’d be going into the first round of the playoffs this season with a healthy Derrick Rose, who tore his ACL in the first round of last year’s playoffs.

That, however, is not their reality as Rose continues his rehab months after being cleared by team doctors to return to action.

The Brooklyn Nets pose a large challenge for the shorthanded Bulls with All-Star Center Brook Lopez and elite Point Guard Deron Williams enjoying home court advantage.

The biggest chance the Bulls stand at beating the Nets is by exploiting their physical play. The X-factors for Chicago will be Joakim Noah and Nate Robinson.

Prediction – Chicago wins series 4-3

That wraps up the Eastern Conference first round match-ups. Can’t wait to see how it turns out.

Advertisements

“I think you show them that we’re not backing down. We’re not scared of them, them and their $180 million payroll, we don’t care.”

These comments came from Orioles‘ relieving pitcher Kevin Gregg during his post-game interview.

The events leading up to these comments? Well, for starters, let’s look at the reason why Gregg was a part of the game in the first place. The Red Sox put up 8 runs on the Orioles in the first inning, clearly warranting a pitching change and leading to Baltimore’s decision to go “NHL” on Boston.

As hockey fans know, when one team gets a sizable lead on the other and loses control of the momentum, a fight is comin’. Not only will a fight pull attention from the game, giving the losing team a chance to steal back the momentum, it’s also a great way to take some frustration out on the opponent.

Well, with designated hitter David Ortiz at the plate in the bottom of the 8th, Boston up 10-3, Gregg throws 3 straight pitches inside (with the third pitch clearly thrown at Ortiz’ body). Ortiz took exception to that third pitch, approaching the mound, pointing angrily at Gregg and inciting a mild clearing of the benches. Both Ortiz and Gregg received warnings but were allowed to remain in the game.

Then came the fourth pitch.

Ortiz popped the fourth pitch up and Gregg took it upon himself to waive Ortiz down the first base line, upset that Ortiz didn’t sprint to first on a weak pop fly (apparently Kevin has never seen “Big Papi” make a less-than-100% effort in running to first). You can guess what happened then.

Ortiz charged the mound and the two men shoved each other a few times before Gregg threw the first actual punch (which missed). The benches cleared for real this time and Ortiz took a swing right back at Gregg (which also hit air), and both teams shoved and grabbed and yapped.

In the end, four players total were ejected from the game and Boston went on to win 10-3.

The post-game comments were anything but subtle or kind.

Gregg, as referenced earlier, focused his comments on Boston “…think(ing) they’re better than everybody else,” and that the Red Sox’/Ortiz’ reaction to his inside pitching was only his exercising his “…right to play the game here.”

Red Sox starting pitcher Josh Beckett clearly saw things differently, calling Gregg’s actions retaliation for going down 8 runs in the first inning. I think there’s something to that.

You pitch way inside three straight times on a star slugger to compensate for lack of success in the game and then mouth off to him after he pops out, you can’t justify venting your loser frustrations after the game too.

The Orioles may not be scared of the Red Sox or their $180 Mil. payroll, but they sure do care, ‘cuz I’ll bet ya none of the Red Sox know what the Orioles’ payroll is, or care about how the Orioles’ players will spend their time while not playing in the playoffs.

“That’s a grand slam!!! Kalish will touch em all! … He got a 3-1 pitch and just murdered it!” – (name unknown) red sox radio announcer
When I heard this on “ESPN late night radio” I got so excited for my Sox.
This Kalish kid was called up due to numerous injuries to the Red Sox starters including Jacoby Ellisbury, Dustin Pedroia, etc. and he has been makin plays!!! Cartwheel diving catches, great hitting and base running, and now grand slams against good division rivals Tampa Bay Rays.
If we can stay healthy next season, we will be a contender!

Written by Dan Condie