The Cleveland Cavaliers sweep the Toronto Raptors in the playoffs. No seriously, did you think the Raptors had a chance? The Cavaliers own the Raptors, especially after LeBron James returned to the team. They are now 10-0 against the Raptors in the postseason and it’s a gentle reminder to the NBA’s Canadian team that the regular season stats don’t matter in the playoffs. Toronto had the Eastern Conference’s best record at 59-23
I wasn’t surprised that the Boston Celtics eliminated the Philadelphia 76ers either. Yes, I know that the 76ers became America’s Team in the NBA, but I honestly think their lack of postseason experience caught up with them. After all, this was their first playoff appearance since 2009. Joel Embiid did all he could, but Ben Simmons didn’t play his best ball against Al Horford, Jayson Tatum and Co as they bowed out 4-1. But what a great season by the 76ers nonetheless.
The West had Houston getting by a pretty good Utah Jazz team, but the Rockets had the better experience with MVP candidate James Harden and PG Chris Paul leading the way. They beat Donovan Mitchell and the Jazz 4-1 and will advance to their first Western Conference Finals since the Hakeem Olajuwon championship seasons. I give the Jazz credit though, they played better than I thought they would, especially since Gordon Heyward left.
Then there’s the defending NBA Champion Golden State Warriors, who tossed the New Orleans Pelicans aside like an old pair of shoes as they took the series 4-1. Steph Curry, Kevin Durant and Co. proved to be too much for Anthony Davis and Co. and they proved it.
So, the Eastern Conference Final pits the Cavs vs. the Celtics, a matchup that I know the media wanted. It’s a shame that Kyrie Irving can’t play. That plot surely would’ve thickened, and in my opinion, would’ve made the difference in this series. Sorry folks, Tatum, Horford and Co. aren’t a match for LeBron and Co and I predict the Cavs will beat the Celtics in 6.
The real battle will be in the Western Finals as Houston will face Golden State. I would like the Rockets to take this series and send the Warriors home, but I’m not so confident that it will happen, because the Warriors are on fire. I thought the San Antonio Spurs had a shot to beat them in the first round. Fat chance.
Kudos to Oklahoma City Thunder’s Nick Collison as he announced his retirement on Thursday. Collison played 15 seasons and although he wasn’t a superstar, he was consistent and played his entire career with one team, the Seattle Supersonics/OKC Thunder. Ok, technically that’s 2 teams, but so what. Here’s to you, Nick.
The NFL remains quiet post-draft, but the Ben Roethlisberger/Mason Rudolph is still trying to get some air as former Pittsburgh Steelers QB Tommy Maddox thinks that Big
Ben will treat Rudolph with respect and I agree. I mentioned this before, but I don’t think
he has a problem with Rudolph and eventually he will speak up about it.
I was sad when the Pittsburgh Penguins got eliminated, but the Washington Capitals were
the better team, and it was their time to get past the defending Stanley Cup Champions. Sidney Crosby and Matt Murray did their parts, but Phil Kessel and Jake Guentzel did not, in my opinion. Plus, the Penguins defense wasn’t good all season. But I honestly hope the Capitals and Alex Ovechkin gets past the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Former Pittsburgh Pirates Outfielder Andrew McCutchen will return to Pittsburgh this weekend to face the Pirates, his former team. He is truly missed and I’m still not speaking to the Pirates front office over it… (not that they’re listening anyway) but the team will do a video tribute for McCutchen Friday. Now that’s classy.
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