Saturday, December 19, 2009

Let's go bowling!

The college football bowl game season is upon us, and I figured I would do something crazy like throw out some guesses for the scores of each game. Then I saw an article that did the same thing. So although it was not my intention to compare how I do with my picks relative to how an "expert" does, that will be a byproduct of this post.

If you have any picks for any or all bowls, leave a comment or send your picks in an email. I can put it up as a guest post if you would like.

New Mexico: Fresno State 34, Wyoming 17
St. Petersburg: Rutgers 31, UCF 24
R&L Carriers New Orleans: Southern Miss 35, Middle Tenn. St. 27
MAACO Las Vegas Oregon State 28, BYU 24
San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia: Utah 24, California 21
Sheraton Hawaii: Nevada 38, SMU 28
Emerald: USC 24, Boston College 17
Meineke Car Care: Pittsburgh 27, North Carolina 20
Little Caesars (!): Marshall 28 Ohio 24
Gaylord Hotels Music City: Clemson 24, Kentucky 14
Independence: Georgia 24, Texas A&M 17
Champs Sports: Miami 34, Wisconsin 20
EagleBank: UCLA 23, Temple 17
Pacific Life Holiday: Arizona 17, Nebraska 13
Roady's Humanitarian: Idaho 34 Bowling Green 28
Texas: Missouri 35, Navy 14
Bell Helicopter Armed Forces: Houston 42, Air Force 28
Brut Sun: Stanford 27, Oklahoma 21
Insight: Minnesota 28, Iowa State 10
Chick-fil-A: Virginia Tech 31, Tennessee 20
Outback: Auburn 20, Northwestern 17
Capital One: LSU 27, Penn State 17
Konica Minolta Gator: West Virginia 31, Florida State 20
Rose presented by Citi: Oregon 24, Ohio State 21
Allstate Sugar: Florida 30, Cincinnati 21
AT&T Cotton: Oklahoma State 24, Mississippi 21
AutoZone Liberty: East Carolina 24, Arkansas 20
International: South Florida 30, Northern Illinois 7 South Carolina 27, Connecticut 17
Valero Alamo: Texas Tech 38, Michigan State 21
Tostitos Fiesta: TCU 38, Boise State 20
FedEx Orange: Georgia Tech 17, Iowa 14
GMAC: Troy 24, Central Michigan 21
Citi National Championship: Alabama 31, Texas 21

2009-10 NBA award winner predictions

This is the third annual "post like this" I am doing. Bear with me.

MVP - It would be fun to go with somewhat of a darkhorse pick here, maybe Brandon Roy, or even Tony Parker, or a slightly less darkhorse pick like Carmelo Anthony. Realistically, though, it will probably be one of the top 5 candidates from last year -- LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, Dwight Howard or Chris Paul. I will go with a pretty generic/universal pick here: LeBron James.

Rookie of the Year - Right before the season started, it was announced that Clippers forward and No. 1 overall pick Blake Griffin would be on the shelf with an injury for six weeks. I really have/had some big expectations for him, so I tried to convince myself that he mightcould win Rookie of the Year anyway. I couldn't convince myself. And more than six weeks have already passed. It looks like it'll be a battle between the Bucks' Brandon Jennings and the Kings' Tyreke Evans. My pick: Tyreke Evans

Defensive Player of the Year - From here on down until the end of the post, this predicting process gets a lot more difficult. We'll go with Dwight Howard repeating last year's DPOY performance.

Sixth Man - I'll go for Jason Terry, which would be another repeat, along with Howard and James. But you can't count out new Atlanta Hawk Jamal Crawford or previous winners Manu Ginobili and Leandro Barbosa.

Most Improved - The winner of this award is usually somebody who gets more opportunities than he did in the previous season--not necessarily someone whose skills drastically improve, although that is sometimes the case. This could mean a young player on a young team or someone who will get more opportunities because of injuries, etc. Someone for the Rockets (Ariza, Scola, Brooks, Landry?) or Kings (Jason Thompson, Donte Greene, Spencer Hawes?) could win. A talented youngster on a middling-to-bad team could win it. Think Anthony Randolph of Golden State. OK, that's my pick. Anthony Randolph.

Coach of the Year - This award generally goes to a coach of a team that exceeds expectations or improves tremendously from the previous season. Scott Brooks of the OKC Thunder comes to mind because his team should be improved. But I will take Rick Adelman of the injury-ravaged Rockets. They'll be competitive even without some of their stars.

Friday, December 18, 2009

2010 preliminary playoff predictions

I'm finally moving on from the regular-season portion of my early predictions (those last two posts took waaay too long) and delving into some early playoff picks. Remember, this is sort of like a season preview except we're more than a quarter of the way into this thing.

First Round
(1) Boston Celtics defeat (8) Toronto Raptors
(2) Orlando Magic def. (7) Philadelphia 76ers
(3) Cleveland Cavaliers def. (6) Chicago Bulls
(4) Atlanta Hawks def. (5) Miami Heat. If this first-round rematch occurs, expect the same result: four Atlanta victories.

(1) Los Angeles Lakers def. (8) New Orleans Hornets
(2) San Antonio Spurs def. (7) Phoenix Suns. Wouldn't it be funny to see these two teams hook up again after all their recent playoff battles (2003, '05, '07, '08--all won by the Spurs)?
(3) Portland Trail Blazers def. (6) Utah Jazz
(4) Denver Nuggets def. (5) Dallas Mavericks. These teams met in the second round in '09.

Conference Semifinals
(1) Boston Celtics def. (4) Atlanta Hawks
(2) Orlando Magic def. (3) Cleveland Cavaliers. Rematch of Eastern finals.

(1) Los Angeles Lakers def. (4) Denver Nuggets. Rematch of Western finals.
(2) San Antonio Spurs def. (3) Portland Trail Blazers

Conference Finals
(2) Orlando Magic def. (1) Boston Celtics. This one is basically a coin flip for me, but it seems Boston has a more injury-prone team, so I gave the edge to the Magic. Orlando beat Boston in the 2nd round last season, but Garnett did not play in that series.

(1) Los Angeles Lakers def. (2) San Antonio Spurs. Battle of the top franchises of the decade.

NBA Finals
Los Angeles Lakers def. Orlando Magic. I wouldn't be surprised to see a rematch of either of the last two Finals (L.A. vs. either Orlando or Boston). Hollywood repeats its title.