NBA Playoffs: 2nd Round Outlook

With a stellar 7 out of 8 first round predictions correct, and being pretty close on the length of the series, we now take a look at the second round series. Just like my first predictions, the picks have not changed. Even though most of the series have started.

Eastern Conference

Heat vs. Pacers

For once, I would like a team that talks a bunch of nonsense to have proven themselves before they go running their mouths. Rather than criticize the style of play of arguably the best team in the league. I think this only motivates the Heat even more, even though after hearing the comments LeBron, Wade, Bosh and Coach Spo, all brushed it aside. Of course the Heat flop, EVERY TEAM IN THE NBA FLOPS. Unfortunately, this has become a huge flaw in the NBA, but that is a whole different situation. I think making a run like the Heat did last year helps them and benefits them.

Pick: Heat in 6

Celtics vs 76ers

The 76ers played fantastic in the first round, granted the Bulls were without Rose. However, they are still a young team and the Celtics are proven. There is no need to elaborate the accomplishments of the B. Rondo will dominate the flow of the game like he usually does and take the Celtics to the Conference Finals.

Pick: Celtics in 6


Western Conference

Spurs vs. Clippers

This is a very intriguing series, it could be given the title “Old School vs New School”. A boring team with tremendous  talent, pitted against a team full of highlight reel players. I think this is going to be a fantastic and drawn out series. It will be interesting to see the pace of the game, and who dominates that. Whoever does that will obviously win the series, but I think that the Clippers are still 1 year away.

Pick: Spurs in 7

Lakers vs. Thunder

Just like the other Western Conference series, this one could have its own title “The Passing of the Torch”. This is going to be the best series out of the four that are being played. There is the best scorer in the NBA right now against the most dominant player of the last decade. Among other story lines that this series has is the play of both teams bigs. Whether or not Pau and Bynum will show up in this series is yet to be determined as they both play like a furnace in the spring time, on and off. Also, the James Harden vs Ron Artest (he earned that name back with that childish move). I think the torch is passed in this series and Durant out duels Kobe.

Pick: Thunder in 7


Author: Zach Tanton


Its Time to Quit

It’s time to leave them alone, we’re not in there shoes and haven’t lived the life that they have, so who are we to criticize? Have I done this before, you bet your sweet ass I have. I do it all the time, especially with a select few athletes. Sure its easy to sit behind a computer screen or a TV, and bitch about how players don’t do this or don’t do that, or how they handled a certain situation. What people need to do, not only in sports but in everyday life, is look at the positive things they do.

Was the way LeBron James handled his free agency departure from the Cavs wrong? In a way yes and no. People forget about the fact that he raised 2.5 million dollars for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. Anytime this is brought up I am quick to respond with that fact. Being a huge LeBron fan this is always something that I love debating. Why? Because I am able to see both sides. I do not agree with how he handled it and it completely changed his game for a entire season. He could’ve handled the situation differently,  but in the end he raised a ton of money for a great organization.

The most talked about pro athlete in all of sports, a crazed trend is named after him and numerous rumors off the field criticizing his lifestyle. If you haven’t guessed who it is, it is none other than Timothy Richard Tebow. Do I think he is a great quarterback. Hell no. Do I think he is a great football player? Yes. The guy knows the game, he knows how to play it and he knows how to win football games. He is one of the best athletes to have as a role model. He puts his heart and soul into every down, every quarter, every game. Sure, he isn’t the best quarterback in the NFL and the stats prove it, however, the guy wins football games and is a tremendous human being. Just because the man states his religion and how he talks about God pisses people off but he should not draw criticism because of them. Everyone is entitled to the right guaranteed by the first amendment, free speech that is. Next time you want to criticize him or his lifestyle think about this, would you rather have a guy like Tebow on your team and the face of your franchise or a guy like Charles Rogers. I’m pretty sure everyone would take Tebow. Its not a great comparison, but it gets the point a crossed.

The situation that has pissed me off the most in recently in sports is really one that hits hard and brings out the ugliness that is still around in 2012. I’m a little late in response to the situation, but it goes hand in hand with this. When Joel Ward scored the game winning goal for the Capitals in game 7 against Boston, Twitter absolutely erupted with racial tweets directed at him. Ward being one of the select few African-American hockey players in the NHL, I think made that goal that much more special. I mean think about it, hockey is a sport predominately played by white athletes and only a handful of African-Americans. This is one of those situations where kids can look at Ward and think, “Hey, if he can play in the NHL. Why can’t I do it too”. The fact that Twitter erupted like that really made me realize that people are so accustomed the status quo, that one minor change can have a huge impact. Think about it, if a white player scored that goal, its just another game winning goal, but when a African-American scores, its like it’s the end of the world. There is no room for this in sports or the world. Period.

Finally, probably the most scrutinized athlete in recent years, Eldrick Tont “Tiger” Woods. By no means am I condoning what he did, but I mean come on, he made a mistake, and he admitted it. Now leave the man alone and let him get back to living a “normal” life. Everyone is quick to judge, especially when it comes to him. Sure, his golf game hasn’t been the same since the incident happened, but let me ask this: Have you ever played golf? Do you know what it takes to actually get out on the course and shoot what he shoots? I can tell you one thing, I sure as hell can’t. I love the game of golf and I root for Tiger in any tournament that he plays in, but I will never criticize anything he does on the course. Unless you are a swing coach or a golf pro, no one has any room to talk. He made a mistake, a big mistake, but he is human just like the rest of us. People forget that when looking at any celebrity or athlete. Also, if you are an avid golf fan and hate Tiger, think about this: Where would golf be without Tiger Woods? I can answer that for you, it sure as hell wouldn’t be as popular as it is today.

In closing, I will leave all you fantastic readers with one last thing. If you were in any athletes shoes, do you think that you would be able to handle all the baggage that comes along with it? If the answer is yes, well then I applaud you. If you are on the fence or say no, well then think about this the next time you criticize a professional athlete.

You stay classy……………..readers.


Author: Zachary Tanton