NBA Playoffs: First Round Predictions

By Matt Noonan

The NBA playoffs begin Saturday, so with that being said, here are Matt Noonan’s  predictions for the first round. 

Eastern Conference – First Round Predictions: 

(1) Chicago Bulls  vs. (8) Indiana Pacers – It is a great story to see the Indiana Pacers back in the NBA playoffs, but the Chicago Bulls are too talented of a team to lose this series. The Bulls finished with the best record in basketball, so expect their winning ways to continue. Chicago win the series, 4-1. 

(2) Miami Heat vs. (7) Philadelphia 76ers – Finally, the “Big-3” will get to play in their first playoff game together, but hopefully there won’t be any tears in the locker room, but who knows? Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra should have no problem leading his team past an up and coming 76ers squad coached by the great Doug Collins. Also, expect LeBron James to say to his teammates prior to tip-off, “give me the ball if you want to win at least one series.” James and the Heat will win this series. Miami wins the series, 4-2. 

(3) Boston Celtics vs. (6) New York Knicks – No Kendrick Perkins, no problem. The Celtics will hopefully find themselves in this series, but expect this matchup to possibly go six or seven games. Amare Stoudemire told the New York media last summer that the Knicks were beginning a “new era.” Sadly, this “new era” should end with a playoff loss, but at least the Knicks are headed in the right direction. Boston wins the series, 4-2. 

(4) Orlando Magic vs. (5) Atlanta Hawks – Why does it seem that every year these two teams always meet in the playoffs? How much do you want to bet that both the Hawks and Magic have dinner, practice and hang out together too? Would Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy even allow that to happen? I doubt it!  Orlando wins the series, 4-2. 

Western Conference – First Round Predictions: 

(1) San Antonio Spurs vs. (8) Memphis Grizzlies – San Antonio has clearly been one of the better teams all season, but now the age factor is catching up with them, but against the Grizzlies, consider this an easy first round series. San Antonio wins the series, 4-0. 

(2) Los Angles Lakers vs. (7) New Orleans Hornets – After winning the 2010 NBA Championship, the Lakers were picked to repeat and face the Boston Celtics again.Boring! However, both teams have struggled, but with Andrew Bynum somewhat banged up and Los Angles’s age becoming a factor, expect the Hornets to challenge the old men, but in the end, the men who wear the purple and gold jerseys should win. Los Angles wins the series, 4-2. 

(3) Dallas Mavericks vs. (6) Portland Trail Blazers – Talk about a true toss-up, either team could win this series. The Trail Blazers have had their moments all season, while the Mavericks looked like a pretty good team at times. However, after watching Dirk Nowitzki dance on YouTube, I may have to go with the underdog to win this series. Portland wins the series, 4-3. 

(4) Oklahoma City Thunder vs. (5) Denver Nuggets – Denver is an absolute mess these days and after trading away half their team to New York, it seems they imitated the Boston Celtics of 2010, who see-sawed their way to the finish line last year. Kevin Durant will shine in this series, as well as lead Oklahoma past Denver, so get excited Thunder fans. Maybe Denver should focus on the Colorado Rockies, who are playing quite well these days. Oklahoma wins the series, 4-2. 

Daily Noontime – April 11, 2011

Happy Monday to everyone and let’s make sure to have another fantastic week. The sports world is getting exciting these days, especially since the playoffs are about to begin, but in the meantime, here is today’s news, headlines and video of the day!

Headlines:

* The Washington Capitals maybe one of the top teams in the NHL’s Eastern Conference, but don’t pick them to automatically win against the New York Rangers.

* It’s certainly possible, but according to one possible source, the Buffalo Sabres should be the team that wins the Stanley Cup.

* Something happened to Josh Beckett on Sunday, as he and the Boston Red Sox finally swept their first series of 2011 against the New York Yankees.

* How about the Chicago Bulls on Sunday? Pretty impressive, right? Derrick Rose led the team with 39 points and in the end, they defeated the Orlando Magic, 102-99.

* Denver Nuggets Ty Lawson did something special on Sunday, he sank 10 3-pointers in a row.

Charl Schwartzel earned the honorary green jacket on Sunday, as he officially won the Masters.

Games to Watch:

* Miami at Atlanta (NBA) – 7:00pm eastern

* Orlando at Philadelphia (NBA) – 7:00pm eastern

* Tampa Bay at Boston (MLB) – 7:10pm eastern

* Oakland at Chicago White Sox (MLB) – 8:10pm eastern

* Toronto at Seattle (MLB) – 10:10pm eastern

Video of the Day:

It doesn’t happen often, but when one NBA player sinks 10 3-pointers in one game, it’s certainly special.


Perry: Thoughts on the Carmelo-Knicks Deal

By Bobby Perry

After months of speculation, Carmelo Anthony has officially been traded to the New York Knicks. Not only did New York acquire the perennial all-star, but also Chauncey Billups, Anthony Carter, Renaldo Balkman and Shelden Williams.

The Knicks gave up a lot of potential to make this trade happen. New York said “good bye” to Amare Stoudemire’s “Robin,” point guard Raymond Felton, as well as the 6-foot 10-inch forward, Danilo Gallinari, who experienced success by shooting the ball from all angles of the court. They also lost a versatile forward, Wilson Chandler, who had the ability to score the basketball in a variety of ways and rookie center Timofey Mozgov.

Now New York fans have “Melo-fever.” Anthony, who is one of the most natural scorers in the NBA has been acquired, but how much of an impact will he make for the remainder of the season?

The Knicks are currently ranked sixth in the Eastern Conference and will begin the second half of their season Wednesday, when they host the Milwaukee Bucks, but again, getting back to the question, the answer seems to be unknown at this point.  Many Knicks fans are looking forward to the summer of 2011, when All-Star point guards Chris Paul and Deron William will most likely become free agents and walk away from their current teams or expiring contracts. The Knicks general manager, Donnie Walsh will likely hopefully snag one of these “stud floor generals” in order to form yet another, “Big Three.”

With constant disputes over the league’s new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) the thoughts of acquiring a big name lead guard is possible, but doesn’t seem likely. Although, rather than worry about the summer, it is important to focus on the final regular season games for the New York Knicks, who haven’t won a championship in years.

Overall, how would one feel about the Knicks trade? I’m not sure, but it certainly should create a lot of buzz for the final few months of the NBA season.

Noontime Sports the Podcast – Noonan/Libon (2/22/11)

Matt Noonan and Dan Libon hosted Noontime Sports the Podcast on Tuesday February 22, 2011, to discuss the recent NBA trade, which involved the New York Knicks acquiring Denver Nuggets “swingman,” Carmelo Anthony.

Also, special thanks to all the fans who commented on the trade, we did indeed mention them on the podcast.

The Power Has Shifted – Carmelo Anthony is a New York Knick

According to sources, Carmelo Anthony is now officially a member of the New York Knicks.

Here is how the trade played out for both Denver and New York:

Denver Nuggets: The following players have been acquired. Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari and Timofey Mozgov. The Nuggets also received the Knicks first round pick in 2014, the Golden State Warriors 2012 second round pick and 2013 second round pick, as well as an additional $3 million.

New York Knicks: The following players have been acquired. Chauncey Billups, Shelden Williams, Anthony Carter and Renadlo Balkman.

The Knicks are currently slated as the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference and will begin the second half of the NBA season on Wednesday, when they host the Milakwauke Bucks. They’ll travel to Cleveland on Friday to face the Cavaliers before taking on the Miami Heat in Florida on Sunday at 8pm eastern.