Noontime’s NBA Playoff Predictions

Indiana Pacers vs. Cleveland Cavaliers

LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers will certainly be a team to watch in the Eastern Conference Playoffs. (PHOTO CREDIT: Sports Illustrated)

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11) 

The 2018 N.B.A. Playoffs officially begin tomorrow – yes, welcome to the postseason, basketball fans!

This is one of my favorite postseasons to follow – I do also enjoy playoff hockey as well, but playoff basketball is something I could watch all the time. So, without further ado, here are my predictions for the upcoming N.B.A. playoffs, enjoy!

Care to agree or disagree? Send me a tweet @MattNoonan11 and make sure to stay connected with Noontime Sports’ basketball Twitter (@Noontime_Hoops) 


First Round (Eastern Conference) 

No. 1 Toronto vs. No. 8 Washington

Prediction: Toronto (Six Games)

No. 2 Boston vs. No. 7 Milwaukee 

Prediction: Boston (Seven Games)

No. 3 Philadelphia vs. No. 6 Mami 

Prediction: Philadelphia (Six Games)

No. 4 Cleveland vs. No. 5 Indiana 

Prediction: Cleveland (Six Games)


First Round (Western Conference)

No. 1 Houston vs. No. 8 Minnesota 

Prediction: Houston (Five Games)

No. 2 Golden State vs. No. 7 San Antonio 

Prediction: Golden State (Six Games)

No. 3 Portland vs. No. 6 New Orleans 

Prediction: Portland (Six Games)

No. 4 Oklahoma City vs. No. 5 Utah 

Prediction: Oklahoma City (Six Games)


Semifinals (Eastern Conference)

No. 1 Toronto vs. No. 4 Cleveland 

Prediction: No. 4 Cleveland (Six Games)

No. 2 Boston vs. No. 3 Philadelphia

Prediction: No. 3 Philadelphia (Six Games)


Semifinals (Western Conference

No. 1 Houston vs. No. 4 Oklahoma City

Prediction: No. 1 Houston (Six Games)

No. 2 Golden State vs. No. 3 Portland 

Prediction: No. 3 Portland (Seven Games)


Eastern Conference Finals 

No. 3 Philadelphia vs. No. 4 Cleveland 

Prediction: No. 4 Cleveland (Seven Games)


Western Conference Finals

No. 1 Houston vs. No. 3 Portland

Prediction: No. 1 Houston (Six Games)


N.B.A. Finals

No. 1 Houston vs. No. 4 Cleveland

No. 4 Cleveland (Seven Games)

Noonan: The Celtics Exceeded Expectations, But Are On The Path To Contend For ‘Banner No. 18’

NBA: Boston Celtics at Detroit Pistons

Isaiah Thomas and the Boston Celtics are close to becoming title contenders for the next few seasons. (PHOTO CREDIT: CSNNE.com)

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11) 

As we all know, the Boston Celtics overachieved this season, taking that ‘so-called’ next-step with an impressive Game 7 win earlier this week against the Washington Wizards to secure a spot in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Players like Isaiah Thomas, Al Horford, Jaylen Brown, Avery Bradley and yes, Kelly Olynyk, have made impressive contributions for the Green and White over the past few weeks.

However, we all know this crew is not ready to contend with LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Instead, we, the Celtics fans, have witnessed another brick being added to the foundation. Danny Ainge’s process is slowly coming to fruition, which means the Green and White are inching closer to their ultimate goal of ‘banner number 18.’

It will come, I promise, but it won’t be this season. Maybe it will be next season or the year after, but the Celtics, who certainly exceeded expectations this spring, have proven they deserve a spot at the ‘big boys’ table with Cleveland, Golden State and San Antonio.

And while the outcome of this current series certainly favors the Cavaliers – yes, Cleveland dominated the opening game last night, downing the Celtics, 117-104 – Boston must at-least show some fight to keep the excitement on Causeway Street going into next season.

What the Celtics do following the Cleveland series is an unknown. Yes, there have been speculation, thoughts, tweets and opinions about the Green and White dealing their number one pick or perhaps luring Paul George or Gordon Hayward to Boston, but nothing is official.

If I were Danny Ainge, I would consider trading the top pick or perhaps selecting Markelle Fultz (Washington) or Lonzo Ball (UCLA). I would also be open to welcoming drafting Josh Johnson (Kansas) or Jayson Tatum (Duke) to Boston, too.

For now, just like many of you, I am going to enjoy this current run by the C’s. Yes, it maybe painful at time – who doesn’t want to see Thomas and his teammates defeat ‘The King’ and last year’s champions, but in the back of my mind – like many – I know this is just the beginning of what should be an exciting few years of Celtics basketball.

The future is promising, Green and White fans, so enjoy the remainder of the series and get set for what should be an exciting offseason.

Daily Noontime: Wednesday, May 3rd

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The legend of Isaiah Thomas continues to grow as he led Boston to a second-straight win last night over Washington in the NBA Eastern Conference semifinals. (PHOTO CREDIT: CBSSports.com)

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports)

It’s Wednesday … WAHOO!

And if you watched the Boston Celtics-Washington Wizards game last night then you’re SO pumped up for today, right?

I know we are – what a game!

Any who, while we rejoice in an amazing win last night by the Celtics, let’s dish out today’s Daily Noontime!

After netting an impressive 53 points last night, Boston’s Isaiah Thomas was profiled by the Bleacher Report, who claims his legend continues to grow. Good read via Yaron Weitzman.  

Sticking with the Celtics-Wizards theme, Mass Live’s Jay King writes about Washington head coach Scott Brooks, who apparently wants Boston’s defenders to stop nagging Bradley Beal. That’s a weird comment! 

In case you didn’t stay up super later – I mean, it is a weeknight – then get caught up on five things (or five takeaways) from Golden State-Utah. The Warriors won their first game of the series by a score of 106-94. 

Per the Big Lead, Jason McIntyre writes why he believes the Chicago Bears maybe the new Cleveland Browns. Interesting comparison! 

It’s another BIG evening of NBA Playoffs – who wins their respective game two? Toronto or San Antonio? SB Nation has a thought or two. 

Wacky Wednesday: In honor of our initial ‘Wacky Wednesday’ here is a bizarre and strange story for you. As noted in various publications, including the SF Gate, American Airlines will be decreasing legroom in their economy class.

Note to readers: do not fly American Airlines economy class if you want more legroom! 

Video of the Day: If you’re looking for a good laugh about La La Land, then you’ll enjoy this trending YouTube video! 

Happy Wednesday, everyone! Have a great day and be cool, too! And nice to everyone, too! 

Daily Noontime: Tuesday, May 2nd

kevin_shattenkirk_capitals.jpg

Washington’s Kevin Shattenkirk netted the game-winning goal in overtime last night to provide the Capitals with their first Eastern Conference semifinal victory against Pittsburgh. (PHOTO CREDIT: Sports Illustrated)

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports) 

It’s Tuesday … what rhymes with Tuesday?

There really isn’t much to say about a Tuesday other than it’s not Monday, right?

Well, while we try to find good words to rhyme with Tuesday, let’s dish out today’s Daily Noontime for Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017.

Have a great day, everyone!

So, you probably know by now that the Cleveland Cavaliers dominated game one of the Eastern Conference semifinals against Toronto. However, did you know LeBron James picked-up a beer during the third quarter?

Don’t worry, James didn’t drink it, but he admitted after the game that he prefers wine, not beer. Pretty funny stuff, LBJ! 

Continuing with our lead-off story, here are a few tweets of James picking-up a beer during last night’s contest against Toronto (BELOW!): 

If you’re a Netflix fan (or subscriber like we are), then we suggest you check-out this New York Times article on what new shows and movies one should watch over the next few days and weeks – we spy a new season of ‘House of Cards!’

In case you’re not officially over this past weekend’s N.F.L. Draft, then we suggest you take a peak (and even read the entire article, too) on the draft’s biggest winners and losers, via the Washington Post

Speaking of the N.F.L. Draft, does anyone know how the Cleveland Browns did? Michael Silver, who is the NFL.com Media Columnist, has a few thoughts (and ideas!). 

Finally, can the Utah Jazz beat the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference semifinals? We think they can and so does Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report

Trivia Tuesday: In the movie ‘The Wizards of Oz,’ what did the scarecrow want from the wizard? (Tweet us your answer at @NoontimeSports). 

Video of the Day: It’s a LONG video – just giving you a heads-up now, so don’t watch this when your boss is around – but enjoy highlights via NHL’s YouTube channel from last night’s epic third game of the Eastern Conference semifinals between Pittsburgh and Washington – what a game, wow! 

Thanks for checking-in and have a great day, everyone! Remember to become a fan on Facebook and LinkedIn, while following us on Twitter, too. And we’re on YouTube, by the way, so become a fan of our page today! 

Sunday Column: Why We Should All Root For Cleveland In The N.B.A. Finals

LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers are two wins away from winning the franchise's first N.B.A. Finals. (Photo Credit: Bleacher Report)

LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers are two wins away from winning the franchise’s first N.B.A. Finals. (Photo Credit: Bleacher Report)

By Matt Noonan 

The 2015 N.B.A. Finals have been a real treat.

Unlike past years that have pitted squads with championship resumes, this year’s finals features two teams representing cities desperate for hardware.

Cleveland hasn’t celebrated a championship since 1964, the year the Browns defeated the Baltimore Colts in the N.F.L. Championship.

Golden State – winners of the 1975 N.B.A. Finals – have come close to winning its fourth championship in franchise history, but have only appeared in the final round twice since defeating the Washington Bullets in four straight games.

Unlike Cleveland, Golden State, which plays its games in Oakland, has seen neighboring professional squads win titles. The Oakland Raiders and San Francisco 49ers have won Super Bowls since the 1970’s, while the Oakland A’s captured the 1988 World Series, sweeping the San Francisco Giants in four game. The Giants have won a trio of championships since 2010, including their franchise’s eighth World Series crown last fall.

The San Jose Sharks, however, are the lone Bay Area team without a championship. San Jose has appeared in the Western Conference Finals three times since the turn of the century, but suffered setbacks to the Calgary Flames (2004), Chicago Blackhawks (2010) and Vancouver Canucks (2011).

So, who needs this title more? The answer would be both Cleveland, right?

If Cleveland wins the title then it will probably call-off school, work and everything else the following day. Yet, if the series does go the distance, I guess school would be cancelled the following Monday, right?

The Bay Area has celebrated multiple championships. So, while Oakland and San Francisco would rejoice in the Warriors’ fourth franchise crown, it may not feel as special as Cleveland finally getting over the hump and winning a title.

Cleveland has seen its baseball team come close to winning a World Series title since capturing the 1948 World Series.

In 2013, the Indians attempted to extend its campaign to the round of eight, but lost to Tampa Bay in a play-in-game, 4-0. Cleveland concluded the game with nine hits – one more than the Rays – but could not muster a single run.

In 2007, the Indians fell to the Boston Red Sox – remember when they were good? – in the American League Championship Series and dropped a pair of American League Division Series in 2001 and 1999.

Cleveland did, however, appear in 1995 and 1997 World Series, but did not win.

The Indians saw its best chance to end the city’s championship drought in 1997 when they prolonged their championship series with Florida to seven games following a 4-1 victory in the sixth game. Yet, despite an early two-run lead in the final game of the Series, the Marlins rallied to even the game at 2-2 before plating the final run in the bottom of the 11th to win their first-ever crown.

As for the Cleveland Browns, they haven’t earned a postseason victory since 1989 after defeating Buffalo, 34-30. The Browns advanced to the Conference Championship following their win against the Bills, but fell to the Denver Broncos for the second time in three seasons by a score of 37-21.

Cleveland outscored the Broncos, 21-14, during the third stanza, but did not register a single point during the final 15 minutes. John Elway connected with Sammy Winder for a 39-yard touchdown strike, while David Treadwell kicked a pair of field goals during the final session to send the Broncos to the Super Bowl.

Since the turn of the century, the Browns have posted a pair of winning seasons, including a 9-7 mark during their 2002 campaign. Yet, similar to past years, the Browns fell in the playoffs, losing to rival Pittsburgh. Cleveland registered a 10-win season in 2007 – their most wins in a single-season since 1994 – but did not qualify for the postseason.

Let the debate rage on, who needs this championship? Cleveland or the Bay Area? I guess you would say, Cleveland, right?

Initially, I chose to Golden State to hoist the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy, but after rattling off Cleveland’s frustrating postseason setbacks, I guess I have to root for the Cavaliers.

Enjoy the remainder of the N.B.A. Finals and consider rooting for Cleveland, so they can finally celebrate a championship for the first time since “Can’t Buy Me Love” by The Beatles was a chart topper.