Friday, April 15, 2011
That’s all that’s left of the current NBA season. As a fan of the league, there is nothing more exciting than seeing some of the best athletes in the world duke it out to be the last team standing in June holding the Larry O’Brien trophy in triumph.
That takes 16 victories.
That reminds me, why don’t we fill out brackets like we do for the NCAA tournament? We should. I’m going to do one right now.
While you fill one out as well, it’s important to know which teams have a legitimate shot at winning it all. There are a few things that we need to understand as our brackets are being completed. I present to you my guide for properly filling out your NBA bracket.
Is there anybody putting their money on Memphis, New Orleans, Indiana or Philadelphia? Don’t do it. The lowest seeded team to ever win a championship was the sixth-seeded Houston Rockets in 1995. The 1999 New York Knicks (eighth seed) were the lowest seed to make the finals. In other words, don’t worry about the lower-seeded squads. Ever.
Just like in college basketball, the true blue-bloods of the league almost always are in the mix. By that I mean the Celtics (17 titles), the Lakers (16 titles), the Bulls (six titles) and recently the Spurs (four titles). Even if some of these teams don’t suit up any of the players who have been part of their franchise’s previous championships, success seems to find its way to places where it has been before.
Let’s break it down even further. Of the 16 teams in the NBA tournament, I would say that only six of them have a real chance of winning the 16 games necessary for the crown. In no particular order, they are; Chicago, Miami, Boston, San Antonio and Los Angeles.
That means these next guys won’t be making it:
Sorry Knicks fans. Mike D’antoni’s complete disregard for having his teams play defense won’t get you very far at this point, especially in a first round series against the Celtics.
Denver doesn’t have a star player with experience to lead its team on a deep run in the playoffs. Portland has too many injuries and is too young to win it all. Orlando completely changed its team with a mid-season trade and Dwight Howard can’t seem to avoid technical fouls.
Atlanta? The Hawks have taken a step backward since last season and I just don’t see them getting over the hump yet. Dallas seems to fade away in the playoffs. Don’t be surprised if it happens again. Oklahoma City is very athletic but just like Portland, too young.
Just like the seven and eight seeds, I wouldn’t expect to see these seven teams anywhere near the finals.
The Bulls went a bulk of the season under the radar. But soon-to-be league MVP Derrick Rose has led Chicago to a miraculous resurgence. Rookie head coach Tom Thibodeau deserves a lot of credit for navigating his team through injuries to hold the best record in the NBA. If Carlos Boozer can stay healthy, the Bulls and their tough defense will be hard to stop. This team is starting to feel like it did when Jordan was in his prime.
The Heat are right where everybody thought they would be after Lebron James and Chris Bosh joined the team. Is it just me or was anybody else tired of ESPN’s “what’s wrong with the Miami Heat?” round-the-clock coverage after a two-game losing streak? They are the two-seed in the East and it is easy to pick a team that has Dwayne Wade and James.
The Celtics are back where they were last year, and they did it in much the same way. They again finished the regular season on a down note. It’s still amazing to me how a team can just turn it on whenever it’s in the playoffs. So much for momentum. Still, Boston is different this time around. The team traded away Kendrick Perkins and his tenacious knack for controlling the paint. The Celtics’ identity was their impregnable defense. Now they have lost that identity Jason Bourne-style. Kevin Garnett alone down low is not enough. They better hope Shaq can play tomorrow and can stay on the court. Even with that said, don’t write off Doc Rivers and Boston in the playoffs too easily.
San Antonio is an old team, yes. But somehow the Spurs managed to hold the league’s best record going into the last week of the season. Gregg Popovich is a genius of a coach and knows how to rest his players when needed. If Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker have enough left in the tank to last four playoff series, the Spurs and their fans could be dancing in south Texas when all is said and done.
The Lakers faltered a little bit at the end and Andrew Bynum’s knee might not be at 100 percent tomorrow. But the defending champs have Kobe Bryant and he wills his team to victory. Bryant is the best competitor since Jordan. Even as the number two seed, Los Angeles might be the favorite from the West.
As for me, I’m picking the Lakers over the Bulls. Oh yeah, that’s one thing I forgot to tell you. Always fill out your bracket with a pencil. It’s easier to change something last minute.
Thursday, March 3, 2011
Make sure you keep checking out True BSU Fans and One Bronco Nation Under God for everything Boise State football. I love my Broncos!
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
It is official! 19 players have signed their letters of intent and will play on The Blue. There was only one surprise sign-ee in unknown Lee Hightower. It looks like he will be coming in as a cornerback recruit, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see the coaches trying him at wide receiver. Hightower is a track star with an amazing leap (how does 22' 10.00 on the long jump sound?) Without further ado, here they are!
High school seniors
QB Jimmy Laughrea, 6-2, 185, Rocklin (Calif.) HS
DE Sam Ukwuachu, 6-5, 203, Pearland (Texas) HS
WR Dallas Burroughs, 5-8, 165, Rocky Mountain HS (Meridian)
DT Jeff Worthy, 6-4, 280, Whittier Christian HS (La Mirada, Calif.)
DL Robert Ash, 6-3, 255, Cosumnes Oaks HS (Elk Grove, Calif.)
S Taylor Loffler, 6-3, 195, Kelowna (B.C.) Secondary
OL Rees Odhiambo, 6-3, 298, Mansfield (Texas) Legacy HS
RB Jay Ajayi, 6-0, 200, Liberty HS (Frisco, Texas)
LB Blake Renaud, 6-2, 230, De La Salle HS (Concord, Calif.)
OG Marcus Henry, 6-3, 275, Bellevue (Wash.) HS
CB Eric Agbaroji, 6-1, 180, Midlothian (Texas) HS
S Corey Bell, 5-11, 200, Capital HS (Boise, ID)
DB Darian Thompson, 6-2, 172, Paraclete HS (Lancaster, Calif.)
TE Hayden Plinke, 6-4, 230, Glencoe HS (Hillsboro, Ore.)
K Jake Van Ginkel, 5-11, 185, Upland (Calif.) High
LB Dillon Lukehart, 6-1, 200, Eagle HS (Boise, ID)
OL Adam Sheffield, 6-5, 300, Branham HS (San Jose, Calif.)
CB Lee Hightower, 6-1, 170, Loyola (Los Angeles, Calif.) HS
Junior college transfers
S/LB Dextrell Simmons*, 6-0, 210, Blinn College (Spring, Texas)
It will be interesting to see what happens with Hightower. I figured the coaches would be looking for a cornerback after they were unable to secure McClure or Maston. There is a lot of talent here and some of them should be able to contribute early in their careers. Go Broncos!
Number one is in the books. Rocklin High School quarterback Jimmy Laughrea has signed his letter of intent to play for Boise State. Welcome to the fold young man.
HAPPY LOI DAY EVERYONE!
You all know what that means! It’s time to see who sticks with their commitment to play for the Broncos! As of right now, there are 18 athletes who have committed to and not backed out of playing at Boise State (I’m looking at you, KT Tu’umalo, Matt Goudis, Donnie Duncan, Dallas Whitaker, and especially Jamie Byrd). This is a very exciting time of the off season and this class looks to be very talented.
There have not been any faxes sent to the Boise State athletic office yet, but keep checking in as I will update the blog whenever a recruit sends one in. Stay tuned!