NBA Preview

October 19, 2009 Leave a comment

So here it is my NBA predictions for the 2009-2010 Season. I am only doing a preview on the teams I think will make the playoffs and not worrying about those who won’t. This is partly because this is a lot of work and the Yankees are in the playoffs so my free sports time is dedicated to the games. I know there might be some crazy picks, but my NBA Knowledge is pretty limited heading into the season, so read this for enjoyment.

Eastern Conference

1. Cleveland Cavaliers (65-17)

LeBron and gang look to make up for  last seasons conference finals loss to the Magic. The addition of Shaq will help and Danny Green will be a very valuable rookie addition, he is a really great shooter. Shaq and Lebron are both hungry for a title this year and this is the year LeBron gets his first.

2. Boston Celtics (58-24)

The big three should be healthy and the addition of Rasheed Wallace will help the Celtics challenge the Cavs this year. This is a very old team, but if they stay healthy they will go far into the playoffs.

3. Orlando Magic (50-32)

I like Vince Carter since he is a Tar Heel. This team should be a good regular season team, but they will play the toughest competition in the East so this season won’t be easy. I see a first round exit though this year.

4. Atlanta Hawks (49-33)

This is a well rounded team. I just like them from what I have read about them. They do some things this year.

5.Washington Wizards (45-37)

If Arenas is healthy and the supporting cast around him leads them back to the playoffs, but still end up with an early round exit.

6. Miami Heat (42-40)

Wade leads them to the playoffs and a first round upset of the Magic, if his supporting class stays out of rehab.

7. Charlotte Bobcats (40-42)

My new team makes the playoffs for the first time in franchise history, thanks to my new fandom, thats the only reason I am putting them there.  It will be exciting to watch Bobcats basketball this year.

8. Chicago Bulls (39-43)

Good enough to make the playoffs with Rose. MJ made the hall this year so the Bulls should make the playoffs.

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9.Detroit Pistons (37-45)

10.Philadelphia 76ers (37-45)

11. Toronto Raptors (35-47)

12. New York Knicks (34-48)

13. Indiana Pacers (33-49)

14. New Jersey Nets (24-58)

15. Milwaukee Bucks (20-62)

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Western Conference

1. LA Lakers (63-19)

Defending Champions should be in position to make another run, although I am not a big fan of the Artest signing that could harm them in long run, but Kobe is one of the two best in the league and will be good enough to finish the regular season with the one seed in the West.

2.Portland Trail Blazers (58-24)

I like this team a lot. I think they will do big things this year. I think Oden proves why he deserved being drafted number one overall a few years ago. They have a nice mix of young guys and savy veterans. They will become the team no one wants to play in the postseason.

3. San Antonio Spurs (57-25)

This team is a bit older, but Tim Duncan has one more run in him. They had a great draft getting DeJuan Blair and the trade for Richard Jefferson will give this team a boost. Look for them to be a strong contender all season.

4. Dallas Mavericks (53-29)

I like Mark Cuban, therefore I like the Mavs. I also think they have a pretty solid team. If they are close come the trade deadline Cuban won’t be afraid to make a move to put them over the top.

5. Denver Nuggets (50-32)

George Karl is a good coach who got his team to the conference finals last season, but I do not really like this team a ton, something about it. Do not see them going very far after the regular season.

6. New Orleans Hornets (47-35)

Chris Paul is a beast. This will lead to a very exciting first round match-up with the Trail Blazers.

7. Utah Jazz (46-36)

They have a lot of questions, but Deron Williams is good enough for them to at least sneak into the playoffs.

8. Oklahoma City Thunder (41-41)

A very very talented team, I see them as the West’s surprise team this year. This will be their first playoff appearance in a string of many coming up in the near future.

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9. Phoenix Suns (39-43)

10. Houston Rockets (39-43)

11. Memphis Grizzlies (30-52)

12. LA Clippers (26-56)

13. Golden State Warriors (23-59)

14. Minn T-Wolves (18-64)

15. Sacramento Kings (15-67)

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Playoffs

East

Round One

1)Cavs over 8 ) Bulls

2) Celtics over 7) Bobcats

6) Heat over 3) Magic

4)Hawks over 5) Wizards

Round 2

1) Cavs over 4) Hawks

2) Celtics over 6) Heat

Conference Finals

Cavs over Celtics

West

1) Lakers over 8) Thunder

2)Trail Blazers over 7) Jazz

3) Spurs over 6) Hornets

4)Mavs over 5) Nuggets

Second Round

Lakers over Mavs

Trail Blazers over Spurs

Conference Finals

Trail Blazers over Lakers


Finals

Cavs over Trail Blazers

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Awards

MVP

LeBron James

This seems like a very obvious pick. He is very good. He ends up with his second MVP and first championship when all is said and done this season.

Defensive Player of the Year

Dwight Howard

Howard will make it back to back  awards.

Coach of the Year

Larry Brown

Leading the Bobcats to playoff will help him win the award. With Thunder coach Scott Brooks finishing a close second for leading his team to the playoffs.

Rookie of the Year

Tyler Hansbrough

Why not? Rookie of the year is a crap shoot so I will pick my guy from the past four years.

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Becoming an NBA Fan

October 16, 2009 Leave a comment

This year’s NBA season will be a little different for me. I love basketball, especially college basketball, since I grew up in college basketball country in North Carolina. But I have never really dedicated myself to being a fan of the NBA. This year is going to be different. I am going to become a fan. I am going to watch some games. I am not going go overboard and spend every waking moment on the NBA. I am thinking I’ll become a fan of basketball like many guys have become soccer fans over the past year. It is going to be the same thing, except I’ll be sticking to a sport I know, just with a different league. This won’t interfere with my college basketball fandom. I will still root for my Tar Heels harder than ever, As much as I love the Yankees there is something about Tar Heel basketball that I love more than any other sport. I will also be attending games and rooting for my current school Mizzou. Those basketball teams will take precedent.
My plan to become an NBA fan involves a few things. First I am in a fantasy league with my friends, no money on the line, but it still gets serious among us, so that will help me focus on the league as a whole. I figure that will be about 5-10 minutes a day I will spend on my team, like with fantasy baseball. Second, I picked a team to root for. I went with the obvious team and picked my home state team in the Charlotte Bobcats. Yes, I purchased a very nice Bobcats shirt as step one in becoming a fan. If their games ever appear on national TV, I will do my best to watch it. I don’t think they are on national TV, which is fine by me, I am a busy guy and can check out the highlights on the internet. They seem like a natural fit. They have a lot of Tar Heel connections, MJ is part owner, they are a connection to my home state, and they have one of my all time favorite college players in Raymond Felton. I will also spend a few minutes each day reading Bobcats coverage. The Charlotte Observe has a very nice section that should work well with me. I will also be able to understand some of the Sports Guy’s columns a bit better as well. In addition to that, I will be purchasing his basketball guide, which is a 700-page book on the NBA that should bring my knowledge up to speed. Also, if there is a national TV game on that is a good match up and nothing else is going on then I will check out the game.
Why am I doing this? I have enough on my plate with school, Jumpstart, field work, watching college basketball, attending Mizzou games, the NFL season, the MLB playoffs will still be going on once the season starts, then MLB hot stove starts. Well come February, the NBA will be the only game in town that is actually on, that and the NHL, but who cares. I am doing this because winter break will allow me to watch games. I want to pick up something new. I want to see if the NBA is as good as it was with MJ (I was a budding basketball fan when MJ came back with the Wizards, so I was a fan of the Wizards and Knicks for about two years, but once he was gone, I was done with the NBA pretty much not caring about it, but sometimes acting like it.) I purchased a LeBron jersey when he was a rookie, which was about the last year I cared about the league. He was coming in and I was leaving. I didn’t pick the Cavs as my team because that seemed like a bandwagon thing and I would not do that, I am against bandwagon fans in all sports. I thought of the Knicks, but that was my dad’s team growing up and I want to have a different team to root for than my dad for once. Growing up each year I would pick a different NFL team to root for, for a few years the Broncos stuck and then for a few years the Vikings. (Sorry this is the first time you’re hearing this Adam, Ill explain later) But the year before they won the Super Bowl I decided to be like my pops and root for the G-Men, good call by me doing it the year before, and also maintain rooting for my home state team in the Carolina Panthers.
I also want to see some of the players I watched in college at the next level. I want to be able to contribute intelligently to conversations on the NBA with my friends. Lastly, I want to see LeBron, Kobe, Chris Paul, and the wave of great players I have heard about in the league. I am really excited for this season to get started. Go Bobcats!!! I will be working on a NBA preview and getting it up soon, get ready for it.

P.S. Mrs. Malizia, I know I used I “a lot” in this post, please don’t be mad, it was the only way to write this.

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Chatter

October 14, 2009 Leave a comment

The blog is called Chinni’s Chatter, so every now and then I am going to hit a few stories that either don’t deserve an entire blog or I when I just don’t want to write about one thing entirely. So I will write different kinds of chatter. Chatter will encompass my thoughts on everything from sports to music to tv to something good that I ate recently.

Mizzou Football

Thankfully, I got paid to watch this game on TV. The weather was miserable and the outcome didn’t work out in the favor of the school I am paying thousands of dollars to attend. I was not able to attend this game so I did not have to sit in the cold rain for hours. I would have enjoyed the first three quarters, but the fourth would have ruined the entire experience. Coach Pinkle why did we pass that ball so much? Please explain that too me. I would say I have the football IQ of a slightly above average fan, but my friends who have played the game and are more into it also wondered the same thing. This was clearly a run the ball game, that was very obvious to most people watching on the tube and in the stands. That was just a terrible game, that we should have run. Also, I lost some interest after the score was no longer 2-0, I was really hoping to see that as the final score, but no.

Here is a plug for my roommates blog. He had a horrible sports week last week. He is a Packers, Mizzou, Cardinals, and Illinois fan and all got killed last week, he deserves it.

NLCS & ALCS Picks

Well, I did ok in the first round getting half the series right, but half of my World Series got swept, while the other half swept there opponent. I know I picked the Red Sox to advance, but liked seeing them getting swept. I don’t fear the Angles, like a lot of Yankees fans are. I like the Phillies to beat the Dodgers in 6 games. I cannot say this enough, I do not want to play Joe Torre in the World Series that would suck to beat him. I will go with a biased pick here and take the Yankees in 5, they win the first two at home, then win two in Anaheim. I like the 3 man rotation, our three best on short rest is better than taking Joba out of the pen or using some other dude.  CC Wins two games, AJ and Andy win one each.

The Office

It finally happened, Jim and Pam were married, in a very Office way. The episode was way funnier than I expected, I always expect very little from the hour episodes cause they usually are sub-par. I enjoyed everything from Andy’s scrotum injury, Dwight unrealistically hooking up with a Bridesmaid, and Michael telling Toby that he would not stay with him because Toby needs to get used to sleeping alone, classic. This has been a very solid season thus far, keep it up guys. When the Office is on there is nothing funnier on TV, except possible How I Met Your Mother.

How I Met Your Mother

I just started watching this show over the summer when I watched all four seasons over the course of three months. If your impressed by that I watched six seasons of The West Wing in about three months, then finished the seventh once finals were over. TV on DVD is a great invention, until you get to the series finale and realize there is no more left. I shed some tears once President Bartlet got on the plane back to New Hampshire. Thankful HIMYM is still on. This season has been very good so far and this past weeks was very good. It gave us fans another website to go along with Tedmosbyisajerk.com and Barneys Video Resume site. We know have a new addition in itwasthebestnightever.com. Go watch it and enjoy you will be happy. It is awe…. wait for it some.

Other things I liked lately

  • The Panthers picking up their first win.
  • The Giants dominating the Raiders.
  • Jumpstart!

That is about all I got today. Stay classy San Diego.

Categories: Uncategorized

Simple Bus Ride, Gone WRONG

October 11, 2009 1 comment

On Thursday and Friday, I attended a conference in Kansas City for my job, and on the way we had a very adventurous bus ride to say the least. So here is the story and all my fellow bus two riders can back me up on this. Keep in mind the ride should have taken just over two hours.

2:45- We board the bus(not just a bus, a school bus with very high seats which made talking to the person in front was a challenge. Also very little leg room, and by that I mean none), team leaders take role call, we drive away from Memorial Union heading toward I-70.

2:49-Bus driver has decided to take the most complicated way imaginable. We went through several side streets on a huge bus. Not very smart. The simple way would have had us on 1-70 in about 8 mins not the 15 or so it took. Fellow bus riders and I make comments to each other about the way we are headed, since they are also very confused.

3:04- We finally get on to 70. Step 1 complete.

3:35- Ride is going smoothly now after the beginning confusion, as my seatmate and I try to think of games to play. We settle on hangman. Here is a sample: Th_ /B_s /Dr_v_r/ is/Cr_ _y/ (for those who could not figure it out, The Bus Driver is Crazy was what we were looking for there).

3:55- We switched to 20 questions. During the game I learned that dogs have whiskers because I apparently did not know that.

4:33- We are now reading magazines that I brought along for the ride. I am well into a great Time article on a terrorist plot being unfoiled.

4:45ish- Bus pulls over to side of the road, and we all start questioning what is going on.

4:46-  Driver gets out of bus, starts looking at windows. Being pulled over on the side of I-70 causes some panic and concern through out the bus.

4:49- We get word that the window shield wipers are not working. Our fantastic driver calls her supervisor, and arrangements are made to get a new bus apparently.

4:51- I mention to all that can hear me, that it is no longer raining and we could drive without the wipers.

4:52- Several other of my fellow riders agree with me.

4:55- Annoyed, we all go back to doing what we were doing, with the addition of side banter criticizing the bus driver.

5:00ish- We start driving, the bus riders get excited about this, but are told we are driving a few exits down to wait for our new bus.

5:15- We pull into a travel center that acts as a gas station, restaurant, convenience store, and Popeyes Chicken. After being told it would be about 30-45 minutes before the new bus arrives, many of us head inside for the bathroom, and, quickly realizing that we would be missing dinner which started at 6, we make it a snack break.

5:20- I grab a bag of honey mustard pretzels then start making the difficult choice-Butterfinger or Butterfinger Crisp. I decided to survey my friends, before going to the wisdom of my team leader. She highly recommends the Butterfinger, and I trust her judgement.

5:22- Yet to make my purchase, I stumbled upon Red Bull Coal. I was very excited to try this, and had to get rid of something in my hands. I thought the the pretzel nuggets that are honey mustard flavor would be the best pick with the Coal, and I recalled them being yummy. Well, they were not. I am still bitter about not going with the Butterfinger. It would have tasted so great with the Coal. The Coal, by the way, was awesome.

5:26- In line to purchase, a team leader is next to the greeting cards where she picked out the funniest one ever. It was a Christmas card to my best friend and soul mate, and after she had us all laughing, I thought it would make a great card for my roommate, but $3.50 was not worth the joke.

5:36- Snacks are done being eaten, we head back to the store area, and messed around with all the great things we saw. This store had a lot of crap and we collectively played with most of it, go team!

5:44- We run through the rain back to the bus, still waiting for a new one. The Team Leaders have chips and salsa so I become the designated chip holder to my small section of the bus while we goof around and eat our chips and salsa.  By the way I recommend these pita chips from Sam’s Club, they kick ass.

5:54- Team bonding is still going on, we are getting thistight.

6:00- New bus arrives, we are all very happy, even though its a short bus. Our driver says, “All we have to do is get on the new bus and for me to adjust my seat and we can get a move on.” This was said before the new bus pulled up by us for us to get in so she had not met her fellow bus driver.

6:08- We are all on new bus and role call has been taken. (The backs on these seats are normal, so I can see the person in front of me, makes conversation easier.) Now waiting on the driver.

6:17- We are still waiting for the driver to get her seat “adjusted.” She is busy flirting with the one tooth driver, all of us start getting annoyed.

6:23- Bus gets back on 70. We are moving, but have missed dinner. Thankfully they arrange for us to eat when we get there. Our Site managers rule!

6:34-We are pulled over to the side of the road.

6:35- She gets out of the driver seats and ask those in the back to mess around with stuff in the back. We all want her to be quiet. We think we are about 30 mins away, we are hungry, and we want her to shut up. I’m sorry Penny, I meant be quiet.

6:38- We get moving again, and we are all really hungry and bitter.

7:00 – We are getting close to downtown KC. YAY!!!

7:13- We pass the downtown sign, several of us wonder out loud why we didn’t take that exit. It said 13th street, we need 12th.

7:15- We are pulled over on an overpass. An OVERPASS!!! Worry starts to conquer some of the bus riders, not me though.

7:16- We are moving, but still lost.

7:20- We are on a railroad track. I repeat we are driving on railroad tracks.

7:23- We have gotten off the tracks, but now pulled over by a c-shaped hill that has rocks on both sides. Girls are screaming, panic has begun. I am still calm.

7:24- We saw what appeared to be a train.  For a moment some of us thought we were going to die, the girl next to me had a death grip on my arm. Thankfully it was just a truck. Everything’s okay!

7:25- We have a KC native on our bus, and he takes control of the directions. We start driving, rocks start moving.

7:26- We make it up the hill.

7:27- We are back on some highway, but we don’t really know where.

7:32- We are in Kansas. Holy Crap. We are actually in KANSAS. Why would we be in KANSAS?

7:35- We are out of Kansas, thank god. That is not a state I wanna be in longer than I have to. Stupid Jayhawks.

7:45- We are on 12th street yay!!

7:52- We pull in to the hotel, THANK YOU GOD!!!

7:55- I’m off the bus, I hug someone who was meeting us there and thank her for having dinner ready for us.

8:00-We are seated for dinner!!

8:05- I am putting food in my mouth.

8:12- Dinner time is over. Game time!

That’s the story of the bus ride to KC. The just over two hour ride took just over 5. I enjoyed myself though, it was fun, but crazy.

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Opening Day thoughts

October 8, 2009 Leave a comment

I watched a lot of baseball yesterday. With the exception of a Taco Bell run and doing some wash, I was fixated on TBS from about 5pm till a little after midnight, that is a lot of time that could have been used for more productive things like homework or reading or doing good deeds, but I picked watching playoff baseball, which was ultimately the best decision except for one thing, TBS’s coverage is horrible. The audio cut out frequently during the Cards game, there was minimal replays which was especially maddening after a few close plays, but the viewers did not get any second looks, thanks for that. Also the announcers appeared to have never spoken to each other because the chemistry was dreadful and there was really nothing positive to say about it. I have a great solution for a network that broadcast one game a week during the regular season, hire outside guys who have worked together. Why not reward broadcast teams from  local networks? It would be awesome to hear Vin Scully announcing the Dodgers game instead of Dick Stockton who is primarily a football guy. Who cares if there is a little bit of bias in the both, I would take superb announcing over a bunch of talking heads, who often seem to be favoring one team anyways. Joe Buck called Cardinals playoff games while working as the play by play guy and no one cared. I wouldn’t mind hearing Michael Kay and Kenny Singlton doing the Yankees games or even calling the Sox-Angles series. Also can we find away to get Bob Costas doing some play by play, he does work for MLB and they make money off the playoffs so lets use him.

Off my TBS tangent now I liked several things about yesterday. The biggest was the Yankees win. The most important thing to have happened during that game was A-Rod finally getting a meaningful playoff hit when he singled to score Derek Jeter yesterday to provide the Yanks with an insurance run. It going to be a big postseason for him. CC looked great too, that is why he gets paid the big bucks to go out and pitch like that in October. Once the Yankees got him a lead that is all he needed.  Also, whats not to like about the Captain’s game tying homer in the third and Joba throwing heat out of the pen.

The other game I watched in full was the Cards and Dodgers game. The only thing I have to say is Chris Carpenter what was that performance all about. Your the ace you cannot get a 1-0 lead before throwing your first pitch and then give it up like that. I also did not like when Joe Torre bought in Jeff Weaver from the pen, it bought back real bad memories from the 2003 World Series that put me in a dark place for awhile. One more suggestion for both teams for tonight’s game, when runners are in scoring position it might be best to make some kind of attempt to bring them home. Just saying.

Playoff Picks

October 7, 2009 Leave a comment

Leaves are starting to turn, meaning one thing its baseball playoff time. I am starting my return to writing by talking about baseball, my first love. I should mention my two biases here, I am a huge Yankees fan and attended the same high school as Rick Ankiel, my favorite non-Yankee, but I will do my best to put those to the side as best as I can, and in no way will those show with my World Series match up.

ALDS

Yankees vs Twins

The Yankees go into this series with all the cards in their hand. They have a dominant lineup highlighted by newcomer Teixeira and newfound team centered A-Rod. In years past the lineup has been as monstrous as this one, but they have not had a team with the pitching that this one has. The Twins went on quiet a run to win their division, which has helped teams in recent years like the 2007 Rockies, but the Yankees just have the Twins number, especially this season going 7-0. The Yankees should wrap this one up in four games.

Angles vs Red Sox

The Angels are another one of those special teams by pulling together after the death of pitcher Nick Adenhart. The Red Sox are a very good team too with power pitching and hitting, with the Angels having great speed and solid pitching. I like the Red Sox in five in this one. This should be a really great series.

NLDS

Rockies vs Phillies

Both teams have been here before as they are the last two teams to represent the NL in the fall classic. The defending champs are just a well-rounded team, excluding the bullpen. But the Rockies are one of those teams on a run, a lot like the Twins, who have played excellently once Jim Tracy took over, and there pitching staff is really good. I like the Rockies’s enough to get this series to five games, but the Phillies win that game to take the series.

Cardinals vs Dodgers

Tough match up for me, my favorite NL team in my new home state against the only Yankees manger I knew in my childhood, Joe Torre, one of the people I admire tremendously. This is a tough series; both teams have not played the best baseball during September, but the Cards lineup and pitching will be good enough to get them past the Dodgers. Cards should win it in four games behind Carpenter and Wainwright saving me from a Yankees-Dodgers series and me having to make the gut wrenching choice of rooting against Torre.

ALCS
Yankees vs Red Sox
This is the perfect outcome to open up the New Yankee Stadium. A classic mid-October Yankees Red Sox match up. This would be the battle for team of the decade, if the Yankees win this and go on to win the World Series than they win the bid for team of the decade by making the playoffs in all but one year in the Oughts and winning the World Series twice. Even thought the Sox won two championships they missed the playoffs in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2006. Looking at this match up though, I like this Yankees team to win it after starting 0-8 this year against the Sox they finished 9-1 to tie the season series and won when it counts. I see that streak continuing in a 5 game series. The Red Sox are a really good team, but the Yankees are in there heads again and will be in a tough series against the Angles to advance to the ALCS which will take a toll on them. Yanks in 5, series MVP A-Rod who will hit in the .300s with 4 homers, one in a clutch spot, and 14 RBIs.

NLCS
Phillies vs Cardinals
This is going to be the best series of the playoffs. Two teams with really good rotations and line ups. The starting pitching in this series is going to be phenomenal with Lee, Hamels, Happ, and Pedro throwing for the Phils and Wainwright and Carpenter for the Cards. This will go seven games, with the Phillies bullpen being their downfall this season after mid-season pick up Matt Holliday gets a clutch hit late in the game to win the series for the Cards and earning him the series MVP.

World Series
A November World Series in the Bronx, should be fun for all. With all the hype of the Yankees $400million + in off season acquisitions the man in this series will be non other than Mr. November himself Derek Jeter. He has had a great year at the plate and in the field and as always as a leader, I see him being a monster in the World Series with a walkoff hit or two and a few game saving plays in the field. The Cards will becoming off a long draining series and this just seems like its the Yankees season. I will take the Yankees in a sweep, where I will by all means possible attempt to attend that Game 4 victory.


Jeter
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