After losing their star point guard in the off-season and having the 3rd worst record in the NBA, Hornets fans finally have something to cheer about. New Orleans had a 21-45 record this year, which was the worst record in the Western Conference. M0nty Williams did not fair well in his second season, but he did not have the two stars, Emeka Okafor and Eric Gordon who only played in 36 combined games. Along with the first pick, New Orleans also has the 13th pick.
The Heat took game one of this series 93-79, behind 32 points from the MVP LeBron James. The Celtics will have trouble in this series due to the fact that their older legs are tired after being challenged by the younger Hawks and Sixers in long series. Boston will have the inside advantage in this series if Chris Bosh misses most of this series, because Kevin Garnett has found the fountain of youth this postseason. Mario Chalmers will have his hands full with Rondo and his ability to control the game and Ray Allen or Mickael Pietrus will have to try to slow Dwyayne Wade all series, which is practically impossible. The speed and youth of the Heat will be too much for the old, tired legs of the Celtics.
Heat in 6
Warren: Heat in 5
Matt: Heat in 5
I can only assume that part of the reason for this assignment is my residency in self-proclaimed Hockey Town. One would figure that the city is abuzz with hockey fans getting ready to crown a new champion. Truth be told though no one has said a word about hockey in Detroit since April 21st. And therein lies the most disappointing part about this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs – they feel like they’ve been going on forever.
In the West the glamor teams in Detroit and Chicago were dispatched with ease leading to a Nashville/Phoenix series that went 5 merciful quick games. The Los Angeles Kings finished the fairly meaningless regular season as an 8 seed but like a buzz-saw cut thru top seeded Vancouver, only to face a 5 day break followed by the 2 seed St. Louis Blues. The Blues fell even faster than Vancouver with the Kings sweeping a Blues team that looked utterly hapless for the series. You could have told me that L.A. won 5 games in the series and I would have believed it. And as a reward for dispatching the 1 and 2 seeds the Kings received another long break and a series against the 3 seed Coyotes. Again the Kings made it look easy, this time in 5 games dispatching the Coyotes leading to AN EIGHT DAY BREAK! As someone who watches an inordinate amount of hockey the scheduling for this off-season in the West was impossible. 1, 2, and 3 day breaks between series games meant that getting into a rhythm as an out-of-town follower was painful at best and severely adverse to living a normal life outside of Pacific Time . It only took 14 games for the Kings to get to Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals – but those 14 games took over 7 weeks from the end of the regular season. Certainly the Canucks, Blues, and Coyotes struggled with the timing but for the Kings they seemed immune to the breaks.
Reports indicate that the Texas Rangers have agreed to terms with 34-year old pitcher Roy Oswalt. Texas did not have room for Oswalt on the roster during the offseason but with an injury to Neftali Feliz a roster spot and need arose. According to reports Oswalt has thrown for Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Texas and the Dodgers in recent weeks and was seeking a prorated salary of $7.5 million. The Rangers jumped on Oswalt following news that the Phillies will be without ace Roy Halladay for a minimum of 6-8 weeks with a strained right lat muscle. Also the threat of a division rivals interest may have sparked the attention of the Texas management as Angels starter Jered Weaver was removed from his start last night in the first inning. Oswalt spent 9 1/2 of his 11 seasons with the Houston Astros prior to being dealt to Philadelphia in July 2010.
Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay has been placed on the DL with a strained right shoulder. He is expected to be out of the rotation for at least 6-8 weeks. Halladay was pulled from Sunday’s start against the New York Mets after just two innings.
Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for the brave men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.
It also marks the unofficial start of the summer season. Temperatures begin to soar and days are extended. As kids finish school, families begin to vacation and summer concerts & county fairs prepare for another season of entertainment.
The Los Angeles Kings will face the New Jersey Devils in the 2012 Stanley Cup Finals. The Kings represent the Western Conference as an eight seed, while the Devils a six seed took care of the Eastern Conference. Game one will get underway on Wednesday night May 30th. Look for more coverage in the coming days.