The World Series begins tomorrow night. The NBA season commences tonight. If I wrote a preview for French Ligue 1 soccer and the Australian A league then I certainly write about the World Series and the 2010-2011 NBA season. Since I like baseball more, the World Series preview will be first.
San Francisco Giants over Texas Rangers in 7
For the last few years, I wanted the Rangers to make the post-season. I liked their roster and I tired of the constant dominance from the Angels. Of course, the Rangers could never assemble a decent pitching rotation. Scott Feldman led the team in wins last year with 17. But the pitching got better last year and, with the influence of Nolan Ryan, the philosophy changed. Ryan abhors pitch counts and encouraged the coaching staff to let the Ranger pitchers pitch deep into ball games. Of course, the Rangers had some luck with pitching this year i.e. getting Cliff Lee, signing Colby Lewis, and a seamless transition for CJ Wilson from closer to starter. Plus, the emergence of Neftali Feliz helped solidify the back-end of the bullpen. The offense didn't pack as much pop this year despite the potential to put runs up in bunches. Their lineup is very good with Michael Young, Ian Kinsler, Nelson Cruz, the former Expo Vlad Guerrero, Josh Hamilton and Elvis Andrus. On paper, the team should beat the Giants. Of course, I thought the Phillies had the talent to outscore a mediocre Giants offense. The last two rounds I picked against the Rangers even though they employ Cliff Lee and, well, I'm doing it again. I highly doubt any Rangers fan reads this blog but feel confident that the Rangers proved me wrong twice.
The Giants are a team to be taken very seriously. They just knocked off the Phillies in 6 rather easy games. They have the most nonsense group of players and they manage to score in nonsense ways but they're talented, and they continue to win games like the 2008 Phillies did. Their pitching staff might be the best in baseball. They out-pitched H2O, after all. I feel like the Giants are destined to win the World Series.
I wonder how poor the ratings will be. Americans might say they want to see new teams in championship games but it is usually the opposite. Barely anyone outside of Philadelphia watched the 2008 World Series. Only Detroit, St. Louis and myself watched the 2006 World Series. The 2010 World Series should be great. Two great teams. Two great pitching staffs. The energy in Arlington and AT&T will be outstanding. Regardless of the winner, it will be a feel-good story.
THE 2010-2011 NBA SEASON PREVIEW
Oh, the NBA. I read nearly every NBA Associated Press game story last season (along with every game recap for the NHL) and will continue that this season. I look forward to keeping track of the many egotistical post-game quotes from the Heat. I also look forward to quotes from Jay Triano and Kurt Rambis because they coach Toronto and Minnesota respectively.
Honestly, the NBA season doesn't excite me very much. I'll watch the 76ers all season but the regular season as a whole bores me. Games are played half-assed for half or, sometimes, the majority of the season. I lose even more interest when the playoffs begin. If I ranked my top 5 sports season, it'd go like this: 5. NBA 4. EPL 3. NFL 2. NHL 1. MLB. I'll usually only watch the great teams of the NBA when they are playing the 76ers.
For the NBA season preview, I will merely predict the number of wins and offer a few words about some teams.
THE ATLANTIC DIVISION
1. Boston Celtics 61 WINS
Many people think the Celtics can best the Heat in the playoffs. Ah pre-season conjecture before a meaningful game is played. The Celtics are good and will continue to be good. The rest of the Atlantic bears no threat to Boston. I'm not even sure any other Atlantic team finishes at .500. I wonder if the Celtics will take the 2nd half of the season off again. It's not like people are paying a ton of cash to watch this team give their all every night.
2. New York Knicks 42 WINS
The media is sort of sucking the Knicks fans into optimism about this season. Besides A'mare, the team consists of different players who played for bad teams. If the Knicks trade for Carmelo, I don't think the team makes it out of the first round and they certainly won't without Carmelo. With or without him, the Knicks should have enough talent to make the playoffs in a poor Eastern Conference.
3. Philadelphia 76ers 34 WINS
Two years ago, the 76ers were heading into a positive direction and then Stefanski fired Mo Cheeks and hired Eddie Jordan when DiLeo decided to return to the front office. Eddie Jordan did one of the worst coaching jobs of all-time. He destroyed the confidence of the core. Stefanski brought in new faces but the team isn't going anywhere. Also, Evan Turner might be a bust. Bill Simmons picked the Sixers to win 21 games. Perhaps I am delusional because I root for the team but 34 wins shouldn't be an impossible task. Collins did say this is his toughest coaching job ever. Now, if the team trades Iguodala, the team could only win 21.
4. New Jersey Nets 25 WINS
5. Toronto Raptors 20 WINS
THE CENTRAL DIVISION
1. Chicago Bulls 50 WINS
I bet watching the Bulls will make me wish the Sixers hired Tom Thibodeu. I like the Bulls. Boozer needs to get healthy but the team shouldn't be too affected without him.
2. Milwaukee Bucks 46 WINS
The Bucks were one of my favorite teams to watch last season. It'd be helpful if Bogut remained healthy throughout the season. Though a former number 1 pick, Bogut's underrated. The team won't have trouble scoring with Maggette and Salmons.
3. Indiana Pacers 38 WINS
At some point, the Pacers will have to get over the 35 win hump. This is the season.
4. Cleveland Cavaliers 26 WINS
Maybe the Cavs should wear their old uniforms--the ones they wore pre-Lebron. Those Cavs teams were awful. I have a feeling the Cavs will only get worse. 2010 might be the best post-Lebron year until they adequately rebuild.
5. Detroit Pistons 22 WINS
THE SOUTHWEST DIVISION
1. Orlando Magic 65 WINS
The Magic are the Angels of the NBA.
2. Miami Heat 60 WINS
3. Atlanta Hawks 47 WINS
4. Charlotte Bobcats 37 WINS
The Bobs are a truly boring team to watch.
5. Washington Wizards 30 WINS
THE NORTHWEST DIVISION
1. Oklahoma City 60 WINS
2. Utah Jazz 57 WINS
I'm glad Al Jefferson finally can play for a good team that is going somewhere.
3. Denver Nuggets 48 WINS
4. Portland Trailblazers 45 WINS
5. Minnesota Timberwolves 17 WINS
THE PACIFIC DIVISION
1. LA Lakers 62 WINS
I'm rooting for Kobe's 6th ring.
2. Phoenix Suns 54 wins
3. Sacramento Kings 40 WINS
Sam Dalembert will save this franchise.
4.Golden State Warriors 32 WINS
5. LA Clippers 30 WINS
They'll probably be better than 30 wins but I forgot about the team. Thus, 5th place.
THE SOUTHWEST DIVISION
1. Dallas Mavericks 58 WINS
2. San Antonio Spurs 57 WINS
3. Houston Rockets 50 WINS
4. Memphia Grizzlies 44 WINS
5. New Orleans 42 WINS
THE YOUTUBE CLIP OF THE WEEK