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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

NBA Conference Finals Predictions

Despite the Boston Celtics running out of gas a game too soon, I still went 3-1 in the second round of the NBA playoffs. Granted, I never thought the Lakers would struggle with the Houston Rockets as much as they did, but I’ll take the win in 7. My overall 9-3 record isn’t all that impressive considering the NBA playoffs are about as predictable as it gets. At least my Finals match-up – and most other people’s Finals match-up – of Los Angeles versus Cleveland is still alive as a possibility.

In fact, even with Denver suddenly becoming an in vogue pick and Charles Barkley getting caught up in the moment on TNT and picking Orlando to make the Finals, I think an L.A. / Cleveland Finals is a foregone conclusion. Whenever the Lakers looked interested they simply destroyed Houston, and Cleveland just doesn’t look like they will receive any competition in the East. In fact, they’re making me a bit nervous about my pick of the Lakers over the Cavs in the Finals, but I’ll deal with that in June.

Based on the odds that I check out, both Cleveland and the Lakers are expected to win in 5 games – or at least that’s the lowest payout on a bet for the “exact number of games” in which they will win. (Of course these odds are checked for “entertainment purposes” only.) I don’t make official predictions . . . you really care about that I’m sure . . . on exact games because it’s just too much of a sucker bet, but I actually think Cleveland will sweep Orlando. In fact, I think L.A. could sweep Denver but the way they kept dozing off against Houston, I think the Lakers will win in five.


Anonymous said...

MDefl Posting,

Hi Rob. A couple of comments on your recent posts. Howard has done pretty well getting the ball late in games since his little temper tantrum. Yes ESPN, being the WWL (World Wide Leader - just ask them) blew the whole thing out of proportion. They are now the equivalent of US Magazine for sports.

Speaking of Howard and ESPN, that brings me to another topic that you did not opine on but I would be interested to know your thoughts. Howard Eskin, the reigning "king" (again - just ask him - no, don't bother - he will tell you without any prompting) of talk radio and his troubles with Mike Missinelli from 950 ESPN radio.

Mike reported yesterday that his ratings lead increased even more in the last month. I assume he is talking about the 25 to 54 year old, male demographic. Klein reported Missinelli's victory in this demographic back in April while mentioning that Eskin still had many more overall listeners. Still the 25 to 54 male dem is the money demographic for advertising on sports talk and is arguably more important than overall listeners.

Here is my take. This is nothing more than cosmic karma finally coming due for Eskin. While I find Mike to be whiny, annoying and self absorbed at times, he does come by his opinions honestly and usually allows others to express their thoughts without being called morons. Cowherd and Bayless are exceptions. In those cases, Mike comes to the defense of Philly and I have no issue with him taking down lazy "journalists" who can not utter an original thought or say one into a microphone.

Eskin, by contrast, comes off as bought and paid for by the Eagles. It is actually embarrasing to listen to him constantly defend Eagles management. His usual refrain, "Do you know more than the coaches?" would be funny if he were not so arrogant. Compare that with the Phillies who can do no right according to him. Eskins worships the feet of Reid while taking every chance to ridicule Charlie Manuel. One of those two brought us a world championship recently. Hmm, I wonder which one.

Howard's interviewing skills, especially when he is interviewing his employer, aka, anyone from Eagles management, is an outright joke. He will only ask questions that will lead an interviewee to give the answer that he wants.

Mike will ask all the questions. Howard has also been an absolutely horrible human being for a long time. Most of that is fairly well documented. I am going to take great delight in his downfall. It could not happen to a nicer guy.

Rob said...

If you search "ESPN 950" (and "WPEN" for older posts) you can get most of my thoughts on the two sports talk stations in town. It's tough to write about at this point because I simply do not listen to WIP any more, so it would be unfair to write something comparing the two now. As I mentioned in a recent post, I'm amazed at the number of hits I get to the post I did comparing the two some time ago.

As far as Eskin, the last time I listened to him daily was in '04 when I was commuting home from work. He got so bad, going on endlessly about fur coats because he had some deal with a local store in combination with Freddie Mitchell, I started listening to KYW because music at night was bugging me and I literally couldn't take Eskin. I went weeks without ever hearing him utter a word about sports.

I still see him on NBC10's Sports Final, and he just destroys that show. You're right, he's just an Eagles mouthpiece at this point. I have to assume he's the same on 610 WIP . . . unless he's still talking about fur!

Based on WIP's direction before I "switched" I honestly don't understand why anyone would still listen to it. You can find my thoughts on Anthony Gargano -- horrendous -- and Angelo Cataldi -- a caricature of himself (is he talking about the next Wing Bowl yet or the intrigue of his personal life?) -- by searching this blog.

As always, thanks for the comments.

Anonymous said...

MDefl posting,

Rob, I had forgotten about Howard's blantant shilling for Freddie Mitchell. "He's my guy and he should be yours too". That, sadly, is an actual quote. Let's face it, Howard is so pathetic that he sold out for a less than average NFL receiver.

I am not a big Cuz fan either although he does not bother me as much as he bothers you. As for Angelo, I actually like him. He is more comedian than sports talk host and does not hide that fact. I actually can get a laugh or 2 in my morning from him. I have always like Morganti and think Rhea actually knows her stuff. She had a Saturday morning show that was decent.

Having said that, 950 is the better option once Jody Mac and Mays start their shift. Mikey Miss, Schwartzmann (who has grown on me slowly) and Tony Bruno are preferrable options over 610 if I am listening to the radio at those times.

BTW - the NBA playoffs have been amazing so far. I have never seen so many games decided so late.