Monday, May 17, 2010

Conference Finals Preview Bonanza

After weeks, nay, months of nothing from me, it’s all Graham all the time right now. Good news for you, bad news for Chris, who is once again exposed as the second best writer here at RTS.

Of course, like the tv show Jericho, all good things must come to an end before their time. With the wife due to give birth to our second child any day now, it won’t be long before I once again disappear for extended stretches.

Until then, I continue with a series of playoff previews that come after the series have already started. But today you get a bonus: two sports for the price of one. That’s right, I’m previewing both the NHL and NBA Conference Finals. Why? Because I’m hoping the volume will overshadow the lack of real analysis. To the picks!

NHL Western Conference Finals: San Jose vs. Chicago
Chicago took Game 1 yesterday to take home ice advantage from San Jose. A few weeks ago people would have assumed that to be a death knell for the fragile Sharks, but improbably, the Sharks grew some playoff cojones this year and haven’t choked.

Watching them battle back from the own goal in the first round and becoming a playoff juggernaut has been the hockey equivalent to what it might be like if Shia LaBoeuf starred in a critically acclaimed drama that got him Oscar buzz.

That said, it’s starting to feel like Chicago’s year. When an undrafted free agent goaltender like Antti Niemi can carry a team for long stretches, then something’s going on. I think it keeps up. Chicago in 6.

NHL Eastern Conference Finals: Philadelphia vs. Montreal
Let’s take a step back for a second to appreciate how it came to pass that the Eastern Finals is a 7 vs. 8 matchup.

Philadelphia had to win their final regular season game just to qualify for the playoffs, then knocked off the veteran Devils in Round 1. They went down to Boston 3-0, then rallied to win three straight to send it to Game 7. They promptly pooped their pants, going down 3-0 in that game. Except, that didn’t seem to bother them too much as they came back and won.

As for Montreal, by now everyone knows that they pulled off the rare eighth seed over first seed first round upset, then knocked off Sidney Crosby and the defending champs in the second round. But most impressive is that their best offensive player is Jewish. So Mazel Tov, Montreal.

At any rate, how do you pick a 7-8 conference finals? How ridiculous is it that we’re at this point? And with Michael Cammalleri and Jordan Farmar both in the conference finals, is this the best year for Jewish professional athletes in history? Even though Philly took Game 1, I think the Habs continue their ride. Montreal in 7.

NBA Eastern Conference Finals: Orlando vs. Boston
I really hate the idea of picking Boston. I don’t need any more Kevin Garnett in my life. I’m sick of his act. But having said that, unless Doc Rivers screws it up for them, and he very well could, I don’t see Orlando beating them.

All the Celtics have to do is foul Dwight Howard every time he touches the ball. If Orlando can’t get Howard going, who’s carrying them? Vince Carter? Jameer Nelson? JJ Redick? If I’m Boston, I’d take my chances with any of those guys. Boston in 6.

NBA Western Conference Finals: L.A. vs. Phoenix
I’ve barely watched any NBA this season. I still follow it, still have an idea of what’s going on, still won my fantasy league, but I barely watch the games anymore. Horrible officiating, games that end with 17 straight timeouts in the last two minutes and watching Nate McMillan get Coach of the Year votes despite being a terrible coach have turned me off of the games themselves.

But not for this series.

This is the first time in a long time I count myself being legitimately excited about watching the NBA.

I have no idea who to pick. I mean Christ, I don’t want Kobe to win the series and play for another title, especially since the winner of this series will be the favorite in the finals. Phoenix can throw enough bodies at him to give him trouble, and the Suns hold a huge point guard advantage with Nash over Fisher. With Robin Lopez supposedly coming back, it gives them another big body to contend with Pau Gasol, an especially big advantage if Andrew Bynum isn’t 100%. And with a week off, the geriatric Suns should have their legs.

But the Lakers are still the Lakers. They destroyed a very good Utah team, and I hate betting against them. And a big part of the Suns relies on Jason Richardson getting hot, never a sure thing. And did I just type a minute ago that Robin Lopez needs to be a factor in this series? Oh sweet lord. You know what? Screw it. Phoenix in 7.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

On Dwyane Wade and Christmas presents

Graham has been on fire this week. 2 posts! And what do I have to show for it, uh, nothing. I’d like to blame it on my uber-busy 60-hour a week work schedule and time spent with the kids, but both of those things are about as real as Ben Roethlisberger's male chastity belt. Regardless, Graham tells me the RTS water is warm so I’m going to dive back in, with, yep, you guessed it, an email exchange hitting all the better parts of the NBA, infidelity, divorce and Christmas presents.

I believe this is what the kids call "baby mama drama"

This was the highlight for me: It also claims that the boys received "medium size gifts" from Dwyane Wade for Christmas last year, while Union got "the biggest gift of all."

Are these sizes in reference to actual physical size, or how much they are worth? For instance, did the kids get a Wii and new TV, which are both medium-sized, while Union got the world's largest stuffed unicorn, which is rather large. Or, did the kids get a Wii and TV, which are pretty expensive, but Union got a brand new house? I'm confused.

And if you can sue someone over Christmas gifts, well I'm calling a lawyer now for all those damn socks given to me over the years.

That stood out to me as well. I think we need insight into what the gifts were. But I assume it's monetary value. I like the fact that the ex-wife put the kids on the lawsuit as plaintiffs as well as her. I'm sure the two-year-old is just beside himself about all this.

Tell you what...between a psycho mom who names them in lawsuits and a pro athlete dad who bangs actresses, do these kids even have a hope in hell? Sure, they'll be ok financially, but there is zero chance they are well adjusted human beings.

Yeah, these kids are screwed, except for the fact that they probably have some pretty sweet Nike gear to wear to school for life. That cancels out the psycho mom, most likely. But if Wade has the audacity to give them medium sized gifts 2 years in a row, well hell, he should be sued.

And whatever lawyer drafted this suit and included the Christmas gift bullshit should just be taken out and shot. So this crazy jilted wife wants to go after her rich husband. She is pissed off and out for blood. She wants to not only try to get his money, but take a shot at both him and his famous actress girlfriend. Hell hath no fury and all that crap. I get all that. I do. But why throw in the Christmas gift shit? I mean, all of the other stuff is far-fetched already, but the second you start talking about the size of gifts, that's when I really don't believe you. Shouldn't this lawyer have just gone, "I think the oral sex in front of the kids is really the meat of this lawsuit. (no pun intended). We can do without the Christmas gift argument and just go with this."

Second, didn't the article say she was asking for $50,000? Does she know how much D-Wade is worth? I think you could get $50,000 out of just about anyone if they really were doing the crap she claims. Shouldn't she have asked for half of his next NBA contract or something? Do we have any pictures of her and her lawyer? I want to see video of her deposition, like, right now.