Today in Sports: 9/27/20 Review

NFL: Week 3 scores

NBA: Miami Heat defeat Boston Celtics 125-113 in game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals – Heat win series 4-2

The Miami Heat secured their spot in the NBA Finals with a 125-113 win over the Boston Celtics in game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Bam Adebayo scored a game-high 32 points, to go along with 14 rebounds and 5 assists. Jayson Tatum had a very inefficient 24 points, which was not nearly enough to keep his team’s season alive. The Heat will face off against LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals. Game one is scheduled for Wednesday, September 30th at 6 PM PT on ABC.

Today in Sports: 9/27/20 Preview

NFL: Week 3 of the regular season!

NBA: Miami Heat vs. Boston Celtics in game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals – Heat lead series 3-2

The Miami Heat look to finish off the Boston Celtics in their second attempt to clinch an NBA Finals berth. The Celtics roared back in game five to keep their season alive, they cannot afford to play with fire again. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown led the charge, and will need to keep playing at a high level to force a game seven. Jimmy Butler and Goran Dragic have led the Heat throughout their postseason run, they’ll look to put together another stellar performance to finish off the Celtics.

Prediction:

Celtics: 117 Heat: 115

These two teams are evenly matched, why not predict a Celtics victory to force a game seven? The Celtics were my pick before the series started and I will not abandon them yet.

Today in Sports: 9/21/20 – 9/25/20

Vacation: was not around to write previews and reviews for these days. This will happen on occasion. Recap below:

9/21/20 – NFL: Las Vegas Raiders defeat New Orleans Saints 34-24 on Monday Night Football

9/22/20 – NBA: Denver Nuggets defeat Los Angeles Lakers 114-106 in game 3 of the Western Conference Finals – Lakers lead series 2-1

9/23/20 – NBA: Miami Heat defeat Boston Celtics 112-109 in game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals – Heat lead series 3-1

9/24/20 – NBA: Los Angeles Lakers defeat Denver Nuggets 114-108 in game 4 of the Western Conference Finals – Lakers lead series 3-1

9/25/20 – NBA: Boston Celtics defeat Miami Heat 121-108 in game 5 of the Western Conference Finals – Heat lead series 3-2

Today in Sports: 9/19/20 Review

NBA: Boston Celtics defeat Miami Heat 117-106 in game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals – Heat lead series 2-1

The Boston Celtics saved their season with a 117-106 victory of the Miami Heat to win their first game in the series. Jayson Tatum led the Celtics with 25 points. Four of the Celtics’ five starters scored over 20 points, giving the Heat defense fits all night. Gordon Hayward returned from his ankle injury scoring six points in 31 minutes. He looked rusty, but the Celtics were +1 when he was on the floor.

The Heat were led by Bam Adebayo with 27 points, 16 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 blocks. He was a menace all game, but was not able to lead his team to victory. Rookie Tyler Herro has looked like a veteran all series, putting in 22 points in this game and looking like the moment was not too bright for him. Regardless of the outcome of this series, his playoff performance has to be encouraging for Heat fans.

Game four will be on Wednesday at 5:30 PM PT on ESPN.

Today in Sports: 9/19/20 Preview

NBA: Miami Heat vs Boston Celtics in game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals – Heat lead the series 2-0

After dropping the first two games in this best-of-seven series, the Boston Celtics are in a do-or-die game three against the Miami Heat. The Heat are on fire, dropping only one game so far this postseason. The Celtics are likely to get forward Gordon Hayward back, who has missed the last few weeks with an ankle injury. It’s to-be-determined how many minutes he’ll be able to play, but he might be able to provide the boost the Celtics will need to get over the hump after two tightly contested games.

The favored Celtics haven’t been able to solve the Heat’s zone defense. If they continue struggling against Coach Erik Spoelstra’s zone, this series is a wrap. Celtics Coach Brad Stevens is one of the best X’s and O’s coach in the NBA, so look for a few new wrinkles thrown the Heat’s direction in this chess match between elite coaching staffs. Ultimately this game is played on the court, so it won’t matter what the coaches conjure up if their players cannot execute.

Prediction:

Celtics: 111 Heat: 103

This is a must-win game for the Celtics. They are far too talented to lose this series without putting up a fight. If Gordon Hayward can give them quality minutes, the Celtics will win.

Today in Sports: 9/17/20 Review

NBA: Miami Heat defeat Boston Celtics 106-101 in game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals – Heat lead series 2-0

The Miami Heat have jumped out to a commanding 2-0 series lead over the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals with a stunning come-from-behind 106-101 victory. The Celtics had a 17 point lead before their stunning collapse. Down the stretch Jayson Tatum was nowhere to be found. Marcus Smart was making decisions that make his last name seem ironic. The Heat changed the flow of the game when Coach Erik Spoelstra decided to try a zone defense. The Celtics were rattled, having no answers for this zone. Jimmy Butler was a menace on defense and Goran Dragic put the team on his back offensively with 25 efficient points. Bam Adebayo played with excellent energy and poise on both ends of the floor. The Celtics are in a world of trouble. They cannot afford to fall behind three games, for all intents and purposes game three is a must win game if they want to keep their championship hopes alive. Game three will be on Saturday at 5:30 PM PT.

Today in Sports: 9/17/20 Preview

NBA: Miami Heat vs Boston Celtics in game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals Heat lead the series 1-0

After a thrilling first game in this series, the Celtics and Heat will square off again in game two in the Orlando bubble. These two battled into overtime in game one, expect more of the same tonight between these two evenly matched teams. Bam Adebayo’s block on Jayson Tatum was the play that stuck out in everyone’s mind from their overtime thriller, it’ll be up to Tatum to shrug off that play and move forward with the same confidence he’s shown throughout bubble play. The Celtics cannot win without him.

The Heat will need their star to show up too. Jimmy Butler’s jumper has seemingly returned since the beginning of bubble play, opening up a whole new world of possibilities for this gritty Heat team. He’s been the heartbeat of this team since arriving in Miami in the offseason. This team is full of confidence, shooting, and smart role players which has allowed Heat coach Erik Spoelstra to be versatile in their game plan

Prediction:

Celtics: 104 Heat: 96

The winner of this game will be in the driver’s seat to clinch an NBA Finals berth. Before the series I predicted the Celtics would win in six games. If they fall down 0-2 they’ll have a monumental climb against a soaring Heat team filled with confidence. I expect the Celtics to bounce back led by their trio of Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Kemba Walker.

 

Today in Sports: 4/12/17 Review

NBA:

Toronto Raptors defeat Cleveland Cavaliers 98-83: The Cavaliers decided a few days ago that it is more important to rest their starters before the playoffs than try and compete for the number one seed in the Eastern Conference. The defending champion Cavaliers are confident that they can win a seven game series against the Celtics without home-court advantage. The last time these two teams played, the Cavaliers dominated the Celtics in Boston. It’s hard to bet against LeBron James, but the Cavaliers aren’t playing their best basketball heading into the postseason. This strategy will be questioned all offseason if the Cavaliers don’t make it back to the NBA Finals. Although this game was played by backups for both teams, this could be a potential second round playoff matchup. The Raptors are a much more dangerous team with the additions of Serge Ibaka and P.J. Tucker at the trade deadline. With the return of a healthy Kyle Lowry, this Raptors team has enough firepower to make an NBA Finals run.

Boston Celtics defeat Milwaukee Bucks 112-94: In a game that was a lot closer than the score suggests, the Boston Celtics were able to clinch the number one seed in the Eastern Conference by defeating the Bucks. This game was extremely close through three quarters before the Celtics were able to pull away in the fourth quarter. The Bucks were resting most of their starters including superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo. This game shouldn’t have been close, but it seemed like the Celtics were feeling the pressure of competing for the top seed. Since the Cavaliers lost, the Celtics would’ve been the number one seed even if they lost this game. If this is how the Celtics play under pressure, they may have a disappointing showing in the playoffs.

Miami Heat defeat Washington Wizards 110-102: The Miami Heat’s improbable season came to an end after a victory over the Wizards. The Heat needed either the Indiana Pacers or Chicago Bulls to lose in order to clinch a spot in the playoffs, but both of those teams won and clinched playoff berths. The Heat had one of the greatest endings to a season for a non-playoff team in NBA history. They had a ton of injuries and had one of the worst records in the NBA halfway through the season, but they never gave up. Coach Erik Spoelstra deserves a ton of credit for the way he led his team to the precipice of the playoffs. Although they came up short, this season proves Miami has a bright future ahead of them.

Indiana Pacers defeat Atlanta Hawks 104-86: The Indiana Pacers clinched the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference with a win against the Hawks. The Pacers would’ve missed the playoffs if they lost this game. The Pacers have a great challenge ahead of them in the first round of the playoffs when they face the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers. Although LeBron has had the Pacers’ number in past postseason matchups, this year’s Cavaliers limped into the playoffs. The Pacers aren’t as big of a threat as they’ve been in year’s past, but they still have superstar Paul George leading the way. George looks like the pre-injury Paul George again, and that could be a major problem for the Cavaliers. The defending champions will be heavy favorites in this series, but you can’t sleep on a team with a superstar of Paul George’s caliber.

Playoff standings –

Western Conference:

  1. Golden State Warriors
  2. San Antonio Spurs
  3. Houston Rockets
  4. Los Angeles Clippers
  5. Utah Jazz
  6. Oklahoma City Thunder
  7. Memphis Grizzlies
  8. Portland Trail Blazers

Eastern Conference:

  1. Boston Celtics
  2. Cleveland Cavaliers
  3. Toronto Raptors
  4. Washington Wizards
  5. Atlanta Hawks
  6. Milwaukee Bucks
  7. Indiana Pacers
  8. Chicago Bulls

Today in Sports: 4/12/17 Preview

NBA:

All non-playoff teams: Fans of non-playoff teams should watch their team’s season finale. This will be the last time to watch your team until next season.

Toronto Raptors at Cleveland Cavaliers: Although this is an extremely important game for the Cavaliers, there is a good chance that they will rest their starters. The Cavaliers are in second place in the Eastern Conference and are just one game behind the Boston Celtics. They rested LeBron James and Kyrie Irving in their last game, which cost them the top seed in the playoffs. The Cavaliers seem to care more about resting their players than getting the top seed. The Cavaliers destroyed the Celtics in Boston the last time they played, so they might not be worried about beating the Celtics on the road in the playoffs. This strategy is extremely risky and may come back to bite them in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Milwaukee Bucks at Boston Celtics: The Boston Celtics are currently one game ahead of the Cleveland Cavaliers for the number one seed in the Eastern Conference. With Milwaukee already locking up the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference, there’s a good chance the Bucks will rest their starters including superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo. This could help the Celtics clinch home-court advantage.

Washington Wizards at Miami Heat: This game is a must-win for the Miami Heat. They are currently in ninth place in the Eastern Conference. They are tied with the eighth seeded Chicago Bulls, but they don’t own the tiebreaker. They are one game behind the seventh seeded Indiana Pacers, but in this case they own the tiebreaker over Indiana. If the Heat lose to the Wizards, their valiant effort to get back into postseason contention will be wasted. There are multiple scenarios that could lead to the Heat making the playoffs. If the Heat and Pacers win and Bulls lose, the Pacers and Heat will be the seventh and eighth seeds, respectively.  If the Heat and Bulls win and Pacers lose, the Bulls and Heat will be the seventh and eighth seeds, respectively. If all three teams win, the Heat will stay in ninth place and will miss the playoffs. The Heat must win and hope either the Bulls or Pacers lose.

Atlanta Hawks at Indiana Pacers: The Indiana Pacers control their own destiny. If the Pacers beat the Hawks, they will clinch the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference. If the Pacers lose, they could fall to eighth place if the Heat or Bulls win. The Pacers will miss the playoffs if they lose and both the Heat and Bulls win. If all three teams win or lose, the playoff standings will remain the same. The Hawks have already clinched the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference and may decide to sit their starters. This would be an enormous help for the Pacers. Indiana cannot focus on all the potential playoff scenarios, they just need to focus on themselves and beat the Hawks to clinch a spot in the playoffs.

Today in Sports: 4/10/17 Review

NBA:

Miami Heat defeat Cleveland Cavaliers 124-121 (OT): For the second straight day, the Cleveland Cavaliers blew a fourth quarter lead before losing in overtime. This game was a lot different than Sunday’s loss against the Atlanta Hawks. The Cavaliers were tied with the Boston Celtics with the best record in the Eastern Conference before yesterday’s game, but decided to bench LeBron James and Kyrie Irving. If they didn’t rest their stars, the Cavaliers would’ve won and would likely be the top seed. But for some reason the struggling Cavaliers thought it was more important to rest their starters than try and gain home-court advantage. They dominated the Boston Celtics in Boston the last time they played, so it seems like they don’t believe they need home-court advantage to make it to the NBA finals. The Heat had to win this game in order to stay in playoff contention after both the Indiana Pacers and Chicago Bulls won earlier in the day. The Heat need to win their last game and have the Bulls lose to make the postseason as the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference.

Milwaukee Bucks defeat Charlotte Hornets 89-79: The Milwaukee Bucks won their last home game of the season against the Hornets behind Giannis Antetokounmpo’s triple-double. With the Hornets having nothing to play for, this was a game that the Bucks couldn’t afford to lose. The Bucks are now a half game behind the Atlanta Hawks for the fifth seed and one game ahead of the Indiana Pacers for the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference. The last game for Milwaukee will be against the Boston Celtics, who currently have a one game lead over the Cleveland Cavaliers for the top seed in the Eastern Conference. This will be a pivotal game for both teams.

Los Angeles Clippers defeat Houston Rockets 125-96: In a game that meant nothing to the Houston Rockets, the Los Angeles Clippers won in convincing fashion to stay in fourth place in the Western Conference. The Rockets already have the third seed locked up, so coach Mike D’Antoni didn’t play their key players their usual minutes. The Clippers were tied with the Utah Jazz heading into today’s game, but owned the tiebreaker over Utah. They will play each other in the first round of the playoffs, but the last game will decide which team will get home-court advantage.

Utah Jazz defeat Golden State Warriors 105-99:  The Utah Jazz won against the NBA’s best team without their star player. Gordon Hayward didn’t play yesterday, but that didn’t stop the Jazz from pulling out the victory. Klay Thompson didn’t play for the Warriors either, but Hayward is a more important piece for the Jazz than Thompson is for the Warriors. The Warriors have already clinched the number one seed in the Western Conference, so this game was meaningless to them. With this victory, the Jazz kept pace with the Clippers after they defeated the Houston Rockets. With one game remaining for the Jazz and Clippers, Utah needs to win and have the Clippers lose in order to jump them in the standings. If both teams win or lose, then the Clippers will have home-court advantage over the Jazz in the first round of the playoffs.

Today in Sports: 4/10/17 Preview

NBA:

Cleveland Cavaliers at Miami Heat:  The Cavaliers look to rebound after yesterday’s debacle in Atlanta. They are currently tied with the Boston Celtics for the best record in the Eastern Conference, but own the tiebreaker over Boston. The Miami Heat are tied with the eighth seeded Chicago Bulls but wouldn’t make the playoffs if they started today. Since the Bulls own the tiebreaker, the Heat will likely need to win their last two games to make the postseason. This is an extremely important game for both teams.

Charlotte Hornets at Milwaukee Bucks: This is an important game for the Milwaukee Bucks. The Hornets have already been eliminated from playoff contention, but are a talented team that many expected to make a postseason run before the season started. The Bucks cannot take these Hornets lightly. Milwaukee is currently in sixth place in the Eastern Conference. They are one game behind the fifth seeded Atlanta Hawks and one game ahead of the seventh seeded Indiana Pacers.

Houston Rockets at Los Angeles Clippers (TNT): The Houston Rockets have already locked up the third seed in the Western Conference and will face the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round of the playoffs. The Rockets may decide to sit their starters for their final two games. The Clippers do not have that luxury. Los Angeles is currently in fourth place in the Western Conference with two games remaining on their schedule. They are tied with the fifth seeded Utah Jazz, but own the tiebreaker over Utah. They will face each other in the first round of the playoffs, and these last two games will determine which team will get the home-court advantage.

Utah Jazz at Golden State Warriors: The Golden State Warriors have already locked up the number one seed in the Western Conference and will play the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round of the playoffs. The Utah Jazz are currently in fifth place in the Western Conference with two games remaining on their schedule. They are tied with the fourth seeded Los Angeles Clippers, but do not own the tiebreaker. They’ll face the Clippers in the first round of the playoffs, but will have to end the season with the better record if they want home-court advantage in the first round.

Today in Sports: 4/8/17 Review

The Masters:

Third-round play at The Masters concluded with a tie at the top of the leaderboard. Justin Rose and Sergio Garcia are tied at -6 heading into Sunday’s final round. Jordan Spieth had another nice round on Saturday and is now tied for fourth place at -4. Sergio Garcia is one of the world’s most prominent golfers without a major. He’ll try and finally break that streak on Sunday.

 

NBA:

Boston Celtics defeat Charlotte Hornets 121-114: The Boston Celtics won an important game in Charlotte against the Hornets. The Hornets have nothing to play for but pride, and made the game close after a dominating third quarter. Nicolas Batum’s 31 points and 8 rebounds led the Hornets. Isaiah Thomas led his team with 32 points in this must-win game. The Celtics are now a half game behind the Cleveland Cavaliers for the number one seed in the Eastern Conference.

Brooklyn Nets defeat Chicago Bulls 107-106: The Chicago Bulls continue to disappoint with another baffling loss. The Bulls are in the thick of the playoff hunt, but laid an egg against the NBA’s worst team. The Nets don’t have an incentive to tank because their first round pick belongs to Boston, so they’ve continued to play hard despite being the laughingstock of the league. Dwyane Wade scored 14 points in his return and superstar Jimmy Butler put in 33 points. But that wasn’t enough as the Bulls fall to eighth place in the Eastern Conference with two games remaining. They are tied with the ninth seeded Miami Heat and are in danger of missing the playoffs.

Miami Heat defeat Washington Wizards 106-103: The Miami Heat won another impressive road game against a Washington Wizards team that is trying to get the third seed in the Eastern Conference. The Wizards are currently in fourth place, just one game behind the third seeded Toronto Raptors. With their playoff ticket already punched, they are trying to improve their seed so they can avoid the Cavaliers in the second round. On the other hand, the Miami Heat would be at home if the playoffs started today. They are in ninth place in the Eastern Conference, but are tied with the eighth seeded Chicago Bulls. With the Bulls owning the tiebreaker, the Heat will have to jump ahead of them in the standings with only two games remaining.

Portland Trail Blazers defeat Utah Jazz 101-86: The Portland Trail Blazers won an important game at home against the Utah Jazz. With this loss, the Jazz fell from fourth to fifth place in the Western Conference. They’ll face the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round of the playoffs, and have two games remaining that will determine which team will get the home-court advantage. The Trail Blazers are currently in eighth place in the Western Conference. They have a 1.5 game lead over the ninth seeded Denver Nuggets. The Trail Blazers control their own destiny, and are surging at the right time with eight wins in their last ten games.

Today in Sports: 4/8/17 Preview

The Masters:

Third-round play at The Masters begins today with a four-way tie at the top of the leaderboard. Sergio Garcia is one of the leaders at -4 and is in search of his first career major. Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, and Phil Mickelson are all within striking distance.

 

NBA:

Boston Celtics at Charlotte Hornets: The Celtics will try to take advantage of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ baffling loss yesterday to an Atlanta Hawks team that was resting four starters. The Hornets haven’t lived up to expectations this year, but are plenty talented enough to knock off the Celtics as they try to move closer to the top spot in the Eastern Conference. The Celtics are one game behind Cleveland with both teams having three games remaining.

Chicago Bulls at Brooklyn Nets (NBATV): The Bulls are currently seventh in the Eastern Conference going into today’s matchup with the NBA’s worst team. They are tied with the eighth seeded Indiana Pacers and are just one game ahead of the Miami Heat. With three games remaining, the Bulls are trying to get ahead of the sixth seeded Milwaukee Bucks so they can avoid facing either Boston or Cleveland in the first round. This is a game the Bulls cannot afford to lose.

Miami Heat at Washington Wizards: This season’s most surprising team has been the Washington Wizards. After a slow start to begin the season, John Wall and company have been one of the most consistent teams during the last few months. Currently the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference, the Wizards are just a half game behind the third seeded Toronto Raptors with three games remaining on their schedule. To a certain degree, the Miami Heat have also been one of the more surprising teams after a slow start to the season. With all the injuries that the Heat suffered this season, Erik Spoelstra deserves a ton of credit for helping his team back into the playoff race. The Heat are one game behind the eighth seeded Indiana Pacers in a very competitive Eastern Conference. This game has major playoff implications.

Utah Jazz at Portland Trail Blazers: The Utah Jazz are one of the more underappreciated teams in the NBA this season. With all the injuries that they’ve suffered, the Jazz are in fourth place in the Western Conference. They are one game ahead of the Los Angeles Clippers, another talented team that has suffered crippling injuries throughout the season. The Jazz cannot get a top three seed and won’t fall below fifth, so they’ll face the Clippers in the first round of the playoffs. These last three games will determine which team will get home-court advantage. The Trail Blazers have disappointed this season but still have a chance to make the playoffs. They are currently in eighth place in the Western Conference with three games remaining. The Denver Nuggets are one game behind them, so this is a crucial game for the Trail Blazers.