Tag Archives: Playoffs

Poll: Are the San Antonio Spurs Ready for Another Championship Run?

The San Antonio Spurs have been the “Team of the 21st Century” so far, as they have, time and time again, won 60-plus games (even in the 2011-2012 season, which was shortened by a lockout).

The Spurs were a little different this year. They didn’t win as much as they usually did. They struggled with some injuries and non-typical Spurs basketball.

However, they were able to turn things around when it mattered most. To finish off the season, San Antonio went on a tear, winning 11 out of their final 12 games.

During that stretch, the Spurs beat Golden State, the #1 team in the NBA, by 15, Memphis by 14, and destroyed Oklahoma City twice, once by 39 and another time by 25.

Tim Duncan and Kawhi Leonard have stepped up big time for this team during their winning streak, and should be able to continue with their success throughout the playoffs. Danny Green has done very well as the Spurs’ starting shooting guard. Tony Parker is almost 33 years old, yet he still an important part of San Antonio’s game.

Don’t doubt the Spurs’ abilities for one second. This team has so much playoff experience. They have won five titles during the Tim Duncan era, making it to the Finals eight times.

The Spurs face the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round of the NBA Playoffs.

Right now, I see the Spurs as the second best team in the Western Conference behind Golden State, whom I believe they will meet up with in the Western Conference Finals. While that should be a very good and close series, I expect the Warriors to come out on top, despite the vast amount of playoff experience that San Antonio has. But, if Golden State happens to fall short once again, expect to see San Antonio right there in the finals again, with the opportunity to win another ring.

[Photo via [AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez]

Rangers vs. Islanders Would Make a Great Playoff Match-up

Despite cooling off recently, the New York Islanders are still in a playoff spot. They are third in the Metropolitan Division and currently hold the #5 seed in the Eastern Conference.

The New York Rangers, who play not even 30 miles away, have jumped over the Islanders in the standings. Although they struggled before the new year began, the New York Rangers have caught fire in 2015, and they are now the top team in the Metropolitan Division and the NHL, with over 100 points.

With the two New York teams close in terms of proximity, points, and standings, a Rangers-Islanders Playoff match-up would be welcomed by many, and could very well end up being a great series.

Every time the Islanders and Rangers faced off during the regular season, tensions were high and a playoff-level atmosphere was experienced by all in attendance. Although the Rangers lost the first three out of five times they played the Islanders, their February 16 th win proved that this match-up would be ideal in the upcoming Playoffs. This win for the Rangers was no easy battle, due to the fact that they didn’t lead until 15:28 into the 3 rd period.

What has made these teams so close? The statistics from the beginning of the season until now tell it all. Just by looking at their consistently-starting rookies; both Kevin Hayes (NYR) and Anders Lee (NYI) are both tied for the 5th-best rookie in the NHL. They are close in shots per game, with both teams averaging from 31 to 33 shots. Rick Nash (NYR) and John Travares (NYI) are both amongst the NHL leaders in goals, with Nash netting 40 and Travares scoring 34. While the team’s offenses have been crucial to their successes, their defenses haven’t disappointed. In terms of goalies, the teams numbers are a bit skewered since Lundqvist has missed so much time. The Rangers’ combination of Lundqvist and Talbot currently hold a .922 save percentage, while the Islanders’ Jaroslav Halak has a .913 save percentage.

With all of these factors tied together – especially considering the high tensions and close proximity and ranking of the two teams – who wouldn’t want to see a New York vs. New York playoff match-up?

[Photo: NHLI via Getty Images]

Prediction: The Miami Marlins will Make the Playoffs this Season

The Miami Marlins celebrate a walk-off victory in 2014. Will we be seeing a lot more of these from Miami in 2015? [Photo via Rob Foldy/Getty Images]
The Miami Marlins celebrate a walk-off victory in 2014. Will we be seeing a lot more of these from Miami in 2015? [Photo via Rob Foldy/Getty Images]

Whether you believe it or not, the Miami Marlins are ready to compete.

No, not for last place, for a playoff spot. Seriously.

Continue reading Prediction: The Miami Marlins will Make the Playoffs this Season