The Playoff Picture: NBA & NHL In Focus

Sports fans have had a lot to cheer about already this year, but the roars are reaching a fever pitch this week as both the NBA and NHL playoffs enter their final rounds. The past month has been filled with upsets, overtimes and buzzer-beaters from young superstars truly at the top of their game.

NBA Finals – Orlando Magic vs Los Angeles Lakers

Basketball fans were keeping their fingers crossed for a Kobe-LeBron showdown, but Orlando wasn’t about to roll over and proved they deserve to be here. Both the Lakers and the Magic took six games to win in the second round, with the injury-plagued Houston Rockets nearly upsetting LA and the defending champions Boston Celtics (minus Kevin Garnett) almost eliminating Orlando. The conference finals weren’t much easier, but now the stage is set for what’s sure to be a great championship.

Don’t think that Kobe & Co. will breeze through Orlando. While he may not be on as many billboards as LeBron, Dwight Howard has quietly accumulated an amazing roster of accomplishments in his five years in the league: 3-Time All-Star, 2009 Defensive Player of the Year, the youngest player to reach 5,000 rebounds, average a double-double, and record 20 rebounds in one game. He also put up 20 points a game this season.

Game 1: Los Angeles 100, Orlando 75
Game 2, June 7: Orlando at Los Angeles
Game 3, June 9: Los Angeles at Orlando
Game 4, June 11: Los Angeles at Orlando
Game 5*, June 14: Los Angeles at Orlando
Game 6*, June 16: Orlando at Los Angeles
Game 7*, June 18: Orlando at Los Angeles

* if necessary; all games on ABC

With the series too close to call, this Caveman is looking for his Rock Heads to chime in with their pick: Orlando or Los Angeles?

NHL Finals – Detroit Red Wings vs Pittsburgh Penguins

Two games into this rematch of last year’s Stanley Cup showdown, Detroit has found a way to contain Pittsburgh’s young guns, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Heading back to their home ice down 0-2, the Penguins will need to get something going in Game 3 to keep their hopes alive.

After stumbling a little against the Chicago Blackhawks in the previous round, Detroit’s back in their groove and playing like league champions. If you want to see some world-class hockey, make sure you tune in this week!

Game 1, May 30: Detroit 3, Pittsburgh 1
Game 2, May 31: Detroit 3, Pittsburgh 1
Game 3, June 2: Pittsburgh 4, Detroit 2
Game 4, June 4: Pittsburgh 4, Detroit 2
Game 5, June 6: Pittsburgh at Detroit (NBC, CBC)
Game 6, June 9: Detroit at Pittsburgh (NBC, CBC)
Game 7, June 12*: Pittsburgh at Detroit (NBC, CBC)

* if necessary

Do you think Pittsburgh can pull off the upset, or should they start engraving the Red Wings’ roster on Lord Stanley’s Cup?

4 thoughts on “The Playoff Picture: NBA & NHL In Focus

  • June 2, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    I am going to go with Orlando, because if they are hot, the Lakers can’t stop the inside/outside game. Kobe is going to get his, but the rest of the team will let him down.

    I am going with my heart, and say the Pens will come back, that’s what they do, and they have a ton of young talent, 1 win will get them on a roll, ask the Capitals about that!

    *** Response From Scratch ***

    Well John you got your one win last night, now let’s see if they can keep the momentum! Just remember that Chicago beat Detroit in Game 3 in the Western Conference Final but lost the next game 6-1 and never threatened the Wings after that, losing in 5 games. But if any team can pull it off, it’s Pittsburgh…

  • June 2, 2009 at 4:37 pm

    Lakers will win in 6.

    *** Response From Scratch ***

    Alright Francis, you’re on the record with LA in 6. Thanks for your pick!

  • June 2, 2009 at 7:27 pm

    Orlando will win in 6 games. The Lakers peaked to early in the season and Orlando is peaking at the playoffs. I also think the big guys of the lakers can not compete with Dwight Howard.

    *** Response From Scratch ***

    Phil, you’ve got a good point – Orlando’s been getting better over the past few weeks. In any event, you’re on the record with the Magic in 6, and I thank you for posting your pick!

  • June 2, 2009 at 7:30 pm

    I don’t know much about NHL but being down 2 games to 0 is hard to come back from defending champions in any leage.

    *** Response From Scratch ***

    Hey again Phil! I agree, the Penguins have put themselves in a hole here early and will truly have to play like champions if they still want to win this year.

    PS: Now’s a great time to get into hockey! These two teams are playing fast, physical hockey and the refs are swallowing their whistles. Watch a full game and I’d be willing to bet you’ll come back for more!


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