The Celtics Make Me Sad

NCAA Basketball: Butler at Fordham

The Celtics were never going to win the Championship this year. Anyone who thought they had any chance in today’s NBA landscape is a fool. Anyone who thought they should mortgage the future to try and “win-now” is also a fool. They’re not beating Cleveland with Jimmy Butler. They’re not beating Cleveland with a few months of Paul George. And they’re certainly not beating Cleveland by trading one of the Nets picks for half a season of Serge Ibaka. People thought they should have given up a first round pick for Serge Ibaka! Are you serious? In this year’s draft class, would Ibaka be a top four pick? Hellllllllll, no. Besides the fact that DeMarcus Cousins and Nerlens Noel, two players they definitely could use, got moved for absolutely nothing, and the fact that they haven’t been able to rebound since 2010, keeping the assets at the deadline was the smart move. I was fine with however deep into the playoffs they went. Assuming they got out of the first round, that is.

The Celtics are about to become the first number one seed to ever get swept in the first round. They’ve been absolutely dominated by a crappy Bulls team that was the eight seed for a reason. Besides Isaiah Thomas, everyone should be ashamed of themselves. By the way, as someone who has been very harsh on Playoff Isaiah (comparing anyone to Playoff Kyle Lowry might have been the meanest thing I’ve ever written), if you come out of this postseason with anything but respect for Isaiah, something’s wrong with you. To have to deal with something like that and come back and play, let alone play well, is something not many people could do. Anyway, every weakness the Celtics have has been quickly exposed: they can’t rebound, they can’t defend the paint, they can’t really shoot, no one but Isaiah can score, and everyone’s (mostly Marcus Smart’s) shot selection has been horrible. They’re going to lose to the eight seed, and it’s going to be embarrassing. But again, I knew the Celtics weren’t winning the title. Besides the pain of losing in the first round, I don’t mind (that much) losing early to avoid getting let down later. What I’m worried about is GM Danny Ainge panicking and trying to change everything to win right away. Now that they won 53 games with an incomplete roster awaiting a star from the draft, might as well throw away that potential for draft success so you can trade for Andre Drummond, right? That’ll push them over the top! LeBron just had one of his best statistical seasons this year. He’s not going anywhere for a few years. It’s okay to let the team marinate organically until he’s gone. Considering the nature of Boston fans, a win-now move is going to be called for enthusiastically. The impatient rabble of Bostonians who are used to having one of the best teams in the league won’t be happy to sit and wait for young guys to develop. After all, Dave Dombrowski works in the same town. But it’s the right move. And I think Ainge is smart enough to realize it. The only problem is, he’s the worst drafter in the history of mankind.

It’s easy to say now, but they could have Giannis, Draymond Green, Nikola Jokic, Khris Middleton, and Jimmy Butler as a starting five. He traded up to get Kelly Olynyk. He passed on Draymond, Middleton, and Jae Crowder, who they traded for a mere two years later, so he could take Jared Sullinger and Fab Melo (R.I.P.) back to back. He took Marcus Smart, he of the under 30% career 3 point shooting percentage (but he plays good defense!) over Julius Randle, whose 9.4 career rebounds per game might help them right now, Zach LaVine, who was breaking out as a creative scorer before getting hurt this year, Jusuf Nurkic, who emerged as an interior force in the second half of the season, Rodney Hood, who can actually shoot 3s, and Nikola Jokic, who, to be fair, was an unknown Euro who fell to the second round. He took Terry Rozier, who stinks, over Bobby Portis, who is currently destroying the Celtics this series, then took R.J. Hunter over Montrezl Harrell and Willy Hernangomez, both of whom would be the best rebounder on the team. HE TOOK J.R. GIDDENS OVER DEANDRE JORDAN!!! It’s too early to judge this year’s draft class, but they sure could use the shooting Buddy Hield or Jamal Murray showed this season. That’s a horrible track record. It’s the worst carnage these eyes have ever seen. And I’m supposed to trust this man to make the most important draft decision in 20 years? On the off chance the Celtics don’t get screwed in the lottery, he’s probably going to take Isaiah Hartenstein number one overall. No one in the world loves anything more than Danny Ainge loves acting like he outsmarted everyone. He could have had the top pick in 2003 and would have taken Chris Kaman just because everyone would have expected him to take LeBron. The opportunity is going to be there to take Markelle Fultz, easily the best player in this class, and he’s going to pass on it because he’s an arrogant dumbass who would rather die than make the conventional pick. Literally nothing that has happened since the 2008 title tells me I should trust Danny Ainge in the draft. Avery Bradley is the only pick that unquestionably worked out. Every other first round pick either sucks or was taken before a franchise-altering player that could have them in position to maybe compete against LeBron one of these years. The Knicks and Nets both have better recent draft records than the Celtics, and the Nets haven’t had a pick since Lyndon B. Johnson was in office. No one in the world is worse at anything than Danny Ainge is at drafting good NBA players. But, hey, they have a lot of picks! It has to work out! Not with him calling the shots. Just let me make all the draft picks. I’ll only take the obvious guy, and if it doesn’t work out, history will be kind to me since I did the consensus thing. Not trade up to get an unathletic, short armed, white Canadian over Giannis Antetokounmpo, who is literally the exact opposite of that description. But whatever, at least the Red Sox are good.

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Old Packet of McDonald’s Szechuan Sauce sells for over $14k

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source– A 20-year-old dipping sauce from McDonald’s sold for nearly $15,000 after a mention in the show Rick and Morty. 

A listing for the Szechuan sauce, which was released as a promotional product for the Disney movie Mulan, closed with a winning bid of $14,700.

“I just bought a really old car, while cleaning it I found a packet of this sauce.,” the listing states. “After watching the recent episode of Rick and Morty I went online to see if it was worth anything. Turns out it was. Also this comes with a packet of wasabi as well.”

The premiere of Rick and Morty’s third season featured main character Rick citing the sauce as his series arc even “if it takes nine seasons.” The episode spurred fans to petition McDonald’s to bring back to sauce, especially as a live action-version of Mulan is set to be released in 2018.

Several petitions have been added on Change.org, the largest with over 35,000 signatures.

Some quick background on this: during the season 3 premiere of Rick and Morty which was aired on April 1st, Rick mentioned how he missed this Szechuan Sauce (Rick and Morty Review: It’s very good. Rating: 🚀🚀🚀🚀🚀🚀🚀🚀🚀). Since Rick and Morty has such a strong cult following, it’s only natural that people would take this idea and run with it. There’s a petition and everything. Knowing how the fast food world works, I have to commend the guy that sold this for cashing in on it before McDonald’s inevitably brings it back. Flipping an old packet of dipping sauce you randomly found that’s either toxic or completely fine at this point (not sure which is a worse scenario) for basically $15,000 when it’s going to be on sale for less than 50 cents within the month is some true thievery. Whoever bought it might be the dumbest person who ever lived, or at least someone with absolutely no foresight or experience when it comes to the fast food industry. Anything with a petition is almost always brought back. McDonald’s brought the McRib back like, 100 times and literally five people in the world were clamoring for it. I’m thinking of petitioning Burger King to bring back their green apple slime dipping sauce they had when I was a kid. And to go back to the old style of chicken nuggets when they were just strips and were good. They were way better than Chicken Fries and these cheap nuggets they have now. If I had more than ten friends I could probably get a bunch of signatures for both things and become the hero that Made Burger King Great Again. You really think McDonald’s is going to ignore 35,000 signatures for something as easy to produce as a dipping sauce? I’m sure there’s only one or two different ingredients in it than their barbecue sauce, too. This is such a slam dunk PR stunt for them there’s virtually no reason for them not to do it. And you just spent $15,000 on one cup? You, sir, are an IDIOT.

I will say for the people who signed this petition, though, be careful what you wish for. Some things are better left in the rose-colored world of our memories. There’s a reason some things fade into the sunset. Just think of the saying “Never meet your heroes.” Remember Chicken Selects? During their first run I couldn’t get enough of them. When they brought them back, I had them once, they weren’t as good as I remembered, and I never considered getting them again. P’Zones were awesome when they were first around. Then they got discontinued and for some reason Pizza Hut brought them back. Now they’re pretty much poison. I never had this sauce when it was around so I don’t really have any idea of the flavor or anything, but I’d be willing to bet that the diehards out there who were the first to sign the petition might not be so thrilled that McDonald’s brought it back after they try it. This is just a piece of advice for the fast food industry and it’s consumers: let’s keep some things exclusive. You know what I haven’t really wanted in a while? McDonald’s breakfast. Once they made it all day there was no reason to go anymore. Waking up in a state of questionable health, realizing you only had 30 minutes, then making it there in time was such a rush. It was a high that helped get me through college. Now? Why go to McDonald’s early if I can get it all day? Might as well go to a real place for breakfast. When Burger King brought back Chicken Fries but then kept them permanently, there was no rush to go try them anymore since you knew they’d be there tomorrow. It’ll probably be the same thing with this sauce. Unless they slap it with a Limited Time Only label, after the first week no one’s gonna be scrambling to try the Szechuan Sauce. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Taco Bell is the only one that handles these the right way. They’ll introduce some crazy new menu item, get the buzz going, take it off the menu after about a week, replace it by bringing some beloved menu item back, get more buzz going, take it away after a week, rinse, repeat. They’re masters of continuing hype and leaving the people wanting more. McDonald’s? Not so much. They left the Big ‘N’ Tasty on the menu for a decade and sold less than ten of them. They don’t exactly have their finger on the pulse of what the consumers want. So I fully expect them to bring this sauce back, announce that they’re adding it permanently to their menu, and ruin any hype they had built up. Just par for the Mickey D’s course these days.

England’s Smallest Castle is up for Sale

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source– HERE’s a great chance to make your home an actual castle – for a mere £550,000.

This Grade II listed building appears to be the UK’s smallest castle, with just a single bedroom.

Molly’s Lodge once served as a gatehouse to the Weston Park Estate in Warwickshire.

It now sits surrounded by trees in on a 0.61 acre site near the village of Long Compton.

The pyramidal roof, mullion windows and limestone turrets certainly give it a strong, if squashed, appearance.

But though you might imagine a long history of defending the landscape, in fact the mini fort was constructed in the 1830s by Edward Blore.

The famous British architect also restored Lambeth Palace and completed the enlargement of Buckingham Palace for Queen Victoria.

At first glance, this place seems like the ideal place for the first International Brian’s Den. The quaint small-scale architecture. The charming, expansive garden. The tranquil lake, perfect to have my afternoon tea and crumpets next to. It looks like a nurturing environment for the type of strong takes the Brian’s Den is known for. But I’m a little hesitant to commit to this, though. Before I fork over 550,000 of my hard earned quid, I’ll need a full, comprehensive tour, because, as everyone knows, a castle is only as good as its secrets.

The first question I would have is is it haunted? Do the restless spirits of all those who were held in its hellish dungeon and executed in the courtyard roam the halls, harassing and attacking anyone unfortunate enough to step inside? Do specters of the fallen soldiers who lost their lives in the numerous battles for control over this all-important piece of land guard the gates, stinking down any unwanted visitor? Do the suits of armor that line the corridors have minds of their own? Is there a dangerous creature, created either by curse or experiment gone wrong, who now has free reign of the grounds, ever searching for its next meal? If yes, I’m out. And not for the reason you think. I could handle some ghosts. Once you live there for a while and establish you want the best for the castle, the phantoms will leave you alone. They may even come to respect you. They’ll fight you a little on the upkeep, since no self-respecting ghost will allow their castle grounds to look clean and healthy, but they might relent eventually. It’s mostly for the lack of privacy. Nothing draws curiosity like a haunted castle. Every night you’d have to deal with stupid kids looking for thrills. Every night you’d have to deal with lost travelers, since the only places they’ll ever stop are haunted castles, not the town a mile down the road. You’d have to deal with news crews looking for a story, authors looking to write a book, actors researching for a role, it’d be never ending. It’d be impossible to have a moment’s peace. How could I be expected to accurately predict the entirety of the NFL season and give in-depth movie reviews if I have to clean up a new pile of dead bodies every day? No thanks. If it’s haunted, someone else can have it.

The second most important thing is the basement. The gallery doesn’t show one, but I know it’s there. And I’m not talking about the basement that holds all the extra stuff or the wine cellar. I’m talking about the secret basement. The one that has a laboratory and magical knick knacks. Does this castle come with a live-in wizard? Will he take requests or just do whatever he wants? Or, even better, does it have the tools for me to become a wizard? Does the library have the forbidden tomes I need to master the dark arts? Does the lab have the right equipment for the various alchemical experiments I’m going to do? Will I have have access to all the various stones, bones, relics, and other sacred/accursed artifacts I need to make contact with other planes of existence? There’s no tower, so will I have a way to use lighting to power some of my bigger experiments? And are there any rival wizards close by? It’s a highly competitive community and I don’t want to get blindsided when some old warlock down the street comes in and trashed my lab out of jealousy.

Thirdly, what kind of defenses does this place have? There’s not really a moat or any kind of wall. Are there some trebuchets and ballistas in the shed? What about cauldrons so I can pour molten hot liquid on attackers? Are the doors strong enough to withstand a battering ram? Will I have some kind of militia? Does it even have an armory? Judging by the pictures, the odds of that don’t look so great. In fact, it doesn’t even look like it would come with a sharp set of knives or gardening tools. So if, for some reason, this castle doesn’t have some type of magical lair and, since in this scenario I’m the owner so we know it isn’t haunted, no supernatural forces are on my side, how am I supposed to ward off invaders? Is this castle built to survive a siege attempt? How much punishment can these walls take before they come crashing down? Not to sound ignorant about an area of land I may soon own, but what kind of landscape am I dealing with? Do I have any natural advantages or is it at the bottom of a valley with no access to anything? Is there even a throne room where I can make my final stand? If not, this castle might be next to useless. I’m sorry, but I’m going to have to pass on this. The search goes on for the first expansion opportunity.

NBA Playoff Preview

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Finally, we’ve reached the playoffs. The culmination of months of grinding, battling for seeding, chasing triple doubles, feuding, and some of the most impressive individual performances we’ve ever seen, but no one cares about the regular season, right? Just think, it’ll only be another six months of basketball before the inevitable Cavs-Warriors re-rematch. Just kidding, the playoffs are only five months long. Seems like only yesterday I was handing out the awards for the season, but now I’ve got to bring you my take on each playoff series, just because I care (a little tidbit I forgot to add when telling you why Russell Westbrook should not be MVP: according to OddsShark, the Thunder’s projected over-under for wins before the season was 43.5. The Rockets were at 41.5. But keep telling me how Westbrook is playing with a bunch of bums). Let’s jump right in, starting with the series that might take a few years off my life. If you think this format looks similar to my NHL Playoff Preview, you’re right. It’s the exact same. If it ain’t broke…

East

Boston Celtics vs. Chicago Bulls

On paper, this should be a mismatch. It’s the one seed vs. the eight seed. It’s a top 10 offense vs. a bottom 10 offense. It’s a team that can’t shoot 3’s against the second best team in the league defending the 3. It’s one of the three best coaches vs. a coach who garners no respect and has no control of the locker room. The only two things the Bulls have is the superior team defense and the best player in the series in Jimmy Butler. Every other rational advantage goes to the Celtics. But this series lives outside the rational. What happens if Playoff Rondo comes back? What if when he first steps onto that parquet floor in game 1 he gets a little of that juice back and starts dropping triple doubles left and right? What if he steals game 1 singlehandedly? What if he unnerves Isaiah just enough that Jimmy Butler is able to put him in his back pocket in crunch time? What if Dwyane Wade, arguably the worst 3 point shooter ever, randomly catches fire from 3, like he seemingly does every playoffs/every time he plays the Celtics? And, of course, there’s the inexplicable fact that the Bulls have won 20 straight games played on TNT. Three of the first four games are on TNT. I really don’t know how to feel about this Celtics postseason. I won’t care if they lose to the Cavs, but I’d be a little pissed if they lost to anyone else, especially the Raptors. They just have to get out of the first round. That’s the only thing I ask. Just please beat the Bulls. If you can.

Prediction: Celtics in 6

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Indiana Pacers

I’m not sure we’ll even get the full Cavs playoff experience here, just because they won’t need it. The stats don’t really matter in this series. The Cavs have LeBron and the Pacers don’t. That’s all that matters in the first round. I’ll be interested to see how Paul George plays, though. He’ll either go balls to the wall and try and put the team on his back, leading to everyone saying “look at this guy he’s doing it all! Someone get him out of Indiana!” Or, he’s going to tank it so everyone goes “someone get this guy out of Indiana, he can’t compete with this roster!” Either way, I think he’s gone during the offseason.

Prediction: Cavs in 4

Toronto Raptors vs. Milwaukee Bucks

Despite the fact that it involves the Raptors, I’m actually excited to watch this series, mostly because I think these might be the two teams in the East that, in a perfect world where the NBA resembles March Madness, might have a chance of beating Cleveland. Neither will, but both might win a game or two and get my hopes up. Anyway, this is actually a pretty even matchup. Both teams are in the bottom ten in offensive pace and 3 pointers attempted per game, so those of you who pull up old clips of 90s basketball and hard fouls during your alone time will be in for a treat. The Raptors, despite their plodding pace and mid-range heavy approach, actually had the second best offense in the East by offensive efficiency. And it’s an imperfect statistic, but the Bucks were fourth in the league in field goal percentage. So both teams have efficient offenses, but where the Raptors were a top 10 team in defensive efficiency, the Bucks tied for 17th. The Raptors have the more complete team, but a lot of things favor the Bucks. They have by far the best player in the series Giannis Antetokounmpo, at worst the fourth best player in the series Khris Middleton, and, debatably, the fifth best player in the series Malcolm Brogdon. Greg Monroe could eat the Raptors second unit alive down low. The Raptors beat the Bucks 2 of the 3 times they met in the regular season, but Jabari Parker was still playing and Khris Middleton was still out for both Raptors wins. The Bucks win in March is the only game you can realistically draw anything from. Plus, Toronto’s best players struggle (to put it kindly) against size. The Bucks built their team based solely on size and length. These teams are almost perfect reflections of each other, only the Bucks are a funhouse mirror.

Prediction: Bucks in 7

Washington Wizards vs. Atlanta Hawks

Please, someone save from having to watch this series. This series is going to stiiiiiiiiiiink.  In an unforeseen development, the Hawks will extend their streak of playoff series played primarily on NBATV to 1,000,000 years in a row. I really hate Dwight Howard. Like, really really really hate. I can’t stand him. I hate his fake personality, I hate the way he completely destroyed the Magic, I hate his passive-agressive bullshit, I hate that, despite the fact that he is literally carved from granite and looks like he can rip a car in half with his bare hands, I feel like I could bully him, and I hate that he thinks he’s this refined post scorer who you have to keep feeding so he can pick defenses apart, when in reality his limited skills have only gone down and his refusal to embrace his role as a better DeAndre Jordan cost him at least four productive seasons. There’s a reason his teams always suck, and it’s him. I want him out of the league. I want him to have a career ending injury. I wouldn’t really mind if he died. I will always pick against Dwight. Especially when his team ranks 27th in offensive efficiency. 27th! Out of 30! All of Paul Millsap’s excellent defense is flushed down the drain when you build your offense around Denis Schroeder and Dwight Howard. John Wall might average 5 steals a game this series.

Prediction: Wizards in 5

West

Golden State Warriors vs. Portland Trailblazers

This series kind of bums me out because I like the Blazers and wish they weren’t just first round fodder for the Warriors. I feel so bad for Damian Lillard. He was just born at the wrong time. After getting snubbed yet again for the All Star Team, he averaged 29.7 points with .467/.413/.884 shooting splits. I mean, in a normal season, averaging 27, 6, and 5 with good percentages will get you some MVP talk. Now? He’s not even going to make an All-NBA team. Just a brutal time to be a point guard if you want any recognition.

Prediction: Warriors in 4

San Antonio Spurs vs. Memphis Grizzlies

It feels like these teams meet every year, and if this is anything like last year, this is going to be a mercifully short series. Despite Memphis finishing in the top half of the league in 3 pointers attempted per game, we pretty much know what we’re getting out of both these teams. It’s going to be slow, it’s going to be physical, the defense is going to be airtight, and the Spurs are going to sweep because they’re just flat out better. They may run into some trouble next round, but they can sleepwalk through this one. Not that Pop will let them.

Prediction: Spurs in 4

Houston Rockets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder

Needless to say, this is a huge series for me, because I could very well end up with a giant egg on my face. Harden and Westbrook facing off for seven games on the hardwood, not just the internet streets. Now, it’d be easy to say this is going to boil down to an extended game of one-on-one, and it very well might, I think it’s going to be the other guys who make the biggest difference. The teams’ strengths and weaknesses match-up pretty well, with the Rocket’s second ranked offense against the Thunder’s top ten defense, and the Thunder’s 17th ranked offense against the Rockets’ 17th ranked defense. I would imagine the Thunder would control the glass considering they led the NBA in total rebounding, offensive rebounding, rebounding rate, and rebounding differential. Both have elite perimeter defenders (Patrick Beverly and Andre Roberson) who will undoubtedly spend the majority of the time guarding the other team’s MVP candidate. Beverly is as close as you can possibly get to being a Westbrook stopper, especially if he dives at his knees all game again, and Roberson’s length and positioning can disrupt even the best offensive players. It’s probably going to come down to the three point line. The Thunder defend the 3 point line decently, finishing in the top half of the league in opponents’ percentage, and the Rockets were only about league average shooting it. But they just shoot so many. They’re relentless. It’s their entire gameplan. On the other side, the Rockets were top five defending the 3. The Thunder? Dead last in shooting. No team in the league shot the 3 worse. Casting up all those bricks against a team that set the record (again) for most 3s made in a season is a death sentence in 2017.

Prediction: Rockets in 7

Los Angeles Clippers vs. Utah Jazz

I’m conflicted about this series. On one hand, I hate watching the Clippers and like watching the Jazz, so naturally I would like the Jazz to win. On the other hand, if the Jazz do too well in the playoffs, Gordon Hayward might be more inclined to stick around and not come to Boston. This is a bit of clash of opposites with the Clippers taking a top four offense against the Jazz’s third ranked defense, but both rank in the bottom half of the league in pace, so it’s not exactly going to be like the ’07 Warriors-Mavs first round. Jazz are pretty decent on offense, and the numbers say the Clippers are pretty decent on defense. And they have three good defensive players with CP3, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, and DeAndre Jordan, but they’re the Clippers. It doesn’t matter who they face, they’ll break down at some point. The Jazz’s defense is almost perfectly built to stop the Clippers offense: length on the perimeter, strength in the post, and Rudy Gobert in the middle. Maybe I’m just sick of the Clippers and the whole “is this their year?” act, but I can’t see them winning. And if they beat the Jazz, they’re just going to get absolutely massacred by Golden State yet again. Do the players actually want that? Does Chris Paul really want to get put in a blender by Steph Curry for the millionth time? Actually, he probably does because it gives him four more games to yell at his teammates. The Jazz would at least be able to put up a fight against the Warriors. Maybe the Celtics don’t need Hayward. After all, Ainge would just trade him to get Rondo back, anyway.

Prediction: Jazz in 6

So, just how correct are these picks? I’m guessing very. Don’t let anyone tell you there’s no upsets in the NBA, because I picked two lower seeded teams to win. That’s more than what usually happens. Honestly, there’s not a ton on the line in the first round this year, aside from complete humiliation if a top seed loses. Only the Celtics really need to win. Everything else is all individual. Who will win the battle of former teammates turned MVP combatants? How much will Paul George try? How will Gordon Hayward perform as lead dog on a playoff team? Who will CP3 bitch at first? Will Isaiah Thomas or Kyle Lowry have a worse playoff run? Will anyone, on either team, take a swing at Dwight Howard? So many questions, but will there be enough answers? Only time will tell.

2016-17 NBA Awards

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After a seemingly never-ending slog, the NBA regular season has finally come to an end. Sure there’s tons of playoff storylines, but we’ll get to those another day. Plenty of things need to be discussed now, though, that don’t involve the postseason. The Nets’ late-season run was stopped before they could truly jeopardize the Celtics future. The season couldn’t have ended fast enough for the Lakers, whose ill-advised hot streak nearly took them out of the bottom three records in the league, which could have disastrous results for them in the lottery. Tony Romo’s storied NBA career is coming to an end, so it’s important we remember his numerous contributions to the game. But most importantly, it’s time to hand out the awards for this season, and I’m willing to give you one more award prediction piece for you to read. For those of you with short memories, here’s where I thought things stood at the All Star break. Has anything changed? Or has it all stayed the same? Who’s making the All NBA Teams? Where do I stand on the Great MVP Debate? Patience, friend, we’ll get to it in time.

Most Improved Player: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks

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I just want to start this off by saying I spelled his name right by memory. Please hold your applause until the end of the show. There’s going to be a lot of words spent on some of the other awards, so might as well start with one of the easiest calls to make. Giannis turned 2016’s late season experiment into a season-long show. Surprisingly, a seven foot freak athlete with a 7’3′ wingspan, the biggest hands in the history of mankind, a point guard’s ball handling and decision making skills turned out to be a pretty good player. Imagine that. I know at least the Celtics didn’t expect that. Good thing the Celtics draft record is so spotless outside this one oversight. Got to love Danny Ainge! (*sobs inconsolably*) Listen, the guy lead the Bucks in pretty much every statistical category and has his team firmly in the coveted No One Wants To Play Us slot. Oh, yeah, he’s only 22 and hasn’t even learned to shoot yet. This won’t be the last award he wins in his career.

Apologies To: Rudy Gobert, Nikola Jokic, Otto Porter, James Johnson

Sixth Man of the Year: Andre Iguodala, Golden State Warriors

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It feels weird not to just give this to whatever microwave scorer had the highest scoring average amongst reserves, but no bench player was more valuable than Iguodala, and it’s about time he’s recognized for his years of consistent play. His numbers seem modest, but dig even a little deeper than his 7.6 ppg. Did you know he lead the NBA in assist to turnover ratio by a wide margin? From February 28th to the end of the season, a.k.a. without Kevin Durant, he averaged 11 points on 60% shooting (including 41.9% from 3), 4 rebounds, and 3.4 assists. He played his typical great defense, and no reserve in the NBA is asked to do more on a nightly basis. Whereas most bench players are just told to add instant offense, be the caretaker backup ball handler, or lock up on d. Well Iggy does all of that every night. He keeps the Pace and Space mojo going when Steph and Draymond are on the bench then guards the other team’s best perimeter player. Being on the best team in the NBA three years running doesn’t hurt things, either. Eric Gordon, my midseason pick, faded a little too much for my taste in the second half of the season.

Apologies To: Eric Gordon, Lou Williams, Jamal Crawford

Rookie of the Year: Dario Saric, Philadelphia 76ers

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There were a lot of tough decisions to make this year. With so many great players, who makes the All-NBA teams? With so few good players, who makes second team All-Rookie? Who wins MVP or Defensive Player? But, to be honest, this was the award I had the most trouble with. The one I went back and forth on more than any other. Because the way I pick this award will have a ripple effect throughout everything else. Yes, believe it or not, Rookie of the Year, in a year with an historically weak rookie class, is the most important and far-reaching award. I had to decide, not only for this but for every award, if health and games played mattered. Make no mistake, Joel Embiid was the best rookie this year. Statistically, he’s one of the greatest rookies of all time. But he only played 31 games. He only played 786 minutes. There’s no rules to these things, but at some point, you have to reward the players that actually play every day. If you spend any time online reading other, inferior awards predictions, you’ll often come across the phrase “who did this season belong to”/”who had the most memorable season.” It’s the primary reason people pick Russell Westbrook for MVP, and it’s also the primary reason people choose Joel Embiid as Rookie of the Year. Well, how can the season belong to him if he played in less than 40% of the games and less than 20% of the available minutes? That doesn’t seem fair at all. You (hopefully) didn’t think Jeremy Lin was MVP after Linsanity, did you? It’s the same idea with Embiid. Then, once I had established those parameters, I had to change my pick again because I realized it would be hypocritical to name Buddy Hield RoY for his 37 game stint in Sacramento, easily the best stretch of games for any non-Embiid rookie, since that’s essentially doing the same thing as picking Embiid- handing out an award for a small sample of great play and ignoring the vast majority of the season where they didn’t play (I’m counting his Pelicans time as not playing. Actually, Embiid’s DNPs might have been more productive than Buddy in New Orleans) (I know you think you’ve caught me red handed because I used a 20 game period of time as a big reason for picking Iguodala as sixth man, but he was great in his role all season long, he just stepped his game up late) (because I’m so good at this, this exact reasoning will show up again). So, I had to go with my third choice. Among human (i.e., not Embiid) rookies, he’s number one in scoring, second in rebounding, and top ten in assists. Good enough for me.

Apologies To: Joel Embiid (I hope no voters put Embiid second or third on their ballots. If you’re ranking him at all, that means you think he should be considered, and if he should be considered, you damn well better think he should win), Buddy Hield, Malcolm Brogdon

Coach of the Year: Brad Stevens, Boston Celtics

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This is actually kind of a stacked category, too, but I’m going with my guy Brad. Sorry, any time you turn a team of castoffs, young guys, and players drafted ahead of Giannis Antetokounmpo, all lead by someone 5’9″ (I repeat: the Celtics best player is 5’9″), into the number one seed in the East, you’re coach of the year. Sure, they’re one of the weakest one seeds ever and literally no sane person in the world thinks they’ll beat Cleveland, but they’re still the one seed. They had a better record than the defending champion, more stacked 1-12 than the Warriors, LeBron-led Cavaliers. This team is held together with rubber bands and scotch tape, and he helped absolutely every player maximize their talent. Just think what he’ll do with one of the studs in this year’s draft (assuming they don’t get screwed/Ainge doesn’t try to outsmart everyone only to make a fool of himself. Both are big asks).

Shoutout to the somehow equally publicly praised and overlooked Gregg Popovich, who pretty much did the exact same thing as Brad Stevens, but he has Kawhi and I’m a Celtics fan. Mike D’Antoni is a bona fide genius, and his coaching job didn’t get any worse than it was when I named him my midseason Coach of the Year. Eric Spoelstra will get some votes for miraculously turning the Heat around midseason, but not mine.

Apologies To: Pop, D’Antoni, Spoelstra, Scott Brooks

Defensive Player of the Year: Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors

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On the surface, this might seem like a coin flip between Draymond and Rudy Gobert. Both have great cases- Draymond leads the league in steals, is second in deflections and averages a block and a half per game for the league’s second best defense. Gobert leads the league in blocks, is fourth in the NBA in rebounding (legitimately so, unlike some other players in the league), and is the anchor of the league’s third best defense. Both completely shut down opponents at the rim. Gobert might be the most intimidating player in the league, with his block numbers not really reflecting his true impact. But Draymond is just so versatile. He literally guards everybody. If he has to guard the perimeter he’s impossible to get around and gets his hands on every errant pass or careless dribble. He’s a brick wall down low and will instantly erase any post up attempt or drive to the rim. Outside Kawhi and maaaaaaaaaybe Giannis, he’s the only guy I’d trust to “guard” LeBron with the game on the line. How many people can guard James Harden and Dwight Howard effectively? Probably only Draymond. He’s been a defensive force for years, now, and it’s about time he gets recognized.

Apologies To: Rudy Gobert, Kawhi Leonard, Paul Millsap, Hassan Whiteside (haha, just kidding)

All-NBA Teams

I know you thought you were getting MVP next, but I have to save the main event for last. This is one of the places where the aforementioned importance of health plays a role, because Kevin Durant is obviously a first-team talent, but missing 20 games is missing 20 games, doesn’t matter who it is.

First Team

G- James Harden, Houston Rockets

G- Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder

F- LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers

F- Kawhi Leonard- San Antonio Spurs

C- Anthony Davis- New Orleans Pelicans

Second Team

G- Steph Curry, Golden State Warriors

G- John Wall, Washington Wizards

F- Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks

F- Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors

C- Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz

Third Team

G- Isaiah Thomas, Boston Celtics

G- Demar Derozan, Toronto Raptors

F- Jimmy Butler, Chicago Bulls

F- Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors (couldn’t leave him out entirely)

C- Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves

All-Defense

First Team

G- Avery Bradley, Boston Celtics

G- Danny Green, San Antonio Spurs

F- Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs

F- Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors

C- Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz

Second Team

G- Patrick Beverly, Houston Rockets

G- Tony Allen, Memphis Grizzlies

F- Andre Roberson, Oklahoma City Thunder

F- Paul Millsap, Atlanta Hawks

C- Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans

All-Rookie

First Team

Malcolm Brogdon, Milwaukee Bucks

Buddy Hield, Sacramento Kings

Jamal Murray, Denver Nuggets

Dario Saric, Philadelphia 76ers

Willy Hernangomez, New York Knicks

Second Team

Jaylen Brown, Boston Celtics

Brandon Ingram, Los Angeles Lakers

Yogi Ferrell, Dallas Mavericks

Tyler Ulis, Phoenix Suns

Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers (it’s one thing to keep him off first team, but there’s no way in hell I’m going to try and say there were actually 10 rookies who played over 31 games that were better than Embiid)

Most Valuable Player:

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James Harden, Houston Rockets

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Before we really get into this, I need to say I’m sorry. I’m sorry Kawhi and LeBron, but for me this is a two horse race despite both of you having unreal seasons. I’m sorry reader who undoubtedly wanted to read about how great Russell Westbrook is, but I can actually think for myself. And I’m sorry Russell Westbrook, because a lot of what I’m about to say might seem like hate, but I don’t hate you at all, I just hate anything that everyone else loves. I just want to get this mini-rant out of the way first, but I’m so sick of the Westbrook dick-ridng that the Internet does everyday. If he goes 2-35 with 14 turnovers but has a triple double it’s “wow Russ (if you want to seem cool you have to call his Russ) so amazing. Triple double crazy no one else can do it.” If he says he’s going to murder Kevin Durant’s entire family and his future children it’s “lmao Russ is the best so petty lolololol.” I don’t get why he’s still holding on to this facade that he doesn’t think about Kevin Durant all day everyday and everything he does he does for the sole purpose of showing Durant that he doesn’t care about him, but whatever, everyone eats it up anyway. We get it, you love Russell Westbrook and think he’s the greatest and you hate KD and all that, but that doesn’t make him MVP. Liking someone more doesn’t make someone MVP. I’m not the biggest LeBron guy, but I’ll always say when he’s MVP. Yes, if LeBron didn’t exist Westbrook would be the greatest athlete to ever play in the NBA, but he’s not MVP. I’m sorry (not really though).

Now, onto my case. Everyone is losing their minds about Westbrook’s stats, and rightly so. There’s a reason no one has averaged a triple double in 50 years. But there’s not really a huge difference between his stats and Harden’s. First, we have to throw out rebounding, because we shouldn’t care about rebounding with these two because they’re both guards and rebounding doesn’t matter for them anyway, but still. Guess who leads the league in uncontested rebounds? If you said Westbrook, you’re right! 8.5 of his 10.7 rebounds per game are uncontested, i.e., he forced his teammates to box out really hard so he could chase triple doubles. But 6.4 of Harden’s 8.1 rebounds were also uncontested. You’re telling me Harden couldn’t have gotten up to 10 rebounds a game if that’s all the Rockets cared about? Neither guy was exactly banging down low fighting for loose balls. They both got typical guard rebounds, they both just got a lot of them. Moving on, Westbrook averages 31.6 points to Harden’s 29.1. But Westbrook takes five more shots per game than Harden. Harden’s true shooting percentage, which incorporates free throws and adds weight to three point shooting, is 61.3% compared to Westbrook’s 55.4%. Harden’s shooting efficiency is vastly superior, even with Westbrook unexpectedly shooting around league average from 3. Assuming he kept the same percentage, if Harden shot two (2) more times per game, he’d average more points than league-leading scorer Russell Westbrook. Harden comes out on top in playmaking, too, which is something that does matter for guards. Now, it would be irresponsible to leave out the fact that Harden set the record for most turnovers in a season. No one has ever turned the ball over more than Harden this year. Well, if Harden wasn’t around guess who would have the record? Westbrook from this year! Both of them turn the ball over way too much, but both of them have the ball the entire game and set up absolutely everything for their teams, so that’s a wash. Harden averaged 11.2 assists to Westbrook’s 10.4. Not a huge difference. But, when you look at assist points created, Harden is ahead of Westbrook by over three points per game. When you add their scoring numbers to the assist points to see how many points per game they’re responsible for, it’s 56.2 to 55.4 in favor of Harden. So for all the fawning over Westbrook’s scoring, Harden creates more points and is more efficient while doing so. Neither one is particularly good on defense, but Westbrook will certainly get the benefit of the doubt over Harden, who has improved/tried a little this season.

Another thing floating around is that Westbrook closed the season so well that you have to give it to him. Sure, in March and April he averaged 32.7, 10.7, and 10.7 with slightly better shooting. So, his season long numbers. Yes, he hit a buzzer beater against the Nuggets and had some huge games. But didn’t we establish earlier that a 20 game stretch doesn’t make a season? Statistically, he was minimally better than he was the entirety of the season down the stretch, where Harden either at or slightly below his season long form during that same stretch of time. So Harden was better than him all season, but during the big stretch of time where everyone wants to point at and say “Russ was so much better!” Harden was actually still better. Weird. Westbrook has been devastating in the clutch, that’s undeniable. But it’s not like Harden is some wallflower in close games. And, of course, the Rockets had a significantly better record.

Everyone will try to act like Westbrook is dragging a group of 8th graders to wins while Harden is working with the ’86 Celtics, but that’s not true whatsoever. Look at the Rockets’ roster and tell me how many sure things they had before the season. Eric Gordon, Ryan Anderson, and Patrick Beverly are frequent injury risks. Nene was washed up in Washington. Clint Capela was unproven and thrust into a huge role. The only guys where you could say “I know what I’m going to get out of this player” are Trevor Ariza and Lou Williams, and Lou Williams wasn’t on the roster until February. When healthy, it looks like the Rockets have the superior roster, but that’s just because it was perfectly built to compliment James Harden’s skill set and Harden brings out the best in them. The Thunder roster was perfectly built to compliment Westbrook and Durant’s skill sets, but when Durant left, it became perfectly built for Russell to chase triple doubles. The Thunder’s only goal this season was for Westbrook to average a triple double, whether the other players liked it or not. The Rockets’ goal was shoot a million 3s and try to game the system. And it shows in their records. Personally, I’m not thrilled about having the MVP on a 6 seed. The Thunder’s winning percentage was .573 this year. The last MVP whose team had a lower winning percentage was Moses Malone in 1982. So, for 35 straight years winning a lot of games has mattered in the MVP race, but now that a player who had a teammate leave in free agency is having a huge season it doesn’t mean anything anymore? Should Mo Williams have won the MVP LeBron’s first year in Miami? Should Chris Bosh have won MVP LeBron’s second first year with Cleveland? No. Kevin Durant leaving should have nothing to do with this, but it invariably will. Does it suck he left? Yes. Does it suck he went to the Warriors? Yes. Would I feel the same way if he came to the Celtics? No. But that doesn’t make someone MVP. When movies cast Daniel Day-Lewis as a mentally challenged man who paints with his feet, we roll our eyes for the blatant Oscar chasing. But when the Thunder dedicate their entire season to inflating Westbrook’s stats and allowing him to unabashedly gun for the MVP, we embrace it? It’s almost cynical how un-transparent Westbrook’s MVP case is. The Rockets built their team to get Harden MVP, too, but they did so under the guise of trying to win. Once Durant left, everything the Thunder did was to try and ensure Westbrook could average a triple double and try to get MVP, just so he could show Kevin Durant just how little he cares about him. And all of you are falling for it. Almost every aspect of Harden’s season has been better than Westbrook’s. I hope everyone else realizes that, too.

Apologies To: Russell Westbrook, LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, Steph Curry, Carmelo Anthony Isaiah Thomas

NHL Playoff Preview

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Playoff Hockey isn’t so much of a sport as it is a state of mind. It’s tense. It’s nerve wracking. It loosens the sphincters of even the most severely constipated. If we’re being honest, if your team is playing a Playoff Hockey game it’s a very unpleasant experience. But the highs of winning are almost unmatched. Every emotion you could possibly feel is ratcheted up to eleven during overtime. With the exception of playoff baseball, it’s probably prime Stress Eating Season. The NHL Playoffs bring a lot of things to the table, and all of them add up to one of the most thrilling experiences in sports. First round starts tonight, so might as well give some rapid fire takes about each series.

Before we begin, though, I have to add an important disclaimer: I’m not a Hockey Guy. It’s just not in my DNA. You’re either born a Hockey Guy or you aren’t. I never played growing up (unless you count a student-faculty game in high school where I was like a faster Jerome Iginla). Every few years I’ll try and force myself to become a Hockey Guy and it inevitably fails. That’s not to say I don’t like hockey. I actually like it a lot when I watch it and I love going to games. It’s just never been my priority. One of the ways I build my relationship with a sport and further my knowledge is by doing things like tweeting and playing video games and the like. Hell, that’s how I turned myself into a Soccer Bloke. But hockey is, to put it mildly, unforgiving to newcomers. It’s not like I draw a ton of activity whenever I fire some tweets off, but I wouldn’t even think about tweeting a hockey take if I wasn’t 100% sure it was the consensus opinion. Online Hockey Guys are absolutely brutal to outsiders. They’d sniff out my basketball fandom a mile away and instantly label me as a soft-as-toilet-paper idiot who will never know anything about hockey and I should kill myself for thinking I might. I’m not funny enough (i.e., I’m too white) to endear myself to them and have them treat me like a human being. Online Hockey Guys are the guys who spend their entire lives calling Sidney Crosby a pussy online but then if someone like me said it they’d jump down my throat and say I can’t appreciate his superior skill level. They’re the guys who bash basketball for anything and everything while failing to see that their Napoleon Complex and standoffish, holier-than-thou attitude towards anyone who doesn’t watch every second of every game drive any casual fan unfortunate enough to try to enjoy a nice Playoff Hockey game straight back to basketball, furthering the NBA’s stranglehold on the popular conscience. They’re the guys whose favorite search term on PornHub is “postgame handshake line.” They’re annoying, is what I’m getting at. So, I must respectfully ask all hardcore Online Hockey Guys to stop reading this now. It’s about time you feel what it’s like to be excluded from something you’re trying to like. This is a thinking man’s Playoff Hockey preview. This is an in-depth, measured, factually accurate preview coming from someone who’s fandom falls somewhere between casual and diehard. This is coming from a true sports savant with a penchant for nailing predictions. This is the Brian’s Den Playoff Hockey Preview.

East

Washington Capitals vs. Toronto Maple Leafs

I’ve made my thoughts on the Capitals playoff hopes clear. I’m rooting very hard against them. But they are going to win this series. That being said, there’s hope in Toronto. It feels weird to say, but it’s true. Their rookie class is crazy good. Auston Matthews is ridiculous in front of goal and has a ridiculously annoying way of spelling his first name. He combined with Mitch Marner and William Nylander to form one of the highest scoring rookie trios in NHL history. They could finally fulfill the NHL’s biggest, longest-running pipe dreams: the Stanley Cup coming to Toronto because the Maple Leafs won it, not just because that’s where the Hall of Fame is. Knowing Toronto’s luck, all three will suffer career ending injuries in this series.

Prediction: Caps in 5

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Columbus Blue Jackets

It’s one of the rare takes I’m usually hesitant to offer, but I’ve always secretly liked Sidney Crosby. Guy’s just really, really good. People act like he’s a giant coward, as if guys like Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux were mixing it up every night like an Irishman on a bender. So he doesn’t fight a lot. So what? He’s the best player in the last 20 years whether you like it or not. That being said, I’m definitely rooting for Columbus here, and I think they’ve got a good shot to not only win this series but go on a deep run. As They will tell you, goaltending wins championships, and the Blue Jackets had the best tender in the league this year in Sergei Bobrovsky, who lead the NHL in goals against average and save percentage. They’ve been ice cold (get it? Because hockey is played on ice) lately, but here’s one analyst not afraid to stay on the BJ Bandwagon.

Prediction: Jackets in 6

Montreal Canadiens vs. New York Rangers

Every year I love to revel in the Canadiens inevitable playoff disappointment. They’ve become Caps Lite. “But it’s different this year!” They say about the Habs. “Now, instead of a great goalie, fast and skilled forwards, a handful of cheap shot artists, and soft players they’ve got a great goalie, fast and skilled forwards, a handful of cheap shot artists, and tough players.” And it’s true. They’re a stingy and fast team going against a lousy defense. They’ve got the better coach. In a classic jersey matchup, they even win there. So, yeah, they’re probably going to win this series. But they’re out next round. Book it.

Prediction: Canadiens in 5

Ottawa Senators vs. Boston Bruins

Listen, I’m a pretty unabashed homer. I’m a Bruins fan. I’d spend hours trying to drum up an argument for why the Bruins would beat just about anybody. But the Senators had a negative scoring differential. As in, they gave up more goals than they scored. I don’t give a shit how gritty a team is, if I could join a team and become the most dangerous goal scorer that’s a very, very bad sign.

Prediction: Bruins in 4

West

Chicago Blackhawks vs. Nashville Predators

These guys are still around? In my mind, the Blackhawks get the same respect as the Giants (mostly baseball but would have applied to football before the Boat Boyz came to town) in that I expect them to win every playoff game. The old standbys are still here playing well, but now they’re adding some young guys like Artemi Panarin to the mix. This team just never dies until their body is cremated and the ashes are stuffed into a can of giardiniera. This is a tough Nashville team, though. Well rounded with dynamic players at every position. But I just have a tough time saying the Blackhawks are about to lose in the first round.

Prediction: Blackhawks in 6

Minnesota Wild vs. St. Louis Blues

Maybe it’s because of the somewhat fluky nature of the NHL playoffs, but it seems like hockey really lends itself to the “teams that perform well enough to get every expert picking them as The Next Team only to fail repeatedly” archetype of Choking Teams. If the Capitals didn’t exist, both these teams would be able to steak their claim to the NHL’s leader in that category. The Blues looked like they were about to break out of that last year, but then they lost to the Sharks, and being the team the Sharks didn’t choke against is like being the team that lost to the Cubs in the World Series. I don’t think I can take them seriously anymore. And the Wild wouldn’t know what the second round looked like if it walked up to them and slapped them in the face. This series may go to game 7, where it would go to endless overtimes because both of them are scared of success. Still, the Wild aren’t playing the Blackhawks, so they might actually be able to win a series.

Prediction: Wild in 7

Anaheim Ducks vs. Calgary Flames

I feel like we’ve all kind of forgotten how goofy it is that there’s a professional hockey team in Anaheim, a professional sports team based on a Disney movie, a professional sports team named the Ducks, a player who’s in-game villainy is so over-the-top it would be rejected by every sports movie ever written, and that all of those things apply to one team. The Ducks make the Las Vegas Golden Knights seem like a well thought out, fully developed franchise concept. Maybe I’d like the Ducks more if they kept the original green and purple design, not the weird robo-duck motifs they use now. Meanwhile, there’s something I love about Calgary. I love when people pronounce it Cal-GARY, I love that they play in the Saddledome, I love that the city flag has a cowboy hat on it, and I love that Alberta is pretty much just one big Canadian Western movie set. I’m a big Flames guy. If they wear their red and white jerseys and bring Bret Hart to every home game, it’s over.

Prediction: Flames in 7

Edmonton Oilers vs. San Jose Sharks

Connor McDavid is lead the league in points and is going to win MVP (sorry not sorry for not using the trophies’ fancy names). He’s 20 years old. Is that good? I think it is. Because they’ve been absolute ass the last decade I think people think the Oilers are the classic One Year Away playoff team, but they’ve got a shot of doing some real damage this season. This is a fast, explosive team, and once my guy Milan Lucic starts taking ill-timed penalties they’ll have the whole game working. As for the Sharks, they had a bit of an out-of-body experience last year when they finally made the Stanley Cup Finals. Since the lockout, they’ve dedicated themselves to blowing 3-0 leads, losing series in the most devastating ways imaginable, and generally letting their fans down (just kidding, they don’t have any fans). They’ve packed a lot of heartbreak into a short amount of time, which is never a good thing. Plus, as I’ve stated before, anyone who’s entire persona is based around their beard annoys me greatly, and the Sharks have like 20 of those guys. Needless to say I’m not a fan. Plus, they’re dealing with injuries to their top guys. They’re out.

Prediction: Oilers in 5

It goes without saying, but I should probably be treated like a bona fide hockey expert now. After all, giving the number of games in each series is a surefire sign of expertise. I might be close to becoming an Online Hockey Guy now, too, which would be an odd twist. Unfortunately writing this might disqualify me from every writing about basketball again, because everyone knows you aren’t allowed to like both. In fact, now that I’m a hockey expert, I might not be allowed to like any other sport at all. At least, that’s what the Online Hockey Guys tell me. Luckily for you, I’m not afraid to break with tradition, so I’ll risk arguing the Hockey Gods by choosing to enjoy both the NHL and NBA. Don’t ever say I’m not revolutionary.