Friday and Sunday will see the Raptors and Nets in game 3 and 4 in New Jersey. The Raptors were able to pull out a win with only seconds left in game 2 to even the series 1-1. That was a big win for the Raptors because all their young players now know that they can win.
If the Raps went down 0-2 with the next 2 games on the road you know the pressure would too much for them to handle and the series would be over before they knew it. Jason Kidd, the Nets captain, did not practice on Thursday so he could have his knee looked at by a doctor. Apparently there was some swelling, but that won’t keep Kidd out. This will be a tough series that will go 7 games.
Detroit is showing why they were number one in the Eastern Conference. They are up 3-0 over Orlando and really the Magic haven’t shown anything to make anyone believe they will win the next game. Orlando is a one dimensional team with Howard in the middle. The rest of the guys just can compete with the experience, team work, and skill of the Pistons.
A big surprise in the Western Conference was Golden State beating Dallas in game one. Dallas, the best team in the NBA in the regular season, won 67 games and only lost 15. Of those 15 loses 4 came against Golden State who were only 2 games over .500 for the season. After that scare Dallas came back and one the second game to even the series. I expect Dallas to play with a lot of determination now and win the series in 5 or 6 games, but it’s hard not to route for the underdog in this series.
The second round of the playoffs are upon us with 8 teams competing for Lord Stanley’s Cup. Ottawa was able to handle the future of the NHL in Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins and now have an even tougher battle with the New Jersey Devils and future Hall of Famer Martin Brodeur. As much as I hate Ottawa I think this is their year. The core of the team has been together for a while, the overall talent cannot be beat, and they are getting good goaltending out of Ray Emery. I see Ottawa facing the Anaheim Mighty Ducks in the finals.
Anaheim has the best defensive tandem in the league in Chris Pronger and Scott Niedermayer. They also have arguably the best goaltending tandem in Ilya Bryzgalov and J.S. Giguere. With those four players doing their best to keep the puck out of the net it is going to be very hard for any team to knock the Ducks out over a 7 game series. On the offensive side Teemu Selanne has had an amazing resurrection of his scoring touch over the last two years and the once no-body, Andy McDonald is now a serious scoring threat. If Ottawa and Anaheim meet in the finals it will definitely be a series worth watching.