NBA Playoffs: Spurs-OKC Round 2 Preview

The Spurs swept the Grizzlies just a half week ago, and yesterday the Thunder put in a dominant performance to get rid of the pesty Mavericks, and unfortunately probably ending Dirk’s amazing run at a second championship. Regardless, this next series is a matchup to watch.

Why Spurs and OKC is noteworthy:

Lamarcus Aldridge Playoffs Preview against Thunder
Aldridge has been huge against Memphis. But with a stronger frontcourt in Ibaka and Adams, he may struggle with his shot.

The Spurs, as I mentioned in my Round 1 roundup,  are a historically good team. They are insanely good at home, setting home winning streak records while doing outstanding on the road as well. But no one really talks about them because all you hear is the Warriors noise, which is still deserved. The point is, SAS is making sound out there while being blurred out. They are an elite team that just added Aldridge the last offseason.

The Thunder are also being overshadowed, ironically, by San Antonio and GS’ success this season. The Thunder have a better record than when they had Harden on the squad. That speaks enough for themselves. Westbrook and Durant are doing Westbrook and Durant things, running that offense like crazy.

What looks the most interesting about all of this, though, is the drastic changes in playstyles between the two teams. As you may know, the Spurs deploy a very team-oriented style, passing and moving that rock around constantly to find the best available shot, whether it be a three, a dunk, or a floater by Tony Parker. The Thunder, with respect to them, run a more iso-heavy offense, with Westbrook and Durant each hoisting up to 20 shots a night each, mostly on isolation plays.

Both offenses work, as we have seen both franchises carry huge success this season. It will be awesome to see them collide in this Round 2 matchup of great teams.

What do you think? PS: I would love to hear opinions on next Sports pieces for the blog. I might do a round 2 preview of interesting potential matchups whenever the other teams finish their first round.

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NBA Playoffs: Round 1

The NBA Playoffs has been under way for about one or two weeks now and the teams playing are all playing their path to the next round. The NBA, even through the regular season, has generally kept my interest because basketball is above all sports in my opinion. With that said, I still love football and perhaps combat sports like MMA or boxing. Just an FYI, posts like this will show up from time to time. On my About Page, I did mention the different interests I hold and so I will write about them freely. There is not just a single topic I want to write about, as that may get boring for me and make me stop doing this altogether.

So this post will include opinions on who will advance to Round 2, what I think of the play going on in this current round, and other opinions. I will try to avoid using factual information like statistics and all those fancy numbers just for the sake of simplicity. These are all opinion-based and use the “eye test” which is my language for “if I see something good, it is good” rather than the “statistically, this person or team is good because of 0.00 stats”. That just is not fun for me. I am not an analyst nor am I a professional; just a regular fan.

Round 1

Memphis vs. San Antonio: This matchup is probably the least entertaining of all. Yes, the Spurs are on a historic tear (mitigated by the Warriors insane success). But the Grizzlies’ old playing style just does not work anymore and they have no shooters to combat SAS. I have San Antonio finishing their work and sweeping it up.

Golden State vs. Houston: Yes, the Warriors! Any team the Warriors end up playing in the playoffs, you already know it will be a matchup to watch. They play tonight and are up 2-1. But I feel they will take the series even further to 3-1 because Curry is playing and, well, that is all you need to beat this desperate Rockets team.

OKC vs. Dallas: This matchup has gotten surprisingly chippy. Though it really should not be that surprising as we have seen Westbrook and Barea go at it before, and I think I remember Villanueva getting mad at Durant or Westbrook too. Anyway, Dallas has done a great job not getting swept, but who are we kidding. Oklahoma is just too good for a team led by an aging Dirk Nowitzki.

LAC vs. Portland: I will be honest. I haven’t watched any of this series, mainly because I got fed up of Blake and CP3’s flopping and constant arguing to the refs. But it seems they have done a great job with Portland, who has only won one game to the Clips’ two. I see Portland able to get one more win before being knocked out finally.

Toronto vs. Indiana: The 6 is unfortunately unable to find their woes, and instead found different woes. Demar Derozan and Lowry have been stinking it up. I know I said I wouldn’t use stats but I saw somewhere that so far, that duo is shooting only 30% this playoffs. Sure, Derozan is usually inefficient, but not that inefficient. Still, the series is tied at 2-2 and I still think Toronto has the edge, having played their best season as a franchise.

Miami vs. Charlotte: What a surprise the Hornets have been, huh? This is one of their best seasons ever and they just came off their first playoff win in 13 years last night! Still, I didn’t like their play on Miami’s court and I still think they will end up reverting to that. The Heat with a 4-2 series closer.

Atlanta vs. Boston: This series has gotten chippy too, with Schroeder and Thomas getting at it, not to mention the abomination that is Marcus Smart’s flop on Kyle Korver. Seriously, what was that? Flopping is stupid enough already. Add in the potential to injure yourself diving to the ground like that, and you just look dumber than the $5000 you were fined. I am taking the Hawks here,  though I do see this series going 7 games.

Cleveland vs. Detroit: Detroit vs. everybody? Actually, yes. Because they are down 0-3 to LeBron and they are still talking trash. Pull out your brooms, folks.

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Getting into IT

My friend has been having trouble with his career lately. With a degree in US History, he has not been able to find a reliable job (though teaching is always  a fallback option for him). As his friend, I tried to help. I asked questions and tried to dig into what he was interested in and good at. He told me he loved doing things with computers, though he wasn’t very experienced in it. Things like checking up on his connection, fixing a router, managing an error within Windows, or restoring hard drives were events he was able to do in his free time. Still, Information Technology is a demanding field that requires employees to have a wider range of knowledge.

I advised him to go to school again to at least pick up a certificate or license that shows he went through some of the learning and had further experience. Information Technology definitely is a great area to work in, as there are tons of computers to configure and still some money left to be made.  Plus, the job market requires technicians who are able to fix up problems or prevent them.

Currently, he is in school again working on a certificate. He should be able to get it within a year, and hopefully that lands him a job or two. What do you guys think? Any other PC-related field he should work on?

— For privacy reasons, obviously, I will not mention his name. But I hope that when he reads this there are some encouraging comments or at least some emails sent in regards to his situation —

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