Second round of the NBA playoffs got off on a high note Saturday with the San Antonio Spurs drubbing a tired Dallas Mavericks squad easily. The Spurs are a big favorite to win this series; however, not without a fight.
Toronto Raptors who came back down 2-1 versus the New York Knicks to edge them out, met the Philadelphia 76ers in the second round. Raptors won the series opener duplicating their success versus Philadelphia during the regular season, winning the series, 3-1. Raptors are now in the drivers’ seat; however, it’s no stroll in the park for Toronto. The series will go seven games with Philadelphia winning.
The Los Angeles Lakers won their opening game versus Sacramento Kings to take a 1-0 lead, but it will be a dogfight. L.A. in six.
Milwaukee Bucks took a one-game lead in their series. Charlotte Hornets put the fear of God in the Bucks before succumbing by 12. The series will go to seven games. Bucks will overcome, but will know they are in a battle.
After it’s all over, the Lakers will repeat as NBA champs.
Mariners keep rolling along like they were the Old Yankees, while Atlanta stumbles around in the dark with no matches. Can Atlanta come back in the N.L. East and how long can the Mariners keep going?
Games ending May 13:
Chicago Cubs at St. Louis Cardinals: Cubs are in first place in N.L. Central while Cards are at .500 and don’t figure to get much better. Cubs could stick around. Going with Julian Taverez and Kevin Tapani to grab two.
Houston Astros at Cincinnati Reds: Reds an enigma playing .667 on the road and .430 at home. Astros a notch over .500 haven’t played their brand of baseball as yet. Wade Miller good for one win, Reds win the other two.
Pittsburgh Pirates at Milwaukee Brewers: Brewers a different cup of tea this year. With fair pitching and decent hitting, could be a factor in the N.L. Central. Jamey Wright and Rookie Ben Sheets bring hope to Brewers chances of winning Central.
Montreal Expos at Colorado Rockies: Expos started out on a high note, now singing the Blues. On the other hand, Rockies, a below .500 team on the road, are doing much better this year in the hinterlands. Rockies home will do some good for themselves in the wide-open N.L. West by taking two games from Montreal and possibly sweeping all three with Mike Hampton, Pedro Astacio and Shawn Chacon leading.
Philadelphia Phillies at Arizona Diamondbacks: Diamondbacks find finding their groove could be tougher in the upcoming months. Phillies have been playing tough with improved pitching and timely hitting. Curt Schilling and Brian Anderson win two.
Florida Marlins at San Diego Padres: Padres have played decent ball on the road for a last place club, and coming home has to improve their play that much more. Adam Eaton over Ryan Dempster and Woody Williams over any Marlins’ pitcher.
Atlanta Braves at Los Angeles Dodgers: When will Braves wake up? Good question; how about when John Smoltz comes back, or will he? Dodgers stumbling around on the road, however different team at home where they are playing almost .700. Dodgers run into Greg Maddux and that’s trouble but should grab other two with Chan Ho Park and Gagne.
New York Mets at San Francisco Giants: Giants double tough at home, Mets .333 on the road could mean trouble in San Fran. Livan Hernandez coming back into form and Sean Estes wins a couple.
Oakland Athletics at Boston Red Sox: Athletics showing signs of life. Sox just another team without Pedro Martinez going for them. A’s continue to improve in Boston. Going against Martinez with any pitcher Oakland has with the exception of Cory Lidle. Barry Zito reverses the decision against Bosox.
Anaheim Angels at Detroit Tigers: Angels playing best ball of the season thus far, should continue their upswing at Detroit. Ismael Valdes and Jarred Washburn carry them to winners’ circle.
Seattle Mariners at Toronto Blue Jays: Mariners better get excellent pitching because Blue Jays hit well in this park. Jays’ bats carry them to victories over Freddy Garcia and Aaron Sele.
Baltimore Orioles at New York Yankees: Yankees murder second stringers and the O’s fit that pattern. Andy Pettitte owns Baltimore and Roger Clemens can tie them in knots at Yankee Stadium.
Tampa Bay Devil Rays at Cleveland Indians: Indians pitching fair, however bats are powerful. Devil Rays have no pitching which makes Indian hitters that much better. Sluggers take over here with Chuck Finley and Dave Burba supplying half way decent pitching to for two wins.
Kansas City Royals at Minnesota Twins: Royals playing poorly, and Twins playing over their heads, or are they? Royals bat should come alive soon, maybe not against Twins pitching.
Texas Rangers at Chicago White Sox: Both teams putrid with plenty of room for improvement. Taking underachievers (White Sox) over (over-rated) Rangers with David Wells and Ken Wells winning two.