Sunday, May 5, 2024

NBA Update

They finished the first round:

Boston 4 - 1 Miami
Cleveland 4 - 3 Orlando
Milwaukee 2 - 4 Indiana
New York 4 - 2 Philadelphia

Oklahoma City 4 - 0 New Orleans
L.A. Clippers 2 - 4 Dallas
Minnesota 4 - 0 Phoenix
Denver 4 - 1 L.A. Lakers

That sets up the following quarterfinals:

(1) Boston 0 - 0 (4) Cleveland
(2) New York 0 - 0 (6) Indiana

(1) Oklahoma City 0 - 0 (5) Dallas
(2) Denver 0 - 1 (3) Minnesota

It's been mostly chalk so far, but the T-Wolves pulled a pretty big upset in Game One against Denver.  As you'll see below, that win scrambled the odds in the Western Conference.

Latest odds to win the Conferences.  I really hope the Western Conference is really as close as the odds indicate:

Boston:  -260
New York:  +310
Indiana:  +1200
Cleveland:  +2100

Minnesota:  +210
Denver:  +230
Oklahoma City:  +290
Dallas:  +330


  1. Minnesota goes to Denver and crushes the Nuggets 106 to 80 in Game Two, so now the Western Conference odds look like this:

    Minnesota: -115
    Oklahoma City: +280
    Dallas: +420
    Denver: +700

  2. Going back to last year, the Nuggets had rolled through five playoff series in a row without breaking a sweat, so it's surprising to see them suddenly in so much trouble. Game Three in Minnesota could be the last meaningful game of the year for the Defending Champs.

  3. Minnesota joined the NBA in 1989 and has never won a Conference Title.

  4. Usually, the Nats make me so nervous that I don't watch their games. But tonight we have a good one in DC between the Nats and the first-place Orioles. I've got the MASN TV broadcast synced up with Charlie Slowes and Dave Jageler, the Nats' radio team. They are one of the best radio teams I've ever heard, in any sport, and it's a shame that listening to the Nats makes me so nervous.

  5. Nats and O's both wearing their City Connect Uniforms in this Battle of the Beltways (as we call it around here). The Nats have one of the best City Connect Uniforms, and the O's have one of the worst.

  6. A few years ago, FanGraphs asked their listeners to rank the MLB radio announcers. Here were the top 6:

    1. Brewers (Bob Uecker)
    2. Rays
    3. Mets (Howie Rose)
    4. Giants (Jon Miller)
    5. Rangers
    6. Nats (Slowes and Jageler)

    I haven't heard much the Rays and Rangers teams, but I think almost everyone would rank Uecker, Howie Rose, and Jon Miller near the top. After them, I haven't heard anyone who is consistently better than the Nats team.

  7. I think this season I'm going to really focus on the Orioles, Yankees, Braves, Dodgers, and Phillies. I'll also keep track of the Nats, especially if they remain around .500.

  8. The Nats' City Connect Uniform is based on the cherry blossoms, which is one of the very best things about living in the DC area. I have no idea what the Orioles' City Connect Uniform is supposed to symbolize. I looked it up at one point, and the symbolism was too complex for me to remember.

    1. Basically, the Orioles have a plain black uniform that says "BALTIMORE" in white letters. There is about an inch of multicolored fabric at the end of each sleeve.

    2. According to the Internet, the plain black uniform represents how outsiders perceive Baltimore, while the brightly colored detail on the sleeves represents Baltimore's vibrant diversity. Again, I just think that's too complicated.

    3. The Nats have gray City Connect uniforms with a giant WSH on the front, along with cherry blossoms. That's much easier to understand.

    4. Of course, to me -- if you really wanted to capture the spirit of Baltimore and Washington -- you'd have the Orioles out there in the same uniforms that were worn by Brooks and Frank Robinson, and the Nats would be in their red, white, and blue.

    5. There's a commercial where a guy tries to pay for dinner with cash, and the waiter says, "We don't accept coupons." There's some more back and forth, and then the manager comes out to say, "Sir, I'm afraid we can't accept your -- really lovely -- drawings of the Presidents as payment, no matter how good they are." That cracks me up every time.

    6. I just learned that if the pitcher makes three unsuccessful pickoff attempts, then the third pickoff attempt counts as a balk. I didn't know that.

  9. The scrappy Nats beat the Orioles 3 to 0, and the Nats are over .500 for the first time since July 2, 2021.

  10. Meanwhile, the Celtics crush Cleveland 120 to 95 to take a 1-0 lead in their quarter-final series.