I still think the Lakers will sweep the Jazz. I still think the Hornets will beat the Nuggets. I still think the Rockets will beat the Blazers. I still think the Spurs will beat the Mavs.
I still think the Cavs will sweep the Pistons. I still think the Celts will beat the Bulls. I still think the Magic will struggle to beat the 6er's in 7. I still think the Heat will beat the Hawks.
Thank you for your concern, but as you can see, I still think I am perfectly prescient in my plausible predictions.
SIDENOTE: If you are not doing Streak for the Cash on ESPN, you should be. If you are doing the Streak, you probably picked the Lakers to win last night. If you had a Streak of 5+ going in to that game, I laugh at you. Especially if I told you to pick the Jazz before the tipoff.
NOTES on the NFL Draft: I've forsaken most offseason activities for all sports b/c I find myself too busy with "in-season" sports to worry about "off-season" sports. That being said, I know you are clamoring for my take on the upcoming NFL draft. I'm going to take a few minutes to address the needs of some of the more interesting teams.
Let's start with the Seahawks: After an abysmal season last year, the Hawks get the benefit of a high draft pick. I have a big problem with drafting skill players at the top of the draft. It usually engenders the player with a sense of entitlement despite accomplishing little more than having their named called on national TV while looking dorky holding up a jersey next to the Comish. There seems to be twice as many highly touted busts as big stars. Likewise, it seems as if many of the best players in the league today were picked in the later rounds. Look at last years two Superbowl QBs. Roethlisberger was the 11 pick in the draft (1st round, but not top 10) and Warner has a story familiar to us all (grocery boy turned QB). It will be tempting for the Hawks to grab Mark Sanchez if he's still on the board (which he will be unless a team trades up). Sanchez can come in, sit behing Baldback for a few years then step in to the starting job. How's that working out for another USC grad Leinart in 'Zona? Sanchez might be a great QB, but I'd rather get an experienced QB through free-agency or a trade (in a few years in Seattle's case). I don't care who they pick, but they should get one of the many OTs talked about and have a great QB protector for years to come. Either way, the Hawks will be fighting for a wildcard pick while going against the 49ers in division.
The 49ers: After 2 or 3 disappointing seasons as the 'hot pick' that stayed cold, the 9ers are primed to follow up their solid finish under new coach Mike Singletary atop the NFC West and are quite likely to have home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. It's almost unfair that they also get the #10 pick in the draft. I expect the team to come out of the gates slowly, 3-3, but by then Goodell will have reinstated Mr. Michael Vick. Vick will sign with a fatherly figure like Singletary and Vick will make a stupid mistake in his first game. The Niners will lose that game, Vick will be put in Singletary's doghouse; but after that, the 9ers will finish 9-0 (12-4 overall) with Vick throwing bones to Crabtree (the 9ers pick this year). You heard it here first.
The Cowboys: I know the Boys don't have a first round pick, but they don't need one. After being liberated by letting go of Owens and moving into their new awesome stadium, the Cowboys are gearing up for a really exciting season. Last year was a disappointment, but Jerry Jones has made sure the ship is sailing straight this offseason and there are high hopes in Dallas. That's too bad. After the Mavs impending collapse to the Ginolbi-less Spurs, the Cowboys season will be an even bigger letdown. Despite being led by the wickedly smart Jason Garrett on offense, the Boys will give up an average of 29.2 points per game this year. The new stadium is nice, but just like my mother lied to me as a child, "It's the inside that counts." Well, in this case, the inside is a giant piece of poop that will rot for 17 weeks from August to 2010.
Have a great weekend!