The NBA Playoffs 1st Round started last week, and it’s been two or three great NBA games a day since then. What bothers me though is that some days there are blowouts, like the first game between the Heat and the Hawks, and of course the Cleveland-Detroit games. Come on! This the playoffs! Most teams are dying to be here and yet the ones that are already here doesn’t appreciate their posititions and give up easily on games.

By the way, here are the teams battling on the first round, some comments and their current standing.

Western Conference
Los Angeles Lakers vs Utah Jazz (LA leads 2-1)
Kobe is doing the ball-hogging and it didn’t spell them good in Game 3, when he shot less than 25% from the field. I think the Lakers will pull through anyway, it’s just that the Jazz are really tough on their home court.
Denver Nuggets vs New Orleans Hornets (Nuggets lead 2-0)
Chris Paul and David West has no answer for Chauncey Billups, Carmelo Anthony, J.R. Smith, Nene, etc. you get my point. This one will be a landslide and Billups will push Denver to the 2nd round, perhaps even the Conference Finals.
San Antonio Spurs vs Dallas Mavericks (Mavs lead 2-1)
The San Antonio old men are being carried by Tony Parker on his shoulders and they’re proving too heavy for the young point guard. Manu Ginobili is injured, Tim Duncan is nursing a faulty knee, and the rest of the Spurs can be called just that. Meanwhile, Jason Kidd, Jason Terry, Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavs have donned their playoff attire and is a favorite to face the Lakers in the C Finals as well.
Portland Trailblazers vs Houston Rockets (Series Tied 1-1)
Yao Ming seems to be the key to this series and the Tblazers found a way to stop him in the 2nd game, and Roy found his groove yet again. I honestly don’t know which team is going to win but I am picking the Rockets because they are an older team and they probably wouldn’t have a chance anymore.

Eastern Conference
Cleveland Cavaliers vs Detroit Pistons (Cavs lead 2-0)
This series can be summed up in one word – Lebron James.
Boston Celtics vs Chicago Bulls (Celtics lead 2-1)
Now this is the most interesting series. A young team versus the Champions. Secretly you want the Celtics to lose because of their character and swagger (Pierce says they’re very confident in this series), but inevitably, experience and hustle in rebounding (which the Bulls don’t have except Noah) will prevail and the Celtics may win the series in Game 6. Hopefully the Bulls push through.
Orlando Magic vs Philadelphia 76ers (Series Tied 1-1)
Another heavy and pretty even match-up with the Sixers showing resiliency with Andre Miller and Andre Iguodala. Superman Dwight Howard is on the other side though and is always ready to give that 20 Point – 20 Rebound game. Again another puzzle in the playoffs.
Atlanta Hawks vs Miami Heat (Series Tied 1-1)
It’s tough to beat the Hawks on their homecourt (Boston lost all 3 games there last year) and the Heat managed to do it in Game 2, giving them the advantage. Every Josh Smith and alleyoop dunk ricks the house down and I personally think that this is all they have to prevent if the Heat hopes to win there. Dwayne Wade went out of the mudhole from the first game and gave an MVP performance in the 2nd game, winning it for the Heat. I hope the Heat bench and supporting cast gives their all for the cause.

The Most Valuable Player Award (MVP Trophy) goes to Lebron James without question or other considerations.

Now, we don’t have cable here, and we only get to watch the playoffs one game-a-day during the weekends, so we are forced to watch on the Internet via live streaming video. For those who would like to know how tho watch the Playoffs and even the NBA Finals online, here are your options. Please note that this list includes “watching it” through the radio.

1. Go to Yahoo Sports! NBA. There you will find the live scores and the play-by-play of the game. Right beside every Box Score, Yahoo Sports! gives you a link to an online streaming radio of one of the teams. Couple this with the play-by-play box score and your imagination and you’ll get a pretty good feel of the game. The advantage of course is that there is no lag and a dial-up connection would suffice.

2. Go to www.nba.com. NBA offers Audio League Pass, and you just have to sign-up as a member for free. There you will be given two audio streaming sites per game (one per team) and you can also couple this with the live box score.

3. Go to TNT or ESPN website. Sometimes, these TV networks stream the games online with an additional perk— the user gets to choose to watch a player up close. This didn’t always worked for me though because watching it on TNT and ESPN requires a ginormous amount of bandwidth and Internet connection speed, both of which we don’t have.

4. Use SopCast (search on Google). SopCast enables users to stream and watch TV shows online, provided someone will put up a server for the show. Server settings are usually found in chat rooms and forums.

5. Visit free live video streaming websites like justin.tv and ustream.tv. Before, most of the games are taken down due to copyright issues, but for some reason, some games (like the Jazz-Lakers game yesterday) was broadcast in full widescreen glory. How about that? Just go to the Sports section and most of the time the live working games are the ones with the highest number of viewers.

6. Go to NBA’s account on Youtube, where they give you daily highlights, replays and the NBA Top Ten Plays. This is as close as possible to watching the games live.

There you have it. If you are in any way interested, here are my predictions for the remainder of the Playoffs.

2nd Round
LA Lakers vs Houston Rockets
Denver Nuggets vs Dallas Mavericks
Cleveland Cavaliers vs Miami Heat
Boston Celtics vs Orlando Magic

Conference Finals
LA Lakers vs Dallas Mavericks
Cleveland Cavaliers vs Orlando Magic

NBA Finals
LA Lakers vs Cleveland Cavaliers

What’s your take?

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