Sticking with the Spurs
June 7, 2007
For the first time ever, the Cleveland Cavaliers have earned a spot in the NBA Finals. As long as King Lebron James rules over the court, it won’t be the last. It will be a long time before Cleveland’s team is again called the Cadavaliers.
But in this particular series against San Antonio, Cleveland would appear to be in trouble. Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich is not about to allow King James to take over. Unlike Detroit, San Antonio will defend its basket and have Bruce Bowen to help guard him.
Prediction: Not knowing the final score of last night’s game makes predicting a bit awkward. But during the regular season Cleveland won both meetings by the scores of 88-81 and 82-78. It would seem that this will be a low-scoring series, and that the Cavaliers are capable of winning games. My preseason prediction of San Antonio to defeat Cleveland will come to fruition, as the Spurs win in 6.
Tomorrow afternoon the third and final jewel in horse racing’s Triple Crown, the 139th running of the Belmont Stakes, takes place at Belmont Park in New York. Only seven horses are scheduled to race once around the track’s huge one-and-a-half mile oval known for its wide, sweeping turns.
Besides the purse, not much is up for grabs this time around, since the Triple Crown is no longer at stake. The biggest story is Rags to Riches, the filly running against the boys.
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Prediction: It will be interesting to see how Rags to Riches fares, but I’m throwing her out. The pick here is to box Curlin, Hard Spun, Imawildandcrazyguy and Tiago in a trifecta and hopefully make some good money.
Tennis’ second major of the year, the French Open, concludes this weekend at Roland Garros Stadium in Paris.
On the men’s side, barring a huge upset, two-time defending champion Rafael Nadal will meet world No. 1 Roger Federer in a dream final. Federer is desperate to win the French to complete the career grand slam, and one month ago he ended Nadal’s 81-match winning streak on clay. However, Nadal has never tasted defeat against anyone here at the French Open.
As for the women, two-time reigning champ Justine Henin takes on up-and-comer Ana Ivanovic. Ivanovic is leading the way for the war-torn country of Serbia, who also celebrates Jelena Jankovic, and on the men’s side Novak Djokovic, who reached their respective semi-finals. Henin seems unbeatable in Paris, having won 33 straight sets at the French.
Winners: The pre-tournament picks of Nadal and Henin look strong.
The second major in golf, the U.S. Open, begins Thursday at Oakmont in Pennsylvania. Tiger Woods, Jim Furyk and Phil Mickelson, of course, are among the favorites, although Mickelson pulled out of the Memorial last weekend with an injured wrist.
Predictions: Player vs. player match-ups will be available next week, and it is always easier to win at those than to try to predict the winner of a golf tournament. But if forced to pick, one would have to go way out on a limb and choose Woods, who always seems to be due for another major.
Sadly, another season in the National Hockey League has come to an end. Congratulations to the Anaheim Ducks and people like me who wagered on them to win the sacred 115-year-old Stanley Cup. As always, the playoffs overall were physical, exciting and extremely competitive. Next year will be more of the same.
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