PHOENIX SUNS

The Phoenix Suns have the best point guard in the NBA, in my opinion its not even a debate. Nash sees the floor better than any point guard, he also has a great jump shot and almost never misses a free throw shot.With Nash at the guard and Amare in the paint this team is a dangerous team to face in the playoffs. In game one Steve Nash took over in the first and the Suns came out victorious. The Suns are to fast for the Spurs, the Spurs are simply to old, Duncan is getting older so is Parker, and Ginobili , all of them are old and getting older. Can they pull off one last season i dont think so, i do not believe they can keep up with the Suns offensively, the Suns shoot a high percentage from three point range, and they run the ball till their is no place left to run. Duncan cannot hold Amare, he is to fast and to quick, Duncan however on the other end should have an easy time scoring on Amare, because Duncan is more experienced if he can be patient in the paint we can see Tim Duncan having big games against the Suns. There other factors in this game as well such as, Jason Richardson, Gerorge Hill, Channing Frye, and Richard Jefferson; These players will have a big effect on how this series turns out, if you look closly at Jay Rich, the man is on fire so is Frye. We have only seen one big game from Hill so do not expect it again, however you can always expect some great offense  from Richard Jefferson. All in all the Suns have to deep of a bench for the Spurs to put up a valid fight. The Suns will take this series in 6, will see the Lakers, and  Suns in the semis.

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ORLAND MAGIC

The Orlando Magic destroyed the Atlanta Hawks in game 1, this series will not go past 5 games, this is not a prediction it is a fact. The magic have a great interior game, their is no one on the Hawks that can shut him down. Their three point game is beyond good, with all there superstars they don’t get nervous, they don’t turn the ball over as much as the Hawks. The Orlando Magic will prevail against the Hawks the question is how far will they go? I believe the Magic will be rooting for the Boston Celtics, because the cavaliers have a great interior game, and they might be the only team in the NBA that can shut down the Magic offensively. However the Boston Celtics, have a couple of big man inside that can put a body on Howard but i do not believe, Perkins, Garnet, or big baby davis can stop him and Gortad. The Cavs have to many weapons, their bench goes to deep and their a young team vs the fact that the Magic have some older players on their team. The Magic have a shot at making it to the finals, the only question remains is who will they play in the semis???

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BOSTON AND CLEVLAND

The Boston Celtics played a great first round against the Miami heat.  Their team is  healthy, the big three are ready to try to do it again.  Ray Allen is playing at the top of his game, the three-point champ will not be the only one lifting this team, that is what  makes this team so dangerous. Paul Pierce, and Kevin Garnet will carry this team as well both of them healthy and both ready to take over the east. The big question, is can they defeat the Cleveland Cavaliers, i believe they can, but  i also believe they wont here is why. The Caves have one of the deepest benches in the NBA, with players like Shaq, Dellonte West, Daniel Gibson, Anthony Parker, and many others that the Celtics wont have an answer for. Lets not forget they have a great starting 5; however, so does Boston. If u match it up it’s not even close, however i believe that the force of the big three will push this series to 7, but in the end the Caves will prevail.

Shaq out for two months !!!!!

Clevland Cavaliers center Shaquille O’Neal sent his teammates a text message almost apologizing for missing the final two months of the regular season.

If he makes it back for the playoffs, he’ll still have time to make it up to them.

O’Neal had surgery on his injured right thumb Monday and will miss about 8 weeks, the team said. He was examined Sunday by specialist Dr. Thomas Graham at the National Hand Center in Baltimore. Graham performed the surgery Monday morning.

“He feels like he let us down, but we understand injuries happen in the game,” teammate Jamario Moon said. “I think he’s really down about being out. … He let us know it’s time to continue playing basketball and he’s going to be all right.”

The recovery timeline means O’Neal, who turns 38 on Saturday, may not be ready for the start of the playoffs April 17. The Cavaliers acquired him last summer with an eye toward the postseason, after Dwight Howard and Orlando eliminated them in the Eastern Conference finals.

Cleveland enters its game Monday against the Knicks leading Orlando by six games for the best record in the East. Should the Cavaliers and Magic retain the top two seeds, they wouldn’t meet until the Eastern Conference finals, which begin in mid-May.

“Will be out for a min but when I return it is on,” O’Neal posted on his Twitter account Monday morning. “Win da ring for da king! Luv my team, Cavs baby!”

O’Neal has played well for the Cavaliers, averaging 12 points and 6.7 rebounds in 53 games. He injured the thumb Thursday at Boston when his shot was blocked by Glen “Big Baby” Davis with just over 7 minutes left in the first half.

Cavs general manager Danny Ferry said O’Neal will wear a splint for the next two weeks, then begin his rehab.

“Our guys have done a very good job of stepping up this season. We are confident they will do the same in this situation,” Ferry said. “We are fortunate to have some depth in our front court that can keep us moving forward while Shaq recovers and returns to play for the postseason.”

Anderson Varejao will continue to start at center for Cleveland, which has the NBA’s best record at 44-16. J.J. Hickson and Leon Powe, who recently returned from knee surgery, are also options.

Former backup Zydrunas Ilgauskas, traded to Washington for Antawn Jamison, is now a free agent following a buyout by the Wizards. Ilgauskas is free to sign with any team, but will have to wait another couple of weeks under NBA rules should he elect to re-sign with the Cavaliers.

Cleveland has battled injuries and personnel losses all season.

Point guard Mo Williams recently returned after missing 11 games with an injured shoulder and guard Delonte West bounced in and out of the rotation early because of personal reasons. Powe debuted last week after recovering from knee surgery last summer.

“There’s nothing we can do about it,” coach Mike Brown said. “It’s happened all year. Hopefully someone will step up and fill the void and we’ll just keep moving forward.”

NBA.com source

THE WORST SLAM DUNK CONTEST EVER!!!

Shannon Brown, Gerald Wallace, DeMar RoZen, and Nate Robinson put on one of the worst performances in NBA history.There was no creativity what so ever, furthermore if you take highlights from the regular season you could have found better dunks. Even “Nate The Great” was not all “Great” yes he was solid however if Dwight Howard. J.R and Kobe were in the contest he would have came in 4th. The contest needs meaning, as a matter of fact the whole week end needs more meaning, they need a reason to hustle, a reason to be creative. The prize got to be bigger its got to be big enough for the players to get excited.

Kobe/Bynum Injury Report

Kobe Bryant will rejoin the Los Angeles Lakers when they face the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Bryant has missed three straight games, all of which the Western Conference-leading Lakers have won, since spraining his left ankle against the Denver Nuggets on Feb. 5.

Bryant, along with banged-up center Andrew Bynum, returned to practice on Monday, according to the Times.

“He said he didn’t have the normal strength he’d like to have, but it’ll come back,” Lakers Coach Phil Jackson told the newspaper about Bryant. “That’s just getting back in the flow and getting some strength there again, reconditioning it. He hasn’t played in two weeks, so there’s a lot of things that he was trying out and trying to figure out — passes that went awry and shots he was reluctant to shoot — but he’ll come [around].”

While Bryant is set to return Tuesday, the Lakers could have Bynum back as well, according to the Times. He has missed the last two games with a bruised right hip.

“I’m definitely limited, but I’m going to try to give it a go,” Bynum told the newspaper. “I just want to see if it’ll get worse. Every step you take, the muscle rubs over the top of it and it’s real painful.”

With or without Bynum, the Lakers (41-13) seem to have a very good chance to begin the second half of the season on a positive note as they host the Warriors. Los Angeles has won 28 of 31 at home against Golden State since 1993-94.

Meanwhile, persistent back pain caused by a pinch nerve will force Luke Walton to take another indefinite leave, according to the newspaper.

“Right now it’s kind of experimental with Luke,” Jackson told the Times. “We’re trying to see where he can get to in this season and can continue on, hopefully, without having to do anything that would eliminate his year.”

Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.

source :espn

RANDY WINN SIGNS WITH NYY

The New York Yankees have agreed to terms with free agent outfielder Randy Winn on a one-year contract, pending a physical, sources told ESPN The Magazine’s Buster Olney.

The contract is worth in the neighborhood of $2 million.

The deal, in all likelihood, ends any chance that Johnny Damon will return to the Yankees. The Yankees now seem set with their outfield for the 2010 season.

The 35-year-old Winn hit .262 in 149 games last season for San Francisco. He was an All-Star in 2002, when he batted .298 with 14 home runs and 75 RBIs for the Tampa Bay Rays. Winn could put an end to a novel and unwanted distinction now that he’s signed with the Yankees: According to Baseball-reference.com, he has played 1,601 career games without a postseason appearance. That’s the longest drought by an active major league player. Texas third baseman Michael Young is second among active players with 1,351 games and no postseason appearance

Damon and his agent Scott Boras are trying to engage the Detroit Tigers and Cincinnati Reds as possible alternatives, a baseball source told ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick.

Boras has been successful placing many of his clients in Detroit, and the addition of Damon in left field would allow the Tigers to give Carlos Guillen more at-bats at DH.

The Tigers traded leadoff hitter Curtis Granderson to the Yankees in December and lost No. 2 hitter Placido Polanco to the Phillies in free agency, so the top of their batting order is in a state of transition.

Cincinnati’s outfield alignment currently consists of Jay Bruce in right field, Drew Stubbs in center field and Chris Dickerson in left. The Reds’ leadoff hitters also ranked last in the major leagues with a .650 OPS in 2009.

The catch is, the Reds and Tigers don’t appear to have much money left in the budget. Both clubs have been economizing this offseason, and that might be truer than ever now that Cincinnati has signed Cuban pitcher Aroldis Chapman and Detroit has added closer Jose Valverde. Both teams would probably have to get creative to make a run at Damon.

Buster Olney is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine.