Random Thoughts 2/9/15

-Lots of interesting talk around the NBA as they get ready for the All-Star break.  One of the most interesting things I heard was that there was consideration of switching the Playoff system to include the best 16 teams, regardless of conference.  This would make it more of a tournament than a Playoff.  There are certainly things to like about this idea.  This year you’d have the West include 10 teams and the East would be 6.  While I like the idea of New Orleans and Oklahoma City making it instead of Charlotte and Miami, I can’t help thinking something about that feels wrong.  They the NBA is really going to consider this then it has to consider a few things.  They will have to either get rid or divisions and conferences all together or have automatic entries for winning your division.  If we truly want the 16 best teams isn’t it only fair for them to play more balanced schedules?  Why should Milwaukee get to play teams like Detroit, Indiana, New York, Philadelphia, Boston and Orlando so much when OKC has to play Portland, Golden State, LAC, Phoenix, Memphis, Houston, Dallas and San Antonio?  Even if these two teams are “equal” OKC is at a disadvantage based solely on schedule.  I’m sure people will argue that this is true in the NCAA tournament.  However, that’s totally different because it’s not just based on record.  The bottom line is that I really don’t think there are going to be a bunch of bad first round match-ups in the East.  Right now the match-ups would be: Atlanta/Miami, Toronto/Charlotte, Chicago/Milwaukee and Washington/Cleveland.  Yes, Atlanta has been MUCH better than Miami, but it would still be fun to see a healthy Heat team try and give the Hawks a run for their money.  Would Miami be any more of an underdog than Phoenix against the Warriors?  I highly doubt it.  Regardless of what the NBA does, this year is going to be a ton of fun in the Playoffs.

-This is a continuation of the NBA discussion, but I’ll separate it for ease of reading.  There has been a lot of talk about legalizing gambling in the NBA (and other sports).  I honestly am not a gambler.  I play fantasy sports, but I don’t bet on games.  With that being said, I do think it would be a great idea to legalize gambling.  It’s going to go on either way, so why not regulate it?  The NBA and the government could make a TON of money if this happens.  And they’re never going to be able to completely stop the betting that goes on.  I love the forward thinking of the NBA.  They always seem to be on the cutting edge and pushing the envelope.

-I was bummed to see James Shields sign with the Padres today.  I was holding out a glimmer of hope that he’d sign with the Cubs.  Fortunately, the Cubs should be okay without him, but would have loved to see him in Cubby blue.  The Padres have made quite a splash this off-season.  It should be a fun year for them.  They still might not be able to compete with the Dodgers, but they should be able to put a much better team out there now.  I’ll be doing a full writeup on the upcoming baseball season in the next few weeks.

-I watched the Grammys last night and I must say that I was a little disappointed in the performances.  I watch the show every year and normally really enjoy it.  Perhaps I’m just more out of touch this year.  There seemed to be tons of performances and nominations that I didn’t know.  The show just didn’t seem to have the energy this year.  I can’t wait for the Oscars in two weeks.  I’ll be doing my yearly Oscar predictions next week.  Hopefully I’ll be more entertained by the Oscars than I was by the Grammys.

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