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Triumphs, Thanks, and Trepidations


My laptop almost bought the farm about two weeks ago. And after three long days spent wondering if I could still save my files or lose them forever, I got it fixed and back into mint running condition. And because I was able to salvage my beloved laptop from its demise, this post celebrates that I still have a laptop where I can type, blog, and create meaningful text. Or not.

To that triumph, I have to thank Kuya Mel, for accompanying me to Gilmore—thriving hub of techies whose lives are dependent on expensive gadgets, state-of-the-art equipment/applications, and cutting-edge gaming experiences—where we found a technician who could repair my laptop.

Oh yeah, I also thank my parents for giving me the money that I used to have the laptop fixed (hee-hee).

And while I’m feeling grateful, I’d like to give a shout-out to everyone who remembered me on my birthday—Love, Ruthie, Kiteng, Xaxa, RJ, Trish, Jed, Besh, Jel, Ian, Mil, Iseh, Anna aka AK, Dearie, and Janna, among others; as well as the Ang family, Alvero family, Kazel and Lovely in behalf of the constituents of IFI-Morong, Rizal, and of course, to Mama, Papa, Josh, and Ann, for making my day as wonderful as could be, and topping it off with an amazing dinner at Shakey’s—a thousand thanks and a million doses of good karma to all of you.

* * * * * * * * *

Thoughts on the NBA Playoffs 2010

Eastern Conference

(1) Cleveland vs. (8) Chicago, CLE leads 2-0

Game 1                        96-83

Game 2                      112-102

I’ve read on that LBJ has “The Look”, that same look that Jordan, Bird, Magic, and other such legends had during their championship runs. I have to agree, especially after LeBron’s brilliant all-around performance in Game 1 and dominating much of Game 2 by scoring 40 points, to go along with 8 boards and 8 dimes. And with a well-rounded supporting cast in Shaq, Jamison, Williams, et al., there’s no doubt that they have a good shot at winning the title come June.

Prediction: With two double-digit wins at home, it wouldn’t surprise me if the Cavs swept the Bulls.

(4) Boston vs. (5) Miami, BOS leads 1-0

Game 1                        85-76

KG’s one-game suspension certainly helps the Heat cause in Game 2, and with Glen Davis or Rasheed Wallace starting in his stead, Jermaine O’Neal will definitely take the opportunity of getting his groove back, as he’s already told the world that he will help D-Wade in order to get the W and take home court advantage from the Celts. But with that gruesome stretch in Game 1 when Miami shot 4 of 24 from the field, I’m not quite sure if O’Neal and Flash can handle business by themselves, at least not with the return of the Celtics trademark team defense. Michael Beasley, Udonis Haslem, Q-Rich, and at least one other role player (maybe Wright, Chalmers, or Anthony) will have to step up offensively if they are to win Game Numero Dos and the other games they have yet to play.

Prediction: Garnett’s absence in Game 2 will make things interesting, but I still think Boston takes a 2-0 series lead.

(2) Orlando vs. (7) Charlotte, ORL leads 1-0

Game 1                        98-89

Dwight Howard didn’t exactly dominate the paint (especially offensively), but his matchups on the other team didn’t play well either. Veteran Theo Ratliff, injury-ridden Tyson Chandler, and offense-minded Nazr Mohammed grabbed a total of four (yes, you read it right, 4) rebounds all night (Howard got 7, along with 9 blocks). That may be because of Gerald Wallace’s monster game, grabbing 17 freaking boards while leading all Charlotte scorers with 25, or because of Howard’s intimidating presence down low, but nevertheless, the Bobcats’ hustle and heart kept them within shooting distance of the Magic’s lead. But when all was said and done, it was the offense of Jameer Nelson that saved the day for Orlando. The little man scored 32 to help the Magic preserve home court advantage.

Prediction: With Dwight lording over the paint, Orlando wins Game 2.

(3) Atlanta vs. (6) Milwaukee, ATL leads 1-0

Game 1                        102-92

It’s unfortunate that the Bucks lost Andrew Bogut to injury just as he was playing the best basketball of his life, particularly after the All-Star break. And with Michael Redd also sidelined, and despite picking up free agent gem Jerry Stackhouse, their chances of winning the series against the Hawks have gone down considerably. But what make this series interesting are the matchups: Jennings vs. Crawford, Mbah a Moute vs. Smith, and Salmons vs. Johnson. Whichever team gets more success out of these three matchups will win the game.

Prediction: The superior talent and athleticism of the Hawks overwhelm the Bucks, and Atlanta takes Game 2.

Western Conference

(1) Los Angeles vs. (8) Oklahoma City, LAL leads 1-0

Game 1                        87-79

Welcome back Ron-Ron. That pretty much sums up the first meeting between the Lakers and Thunder. With Durant’s subpar shooting percentage and the rest of the Thunder stunned into utter silence—except Russell Westbrook—the Lakers had their way throughout the game with Gasol and Bynum leading the way along with an “okay” performance from Kobe.

Prediction: With dominant big men Gasol and Bynum having their way in the paint, and with Artest harassing Durant for 40 or so minutes, LA wins back-to-back.

(4) Denver vs. (5) Utah, Series tied 1-1.

Game 1                        126-113

Game 2                        111-114

In the midst of that hilarious Carmelo Anthony commercial (WATCH) and the Jazz becoming really short-handed (first Kirilenko and now, Okur, out with injuries), Melo and the Nuggets have their work cut out for them. It’s safe to say that new-age Malone-Stockton D-Will and Booz will never lie down and surrender, as proven by them stealing home court from Denver. Despite losing Mehmet Okur to an injury in the second quarter of Game 1, expect the Jazz to keep the pressure up.

Prediction: With the Jazz winning one in Denver, the Nuggets are feeling the pressure more than ever. Look for the Jazz to win Game 3 and take a one-game series lead.

(2) Dallas vs. (7) San Antonio, DAL leads 1-0

Game 1                        100-94

Spurs-Mavs Game 1 was the only game I had actually seen, and I have to say that I had a blast. Well, at least up until the fourth when Dallas started pulling away. Manu was his usual self, raining threes and slashing towards the basket at will, but without solid offensive performances from TD, TP, and RJ, the Spurs don’t stand a chance against the big guns of the Dallas.

Prediction: After a single-digit loss to the Mavs, the Spurs do their homework with the brilliant tutelage of Popovich. Spurs win Game 2 and take home court advantage and momentum with them in their return to San Antonio.

(3) Phoenix vs. (6) Portland, POR leads 1-0

Game 1                        100-105

With the Suns scoring a measly 4 fast break points, it’s no wonder they lost to the short-handed but hearty Blazers. A slow-paced game is what Portland prefers, and they pretty much dictated the pace of the game. And just like that, Phoenix lost home court advantage.

If you’re a Suns fan like me, you know that things are taking a turn for the worst when you see Stevie leading all Suns scorers with 25, STAT fouling out and only posting 18-8 (meager for his caliber), and when the opposing team scores 35 in the fourth.

Overall, it was a disappointing game for the Suns, my favorite team in the whole wide world… well, since Nash rejoined the team in 2004.

Prediction: Coach Alvin Gentry makes enough adjustments for the Suns to improve their offensive stretches and keep up their defensive intensity through all four quarters. Suns even the series at Game 2.


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