Sunday, May 16, 2010

On the Record and Two Great Trivia Questions

Predictions: I went three for four in the quarterfinal round of both the NBA and NHL playoffs.  No, don't look for it, it isn't on the blog.  Trust me, I did.  It wasn't hard.  While not everything has gone to form, the chalk largely held up last round.  There were two legitimate upsets, the Celts over the Cavs and Jaroslav Halak over the Penguins.  I got 'em both wrong.  But I did have Lookin At Lucky in the Preakness.

What's interesting about the next round?  Well, for one, the MVP of both sports is out of the playoffs.  LeBron's out, of course, but how can you know about the NHL, they haven't named their MVP yet, you ask?  Crosby (Penguins), Ovechkin (Caps), Sedin (Canucks) are the three finalists for the Hart Memorial Trophy and they are all joining LeBron as spectators.  Interestingly only two of the top seven vote-getters for the NBA award are still around, Kobe and Dwight Howard.  And that leads me to today's first trivia question:

How many times have the winners of the NBA and NHL MVP Award heralded from the same country?  For bonus points name the years and players.  I'll give the answer tomorrow for those who don't google it and offer a prize for the first to get it right in the comments--assuming they can convince me they didn't search the net for it first.

The NBA: LeBron is done and his exit has elicited a maelstrom of speculation led by a) Why was he so bad the last three games of the Celtics series? and, much more importantly to most, b) What is he going to do July 1 when he can become a free agent?  I am convinced there are more people interested in where LeBron signs than who actually wins this year's title.

Western Conference: Phoenix Suns vs. Los Angeles Lakers.  You can get your in-depth analysis anywhere you want.  It's pretty simple.  The Lakers are favored because of their size and the fact that they can shorten their rotation in the playoffs.  The Suns will try to outrun and outgun them because they won't be able to defend well in the half court sets.  Okay, I'll bite.  Phoenix in six in a big upset.

Eastern Conference: Boston Celtics vs. Orlando Magic.  The Magic haven't lost in the playoffs.  The Celtics are showing signs of rekindling their magic of 2008.  A healthy Garnett and an unstoppable Rajon Rondo are a tough combination and Boston just waxed Orlando in Game 1 on the Magic's home court.  Naturally I'll take Orlando in six.

Trivia question #2:  In the decade from 2000-01 until this year, how many of the NBA MVPs were born in the U.S.?

The NHL: The one and two seeds in the West and the seven and eight seeds in the East are what's left.  Needless to say whoever survives the Campbell Conference tilt will be a heavy favorite to hoist the Cup.

Western Conference: Chicago Blackhawks vs. San Jose Sharks.  This will pit the speed of the Hawks against the size of the Sharks.  I think Chicago is deeper and as I pointed out in my Rank the Goalies piece, the big difference is in goal.  I think Niemi is the best goalie left and Nabokov has been terrible in big moments.  I'm riding the Hawks in six.

Eastern Conference: Nothing good for Penguins fans here.  Halak stoned Sid and the boys and Philly is the hated enemy.  I think Philly has more guys who can score and I don't think Halak can continue to carry such a big load.  He's been extraordinary so far, but I'm betting it ends in a train wreck.  Philly in five. (Philly leading 1-0 in Game 1 as I type.)

Feel free to express your opinion in the poll on the right or in the comments.


jacksonville said...

Question 1: At least twice in past decade, given Steve Nash. No clue who the historical U.S. winners of NHL MVP are.

Question 2: Six. Excluding Nash (twice) and Kobe (I think he is Italian-born and guessing he's won the MVP twice).

My answers are likely evidence I didn't search the internet.


The Hammer said...

Kobe was born in Philadelphia. Incorrect on the other, but good guess.