Soccer Magazine

Weekly Commentary- The Last Leg

By Jackmc13

Basketball and soccer has officially entered the stretch run. 

Last week, I wrote about how Chelsea and the Indiana Pacers were up against it. Chelsea was fighting a 3-1 Champions League deficit, and the Pacers had just lost to the lowly Atlanta Hawks. 

Bubba Watson captured his second Green Jacket this past weekend

Bubba Watson captured his second Green Jacket this past weekend

The thing that I find most fascinating about sports in general is how quickly the tide can turn. Two weeks ago I was dreaming of a Chelsea double in the Premier League and Champions League; while still holding out hope that the Pacers could win the NBA Finals after beating the Miami Heat in late March. A week later, Chelsea had lost 1-0 to Crystal Palace and 3-1 to PSG, virtually ending their hopes in both competitions. The Pacers followed suit, getting walloped by the Spurs, Wizards and Hawks, and losing their grip on the Easts number one seed. All hope seemed to vanish. 

Today, the Pacers are locked in at the one seed, and Chelsea is alive and well in both the Premiership and the Champions League. Funny how things work out. 

In the NBA, things look cloudy. The Spurs, the favorite heading into the playoffs, may have cruised in the regular season but will face stern tests in each round with a matchup against the winner of Houston/Portland looming. I havefive contenders in the West: San Antonio, OKC, LA, Houston and Golden State. Portland’s had a fantastic season but they don’t play defense. Dallas and Memphis might cause one of the aforementioned five some trouble, but don’t expect them to make it out of round one.  My preseason pick out West was Golden State, and I’ll look for Steph Curry and Klay Thompson to supply the goods for a championship run.

Things have finally gotten interesting in the East, with Chicago and Brooklyn looking to challenge Miami and Indy. If Chicago gets to round two, the Pacers will be looking behind their shoulders on the race to the Conference Finals. If Brooklyn wins, Indy will be able to breath easier after defeating Jason Kidd’s gang four times this season. Brooklyn looks like it might be a team for the Heat to watch for, after getting swept in the season series. The top seeds both have their respective problems, and the battle for the East will likely become a war of attrition (see Dwyane Wade’s knee problems). Andrew Bynum might be the wild card here.

The Champions League is just as open as the NBA Finals with all four teams having a legitimate chance at hoisting the trophy in Lisbon. Chelsea have a stern defense to go along with Jose Mourinho’s brilliant tactics and game preparation. Real Madrid will look to Ronaldo and Gareth Bale to supply the goals against Bayern, while the Bavarians will rely on Dutch winger Arjen Robben, who has been in unstoppable form. Atletico Madrid may be a minnow in name, but they have the squad to challenge all three remaining teams in the Semis. The “other” Madridstas will fancy their chances against the Londoners, with a stingy defense and natural goal-scorer in Diego Costa.

One final side-note. Bubba Watson won the Masters in 2012. Chelsea won the Champions League in 2012. Bubba Watson won the Masters in 2014. Chelsea- 

Weekly Commentary- The Last Leg

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