1. Golden State
5. Lakers – if they miss the playoffs, don’t be surprised
6. Jazz – if they miss the playoffs, I wouldn’t be surprised. Donovan Mitchell needs to become an A list star this year for them to succeed. that said, if Conley can turn into a solid mentor, he is in good hands.
8. Thunder – probably my biggest leap of faith but I love their depth and they have a high floor if they don’t sell of their assets too early
Pelicans – another team with great depth. probably not playoff ready but they have a chance if they end up being a well coached organization
Spurs – end of teams in playoff contention
Mavericks – many people have told me that they will compete for the playoffs. I don’t see it as I don’t like their depth. between their poor depth and Luka potentially going down a little, I don’t see it.
Timberwolves – every year I pick them to be in the playoffs and am wrong. watch them make the playoffs
6. Celtics – top 6, all could easily be the 1 seed
7. Magic – I love their depth but they fall on their face every time
8. Nets – the top 8 in the east was easy.
Conference finals – 76ers over Bucks, Rockets over Warriors
Finals – 76ers sweep Rockets
Timberwolves – this division looks like the toughest one. by virtue of having 4 competitive teams, I don’t see the Wolves surviving this year
Nets – boy will this division be a killer if the Raptors don’t go away when Durant gets healthy
Pacers – I wouldn’t be surprised if I saw them as division winners. Bucks should rest for playoffs and turn it on in the last few months. You can probably get away with coasting in the East.
Cavaliers – by far, the easiest division
Heat – they have a high floor but I can’t see a Dragic/Butler team winning more than one playoff series. What is the over under on games before Butler doing what he did to Wiggins on Dragic?
Hawks – they could sneak a division win. especially if the Magic act like themselves and inevitably fall on their face early. they have sneaky depth. their second tier of young players might not be all stars but they could turn into starters
Hornets – I could make an argument for every team winning this division, even the Hornets. ultimately they are last because I think they want the number one pick
Florida – I like their depth. They have a consistent goalie now.
Buffalo – I expect this division to be top heavy with a huge point differential between TB and Buffalo
New York Islanders
Carolina – The depth in this division is strong. I could be convinced to rearrange Washington to Carolina in any order.
New York Rangers
Minnesota – Top to bottom the toughest division. I could see Minnesota sneaking into the playoffs. You can never count out Chicago
Los Angeles – I saw them in person twice. They have a chance. Their bottom isn’t a top pick. This is a nice projection but I feel that the veterans have one last run in them.
Vegas – I was very unimpressed with them when I saw them in person.
Pittsburgh over New Jersey
Washington over New York Islanders
Toronto over Columbus
Tampa Bay over Florida
Nashville over St. Louis
Winnipeg over Colorado
San Jose over Los Angeles
Edmonton over Calgary
Toronto over Tampa Bay
Pittsburgh over Washington
Nashville over Winnipeg
San Jose over Edmonton
Toronto over Pittsburgh
San Jose over Nashville
San Jose over Toronto
Because my NBA predictions were so dead on, lol, I thought that I would give it a go with baseball.
Cubs – Darvish looks like he a great bounce back candidate. Like Nationals, another team that is not afraid to fill holes via trade market.
Brewers – Their pitching overachieved and they traded away their outfield depth. Can Arcia hit enough to justify his playoff brilliance? I think not.
Reds – They will get some great prospects in midseason trades of future free agents.
Nationals – Expectations are not sky high for once. I like every position on their team minus Dozier who can turn it around. Always showed a willingness to aggressively fill holes via trades.
Phillies – Maybe next year
Braves – Young starting pitching is always boom or bust. I realized that this is the one team where if they added Bryce Harper, I would favor them for the division.
Rockies – They have too much talent. With the Dodgers not reloading, the time is now to strike. Unlike other teams, they are in a position to trade major league assets to reload; something that I hope comes to fruition.
Athletics – I am not a fan of their starting pitching. They have a pitcher’s ballpark. Didn’t upgrade catcher either.
Mariners – I don’t think that they will have a bad record. Put them in the National League and they would have a chance.
Indians – Half of their pitching staff was on the trade block. Will that come out during the season?
White Sox – I can see their young pitching finally coming together.
Red Sox – Where is their bullpen?
Wildcard: Rays over Angels
Divisional: Rays over Yankees
Astros over Twins
ALCS: Astros over Rays
Wildcard: Cardinals over Dodgers
Divisional: Nationals over Cardinals
Rockies over Cubs
NLCS: Nationals over Rockies
World Series: Astros over Nationals
I wrote this during the Celtics/Sixers opening game. They are just my predictions for the upcoming season.
1. Golden State
4. Oklahoma City
5. New Orleans
I struggled with the last spot in both conferences. Top 7 were locks. I went with Miami because I thought that there division had the potential to be the weakest. I alternated between Denver, Portland, and the Clippers. Ultimately I felt that Denver had the best guard to forward balance at the top of their rotation.
Kids can get a little rambunctious in the days leading up to Christmas. While I am not coaching right now, I am the substitute
Sunday ‘Awesome School’ teacher at my church. Christmas Eve fell on a Sunday so that meant I got kids the day before Christmas – thank you Captain Obvious. The teacher was smart and took Christmas Eve off. I thought nothing of it until Christmas Eve happened.
All week I thought of the lesson of what to do. Even though there is the occasional time when there isn’t any kids, I wanted to be prepared. I had a lesson all mapped out. If that lesson failed, I had a back up lesson. If that messed up, I had a thousand other ideas. I thought that I played out every scenario in my head. I forgot one factor though: it is kids the day before Christmas Eve.
So Sunday comes and I have four kids. The routine is for the kids to sit down and do introductions. This was key today as their was one kid who I didn’t know. Well one kid sat down, but the other three didn’t. Care to take a guess who listened? Now here is where my training with kids kicked in: a lot of people would have panicked. I could have yelled at the kids, taken them back to their parents, or even found a punishment inside the classroom. Thats not how I work. Instead I did what anyone who works with kids needs to do: embrace the situation. I’ll be honest I didn’t really have it plotted out in my numerous scenarios that the kids wouldn’t sit but I should have. I was prepared what to do if they didn’t sit still but not for it to be full blown mayhem with them running around before I could even close the door and say ‘hello.’ Well, with the one kid listening to me, it allowed us to get acquainted.
So I have three kids running around and one listening. I moved on to one of the scenarios played out in my head. It sucks but it is what it is. That works for ten minutes. After that, full mayhem ensues. I am out of scenarios I am prepared for. This sounds bad but at this point, I embrace that I am essentially a babysitter and not a teacher now. Let’s be real, this is the worst case reality of any teacher so it’s no surprise that I didn’t think of this. The kids burn themselves out. They try to play games but their short attention spans don’t allow for any game to develop beyond the 45 second mark.
So bottom line: kids will be kids; especially on Christmas Eve. If you have
Miles walked: 6.28
The Mummy ride – my favorite ride from when I last visited 6 years ago. Still is. The closest thing that the place has to a roller coaster and it’s in the dark. Takes you forwards and then back. I had a minor heart attack because I thought we didn’t stop soon enough to go backward – we were fine, I just hadn’t been on it in a few years.
Harry Potter & The Forbidden Journey ride – this was the first thing that I did and it ruined everything else. You didn’t need 3d glasses, more action packed than any other ride, and they did a great job making the area where you wait look exactly like the movies. I almost thought the line was the ride. I also was ready to kill my buddy because it turned my friends into an annoying fanboy who wouldn’t stop taking pictures.
Waterworld show – I dragged my friend to this and I am glad that I did. A hidden gem with amazing actors, great stunts, and tons of audience interaction.
Tram Ride/Tour – was originally going to break this up into its own parts but almost all of it was amazing, minus the VIP tour bus blocking us from seeing something cool. The Fast & the Furious, and simulated earthquake in an underground train station were amazing. For the Furious part, if I didn’t know any better I would have thought that Vin Diesel and The Rock were doing a stage play in front of me.
Simpsons ride: would probably be lumped with the best but it displaced my all time favorite ride in Back to the Future.
Butterbeer – its cream soda topped with whipped cream.
Advertised wait times – this worked both ways. My friend and I hypothesized that it was the time the person at the front of the line waited. This was while we were in a tram line that advertised 20 minutes and was closer to an hour – thank you drunk girl from Montana for keeping us entertained but you got boring after 5 minutes. I will say that one ride advertised a 10 minute wait and it was shorter than that. In fact we walked straight up and the coaster was moving faster than people in line. It was nice to not have to sit in my buddy’s lap for the Transformers ride.
Too much reliance on 3d technology – while King Kong was awesome, I liked the older version that didn’t need glasses. Perhaps if I didn’t have to hear the drunk girl complaining about not getting 3d glasses for a half hour then I would hate it less but I truly have never been a fan of 3d. There shouldn’t be a need for 3d glasses on the tram ride when you use it for 1/10 of the ride.The Transformers ride was so poorly focused that it gave me a bout of motion sickness a third of the way through. Also the bots or whatever you call them have way too many details that 3d ruins them.
Park hours – they closed way too early.
For those that don’t know, I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. My PTSD is not from being in the military but from normal citizen’s actions; both male and female. I do not want to get into what happened to me. I will however get into why I am bringing this up and why Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is relevant.
Recently a bunch of people have been coming out against people with big names because of past transgressions. Most are in regards to sexual abuse that took place several years ago. These people are getting a lot of flack for coming out now instead of when it happened. I have many opinions on that but I am using this entry to show why the abuse is relevant in the survivors eyes even though it took place years ago. I hope to somehow get you to comprehend a little about why it matters and why the people coming out are not crazy.
Everyone copes with abuse in different ways. One almost universal way of coping is internalizing it and dealing with it later. People also deal with it later for a variety of reasons. People try to forget it but it is still there. In the case of people coming right now, there is no doubt in my mind that people forgot about what happened until they heard something similar in the media that triggered a reaction. This happens to me numerous times. I can be listening to someone talking and a random side comment would trigger a memory, just because they said something that reminded me of the abuser. When this happens, it triggers memories and events that I didn’t think of for years. In one case I had a memory that was almost 25 years old unlocked, I am 32. So just because an event happened ages ago does not mean that it did not happen.
The great thing about all these people coming out is that for once the survivor of abuse feels like it is a little safer to come out. While the stigma is clearly still there, the blow is someone lessened – even though in my eyes it is not by much.
It is easy to be quick to criticize the people coming out now. I understand it. I almost criticized some of these people myself until I critically analyzed it. That is why I want to share this with you even though I keep my PTSD close to my vest. I hope that I gave you a glimpse into what these people went and are going through. While some are handling their abuse in a destructive way, please be respectful to them. We can’t judge what is real and what isn’t. We are not ones to say that the abuse does not happen. Yes it is a two way street and in a lot of times the alleged abuser is probably a good person, people do make mistakes. Some mistakes need to be paid for and we are going through a time where we are rewriting many wrongs. It will take a while to undo all of the cultural damage but we must work through it. We will be a better society for it.