Who To Watch (April 12 – April 18)

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It’s been almost 11 years since Tiger Woods won his last major? Can he end that drought this weekend at Augusta? (Credit: Rob Schumacher/USA Today Sports)

This is the most wonderful time of year folks.

At the time of writing this, Tiger Woods is -2 at the Masters, and we all know we want to see Tiger win another Masters. The NHL playoffs are off to a bang with plenty of road teams winning Game 1s (even if this is at the expense of the Bruins). The NBA season wrapped up with plenty of funky games, as well as some awesome farewells for Dwyane Wade and Dirk Nowitzki. We know who’s playing who in the NBA Playoffs, and starting Saturday, it’s going to be heaven on Earth once the games begin. Hopefully the weather comes around and we can soak in some sun, but for now, you have an excuse from us at Hold My Drink Sports to sit inside and watch ALL of these great sporting events.

Before we start, congratulations to Virginia and Baylor for winning the championship in men’s and women’s college basketball, respectively… AND SHOUT OUT TO UMASS FOR MAKING IT TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP IN HOCKEY! GO MINUTEMEN!

Lets Rock n’ Roll.

Buy

Fredy: Jaylen Brown

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Jaylen Brown had ups and downs this season, but is he set up for playoff success similar to a year ago? (Credit: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Marcus Smart is out which means his 7 shots per game are out for at least the first two rounds of the playoffs. Bad for the Celtics, but good for Jaylen Brown. He averaged 10 shots per game and struggled for a lot of the season trying to get acclimated to Gordon Hayward joining the team. However, I expect Brown to find himself against the Pacers and help this team turn it around in the playoffs. 

When to Watch: 

Indian Pacers vs. Boston Celtics (4/14; 1:00 PM)

Indiana Pacers vs. Boston Celtics (4/17; 7:00 PM)

Mike: Mitch Moreland

The Red Sox have probably been the biggest disappointment in the MLB to start the season. However, their sluggish 4-9 start could have been even worse if not for the play of Mitch Moreland. In all 4 of Boston’s wins, Moreland has been a key contributor, totaling 3 home runs and 8 RBIs. Mitchy Four-Bags hasn’t just been good in wins though, having homered in 3 straight games going into tonight and putting up a 1.106 OPS on the young season. We’ve seen Moreland get hot before in years past, especially when healthy. I’m optimistic he can keep driving the offense at least until everyone else in the lineup catches up. There aren’t many reasons to watch the Red Sox early on this year, but Moreland has been one of the main attractions so far.

When to Watch: 

Baltimore Orioles vs. Boston Red Sox (4/12; 7:10 PM)

Baltimore Orioles vs. Boston Red Sox (4/13; 1:05 PM)

Baltimore Orioles vs. Boston Red Sox (4/14; 1:05 PM)

Baltimore Orioles vs. Boston Red Sox (4/15; 11:05 PM)

Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees (4/16; 6:35 PM)

Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees (4/17; 6:35 PM)

Nick: Kyrie Irving

I cannot tell you how excited I am to see Playoff Kyrie Irving. This is why the Celtics got him. It was for this moment. Kyrie has wanted the playoffs to start for months, we’ve wanted to see him wearing green in the playoffs for over a year… this is showtime. I could go into how much may hinge on his success here and play into the narrative of the media, but I won’t, because it’s BS. This is Kyrie’s moment to be the star, to be the best player on a team he leads, to truly escape the shadow of LeBron and reach the next level of super-stardom in this league. Just look how good he was last time he was in the playoffs. 29.4 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 4.4 APG, shooting 47.2% from the field and 41.9% from three. THAT Kyrie is ready to carry the Celtics, and I hope you’re ready to watch.

When to Watch: 

Indian Pacers vs. Boston Celtics (4/14; 1:00 PM)

Indiana Pacers vs. Boston Celtics (4/17; 7:00 PM)


Sell

Fredy: Portland Trail Blazers

Screw this team. The Trail Blazers should be able to win (they have a great PG in Lillard), and yet they’ll find a way to choke away their season, yet again. Lillard and McCollum can’t seem to ever find an elite groove in the playoffs. Yes they’re down an important player, still, no excuses. Play your best. 

Fuck the Blazers. OKC in 6! 

When to Watch: 

Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Portland Trail Blazers (4/14; 3:30 PM)

Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Portland Trail Blazers (4/16; 10:30 PM)

Mike: DeMar DeRozan

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Can DeMar DeRozan escape his playoff demons from Toronto? (Credit: via San Antonio Spurs Twitter)

DeMar DeRozan + Playoff Basketball ≠ Success. This equation has been proven for years now, and I don’t see that changing this postseason. Sure, there are plenty of reasons why DeRozan could break this mold – he’s out of Lebron’s shadow in the East, he’s playing with a legendary coach in Gregg Popovich, San Antonio is warmer than Toronto – but none of these can change the fact that he simply has not come through when it matters most. In a down year for the Spurs in which they got the 7th seed (which for half the year would be a great year, but that’s the Spurs for you), they’re now matched up with Denver in the first round. The Nuggets finished the year as one of four teams with a top-10 offensive rating and top-10 defensive rating, and that’s bad news for DeRozan and the Spurs. Playoff basketball can be unpredictable, but a DeMar DeRozan-led team underperforming is something you can count on.

When to Watch: 

San Antonio Spurs vs. Denver Nuggets (4/13; 10:30 PM)

San Antonio Spurs vs. Denver Nuggets (4/16; 9:00 PM)

Denver Nuggets vs. San Antonio Spurs (4/18; 9:00 PM)

Nick: Rudy Gobert

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Rudy Gobert is one of the NBA’s best defenders, but is his style of play set up for failure in the playoffs? (Credit: Jennifer Steward/USA Today Sports)

Rudy Gobert is a great defender, but in the modern NBA, his style of play is archaic. We all know what’s going to happen. He is going to become a liability for the Jazz, he’s going to be isolated, and he’s going to be played off the court. James Harden is playing at another level this season, and I think Houston will try to manipulate that type of matchup as often as possible. He’ll still be a key to success for the Jazz, but I do not see him being effective in this setting. Sorry Rudy.

When to Watch: 

Utah Jazz vs. Houston Rockets (4/14; 9:30 PM)

Utah Jazz vs. Houston Rockets (4/17; 9:30 PM)


The “Who to Watch” series drops every Friday, via Hold My Drink Sports

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