By Richard Pryor III
Yes, friends, it’s that time of the year: summertime! Well, not really, but this is my last column until September, so now’s the perfect time to cover summertime sports and some predictions for the next few months straight out of my crystal ball (that may or may not be my computer distorted through a McClurg glass plate).
In the Stanley Cup Playoffs (NHL), my bet’s on the Anaheim Ducks. While the Washington Capitals are leading the Vegas lines and had the best record in the NHL, the track record of teams that have won the Presidents’ Trophy (for best regular season record) in the Stanley Cup Playoffs is pretty bad. Since the 1985-86 season, when the award was first given out, only eight teams have won both the Presidents’ Trophy and the Stanley Cup. The Ducks, although third in their conference, have a pretty straight shot to the finals, having swept Calgary, and with both Chicago and Minnesota (the two teams ahead of them in the Western Conference) either eliminated or close to eliminated, Anaheim has room to dominate their way to the Stanley Cup Finals.
In the NBA Playoffs, my money’s still on the Cleveland Cavaliers. LeBron and crew have been on fire during these playoffs, Boston’s in a downward spiral, and Kevin Durant is injured for Golden State. The Wizards are generally out-matched by the Cavs, and LeBron is still unstoppable. Clear and easy pick here.
In other sports that don’t have endings in the summer, just a few quick predictions to be assessed when we return: the Red Sox or Indians will be leading the MLB. Dallas and one of the New York teams (NYCFC or Red Bulls) will be at the top of MLS. The American League will win the MLB All-Star Game. Also, David Ross will lose in Dancing with the Stars to Simone Biles, Markelle Fultz will be the #1 NBA draft pick, the Lakers will pick Lonzo Ball and instantly regret it, and the Cleveland Browns will still mess up their draft picks. Have a great summer, and if you have questions for me, feel free to tweet me @rpryor03!