Posts By: Bob Dunkel

Home court dominated early in both the Eastern and Western Conference Finals as the Milwaukee Bucks and Golden State Warriors used the advantage to go up 2-0 in their respective series. Now it’s Portland and Toronto’s turns to see if they can reciprocate starting tonight with the Trail Blazers hosting the Warriors in Game 3 at the Moda Center. To… Read more »

The Toronto Raptors looked poised to steal Game 1 on the road against Milwaukee when they entered the fourth quarter with a seven-point lead. But an uncharacteristically bad quarter from Kawhi Leonard (two points) combined with Brook Lopez’ career playoff game (29 points, 11 rebounds) bailed the Bucks out in a 108-100 win. The Raptors will try to rebound tonight… Read more »

Portland’s hope that its high-powered backcourt of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum could match up with Golden State’s Steph Curry and Klay Thompson did not pan out in Game 1 of their Western Conference series.  Lillard and McCollum combined for only 36 points on 11-of-31 shooting (3-of-10 on three-pointers) while Curry had 36 points alone in a 116-94 victory for… Read more »

Two teams will face each other in the NBA Eastern Conference Finals, but all eyes will be on the two best players in the conference as Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo squares off against Toronto’s Kawhi Leonard. In the semis, Antetokounmpo led the Bucks to a relatively easy victory over the Boston Celtics in five games, while Leonard’s Raptors literally needed every… Read more »

It looks to be the battle of the backcourts in the NBA Western Conference Finals as Portland’s Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum match up against Golden State’s venerable duo of Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. Both teams advanced with big wins on the road as the Trail Blazers survived a Game 7 in Denver while the Warriors knocked off the… Read more »

Only one pitcher in MLB history — Johnny Vander Meer in 1938 — has thrown back-to-back no-hitters. Tonight, Oakland’s Mike Fiers will get his chance to tie the record as he takes the mound against the Seattle Mariners. Last Tuesday, Fiers (3-3, 5.48) no-hit the Cincinnati Reds, the second no-no he’s thrown in his career. He’ll go up against the… Read more »

The Portland Trail Blazers and Philadelphia 76ers took advantage of their home courts on Thursday night to stay alive in their respective conference semifinal series. But their reward is a pair of Game 7s on the road starting this afternoon as the Blazers travel to Denver to face the Nuggets, followed by the Sixers heading to Scotiabank Arena in Toronto… Read more »

The NHL Western Conference Final opens up tonight in San Jose as the Sharks host the St. Louis Blues in a rematch of the 2016 conference final. Both teams advanced after being taken to the seven-game limit in the semifinal round with the Blues surviving double overtime to beat the Stars in Dallas, while the Sharks were finally able to… Read more »

The Philadelphia 76ers and Portland Trail Blazers took care of business last night on their home courts to stay alive in their respective conference semifinal series. Tonight, it’s the Houston Rockets turn to see if they can use the home-court advantage to survive. The Rockets are down 2-games-to-3 in their best-of-seven series against Golden State after the Warriors 104-99 victory… Read more »

Last night, the Boston Celtics became the first conference semifinalist to get eliminated as they fell to the Milwaukee Bucks, 116-91. Tonight, the NBA playoffs feature two more teams struggling to stay alive as the Philadelphia 76ers and Portland Trail Blazers look to avoid elimination on their home courts against the Toronto Raptors and Denver Nuggets, respectively. To get Dunkel’s… Read more »

While the Cleveland Indians have dominated the AL Central Division in recent years, the Minnesota Twins are serving notice there may be a changing of the guard this season. The Twins have the second-best record in the AL (22-12) and hold a four-game lead over the Tribe following yesterday’s 3-0 win over the Toronto Blue Jays. Rocco Baldelli’s team will… Read more »

Since scoring 39 points in Game 1, Portland’s Damian Lillard has been relatively quiet. As a result, the Trail Blazers missed on opportunity to go up 3-1 in their series with the Denver Nuggets when they dropped Game 4 in Portland, 116-112. Now Lillard and the Blazers have to find a way to steal a game in Denver starting with… Read more »

After dropping the first two games of their conference semifinal series in Golden State, the Houston Rockets broke through with a 126-121 win on their home court over the Warriors Saturday night behind James Harden’s 41 points. Harden and the Rockets will try to knot the series at 2-all tonight with Game 4 set at the Toyota Center. To get… Read more »

While perhaps the most-overlooked series of the NBA playoffs, the Denver Nuggets and Portland Trail Blazers did give us the best game of the postseason so far when they took Game 3 to four overtimes before the Blazers came away with a 140-137 victory. The win put Portland up 2-games-to-1  in the best-of-seven series that will continue tonight with Game… Read more »

Things couldn’t have gone much worse for the Houston Rockets in their first two games against Golden State. Claiming they didn’t get many officials calls in Game 1 and having star James Harden raked in the eyes in Game 2, the Rockets left the Bay Area down 0-2 to the Warriors in their best-of-seven conference semifinal series. Houston will try… Read more »

The Denver Nuggets have been hard to peg so far in their second-round series against the Portland Trail Blazers. In Game 1, Denver shot 50.6 percent from the field and 41.4 percent from the three-point arc in a 121-113 victory. But in Game 2, the Nuggets could not buy a basket as they connected on just 34.7 percent from the… Read more »

The Columbus Blue Jackets had never made it past the first round of the NHL playoffs before eliminating the Tampa Bay Lightning this year. Now the Blue Jackets can put themselves in a good position to get past the second round as well if they can beat the Boston Bruins tonight. Up 2-1 in the series, Columbus will host Game… Read more »

CC Sabathia became just the third left-hander in MLB history to record 3,000 strikeouts last night, but it was the Arizona Diamondbacks who came away with the victory as they took the series-opener from the Yankees, 3-1. Game 2 is set for this afternoon at Chase Field with New York sending Masahiro Tanaka (2-2, 3.60) to the mound against Arizona’s… Read more »

As expected, Game 1 of the Western Conference Semifinals between Houston and Golden State had plenty of intensity and plenty of controversy at the end of a 104-100 win for the Warriors. Game 2 is set for tonight at ORACLE Arena and you can get Dunkel’s pick for this game and the full NBA playoff schedule by clicking HERE. After… Read more »

With the first month of the MLB season in the books, the surprising Tampa Bay Rays own the best record overall at 18-9. The Rays finished off a two-game sweep of the defending champion Red Sox yesterday and head to Kansas City tonight to take on the Royals, who have the worst record in the AL at 9-19. Kevin Cash… Read more »

The highly anticipated rematch between the Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors is finally here. In last year’s postseason, Golden State overcame a 3-2 series deficit to Houston after Chris Paul went down with a hamstring injury, and eventually went on to capture its second NBA championship in a row.  This year, the Rockets look to be healthy and advanced… Read more »

Golden State’s win over the Clippers last night left just one first-round matchup still to be determined — the Denver Nuggets versus the San Antonio Spurs.  This series has been the only one to go the full seven games with the finale set for tonight at Denver’s Pepsi Center. To get Dunkel’s pick for this game as well as Game… Read more »

There are times when the Golden State Warriors look bored on the basketball court. But if that were the case coming into their first-round playoff series against the LA Clippers, Doc Rivers’ team has certainly gotten the Warriors attention. In a series that wasn’t expected to be close, the Clips have stolen two games on Golden State’s home court and… Read more »

The Carolina Hurricanes wrapped up the first round of the NHL playoffs last night with a dramatic 4-3 win over the defending champion Washington Capitals in double overtime. The Canes continued a trend that saw four of the top six teams in Dunkel’s power rankings eliminated. Two of the upset specialists — the Dallas Stars and Columbus Blue Jackets —… Read more »

Except for a historic slip in Game 2, the Golden State Warriors have had little trouble handling the LA Clippers in their conference quarterfinal matchup. The defending champs have a chance to finish the series tonight in Game 5 at ORACLE Arena and you can get Dunkel’s pick for this game and the full NBA schedule by clicking HERE. Easy… Read more »

The Toronto Raptors stumbled in Game 1 of the quarterfinal series against Orlando, but have put the clamps on the Magic since then. After giving up 104 points in their opening-game loss, the Raptors have held the Magic to 82, 93 and 85 points in the last three games — all Toronto wins. The Raptors have a chance to close… Read more »

The Houston Rockets showed that even without James Harden at his best, they can still win playoff games even on the road. Harden started out 0-for-15 during Game 3 in Utah and finished just 3-of-20, but the Rockets managed to pull out a 104-101 victory over the Jazz that put Houston up 3-0 in their conference quarterfinal series. The Rockets… Read more »

The Boston Celtics have a chance to become the first team to punch its ticket to the second round of the NBA playoffs as the Celts go for the series sweep this afternoon on the road against the Indiana Pacers. To get Dunkel’s pick for this game and the full NBA schedule, click HERE. The Toronto Maple Leafs and Vegas… Read more »

The defending Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals looked primed to cruise through their first-round matchup with the Carolina Hurricanes after taking the first two games at home. But Games 3 and 4 in Raleigh did not go as well and suddenly the Caps find themselves in a 2-all tie with the Canes heading into tonight’s pivotal Game 5 at Capital… Read more »

It’s been an up-and-down season for the Boston Celtics and their star point guard, Kyrie Irving. But the Celts were hoping all that would be pushed aside once the playoffs rolled around. So far, so good as Irving has come up big for Boston in each of its first two games against the Pacers — both victories at home. Tonight,… Read more »

The Golden State Warriors have set many records during their reign as the best team in the NBA, but they could doubtless do without the record they set on Monday night. The Warriors blew the biggest lead ever in a playoff game — 31 points — en route to a 135-131 loss to the Clippers at home in Game 2… Read more »

The rough start for the defending champion Boston Red Sox continued yesterday as the Bosox were shut down by James Paxton and the Yankees, 8-0. Boston’s 6-12 start is its worst since the 1996 season when they opened at 3-15. Alex Cora’s team will see if it can at least salvage a split in the mini two-game set with the… Read more »

When the Red Sox and Yankees meet, there’s usually first place on the line. But right now, the two teams just need some Ws under their belts. The defending champion Red Sox come into the mini two-game series with an anemic 6-11 record. The Yankees aren’t much better at 6-9. And both will look for better outings tonight from a… Read more »

The Golden State Warriors took care of business with their 121-104 victory in Game 1 of their playoff series with the LA Clippers, but still allowed the Clips to get under their skin as Kevin Durant was tossed along with LA’s Patrick Beverly during a late-game squabble. The Warriors vow to play with more poise tonight as Game 2 tips… Read more »

Home court advantage didn’t amount to much during Day 1 of the NBA playoffs as three of the four visiting teams stole victories. One team that hopes that trend continues in Day 2 is the Oklahoma City Thunder (49-33), who open their Western Conference playoff series as a No. 6 seed on the road this afternoon against the No. 3… Read more »

The NBA playoffs get started today with four games on the schedule, including the Golden State Warriors begin their quest for a rare three-peat as league champions. The Warriors (57-25) are the No. 1 seed in the West and open at home against the No. 8 seed L.A. Clippers (48-34). To get Dunkel’s pick for this game and the full… Read more »

The Penguins and Islanders play Game 2 of their first round series tonight at Nassau Coliseum. While the Isles won a back-and-forth struggle in the opener, 4-3 in overtime, the Penguins forced an up-tempo contest against the team that allowed the fewest goals in the league (169) during the regular season. To get Dunkel’s pick for tonight’s game and the… Read more »

The first day of the NHL playoffs was filled with upsets, including the top seed in the East and President’s Trophy-winning Tampa Bay Lightning falling to the Columbus Blue Jackets, 4-3. Day 2 begins tonight with three games on the schedule, including the No. 1 seed in the West — the Calgary Flames (50-25-7) — opening its series at home… Read more »

The NHL playoffs open tonight with five games on the schedule. While the defending Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals don’t begin their series against Carolina until tomorrow night, their rival in the Eastern Conference — the Pittsburgh Penguins (44-26-12) — open up on the road against the New York Islanders (48-27-7). To get Dunkel’s pick for this game and the… Read more »

The Denver Nuggets (53-27) were at one time vying for the No. 1 seed in the upcoming Western Conference playoffs. But as we enter the last week of the NBA regular season, the Nuggets now find themselves trying to fend off hard-charging Houston for the No. 2 slot. Tonight, Denver will head to a place where it’s lost eight straight… Read more »

Tonight’s NCAA Basketball Tournament Final features two teams in search of their first national championship as Texas Tech (31-6) faces Virginia (34-3) in Minneapolis. The Cavaliers advanced after pulling out a 63-62 win over Auburn on Kyle Guy’s three free throws with less than a second remaining. The Red Raiders had an easier time dispatching Michigan State, 61-51. Chris Beard’s… Read more »

The Russell Westbrook show continues today as the Oklahoma City Thunder (46-33) visit the Minnesota Timberwolves (36-43). On Tuesday, Westbrook became the only other player not named Wilt Chamberlain to record a 20-point, 20-assist, and 20-rebound game. Then on Thursday, he became the first player in league history to average a triple-double for three consecutive seasons. Aside from Westbrook’s record-setting… Read more »

College basketball’s Final Four is set for today in Minneapolis starting at 6:09 pm EST with the Auburn Tigers (30-9) facing the Virginia Cavaliers (33-3), followed by the Texas Tech Red Raiders (30-6) taking on the Michigan State Spartans (32-6). To get Dunkel’s picks for both these games, click HERE. The Philadelphia 76ers (49-30) haven’t looked like a team ready… Read more »

It looks to be a postseason sneak preview tonight as the Boston Celtics (47-32) travel to Indiana to face the Pacers (47-32). The two teams are on a path to meet in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs and home-court advantage is at stake in this one. To get Dunkel’s pick for this game and the complete NBA… Read more »

The injuries are coming faster than the wins right now for the New York Yankees. Yesterday, the Yanks lost another player to injury as Troy Tulowitzki was forced to leave the game against Detroit with a calf strain. The result was a 2-1 setback to the Tigers that dropped New York’s record to 2-4. Manager Aaron Boone will try to… Read more »

The future was supposed to be bright for the Washington Wizards with young stars John Wall and Bradley Beal poised to have them contending in the Eastern Conference. But injuries to Wall and disappointing performances from others have the Wiz sitting at 32-46 this season and out of the playoff picture. The collapse resulted in the team firing president Ernie… Read more »

The much-anticipated return of Bryce Harper to DC takes place tonight as the Phillies (3-0) open a two-game set against the Nationals (1-2). Harper rejected the Nats’ $300 million offer at the end of last season and signed a $330 million, 13-year deal with the division-rival Phillies — at the time the richest contract in baseball until Mike Trout passed… Read more »

It looks like reigning NL MVP Christan Yelich has picked up right where he left off last year. The Brewers’ outfielder hit his fourth HR of the season yesterday, tying a record for starting the season with HRs in four consecutive games held by Willie Mays (1971), Mark McGwire (1998), Nelson Cruz (2011), Chris Davis (2013) and Trevor Story (2016)…. Read more »

After a disappointing, injury-plagued first season in Chicago, the Cubs were hoping for a new and improved Yu Darvish as he made his first start of the 2019 campaign yesterday. Instead, Darvish turned in the shortest outing of his career as he lasted only 2 2/3 innings while walking a career-high seven batters during the Cubs 8-6 loss to the… Read more »

The St. Louis Cardinals were hoping for a power surge when they acquired Paul Goldschmidt from the Diamondbacks and it took less than a week into the new season for them to get it. Last night, Goldschmidt connected for 3 HRs and 5 RBI while leading the Redbirds to a 9-5 win over the Brewers that knotted the series up… Read more »