Donald: I really enjoy the outside shooting going on in the NBA. There are so many sharpshooters. Now there are lots of guys who can shoot, but can also dunk the ball. That kind of athleticism used to be rarer. I think the Golden State Warriors really inspired a lot of other teams to start shooting from outside. Now you even see centers stepping outside and knocking down shots. There are fewer big men who dominate by pushing people out of the way and slamming the ball.
Russell: I want to make my baseball picks. In the American League East, I have to go with the Yankees. Now that they got [outfielder Giancarlo] Stanton, I don’t see anybody beating those guys. I see the Houston Rockets in the West and Cleveland in the Central, with Toronto and Boston winning wild cards. For the National League, it’s easy—in the West, Washington in the East, and Chicago in the Central. I have to take my Cubs no matter what! For the wild card, it’s going to be San Francisco and Arizona. With Milwaukee and St. Louis in the Central, it’s going to be a challenge for the Cubs this year. For the World Series, it’s going to be Cleveland and the Cubs again.
John: As far as the NBA playoffs go, I think the Cleveland Cavaliers are not going to make the Finals this year. They have a lot of dissension and did not improve at the trade deadline. In the East, Toronto is the favorite. They look like the team that is ready to hop out of the East. They have a terrific bench. In the West, it’s going to be a dogfight between a few teams. One team that is getting overlooked is the Portland Trail Blazers. Outside of Houston and Golden State, Portland is the most dangerous team in the West. I have them shocking the world and beating the Warriors in the second round. Ultimately, I see Houston and Toronto matching up in the NBA Finals, with the Rockets winning it all.
Donald: Cleveland has a lot to deal with right now. Le-Bron James is great but there is a lot standing in his way this year. The same is true for Golden State. James Harden and Houston are going to really challenge the Warriors in the west. It’s been a crazy year in the NBA.
Russell: I think Cleveland made a mistake in the offseason when they traded Kyrie Irving. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Toronto Raptors are good, but every year they fade in the playoffs. In the West, Houston and Portland look good. Portland especially has surprised me this year. They’ve got a good year.
John: Damian Lillard of the Trail Blazers might be my pick for MVP. He’s doing a lot to help the Trail Blazers win. Their roster isn’t great, but he’s done a lot. He doesn’t have near the supporting cast of LeBron's Cavaliers, Harden's Rockets, or Kevin Durant's Golden State Warriors. That’s why he’s my darkhorse pick.