by user JB82
Only one month into doing this column and I think I've got the hang of this column thing. Here's issue #5 comin' atcha...
NBA Playoffs From the Armchair
Round one is done, this way to fun...and higher stakes for those stil standing.
- There's nothing like a little controversy to spice up the playoffs. Case in point: Friday's Cleveland Cavaliers-Washington Wizards series finale.
- In one point in the game, the Wizards' Gilbert Arenas drove the lane to – as the saying goes – "take it to the house." However, he was witness to Lebron James blocking his shot. Arenas landed hard and then protested the lack of a foul, as did his coach Eddie Jordan. The non-call stood.
- Later on, Lebron collided with Brendan Haywood – or at least his upper body. This time, a foul was called. But was it a flagrant foul or not? You be the judge.
- The San Antonio Spurs, who dispatched the Sacramento Kings on Friday, saw no signs of jet lag as they beat the Dallas Mavericks 87-85.
- Back to the Cavs for a second. Lebron wasn't needed for last-minute heroics on Sunday – the Detroit Pistons pasted them 113-86.
- Just when you thought they were done for, the Phoenix Suns came back and eliminated the Los Angeles Lakers in seven games, winning the finale 121-90. No Amare, no problem...
NHL Playoffs From the Armchair
- What's your over/under for the Buffalo Sabres in the Stanley Cup Playoffs now? The Little Team That Could and the Ottawa Senators battled in a shootout that ended just 18 seconds into overtime when Chris Drury scored to give the Sanres a 7-6 win and a 1-0 lead in the series.
- You'd think a rookie would have a good deal of trouble in his first appearance in the playoffs. Don't tell that to Anaheim Mighty Ducks goalie Ilya Bryzgalov. The rookie netminder scored shutouts in the first two games of their series against the Colorado Avalanche, which brings his total to three in a row.
- At the risk of sounding like Scott Van Pelt, the New Jersey Devils got "dump trucked" by the Carolina Hurricanes in their series opener as they were on the other side if a shutout, 6-0.
The 132nd Kentucky Derby: Who'da Thunk It?
- Okay, I know I'm going to take some heat for including another non-sport in this column for the second week in a row. But the Kentucky Derby was too good, if not too ubiquitous, to pass up. So many storylines, so many horses, so little space to tell it all. All I can say is that Barbaro is still "El Perfecto" in 2006, and he'll have less competition in the Preakness two weeks hence.
MLB Weekend From the Armchair
- The New York Yankees and Joe Torre both had a weekend they won't soon forget. The Pinstripers wrapped up their roadtrip with a wild series against the Texas Rangers.
- On Friday, Shawn Chacon pitched a one-run gem, but the bullpen, as they are wont to do sometimes, almost blew the lead. Thanks to Mariano Rivera, the Yanks hung on for an 8-7 win.
- Saturday: The bullpen didn't get much work as it held steady for a 6-1 win. There were also some great defensive plays by Johnny Damon and Bubba Crosby.
- Sunday was almost a déjà vu for Yankees fans, but the bullpen held and Mo got his second save in three days with an 8-5 win. It was also the 1,000th win for Torre in his long and storied Yankees managerial career.
- The Yankees head home with a five-game winning streak and a big series against the Boston Red Sox starting Tuesday.
- However, there was déjà vu for the New York Mets. They took two of three from the Atlanta Braves, winning all but the last game, in which they got blown out 13-3.
- There were two near no-hitters on Sunday: Minnesota Twins pitcher Johan Santana took a no-no into the seventh inning against the Detroit Tigers, while Casey Janssen of the Toronto Blue Jays almost did the same against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. There was a personal aspect to this: he grew up just a ten-minute drive from the Angels' ballpark.
- Break up the Cincinnati Reds!
- Barry Bonds comes within one dinger shy of Babe Ruth as the San Francisco Giants fall to the Philadelphia Phillies, 9-5.
Odds & Sods
- Dale Earnhardt Jr. came off of a bad finish at Talledega with a win at Richmond in the Crown Royal 400. "Junior" goes from eighth to sixth in the Nextel Cup points standings.
- You'll have to forgive me if I wasn't strong with my writing this week. I attended my grandmother's funeral yesterday, and am feeling a little drained because of it.
That's all for now
Until next week, let's all be good sports.
Sun 05/07/06, 3:39 pm EST