What a difference a week can make. Imagine telling someone last week just how bad the Celtics would fail to finish their series against the Bucks? Truly embarrassing. The rest of the NBA has provided great playoff action. Last Friday Portland and Denver player the first quadruple overtime playoff game since the 1950s, the Rockets dug themselves out of a hole to compete in their series against Golden State, although the Warriors have a 3-2 lead. The Raptors and Sixers have swung back and forth, making you love what makes each good, while questioning their faults all at the same time, and we get a Game 7 because of it. In the NHL, we have reached the Conference Finals. The Bruins are facing the Carolina Hurricanes (and beat them 5-2 last night) out East, while the St. Louis Blues are facing the San Jose Sharks out West. We had a crazy end to the Kentucky Derby where the horse that crossed the finish line first apparently broke a rule, and after instant replay, was DQ’d, the first time this had ever happen in the history of the race. We also had a no-hitter in baseball this week, courtesy of Michael Fiers of the Oakland Athletics.
Oh, and Kerm is getting ready to protest with Lakers fans at Staples Center soon.
Folks, we have made it through 1/3 of 2019, which sounds crazy considering 2018 seems like it was just yesterday (time never slows down, does it). Anyway, this past week the intensity we saw the past 2-3 weeks let up, but now we have some truly competitive matchups taking place in the NBA and NHL. Every team except Houston has won at least one game in the second round of the NBA playoffs, while in the NHL, other than a 3-0 lead Carolina has over the Islanders, every other series is tied 2-2. In baseball… you know what, we’ll congratulate CC Sabathia for becoming the the 17th pitcher in MLB history to strike out 3,000 batters, and only the third lefty to ever do so. Other than that, eh, it’s on the back burner until the playoffs lighten up… unless you consider Nick seeing Jared Carrabis at South Station last Friday news (no, he was not able to say hello to the Rocket). In the NFL, we saw 2018 first round pick Josh Rosen get traded to Miami, ending his tenure in Arizona. Other than that, rounds 2 through 7 of the NFL Draft took place, as teams restocked with young talent (both through the draft and via undrafted free agents). Oh, and the Rockets apparently cried to the league about Game 7 of the 2018 Western Conference Finals.
We just witnessed another GREAT week in sports. In the NHL, there were three Game 7s, games in which the Bruins, Sharks, and Hurricanes advanced. Boston won 5-1; San Jose was trailing 3-0 before scoring 4 goals in less than 5 minutes to take the lead back, but Vegas tied the game to force OT, where San Jose ultimately won; in D.C., the Hurricanes beat the defending champions in double OT, another upset in a first round full of them. The NBA was not without it’s fair share of dramatics. Damian Lillard had one of the best closeout games in recent NBA history, capped off by one of the coldest buzzer beaters (and a wave OKC). Portland, as well as Boston, Milwaukee, Toronto, Philly, and Houston moved onto the second round. The Clippers forced a Game 6 on Wednesday behind a great performance from Lou Williams. The Spurs won at home to force a Game 7 in their series against the Denver Nuggets.
The Eastern Conference Semifinals will begin on tomorrow, as Toronto will host the 76ers. Game 7 of the Spurs/Nuggets series will take place after that game at 10:00 PM. The Clippers host the Warriors for Game 6 of their series tonight at 10:00 PM.
Also, congratulations to those drafted in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft. Rounds 2-3 will take place starting at 7:00 PM tonight, and the remainder of the draft will be tomorrow starting at noon.
If we’re being honest, we may have just witnessed one of the best weeks in sports in a LONG time since we last met. Tiger Woods stayed in competition all weekend, and he FINALLY WON A MAJOR, over a decade since his last major championship. Congrats on number 15, Tiger! In the NBA, we have seen some great games thus far. Kyrie Irving had a great performance in Game 2 to help the Celtics take a 2-0 series lead. Damian Lillard has been phenomenal as the Trail Blazers have gone ahead 2-0 on OKC. The Clippers completed the biggest comeback in playoff history to tie their series going into Game 3, but the Warriors won last night to regain the lead. The Sixers lead Brooklyn 2 to 1, the Spurs lead Denver 2 to 1, the Rockets and Bucks are ahead 2 games to none in their respective series, and Toronto and Orlando are tied.
In the NHL, we saw one of the greatest upsets in sports history, as the Columbus Blue Jackets won their first playoff series EVER, sweeping the President Cup winning Tampa Bay Lightning, the same team that tied the record for the most wins in NHL history this season. The New York Islanders advanced as well, sweeping the Pittsburgh Penguins. Colorado leads Calgary three games to one (shout out to UMass defenseman Cale Makar, who joined the Avalanche this week after the Minutemen reached the NCAA championship game). The rest of the series in the league are currently competitive, with St. Louis and Las Vegas leading theirs 3 games to 2, and the remaining two series tied at 2 games apiece.
In baseball, the reigning World Series champs look awful (more on that later), and Tampa Bay seems to be taking the league by storm this season, as the currently stand at 14-5.
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!
Here’s our recap: in baseball, Bryce Haper made Nick look like an idiot, looking like a bona fide superstar last week; the Red Sox look… not good, Christian Yelich is hitting lots of dingers, Daniel Hess of the Orioles was pulled during a PERFECT GAME, and somehow, the SEATTLE MARINERS are the best team in the league at 7-1. In college hoops, the Men’s Final Four will feature Virginia, Auburn, Michigan State, and Texas Tech, and we will see a champion crowned on Monday night. On the women’s side, Oregon will face Baylor, while UCONN will face Notre Dame, that championship game will be Sunday. In NBA news, we saw Russell Westbrook have a historic triple-double (more on that from Kerm), Anthony Davis get fined for giving a fan the finger (have to figure they’ll all flip him the bird during the last home game of the season), and Giannis had a casual 45/13/6 performance last night. OKC and the Spurs clinched playoff spots, and seeding is still shaking itself out in the West. In the East, there is still a seeds 3 through 5 are still not set, but much more interesting is the battle for seeds 6 through 8, which essentially looks like a four-team battle between Detroit, Brooklyn, Orlando and Miami; those teams are separated by just one game.
Before we give everyone the rundown for the next week, we at Hold My Drink Sports just want to take a moment to give our respects to Nipsey Hussle, who was killed last Sunday. Our thoughts go out to his loved ones during this difficult time.
We have officially entered baseball season (last week did not count), and we’ve got some early season results. The Dodgers broke the record for the most Opening Day home runs (8), Jacob deGrom had a great first start, which continued an MLB-record streak of starts (30) in which he has allowed 3 or fewer runs, oh, and Bryce Harper has ALREADY been boo’d in Philly. In the basketball world, we saw Devin Booker score 50+ points in back-to-back games, Lance Stephenson with a great crossover (yeah yeah, he stepped on Jeff Green’s shoe), and Jeremy Lamb hit the craziest buzzer-beater of all-time. In playoff news, 5 playoff spots have been clinched in the East (MIL, TOR, PHI, IND, BOS), and 6 have been clinched in the West (GS, DEN, POR, HOU, UTA, LAC); with the Sacramento Kings 6.5 GB from the 8th seed, the two remaining teams in the West who are in the playoff picture (UTA, OKC, SA) are all but guaranteed to make the postseason. In the East, Brooklyn, Detroit, Miami, Orlando, and Charlotte are battling for seeds 6-8 (2.5 games separate these teams).
Alright, enough playoff talk, lets talk about the games that ARE happening!