Fun Fact of the Day: The San Antonio Spurs swept the Memphis Grizzlies in the 1st round of the NBA playoffs. This is the 9th time that a Gregg Popovich coached team has swept a best-of-seven series—the most in NBA history.
Welcome back Goalposters! Here are the highlights of the playoff games you missed this weekend, while you were busy making your running man challenge video.
NBA: Round 1 of the NBA playoffs roll on.
Easy peasy, lemon squeezy. This weekend, the Cleveland Cavaliers and San Antonio Spurs took care of business, sweeping the Detroit Pistons and Memphis Grizzlies respectively in 4 games. Now they can Netflix and chill, while they watch the other teams fight to make it into the next round.
There was a ton of other playoffs action, but these are the stories you need to know from this past weekend:
- Could this be a Curry-free playoffs? Say it ain’t so. In yesterday’s game, Golden State Warriors superstar and reigning league MVP Steph Curry slipped on a wet spot and sprained his knee in the 2nd quarter. This was his first game back, after sitting out 2 games with a sprained ankle. No word yet on when Steph is expected return. The Warriors still went on to defeat the Houston Rockets 121-94, who also suffered an injury to their own point guard Patrick Beverley. The Warriors are up 3-1 in the series.
- Let’s get physical. Things are getting heated down south between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Dallas Mavericks. At the end of Game 4, Thunder star Kevin Durant hit Mavs rookie Justin Anderson in the face and collected his 2nd career flagrant foul 2 (psst—that “2” makes it extra flagrant). He was ejected from the game and fined $15K. My bad. Afterwards, KD said that the hit was accidental and the result of bad timing. The Thunder lead the series 3-1.
- Maybe the playoffs are just not your thing? The Toronto Raptors are now tied 2-2 in the series against the Indiana Pacers. The Raptors had the 2nd best record in the East during the regular season, but they have been riding the struggle bus all playoffs. Baby steps? At least they are performing better than last year, when the Washington Wizards swept them in the 1st round.
NHL: Round 1 of the Stanley Cup playoffs action continues.
Oh hello there Round 2. The Washington Capitals, Pittsburgh Penguins, Dallas Stars, NY Islanders, and San Jose Sharks all won their series to advance to the next round of the playoffs! Don’t you dare do that to me again. After losing 2 straight games, the Capitals avoided another heartbreaking playoffs collapse by defeating the Philadelphia Flyers in game 6 on Sunday. But the Caps really need to shape up, because they have only scored 2 goals total in the past 3 games. If you thought that was tough… In the next round, they will face the Penguins, who ended the regular season on a tear and easily eliminated the N.Y. Rangers in the first round of the playoffs. Can you taste that sweet, sweet revenge? The Penguins were eliminated by the Rangers in the 2014 and 2015 playoffs.
Seen and Heard
Surprise! It was also your farewell tour. Last night, the L.A. Lakers fired head coach Byron Scott. Scott coached the Lakers for the 2 worst seasons in the franchise’s history, including this past season’s 17-65 record during Kobe Bryant’s farewell tour. The Lakers’ are looking for a new head coach that will have a vision for the team and develop their young talent, including Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson, and D’Angelo Russell.
Interview Question #1: Do you have Kevin Durant on speed dial? The Washington Wizards hired Scott Brooks as their new head coach. Brooks used to coach the Oklahoma City Thunder, including superstar Kevin Durant, who will become a free agent at the end of this season. Many think that hiring Brooks is a ploy to try and lure KD back to his old hometown of Washington D.C. Get in line. Nearly every team in the NBA is dying to get KD. The word on the street is that he’s focused on picking a team, where he can finally win a championship. Not to be a negative Nancy but… the Wizards didn’t even make the playoffs this year, so their KD outlook is probably not super bright.
Another new D.C. neighbor. Cornerback Josh Norman signed a 5-year, $75M deal with the Washington Redskins, just 2 days after the Carolina Panthers rescinded his franchise tag (psst—the franchise tag is when a team signs a player for an extra year but must pay him a certain amount of $$$ based on his position). Norman was one of the best corners in the game last year and helped to lead the Panthers to the Super Bowl, but at age 28 (i.e.—nearly a geezer in football years), the Panthers were not willing to give him a long-term deal that he wanted.
The NBA playoffs continue! Here’s your schedule for tonight’s games:
- Miami Heat @ Charlotte Hornets—the Heat lead the series 2-1, 7pm ET on NBATV
- Dallas Mavericks @ Oklahoma City Thunder—the Thunder leads the series 3-1, 8pm ET on TNT
- Los Angeles Clippers @ Portland Trail Blazers—the Clippers lead the series 2-1, 10:30pm ET TNT
The Stanley Cup Playoffs continue! Here’s your schedule for tonight’s games. These are the only teams left fighting it out in Round 1! Need to fake a hockey conversation in a hurry? We’ve got you covered with our Stanley Cup Playoffs Survival Guide.
- Anaheim Ducks @ Nashville Predators—the Ducks lead the series 3-2, 8pm ET on CNBC
- Chicago Blackhawks @ St. Louis Blues—the series is all tied up at 3-3, 8:30pm on NBCSN