Fun Fact of the Day: Yesterday, Steve Kerr won NBA Coach of the Year for helping to lead the Golden State Warriors to their record setting 73-9 season, despite sitting out 43 games with a back injury. Something you might not know about Kerr’s playing days: he has the highest career 3-point percentage in NBA history at 45.4%. Who has the 2nd highest? Warriors superstar Steph Curry at 44.4%.
NBA: Round 1 of the NBA playoffs roll on.
Advantage Toronto & Atlanta. Last night the Toronto Raptors overcame a 13-point deficit in the 4th quarter to beat the Indiana Pacers (102-99). Pacers’ Solomon Hill’s final 3-pointer that would have tied the game was ruled just a split-second too late. Meanwhile, the Atlanta Hawks blew out the Boston Celtics (110-83). Both the Raptors and Hawks now lead their series 3-2.
Injuries in the West. The Los Angeles Clippers have lost both of their biggest superstars for the rest of the playoffs: Blake Griffin to a re-aggravated quad injury and Chris Paul to a broken hand. Can they put in Cliff Paul or send Blake back in time to warn young-Blake? This doesn’t bode well for the Clips’ playoff prospects, because they are currently tied 2-2 against the Portland Trail Blazers. The winner of the series will face the Golden State Warriors, who lost Steph Curry to a sprained MCL this past weekend.
This is why they say Americans don’t like soccer… In leg 1 of the UEFA Champions League semifinals, Manchester City and Real Madrid ended in a 0-0 draw (psst, this is one of the most prestigious soccer tournaments in the world and it is played annually between 32 qualifying European teams). The teams will meet again for leg 2 next week. Who didn’t waste 90-minutes running around? Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo sat out the game with a hamstring injury and was spotted Instagramming-himself.
Seen and Heard
Tell it to the jury. Yesterday, former Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel was indicted by a grand jury on charges of misdemeanor assault. At the beginning of this year, Johnny’s ex-girlfriend accused him of threatening to kill her and striking her so hard that she temporarily lost hearing. If he’s found guilty, he faces up to 1 year of jail and a $4K fine. Is this the reality check he needs? Unlikely. Nothing has been able to deter him from his troubling party-boy lifestyle, including being dropped by 2 agents and the Browns. Johnny Football’s got everyone really worried, we hope he can clean up his act soon.
Spotlight on the 2nd Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs
The 2nd round of the Stanley Cup playoffs start tonight! Here is your cheatsheet of what to watch out for in each series:
The one everyone will be watching: Washington Capitals v. Pittsburgh Penguins. Everyone’s excited to see the Penguins Sidney Crosby face off against the Caps Alex Ovechkin. The Penguins are coming into the series hot, averaging over 4 goals a game and doubling the league average in power play efficiency at 38.1%. The Caps will need to rely on their topnotch goalie Braden Holtby to keep up the good work; he had a 0.968 save percentage in the 1st round of the playoffs. They’ll also need to get their offense going—the Caps have scored only 2 goals in the past 3 games.
Old Pros v. Playoff Newbies: Tampa Bay Lightning v. N.Y. Islanders. The Lightning made it all the way to the Stanley Cup last year, only to lose to the Chicago Blackhawks. Meanwhile, the Islanders are coming off their 1st playoff series win since 1993. Watch out for the Islanders’ John Tavares and the Lightning’s Nikita Kucherov, who were some of the most dominant scorers in the 1st round.
The Central Division’s best: St. Louis Blues v. Dallas Stars. The St. Louis Blues defeated last year’s Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks to made it past the 1st round for the first time in 3 years. In the next round, they will face the Stars, who led the NHL in goals scored per game. Watch out for some of the most exciting forwards in the league, including the Blues’ Vladimir Tarasenko and the Stars’ Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin (who has been in-and-out due to an Achilles injury).
The last one in: San Jose Sharks v. ??? The Anaheim Ducks and Nashville Predators are the last teams fighting it out for a spot in round 2. The winner of tonight’s game will face off against the formidable San Jose Sharks.
Round 1 of the NBA playoffs continue! Here’s your schedule for tonight’s games:
- Charlotte Hornets @ Miami—the series is tied 2-2, 8pm ET on TNT
- Portland Trail Blazers @ Los Angeles Clippers—the series is tied 2-2. 10pm ET on NBATV
- Houston Rockets @ Golden State Warriors—the Warriors lead the series 3-1. 10:30pm ET on TNT
The Stanley Cup Playoffs continue! Here’s your schedule for tonight’s games.
- Round 1: Nashville Predators @ Anaheim Ducks—the series is tied 3-3, 10pm ET on NBCSN
- Round 2: N.Y. Islanders @ Tampa Bay Lightning—watch these two teams kick off the 2nd round! 7pm on NBCSN