Fun Fact of the Day: At 36 years old, the L.A. Lakers new head coach Luke Walton will be the youngest active head coach in the NBA.
Welcome back, Goalposters! While President Obama was busy pulling a “Kobe Bryant” and dropping the mic at his last Correspondents’ Dinner, we summarized all the sports action you missed!
The NBA playoffs roll on. This past weekend there were two Round 1 series that made it all the way to Game 7 and two Round 2 series that played their first games. Here is your cheatsheet:
- The last teams into the 2nd round. After 2 years of 1st round exits, the Toronto Raptors are finally moving on to Round 2! They defeated the Indiana Pacers last night in a tight Game 7. Next up they will face the Miami Heat who also advanced to Round 2 after beating the Charlotte Hornets by 27 points in Game 7.
- Meanwhile in the 2nd round. In Game 1 of their series, the San Antonio Spurs trounced the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Golden State Warriors beat the Portland Trail Blazers. Reigning MVP and superstar point guard Steph Curry sat out the Warriors game with a sprained MCL, but he’s already back into light practices and hopes to be back on the court by Game 3!
I hopped off the plane at L.A.X… Golden State Warriors assistant coach Luke Walton will be the L.A. Lakers next head coach. In his playing days, Walton spent 9 seasons with the Lakers, including winning titles in 2009 and 2010. Are you up for a challenge? We seriously hope so. The Lakers have produced the worst records in franchise history year-after-year for the past 3 years. Just bring us some of that Warriors magic. At the beginning of this season, Walton was the Warriors’ interim head coach while Steve Kerr recovered from a back injury. He helped lead them to a 39-4 record and a 24-0 start. The Lakers are probably crossing their fingers/toes/eyes… that he’ll bring that winning system with him to L.A. Unfortunately, Walton won’t have the superstar players he’s used to working with. Instead he’ll have to work to develop the Lakers’ young players Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson, and D’Angelo Russell.
The 2nd round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Last night, the San Jose Sharks defeated the Nashville Predators to lead their series 2-0. Meanwhile the other three 2nd round series are all tied up 1-1. An ugly hit. In this weekend’s Pittsburgh Penguins victory, Caps defenseman Brooks Orpik (a former Penguin) started off the game by knocking out Penguins Olli Maatta with a hit to the head. Maatta is likely out for the next game recovering, while Orpik will be serving a 3-game suspension for the late hit.
What is this? Groundhog’s Day? The Anaheim Ducks fired head coach Bruce Boudreau on Friday, after they were eliminated from the playoffs in Game 7, again. Boudreau had lots of regular-season success with the Ducks and previously with the Washington Capitals but his teams have repeatedly choked in the playoffs. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before… In each of the past 4 years, Boudreau led the Ducks to Pacific division titles during the regular season, ultimately to lose in Game 7 on home ice. On top of that, the Ducks blew 3-2 leads in each of the past 4 post-seasons. The Ducks are hoping that this coaching change will improve their playoffs juju.
Started from the bottom now we’re here… Leicester City is so so so close to clinching the Premier League title (psst—it’s the best English professional soccer league). They lead the standings by 8 points and could clinch the title, if the #2-ranked Tottenham Hotspur lose their game to Chelsea today. From rags to riches. Just last year, Leicester was at the bottom of the Premier League standings and were nearly relegated to a lower, less prestigious league. This year, they rose to the top of the standings because of their impressive teamwork—it makes the dream work!
Round 2 of the NBA playoffs continue!
- Atlanta Hawks @ Cleveland Cavaliers—Check out game 1 of the series, 7pm ET on TNT
- Oklahoma City Thunder @ San Antonio Spurs—the Spurs lead the series 1-0, 9:30pm ET on TNT
Round 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs continue!
- Washington Capitals @ Pittsburgh Penguins—the series is tied 1-1, 8pm ET on NBCSN