The One with a New Premier Team in Town

Fun Fact of the Day:  After only 77 games with the N.Y. Mets, outfielder Yoenis Cespedes set a franchise record as the fastest player to 25 home runs.


Today's Rundown

NBA:  NBA Playoffs Round 2

A thunderous comeback.   The Oklahoma City Thunder defeated the San Antonio Spurs 98-97 to tie up the series 1-1.  In the first game of the series, the Spurs handed the Thunder an embarrassing loss by 32-points, but this time around the Thunder came out swinging right out of the gate.  This was the Spurs’ 2nd loss at home in San Antonio all year.  Who else had a good night?  The Cleveland Cavaliers came back from behind in the 4th quarter to defeat the Atlanta Hawks 104-93 and to lead the series 1-0.  The Hawks are probably getting used to this by now.  The Cavs swept them in the Eastern Conference finals last year and have beaten them in 9 straight postseason games.

 

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs Round 2 

The mighty Penguins.  Last night the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Washington Capitals (3-2) to take the lead in the series 2-1The Capitals got off twice as many shots on goal, but the Penguins rookie goalie Matt Murray made a whopping, career-high 47 saves to help them bring home this victory. 


Spotlight on Leicester City’s big win

Yesterday, Leicester City (pronounced Lester) clinched its first Premier League title.  In a league that is usually dominated by the same handful of teams, this is the first time that a new club has won the title since 1977-78

Long shot turned sure thing.  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 humble coach, impressive teamwork, and undervalued talent!

Who’s their biggest star?  They don’t have any household names, but the player that really rose to the top of the pack was striker Jamie Vardy.  He set a Premier League record by scoring in 11 straight games this season and won England’s prestigious Footballer of the Year award.  Unfortunately, he missed the past 2 matches after he was suspended for a penalty.  Where did you even come from?  Just 3 seasons ago, Vardy was playing in the 5th division (psst— that’s the 5th best football league in England, whereas the Premier League is the best league)

Who isn’t celebrating?  Your English bookie.  English betting houses will lose a total of $11.4M because they offered 5000-to-1 odds against Leicester at the beginning of this season.  Not a gambling fiend?  Here’s some perspective on how insanely slim those odds are: other 5,000-to-1 odd bets that you can make are that Big Foot is real and Elvis Presley will be found alive. The longest shot to win next year’s Super Bowl is the Cleveland Browns at 200-to-1.


Seen and Heard

NBA

Taking one for the team. Dallas Mavericks superstar Dirk Nowitzki is opting out of the last year of his contract, which would have paid him $8.7M.  Dirk has been a Mav for his entire career and at age 37, he says that he wants to finish out his basketball playing days in Dallas.  So why’s he nixing the contract?  The Mavs have struggled in the playoffs since they won the championship in 2011.  Dirk is showing that he’s willing to take a pay cut, so that the team can attract more talent for next season.  This could be one of his last chances to collect another championship ring before he hangs up his kicks.

 

MLB

An enhanced trend…  Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Josh Ravin was suspended 80 games for testing positive for PEDs.  Ravin has barely played in the majors, so this news ordinarily wouldn’t make it all the way up to our hoity-toity Goalposte radar, but this is the 6th MLB PED suspension this season.  The other PED suspensions include reigning National League batting champion Dee Gordon of the Miami Marlins and Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Chris Colabello.  

News to make grown men cry.  Last night, supermodel Kate Upton announced that she and long time beau Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander are engaged!  Check out the sparkler here.


Hot Read

NBA

Round 2 of the NBA playoffs continue! 

  • Miami Heat @ Toronto Raptors—Check out game 1 of the series, 8pm ET on TNT
  • Portland Trail Blazers @ Golden State Warriors—the Warriors lead the series 1-0, 10:30pm ET on TNT

 

NHL  

Round 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs continue!

  • Tampa Bay Lightning @ NY Islanders—the series is tied 1-1, 7pm ET on NBCSN
  • San Jose Sharks @ Nashville Predators—the Sharks lead the series 2-0, 9pm ET on USA
  • Dallas Stars @ St. Louis Blues—the series is tied 1-1, 9:30pm ET on NBCSN