The One Without the Kung Fu Panda

Fun Fact of the Day:  The Chicago Cubs are living up to the hype so far, with a fantastic start to the season. Pitchers Jake Arrieta and Jason Hammel are the first pair of teammates to each allow at most 4 runs through their first five starts of a season, since 1893.


Today's Rundown

NBA:  NBA Playoffs Round 2

Beaten after the buzzer-beater. Toronto Raptors Kyle Lowry has been playing poorly all postseason, but yesterday he made a half-court shot to send Game 1 against the Miami Heat into overtime.  Unfortunately, it was all for naught, as the Heat dominated in overtime to take home the win (102-96) and the lead in the series 1-0. 

Never rest against the Warriors.  The Trail Blazers had a healthy 11-point lead going into the 4th quarter against the Golden State Warriors, but then the Warriors stopped kidding around.  They started knocking down shots and playing lockdown defense to blow past the Trail Blazers to win the game (110-99) and lead the series 2-0.  Things could get even worse for the Blazers if superstar Steph Curry returns in Game 3, after spraining his MCL in the last series.  

Were you even watching?  Yesterday, the NBA admitted that there were 5 incorrect officiating calls during Monday night’s Game 2 between the Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs. Originally, Spurs fans were outraged about the last 13.5 seconds of the game when Thunder guard Dion Waiters wasn’t called for an offensive foul after elbowing Spurs' Manu Ginobili.  But now the NBA is saying “Joke’s on you (and us), because we missed a bunch of other calls, too!”  It turns out that officials also missed multiple calls on the last play that would have been bad for the Spurs. Hopefully the officiating will be better when the Spurs and Thunder meet again for Game 3 this Friday.  

 

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs Round 2

Heavy-hitter.  Last night the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the New York Islanders in overtime (5-4) to lead the series 2-1.  Brian Boyle scored the game-winning shot, right after he delivered a hard hit to Islanders Thomas Hickey.  Islanders coach Jack Capuano is calling for Boyle to be suspended for the next game, because the hit looked like a blow to the head.  Meanwhile… The Nashville Predators beat the San Jose Sharks (4-1) to cut their series deficit to 2-1, and the St. Louis Blues did not let up on their scoring frenzy, beating the Dallas Stars (6-1) and leading the series 2-1.

 

WORLD SOCCER

Gimme the bad news.  In leg 2 of the UEFA Champions League semifinals, Bayern Munich defeated Atletico Madrid 2-1.  Gimme the good news.  Thanks to wacky European rules, Atletico is still going to advance to the Champions League Final on May 28!  They will play the winner of today’s semifinal game between Real Madrid and Manchester City.  Back up.  Please explain that fuzzy math.  Bayern and Atletico played 2 games or “legs” in the semifinals.  To figure out the winner of the round the teams’ goals were aggregated across both games, resulting in a tie at 2 goals apiece.  In the event of a tie, the team that scored more away goals wins.  In this case, that was Atletico! #themoreyouknow


Seen and Heard

MLB

All good pandas needs their rest.  Boston Red Sox 3B Pablo Sandoval affectionately dubbed the “Kung Fu Panda” is going into shoulder surgery this week and isn’t expected to return this seasonBoston buyers remorse.  In November 2014, Sandoval had just won 3 World Series in 5 years with the San Francisco Giants, when he signed a big 5-year $95M contract with the Red Sox.  Then last year, he had the worst season of his career.  From bad to worse.  This season, he lost the 3B starting job to Travis Shaw and looked chubbier than normal—even busting through his belt buckle while swinging a bat.  Now people are hoping that he’ll take this season off to get his shoulder healthy and body fit.

 

NHL

Burnt out.  Yesterday, coach Bob Hartley was fired by Calgary Flames after 4 years with the team. Last year, Hartley won the NHL coach of the year for leading the Flames to the Western Conference semi-finals.  After that spectacular performance, Flames fans were psyched to see what the team could do this year.  Unfortunately, Hartley didn’t live up to expectations and the Flames finished 26th in the league.  Woof.  


Hot Read

NBA

Round 2 of the NBA playoffs continue! 

  • Atlanta Hawks @ Cleveland Cavaliers—the Cavs lead the series 1-0. 8pm ET on TNT

 

NHL 

Round 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs continue!

  • Washington Capitals @ Pittsburgh Penguins—the Penguins lead the series 2-1.  Penguins defenseman Kris Letang will be sitting this one out, because he’s been suspended 1 game for a high hit on Caps forward Marcus Johansson during the last game. 8pm ET on NBCSN.