Edition 5.5.2014

What’s cooler than witnessing a young star become a legend? Not much. Check out the Portland Trail Blazer’s Damian Lillard do just that with his game-winner and series winning shot.

 

QUIPS FOR THIS WEEK

NBA

On Tuesday, April 29th after a league investigation concluded, Commissioner Adam Silver fined LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling for $2.5 million and banned him from the NBA, effective immediately. Silver also stated that he expected to reach a majority vote among the other 29 owners to rule that Sterling must sell the team. The decision was widely applauded by players, coaches, management and the media. If the decision had not been viewed as strong enough, there was a significant chance that each team in the NBA would boycott their playoff games on Tuesday night. This is the first step in removing Sterling from the NBA, but is only the beginning of a potentially long legal battle over the rights to LA Clippers franchise.

The first round of NBA playoffs is officially over:

In the Eastern Conference, the Brooklyn Nets defeated the Toronto Raptors 104-103 in game 7 in Brooklyn on Sunday.  The Brooklyn Nets will go on to face the Miami Heat who have been resting since sweeping the Charlotte Bobcats 4-0 and concluding their series last week. The Heat and the Nets will kick off their series Tuesday night in Miami — while Brooklyn might make Miami sweat a little, expect the Heat to take control early on and win the series. The Indiana Pacers defeated the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday night at home to win game 7 and the series. The struggling Pacers will need to step it up a notch if they want to beat the Washington Wizards. The Wizards won their series against the Chicago Bulls last week after a strong performance in each of their games. Game 1 kicks off Monday night in Indianapolis and although the Pacers are the #1 seed, this series could be a toss-up that could lead to the Wizards advancing.

The Western Conference has been equally exciting. After 6 competitive games, the San Antonio Spurs beat the Dallas Mavericks to win game 7 and the series at home. The Spurs will move onto the next round where they will face the surging Portland Trail Blazers. The Trail Blazers defeated the Houston Rockets in one of the best series of the playoffs so far after Damian Lillard hit a game-winner to end the series in game 6 at home. Portland and San Antonio begin their series Tuesday night in what will likely be an exciting new series to watch. On the other side of the West, the LA Clippers won their series against the Golden State Warriors on Saturday night after a gripping game 7 that was close until the very end. They will move on to meet the Oklahoma City Thunder who dominated the injured Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday night. Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook’s triple double in game 7 helped turn a close series into a final game blowout and they will certainly need more of this play going forward. Both the Clippers and the Thunder have as good a shot as any to represent the West in the NBA Finals, so expect a great series between the two. Game 1 kicks off Monday night in OKC and it is expected that sometime next week Kevin Durant of the Thunder will be named the league’s MVP.

The NBA Playoffs continue this week — get ready for more exciting games to watch!

MLB

A close game between the Miami Marlins and the LA Dodgers ended with a few notable injuries.  Yasiel Puig of the LA Dodgers crashed into a wall after trying to make a game-saving catch. Puig was shaken up but would be okay and is day to day following the game. The Marlins would go onto to win 5-4 and improve their league best home record on Sunday.

Tampa Bay’s Wil Myers had a quite an afternoon. Myers hit the 2014 season’s first inside the park home-run as the Tampa Bay Rays defeated the New York Yankees 5-1 on Sunday. Myers also had 4 runs against CC Sabathia who was pitching for the Yankees.

Justin Verlander flirted with a no-hitter into the 6th inning on Sunday against Kansas City Royals. Although Verlander’s potential no-hitter was interrupted by the Royals Billy Butler’s two-out single in the 6th inning, the Detroit Tigers would go onto defeat the Royals 9-4 and sweep the series.

NHL

Welcome to round 2 of the NHL Playoffs where the quest for the Stanley Cup trophy continues. After a rocky start to the playoff, the Chicago Blackhawks continue to roll. The Blackhawks won their 6th straight game and are now up 2-0 on the Minnesota Wild. Will the Blackhawks win win their 7th straight? Find out on Tuesday when these teams meet for game 3 of their series. The LA Kings defeated the Anaheim Ducks in overtime 3-2 in an exciting game 1 in what has become the battle of the California squads. Look for an equally great game 2 of this series on Monday night.

On the other side of the bracket, the Boston Bruins are now tied with the Montreal Canadians after a tough third period performance by the Bruins in game 2 led to a big victory. The series is heading 1-1 into game 3 of the match-up which kicks off Tuesday. The Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the New York Rangers 3-0 in game 2 on Sunday night. After 2 games, the Penguins and Rangers are tied at 1-1 heading into game 3 on Monday.

The NHL playoffs continue this week with a number of games in the second round series. Check out the schedule here.

Other

Floyd Mayweather defeated Marcos Maidana in a close, tough and contested fight on Saturday night in Las Vegas. Mayweather remains unbeaten and now carries the WBC and WBA Welterweight championship titles.

After a great start, California Chrome won the Kentucky Derby on late Saturday afternoon in Louisville, Kentucky. 77 year old Art Sherman is the oldest trainer to lead a horse to a Derby win.

Mike D’Antoni resigned as coach of the LA Lakers last week leaving the head coaching position vacant for a new candidate. Who will he Lakers look to hire? Expect rumors to swirl around Kentucky’s John Calipari and Connecticut’s Kevin Ollie. Both are great coaches in the college game who might be intriguing options for the Lakers. Outside of the college ranks, expect the Lakers to look at Coach Tom Thibodeau of the Chicago Bulls and possibly Derick Fisher, who’s currently playing for the Oklahoma City Thunder.

 

JUST FOR FUN

Top 10 World Cup Songs
What song will you be jamming too at the upcoming World Cup?

STORIES FOR INSIGHTS, COOL FACTOR + DEBATE

More than a Billion
Are the LA Clippers worth 1 billion dollars?

Nate Silver explains the economic value of the NBA franchises

100 MPH
The danger of velocity
A growing number of pitchers are hitting over 100 mph and the number is going up

5 Days in LA
The final days of Sterling
Ramona Shelburne breaks down the LA Clipper scandal from the inside out

New Influence
Getting to know Kevin Johnson

How Kevin Johnson, the Mayor of Sacramento helped guide the NBA players through the Sterling crisis

California Love
It’s all about
California Chrome
From humble beginnings to Kentucky Derby glory

Get Tough
Training for extreme sports
A behind the scenes look at what drives extreme athletes to work hard and train harder

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