Edition 5.12.14

Just like Kevin Durant said in his MVP speech, we’d like to wish all the real MVPs out there a Happy Mother’s Day!

 

QUIPS FOR THIS WEEK

NBA

The Oklahoma City Thunder and the LA Clippers are engaged in quite the series. After Kevin Durant won the MVP last week where he gave a heartwarming speech that acknowledged the importance of each of his teammates and coaches, the Thunder put on a show in game 2. Then in game 4, the Clippers rallied back from a double digit deficit at home to defeat OKC and tie the series at 2-2.  The Thunder and the Clippers are not the only teams to watch out west, as the San Antonio Spurs continue to dominate. The Spurs are up 3-0 on the Portland Trail Blazers and show no signs of looking back.  What does this all mean? Basically we are in for an incredible Western Conference Finals no matter which of the 4 teams play.

Have the Indiana Pacers found themselves? It sure seems that way based on their last 2 performances against the Washington Wizards which featured a gritty comeback in game 4 with a renewed confidence by Roy Hibbert. These teams meet again for game 5 on Tuesday. The Miami Heat may be up 2-1 on the Brooklyn Nets, but are they unbeatable? Brooklyn guard Paul Pierce sure doesn’t think so. The NBA’s repeat champions didn’t look too sharp in their last game against the Nets, will they turn it around and dominate in game 4? We shall see if Pierce is telling the truth when these two meet again on Monday night.

Outside of the playoffs, the NBA coaching drama continues. The Golden State Warriors fired head coach Mark Jackson after a 51 game season. This means the LA Lakers, New York Knicks and the Golden State Warriors are all looking for new head coaches. Expect big names (Steve Kerr, Stan Van Gundy and possibly even Jackson) to be considered for the job(s).

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

NFL

Michael Sam is officially the first openly gay football player to be drafted in the NFL. The St. Louis Rams selected Sam in the 7th round of the NFL Draft on Saturday. The former defensive end from the University of Missouri will now move on to training camp with the Rams where he will try to make the final roster and become the first openly gay football player in the NFL. Let’s go Michael Sam!

Johnny Manziel is also a new member of the NFL draftee club. After falling fairly significantly, the Cleveland Browns selected Johnny Football with the #22 pick in the first round. He was the second quarterback selected after Blake Bortles, who was picked by the Jacksonville Jaguars at #3. Teddy Bridgewater was the only other quarterback selected in the first round, by the Minnesota Vikings at #32. What about the other big name quarterbacks? AJ McCarron went to the Cincinnati Bengals who selected him in the fifth round.

So what else happened in the NFL Draft? As expected Jadeveon Clowney was the first pick in the NFL Draft by the Houston Texans. Speaking of Texas. This was first draft since 1937 where no players from the University of Texas at Austin were selected.

MLB

CC Sabathia of the New York Yankees was placed on the Disabled List on Sunday afternoon. Sabathia is suffering from knee pain and inflammation and will remain on DL until he recovers.  This is the same knee that he had meniscus repair surgery on in 2010 and a new MRI confirmed swelling in the knee. The Yankees hope to have him back in 15 days.

Yikes. Not again. The Texas Rangers’ Yu Darvish played a great game and almost had a no-hitter against the Boston Red Sox until David Ortiz hit a single in the top of the 9th inning on Friday. This is the second time Darvish has had this happen to him, the last time being last season against the Houston Astros. Here’s to hoping that the third time’s the charm.

Former NBA superstar Tracy McGrady made his debut as a professional baseball player on Saturday. He is a rookie right-handed pitcher for the Sugar Land Skeeters, an independent team, and played 1 2/3 innings before coming out of the game. His debut might not have gone all that well, but it was only the first game and T-Mac has stated that he is simply playing for the love of the game.

NHL

The California battle in the NHL playoffs continues as the LA Kings and Anaheim Ducks get ready to face off on Monday night for game 5. The series is currently tied at 2-2. The winner of this series will meet the winner of the series between the Minnesota Wild and the Chicago Blackhawks picks up again for game 6 on Tuesday.

On the other side of the bracket, the Boston Bruins are up 3-2 on the Montreal Canadians as we head into game 6 on Monday night. Of note is that the NHL fined Bruins forward Shawn Thornton for $2,820.52 for unsportsmanlike conduct, but he will play in game 6. The winner of this series will await the winner of the match-up between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the New York Rangers, a series that just got a lot more interesting now that the Rangers tied it up at 3-3.

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

EPL

Manchester City are officially the champions of the Premier League.  After defeating West Ham United 2-0 on Sunday, Man City claimed the title with the big victory.

 

JUST FOR FUN

Who cares about how the NFL draft picks look in their uniforms?
It’s all about how the puppies look in uniform — check out #SNPuppyDraft for some great photos

Fast Ball
The most beautiful pitches of the season

STORIES FOR INSIGHTS, COOL FACTOR + DEBATE

Happy Mother’s Day
OKC’s Kevin Durant wins MVP award
When he accepted the award, he thanked his mother for all that she sacrificed to help him become great

Kings Lakers 2002
Dissecting on the most fascinating NBA playoff series

Grantland’s Jonathan Abrams tackles the oral history of one of the NBA’s best showdowns

Suspension
The Cleveland Browns may have landed Johnny Manziel, but they could lose Josh Gordon
Gordon could be suspended for up to a year for drug violations

New CEO in Town
Dick Parsons was appointed interim CEO of the LA Clippers
The former chairman of Citigroup and Time Warner will fill the void left by Sterling

Too Full
Can you have too many postseason bowl games?
It looks like the current 39 bowl games aren’t living up to TV networks’ expectations

Bringing Home the Big Bucks
The most valuable soccer teams of 2014
Soccer transcends cultures and is popular worldwide – check out these statistics to learn more about their economic successes

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