Monday, May 11, 2015

Round 2 Off to a Bang

Amidst all the injuries and a mostly forgettable opening round to the playoffs, NBA fans were left wondering if the insipidness would ever end. Then, game 7 hit, and it has been nothing short of amazing ever since.

We often don't think about it in real time, but it's astounding how one game or one play can change the legacy of a player/team and the landscape of the entire playoffs. In that epic game 7, it looked like the Spurs were destined to move on and not relinquish the throne. It looked like CP3 would once again fall short. But then, hobbling on a hurt hamstring, Paul emerged as the hero, hitting a very difficult shot over Duncan to seize game 7 from the Spurs.

And, the buck didn't stop there! Last night, LeBron was the latest last second extraordinaire, hitting a buzzer-beater that perhaps changed the fate of the entire playoffs. And, who can forget the buzzer-beater bankers from Rose and Pierce, the latter of which produced maybe the best impromptu one-liner, on-court interview in sports history?

After the "big sports weekend" left a bad taste in our mouths because of that letdown of a fight, this past weekend certainly made up for it! A fantastic finish at the Players Championship and three buzzer-beaters later, and it, indeed, seems sports is back! As we look ahead, here are four things to look forward to this month:

NBA Playoffs

How the rest of these playoffs will shake out is anyone's guess. In a sport that is typically predictable due to a best-of-seven format and select superstars, it has been refreshingly unpredictable this go around. Will the top seed Warriors come back to beat the blue collar Grizzlies? Can Chris Paul finally reach the finals and win? Can the Wiz top the Hawks without Wall, and will he come back at any point? And, for that matter, who will be healthy in the Bulls-Cavs series, and how will both teams respond after consecutive buzzer-beating outcomes? Time will tell, but the story lines and finishes have been utterly incredible.

French Open

I realize not everyone cares about tennis, but that won't stop me! It's always been one of my favorite sports, and I get excited any time a major rolls around. Nadal has been virtually unbeatable at Roland Garros, but with many questions surrounding his game lately, will this be the beginning of the end of his career?

As sad as that sounds, it's a realistic question with all the injuries. It would be something if my favorite athlete of all time, Roger Federer, could win another major!

The Preakness 

Horse racing is another sport where not everyone will gallop to their tube to watch. But, the real enthusiasts and sports bettors know that this is a can't-miss event! More importantly, can American Pharaoh win again, and set up the elusive triple crown opportunity at Belmont? Strap in; it's going to be a wild ride!

NHL Playoffs

It's a shame how far this sport has fallen in America. And, I admit, I'm one of those people who fell along with it. But, with Ovechkin or the NY Rangers guaranteed to make the conference finals, along with the juggernaut Blackhawks and the upstart Ducks, it should be a hit!

Honorable Mention

Don't forget about the other epic events this May! A car race in Qatar and the European Championships of Rowing, just to name a few. And, here you thought the summer was only about baseball!

Here's to a great month of sports. Enjoy!