IN THE WAKE OF THE WEEK: Sharks get shutout; Warriors advance; A’s surge
HOUSE OF HORRORS: The San Jose Sharks had a bad opening night in Round 2 of the NHL playoffs Thursday. The Vegas Golden Knights served notice with a 7-0 pasting. Vegas had 3 goals in the first 6:03 of the game. Marc Andre Fleury was up to the task in goal for the Golden Knights. San Jose had no answers for a stifling Vegas defense. The Sharks looked tired and unprepared. 31 penalty minutes sunk the ship. Today is game 2. In this case, what happens in Vegas does not necessarily stay on Vegas.
WARRIORS MOVE ON: Game 4 was a catastrophe while game 5 saw the San Antonio Spurs reduce the lead to 2 with less than a minute to play. However, Golden State got it done in a 99-91 finale to the series. Questions linger. How would the Spurs have performed if they had the mysterious Kawhi Leonard? Could it have been different if the grieving Gregg Popovich had been on the bench? One thing we do not know is how the Warriors will navigate through the upstart New Orleans Pelicans. The other question is Steph Curry’s return.
NBA SHOCKER: If the Warriors go deep, perhaps the New Orleans Pelicans have dealt them a favor. Remarkably, the Portland Trailblazers are eliminated in a sweep by the Pelicans. Trailblazers Damian Lilliard goes cold with 32.7 percent shooting and only 18.7 points per game. Ex-King Rajon Rondo and Anthony Davis paved the way. A shocker? Yes. Where would the Pelicans be if they did not lose DeMarcus Cousins for the season?
ROCKETS EXPLODE: They are what we thought they would be. The Houston Rockets take a one-point deficit in Game 4 vs. the Minnesota Timberwolves and score 50 third quarter points, shooting 14-for-23 from the field, 9-for-13 from 3-point range and 13-for-13 from the foul line. It transforms a close contest into a laugher. James Harden alone erupts for 22 points in the quarter. Can the Warriors compete if they get to that point? Only time will tell.
STUNNER IN OAKLAND: Sean Manea cools the hot Red Sox bats for one night. It is a 3-0 masterpiece. A no-hitter for Manea. It is the first of the season in MLB. There are a couple of questionable calls, but who cares? He worked hard, got stronger as the innings went on, and deserved the no-no. When you consider it was against a brilliant Boston squad, it gains significance. A great day-game in Oakland for the faithful.
A’S SURGING: It is a nifty 8-2 stretch for Oakland. Give it to the A’s. They are finding ways to win games. Part of that has to be that they have the second best batting average in MLB. Their ERA may still be 18th at 4.26, but the pitching has taken them through some tough series. Boston and Texas both fell to the A’s and, as a of Friday, Oakland is finally above .500 at 13-12.
MORE CLEVELAND ANGST: Did the Browns get their high draft picks right? What a furor in Cleveland. They choose 6-foot, 1-inch QB Baker Mayfield with the first overall choice and then they move on to draft Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward with the fourth overall pick. When the fans took to Twitter, it was a pasting. “The Browns suck again,” “Browns with the worst first pick in the history of the NFL Draft,” and “The Browns are the dumbest franchise of all-time” are just a few. If they manage to go 0-16 again, they will be 1-47 in three years.
ODD BALL: LaVar Ball is back in the news. What a shocker. He pulls his two sons out of Lithuania with two games left in the season. His dispute is the playing time for son LiAngelo. How stale. LaVar’s classless acts continue to plague basketball. When will the boys have the intestinal fortitude to stand up to the absurdity and bullying? Probably never.
Jim Adams is a regular contributor to The Union. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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