IN THE WAKE OF THE WEEK: Warriors, Rockets soar into west finals; Golden Knights sink Sharks
WARRIORS VENTURE ON: Most figured it would come to this. It is the Houston Rockets who open up against the Warriors in Houston. Both teams won their second round series 4-1, and it sets up the big West showdown. Charles Barkley says the Warriors will take it. However, a split in Houston is a must to take back home court advantage. Golden State heavily leans on Kevin Durant and Steph Curry. We will see how they match up this week.
FLEURY IS THE ANSWER: The Vegas Golden Knights ousted the San Jose Sharks in their Western Conference Semifinals. The series went 4-2 following a 3-0 Knights whitewash on Sunday night. Vegas goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury was simply the difference. With two shutouts versus the Sharks, Fleury stood out as the series MVP. He is the backbone of this franchise. So, this expansion team, expected to go nowhere, will play for a berth in the Stanley Cup Finals against the Winnipeg Jets.
MIXED RESULTS FOR CANADA: The Toronto Raptors sunk into extinction as LeBron James (aka the Cleveland Cavaliers) eliminated them 4-0. Much was expected of this squad, but they failed to finish games off and are dismissed for the summer. In Manitoba, however, it is the Winnipeg Jets who win a huge Game 7 on Nashville ice. They move on to play the upstart Vegas Golden Knights for the chance to represent the west in the Stanley Cup Finals. It all opens tonight at home for the Jets.
JUSTIFY THIS: In a race that left 157,813 fans soaked, Justify found a way to clog through the mud to a Kentucky Derby Victory. Trainer Bob Baffert implored Justify, “C’mon. Show me what a great horse you are.” He was rewarded. Justify beat Good Magic by 2½ lengths. Baffert celebrated his fifth Derby win. Can Justify be challenged in the second leg of the Triple Crown?
A TALE OF TWO SERIES: The Giants win three straight in Atlanta only to lose four straight in Philadelphia. The A’s sweep the Baltimore Orioles only to lost three straight to Houston. Some of the losses are terrible blowouts. Are both teams struggling to find an identity and become relevant? Unfortunately, the answer is yes.
DODGERS DL WOES: Now it is Clayton Kershaw as bicep tendonitis sends the Dodgers’ starter to the 10-day Disabled List. The Dodgers have $93,465,000 worth of players on the shelf. Although Rich Hill was scheduled to return on Tuesday, Los Angeles will have seven other players on the DL. Is there reason to worry? Probably not for a team that started Yu Darvish in their Game 7 loss last year.
OVER FOR FRANKLIN: He boasts 90 game regular season appearances (89 starts), but for offensive lineman Orlando Franklin, it is over. He is calling it a career after playing for the Broncos, Chargers and Redskins. He states, “I’ve realized that facetiming my son is just not enough. I’ve always looked forward to being a father and right now I am not at my best.” So, he quits the game he loves to be a dad. At 30, he knows that family is more important than the NFL.
TURMOIL FOR SCHUMANN: San Francisco’s KGO7 parted ways with former San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Mike Schumann after he was caught on video stealing a jacket belonging to Warriors director of team security Ralph Walker. During the first round against the Spurs, Schumann walked off with the jacket at AT&T Center. To make matters worse, it was all caught on video. The Golden State players refused to brush this aside, and Schumann resigned. Terrible judgement by a media figure capable of making good decisions.
Jim Adams is a regular contributor to The Union. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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Hank Sowell’s introduction to the game of golf came early as a set of clubs was among the gifts he received on his very first birthday.