Today in Sports: 9/29/20 Preview

MLB: First day of the playoffs

Houston Astros (Zach Greinke) at Minnesota Twins (Kenta Maeda)

Chicago White Sox (Lucas Giolito) at Oakland Athletics (Jesus Luzardo)

Toronto Blue Jays (Matt Shoemaker) at Tampa Bay Rays (Blake Snell)

New York Yankees (Gerrit Cole) at Cleveland Indians (Shane Bieber)

Predictions:

Astros: 2 Twins: 4

White Sox: 6 Athletics: 3

Blue Jays: 1 Rays: 2

Yankees: 4 Indians: 0

Today in Sports: 9/28/20 Review

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs def Baltimore Ravens 34-20

In one of the most highly anticipated Monday Night Football games in recent memory, 2018 NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs outdueled 2019 NFL MVP Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens in a game that wasn’t as close as the score would indicate. Mahomes was on fire from the get-go, ending the night with 385 yards and 4 touchdowns. Jackson, on the other hand, struggled all night, only passing for 97 yards while picking up another 83 on the ground. Jackson has made huge strides as a passer, but seemed to revert back to his rookie year form missing easy throws and reads throughout the game. Given how talented both teams are, there might be a rematch in the playoffs if these teams live up to their expectations.

Today in Sports: 9/28/20 Preview

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Baltimore Ravens on Monday Night Football

In a potential AFC Championship Game preview, the Baltimore Ravens welcome the Kansas City Chiefs to M&T Bank Stadium in a must-watch Monday Night Football matchup. With arguably the two best quarterbacks in the NFL, 2018 NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes leads the high octane Chiefs against 2019 NFL MVP Lamar Jackson and the high octane Ravens. Although both teams have defensive talent, this game will likely be won by the team that gets the best play from their superstar signal caller.

Prediction:

Chiefs: 40 Ravens: 37

Mahomes and the Chiefs haven’t been as consistent in the early parts of this season as they’ve been in the past two seasons, but I’m expecting that to change Monday. Both teams will score a lot of points, but I’m expecting Mahomes to get the last laugh with a late score to secure a 40-37 victory.

Today in Sports: 9/27/20 Review

NFL: Week 3 scores

NBA: Miami Heat defeat Boston Celtics 125-113 in game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals – Heat win series 4-2

The Miami Heat secured their spot in the NBA Finals with a 125-113 win over the Boston Celtics in game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Bam Adebayo scored a game-high 32 points, to go along with 14 rebounds and 5 assists. Jayson Tatum had a very inefficient 24 points, which was not nearly enough to keep his team’s season alive. The Heat will face off against LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals. Game one is scheduled for Wednesday, September 30th at 6 PM PT on ABC.

Today in Sports: 9/26/20 Review

UFC: UFC 253 Adesanya def Costa (Second round TKO)

Dana White’s fight of the year prediction could not have been further from the truth. Middleweight champion Israel Adesanya made easy work of contender Paulo Costa with a dominant TKO victory in the second round of their championship fight. Costa’s claim to fame has been his relentless aggression and lack of fear, but he seemed to overthink things playing into the hands of Adesanya. Instead of being aggressive, Costa was overly cautious and decided to fight Adesanya, a former kickboxing star, at his own game allowing Adesanya to pick him apart with timely leg kicks and jabs. Costa’s biggest issue in the past has been his gas tank, so it was understandable that he wouldn’t be overly aggressive in order to preserve energy in his first five round fight. But he took that strategy too far, spending more time mocking Adesanya than throwing his powerful overhand right. Still a relatively young fighter, Costa will still be a middleweight contender for years to come. Adesanya is climbing the ranks of all time greats with another dominant performance. He’ll likely face the winner of Robert Whittaker and Jared Cannonier for his next title defense. In all likelihood, the loser of that fight will face Costa with a championship opportunity on the line.

Today in Sports: 9/26/20 Preview

UFC: UFC 253 Adesanya vs. Costa

For over a year undefeated middleweight champion Israel Adesanya and undefeated middleweight contender Paulo Costa have been trash talking leading up to today’s superfight for the UFC middleweight championship. As UFC promoter Dana White eloquently put it, “this fight is gonna be ridiculous.” In an ultimate clash of styles, the walk-you-down striker in Costa vs. the pick-your-spots counter striker in Adesanya, this fight has the potential to be fight of the year, which was the prediction of Dana White. Costa has been labeled as a reckless and wild striker with insane power, but many think he lacks the precision to keep up with Adesanya. There’s no doubt that Adesanya is the more technical fighter, but that should be more of a compliment to Adesanya and not a slight on Costa. These two fighters do not like each other, and hopefully the fight will live up to the hype.

Prediction:

Although Paulo Costa is my favorite fighter in the UFC, I don’t think he’s at the level of Adesanya. There’s a reason the champion is favored. I’m predicting a second round TKO victory for Israel Adesanya.

Today in Sports: 6/12/17 Review

NBA:

Golden State Warriors defeat Cleveland Cavaliers 129-120: The Warriors defeated the Cavaliers to win the 2017 NBA championship. This is the first championship for Finals MVP Kevin Durant. Although this helps his legacy, it’s hard to overlook that he joined the best team in NBA history (a team that he lost to in the playoffs) to win the title.  Durant was fantastic in these finals, scoring 30 or more points in all five games. He finished this game with 39 points on 14-20 shooting from the field. Stephen Curry added 34 points of his own. Draymond Green and Klay Thompson didn’t consistently put up points, but they were fantastic on the defensive end of the floor all series. Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love picked a bad day to struggle. Although Irving’s 26 points seems impressive, he struggled down the stretch when his team needed him most. Kevin Love finished the game with only 6 points. That’s not even close to good enough. J.R. Smith backed up his “Cavs in 7” tweet with a fantastic game, scoring 26 points on 9-11 shooting from the field. He shot 7-8 from three-point range. LeBron James was the best player in this series. He became the first player in NBA Finals history to average a triple-double. He’s now 3-5 in his 8 Finals appearances, but it’s hard to blame him. He’s been the underdog in six of the 8 Finals matchups. LeBron finished game five with 41 points, 13 rebounds, and 8 assists. Congrats to the Golden State Warriors!

Today in Sports: 6/12/17 Preview

NBA:

Cleveland Cavaliers at Golden State Warriors: The Warriors host the Cavaliers in game five of the NBA Finals. After losing their first game of the playoffs, the Warriors have a chance of winning the championship in front of their home crowd. Now up 3-1 in the series, the Cavaliers hope to have the greatest comeback in NBA Finals history, just one year after having the greatest comeback in NBA Finals history. Imagine if the “Warriors blew a 3-1 lead” turned into “Warriors blew a 3-0 lead.” Although it’s unlikely, nothing is impossible for LeBron James. He’s the best player on the planet. The Warriors will try to force someone else to step up, something that Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love are capable of doing. This will either be the last game of the NBA season, or a horrifying reminder to the Warriors that a series isn’t over until it’s over.

Today in Sports: 6/8/17 Review

NHL:

Pittsburgh Penguins defeat Nashville Predators 6-0: In what was an embarrassing beatdown for the Predators, the Penguins took a commanding 3-2 series lead in the Stanley Cup Finals. The Penguins scored three goals in the first and second periods. For some reason, Pekka Rinne has been great at home and terrible on the road in the Stanley Cup Finals. Once again, he let his team down. But Rinne’s teammates didn’t do him any favors. They were not able to score a single goal. With the home team winning the first five games of the Stanley Cup Finals, the Predators will be favored in game six at home. They’ll have to win to keep their season alive. These two teams will play game six on Sunday in Nashville.

Today in Sports: 6/8/17 Preview

NHL:

Nashville Predators at Pittsburgh Penguins: The Penguins host the Predators in game five of the Stanley Cup Finals. With both teams winning two games, the Stanley Cup Finals has become a three game series. Since the home team has won each of the first four games, the Penguins will be favored to take a 3-2 series lead. The Predators will have to win at least one game in Pittsburgh to win the championship. That’s easier said than done, especially because of Pittsburgh’s championship pedigree. The winner of this game will be heavy favorites to win the championship. This game is extremely crucial for both teams.

Today in Sports: 6/7/17 Review

NBA:

Golden State Warriors defeat Cleveland Cavaliers 118-113: The Warriors stole game three from the Cavaliers to take a commanding 3-0 series lead. The Warriors were losing after three quarters, but outscored the Cavaliers 29-19 in the fourth quarter to secure the victory. The Warriors would score the game’s final 11 points. LeBron James had a fantastic game, but seemed to run out of gas down the stretch. He hasn’t gotten enough help from his teammates. LeBron’s stat line of 39 points, 11 rebounds, and 9 assists shows how much of the burden he had to take offensively. Kevin Durant has been better in this series, but he’s had a lot more help than LeBron. Durant finished the game with 31 points and 8 rebounds. Klay Thompson has found his stroke after a disappointing first game. He finished with 30 points and played stellar defense once again. Stephen Curry had 26 points and a staggering 13 rebounds. Kyrie Irving finished with 38 points, but his “hero ball” mentality at the end of the game cost the Cavaliers. Kevin Love only had 9 points, which was a major disappointment for Cleveland. Irving and Love haven’t been able to both put together great games in the same game. LeBron needs them both to play at an extremely high level to beat the Warriors. But for all intents and purposes, this series is over. These two teams will play game four on Friday in Cleveland.

Today in Sports: 6/7/17 Preview

NBA:

Golden State Warriors at Cleveland Cavaliers: The Cavaliers host the Warriors in game three of the NBA Finals. After losing the first two games on the road, the Cavaliers return home and need to use last year’s Finals as an example of what they need to do this year. The Cavaliers were blown out in the first two games of last year’s Finals before winning the championship. But this is a different year and a different Warriors team. Last year’s team may have broken the regular season record for victories, but they didn’t have Kevin Durant. This year’s Warriors look poised to win their second championship in three years. The Cavaliers will need to find a way to slow down Durant and get some quality production from their bench. Otherwise, they will get embarrassed once again. This is a must win game for the Cavaliers.

Today in Sports: 6/6/17 Review

MLB:

Washington Nationals defeat Los Angeles Dodgers 2-1: The Nationals won 2-1 to complete a series victory over the Dodgers. They’ve won the first two games of the series, with game three coming tomorrow in another stellar pitching matchup between Stephen Strasburg and Clayton Kershaw. The Nationals and Dodgers would both score a run in the first inning. Max Scherzer would strike out 9 batters in the first three innings (a batter would advance to first on one of the strikeouts because the ball got past the catcher). Brandon McCarthy was also impressive, but was outdueled by Scherzer. The Nationals would score the game’s final run in the fourth inning on a Daniel Murphy sacrifice fly. These two teams will play the third and final game of the series tomorrow in Los Angeles.

Today in Sports: 6/6/17 Preview

MLB:

Washington Nationals at Los Angeles Dodgers: The Dodgers host the Nationals in game two of their three-game set. After losing the first game, the Dodgers will look to even the series. The Nationals will be starting Max Scherzer, who is having another impressive season. He is 6-3 with a stellar 2.56 ERA. The Dodgers will be countering with Brandon McCarthy. He’s also having a fantastic season. McCarthy is 5-2 with a 3.38 ERA. Both teams have a lot of quality bats in their lineups, so this could be a pitcher’s duel or a shootout. Although the Dodgers are at home, the Nationals are slight favorites to win this game.

Today in Sports: 6/5/17 Review

NHL:

Nashville Predators defeat Pittsburgh Penguins 4-1: The Predators defeated the Penguins 4-1 to even the Stanley Cup Finals at two games apiece. Through four games, both teams have won their two home games. Pekka Rinne looks like a different goalie in Nashville, after struggling during his two games in Pittsburgh. He made a number of unbelievable saves that were key in this game four victory. The Predators started the scoring with a goal late in the first period. Pittsburgh would answer a minute later with a goal by Sidney Crosby. Nashville would respond by scoring twice in the second period. Late in the third period, the Penguins would pull their goalie and allow a fourth and final goal. These two teams will play game five on Thursday in Pittsburgh.

Today in Sports: 6/5/17 Preview

NHL:

Pittsburgh Penguins at Nashville Predators: The Predators host the Penguins in game three of the Stanley Cup Finals. Coming off of a dominating game three win, the Predators will look to hold serve at home and even the series at two games apiece. With Pittsburgh’s championship pedigree and overall talent, the Predators cannot afford to lose this game at home and give the Penguins a commanding 3-1 series lead. The Penguins will still be the favorites no matter what happens in this game, but will try to make things easier for themselves by winning this game. This is an extremely pivotal game for both teams.

Today in Sports: 6/4/17 Review

NBA:

Golden State Warriors defeat Cleveland Cavaliers 132-113: The Warriors defeated the Cavaliers to take a 2-0 lead in the NBA Finals. With the Warriors holding serve at home, both teams will fly to Cleveland to play games three and four of the series. The game was close at halftime, but the Warriors took over in the second half. LeBron James had a great performance, but was outplayed again by Kevin Durant. James has a lot less to work with, so it takes more out of him to outplay Durant than vice versa. LeBron had a triple-double, scoring 29 points, 14 assists, and 11 rebounds. James was in attack mode in the first half, which was both effective and impressive to watch. He was in facilitator mode in the second half, which was somewhat impressive and extremely ineffective. LeBron didn’t seem to have the energy to attack the entire game due to the hectic up-and-down pace both teams were playing at. Kevin Love had an impressive game, scoring 27 points on 12-23 shooting from the field. Kyrie Irving had an awful night, scoring 19 points but shooting an abysmal 8-23 from the field. Durant scored a game-high 33 points on 13-22 shooting from the field. Curry almost matched his total with 32 points. Draymond Green had a nice all-around game. Klay Thompson broke out of his shooting woes and dominated on both ends of the floor. He scored 22 points on 8-12 shooting from the field, including making four of his seven three-point attempts. Neither bench was extremely productive, but the Warriors got more out of their bench than the Cavaliers did. J.R. Smith was terrible once again. He scored zero points, and has more turnovers than points in this series. Iman Shumpert didn’t shoot well, but played his usual tenacious defense. He should probably start in game three instead of Smith. These two teams will play game three of the Finals on Wednesday in Cleveland.

Today in Sports: 6/4/17 Preview

NBA:

Cleveland Cavaliers at Golden State Warriors: The Warriors host the Cavaliers in game two of the NBA Finals. After a dominating win in game one, the Warriors will attempt to take a 2-0 lead and keep home-court advantage in this series. The Cavaliers will be looking to even the series at one game apiece with an upset win in Oakland. LeBron James had a poor performance in game one, and will need to rebound and be the best player on the court if the Cavaliers are going to keep the game competitive and possibly steal a game on the road. They’ll also need to find a way of slowing down Kevin Durant, who was unstoppable in game one. This isn’t a must-win game for either team, but it’s a pivotal game that could set the tone for the remainder of the series.

Today in Sports: 6/3/17 Review

NHL:

Nashville Predators defeat Pittsburgh Penguins 5-1: The Nashville Predators kept serve at home to win their first game of the series. After losing the first two games in Pittsburgh, the Predators needed to win this game to avoid falling behind by an insurmountable three games to zero. The Penguins got on the board first early in the first period. The Predators would respond by scoring the next five goals in the second and third periods. Predators goalie Pekka Rinne would have his first solid performance of the Stanley Cup Finals in his team’s most important game of the season. These two teams will play game four of the Stanley Cup Finals on Monday in Nashville.

Today in Sports: 6/3/17 Preview

NHL:

Pittsburgh Penguins at Nashville Predators: The Predators host the Penguins in game three of the Stanley Cup Finals. After losing the first two games on the road, the Predators return home to play in front of their home fans. Nashville cannot afford to lose this game and fall behind 3-0 in the series. The Penguins are looking to take a commanding 3-0 series lead to increase their chances of repeating as Stanley Cup champions. This is a pivotal game in the series for both teams.

Today in Sports: 6/2/17 Review

MLB:

Houston Astros defeat Texas Rangers 7-1: The Astros defeated the Rangers in game one of this three-game set. Dallas Keuchel got the win, improving his record to 9-0 on the season. He’s been the best pitcher in baseball on the best team in baseball all season long. Carlos Correa started the scoring with a three-run home run in the fifth inning off of Rangers starter Yu Darvish. These would be the only three runs that Darvish would allow all game. The Astros would tack on four more runs in the eighth inning off of Rangers reliever Dillon Gee. Keuchel didn’t allow a run in his six innings pitched. He lowered his ERA to an astounding 1.67 for the season. Adrian Beltre would hit a solo home run for the Rangers in the ninth inning, but it was too little, too late. These two teams will play game two of the series tomorrow in Arlington, Texas.

Today in Sports: 6/2/17 Preview

MLB:

Houston Astros at Texas Rangers: The Rangers host the Astros in game one of their three-game set. The Astros will be starting Dallas Keuchel, who is having another stellar season. He has an 8-0 record with an amazing 1.81 ERA. He’s been the best pitcher on the best team in baseball. The Rangers will be countering with Yu Darvish. Although they’ve struggled as a team this year, Darvish is putting up another solid campaign in 2017. He has a 5-3 record with a 2.97 ERA. This should be a pitcher’s duel, but the Astros will be favored due to their offensive firepower.

Today in Sports: 6/1/17 Review

NBA:

Golden State Warriors defeat Cleveland Cavaliers 113-91:  The Warriors defeated the Cavaliers in game one of the NBA Finals. Although the first half of the game was relatively close, the Warriors took over in the third quarter and never looked back. LeBron James’ stat line of 28 points, 15 rebounds, and 8 assists looks impressive, but they don’t coincide with the performance he put out on the court. James was responsible for 8 of Cleveland’s 20 turnovers and struggled on the defensive end of the floor. On the contrary, Kevin Durant had 0 turnovers in 38 minutes of play. His impressive stat line of 38 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists matched what I saw during the game. He was clearly the best player on the court. In order for the Cavaliers to win, LeBron needs to be the best player on the court. Draymond Green and Klay Thompson struggled with their shots, but played stellar defense all game long. Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love had solid games, but nobody for Cleveland stepped up besides their big three. The Cavaliers will need a bigger contribution from their other two starters and bench players. These two teams will play game two on Sunday in Oakland.

Today in Sports: 6/1/17 Preview

NBA:

Cleveland Cavaliers at Golden State Warriors: The Warriors host the Cavaliers in game one of the NBA Finals. This is the third consecutive year that these teams are meeting in the Finals, which hasn’t ever happened before in NBA history. The Warriors haven’t played in more than a week, and the Cavaliers haven’t played in exactly a week. Since both of these teams dominated in their prior playoff series, they’ve been used to the long layoffs before starting the next series. The key to this game will be how each team is affected by the long layoff. This isn’t a must-win game for either team, but this game will set the tone for the rest of the series.

Today in Sports: 5/31/17 Review

NHL:

Pittsburgh Penguins defeat Nashville Predators 4-1: The Penguins defeated the Predators to take a commanding 2-0 series lead in the Stanley Cup Finals. The Predators scored the first goal in the first period, but it was all downhill for Nashville from there. The Penguins would respond four minutes later with a goal that should’ve been stopped by Predators goalie Pekka Rinne. He’s had a terrible first two games of the series. The score remained tied heading into the third period until the Penguins scored ten seconds after the second intermission. They would add two more goals three minutes later. Those two goals were just fifteen seconds apart. Rinne will have to step up his game in Nashville if the Predators are going to make this series competitive. These two teams will play game three on Saturday in Nashville.

Today in Sports: 5/31/17 Preview

NHL:

Nashville Predators at Pittsburgh Penguins: The Penguins host the Predators in game two of the Stanley Cup Finals. After an exciting and controversial game one, the Penguins look to take a commanding 2-0 series lead. The Predators want redemption after a controversial offsides call cost them a chance of going into overtime in game one. They’ll need to use that as motivation to try and even the series at one game apiece. Nashville started the game slow before finding their rhythm in the second and third periods of game one. They cannot afford to make that same mistake in game two. The Penguins went an NHL playoff record 37 minutes without a shot on goal. They’ll need to throw more pucks at the net in game two. This isn’t a must-win game for either team, but the winner of this game will have the home ice advantage in the series.

Today in Sports: 5/30/17 Review

MLB:

Washington Nationals defeat San Francisco Giants 6-3: The Nationals defeated the Giants to win the second game of this three-game set. The Nationals have claimed the series after winning both of the first two games. Washington got off to a hot start by scoring three runs in the first two innings. The Giants responded in the second inning with two runs of their own. But the Nationals would score another three runs in the fifth inning. San Francisco would score a run in the seventh, but weren’t able to complete the comeback and defeat the Nationals. These two teams will play the third and final game of this series tomorrow in San Francisco.

Today in Sports: 5/30/17 Preview

MLB:

Washington Nationals at San Francisco Giants: The Giants host the Nationals in the second game of their three-game set. The Nationals look to win the series after winning the first game by a score of 3-0. It will be interesting to see how both teams respond after the fight between Bryce Harper and Hunter Strickland. Strickland was upset about giving up two home runs to Harper a few years ago in the playoffs, so he threw the first pitch at Harper. It’s hard to blame Harper for defending himself after such a cowardice act. Hopefully the league comes down hard on Strickland for his selfish act. The Nationals are starting Gio Gonzalez, who has a 3-1 record and a 2.90 ERA. The Giants are countering with Jeff Samardzija, who has a 1-6 record and a 4.50 ERA. The Nationals are favorites to win this game.

Today in Sports: 5/29/17 Review

NHL:

Pittsburgh Penguins defeat Nashville Predators 5-3: In an exciting first game of the Stanley Cup Finals, the Penguins defeated the Predators to take a 1-0 series lead. The Predators scored the first goal of the game before it was controversially overturned because of an offsides call. There didn’t seem to be conclusive video evidence to overturn the call, but the refs decided to take away the goal anyways. This would play a huge role in the outcome of the game. The Penguins would score the first three goals of the game late in the first period. Nashville would finally get on the board in the second period on a power play goal. Nashville would score twice in the third period to tie the game. The Penguins would go a Stanley Cup record 37 minutes without a shot on goal before scoring the game-winning goal late in the third period. If the bogus offsides call wasn’t made, the game would’ve been tied at four. Pittsburgh added a fifth goal with a minute remaining after Nashville pulled their goalie. It’s unfortunate that a fantastic game will be remembered because of the bad call that cost Nashville a shot of winning in overtime. These two teams will play game two on Wednesday in Pittsburgh.

Today in Sports: 5/29/17 Preview

NHL:

Nashville Predators at Pittsburgh Penguins: The Penguins host the Predators in game one of the Stanley Cup Finals. Both teams will be looking to get off to a fast start to give themselves an advantage in the series. The winner of game one will be heavy favorites to win it all. The Pittsburgh Penguins are looking to repeat as Stanley Cup champions. Because of their talent and championship pedigree, they are the favorites in this series. But Nashville is no slouch; Pittsburgh will have to continue playing at a high level to defeat the Predators. This isn’t a must-win game for either team, but this game will set the tone for the rest of the series.

Today in Sports: 5/28/17 Review

MLB:

Los Angeles Dodgers defeat Chicago Cubs 9-4: The Dodgers defeated the Cubs to complete the three-game series sweep over the defending World Series champions. Jon Lester struggled for the Cubs, giving up six runs in 3.1 innings. He is now 3-3 on the season with a 3.86 ERA. His ERA isn’t too bad, but his 3-3 record is surprising for a pitcher of his caliber. Clayton Kershaw also struggled, giving up four runs and eleven hits in 4.1 innings. He was not the pitcher of record for the Dodgers. Josh Fields came on in relief and got the victory. He pitched 1.2 scoreless innings without giving up a hit. All thirteen combined runs were scored via the long ball. In what was supposed to be a pitcher’s duel, this game was full of offense.

Today in Sports: 5/28/17 Preview

MLB:

Chicago Cubs at Los Angeles Dodgers: The Dodgers host the Cubs in the final game of their three-game set. The Dodgers won the first two games of the series and will be looking to sweep the defending World Series champions. The Cubs will be starting Jon Lester, who has been one of the best pitchers of the last decade. He hasn’t lived up to expectations this season, but it’s likely only a matter of time before he finds his stride. The Dodgers are countering with future Hall of Famer Clayton Kershaw. Like Lester, he has been one of the best pitchers of the last decade. This game should be a low-scoring pitcher’s duel.

Today in Sports: 5/27/17 Review

MLB:

Toronto Blue Jays defeat Texas Rangers 3-1: The Blue Jays defeated the Rangers 3-1 in the second game of their three-game set. The Blue Jays have won each of the series’ first two games. Shin-Soo Choo started the scoring in the first inning when he hit a solo home run to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead. Toronto responded in the fifth inning with a home run of their own. Jose Bautista hit a three-run home run to give Toronto the lead for good. Neither team would score a run outside of their home runs. These two teams will play the third and final game of the series tomorrow in Toronto.

Today in Sports: 5/27/17 Preview

MLB:

Texas Rangers at Toronto Blue Jays: The Blue Jays host the Rangers in game two of their three-game set. The Blue Jays won the first game by a score of 7-6. The Rangers will be starting Yu Darvish, who will try to help end their four game losing streak. Darvish is 5-2 with a stellar 2.83 ERA. The Blue Jays will be countering with Marco Estrada. Estrada is 3-2 with a 3.30 ERA. With both of these starters pitching at a high level this season, the team that scores the first run will be heavy favorites to win the game.

Today in Sports: 5/26/17 Review

MLB:

Atlanta Braves defeat San Francisco Giants 2-0: The Braves defeated the Giants in the first game of their three-game set. Both Jaime Garcia and Matt Cain pitched well enough to win. Garcia pitched 6.2 innings without giving up a run. The bullpen finished off the final 2.1 innings without giving up a hit. Cain gave up 2 runs in 7 innings. Garcia helped his own cause by knocking in both runs with an RBI single. The second run scored on a throwing error by left fielder Brandon Belt. These two teams will play game two of the series tomorrow in San Francisco.

Today in Sports: 5/26/17 Preview

MLB:

Atlanta Braves at San Francisco Giants: The Giants host the Braves in game one of their three-game set. The Giants are starting Matt Cain. He has a 3-2 record with a 4.91 ERA. Cain hasn’t been his usual self this year, but he still has the ability to dominate any opposing lineup. The Braves are countering with Jaime Garcia. He is 1-3 with a 4.07 ERA. Garcia will try to shake off his slow start to the season in this game. Both teams are underachieving this season, so it’s anyone’s guess who will come out on top.

Today in Sports: 5/25/17 Review

NBA:

Cleveland Cavaliers defeat Boston Celtics 135-102: The Cavaliers defeated the Celtics in game five of the Eastern Conference Finals to advance to the NBA Finals. This is the third consecutive year that the Cavaliers will face the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals. Avery Bradley led the Celtics with 23 points. He’s been their most consistent player on both ends of the floor throughout the postseason. LeBron James had another stellar game, scoring a game-high 35 points on 13-18 shooting from the field. He’s proven all postseason that he’s still the best player in the world. The Cavaliers will face the Golden State Warriors in game one of the NBA Finals next Thursday in Oakland.

 

NHL:

Pittsburgh Penguins defeat Ottawa Senators 3-2 (2OT): WOW, what a game! This is why the playoffs are exciting. There are no two words more exciting in sports than game seven, and this game was more exciting than most game sevens. The Penguins scored the first goal of the game in the second period, but the Senators responded with a goal twenty seconds later. The Penguins took the lead again in the third period with a power play goal. Once again, the Senators responded with a goal to tie the game a few minutes later. Neither team would score again in regulation, so the game would head to overtime. Neither team scored in the first overtime period, so the game headed to a second overtime. Chris Kunitz would score the game-winning goal in the second overtime, which was his second goal of the game. This goal clinched a Stanley Cup Finals berth for the Penguins. The Penguins will host the Nashville Predators in game one of the Stanley Cup Finals on Monday.

Today in Sports: 5/25/17 Preview

NBA:

Cleveland Cavaliers at Boston Celtics: The Celtics host the Cavaliers in game five of the Eastern Conference Finals. With a 3-1 series lead, the Cavaliers have a chance of finishing the series and clinching their third straight trip to the NBA Finals. With star point guard Isaiah Thomas sidelined for the remainder of the postseason, the Cavaliers will be heavy favorites to win this game. If the Cavaliers do win the game, they’ll play the Warriors for the third straight year in the NBA Finals. This is a must-win game for the Celtics to keep their season alive.

NHL:

Ottawa Senators at Pittsburgh Penguins: The Penguins host the Senators in game seven of the Eastern Conference Finals. There are no two words more exciting in sports than game seven. Although the Penguins are favorites to win the game, anything can happen in a game seven. This is what makes sports exciting. The winner of the game will face the Nashville Predators in the Stanley Cup Finals.

Today in Sports: 5/24/17 Review

MLB:

Boston Red Sox defeat Texas Rangers 9-4: The Red Sox defeated the Rangers in the second game of their three-game set. The Red Sox clinched the series by winning the series’ first two games. The Red Sox scored the first run of the game in the third inning on an RBI single by Mookie Betts. The Rangers tied the game in the fourth inning and took the lead in the fifth by scoring two runs. Boston put the game out of reach in the seventh inning by scoring seven runs. These two teams will play the final game of the series on Thursday in Boston.

St. Louis Cardinals defeat Los Angeles Dodgers 6-1: The Cardinals defeated the Dodgers in the second game of their three-game set. With each team winning a game in the series, the third game will be the rubber match. The Cardinals scored the first six runs of the game before the Dodgers answered with a run in the seventh inning. But it was too little, too late. The Cardinals were able to shut the Dodgers down in the eighth and ninth innings to claim the victory. These two teams will play the final game of the series on Thursday in Los Angeles.

Today in Sports: 5/24/17 Preview

MLB:

Texas Rangers at Boston Red Sox: The Red Sox host the Rangers in the second game of their three-game set. Boston won the first game in the series by a score of 11-6. Chris Sale is starting for the Red Sox. He has a 4-2 record with a stellar 2.19 ERA. The Rangers are countering with Martin Perez. He has a 2-5 record with a solid 3.71 ERA. The Red Sox are favored in this game due to Chris Sale being on the mound. He’s one of the best pitchers in the American League.

St. Louis Cardinals at Los Angeles Dodgers: The Dodgers host the Cardinals in the second game of their three-game set. The Dodgers were victories in last night’s game after scoring a walk-off run in the 13th inning. Mike Leake is starting for the Cardinals. He has a 4-2 record with a stellar 2.03 ERA. The Dodgers are countering with Rich Hill. He has a 1-1 record with a stellar 2.77 ERA. The Dodgers are slight favorites in this game, which will likely be a pitcher’s duel.

Today in Sports: 5/23/17 Review

NBA:

Cleveland Cavaliers defeat Boston Celtics 112-99: The Cavaliers defeated the Celtics to take a 3-1 series lead in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Celtics led by 10 points at halftime, largely due to the stellar play of Avery Bradley. Bradley scored a team-high 19 point and played at a high level on the defensive end of the floor. But the second half belonged to the Cavaliers. Kyrie Irving and LeBron James took over the game in the third and fourth quarters. Irving and James scored 42 points and 34 points, respectively. Kevin Love tallied 17 points and 17 rebounds. This was a pivotal game for the Cavaliers’ big three. With Isaiah Thomas out for the remainder of the season, the Cavaliers will be favorites to finish the series in the next game. These two teams will play game five on Thursday in Boston.

Today in Sports: 5/23/17 Preview

NBA:

Boston Celtics at Cleveland Cavaliers: The Cavaliers host the Celtics in game four of the Eastern Conference Finals. After dominating the first two games in Boston, the Cavaliers returned home for game three as heavy favorites to complete their third straight series sweep. The Celtics ruled out star Isaiah Thomas for the rest of the season, so it seemed like a foregone conclusion that the Cavaliers would easily win. However, the Celtics showed their resilience and defeated the Cavaliers on a game winning three-point shot by Avery Bradley. They were down by 21 points in the third quarter, but didn’t quit fighting. LeBron James had his worst playoff performance in years. He looked tentative the whole game. This should be a wake-up call for King James and company. They’ll be heavy favorites to win this game too, but cannot be complacent against the desperate Celtics. This is a pivotal game for both teams.

Today in Sports: 5/22/17 Review

NBA:

Golden State Warriors defeat San Antonio Spurs 129-115: The Warriors completed their third consecutive series sweep to return to the NBA Finals for the third straight year. The Spurs weren’t the same team in the last 3.5 games without superstar Kawhi Leonard. Gregg Popovich is a genius, but he wasn’t able to come up with a game plan to defeat the Warriors without his star. LaMarcus Aldridge had another terrible performance, scoring just 8 points in 22 minutes. He’s been a major disappointment since joining San Antonio. Manu Ginobli scored 15 points in possibly the final game of his illustrious career. Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant scored 36 points and 29 points, respectively. They’ve both been dominant throughout the playoffs. The Warriors will face the Cleveland Cavaliers or Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals.

Today in Sports: 5/22/17 Preview

NBA:

Golden State Warriors at San Antonio Spurs: The Spurs host the Warriors in game four of the Western Conference Finals. The Warriors are looking to sweep their third straight series. This will be Golden State’s third straight NBA Finals appearance. Kawhi Leonard is not expected to play, which is detrimental to San Antonio’s chances of extending the series. LaMarcus Aldridge will need to step up in Leonard’s absence, which is something that he’s been unable to do during the playoffs. The Warriors are heavy favorites to finish the sweep. This is a must-win game for the Spurs.

Today in Sports: 5/21/17 Review

NBA:

Boston Celtics defeat Cleveland Cavaliers 111-108: The Celtics shocked the Cavaliers in Cleveland to win their first game of the Eastern Conference Finals. They won the game without their All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas. Marcus Smart stepped up in his absence and scored a team-high 27 points on 7-10 shooting from beyond the three-point line. The Cavaliers had a 21 point lead in the third quarter before collapsing down the stretch. LeBron James had his worst playoff performance in years, scoring 11 points on 13 shots. Avery Bradley hit the game winning three-point shot with 0.1 seconds remaining. Celtics coach Brad Stevens drew up a great play to get Bradley open. The last two threes by Boston were made because of defensive miscues by J.R. Smith. He continuously makes boneheaded decisions and has lapses in judgment during key moments of games, especially on the defensive end of the floor. It’s shocking that Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue continues to keep Smith in the game in key moments. He shot the ball well, but has been a defensive liability throughout his career. The Cavaliers are still favored to win the series, but losing this game in the manner that they did seems like something a championship caliber team wouldn’t do. These two teams will play game four on Tuesday in Cleveland.

Today in Sports: 5/21/17 Preview

NBA:

Boston Celtics at Cleveland Cavaliers: The Cavaliers host the Celtics in game three of the Eastern Conference Finals. After two dominating performances in Boston, the Cavaliers return home to play in front of their home crowd. Boston’s star point guard Isaiah Thomas has been ruled out for the rest of the season. Boston’s chances of defeating the defending champions were already decimated when they got embarrassed in game two, but now it seems like a foregone conclusion that the Cavaliers will be playing in their third straight NBA Finals. This game will give the Celtics an opportunity to show what they’re made of. They’ll have to find a way to slow down LeBron James. He’s had ten straight fantastic games, and seems to be using the playoffs as an opportunity to remind the world that he’s the best player in the NBA. This is a must-win game for the Celtics.

Today in Sports: 5/20/17 Review

NBA:

Golden State Warriors defeat San Antonio Spurs 120-108: The Warriors defeated the Spurs to take a commanding 3-0 series lead in the Western Conference Finals. The Spurs were playing without their superstar Kawhi Leonard for the second consecutive game. They weren’t able to win the game, but they put forth an impressive effort without their leader. The Spurs were counting on LaMarcus Aldridge to bounce back from his pitiful game two performance. He led the Spurs with 18 points, but wasn’t effective enough to help lead San Antonio to victory. Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry were dominant, scoring 33 points and 21 points, respectively. The Warriors look poised to advance to their third straight NBA Finals. These two teams will play game four on Monday in San Antonio.

Today in Sports: 5/20/17 Preview

NBA:

Golden State Warriors at San Antonio Spurs: The Spurs host the Warriors in game three of the Western Conference Finals. After losing the first two games, the Spurs need to win this game to keep their NBA Finals hopes alive. Kawhi Leonard will not play in this game, which seriously cripples the Spurs’ chances of defeating the heavily favored Warriors. The Spurs need LaMarcus Aldridge to step up in Leonard’s absence. Golden State hasn’t lost a game in the playoffs, and looks like a team on a mission to redeem themselves from last year’s collapse in the NBA Finals. In all likelihood, the Warriors are going to win and it won’t be close. Hopefully the Spurs can keep the game close, but I wouldn’t count on it.

Today in Sports: 5/19/17 Review

NBA:

Cleveland Cavaliers defeat Boston Celtics 130-86: WOW! The Cavaliers are a team on a mission. This game was over at halftime. Actually, this game was over before either team arrived to the arena. LeBron James decided that they would win by a lot, so King James made it happen. He proved again that he’s the best player in the world and it’s not even close. The Cavaliers led 72-31 at halftime, which was the biggest halftime lead in NBA playoff history. This was embarrassing for the Celtics and boring for casual fans. We should skip the rest of the Conference Finals because we are all tired of these boring games. The Cavaliers are going to play the Warriors for the NBA championship, let’s just get it on right now. Unfortunately, these two teams will play game three on Sunday in Cleveland.

Today in Sports: 5/19/17 Preview

NBA:

Cleveland Cavaliers at Boston Celtics: The Celtics host the Cavaliers in game two of the Eastern Conference Finals. After getting dismantled in game one, the Celtics need to rebound and even the series. They cannot afford to lose the first two games at home in this series. They were able to win their first round series after losing the first two games at home, but this Cavaliers team is a lot more talented than the Chicago Bulls. LeBron James has increased his intensity during the postseason. He is showing everyone that he’s still the best player in the world. He’s been dominant in all nine games this postseason. Boston will need to find a way to limit his impact. This is a must-win game for the Celtics.

Today in Sports: 5/18/17 Review

NHL:

Anaheim Ducks defeat Nashville Predators 3-2 (OT): The Ducks defeated the Predators in Nashville to even the series at two games apiece. This was a crucial win for the Ducks to help keep alive their chances of reaching the Stanley Cup Finals. The Ducks took a 2-0 lead with goals in each of the first two periods. The Predators responded by scoring two goals late in the third period. The tying goal was scored with less than a minute remaining. The Ducks were able to respond in overtime by scoring the game winning goal. This game was extremely exciting, which has been a common theme during the playoffs. These two teams will play game five on Saturday in Anaheim.

Today in Sports: 5/18/17 Preview

NHL:

Anaheim Ducks at Nashville Predators: The Predators host the Ducks in game four of the Western Conference Finals. The Predators have a chance of taking a commanding 3-1 series lead. After losing the opening game in this series, the Ducks were able to even the series at one game apiece. The Ducks lost the third game of the series on Tuesday, and will need to bounce back once again and even the series if they want to avoid three consecutive must-win games. This isn’t a must-win game for the Ducks, but losing this game would seriously cripple their chances of reaching the Stanley Cup Finals.

Today in Sports: 5/17/17 Review

NBA:

Cleveland Cavaliers defeat Boston Celtics 117-104: The Cavaliers dominated the Celtics in Boston to take a 1-0 series lead in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Cavaliers had this game won by halftime. The Celtics were outscored by eleven points in each of the first two quarters. LeBron James and Kevin Love led the Cavaliers with 38 points and 32 points, respectively. Isaiah Thomas struggled in this game, scoring 17 points on 7-19 shooting from the field. Avery Bradley scored 21 points and was gritty on defense, but didn’t get enough help from his teammates to help get the Celtics back in the game after a horrible first quarter. The Cavaliers didn’t care about getting the number one seed. After this game, it seems like they made the right decision to rest their starters during the final games of the regular season. The Cavaliers now have the home-court advantage in this series. The Celtics cannot afford to lose game two. These two teams will play game two on Friday in Boston.

Today in Sports: 5/17/17 Preview

NBA:

Cleveland Cavaliers at Boston Celtics: The Celtics host the Cavaliers in game one of the Eastern Conference Finals. After conceding the number one seed by resting their starters in the final games of the regular season, the Cavaliers have to go on the road to Boston to start this series. The Cavaliers cared more about resting their starters than owning home-court advantage over the Celtics. The last time these two teams played in Boston, the Cavaliers won in convincing fashion. The Cavaliers haven’t lost a game yet in the playoffs and are heavy favorites to win the series, but they’re facing their toughest challenge yet this season. The Celtics have been called the worst number one seed in NBA history by many NBA experts. They will definitely use this as motivation. The Celtics are one of the deepest teams in the NBA, and have multiple wing defenders that they can put on LeBron James. If they want to win this series, they’ll have to find a way to limit King James’ impact. This isn’t a must-win game for either team, but this game can set the tone for the rest of the series.

Today in Sports: 5/16/17 Review

NBA:

Golden State Warriors defeat San Antonio Spurs 136-100: The Warriors dominated the Spurs to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the series. The Spurs have looked shell shocked after their superstar Kawhi Leonard re-injured his ankle in the first game of the series. Jonathon Simmons was the only player that stepped up for the Spurs, leading the team with 22 points. LaMarcus Aldridge only scored 8 points. He’s been a major disappointment since joining the Spurs. He looked timid all game. He’s the best player on the Spurs now that Kawhi Leonard is injured. His lackluster performances this postseason are inexcusable. The Warriors dominated the game from the start. The game was over before halftime. The Spurs will need to step up their intensity in game three if they want to keep their season alive. These two teams will play game three on Saturday in San Antonio.

Draft Lottery:

  1. Boston Celtics
  2. Los Angeles Lakers
  3. Philadelphia 76ers
  4. Phoenix Suns
  5. Sacramento Kings
  6. Orlando Magic
  7. Minnesota Timberwolves
  8. New York Knicks
  9. Dallas Mavericks
  10. Sacramento Kings
  11. Charlotte Hornets
  12. Detroit Pistons
  13. Denver Nuggets
  14. Miami Heat

Today in Sports: 5/16/17 Preview

NBA:

San Antonio Spurs at Golden State Warriors: The Warriors host the Spurs in game two of the Western Conference Finals. After a controversial game one, the Warriors look to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the series. The Spurs will be playing without superstar Kawhi Leonard because of an ankle injury that he re-aggravated in game one. Zaza Pachulia injured Leonard on a questionable play that many people (including myself) think was dirty and intentional. Given Pachulia’s history, he doesn’t deserve the benefit of the doubt. The Warriors were being dominated before Leonard’s injury. Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant were fantastic in game one, and will have a better chance of dominating again without Leonard’s presence on defense. This should be an easy win for the Warriors.

Draft Lottery: The NBA Draft Lottery will determine the draft order for the 2017 NBA Draft. The Miles Files will have all of your NBA Draft needs covered.

Today in Sports: 5/15/17 Review

NBA:

Boston Celtics defeat Washington Wizards 115-105: The Celtics eliminated the Wizards in game seven to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. John Wall had his worst game of the series when it mattered most, but the Wizards would’ve been swept without him. Bradley Beal put up 38 points on 12-22 shooting from the field. He had a great game, but wasn’t enough to overcome Isaiah Thomas and Kelly Olynyk. Thomas was his usual self, leading the Celtics with 29 points. Olynyk had the game of his life in the most important game of his life. He scored 26 points on 10-14 shooting. The Celtics’ bench combined for 48 points, which was the deciding factor in the game. The Wizards’ bench has been terrible all season. Their starters played more minutes than any starting unit during the regular season because of their horrible bench. Washington’s bench only scored five points in the most important game of their season. They’ll need to improve their bench next season. The Celtics will face the Cavaliers in game one of the Eastern Conference Finals on Wednesday in Cleveland.

Today in Sports: 5/15/17 Preview

NBA:

Washington Wizards at Boston Celtics: The Celtics host the Wizards in game seven of this second round series. The home team has won the first six games of this series. Although the Celtics are favored to win this game, anything can happen in game seven. The Wizards’ bench has struggled throughout the playoffs, especially in the three games in Boston. John Wall has been the best player in the series, but he cannot win this game by himself. The Wizards need to keep the game close when their second unit is on the floor. The Celtics’ backcourt of Isaiah Thomas and Avery Bradley has played at a high level in this series. If they are able to outplay the Wizards’ backcourt, they will win the series. The winner of this game will face the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday in Cleveland.

Today in Sports: 5/14/17 Review

NBA:

Golden State Warriors defeat San Antonio Spurs 113-111: The Warriors defeated the Spurs in game one of the Western Conference Finals. Down by more than twenty points, the Warriors outscored the Spurs by 22 points in the second half to steal the game from the San Antonio. Kawhi Leonard re-injured his ankle in the third quarter when Zaza Pachulia contested his jump shot. With the way that Leonard was dominating, it seems curious that Pachulia’s foot ended up under Leonard’s foot. Although Pachulia and Leonard both claim it was an accident, the move by Pachulia didn’t seem natural or accidental. The Warriors dominated the Spurs once Leonard was ruled out for the remainder of the game. Hopefully Leonard will be able to return for game two. Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant scored 40 points and 34 points, respectively. The Spurs will need to limit their impact in the series if they want to pull off the upset. These two teams will play game two on Tuesday in Oakland.

Today in Sports: 5/14/17 Preview

NBA:

San Antonio Spurs at Golden State Warriors: The Warriors host the Spurs in game one of the Western Conference Finals. After missing game six of their last series, Kawhi Leonard should be healthy enough to play in this game without any limitations. The Warriors swept their first two series, and are heavy favorites to advance to the NBA Finals. The Spurs have Gregg Popovich, arguably the best coach in NBA history. Although they have the coaching advantage, the Warriors have the personnel advantage. If the Spurs are going to win this series, they’ll need to steal a few games in Oakland. This isn’t a must-win game for either team, but this game can set the tone for the rest of the series.

Today in Sports: 5/13/17 Review

NHL:

Ottawa Senators defeat Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1 (OT): The Senators stole game one against the Penguins to take the lead in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Senators’ Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored late in the first period to take a 1-0 lead. Evgeni Malkin scored with a few minutes remaining in the third period to even the score. In overtime, Bobby Ryan sent Pittsburgh fans home with a bitter taste in their mouths by scoring the game winning goal. He was able to race down the ice after a steal and get the puck past Mar-Andre Fleury. The Senators and Penguins will play game two on Monday in Pittsburgh.

Today in Sports: 5/13/17 Preview

NHL:

Ottawa Senators at Pittsburgh Penguins: The Penguins will host the Senators in game one of the Eastern Conference Finals. The Penguins defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets in five games in the first round of the playoffs. In the second round, the Penguins defeated the Washington Capitals in seven games to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. The Senators defeated the Boston Bruins in six games in the first round of the playoffs. Ottawa needed six games in the second round to defeat the New York Rangers. This should be a competitive series between two championship contenders.

Today in Sports: 5/12/17 Review

NBA:

Washington Wizards defeat Boston Celtics 92-91: The Wizards won game six at home to force a game seven against the Celtics in Boston. John Wall hit a clutch three-point shot with three seconds remaining to win the game. Wall has never been a great jump shooter, but he confidently made the biggest shot of his life to keep Washington’s season alive. Wall struggled in the first quarter, but ended up with 26 points and 8 assists. Bradley Beal scored a game-high 33 points. Isaiah Thomas and Avery Bradley both scored 27 points. Bradley had a much more efficient night shooting the basketball, and played at a high level on the defensive end of the floor. He was the Celtics’ best player all game. The last minute of the game was back and forth with both teams hitting clutch shots. Most playoff games have been blowouts this postseason, so it was nice to see a competitive game come down to the last shot. Hopefully game seven is as exciting as game six was. These two teams will play game seven on Monday in Boston.

Today in Sports: 5/12/17 Preview

NBA:

Boston Celtics at Washington Wizards: The Wizards look to keep their season alive in this must-win home game. The home team has won the first five games of this series, which is a trend that the Wizards must continue if they want to avoid being eliminated from the playoffs. John Wall has been the best player in this series. He had his first poor playoff performance in game five, but has been dominant in every playoff home game. Wall will likely play at a high level in game six, but will need help from his teammates to force a game seven. Bradley Beal and Otto Porter are the second and third best players on the Wizards. They’ve been inconsistent throughout the playoffs. When they have a good game, the Wizards are hard to beat. With Washington’s terrible bench consistently struggling, the starters will need to play at a high level. Isaiah Thomas has been the star for the Celtics this postseason. Thomas doesn’t have a sidekick that he can consistently depend on, but he has multiple role players that have stepped up at key moments throughout the playoffs. Avery Bradley played like a superstar in game five. Al Horford and Jae Crowder have played like stars during key moments of games. Boston’s depth has been a major key to their success. Thomas is the engine that keeps them going, but he has a lot more help than John Wall does. Although Boston will be favorites in game seven if Washington wins this game, the Celtics cannot get complacent. Both teams will be fighting for their playoff lives in this pivotal game six.

Today in Sports: 5/11/17 Review

NBA:

San Antonio Spurs defeat Houston Rockets 114-75: What an embarrassing way to end your season! The Houston Rockets got humiliated at home by the Spurs. With Tony Parker out for the season and superstar Kawhi Leonard sidelined with an ankle injury, the Rockets should’ve won this game easily. LaMarcus Aldridge looked like the star that San Antonio thought he’d be when they signed him. He’s struggled with consistency since joining the Spurs, but he scored 34 points and had 12 rebounds in this blowout victory. Dejounte Murray was the best point guard in the game. His stat line of 11 points, 10 rebounds, 5assists, 2 steals, and 1 block in 24 minutes was more impressive than MVP candidate James Harden’s stat line. Harden was horrible all game. I can excuse his bad performance if he seemed like he was trying, but he looked defeated before the game started. He only shot the ball twice in the first half. You’re supposed to be a superstar. WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON! Harden finished with 10 points on 2-11 shooting and reverted back to playing pathetic defense. He should be embarrassed by this performance. This choke job was worse than his 2012 NBA Finals appearance. The Spurs will face the Golden State Warriors in game one of the Western Conference Finals on Sunday in Oakland.

Today in Sports: 5/11/17 Preview

NBA:

San Antonio Spurs at Houston Rockets: The Rockets look to keep their season alive at home in a must-win game against the Spurs. Facing a 3-2 series deficit, the Rockets need to win the last two games of the series to advance to the Western Conference Finals to face the Golden State Warriors. In overtime of game five, James Harden single-handedly cost the Rockets the game by forcing up terrible shots and having costly turnovers. Kawhi Leonard was too injured to play in overtime, and the Rockets still lost the game. Harden will have to play like an MVP candidate in the next two games. Kawhi Leonard is questionable for game six. He said that he would play after game five ended, but coach Popovich isn’t as sure. If Leonard isn’t able to play, the Rockets shouldn’t have any issues forcing a game seven.

Today in Sports: 5/10/17 Review

NBA:

Boston Celtics defeat Washington Wizards 123-101: The Celtics defeated the Wizards at home to take a commanding 3-2 series lead. Avery Bradley led the Celtics with 29 points on 12-19 shooting from the field. Al Horford scored 19 points and both Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder scored 18 points. The Celtics defeated the Wizards in the first two games in the series largely due to their bench, but this game was won by their starters. John Wall scored 21 points and only had 4 assists. This was by far his worst game of the series. Bradley Beal and Otto Porter had decent games, but they didn’t play well enough to help pull off the upset. The Wizards have struggled in Boston, but will now have to win game seven on the road if they want to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. But they’ll have to win game six at home to force a game seven. These two teams will play game six on Friday in Washington.

Today in Sports: 5/10/17 Preview

NBA:

Washington Wizards at Boston Celtics: The Celtics host the Wizards in a pivotal game five. With the home team winning the first four games, the Celtics are favorites to win game five in Boston. But John Wall has been the best player in this series. In the two games that Washington won in this series, the other starters have helped Wall lead the Wizards to victory. The key to this game will be the other four starters on the Wizards. The Celtics are one of the best defensive teams in the league. They don’t have an answer for John Wall, but they do have the talent to slow down Bradley Beal, Otto Porter, Markieff Morris, and Marcin Gortat. The Wizards’ bench has been terrible all season, so it’ll be up to the starters to win this game. Isaiah Thomas has been fantastic throughout the playoffs. The Celtics has one of the deepest benches in the league that should be able to feast on Washington’s putrid bench. Washington’s starters have outplayed Boston’s starters in this series, but they haven’t always been able to overcome the runs Boston goes on when both team’s second units are on the floor. With these contrasting styles of play, it’ll be interesting to see which team will step up and play at a higher level than usual. With the series tied at two games apiece, the winner of this game will be overwhelming favorites to head to the Eastern Conference Finals to face the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers.

Today in Sports: 5/9/17 Review

NBA:

San Antonio Spurs defeat Houston Rockets 110-107 (OT): In the best game of the series, the Spurs defeated the Rockets in overtime to take a commanding 3-2 series lead. With Tony Parker sidelined for the remainder of the postseason, Patty Mills stepped up and scored 20 points in 43 minutes in his absence. Danny Green and LaMarcus Aldridge both played their best games of the series. Kawhi Leonard scored 22 points, but was too injured to play in overtime. With Leonard sidelined in overtime, the Rockets had a phenomenal opportunity to steal the game and take a 3-2 series lead back home to Houston. Although James Harden scored 33 points, he choked in overtime. He had multiple costly turnovers and was bricking shots left and right. The Rockets play their best ball when they are pushing the pace. But for some reason, Harden dribbled the ball 30 feet away from the hoop until there were five seconds left in the shot clock on multiple overtime possessions. He’d then try and make a quick move before launching up a contested three point shot. The Rockets deserved to lose the game because of their pathetic overtime offense. They’ll have to regroup and win the next two games if they want to advance to the Western Conference Finals. These two teams will play game six on Thursday in Houston.

Today in Sports: 5/9/17 Preview

NBA:

Houston Rockets at San Antonio Spurs: The Rockets and Spurs will play a pivotal game five in San Antonio. With the series tied at two games apiece, the winner of this game will be overwhelming favorites to advance to the Western Conference Finals to face the Golden State Warriors. Although the Spurs are the home team, the Rockets proved in game one that they can win on the road. With Tony Parker out for the remainder of the postseason, the Rockets have a good chance of pulling off another road victory. James Harden hasn’t been shooting as consistently as he did during the regular season. Kawhi Leonard has done a fantastic job on the defensive end making Harden take difficult and contested shots. The Rockets typically win when they are making three pointers. The Spurs will need to limit the amount of uncontested three point shots Houston takes if they want to hold serve at home.

Today in Sports: 5/8/17 Review

NBA:

Golden State Warriors defeat Utah Jazz 121-95:  The Warriors completed a four game sweep of the Jazz to advance to the Western Conference Finals. The Jazz were playing without point guard George Hill for the third straight game. Shelvin Mack scored 18 points in his absence, but wasn’t able to provide the leadership that Hill does when he’s on the floor. Gordon Hayward scored 25 points in potentially his final game as a member of the Jazz. Although he had a decent game offensively, his team was outscored by 32 points with him on the floor. Hayward is set to become a free agent. Getting swept by the Warriors doesn’t help Utah’s chances of signing him to a long-term contract. Draymond Green had another fantastic game on both ends of the floor. He registered a triple-double and only had one turnover. The “splash bros” backcourt of Steph Curry and Klay Thompson scored 30 points and 21 points, respectively. If the Warriors’ starters continue playing at a high level, they’ll likely coast to the championship. The Warriors will face the San Antonio Spurs or Houston Rockets in the Western Conference Finals.

Today in Sports: 5/8/17 Preview

NBA:

Golden State Warriors at Utah Jazz: The Warriors look to sweep the Jazz in Utah. The Jazz have dealt with injuries all season, and have missed their point guard George Hill in the last two games. He may return for this game, but it’s too late to make much of a difference. No team has ever won a seven game series after losing the first three games. It’s hard to imagine that the Jazz will pull off this feat against the heavily favored Warriors. Gordon Hayward and Rudy Gobert have played at a high level during this series, but they haven’t gotten enough help from the Jazz’s role players to win any of the first three games. The Warriors haven’t been consistent in this series, but they have enough stars on their team to overcome these inconsistencies. This is a must-win game for the Jazz if they want to keep their season alive.

Today in Sports: 5/7/17 Review

NBA:

Cleveland Cavaliers defeat Toronto Raptors 109-102: The Cavaliers completed a four game sweep of the Raptors to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. Kyle Lowry missed the game due to an ankle sprain. His backcourt mate DeMar DeRozan was dominant in his absence. DeRozan, Serge Ibaka, and Corey Joseph all scored at least twenty points. P.J. Tucker scored 14 points and competed at a high level on the defensive end of the floor against LeBron James. The starters played well enough to win, but they didn’t get enough help from their bench. The Raptors’ bench scored a combined 15 points. LeBron James and Kyrie Irving scored 35 points and 27 points, respectively. Kevin Love only scored 5 points, but the Cavaliers didn’t need him to contribute in this game. They were the dominant team all series. Cleveland has won their first eight playoff games. They look poised to return to the NBA Finals, but have one more team standing in their way. The Cavaliers will either play the Boston Celtics or Washington Wizards in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Washington Wizards defeat Boston Celtics 121-102: The Wizards held serve at home against the Celtics to tie the series at two games apiece. John Wall, Bradley Beal, and Otto Porter led the way with 27 points, 29 points, and 18 points, respectively. If they all play well, the Wizards are nearly impossible to beat. John Wall has been fantastic all postseason. He’s been scoring at will and gets double-digit assists on a regular basis. Markieff Morris battled through an ankle sprain to score 16 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 steals. The Wizards’ bench struggled again, but their starters dominated the Celtics’ starters. Isaiah Thomas led the Celtics with 19 points. The rest of the starters scored eleven points or fewer. Boston’s bench played well, but not well enough to overcome the starters’ lackluster performance. These two teams will play game five on Wednesday in Boston.

Houston Rockets defeat San Antonio Spurs 125-104: The Rockets dominated the Spurs to even the series at two games apiece. After a poor performance in game three, the Rockets rebounded by shooting 44.2 percent from three point range. Since they shoot so many three point shots, the outcome of their games usually depends on how well they shoot. The Rockets did a great job of penetrating the Spurs’ defense and kicking the ball out to open shooters. This was their recipe for success in game one, but they got away from this strategy in games two and three. James Harden led the Rockets with 28 points and did a fantastic job of getting his teammates involved.  The Spurs struggled without Tony Parker, even though his backups did a solid job replacing him in this game. They could’ve used his veteran leadership in the second half when they were struggling. Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge each scored 16 points. The Spurs needed a greater contribution from their two best players. These two teams will play game five on Tuesday in San Antonio.

Today in Sports: 5/7/17 Preview

NBA:

Cleveland Cavaliers at Toronto Raptors: The Cavaliers look to sweep the Raptors in Toronto. Raptors’ All-Star Kyle Lowry will miss this game with a left ankle sprain. Without Lowry, DeMar DeRozan will have to pick up the slack. He’s been inconsistent throughout these playoffs. The Raptors traded for Serge Ibaka and P.J. Tucker at the trade deadline to try and knock off Cleveland in the playoffs. So far this plan has backfired. Ibaka and Tucker are both free agents after the season, so they may have wasted their one opportunity. LeBron James has played at an extremely high level in all seven postseason games. Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love have been inconsistent, but have shown flashes of brilliance. They’ll need to be more consistent if they want to repeat as NBA champions. This is a must-win game for Toronto, but even they know the series is over.

Boston Celtics at Washington Wizards: The Wizards will attempt to hold serve at home and even the series at two games apiece. After losing the first two games in Boston, the Wizards dominated the Celtics in game three to keep their chances of advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals alive. They cannot afford to lose game four at home. Although it’s possible to win a series after falling behind 3-1 (Warriors blew a 3-1 lead!), the Wizards are not talented enough to pull off that feat. John Wall has been fantastic throughout the playoffs, and will need another fantastic performance to help even the series. Wall’s teammates have been inconsistent during the playoffs. They cannot afford another poor performance. Isaiah Thomas has elevated his game in these playoffs, which has been an amazing feat because of the tragic loss of his sister before game one of their first round series. Thomas and the Celtics have an opportunity to take a commanding 3-1 series lead. This is the most important game for the Wizards this season.

San Antonio Spurs at Houston Rockets: The Rockets look to rebound after a game three loss at home to even the series at two games apiece. After losing Tony Parker in game two, the Spurs pulled off a shocking upset in game three on the road. The Rockets have struggled from behind the three point line in the last two games. They’ll have to make these open shots if they want to advance to the Western Conference Finals. After game one, coach Gregg Popovich decided to put Kawhi Leonard on James Harden. Leonard has done a fantastic job of limiting Harden’s impact. Harden has struggled with his shot in the last two games, but he’s had a tough time finding open looks. He’s getting to the hoop but is having trouble finishing over the Spurs’ bigs. Harden will need to do a better job of putting the ball in the hoop when he gets near the basket. His teammates will have to help him by knocking down open threes. The winner of this game will be favorites to advance to the Western Conference Finals.

Today in Sports: 5/6/17 Review

Horse Racing – The Kentucky Derby:

Always Dreaming was the winner of the 143rd Kentucky Derby. This is the fifth straight year that the favorite has won the Kentucky Derby. The results from the Derby are as follows:

  1. Always Dreaming
  2. Lookin At Lee
  3. Battle of Midway
  4. Classic Empire
  5. Practical Joke
  6. Tapwrit
  7. Gunnevera
  8. McCracken
  9. Gormley
  10. Irish War Cry
  11. Hence
  12. Untrapped
  13. Girvin
  14. Patch
  15. J Boys Echo
  16. Sonneteer
  17. Fast and Accurate
  18. Irap
  19. State of Honor
  20. Thunder Snow

 

NBA:

Golden State Warriors defeat Utah Jazz 102-91: The Warriors took a commanding 3-0 series lead against the Jazz in Utah. Kevin Durant was the most dominant player on the floor. Draymond Green and Klay Thompson struggled all game, so Durant picked up the slack and led the Warriors to victory. Steph Curry scored 23 points, but he had an off-night shooting the ball. He shot 6-20 from the field and 3-11 from behind the three point line. The Jazz really missed George Hill in this game. They kept the game close until the fourth quarter, but Durant and Curry were too much to overcome. Gordon Hayward and Rudy Gobert scored 29 points and 21 points, respectively, but that wasn’t enough to overcome Durant’s performance. The Jazz’s bench only scored 10 points in this game. Utah will try to become the first team in NBA history to overcome a 3-0 series deficit. These two teams will play game four on Monday in Utah.

Today in Sports: 5/6/17 Preview

Horse Racing – The Kentucky Derby:

The most exciting two minutes in sports will be held at Churchill Downs. The Kentucky Derby has been run every year since 1875. It’s the first leg of the American Triple Crown. The Miles Files will have all of the Kentucky Derby analysis that you’ll ever want!

 

NBA:

Golden State Warriors at Utah Jazz: The Jazz host the Warriors in a must-win game for Utah. Although they are at home, they’ll be underdogs against the NBA’s best team. The Jazz had flashes of brilliance in the first two games of the series, but they weren’t able to limit Golden State’s runs. There are multiple times in every game that the Warriors go on crazy runs full of three pointers and fast break dunks. Their high-octane offense is hard to stop, so it’ll be a challenge for Utah to slow them down. George Hill missed game two and should be returning for game three. They don’t have any chance of winning this game without him. The Warriors haven’t lost a game this postseason, so Utah will need multiple players to step up. Gordon Hayward is extremely talented, but he cannot win this game by himself. If the Warriors win this game, they’ll have a commanding 3-0 series lead. The Jazz need to play their best game of the season if they want to keep their championship aspirations alive.

Today in Sports: 5/5/17 Review

NBA:

Cleveland Cavaliers defeat Toronto Raptors 115-94: The Cavaliers took a commanding 3-0 series lead over the Raptors. Heading into the fourth quarter, the Cavaliers had a two point lead. Cleveland outscored Toronto 36-17 in the fourth quarter to essentially end the series. Although Toronto isn’t eliminated yet, they would have to become the first team in NBA history to win a playoff series after losing the first three games if they want to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. Toronto added P.J. Tucker and Serge Ibaka at the trade deadline in an attempt to knock off Cleveland. With both players becoming free agents after the season, it seems like these trades will end up being a waste. Kyle Lowry didn’t play due to an injury, but his “trash bro” backcourt mate DeMar DeRozan picked up the slack by scoring 37 points. But he didn’t get enough help from his teammates to overcome LeBron James’ fantastic performance. LeBron has increased his level of play in the playoffs on both ends of the floor. He scored 35 points on 16 shots and played fantastic defense throughout the game. These two teams will play game four on Sunday in Toronto.

San Antonio Spurs defeat Houston Rockets 103-92: Without the services of Tony Parker, the Spurs were able to pull off the road upset of the Rockets in Houston. Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge both scored 26 points. Rookie point guard Dejounte Murray started in Parker’s place, scoring only two points and looking lost at times. Although he didn’t always seem to know what he was doing, his team outscored Houston by 11 points when he was on the floor. He gained valuable experience and played at a high enough level to help his team win. James Harden struggled in the first half, but was able to rebound in the second half and help keep the game close. He finished with 43 points but his team was outscored by 14 points when he was on the floor. Harden didn’t get a lot of help from his teammates. Houston’s bench scored 10 points, which isn’t nearly enough to help win the game. They’ll have to play better in game four if they want to even the series at two games apiece. These two teams will play game four on Sunday in Houston.

Today in Sports: 5/5/17 Preview

NBA:

Cleveland Cavaliers at Toronto Raptors: The Cavaliers look to take a commanding 3-0 series lead in Toronto against the Raptors. This is a must-win game for the Raptors, not only to keep their season alive but to validate the moves they made at the trade deadline. They traded for Serge Ibaka and P.J. Tucker to help them defeat the Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Both of these players are free agents after the season, so it’ll seem like a waste if they don’t give the Cavaliers a challenge. The “trash bros” backcourt of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan need to play at a high level. They’ve been inconsistent throughout the playoffs, which has been their Achilles heel. LeBron James has been fantastic all postseason on both ends of the floor. The Raptors will need to find a way to limit his impact if they want to win their first game in this series.

San Antonio Spurs at Houston Rockets: Both the Rockets and Spurs are trying to take a 2-1 series lead in Houston. After losing the home-court advantage and point guard Tony Parker to a season-ending injury, the Spurs are facing adversity that they haven’t faced all season. They have veterans on their roster with championship experience, but that may not be enough to beat the Rockets. After dominating the Spurs from the three point line in game one, the Rockets were missing three point shots at a high rate in game two. The outcome of this game will depend on Houston’s ability to make three point shots. James Harden was fantastic in game one but struggled in game two. Kawhi Leonard struggled in game one but was fantastic in game two. The superstar that plays at a higher level in game three will likely lead his team to victory. This is a pivotal game for both teams.

Today in Sports: 5/4/17 Review

NBA:

Washington Wizards defeat Boston Celtics 116-89: The Wizards defeated the Celtics in a must-win home game to win their first game of this series. After losing the first two games in Boston, the Wizards needed to fight back (I see you Kelly Oubre) against the heavily favored Celtics. All five Wizards starters scored in double figures, led by John Wall’s 24 points. The Wizards’ starters needed some help from their bench, and Bojan Bogdanovic stepped up to the challenge. He scored 19 points on 4-7 shooting from behind the three point line. Isaiah Thomas struggled all game after scoring 53 points in game two. Thomas scored just 13 points on 8 shots. He’ll have to put up more shots in game four if they want to take a commanding 3-1 series lead. Washington will need another strong performance to even the series at two games apiece. These two teams will play game four on Sunday in Washington.

Golden State Warriors defeat Utah Jazz 115-104: The Warriors defeated the George Hill-less Jazz to take a 2-0 series lead. Draymond Green played another fantastic game, scoring 21 points to go along with his 7 rebounds, six assists, four steals, and stellar defensive effort. Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, and Klay Thompson all played at a high level, but none of them dominated on both ends of the floor like Green. Gordon Hayward bounced back from a disappointing game one to score 33 points on 11-21 shooting from the field. Rudy Gobert had 16 points and 16 rebounds to go along with his stellar defensive play. Utah missed their floor general George Hill in this game, and will need him going forward if they are going to pull off this monumental upset. After a terrible first quarter, the Jazz outscored the Warriors by seven points in the final three quarters. They showed that they can play with the Warriors if they limit their fast break offense. But that’s much easier said than done. These two teams will play game three on Saturday in Utah.

Today in Sports: 5/4/17 Preview

NBA:

Boston Celtics at Washington Wizards: The Celtics look to take a commanding 3-0 series lead against the Wizards. Since no NBA team has ever won a seven game series after losing the first three games, this is a must-win game for the Wizards. John Wall has been fantastic in the first two games, but he hasn’t gotten much help. He’ll need his backcourt mate Bradley Beal to be more consistent for the rest of this series if they want to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. The Wizards have one of the worst benches in the NBA, so they’ll have to play above their talent level to defeat the Celtics. Isaiah Thomas has been fantastic all postseason, which has been extremely impressive to watch due to the difficult circumstances affecting his personal life. Thomas has gotten help from him teammates in ways that John Wall hasn’t, which is why the Celtics have a 2-0 series lead. The Wizards need to defend their home court to keep their chances alive of advancing the Eastern Conference Finals.

Utah Jazz at Golden State Warriors: The Warriors look to take a 2-0 series lead against the Jazz. Both teams had poor performances in game one, but the Warriors still won the game comfortably. The only chance that the Jazz have of winning against this stacked Warriors team is by playing at a high level during an off night for Golden State. If both teams play at a high level, the Warriors will win convincingly. If both teams struggle, the Warriors will win convincingly. The Jazz have the personnel to give the Warriors fits, but cannot win if Gordon Hayward has another poor performance. George Hill is arguably their most underrated player, and he won’t play because of a toe injury. This is a huge blow to the Jazz. They have enough problems trying to beat Golden State when healthy, so losing a key starter will make this a nearly impossible task. If they are able to even the series without Hill, they should be confident going into game three. If Utah struggles again, Golden State might put the game away in the first half.

Today in Sports: 5/3/17 Review

NBA:

Cleveland Cavaliers defeat Toronto Raptors 125-103: The Cavaliers held serve at home to take a 2-0 series lead over the Raptors. Toronto’s “trash bros” backcourt of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan haven’t played up to their potential so far this postseason. They’ve made a habit of underachieving in the playoffs, which happened again in this game. Although Lowry scored 20 points on 7-12 shooting from the field, his Raptors were outscored by 22 points when he was on the floor. DeRozan had a horrible performance all game. He scored five points on 2-11 shooting and was a major defensive liability. If the Raptors are going to win the series, they’ll need dominating performances in every game from their backcourt. LeBron James was the best player on the floor in this game (and every game), scoring 39 points on 14 shots. He’s increased his defensive effort in the postseason, which has helped the Cavaliers win all six of their postseason games. He’ll have to continue this dominating level of play if they are going to repeat as NBA champions. These two teams will play game three on Friday in Toronto.

San Antonio Spurs defeat Houston Rockets 121-96:   The Spurs bounced back from a humiliating defeat in game one to dominate the Rockets in the second game of this series. This game proves that the NBA is a make or miss league. In game one, Houston was knocking down threes at an extremely high rate. In game two, Houston was missing the same three point shots that they were making in the first game. James Harden dominated in game one, but struggled in this game by scoring 13 points on 3-17 shooting from the field. Kawhi Leonard struggled in game one, but was dominant in game two on both ends of the floor. He scored a game-high 34 points and was a big reason for James Harden’s offensive woes. The Spurs lost point guard Tony Parker to a devastating quadriceps injury. He’ll need surgery and will miss the remainder of the postseason. Although the Rockets lost this game, they own the home-court advantage in this series after winning game one in San Antonio. These two teams will play game three on Friday in Houston.

Today in Sports: 5/3/17 Preview

NBA:

Toronto Raptors at Cleveland Cavaliers: The Cavaliers look to take a 2-0 series lead against the Raptors. Toronto’s trade deadline additions of Serge Ibaka and P.J. Tucker were a direct response to the Cavaliers’ dominance in the Eastern Conference. To defeat the best, you need the personnel to defeat the best. Toronto was missing a rim protector and wing defender, and was able to add both in lopsided trades at the trade deadline. These two additions will not win the series for Toronto, but they can help them get over the hump if Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan play up to their potential. The “trash bros” backcourt often struggle in the playoffs, but cannot afford to take a single game off in this series if they are going to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. LeBron James has been dominant in all five games this postseason, but needs his teammates to pick up the intensity on defense. The Cavaliers have enough offensive firepower to run through the Eastern Conference, but they’ve struggled to defend all season. Toronto will need to exploit their defensive lapses if they want to even the series at one game apiece. This isn’t a must-win game for either team, but the winner will have the home-court advantage in this series.

Houston Rockets at San Antonio Spurs:  The Spurs look to rebound against the Rockets after an embarrassing defeat in the first game of this series. The Spurs were punched in the mouth early, and didn’t have the heart to respond. Their defensive effort was poor, and they seemed to give up in the second quarter. Gregg Popovich is one of the best coaches in NBA history, and he won’t let his team get away with another lethargic performance. The Rockets were moving the ball and finding open shooters all game, which is the way they need to play to defeat the Spurs. If their shots are falling, they’re nearly impossible to beat. San Antonio has the experience advantage, but they don’t have the personnel to matchup with the Rockets’ pick-and-roll action. Popovich will need to make adjustments including benching Pau Gasol and David Lee when they’re getting exposed defensively. The Spurs cannot afford to lose the first two games of this series in front of their home crowd.

Today in Sports: 5/2/17 Review

NBA:

Boston Celtics defeat Washington Wizards 129-119 (OT): The Celtics defeated the Wizards in one of the most exciting playoff games in recent memory to take a 2-0 series lead. This was the battle of the point guards, in which Isaiah Thomas and John Wall combined for 93 points. All five Wizards starters scored in double figures, which was impressive because Markieff Morris was playing with a bad ankle sprain. The Wizards were worried that he wouldn’t be able to play. Otto Porter and Bradley Beal scored 13 points and 14 points, respectively. But Wall needed more help from Porter and Bradley. John Wall scored 40 points and had 13 assists, but seemed to tire towards the end of the fourth quarter and overtime. Isaiah Thomas single-handedly led his team to victory by scoring a game-high 53 points. He played his best basketball when his team needed him most – in the fourth quarter and overtime. Thomas didn’t get a lot of help from his teammates, but they did just enough to win the game. These two teams will play game three on Thursday in Washington.

Golden State Warriors defeat Utah Jazz 106-94:  The Warriors won the first game of this series at home against the Jazz in a game that wasn’t as close as the score suggests. Neither team played a great game, but the Warriors did enough to maintain a double-digit lead throughout most of the second half. George Hill and Gordon Hayward both struggled with their jump shot. They combined to score 19 points on 7-24 shooting from the field. Rudy Gobert scored a team-high 13 points, which isn’t nearly enough to challenge the heavily favored Warriors. Steph Curry scored a game-high 22 points, but could’ve scored a lot more if the game was close. The Warriors spread out their minutes and points because they had a comfortable lead for the majority of the game. Draymond Green was the best player in the game, dominating on both ends of the floor. These two teams will play game two on Thursday in Oakland.

Today in Sports: 5/2/17 Preview

NBA:

Washington Wizards at Boston Celtics: The Wizards will look to rebound after losing game one of this series in Boston. After falling behind 16-0, the Celtics were unstoppable offensively in the final three quarters. Both teams have defensive stoppers on their roster, but nobody decided to play defense in the first game. Both teams will try to make adjustments to their defensive strategies, and the team that makes the better adjustments should win game two. Isaiah Thomas was unstoppable for the Celtics, so the Wizards will need to come up with a game plan to limit his impact. Thomas is undersized, so their plan should include being physical with him. The Wizards have one of the best starting units in the NBA, but they’re a very top-heavy team. They’ll need to get more contributions from their bench if they want to pull off this upset. Markieff Morris sprained his ankle in the first game, and may not be able to play in game two. If he does play, it’s safe to assume that his mobility will be limited. This isn’t a must-win game for either team, but this game will determine which team has the home-court advantage in this series.

Utah Jazz at Golden State Warriors: The Jazz and Warriors begin their second round playoff series in Oakland. After sweeping the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round, the Warriors had time to rest heading into this series. Coach Steve Kerr is still sidelined indefinitely because of complications from his back surgery, but Mike Brown has done a stellar job in his absence. Superstar Kevin Durant was injured in their first round series, but he should be fully recovered by now. The Jazz needed seven games to eliminate the Clippers in their first round series. They have dealt with injuries all season, and unfortunately those injury problems have continued in the playoffs. Rudy Gobert missed multiple games with a knee injury, and still seems a bit limited in his movements. Derrick Favors stepped up admirably in his absence, but he’s dealing with nagging injuries too. Even if the Jazz are at full strength, they’ll be heavy underdogs in this series.

Today in Sports: 5/1/17 Review

NBA:

Cleveland Cavaliers defeat Toronto Raptors 116-105:  In a game that wasn’t as close as the score suggests, the Cavaliers defeated the Raptors at home to take a 1-0 series lead. LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love combined to score 77 of Cleveland’s 116 points. Their starters dominated the Raptors’ starters, and the game wouldn’t have been this close if it wasn’t for the Raptors’ bench flourishing in garbage time. The “trash bros” backcourt of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan combined to score 49 points, but were dominated on the defensive end of the floor. Jonas Valanciunas continues to struggle in the playoffs. He’s had a size advantage in every playoff game (including their first round series with the Milwaukee Bucks), but hasn’t been able to dominate like a player of his size and caliber should. These two teams will play game two on Wednesday in Cleveland.

Houston Rockets defeat San Antonio Spurs 126-99: Wow! The Rockets dominated the Spurs to take a 1-0 series lead. Although the Spurs are the higher seeded team, many experts picked the Rockets to win this series. But nobody saw this beatdown coming. The Spurs were punched in the mouth early, and looked completely lethargic on the defensive end of the floor. They were shell-shocked, but that is no excuse for their putrid performance. The Rockets were 22-50 from three (44%), which wasn’t too surprising because of the open looks they were getting. James Harden is their superstar, but Trevor Ariza, Clint Capela, Ryan Anderson, Eric Gordon, and Lou Williams all had stellar performances. The Spurs didn’t have an answer for the Rockets’ offense. David Lee and Pau Gasol were getting eaten alive in the pick-and-roll, which may force coach Gregg Popovich to play them sparingly for the remainder of the series. LaMarcus Aldridge was brought to San Antonio to be Robin to Kawhi Leonard’s Batman. Aldridge hasn’t fit in with the Spurs as well as they hoped, but there’s no excuse for him being the worst player on the floor. His game worst plus-minus of minus 36 points showed how much of a liability he can be against this Rockets team if he isn’t making shots. He was defended by smaller players all game, but was hesitant to back them down and instead settled for fadeaway jump shots far too often. The Spurs will need to make some serious adjustments heading into game two. I expect Popovich to play Leonard at power forward and Aldridge at center in the next game. This would be a logical change, but it won’t be enough if they can’t stop Houston from constantly getting uncontested threes. These two teams will play game two on Wednesday in San Antonio.

Today in Sports: 5/1/17 Preview

NBA:

Toronto Raptors at Cleveland Cavaliers: The Raptors and Cavaliers begin their second round series in Cleveland. After defeating the Bucks in six hard-fought games, the Raptors need to step up their game if they want to knock the king off his throne. LeBron James has been to the NBA Finals in each of the last six seasons. The Cavaliers had time to rest because of their short four game sweep of the Indiana Pacers in the first round. Although they will be the favorites in this series, they have shown a propensity for underachieving all season. The Raptors added Serge Ibaka and P.J. Tucker at the trade deadline in an attempt to get over their playoff woes and defeat the defending NBA champions. Tucker will be tasked with guarding LeBron James, which is something that he’s capable of doing at a higher level than most wing defenders. There isn’t a player in the NBA that can stop LeBron James, but Tucker has the ability to limit his impact. Since both teams have had highs and lows throughout the season, anything can happen in this series.

Houston Rockets at San Antonio Spurs: The Rockets and Spurs begin their second round series in San Antonio. The Rockets defeat Russell Westbrook (not the Oklahoma City Thunder) in five games in their first round playoff series. The Spurs needed six tough games to defeat the “Grit and Grind” Memphis Grizzlies in their first round playoff series. Although the Spurs are the higher seeded team, many experts are picking the Rockets to advance to the conference finals. These teams are evenly matched, so it should be an extremely competitive series. The Spurs have the advantage of having Gregg Popovich and a championship pedigree, whereas the Rockets have MVP candidate James Harden and the most electric offense in the NBA other than the Golden State Warriors. The Spurs have the best defensive player in the NBA in Kawhi Leonard, and it will be interesting to see if coach Popovich matches him up against James Harden. As an NBA fan, I’m hoping that we get to see these teams compete for seven games.

Today in Sports: 4/30/17 Review

NBA:

Boston Celtics defeat Washington Wizards 123-111: After starting the game down 16-0, the Celtics stormed back to defeat the Wizards in game one of this second round playoff matchup. The Wizards’ backcourt of John Wall and Bradley Beal scored a combined 47 points, but didn’t get enough help from their bench to pull off the upset. The Wizards had a tough time on the defensive end of the floor in the last three quarters of the game. Markieff Morris rolled his ankle and missed the rest of the game. The injury looked painful, which may be a major issue going forward. Isaiah Thomas had an eventful game with 33 points and one missing tooth. He didn’t allow the missing tooth to slow him down one bit. After losing the first two games of their first round playoff series, the Celtics look like a completely different team. They’re playing like the team that finished with the best record in the Eastern Conference. These two teams will play game two on Tuesday in Boston.

Utah Jazz defeat Los Angeles Clippers 104-91: The Jazz eliminated the Clippers by winning game seven of this first round playoff series in Los Angeles. After losing game six at home, the Jazz were the underdogs heading into the series’ decisive game. A lot of teams would have folded after losing an opportunity to win the series at home, but the Jazz rebounded by winning this road game in convincing fashion. Chris Paul picked a terrible time to have his worst game of the series, scoring just 13 points on 6-19 shooting from the field. DeAndre Jordan and Jamal Crawford were the only two Clippers that played well, but they weren’t enough to make up for their teammates’ poor performances. Paul Pierce’s career came to an ending with this defeat. I speak for everyone when I say that he was ‘The Truth’. Rudy Gobert only scored one point in 13 minutes due to foul trouble, but the Jazz were able to overcome his poor performance because of Derrick Favors stepping up in his absence. Favors isn’t a defensive presence of Gobert’s caliber, but he made up for his lack of length and agility with supreme effort on that end of the floor. He was an offensive monster too by scoring 17 points on 8-11 shooting from the field. Gordon Hayward and George Hill both had clutch performances when their team needed it most. The Jazz begin their second round series against the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday in Oakland.

Today in Sports: 4/30/17 Preview

NBA:

Washington Wizards at Boston Celtics: The Celtics host the Wizards for game one of this second round playoff series. These two teams do not like each other, so it should be a physical series. After losing the first two games to the Chicago Bulls in the first round of the playoffs, the Celtics found their stride and won the last four games of the series. The Wizards defeated the Atlanta Hawks in the first round of the playoffs in six physical games. The Celtics are the favorites to win the series, but the Wizards aren’t afraid of playing the role of the underdog. They know they have enough talent to defeat the Celtics if they play up to their potential. This series should be fun and extremely competitive.

Utah Jazz at Los Angeles Clippers: The Jazz and Clippers will meet in Los Angeles for the right to face the Golden State Warriors in the second round of the playoffs. This game epitomizes the best two words in sports: game seven. After losing game six at home, the Jazz are now the underdogs heading into this matchup. The Clippers are without Blake Griffin for the rest of the playoffs, but have relied on superstar Chris Paul in his absence. The winner of this game will face the Warriors on Tuesday in Golden State.

Today in Sports: 4/28/17 Review

NFL:

Check out The Miles Files for my NFL Draft analysis.

 

NBA:

Washington Wizards defeat Atlanta Hawks 115-99: The Wizards eliminated the Hawks to advance to the second round of the playoffs. The Wizards’ backcourt of John Wall and Bradley Beal scored 73 of Washington’s 115 points. Wall scored a series-high 42 points on 25 shots. Although they struggled during the first two games in Atlanta, the Wizards rebounded and ended the Hawks’ season. The Wizards’ bench struggled again, which is more proof that they are one of the most top-heavy teams in the league. Paul Millsap and Dennis Schroder were both dominant throughout this series, but they didn’t get enough help from their teammates. The Wizards will face the Boston Celtics in the second round of the playoffs.

Boston Celtics defeat Chicago Bulls 105-83:  The Celtics eliminated the Bulls to advance to the second round of the playoffs. All five Celtics starters scored in double figures. Avery Bradley scored a game-high 23 points and played fantastic defense. After winning the first two games, the Bulls lost point guard Rajon Rondo and didn’t win another game all series. Rondo’s backups struggled all series. Jimmy Butler was the best player on either team, but couldn’t singlehandedly win the series for Chicago. The Celtics will face the Washington Wizards in the second round of the playoffs.

Los Angeles Clippers defeat Utah Jazz 98-93:  The Clippers pulled off a shocking road win to even the series at three games apiece. With their backs against the wall and season on the line, the Clippers played one of their best games of the season. Chris Paul proved again that he’s still one of the best players in the NBA. He scored 29 points and did a stellar job of getting his teammates involved offensively. If the Clippers lost this game, there was a good chance that Chris Paul and Blake Griffin would leave in free agency. This was possibly the most important game in the history of their franchise. The Jazz had an opportunity to finish the series at home, but didn’t get any help from their bench. Gordon Hayward and George Hill scored 31 points and 22 points, respectively. These two teams will play game seven on Sunday in Los Angeles.

Today in Sports: 4/28/17 Preview

NFL:

The second and third rounds of the NFL Draft will be held in Philadelphia. The Miles Files will have all your draft needs covered.

 

NBA:

Washington Wizards at Atlanta Hawks: The Hawks face the Wizards at home in a must-win game. With the Wizards up 3-2 in this series, the Hawks need to win to keep their season alive. The home team has won the first five games of the series, so the Hawks will be favorites in this game. John Wall has been the best player in the series, but hasn’t gotten much help from his teammates in the two road games in Atlanta. Neither bench has been consistent during this series, so I expect the team with the better bench contribution to win. If the Hawks win this game, these two teams will play game seven on Sunday in Washington.

Boston Celtics at Chicago Bulls: The Boston Celtics look to close out this series against the Bulls in Chicago. After losing the first two games of the series, the Celtics have won three straight games and look poised to advance to the second round of the playoffs. The Bulls haven’t been the same team since Rajon Rondo got injured. The Bulls’ backup point guards have struggled in the last three games, which has put a lot of pressure on Jimmy Butler. Although Butler is the best player in the series, he hasn’t been able to will his team to victory singlehandedly. He’ll need help from Dwyane Wade and his teammates if they want to force a game seven. If the Bulls win this game, these two teams will play game seven on Sunday in Boston.

Los Angeles Clippers at Utah Jazz: The Clippers look to keep their season alive in this must-win game against the Jazz. Not only is this game crucial for their season, but this could be the end of an era for this Clippers team if they lose this series. Both Blake Griffin and Chris Paul could leave in free agency after the season, which would end this Clippers team’s championship window. The Clippers haven’t been the same team since oft-injured Griffin was lost for the season, so they’ll have to rely on Chris Paul more than ever. The Jazz are the healthiest that they’ve been all season, so pulling off the upset will be a daunting task for the Clippers. If the Clippers win this game, these two teams will play game seven on Sunday in Los Angeles.

Today in Sports: 4/27/17 Review

NFL:

NFL Draft: The Miles Files has all your draft needs covered

  1. Cleveland Browns select Myles Garrett: DE – Texas A&M
  2. Chicago Bears (from San Francisco 49ers) select Mitchell Trubisky: QB – North Carolina
  3. San Francisco 49ers (from Chicago Bears) select Solomon Thomas: DE – Stanford
  4. Jacksonville Jaguars select Leonard Fournette: RB – LSU
  5. Tennessee Titans select Corey Davis: WR – Western Michigan
  6. New York Jets select Jamal Adams: SS – LSU
  7. Los Angeles Chargers select Mike Williams: WR – Clemson
  8. Carolina Panthers select Christian McCaffrey: RB/WR – Stanford
  9. Cincinnati Bengals select John Ross: WR – Washington
  10. Kansas City Chiefs (from Buffalo Bills) select Patrick Mahomes: QB – Texas Tech
  11. New Orleans Saints select Marshon Lattimore: CB – Ohio State
  12. Houston Texans (from Cleveland Browns) select Deshaun Watson: QB – Clemson
  13. Arizona Cardinals select Haason Reddick: LB – Temple
  14. Philadelphia Eagles select Derek Barnett: DE – Tennessee
  15. Indianapolis Colts select Malik Hooker: FS – Ohio State
  16. Baltimore Ravens select Marlon Humphrey: CB – Alabama
  17. Washington Redskins select Jonathan Allen: DE/DT – Alabama
  18. Tennessee Titans select Adoree’ Jackson: CB – USC
  19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers select O.J. Howard: TE – Alabama
  20. Denver Broncos select Garett Bolles: OT – Utah
  21. Detroit Lions select Jarrad Davis: LB – Florida
  22. Miami Dolphin select Charles Harris: DE – Missouri
  23. New York Giants select Evan Engram: TE – Mississippi
  24. Oakland Raiders select Gareon Conley: CB – Ohio State
  25. Cleveland Browns select Jabrill Peppers: ATH – Michigan
  26. Atlanta Falcons (from Seattle Seahawks) select Takkarist McKinley: DE/OLB – UCLA
  27. Buffalo Bills select Tre’Davious White: CB – LSU
  28. Dallas Cowboys select Taco Charlton: DE – Michigan
  29. Cleveland Brown (from Green Bay Packers) select David Njoku: TE – Miami
  30. Pittsburgh Steelers select T.J. Watt: OLB – Wisconsin
  31. San Francisco 49ers (from Seattle Seahawks from Atlanta Falcons) select Reuben Foster: LB – Alabama
  32. New Orleans Saints select Ryan Ramczyk: OT – Wisonsin

 

NBA:

Toronto Raptors defeat Milwaukee Bucks 92-89: The Raptors eliminated the Bucks in one of the craziest playoff games this season. After falling behind by 25 points, the Bucks went on a furious rally to take the lead with a few minutes remaining. The crowd was electric, and the Raptors looked like they were having another postseason collapse. Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo scored a game-high 34 points in 47 minutes. Both he and Khris Middleton (who was battling the flu) looked exhausted by the end of the game. The Bucks missed nine free throws in the fourth quarter, which was detrimental to their comeback attempt. Antetokounmpo had the ball with less than ten seconds left and down three points, but decided to make a dunk instead of attempting a potential game-tying three. That ended up being costly because the Bucks didn’t get another chance to tie the game. It’s hard to blame Antetokounmpo because he was the main reason that they made the comeback in the first place. With a healthy Jabari Parker next season (fingers crossed), the Bucks will be a championship contender. The Raptors will need to make drastic improvements in the second round if they want to defeat the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers.

San Antonio Spurs defeat Memphis Grizzlies 103-96: The Spurs eliminated the Grizzlies to advance to the second round of the playoffs. After the first five games of the series were won by the home team, the road team finally won a game in this series. Kawhi Leonard was the best player in all six games of this series. Although he won’t be the league’s MVP, he has been the most dominant player in the playoffs. With his clutch shooting and unparalleled defense, he has an argument for being the best player in the NBA. Leonard scored a game-high 29 points, and it was possibly his worst game of the series. The Grizzlies put forth a phenomenal effort, but came up just short of pushing the series to a seventh game. This may have been a different series with a healthy Tony Allen, but the Grizzlies didn’t let that become an excuse. Mike Conley finally got some notoriety, which is long overdue. The Spurs will face the Houston Rockets in the second round of the playoffs.

Today in Sports: 4/27/17 Preview

NFL:

The first round of the NFL Draft will be held in Philadelphia. The Miles Files will have all your draft needs covered.

 

NBA:

Toronto Raptors at Milwaukee Bucks: The Bucks need to win at home against the Raptors to keep their season alive. The Bucks have shown the ability to win in Milwaukee and Toronto against this Raptors team, and they’ll have to do both again if they want to win the series. The Bucks cannot afford to look ahead to game seven before winning game six. Khris Middleton has struggled in the last few games, and he cannot afford to struggle anymore. Giannis Antetokounmpo is the best player in the series, but he cannot defeat the Raptors by himself. Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan have played up to their potential in the last two games. If they can continue this hot streak, they’ll likely end the Bucks’ season in Milwaukee. This isn’t a must-win game for the Raptors, but they’d like to end the series and shift their focus to the defending champion Cavaliers. The Bucks will need a freakish performance from the Greek Freak to help keep their season alive.

San Antonio Spurs at Memphis Grizzlies: The Grizzlies need to win at home against the Spurs to keep their season alive. With the first five games in the series going to the home team, the Grizzlies will be favorites to win this game. They need to win the next two games to win the series, but they cannot look ahead to game seven before winning game six. The Grizzlies need to get major contributions from stars Mike Conley and Marc Gasol. Kawhi Leonard has been the best player all series, and will need another MVP-like performance if they want to end the series in Memphis. Although this game isn’t essential for the Spurs, they’d like to win and get some rest before the second round. The Grizzlies will need their home crowd to help them in this game like they did in games three and four. It’s crucial for both teams that they bring their A game.

Today in Sports: 4/26/17 Review

NBA:

Washington Wizards defeat Atlanta Hawks 103-99: The Wizards won a pivotal game five at home to take a 3-2 series lead over the Hawks. Dennis Schroder and Paul Millsap were phenomenal again, but they weren’t enough to overcome a lackluster performance from the Hawks’ bench. John Wall and Bradley Beal led the Wizards with 20 points and 27 points, respectively. Otto Porter Jr. had an efficient day with 17 points on 4 shots. Their bench also struggled, but the three-headed monster of Wall, Beal, and Porter Jr. were enough to seal the victory. These two teams will play game six on Friday in Atlanta.

Boston Celtics defeat Chicago Bulls 108-97: The Celtics won their third straight game in this series to take a 3-2 series lead over the Bulls. Chicago was without point guard Rajon Rondo for a third straight game, which may end up being the deciding factor in this series if Rondo isn’t able to return. Rondo was inconsistent all season, but played at an elite level in the first two games of the series. He’ll try to play in game six, but it seems unlikely that he’ll be able to return. Jimmy Butler had his first mediocre game of the series, and his teammates were not able to pick up the slack. The Tacoma, Washington backcourt of Isaiah Thomas and Avery Bradley each scored 24 points. Chicago will need to slow down the Celtics’ backcourt if they want to win game six and keep their season alive. These two teams will play game six on Friday in Chicago.

Today in Sports: 4/26/17 Preview

NBA:

Atlanta Hawks at Washington Wizards: After losing the last two games in Atlanta, the Wizards return home to face the Hawks in a pivotal game five. With the series being tied at two games apiece, the winner of this game will be overwhelming favorites to advance to the second round of the playoffs. The Hawks have played up to their potential for two straight games, but haven’t shown the ability to dominate the Wizards on the road. John Wall has been the best player in the series through four games, but hasn’t gotten the help from his teammates on the road that he did at home. Now that they’ve returned home to Washington, Wall will need his teammates to play at a high level if they want to win this series. The Wizards cannot afford a slip up against a less talented Hawks team. Although this game isn’t the deciding game in the series, it is crucial for both teams that they play at a high level in this pivotal game five.

Chicago Bulls at Boston Celtics: The Celtics return home to Boston to face the Bulls in a pivotal game five. After losing the first two games at home, the desperate Celtics evened the series by winning back-to-back road games in Chicago. Bulls point guard Rajon Rondo missed games three and four with an injury, and likely won’t be able to return in this series. The Bulls struggled without their point guard in the last two games, and will need some sort of contribution from Rondo’s replacements. With the Celtics back in the driver’s seat, they cannot afford another home loss to this injured Bulls team. Although this game isn’t the deciding game in the series, the winner will be overwhelming favorites to advance to the second round of the playoffs.

Today in Sports: 4/25/17 Review

NBA:

Houston Rockets defeat Oklahoma City Thunder 105-99: The Houston Rockets defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder to win this first round series 4-1. Once again, Russell Westbrook and James Harden were the game’s leading scorers with 47 points and 34 points, respectively. The Thunder were outscored by 18 points in the six minutes that Russell Westbrook sat on the bench. Although Westbrook took offense to the question a reporter asked after game four that insinuated that the Thunder were struggling with him on the bench, stats from every game prove that the reporter was correct. Westbrook tried to play “hero ball” again in the fourth quarter, and it backfired when his jump shot fell apart. He was obviously exhausted, which wasn’t surprising due to the amount of effort he exudes to help his horrible supporting cast stay afloat. James Harden struggled with his jump shot again, but was able to get to the free throw line at a high rate. He was able to rely on Nene, Patrick Beverley, and Lou Williams to help him in ways that Russell Westbrook’s teammates couldn’t. Although this was a battle between the two MVP candidates, Houston won the series because their MVP candidate had a supporting cast that helped him. The Thunder need to get Westbrook help if they want to compete for a championship next season. The Rockets will either face the San Antonio Spurs or Memphis Grizzlies in the second round of the playoffs.

San Antonio Spurs defeat Memphis Grizzlies 116-103: The San Antonio Spurs took a 3-2 series lead with a home win against the Memphis Grizzlies. Kawhi Leonard continued his impressive series with another dominating performance. He scored a game-high 28 points and was a hassle on the defensive end of the floor. The Spurs’ bench was superb again, led by a 20 point performance from Patty Mills. Manu Ginobili scored ten points on 4-6 shooting from the field, which was a pleasant surprise to Spurs fans because he hadn’t made a shot all series prior to game five. The Grizzlies had decent performances from Mike Conley and Marc Gasol, but they didn’t play with the same level of intensity as they did in games three and four in Memphis. The home team has won every game in this series, and the Grizzlies will need to continue that trend if they want to keep their season alive. These two teams will play game six on Thursday in San Antonio.

Utah Jazz defeat Los Angeles Clippers 96-92: The Utah Jazz stole game six in Los Angeles to take a 3-2 series lead over the Clippers. Gordon Hayward played like an All-Star in a game that they needed him to dominate. He missed most of game four because of food poisoning, but seemed fully recovered during this game. Rudy Gobert seems fully recovered from his knee injury that caused him to miss the first three games of this series (except the first ten seconds of game one). Chris Paul proved again that he’s still the best point guard in the NBA. He scored 28 points and played a great game defensively. He wasn’t able to overcome the loss of Blake Griffin, which has hurt them drastically in the scoring department. The Clippers need to win the last two games of this series, which is something that they probably won’t be able to do without Griffin. These two teams will play game six on Friday in Utah.

Today in Sports: 4/25/17 Preview

NBA:

Oklahoma City Thunder at Houston Rockets: The Rockets look to finish this series against the Thunder by winning game five at home. After losing three of the first four games of this series, the Thunder need to win three straight games to advance to the second round of the playoffs. Probable MVP Russell Westbrook has put up fantastic numbers all series, but he hasn’t gotten much help from his teammates. James Harden has also put up fantastic numbers, but he’s been able to rely on his teammates when his shot isn’t falling. The Rockets are heavy favorites to win this game and advance to the second round of the playoffs, but it seems like Russell Westbrook plays his best when his back is against the wall. This game will likely be won by whichever of the two MVP candidates that can make a greater impact for their team.

Memphis Grizzlies at San Antonio Spurs: The Grizzlies and Spurs will play game five in San Antonio with both teams trying to take a commanding 3-2 lead in this series. After losing the first two games in San Antonio, few people thought the Grizzlies were going to even the series with two wins in Memphis. Although Kawhi Leonard almost singlehandedly won game four, the Grizzlies were able to survive in overtime. The Spurs are the more talented team and are still favored to win the series, but the Grizzlies have shown that they do not fear San Antonio. Even without Tony “first team all defense” Allen, the Grizzlies have played great team basketball. The winner of this game will likely win the series, so it’s crucial for both teams that they play at a high level in this pivotal game five.

Utah Jazz at Los Angeles Clippers: The Jazz and Clippers will play game five in Los Angeles with both teams trying to take a commanding 3-2 lead in this series. These teams have been two of the unluckiest teams in the NBA with all the injuries that they’ve suffered, but both still have a good chance of advancing to the second round of the playoffs. The Clippers are playing without star Blake Griffin for the rest of the playoffs, but have a lot of experience over the last few years of playing without the oft-injured Griffin. Rudy Gobert returned from injury to play in game four, which helped the Jazz overcome the loss of Gordon Hayward to food poisoning. Hayward should be able to return for game five, and they’ll need him healthy to pull off the road win against this desperate Clippers team. The winner of this game will likely win the series, so it’s crucial for both teams that they play at a high level in this pivotal game five.

Today in Sports: 4/24/17 Review

NBA:

Toronto Raptors defeat Milwaukee Bucks 118-93: The Toronto Raptors took a 3-2 series lead over the Milwaukee Bucks with a dominating win in game five. The Raptors got off to a fast start and never looked back. The Raptors didn’t get much of a contribution from their bench, but all five of their starters scored in double figures. The “trash bros” backcourt of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan played their second consecutive great game, even though Lowry was playing through a back injury. The Raptors were led by Norman Powell, who scored 25 points on 8-11 shooting from the field. Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo scored a game-high 30 points on 12-19 shooting. He had a great all-around game, but didn’t get a lot of help from his teammates. Khris Middleton had another terrible game. He scored only 8 points and looked out of rhythm throughout the game. Milwaukee needs to win the last two games of the series if they want to advance to face the Cleveland Cavaliers in the second round of the playoffs. These two teams will play game six on Thursday in Milwaukee.

Atlanta Hawks defeat Washington Wizards 111-101: The Hawks defeated the Wizards at home to even the series at two games apiece. Although the Wizards have the better starting unit, all five of the Hawks’ starters scored in double figures. The Hawks also got bench contributions from Kent Bazemore and Jose Calderon. The Wizards were led by their backcourt of John Wall and Bradley Beal, but didn’t get help from the rest of their starters. After a terrible game three, Beal bounced back to lead the Wizards with 32 points. John Wall scored 22 points, but wasn’t as efficient in game four as he was in the first three games of the series. Although the Hawks won both games at home, they are still the underdogs in this series. These two teams will play game five on Wednesday in Washington.

Golden State Warriors defeat Portland Trail Blazers 128-103: The Warriors completed a four game sweep of the Trail Blazers with a convincing win in Portland. The Warriors got off to a fast start by scoring 45 points in the first quarter. Damian Lillard was dominant again for the Trail Blazers, but he didn’t get help from anyone besides Al Farouq Aminu. C.J. McCollum had his worst game of the series, scoring just 6 points on 2-12 shooting from the field. Although this was Kevin Durant’s return game, he only scored 10 points in 20 minutes of play. The Splash Bros picked up the slack by combining for 55 points. The Warriors were playing for coach Steve Kerr, who has missed the last few games because of complications from back surgery. Hopefully he’ll be able to return to coaching during the second round of the playoffs.