"The Stack" is back today with a few things up our sleeve to talk about today. So let's get right to it and see what made "the stack" for today, Thursday, May 17:
1. Thunder rally to knock off Lakers, Celtics crush 76ers
It may not have been pretty. Strike that, it wasn't pretty at all, but the Oklahoma City Thunder now have a 2-0 series lead over the Los Angeles Lakers following their 77-75 win last night. The Thunder looked awful in the second half, in large part due to the Lakers defense. With just over two minutes to go in the game, the Lakers held a 75-68 lead. They wouldn't score again as the the Thunder scored the last nine points of the game to get the victory. Kevin Durant scored 22 points in the game and got the game-winning bucket to bounce in with eighteen seconds remaining. The Lakers could not get anything to work in the final couple of minutes and Steve Blake's three point attempt to give the Lakers the lead with five seconds left clanked off the rim. Both Andrew Bynum and Kobe Bryant had 20 points for the Lakers. This has to be an excruciating loss for the Lakears. They had this game in their grasp and simply let go of a chance to split on the road against the young and hungry Thunder and put all of the pressure on them. Now, they have to somehow figure out a way to put last night behind them and focus on winning game three back at home and getting back into the series. That may be tough to do. I doubt the Thunder will play that poorly again this postseason. This was the Lakers one chance and they blew it.
The Boston Celtics regained homecourt advantage following their 107-91 beatdown of the Philadelphia 76ers. Someone, probably Atlanta Hawks owner Michael Gearon again, has lit a fire underneath Kevin Garnett. The Big Ticket had a double double, recording 27 points and thirteen rebounds. Rajon Rondo also had a double double with 23 points and fourteen assists. The Celtics did not want to have a repeat performance of game two and they certainly did not. This is pretty expected. The Celtics are the better team, no offense to the 76ers. The Celtics, though a little old, just have the more talented team and they will win this series.
Quick congrats to Indiana Pacers president Larry Bird for being named the NBA executive of the year. He has completely transformed the Indiana Pacers. It may have taken a little longer than fans had hoped for, but look at what the Pacers are donig now. They have a chance to be up in a series over the Miami Heat with a win tonight. Well deserved Larry.
Thursday's NBA playoff games:
Miami Heat @ Indiana Pacers 7:00 PM ET (series tied 1-1)
Los Angeles Clippers @ San Antonio Spurs 9:30 PM ET (Spurs lead series 1-0)
2. Devils even eastern conference finals
The New Jersey Devils are not going to roll over and just let the New York Rangers walk into the Stanley Cup Finals. They are going to make them earn it if they can get there. The Devils got a goal off of a rebound shot by David Clarkson less than three minutes into the third period which would prove to be the deciding goal as the Devils beat the Rangers 3-2. The series is now tied at 1-1. Shots on goal were pretty much even. Each team scored a power play goal. The tip-in goal by Clarkson was the difference. It is amazing how just one little bounce can affect a game, maybe even an entire series. The Devils have played really well this postseason in terms of winning on the opponent's home ice. They're 5-4 in the postseason. The Rangers know they have to play better if they want to have another chance at the cup. All of the pressure is on the Rangers. They'll steal a game in New Jersey and regain home ice advantage. This series will probably go seven games. I still like the Rangers, though the Devils will make things awfully interesting. They already have after last night.
Thursday's NHL playoff game:
Phoenix Coyotes @ Los Angeles Kings (Kings lead series 2-0)
3. Brees frustrated by contract talks, Giants get their rings
The chaos and turmoil that has surrounded the New Orleans Saints this offseason just doesn't go away. Quarterback Drew Brees said in a local radio interview yesterday that new contract negotiations are "extremely frustrating." Really, talks have been non-existent as of late. At least not any serious talks. You would think that Tom Benson would want to give his star quarterback a new contract sooner rather than later to get a leader on the field. Especially with losing head coach Sean Payton for the year and Joe Vitt for part of the season, the need to have a captain and the coach of the offense under contract is of great importance. Didn't Brees help deliver a Super Bowl to the much cursed franchise a couple years back? Did he not also set the league record in passing yards last year? I really don't see what the problem is. Give him a blank check and say, you put in the amount. You earned it. We'll figure out the rest of the details from here. The Saints are really hurting themselves here, especially with OTA's and mini-camps right around the corner. They need to get their act togther and get Brees under contract in a hurry.
And the New York Giants unveiled their Super Bowl champion rings last night.
Pretty nice right? This is the Giants second Super Bowl championship ring in four years. And you know they want to rub it in the faces of the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles especially. Maybe Tom Brady and the Patriots too.
4. Broncos 2012-13 schedule breakdown
Did the Denver Broncos acquire anyone big in free agency this offseason? Oh they did? Who's that? Peyton Manning?!! Yes, the Broncos have made quite the headlines this offseason and now there are plenty of expectations placed upon them. The AFC West will be tough though. The Broncos schedule can be found here. Let's take a look at some of the more interesting storylines and games this upcoming season for the Broncos:
- Manning's first game will be against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday Night Football at 8:20 PM ET on NBC. That is the team you'll recall that the Broncos beat thanks to Tim Tebow's touchdown to Demaryius Thomas on the first play of overtime. The Steelers will be looking for revenge.
- Manning will renew his rivalry with Tom Brady week 5 in New England at 4:15 PM ET on CBS. My guess is there will be a few people watching that game.
- Manning and the Broncos will be on primetime an awful lot this year. Five times for those of you scoring at home (week 1 vs. Pittsburgh, week 2 @ Atlanta 8:30 PM ET ESPN, week 6 @ San Diego 8:30 PM ET ESPN, week 8 vs. New Orleans 8:20 PM ET NBC and week 14 @ Oakland 8:20 PM ET NFL Network). Yeah, the Broncos will be pretty popular this year.
- The Broncos open up with three of four at home and end with two straight at home. But they also face a stretch in the year four of five games on the road and only three home games between September 30 and December 2.
Friday's team: Green Bay Packers
Coming up Friday: NBA and NHL playoff reaction, Preakness preview and more.
Comments and suggestions on what to write about are always welcomed and appreciated.