"The Stack" is here on this Monday with a few things to talk about and playoffs do not lead off. What did? Find out now see what made "the stack" for today, Monday, June 4:
1. Tiger Woods wins the Memorial
Finally, Tiger Woods put together a solid four rounds and won the Memorial (Jack Nicklaus' tournament) by two shots over Rory Sabbatini. It's Woods' fifth career Memorial win. With the win, Woods ties Nicklaus for second all-time with wins on the PGA Tour with 73. And it took Woods a while to get to this one, which has to make this win all that more sweeter. Woods was four shots back entering the day, but got every shot he wanted Sunday, including a chip on the par 3 16th that will be talked about for a very long time. Woods overshot the green on his tee shot and was in the deep rough. He faced the almost impossible task of getting the ball out of it to hit the slope and get close to the hole for par. Instead Woods hit a flop shot that somehow found its way to the bottom of the cup for a birdie that even Woods said he wasn't thinking about. That's when you pretty much knew that Woods was going to win this tournament.
Now does this win mean that Woods is back? Possibly, but then again, maybe not. We shouldn't go overboard with this win. Yes it's a big win, but ever since the scandal any time Woods has won a tournament the media has gone on to say that the old Tiger is back only to see Woods struggle again. Woods himself a few weeks ago said his game was close to getting back to where he could win tournaments and this came a week after he had just missed a cut. Don't know if that many people took him seriously. He showed us this past weekend that indeed his game may be back, but until he wins a major or puts together a string of multiple wins on the tour and finishes close to the top, this win needs to be put into perspective and we shouldn't go overboard in saying that Tiger is back. But this was a great win for Tiger and even better for golf, who's ratings must have been awesome on CBS on Sunday with Tiger in contention. Hopefully more of that is to come.
2. Celtics even series with Heat, other playoff action from the weekend
The Boston Celtics pulled even in their eastern conference finals clash with the Miami Heat, beating them 93-91 last night to tie the series up 2-2 heading into game five Tuesday night. The Celtics came very close to losing at the buzzer in overtime, but Dwayne Wade's shot rolled off the win preserving the Celtics win. LeBron James, who had 29 points, fouled out for the first time as a member of the Heat and was none too pleased about it after the game. His sixth foul was a little questionable too. That meant that it was all on Wade's shoulders and Wade failed to come through. The Heat scored just two points (two points!!) in overtime. For a team with the superstars that they have, that is unacceptable. Shane Battier missed a three pointer that would have given the Heat the lead earlier in overtime. Rajon Rondo and Kevin Garnett each recorded double-doubles for the Celtics. The Celtics have been the better team the past three games, but failed to secure a road win in Miami in game two. They let a huge lead slipaway and it is going to be a lot more difficult for the Celtics to pick up a road win, maybe even win a game the rest of this series with the news that Chris Bosh will suit up for game five barring a setback. Bosh hasn't played since game one of the second round against Indiana due to an abdominal strain. How will this affect the Heat's offensive rhythm? They've been on a role letting Wade and James take over and control the game. Will they feel like they have to get Bosh involved more which in effect will slow down their offense? Possibly. We'll see it all unfold game five.
In other playoff action over the weekend, the Oklahoma City Thunder evened their series up 2-2 following their 109-103 win over the San Antonio Spurs. Kevin Durant had 36 points, but it was Serge Ibaka who stole the show. Ibaka was perfect from the floor (eleven for eleven) and scored 26 points. He was knocking down shots from near the top of the line, something that has to scare the Spurs. If the Thunder can get that sort of play from Ibaka to go along with Durant and Russell Westbrook, the Spurs won't be able to win this series and it may be very difficult for either the Heat or the Celtics to stop them too. Tonight we'll see if Ibaka's hot shooting continues or whether the Spurs adjust and force him into some difficult shots and making his game uncomfortable. Game five is tonight in San Antonio at 9:00 PM ET TNT.
In the Stanley Cup Finals, game two once again went to overtime tied 1-1. And just like in game one, game two was won by the Los Angeles Kings 2-1 over the New Jersey Devils thanks to Jeff Carter's goal with just under six-and-a-half minutes to go in overtime. This game was far more entertaining than in game one with both teams getting quality shots on net and with a ton of action throughout. Both goalies had to work hard and both teams had quality chances in regulation to win. The Devils had a shot go off the crossbar with fourteen seconds left and the Kings had multiple chances late in the game to get one by Martin Brodeur. This was a game that the Devils had to win and perhaps should have won in order to win the Stanley Cup. But they failed to do so as the Kings improved to 10-0 on the road. With game three tonight in L.A. 8:00 PM ET NBC Sports Network, the Devils have to win this game. I thought they would win game two and because I want to see this series extended, I think they'll win tonight. They'll be the more desperate team and assert themselves early in this one. Don't be shocked if game three goes to overtime just like the first two games did.
A quick side note, games one and two of this series went to overtime. The last time that happened in the Stanley Cup Finals, 1951 between Toronto and Montreal.
3. New England Patriots 2012-13 NFL schedule highlights
Last season, the Patriots came oh so close to winning another Super Bowl only to lose the New York Giants again. Is the window closing on Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. Yes, but that doesn't mean they don't have a team that will be right there to compete. With arguably the league's easiest schedule and with weapons on offense led by the double tight end tandem of Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, the Patriots are thinking Super Bowl. Their full schedule can be found here. Here are some highlights on the Patriots upcoming schedule:
- The Patriots start the year out with three of their first four games on the road and finish with three of their last four at home.
- A rematch of the classic AFC Championship game takes place week 3 when the Patriots travel to Baltimore (8:20 PM ET NBC)
- Tom Brady and Peyton Manning renew their rivalry this year though one team will be different in this rivalry when the Patriots host Manning and the Denver Broncos week 5. It will be odd to see Manning and Brady go at it with Manning in a Broncos uniform.
- The Patriots play Thanksgiving night at the New York Jets (8:20 PM ET NBC).
- Overall, the Patriots have four primetime games (week 3 @ Baltimore, week 12 @ NY Jets, week 14 vs. Houston 8:30 PM ET ESPN and week 15 vs. San Francisco 8:20 PM ET NBC).
Tuesday's team: New Orleans Saints
A couple other notes to pass along before we leave. Jacksonville Jaguars rookie wide receiver Justin Blackmon was arrested early Sunday morning after blowing a .24, three times the legal limit. He as jailed but posted bond. Blackmon needs to become more mature in a hurry. Plus, this could impact contract negotiations with the team. Alabama and Oklahoma are in the women's college world series. Game one is Monday night. And Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas plans to sit out next season to do more things with his family. The 38-year old confirmed the news on Sunday. There were rumors out there that Thomas was doing this because of his belief in the Mayan calendar, but that appears not to be the case. Thomas says this now, but he may miss the game and come back by the beginning of the regular season. It will be weird not seeing him in net for the Bruins next year. Hopefully he comes back after a year off.
Coming up Tuesday: Playoff reaction (NBA and NHL) plus other top stories in sports.
Comments and suggestions on what to write about are always welcomed and appreciated.