In case you missed yesterday's blog, here it is. The Stack is here on this Thursday with a lot to talk about so let's get right to it and see what made "the stack" for today, Thursday, May 23:
Heat edge Pacers in OT classic
For the second consecutive night, we had overtime basketball in the NBA conference finals. And last night's was infinitely better than Tuesday's Grizzlies-Spurs game. Thanks to LeBron James last second layup, the Miami Heat escaped with a hard-fought 103-102 win over the Indiana Pacers to take game one of the eastern conference finals. The Heat tried to give this game to the Pacers. They missed a lot of free throws including one by Ray Allen at the end of regulation that could have just about ended the game. They committed some dumb fouls like Dewayne Wade's foul on Paul George with second to go in overtime. Wade fouled out of the game. Enter LeBron James who caught the pass inside the arc and drove in for a layup with zero time remaining to give the Heat the win. What were the Pacers doing? Why wasn't Roy Hibbert out on the floor? Yes he had five fouls but you need a big guy like Hibbert out there to make the inbound pass difficult and make sure that no one can drive into the lane. Had the Pacers won, I don't know if they would have won the series, but it definitely would have gone at least six games I feel. Losing like this? What will the Pacers mindset be entering game two on Friday? The Heat will be ready and going to pack a punch. The Pacers better be ready or they'll get blown out. You just can't lose a game like the Pacers did last night. Be interesting to see how Friday plays out.
Penguins crush Senators
The Ottawa Senators had a great chance to get back into their series with the Pittsburgh Penguins. They had a 2-1 lead on home ice after the first period. And then it all went terribly wrong. The Penguins scored two goals less than two minutes into the second period that gave them the lead for good. They then exploded for four more goals in the third period in route to a 7-3 win to take a 3-1 series lead. Keep in mind they were going against one of the better goaltenders left in the postseason in Craig Anderson. They just poured it on. Jerome Iginla and James Neal each had two goals. The Penguins proved why they are the best offensive team remaining in the playoffs. They just need a little bit of goaltending and they are well on their way to winning the Stanley Cup.
Three playoff games on the ice tonight...
Boston Bruins @ New York Rangers 7 PM ET CNBC (Bruins lead series 3-0)
Chicago Blackhawks @ Detroit Red Wigs 8 PM ET NBCSN (Red Wings lead series 2-1)
San Jose Sharks @ Los Angeles Kings 10:30 PM ET NBCSN (Series tied 2-2)
Brian Urlacher retires
One of the best linebackers of our generation has decided to call it quits. Brian Urlacher is retiring after 13 years with the Chicago Bears. He wanted to continue to play after the Bears decided not to keep him, but could not find a deal with another team. Several teams had been rumored to be interested in Urlacher, most notably the Minnesota Vikings. Ultimately, nothing happened and Urlacher said that he didn't know if he would have it him to play at a top level this season and hung it up. He's pretty high up there in Bears history on some big statistics...
Tackles 1,779 1st<< Games Played 182 8th Sacks 41.5 7th Interceptions 22 T-11th
Pretty impressive. He had a stellar career. Not bad for a guy from New Mexico which last I checked isn't exactly a college football powerhouse. The Bears will miss him.
The San Francisco 49ers find themselves a tad shorthanded at the wide receiver position following the loss of Michael Crabtree yesterday to a torn Achilles tendon during OTAs. He had surgery on it yesterday as well and is expected to be out 6 months. That puts him on track to get back on the field in late November. Do we really think Crabtree is going to be the same Michael Crabtree we saw last year explode on the scene? I don't think so. The 49ers have a great team and this isn't the worst injury in the world that will derail their season, but this is a big loss to their offense. With as good as Seattle looks, San Francisco needs all weapons possible.
For over a week, the feud between Sergio Garcia and Tiger Woods has been pretty entertaining with each of them talking smack about the other. Garcia has done most of the talking and he has been pretty funny...until Tuesday night. At a dinner for the European Tour, Sergio was asked if he would have Tiger over for dinner. The question caught Garcia offguard, but he replied, "We'll have him 'round every night. We will serve fried chicken." He later apologized, but the damage is done. Garcia took it too far with that racial comment. He says he felt sick all night about that comment. Did he really or is he only sick that so many people are offended by what he said? What was some fun banter back and forth between him and Tiger that had a lot of people on his side has no swung in the opposite direction with one little comment. Should the question have been asked? Maybe not, but the media wants to suck all the juice out of this as possible. It's not like they told Garcia to respond the way he did. Here's hoping that Garcia and Woods sit down to discuss this and that Garcia turns this negative into a positve by developing a relationship with Woods. Doubt it will happen, but it should in light of what happened.
Coming up Friday: NHL playoff reaction plus other top stories from Thursday