Hope everyone had a great and safe Memorial Day weekend. The Stack joins you on this Tuesday and here are quite a few different topics to get to including playoff reaction so let's get right to it and see what made "the stack" for today, Tuesday, May 28:
Spurs sweep Grizzlies
Coming into the NBA western conference finals, the Memphis Grizzlies were being projected by many to take care of business and beat the San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs took notice to all of the talk and sent a message to the rest of the NBA that just because they are an aging team doesn't mean they're ready to bow and get out of the way quite yet. The Spurs beat the Grizzlies 93-86 last night to win the series 4-0 and send the Grizzlies packing. Tony Parker was absolutely amazing. He dropped 37 points, 25 of them in the second half. The Grizzlies didn't have the perimeter shooting to keep the Spurs at bay and overall, they just couldn't match the the Spurs talent. The Spurs are old by NBA standards, but they play some sound basketball. Parker along with Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobli are on a mission for perhaps one final title. This will be their fifth NBA championship finals appearance. They won the previous four. Miami and Indiana...you've been warned.
The Miami Heat took it to the Indiana Pacers in Indianapolis to regain control of the eastern conference finals Sunday night. They resume their series tonight at 8:30 PM ET on TNT. Expect the Pacers to come out a more desperate team tonight and ready to fight back after being punched in the mouth in game 3. Should be good.
Blackhawks force a game 7
The Chicago Blackhawks were looking for answers trailing 3-1 in their series with the Detroit Red Wings. All looked lost against a hot goaltender in Jimmy Howard. Winning Saturday night in Chicago was kind of expected. Winning last night in Detroit to force the series back to Chicago for a winner-take-all game 7 was slightly more unexpected. The Blackhawks used a ten minute stretch to open the third period to take control of the game and win 4-3, tying the series 3-3. Three goals in those ten minutes helped Chicago regain the lead and hold off a Red Wings rally late. Don't see how the Red Wings can go back to Chicago and win game 7, especially given what Chicago has done the last two games. They've cracked the Howard code, made him look human in net. They're getting their swag back. We asked how the Blackhawks would look when they had to fight through a little adversity in this series since they hadn't had to do it at all during the regular season. They're showing us that they can respond just fine.
Tonight, the other western conference semi-final matchup plays its game 7 in the all-California series between the San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings. Puck drops at 9 PM ET on NBCSN in L.A. Home team has won every game in this series so far, so you have to think the Kings will win. Just keep in mind that the home team is 8-8 in game 7's in which the home team has won every game in the series up to game 7. Should be a great game.
French Open begins
The French Open is underway on the clay courts of Roland Garros and the opening round is just taking place. That means it's time to make some predictions. On the men's side, it's tough not to pick Rafael Nadal though he appears to be a little vunerable this time around. Still, until someone beats him and we have to wait and see if they do, I'm taking the best tennis player in the world. That's Nadal. On the women's side, it's more wide open. Serena Williams always makes a run it seems like, especially lately in majors. Then you have Victoria Azarenka, Li Na and others, but I like Maria Sharapova. I know I keep picking her, but her game is really starting to pick up and now is the time I think she puts it all together and wins this major. Sharapova wins. Should be a great couple of weeks of tennis in Paris.
New NBA coaches
A couple of NBA head coaching vacancies have been filled. The Charlotte Bobcats (soon-to-be Hornets) who fired head coach Mike Dunlap after one season have hired Los Angeles Lakers assistant coach Steve Clifford and signed him to a three-year deal. The Phoenix Suns signed long-time Utah Jazz guard Jeff Hornacek to a three-year deal. Hornacek played for the Jazz for his entire 14-year career and was on the team's coaching staff. Sounds like a pretty good hire. Still wondering though how Patrick Ewing doesn't have a head coaching job yet.
And congrats to Tony Kanaan for winning the greatest spectacle in racing, the Indianapolis 500. It was a tough race, but he pulled through and kissed the bricks and drank the milk.
Coming up Wednesday: NBA & NHL playoff reaction, maybe some thoughts on Rutgers and other headlines from the sports world.