The Stack is here on this Wednesday and boy what a night of playoff action we saw last night. Time to break it all down plus the other top stories from Tuesday so let's get right to it and see what made "the stack" for today, Wednesday, May 29:
Pacers even series with Heat
A game the Pacers had to win in order to make it a series, Indiana battled through a lot of adversity in a foul, whistle happy game, beating the Miami Heat 99-92 to even the series up 2-2. There were a lot of runs in this game. Indiana would make a run and Miami answered, sometimes with an even bigger run in which the Pacers would have to try and answer to. They did. Miami made several runs to take the lead and it felt like they would take control of the game for good. But Indiana would not back down. Trailing by six in the third quarter, David West helped get things going and propel Indiana to a nine point lead in the fourth quarter. The tables turned somewhat when the shot clock keeper and every official missed an Indiana shot that clearly hit the back of the rim and should have reset the shot clock. Tyler Hansborough got an easy layup that would have pushed the Pacers lead to double-digits. Instead a shot-clock violation was called and it sent the Pacers into shock-mode. The Heat took advantage and went on a run to take the lead, but the Pacers responded. They grabbed the lead and survived, watching LeBron James foul out which is more rare than Reggie Miller sounding smart during a telecast. The Pacers hung on and now look forward to traveling to Miami for game 5. This game was plagued by fouls though. It definitely slowed the game down. The Heat had 30 fouls. The Pacers had 25. It is a physical series, but this is almost a little too much. Some of the fouls, particularly a couple on James were very ticky-tack. The Pacers played terrible in game three. Miami has played good in all four games, but that's bad considering how great they can look. Game 5 is going to be awfully intense.
Kings move on to western conference finals
Home ice reigned supreme through six games in the all-California series between the San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings. Home ice held up once again in game 7 with the Kings edging the Sharks 2-1 to win the series 4-3. Jonathan Quick made some phenomenal saves late in the game, including stoning Joe Pavelski who had a wide open net. Quick was ultimately the difference maker in this series, but the Kings wouldn't have won game 7 without the heroics of Justin Williams who scored both of the team's goals. The Kings scored first and hung on to win. The team that scored first in the series won every single game. The Kings clearly don't want to release their grip of the Stanley Cup. They love home ice. They haven't lost once so far this postseason. If Quick continues to play like he has, the Kings may find themselves as repeat champions.
Another game 7 tonight. This one between the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks Wednesday at 8 PM ET on NBCSN in Chicago. What a game that will be. My money is on Chicago. Then again, I probably shouldn't be betting. I'm not that lucky...or right when it comes to predictions.
More issues for Rutgers
Rutgers fired men's head basketball coach Mike Rice for abusing his players. They fired the AD and tried to turn a new page by hiring Julie Hermann from Louisville to be their new athletic director. New light is being shed on just what type of person she actually is though. She's been accused of calling her players "****" and "alcoholics" when she coached women's volleyball at Tennessee in the '90s. New light has now been shed on a lawsuit stemming from 2008 in which Hermann fired assistant track and field coach Mary Banker after she brought complaints to Hermann of sexist behavior by head coach Ron Mann. It just keeps getting uglier for New Jersey's top state university. It's a black eye for the state and one man could put a stop to it...Governor Chris Christie. He can speak his mind and tell Rutgers President Robert Barchi to fire Hermann and the resign himself for his ineffective leadership and the embarrassment he has brought upon the university and the state. Christie has spoken on this issue, moreso on the need for Rutgers to fire Rice after the Outside the Lines piece aired along with video of Rice's treatment of players. Christie can put a stop to this. Here's hoping he does, because Rutgers is becoming a joke. A sad, sad joke.
NFL Draft moved
The NFL has been looking into moving their premier offseason event back and pushing other events like the combine and OTA's to other dates along with it. Well, one change is happening for sure. The 2014 NFL Draft has been moved to May 8-10 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. No word yet on the date for the 2015 NFL Draft. The NFL Combine will take place February 18th through the 25th. This is all just another move for the NFL to dominate the sports landscape and while I am not a huge fan of moving the draft back, this is far better than having an eightteen game schedule. I am a huge opponent of that. The games would be less meaningful, there would be more injuries and the quality of play would suffer. I love the NFL, but that would be a terrible move, one I would not support. Would you?
Coming up Thursday: Playoff reaction plus other top stories in sports