Welcome to June and welcome to Monday's "The Stack". There is plenty of playoff talk to get to as well as a few other things on the menu so let's get right to it and see what made "the stack" for today, Monday, June 3:
Pacers-Heat ready to square off in game 7
It's all come down to this. The Indiana Pacers squared up their series with the Miami Heat following their 91-77 win Saturday night. The Heat disappeared in the third quarter. More accurately, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade have disappeared. Wade has been plagued with injuries which can explain his decline a little bit. Still he's not what he once was and I don't think he ever will be again. Bosh's disappearing act is a little more stunning. Where is he? Thank goodness LeBron James has stepped it up every night like we all expect him too. The Heat missed Birdman's intensity and physical toughness in game six. He's back for game 7. The best players, the superstars come out and play their best in game 7. It would be nice to see guys like Ray Allen, Wade and Bosh to step up their game and support James. The Pacers won't go away quietly though. They've responded really well and they have a significant size advantage. Now Roy Hibbert has created a bit of a storm and a distraction for his team after using a gay slur in his postgame press conference Saturday night. But the Pacers will forge ahead. They've won once in Miami in this series already. They can win another. The Heat haven't really been in a position like this. I think they'll thrive though and win this game.
Prediction: Heat 106-98
Blackhawks destroy Kings
Remember when I said the Kings would win this series? I wish I hadn't. They've played very poorly in Chicago the first two games of the western conference finals and goalie Jonathan Quick was particularly awful in game two, allowing four goals, the first four goals of the game at that. He needs to be the best player on the ice for the Kings if they want to win this series and he needs to play even better than he has in the postseason thus far. The Blackhawks have a lot of depth and they are very good. We've known this since the beginning of the season. Having said all that, expect the Kings to bounce back on their home ice for game three. They need to win games three and four in order to have any chance of winning this series.
Game two of the eastern conference finals takes place tonight between the Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins at 8 PM ET on NBCSN. The Bruins thumped the Penguins in game one 3-0 and you know the Penguins were a little rattled when Sidney Crosby tried to take on Zdeno Chara. Signifcant height advantage for Chara. Maybe Crosby was trying to send a message and/or get his teammates fired up and ready for game two. They better bring a lot of focus and heart tonight or the Bruins will take care of this series in fairly short order. Interesting isn't it that teams that faced significant challenges (Boston trailing 4-1 in the third period against Toronto in game 7 and the Blackhawks coming back from a 3-1 series deficit against Detroit) really seem to have all of the mojo in the playoffs so far. Should have gotten them out when you had a chance.
Gordon Gee thoughts
I provided a brief glimpse of my thoughts on Ohio State President Gordon Gee on Friday, but said I would offer more today. This leader of an institute of learning should know better than to make fun of a group of religous people (catholics) and take shots at a conference (SEC). The SEC in case Gee hasn't noticed has won the BCS National Championship game the last seven years correct? And why bring religion into discussion at all? Sure it might have been a joke, but Gee has had issues in the past with the way he says things. He has since apologized, but that is not good enough. Should people make fun of Gee because he is a Morman? He has embarrassed Ohio State, not quite to the degree that Rutgers has been embarrassed, but those are two vastly different situations. Some trustees are of the mindset that he should go. They're right. Gee has said too much. He needs to go.
Speaking of needing to go...
Tiger Woods needs to go...on vacation before he goes to the U.S. Open following his attrocioius performance at the Memorial over the weekend. He finished twenty shots behind the leader and shot a career worst nine-hole 44 on Saturday. Better to get the bad rounds and tournament out of the way now before the U.S. Open, but you wonder what is going through Woods' head at this point. It can't be anything good, especially when he played so poorly at a course he has dominated in the past. He's won the Memorial five times. Ouch. Still expect a good showing from him next week at the U.S. Open.
Coming up Tuesday: Game 7 Pacers-Heat reaction, NHL playoffs, Jim Kelly and more.