What should have been a great playoff night in the world of sports was anything but. The Stack is here to talk about all that and more. Plus if you missed yesterday's blog because it was posted late, you can find it here. Now that that's taken care of, let's get right to it and see what made "the stack" for today, Tuesday, June 4:
Heat blow out Pacers, move on to NBA Finals
The Miami Heat hadn't faced many high pressure situations like they faced Monday night with a game 7 to advance to the NBA Finals. That adverse situation? They handled it pretty well. Yes they did have a game 7 last year at home against the Boston Celtics, but this one seemed different. That is, if you listened to the media. The Heat didn't flinch though. They pummeled the Indiana Pacers 99-76 to win the series 4-3 and advance to the NBA Finals where they will face the San Antonio Spurs. Game 1 of the NBA Finals is Thursday night on ABC at 9 PM ET.
LeBron James was his normal, wonderful clutch self last night, dropping 32 points. This time around though, he had some help. Dwyane Wade decided to show up and forget the pain he's in. He scored 21 points and grabbed a team high nine rebounds. Awfully impressive for Wade who has played through injuries this postseason and just has not looked himself. Even Chris Bosh made a couple of big shots including a three-pointer in the second quarter when the Heat made their run and really pulled away from the Pacers. It was at halftime that you knew that this game was over. Even Ray Allen finally made a shot as he scored ten points including three three-pointers. This was the type of game Miami had to play.
Indiana helped them along the way though. The Pacers had 21 turnovers. TNT's Charles Barkley
said that the Pacers needed to have sixteen or fewer turnovers for them
to win the game. They had fifteen at halftime. That's not winning
basketball. Then again, this should come as no surprise considering the
Pacers led the NBA in turnovers. They will be back though. They have a
really good team and will grow from this experience. Plus with the
Chicago Bulls getting a healthy Derrick Rose back next year, Miami's going to have a much more difficult run at winning the eastern conference.
Bruins blowout the Penguins
Surely game one's 3-0 loss to the Boston Bruins would get the Pittsburgh Penguins to regain their focus right? Wrong. Dead wrong. The Bruins put a whooping on the Penguins with a romp that started right as the opening puck dropped. Brad Marchand scored on an unassisted breakaway after Sidney Crosby had a failed attempt to control a bouncing puck and get it to a teammate to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead 28 seconds into the game. They didn't stop there scoring two more goals and forcing the Penguins to pull Tomas Vokoun out of the net and put in Marc Andre-Fleury to the delight of the home crowd who cheered Fleury as he made his way on to the ice. He wasn't much better though. The Penguins scored a goal late in the first period to cut the lead to 3-1 and get the building rocking, but the Bruins scored moments after that with eight seconds left in the period to take a 4-1 lead into the dressing room. From that moment on, it was all Bruins who went on to win 6-1. The Penguins are not out of this thing...yet. But two things have to happen. One, they must get better goaltending. Plain and simple. That is a definite level where they must upgrade in the offseason. And two, the stars must figure out how to solve Boston's defense. They are having a difficult time getting past that and getting good shots on net, or maybe it's just that Tuukka Rask has been so good in net. They need to figure it out and quick or this series will be done in four.
Tonight's western conference game is...
Chicago Blackhawks @ Los Angeles Kings 9 PM ET NBCSN
Jason Kidd retires
One of the all-time great point guards is hanging them. Jason Kidd, who played for the then New Jersey Nets, Dallas Mavericks, New York Knicks among others, is done after a nineteen year career. He retired on the same day Grant Hill did. They came in the league the same year, 1994. Hill's career unfortunately was marred by injury, but it is still cool that they came in together and they go out on the same day. Kidd is second all-time in assists trailing only John Stockton. He's a ten-time all-star. And he's one of the all-around good guys that we've seen play in the NBA for almost two decades. He was a triple-double machine. It's a shame Kidd never could win an NBA championship, but there will be little doubt that Kidd makes the basketball hall-of-fame. What a great career. It was fun to watch.
Jim Kelly has cancer
Former Buffalo Bills great quarterback and NFL Hall-of-Famer Jim Kelly has revealed that he has cancer of the jaw, but the prognosis is good. He is expected to make a full recovery. Kelly has meant so much not just to the Bills organization, but to the city of Buffalo as a whole. Wishing you a speedy recover Jim. I know there are millions more out there rooting for you too.
Other sad news to report in the NFL. Deacon Jones, credited with terming the word sack, died at the age of 74. The hall-of-famer was the best pass rusher during his time, a time in which sacks weren't an official statstic. He was part of the Los Angeles Rams' "fearsome foursome." They wreaked havoc on the football field. Jones was an eight-time pro bowler and he would be one of the NFL's all-time sack leaders had they been keeping track. Even looking at film, he would be third on the list I think. One of the best defensive lineman, certainly one of the most feared who ever played the game. He was a giant among men and he will surely be missed.
Coming up Wednesday: NHL reaction plus Roger Federer goes down