It is time to start another week in the wide world of sports. Last week was amazing, but it is behind us now. Out with the old and in with the new.
Here are the big events ahead.
5. The big day has come and passed in regards to College Basketball players deciding to remain in the NBA Draft or return to school. Plenty of guys decided to pull out, while still a good few decided to try their hand at the pros. I do know this much. Kentucky, Xavier, and Pittsburgh are all extremely excited with the return of some key players. All three of these teams will be top 20 teams in America next season.
4. Derek Jeter is finally getting back on track. We had 2 no hitters in the past week. Plus we are over 30 games in. The MLB is out in full force. My marquee series of the week though takes place in none other than the Queen City, Cincinnati.
St. Louis Cardinals at Cincinnati Reds: The two most explosive offenses in the National League go toe to toe at Great American Ballpark, AKA, Great American Small Park beginning on Friday. And you know what that means. Expect a lot of deep balls and a lot of runs. Cincinnati, the defending NL Central Division Champions currently sit just a game and a half behind the rival Cardinals. After last year’s fight for first place, this rivalry has started to blossom. Arguably the two best players in the game play first base for each of the respective teams in this series. Neither team has looked outstanding so far, though the Reds seem to be developing somewhat of a rhythm and appear to be in better shape with the return of starting pitchers, Homer Bailey and Johnny Cueto. I expect Cincinnati to flex their muscles against the road team and end the weekend tied for first, or in sole possession of the division lead.
3. The always exciting clay court season in professional tennis continues with the ATP Internazionali BNL d’Italia tournament. Expect Rafael Nadal to come out with a vengeance, after losing to Novak Djokovic in the Madrid Masters Final yesterday.
2. In the NHL, the conference semifinals have been much different from the opening round. The 2 series in the East have been sweeps, while the Western Conference matchups do not appear to be classics either. I will admit that I was shocked at how both Tampa and Boston handled their opponents with such ease in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. The Wild Wild West has been more competitive and unpredictable than the East all year long. That trend appears to have continued into playoff hockey. I do expect Vancouver and San Jose to close out their respective series and advance to the Conference Finals though.
1. I am as flabbergasted as anyone about the events that transpired in Dallas yesterday. Not only did the Mavericks get out the brooms on the heavily favored Lakers, but they absolutely massacred them. Yesterday’s game was truly an embarrassment for Los Angeles, and would be a terrible way for the legendary coach Phil Jackson to end his amazing career. Only one good thing happened during yesterday’s game for LA. Ron Artest did not seriously hurt anyone. The Lakers can at least be happy about that. What happens next in LA? You tell me. But the current Laker Dynasty appears to be over.
Tonight, I expect Boston to tie the series up with Miami. This series appears to have the makings of a classic. Strap in, because the playoffs will only get better from here.
It should be another fun week full of playoffs, playoffs, and more playoffs.
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.