“Weekly Nickel”

Courtesy of ABC News.

By Josh Kramer

Another great week of sports is in the books.  And now we look ahead to the next big thing.  What are the things you should be keeping an eye out for this week?  Lets get to it.

Here is this week’s top 5.

5.  So what if the entire CBA situation is a big joke.  I am right there with the rest of you.  I really am not too fascinated by the labor talks.  Until there is an agreement, please hold the applause.  Without games on Sunday’s come September, bad things could happen.  Just ask Ray Lewis.  But in reality, many entertaining things are still occurring.  Players have entirely too much time on their hands.  They are trying out for soccer teams, riding bulls, waiting tables, and debating  on wrangling snakes.  Publicity stunts can be entertaining 

In addition, the NFL is never short on the crime front, with or without football.  Albert Haynesworth and Aqib Talib seem to have the mischief front all taken care of at this point.  So keep your eyes peeled.  Because when there is no real football, there is just free time.  And we all know what that can lead to.

4. Memorial Day has hit, and we seem to be getting our first taste of heat all across the country.  Hot weather equates to baseball weather.  The MLB is heating up without question.  The Reds Sox have miraculously moved back into first place in the AL East.  Can’t say I didn’t tell the Beantown fanatics and baseball America to relax and give Boston time.  In addition, less than two games separate the AL West top from the cellar.  Plus, the Arizona Diamondbacks appear to have returned from the dead, and are at the forefront of the NL West.  Here is my marquee matchup for the week.

San Francisco Giants at St. Louis Cardinals:  These are both teams that are currently in the thick of the NL Playoff picture.  The Cardinals have been smashing the ball to all fields and are currently one of the top 2 scoring teams in all of baseball.  And the defending champs, well, they have struggled to remain consistent but are still in the hunt.  This is purely one of those offense vs. defense matchups.  STL is the League-leader in both batting average and on base percentage, and they are 2nd in runs scored.  Lets just say, offense is their forte. The Giants on the other hand, sport the 4th best ERA in all of baseball.  They have been living on their outstanding pitching staff.  Lincecum, Sanchez, and Cain have all been lights out thus far this season.  Expect much of the same in this series, as the Giants snap out of their recent funk, and take 2 of 3 from the NL Central leading Cardinals on the road.

3.  It is hard to believe, but Roland Garros is only #3 on this week’s list.  The French Open has been crazy so far.  On the Men’s side, all of the big guns are still standing, while on the Women’s side, none of the top 3 seeds have even made it to the quarterfinals.  Crazy, yet exciting at the same time.  As the week continues, look for the dream Nadal/Djokovic Finals matchup on the Men’s side to come to fruition and an improbable Schiavone/Sharapova duel in the Women’s Final.

2.  The Stanley Cup is finally here.  And to be honest, it is a great matchup.  These are both tradition-filled franchises looking to regain some of their former prominence (though the Canucks have never won it all).  Each team has a strong offensive and strong defensive unit.  I guess that is why they have made it this far.  Our hockey expert, Nick Craddock, picked the Canucks to take it home.  I took the Canucks before the playoffs started and I am sticking with it.  Look for Vancouver to bring the vaunted Stanley Cup for the first time in franchise history.  Click here for our hockey expert’s extensive breakdown of the Stanley Cup matchup.

1.  It is NBA Finals time.  This year’s playoffs have had a little bit of everything.  Close games.  Physicality.  Outstanding, skilled basketball.  And of course heart-pounding excitement.  The crazy thing is that there has only been one Game 7 in the entire playoff season thus far.  Who needs Game 7’s when the games have been like these?  The entertainment has been there.  And we are most definitely in store for a stellar Final’s matchup.

Heat in 6 is still the call here.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

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