"The Stack" 5-15-17
Hope everyone had a very happy Mother’s Day. The Stack is back on this Monday with playoff reaction plus a couple of other things as well so let’s get right to it and see what is in “the stack” for today, Monday, May 15th:
Warriors complete furious rally, beat Spurs
The San Antonio Spurs were shocking the NBA world with the way they were taking it to the Golden State Warriors. Klay Thompson struggled mightily from the field in the first half and Steph Curry and Kevin Durant weren’t even playing all that great. The Spurs were up by 25 points in the third quarter, but their fortunes changed drastically when Kawhi Leonard rolled in ankle on the follow through on a three point shot. It looked like someone from his own bench, David Lee perhaps, may have contributed to him rolling his ankle. Moments later Leonard once again tweaked his ankle when Warriors center Zaza Pachulia contested a shot and then Leonard landed on Pachulia’s foot. He hit his free throws and then promptly left the game and did not return. The Warriors responded with an 18-0 run. The Spurs kept holding them off for a little while, but the Warriors kept creeping closer and closer in the fourth quarter. The biggest sequence after Leonard left happened with the Spurs up by three late in the fourth. They failed to get a defensive rebound twice and Curry buried a three pointer to tie the game. The Spurs could have potentially been up by two possessions, but instead the game was tied and the Warriors would eventually get the lead again and hang on to win 113-111. Just about everyone (okay maybe everyone outside of San Antonio) weren’t giving the Spurs a chance in this series. With Leonard’s health in doubt and the Spurs failing to hold onto a 25 point lead in game one, this series seems doomed for them to win. I fear this will be a quick series.
Tonight we’ll see if the Wizards can become the first team to win a road game in the series with the Celtics or if Boston will complete the home sweep and win game seven. John Wall helped force a game seven by hitting a game-winning three point shot to beat the Celtics 92-91.
Senators take game one of ECF, Ducks even series with Predators
The Ottawa Senators took game one of the eastern conference finals against the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1 in overtime Saturday night. The Penguins had a lot of opportunities in this game including what five power plays in the game, but they could not get anything past Senators goalie Craig Anderson. Evgeni Malkin did tie the game up in the third period, but the Bobby Ryan for the Senators scored in overtime to win the game for Ottawa. This series is not sexy. It seems like it is going to be boring. Please Pittsburgh, just win the series.
The Nashville Predators took game one against the Anaheim Ducks 3-2 in overtime Friday night. It looked like they were going to take game two as well going up 2-0, but the Ducks responded with a late power play goal in the first period and their offense picked up in the second period with three goals. Antoine Vermette tacked on an empty net goal with under a minute to go in the third period to give the Ducks a 5-3 win and even the series up 1-1 headed to Nashville for game three. I still think the Predators win this series, but the Ducks are an explosive bunch and it showed in game two. Nashville must shore some things up if they want to put the Ducks in a hole.
Derek Jeter’s number retired
The New York Yankees have had some incredible players through their storied franchise history including Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle and Yogi Berra. There are of course many more and you can add The Captain, #2, Derek Jeter to that list now. The Yankees honored Jeter in a pregame ceremony before their game Sunday night against the Houston Astros. He unveiled a plaque which will be in Monument Park and his number is the 21st number to be retired by the ball club. He made so many plays, knocked in so many runs, came up with so many big hits, if you were a baseball fan you hated him if you weren’t a Yankees fan, but you respected him. You admired him for his play on the field and his life off of it. His flip in the playoffs against the Oakland Athletics is on the list of iconic plays in baseball playoff history. There will never be another Derek Jeter. Thank you Jeter for what you did during your career. It was a well-deserved honor Sunday night.
Monday’s playoff schedule
Washington Wizards @ Boston Celtics 8 PM ET TNT (Series tied 3-3)
Ottawa Senators @ Pittsburgh Penguins 8 PM ET NBCSN (Senators lead series 1-0)
Coming up Tuesday: Monday’s playoff reaction plus other top stories in sports