"The Stack" 5-15-19

The New Orleans Pelicans won the Zion Williamson sweepstakes, I mean the NBA Draft Lottery Tuesday night jumping ahead six spots over teams like the Knicks, Cavs and Suns. Will Anthony Davis want to stay now?

The Stack is back on this Wednesday and thank goodness the NBA did not reward the New York Knicks or the Los Angeles Lakers and give them one of the top two spots in the 2019 NBA Draft. The lottery was last night and we have reaction to that plus the NBA and NHL games so let’s get right to “the stack” for today, Wednesday, May 15th:

Pelicans win top pick in NBA Draft Lottery

The NBA Lottery this year had more intrigue than just about any other year that I can remember. And on this Tuesday night in Chicago, with the New York Knicks, Cleveland Cavaliers and Phoenix Suns all having the best odds of landing the number one overall pick (and the Zion Williamson sweepstakes), it ended up being a night of surprise and chaos. None of the top three teams landed the number one overall pick. That would go to the New Orleans Pelicans followed by the Memphis Grizzlies. The Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers and three and four. The Cavs round out the top five while the Suns are the six seed.

Conspiracy theorists out there regarding the NBA Draft (count me among them) were looking for the Knicks and Lakers to be one-two in any order. The fact that the Lakers got the fourth pick raises an eyebrow a little bit, but they will miss out on the best players (Williamson, Ja Morant and R.J. Barrett) unless something stunning happens. That won’t help LeBron and company. Oh darn!

You wonder though if the Pelicans winning has anything to do with Anthony Davis trying to leave town. Now the Pelicans have a chance to convince Davis that he and Williamson would be an absolute dynamic combo. If he doesn’t want to listen or at least entertain that possibility, then he is a fool. The bad part is that the top two picks will go to western conference teams. The western conference is already tough enough. The NBA has made it that much more difficult while the west will remain the far weaker conference barring something big happening in free agency this summer. Anyway, the order for the NBA Draft Lottery is:

1. New Orleans Pelicans

2. Memphis Grizzlies

3. New York Knicks

4. Los Angeles Lakers

5. Cleveland Cavaliers

6. Phoenix Suns

7. Chicago Bulls

8. Atlanta Hawks

9. Washington Wizards

10. Atlanta Hawks (from Dallas Mavericks)

11. Minnesota Timberwolves

12. Charlotte Hornets

13. Miami Heat

14. Boston Celtics (from Sacramento Kings)

The NBA Draft is in June after the NBA Finals are done. It will be interesting.

Warriors take game 1 of NBA Western Conference Finals

Despite not having Kevin Durant in the starting lineup (Durant is still nursing a strained calf), the Golden State Warriors had little trouble with the Portland Trailblazers, taking them down 116-94. Perhaps we should have seen this coming after the Trailblazers fought back to beat the Nuggets in Denver on Sunday. That is a pretty quick turnaround. Damian Lillard wasn’t great. Steph Curry was. He made nine three pointers and finished with 36 points. He was fantastic. Certainly Portland can play better and I think they will, but they are going to need to figure out a way to score and a way to defend Curry or this will be a very quick series.

Game one of the Eastern Conference Finals is tonight between the top two seeds in the east. It’s Toronto at Milwaukee and it starts at 8:30 PM ET on TNT. This should be a great series. Give me the Bucks in 5.

Bruins one win away from Stanley Cup Final

It wasn’t as easy as game two, but the Boston Bruins are now one win away from the Stanley Cup Final following their 2-1 road victory against the Carolina Hurricanes. The Bruins got the first two goals and hung on the rest of the way. As good a story as Carolina has been this postseason, the Bruins are just too deep. They are too good. They should wrap up this series in no more than five games.

Game three of the Western Conference Finals are tonight at 8 PM ET NBCSN between the San Jose Sharks and the St. Louis Blues. Series is tied 1-1. Neither goalie has looked great thus far. I’m sensing seven games with this series.

Coming up Thursday: Playoff reaction plus PGA Championship pick.