"The Stack" 5-17-17

The Stack is back on this Wednesday with some playoff reaction and couple of other headlines so let’s get right to it and see what’s in “the stack” for today, Wednesday, May 17th:

Warriors obliterate Spurs

The San Antonio Spurs didn’t have Kawhi Leonard in their game six against the Houston Rockets and very few people gave them a chance to win. Not only did they win, they blew out the Rockets 114-75. Same result on Tuesday with Leonard out and the Spurs on the road to face the Golden State Warriors? Not so much. This game was over early as the Warriors raced out to a fourteen point first quarter lead. At one point it was 44-19. Yup, turn this game off. It was over. Steph Curry was great with 29 points including 6-for-9 from beyond the arc. Things got a little interesting with LaMarcus Aldridge sticking his foot out on a Kevin Durant shot, but Durant wasn’t injured. The Warriors cruised to a 136-100 win and a 2-0 series lead. This series is over.

Predators take series lead on Ducks

It was a warm and humid day in Nashville and the ice in Bridgestone Arena had some funny bounces to it for both the Predators and the Anaheim Ducks. The Ducks got up 1-0 on a power play goal by Corey Perry. It was a good shot at the feet of Pekka Rinne who couldn’t find a way to make the save and give the Ducks the lead. The Predators had some chances through the first two periods. Ducks goalie John Gibson had plenty of work to do facing 40 shots and he kept ending up on his backside, but the Predators couldn’t cash in. The Ducks themselves had plenty of shots go wide of the net. Things would change in the third period (in part I have to assume because I put on my Nashville Predators shirt and poured a drink in my Predators Moscow Mule cup) when Filip Forsberg got one by Gibson to tie the game 1-1. They would take the lead with just under three minutes to go on the power play when a shot deflected off of Gibson and he and the Ducks didn’t know where the puck was. The puck went right to Roman Josi who buried it in the wide open net to give the Predators the 2-1 lead. That would be the score they would win by. Good win for the Predators. Can they win two more? It’s going to be tough.

Celtics win NBA draft lottery

The NBA Draft Lottery is rigged. That has been the claim for years. If you needed any more proof that is rigged look no further than last night when the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers won the lottery and will pick one and two in June’s draft. I guess if it was totally rigged the Lakers would be picking number one, but this definitely seems fishy. The Philadelphia 76ers pick third. Markelle Fultz from Washington and Lonzo Ball are the likely first and second picks in either order. Ball (definitely his father LaVar) wants to go to the Lakers. That’s where he will go. It just seems suspicious that the ping pong balls fell the way they did. Now that Magic Johnson is back in L.A., the Lakers need to be relevant again. Getting Ball will help with that. Phoenix picks fourth. The rest of the lottery order is:

5. Sacramento

6. Orlando

7. Minnesota

8. New York

9. Dallas

10. Sacramento

11. Charlotte

12. Detroit

13. Denver

14. Miami

Sharapova not playing in French Open

Maria Sharapova was denied a wild card and will not be participating in the French Open. She has finished serving her 15 month doping suspension, but the French Tennis Federation decided that they didn’t want to give her a wild card because of her doping suspension. That is their right. I don’t know if it is the right thing to do, because you could be opening up Pandora’s Box because if you deny Sharapova a wild card for this, you better be ready to deny any other player, male or female, for infractions that could be just if not worse than what Sharapova did. Hopefully Wimbledon lets her play.

Federer withdraws from French Open

In other French Open news, forgot to mention this on Tuesday, but Roger Federer has withdrawn from the French Open. In a move that speaks more to keeping his career going as long as he can, Federer announced on his website that he is forgoing playing on any clay court surface this year and is instead preparing for grass and hard court surface tournaments. Federer doesn’t have a whole lot of time left in his tennis career. Anything that he can do to lengthen it is a big benefit for him and those that love watching him. Tough decision, but one that Federer feels is right. We should not criticize him for that.

Wednesday’s playoff schedule

NBA

Cleveland Cavaliers @ Boston Celtics 8:30 PM ET TNT (Eastern Conference Finals Game 1)

NHL

Pittsburgh Penguins @ Ottawa Senators 8 PM ET NBCSN (Eastern Conference Finals, series tied 1-1)

Coming up Thursday: NBA and NHL Playoff reaction plus other top stories in sports