NHL And NBA Combine For Remarkable Night Of Playoff Action – Bruce’s Thought Of The Day
No matter if you like the hoop better then the puck, or visa versa, Monday night left you a satisfied fan, unless of course you root for the Miami Heat, Golden State Warriors, St.Louis Blues, Washington Capitals, Anaheim Ducks, or Toronto Maple Leafs. Those 6 teams all lost but what games we saw.
1st in the NBA which is enjoying it's most wide open post season in years. The Chicago Bulls continue to astound the " experts" by winning despite key players being down with injury. No Luol Deng, Derrick Rose, or Kirk Hinrich. No need I guess ( not really) but the astounding Bulls got 27 points from the mightiest little man Nate Robinson, 21 from Jimmy Butler and beat the Heat on the road 93-86. Chicago is so not bothered so it seems by injury or location or deficit. They trailed by 7 late in the 4th quarter. That didn't matter. They put up 35 points in the 4th quarter alone against the top defensive team in the NBA, on the night Lebron James picked up his 4th MVP award. The Bulls destroyed the Heat on the glass to the tune of 46-32. Game 2 of this series is back in Miami on Wednesday night.
In San Antonio a game for all time as the home town Spurs rallied from 16 down in the final 4 minutes, then needed 2 over times to ward off the pesky Warriors in an instant classic 129-127. Manu Ginobili who moments before threw up a long 3 point shot that front rimmed, hit a rainbow 3 with under 2 seconds left. Talk about instant goat to hero. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich claimed afterwards he went from wanting to choke Genobili to wanting to cook him breakfast this morning. The win offset an amazing night from Warriors little big man Stephen Curry. He hit what seemed like a circus bag of shots, including deep 3's, scoop shots, and anything else in a 44 point performance. Game 2 of this series is also Wednesday night.
Skating over to the rinks. 4 huge games on Monday. The clock ran out on the Washington Capitals and their NHL leading power play and the Caps lost to the Rangers in a thriller 4-3. A high sticking call on Brad Richards gave Washington a power play with 1:54 left. The Caps owned the puck but couldn't muster that 1 great scoring chance to tie the game. Derek Stepan scored the game winner for the needy Rangers with just over 6 minutes left. Washington leads this series still 2-1.
In Detroit, the Redwings, down 2-1 in the series to the Ducks, scored the game tying goal with 6:33 left by Pavel Datsyuk, then with 4:50 left in the 1st OT Damien Brunner got a perfect rebound after a shot from Joakim Andersson and beat Jonas Hiller who had no chance to give Detroit a series tying 3-2 win.
Finally in Los Angeles the defending Cup champion Kings proved they won't be an easy out, as if last year didn't prove that. The Kings over came an early 2-0 deficit, then over came a 3-2 deficit and beat the St. Louis Blues 4-3. Goals from Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams just 1:16 apart in the 3rd period helped the Kings lock up this series at 2 games each.
The only "blowout" in the entire playoff menu was the Bruins beating the Leafs 5-2 in Toronto, which hosted it's 1st playoff game in 9 years. The Bruins lead that series 2-1.
Can Tuesday even come close to Mondays excitement? We shall see as the NBA has the Knicks down a game hosting the Pacers and the Oklahoma City Thunder trying to take a 2-0 lead over the rugged Memphis Grizzlies.
On the frozen pond we have 4 more games. The San Jose Sharks look for a sweep of the Vancouver Canucks. Meanwhile the Pittsburgh Penguins look for a commanding 3-1 lead over the NY Islanders, The Montreal Canadiens and Ottawa Senators try to get back to hockey after a game 3 fight fest. The Sens lead this ugly series 2-1, and finally the heavily favored Chicago Blackhawks, up 2-1 over the Wild take on Minnesota in a must win for the Wild.
Fasten those seat belts and let's hope we get the same thrills as Mondays epic playoff night proved to be.