US Sports Wrap - XXIV
Who's saying what
We're back with another playoff filled US Sports Wrap. This week I'm dropping the blog on you after one game in each of the NBA conference semi-finals so I've got some highlights packages from our good friends at Youtube. And in case you missed it, we've got the top ten players picked in the 2011 NFL Draft. Oh and some NHL playoff action too. No throwing up news reporters though... or do I? No I don't.
* Playoffs Round 2 (Conference Semi-finals)
Chicago Bulls (0) vs Atlanta Hawks (1)
Miami Heat (2) vs Boston Celtics (0)
Memphis Grizzlies (1) vs Oklahoma City Thunder (1)
Los Angeles Lakers (0) vs Dallas Mavericks (1)
* Bulls vs Hawks
Joe Johnson's been pissing me off every time I've come up against the Hawks in NBA 2K11 on the Xbox, and now he's f@#!ing with my life again giving my Bulls a headache and leading Atlanta to a 103-95 win over the first seeded Bulls in game one of their conference semi-final. Johnson scored 34 points in the game while Jamal Crawford added 22 off the bench. Things looked worse for the Bulls with Derrick Rose limping again at the end of the game with his on again-off again ankle injury, but he still managed 25 points and 10 assists for the losers. In other D-Rose news, he was announced the youngest ever MVP today at just 22 while Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau was named Coach of the Year.
* Heat vs Celtics
In a fiery game one it was the Heat who prevailed registering a 99-90 win over the Celtics. Dwayne Wade, who struggled all season against Boston averaging just 13 points in their match-ups, starred for the Heat with 38 points and a short flight into the crowd chasing a loose ball, while James Jones was an unlikely support act adding 25 points of his own off the bench. Tempers boiled over in the fourth quarter when Paul Pierce got a bit agro after a foul by Jones, earning both double technicals, and then minutes later when Pierce set a screen on Wade which ended in some choice words also warranting double techs and Pierce was ejected from the game. Game two in the series is happening right now. (Update: Lebron James scored 35 points leading the Heat to a 102-91 win in game two)
* Grizzlies vs Thunder
After the Grizzlies knocked off the Spurs in round one (yep, that's right), they continued their rich vein of form with a 114-101 win over the Thunder with Zach Randolph top scoring with 34 points and 10 rebounds. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook were no slouches for Oklamhoma City, but it's been the Grizzlies dominance in the paint that's been getting the job done. After the game Durant said Randolph is the best power forward in the league at the moment and its hard to argue. But it's not just a one man show, Marc Gasol really started lifting his game late in the season, was great against the Spurs, and added 20 points and 13 rebounds against the Thunder. They play game two later today. (Update: Thunder level the series with a 111-102 win).
* Lakers vs Mavericks
The Lakers and Mavericks both won their game 6's last Friday against the Hornets and Trail Blazers respectively, and are now facing off against each other in what I'd say is the more intriguing of the two Western Conference semis. The big German Dirk Nowitzki top scored for the Mavs with 28 points and 14 rebounds as Dallas came back from a 16 point deficit to win 96-94. Kobe Bryant, who scored 36 points for the Lakers, had a chance to win the game at the buzzer but his 3-point attempt rimmed out and that "wha wha whaaaaa" sounded from the PA system of the Staples centre (ok, that bit didn't happen, especially in LA).
NHL (Ice Hockey)
* Playoffs Round 2 (Conference Semi-finals)
Washington Capitals (0) vs Tampa Bay Lightning (2)
Philadelphia Flyers (0) vs Boston Bruins (2)
Vancouver Canucks (1) vs Nashville Predators (1)
San Jose Sharks (2) vs Detroit Red Wings (0)
* The Lighting have stunned the East's top seed with two early wins in their series while the Bruins came out flying scoring a 7-3 win over the (*cough*) Flyers in their game one and continued that stretching their series lead to 2-0 also. Meanwhile, it took the Predators until double overtime to win over the Canucks in game two and tie up their series 1-1. Finally, the Red Wings have looked two slow on the ice for the Sharks so far and will be desperate to get back in the contest.
* Now, if there's anything I like more than a top ten list of dunks from the NBA, its a top ten list of BIG hits from the NHL... ok maybe they're level-pegging... here are the Top Ten Hits from last week!
* Despite all the lock-out circus (the Appeals Court granted a stay on the judges ruling from last week so the lock-out is kinda still in place), the 2011 NFL Draft went ahead beginning on Thursday and continuing through to Saturday with 254 players picked over 7 rounds. It is quite possibly the slowest process ever conceived, however for fans of any of the 32 NFL teams - especially those who sucked last year - it can signal hope for the future. Auburn quarterback Cam Newton was as expected named the number one pick by the Carolina Panthers (highlights below). The biggest surprise was probably the Atlanta Falcons trading away a plethora of lower rounds picks to move up the draft board to pick wide receiver Julio Jones from Alabama. The top ten picks were as follows:
# Team Name Pos College
1. Carolina Panthers Cam Newton QB Auburn
2. Denver Broncos Von Miller LB Texas A&M
3. Buffalo Bills Marcell Dareus DT Alabama
4. Cincinnati Bengals A.J. Green WR Georgia
5. Arizona Cardinals Patrick Peterson CB LSU
6. Atlanta Falcons Julio Jones WR Alabama
7. San Francisco 49ers Aldon Smith DE Missouri
8. Tennessee Titans Jake Locker QB Washington
9. Dallas Cowboys Tyron Smith OT USC
10. Jacksonville Jaguars Blaine Gabbert QB Missouri
That's it for this week, for more sports action check out the World Sport Report from Chris Cork and the Friday Expert's Aussie Sports Wrap.
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