Top 5 Games of Last Week (6/2/14 – 6/8/14)
As we come to the end of the NBA and NHL playoffs, the games are only getting better. Still, for those of you inclined to watch more than just the Big Four in sports, I’ve thrown in a little Roland Garros for you.
#5. NBA Finals, Game 1 – Miami Heat at San Antonio Spurs
The most talked about game of the past week – a game that even sparked it’s own hashtag, #Lebroning – was actually a great game for the first three and a half quarters. Both teams offenses were on fire – the Spurs frenetic passing game in top gear, and the Heat’s superstars creating and cashing in on opportunities - but for the most part, the Spurs were slightly better. Then, LeBron cramped, the Heat’s offense sputtered, and the Spurs pulled away for a 15 point victory. What will be remembered as the cramping game should be remembered for excellent, exciting basketball. Fans that paid $414.53 to sit in the 90 degree stadium: Totally worth it, am I right?
#4. French Open Finals – Novak Djokovic vs. Rafael Nadal
More and more, it’s becoming harder and harder – to dispute that Rafa Nadal will surpass Roger Federer’s Grand Slam total, to bet against him in any big match, to argue that he’s not the best to ever play. Nadal just keeps winning. The biggest and baddest bull in tennis’ china shop, Nadal defies tennis tradition in so many ways. This game of rackets and fuzzy yellow balls used to be about angles, beauty, and propriety. With Nadal, it’s about ferocity, torque, and sheer willpower. At the French Open, in particular, Nadal is just like Serena Williams on the women’s side: dominant. Players try to adapt, but they just cant. He’s a player a generation ahead in build and style, and he’s playing a generation before anyone has the tools to deal with him. Even between Nadal and Federer – probably the two likeliest candidates for G.O.A.T – it sometimes looks like a hammer pummeling a paintbrush when Nadal’s forehand locks in on Federer’s backhand. Sunday at Roland Garros was no different for Djokovic, and emptying the contents of his stomach was merely a tangible reminder of that.
#3. Stanley Cup Final, Game 1 – New York Rangers at Los Angeles Kings
I wrote about this one at length already, but to sum it up, the headline would read: What’s going on with Lundqvist? Up two goals early, Lundqvist let in two in regulation and one more in OT to let the lead slip away. Reasons it’s not all his fault? For one, the Kings are getting a ridiculous number of shots on goal, including 20 in one period in this game. What’s that Gretsky quote? Oh yeah: You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take. After this game, I guess the higher the number of shots you take, the higher the percentage of goals you make. Not quite as catchy, but I’ll work on it.
#2. NBA Finals, Game 2 – Miami Heat at San Antonio Spurs
After Game 1, how would LeBron respond? Would he net 40? Is he fully recovered? Can he be like Mike? Um, guys, LeBron doesn’t care what you think. Proof: He went to see Maleficent before Game 2. Yeah, sorry about that. By the way, LeBron ended up with 35-10, played excellent defense on Tony Parker, and seemed unencumbered by stiffness or cramps at any point in the game. More than ever before, this is LeBron’s Heat, and if they win, they’ll win because of him.
#1. Stanley Cup Final, Game 2 – New York Rangers at Los Angeles Kings
“Pffft. Pshhh. Nahhh. Whaaaa?” Those were just a few of the sounds I made while watching this game – a game that, following a Game 1 that went to OT and an NHL playoffs that has just been ridiculously good by any measure known to man, proceeded to surpass everything that’s come before it. Once again, the Rangers led for much of regulation, up 2-0, 3-1, and 4-2 at different points. And once again, the Kings came storming back, leaving the normally cool and collected Lundqvist jittery and confused, and taking 2-0 lead in the series to Madison Square Garden after their 2OT win. Wow. Want to get in on the action? Tickets for Game 2 cost an average of $666.69.