Last Week in Sports (4/9 – 4/15)
NFL offseason chatter, the English Premier League recognizes its champs, and it’s finally playoff season! Here’s last week in sports.
Bye Bye Dez
The Cowboys will release their star WR Dez Bryant, confirming chatter ongoing since the regular season about his future in Dallas. Though he remains a rare talent at the position, Dez has been noticeably slower over the last couple seasons and doesn’t hold his own in the top NFL receiver conversation anymore. Talk about who will sign Bryant is only just getting heated, but the Redskins and the 49ers look like solid landing spots given their need to position new long-term quarterbacks for success. How the Cowboys will make up for the loss in their receiving core is unclear, but they must be happy about an extra $10+ million on the books heading into this year.
In other NFL news, two-time Super Bowl champ James Harrison announced his retirement today, two weeks ahead of his 40th birthday, after joining forces with the Patriots for one season last year.
NBA Playoffs, Week One
The game of the weekend was Celtics vs. Bucks in Boston, which went to overtime after a miraculous game-saving three from Khris Middleton. But Jayson Tatum and Terry Rozier were the stars of the night, making huge plays in the last several minutes of the game to hold on for the Celtics’ win, including a nasty go-ahead three from Rozier at the end of the fourth and a block by Tatum on Malcolm Brogdon in a key OT possession.
In OKC, Paul George dominated the Jazz, living up to his new nickname, Playoff P, as he dropped 36 points and 8 threes on the best defense in the NBA. The Thunder won with Westbrook nearly notching a triple double.
Also in the West, the Trailblazers fell short to Anthony Davis and the Pels in Portland, while the Warriors didn’t even blink as they steamrolled the Kawhi Leonard-less Spurs.
The Raptors, the Rockets, and the 76ers all took care of business with wins at home, but the narrative of the weekend was, as usual, focused on LeBron James.
For the first time in his career, LeBron is trailing in a first round playoff series. James hadn’t even lost a game at any point in the first round of the playoffs since 2012, continually sweeping his opponents for five years. But this Cavs team is not the level of support James has had in the past. The Pacers put on quite the showing, never trailing in the game and laying the hammer down when the Cavs nearly pushed themselves back into it, but they are a very beatable team that is further proving Cleveland is not as powerful as it was only a year ago.
NHL Playoffs, Week One
The Penguins are the team to beat in the NHL for the last couple years, and it was no different on Sunday as they returned to form with a dominant win. At one point, two goals were scored in five seconds by Pittsburgh to tie an NHL record that goes back to 1965. They beat the Flyers handedly, 5 – 1.
Meanwhile, the Vegas Golden Knights continue their incredible season with a third straight win over the LA Kings behind some jaw-dropping assists, and the Columbus Blue Jackets just took a 2-0 lead over the Caps heading back to Ohio for game three.
The Sharks, the Predators, the Lightning, and the Bruins also solidified their 2-0 leads, while the Wild won their first playoff game against the Jets to take the series to 2-1.
Manchester City, Premier League Champs
With West Brom’s surprise win over Manchester United yesterday, Manchester City clinched the Premier League title. Their dominance has been talked about all season and it finally took root in a championship without even having to beat their hometown rivals. By clinching the win only 33 games into the season, Man City ties a Man United record from the 2000-2001 season and is still on pace to become the first club to score 100 goals in a Premier League season.