Top 5 Games of Last Week (4/7/14 – 4/13/14)
The end of March Madness marks the beginning of baseball season, but America’s favorite pastime only serves to soften the blow. It’s a weird dead period in sports where baseball teams are finding their grooves and NHL and NBA teams haven’t begun the intense battles of the playoffs. People call mid-February the worst time of the year, but mid-April is a close second.
#5. Indiana Pacers at Miami Heat
This game had so much promise – Exhibit A: tickets cost an average of $273.47. Exhibit B: this was for first place in the East, people. Being the number one seed in the East would be huge. The Heat knocked off the Pacers in the Eastern Conference Finals last year in part due to – wait for it – being the number one seed and having home court advantage in Game 7. The story lines for both teams heading into the matchup were the same, and they weren’t good. The Heat had lost 11 of their last 21 and the Pacers 12 of their last 20. At a time when both teams were ailing, who wanted it more? Uh, turns out the Heat did. Way more. 12 points more.
#4. Philadelphia Flyers at Pittsburgh Penguins
Any time two juggernauts in hockey meet, even the casual NHL fan has to stop and take notice. With the playoffs starting this Wednesday, the Flyers and Penguins had one more shot at each other on Saturday. They did not disappoint. Never more than a goal apart, the Flyers and Penguins traded goals until, just two minutes into OT, the Flyers scored to win, 4-3. Thought the Flyers lead the season series 4-1, expect ticket prices to soar above the $189.92 price tag you saw Saturday if they meet in the playoffs.
#3. Denver Nuggets at Golden State Warriors
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: the Warriors are the most exciting team to watch in the NBA. The only thing that could’ve made this game a little better? Switch the Nuggets with, say, the Spurs. Anyone that’s in contention, really. Because even though it’s fun to watch the Nuggets play spoiler against one of their rivals, it’s not quite as good as two teams that are desperate to better their seedings in the playoffs. Still, it doesn’t get much better than the losing team making the last second shot to steal back victory, and the Nuggets Kenneth Faried did just that.
#2. Kentucky Wildcats vs. Connecticut Huskies
OK, so the finals didn’t eclipse the Final Four, but how could it? The entire tournament was outrageously competitive and fun to watch. There had to be a let down somewhere, and it ended up being in the second half of the Wildcats-Huskies matchup. Both teams played sloppy, sloppy basketball, tired, I’d guess, after a month of constant excitement and adrenalin. Still, the Wildcats almost found a way to claw their way back into it, as they had so many times in earlier rounds of the tournament. All in all, a solid finals matchup, though worth no where near the $405.18 price tag. In the “Year of the Freshman,” it was good to see senior guard Shabazz Napier reign supreme.
#1. Golden State Warriors at Portland Trail Blazers
To the victor goes the spoils. It’s a harsh reality in the NBA and many other team sports, where one individual can have one of the best games of his life and still finish a loser. Sunday night, despite nearly doubling the highest scorer’s point total on the opposing team, Steph Curry walked away on the wrong end of a 119-117 OT game against the Trail Blazers. His season high 47 points weren’t enough. The Warriors will make the playoffs, but unless his teammates play better around him, Curry may be exiting sooner rather than later.