Top 5 Games of Last Week (4/14/14 – 4/20/14)
What a week in sports. The near simultaneous kickoff of playoff hockey and basketball means there’s plenty to choose from, and yet somehow baseball managed to weasel its way onto the list.
#5. NBA Playoffs, Game 1 – Atlanta Hawks at Indiana Pacers
Many home teams aren’t doing too well so far in these playoffs, but the Pacers received a special kind of shellacking Saturday night in Indiana. Sure, the Pacers haven’t been playing their best ‘ball recently, but c’mon, a 101-93 thrashing at the hands of the eighth seeded Hawks? At home? Perish the thought. If it wasn’t clear, this game’s on here for two reasons: One, it’s a major upset for the team with the best home court record in the NBA and two, for the implications it could have on the rest of the playoffs – with home court advantage for the rest of the series, the Hawks could very easily win this series. That means that the Heat may have an easy road to the NBA Finals, whereas teams like OKC and SAS will have to battle it out, likely exhausting each other. Suddenly, it’s a very real possibility that the best team in the NBA – the Spurs – might lose yet again to the second best team in the NBA – the Heat – because of playoff scheduling. Not to get ahead of myself or anything.
#4. Baltimore Orioles at Boston Red Sox
On the eve of the Boston Marathon, it seemed fitting that Boston’s baseball team rallied from a 5-0 deficit to win, 6-5. Like the city, the Red Sox were down but not out – ever resilient in the face of adversity – before coming back in a big way. On Sunday night, Red Sox fan or not, everyone was a Boston fan. Not surprisingly, this was one of SeatGeek’s highest selling games last week, with over 21,000 tickets sold.
#3. NBA Playoffs, Game 1 – Golden State Warriors at Los Angeles Clippers
Billed as the most entertaining matchup in the first round of the playoffs – including by yours truly – this game was about as much fun as red light-green light through three quarters. The game consisted of fouls galore, foul trouble all around, and late-game threes. I enjoyed the late-game threes, and that’s about it. Fans who paid $129.83 for a good game, I’m sorry you ended up paying $129.83 for a bad game.
#2. NHL Playoffs, Game 1 – Chicago Blackhawks at St. Louis Blues
Well, there’s no better way to say it really: One of the worst teams in NHL history – and maybe in sports history, if you’re feeling generous – beat the defending Stanley Cup champions. Sure, it was only the first game, but that doesn’t really need to go in the first sentence, does it? After what Blues fans have been through? I didn’t think so. Of course, it might be worth adding this to that first sentence: the Blues won in style, beating the Blackhawks in triple OT.
#1. NBA Playoffs, Game 1 – Portland Trail Blazers at Houston Rockets
I was side-eying this game real hard when it started. See, I expected the Hawks-Pacers game to be the filet mignon Sunday night, not the cow’s tongue. Instead, Portland and Houston were the prime cut, producing some of the best NBA basketball I’ve seen all season. Yeah, it’s the playoffs, and this is normally the time teams come up with their best, but a 46-18 game from Aldridge? Asked after the game if that was the best game of his life, Aldridge said it was up there. Pshhh. Up there. It was by far the best game of his career. And what about the 27-15 game from Howard? There’s still some life in those aging legs. This was a great game before OT, and it only got better during it.