Top 5 Games of Last Week (4/28/14 – 5/4/14)
Believe me, it was oh-so-tempting to make this list a Top 5 NBA Games of Last Week, but I have to give the NHL some respect. While the NBA had a record number of Game 7s in Round 1 of the playoffs, the NHL featured a record number of OT games.
#5. NBA Playoffs, Game 6 – Los Angeles Clippers at Golden State Warriors
Lob City ended up winning this series, but Game 7 didn’t quite have the same feel as earlier tilts, so I went with Game 6. The penultimate game in the series featured all the traits that made this series a classic – explosive dunks, nifty passing, arcing 3-pointers, with just a sprinkle of animosity thrown in for good measure. Clippers and Warriors fans, you got your money’s worth with this one, paying just $229 on average.
#4. NBA Playoffs, Game 5 – Memphis Grizzlies at Oklahoma City Thunder
This series was so damn good. I really could’ve picked any of the seven games for this list, but I went with Game 5 because it was the fourth (4th!) game in a row that went to OT, and because of the excitement at the end. First off, let’s talk about how much frickin’ basketball these two teams have played. With four OT finishes, that’s almost two extra quarters of basketball than other teams have played. Yeesh. Second, who here thought Kevin Durant’s three-pointer with two seconds left was going to be good when it left his hand? ‘Cause I sure did. Third, who jumped out of their seat when Serge Ibaka tipped in the rebound as time expired? Yep, me again. Finally, who got right up close to the TV to watch the replay when they reviewed if the ball left Ibaka’s hand before time expired? Uh huh, guilty.
#3. NBA Playoffs, Game 7 – Brooklyn Nets at Toronto Raptors
I’ll admit, I was rooting for the underdogs in this one. Clearly, I’m talking about the Raptors, who haven’t been good in…ever. They’ve really never been good. So even though they had a better record than the Nets, even though they had home court advantage in Game 7, let’s be serious – they were the underdogs. Still, they put on an impressive show, trading shots with the Nets all the way down to the wire. In the end, the difference was the Paul Pierce block as time expired. Raptors fans, I really hope you didn’t shell out the $290.82 per ticket to see your team lose. That’s just cruel.
#2. NHL Playoffs, Game 1 – Montreal Canadiens at Boston Bruins
You know what beats NBA OT? NHL double OT. Twice the Canadiens took the lead in Boston, and twice they allowed the Bruins to tie it up. This is one of those game where you grab your friends shoulder while you’re watching, and shake him unconsciously as the puck moves up and down the ice. No brainer – even at $247.35, this is your bang-for-your-buck game of the week.
#1. NBA Playoffs, Game 6 – Houston Rockets at Portland Trail Blazers
One of the few series that didn’t go to a Game 7, the Rockets-Blazers was perhaps the most exciting. You could feel that both teams were frantic to move on to Round 2 of the playoffs, and several players experienced a renaissance during the series. Dwight Howard came through with clutch free throws (free throws? Him?), and LaMarcus Aldridge had the series of his life. Game 6, however, belonged to Damian Lillard. With just a few seconds on the clock and down one point, Lillard caught an inbounds and launched an unconvincing fade-away three-pointer. Except that it went in, and the Trail Blazers won the series. Still trying to process that one.