Top 5 Games of Last Week (6/9/14 – 6/15/14)
Sadly, the NBA and NHL playoffs ended on the same weekend. Luckily for sports fans everywhere, there’s still the World Cup. And if you haven’t been watching, it’s time to get with it. The USA team plays Ghana tonight at 6pm EST.
#5. NBA Playoffs, Game 3 – San Antonio Spurs at Miami Heat
What looked like a rejuvenated Heat team in Game 2 became beleaguered in Game 3. Kawhi Leonard repeatedly frustrated King James on defense, and without James roaring on all cylinders, the Heat fell apart. Based on level of expectation, who lived up to the hype on the Heat besides James? I think…I think I have to go with Ray Allen. Yeah, that tells you everything you need to know about the Heat’s performance in this year’s Finals. Leonard, on the other hand, far exceeded expectations. After a slow start in Games 1 and 2, Leonard went off in Game 3 and propelled the Spurs to their fifth championship. Meanwhile, Heat fans paid $657.59 to watch their team get annihilated 111-92.
#4. NBA Playoffs, Game 5 – Miami Heat at San Antonio Spurs
No one saw this ending in five, especially the way in which it ended. With six minutes still on the clock, the Heat packed it in. Gave up. Surrendered. After several losses of 15 points or more, the Heat weren’t so much beaten as they were broken. LeBron looked around, frantic for help, but no one answered his call. Chris Bosh, who guaranteed a Heat victory in Game 5, stood by and watched. Dwayne Wade looked for fouls, not for baskets. Spurs fans didn’t care though – they loved the blowout just as much as any other win, even if it cost $852.95 to see it in person.
#3. Switzerland vs. Ecuador
In terms of play on the field, this year’s World Cup is off to a great start. Think of this: not a single game since Thursday has ended in a 0-0 tie. That’s unheard of. But of all the high scoring games so far, Switzerland’s relatively modest 2-1 victory over Ecuador was the best. Ecuador actually led early on, scoring their goal in the first half to go up 1-0 against the favored Swiss. Two minutes after half time, however, Switzerland struck back, and they continued tied 1-1 for much of the game. Then, on a fast break with just 23 seconds left, Switzerland netted a cross-bar beauty that gave them the lead and the win. Great stuff.
#2. NHL Playoffs, Game 4 – Los Angeles Kings at New York Rangers
Facing elimination, backs to the wall, Henrik Lundqvist and the Rangers refused to go down at home. Lundqvist, 11-2 in the past 13 games facing elimination, made 40 saves and the Rangers did just enough on offense to seal the deal, 2-1.
#1. NHL Playoffs, Game 5 – New York Rangers at Los Angeles Kings
An uninformed fan might look at the Stanley Cup Final series and think it wasn’t a good one. 4-1 does look pretty lopsided. But look past 4-1 series description, and you have one of the best series of the playoffs. Game 5 was no exception. In fact, Game 5 may well have been the best game of the entire playoffs. Think of this: the Kings had never played a longer game in their history. And as someone who actually watched it, it was one of the most nail-biting, gut-wrenching, nerve-wracking games I’ve ever seen in any sport. To the victor goes the spoils, but the Rangers should hold their heads high. They didn’t lose for lack of effort.