LA Basketball lives on. It took two Game 7s but both the Lakers and Clippers have moved past their respective first-round opponents, and will now play the Thunder and Spurs, respectively. And while one should never use "respective" twice in one sentence," I think it's safe to say that we will now be treated to two sexy matchups in the second round. Respect that.
Bryant, who needed just 38 points (or "a good half," as Kobe calls it) to overtake Durant for the scoring title, sat out the final game of the season instead, ensuring that he would be well and rested for the playoffs. Conceding the scoring title to a young superstar such as Durant could not have been easy for Kobe, but this is what he was saving himself for. Durant will be guarding Kobe, Kobe will be guarding Durant, and all we have to do is sit and watch. Also, Artest plans to continue to be an a-hole, so there's that.
And then we have Parker versus Paul, Duncan versus Griffin-- Lob City versus Fundamental.. ville. The Spurs won two out of the three meetings against the Clippers this year, but the most recent matchup saw the Clippers winning in San Antonio on the back of Paul's 36 points and 11 assists. In retort, here's a video of Tony Parker at his best in that same game. I think it's safe to say that we got the matchups we wanted. Sorry Denver, aka the Sunshine State.
Celtics and Heat are well on their way to the Eastern Conference Finals. They may just be one game up in their 7-Game-Series', but I do not believe either team will be upset by the Sixers or the Pacers, respectively. The Sixers, though a good young team, are up against too much experience in the Celtics, while the Pacers are just up against too much Lebron James.
The Rangers take another Game 7. After a 2-1 victory over the Caps, the Rangers have reached the Eastern Conference Finals with a playoff record of 8-6. Simply put, it's been a grueling task for this #1 seed to make it past the first two rounds, and is only going to get tougher as they start against the Devils tonight at 8 PM. If you need any sort of hint as to what this series should be like, check out this video. If you click on one link in this whole article, make it that one. Oh, hockey.
May baseball, is May baseball. My favorite moment from this weekend is a video of Jered Weaver singing along to the derisive tune played over the loudspeakers in Texas when he was yanked from the game. Good thing he plays on the West coast. Let us all try and picture Beckett explaining to the Boston media that, despite giving up 6+ ER in 4 innings, he gets very few chances to sing "Hit the Road Jack," and god damn it he's gonna sing when he feels like it.
Saving the best for last, Manchester City completed a comeback that, whether or not you follow soccer, was without a doubt one of the most exciting, improbable feats in sports history. In order to secure their first league cup since 1968, all City needed was a win against the lowly Queens Park Rangers a team that was fighting relegation, somehow found themselves down 2-1 in the late stages of the game.
Manchester City is known for their build-you-up, heartbreak style, and as the camera showed the depth of the despair on the various faces of the home crowd, the words "I can't believe this is happening again" came to mind over and over again. The faces of these fans deserve it's own paragraph. First, they showed a boy of about 12 years old with tears streaming down his face. The camera stayed on him for about 10 seconds. They then switched to an older woman who was enjoying Mother's Day with her hands covering her face. She just kept shaking her head back and forth. They put the grown men draped in City's light blue on display, and what you saw was pure unadulterated sadness in these fans, not anger. The men were on the verge of tears, their inner-12-year-old selves resurfacing. Their team had done it again. There were 5 minutes left and Manchester City was about to lose the title, again, to Manchester United, all to a QPR team with 10 men on the field (a red card had been produced earlier ,just before QPR scored their second goal.)
Then City scored a header off a corner, and moments later, in the final seconds of the game, Kun Aguero scored the goal that would win them the title.
Here's another, slightly more Spanish video of of the goal. And yes, there's singing. To truly appreciate how good this game was, check out these extended highlights. Crying children in the stands are included in this one.
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