Need some quick odds on the week’s biggest storylines? (“Need” might be an overstatement; kind of want?) You’ve come to the right place. Let’s run through the newsworthiest happenings and transpirings from the world of sports, entertainment, and politics from the last seven days.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Well, maybe not the most wonderful time of the year, but still, it’s a bit like Christmas. There are so many sports on right now, it’s hard to focus on anything else. Major League Baseball has provided us with some surprises, and it looks like there will be a few lengthy first-round series in the NHL, not to mention the NBA playoffs getting underway this weekend.
So far, all the games in this year’s NHL playoffs have been surprisingly tight. So is a first-round sweep out of the question? And what will we see in the NBA? Russell Westbrook has been a beast this year, but will he be able to continue that against the Rockets? I guess we’ll soon find out.
No teams were swept in the first round last season, and only one had that outcome in each of the three previous seasons. There are a few series this year that have the potential for a sweep, but after watching Game 1, it appeared that might not be the case anymore. Buckle up, because I think we’re in for a long and bumpy first round.
Gallant led the Florida Panthers to the quarter-finals in the 2015-2016 season (his second year with the team), and had an above .500 record the next when he was fired. While there are still a lot of unanswered questions regarding that whole situation, one thing is clear: Gallant has the potential to be a great coach.
But what will he do in Las Vegas? He’ll have to build from the ground up, and that’s never easy. The expansion draft will give them a team mostly made up of third liners, so they won’t have a competitive top line off the bat.
The average team in the West this season won 40 games and still didn’t make the playoffs, so unless Vegas wins the (draft) lottery, don’t expect much competition from the desert anytime soon.
Westbrook had a historic season this year, becoming just the second player in NBA history to average a triple-double over the course of an entire season; he finished with 42. That has Westbrook in a lock for league MVP with James Harden, who just happens to be Westbrook’s first-round opponent.
But while Westbrook personally had an amazing regular season, his team finished sixth in the standings. The Thunder now face a tough Houston squad, but the fact that the Rockets allowed the fifth-most points in the regular season has me thinking a few triple-doubles from Westbrook is pretty likely.
There has been a top three pick traded every year over the past five drafts, with the exception of 2015. The problem this year is there are no quarterbacks that experts say warrant a top three pick, and that is what both Cleveland and San Fransisco are after. There are rumors some within the Browns organization want to take apparent top choice Myles Garrett, while others want to trade that first overall selection. As for Chicago, they seem content to choose third, as they’ll likely take a defensive lineman or pass rusher, something there is plenty of in the this year’s draft.
Photo credit: By Michael Miller (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
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