Sports fans have had a lot to cheer about already this year, but the roars are reaching a fever pitch this week as both the NBA and NHL playoffs enter their final rounds. The past month has been filled with upsets, overtimes and buzzer-beaters from young superstars truly at the top of their game.
NBA Finals – Orlando Magic vs Los Angeles Lakers
Basketball fans were keeping their fingers crossed for a Kobe-LeBron showdown, but Orlando wasn’t about to roll over and proved they deserve to be here. Both the Lakers and the Magic took six games to win in the second round, with the injury-plagued Houston Rockets nearly upsetting LA and the defending champions Boston Celtics (minus Kevin Garnett) almost eliminating Orlando. The conference finals weren’t much easier, but now the stage is set for what’s sure to be a great championship.
Don’t think that Kobe & Co. will breeze through Orlando. While he may not be on as many billboards as LeBron, Dwight Howard has quietly accumulated an amazing roster of accomplishments in his five years in the league: 3-Time All-Star, 2009 Defensive Player of the Year, the youngest player to reach 5,000 rebounds, average a double-double, and record 20 rebounds in one game. He also put up 20 points a game this season.
Game 1: Los Angeles 100, Orlando 75
Game 2, June 7: Orlando at Los Angeles
Game 3, June 9: Los Angeles at Orlando
Game 4, June 11: Los Angeles at Orlando
Game 5*, June 14: Los Angeles at Orlando
Game 6*, June 16: Orlando at Los Angeles
Game 7*, June 18: Orlando at Los Angeles
* if necessary; all games on ABC
With the series too close to call, this Caveman is looking for his Rock Heads to chime in with their pick: Orlando or Los Angeles?
NHL Finals – Detroit Red Wings vs Pittsburgh Penguins
Two games into this rematch of last year’s Stanley Cup showdown, Detroit has found a way to contain Pittsburgh’s young guns, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Heading back to their home ice down 0-2, the Penguins will need to get something going in Game 3 to keep their hopes alive.
After stumbling a little against the Chicago Blackhawks in the previous round, Detroit’s back in their groove and playing like league champions. If you want to see some world-class hockey, make sure you tune in this week!
Game 1, May 30: Detroit 3, Pittsburgh 1
Game 2, May 31: Detroit 3, Pittsburgh 1
Game 3, June 2: Pittsburgh 4, Detroit 2
Game 4, June 4: Pittsburgh 4, Detroit 2
Game 5, June 6: Pittsburgh at Detroit (NBC, CBC)
Game 6, June 9: Detroit at Pittsburgh (NBC, CBC)
Game 7, June 12*: Pittsburgh at Detroit (NBC, CBC)
* if necessary
Do you think Pittsburgh can pull off the upset, or should they start engraving the Red Wings’ roster on Lord Stanley’s Cup?