NBA playoff action last night saw the defending champion Golden State Warriors once again hold serve at home, opening up a 2 games to none series lead over San Antonio with a 116-101 victory over the Spurs. Kevin Durant scored 32 points while Klay Thompson scored 31 points in a winning effort. Meantime, Miami bounced back in a big way, evening their series at a game apiece with Philadelphia with a 113-103 over the 76ers. The Heat were led by six players in double figures, with Dwayne Wade scoring 28 points on the night.
Tonight, Toronto faces Washington, with the Raptors leading the series 1 game to none. Also this evening, Boston takes on Milwaukee with the Celtics leading 1 game to none while out west, Portland squares off with New Orleans with the Pelicans leading 1 game to none.
NHL Stanley Cup playoffs resumed last night as well, with the San Jose Sharks one game closer to the Western Conference semifinals. The Sharks clobbered Anaheim 8-1 and have a commanding 3 games to none lead over the Ducks. Meantime, Colorado beat Nashville 5-3 with the Predators leading that series 2 games to one and Toronto doubled up on Boston 4-2 while New Jersey beat Tampa Bay 5-2.
This was shear power by Bryce Harper.
Harper hit his major league-high eighth homer, and his 33½-inch, 31½-ounce Marucci bat paid the price. It cleanly cracked, but the ball flew an estimated 406 feet to right-center at Citi Field.
Now in his seventh season, Harper, 25, has hit 158 career home runs, boosting his total with the solo shot in the first inning.
By now, it's become fairly obvious that a lot of sports fans are tired of the New England Patriots.
The constant over-achieving, the monotony of back-to-back appearances in the Super Bowl, the legacy of Tom Brady, the genius and cold and statuesque-like nature of Bill Belichick.... not to mention the wildness of Rob Gronkowski.
Which is probably why the latest stories coming out of Foxboro have some people licking their chops waiting for more roadkill.
Danny Amendola, who just recently signed with the Miami Dolphins after failing to come to terms on a new contract with the Patriots, appeared on radio this week and delivered some rather juicy tidbits on his former team, in particular Belichick, for whom he labeled an a**hole.
"I respected him. I didn't like practicing in the snow or the rain. It wasn't easy, and he'd be the first to admit.... that it wasn't easy playing for him," Amendola told ESPN radio this week. "I understand Bill runs a tight ship. At the end of the day, I had faith he was going give me an opportunity to stay and I came to the realization he wasn't going to come close to the other offers I had."
Amendola also took time to address perhaps the most still-lingering question from the most recent postseason, which is what happened last February regarding Belichick's decision to bench defensive back Malcolm Butler in the Super Bowl loss to Philadelphia.
"He (Butler) was a brother of ours that year. And I hate to see a guy who worked so hard throughout the season not get a chance to play in the biggest game of the year and really get no explanation for it," Amendola said. "I don't know how the business aspect went into that decision. I don't know how the personal aspect went into that decision between him and Bill. But as a friend, I would have loved to see him on the field that day.”
And so here come the vultures, waiting to pounce on the Patriots yet again. The circling of the wagons in anticipation of another meltdown where the most efficient team in the NFL turns into a no-holds barred, reality show massacre.
I'm still not convinced we're even close to that.