Thursday, May 30, 2013

The "Original 6" Game 7 Victory By The Blackhawks

Blackhawks Win Game 7 in OT 2-1

By Haz Bey
With the Chicago Blackhawks facing elimination against the Detroit Red Wings  being down 3 games to none, Chicago regrouped to rally from facing elimination to moving on to the Western Conference Finals.  Game 7 came down to the wire with a dramatic ending.

The "Original 6" (Montreal Canadians, Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins, New York Rangers, Detroit Red Wings & Chicago Blackhawks) is the backbone of what the NHL is all about.  Other than the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Original 6 seemed to be always in contention for Lord Stanley's Cup, year-in and year-out.  With this year's playoffs, it is not any different for not only did the Blackhawks and Red Wings duke it out for 7 straight games, in the Eastern Conference, the Boston Bruins are back in the Eastern Conference Finals again.  So for another year the Original 6 are representing for the O.G's.

Detroit fought hard and hand a commanding lead over Chicago, but nothing is ever guaranteed in playoff hockey.  The NHL is the hardest league out of the American four major pro sports league to predict because it takes a lot more than X's & O's win a hockey game. Heart, effort, speed & toughness can change a series outcome in a heartbeat.  The Red Wings couldn't stop Chicago's momentum and now they have all summer to think about it.

The Chicago Blackhawks started Game 7 with a the type of physical intensity that had let them to rally from a 3-1 deficit.  Then 3 1/2 minutes into the 2nd period, Patrick Sharp scores the game's 1st goal off a terrible line change from the Red Wings.  The way Chicago was playing it seemed that 1 goal advantage would be all they needed.  They continued to play picture-perfect hockey up to the 2nd intermission.  Then all hell broke loose in Chi-Town when Henrick Zetterberg scored off a Chicago defensive lapse and the game was all nodded at 1 goal a piece only 26 seconds into the 3rd period and Detroit was "back in the game, baby!" (in my Tryone Biggums voice aka Dave Chappelle)  Chicago thought they had won in the final moments with a potential game winning goal, but the back referee called roughing penalties on  both a Red Wings player and a Blackhawks player so the potential game winning goal by Niklas Hjalmarsson did not count.  Finally in overtime, Brent Seabrook shot the game winning goal off of a deflection that sealed the deal for the Chicago Blackhawks.

With the Blackhawks moving on the conference finals, their is a 50/50 chance the Original 6 will be in Stanley Cup Finals with a possible match-up between the Bruins and the Blackhawks, which would be epic.  Even if the Original 6 doesn't make an appearance in the Stanley Cup Finals, we will truly see who the true best team in the last 5 years will be.  This is because for the 1st time since 1945, the NHL's "Final Four" will consist of teams that have each won Stanley Cup Finals in the last 4 years.  It's the "Best of the Best" going at it and Lord Stanley's Cup is the ultimate prize.  Now let's sit back watch how it all plays out.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

THEY'RE BAAAAAACK!!!! The Western Conference Champion Spurs

Spurs Sweep the Grizzlies En Route to the Finals
Haz Bey
After a 6 year hiatus, the San Antonio Spurs are back in the NBA Finals for the 5th time in franchise history.  The Spurs are 4-0 in the NBA Finals, but a potential match up with the defending champion Miami Heat may threaten their perfect mark.

Tony Parker led the way in the Western Conference Finals Game 4 series clincher with 37 points and 4 assist as the Spurs won 93-86.  The Memphis Grizzlies had no answer for Parker as he dominated the series from the opening tip of Game 1.  This is nothing new for Tony for he was the 2007 Finals MVP.

The Grizzlies showed the type of heart and resiliency of a champion, but the Spurs proved to be too much to handle this time around.  The lack of offense with the absences of Rudy Gay and OJ Mayo has proven to be the Grizzlies downfall as they could not keep up with the free-flowing offense of the San Antonio Spurs.  Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol shot under 40% from the field each as Tim Duncan and Tiago Splitter controlled the paint all series long.

Respect the San Antonio Spurs.  They have an all-time head coach in Gregg Popovich, a Hall of Fame "Big 3" in Tim Duncan, Tony Parker & Manu Ginobili and they been the most consistent franchise in Sports since 1989, way back when "The Admiral" David Robinson first stepped on the scene.  The Heat better take notice, because the Spurs will give the defending champs all that they can handle.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Ready to Jump Ahead to the Finals? Heat vs Spurs

Haz Bey
The Pacers and Memphis Grizzlies both had great runs this post season, but even though it is not official as of yet, both of their seasons will not include a trip to he NBA Finals.  With that out of the way, now we can focus on a much intriguing match up between the San Antonio Spurs and last year's defending champs, the Miami Heat.  

LeBron James is the best player in basketball.  His overall game is on a all-time level and repeating as a champion will put him in company of the game's greatest to ever play.  There's a problem though.  Tim Duncan is arguably the best power forward of all-time and he is hungry for one more shot a fifth ring. When you talk about who the greatest players in NBA history are, Tim Duncan is in the conversation.  In some people's cases he just makes it and with others he just misses out.  Winning a championship this year will put an end to any doubts that Duncan is indeed a top 10 player of all-time.  Both of these players have their legacies on the line that go hand & hand with winning another ring.  

Let's not forget that Dwyane Wade has a shot a third ring to add to his Hall of Fame career and both Tony Parker & Manu Ginobli are going for their fourth rings as well.  The star players in this series have a lot of motivation to help them compete for this seasons's NBA Title.  

I know both of these teams need to close-out their respective opponents, so I am not going to break down the series' match ups, possible strategies & predictions, but come June 6th, prepare yourself for one of the most competitive NBA Finals we are ever going to witness.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Western Conference Finals 1st Look

 Blog by Haz Bey  The San Antonio Spurs and Memphis Grizzlies are set to engage in battle for the Western Conference Crown after both teams eliminated the Golden State Warriors and Oklahoma City Thunder respectively.  The Spurs core group of Duncan, Parker, Ginobli & Coach Pop have won the West 3 times together, but problem is that their last win was in 2007.  The Grizzlies are huge matchup problem for the Spurs.  They are not just big, but they are also athletic and they play to their strengths.  This same Memphis Team beat the Spurs in 6 games in the 1st round of the 2011 playoffs and now they are even better.  So I am putting it out there right now.  The Grizzlies will beat the Spurs in 6 games or less and will face the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals. Mark my words.