Chicago Blackhawks-L.A. Kings: Part Deux

Chicago Blackhawks

The Chicago Blackhawks and Los Angeles Kings meet again. Just like in 2013, the Hawks and Kings will play for the chance to represent the Western Conference in the Stanley Cup Final.

Both teams faced stiff competition to get to this point. The Kings took out the top two seeds in the Pacific Division in Anaheim and San Jose. The Blackhawks beat everyone’s “darling” St. Louis Blues and a much improved Minnesota Wild club. L.A. may have taken the hard road to get this far, but it has aid dividends. In the six games L.A. has faced elimination in, they are 6-0. [Read more…]

Thunder pass Final test, erase 18-point deficit to oust Spurs

Could there have been a more perfect way for the darling Oklahoma City Thunder—an energetic bunch of youngsters who for years were described as “waiting their turn”—to make their first trip to the NBA Finals?

Since moving to Oklahoma City, the Thunder have simply climbed the Western Conference ladder step by step.  After missing the playoffs in 2009, they lost to the eventual champion Lakers in Round 1 in 2010 before falling to eventual champion Dallas in the Western Conference Finals in 2011.  In 2012, they dominated the NBA’s last two champs in the Mavericks and Lakers, and have now dealt the league’s top-seeded Spurs, once winners of 20 straight, four consecutive losses en route to the NBA Finals. [Read more…]

NBA Playoffs: Kevin Durant is a “closer”

Kevin Durant

I have said this many times and will continue to say it until people realize it: Kevin Durant is the best BASKETBALL player on this planet. Not only is he 6’10, long, and lanky, but he can score, rebound, take over and close games. There is a big difference between him and 3-time MVP LeBron James: Durant lives in the gym. There is no denying James’ talent, but I am taking a gym-rat over a gifted-athlete ten times out of ten.

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Back in the series? Spurs-Thunder will hinge on Game 4

San Antonio Spurs v. Oklahoma City Thunder

After falling down 0-2 to San Antonio in the Western Conference Finals, Oklahoma City continued its home court playoff dominance and ended the Spurs’ remarkable 20-game winning streak with a convincing 102-82 victory in Game 3.  The Thunder stomped San Antonio up and down the court by playing stifling defense and scoring in the paint at will, handing the Spurs their largest margin of defeat in a playoff game during the Gregg Popovich era and ending their perfect postseason start at 10 games.

But it’s not exactly time to break out the bubbly and get ready for the NBA Finals.  In actuality, down 2-1 in the series with another home game on its way Saturday night, now is the time OKC should be most worried.  Sure, they just dismantled the mighty Spurs, winners of 20 straight and 31 of 33, but such a thrilling victory could make Game 4 a perfect time for a Thunder letdown.  Only complicating matters, the Thunder will again be playing the NBA’s best coached and most balanced team coming off arguably their worst performance of the entire season. [Read more…]

NBA Playoffs: Thunder v. Spurs preview

San Antonio Spurs v. Oklahoma City Thunder

This should be one of the most highly anticipated series since the Los Angeles Lakers v. Boston Celtics NBA Finals in 2010. Rarely do we get an extremely intriguing Conference Finals. We will get both on Sunday when the Oklahoma City Thunder visit the San Antonio Spurs in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals. There is so much to look forward to in this series, so let’s get it started.

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How Good Are The Spurs? One of the Best Teams, ever?

Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker

When you see what destruction the San Antonio Spurs have done this season, and so far in the playoffs, it’s not crazy to admit that this team is very good. Actually, they are great. Gregg Popovich has managed a roster filled with veterans and youth. They have depth, experience, talent, and leadership. So just how great is this team?

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NBA Playoffs: Mavs, Knicks on brink of elimination

Dirk Nowitzki and Carmelo Anthony

Two playoff series might be over come Saturday and Sunday. The Oklahoma City Thunder and Miami Heat have taken 3-0 series leads. Can their opponents battle back or will the Thunder and Heat put them bed?

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NBA Playoffs: Five BIG Questions in the Western Conference

Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant

With the Utah Jazz beating the Phoenix Suns and claiming the last playoff spot last night, the playoff picture is set in the Western Conference. Let’s see if we can answer five big questions in the Western Conference.

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The 2011 Dallas Mavericks Are Not Your Usual Choke-Artists


Over the last twelve years or so, the Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs have owned the NBA playoffs while winning nine of twelve championships. One of their minor road-blocks in the West was Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks.

I say minor because the Mavericks have reeled off eleven straight seasons of 50+ wins, but have appeared in the Western Conference Finals on only three occasions over that same time-span with a lone trip to the Finals in 2006 (lost in six games to the Miami Heat).

With their well-documented disappointment in the month of May, the Mavs have been frequently labeled as one of the NBA’s biggest choke-jobs.

They seem to be following a different script this season as they held off the Portland Trail-Blazers and then annihilated the two-time returning champs. Up next, the young and battle-tested Oklahoma City Thunder.

By: Nick Grays
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Game Three Means Everything for Dallas Mavericks and Oklahoma City Thunder

NHL Western Conference Finals Scorecard

sharks-blackhawks

by Peter Christian and Bryan Vickroy

Today the Western Conference Finals begin with the Chicago Blackhawks lining up against the San Jose Sharks. There is no shortage of story lines for this series (such as former Badger linemates playing against each other or the mayors of each city making lame wagers on the series winner) but sometimes you need to just compare the teams on the ice. Thankfully, for you, Peter Christian and Bryan Vickroy have the goods for you with a head to head breakdown of the series. Peter will be representing the Blackhawks and Bryan the Sharks.

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Familiarity breeds contempt in Hawks-Sharks Series

sharks game intro

By Paul M. Banks

In two days, the Chicago Blackhawks will start their battle with the San Jose Sharks for Western Conference supremacy. And when the gauntlet is thrown down, there will be lots of commonalities and bonds between the two warring factions. Here are a few ties that bind:


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