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Likely Was The First Time Both Previous Year’s NBA Finalists Were Ousted On The Same Day

Last Sunday both of the previous year’s NBA finalists were eliminated from the ‘offs on the same day, in all likelihood for the first time in this the 74th such possibility.

The Suns, (0-3) in final round play, each a 6 game series loss, twice when having home advantage, have now failed to title in each of their 54 seasons.

They won 64 games but to be routed the way they were at home in the decisive 7th game/quarters is quite a blow.

Meanwhile Milwaukee, having won it all last season and one other time fifty years before that moves on to the off season deservedly devoid of criticism.

 

The coin toss that netted the Bucks and NOT the Suns the then Lew Alcindor, now Kareem Abdul Jabbar, certainly was/is— a/the seminal moment in each franchise’s history. 

T.B. at snakebitten Toronto and 4 home Teams (Car, Edm, Rangers and Calg) won Prelims 7th Games

Four of the five NHL preliminary round 7th games were won by the home team, two yesterday in overtime, as those who were “losing their draws” betting the “draw”/game goes into overtime proposition wager, got 6 plus units back on a Sunday.

Only two time defending champion Tampa Bay (Lightning), (riding 2 Nick Paul goals, the second/game winner, a brilliant one, and yet another superb effort in a series clincher by “Vas” (2-1’d) Toronto), won on the road.

Yesterday Artemi Panarin and Johnny Gaudreau had goals in the first overtime “session” (Kenny Albert there, father Marv’s sports “sessions” no longer) lifting the New York Rangers (vs Pittsburgh, the second time the Rangers overcame a (3-1) series deficit vs “Pitts,” the first time was in ’14) and Calgary Flames (vs Dallas, despite a brilliant 64 save performance by their goalie Jake Oettinger–pronounced Ottinger and do not let me get started vs Goodels) to #7 home wins.

On Saturday, Carolina (6-0) all-time as Carolina in #’s 7, but a “dangerous” (4-0) at home in these ‘offs, won (3-2) vs Boston (the Bruins covered the “puck line” with a goal in the last 20 seconds, ergo this was not that dramatic, if at all) and Edmonton filled the first part of the first “Battle of Alberta” in 31 years, winning (2-0) vs L.A. in a home 7th, despite L.A. goalie Jon Quick’s great performance.

So Florida is a (-150) series favorite vs T.B. It will be tough, but I predict Florida in 6.

Carolina is about a 2 to 1 “fave” vs the Rangers. It will be no worse than (1-1) for the Rangers after 2 games and this series is too close to call, in my opinion.

Colorado also has not lost at home and I detest “chalk” picks, but let’s say the Blues (they are over 3 to 1series ‘dogs, get one in Col, then maybe take the ‘Lanche.

Finally, Calgary is too big a “fave” vs Edmonton, over 2 to 1, but Mitch Moss, who won 10K on Derek Stingley going third in the recent NFL draft (some of it going to wife, who said “baby needs a new pair of shoes”) has Calgary at 35 to 1 to win the West (they are maybe plus 350 now, 3 and a half to 1 now), so the pick, that might just “jinx” Moss, is Calgary in 6.

 

Nick Paul scores 2, Lightning hold off Maple Leafs in Game 7

Nick Paul, pictured above, had both T.B. goals in game 7 at Toronto.

Juxtapose he, with another Paul, (Chris), yes an excellent player, but now on a team that dissipated and lost a series, in which they led (2-0), adding to his record, for now a 5th time.

Mavs Rip The Top Ranked Suns, (+210) VS Golden State In The Semis

In the second largest rout win by a road team in any NBA series decisive/winner take it game history, a superb player Luca Doncic hit for 35 and Spencer Dinwiddie added 30 as Dallas (Mavericks) ripped the top ranked (by 10 games, by the way, GState in this season in which their great fan, Brad Weiner passed away, has “home adv” in any remaining series while Miami has it vs Boston and would vs Dallas. The Mavs would have “it” vs the Celts) Phoenix Suns (130-93) (believe me it was not nearly that “close’).

Unfortunately the Suns (0-3) in final round play, twice with home advantage and up (2-0) vs Milwaukee (Bucks) last season, unlike the Bucks, who were eliminated on the same day but won it last year and were series u/dogs vs Boston, juxtaposed with the Suns, who were big faves, only to again dissipate a (2-0) series lead and this time a (3-2) advantage as (not) well, deserve mucho criticism!!

Dallas, whose 2 series victories this season are the first for the franchise since winning it all in 2011 (their lone title, the semis teams have a combined 27 titles, 17 won by Boston, 6 by the Warriors in both Philly and the West Coast Bay Area and 3 for Miami), now are plus “210” (just over 2 to 1) vs Golden State, with the series opening at “G.S.” on Wednesday night.

 

Luka Doncic (cropped).jpg

Luca Doncic, pictured above.

Celts “7” Bucks

The road/home and the Bucks “playing the part” of the Celts in the ’74 final vs them, was broken, again yielding a Celtics 7 game series triumph culminating in a Sunday afternoon win vs the Bucks, this vs the defending champion Bucks and their great player, Giannis Antetokounmpo, making Boston (4-0) vs the Bucks in game 7’s and (6-2) in series, none of which ever went 6 games.

I predicted Boston a 2:1 series fave to win vs Milwaukee in 6 and as too high 8 to 5 “semis” faves vs the East top seed Miami Heat, I again predict them to win in 6, largely due to the fact the Heat (6-0) at home in these ‘offs, will lose at least one home game.

Clearly, however, in my opinion, these are two evenly matched teams and though I think Boston will prevail, the 8 to 5 Boston as “faves,” is too high.

 

Jayson Tatum, Giannis Antetokounmpo embrace after Celtics beat Bucks in Game 7

Giannis and Jayson Tatum embrace after #7, in which Tatum, who had 46 in #6 had half as many while Grant Williams led Boston with 27 points, hitting seven– 3 point shots.

7’s,6’s–‘Offs Update

There will be SEVEN (decisive) SEVENTH games, three all in the NHL prelims today, and four tomorrow, to determine which teams move on to the NBA semi-final round and the NHL quarterfinal round.

In the NBA, the two teams, each of whom annexed superb players to seriously help them win 2 titles each in the last decade, the Miami Heat and Golden State Warriors each are (6-0) at home (remember going forward, just about every team that has made the semis in the last decades has lost at least one game at home during the ‘offs) and won their “quarters” in 6 games, beating the Philadelphia 76ers and Memphis Grizzlies respectively.

Miami seeking its 4th NBA crown won it in 2006 and then won 2 straight in the second and third seasons with the annexed, great player, Leb James in 2012 and 2013.

Golden State had titled in 2015 vs Cleveland, which had taken James back only to be robbed of the crown vs James and the Cavs in 2016. ‘G.S.” then went out and annexed another great, Kevin Durant and won back to back titles in 2017 and 2018, each vs James and Cleveland.

Meanwhile there are 2 #7’s tomorrow with a night Suns (menos 6) vs Dallas following a 3:30 Eastern on over the air television, #7 between the Celtics (-5) and the Bucks.

Who but me cited the eery similarity to these two teams classic 1974 NBA final?!

In each series through 6 games, it was road/home/home/ and 3 straight road team wins and through 6 Milwaukee has reversed its situation with Boston those 48 years ago as then it was Boston/Milw/Bost?Milw/Bost/Milw on Kareem’s ( Abdul Jabbar) long sky hook also in a Friday night #6) before the Celts won a third road tilt of that final on Mother’s Day afternoon in Milwaukee.

Tomorrow a week after Mother’s Day and in a rare Sunday afternoon/over the air TV’d game, Milwaukee visits Boston, to decide which team will face the East top seed Miami Heat.

In the NHL, one of three series ended last night and the top ranked Florida Panthers (their fellow Miami team, the Heat also won in 6 to advance. Both Boston teams have afternoon #7’s, starting within 24 hours, the Bruins at Carolina and the aforementioned Celts/Bucks, the two Dallas teams have road 7th’s, the aforementioned Mavericks at Phoenix and the NHL Stars at Calgary, each playing and quite possibly overlapping tomorrow night–both Tennessee teams the NBA Grizzlies beaten in a 6 game “qtr” as cited and the NHL Preds swept out by Colorado, whose fellow Denver team had been 5’d by Golden State in the prelims, were ousted in the respective overlapping NBA quarters and NHL prelims) rode series star, Carter Verhaeghe’s overtime goal to their first series win since ’96 when they made the Cup final, only to be swept by the Colorado Avalanche.

Elsewhere in the NHL as essentially cited Dallas forced a 7th at Calgary, doubling the Flames in a late night tilt in Dallas after the New York Rangers overcame a (2-0) deficit and won in Pittsburgh for the first time in the series (only 5 of the 32 ‘offs teams have not lost at home, aforementioned Miami and G.S. Colorado (2-0) and both Carolina and Boston in their all home prelim through 6 games).

Thus, say around 7 P.M. Eastern Time for Pens at the Rangers followed by Stars at the Flames, each team 2 under in previous #7’s, the Flames (5-7), the Stars (6-8).

Two more notes to conclude this long but essentially positive post on yet another dreary Saturday, the Pens are (5-0) in road 7th games and the first time the Rangers ever overcame a (3-1) series, that vs the Penguins in 2014 when there was Louise, New York won a Friday night, at Pitts #5 and a home #6/Sunday tilt before winning #7 in Pittsburgh.

#6 of this series was a Friday (last) night at Pittsburgh and tomorrow is a Sunday night (in ’14 ’twas a day game) #7 at New York game.

 

Pat Riley speaks at Eglin Air Force Base (cropped).jpg

Heat executive, Pat Riley as cited here in my recollection of the great ’71-’72 Lakers a week back, has been a part of 9 title teams. (4 as Lakers coach, 1 as a Lakers player, that in ’72, 1 as an assistant coach with L.A. one as Heat coach and 2 as Heat executive).

I believe Riley has also lost 9 times in a major final entity. Those are in ’66 as a college player with Kentucky when Texas Western, with a then virtually unprecedented all Black players starting five upset the Wildcats.

Riley lost a final as a coach thrice with L.A. and once with the Knicks. He lost three as a Heat executive, one in a “b.s. bubble” season in 2020 and one as a pro player with the ’73 Lakers, who fell to the Knicks. (Fell was said just about as I typed and where is Norman and what would he say regarding “this” and much “that?!”

Lightning/Leafs Last (Their series, 3 others so far, to a 7th)

Brayden Point, a superb clutch player (see my post regarding his goal in the 5th overtime to start the Lightning what has manifested in 2 titles and who knows this season?) scored late in the first overtime lifting 2 time champion Tampa Bay (4-3) over Toronto to force game 7 in what will be a frenzied Toronto setting on Saturday night.

A positive Lightning streak (or(r) is it strike that could have made one rich, a la the non bet, left in/put in 80 to 1 Rich Strike and as I typed for the Bobby/Brayden thing “OR” was said) and negative Leafs streak continued.

T.B. has now won 18 straight playoffs tilts after a loss while “Tor” has lost 9 straight games, in which they had a chance with a victory to clinch a series. They have not won a series since 2004 and not even made a Cup final round since winning the title in 1967.

Elsewhere the Bruins eased vs Carolina and Edmonton won at L.A. to set up two more #7’s Saturday. The times?

Click below to view my post after T.B. had won game 1 of its prelim vs Columbus in 2020’s “bubble” ‘offs. The year before the Lightning had a dominant regular season only to incredibly, be swept out by the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Since then those 18 straight wins after a loss, 2 titles and look as Point has Orr on his shirt.

 

 

Chex Johnny Bower.JPG

The great Johnny Bower, pictured above, recorded a shutout in #7 for all the marbles (Cup Final vs Detroit) in 1964.

 

 

‘Offs Update

Both the NBA quarterfinal round and the NHL preliminary round (yesterday marked the 50th anniversary of the Bruins’ second title in three seasons, thus the season was over–now the NHL is only 5 games into its prelims, with just one series completed) are through 5 games.

Yesterday both series trailing teams in action (the Rangers vs the Pens and the Grizzlies vs the Warriors–{the Pens and Warriors each titled in ’17 and they won a combined 5 crowns from ’15-’18 and made 7 final round appearances, 5 straight by the Warriors from (’15-’19}, won, however, still trail 3 games to 2 with game(s) 6 at Pittsburgh and Golden State respectively, tomorrow night.

Elsewhere, Giannis Antetokounmpo hit for 40 points and Jrue Holiday made the big plays as the Bucks kept the ’74 final road/home pattern going, stealing #5 at Boston, (110-107) to lead the series (3-2).

Again in both this 2022 prelim and the ’74 final it was road/home/home/road/road through 5 games. Also the Bucks, through 5 games, have matched the title winning ’74 Celtics, as each won the three odd numbered games among the first five.

President’s Trophy winning Florida (Panthers) though down (3-0), and the Pacific Division winning, Calgary Flames, who also trailed, (in their case (1-0) after 2 periods, in an eventual (3-1) victory), won pivotal games 5 last night to lead the Caps and Stars respectively 3 games to 2.

 

Jrue Holiday.jpg

The defending champion, Bucks’ Jrue Holiday, pictured above.

 

Watch the NBA Playoff Games at Vivid Cabaret in New York

Vivid Cabaret New York, the upscale Manhattan gentlemen’s club known for its beautiful entertainers and first class hospitality, will be showing all the NBA playoff games on its numerous Hi-Def TVs throughout the three-story club and on its VIP Roof Deck.

“Even though our hometown Knicks and Nets are out of the playoffs, we still love basketball,” said Vivid girl Samantha. “Come watch the games with us, and make it rain on all the hot babes here.” 

Vivid Cabaret features the city’s tallest stripper pole, a celebrity balcony, and an exclusive “Ultra Lounge.” Vivid Cabaret is the New York home of the world famous Vivid Stars and the sister club of Rick’s Cabaret NYC.

Vivid Cabaret New York 61 West 37th Street

Playoffs Notes

Nine of the twelve ‘offs series are (2-2) with all six of tonight’s game 5 tilts emanating from (2-2) series.

Last night while Colorado completed a prelims sweep of Nashville, only the Penguins, among the 5 teams up (2-1) “got the cash,” as they routed the New York Rangers.

Meanwhile Golden State (5-0) at home and (7-2) overall in these ‘offs, no covered Memphis (Grizzlies) to lead their “quarter” 3 games to 1. So it was a bad night for the two Tennessee playoffs teams.

Elsewhere the top ranked, President’s Trophy winning Florida Panthers got an all important tying goal from Sam Reinhart before riding Carter Verhaeghe’s second goal of the game at just under the five minutes gone point of overtime, to (3-2) Wash and square their prelim.

The Flames won at Dallas to tie their prelim, while the Celtics won at Milwaukee to tie their “quarter.”

An interesting note: The 2022 Celts/Bucks “quarter” has followed the same home win/road win pattern of the team’s memorable 1974 NBA final as it has been r/home/home/road and also the Bucks have won the games (1 and 3) that Boston won in that ’74 final.

 

Carter Verhaeghe makes Lightning opening-night roster

Carter Verhaeghe, pictured above

 

6 ‘Offs Games (None TV’d over the air), all 6 now (2-2)

Yesterday as the NBA “quarters” and NHL prelims progressed at the same point, namely game 4, all six lower seeded teams, by definition playing at home, won at least easily, to square their series at 2 games apiece.

Tonight 6 more tilts and only Colorado (Avalanche) up (3-0) vs Nashville (Predators) are assured of being up at least 3 games to 1 after tonight’s action.

The Bruins, Blues, Lightning (17 straight times they have won a playoff game after a loss–15 such in route to consecutive titles in limited or no fans 2020 and 2021 seasons and all 17 with the superb netminder Andrei Vasilevskiy in goal) and Kings all squared their NHL prelims with wins vs the Blues, Wild, Leafs and Oilers in that chronological order.

Those games and the 2 NBA tilts were NOT offered on over the air television.

Both Dallas (Mavericks) and Philadelphia (76ers) won at home vs top ranked Phoenix and Miami (I cited each of those conference top seeds had “held serve” to go up (2-0) to even their quarterfinal series.

For the record also yesterday, both the Mets and Yankees, each off to excellent starts (cited here last week) split doubleheaders and none of those 4 tilts were telecast over the air.

Only an 11:30 Eastern Time White Sox win at the Boston Red Sox was shown over the air in New York.

 

Andrei Vasilevskiy 2018-05-21 1.jpg

The brilliant goaltender of the two time current Stanley Cup Champion, Tampa Bay Lightning, Andrei Vasilevskiy, pictured above.