The Best of Wednesday Night's Sports
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The Best of Wednesday Night's Sports

Soccer may have been more exciting than basketball tonight.

Well, it's humpday, people. We've had two relatively unexciting nights of basketball this week, and tonight was no exception, so here's tonight's best of the best:

Richard Jefferson turns back the clock:
Old man telling father time to f*ck off for the night! For reference, Jefferson's last Eastern Conference Finals were with a team consisting of Jason Kidd and Dikembe Mutombo.

Nagbe makes his first international cap/goal count:
Darlington Nagbe is a player that US fans have been dying to see make an appearance for the national team. He finally got the opportunity tonight, and in the dying moments of a Copa America tune-up against Ecuador, he netted this beauty of a volley to win the match.

Raptors ice cold on the road:
With no player on your roster scoring over 14 points, what did you expect? Just as I predicted, the Cavs absolutely slaughtered the Raptors tonight, 116-78, and even led 100-60 at the end of the third quarter. Here's the best recap I could find of the Raptors performance tonight.

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LeBron Has Had Enough Of Charles Barkley's Shit

Years of taking the high road has caught up to LeBron. And it's amazing.

We all have that one professor. The one who you're pretty sure has to be at least 85 years old and for some reason hasn't retired yet. At his peak, you presume he was a pretty good instructor. He's got a firm grasp on the material, but his old age now hinders his ability to not only relate to his young students, but also teach the course even remotely effectively. He usually ends up giving everyone an A and forgets to collect an assignment or two.

Oh, and he gets away with saying just about whatever he wants. He says a ton of racist, sexist and questionable shit - shit that everyone in the class turns around and goes "did he really just say that?" But he never gets in any trouble, because, well, he's a seasoned vet.

He's been around the block. You can only be politically correct for so long until your mind just explodes from taking the high road one too many times - and after that, everyone just kind of gives you a pass.

Well, friends, LeBron hit that point Monday night. He's now the old-as-dirt professor. I mean, LeBron has now logged more NBA minutes than Michael Jordan, and most college kids can't remember the NBA without The King. LeBron has more haters than even Trump, and he's dealt with them rather valiantly since his debut.

FINALLY, LeBron has had enough! Monday night, NBA on TNT personality and former NBA All-Star Charles Barkley spoke out against LeBron, calling him "whiny," among other things. Barkley has long been the figurehead of the "Union of Irrational LeBron Haters," and James usually doesn't give him the time of day. NOT THIS TIME!.


And that's only the tip of the iceberg! LeBron is now the NBA's token old guy who will verbally destroy you if you slander his name. I've waited a long time for this stage of LeBron's development and I can only hope Barkley is the first of his many victims.

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The Atlanta Hawks Lost To The Cavs, But Stole My Heart

What an effort it was.

NBA fans owe a big thank you to the Hawks bench tonight. The Cavs entered halftime up by 10 ready to coast to a 1-0 series lead. Al Horford was already considering his free agent options.

Que the bench. Dennis Schroeder boasting pure unadulterated german efficiency starts to mount the comeback. He put Atlanta on his back with a sweet 3 for 3 from the field with two of those attempts coming from downtown. And all of a sudden ...

The Hawks have life. We have a game worth watching. All because of this young gun with flow that should've earned him a cameo in Dope.

Every hero needs a lovable side kick, and tonight Schroeder found his in fellow benchie Mike Scott. Scott played your spark plug bringing life back into the Atlanta's defense.

LeBron James no longer seemed to be instilling his will. All of a sudden Paul Millsap is cleaning up the glass. Scott, a relative jobber, will forever have my love for those six minutes he gave in the third quarter. If that isn't enough he deserves it for being the biggest apple fan in the league. (I mean why is apple not paying this man money. Look at those tats.)

The third quarter ended with the hawks back within four points of the Cavs and made us think just maybe the Eastern Conference isn't the cakewalk it was chalked up to be. Alas, it was all too good to be true. LeBron turned on the muscle and it was pretty much over.

All of a sudden the script seems back on track. Cry not Atlanta, for Schroeder brought hope even if just for a quarter.

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What To Watch For In Sports This Week (5/23)

Playoff sports are not something you should miss.

The NBA Playoffs got a little weird over the weekend, so trust me when I say you need to clear your evening schedule for the rest of the week (and then likely the first half of June as well).

Here are the can't-miss games and for Monday, May 23 and beyond:

Monday, May 23

NHL: San Jose at St. Louis, Game 5 (8 p.m. ET, NBC)
Locked up at an even 2-2, this pivotal Game 5 could likely determine the outcome of the series and ultimately decides which team gets to compete for the Stanley Cup next week.

Luckily for San Jose, they finished with the NHL's best road record (28-10-3) during the regular season. The Sharks will be hungry to take this one before for a potential clinch in front of the home crowd.

NBA: Cleveland at Toronto, Game 4 (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)
If you're like me, you had a feeling that Toronto was going to show out for their fans in what was the organization's first ever Eastern Conference Finals home game. It wasn't all too surprising that the Raptors were able to hold onto a late lead and capitalize on Cleveland's poor shooting.

However, unless they're able to repeat the same performance on Tuesday, this one will likely be wrapped up in five on the Cavs' court later this week.

Tuesday, May 24

Pittsburgh at Tampa Bay, Game 6 (8 p.m. ET, NBC)
Tampa's Nikita Kucherov scored the tying goal with 16:44 in the third period before Tyler Johnson put in the game-winning goal in overtime to help the Lightning steal Game 5 on the road Sunday evening. Now the Penguins must avoid elimination on the road, where Tampa is 6-2 this postseason.

Golden State at Oklahoma City, Game 4 (9 p.m. ET, TNT)
Yes, the best regular season team in NBA history now finds itself in a pretty difficult predicament heading into a vital, must-win Game 4 road matchup. In their two losses against the Thunder thus far (down 2-1), the Warriors went 21-of-63 (33.3 percent) from the 3-point line, which is well below their average of 41.6 percent from the regular season.

Meanwhile, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook have averaged 58.0 combined points in both wins, including 33 and 30 in Game 3, respectively.

It's weird to say, but Golden State is in serious trouble of missing out on the NBA Finals. Losing here wouldn't guarantee that, but it's not ideal to go down 3-1.

Wednesday, May 25

Toronto at Cleveland, Game 5 (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)
If the Cavaliers are able to take Monday's game in Toronto, the train stops here. There's no way that they don't close this series out in five if they're already up 3-1.

St. Louis at San Jose, Game 6 (9 p.m. ET, NBC)
Depending on what the Cleveland Cavaliers do in Game 4, this might be what you want on your TV Wednesday night.

Thursday, May 26

Tampa Bay at Pittsburgh, Game 7 (8 p.m. ET, NBC)*

Oklahoma City at Golden State, Game 5 (9 p.m. ET, ESPN)
Keep this one circled on your calendar. Whether Golden State ties the series at 2-2 or digs itself deeper at 3-1, this should be on every TV in America. It would be a shock to see Oklahoma City vs. Cleveland (probably) in the NBA Finals, but the Thunder seem to be on a mission.

Friday, May 27

San Jose at St. Louis, Game 7 (8 p.m. ET, NBC)*

Cleveland at Toronto, Game 6 (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)*

Saturday, May 28

Golden State at Oklahoma City, Game 6 (9 p.m. ET, TNT)*

Sunday, May 29

MLB: Los Angeles at NY Mets (8 p.m. ET, ESPN2)
Clayton Kershaw against Bartolo Colon on Sunday night baseball? Yeah. Count me in.

Toronto at Cleveland, Game 7 (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)*

*If necessary

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Just Like Old Times in Cleveland

It's like LeBron never left.

Although the Cleveland Cavaliers haven't ever won an NBA championship, they got one game closer on Sunday. They beat the Hawks 100-99 for a four game sweep. This is the old Cavs we were so used to seeing for years. The departure of LeBron James in 2010 was a shock to Cavs fans and they did not exactly react well.

But now he is back and after their sweep of the Hawks on Sunday, they look better than ever and are giving Cavs fans hope that they can finally clinch a title with their new big three of LeBron, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love. Check out LeBron being clutch in game 4 and proving he is in top form and ready to bring a title home to Cleveland.

The Cavs will be making another Eastern conference finals appearance facing either the Toronto Raptors or the infamous (in Cleveland) Miami Heat. LeBron hit plenty of clutch shots in the series sweep of the Hawks, including that shot to give the Cavs a three point lead late in game four on Sunday, leaving the notoriously hilarious Hawks Twitter account to post this picture, representing their feelings towards the Cavs.

The Cavs shot 16-for-37 (43.2 percent) from downtown in game four, which, if sustained, would make their offense almost unstoppable. Game four was actually their worst three-point-shooting performance of the series. They made 77 out of 152 triples, or 50.7 percent, of their attempts from deep. It doesn't seem too sustainable, but if they did it for four games, who is to say they can't keep it up?

This fact should scare those other teams:

For the Cavs to win their first NBA Finals, they will have to go through Toronto/Miami then if they beat the winner of those teams, they will face either San Antonio, Oklahoma City, Golden State, or Portland. I feel confident they can handle OKC and Portland without too much trouble, but it is likely they will face either the Warriors or the Spurs, in which case, we are in store for a hell of an NBA Finals this year!

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Celtics Looked Good Wednesday, But Will Disappoint In The Playoffs

Boston fans are optimistic, but will be let down.

The Cavaliers lost 103-99 to the Boston Celtics in a game with 24 lead changes. The Celtics pulled out a close win against LeBron James and company at the TD Garden last night led by Isaiah Thomas with 31 points. LeBron James had his 7th triple-double of the year racking up 28 points, 13 rebounds, and 10 assists but it was not enough to beat the Celtics.

The victory puts Boston three games back behind Cleveland for the number one seed in the Eastern Conference. As a preview for a possible Eastern Conference Finals matchup, many Celtics fans are now hopeful for a possible upset come playoff time. So could the Celtics pull out a upset in a seven game series against the Cavs?

Absolutely not

To start, Cleveland was without two huge contributors, J.R. Smith and Kevin Love. They were missed sorely last night and there offensive production would have more than made up for the four points they lost by.

Another reason: the Boston Celtics are 13-15 against teams with records above .500. There current position at the number two seed in the East is thanks largely to beating up on bad teams.

We can also look at the fact that Boston's adjusted defensive rating is ranked 21st in the league.

But the biggest reason Celtics fans will be disappointed come playoff time, the NBA is a superstar driven league. You need a superstar to win an NBA championship, if not two.

Isaiah Thomas and Al Horford are great players, but neither can call themselves a superstar. Isaiah Thomas has the worst defensive real plus-minus for any point guard that qualifies in the NBA (-4.46) and Horford has problems grinding out the necessary rebounds on most nights.

Cleveland cared more last night about playing Deron Williams and helping him get settled in their system. So sorry, Boston, no one in the Eastern Conference stands a chance against LeBron James' team.

P.S. Highlight of the game that wasn't a play: LeBron James almost falling on top of Bill Belichick.

"That's why I slowed up," James said. "I definitely slowed up because I knew it was him. I'm not taking no legend out. I'm not doing that. I need to keep seeing him win. That's pretty cool for me."