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"The Stack" 4-14-16

Kobe Bryant finished his NBA career with a bang, dropping 60 points on the Utah Jazz as the Lakers came back to win 101-96. Mamba out! Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
Kobe Bryant finished his NBA career with a bang, dropping 60 points on the Utah Jazz as the Lakers came back to win 101-96. Mamba out!
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
The Golden State Warriors have the best regular season in NBA history. They finished 73-9 following a 125-104 win over the Memphis Grizzlies Wednesday night. History is all theirs.
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA regular season is over.  Yes, finally!  The Stack is here to talk about the history made last night, we say goodbye to a legend and more so let’s take this journey together in “the stack” for today, Thursday, April 14th:

 

Kobe goes out with a bang

 

I wrestled and really struggled to pick which NBA story I wanted to lead off with.  But after Kobe Bryant ended his Los Angeles Lakers career with a 60 point performance, it’s hard not to go with him.  He missed his first five shots, but later in the first quarter he started to heat up.  He got an and one on a layup.  He nailed a three pointer.  He was feeling it.  Now granted, the Utah Jazz had nothing to play for after they were eliminated following the Houston Rockets blowout win over the Sacramento Kings, but I still don’t think they wanted to see Bryant go for 60 on them.  They knew though that this was Bryant’s night.  The Black Mamba was feeling it last night.  Having said that, it did take him 50 shots to get there, but you knew he was going to take a shot every chance he got.  To finish with 60  points, regardless of how many shots it took is still impressive.  The pregame video, the Magic Johnson speech, the number of celebrities and former teammates including Shaq that were there, it was pretty impressive to see.  It’s also fitting.  Bryant is one of the best players ever to don an NBA jersey, certainly a Laker jersey.  He gave a heartfelt speech afterwards and said at the end “Mamba out.” Well said Kobe.  What a tremendous player.  What a tremendous career.  Hats off to you.  See you in the hall.

 

Warriors win number 73

 

Given the state of the Memphis Grizzlies, it seemed like a foregone conclusion that the Golden State Warriors were going to win number 73 Wednesday night.  They still had to take the court and play the game, but it was clear pretty much right from the get-go that they were going to make history.  They were focused and they wanted this real bad.  The Warriors torched the Grizzlies 125-104 to end the regular season with the best record in NBA history at 73-9.  Steph Curry is the MVP of the league and he ended the regular season campaign with a bang dropping 46 points as well as making his 400th three point shot of the season.  73 wins showed in the video board.  Confetti fell to the floor when the fourth quarter clock showed all zeroes.  The Warriors made history.  It was great to see.  Won’t mean as much if they don’t win the NBA Finals, but no one can take away this feat they accomplished and no, the ’95-96 Chicago Bulls would not sweep this team.  Those Bulls players and their fans out there can shut it.  Don’t put shade on this record.  What a tremendous accomplishment.  It was quite a scene at Oracle Arena.  The atmosphere was great.  This mattered to the fans obviously not as much as to the players, but everyone wanted this.  Congrats Golden State.  Your names are etched in NBA history.

 

Puck drops on the Stanley Cup Playoffs

 

Some pretty good games last night to begin the NHL Playoffs.  The Tampa Bay Lightning edged the Detroit Red Wings 3-2 to take a 1-0 series lead.  They trailed 2-1, but had the energy almost all night.  The Red Wings looked old and tired as the game went on.  Lightning will win this series…Quite an interesting development in Rangers-Penguins game last night.  Pittsburgh had to start third string goalie Jeff Zatkoff due to concussions to starting goalie Marc-Andre Fleury and backup Matt Murray.  This was a chance for the Rangers to come in and steal game one.  Nope!  Zatkoff played really well and Pittsburgh took down New York 5-2, but not before Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist had to leave the game after the first period after taking a stick to the eye from teammate Marc Staal late in the first period.  The stick got right in between the facemask and got Lundqvist.  Moments after that happened the Patric Hornqvist scored for the Penguins to take a 1-0 lead.  He would record a hat trick in the game plus added an assist.  The Rangers let one get away from them…Finally the best game of the night took place in St. Louis where the Blues and the Blackhawks who just plain don’t like each other played the first overtime game of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs and almost nothing in sports is better than playoff overtime hockey.  It’s true sudden death.  The Blues delivered quite a few hits in this one.  Very physical game.  Both goalies played well and you knew Chicago would respond every time it seemed like St. Louis had momentum and the energy in the building.  In the end though, it was a David Backes shot that deflected off of a Blackhawks player to get by Corey Crawford that gave the Blues a 1-0 overtime win and a 1-0 series lead.  Great action Wednesday night.  Here’s Thursday’s playoff schedule:

 

Philadelphia Flyers @ Washington Capitals 7 PM ET NBCSN

 

New York Islanders @ Florida Panthers 8 PM ET CNBC

 

Minnesota Wild @ Dallas Stars 9:30 PM ET NBCSN

 

San Jose Sharks @ Los Angeles Kings 10:30 PM ET CNBC

 

NFL regular season schedule to be released tonight

 

Most people don’t look forward to the NFL regular season schedule being released.  Not me.  I love it!  It is my favorite day of the NFL offseason.  I know it’s silly and we already know who everyone is playing and where, but I want to see how many primetime games my favorite teams get.  I want to see when division rivals play, whether or not my favorite team ends at home or on the road.  You just like to see how the schedule all falls into place.  Normally the schedule is released next week, about a week-and-a-half before the NFL Draft.  There was a report out there last week that the schedule would be released on Monday.  However, the NFL has confirmed it will be released tonight and the NFL Network and ESPN will be doing special schedule shows tonight.  That’s how big of a deal this has become perhaps not to everyone, but to me and thousands of others out there like myself, we cannot wait for tonight.

 

Coming up Friday: NBA Playoff preview


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