"The Stack" 4-26-16

#Deflategte lives on. Tom Brady's four game suspension is back on after the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the NFL in #Deflategate on Monday. Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
#Deflategte lives on. Tom Brady's four game suspension is back on after the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the NFL in #Deflategate on Monday.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
An MRI revealed a sprained MCL for Steph Curry and he will be re-evaluated in two weeks.
Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports
Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul broke in his hand in last night's game against the Portland Trailblazers and is likely done for the rest of the postseason.
Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

The Stack is back on this Tuesday and wouldn’t you know on a week when we are ready for the NFL Draft to start that there would be more big news items on a Monday than we’ve had the last three or four Mondays combined or so it seems.  By the way, your daily Conor McGregor update…UFC President Dana White says that McGregor is not yet on the UFC 200 card in July despite McGregor tweeting out yesterday that he was.  The battle rages on.  Let’s get to it all in “the stack” for today, Tuesday, April 26th:


Chris Paul breaks hand, Steph Curry out at least 2 weeks


Some pretty big injury news to two stars in the NBA Playoffs.  Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul is likely done for the rest of the postseason after he broke his hand in the third quarter of Monday night’s game against Portland.  This is a huge loss for the Clippers.  Paul, when healthy, is one of the best point guards in the NBA and a healthy Clippers team would have really tested the Golden State Warriors (more on them in a minute).  Now that Paul is out though and likely out for the duration of the playoffs, the Clippers chances of advancing even past the Trailblazers are greatly diminished.  The Trailblazers won the game 98-84 and the series is now tied 2-2.


Meanwhile, everyone was holding their breath in the Bay Area yesterday waiting to hear word on what the MRI on Steph Curry’s knee revealed.  While it wasn’t terrible news, it wasn’t exactly great news either.  The MRI revealed a sprained MCL and Curry will be reevaluated in two weeks.  That doesn’t mean Curry will be back and playing in two weeks, but it doesn’t mean he’s going to miss significantly more time either.  At this point we really don’t know.  Fortunately for the Warriors with the Chris Paul injury, they should be able to beat the Clippers or Trailblazers.  It’s already a foregone conclusion they will beat the Houston Rockets.  The Rockets are a joke.  The big question is is that even when Curry comes back, will he be 100 percent for the remainder of the playoffs however far the Warriors go?  I don’t know.  I don’t think anyone knows, but I do think the Warriors are significantly more vulnerable and their chances of winning back-to-back NBA championships are diminished.


Tom Brady suspended again


#Deflategate just won’t go away.  The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the NFL with a 2-1 decision on Monday, thereby re-instating New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s four game suspension that the NFL imposed after the Wells Report was released.  This is by no means over.  Brady is not going to accept this decision.  He’s going to continue to fight.  The two sides should just agree on a two game suspension meaning the Patriots will only be without Brady for games at Arizona and home versus Miami.  "Even if an arbitrator makes mistakes of fact or law, we may not disturb an award so long as he acted within the bounds of his bargained-for authority," the court said.  This was by no means a unanimous decision.  But the NFL has won for now and if the NFLPA were smart, the next time collective bargaining comes about, fight for the commissioner not to have so much power to deliver suspensions.  You agreed to this NFLPA.  It’s your bed and you have to lay in it.  Again then, expect Brady to fight this.  We haven’t heard the last of #Deflategate  yet.


Sam Bradford demands a trade


Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford does not like what the team is doing by trading all the way up to number two to draft either Jared Goff or Carson Wentz.  Bradford, through his agent, has let the team know that he wants a trade and that he won’t be showing up for OTAs (offseason team activities).  Bottomline here is that Bradford doesn’t have an argument to be made.  He could have gone out in free agency this year instead of signing back with the Eagles.  He also only signed a two-year deal and Eagles GM Howie Roseman has said that the Eagles view the quarterback their drafting as the long-term solution at quarterback and Bradford would be the starter.  He didn’t say Bradford would have to fight to save his starting job.  Bradford doesn’t have a foot to stand on here.  He has made so much money throughout his career for doing really nothing at all.  He’s constantly injured.  He was the last quarterback in the old draft pay scale that paid over $50 million guaranteed.  The Eagles gave him $22 million guaranteed when he signed his two-year deal this offseason.  Isn’t that a sign of good faith?  Sam Bradford, just shut up and go be with the team.  You are doing yourself no favors, both in the locker room and in the court of public opinion by whining and demanding to be traded.


Blues oust Blackhawks in game 7


Few things in sports are better than a game 7 in the playoffs.  The Stanley Cup Playoffs had one last night and they will have another one Wednesday night, but first to Monday night’s game 7 between the Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues.  Very few gave the Blues a chance to win this game given what the Blackhawks had shown in the previous two games and given the Blues recent playoff history and the fact that the Blackhawks are the defending Stanley Cup champions.  The Blues jumped out 2-0 before Marian Hossa scored with a minute-and-a-half left in the first period.  There were plenty of anxious and nervous Blues fans in the arena and you could feel it on television.  There were also a lot of Blackhawks fans in attendance and they were loud as well, especially when the Blackhawks tied the game on an Andrew Shaw powerplay goal early in the second period.  The third period was incredibly tense and the Blues would break the tie when former Blackhawk Troy Brouwer put a shot on net that hit the post.  Brouwer then whiffed on his second attempt and it looked like the Blues were going to miss a golden opportunity.  Right before the Blackhawks got to Brouwer to check him and clear the puck, Brouwer pushed the puck in to give the Blues the 3-2 lead.  The Scottstrade Center erupted.  Minutes later the Blackhawks looked like they had tied the game when a shot hit off both sides of the pipe and Blues goalie Brian Elliott got his glove in the way to prevent the Blackhawks from getting a clean rebound and scoring a goal to tie the game.  What a moment.  What a game.  The Blackhawks could not score when they had the empty net and the Blues won 3-2 and won the series 4-3.  What a hard fought series.  Tough to see the Blackhawks go out, but what an incredible tense and tremendous series.


There will be another game seven and that will be Wednesday night between the Nashville Predators and the Anaheim Ducks.  The Predators won at home 3-1 to force game seven.  The Predators jumped up 2-0 and though the Ducks scored a powerplay goal with 14 seconds left in the second period, the Predators would not be denied.  Shea Weber added an empty-net goal to win the game 3-1.  Series is tied 3-3.  There will be a game seven.  Are you ready?!


Thunder advance, Hornets even up series


The Oklahoma City Thunder never trailed in their game five matchup against the Dallas Mavericks and though the Mavericks made it close and a back and forth game in the fourth quarter, the Thunder would not be denied.  They won 118-104 to win the series 4-1.  Russell Westbrook had 36 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists.  And Mavericks owner Mark Cuban doesn’t think Westbrook is a superstar?  Please!  What a ridiculous thing to say.  Cuban may be business smart, but he needs to watch a little more basketball outside of his team apparently.


Meanwhile, the Charlotte Hornets grinded and gritted their way to an 89-85 win over the Miami Heat to even the series up 2-2.  Kemba Walker scored 34 points for Hornets.  He is pretty sensational in his own right.  Tuesday’s NBA Playoff schedule is as follows…


Indiana Pacers @ Toronto Raptors 6 PM ET TNT (Series tied 2-2)


Boston Celtics @ Atlanta Hawks 8:30 PM ET TNT (Series tied 2-2)


Coming up Wednesday: NBA Playoff reaction plus reaction to other top stories in sports