"The Stack" 5-18-16

LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers soared and barely broke a sweat in their 115-84 romp of the Toronto Raptors.
Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
The Philadelphia 76ers won the number one overall pick in June's NBA Draft in last night's NBA Draft Lottery.
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Stack is back on this Wednesday ready to talk playoffs, the lottery and more so let’s get right to “the stack” for today, Wednesday, May 18th:


Cavs thump Hawks in Eastern Conference Finals game 1


It was a mismatch pretty from much from the get-go.  The Cleveland Cavaliers routed the Toronto Raptors 115-84 to take game one of the Eastern Conference Finals.  The Raptors had no answer for how to stop LeBron James.  James constantly kept backing DeMarre Carroll and anyone else who tried to stop him.  Most of James’ baskets were close to the rim and the Raptors came up empty in how to defend it.  James was eleven-for-thirteen from the floor and finished with 24 points.  Kyrie Irving had a big game.  The Raptors may get a game in this series and maybe it was just that they were tired after a seven game series with the Miami Heat while the Cavs got to rest, but it seems very hard to imagine that Raptors are going to take more than one game in this series.  Then again, we may have said the same thing about the Oklahoma City Thunder in their second round series against the San Antonio Spurs after their game one blowout loss.  Just saying.  Game two of the Western Conference Finals is tonight.


Oklahoma City Thunder @ Golden State Warriors 9 PM ET TNT (Thunder lead series 1-0)


Sharks even series up with Blues


The San Jose Sharks have taken home ice advantage away from the St. Louis Blues following their 4-0 win over the Blues in game two of the Western Conference Finals.  The Blues special teams play was a major reason why they won game one.  It was a major reason why they lost game two, but it is two-fold.  San Jose’s special teams play was a major reason why they won game two.  Defenseman Brett Burns scored two power play goals for the Sharks who were 2-for-5 on the power play while the Blues came up empty in six chances.  Credit goes to the Sharks penalty kill.  They are really good.  The Sharks scored just over two minutes in to set the tone in the game.  Now the Blues have to take at least one game in San Jose.  Tonight, game three goes down in the Eastern Conference Finals.


Pittsburgh Penguins @ Tampa Bay Lightning 8 PM ET NBCSN (Series tied 1-1)


76ers win the number one pick


For those hoping for some drama and a little luck to be on their favorite team’s side in last night’s NBA Draft Lottery, you were sorely disappointed unless you are a Philadelphia 76ers fan.  Do they still have fans? I guess.  Those fans are happy today after the 76ers won the number one overall pick in this summer’s NBA Draft.  Somewhere there is a joke in there about this team not winning at all the past few seasons, but I won't go there.  That means either Ben Simmons from LSU or Brandon Ingram from Duke.  The 76ers had the best chance to get the number one pick with 26.9 percent and they kept their spot.  In fact, no team moved up or down.  The Lakers had the second most ping pong balls and they pick second.  The Celtics pick third.  There was no change and therefore very little if any drama.


Odor suspended 8 games


I know I am in the minority when I say this, but I felt and still feel that Rougned Odor should get a month’s suspension for the punch he landed on Jose Bautista in Sunday’s brawl in Arlington between the Toronto Blue Jays and Texas Rangers.  MLB disagrees, giving Odor an eight game suspension.  How did they come to eight games?  What an odd number to pick.  And it’s flat out wrong.  It’s not that Odor threw a punch, but it’s that he landed the punch and it is also where he punched Bautista too.  A punch to the gut?  Not as big a deal as a punch to the jaw of an opposing player.  The man region and the face should be off limits.  Odor has a history too.  He landed a punch when he was down in the minors.  I was reminded that when Carmelo Anthony threw a punch in an NBA game a few years back he received a 15 game suspension.  That is a) more games than what MLB gave Odor and b) a higher percentage of games missed in the season than baseball).   This is an embarrassment.  These unwritten rules of baseball really bother me and the fact that MLB didn’t have the guts to suspend Odor more than eight games tells me and I hope others that while they don’t embrace what Odor did, they don’t have a big problem with it either.  Shame on you Major League Baseball.  Shame on you.


And while I’m on the subject of things that disappoint me with baseball, what the hell were the Atlanta Braves thinking when they fired manager Fredi Gonzalez via email on Tuesday?  I’ll have more thoughts hopefully tomorrow on this, but the Braves weren’t planning on winning this year anyway, so why fire a manager because he is 9-28 this year?  He’s been given essentially a minor league team trying to play with the big boys.  More on this to come.


Coming up Thursday: NBA & NHL Playoff reaction plus other top stories in sports