"The Stack" 5-24-16

Draymond Green avoided suspension, but did get fined for his kick to the groin of Steven Adams. The NBA got this completely wrong and I am not alone in this I don't believe. Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports
Draymond Green avoided suspension, but did get fined for his kick to the groin of Steven Adams. The NBA got this completely wrong and I am not alone in this I don't believe.
Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports
Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan came up big, especially in the fourth quarter, as the Toronto Raptors evened the series up 2-2 with their 105-99 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

The Stack is back on this Tuesday and no, we’re not going in-depth on Tom Brady appealing the ruling by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and requesting a second hearing.  It will end someday, some year.  We have playoff talk and why the NBA should be embarrassed in today’s post so let’s get right to “the stack” for today, Tuesday, May 24th:


Raptors even series with Cavaliers


Ladies and gentlemen, we have a series in the Eastern Conference Finals.  The Toronto Raptors have evened the series up 2-2 following their 105-99 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers.  This game was easily the best game of the series.  The Raptors had the lead much of the first half, but the Cavs came back in the second half and controlled much of the tempo.  They had the lead in the fourth quarter, but the final five minutes belonged to the Raptors.  Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan were sensational in the fourth quarter capping off what was a tremendous game for both.  They each scored over 30 points (Lowry 35, DeRozan 32).  Bismack Biyombo didn’t have as big of statistical game as he did in game three, but had a couple of huge blocks and got some big rebounds throughout.  The Cavs struggled in the end of the game.  LeBron James shot just one field goal.  As a team, the Cavs only made one field goal the final 4:30 of the game.  They were perfect the first part of the fourth quarter.  What a bad time to go cold from the floor.  The Cavaliers still should win this game, but the Raptors have renewed confidence now.  And with the possibility of Jonas Valanciunas will be back for game five, the momentum in the series has definitely shifted.  Personally, I still believe the Cavaliers will win, but I’m not nearly as confident in them as I was a couple of days ago.  Tonight is game four of the Western Conference Finals which Draymond Green will be playing in (I vehemently disagree.  More on him below). 


Golden State Warriors @ Oklahoma City Thunder 9 PM ET TNT (Thunder lead series 2-1)


Sharks take game five against Blues


The San Jose Sharks are one win away from their first Stanley Cup Final in franchise history following their 6-3 win over the St. Louis Blues Monday night in St. Louis.  If there is one thing that can be taken from not only this game, but from playing the Sharks in these playoffs it’s that you can’t take penalties against them, because they’re power play is really lethal.  They scored two power play goals in the second period, the second one coming late in the period to tie the game up 3-3 and really take momentum away from the Blues.  There were a couple of sweet goals in this game.  Troy Brouwer batted a puck out of midair into the net for a goal to give the Blues a 2-1 lead and the Sharks also had a goal that they batted in for a goal.  Joe Pavelski’s second goal of the game came 16 seconds into the third and that was pretty much it for the Blues.  The Sharks tacked on a couple of goals in the final minute.  What a physical game.  Don’t let the final score fool you.  This was the best game of the series.  The Blues are facing more adversity now and they find themselves headed to San Jose for what could be their final game of the season unless they play smart and stay out of the box.  Tonight the Tampa Bay Lightning look to finish off the Pittsburgh Penguins and go to the Stanley Cup Final.  It’s game six of the Eastern Conference Final.


Pittsburgh Penguins @ Tampa Bay Lightning 8 PM ET NBCSN (Lightning lead series 3-2)


Draymond Green avoids suspension


Apparently the NBA is OK with kicking opposing players in the groin.  Accidental or not, you cannot characterize Golden State forward Draymond Green’s follow through after the shooting as anything other than unconventional and unorthodox.  It’s not a basketball move.  Yet it was difficult to determine intent or not based on Green’s reaction and the NBA decided Monday to only fine Green $25,000 and upgrade the flagrant foul from a flagrant one to a flagrant two.  This had guys like ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith very happy as they didn’t think that Green should have been suspended, but they’re reasoning is very flawed.  They don’ t think Green should have been suspended in part because the way the rest of the western conference finals would play out could very much have been determined by Green’s suspension.  The Thunder would have gone up 3-1 and it would seem unlikely that the Warriors can come back and win.  That’s not saying that the Thunder just won’t win game four tonight to go up 3-1 in the series, but by saying the NBA shouldn’t suspend a star for his actions sends an incredibly stupid message that star players (and Green is a star or at the very least close to one) can get away with extra stuff and avoid a stiff punishment. 


Green kicked Stephen Adams in the groin.  The man region!  The nether-region!  The family jewels!  Why is that OK?  It’s the second time he’s done something like this in the series.  The NBA must really want Golden State in the NBA Finals.  Oklahoma City has gotten their fair share of breaks in the postseason and I get that, but there is absolutely zero reason why the NBA shouldn’t have suspended Green one game.  Green may say it wasn’t intentional and the move certainly wasn’t blatant, but I’m not buying it.  The NBA is an embarrassment today!  Unlike last week where I was definitely in the minority that Texas Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor should have received more than an eight game suspension for his punch to the jaw of Jose Bautista, I feel confident that I am with the majority on this one and that Green should have been suspended for one game.  There’s no place in the NBA for the actions that Green showed.  Maybe if the NBA had any cojones (pun intended), they would have suspended Green, but clearly they don’t.  Shame on you NBA.  These playoffs can’t get done soon enough.


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