"The Stack" 6-2-16

The NBA Finals tip off tonight between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors at 9 PM ET on ABC. Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
The NBA Finals tip off tonight between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors at 9 PM ET on ABC.
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Conor Sheary's overtime goal lifted the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 2-1 victory and a 2-0 series lead in the Stanley Cup Final.
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Stack is back on this Thursday with Stanley Cup Final reaction plus a very small preview of the NBA Finals so let’s get right to “the stack” for today, Thursday, June 2nd:


Penguins win in OT, take 2-0 series lead


It took overtime to decide game two of the Stanley Cup Final, but the end result was the same as game one…and that was with a Pittsburgh Penguins victory.  Conor Sheary scored after Sidney Crosby won the faceoff in the San Jose Sharks zone and got it back to Kris Letang.  Letang fed it nicely to Sheary who put a nice wrist shot on net.  Thanks to the traffic in front of the net Sharks goalie Martin Jones didn’t see it cleanly and the Penguins won 2-1.  Crosby called the play and it worked to perfection.  He has been the best player in this series, but the Penguins rookies have been stealing the show in the playoffs.  Both Sheary and Bryan Rust have been superb.  The Penguins have some young guys who will play a major role in keeping them one of the top teams in the eastern conference for years to come.


A 2-0 series lead by no means indicates the series is over, especially since the series now shifts to San Jose for games three and four, but the loss isn’t good news for the Sharks.  They are 0-9 when down 2-0 in a playoff series.  It also doesn’t help that the Sharks seem a little flustered and that the Penguins’ speed is taking the Sharks out of their game.  The Sharks did a better job of limiting the Penguins’ shots on goal, but were still outshot 30-22.  Sharks defenseman Justin Braun tied the game late in the third 1-1 and they were lucky the Penguins only had one goal at that point.  Jones once again kept the Sharks in the game with some incredible saves.  Certainly the Sharks can slow the momentum down by winning game three, but they now have to win four of the next five games to do so and I’m not sure that can happen.  Game three is set for Saturday at 8 PM ET on NBCSN.


NBA Finals start tonight


The NBA Finals (grammatically incorrect I might add) tip off tonight in Oakland at 9 PM ET.  Unless you are from another planet or have been living in a pineapple under the sea (Spongebob Squarepants!), you know that this is a rematch of last year’s championship series between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors.  Thanks to the Thunder imploding in game six of the western conference final and Steph Curry being, well Steph Curry, the Warriors come into this series looking to cap the best season we’ve ever seen. 


It won’t be easy.  The Cavaliers are healthy this year.  Kevin Love you’ll recall missed the Finals last year after injuring his shoulder against the Boston Celtics in the first round.  Kyrie Irving suffered a knee injury in game one.  It was LeBron and that was it for the Cavaliers and somehow they managed to win two games in the series.  The addition of Channing Frye is going to impact this series.  He has played well with the Cavaliers thus far.  The Cavaliers have shot a ton of threes this postseason, but they can’t solely rely on that against the sharp-shooting Warriors.  They have to impose their physical will with James down low and mainly don’t take bad shots.  That’s key, because the Warriors will make you pay if you take bad shots.  The Cavaliers also need to go at Draymond Green and try and draw a couple of technical fouls or a flagrant foul.  One more flagrant foul and Green gets suspended.  Two more technical fouls and Green is suspended.  If Green misses a game that could ultimately decide this series.


It’s all about the Splash Brothers (Steph Curry and Klay Thompson) for the Warriors.  They are the two best shooters in the NBA and it’s hard to see the Cavaliers being able to stop them.  I’d love to see the Cavaliers win this series and if they do, they have to do it in six or fewer games.  I just do not see them being able to go on the road and win a game seven to win the championship.  In the end though, I will go with the Warriors.


Pick: Warriors in 6


Starr steps down as Baylor president


Kenneth Starr is no longer the chancellor of Baylor University.  That’s a good decision given the results of the scathing report regarding the sexual assaults at Baylor under his less than watchful eye.  However, Starr isn’t leaving the university.  He will instead teach in the law school.  How is this a good idea?  Who wants this guy around given the huge black eye the university has suffered?  Sever ties with all parties involved.  Starr should leave the university.  His presence will instead only serve as a reminder of the terrible things that happened at Baylor.  Just don’t think this is a good idea.


Coming up Friday: Game one recap plus other headlines from the sports world