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May 5, 2018

Sport Sunday: Basketball (NBA), Ice Hockey (NHL) #canIhaveaLickToo ?

The NBA and the NHL playoffs are both underway this weekend, to see who might qualify to fight for the championship of the US National Basketball Association, or for the National Hockey League's Stanley Cup.  
There are still many viable teams in the Conference Semifinal round of the NBA Finals.  Sunday will see games between the Golden State Warriors and the New Orleans Pelicans, and the Houston Rockets and the Utah Jazz. 

The Rockets lead in their series with the Jazz two games to one.  After suffering a 113-92 blowout loss in Game 3, the Jazz might get the reinforcements they need for a response in Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals.  With key players out because of injury, Utah has made do by running more of the offense through rookie sensation Donovan Mitchell and veteran forward Joe Ingles while playing reserves Alec Burks and Dante Exum more minutes. The adjustment was enough to steal Game 2 in Houston before Friday's Game 3 setback.   The Jazz hope to repeat that magic on Sunday. 

The Golden State Warriors also lead the New Orleans Pelicans two to one going into their game on Sunday.  The Pelicans were down 0-2 in their series, but came out firing at home in Game 3 of their second round series against the Golden State Warriors.  Anthony, Jrue Holiday,  and Nikola Mirotic all played well.  The biggest game-changer for the Pelicans, however, was Rajon Rondo. He finished with just four points, but grabbed 10 rebounds and dished out 21 assists. That’s not a typo, he actually had 21 assists and just four turnovers in 37 minutes of action.  He also had foot problems, provoking a minor scandal as he appeared to trip Stephen Curry during a jump shot.  He later reportedly stepped on the foot of Warriors forward Draymond Green, for which he received a technical foul.  The Pelicans finished  with a W.   The Warriors will take on the Pelicans in Game 4 on Sunday afternoon back in New Orleans.

Sunday's Stanley Cup action includes Game 5 of the series between the Boston Bruins at the Tampa Bay Lightning, and Game 6 of the series between the Las Vegas Golden Knights and the San Jose Sharks. 

The Golden Knights are a real success story.  They are the first expansion team in the NHL in over twenty years, and in their inaugural season just kept winning.  They were pegged at 250-1 to win the Stanley Cup at the beginning of the season, Vegas may have to pay out  if they continue on this winning path. They currently hold a 3-2 advantage in their season, but the Sharks vow to win game six.  it’s clear there’s no doubt in the Sharks minds that they can come back and win this series. At this point, there’s no guarantees on how things will end, but the Sharks won’t be getting eliminated without putting up a good fight.

Tampa Bay currently holds a 3-1 advantage in their series, over the storied Boston Bruins, and will meet again Sunday for a likely definitive game in the series.  The Bruins have lost a definite advantage in the game, Brad Marchand's tongue.  After a recent scrap with Lightning Ryan Callahan, in which the Tampa Bay Right Wing punched Marchand in the face four times, the Bruin reached out and touched him, with his tongue, grossing Callahan out.  Truth be told, it was a great lick, from the chin up.  It was not Marchand's first lick, he has done it before, but it is reportedly his last, according to NHL officials.  

 He takes a tick and keeps on licking...   

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