The daily sports news cycle is crazier than ever. Don't have the stamina to keep up to speed? Around The Bases is your daily morning destination to stay in the know on the biggest stories in both local and professional sports. We’ll start at first base with an intriguing story or event, and bring you home with a must-read story in the North Peace sports scene.
First Base - Beilein leaves Michigan for Cavs
An interesting story came out today amongst the reaction to the awesome games from yesterday — John Beilein is leaving Michigan to coach for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Beilein has been one of the best coaches in the NCAA in his career, and at 66, it may seem a bit late to make the transition to the NBA. However, it also gives Cleveland some competency and something to watch for, and I'm excited to see if he can help right that ship.
Second Base - McCollum leads Blazers to third round
The NBA owned the sports world yesterday, starting with Game 7 of the Portland Trail Blazers and Denver Nuggets series. The Nuggest were up 12 early, and Dame Lillard had an off night, with just 13 points. However, the Blazers showed they can get it done in other ways, as C.J. McCollum had his signature game, scoring 37 points on 17/29 shooting and Portland won 100-96. Nikola Jokic did his best, scoring 29 points to go with 13 rebounds and four blocks, but Denver will has to be a little disappointed that they lost the series after taking a 3-2 lead. The Blazers will now get their chance to prove to the world they can hang with the Golden State Warriors. That series starts Tuesday, May 14 at 6 p.m.
Third Base - Bruins destroy Hurricanes in Game 2
In Game 1, it seemed that the Bruins were about to lose to the Carolina Hurricanes before coming back late. In Game 2, the Bruins left no room for doubt, dominating the entire game on way to a 6-2 win. Boston only had two more shots than Carolina (25-23), but Tuukka Rask continued to play well, while Petr Mrazek didn't, and invited criticism over the decision to play him instead of Curtis McElhinney in the process. It's still early, but I thought Bruins would win the series before it started, and it sure looks like that now. The Hurricanes will need to dig deep and win two games at home if they want a shot at advancing.
Home Base - Raptors win Game 7 with franchise-best moment
Game 7 between the Toronto Raptors and Philadelphia 76ers was exactly what I expected — a low-scoring, defensive slog in which both teams shot poorly. It was incredibly stressful to watch and also a lot of fun. Serge Ibaka came out of nowhere to score 17 points for the Raptors, while Toronto showed excellent defense down the stretch. However, it once again came down to Kawhi Leonard, and it couldn't have been more fitting. While he did score 41 points, it took him 39 shots to do so, which isn't normally a good sign and is not efficient. However, in a game like this, it's exaclty what was needed. With four seconds left on the clock, Leonard received the inbounds pass, then dribbled accross the court to the corner and lifted up a prayer of a shot. It hit the rim not once, but four times before going in and releasing all the tension and fears of scared Raptors fans everywhere, myself included. The Raptors won 92-90. It was also the most emotion we've ever seen Leonard display. It was an incredible and iconic moment, undoubtedly the best in franchise history, and it owned the sports world on a Sunday afternoon. The Raptors wern't great in this series — they often wern't even good, but they found a way to beat a tough 76ers team, and will have their hands full with the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Around the Bases runs Monday through Friday. If you have a news tip or story to share, email Dillon Giancola at firstname.lastname@example.org.