DiRT on Monday

Is there no-one else out there besides Jeff Van Gundy who sees how terrible the refs are in this series, especially last night?  You either look at this series as Cleveland could be up 2-0, or Golden State could be – you could look at it that Golden State had a chance, even with the poor shooting of Steph Curry – and either way you look at it, last night was a game that was so ugly, it fell out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down – but that dumpster-fire was entertaining to watch.  Do you doubt why the league suffers from conspiracy theories?  Watch the Refs in game 2 again, and you’ll see why – none of the calls and non-calls make any sense – how does Lebron not get some of those call towards the end – it was worse than Hack-A-ShaQ?  About the only thing Lebron did not do to win this weekend, was ride American Pharoah.

What I believe to know is that, Lebron is the only guy out there who knows what it takes to win and he is doing everything he can about it.  But can he continue to overcome the obstacles and JR Smith?  Can Golden State stop playing outside-in?  When will Cleveland stop trying to blow it at the end?  I have no real idea on any of it.  Thankfully, this series is turning into an all-timer, Spurs-Clippers-esque.  Hopefully whatever side of the fence you find yourself on, you’re enjoying it as much as we are here.

Notes I cannot put anywhere else:

  • LeBron James produced game-high totals of 39 points, 16 rebounds and 11 assists to lead the Cavaliers to a 95-93 overtime victory over the Warriors in Game 2 of the NBA Finals, knotting the series at one win each. James joined Jerry West as the only players in the history of the NBA Finals to achieve a triple-double with as many as 39 points. West scored 42 points, grabbed 13 rebounds and handed out 12 assists for the Lakers in their Game 7 loss to the Celtics in 1969.
  • James became the second player to produce outright game highs of points, rebounds and assists during the NBA Finals, joining Shaquille O’Neal, who did so at Los Angeles in the Lakers’ Game 2 victory over the Nets in 2002 (40 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists).
  • Stephen Curry scored 19 points in the Warriors’ loss on Sunday while making only two of his 15 attempts from beyond the arc. It was the first game of Curry’s NBA career, regular season or postseason, in which he missed as many 13 three-point field-goal attempts. His previous high was 11 missed three-pointers, done three times, twice during the regular season in the 2013 calendar year and once earlier in this year’s playoffs (7-for-18 against the Pelicans in Game 3 of the first round). The only other player in the history of the NBA Finals who missed as many as ten three-point field-goal attempts in one game is John Starks, who went 2-for-18 from the field, including 0-for-11 from three-point range, in the Knicks’ Game 7 loss at Houston in 1994.
  • The Cavaliers-Warriors series is the first in the history of the NBA Finals in which the first two games each required overtime and it’s the first series in any round of the NBA playoffs in which Games 1 and 2 both went to overtime since the Mavericks and Trail Blazers split the first two games of their best-of-five first-round series in 1985, both at Dallas, with the first game going to double-overtime and the second game decided in one extra period. It’s only the second time that two consecutive games of an NBA Finals went to overtime at any point during a series. The Knicks won Game 3 of the 1970 Finals and the Lakers won Game 4 of that series, both requiring overtime at Los Angeles.
  • Draymond Green blocked three field-goal attempts by LeBron James in Game 2, including two in overtime. The only other player who has rejected three of James’s field-goal attempts in one playoff game is Serge Ibaka, who did it for the Thunder in a Game 2 loss to the Heat in the 2012 Finals

If a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound?  The same parable works for Horse Racing.  A triple crown winner has finally occurred after 37 years – will it save Horse-Racing?  Does it change the average persons viewpoint on the ponies?  Did you actually watch the race?  I mean before you told people on Facebook how awesome it was that it happened?  So what have we learned from an Egyptian of Jewish decent who’s horse was Grand-Sired by Empire Maker – the same horse that ruined Funny Cide’s Triple Crown in 2003 at the Belmont – you might have learned that the Triple Crown is hard in baseball and in horse racing – it’s the 12th time for horse Racing and Miguel Cabrera in 2012, was the 17th in baseball – the drought being 10 years longer in baseball.

So does this reinvigorate horse racing?  Not likely, but there is a cool stat to come out of it all – Miguel Cabrera, hit a two-run home run to give the Tigers the lead for good in their 7-1 win over the White Sox in Chicago Saturday.  The only other baseball player with a Triple Crown to his credit to hit a home run on the same day that horse racing welcomed a new member to its most elite club was Lou Gehrig. Gehrig, who led the American League in batting average, home runs, and RBIs in 1934, hit a homer on June 8, 1935, the day that Omaha won the Belmont Stakes, and two more on June 5, 1937, when War Admiral gained racing immortality.  Home Runs and Triple Crowns are hard – both on the same day is harder still.

Not sure why Bishop left in the third period, maybe he had to poop, but Vasilevskiy did just fine in stoning the Blackhawks.  In fact, the victory he earned in Game 2 is only the 4th time in NHL history that a goalie recorded a win in a Stanley Cup Final game, that he did not start.  The first time was in 1928 – one of the most famous in ‘Ockey ‘Istory – when Lester Patrick, the Rangers 44yr old coach, put himself in goal after Lorne Chabot was injured in game 2.  The “Silver Fox”, as he was known, helped the Rangers win 2-1 in overtime over the Montreal Maroons.  Vasilevskiy’s win was the first of his playoff career, making him the fourth goalie in 77 years to record their first playoff victory in a Stanley Cup Final game – the others:  Al Rollins, Toronto (’51), Hank Bassen, Detroit (’61), Jussi Markkanen, Edmonton (’06), and Patrick Roy, Montreal (’86).