Monster competition this week between NBA and NHL playoffs, the greatest day in motor sports, and MLB action. We have to give a nod to the first no hitter of 2014. Josh Beckett of the Los Angeles Dodgers was the perpetrator, keeping the hapless Phillies in check for 9 innings, with dominant stuff and solid fielding. He's gone from a 20-something flame-thrower to a 30-something master of the pitching art. For the no-hitter, he threw 128 pitches, 80 for strikes to get his third win in as many starts (so for the week, he went 2-0). We love no hitters, and Josh Beckett gave us what we like, and is our Sportsman of the Week!
This blog usually focuses on action on the field/court/ice, but one individual went through a lot off of it, and his team has responded. New York Rangers RW Martin St. Louis suffered a tragic loss on Thursday May 8 with the sudden passing of his mother. Most of his teammates (and fans) expected him to miss Friday's game. He didn't. He also didn't miss any of the next four games. The result, Rangers are 5-0, outscored their opponents 20-6, and went from down 3-1 in the Eastern Conference semifinals, to up 2-0 in the Conference Finals. St. Louis scored 3 goals and 2 assists over the five games, but clearly his presence and triumph in the face of tragedy is worthy of being tabbed as the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week.
There's one playoff team (in both hockey and hoops) that is simply tearing opponents apart. The San Antonio Spurs, after a first round donnybrook against the Dallas Mavericks, easily won Game 7 of that series and haven't looked back. It's unheard of to win a NBA playoff game by 19 points. Let alone the first three games in a series by an average of 19 points. And they were never that close. Led by point guard Tony Parker, the Spurs look like a team possessed against the Portland Trailblazers. This week, Parker averaged 22 points, 8 dimes and shot 52% of the field. Leading the hottest team in the land, Tony Parker is our Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!
Exciting times in sports, with both the NBA and NHL running through the early rounds of the playoffs. Which means lots of games and lots of heroes. None bigger, probably, than a goalie who led his team to three wins over the week, now five straight total. Los Angeles Kings netminder Jonathan Quick held the San Jose Sharks to 2 goals over the final three games. For the week, he won three times, with four goals in three games for a 96% save percentage. Throw in a shutout before that (last week) and it jumps to 97%. Suddenly the Kings are the hottest team in hockey (after being the first team to go down 3 games to 0). And this week's Sportsman of the Week is a big reason why.