The Viral Roundup – Fall Of The King Edition
Top o’ the mornin’ t’ya on this fine St. Patrick’s Day. Before you go on a green beer binge, check out today’s edition of The Viral Roundup. It’s the convenient one stop shop with all of the big stories, big scores and big developments that have shaped the world of sports you’re waking up to. In today’s go-around: LeBron gets burnt in his return to Miami, the Habs wither in Tampa and Vince Wilfork is headed to Houston.
Did You Hear?
King James stumbled once again in his latest visit to Miami. LeBron and the Cavs suffered a 101-91 loss on Christmas Day the last time James returned for regular action in Miami and last night the outcome was even more lopsided. Dwyane Wade put up 32 and Goran Dragic notched 20 to propel the Heat to a decisive 106-92 home drubbing of the Cavaliers. The win nudged Miami (that city Will Smith is awfully fond of) back into the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference. As of this morning, the Heat are listed as a 75/1 shot to win the NBA Championship. The Cleveland Cavaliers are still projected as the most likely team to walk away with the title this summer, clocking in as a 21/10 wager.
Did You See?
This awesome slice of video from Last Week Tonight has probably been superglued to your Facebook feed with everybody you know reposting it and we’re going to hassle you about it too. John Oliver’s evisceration of the NCAA’s approach to student athletes deserves a watch, especially with March Madness about to engulf the sporting landscape. It’s some amazing stuff.
Did You Know?
- The Lightning grabbed an important two points in their Atlantic Division clash with the Canadiens. Steven Stamkos potted two goals (his 38th and 39th) and Ben Bishop stood tall making 32 saves to give Tampa Bay the 4-2 victory over Montreal, a win that leaves both clubs tied with 93 points at the summit of the Atlantic standings. The Habs have faltered of late, posting a sheepish 2-4-2 record over their last eight games. Montreal could stand to get their offensive mojo going before the playoffs start. The Canadiens are averaging an anemic 2.54 goals per game this season.
- Fabulous prizes and a franchise saviour could be yours if you’re this year’s lucky Connor McDavid sweepstakes winner. Fans of the Oilers and Maple Leafs had complicated feelings as they watched their terrible teams face off on Monday. Toronto supporters praying for another draft lottery percentage improving loss got their wish last night as Jonathan Bernier gave up a woeful 3 goals in 4 shots in Edmonton, setting the stage for a 4-1 Oilers victory. Oilers forward Jordan Eberle recorded a goal and two helpers, plus Benoit Pouilot scored twice to give the Western Conference bottom-feeder the elusive W. Edmonton’s dismal 19-39-12 record saddles the club with the worst record in the West, while Toronto’s 27-38-6 total is good/bad enough for 27th overall in the NHL.
- The defending Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings continue to claw their way back into the playoff picture. Left winger Andy Andreoff netted his first career goal and Jonathan Quick grabbed the sixth shutout of his 2014-2015 campaign to emerge with a 1-0 victory over the dismal Arizona Coyotes. The home win has L.A. leapfrogging back over Winnipeg for possession of the final Wildcard spot in the West. Arizona lost for the fifth game in a row and are close to ousting Edmonton as the conference’s most likely McDavid suitor.
- The struggling Toronto Raptors walked into Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis as 5½ point underdogs and exited with a 117-98 thrashing of the Indiana Pacers. Kyle Lowry racked up 20 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists for his second triple-double of the season to lead the Raptors to their third victory in the last 13 games. The Pacers have a tenuous grasp on the #7 position in the Eastern Conference and the likelihood of All-Star Paul George returning to the club is still remarkably unclear.
- Elsewhere in the Eastern Conference standings shuffle, the Boston Celtics continue their playoff push with a fifth straight win. Center Tyler Zeller notched a career-high 26 points in the club’s decisive 108-89 victory over the draft ogling Philadelphia 76ers. The Brad Stevens coached squad will aim to keep their winning ways rolling on in their Wednesday night road showdown versus the Oklahoma City Thunder.
- There’s some troubling news in The Big Friendly. Star forward Serge Ibaka will undergo a procedure to sort out his knee pain. Oklahoma City Thunder fans have already experienced their share of medical headaches throughout the club’s 2014-2015 campaign, including a foot injury that still has Kevin Durant on the shelf. How long Ibaka will be out is unclear, but any time away is scary for a team that only holds a half game lead on New Orleans for the final Western Conference playoff spot. (Last night’s 119-115 loss to Dallas didn’t do any favours.) Still, the club are positioned as an 8/1 option to win the NBA Championship.
- Likely first overall pick Jameis Winston is not expected to attend this year’s NFL Draft. ESPN says they’ve spoken with Winston’s dad who says his son is planning to spend the day in Alabama with his family, although that scenario could be subject to change. Winston’s relationship with the media isn’t exactly sparkling when you take into account the controversies and legal troubles that arose during his time with the Seminoles, so it’s not too surprising that the future National Football League player would skip the press heavy event.
- Recently released Patriots veteran Vince Wilfork may be employed elsewhere, but he’ll still be sporting blue, red and white come training camp in 2015. The 33-year-old defensive lineman is taking his services (and a five time Pro Bowler resumé) to Houston. Wilfork is set to sign a deal with the Texans and (ideally for coach Bill O’Brien) improve the team’s pass rush presence. Houston also signed a 2 year pact that will bring in former Jaguars WR Cecil Shorts. The Texans can use the help at wideout with Andre Johnson now suiting up for the team’s AFC South rivals in Indianapolis.
- Did you think you could escape an NFL offseason day without a goofy chunklet of Chip Kelly personnel news? No dice. Tim Tebow worked out with the Philadelphia Eagles in a bid to get back into the NFL. Tebowmania was not contracted in the City of Brotherly Love. The team elected to pass on signing the media magnet of a QB.
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