The Viral Roundup – It’s Lotto Night Edition
Hello! Welcome to another rhinstoned and ready go-around of The Viral Roundup. We’re your daily one-stop shop for all the big news, big buzz and big developments headlining the world of the sports. If it’s worth talking, texting or tweeting about, we’ve got it right here. In today’s edition: It’s lotto night in the National Basketball Association, the Warriors open up the Western Conference Finals with a win and Chicago tastes triple overtime glory.
Did You Hear?
For the first time in Minnesota Timberwolves history the franchise will be selecting at the #1 position in the NBA Draft. The T-Wolves came into last night’s draft lottery with the best odds of scoring the winning ping pong ball and they were “rewarded” as the evening’s big winner. Oddly enough, the Timberwolves also have the 2013 and 2014 first overall picks (Anthony Bennett and Andrew Wiggins) through trade activity. Another big winner last night? The Los Angeles Lakers. The lowly Lake show found themselves in danger of losing their Top 5 protected selection if the balls didn’t drop their way, but Los Angeles escaped with the #2 spot. Philadelphia had an underwhelming night. Grabbing the #3 position was expected although the tank happy 76ers weren’t lucky enough to grab the protected picks belonging to the Lakers or the Heat. The Knicks had the biggest letdown of the evening. The odds had New York as the most likely team to score the #2 pick but destiny dropped them into #4 slot. (There’s already early buzz that they’re trying to unload the pick.) Orlando rounds out the lottery Top 5. This year’s potential early selections include Karl-Anthony Towns, Jahil Okafor and Emmanuel Mudiay.
Did You See?
Everyone on the planet is offering up an opinion on the Deflategate fallout, but Keith Olbermann’s take is definitely worth your time. KO performs a vivisection on the matter and advises NFL commish Roger Goodell to step aside in the appeal process. Whether you agree or disagree on this issue, this clip still merits a gander. By the way, Patriots CEO Robert Kraft announced yesterday that he will accept the NFL’s $1 million fine and the loss of two draft picks. He clearly wasn’t happy about it, but that’s the route he’s going with.
Did You Know?
- Round 3 of the NBA Playoffs is now underway and Golden State continues to look good. The Warriors (a ten point favourite) escaped with a 110-106 Game 1 victory to send the fans in Oakland home happy. Rockets superstar James Harden missed a 27-foot trey with four seconds remaining which had the sold-out Oracle Center breathing a sigh of relief. Reigning league MVP Steph Curry led all scorers with 34 points and Draymond Green collected a double-double in the positive result. Houston big man Dwight Howard left the game early on with a knee injury and it’s unclear what the center’s health status is for Game 2. The next showdown between the two teams is set for Thursday.
- Don’t count on John Calipari splitting for the vacant gig in New Orleans this summer. The University of Kentucky coach tweeted that he’ll be staying with the Wildcats and that there would be no leap to the NBA. A recent report on the Calipari to the Big Easy rumours suggested that the Pelicans wouldn’t be ponying up the dough to meet the coveted coach’s salary demands.
- It took triple OT to do it, but the Chicago Blackhawks have evened the Western Conference Finals at one game apiece. Marcus Kruger was the extra time hero scoring the goal that ended the longest game in Hawks history and provided Chicago with a 3-2 victory over Anaheim. Netminder Corey Crawford made 60 saves for the winning club and Ducks goalie Frederik Andersen stopped 53 shots in a losing cause. Playing shorthanded put Anaheim into a rut early on with the Hawks capitalizing on a pair of power play opportunities in the 1st period. The Ducks had a less formidable power play on Tuesday and could not convert with the man advantage. The action now shifts from Orange County to the Second City. Game 3 goes down tomorrow night.
- The Edmonton Oilers have found their new head coach. The franchise has selected Todd McLellan as the new man behind the bench that will (possibly) right the ship. The 47-year-old coach is fresh off of guiding Canada to IIHF World Hockey Championship glory complete with an undefeated record. McLellan parted ways with the San Jose Sharks (he’d been there since 2007) after a disappointing playoff-free season. What awaits the new Oilers coach is a bit of a mixed bag. The club has a new GM (Peter Chiarelli), the #1 overall pick (hello Connor McDavid) and a lot less dread looming overhead. The downside? The Oilers have been absolutely terrible for ages now and many a coach has been gobbled up during that period of futility.
- There are high hopes in Western New York that Mike Babcock might pull the trigger on a deal with the Sabres. Tuesday featured reports that the Red Wings coach was in negotiations to bring his services to Buffalo. He takes the club up on their offer, he’ll be joining a team that finished dead last in the standings but has youth and a high draft pick on their side.
- The Brewers teed off on Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez for back-to-back-to-back homers in an 8-1 clubbing in Michigan. Ryan Braun, Adam Lind and Aramis Ramirez all went yard in the 3rd while Jimmy Nelson turned in a solid eight inning performance to score the W. Milwaukee are now 8-7 with new skipper Craig Counsell at the helm and can sweep the Tiger tonight in Motown. By the way, Tigers DH Victor Martinez is now on the DL due to knee issues.
- A sacrifice fly in the 8th off the bat of David Freese was enough to give the Angels a 3-2 win over the Blue Jays last night. (The Halos went in as a one and a half run road underdog.) Los Angeles slugger Kole Calhoun socked his 4th homer of the season in the victory and enjoyed seven strong innings on the mound from starter Hector Santiago. Toronto’s not getting off a stellar start this season. The Jays are currently the bottom-feeder of the AL East.
- Miguel Gonzalez improves to 5-2 in 2015 thanks to a 9-4 Orioles battering of the underperforming Mariners. #50 racked up 8 Ks and gave up a pair of jacks in the win with a lot of run support backing him up. (The Orioles wer listed as a -125 favourite in the contest.) Baltimore DH Jimmy Paredes bashed in 5 RBi as part of the offensive blast.
- Newly installed Marlins manager Dan Jennings is still waiting on his first win as skipper. Arizona handed Jennings his second L since picking up the new gig courtesy of a 4-2 doubling up in the Sunshine State. The Diamondbacks pounced at the top of the 8th to score twice thanks to a pinch-hit A.J Pollock tater and break the 2-2 deadlock. Both clubs will do battle again later today.
- The Toronto Argonauts have new ownership and could be on their way to a change of stadium scenery. TSN reports that Bell and Larry Tanenbaum will be acquiring the CFL club and will move the team to a renovated BMO Field in time for the kickoff of the 2016 season. This deal had long been murmured about and it’s likely the official announcement could be provided as early as today.
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