The Viral Roundup – Twin Magic Edition
Greetings! Welcome to a fresh Monday morning go-around of The Viral Roundup. We’re your daily one-stop shop for all the big news, big buzz and big developments headlining a new day in sports. In today’s edition: The Twins close out a marvellous May, Alvin Gentry will guide the Pelicans this fall and the Bulls are ready to roll out the welcome mat for Fred Hoiberg.
Did You Hear?
Can you count to twenty? Minnesota can and they’re thrilled about it. The Twins capped off a monster May with their 20th win of the month and a hot streak where they’ve scored 7 Ws in their last 8 contests. Paul Molitor’s crew scored a tight 6-5 triumph in Sunday matinee battle versus the Blue Jays. Leadoff man Brian Dozier hit a tidy 3-4 with three runs scored and Trevor Plouffe cranked a valuable 6th inning homer in the win. One piece of bad news for the Twins was the exit of starting pitcher Ricky Nolasco in the 2nd frame due to a sore ankle. The 32-year-old righty will undergo an MRI to evaluate the extent of the damage. The Twins are currently listed as a 33/1 shot to win this year’s World Series.
Did You See?
Steph Curry is not human. He’s a being made of magic and pinpoint accuracy. Check out this ridiculous no-look half-court shot that #30 nailed during practice. SORCERY! Not only did Curry nail that shot, but he made it look like he’s playing with cheat codes. Get ready. Curry vs. LeBron is almost here.
Did You Know?
- Golden State sound optimistic that Klay Thompson will be in the lineup for Game 1 of the NBA Finals. Steph’s Splash Brother suffered a concussion during Wednesday’s Round 3 clinching win in Houston, but Warriors coach Steve Kerr said he believes the guard will be ready for this week’s series opener against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Thompson’s averaged 19.7 points per game in the postseason. Golden State enters the series as a -180 moneyline favourite to win it all and a five and a half point home favourite to emerge victorious in Game 1.
- How did you spend your weekend? A good chunk of the NBA spent theirs sorting out their coaching situation for the upcoming season. (We imagine ice cream was also involved to. C’mon, it’s late May.) Let’s start with the Magic Kingdom where Orlando pulled the trigger on hiring Scott Skiles. The hiring had been expected for a while, but the decision was made official on Friday. Skiles (a member of the expansion Magic squad) comes to Orlando with coaching stops in Phoenix, Chicago and Milwaukee. Orlando had another underwhelming rebuild mode campaign in 2014-15, finishing 13th in the Eastern Conference.
- Anthony Davis’ next coach is… Alvin Gentry. New Orleans snapped up the Golden State Warriors associate head coach and he’ll begin work once the NBA Finals wrap up. It’s definitely not the first head coaching gig to come Gentry’s way. The 60-year-old has guided clubs in Miami, Detroit, Los Angeles and Phoenix. Gentry’s most memorable run as a coach was with the 2009-10 Suns team that was bounced in the Western Conference Finals by the Lakers. New Orleans fired Monty Williams after he guided the Pelicans to the playoffs this year. The big draw for any coach to come to the Big Easy is the prospect of working with rising superstar Anthony Davis, although we’re sure the cuisine’s a plus too.
- It looks like the Bulls aren’t wasting any time finding someone to fill in for recently coach Tom Thibodeau. Iowa State’s Fred Hoiberg is expected to be named as the franchise’s new bench boss as early as today. (Considering Hoiberg’s friendship with GM Gar Forman, the news doesn’t come as much of a shock.) At Iowa State, Hoiberg helped rebuild the Cyclones program and put the school in the last four NCAA tournaments. He’s coming to a Bulls squad that was bounced in the second round by the injury-battered Cavaliers. The deal said to be in place is for five years.and in the neighbourhood of $25 million.
- The Stanley Cup Finals are only a few days away. Game 1 between the Blackhawks and Lightning will take place in Tampa Bay this Wednesday and Game 2 goes down on Saturday before the series shifts to Illinois for Monday’s action. Chicago is aiming for its third Stanley Cup of the decade, while Tampa Bay are in the Finals for only the second time in franchise history.
- The Red Wings are waiting for an unfinished piece of business to be wrapped up before announcing their new head coach. Detroit GM Ken Holland says the team will not make anything official until their AHL affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins, ends their playoff run. (The Griffins are currently locked in a Conference Finals showdown versus the Utica Comets.) Grand Rapids bench boss Jeff Blashill is considered the frontrunner to take over the position that Mike Babcock had held since the 2005-06 season.
- Fear the mighty bat of Colon! The 42-year-old hurler notched a double in a strong seven inning outing that gave him his NL leading 8th win of 2015. New York (a -135 moneyline home favourite) topped Miami 4-3 and snapped the Marlins chances of sweeping the series. Mets SS Wilmer Flores cranked his 8th homer of the season in the win, while Miami 1B Justin Bour went yard in a losing cause.
- The Cardinals emerged victorious in a battle of two of the NL’s most feared clubs. Jhonny Peralta launched a two-run shot in the first that helped power St. Louis to a 3-1 win over the Dodgers. Carlos Martinez racked up a solid 8 Ks on the mound, while Dodgers starter Brett Anderson was tagged with his third loss of 2015. Next up on the schedule for St. Louis is a series of home dates with the lowly Brewers and Los Angeles now prepares for a visit to Colorado.
- The Astros couldn’t capitalize against John Danks on Sunday afternoon. The White Sox starter was tapped 10 times, but didn’t give up a single run in a 6-0 complete game shutout of the AL West leading club. Chicago had a much easier time getting on the board with RBI action from Adam LaRoche and Conor Gillaspie (among others) to crow about. The White Sox start a new series tomorrow night against Texas’ other squad and the Astros have a fresh set at home tonight versus Baltimore.
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