"Roughing the Passer - A PK Frazier Novel"

My new book, "Offsetting Penalties - A PK Frazier Novel" is the follow-up to "Illegal Procedure" and "Roughing the Passer" and is now available in print and in e-formats at amazon.com, smashwords.com and iBooks. Follow me on twitter @kevinkrest.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

WEEKEND FRENZY AND NBA UPDATE

Wild Weekend: It was an incredible weekend of sports action. Friday night, the New York Rangers scored a tying goal against the Washington Capitals with less than two minutes left in the third period, then stayed alive in their second round series by winning in overtime. The same night, Derrick Rose hit a prayer of a three pointer at the buzzer to lift Chicago to a victory over Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, giving the Bulls 2 -1 edge their second round NBA series. But then on Sunday afternoon, James returned the favor, nailing a last second jumper from the corner to even the series and return home court advantage to the Cavaliers as they head back to Cleveland for game five. Not to be outdone, veteran Paul Pierce, after the Atlanta Hawks had taken the lead with eight seconds left in game three. hit a three pointer to send the Wizards to victory and a 2 -1 series lead.

In the Players, men's golf's unofficial fifth major championship, Ricky Fowler shot six under par in the last six holes of regulation, then held off Sergio Garcia and Glen Kisner to capture his biggest tournament title. Earlier in the week, his peers had voted him as the most overrated player. Indicative of his classy and professional  manner, Fowler didn't dwell on the issue in interviews. But as a competitor, the snub couldn't help but fuel his desire to legitimize his popularity with a similar level of results. However, I believe the so-called honor was totally undeserved. Last season, he finished in the top five in all four majors. Many of those who cast a vote probably haven't finished that high in even a single significant tournament. I'll admit that Fowler's notoriety isn't backed up by wins, but he's a terrific player and even better role model for young golfers.

NBA Update:


Bulls On the Brink: Despite an injured and unavailable Kevin Love, a two-game suspension of J.R. Smith, a hobbled Kyrie Irving and a tired LeBron James, the Cleveland Cavaliers head back to Chicago with a 3 – 2 lead in their NBA Eastern Conference semifinal series. Granted, the Bulls have been without Pau Gasol, but they’ve let a great opportunity to steal the series slip through their grasp. James and Irving were much sharper last night, combining for 63 points on 23 – 40 shooting, including 4 – 11 from three point range. In control for much of the game, the Cavs let the Bulls back in the game with less than five minutes remaining. But Chicago guard Derrick Rose missed his final eleven shots as the comeback fell short. My feeling is that the performance clearly demonstrates the value of LeBron James. He basically carried the team, scoring 38 points, grabbing 12 rebounds, doling out 6 assists while adding three assists and the same number of blocks. Is the series over? Not by a long shot, but it’s going to take a heroic effort from the Bulls to capture the last two games.

Warriors Looking to Gain Control: The Golden State Warriors, the league’s top team with 67 regular season wins, travels home to host a tough Memphis Grizzlies team. The Warriors looked much more like themselves Monday night, getting control early and never letting the Grizzlies back into the game. Behind Steph Curry’s 33 points, they cruised to an easy 101 – 84 victory. Does this mean they’re back in control, or did they just make adjustments that enabled them to even the series? It could be either one, and we’ll certainly learn a lot more tonight. Even though Curry got untracked from the field on Monday, Klay Thompson still struggled, but managed to hit 3 of 6 from three point range.  They’re still getting outscored in the paint, so it’s reasonable to see the Grizzlies rebound from the spanking and play better in game five. I like the Warriors to hold on at home and will probably have to do it again in a game seven to prevail.

Rockets Look Alive in Win: The Houston Rockets appeared more focused and energized last night after getting embarrassed in back to back games of their series with the Clippers. They still have their backs to the wall and will need to find a way to keep the momentum going in Los Angeles against a team that has wins by 16, 25 and 27 points so far. In an almost unwatchable free throw contest between the Rockets’ Dwight Howard and the Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan, where they combined to go 13 – 30 from the line. The rest of the players on the court went 28 – 39. Neither team really gained an advantage in the war of hack-a-(insert name here) that we’ve come to despise.  I don’t give the Rockets much of a chance in the series, despite the solid performance of last evening.

Wizards Need Wall: Even though the Washington Wizards have managed to stay even with the Atlanta Hawks, it might be difficult for them to win the series without their team leading guard. It's been reported today that Wall was dribbling with his injured left hand, so there is some hope from Wizards' fans that he can contribute tonight. If he can, Atlanta could be in the trouble many experts predicted before the series began. I guess we'll see about that.

Don't forget to check out my new book, "Roughing the Passer - A PK Frazier Novel" and my first, "Illegal Procedure - A PK Frazier Novel", available in print and e-formats at Amazon.com, iBooks and Smashwords.