WATERCOOLER CHAT: NBA PLAYOFF UPDATE AND NFL DRAFT NEWS

Wow, what a weekend in sports, with both the NBA Playoffs and NFL Draft in full swing.

NBA

On Sunday, the Chicago Bulls and Boston Celtics played Game Four in what is now becoming a classic series.  These teams are at each other’s throats.  Ray Allen hit a clutch three pointer to tie the game at 96 and to send the game into OT.  Then, at the end of the first OT session, the Bulls Ben Gordon, who was red-hot, nailed a three to tie the game at 110.  Yep, time for Overtime #2.  Paul Piece hit a terrific three pointer to put the game within one, then the Bulls grabbed a quick basket to put them up by three.  So, the Celts got one last chance to tie the game.  Paul Pierce launched a three pointer again, but John Salmons got a piece of it, and the Bulls win to even the series at two games a piece.  For any true basketball fan, Game 5 in Boston is a must watch.  Chicago 121, Boston 118.

Meanwhile, the Orlando Magic have had their hands full with a pesky Philadelphia 76ers team, and they looked to even the series on Sunday. It wasn’t easy, but all of the Magic’s starters put up great games, with each scoring in double-digits.  The hero of the game was Orlando’s Hedo Turkoglu, who with just three seconds left busted a deep three pointer to put the Magic up by three.  Incredible!!  The Sixers had once last chance, but couldn’t make the most of it, and the Magic squared the series with Philly.  This series may definitely need 7 games to decide a victor.  Orlando 84, Philadelphia 81.

Elsewhere in the NBA, the #1 overall seed, the Cleveland Cavaliers, did away with their first round opponent.  They marched into Detroit for the second time in this series, and just clobbered the Pistons.  The Pistons had no answer for LeBron, and more notably, the overall chemistry of a fierce Cavs team.  LeBron had monster game with 36 points, 13 rebounds, and 8 assists.  This Cavs team looks unstoppable right now, and with both #2 Boston, and #3 Orlando struggling, it’s hard to say anybody can even touch these guys.  Cleveland 99, Detroit 78.

NFL

Mark Sanchez.jpgFinally, it was upon us — THE NFL DRAFT.  The Detroit Lions drafted superstar Georgia standout, Matt Stafford, with the #1 pick.  And many wondered where the other hot guy on the QB list would go — USC’s Mark Sanchez. Well, in a huge surprise, the New York Jets traded up to the #5 spot and nabbed Sanchez.  Jets fans are notorious for coming down to the draft in droves, then booing wildly at Jet draft picks.  But when the Jets selected Sanchez, they erupted with cheers…well, at least most of them.

Michael CrabtreeIn another surprise, the Oakland Raiders were expected to take a stud receiver with the #7 pick.  If Texas Tech phenom Michael Crabtree was still on the board, the Raiders would consider it a blessing.  Well, Crabtree was still there, but in the biggest surprise of the draft, the Raiders passed on Crabtree to take Maryland’s Darius Heyward-Bay.  Heyward-Bay wasn’t expected to be picked until late first round, but he wound up being the first receiver selected.  Why?  Because he had a slightly faster time in the 40-yard dash.  These stat guys are ruthless.  Even though Crabtree’s success in college far surpassed Heyward-Bay’s, the Raiders picked Heyward-Bay because of a statistic.  Interesting!  However, it was a true gift for the Raiders cross town rival San Francisco 49ers, who gladly took Crabtree when he fell in their lap at the #10 spot.  What an exciting draft!

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