WATERCOOLER CHAT: ORB WINS DERBY, BULLS FACE HEAT IN SECOND ROUND, OKC HOLD OFF GRIZZLIES

What a great weekend in the sports world.

HORSE RACING

The main event was the 139th Kentucky Derby.  This was a much anticipated year because female jockey Rosie Napravnik rode this race on MyLute.  Rosie was often doubted during her ascent as a jockey, but she has been racking up the wins en route to the Derby.  She was hoping to get the sweet taste of victory by taking the whole race.  When it was Derby time, it was raining, making for a very muddy course and tough course to pick a winner.  But that doesn’t stop the race.  When it was all over, the odds on favorite Orb (ridden by Joel Rosario)  took the prize. This was actually the first time in several years where the favorite won the whole thing.  Rosie still finished 5th in the race — marking the highest finish ever for a female jockey.  Next up on the horse racing circuit… The Preakness, May 18th.

 

BASKETBALL

And in the NBA, only one of the first round series got to a Game 7, and it sure was a blood bath the entire way.  Chicago and Brooklyn played a hotly contested first round, each team seeming to win games nobody thought they could. The resilient Nets got the series back to Brooklyn for a Game 7.  The Bulls Joakim Noah, who played the whole series with injured feet, guaranteed a win in Game 7… on the road.  To his credit, he carried the Bulls on his back in this series and got them out to a commanding lead.  But, in the second half, Gerald Wallace pulled the Nets to within 5 points.  The Bulls, however, would hang on for the win.  Their prize:  A second round date with MVP LeBron James and the Miami Heat.

And in the second round, the Oklahoma City Thunder were hoping to keep up their quality play without their all-star Russell Westbrook.  In his place, second year man Reggie Jackson has been playing extremely well.  But the Memphis Grizzlies would be a much tougher test than the Houston Rockets in Round 1.  The Grizzlies controlled most of the game, but some 4th quarter heroics from Kevin Durant tied the game and gave them a chance to win.  Another late shot by Durant gave them the lead, and they narrowly pulled out a victory in Game 1.  The Grizzlies had this one, but they blew it.   OKC 93, Memphis 91.

Finally, in Game 1 between the Indiana Pacers and the New York Knicks, the Knicks were hoping to use their positive steam to grab Game 1 in Madison Square Garden.  Remember, the Knicks/Pacers were one of the biggest rivalries in 90s sports.  But the Pacers are on a mission and playing extremely well right now, and they had every intention of “handing it” to the Knicks.  They came into New York’s home turf and played their hearts out.  A solid defensive night from Roy Hibbert led to a Pacers Game 1 victory.  Can they steal two games in Big Apple?  Indiana 102, NY 95.

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