I know Monday Night RAW was last night but SmackDown Live is in Des Moines tonight so your boy will be in attendance. Slight problem though as our tennis team has the late lifting time in the weight room so I may not make the start of the show. Which, is not good at all since the commercial previewing the show for tonight said Shinsuke Nakamura will kickoff the show. So unless I'm there right at 7:00 I'm missing his entrance....which was one of the things I was most looking forward to catching live. We saw his entrance when he came to Des Moines with NXT and it was great. I'd assume it is significantly better with a bigger arena and on a main show.
So really looking forward to that tonight. Naomi vs. Charlotte Flair for the SmackDown Women's Championship is also announced for the show. And I'm sure AJ Styles and Kevin Owens will continue their budding rivalry which should be entertaining. And WWE.com just announced there will be a tag-team Beat the Clock Challenge tonight, which is the first time we've had that in the tag-team division to my knowledge so that should be fun. Not a bad lineup. A full review and report should be coming tomorrow from me.
Just me or was that a pretty anti-climatic first round of the NHL Playoffs? No Game 7s and half of the series only went four or five games. That's not ideal for a league desperate for eyes on it's product. Not much they can really do about that but still a disappointing outcome I'm sure for the NHL.
And not a lot of drawing teams left in the playoffs either. The marquee series for me in the second round is clearly Boston vs. Washington but outside of that I'm not sure how many casual fans are going to be drawn in by St. Louis/Nashville or Anaheim/Edmonton. Maybe the Rangers bring some people in being from New York but I don't think they are nearly the draw for their sport as the Knicks, Yankees, Jets, Giants, or Mets are. Maybe I'm wrong but I bet if given the opportunity the NHL League Offices would have gladly swapped out some of these teams for sexier picks.
But that's not really allowed so you gotta make the most of what you have. Regardless of who is in, playoff hockey is exciting...especially overtime playoff hockey. So regardless of matchups, the playoffs always provide the opportunity for excitement. Hopefully Round 2 and beyond produces a little more than Round 1 did.
No quick hitters today for the NBA Playoffs. Golden State easily finished off the Trailblazers, Washington had a disappointing showing against Atlanta, and Toronto protected it's home court to take a 3-2 lead heading back to Milwaukee. So instead of Quick Hitters, let's take the entire section to talk about Vince Carter.
About playoff time for the past couple years, I always marvel that he is still in the league and playing at this high of a level. Count me as one of the many who probably considered Vince Carter only a freak athlete and elite dunker, and discounted his basketball skill-set. This is his 19th year in the NBA. NINETEEN! That's a freakishly long-time to play in the NBA. And he isn't just playing and getting minutes, he's starting. On a playoff team. That's currently tied 2-2 with the San Antonio Spurs.
I guess once he left Toronto I basically lost track of his career. I guess I figured he'd bounce around to a couple of teams and eventually leave the league. But he's had a nice little end of his career resurgence in Dallas and Memphis. For this current Memphis squad this year, Carter ranks 3rd on the team in minutes at 32.5 per game and is the 4th leading scorer so far in these playoffs. Again, impressive for a guy on a playoff team in his 19th year who I thought was primarily a dunker.
His memorable Dunk Contest performance at All-Star Weekend was in 2000, seventeen years ago. Same story for his Olympic Gold Medal he won seventeen years ago. And it's not like he's been taking years off in that span of time. He's played in at least 60 games every season the past 10 years. He's currently tied for 5th for all-time 3-points made in NBA history and 22nd on the all-time scoring list. And he's playing productive basketball in the playoffs at forty years of age. Incredible.