Sunday, June 12, 2016

Another Challenge

Congrats to the Pittsburgh Penguins who won the Stanley Cup Sunday.  They missed the chance to win a championship at home, which no Pittsburgh team has done in awhile, but fans in Pittsburgh filled the area to watch them on TV, and to celebrate on Carson Street, not far from where I once lived and, for even longer, worked.

The Golden State Warriors took another strange hit on Sunday as Draymond Green was suspended for Monday's game because of accumulated flagrant fouls.  As a weird byproduct, the Warriors must place another player on the Inactive list, so they lose two players for the potential close-out game at home.

After Curry's injuries and all the rest, this is yet another challenge for the Warriors, this one a bit out of left field. Green's absence shakes everything up, including probably the Cavs lineup as well as the Dubs'. Green has played every game this year, so the Dubs have no recent experience with this, except in rotations.  It clearly provides new opportunities for the Cavs, and especially LeBron (who Dubs fans generally believe baited Draymond into the reaction that drew the flagrant on review.)  But it also energizes the Warriors.  Look for a big game from Klay Thompson, especially early, with Steph Curry taking over down the stretch.  But it will be a team effort, with maybe an unlikely hero or two. Concentration won't be a problem.  And Oracle will be rocking, mocking and angry.

Draymond is not even permitted in the arena during the game.  But I'll bet he'll be nearby, so he can get there for the championship celebration.  Apart from what this does to the Warriors, it also probably puts Draymond out of the running for series MVP, and he was a solid candidate.

Also on Sunday, the San Francisco Giants closed out their 3 game series with the Dodgers.  All 3 were one run games, and the Giants won two, and should have won the third. They go back up 5 in first place. Jake Peavy got the win.  Speaking of MVPs, for the Giants so far this season their MVP is the same player it was for most of last year: Brian Crawford, with timely hitting and spectacular fielding--his play to end the game being one of many fine examples.  Matt Williamson has been playing the rookie outfielder position and wowed fans with a spectacular catch.  He homered earlier in the series at a crucial time, so he's doing pretty well.  In a bullpen that continues to be an adventure, young Cory Gearrin is as close to money as there is.   Buster Posey keeps hitting the ball hard, and the ball keeps finding fielder's gloves.  The outfield play on both sides in this game was exciting and excellent.

The Pirates however are hurting.  The Cards swept their 3 game visit to the Burgh.

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