Rangers vs. Lightning: Game 6 Score and Twitter Reaction from 2015 NHL Playoffs

May 26th, 2015 by Scott Polacek No comments »
Technically, the New York Rangers were the winners in their 7-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final Tuesday. In reality, hockey fans everywhere are the true winners because they get to watch a Game 7 with a spot in the Stanley Cup Final on the line. Despite allowing two late and meaningless goals, New York netminder Henrik Lundqvist was brilliant for the majority of Tuesday's contest. He tallied 36 saves and kept the Rangers afloat in the second period during the Lightning's constant barrage. On the other end, Derick Brassard finished with a head-turning five points on three goals and two assists, while J.T. Miller and Rick Nash tallied a goal and three assists apiece. The 7-3 margin of victory was a bit misleading since New York took a 2-1 advantage into the third period, but its offense overwhelmed Tampa Bay goaltender Ben Bishop near ...

From Party Boy to Poster Boy: How Patrick Kane Became Hockey’s All-American Hero

May 26th, 2015 by Greg Couch No comments »
CHICAGO — Patrick Kane hasn't had one of his infamous incidents off the ice in three years. But that doesn't stop NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, whose job is to worry about the league's image, from getting a little jumpy at the mention of his name.Kane is the NHL's most recognizable American star, which makes him one of Bettman's most valuable selling points. So I asked Bettman the other day if he thought Kane had cleaned up well."He's a terrific kid and he always has been since he came into the league,'' Bettman said.And that's when the jumpiness kicked in. As I started to walk off, Bettman approached and said, "If you're going to use that, don't take it out of context.''What do you mean?"No, I don't know,'' Bettman said. "If you're going to use it, he's been a terrific kid from the beginning. You phrased it in a way it ...

LeBron James Celebrates Making It to NBA Finals with Sons After Game 4 Win

May 26th, 2015 by Thomas Duffy No comments »
After he carried the Cleveland Cavaliers to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2007, LeBron James shared a moment with his two sons, Bryce and Bronny.James, who was born and raised in Akron, Ohio, put on for his home state in the Eastern Conference Finals. The King went for 23 points, nine rebounds and seven assists as his Cavs closed out the top-seeded Atlanta Hawks in Game 4 Tuesday night.LeBron celebrated with his wife, Savannah, too:Imagine how the James clan will celebrate if LBJ gives Cleveland its first title in franchise history next month.[Vine, Instagram]Read more NBA news on BleacherReport.com

Hawks vs. Cavaliers: Game 4 Score and Twitter Reaction from 2015 NBA Playoffs

May 26th, 2015 by Matt Fitzgerald No comments »
The Cleveland Cavaliers left no doubt as to who the best team in the Eastern Conference is on Tuesday, completing a sweep of the Atlanta Hawks with a 118-88 victory at Quicken Loans Arena to punch a ticket to the NBA Finals. Cavaliers superstar LeBron James simply wasn't going to be denied on this evening, stuffing the stat sheet with a game-high 23 points to go with nine rebounds, seven assists and two steals with just one turnover. Bleacher Report's Howard Beck, SB Nation's Tom Ziller and NBA.com passed along some mind-boggling statistics about James' latest trip to the NBA Finals: LeBron's former teammate Dwyane Wade took a moment to congratulate his friend:  A big, pleasant surprise for the new champions of the East came from another Cleveland star. Kyrie Irving made a surprise start after missing the prior two games due to injury, netting nine first-quarter points to help the Cavs set the tone ...

LeBron James Shows Off Insane Hang Time on Monster Tomahawk Dunk vs. Hawks

May 26th, 2015 by Thomas Duffy No comments »
Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James set the tone against the Atlanta Hawks in the opening minutes of Tuesday's Game 4: The Eastern Conference Finals are over.After a few nifty buckets from Kyrie Irving, LBJ galloped ahead on a fast break and hammered home a vintage one-handed slam from just inside the foul line.Everyone at Quicken Loans Arena—James included—went wild.[YouTube]Read more NBA news on BleacherReport.com

Is Scott Skiles the Right Choice to Lead the Orlando Magic Rebuild?

May 26th, 2015 by Alec Nathan No comments »
The Orlando Magic have been infusing their roster with young blood for a couple of seasons now, but an old face may be on the brink of returning to try to restore glory.  According to longtime hoops writer Peter Vecsey, the Magic are closing in on an agreement to hire former Magic point guard Scott Skiles as the team's next head coach:  Skiles—who was a Magic floor general from 1989 to 1994—last coached the Milwaukee Bucks before getting canned 32 games into the 2012-13 season. Prior to his stay in Wisconsin, Skiles coached the Phoenix Suns for three years (1999-2002) and the Chicago Bulls for four and change (2003-2007).  If the Magic are targeting gradual improvement—particularly on defense—Skiles makes sense. He proved throughout stints with the Suns and Bulls that playoff qualification is possible in the first few years of a new gig. "Magic executives likely want someone who has a proven track ...

LeBron James Stuffs DeMarre Carroll on 1 End, Hits Spinning Layup on Other End

May 26th, 2015 by Thomas Duffy No comments »
With about five minutes to go in the first half of Game 4, LeBron James reminded the Atlanta Hawks why he’s the King of these Eastern Conference Finals.LBJ angrily pinned DeMarre Carroll’s layup attempt off the glass on one end, and in the blink of an eye he was spinning out Al Horford for a silky smooth finish on the other.Watch the throne, ATL.Read more NBA news on BleacherReport.com

NBA Free Agents 2015: Projecting Most Likely Destinations for Top 15 Available

May 26th, 2015 by Grant Hughes No comments »
In addition to the typical concerns big-name free agents must juggle, this season's crop will face the curveball of a rising salary cap and the attendant allure of short-term deals. As if picking a new team wasn't already hard enough. We'll see loads of stars hit the market in July—some unrestricted, some restricted and some only after turning down guaranteed money to opt out. The players included here aren't ranked in any strict sense; instead, we've compiled 15 of the most intriguing talents. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Kawhi Leonard and Tim Duncan won't appear, as those four seem least likely to go anywhere. Plenty of the players we'll cover will stay with their current teams, but making this list means there's at least a chance for competing organizations to step in and make things interesting. The actual free-agent process hasn't even started yet, but here's where we see some of the headliners going once the ...

8 NBA Teams Whose Identities Are on the Line This Offseason

May 26th, 2015 by Adam Fromal No comments »
The NBA offseason is a time of change.  Some franchises only make minor moves, adding a bench player or two to get ready for their next title push. But others engage in sweeping alterations that fundamentally impact the identity of the organization. Those are the ones we're concerned with here, no matter what type of adjustments lead to the change.  Of course, the identities of these eight aren't guaranteed to be different when the 2015-16 season rolls around. Many certainly will be, but nothing is definite this time of year. Teams could fail to find suitable trading partners, unexpectedly retain all of their notable free agents or engage in other sorts of personnel movement that merely renders them a different iteration of the 2014-15 model. Anything is possible. Begin Slideshow

Houston Rockets vs. Golden State Warriors: Game 5 Odds Preview, Betting Stats

May 26th, 2015 by OddsShark.com No comments »
Despite needing only one win to advance to the NBA Finals for the first time since 1975 with a commanding 3-1 series lead against the Houston Rockets, the Golden State Warriors head into Game 5 Wednesday having covered the spread just once in the Western Conference Finals. Monday’s 128-115 Game 4 loss to the Rockets dropped the Warriors to 1-3 against the number in the series, and they will be double-digit home favorites at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark like they were back in Game 1 of the series in their second opportunity to close it out. Golden State closed as 10.5-point favorites in the series opener but held on to beat Houston 110-106, and then followed that up by edging the Rockets 99-98 as 9.5-point chalk in Game 2. But then the Warriors covered easily for their backers in a 115-80 rout on the road in Game 3, the lone time they ...