NBA, NHL Playoffs Produce High Drama, And Fascinating Similarities

You Win Some, You Lose Some If you were lucky, you had one eye on the Cleveland Cavaliers-Toronto Raptors NBA playoff game and the other on the NHL matchup...

You Win Some, You Lose Some

If you were lucky, you had one eye on the Cleveland Cavaliers-Toronto Raptors NBA playoff game and the other on the NHL matchup of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals.

Fans of either sport will insist that their playoffs are better; fans of both keep an eye on two TVs. There’s plenty to see and it’s too good to miss.

The similarities in both on Tuesday night were intriguing.

The Cavaliers never led until the overtime period of their 113-112 victory over the Raptors that gave them a 1-0 lead in this second-round series. The Capitals led for less than four minutes of the second period (after a scoreless first) and not again until Alex Ovechkin scored with 1:07 left on the clock in OT for a 4-3 victory and a one-game lead in the series (they’re up 2-1).

The Cavaliers got their last points in OT from Tristan Thompson, who had barely been heard from in the playoffs until the final game of the opening series against the Indiana Pacers. The Capitals got the tying goal in the third period from Matt Niskanen – his first goal of the postseason.

The Raptors draw a huge, boisterous crowd outside the Rogers Centre in Toronto to watch the game on the big screen; rowdy Penguins fans at PPG Paints Arena are all over the internet showing Ovechkin an extended middle finger, which means either what you think it means or that they were displaying their I.Q.

Among the ancient sayings in sports is: It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon. It’s true of the playoffs in both the NBA and NHL, which extend until June.

Keep your eyes open. One on each TV. There’s a long way to go just in these two match-ups.

 
 
Post By: Larry Weisman, a longtime sportswriter for USA TODAY, blogs for Twistity.com. Follow him on Twitter @MrLarryWeisman

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