The NHL And NBA Playoff Flip Flop
The Washington Capitals are never seen in the NHL’s Stanley Cup playoffs. LeBron James is never not seen in the NBA Finals.
Well, this will be a different kind of spring.
The Capitals hammered the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-0 on Wednesday in Tampa to win Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals and advance to play for the Stanley Cup for the first time in 20 years. There has been heartache and dismay and unfathomable early exits in those two decades, especially the last 10 years with Alex Ovechkin in their lineup.
And it was Ovi who scored the first goal, on the Caps’ first shot, that set a tone and set up an historic victory in what he had described as “the biggest game of his life.”
The Caps, oddly, will be facing an expansion that in one year will appear in half as many Stanley Cup finals as the Caps have in their 44-year existence. And both teams were essentially constructed by the same general manager – George McPhee.
The NBA Finals have been a LeBron James show of one sort or another for seven consecutive seasons, spanning his time with the Miami Heat (two championships) and now with the Cleveland Cavaliers (one title). An eighth straight visit looks a bit unlikely.
The Cavs fell 96-83 to the Boston Celtics in Boston, which is apparently the only place the Celtics can win. They lead the Eastern Conference finals 3-2 and a Game 7, if necessary, will be in Boston where they are 3-0 in this series. It’s conceivable the Celtics could take this series without winning a road game.
LeBron faces the possibility of not only missing the NBA Finals but exiting Cleveland again for whatever pasture he deems greenest, so the stakes are high for the Cavs when they return home for Game 6 on Friday night.
For the Caps, it’s a spring fling. For the Cavaliers and LeBron? Could be spring cleaning.
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