NBA and NHL playoff updates and a look at the U.S. Open

Fat Guy Corner



The NBA and NHL playoffs are slimming down to a handful of teams, which makes for good sports action on the television.

Let’s start in the NBA and see what’s happening on the hardwood. The Phoenix Suns disposed of the Denver Nuggets as they busted out the brooms for a 4-0 series sweep. I must say, the addition of Chris Paul on that Suns roster has made the Phoenix Suns a very legit NBA title contender. I also have to believe all this rest the Suns are getting will be very beneficial in the Western Conference Finals with fresh legs.

The other Western Conference hardwood battle between the Utah Jazz and L.A. Clippers are knotted at 2-2. I figured this was a seven game series and nobody has won a game on the road yet. I am sticking by my original choice of the Utah Jazz advancing. The pivotal game five is Wednesday night (after my deadline) in Utah as game five winners usually win seven game series.

The Eastern Conference has both series at the time of this article deadlocked at 2-2. The Milwaukee Bucks and New Jersey Nets have won both their home games in this series. The New Jersey Nets have had the injury bug hit them with James Harden being sidelined with a hamstring injury. The game four loss by New Jersey became huge when Kyrie Irving went down with an ankle injury. The Nets cannot afford to have superstar players out of the lineup and expect to move on to the Eastern Conference Finals. The Philadelphia 76ers are having a difficult time with the young pesky Atlanta Hawks. I know I had Philadelphia winning this series pretty easy, however, I guess the Hawks have other ideas! It is so refreshing to see new blood in the NBA competing for a title!

The NHL is down to four hockey clubs looking to hoist the Stanley Cup. How about the New York Islanders stealing game one against the Tampa Bay Lightning? I will dare say, I enjoy watching this Islanders hockey team play hockey as they are scrappy and tough.

I am rooting for the Islanders to win against Tampa in this series. However, the Tampa Bay team, I think, have too much offensive talent and will prevail, ultimately playing for the Stanley Cup. I do hope I am wrong, which I am quite frequently, as you all know. Tuesday night we shall see if Tampa can tie up the series 1-1.

The other series has Las Vegas prohibitive favorites over the Montreal Canadiens and Vegas captured game one. I expect a short series here as I predict a five game series and the Golden Knights of Vegas will be in the Stanley Cup Finals. It will be Tampa and Vegas in what will be an awesome Stanley Cup Finals.

We have another golf major this weekend, the U.S. Open just in time for Father’s Day weekend. The U.S. Open will be played on the South Course at Torrey Pines. The last time the event was here was 2008. Can any of you remember the 2008 U.S. Open? I will give you a refresher. It was Tiger Woods on a bad leg defeating Rocco Mediate in an 18 hole playoff.

A huge storyline will be Phil Mickelson looking to complete the career Grand Slam with a U.S. Open victory. The golfing world has to be rooting for Phil just because of all his close misses at winning the U.S. Open. I know I would love for him to pull off the upset this weekend. Another huge story line will be the Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau feud. Let’s not forget that Bryson won the U.S. Open last year. I ask, will there be Brooks and Bryson drama this weekend? Who knows, but I’ll be watching to see if there is for sure. Who do the boys of Vegas like to win the U.S. Open? The top favorite is Jon Rahm at 10-1. The next two top choices are Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka at 12-1. The fat guy pick is my man Tyrell Hatton at 45-1 to win and my second choice is Victor Hovland at 25-1. I say, tee it high and let it fly! FORE!

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