Jamal Murray is an Animal in the Playoffs

By Miguel Mike Medina

Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray was an animal in the fourth quarter against the Los Angeles Lakers. He scored 23 of his 37 points in that quarter, plus making four of his five three-pointers. Murray also added ten rebounds, five assists, and four steals to lead the Nuggets to a 108-103 victory as they take a commanding 2-0 series lead. 

Nikola Jokic had another triple-double with 23 points, 17 rebounds, 12 assists, and three steals. It didn’t matter what bodies the Lakers three at Jokic and Murray; it didn’t faze them. They kept making tough shots and made it look simple. Jokic and Murray are one of the best duos in the NBA today and also one of the best when it comes to playoff time. Those two guys are FEARLESS and CONFIDENT. Nuggets role players stepped up to the plate and did what they were supposed to do. Michael Porter Jr had an impressive game. He scored 16 points and made four of his seven three. Porter Jr made some critical shots in the fourth quarter. Bruce Brown provided great energy and Production off the bench for the Nuggets with 12 points and five rebounds. 

Lebron James and Austin Reaves each had 22 points for the Lakers. Lebron used to be a freak of nature during the playoffs and had incredible energy and athleticism. In this game, he struggled a lot. He committed turnovers and missed an easy layup. The reality is that he’s 38 years old. Father Time is undefeated, and it can creep up on him anytime. Lebron went cold down downtown. He has missed 19 straight three in the fourth quarter.

In addition, Lebron has been dealing with ankle problems that started before the playoffs. In last night’s game, James stepped on the foot of Nuggets forward Aaron Gordon, perhaps tweaking the injured foot that caused him to miss weeks during the regular season. However, James will not miss games for the remainder of the series. He’s going to gut it out, and he will not allow a sweep on his watch. 

Another Davis had 18 points in Game 2. AD is a streaky player. He can give you 40 in one game and give you 20 or 15 points the next game. The Lakers will need more from him and the other guys, such as D’Angelo Russell and Dennis Schröder, for Games 3 and 4. Russell and Schroder are due for a good performance. 

Game 3 will be on Saturday as the series shifts to Los Angeles. The Nuggets are trying to take a 3-0 commanding series lead, while the Lakers are trying to get back into the series. 

Miami Steals Game 1 After A Strong Third Quarter

By Miguel Mike Medina

Miami Heat stole the home court from the Boston Celtics with a 123-116 victory in Game 1. It was a collective team effort by the Heat. Boston’s Achilles heel was their turnovers and lack of urgency. This is the second consecutive series when Boston loses Game 1 on their home court. 

Kyle Lowry kept Miami in the game in the first half. He had 15 points off the bench. Boston had a big second quarter. They went on a 15-2 run, and their offense clicked. Celtics led by nine by halftime. In the third quarter, everything changed. Miami played an outstanding third quarter. They outscored Boston 46-25, which marked the highest playoff scoring quarter in Miami Heat history. 

In the fourth quarter, it was the Jimmy Butler show. He’s a superstar for a reason. A superstar takes over the game, whether he is scoring or facilitating, or playing defense. Jimmy did all three of those. He is an unbelievable player. My favorite moment of Jimmy Butler is when he hit that dagger three-pointer to make it 120-110. After he hit that shot, he looked at his bench and winked at them. Butler finishes the game with 35 points, seven assists, five rebounds, and a player career-high six steals. Bam Adebayo added 20 points with eight rebounds. Strus, Vincent, and Martin had 15 points each. 

Miami shot the ball well as a team. They shot 54% from the field, 16-of-31 from the three-point line. 

Game 2 will be on Friday night, as Miami is trying to return to South Beach with a 2-0 lead. 

CCNY Beavers Men’s Baseball Wins CUNYAC Title

By Miguel Mike Medina

City College of New York Baseball Team Wins Their First CUNYAC Title Since 1994 on Friday. They swept their CUNY rivals, Lehman College, by winning 10-0 in Game 1 and then 20-8 in Game 2. The Beavers came close to winning it last year, but it all paid off this year.

Head Coach Steve Macias has been through it all with the Beavers. In his 11th year as the coach, he posted a 16-18 record, their best since 2007. It’s the first time the Beavers win the CUNYAC title under Coach Macias. As a former alumnus, I’m happy for Coach Macias and the Beavers. I had the privilege to speak and interview Coach Macias as a player who went to tryouts for the baseball team in his first year back in 2011 and as a journalist writing for the school’s, The Campus Magazine. He’s a person that’s disciplinarian and a very hard worker. He expects your best effort and nothing shorter than that.

Finding out that the Beavers won the title surprised me this morning, but I felt like a proud parent, haha. I usually remove social media apps on Friday and reinstall them on Monday morning. Social media can be draining. Therefore, it’s good to be away from it during the weekend, especially for Mother’s Day weekend. I’ve seen so many ups and downs with the Beavers baseball team. There were a lot of losing and bad times, but now we are getting a taste of winning and hopefully see more of that next season as they will defend the CUNYAC title. 

Congratulations to the City College of New York! Division three deserves more attention and respect. Exposure is a must, especially for three CCNY Beavers. 

Saturday Hockey News with Miguel

By Miguel Mike Medina

Vegas Golden Knights won Game 4 at home, 4-3. The Oilers had a solid first period. Conor McDavid put the Oilers on the board to start the game. He had two goals in this game. Vegas Golden Knights answer back to tie the game. Zach Hyman scored a power-play goal to put the Oilers back on top in the first 2-1. But then I’m the second period, and it got things murky for the Oilers. The Golden Knights scored three goals. They scored three goals in 1:29 was the fastest in the playoffs for the Golden Knights history. 

Jack Eichel was the key player in the game. He had three points (2 goals, one assist). Adin Hill made 32 saves for the Golden Knights. They lead the series 3-2. The Oilers are one loss away from elimination. 

Can the Oilers push this series to a Game 7? It’s possible, especially since Game 6 will be in Edmonton. This series is destined to go to a Game 7. We have two outstanding teams that are playing physical hockey and have depth on their roster. 

Toronto Maple Leafs ended their season in a heartbreak fashion. We hope their season did not have to end on their home floor, but it did. When William Nylander tied the game in the third period, it seemed as if momentum shifted towards Toronto. We thought they might have a chance to extend the series to Game 6. Nick Cousins ended those plans for Toronto. He scored the overtime goal for the Florida Panthers to send them to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 1996. The Panthers won 3-2, and their opponent will be the Carolina Hurricanes. Is this the end for the Toronto Maple Leafs Core Four? 

Can Denver Become the City of Champions?

By Miguel Mike Medina

Colorado Avalanche won the Stanley Cup last season over the Tampa Bay Lightning, putting an end to their dynasty. The Avalanche is a potential dynasty in the making, surrounded by stars Nathan MacKinnon and Cale Makar. Denver Nuggets finished as the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference this season and are one win away from going to the Western Conference Finals. Can Denver become the next “City of Champions?” 

The Avalanche played a hard-fought seven-game series against the Seattle Kraken, who made their first postseason in franchise history. Although they lost in the first round in seven games, I still believe this team will be back to compete for years to come for a Stanley Cup championship. The Avalanche team suffered injuries and lost a few key pieces from last season’s championship team. However, they still have depth, youth, and speed. Great teams can’t win every single year. Colorado Avalanche is still a great time. Makar is one of the league’s best defensemen, and he’s only getting better. Mikko Rantanen had an outstanding postseason. He scored seven goals in the series against the Seattle Kraken. Don’t count out on the Avalanche. Joe Sakic and the rest of the Avalanche organization have built this team into a title contender. 

Denver Nuggets are title contenders when all of their players are healthy. The Nuggets have been a good team for a few years by now. If you saw what they did in the bubble in 2020, then you are paying attention. Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, Aaron Gordon, and Michael Porter Jr will be together until 2026. They are young, confident, and trust one another. They have excellent ball movement, starting with Jokic, who is without a doubt the best passing big man in the league. He’s also a 2-time league MVP. Jamal Murray is a fearless point guard and reminds me of Gilbert Arenas. Murray can drive to the basketball, make fadeaway jump shots, and is a good midrange shooter. He can torture you in many scary ways. Michael Porter Jr is a stud and should be respected. He should be the third-best player on this team when he makes his shots effectively. I’m rooting for this man to succeed. Aaron Gordon can be a streaky player, but he is unique once he gets going. 

The Nuggets could face a potential 2020 Western Conference Finals rematch with the Los Angeles Lakers. If the Nuggets can beat Lebron, Anthony Davis, and the Lakers, then there’s a legit chance they can go and win it all. The most significant factor for the Nuggets will come down to two critical things: Defense and Bench Scoring. When the Nuggets play defense and can get some points from their bench, no one will beat them, but they have to do this every night. 

Marlins’ Bats Triumps Arizona

By Miguel Mike Medina

Miami Marlins’ offense sets the tone on Tuesday night against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Marlins won the game by the final score of 6-2. The Marlins improved to 18-19 in the year. They’re one game under .500 and currently in second place in the NL East behind the Atlanta Braves. Marlins trail the Braves by 7 1/2 games. 

Marlins’ best hitter in the lineup Luis Arraez got another hit. He currently has a 12-game hitting streak going on. Since Jorge Soler won the World Series MVP for the Atlanta Braves in 2021, he’s been a critical difference-maker to whatever team he plays for. The dividends are paying off so far during his time with the Miami Marlins. He’s getting his money’s worth. Jorge Soler had a tremendous offensive performance against Arizona. Soler hit two home runs in this game. The first home run, he hit a 468-foot shot to left field. He had five RBIs in this game and has been doing some damage. 

Through 35 games this season, Soler has nine homers. He’s a game-changer. He can win a game by himself and bring you a lot of RBIs.

Jazz Chisholm Jr had a good night against the Diamondbacks. He got on base three times. He got a hit and scored three runs, plus picking up two stolen bases. Jazz needs to stay more discipline at the plate. It doesn’t always go right for him because, at times, he swings at everything and tries to do too much. But I like his approach on Tuesday, and he should remain focused and continue to hit line drives. 

What can we say about Jesus Sanchez? He’s been on a mission. The left fielder had two doubles in this game. He had 14 doubles last season through 98 games. In the previous 15 games, he’s hitting .359 with 14 hits, 7 RBIs, and two homers. He also has eight doubles in the year so far. Sanchez is a unique talent, and if he can continue to produce this well, then the Marlins can go far as a team this year. 

Marlins will play at 3:40 pm at Chase Field. Edward Cabrera will take the mound for the Marlins. Merrill Kelly will pitch for the Diamondbacks. 

Miami’s Rebounding and Depth Too Much for the Knicks

By Miguel Mike Medina

The Miami Heat could’ve let this game slip away. Miami missed 12 of its first 15 shots in the fourth quarter. However, they found the tenacity to come out with a win over the New York Knicks. They showed their poise, leadership, resilience, and confidence in Game 4. Miami won 109-101 to take a commanding 3-1 series lead. 

Jimmy Butler is playing through the ankle injury. Butler has led Miami in scoring in every game throughout this postseason. Butler led Miami with 27 points, ten assists, six rebounds, two blocks, and two steals. His ten assists in this game are huge, and it had to do with the Knicks continuing to double-team him. The more the Knicks tried to trap Butler, the easier it made for him to find his teammates. Jimmy Butler trusts his teammates. Butler took just 17 shots in this game. Butler looked more like Butler from the regular season than postseason Jimmy Butler in this game. He didn’t have to go into full Michael Jordan 2.0 mode by scoring 40-50 points to help his team win in Game 4. He had help from his teammates. 

Bam Adebayo had a sensational game. He finished with 23 points and 13 rebounds. The Knicks, the third-best rebounding team in the league, got outrebounded 44-35 in Game 4. Kyle Lowry was on fire. He led the second unit with 15 points, five rebounds, and four assists in 26 minutes. He shot 4-of-6 from the field and hit 2 of his four 3-point attempts. Lowry is a winner. Whether starting or coming from the bench, he’s ready to play and gives all his efforts. This team and the organization love him. Lowry and Miami Heat are the perfect match. He won a championship in 2019 with the Toronto Raptors. He knows what it takes to win, and Miami Heat culture is about winning, especially right now. 

Kevin Love has an arm of a quarterback. He’s looking like Dan Marino on the court, making outstanding passes in this series, such as Games 1 and 4. Miami’s bench has been tremendous in this series. They have outscored the Knicks bench 116 to 62. Rebounding, defense, making free throws, and bench points can help you with games. Miami is bringing all those tools in this series, and they’re making the Knicks scratch their heads. Head coach Erik Spoelstra is a great coach. He knows how to get his team ready to play every single night. 

The series shifts back to New York for Game 5. The Knicks will try to stay away from elimination. Miami is looking to become the second No. 8 seed to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals since the 1999 New York Knicks. 

Suns’ Offensive Explosion in Game 4

By Miguel Mike Medina

The Phoenix Suns have put themselves in a position to get back into the series. The Dynamic Duo of Devin Booker and Kevin Durant lifted the Suns by combining 72 points in a 129-124 win over the Denver Nuggets. The series is tied 2-2. 

Phoenix Suns played great offense. They did a great job sharing and moving the ball. Booker finished with 36 points and 12 assists while shooting 14 of 18 from the field. Durant also had 36 points, 11 boards while shooting 11 of 19 from the field. We know what to expect from the top stars, but the X-factor for the Suns was their bench. Shooting guard Landry Shamet led the Sun’s bench with 19 points in 30 minutes and made five of his eight three-pointers. The Suns’ bench outscored the Nuggets’ bench 42 to 11. There were 12 ties and 16 lead changes in Game 4. 

Coach Mike Malone said during the postgame interview that the Nuggets giving up 129 points is not good. Also, the team needs to do a better job defensively, especially on the Suns bench. The Nuggets need to pick up their defense, and their bench needs to put in some points. Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray are monsters. They did what they were supposed to do. Jokic led the Nuggets with 53 points and 11 rebounds. Jamal Murray added 28 points. The Nuggets need more from Aaron Gordon, Michael Porter Jr, and their bench. More urgency and intensity are expected from them in Game 5.

We hope Nikola Jokic doesn’t get suspended for Game 5. The Nuggets need him to play at home. Jokic shoved down the Phoenix Suns owner after the owner didn’t want to give up the ball to Jokic. Knowing how the NBA is nowadays, it wouldn’t surprise me if he gets suspended for one game. But I’m hoping that doesn’t happen. Game 5 is crucial, and all the pressure is on the Nuggets to win that game. 

Game 5 will be on Tuesday night in Denver.

Sunday Sports Shorts

By Miguel Mike Medina

Miami Heat’ defense played outstanding against the New York Knicks on Saturday afternoon. If they can play like this each game, then they could make the Finals and possibly win it all. The Heat were dominant in Game 3. Heat defeated the Knicks 105-86. Jimmy Butler led Miami with 28 points. Bam Adebayo added 17 points with 12 rebounds. Game Four will be on Monday night at 7:30. 

Edmonton Oilers were on fire against the Vegas Golden Knights. It’s the fourth playoff game where the Oilers score five goals or more. Leon Draisaitl is having an unbelievable postseason for the ages. He scored two goals in Game 3. Draisaitl has 13 goals in 8 games this postseason. Evan Bouchard had a goal and two assists. Bouchard leads all defensemen in scoring with 15 points. Oilers won 5-1 to take a 2-1 series lead. 

After two seasons, Gerald Gallant is out as the New York Rangers. When the Devils eliminated the Rangers in the first round, we knew how bad this would look on the team, especially on the head coach. Letting go of Gallant won’t solve all of their problems, though. The Rangers had a lot of moves during the trade deadline to compete for the Stanley Cup. We will see what other decisions the front office will make during the off-season. 

The Yankees rallied to beat the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday, 3-2. The Yankees were trailing 2-0 in the game until DJ LeMahieu hit a double to right field to bring the first run. Harrison Bader went 2 for 2 in this game and got two hits. He had two RBIs in this game and was one of the heroes for the Yankees. The Yankees have split the series so far. 

Hurricanes Silences the Devils…AGAIN!

By Miguel Mike Medina

The New Jersey Devils took on the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday night. The Devils, we’re looking to tie the series. It was Deja Vu from Game 1. Jesperi Katkaniems put Carolina on the board with a power-play goal. He went on to score again to put Carolina up 2-0. Martin Necas and Stefan Noesen scored goals as well. The Hurricanes dominated this game and won 6-1 to take a 2-0 series lead. 

Frederick Anderson made 28 saves for the Hurricanes. The Hurricanes have outscored the Devils 11-2 in the series’ first two games combined. In the third period, Jordan Martinook stole the puck away and sprinted up the ice, and scored a breakaway goal on Vitek Vanecek. 

Mike’s Wood scored the only goal for the Devils, which came in the third period. Michael Mcleod and Nathan Bastian picked up the assist. Akira Schmid allowed four goals on 25 shots and had 21 saves before being pulled out. 

The Devils are 0-for-18 on the power play in six games against the Carolina Hurricanes this season. In Game 2, Devils went 0-for-3 on the power play. Are the Devils mentally exhausted from the Rangers series, or does Carolina have their number, and the Devils have no answer for them? Well, whatever it is, the Devils need to think and pick it up fast because they are two losses away from their season being over. 

The series shifts to New Jersey as the Devils try to get back in the series. Game 3 will be on Sunday at 3:30 pm at the Prudential Center.