Ah, the playoffs. The NFL Draft. Baseball kicking into full swing. It’s a good time of year for sports, even if your favorite basketball and hockey team just got eliminated.
If your stress level has not risen far above normal during the past few weeks, there is definitely something wrong with you. We have been treated to some awesome playoffs as fans of Texas sports. The Dallas Mavericks and San Antonio Spurs played an epic 7-game series that ultimately led to a Spurs series victory. We saw the seemingly ageless Spurs and their incredible play of veterans take on the underdogs, the Dallas Mavericks, who weren’t ready to go down so easily as many experts predicted. Dallas blew out San Antonio in Game 2 and got a prayer answered in the form of Vince Carter, who had a buzzer-beating, three-pointer to win Game 3, but San Antonio surged right back and won three of the next four games in complete nail-biting fashion. We got to see Tony Parker make his crazy lay-ups and Dirk hit that classic fade away, but all in all, it was an amazing series just to add on to the mind-blowing, action-filled excitement that the NBA playoffs have been so far.
Then, the Dallas Stars played an amazing series against the one seed Anaheim Ducks, and really should have forced a Game 7 since they were ahead by two goals with two minutes left in regulation. After trailing 2-0 early in the series, the Stars powered back and out scored the Ducks, 7-2 in Games 3 and 4 and headed to Anaheim with an even series. The Stars were unable to win the next two games, getting shut out 6-2 in Game 5 and blowing a two goal lead with two minutes remaining in Game 6, setting up an OT win for Anaheim. The Stars made a huge statement with this series however, and managed to make the playoffs for the first time since 2008. The team’s motto this year was “A New Star is Rising,” and with stars like Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin leading this squad you probably should not count the Stars out next year. A new star has certainly risen and fans have a lot to look forward to in the 2014-15 season.
The Rangers aren’t doing too bad for themselves either. Of course, we could worry about the slumps of Prince Fielder and Elvis Andrus, but there is not a whole lot to complain about at this point. The pitching has not been superb this year, but with Colby Lewis and Matt Harrison back to help out Darvish and Perez, we should expect a lot better pitching from here on out. Currently, the Rangers only sit two games out of first, behind the red hot Oakland A’s. The Rangers did explode the bats for a 14-3 routing of the Angels on Sunday, so hopefully they can keep the bats rolling. The only complaint I can think of at this point is J.P. Arencibia catching for this team. He had a horrendous April, and is hitting .116 as of May 5. Of course, this could just be a massive slump and he could end up being our hottest hitter in May. He went 2-4 with a home run in that beatdown of Anaheim, so who knows. I still would not expect Washington to utilize him to play as large a role once Soto returns.
Overall, Dallas sports fans, fear not. Mavericks fans can once again expect a playoff run with a team stacked with the talent of Jose Calderon, Monta Ellis, Dirk Nowitzki, and Co. The Stars made a statement returning to the playoffs and nearly forcing a game 7 with the one seed Ducks, and Stars fans can also expect a return to the playoffs next year. And the Rangers are playing fun baseball like always.