This Week in Sports Talk (TWIST) is our weekly report on the big sports news headlines and major events, plus a preview of what’s up next. For May 14, 2023, here are the weekly top 10 sports news headlines to know – the big stories and major events in sports news this week in the NFL, NBA, MLB and more.
weekly top 10 big sports news headlines and major events: May 14, 2023
Happy Mother’s Day, dear reader. Before you devote the rest of the day to pampering all of the moms in your life, pause for a moment to take in the sports news of the week. Here are the headlines of note. And by the way, if you haven’t already watched Air on Amazon Prime (its a fictional account of the creation of the Air Jordan basketball shoe), do yourself a favor and see it soon. It’s really good fun.
1. NBA Conference Semifinal Results – West
Phoenix Suns (2-4) fall to Denver Nuggets (4-2)
After a slow start, the No. 4 Suns evened their best-of-seven series against the top-seeded Denver Nuggets in Game 4 last Sunday night in Phoenix. Kevin Durant and Devin Booker both scored 36 points.
Meanwhile, in a truly odd incident during Game 4, the Suns owner Mat Ishbia got into a shoving match with Denver Nuggets star and two-time MVP Nikola Jokić. When a ball went out of bounds, Ishbia appeared to catch it and refuse to give it back. Huh??? After an investigation, the NBA ruled that Jokic was guilty of a technical foul for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Whatever went on in that scuffle, Jokić got the last laugh. The Nuggets won Game 5, and sealed their win with a blowout victory, 125-100, in Game 6. Making it even more heartbreaking for Phoenix fans, the Nuggets did it on the road – in the Suns’ home stadium. To the shock of many – including our Sports Desk – the Suns are done for the season.
It’s important to note that the Suns’ Kevin Durant showed nothing but class after the loss, posting on social media that he views Jokić as “one of the great all-time centers that ever touched a basketball.”
LA Lakers (4-2) defeat Golden State Warriors (2-4)
King James has done it again. In a battle between two NBA stars and two teams in Cali, the LA Lakers are moving on to the Conference Finals after beating the defending national champions, the Golden State Warriors.
Two legends faced off: the Lakers’ LeBron James and the Warriors’ Steph Curry. For the first 4 games, the teams kept trading off the lead. The first two games were in San Francisco, and the Lakers took Game 1, forcing the Warriors to scramble to tie the series. Which they did, in a 127-100 blowout win in Game 2.
For Game 3, the Lakers were at home and the tables were turned again. They won. Then the Warriors won Game 4. The Lakers won Game 5 and closed it out in Game 6, 122-101, with James scoring 30 points, with nine rebounds and nine assists.
an incredible run for LeBron and the Lakers
It may be hard to remember now, but ESPN reminds us that the Lakers started the season eight games under .500. Now they’re just four wins away from the NBA Finals. That’s thanks to the complete overhaul of their roster midway through the season. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Lakers are just the fourth team in NBA history to be that many games below .500 and reach the conference finals since conferences were instated in the 1970-71 season.
They’ll meet the No. 1 seeded Denver Nuggets in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals on Tuesday.
warriors may look like a different franchise next season
On the heels of the humiliating loss to the Lakers, the Warriors organization and roster are under a harsh spotlight. Press reports are that the futures of Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, president Bob Myers and even head coach Steve Kerr are all in question.
2. NBA Conference Semifinal Results – Eastern Conference
Boston Celtics (3-3) tied with Philadelphia 76ers (3-3)
This semifinal round got off to a rocky start for the Celtics, with James Harden scoring 45 points as the 76’ers won Game 1 in Boston, even without this year’s MVP Joel Embiid, who was out with a right knee sprain.
Harden was a superstar again in Game 4, making an incredible shot that won the game for Philadelphia in overtime 106-105. Talk about a clutch player!
As of this posting, the series is tied and Game 7 is tonight in Boston. Roughly 80% of NBA Game 7’s are won by the home team. But nothing has been “normal” in this year’s playoffs, so its anybody’s guess who’ll prevail.
New York Knicks (4-2) lose to Miami Heat (2-4)
Remember last season, when the entire city of New York was thrilled just to see the Knicks playing in the post-season? Fast forward, and now everyone in town is disappointed that they were knocked out in Round 2.
Step by step, the Knicks may someday achieve glory. Meanwhile, an anxious city waits.
3. Another NBA head coach is out, this time at the Suns
After a heartbreaking loss in Round 2 of the NBA playoffs, it didn’t take long for shoes to start dropping in Phoenix. Head coach Monty Williams was fired just days after the loss. CBS Sports notes that “Williams just had one of the best four-year stretches in NBA history to ever result in a firing. He took a team that had missed the playoffs for nearly a decade before his arrival to the NBA Finals in just his second season. He won Coach of the Year in 2022, and the NBA Coaches Association voted him its Coach of the Year in 2021 as well. All told, he went 194-115 as coach of the Suns and still lost his job.”
This, shortly after the Bucks fired their head coach Mike Budenholzer after getting knocked out of the playoffs in Round 1. Budenholzer led the Bucks to the national championship in 2021 after a 50 year drought for the franchise. It still wasn’t enough for him to keep his job.
Expect more changes in Phoenix. The Suns are under new ownership after Mat Ishbia purchased a controlling interest in February and executed a blockbuster deal with the Brooklyn Nets for Kevin Durant. While Kevin Durant and Devin Booker performed well in the Denver series, Chris Paul missed the final four games due to a groin injury, and Deandre Ayton struggled so much that he was replaced in Game 5 and missed Game 6 due to an injury to his ribs. Now there are rumors that he’ll be traded.
Long story short, the Suns are still in build mode, and they’ll spend next season still chasing their first-ever franchise national championship.
4. Grizzlies’ Morant suspended a second time
Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant has been suspended again. He missed nine games in March after a video showed him holding a gun in a Colorado nightclub. Yesterday, another troubling Instagram Live video surfaced.
CBS Sports describes it: “This one seemingly showed Morant in a car, yet again wielding a gun. It is not clear at this time whose gun he is holding or where the car is driving and what gun laws are in place in that area, but the Grizzlies have suspended him from all team activities as it investigates the situation.”
5. NHL Playoffs – East
It’s been a stunning playoff season in the NHL so far. As CBS Sports notes, nothing has really gone as expected. The juggernaut Boston Bruins and defending cup champion Colorado Avalanche were eliminated in Round 1. Meanwhile, the team that scraped by and just made the playoffs – the Florida Panthers – just made the Eastern Conference finals. And a franchise in only its second season has forced a Game 7 in the West.
Carolina Hurricanes (4-1) dominate New Jersey Devils (1-4)
After the New Jersey Devils won Game 7 in Round 1 of the playoffs over the New York Rangers in a heart-breaker for Rangers fans, they faded quickly in Round 2, and were eliminated this week by the Hurricanes, 4-1 in the best-of-seven series.
Toronto Maple Leafs (1-4) lose to the Florida Panthers (4-1)
The Maple Leafs find themselves in a situation identical to the Devils – they lost the first two games of their series to the Panthers (and both of those games were at home) and never recovered from it. The Panthers advance after taking Round 2 with a 4-1 record.
6. NHL Playoffs – West
Dallas Stars (3-3) tied with Seattle Kraken (3-3)
In only their second season as an NHL franchise, the Seattle Kraken are proving their mettle. In Round 2 of the Stanley Cup playoffs, they’ve battled the Dallas Stars to a tie, and forced a Game 7. They won Game 6 last night with a decisive 6-3 victory. Game 7 is tomorrow in Dallas.
Vegas Golden Knights (3-2) lead Edmonton Oilers (2-3)
The Golden Knights can close this series up tonight in Game 6 in Edmonton.
8. MLB Standings – AL
As we approach the quarter mark of the regular MLB season, the Tampa Bay Rays remain the best team in baseball. And the New York Yankees are in a 4-game series with them this weekend.
On Friday, the Yanks pulled out a win. Yesterday’s game was equally exciting. The Yankees prevailed, 9-8, by mounting an incredible comeback from a 6-0 deficit earlier in the game. Aaron Judge recorded his second multi-homer game of the season.
The Yankees are currently 23-18 on the season, while the Rays are 30-11. New York is seven games back in the AL East. Boston is at the bottom of the division, but only half a game worse. The Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays are second and third, respectively.
In the AL Central, the Minnesota Twins are on top, followed by the Cleveland Guardians and the Detroit Tigers.
In the AL West, the Seattle Mariners seem to have a rising star in their ace Bryce Miller. In only his third MLB game, he broke a record set in 1901 for the best first-three-game performance as a pitcher. Now the Mariners, the defending world champion Astros and the Angels are all tied for second, 4 games behind the Texas Rangers.
9. MLB Standings – NL
The New York Mets are a game under .500 and 6.5 back of the Atlanta Braves in the NL East race. As of this posting, the Phillies are second, 5 games back, and the Mets have fallen to a tie for third with the Miami Marlins.
In the NL Central, it’s the Brewers, Pirates and Cubs in first, second and third, respectively. And in the powerhouse NL West, the Dodgers have pulled to 3 games ahead of the second-place Diamondbacks. Hopes were high for a great season in San Diego, but the Padres are currently in a disappointing third place, 6 games back.
10. New York Exit
For those of us who hoped that New York City might finally regain its relevance in sports, it was a hard week indeed. In the NHL, the Isles and the Rangers fell in Round 1 of the playoffs – and this week the New Jersey Devils were eliminated in Round 2. The Yankees and Mets have been hugely disappointing so far this season. And the Knicks fell to the Heat in the NBA conference semifinals.
Everyone loves a comeback story. We’re looking at you, Mets.
Weekly Top sports news headlines and major events to know: May 14, 2023
That’s our take on the big sports news headlines and major events, and a preview of the week ahead, including what to know about basketball, baseball and more. Have a great week, dear reader. See you next Sunday.