Sportisphere is a weekly column on SeaTown Sports that covers what has happened over the week in sports across the nation with a Northwest spin on it.
This week in sports was filled with a lot of playoff action, with the NBA Finals and Stanley Cup Playoffs going on. In addition, there were some coaching changes across the nation.
- In the NBA Finals, the Mavericks have won the last two games (86-83, 112-103) after losing on a last second shot by Dirk Nowitzki in game three. All three games were at home in Dallas this week, and tonight, they have the challenge of trying to close out in Miami for games six and seven. Game four was set once Jason Terry, Seattle native, made a ridiculous three pointer with 33 seconds left to put the Mavs up by 7. This series, especially this week, has turned into a sort of good versus evil battle between Dirk Nowitzki and LeBron James. Side note: The Mavericks are 3-0 this postseason in possible series clinchers.
- In Seattle news, Ichiro Suzuki was benched for the first time in 255 consecutive games after an enormous slump during the past month, and really, the year. Manager Eric Wedge said that “People that we are counting on need to be doing better. It’s a simple as that. We are damn near two and a half months into the season and we have got guys that need to be doing better.” This is big news for Mariners fans across the country, as it means that truly, no one is safe. If Ichiro of all players gets benched due to productivity issues, Figgins, Cust, and everyone else’s jobs are on the line.
- The Stanley Cup has been a tale of two cities. In Boston, the Bruins have pulled apart the Canucks, defeating them both games in Boston 8-1 and 4-0. In Vancouver on Friday, the Canucks kept it close as they have done all series, and won 1-0 behind the fantastic goalkeeping of Roberto Luongo. If previous games are any indication, this game six should be a blowout, since it is in Boston. But with the Canucks up 3-2 in the series, they will be playing their hearts out to try and finish off the Bruins as soon as possible.
- There have been a few coaching changes in sports around the country over the past week. Oakland Athletics manager Bob Geren, manager since 2007, was fired this week, with former Mariners manager Bob Melvin to take over as interim manager. Will Melvin be able to turn around the A’s? Doubt it. They have a severe lack of offense, and they are such a young team that they probably will remain cellar dwellers in the AL West for at least this year. The A’s are 28-39 this season, and have lost 12 of their last 13 games.
- In NCAA Football, West Virginia football’s head coach Bill Stewart (28-12 in three seasons as head coach) resigned from his job after sensing he wouldn’t be there for much longer and wasn’t wanted. Their new head coach will be Dana Holgorsen. Holgorsen is known for his air-it-out style of play, which greatly benefits the personnel at WVU right now. Fun fact: He will be the 33rd head coach in West Virginia football’s history.