It’s the month of May, which means the MLB season is in full swing, while playoffs for the NBA and NHL are starting to heat up. Here’s a recap of the top sports news for the month of May.
Basketball: In the NBA playoffs, the Bulls beat out the Atlanta Hawks in a 4-2 series, which ended on Thursday. They are set to play the Miami Heat on Sunday in Chicago, for game one of the Eastern Conference finals. The Miami Heat, who just beat the Boston Celtics in a 4-1 series, want to continue their winning streak against the Bulls. The Bulls are looking for MVP winner, Derrick Rose, to continue his 28 points-per-game average throughout the series. Although the Heat is favored to win the series, the Bulls beat the Heat three times this past regular season, which makes the series a good matchup.
On the Western Conference side of the playoffs, the Oklahoma Thunder will play the Memphis Grizzlies for game 7 of the semi-finals. The Thunder hopes that their power player, Kevin Durant, can bring home the win on Sunday night. The team that advances will play the No. 4 seed, Dallas Mavericks, in the Conference Finals.
Baseball: Although Chicago has two teams in different leagues, both teams are struggling to deliver clutch hits with runners on base. The Cubs are having difficulty with their starting pitchers, while the White Sox are having a hard time with their closing pitchers.
Cubs: The Cubs are 17-20 in the regular season, and remain 4th in the Central Division of the National League. The Cubs star player, Starlin Castro, currently has a batting average of .331, but only has one homerun for the season thus far.
Sox: The Sox are 16-23 in the regular season, and are also 4th in the Central Division, but in the American League. Carlos Quienten has a batting average of .264, while Paul Korneko has remained consistently strong with a batting average of .324 and nine homeruns for the season.
Football: The NFL lockout still continues and is in its third month. However, the schedule for the Bears has just been released, with the first preseason game starting August 7th. With Jay Cutler at quarterback, the Bears are looking to strengthen the offensive line for the 2011-2012 season. From the recent NFL draft, the Bears received Gabe Carini as an offensive tackle for their round one pick, and Stephen Paea for the round two pick.
Hockey: Although the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup last year, they lost to the Vancouver Canucks in the playoffs a few weeks ago. With players such as Jonathan Toews, Patrick Sharp, Patrick Kane, and David Bolland under contract, the Hawks have little room for cap flexibility. But, the Hawks hope to keep rookie goalie Corey Crawford around for next season, and still get some fresh players in the lineup. After a year of restructuring for the Hawks, they should come out strong in the 2011-2012 season.
In playoff news, the Vancouver Canucks are set to play the San Jose Sharks in the Western Conference finals at Vancouver on Sunday for the first game of the series. The number one seed Canucks are favored to win against the number two seed Sharks. In the Eastern Conference Finals, the Tampa Bay Lightening (No. 5 seed) will play the Boston Bruins (No. 3 seed) to start off the series Saturday in Boston.
Other Sports News: Both Venus and Serena Williams have pulled out of the French Open this year due to injuries. This is the first Grand Slam tournament without either one of the sisters since 2003.