The NBA and NHL playoffs feel like they have benefited from not being in the same round at the same time.
By having the NBA in conference semifinals while the NHL first round took place, there was more time to concentrate on games in each sport without having them trample each other.
Speaking of trampling, the Dallas Mavericks gain the Western Conference Finals by destroying the Suns Sunday in a Game 7 in Phoenix.
The Suns scored 27 points in the first half. The Mavericks scored 27 points in the first quarter and added 30 more in the second to take a 57-27 lead en route to a 123-90 waltz.
Dallas faces the Golden State Warriors, who gained the next round by outfighting the Memphis Grizzlies in what can only be described as a physical series.
The Eastern Conference Finals will see the Miami Heat face the Boston Celtics, who dethroned the Milwaukee Bucks in emphatic fashion In Game 7.
Another Boston team wasn’t as fortunate in a Game 7 as the Bruins fell to the Carolina Hurricanes Saturday. That series saw the home team hold serve in every contest and the Canes’ Storm Surge moves into the next round.
Carolina will face the New York Rangers, who worked overtime to defeat the Pittsburgh Penguins Sunday in Game 7.
The Rangers trailed in the series 3-1 and in the third period of Game 7, 3-2, before tying it and gaining a date with the Hurricanes on an Artemi Panarin power-play goal.
The other Eastern Conference series with be a Sunshine State slugfest. The two-time defending champion Tampa Bay Lightning added to the misery of the Toronto Maple Leafs with a win North of the Border on Saturday.
The Lightning now tangle with Presidents’ Trophy winners the Florida Panthers, who ousted the Washington Capitals.
Out West, the Colorado Avalanche will meet the St. Louis Blues.
Colorado stormed past Nashville while the Blues were able to escape a tough series against the Minnesota Wild.
The other Western Conference matchup will see the Edmonton Oilers face the Calgary Flames, who managed to advance in overtime despite an amazing performance by Dallas Stars goaltender Jake Oettinger in Game 7.
Edmonton overcame a 3-2 deficit in the series to knock out the Los Angeles Kings in 7 as veteran goaltender Mike Smith shut out LA in the decisive game.
The most fitting end to the 2022 First Round “Mayhem” – not one, but two #Game7 overtimes.#NHLStats: https://t.co/VCFCwpBEFQ pic.twitter.com/HtV8uT2Oo5
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) May 16, 2022
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