- The Washington Times - Monday, May 4, 2009

WEEKEND REWIND IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Capitals take Game 1 vs. Penguins — Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby scored, but Simeon Varlamov stole the show from the NHL’s two biggest stars with a brilliant save in the second period. Varlamov’s stop kept the score tied at 2-2 and set the stage for the Caps to win in the third. It’s possible that if Varlamov’s stellar play continues, the Ovechkin-Crosby drama will be a subplot to his emergence as a top-tier NHL goalie. And after the Avery/Tortorella/biting story lines of the New York Rangers series, that would be a welcome change of pace.

Manny Pacquiao destroys Ricky Hatton — In what was billed as the fight of the year, Pacquiao dismantled Hatton and left him lying motionless at the end of the second round. In a completely related story, just hours before the fight, Floyd Mayweather Jr. announced he was returning to boxing after an 11-month retirement. Is it any wonder why nobody takes boxing seriously when fighters have to “retire,” then unretire months later to drum up publicity? What’s the over/under on when Oscar de la Hoya ends his “retirement” to fight the winner of Pacquiao-Mayweather? Five months? Six?

TWT FIVE: MEMORABLE FIRST-ROUND NBA PLAYOFF SERIES

1. Nuggets vs. SuperSonics, 1994 — The first No. 8 seed to win a series, the Nuggets shocked a high-powered Sonics team featuring Shawn Kemp and Gary Payton in their primes.

2. Warriors vs. Mavericks, 2007 — The Mavericks were coming off an NBA Finals appearance, but Don Nelson’s run-and-gun Warriors became the first No. 8 seed to win a best-of-seven series.

3. Celtics vs. Bulls, 2009 — While the quality of the games was unmatched (seven overtimes?), the higher seeded team won, and it likely will be forgotten several years from now.

4. Knicks vs. Heat, 1999 — It’s completely overlooked because of the lockout-shortened season, but the Knicks became the first No. 8 seed to reach the finals after upsetting the Heat in the first round.

5. Bulls vs. Bullets, 1997 — The Bullets didn’t take a single game vs. Michael Jordan’s Bulls, but each was competitive and had fans dreaming of a bright future. It only took eight more seasons to return to the playoffs.

HE SAID WHAT?

“I guess I just missed boxing. Somebody’s got to keep the sport up and running. Why not me?” — Floyd Mayweather Jr.

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