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Monday, May 16, 2011
Over Heat-ed

By Whitney Holtzman

NBA: The Chicago Bulls took Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals Sunday, and it wasn't even close. The Bulls, who are the top seed and have the league's MVP, clobbered the Miami Heat, 103-82. While Miami faltered in Game 1, the good news for the Heat is that the Big Three turned in another huge performance, combining for all but 19 of Miami's points. Towards the end of the game, Chicago looked like the top seed, while Miami just looked gassed. The Bulls went on a 10-0 run midway through the third quarter and outscored the Heat 31-19 in the fourth to close out the game.

Prior to the first conference final game getting underway, there was still one conference semifinal champion that needed to be decided. The Oklahoma City Thunder defeated the Memphis Grizzlies 105-90 in Game 7 of their Western Conference semifinal series, behind a dominant 39-point performance from Kevin Durant to drop this year's Cinderella team from the NBA playoffs. Despite getting eliminated, this season was still a success for the Grizzlies, who picked up their first playoff win in franchise history and ousted the top-seeded San Antonio Spurs in the first round. However, it's the Thunder that is moving on to face the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference finals.

NHL: The Vancouver Canucks made good use of their first Western Conference final appearance in 17 years, beating the San Jose Sharks 3-2 on Sunday to take Game 1 of their series.

The Tampa Bay Lightning blasted the Boston Bruins 5-2 on Saturday in the first game of the Eastern Conference finals. After losing three of its first four playoff games this season, the Bolts have now won eight in a row.

While the NHL should be in full celebration mode with the Stanley Cup playoffs well underway, the league had to deal with some sad news on Friday. New York Rangers enforcer Derek Boogaard was found dead in his Minneapolis apartment, five months after sustaining a season-ending concussion, at the age of 28. While the cause of death is still unknown, his family has decided to donate his brain to Boston University, where researchers will examine it for signs of a degenerative disease commonly found in athletes who received repeated hits to the head.

MLB: In what seems like a never ending cycle of pro athletes letting their egos getting in the way, it appears New York Yankees designated hitter Jorge Posada threw quite the tantrum this weekend regarding his spot in the lineup. After the slumping star was dropped to the No. 9 spot in the batting order Saturday, he asked to sit out against the Boston Red Sox, claiming sudden back stiffness and saying he needed a day to clear his head. Posada did apologize to manager Joe Girardi and general manager Brian Cashman Sunday, saying he had a bad day Saturday and allowed his frustration regarding his performance this season to come to a head. He played in Sunday's series finale against Boston, entering as a pinch-hitter in the eighth to a standing ovation from Yankees fans.