T. G. I. freakin’ F., am I right, sports fans? You deserve a serious pat on the back for making it through this week, because many of you have probably been staying up way too late and expending way too much emotional energy on the NHL and NBA.
Both playoffs are in full swing, and both are breaking the hearts of fans across the country, as sports are wont to do. So you’ve earned some serious down time in which you can regroup and watch sports without having to get up and, you know, do your job the next day (unless you have to work on the weekends, in which case I’m very sorry, and please ignore that previous sentence).
Here’s our weekly roundup of the best things to watch and read this weekend to channel your inner Sporty Spice.
WHAT TO WATCH
We’re smack dab in the middle of the first round of games, and, as of Friday, the major plot points are: The Celtics are not holding their own against the Bulls (but Rajon Rondo is out with a fractured thumb, so things could be looking up for Boston). The Thunder are in deep trouble against the Rockets. The Cavs came back against the Pacers on Thursday after being down 22 points because LeBron might not be human, so they currently have a 3-0 lead in the series.
The Spurs are beating the Grizzlies, the Wizards are beating the Hawks, and the Warriors are beating the Blazers. The Raptors and Bucks are 2-1, which is a little nuts, because no one really thought the Bucks would win on Thursday. The Clippers and Jazz and are tied at 1-1.
In other words: Not too many huge surprises here except for the Celtics unexpectedly sucking more than they should.
Celtics vs. Bulls, Game 3, 7:00 PM on CSNE, CSNC, ESPN
Clippers vs. Jazz, 10:00 PM on ESP2, PT, ROOT
Rockets vs. Thunder, Game 3, 9:30 PM on ROOT, ESPN, FSOK
Raptors vs. Bucks, Game 4, 3:00 PM on TNT, FSWI
Spurs vs. Grizzlies, Game 4, 8:00 PM on ESPN, FSSW
Hawks vs. Wizards, Game 3, 5:30 PM on FSSE, TNT, CSNW
Warriors vs. Blazers, Game 3, 10:30 PM on ESPN, KGW, NSBA
Cavs vs. Pacers, Game 4, 1 PM on ABC
Celtics vs. Bulls, Game 4, 6:30 PM on CSNE, CSNC, TNT
Rockets vs. Thunder, Game 4, 3 PM on ABC
Clippers vs. Jazz, Game 4, 9:00 PM on PT, TNT, ROOT
Capitals vs. Leafs, Game 5, Friday, 7:00 PM on CSMA, NBCS
You should watch the Capitals-Leafs game because the series is tied 2-2, and Caps fans will have a collective heart attack if their team — the best team in the league — loses to a squad they should’ve been able to easily beat in the first round. In fact, according to hockey editor Travis Hughes, “A loss at home to go down 3-2 would literally make some of them die, I think.”
Rangers vs. Canadiens, Game 6, Saturday, 8 PM NBC
The Blackhawks got swept by the Predators and are done-zo, so you can watch New York take on Montreal. The two Sunday games are:
Senators vs. Bruins, Game 6, Sunday, 3 PM, NBC
Capitals vs. Maple Leafs, Game 6, Sunday, 7 p.m., NBCSN, Sportsnet, CSN DC
GOLF! Valero Texas Open
The Valero Texas Open in San Antonio is one of the oldest events on the PGA Tour. The field is kind of weak this year, but it can be one of the tougher courses to play when it’s windy. Sometimes you get epic meltdowns, like the time Kevin Na recorded 16 on a par-4 six years ago. And who doesn’t want to watch golf train wrecks?
Friday, 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. ET, Golf Channel
Saturday and Sunday, 1 to 2:30 p.m. ET, Golf Channel
Saturday and Sunday, 3 to 6 p.m. ET, CBS
There aren’t really any standout games this weekend, so just crack a beer, watch your team, and be glad that a) America’s pastime is back and b) that it’s spring.
Real Madrid vs. Barcelona, Sunday, 2:45 p.m. ET, beIN Sports
“El Clásico is the biggest rivalry match in club soccer and is always worth watching,” says our soccer editor Kevin McCauley. “This edition is no different. Real Madrid is three points ahead of Barcelona in the La Liga standings, and Madrid just advanced to the semifinals of the UEFA Champions League too, while Barca was knocked out. This is a game that Barcelona needs to win to save their season.”
Food City 500, Bristol Tenn. 2 p.m. on FOX, green flag approximately 2:13.
Vroom, vroom, beep, beep, etc.
League of Legends
Korean Finals, Saturday, 4 a.m. ET
North American finals Sunday at 3 p.m. ET.
All can be streamed live at lolesports.com and there will be coverage all weekend (including on-site for the NA finals in Vancouver) from our friends at riftherald.com.
In South Korea, dynastic three-time world champions SK Telecom T1 take on super team KT Rolster, while North America has a rematch of last split’s finals between Team SoloMid and Cloud9, the two most historically successful teams in the region.
WHAT TO READ
ON SB NATION
Pat Iverson on how the Preds swept the Blackhawks.
Louis Bien on how the NFL’s concussion protocol can’t save football.
Dan Kadar on the top 100 players in the NFL draft.
Tyler Tynes on the Patriots’ wack visit to the White House.
Bud Elliott on this week in college football recruiting.
Here’s me on Russell Westbrook:
OFF SB NATION
Alex Prewitt on Derek Stepan, Ryan McDonagh, and Brendan Smith of the Rangers for Sports Illustrated.
Danny Kelly talked to NFL front office honchos about their biggest draft misses for The Ringer.
Read this interview with Nadia Nadim, a refugee from Afghanistan who is now a forward on the Portland Thorns and also a med student (warning: This will not make you feel really good about your life accomplishments).
Dan Wetzel on Aaron Hernandez’ suicide for Yahoo Sports.
WHAT TO DO
Literally whatever you want, it’s a free country!