Thunder Heat Game V, Euro 2012, MLB, NHL Awards + Free Plays for Thursday, June 21, 2012

Thunder face elimination tonight

Our buddy the Armadillo put it best. Either way, Oklahoma City is going home after tonight’s NBA Finals Game V in South Beach. The question is, will the Heat be going with them ??? Miami is a three-point favorite in tonight’s elimination game, the total has been bumped up a point to 193 1/2. The Thunder are 4-5 on the road, the Heat are 10-2 at home. The over is 7-2-1 in Miami’s L10 games. The Heat are 7-2 ATS after their L9 same series wins. The Thunder will undoubtedly leave it all on the floor tonight but body language of the the team reminded us of a beaten dog after Games III and IV.

The difference in the series has been James Harden and the respective supporting casts. The Heat’s big three and Durant/Westbrook have been fine. Harden has scored in single digits in three of the four games, is 11-37 shooting in the series (4-20), and has been a liablity on the floor when he’s played. Whether it was Shane Battier, Mario Chalmer, or Udonis Haslem … the Miami has gotten a key contribution from a bench or role player. Perkins, Ibaka, Sefolosha, and even Derek Fisher have been non-factors the entire series.

Czech Republic vs Portugal

The Euro 2012 quarterfinals begin today with Portugal a full goal (+140) over the Czech Republic. The totals is 2.5 with the Under currently -140, the Over +115 on the takeback. Portugal hopes that Cristiano Ronaldo has broken out of his international play funk after scoring two goals and hitting the woodwork twice in his last game against the Dutch. he’d scored just three times in his prior 15 international caps for the Portuguese. The Czechs feature a potent attacking offense but are vulnerable to counterattacks on their defensive end. This figures to be an exciting wide open game. Watch and win on ESPN. Check a SP3 top-rated sponsor for one the super Euro 2012 deal still being offered.

Malkin wins NHL MVP

The NHL had it’s annual awards ceremony in Las Vegas last night with Evgeni Malkin taking home the Hart Trophy as the NHL’s Most Valuable Player. Malkin returned after missing the second-half of last year with a torn ACL to record his first 50-goal season and winning the Art Ross Trophy as the league’s leading scorer with 109 points despite missing seven games. New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist and Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steven Stamkos finished second and third in the voting respectively.

Other players taking home hardware were ….

Norris Trophy (Best Defenseman): Erik Karlsson, Ottawa Senators

Ted Lindsay Award (Best Player Voted By Players): Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins

Jack Adams Award (Coach of the Year): Ken Hitchcock, St. Louis Blues

Calder Trophy (Rookie of the Year): Gabriel Landeskog, Colorado Avalanche

General Manager of the Year: Doug Armstrong, St. Louis Blues

Frank J. Selke Trophy (Best Defensive Forward): Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins

Lady Byng Trophy (Sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct): Brian Campbell, Florida Panthers

Vezina Trophy (Best Goaltender): Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers

It was home run derby at Yankee Stadium Wednesday

The ball was flying out at on a hot muggy day at Yankee Stadium Wednesday with a record nine round-trippers clearing the fence in the Braves 10-5 victory over the Bronx Bombers. Freddie Freeman, Martin Prado, Heyward (2) and David Ross all hit bombs for Atlanta. Alex Rodriguez, Robinson Cano, Derek Jeter and Eric Chavez all hit long balls against winning pitcher Tommy Hanson (8-4). For A-Rod, it was his 640th career home run.

Harvin requests trade from Vikings

According to reports from the Associated Press, WR Percy Harvin has requested a trade from the Minnesota Vikings. Harvin said early this week that we was unhappy with several issues surrounding the Vikings. Clearly, Harvin is lobbying for a new deal after a season with career highs in catches and yardage. Harvin is scheduled to make $2.5 million on the final two years of his rookie contract. Expect a recurrence of migraines for Percy and the Vikings over the next two months.

LeRoy Neiman dead at 91

Renowned sports artist LeRoy Neiman died on Wednesday, he was 91. Neiman was the official painter for five Olympics, the computer artist of the Super Bowl for CBS, and at Playboy he created Femlin, the well-endowed nude that has graced the magazine’s Party Jokes page since 1957. In 1972, he sketched the world chess tournament between Boris Spassky and Bobby Fischer in Reykjavik, Iceland, for a live television audience. With his sketchbook and pencil, trademark handlebar mustache and slicked back hair, Neiman was instantly recognizable. RIP.

Free Plays

(Euro 2012) Czech Republic/Portugal Over 2.5 +115 2:45 PM EST

(MLB) St Louis (Lohse) -115 over Detroit (Turner) 1:05 PM EST

(MLB) Pittsburg (McDonald) -151 over Minnesota (Hendriks)

(MLB) Miami (Zambrano)/Bo Sox (Dice K) Under 10.5 +115