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Donno's Top 3: Dolphins Prepare For Life After Suh, NBA And Stanley Cup Finals Offer Compelling Narratives

Alex Donno
May 31, 2018 - 11:59 am
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As the Miami Dolphins continue their hard work on the practice field in Davie, we're a step closer to crowning champions on the hardwood and on the ice. It's a great week to be a sports fan, so here are my top three stories of the week.

The Miami Dolphins continue their hard work on the practice field. In week 2 of OTA's, the spotlight has shined on the defensive line. Omar Kelly of the Sun Sentinel and WQAM notes that defensive end William Hayes really stood out on Wednesday, in a practice open to the media. The defensive end was shedding blocks and putting serious pressure on the quarterbacks. At defensive tackle, big things are expected from second year player Davon Godchaux. 

With Ndamukong Suh no longer a Dolphin, the pressure will be on Godchaux, Akeem Spence, Vincent Taylor and Jordan Phillips to step up and fill the void. “Just an opportunity for each and everybody," said Godchaux of life after Suh. "It’s an opportunity for everybody to get better. We have to accept that role and get better with it.”

Godchaux was asked what it will take for him to bring his game to the next level. “Consistency, focus and film study each and every day. Going in there and learning from guys like, Robert Quinn, Cam Wake – older guys – Jordan Phillips, Akeem Spence and guys like that. Each and every day … Will Hayes. Going in there each and every day and learning from those guys, taking positive criticism.”

LeBron reaches the NBA Finals for an EIGHTH straight season. Whether you're on team LeBron or Team Petty, you have to admit this is impressive. King James was superhuman against the Celtics, recording 35 points, 15 rebounds and 9 assists in game 7. After a poor showing in game 1, James averaged 36.7 points, 9.3 rebounds ad 8.3 assists in games 2-7. Remarkable. 

But all good things must come to an end, and the oddsmakers expect nothing good to come to LeBron's Cavaliers in these NBA Finals. At -1200 for the series, the Golden State Warriors are the biggest finals favorite since the 2002 Los Angeles Lakers. Golden State is favored by a stunning twelve and a half points in Game 1. These teams will meet in the finals for a fourth straight season. If it ends up being as lopsided at Vegas expects it to be, let's hope it's the last!

At times, the talented Warriors have sleep-walked through games before flipping the switch in the third quarter. Will they be more engaged in these Finals? Game 1 tips off TONIGHT (Thursday, May 31st) at 9:00 pm from Oracle Arena.

Expansion VGK versus 'Choker' Ovechkin in the Stanley Cup Finals. The series is even at 1 after a pair of games in Las Vegas. No matter who wins this series, the significance will be massive. Let's start with the Golden Knights. They are the darlings of American sports this season. No expansion team has ever gotten this far, so winning the Cup would be the icing on the cake. And they wouldn't be in this position without a trio of former Florida Panthers. Former Cats head coach Gerard Gallant has been amazing on the VGK bench this season, and the Knights have former Panthers Jonathan Marchessault and Reilly Smith skating on their top line. Smith scored a big goal in Game 1. 

Meanwhile, fourteen year NHL veteran Alex Ovechkin is searching for his first Stanley Cup. The Capitals' sniper has never gotten over the hump before in the playoffs, drawing comparisons to Dan Marino. Amazing, generational player who couldn't win the big one. He'd much prefer a different football comparison. How about Peyton Manning? Manning got his first ring in his ninth season, finally killing the "he's not a winner" narrative. 

Ovechkin scored a massive goal in Game 2, helping his Capitals even up the series. He has 13 playoff goals so far, and likely has a few more in his back pocket before this series is over.