L.A. Clippers: The Clippers currently trail the Utah Jazz 3-2 in their best-of-seven series in the first round of the NBA Playoffs. Both teams have suffered injuries in the frontcourt as Utah’s star center Rudy Gobert hurt his knee in game one and Clippers power forward Blake Griffin suffered a major injury to his toe in game three. Gobert returned in game four, while Griffin is out for the remainder of the playoffs and may have played his last game as a Clipper. Point guard Chris Paul, meanwhile, continues to prove his stardom by almost singlehandedly keeping the Clippers in the series.
Player of the week: Point Guard Chris Paul: (Last five games) 27.0 points per game, 10.4 assists per game
Anaheim Ducks: The Ducks stormed out of the gates in their first-round playoff series against the Calgary Flames. In the second matchup between the two teams in the past three seasons, Anaheim toughed out a four-game sweep. The Ducks won the first two games of the series by a score of 3-2 each time, but the Flames jumped out to a 4-1 lead partway through the second period. The Ducks rallied, however, scoring three goals to send the game into overtime then won when a deflected Corey Perry slapshot trickled into the net. They eliminated the Flames with a commanding 3-1 victory two days later, setting up an eventual second round matchup with the Edmonton Oilers.
Player of the week: Center Ryan Getzlaf: (Last four games) 3 goals, 2 assists
L.A. Dodgers: The Dodgers’ record sits at 10-11, a disappointing start to the season for a team heavily favored to win the National League West. Their offense is largely to blame, ranking thirteenth in runs scored and fourteenth in batting average in Major League Baseball through April 25. The team still has not won a series since they took three out of four games against the San Diego Padres to begin the 2017 season. The main bright spot, however, has been the pitching, led by superstar ace Clayton Kershaw. In an attempt to cover for center fielder Joc Pederson’s injury and inject some life into their offense, the Dodgers called up top prospect, outfielder Cody Bellinger, on April 25. Bellinger recorded his first MLB hit that night, an infield single, against the San Francisco Giants.
Player of the week: Starting Pitcher Clayton Kershaw: (past 2 starts) 14.0 innings pitched, 11 hits allowed, three earned runs allowed, 17 strikeouts, two walks
L.A. Angels: The Angels are 10-12 through April 25 after an exhilarating walk-off win against the Toronto Blue Jays. After the visiting Jays took a 1-0 lead in the top of the 10th inning, superstar centerfielder Mike Trout hit a home run to tie the game, extending the game and setting up right fielder Kole Calhoun for a chance at a game-ending single in the eleventh. To no one’s surprise, Trout has been by far the best player for the Angels this season as he aims for his third American League MVP award in four years.
Player of the week: Center Fielder Mike Trout: (past 6 games) 11 hits, six runs, four RBI, three home runs