One wild weekend


One wild weekend

Well, that was an exhausting weekend. Although, with the Sox already getting ready to take the field and Kenyan Appreciation Day already taking over the city, I suppose that the weekend isn't even officially over. But still WOW.

In a way, I guess we could have packed a little more action into the last three days. You know, maybe it could have all happened on the same weekend as the NFL Draft. Maybe the Celtics could have been in the playoffs, as opposed to on their impromptu tour of the NBDL. Maybe the Bruins could have been scheduled for Friday and Sunday as opposed to Thursday and Saturday. Maybe, just for fun, the Sox could have squeezed in a double header.

But even if there was a little more room, I'm not sure we could have handled it. Then again, we should probably get used to this kind of weekend chaos.

There was a time about five years ago, and the two decades before when spring in Boston meant only one thing: The Sox. Back then, the Bruins and Celtics were generally fading by the time April rolled around. And even if they looked all right, we knew that would change once the regular season turned to post. Meanwhile, the Pats were already the Pats, but the NFL offseason the NFL in general wasn't the beast that it is today.

These days, that's not the case. The NFL gets about two weeks to a month (if even that) out of the spotlight. The Bruins and Celtics are consistently in the championship conversation. The Sox are still the Sox, and considering last year's collapse and this year's manager, they're more "the Sox" than ever, but they have to share the headlines. And for the rest of the spring, they will. For the next month or so, we'll be living this past weekend on a loop, and believe it or not, it will get worse (and by worse I mean better).

For instance, take two weeks from now. The weekend of April 28. How do you feel about the start of the NBA playoffs, the NFL Draft, (Tim Thomas-willing) the start of the NFL Conference semis AND a three-game series with the White Sox? Not bad right?

No, it's very good. It's just spring time in Boston.

Buckle up.

Rich can be reached at Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Kevin Durant's future a mystery as OKC collapses


Kevin Durant's future a mystery as OKC collapses

OAKLAND, Calif. - As Stephen Curry dribbled out the clock in a raucous Oracle Arena, Kevin Durant could only stand and watch.

The Golden State Warriors are heading back to the NBA Finals, while Durant's future in Oklahoma City is much less certain.

Two nights after blowing an opportunity to close out the defending champion Warriors at home, the Thunder got sent home for the summer when they lost Game 7 of the Western Conference finals 96-88 on Monday night.

Instead of becoming known as the team that knocked off the Warriors after their record-setting 73-win regular season, the Thunder will be remembered for a playoff collapse. They became just the 10th NBA team to lose a playoff series after taking a 3-1 lead and now head into an uncertain offseason with Durant eligible to become an unrestricted free agent in July.

If he does leave the only franchise he has played for in his nine-year career, he will do it having failed to deliver the championship to Oklahoma City. The closest the Thunder have gotten in Durant's tenure was when they lost the NBA Finals in five games to LeBron James and the Miami Heat in 2012.

They then lost in the second round the next season, in the conference finals in 2014 to San Antonio before missing the playoffs entirely because of an injury to Durant last year.

But under first-year coach Billy Donovan, Oklahoma City earned the third seed in the top-heavy Western Conference this season and then upset 67-win San Antonio in the second round. The Thunder followed that by winning three of the first four games against the Warriors, with a pair of lopsided wins at home.

But after losing Game 5 on the road, the Thunder blew an opportunity to eliminate the Warriors at home on Saturday night. Oklahoma City led by seven points with less than five minutes remaining but made only one basket and committed six turnovers down the stretch of a 108-101 loss that could haunt the franchise for years.

The Thunder responded on the road in Game 7 by taking a 13-point lead in the second quarter. But once Curry and Klay Thompson started hitting Oklahoma City with a flurry of 3-pointers, the Thunder had no answer. The Splash Brothers combined for 13 3-pointers as Golden State outscored Oklahoma City by 30 points from behind the line.

Oklahoma City's stars were no match. Russell Westbrook missed 14 of 21 from the field and shot just 36.8 percent in the three potential clinchers. Durant finished with 27 points but took only 10 shots in the first three quarters.

Durant did score seven straight points to cut an 11-point deficit to four with 1:40 remaining. But Serge Ibaka then fouled Curry on a 3-pointer with the shot clock running down, allowing Golden State to build the lead back to seven.

Durant then missed two shots and could only stare blankly when Curry ended Oklahoma City's season with a 3-pointer with 26.8 seconds left. Now the Thunder can only hope it doesn't end Durant's tenure in Oklahoma City as well.