Shep's Take: Appreciating Two Sports That Divide Us

This is such a great time of the year because of the NBA Playoffs and Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Even though Detroit teams aren't participating, it doesn't mean we, as sports fans, can't enjoy the intensity and sense of urgency from both sports.

Too many times NBA and NHL fans are pitted against one another.

People feel like the sports clash because their 82 game respective schedules overlap.

Why can't we appreciate both.

Erik Karlsson is a defenseman for the Ottawa Senators.

He led his team past the Boston Bruins in a six game slug fest that featured four overtime games.

Karlsson had six assists but was responsible for so much more, logging 182:23 of ice time, most by any player, including 41 minutes in a game five double OT loss.

That may not impress you, but the fact that he's playing on two stress fractures is incredible and deserves the respect of even the most novice hockey fan.

In an era of us watching Dwayne Wade get wheeled off the Palace floor for a shoulder injury, here's Karlsson playing through a tolerance of pain not known by many humans.

Meanwhile, Lebron James has guided the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers to a second round after sweeping the Pacers by a total of just 16-points, fewest for a series victor ever.

So what.

James boasted a game high 33 points, 10-rebounds, four assists and four steals in the game four win and has now won 21 straight opening round playoff games.

21 straight!

That is an NBA record.  

The last time this dude lost an opening round games was May of 2012.

Just as impressive was the fact that he played 45 of a possible 48 minutes in the clincher Sunday.

In an era where we complain about "stars taking nights off," James ratchets up the intensity and commitment.

His first round numbers averaged 33 points, 10 rebounds and 9 assists.

I wish both allegiances (NBA and NHL) would objectively watch the two players and come to the same conclusion.

Karlsson and James are superstars of their respective sports and incredible leaders.

They show it in their play and dedication.

Broaden your sports horizon.

Watch both and enjoy.

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