Monday morning. Your alarm goes off for the first time in two days, you head back to the office and then spend the first few hours of the workday planning out how you’ll survive until closing time on Friday. Luckily, Poker Central and Death Wish Coffee have you covered. The world’s strongest coffee gives you a “Morning Perk,” recapping the weekend sports action on Monday and then the best from across the internet on Friday.

Playoffs, playoffs and more playoffs. The NHL continued to play through the opening round of their post-season and Daniel Negreanu ended up making you a little money if you followed his picks. The NBA post-season has been the most exciting few days of sports since last month’s madness and across the pond, there were some knockout round soccer between some of the world’s biggest clubs. Simply put, this weekend was pretty awesome.  

They aren’t competing for the Stanley Cup this year but my hometown New Jersey Devils are still giving their fans some excitement even though their season is long over. Season ticket holders and diehard fans got a chance to paint the Prudential Center ice this past weekend. In total, over 3,000 came out for the likely once-in-a-lifetime opportunity but hopefully next year, that ice is being used for hockey and not as a canvas.

I guess there really is a first time for everything because, for the first time in my life, I agree with a Skip Bayless hot take! The television commentator reacted with this tweet after Houston’s Game 4 win against the Oklahoma City Thunder, calling out the Rockets depth for why Russell Westbrook has a bigger load to carry than James Harden. Westbrook tried his hardest to even the series but the Rockets were too much down the stretch are now just one game from Round 2.

While James Harden had some serious help in Game 4, Russell Westbrook couldn’t even get his guys to make free throws. Andre Roberson was intentionally fouled multiple times late in the game and the Thunder forward couldn’t buy a bucket. If you are a Thunder fan, watching this was cringe worthy. If you are a Rockets fan, or bench player, this was hilarious and whoever thought of this late-game tactic deserves a raise.

We’ve mentioned the English FA Cup a few times on previous “Morning Perks” but that was when low-level amateur teams were still alive and capturing our hearts. Heading into this weekend, those teams had been dispatched and four of the world’s biggest clubs remained. Chelsea FC vs. Tottenham Hotspur was the marquee matchup, as they are currently one-two at the top of the English Premier League. Chelsea advanced thanks to a 4-2 victory, which Nemanja Matic put an exclamation point on the victory with this absolute stunner of a goal.

Speaking of the world’s biggest clubs, another El Classico pitted hated rivals Barcelona FC and Real Madrid against each other. The match was tied 2-2 heading into the final minute and that is when Lionel Messi added another chapter to his storybook career. The Argentine scored to notch the win for Barca, record his 500th career goal and potentially reclaim his spot as the best in the world, as he and Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo seem to one up each other week in and week out.

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