Archive for December, 2017

Porzingis Makes History, Lonzo Solid, LaVar Reprimanded, Joel Embiid Shines

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Tuesday night’s matchup between the New York Knicks and the Los Angeles Lakers did not disappoint (and it wasn’t just because of great basketball and a superstar performance from Kristaps Porzingis).  Porzingis posted 37 points, 11 rebounds, and five blocks (first player in NBA history with 35 points, 10 rebounds 5 blocks and 5 three-point field goals). The matchup with the Lakers also featured Lonzo Ball (and controversial dad LaVar and brothers LiAngelo and LaMelo cheering on the sidelines). Lonzo had a solid game with 17 points, eight rebounds and six assists, but the highlight of the night was his alley-oop dunk when the score was tied at 61-61. Knicks pulled out the win in overtime. Knicks 113, Lakers 109.

Speaking of LaVar, he was called into the Lakers front office and asked by team President Magic Johnson and GM Rob Pelinka to “tone down” his criticism of Lakers’ coach Luke Walton.

The Philadelphia 76ers needed the power of a healthy Joel Embiid to help the team beat the Minnesota Timberwolves in overtime. Embiid missed two games after suffering back issues, but came back strong Tuesday night with 28 points for the win.  76ers 118, Timberwolves 112.

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Dolphins Throwback Patriots, Ball Brothers To Play In Lithuania

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The Miami Dolphins looked different on Monday Night Football, and it wasn’t just because they were wearing their throwback uniforms. In a matchup with the New England Patriots, the Dolphins held Tom Brady to one touchdown and two interceptions, while Dolphins quarterback Jay Cutler threw for 263 yards and three touchdowns. The Patriots seemed flustered without star tight-end Rob Gronkowski (who was suspended for one game due a late hit last weekend). They will need to get their act together when they take on the Pittsburgh Steelers next weekend with home-field advantage in the AFC on the line.

BASKETBALL

Ball brothers, LiAngelo and LaMelo, are heading to Lithuania to play for professional Club, Prienu Vytautas. The brothers signed a one-year contract with the Club in the hopes (according to Vytautas) of bringing some publicity to the team. If you remember, LiAngelo was on the UCLA team, until he got suspended indefinitely for shoplifting while on a team trip to China, while LaMelo was taken out of China High School to be home-schooled by dad LaVar.

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Baker Mayfield Wins Heisman Trophy, Eagles Fear Wentz Tore ACL, Roethlisberger Makes History

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Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield is the latest recipient of the highest honor in college football, the Heisman trophy. Mayfield was a walk-on at Texas Tech before transferring to Oklahoma, where he was also a walk-on. Mayfield led the Sooners to a Big 12 Championship this year and to the semifinals of the College Football Playoffs, where they’ll play Georgia on January 1st. Mayfield is the first player to win this prestigious trophy after starting his career as a walk-on (not to mention a double walk-on). Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley said about him, “All he wanted was a chance to be the starting quarterback [in high school]. All he wanted was a chance to be the starting quarterback at Texas Tech, Oklahoma and to earn scholarships. When he’s had those chances in his life, he’s proven himself.” Congratulations!

In the NFL, the Philadelphia Eagles fear their quarterback Carson Wentz tore his ACL in the second half of the team’s win over the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday. Wentz threw a touchdown immediately after he went down from the hit causing the issue to his left knee. The Eagles clinched a playoff berth but are concerned Wentz may be out for the rest of the season. Eagles 43, Rams 35.

The Pittsburgh Steelers clinched the top seed in the AFC North after their win over the Baltimore Ravens. Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger made NFL history after throwing his third game with over 500 passing yards. Steelers 39, Ravens 38.

 

 

 

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Okafor From 76ers To Nets, Falcons Increase Change Of Playoffs

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The Philadelphia 76ers traded their former number 3 pick in the 2015 draft, Jahil Okafor, to the Brooklyn Nets for forward Trevor Booker, the 23rd pick in the 2010 draft. There have been rumors of the team wanting to trade Okafor (and Okafor wanting out) since center Joel Embid rose to prominence on the team. All parties seem happy with the transaction.

FOOTBALL

In Thursday night football, the Atlanta Falcons kept their playoff hopes alive in an exciting last minute defensive play when Falcons linebacker Deion Jones intercepted a throw from New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees in the end zone. Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan didn’t help the offense with his three interceptions, but thanks to Jones the Falcons have increased their chances of making the playoffs from 36% to 52% (according to ESPN’s Pro-Fooball Index). Falcons 20, Saints 17.

 

 

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Goodell Will Remain Commissioner Till 2024, Rodman’s Trip To Guam

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Roger Goodell will remain as the NFL commissioner for at least five more years. He signed an extension to remain commissioner through 2024, and his pay will reportedly be close to $40 million dollars annually.

BASKETBALL

On former basketball star Dennis Rodman’s recent trip to Guam, he stated he believes North Korea’s Kim Jung Un isn’t interested in bombing the United States and doesn’t want to start a war. He said the Leader is just a “big kid” and they don’t talk politics. He told the media, “I try and stay out of it. I try to just be his friend, and play sports, and that’s my whole thing.  No politics, no nothing about America against North Korea, we don’t talk about stuff like that. To me, he does not want to have war … it may sound like that on the news, but I see that Donald Trump and him … it’s more like two big kids deciding who’s the toughest.” Rodman said he’ll be going back to North Korea soon and has invited Trump to go with him.

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Kaepernick Receives SI Ali Legacy Award From Beyoncé, IOC Punishes Russia

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Colin Kaepernick has secured a number of honors over the last few weeks. He received an award by the ACLU of Southern California for being a courageous advocate and then from GQ Magazine for “Citizen of the Year”. To top it off, this week he received the Sports Illustrated Muhammad Ali Legacy Award. Beyoncé presented him the award and said, “Colin took action with no fear of consequence or repercussion, only hope to change the world for the better.  To change perception, to change the way we treat each other, especially people of color.” Kaepernick’s future as an NFL quarterback is still questionable, however, as no team has come forward to sign him.

OLYMPICS

The Internationl Olympic Committee supended Russia from the Winter Olympics in Seoul for athletes using performance enhancing drugs. Certain athletes will be cleared to compete if they’ve proven they haven’t used drugs, however, these athletes will not be able to wear a Russian uniform or listen to the Russian national anthem if they win a gold medal. Many didn’t think the IOC would ever punish Russia for alleged years of doping, so this ruling has stunned the world.

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Giants Coach McAdoo Fired, LiAngelo Ball Pulled Out Of UCLA

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As anticipated, the Giants head coach Ben McAdoo is out, and rumors are swirling for his replacement. The Giants’ general manager, Jerry Reese, has also been fired, and defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo is now the interim head coach. It’s likely Eli Manning will now return as the starting quarterback on Sunday when the Giants host the Dallas Cowboys.

BASKETBALL

LiAngelo Ball (one of the UCLA players arrested in China for shoplifting) was suspended from the team and hasn’t played a game yet in his college career. Clearly not happy with how his son has been treated since his return to the states, LaVar Ball announced he’s taking LiAngelo out of UCLA and will train him to be ready for the NBA draft. LaVar told ESPN, “I’m going to make him way better for the draft than UCLA ever could have.  He’s not transferring to another school. The plan is now to get Gelo ready for the NBA draft.” The youngest son, LaMelo is still committed to UCLA in 2 years, but it’s unclear now whether LaVar will let that happen.

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Clemson, Oklahoma, Georgia & Alabama in CFP, Giants Lose, Tigers Back

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Four teams have been selected for the college football playoff series, and depending on your loyalties you’re either thrilled or feel robbed. A selection committee made up of 13 members uses a host of criteria to determine the rankings for the four semi-finalists who will compete on New Years Day for a chance to play for a National Championship. The four teams are Clemson, Oklahoma, Georgia, and Alabama. The big surprise was Alabama as they lost last week to Auburn and didn’t play in their conference title game this past weekend. Click here for a preview of all the Bowl games.

The big story last week was NY Giants QB Eli Manning getting benched for backup Geno Smith. After the team’s loss to the Oakland Raiders on Sunday, Manning was asked what he thought about the rumors that Ben McAdoo would be fired. He said, ” I don’t want that. I don’t want anybody to get fired. When a coach gets fired, it’s usually because the team, the players and myself haven’t performed up to our duties.”Raiders 24, Giants 17.

It’s week 13 in the NFL and the playoff picture is starting to take shape. If certain teams win next weekend, ie Minnesota Vikings and New England Patriots, they will own their division title.

GOLF

Tiger Woods is back! After a weekend of play on his “home turf” at the Albany golf course in the Bahamas, Tiger finished 8-under par and tied for 9th place. After four surgeries in four years, Tiger showed promise in his return to competition, and the golf world is thrilled to have him back.

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Cowboys Snap Streak, Josh Gordon Starting, Tiger Back

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The Dallas Cowboys snapped a 3-game losing streak by beating the Washington Redskins 38-14 on Thursday night. The Cowboys have been in a bit of a funk without their prized running back Ezekiel Elliott (who was suspended for 6 weeks for domestic abuse). Elliott is slated to return in week 16 against the Seattle Seahawks.

Josh Gordon will start at wide receiver for the Cleveland Browns this weekend against the Los Angeles Chargers. Brown was suspended for 53 of the Browns’ last 58 games.  Gordon is only 26 years old and is trying to rehabilitate himself after self-reported years of alcohol and drug abuse and criminal activity. Gordon opened up about his years of abuse in a recent Sports Illustrated article.

GOLF

Is Tiger Woods back? After years of suffering from back injuries and personal issues, Tiger returned to competitive golf hitting a solid 3 under par 69 in the Hero World Challenge at Albany Golf Course. It’s only one round, but golf fans are hoping he’s back and staying for awhile.

 

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