Archive for the 'nba' Category

Big 10 Football Season Begins Weekend Of October 24th, Nuggets Beat Clippers In West Semifinal

FOOTBALL

After previously canceling the football season due to coronavirus concerns, the Big Ten conference reversed its decision and voted to have a football season after all. The season will begin the weekend of October 24th and teams will play eight games in eight weeks. The league will also require and daily, rapid testing.

BASKETBALL

The Denver Nuggets rallied from a 3-1 deficit in the Western semifinals to beat the L.A. Clippers in game 7 and will now face the top-seeded L.A. Lakers. In the Eastern semifinals, the Miami Heat got the win in game 1 vs the Boston Celtics.

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Kentucky Derby Saturday, Tiz The Law Favorite, Ja Morant Rookie Of Year, Nash Head Coach Nets

HORSE RACING

The 146th running of the Kentucky Derby is Saturday night at 7:01 pm ET. The winner of the Belmont Stakes in June, Tiz the Law, is the odds on favorite in the “Run for the Roses”. The Derby, also known as the most exciting two minutes in sports, is normally the third and final leg of the Triple Crown series, but during this pandemic, the schedule was rearranged. This year the Triple Crown series began with the Belmont Stakes followed by the Derby and ending with the Preakness Stakes on October 3rd. Tiz the Law drew the 17th starting post and, while no horse has ever won the Derby from that position, Tiz the Law is a fighter, like one of his owners my friend Roger Sofer, so I’m not expecting an unfortunate post position to hold him back.  Good luck to Roger Sofer and Tiz the Law!

BASKETBALL

In the NBA, Ja Morant won Rookie of the Year. He collected 99 out of a possible 100 first-place votes. Kendrick Nunn took second place in the voting, and Zion Williamson came in third.

Former Hall of Fame guard Steve Nash was named the next head coach of the Brooklyn Nets. Nash played 18 seasons in the NBA and accrued multiple MVP titles.

 

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Big 10 Considering Thanksgiving Return, Jags Release Fournette, U.S. Open Starts, Jamal & Kawhi Big Nights

FOOTBALL

Just over two weeks ago, the Big 10 announced it was postponing the football season to the spring of 2021. After considerable backlash about the lack of leadership and transparency in making these decisions, the Big 10 is now mulling the idea of starting sometime around Thanksgiving.

In NFL news, the Jacksonville Jaguars released running back Leonard Fournette. Fournette was in the final year of his rookie contract and would have earned a guaranteed $4.17 million in base salary. Fournette did not have a great relationship with the team, but according to reports all was going well in training camp, so the news of his release took many by surprise.

TENNIS

The U.S. Open begins today, but many of the top-ranked players have opted out. In the men’s draw, #1 ranked Novak Djokovic is the heavy favorite particularly since rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal aren’t competing. In the women’s draw, 6 of the top 10 players aren’t playing.

BASKETBALL

In the NBA playoffs, the Denver Nuggets, thanks to a 50-point game from Jamal Murray, beat the Utah Jazz forcing a Game 7.

With a big night from Kawhi Leonard, the Los Angeles Clippers eliminated the Dallas Mavericks winning the series 4-2. The Milwaukee Bucks and the LA Lakers will also be moving on to the semifinals. For more NBA playoff news, click here.

 

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Free Beer If Gardner Minshew Drafted In First Round, Messi Leaving Barcelona, Antetokounmpo Defensive Player Of Year

FOOTBALL

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew has full confidence he’s going to have a great year and believes fantasy football fans should draft him with their #1 pick. As an added incentive, Bud Light announced it would send a free case of beer to fantasy owners who draft Minshew in the first round. Fantasy owners will also have a chance to win free Bud Light for an entire NFL season if they win their league championship with Minshew as their quarterback. Minshew posted the challenge in his pump-up video on Instagram.

SOCCER

Lionel Messi shocked the soccer world by announcing he will be leaving Barcelona, a club where he’s spent almost his entire life. Messi signed a contract on a napkin with Barcelona when he was only 13 years old. He’s played over 16 seasons with the team and helped them win 34 titles.

BASKETBALL

Giannis Antetokounmpo won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year. The award was based on games played through March 11th. The Milwaukee Bucks star received 75 out of 100 first-place votes.  LA Lakers Anthony Davis came in second and Utah Jazz’s Rudy Gobert placed 3rd.

 

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Sixers Fire Brown, Lakers Honor Kobe W/Mamba Jerseys And Win, Alabama Surge In Covid-19

BASKETBALL

After a swift exit from the first round of the playoffs, the Philadelphia 76ers announced they are firing head coach Brett Brown. Brown had been the coach of the Sixers for 7 seasons. A number of names have emerged to replace Brown including assistant Ime Udoka, Villanova coach Jay Wright, former Grizzlies and Kings coach Dave Joerger, and former Cavaliers coach Ty Lue.

The Los Angeles Lakers honored Kobe Bryant on Kobe Bryant Day by wearing Mamba-inspired tribute uniforms and trouncing the Portland Trail Blazers 135-115 to take a 3-1 series lead.

NCAA

The University of Alabama has confirmed 531 new cases of COVID-19 since classes resumed last week. This outbreak could have an effect on whether the SEC continues to push for playing football this season. The Big Ten and Pac-12 have already canceled their seasons, but the SEC is planning for a 10-game schedule beginning September 26th.

 

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Bucks/Lakers Fall In Game 1, Tatis Jr. Hits Grand Slam Then Gets Slammed

BASKETBALL

Two top seeds fell in the first game of the NBA playoffs. As 10-point favorites heading into the game, the Milwaukee Bucks shockingly lost to the Orlando Magic 122-110. Then, the heavily favored Los Angeles Lakers dropped game one to the Portland Trail Blazers 93-100. Even though LeBron James had a big game with 23 points, 17 rebounds, and 16 assists, the Lakers didn’t have an answer to Portland’s Damian Lillard who had a monster game of 34 points.

BASEBALL

San Diego Padres star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. hit a grand slam in the 8th inning of the team’s big win over the Texas Rangers. Many traditionalists are upset this morning as they claim he violated the “unwritten rules” of baseball by swinging at a 3-0 pitch in the 8th inning while his team had a seven-run lead. The Rangers’ pitcher, Ian Bibaut, was even suspended for three games when he intentionally threw at Manny Machado, the Padres’ next batter. This rule came about in the early 1900s when there was considerable unrest and an economic depression in the U.S. Many in the sports want to “grow up” and abandon what feels like a rule for Little League.

 

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Travers Stakes, Deadline For NFL Opt-Out, 56 Players Positive, Clemson Ranks #1, Ohio State #2, Wine In NBA Bubble, NHL Weekend Games

HORSE RACING

The Travers Stakes takes place on Saturday. The $1 million race is one of the most prestigious in North America. Traditionally the Travers (known as the “Mid-Summer Derby”) is run a few months after the Triple Crown series where the elite 3-year olds have already experienced the grueling 1 1/4 distance of the Kentucky Derby. Now that the Derby has been postponed to September 5th, the horses will be testing their limits at the 1 1/4 distance for the first time.  Eight horses will compete on Saturday, with Belmont Stakes winner Tiz the Law as the even-money favorite.

FOOTBALL

The deadline for NFL players to opt-out of the season if they are concerned about health risks due to COVID-19 has passed. Players who are high-risk and who opt-out will receive a $350,000 stipend, while those who are at a lesser risk and opt-out will receive a $150,000 salary advance. Players can opt-out later in the year as well if a family member becomes sick. For a list of the players who will not be part of the NFL 2020 season, click here.

In related news, the NFL Players Association announced 56 players have tested positive for COVID-19 since the opening of training camp.

It’s still unclear what will happen with college football this season, but that didn’t stop the excitement of seeing the release of the preseason coaches poll. Clemson took the top spot,  followed by Ohio State, Alabama, Georgia, and then LSU rounding out the top 5.

BASKETBALL

In the NBA bubble, wine deliveries and wine consumption have skyrocketed. Players have either purchased wine refrigerators for their rooms or, in the case of Portland Trail Blazer CJ McCollum, have transformed their room into a wine fridge. McCollum keeps his room at 60 degrees when he’s inside and around mid-to-high 50’s when he leaves so as to properly store his 84 bottles of mostly pinot noir from Oregon.

HOCKEY

By Sunday night, the 16-team NHL playoff field will be set. For a list of the weekend games, click here.

 

 

 

 

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NBA Returns, Notre Dame Part Of ACC This Year

BASKETBALL

The NBA returns tonight. As of now, there are no known outbreaks in the Disney bubble, so if all continues to go well, the NBA will plan for a 10-week continuation of the season. Here’s how it will work: The 22 teams quarantining in Orlando will play eight “seeding games” in the next two weeks. The seeding games count toward the team’s regular-season standing, and whichever teams are in the top seven in each conference at the end of two weeks will then earn a playoff berth. The eighth playoff seed must be more than four games ahead of the ninth seed, or there will be a play-in-series. Here’s the lineup for tonight: Jazz vs. Pelican at 6:30 pm, Clippers vs. Lakers at 9:00 pm, and Indians vs. Twins at 9:00 pm.

FOOTBALL

For the first time in its 132-year history, Notre Dame will be a member of a conference. The ACC announced its 10 conference game schedule which includes Notre Dame joining the conference for one year and playing a full ACC schedule. The first game is slated for September 7th. The SEC and Big 12 are expected to announce their new schedules soon.

 

 

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Cespedes Hits HR As DH, Verlander’s Forearm Strain, Jamal Adams A Seahawk, Together Mode In NBA, Lou Williams Quarantined After Strip Club

BASEBALL

On Friday, the New York Mets Yoenis Cespedes became the first designated hitter in Major League Baseball to hit a home run in a regular-season game between two National League Teams. The new designated hitter rule allows players like Cespedes, who have suffered injuries, to perform during this shortened season.

There was a buzz over the weekend about the Houston Astros Justin Verlander missing the rest of the season due to a forearm strain, but Verlander weighed in and said he would be back.

FOOTBALL

The Seattle Seahawks picked up safety Jamal Adams and a 2022 fourth-round pick from the New York Jets in exchange for safety Bradley McDougald and a 2021 first-round and third-round pick as well as a 2022 first-rounder. Adams hasn’t been shy about wanting to leave the Jets, so it didn’t come as much of a surprise that the Jets unloaded him prior to the beginning of the season.

BASKETBALL

The NBA is getting creative in bringing the fan experience to the arena. They are experimenting with allowing fans to virtually appear and interact with each other at upcoming games. They will be using Microsoft Team’s new together mode” which will allow fans to feel like they are participating. “Together Mode uses AI segmentation technology to digitally place participants in a shared background, making it feel like you’re sitting in the same room with everyone else in the meeting or class.”

The NBA is also working with its broadcast partners to use more camera angles to enhance the at-home viewing experience.

Los Angeles Clippers Lou Williams will need to quarantine for 10 days inside the Disney bubble. He left the bubble for a funeral (which would have required a 4-day quarantine), but then photos of him at a strip club with rapper Jack Harlow appeared on social media getting Williams in trouble. Williams will miss two seeding games and forfeit up to $150,000 in salary.

 

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Washington Definitely Changing Name, ESPN Suspended Wojo For Profane Email To Senator, Embiid In HAZMAT Suit

FOOTBALL

Washington owner Daniel Snyder will announce he is officially changing the team’s name. “Redskins” and any other Native American imagery will no longer appear in any part of the organization. There is no word yet on the team’s new name and logo.

BASKETBALL

ESPN suspended popular reporter Adrian Wojnarowski for a profane two-word email he sent to Senator Josh Hawley (R-Missouri) in response to a letter Hawley wrote a letter to NBA commissioner Adam Silver. The letter urged the league to allow (in addition to other pro-approved messages in support of racial equality and social justice) messages in support of police, the military, and Hong Kong protesters on player jerseys. Wojnarowski took to social media and said “F%* You”. ESPN called his behavior “unacceptable”, but many NBA players are taking his side. LeBron James even showed his solidarity by tweeting the hashtag #FreWOJ”.

In other NBA news, players are tweeting about life inside the Disney Bubble. Some are enjoying playing golf, visiting the Disney attractions after hours, and fishing, while many are complaining about the food and the sparse accommodations. The Philadelphia 76ers Joel Embiid immediately donned a HAZMAT suit on arrival in Orlando and then complained about the food saying he is “definitely losing 50 pounds”.

 

 

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