Last Week in Sports | 1/14 – 1/21
Hey now, you’re an all-star [starter]. Or your not. But you found out last week in the NBA.
NBA All-Star Starters
The starting fives of both conference All-Star teams were announced last Thursday with LeBron and Steph Curry leading the vote. With the new All-Star format this year, those two captains will take turns choosing their team from among the other starters: Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins, James Harden, Kyrie Irving, Joel Embiid, Giannis Antetokounmpo, DeMar DeRozan, and Kevin Durant. With LeBron choosing first, the question lingers whether or not he will take KD, Curry’s teammate, to shake things up a bit, or if he’d select his old teammate Kyrie Irving at some point. No matter how you jumble up these ten players, though, it’s sure to be a fun game. In his first appearance as an All-Star, I’m banking on Embiid to make the biggest splash.
The Cavs Want Deandre Jordan
These rumors have been floating around for a while, but they got a little more interesting last week, when the list of desired players went from just Deandre the Giant to Deandre, Lou Williams and George Hill. This would mean taking two of the Clippers’ three best players, which may be a tall order, but the Cavs are willing to dish Tristan Thompson, J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert, and a juicy first round pick.
It’s evident that the Cavs need more help if they want to challenge the Warriors, and they are in a unique franchise position. Cleveland, by all accounts, should not be a dominant team. They aren’t in a great market and they have never had many good assets until recently. Lucky for them, a young man from Akron made it his personal goal to play for his hometown team and he happens to be the best player since Michael Jordan. But to appease that young man, ownership will have to do whatever it takes to win right now – which may mean forking out a lot more money for pieces – because if LeBron leaves, the show may be over in The Land for a long time.
Zion Commits to Duke
UNC and Clemson fan hopes were shattered on Saturday, as the number one high school prospect since LeBron James committed to the Duke Blue Devils. After considering a handful of schools near his home state of South Carolina, Zion Williamson decided Coach K was the person who should usher him from high school kid to NBA phenom. Duke now boasts the top three recruits in the nation and looks a clear favorite for the national championship next year. Aside from the prestige and the leadership, Williamson cited a feeling of “brotherhood” that led him to this decision.
Flea-Flickers Galore and the NFL Conference Finals
Tom Brady did it again, folks. Down ten with nine minutes left in the 4th quarter, the Patriots put together two back to back touchdown runs that included an 18-yard 3rd down conversion and an impossibly acrobatic end zone catch by Danny Amendola. On the Jags’ side, Blake Bortles had the game of his life, passing for 293 yards and a touchdown, while converting several crucial third downs, but the Jags felt like they were playing from behind even when they had the lead. While I wish I could say the Patriots’ 4th quarter comeback was a surprise, we’ve seen it too many times before. Last year’s defending champs are out for another Super Bowl ring – which would be the second time in 15 years that they win the chip in back to back years.
After their very first drive, the Vikings did not score again. The Eagles defense, and specifically the secondary, were an absolute menace to the Vikings wide receivers, while Fletcher Cox and the defensive line limited Case Keenum’s time in the pocket to only a few seconds over and over. Keenum had an amazing year, but whether or not he comes back as the Vikings’ QB (or anyone else’s for that matter) is in question. Nick Foles, on the other hand, looked like a top 5 NFL quarterback as the Eagles flew straight passed the Vikings defense for touchdown after touchdown. He threw for 352 yards and three TDs on an absolutely absurd 141.4 passer rating. A pretty fling off a flea-flicker led to a 41-yard Torrey Smith touchdown. Another thrown while Foles was getting bumped around in the pocket led to a 53-yard Alshon Jeffery touchdown. With Jay Ajayi rolling and Nick Foles dominating the pocket, the Eagles stand a strong chance against the Patriots two Sundays from now.
(Cropped image courtesy of Keith Allison via Flickr.)