The NBA playoff race is getting nuts, plus let’s put the Caitlin Clark-Angel Reese ‘controversy’ to mattress
Good morning to everybody however particularly to…
CAITLIN CLARK AND ANGEL REESE… AND THIS ISSUE (HOPEFULLY) BEING OVER
The Caitlin Clark-vs.-Angel Reese factor — which by no means ought to have been a factor within the first place — is over. Clark mentioned so herself.
In case you one way or the other missed it, Reese waved her hand in entrance of her face within the “you may’t see me” movement because the clock ran out on LSU’s title win. Clark had used the identical taunt earlier within the event.
- Nevertheless, in contrast to Clark, Reese was extensively lambasted on social media for it, and he or she defended her actions.
- Within the speedy aftermath, Clark mentioned she had “no thought” it even occurred.
- On Tuesday, Clark spoke out and mentioned “I do not suppose Angel must be criticized in any respect,” and later added, “That is what attracts individuals to this recreation. That is what attracts it to the professional stage, to the school stage, to the highschool stage.”
This must be the tip of the dialogue. If Clark — who was the goal of the taunt — says it isn’t a difficulty, it isn’t a difficulty, and he or she’s 100% proper. Trash speak is a part of the game. In reality, it is an incredible half of the game.
I noticed lots of people speaking/tweeting about how Reese’s “classless” actions confirmed she wasn’t a task mannequin. However here is the factor: Athletes aren’t accountable for being excellent and pleasing everybody. I watch them for what they convey to the sport, which is just improved by fiery competitiveness and, sure, slightly little bit of trash speak. Reese’s willingness to dish it out and Clark’s capability to take it in stride make the sport higher.
It by no means ought to have been a difficulty. Let’s transfer on.
And never such a superb morning for…
MAC JONES AND THE NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
The quarterback carousel by no means stops. Generally, riders hop on out of nowhere.
Simply ask Mac Jones and the Patriots. New England is reportedly purchasing their 2021 first-round choose, the newest growth in his topsy-turvy time within the NFL. At house owners conferences final week, Invoice Belichick prompt there shall be a quarterback competitors between Jones and Bailey Zappe.
- Belichick is reportedly nonetheless upset at Jones for in search of recommendation from these outdoors the group final season.
- That is all regardless of proprietor Robert Kraft‘s repeated reward of Jones.
- After throwing for 22 touchdowns and 13 interceptions and making the playoffs as a rookie, Jones threw simply 14 touchdowns to 11 interceptions final season. The Patriots went 8-9 and have been twenty sixth in complete offense.
Final season was a catastrophe for the Pats offensively each on and off the sphere, and there was loads of blame to go round between Jones, his coaches and his supporting forged, which the Patriots are attempting to improve. One other main difficulty? Jones falling off like this continues a regarding pattern of lacking on draft picks.
Listed here are the offensive gamers the Patriots have taken within the first three rounds of the final 5 drafts:
- 2022: OL Cole Unusual, WR Tyquan Thornton
- 2021: QB Mac Jones
- 2020: TE Devin Asiasi, TE Dalton Keene
- 2019: WR N’Keal Harry, RB Damien Harris
- 2018: T Isaiah Wynn, RB Sony Michel
None of these picks from 2018-20 are nonetheless on the Patriots, and now the workforce is perhaps finished with Jones! Not nice! Listed here are potential touchdown spots for Jones. And here is the place the Patriots may go in the event that they commerce him.
Not so honorable mentions
- Former Cardinals VP Terry McDonough accused proprietor Michael Bidwill of gross misconduct, which incorporates dishonest, discrimination and harassment.
- Max Scherzer struggled once more.
- Manny Machado bought ejected for arguing in regards to the pitch clock.
Rating the Masters subject, plus tee occasions introduced 🏌
This yr’s 88-person Masters subject is loaded with intriguing storylines, a trio of favorites and, properly, Tiger Woods.
However how do all of them stack up? Our Kyle Porter ranked all the subject, and coming in at No. 1 is…
- Porter: “1. Scottie Scheffler (Received in 2022): Final yr when Scheffler gained this event going away, he got here in averaging 10 strokes gained on the sphere per event within the prior three months main into the Masters. This yr, he is at 12 strokes per event, and it would not appear to be anyone is even speaking about him because the runaway favourite right here.”
Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm comply with in unsurprising vogue — they’ve the next-shortest odds after Scheffler, in keeping with Caesars Sportsbook — however No. 4 might shock: Collin Morikawa. Jordan Spieth is fifth. The place does Woods land? You will should learn the story.
As for who Woods will play his first two rounds with, the Masters launched teams and tee occasions. Listed here are some notable pairings.
- Tiger Woods, Viktor Hovland, Xander Schauffele
- Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, Cameron Younger
- Scottie Scheffler, Max Homa, Sam Bennett
- Tom Kim, Rory McIlroy, Sam Burns
Yet another day. I can hardly wait.
Greatest video games left in NBA season, plus up to date Energy Rankings 🏀
In case you ever doubted the affect of the play-in event, look no additional than the present standings. With simply 5 days left within the common season, over two-thirds of the league remains to be alive for a playoff spot, however solely 9 have truly clinched one with out having to fret in regards to the play-in.
The NBA wished video games to matter all the best way till the final day of the season, and that is precisely what’s occurring. This final week is loaded with big video games, and our Sam Quinn ranked the ten most impactful. Conveniently, the one on high takes place tonight:
- Quinn: “1. Lakers at Clippers — The winner will management their future for the No. 5 seed. The loser may simply tumble into the play-in spherical. That is, with out hyperbole, the single most essential recreation the Lakers and Clippers have ever performed towards each other. … There are video games with emotional stakes this week, there are video games with sensible stakes this week, and there are video games with historic stakes this week. Lakers vs. Clippers is the one recreation to verify all three bins.”
This recreation, in fact, coincides with the Lakers taking part in a few of their finest basketball. They’ve gained 4 straight and 7 of their final eight, and so they’re up six spots to No. 10 in Colin Ward-Henninger’s newest NBA Energy Rankings. This is the highest 5:
- 1. Celtics (prev: 1)
- 2. Bucks (prev: 5)
- 3. Nuggets (prev: 2)
- 4. 76ers (prev: 7)
- 5. Knicks (prev: 11)
Subsequent nationwide championship odds launched: UConn on high 🏀
Proper after UConn gained the nationwide championship, our Gary Parrish positioned the Huskies first in his never-too-early Prime 25 And 1. It seems, Gary is aware of his stuff, as a result of the Huskies are additionally the early favourite to win all of it at Caesars Sportsbook.
After all, the NBA Draft will alter the school basketball panorama, and that features UConn.
Jordan Hawkins appears more likely to go professional, however the Huskies’ different star is a real stay-or-go, writes our David Cobb.
- Cobb: “At simply 6-foot-9 and with good-not-great athleticism, Adama Sanogo shouldn’t be an elite rim protector. His finest weapon for UConn has been his offense acumen within the put up. Nevertheless, the Last 4’s Most Excellent Participant confirmed some tips in current weeks that would make him fascinating to professional scouts. … However loopy as it could appear, the star of the Huskies’ run does face at the least some extent of uncertainty. It is laborious to think about an NBA franchise taking Sanogo as a first-round choose due to how de-emphasized facilities of his kind have turn out to be on the subsequent stage.”
What we’re watching Wednesday 📺
🏀 Bulls at Bucks, 7:30 p.m. on ESPN
🏒 Lightning at Rangers, 7:30 p.m. on TNT
🏀 Lakers at Clippers, 10 p.m. on ESPN