All newsletters Things That Caught My EyeHockey took a major ratings hitThe numbers are in, and the NHL’s bar on participating in Olympic hockey in Pyeongchang certainly made the sport more skippable for viewers this year. The U.S. men’s victory over Russia in Sochi pulled in 4.1 million viewers, but a game this year against Slovakia drew only a third of that. However, the U.S. women’s win over Canada, which began at 11 p.m. Eastern, pulled in 2.9 million viewers, an NBCSN late night record. [The New York Times]Canada had an awesome Olympic gamesDespite losses in hockey and curling, the 2018 Olympics were a banner year for the Canadian delegation, leaving the games with 29 medals, 11 of which are gold. That’s the best Olympics for Canada ever. [NPR]Try out our interactive, Which World Cup Team Should You Root For?America had a terrible OlympicsThe Associated Press found the internal U.S. Olympic Committee document detailing expectations for the 2018 Olympics, and it’s a tough read. The USOC predicted a minimum of 25 medals, with a forecast of 37 medals and a high estimate of 59 medals. The underperformance here is huge: Team USA goes home with 23 medals, the fewest since 1998. [The Washington Post]Lots of ‘pewter medals’ thoughOne reason for that immense shortfall is that 35 American athletes had to settle for a “pewter” medal, as in they finished just to the left of the podium in fourth, fifth or sixth place. That’s got to sting. [The Los Angeles Times]Try out our super fun quiz, Which Winter Olympic Sport Is Best For You? I got ski jumping!This new rule could change baseballAs part of the constant attempts of the MLB to make the game interesting for new fans who are a little reluctant to devote four and a half hours on every game, the league announced it’ll reduce the number of mound visits in the first nine innings of a game to six, which could ramp up miscommunications. [ESPN]Bullish on BortlesBlake Bortles signed a deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars, earning up to $66.5 million after incentives. Bortles had a stirring postseason but threw 51 interceptions from 2014 to 2016. [ESPN]Big Number+80.68America fell in love with curling, again. This happens every four years. Ever since NBC broadcast 50 hours of curling in Nagano ’98, Americans have eaten up the sport, in many cases being consumed by it. Then they forget about it for the 206 weeks between olympic sessions. Curling is by far the largest Olympics bump of any winter sport, seeing its google search trend index jump a walloping 80.68 points in Olympic months compared to other months. [FiveThirtyEight]Leaks from Slack: neil:U.S. men win curling gold, beat Sweden 10-7!chris.herring:People stayed up to watch this at like 4!tchow:!!!!!Predictions NBA Oh, and don’t forgetTiger nails duck We’re launching a sports newsletter. 🏆 Join the squad. Subscribe See more NBA predictions
Damian Lillard60.5%–– 2015-1624.5%15.2%16.9%5.1% 2017-1821.512.316.04.9 Source: Second Spectrum Stephen Curry46.7–– Even in the area where the duos are most similar — long-range sniping — they are still markedly different because of the disparate ways the players come by their threes. Lillard and McCollum have almost exact inverse splits between the percentage of their 3-point makes that have been pull-ups vs. catch-and-shoots over the past four years, per Second Spectrum, while Curry and Thompson’s splits have not lined up quite as cleanly. ––36.1% Klay Thompson14.0–– 2018-1921.710.014.14.6 Average22.612.915.84.9 ––84.8 ––58.7 CJ McCollum40.7–– The Splash Brother pairs shoot their threes in different waysShare of made 3-pointers in the regular season that were pull-up vs. catch-and-shoot, 2015-16 to 2018-19 Portland’s guards handle the ball moreThe time of possession rates* for each pair of players, 2015-16 to 2018-19 This, of course, is the natural result of the contrasting job descriptions of these players, which flow from the differing roster constructions in Portland and Golden State.Thompson is a classic shooting guard like you might have seen in the early 2000s. He works almost exclusively off the ball, flying off pin-downs and flare screens, spotting up when Curry runs pick and rolls or making split-cuts when Draymond Green has the ball in the post. Curry, meanwhile, may be Golden State’s point guard, but he is more of a co-lead ball-handler, along with Green and Durant, because that structure allows the Warriors to better weaponize his shooting abilities.By contrast, Lillard is essentially the prototype of the modern-day attack guard who is at the controls of the offense at all times, while McCollum splits his time: working off the ball alongside Lillard, on the ball as a de facto backup point guard in certain lineups and off the ball again in bench-heavy units alongside Evan Turner or Curry’s brother Seth. By wading into the tracking data on NBA.com, we can see that in each of the past four seasons, the ball has been in Lillard’s hands for a greater share of his time on the floor than Curry and Thompson’s shares combined, and McCollum has had the ball in his hands nearly as often as Curry and usually more than twice as often as Thompson. The NBA’s splashiest backcourt outside Oakland resides in Portland. Trail Blazers stars Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum have combined to make 1,645 threes over the past four seasons, more than any duo in the league besides Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.1The four-year period starts when McCollum was elevated to the starting lineup — after the offseason departures of LaMarcus Aldridge, Wesley Matthews and Nic Batum — and became the Robin to Lillard’s Batman. Steph and Klay are also the only backcourt in the league to average more collective points per game over that span of time than Dame and CJ.The Splash Brothers are still (somewhat obviously) the superior pairing. Curry and Thompson are widely considered two of the greatest shooters of all time, and they completely warp opposing defenses. Thompson is also far and away the best defender of the four players. But when the quartet squares off in the Western Conference finals, which begin Tuesday night, the Blazers won’t just be bringing an inferior version of the Splash Brothers to the table. The Splash Brothers Lite are mostly just different — and there are even a few things Dame and CJ do a bit better than Steph and Klay.For starters, Portland’s guards attack off the bounce far more often than their Northern California counterparts. Lillard averaged 13.3 drives per game this season, per Second Spectrum tracking data on NBA.com, and his 7.7 points per game on drives ranked 17th among the 353 NBA players who appeared in at least 40 games. McCollum, meanwhile, averaged 9.4 drives that created 6.3 points per game, a figure that tied for 28th among the same group of players. Each of the Blazers’ guards averaged more drive-points per game than the Warriors’ backcourt duo combined.2Curry’s 7.7 drives per game created 3.9 points per game, (73rd) while Thompson’s 4.4 drives created 2.1 points per game (132nd), which means they combined for only 6.0 points per game off the drive.This isn’t a new phenomenon, either. The Blazers’ guard duo has consistently been more aggressive in attacking the paint than the Warriors have been — both before and after Golden State acquired Kevin Durant prior to the 2016-17 season. 2016-1722.513.615.94.9 YearLillardMcCollumCurryThompson Despite the fact that these guard pairings have carried similar usage rates them over these past four years (30.7 percent and 26.7 percent for Lillard and McCollum; 31.1 percent and 25.4 percent for Curry and Thompson), the above figures show that they have come by that usage in vastly different ways. This is further driven home by the fact that Curry and Thompson have been assisted on their baskets far more often (52 percent and 82 percent) than have Lillard and McCollum (29.6 percent and 38.5 percent).These differences naturally stem from the high-end talent disparity between the two teams. Curry and Thompson have had the benefit of playing alongside Green and Andre Iguodala for the entirety of their run, and they’ve had Kevin Durant as an additional wingman for the past three years. Lillard and McCollum, meanwhile, have spent the majority of their time playing alongside Moe Harkless and Al-Farouq Aminu, as well as one of big men Mason Plumlee, Jusuf Nurkic and Enes Kanter. Those three are all nice players, and they have each proven incredibly valuable for Portland at different times, but none of them brings anywhere close to the brilliance of Durant or Green, none has the versatility of Iguodala, and none is the caliber of playmaker any of the aforementioned Golden State players are.The Warriors thinned out their bench in their series against Houston, but not to the point that Curry and Thompson had less help on their side than Lillard and McCollum do — and anyway, Portland is not Houston. The Blazers don’t have the ability to go small as often or as dangerously as the Rockets did when they put P.J. Tucker at center, which means that Andrew Bogut, Kevon Looney and even Jordan Bell can be on the floor more often. As good as Lillard is, the Blazers don’t have a singular player who has broken the game quite in the same way James Harden. And they don’t have the deep wellspring of wing shooters Houston has, either.What they do have is a star guard tandem and a deep group of players who have supported Dame and CJ on this run to the conference finals. That construction has generally not been enough for teams to beat the Warriors in the past. It may not be now, either. But the Splash Brothers Lite will try to make it work.Check out our latest NBA predictions. Pull-upCatch-and-shoot * Calculated by dividing the number of minutes the ball was in a player’s hands by that player’s total minutes played during a given season.Source: Second Spectrum ––51.3
Junior linebacker Ryan Shazier (left) hits Connor Cook after he releases a pass during the Big Ten Championship Game Dec. 7 in Indianapolis. OSU lost, 34-24. Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorOhio State junior linebacker Ryan Shazier said that although he has not made a decision on whether to forego his senior season and enter the 2014 NFL Draft, he is “leaning towards staying” in school.“Right now I’m dead flat in the middle. I don’t know what I’m going to do,” Shazier said Friday. “If I would say anything I would probably be leaning towards staying.”Shazier, a first team All-Big Ten selection by both the coaches and media, totaled 12 tackles in OSU’s 34-24 loss to Michigan State Dec. 7 in the Big Ten Championship Game. He led the conference in tackles during the regular season, tallying 122 total to go along with five and a half sacks.The No. 7 Buckeyes (12-1, 8-1) are set to play No. 12 Clemson (10-2, 7-1) in the Orange Bowl Jan. 3 after losing to the Spartans and missing out on a chance to play for the BCS National Championship. Shazier said that will not play a factor into his decision for next year.“This season’s really not playing much of a role in me coming back. It’s just the outcome of whether the coaches and everybody say that’s what’s best for me and my family, what’s best for us,” Shazier said. “I’m just going to look at the evaluations and whatever we just feel is the best decision … how much school I have left, what is the best circumstance. I’m just going to look at everything and how that plays out then make my decision.”A projected first-round pick by CBS Sports, Shazier has been a vital part to the OSU defense during his three years in Columbus. The chance of being selected that high, though, is also not on his mind.“To be honest I really don’t even know right now. I’m not even really focusing up on that I’m just focusing on the game,” Shazier said.
A fuming Jupp Heynckes criticised his players for “gifting” two goals to Real Madrid on Wednesday night while failing to capitalise on their own chancesAiming to make their first appearance in the final of the Champions League since 2013, Bayern Munich hosted the title-holders for the first leg of their semi-final at the Allianz Arena.But the Bundesliga champions missed a host of chances to score and paid the price for their mistakes with Marcelo and Marco Asensio scoring either side of half-time.“We went ahead, but there was a turning point with their first goal, which was a gift,” said Heynckes, according to Marca.“And their second was a gift too.“We’ve rarely had so many chances to score and haven’t done so, but we didn’t know how to take advantage of our opportunities.“Madrid were more effective.”Bayern had more bad news at the end of the game with Arjen Robben and Jerome Boateng getting injured before the break and Javi Martinez being forced off later with a head injury.“I can’t say if today’s injuries are serious,” the coach continued.“Javi Martinez was hit on the temple, but that was anecdotal after Robben and Boateng’s injuries.Report: Bayern are held by Leipzig George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Bayern Munich was held to another draw, this time by RB Leipzig.Bayern Munich finds themselves in the unfamiliar position of sitting third in the…“We have to wait until Thursday for the results, but it would be two big casualties to lose.“Bayern will do everything we can to correct the result of the first leg.“Madrid has a great advantage after the victory, but we lost undeservedly.”But the outgoing Bayern coach did hold praise for Franck Ribery, who was a constant threat against Real throughout the whole match.“Ribery is 35 years old, yes, but he has played excellently,” he added.“It must be said that in the first half he had a great chance, and if we went ahead we would have won the game, no doubt.“He is a great professional and he has great self-motivation.“We have known each other since 2012 and it’s very important for him to feel the confidence of the coach.“The results of the quarter and semifinals are atypical, Wednesday’s match has shown that Madrid is vulnerable, so we can be optimistic.”
Steve Bruce will mark his hundredth game at Aston Villa when the club faces Sheffield Wednesday on Sunday. He hopes to lead the team on to win their second game in the space of five days.Since Bruce replaced Roberto Di Matteo in 2016, Aston Villa has plunged into a series of difficulties after the manager’s initial period of glory. Villa was not able to qualify to the Premier League last season.Just recently, Villa has suffered a lack of win in five straight games and the fans had demanded that the 57-year-old manager should step down.But Bruce has not been totally disheartened about the hard time he’s suffering currently at Villa, claiming he has enjoyed this period most.“The bigger the challenge, the more I want to get stuck into it,” Bruce said, according to Express & Star.Allardyce praises Newcastle’s Steve Bruce Manuel R. Medina – September 11, 2019 Sam Allardyce believes Steve Bruce is a better fit at English Premier League side Newcastle United than he would ever have been.“There’s something sick in me, unfortunately. I really think that. The harder it goes the more I enjoy it.“Every club you manage, it’s a tough job. But certainly the size of the club, to nearly being in administration during the summer, that was a ridiculous scenario really.“Has it been the most difficult? Arguably. But in a perverse way it has been the most enjoyable.“It is a great club and has been an honour to manage, along with some great names who have managed this club before. I am one of them. It doesn’t happen to many.”
You remember them for Laila and the Channel V Launchpad and then well frankly you would not have heard too much about them except a few concerts here and there. But then these guys are all set to change that! The band is about to launch their next studio album Phir Se. Armed with their signature hooklines and brand of ‘confused pop’, these guys are raring to go with a six-city tour that includes Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Pune and of course – Delhi. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Phir se is an Electronic album produced through Rock N Roll sounds with as the band members say, ‘nostalgic ideas of the future’. With this album, Faridkot for the first time features five guest artists namely, Aditi Singh Sharma (Vocal Duet on Gulz), Suhail Yusuf Khan (Saarangi solo on Aaina), Gyan Singh (Tabla on Jats), Subadhra Kamath and Sonam Gaychen Wangdi (Background vocals). The album was mixed in LA, California and mastered at the coveted Mastering Palace in New York, USA. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe album features ten tracks that sway between the many emotions: From introspection in Aaina, realisation of the energy source that makes us who we are in- Bijli, to love for the natural and cosmic beauty around us captured in Gul and Suno, Phir Se encapsulates many shades of wonder.The basic idea behind the second album is to evoke a variable take on trance – in musicality. Faridkot seeks to create a sort of repeating and evolving musical trance with their songs, similar to electronic music. Except that the album is made of organic elements such as vocal harmonies, guitars and drums. ‘All of these elements and ideas were combined to make songs with inherent pop structures which we love. We love pop-music because it doesn’t reflect a type of music or a particular sound. It reflects the timeline of the society we live in. Everything is verse/chorus/bridge like all pop-music, except we wanted to make it a little interesting this time around’, says IP Singh, vocalist Faridkot.Do not miss this one. And this article works best because we are reminding you today! Head over.