Lakers Comeback

Lakers Comeback

Blake Wynveen, Eric Joiner, Nathan Baugh
Daily Newsletters
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Good morning. Devin White, the Bucs’ star linebacker, dreamed of riding a horse around Raymond James Stadium. Yesterday, he did so while hoisting the Lombardi Trophy during the team’s Super Bowl parade. Legendary.
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Let’s bring that same energy to whatever we’re doing today.
In today's Sprint:
  • 🎾 Early outs
  • 🏀 LeBron adapts
  • 🏈 Brady has a good time
Trivia: Who is the oldest player to ever play in the NBA?
  1. Vince Carter
  2. Yao Ming
  3. Nat Hickey
  4. Dikembe Mutombo

TENNIS
Down Under
With the first major tennis tournament of the year heating up, let’s get prepared.
The backdrop: Melbourne, Australia, where players are done with their forced quarantine and fans are lining the stadiums. How many fans? Just under 50% of the facility's usual 64K capacity.
Venus Williams summed the atmosphere up well by saying, “It's exciting. I think every single person there was probably in awe to be sitting at a sporting event, as much as I was to have them there."
Early outs: Now in the Second Round of the tournament, we’ve already had a few early departures:
  • Gaël Monfils: The Frenchman, and top-10 player in the world, lost in 5 sets to Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori in the First Round.
  • Bianca Andreescu & Petra Kvitová: The 8th and 9th ranked women both fell to unranked players in the Second Round.
The favorites: Last year, Sofia Kenin and Novak Djokovic took home the women’s and men’s singles titles. Who’s got a chance this year?
Women’s: Two women are favored, Ashleigh Barty (+400) and Naomi Osaka (+450). Barty is searching for her first Major while Osaka tries for number four.
Men’s: Novak Djokovic (+120). Last year’s champ already holds the record for most Australian Open titles. This year, he looks to win his ninth.

AROUND THE LEAGUES
Father Time
While Tom Brady showed it’s possible to beat time as a slightly mobile quarterback, LeBron James (36 years old) is proving the same can be done in basketball.
How is he doing it? By adapting his game.
Early in his career, LeBron's biggest weakness was his 3-point shooting. This season? He’s shooting a deadeye 40%, better than known shooters like Trae Young and Duncan Robinson.
At this point in the season, Lebron has the Lakers playing like title favorites.
(20-6) LA Lakers 114 vs. (10-14) Oklahoma City Thunder 111
  • The Lakers slid by the Thunder to win their third OT game in a row. Lebron (25 pts, 6 reb, 7 ast) led the team, but we know he can’t wait for Anthony Davis to return to shoulder some of the load.
(15-9) Phoenix Suns 125 vs. (16-9) Milwaukee Bucks 124
  • Giannis (47 pts, 11 reb, 5 ast) had a monster game but missed the potential game-winning shot as time expired.
(18-8) LA Clippers 119 vs. (6-19) Minnesota Timberwolves 112
  • Season-high scoring from Kawhi Leonard (36 pts, 8 reb, 5 ast) and Lou Williams (27 pts, 5 reb, 4 ast) made up for Paul George’s absence to help the Clippers snap a two-game losing streak.
NCAAM
(14-6) #15 Iowa 79 vs. (11-7) #25 Rutgers 66
  • The Hawkeyes ended a two-game skid behind a balanced attack with four players scoring double-digits. As long as they don’t face Indiana, who beat them twice this year, this team could be dangerous in March.
(14-3) #9 Virginia 57 vs. (9-7) Georgia Tech 49
  • Virginia (10-1 in the ACC) pulled away from the Yellow Jackets late in the game. UVA has six games left to hold on for a fifth ACC title in eight seasons.
NHL
(9-1-2) Boston Bruins 3 vs. (4-5-3) New York Rangers 2 - OT
  • Boston’s team leadership deserves praise for the Bruins’ incredible start to the season after many believed they would regress.
(11-2-1) Toronto Maple Leafs 4 vs. (8-3-2) Montreal Canadiens 2
  • In the battle for the Canadian Division, Toronto edged the Canadiens to retain the top spot. The Maple Leafs have won four straight and sit atop many NHL Power Rankings.
Tonight's watchlist
NBA:
Philadelphia 76ers (18-7) vs. Portland Trail Blazers (13-10) - 10:00 ET on TNT
NCAAM:
#24 Purdue (13-7) vs. Minnesota (12-7) - 5:00 ET on ESPN
NCAAW:
#16 Tennessee (12-3) vs. #20 Kentucky (13-5) - 7:00 ET on SECN+
NHL:
Carolina Hurricanes (7-3-0) vs. Dallas Stars (5-2-3) - 8:30 ET

WATER COOLER TALK
  • ⛳ The AT&T Pro-Am will look different when it tees off today. While the tournament is still at Pebble Beach, for the first time in 75 years there will be no celebrities or amateurs competing alongside the pros.
  • 🥊 Khabib Nurmagomedov, UFC undefeated lightweight champion, believes Dustin Poirirer should be the champion coming off the victory against McGregor, but is uninterested in a title fight.
  • Everton beat Tottenham 5-4 in an all offensive affair to reach the FA Cup's final four.
  • ⚾ The Boston Red Sox are dealing 26-year-old outfielder Andrew Benintendi to the KC Royals. Benintendi flashed immense potential early in his career but is coming off a disappointing 2020 season where he hit .103 in 14 games.
  • 🏈 Tom Brady tossed the Lombardi trophy from boat to boat and came ashore with some shaky sea legs at the Bucs' incredible Super Bowl boat parade. There are too many great photos / videos to include - check out all the action here.

TRIVIA ANSWER
C. Nat Hickey played two games for the Providence Steamrollers, a team for which he was also the head coach, days before his 46th birthday.
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