Survival of the Fittest

Survival of the Fittest

Blake Wynveen, Nathan Baugh
Daily Newsletters
The Sideline Sprint logo.
Happy Friday. The future is here. The Houston Rockets launched a robot assisted food and beverage service within their arena. Let’s get to it.
- Nathan
In today's Sprint:
🏀  NBA gauntlet
🥊  It's really happening
⛳  Koepka vs. Portnoy
Trivia: Which NBA player almost quit basketball to become a garbage man before winning three championships and three MVPs?
  1. Moses Malone
  2. Bob Pettit
  3. Larry Bird
  4. Magic Johnson

Crunch Time
The NBA regular season ends on May 16th and, like any good group project, they procrastinated. Between now and then, teams have to run through a gauntlet of ~13 games.
Players, coaches, and owners are not happy. Knicks’ coach Tom Thibodeau considered taking his team’s key cards on their off day so they couldn’t sneak into the facility. Mavs’ owner Mark Cuban said, “This is a season where we have to rest high-usage players. We have no choice.”
Notable Injuries: To Cuban’s point, several of the league’s top players, including eight of the ten All-Star starters, have missed at least 10% of the games this year.
  • Anthony Davis - 35 games
  • Kevin Durant - 32 games
  • LeBron James - 18 games
  • Joel Embiid - 18 games
Over the last week, a slew of young stars went down, too.
  • Jamal Murray - ACL, out for season
  • Donovan Mitchell - ankle, will return soon
  • Trae Young - ankle, will return soon
Playoff race
Before the playoffs, the 7th - 10th seeds in each conference will play in a three-game play in tournament. Suddenly, the 6th seed looks a lot more valuable.
  1. Philadelphia 76ers (39-20)
  2. Brooklyn Nets (39-20)
  3. Milwaukee Bucks (36-22)
  4. New York Knicks (33-27)
  5. Atlanta Hawks (32-27)
  6. Boston Celtics (32-27)
  7. Miami Heat (31-28)
  8. Charlotte Hornets (28-30)
  9. Indiana Pacers (27-31)
  10. Washington Wizards (25-33)
  1. Utah Jazz (44-15)
  2. Phoenix Suns (42-17)
  3. LA Clippers (42-19)
  4. Denver Nuggets (38-20)
  5. LA Lakers (35-23)
  6. Portland Trail Blazers (32-26)
  7. Dallas Mavericks (31-26)
  8. Memphis Grizzlies (29-28)
  9. San Antonio Spurs (29-29)
  10. Golden State Warriors (29-30)
Zoom out: Between the compressed schedule and the play in tournament, higher ranked seeds have a massive advantage entering the season’s final stretch. They can rest their players while also playing fewer games, setting themselves up for a fully healthy playoff run.

(36-22) Milwaukee Bucks 124 vs. (39-20) Philadelphia 76ers 117
  • Giannis (27 pts, 16 reb, 6 ast) powered the Bucks past the East’s top seed.
(32-26) Dallas Mavericks 115 vs. (35-24) LA Lakers 110
  • In Anthony Davis’ first game back from injury, Luka (30 pts, 9 reb, 8 ast) did just enough for the Mavs to pull it out.
(9-10) Arizona Diamondbacks 14 vs. (9-9) Cincinnati Reds 11
  • In his first game back from suspension, Reds’ Nick Castellanos smashed his sixth homer of the year, but it wasn’t enough for the suddenly cold Reds.
(30-13-4) Washington Capitals 1 vs. (29-13-5) New York Islanders 0 - Shootout
  • After a 0-0 nail biter in regulation, Evgeny Kuznetsov scored the deciding goal, lifting the Caps into sole possession of first place in the division.
Premier League
(59 pts) Leicester 3 vs. (24 pts) West Brom 0
  • Leicester inched closer to securing a top four spot and a UCL qualification after the 17 shot performance.

Stat: David Peralta raised his batting average from .213 to .269 after a 5-hit, 7-RBI game.
Quote: “It’s hard to talk about a basketball game.”
Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens spoke about the passing of Kentucky freshman Terrence Clarke, who was from Boston. Clarke passed away yesterday following a car accident in Los Angeles. The 19 year old was a likely lottery pick in this year’s NBA Draft. His mom was at his side.
Highlight: This dad fumbled a home run ball and lost his nachos in the process. He could learn something from this broadcaster, who pulled off an incredible barehanded grab without losing a beat.

🥊  Floyd “Money” Mayweather will come out of retirement and go toe-to-toe with YouTube star turned boxer Logan Paul on June 5th. Like Dana White, we see this fight being pretty one sided.
🏈  Tom Brady is not a fan of the new NFL rule loosening restrictions on jersey numbers, claiming “it’ll make for a lot of bad football.”
🏀  A few years ago Sabrina Ionescu’s father told his Uber passenger his daughter was “the best” at basketball. He wasn’t wrong.
⚽️  Barcelona said it won’t quit the Super League despite the widespread backlash.
⛳  Dave Portnoy and Brooks Koepka will play a 1 v 1 golf match with the loser donating $250k to the winner’s charity of choice. To make it semi-fair, Koepka will play left handed. We’re taking Koepka, who’s lefty swing puts our regular ones to shame.
🏎  Formula 1 released a virtual lap simulation of the new Miami track with a view from the driver’s seat. The top speed, 198 mph.

Golden State Warriors (29-30) vs. Denver Nuggets (38-20) - Fri. 10:00 ET on ESPN
Philadelphia 76ers (39-20) vs. Milwaukee Bucks (36-22) - Sat. 3:30 ET on ESPN
LA Lakers (35-24) vs. Dallas Mavericks (32-26) - Sat. 8:30 ET on ABC
Brooklyn Nets (39-20) vs. Phoenix Suns (42-17) - Sun. 3:30 ET on ESPN
New York Yankees (7-11) vs. Cleveland Indians (8-9) - Fri. 7:10 ET on ESPN+
Washington Nationals (7-9) vs. New York Mets (7-7) - Sat. 4:05 ET on FS1
Colorado Avalanche (31-9-4) vs. St. Louis Blues (19-19-6) - Sat. 3:00 ET on NBC
Boston Bruins (27-12-6) vs. Pittsburgh Penguins (30-14-3) - Sun. 3:00 ET on NBC
(3 pts) LA FC vs. (3 pts) Seattle Sounders - Sat. 6:00 ET on ESPN

C. Bird drove a garbage truck and enjoyed the work cleaning up his town while supporting his young daughter, until Indiana State University’s head basketball coach Bill Hodges convinced him to play at the collegiate level.

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