The Play by Play
Steph Curry found himself ejected from Saturday’s game against the Memphis Grizzlies after hurling his mouthguard at a referee. While Curry denies purposefully throwing it toward the ref, claiming he has “better aim than that,” he did acknowledge that he let his frustration get the best of him. Golden State’s coach Steve Kerr (yes, Steph Curry’s coach is named Steve Kerr) attempted to make light of the situation joking that Curry “should be suspended eight, maybe 10 games. It endangered thousands of people in the stands…” The league opted for no suspension but did fine Steph $50,000 for the incident which, when you’re making $40 million a year, is a drop in the bucket. With a 2-2 record (having gone 73-9 only two years ago), it’s no wonder Curry feels frustrated.
They’re Bringing J.T. Back
Despite the infamous 2004 “wardrobe malfunction,” the NFL has invited Justin Timberlake back to headline this year’s Super Bowl halftime show. JT recruited the help of Jimmy Fallon to make the announcement, tweeting a video where they repeatedly asked “Do you have the time?” until it sounded like they were saying “Yes, I Half Time.” While Timberlake’s 63 million followers are certainly excited, Janet Jackson fans took to twitter to express the opposite.
The Faces and Facts
Giannis Antetokounmpo (Basketball): Otherwise known as the Greek Freak, Giannis is a small forward for the Milwaukee Bucks. Born in Athens, Greece to Nigerian parents, this twenty two year old has found success on both ends of the basketball court. So much so that Kobe Bryant challenged him to win the MVP award this season. Exceptionally close to his family, Giannis dedicated his recent career-high 44-point game to his father Charles Antetokounmpo who died of an unexpected heart attack in September. He was only 54 years old.
Brian Boyle (Hockey): A seasoned veteran of the NHL. Just last month, at the age of 32, Boyle was diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia, a form of blood and bone marrow cancer. Missing training camp and the start to the regular season, Boyle wasn’t sure if/when he’d ever return to the sport he loves. Yet, this past Sunday, Brian was cleared to practice with his new team (the New Jersey Devils), almost exactly a month after announcing his diagnosis. If that feat isn’t amazing enough, Boyle comes from a family where is is one of thirteen siblings!
The Midweek Rundown
Positions in Basketball: Only five players from each team are on the court at any given time. While you might be thinking, “Five players must mean only one or two positions to learn…” I’m sorry to say that every person has his or her own title and role.
Point Guard: The equivalent of football’s quarterback or hockey’s center. The point guard possesses exceptional, if not the best, dribbling and passing skills. With strong vision on the court, this player coordinates his/her teammates when on offense. In addition to their ability to distribute the ball, point guards have developed excellent shooting accuracy, even from behind the three-point arc.
Shooting Guard: The player with the best shooting skills, especially from three-point range, who therefore takes the most shots. The shooting guard also has strong ball handling skills, dribbling quickly and passing accurately.
Small Forward: Both a strong scorer and defender. Similar to a power forward (although usually shorter), the small forward is able to play under the hoop, taking jump or hook shots, but also make baskets from farther out. On defense, this player is asked to operate more like a shooting or point guard, covering the opponent’s best shooters around the three point arc.
Power Forward: As physically strong as the center but with more speed. On offense the power forward can play beneath the basket but is also expected to cover the corners of the court. Because of this, a player at this position must be comfortable shooting both near to and farther away from the basket.
Center: Sometimes referred to as the post position and usually the tallest member of the team. On offense, the center’s job is to get open for a pass, shoot a jump shot, or, more importantly, rebound the ball if a shot is missed (to give his/her team another chance to make a basket). On defense, the center prevents opponents from scoring by blocking shots and passes, as well as rebounding to ensure his/her team gets the ball back.
Game 1 of the World Series: The Houston Astros are set to play the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 1 of the World Series tonight at 8:09pm. Temperatures in Los Angeles are expected to hit triple digits during the day, cooling off to a chilly 99 degrees by game time, which would make it the hottest World Series game on record. If you haven’t already picked a team, you really can’t go wrong. The Astros have never won a World Series and only reached the finals once, back in 2005 when they lost to the Chicago White Sox. With Houston still recovering from Harvey’s devastation, an Astros’ win would be a heartwarming end to the season. The Dodgers, however, finished the regular season with the best record in the MLB and haven’t won the title in 29 years, despite 11 playoff appearances. No team has ever been to the playoffs that many times without winning it all. It’s shaping up to be quite a series! For planning purposes, Game 2 is on Wednesday and Game 3 is on Friday.
Minnesota Timberwolves v. Oklahoma City Thunder: This Friday, the Thunder have a chance for redemption. Just last week these two teams battled it out in OKC with the Timberwolves walking away victorious. But it sure wasn’t for lack of trying. The final 9 seconds of the game saw two clutch three pointers, one made by Melo to give the Thunder a 2 point lead, and then the buzzer beater by Wiggins. If the last second loss wasn’t hard enough, turns out the referees missed an illegal screen by Towns, which freed up Andrew Wiggins to make his shot. Tune in Friday at 8pm for what’s bound to be an exciting game.