13) 76ers 94, Raptors 89- Kawhi Leonard was 13-24 from floor; rest of Toronto’s team was 20-67 (29.9%). Series is tied, 1-1.
12) Ben Simmons is a weird player; I think he’s one of the five best passers I’ve ever seen, but it almost seems like he defiantly refuses to become a shooting threat.
In this game, Simmons played 44:00, was 3-6 from floor. No foul shots, no 3’s. He had seven rebounds, five assists. Someone who has the ball as much as Simmons does takes six shots in 44:00? Very unusual.
11) Nuggets 121, Trailblazers 113— Jokic had 37 points, nine rebounds, six assists as Denver takes the first game of this series. Nuggets are 41-5 at home this season.
10) Today’s unusual stat from Dan Hayes: Max Kepler’s 10-pitch walk in the 1st inning vs Justin Verlander Monday night was the 76th time Verlander has thrown 10 pitches in a plate appearance among the 11,497 batters (0.6%) he has faced in his great career.
9) Tennessee basketball coach Rick Barnes parlayed his dalliance with UCLA into a 5-year, $26M contract extension with the Vols.
8) Texas Tech basketball coach Chris Beard signed a six-year contract that will pay him $4.575M annually, through the 2024-25 season. His annual salary is now 4th-highest in the country, behind John Calipari, Mike Krzyzewski and Barnes.
7) Baseball injuries:
— Giants put P Derek Holland (finger) on the IL.
— Braves put P Chad Sobotka (abdomen) on the IL.
— A’s put 1B/OF Mark Canha (wrist) on the IL.
— Brewers put P Aaron Wilkerson (foot) on the IL.
6) New England Patriots ranked 25th in NFL LY with a 53.8% touchback rate on kickoffs, so it is possible that the punter they traded up to draft in the 5th round will also be used as a kickoff guy, seeing how PK Stephen Gostkowski is 35 now. Field position is important.
5) James Harden led the NBA in foul shots attempted in five of the last seven years, and finished 2nd/3rd the other two seasons.
4) Blues 4, Stars 3— St Louis wins a road game, is up 2-1 in this series.
3) Giants 3, Dodgers 2— Evan Longoria’s bases loaded double in the 7th inning was the game-winning hit.
2) Reds 5, Mets 4— Jesse Winker’s 9th-inning homer decided this one. It was the first hit that Mets’ closer Edwin Diaz allowed to a lefty batter this season.
1) I’d be curious to know how much NFL teams value if a prospect played for a winning program in college. I’m not 100% sold that playing on a winning team is that big a deal; sometimes your deficiencies can be hidden if you’re surrounded by superior athletes.
But I’d be more interested in how NFL teams feel than how I think about it.