The Lists

This Week in Sports Talk: September 7, 2020

this week in sports talk September 7, 2020

This Week in Sports Talk (TWIST) is our weekly roundup of top headlines from the past seven days in the world of sports, plus a preview of what’s up next. Heading into the week of September 7, 2020, here’s the top sports news, with a twist. Skim it, and you’ll be good to go all week.

This Week in Sports Talk: September 7, 2020

Here are the top 10 stories to know heading into the week of September 7, 2020.

1. NBA playoffs, Round 2

The NBA is in its second round of the playoffs – the semifinals – and there have been nail-biters, dramatic last-minute saves and upsets galore. In other words, these have been really good playoffs.

eastern conference

Take the Milwaukee Bucks-Miami Heat match-up. The Bucks were heavily favored, and yet three games in, they were down 0-3. But in Game 4, with Giannis Antetokounmpo nursing a sprained ankle, Bucks forward Khris Middleton led his team to an 118-115 overtime win to force a Game 5 tomorrow.

Khris Middleton led the Milwaukee Bucks to a Game 4 victory over the Miami Heat. Courtesy Photo.

Meanwhile, the Boston Celtics are tied with the Toronto Raptors 2-2 after starting out strong and surging to a 2-0 lead in the series. First, in a dramatic end to Game 3, the Celts were half a second away from taking a 3-0 series lead on Thursday night when Toronto’s OG Anunoby intercepted a pass and hit a 3-pointer to give the Raptors a 104-103 win. Then Saturday night, the Raptors won Game 4, 100-93. Now Toronto has all the momentum, thanks to strong performances from Pascal Siakam and Kyle Lowry. The two teams play again today.

The Toronto Raptors had a dramatic last-minute win over the Boston Celtics in Game 3. Courtesy Photo.

western conference

In the West, the LA Clippers won their first game of the Western Conference semifinals with the Denver Nuggets, but the Nuggets evened it up in Game 2, so they’re 1-1 and play again tonight. Denver’s star center Nikola Jokic is questionable for Game 3 tonight, due to a sprained wrist.  

Finally, the Houston Rockets, led by James Harden and Russell Westbrook, won Game 1 against the LA Lakers. Game 2 was last night, and LeBron James and Anthony Davis evened the series 1-1 with a 117-109 win.

thrilling close to round 1 with Game Sevens

For the record, there were several thrilling finishes in Round 1 of the NBA playoffs. For starters, the Denver Nuggets managed to hold off the Utah Jazz, 80-78, in their Game 7. A last-second 3-point shot from Utah’s Mike Conley came really close – but no dice. The Nuggets had trailed 3-1 in this series, so it’s a remarkable comeback, with Jamal Murray scoring 50 points in Game 6.

Denver Nuggets’ Jamal Murray and Los Angeles Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard in the semifinal game Thursday. AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill.Then there was Game 7 between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Houston Rockets. Chris Paul of the Thunder demonstrated his best post-season play ever this year. But with just seconds left, James Harden — who otherwise had a very bad night — blocked Lu Dort’s potential game-winning 3-pointer, saving the day for the Rockets, who advanced to the next round.

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new head coach for the nets

In a move that shocked many, this week the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets announced that they signed a 4-year contract with Steve Nash, who will be the team’s next head coach.

Steve Nash is the new head coach of the Brooklyn Nets. Photo by Xavier Bonilla/NurPhoto via Getty Images.

This is the former point guard’s first time in a full-time head coaching role. Interim head coach Jacque Vaughn will remain in Nets management as Nash’s assistant; he’ll be the highest-paid assistant coach in the NBA. Nash is known to have a good relationship with Nets star Kevin Durant, which may bode well for the team next season when KD returns.

rookie of the year

Grizzlies star Ja Morant was named NBA Rookie of the Year, receiving 99 of 100 first-place votes.

legendary coach John Thompson dies at age 78

The revered Georgetown basketball coach John Thompson died this week at the age of 78. Thompson spent his entire college coaching career at Georgetown and compiled a career record of 596-239. He was the first black coach to win a NCAA National Championship in 1984. Allen Iverson, who was one of the biggest stars to come through Georgetown under Thompson, credited the coach with “saving my life.”

2. MLB

New York Mets legend and Hall of Famer Tom Seaver died on Monday at the age of 75.

The late Tom Seaver in his prime as a pitcher for the New York Mets. Courtesy Photo.

Nicknamed “The Franchise” and “Tom Terrific,” Seaver led his team from has-been status to World Series champions in 1969 – a feat that earned the team the moniker “The Miracle Mets.” 

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This morning word came that Lou Brock, St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Famer and the greatest base-stealer in the major leagues, died at the age of 81. He broke the record previously held by Ty Cobb, with 938 stolen bases (he held that record until 1991). Brock helped take his team to the 1964 World Series, and was part of the Cards franchise for three pennants and two World Series wins.

The struggles of the New York Yankees continue: their ace Gerritt Cole lost his 3rd straight game to the Baltimore Orioles after striking out 8 of first 9 batters. Meanwhile, the best player in baseball, Mike Trout, is playing for one of worst teams – the LA Angels. This week, Trout hit his 300th career home run against the Houston Astros.

The LA Angels’ Mike Trout. Courtesy Photo.

Betting is taking a more and more prominent role in sports. The Chicago Cubs announced a partnership with Draftkings this week. The multi-year deal makes DraftKings the club’s official sports betting and daily fantasy partner, and includes plans to open a sportsbook inside 106-year-old Wrigley Field. Also this week, Draftkings announced that Michael Jordan will serve as a special advisor in exchange for an equity interest in the company.

3. NFL

Saturday was “cut down” day in the NFL – that’s the day when all teams make cuts to get down to a roster of 53 players (it always happens over Labor Day weekend, ironically). In the preceding days, some deals were struck.

The former Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette is joining the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Houston Texans signed Deshaun Watson to a 4-year, $160 million contract extension. The Tennessee Titans signed Jadeveon Clooney to a 1-year, $15 million deal.

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson. Courtesy Photo.

Meanwhile, Alvin Kamara – the New Orleans Saints “all purpose” running back and key teammate for quarterback Drew Brees – has returned to training camp but is holding out for a better deal. While the Saints are threatening to trade him, most expect that he’ll be signed to a new extension before this coming Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Meanwhile, in Patriots Nation, Cam Newton has been voted team captain and declared the starting quarterback. And we spotted head coach Bill Belichick in a Subway commercial this week. There are still signs of life in Foxborough, people . . . 

Cam Newton is the team captain and the starting quarterback for the New England Patriots. Photo Credit: USA Today.

But the BIG news of the week is that the NFL is prepared to begin its season on schedule with the 2020 NFL Kickoff Game this Thursday. The Kansas City Chiefs will host the Houston Texans, and to say that sports fans are looking forward to this would be a massive understatement.  On the first Sunday of the season, the New Orleans Saints are favored against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers you remember they signed Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski over the summer, right? Kind of a big game.

Tom Brady plays his first game as a Tampa Bay Buccaneer this Sunday, (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Also on Sunday? The Green Bay Packers meet the Minnesota Vikings; and the Baltimore Ravens play the Cleveland Browns. Are you ready for some football?

4. NHL

Excitement over the NHL playoffs is ramping up, as it took three Game Sevens to finish out the division series. In what was probably a dream for hockey fans, the 3-3 match-ups led to some exciting moments before the Vancouver Canucks fell to the Vegas Golden Knights; the Dallas Stars took the Colorado Avalanche; and the New York Islanders shut out the Philadelphia Flyers. The Isles are in the finals for the first time since 1993.

The New York Islanders are in the Eastern Conference finals.

Tonight the Tampa Bay Lightning face the New York Islanders in the Eastern Conference Final Game 1 at Rogers Place in Edmonton.  The Western Conference Finals between the Vegas Golden Knights and Dallas Stars began last night. The Stars defense gave them a 1-0 win and an early series lead.

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5. Tennis

In a bizarre twist, top men’s seed Novak Djokovic is out of the US Open. The 17-time Grand Slam winner hit a ball in frustration that struck a line judge on the court at Arthur Ashe Stadium. The judge was hit in the throat and had to be helped off the court after appearing to have trouble breathing. Djokovic issued an apology after he defaulted from his round of 16 match and was eliminated from the tournament. “This whole situation has left me really sad and empty,” he said afterward. It appears that the line judge will fully recover.

Top seed Novak Djokovic has been ejected from the US Open 2020. Courtesy Photo.

On the women’s side, on Saturday Serena Williams defeated fellow American Sloane Stephens while her 3-year-old daughter, Olympia, watched from the stands with dad. SO. SO. CUTE. Keep going, girl!

It’s hard to believe, but the French Open is scheduled to begin in just 2 weeks. With France experiencing a COVID-19 flareup, organizers may have to rethink their plans to have a limited live audience for the tournament.

6. Golf

The second leg of the FedEx Cup Playoffs wrapped up last Sunday with the final round of the BMW Championship. Dustin Johnson (“D.J.”) forced a playoff with first-place Jon Rahm, and then sunk a 43-foot putt. But Rahm answered with a 66-foot putt on the same hole to take the tournament win. 

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That loss hasn’t kept from Johnson from rebounding, though. This weekend, in the third round of the 2020 TOUR Championship, Johnson recorded seven birdies to keep his lead over Xander Schauffele and Justin Thomas. Yesterday, D.J. gained four strokes on the field. He enters the final 18 holes today hoping to take home $15 million.

Dustin Johnson sits atop the leaderboard at the 2020 TOUR championship. Courtesy Photo.

7. College Football

Although the Big 12 and ACC don’t start their seasons until later this week, and the SEC begins on September 26th, college football season officially kicked off this weekend. In Week 1, SMU beat 31, Texas State 31-24; Army beat Middle Tennessee State 42-0; and Marshall shut out EKU, 59-0. Today BYU visits Navy.

8. Upset at the Kentucky Derby

While there were no fans or haute couture hats present at Churchill Downs on Saturday, and no live betting at the track, there was still plenty of excitement and lots to see at the 146th annual running of the Kentucky Derby.

This week in sports talk September 7, 2020: Authentic wins the Kentucky Derby 2020. Photo Credit: Lexington Herald Leader.

Many people expected an easy win for Tiz the Law. The field was smaller than usual and he won the Belmont Stakes. He seemed to be headed for a run at the Triple Crown – and who doesn’t love that? Sadly, it wasn’t meant to be. Authentic won by 1 1/4 lengths. The thoroughbred’s victory gave the Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez his third Kentucky Derby win.

The 2020 Triple Crown has had several COVID-19-related anomalies: a different race order, later dates for all three races (which gave horses more time to mature and prep), significantly more time in between each event and a shortened Belmont (9 furlongs instead of the traditional 12). The last leg of the Triple Crown, the Preakness, will be run on Saturday, October 3, 2020.

9. Tour de France

Cyclists in the Tour de France completed Stage 7 this weekend, and so far the coronavirus has not disrupted the competition.

That may be because, as our Sports Desk notes, the Tour was already largely a germ-free zone. Riders are highly vigilant about their health and hygiene during the tour, since being sick or even sub par on a day or two can knock them out of contention. For example, shaking hands has been against the rules at the tour for 25 years. The famous broadcaster Phil Ligget, who has been the voice of the tour in the US for 25 years, is broadcasting remotely for the first time.

10. LA 2028 Olympics Logos

The logos for the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics were revealed this week, and it turns out that they’re actually infinite logos. Each person who chooses to create one can fashion a unique statement of their own.

That’s because the letter “A” is not fixed – it can be portrayed any way a user would like. You’ve had plenty of notice, so you better come up with something epic when the time comes.

This Week in Sports News September 7, 2020

That’s it. You’re good to go with the top headlines and coming attractions heading into the week of September 7, 2020. Stay safe and strong, dear reader. See you next week.

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For access to insider ideas and information on the world of luxury, sign up for our Dandelion Chandelier newsletter here. And see luxury in a new light.

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