Phoenix's ideal starting lineup of Ricky Rubio, Devin Booker, Mikal Bridges, Kelly Oubre and DeAndre Ayton barely played together due to injuries and a suspension, but it has decimated opponents by 20.2 points per 100 possessions this season. Slot Baynes in for Ayton and that figure jumps to 26.7. Four of those six players are 24 or younger. The Suns are onto something with this core even if those numbers are unsustainable, just as the Kings seem to have found equilibrium with Buddy Hield coming off of the bench. Since doing so, the Kings have a better net rating at +2.2 than the Rockets (+2) and Philadelphia 76ers (-0.4). That is a 20-game sample, and the Kings will likely have a healthy Marvin Bagley next season. Both of these teams should be better in a year than they are now even if that improvement doesn't lead to a playoff spot. … [Read more...] about Handicapping the NBA teams most likely to tank in the Western Conference next season
It's an encouraging sign to see Fultz be so aggressive on offense, and while he still needs to find his shot from 3-point range, he's at least showing the confidence in taking those looks. His ability to change pace and stop on a dime to shake his defender frees him up to knock down mid-range shots. However, he's not incredibly efficient at making them. On all mid-range jumpers, Fultz is shooting just 41 percent, which puts him in the 59th percentile among guards in the league, per Cleaning the Class. … [Read more...] about Markelle Fultz’s breakout season brings hope the Magic have found their point guard for the future
Two-time champion Murray made an emotional return to Wimbledon last year when he played doubles - partnering Serena Williams in the mixed. Injury had ruled the Scot out of the 2018 tournament and threatened his career, but Murray was targeting a singles slam comeback in 2020 and to have that rug pulled from beneath him is a cruel blow. … [Read more...] about Coronavirus: Federer, Serena or Djokovic: who will be hurt most by Wimbledon cancellation?
AE: Liverpool. Yes, I’m serious. Like I said, I don’t think people understand just how wide open the title race is this season. Here’s why: the three clubs with the “best” squads — Man City, Man United and Chelsea — all have new managers, which will inevitably lead to a surprising number of points dropped through October or November before hitting their respective strides right around the holidays. The door is open for one of Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool to capitalize on those early-season struggles and set the pace in the title race. Of those three, Arsenal are still Arsenal, and Spurs have to juggle the Champions League once again. That leaves Liverpool, who have neither European competition nor a first-year manager. … [Read more...] about ProSoccerTalk’s writers preview the Premier League season
One of the coolest things about this incredible rise is that the Foxes aren’t trying to be something they’re not. Every single player on the team knows his job and every single one of them knows they can do it. The synergy is sensational and like a well-oiled machine they just chug away game after game, each doing their individual jobs consistently at their highest level and the sum of their parts is a machine humming along without inconsistency. Six clean sheets in their last seven games (plus five shutouts on the spin) tells you they’re keyed in to grind out results when it matters most. That’s the sign of a champion. Winning at all costs and dispelling any defensive fragility which held them back at times earlier in the season. Now they invite teams to cross into the box and seem to clear everything. … [Read more...] about Perfect storm: This is why Leicester is top of Premier League