Fourth Quarter Sports’ NBA Mock Draft 1.0

In the aftermath of the shocking results from the NBA Lottery on Tuesday, May 14th, many of us have already started buying Zion Williamson’s Pelicans jersey.

However, that may not be the only Pelicans jersey you’ll want to buy. No, I’m not talking about finally buying the Anthony Davis jersey that should’ve been bought. But instead, there will be another jersey you’ll need, and I’m going to tell you who.

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“3B7A6197” by Keenan Hairston is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

In this version of the NBA Mock Draft, I’ll tell you all the players who’ll be drafted, and which teams could look for trades. In order for me to do that, I will need to first explain what type of trades will be done.

I will also go pick by pick and list the team needs. To keep things interesting, I will start from the 30th pick and work my way down to No. 1, because quite frankly, the No. 1 and No. 2 picks are already known. Also, don’t forget to look at Joel’s article on which two teams should trade their picks. Let’s get started with this mock draft!

30. Milwaukee Bucks:

Team Needs: Center

Pick: Naz Reid, C, LSU

Reason: The Bucks had their best season in a long time under new head coach Mike Budenholzer. They’ll be looking to continue and build on their success. With the roster they’ve assembled around MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo, they could be the best team in the East for years to come.

The one position they’ll need help with, is the center position, as all three guys they used in the position during this great season are going to be free agents. Both Brook Lopez and Nikola Mirotic played huge roles during their playoff run. Pau Gasol is the third guy, but he was unfortunately injured during this time. What will the Bucks do with these guys? With the draft coming first, they could look to Naz Reid to fill some of the voids. Of course, it could’ve been nice to have a guy like Bol Bol, Bruno Fernando, or Jaxson Hayes, but that’s not the luxury of being the best team in the league.

29. San Antonio Spurs (via Toronto):

Team Needs: Point Guard

Pick: Mfiondu Kabengele, PF/C, Florida St.

Reason: This is the “Kawhi” pick that will be probably be talked about for many years. Unfortunately, with the success of the Raptors, this pick isn’t going to be as exciting. In fact, I’m not sure how much it means to the Spurs. They could likely trade this pick to move up or down in the draft.

In case they decide to keep the pick, Mfiondu Kabengele would be a great addition to a much younger Spurs team. He could also allow LaMarcus Aldridge to move back to the PF position.

28. Golden State Warriors:

Team Needs: Small Forward

Pick: Cameron Johnson, SF, North Carolina

Reason: Without knowing the decision of Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson, the Warriors may need to look in the draft to find a player who can fill a roster spot. With hopes of both guys returning, the Warriors will still need to add depth at a good price, especially if they sign both stars on supermax deals.

That’s why a player like Cameron Johnson will work here. Johnson could learn from the older guys like Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livington if they also both remain with the team.

27. Brooklyn Nets (via Denver):

Team Needs: Small Forward

Pick: Brandon Clarke, PF/C, Gonzaga

Reason: Now this is where the picks start to get interesting because most of these teams will be making two picks.

This is the case for the Nets, as they use the pick they received from Denver as part of the Kenneth Faried trade to find themselves his replacement after giving him a buyout. I think Brandon Clarke could be a nice addition to the team. Think about the success he had with Gonzaga and imagine pairing him with Jarrett Allen and whoever the Nets plan to sign in free agency.

26. Cleveland Cavaliers (via Houston):

Team Needs: Shooting Guard

Pick: Jalen McDaniels, PF, San Diego St.

Reason: Whether or not these Cavaliers plan to keep Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson is a different question. Regardless of that decision, they will still need to add depth to the frontcourt.

That explains this pick with Jalen McDaniels. McDaniels led his college team in rebounds and points as a sophomore, so we know he can play. I honestly think this will be one of the few picks that are steals in this draft. McDaniels could fit in well with the young talent of Collin Sexton and whoever they draft at five.

25. Portland Trail Blazers:

Team Needs: Small Forward

Pick: Kris Wilkes, SF, UCLA

Reason: This is, unfortunately, the only pick for the Blazers, and we hope they can continue to make the right moves. We know they won’t be wasting their time drafting any position, so expect small forward. With both Evan Turner and Maurice Harkless entering their contract years, the Blazers will be looking to find a guy to fill the void for the future.

I’m not saying Turner and Harkless will both leave next year, but the Blazers do have to decide on what to do with Al-Farouq Aminu, who will be a free agent this summer. It’s going to be interesting to see what the Blazers actually do with all these guys over the next few years. With this pick of Kris Wilkies, the Blazers will be looking to jump ahead into the future.

24. Philadelphia 76ers:

Team Needs: Small Forward

Pick: Charles Bassey, PF/C, Western Kentucky

Reason: This pick is very important for the 76ers, as they have a big decision to make in free agency on what to do with players like J.J Reddick, Jimmy Butler, and Tobias Harris. I think that’s where their focus will be, but they could also use this pick to add more depth to the frontcourt. Whether they resign Harris or grab someone else in free agency, the Sixers will need to add some depth anyways.

This pick of Charles Bassey can help give the Sixers’ versatility in their rotation. He could play both the forward and the center spot, so whenever the Sixers want to rest Joel Embiid, Bassey could give some valuable minutes.

23. Utah Jazz:

Team Needs: Shooting Guard

Pick: Tyler Herro, SG, Kentucky

Reason: Okay, so you might be surprised as to why we have the Jazz drafting another shooting guard after doing so the past two seasons. However, they need more depth, specifical players with the ability of scoring. Donovan Mitchell is entering into his third season and will look to improve himself even again this year. The aging guard Kyle Korver and tough defensive guard Grayson Allen are what the Jazz have behind Mitchell.

With this pick of Tyler Herro, the Jazz is hoping he can continue to be an excellent scorer and shooter off the bench for a good supporting cast for Mitchell. He could create his own role as the sixth man.

22. Boston Celtics:

Team Needs: Point Guard

Pick: Bruno Fernando, C, Maryland

Reason: This is the third pick for the Celtics, so we don’t need to worry about the team need here. Instead, they’ll be looking to add some depth at the center position to make sure they’ve filled that void that may be left if Al Horford and Aron Baynes don’t return next year. I think the Celtics will be focusing their attention on trying to keep both Horford and PG Kyrie Irving, while also trying to work out a deal to get one more superstar player to join them.

That’s why I think the pick of Bruno Fernando here is a good pick! Fernando is another one of those players who could be a steal. The Celtics have a lot of experience with drafting these type of players. Fernando is an explosive finisher and has great shooting ability for a big. If the Celtics were to draft him, they may not miss Horford much if they decide to let him go.

21. Oklahoma City Thunder:

Team Needs: Shooting Guard

Pick: Kevin Porter, SG/SF, USC

Reason: The Thunder have Russell Westbrook, Paul George, and Steven Adams, yet somewhere they’ve managed to be eliminated from the first round of the playoffs each of the last two seasons. They also haven’t had an actual shooting guard on their team since James Harden was there with Kevin Durant. Sure, they have Terrance Ferguson and Andre Roberson, but neither one of them are the scorers this Thunder team needs.

Roberson has been battling through injuries the last few seasons, and the Thunder need a shooter like Kevin Porter. Porter could fit the Thunder well, as he is a very talented ball handler who creates his shots. He has also drawn comparisons to James Harden in how well he can release the ball. The main concern is the off-court issues that caused him a suspension last season.

20. Boston Celtics (Via L.A. Clippers):

Team Needs: Point Guard

Pick: Bol Bol, C, Oregon

Reason: This is the second pick for the Celtics. We’re going to say it’s going to be traded to the Atlanta Hawks. The Hawks could be trading the No. 10 pick to Boston for the No. 20 and No. 14. With the 20th pick in the NBA draft, the Hawks will select Bol Bol.

Bol Bol will be a great addition to the Hawks, and it is a team need. His 7’2″ form averaged 21 points, 9.6 rebounds, and 2.7 blocks. He could also help the Hawks stretch the floor from the three-point line, but he only played nine games last year, and that could raise questions as to how healthy he is. Let’s see how healthy Bol Bol can be for the Hawks because that’s the only reason why he was dropped out of the lottery.

19. San Antonio Spurs:

Team Needs: Point Guard

Pick: Quentin Grimes, Guard, Kansas

Reason: This is the first pick of the Spurs, and they’ll be looking to add another guard to their rotation. With the Kawhi Leonard trade, the Spurs lost two high volume shooters, Kawhi and Danny Green. They did get shooting Guard DeMar DeRozan from the trade, but after him and maybe LaMarcus Aldridge, there isn’t another playmaker.

That’s why Quentin Grimes is the perfect pick here! Grimes is not only a playmaker but a great shooter as well. He was put in a situation at Kansas that allowed him to do both, and it could excel him to the next level where he can be a combo guard.

18. Indiana Pacers:

Team Needs: Point Guard

Pick: Carsen Edwards, PG, Purdue

Reason: The Pacers could do several things come draft night. They could try to trade up in the draft and get a player like Darius Garland or Coby White. They could also try to trade for Mike Conley of the Grizzlies. The final choice they have is to draft a player with this pick, and it should be a point guard even if Darren Collinson decides to stay.

That’s why Carson Edwards would be a great pick here. Over the season, Edwards continued to improve himself, and we all saw that in the NCAA Tournament when he scored 139 combined points in four games to help lead his team to the Elite Eight. He could be a great addition to the Pacers, and a very good pairing with Victor Oladipo when he comes back healthy.

17. Brooklyn Nets:

Team Needs: Small Forward

Pick: Daniel Gafford, SF, Arkansas

Reason: With the Nets making the playoffs last season and having a lot of cap space available, this summer could be big for them. After the draft, they’ll have to make decisions on certain players. Players like D’Angelo Russell and DeMarre Carroll. Russell will be brought back, but the Nets might be turning their attention to some of the big name free agents such as Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, and Jimmy Butler. They’ll still have this pick and will use it to add more depth at the forward position.

We saw earlier that they drafted a PF with their later pick, but here they will select Daniel Gafford. Gafford could help the Nets fill the spot that will be left by a likely departure from Carroll. He is one of the more versatile players in the draft, and we could see him have an impact right away. He is a high-energy talent who could’ve been a top-10 pick, but he slowed down as the season went on. The Nets are going to be expecting more from Gafford as the season goes on, so let’s see how this works for them.

16. Orlando Magic:

Team Needs: Small Forward

Pick: Sekou Doumbouya, SF/PF, France

Reason: The Magic made the playoffs for the first time in a long time. We could see them continue to fight for a playoff spot next season, as they’re looking to get better. One way to get better is through the draft, and that’s where the Magic will look.

The Magic will draft Sekou Doumbouya. This is another one of those picks that have the potential to surprise. Doumbouya is projected to be a lottery pick, but he has slipped to the Magic, and they will capitalize on it. Doumbouya is the type of player who can do it all for his team. He has great ball-handling skills and great defense for a guy of his size. He could use some quality playing time to help him reach his full potential, and the Magic can provide that.

15. Detroit Pistons:

Team Needs: Shooting Guard

Pick: Keldon Johnson, SG/SF, Kentucky

Reason: What a difference a player like Blake Griffin makes for a team. Griffin helped lead the Pistons to the playoffs with very little help. Reggie Jackson and Andre Drummond played their roles nicely, but they still need an extra shooter out there. Luke Kennard and Stanley Johnson haven’t been able to find themselves the way we’d like them to.

The Pistons will be looking forward to drafting themselves another guard to play alongside Kennard and Johnson. That pick will be Keldon Johnson. Johnson is a competitive, tough-minded wing player who can be a great three-and-d type guy. He also has the potential to be a high flier, and that could be a huge benefit for the pistons.

14. Boston Celtics (via Sacramento):

Team Needs: Point Guard

Pick: PJ Washington, PF, Kentucky

Reason: This is going to be another pick that could be traded to the Atlanta Hawks. The Hawks feel like the only two players they have are Trae Young and John Collins, but they have turned two picks into three and have added more frontcourt depth with both of these picks.

With Bol Bol selected later, this pick will be another piece to add into the rotation with Bol Bol and Collins. This pick is PJ Washington. He gives the Hawks the ability to stretch the floor. Washington is a great three-point shooter with length to guard multiple positions. This could be a great addition if the Hawks use him right.

13. Miami Heat:

Team Needs: Point Guard

Pick: Nickeil Alexander-Walker, SG, Virginia Tech

Reason: One reason why the choice to go with a shooting guard instead of a guard, is because they’re in search of Dwyane Wade’s replacement. Another reason is that they’re probably planning on trading for a point guard like Chris Paul or Mike Conley. Of course, trying Paul might mean that this pick will go to the Houston Rockets, who will be picking only once in the first round.

Fortunately, we don’t see Pat Riley actually trading a young potential star for an aging-star with nothing left to prove, so we’ll have the Heat keep this pick and turn it into another young guard like Nickeil Alexander-Walker. The good thing about this pick is that Alexander-Walker could play both guard positions. He showed he’s a capable distributor, creator and transition player. If the Heat manages to draft Alexander-Walker, he could complement Goran Dragic well if the Heat manages to bring him back.

12. Charlotte Hornets:

Team Needs: Shooting Guard

Pick: Romeo Langford, SG, Indiana

Reason: With this pick, the Hornets could do several things, like trading it, or maybe even think about trading this pick for pieces that they might need like a PG, especially if they need up losing PG Kemba Walker. Of course, we won’t know that until July 1, so let’s just say that Walker stays.

The Hornets need to find themselves a nice piece to add to the team, and they also need to find themselves a shooting guard too. I mean, that’s been the teams biggest need for a long time now. The Hornets will also be trying to work out a deal with SG Jeremy Lamb. We will also be more interested in who they might take with this pick because they have choices. I think with this pick, the Hornets select Romeo Langford, and they hope he becomes the rangy wing prospect many think he can be.

11. Minnesota Timberwolves:

Team Needs: Point Guard

Pick: Nassir Little, SF, North Carolina

Reason: The Timberwolves will most likely need a point guard in this draft with no real backup to Jeff Teague available. With Derrick Rose, Jerryd Bayless and Tyus Jones all expecting to be free agents, this will make sense for the Timberwolves. Had they received an earlier pick, they might be in the running for a point guard, but I think they will be looking in free agency for this position.

So let’s take a look at this pick here! I think the Timberwolves will look to draft another forward who could help the Timberwolves in their rotation. That’s why this pick of Nassir Little is perfect for the Wolves. Little played behind several upperclassmen as a freshman, so having the backup role shouldn’t be a problem. With Little’s athleticism, his length and size could allow him to play alongside both Karl Anthony-Towns and Andrew Wiggins.

10. Atlanta Hawks (via Dallas):

Team Needs: Small Forward and Center

Pick: Rui Hachimura, SF/PF, Gonzaga

Reason: This pick could be traded to the Boston Celtics. This is a move Atlanta wants to make, and we know Boston has a handful of first round picks, so why not trade up to get a guy they may not be able to get at 14?

That guy is Gonzaga forward Rui Hachimura. I know the Celtics have a lot of forward depth, but they also have a lot of questions to answer in terms of their free agents. Not only are Al Horford and Kyrie Irving free agents, but they also have Marcus Morris too.

Whether or not the Celtics bring Morris back, Hachimura will still have a wide range of roles. His large frame can attack off the dribble, while still being able to shoot three-pointers and be a good defender. The Celtics could benefit a lot from the addition here.

9. Washington Wizards:

Team Needs: Guard

Pick: Coby White, PG/SG, North Carolina

Reason: This could be another pick that gets traded. Or maybe they keep this pick and trade away Bradley Beal or John Wall because let’s be honest, it’s about time to make a change with those two. I think Beal is the first to go. It may not happen this offseason, but likely by the trade deadline.

Let’s assume they don’t make any moves of sorts in the offseason. We could expect them to want to draft a guard in the draft, and there is no better one here than Coby White.

I think White will be a good fit with the Wizards, especially with the status of John Wall. White is a score-first point guard with the ability to both create and facilitate. If the Wizards have a future plan to restart, White would be a great piece to do it with

8. Atlanta Hawks:

Team Needs: Small Forward and Center

Pick: Cameron Reddish, SG/SF, Duke

Reason: Let’s just say the Hawks need to find more shooters to play alongside Trae Young and John Collins. Fortunately for them, they have a chance to get the guy they’ve wanted all along.

That guy is Cam Reddish. Despite the recent news about his injury, he is still worthy of being taken here. Reddish has built himself a nice resume at Duke while playing alongside Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett. With him being the third option there, he’ll have his hands full in the NBA trying to be the one-two pouch for the Hawks with Young by his side. He has a beautiful shot release and defensive capabilities that should translate immediately for a Hawks team who struggled with defense most of the time.

7. Chicago Bulls:

Team Needs: Center

Pick: Jaxson Hayes, PF/C, Texas

Reason: The Bulls will have plenty of options available, but I think they will lean more towards the frontcourt right now because they still have Zach LaVine doing great things. Lauri Markkanen is also playing exceptionally well! But the Bulls’ depth at the center position is pretty non-existent after they made moves to let Joakim Noah and Pau Gasol go.

That’s why Jaxson Hayes is a great fit here. I don’t think that he alone can solve their issues, but Hayes is a natural shot-blocker. As a player who’s still learning to play with his height, Hayes could be a dangerous addition to the Bulls, especially when you add in his potential as a rim-running, shot-swatting specialist.

6. Phoenix Suns:

Team Needs: Point Guard

Pick: Darius Garland, PG, Vanderbilt

Reason: I believe this is the guy the Suns want if they can’t get Zion Williamson or Ja Morant. I also believe the Suns are a trade candidate for a point guard like Mike Conley. Conley could be traded to Phoenix for Tyler Johnson, TJ Warren and their 2020 first-round pick (Top 5 protected). A former lottery pick, Josh Jackson, could also be a piece traded to get Conley.

However, I think regardless of the trade that may or may not happen, the Suns will get this pick and use it to draft Darius Garland. This is a franchise who has struggled to get a true point guard on their team in the last two years.

After trading Eric Bledsoe to Milwaukee last year, the Suns found themselves looking for the next future point guard, and Garland could be it, even if they trade to get Conley. Garland could also be a backup to Conley for the start of his career, as he perfects his ball-handling and scoring ability as he recovers from an injury that sidelined him most of the season last year.

5. Cleveland Cavaliers:

Team Needs: Shooting Guard

Pick: Jarrett Culver, SG, Texas Tech

Reason: There will be no trade of this pick from the Cavaliers here unless they can get something great out of it. The only players worth a trade on the Cavaliers are PF/C’s Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson, but that is also not an impressive move. After the departure of LeBron James to the Los Angeles Lakers, the Cavaliers were put in a tough situation, and are starting over as a franchise.

Last year, they drafted Collin Sexton as the future point guard of the franchise. He was the third leading scorer on the Cavaliers last season. Only Love and guard Jordan Clarkson averaged more points then Sexton in the season. Had Love been able to play more than 22 games, the Cavaliers might have been a better team.

With the fifth pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, the Cleveland Cavaliers will select shooting guard Jarrett Culver to make up for the lack of shooting. Of course, the Cavaliers would probably have wanted to get DeAndre Hunter or R.J. Barrett, but any of these picks is better than having a J.R. Smith, who barely averaged 6.7 points throughout the season. I think Culver will be a great addition to the Cavaliers though.

4. Los Angeles Lakers:

Team Needs: Shooting Guard

Pick: DeAndre Hunter, SG/SF, Virginia

Reason: Let’s just be honest here. I don’t think this pick will belong to the Lakers, as they definitely trade this pick and several players for Anthony Davis. That trade will set the Lakers up to get at least one or two more superstar players to play alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Guys like Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard, Jimmy Butler, and Kevin Durant are rumored to be in the picture.

As a pick for the New Orleans Pelicans, Hunter could be a great addition with Zion Williamson, as the two of them plan to make the Pelicans a relevant team again. In college, he averaged 52.0 percent shooting, 43.8 percent from three-point, and 78.3 percent from the free throw line. Of course, he’ll need to work on improving his free throw percentage, but at least he won’t be pressured to be the best player on the team.

3. New York Knicks:

Team Needs: Forward

Pick: R.J. Barrett, SG, Duke

Reason: Unfortunately, I don’t see the Knicks being able to work out a trade for Anthony Davis, simply because they don’t really have anything to offer, besides questionable point guards like Dennis Smith Jr., Emmanuel Mudiay and Frank Ntilikina.

That’s why it makes more sense for them to hold on to this pick and draft a guy like R.J. Barrett, who has proven he could be a great shooter in the NBA. The Knicks will not only draft Barrett, but they will be hoping to have a big offseason with one or more free agents to sign.

The biggest names like Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Jimmy Butler or Kemba Walker are in play. Barrett, paired with any one or two of those guys will be good for the Knicks. He is the best shooter out of those players who are projected to be in the top five, after averaging 22.6 points a year in his freshman season.

2. Memphis Grizzlies:

Team Needs: Center

Pick: Ja Morant, PG, Murray State

Reason: Although a point guard isn’t what the Grizzlies need, they will draft Ja Morant, and they have openly said it on social media. They still need to figure out what to do with the center position after trading Marc Gasol for Jonas Valanciunas.

Valanciunas has a player option this summer, so he could opt to leave. He is the only center on the Grizzlies, with back up Joakim Noah being a free agent as well. This is where I see the Grizzlies looking to make more trades, with both Mike Conley and Chandler Parsons. Conley will be a lot easier for the Grizzlies to move.

One potential trade for Conley could be with the Phoenix Suns, as they could likely miss on their guy in the draft. Other teams who could be in the picture for trade for Conley could be Miami, Utah, and Indiana.

1. New Orleans Pelicans:

Team Needs: Forward

Pick: Zion Williamson, PF/C, Duke

Reason: There is no reason needed here. Zion Williamson is the best player coming out of this draft. I think with Anthony Davis in New Orleans, he will slowly become what we know he could be. If and when Davis gets traded to the Lakers, then only will Zion become an elite star, especially if he gets paired with a great shooter?

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Again, I know it’s early for a mock draft of the NBA, but now that the order is known, it made perfect sense. Let us know what you think about this draft and potential trades that impacted it.

What you may have missed this weekend: 4/18-4/21

In the midst of all the scavenger hunts for the Easter eggs and chocolate bunnies, you might have missed some of the biggest sports news over the weekend. But don’t worry I am here to keep you up-to-date on everything you didn’t get to watch while being with the family and putting all the eggs in one basket.

This weekend was full of great games and moments in sports. Unfortunately, we don’t have any breaking news about great players doing big things like we did last week, but we do have a lot of different sports to catch up on this week.

The NBA and NHL playoffs are starting to heat up as teams are taking over the series and looking ahead to the next round. While the MLB is continuing to get their season in high gear, we will also look at some news on the majors.

And without anything happening in the NFL this past weekend, we should look forward to the NFL Draft on Thursday night. Until then, let’s take a look back at this weekend.

“Albert Pujols” by Keith Allison is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

MLB:

Pujols passes Ruth on RBI list:

For those of you who don’t know Babe Ruth is, just watch the movie Sandlot because “you’re killing Smalls.” Babe Ruth has gone down in history as one of the greatest of all-time and until this weekend he was 5th on the RBI list.

That was after being passed by Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols. Pujols hit RBIs 1,993 off a solo shot in the ninth inning of a 6-5 loss against against the Seattle Mariners.

The big thing about Pujols RBIs is that he could likely get up to second if he hits well with runners on base. Coming into the Angels series opener with the injured New York Yankees, Pujols is now chasing two former Yankees and the top two home run hitters of all-time. In a good series against New York, Pujols could pass Lou Gehrig (1,994) and Barry Bonds (1,996) on the career RBIs chart. With a long season ahead of us, He could likely pass Alex Rodriguez (2,086) if he were to get 100 plus RBIs this season. He will likely finish behind Hank Aaron (2,297), but do expect Pujols to join each one of this guys in the Hall of Fame one day.

Daniel Norris gets first win since 2017

As a pitcher that has been battling back from an injury and not being in the rotation, this is a great moment. Norris was a replacement in the rotation and he should be able to stay there. It’s a good feeling to get the first win after two years, so now he can focus on playing baseball.

Norris led the Tigers to a 4-3 game against the Chicago White Sox as he struck out six batters in five innings. He allowed two hits and walked one.

Sabathia gets 1st win of season

The New York Yankees are going to have one of the toughest seasons in the teams history. That is due to the fact that they have 13 players in the IL. Pitcher C.C. Sabathia started the season on the IL before making his return last week and he might be the only hope the Yankees have to have a chance to win games due to the pitchers.

This first win was a big one for the Yankees as they beat the Kansas City Royals 6-2. Can Sabathia help keep this team in contention long enough for the sluggers like Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton come back.

Injured List:

  • New York Mets’ SP Jake deGrom
  • Boston Red Sox’ Utility Eduardo Nunez and 2B Dustin Pedroia
  • Philadelphia Phillies’ SS Jean Segura, SS Scott Kingery, RP Victor Arano
  • Toronto Blue Jays’ SP Matt Shoemaker
  • New York Yankees’ OF Aaron Judge

NBA:

NBA Playoffs:

  • Boston Celtics swept the Indiana Pacers as Kyrie Irving proves he can lead a team.
  • Milwaukee Bucks looking to wrap up first playoff series win in 18 years after a 3-0 lead against the Detroit Pistons
  • Warriors showing why they are the defending champions after overcoming Beverly and the Clippers 3-1
  • Jazz (0-3) and Thunder (1-3) are in trouble after losing another home game and losing their series.
  • Jared Dudley still going at the Sixers “Big 3” despite being down 3-1.
  • Nuggets rally to tie series at 2-2 with Spurs.
  • Raptors and Kwahi are a game closer to the next round.

NHL:

NHL Playoffs:

  • Calargy Flames (1-4 against Colorado Avalanche) and Tampa Bay Lightning (0-4 against Columbus Blue Jackets) take an early 1st round exit
  • New York Islanders swept the Pittsburgh Penguins
  • Capitals took a 6-0 victory in game 5 to take a 3-2 lead in the series that could change their playoffs as they look to repeat.
  • Dallas Stars look to close out Nashville Monday after taking a 3-2 series lead.
  • Boston and Toronto are will be playing game 7 on Tuesday for the chance to play Columbus in the second round.
  • St. Louis Blue closed out Winnipeg in six games.
  • San Jose Sharks battled through two overtimes with the Vegas Knights to focus a game 7.

NCAA:

Players to declare for NBA draft:

  • Western Kentucky’s C Charles Bassey
  • Missouri’s C Jontay Porter
  • Texas Tech’s G Jarrett Culver
  • Virginia’s F Mamadi Diakite
  • Georgia’s F Nic Claxton
  • Russian’ Nikita Mikhailovskii
  • Estonian’ Henri Drell

What you may have missed this weekend: 4/12 -4/14

This is the first weekend of the NBA playoffs, and we are set for an exciting one. It’s also the Season 8 premiere of Games of Thrones, and if you spent time binge-watching all the episodes, you missed before the premiere. So when you’re done watching that game, let’s look at what other news we have. There is some news about some potential NBA players as the best players in college basketball declares for the draft.

The NHL playoffs are also underway, and we might see a big upset in the first round and even a bit about the Masters.

And then, of course, we have the MLB news that has us all wanting more.

“Tiger Woods” by Jim Epler is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

What I forgot to mention in last week’s article was the 12 strikeout game that Cleveland Indians’ pitcher Carlos Carrasco had in five innings against the Toronto Blue Rays last week.

I also forgot to mention that Minnesota Twins’ Jorge Polanco hit the first cycle of the 2019 MLB season. He went 5 for five on the night as his Twins lost to the U Philadelphia Phillies 10-4. He was the 11th Twins player to hit for the cycle.

But let’s get started with this week.

Golf:

Woods takes home the Masters:

Did you think that we would be talking about Tiger Woods winning the Masters at the age of 43? I know it’s a special moment for all the Tiger fans and supporters. This is Woods fifth Masters win in his career, and 15th major tournament victory. It’s been 11-years since Woods has won a major tournament, 14 years since last Masters win. It was the ultimate comeback for Woods on both a personal and professional level, and it is well deserved! Woods becomes the second-oldest winner of the Masters; Jack Nicklaus did it at 46. With Woods finally back on top, can you continue to pursue more major titles?

NBA:

Nets stole Game 1 against 76ers:

Behind a strong performance from D’Angelo Russell, Carl Lavert, Spencer Dinwiddie, and offensive rebounding monster Ed Davis. Russell led the Nets with 26 points, Lavert and Dinwiddie combined for 41 points off the bench, and Davis had 16 rebounds in the crucial time of the game.

A magical moment in Toronto:

Veteran point guard D.J. Augustin led Orlando as the Magic stole game one against Toronto. D.J. Augustin had game-high 25 points including the game-winning three-pointer. Augustin’s opposing PG Kyle Lowry had ZERO points. Lowry is a five-time NBA All-Star, but he showed up for nothing in his first playoff game without DeMar DeRozan.

DeRozan spurred by Denver:

Speaking of DeRozan, he led the San Antonio Spurs to a game one upset against the No. 2 Denver Nuggets. This isn’t as surprising as it may seem. The Spurs currently have the longest active playoff streak with 22 straight years, so we know they know how to win especially with an experienced Coach like Popovich. How far can DeRozan take the Spurs?

KD, Beverly ejected in Game 1:

Late in the 4th quarter of Game 1 of the Warriors-Clippers, things started getting chippy between Warriors’ Kevin Durant and Clippers’ Patrick Beverly and both players were ejected. This isn’t going to be the last of it. These two teams are division rivals, and things are going to be physical all series long. Will the referees let them play through it though?

Irving and Morris led the Celtics past Pacers

The Celtics started slowly as the Pacers jumped ahead fast, but Morris and Irving led the team back with 20 points each as the Celtics take game one without Marcus Smart. Can they continue to dominate the fastbreak?

Blazers tripled their way to a win over OKC

It was three after three after three for Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, and the Blazers. The Blazers made seven three in the first quarter and jumped put tp a huge 19 point early halftime lead. Russell Westbrook and Paul George tried to bring the Thunder back late, but Lillard made another shot from long range that put the nail in the coffin for game 1. Can the Thunder figure out a way to get out the first round this year?

Pistons, Jazz took tough game one loss:

The Pistons are helpless without forward Blake Griffin, and it showed in their 121-86 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks. Griffin will likely miss the entire first round.

But the Jazz’ don’t have an excuse for why they played so poorly in game 1. The Rockets had their way all night and cruised to a 122-90 win. Can Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert get things back on track for the series?

Los Angeles Lakers, Sacramento Kings fired head coach:

After Magic Johnson “stepped down” as President of Basketball Operations of the Los Angeles Lakers, their next move was firing head coach Luke Walton. I’ll have more on how I feel about this as a Lakers fan a bit later in the week. But Walton didn’t stay jobless long.

After a 38 win season, Vlade Divac and the Sacramento Kings decided to fire coach David Joerger. Divac made it automatic that he wanted Walton as the new coach and the two sides agreed to terms, so let’s see how successful Walton can be with the young Kings team.

Steph Curry is the all-time leader in 3-points made in the playoffs:

Aside from the warriors dominating the Clippers in game 1, Steph Curry continues to dominate from behind the arc. In 98 playoff games, Curry has made an NBA record 386 three’s passing Ray Allen (385). Curry also added a new playoff career high with 15 rebounds. Can he continue to set amazing records and prove that he’s the greatest shooter of all-time?

NHL:

NHL Playoffs

  • Islanders take a 3-0 series lead over Penguins, will look to close out the series on Tuesday Night
  • Capitals are holding onto a 2-0 as the series heads to Carolina.
  • Nashville and Dallas are tied at a game apiece
  • Boston and Toronto are also tied at a game apiece
  • Colorado fought hard in OT in tie series with Calgary.
  • The No. 1 overall team in the NHL, Tampa Bay Lightning, are down 3-0 in their series against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
  • Winnipeg avoids 3-0 with a big win over St. Louis in game 3 to cut the series to a 2-1 led.
  • Vegas looks to continue to run through San Jose as they won two straight games to take a 2-1 series lead.

MLB:

Astros hit two grand slams in a 10-6 win over Mariners

The Astros started their season off a little slow, and the Mariners were playing hot until these teams meet for the first time this season. The Astros have won the AL West division in each of the last four seasons while winning one World Series title, and they aren’t ready to give up the division crown just yet.

Astros’ swept the three-game series against the Mariners and Astros’ Jose Altuve, and Yuli Gurriel had a nice series. They both hit grand slams Friday night in their 10-6 win. Altuve hit another homer on Saturday night as the Astros won again. The Astros are now winners of nine in a row. And they don’t look like they’re going to slow down.

Marquez throws 1-hitter, Rockies top SF 4-0, end 8-game skid

The Colorado Rockies were one of the favorites to compete with the Dodgers in the NL West. Unfortunately, they have been bitten by the injury bug, and it’s caused the team in losing eight straight games until Sunday night.

Rockies pitcher German Marquez throws a near perfect game only giving up one hit to San Francisco’s Evan Longoria, and that helped the Rockies stopped an eight-game skid. Marquez struck out nine and walked none while throwing 105 pitches in the first complete game in the majors this season. It was the first-ever complete game for Marquez and the first complete game one-hitter in Rockies’ history.

Royals snap ten games losing streak:

The Kansas City Royals will most likely be one of the worst teams in the league this season, so a 10-game losing streak was expected.

But Alex Gordon got tired of the losing and took matters into his own hands. In a game against the Cleveland Indians on Friday night, Gordon homered, doubled twice and singled as the Royals beat the Indians 8-1.

NCAA:

Players to declare for NBA draft:

  • Kentucky’s guards Tyler Herro and Keldon Johnson
  • Duke’s SG Cam Reddish and SF R.J. Barrett
  • Kansas’ G Quentin Grimes and Devon Dotson
  • Auburn’s G Jared Harper
  • Florida State’s F Mfiondu Kabengele
  • Arizona State’s G Luguentz Dort
  • Stanford’s F KZ Okpala
  • Texas’ F Jaxson Hayes
  • USC’s G Kevin Porter Jr.
  • Oregon’s F Louis Kings

What you may have missed this weekend: 4/5-4/8

This weekend was important because not only was it the Final Four, but it was the last weekend of the NBA regular season as we set our attention to the NBA playoffs and whether or not the Golden State Warriors will get a three-peat.

I will have my last NBA Season review this Thursday with everything we need to catch up on and the playoff picture.

But we will also catch you up on what happened in other sports like NHL and even a bit of WWE! Yes, that’s right! We can’t forget about the biggest wrestling event of the year. Let’s not forget about the smack talk that’s going on between two former teammates, Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster. So let’s check it out!

“Wrestlemania 29” by Marques Stewart is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

College Basketball

Women’s National Champions:

Baylor and Notre Dame have been two of the best teams in Women’s basketball over the past eight years. They were always in the fight to the National Championship against each other or the women Connecticut Huskies.

Notre Dame went into this year’s tournament wanting to be the first team since UConn to go back-to-back in 2015-16 and even 2013-14. Baylor is looking for their first title since 2012 when they beat Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish had the advantage before the game after beating UConn in the Final Four for the second consecutive year. Baylor inched by Oregon in their Final Four match, and they also found a way to hold off Note Dame in an 82-81 victory to claim their 3rd national title.

Men’s National Champions:

Unlike the Women’s game, both Virginia and Texas Tech made their first ever National Championship appearance. For Virginia, it’s all about redemption from their upsetting defeat in last year’s tournament. For Texas Tech, it’s about showing that defense wins championships as they beat Gonzaga, Michigan, and Michigan State with their tough defense to earn their way into the title game.

Virginia had several moments in the tournament were they could’ve easily been beaten. Their Final Four game against Auburn was one of those moments. You be the judge of the late foul call that gave Virginia the win. Or maybe you want to argue the double dribble call that should’ve been called.

But regardless of the results of that game, Virginia and Texas Tech gave us all another great National Championship memory as the two teams battled to overtime. Virginia built up a 10 point lead halfway through the second half of the game until Texas Tech found their way back to take the late led before DeAndre Hunter nailed another three to tie the game back and force overtime. Virginia and Texas Tech were looking to make history and pick up their teams first ever national title. Congrats to Virginia on the 85-77 win over the Texas Tech! Great run and effort by the Red Raiders as well!

Zion Williamson becomes the third Freshman to win Naismith Trophy:

Williamson is the next big thing to enter the NBA Draft since LeBron James did straight out of high school. Unfortunately, Williamson wasn’t able to get drafted from high school despite his 6’7 284-pound body that showed nothing but athleticism. Williamson was the best player in college this year, and that’s why he won the Naismith Trophy.

The Naismith Trophy is rewarded to the best collegiate athlete in that season. Williamson is only the third freshman to receive the award the other two were Kevin Durant (2006-07) and Anthony Davis (2011-12). We have seen what the careers of those two players have been like, so we should expect to see Williamson make a significant impact as the No. 1 overall pick in this summer’s draft.

NBA

Denver Nuggets clinch Northwest division for the first time in nine years

The Nuggets haven’t been the same dominant team since they traded Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks nine years ago. But they have shown a lot of promise over the years, and with the leadership of Nikola Jokic, they have made the playoffs again. Not only did the make playoffs, but they finished with the best record in the Northwest division and fighting with the defending champions, Golden State Warriors, for the best record in the Western Conference. Congrats to Jokic and the Nuggets and good luck in the tough playoffs.

Russell Westbrook averaged triple-double for a 3rd straight season

This guy is just one of the most brilliant players in NBA history. Call it what you want, but Westbrook continues to prove why he’s the best point guard in the league. Not only has he averaged a triple-double in one season, but he has done it three times, and I believe that he could do it again, Of course, the 20 points, 20 rebounds, 21 assist game he had Tuesday night helped him catch up to the averages he needed, but that was all for Nipsey.

Dirk Nowitzki DUNKS!!!!!

Yes, you read that right! Dallas Mavericks seven foot three point German superstar who’s playing his last NBA days has just gone retro and Dunk! Look at the reactions here!

The 40-year-old Dirk started the scoring for the Mavericks in their 112-122 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. Dirk will play his final game tonight against the Phoenix Suns, so let’s see if Dirk has more Dunks in him before he retires after a 20-year career as a Dallas Mavericks.

Milwaukee Bucks clinch league’s best record

After LeBron James left the East coast this season, we were all wondering who the best player and team would be. It became evident that the Milwaukee Bucks led by Giannis Antetokounmpo would be that team. It was also clear that coach Mike Budholzer would be a massive success in Milwaukee. Coach Bud has led his second team to a 60 win season and the best record in the league for the first time since 1981. Can he help coach Giannis and the rest of the Bucks talented offense to the NBA Finals?

NHL:

Lightning’ record-setting season ends with 62 wins:

The Tampa Bay Lightning won their NHL record-tying 62nd game. They are the only team to do so this season. Those 62 wins tied with the 1995-96 Detroit Red Wings. The only other team to get 50 wins was the Calgary Flames who are the best team in the Western Conference. But can anyone touch the Lightning this year?

The Lightning also won 30 road games this season, that’s second most in NHL history behind the 2005-06 Red Wings (31). They also set a new single-season record for multigoal comeback wins with 136. The previous record was 135 set in 2006-07. Who will rise to the occasion and beat the Lightning?

Carolina Hurricanes end drought to clinch a playoff berth:

The Carolina Hurricanes have finally made the playoffs after a long 10-year absence. Although they barely made it in, the Canes’ celebrated with their fans which could help fuel them throughout the playoffs. This was the longest playoff drought in NHL. Now they have to try their luck against the defending Stanley Cup Champions, Washington Capitals.

NHL playoff teams:

Western Conference:

  1. Calgary Flames (50-24-7)
  2. Nashville Predators (46-29-6)
  3. Winnipeg Jets (46-30-5)
  4. San Jose Sharks (45-27-9)
  5. St. Louis Blue (44-28-9)
  6. Vegas Golden Knight (43-31-7)
  7. Dallas Stars (42-32-7)
  8. Colorado Avalanche (38-29-14)

Eastern Conference:

  1. Tampa Bay Lightning (62-16-4)
  2. Washington Capitals (48-25-8)
  3. Boston Bruins (49-24-9)
  4. New York Islanders (47-27-7)
  5. Toronto Maple Leafs (46-28-7)
  6. Pittsburgh Penguins (44-26-11)
  7. Carolina Hurricanes (45-29-7)
  8. Columbus Blue Jackets (46-31-4)

WWE:

Wrestlemania 35:

Usually, I wouldn’t talk about big wrestling pay-per-view because I don’t like to spoil all the big news, but by this time everyone should know what has happened after watching Monday Night Raw. But I will give you a quick recap of what happened just in case you missed it twice! The beast slayer Seth Rollins slew the beast for the Universal Champions. For the first time, the women main event Wrestlemania and the man won it all. John Cena returned as Doctor of Thuganomics but did not fight Kurt Angle. Angle lost to Baron Corbin in his last ever match.

Of all the title matches that took place at Wrestlemania, there were only two that were able to retain, U.S. Champion Samoa Joe and Smackdown Tag Team The Usos. Finn Balor brought back the demon and defeated Bobby Lashley; The Raw Tag Team division got the biggest surprise as a guy that has gone 0-269 in all matches has finally broken the streak with his longtime friend, Zack Ryder! The women’s tag team championship was Iconic! Let’s not forget about the winners of the Andre the Giant battle royal, Braun Strowman and Carmella. But the greatest WrestleMania moment of this year was Kofimania!

Kofi Mania finally came as the fans got what they all asked for. Kofi Kingston has been a WWE superstar for the past 11 years and has fought and kicked his way to the top of the mountain. Kingston has now become the 20th superstar in WWE history to be a grand slam.

2019 WWE Hall of Famer Class:

D-Generation X

The Honky Tonk Man

Torrie Wilson

Hart Foundation

Sue Aitchison

Harlem Heat

Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake

Recap of March Madness and your brackets

How did your bracket go? How many of your teams made it to the Final Four? Did anyone have both Texas Tech and Auburn in the Final Four for the first time? I know I didn’t.

Duke was my last chance to even get more points in the tournament challenge until they lost to Michigan State by one point. The Final Four is set, and we will be crowning a National Champion on Monday in Indianapolis, but who will it be?

NCAA Basketball” by Phil Roeder is licensed under CC BY 2.0

We have the experienced Michigan State Spartans coached by Tom Izzo looking to get their first title in 19 years! Yes, you heard it right! It’s been nearly two decades since the Spartans cut down the net in the big dance and this year may be the year for them.

We also have the first-timers in the Final Four like all three of the remaining teams. Virginia is coming off the biggest upset in NCAA tournament history a year ago after they became the first No. 1 team to lose to a 16th seed. This year, they bounced back with a great tournament and are in a fierce battle with the Auburn Tigers.

I had Auburn getting upset by New Mexico State in the first round, and we were all close to seeing that. I also picked Michigan to beat Texas Tech and make their way to the Final Four.

I had picked one team from each of the power five conferences (excluding PAC-12) to make it. I didn’t choose the right teams. My four were Duke, Michigan, Kansas, and Tennessee with Kansas-Duke in the National Championship game. So, I was praying for Duke to win against Michigan State.

I did pick a few of the upsets right though: Liberty over Mississippi State, Murray State over Marquette, Oregon over Wisconsin, and Florida over Nevada. There were also upsets I got wrong like Belmont over Maryland, Georgia State over Houston and then Iowa State, and Arizona State over Buffalo. You can look at more from the rest of the participants in the bracket challenge as we look to see who wins.

We only had one of out of 10 brackets pick Virginia winning it all, while three people had them making the Final Four. The one person who chose Virginia was Brandon Hudson of The Hudson Hornet. Brandon is also the only viewer outside of Fourth Quarter Sports and a few of our friends to partake in the bracket challenge, and that’s why we are giving him this shout out like a promised the winner would get. Brandon hasn’t won yet, but for his appreciation to us, we’d like to extend ours!

Buy or Sell: Zion Williamson, Atlanta United, Bucks

Guess who’s back! Yes, that’s right! Fourth Quarter Sports is returning after a month of being caught up in the madness of College Basketball, watching to see how far Zion Williamson could take the Duke Blue Devils in the tournament.

Unfortunately, Zion and Duke will not be the National Champions this year, but we’ll get into that a bit later on in this week’s buy or sell. There will also be a recap of the bracket and who won our bracket challenge as we head into the Final Four this weekend. This week it’s not just about the NCAA tournament though, in fact, we have some Major League Soccer issues, and of course, the National Basketball Association!

Buy or Sell

Joel: Zion Williamson won’t go number one overall in the 2019 NBA Draft.

RahimAli: The thought of Zion Williamson not going No. 1 overall would be like saying LeBron James is going to retire after his terrible Lakers season. IT AIN’T HAPPENING. I sell Zion won’t be No. 1 overall, because he will be.

We haven’t spent our entire winter watching the best college basketball star to watch him fall in the draft. I mean, besides their losses to Gonzaga (early in the season) and Michigan State (Elite Eight loss), the Duke Blue Devils looked unstoppable all season with Zion in the lineup.

They did have a difficult time in the tournament against Tacko Fall and Central Florida, as they barely won (77-76). That was a tough test for Duke, because it was like having Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady versus LeBron James, Kyle Kuzma and Brandon Ingram.

In this scenario, 7’6” Tacko Fall is Yao, and UCF’s Aubrey Dawkins is T-Mac. Zion is LeBron, while R.J. Barrett is Kuzma and Cam Reddish is Ingram. I know that’s not what this question was asking, but Zion and Dawkins led their teams with 32 points each, and you could say Zion’s missed free throw down one was a set up for Barrett to get the tip in. That came after Zion fouled out Tacko Fall.

The only way I see Zion not going No. 1 overall is if it’s a team like the Dallas Mavericks, who probably would trade their way out of the top five if they even get a pick (more on that next week), get that spot. Zion is the best physically-talented athlete in all of college basketball, and any team would be a fool to pass on him.

Aman: If not Zion, then who else? He’s a strong player who on average plays half the game (though in the last few games, he’s been hitting the 40 mark). What’s even more impressive is the 22.6 points per game, paired with an average of 8.9 rebounds per game. After coming off a season like this, any team would be foolish not to pick up Zion early. Therefore, I sell that Zion won’t be the first pick.

 

Aman: After being knocked out of the CONCACAF Champions League and failing to win in their opening four MLS matches, Atlanta United will stick with their new manager Frank de Boer until the end of the season.

Joel: I sell Atlanta United sticking with manager Frank de Boer through the end of the season. Any team who’s coming off winning a title has lofty expectations. How this team has started is unacceptable after their previous season. It would be unacceptable for any team coming off a title win in any sport to start this poorly. This trend can’t continue if this team is going to get back on track. Something has to change, and it needs to change sooner than later. That something is Frank de Boer. If they’re not winning with him around, they need to bring someone in who can help this team win.

Rahim: I sell that Atlanta United FC will stay with Frank de Boer as manager. They entered the league three years ago and have since been one of the best, if not the best team in the MLS. As reigning Champs, the expectations are higher than ever.

Of course, the change in managers/coaches do effect a teams chemistry, but the club didn’t change much else in terms of the starting 11. It’s more of an issue with the formation than the guys on the field. A great manager learns to make adjustments if a team is struggling, and that’s one thing that former Atlanta United manager Gerardo Martino did well last year on their way to winning the MLS Cup. Atlanta United originally played a 4-3-3 formation until Martino decided to check it to 3-5-2 and even 4-4-2 depending on the matchup.

If De Boer wants to keep his job, he’ll have to figure out a way to make a change to the formation, like maybe going back to a 4-3-3 instead of the 3-4-3. You can see that players are gassed when they’re out there, and that has led to a loss and two ties on the young MLS season. They have also been knocked out of CONCACAF Champions League after taking a 3-1 aggregate loss to Monterrey in the quarterfinals.

 

Rahim: If Giannis can’t stay healthy during the playoffs, the Bucks could have an earlier exit? 

Joel: This one is easy for me. I buy the Bucks having an early exit in the playoffs is Giannis isn’t healthy. While it is true the Bucks have played well at times when Giannis has been out, the playoffs are a different animal than regular season games. Without a true star player, most teams won’t make a deep playoff run.

Giannis is having an MVP type season, and it’s not easy to replace his production. How do you replace 27.4 points, 12.5 rebounds, 5.9 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.5 blocks? You can’t. This team may be able to make it out of the first round without Giannis, but there’s no way they’re making it past the 76ers, Celtics or Raptors if Giannis isn’t in. They need the potential MVP to play if they want to not only make a deep playoff run, but win a championship.

Aman: The Celtics are almost always title contenders, and the Raptors are having a brilliant season. This makes the Bucks’ competition tough. The main reason the Bucks have made it this far is because of Giannis. Where can they go without him? Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like anyone else is good enough to fill Giannis’ shoes, but kudos to the Bucks for making the playoffs. I buy an early exit for the Bucks if Giannis can’t stay healthy.

**********************************************************************************

And there you have it! Now, what do you think?

  • Will Zion Williamson be the No. 1 overall pick, or will he fall in the draft?
  • How long will Atlanta United keep Frank De Boer as manager if they continue to struggle?
  • If Giannis can’t be healthy in the playoffs, will the Bucks have an early exit?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

What you missed this weekend: 3/29-3/31

As the Basketball season wraps up and looks to put an end to all the madness next weekend, things are just starting to swing off in the MLB.

This past Thursday was opening day of the Major League Baseball season and you can see what we at Fourth Quarter Sports thought about the divisions and playoffs here. 

Don’t forget about the NBA playoff picture and where we are entering the few games of the season. So let’s see what we missed?

14594423673_ef89e90881_k
PNC Park – Pittsburgh, PA by Dan Gaken is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

NCAA Basketball

Two No. 1’s go down an ugly fashion:

Despite Auburn’s best player Chuma Okeke getting injured, Auburn still defeated North Carolina astoundedly 97-80. Malik Dunbar accumulated 13 points in this game while Bryce Brown and Daniel Purifoy won 12 points each. Jared Harper got nine points, but more importantly, 11 assists. This win is important as Auburn aim for their first Final Four in history.

While Auburn is aiming for Final Four, Texas Tech have made it with their 75-69 win over Gonzaga. Though close, throughout the last minute, it was even tighter. Josh Perkins of Gonzaga’s five points in the next half-minute wasn’t enough as Gonzaga stumbled in the hunt for a win.

Though Perkins is not perfect. In the last minute, when Gonzaga was just trailing by two points, Perkins stepped outside of bounds, allowing Texas Tech the free throws they needed to win.

Perhaps earlier Gonzaga could’ve used a window of opportunity to win. When Texas Tech’s Tariq Owens was caught out of bounds while defending the ball, when Gonzaga should’ve been awarded the ball, they fouled seconds later, allowing Texas Tech to score more. The stars of both teams did show up. For Gonzaga, Rui Hachimura scored 22 points, Brandon Clarke with 18 and Perkins with 16. But what cost Gonzaga were the 16 turnovers.

Along with the excess of free throws, Texas Tech’s Jarret Culver scored 19 points and Matt Mooney surprisingly scored 17 himself.

Virginia finally makes the Final Four:

For the first time since 1984, Virginia has made the Final Four! Tony and Dick Bennet become only the second father-son coaching duo in history to be coaching in the Final Four. In Bennet’s words, he described the sensation as, “I’ve always dreamed of coaching in a Final Four…This seems [easy]’ — I didn’t realize how hard it was.”

Auburn makes first ever Final Four with thrilling OT win (By RahimAli Merchant):

Coming into the tournament as the conference tournament champ, you should be one of the favorites to go far in the tournament. That was necessarily the case for Auburn as they reach their first ever Final Four.

Auburn was on the edge of an upset in the first round as they won by a point against New Mexico State. They used that to fuel them to two huge wins over Kansas and No. 1 North Carolina before finally taking down their conference rival Kentucky in overtime. I knew Auburn was a sleeper team in the tournament, but they proved a lot in the NCAA tournament and I think they could beat Virginia and fight the Spartans for the National Championship next Monday night!

Duke’s 17 turnovers cost them a Final Four berth:

The reason this was an upset was that Duke was the no. 1 seeded team. And Duke lost by one point. Michigan State won 68-67. R.J. Barrett had the chance to win the game for Duke, but only one of his free throws went in. And Michigan State move on to the Final Four.

Players declaring for NBA Draft:

UCLA’s small forward Kris Wilkes
Oregon’s center Bol Bol
San Diego State’s forward Jalen McDaniels

MLB

Bryce Harper’s first homer as a Phillies player:

Expectations on Phillies’ new signing Bryce Harper were high, but his maiden home run for the team shattered all of that. Harper’s home run went for 465 feet and the Phillies went on to beat the Atlanta Braves 8-6.

Yu Darvish’s big return:

For the first time in nearly 11 months, Yu Darvish stepped onto the grass to pitch. Unfortunately, it didn’t go to plan. Darvish’s only two innings saw seven batsmen walk. The two runs which Asdrubal Cabrera was able to score off of Darvish resulted in the Texas Rangers triumphing over the Chicago Cubs 8-6.

Yelich making history:

Christian Yelich is already such a good player, being the reigning MVP, but this season might just be even more fun to watch. In all of MLB history, Yelich is now the sixth player to be an MVP who opens the following season with a home run in each of his first four matches. The last one was truly special as in the ninth innings, Yelich won the game for the Milwaukee Brewers against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Yankees SS Troy Tulowitzki homers for the first time since ’17:

It’s been a two-year wait for Tulowitzki, but he finally was able to score. After suffering through ankle and heel injuries, Tulowitzki was able to hit a homer in the ninth inning against the Baltimore Orioles. However, the Yankees still went on to lose 5-3.

Goldschmidt hits 3 HRs in 2nd game with Cards:

It’s hard enough to score one home run, but Paul Goldschmidt hit three home runs in his second ever match for the Cardinals against the Brewers. His first came after facing nine pitches from Freddy Peralta before his tenth one was hit far enough. By the end of the game, Goldschmidt had accumulated three homers and five RBIs as the Cardinals won 9-5.

NBA:

Despite their poor effort in make the playoffs, Lakers Vets want to return next season: (By RahimAli Merchant)

With the arrival of LeBron James in LA, the Lakers expectations were huge! It was a playoff or bust type of season and as we can see from their 35-42 record. The Lakers will miss the playoffs for the sixth straight season, but they are hopeful for a better run next season. With a lot of cap space and roster spots available, the Lakers front office has to decide what they want to do.

Two of the teams veteran players, Rajon Rondo and Javale McGee, have made it clear that they want to be back. McGee has an a career season offensively and Rondo has been the Rondo Lakers fans once hated when he was a member of the Boston Celtics. They have both managed to play a lot of minutes due to injuries to guys like Lonzo Ball and Tyson Chandler and when given the chance, they made the best of it.

As of now, the Lakers have been officially checked out as most then half the roster is injured and will sit the rest of the season. Can Rondo and Mcgee be apart of the 2019-20 Lakers and help lead them to a playoff?

Spurs retire the jersey of one of Argentina’s greatest athletes:

The Spurs’ most beloved player, Emanuel Ginobili was rewarded with the retirement of his no. 20 jersey. The ceremony was held at the AT&T Center after the Spurs beat the Cavaliers 116-110. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich reflected on Ginobili’s career afterward. He noted that with him in the team, were Spurs able to win the championships they won. Ginobili was also accomplished with an Olympic gold which he won for Argentina in basketball in 2004. En la termina, gracias Manu. 

Wade-Dirk final battle:

Dwayne Wade and Dirk Nowitzki played their final game against each other when Miami Heat took on the Dallas Mavericks. Wade found success in the last chapter with his eleven points pushing Heat to a 105-99 win over their opponents. Though the rivalry between the two people at times did heat up, a public jersey swap earlier made things much more positive. In the loss, Nowitzki scored two more points than Wade, but the Heat’s win allowed them an eighth-place spot in their conference.

Thunder striking:

Oklahoma City Thunder’s 107-99 win over the Indiana Pacers including an amazing 24-0 run in favor of the Thunder. In total, Paul George scored 31 points that night. Steven Adams pitched in with 25 points and 12 rebounds while Russell Westbrook made his name in 17 points, 11 rebounds and 12 assists, being his 29th triple-double of the season.

What you may have missed this weekend: 3/21 – 3/24

Okay, this is probably one of the biggest game-changing weekends we’ve seen. There wasn’t much news that we missed from the NFL besides a few more free agency moves and then two big career-defining decisions.

Of course, there is the madness that was more of a surprise than a Cinderella story. Let’s take a moment and look at the remaining bracket, do you have a top team eliminated yet? All the No. 1’s, 2’s, and 3’s are still in the tournament, but who’s left with them? Let’s get use to all the basketball news that we missed this weekend cause we are likely to miss plenty more throughout the next month.

Don’t forget about the NBA and the teams that are clinching playoffs. But, the will not be any Soccer or Cricket news this week.

“Gronk” by Brook Ward is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

NFL

3-Time Super Bowl Champion announces Retire.

New England Patriots’ tight end Robert Gronkowski has announced his retirement from the NFL on Sunday via Instagram. You can read what he has to say here! Gronkowski was one of the most colorful tight ends in NFL history with all his off the field activities that involve him and his brothers. But he was also one of the best tight ends in the NFL and Patriots QB Tom Brady thanks Gronkowski for the past nine years together in which they won three Super Bowl together. Brady’s response to Gronkowski’s announce ended with a “Love you pal!” and we could see why throughout their career together.

Gronkowski will finish his NFL career with 79 touchdown receptions and 10 or more touchdown receptions in five seasons. That is the most by any tight end in NFL history. He played in 16 playoff games and caught 81 receptions for 1,163 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Those 12 TD’s ties him for second in NFL history among all players. He is also tied with the most 100-yard receiving games in the playoffs with four. Will Gronkowski be a first ballot Hall of Famer?

Former Eagles and Chiefs wide receiver announces retirement:

Gronkowski wasn’t the only offensive weapon that announces his retirement this weekend. Former Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs WR Jeremy Maclin announced his retirement from the NFL. Maclin’s career wasn’t as historic as Gronkowski’s was, but he did have a nine-year career as well. Maclin was a big threat to the Chip Kelly led Eagles before joining former Eagles coach Andy Reid in Kansas City.

Maclin was drafted in 2009 by the Eagles and Andy Reid. Maclin will finish his NFL career with 514 receptions for 6,835 yards and 49 touchdowns in eight seasons.

Free Agent Moves this weekend:

  • Lions sign CB Rashaan Melvin
  • Raiders sign QB Mike Glennon
  • Texans sign OL Matt Kalil
  • Saints near deal with TE Jared Cook
  • Colts sign LB Justin Houston
  • Ravens resign RGIII and release Michael Crabtree

NBA

Hield sets franchise season record for 3s

Sacramento Kings SG Buddy Hield has quickly became one of the top 3-point shooters in the NBA. He has also placed himself in the Kings’ record book.

In the Kings 112-103 win over the Phoenix Suns on Saturday night, Hield had 25 points and set the franchise season record for 3-pointers. He went 7-14 from three point land and ade a total of 245 on the season. He surpassed former player, now assistant general manager Peja Stojakovic (240) from 15 years ago. What else will Hield and the Kings do in the future, maybe a playofff soon?

Young hero in Atlanta’s win

The rookie of the year is clearly a two person race, but Atlanta Hawks PG Trae Young is trying seperate himself form the rest of the rookies.

In the Hawks long struggling season, Young and these young players of the team are trying to make the best out of their opportunities. Young scored 32 points in the Hawks 129-127 win over the Philadelphia 76ers which included the game-winning floater. Has Young done enough to win Rookie of the year?

LeBron and Lakers officially miss playoffs

In a loss Friday night, the Los Angeles Lakers have officially been eliminated from the playoffs. This will be the sixth straight season that the Lakers will miss the playoffs and it hasn’t been pretty.

The Lakers had high expectations entering the season with LeBron James. Unfortunately, injuries have effected the team and James will miss the playoffs for the first time since 2004-2005 season. The question still remains whether or not James has given it his all this season.

Harden ties career-best 61

This could be the best season of James Harden’s career as he recorded the second largest streak with 30 + points (32). He has also recorded a season high 61 points that would match his career high.

In a 111-105 win over the San Antonio Spurs, Harden led the Rockets to a 13-2 run while hiding three 3’s and two tough jumpers. He topped the 50-point mark for the eighth time this season. It’s only happened 10 times all season from the rest of the league.

This 61 point game was the second of the season after he set earlier this season against the Knicks at Madison Square Garden. It was also the most ever scored individually against a Popovich-coached team. Has Harden won the MVP again?

Hornets keep playoff hopes alive:

As the season gets closer to the end, teams chances of missing the playoffs are closer. The Hornets are currently sitting 10th behind the Orlando Magic and Miami Heat. They are only two games out of the playoff picture and that is in huge part to the biggest play of March Madness.

In Sunday’s 115-114 win over the Raptors, Jeremy Lamb banked home a half-court shot at the buzzer. It looked good from the start and Lamb felt it when he let it go. That was the Hornets third straight win as they make a final push for playoffs.

The half-court shot was the second-longest game-winning buzzer-beater in the past 20 seasons. (2010 – Tyreke Evans, Memphis). They were making threes all night as they set a franchise record by making 10 of 15 from long range in the third. Can Hornets finish strong and make the playoffs?

College Basketball

Duke and Williamson’s survive

Duke almost gave everybody a scary and broke all brackets when they barely edged Central Florida in the round of 32. It was a game for the ages as we saw 7’6 Tacko Fall versus 6’7 Zion Williamson battle all throughout the night.

UCF’s Aubrey Dawkins played great basketball with 32 points and a missed alley oop attempt that could have sealed the game. But it was Williamson’s 31 point, 11 rebound performance that helped push Duke back into the lead late. Williamson along with fellow freshman’s Trae Jones, R.J. Barrett, and Cam Reddish combined for 72 of the team’s 77 points in the win. Williamson became the first freshman since Carmelo Anthony in 2003 to have a 30 pts, 10 rebounds game in the tournament. That year, Anthony led his Syracuse time to a National Championship, could it be the same faith for Williamson and the Duke Blue Devils?

Two of NCAA’s best teams go down

The reigning National Champions loss a big one to Purdue on Saturday night to be eliminated from the tournament. That means we won’t see Villanova in the final four, so sorry all the Philadelphia fans hoping for a repeat.

The Kansas Jay Hawks also got a pretty bad beating by Auburn. And don’t let the score of 89-75 fool you, Auburn took Kansas by surprise and hopefully they can do the same to North Carolina.

Auburn’s coach Bruce Pearl has been here before and there’s no better way to get respect back than by winning. Kansas was one of my favorites to make it to the final four because I picked Auburn to lose in the first round, but how far can both Auburn and Purdue go?

Wofford’s Magee rollercoaster tournament

In the first round of the tournament, Wofford pulled away from Seton Hall to pick up a big win. In the process, Wofford’s Fletcher Magee broke the NCAA D-1 career 3-point record (509). It was one of the most memorable moments of the young man’s life as he averaged 20.6 points while attempting 10.7 threes and scoring 43.3 percent from behind the arc.

In Wofford’s second game against Kentucky, Magee went 0-for-12 and barely lost the game. Magee said “I let everyone down’ with 0-for-12 day.” Had he had made the 3’s maybe the results would’ve been different and they could’ve upset Kentucky.

Murray State’s Morant may land him in the top five if the NBA draft.

After leading Murray State to a Ohio Valley Conference championships, Ja Morant led them to a big win over 5th seeded Marquette. He led the team with a triple double, first since 2012.

Morant also led his team to a good performance in their loss against Florida State as he scored more points by himself than the rest of the team did together. Will his performance this year land him a spot in the top five of the NBA draft?