Good morning to everybody however particularly to…
PATRICK MAHOMES AND THE KANSAS CITY CHIEFS…
When Patrick Mahomes suffered a high-ankle sprain in opposition to the Jaguars, it did not look good. Not for the remainder of that sport, and never for any potential video games going ahead.
Yet, as he so usually does whereas enjoying, Mahomes averted catastrophe. He is practising totally and never in a strolling boot, and it feels like he’ll be comparatively near 100% in opposition to the Bengals within the AFC Championship Game.
Mahomes additionally acquired extra excellent news — this one a lot much less of a shock — on Wednesday. He’s formally an MVP finalist. Here’s the complete record:
You can see the finalists for all the awards and our predictions for winners (which might be introduced Feb. 9) right here.
… AND ALSO A GOOD MORNING TO THIS FOOD DELIVERY PERSON
You’ve heard of door-to-door service, however what about door-to-stadium-seat service? That’s precisely what the world’s (unofficial) biggest meals supply individual offered Wednesday, even strolling on the court docket mid-play in the course of the Loyola Chicago at Duquesne males’s basketball sport.
Somehow, nobody was damage, no meals or drink was spilled, and, after a short stoppage, play resumed. The supply individual even discovered the client due to some help from the video board. I’ll anticipate nothing much less the subsequent time I order meals.
Damian Lillard recorded his fourth profession 60-point sport in a Trail Blazers win. It ties Michael Jordan and James Harden for third-most 60-point video games ever.
And not such a very good morning for…
THE INDIANAPOLIS COLTS
Hear me out. The Colts gained one sport below Jeff Saturday after he took over in the course of the season. But now there’s potential drama, as a result of Colts proprietor Jim Irsay needs to retain Saturday and make him the full-time head coach though not everybody within the group is on board.
Saturday, a six-time Pro-Bowl heart, spent 13 of his 14 NFL seasons in Indianapolis.However, previous to his controversial hiring as interim head coach, Saturday had by no means coached above the high-school stage.After successful in his teaching debut, Saturday and the Colts misplaced every of their last seven video games. That included a 54-19 blowout defeat to the Cowboys and, within the last week of a season, a 32-31 loss to the lowly Texans.
Before we get too far forward of ourselves, it is necessary to notice Saturday is certainly one of seven candidates receiving a second interview. There’s a protracted technique to go.
But the Colts holding him could be — to place it kindly — an underwhelming rent to conclude a poor hiring course of.
Not so honorable mentions
The separate paths the Eagles, 49ers, Chiefs and Bengals took to convention championship weekend 🏈
Thirty-two entered. Four stay. The path was lengthy and winding. The 49ers needed to flip to Mr. Irrelevant Brock Purdy. The Bengals began 0-2. The Chiefs and Eagles… OK, advantageous, they did not have too many main points.
It’s simple to overlook all the things that is occurred for the groups within the convention championship video games this weekend, so we’re right here with a reminder.
For the Eagles, it began months earlier than the season even kicked off, thanks to an enormous offseason, writes our Cody Benjamin. Here have been the massive strikes:
The first two are Pro Bowlers. The different two simply might have been. That’s the way you get to inside two video games of a championship.
As for the group Philadelphia will face Sunday, the 49ers’ most notable transfer got here in-season, notes our Tyler Sullivan. Christian McCaffrey‘s versatility and explosiveness have been an enormous enhance for an already-awesome offense.
With McCaffrey on the sector this season, the 49ers are averaging 6.6 yards per play. That could be by far one of the best quantity within the NFL.With him off the sector this season, the 49ers are averaging 5.5 yards per play. That could be tied for eleventh within the NFL.
Here’s how all 4 remaining groups acquired to the place they’re in the present day:
Eagles | 49ers | Chiefs | Bengals
NBA Trade Deadline Buyer’s Guide: California groups available in the market 🏀
The NBA commerce deadline is precisely two weeks away. As all the time, there are loads of groups seeking to purchase, and there needs to be loads of groups seeking to promote, too. We coated sellers final week. Now, our Sam Quinn is taking a look at patrons.
The state of California and the 4 groups that decision it residence — the Lakers, Clippers, Warriors and Kings(!) — might all be patrons as they put together for the stretch run. There’s by no means been a season the place all 4 franchises made the postseason, nevertheless it’s a risk this yr… if they will get some assist.
Let’s begin with the Warriors. The reigning champs are in play-in territory, and so they have some actual holes on the roster, however there are additionally actual options on the market, Sam writes.
Quinn: “What they want? A defensive guard and an all-purpose ahead as insurance coverage for Jonathan Kuminga (who is prospering, however remains to be too younger and uncooked for important playoff minutes) could be useful. … Best targets? If James Wiseman is on the desk, a swap for P.J. Washington is smart for either side. He might fill in for Otto Porter Jr., and if Draymond Green does go away in free company this offseason, he provides Golden State a younger ahead to grow to be a few of these minutes.”
Sam additionally has potential options for the Lakers — topic of commerce rumors seemingly ceaselessly — and, sure, Lakers followers, these trades truly make sense. After all, as Sam wrote, the Rui Hachimura commerce was a very good begin, however there’s extra to be carried out.
Swinging over to the Eastern Conference, the Celtics are far and away the highest group, however even they’ve a task to fill. A pointy-shooting ahead is atop the record after Danilo Gallinari‘s offseason damage and Sam Hauser‘s taking pictures droop. The choices could also be restricted, however they’re there, Sam writes. You can learn your complete purchaser’s information right here and the potential sellers right here.
Is FAU too good to be a Cinderella? 🏀
Quick query, pricey readers: Do who has the longest successful streak in Division I males’s basketball? I’ll provide you with a second to suppose.
It’s the Florida Atlantic Owls, winners of 18 straight and as much as twenty first on this week’s AP Poll. It’s their second look within the ballot ever. The different time was final week. At 19-1, the Owls are already simply three wins from passing the single-season faculty report.
And no, it isn’t simply because they play in Conference USA. The metrics love them, as our Matt Norlander explains. They’d be a single-digit seed within the NCAA Tournament as of proper now, in response to Jerry Palm’s Bracketology.
It’s a very good story however, extra importantly, it is an important group — possibly too good to be thought-about a Cinderella, Matt writes.
Norlander: “You need a purpose to belief this group in March? Why it is best to contemplate choosing it to win a sport (or two?) in your bracket? The greatest consider FAU’s success is familiarity. The Owls introduced again eight of the highest 9 guys within the rotation, together with Nick Boyd, who missed all of final season with a damaged foot. … Five gamers common between 9.2 and 12.7 factors. There is not any star. Seven gamers have the inexperienced mild from deep, and people seven collectively shoot 22.5 treys per evening for a top-30 group in 3-point accuracy (37.7%).”
Because the Owls are so good, they technically would not meet “Cinderella” standards in March Madness. But I say we broaden the definition on this occasion. This whole season qualifies as a Cinderella run. This is a program that has one NCAA Tournament journey (2002) and 0 NCAA Tournament wins. If their magical run continues into March, so be it. And rely me in.
You can learn extra on FAU — and the remainder of school basketball — in Matt’s Court Report.
What we’re watching Thursday 📺
🏀 Knicks at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. on TNT
🏀 No. 1 Purdue at Michigan, 9 p.m. on FS1
🏀 No. 8 UCLA at USC, 9 p.m. on ESPN2
🏀 Mavericks at Suns, 10 p.m. on TNT
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