Sports Corner

By: Robert Bishop

Back again, and with an instant classic, double-overtime victory on Wednesday night, the Toronto Raptors forced a Game 7 against the Boston Celtics. On multiple occasions during the series, the defending champs have looked to be preparing for the off-season. However, O.G. Anunoby’s game-winning basket at the buzzer in Game 3 sparked something for the Raptors, and now the team is heading into a decisive game. Kyle Lowry was excellent throughout the contest for the Raptors, and Norman Powell came up huge in OT with 15 of his 23 points. Tonight’s Game 7 will be an epic conclusion to a series that has evolved from potential sweep to something special.
Also, tonight is Game 5 between the Los Angeles Clippers and Denver Nuggets. The Clippers enter the game with a commanding 3-1 series lead that has been bolstered by a few monstrous games from Kawhi Leonard. In Game 4, Leonard went for 30 points, ten boards, nine dimes, and four steals. Denver’s defense has no answer for Leonard’s offensive skill set, forcing the Nuggets to win via shootout. Unfortunately for the Nuggets, Jamal Murray’s otherworldly offensive production from the first round of the playoffs has not translated to this series. Most of the credit should go to L.A.’s stifling, ball-hawking defense that has managed to ruin Murray’s hope of finding rhythm as a scorer. The Nuggets will look to avoid elimination and force a Game 6 tonight.
Houston put forth its worst game of the postseason on Thursday night, leading to a rough loss for the Rockets in Game 4 against the Lakers. Despite the 10-point margin at the end of the game, this was hardly a competitive contest. The Rockets looked borderline disinterested in playing basketball, which led to several oddities. Houston averaged 51 three-point attempts in the first round. Last night, the Rockets attempted a mere 33—eight of which came from Russell Westbrook, who shot only 25% from beyond the arc this season. Houston also managed only a single offensive rebound, while also allowing nearly half of Los Angeles’s field goal attempts to come within eight feet of the basket. The Lakers will look to send the Rockets home from the bubble on Saturday.
Days before the start of the L.A. Rams’ season, the franchise made a massive investment to sign cornerback Jalen Ramsey to a record-setting extension. The deal—which includes $71.2 million in guaranteed money—was an overpay made necessary given the sizeable price the Rams paid to acquire Ramsey from the Jaguars. The Rams sent a pair of first-round picks to Jacksonville in the deal, making retaining Ramsey a must despite the exorbitant cost. That said, there is no disputing Ramsey’s place among the best cornerbacks in football. Ramsey will be in action on Sunday night in a must-watch meeting of Super Bowl hopefuls as the Rams host the Dallas Cowboys.
Kansas City officially opened the 2020 NFL season on Thursday night with a comfortable win over the Houston Texans. While all eyes were on superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes, it was running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire that put on a show. Edwards-Helaire racked up 138 rushing yards and a TD. Houston’s offensive line struggled to provide quarterback Deshaun Watson with ample time in the pocket, and his lack of a reliable, go-to weapon in the passing game was a crucial missing piece for the team. Houston will have to find some answers quickly as the path to the playoffs in the AFC South will have to go through the Tennessee Titans and Indianapolis Colts, two teams built to win now.