12.26.16: Merry Hoopsmas

Good Morning, Team SQ! Seeing how it’s the holiday season, we’re kicking things off with holiday hoops and Kyrie Irving’s game winner from yesterday:

QUIPS FOR THIS WEEK

NBA

As we said in our intro, Sunday was all about holiday hoops. The big game of the day was between last year’s defending champions, LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, and Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors… ya know, the champs from the year before. Anyways, the game came down to the wire and as you also know, Kyrie Irving hit the game winner to help the Cavs prevail 109-108 in Cleveland. Surely this won’t be the last we hear from the best in the east vs. the best in the west.

Other Merry Hoopsmas games included the New York Knicks losing to the Boston Celtics 119-114 and the San Antonio Spurs getting the 119-100 win over the Chicago Bulls, while the later games saw the Oklahoma City Thunder defeat the Minnesota Timberwolves 112-100 with the help of another great performance from Russell Westbrook, and the LA Lakers score a 111-102 win over the LA Clippers.

Because it’s a holiday week — and you may have more time — sharing a few articles to check out from NBA land:

NFL

So, about football this past weekend… let’s just say week 16 did not let us down. Despite losing on Thursday night to the Philadelphia Eagles, the New York Giants clinched a playoff Wild Card in the NFC spot after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost to the New Orleans Saints 31-24 on Saturday, while the Cleveland Browns got their first win of the season with a win over the San Diego Chargers 20-17. Other notable games included the Green Bay Packers 38-25 win over the Minnesota Vikings after a strong performance by the Green Bay offense, the Pittsburgh Steelers getting a season saving win over the Baltimore Ravens 31-27 and the Kansas City Chiefs’ 33-10 win over the Denver Broncos.

Monday Night Football features the Detroit Lions versus the Dallas Cowboys at 8:30pm on ESPN.

So, what does this mean for the playoffs? Check out the current standings here.

 College Football

Don’t forget that the college football bowl games really get going next week!

JUST FOR FUN

Since next week, it’ll be 2017…
The best moments in sports, from the year 2016

STORIES FOR INSIGHTS, COOL FACTOR + DEBATE

38
Playing smarter, because he’s playing a little slower
As the oldest cornerback in the NFL , Terence Newman puts in the behind-the-scenes work to come up with ways to outsmart the others on the field

Family
Especially around the holidays, it’s important to be grateful for those around you
A look into the life of Stefon Diggs of the Minnesota Vikings — how he got where he is, and what continues to motivate him every day

12.19.16: OBJ

Good Morning, Team SQ. Let’s start today off with highlights from Odell Beckham Jr.’s game-winning TD for the New York Giants:

QUIPS FOR THIS WEEK

NFL

Lots to discuss coming out of week 15 in the NFL — the Green Bay Packers considered their season revival with a much-needed 30-27 win over the Chicago Bears, the New York Giants got a big win over the Detroit Lions 17-6 with the help of an awesome catch from none other than OBJ, and the New England Patriots defeated the Denver Broncos 16-3 in Denver.

Oh, and the Oakland Raiders clinched a playoff spot with a 19-16 win over the San Diego Chargers, while the Dallas Cowboys defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 26-20 on Sunday night — Zeke got a record, too!

Monday Night Football features the Carolina Panthers versus the Washington Redskins at 8:30pm on ESPN.

NBA

The San Antonio Spurs defeated the New Orleans Pelicans 113-100 on Sunday night in a game where they retired legendary player Tim Duncan’s jersey.

Speaking of legends… Russell Westbrook continues to turn in one legendary performance after another — this time with 22 assists as part of his 13th triple double of the season for the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Don’t forget that the NBA Christmas Day games will be here before you know it. ‘Tis the holiday season for holiday hoops!

 

JUST FOR FUN

In memoriam
The NFL GameDay crew dressed up as a tribute to Craig Sager

STORIES FOR INSIGHTS, COOL FACTOR + DEBATE

Craig Sager
The fight
The colorful 65-year-old sportscaster passed away on Thursday after a battle with leukemia

If you can’t watch all of the bowl games…
Which should you tune in for?
Five Thirty Eight grades all 41 games, so you know which will be the most entertaining

Keepin’ an eye out
Concussion spotters in the NHL
This year, the league hired athletic trainers with concussion training to sit in the New York based war room and watch for concussion symptoms during games

12.12.16: 20/20

Hi Team SQ! Let’s start things off with a look at LA Clippers star PG Chris Paul’s 20/20 (that’s 20 assists and 20 points… and 0 turnover performance) from Saturday night. Oh yeah, and his team beat the New Orleans Pelicans 133-105!

QUIPS FOR THIS WEEK

NFL

Lots to discuss coming out of week 14 in the NFL. Aaron Rodgers (who had 3 TDs and 246 yards) and the Green Bay Packers look to be back on track after a dominating 38-10 win over the Seattle Seahawks while the Washington Redskins got a narrow win over the Philadelphia Eagles 27-22 after Chris Thompson ran for a 25-yard TD in the 4th.

The big match-up of the weekend came down to Sunday night’s very own NFC East showdown between the New York Giants and the 11-1 Dallas Cowboys at MetLife Stadium — where the Giants got a big 10-7 win.

Monday Night Football features the New England Patriots vs. the Baltimore Ravens on ESPN at 8:30pm.

College Football

Over the weekend, QB Lamar Jackson  became the first Louisville player in school history to win the Heisman Trophy — awarded to the best player in college football.

In other news, Bowl Season kicks off next weekend. Get ready!

NBA

In all things NBA milestones, LeBron James became the first ‘frontcourt’ player in NBA history to reach 7,000 assists. In a game against the Charlotte Hornets, LeBron finished with 44 points, 10 assists and 9 rebounds (in addition to the record) and his Cleveland Cavaliers team won 116-105. Oh, and LeBron is also the only NBA player to record at least 27,000 points, 7,000 rebounds and 10 assists. Amazing.

 

JUST FOR FUN

A guessing game
Where are all of these NFL stadiums?

STORIES FOR INSIGHTS, COOL FACTOR + DEBATE

The value of investing in player development
Have you heard of RB Leipzig? How about Naby Keita?
After 7 years of hard work revitalizing their club and bringing along exciting young talents, RB Leipzig is at the top of the Bundesliga table

Extra time – the best part of the game
Most of the 2016 MLS Cup was unremarkable
But, Stefan Frei’s goalkeeping in extra time helped Seattle win without a single shot on goal

One to watch
UCLA basketball’s Lonzo Ball
His height, ball-handling, shooting, and overall athleticism were key contributions to UCLA’s win over Kentucky last weekend

12.5.16: Long December

Team SQ — Seeing how it’s only the beginning of December (and a Monday), let’s get a little energy (or a lot of it!!!) from Russell Westbrook’s fantastic Sunday night slam dunk.

QUIPS FOR THIS WEEK

NFL

Let’s talk football — starting with professional football. In week 13, we saw the Seattle Seahawks dominate the Carolina Panthers 40-7 in a game where Earl Thomas suffered a leg injury and Thomas Rawls had 2 TDs in the first half, and without Rob Gronkowski (out for the rest of the season with an injury) the New England Patriots not only topped the LA Rams 26-10 but Tom Brady also broke the wins record to become the NFL career leader (at 201) in QB-led victories.

Other notable Sunday games included the Pittsburgh Steelers stopping the New York Giants 6-game winning streak with a 24-14 win and the Washington Redskins losing to the San Francisco Cardinals 31-28. Outside of the NFC East, the Oakland Raiders continued their strong season with a 38-24 comeback win over the Buffalo Bills and the Kansas City Chiefs got a close win over the Atlanta Falcons thanks to Eric Berry’s 2 clutch picks.

Also of note, the NFL officially flexed the 11-1 Dallas Cowboys game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to the prime time slot on December 18 at 8:30pm as part of NBC’s Sunday night feature.

Monday Night Football features the New York Jets vs. the Indianapolis Colts on ESPN at 8:30pm.

College Football

Moving on to college football where the conference championship games are over and  bowl season has officially begun! The highlight, of course, is that Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and Washington were selected for the College Football playoffs. The match-ups are set and the semis will feature:

  • #1 Alabama vs. #4 Washington in the Chick-fil A Peach Bowl (December 31)
  • #2 Clemson vs. #3 Ohio State in the Playstation Fiesta Bowl (December 31)

The full schedule for all of the bowl games can be found here — including the New Year’s Six.

NBA

As we alluded to in our intro, we’ve got to talk about the amazing Russell Westbrook. The Oklahoma City Thunder star had his 5th straight triple double in a 101-92 win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday night. This gives him the longest NBA streak since 1989 when Michael Jordan had 7 straight triple doubles. Talk about impressive!

In other NBA news, Sports Illustrated named LeBron James their SI Sportsperson of the Year for the second straight year. Make sure to check out Lee Jenkin’s excellent piece on LeBron here.

College Basketball

Finally, coming out of a great weekend of college hoops – two highlights include:

  • With the help of star guard Lonzo Ball, #11 UCLA stayed undefeated and upset #1 Kentucky 97-92
  • Top freshman Jayson Tatum and Marques Bolden are back in the line-up for #5 Duke after recovering from injuries that sidelined them for a few weeks

JUST FOR FUN

Swishmas is coming
Check out the ugly holiday sweaters Kobe Bryant is selling to support the Kobe and Vanessa Bryant Family Foundation

STORIES FOR INSIGHTS, COOL FACTOR + DEBATE

Rest in Peace
Joe McKnight, the 28 year old ex-New York Jet and KC Chief, was killed in a tragic road rage incident
The running back had spent four seasons in the NFL, before moving to the Canadian Football League. His death is still under investigation in Louisiana.

Making Tiger Woods great again
He’s playing again, but it took a team effort to get him there
There’s no better encouragement than a kick in the butt from your fellow athletes and competition

Anti-cyberbullying
Pro tennis player Madison Keys partnered with FearlesslyGirl to host a summit
The last thing someone wants is to have a tough experience, and then receive hateful comments about it on social media — she knows this, and she wants to be a “big sister” to other young women experiencing cyberbullying