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Boston sports fans haven't felt this poleaxed since Super Bowl 52.  Last night as noted, the Bruins have an all-time, epic collapse.  Tonight...the Celtics drop game 1 to the Sixers.  At home.  With Embiid sitting out after an awkward fall against the Nets.  Harden has a mammoth, career-defining 45, including the go-ahead bucket with 8 seconds left.  


Now we get an interesting game...Denver rolled on the Suns, but they also shot the lights out.  So now we get the first in-series adjustments, and we'll see if Denver can stay hot.

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1 hour ago, unclevlad said:

  Now we get an interesting game...Denver rolled on the Suns, but they also shot the lights out.  So now we get the first in-series adjustments, and we'll see if Denver can stay hot.


Whoever wins the Nuggets/Suns series, that's who I'll be cheering for in the Western Conference finals. Because the Lakers and the Warriors can both jump in a lake.

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In the "coming out of nowhere" / "taking advantage of your opportunity" in Madrid at the ATP Masters 1000...


Zhizhen Zhang entered the event at #99 in the world.  Aslan Karatsev started at #121.  Both have made the quarter finals by winning today.  Zhang beat #10 Fritz...big surprise.  Karatsev took out Medvedev, prompting an article whether Medvedev will ever manage to adjust to clay.  Wins put Zhang at 66 and Karatsev at 90 in the live rankings.  And now they play each other for a spot in the semis...and another 180 ranking points...and about $160K additional prize money.  For Karatsev...he's been top 20, but on a terrible streak for multiple months.  Zhang, OTOH, has only made a bit under $800K on tour, in 10 years.  So this is huge.


If Karatsev wins, he jumps all the way back to about #50.  If Zhang wins, he'll reach the low 40s.


It's always cool to me to see unknowns suddenly vaulting up SO much.  It's become possible because Fed, Nadal, and Djokovic aren't swatting them away.  The women's draw saw massive upsets ALL the time, for the last, oh, gee, 6-7 years at least.  But in the last couple years, it's been happening much more often on the men's side.

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Sports gambling problems rise up again.


Alabama's baseball coach has been fired.  



It appears that the coach passed on the fact that his pitcher was going to be scratched, and substantial wagers were made based on that information.  Those bets won.  There's direct evidence connecting the coach to the bettors, as the bet was being made. 



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Yeah, was just gonna post this.  2 more today.  CNN noted that a trainer has also been suspended as a result of 2 "highly unusual" deaths.


Just due to the timing, this is possibly bigger than the crisis at Santa Anita in 2019, particularly with 2 more deaths on Derby Day itself.



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Gerard Gallant gets canned as coach of the NY Rangers, after blowing a 2-0 lead and losing to the NJ Devils in the first round.  

Man, this one smacks of many themes...


--"What have you done for me lately???"  The Rangers made the conference finals last year, in his first season.

--Impossible expectations.  The Rangers signed 2 big-name players at the deadline...both of whom will be free agents.  

--In most industries, getting fired repeatedly is a Bad Thing.  Not in coaching.  From ESPN.com:



This was Gallant's fourth NHL coaching gig, after stints with the Columbus Blue Jackets (2003-2007), Florida Panthers (2014-2017) and Vegas Golden Knights (2017-2019), whom he led to the Stanley Cup Final in their inaugural season.


So...Stanley Cup final in year 1 in Vegas, then first round elimination.  Conference finals in year 1 in NY, then first round elimination.  5 years, then 4, then 3...there's a pattern there.  Now 2 years, continuing the pattern.  Plus, the ESPN story also notes that the player end-of-season exit meetings didn't cast Gallant in a very good light.

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Sad news for Avalanche fans:


Gabriel Landeskog injury: Avalanche star will miss 2023-24 season after cartilage transplant in knee


He's already missed the entire 2022-23 season with the injury, which has required multiple surgeries. There's some doubt now as to whether he can ever recover enough to play again.


With another solid season or two, I'd say Landeskog is a first ballot Hall of Famer. He may still get in even if he never returns to the ice. But it's sad to see such an incredible talent derailed this way.

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9 hours ago, Cancer said:

Soccer is an international sport, and MLS has many players from other countries, but this is the first time I've heard of having a player out due to ... malaria.


How many higher-level international players end up in matches in sub-Saharan Africa?


Not to say malaria isn't a massive problem...QUITE!!!!! the opposite.  


It's simply that we tend to be First Worlders, and malaria's much more of Third World Problem.  We're pretty good at forgetting about those, unless they're particularly dramatic, like ebola.

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Yeah, I figured that.  I'll rephrase:  I don't think that many high-level soccer players come from that part of the world, to end up going back there very much.  I will admit I could be completely wrong with that.

Another aspect is simply the duration of potential exposure.  He wasn't in the region for all that long, and ya gotta figure the risk of exposure per day, likely isn't very high.

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