Let’s not forget about the NBA action and NFL news about releases, additions, and big trade that was made this weekend! We will also focus on UFC’s fight night 146 that went quicker than we wanted. And of course, we’ll have the weekly Soccer and Cricket by Aman Huda.
Bucks became the first team to 50 wins:
In last week’s edition, we spoke about how the Milwaukee Bucks were the first team to clinch a playoff spot as they continue to prove why they are the best team in the East. With another big win against an Eastern Conference opponent, the Bucks are started to push themselves further away from the rest of the teams. Saturday night they picked up their 50th win against the Charlotte Hornets while grabbing the season series 2-1 as well! This is the first time that the Bucks have won 50 games in a season since the 2000-01 season. That year they made it all the way to the Conference finals. This year they are looking to not only make it to the conference finals but win it! I think they have a good chance to do so!
Raptors 21 three’s power them to a win over Miami Heat:
The Toronto Raptors are currently 2nd in the standings behind the Bucks and they are trying to remain ahead of the rest of the teams like the Indiana Pacers, Philadelphia 76ers, and Boston Celtics as they likely will with a six-game lead. Their win against the Miami Heat was another huge win for them in the quest to catching the Bucks. In the process of winning, the Raptors’ made a team-high 21 three’s in the game. That equaled half of their total points scored in the game as they won 125-104.
Lakers’ Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball out for season:
If I would’ve told you that the Lakers biggest problem this season was injuries would you believe me? How about if I told you that their chances of making the playoffs were more because of the most recent injuries. Lonzo Ball’s injury was an ankle injury and Brandon Ingram’s injury was a shoulder caused by blood clot. Both of these injuries came down to the losing two of their young players for the rest of the season as the Lakers continue to fight for a spot in the playoffs, or maybe not anymore.
Embiid’s return lifts to Sixers to big win:
Speaking of injuries, the Sixers’ Joel Embiid played in his first since the All-Star game after dealing with soreness in the left knee. He made a big presence in his first game back against the Indiana Pacers on Sunday afternoon. Embiid scored 33 points and added 12 rebounds as the Sixers won 106-89. The game was more important than just the return of Embiid; it also put the Sixers in sole possession of the No. 3 playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. It is a good thing to have Embiid back as they went 4-4 without him and lost two straight games.
Steelers trade Brown to Raiders:
It’s about time that the Steelers made a big move that helped them? Did it really help them though? It was reported late Saturday night that the Steelers will trade superstar WR Antonio Brown to the Oakland Raiders for a 3rd and 5th rounder. Brown will also receive a new contract as part of the agreement that will pay out over $50 million over the next three seasons with a guarantee of $30 million. This deal makes him the NFL’s highest paid WR, and it’s very important to the Raiders. Raiders are in need of a playmaking receiver after trading Amari Cooper last season. When you look at our most recent “Buy or Sell,” you’ll see that Aman was on point with his sale on Carr being traded.
Chiefs continue their RB hunt:
The Kansas City Chiefs were one of the most explosive offenses last season and they lost their explosive running back, Karim Hunt, due to legal actions. They still managed to make the playoffs as the No. 1 team in the AFC as they were led by Spencer Ware and Damien Williams. But they still need that one star back that could be a huge factor in the running back. That RB is Carlos Hyde who was signed on a one-year,$2.8 million deal. Hyde is now on his fourth team in three seasons. After becoming a free agent last offseason, Hyde signed a three-year deal with the Cleveland Browns only do be traded midseason to the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jaguars cut him as part of a cap cleaning. This is a prove me deal for Hyde who didn’t have his strongest season. Hyde finished 2018 with 571 yards on 172 carries which was a a career-worst 3.3 yards per carry and five total touchdowns.
Rams secondary got better:
The Rams are clearly still upset from the results of the Super Bowl and how badly their secondary played that they went out and got another big name player from free agencies. That player is safety Eric Weddle.According to multiple reports, Weddle signed a two-year, $10.5 million deal. Weddle will likely take over for the loss of safety LaMarcus Joyner to free agency. It’s a questionable decision given the age difference between the two players, but Weddle has the nice veteran option that every coach loves. This defense just got even better with the addition of Weddle and with him backing up CBs Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib, there could be less mistakes made.
New York Giants trade best LB to the Cleveland Browns:
Before the Brown trade, this was the biggest trade made. The New York Giants look to have their mind set on drafting a linebacker after they traded the team’s best one to the Cleveland Browns. The Giants agreed to trade outside linebacker Olivier Vernon and 4th rounder to the Cleveland Browns in exchange for right guard Kevin Zeitler and a fifth-round selection. Olivier led the Giants last season with seven sacks and 21 quarterback hits in 11 games. That was more than twice as many QB hits as anyone else on his team.
Lewis versus Dos Santos:
It was all hype about this heavyweight bout from Saturday night. It was a heavyweight bout between former UFC Heavyweight Champion Junior dos Santos and former title challenger Derrick Lewis and it did not disappoint in the first round as both competitors got off some great punches and kicks, but Dos Santos gave the biggest one right to the ribs of Lewis. Lewis struggled to get back to his feet, but ultimately did. Lewis corner knew he was in trouble and told him to finish this quick in the second round. It did finish quick, but it came from the hands of Dos Santos instead. Dos Santos TKOed Lewis 1:58 into the second round.
Arsenal resurges and hands Ole Gunnar Solskjær first away PL defeat:
When it was difficult to see Arsenal winning, they dominated. Being at home, in dire need of a win, Arsenal delivered a 2-0 win. Granit Xhaka scored a beauty in the first half and then Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang added salt in the wounds with his penalty kick goal. Arsenal now sits in fourth, just one point behind rivals Tottenham.
Karachi boundaries too short for Islamabad United:
In the opening Karachi fixture of the Pakistan Super League, Islamabad United took on Lahore Qalandars and won by 49 runs. But both teams ended up scoring highly, very highly. In the opening innings, Islamabad scored a record 238-3, a century for Cameron Delport off of 48 balls and a record joint-quickest half-century from 17 deliveries by Asif Ali.
Though the very first ball, Shaheen Afridi got the wicket of Luke Ronchi, caught at slip by Anton Devcich, Afridi went on to be the most expensive bowler in PSL history, giving away 63 runs in his four overs. Despite a 34-ball 75 from Sohail Akhtar, Faheem Ashraf’s 6-19 in his four overs restricted Lahore to 189-9, well short of Islamabad’s target. With this win, Islamabad qualified for the playoffs.
Usman Shinwari delivers a stunning win in front of a home crowd:
Normally Quetta Gladiators are favorites in front of Karachi Kings, but the last time they met, a Colin Ingram century had given Karachi the edge. This time, Karachi won again.
Karachi was put to bat first by Quetta, and Babar Azam pounced. He finished his innings with a score of 56(46) and a blistering 18-ball 44* by Iftikhar Ahmed lifted Karachi to 190-5.
In the start of Quetta’s innings, it seemed that Karachi couldn’t win. Opening batsmen Shane Watson and Ahmed Shehzad put up a 66-run partnership within the powerplay until 19-year old leg-spinner Umer Khan removed not one, but three of Quetta’s batsmen. When Quetta needed five from the last over to win, Usman Shinwari brilliantly took 3 wickets (including Ahmed Shehzad who was on 99) and Quetta lost by one run. After this win, Karachi qualified for the playoffs and Lahore has been eliminated.
Usman Khawaja inspires resilient Australia:
A weak Australian team touring a world’s best Indian side? No chance of the Aussies winning. Unless Usman Khawaja scores a century. Aaron Finch and Khawaja put on a massive 193-run opening partnership until Finch fell for 93(99). Khawaja lead Australia to 313-5 and the Indians couldn’t respond well enough, falling for 281. Subject to controversy, the Indian team did wear military-colored caps as a tribute to the Indian military, and the Pakistan Cricket Board has taken notice and wants legal action by the International Cricket Council.
Australia chases India’s high target:
In the following match Sunday, India batted first and posted a large total of 358-9. Openers Rohit Sharma 95(92) and Shikhar Dhawan 143(115) also put up their own 193-run partnership, but Pat Cummings managed to take five wickets for 70 runs in his ten overs of bowling.
In the second innings, Khawaja steered off again, scoring 91(99), though Finch was out for a duck off two deliveries. However, the main person who took Australia to victory was Ashton Turner with his 84 runs off 43 balls. Australia won by four wickets and the five-match series is now tied 2-2.
West Indies shocked by England win:
England were 32-4 until Sam Billings came out to bat. Then, through Billings and Joe Root’s 82-run partnership, in which Billings scored 87(47) and Root 55(40), England surged to 182-6. But West Indies didn’t even put up a fight. The Windies were gone for 45, Chris Jordan taking four wickets in just two overs. Tom Curran, Liam Plunkett, and Adil Rashid also added to the wickets tally. England went on to win the three-match series 3-0.
Losses by top 25 teams:
5 Tennessee to Auburn (84-80)
23 Villanova to Seton Hall (79-75)
16 Marquette to Georgetown (86-84)
25 Central Florida to Temple (67-62)
4 Duke to 3 North Carolina (79-70)
7 Michigan to 9 Michigan State (75-63)
12 Houston to 20 Cincinnati (85-69)