Sidelines: this week in sports

Photo Credit: Ryan on Unsplash

Photo Credit: Ryan on Unsplash

Lowry, Ibaka get hurt, other NBA news

Tough week for the Raptors, as an already thin roster got a little thinner with the losses of Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka. Both were hurt in a blowout win in New Orleans, with Kyle fracturing the tip of his left thumb — the same thumb that he had offseason surgery on — and Serge spraining his right ankle after landing on OG Anunoby’s foot. Also Patrick McCaw had knee surgery, but …oh well.

These injuries will force Nick Nurse to dig a little deeper into his bench, but if Sunday night’s performance was a sign, then the Raptors should manage nicely. Chris Boucher, Terence Davis, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Matt Thomas were all key players in a huge win over the Lakers — it was super fun to watch a bunch of guys who were routinely passed on beat up a team led by LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

In other news, after a classic hangover game that saw Miami lead the visiting Rockets 46-14 after the first quarter, one forward-thinking NBA Redditor decided to figure out if there was a positive correlation between James Harden’s road performances and opposing cities’ strip club rating. The findings were incredibly detailed and ultimately found that, yes, Harden’s performance dips in cities with prolific adult entertainment. This is the kind of unique content that only comes from the depths of the NBA.

The New York Knicks, the worst professional basketball team of the 21st century, fell to 2-8 after getting spanked by an also-bad-but-not-Knicks-bad Cleveland Cavaliers team that saw Collin Sexton score a career-high 31. After the game, Knicks brass held an impromptu press conference where President Steve Mills and GM Scott Perry expressed their displeasure with their poor start. Well who do you think built the roster??? They signed four power forwards, three of which have zero future with the team and all stink. Julius Randle is good. The rest (Bobby Portis, Taj Gibson, Marcus Morris) should not be playing over guys like Kevin Knox and most importantly Mitchell Robinson.

The roster is straight up hot garbage. I understand that the Knicks thought they’d be getting Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant and probably (definitely) panicked when they picked the Nets instead, but seriously, how could any front office think that a roster with Portis, Gibson, Morris, Randle and Robinson (who are all bigs who can’t shoot) fit with Elfrid Payton, Dennis Smith Jr. and Frank Ntilikina (who are all guards who can’t shoot). Poor RJ Barrett. He’s been real good so far but is all alone when it comes to his teammates.

MLB Awards Predictions

Major League Baseball announced the three finalists for each league’s major awards this past week, as well as announcing the Gold Glove winners and Silver Sluggers in the process. For the second straight year, third basemen Nolan Arenado and Matt Chapman took home the Platinum Glove, awarded to the best defensive player in each respective league.

AL MVP: Mike Trout, Alex Bregman, Marcus Semien

Mike Trout is very good at baseball and will win this award because of it. He led the league in OBP, slugging and OPS while blasting a career-high 45 home runs.

AL Cy Young: Justin Verlander, Gerritt Cole, Charlie Morton

All three of these gentlemen were teammates once upon a time. While Morton was fantastic for Tampa this year, this award is a two-horse race between Verlander and Cole. While Cole is probably the better pitcher right now, I do think Verlander will ultimately win his second Cy Young. Both numbers are almost identical, so it really could go either way. Verlander has the edge in WAR, wins, innings pitched, WHIP and a no-hitter this year.

AL Rookie of the Year: Yordan Alvarez, John Means, Brandon Lowe

Don’t really know how Lowe made the ballot as he only played in 50 percent of his teams’ games this year, but it doesn’t really matter as Alvarez will run away with it. He hit .313 and drove in 98 runs with 27 homers as a 22-year-old.

NL MVP: Christian Yelich, Cody Bellinger, Anthony Rendon

While a late-season knee fracture hurt Yelich’s case, I still think he’s the best player of the bunch and will win his second straight MVP award. Bellinger drove in many more runs, but Yelich hit over 20 points higher, stole 30 bases and was only three homers shy of Bellinger despite playing far fewer games.

NL Cy Young: Hyun-Jin Ryu, Jacob deGrom, Max Scherzer

This very well may be a close ballot, but I think deGrom will win his second straight Cy Young. Ryu was incredible in the first half, but fell off down the stretch. deGrom wasn’t as dominant as 2018, but still put up a Cy Young worthy season.

NL Rookie of the Year: Pete Alonso, Mike Soroka, Fernando Tatis Jr.

This one sucks because all three are deserving of the award, but this will sit on Alonso’s mantle in a couple of weeks. As much as I love Tatis, he struggled with injuries and didn’t play enough to win. Calgary’s Mike Soroka became the Braves next stud pitcher, but a MLB record 53 homers as a rookie, along with 120 RBIs is a pretty good claim for Alonso.

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