NBA All-Star Weekend, Daytona 500 Postponed, NCAAF Coach Changes, March Madness Updates.

Team LeBron outlasted Team Giannis, Arron Gordon’s last dunk wasn’t enough to over take Derrick Jr., and NASCAR had to postpone the Dayton 500 until Monday. Check out what happened this past week in sports!

Weekly Sports Update – February 17th Edition

Bam, Buddy, & Derrick Win Jr. Saturday NBA All-Star Contests

The NBA All-Star Skills Challenge tests ball-handling, passing, and shooting. The Miami Heat’s Bam Adebayo showed why he’s an All-Star this season. Adebayo beat Spencer Dinwiddie by navigating the dribbling course. Bam got past the Raptors’ Pascal Siakam in Round 2. In Round 3, he knocked down a three-pointer before Indiana’s Domantas Sabonis.

Adebayo’s Skills Challenge win was just the warmup for the other two events on Saturday night. In the next event, the three-point contest, Sacramento’s Buddy Heild, displayed ice in his veins. The Suns’ Devin Booker had what seemed like an insurmountable lead. Heild had to knock down 4-of-5 on the final money ball rack to overtake Booker. Buddy swished the first three. He missed the fourth. Heild hit the final and fifth shot to beat Booker 27-26.

The 2020 NBA Slam Dunk Contest also came down to the wire. The Orlando Magic’s Aaron Gordon had dominated the entire night. He scored nothing but 50s until his final dunk. Although he displayed incredible skill jumping over 7’ 5” Tacko Fall, he got only 47 points. Derrick Jones Jr. of the Miami Heat got 48 on his last dunk. The trophy went to Jones Jr.

For the second time in as many tries, Gordon failed to win the Slam Dunk Contest even though he got the top score in the early rounds. Guess the saying that “you should save your best for last” applies.  

Team LeBron Outlasts Team Giannis NBA All-Star Game

If you didn’t check out the 2020 NBA All-Star Game, you missed out. The All-Star Game is no longer an exhibition. Now that a huge contribution goes to the winning team’s charity, NBA players give it their all from beginning to end.

The final quarter showed incredible hustle. It was great competition. But at the end, Team LeBron beat Team Giannis 157-155. The target score in the second overtime was 157. LeBron Laker teammate Anthony Davis hit a free throw to secure the win. Team Lebron player Kawhi Leonard took the MVP.

The NBA All-Star Game capped an awesome weekend of hardcourt celebration. It’s time now to move on to the second half of the NBA Season.

Lakers, Bucks, Clippers Favorites to Win 2020 NBA Title

The second half of the NBA Season starts this Thursday. Right now, the Lakers, Bucks, and Clippers are favorites to win the championshiop. The Los Angeles Lakers are +225 favorites, Milwaukee is second choice at +275, and the Clippers are third choice at +300.

Boston is the fourth choice at +1400. The Houston Rockets, +1500, Philadelphia 76ers, +1700, and Toronto Raptors, +1750, are the only other teams that offer odds less than +2000.

Denver follows the Raptors at +2000 with Miami at +2400. The Miami Heat are a legit overlay at +2400. They’ve got a star player in Jimmy Butler, a championship winning coach in Erik Spoelstra, and a deep team to support JB. Bam Adebayo won the Skills Challenge over the weekend. Don’t sleep on the Heat if you want to back an underdog to win rings.

NASCAR’s Daytona 500 Postponed Until Monday

It’s a good thing Monday, Feb. 17, is President’s Day. NASCAR had to postpone the Daytona 500 after rains hit. It’s the second time in the race’s 62 year history that NASCAR had to postpone until Monday.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. starts upfront. He raced out to lead the first 20 laps before NASCAR declared Sunday a washout. Joey Logano is in second place. They’ve completed just 20 laps. But if Stenhouse Jr. wins, Roush Fenway must feel good about signing Ricky after last season.

In 2019, Joe Gibbs Racing dominated. They sent Cup winner Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr., and Denny Hamlin to the track. Every Gibbs’ racer will start worse than thirtieth when they resume on Monday. Bad sign? Maybe, not. NASCAR has a long season. The former Washington Redskins’ head coach won’t panic just because his fellas bombed at Daytona.  

College Football Coaching Changes Continue

College football has begun to resemble the NFL. Every season, owners fire coaches and then hire coaches. They do it the way 5-year-olds chew through a pack of gum. Kevin Stefanski is the Cleveland Browns’ eighth head coach since 2020. That’s 8 head coaches in 10 years.

The NCAAF won’t ever get to that point, but they have had a ton of turnover this season. Last week, Mark Dantonio stepped down at Michigan State. The Spartans hired former Colorado coach Mel Tucker.

In the past couple of months, Mike Leach has gone from Washington State to Mississippi State. Lane Kiffin went from Florida Atlantic to Ole Miss. LSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda took the job at Baylor after Matt Rhule jumped to the NFL to coach the Carolina Panthers. Washington State hired Hawaii’s Nick Rolovich to replace Leach. Memphis’ former coach Mike Norvell took the top job at Florida State after the Seminoles fired Willie Taggart.

Before the season ended, Chris Petersen stepped down at Washington. The Huskies promoted defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake to the top job. Boston College and Missouri will also have new head coaches.

Rutgers will as well. The Scarlet Knights rehired Greg Schiano, a disciplinarian who coached Rutgers to their best ever seasons in his first stint in New Jersey. Schiano failed as an NFL coach. He should return Rutgers to glory because his failures at the pro-level had everything to do with his style. Schiano’s old school ways don’t play well with multi-millionaires. College kids don’t have a say.

Big 12 On Track for 2 March Madness 1-Seeds

The Big 12 could be on their way to a couple of 1-seeds in the NCAA Tournament. The Bears have a single loss. Kansas has 3 losses. Baylor and Kansas play this Saturday. No matter who wins, it’s hard to see the Bears or Jayhawks falling out of the Top 4.

Duke lost to Stephen F. Austin. Dayton has 2 losses but play in the weak Atlantic 10. Louisville lost to Georgia Tech and Clemson in their last couple of games. If anybody else wants a top seed, they must hope that 25-1 Gonzaga or 24-0 San Diego State fall on their faces.

Unless Baylor or Kansas implodes, both should grab 1-seeds for the Big 12. This is true even if Baylor loses 2 from now until Selection Sunday. Kansas can afford to lose 2 as well if both losses are to Baylor.

March Madness is just around the corner. Get your gamboling shoes ready for the Big Dance. Have a great week!