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What Happens When You Cancel The Youth Olympic Games?
The 2022 Youth Olympic Games were slated for Dakar, Senegal, in October and November, the first Olympic event to be staged in Africa. Like many other events during the COVID-19 pandemic, the quadrennial event was postponed by the International Olympic Committee. But in this case, the IOC took the step of moving the event back […]
The Colorado Avalanche Reached Hockey’s Summit — And Took Down A Dynasty In The Process
Like most dynastic teams, the Tampa Bay Lightning weren’t used to failing in important games. As they won two straight Stanley Cups and reached the doorstep of a third, the Bolts racked up a 44-18 record in the playoffs — rarely facing elimination, though always answering the call when they needed to. But for the […]
Can Iga Świątek Keep Her Winning Streak Going At Wimbledon?
When Iga Świątek won her second French Open this month, she also won her 35th consecutive match, tying Venus Williams’s run in 2000. This week, Świątek will aim to keep her streak going at Wimbledon, where she is the top seed. Świątek is enjoying one of the best runs in WTA history. Earlier this year, […]
The Yankees Are Partying Like It’s 1998
When you have a history as long and as storied as that of the New York Yankees, there are a lot of great options to choose from when picking the best team in franchise history. Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Murderers’ Row in 1927? That’s tough to beat. But Joe DiMaggio and the ’39 Bronx […]
Tommy Edman Is The Latest Unlikely Star In St. Louis
Since the turn of the millennium, the St. Louis Cardinals have had only one losing season. In that span, the organization has developed countless major league contributors on both sides of the baseball. Chief among them is 27-year-old superstar infielder Tommy Edman, who has quietly become one of the game’s most valuable players. Superstar? Tommy […]
Title IX Gave Women More Chances To Coach In College. But It Gave Even More Opportunities To Men.
“People are hiring too many men,” former Notre Dame women’s basketball head coach Muffet McGraw told ThinkProgress back in 2019. In 2018, she was the only female head coach of any of the last four teams vying for the NCAA title in women’s basketball. For most of the final decade of her coaching career, McGraw […]
Title IX Didn’t Guarantee Black Women An Equal Playing Field
Dawn Staley won three Olympic gold medals as a basketball player and another as a coach, and she has two national championships to her name at South Carolina. She has bona fides that would seem to earn her a comfortable perch at the top of her sport. But as a Black woman in college basketball, […]
The Lightning Struck Back In The Stanley Cup Final — But The Avalanche Still Have The Edge
For hockey fans ready to settle into one of the best on-paper matchups in Stanley Cup Final history, the Tampa Bay Lightning’s Game 3 victory was the kind of counterpunch that could help this series live up to its immense billing. Tampa Bay badly needed to change the mood of the series after falling behind […]
Which Women’s Sports Benefited The Most From Title IX?
The first half-century of Title IX — 1972’s gender-equality law that banned sex-based discrimination in federally funded educational institutions — saw women’s sports in America undergo a period of profound growth and evolution. The succinct legislation essentially required school sports programs to offer equal opportunities to women, relative to their male counterparts, and the effect […]
The Warriors’ Latest Title Might Be Their Most Surprising
For the fourth time in eight seasons, the Golden State Warriors are NBA champions. This latest title comes after a two-year interregnum during which the Warriors scarcely resembled the juggernaut that ran through the league from 2015 through 2019. Golden State went just 15-50 during the pandemic-shortened 2019-20 season and was not even invited to […]
José Ramírez Is Baseball’s Least-Appreciated Superstar
The title of baseball’s best player is open to a lot of interpretation, and there’s never one right answer. Sure, Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout has been the usual choice for the better part of a decade now, thanks to his historically dominant early career stats. But we laid out the case last week […]
Will The Celtics Turn Over Their Chance To Win The Finals?
Throughout these NBA Finals, the Golden State Warriors offense has been fairly consistent. The Dubs have scored between 100 and 108 points in all five games, and their offensive rating has held steady between 108.1 and 115 in each contest. By contrast, the Boston Celtics have fluctuated wildly between blistering efficiency and devastating ineptitude. Boston […]
Steph Curry Is Cutting Through The Noise
At 12th on the list of NBA Finals scoring, Stephen Curry is one of the greatest Finals performers of all time — and this series has been a masterpiece. He started Game 1 by hitting six triples in the first quarter, tied for the most in playoff history since 1996-97, and he finished with 34 […]
The Ceiling For Jayson Tatum And Jaylen Brown Is High Enough. But Their Floor Might Be Too Low.
The play could have been a turning point. To start the third quarter of Monday’s Game 5 against the Golden State Warriors, the Boston Celtics’ Jaylen Brown had made two trips to the free-throw line and, miracle of miracles, knocked down all four shots. Jayson Tatum had sidestepped behind a screen to sink a 3-pointer. […]
We’ve Been Waiting 33 Years For A Stanley Cup Matchup This Good
All year long, we wondered whether the unique circumstances of the 2021-22 NHL season — with a deep field of contenders and scoring at a generational high — would collide with the playoffs’ usual reputation for unpredictability to deliver an extra dose of chaos. But in the end, this postseason has instead given us a […]
The Players Who Can Help The Minnesota Lynx Salvage Their Season
After a loss last week to the New York Liberty, Minnesota Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve lamented her team’s offensive production — just 32.8 percent from the field overall and 3-for-22 from 3-point range. She noted that, in a game just days earlier, Minnesota had beaten the Liberty by shooting 49.2 percent. So I asked […]
The Warriors Needed Kevon Looney More Than They Knew
During each of the first three games of the NBA Finals, Kevon Looney saw progressively fewer minutes. Then, as Game 4 was about to tip off, the Golden State big man was replaced in the starting lineup. It seemed like Warriors coach Steve Kerr had moved on from Looney. But once the game started, the […]
Yordan Álvarez Might Just Be Baseball’s Best Hitter (Look Out, Mike Trout)
Yordan Álvarez has been every bit as advertised since his major league debut with the Houston Astros in 2019. The Cuban-born outfielder and designated hitter is an intimidating presence in the batter’s box — he’s listed at 6-foot-5 and 225 pounds, but it would be reasonable to take the over on both of those figures. […]
Golden State’s Half-Court Defense Is Good, But Boston’s Half-Court Offense Has Been Better
Late in the third quarter of Game 2 of the NBA Finals, Jayson Tatum came off a screen from Al Horford and walked himself right into a wide-open three pointer that splashed through the net. As he did so, his defender on the play, Andrew Wiggins, was several steps below the 3-point arc, with his […]
Start Spreading The News, We Could Get Another Subway Series
The New York Yankees and New York Mets have both had their moments of glory over the years — OK, fine, the Yankees have had just a few more of those — but seldom have both teams been great at the exact same time. The birth of the expansion Mets made that hard from the […]
The Colorado Avalanche Have Been As Dominant As Advertised
In a sport as chaotic as hockey, it can be hard for favorites to deliver in the playoffs. There’s a reason that we frequently see great teams from the regular season flame out early in the postseason, while the whole tournament often feels like little more than a battle of streaky goaltending. This year was […]
The Warriors’ Defense Is Impossible To Overlook
Even on nights when he notches a triple-single, Draymond Green has a knack for making himself the main character. During and after the Golden State Warriors’ equalizer against the Boston Celtics in Sunday’s Game 2 of the NBA Finals, it was the non-basketball stuff that gained attention. There was the early lead-blocking of Grant Williams […]
Mookie Betts Isn’t Done Being Baseball’s Best Player
The Los Angeles Dodgers possess such a dazzling amount of star power that it can be easy to take the individual components for granted. Can anyone truly stand out on a roster with multiple former MVPs, a handful of future Hall of Famers and an MLB-high 13 players who’ve been named All-Stars at some point […]
The NBA Playoffs Are Usually No Place For Rookies. This Year Is Different.
Rookies rarely get a chance to make history in the NBA playoffs, but that’s exactly what happened in Game 3 of the second-round matchup between Golden State and Memphis. When Jonathan Kuminga and Ziaire Williams took the floor for the opening tip, it was just the second time in the 21st century that a set […]
Jaren Jackson Jr. Could Be The NBA’s Best Defender — If He Can Stay On The Court
Jaren Jackson Jr. is a shot-blocking, ball-stealing defensive machine. The fourth-year forward/center for the Memphis Grizzlies had been voted most likely to have a breakout season by NBA general managers before the 2021-22 campaign got underway, and he didn’t disappoint. Though the Grizzlies were plagued by injuries in the postseason and fell to Golden State […]
Elena Delle Donne Has Picked Up Where She Left Off
When Elena Delle Donne took the court for the Washington Mystics on May 6, it was her first appearance in a season-opener since 2018. The two-time MVP had played in just three total games in the previous two seasons, but she has picked up in 2022 right where she left off before a back injury […]
The New York Rangers Have Thrived Under Pressure. Can They Keep It Up?
It’s been a good, if stressful, month for fans of the New York Rangers, who play Game 2 of the NHL’s Eastern Conference final tonight at Madison Square Garden. The Broadway Blueshirts put a 6-2 hurting on the Tampa Bay Lightning in their series opener Wednesday, giving the Rangers a 60 percent chance of playing […]
We Didn’t See This NBA Finals Matchup Coming
sara.ziegler (Sara Ziegler, sports editor): Eight grueling months after we started this NBA season, we’re finally down to our final two: the Boston Celtics and the Golden State Warriors, just like everyone predicted back in October. We have to acknowledge that FiveThirtyEight’s model absolutely did not see this coming: We gave the Celtics just a […]
We Might Be Overrating The Celtics, But You’re Probably Underrating Them
Ahead of today’s Game 1 of the NBA Finals, let’s get one thing out of the way: Our forecast model loves, loves, loves the Boston Celtics. (Or maybe it just hates the Golden State Warriors.) Either way, the model gives Boston an 80 percent chance of winning the championship over Golden State, in very stark […]
Few Teams Have Turned Things Around Like These Celtics
Not all that long ago, it seemed inconceivable that the Boston Celtics would be representing the Eastern Conference in the 2022 NBA Finals. The road leading them here was tumultuous, to say the least. It involved (multiple) disputes between star players, incessant calls to break up the central Jayson Tatum-Jaylen Brown duo and questions both […]
What 50 Years Of Title IX Has — And Hasn’t — Accomplished In Women’s Sports
The historical impact of Title IX extends far beyond the reaches of sports. The landmark legislation, which prohibited sex-based discrimination in federally funded schools and education programs, was passed 50 years ago this month. It coincided with enormous growth in educational attainment for American women and has been applied toward reducing sexual violence on campus […]
Do The Warriors Have A Klay Thompson Problem?
Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Steph Curry have been through the crucible of the NBA playoffs. They rank sixth, eighth and 10th respectively among active players in total playoff minutes — largely because they are about to play in their sixth Finals together. In the big picture, the three remain dominant together, with the Warriors […]
Why Aren’t There More Black Managers In English Soccer?
The English Premier League is filled with elite Black talent. Manchester City pair Raheem Sterling and Kyle Walker, Manchester United duo Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford, Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold, Chelsea’s Reece James, Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka — all are excelling on the pitch. Ten players on the England squad that reached the final of the UEFA […]
The NBA’s Conference Finals MVP Award Is New This Year. But What If We Had Always Had It?
When the NBA conference finals each wrap up, the league will award two new trophies: the Larry Bird Trophy for the Eastern Conference finals MVP and the Earvin “Magic” Johnson Trophy for the Western Conference finals MVP. Bird and Johnson are fitting namesakes for these awards given that their struggle for supremacy from opposite coasts […]
The Phillies’ Defense Might Be Good Enough
The Philadelphia Phillies were expected to be one of the worst defensive teams in baseball this season, with enough errors to fill a weekly blooper reel. That made it all the more surprising on Sunday afternoon in Philadelphia that a baseball team lost on a routine defensive miscue … and it wasn’t the Phillies. So […]
Al Horford Fills The Gaps For The Celtics
Last year at this time, Al Horford’s team was finishing up a dismal season, closed out by losing 23 of its final 25 games and securing a lottery spot. Through that entire ugly stretch for Oklahoma City, Horford sat on the bench. While the tanking Thunder didn’t want Horford’s leadership, the Boston Celtics — currently […]
The Panthers’ Offense Was Flying High. Then The Lightning Struck It Down.
Going into the playoffs, two of the NHL’s biggest questions surrounded the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Florida Panthers: Did the two-time defending champion Lightning have enough gas left in the tank to make a serious three-peat bid? And could the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Panthers use their all-time dominant offense to turn around the postseason fortunes […]
So You Just Crushed A Baseball. Sorry, Your Odds Of A Home Run Are Worse This Year.
If home run numbers are chief among baseball’s vital signs, you can understand why onlookers are worried about the game early this season. After an unprecedented five-year power surge, MLB-wide homers per game are down by more than 20 percent from last season and by more than 30 percent from their all-time high in 2019. […]
Steph Curry Isn’t Hitting As Many Threes. That Doesn’t Make Him Less Dangerous.
When it’s right, there’s still nothing like it. In the third quarter of Golden State’s first Western Conference Finals matchup against the Dallas Mavericks last week, as the Warriors stretched a 9-point lead to 19, Stephen Curry did his recognizable thing. Dribbling into the corner and running into a double-team, he flung a blind pass […]
These 5 MLB Breakouts Are (Probably) For Real
If there is one thing we know about hitters vs. pitchers, it is that a hitter’s stats tend to stabilize much more quickly. This means it takes a bit smaller of a sample for us to figure out what to make of their performance. That isn’t to say there is no noise in small samples […]