See you later, guys
Oladipo out for season
On the night of Wednesday, Jan. 23, Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo was taken off the court on a stretcher with an apparent knee injury. It was revealed the next day that he ruptured a tendon in his quad and will miss the remainder of the season. Oladipo made his first all-star game last year, as well as a spot on the All-NBA Third Team and All-NBA Defensive First Team. He was on track to make the all-star game again this year, averaging 18 points, 5 assists and 5 rebounds per game. His expected replacement is veteran Tyreke Evans, who recorded a similar stat line last season playing for Memphis.
If the playoffs started right now, the Pacers would be the third seed in the East. It’s unlikely the team can fill the void left by Oladipo’s absence, so how far will they fall? Due to the lack of competition in the Eastern Conference, I don’t think they’ll have a problem making the playoffs, but I don’t think they’ll retain home-court advantage in the first round. I think the Pacers will end up anywhere between the fifth and eighth seed. Oladipo’s presence will be missed on both ends of the court, and it will be interesting to see how they perform without him.
Bye bye Brown?
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown may have played his last season in Pittsburgh. Head Coach Mike Tomlin and starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger have been in the system even longer than Brown, who has played in Pittsburgh for his entire nine-year career. Tensions rose at the end of the season, when Brown failed to show up for a Saturday game preparation leading up to a potential playoff-deciding game against the Cincinnati Bengals. A more in-depth investigation shows this has been building up for a long time.
An ESPN article contained many personal stories regarding the history of the tension. Brown has been lax with the rules ever since he gained stardom. The most notable example is the countless number of team meetings he has been tardy for. The problems escalated to their boiling point at the end of the season due to Roethlisberger’s public criticism of Brown. The Steelers are now publicly accepting offers for the prolific receiver, and his time with the organization is likely over.
Australian Open boils down to familiar faces
The Australian Open in Melbourne is down to two final competitors. The first seeded Novak Djokovic faces the second seeded Rafael Nadal in the final 2:30 a.m. Sunday. If I’m being completely honest, Djokovic and Nadal are two of the three male tennis players I know by name, and for good reason. These two have met in the finals 23 other times, including once in the Australian Open, which Djokovic took home the win in 2012. Their head to head record is nearly even, with Djokovic leading with 27 wins compared to Nadal’s 25. Sunday should bring yet another thrilling matchup between two of the best in the business.