Kyrie Irving's legacy is on the line with the Nets now, plus will Novak Djokovic defend his Aussie Open title?

Happy Thursday, all! Fair caution: This may be the most drama-filled newsletter I’ve ever composed.

Let’s solve to it.

Good early morning to everybody however specifically to…


Welcome back, Kyrie Irving. The super star point player made his season launching Wednesday night, scoring 22 points as the Nets conquered a 19-point deficit to beat the Pacers 129-121 in Indiana.

Irving, Kevin Durant and James Harden integrated for 79 points, and the Nets squandered little time going back to the offending juggernaut we saw in 2015 on the unusual events all 3 were readily available, composes our NBA specialist Brad Botkin:

  • Botkin: “With Durant and Harden, you can manage as a defense. But with a third elite shooter/scorer, you can’t stay attached to them all. You have to make choices. Who do you stay with and who do you leave? There won’t be a good answer, and that’s when Brooklyn becomes undefendable.”

Of course, the factor the group hasn’t invested much time at complete strength is Irving’s own doing. By staying unvaccinated, Irving cannot play in house video games and will just be readily available on the roadway. Given the headaches Irving has actually triggered and the enormous lodgings the Nets are making, Irving’s existence needs to cause wins now especially composes NBA writer Bill Reiter:

  • Reiter: Either Irving makes the Nets the title contender they’re supposed to be, pushing them to another level and helping them make a truly deep run once we reach the playoffs. Or else he is what he’s been hinting at for years: Not worth all the trouble.”

Honorable discusses:

And not such an excellent early morning for…

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In a stunning turn of occasions, Novak Djokovic’s capability to play in the Australian Open is when again in risk after his visa was canceled.

This one needs some discussing, so bear with me:

  • Djokovic is not immunized versus COVID-19, and Australia needs vaccination — or an accepted exemption for not being immunized — to go into the nation.
  • On Tuesday, Australian Open authorities given Djokovic a medical exemption, and he took a trip to Australia.
  • However, when Djokovic landed in Australia, he was rejected entry, and his visa was canceled due to inadequate proof for a medical exemption. Furthermore, according to reports, the visa Djokovic requested did not allow medical exemptions

Next actions stay uncertain, although according to reports, Djokovic’s legal representatives are challenging the nation’s judgment, and the world No. 1 was being kept in a hotel space since Wednesday night.

Djokovic has actually won 20 Grand Slams, connected with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for the majority of ever by a guy. Djokovic’s tally consists of a record 9 Australian Open titles — his newest of which came in 2015.

This year’s Australian Open starts Jan. 17. It stays to be seen if he will have the ability to safeguard his title.

Not so respectable reference

Antonio Brown shares his side of story, claims Bucs have ‘continuous cover-up’ of his ankle injury 👀

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Antonio Brown has broken his silence on his stunning, shirtless third-quarter exit from Sunday’s video game versus the Jets.

In a prolonged declaration launched through his lawyer, Sean Burstyn, Brown declared a number of things versus Tampa Bay, consisting of:

  • An MRI on Brown’s ankle exposed “broken bone fragments stuck in my ankle, the ligament torn from the bone, and cartilage loss.”
  • The Buccaneers required Brown to look for a consultation with “a more junior doctor” after Brown had actually arranged a surgical treatment to repair the ankle following the very first MRI.
  • Head coach Bruce Arians and basic supervisor Jason Licht understood about Brown’s injury.
  • The Buccaneers personnel utilized “a powerful and sometimes dangerous painkiller that the NFLPA has warned against” to assist Brown manage the paint
  • The group is “promoting a totally false narrative that [Brown] randomly acted out without any explanation.”

Arians has actually rejected that there were concerns with how the group has actually managed the injury and has actually preserved the injury had absolutely nothing to do with the pass receiver’s exit. 

Brown, who ended his declaration by stating he will go through surgical treatment and hope return next season, is still technically on the Bucs’ lineup as the group deals with the NFL to identify next actions to part methods with him.

Who’s going to catch the last playoff areas in Week 18? 🏈

Seven groups. Three areas. One week left in the longest routine season ever to identify the playoff field.

In the AFC, there are 2 open areas and 5 prospective groups to fill them: The Colts, Chargers, Raiders, Steelers and Ravens.

Overall, there are 256 various seeding circumstances in the AFC alone.

Thankfully, we have Stephen Oh of to run the numbers, and John Breech to understand all of it. Here’s what the algorithm forecasts the AFC playoff field will appear like:

  1. Titans (clinched playoff berth)
  2. Chiefs (clinched playoff berth)
  3. Bills (clinched playoff berth)
  4. Bengals (clinched playoff berth)
  5. Patriots (clinched playoff berth)
  6. Colts
  7. Chargers

These last 2 forecasts make good sense to me. All the Colts need to do to make the postseason is beat the Jaguars, which promises (though Indianapolis has actually lost 6 directly in Jacksonville). If all goes as anticipated in Jacksonville, the winner of Chargers-Raiders is playoffs-bound also.

On the NFC side, the 49ers and Saints are completing for one open slot. The 49ers simply require a win over the Rams while the Saints require to beat the Falcons AND have the 49ers lose. I’ll leave you with a cliffhanger here: You’ll need to check out the story to see who the numbers like in this one.

You can constantly inspect the whole playoff image — and circumstances for all 7 groups still seeking to clinch a berth — right here.

Grading the college football training works with. Who made an A? 🏈

CBS Sports graphic

The college football season still isn’t over, however the “offseason” has actually currently been a wild one for the training carousel that consists of:

In all, 28 schools employed a brand-new head coach this cycle, and Dennis Dodd distributed grades for each and each. It’s not a surprise who’s top of the class:

  • Dodd: Lincoln Riley, USC: A+ — As sudden and swift as Riley left Oklahoma, out on the West Coast the prospects at USC improved in a heartbeat. Riley carries the future of not only USC but the Pac-12 in his playbook. The league’s flagship program will start keeping California five-stars home. Riley has the coaching chops to move the Trojans back to the top.”

It’s been a hard offseason for Oklahoma with Riley leaving and Caleb Williams in the transfer website, however Sooner faithful can be positive in the brand-new routine:

  • Dodd: Brent Venables, Oklahoma: A- — This is a perfect fit with Venables having worked with or for Bob Stoops across 16 seasons. The Sooners will be better defensively. Considering the offense is being turned over to Jeff Lebby, the Air Raid concepts will stay in place. This is an impressive lineup to transition into the SEC.”

What we’re seeing Thursday 📺

🏀 No. 13 Ohio State at Indiana, 7 p.m. on FS1
🏀 Celtics at Knicks, 7:30 p.m. on TNT
🏀 Iowa at No. 23 Wisconsin, 9 p.m. on FS1
🏀 Clippers at Suns, 10 p.m. on TNT

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