Playoffs

2021 WNBA Playoffs first-round takeaways: Mercury escape in thriller over Liberty; Sky pull away from Wings

The 2021 WNBA Playoffs got underway on Thursday night with the single-elimination first round, and the second game of the doubleheader between the Phoenix Mercury and New York Liberty was a showcase for this format. After a thrilling, back-and-forth fourth quarter, the Mercury escaped with an 83-82 win thanks to a last-second free throw by Brianna Turner.

Skylar Diggins Smith went for 22 points, four rebounds and five assists, while Brittney Griner added 16 points, 10 rebounds and six assists. But it was Sophie Cunningham who stole the show, stepping up in the absence of Diana Taurasi to bury six 3-pointers en route to a career-high 21 points. 

The first game of the night was not quite so dramatic. While the Chicago Sky did allow the Dallas Wings to get back in the game in the second half, they pulled away in the fourth quarter to make sure they would

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LeBron James slams league as injuries pile up in playoffs

As more and more injuries pile up throughout the playoffs — the latest coming in the form of a feared ACL injury for Kawhi Leonard — LeBron James sounded off on the league’s condensed schedule this season on Twitter on Wednesday.

James said that the increase in injuries players are facing aren’t just “part of the game,” but rather due to lack of rest.

As for the financial side of the argument, something that was significantly hurt last season when the NBA had to move into a bubble, James isn’t having it.

The 2020-21 season kicked off on December 22, just 72 days after the Los Angeles Lakers won last season’s NBA Finals at Walt Disney World. That officially made it the shortest offseason in league history, beating the previous record by a whopping 55 days.

It also was the shortest offseason among the four major men’s professional sports

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P.K. Subban to join ESPN as analyst for Cup playoffs

BOSTON, MA - MARCH 30: New Jersey Devils defenseman P.K. Subban (76) turns up ice during a game between the Boston Bruins and the New Jersey Devils on March 30, 2021, at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
New Jersey Devils defenseman P. K. Subban will reportedly join ESPN as an analyst for the remainder of the Stanley Cup playoffs. (Getty)

New Jersey Devils defenseman P. K. Subban will join ESPN as an analyst for the remainder of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Andrew Marchand of the New York Post reports

Subban will make his debut Wednesday on SportsCenter, according to Marchand. 

It’s an excellent move for ESPN, and for the sport of hockey as a whole. Subban is one of the league’s most gregarious players, he is an exceptional interview, and often provides a perspective that most hockey players rarely entertain in the mainstream. 

Subban recorded five goals and 19 points with the Devils in 2021, a down year for the 2012-13 Norris Trophy winner. 

ESPN entered a seven-year, $2.8 billion partnership with the NHL in March, allowing the network to broadcast four of the next

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NBA Playoffs: Nets’ Steve Nash Speaks About James Harden After Win Over Bucks

The Brooklyn Nets beat the Milwaukee Bucks 115-107 on Saturday night in Game 1, but they did lose James Harden in the first quarter due to a hamstring injury (see SportsCenter’s Tweet below).

After the game, Steve Nash spoke about Harden’s injury.

“I’m heartbroken for him,” Nash told reporters post-game. “I don’t know what’s going to happen. I don’t know if he’s playing next game or if he’s out. I have no idea.”

The whole presser from Nash can be seen here.

The Nets were 4-point favorites in Brooklyn over the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 1 on Saturday, according to FanDuel.

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