Sports

Sports

The heat is on some big-name coaches despite their success

8:00 AM ET Jeff GoodmanESPN Insider Close Joined ESPN as a college basketball Insider in June 2013 Previously wrote for CBSSports.com and FOXSports.com The hot seat list was supposed to be fairly straightforward this year — until Sept. 26. That’s when the FBI arrested 10 men, including four assistant coaches, as part of a probe into corruption into college basketball. All four assistant coaches are no longer employed by their institutions. One head coach, Rick Pitino, has already lost his job because of his connection to the FBI’s investigation. Now the question becomes whether anyone else will also be implicated. One thing is for certain: The seat got hotter for a lot of people. The non-tradition hot seat Sean Miller, Arizona Miller has been considered one of the game...

How the Astros won a World Series by betting on the ability to predict baseball

7:47 AM ET Baseball tells two big stories about itself. The first is a story about utter unpredictability. It’s the part about Jose Altuve and Dallas Keuchel and Brad Peacock, and about Jon Singleton and J.D. Martinez and Mark Appel. It’s broken-bat singles and the line-drive outs, it’s “my s— doesn’t work in the playoffs,” it’s “Suzyn, you can’t predict baseball.” It’s the 51 times the 2013 Astros somehow managed to beat a better team. The other big story is about predictability, about how the brutal repetitions of a 162-game season eventually wear down the randomness and reveal true talent. It’s “regression to the mean” and projection systems and Carlos Correa. This predictability is what grounds ba...

For these Olympic hopefuls, marathons aren’t long enough

7:28 AM ET SIERRA TARAHUMARA, Mexico — This region in the southwest portion of the northern border state of Chihuahua is known for its natural beauty. Here, among canyons, forests and mountain peaks, the indigenous Tarahumara people, often called the Raramuri, have lived for centuries. Life is difficult in this picturesque but impoverished area, with high unemployment, low opportunity and rampant drug cartels having prompted many Raramuri to flee the isolated villages in their ancestral homeland. But not all choose to run away; some just run. For decades, the Raramuri’s only means of transportation between remote, far-flung communities has been by foot. This culture of extreme travel, born from necessity, has translated fluently to the field of competition. Raramuri runners, of...

‘Passive’ Ball held scoreless in Lakers loss

3:47 AM ET PORTLAND, Ore. — Lakers guard Lonzo Ball struggled through the worst offensive game of his career as he failed to score a point for the first time. Ball missed both of his shots, did not go to the free throw line and finished with four assists, three rebounds, two blocks and one steal in the Lakers’ 113-110 loss to the Trail Blazers on Thursday night. In 44 combined games in college at UCLA and in the pros with the Lakers, Ball had never failed to score a point, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Making matters worse, Blazers point guard Damian Lillard made the winning 3-pointer with seven-tenths of a second left on a step-back jumper over Brandon Ingram. Ball’s counterpart finished with 32 points, six rebounds and five assists. The Los Angeles Lakers c...

Todd Bowles and the Jets aren’t going down without a fight

2:00 AM ET EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Todd Bowles is a card-carrying stoic, a coach who is often tied in the AFC East with You Know Who when it comes to expressionless media conference faces. But in a quiet moment outside his locker room on Thursday night, after his New York Jets manhandled the Buffalo Bills with a 34-21 win, Bowles suddenly broke into laughter over the most painful memory of his football life. The Jets physically dominated the Bills, with seven sacks and nearly 200 yards rushing, as they snapped a three-game losing streak. The Bills reverted to their old ways Thursday night and took a step backward after the progress they’ve made under coach Sean McDermott. 1 Related He was recalling that wintry Christmas Eve in Bill Belichick’s backyard last year when he l...

Lakers’ Nance suffers broken hand vs. Blazers

1:40 AM ET PORTLAND, Ore. — The Lakers might have lost their starting power forward for some time after Larry Nance Jr. suffered a broken hand in the third quarter against the Trail Blazers. The Los Angeles Lakers came back from an 18-point deficit in Portland, but Damian Lillard’s game-winning 3 capped a 32-point night. Nance underwent X-rays that revealed a fractured second metacarpal in his left hand. He left the game for good with 3:45 remaining in the third quarter. Nance might’ve injured the hand going for a block. Nance has started all eight games this season for the Lakers and he left with seven points, five rebounds and one block. The power forward went into Thursday night averaging 11.1 points and 7.9 rebounds. He won the starting power forward spot in camp when...

Statement win for Jets, who bully Bills and save season

12:22 AM ET EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — In their only prime-time appearance this season, the New York Jets delivered a clear and resolute message to America: We’re not who you think we are. Labeled tankers at the beginning of the year, and chokers after blowing leads in three straight losses, the Jets rebounded with a dominating 34-21 win over the Buffalo Bills on Thursday night at MetLife Stadium. The Bills began the night as the darling of the AFC East, but they got slugged upside the head by the Jets (4-5), who were fast and physical for 60 minutes — no easy task on a short week. For a change, they didn’t squander a fourth-quarter lead, thanks to a 27-point cushion. A lot of credit goes to coach Todd Bowles, who can present this game tape as Exhibit A as to why he sh...

Slow-starting Warriors turn on the power, rout Spurs

11:07 PM ET SAN ANTONIO — The Spurs went for the knockout of the Golden State Warriors in the first round. They threw haymaker after haymaker in producing a 19-point advantage late in the opening quarter. The problem was the Warriors executed their version of the rope-a-dope and ended up outscoring their opponents 88-59 in the last three quarters. Golden State (6-3) is now 2-0 on this three-game road trip following a 112-92 win Thursday evening at AT&T Center. Whether it is tutus, yoga or cleaning the garage, the Warriors are doing whatever they can to keep their minds fresh in what one player called their “hardest year” yet. Amin Elhassan and Marc Spears are joined by former NBA player Tariq Abdul-Wahad to talk about the Magic, Dubs-Spurs , life in the NBA as a Musli...

Lowe: Ten things I like and don’t like, including fun plays for Porzingis

7:55 AM ET It’s Friday, let’s go. 10 things I like and don’t like 1. Oh, oh, it’s Magic! The Magic are real — maybe not .750 winning percentage real, or Aaron-Gordon-shooting-55-percent-from-deep real, but real enough to hang in the race for one of the East’s last three playoff spots. None among the Philly/Detroit/Charlotte/Miami quartet seems poised to run away. Hot shooting from Gordon (at power forward full time, finally!), D.J. Augustin, and Nikola Vucevic has blown open what used to be a clogged floor. When Vucevic rumbles to the rim after setting a screen — something he’s doing more this season, per Synergy Sports — he’s rolling into daylight: Gordon has boasted of latent superstar ball-handling potential, but he’s sta...

Lowe: Ten things I like and don’t like, including fun plays for Kristaps Porzingis

7:55 AM ET It’s Friday, let’s go. 10 things I like and don’t like 1. Oh, oh, it’s Magic! The Magic are real — maybe not .750 winning percentage real, or Aaron-Gordon-shooting-55-percent-from-deep real, but real enough to hang in the race for one of the East’s last three playoff spots. None among the Philly/Detroit/Charlotte/Miami quartet seems poised to run away. Hot shooting from Gordon (at power forward full time, finally!), D.J. Augustin, and Nikola Vucevic has blown open what used to be a clogged floor. When Vucevic rumbles to the rim after setting a screen — something he’s doing more this season, per Synergy Sports — he’s rolling into daylight: Gordon has boasted of latent superstar ball-handling potential, but he’s sta...

The big questions (and answers) after Deshaun Watson’s injury

9:55 PM ET If you’re an NFL fan with a pulse, your heart sank a bit on Thursday as you read about Deshaun Watson going down for the year with a torn ACL. Every injury is bad, of course, but Watson may very well have been the most pleasant surprise of an often-dour 2017 season. As an exciting young player playing in a city that has been through a roller coaster through tragedy to the joy of Wednesday night’s World Series victory, there might be no player in the league neutral fans would have wanted to see stay healthy more than Clemson’s national champion quarterback. Watson’s injury raises all kinds of questions. Let’s try and answer a few of them here. Is there a rash of injuries going around the NFL this season? It’s difficult to say. The attrition rat...

Barnwell: The big questions (and answers) after Deshaun Watson’s injury

9:55 PM ET If you’re an NFL fan with a pulse, your heart sank a bit on Thursday as you read about Deshaun Watson going down for the remainder of the season with a torn ACL. Every injury is bad, of course, but Watson may very well have been the most pleasant surprise of an often-dour 2017 season. As an exciting young player playing in a city that has been on a roller coaster through tragedy to the joy of Wednesday night’s World Series victory, there might be no player in the league that neutral fans would have wanted to see stay healthy more than Clemson’s national champion quarterback. Watson’s injury raises all kinds of questions. Let’s try to answer a few of them here. Is there a rash of injuries going around the NFL this season? It’s difficult to say....