Everything you need to know in the world of sports heading into the weekend.
On Wednesday, a New York Times investigative report by Walt Bogdanich revealed flaws in the investigation of Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston. The report cited examples of how police failed to follow leads in the case, and how Florida State’s athletic department looked the other way by allowing Winston to play – who ultimately led the Seminoles to a national championship. Florida State denied the accusations in a statement on Thursday.
Adam said that it looks like Florida State and the Tallahassee police department deliberately did a lousy job with their investigation to keep Winston eligible in order to win a national championship in college football. How does the police department not interview witnesses, or try to obtain the alleged videotape? How does the detective wait almost two months to file a report?
I’d recommend checking out the entire monologue from Wednesday’s edition of Schein on Sports On Demand, as the SoundCloud clip above doesn’t do Adam’s emotional diatribe full justice.
Interview of the Week
Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley joined Adam on Tuesday’s edition of Schein on Sports.
After listening to both clips, it sounds like Bradley, a former defensive coordinator, is very excited about top defensive prospects Jadeveon Clowney and Khalil Mack. Bradley believes that Clowney is not only physically gifted, but has the desire to be great – noteworthy, as he has been criticized for being “spoiled and lazy.”
The Jaguars pick third overall in the NFL Draft in a couple weeks. You might believe that with just one quarterback – Chad Henne - who has taken a snap in an NFL game on the Jaguars roster, the team would be interested in one of the top quarterback prospects such as Blake Bortles or Johnny Manziel. But don’t be surprised if they take Buffalo LB Khalil Mack with their top pick.
Underrated Story of the Week
With the NBA playoffs starting this weekend, a lot of players, coaches and teams around the league are feeling the pressure of trying to win a championship. The Brooklyn Nets mortgaged their future this offseason by trading for Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett in their pursuit of a title; the San Antonio Spurs have an ax to grind after blowing Game 6 of the Finals to the Miami Heat last year – and subsequently losing the series in seven games; Blake Griffin has never gotten to a conference finals.
However, the one player that is arguably under the most pressure entering these playoffs is Thunder forward Kevin Durant. The Thunder lost to the Heat in the 2012 Finals, and lost to the upstart Grizzlies in the second round last year after Russell Westbrook suffered a season-ending knee injury. Durant has a good chance to win his first MVP this season, but the pressure is on for him to lead the Thunder back to the NBA Finals.
GIF of the week
Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka has been outstanding this season, 2-0 with a 2.05 ERA, 28 strikeouts and two walks in 22 innings pitched. In the GIF above, you can see his devastating splitter in action.
Not only is he getting results early on, but he’s making major league hitters look foolish in the process. This will be a fun year in the Bronx.
5 Things to Watch This Weekend
- The NBA playoffs start this weekend. It might be tough to get into some of these series in the Eastern Conference, though, as most don’t expect the below-.500 Atlanta Hawks to challenge the Indiana Pacers, or the Miami Heat to lose to Steve Clifford’s Charlotte Bobcats. One match-up worth keeping a close eye on, though, is the Raptors-Nets series. Toronto won the Atlantic Division by four games over Brooklyn, and the teams split the season series two games apiece. I don’t know if the Nets intentionally “tanked” down the stretch to avoid a first round match-up with the Chicago Bulls, but if I were Raptors coach Dwane Casey, that would be the message I would be giving my team.
- I love rivalries, hatred and trash talk in sports. The Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors will face off in the first round of the NBA playoffs. Warriors guard Klay Thompson says Clippers star Blake Griffin plays like a bull in a china shop, and flops a lot. Griffin, who is tied for the NBA league lead in technical fouls, played down the comments … but you know he won’t forget them. These teams will be physical with each other, players will get angry, and gums will be flapping. This should be a great series, and I like the Clippers in six.
- My favorite first-round series in the Stanley Cup Playoffs is Blues-Blackhawks: the defending champs versus Ryan Miller, David Backes and company. Game 1 on Thursday was a triple-overtime classic, won by an Alexander Steen goal. Game 2 is on Saturday afternoon.
- Saturday afternoon at Comerica Park in Detroit, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in Orange County, Southern California (or whatever they’re calling themselves these days) take on the Tigers. CJ Wilson is scheduled to pitch against 2013 AL Cy Young winner Max Scherzer, and future AL MVP Mike Trout and two-time AL MVP Miguel Cabrera will lead the opposing lineups. You gotta love sports.
- I am a Yankees fan, but I try to get out to Citi Field once a year with my dad and brother, who are both Mets fans, to see a game. I love going to see a ballgame with my family, and on Sunday, I’ll head out to Queens to see the Mets take on the Atlanta Braves. The Braves are off to a great start thanks in part to their starting pitching. The Mets send Zack Wheeler to the hill. Wheeler has gotten off to a bit of a rough start, but is a long-term building block for the Mets, and I anticipate that he will bounce back in this game.
As always, you can hear our predictions every Friday on the Schein Nine!