The Weekly Assist: 10/5 to 10/11
As Ferris Bueller might say: The world of sports moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around at least once a week, you could miss it.
Here we'll review what you might have missed in the past week all in one place. Why spend hours scrolling through Twitter to catch up on the news you want? We've already done that for you, so remember to check back every Monday to get your dose of weekly sports review.
Jimmy Butler had another outstanding performance in Game 5 of the NBA Finals, which made the series 3-2 in favor of Los Angeles. Butler has undoubtedly established himself as an elite player in this league over the course of this postseason, but it appeared that he had emptied the tank to get the Heat to a Game 6. Butler finished with only 12 points on 5-10 shooting and only reached the foul line for 3 attempts.
It was Bam Adebayo who paced Miami in scoring with 25, but the perimeter scoring threats of Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson only combined for 17 points. Goran Dragic made his return to the lineup, but that wasn't enough to spark the team to a comeback. The Lakers held a 28 point lead at halftime, and they never relented.
Only @Lakers duos to win the NBA Finals while both averaging 25+ PPG in the postseason: LeBron James (27.6 in 2020… https://t.co/PhQlp2qQoA— NBA History (@NBA History) 1602481895.0
As the final buzzer rang on the 2019-2020 NBA season the LA Lakers had won the NBA Finals 106-93. LeBron James with his fourth NBA Championship and fourth NBA Finals MVP. For others such as Dwight Howard and Anthony Davis it was their first taste of winning a title.
James' legacy will undoubtedly be a hotly contested debate as he draws closer to Kobe Bryant's 5 rings and Michael Jordan's 6. In these Finals, James averaged 29.8 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 8.5 assists against the Heat. Even while approaching 36 years of age, LeBron doesn't look to be losing a step yet. The return of players like Steph Curry and Kevin Durant will increase the number of competitive teams seeking a championship next season, but the Lakers look primed to defend around the core of James and Davis.
French Open Men's Singles Final Rafael Nadal v. Novak Djokovic
Nadal took the first set 6-0 and set the tone early at Court Philippe-Chatrier. Rafa held a 6-1 record against Djokovic in this competition going into their eighth French Open Final against one another.
Rafael Nadal any time someone plays him on a clay court https://t.co/cRn9tiJw6C— ODDSbible (@ODDSbible) 1602494169.0
Nadal's dominance on clay certainly extends beyond his rival, but on such a large stage the disparity is obvious. Nadal took the second set 6-2. The Joker took a 4-3 lead in the third set, which was quickly leveled by Nadal to make it 4-4.
They repeated the process to make it 5-5. In the end Djokovic had too many unforced errors down the stretch and Nadal finished in straight sets with his 20th Grand Slam Title tying Roger Federer for the all-time lead.
Both of the NL Division Series provided little drama. The LA Dodgers and Atlanta Braves advanced to the National League Championship Series by sweeping their opponents. The Braves didn't allow a run against the Marlins after the first game, while the Dodgers capped off their series with the Padres by putting up 12 runs.
Good morning to everyone except Dodger fans. Game one of the NLCS is tonight 😤 https://t.co/Osw9FSXmWy— Evan Drake Underwood (@Evan Drake Underwood) 1602509195.0
The Dodgers and Braves will highlight some of the league's brightest stars, including Ronald Acuna, Freddie Freeman, and Marcell Ozuna for Atlanta. Clayton Kershaw, Mookie Betts, and Cody Bellinger for Los Angeles. Game 1 is Monday night, and we'll see Max Fried go for Atlanta and Walker Buehler for the Dodgers.
The AL Division Series featured the Tampa Bay Rays serving the New York Yankees an early exit after a competitive 5 games. The other matchup saw Houston make short work of the Oakland A's defeating them 3-1. The Astros have missed their ace Justin Verlander, so they will continue to rely on their bats as they did against Oakland. They will need production from George Springer and Carlos Correa to combat the pitching dominance of the Rays.
Blake Snell was available in Game 5 against the Yankees but wasn't needed. This set him up for a Game 1 ALCS start on Sunday, which saw him pitch 5 innings only surrendering 1 run on 6 hits. Snell outdueled Framber Valdez, who went 6 innings and only gave up 2 runs, but that was enough to seal the victory for the Rays. Game 2 starters will be Lance McCullers Jr for Houston and Charlie Morton for Tampa Bay.
Charlie Morton vs. his former self (Lance McCullers) tonight in game two. @RaysBaseball @astros #ALCS2020… https://t.co/rcNtlILRTi— "Thunder Dan" Palyo (@"Thunder Dan" Palyo) 1602514449.0
Covid-19 and Rescheduling
For the second week in a row, we saw positive Covid-19 diagnoses affecting the NFL schedule. The Patriots vs Broncos has been rescheduled to Week 6. The Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs were scheduled to play Thursday Night (Oct 15) but are instead playing Monday Night (Oct 19).
The Jets and Dolphins game that was scheduled for Week 10 has been moved up to Week 6, and the Jets' original Week 6 game with the Chargers has been moved to Week 11.
The Jaguars and Chargers game initially scheduled Week 8 is now being played Week 7. The Chargers and Broncos game moves from Week 11 to Week 8. The Chargers and Dolphins matchup goes from Week 7 to Week 10. The Dolphins and Broncos subsequently now play Week 11 instead of Week 6.
From a fantasy perspective the shifting of games affects not only matchups, but bye weeks for players. The following are updated bye weeks for teams affected by the schedule changes. Broncos Week 5, Patriots Week 5, Chargers Week 6, Dolphins Week 7, Jaguars Week 8, Jets Week 10.
Notes from Week 5
The Carolina Panthers got their third win of the season without star running back Christian McCaffrey. Teddy Bridgewater threw for 313 yards and McCaffrey's replacement, Mike Davis, has continued to impress as he finished with 149 total yards and a touchdown.
Falcons chose their defensive coordinator and former Buccaneers’ HC Raheem Morris as their interim head coach to re… https://t.co/EB9dTZknOL— Adam Schefter (@Adam Schefter) 1602510255.0
The team that Bridgewater and the Panthers defeated on Sunday was the Atlanta Falcons who have now started their season 0-5. It resulted in the team firing Head Coach Dan Quinn and General Manager Thomas Dimitroff Sunday evening, and now the only question that remains in Atlanta is if this season is already lost.
The Las Vegas Raiders shocked the world by taking down the previously undefeated Kansas City Chiefs. Every time it appeared that Patrick Mahomes was leading a classic comeback, the Raiders would match them with a score. In the end it was Derek Carr who won the showdown 40-32 as the Raiders improve to 3-2 on the year.
Fantasy Breakout Performers Week 5
Travis Fulgham Phi WR - Fulgham exploded with 10 catches for 152 receiving yards and a touchdown on Sunday. Easily the Eagles' most competent threat against the Steelers as no other Eagle had more than 37 receiving yards. As DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery continue to deal with injuries Fulgham may have just carved out WR1 duty based off of one performance as Carson Wentz is desperate for any help he can get to turn this season around for Philadelphia.
Four touchdowns in Week 5?! Get ready to place your @NFLFantasy waiver claims on @ChaseClaypool. #PHIvsPIT https://t.co/ZIpcir1JHY— NFL (@NFL) 1602509400.0
Chase Claypool PIT WR - In one of the most memorable rookie performances in recent memory, Claypool finished his day with 4 touchdowns (3 receiving and 1 rushing) on 116 total yards from scrimmage. It was the outburst from Claypool that kept Pittsburgh coming back and eventually putting the Eagles away. An injury to Diontae Johnson opened up more opportunity for Claypool in this game, but the rookie receiver proved he was up for the challenge. If Johnson remains sidelined for next week's matchup with the Browns, Claypool is a must start.
The Cowboys lost Dak Prescott to a serious ankle injury and his season is almost certainly over