NBA Rumors: League Currently Eying MLK Jr. Day For 2020-21 Restart Date

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The NBA just wrapped up its 2019-20 season, and the league already is planning for the next one.

But, just when will it start?

COVID-19 certainly has thrown a wrench into the league’s recent plans. And now, the pandemic will help decide when and how the league attempts to resume play.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Jan.18) is the goal date, according to Yahoo! Sports.

An official start date, however, has yet to be set.

Christmas Day in 2020 still remains a possible start date. (That’s about three weeks before MLK Day, for anyone who’s counting.)

When exactly will the season start, though? Stay tuned to find out.

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Rays’ Randy Arozarena Ties Derek Jeter For Most Hits In Single Postseason In Game 2

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If you never heard of Randy Arozarena, chances are that changed this postseason.

And rightfully so.

The Tampa Bay Rays rookie has been a delight to watch throughout Major League Baseball’s division, championship and World Series.

And he tied a significant rookie record Wednesday in Game 2 of the World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Arozarena picked up his 22nd hit of the playoffs in the top of the ninth inning, which tied Derek Jeter’s record.

Check out the hit:

With this hit, Randy Arozarena tied Derek Jeter for the most hits by a rookie in one #postseason. pic.twitter.com/0xHHD5Kf8t— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) October 22, 2020

It’s clear to see why Arozarena’s favorite player is… Randy Arozarena.

He’ll have a chance to break that record Friday in Game 3.

The Rays also tied the World Series at 1-1 with a 6-4 win.

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Former Magic, Pistons Coach Stan Van Gundy Set To Take Over Pelicans

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The New Orleans Pelicans officially have themselves a new head coach.

New Orleans parted ways with former head coach Alvin Gentry after their time in the NBA bubble, and officially have hired veteran coach Stan Van Gundy to fill the spot.

Van Gundy began his head coaching career with the Miami Heat, before taking the same position with the Orlando Magic where he led the squad to the NBA Finals in 2008-09 in a losing effort against the Los Angeles Lakers.

His most recent coaching stop was with the Detroit Pistons from the 2014-15 season through the 2017-18, before finding work as an analyst for TNT.

For more on the move, check out the “Need To Know” video above, presented by People’s United Bank.

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Social Media Hilariously Reacts To Mookie Betts’ Massive Game 1 Performance

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Mookie Betts shined for the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 1 of the World Series.

The Dodgers right fielder smacked a home run in the Los Angeles win and also stole two bases in the process — one of them earning America free tacos from Taco Bell.

Twitter had a field day with all of the memes after the game.

For more, check out the “Always Checking” video above from “NESN After Hours,” presented by People’s United Bank.

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Rays’ Blake Snell Joins Impressive Company With Two Strikeouts In Four Straight Innings

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Blake Snell had a solid outing in Game 2 of the World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday night.

The Tampa Bay Rays pitcher carried a no-hitter into the fifth before it was broken up by a two-run home run from Chris Taylor. Snell lasted 4 2/3 innings giving up just the two earned runs on as many hits. He also racked up nine strikeouts.

Snell had four straight innings with two K’s, something only two other pitchers have done. Check it out:

Blake Snell is the 3rd pitcher in World Series history with 2 strikeouts in 4 consecutive innings within a World Series game. He joins Sandy Koufax and Bob Gibson. pic.twitter.com/W0bpaPV2pt— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 22, 2020

If the Rays can hold on to win, they’ll even the series at a game apiece and Snell will get the win.

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J.C. Jackson Knows 49ers Could Challenge Patriots’ No. 1 Defensive Rule

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New England Patriots cornerback J.C. Jackson seems to be among those who understand just how much of a challenge the San Francisco 49ers’ offense presents.

It’s due in large part to skill position players like running back Jerrick McKinnon, tight end George Kittle and receivers Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk. And while the 49ers likely won’t have playmaker Raheem Mostert on Sunday against the New England Patriots, it remains a group which can change the game with one snap.

“We just have to continue to do what we do as a team, especially as a defense. Just continue to play hard, don’t give up big plays, that’s what we do,” Jackson told reporters Wednesday during a video conference. “As a defense, that’s our number one rule. Don’t give up big plays.”

The 49ers have 19 big plays, which we categorized as passes or rushes more than 20 yards, in six games this season. Of them, San Francisco has touchdowns consisting of 80, 76, 44 and 38 yards, respectively.

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While Mostert accounted for the two longest 49ers’ touchdowns this season, McKinnon showed big-play potential with a 55-yard run Week 2 against the New York Jets. With a deep San Francisco backfield McKinnon’s opportunities have been limited, but when he played a season-high 92% of offensive snaps Week 4 against the Philadelphia Eagles, he combined for 97 yards of offense with one touchdown.

Aiyuk has shown his ability all year, averaging 17.3 yards per rush and 11.8 yards per reception in five games. He has three touchdowns in the last four games. Samuel is returning to heath after a broke foot causes him to miss three games. He averages a first down (10.9 yards) for every reception while Kittle’s production (95 yards per game, two touchdowns) speaks for itself.

All told, Jackson knows it’s going to take another strong defensive effort.

“I mean that’s why it’s good to watch film and you prepare the right way in practice,” the cornerback said. “(On-field communication) plays a huge role in knowing what’s coming and what to expect.”

The 2-3 Patriots are set to host the 3-3 49ers at Gillette Stadium on Sunday at 4:25 p.m. ET.

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Watch Brandon Lowe Hit Second Home Run For Rays In World Series Game 2 Vs. Dodgers

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Have yourself a game, Brandon Lowe.

The Tampa Bay Rays second baseman got the scoring started in Game 2 of the World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the first inning with a solo home run.

And tonight it's @RaysBaseball on the board first!Brandon Lowe with a solo shot! Watch More: https://t.co/wThupaIvbJ pic.twitter.com/jUoaTERCw6— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) October 22, 2020

But he wasn’t done just yet.

With Tampa Bay up 3-0 and a man on first in the fifth, Lowe smacked his second round-tripper of the night to give his team a 5-0 lead.

Brandon Lowe does it AGAIN!A 2-run shot to give @RaysBaseball a 5-0 lead! pic.twitter.com/4sz55f8nKc— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) October 22, 2020

The Rays entered Game 2 down 1-0.

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Tony Gonsolin’s Game 2 Start For Dodgers Was Shortest In World Series History Since 1947

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Tony Gonsolin’s World Series start lasted just 1 1/3 inning, a start so short we have to go back quite a ways to find one even close to that.

The Dodgers pitcher was removed after one earned run on one hit and a walk in Game 2 of the World Series against the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Rays’ first-inning run came off the bat of Brandon Lowe with a solo blast.

And tonight it's @RaysBaseball on the board first!Brandon Lowe with a solo shot! Watch More: https://t.co/wThupaIvbJ pic.twitter.com/jUoaTERCw6— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) October 22, 2020

Gonsolin’s outing, though, was the shortest of a World Series game that a pitcher allowed one run and wasn’t removed due to injury since 1947 when Harry Taylor couldn’t get out of the first inning of the then-Brooklyn Dodgers’ Game 4 against the New York Yankees.

Gotta go wayyy back to find a start as short as Gonsolin's without an injury and only 1 run allowed: Brooklyn's Harry Taylor, Game 4 in 1947 (the Bill Bevens near no-hitter game). https://t.co/7cGICkQSsh— Tyler Kepner (@TylerKepner) October 22, 2020

Taylor gave up a run on two hits with a walk before being pulled.

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Raiders Send Offensive Linemen Home After Placing Trent Brown On COVID-19 List

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The Raiders just can’t shake their COVID-19 problems.

Las Vegas on Wednesday sent home all five of its offensive linemen after placing Trent Brown on the team’s reserve/COVID-19 list. And clearly, head coach Jon Gruden is not pleased by the news.

“How happy am I? I’m not happy,” Gruden told reporters Wednesday during a video conference call, via ESPN. “I’m concerned. I’m really more concerned about Trent (and) his health than anything. This is COVID and I am concerned about anybody that has it or is near it.”

“… We’re listening to the league and they’re advising us on what to do,” Gruden said. “We used other linemen and adjusted practice. We’ll have five (offensive linemen) on Sunday. We’ll be ready to go.”

Vegas’ problems with COVID-19 date all the way back to Week 1 of the NFL’s 2020 season. The team has been called out (and punished) for numerous violations, even having a 2021 draft pick threatened should they continue to not comply with the NFL’s health and safety protocols.

Despite sporadically placing players on their reserve/COVID-19 list earlier than most squads, the Raiders still own a 3-2 record — good for second in the AFC West. But as Derek Carr noted, the team isn’t taking its recent success for granted, especially thanks to the pandemic.

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“What’s crazy is … whoever’s out there, that’s who’s out there,” Vegas quarterback said. “Nobody cares about this or that. They just see the win-loss and that’s all that matters in this business. So with that said, we came in with the mindset today like, Oh, dang, you feel bad for those guys. You feel for them, you pray for them, make sure they’re OK, make sure their families are OK. But at the same time, we have a job to do while we’re here, so you have to compartmentalize a little bit. You have to separate the two. Once you step on the field, hey, we have to act like this is game day. We have to act like this is the group we’re rolling out with, so get ready to play.

“It ranks No. 1 in the weirdest things and y’all know we’ve seen a lot of weird things around here in my seven years. But this is definitely up there with some of the weirdest things I’ve ever seen.”

Believe it or not, the Raiders enter Week 7 just one loss behind the Kansas City Chiefs. But they certainly will have a challenge on their hands when they take on Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.

Kick off, by the way, is scheduled for 8:20 p.m. ET.

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Le’Veon Bell OK With Taking Lesser Role With Chiefs, ‘There’s Only One Football’

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The Kansas City Chiefs have a ton of offensive weapons for Patrick Mahomes, so there won’t be too much pressure on Le’Veon Bell come Sunday.

Bell, who signed with Kansas City two days after being released by the New York Jets, is eligible to make his debut with his new team this weekend. And due to the high-powered offense the Chiefs already boast, his role won’t be as big as it’s been in the past.

But that’s OK with the running back.

“When I decided to come here, I knew the weapons they have and there’s only one football,” Bell said, via ESPN’s Adam Teicher.

Bell played in two games for the Jets before his release and did not amass a touchdown. We’ll see if that total changes when the Chiefs take on the Denver Broncos on Sunday.

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