We now know who holds the NHL’s No. 1 pick at this year’s draft.
The New York Rangers won Monday night’s NFL Draft Lottery and will make the first overall selection for the first time since 1965.
LET'S. GO. pic.twitter.com/ghUDYoBj59
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) August 10, 2020
New York finished the shortened regular season with 79 points and just competed in the NHL’s 2002 Qualifying Games, but were swept by the Carolina Hurricanes.
While nothing is official, it’s likely the Rangers will draft Alexis Lafrenière. The winger long has been considered the top player in the NHL’s 2020 class. The 18-year-old is not afraid to get in front of the net and is physical. So he certainly could add some more to a Rangers team that will get a bit better should they draft Lafrenière.
The NHL Draft is set for Oct. 9.
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On the surface, the New England Patriots don’t need a running back.
But the Patriots intend to sign veteran running back Lamar Miller as long as he passes his physical, agent Drew Rosenhaus told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
The Patriots were so deep at running back last season that third-round pick Damien Harris received four total carries as a rookie. So, why Miller? Why now?
First, running back Brandon Bolden elected to opt-out for the 2020 season, dwindling the Patriots’ running back depth. Then the Patriots placed starter Sony Michel on the physically unable to perform list after offseason foot surgery. That left the Patriots with Harris, James White, Rex Burkhead — a constant injury risk — and undrafted free agent J.J. Taylor.
So, what happens if Michel stays on PUP and the Patriots suffer another injury at the position? What happens if Taylor, a 5-foot-5, 185-pound rookie out of Arizona, doesn’t pan out? The Patriots will need a fourth running back. Enter Miller.
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And if none of that happens — if Michel comes off of PUP, if no one gets hurt, if Taylor looks like the future third-down back, then no harm, no foul. The Patriots could move on from Miller as they have with so many veteran fliers in the past. All he’s doing is taking up a roster spot, of which the Patriots currently have two open.
This move might come as a bit of a shock because Miller has a recognizable name. He made a Pro Bowl in 2018. His signing does not mean Harris is a bust nor that Michel is more hurt than anyone originally thought. It’s training camp, running backs get beat up, and he’s a nice depth option who was probably available for cheap as he returns from a torn ACL that kept him out all of last season.
Miller carried the ball 210 times for 973 yards with five touchdowns and caught 25 passes for 163 yards with one touchdown in 2018. He’s a complete back who does still have starting potential, depending on how he looks at 29 years old coming off of a knee injury. He has two 1,000-yard seasons to his name, and he’s caught 209 passes in seven seasons. He’s a bigger back at 5-foot-10, 221 pounds, and he’s played the Patriots 12 times in his career split between the Miami Dolphins and Houston Texans.
The Patriots didn’t need Miller, but they had a spot for him, so they might as well see what he can offer with some question marks at the position.
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The Los Angeles Lakers have nothing to play for Monday night, but the Denver Nuggets are a different story.
LeBron James and the Lakers are locked into the Western Conference’s No. 1 seed, where as the Nuggets currently are slotted third behind the second-seeded Los Angeles Clippers. But Denver is just one game back of the Clippers and still has a chance to earn the No. 2 seed in the West.
The Nuggets and Lakers will square off Tuesday night inside the Walt Disney World NBA bubble.
Here’s how to watch online:
When: Monday, Aug. 10, at 9 p.m. ET
Live Stream: TNT
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When the Boston Red Sox released their lineup ahead of their game against the Tampa Bay Rays, a notable name was missing.
Rafael Devers was absent from the starting nine just one day after hitting an absolute moonshot to tie the game in Boston’s eventual 5-3 walk-off win over the Toronto Blue Jays.
It certainly caused plenty of questions, especially with the Rays coming to town. But manager Ron Roenicke revealed the third baseman’s ankle is “a little iffy” after lunging at the first base bag in Sunday’s win, but he may be available off the bench if needed.
“It’s not a bad sprain or anything,” Roenicke told reporters during his pregame Zoom press conference. “Just to make sure there’s no swelling on there.”
NBC10 Boston’s Raul Martinez posted a video of Devers in a walking boot prior to the game.
Hopefully it’s just a little sore and Devers won’t be sidelined for long.
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You hate to see it.
Entering the NBA restart, the Philadelphia 76ers shot at a playoff run looked promising, especially with the likelihood of them seeing the Boston Celtics, a team they defeated in three of four matchups this season, in the first round of the Playoffs.
But it appears they may have to move forward with one of their most important players.
Ben Simmons, the point guard who had been playing power forward for the Sixers in the bubble, on Saturday was announced require surgery to remove a loose body from his injured left knee.
According to ESPN’s Aidrian Wojnarowski, Simmons on Monday had the surgery and now is anticipated to sit out the rest of the 2020 season.
Ben Simmons had his left knee surgery to remove a loose body in Philadelphia today and will remain there for rehab. He's expected to miss the rest of the season.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 10, 2020
The news comes ahead of a tough three-game stretch against the Phoenix Suns, Toronto Raptors and Houston Rockets to close out the seeding games.
And to make matters worse, All-Star center Joel Embiid is out against the Suns on Tuesday after leaving Sunday’s game against the Portland Trail Blazers early with a left ankle injury.
But according to Wojnarowski, there’s optimism that Embiid’s injury isn’t serious and he’ll return to play soon.
There's optimism that the Embiid ankle injury isn't serious and that he'll be back soon, sources tell ESPN. https://t.co/yvCj70K6dv
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 10, 2020
We’ll see how it all shakes out.
NBA Rumors: Lottery For 2020 Draft To Be Held Virtually On Aug. 20
The New England Patriots are adding a former Pro Bowler to their backfield.
Veteran running back Lamar Miller on Monday agreed to terms with the Patriots on a one-year contract, pending a physical, his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Miller missed all of last season with a torn ACL but now is fully healthy, per Schefter.
Former Texans’ RB Lamar Miller tore his ACL one year ago but is said to he fully recovered and ready to play this season. https://t.co/MSJTtEHtgp
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 10, 2020
Miller has been a productive dual-threat back throughout his NFL career. Before his injury, the 29-year-old had surpassed 870 rushing yards in five consecutive seasons while also averaging 35.4 receptions per year during that span.
In 2018, his last healthy season, Miller finished with 973 rushing yards, five rushing touchdowns and a 4.6 yards-per-carry average in 14 games for the Houston Texans. He also caught 25 passes on 35 targets for 163 yards and one score and earned Pro Bowl honors for the first time.
Miller, who began his career with the Miami Dolphins in 2012, joins a running back group that features Sony Michel, James White, Rex Burkhead, Damien Harris and undrafted rookie J.J. Taylor. Brandon Bolden opted out of the season due to COVID-19 concerns.
Michel, New England’s leading rushing in 2018 and 2019, currently is on the physically unable to perform list as he recovers from offseason foot surgery.
The Patriots entered Monday with four open spots on their 80-man roster. They reportedly plan to sign tight end Jordan Leggett and defensive tackle Darius Kilgo, as well, if both pass physicals and COVID-19 tests.
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The Bruins scored just four goals in their three round-robin games, all of which resulted in losses as the Presidents’ Trophy winners looked to shake off some rust upon reporting to the NHL’s bubble in Toronto.
They went 0-for-9 on the power play, a far cry from the shortened regular season, when Boston ranked second in the NHL with the man advantage.
To say the Bruins need more production with their opponents in the penalty box would be an understatement. And this isn’t lost on head coach Bruce Cassidy, who on Monday emphasized the role special teams could play in the Bruins’ upcoming Stanley Cup playoff series against the Hurricanes, especially considering the power-play success Boston had while sweeping Carolina in last year’s Eastern Conference Final.
“Last year, our power play was really good against Carolina, helped us a lot — particularly in Game 1 in the third period, we got on the board a couple times, it helped us win games,” Cassidy told reporters during a video call. “That’s something that is going to be a big X factor in this series. Can we replicate that success?
“So, that’s something that is a bit of an unknown because we, in the round robin, we didn’t have a lot of success on it. We didn’t have a lot of opportunity to build it, especially with certain guys out of the lineup in practice. So, that’s one area that we’re going to have to be cleaner and sharper on to help us battle through the days we’re not getting 5-on-5 scoring.”
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Boston went 7-for-15 on the power play against Carolina in last year’s playoff series. The Bruins outscored the Hurricanes 17-5 overall while punching their tickets to the Stanley Cup Final, where Boston ultimately fell to the St. Louis Blues in seven games.
The B’s will enter this year’s series as the favorites despite their troubles in the round-robin games and the Canes’ impressive three-game sweep of the New York Rangers in the qualifying round. Boston remains stacked with talent and has a battle-tested veteran core.
It remains to be seen whether anything learned from last year’s series will matter once the puck drops in Game 1 on Tuesday night. But the Bruins will need to shore up their own game to avoid an early upset.
“You can see some tendencies from last year will probably bleed into this year’s series. For us, we’ve felt that when we were able to counter Carolina’s puck pressure with good support, good execution and good decision making, that’s when we were at our best in that series,” Cassidy said. “That’ll be our game plan going in. We saw a lot of that against the Rangers. That style of play. I don’t think they’ve changed a lot there.
“Again, it comes down to making the right plays at the right time against that pressure. Who wins those battles on the walls, who wins the foot races to loose pucks in the neutral zone when you do battle it out.”
Boston’s performance while dropping three straight to the Philadelphia Flyers, Tampa Bay Lightning and Washington Capitals left much to be desired. But now, the games really count for the Bruins, who simply can’t afford to stumble out of the gate against a hungry, upstart Hurricanes team.
Bruins Vs. Hurricanes Schedule: Dates, Start Times For First-Round Series
When the NBA made a decision to postpone the lottery for the 2020 NBA Draft, originally scheduled for May 19 in Chicago, it had no idea what would be going on with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Surely, if medical experts didn’t advise against it, the pushed-back date would allow the event to be held as it normally would have.
But it looks like that won’t be the case.
Per a Monday report from the Athletic’s Shams Charania, we’re going virtual.
“The NBA plans to hold the Aug. 20 Draft Lottery virtually, with 14 team representatives appearing via virtual display,” Charania reported via Twitter.
The NBA plans to hold the Aug. 20 Draft Lottery virtually, with 14 team representatives appearing via virtual display, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 10, 2020
There’s no word yet on the format of the NBA Draft itself, which was moved from June 25 back to Oct. 15.
But with concern over an impending second wave of the novel virus, the NBA might ultimately opt to go the route of the NFL with a virtual selection show as well.
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The Red Sox got a bit thinner at pitching Monday.
Boston announced Brian Johnson was released from the minor league roster, bringing the Club Player Pool to 59.
The left-hander never cracked the big league roster in the abbreviated 2020 Major League Baseball season despite being an option to help out the depleted staff.
Ron Roenicke confirmed the release Monday ahead of Boston’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays, stating Johnson was seeking an opportunity and felt he wasn’t getting one here.
“Johnson felt like he wanted an opportunity,” the Sox manager told reporters during his pregame Zoom press conference. Sometimes you need to go other places to get that.”
Roenicke also noted that Johnson asked for his release. The pitcher also wasn’t on the 40-man roster and out of options.
Johnson leaves the Red Sox in his fifth season with the team. He compiled a 7-9 record with a 4.74 ERA in 65 games.
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Buckle up. This one could be a bumpy ride.
Monday’s Sun-Dream matchup has the potential to be one of the more explosive games played so far this WNBA season. This will be Connecticut’s first look at Shekinna Stricklen and Courtney Williams since the former Sun starters joined Atlanta in February. (Stricklen signed with the club as a free agent, while Williams landed there in a three-team trade that brought Briann January to Connecticut shortly after.)
The Sun have beefed up their own roster, too, adding the likes of DeWanna Bonner and Kaleena
Despite their respective star power, however, Connecticut (1-6) and Atlanta (2-5) hold two of the worst records in the league through the first two weeks of play. Both teams, in fact, are coming off of Saturday losses, though only one squad will bounce back with a win Monday night.
But which team will emerge victorious? Tune in to find out!
Here’s how to watch Sun-Dream on Monday:
Connecticut Sun (1-6) vs. Atlanta Dream (2-5)
When: Monday, Aug. 10, at 6 p.m. ET
Online: NESN Live Stream
This is the first time the Sun and the Dream will square off this season. And if last season is any indicator, Connecticut should have the edge on Atlanta, despite some roster shake-ups on both sides during the offseason.
The Sun dominated the Dream in 2019, defeating them 3-1 in their season series.
Players to watch
Naturally, all eyes will be on Stricklen and Williams in their first game against their former team. Williams has dazzled, averaging 10.6 points a game and recording her first double-double of the season Thursday against the Seattle Storm. Stricklen, meanwhile, has scored double-figures in just one game this season, averaging eight points and 2.5 rebounds in her first seven games with the Dream.
Sun fans also should keep and eye out for Brionna Jones and Alyssa Thomas, both of whom scored 11 points in Saturday’s loss to the Chicago Sky.
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