‘So…This Happened’ is our quick-hitting weekly round-up of some of the biggest stories in sports. Take a read and own the water cooler sports conversations, if any of you actually have a water cooler that you hang out by to talk sports.
Spring is in swing. That means early-season baseball, the NBA Playoffs (they’re FANNNNNASTIC!), and the NFL Draft.
1. 2018 NL MVP Christian Yelich continues his offensive assault on 2019 pitching.
Last year, after being liberated from the Miami Marlins, Christian Yelich found a new home in Milwaukee. Yelich finally put together all the tools scouts had long raved about and had a dominant offensive season, leading the Brewers deep into the NL playoffs.
Many had considered Yelich a “nice” player, the kind of player who could hit .300, hit 20 HRs, and steal a few bags. In other words, the kind of player that is vastly under-appreciated in today’s launch-angle-centric MLB. Like a Paul O’Neill or Nick Markakis.
Last year he hit .326 with 36 HR, 110 RBI, and stole 22 bases.
Well, hello there. It should also be noted that Yelich looks like he’s 12 years old, with a skinny build and boyish face.
For any doubters, the assault has continued apace in 2019. So far this April, Yelich is hitting .337 with 13 HRs. And, he has the most home runs in MLB since Aug. 24, 2018 (by far!) with 28.
Who knew? Chris digs the long ball.
2. NBA Playoffs are proceeding apace with no real surprises, except for the allegations against Luke Walton
The Bucks drubbed the Pistons. Giannis dominated. The Celtics handled the Pacers. The Raptors and Sixers both seem to be heading towards the next round, after respective Game 1 stumbles against the Magic and Nets.
Out West, Golden State and Houston are off to 3-1 starts and sure to advance. The other two series are a bit more interesting. The Spurs vs. Nuggets is the classic old veterans vs. young upstart matchup, and on Tuesday night Portland pushed Russell Westbrook and Paul George and company to the brink of elimination.
CJ McCollum is not only trying, Jennifer. He is succeeding!
This CJ McCollum crossover was too smooth 🤭
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) April 22, 2019
Any series that pits athletic guard-assassins Damian Lillard vs. Russell Westbrook is must-see-TV in my book. In the end, last night, Dame finished it off, capping off a 50 point night with a nearly-halfcourt buzzer beating three to win it and advance!!
Paul George: “It was a bad shot.”
Damian Lillard drops the series-winner for the Blazers on the buzzer https://t.co/7MyUsDXJoR
— Michael Kasdan (@michaelkasdan) April 24, 2019
Nonetheless, if this were March Madness, we’d have a whole bunch of 1 and 2 seeds advancing – Booooorrrrringggg. But its not March, its April. And with just a few notable exceptions, this is pretty par for the course for the early rounds of NBA Playoffs.
Unfortunately, the most jarring news this week in the NBA came from off-the-court. A woman accused former Lakers and Warriors coach, former Arizona star, and son of Bill Walton, Luke Walton of sexual assault in his hotel room in an alleged incident that occurred while he was with Golden State. Not good. Investigations have begun. More to come, I’m sure.
3. The NFL Draft, the grandaddy draft event of them all is here this week!
Can you believe its finally here?
After 26 million mock drafts and 25,000 episodes of Path to the Draft, the National Football League finally holds its made for TV live multi-day extravaganza event, starting on Thursday evening.
We will finally learn whether multi-sport star and Oklahoma QB, Kyler Murray, will be drafted first overall.
Players will rise up boards. Others will slide. Weird things definitively will happen. See, e.g., Laremy Tunsil Draft Night 2016.
And Mel Kiper will again attempt to guide us all through it, with his clipped tones and his perfectly coiffed helmet-hair.
All kidding aside, the draft is a lot of fun. Part of the staying power of the NFL is that some fans enjoy the on-field action, others enjoy the Xs and Ox of coaching strategy, while still others enjoy the puzzling of how to put a team together. Nothing better than the latter, than NFL Draft Night(s).
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Aaron Gash