1. Boogie takes on Kings
For both the Pelicans and the Kings, tonight’s game is the last one on the schedule with any significance. No, not for the playoff race: New Orleans is five games back of Portland, while Sacramento has already been mathematically eliminated; instead, pride is on the line when DeMarcus Cousins takes on the team he called home for the first six and a half seasons of his career.
Things started slow for the Pelicans’ twin towers, but Cousins and Anthony Davis are getting more comfortable playing together (when Cousins is in the lineup, which isn’t often enough). A 6-8 record with both big men in the lineup isn’t wowing anyone, but having two solid rim-protectors on the floor is leading to some better efforts on the defensive end.
Even though the Kings’ season is in the tank, their team of young guys and castoffs has shown some fight recently, rallying from 18 points down on Sunday to top the Clippers. All the stories leading up to the game will be about Cousins getting revenge, but the Kings are out to prove something too, especially Buddy Hield, who went the other way in the deal.
Despite both teams being terrible, New Orleans is an 11-point favorite! That is too many points.
2. Dolphins sign T.J. McDonald
A few days after it was announced that the safety would be receiving an eight-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy, Miami signed one of the best remaining free agents anyway.
Given that he’s only available for half the year, McDonald isn’t really going to improve the Dolphins’ defense. All this move really does is give them depth for the stretch run at a position of need. When Reshad Jones went down with an injury last year, the secondary couldn’t find a way to replace his production, and it was a big reason why Antonio Brown torched them in the playoffs.
Miami still might not be able to challenge the Patriots for the AFC East title, but so far, they look to be in a good spot to challenge for a playoff spot again.
3. Baseball returns to Montreal
Preseason baseball that is. For the fourth year in a row, the Toronto Blue Jays will play a two-game set at Olympic Stadium in Montreal, and all the talk will surround Major League Baseball’s return to “La Belle Province.” But while it will mostly be a weekend of remembering the good old days and congratulating Tim Raines on his Hall of Fame induction, the on-field action should be pretty good. With starters playing in front of 50,000 rowdy fans, it’ll be a sneak peek at what the regular season has in store.
The Jays are sending Marcus Stroman and Francisco Liriano to the mound this weekend, and the Pittsburgh Pirates are countering with Jameson Taillon and Chad Kuhl. The Jays are only 3-3 in their previous six Montreal games, but I’d look for them to get a sweep this weekend.
Photo Credit: Mohammed Jaffar (Major League Baseball in Montreal) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.