1. Boogie to the Big Easy
In typical bizarre Sacramento fashion, a deal they swore wasn’t going to happen broke right after the NBA All-Star Game, when it was announced DeMarcus Cousins was going to New Orleans in a five-player trade. While it was astonishing that the Kings couldn’t get more assets for Cousins, the most insane result of this trade is that, for at least the next year, Cousins will be in a frontcourt with reigning All-Star MVP Anthony Davis.
New Orleans saw its title futures shoot up following the deal (to a still pretty long 100/1), but Boogie’s impact may not be immediately recognized. Not only will it take a little while for Cousins and Davis to adjust to playing with one another, and figure out how to space out the offense, but the Pelicans first game back is against the 3-point-raining offense of the Houston Rockets: a difficult stop for a pair of bigs.
So far, the most notable result of this trade for bettors is that the Kings have gone back to tanking. In an attempt to finish top ten in the lottery and avoid giving Chicago their protected pick, Sacramento is going to lose a bunch down the stretch, rather than try to close the game-and-a-half that would get them in the playoffs for the first time in over a decade. Life has to suck for Kings fans right now, but it can improve marginally if they bet against their team in these final months.
2. Spartans lose Harris for year
Already in tough for an at-large bid in this year’s NCAA tournament, things got worse for a banged-up Michigan State team when they lost guard Eron Harris to a knee sprain on Saturday. Now the Spartans head into the final four games of the season without their third-leading scorer. A win over ranked Wisconsin or Maryland could solidify their spot in the dance, but a loss to middling Nebraska or Illinois could spell doom. In a historic year where Northwestern will make its first tournament (barring collapse), I think it’s time the Spartans run of success (18 straight tournament appearances) comes to an end. Look at the Cornhuskers as a viable play this week.
3. Dustin Johnson is world no. 1
Dustin Johnson claimed the no. 1 spot in the World Golf Rankings for the first time in his career following a five-stroke win at the Genesis Open over the weekend. Johnson’s been remarkably consistent over the last year and a bit, missing the cut just twice while finishing in the top ten 18 times. When it comes to the Masters in a little over a month, though, don’t rush to Johnson’s side just because he’s hot. The current world no. 1 hasn’t won the tournament since Tiger achieved the feat in 2002.
Photo credit: Michael Tipton (Flickr)[https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/].