Hi everybody! This is Gabe Fernandez back once again providing you your daily dose of sports news, otherwise known as the medicine for what ails you.
One of the funnier things that came out after the scrum that broke out between the Nuggets and Suns when Nikola Jokic swiped at Cameron Payne was a reminder of just how wild Jokic's childhood was, and why that would make him someone you'd never want to mess with. Specifically, it was a quote from a Sports Illustrated story on the player from 2017 where he said his brothers held down his arms and "threw knives all around my head" when he refused to climb a tree.
This is all to say someone should put Devin Booker in witness protection program so he can be safe from Jokic's brothers after the guard challenged the MVP briefly.
Anyways, today we've got NBA playoff updates, Christian Eriksen surviving a cardiac arrest and Novak Djokovic winning another major title. Let's get started.
📰 What you need to know
Two games in Milwaukee seemed to be just what the doctor ordered to help the Bucks recover from two less-than-stellar showings in Brooklyn, as Mike Budenholzer's team has tied the series at two games apiece. Things return to Brooklyn for Game 5, but the Nets have a significant hurdle the overcome if they want to make a statement comeback game: an injury to Kyrie Irving.
The star point guard injured his ankle in the second quarter of Sunday's game and immediately things went back towards Milwaukee's favor. Here's CBS Sports' Jasmyn Wimbish on how this is now a totally different series.
- Wimbish: The Nets were built to withstand missing [James] Harden in this series with [Kevin] Durant and Irving steering the ship. However, with Irving's status now up in the air going forward, Brooklyn is a completely different team with this series tied up. The Bucks winning this game was a crucial turning point, because now they're the dominant team in what's now a best-of-three series with the Eastern Conference finals on the line. If Irving's ankle sprain isn't severe, and he's able to go out there and be even 80 percent of himself, then the Nets should feel confident in their chances. However, if Irving's out and Harden's still shelved, then Milwaukee will have the significant upper hand the rest of the way in this series.
The conversation as long as Irving, whose x-rays came back "negative," and Harden are out for Brooklyn will be focused on whether Durant can be the superstar the Nets need him to be. I think it's kind of a silly debate as he has two Finals MVPs from his Warriors days, meaning out of everyone on a ridiculously stacked team in the most important series of the season, he was the standout player.
Besides, that Milwaukee was able to slow down arguably the greatest scorer of his generation, is an already an impressive feat, so perhaps the focus should switch to how well the Bucks are doing rather than how Durant is not doing enough.
2. Suns make short work of Nuggets 🏀
Despite a brief distraction where Nikola Jokic tried to remove Cameron Payne's nose from his face, the focus for the latter half of this game was all on Chris Paul showing why his nickname is Point God. The 36-year-old scored one more point than his current age in the closeout game against the Nuggets on Sunday to sweep the series and be the first team to make it to the conference finals this season.
Here are some numbers to show just how great Paul was in this series. He scored 25.5 ppg on 61.8% shooting, 58% from 3, 100% from the line and dished out 41 assists against just five turnovers. At one point, he scored nine straight baskets in Game 4, and was a menace from the midrange, scoring seemingly at will from the right elbow.
Obviously he's not doing this alone as Devin Booker, Mikal Bridges, Deandre Ayton and other Suns players have elevated their game this season, but what Paul has done with this Suns team cannot be overstated. He's just a couple years removed from being dumped from the Rockets for some picks and Russell Westbrook, and a period where it looked like his career was going to take a steep decline. Now, he's returning to the conference finals, a point in the postseason that seemed out of reach for the majority of his career, as the leader of a squad that shut out an opponent with the MVP.
3. Denmark's Christian Eriksen suffered cardiac arrest on field ⚽
One of the scariest moments in the history of live sports happened on Saturday when Danish midfielder Christian Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest in the middle of his team's match against Finland. Viewers and supporters in attendance stood in stunned silence as medical staff performed chest compressions on a man who had suddenly collapsed and was immediately surrounded by weeping teammates.
Team captain Simon Kjaer suddenly became a hero as he performed immediate CPR while medical officials sprinted towards the unconscious 29-year-old and comforted Eriksen's partner as he received further CPR from the medical staff. Thanks to his and the medical team's efforts, the Inter Milan midfielder survived and was conscious by the time he left the stadium on a stretcher. The news on Sunday was that Eriksen's heart had actually stopped and he needed to be resuscitated.
4. Novak Djokovic wins French Open 🎾
Few things are better in sports than a comeback during a championship match, which is exactly what the French Open gave tennis fans on Sunday. After going down two sets to none against 22-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas, something flipped for Djokovic and he took control of the match. It speaks volumes to the beauty of a comeback that one of the greatest to ever play the sport winning a match can still produce an incredibly exciting result.
Here's our own Katherine Acquavella giving a breakdown of what this win all means in the context of the state of tennis at this moment.
- Acquavella: Furthermore and perhaps more important, Djokovic's 2021 French Open title puts him within one of the all-time men's record of Grand Slam titles. Currently, Federer and Nadal share a two-way tie, each owning 20. This means Djokovic has an opportunity to overtake Federer and Nadal this season, with Wimbledon (June 28-July 11) and the US Open (Aug. 30-Sept. 12) still left on the 2021 calendar.
In recent Slams, it's clear there is a new generation of men's players knocking at the door -- Tsitsipas here at this year's French Open, Dominic Thiem at 2020 US Open and Daniil Medvedev at 2021 Australian Open -- but Djokovic's victory proves the old guard isn't ready to be dismissed just yet. Contrary to the women's game, which has seen several first-time Slam winners in recent years, including Barbora Krejcikova's title at this year's French Open, the men's game is still waiting to see a new name step up to the challenge.
This exact conversation was bound to happen after the end of this year's final at Roland Garros. Either Tsitsipas, a truly Gen Z athlete whose focus on YouTube is almost as strong as his focus on tennis, was going to face a machine who did what he did today, or the greatest clay court player in the history of the sport in Rafael Nadal. One day these guys will lose their battle with Father Time and won't be able to keep up with the next generation of tennis stars, but if Sunday's match is any indication, Djokovic will just rally back once aging starts to take a lead.
📝 Odds & Ends
- Brazil kicked off the 2021 Copa America with a 3-0 win over Venezuela
- Le'Veon Bell said on Instagram that he'd rather retire than play for Andy Reid again
- UFC fighter Terrance McKinney injured his knee while celebrating a seven-second knockout
📺 What to watch tonight
⚽ Spain vs. Sweden, 3:00 p.m. | SPA -295, Draw +380, SWE +950 | TV: ESPN
⚽ Argentina vs. Chile, 5:00 p.m. | ARG -140, Draw +245, CHI +475 | TV: FS1
🏒 Golden Knights vs. Canadiens, 9:00 p.m. | LV -1.5 | TV: NBCSN
🥇 Best thing I saw on the internet
North Macedonia is competing in its first-ever major tournament at Euro 2020, so it comes as no surprise that their first-ever goal was a moment of great celebration. The scorer was 37-year-old Goran Pandev, who has donned his country's kit for over 20 years at the top level and pulled off the dream moment.