Hello everyone, it's Shanna McCarriston here to give you a roundup of sports stories you need to know. I hope you all had a wonderful weekend since we last spoke and are starting to enjoy this summer weather we are having, though where I am it's a little too warm, I have to say.
I myself had a wonderful weekend on the Jersey Shore in a beautiful beach town. When I got there it had just stormed, the sky was crazy, a rainbow was emerging and it was wicked (excuse my Boston) cool to see.
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But now it's back to the important things, getting you the sports news of the day. We have NBA takeaways, NBA MVP news and more. Let's jump right in.
📰 What you need to know
1. Nikola Jokic, the most unlikely MVP in NBA history? 🏆
The NBA 2020-21 MVP IS ... *DRUMROLL PLEASE* ... Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets..
On Tuessday, Jokic, 26, was named MVP of the league. He is the first second-round pick to ever be named the Most Valuable Player and is the third European player to ever win the award.
- No. 41 overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft
- Earned full-time starting position in the 2016-17 season
- Three-time NBA All-Star
- First Nuggets player to win MVP in the NBA
- This year became the first player in NBA history to average at least 26 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists on better than 52 percent shooting
- His 8.3 assists this year came close to Wilt Chamberlain's record of 8.6 for most by a center in a season
- Did not miss a single regular season game
Jokic winning the MVP makes him one of, if not the most, unlikely MVP in NBA history. Looking back on his beginning, it was not obvious that one day he would accepting an award for Most Valuable Player.
This season he has helped lead the Nuggets to the playoffs, even as the team struggled with injuries. The Nuggets defeated the Portland Trail Blazers in six games and are now down one game to the Phoenix Suns. They wouldn't have gotten nearly as far as they have without Jokic.
2. NBA Playoffs: Joel Embiid carries 76ers to win; Jazz take Game 1 🏀
Unlike Monday night's routs, last night's playoff action was a little bit more competitive and the scores were closer. We had the Philadelphia 76ers defeat the Atlanta Hawks, 118-102, and the Utah Jazz beat the Los Angeles Clippers, 112-109.
The Sixers tied up the series thanks to an impressive night from Joel Embiid. He put up 40 points and 13 rebounds in the win. Tobias Harris had a solid night with 22 points and Seth Curry ended the night with 21 points. Meanwhile, Atlanta was able to keep up most of the night, but a 20-point lead was built in the fourth by the home team and it was too much for the Hawks to come back from.
Here are Tuesday night takeaways from both games:
- Embiid makes history: Embiid put up a career high 40 points, going 13-of-25 from the field and 12-of-16 from the line. He is also the first 76er to put up 40 points in a playoff game since Allen Iverson
- The Shake Milton Game: Philly's Shake Milton hasn't played a ton this season, but head coach Doc Rivers decided to put him in the third quarter. His buzzer-beater three gave the Sixers the lead and they were able to maintain the lead for the rest of the game
- Mitchell's moment: Mitchell had himself a night, helping lead his team to victory with an impressive 45 points. Mitchell has filled the role as the star this team needs and his efforts have been the key difference between wins and losses. Facing superstars, the Jazz needed this type of player for their offense and got it in the 24 year old
3. College Football Playoff expansion is probably coming sooner than you think 🏈
That escalated quickly. A College Football Playoff expansion could be happening sooner than anticipated. Moving to eight teams is expected, but multiple sources have told CBS Sports that it could be even more than doubling the current number of teams.
What could be in the future is a 12-team college football playoff and many parties have reportedly shown interest in expanding to this model. The expansion could come as soon as this summer.
- A group of five ADs told CBS Sports: "The SEC is going to push 12 because of their brand. I'm hearing 12"
If it did move to 12 teams, there would likely be six automatic bids and six at-large bids, which, like the quote above hints at, is what the powerful SEC wants. But there's even speculation that the end game (in the future, not now) is a 24-team field.
- A source told CBS Sports: "You'd have half of FBS that would still be alive in November for those slots. We're not going to 24, but theoretically, that's what I think we can accomplish with this"
Money is, well, of course a big factor here, as is as the topic of competition and trying to create a format that has the "cinderella factor." Basically, how can the college football playoff set themselves up to create the insane moments fans get to witness in March Madness every year?
4. Yankees' Gerrit Cole (poorly) sidesteps foreign substance allegations ⚾
There are right ways to answer questions and there are wrong ways to answer questions. On Tuesday night, New York Yankees star Gerrit Cole, a pitcher who has been accused of using foreign substances, didn't exactly have a great response when asked if the accusations are true.
- Cole: "I don't quite know how to answer that, to be honest. There are customs and practices that have been passed down from older players to younger players, from past generation players to this generation of players ... If MLB wants to legislate some more stuff, that's a conversation we can have because ultimately we should all be pulling in the same direction."
Notice that the words "yes" or "no" aren't in his answer.
Cole's name has been tied to foreign substances for a little while now. The original claim comes from former Los Angeles Angels clubhouse attendant Bubba Harkins, who in a lawsuit over the winter alleged that Cole used him to get these substances.
The lawsuit features a text exchange between Cole, when he was with the Houston Astros, and Harkins in which the pitcher wrote, "I was wondering if you could help me out with this sticky situation [winky face emoji]."
Since MLB has started its crackdown on pitchers using foreign substances, Cole's spin rate on the ball has been down -- around six percent in his last start. Cole has insisted the change is due to issues with his delivery, not anything to do with illegal substances.
📝 Odds & Ends
- Bruins' coach Bruce Cassidy was fined $25,000 for criticizing NHL referees
- The Titans' newest star Julio Jones has a new number, but it isn't No. 11
- MLB released rosters for the All-Star celebrity softball game, and it will feature DK Metcalf, CC Sabathia, Quavo and more
📺 What to watch tonight
🏒 Bruins vs. Islanders, 7:30 p.m. | NYI +115 | TV: NBCSN
⚾ Yankees vs. Twins, 8:10 p.m. | MIN +165 | TV: MLB.TV
🏀 Nuggets vs. Suns, 9:30 p.m. | PHO -220 | TV: TNT
🥇 Best thing I saw on the internet
Yesterday, Nikola Jokic was named the NBA MVP, but if we go all the way back to his draft night we won't even really see him get selected. Instead, we see a Taco Bell commercial. Most MVPs are major names from the very beginning, but Jokic wasn't expected to be a future All-Star, so they played an ad during his pick.