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Author Archive for Oliver Connolly

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Belichick ensures everything with the Patriots is always different. Except winning

The most fearsome franchise in US sports won it all again last year – and, based on early evidence, they’ve somehow managed to improveAnother year, another week, another big win for the Patriots. It doesn’t matter if the coaching staff is ripped apart,…

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The Dolphins are built to lose. And it looks like their players hate it

Miami are taking a leaf from the Cleveland Browns’ playbook and are building for the future. But some of their players are understandably annoyedWeek one of Miami’s 2019 Tankapalooza was either a rousing success or an epic fail, depending on your persp…

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Helmets don’t eliminate concussions. It’s time for the NFL to ditch them

The league’s brain trauma epidemic needs radical solutions. If recent changes aren’t protecting players then we need to rethink the game’s fundamentalsOne of the dumbest storylines of the NFL preseason was Antonio Brown and his banned helmet. The whole…

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The NFL’s plan for an 18-game season: when ego and greed collide

The league expects to make $25bn a year by 2027. And its plans to get there show little regard for players, fans or broadcastersEven in the deeply cynical world of pro football, the NFL’s latest plot to expand to an 18-game schedule rings as a blatant …

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Kevin Durant’s Nets move changes everything except the Knicks’ incompetence

Within hours of NBA free-agency starting, the NBA’s landscape changed. So it’s reassuring that the Knicks still have no idea how to run a basketball teamKevin Durant is taking his talents to Brooklyn. His time as a star on the most dominant NBA team of…

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Zion Williamson and the ascendant Pelicans could hardly be in a better spot

There’s rarely such a thing as a can’t-miss prospect. And it’s hard to pull off the perfect rebuild. But Zion and the New Orleans Pelicans are coalescing into something truly specialThe Pelicans made official what we’ve known for a month now, drafting …

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In the era of player power, the Raptors’ NBA dynasty may be over before it begins

Toronto brought in Kawhi Leonard to win a title quickly, and he could be gone by the end of the summer. Other teams will be willing to take similar risksIt took titanic performances from Kyle Lowry and Pascal Siakam, and Kawhi Leonard doing Kawhi Leona…

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The Raptors froze against the Warriors, but the title stays theirs to lose

A head-scratching timeout by Toronto coach Nick Nurse may have swung the outcome of Game 5, but the Raptors remain favorites to win the NBA title with Kevin Durant gone for goodIt took a shooting barrage for Golden State to overcome the Raptors, 106-10…

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The Raptors froze against the Warriors, but the title stays theirs to lose

A head-scratching timeout by Toronto coach Nick Nurse may have swung the outcome of Game 5, but the Raptors remain favorites to win the NBA title with Kevin Durant gone for goodIt took a shooting barrage for Golden State to overcome the Raptors, 106-10…

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The Toronto Raptors achieved a rare feat: intimidating the Warriors

When Golden State go on a roll, opponents tend to panic. But Kawhi Leonard and Co kept their cool in a fevered Oracle Arena on Wednesday nightToronto outplayed Golden State on Wednesday night to take a 2-1 lead in the NBA finals, and many would have us…

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The Raptors had every advantage against the Warriors. It didn’t matter

The Warriors had to deal with injuries and a big first-half deficit in Game 2. But a team with Curry, Thompson and Green are never truly defeatedThe Raptors could not have asked for a better shot at taking a commanding NBA finals lead. During Game 2, t…

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Golden State’s error-strewn opener is bearable, but Game 2 now means everything

The rusty Warriors won’t panic after the Raptors’ emotional opening salvo in Game 1. That Toronto showed it could win without Kawhi Leonard carrying the team, however, could prove ominousGame 1 of the NBA finals was hardly the best litmus test for this…

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Kawhi Leonard: the man standing between the Warriors and yet another NBA title

Golden State are predicted to won a fourth NBA title in five seasons. But the Toronto Raptors have a player capable of making a difference everywhere on courtThe Toronto Raptors didn’t quite come from nowhere to make the NBA finals but they hardly ente…

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Kevin Durant is the NBA’s best player, but the Warriors are way more fun without him

Golden State have reached their fifth NBA finals in a row but KD has missed time through injury. His absence has brought joy back to the teamThe first thing you need to know is a cold hard fact: the Warriors are a better team with Kevin Durant on the f…

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Should Zion Williamson engineer an escape from the hapless Pelicans?

New Orleans are primed to select the generational talent with the No1 pick of the NBA draft. But does he want to join a team accustomed to failure?Tuesday night was a dream for the New Orleans Pelicans. They won the 2019 NBA draft lottery, and are firs…

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The Rockets lost more than a playoff series. Their title window has closed

After a third straight playoff ouster at the hands of the Warriors, there’s nowhere left to go for Daryl Morey’s Houston experimentGolden State beat Houston, 118-113, in Friday night’s Game 6 of the Western Conferences semi-finals, viewed by many as th…

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NBA stars blame refs for their lack of calls: they should look in the mirror

The Warriors v Rockets rivalry is the best we have in the NBA. So it’s a shame it’s being dominated by debates about officiatingThe relationship between the NBA’s officials and its players is at its lowest point in over a decade. Not since the summers …

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How the New York Giants and Oakland Raiders blew it on draft night

Both the Giants and Raiders confounded their fanbases with a pair of head-scratching first-round picks as the NFL draft kicked off on Thursday night in NashvilleFans of the Giants and Raiders sat through a tumultuous 2018 season with the promise that, …

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Why Nick Bosa erased his politics with a move to liberal San Francisco looming

The touted No2 pick in this week’s NFL draft has scrubbed his social media of conservative views. But fans and teammates value winning above politicsTake a trip through Nick Bosa’s social media accounts and you will find something interesting: the proj…

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Josh Rosen may be the NFL’s biggest bargain. So what are teams waiting for?

It makes sense why the overhauling Cardinals want to move on from last year’s first-round pick after one season. Why no quarterback-needy team has snatched him up is less clear Here is the worst-kept secret heading into this month’s NFL draft: the Ariz…