Wed. Sep 27th, 2023

Happy Thursday, all.

Let’s get right to it.

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Good morning to everyone but especially to…


Last night, the Warriors showed us once again just how good they can be when firing on all cylinders, and that means championship-level good. Golden State used a balanced offensive effort and smothering defense to take down Dallas, 112-87, in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals.

  • Seven Golden State players — including all five starters — scored in double figures. Stephen Curry led the way with 21 points (as well as 12 rebounds), and Jordan Poole had 19 points.
  • The Warriors won the fast break points category, 18-7, and the points in the paint category, 44-32.
  • Luka Doncic had just 20 points on 6-for-18 shooting, and the Mavericks as a team shot just 36 percent from the field and 23 percent on 3-pointers, both their worst this postseason.

The Warriors were the league’s best third-quarter team this season, and it showed last night when Golden State outscored Dallas, 34-24, in the frame. Klay Thompson — held scoreless in the first half — had 11 points in the quarter, and Curry had nine, including a pair of 3-pointers.

But that’s only part of the equation. The other part is that Golden State still led, 54-45, at halftime — despite Thompson’s and Curry’s struggles — because Andrew Wiggins (15 first-half points), Poole (nine first-half points) and Kevon Looney (eight first-half points) were excellent. When the stars took over, Golden State went from surviving to thriving in a hurry. This game showed flashes of the dynasty Warriors, notes NBA expert Jack Maloney.

  • Maloney: “During the heyday of this Warriors championship core, they made a habit of breaking games open in the third quarter. They would make adjustments, turn up the intensity and before their opponents knew what was happening they would turn competitive games into blowouts.  In Game 1, they showed they still have that magic. While the Warriors led for the majority of the first half, the Mavericks only trailed by nine at the break and were still well within striking distance. By 7:16 remaining in the third quarter, the Warriors were up by 18 and the game was essentially over. “

Honorable mentions

Not so honorable mentions

PGA Championship expert picks and sleepers 🏌

The PGA Championship begins today, and if you’re trying to figure out who you’re going to pick, look no further than our expert predictions for winners, sleepers, top-10 locks, Tiger Woods projections and more. As for the winner, our golf reporter Patrick McDonald likes a player who has already won twice this season.

  • McDonald: “Firm and fast conditions — where iron play and around-the-green prowess are required — scream Hideki Matsuyama to me. The 2021 Masters champion already has two wins on the season and finally looked like his normal self at the AT&T Byron Nelson after suffering from a neck injury. The key will be his putter — as it so often is — but these bent grass greens should be to his liking.”

Meanwhile, there are 156 players in the field at Southern Hills, but only nine who could actually win it, according to golf expert Kyle Porter. Lucky for me, his list includes one of my favorites:

  • Porter: “It’s pretty simple for Collin Morikawa. His statistics suggest that if he putts, he wins. He has the ability to absolutely dissect this golf course with his iron play in a way that only a handful of players in the world possibly can. If he’s feeling it on the greens like he was at Royal St. George’s last July, it’s going to be an absolute show.”

Our golf team has done a wonderful job — you can check out all of their PGA Championship work here — and be sure you know how to watch as this year’s second major gets underway.

USWNT, USMNT and USSF agree to historic collective bargaining agreement ⚽


The U.S. Women’s National Team Players Association, U.S. Men’s National Team Players Association and the U.S. Soccer Federation agreed to two collective bargaining agreements that will run through 2028.

The breakthrough guarantees men and women representing the U.S. will be paid equally, writes our soccer reporter Sandra Herrera.

  • Herrera: “The two unions have now reached a historic milestone that will achieve equal pay through identical economic terms. The terms include equal pay for all competitions — including the FIFA World Cup — and the introduction of the same commercial revenue sharing mechanism for both teams. The U.S. Soccer becomes the first federation in the world to equalize FIFA World Cup prize money awarded to their men’s and women’s national teams in their respective World Cups.”

There’s plenty of other changes that will put men and women on equal footing on…

  • Child care and retirement benefits
  • Venues and fields, accommodations and travel
  • Staffing
  • Safe work environment
  • Scheduling predictability

Key negotiation leaders, as well as USWNT player Margaret Purce and USMNT player Walker Zimmerman, met with the media yesterday, and everyone emphasized their happiness with the historic deal.

Eintracht Frankfurt beat Rangers in penalty kicks to win Europa League 🏆

Getty Images

It took all 120 minutes and then penalty kicks, but Eintracht Frankfurt has won its first continental trophy since 1980, beating Rangers 1-1 (5-4 penalties) in the Europa League Final.

  • Rangers took the lead in the 57th minute through Joe Aribo.
  • Eintracht Frankfurt’s Rafael Borré leveled in the 69th minute.
  • Eintracht Frankfurt goalkeeper Kevin Trapp made a wonderful close-range save on Kemar Roofe late in extra time to force penalties.
  • Trapp made another big save in the shootout denying Aaron Ramsey, and Borré provided the game-winning penalty kick minutes later.

Eintracht fans should feel “absolutely elated,” writes soccer expert Roger Gonzalez.

  • Gonzalez: “They played 13 games in this season’s Europe League, and they never lost once. This was also their only chance to return to European competition next season, as the win grants them a Champions League berth. They finished 11th in the 18 team Bundesliga, and unbelievably only won three more games domestically, 10, than they did in the Europa League, seven.”

On the other side, it’s heartbreak for Rangers, who came within inches of a title many times, notes soccer reporter James Benge.

Ranking the top Power Five coaches: Familiar name at the top 🏈

CBS Sports Graphic

Nick Saban finds himself atop many important lists — things like most NCAA titles (7), sure, but more importantly, our college football experts’ best Power Five coaches heading into the 2022 season. My fellow CBS Sports HQ newsletter writer Tom Fornelli explains why.

  • Fornelli: “The King stays The King. Saban is not only the best coach in college football today, he’s the best college football coach of all time. He’s won seven national titles and was close to an eighth last season. As long as he’s at Alabama, the Crimson Tide will be a threat to win it all again, and nobody is going to pass him in these rankings as long as he continues coaching. Hell, he might stick around at No. 1 in these rankings for a few years after he retires.”

As Tom mentioned, though, Saban and Alabama aren’t the reigning champs. Georgia is, and that’s why Kirby Smart jumped from No. 7 in last year’s rankings to No. 2 in this year’s. Here’s the entire top five:

  • 1. Nick Saban, Alabama (last year: 1)
  • 2. Kirby Smart, Georgia (last year: 7)
  • 3. Dabo Swinney, Clemson (last year: 2)
  • 4. Lincoln Riley, USC (last year: 3)
  • 5. Jimbo Fisher, Texas A&M (last year: 6)

You can check out the entire top 25 here, and coaches 26-65 here.

What we’re watching Thursday 📺

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