The Phoenix Suns (7-3) have the first 10 games of the season in the bin and it has to be seen as a wild success, despite a bad loss Friday night at Detroit. That tops our look at the five biggest takeaways from the weekend in sports.
Suns bounce back to beat Pacers after weird loss to Pistons.
The Phoenix Suns are on a wild roller coaster of a three-game East Coast road trip. It started Friday night in Detroit, where the Suns blew a 23-point lead to lose to the lowly Pistons (2-8) in overtime. The next night, forward Mikal Bridges exploded for a career–high 34 points in a nice bounce back win over the Pacers (6-3) in Indiana.
Big Takeaway: Friday night’s game felt like the same old Suns team we’ve watched for the past decade. Saturday’s game revived the hope that fans have felt to start this season. The Suns are 7-3 after ten games – second best so far in the Western Conference (Lakers are 8-3).
Next up: at Washington (2-8) Monday night, 5 p.m. tip-off.
NFL quarterbacks show toughness in do-or-die moments.
11 days after surgery to repair a broken thumb, L.A. Rams starting quarterback Jared Goff was called into action Saturday because of an injury to his backup, John Wolford. Bad thumb and all, Goff led the Rams to a 30-20 win over NFC West division rival Seattle in the wild card round of the NFL playoffs. Elsewhere, Washington backup quarterback Taylor Heinicke played through a left arm injury and threw for 306 yards in a 31-23 loss to Tampa. He gave his team a chance with is arm and his legs, running for this exhilarating 3rd quarter touchdown.
Big Takeaway: We can’t help but wonder what Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray would do in these types of moments. A sore ankle forced him to miss most of the Week 17 loss to L.A. to close out the season – a game the Cardinals needed to win to make the playoffs. Toughness can’t be taught, but let’s hope Murray is taking notes.
Nickelodeon wins the weekend.
Football helmets meet SquarePants! The NFL experimented with a new TV partner on Sunday, broadcasting the Bears-Saints playoff game on the popular children’s cable channel Nickelodeon. The game featured brightly colored on–screen graphics, child stars on the field reporting and in the broadcast booth, as well as the Slime Cannon in the end zone for touchdowns.
Big Takeaway: For football purists, the game was on regular CBS, but for the rest of us kids at heart this was an immensely fun game to watch (especially considering the football game was kind of a dud). It was a broadcast meant to grow the game for kids and it did a nice job of explaining rules, penalties and in-game situations that someone new to football needs to know to enjoy the game. We hope this returns for future NFL games and wonder what Nickelodeon could do for other sports.
Shane Doan rejoins Arizona Coyotes.
Welcome back Captain Coyote! The Arizona Coyotes announced Monday morning the hire of Shane Doan as Chief Hockey Development Officer. Doan’s new advisory role gives him input on major club decisions and initiatives.
Big Takeaway: This move will make the diehard fans happy. The Coyotes’ former regime discarded Doan very unceremoniously which left a sour taste in a lot of mouths. Whether he can help revive the fledgling franchise will be the more important thing to watch.
ASU men’s basketball is falling fast.
The Sun Devils lost home games to UCLA and USC over the weekend and have dropped to a 4-5 record, 1-2 in the Pac-12. They’ve lost three straight and are 1-4 at home this season.
Big Takeaway: ASU has gone from preseason Must See TV to can’t–watch in a short time. The Sun Devils have 14 games remaining on the schedule (and perhaps three other postponed games that could get rescheduled) and currently sit in 8th place in the Pac-12. Perhaps they’ll get hot late in the season to make a run at the tournament, but right now they aren’t showing us much.