- I have to admit the Raptors have already won one more game than I expected in the NBA Finals. I was also among those thinking in the first half of Game 2 the Warriors were in trouble. They responded with a vintage Golden State third quarter to tie the series before it heads west, and it appears Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and the StephKlayDraymondaires are in good position to win title No. 4 (unless Thompson's hamstring injury turns out to be severe)… but that's why they play the games!
- The Warriors seemed to lack a certain pop in the first three halves of these Finals but got the mojo going after halftime Sunday night, and Toronto just didn't have the firepower to keep up. That is what I expected out of this series with Kevin Durant sidelined. The Raptors obviously are a nice story having retooled after LeBron tore their heart out again last season, but I didn't think watching the Eastern Conference Finals either team could score enough points to keep up with even a weakened Warriors team that plays better team basketball but is not as dangerous overall without Kevin Durant. In game one, the Warriors weren't great and the Raptors were, which is how you got a Toronto win. But is that type of offensive performance sustainable? I doubt it.
- And one last NBA-related note: Have you seen the clips of fans who gather outside together to watch games in downtown Toronto? They call it "Jurassic Park" (get it?) and it seems to be a pretty big deal. In light of that and the growing trend of fans going to their home arenas to watch away games, I'm less and less interested in hearing about the effect advances in home entertainment have on attendance. I'm sure more than zero percent of it is a result of people having better TVs than they did 20 years ago, but I bet that is pretty low on the list. The game experience isn't what it used to be with the added timeouts and corporatization, but millions of people still fork down large amounts of cash to get to be part of it, so obviously it is still incredibly valuable. And since anyone who can afford to go to a game these days can certainly afford a nice TV, it's hard for me to come off the conclusion the exorbitant price is the No. 1 factor when it comes to attendance and the TV experience thing is a lazy narrative pushed by lazy people who are too far removed from actual fans. Ya know, just my two cents….
- Lastly, the biggest news from the Ohio State beat over the past week was the verbal commitment of Julian Fleming. The nation's No. 1 receiver chose the Buckeyes over numerous major programs, including home-state Penn State. And the reasons he gave for forsaking the Nittany Lions don't put coach James Franklin's program in the greatest of lights. Essentially Fleming eliminated the Nittany Lions from consideration after watching their offense, which was great for two years after being revitalized by a new offensive coordinator who left to be Mississippi State's head coach prior to last season, take a step back in 2018. The lack of utilization of last year's top receiver recruit (who may not have been fully healthy) also bothered Fleming, as did the ever-changing PSU staff. Hmmm… More from The Athletic here.
- OK, one last last thing since the Fleming commitment brings up in-state recruiting. That was the focus of a story I posted Monday about how Urban Meyer's efforts in Ohio might have been losing effectiveness and what Ryan Day is doing to reverse that trend.
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