Tag Archives: Pro Sports

Looking back at the top NBA performances of all-time

On January 2nd, 2023, Donovan Mitchell had the performance of his life. In a game against the Chicago Bulls, Donovan Mitchell scored 71 points in an overtime thriller. The Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Bulls 145-134 after the Cavs were trailing 65-47 at halftime. Donovan Mitchell’s insane second half led his team to victory, and he impressively finished with 71 points, 8 rebounds, 11 assists, and a block while shooting 64.7% in 50 minutes.

But this game got me thinking. Where would I rank this single performance with the all-time great performances in the NBA? This NBA season alone, there have been 89 40+ point games through January 5th. In fact, a week before Donovan Mitchell’s great game, Luka Doncic dropped an insane 60-21-10 game against the New York Knicks. So, I am going to be ranking the 5 best NBA performances of all time, in my opinion, in no particular order. This list will not include Mitchell or Luka’s game because I just mentioned them above, although I would consider putting them both in my top 5 NBA performances of all time.

Michael Jordan’s 1998 Finals Game 6

Picture this: Late in the 4th quarter, up 3-2, Jordan with the ball against the Utah Jazz. The rest is history. This NBA finals performance by Jordan featured what some consider to be the best shot in NBA history. Jordan finished with 45 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist, and 4 steals in an 87-86 victory to clinch the series win for the Chicago Bulls in the finals. Obviously, this isn’t the greatest stat-padded game, as he didn’t spark many rebounds or assists, but this game was too iconic for me as a basketball fan, not to mention. This win marked the 6th title for the Bulls in 8 years, and it was the last game for Jordan and Coach Phil Jackson, who retired after this NBA finals.

Photo credit: Howard Chai at Unsplash

Kobe Drops 81

There is no denying this is one of the best NBA performances we’ve seen in recent memory. On January 22nd, 2006, Kobe Bryant gave the Toronto Raptors and basketball fans worldwide a game they would never forget. He dropped 81 points, which was the most in the NBA since David Robinson dropped 71 points. After Wilt and Robinson, it was a mystery whether or not anyone would be able to score within that scoring margin, and Kobe did not disappoint. In addition to the points, Kobe finished the night with 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals, and a block. Another insane fact about this game is that Kobe Bryant was leading the NBA in points per game, with 35.4 entering his game against the Raptors. Safe to say that this game was vintage Kobe.

Photo Credit: Ramiro Pianarosa at Unsplash

Giannis Antetokounmpo 2021 NBA Finals

Call me biased all you want, but this was a game that I will never forget as a Milwaukee Bucks fan. Alongside Luka and Mitchell’s performances, this is one of the best NBA performances within the last 5 years. It was game 6 of the 2021 NBA Finals against the Phoenix Suns, and Giannis Antetokounmpo (try to say that 10 times fast) was hungry to lead his team to a championship, which is precisely what he did. Giannis dropped 55 points, 14 rebounds, 5 blocks, and 2 assists. He is only the 5th player in NBA history to record a 50-10-5 game with blocks since blocking was added as a stat to the NBA in 1973. Giannis represents the phrase “hard work pays off” very well, and he put all of his hard work on the court that night.

“Oh, and it’s blocked by James!”

This quote mentioned above is probably one that you recognize, and if you are anything like me, you can hear exactly what it sounds like. This quote brings back many good memories, and if you asked Lebron James and the 2016 Clevland Cavaliers, they would honestly have to agree with me. Game 7 of the finals, and it was a win-or-go-home game. Lebron had already led the Cavs from a comeback this series, as they were trailing the series to the Golden State Warriors 3-1 prior to this game. Lebron recorded a triple-double, finishing with 27 points, 11 rebounds, 11 assists, 2 steals, and 3 blocks. One of the blocks came late in the game against Andre Iguodala and influenced the iconic quote. 2016, what a time to be an NBA fan.

Photo Credit: Project 290 at Unsplash

The Game that Shocked the World

And finally, a game that needs no further introduction. Well, I guess it does, actually. March 2nd, 1962, Wilt Chamberlian scored 100 points as he led the Philadelphia Warriors to a win against the New York Knicks. Of course, it was the Knicks on the losing side of this game, but that is something I can save for a different writing piece. Despite it being so long ago, 100 points is still really crazy. I’m sure that won’t happen in today’s league, but the fact it happened is all that mattered. This is a game that many NBA fans know, and this is one of the most historic performances of all time. This definitely helped put the NBA on the map. Wilt ended with 100 points, 25 rebounds, and 2 assists.

This list was pretty hard to make because so many performances could have made this list, but I hope you enjoyed it and agreed with my opinion. The NBA is transitioning into a high-scoring league now, and I cannot wait to see what that will bring to the future of the sport. Maybe we will have another 100-point game in 2050, mark my words.

David Cohn is a Senior member of the MultiMedia Journalism Class.

Looking to the playoffs, an Eagles fan recaps the 2022 season

In the 2022 off-season, I was very optimistic about the future of the Philadelphia Eagles. As a fan, this season has been fun to watch, and I still believe we’ll go very far in the playoffs. The Eagles finished the regular season 14-3 and have picked up some hugely important wins but have also struggled to beat teams like the Texans and the Colts this season which has me concerned. Some positives and negatives can’t be overlooked going into the playoffs.


Jalen Hurts playing at an MVP level.

The one thing that has shocked me is how well Jalen Hurts has played this season. It helps that he has a top-five receiving core in the NFL, with AJ Brown and DeVonta Smith having 1,000-yard seasons going into Week 18. Hurts has thrown for over 3,000 yards and 22 touchdown passes, and only 5 picks. He is making many good decisions throwing the ball compared to last season. He’s going to have to go to that next level if the Eagles want to win the Super Bowl. 

The New Guys in town

This offseason was enjoyable for all Eagles fans, and it all started in the second week of March when Haason Reddick was signed to a three-year contract. That has worked out as Reddick currently has 16 sacks and has forced five fumbles this season, and he has recovered three of them. He is on his way to the Pro Bowl in Vegas. Later in March, Kyzir White was signed to a one-year contract, and he has been a significant impact player who the Eagles should keep around for the coming years.

On Night 1 of the 2022 NFL Draft in Vegas, the Eagles selected Jordan Davis with the 13th overall pick. He has been a run stuffer, and the run defense struggled while injured for four weeks. Almost 45 minutes after picking Davis, they traded the 18th and 101st pick to the Tennessee Titans for AJ Brown, who has exploded playing with Hurts this season. In May, he signed a 4 year $100m contract extension to commit his long-term future to Philly. On Night 2 of the draft, Howie Roseman could wait until the 83rd pick to draft Georgia linebacker Nakobe Dean who was widely expected to be a first-round pick. Meanwhile, in August, Roseman acquired Chauncey Gardner-Johnson from the Saints in exchange for draft picks. So far this season, Gardner-Johnson has six interceptions.

AJ Brown and DeVonta Smith both getting over 1,000 yards.

One of the big difference makers this season was AJ Brown. After the Eagles acquired him from the Titans, Eagles fans had a high level of excitement because of the numbers he put up while he was with the Titans. This season, he hasn’t disappointed. He has hauled in 88 receptions for 1,496 yards and 11 touchdowns. Smith, meanwhile, has hauled in 95 receptions for 1,196 yards and 7 touchdowns. Both have had significant impacts on this season and are a huge reason the Eagles have the one seed in the NFC.


The run defense

There haven’t been a lot of negatives about this season, but one overwhelming negative is the run defense. This is a problem because in the loss to the Commanders in November, the defense gave up 152 yards on the ground and those yards allowed the Commanders to chew the clock and dominate the time of possession. In wins, too, our run defense hasn’t been great. Against the Texans, Dameon Pierce got 139 yards on the ground because Jonathan Gannon waited too long to make adjustments.

Jonathan Gannon refusing to blitz

In the last two years, I’ve seen this far too often. A straight-up refusal by Jonathan Gannon to blitz the quarterback, and then those quarterbacks torched us downfield. Last season, Patrick Mahomes, Tom Brady (twice), Dak Prescott, Derek Carr, and Justin Herbert were among the quarterbacks who threw the ball easily against our secondary. Prescott torched the Eagles this season in Week 16, including a 50-yard gain on a 3rd & 30. Gannon is considered a favorite for the Texans’ head coaching job, and some Eagles fans (me included) want him to take it.

If the Eagles can clean up their run defense and find a way to blitz opposing quarterbacks and keep them uncomfortable, the path to the Super Bowl seems very clear. However, a first-round exit looks very likely if the run defense continues to be a problem and Gannon continues to fall in love with the zone defense. We’ll see what happens on January 22.

Harry Kennedy is a senior member of the Multimedia Journalism class.

The terrible ownership and management of the Washington Commanders

When managing a professional football team, it is widely agreed upon that it takes a high level of commitment and sacrifice to make the team as great as possible. While NFL team owners have had their fair share of suspicious activity, none compares to the resume that Commanders owner Dan Snyder has built with his team. With a stadium that is falling apart as we speak and numerous allegations of poor treatment of stadium workers, this is only the beginning. These problems have been around for years and are seemingly shoved under the rug by Snyder.

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Stadium Problems

One headline associated with the Commanders is the problems with FedEx Field. While some of the issues are minor, like ridiculously high prices and sewage water falling on the stands, some issues bring into question the health and safety of the players and even the fans. In one incident, after a loss in the season finale to the Philadelphia Eagles, a group of Eagles fans saw Quarterback Jalen Hurts running and reached out their hands. In doing so, the railing that should’ve supported them collapsed, causing the fans to fall onto the field. The Commanders were sued by four of the fans for $300,000, and the situation was mostly forgotten about. The poor field construction has contributed to numerous player injuries over time. Most notably, the non-contact injury of star QB Robert Griffin III. On a bad snap, Griffin retreated backward to recover the ball, but in doing so, his leg awkwardly stretched, resulting in a torn ACL and LCL, an injury he would never quite recover from.

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Lack of Care

Dan Snyder’s ownership of the Commanders has displayed his lack of care for the team and its image. In the last season, rumors came out of a “toxic culture” endorsed by Dan Snyder. Between sexual harassment and verbal abuse of employees, Snyder was reported to have a role in the poor treatment of the employees. In another instance, Commanders were set to honor legendary Safety Sean Taylor, who tragically died early in his career in 2007. The “statue” used to honor Taylor was instead a mannequin with his jersey and a helmet on it. This underwhelming display caused outrage from social media as many agree that Taylor deserves better. Since Taylor’s passing, there has been a lack of recognition for Sean Taylor and his legacy.

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What’s Next?

There have been some rumors about the future of Snyder with the Commanders. Fans have pressured him to sell the team. In November, some high-profile names who may be interested in buying the commanders franchise, including Jeff Bezos and Jay-Z, surfaced. In another report earlier this past season, Snyder claimed that he had “dirt” on other NFL owners, trying to pose as a sort of blackmail to possibly save his image. This seems to be a defense tactic to try and take the light off what he has done wrong. Whether it is suing loyal season ticket holders in an economic recession in 2009 or throwing money left and right at mediocre players, fans have had enough for a while. It is safe to say that Dan Snyder has earned the title of the most hated man in Commanders’ history.

Stephen Avara, Junior

Steven Avara is a junior member of the Multimedia Journalism class.

Orioles new hopes on the horizon

The Orioles are shaping up well as the season creeps closer. With one month until spring training, baseball season is dawning back on. With the 2023 season ramping up and the off-season moves, it’s time to look at the O’s possibilities. Looking at how the Orioles ended the 2022 season and the prospects that were grabbed during the off-season, we can look at how the birds are shaping up.

In 2022 the O’s really started heating up. After an average start that in recent years has become expected from the Orioles, the team really started to hit their stride. This run would begin in May as they would push a record well over .500 and continue this hot streak for months in the highly competitive AL East. This run would bring excitement to Camden Yards as week after week, the Birds would make win after win. This spike in productivity would lead them to finish the season with a record of 83-79. Although they would not make the postseason, the Orioles only missed the Wild Card by 3 games. This shows great promise for the upcoming 2023 season as the Birds seemed to have broken the long streak of disappointing yearly seasons that were sadly commonplace in Baltimore.

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The Orioles aren’t just relying on the high they finished last season on either, as they have made multiple moves during the offseason. They continue to strengthen as they acquired starting pitcher Kyle Gibson and a prominent bullpen arm in Michael Gibbons. Although a bit older, Gibson is a solid pitcher who can offer great depth to the starting rotation. Gibbons is a reasonably young arm that could be seen for some late relief this season. The Orioles also picked up veteran catcher James McCann who can bring a solid bat to the Orioles lineup. He shows a good stick in the lineup with a career batting average of .243 and an on-base percentage of .296. The most exciting pickup for the O’s is acquiring second baseman Adam Frazier from the Seattle Mariners. This addition to the Orioles’ infield can be great for the upcoming 2023 season. Frazier also brings a pretty good bat to the Orioles that could set up some good game moves.

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Not only have the Orioles made some notable off-season moves, but the real excitement is also in the young players coming up from the farm system. Returning stars Adley Rutschman and Gunnar Henderson show immediate promise. After their entrance mid-way through last season was a sight to see. The young talent broke out in stride and immediately impacted the team as a whole. Seeing an entire season with these young superstars in no doubt a daily starting position shows an excellent sign for the Orioles coming season. O’s fans also hope to see more young talent rise through the minors and come to the show. Hopefully, the good farm system of the Baltimore Orioles can help them hit stride mid-way through the season, just as Rutschman and Henderson did last season.

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Overall the 2023 Orioles are looking promising as we move closer to spring training. There is no doubt in any baseball fan’s mind that the Orioles can go far this season. Finishing only 3 games back last year from the Wild Card while playing in one of the toughest divisions is sure to be taken to a new level in 2023. We only have a short wait to see what the Orioles can accomplish. There are sure to not disappoint.

Braylon Sims is a senior member of the Multimedia Journalism class.

NBA surprises & disappointments so far

Over the past few years, the NBA has faced a difficult competition problem. Unlike the other professional sports leagues, the championship teams have been mostly predictable, and the talent level converged. Recently, however, smaller market teams have stockpiled young talent and created an entertaining, competitive balance for the league. After passing the halfway point of the season last week, several teams sit at unexpected parts of the standings.

Starting on the positive side of the standings, the Indiana Pacers have improved drastically from last season. They sit at 23-21 (8th in the Eastern Conference). Since the Pacers came into the season with the tenth-youngest roster in the NBA, most experts thought this team would be playing for a lottery pick at this point of the season. Also, the Eastern Conference is stacked this season, and the Pacers did not fit anywhere near the playoff conversation.

Acquiring Tyrese Haliburton at the trade deadline gave Indiana an up-and-coming superstar, and their young players have seen a major improvement. The Pacers’ guard depth has given them a boost from the bench, with Tyrese Haliburton, Buddy Hield, Ben Mathurin, Andrew Nembhard, Chris Duarte, and TJ McConnell averaging 15+ minutes per game. This team’s youth could carry them to a play-in appearance and pose a struggle to some playoff teams.

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Over in the Western Conference, the Sacramento Kings might be the most surprising regular season team in years. Their 23-18 record puts a team that hasn’t made the playoffs in sixteen years at fourth in the conference. Following the win-win trade with the Indiana Pacers at the trade deadline, which landed them Domantas Sabonis, the Kings have developed a potent dynamic duo with Sabonis and De’Aaron Fox. At the beginning of the season, I do not think many people saw these two evolving into a superstar tandem.

Like Indiana, this team stockpiled young talent through trades and the draft. Keegan Murray has risen to the Summer League hype, averaging about 12 points and 4 rebounds per game. Also, former Atlanta Hawk and Maryland star Kevin Huerter is averaging 16 points per game, a drastic improvement from last season.

Finally, and probably the least surprising out of the three, the New Orleans Pelicans have solidified a superstar big three and are creating a case to be one of the top teams in the West Conference. After the hard-fought series with Phoenix last season, fans expected a substantial improvement with Zion Williamson returning from injury.

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Zion, newly-acquired CJ McCollum, and young star Brandon Ingram all average over 20 points per game. The youth coming off the bench for this team creates a difficult group to compete with on the court. With Jonas Valanciunas locking down the middle and players like Herb Jones, Jose Alvarado, and Larry Nance Jr. bringing great energy, New Orleans poses a potent threat to many Western Conference playoffs teams.

On the other hand, the Chicago Bulls’ locker room drama has caused a difficult first half of the season. Fans saw Demar Derozan and Zach Lavine as one of the most formidable duos in the league when the season started. Still, a scoring feud between the two stars has generated unnecessary attention.

The lack of playmakers on this team, though, creates a problem only Lonzo Ball can solve. Many people thought he would be back by the start of this season, but injury setbacks have left a massive hole in the backcourt. They hold a reasonably strong frontcourt, with Nikola Vucevic and Patrick Williams locking down the basket, but it hasn’t been enough to lift their record.

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Staying in the Eastern Conference, the Miami Heat’s performance has caused lots of surprise around the league, considering their great star power. Following an Eastern Conference Finals run last season, the Heat kept their core of Kyle Lowry, Bam Adebayo, Jimmy Butler, and Tyler Herro together. Looking at the Eastern Conference at the beginning of the season, Miami looked poised to finish in the top six of the standings. They sit at 24-20 and are seventh in the Eastern Conference.

Last season, we saw lots of their depth come alive in the playoffs to help carry Jimmy Butler and Kyle Lowry in the backcourt. That depth hasn’t stepped up to their prior levels, and most of their bench players have specific roles. Now that Butler and Lowry have entered their thirties, this team may find some difficulties as these veterans face fatigue toward the end of the season.

Finally, the Los Angeles Clippers are difficult to explain, considering their performances over the past few seasons. With Kawhi Leonard finally returning from injury, many experts expected a resurgence from the Clippers. His limited appearances so far this season raise a serious question about the future of him and Paul George. Their management assembled a solid supporting cast for these superstars during the 2019 offseason, but they cannot seem to rise to an elite level.

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We saw last season that without Kawhi Leonard, the Los Angeles Clippers are average, which speaks to their 23-22 record this season. If he cannot return completely healthy by the end of this season, the Clippers may be looking at another low seed in the playoffs. To climb out of this disappointing stretch, Kawhi must provide this team with more scoring and production.

Alex Kwas is a sophomore member of the Multimedia Journalism class.

How Damar Hamlin’s collapse may change football equipment

Damar Hamlin is a safety for the Buffalo Bills who went into cardiac arrest after a big hit during a game on January 2nd

By now, you have either seen or heard about Damar Hamlin. Damar Hamlin is a 2-year veteran of the National Football League, currently playing for the Buffalo Bills out of New York. On January 2nd, 2023, Hamlin was playing against the Cincinnati Bengals in a big game that would determine the playoffs for the NFL season. During the game, Hamlin was making what was considered a routine tackle against Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins during the 1st quarter of the critical game.

During the tackle, Higgins had lowered his shoulder a little bit, aiming at Hamlin’s chest. Hamlin made the routine tackle, not appearing to be in any pain or an unstable state. Soon after Hamlin stood up, he then collapsed onto his back. The Bills’ medical staff then ran out onto the field and began CPR, to which Hamlin was loaded into an ambulance on the field and rushed to a local level 1 trauma center.

After staying up for a while after the game had been suspended, I listened to what the commentators and ESPN reporters had to say, and I took away that this rarely happens in football games to the point where they have to pull an ambulance on the field.

I personally do not play football, and I don’t know what it feels like to take a hit wearing the pads that football players wear. As someone who follows football, I know that players’ equipment is designed to be light and to put player safety first. My theory about how this might change football on all levels, peewee to the NFL, is simple.

I believe that the companies that are responsible for designing and manufacturing football pads are going to either be required, or out of the safety and compassion for their customers, will find a way to add a new layer of padding, either foam or some sort of shock absorbing material similar to what the players already wear inside their helmets. The companies will put that type of padding in the same area where Hamlin took his hit. Hopefully, adding these pads will prevent injuries at all levels of football, like the one that Damar Hamlin suffered during the game.

Quinn Wells is a junior member of the Multimedia Journalism class.