1st Down: Chet Holmgren will not be taking part in the 2022-23 NBA season. The Oklahoma City Thunder took the Gonzaga man with their first pick, the second overall, in this year’s NBA draft, and they will be deprived of him after he sustained a Lisfranc fracture to his right foot during a pro-am game while guarding LeBron James. Holmgren had been said to be going for tests on Wednesday, and the news was confirmed on Thursday that he would not be making his official bow for the OKC Thunder until 2023. Some question his size, but this could be a blessing in disguise of sorts as he could use the time to bulk up a bit ahead of his rookie season.
2nd Down: The UEFA Champions League group stage draw was made on Thursday, and a number of interesting clashes will be on display across Europe this fall. The two top teams from each group will advance to the round of 16 to be held beginning in February, and it appears Barcelona will have a tough time of it as they drew Bayern Munich, Robert Lewandowski’s old team, and Inter Milan in their pool. Meanwhile, it will be a reunion for Erling Haaland, too as he visits his former club, Borussia Dormund, with his Manchester City cohorts. Defending champions Real Madrid will have to tackle RB Leipzig and Celtic while Liverpool, last year’s runner ups, will be in a group with Rangers, Ajax, and Napoli.
3rd Down: FIBA World Cup qualifiers are going on in Europe at the moment, and that produced quite the game out of Serbia and Greece on Thursday in Belgrade as the hosts won 100-94 despite a gargantuan effort from Giannis that included a Euro qualifying record of 40 points. Nikola Jokic, of course, stopped him enough, scoring 29 and racking up six assists to go with eight rebounds. His play down the stretch in overtime ultimately proved to be the difference with two big buckets over the Greek Freak that sealed the deal. Elsewhere, Luka Doncic starred as Slovenia hammered Estonia. He scored 25 points and 11 rebounds while coming just two assists shy of a triple-double in the 104-83 blowout.
4th Down: Scottie Scheffler holds a lead at the Tour Championship after round one on Thursday, taking the lead he started with as the overall #1 seed and ensuring he stayed in control by finishing his round with three birdies to move to -15 overall and a healthy five shots clear of Xander Schauffele at East Lake. His 65 on the day was only bested by two players, and those were 64’s, so if he maintains that pace, it will be tough to take the trophy away from him and all the money that comes along with it.