So much for Woj bombs going easy on the NBA’s newly minted off season. Before the Toronto Raptors could even have their victory parade, nuclear summer began. The Lakers’ trade-in-place with New Orleans to make Anthony Davis a household name in Southern California again you’re your dad about the USC running back who should have won the Heisman in the 1970s) has rocked things off the hinges to where the Lakers are rid of their No. 4 overall pick they landed in the lottery and just gave away prior to the NBA Draft that grows in Brooklyn on Thursday (4 p.m., ESPN), which is about 10 days before the free agent signings can start to apparently not happen as one may have originally anticipated. Just follow ESPN Senior NBA Insider (that’s all caps) Adrian Wojnarowski’s verified Twitter account (@wojespn ) for more tea-leaf readings as things seem to now change hourly.
As for the draft, according to the consensus aggregation:
New Orleans takes Zion Williamson of Duke overall.
Memphis takes Ja Morant of Murray State second.
New York ends up with R.J. Barrett, also of Duke, as No. 3.
If the Pelicans swoop back now and take Texas Tech guard Jarrett Culver, who could have been a Laker … so be it. Apparently.
Play along at the NBA Draft site for the next 57 choices. And we still think Rui Hachimura is going too low, no matter who gets him at this point. And USC’s Kevin Porter Jr., is the local kid to keep an eye on. And we just can’t wait to her the name “Bol Bol” announced.
More info: www.nba.com/draft/2019
The U.S. Women’s National Team continues its zealous march/golf-clap celebration through the Women’s World Cup group play with its final Group round match against co-leader Sweden (Thursday, noon, Channel 11). Then the Round of 16 begins Saturday.
Said Fox studio analyst Alexi Lalas after the U.S.’s reserve-lineup 3-0 win over Chile on Sunday morning, the encore to the 13-0 win over Thailand days earlier: “Warm ups are over. The tournament now starts for the U.S. I just hope they can switch it on when it really matters.”
From colleague Kevin Baxter of the L.A. Times comes more nuances to pay attention: A U.S.-France matchup in the quarterfinals could happen and potentially be a mess setting up the tournament’s climax.
If the U.S. defeats or ties Sweden on Thursday to win the group, it plays either Germany of Spain in the Round of 16, then would likely be on track to face France in the quarters in Paris. The winner would likely be the favorite, but as a result, it would eliminate one or the other biggest draw as far as the local fans care, or the TV audience in the U.S. might care. If Sweden leaps past the U.S. on Thursday, however, and advances – the U.S. still moves ahead, against tougher foes, but it would set them up for a potential title matchup with France.
So, yes, there are scenarios played out where the U.S. might want to pump the breaks early … But, really, why do that?
The Round of 16 goes through June 25, followed by the quarterfinals (June 27-29), the semifinals (July 2-3) and the final on July 7.
More info: www.fifa.com/womensworldcup
Also: The CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament that launched last weekend at the Rose Bowl puts the focus on the U.S. Men’s National Team appearance, a Group D opener against Guyana (at St. Paul, Minn., Tuesday at 7 p.m., FS1) and then vs. Trinidad and Tobago (at Cleveland, Saturday at 5 p.m., FS1).
Looking ahead after a U.S.-Panama final group matchup on June 26:
* Quarterfinals: June 29-30 in Houston and Philadelphia
* Semifinals: July 2-3 in Glendale, Ariz., and Nashville
* Final: July 7 in Chicago
More info: www.goldcup.org
Max Muncy doesn’t need to hit another home run into the ocean this week against Madison Bumgarner. Into a seat of blue into the right field pavilion on Thursday might suffice. ESPN will take two of the four games against the Giants, and Fox has one against Colorado on the weekend for those fine tuning their TVs.
For the Angels, a trip to St. Louis marks the first time Albert Pujols has played against the Cardinals since he left the city eight seasons ago. ESPN wants to capture that on the final night of the trip.
How the week lays out this week for the Dodgers, 48-24, 10 ½ up in the NL West, coming off a 3-3 week that easily could have smelled nicer with a sweep of the Cubs that didn’t happen, and still No. 1 in the ESPN Power Rankings:
* vs. San Francisco at Dodger Stadium: Monday (Tyler Beede vs. Kenta Maeda) at 7:10 p.m.; Tuesday (Shaun Anderson vs. Clayton Kershaw) at 7:10 p.m.; Wednesday (Drew Pomeranz vs. Rich Hill) at 7:10 p.m.; and Thursday (Madison Bumgarner vs. Walker Buehler) at 7:10 p.m., all on SportsNet LA. ESPN has non-black-out coverage on Monday and Wednesday.
* vs. Colorado at Dodger Stadium: Friday (German Marquez vs. Hyun-Jin Ryu) at 7:10 p.m.; Saturday (Peter Lambert vs. Kenta Maeda) at 4:15 p.m., Channel 11; Sunday (Antonio Senzatela vs. Clayton Kershaw) at 1:10 p.m.; all on SportsNet LA except Saturday.
How the week lays out this week for the Angels, still unable to break .500 with a 35-37 mark, 13 back in the AL West, yet moving up from No. 22 to No. 20 in the MLB Power Rankings, perhaps because of winning two against the Dodgers and Shohei Ohtani heating up:
* at Toronto, Monday (Luis Garcia vs. Edwin Jackson) at 4:07 p.m.; Tuesday (Tyler Skaggs vs. Marcus Stroman) at 4:07 p.m.; Wednesday (Andrew Heaney vs. Aaron Sanchez) at 4:07 p.m.; and Thursday (Jose Suarez vs. Clayton Richard) at 4:07 p.m., all on Fox Sports West
* at St. Louis: Friday (Griffin Canning vs. Dakota Hudson) at 5:15 p.m., FSW; Saturday (Felix Pena vs. Miles Mikolas) at 11:15 a.m., FSW; Sunday (Tyler Skaggs vs. Jack Flaherty) at 4 p.m., ESPN.
The Sparks’ 4-3 start with coach Derek Fisher adds to a clogged-up WNBA Western Conference start. They’re neither poor nor great as they start this week at home vs. Washington (Staples Center, Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., CBSSN, Spectrum SportsNet); then go on the road to Seattle (Friday at 7:30 p.m., CBSSN, SSN) and Phoenix (Sunday at 3 p.m.). The team is still sorting out the return of injured star Candace Parker, while Riquna Williams, who scored 25 points in a win over Minnesota recently, is still dealing with a legal issue stemming from an assault case last December that is still pending and caused her to miss a recent contest. The Sparks are coming off a 98-92 home loss to New York on Saturday, which followed an 85-68 win in Phoenix on Friday.
Santa Anita ends its winter-spring season on the brink with a few high-stakes races on Sunday (first post, 1 p.m.) that include the San Juan Capistrano Stakes and American Stakes.
Expect one more big round of protesting.
Racing then moves to Los Alamitos (June 26-July 16) before the annual trip to Del Mar (July 17-Sept. 3).
It returns to Santa Anita starting Sept. 25 and leading into the Breeders’ Cup in early November. Can’t wait for that. Or can we?
In the College World Series in Omaha, Neb:
Monday: Arkansas vs. Texas Tech at 11 a.m.; Michigan vs. Florida State at 5 p.m., both on ESPN
Tuesday: Louisville vs. Auburn at 11 a.m.; Vanderbilt vs. Mississippi State at 5 p.m.
Wednesday: Winners bracket game, 4 p.m.
Thursday at 5 p.m.; Friday at 4 p.m.; Saturday at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. TBD
The best-of-three final is June 24-26.