Shot of the Year: Miracle Max

February 28, 2024 Shot of the Year: Miracle Max

By: Carlos Alvarez

Good Morning!

It’s a Midwest edition. Today’s spotlight is on Cleveland, Detroit and Chicago. One city has questions. Two cities have win streaks. Plus, it\’s the shot of the year in the NBA. Max Strus… your moment, sir.

Letter Rip!

Yesterday’s Poll: It was a 50-50 split yesterday regarding Underdogs vs. Breaking News preference. We’ll attempt to keep the important stories at the forefront with just one Underdog feature per week. Thanks for voting.



Shot of the Year: Miracle Max!

Photo: Jason Miller / Getty Images

Cavs Beat Mavs (121-119) on Max Strus’ Unbelievable 60-Foot Buzzer-Beater

The Strus is loose! Last night’s Cavs-Mavs clash in Cleveland featured some of the NBA’s hottest teams — and best players — in a thriller that went down to the wire. And the wire got got. After Luka Doncic (45 points) found P.J. Washington at the rim for the Mavericks\’ go-ahead bucket with 2.6 seconds to play (119-118), Cavs’ guard Max Strus heaved it from Lake Erie… Onions! Cavs won, 121-119. Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse fell into a frenzy. There are buzzer-beaters, and there are miracle buzzer-beaters. This was the latter.

Strus\’ Perfect 4th Quarter: Cleveland\’s 27-year-old sharpshooter finished with 21 points, but he capped a perfect 15-point 4th quarter (5-for-5 on 3s) with that 60-foot prayer. Simply stunning. All of Strus’ 4th-quarter 3s came in the final five minutes to help the Cavs overcome a double-digit deficit down the stretch. Talk about a heat check. Donovan Mitchell (31) and Kyrie Irving (30) also had 30-point games, as well as Doncic\’s 45-point night. What a game. Don’t look now, but Cleveland (38-19) is firmly in 2nd in the Eastern Conference. The Cavs are an NBA-best 20-4 since January 1.

Watch: Cavs Beat Mavs (121-119) on Max Strus’ Miracle Heave

Other NBA Highlights

Celtics def. 76ers (117-99)

Bucks def. Hornets (123-85)

Pelicans def. Knicks (115-92)

Timberwolves def. Spurs (114-105)

Warriors def. Wizards (123-112)

Heat def. Blazers (106-96)

Thunder def. Rockets (112-95)



Red Wing Revival

Photo: Gregory Shamus / Getty Images

Red Wings Puck-Stomp Capitals (8-3) to Win 6th Straight, On Track for 1st Playoff Bid Since 2016

Detroit sports fans haven’t been on top of the world like this in a looong time. First, Michigan football. Then, the Lions broke a playoff drought. Now, their iconic hockey franchise looks poised to do damage in the postseason and break an eight-year playoff lull. Detroit, how we feeling?

The Red Wings rolled the Capitals last night (8-3) with a string of six goals in less than 30 minutes of game play. That notched the Wings\’ sixth straight win, which gives them the longest active win streak in the NHL after the Maple Leafs lost to the Golden Knights (see below). It’s not a done deal yet in Detroit. The Red Wings (33-20-6) are currently 6th in the Eastern Conference and 4th in the Atlantic. Tuesday night was just another offensive showcase, and this team is within five goals of the NHL’s highest-scoring offense. Defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere notched two goals while the front line of Alex DeBrincat, J.T. Compher and Patrick Kane have been must-see TV over the last few weeks.

If you’re a Detroit sports fan, 2024 has been kind thus far. The Pistons (NBA) won’t follow suit, but the Red Wings are giving vibes.

Watch: Red Wings Roll Caps (8-3) to Win 6th Straight

 Other NHL Highlights

Flyers def. Lightning (6-2)

Panthers def. Sabres (3-2)

Hurricanes def. Wild (3-2)

Avalanche def. Stars (5-1)

Predators def. Senators (4-1)

Golden Knights def. Maple Leafs (6-2)

*VGK Snaps TOR’s 7-Game Win Streak



Bear Beware: Chicago\’s Dilemma

Photo: Michael Reaves / Getty Images

NFL Combine Week Puts Focus on Chicago’s No. 1 Pick & QB Justin Fields

Hard to believe the Super Bowl was more than two weeks ago, but that short vacation for NFL front offices is over. The NFL Combine is underway in Indianapolis this week for a showcase of 321 of the best collegiate football players. Scouts, coaches and execs will be in attendance to conduct interviews, gawk over 40 times and start building their board for April’s 2024 NFL Draft. The big question: What will the Bears do with the No. 1 pick? That was the focus on Tuesday as Bears GM Ryan Poles attempted to sidestep questions about whether or not Chicago will trade QB Justin Fields and select a quarterback. Poles’ responses was quite telling. “It just depends what opportunities pop up,” he said. My media acumen tells me to expect divorce in Chicago. Or maybe it’s just smokescreen season?

Either way, there’s intrigue at this year’s combine, but three of the most exciting players won’t be doing field drills. USC QB Caleb Williams, Ohio State WR Marvin Harrison Jr. and LSU QB Jayden Daniels — who won the Heisman — won’t be participating. They’ll have their own pro days somewhere comfortable to boost their hype. It’s still a fun week ahead for mock drafters and football fans alike.

NFL Combine Week Schedule

Today: Medical Evaluations & Interviews

Thursday: Defensive Linemen & Linebackers

Friday: Defensive Backs & Tight Ends

Saturday: Quarterbacks, Receivers & Running Backs

Sunday: Offensive Linemen

*Coverage Begins Every Afternoon on NFL Network

Read More

B/R: Predicting the Fastest 40 Times at the 2024 NFL Combine

Yahoo! Sports: NFL Combine Kickoff: A Who’s Who of Players to Watch

USA Today: 10 NFL Draft Prospects With Most to Prove at 2024 Combine




Erling Haaland Scores 5 Goals in FA Cup

*Manchester City def. Luten Town (6-2)

MLB Spring Training

Shohei Ohtani Homers in Dodgers Debut

*Dodgers Beat White Sox (9-6)

NCAA Basketball

M: #1 Houston def. Cincinnati (67-59)

*LJ Cryer (22 Points) Flashes Highlight Dunk

M: BYU Upsets #7 Kansas (76-68)

*KU’s 1st Home Loss to Unranked Team in 67 Games

M: #16 Kentucky def. Miss. State (91-89)

*Reed Sheppard Hits GW Floater With 0.5 Left



Caitlin Clark & Pistol Pete

Jaeson Maravich remembers stopping by his mom’s house last March while she was watching the women’s Final Four. She asked if he’d seen “the girl from Iowa” who was terrorizing South Carolina. “No, she any good?” She’s about to break his dad’s record. (Yahoo! Sports)

2024 QB Commitment Index

Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs continue to be relationship goals, flaunting their happiness in the faces of everyone else in the league. Which other NFL teams are close to finding their perfect match, and which are out there looking for an upgrade this offseason? (The Ringer)



Jon Rahm Says Tiger Woods Won’t Answer His Texts About LIV Move (ESPN)

Purdue’s Zach Edey to Enter 2024 NBA Draft, Won’t Use COVID Eligibility (B/R)

Refs Admit to Missed Call in Knicks-Pistons Final Seconds (SI)

LeBron James Chastises Media Over Bronny James Mock Draft (CBS Sports)

Ole Miss QB Jaxson Dart Makes NIL History, Signs With Private Jet Company (FOX Sports)

Buccaneers Release 2-Time Pro Bowl LB Shaquil Barrett (Yahoo! Sports)

Coach Says Cam Newton Instigated Fight That Went Viral at 7v7 Youth Tournament (USA Today)



Today\’s Must-Watch List


Pelicans at Pacers (7:30 pm ET, ESPN)

Kings at Nuggets (9:00 pm ET, NBALP)

Lakers at Clippers (10:00 pm ET, ESPN)


Blue Jackets at Rangers (7:00 pm ET, ESPN+)

Blues at Oilers (8:30 pm ET, TNT)

NCAA Basketball

M: #11 Auburn at #4 Tennessee (7:00 pm ET, ESPN2)

M: Providence at #5 Marquette (7:00 pm ET, FS1)

M: Oklahoma at #8 Iowa State (8:00 pm ET, ESPN+)

M: Minnesota at #13 Illinois (9:00 pm ET, BTN)

M: #14 Alabama at Ole Miss (9:00 pm ET, ESPN2)

W: Michigan at #2 Ohio State (7:00 pm ET, Peacock)

W: #3 Texas at #20 Oklahoma (7:00 pm ET, ESPN+)

W: Villanova at #10 UConn (7:00 pm ET, TBD)

W: #6 Iowa at Minnesota (9:00 pm ET, Peacock)

*Caitlin Clark Needs 51 Points to Break Pete Maravich\’s All-Time NCAA Scoring Record