The 2016 U.S. Open – Kerber vs. Pliskova

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You can plan a pretty picnic, but you can’t predict the weather, much like you can plan a trip to the U.S. Open final, but you can’t predict who you’ll be seeing.

When Serena Williams won at Wimbledon in June, tying Steffi Graf with 22 career Grand Slam titles, I decided to grab a pair of tickets to the U.S. Open final in New York City. Given Serena’s recent run of fantastic play, I figured I’d have a really good chance to see that record eclipsed live.

Fast forward to Thursday, September 8th, three days before the U.S. Open Final. Serena Williams was coming off of an intense three set victory over fifth ranked Simona Halep, but only needed to get past a seemingly easier foe in tenth ranked Karlonia Pliskova to reach the final.

Pliskova won the first set decisively, and won an incredibly close second set that was capped off by a Williams double fault. The U.S. Open Final was set. (2) Angelique Kerber vs. (10) Karolina Pliskova. The chance of witnessing history was all but gone. Despite my great disappointment, and despite knowing very little about either participant, I made my way down to Flushing Meadows to soak up as much of the U.S. Open as I possibly could.

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Fixing the NBA’s Three Point Obsession

Apr 15, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love (0) shoots in the second quarter against the Washington Wizards at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 15, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love (0) shoots in the second quarter against the Washington Wizards at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The three point shot in the NBA seems to have taken over the game over the past few seasons. With the emergence and success of the playing style of the Golden State Warriors, many teams are looking to replicate their success in any way possible. Teams have always looked to sharpshooters, such as Reggie Miller, Ray Allen, Steve Kerr, Kyle Korver, and plenty others. But now, NBA teams are looking to build a roster full of guys who are capable of shooting from distance, not just one or two shooters.

While the three point shot can be entertaining, it can be just the opposite when teams are overly inefficient with it and when players who can’t make the shot frequently enough still attempt it regularly. There is not much more frustrating in basketball than watching a team struggle to make threes, yet still attempt nearly 20 threes per game. It seems like a wasted possession every time, and in a way it is if you’re making less than 30% of your three point shots. What can the NBA do to ensure that the three point shot doesn’t envelop the game?

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