Read and React: Playoff mode, deactivated

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(Getty Images)
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Well, Tuesday’s here and along with it a reality check for Los Angeles.

One of their basketball teams is looking playoff bound, the other is the Lakers.

Battle for Staples Center mediocrity

The Clippers took care of the Lakers Monday night to solidify their playoff hopes and, in the process, stick a fork in LeBron and the Gang.

The LeBrakers are now 5.5 games back of a playoff spot and seemingly incapable of beating even bad to mediocre teams. Afterward LeBron used a lot of words talking about injuries being part of their problem, but their issues run deeper than that.

They don’t shoot well and they take plays off at the defensive end (LeBron included), two reasons why they are just 2-5 since James declared himself “activated” for the playoff push.

Now what?

Well, LeBron is just 13 points shy of catching Michael Jordan on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. So there’s that. There’s also Luke Walton watch, tanking for Zion and the NBA gripping with the reality that its biggest star likely won’t be playing in April.

So L.A. and Cleveland do have something in common.

— Jay Hart

NFL: Chasing Antonio Brown

Which team has the best chance at landing the wannabe ex-Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver? The list of teams that have the goods (if the Steelers hold out for a massive haul) and the cap space to deal is short. The Someplace Raiders have both. Other possibilities include the Washington Redskins and Tennessee Titans. And of course … the Steelers are still in the running, right?

NCAA: Big Ten commish Jim Delany will step down in 2020

For better or worse, few people have had a bigger impact on college sports than Jim Delany. The Big Ten’s commissioner since 1989, Delany added four schools and built one cash-cow network to help completely remake the college sporting landscape. With issues like cord-cutting and athlete compensation taking bigger roles, Delany’s successor will face a tough challenge. Deeper dive: Pete Thamel on Delany’s complicated legacy

GOLF: Tiger withdraws from Arnold Palmer Invitational

Citing a neck strain he’s had for a few weeks, Woods said he won’t play at this weekend’s tournament in Orlando. Is it cause to worry? Hard to tell. Woods says it’s not related to the back injury that has caused him problems the past decade and that he’s still hopeful he can participate in next week’s The Players Championship. At the same time, Woods loves playing in Arnie’s tournament. Hopefully he’s just being a bit overcautious by taking a rest.

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

BEN ROHRBACH: Can this flagging Celtics season with Kyrie be saved?

PAT FORDE: Seven key NCAA bracket questions: What about Zion?

FRANK SCHWAB: Tracking which players have been franchise tagged

It’s funny because it’s true …


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