Welcome to the latest episode of Hot Takedown, FiveThirtyEight’s sports podcast. On this week’s show (June 7, 2016), we welcome ESPN’s Kevin Arnovitz as a special guest host to discuss the NBA Finals and ask him what is going wrong for the Cleveland Cavaliers. We also assess the legacy of Muhammad Ali and wonder whether analytics are useful when trying to understand just how great he was. Finally, Mike Goodman of ESPN FC joins us to discuss the Copa America and the U.S. men’s national team’s chances in the rest of the tournament. Plus, a special segment on the definition of the hot take inspired by Slate’s Stefan Fatsis. Please send your own definition and your favorite examples to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll pass them along to Slate!
Links to what we discuss are here:
- Neil Paine writes that the Cavs’ shooting went to hell in Game 1 of the NBA Finals but that they probably won’t get swept by the Warriors.
- ESPN Stats & Information Group says Draymond Green’s return to form makes the Warriors look unstoppable.
- The Washington Post’s Neil Greenberg writes that blame for the Cavs’ defeats must lie at the feet of LeBron James.
- Kyle Wagner says Muhammad Ali can’t be judged by mere statistics.
- Wesley Morris writes in The New York Times that Ali evolved from a great fighter into the nation’s conscience.
- BBC Sport tries to assess what it was about Ali that made him so great.
- According to Tom Dart in the Guardian, this is crunch time for Jürgen Klinsmann as he tries to find a winning formula for the U.S. men’s national soccer team.
- Mike Goodman explains why Clint Dempsey doesn’t fit into Klinsmann’s new-look attack.
- Michael Caley says Christian Pulisic might be the key to U.S. success at the Copa America.
Finally, here’s a link to the episode of Slate’s “Hang Up and Listen” in which Fatsis announced his hot-take-crowd-sourcing project. Get involved!
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