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Leading Off

March 02, 2015
March 02, 2015

Table of Contents
March 2, 2015

INBOX
KYLE WILTJER
DAYTONA 500
NFL
  • Every year NFL prospects, coaches, GMs and insiders descend upon Indianapolis, and what unfolds—on the field, at the podium, in the lobbies and the bars—is the foundation of a new season. Here are SI's eight biggest takeaways from the 2015 combine

NHL
  • The Predators have bet big and lost before. (Peter Forsberg, anyone?) But their latest and riskiest gamble—on troubled center Mike Ribeiro—has them positioned for something never seen in Nashville: a long playoff run

GIANCARLO STANTON
  • Jeffrey Loria knows big-ticket collectibles, but the Marlins' owner and notable art dealer outdid himself when he gave Giancarlo Stanton the biggest contract in sports history. Baseball's best power hitter could have gotten paid anywhere—so why did he take the Marlins' money?

MINOR LEAGUE HOOPS
Departments

Leading Off

PHOTOPHOTOGRAPH BY SPENCER HERLONGFour Closure To honor legendary North Carolina coach Dean Smith, who died on Feb. 7, the Tar Heels employed one of his strategic innovations—the Four Corners offense—under the command of point guard Marcus Paige (5), in an 89--60 win over Georgia Tech last Saturday in Chapel Hill. Born during a practice in 1962, the scheme allowed Smith to spread his players and to control the tempo. Protests over the delaying tactic led to the NCAA's implementation of the shot clock in '85.PHOTOPHOTOGRAPH BY ROBERT BECK SPORTS ILLUSTRATEDShrinky Rink In this tilt-shift photo, the action on the ice between the Kings and the Sharks at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara is in focus while the surrounding setting is not. The technique allows a photographer to simulate a miniature scene. The game was big for L.A., though, which beat its rival 2--1 in the first outdoor game in San Jose team history.PHOTOPHOTOGRAPH BY BEN VAN HOOK FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATEDTop of The Line In this view from the Goodyear blimp, Martin Truex Jr. (78) leads Joey Logano (22), who's running second, and a pack of racers past the start/finish line at Daytona International Speedway on Sunday. With 13 laps to go, Logano took the lead and held on to win his first Daytona 500 (page 34).