Boston63.175.647.51.915.82.4<1<1<1 TEAMOVERALLOFF.DEF.WLTPLAYOFFSFINALSWIN Kansas City103.696.1113.26.08.35.7521 RATINGAVG. SIM. SEASONPLAYOFF CHANCES Chicago99.689.322.214.171.124.846167 Houston93.683.6126.96.36.199.2521 W. New York120.3138.197.8188.8.131.529%65%37% This year’s surprise standout, the Western New York Flash, has skyrocketed to the top of our table and now has the greatest chance of winning the NWSL championship — 37 percent — up from just a 5 percent chance before the season started. With the league’s top two goal scorers, Lynn Williams and Jessica McDonald (seven and six goals, respectively), the Flash are almost certain to earn a playoff spot. The Washington Spirit will likely grab another — our model gives them a 96 percent chance of making the playoffs.There’s a little less certainty for the third and fourth playoff spots. The Portland Thorns are currently in first place in the league, with 26 points, and have an 86 percent chance of making the postseason. But the team has lost their past two games, in part because several national team players have been absent as they prepare for the Olympics. So Portland may continue to fall in our rankings over the next month. The Chicago Red Stars’ chances of making the playoffs have remained about the same from our initial forecast — dropping to 46 percent from 47 percent — but a strong start to the season has given way to three losses in the past four games.The biggest shock this season, however, has undoubtedly been the rapid descent of the league’s top two teams, Seattle and Kansas City. Both teams were heavily favored in our initial predictions — with a 78 percent and 72 percent chance of making the playoffs, respectively — but at this point, it’s extremely unlikely that either team will earn a playoff berth. There are still six weeks of matches left, but both teams’ chances of winning the championship have plummeted more than 20 percentage points since the season started. Sky Blue97.299.4184.108.40.206.82073 Although our preseason forecast didn’t think it was impossible for both Seattle and Kansas City to miss the playoffs (it assigned roughly a 6 percent chance to that possibility), their drastic decline may indicate that we should re-evaluate some components of the model for next year’s NWSL season. As in many of our sports forecasts, each NWSL team’s rating is reverted toward the league average between seasons to account for factors such as changes in personnel and retirements. For the NWSL, two-thirds of a team’s rating from the previous season carries over into the new season; that amount is based on the first three seasons and is in line with other soccer leagues around the world (both men’s and women’s). This year’s results, however, may indicate that NWSL teams should be reverted further toward the league average each season. Or maybe this is just a crazy season. Only time (and more data) will tell. If at the start of the National Women’s Soccer League season you thought two-time defending champions FC Kansas City would be in third-to-last place just over halfway through the season or that two-time regular-season champions Seattle Reign FC would have almost as many losses as they did in their previous two seasons combined, you’re either psychic or your predictive abilities are far greater than ours.Before this year’s matches got underway, we built a model to forecast the league using the best information we had available: data from the three previous NWSL seasons. But because two of those years were dominated by Seattle and Kansas City, correctly predicting this year’s chaos in the league would have been very difficult. So with the table in tumult and the end of the regular season not far off, we thought this would be good time to update our initial predictions, see what’s changed and look ahead to which four teams are most likely to reach the playoffs this fall. Below is a table showing each team’s overall rating — made up of offensive and defensive components (higher is better for both) — as well as its projected win-loss-tie record and its chances of making the playoffs. Portland106.9110.9102.09.73.96.5863515 Orlando90.882.1220.127.116.11.82773 Seattle109.9101.618.104.22.168.81785 Washington115.0123.5104.322.214.171.1245829
Heading into the weekend, the young NBA season’s three most impressive overachievers were the Orlando Magic, the Indiana Pacers and the Detroit Pistons, each of whom were on track for winning records despite what were projected to be a trio of losing seasons. Hot starts can fade fast, though: The Magic and Pacers have gone a combined 0-4 since Friday, losing by a total of 56 points as Orlando’s shooting went cold and Indy’s defense collapsed.Detroit, however, has kept on winning. After handling the Bucks and Kings at home (not to mention managing a road win over the Warriors two Sundays ago), the Pistons are now 7-3 on the season, good for second-best in the East — and there’s evidence they might have done it despite being slightly unlucky along the way. Is it possible that Stan Van Gundy’s shambolic plan is finally coming together?The 2016-17 Pistons were a solid defensive team in desperate need of some spark at the other end of the floor. Whatever offensive promise Andre Drummond (ostensibly the team’s star, and certainly its highest-paid player) flashed early in his career seemed to have been a mirage; the attack sputtered to a halt whenever high-usage point guard Reggie Jackson set foot on the court; and the team generally hoisted way too many inefficient shots and not enough 3s. Detroit needed an offensive resurgence if it hoped to achieve its second winning season in the last decade, though it wasn’t clear where that breakthrough was going to come from.The Pistons did some offseason rearranging, like any team. They let Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Aron Baynes walk in free agency, traded midrange scorer Marcus Morris to Boston for Avery Bradley, signed Anthony Tolliver and Langston Galloway, and drafted Duke’s Luke Kennard with the 12th overall pick. Jackson was going to be healthy again, and former No. 8 overall pick Stanley Johnson would have another year of much-needed development under his belt. But this was far from a total teardown; Detroit’s existing talent would also need to play much better in order to keep Van Gundy’s coach/exec seat from spontaneously combusting.And so far, the talent has delivered. Drummond has been one of the most improved players in the league this season, upping his true shooting percentage, assist rate, rebound rate and Box Plus/Minus at both ends of the floor. He’s back to taking 68 percent of his shots within 3 feet of the rim (last year that number had dipped to a career-low 49 percent), wreaking more havoc on putbacks and basket cuts instead of reprising the plodding, inefficient, post-heavy offensive role he played last year.And although it’s unrealistic to expect Drummond to keep hitting 75 percent from the free-throw line (considering he began the year with a 38.1 percent career rate), it’s likely that he has improved there to some extent — the odds of a “true” 38 percent shooter making 30 of his first 40 free throws are about 1 in 459,000. Maybe his new form at the line really is working.Drummond isn’t the only Piston holdover playing significantly better ball this year. Jackson has bounced back from his miserable 2016-17 with superior numbers nearly across the board, and his plus/minus impact finally befits a player of his salary and reputation. He and Ish Smith are at last the effective point guard platoon the team expected to get from them going into last season. Forward Tobias Harris has continued to refine his new-school spin on the classic Van Gundy stretch four. Meanwhile, Johnson has taken an encouraging leap forward from his first two NBA seasons, when he was one of the league’s worst regular players.1According to Box Plus/Minus. He still isn’t burning up the box score (averaging 8.5 points and 3.2 rebounds per game), but Johnson is at least making enough shots to space the floor and play his role with an acceptable level of efficiency.And as a whole, Detroit is playing a more efficient brand of basketball. A year ago, the Pistons took the league’s second-most midrange shots per game — trailing only the Carmelo Anthony-led Knicks — and the fifth-fewest 3-point shots per game. This season, they’re down to 18th in midrange tries per game and up to 17th in attempted 3s per game. After generating the worst shot quality in basketball last season (according to Second Spectrum), they’ve risen to 17th this year, while making just about as many shots as they deserve to have made. And on defense, Second Spectrum’s tracking data indicates that Detroit is forcing the third-most-difficult set of shots in the league — and that the Pistons’ 14th-place defensive ranking is mainly a result of opponents hitting more shots than they should have (no team in the league has been unluckier in this respect), a trend that ought to reverse itself as the season goes on.Given all that, these Pistons might have the most staying power of any early surprise team. Ten games in is still pretty early in the season, but we learn a lot about basketball teams in a short amount of time. Since the league last expanded in 2004, teams that start the season 7-3 tend to go on to win about 50 times per 82 games. And even those who finished below .500 the previous year — like Detroit did last season — ended up winning roughly 45 games on average.Although the East is apparently in flux, it’s still probably premature to suggest the Pistons are poised to make a deep playoff run this season. But for a franchise that has made the playoffs just once in the last eight seasons, even a return to the postseason would represent a successful campaign. And based on the way these Pistons have started off, they’re well on their way.
FiveThirtyEight Embed Code The official start of NBA free agency caused quite a stir. Most notably, big-name free agents Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving committed to the Brooklyn Nets, leaving the New York Knicks without a star. We unpack this missed opportunity for the Knicks and what might define “the new NBA.”In honor of the upcoming Fourth of July holiday, Geoff and Neil have a heated debate on the merits of competitive eating. Is it a sport? Is it the antithesis of sports? Has someone on the pod participated in a hot dog eating contest in the past?!For our Rabbit Hole, we’re joined by FiveThirtyEight copy desk intern Santul Nerkar, who dug into oddities in tournament point allocation in the World Cup and beyond.What we’re looking at this week:Neil Greenberg for The Washington Post breaks down the financial implications of the Knicks’ actions during free agency.Kawhi Leonard’s monumental decision from The Ringer.Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest.Research behind “excitingness” and awarding 3 points for a win in soccer. More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed
Emotions ran high after Ohio State won a match against Penn State on Nov. 12. Credit: Jenna Leinasars | Assistant News DirectorThe Ohio State women’s volleyball team was hungry on Saturday, and unfortunately for the Nittany Lions, they were on the night’s menu. The Buckeyes put on arguably their best performance of the season, toppling No. 10 Penn State at St. John Arena in five sets (25-23, 15-25, 19-25, 25-22, 18-16). OSU’s last win over the Nittany Lions dates back to 2006. The Buckeye momentum started rolling on Friday evening with a home sweep over Rutgers. Moving into Saturday, nearly 4,400 fans — including a rival student section, a rarity in collegiate regular season volleyball — packed into St. John Arena to watch the underdog defend their court against the Nittany Lion powerhouse. Penn State swept the Buckeyes in University Park during their last matchup on Oct. 19. OSU coach Geoff Carlston said he was overjoyed with the performance and determination that his team showed. “I’m so happy for our team as a whole, but especially our seniors,” he said. “We’ve been grinding hard to get a win like that, and to be on the brink of defeat so many times but to be able to fight back like we did, I couldn’t be more proud.” Carlston started out the game by changing his offense. His team ran a 6-2 against Penn State for the first time this season, which utilizes two setters and a total of six hitters, depending on rotation. Right from the beginning of the first set, OSU limited the Nittany Lions’ multiple-point runs and stifled Penn State’s pair of dynamic hitters, Simone Lee and Haleigh Washington. Four straight Buckeye kills mid-set would make the score 15-10. With few points left in the first set, Penn State inched their way back into contention, tying the score at 19, 21, 22 and 23. Senior middle blocker Taylor Sandbothe secured three kills in the final five points to give the Buckeyes an edge. An attacking error from the Nittany Lions would give the first set to OSU. Senior libero Valeria León said the Buckeyes came out with a solid mindset, and that helped them play strong coming out of the gate. “We believed that we’re good enough to beat them, so we came out with that thought,” she said. Things turned sour for the Buckeyes in the second set as unforced errors caused OSU to play catch-up. They allowed Penn State to go on costly runs without countering. Penn State held the Buckeyes to just a .077 attacking percentage, which allowed the Nittany Lions to capitalize on OSU’s mistakes and secure themselves the second set. Carlston said to his team during intermission that they were going to have to fight back if they wanted a victory.“After the second set, we talked about, “Moral victories suck,”” he said, recalling his pep talk following the second set. “We’re just as deserving as Penn State to win this match, but the game is not just going to give it to you.”The Buckeyes improved slightly in the third set, but old habits from the prior set still lingered. A late OSU effort put the team within four points of the Nittany Lions at 19-23, but two Penn State kills quickly fell and ended the set. Penn State then held the advantage 2-1. Both teams had a lot to lose in the fourth set, and the nine tie scores showed it. León led the Buckeyes on a three-point run to lock the score up at 9-9. Not long after, Penn State’s Abby Detering took the Nittany Lions on their own three-point run to an 11-13 edge. Nearing the end of the fourth, it was anyone’s game. Senior middle blocker Taylor Sandbothe emerged with monstrous kills and a look on her face of pure determination. She put down eight kills without any trouble, and gave OSU the set win it needed to stay alive. Entering the final set, the Buckeyes briefly held the lead before it changed hands to the Nittany Lions. Down by three points (7-10) in the critical fifth set, OSU took a timeout to evaluate their strategy. It was once again Sandbothe who slammed down another kill out of the break and helped to pull the Buckeyes out of the hole. Back and forth play pushed the set to extra points, and the biggest crowd OSU has seen this season made themselves heard. Senior setter Abby Fesl said it was motivating to hear those yells and cheers, and their voices added to the anticipation of the moment. “Just hearing everyone towards the end of game five, really getting into it – I could tell people were feeling it with us, and that’s when you love to play the game,” she said. Tied at 16-16, junior outside hitter Luisa Schirmer shined in the final moments. She swung away for two kills to give OSU the match victory and the upset. Carlston said the fifth set says a lot about a team, and he’s glad his team persevered through the fire.“The fifth set is just about heart and guts and grit. I was so happy with the heart and grit we showed, especially at the end,” he said. Sandbothe led the team’s offense with 25 kills and tied sophomore outside hitter Audra Appold in attacking efficiency with .320. Sophomore setter Taylor Hughes had the program’s first triple-double in at least five years with 10 kills, 34 assists and 12 digs. Fesl also contributed 27 assists on the night, while León added 24 digs. Fesl said the unsatisfying defeat they faced at Penn State on Oct. 19 was in OSU’s mind during tonight’s match.“Going to Penn State mid-week a couple weeks ago and dropping three straight sets kind of sat with us for a while, so this win was really big for us,” she said. “It means a lot for us going forward.” León has been through four years of losing to the Nittany Lions, and she said she’s proud to help put an end to that streak.“They (Penn State) fought. They played hard, and they didn’t give it to us. We went out there and we got it,” she said. “It’s one of those feelings I’m not going to be able to recreate.” Carlston said the nature of the Big Ten conference relies a lot on timing and opportunity.“This is a league you put a lot of heart and soul into, but you have to be really patient (to get a win),” he said. Ten years of patience paid off for the Buckeyes on Saturday.
OSU junior offensive lineman Jamarco Jones (74) blocks Rutgers redshirt junior Darnell Davis (59) during the Buckeyes game against the Scarlet Knights on Oct. 1. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Photo EditorJunior offensive tackle Jamarco Jones announced on Twitter that he is returning for his final season with Ohio State. The Chicago native said that he still has “another year till I get paid.”I got another year till I get paid https://t.co/tcXmYe09m1— Jamarco Jones (@jjones_74) January 11, 2017Jones replaced All-American Taylor Decker in 2016, who was the starter at the position for three consecutive years. Jones played sparingly behind Decker, but started in all 13 games this past season and statistically outperforming Decker.In pass protection, Jones had a 97.4 percent blocking rate in the regular season, compared to Decker’s 96.4 percent his senior year, according to CFB Film Room.Jones is one of four returning starters on the offensive line from the 2016 season. Redshirt junior guard Billy Price announced his decision to return for his senior year after the Fiesta Bowl. Price will play center in 2017.
Two weeks ago, Ohio State men’s basketball head coach Chris Holtmann said he expected his team to add “one or two” graduate transfers. Tuesday night, the Buckeyes landed one of the top graduate transfers on the market, bolstering a thin backcourt.Redshirt senior Keyshawn Woods, a 6-foot-3, 205-pound sweet-shooting guard who spent the past four seasons at Wake Forest announced on Twitter he will play his final collegiate basketball season at Ohio State. As a graduate transfer, he will be immediately eligible to play in the upcoming season.Despite coming off the bench in 23 of his 28 games last season, Woods was second on Wake Forest with 11.9 points per game and added 2.5 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 25.7 minutes per game. His 15 games with at least 10 points were second-most off the bench in program history. Woods shot 43.9 percent from the field, hit 37.4 percent of his 3-pointers and made 84.5 of his free throws.Woods will presumably slide into the Buckeyes’ starting lineup alongside point guard C.J. Jackson, who will also be playing his final season of eligibility. Ohio State graduated Kam Williams and Andrew Dakich, two guards who played key roles in the team’s surprisingly successful season last year. The Buckeyes also lost forward Jae’Sean Tate to graduation and forward Keita Bates-Diop to the NBA draft. Both Tate and Bates-Diop played as de-facto guards in different lineups.The addition of Woods will lessen the reliance on Jackson as a ball-handler and takes pressure off incoming freshmen guards Luther Muhammad and Duane Washington, along with sophomore Musa Jallow, to step into major roles. Though Woods came off the bench last season, he started 22-of-33 games in the 2016-17 season, averaging 12.5 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game. He is a career 42.5 percent shooter from beyond the 3-point arc.
Ohio State’s Myles Martin wrestles Mitch Bowman in the dual-meet against Iowa on Jan. 21 in the Schottenstein Center. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Managing Editor for DesignSenior 184-pound captain Myles Martin and redshirt junior captain Kollin Moore have both accomplished many feats in their time at Ohio State. But one thing they both happily reflect on is their time spent in Romania battling alongside one another.Moore and Martin traveled to Romania to compete in the U23 World Championships as two of 400 wrestlers representing 34 nations. Moore, after participating in the event in both 2016 and 2017, earned a silver medal in the tournament. “I got to wrestle a lot of good guys,” Moore said. “Just to wrestle some Russians and some other guys from countries who are really good at wrestling. It’s an honor and I thought I competed well.”Both wrestlers said they learned a lot and had a different experience compared with anything they’ve ever had in the states. And it was something Martin loved, giving him goals for his future. “I took a lot away from it, but one big thing I learned was that I want to make as many world teams as possible and compete overseas as much as I can,” Martin said. “I’m not used to wrestling foreigners where they have a different mindset towards wrestling. One little mistake and you can get beat. I’m excited to compete in another one.”In his first trip to the U23 World Championships, Martin said it was good to have Moore there, one who had competed overseas three times before and as a teammate and a familiar place in a foreign country.Moore was even more excited about having his teammate and friend competing alongside him.“It was nice to have a good buddy in the room to talk to and to work out with. Especially on the travel,” Moore said. “We traveled for 29 hours on the way back, so it was nice to suffer through that with a guy you’re really close with.”Ohio State head coach Tom Ryan was very proud of both Martin and Moore, saying that what they’ve been able to accomplish is incredible.“To be at the level they’re at is rare. I think the numbers are .005 percent of high school wrestlers make it to the college level. And then those that make it to world teams are at a whole different level,” Ryan said. “To see guys like Kollin and Myles who have talent and incredible work ethic and provide great leadership for us.” But the goal for both Moore and Martin remained the same when they went to Romania as to when they wrestle for Ohio State: to show their ability on the mat. Moore said that when facing international talent, every positive performance provides a statement for not only him and Ohio State, but also the United States. “I let them know the USA is getting better and we’re coming for them,” Moore said.
Holidaymakers are being warned they face lengthy delays at European airports this summer after border checks were tightened.Passengers have been forced to wait in queues for up to four hours – longer than some of their flights – after arriving at airports popular with British tourists.The delays are reportedly being caused by the introduction of newly-toughened and more time consuming immigration checks.The problem – at what is traditionally already the busiest time of the year for flights – is being made worse by a lack of border officials on the continent, it is claimed.An association representing airlines said queues stretching for “hundreds of metres” are in some cases causing passengers to miss their flights.It warned that “shameful” queues can be expected at airports including Madrid, Palma, Lisbon, Lyons, Paris Orly, Milan and Brussels. Some flight delays have increased by 300 per cent in a year, it claimed. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Airlines for Europe (A4E), the association that represents carriers such as British Airways, Ryanair and easyJet, said lengthy delays had been caused by many countries failing to provide enough staff for passport checks.Thomas Reynaert, A4E’s managing director, said: “Travellers face long lines and can’t get on their flights. Queuing for up to four hours has been the top record these days. Queues form at Barcelona airport ahead of security checksCredit:Manu Fernandez/AP Amsterdam airport @Schiphol is a disaster again today. Schengen-passport control queue extends beyond E-gates 4hrs waiting time #noholiday pic.twitter.com/X75Q8ziML2— Joepie (@joep19711) June 27, 2017 The problem is being blamed on the introduction of tighter European Union-introduced border controls in Schengen, the border-free area that incorporates most EU member states.Previously, British travellers have been given only visual passport checks by European border officials.But new rules, which were introduced after a series of terror attacks in Europe, mean checks against a series of databases are now carried out on each passenger from non-Schengen countries.The new tests, on both entry and exit, are said to take around two minutes per passenger. @SimonCalder queues for passport control at Palma airport this morning – what a farce! pic.twitter.com/cIunShy9r6— Catherine Little (@calittle1967) July 29, 2017 “Airports like Madrid, Palma de Mallorca, Lisbon, Lyon, Paris-Orly, Milan or Brussels are producing shameful pictures of devastated passengers in front of immigration booths, in lines stretching hundreds of metres.”At some airports, flight delays have increased by 300 per cent compared to last year.”A4E warned that the situation could worsen in the coming weeks as the new regulations have not yet been fully implemented. The six-month period to put the enhanced checks in place ends on October 7. EU member states have until the autumn to implement enhanced border checks, but many have already introduced them.A spokeswoman for the Association of British Travel Agents said: “New, stricter passport checks are resulting in longer queues at some airports, including Palma, which is already busy due to a significant increase in passenger numbers.”Tour operators will ensure that customers get to the airport in plenty of time so that they are not in danger of missing their flights.”However, independent travellers will need to check the situation with their airlines and, where necessary, ensure they factor these longer queuing times into their travel plans when flying in and out of the airport.”It is also extremely important that border control check points are sufficiently resourced so that queuing times are kept to a minimum.” The Government has been urged to use “whatever influence it can” to pressure EU states to adequately staff their airports.Airlines UK, an industry body representing UK-registered carriers, said it had warned the Department for Transport (DfT) about the problem in May, although they were told by ministers the issue had eased. Have you been hit by long airport delays in Europe? Let us know your experience by leaving a comment below. Tim Alderslade, the body’s chief executive, said: “Clearly the situation has changed markedly as we enter peak holiday season, and it is now up to the UK Government to work with industry to use whatever influence it can within the EU to persuade Schengen Member States to resource their border operations properly.”Pictures on social media in recent days have shown long lines of passengers in crowded terminals.
One of those men, a self-confessed IRA bomb maker called Michael Christopher Hayes, gave a television interview earlier this year to say he was sorry that innocent people died in the blasts. The 69-year-old who lives in south Dublin refused to say if he had planted any of the bombs, but told the BBC last month he was speaking out to give “the point of view of a participant”.He said he had been “accused of a lot of things, without one shred of forensic evidence, without one statement made, without one witness coming out against me.”Hayes has not been charged with any offences and no one has been convicted of the Birmingham bombings.The coroner’s decision that suspects would not be identified prompted some relatives to announce they would boycott the new hearings, scheduled for later this year.The families’ campaign said it was launching an appeal for public donations because applying for formal legal funding would take too long.Ms Hambleton said: “We fight for our loved ones, who aren’t here to fight for it themselves.”She added: “If they were alive and we were dead they too would be standing where we are standing.”We are now in a position to have to beg for the good people of this country to help us to raise money to fight this challenge in the High Court.”It is pivotal for us to have a judicial review, and appeal and challenge the coroner’s decision to exclude the perpetrators from this inquest. The Mulberry Bush pub in Birmingham was one of two attacked on November 21, 1974.Credit:PA Julie Hambleton, whose elder sister Maxine was killed in the Tavern in the Town, said that without the prospect of naming the bombers, “we may as well not bother having an inquest at all”.A statement from the Justice4the21 campaign group said: “We do not believe justice can be served through an inquest that does not consider the core issues relating to the bomb-makers, bomb-planters and their associates and their actions.”Six Irishmen, known as the Birmingham Six, were wrongly convicted of the bombings and spent 16 years in prison before being freed in 1991.A ITV World in Action Documentary the previous year had named four of five men it said were responsible for the bombings. Michael Christopher Hayes apologised to the families in a July 2017 BBC interview Families of those killed in the IRA’s Birmingham pub bombings are crowdfunding a High Court challenge to try to overturn a coroner’s ban on naming the suspect bombers.Peter Thornton QC, one of the country’s most senior coroners, ruled out identifying the suspects at fresh inquests into the deaths of 21 people killed in the 1974 bombings.But families of the victims killed when blasts tore through two city centre pubs are now seeking a judicial review to widen the scope of the hearings. “Please, please, please, help us to raise the money.”She added: “We have four weeks to raise £10,000.”
The heroic police officer seriously ill in the nerve agent attack on a Russian spy is “anxious and concerned” as his chief constable admitted: “He’s not the Nick I know”. Wiltshire Police’s acting chief constable Kier Pritchard said after visiting the detective at his hospital bedside that he was “well and sat up”, but added: “He is not the Nick that I know. He’s very anxious, he’s very concerned.” Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey was named as the officer being treated in intensive care after being contaminated when he raced to save the lives of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia. A close colleague also spoke of fears for his recovery, saying: “Don’t forget this is a nerve agent attack. He’s…