Category Archives: NBA All-Star Game

NBA All-Star Game

Aron Baynes sees Gregg Popovich characteristics in Brad Stevens

Boston Celtics center Aron Baynes has likened coach Brad Stevens to San Antonio Spurs boss Gregg Popovich, saying the duo share a key characteristic needed in Playoff basketball: composure.

“Their composure throughout the game is pretty much second to none. No matter what’s going on on the floor, they’re so composed in how they are with the team and the message that that sends through to everyone and keeps everyone calm.”

While Baynes is full of praise for Stevens, the Celtics coach is equally fond of the “leader” he has in the Australian big man. Signed on a one-year deal ahead of this season, Baynes has been a vital defensive cog in the Celtics’ run to the Eastern Conference Finals.

He then started dropping threes. In fact, Baynes’ three-point percentage sits at .524 for the postseason.

The Houston Rockets were up by two points when Draymond Green pulled down a defensive board to initiate the break. He passed it to Durant, who dribbled the ball up the court. Instead of taking a shot, Durant found a cutting Klay Thompson along the baseline.

Trevor Ariza closed hard on Thompson, forcing Thompson to put the ball on the floor before firing up an ill-advised turnaround air ball. Durant was seen demanding a kickout, and with 5 seconds on the clock, Green was calling for a timeout that went unnoticed by the officials.

“I raced it down. I was trying to see if I had some options. I saw Klay running along the baseline and maybe should have waited until he set his feet, but I just threw a bounce pass and tried to relocate for it,” he explained. “But, man, that’s not the reason we lost the game. I wish it could have been a better possession at the end, but, you know, we’ve got to live with that and move on and be better next game.”
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What players and teams “won” the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft on Thursday night?

While some players were selected earlier than expected and some teams ended up with great value, other players fell and other teams reached.

Before the lazy QB comparisons to what’s his name, let’s keep in mind Mayfield is a lot more talented and a little taller than that other guy who, by the way, was taken 21 picks later four long years ago. Cleveland could afford to be enamored by Mayfield’s upside with Tyrod Taylor as the short-term solution. In the end, the Browns needed someone with a loaded college winning resume and an “it” factor. After looking closer at Mayfield’s arm and accuracy and less at his athleticism, this pick made a lot more sense for both sides.

Scott Schebler (L), 12 percent, Cincinnati Reds at Minnesota Twins (RHP Jake Odorizzi): Odorizzi started strong, but he’s run into trouble recently, allowing five homers over his last two starts. If he continues to miss his spots on Saturday, Schebler and his .257 career ISO against righties can make him pay.

Adam Frazier (L), 3 percent, Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Detroit Tigers (RHP Jordan Zimmermann): A whopping 44 of Frazier’s 45 career extra-base hits have come against righties, yielding an ISO that is 126 points higher than his work against lefties. Meanwhile, Zimm allowed a .291/.336/.477 line against lefties in 2015-17 and it’s been even worse so far this year at .314/.368/.514. Consider any Pittsburgh lefty against Zimmermann.

Dave Gettleman didn’t disappoint the Big Blue faithful or Barkley by making this the “gold jacket-type” player of choice. New York, only two years removed from making the playoffs on the strength of its defense, needed a feature running back a lot more than a future franchise quarterback. Barkley will go to work and be as explosive as he was at Penn State.

The Jets were attached to Darnold before the beginning of last season, when he was set to be the No. 1 overall pick while they were the absolute worst team in the NFL. It all lined up in the end, as the team desperately needed a rookie capable of handling the big-market spotlight. Darnold and Cleveland never felt like a good player-city match.
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NBA trade rumors: Jazz could move SG Rodney Hood at deadline

With the emergence of Donovan Mitchell, the Jazz have found their future. With Rudy Gobert inside and Mitchell manning the back-court, Utah has a duo that could lead the team for years to come.

Where does that leave Rodney Hood, though? Apparently on the trade block.

According to multiple sources, there is a growing feeling around the league that Utah is looking to move the former 23rd overall pick.

Basically anything outside of that is where Adebayo still has room to grow. He’s finished 63.9 percent of his shots in the restricted area this season off of a steady diet of layups and dunks, but he offers little value outside of the paint. His post-ups in particular have been problematic for the Heat, as he has scored a miserable 22 points on 29 post-up possessions.

It isn’t a large sample size, but Adebayo hasn’t looked comfortable scoring on face-ups and with his back to the basket on those limited possessions. His mind seems to be moving quicker than his feet, and he isn’t comfortable yet finishing plays with floaters and hook shots.

Harden is expected to be limited to 20-25 minutes Thursday. The Rockets then play the Warriors on Saturday in a matchup between the best two teams in the Western Conference.

Head-to-head Each Category allows you to select “X” number of statistical categories. Team totals are accumulated and a win, loss or tie is credited in each category based on the matchup results (i.e. 6-3-1 in a 10 category league). If the league creator sets Home Team wins as a tiebreaker, the home team will win every tied category.

Head-to-head Most Categories allows you to set “X” number of statistical categories. For each scoring period (usually Monday through Sunday) team totals are accumulated in each of the categories. At the end the scoring period the winner is determined by which team wins the most number of categories. The end result is a win (1-0-0), loss (0-1-0) or tie (0-0-1). These results correspond directly to each team’s overall record.
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Motuapuaka was one of the stars at the NFLPA game.

WR Nelson Agholor vs. Vikings CB Terence Newman: Agholor was a big-play and red-zone scoring machine for Carson Wentz. But after one good first game with Foles against the Giants, he’s been a non-factor, save for his inside rushing play against the Falcons.

Despite a great matchup in the divisional round, Agholor got only three targets — catching them all for 21 yards. Agholor, 24, has speed, quickness and youth advantages over Newman, 39. They are similar in size, but Agholor is a little bigger. The Eagles will not win unless Agholor is involved a lot more all over the field in the passing game.

In London, before the start of the day’s first NFL game, Ravens Coach John Harbaugh joined his players, linking arms, and Ravens Hall of Famer Ray Lewis took a knee. Jaguars owner Shahid Khan locked arms with his players and the Jaguars’ coaches. Khan, who donated to Trump’s inaugural committee, was the second owner to participate in events related to anthem protests. Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam stood on field and locked arms with players, military personnel and first responders in Week 1 of the 2017 season. More joined as the day went on.

James Looney, DT, California — He was able to collapse the pocket and capped his career with 9 1/2 sacks as a senior.

Andrew Motuapuaka, LB, Virginia Tech — Following a highly productive career for the Hokies, he had a great week in Pasadena. The 6 feet, 236-pound New Zealand native has good vision and ball skills. He was able to recognize plays, resulting in tipped passes at the line, and is a sure tackler in the open field.

Also on Thursday, Ryan Mallett was outplayed in what could be an important race to be Baltimore’s backup QB, Tyrod Taylor endured a horrible first-half performance and Blake Bortles got booed after another terrible outing that could put him on the hot seat before the season even begins. You can read about those performances plus even more on the day’s action in Thursday’s roundup.chargers_042

Eagles sign WR Alshon Jeffery to 4-year extension

“Alshon has been a tremendous addition to this organization on and off the field,” the Eagles said in a statement. “We place a priority on making sure we are able to build the team around quality players like Alshon who embrace this team and this city the way he has. We are excited about his future here.”

Chris Hogan, New England Patriots, shoulder, (Q), Monday night: This is the first time in over a month that Hogan has not been ruled out in advance of the game … and it appears that he has a legitimate chance to take the field Monday night in Miami. Hogan took a brutal hit to his right shoulder back in October and has not practiced until this week. He has now missed five games while rehabbing in the background. This week he returned to practice and said he felt like a kid going back to school. More importantly, he was able to get through consecutive practices three days in a row, all as a limited participant.

Dallas Cowboys defensive back Orlando Scandrick left Thursday’s 38-14 win over the Redskins with a back injury that will force him to miss additional time.

According to NFL Media, a Friday MRI revealed two transverse process fractures in his back. He is expected to miss at least one game.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported Scandrick initially suffered the injury on the third play of the game but played through the pain until late in the fourth quarter.

Scandrick had the bones fractured in his back on the third play. He played until late in fourth quarter before being removed. Wasnt diagnosed until today, per source

Scandrick’s injury is similar to those dealt with by Raiders quarterback Derek Carr earlier this season and former Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo in 2016.

Anthony Brown will likely step back into the starting lineup in Scandrick’s absence.chargers_013

Mullen is focused on the task at hand — getting his team ready for the Minutemen.

In terms of giving legitimate on-field help to Newton, their $60 million franchise cornerstone, the Panthers seem to still be making it up as they go along. They act as if they’re allergic to keeping receivers around, no matter their productivity, potential, age, contract or overall value. Steve Smith got the boot long ago. Ted Ginn Jr. left after last season. Greg Olsen wrestled with them for a new contract before getting just a tweaked one.

Olsen missed the first half of the season with a broken foot. When he returns, Benjamin won’t be there. Olsen, Ginn and Benjamin were their three leading receivers last season.

Heed scored a tiebreaking goal on the power play early in the third period and assisted on Joe Pavelski’s second-period goal to lead the Sharks to a 3-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday night in Marleau’s first game as a visitor in San Jose.

“I feel comfortable out there,” said Heed, who has six points in nine games. “It feels better and better every game. I play with great players out there who make good plays for me. It’s great playing with them.”

Heed scored on a slap shot from just above the faceoff circle with 15:49 to play to give the Sharks their 10th straight win over Toronto. Joel Ward added an empty-net goal for San Jose.

This time it came with Marleau in a Maple Leafs sweater as he returned to the arena he called home for his first 19 seasons in the NHL. Marleau left as a free agent this summer to sign an $18.75 million, three-year contract with Toronto but was welcomed back warmly by a fan base that still adores him.

But there’s been a lot of speculation about Mullen’s future since Florida fired Jim McElwain on Sunday.

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Offenses for Raiders, Bills alive, well

One team is 3-4 and the other is 4-2, which is what one might have expected for Sunday’s matchup between the Oakland Raiders and the Buffalo Bills in Orchard Park, N.Y.

But few would have expected Buffalo to sport the winning record and be in playoff position in late October. Even fewer would have forecast Oakland to be sitting a game under .500 and celebrating the end of a four-game losing streak with last week’s wild 31-30 victory over Kansas City.

TMR: There were some “expert” leagues while I was trying to establish myself and there have been some nice big-money wins before I got to ESPN (I don’t really play for money these days), including one that helped me buy my first wife an engagement ring, but probably the best feeling was winning the “ESPN War Room” league that we play here internally. Many of the faces you watch every day (Trey, Adam Schefter, Chris Mortensen, Field Yates, Stephania Bell and so on), along with NFL producers and former NFL players.

Coming off a Monday night loss to the Philadelphia Eagles (6-1) that crippled their offensive line and likely killed their chances to win the NFC East, the Redskins (3-3) host the Dallas Cowboys (3-3) in the first of their 2017 matchups.

Alonso’s hit on Flacco drew outrage from the Ravens as well as an unsportsmanlike penalty. Ravens coach John Harbaugh came onto the field to yell at Alonso in a game that featured several fights the rest of the way.

Flacco was ruled out for the game during halftime. It is the first reported concussion in Flacco’s 10-year career.

“Joe had a concussion and a cut ear,” Harbaugh said. “They were stitching that [ear] up without any anesthesia, so he’s a tough dude. That’s as much as I know about it.”

When asked postgame whether he thought he’d be suspended, Alonso said: “That’s out of my hands, man. … It’s a bang-bang play, and I hope he’s all right. I truly do.”nike_texans_1841

Dolphins offensive line coach resigns after video of him snorting powdery white substance surfaces

A video surfaced on Facebook Sunday night that appears to show Dolphins offensive line coach Chris Foerster snorting a powdery white substance before meetings. On Monday, Foerster resigned.

The Dolphins were reported to have been investigating the video last night and were able to conclude that Foerster was in the video, and in the wrong.

Foerster released a statement, via ESPN’s Adam Schefter:

The Packers were 6.5-point favorites over the Saints last week in an early line available at the Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas. When the Westgate reposted the line Sunday night, after Aaron Rodgers’ injury, New Orleans was a 3.5-point favorite.

When Rodgers plays, the Packers are the one team in the NFC with a quarterback great enough for the team to contend without much help from the defense and/or conventional running game. With Rodgers out, we stacked all 16 NFC teams into one of four groupings in what was already looking like a pretty wide-open conference.

“This is as open as I can remember it in a lot of years, because it is hard to say who the top one or two teams are in the conference,” an evaluator said. “Usually, you would put the Packers and someone else — Seattle, maybe — that you feel strongly about. You just don’t feel as strongly about those teams this year.”

We start with the leading contenders, including three that have been to the Super Bowl recently with many of the same key players in place, including quarterbacks who have shown they can win playoff games with sufficient support. Every one of these teams is flawed enough to trade places with teams below them, which is why this NFC race will be a difficult one to handicap.
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He starred at Oklahoma State after a minor-league baseball career.

So swinging early in counts became the stathead ideal — or, at least, batter temperament lost its ideological associations. The Astros, considered by many to be the most “analytical” team, saw the third-fewest pitches per plate appearance this year. “If [an opposing] pitcher throws 70, 80, 90 pitches, who cares? We don’t,” said Tampa Bay Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier in 2015, after the patient Rays suddenly flipped to the aggressive Rays. “Hit pitches that you’re supposed to hit. Hit fastballs early in the count, no matter if he’s thrown five pitches this inning and you’re the third hitter. If you make an out and the pitcher throws seven pitches, so what.”

The result was that we lost something to count, and the middle of games lost just that little bit of nuance.

At age 28, Weeden became the oldest player ever selected in the first round of the NFL draft.

What happened? Weeden had a few bright spots in Cleveland but is remembered more for horrific moments that personified the franchise’s futility, like getting trapped under the American Flag during the pregame warm-up of his NFL debut (he proceeded to post a 5.1 quarterback rating in that loss to Philadelphia) and a backhanded interception he threw against Detroit. Weeden was recently signed by Tennessee following a hamstring injury to Marcus Mariota and could become a free agent again once the Titans’ starting QB is healthy enough to play again.

As has been referenced already in this piece, the Cardinals have significant struggles running the ball. As a result, no quarterback has thrown the ball more this season than Carson Palmer, who is on pace for 726.4 attempts this season. That bodes well for Brown, who has chewed up 37 targets over the past four weeks. Volume makes him a weekly flex consideration in deeper leagues.ravens_098

Devoted fans took to social media Tuesday to show their appreciation.

Or so it would appear at first glance. But it turns out that there’s also a lot of churn in the world of NFL uniforms this season because most teams are upgrading to a new Nike tailoring template. You’ll be hearing a lot about how the new template is lighter and tighter, how it has fewer seams and so on. But from a visual standpoint, the most obvious changes — and they’re almost all for the better — can be seen around the jersey collars.

Shanahan would only confirm quarterback Brian Hoyer and left tackle Joe Staley are starting, and “everyone else, we’ll find out on Sunday.

The family went on: “Thank you to everyone who has been a part of this legendary dining institution. We are especially thankful to the late Mike Garcia for the opportunity he gave our family 20 years ago. By-Th’-Bucket over the past 60 years of operation has served millions of guests and has created countless memories and for that we will be forever grateful.”

Devoted fans took to social media Tuesday to show their appreciation.

“Thanks for the years of great clams and catfish!” a diner named Robyn K posted on Yelp. “Even after moving to Morgan Hill I found myself coming back up here for good fish. Another institution gone. … Good luck to the Furiosis in their future endeavors.”magic_024