Category Archives: NBA Basketball Player News

NBA Basketball Player News

Lonzo Ball: I’m a better team leader than Washington’s Markelle Fultz

Lonzo Ball is starting to sound a lot like his dad, LaVar Ball.

The former UCLA star said he is a better player than Washington prospect Markelle Fultz, citing his leadership skills.

Philadelphia announced Friday that Covington’s right knee revealed a slight tear of the lateral meniscus. Okafor is still dealing with right knee soreness.

Okafor, who has not played since March 22 against the Thunder, really stepped up after the 76ers traded Nerlens Noel away to the Mavericks, and Joel Embiid was ruled out for the season.

The 76ers seemingly can’t catch a break when it comes to promising, young centers.

With the season nearly over and Philadelphia well out of playoff contention, it was wise to shut down the team’s young stars so they can be healthy and ready to compete next season.

Ben Simmons, the No. 1 pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, missed the entire season, but should be ready to start next season.

It’s unlikely he would be able to sustain those numbers with that level of efficiency over an entire season — he would join elite players like Allen Iverson, Michael Jordan and LeBron James if he did — but McCollum would be in a position to prove himself as an All-Star caliber talent. Plus, McCollum is an excellent pick-and-roll scorer. It makes up 35.2 percent of his offense on the season, and he ranks in the 79.2 percentile with 0.93 points per possession.

That would make him a great fit in D’Antoni’s system since Harden went from scoring 25.9 percent of his points in the pick-and-roll last season to 40.7 percent this season.steelers_123

Isaiah Thomas gains brief respite from grief in playing Game 1 for Celtics

For 2 1/2 hours, Isaiah Thomas could do what comes naturally. His heart, heavy for the better part of a day, became just another organ, powering his forays up and down 94 feet of hardwood at TD Garden. His brain, addled with more than 24 hours of remembrance and tragedy, could return to familiar, comfortable territory — the mechanics of the playbook, the cool impassiveness of Xs and Os. Thomas could just play basketball.

And he did. Thomas did what he could to push the Celtics the way he has all season. He scored, finishing with 33 points. He tried to push the tempo, and wound up with six rebounds and five assists. He came on late in the game, with 12 points in the final quarter even as he was being blanketed at times by long-armed ace defender Jimmy Butler.

While Westbrook is a top contender for NBA MVP, Houston’s MVP candidate had a much more efficient night. James Harden was 7 of 17 from the floor, including 3 of 7 from long range, to finish with a team-high 35 points and eight assists. The Rockets also got 15 points from guard Patrick Beverley, who provided some late heroics as Houston went on a 10-0 run to take a 114-104 lead with 1:22 remaining.

Eric Gordon and Lou Williams each were 8 of 14 off the bench as Gordon had 22 points and Williams finished with 21. A Gordon 3-pointer with 8:07 remaining gave the Rockets their first lead of the game at 96-94.

The Thunder might be in trouble if Westbrook can’t get some help, or allow his teammates to help, as the series moves to Oklahoma City for Friday’s Game 3.

Wizards guards John Wall and Bradley Beal both had big games in Washington’s 109-101 win over the Hawks. Wall scored 32 points to go with five rebounds and nine assists. Beal had 31 points, including a 3-pointer off a Wall assist with 38 seconds remaining that helped seal the victory.
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DeMeco Ryans named to Niners’ coaching staff

As the Niners continue to work feverishly to catch up with the rest of the league on offseason activities, Kyle Shanahan’s coaching staff is taking shape.

San Francisco announced the addition of seven new assistants to the staff: John Benton (offensive line), Daniel Bullocks (assistant defensive backs), Michael Clay (strength and conditioning assistant), Stan Kwan (assistant special teams), Vince Oghobaase (assistant defensive line), Adam Stenavich (assistant offensive line) and DeMeco Ryans (defensive quality control).

Jennings started 12 of 13 games played in 2016 but had his snaps heavily cut into by Paul Perkins, especially down the stretch when the team began to trust the rookie more. Jennings compiled just 593 yards last season, but earned a miserable 3.3 yards per carry average. He never topped 875 yards in three seasons with the Giants. Cutting Jennings saved Big Blue $2.5 million in salary-cap space.

After being selected in the seventh round in 2009 by the Jaguars, Jennings has been a career committee back in Jacksonville, Oakland and New York. Turning 32 next month, Jennings said he still believes he can play, even if some doubters believe his eight-year pro career is over.

“Everybody’s going to have opinions,” he said. “You’ve got a lot of people from the couch that have ideas, the Twitter world, Instagram and social media. But for me, I have to be able to look into the mirror every day.

Jennings added that he’s hungry to prove he still has gas left in the tank.

“I’ve got a chip on my shoulder,” he said. “And when you have a chip on your shoulder and you got the work ethic and you combine those two, you’re going to be successful.”

Russia beating Turkey 42-0 in hockey ranks as one of the most impressive sports blowouts ever

Russia played Turkey at the European Youth Olympic Festival and the result was one of the most impressive sports beat downs of all time. After 60 minutes of hockey, Russia won 42-0. Video of the game speaks for itself.

There is no way in hell this game was remotely fair. Turkish Hockey Federation president Bulent Akay was quick to explain why his country was defeated so easily and why jokes were unfair.

“These guys are the national team of the future,” Akay added, noting that whereas 87,000 children play ice hockey in Russia just 579 play in Turkey.

So yeah, Russia has 150 times the number of kids playing hockey — this math isn’t tough to work out. Enough about why Turkey lost, let’s appreciate how it happened.

We’re not here to argue that. My job today is to do something different, something unexpected. I’m here to argue that of all the teams in baseball, the Cardinals deserve a unique brand of sympathy. This isn’t just a team losing one of its best young pitchers right before the season starts, which is horrific, regardless of the team. This is a team that loses one of its best pitchers every year.

No team should have to deal with this, and yet the Cardinals have come through these unforeseen quicksand pits with division titles, 100-win seasons, and even a championship. Part of the reason, again, that cardinalfreude can be so amusing is that they won’t stop winning. There’s always a Stephen Piscotty. When the old Allen Craig breaks down, they send him into the shop and rebrand him “Randal Grichuk.” They’ll do the same thing with the new model.

Carlos Martinez is the team’s best player, and a fan-favorite

With all this in mind, here’s what I think the Cards should offer Carlos: $55M over the next five years, plus two options at $15M a piece. When considering his projected cost in arbitration, plus the projected value of his first two free agent years, this is 68.5% of his worth calculated here. The team also gets two option years that could come at quite the discount depending on how Martinez ages.

This seems like a point where it’s a David Johnson Authentic Jersey win-win for both. Carlos gets a guarantee ten times higher than what he’s projected to make next year. Worst case scenario, he and his family will have obtained generational wealth that people like us can only dream of. Best case scenario, he makes $85M through his Womens Joel Ward Jersey age 31 season, and enters free agent market still an attractive asset, worthy of a $100M+ guarantee.

The Royals suffered a major blow last May when Mike Moustakas collided with Alex Gordon on a foul ball in Chicago that tore Moustakas’ ACL, causing him to miss the remainder of the season. Rookie Cheslor Cuthbert held his own, but his bat was a far cry from the improved offensive performance Moustakas had shown in 2015 and the first month of 2016. The Royals also badly missed Moose’s terrific defense at third, with Cuthbert being a significant downgrade.

Moustakas returns after nearly a year off, but questions still remain whether he will be the same kind of player who hit .277/.340/.475 with 29 home runs in 174 games over 2015-2016. Moustakas injured his right knee, on his lead leg when hitting, not his rear, or plant leg that would bear the brunt of his weight as he cocks into his swing.

Buccaneers hire Mike Smith as new defensive coordinator

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have hired Mike Smith as their new defensive coordinator, new head coach Dirk Koetter announced on Friday. Smith, formerly the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons, sat Elite Youth Tommy Wingels Jersey out the 2015 season.

Smith got his start in the NFL with the Baltimore Ravens, first as a defensive assistant coach and later as a linebackers coach. Smith joined the staff of the Jacksonville Jaguars as their defensive coordinator in 2003. After a disastrous 2007 season, the Falcons hired Smith to take over for Bobby Petrino, who snuck out of Atlanta Authentic Barry Bonds Jersey in the middle of the night after a Week 13 loss to accept the head coaching job at the University of Arkansas.

The Browns fired Mike Pettine this offseason after a 10-22 mark in two years. He dropped 18 of his final 21 games as head coach. Jackson will have more to worry about than the underperforming offense, however — the Browns ranked 27th in the league in total defense.

Jackson served as Cincinnati’s offensive coordinator in 2015 and was previously the team’s running backs coach and assistant special teams coach. Prior to joining the Bengals, he spent one season as head coach of the Oakland Raiders and led the team to an 8-8 record.

The Raiders were a team in turmoil at the time and his struggles didn’t seem to follow him to Cincinnati, where Dalton developed a nice rapport with wide receiver A.J. Green under Jackson’s watchful eye. Under Jackson, Dalton posted a quarterback rating of 106.2 in 2015, much higher than the 83.5 he had in 2014.

Jackson has been coaching in the NFL since he joined Washington in 2001. That was after several years of coaching in college. He was the Bengals’ wide receivers coach from 2004 to 2006 and also spent time with the Baltimore Ravens and Atlanta Falcons.

This is the first offseason in which Jackson’s name rose to the top of lists for coaching candidates, likely due to his strong work with Dalton and the Bengals in 2015.

Fantasy football cheat sheet: Start, sit and more tips for Week 12

With many fantasy football fans watching from a turkey-filled table on Thursday, Week 12 of the NFL season got off to an early start with a trio of Thanksgiving games. For those owners who had to square off against the likes of Antonio Brown, Ezekiel Elliott, Jordan Reed, and perhaps even Donte Moncrief and Anquan Boldin, you may wake up this morning finding your opponent’s scoreboard looking quite stuffed indeed.

The good news is, because there are no byes Joe Schobert Womens Jersey this week, you still have plenty of opportunity to catch up. However, if you’re already looking at a huge double-digit deficit, you may well wish to roll the dice and take a few Hail Mary chances on Sunday.

Which wide receivers have the easiest and toughest matchups in Week 12? Check out the downloadable PDF cheat sheet listing every matchup to help with your fantasy football decisions.

“Sometimes the ball doesn’t bounce your way, and that’s the feeling I’ve gotten from this season,” Giacomini said.

Ryan Fitzpatrick, coming off one of his best seasons in 2015, has been searching for answers this season.

1. Steep falloff at quarterback: Fitzpatrick hasn’t recovered after unraveling in the fourth quarter of the 2015 finale, when he threw three interceptions in a devastating loss to Buffalo. That was an eye opener for the organization, which proceeded with caution during contract negotiations because it feared his career year was an aberration. It was. His 67.6 passer rating is the eighth-lowest Joe Thomas Womens Jersey among NFL starting quarterbacks since 2010. Counting the Buffalo debacle, he has thrown 16 interceptions in his past 10 games. It’s virtually impossible for a team to overcome something like that.

It’s unfortunate because Fitzpatrick was good last season, damn good at times. Go back and watch that Dec. 27 game. On the play before Decker’s touchdown, Fitzpatrick rolled left and fired an across-his-body fastball to Brandon Marshall for 20 yards, splitting two defenders. It took skill and chutzpah to make that pass. Moments later, he took something off his throw to Decker, dropping a feather into his grasp.

Fastball. Change up. Fitzpatrick had it all working last season. Now he’s struggling the find the strike zone.

As key as the 13-yarder was, especially against Norman, the 26-yarder was the game clincher and showed Bryant’s growth as a receiver.

Once again, Dallas QB Dak Prescott shows he’s a closer

There is something about the fourth quarter that Dak Prescott loves. When the game is on the line, Prescott is at his best.

Twice Thursday when the Dallas Cowboys absolutely had to have it, Prescott answered. The rookie quarterback completed six of his seven passes in the fourth quarter as the Cowboys matched Washington touchdown-for-touchdown on the strength of Prescott’s arms and legs.

The result was a 31-26 Cowboys Dan Williams Authentic Jersey win that extended their win streak to 10, kept them atop the NFC East by at least two games, no matter the results of Sunday, and kept them as owners of the best record in the NFC and NFL.

It’s difficult to compare quarterbacks from different eras for two primary reasons. First, not all of the official statistics of the modern era were always kept; for example, sacks weren’t officially recorded until 1982. Second, passing has varied significantly throughout the years, so stats such as the traditional passer rating are fairly meaningless when comparing a player from 2016 to one from 1970.

We do have a few common measures of quarterback performance we can rely on to compare passers across eras. Total yards, pass attempts and interceptions can all be boiled down into a stat known as adjusted yards per attempt (AYPA).

Yards per attempt is one of the best ways to measure quarterback play because it’s a rate stat that’s highly predictive of winning games. The “adjusted” part subtracts 45 yards from the yardage total for every interception a quarterback throws before dividing by attempts; the 45-yard adjustment has been shown to be roughly the yardage equivalent of an interception.

To remedy the problem of different passing environments Dave Casper Authentic Jersey across eras, we can compare each quarterback’s AYPA with the league average for that season. For example, Prescott’s AYPA is 9.2 so far this season, while the league average is currently 7.2. That means Prescott exceeds the league average by a net of 2.0 AYPA.

Fixing the NFL’s ball-spotting methods isn’t as easy as you think

We’ve been here before. Many times. And to be perfectly honest, and understanding that I’m going to be a complete buzzkill, there really isn’t much that can be done to fix it right now.

You saw it Monday night. A running back with an $8.5 million salary took a handoff from a quarterback who makes $21 million. He is tackled near the first-down marker by a linebacker earning $3 million, a play watched by millions Justin Blackmon Authentic Jersey of people on a broadcast for which the rights-holder is paying nearly $2 billion annually.

The NFL is a $13 billion industry, one of the most lucrative in the world. And yet when it came down to marking the ball for a potential first down, referee Tony Corrente and crew followed what seems to us all a primitive ritual. Using their best judgment, they placed the ball on the ground below where they thought it was suspended when the running back was down by contact.

But if you want to see officiating administered differently and the spotting of balls made more reliable, it’s important to know what the realistic options are. At the moment, there aren’t as many as you think.

Facing fourth-and-1 at the Houston 39 with just more than a minute to play and clinging to a seven-point lead, the Raiders went for it and Latavius Murray busted off a 6-yard run to essentially seal the game, especially with the Texans’ Vince Wilfork getting flagged for a personal foul after jumping on top of Murray.

“We fear nobody — that’s what Coach Del Rio teaches us,” Carr said.

The Raiders, coming off their bye week, improved to 8-2 and hold a one-game lead in the AFC West Kelvin Beachum Authentic Jersey over the Kansas City Chiefs and Denver Broncos. If the playoffs started today, the Raiders would be the No. 1 seed in the AFC.

“We have worked for it. But we know when we get there, we’re going to be humble,” Carr said of the team’s success. “We are going to remain humble. As soon as you get proud, you will fall.”