Monthly Archives: February 2017

Shaq’s mom told her son to stop beefing with JaVale McGee

A pratfall steal by Patrick Patterson. And a game-winner in Madison Square Garden for DeMar DeRozan.

Speaking of MSG, those wackadoo Knicks decided to waive Brandon Jennings and stick Joakim Noah under the knife. Go Knicks.

This robot is a lottery pick if she develops a jumper.

Michael Lee notes that if either Russell Westbrook or James Harden (or LeBron, Kawhi, or Dion, for that matter) win MVP, it’ll be the first time in a decade the award goes to someone who didn’t participate in the previous Team USA tournament in the season after such a tournament.

Shaq’s mom told her son to stop beefing with JaVale McGee. JaVale’s mom wants Shaq fired. By the way, Shaq is a 44-year-old man and JaVale is a 29-year-old man.

He has mentored two current Big 12 head coaches ¡ª Texas’ Tom Herman, Kansas’ David Beaty (not to mention Colorado defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot and Rutgers offensive coordinator-turned-Herman assistant Drew Mehringer) ¡ª without ever coaching in a major conference himself.

And in a decade at Rice, he has managed to both win a Conference USA title (unlikely) and average a 5-7 season without getting fired (perhaps even more unlikely).

Biggest strength: Samuel Stewart is a legitimately exciting back when healthy, and he¡¯ll have one of the league¡¯s best lines.

Game Youth Vince Wilfork Jersey Biggest question mark: Rice¡¯s defense was horrendous, especially against the pass. Injury had a role, but … it was really bad. How much improvement can you expect in one offseason?

Elite Mens Nate Solder Jersey Biggest 2017 game: The loser of the Week 2 game at UTEP (Sept. 9) is virtually eliminated from bowl contention. So win that.

Falcons vs. Vikings final score: 3 things we learned from Minnesota’s 41-28 over Atlanta

The Minnesota Vikings turned to rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater against the Atlanta Falcons and the rookie came through with a promising performance, leading the Vikings to a 41-28 win over the Falcons.

A week after they decimated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Atlanta was unable to repeat that performance and dropped to 2-2 on the season. The game was close through three quarters with Atlanta taking a 28-27 lead into the final quarter. It was all Vikings from there with Minnesota rattling off 14 unanswered points to seal the victory.
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Injuries played a big role for both sides. Bridgewater was forced out late in the game while Atlanta had to play with a makeshift offensive line. It all added up to an interesting back-and-forth affair.

Teddy Bridgewater can play. But can he survive?

With four games in the books, the Niners are 2-2, and despite a long line of distractions, have positioned themselves well for the second quarter of the season. If the defense can springboard off of this dominating performance and Kaepernick can get back to consistent play as a passer, San Francisco will remain a contender in the NFC.

Shorts caught just two passes for 25 yards on two targets before leaving the game. He was the Jags’ third leading receiver behind rookie Allen Hurns (four catches, 67 yards) and tight end Clay Harbor (six catches, 38 yards).

All of the Jags’ skill players are enjoying an efficient rookie debut for Blake Bortles. Nearing the end of the third quarter, Bortles is 19-for-23 passing for 159 yards, one touchdowns and one interceptions.

E’Twaun Moore Authentic Jersey Shorts had just five receptions for 35 yards entering Sunday’s game. The Jaguars made a concerted effort to update their receiving corps during the NFL Draft, selecting Allen Robinson and Marqise Lee with early picks.

Pittsburgh Steelers want James Harrison back for 2017

The Pittsburgh Steelers are interested in keeping James Harrison around for another season — and the ageless linebacker feels the same way.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday that mutual interest exists between the team and the 38-year-old free agent, according to Harrison’s agent, Bill Parise.

“The sides have not begun negotiating in earnest, but it sounds like a matter of time before it happens,” Rapoport reported.

It echoes what Steelers president Art Rooney II said last month, telling the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that the club is “open” to reuniting with Harrison, while noting: “I think he is, (too).”

Josh McCown, quarterback, Cleveland Browns

McCown performed valiantly for the Browns, but Cleveland is no place for a 37-year-old quarterback. The Browns cut the veteran before he entered his third and final year of his contract. McCown intends to play elsewhere in 2017.

The chance Cutler works out in New York is slim, and yet, at a time when there isn’t a ton to be excited about as a Jets fan, Cutler still has enough juice to make the thought appealing. (That sound you hear is Bears fans chuckling at my ignorance.) And for the army of Cutler haters out there who don’t think he will have many options on the open market, just know that Josh McCown, a man who extended his career for half a decade thanks to six weeks as a Cutler injury replacement, said this week that “four or five” teams have contacted him. That’s right. Josh McCown has so many teams interested in his services that he’s lost count.

Colts will ‘stick to the process’ if chosen for HBO’s ‘Hard Knocks’

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The Indianapolis Colts are one of eight possible teams that could end up on HBO¡¯s “Hard Knocks” next training camp, where cameras follow their every move on and off the practice field and in preseason games.

Limited Youth Nick Markakis Jersey The Colts join Chicago, Tampa Bay, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Tennessee, New Orleans and Baltimore as teams eligible for “Hard Knocks” because they do not have a new head coach, haven¡¯t been on the show in the past decade and have missed the playoffs in each of the last two years. The NFL will choose the team if one doesn’t volunteer.

A few die-hard fans clearly suffering from Stockholm Syndrome continue to try and talk about basketball, but at this point it¡¯s all being drowned out with Lion King discussion. Sometimes it can get pretty dark.

You can only push fans so far before they snap, and Kings fans reached their breaking point before the Boogie trade. This just pushed them over the edge. Now we wait to see if other subreddits follow suit, because the Browns are PRIME to become a Clifford the Big Red Dog subreddit.

Miami’s Brad Kaaya and Toledo’s Logan Woodside managed to carve out solid performances against this defense, but they were exceptions. The Mountaineers were tremendous against the pass, ranking 11th in Passing S&P+ with a 57 percent completion rate against and 12 touchdowns to 20 interceptions.

This was a problem for opponents because a) they were usually playing from behind against App State, and b) they couldn’t really run either. The Mountaineers ranked 42nd in Rushing S&P+, and while big plays were an issue, they ranked 13th in rushing success rate allowed and ninth in power success rate.

Cooper will play at least eight relatively productive years in the NFL

This guy is so polished I swear I would name him starter from day one without thinking twice. I would even go further and say, based on his film, I would be willing to bet you an ice cold Coca Cola that, barring injury, Cooper will play at least eight relatively productive years in the NFL. He might even steal a couple more to get to 10 years in the league, usually the goal most of us can only dream of achieving.

If you’ve ever read my breakdowns before, you know I’m rarely this positive about anybody, so I’m probably about to hit you with a cold ass “but” real soon.

For once in your life, you’re right!

The “but,” as it pertains to Cooper, is what I can’t actually ask our tech guys to make gifs or vines of , the not-just-good play but any electrifying plays from Cooper in those five games. I can’t ask them to do it because those plays don’t exist.

Limited Mens Paul Kariya Jersey “I have spoken many times recently with [Kings owner] Vivek [Ranadive] and [general manager] Vlade [Divac] about DeMarcus’ future with the Kings,” Akana told ESPN.

“They have assured me, and DeMarcus, that the Kings won’t trade him, and are committed to signing DeMarcus long term. In fact, Vlade has gone on record saying exactly the same thing. If the Kings flip-flop on what they committed, that is on them.
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“Under the circumstances and given the Kings’ commitments, I would find it highly unlikely that DeMarcus would re-sign with a team that trades for him at this point.?”

On Feb. 6, Divac told ESPN, “We’re not trading DeMarcus. … We hope he’s here for a long time.”

Cousins, for his part, told Shelburne on Thursday that he intended to sign an extension with the Kings this summer because he wanted his “legacy to end in Sacramento” and his “jersey to be in the rafters in Sacramento.”

Despite what you’ve heard, baseball didn’t end when Cubs won it all

So hell froze over and here we are, on the fields of the Cubs¡¯ spring training complex in Mesa, Arizona, as members of the world champions stretch and play catch and prepare for life at the top. Let that sink in for a second: The World Series champion Cubs …

How did we get to this moment? Remember Mike Montgomery pitching to Michael Martinez with the greatest game in World Series history and a combined 176 years of losing on the line? That¡¯s a long story. But you know what happened. Montgomery threw a 76 mph curveball, Martinez tapped a soft dribbler toward third base, Kris Bryant charged in with a smile that went from Lake Erie to Lake Michigan and made the throw to Anthony Rizzo and, yes, the Chicago Cubs actually won the World Series.

This isn¡¯t where the story ends, however; this is where a new chapter begins.

San Antonio Spurs All-Star Kawhi Leonard came in third with 185 points. He has been the recipient of this award the past two seasons. The small forward got 20 first-place votes, 18 second-place votes and 31 third-place votes.

Green was mildly shocked to hear of ESPN’s results.

¡°I think it¡¯s pretty amazing to get that type of recognition for something,¡± Green told ESPN.com. ¡°Obviously, it doesn¡¯t matter at this point. But to be there right now — I know how good of a defender Kawhi is — so to be there is pretty special.¡±
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San Antonio (101.0), Golden State (101.6) and Utah (101.6) have the top three defensive-efficiency statistics in the league. Green believes the team¡¯s defensive numbers should be taken into consideration when voters are choosing who the best defenders are.

¡°I think it has to play into it some,¡± he said. ¡°If you think you¡¯re just an outstanding defender and your team defense isn¡¯t that good, you¡¯re probably not really that great.¡±

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Kiper and Mayock disagree on DeShone Kizer

When he’s playing really well, he dictates what happens in the game, even if he doesn’t make the final pass or score a goal. He makes everyone around him look more calm and composed, because they have him to combine with and he never seems to take a bad touch or make the wrong pass. He gives the attackers freedom to run and be themselves because he will either find them with a pass or bring the ball up to them, and he puts the defense at ease because they always have him as a last-ditch option.

Then he combines with the midfield, drifting and passing around in such a mesmerizing manner that the other team realizes that it’s just better to sit back than to try to take the ball. When defenders do try to put him under pressure, he wriggles out of it masterfully, and so they have to respect him and back off in fear that he will turn and take them out the game with a few touches. All of this makes him so invaluable.

And when he’s doing that, when he’s in his zone, Barcelona are irresistible. They flow. Things come easy. Everything is fun. When he’s not, it’s all disjointed. When he’s giving the ball away against PSG, running into dead ends and being spooked by defenders closing him down, he doesn’t look like Iniesta and Barcelona don’t look like Barcelona.

Interestingly enough, Notre Dame quarterback DeShone Kizer isn’t a factor in Kiper’s mock. NFL.com’s Mike Mayock released his pre-combine rankings by position this week, and Kizer sits atop his quarterback rankings. Mayock has Watson ranked second, and Trubisky comes in third.

A lot will happen between now and the draft, and as rosters take shape during free agency, Kiper’s mock draft will likely change. For now, though, he expects defense to be the priority for most of the teams picking near the top of the draft.

Kevin Durant, left, scored 34 points to Russell Westbrook’s 47 in their OKC reunion on Saturday.

Saturday’s contest was one that lived up to the Westbrook-Durant billing. To everyone¡¯s surprise, they had a few mano a mano situations.

A team source said Warriors coach Steve Kerr was the one who came up with the idea of switching Durant onto Westbrook in the middle of the third. Kerr had never before assigned Durant to a point guard. One of the players told ESPN it was a tactic that worked.

Travis Frederick Youth Jersey Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic didn’t draw much attention as a “snub” when All-Star reserves were announced late last month. After all, Jokic was barely more than a month removed from coming off the bench for a sub-.500 team. At the time, Damian Lillard and potential first-timers Mike Conley, Joel Embiid and Rudy Gobert had stronger cases.

Yet as Jokic has extended his impressive play as starting center over a longer period of time, it’s becoming tough to deny his production. With Denver scoring at an elite clip and Jokic putting up incredibly versatile numbers for a big man, it’s worth asking whether he’s the best player* not selected for Sunday’s All-Star Game.

The result was visible. San Antonio shot just 36.3 percent from the field and made only six of its 29 three-point attempts. While Kawhi Leonard scored 36 points on 13-for-27 shooting, only two other Spurs players scored in double-digits.

¡°I always believed they were capable of (playing defense),¡± Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek told reporters during his postgame press conference. ¡°I think the practice and looking at the tape, them talking amongst themselves about trusting each other I think the trust came out tonight.¡±

Daniel Sedin Game Jersey New York pulled away with a victory despite allowing San Antonio to attempt 23 more field goals and win the offensive rebounding margin, 21-5.

Brooks went on to play 10 years in the NBA

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Part of the reason the Lakers missed out on those cases is a philosophical decision to prioritize superstar free agents above all else. But another read is that the Lakers aren’t moving at the speed NBA business is now being conducted.

Said one player agent, who has dealt with Kupchak on several contracts, “He’s the only GM in the league who won’t engage at all before 9:01 p.m. [PT] on the first night of free agency. Then when he calls to express interest, there’s no stickiness to it.”

That speaks to Kupchak’s integrity, as contact with an agent or player is considered tampering before the opening of free agency, but it also speaks, according to sources, to a lack of savvy. There are ways of gathering information on free agents without trampling the rules, so that a team doesn’t begin the process far behind everyone else.

“Although many current versions of this legend identify one ‘Major James Nesmeth’ as the Vietnam POW whose playing golf in his mind translated to his becoming a far improved linkster once he was back home, we have been unable to verify that anyone of that name served in Vietnam, was held as a POW, was released from captivity, or achieved notable results on the links after returning to the U.S.”

Tyler Ennis Jersey Brooks went on to play 10 years in the NBA, and he currently ranks top-100 in career free throw percentage, making 85 percent (564-of-664) in the pros. In this case, maybe visualizing the truth is more important than the actual truth.

THE COACHING STAFF of the Wizards works with the team’s analytics gurus, Brett Greenberg and Ben Eidelberg, to figure out the most impactful experiences that can help players improve their games.

They have been focusing most of their attention on Ian Mahinmi, who has been wearing the headset so much he’s worried he might short-circuit it.

The Texans enter the offseason as they always do: without an established starting quarterback

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Aaron Ekblad Jersey A week later, still in the wake of the fourth-quarter Christmas collapse, Kerr finally conceded that the biggest adjustment had not been Durant’s, after all. “I think Steph has probably had the biggest adjustment of all of our players from Kevin’s arrival,” he told the attending media. On the season, Curry’s usage rate remains slightly higher than Durant’s — 28.9 compared to 27.6. But when Curry’s was at 32.6 last season, the Warriors set a new NBA wins record.

A few days after Christmas, Curry spoke up about the state of affairs. “I definitely want to be in more pick-and-roll situations,” he said at Golden State’s practice facility when asked whether the ball was in his hands enough this season. “Whether I’m getting shots or whether we’re manufacturing ball movement, that’s a strength of ours, regardless of how teams play us.”

Perhaps not the strongest words, but this was highly unusual for the ever-deferential superstar. Curry has never been one to openly question team strategy, but he’d reached his accommodation limit.

IF A DISCUSSION of the frequency of a play type can be deemed throwing down the gauntlet, then Curry had just done so. Kerr needed to act. And by all appearances, he has.

The Texans enter the offseason as they always do: without an established starting quarterback. They probably maxed out in 2016 with the disappointing Brock Osweiler. His short- and long-range accuracy was brutal, resulting in the NFL’s seventh-worst off-target percentage, and his average of 5.26 yards per dropback was the NFL’s worst. In other words, no quarterback was less productive on a per-pass basis.

The Texans will probably have to replace Osweiler — possibly with Tony Romo — even though they owe him $16 million in 2017. Their defense, already stingy by AFC South standards (20.5 points per game), should welcome back a healthy J.J. Watt to match with Jadeveon Clowney, who broke through with his first Pro Bowl season in 2016.