Monthly Archives: July 2017

LeBron James dismisses Melo-to-Cavs rumors: ‘We can’t play fantasy basketball’

A frustrated LeBron James was beside himself again Wednesday after the Cavaliers lost to a sub-.400 team for the second time in three days.

Earlier in the day, ESPN.com reported another slumping team, the Knicks, had engaged Cleveland general manager David Griffin in talks to trade Carmelo Anthony for Kevin Love, a one-superstar-for-another offer that in theory could correct the downward trajectory of both teams. Though he’s close with Anthony, James isn’t sure such deal is the solution.

Not only did James decide to join the Twitterverse and completely ignore the Kyrie craziness, but he also doesn’t plan to intervene in trade discussions. Windhorst reported James will leave that job to the Cavs front office and owner Dan Gilbert: “James has expressed to the team that he is focused on his offseason workout regimen and is planning to report to training camp with the intention of leading his teammates to a fourth consecutive Finals — no matter who those teammates are.”

What does the other member of Cleveland’s “Big Three” think about all of this drama? It turns out Kevin Love might be even less concerned than James.

Did you notice how Love used the word “peculiar” in that tweet? Probably not a coincidence considering Irving said the Cavs were in a “peculiar place” this offseason. If nothing else, these Cavs provide plenty of entertainment.

As for Irving, he’s overseas touring around Asia for Nike Basketball. Yeah, don’t think he’s going to address this stuff any time soon.
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That explains why the top seed in the East is not all that big of a deal in Cleveland.

Robert Quinn Limited Jersey
Authentic Buster Skrine Jersey All that is nonsense, of course. There is a pervasive nonchalance about earning the top seed in the East, as if it were some useless prize like a participant medal, or an ESPY. There’s some cause for that. Not since 2008 have the top seeds in both conferences reached the NBA Finals, and in the eight years since, only six of 16 Finals teams were No. 1 seeds in the regular season.

That explains why the top seed in the East is not all that big of a deal in Cleveland. The Cavs had the top seed last year and won the championship, but in the six-year stretch of LeBron James leading teams to the Finals (three in Miami, three in Cleveland), he has been a member of the East’s top-seeded team only twice.

But that’s James and the Cavs, a team that is slathered in playoff experience. The Celtics have virtually no experience as a postseason favorite, and little experience beyond the opening round of the playoffs.

Avery Bradley is the only remaining holdover from Boston’s days as a contender, and he got his postseason feet wet in his second season, during the 2011 playoffs. Other than him, new Celtic Al Horford has advanced past the first round five times, while Amir Johnson and Gerald Green have made brief appearances past Round 1 in their postseason careers.

The Greek Freak finished with 33 points, 12 rebounds and five steals in a 109-95 loss to the Jazz. Gordon Hayward led the Jazz with 29 points on 11-of-17 shooting.

Timberwolves (23-35) at Rockets (41-18) 9:00 p.m. ET — Don’t look now, but Minnesota is putting together a young Big Three with Ricky Rubio, Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins playing fantastic basketball lately. Houston has been invigorated by Lou Williams’ arrival, and should be able to handle the T-wolves at home.

Trade deadline moves (and non-moves) sets up big summer of 2017 NBA free agency

The trade deadline has passed, which means aficionados of NBA personnel maneuvers can now turn their attention to what figures to be a momentous next round of transactions, the league’s summer free-agency period. There have been some shifts in summer projections in the wake of the deadline, and it’s a good time to check in on some things we now know.

Game Mens Tyreek Hill Jersey L.A. stood pat at the deadline, with Doc Rivers pushing the difficult decisions he’ll have to make until the summer. L.A. would have done well to unload some combination of the $26 million owed to guards Austin Rivers and Jamal Crawford next year, but they remain on the books. Now, the Clippers will have to figure out how—or whether—to pay the trio of Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and J.J. Redick. Executives around the league expect Paul to stay with the Clippers, though he is not expected to give the team any sort of discount.

Mirotic’s shooting charts from last season (left) vs. this season (right) tell a rough story outside the arc (via NBA Savant).

It appears a decline in production coupled with nagging injuries has caught up with Mirotic and limited — or, for now, eliminated — his place in Hoiberg’s rotation. However, focusing on Mirotic’s shortcomings only highlights the bigger issue in Chicago.

In addition to adjusting to traveling to different time zones and the mental fatigue that comes with being a major league player, Rockies rookies also have to acclimate to the constant changes in altitude that take place when you come and go from Denver.

Head coach Alvin Gentry might need to ease up on Holiday’s playing time for a week or two and rely on backup Tim Frazier, who was strong during Holiday’s absence in early November. Let Jrue get some legs back.

Game Mens Alexander Edler Jersey But whatever the answer is, the Pelicans will need their 26-year-old point guard to revive real himself soon for all this newfound hope to materialize into a playoff berth.

NBA says Dwight Howard should not have been ejected

The NBA worked quickly in jumping to Dwight Howard’s defense after the Hawks center was ejected in Monday night’s 114-98 win against the Celtics.
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Howard was ejected late in the third quarter after receiving his second technical foul, for taunting, after hanging on the rim following a massive dunk. The NBA said later Monday night that the play should have been ruled non-unsportsmanlike and thus not have counted toward an automatic ejection.

Howard finished with 17 points and 12 rebounds in 28 minutes of action.

Despite me getting kicked out, I think guys really stepped up and played great; it was a good team win, Howard said, via ESPN.com. I apologized to the guys and told them I need to do a better job of keeping my composure and some other things, and they understood.

Thornwell entered the NCAA Tournament just outside of the top 50 on the Sporting News Big Board. It would be fair to move him into that range now, though, after he led South Carolina to its first ever Sweet 16.

At 6-5 with long arms and an NBA-ready frame, Thornwell won the SEC Player of the Year award this year and was something of an underrated statistical darling that went unnoticed due to South Carolina’s pace of play deflating his numbers. Thornwell is currently ninth in the KenPom player of the year algorithm, posting impressive metrics across the board. He does this along with being All-SEC caliber defensive player, too.

Game Kids New Orleans Saints Jersey The Thunder and Bulls are nearing an agreement that would send Cameron Payne, Joffrey Lauvergne and Anthony Morrow to Chicago in exchange for Taj Gibson, Doug McDermott and a 2018 second-round pick, per The Vertical’s Shams Charania.

Mesmerizing GIFs show NBA stars transforming from rookies to veterans

Today’s NBA veterans have changed a lot since their rookie seasons.

Just check out these amazing GIFs, created by SportsBettingExperts.com, that show the facial transformations of NBA stars LeBron James, Stephen Curry, James Harden, Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Chris “Birdman” Andersen.

It’s safe to say that Durant has changed the least, while Chris “The Birdman” Andersen has changed the most.

Fox really seems to have turned the corner from a knee injury suffered earlier in the season. He put in his best performances of the campaign during the SEC Tournament, and has tossed up over 17 points per game over his last six contests.

Fox will need to keep improving his strength physically in order to deal with the grind of long seasons, but he affects the game in so many ways on both ends of the floor that it’s difficult to see him not translating in some capacity. If he irons out the jump shot, he could end up being a top-10 point guard at the next level.

Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve seen more of the razor’s edge that Monk lives on as a prospect due to his singular nature of his prospectdom. Monk at this stage is essentially just a scorer, albeit an elite one.

Neither of those mean anything if Thomas doesn’t know what to do with it, of course, which brings us to the final point..

Thomas’ attitude isn’t something we can measure as easily as his scoring ability or the impact his teammates have on his success, but it explains how he’s been able to sustain this historic run. Earlier in the season Thomas told Mass Live that his teammates count on him to carry them in the fourth quarter, and he can “just go out there without a care in the world.” The latter is somewhat reflective in his quarter-by-quarter scoring breakdown.steelers_125

July 17, 1990: When the Twins turned two around-the-horn triple plays on the Red Sox

The 1990 Twins didn’t have much luck on their way to a 74-88 record, but on July 17, 1990, the ball bounced Minnesota’s way twice in a game against the Red Sox.

Womens Albert McClellan Jersey That was the night the Twins turned two around-the-horn triple plays at Fenway Park. It’s the only time that’s happened in MLB history.

Triple Play No. 1 (fourth inning): After a walk to Wade Boggs, a double from Jody Reed and a walk to Carlos Quintana to load the bases, Twins pitcher Scott Erickson got former Twin Tom Brunansky to ground to third baseman Gary Gaetti, who stepped on the bag and threw to second to start the 5-4-3 triple killing. Triple killing? Yeah, let’s go with that. (Ironically, a double play is known as a twin killing, but there’s no common nickname for a triple play.)

Asdrubal Cabrera also responded with a denial. But as much as they completely denied the report, neither really came off particularly convincingly.

Considering the Mets have put many of their veterans such as Curtis Granderson and Jay Bruce on the trade block it does beg the question, is the clubhouse really is strong as Collins says? With the way Cabrera reacted to the question it’s easy to see that there is an unhappy undertone at least with one player.

Womens Ricky Wagner Jersey I got nothing, Cabrera said. That’s not my choice.

Cabrera asked for a trade a few weeks ago after he was moved to second base which he did not take well. He basically reacted as if it were a demotion.

When you look at Rosario’s numbers at Triple A (.328, 7 home runs, 52 RBI) it is curious why he hasn’t been called up. Rosario is already on the 40-man roster, so the team wouldn’t have to DFA anyone or anything of the sort so why is he laboring in Triple A with a .328 batting average?

The Rosario watch has begun.

The Raptors are in trade discussions with the Pacers that involve sending guard Cory Joseph to Indiana

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Washington traded its pick in the draft, No. 52 overall, to New Orleans for point guard Tim Frazier, according to multiple reports. Frazier, 26, will be joining his fifth team in four seasons; he previously was with the Celtics, 76ers andTrail Blazers before joining the Pelicans in March 2016. Last season he averaged 7.1 points and 5.2 assists in 23.5 minutes per game. He made 35 starts as New Orleans dealt with a slew of injuries.

The Clippers have been in contact with several teams, including the Suns, while exploring the market for center DeAndre Jordan, according to ESPN’s Chris Haynes.

Phoenix reportedly shot down discussions with LA regarding a potential trade of Tyson Chandler and the Suns’ No. 4 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft in exchange for Jordan.

The Raptors are in trade discussions with the Pacers that involve sending guard Cory Joseph to Indiana, according to ESPN. Joseph, 25, averaged 9.3 points per game last season.
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The Cavaliers and Rockets are discussing a potential trade that would send guard Iman Shumpert to Houston, according to ESPN. Cleveland would receive a draft pick and trade exception as part of the deal.

So maybe Carmelo Anthony is ready to team up with one of his Banana Boat buds. That was the word early Monday from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who reported that sources told him Anthony is now willing to waive his no-trade clause for a move to the Cavaliers (where he’d finally get to play with King James) or the Rockets (where he’d get to play with Chris Paul but also for Mike D’Antoni).

Woj reported the Knicks probably wouldn’t be able to get much in return for Anthony, who’s, um, steering this boat. New York doesn’t want to take back power forward Ryan Anderson in a trade, Woj added.

Just last week, Anthony’s estranged wife, La La, said Anthony didn’t want to leave the Knicks because he wanted to be close to his son. What has changed, other than Phil Jackson being forced out of the Garden? Like most of this Melo drama, that’s not clear.

Expos players persuaded Tom Brady to forgo baseball, play football

Once upon a time, 17-year-old Tom Brady faced a tough decision: play football at the University of Michigan or be drafted by major-league team and play baseball in the minors?

We obviously know which route the Patriots quarterback took, and it has led him to five Super Bowl victories.

However, it was players with the now-defunct Montreal Expos who convinced Brady that he should follow his passion for football, even though he was an excellent catcher and batter, according to Sports Illustrated’s MMQB.

During his senior year at Junipero Serra High School in San Mateo, Calif., Brady excelled as the school’s quarterback and also was captain of the baseball team. His baseball talents attracted the attention of John Hughes, a scout for the Expos.

They got Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez from the Nationals for what many people saw as an average player in Adam Eaton. Then they got back the No. 1 overall prospect in baseball along with others for Chris Sale this offseason as well.

They have no plans to sell any lower on No. 1 starter Jose Quintana at the trade deadline this year.
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Elite Kids Bob Gainey Jersey According to FanRag Sports, while the White Sox deny they are looking for a Chris Sale-type return for Quintana, both the Astros and the Yankees are claiming the price is too high.

The White Sox apparently asked for both No. 3 overall prospect Gleyber Torres, and fellow top-30 prospect in Clint Frazier from the Yankees, while they also asked for both Futures Game participant Kyle Tucker and another top-20 prospect in Francis Martes from the Astros.

The price is so high that the Astros and Yankees are looking elsewhere for pitching help. If the White Sox want to trade Quintana they are either going to have to find a more desperate taker than Brian Cashman and Jeff Luhnow or adjust their expectations.

Thomas had gotten a foot caught up with Wizards center Marcin Gortat and hit the floor face first.

“I’m not dealing with that,” Morris said. “I said what I had to say to him. It is what it is. Hard foul.”

Earlier, Thomas had gotten a foot caught up with Wizards center Marcin Gortat and hit the floor face first. Thomas then whacked his head on the nose of Porter with 7:47 to play in the third quarter and, finally, it felt like we had a real Celtics-Wizards series on our hands: There was blood. Porter returned once the bleeding stopped, but before he did, Thomas and Morris each were hit with technical fouls for being too aggressively chatty with each other during the ensuing timeout.

Now, that’s more like it. There has not been much defense played in this series through two games, but we should still get the kind of rough-and-tumble Celtics-Wizards shenanigans that this series was billed to be. And with the Wizards heading back to Washington in a near-desperate situation in Game 3, we could see more.

“We’re not playing tough enough,” Morris said. “We had the advantage late in the game, and all we had to do was play tough. We didn’t have to make shots, we didn’t have to get stops, we just had to play tough.”

Hey, that might mean more blood.

Now we’re talking. This is what an intriguing first-round matchup looks like. Two explosive teams with championship aspirations will clash earlier than they probably would have hoped, but the winner of this series can make a big run.

Russell Westbrook entered the record book with his legendary season. Not only did he pass Oscar Robertson for most triple-doubles in a season, but he also averaged a triple-double (31.6 ppg., 10.7 rpg., 10.4 apg.). He needs help from Victor Oladipo and Enes Kanter to win this series, though.

James Harden is ready to lead Houston past his former team after averaging 29.1 points, 11.2 assists and 8.1 rebounds per game. The Rockets were just 4-5 in their last nine games, but they have an explosive backcourt and a number of versatile bodies in the paint.falcons_098

Ejections mar Wizards’ blowout of Celtics

The Wizards should be celebrating their most impressive win of the postseason. But instead, Washington’s leaders are questioning whether their teammates will be able to keep their composure to knock off the Eastern Conference’s top seed.

Paul Millsap also had a huge game, scoring 19 points with nine rebounds and seven assists.

Giannis Antetokounmpo’s supporting cast: The Greek Freak was terrific in Monday night’s 118-93 Game 5 loss to the Raptors. He scored 30 points on 12 of 19 shooting with nine rebounds, three assists, three steals and three blocks, but he received little help from his teammates. Malcolm Brogdon (19 points) and Greg Monroe (11 points) were the only other Milwaukee players to reach double figures.
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Game 5: Thunder (1-3) at Rockets (3-1), 8 p.m. ET — This could mark the end of Russell Westbrook’s historic season. While his numbers have been gaudy, inefficiency and inconsistency have spurned Westbrook at times this season. James Harden will be fit to play despite dealing with a bum ankle, and he has stated (and shown) that he doesn’t need to score to help his team win. Houston fans will do all they can to end this series quickly and bide some time for Harden to rest.

Elite Youth Montee Ball Jersey Entering the playoffs, though, there is the expectation he should be able to lug whomever is standing nearby to another Finals. It’s not going to be so easy, even if three wins in three playoff games presents some illusion it might be. Because these Cavs have serious limitations that were sorely obvious as they fell behind 74-49 in those first 24 minutes.