Cavaliers’ downward spiral continues in loss to Mavericks

Is it panic time in Cleveland?

Chargers brass hopes a new city and head coach (Anthony Lynn) breaks the franchise out of its doldrums. L.A. has the potential to finish above .500 if the Chargers stop squandering fourth-quarter leads, quarterback Philip Rivers reduces his turnovers (a career-high 26 last season) and another huge spate of injuries can be dodged.

The negative fallout among local fans and the off-field distraction stemming from the team’s impending move to Las Vegas was mitigated by the offseason signing of hometown hero Marshawn Lynch. “Beast Mode” also provides even more ammo to an offense with ample firepower.

The defense, though, remains a major concern, especially when it comes to middle linebacker and the interior pass rush.

The AFC West is matched against the NFC East and AFC East in non-division games, so don’t expect the division to lead the conference in victories once again after going a cumulative 38-26 in 2016.

Russell averaged 15.6 points (on 40.2 percent shooting) and 4.8 assists last season for the Lakers, but was deemed expendable by the Lakers once it was clear the team would draft point guard Lonzo Ball. He had a rocky two seasons in Los Angeles, but says he bears no ill feelings toward his former team.

That’s a defensive rotation most teams make in the pick-and-roll. If they don’t hedge, the big man will usually hang back to give Wall a pull-up instead of a layup. Not only can Wall make pull-ups at a decent rate at this point of his career, but engaging the big man sets the table for him to find Gortat on the roll or Markieff Morris on the pop. If teams scramble to take away that option, the most accurate shooter in the NBA this season will be the beneficiary of an open jumper.
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McCaw has played an average of 20.3 minutes.

Russell Westbrook is pushing to be the first player to average a triple-double in nearly 60 years. LeBron James is averaging more than 25 points to go along with eight rebounds and eight assists while shooting close to 55 percent from the field, and the Warriors have already set a mark with their third-straight season with 65 or more wins.
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That’s just a few. The Rockets also set the league record for 3-pointers in a season with time to spare.

However, none of those feats is nearly as miraculous as what Malcolm Brogdon could achieve. If voters adhere to Spike Lee’s most earnest admonishment and do the right thing and make Malcolm Brogdon the 2016-17 NBA Rookie of the Year, the Bucks guard would be the first second-rounder to ever win the award. Yeah, I know, hoops historian, Woody Sauldsberry, an eighth-round pick, earned the honor in 1957. I too have the internet.

Youth Tramon Williams Jersey In the Warriors’ last six games, McCaw has played an average of 20.3 minutes. Now, with the injury to Durant who has also spent this season trying to mentor McCaw McCaw could find himself shoved into the starting five of the team that is favored to play in its third straight NBA Finals. Kerr wanted to play McCaw more to ensure he is playoff-ready. That trial by fire figures to intensify now. The Warriors will pick up forward Matt Barnes, but still, the focus remains on McCaw.

McCaw is not only a rookie, but he is a guy who was passed over in the first round of the NBA draft out of UNLV altogether, falling to No. 38 overall. That was a surprise to many around the league, who had McCaw pegged as a late first-rounder, but he was, in the end, nudged out of the first round by the five international players taken in the first round outside of the lottery.

I think there will be an opportunity for me and for Jakob

Valanciunas could wind up being eclipsed in Toronto, even without a deal. One of the aims of the offseason for the Raptors was to both unload some salary and clear up playing time for some younger, hungrier players the Raptors have been developing. Among those are second-year men Jakob Poeltl and Pascal Siakam, and both had very good showings this summer.

Poeltl spent time back home in Austria, but returned to North America soon after to begin reshaping his shooting mechanics and extend his range (Poeltl took only four percent of his shots from outside 10 feet last season). He averaged 13.5 points and 9.0 rebounds in Las Vegas, and Siakam averaged 14.3 points with 4.5 rebounds.
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Cody Latimer Womens Jersey With Patterson gone, there will be more minutes for Poeltl (who is 21) and Siakam (23). But the Raptors could choose to go with small lineups more frequently next season, with Serge Ibaka at center alongside either Poeltl or Siakam.

I think there will be an opportunity for me and for Jakob, Siakam told Sporting News. That is how it seems, that there will be more time for younger players on the team, and it is our job to be ready for that. I learned a lot last year, but this year, I want to do more. But I know I am not going to play if you can’t execute.

The Cavs are 12-5 after losing six of their first eight games with Korver. They have a firm hold on the one seed in the East and may be a Finals favorite depending on the prognosis of Kevin Durant.

After all of that, it seems the trade is a total loss for the Hawks. But not so fast, my friends. The Hawks needed to find more draft picks, and more importantly a chance to allow Tim Hardaway Jr. to flourish with more playing time.

NBA trade rumors: Jimmy Butler, Carmelo Anthony lead biggest names to watch on deadline day

No matter what becomes of the rest of the NBA’s trade deadline, we should already be declaring the wheeling, dealing period a success. Not only have we seen Orlando deal away a big rotation piece like Serge Ibaka, but we got a ground-shifting blockbuster when the Kings gave — er, traded — away DeMarcus Cousins to cap All-Star weekend.

Minor deals on Tuesday and Wednesday (Bojan Bogdanovic to Washington, Ersan Ilyasova to Atlanta, Lou Williams to the Rockets) have filled in some gaps on playoff teams, but there’s still a chance teams could further electrify this deadline period with big-time deals on Thursday. Heck, even Paul George leaving Indiana is a possibility.
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And there’s more. Among star players and role-fillers, there are still some potentially important deals coming. Here are eight names to watch as the deadline steamrolls ahead:

Player movement is not going to be as easy as it used to be, Johnson said. Players today, whether they’re coming to us or any other team, have got to buy into that vision and have got to say, ‘Look, I can see it. This organization is about winning.’ We’ve always been about winning. And you’ve got the right coach, you’ve got the right management team, you’ve got the right ownership, and so we’re looking forward to going out and pitching to free agents.

Dennis Seidenberg Game Jersey When they did venture into the free-agent market last summer, they acted like a small-market team in a panic, adding Luol Deng and Timofey Mozgov for a combined $136 million over four years. Those contracts had buyer’s remorse written all over them.

Isaiah Thomas and Tyler Ulis combine for shortest jump ball ever

This might have been the shortest jump ball ever.

During the second quarter of Sunday’s game between the Boston Celtics and the Phoenix Suns, Celtics star Isaiah Thomas and Suns guard Tyler Ulis, hilairously went up against each other for a jump ball.

Both players, who are only 5’9″, couldn’t keep a straight face:

Thomas may have won the jump ball, but Ulis won the night.

With the game tied at 106-106, and with only four seconds left, Thomas lost the ball and Ulis took full advantage, nailing a three-pointer to clinch the thrilling 109-106 victory for the Suns.

“The sky is the limit for him,” Terry said. “He will have a chance to be one of the greatest players who ever played when all is said and done. You can see it now, he is developing that. Driving into the paint and finishing at the rim, at his size, he is already one of the best in the league at that. Next is just working in that jump shot, and that is going to happen, it just takes time. When it comes, he is going to be very, very tough to deal with.”

For Antetokounmpo, in addition to honing his jumper, getting better as leader on the floor and in the locker room has been a goal. That means speaking up when teammates make mistakes, and it means keeping a level head amid turmoil. Back in the opening round of the 2015 playoffs, with Milwaukee at home against Chicago and the Bulls holding a 3-2 series lead, Bucks players were irked after Bulls forward Mike Dunleavy swiped Bucks guard Michael Carter-Williams in the face early in the game.saints_011-223x223

Home plate umpire hit in the head by Josh Donaldson’s bat

Home plate umpires wear all sorts of protection — face mask, chest pad, shin guards, etc.
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But the top of the head is rarely protected and that’s exactly where MLB umpire Chris Segal was hit by a bat on Monday.

Alexander Mogilny Game Jersey After Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson swung at and missed the first pitch he saw from Red Sox pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez pitch in the first inning, the bat slipped from Donaldson’s hand and hit Segal in the head. Segal dropped to the turf at Fenway Park.

Segal was checked out my medical personnel and was eventually laughing off the incident and remained behind the plate. Donaldson struck out on a foul tip, but the Blue Jays did grab an early 2-0 lead on a two-run double by Kendrys Morales.

Orioles first baseman Chris Davis feasted on Rangers pitching Tuesday, driving in six runs in an 12-1 victory. Davis went 2 for 4 with a pair of home runs, including a fourth-inning grand slam.

Cardinals pitcher Michael Wacha shut down the Mets Tuesday with eight strikeouts for a complete-game shutout. Wacha walked one and allowed just two hits in the 5-0 win to improve to 7-3 on the season.

Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco helped his team overcome another big day from Giancarlo Stanton. While Stanton hit another monster homer, Franco went 3 for 4 with a double and home run of his own in a 5-2 Phillies victory.

That alone makes Redick a tremendous weapon on any team because he can do a lot with a very little.

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Why it makes sense: A city that has enjoyed a 50-percent spike in population in the last 25 years is ripe to become more than a one-sport town, and San Antonio is a place where baseball would not have to compete with the NFL for Texans’ sporting affection. If not San Antonio, being the first professional sports league with a team just up the road in Austin would be appealing. Baseball has had spring training games there, and while the Alamodome would be an unsuitable permanent home, it could at least stand in while a major league stadium was built.

Redick’s value comes primarily from his ability to be a scoring threat without the ball in his hands. 88.6 percent of his baskets last season were assisted, and his usage rating of 21.7 percent ranked him No. 118 in the NBA alongside the likes of Avery Bradley, Julius Randle and a pair of rookies in Jamal Murray and Buddy Hield. According to NBA.com, almost half of his made shots were of the catch-and-shoot variety and an additional 37.7 percent were pull-ups. Redick was incredibly efficient in both of those areas, having made 44.9 percent of his catch-and-shoot attempts from the 3-point line and 44.1 percent of his midrange pull-up attempts.

Elite Youth Michael Schofield Jersey That alone makes Redick a tremendous weapon on any team because he can do a lot with a very little. Where he becomes even more valuable is the amount of ways he can get off his shot.

First and foremost, spot-ups made up 18.9 percent of his offense in the 2016-17 season, and he ranked in the 91.7 percentile with 1.21 points per possession. With Embiid, Simmons and Fultz all being playmakers who can draw multiple defenders on drives and find open teammates, Redick should be the beneficiary of the same types of looks he feasted on playing with Chris Paul and Blake Griffin in Los Angeles, where he converted 54.4 percent of his wide open 3-pointers and 41.4 percent of his open 3-pointers last season.

Dodgers surpass Astros with Cody Bellinger walkoff

Cody Bellinger launched his 25th home run of the season Saturday, and later helped the Dodgers beat the Royals 5-4 in 10 innings with a walk-off walk.

Bellinger’s latest offensive outburst helped Los Angeles (60-29) capture its fifth straight win, raising them above the Astros (59-29) for the best record in baseball.

The National League West has been the most competitive division in MLB this season, but the Dodgers are starting to pull away. Bellinger’s rise has been a big part of Los Angeles’ success. The rookie slugger went 2 for 3 Saturday with a home run, two runs scored, two RBIs and two walks.

Bellinger’s eighth-inning blast gave him 25 home runs for the season. It took him just 69 games to reach that mark, which is second only to Jose Abreu for quickest in MLB history.

Once again, LaVar Ball snapped back at Embiid on Friday via TMZ Sports, attacking his intelligence instead of his body.

Authentic Mens Chase Headley Jersey The reason he said that … his vocabulary is limited, LaVar said. You got to use cuss words when you don’t have no intellect.

He’s not intelligent at all. He’s worried about me? He should be worrying about playing, LaVar said. I got three words for him: Can’t. Play. At. All. Oh shoot, that’s four.

At the rate he’s going, LaVar Ball is well on his way to a Hall-of-Fame career when it comes to sports feuds. We can only hope the next one (assuming this one is over) is just as entertaining as the last.

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Steelers RB Le’Veon Bell shocks Steve Harvey with answer on ‘Family Feud’

This certainly wasn’t the answer Steve Harvey was expecting.

While appearing on an NFL-themed episode of Family Feud this week, Le’Veon Bell was asked the following question: “We asked 100 married men. You’re home alone. The doorbell rings. It’s a naked lady. What do you do?”

The Pittsburgh Steelers running back immediately told Harvey he would, “get her number.”

The answer gave everyone a good laugh, including Harvey, who teased Bell before revealing that “get her number” was not on the board.

Holiday is now being paid as a borderline top-10 level point guard, though, and it’s hard to say he’s hit that mark yet in his current city. But as one of the youngest unrestricted free agents in this class, it’s possible there’s still more upside than meets the eye as he grows with this core. With his ability to not only play off the ball on offense due to his shooting ability, but also on the ball in the pick-and-roll, he’s a good player to have surrounding Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins.

His wide range of skills makes him a compatible fit in any scenario if the team has to change course next summer when Cousins becomes a free agent. That makes him an easily tradeable piece if necessary.

Simply put, Holiday had the Pelicans over a barrel. If they lost him, they weren’t going to have the resources to go out and acquire another guard at his level. This was about as good a deal as the Pelicans could have hoped for going into the process, even at the cost it took.
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Isaiah Thomas releases statement following sister’s death

Kids Justin Pugh Jersey Isaiah Thomas is breaking his silence.

Kids Ndamukong Suh Jersey The Celtics point guard released a heartfelt statement Wednesday summarizing his emotional turmoil following the death of his younger sister and thanking those who have expressed their support since the tragic single-car accident Saturday morning.

Per the team’s Twitter account:

But we all know each other off the floor as well. It’s not like there’s anyone out there being disrespectful towards another. It’s fun. You hit a shot, he’s talking to us. I hit a shot, I’m talking to them. I miss the dunk, he’s telling me I need to do calf raises. It was good back-and-forth; it makes the game a lot more fun, that’s for sure.

McCollum didn’t deny he talked about Green’s calves.

Yeah, he does need to do some calf raises so he can dunk, McCollum said. Yeah, it’s a game. It’s a game we all love. We come out here, represent our teams, representing our hometowns where everybody’s from. And where I’m from, if you talk trash, then I’m going to talk trash to you. It’s not disrespectful. We’re not talking about nobody’s mamas or nothing bad.

Lillard also talked about Green’s trash talk, and said it fuels him to play better. No player said it was an issue, so expect to see them all continue to chat to one another as the series continues.