Monthly Archives: July 2017

Tristan Thompson fires back at Cavs’ spending critics: ‘I’ve earned my money’

The Cavaliers are over the luxury tax threshold in part to contracts pushed by LeBron James. He wanted the front office to reward J.R. Smith and Tristan Thompson in free agency, but is now questioning owner Dan Gilbert’s commitment to spending.

Thompson, who signed a five-year, $82 million extension in 2015, doesn’t like the fact that he is being pulled into the Cavs’ mini-drama.

Like we said, it will be must-watch television.

The NFL issued a statement Tuesday, saying “The medical and scientific communities will benefit from this publication and the NFL will continue to work with a wide range of experts to improve the health of current and former NFL athletes งาง฿ but “there are still many unanswered questions relating to the cause, incidence and prevalence of long-term effects of head trauma such as CTE.”

Currently, CTE can only be diagnosed post-mortem. The study’s authors admitted there could be an unintentional bias in the results, because “public awareness of a possible link between repetitive head trauma and CTE may have motivated players and their families with symptoms and signs of brain injury to participate in this research. Therefore, caution must be used in interpreting the high frequency of CTE in this sample งาง฿”

Last month, the NFL paid out the first two claims in its landmark $1 billion concussion settlement, which was approved in 2015 between the league and thousands of former players in a class-action lawsuit. It was upheld in appeals court in 2016. However, under terms of the original settlement, it “cannot be considered an admission by the NFL of liability, or an admission that plaintiffs’ injuries were caused by football.”

Who would have thought Sandy Koufax a Hall of Famer in 1960 when he was contemplating quitting baseball?

Game Kids Darrell Green Jersey That’s not much experience in the ledger. Securing the first seed is a good deal more important for Boston, then. They’ll want the easiest possible road out of the first round to set themselves up for a tough second-round foe, likely either the Wizards or Raptors.

And homecourt is especially important to the Celtics. They’re 27-9 at home this year, second-best in the East (behind Cleveland), and they have won 14 of their last 15 at TD Garden, which is becoming an increasingly difficult place for opponents.

Who would have thought Sandy Koufax a Hall of Famer in 1960 when he was contemplating quitting baseball? Dennis Eckersley when he looked like a washed-up ace in 1986? Pedro Martinez in 1993 when he was getting traded for Delino DeShields?

But history tells us that some seemingly random player in the majors today will make Cooperstown years from now — as well as at least a few dozen other players.

At any given point, maybe 6 percent of all players who log at least one plate appearance in a season will eventually make the Hall of Fame, while something like 12-14 percent of all plate appearances will be taken by a future Hall of Famer. That’s based on data culled from Baseball-Reference, showing 10 seasons between 1880 and 1970:

Before proceeding, a few quick notes: First, this leaves off at 1970 because it often takes decades to know who will and won’t be enshrined. Players who logged their last game 100 years ago have been known to be enshrined. Cooperstown doesn’t have a statue of limitations, after all, with every non-banned player in baseball history with at least 10 seasons still eligible.

Additionally, out of the years above, 1900 and 1930 can each be treated as outliers and, arguably, not even factored into consideration.
Limited Mens Ozzie Newsome Jersey

How the Celtics helped Isaiah Thomas become a fourth-quarter killer

Authentic Akeem Spence Jersey To get Thomas going in fourth quarters, Stevens often starts him so he can get valuable reps against the opposing team’s second units. Sometimes Thomas will get a breather at the midpoint of the quarter before checking back in for the final stretch, but it’s not unusual for him to play the entire fourth quarter when the game is close. It helps that Stevens does a good job of conserving his minutes during the rest of the game with Thomas ranking 21st in minutes per game (34.5) on the season.

Authentic Marcus Gilbert Jersey When you put all of those factors together — fresh(er) legs, obvious change in aggression, use of different lineups and different sets — it’s easier to understand how Thomas has developed into a crunch time killer this season. His job isn’t necessarily as easy as he makes it sound, but the combination is at least replicable to the point where he has turned an act into a habit.

Here’s an idea: If NBA stars won’t play when they’re healthy, maybe should give paying fans and the TV partners a refund. I’m sure that will be on the table in the next collective bargaining agreement.

TNT analyst Charles Barkley is of that mind, too.

I think it’s a joke, especially when you’re screwing your TV partners. Just for the record, we’re the reason they make $10 (million), $20 (million), $30 million. TV. No disrespect to the fans. But the reason players make $10 (million), $20 (million), $30 million (annually) is because of the TV partners: ESPN and us at Turner, Barkley said Monday on The Rich Eisen Show.

Barkley said fans should sit out games and TV telecasts for a week to get the attention of today’s cash-conscious players.

The fans need to boycott games and boycott television to send these guys a message, because people always understand money, he said.

Nets’ Quincy Acy gets up to play, realizes coach only wanted water

We’ve all been there, waiting for the signal from our coach to go into the game.

Nets forward Quincy Acy thought he was getting that signal on Thursday night against the Knicks.

Is Giles forever changed by injury, or is he still returning and gathering leg strength and confidence? This is where NBA scouts having more of a sample of Giles than just this season comes into play. They know what he was capable of in high school, and my guess is that they would go into the offseason considering him as a first-round talent. The key will be what happens in May with his medical examinations if he decides to enter the draft. If those go well, he’ll go in the first round.

For the Rockets to be as successful as they have been this season, it’s required Harden to strike the perfect balance between being a scorer and facilitator. He showed signs of being an elite passer in the past, but he’s taken a huge step forward under D’Antoni. With the amount he handles the ball, it would be easy for teams to slow the Rockets down if he wasn’t a good passer by forcing him to be a facilitator. It works the other way around as well. If Harden wasn’t a good scorer, they’d take away his passing opportunities to force him into being the main source of offense.

Irving would have to prove that he could do the same. It’s not that he can’t pass or lead an offense. He just hasn’t had as much success as Harden had before this season. We all know he can score with the best of them, so this isn’t about whether or not he could average 30 points per game or lead the league in scoring in D’Antoni’s system. It has more to do with whether or not he could turn a team into a contender if he was in the perfect situation.steelers_123

Game of Throws: Relive some of the best throws from the 2017 MLB season

Doug Baldwin Jersey
Winter is coming. Well, fall is coming first.

In honor of the return of Game of Thrones to your TVs Sunday night, let’s relive something not as disappointing as your favorite character getting killed off: great throws!

Torry Holt Jersey Rangers pitcher Tyson Ross gave up nine runs, eight of them earned, off seven hits in just 3 1/3 innings in the loss to the Orioles. Ross saw his already hefty ERA of 5.33 balloon to 7.22 in five starts this season.

In what was dubbed the Ray Romano game, Ray definitely got the better of Romano. D-backs pitcher Robbie Ray allowed two runs over six innings against the Reds, but Cincinnati’s Sal Romano was shelled in the 11-2 D-backs win. Romano gave up six runs off six hits and walked five with just three strikeouts over four innings in his third MLB start. It will likely be back to Louisville for Romano.

Brewers (52-44) at Pirates (46-48) 7:05 p.m. ET 鈥?The Brewers have lost three in a row and are letting their lead in the NL Central slip. They’ll try to avoid a fourth straight loss as they turn to Zach Davies (11-4, 5.08 ERA), who has yet to lose on the road this year. The Pirates will counter with Gerrit Cole (7-7, 4.35).

Contract-wise, he’s eligible to become a free agent after the 2018 season. Other Orioles on track to become free agents after 2018: Manny Machado, Adam Jones, Wade Miley, Brad Brach and J.J. Hardy. So, yeah, the Orioles have big decisions to make, and if they trade Britton now, that pretty much signals the beginning of the end for that group of players in Baltimore.

But that’s a discussion for another day. For our purposes, let’s assume the Orioles would be willing to move Britton for the right price 鈥?and, rest assured, the price will be steep 鈥?and take a look at which teams would have the motivation to make something happen.

It has long been speculated whether LeBron James would ever play with his banana boat pals

The Hawks are sending Dwight Howard and the 31st pick in the 2017 NBA Draft to the Hornets, in exchange for Miles Plumlee, Marco Belinelli and the 41st pick in this year’s draft, according to The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Youth John Lackey Jersey
It has long been speculated whether LeBron James would ever play with his banana boat pals — Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul and Dwyane Wade — later in his career. Later could come sooner than expected, as Anthony and Wade are potential buyout candidates with the Knicks and Bulls, respectively, and the Cavaliers could be a leading contender to sign one or both of the players in free agency, according to ESPN.

Anthony’s contract is worth more than $26 million for next season, and Wade is scheduled to make $23.8 million in the final year of his contract with the Bulls. As buyout candidates, both players could provide the Cavaliers with a relatively inexpensive way to sign complementary players to put alongside LeBron and Kyrie Irving.

Houston clearly isn’t done dealing. The Rockets are looking to squeeze value out of the players they’ve signed to non-guaranteed contracts, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Youth Larry Nance Jersey The Houston Rockets are working to flip their $10M in non-guaranteed contracts for players or assets, league sources tell ESPN.

The Celtics want to clear cap space for new forward Gordon Hayward, and it looks as though the Jazz are ready to help them do that. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne reported a Hayward-for-Jae-Crowder swap has been discussed; later in the evening, the Salt Lake Tribune’s Tony Jones reported the Jazz and Hayward’s camp are willing to work on on a sign-and-trade that would get Hayward to Boston. Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey declined to comment to Jones about the possibility.

Kirk Cousins’ current state of mind in 5 quotes

The clock is ticking on the Redskins and franchise-tagged QB Kirk Cousins, with the deadline next Monday for the sides to agree on a long-term contract.

Cousins, in Michigan this weekend for his annual football camp, did the local media rounds, and he stuck to the script for multiple TV stations: He’s not into the negotiations or the money, he’s keeping the faith and he’s looking forward to the 2017 season, whether he has a new contract or not.

I hired my agent to do his job. I gotta go play football and throw touchdown passes and help our team win. I’ve got plenty to work on there. So I’ll let my agent do his job, I’ll do mine.
Tyler Ennis Womens Jersey
The speedy second baseman is slashing a cool .295/.342/.358 with 32 stolen bases and 53 runs scored this season. He is still one of the most dangerous runners on the base paths, despite turning 29 earlier this season. He also served an 80-game PED suspension last year, but that seemingly has not deterred teams from showing interest.

The Royals and Angels are firmly in the hunt for a wild card berth this year, but the Blue Jays, currently five games back, have a little more work to do after the All-Star break.

Jeremy Langford Womens Jersey Toronto also has Devon Travis, who has shown flashes of star potential as a second baseman. The only thing holding Travis back is a demoralizing injury history, which has started to trump his talent.

Miami already traded shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria to the Rays, proving they are willing to deal. Rumors have also circulated around first baseman Justin Bour and third baseman Martin Prado with the Yankees and Red Sox.

The Marlins’ trade activity could end up shaping the rest of the season, as teams start collecting their assets.

Thomas and Wall were the anchors for both teams in Game 2.

It was thrilling offensive basketball, thanks mostly to the performances of Wall (40 points and 13 assists) and Boston guard Isaiah Thomas, whose 53 points powered another Celtics win, this one in overtime by a 129-119 count. The Celtics finished the game shooting 51.1 percent from the field, and the Wizards (46.5 percent) shot well, too.

Thomas and Wall were the anchors for both teams in Game 2. As Thomas noted, they have been friends for years now, and Thomas has always taken Wall’s Wizards-Celtics rivalry antics with a shrug. But on Tuesday, it was Thomas who brought an edge to the game, providing a highlight when hotheaded forward Markieff Morris was left guarding him on a switch with just 48 seconds to play in the fourth quarter.

Thomas danced Morris into an awkward, flat-footed position, then pulled up and knocked down a 16-footer on him. Thomas, nearly a foot shorter than Morris, nonetheless stared his opponent down for the length of the floor. The steam shooting from Morris’ ears was evident.

The Wizards were streaky to end the regular season, putting together a couple of four-plus-game winning streaks, but also losing five of their last eight games. Chemistry is always a question with this squad. John Wall and Bradley Beal — the team’s two best players and backcourt mates — don’t seem to like each other all that much.

Regardless, Washington has the explosive talent to cause trouble in the East this season. Shooters Otto Porter Jr. and Bojan Bogdanovic could be the Wizards’ difference makers in this series.

The Hawks won four out of their last five regular-season games. They picked up two wins against the Cavs and one win against the Celtics during that stretch. Dennis Schroder will make or break this balanced team. He averaged 17.9 points, but also turned the ball over 3.3 times per game.

The Bulls are succeeding because they’ve held a convincing advantage on the boards.

The Celtics have multiple scoring bigs who have struggled collectively to rebound all season. That flaw was bound to be exploited by the team that was third in the league in rebounding during the regular season. Chicago has grabbed 32 offensive boards in two games and destroyed Boston on the glass overall, 96-74. The Bulls’ shooting hasn’t been spectacular, but it hasn’t had to be because of all the second chances.

Allen Robinson Youth Jersey Jimmy Butler looked unstoppable in the first two games against the Celtics, averaging 26 points. But he hit only 7-of-21 shots in the Bulls’ loss Friday, missing all four of his 3-point attempts, and finishing with only 14 points. The Bulls desperately need him to bounce back in Game 4.
Laurent Duvernay-Tardif Youth Jersey
Chris Paul can hit 3s. He can drive the lane. And yeah, he can make ridiculous floaters like this look easy, too.

Game 4: Spurs at Grizzlies, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN (Spurs lead series, 2-1) 鈥?The Grizzlies’ impressive win in Game 3 snapped a 10-game losing streak to the Spurs dating to 2011. After giving up an average of 34.5 points to Kawhi Leonard in the first two games, Memphis limited him to 18 last time out. Can the Grizzlies once again shut down the player coach David Fizdale likened the other day to a robot? On the other hand, can the Spurs find an answer for Mike Conley, who’s scored 24 points with eight assists in each of the last two games?

NBA playoffs: Did LaMarcus Aldridge seek retribution on Kevin Durant?

After Game 1 of Warriors vs. Spurs, the talk was all about Zaza Pachulia’s closeout on Kawhi Leonard. The Golden State big man took an extra step and Leonard came down on his foot injuring an already sore ankle. The play forced Leonard out of the game, and then out of Game 2.

A similar play happened in the second game, when LaMarcus Aldridge made a similar move on Kevin Durant. As Durant shot a 3-pointer, Aldridge was outside of his comfort zone on the perimeter and went to close out, but took an extra step that could have been dangerous.

Was it a possible retribution move for what the Warriors did to Leonard? Durant doesn’t think so, as he downplayed the incident after the game.

George never really shot down the possibility of joining the Lakers, as he mostly just laughed when he was asked questions about it. The conversation started with Kimmel showing a clip of his show in which Magic Johnson indicated he wanted to bring George on board.
Charles Harris Kids Jersey
Nah, man, George said about whether that had an impact on him. I love Magic. I love Magic. Great dude.

The forward then revealed that he plans to work out with Lakers legend Kobe Bryant. Kimmel asked if he’s talked with the Black Mamba about coming to the Lakers.

Not yet, George responded. I plan to work out with him, pick his brain a little bit. I’m training now to get ready to work out with him.
Travis Benjamin Kids Jersey
The interview probably didn’t comfort Pacers fans who are hoping George stays with their franchise. He appeared comfortable talking about playing in Los Angeles, and at the very least it looks like he’s seriously giving the move some thought.