Monthly Archives: July 2017

NFLPA files response on Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott’s possible discipline, report says

Ezekiel Elliott is going to learn what kind of punishment, if any, is going to be handed down to him by the NFL before the start of the regular season and likely much sooner, according to NFL.com.

The Cowboys running back has been anticipating punishment coming down for the last few weeks, and, NFL.com reported, the NFL Players Association filed its response to the NFL on all of the evidence that has been submitted in their year-long investigation.

The investigation began when a woman filed a police report on Elliott on July 22, 2016, in Columbus, Ohio. The woman who claims to be Elliott’s ex-girlfriend alleged that Elliott had attacked her over several days in July of last year.

All charges were dropped, though, when investigators found that there was conflicting and incomplete information in the case.

LaVine is enjoying the finest season of his pro career. He’s Minnesota’s third-leading scorer behind center Karl-Anthony Towns (22.4 ppg) and Andrew Wiggins (22) at 19.2 points per game to go along with 3.4 rebounds and three assists while shooting a shade above 40 percent from 3- point range.

The news LaVine won’t be in the dunk conteset is particular bummer given the preview he gave us via social media, busting out a 360 from the free-throw line in a November practice.

Oh well, there will we’ll just have to remember the good times. Vince Carter’s 40th birthday. Maybe, like Sean Gentille once begged, he’ll reach back into his “Half Man, Half Amazing”/Air Canada bag and rock out like it’s 2000.

Keep your fingers crossed.

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Malcolm Brogdon is the NBA Rookie of the Year candidate no one saw coming

Like no other season before it, the NBA headliners are making history in 2016-17.

DeMar DeRozan scored 37 points and grabbed eight boards for the Raptors, and hit the game-winning 18-foot shot with less than 2 seconds remaining in Toronto’s 92-91 victory over the Knicks in New York.

Boston’s Isaiah Thomas has been a scoring beast this season, but he misfired Monday night in a 114-98 loss to the Hawks. The 5-9 Celtics guard hit only 4-of-21 shots from the field, scoring 19 points. That ended his franchise-record streak of 43 straight games with 20 points or more. He also turned the ball over seven times, although he did add seven rebounds and assists.
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Warriors (49-9) at Wizards (34-23), 7 p.m. ET 鈥?The best record in the West against the fourth-best record in the East. The Wizards’ underrated backcourt of John Wall (22.9 points per game) and Bradley Beal (22.6) pose a big test for the Warriors, who will play the second game of a five-game road trip against Eastern Conference teams.
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Just minutes after the decision was announced, Cavaliers GM David Griffin said he got a call from the NBA league office.

Seven minutes after it was announced. Yeah, they were not happy, Griffin said after the game, via ESPN.com. I feel bad for the league. I really do. But it is what it is for us from an injury standpoint. We literally had one guy rest tonight and everybody else was reasonably injured. I don’t feel like we did anything terribly egregious.

Duda’s a free agent after this season and the Mets are not making the playoffs in 2017.

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John Johnson Jersey Next needs to be closer Justin Wilson. Losing teams don’t need closers, but winning teams badly want them. A big part of what made the Yankees’ 2016 trade deadline so successful is that they had two elite closers to trade in Chapman and Miller. Wilson isn’t either of those guys, but he’s still pretty good with 49 strikeouts in 34 innings against just 13 walks. What’s more, he’s under team control for next season as well, so he’s not a rental and, given the paucity of the relief market, should net lots of talent in return.

Another player who could end up bringing back a good return is catcher Alex Avila. Avila had an excellent season in 2011, when he finished 12th in the MVP vote, but has hit like a catcher in the five seasons leading up to this one. This season, though, he’s crushing the ball. He has 11 homers, a .423 on-base percentage (which would be sixth in all of baseball if he had the at-bats to qualify), and a .535 slugging percentage. Those are middle-of-the-order numbers from a guy on a nothing one-year contract. He doesn’t have the track record that Martinez does, but there’s certainly a team somewhere that could use a bat like that at catcher and will pay handsomely for the privilege.

This, of course, makes a lot of sense. Duda’s a free agent after this season and the Mets are not making the playoffs in 2017. We talked about the Yankees’ issues at the position above, and Duda’s left-handed power would play well in Yankee Stadium. Would the Mets really trade a potential impact piece to their NYC rival? Maybe. We just saw the Cubs and White Sox make a Chicago deal last week, and Duda would only be in pinstripes for a couple of months before he becomes a free agent. The prospect cost wouldn’t be extreme for the Yankees.

Raptors’ Patrick Patterson trips over himself, steals ball from Knicks’ Derrick Rose

The Raptors’ Patrick Patterson backpedaled a bit too ambitiously and fell right on his butt; the perfect place to be to steal the ball from Derrick Rose.

This is some peak Knicks stuff.

Rose was really confused, because Cory Joseph, the man defending him, had his arms up. He didn’t see Patterson’s hands emerge from the ground like a waking zombie.

The Knicks point guard is set to become a free agent at the end of the season, and his agent will have to hope this one gets overlooked.

For big men, the margin of error is extremely limited. The supply of these types of players stays the same, while the demand for them continues to diminish as NBA teams look to downsize lineups more often. If Collins was to declare, it’s not a surefire bet that he would go in the first round because of that. Given that as well as the fact that he’s not quite ready for the NBA yet, it might behoove him to stay, play with Bryant Crawford and Wake for another year, make another NCAA Tournament, and try his hand in 2018.

It’s a tough decision, though, because as Ivan Rabb learned this year, giving scouts more time to break down your game can be dangerous.

We’ll see what becomes of Bridges, but if he ends up leaving college basketball, he did it with a bang this weekend.

So how did a player score 26 points and have a bad NCAA Tournament? The devil is in the details, and the details were problematic for Collins.

Kansas State basically built its offensive gameplan around forcing Collins to make reads defensively, either in the pick-and-roll on the perimeter or in help defense around the basket. Simply put, Collins failed that exam. Not only was he unable to provide a presence defensively when his team needed him, which is exactly what the concern has been about him as a prospect all year long, but he was often the main reason why Kansas State dropped a nearly 100 points on the Demon Deacons.broncos_120

J.D. Martinez leaves first game with Diamondbacks after getting hit in the hand

It was not a good day to be an All-Star player making his debut with a new team.

After new Yankees third baseman Todd Frazier was hit in his second plate appearance in Wednesday’s loss to the Twins, newly acquired Arizona outfielder J.D. Martinez was hit in the hand in his second at-bat of Wednesday’s 4-3 loss to the Reds.

Martinez, who was traded from the Tigers to the Diamondbacks on Tuesday, was struck on the hand while swinging at a Tim Adleman pitch at the top of the fourth inning. Martinez struck out with the swing and was replaced in the field by Daniel Descalso in the bottom half of the inning.

X-rays on Martinez’s hand came back negative, and the Diamondbacks announced their new outfielder simply had a bruised left hand and is day-to-day.

Martinez went 0 for 2 in his Diamondbacks debut before leaving. Frazier stayed in the game after getting hit in the ninth inning of New York’s 6-1 loss.
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Limited Youth Kelly Olynyk Jersey For the Twins, they have to contend with an Indians team that seems to be hitting its stride, while also fending off the Royals in their own division. The AL Wild Card picture is a mess, too, with no team in the league more than 7.5 games out of a playoff spot. The Twins may not have the strongest team in the league, but they’re certainly competitive. Watching them try to navigate their way to October baseball over the last three months of the season should be fun.

The Brewers are in a better position than the Twins, currently in first place in their division with a 5.5 game lead. But the Cubs are still lurking, and you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who believes they’ll be a sub-.500 team at the end of September. Will Milwaukee go all in and make a move to match Chicago’s acquisition of Jose Quintana? Will they be content with what they have and not sacrifice prospects for a short-term game? The NL Central is shaping up to be the most interesting race of the second half, and the Brew Crew is front and center.

Do you have a theory on why there are so many home runs this year?

Money has dried up quickly for restricted free agents, and a good example of that comes with Roberson. The 6-7 wing turned down a four-year, $48 million extension in the fall to bet on himself, backed it up with an All-Defensive Team season and still ended up getting a lower number in both years and average annual value. How did that happen?

Elite Kids Harrison Butker Jersey The easy answer is that there simply isn’t as much money available this summer as anticipated, especially among attractive, contending teams. That effect is felt most among the restricted free-agent class, where teams are wary of tying up their cap space for days at a time only to come away empty when the incumbent team matches. But where a player’s market is inhibited, that often means the team benefits. And Oklahoma City is going to get a hell of a deal with Roberson over the next three years.

Charlie Blackmon, Rockies

Question: Do you have a theory on why there are so many home runs this year?

Answer: I mean, I think everybody throws like 96 now. Everybody throws so hard, so when you hit a ball that’s pitched harder, I think they go a little bit further. Which isn’t nearly as important as the fact that, if you’re getting used to 96 and you’re elevating your game up to that velocity, I think you’re a better player, and therefore you’re going to be able to hit more homers, especially against a guy who’s not throwing 96.
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Question: Do you players talk about this or is it just us media types?

Answer: It’s funny. As a player, I want to give myself a lot of credit. I don’t want to think it’s the ball or the atmosphere or any of that stuff. But I think the game’s being played at a very high level. I also see lots of strikeouts and lots of guys throwing very hard. I see both sides of that point happening.

Tom Brady spoils Penguins Stanley Cup title for Pittsburgh fans

Most people in Pittsburgh already don’t like Tom Brady.

Limited Mens Joel Embiid Jersey After blocking a chance for the Steelers to get back to another Super Bowl in January, he gave people in the Steel City another reason to hate him.

Judge calmly came up and swatted 23 to upend Bour in front of his home fans.

Judge smacked an insane four home runs over 500 feet, topping out at 513 feet. Larger than almost everyone in baseball, Judge displayed uncanny raw power while swatting miss-hits high into the stands.

After dispatching Bour in Round 1, in epic fashion, Judge returned to beat fellow sensational rookie Cody Bellinger in Round 2.

Twins slugger Miguel Sano made it to the finals, but Judge made quick work of his finals opponent.

Most wanted to see a finals showdown between Judge and defending champion Giancarlo Stanton, but Stanton lost 17-16 to Gary Sanchez in Round 1.

After having a four-year, $15 million contract voided due to the Over-38 rule, Nene instead decided to re-sign at the same cost with Houston without the fourth year.

Limited Mens Antonio Gates Jersey This is a good move for the Rockets. They get a serviceable backup center behind Clint Capela who averaged 18.3 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists and over a block and steal per-36 minutes last year while shooting at a remarkably efficient rate. He’ll occasionally knock down a midrange jumper, but where Nene is successful is around the rim, where he just eats due to the space provided for him by Houston’s spread-out system.

It’s also worth noting that the Rockets were nearly seven points better per 100 possessions defensively last year with Nene on the floor, the seventh-straight year where Nene’s teams have been multiple points better defensively with him.

C.J. McCollum openly, actively recruiting Paul George to join Trail Blazers

Paul George is a wanted man.

The Pacers small forward will be the apple of every NBA GM’s eyes next summer when he can opt out of the five-year, $91-million deal he signed in 2013. The year between the time he can actually hit the free-agent market isn’t stopping those interested parties from attempting to woo him now. The California native is already being harassed courted by Lakers fans while on vacation.

Now, players are shooting their shot. The Trail Blazers’ C.J. McCollum is openly recruiting the 6-7 George to join him and fellow sharpshooter Damian Lillard in Portland.

Patrick Beverley was the catalyst for the Rockets on Tuesday. The Houston guard scored 15 points to go with eight rebounds and three assists, but was also a defensive dynamo while locked primarily on Westbrook, who attempted an NBA playoff-record 18 3-pointers and made just five of them. Westbrook was 15 of 34 from the floor and the Thunder shot just 38.5 percent as a team.

Kawhi Leonard scored a game-high 28 points to lead the Spurs to Tuesday’s win. Leonard and Tony Parker, who scored 15 points, each added six assists. Patty Mills scored 20 points off the bench, and went 5 of 7 from 3-point range.

Stephen Curry is still the leader of this team, averaging 25.3 points per game, but he has more offensive help this season. Defensively, Golden State can still be a bit soft at times. Durant’s length mixed with physicality off the bench have helped fix that problem; however, Curry and company could get knocked around a bit by Portland’s stronger guards.

Damian Lillard, for some reason, predicted the Trail Blazers would win this series in six games. While he might be good enough to help Portland win a game or two, it’s highly unlikely Lillard is playing in a second series this postseason.falcons_059

Eight wacky NBA playoffs prop bets

The oddsmakers at Sports Betting Dime have released their annual NBA playoff prop bets ahead of Saturday’s opening games. In addition to the usual odds to win NBA title, the company also released some wild prop bets.

From the odds of another 3-1 series comeback to seeing LaVar Ball on television, here are eight of our favorite wagers from which to choose:

Hennigan came under some criticism lately when a photo taken of a player signing a contract accidentally showed the team’s offseason plans. Confidential information, including a potential trade involving Aaron Gordon, was made public when it shouldn’t have been.

Assistant GM Matt Lloyd will replace Hennigan on an interim basis. In their statement, the Magic said Lloyd will be a candidate in the team’s search for a long-term GM. The Orlando Sentinel also reported the team was interested in Grant Hill, but the former player told a Magic reporter he wasn’t interested .

NO, I’m not interested, Hill said. I thoroughly enjoy my ownership role as Vice-Chairman of the Atlanta Hawks.

Hill was involved in a group, led by Tony Ressler, that bought a majority ownership stake in the Atlanta Hawks.

Game Youth Demaryius Thomas Jersey Another potential candidate could be Mitch Kupchak, who won two NBA titles as the former GM of the Lakers. No reports have linked Kupchak to Orlando yet, but there are only so many options out there.
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This entire season has been a soap opera/horse race/reality show regarding which of James’ inferiors will be presented the league MVP trophy. And certainly James Harden and Russell Westbrook and Kawhi Leonard have enjoyed terrific seasons. James averaged 26.4 points, 8.6 rebounds and 8.7 assists and barely got into the conversation.

Celtics silence John Wall, Wizards in Game 7 to earn date with Cavaliers

Kelly Olynyk just introduced himself to the world.

The Celtics’ backup center caught fire in the fourth quarter Monday to lead Boston past the Wizards 115-105 in Game 7 to earn a date with the Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference finals.

Olynyk finished the game with 26 points on 10-of-14 shooting, becoming the first Celtics reserve to score 25-plus points in a playoff game since Eddie House notched 31 against the Magic in 2009.

We got our first set of measurements for Wake Forest’s John Collins. He came in at slightly under 6-10 with a 6-11-plus wingspan and an 8-foot-10.5 standing reach. Collins is going to get by on energy, motor and hustle with a lot of his effectiveness coming on the glass. He’s good at carving out position for himself despite only carrying 225 pounds on his frame. But he’s going to have a tough time playing as a small-ball center with these measurements which is probably the position where his game currently works best. The tape is most important, and Collins’ is impressive, but this sounds the alarm on where exactly he fits in the NBA.
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Authentic Mens Dallas Keuchel Jersey Moritz Wagner also got his first set of measurements, and came in slightly under 7-foot with a 7-foot wingspan. Wagner had quite a few defensive problems in college, and those measurements should continue to raise concerns as to whether he has the potential to become a plus player on that end.

New Lakers’ president Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson said as much Friday.

I think what you’re drafting is the son and not the father, Johnson said in an interview with ESPN. I think that you also are gauging and evaluating his son on his ability and what he can do not only on the basketball court but also what he can do for your team.