Monthly Archives: July 2017

Travis Shaw, Brewers won’t back down in tight NL Central race

Like a hungry gnat in the woods, the Milwaukee Brewers keep buzzing around the rest of the National League Central, irritating the teams that have owned the division in recent seasons.

Few predicted the Brewers to finish among the playoff contenders this season, but that’s right where they find themselves with the July 31 trade deadline looming. In fact, with Tuesday’s 8-0 win against the Nationals, Milwaukee reclaimed its half-game lead over the Cubs in the NL Central.

Matt Ryan is the reigning MVP, but this year, save a few votes for Julio Jones, not to mention the rest of the wealth the Falcons have on offense. No one will have a bigger spotlight on him than Steve Sarkisian, Kyle Shanahan’s replacement as offensive coordinator; the blame will land on him if the unit slips.

Even with what’s possible with the Cowboys, calling the Falcons the NFC favorites to go back to the Super Bowl is not unreasonable.

Chicago (50-46) earned their seventh win in eight games thanks to Jon Lester’s fantastic outing. Lester tossed 5 2/3 innings of perfect baseball, but his bid was broken up by opposing pitcher Adam Wainwright. He later gave up back-to-back home runs in the eighth inning.

It looked like the Cubs were going to drop another game due to a poor eighth inning, but their mostly quiet bats collected three runs of their own in the bottom of the inning.

Anthony Rizzo doubled home Kris Bryant for the go-ahead run. It was his only hit of the game, but it gave Lester his seventh win of the season.

Lester, who revealed after the game that he lost his uncle Friday, ended the day with two earned runs in eight innings and 10 strikeouts in the 3-2 win. The 10 strikeouts were tied for the second most he’s had in a Cubs uniform.

The Cubs are lurking just one game behind the Brewers in the National League Central. While there are still some concerns, it appears the north-Chicago club is ready for a Cheap NBA Basketball Jerseys second-half Cheap Mitchell And Ness Jerseys charge this season.

Pelicans win again without DeMarcus Cousins, upset Rockets

James Harden’s sixth 40-point triple-double of the season wasn’t enough to carry the Rockets to a win despite facing the dismal Pelicans playing without All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins.

Turns out, having Boogie out of the lineup is what New Orleans needed. Sidelined with by left knee and rib soreness, Cousins missed his second game with the Pelicans since the Feb. 19 trade, but his new team won without him again.

Pelicans forward Solomon Hill scored a career-high 30 points in the 128-112 upset over Houston on Friday night in New Orleans. The Pelicans are now 2-0 without Cousins and 3-7 when he’s played since the trade.

Biggie’s sports ties run deep. He inserted basketball references into his rhymes on the regular.

Early in his career he teamed up with Heavy D for a track called “Jam Session” and delivered lines such as, “I’m stripping like Scottie Pippen giving the serious butt kicking/Breaking bones like Karl Malone, yeah I’m flippin’/Or Isaiah, say ya prayer when I step inta your lair/Leave the lane clear; I’m welfare like Lambier” and “Rebounding, outstanding, no one surroundin’/I’m screwing and doing like I was Ewing/The only one soaring and scoring is Jordan /He musta had his Wheaties this morning.”

He also traded bars with Shaquille O’Neal on the Big Aristotle’s 1997 single “You Can’t Stop the Reign.” And, of course, there was the infamous tale he penned, featuring a mystery Cheap Jerseys Bike Knick Cheap Jerseys of the 90s, on “I Got a Story to Tell.”

Blake Griffin ‘excited to be back’ with Clippers after signing new deal

The Clippers made Blake Griffin the No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft.

He has been selected to five All-Star games since and became a free agent on July 1. He never considered playing for any other team and signed a five-year contract worth $173 million on Wednesday.

“I just want to say how excited I am to be back. Obviously this has been my home since I was drafted, and a lot went into this decision for me,” Griffin told reporters Wednesday. “Not only what was best for me and my family, but just the quality of people and work that we have here. That goes from owners all the way down to the coaching staff to the roster to everything just day-to-day.

The No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft led the league with 9.3 assists per game while also averaging 16.3 points, 7.7 rebounds and 2.5 steals. He missed two full Summer League games and almost a half of another with first a groin injury and then the calf strain.

“One of the most impressive things is he missed two games and only played half of one game and still got the MVP,” Lakers Summer League coach Jud Buechler said (via the Los Angeles Times). “He really creates the environment where when one of your top players is sharing Cheap Lebron Jerseys the ball Cheap Michael Jordan Jerseys like that, it’s just contagious with everybody else.”

Joining Ball on the All-Summer League first team were the Hawks’ John Collins, Suns’ Josh Jackson, Mavericks’ Dennis Smith Jr. and Trail Blazers’ Caleb Swanigan.

Second-team honors went to the Pelicans’ Cheick Diallo, Spurs’ Bryn Forbes, Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma, Grizzlies’ Wayne Selden Jr. and Celtics’ Jayson Tatum.

Steve Kerr discredits Warriors ‘sources’ criticizing Thunder’s Kevin Durant treatment

Warriors coach Steve Kerr isn’t sure where “sources” got the idea that his team was upset over how Kevin Durant was treated by the Thunder in February.

“[Thunder GM] Sam Presti’s a friend of mine. I know [Thunder chairman] Clay Bennett, it’s a class organization all the way. So I don’t really pay any attention to a story like that unless there’s an actual name that’s put on,” Kerr said during Monday shootaround. “I assume it’s just sources? Sources? So I don’t know who that is. It’s nobody with the Warriors. So, we have great respect for the Thunder. Sam’s been a friend of mine forever. They’re first class, so I don’t know where that comes from.”

“We’ve got to hold back. We can’t show our hand early because … these are some good teams and we don’t want them to be able to come into a (playoff) series and be able to adjust to what we do,” Lue said, per Cleveland.com. “We just have to be able to play our normal defense until we get there and then we will see what happens.”

How bad has that “normal defense” been? The Cavs rank 23rd in defensive efficiency for the season, and since March 1, they are 29th out of 30 teams, ahead of only the Lakers.

In addition to allowing John Wall to drop 37 points on them and the Wizards to shoot 60 percent from the field, the Cavs were outrebounded 40-32 on Saturday. They rank 17th in the league in rebound margin at -0.7 per game.

“I think the rebounding hurt us,” Lue said. “But it will be Online Cheap Jerseys different once some other things happen. … We have something to fix that. Just not right now.”

Unfortunately for Cavs fans, Lue isn’t sure his solution is Pittsburgh Steelers Cheap Jerseys actually a solution, offering this less-than-comforting comment: “I’m not confident, but we got to (get the defense fixed).”

Warriors’ Kevin Durant mocks 76ers for new ‘FEDS’ nickname

The 76ers have some momentum with promising play from their young stars last season and the hype of adding two No. 1 draft picks in Markelle Fultz and Ben Simmons (missed all of last season with an injury). Because of all these new additions, a new nickname has surfaced in Philly: FEDS.

This new nickname gained some traction and made its way to the attention of Kevin Durant. The Warriors star discussed the nickname while at JaVale McGee’s charity softball game over the weekend and joked: How they got a nickname and ain’t played no games together?

Durant’s mocking might appear to be him taking a cheap shot at the players, but he clarified on Twitter he means no disrespect to them. He just doesn’t like the nickname.

Lowry, a three-time All-Star entering his 11th season in the NBA, offers any team a starting point guard able to run the show on the offensive end with efficient shooting and strong playmaking. He’s only listed at six feet tall, but he can be a physical, annoying defender at the point of attack.

The other side of the coin? You’re handing a small, 31-year-old point guard a massive contract that will not good look in a few short years. It’s also difficult to ignore the playoff struggles.

Sporting News’ Sean Deveney has reported the Knicks and Nuggets could make a play for Lowry’s services, but it feels like the Raptors will ultimately keep him for something less than a max deal.

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NBA’s Warriors envy turns offseason into fantasy sports for teams playing catch-up

The NBA offseason has become even more enthralling than the actual games.

League executive: It would be a risk. You’re going to have to commit to getting younger, to continue moving backward in terms of record and then hopefully bottoming out and going up from there. That makes some sense, it is probably the right thing.

But look, that front office is four years in and they’ve gone nowhere. I don’t think that coaching staff has a lot of security. So they could draft Lonzo Ball and just be setting up the next front office and coaching staff to benefit from it.

Okay, enough talking about your opportunity. It’s clear that you’ve earned it. You now have to build a team that can take down your former franchise’s NBA Finals nemesis in the Cavs. They still have that LeBron James guy, who continues to terrorize the East. He’s been to the finals seven consecutive times, and you are now in his neighborhood.

While Silver has his argument, others would say Durant’s decision all but sealed the fate of the NBA Finals before the season even began. Now we’re here, a day away from Game 1 of the Finals, and everybody’s prediction came true. But just because we’ve seen the same two teams make the Finals in three straight years doesn’t mean there’s a problem, according to Silver.

Pick-and-rolls with Curry and Durant are unstoppable for obvious reasons. With an average of 0.92 points per possession, Curry is one of the best pick-and-roll scorers in the NBA.

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Man’s obit laments Nats loss, asks donations for ‘Nationals Bullpen Fund’

The late Patrick D. Killebrew loved the Washington Nationals.

Making holograms of people has already been done, most notably bringing late rapper Tupac Shakur back to life during a Coachella performance. Now Banta-Cain wants to bring it to the sports world.

He said he wants to make announcing the lineup at NFL games more interactive, with life-sized holograms of the starting lineups taking the field instead of showing players’ faces on the Jumbotron.

Banta-Cain, who played for the Patriots and 49ers, said he has already reached out to his former teams about testing the idea. One person who is in his court? Pats quarterback Tom Brady.

Once I told him he could be like Tupac : Tom was all excited about that, Banta-Cain said. I even told him we could get (a hologram) of him and Tupac performing together. So he got a kick out of that.

But the holograms wouldn’t stop with NFL players – or even living players.

Banta-Cain said he wants to create a or Hallo-fames project, which is holograms of people in different halls of fame. He said he can envision a live hologram of Babe Ruth hitting a home run, or a young Jim Brown talking about his MVP seasons.

Either way, we could be seeing 3D versions of top players in the not-so-distant future.

In all seriousness, though, it’s good to see Newton working his way back to 100 percent — which he vows he will be by training camp. Maybe then we can measure his passes in yards.

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Top Yankees prospect Gleyber Torres out for season with injured elbow

Infielder Gleyber Torres, the top prospect in the Yankees organization, will undergo Tommy John surgery after an MRI on Monday reveled a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow, the team announced Monday.

Torres is expected to be ready for spring training next season.

Torres injured his elbow sliding headfirst into home plate during the Triple-A Scranton RailRiders’game in Buffalo on Saturday, the New York Daily News noted.

With he’s a natural shortstop, Torres the fourth-best prospect in baseball, according to ESPN’s Keith Law ‘was being groomed by the Yankees to replace Chase Headley at third base, ESPN.com reported last week.

Torres was hitting .287/.383/.480 with seven home runs and 34 RBI through 55 games with Scranton and Trenton this season.

For CP3, this is about weighing what he wants. The Clippers could potentially offer Paul $50 million more than any other team with a max deal. That’s a lot of money to leave on the table.

However, does Paul feel like the Clippers have maxed out and simply don’t have enough to reach the Western Conference finals? Rumors have swirled about a connection with the Spurs, and it seems Paul is seriously considering San Antonio as an option.

The Rockets are also reportedly targeting Paul, though the fit with a backcourt of Paul and James Harden leaves a lot of questions, as both are ball-dominant guards.

At age 32 with some health concerns, this is likely the last huge contract of Paul’s career. This could be one of the most interesting free-agency cases of the entire offseason.

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NBA Finals 2017: Odds say Cavs in trouble even if Steve Kerr can’t coach Warriors

The result of the 2017 NBA Finals will be very good or very bad for Las Vegas oddsmakers. Sportsbooks will be pulling hard for the Warriors over the Cavaliers.

The odds say the Warriors have a strong chance to win this year’s NBA championship not a huge surprise for a team that won 73 regular-season games last season and added former league MVP Kevin Durant to its roster in July. Then again, the defending-champion Cavs still employ that dude named LeBron James.

On Thursday, hours before Game 1 of the NBA Finals, Pregame.com released its odds for the series, Finals MVP, the impact of Golden State coach Steve Kerr’s absence and more.

Nearly as important as the numbers was the grit and guile Jerebko brought to the game. Quite simply, he wasn’t there for the, um, bull excrement. That’s what was so disheartening about watching the Cavs wipe the floor with the Celtics in Game 2. Other than Smart’s minor dustup with Cavs center Tristan Thompson, they just took the punishment. No one got riled up. No one got chippy.

In that span, he signed Tom Zbikowski, Samson Satele, LaRon Landry, Gosder Cherilus, Ricky Jean Francois, Donald Thomas, Arthur Jones, Andre Johnson, Kendall Langford, Trent Cole, and Patrick Robinson to deals worth a combined $207 million. Of that group, only Cole, Langford, and Robinson completed or had the chance to complete the full length of their Grigson-approved contracts. None have been selected to the Pro Bowl as a Colt.

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I understand that everyone wants shooters

Along with the way he played in Game 1 (28 points, 10 assists and six rebounds), Curry is altering his finals legacy, driven by the way that last season’s finale weighed on him all summer. He’s doing it one ankle-twisting play at a time.

I don’t want to feel what I felt last year, Curry said, and I’m going to do everything in my power to attack every game with that kind of perspective. But we obviously have been through a championship success story where we know what it takes to win. So got to fuel both of those experiences as best we can to put in the best position to win this series.

One scout, though, tossed some cold water on Kennard fever, saying that Kennard in the top 10 would be a stretch because he’s not particularly big (6-5.5 with a 6-5.25 wingspan) and figures to struggle defensively in the NBA.

I understand that everyone wants shooters, the scout told Sporting News. No one questions that the kid can shoot. But I can’t see him becoming a good defender. You just hope that he develops into a neutral defender, that he does not hurt you. He might go in the lottery in this draft because of the way he can shoot, but in most drafts he is more down in the late teens.

I feel like progress is being made, Floyd said during OTAs in May. It’s just taking its sweet old time.

Almost all the important players are back for 2017, with the exception of longtime veteran Chad Greenway, who retired in the offseason. The Vikings’ ability to control the scoreboard on defense and make consistent stops is one of the biggest reasons why the team went .500 despite a stagnant offense.

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