Monthly Archives: July 2017

Arizona freshman Lauri Markkanen declares for NBA Draft

Lauri Markkanen is the latest freshman to take his skills to the pros.

The 7-foot Arizona forward has opted to forego his sophomore season and declare for the NBA Draft, the university announced Thursday.

Markkanen made the most of his lone season at Arizona, playing in every game for the Wildcats while averaging 30.8 minutes, 15.6 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. The Finland native also sunk an impressive 42.3 percent of his three-point attempts, despite his enormous size.

Markkanen, who turns 20 in May, is projected to be a top-10 pick.

The idea of Bridges as a prospect is currently much stronger than the reality of him. In theory, Bridges is a 6-7 3-and-D guy with go-go-gadget arms who can defend and knock down shots. In reality, he really doesn’t have a ton of game yet with which to work unless things go exactly his way.

He struggles to defend bigger players, as Nigel Hayes showed over the weekend, and he has no game off the bounce if teams run him off the line. These are both parts of his game that he can improve by returning to Villanova and working with assistant coaches like Ashley Howard, known as one of the better developers of guards in the country. But right now, there are a lot of parts of his game that are missing to where it would be tough for me to select him in the upcoming draft.

Due to some poor free agency decisions, they were also in a tough spot as far as improving their talent level. Davis still has three years after this one remaining on his contract, but that’s not as far off in NBA years as you’d think. Had the team continued to struggle building around him, we’re only about 18 months away from when trade rumors would have started to pop up about the 2017 All-Star Game MVP.
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Cubs’ Kris Bryant exits game with sprained finger, X-rays negative

Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant left Wednesday’s game in Atlanta after spraining the little finger on his left hand sliding into third base in the first inning.

The Cubs said initial X-rays of the injured finger were negative and he is listed as day-to-day.

The play came as Bryant was trying to advance from seconde to third on a wild pitch. Braves catcher Tyler Flowers gunned down Bryant, who slid into third base head first and appeared to catch a finger on third baseman Johan Camargo’s foot as he tagged out Bryant.

This comes just one day after Astros All-Star Carlos Correa was put on the DL for a torn ligament in his thumb that stemmed from injuring his hand sliding into home plate in a game versus the Braves before the All-Star break.

Elite Youth Daimion Stafford Jersey Mike Trout also missed some two months earlier this season sliding into second base head first on a stolen base.

Bryant is hitting .273 this season with 19 home runs and 40 RBIs.

Elite Youth Tennessee Titans Jersey And at 25 years old to all of a sudden have this type of power surge like the rest of MLB is having, it’s easy to come to one of two conclusions: either the ball is juiced or the seams have been lowered. With lower seams comes lower spin rate on breaking pitches which means pitches are more difficult to spot and easier to hit. That’s a big reason why the NCAA lowered their seams in 2015. With the change in bats, the home runs were disappearing, as was the attenton. So they lowered the seams to increase offense, and that’s exactly what happened.

Home Run Derby 2017 results: Aaron Judge conquers all with righteous, epic moonshots

Compared with Sano’s early swings, Judge looked like a fountain of energy and got the win fairly quickly with a bomb to center field for his 11th dinger. He was the odds-on favorite to take the crown, and he made good on those expectations.

Harry Carson Authentic Jersey Here’s who everyone wanted to see. And he hit one 500 feet. That’s decent for a rookie. And then he hit the roof. That generally doesn’t happen. And he finished with 23 to knock off Bour. Of course he did. He’s an 11-foot-fall super human. (Wait, being told now he’s not actually 11 feet tall. He’s 9-7. Nine feet, seven inches is what I’m told.)
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All eyes are are on a quality group of starting pitchers: the A’s Sonny Gray, the Pirates’ Gerrit Cole, the White Sox’s Jose Quintana and the Tigers’ Justin Verlander.

Earlier reports said Verlander could hit the trade market in the coming weeks. In order for that to happen, Verlander must waive his 10-and-5 rights. The Cubs and Tigers have been engaging in talks, according to reports, but the Cubs seemingly are not willing to take on Verlander’s contract.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, what will the Royals do? With some key players — Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Lorenzo Cain and Alcides Escobar — eyeing free agency after the season, could the 2015 World Series champs blow it all up and go back to Square 1?

After his latest offensive outburst, Springer is batting .307 with 27 home runs and 60 RBIs already this season. He has recorded 22 multi-hit games since May 26 and is the first leadoff hitter in history to hit 27 home runs before the All-Star break.

Kelly Olynyk shows how Celtics can change game vs. Wizards

For the Celtics, things could not have been going much worse. They’d missed their first six shots and had been outrebounded by the Wizards, 8-0. The game was not yet four minutes old, but already the Boston faithful at TD Garden was groaning as the Celtics trailed, 16-3. They were on pace to give up 194 points.

That’s when Kelly Olynyk checked in for the Celtics. And boy, did he save their Canadian bacon in this one.

“Kelly came in and was huge for us,” said Al Horford, the man Olynyk replaced. “I feel like he made some big plays and just the way that he played in the first half really helped us when we were hurting to score the ball.”

That confluence of factors created the center bumper crop, which reared its head last summer and has only grown since. In a development that would dumbfound pundits from decades ago, even talented big men on reasonable contracts could be poor uses of salary cap space for some teams.

“Then you get young guys who are still getting better on the job. To me, Erik Spoelstra is the best one in that category. He is a coach who can adapt, he can be a leader, he is steady in how he handles himself and his team, and he has proven himself.

It’s hard for many to see through the bluster to the common-sense, individualistic foundation Ball is laying down. Yet it’s as simple as the old Chris Rock joke: Shaq is rich, but the man that signs Shaq’s check is wealthy.

The check Lonzo Ball would have gotten from one of the big shoe companies would have been enormous. It also would have been someone else’s check.

Not everybody is satisfied with that, and not everybody is supposed to be.falcons_041

Kevin Durant: Being able to lift weights ‘doesn’t matter’ in NBA

Limited Eric Lindros Jersey Kevin Durant has earned the nickname Slim Reaper for a reason. He’s a wiry player, standing tall with not much meat on his bones. But he’s also a former league MVP and one of the most dangerous players in the game, which is why he’s telling top NBA Draft prospects to skip the upcoming combine.

In an interview with ESPN, Durant had plenty of crticisms of the combine. His 2007 performance at the event has been well-documented as he had a terrible showing, most notably being the only prospect at the time who failed to bench press 185 pounds.

Limited Chris Givens Jersey It also serves as a rallying cry and source of motivation for the Grit and Grind crew, which is particularly important when playing a team such as the Spurs. San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich has built up such a great deal of respect around the league it’s almost difficult to really want to crush the Spurs. They don’t have someone who shimmies after a made 3-pointer like Stephen Curry or James Harden. There is no King to dethrone like LeBron James. There’s not much trash talk traded back and forth. Go out, get 50-plus wins in the regular season, compete for a title, repeat.

Fizdale gave his players a little extra push by saying, They’re not gonna rook us. The first-year head coach is tapping into every underdog story in order to drive the Grizzlies toward a rare comeback. If it doesn’t work, what’s the harm? If Memphis does steal a couple games or somehow the series, it’ll be looked at as a turning point.

Not to completely discount the importance of strategy, but a lot of coaching comes down to more than drawing Xs and Os. Fizdale understands that. Sure, the rant cost him $30,000, but he may have gotten much more back in return.

Kawhi Leonard doubtful for Game 2 despite negative MRI results

Limited Mens Nolan Carroll Jersey Kawhi Leonard’s injury update Monday revealed a classic good news-bad news situation for the Spurs.

On the plus side, Leonard’s MRI on his ankle revealed no structural damage which gives him a chance to play again this postseason.

Unfortunately for the Spurs, Leonard has been listed as doubtful for Tuesday’s Game 2 against the Warriors.

The Spurs led by 25 points at one point Sunday, but ultimately lost 113-111 after Leonard left the game midway through the third quarter.

Many have called the foul by Warriors center Zaza Pachulia dirty because he stuck his foot into Leonard’s space following his jump shot. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was among them.

Whether the foul was fair or foul, the result certainly changed the scope of this series.

A 37.8 percent three-point shooter in his one season at Kansas, Jackson projects to help the Suns’ floor spacing. Phoenix’s small forwards T.J. Warren (26.5 percent) and Derrick Jones Jr. (27.3 percent) were neither high efficiency nor high usage outside shooters last season.

Limited Mens Denzel Perryman Jersey In his one season at Kansas, Jackson proved he’s also able to score efficiently at the rim, where he attempted more than 40 percent of his shots and shot nearly 70 percent on such attempts.

15.6 percent odds of No. 1 pick 鈥?This could be the second coming of the Showtime Era Lakers with Magic Johnson, now the team’s president of basketball operations, offering advice to Lonzo Ball, a point guard with good size who’s also an exceptional passer. There’s a good chance, regardless of how the lottery shakes out, that Ball’s basketball journey will take him from Chino Hills (Calif.) High School to UCLA to the Lakers.

Aaron Judge dents Yankee Stadium with latest home run

Aaron Judge made his mark on Yankee Stadium Tuesday against the Blue Jays.

The sensational rookie hit his MLB-leading 28th home run in the fourth inning, a towering shot to centerfield, and he left a dent in the stadium for good measure.

Judge confirmed Monday that he will be competing in this month’s Home Run Derby along with teammate Gary Sanchez. Few predicted this level of success for Judge after he struggled to make consistent contact in a brief stint with the Yankees last season.

Not only has Judge flourished this season, he is a serious threat to win the Triple Crown.

The question with Belichick now: Is the personnel boss making the coach better, or is the coach making the personnel boss better? The last two offseasons have made a strong case for the former, an amazing feat considering his status among the greatest coaches ever in any sport. Since rallying to win the Super Bowl last February, they have schooled the rest of the league on roster movement, so that their additions were almost an embarrassment of riches. In a competitive field, Belichick reigns.

Schneider and Pete Carroll have deftly juggled personalities, roster changes, contracts and an up-and-down NFC West, and they have gone at least one round in the playoffs six of their seven years together. Their franchise quarterback, Russell Wilson, is locked up long-term. They dangled the idea of trading Richard Sherman, then regained their senses. They’re among the NFC favorites again. Schneider has earned his annual high ranking.warriors_048-115x115

No one can boast a Twin Towers frontline as formidable as New Orleans’ version.

Elite Mens Kevin Johnson Jersey And this isn’t even counting Jrue Holiday, who was a 2013 All-Star, but too early to qualify for this list. No one is calling the Pelicans a superteam yet, despite Holiday’s $123 million contract that could balloon to $150 million, according to our own Adrian Wojnarowski.

No one can boast a Twin Towers frontline as formidable as New Orleans’ version. Fit is a real concern here, considering the Pelicans went a disappointing 6-11 with Cousins in the lineup next to Davis. An offseason should help Alvin Gentry and his staff maximize their talents.

How they move up: It’s hard to see how Holiday, even with a healthy full season, would beat out a loaded West backcourt to another All-Star bid or All-NBA team. Crazier things have happened in this league. The real problem is that the team lacks movable assets to exchange for the third star.

Elite Mens Vince Wilfork Jersey For example, Solomon Hill, Omer Asik and E’Twaun Moore will make $31 million combined next season and they ranked 126th, 204th and 286th in ESPN’s RPM last season, respectively. However, the team does have all its first-round picks going forward.

Wanna know why the Warriors and Cavs make up the only Finals trilogy in NBA history, and why they’re a favorite to make it a Round 4? The Cavs are still the only big three in the NBA while the Warriors are the only big four. Everyone else is still hoping to find that third piece (Does Hayward make Boston a big three or a big two?)

It wasn’t any better before Jackson arrived in Cleveland either

They were clear with me we have a No. 1 receiver that’s not even in his prime yet, and that we also have a freakin’ stud in Sterling Shepard, so there’s only one ball, Marshall told The New York Post on Tuesday. I want this to be my most efficient year. It may not be my best statistically, but when it comes to the standpoint of efficiency, I really want to dominate in that category.

Marshall, 33, had his best season in 2015 during his first year with the Jets, with 109 catches for 1,502 yards and a league-leading 14 touchdown receptions. He then logged 59 catches (seven drops), the lowest since his rookie season, for 788 yards and three scores last season. Still, the 11-year veteran’s 168 receptions were 63 more than any other Jets receiver over that span.

I know I could have gone to another team and caught 100-something balls and put up 1,500, 1,600 yards, but that’s not the mission right now, Marshall told The Post. That’s not the goal. My goal is to touch that Lombardi Trophy. Sometimes you got to sacrifice. There’s gonna be times where I may think I’m open or may be open and not get the ball, and it might hurt. I understand I’m in a great place, and the only thing that matters is bringing home that trophy.
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It wasn’t any better before Jackson arrived in Cleveland either, with Mike Pettine having to deal with the fiasco that was 2014 first-round pick Johnny Manziel.

I want to be the starter of this team, and I’m working every single day to put myself in a position to earn that starting job, Osweiler said at practice Wednesday. But my focus isn’t about who is getting what reps. My sole focus is ‘What can I do today to be a better player, have a good practice and make my teammates better?’
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That focus is serving Osweiler well so far, and the quarterback competition is sending Jackson to the liquor cabinet. Go Browns.