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.
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.
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 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.
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?)
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.
Tom Brady, a hologram?
That could become a reality as former NFL player Tully Banta-Cain looks to develop the idea as soon as this upcoming season.
Elite Mens Doug Gilmour Jersey The whole key is the innovation factor, Banta-Cain told Sports Illustrated. Companies really want to get behind something that’s new and not traditional. It hasn’t been done. It doesn’t exist.
The Richmond, Va., man loved them so much, in fact, he dedicated his obituary to getting the Nats some bullpen help.
Killebrew, 68, died June 20 at his home. His obituary on Richmond.com notes that he passed away peacefully бн after watching the Washington Nationals relief pitchers blow yet another lead.
On June 19, the Nationals bullpen gave up two runs in the late innings to lose 8-7 to the Marlins.
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Killebrew’s last wishes were to remedy the Nats’ bullpen woes. A U.S. Navy veteran and longtime attorney, Killebrew asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be sent to the Nationals Bullpen Fund.
Killebrew’s sense of humor in his obit attracted the attention of other Nats fans. One comment left on Killebrew’s memorial page at lastingmemories.com notes, A total stranger here, offering my condolences. You had a great sense of humor! I hope you get to watch many Nationals victories from up above.
The biggest reason it doesn’t matter is that they’re not going to miss out on great candidates to replace him. The field is wide-open for them, and that doesn’t happen very often.
A busy hiring/firing season among coaches six openings, just a hair under the norm of seven or eight in recent years has not been matched with GM openings. Last year there were five changes; back in the 2013 offseason, there were seven. Until Saturday’s Grigson move, though, only the 49ers had made a change this offseason. That’s the Colts’ only competition.
The inevitable chase of Peyton Manning has been completed, at least for now, although clearly Irsay is leaving the door open for Manning to join the front office in some capacity.
Taylor’s grand slam gave Kenley Jansen the chance at a save and extend his MLB record of most strikeouts without a walk to begin a season. He now had 40 in 23 innings and zero base on balls.
As for Schwarber, his home run came off a starter who the Cubs seemingly couldn’t get to all game long. With Chicago down 3-1 in the seventh inning, the former Indiana Hoosier gave the Cubs a 5-3 lead they would never relinquish.
It was an exciting moment, a big moment to put us ahead in that spot, he said after the game. And to be able to hold those guys off and come out with a win was big.
It was just a ho-hum day for Oakland’s Ryon Healy Saturday. The A’s first baseman didn’t hit a grand slam like so many others were doing. He just had to go 4-4 with two home runs to make up the difference. He drove in three runs and scored two himself just for good measure in the 10-4 win over the Nationals.
Earlier this month LaVar Ball said his son Lonzo would work out only for the Lakers. Turns out he wasn’t bluffing.
Celtics GM Danny Ainge appeared on the Toucher & Rich radio show Thursday and confirmed that Ball’s camp turned down a request to work out with the team. Boston, of course, has the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft next month and Ball is a potential selection, but Ainge admits the rejection doesn’t bode well for him.
It’s not ideal, Ainge said about how Ball’s rejection affects his chances with the Celtics.
Barry proceeded to tell Parker he didn’t know the game and should be ashamed of himself. It got personal from there, as Barry and Parker turned what was supposed to be a basketball question into a name-calling session between third-graders on the playground.
Barry is correct about the decision made by James. In attacking the basket, James faced likely Defensive Player of the Year Draymond Green as well as help defender Kevin Durant at the rim. Stephen Curry rotated down to prevent an easy pass to Kevin Love, leaving Korver open in the corner. According to NBAsavant.com, Korver shot 59.6 percent from that spot during the 2016-17 season.
Limited Womens Jay Bromley Jersey The problem came when Barry hit Parker with the you never played the game argument and the loser comment. Barry could have easily torn down another silly Fox Sports hot take about LeBron by sticking to Xs and Os, but he fell into the embrace debate trap, and here we are.
For the best analysis on that specific play, just listen to James himself. This should (but won’t) silence any critics.
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Kevin Durant has been the clear Finals MVP through the first two games, and perhaps high off of recency bias, Paul Pierce said Sunday night on ESPN’s postgame show the Warriors forward may be the best player in the world today.
Despite battling a knee injury toward the end of the regular season, Durant enjoyed an impressive first year with the Warriors. The sweet-shooting small forward averaged 25.1 points and 8.3 rebounds per game, while adding length and versatility to an already stacked roster.
Durant’s stance, if it holds true, will make life easier for the Warriors this offseason because point guard Stephen Curry is in line to sign one of the new five-year, supermax contracts when the season ends.
Should Durant ultimately take less than the league max, it would create a positive domino effect on Golden State’s entire offseason. Not only would they comfortably be able to supply Curry with the pay raise he deserves, they may also be able to keep one or both of free agents Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston.
Limited Mens John Hannah Jersey But first, Durant, like all his Warriors teammates, will be focused on beating the Cavaliers in the NBA Finals, starting with Game 1 Thursday night.
Limited Mens Dave Hollins Jersey But a story last week on ESPN.com said Ball is considering working out for the 76ers, who are set to pick third. That decision will be made after his agent, Harrison Gaines, and Sixers GM Bryan Colangelo discuss Lonzo’s potential fit with the team. That fit may not be perfect for the point guard, as sources believe Philly wants to feature Ben Simmons in a point-forward role next season.
This chapter of the Lonzo/LaVar Ball saga ends June 22, the day of the NBA Draft, when we’ll learn which team values the son’s talents over the father’s bluster.