Monthly Archives: July 2017

Mark Cuban adds to NBA voices criticizing President Donald Trump for travel ban

CNN invited NBA team owner/businessman Mark Cuban to speak about President Donald Trump minutes before Trump announced he was nominating federal Judge Neil Gorsuch to the United States Supreme Court on Tuesday.

Cuban’s main qualifications for the interview? He’s rich and famous and he’s a loud, proud and frequent critic of Trump. He maintained that latter stance Tuesday. He was blunt in assessing Trump’s executive order last week that temporarily halted the arrival of refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries and barred most people from those nations from enter the U.S.

Boston has now won 10 of its last 14 games, and Thomas has scored 30-plus points eight times during that stretch.

Timberwolves center Karl Anthony-Towns obliterated the Nets in a 129-109 win by scoring a season-high 37 points with 13 rebounds and four blocks. He has recorded at least a double-double in 16 of his last 17 games.

DeMarcus Cousins is quietly putting together an MVP-caliber season — if his team was a little better that is — and Saturday was no different, as the star center led the Kings to a 109-106 win against the Hornets by scoring 35 points with 18 rebounds. He has now recorded at least a double-double in 12 straight games.

Jazz power forward Trey Lyles earned a start against the Grizzlies on Saturday, but he scored zero points in 21 minutes in a 102-95 loss. Lyles, the 12th overall pick in the 2015 draft, has not lived up to expectations thus far in his career.

Thunder (28-19) at Cavaliers (31-14) 3:30 p.m. ET — Anytime Russell Westbrook heads out on the road to face off against LeBron James, he has our attention. Cleveland is in a bit of a rut as it struggles to balance its offensive attack. Defense has also been an issue for the Cavs lately, which isn’t good when playing against the explosive Thunder guards.
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The Warriors might even have to throw Shaun Livingston

That’s not to mention the Brazilian Blur Leandro Barbosa. His 5.7 points per game have been instrumental in the Suns holding down the No. 15 spot in the Western Conference standings.

Will Clarke Authentic Jersey Grizzled veteran Andre Iguodala, a two-time All-Defensive team choice and former Finals MVP, could be thrown to the wolves and begrudgingly inserted into the starting lineup. There’s no way the 6-6, 215-pounder, who has fared best when matched up against LeBron James in the Finals the past two seasons, gives Golden State a decent chance to win until Durant heals up.

The Warriors might even have to throw Shaun Livingston, a No. 2 overall draft pick once upon a time, more minutes. Livingston finished with 14 points on 5-for-7 shooting to go along with three rebounds, two assists and two blocks while playing a season-high 24 minutes after Durant went down early Tuesday. The 6-7, 192-pounder, who’s capable of playing both guard slots and small forward when called upon, dropped 20 on the Cavs in Game 1 of the Finals last season. But we obviously can’t assume that means he’s capable of helping hold the fort down in a pinch.
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Shaquille O’Neal’s favorite whipping boy, 7-footer JaVale McGee, and hard-nosed post David West, chasing a ring with every fiber in his being, won’t be motivated to take advantage of the chance to contribute a little more. Acquiring the services of a certified bout-that-lifer Matt Barnes was all the Warriors could do to attempt to patch up the wound before it hemorrhages.

Having only won 171 games and coming up a game short of back-to-back titles without him the previous two seasons, the Warriors really need Kevin Durant. Without him, face it, they’re done.

Pair of first-place teams lose regulars in Monday defeats

Two first-place teams each lost a starting position player in Monday defeats.
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Authentic Youth Lawrence Thomas Jersey The Astros saw All-Star shortstop Carlos Correa leave in the fourth inning of Monday’s 9-7 loss to the Mariners. Correa was unable to finish his at-bat after swinging at and missing a 1-1 fastball from Mariners pitcher Ariel Miranda. He immediately dropped his bat and favored his left arm.

Carlos Correa leaves game with what looks to be a hand injury. #Astros pic.twitter.com/Z5On6CYBzO

The Astros later announced Correa has a left thumb injury and will be re-evaluated on Tuesday. Marwin Gonzalez replaced Correa at the plate but struck out, ending Correa’s 27-game on-base streak.

Nurkic is also an excellent offensive rebounder. His offensive rebounding rate (12.3 percent) is similar to Hassan Whiteside, Steve Adams and Tyson Chandler. Nurkic turns a lot of those second chance opportunities into points for himself with an average of 2.8 points per game off putbacks. With the amount of attention Lillard and McCollum garner in the pick-and-roll, it’s easy for him to sneak behind the defense for deep rebounding position.

As The Ringer noted, Nurkic’s value as a roll man extends far beyond his own scoring numbers. Being the excellent screen setter he is, Nurkic has opened up a lot of looks for Lillard and McCollum by simply taking their defender out of the play. He’s averaging 5.4 screen assists per game since joining the Blazers on Feb. 15, which ranks fifth in the NBA behind Cody Zeller, Rudy Gobert, Tristan Thompson and Marcin Gortat. He generated 9.0 screen assists alone in the Blazers’ win against the Heat on March 19 when Lillard scored 49 points.

Raptors’ Kyle Lowry, out since All-Star break, to return vs. Pistons

All-Star guard Kyle Lowry, who has been out with a wrist injury since the All-Star break, will be on the floor for the Raptors when they play at the Pistons on Wednesday.

Raptors coach Dwane Casey made the announcement earlier in the day.

Lowry is averaging a career-high 22.8 points, as well as 6.9 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 1.4 steals over 56 games this season.

There are a few other effects here, too. First, the Kings will likely keep their own selection in the 2017 draft, a top-10 protected pick owed to Chicago that was originally owed to Cleveland in 2012 due to a trade for J.J. Hickson, but now will never transfer (it turns into a 2017 second-round pick). It may transfer in a swap to Philadelphia — with Sacramento receiving the lower Sixers’ pick in return — but on the whole, that’s good news.

When Barnes left, general manager Vlade Divac made it a point to say the release was made for culture reasons. Barnes has always projected a bad boy persona, and it didn’t help that he was arrested two months earlier after an alleged assault on a woman at a nightclub.

Game Womens Jeremiah Attaochu Jersey After his release, he was pretty vocal about his displeasure with the franchise.

It was frustrating because being back home and really taking pride in trying to put that team back on the map, and then just in a day’s time you’re no longer a part of the organization, Barnes told the Sacramento Bee earlier this month. It was kind of a rude awakening.
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The veteran forward was signed by the Warriors days after Kevin Durant’s injury to help add additional depth. The 37-year-old is averaging 5.8 points per game with Golden State, playing about 20 minutes per game.

Some Mavs fan sent Dirk Nowitzki a special potato

Dirk Nowitzki recently became just the sixth player in NBA history to reach 30,000 career points, so someone sent him a potato in celebration.

As for where the potato came from, it was sent through the company Potato Parcel. If you’re a fan of “Shark Tank” (which just happens to star Mavs owner Mark Cuban) then you know this company well. They got a deal with their potato-shipping company, which puts images or words on a potato and sends them to people.

As to why people enjoy sending decorative potatos, well, you’d have to ask them.

Look, I’ll admit this. I have not been the biggest fan of Colson as a prospect this year. He’s helped immeasurably by the fact that Mike Brey is one of the five best offensive coaches in college basketball, as well as by the fact that Notre Dame surrounds him at all times with four shooters. They’ve made the life of this significantly undersized center easy all year, and he’s responded in kind by putting up incredible numbers against smaller one-on-one matchups. He’s the one putting up points, and he deserves credit for that, but I’m also not sure he’s able to do this in any other situation in college hoops outside of South Bend and maybe in Ann Arbor under John Beilein.

But dammit, it’s hard to ignore him any longer and he’s starting to make a believer out of me. Colson finishes the season averaging 18 points and 10 rebounds while shooting 53 percent from the field and 43 percent from 3. He has the 13th-highest PER in the country at 30.2. Colson isn’t a first-round prospect, but he’s put himself on the radar enough to where he’s earned himself a chance to be drafted at some point.

He needs to get better laterally on defense, and he needs the jump shooting to hold up, like it did against West Virginia on Saturday when he canned four 3s. I’m not a believer quite yet, but he’s helped himself in a huge way, and it’s a credit to his hard work that he’s come as far as he has.saints_011-223x223

Tim Tebow likely won’t get MLB call-up, Mets GM says

No matter how out of it the Mets are in September or how hot Tim Tebow is swinging the bat, we likely won’t see the 2007 Heisman winner get called up to the big leagues this season.

Never crossed my mind until about 10 days ago when somebody said it was likely to happen, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson told reporters Friday, via the New York Post. I don’t foresee that kind of scenario.

Elite Youth Davante Adams Jersey Alderson’s assessment shouldn’t come as a shock, especially because Tebow is still playing with the team’s advanced-Single-A team. The possibility of seeing Tebow step into the batter’s box against Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, or literally any MLB pitcher, certainly would have been intriguing.

For now Tebow will have to find satisfaction in St. Lucie, Fla., where he’s hitting .321 since his June 25 promotion.

This is just speculation on my part, but I’ll hazard a guess that Atkins was referring to two of the biggest disappointments on the Blue Jays roster this season — Estrada and Liriano.

Elite Youth Max Garcia Jersey Given the state of their farm system, one would expect the Blue Jays to be focused on acquiring up-and-coming position players for the minor leagues. When Olney asked Atkins to prioritize the Blue Jays’ immediate needs, the GM said the No. 1 item is to improve the team’s pitching depth.

Upper-level pitching would be our ideal. If there’s some way to acquire young, controllable pitching at the Double-A, Triple-A and even the big-league level, Atkins said on the podcast. Hence, our decision to transition Joe Biagini into the starting rotation.

If there’s any way we can find starting pitching, we’re looking to do it.

NBA free agency: Nick Young can actually make the Warriors even better

Mens Morgan Cox Jersey Once they took care of business by re-signing Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston to multi-year contracts this offseason, the Warriors weren’t left with much room to upgrade the rest of their roster. It’s not a huge problem considering their core is now under contract for at least another two seasons — the combination of Durant, Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson alone should be enough for them to make it back to the NBA Finals — but they still had a handful of roster spots to fill before the start of next season.

So, too, was the chance to play the what if? game. What if American League players got the opportunity to face the split-fingered fastball that turned Mike Scott into the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner and All-Star Game starter? What if Rickey Henderson, the eventual all-time stolen base king, and Eric Davis, who entered the 1987 All-Star Break with 48 homers and 93 stolen bases in his previous 162 games, led off for opposing teams in the same game?

Mens Mike Iupati Jersey What if Raines, the defending NL batting champion, got to share a field with Mark McGwire, who made the AL team as a reserve after hitting a rookie record 33 homers for the Athletics before the All-Star Break?

Kessler has shown only limited improvement in arm strength, still his biggest weaknesses. He can handle dinking, dunking and checking down, and he can remain efficient with his shorter throws, the way former Notre Dame QB Brady Quinn did. But the Browns need to make use of youthful field-stretchers Corey Coleman and David Njoku, and Kessler is deficient in pushing the ball downfield. Further hurting Kessler vs. both the 6-4 Kizer and Osweiler is his lack of ideal size, something he can’t change.

Celtics’ Isaiah Thomas on free agency: ‘They know they’ve got to bring the Brinks truck’

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If the Celtics want to keep Isaiah Thomas beyond his free agency in 2018, they better open their wallets.

The point guard will make $6.3 million next season, which seems like small change after he averaged 28.9 points per game this past season.
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Instead of wearing Big Baller Brand shoes, Ball wore purple, Kobe Bryant Nike sneakers as L.A. topped Philadelphia 103-102 behind Lonzo’s 36 points, 11 assists, eight rebounds and five steals.

He told reporters after the game he wanted a Mamba mentality, just thought I’d switch it up, according to Sports Illustrated.

At the time of the game, Lonzo’s father, LaVar, was back home in Chino Hills, Calif., according to ESPN.

Ball’s 36 points included a go-ahead, and-one layup to re-take the lead for the Lakers in the final minute.

Now just sit back, grab some popcorn and wait for LaVar Ball to find out about his son’s shoe change … unless he already has. The official Big Baller Brand Twitter account tweeted a picture of Lonzo wearing Nike shoes with the caption Built for this.

But who exactly is it selfless to? Does it actually allow the team to re-sign its role players such as Shaun Livingston, Andre Iguodala and David West? That’s up for debate. On one hand, it’s possible that Warriors ownership told general manager Bob Myers that they would only pay a certain dollar amount for their roster, and that they wouldn’t go over it when including luxury tax and player salary. That’s a reality of running an NBA team. Even in an NBA with a soft salary cap, there’s still always an upper limit.

Every decision you make in the playoffs is difficult.

Heck, by the time the Finals start on June 1, the Cavs’ postseason leisure tour could run to 12 work days out of 48. They cautioned us that their stretch-run struggles would be temporary, and with a second consecutive playoff sweep — first Indiana, now Toronto — that’s being borne out.

“The fact that we play our best basketball in the postseason lets us know that we’re up for the challenge,” star forward LeBron James said. “No matter who I’ve faced over the last few years, myself, my teammates and the coaching staff have just tried to raise our abilities, raise our attendance, raise our game plan, raise our attention span to go out and compete every single night, no matter who the competition was.”

There are three major reasons why the Cavs have been able to turn things around with such relative ease in the last five weeks. And the first should be obvious.

Powell shot a blistering 72.7 percent from the field in Game 5, going 8 of 11, including a perfect 4 of 4 from 3-point range. He also connected on all five of his free-throw attempts and added four rebounds, four assists and three steals. Granted, the Raptors had help from others. Serge Ibaka scored 19 and DeMarre Carroll added 12, something he hadn’t done in nearly a month. But on a night when All-Star guards DeMar DeRozan (18) and Kyle Lowry (16) scored more than 15 points below their combined average, it’s safe to say Powell’s play was potentially season-salvaging stuff.

“Every decision you make in the playoffs is difficult. Looking at Kyrie and looking at Kevin, they were like: ‘Let them go. They’re playing well.’

“I had every intention to keep those guys in as long as they were playing well. Kevin and Kyrie didn’t [protest]. That’s what playoff basketball is all about. Guys step up and play well, and you just root those guys on.

“After the game they [Irving and Love] were happy and said: ‘It’s not about us, it’s about the team.’ Not a big deal at all, especially when you come out with the win.”
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Gonzaga star Nigel Williams-Goss declares for NBA Draft

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After helping Gonzaga reach the national championship for the first time in school history, star guard Nigel Williams-Goss is turning pro.

The junior announced his decision to declare for the NBA Draft Tuesday on social media, saying he achieved all three goals for himself since transferring to Gonzaga from the University of Washington: Earn his college degree, improve his game and help Gonzaga reach its first-ever Final Four.

Ryan O’Reilly Game Jersey The 6-3, 195-pound guard averaged 16.8 points with 6.0 rebounds and 4.7 assists for the Bulldogs, whose second loss of the season came against North Carolina in the championship game.

Williams-Goss, who was a John R. Wooden Award finalist, is projected to be a second-round pick in June’s draft.

There’s a lot of life out there. I mean only because as basketball players 鈥?we do that 鈥?that’s really it. But I’ve enjoying spending time with my kids. I’ve enjoyed spending time with my wife and just kind of relaxing and working on my mind and my soul.

Bosh, an 11-time All-Star, was hoping to play at some point this season, but a failed physical in September dashed his hopes. Heat president Pat Riley said that Bosh’s career with Miami probably is over after the failed physical.

Now 33 years old, Bosh is starting to understand the Heat’s side of things as well. Though part of him still wants to play, he realizes Miami might want to save money by getting rid of his contract.