Month: July 2017

Bulls’ young players call for Dwyane Wade to practice more

Dwyane Wade’s presence in Chicago is needed now more than ever.

In the wake of the Bulls’ mini-drama that started last week and played out on social media, the team held a meeting Friday to address their issues. According to veteran forward Taj Gibson, one of the biggest problems is that the younger players would like to see more of Wade on the court at practice.

In particular, Bucks rookie Thon Maker, a Sudan native was returning to the U.S. from Toronto after playing the Raptors Friday night as the executive order cancelling visas was being implemented. He was able to clear U.S. Customs and start Saturday against the Celtics much to the pleasure of Bucks vice president Alexander Lasry, whose father, team owner Marc Lasry, emigrated from Morocco.

“I appreciate all the fans’ concerns and prayers for Thon. And today, a Sudanese refugee who fled oppression and is an incredible young man will make his second NBA start,” Alexander wrote on Twitter. “I’m incredibly excited and proud of him. He’s a symbol of what makes America great and all immigrants believe about America.

“We must continue to share the stories of incredible immigrants and refugees who make America GREAT. Proud that Thon and my dad will be shining examples every day.”

Maker’s family fled his home country when he was 5. He lived in Australia as a youth, is an Australian citizen and holds a passport from that country. Lakers veteran Luol Deng, who also hails from what is now South Sudan and his family fled the Sudanese civil war for Egypt when he was five, and he has lived in the U.S. for 17 years.
t_rangers_046-115x115

Jordan on Tuesday released a statement to mutliple outlets that read

Warriors forward Kevin Durant didn’t play; he has sat the past 16 games with an MCL injury. Golden State has survived, going 12-4 in his absence, so there’s no rush to bring him back. The Warriors did say he would be re-evaluated in seven to 10 days , though.

Just over two weeks ago these teams played in San Antonio and a depleted Spurs team beat the even more depleted Warriors 107-85. The Spurs were without Kawhi Leonard, LaMarcus Aldridge, Tony Parker and Danny Green, while the Warriors sat Curry, Thompson, Durant, Draymond Green and Zaza Pachulia. Wednesday night’s game felt much more like a playoff game.
James van Riemsdyk USA Limited Jersey
Bryan Little Limited Jersey It was part of a love-hate relationship similar to the disagreements he and his best player, Jordan, had on personnel matters — most prominently the high-profile trade of Charles Oakley to the Knicks for Bill Cartwright in 1988.

Still, he was twice named the NBA’s Executive of the Year — ironically, in 1988 before trading Oakley and also in 1996 — and, like Jordan, could count six championship rings.

Jordan on Tuesday released a statement to mutliple outlets that read, Jerry was key figure in the Bulls’ dynasty and meant so much to the Bulls, White Sox & city of Chicago. My heartfelt condolences go out to his wife, Thelma, his family and friends.

Reflecting on his career for the Tribune last March, a month before his 77th birthday, Krause said, It has been a hell of a ride. And now it’s over. It’s time. I’ve got no beefs. What the hell, a kid from Albany Park? It’s a long way from where I came.

It all came together, amazingly, after Chicago lost to the Pistons in six games in the 1989 Eastern Conference finals.

He then followed that up with an almost identical move two nights later against the Nets.

Plus, Waiters’ isolations are less of a detriment to the offense when he’s spending more time creating for others and spacing the floor at a high rate. It almost offsets the bad parts of his game. He’s become an elite shooter in Miami who has doubled his assist rate and lowered his turnover rate.

For someone who could be a free agent this offseason if he chooses to decline his $3 million player option, it’s an encouraging sign for teams interested in offering him a long-term deal.

Game Mens Emmanuel Sanders Jersey Caldwell-Pope came into the offseason a restricted free agent who was looking to land something close to a max deal worth more than $100 million. Instead, he saw his rights renounced by a Pistons team fighting off the luxury tax, and saw the team that was the most likely to sign him — the Nets — instead accept a salary dump and draft picks from the Raptors. So Caldwell-Pope is a talented guy without a contract. He will have to scramble to find a short-term deal, and hope that he can try again next year.

It’s not just that they lost Paul George with only Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis in return — it’s that the rest of Indiana’s signings didn’t go much better. They gave a two-year, $21 million contract to Bojan Bogdanovic, who is 28 years old, and added point guards Cory Joseph and Darren Collison to replace Jeff Teague and the waived Monta Ellis. The Pacers are beginning a rebuilding process, but the problem is, they only really have one sure rebuilding block on hand, big man Myles Turner.

Another consideration is that we’re looking at a guy who is mentally and physically drained.

Authentic Womens Stephen Curry Jersey This is a historically injury-prone player who has strung together 36 consecutive games and already has his most starts in a season since 2012-13. His minutes per game are up 16 percent from last year. Throw in the not-so-insignificant fact that Holiday missed the first three weeks of 2016-17 to be with his wife as she recovered from brain surgery with a newborn baby, and it’s easy to paint a picture of an exhausted man.

Vince Carter ejected for decking Suns’ Devin Booker

Young gun Devin Booker wanted no part of veteran Vince Carter after he was dropped by the 40-year-old Grizzlies player Tuesday night in Memphis.

After he was fouled by Booker on a drive to the basket in the first quarter, Carter swung his right elbow to the face of Booker, who dropped to the floor on his back.
Ryan Reaves Elite Jersey
As he picked himself up, Booker didn’t even bother confronting Carter, who is twice as old as Booker.

Nate Allen Elite Jersey Instead, Booker let big man Alex Len and Co. get into a shoving match with Carter, who was the only player ejected in the incident.

Memphis and Phoenix scuffled earlier this month with Booker initiating a multi-player shoving match. Could Carter’s elbow-dropping of Booker Tuesday be in retaliation for that incident? He is one of the few remaining old-school players left in the NBA after all.

Collins was not considered a high-pick prospect when the season began, but he has played himself into some NBA draft intrigue. He’s gotten better as the year has gone on, working as a post-up big man in a Wake Forest offense that stresses post-up big men.

After a dud performance against North Carolina on January 11, Collins came alive in Wake’s final 15 games, averaging 22.5 points, 10.9 rebounds and 66.0 percent shooting from the field. That’s right: The guy made two-thirds of his shots to close the year. He’s a 6-10, back-to-the-basket type, but he has a decent midrange game and a shooting touch that has NBA potential. He needs work defensively, and Wake Forest could be in for an early exit, but the tournament could help determine whether Collins is a late-first-rounder or a fringe lottery guy.

Hassan Whiteside game-winner, James Johnson dunk help Heat preserve No. 8 seed

Whiteside’s offensive rebound was Miami’s third of the possession, and the center’s hustle willed the Heat (36-38) to a much-needed victory with just eight games remaining in the regular season. The gap between the Heat and Pistons (34-41) is now 2 1/2 games, though the Bulls (35-39) trail by just one. The Pistons are suffering through what is now five-game losing streak.

Though it was Whiteside who made the clutch tip-in, he may not have had the most memorable play of the game. Earlier in the fourth quarter, James Johnson launched toward the rim, and through Marcus Morris’ chest, for an emphatic slam and a foul.

Cousins’ agent Jarinn Akana told ESPN that the Kings had recently re-emphasized their commitment to Cousins, something that Vlade Divac had done publicly on multiple occasions. To end up trading him for a deal that was this light of a return? And to do it to an All-Star on All-Star Sunday just minutes after the game ended when the player talked all weekend about how happy he was that he didn’t have to answer questions about trades? Yeah, you better believe people around the NBA won’t forget that.

There is no fathomable reason to understand why the Kings decided to make this move now. Even if you have the most unsatisfactory opinion of Cousins, if this was the best offer on the table, the prudent option was to wait, either until Thursday’s trade deadline to see if offers improved or the offseason. This trade reeks of a panic move when panic was the last thing necessary due to Cousins’ contract situation.

The Kings traded one of the 15 best players in the NBA before they needed to, for a weaker return than any superstar has gotten in a decade, and made themselves look bad in the process. This is the kind of decision that can set an organization back for years, especially if it continues to scout poorly in the NBA Draft. steelers_124

Red Sox David Price proves he’s still got it after Jose Quintana dazzles in Cubs debut

Jose Quintana needed a change of scenery. The Cubs’ rotation needed a savior. Quintana was just that for them Sunday tossing seven innings of three-hit, shutout ball in an 8-0 win over the Orioles.

But that’s not the impressive part. Quintana struck out a debut record 12 batters in his first start for the Cubs. He tied the mark set by Matt Garza in 2011. After recording 10 strikeouts in a game for the White Sox on July 8, Quintana became the first player in MLB history with at least 10 strikeouts in a game for two different teams in the same season.

Dan Straily, Marlins. Any new Marlins owner might be disappointed that Straily (7-4, 3.31 ERA) is on the market, but his controllable contract makes some value-minded teams (hello, Twins fans!) automatically interested.

J.A. Happ, Blue Jays. Toronto reportedly is less eager to let go of the left-hander, so whether the Jays can stay within whistling distance of the second wild card could be a key.

Drew Brees Mens Jersey I understand the theory that pitchers are better off if they work fast and don’t overthink things, but working fast can easily go bad, too. A pitcher who rushes can lose command. That can lead to more mistakes and more advantages for the offense. Fans who want more offense see this is as a good thing, regardless of whether it’s unfair to the pitcher.

Elite Mens Rodger Saffold Jersey Then again, a hitter has to speed things up, too, but although it’s nice to see fewer strolls out of the box, the steady drumbeat of pitches isn’t helpful to them. I saw a lot of first-ball swinging in the game I attended; some of that was out of inexperience, but some of that may have been out of haste as the pace of play made hitters overly aggressive.

Doc Rivers staggers starters’ minutes less than just about any other coach in the league.

Game Mens Vincent Rey Jersey
Last season, when Gallinari was at his best, he played the 4 next to Nikola Jokic. He’s not capable of chasing around 3s on the perimeter any more at 6-10. In a different coach’s hands, this might not be a problem, as they could try to stagger Griffin and Gallinari’s minutes at the 4.

However, Doc Rivers staggers starters’ minutes less than just about any other coach in the league. It seems likely the idea here is to play Griffin at the 4, and Gallinari at the 3 full-time, and that’s going to lead to defensive issues. Despite the elite combination of skill and size provided by Griffin and Gallinari, the Clippers are up-sizing at a time when the rest of the league is downsizing.

The price to get him is also not ideal, given that Crawford figured to be a decent piece on a win-now team, and a first-round pick is still a first-round pick. Throw in the injury issues of both Griffin and Gallinari here — Gallinari’s missed at least 19 games in each of the last four years — and there’s some significant downside to this deal at over $20 million per season.

In many other situations on this contract, I would be a fan of this deal. Gallinari is an underrated piece. But I’m just not sure how the Clippers get the most value out of it.

Game Mens Dalvin Cook Jersey Why it might not happen: There’s the matter of that fifth major sport, soccer. The old home of the minor league Portland Beavers was reconfigured to be primarily a soccer stadium when baseball left town in 2011. The only baseball in the area now is short-season rookie ball in the suburbs, and getting a major league stadium built would be fraught with obstacles.

DeAngelo Williams trashes Cowboys fanbase: ‘They can’t handle defeat’

DeAngelo Williams has the residents of Dallas all fired up after he mocked the Cowboys in an interview with ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Womens Jerry Hughes Jersey
Before we get into Williams vs. Yankees Cowboys fans, let’s back up a bit. Last week Williams told Schefter there are four teams he will not sign with. He wanted people to guess those four teams before he revealed which ones they were. On Wednesday he finally said which four and they are the Panthers, Browns, Jaguars and of course, the Cowboys.

His reasoning for not wanting to play in Dallas?

A caveat: While we applaud Forbes’ efforts to calculate the value of hundreds of teams — that’s a lot of math — the numbers are always disputed by the teams themselves. Teams, though, are reluctant to be too forthcoming about what’s in their books.

The Cowboys, who opened a revenue-driving $1.5 billion team headquarters and practice facility in Frisco, Texas, last year, raked in $300 million in operating profit on $700 million in revenue during the 2015 season, $177 million more than any other team, according to Forbes.

While declining TV ratings were a major storyline last NFL season, let’s not feel too bad for the league’s owners. Of the world’s 50 most valuable franchises, 29 are from the NFL, and every team in the league made at least a $26 million profit, according to Forbes. The Bengals, Lions and Bills were the only NFL teams not to make the top 50.

Womens Ali Marpet Jersey Also among the top 50, there are eight MLB teams and seven from the NBA.

NBA playoff predictions: Picking winners in Western Conference first round

The 2016-17 NBA regular season ended Wednesday night, and we have playoff predictions for each Western Conference series.

Golden State once again enters the playoffs as the favorite to reach the Finals, but there are a host of teams ready to unseat the Western kings.

Spurs big man and second-leading scorer LaMarcus Aldridge made just 2 of 7 shots and looked sluggish on defense as San Antonio benched its starters for most of the fourth quarter. Aldridge was a dismal minus-31 in the first half and was even worst in the second as he finished a minus-36 in 25 minutes.

Irving and James combined for the type of dunk that’s usually reserved for the fourth quarter of blowouts, not the opening minutes of the first quarter in Game 1.

Jazz (51-31) at Warriors (67-15), 10:30 p.m. ET — After topping the Clippers in seven games of the opening series of the playoffs, the Jazz stay in California to face the Warriors in the opening game of the Western Conference semifinals. Utah is the only team to beat the Warriors in the last seven weeks (20 games).

In addition to his 35 points, James added 10 rebounds and four assists in the win, showing no rust after a long layoff since the Cavs swept the Pacers on April 23 in the opening series. James will be on record watch for Game 2 Wednesday. He needs 25 points to pass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (5,762 points) for second place on the league’s postseason scoring list and two 3-pointers to join Ray Allen, Reggie Miller and Manu Ginobili as the only players to connect on 300 postseason 3-pointers. falcons_061

LeBron James’ conference dominance on par with Magic Johnson’s ‘Showtime’ Lakers

Elite Mark Sanchez Jersey LeBron James is leading the Cavaliers to another dominating performance in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

The Cavs are back in the Eastern Conference finals after sweeping the Raptors in the second round Sunday, and a James-led team is back in that position for the seventh straight season.

Elite Matthew Spencer Jersey We’ve seen this kind of one-sided dominance in a conference before. James’ run is strikingly similar to the run that the Showtime Lakers put on from 1982-89 with eight straight appearances in the Western Conference finals. Here’s a closer look:

Bulls teammate Dwyane Wade noticed some parallels from Butler’s performance in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series against the Celtics and James, who along with Wade helped the Heat stifle Derrick Rose and the Bulls in the 2011 Eastern Conference finals.

I had the luxury of playing with a guy named LeBron, Wade explained Monday, via ESPN.com. And we did the same thing when we played — to Derrick Rose. You have a point guard who guards him but when you need a guy who’s longer, who’s just as fast, and all those things, it helps. It gives them a different look, it kind of throws off things.

You’re not going to slow down Isaiah Thomas from getting the looks and getting opportunities. The guy can score as good as anybody in this game. But just to give them a different look, if you get their offense out a little further, if it takes a little bit more time off the clock, all those things help. It’s good to be able to have a guy like that to say, ‘Get us 30, and then go guard the guy that’s got 30.’