Month: July 2017

Magic Johnson: Lakers a superstar away from competing with Warriors, Spurs

As he did in the 1980s, Magic Johnson is ready to help the Lakers return to NBA dominance.

Johnson, who will be assisting Lakers president and part-owner Jeanie Buss as an adviser in basketball and business matters moving forward, thinks this Los Angeles squad is poised to be great.

“One thing about this organization is we always come back,” Johnson said in an interview with Spectrum SportsNet. “And we will come back again. … I’m here to say that we’re ready to take that step.”

“I touched it and I immediately wanted to push it back in and I was like, ‘That’s a bad idea.’ I could still see, I could still move it. I never lost vision, never went blurry, thank God. It’s feeling much better.

“My eye was out of my head so it was a little painful. I don’t know if it was the most painful thing I’ve ever felt but it was just weird. It was a weird sensation, a weird feeling.

“Today I really just feel like I got punched in the face. It’s pretty bruised and scratched, but I don’t think there’s anything serious.”

Mitchell left the field with a towel draped over his face and was rushed to hospital, his eyeball slipping back into place during the ambulance journey.

“In the hospital, the specialist that was on call, I don’t think he believed me,” said Mitchell, who added that he hopes to make a swift return to action.

“He was asking to see the video, just because it had already gone back in and he didn’t see any damage. I think he was trying to validate that it had actually come out of place.

“All the specialists that I’ve seen so far have said that it looks good. They don’t see any damage.

“As serious as the injury could have been, for everything to be ok and for me to be able to see you guys and joke about it, is something that I can only describe as a miracle.”
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I think this is an opportunity to show that I can still contribute to a winning team

Elite Kids Cam Talbot Jersey For Williams, probably the most important aspect of his next few months with the Cavs is the ability to show, at age 32 and after a career packed with promising successes and puzzling disappointment, that he’s not done yet.

I think this is an opportunity to show that I can still contribute to a winning team, Williams said. I don’t doubt myself that I can still play … Here, there is the possibility of winning a championship. Competing, night in and night out. That was the most important thing.

Williams was not bad this season in Dallas, averaging 13.1 points and 6.9 assists. His shooting was not great (43.0 percent from the field and 34.8 percent from the 3-point line), but he had a 40.1 assist percentage, his highest in five years. He is a poor finisher at the rim, which drags down his shooting numbers, but he is an excellent midrange shooter, making 47.0 percent of his 2-pointers from beyond 16 feet, according to basketball-reference.com.

Klay Thompson, chosen with the 11th pick in that draft, has worked out pretty well so far for the Warriors, though.
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In the end, you watch the kid play, the scout said. That’s where you’re going to make your decision. Klay Thompson had all that stuff with marijuana, and his dad was very public about his disappointment and all of that. And he probably dropped a little (in the draft) because of it. But if you were watching him play, he had 43 points his first game after that incident. That’s what I say about Ball. You might not like what his dad is saying, but watch him play. He might be the best player in this draft, period.

Lavar Ball might be just a proud dad, or he might be, as Barkley says, getting close to stupidity. But Lonzo Ball has been outstanding all season, and that will override any silliness spouted by his father.

Both players were clearly shaken after the impact

Correa missed just one game in July after injuring the same left thumb. If he has to miss extended time, Gonzalez would likely split time at shortstop with fellow utility infielder Alex Bregman. The Astros would definitely miss Correa, who is hitting .320 with 20 home runs and 66 RBIs and is a stellar defender. But Houston has a 15 1/2-game lead in the American League West and Gonzalez (.311, 17 HRs, 55 RBIs) and Bregman (.257, 8, 28) aren’t slouches at the plate.

Also leaving a loss early was Brewers catcher Stephen Vogt, who sprained his neck and left knee in a collision with Pirates pitcher Chad Kuhl in the fifth inning of Pittsburgh’s 4-2 win at PNC Park.

Kuhl was attempting to score from second base on a base hit from Francisco Cervelli in the bottom of the fifth inning, but a perfectly thrown ball from Domingo Santana in right field was caught by Vogt, who wasn’t prepared for a collision with the 6-3, 215-pound pitcher.

Both players were clearly shaken after the impact, but Vogt stayed down longer as trainers and manager Craig Counsell came to his side.

The Celtics have two primary defenders to throw at James. The usual option is Jae Crowder, who has the heft to hold off James but, as was too often obvious Wednesday night, lacks the quickness to keep up with him. When he posts up, James always appears to be one quick spin move away from putting Crowder in his dust, and Boston’s help D was not rotating nearly quickly enough to keep James from a clear shot at the basket.
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Game Womens Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie Jersey Boston also goes with guard Avery Bradley when it wants to give James a quick-handed, active defender. That can be a good way to deal with James, but Bradley gives up 70 (at least) pounds. His quick hands only get him so far in such a physical mismatch.

Raptors All-Star Kyle Lowry to have wrist surgery, putting season in jeopardy

Kyle Lowry’s mysterious wrist injury has reached its pinnacle.
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The Raptors’ All-Star point guard will undergo surgery Tuesday to remove loose bodies from right wrist, the team announced Monday. Lowry is without an official timetable for a return to the court but the hope is he can be back for the playoffs.

What a disaster of a week for Sacramento. All season, some factions within the team were looking to trade Cousins, knowing full well that a better package could be obtained for their mercurial star if the move was made early in the year.

Instead, the Kings spent months hammering home the notion that Cousins was staying and that the team would hand him a maximum contract extension worth more than $200 million. Much of this chatter stemmed from the insistence of owner Vivek Ranadive, who thwarted the exploration of trade deals for Cousins in November and December, as he had done in the past.

On the final night of All-Star weekend, the Kings had a change of heart. Now they were open to moving Cousins, finally put off by recent spats of bad behavior. Nevermind that Cousins has been granted indulgences for bad behavior in Sacramento since coming into the league seven years ago 鈥?now, suddenly, the camel’s back had been broken by some pretty thin straw.
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VECENIE: Cousins deal an all-around failure for Kings

With Cousins’ value diminished and with little time to gather together a bidding war for the big man, Vlade Divac meekly accepted a package of Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans, Langston Galloway, plus a first- and second-round draft pick for Cousins. Omri Casspi also went to the Pelicans.

Manu Ginobili attempts to miss foul shot, instead makes absurd free throw

The Spurs were down by three points with 2.5 seconds left in Wednesday night’s game against the Trail Blazers and Manu Ginobili was at the foul line. There wasn’t enough time left to let Portland have a possession, so Ginobili’s strategy was the following: Make the first free throw, intentionally miss the second free throw and have a teammate rebound and put a shot up.

“There are passions in his life,” Brown said. He was also quick to clarify there are no health issues with Alexander.

Alexander bought the team for $85 million in 1993. According to a Forbes estimate, the Rockets are now worth roughly $1.65 billion.

Although Alexander mentioned selling the team in the past, Brown said his final decision was a surprise. Since the team management is already secure, Brown said there wasn’t a deadline to sell the team.

The Rockets have already made huge moves this offseason, signing James Harden to the largest contract extension in NBA history and trading for Chris Paul.

The team also signed general manager Daryl Morey to an extension.

There are a couple of ways the Celtics puts Thomas in position to succeed within those lineups, the most obvious being the pick-and-roll.

Thomas scores around a third of his points on the season out of the pick-and-roll and he ranks in the 94.4 percentile with 1.07 points per possession. Horford is an ideal pick-and-roll partner for him because he’s an excellent screener, and he has the ability to pop or roll depending on the coverage. Simply spreading the floor and running a high pick-and-roll with them is often the best way to get Thomas going because he can pull-up if the opposing big hangs back or take him off the dribble if the defender gets too close.magic_042

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MLB trade rumors: Indians have interest in Sonny Gray

Sonny Gray is the most sought-after starting pitcher on the trade market right now. The Yankess, Astros, Cubs, and Brewers have all been mentioned in connection with the Athletics starting pitcher and that list just keeps on growing.

Now the Indians are in on the 27-year-old Gray sweepstakes according to ESPN.

The Rangers are 43-45, three games back of the Rays for the second wild-card spot. But considering the fact the Rangers come out of the break on a 10-game road trip versus three teams in the Royals, Orioles and Rays who are all in fights for wild card spots as well and have good teams it’s conceivable the team could fall seven or eight games back.

If that happens, then a sell-off may be the right way to go, especially considering that Darvish’s contract is up at the end of the season and Hamels has two years on his contract worth more than $40 million.

The trade for Hamels two years ago was a huge reason the team may need to sell as well. The Rangers lost Nick Williams and Jorge Alfaro in that trade, and with the Jonathan Lucroy trade in 2016 they lost Lewis Brinson as well as Luis Ortiz.
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Limited Youth Brandon Allen Jersey They have just two Top 100 prospects in their system, and they could use a jolt in the coming years. Trading Darvish or Hamels could give them just that.

Why are homers up? MLB All-Stars don’t really know, but everyone has a theory

Home runs are up this season.

More than 1,100 were hit during June, the first month in the history of baseball more than 1,100 have been hit. In the first half of 2017 (2,652 games), 3,343 home runs have been hit. Baseball-Reference’s wonderful Play Index goes back to 1913 for this type of split, and we’ve never seen more home runs in the first half of a season. Of course, not all first halves have the same number of games, but only one other year is really in contention (3,312 homers in 2,590 games in 2000).

Taylor Gabriel Kids Jersey So, yep, that’s something worth talking about. And baseball folks have definitely been talking about it. Not just media types, either. Why are home runs up?
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For baseball fans of a certain age, the 1987 All-Star Game still stands as the ultimate Midsummer Classic. A then-record 4,458 homers were hit in 1987, but kids (and some adults) around the country stayed up way past their bedtime to watch 13 future Hall of Famers participate in an unprecedented All-Star Game pitcher’s duel that featured nine hurlers tossing at least two innings and remained scoreless until the 13th inning, when Tim Raines laced a two-run triple to lift the National League to a 2-0 win.

Thirty years later, those who participated in the 1987 All-Star Game remain as fond of it as those who watched at home. But players remember less about what happened during the game than how they felt before beforehand, when they were even more excited than fans for the once-a-regular-season intersection of the American League and National Leagues.

Former MLB pitcher Livan Hernandez files for bankruptcy

Despite his prolific pitching career in MLB, former World Series MVP Livan Hernandez has filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the Miami Herald reported Monday.

Hernandez earned nearly $53 million while in the Majors, but court documents show he now claims he has less than $50,000 to his name.
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According to the filing, Hernandez owes roughly $1 million to as many as 50 creditors, back taxes to the IRS, and about $220,000 to a businessman who gave Hernandez a loan in 2013.

Hernandez defected from Cuba in 1995 and signed with the Marlins soon after. He became a hometown favorite during the 1997 season, when the Marlins defeated the Indians in the World Series.
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Hernandez was traded to the Giants in 1999 and spent the rest of his career as a professional journeyman, playing for nine franchises. He last pitched in MLB in 2012.

It seems like the Cavs are committed to bringing back the same flawed group of role players that they did last year. Between the Korver signing here and the Calderon signing noted below, the Cavs are essentially going all-in on big-name, offense-only perimeter to players to help out along the fringes. In that vein, I don’t like this deal, even if Korver continues to be a deadly shooter from deep.

But this is a more complicated situation. LeBron James is a free agent in under 365 days, and he is known to hate when owners prioritize their checkbooks over the team. He made that abundantly clear when the Heat amnestied Mike Miller for luxury tax reasons in 2013, and he made it known Saturday when he wondered aloud on Twitter why there are maximum player salaries when NBA owners are increasing their franchise net worths by factors of nine figures.

We’ve come this far without mentioning the Wizards’ unsightly road record

During the game itself, Thomas and the Celtics had difficulty maintaining consistency on offense, and tight defense on both sides (Boston shot 43.0 percent, Chicago shot 42.9 percent) led to heightened emotions. Neither team led by more than five points in the first three quarters, and the tension of the game was amplified by the fact that opposite Thomas was former Celtics hero point guard Rajon Rondo, who drew round jeering for much of the game.

Thomas was whistled for a technical foul with 6:33 to play in the fourth quarter after he argued being called for a kicked ball on a drive to the basket against Bulls big man Cristiano Felicio. On the following possession, during a jump ball on Chicago’s end, Bradley slapped at Butler’s hand, initiating a jaw-flapping standoff between the two, who were separated by officials.

With 5:33 to play in the game, Thomas was sent to the line thanks to a Rondo foul on a 3-point attempt. It was the game’s most poignant moment — the entire crowd was nearly silent as Thomas hoisted his first attempt. He made all three, giving the Celtics an 88-87 lead. But they would not hold it. Chicago scored the next eight points to seize control of the game.

We’ve come this far without mentioning the Wizards’ unsightly road record: 19-22. Washington was actually a pretty good road team beginning with a win in New York on January 19 — the Wizards were 15-9 on the road to close the year. They did lose two out of the three games in Atlanta, and their road woes could come up again in this series, especially with the bench’s struggle to play away from home. The Celtics have more depth and the home-court edge. Both will be factors here. Celtics in 7.jets_005

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Cavs’ Tristan Thompson breaks down the science of being an elite offensive rebounder

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When Tristan Thompson signed a five-year, $82 million deal in the fall of 2015, many NBA fans surmised Thompson got such a lucrative contract simply because he had the same agent as LeBron James, and LeBron is the law in Cleveland. Those baffled by Thompson’s contract failed to see the intrinsic value he brought to the Cavs.

No Tony Parker, no problem for the Spurs. After getting embarrassed Game 1, San Antonio has bounced back with two key wins against the Rockets. Friday night, Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge scored 26 points apiece to lead the Spurs to a 103-92 victory in Houston.

Rookie Dejounte Murray started in place of Parker, but the 6-5 point guard scored just two points in 14 minutes of action. Instead, it was Patty Mills leading the offense with 15 points and five rebounds in 30 minutes.

James Harden did all he could to help the Rockets, scoring 43 points with five assists, but the team in general shot just 34 percent from the floor, and 31 percent from beyond the arc.

After taking a 21-19 first-quarter lead, Houston trailed by four points at halftime, and could never get past San Antonio’s stifling defense. If Houston is going to win this series, someone other than Harden is going to have to step up as a consistent offensive threat.

Frye and Korver played so well Lue left out Irving and Kevin Love for the entire fourth quarter. James said, Our bench definitely got the game ball tonight. Channing, Shump, D-Will, Kyle 鈥?those guys came in and gave us huge minutes. We needed everything from them.
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In order to win a championship, they likely will need more from those players than any has left to give. They still have LeBron, though, which means it’s not out of the question that they could all find themselves still hooping in early June.