Monthly Archives: June 2017


NBA Playoffs: Monday’s Game 4 could be Manu Ginobili’s final game

The Spurs and Warriors are set to face off in a potentially decisive Game 4 Monday night, and for one player, it could mean his last NBA game.

Manu Ginobili has been synonymous with Spurs basketball for over a decade while helping the franchise to four NBA titles throughout his career. But the 39-year-old shooting guard is nearing the end of his basketball road.
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I’m going to go game by game, Ginobili said, via expressnews.com. We’ll see if (Monday) is the last one of the season. We hope that it’s not, and that we have a few more. Once it’s over, then I’ll start wondering what the future brings.

Despite San Antonio’s poor performances following Kawhi Leonard’s controversial injury in Game 1, Ginobili has the respect of his Warriors opponents.

J.R. Smith and Tristan Thompson really stepped up Friday night as well. Smith scored 15 points while hitting 5 of 9 from beyond the arc. Thompson finally displayed some physicality in the paint to score five points with 10 rebounds and five assists.

Unfortunately, the game was muddled by some questionable officiating, scuffles on the court, and a minor fight in the stands. One fan was ejected, and the refs hardly ever had the game under control in the second half.

Draymond Green was thought to have been tossed after recording a perceived second technical foul. But refs claimed that his first technical was on coach Steve Kerr. That moment caused a long delay as refs tried to sort out the confusion.
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There were plenty of other examples in the game of refs guessing instead of making the right call. Kevin Love’s flagrant foul in the second half was no different than Green’s multiple attacks on Cavs players’ heads. Yet, Love was the only one to get called for an excessive foul.

With the series heading back to Oracle Arena for Monday’s Game 5, it appears the Warriors just delayed the obvious. But at least they will now get a chance to win the series at home.

Kevin Durant lauds Kyrie Irving, says he’s better than Allen Iverson

Kevin Durant may have won MVP of the NBA Finals, but if we’re to believe his post-series comments, the best player on the court might have been Cavs point guard Kyrie Irving.

Durant, in a Wednesday interview with the Bill Simmons Podcast, lauded Irving for his play in the series, even going so far as to call him better than Hall of Famer Allen Iverson.

“Kyrie is better than AI to me,” Durant said. “I’m going from like skill for skill. His handle is better. We might have to cut that out — I don’t want no problems with AI. Y’all might have to cut that one. I don’t want that to get out. I’m just saying I feel like Kyrie got more skill.”

Despite Cleveland’s loss, Irving played well in the NBA Finals, shooting 47.2 percent, including 41.9 from 3-point land. He averaged 29.4 points per game, and only once scored fewer than 20 points (19 points in Game 2).

Said Kevin Durant, “Well, if he’s not making shots, he’s still a respected shooter and nobody’s going to give him open shots if he starts to miss. So we know the gravity he pulls when he’s out there, and his movement off of the ball is one of the main reasons why we’re a good team. And his defense is the reason why we’re one of the best defensive teams in the league as well.”

Even scarier for Cleveland? Thompson’s shots are bound to start going in.

“I obviously could’ve shot the ball much better,” Thompson said of Game 1, per the San Jose Mercury News. “Hopefully I’ll make a few more of those on Sunday (in Game 2). Could’ve probably won by 30, I guess. But if we have that same defensive effort collectively, we’ll be really tough to beat.”
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James himself was not perfect down the stretch.

Eric Bledsoe is still the Suns’ point guard, but they’re willing to deal him this offseason. Would they do so in order to make room for Ball? Phoenix is said to have zeroed in on forward Jonathan Isaac as their guy, but that is under the assumption that Ball is off the board. Given their bevy of athletic young talent, they could be a dangerous transition team, making Ball the most sensible fit. But it would set up the Suns to have to make a further roster overhaul, and there is some question whether the team’s brass has the stomach for that.

One of the reasons the Warriors have been so dominant in recent years is because of their depth. They still have a deep lineup, but now the Cavs have brought in some other players to compete.

Authentic Kids Marcus Williams Jersey The Cavs’ wounds here were self-inflicted and, in fairness, were highlighted only by the fact that the Warriors leave their foes such a thin margin of error. Cleveland stayed ahead of that margin for most of the second half, but the Cavs unraveled at the end, leaving James let down once again.

Authentic Kids Dan Skuta Jersey James himself was not perfect down the stretch. He claimed after the game that he was not fatigued, but the load he had to carry in this one sure made him appear so. James was nearly flawless in the first half, with 27 points on 11-for-14 shooting, singlehandedly keeping his team alive. He played nearly 46 minutes and wound up with 39 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists.

We know this much about the arc of James’ career and the way folks around the league react to it: Many will see past his superb production and pick out only three late-game plays in which things did not work out for James.

The Hawks played a beautiful style of basketball that sent four players to the All-Star game and culminated in a 60-win season. Gone from that team are Jeff Teague, Al Horford, Kyle Korver and DeMarre Carroll. This past season, the Hawks struggled to find an identity, and it showed in the playoff series loss against the Wizards. Which brings us to question two …

NBA free agency: Would Derrick Rose take pay cut to re-sign with Knicks?

Derrick Rose wants to be a Knick, his agent says.

And given his mileage (though he’s only 28) and injury history (he underwent knee surgery in April), Rose might be willing to take a pay cut despite having a productive, though shortened 2016-17 season, agent B.J. Armstrong told Bleacher Report.

Derrick loves New York and wants to be there, Armstrong said. We’ve expressed that to them and been very consistent about it. Whether it happens is on them; all we can do is be clear.

We are excited to add a player of Dwight’s stature to our roster,Hornets general manager Rich Cho said in a statement. He has been a very talented player, an elite rebounder and rim protector as well as a physical presence since the moment he entered the league. Howard’s best seasons came alongside Coach Steve Clifford and we believe their familiarity will make an immediate impact for the Hornets this upcoming season.
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Howard, an Atlanta native, averaged 13.5 points and 12.7 rebounds in the lone season with his hometown team. The 31-year-old center, who was taken No. 1 overall by the Magic in the 2004 draft, went to eight straight All-Star games from 2007-14, but injuries have slowed him since.
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A three-time Defensive Player of the Year, Howard could give the Hornets a true center and inside presence they so desperately need. If Charlotte keeps center Frank Kaminsky, the two 6-11 centers could make for a formidable tandem in the post.

Hornets coach Steve Clifford has previously worked with Howard while an assistant coach with both the Magic and Lakers.

The move is seen largely as a salary dump by the Hawks, who signed Howard to a three-year, $70.5 million contract last year.

Howard now joins fellow Atlanta native Cam Newton in Charlotte, where the Panthers quarterback has already established his own Superman persona.

the Falcons played most of the fourth quarter without Pro Bowl receiver Julio Jones

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan was superb, throwing for 338 yards and three touchdowns with completions to eight different receivers on a 26-for-37 day.

With the game well in hand, the Falcons played most of the fourth quarter without Pro Bowl receiver Julio Jones, who caught six passes for 67 yards and a touchdown.

Atlanta had the NFL’s highest-scoring offense during the regular season and picked apart one of the NFL’s best defenses on Saturday. Atlanta, which averaged nearly 34 points per game and scored over 40 points five times this season, could have scored over 40 against the Seahawks, but kneeled on the ball three times inside the Seahawks 5.

And when the Packers began the 2016-17 NFL season with an underwhelming 5-6 record, fans began pointing fingers at Munn for the mid-season slump. The Newsroomactress was hardly ill-prepared for this role as team scapegoat. After all, only one season earlier, ESPNs Rob Demovsky, a Packers beat writer, gave credence to this theory in a column titled, Five reasons why Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is struggling.

And back when Jessica Simpson was still with Tony Romo, it was she and not Romo who shouldered the blame in Arlington when Americas Team suffered embarrassing division losses.

Is Jessica Simpson the football version of Memo Paris, the blonde bombsHe’ll who was kryptonite to Roy HobbsWonderboy in ‘The Natural’?questioned the The Boys Blog, a former top Cowboys fan site, in a December 2007 post after Romos 10-6 loss to the Eagles.

The aforementioned blog post, now more than 10 years stale and which has since been taken down, holds the same sexist significance today as it did then.

In what other industry could an employees underperformance be blamed on his significan’t other? What performance review even has a box to check on this?falcons_035

Robert Griffin III believes he proved a lot of people wrong this season

A shoulder injury suffered in the season opener limited Robert Griffin III to just five games with the Browns this season, but the quarterback believes what he did while he was on the field made a statement.

I’m not an idiot,Griffin told reporters Monday, via Cleveland.com. I know a lot of people were writing me off as a player, as a quarterback, saying I couldn’t do it. And to go out and show that I can, I think that proves a lot of people wrong.

Authentic Womens Telvin Smith Jersey Mike Shanahan, 64, has been out of coaching since he and Kyle were fired by the Redskins following the 2013 season. He spent 20 years as an NFL head coach with the Raiders, Broncos and Redskins, winning back-to-back Super Bowls with Denver in 1997 and 1998.

Authentic Womens Jermaine Kearse Jersey The pair’s partnership in Washington ended in a 24-40 record and will be remembered by many for a falling-out with Robert Griffin III a year after the quarterback led the Redskins to the playoffs in his rookie season.

That experience and a subsequent clash over Johnny Manziel’s role in Cleveland obviously didn’t mar Kyle Shanahan’s reputation around the league, and his work with Matt Ryan and the Falcons offense the last two seasons has his stock at an all-time high.

Running the show in San Francisco will be a different type of challenge for the 37-year-old coach, one he plans to face without his father’s formal assistance.

‘We did our deal in Washington and I wouldn’t take that back for the world, but that was pretty much the end of it,’ Kyle said.

Redskins adamant: Kirk Cousins is their QB

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The Redskins plan to have Kirk Cousins as their quarterback next season.

At least coach Jay Gruden and team vice president Bruce Allen are saying as much.

Via CSN Mid-Atlantic, Gruden totally anticipates Cousins’ return, and Allen confirmed that sentiment this week on SiriusXM Radio: Yeah, Kirk is our quarterback. I know there’s other speculation, but it doesn’t come from the Redskins.’

Washington placed a franchise tag on Cousins in 2016 at a hefty $19.95 million and would pay $24 million next year if the tag is applied again.

Cousins threw for 25 touchdowns with 12 interceptions and a franchise-record 4,917 yards for the Redskins (8-7-1) this season.

Elite Kids David DeCastro Jersey DeAngelo Williams is ageless. With Le’Veon Bell on the sideline nursing a groin injury, the 33-year-old running back led a key scoring drive and finished it with a five-yard touchdown run. Williams earned 25 yards on his four carries during the drive, which covered 84 yards on 13 plays. Bell was questionable to return with his injury. Chris Boswell missed the PAT wide left. 10-6, Patriots.

The last play: Karlos Dansby returned a fumble 17 yards in overtime on a play in which the officials missed a facemask penalty on Aaron Rodgers. Again, second play of overtime. For some reason the first play, where Rodgers just missed Greg Jennings on a deep pass, sticks out more.

Who I yelled at most: Kurt Warner. I had a lot of pent up aggression from that time Warner and the Rams destroyed Favre and the Packers in the 2001-02 divisional playoffs.

NFL says Texas ‘bathroom bill’ could prevent state from hosting future Super Bowls

Five days after Houston hosted one of the greatest Super Bowls ever, the NFL delivered a message to the state of Texas.

The “bathroom bill” currently under consideration could sink the state’s chances of hosting another Super Bowl in the near future.

Texas’s controversial Senate Bill 6 would require transgender people to use bathrooms in public schools, universities and government buildings according to their “biological sex.”

After getting injured during the 2010 season, and the Titans owning a 4-5 record, Young had a falling out with then-Titans coach Jeff Fisher. The Titans turned to Rusty Smith at quarterback and Young was released the following summer. He made three starts and appeared in six games for the Eagles in 2011, but did not have his one-year contract re-upped.

“To be honest, it really wasn’t my decision,” Fournette said, via NFL.com. “My coach brought me into the office. He told me ‘You have a lot on the line.’ He didn’t want me to play. I cried like a baby. It was hard for me. That was my first time not really traveling with the team and I couldn’t play in a game with my brothers. I’m going to miss them.”

According to NFL.com, Fournette reiterated that point, saying the decision had been made for him by the unnamed coach.

Fournette’s decision to talk about the situation now — long after his decision was headline news — is puzzling. When the decision was originally announced, he seemed to accept responsibility for it. While he received some criticism, many argued he was more than justified in looking out for himself, especially after he dealt with a nagging ankle injury throughout his junior season.

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New England does like to take away the opponent’s No. 1 option

This number should grow considerably after the season. The 49ers will gain nearly $17 million in added cap space once Colin Kaepernick voids his contract and becomes a free agent, and they might gain some refunds from players who retired early.

Depending on what new general manager John Lynch wants to do, there’s a chance most of this money will not be spent in 2017, as the 49ers could continue to bank cap room until the team is competitive enough to use it. Expect them to extend some of their players such as Eric Reid, Carlos Hyde and Jeremy Kerley to bring that number down before they start spending big in free agency.

Butler has been waiting a long time to put his West Alabama skills up to the test against the best Crimson Tide NFL receiver since Don Hutson. It’s in New England’s best interest to let Butler go one-on-one with Jones often, both outside and in the slot. In the Falcons’ five losses, Jones averaged more than seven catches and 125 yards with two total TDs. Teams that have been able to take Jones away, more so with double teams than top corners (see Denver and Arizona), have been burned by Atlanta’s other weapons.
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The key for Butler is getting physical with Jones near the line of scrimmage and not losing him on crossing routes that can turn into big plays after the catch. This is a more of a containment job than a shutdown assignment.

Elite Youth Orlando Scandrick Jersey New England does like to take away the opponent’s No. 1 option, but here, defensive coordinator Matt Patricia is smart enough not to put everything on Jones. That would set up the Falcons’ three other dangerous receiving options — Taylor Gabriel, Mohamed Sanu and Tevin Coleman — with easier pickings. In trusting Butler on Jones, Patricia can mix things up to get into more favorable matchups with help on the others.

Raiders to host Patriots in Mexico City in 2017

The NFL will play another regular-season game in Mexico City in 2017.

Commissioner Roger Goodell announced Wednesday that the Raiders will host the Patriots at Estadio Azteca sometime next season.
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The date and time of the game will be released around the same time the NFL schedule is issued in the spring.

The center, who was acquired in free agency before the season after spending seven years with the Browns, is continuing to recover from a left fibula injury that has limited him in practice this week.

Game Youth Phil Simms Jersey After the Falcons offensive line struggled last season, Mack’s addition has transformed the unit into one of the strongest in the NFL.

On Thursday, Falcons coach Dan Quinn had said he was concerned about Mack’s status for Sunday, but that changed after watching tape of Mack after Thursday’s practice.

I felt good after watching Alex last night because I felt good about what he was able to do on the things we’re going to ask him to do in the game, Quinn said, via the pool report by Peter King of TheMMQB.com. It’s going to hurt, but a lot of guys are playing through stuff. The important thing is Alex’s mind is clear. He needed to test it and have guys go on him full speed, and he was able to do that Wednesday and Thursday.

As for other key Falcons injuries, wide receiver Julio Jones (sprained toe) and pass-rusher Dwight Freeney (calf) practiced on a limited basis Friday and are expected to play.

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