Monthly Archives: July 2017

Who were Dwyane Wade, Jimmy Butler calling out after Bulls’ collapse vs. Hawks?

Dwyane Wade and Jimmy Butler are on the same page about the current state of the Bulls: It’s sorry, they say. And they’re plenty mad at some of their teammates for that.

The anger poured out after Chicago blew a 10-point lead in the final three minutes Wednedsday and lost 119-114 at home to Atlanta. Butler (40) and Wade (33) combined for 73 points.

Astros first baseman Yuri Gurriel collected four hits with a home run and two RBIs in an 8-7 win against the Orioles. Starting pitcher Mike Fiers allowed just one run off of six hits in seven innings, while striking out nine batters.

Indians slugger Edwin Encarnacion went 3 for 4 with a home run, four RBIs, two runs scored and a walk in a 13-3 win against the Blue Jays. Encarnacion’s home run gave him at least one long ball against all 30 MLB teams.

Mets outfielder Michael Conforto went 2 for 4 with two home runs and four RBIs in a 7-5 win against the Athletics.

Cubs relief pitchers: Trying to win their seventh straight game, Chicago had a 3-2 lead entering the eighth inning against the Cardinals. Carl Edwards Jr., Hector Rondon and Justin Grimm gave up a combined nine runs in the top of the eighth inning, all of which came before the Cardinals even recorded an out. The Cubs ultimately lost, 11-4.

Astros (64-32) at Orioles (46-50) 7:05 p.m. ET — Houston is linked with a number of starting pitchers as they try to go all-in on a World Series berth this season. The young Astros team scores plenty of runs, but they lack rotational depth. Aside from being entertaining, the Astros will be one to watch off the diamond, too, as a potentially active buyer.
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Boston is currently second in the Eastern Conference standings

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Rumors then starting flying fast and furious Wednesday night into Thursday placing Paul George as a possible new member of the Celtics. Boston fans likely had shimmering visions of Isaiah Thomas and Paul George lighting up scoreboards while competing for a title.

But, yet again, nothing materialized. Some reports claimed the Celtics weren’t offering the first-round pick they acquired from the Nets, while others claimed Indiana just wasn’t ready to lose the face of its franchise. Either way, Boston struck out again.

The Celtics didn’t even get P.J. Tucker, who went to the Raptors — one of Boston’s Eastern Confernce rivals.
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Boston is currently second in the Eastern Conference standings — three games behind the Cavaliers. With Thomas, Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder and Al Horford leading an endless list of role players, the Celtics could still make a strong run.

It just seems as though a little air was let out of their sails after missing out on a bona-fide star, yet again.

The Heat-Hornets game was big for both teams, as they began Wednesday night in ninth and tenth in the East, respectively, with solid chances of catching the Pacers for the conference’s last playoff spot. Cody Zeller did little to help his team’s cause, shooting 4 of 12 from the field, grabbing just four rebounds and slogging to a game-low -17 plus-minus ratio in Charlotte’s 112-99 home loss.

Zeller also help light a fire under Miami center Hassan Whiteside, whose impact on the game started once he was slapped with a technical foul after an exchange with Zeller in the third quarter. Following that incident, the Heat went on a 9-0 run, Whiteside accounting for six of those points.

Rockies’ rookie pitchers ‘learning together’ as they keep team in playoff hunt

After losing the first two games of a weekend series against the Mets by a combined 23-5, Rockies manager Bud Black was very matter-of-fact about how important the team’s pitching will be if it hopes to reach the postseason for the first time since 2009.
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It’s very hard to win games consistently when you’re always trying to outscore the other team, Black said. For me, the state of the team will be determined by our starting pitching.

Limited Womens Tavon Austin Jersey Outscore is exactly what the Rockies did Sunday, chasing New York starter Steven Matz after seven quick runs and cruising to a 13-4 win with rookie Jeff Hoffman going six innings for the win. Hoffman, 24, is one of four rookie starting pitchers — Kyle Freeland (24), German Marquez (22) and Antonio Senzatela (22, who’s expected to be recalled from Triple-A shortly) — who have logged significant innings for a Colorado team that’s 53-41 and holding a 5 1/2 game lead in the race for the second wild card.

But that’s skipping steps. This bunch is playing better lately, and with 15 games remaining, he’ll welcome a strong finish to set up this summer. There was some worry within the organization that the preseason attention the Wolves got went to their collective head, a worry that seemed borne out by early-season struggles. Thibodeau wants to keep the Wolves focused on the habits they’ve learned this season.

Know your opponent well, he said, have your routine established and don’t get lost — whether it’s praise, criticism, what’s ahead, what some people may view as something that is daunting. It doesn’t matter what anybody else thinks.

NBA trade deadline winners and losers: Lack of movement keeps Cavs, Warriors on top

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In the end, Deadline Day itself was a yawner for the NBA. Not that there was no action — hey, earlier this week, DeMarcus Cousins got traded, and Serge Ibaka was dealt before that. But Thursday passed with mostly minor deals and a good bit of indignance among fans who were quite sure they could do the jobs of their local general managers better.

But there were winners, and there were losers. Here’s how we size them up now that the deadline has passed.

The Jazz are slated to begin paying Rudy Gobert $93 million over the next four years, and will likely have to pay Gordon Hayward a contract that begins in the $30 million per year range after next season. Should Favors, who has been battling a knee problem all year, bounce back next year and produce like he had been (16.4 points, 8.1 rebounds last season), he will be in line for a major raise, too. Not the same money as Hayward, but in the $20-million–plus range, which would put the Jazz in the difficult position of committing about $80 million to the trio of Gobert, Hayward and Favors beginning in 2018-19.

Over the coming months, ESPN will lay off multiple anchors, reporters and analysts to save tens of millions of dollars in costs. Many of them will be household names you’ve watched for years.

Game Womens Junior Galette Jersey One big reason for the pending bloodbath is that the Worldwide Leader in Sports overpaid for NBA TV rights, according to ex-ESPNer Howie Schwab. ESPN, then, is basically sending its business partner a message that it’s not happy.

Jahlil Okafor gets roasted by ‘Shaqtin’ a Fool’ for lackluster defense

Maybe Shaquille O’Neal can move on from his feud with JaVale McGee and lock onto a new target: 76ers center Jahlil Okafor.

“Shaqtin’ a Fool,” the TNT segment that caused the vicious beef between Shaq and the Warriors center, tweeted from its official account a video of Okafor’s “defense,” if you can call it that, Wednesday night against the Heat.

Yeah, that really isn’t going to cut it. Okafor appears to be giving as much effort on defense as a second-semester senior gives in a home economics class.

This kind of effort would be hard to swallow at any point in the season, but can only sting worse coming on the same day the team announced fellow center Joel Embiid will miss the rest of the season because of a knee injury.

Antetokounmpo, the son of Nigerian migrants, was born in Athens. He spent part of last summer performing obligatory service with the Greek army, and spent part of the summer working out in Los Angeles. He’s had many addresses. But ask him where he feels home is, and he breaks out a big smile, spreads his hand and waves it around the Cousins Center in St. Francis, just south of Milwaukee.

“Here,” he said. “The practice facility.”

At 22, Antetokounmpo has established himself as the most intriguing young talent in the NBA, a 6-11 rarely-seen combination of lengthy limbs, fast-twitch athleticism and natural basketball sense. This season, he became the first All-Star for the Bucks since Michael Redd in 2004, the longest string in the league, and carries with him the future prospects of a team trying to emerge from a decade-and-a-half of mediocrity.
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MLB trade rumors: Dodgers interested in Zach Britton as set-up man

When Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports first reported the Orioles were getting a lot of calls on closer Zach Britton people raised their eyebrows. When they learned the Dodgers were one of the teams calling and that they were interested in making Britton their setup man for Kenley Jansen, they let out a collective gasp.

Gasp all they want, it doesn’t change the fact the Orioles may be shopping their closer who could have won the Cy Young award in the American League last season.
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The Orioles would first have to convince their owner to trade Britton, which is a bit of a stretch, but if the Orioles go on a quick losing streak out of the break you never know who could become available.

Authentic Kids Vince Dunn Jersey The idea of a Britton-Jensen combo is horrifying for any team in Major League Baseball with the only late-inning combos resembling that in the last few years being Dellin Betances and Aroldis Chapman or possibly Andrew Miller and Cody Allen.

Rightly or wrongly, there are plenty of fans who consider Roger Maris’ 61 the magic number for home runs in a season. And for the first time in a long time, there’s a player with a chance to pass that number 鈥?and he just happens to be wearing pinstripes, too. Aaron Judge is hitting homers at a staggering pace, leaving the yard once in every 10 at bats. He has the best HR/AB ratio since Ryan Howard hit 58 in 2006. Judge is on pace to match that number, but as the weather gets warmer and balls start flying farther, he definitely has the chance to be the first player to break the 60-homer barrier since Barry Bonds in 2001.

So while it’s easy to say Judge is hitting a juiced baseball, the fact is that because analytics are affecting the way pitchers now pitch. Judge is simply seeing pitches he would not have seen in past years. Analytics are helping him. But that doesn’t mean the ball isn’t juiced or altered. So the debate continues.

Gordon Hayward already grabbing dinner, getting haircuts in Boston

Game Luke Kuechly Jersey Just two days after announcing his intentions to join the Celtics, Gordon Hayward was a man about Boston.

What would LeBron’s reaction be if owner Dan Gilbert decided that Korver was a luxury the team couldn’t afford, given that his $7 million salary next season could end up costing the team more in the range of $30 million when you take the tax into effect? It’s difficult to say.

Ultimately, this deal doesn’t hurt the Cavs’ ability to improve in a vacuum because it was signed using Korver’s Bird rights as opposed to using an exception. But will Gilbert be willing to shell out even more money now and utilize the taxpayer mid-level exception to sign a player who can help them compete in a series with Golden State? That’s the question here, and the grade for this signing will be dependent on Gilbert’s willingness to utilize the tools he has at his disposal, even at a ridiculous cost to his checkbook.

Game Jamar Taylor Jersey Thomas said he is ready for a bigger and better contract.

I’m a max guy. I deserve the max, Thomas said, via CSNNE.com. We’re just going to continue to take care of business on the court and let the cards fall where they may. I’m happy for all the guards and all the other guys getting their money, because they deserve it. But my time is coming. They know they’ve got to bring the Brinks truck out. They know that.

Brooklyn appears the most likely landing spot for Caldwell-Pope, assuming the Wizards match the offer sheet the Nets gave Otto Porter. ESPN reported the Lakers also might have some interest in Caldwell-Pope on a one-year deal.

Aaron Judge obliterates Joe DiMaggio’s Yankees rookie home run record

Aaron Judge smashed his 30th home run of the year Friday night to break Joe DiMaggio’s record for most home runs in a season by a Yankees rookie.

It took Judge just 82 games to break DiMaggio’s record. DiMaggio hit his 29 homers over 138 games in 1936.

That’s a pretty special name he passed, Yankees manager Joe Girardi said after his team’s 9-4 loss to the Brewers. That’s really incredible what he’s done in the first half of this season.

Kenny Britt Youth Jersey Armstrong and McClesky returned to the second Tinder night in 2016, dubbed Swipe Right 2.0, where Koonin caught wind that the couple had been together for a year since meeting at the first Swipe Right Night.

Koonin told the Atlanta Journal Constituion if the two ever got married, he would pay for the wedding and the Hawks would host the event.

Two years and a baby girl later, wedding bells are ringing for the couple and Armstrong tweeted at the Hawks to see if Koonin would keep his promise.

Avery and Ben: We are super excited for how your relationship has grown since you met at our first Swipe Right Night, and I will absolutely make good on my promise for the Hawks to host your wedding. We can’t wait to start making plans and meet your new little one, Koonin said in a statement, via the team’s site.
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Even in the dating app world, love is clearly not dead.

No team in the East has a guy who can handle James one-on-one

“I think ball movement has really made everything easier for all of us,” Horford said. “They are really putting a lot of attention on Isaiah, so that is really freeing a lot of us up and we’re just making plays out of it. Just trying to make the game easy for my teammates.”

He has been doing that lately, and he’s up to 6.4 assists per game in the playoffs. In the Celtics’ last three games, Horford is averaging 18.0 points, 9.0 rebounds and 6.3 assists while also shooting 58.3 percent from the field. He has taken his lumps this season, but here in the playoffs, Horford is proving his worth.

Let’s keep it simple here — it’s James. The Cavaliers roster has looked a bit older and a lot shakier this season, and under most circumstances, it’d be reasonable to assume they were vulnerable in the East. But the difference is, he is the best player in the Eastern Conference, and as long as that remains the case, the Cavs will be very difficult to contend with. As the Pacers saw, having a star like Paul George gets you to the playoffs, but having a superstar like James gets you to the Finals.

Let’s review what James did in the first round. He averaged 32.8 points, 9.0 assists and 9.8 rebounds. That’s 6.4 points more than his season average, while also tacking on more rebounds and assists. He also averaged 3.0 steals and 2.0 blocks — double his steals from the regular season, and triple the blocks. He shot 45.0 percent from the 3-point line, and his overall shooting percentage was down, but only by a half-percent. Oddly, he struggled with free throws, making 57.9 percent.

No team in the East has a guy who can handle James one-on-one, but the Raps will give that job to Powell, DeMarre Caroll and P.J. Tucker off the bench. Good luck with that.jets_021

Celtics’ team effort puts Wizards away early for 3-2 series lead

Isaiah Thomas is the driving force behind the Celtics, but Boston proved Wednesday night it has plenty of other weapons in an easy 123-101 victory over the Wizards in Game 5.

The Celtics hold a 3-2 series lead as the series heads to Washington for Game 6.

Beverley was in tears at Toyota Center, sobbing at his locker and during warmups before the game as teammates and coaches consoled him.
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The 29-year-old point guard made the difficult decision to play despite the trying news and contributed 10 points, six assists and four rebounds in the 125-104 win. Afterward, he delivered an emotional news conference while remembering the impact his grandfather made on his career.

(My family) wanted me to play tonight. I was going to try to get on the next flight to Chicago, he said, fighting back tears. I’m a strong guy and I can deal with a lot of things, but I can’t deal with anybody suffering. He suffered, but he’s in a better place now.

I tried to go out there and play as hard as I could for my teammates tonight, man. It’s just tough. I have to be there for my grandmother. That’s the only man she knew for the last 26 years. I have to be there for my mom. I have to be there for my cousins back home in Chicago.
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Gortat has been forced to adjust to guarding Horford outside after spending the first round knocking around with former teammate Dwight Howard in the paint during the Wizards’ series against Atlanta.