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NBA Draft rumors: How far could Lonzo Ball fall? League execs weigh in

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There was a point during this college season when it appeared that point guard Lonzo Ball would be a prime candidate for the No. 1 pick. So much has happened since ‘ the seemingly endless blathering of his father, LaVar Ball, the shaking out of the draft’s lottery, the Celtics’ trade out of the No. 1 spot ‘ none of which bolstered Ball’s prospects of being the top pick.

But as one general manager reminded us: With all the other stuff, he has gotten to be a kind of lightning rod for opinions, but he’s one of the best college point guards I have seen as a freshman. He comes in at just a different level of playmaking ability than most kids his age. You can pick apart this and that. But he is going to make everyone on your team better, and I think that gets lost.

And yet circumstances have lined up against Ball, not just as the No. 1 pick but, possibly, as a top-four pick. We discussed the prospect of Ball landing with each of the first six teams in this year’s draft with a scout, a league executive and a general manager. Here’s what we found:

The Titans surged to their first winning record since 2008 thanks to Marcus Mariota’s ability to avoid a sophomore slump. The young quarterback’s breakout season featured a 26-touchdown, nine-interception performance before a broken leg ended his season in Week 16. If he can return to form, he’ll have a handful of new receiving threats after Tennessee invested in playmakers like Corey Davis, Taywan Taylor, and Jonnu Smith in the draft and signed New York Jets refugee Eric Decker as a free agent.

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Durant drove down the lane with no resistance for easy slams

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Golden State used opportunities like the one above to fuel its transition game, scoring 21 points off those 20 turnovers. Sporting News’ Scott Rafferty noted how Curry’s gravity in transition forced Cavs defenders to make difficult choices — and how it hasn’t gone well for them.

Durant drove down the lane with no resistance for easy slams. If a defender attempted to stop the ball, he kicked out to an open shooter.

Durant’s ability to score on the roll was a huge reason the Warriors were able to score against a Cavaliers defense that slowed them down in the 2016 NBA Finals. Although they dominated teams during the regular season with pick-and-rolls between Curry and Green, the Cavaliers figured out that they could simply switch James and Thompson onto Curry since Green isn’t someone who can routinely punish smaller players in the post. That game plan goes out the window when Durant Cheap Ireland Football Jerseys is involved seeing as he can finish on the roll, score against any defender in isolation with ease and make the right play when teams load up on him.

Durant then attacked Kyrie Irving in the post on the ensuing offensive possession and found Shaun Livingston at the free-throw line for an uncontested floater when Shumpert left Livingston to double team Durant. With all the scoring he does, it’s easy to forget that Durant is just as capable of locating open teammates out of the post and pick-and-roll.

Raiders: Oakland got its franchise quarterback and the draft’s best defensive player in the first two rounds. Not too shabby. The Raiders also picked up guard Gabe Jackson in the third round, and he’s been a solid presence on one of the league’s best offensive lines. This Raiders draft was a home run, landing the critical pieces that Cheap Jackie Robinson Jerseys got them back to the playoffs in 2016.

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That’s what makes them great.

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No. It’s not about having one off night. It can happen to Jordan. It can happen to James. It can happen to anybody. Two of Jordan’s off nights came in one series against Miami, which the Bulls won.

In fact, the only series the Bulls lost was that three-game series to the Celtics. If you want to penalize Jordan for that, then have at it. It’s not worth it.

Same goes for James. He’s had two off nights by this standard in three seasons since returning to Cleveland, and if you want to take it back, he’s had five off nights since The Decision. The only series one of his teams lost since his move to Miami after an off night was the 2011 NBA Finals against Dallas.

If you want to penalize James for early-career losses to San Antonio and Boston in his first stint with Cleveland, then again, have at it. Again, not worth it.

In the end, Jordan and James find enough ways to contribute, even on an off night, and their response to a poor performance is almost always favorable.

That’s what makes them great. The two greatest, that is.

As Undisputed co-host Shannon Sharpe notes, Seth did have the higher field-goal and 3-point percentages for the 2016-17 regular season. But let’s extend those numbers out a little bit (via Basketball Reference).

Yes, Seth’s traditional shooting numbers are slightly better than Stephen’s, but the two-time MVP holds the advantage in the advanced categories. (Effective field-goal percentage adjusts for the fact that 3-point field goals are worth more than 2-pointers, while true shooting percentage measures efficiency by accounting for field goals, 3-pointers and free throws.)

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College World Series 2017: LSU dads save Florida fan’s life during Game 1

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Two fathers of members of the LSU baseball team saved a Florida fan’s life during the Game 1 of the College World Series on Monday in Omaha.

Dr. Jerry Poche, the father of Game 2 starter Jared Poche, and Jimmy Roy, the dad of strength coach Travis Roy, came to the aid of an elderly man who was slumped over unconscious in his seat at the game.

Vogt fell victim to his own declining production and the last-place Athletics’ pivot to full rebuilding mode, which has seen them jettison veterans and summon youngsters from the minors to start getting a feel for the big leagues.

Oakland traded third baseman Trevor Plouffe to the Rays last weekend and summoned high-end prospect Matt Chapman to the majors for the first time. Outfielder Jaycob Brugman and right-hander Daniel Gossett also have made their major league debuts in the past two weeks. Chapman has been battling an infection for a few days and landed on the 10-day disabled list Thursday, clearing room for the A’s to promote catcher Bruce Maxwell and first baseman/outfielder Matt Olson.

Vogt figures to get a chance to hook on somewhere despite his uninspiring .217/.287/.357 slash line and a major league-leading 39 stolen bases allowed. He has long drawn praise as a positive clubhouse presence and could be a good fit as an experienced backup, if nothing else.

I’m feeling good right now, and hopefully soon I’ll catch on with somebody else and I’ll turn this thing around, Vogt told reporters Thursday, via MLB.com.

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Prevention, not punishment, should drive longer suspensions for MLB head-hunters

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Watching this situation between the Orioles and Red Sox escalate over the past couple of days, I can’t help but be annoyed at how MLB helped this dust-up approach debacle status.

With just a tiny bit of foresight, this fiasco could have been nipped in the bud, if not avoided altogether.

The whole thing started when Manny Machado broke one of baseball’s unwritten rules when he slid over the second base bag and into Red Sox star Dustin Pedroia, who left the game with an injury that kept him out a couple of Cheap Authentic Jerseys From China games. Machado was absolutely in the wrong, though it wasn’t an abhorrent action. The typical punishment for that type of infraction, according to those unwritten rules, would be Machado getting plunked in the butt/thigh with a pitch during an at-bat within the next game or two, when he wasn’t up in an important situation.

Like any draft choice especially one that produces so many offensive line prospects like Wisconsin there will be NFL teams concerned that Ramczyk will turn out more like Gabe Carimi than Joe Thomas. First, Ramczyk enters the NFL with far less playing experience than others from major college programs after turning pro following his junior Cheap Baseball Jerseys season. The fact that Ramcyzk will be 23 this upcoming season contributed to his decision to leave early.

It’s easy to push the panic button, it’s easy to say, ‘Oh, s—,’ but we are too good for that,” Jay Bruce told the New York Post. We are a legitimate World Series contender, I believe, and I wouldn’t just say that. This is a team that is stacked. We just have to be healthy and play well.”

Easier said than done through 19 games. Let’s take a stroll through the disaster.

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it does not account for variables such as NL pitchers hitting eighth

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‘Dellin Betances is not a closer’: Yankees president Randy Levine rips pitcher after arbitration hearing

This column is about Randy Levine and Dellin Betances and the Yankees and, well, money. We’ll get there in a moment. First, a little background:

Arbitration hearings are almost never fun for players. Sometimes, of course, the players win and that means they get more money than if they’d lose. And that part’s nice, sure, but the process is painful. Essentially, the players have to sit there and listen to folks in their team’s front office present a case for why they don’t deserve the salary they’re asking for. It’s a cold and brutal process, and that’s why most teams avoid it at all costs.

Teams want happy players who are willing to sacrifice for the betterment of the team, and having the players sit there and get torn down by people they thought were in their corner in front of an arbitrator isn’t exactly a motivation to sign an extension or stick around when free agency arrives.

The methodology for the AL was slightly different; here, we replaced the 10,737 plate appearances by AL DHs and pitchers with PAs by position players (.122 average RC/PA). The position players would have created 29 fewer runs for the entire season, or just under 2.0 runs per club.

This model has limitations; it does not account for variables such as NL pitchers Cheap Baseball Jerseys Kids hitting eighth, NL players hitting ninth in AL parks, or AL pinch hitters in NL parks.

Even if scoring were to go down under a real-life 1-8 setup, that wouldn’t be all bad. Runs should be more difficult to come by than they are now. It’s not Steroid Era bad, but hitters are beginning to skew the balance Cheap Authentic Jerseys again as home runs increase. Last season, clubs in both leagues averaged their most runs per game (4.52 per club in the AL, 4.44 per club in the NL) since 2009.

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It will be interesting to see what happens when he’s eligible again in fall 2020.

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Baseball had no fadder. It jest growed, one of the game’s pioneers, Henry Chadwick, said in 1904. Baseball would soon beg to differ with Chadwick, creating a commission in 1905 to investigate the game’s origins. With scant evidence, baseball wrongly proclaimed Civil War veteran Abner Doubleday the game’s founder in 1908. Credit began to shift to Alexander Cartwright in the 1930s, culminating with his induction to Cooperstown in 1938.

Adams fell one vote shy of Hall of Fame induction in December 2015. It will be interesting to see what happens when he’s eligible again in fall 2020.

The Tigers are a confusing team. When you think they should be really good, they’re not. Their offense is certainly good enough, or should be at least. On paper, they’ve been one of the best teams in baseball for years, but it just hasn’t panned out that way. With minimal moves made this offseason, aside from trading outfielder Cameron Maybin to the Angels, the Tigers are saying they can compete with this group. However, we’ve already seen that isn’t the case. Even so, the Cheap Authentic Hockey Jerseys Tigers should be looking optimistic in 2017, even after a quiet offseason.

Columnist Bryan Curtis of Bill Simmons’ The Ringer just wrote a fascinating piece about how he believes the sports media has moved to the left of its readership. Wrote Curtis:

In the age of liberal sports writing, the writers are now far more liberal than the readers. Absolutely I think we’re to the left of most sports fans,” said Craig Calcaterra, who writes for HardballTalk. It’s Cheap Barcelona Jerseys folly for any of us to think we’re speaking for the common fan.”
But to say ESPN has a double-standard with conservatives is questionable also.

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Broncos football poobah John Elway shouldn’t mess around.

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And then there’s this one: In 2000, Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez struck out 17 in nine innings, but was saddled with the L” because the Rays strung together two hits and a stolen base with two outs in the eighth inning. Tampa Bay won that one, 1-0.

But enough of the historical extremes. Let’s just look at the most recent season, using B-R’s invaluable Play Index to show the everyday lunacy of using pitcher wins and losses. In 2016, there were 195 starts in which a pitcher threw at least seven full innings, struck out at least seven and allowed zero or one earned runs and zero or one walks. We can all agree that’s a pretty exceptional start, right?

Of those 195 starts, 40 times that starting pitcher either received a no-decision (31 times) or a loss (nine times). On the other hand, on 29 occasions last year, a starting pitcher threw six or fewer innings and allowed at least five earned runs and still wound up with a win in the stat column.

So, if we’re only using pitcher wins/losses as the guide, on 69 occasions last year, a stat line of 6 IP, 5 ER (or worse) was a more valuable pitching line than 7 IP, 1 ER (or better).

Broncos football poobah John Elway shouldn’t mess around. Don’t wait to see if Romo gets released by Dallas. Send the Cowboys a draft pick – provided it’s within reason — to insure Romo is in the fold before Denver gets outmaneuvered by Houston for his services.

Such a move would be different for Elway, who has gone on the cheap lately at the quarterback position despite having adroitly played the position himself at a high price. Romo’s $14 million base salary for 2017 is just $1 million less than what Elway convinced Peyton Manning to play for in 2015 with a contract restructure. It’s far more Cheap Authentic Hockey Jerseys than what Denver is set to pay Paxton Lynch ($2.2 million) and Trevor Siemian ($628,000) this Cheap Authentic NHL Jerseys season.

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Sports Illustrated writer Jay Jaffe isn’t optimistic about Whitaker’s chances.

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The Hall of Fame, though, isn’t always great about rewarding consistent players who are good in a number of areas but seemingly not elite at any. Just ask Trammell, Dwight Evans or Bobby Grich.

Baseball researcher and Cooperstown enthusiast Adam Darowski made note of this in an email and also offered a theory for Trammell and Whitaker’s differing popularity.

It probably comes down to shortstop being a bit more glamorous and Trammell having a couple seasons that put him in the MVP mix,” Darowski wrote. Whitaker was also remarkably consistent. If he had a few 8 WAR years and fewer 3 WAR years, he’d be in.”

Sports Illustrated writer Jay Jaffe isn’t optimistic about Whitaker’s chances. In his upcoming Cooperstown Casebook, which will be out in June, Jaffe writes, Like Grich, Whitaker faces an uphill battle, because as Cheap Barcelona Jerseys longtime Cheap Authentic NBA Jerseys Tigers beat writer Tom Gage reminded his supporters in 2015, ‘reconsiderations don’t start at the bottom.’”

You go into that level, and you’re calling out every single receiver, running back, offensive line protection. You’re calling it all out in a play, Fedora said. If you’ve ever heard an NFL play, it might be 7 to 10 words long. Getting that from the sideline or the helmet to his teammates will be the biggest learning curve, I think, for him.

With so much pressure on coaches and GMs to hit on the right guy right away, the patience to develop a QB in the NFL is a dying art. (Even when a QB class like this one doesn’t offer that guy.) Beyond a team helping Trubisky grow, waiting on him as a starter also would let it further get to know what kind of leader and winner he can be in time.

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The Seahawks are among those teams, but the Carolina Panthers are another enticing option.

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New York Giants co-owner John Mara told MMQB that he heard from many fans who threatened to boycott games if Giants players protested the way Kaepernick did.

No matter where Kaepernick ends up, there will be an inevitable backlash from a portion of that team’s fans who strongly opposed the quarterback’s decision to kneel. While Kaepernick has said he won’t continue to kneel during the national anthem in 2017, he’s still without a team and that’s likely the reason why.

The Seattle Seahawks have emerged as a possible landing spot for Kaepernick, who visited them Make Cheap Jerseys Online last week. However, the likelihood of him joining the team continues to drop with every day he remains unsigned since the visit. SiriusXM Radio’s Pat Kirwan, who is close to Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, said this week that he doesn’t think a deal will get done:

When Cam Newton was sidelined with a concussion for a game-and-a-half last year, Derek Anderson took over. The backup threw two touchdowns and five interceptions in 2016 and brings a much different skill set than Newton.

Griffin could presumably do better than that, if asked, and provide more continuity Minnesota Vikings Cheap Jerseys for an offense that relies on Newton’s dual-threat abilities that are lost with Anderson under center.

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