Blake Griffin’s return gives boost to Clippers team refusing to settle for less

Tuesday was an oasis compared to the previous month for the Clippers. In spite of losing to the 76ers, it was still a good day.

Blake Griffin returned to the lineup.

“NBA 2K18” will release on Sept. 15 to those who pre-order. Shaquille O’Neal is featured on the two pricey special editions of the game, which will be sold for $150 and $100, and Kyrie Irving is on the cover of the standard edition.

With less than two months until release, nothing has been seen from “NBA 2K18,” nor have any features or improvements been revealed. One reason for the lack of media may be the new Nike uniforms that the league will want to fully reveal before they are seen in footage and screenshots of the video game.

Leading up to Week 1, it should surprise nobody if Johnson ends up second on the depth chart and Smith gets cut. But Johnson likely will not be needed to play; the real reserve to watch is Webb.

Nassib began his career with plenty of buildup, too. That was overblown to the point of him becoming a massive disappointment. Webb, even as a likely inactive third QB all season, can gain a lot of ground now to be Manning’s successor down the road.

With Henson sliding over, Giannis Antetokounmpo has to leave Porter in the corner to step in front of Gortat. Otherwise Wall will set Gortat up for an uncontested dunk by drawing Henson as close to him as possible before making a simple pass.rangers_259-115x115

Williams is still a wanted man around the league.

Ultimately, Williams saw his best opportunity to combine playing time with a chance to win in Cleveland, which has needed a backup point guard all season, since a knee injury to veteran Mo Williams ended his career in the fall. In fact, a source said, the Cavs had inquired about Williams even in the offseason, hoping to bolster their backcourt. At the deadline, though, the Cavs knew they need not give up anything to the Mavs for Williams, but only had to wait until he was set free.

Braydon Coburn Kids Jersey So Williams is here after a tortuous career path. He was granted exile after reaching stardom in Utah in 2011, spent four years as the out-of-shape face of a sputtering, bungling Nets franchise and was able to remake himself as an average, reliable point guard in Dallas. Now, he has a chance to rewrite his career story by playing the part of the knowing veteran who can plug the hole on a playoff roster.

Rod Streater Authentic Jersey For all his career faults, Williams is still a wanted man around the league. Playing for the Cavs figures to set up the final few years of his NBA life, whether in Cleveland or for some other contender.

In the end, it’s unlikely that Lavar Ball’s spouting off is going to cost his son at all in the draft. It could even be a slight help — if Lonzo excels despite the added scrutiny that comes with Lavar’s comments, it shows that he can handle pressure. There is a consensus that he will be a Top 3 pick, and that is not likely to change, no matter what his father says.

One scout compared Ball’s situation to that of Klay Thompson in 2011. While at Washington State, Thompson was cited for marijuana possession, and his father — former NBA star Mychal Thompson — said on his radio show in Los Angeles that some teams might look at his son and say, Hmmm, if this guy’s going to be this irresponsible, I don’t know if I’d want this type of guy on my team and want to invest all this kind of money him.

Now it’s up to his body to hold up its end of the bargain.

Because of the uncertainty of his situation, nothing about this decision was easy for Giles. He has to hope things work out in his favor. For what it’s worth, Giles is known in basketball circles as a high-level worker with a sterling reputation in terms of personality. He showcased that this season while on Duke’s bench; he never appeared to be openly frustrated with his lack of playing time. He just never showed the same potential he displayed during his high school career.

That ability was on full display the day I saw him in the summer of 2015. His graceful explosiveness at his size was a sight to behold, and it made him look like potentially one of the best prospects in the past five years.

Now it’s up to his body to hold up its end of the bargain.

If we knew then what we know now as far as rest and taking care of your body, King said, who knows, that might not have happened.

Limited Womens Brian Propp Jersey As the league is gripped with this resting crisis, keep King’s name in mind. Much of what we are seeing now in the NBA has been part of a league-wide push to learn ever-more about the biometrics of those on the court, in order to find ways to reduce major injuries to star players. It became a formal pursuit in 2011-12, with the introduction of SportVu cameras at some NBA arenas, but has proceeded apace since then.
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The league and its teams have set out to find ways to reduce the Barnard King kind of catastrophic injuries, investing heavily in biometric technology to learn as much as possible about the workings of an NBA player’s body. What has been learned is that resting players when fatigue is most likely at its peak is the best way to prevent injuries, and what’s more, it’s best way to ensure those players don’t suffer fatigue later in the year.

NBA Draft prospect rankings 4.0: March Madness provides final chance to impress scouts

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How much does the NCAA Tournament help a player’s draft stock? Well, that depends on who you ask.

FiveThirtyEight currently gives the Warriors, Spurs, Rockets, Clippers, Jazz, Grizzlies and Thunder a 99 percent chance of making the playoffs. That means there’s one spot up for grabs. The Nuggets have the best odds of making the playoffs, but there’s less than a handful of games separating them from the Pelicans, Trail Blazers, Mavericks and Timberwolves. In fact, the only teams we can realistically eliminate from the race are the Lakers and Suns. Every other team has a legitimate chance of sneaking into the playoffs.

Washington Wizards Jersey Some teams would obviously be better off making the playoffs than others, which is what makes this final stretch so interesting. The Nuggets are one team that has have absolutely nothing to lose. They already have their franchise player in Nikola Jokic as well as plenty of young pieces surrounding him. Playoff experience is more valuable to them at this stage of their rebuild than another lottery pick.

The Mavericks, on the other hand, would benefit more from a top-five pick than a first-round loss to the Warriors. Dirk Nowitzki’s career is on its last legs, and it’s about time they shifted their focus to the future with Harrison Barnes and someone like Lonzo Ball or Dennis Smith. Otherwise they run the risk of being stuck in mediocrity for the foreseeable future. Now that the Pelicans 鈥?one of the teams in the running for the No. 8 seed 鈥?have acquired DeMarcus Cousins, the Mavericks should have more incentive to pack it in.

Pistons set record for worst free-throw percentage in NBA history

In their 109-86 loss at home to the Pelicans on Wednesday night, the Pistons set a record for free-throw futility.

Detroit made just three of 17 attempts from the foul line, and the 17.6 make percentage is the worst for a single game in NBA history.

Ferguson’s sojourn to Australia has ended. The final numbers: slightly over 450 minutes played, a 47.0 true-shooting percentage, 5.4 PER and 31.3 percent mark from 3-point range. None of that is particularly promising, but remember that it’s quite difficult for 18-year-olds to find professional success in a foreign land overseas. By all accounts, Ferguson adjusted well on a personal level outside of the United States.

He’s back in America training for the NBA Draft now, and he will need to show teams the skills that made him a coveted 3-and-D recruit just a year ago. Again, Ferguson is at an advantage due to the NBA’s continual search for wings.

I would have probably laughed if you told me Luke Kennard would have a chance at going in the lottery in the preseason. But he’s earned his spot due to sheer offensive scoring ability off the ball.

Let’s look at a couple more examples to understand how having a shooting threat at every position makes Thomas’ life much easier. First, notice how Markieff Morris and Jason Smith would rather prevent their assignment from getting an open 3-pointer than helping Trey Burke contain Thomas. It’s a poorly defended sequence by the Wizards, but drawing all five defenders out of the paint means they have to pick their poison.saints_019-223x223

MLB trade rumors: Rangers could shop Yu Darvish, Cole Hamels

Yu Darvish and Cole Hamels may be the best 1-2 punch in baseball when they’re healthy. The problem for the Rangers though is they haven’t been healthy for a good portion of the 2017 season and the team finds itself under .500 at the All-Star Break.

Authentic Womens Cliff Avril Jersey No one has said definitively that the Rangers will sell on Darvish or Hamels, but if the team comes out of the break cold and falls even further back of the Astros and the second wild-card spot there are reports starting to surface that the team may consider selling either one of the pitchers.

The question becomes do the Indians have the pieces to make a trade for Gray? At first glance the answer is no.
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Yes, they have some good prospects, but odds are Francisco Mejia is untouchable mainly because they just traded for him and Yan Gomes is pretty streaky, Triston McKenzie is good, but at this point he is almost 85-percent projection, meaning they think he’s going to be really good but they aren’t sure he’ll start throwing 98 mph like his frame may suggest, and Bobby Bradley is another three-true outcomes guy, with whom a lot of teams aren’t in love.

Any of the four teams mentioned at the top with the exception of the Cubs can put together a more lucrative package than the Indians.

Conclusion: the Indians are interested because everyone is interested in starting pitchers at this point in the season, but logically they don’t have the prospects to make the trade happen.

Lonzo Ball ditches Big Baller Brand, wears Nike shoes in impressive NBA Summer League performance

Lonzo Ball noticeably changed his wardrobe for the Lakers’ NBA Summer League game against the 76ers on Wednesday night, and he (un)coincidentally had his best performance as a pro.

Caldwell-Pope is only 24 and has been a steady contributor for the Pistons in his three seasons as a starter. He averaged 13.8 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists last season.

Dion Lewis Youth Jersey Colon will start his Twins career in the minors while he works his way into the bullpen or rotation.

Brandon Allen Youth Jersey The Twins are surprise contenders in the American League Central. Colon could be a cheap steal if he can regain some of last season’s form when he went 15-8 with a 3.43 ERA.

Sure, it’s also low upside for the Pacers to sign a soon-to-be 30-year-old, but ultimately this is a fine deal. They’ll be able to re-enter the point guard market next summer at minimal cost while also avoiding the previously reported Lance Stephenson point guard experiment.

The All-Star small forward was spotted throughout the city Thursday doing normal-dude stuff like buying a new suit for his introductory press conference, getting a fresh haircut for the aforementioned presser and even enjoying some fine dining with new (and old) coach Brad Stevens.

Hayward isn’t wasting time becoming ingratiated with his new town. How does that make you feel, Utah?

You saw what happened when the Warriors played the Thunder this year. There was a lot of emotion in there, Rivers said. I don’t think it’ll be quite like that, but it’ll definitely be a lot of fireworks that game if I had to take a guess.

Look: You can stop worrying about Phil Jackson

If you’ve been concerned about how Phil Jackson is doing after being shown the door by Knicks owner James Dolan, you can stop worrying. The Zen Master is doing just fine.

Elite Kids Duke Ihenacho Jersey At least that’s the feeling the Twitterverse got when Jackson posted a photo Saturday night of himself lounging by the lake at his property in Montana. It is his first tweet since April 20.

It will also give fans a chance to see the No. 2 overall pick in this year’s draft take the court with second-year Lakers forward Brandon Ingram, the No. 2 overall pick last year.

Again, it’s only a Summer League game, but for Lakers fans who’ve seen the franchise hit hard times in recent years, this is good stuff — cornerstones for a (hopefully) Lakers dynasty learning to play together for the first time.
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I knew he was going to give up enough money to allow us to keep Andre (Iguodala) and Shaun (Livingston). I didn’t know he was going to go beyond that. A remarkable gesture, Warriors coach Steve Kerr told Bay Area News Group. I told him it reminded me a little bit of Tim Duncan and his time with the Spurs. He made max money and then at key times in his career he took a little less so they could add a player here and there.

Cam Newton has hilarious goof on ‘The $100,000 Pyramid’

Cam Newton had a funny moment during his appearance on ABC’s “The $100,000 Pyramid” on Sunday.

The Panthers quarterback confused the words “crouch” and “crotch,” as he squared off against Giants wide receiver Brandon Marshall.

The key for Teague is that he gives the Timberwolves a point guard who can not only run offense by himself, but he can also play off the ball next to Butler. In the past two years, Teague has sneakily become a terrific shooter. He’s hit 38 percent of his 527 3-point attempts. Last year, Teague finished in the 83rd percentile of all players in jump shooting off the catch. In 2015-16, Teague was the best off-the-catch shooter in the NBA according to Synergy, hitting his 101 attempts at a 75.2 effective field goal percentage.

Sure, Teague does not necessarily bring the defense that Rubio does. But his offensive profile is stronger, his fit on the team is better and the Timberwolves get a first-round pick for their troubles. I’m a fan of this move, overall.

Coaches are fine. They don’t add much to the lottery in terms of entertainment value, but fine. It would have been nice to see DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis being forced to share a chair. The real question here: will we see evil goatee Joerger or regular Joerger?

Larry Bird resigns as Pacers President

It’s the end of an era in Indianapolis.

Friday, The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Hall-of-Famer Larry Bird is leaving his post as the Pacers President of Basketball Operations after 13 years. Bird, a native of the Hoosier state, played his college ball at Indiana State before a 13-year career in the NBA as a member of the Boston Celtics, during which he earned the nickname Larry Legend.

Larry Bird is stepping down as Pacers president, league sources tell @TheVertical. Kevin Pritchard will take over basketball operations.

With all these players together Monday night, fans wanted them to discuss Allen and why they were upset.
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I thought we formed a brotherhood here in Boston, Pierce said. Not only how we carried ourself on the court, but off the court. And I just figure if it was me leaving, or KG leaving, I would have been like, ‘Rondo, Perk, Baby, this is what I’ve been thinking about.’ That’s what I was hurt about, when Ray didn’t just at least give us a heads up about it.

Authentic Mens Joel Bitonio Jersey Perkins made similar comments, as well as Davis, and Rondo decided to just observe and not say much.

One thing is clear about the whole thing, though. Unless Allen reaches out to them on his own terms, this feud will probably continue. The former Celtics teammates all felt like Allen is the one who needs to initiate conversation if he wants to fix the situation.

UPDATE: Allen appears to have responded to the talk from last night with a Facebook post Tuesday morning showing him pushing past Rondo in a Celtics uniform.