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NBA community says goodbye to Paul Pierce after his final game

NBA community says goodbye to Paul Pierce after his final game

With the Clippers’ Game 7 loss to the Jazz on Sunday, Paul Pierce’s career came to an end.

After one NBA title, 10 All-Star appearances and many memorable moments with three teams, the 39-year-old will be walking away from the game. He played 19 seasons with 170 playoff games under his belt while scoring 26,397 career points.

After the game, the NBA community reminisced on Pierce’s time in the NBA.

Schroder and Millsap combined for 56 points to lead the Hawks to an 116-98 win against the Wizards on Saturday in Game 3, cutting Washington’s lead in the first-round series to 2-1.

Wall scored 29 points on 10-of-12 shooting from the field, but none of his teammates, including the loquacious Morris, matched his effort. Morris scored nine points on 4 of 14 from the field. He was mostly quiet until after the game when he dropped some more words in the verbal warfare between the two squads.

“He’s a crybaby,” Morris said of Millsap. “Get all the calls, and you a crybaby.”

Millsap had 29 points to go along with 14 rebounds and five assists. Before he was apprised of Morris’ comments, Millsap told the media that he enjoyed the matchup.

A ring is hard to come by in this age of basketball, though. The Warriors have built a super team in the West, and LeBron James in the East has been to six straight NBA Finals, showing no signs of slowing down. Even Lowry admitted it’s practically impossible to get by James.

Via The Vertical from last Friday, after Game 3:

“They’ve got LeBron James. Nobody’s closing the gap on him. I mean, that’s it right there: They’ve got LeBron James and nobody’s closing the gap on him.

Tim Tebow homers in Port St. Lucie Mets debut, passes Michael Jordan in career home runs

Tim Tebow homers in Port St. Lucie Mets debut, passes Michael Jordan in career home runs

I’m sorry for this Tim Tebow news update, but here we go:

Tebow has done it. He’s hit a home run in his second game with the Port St. Lucie Mets, and he’s now better than Michael Jordan.

It’s Tebow’s fourth career home run, surpassing fellow baseball great and surefire, one-day Cooperstown denizen Michael Jordan, who had a career tally of three.

At this rate, the Mets could use all the help they could get — on the mound, not as much on offense.

The Metropolitans are in the middle of a historic month: They’ve mashed more home runs in June than any other month in franchise history. That’s certainly something. Maybe Tebow wants in on the action.

In any case, all hail Tebow.

The relationship between the Knicks and rising star Kristaps Porzingis has been turbulent in recent months, as Porzingis skipped his exit interview in April. Well, Porzingis’ time in New York could be nearing its end. Phil Jackson is open to the possibility of trading Porzingis as the “frenzy of interest is growing,” according to The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The Sixers landed the No. 1 pick for the second year in a row, thanks to a predraft trade with the Celtics. In return, Boston receives the No. 3 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, in addition to either the Lakers’ 2018 first-round pick or the Kings’ 2019 first-round pick. The Celtics will receive the Lakers’ pick if it falls between No. 2 and No. 5. If it doesn’t, they’ll get the Kings’ unprotected first-round pick in 2019.

Somewhere where he can escape and just play hockey.

Somewhere where he can escape and just play hockey.

Now, let’s add the two stars they must have as part of their core: Paul and Griffin. Because of the rising collective bargaining agreement, both are set to make more than $30 million their first season. Paul — who commands 35 percent of the salary cap — is well over $35 million.

Let’s imagine a scenario where the Clippers bring back everyone. That includes re-signing Redick, bringing back likely free agent Luc Mbah a Moute (he has a player option we expect him to decline), and adding a player with the taxpayer’s mini mid-level exception.

Pull factors. There’s a few of those for Arizona. The fact that Price can join a team on the way up and push it to the next level. The fact that off the ice there is the entire desert and ranches aplenty for Carey to keep his horses. But most of all, there’s the fact that Arizona is a little more easy-going than Montreal. Price can come to a place where he isn’t expected to carry a franchise on his back and a media who won’t push him under the spotlight for every single loss. Somewhere where he has young stars to share the load.

Somewhere where he can escape and just play hockey.

Push factors. See the above in reverse. Price wants to stay in Montreal, and that’s admirable. But maybe Montreal is less happy for him to stay than they have been in the past.

Then there’s the cap space issue. How much can Montreal offer Price? How much are they willing to offer him and for how long? And how much longer is Price willing to take the uncertainty, pressure, upheaval and blame in Montreal from a marketplace that is still expecting him to singlehandedly carry them to a Stanley Cup?


Roy Williams on Donald Trump: ‘Our president tweets out more bulls*** than anyone I’ve ever seen’

Roy Williams on Donald Trump: ‘Our president tweets out more bulls*** than anyone I’ve ever seen’

Roy Williams has a way with words. The North Carolina coach gave the world another memorable quote on Thursday afternoon after his Tar Heels pounded Miami in their first game at the ACC tournament.

The ACC tournament is in Brooklyn this season after years in Greensboro, N.C. Williams was asked about the impact of the move to New York. This is how he answered:

If we have any luck, Van Mil will find one of the two and finally become a major leaguer. If baseball has some beauty left over, he’ll find both of them and become a dominant major leaguer.

It’s the story of baseball wrapped in a 7’1” shell, at least, and it’s worth watching — even if you think you’ve watched tall pitchers before. You have, but not like this. There still might be chapters left to write, and the WBC came at the perfect time for us to gawk with a sense of wonder and curiosity.

By 2005, a 26-year-old Nowitzki had already tallied 11,106 career points. That season brought his epochal game-tying layup in Game 7 against the Spurs, as well as heartbreak in the 2006 finals. But it starts on a lighter note that preseason, when Knicks rookie David Lee is convinced he needed to show something against the established Nowitzki.

“David Lee just thought it was the most important thing to guard Dirk, and Dirk just torched him,” Cuban says.

Nowitzki’s reaction, in Cuban’s recollection, is, “Who the fuck is David Lee Roth, and what’s he doing here?”

For what it’s worth, Lee remembered this game well but says that Cuban has embellished it a bit — in classic Cuban fashion.


2017 NFL Combine: 5 players who need a big week

2017 NFL Combine: 5 players who need a big week

In Indianapolis this week, players can use the Scouting Combine to vault their stock in the 2017 NFL Draft. While some players like Myles Garrett of Texas A&M or Jonathan Allen of Alabama should be secure with their draft position, these five players could help themselves the most.

DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame

Since the college football season has ended, much of the buzz for top quarterbacks has centered on Mitch Trubisky of North Carolina and Deshaun Watson of Clemson. Because Notre Dame finished with a 4-8, Kizer has been out of the spotlight since November. When he did play, he completed less than 60 percent of his passes, and 50.7 in his last two games against Southern California and Virginia Tech. At one point he was even benched last season. To call Kizer inconsistent is an understatement. Some do like him lot, though. Daniel Jeremiah of NFL Network rates him as the top quarterback and he’s not the only one:

The Titans are one of two teams with two first-round picks, thanks to a trade that gave the Los Angeles Rams the No. 1 pick in 2016. The Eagles will own either the No. 14 or No. 15 pick, dependent upon a coin flip between the Indianapolis Colts and Minnesota Vikings on Friday.

“Brandon’s commitment and passion for football is undeniable,” said Jets owner Woody Johnson. “His drive to support mental health awareness is beyond admirable. We appreciate his contributions to the organization and wish him the best.”

Going into the season, Kaaya carried some buzz as a potential first-round pick. Statistically, Kaaya had a nice season, completing 62 percent of his passes and throwing 27 touchdowns to only seven interceptions. Digging deeper, there are some concerns. When pressured, Kaaya’s footwork falls apart, and his accuracy goes down. Since he’s not much of a mover in the pocket, that can be a problem. 13

Shields was one of Green Bay’s most reliable and effective defensive backs in recent years

Shields was one of Green Bay’s most reliable and effective defensive backs in recent years

The Eagles are in dire need of salary cap space, and while McKelvin was a carryover from Buffalo and familiar with Jim Schwartz’s defense, injury issues (concussion, hamstring) limited him to 12 games. At 31 years old, Philadelphia is going younger as it searches for needed improvements.

Jared Odrick, defensive end, Jacksonville Jaguars

Odrick’s cap number was the second-highest on Jacksonville’s roster, and as Gregg Rosenthal wrote, he would probably be best used as a rotational defensive end. For a Jaguars team that spent plenty in recent years, Odrick was a prime candidate to get cut as Jacksonville trims the unnecessarily expensive contracts from its roster moving forward.

Sam Shields, cornerback, Green Bay Packers

Shields was one of Green Bay’s most reliable and effective defensive backs in recent years, but concussion-related issues in 2016 — Shields played in just one game all season — leave him with an uncertain future, though the corner said he hopes to play in 2017.

Offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur, who took over the duties midway through the season, believes a full offseason in the program will help the rapport between Bradford and his receivers, allowing the passing attack to make a leap forward.

“When he comes back [for the Vikings’ offseason program in April], him having the ability to sit down with the players he’s going to play with through the offseason, we’ll do things that fit his eye, that fit with what we do,” Shurmur said last week, via

That looks simple—motion across the line, then an out route—but it only played out that way because Engram executed it with such precision. Notice not just how sharp Engram was into his break, but how quickly he turned his hips and got his head around for the pass. This was a timing route all the way, with a defender to Engram’s inside shoulder and a DB closing from about 12 yards deep.

During McDermott’s tenure as defensive coordinator of the Panther

During McDermott’s tenure as defensive coordinator of the Panther

This might be an unpopular opinion, but tagging Gilmore just doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense for Buffalo. The team’s new head coach, , has traditionally built his defenses inside-out, meaning he places a high value on members of the front seven and doesn’t put as much emphasis on having talent in the secondary.

During McDermott’s tenure as defensive coordinator of the Panthers, eight of the their 10 defensive selections in the first three rounds of the draft were players in the front seven. In fact, the only two defensive backs selected in the first three rounds came last year, when the team was already set at the linebacker and defensive line positions.

The Bills already have limited cap space, so using the tag on a cornerback seems against McDermott’s nature. I could be totally wrong on this, but based on everything we’ve seen from McDermott to this point, I would guess Gilmore will be playing for a new team next season. If true, rumors that the corner is looking for top-five money all but guarantee Gilmore will leave Buffalo.

Five linemen with starting experience return, including two-year left tackle Jeremiah Culbreth. Eight of 11 names from last year’s two-deep are back, and Georgia transfer Jake Edwards joins the mix.

When you look at things from that perspective, a bounce-back is possible. But Georgia Southern has lost the benefit of the doubt, and Cook has to earn it back.

Despite selecting defensive tackle Vernon Butler in the first round of last year’s draft, the Panthers will make a strong push to re-sign one of the stalwarts on their defense. Coach Ron Rivera already acknowledged the franchise tag is the likeliest option if the two sides can’t agree to a long-term deal.

NFL playoff picture 2017: Standings, scenarios, who’s in, who’s out

NFL playoff picture 2017: Standings, scenarios, who’s in, who’s out

The AFC field is almost all set. We know the six teams that are going to the playoffs from that conference, but there are still a few questions left to answer. The Raiders lead the AFC West, though the Chiefs have a chance to take that from them Sunday.

The Patriots could lock down the No. 1 seed with a win over the Dolphins, but the Raiders have an outside shot at that still if they win and the Patriots lose.

Over in the NFC, the big game of the week is the showdown between the Packers and Lions in Detroit. The winner takes the NFC North, though the loser could still make the postseason as a wild card team. That’s probably the least complicated of all the Week 17 playoff scenarios.

Let’s take a look at where the playoff races stands, starting with the AFC (Here’s a quick primer on tiebreakers for the playoff standings, just in case you need a refresher):

“Any American wants to get paid more at their job,” Bennett said. “I don’t think there’s anybody that goes to work and says: ‘Hey, I’m happy with how much I’m getting paid, and I love it. Don’t give me any more money.’ So that’s how I feel too.”

Bennett, 31, has never been one to hide his personality, but he’s backed up his words with excellent play on the field. In 2015, he earned a trip to the Pro Bowl with 10 sacks and two forced fumbles. While he struggled through injuries for much of 2016, Bennett started the season with three sacks in the first four weeks and got back on the board with a sack against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 16.

The Seahawks are No. 2 in the NFL in points allowed and No. 7 in yards allowed through 16 weeks and close out the 2016 season against the San Francisco 49ers. Prior to joining the Seahawks, Bennett played four seasons for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

He first became interested in the Packers because he really likes cheese

He first became interested in the Packers because he really likes cheese

Like Alvarez himself. He first became interested in the Packers because he really likes cheese — “It’s an obsession,” he said — and can now name every player on their roster.

Or Bohon, who was decked out in Vikings gear because as a kid he believed Fran Tarkenton was “ahead of his time.”

Or Erick Colín Mena, a 36-year-old who Will Fuller Authentic Womens Jersey was always fascinated by the city of Boston and wore a sweater that read: “I Might Live In Mexico But My Team Is In New England.”

Or Mario Hernándes, 26, who wore a convoluted Raiders costume because his mom bought him a team backpack nine years ago and he instantly became hooked.

Despite being pressured at a much higher rate, Winston has been sacked at a far lower rate than Mariota, 4.9 percent to 6.9 percent. When under pressure, Winston completes a higher percentage of passes than Mariota, and he has thrown an interception Will Fuller V Authentic Womens Jersey on 1.6 percent of his attempts, compared with 3.7 percent for Mariota. Winston’s Total QBR when under pressure is 64.6 for his career, the highest among qualified quarterbacks in that span. Mariota is at 16.5, which ranks 28th.

One factor into completion percentage is that Winston’s intended receivers have dropped 3.6 percent of his passes, while Mariota’s have dropped just 2.6 percent, which is the second-lowest rate among qualified quarterbacks.

That’s not to say Winston’s lower completion percentage is all his receivers’ fault. Winston has been judged to be off target (over or underthrown passes) on 23.2 percent of his attempts, the second-highest rate in the league. Mariota is at 17.5 Xavier Su’a-Filo Authentic Womens Jersey percent, which is also the league average.

Their accuracy when throwing the ball downfield is similar. On passes traveling 15 or more yards beyond the line of scrimmage, Mariota has a completion percentage of 44 percent compared with Winston’s 43 percent, though Winston attempts two more such passes per game.

Len Goodman: Without a doubt, the most improved dancer in this final. Honestly. When I think back, Week 1, you got a 6. You were lucky to get a 6 if I’m honest, but you got a 6. This had such lovely fluidity of movement. It had a charm about it. Your hold has got much better. You’ve still got to work a little bit on your footwork, but overall, what a fabulous start to the evening.

The Clippers are outscoring teams by even more than last year’s Warriors

The Clippers are outscoring teams by even more than last year’s Warriors

After the Los Angeles Clippers’ 127-95 Monday rout of the Brooklyn Nets, it’s clear the team has the “singular focus” Chris Paul referenced after the game.

”No excuses, we said we’re going to come out the same way every night,” he said. “It’s all about playing the right way. We got to keep building.”

Eleven games normally isn’t a large enough sample size to pass Adam Duvall Authentic Womens Jersey judgment on an NBA team. But the Clippers haven’t just been good, they’ve been really good to start the season. And it’s their defense, anchored by DeAndre Jordan, that’s setting the tone.

Last season, the Clippers allowed 100.9 points per 100 possessions. In 2014-15, they allowed 103. Through 11 games this season, the same Clips team boasts a defensive rating of 93 points per 100 possessions. (For reference, the Spurs defensive rating is 99.9, the Cavaliers 101.7, the Warriors 104.6, and the Knicks are dead last at 107.5.)

The question for DeRozan is: how much? A drop from 55 percent to 49 like Durant means DeRozan could easily still average 30 points this season, even if the mid-30s quickly fall out of reach. If that numbers falls to 45 percent, then DeRozan’s path becomes even more difficult. Of course, the worst-case scenario is a complete regression to the mean. Last year, DeRozan shot just 40 percent overall from that 8-to-24-foot range.

Still, DeRozan looks more than comfortable with this style, enough that it doesn’t feel like he’s a supernova that’s bound to fade away any minute now. Statistics say it’s unlikely, but maybe DeRozan just keeps making these shots forever and averages a gaudy number of points this season. The way he dominated the Knicks, to use just one of his nine games as an example, certainly doesn’t feel like he’s exerting his best Anthony DeSclafani Authentic Womens Jersey effort — and he still ended up with 33.

Regardless whether the drop off comes — and OK, yes, it almost certainly will — DeRozan’s game is still hearkening back to the older days.

It’s honestly refreshing. It’s not that three-pointers are bad or that there should be fewer of them, but everyone could use some nostalgia now and again. To see a player go against every offensive norm that has been erected over the past decade and thrive anyway is heartwarming. It’s an underdog story in one sense, if you ignore DeRozan was already a wildly successful basketball player before he emerged into the league’s best scorer for nine games.