Category Archives: NBA News

NBA News

Panthers schedule 2018: Carolina still a player in NFC contention

The Panthers reside in one of the best divisions in football, the NFC South, and Carolina’s matchups beyond its own division don’t make its 2018 schedule any easier.

Carolina sits in the middle of the pack (12th) in terms of strength of schedule based on last year’s records, but a glance at their opponents for this season suggests things could be more difficult, with two tough divisions on the docket in the NFC East and AFC North.

Bottom line: Carolina had what looked like a rough schedule last season and managed to come away with an 11-5 record, nearly stealing the division title from the Saints. This year, the division looks as tough as ever, and fellow NFC teams like the Eagles, Lions and Cowboys could make for some tough games, too. The Panthers are talented in their own right, though, and their style plays well both at home and on the road. Carolina should remain a conference contender. Record prediction: 10-6

All of this of course is wrapped up in the perfect plan and purposes of God…who knows all, is sovereign over all, and graciously orchestrates the details of our lives, holding everything together, and working everything together for good. None of us know what tomorrow holds…but we can choose to trust the ONE who holds tomorrow. Thank you for loving us and praying us through all of this.

“Went to NYC yesterday for a checkup and moving forward, strategy meeting,” Jill Kelly posted on Instagram. “The doctors were very impressed with how much Jim has healed since he’s been home. Praise God!

“The plan at this point is that he will have surgery in mid-June to lesson the ‘skin flap’ bulk in his mouth, as well as put implants into his upper jaw. And then there will be more healing and waiting and then another surgery and possibly upper teeth sometime in September.”ravens_126

Kevin Durant says there’s ‘no story’ to accidental like of Russell Westbrook criticism on Instagram

Kevin Durant told ESPN on Monday it was a “total accident” he liked an Instagram comment criticizing former teammate Russell Westbrook.

On Monday, the Golden State Warriors All-Star liked an Instagram post that said the Thunder point guard and reigning MVP was the “problem” when the two played together in Oklahoma City.

Westbrook and Durant have clashed on the floor, too, with tensions running high in their meetings. In November, the two went forehead to forehead and were both assessed a technical foul.

However, the relationship between the two seemed to be in a better place at All-Star Weekend, with the two routinely spotted chatting at practices and laughing together prior to the game.

Oklahoma City has some work to do to make a playoff meeting happen. The Thunder trail the Jazz 3-1 after Monday’s 113-96 Game 4 loss in Utah.

“This concept that he doesn’t compete is absolutely fabricated and false,” Maddon said before Thursday’s game against the Milwaukee Brewers. “This guy is one of the best pitchers in the world, not in the United States, but in the world. How could you arrive at that point if you don’t compete? But there are times even good players don’t process the moment well enough and things get away from them. That’s where I think he’s at.”

Darvish has had high-profile meltdowns in his past two starts; one was derailed by a balk, and another by a walk to the pitcher. He hasn’t gotten out of the fifth inning in three of four outings this year.

“Really trying to stay focused on this pitch,” Maddon said. “Respect this pitch only. Don’t worry about the previous or the next one. Let’s respect this pitch. I know he understands that.”

It’s true. Darvish hasn’t shied away from the criticism as he attempts to find answers. He and Maddon had a conversation this week between starts.

“I think it’s approach,” Maddon said. “Just like hitting goes back to approach. Same with the pitching. Trying to get him to slow down [tough] moments.”dolphins_094

Jazz’s Donovan Mitchell questionable for Game 2 with bruised foot

Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell, Utah’s leading scorer in its first-round playoff series, is questionable for Game 2 on Wednesday.

Mitchell suffered a left foot bruise in Game 1, a 116-108 loss to the Thunder, and a Jazz spokesman said he is questionable. The rookie went through portions of Tuesday’s practice. He had 27 points and 10 rebounds in the opener after averaging 20.5 points in the regular season.

“One thing about him is he’s not afraid to try things and really apply it,” Bryant says after the film session. “That’s something that’s rare. A lot of guys want to stay in their comfort zone. He has the ability to go out there and apply it.”

Herring: The Sixers have it really nice. Yes, they have a treacherous first round against Erik Spoelstra and the Heat, who might cook up something to challenge Ben Simmons’ unwillingness to shoot from outside the paint. That and Joel Embiid’s potential absence for the first few games are concerning given Miami’s stout defense. But if Philly advances to Round 2, the young team would almost certainly be favored there, too — especially if they draw the Celtics without Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward. Either LeBron or Toronto would figure to be waiting in the conference finals, but the road to that point is about all a team could ask for.

Spears: No NBA team will have it easy in the conference finals. So, the better question is which team has the easiest road to that point. The 76ers do not have to face the Toronto Raptors or Cleveland Cavaliers en route to the East finals, but this is new pressure for the young Sixers.

If all goes well, Mitchell will have the luxury of playing the majority of his career with Gobert, a dominant defensive force who takes great pride in excelling as a complementary offensive player, in particular as a screener. According to advanced stats, Gobert averaged 6.1 “screen assists” per game, the most in the league by a wide margin.

Bryant and Snyder spend a lot of time discussing the subtleties of screens with Mitchell. “Connectivity” is one of Snyder’s buzzwords, and it especially applies to the Jazz’s two franchise cornerstones.

“How is the communication going with Rudy?” Snyder asks. This question comes after a defensive clip, but it applies to offense as well.

“It’s gotten better,” Mitchell answers. “Even if what he’s saying I don’t really agree with, it’s kind of just saying, ‘OK,’ so that he feels confident to keep [talking].”

Huge PFT Live coming Wednesday

It’s a non-Simms edition of PFT Live, so we’ve loaded the cannon with guests.

Wednesday’s show includes visits with Texans coach Bill O’Brien, Peter King of, and Tom Curran of NBC Sports Boston.

Most of the show will focus on the news of the day, which continues to be the aftermath of the latest stunning NFL trade: Receiver Brandin Cooks, traded for the second time in little more than a year, this time from the Patriots to the Rams.

“It threw gasoline on the fire. It did ring of some hubris on our part that was not planned.”

Just as LeBron had been surprised by the backlash of The Decision, Thomsen wrote, so too would Riley be stunned the next day. “I just think the euphoria of that moment and what all three of them had done had got to them,” Riley said. “The serotonin level was going high. Some of the things that were said, I think they would take it back and be a little more humble if they could, and probably the same for us as an organization. But once it got going I was not going up on the stage to throw them off.

“How would that have been? I would have been booed out of the arena by eighteen thousand people.”

Riley admitted to Thomsen he was angry when, in 2014, LeBron bolted from Miami to return to Cleveland as a free agent.

Ealy played just over 40 percent of the defensive snaps for the Jets last season and had 14 tackles, a sack and an interception while starting four of the 15 games he played. Ealy also knocked down nine passes over the course of the year.

Ealy was a 2014 second-round pick of the Panthers and was traded to the Patriots last offseason. He was claimed off of waivers by the Jets after being waived in August.

The Patriots added defensive tackle Danny Shelton in a trade from the Browns. The Bills flipped quarterback Tyrod Taylor and offensive tackle Cordy Glenn to get them better positioned in the draft, and they also landed defensive tackle Star Lotulelei. The Jets, after rebounding at QB with Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgwater, added running back Isaiah Crowell and center Spencer Long for the offense, plus cornerback Trumaine Johnson and inside linebacker Avery Williamson for the defense.flames_004

Turnovers continue to plague him, however. Only one signal-caller in the NFL (Bortles) has more interceptions since 2015 than Winston’s 44.

He has 59 turnovers in 45 career games. Winston is also nine games under.500 as Tampa Bay’s starter.

Another concern is the continued off-the-field problems that have surrounded Winston since long before he was drafted. The NFL is still investigating allegations that Winston sexually assaulted an Uber driver in Arizona in 2016, according to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. He was also accused of rape during his time at Florida State.

If the NFL suspends Winston after the Buccaneers exercise his fifth-year option, it would be a public relations fiasco. Even if the league clears Winston, a cloud will follow him so long as he continues making more headlines off the field than on it.

Baltimore starter Mike Wright gave up four hits and three runs in five innings.

When Boyle started playing this season, he went on a memorable run to start the season for the Devils. He scored 10 goals over his first 25 games, including one when the Devils hosted Hockey Fights Cancer night at Prudential Center.

Now Boyle finds himself in the middle of another playoff race — something that has been a routine part of his career.

The Devils have seven games left in the season, and Boyle now has the chance tohelp the team get back into the postseason for the first time in five years.

That was kind of the light at the end of the tunnel throughout this whole year, was playing on a great team with a great group of people, Boyle said. All of the support that they’ve given my family away from the rink. Being able to come to the rink and have so much fun and be a part of this culture. It’s truly a blessing.

Reddick then hit a drive to the bullpen in right-center to make it 10-5.

Earlier Sunday, fans gathered around the Ray Lewis statue outside the stadium, taking photos as security staff looked on.

One man, Tom Rose of White Marsh, Md., wore an American flag shirt and a stars-and-stripes cap with “USA” written on it. Underneath his flag shirt was a Ravens jersey.

Latavius Murray, RB, Vikings: With the season-ending injury to Cook, Murray is in line to pick up the slack. While he was beaten out of the starting job by Cook, Murray is coming off a 2016 campaign that saw him score 12 touchdowns. And having signed a three-year, $15 million deal in the offseason, Minnesota figures to give him the opportunity to earn that money on the field. He’s likely the most targeted free agent in leagues where he’s available (he’s owned in 77 percent of ESPN leagues). He’ll likely have some company in the backfield with McKinnon, but should see goal-line carries. Minnesota faces Chicago on Monday night and the Bears have allowed a running back to score in all four games this season.

Baltimore Ravens players took a knee before the national anthem, to a mixture of boos and cheers from those in the crowd, then stood for the playing of the anthem before their game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

An announcement to the crowd asked fans to join the Ravens players and organization in prayer to embrace “kindness, unity, equality and justice for all Americans.”

The Grizzlies could therefore have major holes in their frontcourt on Monday, allowing little-used players such as rookie Ivan Rabb or Deyonta Davis to see additional minutes in the frontcourt — both are available in essentially all leagues.

“I would say keep an eye on that choice at [No.] 5,” former Browns GM Phil Savage said. “Unless there’s just a player that they’re totally in love with — most likely a defensive back, in my mind — I don’t think there’s a wide receiver there to take at [No.] 5. I would look for them to try to be on the move from that spot. At a certain point, from [Nos.] 10 to 50, in essence you’re getting a very similar player in many ways. I think they’re positioned to have a strong draft at [Nos.] 5 and 18. If they stay put, they’re gonna get two really good players. If they move down, they may have an opportunity to pick up three or four really good players.”

Where else could the pressure points for first-round trades come?

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones still ‘feels good’ about Jason Garrett

Jerry Jones is still backing Cowboys coach Jason Garrett, even though their 21-12 loss to the Seahawks Sunday knocked the team out of playoff contention.

It’s the fifth time in Garrett’s seven seasons as coach the Cowboys will be watching the playoffs from home, but Jones indicated he isn’t going to make any coaching changes.

“Believe you me, we’ll be second-guessing some play calls for sure, but that’s not really what happened out there today. We played a good team. We let them hang in there way too long, and then as good teams do, they got inspired by some turnovers, and there you go.”

As for Garrett, he signed a five-year contract extension in 2014, the same year he led the Cowboys to the playoffs for the first time with a 12-4 record.

“This ensures that we do not have a matchup on ‘Sunday Night Football’ on New Year’s Eve that because of earlier results has no playoff implications for one or both of the competing teams.”

It marks the first time since 1977 the NFL regular season won’t have a primetime broadcast.

In reality, the NFL probably knows the ratings would be down since it’s New Year’s Eve, and most people will be out and about celebrating. Normally, it wouldn’t be that big of a deal, but NFL ratings have been down all season.

Rewind to two years ago the final minute of regulation of the Super Bowl.When he came here, this guy spent his time on the practice squad, he did everything he was supposed to do, he improved himself as a player and he’s a very, very good center this league.He always keeps me going, just thought of him.He was a great person who deserved more than what he had.49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio told Bay Area radio station KNBR that fits perfectly with what the 49ers not only want to do on defense these days, but what they really have to do.Louis, was the league’s MVP the next year, and, perhaps most impressive, took Offensive Player of the Year honors 1999 and 2001.For a team laced with to-be-developed players, getting shots and reps are as important as the minutes they play.Golomski US Chemical 28 wife Mary just told me about and I was stunned to hear the news.That is very frustrating to spend time researching all over the net only to have your evidence get deleted with no explanation.packers_138_810a64683e1c50d4-180x180

Cowboys vs. Redskins: Score, results, highlights from Thursday night game in Dallas

The Dallas Cowboys scored the game’s first 17 points and cruised to a 38-14 win over the Washington Redskins on Thursday night at AT&T Stadium.

Give him another season, and he’ll kick Terrell Owens out of second place, too. But another season isn’t a guarantee, despite the recent contract extension. After the Cardinals’ loss to the Texans Sunday, Fitzgerald was Belichickian when asked questions about his future.

Funchess is the No. 1 receiver in Carolina since the departure of Kelvin Benjamin. Consequently, he is being given fewer reps during the week to help him get past his injuries to the point of being able to play on Sundays. For the past two weeks, it has been a toe issue that has landed Funchess on the injury report; this week, it’s his shoulder. Although he was held out of practice Friday, he put in two full practices in the days prior. Despite the questionable designation, Funchess is expected to play Sunday when the Panthers host the Vikings.

The Eagles fear Carson Wentz could be lost for the season.

Carson Wentz was ruled out for the final quarter of Sunday’s 43-35 win over the Rams at the Los Angeles Coliseum. The Eagles quarterback was hit on his left knee diving into the end zone late in the third quarter of Sunday’s victory.

Eagles coach Doug Pederson would not comment on multiple reports that said Wentz tore his ACL. Pederson did not want to speculate and said Wentz would have an MRI on Monday.

Wentz scrambled from the 2-yard line before diving into the end zone. He was hit on his left knee by Rams linebacker Mark Barron. Wentz’s apparent touchdown was then negated because of a holding penalty.

Jared Cook has two more catches on this drive.

Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Buffalo Bills: Benjamin got hit in his right knee by Chargers safety Adrian Phillips, and the knee bent back awkwardly. He grabbed the knee immediately and was tended to on the field by Buffalo medical personnel before being helped off. After being examined in the medical tent on the sideline, he was carted off to the locker room and declared out for the remainder of the game.

Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram have combined to post historic fantasy football totals over the past two weeks. Find out more about the Saints’ backs and the rest of the best — and worst — from Sunday’s fantasy football slate.

But Sosa never officially failed a test or incurred a suspension under MLB’s drug testing and treatment program. He denied having used steroids during testimony before Congress in 2005.

The Redskins unfortunately will now be without Chris Thompson as well, as he suffered a broken fibula. The team will need to lean on more than one back, but Perine is a weekly starter going forward and a candidate for 20 touches on any given Sunday. He’s a must-add in all sized leagues.

Field goal, Miami. The Dolphins advance to the Oakland 31, but their drive stalls there when Cutler throws an incomplete pass on third down. Cody Parkey enters and converts on a 49-yard field goal attempt. The Dolphins trail 10-9 with just over 30 seconds remaining before halftime.

Touchdown, Raiders. The Raiders convert on third down and retake the lead one play later on a 44-yard pass from Carr to Johnny Holton. Oakland holds a 10-6 advantage with 3:26 to play in the half.

He’s up to five receptions for 97 yards with 5:01 to play in the half.

Turnover, Miami. Kenyan Drake takes a handoff and then coughs up the football. Oakland recovers and will start the drive near its 40.

Sammie Coates, WR, Cleveland Browns: The third-year pro exited the game against the Jaguars in the first half and was declared questionable to return because of a knee/ankle injury. He was later downgraded to out.27

The biggest concern for the Seahawks right now has to be the running game.

Of course, none could’ve guessed that life would actually take them here, no matter how hard they dreamed. Larkin, Witkowski, DeKeyser, and forwards David Booth, Justin Abdelkader and Luke Glendening all grew up attending Red Wings games at the Joe. This is entirely unique in the NHL; no other U.S.-based team has more than three area natives on its roster (or more than three Michiganders, for that matter).

There are 71 players with 30 or more rushes this season, including both Eddie Lacy and Thomas Rawls. Lacy ranks 67th and Rawls ranks 70th in yards per rush.

Ezekiel Elliott has rushed 88 times for 413 yards and four touchdowns the past three games — a scary-big workload. The Cowboys are riding Elliott, but the prospect of him missing time has to be worrisome.

Kelsey Patterson, the wife of TCU coach Gary Patterson, has come up with a way to help the relief efforts going on in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. She has teamed with more than 20 other college coaches’ wives to organize a fundraising campaign called Giving Beyond the Game, which will take donations online through Dec. 9 and auction off signed helmets from Nov. 1 to Nov. 15. Patterson told me she’s had great support from the other coaches’ wives. Nobody they reached out to said no, and they’re continuing to add people as they go. You can donate here.

Don’t be shocked if three coaches on this year’s Navy staff are FBS head coaches in 2018. As we mentioned recently, Ken Niumatalolo is a strong candidate for the Oregon State vacancy. He could be replaced in Annapolis by offensive coordinator Ivin Jasper, and run game coordinator Ashley Ingram is in the mix for the Georgia Southern job that opened when Tyson Summers was fired Sunday. ducks-121