Monthly Archives: January 2017

Markkanen is one of the main reasons Arizona

LAST JULY, AFTER Jasper Ward, the lawyer Elijah found online, filed the class-action suit against Valve in Florida, Valve sent cease-and-desist letters to 23 websites demanding that they stop connecting to Steam. By fall, the company said it had sent more than 40 such letters.

Grove, the gambling analyst, predicted that skins gambling would drop 85 percent in 2017 as a result. Now he’s not so sure. About half of the sites that Valve targeted are still open, and new ones are opening outside of the U.S. every day.

Valve’s position is that its hands are tied — it can’t shut down gambling sites without fundamentally changing its API in a way that disables customer-friendly features it needs. But Grove’s website,, has offered a range of potential solutions, including encouraging Valve to “continually police third-party offshoots of its own ecosystem.”

“Valve is the linchpin,” Grove says. “From our perspective, the future is inextricably tied to the comprehensiveness of its crackdown. If it’s anything less than complete or sincere, we believe we will see a significant market re-emerge.”

Markkanen is one of the main reasons Arizona — even without Trier — can arrive in Westwood on Saturday with a legitimate chance of taking down one of the nation’s best teams, bar none. Defense is the other reason, and UCLA has a habit of making good defenses look silly. In any other season, a European 7-foot freshman going all Dirk Nowitzki with a Tucson twist would be, well, a big deal. Or at least a bigger deal than it has been thus far. Instead, Miller and Markkanen have been chugging along in relative anonymity while basketball nerds cut gifs of UCLA’s latest crazy fast break.

Such is the irresistibility of these 2016-17 Bruins, and how drastically Ball and Leaf and their teammates have changed the Pac-12’s perceived pecking order. Arizona and its own band of impact freshmen might yet have something to say about it.

One-on-One with former Pittsburgh Steelers RB Isaac Redman: What happened to ‘Red-Zone’ Redman?

“A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find that after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us.” — John Steinbeck
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In 2009, Isaac Redman’s NFL dreams came true after a meteoric rise from seventh-string running back out of a small college in Bowie, Maryland to a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers 53-man roster. Redman never doubted himself, saying after the his first preseason game in August of 2009, “This team prides itself on being able to find those free agents that are capable of playing. Hopefully I can be that next free agent.”

He did become that free agent. He played four seasons and then, it seemed, his career ended as suddenly as it began.

What happened to No. 33, Isaac Redman? Before “what happened”, life wasn’t happening to Redman, he was making it happen.

Youth Cyrus Jones Jersey Even Redman’s earliest memories include football. As a toddler, his mom, Leslie Redman, would turn on NFL games. He would remain entranced in front of the screen the same way most kids are mesmerized by Sesame Street. “I was in love with football from the first moment I saw it,” he recalled. His mom would ask him, “Are you going to take me to a Super Bowl one day?” Of course he was. There was never a doubt in his mind.

Just as the current and previous generation of Americans embraced soccer as participants and fans (and consumers), so too have English fans with American football. In both cases international TV rights have spurred demand.

Patty Mills (11 points) was the only Spurs reserve to score in double figures

Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge led the Spurs with 34 and 29 points, respectively, marking just the eighth time each of them has scored 25 points or more in the same game since becoming teammates. The Spurs own a record of 8-0 in those games, according to research from ESPN Stats & Information.

“It was just one game tonight. But they were doubling both of us tonight, if they came off of him, then he got a wide open shot,” Leonard said. “If they came off me, I got one. We just made shots tonight. I’m just happy that we got the win. Just try to approach every game like its Game 7 of the Finals, and you don’t care about numbers, you just want to come out and win.”

Patty Mills (11 points) was the only Spurs reserve to score in double figures, but Dewayne Dedmon came off the bench to provide a spark against Minnesota on defense and on the boards (tied Leonard for team high in rebounds with seven).
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Look for the Dolphins to have not one, but two new starting linebackers next season. Veteran outside linebacker Koa Misi could be released and Jelani Jenkins is an unrestricted free agent who doesn’t appear likely to return. Miami was 30th against the run and needs major changes and upgrades with this group. — James Walker
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A dynamic running back is on the way. The Patriots will dive into what is considered a deep running back pool in the draft and add a highly touted rusher who ultimately becomes a centerpiece of their attack. What that means for free agent LeGarrette Blount remains to be seen, but for teams looking for new blood at the position, this is the year. — Mike Reiss

the Packers had a 43 percent chance of winning the game

It goes without saying that the pass from Aaron Rodgers to Jared Cook was the most valuable play of the Green Bay Packers win over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night, but let’s put a value to it.

Before the play, the Packers had a 43 percent chance of winning the game, given that the Cowboys had made the game-tying field goal and Green Bay wasn’t close to field-goal range. Cook’s catch improved their win probability by 36.5 percent.
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But let’s not forget one other play on the drive — the 17-yard completion to Ty Montgomery that appeared to put the Packers in Hail Mary range. It increased the Packers’ chance of winning by 15 percent, but was negated when Rodgers was sacked on the next play.

The only players who are healthy enough to practice right now are Bronson Hill and Ricky Seale, a pair of undrafted rookies. Seale, who had just 23 carries in his senior season at Stanford, was signed by the Bills on Tuesday and could play as much as a half in the team’s preseason game against the Cleveland Browns on Thursday.
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They added Cierre Wood on Wednesday morning, a former Texan who was cut by the organization in 2013 for violating team rules during a road trip to Kansas City.

One potential solution for the team’s shredded depth at running back is to sign a veteran who can immediately fill in, take reps and challenge for a roster spot. And in true Rex Ryan fashion, that veteran could be Ray Rice. According to Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports, Rice is being discussed by the Bills as a potential addition. However, Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News says the Rice talk is premature:

The Bills have already started to assemble the NFL’s version of DC Comics’ Suicide Squad under Ryan, uniting the league’s villains in the same uniform. If Rice was added to the roster, he’d join a team that already has IK Enemkpali, Richie Incognito and Percy Harvin.

2015 fantasy football wide receiver sleepers to consider

The term “sleeper” is one of the most popular labels for fantasy fanatics to use leading up to a new season. It’s not an easy task picking out a sleeper candidate, because normally once people figure out someone has potential, they don’t remain a secret for long.

Sleeper can be defined in a variety of ways depending on the fantasy owner. I’m not going to sit here and tell you that Allen Robinson will probably go off in 2015 or Martavis Bryant is a breakout candidate. Those are widely discussed topics (both of which I support) this year.

I’ve picked out a few players who offer significant value based on their average draft position (ADP). Most of these guys aren’t even showing up in drafts so far, and you should be keeping an eye on all of them.

Kevin Williams has departed. That means Hill likely has first dibs to start off the season in that pass rushing role he handled so well at the end of last year. Now that the light has come on for him, I think the sky is the limit for that kid.

If he can stay healthy there is no reason to believe he won’t push for double digit sacks this season, especially with guys like Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril and Bruce Irvin humming from the outside. Hell, who knows, maybe he’ll even contend for a starting spot at some point this year. Even if he doesn’t, I expect Jordan Hill’s production to shoot way up.

Gaines, a sixth-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, started 15 games as a rookie after filling in for an injured Trumaine Johnson. The two were competing for the starting role once again opposite Janoris Jenkins, with Gaines also battling Lamarcus Joyner at nickel.

The Seahawks’ best chance for beating the Falcons is to run the ball effectively

The Lions were in full pass-rush mode on this play, opening up a huge hole, and Rawls picked up 9 yards. It was a good wrinkle to an existing concept.

“What¡¯s really different from last week than the whole year, we just did it better,” Cable said. “We did it with more consistency. We were right more often. How we¡¯ve looked, what we ran, absolutely nothing different than Game 1 or fall camp Day 1. We don¡¯t do that. We don¡¯t change.”

What’s next?
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The Seahawks’ best chance for beating the Falcons is to run the ball effectively. Stringing together long drives would keep Matt Ryan and Atlanta’s high-powered offense off the field. And an efficient run game opens up Seattle’s play-action passing attack.

Bortles said after the season ended that he really clicked with Hackett — who joined the staff as quarterbacks coach in January 2015 — and improved more in the nine weeks that Hackett called plays than at any other time in his career. Bortles has a close relationship with Hackett, with whom he spent significantly more time than Olson, and the quarterback said he hoped Hackett would be retained.

Bortles’ numbers in 2016 aren’t markedly different from his time with Olson (60 percent completions, 12 TDs, nine interceptions, 48.2 total QBR) than Hackett (57.9 percent completions, 11 TDs, seven interceptions, 49.6 total QBR). However, he said his biggest improvement came in understanding game situations and being smarter with the football. Bortles threw only one interception in the final four games.

Dave Schultz Game Jersey The Jaguars’ new — yet familiar — coaching staff has given Blake Bortles the infrastructure for a bounce-back season. AP Photo/John Raoux
Things really seemed to click for Bortles in the final two games, when Marrone took over as interim head coach. Bortles completed 66 percent of his passes for 626 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions. He also caught a touchdown pass.

The Broncos have been one of the more polarizing teams to debate among fans and bettors this offseason

Hayne showed that he was more than a straight line speedster like fellow lauded rugby player Carlin Isles. Track athletes have tried to make the jump to the NFL and largely failed, but Hayne is something different.

Antoine Vermette Jersey He’s elusive in a way few players are, and with the ball in his hands it seems like the game slows down around him — Hayne is simply processing his surroundings at a faster rate. In order for another Rugby League player to succeed they’ll need to have Hayne’s size, speed and vision — something that is utterly impossible to replicate.

The Broncos have been one of the more polarizing teams to debate among fans and bettors this offseason. Some viewed last season’s unceremonious 24-13 loss in the postseason to Indianapolis as the beginning of the end for Peyton Manning and the Broncos. Others point to Denver’s 38-10 SU record over the last three regular seasons as a sign that the Broncos shouldn’t be written off just yet.

Sunday’s game against a solid Ravens team will provide a good early-season eye test. Denver is 21-1 SU and 14-8 ATS over its last 22 home games per the OddsShark NFL Database.
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The Ravens appear to be the most well-rounded team in the AFC North, shoring up holes in their defensive secondary this offseason and returning a solid offense led by Joe Flacco. Under Flacco, the Ravens have been a consistent contender with six playoff berths and two division titles over the last seven years.

Baltimore should be in the thick of things in the AFC again this year and is 4-0 ATS in its last four games as a betting underdog.

The OVER is 4-0 in the last four meetings between these two teams and 10-0 in Denver’s last 10 games against NFC North opponents. Sunday’s total is currently set at 48.5 points.

This should be a good game between two teams that will likely emerge as playoff teams out of the AFC. Just how good Denver or Baltimore will be this year remains to be seen, but on paper this looks like a fairly even game that could go either way. With that in mind, take the 4.5 points on the Ravens.

the Seahawks have turned a Penn State tight end into a starting right tackle

From that point, Wake led the league with 10.5 sacks. His 11.5 sacks overall ranked third in the AFC, and tied for sixth in the NFL. Wake also tied for third in the NFL with five forced fumbles. In a key 10-game stretch after Wake’s role increased, Miami went 9-1. Not surprisingly, he was voted to the Pro Bowl again. Wake always knew he would return, he says.

Ask anyone with the Dolphins, and they’ll tell you that their first playoff appearance since 2008 wouldn’t have happened without Wake. The impact of his performance on the field and his presence in the building was Elite Mens Randy Gregory Jersey immeasurable. “The guy is unbelievable,” first-year Miami head coach Adam Gase said recently. “He finds a way to make huge plays at the most critical situations of the game. He knows it’s the right time, [and] something amps up in him and he makes a play. That’s what you need out of your playmakers.”

“We have faith in what we put into this.”

Ah, Seattle, a team that lives on a certain Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Womens Jersey kind of faith — the faith that its out-of-the box ways will usually work.

Under Carroll, the Seahawks have turned a Penn State tight end into a starting right tackle (Garry Gilliam) and a North Carolina State defensive lineman into a starting guard (J.R. Sweezy, now in Tampa Bay). The Seahawks have thrown a pass from the 1-yard line in the closing seconds of the Super Bowl, seen it intercepted and are still arguing about it among themselves two years later. In Seattle, very little follows the usual, buttoned-up NFL practices.

Seattle is a team that signed Matt Flynn, a free-agent quarterback, to a $26 million contract, then drafted Wilson weeks later, made him the starter and dumped Flynn to Oakland the next spring.

It is also a team that won the Super Bowl in February 2014 with the league’s highest-paid offensive line, then decided to reward its star defenders handsomely, along with Wilson and receivers, but skimp on centers, tackles and guards. After all, there’s only so much money to go around, even when Paul Allen is the owner.

Williams is a true NBA character

A full five years ago, I wrote a little story for Sports Illustrated about how Lou Williams absolutely owned the 2-for-1. Like, no one on those Philly teams even tried to get the ball in the last 40 seconds of a quarter. He had an entire art to it: The first shot had to be a 3-pointer, usually released with about 35 seconds remaining. With the defense primed for another triple on the last possession, Williams would zip into the lane for one of his goofball runners.

I’m happy to report the Lou-for-1 is still very much a thing. The other Lakers get out of the way. “The chain of command there is Lou first, second, third, and fourth,” Larry Nance told me, laughing.

Elite Womens Matt Asiata Jersey Williams is a true NBA character.

Well, would you look at this! Through 564 total games as of Thursday morning, there have only been 64 away-from-the-play fouls this season — down from 217 unwatchable hack jobs at the same point last season, per data from the league office. That is a huge drop, and more than I expected when the NBA settled on a half-measure in addressing this issue over the summer.

Embiid was drafted despite the presence of two other young bigs. Shelved with a bad wheel, he waits for a year … then gets shelved again. (Note: The Sixers’ bringing in Zydrunas Ilgauskas — a big who overcame the same early-career break — was an inspired motivational pairing).

Mens Demetrius Harris Jersey GM Sam Hinkie pseudo-resigns. And then the pingpong balls finally turn up aces. Philly lands a transformational No. 1 in Ben Simmons.

Ben Simmons is set to return in the coming months and could be a fantasy asset down the stretch. Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Now Embiid is ready to retake the court. In honor of his departed GM, Embiid rechristens himself “The Process.”

During fantasy draft season, Embiid’s hype is properly muted. He’s projected to play 45 games and to average a solid double-double and 1.5 blocks. Embiid’s ADP: 95.9.

Given Arizona¡¯s recent struggles on the kill, even a marginal improvement would be a welcome change

Whatever the usage, Burmistrov doesn¡¯t represent much of an improvement over fellow waiver acquisition Josh Jooris, at least as far as their fancy-stats are concerned:

But, as AIH tells us, his usage in Winnipeg sheds some light and why the Coyotes probably went out and got him.

Given Arizona¡¯s recent struggles on the kill, even a marginal improvement would be a welcome change. It is worth noting that Burmistrov has recorded 20+ points in each of his full NHL seasons, so he has some offensive flair. But that¡¯s not what he¡¯s here to do.

Hopefully a change of scenery gives Burmistrov a chance to reset and become an all-around useful NHL player for the Coyotes.
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In 13 wins this season, Ward has been named one of the three stars ten times, and he¡¯s the only multiple recipient of the team’s ¡®Chop Wood/Carry Water¡¯ award. Despite not wearing a letter, the veteran netminder and longest-tenured Hurricane is obviously counted on to provide on and off-ice leadership to a young team building its identity.

Game Mens Vincent Valentine Jersey Ward¡¯s solid performance down the stretch last season led to a two-year contract extension that was met with mixed reviews. The question remained as to whether his recent success was sustainable. Despite some dips to begin the season, it appears that Ward is capable of keeping the team in the battle for a post-season spot. At least for now.