Browse Month by July 2017
Seattle Seahawks

Breaking down new-look 49ers: Lynch, Shanahan play it smart with QB and 4-3

The 49ers are rebooting all over again in 2017. So far, they’re off to a smart start with Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch.

Since Chip Kelly became one-and-done and dragged Trent Baalke out the door with him, the 49ers already have showed signs they struck gold with their new coach-GM combination.

San Francisco’s mission was to mine as much talent as possible with three years down the line in mind. Although the offensive-minded Shanahan may need to wait to develop his ideal attack, the defensive-driven Lynch has stockpiled well for an equally massive transition on the other side of the ball.

The 49ers won’t suddenly become Shanahan’s 2016 Falcons or Lynch’s 2002 Buccaneers, but the blueprint is evident in their new depth chart.

As for the Hornets, this is a bit of a curious trade if they aren’t receiving anything beyond the players involved. Stein reports the Hornets have had their eyes on Plumlee “for some time” and won’t receive any draft compensation.

Perhaps this is a show of confidence in Frank Kaminsky moving forward, or Charlotte has scouted Plumlee and sees him as someone who can produce more than the 2.6 points in 9.7 minutes per game. That’s what he’s averaging this season in 32 games played. In the past, Plumlee had been a low-usage, high-efficiency player capable of bringing energy off the bench, but it’s been a while since he’s shown that spark. He logged six DNPs last month alone.


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Clippers coach Doc Rivers had interest in Williams

Authentic Mens Nolan Ryan Jersey The Mavericks had decided to move Williams along before the trade deadline, knowing they’d either ship him out or waive him once the deadline passed so that he could be a free agent. An indication of how the rest of the league views Williams comes from the number of teams that contacted the Mavs to see if they could swing a trade.
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The Jazz were one, offering Williams a homecoming to the place he played his first five-and-a-half seasons. There was mild surprise on that front — Utah traded Williams in 2011 because of a poor attitude and the belief that he did not want to be in Utah long-term.

Clippers coach Doc Rivers had interest in Williams, too, even with a crowded backcourt rotation around Chris Paul — Austin Rivers, Jamal Crawford and Raymond Felton have all gotten regular minutes.

But even outside of a face-to-face meeting, there will be plenty of homework done on Ball and his father.

Every team puts a lot of work into that, one scouting director said. I mean, there is a lot of investment in a guy, especially when you’re making a high pick. We are going to talk to coaches obviously, but also assistant coaches and trainers and the secretaries at the athletic facility, all of that. And some of that information gets shared between teams. So we’re going to have a pretty good idea how a player like Ball handles the noise that comes from the outside. Even his dad’s noise.

Sticking to the underrated theme, Utah keeps flying under the radar in the Western Conference. Gordon Hayward and company will have to stay focused against Russell Westbrook and his enigmatic Thunder squad. Westbrook will likely get another triple-double, but it might take him 25 shots to get there.

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The Brewers are prepared to be without Vogt for a bit.

The Brewers later said Vogt is day to day and will have an MRI on his knee on Tuesday. Vogt told reporters he was very, very lucky to not have a concussion, but the knee is a concern.

The National League Central-leading Brewers claimed Vogt off waivers from the A’s on June 25. He’s hit four homers in 11 games since joining the Crew, whose lead in the division is now just 3 1/2 games after the Cubs beat the Braves on Monday.
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The Brewers are prepared to be without Vogt for a bit. He was already splitting starts with Manny Pina, who is hitting .291 with six homers and 29 RBIs in 196 at-bats over 57 games.

There was another injury, but is not considered serious — though it could have future implications. The Tigers pulled outfielder J.D. Martinez in the sixth inning of Detroit’s 10-2 win over the Royals. The Tigers said the move was precautionary and, with Martinez on the trade block, it could indicate a deal is in the works.

Dontrelle Inman Elite Jersey Every viable defensive option on the roster was pressed into service, and you almost had the feeling Celtics coach Brad Stevens might call Boston great Cedric Maxwell down from the radio booth. In his heyday, perhaps, he might have been able to handle James.

Asked about the Cavs’ second-quarter dominance, Bradley said, I think I had a lot to do with LeBron. We saw him; he just went to a different level. As a team we have to do a better job of containing him.

Things had not been going well in Cleveland, of course, before the past week. The Cavs went 6-10 in March, but that included a month-ending win over the 76ers. Then Cleveland beat Indiana on Sunday and Orlando on Tuesday to set up Wednesday’s showdown.

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Steve Ballmer, Stan Kroenke reportedly in talks about Inglewood venue

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Stan Kroenke’s idea all along with his land in Inglewood was to create a sports and entertainment complex, not just an NFL stadium.

Could the Clippers become the NBA neighbors of the Rams?

Calderon, who has until March 1 to negotiate his release by Los Angeles, is slated to replace Briante Weber. Weber, who signed two 10-day contracts with Golden State, was informed of his release by Warriors coach Steve Kerr following Saturday’s 112-95 win over the Nets, most likely to make room on the roster for Calderon.

It’ll be a point guard, Kerr said of the team’s pending acquisition. We think we have something in place, but it’s not finalized. Got to wait until it’s official.

The Rockets were also considered a potential destination for Calderon after Houston cleared $3.5 million in salary cap space, though Golden State has secured front-runner status.

Limited Kids Jonathan Villar Jersey Calderon, 35, has appeared in 24 games this season and started 11. The 12-year NBA veteran is averaging just 3.3 points per game with the Lakers this season after averaging double-digit points in seven other seasons.

The Lakers have been playing checkers for the last few years, while other NBA teams like the Warriors have been playing chess, the long-time San Jose Mercury News columnist Tim Kawakami told SiriusXM NBA Radio. The Warriors were thinking about getting Kevin Durant for the last three years. All their moves were predicated on trying to do that. For years, the Lakers have been going move by move. But Magic is going to be bold. He’ll want to play eight-dimensional chess.

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T-Wolves’ Kris Dunn balls out with between-the-legs assist against Rockets

Kris Dunn showed that form and function don’t have to come at the expense of style Saturday against the Rockets.

The Timberwolves point guard pulled out the ole’ razzle-dazzle with a no look, between-the-legs assist to Karl-Anthony Towns, who finished the play by driving the lane and scoring with a layup.=

Dunn finished the game with two assists, five rebounds and six points in Minnesota’s 142-130 loss to Houston.

However, it’s tough for him to affect the game when he’s not performing well on that side of things, as he showed against Georgia in the SEC Tournament, Texas A&M at the end of the year and Missouri on Feb. 21. Monk is the kind of scoring talent who could lead his team on a wild NCAA Tournament run, or send them crashing out in the second round if Wichita State or Dayton — both of whom have elite perimeter defenders — can slow him down.

Isaac slides down this board as he continues to be content sliding into a role on this Florida State team as opposed to breaking out in his own capacity. He averaged just eight field goal attempts per game this season despite an efficient 61.2 true shooting percentage. Isaac does contribute in every facet of the game, though, at just 19 years old, including both on the perimeter and protecting the weak side of the rim defensively.

If things eventually click for him in terms of taking control of the game, he could easily morph into a player that teams would regret passing on in the top five. But for now, it’s safer to have him more in the mid-lottery range.broncos_128

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Don’t look now, but here come the Cubs

Look out National League Central, here come the Cubs.

The Cubs have not lost since the All-Star break and Wednesday’s 8-2 win over the Braves was Chicago’s sixth straight. The Cubs are moving ever so closer to the first-place Brewers, who fell to the Pirates on Wednesday to lose their fourth in a row.

Blake Griffin Limited Jersey The Brewers have seen their lead in the Central dwindle to just 1 1/2 games over the Cubs, who play host to the division rival Cardinals this weekend before heading to Milwaukee for a three-game series next week at Miller Park.

Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper had a pair of blasts to account for three runs in Washington’s 5-0 win over the Reds. Ryan Braun hit a record-setting grand slam for the NL Central-leading Brewers. Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig hammered a three-run shot in the top of the ninth to lift his team to victory in Miami. Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre then smashed a three-run homer of his own to rally Texas to a 5-3 victory in Kansas City.

The Pirates didn’t let the Red Sox have all the fun, getting a walk-off win of their own as Josh Bell continued the night’s home run theme with a three-run, opposite-field shot down the left-field line.

Each of those games came before Angels center fielder Mike Trout made his return from an injured thumb.
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Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom struck out 11 with just one walk and scattered four hits over eight innings in a 14-2 win over the Rockies. T.J. Rivera and Michael Conforto each homered as the Mets provided deGrom with plenty of run support, but the pitcher helped his own cause with a pair of singles and one RBI.

Astros first baseman Marwin Gonzalez went 3 for 5 with a home run and two RBIs in a 10-5 win over the Twins. Gonzalez has a hit in all but two games this month, reaching base safely in every game since July 1.

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Jimmy Butler has informed Cavs that he wants to stay in Chicago rather than be traded to Cleveland.

Finally, Redick generates a good portion of his offense in transition. Once again, it should make him a perfect complement to the playmaking of Embiid, Simmons, Fultz and Dario Saric. Each of them can rebound the ball following a missed shot and push the ball themselves in transition, thereby allowing Redick to sprint up the floor and make himself available for a pass.

Elite Kids Rene Robert Jersey If the defense is overly concerned about Redick getting open, one of them should have a free lane to the basket for a drive. If they send one or two defenders at the ball handler, though, Redick will catch-and-shoot without hesitation or get his defender in the air with a well-timed pump fake.

Those four plays — spot-up, off screens, handoff and transition — were responsible for 84.4 percent of Redick’s offense last season. As if fate would have it, the 76ers were terrible in each of those categories: 20.7 percentile on spot-ups, 10.3 percentile off screens, 13.8 percentile on handoffs and dead last in transition scoring efficiency. Although he’s not someone who can break his defender down in isolation or in the pick-and-roll, Redick’s skills in those areas will make the lives of Embiid, Simmons, Fultz and Saric much easier when he’s on the court.

Bulls All-Star forward Jimmy Butler reportedly told the Cavaliers he would rather stay in Chicago than be traded to Cleveland, according to TNT’s David Aldridge.
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Per source, Jimmy Butler has informed Cavs that he wants to stay in Chicago rather than be traded to Cleveland.

Why he’s here: OK, so there wasn’t much suspense with the rookie awards. Bellinger didn’t make his MLB debut until April 25, but he still is tied for the NL lead with 24 home runs to go with a .949 OPS and 56 RBIs while basically splitting his time between first base and left field for the Dodgers. The 24 home runs become even more impressive considering Bellinger hit only 23 in 114 Double-A games last year (and three in three Triple-A contests).

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Breathe easy, Jets fans, Sam Darnold may be coming your way soon

There may be help on the way for the Jets in the form of USC quarterback Sam Darnold after all.

Duke Riley Kids Jersey With their team – to put it kindly – mired in mediocrity, some Jets fans see Darnold as their savior. The sooner the team can be saved the better, obviously, and the hope and assumption is that Darnold will enter the NFL Draft in 2018. As a redshirt sophomore, he’s eligible to go pro next year.

Jets fans are so high on Darnold that they’ve started a Suck for Sam campaign, imploring the team to tank this season in order to pick first in next year’s draft.

So it was a shot to the gut for these New York faithful when’s Daniel Jeremiah reported, several sources close to Darnold tell me they wouldn’t be surprised if Darnold played two more seasons at USC.

Leonte Carroo Kids Jersey Fulmer earned the win, improving to 9-6 with a 3.19 ERA. Justin Wilson, who has almost every contending team interested in his service, earned his 10th save.

The loss dropped Cleveland (47-40) to an ugly 21-24 at home so far this season. If the Indians are going to avenge last season’s World Series loss, they will have to play better at Progressive Field.

The Tribe will head into the All-Star break with a three-game lead over the Twins in the American League Central. The Tigers are fading fast, despite the win, and could become major sellers before the July 31 trade deadline.

Regular season baseball might be out of commission for a while, but MLB fans can enjoy an intriguing Home Run Derby Monday night.

Detroit will have two players (Fulmer and Justin Upton) representing the AL in the All-Star game. Cleveland will be represented by Ramirez, Francisco Lindor, Corey Kluber, Michael Brantley and Andrew Miller.

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How Hassan Whiteside’s sense of humor turned the Heat around

It was a fun second half of the season for Hassan Whiteside and the Heat. Even if the year didn’t end with a playoff appearance, Whiteside and his teammates can look back on this season fondly. In the last 50 games, the young center showed why Pat Riley was willing to build around him for the future.

Prior to Miami’s 13-game winning streak in January, the Heat languished and looked like they wouldn’t get close to the playoff chase. After another tough loss and several tense situations, a moment of levity would come to define the 2016-17 Heat season.

The Rockets lost three of four to the Spurs this season, which is a familiar result: It was the third straight season in which Houston finished 1-3 against their in-state rivals. But the overall numbers are deceiving, because all four games were remarkably close. Three of the games were decided by two points, and one by six points. Most memorable was a game in early March, which Leonard won by scoring 39 points, including late 3-pointer followed by a decisive block on Harden on the other end.

We’ll go with two key players here, namely the two guys who will be assigned to stopping the other team’s MVP candidate, Trevor Ariza for the Rockets and Danny Green for the Spurs. Ariza, assigned to guard Leonard, has the tougher assignment, mostly because the Rockets’ only other option is second-year man Sam Dekker, who has been out with a hand injury but should return in this series. Ariza has not had an easy time with Leonard, who has scored 20-plus points in six of his last seven matchups against Ariza. Given the way Leonard opened the playoffs — he had back-to-back 30-point games and scored 43 in Game 4 — Ariza will have his hands full.

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Dwyane Wade’s future with Bulls unclear, wants to see plan before making decision

Elite Mens Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Jersey Sneaking into the playoffs after spending most of the season hovering around a .500 record wasn’t what All-Star Dwyane Wade was hoping for in his first, and perhaps only, season with the Bulls.

It’s not good, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said following the game.

After avoiding a 2-0 series hole, the Spurs now head to Houston all even and with the confidence of knowing they won both games at Houston’s Toyota Center during the regular season.

Cavaliers forward LeBron James scored 39 points to lead Cleveland to a 125-103 victory over the Raptors to grab a 2-0 series lead. James passed Lakers Hall of Fame center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for second place on the NBA’s all-time postseason scoring list. Only Michael Jordan has scored more points in the postseason than James.

James was 10 of 14 from the floor, helping the Cavs begin 8 for 8 from behind the 3-point line, and added six rebounds, four assists, three steals and a pair of blocks. He left the game with over five minutes remaining in the fourth quarter to MVP chants from the Quicken Loans Arena crowd.

Elite Mens Jamize Olawale Jersey I was just playing in my zone, my comfort zone, James told TNT following the win.

The Cavaliers rallied in the second half to convincingly beat Toronto 115-94 in Friday’s Game 3. After heading into the locker room trailing by three points, Cleveland put a stamp on the Raptors’ upset hopes by outscoring them 36-17 in the fourth quarter.

LeBron James led the way with 35 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. Kevin Love finished with 16 points and 13 rebounds, while Kyrie Irving pitched in with 16 points and five rebounds.