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Sports News Headlines: The Lastest NFL/NBA/NHL/MLB News

Archives for: January 21, 2017

The Panthers needed another wide receiver for Cam Newton, and they got one when they drafted Funchess

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Player you’ll be buzzing about: WR Devin Funchess — The Panthers needed another wide receiver for Cam Newton, and they got one when they drafted Funchess. He’s a big, capable receiver who could end up being Newton’s favorite target this season.

What to watch: The NFC South will be up for grabs this season, and the Panthers simply need to execute better to ensure they’ll take the title again. They have a talented roster from top to bottom, though there are battles to be solved along the offensive line, at wide receiver, defensive end and outside linebacker. Where the Panthers wind up playing Shaq Thompson — he can play safety or linebacker — is something on which to keep an eye.

Most important position battle: Defensive end — The Panthers haven’t found a way to replace Greg Hardy’s production, but they’re hoping Kony Ealy, Frank Alexander and Wes Horton can try to get them there.

Nope. Nope, nope, and nope. The Spurs are 33-9, third in points allowed per possession and fourth in offensive efficiency. The bench whips the ball around as if Boris Diaw were still there. Patty Mills and Manu Ginobili have a special mind-meld, and when your two lead ball handlers dish and move like they do, the vibe is infectious. Nobody stands still. Jonathon Simmons has seen it up close for two years now, and both David Lee and Dewayne Dedmon have fit right in on the bench mob — one expert passer, one above-the-rim finisher type the Spurs haven’t had in a while. (Lee may have to start for a bit with Gasol nursing a broken finger.)

The starting five has always been able to slow things down and pound the ball to Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge. But now that they’re more comfortable with Gasol, they can pivot into a slower, calmer version of that whirring Spursy hyperactivity. Gasol and Aldridge are on fire from midrange, Danny Green has rediscovered his stroke, and Kawhi Leonard … my god, Kawhi Leonard.

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Generate your own ridiculous NFL offseason rumor

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Authentic Joey Gallo Jersey The NFL Rumor Mill is a weird and often inaccurate place all year long, but it gets especially stupid in the middle of summer, when very little is actually happening and people start imagining crazy things just to keep from getting bored. As ong as it’s accompanied by some vague assertion of sourcing and the reporter putting it out there doesn’t overplay their hand, it’s surprisingly easy to get traction with unfounded gossip.

So easy, in fact, that we made you a generator. Go forth and make your own scoops!

They’re balanced. John Harbaugh has provided consistent, intense leadership as head coach since 2008, and in Ozzie Newsome, they have one of the most respected GMs in the game. Newsome’s ability to build the roster from the draft with such consistency is a major reason I’m bullish on Baltimore — he seems to have the Belichickian foresight of when to move on from veterans, and the system works to develop from within. Scouting and coaching work hand in hand.

Looking forward, which teams are set up for a run at dethroning New England as the league’s preeminent power? There are a few obvious choices, and a few dark horses.
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That said, the Seahawks have perhaps the strongest argument for a team set up for long-term sustained success at the top. They’ve got a franchise quarterback in Russell Wilson, who they’ll almost surely lock up for the long term. They sport an historically stingy, intimidating and charismatic defensive group whose core of Earl Thomas, Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor, Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett are all locked up for the future.

They have an innovative and enterprising head coach in Pete Carroll who preaches his Win Forever philosophy … and it shows up in everything they do. Carroll works in perfect concert with owner Paul Allen and GM John Schneider to draft and develop role players and future stars.

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Graham ruptured his patellar tendon last November and spent the offseason rehabbing before returning for Week 1

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What player wouldn’t take 97 catches, 1,257 yards and 14 touchdowns? Now give that to someone who had just missed an entire season because of a torn ACL and then didn’t play a single down in the following preseason and was thrown into the mix in Week 1 after not playing in a game for 13 months. Nelson should be one of the leading candidates, if not the winner, for the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year after what he did, especially at age 31. Read the full vote.
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Last season, Randolph played in Liaoning, which lost to Sichuan in the CBA finals. The team put its players up in a hotel during the playoffs, even for home games. One night, he was bored and decided to get out for a change of scenery. Before long, hundreds of fans surrounded him, and he had to be escorted back to the hotel by police, who then asked him not to leave because of the commotion it created.

Joey Gallo Limited Jersey “It’s absolutely crazy,” said Randolph, who returned to play in Liaoning this season. “I’m not going to lie — it kind of felt good. It felt cool, but I don’t think I’d want that to happen every time I went out in public.”.

The former Duke standout, who played in the NBA for six seasons, competed in the CBA during the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons. At that time, his wife, WNBA star Candace Parker, was playing for a Russian pro team, and they could see each other only a couple of times during the season. Parker would visit Williams in Tianjin for Christmas, and he would visit her in Russia during the Chinese New Year holiday. Although their daughter, Lailaa, who is now 7, was in good hands with Parker’s mother back in the States while her parents were overseas, the absence was understandably difficult for all involved.

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The Bengals underachieved in almost every way in 2016

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Chicago Bears: The Bears regressed in Year 2 under coach John Fox. Nineteen players landed on injured reserve, but the club looked bad even when the roster was healthy.

Cincinnati Bengals: The Bengals underachieved in almost every way in 2016. Offensive line struggles, kicking problems and inconsistency on both sides doomed this team.
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Cleveland Browns: One win avoids an “F,” but this season was one to forget. The Browns are no closer to finding a quarterback, and there are still many holes to fill on the roster.

Dallas Cowboys: The Cowboys couldn’t get back to the Super Bowl, but they laid the foundation for years to come with the arrival of Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott. Will Tony Romo return in 2017?

The defense didn’t come out as confidently as Allen sounded. In fact, it looked like the defenders were destined for a downfall after allowing Wilson to drive the Seahawks 89 yards in 14 plays, the opening march capped by his 7-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jimmy Graham. But something changed after the Falcons surrendered that long drive.

“After that first drive, we came to the sideline and we talked,” Allen said. “We said, ‘That’s not the way we do it.’ We gave them that whole drive because we weren’t on our fundamentals. We came back to the sideline and said, ‘Let’s get back to what we do.'”

Allen didn’t point the finger at anybody but himself.

“I didn’t communicate as well as I could have,” he said. “I saw formations that I knew what they were doing, and it was so loud that it was tough for me to get my communications to the other people. There was one time when they threw the quick screen to the outside. I didn’t do a good job of getting Keanu [Neal] lined up out there. I should have said, ‘Go, go, go.’ I’m the one who is deep and sees the formations. When you’re down in the box, you don’t always get to see those formations.”

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Jameis Winston struggles, finishes strong in preseason debut

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The last time Jameis Winston played in a football game, his Florida State Seminoles were walloped in the Rose Bowl. The stakes were a lot lower when Winston stepped onto the field Saturday night for his first game as a Buccaneer, and he finished strongly after a sluggish start.

Winston went 3-for-10 and threw an interception in Tampa Bay’s first six possessions of the first half. But then he settled down and led the Bucs on a 76-yard touchdown drive as the first half was coming to a close.

Wayne Lyons, CB (senior): Lyons is a transfer from Stanford who figures to be one of the top cornerbacks on the roster. He is a perfect fit on Michigan’s defense and could thrive with the new coaching staff. He is bigger and more physical than any other corner on the roster.

“I just think his comfort in the pocket looked a little bit better,” Gruden said. “We still have a long way to go to grade him, but we’re happy with his progress. We’ve just got to continue to work with him and be positive and go from there.”

It’s good Griffin is seemingly having a good training camp, because it will be difficult for him to walk back from his comments over the weekend. If he doesn’t want that quote thrown in his face all season long, he’ll have to repeat his performance from his rookie season — and do it fast.

Houston is likely pleased with the results thus far with its quarterback battle. The Texans also have to like Cecil Shorts creating that separation to get a long touchdown — it was his only catch on the day.

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The Cowboys face the Green Bay Packers in the Divisional round of the playoffs Sunday

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Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott tweeted “I’m good” after he was involved in a minor car accident near the team’s facility on Wednesday.

“We can confirm that Ezekiel Elliott was involved in a minor vehicle crash this morning in the area of Dallas Parkway and Gaylord Parkway,” the Frisco Police Department said in a statement.

No injuries were reported in the accident, which was a minor fender-bender at approximately 7:30 a.m. local time.

“I’m fine. I’m healthy. I’m good,” Elliott told reporters Wednesday. “My car is messed up, that’s about it. I’m just glad nobody got hurt.”

The Cowboys face the Green Bay Packers in the Divisional round of the playoffs Sunday.

“I thought our offense started playing better and then our defense collapsed in the last four weeks,” Bisciotti said. “The No. 1-rated defense started giving up 28, 30 points. The minute you start counting your strengths, then they can show up as weaknesses.”

The Ravens have become one of the NFL’s most successful franchises since Bisciotti became a minority owner in 2000 (he became majority owner in 2004). In 17 seasons under Bisciotti, Baltimore has won two Super Bowls, 15 playoff games (second-most in the NFL over that span) and 172 regular-season games (fifth-most).
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Bisciotti, though, acknowledged that he can appease every disgruntled fan during this down period for the franchise. As he put it, if he fired Newsome, some would still say Flacco was the problem. And, if the Ravens benched Flacco, others would say Harbaugh was the one who needed to be let go.
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“The only negative things I hear about me is I care more about continuity than winning,” Bisciotti said. “I can’t change that opinion on people. I can’t tell them that firing people is my way of showing my disappointment with our results. That’s just not the way I’m built. My optimism starts sooner than anybody else’s optimism.”

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LeBron anticipates Irving’s drive might lure Carroll toward the paint

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Limited Trey Burton Jersey When Irving senses he can pivot around and barricade DeMarre Carroll, he snaps into screen No. 2 and springs LeBron toward the baseline. Irving knows both defenders will chase LeBron there, so he scampers out toward the 3-point arc. If Kyle Lowry is slow to recover, Irving has an open triple. If Lowry rushes out, Irving can blow by him and see what emerges next.

LeBron anticipates Irving’s drive might lure Carroll toward the paint, and slides out to the corner for an open 3. Lethal.

Reverse roles, and LeBron turns into the league’s most versatile screener:

Critics have been protesting for years. They mostly worried about style: Do we really want to watch teams chuck 80 combined 3s in a fast-paced pickup game? What would happen to the midrange game and post-ups? Even league officials fretted. David Stern, the former commissioner, joked in 2013 that, “When our teams are hot, it’s a thing of beauty. And when they’re not, they can go 3-for-41.”

Zach Lowe highlights Mike D’Antoni’s underrated orchestral skills, Jahlil Okafor’s style points, ridiculous All-Star shilling and more.

This season may mark the point at which stylistic objections merge with substantive ones. The league is on pace to break the all-time record in points per possession, due almost entirely to the 3-point bonanza and its ripple effects. The league overall is pouring in about 105.5 points per 100 possessions, already way over last season’s final average, and dead even with the three or four most prolific scoring seasons in history, according to data provided by

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NBA scores 2016: James Harden torches the Clippers for 7th triple-double

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The Clippers have had a rough go since losing both Blake Griffin (right knee surgery) and Chris Paul (hamstring, day-to-day), and ending the calendar year against the Houston Rockets didn¡¯t make matters any better.

Artie Burns Authentic Jersey And then James Harden went off. For Detroit, its playoff streak is in jeopardy, as a 16-16-4 start to the season has the Red Wings seventh in the Atlantic Division with 36 points. Subpar goaltending from Petr Mrazek, hosts of injuries, and one of the league¡¯s worst power plays have all been factors in the Red Wings¡¯ fall through the Eastern Conference. Despite underperforming, a win in the Centennial Classic would be a big step forward in changing course in 2017.

Both the Canes and the Charlotte Checkers are in the midwest at the end of the week, and both play back-to-back games Thursday and Friday. It would be easy to make the swap between Lack and Leighton to give Lack some reps with the Checkers. That¡¯s of course predicated on Lack being cleared to play from his most recent situation, and agreeing to a conditioning assignment.

Mid-January, the team faces three games in four nights against three Metro division rivals above them in the standings (Penguins, Blue Jackets, and Capitals). Come mid-February, after the All-Star Game and mandatory bye week, the Canes are scheduled to play 29 games in 47 days, which according to my math is a game every 1.62 days.

Through April and May last year, his season looked not just ordinary but even less productive than his usual, hitting .202/.294/.329 with five home runs. And then from June to August, he looked like maybe the best-hitting second baseman ever, with a .305/.370/.655 line and 27 homers.

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Giants vs. Dolphins 2015, ‘Monday Night Football’ preview: Miami hopes to dash New York’s chance at NFC East title

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Mathew Barzal Authentic Jersey This week’s Monday Night Football matchup is between two teams who have made being inconsistent a consistent theme this season. Even with a loss last week, the New York Giants are still in the hunt for a postseason run thanks to a subpar NFC East division, but they need a win over the Miami Dolphins to get there. The Dolphins might be coming off a win over the Ravens, but it wasn’t a very pretty win and could have easily ended with a different outcome.

The Giants stayed in the game through four quarters, taking the Jets to overtime, and settled for the team’s third straight loss. Division leadership is low on the totem poll of concerns, with much larger issues coming to a head — like questions surrounding head coach Tom Coughlin’s future with the team.

“Much has been made about the recent struggles of our offense,” said Baldwin. “However, we are all witnessing the evolution of this side of the ball. As opposing defenses focus more on stopping Beastmode and the read option, we will rely more heavily on Russell Wilson and the passing game. As WR’s, we will continue to make the most out of our opportunities. Stay tuned.
The evolution Baldwin predicted has been clear.

Baldwin has become Russell Wilson’s go-to-guy and has caught eight touchdowns in his last three games, a feat only surpassed by Art Powell back in 1963 (who had nine in a three-game span). For more context, the only other receivers with eight touchdown catches in a three-game span are Calvin Johnson, Drew Bennett, Cris Carter, and Jerry Rice (who did it twice). That’s some good company.

Russell Wilson’s line the last four games has been better than any quarterback in the NFL. He’s 89-of-118 (75.4-percent) for 1,170 yards (at 9.9 yards per attempt) with 16 touchdowns, no picks, and an incredible 145.8 rating (plus a rushing touchdown just for fun).

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