NBA Finals 2017: Three things we learned from exhilarating Game 4

Game 4 of the NBA Finals featured a litany of emotions and records that could have been amassed throughout an entire season.
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Once the dust settled, and the Cavaliers stopped draining 3-pointers in their 137-116 victory, the series stood 3-1 in favor of the Warriors, but Cleveland fans got to celebrate Friday night.

Here are three things we learned from Cleveland’s record-setting Game 4 win:
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I’m different than Steve in a lot of ways, Brown said. My car is clean; his car is dirty. His locker is dirty, my locker is clean. He actually pointed that out to me today. We walked in the coaches’ locker room, and he goes, ‘Mike, look in my locker.’ And I just shook my head and I said, ‘Steve, look at mine.’ You know?

So there’s a contrast between the two of us where I think it fits well because we kind of sort of meet in the middle. So it’s a good mix. I see things, after being here with him for a year, probably more his way.

Kerr has very much stayed involved with the Warriors through this odyssey. He is at practices and in film sessions. He talks to Brown, offers game-plan advice and helps him figure out what adjustments his opponents might make. Kerr concedes the arrangement is weird. But he has also been grateful that Brown has handled the weirdness with consistency and level-headedness.

Clowney became the first name off the board after a dominant college career. A rare physical specimen, he weighed in at 6’5, 266 pounds at the combine and still ran a 4.53 40 time. Unfortunately, Clowney’s first two years in the pros were plagued by injuries. He missed most of 2014 with a torn meniscus and later underwent microfracture surgery. Clowney managed to play 13 games in 2015 and showed glimpses of his massive potential, but he still had trouble staying healthy.

Diana Taurasi becomes WNBA all-time leading scorer

Diana Taurasi made history Sunday afternoon when she became the WNBA’s all-time leading scorer.

The Phoenix Mercury star surpassed Tina Thompson’s record of 7,488 points with a layup late in the first half against the the Los Angeles Sparks. Taurasi finished the game with 19 points, setting the new record to 7,493 points.

The game was halted after the layup, to which the Los Angeles crowd gave Taurasi a round of applause. Even though the Mercury lost 90-59, Taurasi’s 19 points still led all players on both teams.

It took Taurasi 13 seasons in the league to reach the mark, while it took Thompson — who set the record in 2010 —17 seasons.

Thompson even took to Instagram to make a congratulatory video for Taurasi, referring to her as “D-Money.”

At the beginning of June, Taurasi broke the WNBA record for most career 3-pointers made, passing Katie Smith’s mark of 906.

Pacers president of basketball operations Kevin Pritchard issued a statement on Ellis, saying, “Monta’s suspension is a very serious matter to our franchise and it will be dealt with accordingly.”

The 31-year-old Ellis averaged 8.5 points last season. Bullock averaged 4.5 points per game in his fourth season in the league. He will become a restricted free agent if the Pistons decline to pick up his $3.3 million qualifying offer, according to Bleacher Report.


NBA Finals 2017: Cavs thinking about benching J.R. Smith in Game 3, per report

Cameron Jordan Elite Jersey In Game 1 of the 2017 NBA Finals, Cavs guard J.R. Smith made 1 of 4 shots and finished with three points. In between that and Game 2, coach Tyronn Lue said his message to Smith was to go out there and shoot. He didn’t listen.

In Game 2, Smith shot the ball only twice, and missed both attempts, finishing with no points. As a result, he saw a dramatic decrease in minutes, going from 28 in Game 1 to just 14 in Game 2. Iman Shumpert ended up with more minutes in the second game (22), and that will likely be the case in Game 3.
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After watching how the players have performed, Lue and his coaching staff are considering a lineup change as the series heads back to Cleveland, according to ESPN. The move would insert Shumpert, a stronger defender, into the starting lineup, replacing the ineffective Smith.

Lue’s comment is interesting, since the Warriors are unanimously considered a better team than the Celtics. Not to mention, the Cavs have barely had to deal with Boston star Isaiah Thomas, who is done for the season with a hip injury.

However, Lue said Boston coach Brad Stevens’ plays are what throws Cleveland off guard, which is what makes defending the Celtics more difficult.

Like, they hit the post, Golden State runs splits and all that stuff, but these guys are running all kinds of s鈥? Lue said of Stevens’ style. I’ll be like, ‘F鈥?’ They’re running all kinds of s鈥? man. And Brad’s got them moving and cutting and playing with pace, and everybody is a threat. It’s tough, you know, it’s tough.

Hall of Famer Rick Barry rips ‘loser’ Fox Sports Radio host for LeBron James take

Even after four MVPs and three titles, LeBron James still faces criticism for the most ridiculous reasons. Ricky Barry is sick of hearing them.

The former Warriors star and Basketball Hall of Famer got into a heated exchange Saturday afternoon with Fox Sports Radio host Rob Parker over a play made by James in the final minute of Game 3 of the NBA Finals. Parker asked Barry about James’ decision to pass to Kyle Korver instead of taking a shot on the key possession.

(James) had one of the best 3-point shooters in the damn game open, and he threw it to him, Barry said. So please get off his case.

He then continued by saying the lack of a workout isn’t going to be the single deciding factor.
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Well, listen, we’ve drafted guys that wouldn’t come in for workouts before, it’s not the end of the world, we’ve watched them play a ton, we have a lot of information on them, he said. Sometimes players don’t want to come in, not because they don’t like you, but because they see our roster, they think they want to go to another team.

Ainge said Ball never provided a reason why, adding his camp politely declined.
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While Ball didn’t give a reason to Ainge, the reason appears to be obvious from the outside. Both LaVar and Lonzo have made it clear the Lakers are the place to be. When the Lakers won the No. 2 pick in the lottery, a camera in the Ball household showed the family celebrating.

The interesting thing here is Ball seems fine not being the first pick, as long as it means he gets to play for the Lakers. Most players would be thrilled to be drafted first overall, or even drafted for that matter. But Ball feels comfortable trying to pick his destination and is doing everything possible to make sure he ends up where he wants.

The Packers drafted cornerbacks Damarious Randall and Quenten Rollins in 2015

Green Bay’s pass defense was a liability all season, even during the eight-game win streak. The Packers allowed 336.2 passing yards per game in their last six games alone. Green Bay lost star cornerback Sam Shields in Week 1, but these problems lingered. Matt Ryan was just the last quarterback to take advantage. Green Bay’s run defense held up, and the unit ranked sixth in the NFL in sacks despite an injury-riddled year for Clay Matthews. What do you think Tom Brady would have done to this defense had the Packers beat the Falcons Green Bay needs to ask it’self that question if it wants to win a Super Bowl. That’s the standard.

Sign and/or draft impact rookies: Green Bay can fix that by addressing the cornerback position, especially if Shields can’t return. New England’s Malcolm Butler is among the top free-agent cornerbacks out there, but it’s typically not Green Bay’s style to sign a big-time free agent.

The Packers also drafted cornerbacks Damarious Randall and Quenten Rollins in 2015, but both struggled this season. Green Bay will have options at the end of the first round. A few mock drafts have them taking Washington’s Sidney Jones, though Florida’s Jalen Tabor also could be available. If Green Bay has a chance to get a do-it-all talent like USC’s Adoree’ Jackson or Michigan’s Jabrill Peppers, they need to take it. Those guys fit in any scheme.

Jones is dealing with a nagging toe injury, but Falcons coach Dan Quinn said Jones will be ready to rock.Even if he is limited, Ryan has plenty of other weapons at his disposal and Sundays game could be a wild shootout.

Green Bays best defense just might be Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense keeping the Falcons offense on the sideline. Both quarterbacks could have big games and it might be the one who holds the ball last moving on to Super Bowl LI.

NFL Rumors: Mike McCoy may return to Broncos as OC if Vance Joseph hired as coach

If the Broncos hire Vance Joseph as their new head coach following a Tuesday interview, one of the franchises former offensive coordinators may be coming with him.
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A source told Sporting News on Sunday that Joseph has spoken with Mike McCoy about returning to the Mile High City in the same role.

The award is presented to someone who best exemplifies the inspirational and courageous play of Len Eshmont, a former player of the franchise. Theismann, who never played for San Francisco, shared his take, and Smith took the chance to defend his quarterback.

The sky’s the limit for Mike, he’s a natural, new Texas football coach Tom Herman reportedly said last summer. We’re watching the career of a head coach in the NFL unfold right before our eyes. When that happens and when the right time is, nobody knows. If I was a betting man, I would surely bet he will be a head coach in that league before too long.

Vrabel most notably spend eight seasons with the Patriots as a linebacker and won three Super Bowls in New England. He also played for the Steelers and Chiefs during his 14-year playing career. He retired in 2011 and immediately became the linebackers coach at Ohio State, his alma mater.
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Houston is the only team for which Vrabel has coached in the NFL. He reportedly turned down an offer last year to become the 49ers’ defensive coordinator under coach Chip Kelly.

The Rams reportedly also have interviewed Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia, Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, Cardinals offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin, Panthers secondary coach Steve Wilks, Redskins offensive coordinator Sean McVay, Jaguars interim head coach Doug Marrone and Bills interim coach Anthony Lynn, via

They plan to interview Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin and Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, according to the report.

Watch: Ravens’ Justin Tucker blasts 75-yard field goal in Pro Bowl practice

The season may be over for the Ravens, but kicker Justin Tucker isn’t relaxing during the offseason.

Tucker is in Orlando to prepare for the NFL Pro Bowl and the Skills Showdown, and has already started to get his practice in.

During Wednesday’s session, Tucker launched an insane 75-yard field goal through the uprights.

As incredible as the feat is, it’s not surprising Tucker made the attempt. He only missed one field goal all season and was a perfect 10 for 10 from 50 or more yards away.

So, what are the chances Tucker gets a random drug test after that ridiculous shot

It wasn’t finalized until Sunday night’s regular-season finale in Detroit when the Packers clinched the NFC North and the No. 4 seed in the NFC with a 31-24 victory over the Lions.

While the Packers won the division, the Packers and Lions had each clinched a playoff berth before they kicked off at Ford Field.
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The Giants (11-5) eliminated the Redskins from playoff contention with a 19-10 road win at FedEx Field. Washington (8-7-1) would have clinched a spot by winning and the Packers-Lions loser would have been out of the playoffs.

Freeney does admit the thought of becoming a late addition to a team next season once again has its appeal.

‘That doesn’t sound like a bad idea,’ Freeney said. ‘Let me retire right after this season and wait for another contender, right ‘

Freeney, though would be hard-pressed to find another situation better than the one he experienced in Atlanta.
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It looks silly when the Mets’ horse appears to be a stubborn mule.

None of this is to say the Mets shouldn’t share some of the blame for Syndergaard’s injury. The CBA says you can’t force a guy to get an MRI — and nor should you be able to — but Syndergaard should have a bit more self-awareness. The team needs him. What message is he sending to the clubhouse saying he doesn’t regret a thing?

You are who you project yourself to be, and Syndergaard not using the chance to take a public appearance on one of New York’s most listened to radio shows to reassure the fans that he’ll learn from his mistakes and missteps should be more than concerning. It should be alarming.

Elite Womens Peyton Manning Jersey Listen, there’s nothing wrong with living your life with no regrets, but everyone knows Syndergaard made a mistake. Syndergaard more than likely privately knows he made a mistake. Why not just admit to it and move on? Why drag this out? Why present yourself this way?

It looks silly when the Mets’ horse appears to be a stubborn mule.

Mazzone also serves as a special assistant to the coaches at Furman University and does a sports talk radio show at 9 a.m. EST every Saturday with 680 The Fan in Atlanta.
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It’s funny, Mazzone said. My career took the same thing as Johnny Sain’s career. You had your years in the big leagues and you had a lot of success for a lot of reasons, for a lot of good people that were around you. And then at the end — why was I meeting Johnny Sain and he was in the minor leagues?

We all, as a network, wondered How is this going to go? We’re in Studio 42 doing the draft, and we knew the draft was sort of an awkward thing as other networks tried to cover it before us. We wanted to make it a big deal, as a huge, exclusive event for this young network. So I can understand why some players early on wouldn’t want to come to Studio 42 early on. They don’t know what it’s about, they don’t know all different kinds of details.

So here comes this local kid and all of us are worried that he’s not going to get drafted in the first round. That year we only aired the first round of the draft, so we are crossing our fingers. We’re showing this kid and his family, and we’re like, Oh my goodness.

6 sleeper teams to watch for first-round QB selection

Several NFL teams — before any trades or signings are made — desperately need to draft a quarterback early in the 2017 draft. The first wave is formed by the top three teams picking in the first round, the Browns, 49ers and Bears. Then come the AFC East rivals picking a little later, the Jets (No. 6) and the Bills (No. 10).

But there’s no guarantee any of them will actually select a quarterback, especially in a class where there is no consensus No. 1 or No. 2 prospect at the league’s most important position.

“It’s like they’re moving the needle now that it’s my turn to get inducted into the Hall of Fame.”

Owens insists he’s not bitter about being left out, but he has frequently sounded off on Twitter about not getting in. He has called the Hall of Fame a “total joke” and a “flawed process.”

“That’s what my grandmother always told me to do — defend myself. Don’t let anyone run over you,” Owens said of his Twitter rants. “If you allow people to do it, they’ll continue to do it. That’s how I was throughout my career. I’m not going to allow someone to run over me. I have a voice. I did that in the locker room, too.”

MORE: Dan Fouts proves he’s part of problem with Terrell Owens HOF snub

Owens said his name has been mentioned in the same breath as NFL players who’ve had drinking-and-driving offenses, domestic violence incidents and criminal indictments.

“Trust me, in terms of who I am, my character, trust me, I know my character’s intact, ” he said. “Just because I had some situations or disagreements with coaches or players, I’m not the first one that has ever done that. I’m not the first one that’s ever done that, and probably not the last.”texans_098

Cousins could be franchise-tagged for a second straight season

Washington finally has gotten its salary cap problems of the past seemingly under control, though it will never be shy about spending. The Redskins are just more judicious in deciding on whom they spend.

The question will be how much mileage the Redskins can get out of this money so they can keep their offense strong while also fixing their defense. The team has big free agents in Kirk Cousins, DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon.

Cousins could be franchise-tagged for a second straight season, which would immediately eat $24 million while even older veteran receivers are getting nice contracts these days. If they can get long-terms deals done with Cousins and one receiver before free agency, expect the Redskins to be aggressive.

He finishes as a tackler really well, utilizing long arms and his 10-inch hands. His low center of gravity as a rusher helps generate pressure, but he can misstep upfield and is susceptible to pulling and trap blocks, and backfield blockers at times.
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In the play below against Oklahoma, Bowser works from a delayed blitzing angle, gets initial and interior penetration, and is able to extend while engaged with great concentration. He can win as a defensive end, but it’s his versatile blitzing and body control in pursuit that will allow him to thrive at multiple positions in the NFL.

Elite Womens Shane Ray Jersey Additionally, Bowser’s ability to work in space with that ideal length and body control can allow him to thrive on the perimeter, notably as a 3-4 outside linebacker. He comes down the line with great force and keeps his balance as he works in space as a tackler and as a rusher. Here, he evades the offensive tackle laterally, attacks the running back (San Diego State’s Donnel Pumphrey) and works around him without losing ground to finish as an edge rusher.