Sportige http://sportige.com The Sports Know-It-All Fri, 22 Apr 2016 10:45:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.7 MLB April 21 Scores & Standings http://sportige.com/mlb-april-21-scores-standings/ http://sportige.com/mlb-april-21-scores-standings/#comments Fri, 22 Apr 2016 10:45:04 +0000 http://sportige.com/?p=94824 More ]]> Jake Arrieta no hitter

The Chicago Cubs stood head and feet above the rest with a 16-run demolition and shutout of the Cincinnati Reds, while pitcher Jake Arrieta got a no hitter. The Baltimore Orioles kept making the Toronto Blue Jays feel bad and the Kansas City Royals climb back to the top of the AL Central, doing it their way.

Chicago Cubs 16  Cincinnati Reds 0: A day of Jake Arrieta celebrating his second career no hitter, striking out six and walking four through nine innings. Also a day of relentless offense, including two home runs by Kris Bryant and one for Ben Zobrist, David Ross and Anthony Rizzo.

Seattle Mariners 10  Cleveland Indians 7: The game was tied at 7-7 by the time the nine innings were complete, as a  Mike Napoli two-run homer in the 8th put the Indians on par with Seattle. But Robinson Cano blasted a three-run homer (home run number six this season) in the 10th to win the game.

Los Angeles Dodgers 2  Atlanta Braves 1: Clayton Kershaw pitched on the mound for 8 innings, striking out 10 batters. The win, however, went to Chris Hatcher who came on for him, while Kenley Jansen provided the final relief and save. Yasmani Grandal came on to pinch hit, getting a double that scored Enrique Hernandez.

Washington Nationals 1  Miami Marlins 5: Ichiro Suzuki had a big day, scoring two runs and going 2-for-3 while Marcell Ozuna hit his second home run of the season, this time a three-run homer. Tom Koehler got his first win (1-2, 4.80 ERA) on the mound this season, giving up two hits and striking out five in five innings.

Tampa Bay Rays 12  Boston Red Sox 8: The Rays come out with their best offensive display of the season, including home runs by Evan Longoria and Curt Casali. The Red Sox had a 5-1 lead after the first inning but the home runs from Longoria and Casali turned the game around completely.

Minnesota Twins 8  Milwaukee Brewers 1: The Twins win for the first time this season away from home, as Ricky Nolasco struck out 7 in 6.1 innings while Miguel Sano with a home run and Brain Dozier with one of his own took care of the offensive spark side.

Los Angeles Angels 3  Chicago White Sox 2: Another strong start for Jered Weaver (2-0, 3.12 ERA), allowing only three hits in seven innings. The White Sox had two home runs in their attempts to catch up, but the Angels edged them on Mike Trout hitting his second home run of the season and a sacrifice fly from Carlos Perez.

Arizona Diamondbacks 6  San Francisco Giants 2: Shelby Miller didn’t have a very good day, so Tyler Wagner stepped up for him and got his first Major League win after five innings. Paul Goldschmidt got two RBIs and Yasmany Tomas hit a home run as the Diamondbacks are above .500 finally.

Toronto Blue Jays 2  Baltimore Orioles 3: Darren O’Day struck out three in his relief inning to pick up the win while Brett Cecil blew his third save of the season, falling to 0-3 with a 3.38 ERA, which should be worrying for Toronto. Manny Machado won the game with a double to right in the 8th.

Oakland Athletics 7  New York Yankees 3: The Yankees continue to look bad on the mound and offensively, leading twice in the game but wasting away good opportunities. The A’s hit four home runs, including a two-run homer by Chris Coghlan.

Detroit Tigers 0  Kansas City Royals 4: Edinson Volquez continues his terrific start with 7 scoreless innings, dropping his ERA to 1.46. Mike Moustakas hit his fifth home run of the season while Lorenzo Cain and Alcides Escobar got RBIs of their own.

Houston Astros 4  Texas Rangers 7: The Rangers got 14 hits off of Dallas Keuchel and the bullpen, including home runs for Ian Desmond (his first of the season) and one by Adrian Beltre.

Pittsburgh Pirates 11  San Diego Padres 1: The Pirates got 11 runs off of 11 hits, while Gerrit Cole struck out 7 in six innings to pick up his first win this season. Josh Harrison, David Freese and Francisco Cervelli each had two RBIs.

American League Standings

AL East W L Pct. GB Home Road
Baltimore Orioles 10 4 0.714 7–1 3–3
Toronto Blue Jays 8 9 0.471 3–3 5–6
Boston Red Sox 7 8 0.467 4–6 3–2
Tampa Bay Rays 7 8 0.467 5–5 2–3
New York Yankees 5 9 0.357 5 3–6 2–3
W L Pct. GB Home Road
Kansas City Royals 10 5 0.667 6–2 4–3
Chicago White Sox 10 6 0.625 ½ 3–3 7–3
Detroit Tigers 8 6 0.571 2–2 6–4
Cleveland Indians 6 7 0.462 3 3–5 3–2
Minnesota Twins 5 11 0.312 4–4 1–7
W L Pct. GB Home Road
Texas Rangers 10 6 0.625 6–3 4–3
Oakland Athletics 9 7 0.562 1 3–7 6–0
Seattle Mariners 7 8 0.467 1–5 6–3
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 7 9 0.438 3 2–4 5–5
Houston Astros 5 11 0.312 5 3–4 2–7

National League Standings

NL East W L Pct. GB Home Road
Washington Nationals 11 4 0.733 5–1 6–3
New York Mets 7 7 0.500 2–4 5–3
Philadelphia Phillies 7 9 0.438 5–5 2–4
Miami Marlins 5 9 0.357 2–7 3–2
Atlanta Braves 4 11 0.267 7 1–7 3–4
W L Pct. GB Home Road
Chicago Cubs 12 4 0.750 4–2 8–2
St. Louis Cardinals 8 7 0.533 5–4 3–3
Cincinnati Reds 8 8 0.500 4 7–3 1–5
Pittsburgh Pirates 8 8 0.500 4 5–3 3–5
Milwaukee Brewers 7 9 0.438 5 4–4 3–5
W L Pct. GB Home Road
Los Angeles Dodgers 10 6 0.625 4–2 6–4
Colorado Rockies 8 7 0.533 3–3 5–4
Arizona Diamondbacks 9 8 0.529 2–5 7–3
San Francisco Giants 7 10 0.412 3–5 4–5
San Diego Padres 6 10 0.375 4 3–6 3–4
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NBA Playoffs – Raptors & Thunder Take 2-1 Leads, Rockets Stay Alive http://sportige.com/nba-playoff-april-21-scores-results-houston-rockets-oklahoma-city-thunder-94821/ http://sportige.com/nba-playoff-april-21-scores-results-houston-rockets-oklahoma-city-thunder-94821/#comments Fri, 22 Apr 2016 10:15:28 +0000 http://sportige.com/?p=94821 More ]]> James Harden

Thursday night action in the NBA playoffs put all three series in play at a 2-1 situation: The Oklahoma City Thunder crushed the Dallas Mavericks to take the lead, the Toronto Raptors felt comfortable in Indianapolis against the Pacers to go up as well while the Houston Rockets finally showed some grit and a bit of clutch to win their first game in the series with the Golden State Warriors.

Oklahoma City Thunder 131  Dallas Mavericks 102 (Thunder lead series 2-1): The Mavs know how to beat the Thunder, but it doesn’t mean they can. Not with so many injuries, and not when they can’t make Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook feel uncomfortable. The dynamic duo combined to score 60 points (34 by Durant) while Westbrook dished out 15 assists in a weird game with 0 rebounds for him. Enes Kanter looked great off the bench with 21, and it felt a lot like how it should be between a team pasted together from scraps and a team going at full force, not to mention with younger key players.

Wesley Matthews scored 22 points to lead the Mavericks, but that was about it. J.J. Barea scored 15 on a bad knee, Deron Williams didn’t play and Raymond Felton’s 18 points weren’t enough. Dirk Nowitzki finished with 16, but he’s also far from 100%. Justin Anderson scored 12 points off the bench and perhaps should be a bigger part of the rotation, but that isn’t going to change the fact that these two teams aren’t on the same level.

Toronto Raptors 101  Indiana Pacers 85 (Raptors lead series 2-1): Paul George got 0 help while shooting poorly himself (6-of-19 from the field, 25 points, 10 rebounds), the Raptors dominated in the stands and on the court. Both Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan remain mostly inaccurate, but they did combine to score 42 points and DeMarre Carroll looked completely healthy, scoring 17 points and doing a great job defensively. Jonas Valanciunas didn’t have his way offensively, but still finished with 14 rebounds, including 4 on the offensive glass.

The Raptors held the Pacers to 38.2% from the field, as Myles Turner (17 points) and George Hill (13 points) were the only ones remotely close to aiding George in a lost battle. Feeding the ball to their star player is nice, but it makes things predictable and simple for the Raptors. Unless Monta Ellis and others pick up missed opportunities and become an actual threat to the Raptors defense in the remainder of this series, it’s not going to last much longer.

Golden State Warriors 96  Houston Rockets 97: It came down to a couple of plays: James Harden, who was doing a great job of making anyone guarding him miserable, hitting a fall back jumper to give the Rockets a one point lead with 2.7 seconds left in the game, and then Draymond Green unable to execute a simple dribble off the inbound, turning it over as the Warriors lost to Houston for the first time this season and in this series.

Stephen Curry didn’t play, and while in game 2 it looked like the Warriors had no problem with it, in Houston things look different. The Rockets were off to a great start and the Warriors never got in their rhythm. They shot just 6-for-25 from beyond the arc, including 0-for-7 from Klay Thompson. Harden scored 35 points to go with 8 rebounds and 9 assists, while Draymond Green couldn’t get going either. No Curry and bad games from Green and Thompson is just too much.

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NFL Rumors – Raiders, Rams, Bengals, Ravens & Jaguars Interested in Drafting William Jackson III http://sportige.com/nfl-rumors-raiders-rams-bengals-ravens-jaguars-william-jackson-iii-houston-cougars-94817/ http://sportige.com/nfl-rumors-raiders-rams-bengals-ravens-jaguars-william-jackson-iii-houston-cougars-94817/#comments Thu, 21 Apr 2016 20:18:53 +0000 http://sportige.com/?p=94817 More ]]> William Jackson III

One cornerback rising up the draft boards for a number of teams is William Jackson III out of Houston, who has already visited with the Oakland Raiders, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Los Angeles Rams & Jacksonville Jaguars.

Until not too long ago, Jackson was thought of as someone who’d be a late first round pick or early second. But he’s been impressive in his workouts and meetings with teams, leading many to believe he just might be the second cornerback to be selected in the draft after Jalen Ramsey of Florida State, which means Vernon Hargreaves of Florida slightly losing draft stock. But who soon will Jackson get picked?

The Raiders have the 14th overall pick, Baltimore are 6th, Cincinnati are 24th, Rams have the first pick and Jacksonville are 5th. The two teams that look like they’re in the best position to snag him are the Raiders and Bengals, but draft day moves up and down are completely possible, although Jackson didn’t look like that great of a prospect after finishing his college career, which started at Trinity Valley Junior College.

He didn’t let a knee injury make him miss too many games in 2015, playing in 12 of Houston’s 13, leading the nation in passes defended with 23, picking off five passes and returning two of them for touchdowns. He was named to the American Conference second team for a second straight year.

Jackson is a tall cornerback (6’0) with pretty impressive length who has no speed problems. The issue with him is his physical play, or lack of it sometimes. That’s not too big of an issue – it’s something that can be embedded in a player. But for those looking for a cornerback who can jump right in to a defense and start locking down receivers, Jackson isn’t that type of player. He’ll struggle in press coverages and probably needs a year or maybe more of learning how this works in the NFL before he can become a much more productive and complete starter for the team that selects him.

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NFL Rumors – Broncos, Jets & Eagles Could Make a Sam Bradford Trade http://sportige.com/nfl-rumors-free-agency-denver-broncos-new-york-jets-philadelphia-eagles-sam-bradford-chase-daniel-94810/ http://sportige.com/nfl-rumors-free-agency-denver-broncos-new-york-jets-philadelphia-eagles-sam-bradford-chase-daniel-94810/#comments Thu, 21 Apr 2016 18:05:35 +0000 http://sportige.com/?p=94810 More ]]> Sam Bradford

The Philadelphia Eagles moving up to get the second overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft tells us that they want a quarterback. This means Sam Bradford may be on the trading block, and if that’s the case, the Denver Broncos and New York Jets should try making one now.

Things change quickly and drastically in Philadelphia. Chip Kelly traded Nick Foles to the Rams (then in St. Louis) for Bradford. The often injured quarterback had a solid season. While Kelly got fired, the Eagles signed Bradford to a 2-year, $36 million ($26 million guaranteed) contract. Now, unless they’re planning on paying Bradford, Chase Daniel (three-year, $21 million contract) and a number two draft pick all at once at quarterback, someone has to go.

Obviously, there’s the option of the Eagles actually moving up to take someone other than a quarterback: Laremy Tunsil, an offensive tackle. But the same beat writers who didn’t see the massive trade with the Cleveland Browns coming are saying it’s about a quarterback 100%, pointing at Carson Wentz coming to them after the Rams select Jared Goff.

Assuming Bradford (or maybe Daniel?) is traded, who should be calling? Two teams seem to be the obvious answer: Denver Broncos and New York Jets.

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Both teams don’t have high draft picks to draft a player who can start at quarterback right away, or at least projected to be good enough for that. Both teams are in trouble at QB. A few months removed from winning the Super Bowl, the Broncos lost Peyton Manning (retirement) and Brock Osweiler (insulted and signed with the Houston Texans), signing Mark Sanchez and not really deciding on someone else. Ryan Fitzpatrick and Colin Kaepernick have been mentioned, but nothing has happened.

And speaking of Fitzpatrick, he and the Jets are still not getting anywhere. He wanted a lot of money ($15-16 million a season), they aren’t coming close to that, and don’t have too much in cap space right now, although that might change with the option of rescinding the franchise tag or trading Muhammad Wilkerson. They’re not heading into the season with Geno Smith as their best quarterback, and so at least hearing what the Eagles want for Bradford or Daniel makes a lot of sense.

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NFL Rumors – Seattle Seahawks, Cincinnati Bengals & Baltimore Ravens Interested in Drafting Chris Jones http://sportige.com/nfl-rumors-seattle-seahawks-cincinnati-bengals-baltimore-ravens-chris-jones-mississippi-state-bulldogs-94807/ http://sportige.com/nfl-rumors-seattle-seahawks-cincinnati-bengals-baltimore-ravens-chris-jones-mississippi-state-bulldogs-94807/#comments Thu, 21 Apr 2016 14:39:12 +0000 http://sportige.com/?p=94807 More ]]> Chris Jones

One of the best defensive tackles in the SEC over the last few years, Chris Jones of Mississippi States, decided it’s enough after three years and is heading into the NFL. The Seattle Seahawks, Cincinnati Bengals and Baltimore Ravens are more than willing to welcome him.

The Seahawks seem to be declining defensively, a little bit with each passing season, and need to make good picks in this draft on defense. The Ravens need to rebuild their defense after last season. The Bengals aren’t as desperate in that regard, but it never hurts to add someone who doesn’t just clog space, but is also quite a productive pass rusher.

Jones has played quite a lot in his three years for the Bulldogs, starting in all 12 games last season, finishing with 56 tackles, 2.5 sacks and 7 tackles for a loss. He’s incredibly strong and rarely has problems moving blockers out of his way, and has no problem stopping runs while getting rid of those standing in his path. When plays become longer he tends to lose steam and still struggles with changes in direction, but overall, there’s a lot to like about Jones if you’re an NFL GM.

He’s probably going to be a late first round or second round pick. Yes, there’s work to do, but his size (6’6, 310 lbs), power and speed make him too good of a player to let fall down into the latter stages of the draft. He finished his college career with 8.5 sacks in 37 games, also adding 17.5 tackles for a loss and a total of 94 tackles.

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NFL Rumors – Patriots, 49ers, Panthers, Eagles, Jets, Ravens, Chargers, Vikings, Colts & Buccaneers Interested in Drafting Joe Dahl http://sportige.com/nfl-rumors-patriots-49ers-panthers-eagles-jets-ravens-chargers-vikings-colts-buccaneers-joe-dahl-washington-state-cougars-94804/ http://sportige.com/nfl-rumors-patriots-49ers-panthers-eagles-jets-ravens-chargers-vikings-colts-buccaneers-joe-dahl-washington-state-cougars-94804/#comments Thu, 21 Apr 2016 14:15:43 +0000 http://sportige.com/?p=94804 More ]]> Joe Dahl

In every draft there are players, not necessarily projected early picks, that get to visit or work out with about half the league. Joe Dahl, an offensive linemen out of Washington State, has either visited, worked out for or will for the New England Patriots, San Francisco 49ers, Carolina Panthers, Philadelphia Eagles, New York Jets, Baltimore Ravens, San Diego Chargers, Minnesota Vikings, Indianapolis Colts & Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Dahl is intriguing because he did very well for the Cougars in the last two seasons as a left tackle, allowing the team to play their pass-happy style without a lot of pressure coming. However, in 2013 he played on the inside as a left guard. Despite being an all-conference selection and All-American selection as well during his time on the outside, NFL teams are probably going to be trying to make him move to the inside again, and that might be the place where his future as an NFL player resides.

It’s not just his size that fits more the NFL guard build (6’4, 304 lbs). He’s not great when there’s acres of space around him and isn’t quick enough to consistently get to cut­off blocks. He sometimes looks sluggish when trying to change direction and isn’t as long as teams like to see from their left tackles.

But he’s tough, determined and intelligent. It might not be enough to make him into a starting left tackle, which is the most lucrative position in the NFL besides quarterback, but he’s probably good enough to start at guard for someone, and if his NFL future means he needs to be a backup offensive lineman who plugs holes, he’ll probably develop into a good one at that too.

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Glorious Night of Football, Especially for Barcelona, Juventus & Liverpool http://sportige.com/goals-match-highlights-fc-barcelona-juventus-fc-liverpool-fc-94801/ http://sportige.com/goals-match-highlights-fc-barcelona-juventus-fc-liverpool-fc-94801/#comments Thu, 21 Apr 2016 13:40:55 +0000 http://sportige.com/?p=94801 More ]]> Liverpool Everton 4-0

There’s always something special with the midweek fixtures late in the season. All the major leagues in Europe playing at the same time, with the action coming at you from all directions. Out of all that quality, Liverpool beating Everton in the Merseyside derby, Juventus inching closer towards a fifth consecutive league title and Barcelona finally stopping their collapse stood out.

For Liverpool, this was a fourth straight win in all competitions, and the third time in four matches scoring four goals. They carried on with their astonishing record against Everton over the last 16 years, especially at Anfield, with a 4-0 demolition that made it clear Roberto Martinez has very little control over his collapsing team (3 shots at goal compared to 35), while the Reds don’t let the momentum from drawing in Dortmund and then beating them at Anfield go to waste. There have been ups & downs since Jurgen Klopp took over for Brendan Rodgers, but the ship seems to be steadying at the right time. It might be too late for a Champions League spot (six points behind at the moment), but this is about next season as much as it is about this one.

Juventus beat Lazio 3-0 as they put themselves one win away from pretty much clinching the title, although at this point, they really need four points. They have a nine point lead over Napoli, with four matches remaining this season. They haven’t lost a league match since October 2015, and have dropped only two points since then in league play. Who remembers their early season crisis, when it seemed that the departure of Carlos Tevez, Arturo Vidal and Andrea Pirlo in one summer would be too much to handle? Paulo Dybala (16 league goals this season) with a brace against Lazio has been at the vanguard of this incredible run.

And the run down of big winners on this night ends with Barcelona. Their 8-0 win over Deportivo comes after four consecutive matches without a league win, including three straight losses, seeing them lose a nine point lead at the top of the table. Now it’s even with Atletico Madrid and one point more than Real Madrid. Luis Suarez scored four goals and added three assists in a record night for him. Barcelona need to hope that the exhaustion of their front trio, along with Ivan Rakitic and Andres Iniesta falling off their feet, won’t cost them a league title that seemed to be in the bag only three weeks ago.

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NBA Playoffs Predictions: Thunder vs Mavericks, Raptors vs Pacers, Warriors vs Rockets http://sportige.com/nba-playoffs-predictions-thunder-vs-mavericks-raptors-vs-pacers-warriors-vs-rockets-94796/ http://sportige.com/nba-playoffs-predictions-thunder-vs-mavericks-raptors-vs-pacers-warriors-vs-rockets-94796/#comments Thu, 21 Apr 2016 13:15:10 +0000 http://sportige.com/?p=94796 More ]]> Three series in the NBA playoffs move into the switching cities phase, as we get to game 3. The Oklahoma City Thunder hosted by the Dallas Mavericks (tied at 1-1), Toronto Raptors going to the Indiana Pacers (tied at 1-1) and the Houston Rockets bring the Golden State Warriors over for a visit, hoping to win for the first time in this postseason.

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Thunder @ Mavericks: Despite stealing home court advantage and getting some momentum, the Mavericks aren’t overly confident heading into game 3. Dirk Nowitzki is playing with a knee injury. David Lee is out for now. J.J. Barea and Deron Williams both have injuries they’re dealing with. Devin Harris is on that list as well. Rick Carlisle put it quite accurately: We know from a manpower standpoint we’re at a pretty big disadvantage, and we know we’re not going to outrun or outdunk or outskill these guys.

Right no both accounts. So what should the Mavericks do? This series is not up to them. Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant shot a combined 15-for-55 from the field in the game 2 loss, and it still came down to one tip in by Steven Adams that was ruled to have not come out of his hands in time to beat the buzzer. Raymond Felton had a huge game with 21 points and 11 rebounds, but missed clutch free throws that allowed the Thunder to be in a position to win the game.

For the Thunder, it always feels like it’s about making shots. But in their home loss to Dallas, a first after five straight wins including the regular season, they allowed an older, worse team to bully them from the get go. And being aggressive on the boards and in the paint sets the tone for them, allowing them to play at a pace the Mavericks simply don’t have the manpower to match.

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Raptors @ Pacers: The Raptors have pretty much conceded they’re not going to be able to stop Paul George, averaging 30.5 points in this series after two games. They’ve also understood that the Pacers defense is going to make it difficult for Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan to have a good shooting day. In the 98-87 win they shot a combined 9-for-31 from the field. Sounds very similar to game 1, doesn’t it? What changed?

The Pacers not getting Jonas Valanciunas into foul trouble was the difference. He played 31 minutes, grabbed 15 rebounds (5 on offense) and scored 23 points, this time not wasting away all those second chance opportunities. And as good as George is, on offense, it’s going to be difficult for the Pacers taking hold of this series again without someone else stepping up offensively, and finding an answer to their inferiority under the basket.

Warriors @ Rockets: No Curry doesn’t mean that much. It might make it easier for the Rockets to defend some of the time, but they’re still severely outmatched against a team that’s not just more talented than them but also smarter. Yes, the officiating can be more fair as the Warriors continue to do things no other team in the league is allowed to, but their advantage over the Rockets has a lot more to do with their ball movements, shot making and ability to lock down the defense for long periods of time.

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Jeremy Lin Kinda Flat, Kemba Walker Changes Nothing, Steve Clifford Stupidly Stubborn, Hornets Need Miracle http://sportige.com/nba-playoffs-charlotte-hornets-miami-heat-jeremy-lin-kemba-walker-steve-clifford-94792/ http://sportige.com/nba-playoffs-charlotte-hornets-miami-heat-jeremy-lin-kemba-walker-steve-clifford-94792/#comments Thu, 21 Apr 2016 12:27:16 +0000 http://sportige.com/?p=94792 More ]]> Steve Clifford

The Miami Heat take a 2-0 lead over the Charlotte Hornets with a 115-103 win. Steve Clifford thought everything was fine, so why change things this time around? Kemba Walker scored meaningless points, Jeremy Lin had a difficult to define game, but overall, the Heat keep having their way on both ends of the floor, comfortably rolling towards what should be a place in the conference semifinals.

The only difference between the two losses? The Hornets didn’t fall apart in this one. The Heat opened up an 18-point lead at some point, but this wasn’t the absolute disgrace the first game was. The Hornets offense was better (from 109 rating to 114.1 in game 2) and their defense wasn’t a catastrophe, simply bad, as the Heat went down from 147.4 to 127.2 points per 100 possessions. It’s still not even close, and now the Hornets have only home court to hopefully change the dynamic of where this is going, at least avoiding a sweep.

Lin had a weird game. He finished with 11 points in 27 minutes and actually a +3 for the Hornets when he was playing. He was just 2-for-7 from the field, 0-for-3 from beyond the arc, but doing a great job of getting to the line, finishing with 7-for-8. He had no assists, and got sucked into the no ball movement movement the Hornets seem to be caught up in since the playoffs began, finishing this time with an even worse nine assists (had 11 in the first game).

Steve Clifford offers nothing, as he keeps talking about it simply being a matter of execution instead of planning and tactics. He had himself a little moment of answering back to the media, tired of hearing the word adjustments and changes. But what can you do: When you get outscored by 44 points in two games and give up a total of 238 points in the two of them, you’re not getting away with saying it’s simply a matter of making shots and trying harder on defense.

Nicolas Batum hurt his ankle, again, and now is out for at least one game unless a miracle happens. This should put Lin in the lineup as it has in the past, but while this hasn’t been the best of series for Batum, it’s going to be difficult carrying on without him. Kemba Walker scored 29 points on 12-for-29 from the field and 1-for-6 from beyond the arc. He played 42 minutes. His shooting was OK early on, but is the chief engineer behind stopping the ball from moving, as the Heat decided to let the Hornets attack the rim (Al Jefferson scored 25 points and got Hassan Whiteside in foul trouble) and simply stop the three point shot. The Hornets took bad shots, finished with 1-for-16 from beyond the arc, and didn’t seem like they’re trying to generate better, open looks.

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There are other weird things going on besides the ease in which the Hornets enter the paint time and time again, especially Dwyane Wade, averaging 22 points with 9.5 assists in the series, scoring 28 in the game 2 win. Tyler Hansbrough isn’t being used while Frank Kaminsky gets 19 minutes, taking just one shot. He doesn’t defend or do anything besides shoot well at times, and he takes just one shot? Spencer Hawes in 7 minutes wasn’t much better, but could be a better option if he’s fit to play for more than 7 minutes.

Basically, it looks like the Hornets are screwed. Clifford is doing all the things the Heat want him to do, and at least from what he’s been saying, it’s not going to change. Maybe Lin getting more minutes and being in the lineup will force the Hornets to play a different kind of basketball, but at this point it might not be enough. This is looking more and more like the road towards a sweep, the third in a row for the franchise when they actually make it into the playoffs.

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NFL Rumors – Philadelphia Eagles, Buffalo Bills & San Francisco 49ers Interested in Drafting Kolby Listenbee http://sportige.com/nfl-rumors-philadelphia-eagles-buffalo-bills-san-francisco-49ers-kolby-listenbee-tcu-horned-frogs-94789/ http://sportige.com/nfl-rumors-philadelphia-eagles-buffalo-bills-san-francisco-49ers-kolby-listenbee-tcu-horned-frogs-94789/#comments Thu, 21 Apr 2016 11:40:35 +0000 http://sportige.com/?p=94789 More ]]> Kolby Listenbee

One of the fastest players in the upcoming NFL draft is Kolby Listenbee, the TCU wide receiver who isn’t going to be taken early, but could end being very useful for someone, as the Philadelphia Eagles, San Francisco 49ers and Buffalo Bills have been showing the most pre-draft interest.

Listenbee was very good for TCU over the last two seasons, although did play through injury and miss some games in 2015. He took care of that with a sports hernia surgery which made him miss the combine, which could have helped expose him to more pairs of eyes. He had 41 receptions and 753 yards in 2014, getting All-Big 12 honorable mention, along with 4 touchdowns. He was on pace to have an even bigger year in 2015 if it wasn’t for the injury, finishing with 30 receptions for 597 yards and 5 touchdowns.

Listenbee had a very successful sprinting career at TCU, named as a four-time All-American for his performances running the 100 meters, 4×100 meters relay and the 4×400. He ran a 10.03 with some wind at his back to push him forward as his personal best. And while the speed part is the most intriguing thing about him in the eyes of NFL teams, speed alone doesn’t make a good wide receiver, and Listenbee does have his limitations.

Listenbee isn’t all speed. He’s tall enough to line up outside, has good hands and instincts when it comes to catching the ball, but he lacks special moves to get open, relying a lot on his speed to get deep unnoticed. On a team with plenty of receiving threats he can be very useful, but being one-dimensional often gets you to a certain place in the NFL, but never further. He’s not going to do well in the slot, and unless he becomes more than just a deep threat, his potential will always be quite limited. He’s still getting drafted or into someone’s camp, but he’s not going higher than the sixth round.

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