201516 NBA Preview The Mavericks Are On A Treadmill of Mediocrity

Dirk Nowitzki is putting up a valiant fight against Father Time, but the seventh-leading scorer in NBA history is now a complementary piece on offense, and a guy you have to try to hide on defense. Zaza Pachulia is big, smart, tough, dependable and reliable and has a surprisingly soft mid-range jumper, all qualities that make Pachulia a good backup center. He isn’t exactly athletic, which makes him a major downgrade from Tyson Chandler and the DeAndre Jordan dream. Here’s what CARMELO thinks of the Mavs’ main pieces (check out every NBA player here): As Chandler Parsons transitions into being the pretty face of the franchise, the Mavs need him to back up his belief that he can be one of the NBA’s premier point-forwards. If you ask him, all he needs is the ball in his hands more, now that he’s surrounded by shooters. Wesley Matthews, 29 and coming off a torn left Achilles tendon, has been a terrific role player and parlayed that success into a max contract. As a dude who thrives on disrespect, “Iron Man” will be intrigued that CARMELO considers him a mediocre defender. The Dallas Mavericks failed to make it past the first round for the fourth consecutive time last season, and now they’re sprinting on the mediocrity treadmill that owner Mark Cuban was so determined to avoid. If anything, they took steps backward after scrambling to fill the roster spot they thought would go to big fish DeAndre Jordan. The Las Vegas over-under for Mavs wins this season is 38.5. FiveThirtyEight’s CARMELO projection system is a bit more optimistic, 41-41, but even that would match the worst record in Cuban’s tenure, now entering its 16th season. We’re inaugurating our NBA player projection system, CARMELO, with 2015-16 season previews for every team in the league. Check out the teams we’ve already previewed here. Learn more about CARMELO here. As Deron Williams has said, he was “kind of a consolation prize” after the disappointment of the Jordan debacle. He was a huge bust in Brooklyn after signing a max contract, prompting the Nets to pay $27 million to buy out his final two seasons, but the Mavs hope he’ll be a $5.4 million bargain in Dallas. Dallas certainly believes he’ll be an upgrade over the post-Jason Kidd point guard carousel, so they can’t be happy to see 2014 Jameer Nelson (whom they dumped as quickly as possible) come up in Williams’s player comps. Devin Harris’s top comp is Brad Davis, so Harris is clearly a candidate to have his number hanging from the American Airlines Center rafters after he retires. read more

Stricker strikes an ace to claim lead after 2 rounds at Memorial

Steve Stricker’s hole-in-one during the second round at the Memorial Tournament in Dublin, Ohio, sent shock waves throughout the course, and up and down the leaderboard. Stricker improved on his first-round score of 68 by posting a 67 on Friday, and ascended to the top of the Memorial Tournament leaderboard thanks to a rare ace on the par-3, 186-yard eighth hole.  “You don’t expect to make a one,” Stricker said. “That (hole) always provided me with trouble over the years, and it’s just a tough par-3.”  Despite his past difficulties with Muirfield’s eighth hole, Stricker said his tee shot came off surprisingly well. “I was surprised that it came off good because I haven’t hit some good shots there in years prior,” Stricker said. “I didn’t see how it went in, but it looked like it went in fairly nice, like a putt.” For those who weren’t within earshot of cheers that went up in support of Stricker’s ace, souvenir radio headsets alerted Muirfield patrons to the hole-in-one. Tournament officials then were seen updating magnetic scoreboards throughout the course — within moments, Stricker’s name sat atop all others. Luke Donald, the No. 1-ranked golfer in the world, birdied the 17th and 18th holes to move to 5-under-par after Friday’s second round. Donald said he thought he was one shot behind four players — Ricky Barnes, Rod Pampling, Jonathan Byrd and Rory McIlroy — who had previously been tied for first place before Stricker’s hole-in-one.  Donald was first alerted to the hole-in-one by a member of the media. “That (hole-in-one) will help,” Donald said. “(Stricker) is a great player, and he’ll be tough to catch. I’ll give it my best shot.”  Stricker, who teed off from the 10th hole at 12:43 p.m. to begin his round, birdied the ninth hole to close out the round and move to 9-under-par.  Despite his 3-stroke lead ahead of Barnes, Pampling, Byrd and McIlroy, Stricker said “there’s a long way to go” in the Memorial. “Obviously, I’m happy to be where I’m at,” Stricker said. “Heading into the weekend, things change. Guys get more aggressive. So, you just kind of got to be patient and hang in there and keep doing the things you know how to do.” Third-round play will commence at 8:10 a.m. Saturday, and Stricker and Barnes will tee off at 1:40 p.m. as the Memorial’s final pairing. read more

Football No 3 Ohio State has chance to improve defense against Minnesota

Ohio State redshirt sophomore linebacker Tuf Borland (32) takes down Indiana quarterback Peyton Ramsey (12) in the second quarter of the game against Indiana on Oct. 6. Ohio State won 49-26. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorFollowing a 49-26 victory against Indiana, Ohio State has areas in its game to focus on moving forward.After allowing 300 yards to sophomore quarterback Peyton Ramsey, including multiple throws down the field with little pressure on the defensive front, the defense has things to work on coming into a matchup against Minnesota.Fortunately for Ohio State, the Golden Gophers’ offense offers an opportunity for the Buckeyes defense to work on these troubling areas.Minnesota heads to Ohio Stadium with a 3-2 record and a two-game losing streak to Big Ten opponents — a 42-13 beatdown from Maryland and a 48-31 home loss to Iowa.Minnesota comes in ranked in the bottom 50 in every major offensive category in the NCAA, including the 50th-lowest points per game, 31st-lowest passing yards per game, 35th-worst rushing yards per game, 17th-worst total yards per game and tied for the 21st-most turnovers.Freshman quarterback Zack Annexstad runs the Golden Gopher offense, completing 52 percent of his passes for 924 pass yds, eight touchdowns and five interceptions.“Obviously he’s a good player,” sophomore linebacker Tuf Borland said. “It’ll be a good test for us.”Three wide receivers — junior Tyler Johnson, freshman Rashod Bateman and redshirt freshman Chris Autman-Bell — have accounted for 90 percent of the receptions for the Golden Gophers this season.Johnson leads the team with 28 catches for 402 yards and six touchdowns. The touchdowns are tied for No. 10 in the nation. Bateman has the only other three receiving touchdowns of the trio, and has 27 receptions for 257 yards. Autman-Bell is up to 14 catches for 220 yards.In the run game, freshman and redshirt freshman running backs Bryce Williams and Mohamed Ibrahim take most of the carries, combining for 569 yards and one touchdown. The majority of the the rushing touchdowns go to redshirt sophomore wide receiver Seth Green, who has five touchdowns on 28 carries despite averaging only 3.3 yards per rush.“They run hard, you know they’re physical backs,” Borland said. “That goes for their whole offense, they’re gonna line up, they’re gonna run at you, and they’re going to see how tough you are.”The real strength for Minnesota is in its defense, where the Golden Gophers allows 324.2 yards per game, No. 21 in the NCAA. Their 23.4 points allowed per game is tied for No. 41.Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer said their defense is “outstanding,” while also calling them a “top-20 defense.”Minnesota’s defense is solid on both fronts, ranking in the top 40 in both passing and rushing yards allowed in the NCAA.Junior linebacker Carter Coughlin is the standout for the Golden Gophers, totaling 15 tackles, with 6.5 tackles for loss, including five sacks.“They’re not a big pressure team, but they’ve got a great pass rusher,” Meyer said. “[Coughlin]: Excellent player.”PredictionMinnesota’s defense has an opportunity to prove how talented it really is, and with Ohio State’s running game struggling as of late, it can look there for some big stops early on.Annexstad has three major targets to look for through the air to exploit a pass defense that has faltered in its past few games.But Ohio State is simply the better team on both sides of the ball.Redshirt sophomore quarterback Dwayne Haskins has been unstoppable through six games, with his biggest “slip up” coming in a 270-yard, three-touchdown effort on the road against No. 8 Penn State.The Golden Gophers might have a strong pass defense, but they have not faced a quarterback like Haskins. On the opposite side, redshirt junior defensive tackle Dre’Mont Jones and sophomore defensive end Chase Young should exploit this Minnesota offense, and Annexstad doesn’t have an arm strong enough to pick on these defensive backs who have struggles as of late.Expect Ohio State to win, and to win big, against an outmatched Minnesota team.Wyatt Crosher: 52-13 Ohio StateColin Gay: 56-14 Ohio State Edward Sutelan: 49-17 Ohio State read more

Report Simon Mignolet wanted by Napoli

first_imgLiverpool and Belgium goalkeeper Simon Mignolet is wanted by Napoli this summer according to his agent.With the signing of Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson, Simon Mignolet has found his first-team chances drop even further. He could be open to a move elsewhere.According to the Express, Napoli are keen signing the former Sunderland goalkeeper.Simon Mignolet’s agent has confirmed Napoli’s interest but stated that they haven’t made their move for the player yet.He told Radio Kiss Kiss Napoli: “We will wait over the next few days to see if they will present an offer.”“Considering that the market will close in a few days, I imagine that we will have to do it soon if we want to make a deal everyone will agree to.“The interest is not new. Napoli like Mignolet.”Roberto Firmino, LiverpoolVirgil van Dijk praises Roberto Firmino after Liverpool’s win Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Virgil van Dijk hailed team-mate Roberto Firmino after coming off the bench to inspire Liverpool to a 3-1 comeback win against Newcastle United.“They have previously enquired about his availability in other transfer windows.”“This will not be the last word on a move to them.”ESPN pundit Steve Nicol has said that Mignolet would be “perfect” for Barcelona.“If he wants, or is happy at 30 years of age, to kind of just be known now as a No 2, then this is perfect,” Nicol said.“It’s perfect for him, and it’s perfect for Barcelona as well.“I think there’s a chance that something like this might happen. It might not be Barcelona, but I think he goes.”last_img read more

Petit slams Ozil He has been a ghost for two years

first_imgArsenal legend Emmanuel Petit accused Mesut Ozil of lacking any desire on the pitchThe former Real Madrid playmaker was brought off by manager Unai Emery at half-time in Arsenal’s 1-1 draw at Brighton on Boxing Day.And Petit has been left far from impressed by Ozil’s mentality over the past two years for the Gunners.“Arsenal were magnificent against Brighton for 30 minutes,” Petit told Paddy Power.“They played good football but, just as they did at Southampton, disappeared all of a sudden.“The quality they had been showing vanished and it became obvious what their weakest link was – the defence. The goal they conceded was awful.“Mesut Ozil was taken off at halftime. I’m a big fan of his, but he has been a ghost for two years.“Where is the Ozil who was one of the best players around, making so many assists and goals? I think he has lost his desire on the pitch, it’s not there any more.”The French World Cup winner also believes Arsenal’s defence isn’t good enough ahead of Saturday’s trip to Anfield to take on unbeaten Premier League leaders Liverpool.Petit added: “In defence they are weak, they’re average. They make individual and collective errors.Harry Maguire, Manchester UnitedLiverpool legend Nicol slams Harry Maguire’s Man United form Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Steve Nicol believes Harry Maguire has made some “horrendous mistakes” recently, and has failed to find his best form since joining Manchester United.“Sometimes you have to laugh. They injuries are not an excuse, most of the players who stepped in are internationals.“The quality they had been showing vanished (at Brighton) and it became obvious what their weakest link was – the defence.“I don’t know what’s going on with some of these players. During the long unbeaten run you thought Arsenal are back on track.“But now I look back at the number of those games in which they were lucky and, suddenly, reality returned.“They need to raise their game mentally on Saturday. I’ve seen glimpses of improvement compared to previous years but you can’t perform for just half an hour against Liverpool.“You need to be fully switched on for 90 minutes, especially away from home.“If Arsenal go to Anfield thinking they can just keep plodding away the way they have been, it’s over – they’ll leave the stadium with three or four goals against them.”Petit played for Arsenal in midfield between 1997 to 2000, where he won the Premier League and FA Cup before joining Barcelona.The Frenchman also had spells with AS Monaco and Chelsea before announcing his retirement in January 2005.last_img read more

Redington Leads Iditarod First Musher To Reach Nikolai

first_imgRedington started the race with 16 dogs and reached the checkpoint with 13. Sixty-seven teams began the race Sunday. The trail winds over frozen lakes and rivers, through mountain passes and over trails once used for delivery of mail and supplies to mining communities. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Ryan Redington of Wasilla, pulled into the village of Nikolai  just after 8 a.m. this morning in the 1,000-mile  Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.center_img Reigning champion Mitch Seavey, of the Kenai Peninsula, was listed in third place, and Nicolas Petit swept into second place at the Nikolai checkpoint.last_img read more

Indian Navy set to negotiate purchase of multirole Sikorsky helicopters

first_imgThe Indian Navy is finally set to open price negotiations with Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation for buying 24 Seahawk S-70B shipboard multi-role helicopters (MRHs) for its operational requirements.Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) sources told India Strategic defence magazine that although the helicopters were selected in December 2014, there were some issues over cost escalations due to the delay in the procurement process, and the Connecticut, US-based company’s insistence that it could not hold the prices it had offered in 2008. Recently, however, Sikorsky had relented and its team is due to be invited soon for an early conclusion of the price negotiations.The subject is also likely to be on the agenda during Defence Minister Manohar Parikkar’s visit to Washington on December 9-10.Notably, the Indian Navy had invited bids in 2008 from Sikorsky for S-70B and European NH Industries (NHI) for NH 90. There was some hesitation in opening the latter’s bid, as Finmeccanina, which got embroiled in controversy over the acquisition of VVIP helicopters for the Indian Air Force (IAF), is a major partner in this European consortium.Sikorsky accordingly had a walkover, but it asked for revision in prices as the selection process had taken more than twice the stipulated timeline and the delivery, in any case, has to be three years after the price negotiations conclude and a contract is signed. That is roughly 10 years after its offer was submitted.Somehow, the MoD repeatedly sought extensions of Sikorsky’s bid, delaying the acquisition process timelines from less than three years to six. Nonetheless, it said there was no provision for cost escalation during the selection and negotiation process.Meanwhile, in another development, Sikorsky has been acquired by Lockheed Martin (LM) from United Technologies Corporation (UTC). After the completion of the merger process in early November, Sikorsky was shown for the first time as a Lockheed Martin company at the Dubai Airshow on November 8.As for the current status in negotiations with the Indian Navy, the chief of the naval staff, Admiral Robin Dhowan, when asked about the Seahawks, replied that the process was now in an “advanced stage”.Notably, the tender, or Request for Proposals (RfP), had sought 16 helicopters with an option for eight more. But Admiral Dhowan had told India Strategic earlier that as the navy was short of these machines, the deal could be for all the 24 machines.It may be recalled that the navy had originally planned to acquire 54 MRHs, and 16 of these should have come in 2007 as replacement for the first lot of quarter-century-old British Westland Sea Kings. More were to follow progressively. This has not happened, and the Sikorsky Seahawks are likely to start arriving only from 2019, more than a decade late.The Sikorsky deal is estimated to be around $1 billion-plus for 16 helicopters but there is no official word yet on prices from either side.Weapons and sensors will be extra – possibly from other companies but Sikorsky will integrate them in accordance with the contract. The weapon suite will have the capability to deal with both underwater (ASUW or anti-submarine warfare) and ASW (anti- surface-ship warfare). Among the suppliers for radars and weapons should be the US Raytheon and Telephonics as well as French Thales. The power plants (two engines per machine) will be from GE.It may be noted that the Indian Navy has substantial achievements to its credit for building ships indigenously, and with a three aircraft carrier policy, it will need several hundred helicopters for engaging threats and for ship to ship or ship to shore communications.last_img read more

Just How Cold Is It At The Pyeongchang Winter Olympics

first_img Share Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty ImagesThe Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics reverse a recent trend of relatively warm conditions at the Winter Games. Here, a man prepares to work in front of an ice sculpture ahead of Friday’s opening ceremony.When cold weather becomes a main topic at the Winter Olympics, it’s safe to say that frigid temperatures have made an impression. That’s the case in Pyeongchang, where brutal cold and high winds have been a common theme for both the media and for athletes.How cold is it? The high Tuesday was 11 degrees Fahrenheit; the low was in minus territory and the wind chill was inconsiderate of the basic needs of both humans and journalists. In those temperatures, water bottles quickly turn to ice. Well-charged phones die within minutes of being pulled out from layers of insulated jackets and sweaters.Surrounded by mountains that catch the cold, Pyeongchang is “Earth’s coldest location for that particular latitude,” AccuWeather reports.It’s a sharp reversal for the Winter Games: Each of the last two – held in Sochi and Vancouver – set records as the warmest Winter Olympics, in 2014 and 2010, respectively. Sochi produced stories about ski jumpers landing in puddles – and temperatures that hit the 60s. At these games, we’ve already seen a report of some athletes’ skis being ruined by the unique qualities of very cold snow.Conditions are expected to warm up a bit over the next week, but the forecast for Friday night’s opening ceremony calls for temperatures in the low to mid-20s, with a wind chill of 14 degrees Fahrenheit. It’ll be even colder for athletes and spectators at the alpine and snowboard events, higher up in the mountains.As for how the athletes are coping, Jessie Diggins, a U.S. cross-country skier from Afton, Minn., says that while the cold could make athletes uncomfortable and cause complications, she welcomes it.Diggins told NPR’s Melissa Block: “I think you can either laugh about it, or you can cry about it. And for me, I like to embrace the cold and see it as an awesome thing for me, because I’m used to it. And I think I like it more than most people. And so for me, that’s going to be my advantage. Instead of seeing it as, ‘Oh this might be so hard for me,’ I see it as, ‘Great, this is an area where I can shine.’ ““They had a pretty cold snap in Minnesota,” Diggins said, noting that it had recently been “minus-30s Fahrenheit. So, we’re used to some pretty cold days.”Diggins added that the colder snow could slow racers.Another fan of the weather is Won Kil-u — the head of North Korea’s delegation to the Pyeongchang Olympics. Saying that the weather would help make these games a celebration, Won said, according to the Yonhap news agency, “I’m from further north. It’s milder here.”Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

Rep Albert to host senior seminar in Ionia County

first_img12Apr Rep. Albert to host senior seminar in Ionia County State Rep. Thomas Albert will host a consumer education seminar for senior citizens in Ionia County. The seminar will focus on ways that seniors can protect themselves from phone, mail and e-scams. Rep. Albert will be joined by Carol Hillman from the attorney general’s office.“It is essential to inform the community on how to protect themselves from the emotional and financial damage identity theft scams impose,” Albert said. “I encourage all senior citizens in Ionia County to join me for this informational seminar.”The event will be from 10 a.m. to noon at the Ionia City Hall, 114 Kidd St. in Ionia on Friday, April 20. RSVPs are not required and there is no cost to attend. For more information please contact Rep. Albert’s office at 517-373-0846 or ThomasAlbert@house.mi.gov. Categories: Albert Newslast_img read more

Jo Street Jo Street has been named acting controll

first_imgJo StreetJo Street has been named acting controller, daytime, at UK pubcaster the BBC following Damian Kavanagh’s switch to BBC Three digital controller.Street is currently responsible for daytime and early peak commissioning in Scotland and Northern Ireland as commissioning editor for daytime, working on shows such as Countryfile, Homes Under the Hammer and Eggheads.She will now oversee all BBC daytime, which comprises programming for BBC One and BBC Two – though the latter largely shows repeats.The full-time BBC Daytime controller role will be advertised in the New Year.Kavanagh was this week revealed as the digital controller at BBC Three, which is transitioning from a linear channel to an online-only presence next year.Kavanagh was the obvious choice having been BBC Three’s proposal lead. Plans for the channel were revealed to the BBC Trust, the body that polices the BBC, this week.last_img read more