The Warriors smother their man on defense because they know the help is always there

Now, the Warriors defense looks as tough as ever.

The Warriors smother their man on defense because they know the help is always there. Everyone can switch, and everyone knows where they should be. It forces teams into tough situations, like in the opening minute of Golden State¡¯s Wednesday win over Toronto when DeMar DeRozan bailed Toronto out with a Kobe-like contested fadeaway jump shot.

Authentic Womens Ryane Clowe Jersey That effort puts the Warriors third in the NBA in defensive efficiency, holding teams to 101.3 points per 100 possessions. For context, the Lakers give up 110, the Knicks give up 107.9, and the Grizzlies 100.5.
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Kerr told reporters in November that Durant had been ¡°inconsistent¡± defensively, and that his matriculation into their scheme was a learning process. But KD has quickly surged ahead of the curve. He leads the team in scoring, rebounding, blocks, and player efficiency rating, and could enter his hat into the Defensive Player of the Year award race, as well.

The home run rate may have been a bit fluky – his 22.1% home run-to-flyball ratio was tops in baseball. Niese may have not been a good fit for the Pirates philosophy of pitching fastballs inside, so perhaps a change of scenery will do him good. A one-year deal worth around $6-7 million would probably land him at this point.

Feldman was primarily a reliever last year for the Astros and Jays, but he did make five starts with a 3.65 ERA in those starts. Overall, he had a 3.97 ERA in 77 innings and was a 0.4 WAR pitcher, according to Fangraphs.

Tyler Eifert says he will play in Week 14 vs. Steelers

Cincinnati Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert told ESPN’s Bob Holtzman that he’s ready to go against the AFC North rival Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday. Eifert is dealing with a neck injury that forced him out of Cincinnati’s Week 13 game against the Cleveland Browns, but the tight end says he has no remaining concern about the injury at all.

Eifert returned to team practice on Wednesday, and most expected him to be available for Sunday’s game. He was listed as questionable going into the team’s game against the Browns, before he was declared inactive.

Fortunately, the Bengals defense stepped up big time and other players excelled for quarterback Andy Dalton in that game, and the Bengals dominated the Browns, 37-3. But Eifert is a big part of Cincinnati’s offense, and is third on the team with 522 receiving yards. More importantly, he has 12 touchdown receptions, which leads the NFL even after missing a game.

He has the most receiving touchdowns and the most total touchdowns, with Allen Robinson and Devonta Freeman coming in with 11 touchdowns each.

With Eifert out against the Browns, the Bengals managed 144 yards rushing and wide receiver A.J. Green put up five receptions for 128 yards. Tyler Kroft got the majority of snaps at tight end with Eifert out, with Ryan Hewitt and C.J. Uzomah getting some snaps as well.

The Houston Texans could theoretically go back to Brock Osweiler for the postseason, but it’s unlikely.

Tom Savage is coming off of his first start for Houston, and although he completed just two passes for 13 yards in the first half, head coach Bill O’Brien told ESPN’s Sarah Barshop that he believed Savage got into a rhythm in the second half against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Savage finished the day 18 of 29 for 176 yards, with no touchdowns and no interceptions. He also played the week before, filling in after Osweiler was benched and completing 63.9 percent of his passes for 260 yards, no touchdowns, and no picks.

Smith doesn’t fire you up the way those guys do, but it’s not crazy to think he can get it done

While Brady and Roethlisberger stand out on that AFC playoff quarterback list as guys who have delivered multiple championships, Smith has had his share of postseason success as well. Smith doesn’t fire you up the way those guys do, but it’s not crazy to think he can get it done.

See what the latest playoff picture looks like and simulate your own playoff scenarios.
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“We know who we are. We know what we are,” tight end Eric Ebron said. “We let the opportunity when we went to Green Bay last time slip away from us. We obviously know we can put up points, so we’re going to try to do our best and hopefully we don’t fall short like this game.”

Who, though, does Ebron believe the Lions to be?

“We’re a good team. We’re a damn good team,” Ebron said. “We just gotta finish games. That’s what we’re known to do. We just gotta finish this one. We fell two games short now, we didn’t finish.”

For their season to definitively continue beyond Sunday, the Lions have to rediscover the identity they once possessed, one of a team that believed in the fourth quarter, over and over again.

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Odell Beckham Jr. gave us the lamest apology ever

Odell Beckham Jr. got suspended and gave the lamest apology ever, but that’s not even the half of it! Danny, Stephen and myself hash it out on the podcast this week, with a special emphasis on the PR jockeying after the fact and how the NFL media changed the whole narrative about the incident.
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And that’s not all …

We also have a good discussion about the state of affairs in Denver. The Broncos problems go beyond just Osweiler versus Manning. Then we’ve got the Bengals, the deepest team in the league right now, but one that could be looking up at the Steelers in the standings if things don’t go well while Andy Dalton’s on the shelf.

Buffalo’s pass defense was atrocious against Washington last week, allowing Kirk Cousins to throw for 319 yards and four touchdown passes. But it doesn’t appear as if the Cowboys will be in position to take advantage of any weak points in the Bills’ secondary; they’re currently ranked 29th in the league in passing.
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Though the Bills’ defense received a lot of hype heading into the year, the play of quarterback Tyrod Taylor may be their biggest story of the season. Taylor, who never started a game in his career before 2015, has posted an average QB rating of 100.3 since Oct. 11.

One of the biggest reason for the recent success of the Bills’ passing game has been the re-emergence of Sammy Watkins, who’s rebounded after a sluggish start to the year. Watkins has reeled in six touchdown catches over his last four games and recorded 100 or more receiving yards in three of those contests.

Instead of playing for a playoff berth like some expected, Buffalo will try to reach the .500 mark before the season concludes. Only one picker at both ESPN and CBS Sports is taking the Cowboys, while all eight of our experts at SB Nation expect the Bills to win.

the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association agreed on the framework of a new collective bargaining agreement

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Last week the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association agreed on the framework of a new collective bargaining agreement. If it is ratified by both sides next month, the league will be assured of labor peace for the next six years.

If you don’t have a law degree or an ability to commit complex acronyms to memory it can be pretty hard to follow. So with the help of salary-cap guru/godfather Larry Coon, here’s a simpler way to learn some of the new rules and how they can affect your favorite team or player.

Thomas was on the bench late in the third quarter when, after Boston’s starters had whittled a 17-point deficit as low as four, the Grizzlies responded by pushing their lead back to nine before the end of the frame. Only recently has Stevens started playing Thomas at the start of fourth quarter and Thomas simply refused to let this game get away.

Thomas scored nine points in the first 1:57 of the fourth quarter then fed Amir Johnson for a layup that made it a one-possession game. A Thomas 3-pointer with 7:52 to play in regulation tied the game and set up a thrilling finish in which Thomas dueled with Memphis guard Mike Conley.

It waited on Tyreke Evans after the once-core player missed 11 months because of a problematic right knee, and through dings to Dante Cunningham (12 games missed), E’Twaun Moore (3) and Holiday again (3).
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It’s also still waiting on the development of rookies Cheick Diallo and Buddy Hield, the latter of whom has found his range since a bump to the first unit (52 percent from 3 in December). Pelicans players have missed 107 games this season, with 79 a result of injury, illness or injury-related rest.

Robinson is still on the mend from a high ankle sprain suffered in Week 13

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Allen Hurns, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars, hamstring: Hurns has not practiced and therefore will not play for a third straight week since injuring his hamstring in Week 12.
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Denard Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars, ankle: Robinson is still on the mend from a high ankle sprain suffered in Week 13. He remained out of practice this week and will miss his second straight game.

Donte Moncrief, WR, Indianapolis Colts, hamstring: Moncrief injured his hamstring in Week 14 and was unable to practice this week.

The primary fantasy positions are covered (quarterback, running back, wide receiver and tight end).

This year there at the end of each positional section, there is a subgrouping of players, “Players Off Game Status Injury Report.” The probable tag no longer exists so players who would have been listed as probable in previous years are now simply removed from the report.

This means there will be players who appear in the practice injury reports during the week but will not appear on the game status report Friday since they are presumed active for game day. They are included in this blog so that fantasy owners can see where players who were on the practice injury report during the week have been upgraded in advance of the games.

At the end, key fantasy players listed Friday as “Out” for the week’s games will appear as a group.

Good luck in Week 15, everyone! And, don’t forget to set those lineups early if you have players in the Saturday night game.

The NFL disciplined side judge Rob Vernatchi in 2015 for failing to notice an 18-second runoff on a game clock.

Pereira wrote particularly harsh words in the book for the NFL’s decision to discipline several officials in a public way last season, including a suspension of side judge Rob Vernatchi for failing to notice an 18-second runoff on a game clock. The league also made a point to push crew members to lesser-profile games after major mistakes to minimize public discussion.

Authentic Kids Jason McCourty Jersey He criticized Blandino for failing to stand up to NFL executives who wanted the discipline. When he had Blandino’s job, Pereira wrote, he once made commissioner Roger Goodell so angry for refusing to suspend an official that Goodell shoved him into a door.

In addition to the suspension, Vernatchi was required to speak with NFL security, to “I guess … make sure that he didn’t have a bet on the game,” Pereira wrote.
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You won’t see many players wearing hoodies under their jerseys like they do in practice, so the fleece turtleneck is a smart play, along with a pair of long underwear. I know the cold-gear leggings work, but adding another layer on top of those (under game socks) can keep your hamstrings warm when you have to chase down the deep ball. Now, you don’t want to look like the kid from “A Christmas Story” stuffed into his snowsuit, but having more layers is always a good idea.

Those instant hand warmers we buy at gas stations are all over NFL locker rooms and sidelines during cold-weather games — and players will put them everywhere. Among the many ways they are used: Drop a couple inside your hand muff, tape them to the top of your feet (before putting on cleats), put them in your gloves and tape them inside the ear hole of the helmet. Back before players were required to wear leg pads, I saw guys put them in the thigh board slot of the game pants. They don’t last an entire game, so you have to keep grabbing new ones, but they provide a little relief.

Tom Brady now has a high-ankle sprain

They’ve been losing the battle of attrition, Tom Brady now has a high-ankle sprain, and there are still quite a few question marks along the offensive line. The good news is that they will have a couple of weeks to get healthy and back into their early-season form. If any team can do it, it’s the Patriots.

“I don’t think its an issue,” Lewis said on Tuesday. “You look around and there’s 20 new guys from a year ago, and 40 from two years ago. It’s part of it. I don’t think there is a ¡®here we go again’ feeling.”

My second-favorite Woodson magic trick took place on Nov. 22, 1997, when Woodson ran a punt back 77 yards for a touchdown against Ohio State. I was in the stands with my father, who took me for my 10th birthday. I had never seen a punt return for a score, and as a booming punt wobbled its way to Woodson the forthcoming miracle was still a presumed impossibility.
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Authentic Mens Randy Johnson Jersey I knew Woodson was capital letters GREAT by then, and so was Michigan, an undefeated team on the verge of winning its first national championship in an impossibly long time. That fact and Woodson were the only things anybody talked about. Woodson had committed miracles before then, his interception against Michigan State being the best, but I didn’t believe in him and sports until I saw him pierce the Buckeyes. It wasn’t a serendipitous moment. There was still most of the game left and Michigan was already leading 7-0. The play stood perfectly on its own. It was all you needed to know about Woodson. Michigan won because he was there.

As for the Texans, a stout defense is the name of the game, and if they can force Alex Smith to turn the ball over a time or two, they could have a real shot at the upset.

Aroldis Chapman’s remarkable year rocked baseball

Aroldis Chapman is a humongous human being. His hulking presence is more reminiscent of an outside linebacker than a pitcher. He is listed at 6-foot-4 and 212 pounds, but he is probably bigger. Regardless, the size of Chapman’s frame befits his impact on baseball these last 12 months.

Amid the swirl of one of the biggest ethical issues facing major American sports — domestic violence — Chapman’s acquisitions and non-acquisitions have made a lasting impact on the three biggest markets in the country. How he became a Yankee, and how he reunited with them, has affected the game’s most historic franchise, its most epic championship drought and even its signature West Coast team.
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Exactly one year to the day — Dec. 7 — after the Cincinnati Reds reportedly worked a deal to send Chapman to the Los Angeles Dodgers, Chapman agreed to the largest contract for a reliever in baseball history: a five-year, $86 million pact with the New York Yankees.

“We took calls. We listened. We engaged,” Huntington told reporters. “And not just on Andrew but on other players who are on one- or two-year contracts. As we will always do, if we find the right move and we believe the right move is to move the player, we’ll move the player. If we believe the right move is to hold the player, then we’ll hold the player.”
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The Washington Nationals were reportedly talking to the Pirates about McCutchen, but the Nats’ trade for Chicago White Sox outfielder Adam Eaton on Wednesday appeared to end their interest.

Pittsburgh nearly traded the 2013 NL MVP last week, and the two sides will enter the ’17 season unsure of the outfielder’s future with the franchise.

Baseball’s winter meetings ended Thursday with Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen still on the team. The expectation is that he will be there on Opening Day.

McCutchen is a five-time All-Star and won a Gold Glove in 2012. He has two years remaining on his contract.

Though McCutchen has been given “no assurances,” he has spoken to Huntington since the league’s winter meetings ended Thursday.

The Packers could have a significant shortage of linebackers

TE Jordan Reed caught passes during individual drills Wednesday, but there’s a ways to go before the Redskins are ready to declare him ready for Sunday’s game against Philadelphia. Reed is still suffering from the Grade 3 separation of the AC joint in his left shoulder. Meanwhile, the offensive line was suffering: Center Spencer Long (concussion) and guard Shawn Lauvao (groin) both missed practice as did Ty Nsekhe (ankle). But Nsekhe was going back to the bench anyway with Trent Williams returning from his four-game suspension. Long would be replaced by veteran John Sullivan, and Lauvao would be replaced by Arie Kouandjio.
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WR Jeremy Maclin will be available to play for the Chiefs for the first time in five games Thursday night against the Raiders. Maclin has been out because of a groin injury. He might not play his normal full role in his first game back, but the Chiefs are still better off having him for whatever number of snaps he is in their lineup. He’s their most accomplished and experienced wide receiver. It’s foolish to believe the Chiefs are a better team when he’s not playing.

Isaiah Pead Limited Jersey Derek Carr is still Oakland’s biggest injury question, despite his insistence that his right pinkie isn’t causing any limitations. Carr played the entire game last weekend in the shotgun or pistol to keep him from going under center and, thus, to keep his finger out of harm’s way. Sub-freezing temperatures are expected in Kansas City on Thursday night, and with the ball expected to be hard as a rock and his finger still sore and taped, it’s almost a given that Carr will again set up 4 or 7 yards behind the center. After not running a single play out of the pistol before Sunday, the Raiders ran 19 plays out of the formation against Buffalo. Expect more of the same at Arrowhead Stadium.