5 Things You Need to Know To #Win Thursday

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo and the National Fantasy Football Convention play to depose NFL commisioner Roger Goodell as part of their $1 million lawsuit against the league for last year’s failed event.

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo and his National Fantasy Football Convention have no plans to back down on their lawsuit against the NFL for tortious interference in the canceling of last year’s event.

Romo and his partners are asking for more than $1 million from the league.

Not only are the two sides heading to court in Dallas on Monday for a hearing on a summary judgment on the NFL’s motion to dismiss the suit, but the lawyers for the NFFC have filed paperwork to depose league commissioner Roger Goodell.

The NFL has filed a motion to block Goodell’s deposition.


The NHL had a novel idea this season: It broke up its All-Star Game into semifinals, with the individual stars from each division playing short exhibitions against each other in a tournament format. They played a 20-minute semifinal — giving fans an actual All-Star bracket — and then a championship between the winners. A clever idea, to be sure, and one that not only made the All-Star format itself more exciting, but also allowed more star players to be seen by their fans. (It also ended up leading to the John Scott story.)

I’m not sure baseball should do this — it already has the best All-Star Game and doesn’t need to radically reinvent it, though getting rid of the “Now It Counts” business is long overdue — but it is an enticing thought experiment. Imagine if the All-Stars from each division played, say, a series of three-inning games in a double-elimination format that ended up determining the best division in baseball over a three-day stretch. It’s probably too much, but it’s fun to think about: Now that the divisions are more geographically aligned, there’s as much division loyalty, pride and solidarity as there is with leagues, maybe more.

It’ll never happen — and again, it probably shouldn’t happen — but I’m gonna take part in the thought experiment anyway. Let’s come up with a preseason All-Star team for each of the six divisions and imagine who would win such a tournament. Rather than go through matchup-by-matchup, we’ll just rank them.

Here’s how the teams might look. I’ll be cheating a little bit by just allowing for three outfield spots rather than LF/CF/RF, but hey: This is an All-Star Game.

Read: If each MLB division had an All-Star lineup, what would it look like?


For several days in the summer of 2014, I debated a question whose answer seems obvious. Was Larry Bird a pure shooter? I kept this debate internal — I drafted emails for friends and basketball writers asking for their opinions, but never sent them, for fear of their reaction and eventual abandonment. Instead, I went back and forth with the question. Calling someone a pure shooter can be used as an insult, if pure becomes synonymous with “only” or is the first half of a compound sentence that begins “He’s a pure shooter,” and ends “but he can’t play any defense or put the ball on the floor.”

Bird belongs in the discussion for the greatest shooter of all time, but simply calling him a pure shooter might erase the way he controlled the game with his passing, rebounding, tenacity, team defense and floor game. Is calling Larry Bird a pure shooter the ultimate compliment or an underestimation? Praise or pejorative? But then if Bird isn’t a pure shooter, who the hell is?

Regardless of definitions and labels, Bird’s greatness as a shooter can get lost when discussing his career. His all-around brilliance separated him from everyone else. He could dominate without taking a shot, but it was still that shot that made everything else possible.

Read: How the jumper turned Bird into Larry Legend.

Andy Pettitte had six heavy-use postseasons in his career. (via Chris Ptacek)

At the end of my last article at THT, “The In-Season Aging Curve,” I indulged in some speculation about whether older pitchers’ skills eroded faster during the playing season than in the offseason. The data I used gave me no grounds for a conclusion either way. Were the erosion to happen faster in-season, though, it raised the unfortunate possibility that pitchers who had longer seasons—meaning those who pitched deep into the postseason—would be worn down by the grind and pitch worse the next season, and possibly beyond.

I teased that I might have more to say on the matter in months to come. Teasing isn’t really nice, so I got to work on the matter right away.

I wound up both narrowing and expanding the question I posed. I looked at just the following year after a heavy postseason workload, and I did not limit myself to older pitchers. This was probably a wise shift, since two of the biggest controversies surrounding pitcher workloads and the postseason in recent years have involved younger hurlers.

Read: Pitchers and the Seven-Month Season – The Hardball Times

New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul sued ESPN and NFL reporter Adam Schefter on Wednesday for tweeting his medical records over the summer.

The lawsuit, filed in Miami-Dade County in Florida, alleges that Pierre-Paul’s privacy was violated — as was the state’s medical records statute — by the report. The lawsuit claims Schefter “improperly obtained Plaintiff’s medical records from a hospital” and then tweeted them out, writing that “ESPN obtained medical charts that show that Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul had right index finger amputated today.”

Paul injured his right hand in a fireworks accident July 4. Schefter posted a photo of Pierre-Paul’s medical chart July 8

Read: Jason Pierre-Paul of New York Giants sues ESPN, Adam Schefter for posting medical records

United Stats of #Murica – #NBA Edition



Curry and Thompson lead Warriors to comeback win

Stephen Curry scored 42 points and Klay Thompson added 33, with 17 in the fourth quarter in the Warriors’ come-from-behind win in Miami on Wednesday. It’s the second-most points that Thompson has scored in the fourth-quarter of a game for the Warriors. He scored 19 in the fourth quarter of a game against Minnesota in 2013, although the Warriors didn’t trail in the fourth quarter of that game.

It’s the second game in which either Curry or Thompson scored 40 points and the other scored at least 30. Thompson scored 41 and Curry added 31 against the Lakers in 2014.

nullCurry ties Korver’s record

Curry tied Kyle Korver‘s NBA record for consecutive games with a three-pointer on Wednesday, by scoring from beyond the arc for the 127th consecutive regular-season game. Curry has scored 3339 points with 532 three-pointers during the streak. Korver scored 1461 points with 337 threes during his streak, which ran from 2012 to 2014.

nullWhiteside a force off the bench

Hassan Whiteside scored 21 points with 13 rebounds on Wednesday, and over his last three games-none of which he’s started-he’s scored 65 points and collected 54 rebounds. He’s the first player since Charles Barkley in 1986 to score at least 60 points with 50 rebounds in a three-game span, without starting during that time.

nullWestbrook’s streak is the first of its kind in over 30 years

Russell Westbrook scored 24 points with 13 assists and only two turnovers in Oklahoma City’s win in Dallas on Wednesday. It’s the fourth straight game in which Westbrook has scored 20 or more points, passed for 10-plus assists and committed no more than two turnovers, the longest streak of that kind for any NBA player since Isiah Thomas’s five-game streak in the 1984-85 season.

Oklahoma City has scored at least 100 points in each of its last 15 road games, the longest single-season streak of that kind since the Lakers had 17 straight 100-point road games in 2008-09.

Kings not so great against NBA royalty

With a loss to San Antonio on Wednesday, Sacramento has now lost the last 23 games it has played against teams that were at least 30 games above the .500 mark (entering the game). The Kings last won a game under those circumstances on April 12, 2008, when they defeated the New Orleans Hornets, who were 55-24 at the time.

Their 23 consecutive losses versus teams 30 or more games over .500 is the longest streak of its kind in NBA history, surpassing a streak of 22 straight losses versus such teams by the Los Angeles Clippers from 1995 to 2006.

nullDrummond doubles up on the rebounds

Andre Drummond collected 18 rebounds in the Pistons win over the 76ers on Wednesday, more than twice as many as any other player in the game. It’s the 11th time this season that Drummond has had double the rebounds of any other player in a game; no other NBA player has had more than three games of that kind this year.

nullGeorge springs to life in 2nd half

Paul George scored only two points in the first half but contributed 25 points in the second half as the Pacers came from behind to defeat the Knicks. George is the fourth player this season to score 25 or more points in the second half after being held to two or fewer points in the first half, joining Kevin Durant (Dec. 13),Jimmy Butler (Jan. 3) and Chris Paul (Feb. 18).

Raptors are dangerous

The Raptors defeated the visiting Timberwolves on Wednesday for their ninth straight home win, tying a team record, and their 17th win in their last 20 games, setting a team record. Toronto has won each of its last 12 home games against Minnesota, which is the longest home winning streak in franchise history against a particular opponent.

nullBig KAT in big company

Karl-Anthony Towns played his 58th NBA game on Wednesday, in which he’s scored 1001 points with 589 rebounds and 105 blocked shots. Only two other NBA players over the last 20 years totaled 1000 points, 500 rebounds, and 100 blocks before playing their 60th game in the league: Tim Duncan (53rd game in 1997-98) and Pau Gasol (58th game in 2001-02).

nullGasol shows versatility with Rose out

With Derrick Rose sidelined, Pau Gasol led all players with nine assists in the Bulls’ win over the Wizards on Wednesday. It’s the second time in his last three games that Gasol was a game’s outright assists leader; he also did so on Friday against Toronto. Gasol leads the Bulls with 33 assists in the games that Rose has missed this season.

Grizzlies maul Lakers

The Grizzlies scored at least 30 points in each period of their win over the Lakers on Wednesday, making Memphis only the third team to do that this season. The Grizzles have had four 30-point quarters in two other games in team history, both in the 2006-07 season.

United Stats of #NBA #Murica



Portland’s backcourt lights up the scoreboard in consecutive games

CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard each scored 34 points in the Blazers’ win over the Nets on Tuesday night. It marked the second consecutive game that McCollum and Lillard each scored 30 or more points. Prior to Portland’s dynamic duo, the last pair of starting backcourt teammates to each score at least 30 points in consecutive games were San Antonio’s George Gervin and James Silas over 36 years ago. Gervin scored 55 and Silas chipped in with 32 in a Spurs win over the Pacers on January 23, 1980 and in San Antonio’s next contest, which came two days later, Gervin (39) and Silas (32) turned the trick again in a victory over the then Seattle SuperSonics.

nullWall registers his second triple-double this month

John Wall registered 16 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists leading the Wizards to a 109-89 win over the Pelicans on Tuesday. It marked the second time Wall recorded a triple-double this month, having previously done that with an 18 point, 13 rebound, 10 assist performance against the 76ers on February 5. Prior to Wall, the last Wizard to post multiple triple-double performances in a single calendar month was Chris Webber in April 1995.

Davis held to nine points after his 59-point performance

After exploding for 59 points on Sunday, Anthony Davis was held to just nine points by the Wizards on Tuesday night. The only other player in NBA history to fail to reach double-digits in points after scoring 55 or more points the previous game is Tony Parker. On November 7, 2008 Parker scored just four points in 10 minutes of action against the Heat after scoring 55 points against the Timberwolves in his previous game.

nullVucevic drops 35 on his former team

Former 76er Nikola Vucevic came back to haunt the team that drafted him, scoring 35 points in the Magic’s win over Philadelphia at the Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday. Vucevic is the fourth player to score 35 or more points in a victory against the 76ers in Philadelphia after previously playing for the team. The others to do that are Connie Dierking (41 points at Convention Hall in 1968), Charles Barkley (35 points at The Spectrum in 1993) and Larry Hughes (37 points at Wachovia Center in 2005).

nullCousins is first the King with ten 35-point games since Tiny

DeMarcus Cousins scored 39 points leading the Kings to a 114-110 win over the Nuggets on Tuesday night. It’s the 10th time that Cousins has scored 35 or more points in a game this season. He is the first Kings player with double-digit 35-point games in a single season in 41 years, since Nate “Tiny” Archibald had 10 such games for the then Kansas City-Omaha Kings during the 1974-75 season.

Jazz earn another OT win

The Jazz defeated the Rockets in overtime on Tuesday night. Utah has now won five overtime games this season, which ties the franchise record in that category. The Jazz also recorded five overtime victories in 2005-06 and 2010-11.


nullStaal brothers lead Hurricanes to victory

Jordan and Eric Staal each scored a goal for the Carolina Hurricanes in their 3-1 win over the Flyers. It’s the 10th time that the brothers have both scored in the same game during their four seasons as teammates with the Hurricanes and the second time they’ve done so this season. (Jordan and Eric each scored once in Carolina’s loss to Tampa Bay on November 1.) There were two NHL games in which they each scored a goal as opponents, when Jordan was playing for Pittsburgh and Eric for Carolina (March 11, 2010 and November 12, 2011).

nullStempniak beats Rangers for second time this season

Lee Stempniak‘s tiebreaking goal late in the second period was the game-winning goal for the Devils in their 5-2 victory over the Rangers in Newark. Stempniak scored three goals in New Jersey’s four games versus the Rangers this season and two of those goals were game-winners. Stempniak is the sixth player to score two game-winning goals for the Devils against the Rangers in one season. The others are John MacLean (1986-87), Stephane Richer (1992-93), Bobby Holik (1997-98),Brian Gionta (2005-06) and David Clarkson (2011-12).

nullForsberg single-handedly beats Maple Leafs

Filip Forsberg scored the first three goals in the Nashville Predators‘ 3-2 win at Toronto. He’s the first player in Predators history to record the first three goals in a game and the first player on any NHL team to do that since Nicklas Backstromsingle-handedly staked the Capitals to a 3-0 lead against the Lightning on December 13, 2014. Before Forsberg, the last player to score the first three goals in a game against the Maple Leafs was the Red Wings’ Steve Yzerman on November 17, 1990 at Maple Leaf Gardens. Forsberg’s natural hat trick is only the second one at any juncture in an NHL game this season. Sidney Crosby scored three consecutive goals in the Penguins’ game against Ottawa on February 2, turning a 4-3 deficit into a 6-4 Pittsburgh lead.

nullLightning win on Paquette’s shorthanded penalty-shot goal

Cedric Paquette scored a shorthanded goal on a penalty shot in the last minute of the second period and that goal was the game-winner for the Tampa Bay Lightning in its 2-1 victory against the Coyotes. He’s the first player in Lightning history to score a goal on a penalty shot while the team was shorthanded. The only other NHL players to score a shorthanded penalty-shot goal this season are Boston’s Brad Marchand (December 4 at Calgary) and Ottawa’s Zack Smith(January 18 at San Jose).

nullNielsen scores twice in Islanders win

Frans Nielsen scored a pair of goals to lead the New York Islanders to a 4-1 road win against the Minnesota Wild. It was the team-leading fourth multiple-goal game this season for Nielsen, who had recorded only seven multi-goal games in his nine previous seasons in the NHL with no more than two such games in any single season.

nullKlingberg notches three assists

John Klingberg notched his third three-point game this season by assisting on three goals for the Dallas Stars in their 5-3 victory at Winnipeg. He’s the first Stars defenseman to register three points or more in a game at least three times in one season since Sergei Zubov had four such games in 2007-08. Klingberg’s three points in Tuesday’s game give him a season total of 51, the highest by a Dallas defenseman since 2006-07, when Zubov tallied 54 points and Philippe Boucher notched 51.

nullSmith continues his strong play in February

Zack Smith scored one goal and assisted on another in the Ottawa Senators‘ 4-1 win at Edmonton. Smith registered only nine goals and two assists in 49 games this season through the end of January, but he’s set career highs for both goals (6) and points (10) in any calendar month in the 11 games he’s played in February. Smith’s previous high for a month were five goals (November and December 2011) and eight points (November 2011).

Source: Elias Says: Sports Statistics – Stats from the Elias Sports Bureau

What No One Tells You About #Winning Tuesday

All Aboard the S.S.TD:

The Gronk.  Lovable meathead, really good tight-end for the Patriots just disembarked from his “Party-Cruise”.  The debaucherous, drunken revellry seemed to be on par with another party that comes to mind in the Big Easy, and according to social media, it was.  However, while everyone was re-living the halcyon days of Sodom & Gamora and being tailed by “intrepid” journalists to “document” the event – we need to ask this question – How is Manziel any different?

Is it because Gronk is a Pro-Bowler, a Superbowl Champion and has never been accused of striking a woman?  Why do we treat Gronk as lovable meathead and Manziel a loser for being the same Teddy Bro-sevelt?  At some point we should stop demonizing notorious behavior while applauding another as we maintain our upright moral status with the rest of the swine.  Then again, how much could you have had on this hedonistic cruise?

+ Read: Let’s all have as much fun as Gronk’s Party Ship.

Then there’s the King of Berzerkers, the thorn in the SEC paw, the man in the khakis, hanging out at WWE Raw last night.  The most visible and entertaining coach in college football lately, is a self-avowed rasslin’ fan and was front and center at Joe Louis Arena.  How can you not love this guy’s headline making ways?

Welcome to @UMichFootball head coach @CoachJim4UM, ringside at @WWE#RAW in Detroit!! #Wolverinespic.twitter.com/II49BL7Cml

— WWE (@WWE) February 23, 2016


ATLANTA, GA - FEBRUARY 22: Andrew Bogut #12 of the Golden State Warriors dunks against Al Horford #15 of the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena on February 22, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia. NOTE TO USER User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

If you follow along with us, then you know Mondays are prettay prettaaay prettaaaay special when you read our 5pt plays and build your lineups with our LineupAnalyzer.  Or maybe you were too caught up in listening to another hit from the dark-side of the moon and the Apollo 10 astronauts…Either way, you can read The United Stats of #Murica #NBA edition for a review or read these 5 takeaways:

  • Warriors become the fastest team to 50 wins in NBA history by beating Hawks. It got interesting. Atlanta became the latest team to make a big run on Golden State and force a response. Portland did it most of the game, but the 13-turnover third quarter for the Warriors put that game out of reach. The Clippers game seemed to be in garbage time until a 13-0 run late gave Los Angeles a chance to tie (the shot fell short). Then Monday night the Warriors were in complete control up 23 in the third quarter, when the Hawks went on a 33-6 run and took the lead. These lapses are a combination of factors. The Warriors have some mental vacations, they get bored it seems, but also teams are not just rolling over for them. Good teams that have pride. The result is the Warriors having to work hard for games where it felt like they were in control.
  • Channing Frye makes his debut for Cavaliers but Pistons spoil the day. Cavaliers fans got to see the guy they gave up Anderson Varejao for Monday night (not that much was expected of Channing Frye in his debut, he’s had basically no practice time with the team). Frye played nine minutes for the Cavaliers, missed both his threes, and looked like the new kid trying to fit in. He’ll find a more comfortable groove.
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo finishes the off-the-backboard alley-oop. Yes, it still counts if you do it against the Lakers’ defense. The Bucks picked up a win and the Greek Freak had maybe the highlight of the night.
  • Pistons void Donatas Motiejunas trade with Rockets over concerns about his back.Stan Van Gundy has coveted Motiejunas for years — a true 7-footer who can bang inside and is shooting 41.2 percent from three this season. He’s a perfect fit on paper for the inside-out offense Van Guyndy is trying to set up in Detroit.
  • Kyle Lowry puts up triple-double. Does it still count if Jose Calderon is guarding him? Kyle Lowry and the Raptors went into Madison Square Garden on Monday night and looked every bit the second best team in the East, with an unstoppable backcourt led by Kyle Lowry. Going up against the porus defense of Jose Calderon, Lowry did what he wanted on the way to 22 points, 11 assists, and 11 rebounds, and the Raptors picked up a comfortable win 122-95.

Source: Five Takeaways from NBA Monday: Warriors become fastest team ever to 50 wins – ProBasketballTalk

Big man Hassan Whiteside continues to confound the Miami Heat by mixing in dominant performances with head-scratching mistakes that cloud his future with the team.

+ Read: Whiteside remains an enigma for Miami – Yahoo News

+ Read: NBA’s ‘haunted hotel’ strikes again — this time with bed bugs | New York Post


The NFL withheld a big chunk of money from the NFLPA. (USATSI)

The NFL Player’s Association (NFLPA) was on the winning side of an arbitration that’s expected to cost the NFL more than $100 million.

Arbitrator Stephen Burbank sided with the NFLPA over an issue that had to do with the pool of revenue (or shared revenue pool) that the NFL splits with its players. According to the Wall Street Journal, the league is going to have to return about $120 million in revenues that it wrongly collected over the past three years.

+ Read: Report: NFL withheld more than $120 million from players over 3 years – CBSSports.com

Let’s face it: All 32 NFL teams have plenty to do before the start of the new fiscal year, as well as the beginning of free agency on March 9.There are just some that have more to do than others.

+ Read: NFL Teams That Have the Most Work to Do Before Free Agency | Bleacher Report


Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Zack Greinke talks to the media during a press conference, Friday, Dec. 11, 2015, in Phoenix. Greinke could have stayed with the Los Angeles Dodgers or gone up the coast to the San Francisco Giants. Instead, he signed a massive contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks, dramatically shifting the landscape in the NL West.   (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

The phrase “play the game the right way” is vague, so it’s usually tough to know exactly what someone means when they use the phrase. Hitting batters as revenge, for example, could be “right” if you’re an old-school baseball type, or it may be wrong to someone else. NL West managers say the Diamondbacks “play the game the right way,” Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post reports.

+ Read: NL West managers say the Diamondbacks “play the game the right way” – HardballTalk


+ Read: Nation’s fastest football player? LSU’s Donte’ Jackson can make that claim – CollegeFootballTalk

On Sunday, a relieved Bubba Watson interrupted his post-tournament press conference at the Northern Trust Open in Pacific Palisades, Calif., as the gleaming prize was placed beside him on the table. Though he had to pass a kidney stone earlier in the week, he still managed to rally back on the final day of action to win the tournament for the second time in three years.

In a thrilling final round packed with twists and turns, Watson closed out a one-shot victory over leader Jason Kokrak and 2013 Masters winner Adam Scott at Riviera Country Club. Bubba finished with a 15-under 269 total.

+ Read: Bubba Watson won the Northern Trust Open.

United Stats of #Murica – #NBA + #NHL Edition


nullWhiteside is a monster off the bench

Hassan Whiteside, who has settled into his role off the bench, scored 19 points to go along with his 18 rebounds for Miami in its overtime victory against the Pacers. Whiteside, who scored 25 points and grabbed 23 rebounds as a substitute on Saturday, is the first NBA player to produce at least 18 points and 18 rebounds in consecutive games, both off the bench, since LaSalle Thompson had back-to-back games of that kind for the Kansas City Kings in January 1984.

nullFirst triple-double for Antetokounmpo

Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 27 points, snared 12 rebounds and handed out 10 assists as the Bucks defeated the Lakers, 108-101. Seventy-eight days after Antetokounmpo’s 21st birthday, he became the first player to generate a triple-double for Milwaukee since Larry Sanders in November 2012 and the second-youngest to do so in franchise history (41 days older than Brandon Jennings when he did it on October 30, 2010). Jason Kidd’s career total of 107 triple-doubles during his playing career is the third-highest in NBA history, behind Oscar Robertson (181) and Magic Johnson (138), but Antetokounmpo is the first player to post a triple-double with Kidd as his head coach.

nullCurry and Thompson dominate the Hawks

Stephen Curry scored 36 points and Klay Thompson added 27 as the Warriors defeated the Hawks, 102-92. It was the sixth game this season in which Curry and Thompson each scored more than 25 points, the most such games for any pair of starting guards in the NBA. Two other starting-guard duos have produced four such games this season: DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry for Toronto, and Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum for Portland.

nullLowry and DeRozan have their way with the Knicks

Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan each scored 22 points to lead the Raptors to a 122-95 victory over the Knicks at Madison Square Garden. Both Lowry and DeRozan have scored more than 20 points in all three of Toronto’s games versus New York this season. Over the last 40 seasons (1976-77 to date), only one other pair of backcourt starters each scored 20 or more points in three games against the Knicks within one season. That was in 1996-97, when Allen Iverson and Jerry Stackhouse did it for the 76ers.

nullTowns and Griffin

Karl-Anthony Towns scored 28 points and gathered 13 rebounds for the Timberwolves in their 124-122 victory over the Celtics. It was the 12th game for Towns this season in which he generated at least 25 points and ten rebounds, the most for any rookie in the franchise history of the T-wolves. Over the last 16 seasons (2000-01 to date), the only other NBA player with at least a dozen such games in his rookie season was Blake Griffin (24 in 2010-11).

nullPistons’ starters score 86 of their 96 points

Reggie Jackson scored a team-high 23 points for the Pistons in their 96-88 victory at Cleveland in a game in which Detroit’s starters scored all but ten of the team’s points (with Stanley Johnson accounting for all of the Pistons’ bench points). It was only the second win for the Pistons over the last four seasons in which their bench combined to score no more than ten points. Detroit’s other victory of that kind during that time (2012-13 to date) also came against the Cavaliers, earlier this season, when its bench contributed nine points in a 104-99 triumph on November 17.


nullThird-period goal for Ovechkin

Alex Ovechkin scored a tiebreaking goal in the third period which put the Capitals ahead to stay in their 3-2 win against the Coyotes. Ovechkin has scored 514 goals in his 11-season NHL career and he has now registered exactly 200 of them in third periods (184) or in overtime (16). Only three other active players have scored at least 200 such goals and they have all been in the NHL for at least 18 seasons: Jaromir Jagr (277), Jarome Iginla (228) and Marian Hossa (213).

nullTwo goals each for a trio of Sharks

Joe Thornton, Logan Couture and Tomas Hertl each scored two goals for the San Jose Sharks in their 6-3 win at St. Louis. Is was the fifth time in the last three seasons that an NHL team had three multiple-goal scorers in one game, yet it was the third time over that span that the Sharks have been the team to do it! Couture, Joe Pavelski and Raffi Torres were the trio of multi-goal Sharks in a 7-3 San Jose win at Philadelphia on Feb. 27, 2014, and on Dec. 4, 2014 the Sharks beat the Bruins, 7-4, with Pavelski, Tommy Wingels and Tyler Kennedy each scoring two goals.

nullRinne wins north of the border

Nashville’s Pekka Rinne made 28 saves in his 2-1 shootout victory against the Canadiens at Bell Centre. Rinne had a 4-9-3 record in his first 16 road games this season, but he’s 4-0-2 in six games on the road since then with all four wins coming in Canada (Winnipeg, Edmonton, Vancouver and Montreal).

Korpisalo notches his tenth victory

Blue Jackets goaltender Joonas Korpisalo notched his 10th victory in his first season in the NHL with a 6-4 win against the Bruins in Boston. Korpisalo is the third rookie goaltender in Columbus franchise history to reach double-figures in wins in one season, after Pascal Leclaire in 2005-06 (11) and Steve Mason when he won the Calder Trophy in 2008-09 (33).

Source: Elias Says: Sports Statistics – Stats from the Elias Sports Bureau

Weekend Update: Boom Goes the Dynamite


In case you missed it – the Daytona 500 was this weekend and ther finish was the closest in the computer-timed era, that began in 1993 – .01 seconds.  Just watch the video and see an incredible final lap, even if turning left a-lot is not your forte.  Denny Hamlin passing three of his own teammates to squeek out a victory over Martin Truex – leaving Joe Gibbs to proclaim this #win over any Superbowl.

Maintaining the Motor theme – the Pistons wore Motor City on their jerseys last night and Anthony Davis motored right by.  Davis dropped the clutch on Detroit to a tune of 59pts and 20 rebounds in the Pelicans 111-106 win, (Davis was an 89 on #FanDuel and 93.5 on #DraftKings).

It was a career high for the “Brow” and also the highest total in the #NBA this season.  Fact: Only two other players have ever scored more than 55pts and grabbed at least 20 boards in a game – Wilt Chamberlain and ShaQ-Fu.


Kobe Is A Dick And Talks About It On HBO

Kobe Bryant is one of the greatest players in NBA history. Five NBA championships, 18 All Star Game appearances, one MVP award. Despite how unbelievably good Kobe is at basketball, no one has ever confused him with being a good teammate or a particularly nice guy. Although he’s currently on a Derek Jeter-like retirement tour, it’s not so much an admiration for the man himself, but rather an appreciation for the player that Kobe Bryant was.

+ Read: Kobe is a dick and talks about it on HBO

Since he was essentially anointed the next face of the NBA over the past year, Anthony Davis’ season has been a little disappointing on a number of levels. His per-game numbers are as good as ever — 24.3 points, 10.1 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 2.2 blocks — but after last year’s surprise playoff run, the Pelicans have underperformed due to injuries throughout the roster and an awkward coaching transition from Monty Williams to Alvin Gentry. In the eyes of the casual NBA observer, the next shiny toy to get excited about has already become Timberwolves rookie phenom Karl-Anthony Towns.

+ Read: Anthony Davis joins elite company with 59-point game.

The Donatas Motiejunas trade between the Pistons, Rockets and 76ers isn’t the only one held up by a physical.The Cavaliers’ trade for Channing Frye still isn’t complete, either.

+ Read: Channing Frye trade still not complete, as Cavaliers continue to test former(?) Magic player – ProBasketballTalk

It took a few days to finally happen but the New York Knicks signed Jimmer Fredette to a 10-day contract on Monday. This will be Fredette’s third attempt at sticking with an NBA team this season.

+ Read: Knicks make it official, sign Jimmer Fredette to 10-day contract – CBSSports.com


Jimmy Rollins

The White Sox announced on Monday that they’ve added shortstop and former Phillies cornerstone Jimmy Rollins on a minor league contract with an invitation to Major League Spring Training. Rollins is a client of MVP Sports.

+ Read: White Sox Sign Jimmy Rollins To Minors Deal – MLB Trade Rumors

Miami Marlins hitting coach Barry Bonds, baseball’s home run king, made it clear “I’m a Hall of Famer” at an introductory news conference Saturday.Bonds, in his familiar No. 25, wore a major league uniform for the first time in nine years this week — aside from a weeklong stint as a guest instructor with the San Francisco Giants two springs ago.

+ Read: MLB Notebook: New Marlins hitting coach Bonds introduced, says ‘God knows I’m a Hall of Famer’ | West Central Tribune

It came as a shock on Friday when the news broke that longtime former Major Leaguer Tony Phillips had died of an apparent heart attack. A man determined and fit enough to suit up for an independent league team last season is now gone far too soon, at age 56.Phillips stood out for his personality, but even though he enjoyed an 18-year career in the big leagues, his on-field accomplishments flew a bit under the radar. He never made an All-Star team, only once showed up on an MVP ballot and received a single vote in his only year of Hall of Fame eligibility.

+ Read: Phillips most versatile player in MLB history.


Plenty has been said about how the New England Patriots unearthed a gold mine when they selected franchise quarterback Tom Brady in the sixth round of the 2000 draft. Four Super Bowl rings, three Super Bowl MVPs and a supermodel wife — there isn’t much more for the future Hall of Famer to accomplish.

+ Read: 12 funny factoids about the 198 players picked ahead of Tom Brady in 2000 | FOX Sports

The NFL Combine has become very similar to the “Winter Meetings” of Major League Baseball over the last decade.The media interviews, workouts and drills are televised on the league’s network, but much more happens in Indianapolis during late February. Certainly, it’s a showcase for players to demonstrate their physical ability. It’s also a time for teams and player representation to come together and continue working on the offseason activities.

+ Read: 7 secrets of the NFL Combine | FOX Sports


A day before his team played for the national title in Glendale, Ariz., Alabama coach Nick Saban remained fired up about the same topic he had harped on six months earlier at SEC Media Days. After Clemson coach Dabo Swinney answered a reporter’s question about some of the Tigers’ best underclassmen mulling whether to stay in college or to enter the 2016 NFL draft, Saban chimed in with his own take.

“Could I make a comment about that? Because I’m going to call Dabo after the game, and last year after our game against Ohio State I tried to develop a little energy from college coaches who had players that are in this situation you just asked about, and the NFL moved the draft back. I wish they’d move the declare date back,” Saban said. “I wish they’d make a rule that says you can’t even give a player what his draft status is from the NFL [draft advisory] committee until they’ve finished their competition as a college player, so that you don’t put them and their family in this situation where there’s a big timing issue relative to competition.

+ Read: The case for an underclassmen NFL scouting combine

If there was a weekend to start getting fans excited about March Madness, last week was a good one. There was the Duke-Carolina game that lived up to its hype and a 31-point game from St. Bonaventure sophomore guard Jaylen Adams to lead his team to an upset over No. 13 Dayton.

+ Read: Louisville-Duke game was a great reminder that college basketball is broken | For The Win


The daily fantasy sports industry is dominated by DraftKings and FanDuel. DraftKings has raised in excess of $500 million since 2012, while FanDuel has brought in over $300 million. The two daily fantasy sports entities lead the way in terms of user acquisition and retention, and they both continue to operate in the State of Florida despite legal concerns regarding same.

+ Read: DraftKings And FanDuel Are Playing With Fire In Florida – Forbes

United Stats of America – #NBA


Davis reaches rare heights against Pistons

Anthony Davis scored 59 points and grabbed 20 rebounds in the Pelicans’ 111-106 win at Detroit. Only three other players in NBA history scored that many points in a game of 20 or more rebounds: Shaquille O’Neal in March 2000, Elgin Baylor twice, and Wilt Chamberlain 33 times, including 17 such games in the 1961-62 season.

Incidentally, that was only the second game in Davis’ four seasons in the NBA in which he had as many as 20 rebounds. His career high of 21 was set in an overtime game against the Celtics in March 2014.

nullJames leads Cavs to rout of OKC

Kevin Durant scored 26 points and Russell Westbrook scored 20, but it didn’t matter as the Cavaliers made a statement with a 115-92 victory at Oklahoma City. That was the largest margin of victory against the Thunder in a game in which both Durant and Westbrook scored at least 20 points. There have been 243 such games and OKC has a 164-79 record (90-26 at home).

It will come as no surprise that LeBron James was the key to victory for Cleveland, shooting 11-for-22 from the field and assisting on 11 field goals. Since James returned to the team last season, the Cavs are undefeated in games in which he had at least 10 field goals and 10 assists (5-0). His teams have a 60-12 record in such games over his 13 seasons in the NBA.

Suns make NBA history, completing seven games at home without a win

The Spurs completed a four-game sweep of their season series over the Suns with a 118-111 victory at Phoenix. But of greater historical significance, that was the final game of a home stand on which the Suns went 0-7. Only one other team in NBA history was winless on a home stand of seven or more games: the San Francisco Warriors in February 1965, the month after the Warriors traded Wilt Chamberlain to Philadelphia.

nullPacers centers make big contribution to victory at Orlando

Monta Ellis (21 points) and Paul George (20) were the Pacers’ high scorers in a 105-102 win at Orlando. But don’t overlook the role of Indiana’s centers. Ian Mahinmi, who scored 14 points, was the Pacers’ first starting center to shoot 6-for-6 (or better) from the field since Roy Hibbert went 7-for-7 against Memphis in 2008.

Jordan Hill, who spelled Mahinmi, contributed 13 points and 10 rebounds in 16 minutes. The last Pacers sub with a double-double in such little playing time was Lou Amundson at New Orleans four years ago.

nullKobe’s Chicago farewell is a high-scoring Bulls victory

They came for Kobe’s final game at United Center, but the fans saw a Bulls-Lakers game like only one other in the Windy City. Bryant scored 22 points as Chicago defeated LA, 126-115, with five other players scoring at least 20 points: Julius Randle (22) and Jordan Clarkson (20) for the visitors; Derrick Rose (24), E’Twaun Moore (24), and Pau Gasol (21) for the home team. That only other Lakers visit to Chicago to produce three 20-point scorers for each team in a 48-minute contest was played in January 1967 at the International Amphitheatre, the Bulls’ home arena during their first season in the NBA. The high scorers were Elgin Baylor (34), Walt Hazzard (25), and Jerry West (22) for the Lakers; Guy Rodgers (39), Don Kojis (22), and Jerry Sloan (20) for the Bulls.

For the record, there was also one such overtime game between the Lakers and Bulls at the United Center in 1996.

nullCeltics win big at Denver

Isaiah Thomas scored 22 points and had 12 assists in the Celtics’ 121-101 road win over the Nuggets on Sunday. It was Boston’s second-largest margin of victory at Denver during the Nuggets’ 40 seasons in the NBA. The Celtics’ only other win by 20 or more points at Denver was a 114-76 rout in February 2009. For the first time since 2001-02, Boston has won consecutive games at the Pepsi Center.

Hornets sharpen their shooting against Nets

Charlotte shot 51 percent from the field in a 104-96 win at Brooklyn. The Hornets came into the game shooting 43 percent for the season, which ranked next-to-last in the NBA, ahead of only the Lakers (41%). Sunday’s game was the first in either of the last two seasons in which all five of Charlotte’s starters made at least half of their field-goal attempts.

The Nets surely played a role as well. The opposing team has shot at least 50 percent from the field in 10 of Brooklyn’s last 19 games.

Raptors manage another low-scoring win

The Raptors defeated the Grizzlies, 98-85, improving their record to 10-8 in games in which they scored fewer than 100 points. Only one other team has a winning record when scoring fewer than 100 points this season: San Antonio (11-7). In fact, Toronto has split its last 76 games scoring in double-digits, going 38-38 since Nov. 22, 2013.

Mavs erupt against Sixers

The Mavericks routed the 76ers, 129-103, posting their highest point total of the 2015-16 season. Dallas is one of four teams whose highest point total in a 48-minute game this season was accomplished against Philadelphia. The others were Toronto (119), Atlanta (127), and the Clippers (130).

Here are 5 things to count on before Opening Day #MLB

We’ve made it, everyone. Winter is giving way to spring. Baseball is here. And while it’s still true that Spring Training stats mean nothing, Spring Training is far better than the absence of pitchers and.

So as camps open, here are five predictions of things we might see between now and Opening Day in early April.

1. Trea Turner will give the Nationals a very difficult decision.

Turner, the Nationals’ hot-shot shortstop prospect, has the kind of skill set that seems to catch eyes in Spring Training. He’s fast, he’s an exciting defensive player, and he seems rather polished for a guy who has one full season in pro ball.

And he seems to fit right in with what the Nats are looking for. Check out the moves Washington has made this winter: The acquisitions of Daniel Murphy and Ben Revere seem to indicate a move toward a more contact-based offense, away from the homers-and-strikeouts style.

That is bad news for Danny Espinosa, whose offensive game includes copious quantities of homers and strikeouts.

To be clear: Espinosa is the favorite. There would be nothing wrong with Turner getting a little more seasoning. But don’t be a bit surprised if Turner makes it a very tough call.

2. By the end of March, youíll see someone predict Adam Wainwright for Cy Young.

OK, you’ll see a lot of silly predictions this spring. Everybody wants to look smart and find the next big thing, so you’ll also see things like Jonathan Schoop as an MVP candidate (actually, that’s less ridiculous than it might sound).

Wainwright won’t be a silly call. If he’s healthy, he’ll likely be a candidate. The point here is that he’s healthy, and you can bet he’ll be motivated. The veteran right-hander will impress early in camp, will pitch well in Grapefruit League games, and when people see him pitch, they’ll start thinking big.

Maybe it’ll go well in the regular season, maybe it won’t. But the prediction is this: Waino will impress enough in Florida that Cardinals fans will allow themselves to dream.

3. There will be overreaction in Mesa.

So, so much overreaction.

Look, barring significant injuries, the Cubs are going to be very, very good in 2016. They can hit and pitch and catch the ball, and they are deep and talented and exciting.

But they’re also extremely hyped. They’re this year’s darlings (and, again, understandably so). What that means is that when things go wrong, people are going to Freak. Out.

Jason Heyward has started 30 games in the big leagues in center field, and he’ll be re-learning the position in Arizona. That’s a tough assignment. Things will go wrong. Kyle Schwarber can absolutely rake, but he’s a bit of a man without a position. Things will go wrong for him defensively. Javier Baez is trying to cut back on the strikeouts, but he’ll still whiff. Jake Arrieta threw a combined 249 1/3 innings last year. He might not show up at absolute full strength.

All of these things are fine. But to read some of the coverage, you will think the 2016 Cubs are doomed. Don’t panic when that happens. They’re not.

4. At least one big name player will be traded.

There are always minor deals in Spring Training, as guys who would otherwise be waived instead get swapped. This is part of the deal. In this case, we’re talking a real deal.

Maybe not Jim Edmonds in 1999, but maybe something even that significant. Matt Kemp is the obvious name, as there have been rumors of him being shopped. Jonathan Lucroy is another name very much in the mix.

The trade market never really got burbling this winter, though there were some interesting deals. But plenty of teams have weird fits, like the Dodgers’ abundance of outfielders, the Rays’ glut of corner bats, and the Angels’ slew of starters. Somebody will find a match.

Typically July and the offseason are the two biggest times for trades, but this year, look for a trade with significant pennant-race impact before the spring is out.

5. We’ll start to realize just how good the Dodgers might be.

Sure, a lot can go wrong. Their starting rotation is a bit hazy. Some essential players need to show they’re healthy.

But Los Angeles’ depth is ridiculous. There are so many good players even as you get down the depth chart. Guys like Enrique Hernandez, Chase Utley and Andre Ethier could start a lot of places.

As day after day of camp goes by, and the Dodgers almost never trot out a lineup that looks like a “B game” lineup, it will become clearer just how much talent there is here, and how good this team can be if even a reasonable number of things go right.

Source: Here are 5 things to count on before Opening Day

Burning #SpringTraining questions: Who will lose 100 games? #MLB

These days, Major League Baseball is truly a 365-day-a-year endeavor — with plenty of overlap. The offseason truly never ends, as players remain unsigned even after the season begins. The so-called championship season stretches into October, followed by a postseason that will bleed into November.

And the concept of players “working their way into shape” once spring arrives is long gone; nowadays, it’s just a few weeks of recuperation and then back to fine-tuning their bodies to gain — or retain — any edge.

Still, while the grind never stops, there’s something to be said for the days pitchers and catchers report. The informal becomes just a bit more formal. Friendships are rekindled, and awkward greetings among new teammates commence.

There’s also this: Conflicts are either resolved or grow more worrisome as teams prepare to head for their permanent homes come April.

USA TODAY Sports examines the festering issues that will play out in the sunshine of Arizona and Florida.


It’s the aim of every team to win the final game of the season. So what’s a manager to do when his franchise has taken that goal off the table even before spring training?

That’s the quandary facing skippers of the Philadelphia Phillies, Atlanta Braves, Cincinnati Reds and Milwaukee Brewers.

All are rebuilding. Some are just beginning the process. Most will face the insinuation that their franchise is “tanking” in order to maximize their draft position and sweeten the pot with which they can acquire amateur players.

Somehow, four managers must pull together players who know the six weeks of spring training and the six-month season that follows almost assuredly will end in disappointment and possibly 100 losses.

The future is always an easier sell for upper management. “I think this is a great opportunity to see these young guys play and watch them develop,” Reds President Walt Jocketty said to a fan on the club’s winter caravan stop. “There’s a lot of new faces. I’m looking forward to spring training to see what we have.”

The task might be less pleasant for manager Bryan Price. He’ll have a second baseman, Brandon Phillips, that the club tried to deal to the Washington Nationals, only for Phillips to exercise his no-trade clause. His right fielder, Jay Bruce, will hear his name in trade rumors until opening day — and again weeks later if he’s still around.

His first baseman, Joey Votto, will have to put a good face on it all, knowing it might be years before he’s surrounded by a contending team again.

It will be no different in Brewers camp, where All-Star catcher Jonathan Lucroy knows his weeks might be numbered, or in Clearwater, Fla., where the Phillies’ Ryan Howard reaches the end of a $125 million deal facing an uncomfortable platoon.

It’s a no-win situation for all involved, but a grim reality in this era of extreme teardowns.

Source: Burning Spring Training questions: Who will lose 100 games? 

Report: At #NBA All-Star Weekend meeting, majority of owners favor ads on jerseys

Did you see it during the All-Star Game? The jerseys worn by every player had a small KIA patch on the left shoulder area, an ad about the size of a golf ball. Jersey manufacturer Adidas had a logo on the other shoulder.

Expect that to become the norm sooner rather than later.

The NBA has been inching toward this for years — this is the second year in a row with an ad on the All-Star jerseys — and when the owners met in Toronto to talk business the majority supported the idea, reports Chris Haynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

The Lakers have a 20-year, $4 billion local television deal — they can afford to take a moral high ground. Other owners who don’t have that kind of cash flow will see things differently. (That Laker broadcast deal does have ratings ties and may end up being worth a little less than estimated — Laker ratings are down 16 percent this season despite the Kobe Bryantfarewell tour.)

While the purists will scream, those little golf-ball size ads are not intrusive or going to destroy the integrity of the game — the NBA isn’t going NASCAR here, nor is this suddenly a European soccer jersey ad placement. It’s a tiny patch. If Kia and McDonalds and other league sponsors want to pay for those ads — revenue that will be split among the teams (exactly how still to be determined) and with the players — it’s not that big a deal.

I’d wager the majority of fans watching either didn’t even notice the KIA ads on the All-Star jerseys, or did and looked right past it the way they do Cheez-Its being in the Big Brother house in that show. Or that key characters driving Hyundais in The Walking Dead. O Playstation getting placement in House of Cards. It’s unobtrusive, and not a slippery slope.

And whether you and Jeanie Buss like it or not, it’s coming. Sooner rather than later.

Source: Report: At All-Star Weekend meeting, majority of owners favor ads on jerseys