What You Need To Know About #NBAAllStarWeekend

Toronto Shine:

When it comes to all-star game affairs, nobody can do glitzy better than the National Basketball Association.

And this weekend’s festivities in Toronto, the first time the NBA has agreed to stage the three-day gala outside of the United States, will afford Canadians their first opportunity to witness all the excess up close and personal.

From Drake and Shaq to Kevin Hart and Snoop Dogg, anybody who is anybody can be expected to be on hand to take a well-publicized bow, either at Sunday’s game at the Air Canada Centre or by attending one of the countless star-studded parties that are staged to court everybody’s inner Basketball Jones.

“If you’re a limousine owner, this is the weekend you look forward to,” said Brian McIntyre, the now-retired media information director for the NBA who has been at almost every all-star game since 1978.

Read: Get ready for a glitzy NBA all-star weekend in Toronto – The Globe and Mail

NBA All-Star Game Events Schedule:

Friday, Feb. 12

(All times Eastern)

9:30 a.m.: Rising Stars practice, NBA TV

11:30 a.m.: NBA All-Star Media Day, NBA TV

1:30 p.m.: Hall of Fame Announcement, NBA TV & NBA.com

6 p.m.: The Starters | NBA TV

7 p.m.: NBA All-Star Celebrity Game, ESPN

9 p.m.: Rising Stars Challenge, TNT

11 p.m.: Rising Stars Challenge news conferences, NBA.com

Saturday, Feb. 13

(All times Eastern)

11 a.m: NBA All-Star Practice, NBA TV

1:30 p.m.: The Starters, NBA TV

2 p.m.: NBA D-League All-Star Game, NBA TV

7 p.m.: TNT NBA Tip-Off, TNT

7 p.m.: Commissioner Adam Silver media availability, NBA TV & NBA.com

8 p.m. : All-Star Saturday Night (Skills Challenge, Three-Point Contest, Slam Dunk Contest), TNT

10:30 p.m.: All-Star Saturday Night news conferences, NBA.com

Sunday, Feb. 14

(All times Eastern)

11:30 a.m.: NBA Legends Brunch, NBA.com

5 p.m.: NBA GameTime, NBA TV

7 p.m.: NBA Tip-Off, TNT

8:30 p.m.: NBA All-Star Game, TNT

The Chase:

Wednesday Night, Golden State handed the Suns 112-104 defeat tomaintain their edge over the ’95-’96 Bulls in the Grand Prize Race towards immortality.  The reigning champs notched victory 48 in only their 52nd game.  Twenty yars ago, the Bulls started 48-5 on their way to a record 72 win season.

The ’95-’96 Bulls squad that Kerr was on had an average win-margin of 13.2pts in those 48 wins.  These Warriors are doing it at 14.7pts.

“Satisfying is not the word,” Kerr said.  “It’s shocking really.”

But he sounded subdued, not awed. The team’s 48-4 start notwithstanding, it has been a difficult past few months for Kerr, 50, who continues to endure painful headaches from a spinal fluid leak caused by back surgery over the summer……

Read: Steve Kerr Leads Warriors’ Chase of a Record He Helped Set – The New York Times

Is Pujols Under-Valued?

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Just last week, baseball celebrated the life and career of perhaps the greatest right-handed hitter who ever played the game. Hank Aaron’s 82nd birthday offered yet another opportunity to appreciate a brilliant career, one filled to the brim with “black ink” — representing times he led the league in various categories.

Now, as Spring Training 2016 approaches, we turn our eyes to the greats of the game today. And while it’s easy to focus on the staggering wave of young talent, let’s take a moment to appreciate the man who is by nearly any reasonable measure the best right-handed hitter since Aaron hung them up.

No, that’s not Miguel Cabrera — not yet, at least. And while A-Rod is certainly in the conversation, it’s not him either.

It’s Albert Pujols.

Somehow, despite 560 home runs and an eye-popping contract, Pujols doesn’t seem to get the reverence he’s due these days. But even as Cabrera has thrived into his early 30s, and even as Pujols has begun his decline phase, Cabrera has not yet caught up to Pujols.

Read: Pujols is the greatest right-handed hitter since Hank.

ArtDunk

United Stats of America – #NBAAllStarWeekend Edition

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1. United Stats of America

Thomas outduels Paul in Boston

Isaiah Thomas produced 36 points and 11 assists out-dueling Chris Paul, who registered 35 points and 13 assists in the Celtics’ overtime win over the Clippers in Boston on Wednesday night. There have been only two other games in NBA history in which opposing players each produced at least 35 points and 11 assists: Boston’s Larry Bird (49/12) and Portland’s Clyde Drexler (41/11) on March 15, 1992; and New Jersey’s Jason Kidd (38/14) and Phoenix’ Steve Nash (42/13) on December 7, 2006.

nullTowns produces like a veteran in Minnesota’s win

Karl-Anthony Towns scored 35 points, hauled down 11 rebounds and blocked three shots in Minnesota’s 117-112 win over Toronto on Wednesday night. At 20 years, 87 days old, Towns is the second youngest player to record at least 35 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks in a regulation game, trailing only Kevin Durant, who had 41 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks on December 8, 2008 at the age of 20 years, 70 days. LeBron James registered 38 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks at 19 years, 316 days old on November 10, 2004, but that came in an overtime game. (The NBA began recording blocked shots in 1973-74).

nullCousins and Rondo turning out to be a dynamic duo

DeMarcus Cousins recorded 28 points and 12 rebounds and Rajon Rondo chipped in with 15 assists in the Kings’ win over the 76ers on Wednesday night. It marked the seventh time that Cousins has registered at least 25 points and 10 rebounds and Rondo dished out 15 or more assists in the same game. There have been only five other instances of teammates doing that in the same game this season and only one other pair has done it more than once: Minnesota’s Karl -Anthony Towns and Ricky Rubio (twice).

nullCurry and Thompson reign threes on the Suns

Stephen Curry made five three-pointers in a 26-point performance and Klay Thompson hit five shots from beyond the arc accounting for 15 of his 24 points in Golden State’s victory on Wednesday. Curry and Thompson have each made at least five three-pointers in the same game 14 times since they became teammates, which is not only the highest total for any pair of teammates since the NBA instituted the three-point shot in 1979, it is 10 times more than any other combo has done it. Four pair of teammates each made five three-pointers in a game four times: Steve Nash and Raja Bell; Rashard Lewis and Ray Allen; Antawn Jamison and Gilbert Arenas; Bell and Leandro Barbosa.

Hornets snap losing streak in Indiana with a big win

The Hornets snapped a 12-game road losing streak against the Pacers by posting a 117-95 win in Indiana on Wednesday night. Over the last 20 season, the only other teams to end a road losing streak of 12 or more games against a particular opponent with a 20+ point win are the Pistons at the Bulls (30-point win on March 2, 1999 ending an 18-game losing streak), Nuggets at Jazz (21-point win on January 20, 2004 ending a 14-game losing streak) and Timberwolves at Lakers (23-point win on November 10, 2013 ending a 13-game losing streak).

nullLeonard’s game-winning bucket caps Spurs comeback

Kawhi Leonard scored with 0.9 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter to put the Spurs ahead in a game they would win over the Magic on Wednesday night. Leonard entered the game just 1-for-4 on shots in which he had a chance to give his team the lead with less than five seconds remaining in the fourth quarter or overtime in his career with his only success in that situation coming on February 13, 2013 against the Cavaliers.

The Spurs overcame a 14-point fourth quarter deficit to win in Charlotte. San Antonio was only 3-48 on the road when trailing by double-digits in the fourth quarter over the last five seasons (since 2011-12) prior to Wednesday.

nullJohnson held off the scoreboard

Joe Johnson did not score a single point in 23 minutes of action in the Nets’ loss to the Grizzlies on Wednesday night. It marked the first time Johnson was held off the scoreboard since December 6, 2003. Johnson entered Wednesday’s action having scored in 937 consecutive games, which was the second longest current streak in the NBA behind LeBron James (961 straight games).

nullAnother productive fourth quarter for Barton

Will Barton scored 15 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter leading the Nuggets to a win over the Pistons on Wednesday night. It’s the fifth time that Barton has scored at least 15 points in the fourth quarter this season, which is the most such games for any player in the league.

Holiday leads the way off the bench

Jrue Holiday came off the bench and led the Pelicans with 21 points and nine assists in the team’s win over Utah on Wednesday. It’s the fourth time that Holiday has led his club outright in points and assists while coming off the bench this season. No other NBA player has done that more than twice in 2015-16.

Bulls rocked after a strong start

The Bulls led the Hawks after the first quarter, but were outscored 85-61 over the final three quarters and dropped a 113-90 decision in Chicago on Wednesday night. It marked the largest margin of defeat the Bulls have suffered in a home game in which they led entering the second quarter since October 31, 2001, when they were defeated by a 25-point margin by the Pacers at the United Center.

nullLeBron helps Cavs spoil Kobe’s final appearance in Cleveland

LeBron James scored 29 points and handed out 11 assists to help lead the Cavs to a win over the Lakers in Kobe Bryant‘s last game at Quicken Loans Arena. Bryant scored 17 points in his final appearance in Cleveland. It’s the 21st time that James and Bryant have played against each other during the regular season, and it marked the sixth time that James out-scored Bryant by double-digits in those games. Bryant has produced at least 10 more points than James only once in their head-to-head matchups.

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

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Getting Smart With #NBA + #NHL, NEWS – 11-4-15

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1. NBA Bounce House

Monster game for Drummond

Andre Drummond scored 25 points and grabbed 29 rebounds in the Pistons loss to the Pacers. Drummond scored 20 points and hauled in 20 rebounds in his previous game against the Bulls. Andre is the fourth player in Pistons franchise history to record back-to-back 20/20 games. The other to do it are Bailey Howell (twice), Walt Bellamy (1969) and Bob Lanier (six times).

The only other active player to have a game with at least 25 points and 29 rebounds is Kevin Love. Love scored 31 points and grabbed 31 rebounds for the Timberwolves against the Knicks on November 12, 2010. This is the second time in his career that Drummond has scored at least 25 points and had at least 25 rebounds in a game and the Pistons have lost both games. Drummond had 26 points and 26 rebounds in a 106-98 loss to the Bulls on April 11, 2014. There have been 11 other 25/25 games since 2002-03 and teams with that player won 10 of those 11 games.


Faried dominates the Lakers

Kenneth Faried scored 28 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in the Nuggets win over the Lakers. Faried scored 29 points with 11 rebounds in his last game against the Lakers, last April. The only other Nuggets player to score at least 28 points and haul in at least 11 rebounds in consecutive games against the Lakers is Hall of Famer Alex English, who had two such streaks, one in 1980 and one in 1985. The last player from any NBA team to have a streak like that against the Lakers was Dirk Nowitzki in March 2008.


Teague leads Hawks to victoryAltX.Logo.white

Jeff Teague led all players with 26 points and nine assists in the Hawks win over the Heat. It was the twelfth time in his career that Teague led all players, outright, in both points and assists. The Hawks won 10 of those 12 games.


Ho-hum, another 20/10 game for Randolph

Zach Randolph scored 20 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for the Grizzlies in their win over the Kings on Tuesday night. It was the 262nd time in his NBA career that Randolph had a 20/10 game in the regular season (points/rebounds). The only active players with more 20/10 games than Randolph are Tim Duncan (498), Kevin Garnett (445), Dirk Nowitzki (314) and Dwight Howard (290). Randolph’s teams are a combined 157-105 (.599) in those 262 games.


Hornets score 30+ in each quarter

The Hornets buried the Bulls, 130-105, on Tuesday night by scoring at least 30 points in each of the four quarters of the game. It was only the fourth time in franchise history that Charlotte had a game in which it scored at least 30 points in each quarter. It happened twice in the 1991-92 season and once in 1995-96.

It was the first time since December 27, 2008 against the Hawks that the Bulls allowed at least 30 points in each of the four quarters of a game.


Fournier: 71 points over last three games

Evan Fournier scored 30 points in Orlando’s win over New Orleans. Fournier has scored 71 points over his last three games: 22 against the Thunder, 19 against the Bulls and 30 against the Pelicans. That matches the most points Fournier has ever scored over a three-game span in his NBA career. He also scored 71 points over three games in November 2014.


2. Ice-Ice Baby

Seguin tricks his old team

Tyler Seguin, who played the first 203 games of his NHL career with the Bruins, scored three goals in the Stars’ win over Boston. Seguin is the sixth ex-Bruin to record a hat trick against the Bruins in the expansion era, the first since Mariusz Czerkawski in 1996. The others to do it over that span are Eddie Shack (1971), Reggie Leach (1974), Phil Esposito (1979) and Geoff Courtnall (1989).

Seguin’s first goal was the 300th point of his NHL career. Seguin is the first player from the 2010 NHL draft to score 300 points; only two others from that draft have even recorded 200 points: Taylor Hall (279) and Jeff Skinner (219).


Rangers winning comfortably at home

The Rangers have won their last five home games by at least a two-goal margin after their 5-2 victory over the Capitals at Madison Square Garden. That’s the Blueshirts’ longest such streak within one season since October of 1990 when they won their first eight home games by a margin of at least two goals.


Oscar is no grouch

Oscar Lindberg opened the scoring for the Rangers in their win over the Capitals, his sixth goal of the season in12 games. Lindberg is the first Rangers rookie to score at least six goals in the team’s first twelve games of a season since Darren Turcotte in 1989-90. Turcotte scored nine goals in the first dozen Rangers games of that season.


Larkin’s second GWGAltX.Logo.white

Rookie Dylan Larkin’s third period goal gave the Red Wings a 2-1 win over the Lightning. Larkin, who has played 12 games for the Red Wings, was also credited the game-winner in Detroit’s win over the Senators on Saturday night. Larkin is the first Red Wings rookie to record two game-winning goals in his first 12 career NHL games since Paul Woods in 1977.


Turris is off to a good start

Kyle Turris’s overtime goal gave the Senators a 2-1 win over the Canadiens on Tuesday night. Turris has scored eight goals in 12 games this season. That is, by far, the most goals Turris has ever scored in his first 12 games of a season, his previous high being four in 2010-11 and 2012-13.


Iginla scores two against Flames

Jarome Iginla scored two goals in Colorado’s 6-3 win over the Flames, his former team. It was the 106th career multi-goal game in Iginla’s career, second-most among active players, behind Jaromir Jagr (124). Ninety-four of Iginla’s multiple-goal games came while he was playing for the Flames; this was his first against the Flames.

SOURCE: Elias Sports Bureau

pablo (3)

#ElectionDay #NBA + #NHL News & Notes

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1. NBA Bounce House

Duncan sets NBA record for wins with one team

Tim Duncan scored 16 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in the Spurs‘ 94-84 victory over the Knicks on Monday. Duncan has 954 regular-season wins with the Spurs, passing John Stockton (953 with Jazz) for the most victories by a player with one team in NBA history. Rounding out the top three is Stockton’s teammate Karl Malone, who had 919 wins during his tenure with Utah.

Duncan has a 954-381 (.715) regular-season record with the Spurs. Among the 10 players with at least 700 wins with one team, only one has a higher winning percentage with that team: Duncan’s teammate Tony Parker. With Monday’s win, Parker improved to 728-284 (.719) in his Spurs career.


25,000 points for James

With his 22 points scored in the Cavaliers‘ win on Monday, LeBron James reached 25,001 regular-season points in the NBA, in his 915th career game. James is the 20th player in NBA history to score 25,000 points; only three of those players reached that mark in as few games as he did. Ahead of him on the list are Wilt Chamberlain (691 games), Michael Jordan (782), and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (889).

James also added 11 assists in Monday’s game, becoming the sixth player to record a double-double in the game in which he surpassed 25,000 points, joining Chamberlain (who had a triple double when he reached that mark in 1968), Jerry West (1973), Abdul-Jabbar (1980), Karl Malone (1997), and Tim Duncan (2014).


Westbrook joins elite groupAltX.Logo.white

Russell Westbrook totaled 25 points, 11 assists, and eight rebounds in the Thunder’s loss on Monday. Westbrook has 121 points, 37 assists, and 30 rebounds in four games this season. Only two other players in NBA history had at least 120 points, 30 assists, and 30 rebounds over their first four games of a season, and each did so twice: Oscar Robertson (1961-62 and 1966-67 seasons) and Larry Bird (1984-85 and 1987-88 seasons).


Harden leads the way for Rockets

James Harden scored 37 points as the Rockets earned their first win of the season, a 110-105 triumph over the Thunder. Dwight Howard had the second-highest points output for Houston in Monday’s game, with 16 points. Last season, Harden played in 12 games in which he scored at least 20 more points than any of his teammates. Only one other player had at least five such games in the 2014-15 campaign: Russell Westbrook, with eight.


Warriors win big after trailing at the end of the opening quarter

The Warriors defeated the Grizzlies, 119-69, on Monday after trailing by one point at the end of the first quarter. Golden State is just the second team in NBA history to win a game by at least 50 points after being outscored in the opening quarter. The first such instance occurred on February 1, 1983, when the Bulls came out victorious over the Rockets, 129-76, after also trailing by a point at the end of the first.


Curry has another big quarter

Stephen Curry scored 30 points, including 21 in the third quarter, of the Warriors’ 119-69 victory over the Grizzlies. It’s the second straight game in which Curry scored at least 20 points in a quarter, having netted 28 points in the third period of the Warriors’ win over the Pelicans on Saturday. The last player with a 20-point quarter in consecutive games was Jamal Crawford in January 2007. Crawford had 23 fourth-quarter points on January 24 against the Suns and had two 20-point quarters in his next game on January 26 versus the Heat (20 points in second quarter and 23 in third).


2. ‘Ockey News – The Quick and the Dead

Toews and Kane find success against Quick

Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane each scored a goal for the Blackhawks as they posted a 4-2 victory over the Kings which ended L.A.’s winning streak at seven games. Toews has scored 11 goals in his 21 regular-season games against Quick, which ties him with Radim Vrbata for the third-most goals versus the two-time Stanley Cup-winning netminder, behind Shane Doan and Patrick Marleau (12 each). Kane scored only one goal in his first 13 regular-season games versus Quick but he’s tallied seven goals in eight regular-season games against him since then.


Lupul nets a pair in Leafs’ victory

Joffrey Lupul scored two goals in the Maple Leafs’ 4-1 win over the Dallas Stars’ in Toronto. It was Lupul’s first multiple-goal game since the last time the Stars played at Air Canada Centre, a 5-3 Maple Leafs victory on Dec. 2, 2014 in which Lupul notched the final two Toronto goals. Lupul finished the 2014-15 season by scoring only one goal in his last 30 games but he’s the Maple Leafs’ leading scorer with five goals this season.

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Tuesday Dregs

Did you know LeBron James finished with 37 points, 18 rebounds and 13 assists, and scored game 3’s last five points over the final 40 seconds as the Cavaliers moved out to a three-games-to none series lead with a 114-111 overtime win over the Hawks on Sunday? No other player has ever reached all of those totals (37 points, 18 rebounds and 13 assists) in an NBA playoff game.

James earned the 12th triple-double of his playoff career, surpassing Jason Kidd’s total of 11 and moving into second place all-time, behind Magic Johnson, who had 30. James achieved the triple-double with his tenth assist with 3:49 remaining in the third quarter. No NBA player had produced a triple-double within the first three quarters of a playoff game since Chris Paul, playing for the New Orleans Hornets against the Lakers, did that in 2011. No NBA player had earned a triple-double so early in a game since 2009, when Rajon Rondo achieved it with 6:15 to play in the third quarter, playing for the Celtics against the Bulls.

James finished with 37 field-goal attempts, the most he has ever taken in any NBA game, during either the regular season or the playoffs. He missed all nine of his first-quarter field-goal attempts, becoming the first player to take that many shots in the first quarter of a playoff game and to miss them all since Tim Duncan went 0-for-10 from the field in the first quarter of Game 1 of a Western Conference Semifinal series against the Lakers in 2002. LeBron also missed his first shot in the second quarter, becoming the second player in this year’s playoffs to miss his first 10 field-goal attempts of a game. (Isaiah Thomas missed his first 10 shots from the floor in Game 4 of a first-round series against Cleveland.) Among other players who have started past playoff games with double-digit streak of misses: Duncan (twice), Carmelo Anthony (twice), Ray Allen and Tony Parker.

James Harden scored 45 points, grabbed nine rebounds and handed out five assists as the Rockets avoided a sweep with a 128-112 victory over the Warriors. The 45 points is the third-most ever scored by a player for a team that was down, three-games-to-none, in a playoff series, behind the 51 points scored by the Warriors’ Sleepy Floyd in 1987 against the Lakers and the 46 points scored by Miami’s Dwyane Wade against the Celtics in 2010.

Only one other player scored at least 40 points, grabbed at least nine rebounds and handed out at least five assists in a game for a team that was down, three-games-to-none, in a playoff series: Tom Chambers for the Suns against the Lakers in 1989 (41 points, 13 rebounds, 6 assists).

The Warriors (20-for-46) and Rockets (17-for-32) combined for 37 three-point field goals made and 78 three-pointers attempted. The 37 three-pointers made were the most ever in an NBA playoff game, breaking the record of 33 set by the Seattle (20) and Houston (13) in Game 2 in 1996; and the 78 shots from beyond the arc were also the most ever in an NBA playoff game, breaking the mark of 70 by Oklahoma City (35) and Houston (35) in Game 2 in 2013.

The Warriors are only the second team, regular season or playoffs, to lose a game in which they made 20 three-pointers. The Nets lost to the Nuggets on Jan. 11, 2012 despite making 20 shots from beyond the arc. NBA teams that made 20 or more three-pointers are 15-1 in the regular season and now 2-1 in the playoffs.


Ben Bishop posted a 2-0 win over the Rangers in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final, after giving up five goals in both Game 3 (a 6-5 overtime victory) and Game 4 (a 5-1 loss). Bishop is the only the third goaltender in NHL history to record a playoff shutout after allowing at least five goals in each of the previous two games of the same series. The other goaltenders to do that were the Quebec Nordiques’ Dan Bouchard against the Flyers in 1981 (Game 3) and the Canadiens’Carey Price versus the Bruins in 2008 (Game 7).

Toews heroics are not enough

Jonathan Toews scored a pair of goals in the final two minutes of the third period to tie the score at 4-4 in Game 5 of the Western Conference Final, but the Blackhawks’ late comeback proved to be in vain as Matt Beleskey scored 45 seconds into overtime to win the game for the Ducks. It was the fifth time in NHL playoff history that a team tied a game after trailing by two goals in the last two minutes of regulation time, and Toews is the first player to score both the tying goal and the one before that. The last team before Chicago to stage a two-goal tying rally in the final two minutes of the third period was the Bruins in Game 7 of their first-round series against the Maple Leafs in 2013. Milan Lucic scored to get the Bruins within one goal, and Patrice Bergeron netted both the tying goal in regulation and the series-winner in overtime.


Never Before

Francisco Liriano struck out 12 batters and earned the win as the Pirates completed their three-game series sweep of the Mets. Gerrit Cole struck out ten batters in his series-opening win on Friday, as did A.J. Burnett in his victory on Saturday. It is the only time in modern major-league history (1900 to date) that a team’s starting pitchers won three straight games within one series while recording a double-digit strikeout total in each game.

Big Game James? 

The Padres averted being swept in their three-game series at Dodger Stadium behind the pitching of James Shields, who improved his record to 6-0 this season. Shields is the only pitcher who has won as many as six games for his new club after switching major-league teams during the past offseason. Since 2010, spanning his time with the Rays, Royals and Padres, Shields is 7-0 in 11 regular-season starts in games in which his team was in danger of being swept in a series, and each of those seven wins came on the road.

Historic Failure

Jeremy Guthrie gave up four homers and allowed 11 runs while getting only three outs against the Yankees on Monday. Guthrie is the first starting pitcher in major league history to give up at least four homers and allow 11 or more runs in a game in which he recorded no more than three outs.

Still doesn’t play on Sundays

Andre Ethier‘s solo home run in the eighth inning broke a 2-2 tie and the Dodgers went on to beat the Braves, 6-3, on Monday night. It was career home run #151 for Ethier, 14 of which have been go-ahead homers in the eighth inning or later (9.3 percent).

The only active players with more go-ahead homers than Ethier in the eighth inning or later since 2006 are Albert Pujols (17), Miguel Cabrera (16), Prince Fielder(16) and Chris Young (15). Jose BautistaJustin Morneau and David Ortiz also have 14 such homers since 2006.

Not since…

Prince Fielder went 3-for-5 with a home run in the Rangers’ win over the Indians. Fielder is now batting .365 with nine home runs in 45 games this season. The last Rangers player to have at least nine homers and a batting average of .360 or better over his first 45 games of a season was Josh Hamilton in 2012 (.368 with 20 homers).

Fielder has 11 hits and 12 runs batted in over his last four games. The only other player in Rangers franchise history with that many hits and RBIs over a four-game span is Ivan Rodriguez from July 30 to August 2, 1999. Pudge had 13 hits and 12 RBIs over that four-game span.

Miss me Milwaukee?

Giants’ leadoff batter, Nori Aoki, went 4-for-4 with a home run in their win over the Brewers. Aoki is the fourth Giants player over the last 60 years to go 4-for-4 or better with a home run from the leadoff spot in the batting order. Bobby Bonds, who did it three times (once each in 1971, 1972 and 1973), Marvin Benard (1998) and Randy Winn (twice in 2005) were the other Giants players to do it over that span.

Arenado times two

Nolan Arenado has seven hits and knocked in seven runs over his last two games. Arenado is the first major-league player this season to have that many hits and RBIs over a two-game span and he’s the first Rockies player to do it since Carlos Gonzalez had exactly seven hits and seven RBIs over two games in May 2012.  That is about how long it has been since we have seen anything from CarGo.

Elias Sports Bureau with the assist…

Shovelin’ DiRT

It’s been a rough weekend – all those buzzer beaters, sure does angry up the blood pressure to unhealthy levels – causing one to black out once or twice from the insanity.

Rare is not just a unicorn, it’s also a buzzer-beater in the playoffs.  Just think about how seldom it actually happens – that someone goes from way downtown to win the game with no time left and this weekend it happened back-to-back-to-back.  The trend started with Derrick Rose on Friday, continued with Paul Pierce on Saturday and finished with Lebron James yesterday, (watch all three).

With Kanye giving the introductions and throwing a mini-concert during the first media timeout, you could understand why the game itself was so ugly – a true visionary was in attendance.  It was like having to sit thru another Adam Sandler movie of hippity-dippity-doo – the game had a fantastic ending that almost wasn’t.

Dave Blatt – Mall Cop – almost cost his team a victory, twice.  First by calling three consecutive timeouts to get a proper inbound pass, then attempting to call a timeout he didn’t have after the Bulls tied it up, only to be saved from a technical by Tyron Lue.

Then, secondly, wanting the best player in the league to inbound the ball with 1.5 seconds left.  Huh?!  Thankfully the GM and real head coach of the Cavaliers changed the play call and took the shot himself.  Just think how different the Superbowl would have been if Lebron was there.  I have seen enough of Dave Blatt as a coach.  He has no idea what he is doing and the internal struggle of his adolescent mind is going to cost Cleveland down the road.  A 13yr-old babysitter can make better decisions in crisis, seriously!

Another coach that has to go is Kevin McHale and his ridiculous flashback to old-school basketball last night against the Clippers.  Dusting off his Celtics playing-days-playbook backfired as the Rockets went down again like it was dollar day at the whore-a-porium.  If you cant beat them – beat them up!  Hous-Done sent Deandre Jordan to the charity stripe 28 times in the first half – he made 10 – and now the Clippers are set to face the Grizzlies in the Western Conference Finals.  Is that presumptuous of me?  Have you seen the psychological warfare the Grizzlies are employing on the Warriors as they grind them down?  If the Warriors win tonight, maybe they get to the conference finals – but look closer – Golden State has no answer for Z-Bo or Gasol and they also cannot stop turning the ball over.  It doesn’t help that the Splash Bros are having trouble hitting water falling out of a boat.  The Warriors missed the memo in all their regular season praise that said playoff basketball is different and follows the fundamental principles of going inside out and defending the post.  Heart is found on the inside, not out on the wings.

Tonight is “what are you made of” night.  The Hawks and the Warriors could be one more step closer to beach reservations by way of Memphis and Washington.  Winning might just delay the inevitable either way – we’ll see – but I’m placing my money on Memphis(+4) and The Wiz(+4.5).  Watch both games tonight on TNT beginning at 7p EST.


One more time for the cheap seats – you can only deflate a ball so much before physics take over and when you consider all the league has done in favor of offense – how does this faux-rage continue to rave on?  If a league seceded control of the game-balls to the teams, then doesn’t a ball that is easier to catch and throw, better for TV?  The league could erase it all right now by controlling the game-balls the same way they do the balls used for kicking and make everyone play under the same conditions – so why don’t they?

If you are unable to move past this and feel as Troy Aikman does, that this is an issue of integrity – then you also agree that Hizzoner must also be held accountable in his meriting of sanctions.

“For the balls to have been deflated—that doesn’t happen unless the quarterback wants that to happen. I can assure you of that. Now the question becomes, Well, did Bill Belichick know about it? This whole comment by Roger Goodell based on the Saints when Sean Payton got suspended for the year, and he said, ‘Hey, ignorance is no excuse.’ That’s gonna come back and haunt [Goodell] again. It haunted him during the whole Ray Rice situation. And now it’s going to haunt Roger Goodell in terms of what the punishment is for the New England Patriots and Bill Belichick. If ignorance is no excuse, and it wasn’t for Sean Payton, and I think it’s going to be severe. Now twice under Bill Belichick—and possibly a third time—they’ve cheated and given themselves an advantage. And to me, the punishment for the Patriots and/or Bill Belichick has to be more severe than what the punishment was for the New Orleans Saints.”

Troy Aikman on radio station KTCK in Dallas

Goodell told the Saints that ignorance was not a suitable defense – so where does this hypocrite turn now?  Either integrity of the game is serious business or it isn’t.  For Goodell, he created this mess of swift frontier justice and unfortunately any decision made will bring scrutiny.  He needs to step down.  The league, under his watch is a breeding ground for incompetent psychopaths and criminals – that continues to fester under his reign.  It used to be the NFL was worried about gamblers challenging the integrity of the game – not it’s own employees.  I want my brutes honest and my coliseum spotless.  I also want the NFL to stop acting like a bad reality show on some shore in Jersey.


This Day in History from History.com…

1981
Bob Marley dies

In what would prove to be the next to the last concert of his tragically short life, Bob Marley shared the bill at Madison Square Garden with the hugely popular American funk band The Commodores. With no costumes, no choreography and no set design to speak of, “The reggae star had the majority of his listeners on their feet and in the palm of his hand,” according to New York Times critic Robert Palmer. “After this show of strength, and Mr. Marley’s intense singing and electric stage presence, the Commodores were a letdown.” Only days after his triumphant shows in New York City, Bob Marley collapsed while jogging in Central Park and later received a grim diagnosis: a cancerous growth on an old soccer injury on his big toe had metastasized and spread to Marley’s brain, liver and lungs. Less than eight months later, on May 11, 1981, Bob Marley, the soul and international face of reggae music, died in a Miami, Florida, hospital. He was only 36 years old.  Here is an old video of Bob, singing Redemption Song.

Tuesday’s DiRTy Dimes

Last night we witnessed a Shooting Guard battle between DeRozan and Harden.  DeRozan countered Harden’s 31pts with his own 41pts and 11 rebounds, helping the Raptors scrub the Rockets, 99-96.

Avery Bradley helped the Celtics beat the Hornets scoring 30, while Kemba Walker dished 12 assists and 28pts, with 3 rebounds of his own.  Celtics won 116-104, keepong their slim lead ahead of Brooklyn, Indiana and Charlotte.

Nerlens Noel and his double-double of 19pts 14 rebounds was not enough to beat the Lakers and Jordan Clarkson’s 26pts and 11 assists.  The Lakers win another “must lose” game and might be in danger of having their plan blow up in their face.  The Lakers could lose the rest of their games by double digits and could still find themselves 7th in the NBA Lottery and losing their top 5 protected draft pick – #TankingIsHard.

Another solid night of NBA action that seemed to be more Double-Double Monday, as we push towards the final 8 games or so of the season.

IF THE PLAYOFFS STARTED TODAY


vs
(1) ATLANTA VS (8) BOSTON
(Atlanta leads 2-1)

vs
(2) CLEVELAND ( 1H ) VS (7) MIAMI
(Miami leads 2-1)

vs
(3) CHICAGO ( 1A ) VS (6) MILWAUKEE
(Chicago leads 3-0)

vs
(4) TORONTO VS (5) WASHINGTON
(Toronto leads 3-0)




vs
(1) GOLDEN STATE VS (8) OKLAHOMA CITY
(Golden State leads 3-1)

vs
(2) MEMPHIS VS (7) DALLAS
(Memphis leads 3-1)

vs
(3) HOUSTON ( 1H / 1A ) VS (6) SAN ANTONIO
(Series Tied 1-1)

vs
(4) PORTLAND ( 1H ) VS (5) L.A. CLIPPERS
(L.A. Clippers leads 2-1)
Teams still in the hunt:
Brooklyn
Indiana
Charlotte
and
New Orleans

The last two weeks of March showed us some interesting things as we breakdown the positions.  First, let’s scrape off the cream; no one is able to afford Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Lebron James, Anthony Davis and Boogie Cousins on the same team, so we will focus on the other guys.  Knowing also that the Guard position is your highest scoring, with the 2nd most coming from the Center position.  This leaves the Forward position the place where you separate yourself from winning some #FreshLettuce and not cashing at all.  Many lineups are won or lost with the Forwards.

Games played from 3-16 thru 3-29-15:

Point guard

PGFD

FanDuel

PGDK

DraftKings

If the MVP race was restricted to the kind of metrics used in Daily Fantasy, then it would look very different within those who play point guard.  In reality Steph Curry is having a terrific year, but has been a 4th option in the PG position, and with his cost, you have to look elsewhere for similar production at a better value.  Look what Elfrid Payton has produced in just 6 games at a better price point.  Reggie Jackson has been solid since leaving OKC and Shved cracks the top 10 APPG and crazy plays in March.

Shooting Guard

SGFD

FanDuel

SGDK

DraftKings

You notice in the Shooting Guards we have a bottleneck of value in the top 5 with Eric Bledsoe, Victor Oladipo and DeMar DeRozan.  When you look closer you see that Oladipo is doing a bit more with less.  Four of the top six Shooting Guards by APPG, will be seen in the Playoffs, so you should expect them to keep their averages up.  For Oladipo he’s still proving himself to take the next step, while Bledsoe continues to justify his recent $70m contract in September.

Small Forward

SFFD

FanDuel

SFDK

DraftKings

Everyone of these guys has had a blow up game this month, except I do not remember Wilson Chandler’s.  If you have paid any attention to the Utah Jazz, you are not surprised that Gordon Hayward is 4th in APPG.  You may be surprised that the Nuggets have two players on this list, (one in the PF) meaning that if Lawson is All-Star capable and the Nuggets have 3 Forwards that can score then how are they so awful, #Management.  Amazing stat if you can afford them: if you have Lebron and Kawhi on your team your lineup cashes over 40% of the time.  #ScienceIsAwesome.

Power Forward

PFFD

FanDuel

PFDK

DraftKings

In Power Forwards you have a logjam of guys within 3pts of each other, making cost per point a necessity.  The Bulls without D.Rose have two Power Forwards in the top 5, with the possible R.O.Y. in Nikola Mirotic.  Wiggins has the name recognition and will probably get rookie-of-the-year, but it should be Mirotic and his smooth stroke.  He has been the offense in Rose’s absence most games and in March has been on fire.  Anthony Davis and the Pelicans still have an outside chance to make the playoffs, but being 3 games back with 8 games left is a tall task.  You will still expect “The Brow” to do what he can and continue to be the guy you have to have each night he plays, if you can afford him.  It’s why our “Projection to Salary” report is so invaluable.

Center

CFD

FanDuel

CDK

DraftKings

Watching basketball on a nightly basis has made this a lot fun breaking down Centers.  Finding the value in Gobert before his price shot up and seeing Gorgui Dieng climb into the top 10, has made this month exciting for Centers, and made us big fans of new, young guys.  Boogie is so dominant that if you can afford him and find value in other guys – you take that chance.  But often times the top guys are not the guys that cash the big checks.  You often find the same overall value with Brook Lopez or Rudy Gobert that you can upgrade that Forward/Guard position to improve your chances.

These reports we provide on our RotoCanon Page, help you make the best decision possible.  Decisions like if you had Kemba, Clarkson, DeRozan, Bradley, Gobert and Booker on a lineup, you might have won $150, (#WeDid, #CalledIt).  Contact us with any questions or suggestions, we’d love to hear from you and your success.

Games to Play Tonight

DiRTy Plays Friday the 13th

March 13th, 2015

News & Notes:

Well it is Friday the 13th and so we wanted to do something a little different today as we look to kickoff the St. Patrick’s Day party with some NBA fun tonight.  Below you will find a Free Roll that we have put together with DraftKings that is designed for only beginners.  You can click on any game, banner or highlighted phrase to be taken to the proper location.  This means if you have NEVER played on Draftkings before tonight is your night.  It cost you nothing to enter and if you click here or just go to our DiRTy Plays Week of March 9th page we will tell you how to win at this contest.  Once you win some money tonight, come back and visit us next week as our lineup optimizer will be ready for you to use and not only will we will analyze your daily DiRTy plays for DraftKings but Fan Duel as well, we always provide insight into why you should stick with certain players.  We will be adding a new segment next week that will also outline some of those guys that you should shy away from and why that is so look for that new segment.  Now let us me show you how we are doing as we don’t just provide info we play too so yes, we put our money where our mouth is so you can trust our analysis and results thereafter.

Fan Duel Earnings:

  • Started with $100 deposit on January 16th, 2015.
  • Earnings through March 11th, 2015 are $2,557
  • Profit from the week of March 9ththus far is a total of $389.50 as we have looked to increase our overall number of entries and entry fee contests to validate results on all levels of players.

Fan Duel Top Tournament Results from March 12th:

  • 310 (3460 of 22986) – $1 Entry/$2.50 Won x2 (Late Night Contest)
  • 7 (10440 of 86206) – $1 Entry/$2.50 Won x2 (NBA Swat)
  • 6 (20 of 181) – $25 Entry/$125 Won (Quintuple Up)
  • 7 (1071 of 11494) – $25 Entry/$55 Won (Super Slam)

***Won $190 gross, spent $60 and profited $130***

DraftKings Earnings:

  • Started with a $50 deposit on February 15th, 2015.
  • Earnings through March 11th, 2015 are $503.57
  • Profit for the week of March 9th thus far is $39.42

Results from March 12th, 2015

  • 331 (699 of 38260) – $3 Entry/$12.17 Won (Sharpshooter Contest)

***Won $12.17 gross, spent $3 and profited $9.17***

Games to Play Tonight


Just click on the one of the links above and you will be directed to these contests and you can start making a profit.