LeBron James’ latest gamble could send Cavs down dangerous path

By any measure, what LeBron James has gotten up to in Cleveland lately is, at least, strange. At most, it is a bizarre gamble that could result in a disastrous backfire.

Now in a stretch of six losses in eight games, James expressed dissatisfaction with the Cavaliers as an organization this week, saying, “We’re not better than last year, from a personnel standpoint,” and implying that the team has gotten complacent. He also said the team is “top-heavy,” an obvious dig at the Cavs’ bench players.

Conventional wisdom would say, since Eagles have a bolstered pass rush and solid safeties in Rodney McLeod and Malcolm Jenkins, that Schwartz doesn’t need to play it so safe by going with his most experienced cornerbacks. Those would be holdover Ron Brooks and two newcomers, former Colt Patrick Robinson and former Jaguar Dwayne Gratz.

Those guys have more sub-package value at the moment. Second-year seventh-rounder Jalen Mills, their top youngster, carries much more upside for the outside. While the team waits for rookie second-rounder Sidney Jones to be available from his unfortunate pre-draft torn Achilles’, don’t be surprised if rookie third-rounder Rasul Douglas gets the other starting nod, standing out with his size (6-2, 209 pounds) in man coverage.

The Eagles’ youth could serve up more big pass plays and struggle with top wideouts at times, but in turn, their pressure will allow them to gamble and make big plays on the ball, too.

Corner is the easily the weakest position on an otherwise daunting defense. Schwartz Order Cheap Jerseys Online is aggressive enough to live with the risk in search of bigger reward.

It fits the theme of the Eagles taking it to opponents more this NFL Jerseys Authentic season, forcing the issue offensively and defensively.

Trade market for relief pitching skyrockets as MLB front offices reach key realization

The MLB trade deadline is less than a week away, but teams have already seen one of the best available bats, J.D. Martinez, moved for scraps, while relief pitchers have fetched a kings’ ransom in prospects and value.

The Pistons are moving in the wrong direction defensively, as they were the No. 2 defensive team in the league through the first 27 games of the season, but are 28th in the 20 games since then, per NBA.com. They’ll need to tighten that up Monday night in Boston, facing a Celtics offense that ranks sixth in the league with 108.1 points a game, led by Isaiah Thomas’ 29.1 ppg average.

The Celtics have a nose in front of the Raptors for second place in the East, while the 10th-place Pistons are on the outside looking in to playoff picture. If Detroit is serious about making a playoff run, a win in Boston is a fine place to start.

He was professional on the field. He was courageous off it (in the background of his video was a 2014 photo of him wearing a T-shirt demanding justice for two Ohio victims of police brutality). He completed his studies for his masters in sports management at Columbia over this offseason, and in his retirement announcement, he said he hoped to get a Ph.D.

“Just As Smart As I Am Quick,” was the message he wrote on his mortarboard for his masters graduation.

By every possible measurement, Hawkins’ brain works great. It has carried him through a nomadic career in a physically unforgiving sport. Ironically, he acknowledged Rg3 Cheap Jerseys how unforgiving it was in another video on retirement day.

It’s a sport he never hesitates to say he still loves, though. He said it in his statement about donating that brain to Boston U’s program.

He’s smart enough, in fact, to know that the future Tampa Bay Lightning Cheap Jerseys might not be as bright as the present, because of football.

Jon Gruden: ‘Iˇm preparing myself to come back’ to coaching

Jon Gruden has turned down offers to return to the coaching ranks, but that doens’t mean the Super Bowl-winning coach-turned NFL analyst is going to take the easy road and retire in the broadcast booth.

The Seahawks were stuck on 10 wins the past two seasons because they were a mediocre-to-bad team in the first month and a half. They got healthy and revved up just in time to make the playoffs each time, but by then, it cost them a shot at home-field advantage, sealing their fates in the divisional round.

Beyond a Week 1 trip to Green Bay, the opening stretch is a lot more favorable this season. Russell Wilson no longer has the nicks that plagued him for most of 2016, and both the running game and defense got deeper. These Seahawks are more in line with their NFC-champion identity from 2013 and ’14 than the sliding underachievers of 2015 and ’16.

The Seahawks not only stay on their perch, but a more favorable schedule including the AFC South and NFC East can provide the springboard back to a No. 1 seed. The Cardinals will be a tad better, but the Rams and 49ers will need to tread water near the bottom of the Pacific Ocean.

Seattle is most responsible for keeping things status quo as it beats on its division foes a little more.

Some of what Porter does might sound simple, but there’s few players in the NBA who can shoot and cut as efficiently as he does. Plus, there’s a lot more to his game we haven’t discussed. For example, Porter is built perfectly to play power forward in small ball lineups thanks to his Cheap Kids Jerseys NBA offensive versatility and he’s a disruptive defender who can switch onto the quickest of guards when needed and draw Cheap Jerseys Online China the assignment of chasing around the opposing team’s best wing scorer.

Bulls keep playoff hopes alive with win over slumping Cavs

The slumping Cavaliers have lost their grip on the top spot in the Eastern Conference and it might be the Celtics’ gain.

The Bulls overcame an 11-point third-quarter deficit Thursday night to rally past the Cavaliers for a 99-93 victory at United Center.

With their third straight loss, the Cavaliers (47-27) dropped a half-game back of the Celtics (48-27) for the top spot in the East. The Cavs have lost five of their last seven and even 26 points from LeBron James, who passed another NBA milestone, couldn’t stop the skid.

James moved past Shaquille O’Neal for seventh place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list, but 19 of his 26 points came in the first half as the Cavs held a 50-41 lead at the break.

“I wanted to ask Russell like, ‘How’s your family doing man, how you feel?’ Like stuff that normal people talk about,” he said. “But there’s just so many cameras watching and it’s like, ‘Oh what they talking about, they didn’t look at each other, they didn’t even say hi.'”

Durant also said he wouldn’t walk down the tunnel at the same time because if he saw Westbrook and ignored him then it would cause a scene. So instead he just kept to himself, even though he doesn’t really feel like there’s beef between them. He thinks Westbrook feels the same way.

“It was awkward. Everybody see it, everybody talked about it the whole time, that was the topic of discussion,” Durant said. “It was corny. It was tabloid TMZ talk. It’s not even Cheap High Quality Jerseys basketball, it’s not even what’s important in this game.”

The Warriors don’t play the Thunder again in the regular season, but there’s a chance the two teams can meet in the playoffs. If that happens, expect the media Cheap Girls Softball Jerseys attention on their relationship to be even stronger.

LaVar Ball addresses Lonzo’s sneaker carousel

Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball has strayed from Big Baller Brand’s ZO2 sneakers during Summer League and sported Nike and adidas.

And to everyone’s enjoyment, his numbers in BBB shoes pale in comparison to when he wears something else.

“That boy can play barefoot and do the same thing,” LaVar Ball Cheap Elite Nike NFL Jerseys said of his son, via ESPN.com. “He can play in any shoe he feels like. That’s how that Big Baller Brand roll. We got that independence — we don’t have to be strapped down… He wear what he want.”

It’s nice to see a player not tied down by a sponsor, but it must be hard selling $495 basketball shoes when they’re rarely seen and consistently outperformed.

Lonzo Ball and the Lakers take on the Nets in Summer League play at 10 p.m. ET on Saturday in Las Vegas. Now we wait patiently to see what’s on his feet.

Kanter came off the bench to score 24 points on 8 of 9 shooting with 11 rebounds. Unfortunately for the Thunder, they don’t get to play a banged up 76ers team every night.

This, however, was still a move in the right direction for this mercurial bunch.

Wizards stars Bradley Beal and John Wall helped Washington eek out a 104-100 home win over the Hawks. Beal led the way with a team-high 28 points with nine rebounds. Wall added 22 points, 10 assists and four steals. He also did a nice job remaining aggressive despite a horrific start to the game Cheap Euro Jerseys from the field.

Stephen Jackson says Gregg Popovich told him he had to quit smoking weed to join Spurs

Stephen Jackson and Gregg Popovich are straight shooters.

Just ask Cap’n Jack, now a popular NBA analyst on ESPN, what he thinks of current Nets wingman DeMarre Carroll’s comments about the Raptors, his former employer, or bring up President Donald Trump around the Spurs coach.

Knowing that, it’s no surprise Popovich’s pitch to Jackson was as clear cut as they come when the two crossed paths back in 2001. Popovich knew he could use the 6-8, 220-pound Port Arthur, Texas native, but he also knew there was one obstacle keeping San Antonio from acquiring Jackson’s services.

Jackson, who played with the Spurs in Summer League after spending his rookie season in New Jersey, recently relayed the story on the “Ryen Russillo Show” on ESPN Radio.

It was a tough time for the entire family and one situation that LaVar Ball wasn’t aching to talk about, but the way Lonzo reacted when asked about his mother did show that he is a little more reserved than his father.

“She can’t really talk right now,” Lonzo told ESPN in May. “But she definitely knows what we’re saying, and she smiles all the time. So that’s a good thing.”

But hopefully there are some good things coming in Tina’s recovery. The Ball’s have said she has been making progress and many got to see that progress firsthand Thursday as she made her first public appearance since suffering her stroke in February.

LaMelo Ball and the Big Ballers AAU team went on to win Thursday night, 101-94.

In the meantime Lonzo dropped his second triple-double Cheap Kids NHL Jerseys of the New York Giants Cheap Jerseys summer in the Lakers’ win over the Cavaliers in the summer league.

Karl Malone on NBA players resting: ‘Get your a— playing’

Add Karl Malone to the growing list of people frustrated by NBA teams sitting down their stars to give them a rest.

The 14-time NBA All-Star, who played at least 81 games in 14 USA Basketball Cheap Jerseys of his 19 NBA seasons, told ESPN’s Sage Steele Saturday that today’s players need to play

There were big expectations for Parsons this year after he signed a four-year, $94 million contract with Memphis. But he missed more than a month with a bruised left knee, and played with a limit on his minutes per game. He averaged career lows in points (6.2) and rebounds (2.5) per game and Grizzlies fans had begun booing him at home.

But earlier this week, Grizzlies general manager Chris Wallace said he knows Parsons will work hard to return to his previous form.

“To suffer a setback like this after working so diligently to rebound from the injury to his right knee is obviously tough,” Wallace said in a statement. “That said, we know he will continue to work tirelessly to return to the court with his teammates and contribute.”

Without Williams, the Lakers will be able to accomplish a very important mission: They can tank the final two months by just rolling out their regulars, headed by D’Angelo Russell, Brandon Ingram and Julius Randle.

If the Rockets, who finished third in the West last year and added Chris Paul, aren’t yet considered contenders for the Western Conference title (and still wouldn’t be even if they added Anthony), why would the Blazers, who were an eighth seed in the West, be considered a contender with the addition of Anthony?

And while Lillard may have complained in the aftermath that he was Wholesale Cheap Jerseys China misquoted in the tease by Bleacher Report, he probably should pump the Vancouver Canucks Cheap Jerseys brakes a touch because it’s going to take far more than Carmelo Anthony to make the Blazers contenders.

New head coaches are entitled to conduct an additional voluntary veteran minicamp.

Judge has 27 multi-hit games this year, and he’s had just seven games all season in which he’s failed to record a hit or a walk. The guy knows how to get on base, and he appears to be a real threat to contend for the Triple Crown.

The Yankees also got unexpected production Wednesday from third baseman Miguel Andujar, who collected three hits and four RBIs in his major-league debut. The Cheap NBA Jerseys four RBIs were the most by a Yankees player making their MLB debut since the stat became official in 1920.

Possibly the most important performer in the Yankees’ blowout win came from starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka. The struggling ace gave up just two runs in six innings while striking out five batters. He has now turned in two quality starts in a row after previously watching his ERA balloon to 6.34 for the season.

New York (42-34) ran into a bit of a rough patch in mid-June, but it has now won two of its last three games to draw even with the Red Sox in the AL East.

Article 22 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement stipulates that clubs may hold one mandatory minicamp for veteran players. This minicamp must occur during Phase Three of the offseason program.

New head coaches are entitled to conduct an additional voluntary veteran minicamp. Any voluntary minicamp for veteran players must be conducted prior to the NFL Draft (April 27-29), but no earlier than week three of the club’s offseason workout program and after at least one week of the two weeks of Phase One activities that the clubs may hold pursuant to Article 21. This year, five clubs will Cheap NFL Jerseys Embroidered hold voluntary veteran minicamps.

This season has been a disaster for the Giants as a team

Why he’s here: Trout hasn’t played since injuring his thumb on May 28, and he STILL ranks in the top three in WAR — a cumulative stat, mind you — among all MLB outfielders (he’s second in B-R at 3.4 and second in FG at 3.3). So, yeah, he makes our squad, ahead of healthy stars having great seasons, guys such as Bryce Harper, Mookie Betts, Cody Bellinger and Marcel Ozuna.

Why he’s here: This season has been a disaster for the Giants as a team, no doubt, but Posey has been his typical MVP-caliber self through it all. Gary Sanchez, Salvador Perez and Tyler Flowers have been really good, but Posey is the easy choice here.

Why he’s here: Yes, I know Dickerson isn’t a full-time DH, and maybe you think that’s reason to go with RBI machine Nelson Cruz here instead. But Dickerson has more starts at DH (42) than in left field (30), so it’s not like this is much of a stretch. And Dickerson has been so good that we have to find a spot for him on this team.

Britton Colquitt returns after averaging 45.3 Cheap MLB Jerseys From China yards per punt last season, but the kicking competition became more intriguing with the addition of Zane Gonzalez, the 2016 Lou Groza Award winner who connected on 23 of 25 field goals for Arizona State last season. He’ll push Cody Parkey Cheap Miami Dolphins Jerseys for the starting job.

The key will be from 40 yards or more, where Parkey hit just seven of 12 last season. In the return game, Peppers averaged 14.8 yards per punt return at Michigan last season.

MLB Draft 2017: Dates, time, draft order, how to watch, live stream

The 2017 MLB Draft starts on June 12, and for the third time in team history, the Minnesota Twins are leading off the draft order.

For a team with just one winning season in the past six years, the Twins must find another franchise player atop the draft like they did 16 years ago when they drafted Joe Mauer with the No. 1-overall pick in 2001. Mauer went on to win the 2009 A.L. MVP award, and is a six-time All-Star. The Twins now have the tough task of deciding which elite prospect in the 2017 MLB Draft could be its next franchise player.

Like the 2001 MLB Draft, which also featured elite college players Mark Prior (No. 2, Cubs) and Mark Teixeira (No. 5, Rangers), there is no obvious selection at pick No. 1.

The 2017 MLB Draft will last 40 rounds, plus the two compensation (Competitive Balance) rounds that follow Rounds 1 and 2. The MLB Draft was reduced from 50 rounds to 40 rounds in 2012.

There’s no shortage of self-belief among this year’s final four quarterbacks. But I have to favor the scorching-hot player who has been there against the opponent who has not. So I expect Rodgers and the Packers to win a shootout over Ryan and the Falcons.

The AFC game also should be a thriller; a defensive mastermind in Bill Belichick trying to control Pittsburgh’s Killer Bs, Big Ben, Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell. Brady Cheap Jerseys Paypal Payment will be peeking over his shoulder at a fellow late-30s player in James Harrison, who has re-channeled his NFL defensive player of the year form from eight years ago.

Pittsburgh has won nine straight games, while New England is on an eight-game winning streak. After the Patriotsuneven performance against the Texans, I have a hunch that this is the week Brady and the Pats finally can’t overcome the loss of their best receiver and key run blocker in tight end Rob Gronkowski.