Will the Warriors and Trail Blazers go to Game 5? If they do, there’s a slight conflict.

The Golden State Warriors and Portland Trail Blazers will face off in the first round of the playoffs, and the Warriors will almost surely win. They’re a historically good team who just saw Kevin Durant return to the lineup, and an upset seems pretty implausible.

Expecting the Warriors will sweep the Blazers, though, feels a bit presumptuous. No one on Golden State is expecting that, to be fair. But is the NBA?

There is also a chance he returns for his 21st season, a feat only Parrish and Willis have accomplished.

Nowitzki averaged just 14.2 points last season, the second-fewest of his 19 seasons in the league, as the elder statesman of a Dallas team whose 33-49 record was its worst of the century.

The German forward did, however, crack the 30K mark this year. His 30,260 points ranks him sixth all time behind only Wilt Chamberlain, Michael Jordan, Kobe, Karl Malone, and Abdul-Jabaar. Nowitzki could move ahead of Chamberlain if he averaged 14.1 points across 82 games, 16.5 points across 70 games, or 21 points across 55 games.

Nowitzki enjoyed the highlights of his illustrious career between 2001 and 2012 when he dominated the NBA as the most skilled stretch-four the league had seen. In his best statistical season, he averaged 26 points (on 39.9 percent three-point shooting) and 9.7 rebounds per game.

Nowitzki is one of only seven players in NBA history to join the 50-40-90 club (50 percent from the field, 40 percent from three, 90 percent from the line). The other six are Larry Bird, Mark Price, Reggie Miller, Steve Nash, Kevin Durant, and Stephen Curry.
15

Raiders suddenly are the NFL’s most well-behaved team

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The Raiders are the most blameless, upright, God-fearing and evil-shunning team in the National Football League.
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OK. Stating it that way is more of a stretch than plyometrics, but the silver and black has been as close to a band of model citizens as you’ll find in the league as of late. Oakland is the only team in the NFL to go without an arrest the past three seasons. The Raiders earned (if you want to call it that) the distinction, following Junior Gallette’s arrest after the Redskins linebacker was charged with disorderly conduct and failure to comply with police officers, SB Nation reports.

The Combine showcased a player who was without BCS offers and chose Bucknell because of the schools academic reputation. His testing numbers stacked up among the best tackles in this years class.

A four-year starter at Bucknell, Davenport three times was a First Team All-Patriot League selection and served as one of the Bisons captains for his final two seasons.

In recent weeks, the Carolina Panthers, Cincinnati Bengals, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New England Patriots, Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans have held workouts with Davenport at Bucknell.

So much of coaching goes beyond the schemes and the systems. DAntoni helped convince James Harden to run his offense, and Hardens star grew exponentially. He then got all of Hardens supporting cast — which is basically the entire roster — to buy into his scheme. Veteran players from other teams accepted their reserve roles and made Houston into one of the most joyous teams on the court and one of its most harmonious off it.

Patrick Beverley was so intense against the Thunder that even J.J. Watt was impressed

J.J. Watt, Houston’s most beloved athlete along with Rockets guard James Harden, was in attendance for the Rockets’ Game 1 matchup against the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Rockets came out with a 118-87 win, and got a big game out of Patrick Beverley, who had 21 points and 10 rebounds on the evening.

Beverley’s intensity left a lasting impact on Watt.

During the game, Beverley took a big hit on a screen from the Thunder’s Steven Adams that put him on the hardwood.

Limited Womens Shaquil Barrett Jersey Watt was ready to go to battle for Beverley after the screen. “That dude knocks him out, I was like, ‘OK, we may have a problem here,’” Watt said on Monday. “‘You’re messing with my guy Pat.’”

He received congratulations from his agent, who noted his client’s feat of winning championships in both the NHL and KHL.
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Winning championships in both the NHL and KHL is a rare feat. Others who hoisted both titles include Oleg Tverdovsky, Slava Kozlov and Mike Keenan, who became the first coach to accomplish the feat in 2014.

It was SKA St. Petersburg’s second championship in three years. The team lost just twice during the KHL playoffs. Metallurg Magnitogorsk was trying to repeat as league champion after winning the Gagarin Cup in 2016.

Winds tend to be a problem in Pittsburgh due to the stadium’s proximity to the water and open-ended design

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Special teams became a completely random event. Punts fell short or carried, causing the normally-reliable Brian Moorman to become flustered and fumble a snap. The wind made every stalled drive a roll of the dice.

Winds tend to be a problem in Pittsburgh due to the stadium’s proximity to the water and open-ended design, but Sunday’s game added another level. Halftime became a pivotal turning point, when the weather set in and winds blew across the length of the stadium. Everything went Pittsburgh’s way. First half shanked punts became booming field-flipping plays. Matt McBriar punted the ball 70 yards with the wind at his back, while Detroit struggled with the conditions throughout the third quarter.

Authentic Courtney Upshaw Jersey Wind and rain could have played a role in the decision to attempt a trick play rather than settle for three points in the fourth quarter. Detroit tried to sneak a run with punter Sean McLendon, rather than try a field goal that could have been blown wide.

There is pleasure to be had, too. There is the imaginative drift into what might have been, if only that incompetent whistle-happy jobsworth hadn’t stepped in. There is the consolation of knowing that you weren’t beaten, only robbed. And there is the strange, impure joy that comes from a player getting away with a truly magnificent piece of cheating. A world in which the Hand of God had been ruled out might well have been a fairer one. But it wouldn’t have been anywhere near as much fun.

The Giants and New York Jets will play host to the 2017 Super Bowl in February.

“My father set pretty high standards here for the way he ran this team and the way he lived his life and the way he treated people and the reputation he had. Those are pretty tough standards to live up to, but they’re worthwhile goals,” Mara said.

“I think mostly I realize how lucky and blessed I am to have the opportunity to run this franchise that he built throughout his lifetime. Probably the most important lesson I ever learned from him is to try to treat other people the way you would want to be treated. I try to do that here with the Giants. Sometimes it’s easier said than done, but that’s a very simple goal for someone to set. That’s a very important value he tried to teach each of his children.

“You know, obviously he had a great reputation for integrity and honesty and compassion, and all of those values are values we try to have around here.”

The Giants and New York Jets will play host to the 2017 Super Bowl in February. That is “something that I don’t think my father ever would have believed could have been possible,” Mara said.

That’s been one of the starkest differences between RAW and SmackDown of late — RAW lacks much of that passion across much of its roster, and instead of title shots being earned the hard way as they have been on SmackDown, on RAW title matches often seem to be put together because someone thought it sounded good.

Plus, where else are you going to see Randy Orton burn down Bray Wyatt’s swamp shack? Certainly not on RAW, as the red brand just hasn’t been taking any kind of chances with dipping into the weirder side of wrestling, which SmackDown has been completely unafraid of doing.
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The Panthers have slipped to sixth place in the Atlantic under Rowe’s guidance.

Tom Rowe’s tenure in Florida will last just three more games, as the Panthers are expected to part ways with their head coach after this season according to both the Miami Herald and Sun Sentinel.

The news comes just hours after a disgruntled fan rented a plane calling for Rowe’s job, which included backhanded remark at how the Panthers fired their last coach, before the Panthers game last night. Florida lost 4-1 to the Montreal Canadiens on Monday evening.
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Rowe, also the Panthers general manager, stepped in after the firing of Gerard Gallant in late November. Since the switch, Florida has gone 22-26-10 and has lost 16 of their last 21 games en route to a likely sixth place finish in the Atlantic Division.

Mens Draymond Green Jersey North Carolina was playing in the title game for the second time in two years. The Heels lost at the buzzer to Kris Jenkins and Villanova 364 days before this game. Jenkins was in the stands this year, wearing a UNC shirt for another reason.

It took a lot to get back, and losing again in the last game of the season would’ve been devastating. That UNC managed to redeem itself on the same stage a year later will change everything about how this era of Heels basketball is viewed. Two title game defeats in a row would’ve caused a degree of pain that could never go away.

It’s the third national title for Roy Williams, whose Hall of Fame career got a little bit better. His team had to work for every ounce of it.

Curry is averaging 25.2 points and 6.6 assists per game for a Golden State Warriors team with the league’s best record.

The Saints finally land the pass rusher they need

In trading wide receiver Brandin Cooks to the New England Patriots for the No. 32 pick, the New Orleans Saints opened up options with the No. 11 pick in the NFL draft. Pass rusher remains the team’s top need this offseason, but if they don’t like one at 11 they can go after a cornerback or wide receiver.

Kevin Skiver of Canal Street Chronicles is here to weigh those options in the SB Nation NFL writers’ mock draft.
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Skiver: The equation that leads to Derek Barnett is simple: 27th in the league in sacks + small window for Drew Brees = take the most polished pass rusher on the board. To that end, Barnett out of Tennessee is an easy choice for the Saints. Although he may not have the upside of some of the other, rawer pass rushers in the draft, Barnett has the tools to make a day one impact, something the Saints desperately need outside of Cameron Jordan.
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At 6’3 inches and 260 pounds, Barnett is a big, quick edge rusher with good jabs and lateral movement for his size. His 6.96 three-cone was fifth among defensive ends/pass rushing specialists at the combine (and he did that with the flu throughout combine activities). Where Barnett truly excels, however, is with his hands while engaged. Barnett has arguably the best hands in the draft, and he’s superb at boxing his way to the quarterback. He’s also a clean tackler that can make runners think twice about heading in his direction, as he has perfected the stand-em-up and sit-em-down.

Serena Williams is being paddled around while singing songs from ‘Moana’

Seriously, I think it’s become a legal requirement when you’re paddling around that you sing songs from Disney’s smash-hit animated movie. Now we can compare Serena’s karaoke attempts with the real thing.

Aaron Rodgers won’t win the League MVP award this season, but his value has never been more apparent than during the stumbling show Green Bay has put on in his absence. Even the Packers’ crunching ground game ground to a halt against the Giants, as New York crowded the line and cheerfully traded a couple of deep shots to shut down Eddie Lacy and pressure Scott Tolzien (seriously, Ted Thompson – Scott Tolzien?) into a trio of interceptions. A Lions loss kept the Pack from getting buried in the division, but they’ll likely need to win five of their final six to earn a playoff berth. And assuming Rodgers isn’t back next week, even the Vikings at Lambeau is no sure thing.
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So that’s one concern WMU probably won’t have. Now Flacco/Wassink just need some players to catch their passes. In Corey Davis, Michael Henry, and Carrington Thompson, WMU must replace a trio responsible for 79 percent of last year’s targets. Only one returning wideout (sophomore slot D’Wayne Eskridge) caught more than 10 passes last year. Eskridge is an exciting efficiency option, running backs Jarvion Franklin and Jamauri Bogan combined to catch 30 of 33 passes, and tight end Donnie Ernsberger caught nine of 12. There might be a decent possession passing game in this bunch.

Game Youth Ja’Wuan James Jersey But who’s running routes downfield? There are plenty of former three-star recruits in the mix — sophomore Anton Curtis, redshirt freshmen Hunter Broersma and Rodney Graves, freshmen Luke Sanders and Tyron Arnett — but they have combined for zero career catches.

Calvin Johnson is the guy to watch for, as is the case every single week for the Lions.

The Panthers have the No. 2 rush defense in the NFL, allowing 79.1 rushing yards per game on average. They’ll have their hands full with the 49ers, who boast one of the more complex and varied rushing attacks in the league. While Carolina has certainly earned their wins off of bad teams of late, they have faced some competent running backs and bottled them up.

Calvin Johnson is the guy to watch for, as is the case every single week for the Lions. They bank on teams not being able to cover him, though the Bears did well enough in the first meeting. Johnson had four receptions for 44 yards, including a touchdown, in that first game. Reggie Bush was the hero in that one, rushing for 139 yards and a touchdown off of 18 carries.

Last time these two teams met, the trends flipped. However, either way you approach the teams, the Lions just look like a better squad right now, especially if Cutler doesn’t play. It will be interesting to see if the Lions come out running as they did in the first game.

While Locker wasn’t exactly playing at a Pro Bowl level, he was improving and is a significant upgrade over backup Ryan Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick struggled in relief work earlier in the season. Without Locker, Jimmy Morris of Music City Miracles said the Titans have no shot of making the playoffs and now the future of head coach Mike Munchak is in question.

This sort of voice-in-the-wilderness theatricality is a popular one on the radio, and in the spittle-ing silent-scream pwnership society of the Internet’s more bilious corners. All those scattered millions of last angry men in their claustrophobic worlds gone mad, all alone and wary and very upset and outnumbered and so quite probably doomed to starve, barricaded as they are in their various man caves.

1

The New Orleans Saints are favored to take down the San Francisco 49ers in Week 11.

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The San Francisco 49ers will travel to take on the New Orleans Saints in a huge NFC matchup in Week 11. San Francisco (6-3) just had a five-game winning streak snapped by the Carolina Panthers at home, while New Orleans (7-2) is 5-0 at the Superdome and coming off an absolute dismantling of the Dallas Cowboys.

This game will feature some pretty high-level play, as Drew Brees and the No. 2 passing offense in the league takes on San Francisco’s No. 9 passing defense, and the 49ers’ No. 4 rushing attack takes on New Orleans’ No. 23 rush defense. Both teams will be looking to play to their strengths, but it’s incredibly hard to keep the Saints from the end zone, especially at home.

Time of Death: Things were set up perfectly for another fourth quarter choke job by the Bucs when Miami, down three points, started a drive at their own five and quickly moved to the 33 with two minutes left. That collapsed after two sacks, an incompletion, and an arm punt by Ryan Tannehill.

16 players on Miami’s roster are listed as six feet tall or shorter. Every other member of the team is individually taller than Miami’s two yard rushing total on the night.

Elite Kids Brett Favre Jersey The Bears were 7-3 in 2011 with Cutler and looked like they might just be the best team in the NFL after five straight wins, but a thumb injury knocked him out for the rest of the year. Chicago lost five in a row with Hanie and McCown (four of the teams did not finish with winning records that year), and the Bears missed the playoffs.

Cutler missed another game in 2017, a loss under Jason Campbell, and the Bears missed the playoffs by one game.