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Player Movement: What teams have gained, lost this offseason

By John Schuhmann, NBA.com There's still a lot of work to be done before rosters are set for the 2019-20 season. Some teams (Charlotte, Utah) still have roster spots to fill. Other teams (Memphis, Washington) still have some roster trimming to do. There are about 25 two-way-contract slots that can be filled around the league. And it's certainly possible that players like Chris Paul and Andre Iguodala will be traded a second time before the end of the summer. But it's already been a season of change. At the start of training camp last September, 15 of the league's 30 teams rostered players who played at least 75 percent of the team's minutes in the previous season (2017-18). Right now -- midway through July -- only four teams are set to bring back players who played at least 75 percent of last season's minutes. Continuity Not every team has made big changes. The Denver Nuggets are set to return at least 12 of the 18 guys that played for them last season (the status of two-way, restricted free agent Brandon Goodwin is still in the air), along with Michael Porter Jr., who was with the team all season. The only players that have left the Nuggets -- Tyler Lydon, Trey Lyles and Isaiah Thomas -- played a total of eight minutes in the playoffs. Over the last three years, there has been a correlation between summer continuity and win increase the following season. But the correlation has been small. During that span, 33 teams have brought at least 75 percent of the previous season's minutes back, and only 15 of those 33 increased their win total. The highest individual return percentage of the stretch belonged to last season's Miami Heat, who brought back 97 percent of their minutes from 2017-18 ... and proceeded to win five fewer games. This summer, the two biggest winners in free agency -- the Brooklyn Nets and LA Clippers -- rank 24th and 26th, respectively, by this measure (as of Wednesday morning). And while the Nuggets have a young core that can improve on its second-place finish in the West, the Orlando Magic are bringing back an ensemble that won just 42 games in the Eastern Conference, and the San Antonio Spurs have an older group that was ousted by Denver in the first round, albeit in seven games. Gained and lost math Going forward, we'll be talking about totals gained or lost this summer. These were accumulated by non-rookies for any team last season. For example, in calculating the minutes that Indiana lost (and Milwaukee gained) with Wesley Matthews' departure, we're using all 2,091 minutes that Matthews played for Dallas and Indiana last season. That way, it's a more realistic measure of total production coming in and going out. In that regard, most teams have lost more '18-19 minutes than they've gained. In total, there are more than 230 players who were on rosters (with two-way contracts included) at the end of the season and are either on a new team (via free agency or trades) or remain unsigned. More than half of those players (about 120) have been replaced by other non-rookies. About 70 more have been replaced by rookies (including those on two-way contracts). As an example, here's the roster math for the Golden State Warriors: - LOST 11 non-rookies off their end-of-season roster - GAINED six non-rookies - ADDED three rookies - STILL HAVE one main roster spot and one two-way spot they can fill Minutes gained and lost The Warriors are one of 22 teams that have lost a group of players who played more minutes last season than the group of players that they've added. There are a few teams that have added a lot more '18-19 minutes to their roster. That group is led by the New York Knicks, who have added almost 12,000 '18-19 minutes while seeing almost 9,000 minutes exit. The Knicks have lost four guys - Mario Hezonja, DeAndre Jordan, Emmanuel Mudiay and Noah Vonleh - who played at least 1,000 minutes. They added seven, and all seven started at least 28 games last season. Of course, how many of those seven are difference makers is up for debate, as is the idea of whether the Knicks should have used at least some of their cap space to take on bad contracts -- often spiced up with future picks -- from other teams. The Nets lost as many players (6) who played at least 1,000 minutes last season as they gained. But they added four of the 31 2,000-minute players to have changed teams this summer, most notably in Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Utah (3) is the only other team with more than two additions that played at least 2,000 minutes last season. The eight guys that Brooklyn brought in started a total of 363 games in '18-19, while the nine guys they lost started just 179. That's the biggest increase, with New York (+100) and Utah (+84) also seeing differentials of more than 82 games. The Sacramento Kings lost two guys that played at least 1,000 minutes last season, and one of those guys -- Alec Burks -- played only 127 minutes for the Kings. They added four 1,000-minute players, including two - Trevor Ariza and Cory Joseph -- that played more than 2,000 minutes last season. As noted above, the Nuggets lead the league in continuity, bringing back all 10 guys that played more than 1,120 minutes for them last season. But they've also added Jerami Grant, who played 2,612 minutes for the Oklahoma City Thunder. Though they've added more players (11, including four rookies) than they've lost (nine) and need to trim their roster between now and opening night, the Washington Wizards are set to see the biggest discrepancy in regard to '18-19 minutes. They've lost more than 11,000 (with Trevor Ariza, Jeff Green and Tomas Satoransky accounting for more than half of that total) and added less than 5,000. The group of players that the Wizards lost also started 208 more '18-19 games than the players added -- the biggest discrepancy in that regard. The Charlotte Hornets not only lost more than 1,000 '18-19 minutes in their Kemba Walker-Terry Rozier swap, they also lost three other guys - Jeremy Lamb, Shelvin Mack and Tony Parker - who played more than 1,000 minutes last season. There's a general consensus that the Indiana Pacers are in the "winners" category this summer, adding Malcolm Brogdon, Jeremy Lamb and T.J. Warren. But they also lost five guys (four of their five playoff starters plus Cory Joseph) to have played at least 2,000 minutes last season. The only other teams who lost more than two 2,000-minute players were the the Clippers (3), Oklahoma City Thunder (3) and Wizards (3). Still available Most '18-19 minutes among still-available free agents... - Justin Holiday - 2,607 - Iman Shumpert - 1,481 - Wayne Selden - 1,439 - Jeremy Lin - 1,436 - Shaquille Harrison - 1,430 In regard to minutes played last season, the top 18 available free agents are all perimeter players (unless you want to count Jonas Jerebko as an interior guy). Among available non-perimeter players, Dante Cunningham (928), Cheick Diallo (896) and Zaza Pachulia (878) are the guys who played the most minutes last season. It's all about shooting Putting the ball in the basket is the most important thing in the NBA, and every team is always on the hunt for more shooting. But in regard to '18-19 3-pointers, half of the league (15 teams) has lost more than it's gained. There are a few teams to have seen big increases, however. The Knicks added Reggie Bullock (148-for-393, 37.7 percent), Marcus Morris (146-for-389, 37.5 percent) and Wayne Ellington (138-for-372, 37.1 percent), though creating open shots for those guys might be an issue. None of the six players that the Kings have lost made more than 61 3-pointers last season. Ariza (145) is the big gain in that regard, but they also added Dewayne Dedmon, a big man who shot 38 percent on 217 attempts from beyond the arc. On the other end of the spectrum, it's the Hornets that lost the most 3s, with Walker having ranked fifth in the league in total makes. The Atlanta Hawks ranked fourth in the percentage of their shots that were 3-pointers, but traded Taurean Prince (39 percent on 315 attempts), lost Dedmon, haven't re-signed Vince Carter (39 percent on 316 attempts) and swapped Kent Bazemore (32 percent; 300 attempts) for Evan Turner (21 percent; 52 attempts). The Toronto Raptors, meanwhile, haven't really replaced two of the four guys who made more than 100 threes for them last season. Still available Most '18-19 3-pointers among still-available free agents... - Justin Holiday - 162-for-465 (34.8 percent) - Kyle Korver - 138-for-348 (39.7 percent) - Vince Carter - 123-for-316 (38.9 percent) - Iman Shumpert - 95-for-273 (34.8 percent) - Lance Stephenson - 73-for-197 (37.1 percent) J.R. Smith, waived by the Cavs on Monday (Tuesday, PHL time), made 143 threes (shooting 37.5 percent) in 2017-18, but played just 11 games last season. More notes - Eastern Conference - The Boston Celtics are one of three teams (Atlanta and Washington are the others) with a discrepancy of at least 300 between the steals + blocks registered by the non-rookies they've lost (503) and those registered by the non-rookies they've added (194). Swapping Al Horford (145 steals + blocks in 1,973 minutes) for Enes Kanter (58 in 1,639 minutes) obviously hurts. - The Chicago Bulls have seen the second biggest increase in 3-point percentage between the non-rookies they've added (36.9 percent) and the non-rookies they've lost (30.3 percent). Tomas Satoransky (39.5 percent on 162 attempts) was the big add in that regard. - The Cleveland Cavaliers are the only team that hasn't added a single player (via free agency or trade) that played last season, though they still have to add at least one player to their main roster. The only players they've added are the three guys they selected in the first round of the Draft and another rookie (Dean Wade) on a two-way contract. - The Detroit Pistons have had eight non-rookies leave (five have found new NBA teams, three haven't been re-signed) and have added only four. But the four they've added -- Tim Frazier, Markieff Morris, Derrick Rose and Tony Snell -- started the same number of games (60) and played just 11 more minutes in '18-19 as the eight that have left. They did add more scoring, with the four new guys having registered 436 more points than the eight guys on their way out. - As noted above, the Miami Heat led the league in continuity last summer, bringing back 97 percent of their minutes from '17-18. This year, with the retirement of Dwyane Wade and trades that sent Josh Richardson and Hassan Whiteside out, they're in the middle of the pack. In regard to out vs. in (Jimmy Butler and Meyers Leonard), they've lost total production, but have improved in regard to shooting and free throw rate. Only Denver, Brooklyn and Dallas have seen bigger increases in true shooting percentage from the non-rookies they've lost to the non-rookies they've added. - With the departure of Malcolm Brogdon, the Milwaukee Bucks lost some playmaking. Only the Magic (who didn't lose anybody from their playoff rotation) saw a bigger drop in in assist-turnover ratio from the non-rookies they lost (2.47) to the non-rookies they've gained (1.33). Tony Snell (traded to Detroit) had the fifth lowest turnover ratio (4.9 per 100 possessions) among 299 players that averaged at least 15 minutes in 40 games or more last season. - The Orlando Magic rank second in continuity, one of two teams (Dallas is the other) with nobody on their end-of-season roster having signed with (or been traded to) another team. But they've added one rotation piece by signing Al-Farouq Aminu, who represents the biggest jump in '18-19 rebounds between the non-rookies a team has added (610) and those they've lost or remain unsigned (195). The Magic were already a good rebounding team, ranking 11th in total rebounding percentage and third in defensive rebounding percentage last season. - The Philadelphia 76ers have seen the biggest discrepancy in '18-19 games played between the players they've lost (478) and the players they've added (223), though most of those lost games came from guys who weren't in their playoff rotation. More notes - Western Conference - The Dallas Mavericks have seen the second-biggest jump in effective field goal percentage (lower than only that of Denver) between the players they added (54.4 percent) and the players they've lost (47.3 percent) this summer. Swapping Trey Burke (48.2 percent) for Seth Curry (57.7 percent) goes a long way in that regard. The Mavs are also one of two teams (Orlando is the other) with nobody on their end-of-season roster having signed with (or been traded to) another team. - It remains to be seen how well James Harden and Russell Westbrook fit together and how much the Westbrook-for-Chris Paul swap hurts the Houston Rockets' defense. But we can say for certain that the Rockets got better in the rebounding department. - After ranking 28th in rebounding percentage (and 29th in defensive rebounding percentage) last season, they swapped Paul (who grabbed 7.0 percent of available boards while he was on the floor) for Westbrook (14.1 percent - highest among guards) and also added Tyson Chandler, who had a higher rebounding percentage (15.4 percent) than Nene (10.5 percent). - Good news for the team that ranked 29th in 3-point percentage last season: The non-rookies the Los Angeles Lakers have lost attempted 75 more 3-pointers than those they've gained. But the non-rookies they've gained made 34 more 3s than those they've lost. Among players that attempted at least 200 3-pointers last season and changed teams this season, Danny Green (45.5 percent) ranked first in 3-point percentage, while Quinn Cook (40.5 percent) ranked seventh. - The Memphis Grizzlies had a pretty motley rotation after making multiple trades at the deadline in February. And now they've seen the biggest roster more than any other team this summer, with 11 non-rookies leaving and nine coming in. They currently have guys that played for the Hawks, Warriors, Wolves, Pelicans, Suns, Raptors, Jazz and Wizards last season. - The six non-rookies that the Minnesota Timberwolves have added -- Jordan Bell, Treveon Graham, Jake Layman, Shabazz Napier, Noah Vonleh and Tyrone Wallance -- averaged just 6.3 points per game last season. That's the lowest mark for players added among the 29 teams that have added at least one non-rookie this summer. - In regard to vets, the New Orleans Pelicans have swapped interior players for perimeter players. The (five) non-rookies that they've added had 360 fewer '18-19 field goals, but 127 more 3-pointers than the (10) non-rookies that they've lost. Chicago is the other team with a loss in '18-19 field goals (-38) and a gain in '18-19 3-pointers (+47). - The Oklahoma City Thunder have seen the most '18-19 points walk out the door, with the six guys they've lost having scored 5,619 points last season. One thing they definitely gained in the Westbrook-Paul trade (if they keep Paul) was mid-range shooting. Paul has shot 48.9 percent from mid-range the last five seasons, the second best mark (behind only that of Kevin Durant) among 55 players with at least 1,000 mid-range attempts over that time. Westbrook (37.5 percent) ranks 52nd among the 55. - The 10 non-rookies that have left the Phoenix Suns (five that have found new NBA teams and five that haven't) racked up a cumulative plus-minus of minus-1,709 last season. None of the 10 had a positive plus-minus. The five non-rookies that they've added -- Aron Baynes, Jevon Carter, Frank Kaminsky, Ricky Rubio and Dario Saric -- had a cumulative plus-minus of plus-257. That's the league's biggest differential between players in vs. players out. - The Portland Trail Blazers improved their shooting by swapping Turner for Bazemore and Aminu (34.3 percent on 280 3-point attempts) for Anthony Tolliver (37.7 percent on 215), but are one of four teams - Brooklyn, Indiana and the Lakers are the others - that have lost six players who played at least 1,000 minutes in '18-19. They've added four. - As noted above, the San Antonio Spurs are near the top of the league in regard to continuity. But they've seen the biggest increase in free throw rate (FTA/FGA) between the non-rookies that they've gained (0.335) and the players they've lost (0.181). The pair of vets that they've added (having ranked 24th in free throw rate last season) includes DeMarre Carroll (0.421), who ranked eighth in free throw rate among non-bigs with at least 500 field goal attempts last season. - The Utah Jazz rank 13th in the percentage of '18-19 minutes they're set to bring back, but are one of five teams that have added at least 9,000 '18-19 minutes and lost at least 9,000 '18-19 minutes (when we include unsigned free agents). They parted ways with four of the eight guys that played at least 1,000 minutes for them last season, but all five of their additions - Bojan Bogdanovic, Mike Conley Jr., Ed Davis, Jeff Green and Emmanuel Mudiay - played at least 1,400 minutes. John Schuhmann is a senior stats analyst for NBA.com. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: Sports19 hr. 45 min. ago Related News

Pompeo to take up immigration, Iran on Latin America tour

  WASHINGTON, DC, USA – Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will press US efforts to curb immigration and counter Iran during a four-nation tour of Latin America, the State Department said Tuesday, July 16. Pompeo on Sunday will stop in both Mexico and El Salvador as President Donald Trump takes controversial measures ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsJul 17th, 2019Related News

2019 NBA Summer League standouts: Championship Game

A look at top performers from the Summer League Tournament Finals, on Day 11 of the action in Las Vegas and Day 14 of the overall competition: MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES Brandon Clarke, Championship Game MVP After being awarded the overall Summer League MVP earlier Monday (Tuesday, PHL time), No. 21 overall pick Clarke capped a breakout performance with a Championship Game MVP, posting 15 points, 16 rebounds, four assists and three blocks in 24 minutes. Playing as a smallball center, the 6'7" Clarke dominated yet again on both ends, and looks to be a steal after coming over in a draft night trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Grayson Allen After arriving from Utah in the trade that shipped Mike Conley Jr. to the Jazz, the 2018 No. 21 overall pick has continued to get under opponents' skin -- notably earning a double-flagrant ejection earlier in the week -- and put up a team-high 17 points (6-13 FGs) and five assists. Bruno Cabocolo Famously described as "two years away from being two years away" upon being drafted in 2014, Cabocolo caught on last season with the Grizzlies toward the end of last season and built on the performance throughout his time in Vegas. Still only 23, the 6'9" Cabocolo dropped 15 points (3-of-8 three-pointers), four rebounds and two blocks against Minnesota. Dusty Hannahs The second-year guard spent much of last season with the Memphis Hustle before earning late-season run with the senior squad. On Monday (Tuesday, PHL time), Hannahs again showed off a sharp shooting touch, knocking down 3-of-4 shots from deep while scoring 15 points off the bench. +++ MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES Kelan Martin A sparkplug scorer for the Timberwolves throughout their Tournament run, Martin keyed a Minnesota comeback with a 16-point second half. He finished with a game-high 19 points and five rebounds off the bench, shooting 3-of-7 from three-point range and 6-of-14 overall. Barry Brown Jr. Undrafted after four years at Kansas State, the 6'3" guard performed well off the bench, finishing with a stunning, game-high plus-20 mark in just 21 minutes. He finished with 12 points (5-of-7 FGs), three rebounds and an assist. Keita Bates-Diop Bates-Diop, drafted No. 48 overall in 2018, proved a consistent performer for the Timberwolves in Las Vegas, and hit several clutch shots along the way. Monday night (Tuesday, PHL time), his fourth-quarter three-pointer capped a 9-0 run that brought Minnesota within a point 24.8 seconds from the finish......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJul 16th, 2019Related News

U.S. reaffirms pact to defend PH in case of West Philippine Sea attack

MANILA, Philippines – The United States reaffirmed that it would defend Philippine forces in case of an armed attack in the South China Sea, including the portion Filipinos call the West Philippine Sea. Diplomats from both countries “recalled [US] Secretary [of State Mike] Pompeo’s statements ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsJul 16th, 2019Related News

Tina Charles, Candice Dupree lead WNBA All-Star 2019 reserves

WNBA press release NEW YORK – The New York Liberty’s Tina Charles and the Indiana Fever’s Candice Dupree lead the list of 12 players – six guards and six frontcourt players from across the WNBA – who will serve as reserves in AT&T WNBA All-Star 2019.   The reserves were selected by the league’s head coaches, who voted for three guards, five frontcourt players and four players at either position regardless of conference. The coaches were not able to vote for their own players. Joining Charles and Dupree as frontcourt reserves are the Phoenix Mercury’s DeWanna Bonner, the Minnesota Lynx’ Sylvia Fowles, the Los Angeles Sparks’ Nneka Ogwumike and the Connecticut Sun’s Alyssa Thomas. Reserves at the guard position are the Chicago Sky’s Diamond DeShields, Allie Quigley and Courtney Vandersloot, Minnesota’s Odyssey Sims, the Washington Mystics’ Kristi Toliver,  and the Indiana Fever’s Erica Wheeler. The 10 starters for AT&T WNBA All-Star 2019, announced on July 11, were selected by fans, current players and media. As the two All-Star starters who finished with the most fan votes during WNBA All-Star Voting 2019 presented by Google, Washington’s Elena Delle Donne and the Las Vegas Aces’ A’ja Wilson will serve as team captains and draft the All-Star Game rosters from the pool of players voted as starters and reserves. AT&T WNBA All-Star 2019 featuring Team Delle Donne vs. Team Wilson will be played on Saturday, July 27 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, home of the Aces. The 16th WNBA All-Star Game will be televised live by ABC at 3:30 p.m. ET. Joining Delle Donne and Wilson as starters in the frontcourt are Las Vegas’ Liz Cambage, Phoenix’s Brittney Griner, the Seattle Storm’s Natasha Howard and Connecticut’s Jonquel Jones. The four starting guards are Los Angeles’ Chelsea Gray, Seattle’s Jewell Loyd, Las Vegas’ Kayla McBride and New York’s Kia Nurse. Delle Donne and Wilson will select their respective rosters in the WNBA All-Star Draft by choosing first from the remaining pool of eight starters and then from the pool of 12 reserves.  By virtue of finishing with the most fan votes, Delle Donne will make the first pick in the first round (Starters).  Wilson will have the first pick in the second round (Reserves). Additional details about the All-Star Draft will be announced at a later date. Las Vegas head coach Bill Laimbeer and Washington head coach Mike Thibault have earned spots as the head coaches for AT&T WNBA All-Star 2019. With Las Vegas having clinched the best record in the WNBA through July 12 (10-5, .667), Laimbeer and his staff will coach Team Delle Donne. Thibault, whose Mystics posted the second-best record through July 12 (9-5, .643) will guide Team Wilson. AT&T WNBA All-Star 2019 Reserves - DeWanna Bonner, Mercury (3rd All-Star selection): The WNBA’s leading scorer (19.4 ppg), Bonner was named to the All-Star Game for the second consecutive season after sitting out the 2017 campaign when she gave birth to twins. A two-time WNBA champion with Phoenix (2009, 2014), Bonner began her career by winning WNBA Sixth Woman of the Year honors three straight seasons (2009-11). - Tina Charles, Liberty (7th All-Star selection): Charles, who this season moved into sixth place in WNBA history with 3,014 rebounds, also ranks 12th with 5,727 points. Earlier this year, she added filmmaker to her resume when the documentary she produced about her father Rawlston Charles and his Brooklyn-based record store and music label debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival. - Diamond DeShields, Sky (1st All-Star selection): Chicago’s leading scorer (14.9 ppg), DeShields, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2018 Draft, is one of three Sky guards named to the All-Star Game along with Quigley and Vandersloot. - Candice Dupree, Fever (7th All-Star selection): Now in her 14th WNBA season, Dupree recently moved past Lisa Leslie and into sixth place in league history with 6,267 points. She also ranks eighth in career rebounds with 2,880. - Sylvia Fowles, Lynx (6th All-Star selection): The WNBA’s MVP in 2017 and Finals MVP in 2015 and 2017, Fowles became the WNBA’s career leader in double-doubles (158) this season. She also ranks fourth in league history with 3,201 career rebounds, behind only Rebekkah Brunson (3,356), Tamika Catchings (3,316) and Lisa Leslie (3,306). - Nneka Ogwumike, Sparks (6th All-Star selection): Ogwumike leads the Sparks with 15.5 ppg and 9.5 rpg. The top pick in the 2012 draft, she is one of five No. 1 overall picks in this year’s All-Star Game, along with Tina Charles (2010), Brittney Griner (2013), Jewell Loyd (2015) and A’ja Wilson (2018). - Allie Quigley, Sky (3rd All-Star selection): A two-time WNBA Sixth Woman of the Year (2014, 2015), Quigley has earned three consecutive All-Star appearances since becoming a full-time starter for the Sky in 2017. Quigley won the Three-Point Shooting Contest at the 2018 WNBA All-Star Game in Minnesota. - Odyssey Sims, Lynx (1st All-Star selection): After spending the past two seasons with rival Los Angeles, Sims was acquired by Minnesota from the Sparks via a trade in April. The No. 2 overall pick in the 2014 draft, she leads the Lynx with 15.7 ppg and a career-high 5.4 apg and is the only player in the league ranking in top 10 in scoring and assists. -  Alyssa Thomas, Sun (2nd All-Star selection): Thomas, who made her All-Star debut in 2017, is the Sun’s No. 2 scorer (11.6 ppg) and rebounder (7.2 rpg) behind Jonquel Jones, an All-Star starter. - Kristi Toliver, Mystics (3rd All-Star): An All-Star for the second consecutive year as a member of the Mystics, whom she helped to the WNBA Finals last season, Toliver also represented the Sparks in the 2013 All-Star Game. - Courtney Vandersloot, Sky (2nd All-Star): Vandersloot leads the league with 8.2 assists per game a year after she set a WNBA single-season records with 8.6 apg and 258 total assists. She returns to the All-Star Game for the first time since her rookie season of 2011. - Erica Wheeler, Fever (1st time All-Star): Wheeler is the only undrafted player among the 22 players selected for AT&T WNBA All-Star 2019 and the first undrafted player named to the Game since Erika de Souza in 2014......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJul 16th, 2019Related News

PBA: Terrence Jones new tropa wants to send him back to the NBA

Over the last couple of seasons, the PBA has seen its share of super imports. Ginebra’s Justin Brownlee immediately comes to mind. Meralco’s Allen Durham and Phoenix’s Eugene Phelps fit in that mold too. Alaska’s Mike Harris is in that list as well. The uber-talented Glen Rice Jr. could have made it if he just got it together. But for the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup, TNT brought not just any other import. Tired of underperforming for the past few conferences, the KaTropa went ahead and signed former Houston Rockets forward Terrence Jones for the mid-season joust. With Jones, TNT went the super — SUPER — import route and it has been worth every penny for the KaTropa, at least so far.   ROCKET MAN Many former NBA players have played in the PBA before, that’s not a new thing. But what makes Jones special is that he’s at his peak of his powers now as he plays his first stint in the PBA. Jones is a former first-round pick and was a legitimate NBA contributor. In his best NBA season, in 2013-2014 for Houston, Jones started 71 games and had career-high numbers of 12.1 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. This dude is legit. “Oo iba, iba siya talaga,” guard RR Pogoy said of Jones. (Yes, he’s really different). In just one conference, Pogoy and Jones have clicked as teammates. Terrence has admitted that RR is one of his favorite local targets when he’s trying to spot an open teammate when opposing teams double on him. Pogoy admits that Jones is one of the best, if not the best, import he’s ever played with. “Pwedeng-pwede pa siya talaga sa NBA eh. Iba yung skills niya,” he added. (He could still play in the NBA. His skills are just different).   THE DIFFERENCE TNT has ran pretty much the same system for years. Whether you like this team or now, they know what style they want to play andd they identify players that fit that system well. The KaTropa have dominated the PBA without a traditional big man. Ask other teams, they’ve been blindsided and bamboozled by a TNT offense led by diminutive point guards like Jimmy Alapag and Jayson Castro. However, the KaTropa have hit another rough patch. The team hasn’t made it to the PBA semifinals since 2017. Their 2018 campaign was a lot like the horror 2016 year with the only difference being three seasons ago, they actually made it to the semifinals of the Governors’ Cup as a no. 1 seed. Last year, they won zero playoff games and missed the playoffs altogether once so in essence, 2018 was a worse nightmare for the KaTropa. It didn’t help that in the previous All-Filipino, they were practically a missed 24-second violation away from ending the San Miguel Beer Philippine Cup dynasty. The winning formula no longer works for TNT. Or at the very least, it’s not as effective. Enter Terrence Jones. “Malaking tulong talaga siya sa team namin. Kung ano yung kulang samin, parang fit na fit talaga siya eh. Napa-dali na lang yung mga buhay namin sa basketball,” Pogoy said of Jones. (He’s a big help to our team. What we lack, he fits right in. Our basketball lives are easier with him). “Yung rebounding tsaka yung pagka-shot blocker niya [malaking tulong]. Naiilang din yun kalaban namin eh, sa rebound naman naco-control namin kasi may malaki na kami, yun naman talaga kulang namin,” Pogoy added. (His rebounding and his presence as a shot blocker is a huge help). In 10 games so far, Jones is averaging 14.9 rebounds per game. That may not seem much for an import but he’s never had fewer than 10 in a game and has hit a high 22 rebounds. His shot blocking has helped TNT shore up its overall defense as well with Jones averaging 2.9 rejections a game with his three best performances coming against Columbian (7 blocks), Ginebra (6 blocks), and San Miguel (5 blocks). The last two teams feature perhaps the two best frontlines in the league today by a wide margin. Aside from his defensive presences, Jones is a force on offense as well, averaging 34.5 points on close to 50 percent shooting. He’s hit over 30 points eight times and over 40 points four times. Scoring will be a given for a player of his caliber but what sets him apart is his ability to locate open teammates and willingly pass the ball to them. Jones is good for at least four assists in every game and he’s topped out at 16 dimes so far. In 10 games, he’s rounding up to 7.7 assists per outing which leads all imports, and the whole league actually. “Talagang willing passer siya, hinahanap din niya talaga yung mga kasama niya. Kumbaga di niya inaako lahat yung scoring load,” forward Troy Rosario said of his new frontcourt tandem in Jones. (He’s a willing passer. He really tries to find his teammates and he’s not trying to shoulder all the scoring load). “Kami ready pa rin kami lagi. Syempre yung experience niya sa NBA talagang pinapakita niya dito, natutulungan din niya kami kung saan kami dapat lumugar sa plays kasi advanced na siya eh, kahit di na sabihin ni coach alam na niya dapat gawin,” he added. (We’re just ready as locals. He’s really showing his NBA experience here, he’s helping us to where we need to be on plays because he’s so advanced he knows what to do even before coach tells us).   THE LEADER Aside from putting up big numbers across the board, there’s one underrated factor about Terrence Jones that has led to him making a positive impact on TNT. Jones made an effort to be a leader for the KaTropa and his teammates have rallied behind him for sure. The result is in the way they play and the way they win in the Commissioner’s Cup. “I think it’s come to them [TNT locals] listening and understanding that I have a little experience on what it takes to try to win and be a good teammate,” Jones said of his leadership role with the KaTropa and how it worked out. “They listened and understood that and we’ve been having fun ever since,” he added. TNT is full of alpha-level players but Jones’ NBA resume has certainly helped in making them line up behin their import and provide support. The the KaTropa have been running like a well-oiled machince with that set up. “Leadership pa lang niya ang laking tulong na samin. As locals, ginagawa lang namin kung ano dapat namin gawin para maka-contribute din and para matulungan din siya,” Rosario said. (His leadership alone is a big help for us. As locals, we just try to do what we need to do to contribute and to help him out). “Magaling siya, isa talaga siya mga leader namin ngayon. Talagang nili-lift up niya kami, di lang sa salita pati sa gawa,” Pogoy added. (He’s great, he’s one of our leaders now. He really lifts us up not just with words but with action as well)   THE LONG ROAD BACK TO THE ASSOCIATION It would be incredible if TNT ends up having Terrence Jones as a resident import the same way Ginebra has Justin Brownlee or Phoenix has Eugene Phelps or Meralco having Allen Durham. However, the KaTropa know that their super import still has a good shot of returning to the NBA and they plan on helping him get back there. “Syempre goal namin makapasok sa playoffs, nagawa na namin yun. Ang susunod na step is next round sa playoffs. Malaking tulong din yun sa kanya kasi yung pangalan niya bumabango ulit,” Rosario said. (Our goal is to make the playoffs and we did that. Now the next step is to get to the next round of the playoffs. That’s a big help for him to get his name out there again). “Preparation na rin kasi alam namin na after dito, meron siyang invites sa mga training camps,” he added. (It’s also good preparation because we know after this, he has some invites to camps). With TNT at 9-1 and a top-2 seed in the playoffs, the team is certainly favored to win in the Commissioner’s Cup. And perhaps one of Jones’ best ways to once again get some traction is to put up great numbers for a championship team in a big league like the PBA. There’s a big check mark on the numbers part and while he can’t win a title by his lonesome, Jones has an entire tropa that has his back. “Lalo na kung mag-champion kami, mabango yung pangalan niya di ba?” Pogoy said. (If we win the championship, that’s good for his name, right?). “Marami naman nags-scout diyan, nakikita siya and maganda pinapakita niya. Feel ko [kaya bumalik sa NBA],” he added. (There’s people that scout him, seeing him and how good he’s been performing. I feel [he can make it back to the NBA]). Of course, winning a PBA championship does not directly award Jones and NBA roster spot. However, he appreciates that his team backs him up in that regard. Right now TNT’s super import is just concerned about playing well with his team and winning more games. “I appreciate it, I wish nothing but the best for all my teammates as well,” Jones said. “I hope you guys see that while we’re playing, we’re smiling and enjoying one another when anybody scores. It’s just like a family atmosphere,” he added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJul 16th, 2019Related News

Summer League winds down, and now, maybe, some NBA rest

By Tim Reynolds, Associated Press They'll hand out T-shirts to the Summer League winners following the championship game between Memphis and Minnesota in Las Vegas on Monday night (Tuesday, PHL time), and then things will finally slow down a bit in the NBA. Maybe. And probably not for long. It's been a hectic month since Toronto won the NBA championship and the so-called offseason commenced. Already this summer, 18 current and former All-Stars have changed franchises, and that number will rise to 19 if Vince Carter finds a new home for his final season. Recent NBA Finals MVPs Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant and Andre Iguodala all were among those on the move. And another three past finals MVPs — Dwyane Wade, Dirk Nowitzki and Tony Parker — all retired. So when next season begins, very little will look the same. "I think there's going to be a lot of parity," Brooklyn coach Kenny Atkinson said. "That's my gut." NBA Commissioner Adam Silver expected this summer to be loaded with player movement, and wasn't complaining about so many big names — Durant, Leonard, Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, Anthony Davis, Paul George, Kyrie Irving, Al Horford, Jimmy Butler and many more — needing to file change-of-address cards. "At the end of the day, it's positive for the league," Silver said. "I will say, though, I'm mindful of this notion of balance of power, and I think it applies in many different ways. An appropriate balance of power between the teams and the players ... at the end of the day, you want to make sure you have a league where every team is in a position to compete." There were some clear winners in free agency: Brooklyn (who got Durant and Irving), the Los Angeles Clippers (who got George and Leonard) and the Los Angeles Lakers (who got Davis) were among them. It could be argued that the Oklahoma City Thunder won as well — no, they won't be as good this season as they were this past season after trading George and Westbrook, but general manager Sam Presti has enough draft picks now to enjoy flexibility for years. The losers are clear as well: Toronto lost Leonard and Danny Green and Golden State lost Durant, so last season's finalists certainly aren't favorites to be this season's finalists. It's also easy to say that New York lost after coming up empty on the big-name free agents, but the Knicks got plenty of good players on deals that ensure the team will have money again next summer. A lookahead at what's coming, and some notes on what's gone down: SO NOW WHAT? Any NBA withdrawal will really only last about three weeks, until roughly three dozen players return to Las Vegas for USA Basketball's training camp leading up to the FIBA World Cup in China that starts on Aug. 31. San Antonio's Gregg Popovich is coaching the Americans, assisted by Golden State's Steve Kerr, Atlanta's Lloyd Pearce and Villanova's Jay Wright. Zion Williamson, knee permitting, may take part in camp as one of the young players brought in to help the more-established pros get ready. If Williamson impresses, he may get a shot at joining the varsity club. Also, this season's NBA schedule is likely to come around the second week of August, if recent years are any indicator. WHO'S LEFT? Plenty of free agents remain unsigned, and that'll still be the case even in September as training camps get ready to open. It's still hard to see the Thunder keeping Paul, acquired in the Westbrook trade to Houston, so expect at least one more blockbuster trade before too long. Or can a player who is owed $121 million over the next three seasons be bought out? Stay tuned. Carter wants to come back for a 22nd NBA season, which would be a league record. If he gets into a game after Jan. 1, he'll also become the first NBA player to appear in four different decades. Jamal Crawford remains out there as well, and contenders should be calling him. LOADED WEST Philadelphia, Boston, Brooklyn, Indiana and Miami all likely got better in the East. Milwaukee kept most of its team that won an NBA-best 60 games. The East will be good. The West might be bloody. The Clippers, the Lakers, Houston, Golden State, Denver, Utah, Portland and San Antonio could end up as the eight playoff teams in the Western Conference. It's plausible; they're probably the most realistic eight picks right now. But at least four of those teams — most of them with superstar duos that are all the rage now — won't be in the second round of next season's playoffs. LONGEVITY AWARD For now, Golden State's Stephen Curry is the longest-tenured player under contract to one team. He's entering his 11th season with the Warriors. With Nowitzki (21 seasons with Dallas) retired, Mike Conley (12 seasons with Memphis) traded to Utah and Westbrook (11 seasons with Oklahoma City) traded to Houston, no current player has had a longer uninterrupted run with one team than Curry. But if Udonis Haslem re-signs with Miami, it'll be his 17th season with the Heat. THE NUMBERS Including the $196 million extension for Portland's Damian Lillard, a $170 million extension for Denver's Jamal Murray and another in-the-works $170 million extension for Philadelphia's Ben Simmons, NBA teams have committed to spend roughly $4 billion in new deals that were struck in the last three weeks alone. And that's with 100 more signings to come, at least. That $4 billion figure is twice what the total payroll was a decade ago for every team in the league, combined......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJul 15th, 2019Related News

U.S. VP Pence visits overcrowded migrant camp, deplores crisis

WASHINGTON D.C, U.S.A – United States Vice President Mike Pence visited an overcrowded migrant camp in Texas on Friday, July 12, coming face to face with detainees held in horrific conditions and deploring an immigration crisis that he said was "overwhelming our system." Pence traveled to the Mexico border as ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsJul 13th, 2019Related News

Sorry ni Defensor ‘hindi sincere’

PINAGDUDAHAN ang pagso-sorry ni Anaka­lusugan Party-list Rep. Mike Defensor kay Presi­dential daughter at Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte at kung hindi pa ba tapos ang usapin sa speakership sa Kamara. Maalalang nakunan ng retrato at video ang screen ng smartphone ni congress­man Defensor at ito ang nilalaman: “Hi sir! I have the go signal of ........»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJul 12th, 2019Related News

Pirates challenge to rest of NCAA 95: Catch us if you can

Lyceum of the Philippines University, even without CJ Perez and MJ Ayaay, looked like the running and gunning Pirates of old at the start of the NCAA 95 Men's Basketball Tournament. Trailing fellow contender Colegio de San Juan de Letran late in their season-opener last Sunday, the Pirates unleashed the Marcelino twins, Jaycee and Jayvee. And, as always, that fast and furious backcourt did damage on both ends. For them, they were only answering the call of head coach Topex Robinson. "Sabi kasi sa amin ni coach, tayo na pinakamaliit so kailangang magdoble-effort para makuha yung panalo," Jayvee said. Jaycee only shared the same sentiment. "Paulit-ulit talaga naming sinasabi sa sarili namin na wag tayo susuko. Malaki sila so kailangan, mag-step up kaming lahat," he said. Indeed, coach Topex, a defensive-stopper himself in his playing days, has one and only one challenge for his wards - prove that height is not might. "Sabi ko sa kanila coming into the game, we have two choices, it's either we lose by just being the smallest team or we win by being the smallest team. The choice is ours," he shared. He then continued, "We might be the smallest, but what we also have is the quickest team in the league right now. We're focusing all our energy on being the smallest, but quickest team in the league and we're hoping the other teams won't catch up on our quickness." Of course, facing off against the big, bad Knights - with 6-foot-7 Larry Muyang, 6-foot-6 Paolo Javillonar, 6-foot-5 Jeo Ambohot, 6-foot-5 Christian Balagasay, and 6-foot-4 Ato Ular - will pose a problem for just about anybody. That was even more so for LPU, however, as in their showdown, their tallest players were Jayson David and Rhanzelle Yong, both standing at 6-foot-4. It didn't help either that 6-foot-6 Cameroonian power Mike Nzeusseu was also out due to a hand injury. "Dun pa lang sa parade (nung opening ceremony), grabe na nakita namin e. Kami lang maliit kasi nga wala si Mike," Jaycee said. Still, all of that didn't matter as, in the end, victory went to the "smallest, but quickest" Pirates. And if all goes according to plan throughout the rest of the tournament, then there just may not be sinking them out of contention. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJul 11th, 2019Related News

PBA: Rejuvenated Castro is Player of the Week

Jayson Castro is back doing what he does best for TnT Katropa. The veteran guard has churned out solid numbers for the Katropa in their last two outings in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup, both blowout wins against Rain or Shine and Blackwater. Castro showed an all-around game with averages of 14.0 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 7.5 assists in the twin victories won by the team behind a whooping margin of 19.5 points. As TnT clinches a twice-to-beat advantage heading into the playoffs, Castro emerged as unanimous choice as PBA Press Corps-Cignal Player of the Week for July 1-7. The two-time best point guard of Asia garnered the most number of votes out of the 12 players nominated for the weekly citation. Others who earned votes from the PBAPC include Reden Celda of Columbian Dyip and Barangay Ginebra’s Stanley Pringle. Meanwhile those who were nominated aside from the three were Roger Pogoy (TnT), Nico Elorde (NorthPort), Mark Borboran (Rain or Shine), Japeth Aguilar (Barangay Ginebra), CJ Perez and Rashawn McCarthy (Columbian Dyip), and Mike Digregorio, Bobby Ray Parks, and Allein Malik (Blackwater). Castro finished three rebounds short of completing a triple-double in the Katropa’s 115-97 rout of Blackwater. The 33-year-old native of Bacolor, Pampanga finished with 13 points, seven rebounds, 10 assists, two steals, and with no turnovers against the Elite. Four days earlier, Castro hit 15 points, six rebounds, and five assists as the Katropa downed the Elasto Painters, 102-81. His heroics had the Katropa stretching their winning streak in the tournament to seven games for a league-best 9-1 (win-loss) record and a shot of clinching the no. 1 seed in the playoffs. TnT plays its remaining game at the end of the eliminations on July 17 against Magnolia......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJul 11th, 2019Related News

Sara dares solon to name source of controversial SMS

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 10 July) – Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio hit Anak Kalusugan partylist Representative Mike Defensor for releasing a text message that he claimed was from the presidential daughter and dared him to drop the name of the person spreading the “disinformation.” Carpio said in a statement that Defensor should stop sowing intrigue and […].....»»

Source: Mindanews MindanewsCategory: NewsJul 10th, 2019Related News

Mayor Sara nainis, Defensor nag-sorry

ITINANGGI ni presidential daughter at Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte Carpio na sa kanya galing ang text na nagsasabing na-setup lamang si Pangulong Duterte ng mga miyembro ng Gabinete nito upang ideklarang speaker si Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano. Sa isang pahayag, hinamon ng mayora si Anakalusugan Rep. Mike Defensor na tigilan na ang pagkakalat […] The post Mayor Sara nainis, Defensor nag-sorry appeared first on Bandera......»»

Source: Inquirer InquirerCategory: NewsJul 10th, 2019Related News

2019 NBA Summer League standouts: Day 8

A look at top performers from Day 5 of the action in Las Vegas and Day 8 of the overall Summer League: Get your first look at the NBA’s top Rookies during NBA Summer League LIVE on NBA League Pass! +++ Tyler Herro, Miami Heat A variety of players have kept the Heat perfect in Las Vegas, and on Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time) it was Herro's turn to step into that role. His textbook shooting form was on target all game as he scored 25 points with a pair of three-pointers and added seven rebounds and five assists. While his three-point shooting has been inconsistent, Herro has found ways to score in Summer League. Alize Johnson, Indiana Pacers Atlanta ran away with the win, but Johnson was a bright spot in Indiana's blowout loss. He finished with a double-double (18 points, 10 rebounds), marking his second consecutive such game in Summer League. The Pacers have to be pleased with the offensive development their 2018 second-round pick is showing. Anfernee Simons, Portland Trail Blazers Another day in Las Vegas, another 30-point game for Portland. Simons was electric against the Jazz, scoring 35 points (13-for-18 overall, 6-for-7 on three-pointers) while also contributing in other areas. Like most rookies a season ago, Simons struggled on defense. But he came up with two steals and showed some improvement on that end. Tony Bradley, Utah Jazz The second-year center has been a steady performer for the Jazz all summer and continued that against Portland. He came up clutch late with a pair of free throws to seal the win as he finished with 17 points and seven rebounds. The Jazz could use some frontcourt depth and Bradley could be making his case for more minutes this season. Brandon Goodwin, Denver Nuggets The second-year guard was perhaps the sole reason Denver was in the game against Boston. Goodwin's strategy of calling his own number paid off often as he scored 28 points in all manner of ways. He was particularly aggressive attacking the rim, nailing a couple of nice buckets in the paint over the Celtics' 7'7" fan favorite, Tacko Fall. Carsen Edwards, Boston Celtics Scoring was Edwards' forte as a star at Purdue and he showcased those abilities off the bench against the Nuggets. He dropped 23 points -- and shot 5-for-7 on three-pointers -- and dazzled with his ballhandling, too. With Celtics boss Danny Ainge and coach Brad Stevens both watching at Cox Pavilion, Edwards showed out in a big way in the win. Chris Boucher & Malcolm Miller, Toronto Raptors Toronto has to be happy how its two young prospects fared win against the New York Knicks. Both of them had identical shooting performances (7-for-14) and both scored in double figures (19 for Miller; 23 for Boucher). Setting an aggressive tone for the Raptors, they combined for 15 rebounds while Boucher added two blocks. Chris Clemons, Houston Rockets An undrafted rookie, Clemons showed off the shooting touch that made him a solid player in college. In fact, he shot better from three-point range (6-for-11) than he did overall (6-for-15) against the Sacramento Kings. Houston's love of shooters is well known, and Clemons' showing with coach Mike D'Antoni in the Cox Pavilion crowd should help his cause......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJul 10th, 2019Related News

Manny Pacquiao in good hands with cutman

There’s a new man on the block in Manny Pacquiao’s team and he’s called the crime-fighting cutman. Mike Rodriguez, a homicide detective from Los Angeles, was called by Freddie Roach to join the band of brothers over a week ago and will make his debut in Pacquiao’s corner for the Keith Thurman fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on July 20......»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: SportsJul 10th, 2019Related News

Kim mas gumanda at sumeksi nang makipaghiwalay sa dyowang cager

NAUWI rin sa hiwalayan ang halos tatlong taong relasyon ng Kapuso sexy actress na si Kim Domingo kay Mike Acuña. One month na pala silang break ng kanyang ex-boyfriend. Sa nakaraang mediacon ng bago niyang teleserye sa GMA, ang Hanggang Sa Dulo Ng Buhay Ko, natanong ng entertainment press kung ano ang dahilan ng kanilang […] The post Kim mas gumanda at sumeksi nang makipaghiwalay sa dyowang cager appeared first on Bandera......»»

Source: Inquirer InquirerCategory: NewsJul 9th, 2019Related News

Hiwalayang Kim Domingo, Mike Acuña gimik lang

Bokya ang naging ending ng relasyon ni Kim Domingo sa boyfriend niyang si Mike Acuña. Take note, nag-live in na ang dalawa noon, pero hindi pa rin na-ging matatag ang ka-nilang pagsasama. Iwas nga lang ang Kapuso actress na sabihin ang detalye ng hiwalayan nila ng boyfriend nang tanungin siya ng press sa mediacon ng kinabibila-ngang Kapuso series na “Hanggang Sa Dulo ng […]The post Hiwalayang Kim Domingo, Mike Acuña gimik lang appeared first on Abante News Online......»»

Source: Abante AbanteCategory: NewsJul 9th, 2019Related News

PBA: Brownlee will take his Jordan comparison and go

Justin Brownlee was so in the zone Sunday for Manila Clasico that head coach Tim Cone went ahead and compared his super import to Michael Jordan himself. Yep, Coach Tim went the GOAT route. Sure enough, Browlee supplied a Jordanesque performance in leading Ginebra to victory, firing a career-high 49 points on 75 percent shooting from the field The league’s reigning Best Import also added 20 rebounds and seven assists just to make sure. “Oh man, that’s a great compliment and comparison,” Brownlee said of Cone’s MJ comment. “I definitely appreciate it but man, that’s a bad man [MJ] to be compared to. I just really appreciate it and take the compliment,” he added. Brownlee certainly wasn’t trying to be like Mike against Magnolia Sunday, he was just trying to be aggressive enough to help his Gin Kings get a crucial win. In doing so he did play much like Jordan for his team and there’s really nothing wrong with that. “I know it's a big game for us, its a great opportunity for us to clinch a spot in the playoffs and just try to defend our crown,” Brownlee said. “So we just wanted to come out and be aggressive and just whatever it takes to win this game,” he added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJul 8th, 2019Related News

Who s on second? All-Star Game set to trot out free runners

By Ben Walker, Associated Press CLEVELAND (AP) — Picture this, baseball fans. All-Star Game tied 4-all Tuesday night at Progressive Field, flamethrower Aroldis Chapman set to face rookie sensation Pete Alonso to start the top of the 10th inning. But, wait! Before the first pitch, Kris Bryant casually trots from the National League dugout to take a lead off second base. "Kind of weird," offered Jeff McNeil, the majors' top hitter this year. Already employed in the minors, the World Baseball Classic and Olympic softball, a new rule takes effect this week in front of a major league audience: Every extra inning in All-Star play — top half and bottom — begins with an automatic runner at second. "Oh, they are doing it?" asked Atlanta manager Brian Snitker, an NL coach. Yes, they are. The crowd in Cleveland got a glimpse of the future, maybe, on Sunday night when the Futures Game used the rule for an inning. No one scored, and the showcase for young talent wound up in a tie. Could be timely in the bigs, too. The last two All-Star Games both went extras — Robinson Cano hit a leadoff homer in the 10th at Miami in 2017, Alex Bregman did the same last year in Washington. Plus, there was the 15-inning affair at Yankee Stadium in 2008 and the dreaded 2002 game in Milwaukee that was declared a very unpopular tie after the 11th. Naturally, in a sport where change comes slowly, not everyone is thrilled with this experiment. To many, instant intentional walks, constant shifts and talk about robot umpires has skewed the game enough. If it's any consolation, commissioner Rob Manfred says there are no foreseeable plans to put free runners on base in the regular season. "I know how people are against it, especially players in the game. Yeah, the tradition is big in this sport, just like a lot of top-tier sports," Baltimore pitcher John Means said. An All-Star this year, Means saw the test firsthand last year at Triple-A. So did Tampa Bay All-Star outfielder Austin Meadows. "I might have been a runner on second, but I've definitely seen it happen a lot," Meadows said. "I don't think it's a bad idea at all. We're going to play nine innings and get on with the second half," he said. Some teams actually tried this out during spring training, starting with ties in the ninth. San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy was the first to give it a go — mass confusion ensued, mostly because he forgot to tell his players what was happening. Oakland right-hander Liam Hendriks realizes he could be on the spot Tuesday night. "It's not an ideal scenario for a reliever because we're the ones that get stuck with it," he said. "You're coming into a situation already with the guy on base in a tie game, there's so many possibilities that can happen." "I understand the reasoning behind it, like in the All-Star Game, to kind of shorten the game up, theoretically," he said. "You don't have as many pitchers in the game. You don't have a starter going five, six, seven, eight innings." He's willing to give it a try. "For the All-Star Game, I understand it. And now with home-field advantage not being decided by it, I don't think it's the worst thing in the world," he said. The automatic runner will be the player who made the last out of the previous inning. But in a caveat, players who have left the All-Star Game can re-enter to run. For official scoring purposes, if a freebie scores, it will count as an unearned run. Meaning, in theory, a team could pitch a perfect game and still lose. As for strategy, what to do with that runner? Definitely depends on which team is up first. "There's a lot of different ways you can play it, too. I mean, you can either bunt him over or swing to get him over, or you can try to hit. You've got to play for more than one run there," McNeil said. That's fine with Alonso, his New York Mets teammate. Alonso has hit 30 home runs this season — he's never put down a sacrifice in college, the minors or the majors, and isn't about to start now, even if he leads off the 10th with a runner on second. "I'm not going to bunt, that's for sure," he said. And, he doesn't think Major League Baseball should change its approach. "For me, I'm kind of an old-school guy. I like just playing it like a regular game. I think that's kind of the most natural way to go about it," Alonso said. "Since the Civil War, the bags haven't moved, the mound hasn't moved and the rules haven't changed until recently. So I think in the big leagues it should stay the way it is," he said. ___ AP Baseball Writer Mike Fitzpatrick, AP Sports Writer Charles Odum and AP freelance writers Mark Didtler, Chris Talbott and Ian Harrison contributed to this report......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJul 8th, 2019Related News

Like Mike: Cone compares Brownlee to Jordan in Clasico explosion

MANILA, Philippines – Justin Brownlee was not short of spectacular as Barangay Ginebra crushed Magnolia in another edition of the Manila Clasico, and for coach Tim Cone, his import played like the man considered as the greatest of all time.  Cone compared Brownlee to NBA legend Michael Jordan after firing ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsJul 7th, 2019Related News