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Godzilla Returns: Netflix Announces 2021 New Anime Series Godzilla Singular Point

Netflix announces an all new original anime series Godzilla Singular Point featuring a brand new cast and original story. The new series is set to premiere globally on Netflix in 2021. Singular Point, from director Atsushi Takahashi (Doraemon the Movie 2017: Great Adventure in the Antarctic Kachi Kochi), will follow the success of Godzilla anime […].....»»

Category: newsSource: metrocebu metrocebuOct 8th, 2020

Pinoy Pride: First look at Trese anime adaptation coming soon on Netflix

The anime series will premiere in 2021......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsOct 27th, 2020

Nanno Returns! Netflix Starts Production of Girl from Nowhere Season 2

Netflix announced the start of production of Thai hit series, Girl From Nowhere Season 2, in Bangkok. The brand new season will be exclusively available on Netflix. Season 1 of the Thai mystery series has been well received by Netflix viewers both in its home country of Thailand and internationally for its unconventional storytelling and […].....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 25th, 2020

Stranger Season 2 Returns with More Twists and Suspense

Critically acclaimed crime thriller series Stranger is returning with its second season, available exclusively on Netflix. Stranger Season 2 features familiar faces as well as fresh ones. Hwang Si-mok (Cho Seung-woo) and Han Yeo-jin (Bae Doo-na) join forces once again as they set out to discover the truth. Seo Dong-jae (Lee Joon-hyuk) and Lee Yeon-jae […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  metrocebuRelated NewsAug 12th, 2020

Pinoy comic series na Trese, magkakaroon ng anime adaptation: Netflix anime director

Manila, Philippines – Inanunsyo ng executive director for anime ng Netflix na si Taito Okiura na magkakaroon ng adaptation para sa Pinoy graphic novel series nila Budjette Tan at Kajo Baldissimo na “Trese”. Ayon sa Netflix, ang “Trese” ay naganap sa Maynila kung saan nagtatago sa mga tao ang mythical creatures ng Philippine folklore. Ito […] The post Pinoy comic series na Trese, magkakaroon ng anime adaptation: Netflix anime director appeared first on REMATE ONLINE......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 29th, 2020

Computer plate umps allowed in new labor deal

By Ben Walker and Ronald Blum, Associated Press NEW YORK (AP) — Computer plate umpires could be called up to the major leagues at some point during the next five seasons. Umpires agreed to cooperate with Major League Baseball in the development and testing of an automated ball-strike system as part of a five-year labor contract announced Saturday, two people familiar with the deal told The Associated Press. The Major League Baseball Umpires Association also agreed to cooperate and assist if Commissioner Rob Manfred decides to utilize the system at the major league level. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because those details of the deal, which is subject to ratification by both sides, had not been announced. The independent Atlantic League became the first American professional league to let a computer call balls and strikes at its All-Star Game on July 10. Plate umpire Brian deBrauwere wore an earpiece connected to an iPhone in his pocket and relayed the call upon receiving it from a TrackMan computer system that uses Doppler radar. The Atlantic League experimented with the computer system during the second half of its season, and the Arizona Fall League of top prospects used it for a few dozen games this year at Salt River Fields. MLB has discussed installing the system at the Class A Florida State League for 2020. If that test goes well, the computer umps could be used at Triple-A in 2021 as bugs are dealt with prior to a big league callup. "It would change the game for the good. It would continue the effort to eliminate human deficiency," Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt wrote in a story for The Associated Press in October. "We have replay everywhere else in the game. Like it or not, replay gets the call right." Several AFL prospects praised the TrackMan system for calls on the inside and outside corners but said it struggled with breaking balls low or high in the strike zone. "This idea has been around for a long time and it's the first time it's been brought to life in a comprehensive way," Morgan Sword, MLB's senior vice president of economics and operations, said on the night the Atlantic League experiment started. Humans still will be needed to determine checked swings and to make sure TrackMan doesn't call a strike on a pitch that bounces and goes through the strike zone. "I think it's a little naive to think that simply letting computers generate strike or ball," Houston manager AJ Hinch said during the World Series. "It's incredibly naive to think that there's not going to be pitfalls in that scenario, as well." Humans will make safe/out calls — subject to video review back in the New York control room, a system that started on home run calls in 2008 and extended in 2014 to many umpire decisions. There were 1,356 video reviews during the 2019 regular season, taking an average of 1 minute, 16 seconds. MLB said 597 calls or 44% were overturned, 277 or 20% confirmed and 463 or 34% allowed to stand because there was not enough evidence to confirm or overturned. The remaining 19 calls were for rules checks or record keeping. As part of the labor contract, the sides agreed to raises in compensation and retirement benefits along with provisions to allow earlier retirement......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 22nd, 2019

Markelle Fultz slowly regaining confidence with Magic

By Sekou Smith, NBA.com ATLANTA -- You can see glimpses of it, flashes even, of the bounce and instincts that made him the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 Draft. It’s still there. The lift off the floor to battle with players four and five inches taller for rebounds, the behind-the-back, no-look pass on a dead sprint that a teammate couldn’t finish. It’s not as consistent as he might like it to be, not yet. And there are still those awkward moments, those times when he looks like he’s leaning back as he rises to shoot a jump shot or that hitch he’s worked so hard to eliminate from his form causes a momentary pause in his motion. He’s working through the process every moment and every minute on the floor. This is how it’s going to be for Markelle Fultz, at least for the foreseeable future. The restoration process the Orlando Magic guard is immersed in right now won’t be completed overnight, no matter how badly Fultz or the Magic want it to turn out that way. Patience is the key right now for Fultz because he still doesn’t play with the freedom his mercurial talent suggested he would when the Philadelphia 76ers made him the top pick. If it takes moments to rebuild the confidence lost throughout his struggles in his first two seasons in the league, so be it. There’s no added pressure from a Magic team that returns the core of a roster that won the Southeast Division last season and battled the Toronto Raptors in a first-round playoff series. “It’s like that, yeah, 100 percent,” Fultz said of the moments he’s experiencing now after having played in just 33 games in his two seasons with the Sixers. “But I put in a lot of work for this moment and I’m just glad to be on the court. But I’ve always had confidence, growing up where I grew up you always had to have confidence. You just got to have an edge to you and every time I step on that court I believe in myself and I believe in my teammates and I just go out there and play.” He acknowledged that playing off the bench for a team and organization that won’t pressure him to skips any steps in the rehabilitation process is the best place for him to continue plotting his course. And so far, so good, Fultz is the Magic’s third-leading scorer (12.0) behind Evan Fournier and All-Star big man Nikola Vucevic after two games. He wasn’t shy in the Magic’s 103-99 loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday night (Sunday, PHL time) at State Farm Arena. He took seven shots in his first 11 minutes on the floor, going 3-for-7 overall and 2-for-5 from beyond the three-point line. “I shot all my shots with confidence,” Fultz said after finishing with 12 points (4-for-11), three assists, three rebounds and no turnovers. “And it’s only a matter of time before they start falling. A few fell tonight and I’m just going to keep shooting.” Watching Fultz and second-year Hawks point guard Trae Young work against one another for the final four minutes at State Farm Arena Saturday night (Sunday, PHL time) was an interesting contrast of how things can work when the circumstances are optimal, and when they are something far less than that. Young is already the undeniable leader of a young team in the foundational stage of their process. He’s in complete command of what Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce wants done, while still needing to smooth out the rough edges of his game as he continues to mature physically. Young's belief in his own abilities and what he can do on the floor, however, shines through in the way he plays. (Two games into this season he’s averaging 38.5 points and shooting 58 percent from the floor and 55 percent from beyond the 3-point line to go along with nine rebounds and seven assists). He put the game away for the Hawks in the final minute, driving past Fultz for a layup and then banking a three-pointer over Fultz’s outstretched arm with 25.1 seconds to play, back-to-back plays that had the crowd roaring and punctuated Young’s masterful 39-point, nine-assist, seven-rebound night. “We made two big mistakes on him in the last two minutes, things we had done the whole second half,” Magic coach Steve Clifford said. “We let him get away from a screen once and we went under once and he hit both shots. And those are mistakes you shouldn’t make." Fultz, of course, is still working on that part of his game. Clifford’s decision to go with him, instead of starter D.J. Augustin or former Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams, speaks volumes about the confidence being placed in Fultz this season. And if what he’s shown early on, both in training camp and the preseason as well as the Magic’s first two games, is any indication, those flashes, those bursts of the breathtaking play he’s capable of might stretch into something much more significant. “It shows the trust and it shows the work I put in,” Fultz said of Clifford's decision to go with him for those final four, crunch-time minutes. “And for me, it’s learning experiences. Every time I can step on the floor and learn and just be the best player I can be. And down the stretch, that’s one of the best times to be on the court, when all the pressure’s on you. I definitely learned a lot out there tonight being out there in that time. But again, it just shows the trust and shows that I have to keep working." Sekou Smith is a veteran NBA reporter and NBA TV analyst. 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......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 27th, 2019

MLB attendance drops in boom-bust era of big winners, losers

By Ronald Blum, Associated Press NEW YORK (AP) — Major League Baseball has entered the Boom/Bust Era. An unprecedented four teams are set to win 100 games in the same season, perhaps even five. Four clubs lost in triple figures for only the second time. Amid widespread claims the baseballs have changed, hitters shattered the home run record for the second time in three seasons. And sparked by batters going for the fences to beat suffocating shifts, strikeouts set a record for the 12th year in a row and outnumbered hits for the second straight season. With some teams out of contention even before their first pitch, average attendance has dropped four years in a row for the first time since the commissioner's office started tracking it in 1980. "We're going to draw 68-plus million people at the big league level," baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said this week, "another 41 million in minor league baseball — they're actually going to be up. I'll take 110 million people going to see the sport live. That's a really, really awesome number in an environment where people have more and more and more alternatives to consume." More and more teams have adopted an all-in or all-out philosophy. If they don't think they can win it, why bother to be in it? Better to shed expensive veterans and rebuild with cheaper rookies — and incur the box-office hit. Management calls that prudent rebuilding. The players' association labels it tanking. "We have some of the most remarkably talented players our game has seen as a whole in a long time," union head Tony Clark said. "But the willful failure of too many franchises to field competitive teams and put their best players on the field is unquestionably hurting our industry." San Francisco has dropped from 3.2 million fans at home to about 2.7 million, Seattle and Toronto both from 2.3 million to about 1.8 million. Baltimore drew 1.3 million, its lowest total at home in a non-strike shortened season since 1978. Kansas City's 1.5 million is its lowest since 2006. While Philadelphia rose by about 500,000 following the signing of Bryce Harper and Minnesota by 300,000 during the Twins' winningest regular season in a half-century and San Diego by over 200,000 after adding Manny Machado, about half the teams are headed to declines. This year's drop was just around 2% with three days left in the regular season, from 28,830 to 28,252, but the final average should rise slightly after weekend games. The average fell below 30,000 last year for the first time since 2003. Manfred points to increases in television viewers. Fox is up 9% this year and at a seven-year high, and local broadcasts are first in prime time in 24 of 25 markets. Use of MLB's At-Bat app is up 18%. Still, wins and attendance are correlated in many markets. "We've lost a lot of games this year, a few more than we wanted to, but ultimately it's about getting on the right side of things and sometimes you do have to take a step back," said Mariners manager Scott Servais, whose team entered the weekend 66-93. "The disparity in the game between the top and the bottom, it's real. There's no question about it. Is it good for the game? I don't know. I do know that there are a lot of really smart people that work in front offices and ownership groups and they do realize that sometimes you do need to pull back, and that's what we're doing, and I'm all in because I think it's going to work." Houston (104 wins), the Los Angeles Dodgers (103) and New York Yankees (102) all broke the century mark with time to spare, and Minnesota (99) and Atlanta had a chance to join them. It's the third consecutive year three teams have reached 100 — before this run it occurred only in 1942, 1977, 1998, 2002 and 2003. Detroit (112), Baltimore (107), Miami (103) and Kansas City (101) gave baseball four 100-loss teams for the first time since 2002. One-sided season series included Houston going 18-1 against Seattle and the Yankees 17-1 vs. Baltimore. "Whether a team loses 95 or loses 100, I just don't see that as a relevant issue," Manfred said. "I think the more important point is that we have different clubs from all sorts of market sizes that are successful." Players are upset that many teams failed to pursue free agents the last two offseasons, executives concentrating two-to-five years into the future rather than trying to win now. "Each free agent market is a little bit different, but what we have seen that seems to be consistent over these last two markets is this all-in and all-out mentality," Clark said. Still, spending and success are not completely linked. Tampa Bay, last in payroll at $66 million, has a chance to make the playoffs along with Oakland, 25th at $95 million. Three of the six highest payrolls failed to reach the postseason: No. 1 Boston ($228 million), the No. 3 Chicago Cubs ($217 million) and No. 6 San Francisco ($181 million). Throughout the game, the increase in home runs and strikeouts has been a constant. The 6,647 home runs through Thursday were up 19% from last year and well above the previous record of 6,105 in 2017. About half the clubs are on track to establish team records, led by Minnesota (301) and the Yankees (299), who set the previous big league mark of 267 last year. Already 128 players have hit 20 or more homers, 11 more than the old high set in 2017, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Among that group, 55 have reached 30 to better the record of 47 that had stood since 2000. And 23 pitchers have 200 or more strikeouts, topping the post-1900 record of 18 in both 2015 and last year, Elias said. Baseball's efforts to quicken the pace of games have not resulted in swifter play: the average time of a nine-inning game is 3:05:35, up from 3:00:44 last year and 3:05:11 in 2017. MLB and players have agreed to cut the active roster size from Sept. 1 on from 40 to 28 and increase the maximum from 25 to 26 from opening day through Aug. 31, which should cut down on late-season pitching changes. Management has not decided whether to exercise its right to install pitch clocks and a three-batter minimum for next year. "We'll have a final answer once I have a chance to review the issue with ownership in November," Manfred said. On-field rules are part of collective bargaining. The sides agreed last winter to an early start to negotiations for a labor deal to replace the agreement that expires in December 2021. But there have been just three negotiating meetings, one of them a preliminary session, and the labor rules will remain unchanged this offseason. "We made a deal in 2016. We're good," Manfred said. "The union's got to decide what it is they want us to consider. When they're ready to do that, I'm sure they will make a proposal." Said Clark: "We have had conversations. We anticipate those conversations continuing and at the point in time that they lend themselves to proposals from both sides, then we'll do so." ___ AP Sports Writer Tim Booth contributed to this report......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 28th, 2019

30 Teams in 30 Days: Rockets see Harden, Westbrook team up

Like most summers in the NBA, the 2019 edition was chock full of trades, free agent news and player movement. From the defending-champion Toronto Raptors to just about every other team in the league, change was the most applicable word when it came to describing team rosters for the 2019-20 season. With the opening of training camps just around the corner, NBA.com's Shaun Powell will evaluate the state of each franchise as it sits today -- in order of regular-season finish from 2018-19 -- as we look at 30 teams in 30 days. * * * Today's team: Houston Rockets 2018-19 Record: 53-29, lost to the Warriors in the conference semifinals Key additions: Russell Westbrook (trade), Tyson Chandler (free agency), Ben McLemore (free agency) Key departures: Chris Paul The lowdown: Juiced by yet another epic, and on some levels, historic season by James Harden, the Rockets amassed 50 wins, reached the playoffs and were denied (again) by the Golden State Warriors. As in 2018, this ouster was met with a high degree of frustration. The year before, Houston lost Paul to a hamstring injury late in the series and fell in Game 7 of the Western Conference finals. This time, the Rockets were unable to beat a Golden State team that clinched the series in Game 6 without Kevin Durant (who got injured in Game 5 of the series), a cold slap of an ending to Houston's realistic Finals hopes. In one of the NBA's all-time best offensive seasons, Harden averaged 36.1 points per game and revived Houston's season while Paul was on the mend from yet another injury. Harden scored 30 or more in 32 straight games, scored 50 or more nine times and had two 61-point games. He was a singular force with the ball and didn’t show any wear in the postseason. Unlike Paul, Harden was a symbol of sturdiness and strength, averaging 36.8 minutes per game in 78 games played. Paul played only 58 games, although when healthy he was respectable (8.2 apg) and at times looked like an All-Star. However, his customarily high level of play dropped a few floors. Eric Gordon played solid enough to earn a max extension, and Clint Capela gave the Rockets a front-line weapon at both ends. The Carmelo Anthony experience folded after 10 games, but Houston got supporting help from Austin Rivers and PJ Tucker (who was noticeably effective in the playoffs). Another effective-yet-disappointing year was unacceptable to ownership and, quite honestly, the locker room as well. Summer summary: When he purchased the Rockets for $2.2 billion a few years ago, owner Tilman Fertitta was a reasonable and patient man. He pledged his faith in GM Daryl Morey, sung the gospel of Harden and thought the world of Paul. But everyone has their limits and Fertitta was clearly discouraged by the manner and speed in which the Rockets were bounced last season. Something had to be done and a big opportunity presented itself. When Kawhi Leonard signed with the LA Clippers and convinced Paul George to request a trade from the Oklahoma City Thunder, it led to Westbrook being available. While this was happening, Harden and Paul were having relationship issues, or at least that was the word in Rockets’ circles. Just two years earlier they were thrilled to be teammates and even made commercials together. Now, they were on the outs. Therefore, the solution was simple: Trade Paul and his hefty contract for Westbrook and his hefty contract, and reunite a pair of Kia MVP winners. Advantage, Rockets? It bears repeating that Harden and Westbrook are tight and respectful of each other’s accomplishments, because this will be worth revisiting if this attempt to help Harden win a ring fails like the others. That relationship is the selling point, because based purely on styles of play, this appears to be major clash. Both players need the ball, perhaps more than any two players in the NBA right now, if not in history. They’re high-usage talents, meaning, they work best when creating opportunities for themselves or teammates and neither can happen if they’re playing off the ball. Westbrook has never done that in his NBA life and Harden only did so briefly as a youngster with OKC. Harden gave the trade his blessing, and once the deal was done, both players said all the right things -- if anything, they scolded any observers who dared to raise the obvious. Can it work? Well, sure, but it’ll take some concessions by both players, and coach Mike D’Antoni must change (if not overhaul) his system in order to accommodate this duo. Meanwhile, the Rockets are somewhat on the clock. It is not to say that Harden and Westbrook are approaching their sunset years, but the chances of playing for a title are increased if the two players click sooner than later. There’s also a question of what Westbrook has left. His efficiency and 3-point shooting faded last season. Will defenses respect him when he’s left open in Houston? He at least appears to have more in the tank than Paul, which was another reason the Rockets were anxious to make this swap. For all of his explosiveness, Westbrook is rather durable and dependable; the same can’t be said of Paul as he approaches his mid-30s. Westbrook was sad to leave OKC, the only team he’d ever known, a city that embraced him and a franchise that gave him a supermax contract. Now he’s going to a new team where the demand for June basketball will only increase. The last time he and Harden were teammates, they did play in June, where they lost to LeBron James and the Miami Heat in 2012. Can they make a triumphant return together? Given all they’ve accomplished -- MVPs, scoring titles, triple-doubles, All-Star appearances -- they’re certainly due. A championship is all they’re missing. Shaun Powell has covered the NBA for more than 25 years. 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. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 26th, 2019

Monstrous night for boxing: Donaire vs Godzilla on Nov. 7

NONITO Donaire is taking on Japanese Naoya Inoue – popularly known as Godzilla back home – on Nov. 7. The Japanese KO artist has terrorized the bantamweight division with his terrifying display of power. The Donaire-Inoue battle set at the Saitama Super Arena will be the finals of the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) tournament that featured […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  tempoRelated NewsAug 9th, 2019

Leonard-George tandem turns Clippers into legit contender

By Shaun Powell, NBA.com At the moment of truth, Kawhi Leonard went against his persona and caused a shakeup that wasn’t so quiet after all. Quite stunning, actually, was the Friday (Saturday, PHL time) series of events that directly affected four teams, caused a major trade of unprecedented details, and influenced the NBA Finals MVP to sign a free agent contract with the Clippers and instantly turning a franchise without a banner into a hardcore contender. Get your first look at the NBA’s top Rookies during NBA Summer League LIVE on NBA League Pass! Leonard is now joined by Paul George, who finished third in the 2018-19 MVP balloting and who requested a trade from Oklahoma City at the 11th hour to essentially swap Russell Westbrook for Leonard. The Clippers are now bringing a pair of swingman who excel on both ends of the floor, giving them the sort of dynamic tandem that’s almost required to win a title these days. The price for George was steep — basically, the Clippers surrendered more for George than the Lakers did for Anthony Davis. They handed over a chunk of their future, with three unprotected first-round picks (2022, 2024 and 2026) belonging to the Clippers, a pair of coveted Heat first rounders (2021 unprotected and 2023 protected 1-14) that were owned by LA, and the option to swap first-rounders with the Clippers in 2023 and 2025. OKC also gets 20-year-old point guard Shai-Gilgeous Alexander and veteran shooter Danilo Gallinari. And so the Clippers drastically changed their personality in the span of a few years, replacing the “Lob City” era of Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan with a feisty defensive club led by Kawhi, George, Pat Beverley and Montrezl Harrell. It’s also a team with three reputable scorers as well: Kawhi, George and Lou Williams. Imagine: The Clippers just upstaged the Lakers in an offseason where the Lakers added Davis to join LeBron James. Adding to the intrigue is the presence of Jerry West, the Laker Hall of Famer whose reign as general manager helped raise multiple banners, but whose touch as a consultant with the Clippers in this process is undeniable. Two summers ago when he joined the Clippers after serving the same role with the Warriors, it was West who persuaded the Clippers to trade Griffin, whom they just gave a maximum contract, to the Pistons. West believed Griffin’s best years were behind him and thought the Clippers would be better as a team with more salary cap flexibility going forward. Plus, West and GM Lawrence Frank traded Tobias Harris, the team’s leading scorer, to Philly at the February deadline rather than re-sign Harris this summer in free agency. All of this was done with the idea of signing an impact player in mind, and Leonard was that player and the Clippers’ top target over the last year. Leonard’s appeal to the Clippers was evident and easy to understand. He’s a player who can score 25 points and grab 7-8 rebounds and lock down his man on the other end of the floor. And of course, he just led the Raptors to a championship without being generously helped by a fellow superstar. Interestingly, Leonard had the option of having not just one, but two fellow superstars this summer had he chosen the Lakers. LeBron and Davis and Leonard would make for a championship favorite, especially when you add Kyle Kuzma to the mix. In the end, Leonard wanted to beat the Lakers, not join them. The Lakers still bring those three players, though, and will now garnish the team with minimum-waged players to fill out the roster. Already, Danny Green announced he’ll sign a two-year, $15 million deal with the Lakers, and Rajon Rondo is perhaps not far behind. Both the Lakers and Clippers could compete in the coming days for DeMarcus Cousins as well. The team harmed the most, at least in the immediate sense, is OKC. With the amount of top competitors in the West — Clippers, Lakers, Rockets, Nuggets, Jazz and Blazers among others — the Thunder likely will take a step back and could enter a semi-rebounding phase without George. Also: Could OKC be forced to part ways with Westbrook? The former MVP struggled at times last season and especially in the playoffs, and turns 31 in November, and is on a max contract. It’s not the type of atmosphere that fits Westbrook, who’ll soon enter his twilight. Thunder GM Sam Presti, if nothing else, has shown a willingness to do whatever it takes if it works for OKC. Lastly, there’s the Raptors, who must now go forward without their lone superstar. There are no other players on the level of Leonard that Toronto can chase this offseason. In addition, the core of their rotation is on expiring contracts — Marc Gasol, Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka. The Raptors will surely groom Pascal Siakam to take a lead role with Leonard gone, yet will face major decisions next summer as they attempt to reshape the team. All of this is because Leonard caused a domino effect that ultimately moved mountains. Something of this nature and this magnitude doesn’t happen often in the NBA and is never done virtually overnight, given the amount of pieces involved and teams who put their existence on hold while Leonard stretched his decision nearly a week since free agency began. Evidently there was a reason for that. He wanted the Clippers but only if they could add another major piece. When other options dried up — Jimmy Butler unexpectedly signing with Miami and Kevin Durant with Brooklyn, for instance — the Clippers had to go the trade route. And George had to be convinced by Kawhi to force a trade. And OKC had to agree to that, rather than risk going through a season with an unhappy player. When the Clippers coughed up a bevy for draft picks, that put the entire process in motion. And in the end, basketball in LA became the big winner. It would not be unusual or unexpected if the road to the next conference championship goes through Staples Center and gets decided by one of its two home teams. Shaun Powell has covered the NBA for more than 25 years. 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. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 6th, 2019

Cousins returns from injury, returns to form and delivers win

By Shaun Powell, NBA.com TORONTO — It was the moment the Warriors waited so long to see, and finally it arrived in the nick of time: The still-recovering former All-Star, out of the starting lineup for more than a minute, returning and dismissing the noise about how the team is better without him by impacting the game in multiple ways and pulling the Warriors to victory. And get this: If the Warriors are truly fortunate, Kevin Durant will recover soon and duplicate what DeMarcus Cousins just did. In the NBA Finals. If he does, it could serve a critical blow to Toronto’s chances of pulling off a late-series surprise. “We know what we’re dealing with here,” said Raptors guard Fred VanVleet. Cousins provided the help that the two-time defending champions needed Sunday (Monday, PHL time) to draw even in the series and snatch momentum with a 109-104 victory at Scotiabank Arena. He played more than anyone thought, rebounded more than anyone imagined, defended and scored more than Toronto bargained for, and gave the Warriors what they missed the last 6 1/2 weeks with him on the shelf. The 11 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and two blocked shots from Cousins didn’t fully encapsulate how much relief he brought to the Warriors. He had a galvanizing effect on a team that used an 18-0 run to start the second half to seize control of Game 3 and then used Andre Iguodala’s three-point shot to ice it. They haven’t been in one piece since April 15 (April 16, PHL time), in the first round against the Clippers, when Cousins chased a loose ball, stumbled and grabbed his left leg. The torn quad required no surgery but a lengthy rehab period, and this after Cousins went through a 10-month rehab for a torn Achilles' tendon in the spring of 2018. He was feeling beat up. Cousins attacked the process anyway, determined to return from an injury that normally would mean the end to his postseason, for the simple reason that he hadn’t been to the playoffs in his career to this point. There’s also a matter of free agency awaiting in July; a strong return could improve his bottom line. “Once they told me I have a chance, a slight chance, of being able to return, it basically was up to me and the work I put in,” he said. “So I put the work and the time in and with God’s grace I’m able to be out here and play the game I love.” Cousins was clearly out of rhythm from the layoff in Game 1, his timing rusty, his execution unsure. He played just eight minutes without scoring a basket or drawing much attention from Toronto. But Warriors coach Steve Kerr made the surprise decision to start Cousins three nights later, and that faith was repaid handsomely. Cousins was active, his confidence growing stronger by the minute -- 27 of them, actually, and he only asked to be subbed out once. “We came in thinking he can maybe play 20 minutes,” said Kerr. “He was fantastic and we needed everything he gave out there: his rebounding, his toughness, his physical presence, getting the ball in the paint, and just playing big, like he does. We needed all of that.” What the Warriors hoped was for Cousins to be the best big man on the floor. In Game 1, that honor went to Raptors center Marc Gasol, who uncharacteristically became a prime scoring option for the Raptors with 20 points, most on open jumpers. Cousins didn’t give him that amount of breathing space in Game 2, and Gasol (six points) was never a factor. Cousins' teammates offered rave reviews. Steph Curry: “Obviously you get more comfortable with more minutes and playing aggressive. He puts a lot of pressure on their defense. It’s a big lift for us. More to come.” Draymond Green: “The more he plays, the better feel he gets. He was great on both ends. It allowed us to play through him in the post. Toronto knows. They’ve got to honor that, and we know what he’s capable of doing if they don’t.” Cousins had an amusing reaction to learning he was in the starting lineup — “I was like, ‘Cool’” — and feels as though he has more to give. “When I step on the floor, I’m going to leave it out there,” he said. “I want to be on this stage. This is what I’ve worked for my entire career, to have this opportunity to play for something.” Cousins spent seven years in purgatory in Sacramento, where he racked up losses and technicals. It was a frustrating time for him; he had no faith in the franchise's leadership and it soured his attitude. His trade to the Pelicans two years ago was met with enthusiasm; he teamed with Anthony Davis to form an intimidating front line, but the Achilles’ injury cut short his time on the floor and, ultimately, in New Orleans. The team refused to offer him a contract last summer, leading him to join the Warriors at a discount. So his purpose is to salvage what’s left of the season, capture a ring for his troubles and see what it brings this summer. And then there’s the matter of Durant. The two-time Finals MVP hasn’t been cleared for full-contact practice, and the Warriors will hold only one prior to Game 3. Kerr said it’s “feasible” that Durant could play with only one practice under his belt, yet that’s not the ideal scenario. What Cousins does is buy them more time with Durant. With the series tied 1-1, and the next two games in Oakland, and Cousins apparently rounding into form, there’s a bit less urgency to see Durant on the floor. Yet it appears to be a matter of when, not if, Durant will see action in this series. And it might be at the perfect moment, with Klay Thompson suffering a hamstring injury in the fourth quarter that forced him off the court. The All-Star guard later told Kerr he’s fine and that the hamstring tightness is minor, but his status will be determined by MRI. Given what’s happened so far, the Warriors can never be too careful or take the rosy view when it comes to muscle issues. They’ve established a theme that tells the story of their 2019 postseason, and it’s not one they designed or even wanted, but it fits their existence nonetheless: “recovery” and their ability to do so on all front. It's not just injuries. Even in sweeping Portland, Golden State had to recover from deficits of 17, 18 and 17 points in the Western Conference Finals. Trailing 1-0 in these NBA Finals, they recovered from 12 down to win on the road for a 23rd straight series, an NBA record. What the Warriors reminded everyone at Scotiabank Arena, in case folks forgot, is that they’re champions and bring plenty of know-how to this series, and are fully capable of winning games by any means necessary. “It’s big respect for them,” said Kawhi Leonard. “They have been here each of the last four years, won the last two, and you’ve got to take the challenge. They’re a great team.” But the Warriors would rather put a fully-loaded and healthy squad -- one that is clearly the class of the NBA -- on the court and win with that. This NBA Finals might finally get the Warriors at full strength. If not, they still might be more than the Raptors can handle. Shaun Powell has covered the NBA for more than 25 years. 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. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 3rd, 2019

Durant s status looms large as Warriors face Raptors

By Shaun Powell, NBA.com Every so often the best team doesn’t win the NBA championship; sometimes it’s the healthiest. A few examples come to mind, such as the 1988-89 Lakers who lost Byron Scott to a hamstring injury caused by Pat Riley’s pre-Finals boot camp and then Magic Johnson similarly one game into the series with the Pistons, who swept. Then the 2015 Cavaliers, already without Kevin Love, saw Kyrie Irving lost with a fractured kneecap suffered in Game 1. Maybe those two teams would’ve won, maybe not. It’s one of those basketball mysteries that’ll go unsolved. [Watch the Playoffs on NBA League Pass for 30% less with this limited time offer! Select Annual package and use code SAVE30 at checkout to redeem] Well, what the Warriors are trying to do is become the best team to win in spite of their health, specifically with Kevin Durant, who’s expected to play against the Raptors although precisely when, and to what extent, and how effectively, all remain unclear right now. The Warriors romped quite impressively if not mildly surprisingly the last five full games without Durant in the final two rounds of the West playoffs, and while that bodes well for their confidence, at some point, conventional thinking says they will need Durant. Will he be around to bail them out when the ball doesn’t fall for Steph Curry and Klay Thompson? Should Durant be the Durant who sizzled in the first round and through much of round two, this series might be short on suspense. And if DeMarcus Cousins returns? Well. The Warriors for the first time in five years don’t have to go through LeBron James to win a title, and while Kawhi Leonard is a former Finals MVP and rolling for the Raptors right now, he (or most any other human) isn’t on the King’s post-season level. This has been a satisfying season for the Raptors’ franchise, which finally experienced a post-season breakthrough (thanks partly by LeBron’s defection). Yet: Kawhi would need to be a close imitation of LeBron to keep a national audience fixated and the Raptors close enough to prevent the Warriors from taking another summer champagne bath before summer officially begins. Three things to watch 1. Will Kawhi Leonard survive Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala? It’s one thing to see a solid defender in your path, as Kawhi did with Giannis Antetekounmpo. But what happens when the Warriors can throw Green and then Iguodala and perhaps Klay Thompson and maybe Kevin Durant, all of whom bring different looks? This could prove problematic for Toronto and frustrating for Kawhi, especially if Danny Green, Pascal Siakam, Serge Ibaka and company don’t rise up. 2. Can Kyle Lowry keep up with Stephen Curry defensively? This will be quite the challenge for Lowry, to place handcuffs on a guard who averaged 35 points in five games (four vs. Blazers, one Rockets) without Kevin Durant and bring the same energy on the other end to ease the load from Kawhi Leonard. Lowry didn’t check a big-time scorer in any of the three rounds: DJ Augustin, JJ Redick, Eric Bledsoe. 3. Will any readjusting be necessary if and when Kevin Durant returns? This is one of the more confounding debates raging outside the Warriors’ organization. There shouldn’t be any discomfort with Durant back in the fold unless you weigh the last four weeks over the previous two seasons. Besides, he’s surrounded by the most unselfish teammates he’ll likely ever have, starting with Curry. The number to know 6.2 -- Through the first three rounds of the playoffs, the Warriors have outscored their opponents by 6.2 points per 100 possessions. That's their worst mark through the first three rounds over this stretch of five straight trips to The Finals. Over the previous four years, the Warriors lowest point differential through three rounds was plus-6.4 in 2016, the year they lost in The Finals. Time will tell if the lower point differential is an indication that the Warriors are beatable (again). What we do know now is that, statistically, they just haven't been as good as they were the last two years. All six of their conference semifinal games against the Houston Rockets were within five points in the last five minutes. And though they swept Portland in the conference finals, they trailed for 51 percent of the minutes in that series and by at least 17 points in each of the last three games. It's on defense where the Warriors haven't been as strong this year. In each of the previous four years, they allowed fewer points per 100 possessions than the postseason average through the first three rounds (5.3 fewer than the average in 2015, 1.6 fewer in '16, 8.7 fewer in '17, and 6.5 fewer in '18). In these playoffs, they've allowed 110.2 points per 100 possessions, a mark which ranks ninth among the 16 teams and is 1.8 points per 100 possessions more than the average (108.4). Of course, the Warriors' offense, despite the absence of Kevin Durant for the last five games, has never been better. Over 16 games, the Warriors have scored 116.4 points per 100 possessions, 8.0 more than the league average. And ridiculously efficient offense just might be enough for a third straight championship. -- John Schuhmann The pick The Raptors rolled the dice last summer to get Kawhi Leonard and even if they lose this series and he leaves through free agency, it was a gamble well worth taking if only because they’re in the NBA Finals. Canada will be forever grateful. Still, in spite of that, and also Kawhi’s sizzling playoff run, Toronto is at a disadvantage everywhere except fan support. A fully-loaded Warriors team wins easily. A team with Kevin Durant missing a pair of games wins a little less easily. Warriors in 5......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 27th, 2019

Durant s status looms large as Warriors face Raptors

By Shaun Powell, NBA.com Every so often the best team doesn’t win the NBA championship; sometimes it’s the healthiest. A few examples come to mind, such as the 1988-89 Lakers who lost Byron Scott to a hamstring injury caused by Pat Riley’s pre-Finals boot camp and then Magic Johnson similarly one game into the series with the Pistons, who swept. Then the 2015 Cavaliers, already without Kevin Love, saw Kyrie Irving lost with a fractured kneecap suffered in Game 1. Maybe those two teams would’ve won, maybe not. It’s one of those basketball mysteries that’ll go unsolved. [Watch the Playoffs on NBA League Pass for 30% less with this limited time offer! Select Annual package and use code SAVE30 at checkout to redeem] Well, what the Warriors are trying to do is become the best team to win in spite of their health, specifically with Kevin Durant, who’s expected to play against the Raptors although precisely when, and to what extent, and how effectively, all remain unclear right now. The Warriors romped quite impressively if not mildly surprisingly the last five full games without Durant in the final two rounds of the West playoffs, and while that bodes well for their confidence, at some point, conventional thinking says they will need Durant. Will he be around to bail them out when the ball doesn’t fall for Steph Curry and Klay Thompson? Should Durant be the Durant who sizzled in the first round and through much of round two, this series might be short on suspense. And if DeMarcus Cousins returns? Well. The Warriors for the first time in five years don’t have to go through LeBron James to win a title, and while Kawhi Leonard is a former Finals MVP and rolling for the Raptors right now, he (or most any other human) isn’t on the King’s post-season level. This has been a satisfying season for the Raptors’ franchise, which finally experienced a post-season breakthrough (thanks partly by LeBron’s defection). Yet: Kawhi would need to be a close imitation of LeBron to keep a national audience fixated and the Raptors close enough to prevent the Warriors from taking another summer champagne bath before summer officially begins. Three things to watch 1. Will Kawhi Leonard survive Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala? It’s one thing to see a solid defender in your path, as Kawhi did with Giannis Antetekounmpo. But what happens when the Warriors can throw Green and then Iguodala and perhaps Klay Thompson and maybe Kevin Durant, all of whom bring different looks? This could prove problematic for Toronto and frustrating for Kawhi, especially if Danny Green, Pascal Siakam, Serge Ibaka and company don’t rise up. 2. Can Kyle Lowry keep up with Stephen Curry defensively? This will be quite the challenge for Lowry, to place handcuffs on a guard who averaged 35 points in five games (four vs. Blazers, one Rockets) without Kevin Durant and bring the same energy on the other end to ease the load from Kawhi Leonard. Lowry didn’t check a big-time scorer in any of the three rounds: DJ Augustin, JJ Redick, Eric Bledsoe. 3. Will any readjusting be necessary if and when Kevin Durant returns? This is one of the more confounding debates raging outside the Warriors’ organization. There shouldn’t be any discomfort with Durant back in the fold unless you weigh the last four weeks over the previous two seasons. Besides, he’s surrounded by the most unselfish teammates he’ll likely ever have, starting with Curry. The pick The Raptors rolled the dice last summer to get Kawhi Leonard and even if they lose this series and he leaves through free agency, it was a gamble well worth taking if only because they’re in the NBA Finals. Canada will be forever grateful. Still, in spite of that, and also Kawhi’s sizzling playoff run, Toronto is at a disadvantage everywhere except fan support. A fully-loaded Warriors team wins easily. A team with Kevin Durant missing a pair of games wins a little less easily. Warriors in 5......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 26th, 2019

Curry, Lillard battle for NBA supremacy, Oakland s affection

By Shaun Powell, NBA.com OAKLAND — He arrived at the Western Conference finals wearing the jersey of the Oakland A’s, who play right next door at the Coliseum, just a five-minute drive from where he was born. Damian Lillard paused and signed a few autographs before entering Oracle Arena, because he is a man of the people, and these are his people. None of them mention that, in their hearts, they’re rooting for him to lose this playoff series, and so it goes unspoken, a truce in a sense. For this fleeting moment, they’re Lillard fans, until the ball goes up. And then it’s all for Steph Curry, all night long. There is a competition within the competition between the Warriors and Blazers, and it is the battle for the affection of Oakland. There is Lillard, the pride of the Brookfield Village neighborhood, who has blossomed into a bonafide star with the Blazers. And then there’s Curry, the symbol of a basketball renaissance here, who has raised the profile of Oakland the last several years. Now you see why The Town is a bit conflicted. A bit. [Watch the Playoffs on NBA League Pass for 30% less with this limited time offer! Select Annual package and use code SAVE30 at checkout to redeem] The conference championship may well hinge on the performance of these All-NBA guards. Game 1 was fairly lopsided, both in terms of the teams — Warriors 116, Blazers 94 — and the two principles. Lillard struggled Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time) and appeared whipped, physically if not mentally, no doubt from a grueling seven-game second round that just wrapped up 48 hours earlier. He missed 8-of-12 shots, had seven turnovers and, in a rarity for him, he was a non-factor for Portland. He’s a combined 7-for-29 in his last two games. Meanwhile, Curry rolled, dropping 36 points and the Blazers along with them. And so, this is the verdict: Portland cannot hope to stretch this series beyond four games, five tops, without the max from Lillard. He obviously means that much. And Curry, now working without the comforts of his injured co-star Kevin Durant for the second straight game, and maybe without Durant for another two games, needs to keep his skills elevated to prevent suspense from encroaching on the series. The Warriors are well aware of what Lillard has done to them in the past; he has averaged more points against the hometown team (27.0) than any in his career likely because of provincial pride. Yet Golden State is also aware that he has yet to beat them in any game or series of significance. “He’s one of the best guards in this league and carries a chip on his shoulder and it has (worked) well for him in his career,” said Draymond Green. “A special talent. I know he’s excited to be back home playing in the last year at Oracle. So it’s special for him but it don’t mean nothing to us. We’ve got to come out here and try to stop him. A tall task.” While the East Bay has given birth to its share of NBA stars, with Bill Russell, Jason Kidd and Gary Payton among them, Lillard is still freshly active and refreshingly loyal. The connection between him and Oakland remains unwavering despite fame and distance and the fact it’s his job and desire to shock the world in the next few weeks. He played at St. Joseph Notre Dame in Alameda and then finished at Oakland High, and a thick section of fans at Oracle Wednesday were wrapped in Blazers gear and made their preference clear. Most were either from the old neighborhood or family members. His high school coach, Damon Jones, is a Warriors season ticket holder, and Jones said: “Nobody bought me a drink tonight.” The coach added, playfully: “They gave me a hard time. When the Warriors scored, they wanted to turn around and slap five but then caught themselves at the last minute.” Jones remembers Lillard as being a promising and quick guard who picked up the nuances of the game rapidly. “He was very personable for someone his age, a solid teammate,” Jones said. “He still keeps in touch with all of his former teammates. It’s a brotherhood and he’s the leader. He’s always trying to be a positive influence on everyone around here.” Lillard returns every summer to give away backpacks with school supplies and funded the renovation of the Oakland High gym. He’s a familiar sight around town in the offseason and always approachable, and that loyalty and devotion doesn’t go unnoticed. “People here respect him,” said Raymond Young, Lillard’s AAU coach. “When he comes here to play, people here say they’re going to clap for Damian but cheer for the Warriors. Only he can get that kind of reaction. His loyalty comes from his family. His mother and father were no-problem parents. They let us coach him. He was a joy to be around. Still is.” Lillard is even more endearing because he comes from humble beginnings and is self-made. Both of his youth coaches are admittedly shocked by his impact in the NBA. He wound up at Weber State. He wasn’t highly recruited by the big schools. Even nearby Cal-Berkeley came late. “But if he goes there,” said Young, “does all this happen?” Lillard is revered in another place as well. Portland is also smitten by his loyalty; in an age of transient stars, Lillard has never wanted to play anywhere else. Perhaps this has cost him some visibility, with a majority of his games tipping off at 10:30 ET. It’s a price he’s more than willing to pay. Lillard has never taken a team this deep into the playoffs, where legends and reputations are made, and so being in the conference finals represents some new and deserved shine for him. A layer of that invisibility was peeled off in these playoffs where Lillard has come up massive. His shot from nearly 40 feet that eliminated Oklahoma City in the first round, and the bye-bye wave reaction, became iconic. Then he followed up with a strong second round as well against the Nuggets, although as that series crept to the conclusion, Lillard shot just 3-for-17 in that Game 7, then followed up with a 4-for-12 Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time), proof that he might be gassed — and also that the Warriors cooked up a defensive game plan specifically for him. “Obviously it’s a little bit difficult physically and emotionally just because you’re excited about being in the Western Conference finals,” said Lillard. “You come straight here form Denver and get ready for the best team in the league. But once we lace our shoes and put our uniforms on, it’s fair and square. You got to go out there and handle your business. "They did a good job defensively and even when I was trying to find (teammates), they were getting deflections. They were making me play in a crowd. I thought they were successful at that … in this first game.” But his toughest task of all might be upstaging Curry, particularly here in Oakland. While Lillard has flourished through much of the postseason, Curry by comparison has been mild, especially by his standards. The missed layups, a famously flubbed dunk attempt and sporadic three-point shooting was unsightly. And then, after Durant limped off the floor, Curry felt a sense of urgency and a flush of greatness. He buried the Rockets with a pair of epic fourth quarters, then kept the faucet running Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time). The Blazers couldn’t limit or at least slow him anywhere on the floor, especially from the three-point line, where Curry was a sizzling 9-for-15. And no missed layups. In his last six quarters of basketball, Curry has scored 69 points with 13-for-24 shooting on 3s. “I know what I’m capable of doing on the floor," Curry said, "and the situation calls for me to be more aggressive and hopefully that will continue. It’s nice to see the ball go in. I want to maintain that. I didn’t shoot well for 4.5 games the last series. Every game is different. You have to reestablish yourself and that’s my perspective no matter how I play.” Curry didn’t arrive wearing the baseball jersey of the home team, and if anything has been spotted at San Franciso Giants games across the Bay, where the Warriors will call home starting next season. But don’t get anything twisted. Curry’s bond with Oakland, developed over time, is genuine and real for someone born and bred a country away in Charlotte, and the feeling is mutual. The tug of war for the heartstrings of Oakland is subtle between the pair of franchise players on the floor in this playoff series. Call it a draw from the standpoint of whom the fans here respect and appreciate. There’s enough love to be shared by both. Yet in the basketball sense, this series is on the verge of being owned by the one wearing the jersey that reps Oakland. Curry has more momentum and better teammates, and Durant is on deck. Oakland, therefore, will indeed cheer for one of its own, for Damian Lillard. But the way this series and these playoffs are going, The Town is anxious to pop bottles with Steph Curry once again, at the usual place and time, for one last time. Shaun Powell has covered the NBA for more than 25 years. 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. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 15th, 2019

Sleepwalking Warriors snap to behind ultimate weapon Durant

By Shaun Powell, NBA.com LOS ANGELES -- The only sound in a basketball game that mimics an alarm clock blaring is the final buzzer, but by then the score is official and it’s too late to wake up. And maybe the Warriors needed seven months and 88 games to recognize this, because when you’ve won three championships in four years and bring four All-Stars in their prime and play nightly against the rank-and-file, there’s a tendency to doze off just to, you know, make things interesting. Well, nap’s over. After Friday's (Saturday, PHL time) 129-110 victory over the Clippers, the buzzer has shifted to the opening tip, and suddenly the Warriors are aware of where they are and who they’re up against and what time it is. [Watch the Playoffs on NBA League Pass for 30% less with this limited time offer! Select Annual package and use code SAVE30 at checkout to redeem] At least, those are the signals they’re giving off now, on the eve of the second round of the playoffs, when there is no better moment -- to paraphrase the noted prophet Kevin Durant -- to let folks know who you are. They’ll be led into their next basketball battle by Durant, fresh off a fiddy, which of course is basketball slang for 5-0 points, which finally silenced the Clippers and made the basketball world revisit the belief that the Warriors are not to be denied. This of course will be put to the test by the Rockets, arguably the biggest threat facing the Warriors between now and a June champagne sip. But really, now: If Durant plays like he has the last few games, does it really matter what James Harden and Chris Paul bring in this upcoming best-of-seven? “He’s in a groove right now,” said Steph Curry. “Special to see.” With the exception of last year’s Western Conference finals, when Houston took Golden State to the limit, the Durant Warriors have been one level above all others in the playoffs. The Clippers just took two from them -- despite Durant -- and nobody else claimed more than one victory in a best-of-seven. Overall, excluding that Rockets’ series, the Durants are 32-5 in the postseason, a clean 9-0 in series play. Everything that the Warriors were projected to do once Durant signed up for duty two summers ago has come true. They’re three superstars ahead of good teams and two superstars ahead of very good teams. Right now, they’re alone on the island, the only true great team in the league, even on nights when they don’t play the part. With all due respect to Damian Lillard, no one has has drawn more awe lately than Durant, who’s on pace to cause major problems for whomever crouches in a defensive stance before him. In the last four games, he averaged 42 points on 55 percent shooting, and at times was a singular force against the stubborn Clippers. Remember, Steph Curry is trying to climb out of a fog, stifled and troubled by missed jumpers in the last week and momentarily sidelined Friday (Saturday, PHL time) by a tweaked right ankle, which always causes the Warriors to hold their breath. Klay Thompson, as is his pattern, went ballistic for one game, then was rather tame by comparison in the others. “I just play my game through it all,” Durant said. “I definitely don’t want to go away from my teammates if they’re struggling to shoot the ball. But at the same time, I have to be aggressive and try to win the game as well.” Given how leaky the Warriors’ defense looked and how carelessly they handled the ball, the one constant in the first round was Durant drilling shots from all angles and distances, especially once he confined his chatter to making shots instead of taking them at Pat Beverley, the Clippers’ All-Star instigator. Warriors coach Steve Kerr called it “one of the greatest performances I’ve ever seen” and this is someone who rode with Michael Jordan and Tim Duncan. Whether Kerr was simply caught up in the moment, it doesn’t minimize what Durant did to close out the Clippers and what he’s capable of doing against the Rockets. “He's the ultimate weapon because there's no defense for Kevin,” Kerr said. “No matter what anybody does, he can get a good shot. And he knew we needed him badly. And he just took over the game in the first half and set a great tone.” Durant appears to be locked in and on a mission, and if this is his last run with the Warriors, it’s morphing into a gallop. His 50 points Friday (Saturday, PHL time) were a personal playoff high and his 38 in the first half tied Charles Barkley for second on the all-time list. And this came on the heels of the 45 points he delivered in a losing Game 5 effort. “Sometimes you come across special people and it doesn’t matter what defense you send to them,” said Clippers guard Lou Williams. “There is no scheme. There’s nothing you can do with special people. He’s one of them and he showed it. He put them guys on his shoulders. He proved exactly who people think he is, who he thinks of himself, and he did it.” The Warriors finished with the best record in the West this season, almost on reputation or cruise control. Once again, there were lapses that seemed suspiciously like a team bored with the schedule and awaiting a summer coronation. This breezy attitude seeped into the opening round, when the Warriors choked away a 31-point lead and then lost another home game to an eighth-seeded team devoid of All-Stars. This doesn’t happen unless the heavily-favored one-seed is taking their championship rings for granted. “I think I made a joke like this first round felt like it was two months,” said Curry. “It was just the emotional part of it, I mean, losing (DeMarcus Cousins) and a 31-point lead and trying to come back on the road and the mental investment you put into it. We’ve got to be able to flip the switch from one team to the next and that will be the biggest test.” Well, and this might be a stretch, but expect the Warriors to show the Rockets a lot more respect. Deep down, Kerr knows losing a pair to the Clippers was perhaps the face-slap his team needed, and at the right time. The Warriors know any lapse in this series will likely be their last, and a fatal one as well. “We know what Houston's about,” said Kerr. “We know how good they are. We've got to be ready.” There are positive signs beyond Durant. Thompson will be the first line of defense against Harden, the league’s leading scorer this season, and Thompson is coming off a lockdown of Williams, who finally cooled and went 3-for-21 Friday (Saturday, PHL time). This will be of major importance, of course, given Harden’s usage rate and relentlessness. “If you’re not focused,” Durant said, “he can drive past you, he shoots floaters now, he’s a strong finish with either hand and obviously the step-back three-pointers is one of his staples. He can score in a variety of ways so you have to be locked in from the beginning. You’ve got to be ready to play tough all game.” Draymond Green is coming off a triple-double, while the aging Andre Iguodala seems springy and active, usually his profile this time of year. Yes, there’s finally perhaps a sense of urgency or at least an understanding of what’s at stake and more of an emphasis on staying woke for the Warriors. “Obviously we would love to win every series 4-0,” said Durant. “That would be ideal. But we know it’s not really going to happen that way.” Perhaps not. But the Durant Warriors, based on their track record, are convincing enough. Veteran NBA writer Shaun Powell has worked for newspapers and other publications for more than 25 years. You can e-mail him here or follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 27th, 2019

Curry leads Warriors to big second half, win over the Kings

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Stephen Curry made five three-pointers and scored 30 points and the Golden State Warriors took their first lead midway through the third quarter on the way to a 117-106 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Sunday night (Monday, PHL time). Kevin Durant had 28 points, seven rebounds, six assists and four blocks, and Klay Thompson added 18 points. With their 17th straight victory after a loss, the Warriors reached 124 straight regular-season games without suffering back-to-back defeats. Draymond Green had 10 assists for his 12th game with double digits assists and third in four, while Zaza Pachulia scored 10 points to reach double figures for the fourth straight game. Yet one for the highlight reel was Pachulia's no-look, backward over-the-head pass to Curry after the big man got the ball when Durant blocked a shot by DeMarcus Cousins. Sacramento's Rudy Gay scored 15 of his 23 points in the first quarter. Cousins had 17. Golden State had 30 assists for the 26th time this season and won its 13th straight against the Kings, seventh in a row in Sacramento. The Warriors woke up after halftime, starting the third with a 19-7 burst and outscoring the Kings 39-22 in the period. Golden State didn't lead until Curry's three-pointer with 7:34 left in the third, following Durant's tying 3 the previous possession. Curry has at least 30 points in three consecutive games. Gay shot 9-for-17 in his second game back after missing four straight with a right hip flexor strain and 10-of-11. Cousins went 4-for-11. The Kings had their way at the rim early, and coach Steve Kerr called timeout 18 seconds into the game after Cousins burned Pachulia for the game's first points. Cousins scored seven in a hurry, also getting by Durant. After a three-point play, Durant went up to dunk on Cousins, missed but was fouled -- Cousins' second -- at the 5:54 mark of the first. Golden State pulled back within eight late in the second quarter with Cousins on the bench in foul trouble and trailed 58-51 at halftime. The Warriors went 3-for-14 from long range in the first half then started hitting. Before the game, Kings coach Dave Joerger joked, 'Ask `em nicely if they won't shoot so many.' The Warriors just needed some time to warm up after choosing not to shootaround in the morning with a 6 p.m. tipoff even with it being their first visit to the new Golden 1 Center. They didn't relinquish this one, two days after squandering a 24-point lead in the second half of a 128-119 overtime home loss to Memphis. Curry scored 40 points in that game and Kerr expressed disappointment with his team's body language once the Grizzlies grabbed momentum. strong>BOLLYWOOD GAME /strong> The special 'Bollywood Night' game marked the first regular-season NBA game to be livestreamed on Facebook, this time only to fans in India. There was Indian-themed entertainment and music and even a Henna tattoo station. strong>TIP-INS /strong> em> strong>Warriors: /strong> /em> Durant notched his 700th regular-season block in the second quarter and had three blocks for a third straight game. That matches a career-long streak also done from Nov. 25-30, 2015. The team's winning streak against the Kings is its longest active unbeaten run against any opponent and tied for third-longest in franchise history behind a 14-gamer against Dallas from 1991-94 and 15-game winning streak from 1947-49 vs. the Providence Steamrollers. Golden State is 7-1 vs. the Pacific Division. San Francisco mayor Ed Lee was in attendance, while Giants CEO Larry Baer sat courtside and got a first-quarter shoutout on the enormous scoreboard. em> strong>Kings: /strong> /em>Cousins received a technical -- his 12th -- 4:14 before halftime after punching a chair following his third foul. The Warriors were the last Pacific Division opponent the Kings had yet to face. Golden State returns to the Golden 1 Center on Feb. 4 (Feb. 5, PHL time) before the Kings visit Oakland on Feb. 15 and March 24 (Feb. 16 and March 25, PHL time). Sacramento hasn't beaten Golden State since March 27, 2013, and last at home 131-127 on Dec. 19, 2012. strong>UP NEXT /strong> em> strong>Warriors: /strong> /em> Host Miami on Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time) looking for a fifth straight win in the series and third consecutive at Oracle Arena. em> strong>Kings: /strong> /em> Host Detroit on Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time) in the fourth game of a seven-game homestand. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 9th, 2017

DOT Leadership Excellence Series returns anew as tourism rebuilds and redefines business practice

The groundbreaking online learning event dubbed the “Leadership Excellence Series (LES) 2020” is returning to the screen this October amidst a tourism industry grappling to rebuild consumer confidence and redefine standards in the Filipino brand of service......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated News4 hr. 4 min. ago

Cast members rave & lsquo;Descendants of the Sun& rsquo; primetime comeback, Netflix premiere

Screen actor Dingdong Dantes explains why he is so proud of the accomplishments of the Philippine adaptation of the global hit series Descendants of the Sun......»»

Category: entertainmentSource:  thestandardRelated NewsOct 25th, 2020

New-look House leadership off to a good start, say solons

House members can’t help but notice a sense of synergy between Speaker Lord Allan Velasco and Majority Leader Martin Romualdez in just their first few days of working together. Case in point, according to Cavite Rep. Elpidio Barzaga Jr., San Jose del Monte City Rep. Florida Robes, and Ang Probinsyano Party-list Rep. Alfred delos Santos, were the two important bills that the House leadership was able to deliver without a hitch during the conduct of special sessions this past week. The Majority Bloc solons were referring to the passage on third and final reading of measures House Bill (HB) No.7727, or the P4.506-trillion General Appropriations Bill (GAB) of 2021; and HB No.7884, or the proposed Act authorizing the President to expedite the processing and issuance of national and local permits, licenses and certifications. “The performance of the new leadership during special session was very commendable. This is a very encouraging sign in our mission to approve the legislative agenda of President Duterte,” Barzaga said. “The Velasco-Romualdez leadership (is) off to a good start,” added the veteran congressman and former Dasmariñas mayor. For her part, Robes said she is “extremely delighted that the leadership impasse in the House of Representatives had been resolved peacefully and amicably by our two honorable leaders, Lord Alan Velasco and former Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano.” “I look forward to a renewed, more united and inclusive leadership at the House of Representatives led by Speaker Velasco with Majority Leader Ferdinand Martin Romualdez. I believe that Speaker Velasco and Majority Leader Romualdez are both righteous and committed to steer the House of Representatives to new heights to become a more effective and responsive institution to serve the Filipino people especially in these trying times,” she stressed. On the other hand, Delos Santos believes that the new-look leadership of the Lower Chamber will continue to work beyond 2020 even as he praised his colleagues for passing next year’s budget bill. “We are very happy that it (GAB) already finished the third reading. Our goal is always to fast-track the process to help out fellow Filipinos. These are not normal times, and gusto po nating matugunan agad yung mga pangangailangan ng mga kababayan natin (we want to quickly address the needs of our people),” Delos Santos said. “We want to assure government agencies (will have enough) resources for them to be able to function in the new normal,” he added. The passage of HB No.7884 or the Anti-Red Tape Bill followed soon after the chamber gave its final nod to the 2021 GAB. Both had been certified as urgent by President Duterte......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsOct 18th, 2020

Sugarfree drops new song ‘Nagkita Muli’ on digital platforms

No grand launch or crowded listening parties. Just a new song from one of the popular Filipino bands Sugarfree whose sound endeared OPM lovers for many years. The new Sugarfree returns as a duo with Kaka Quisumbing (drums) and Jal Taguibao (vocals/ bass). After nine years, minus fellow members Ebe Dancel and Mitch Singson, Sugarfree is back with a new tune called “Nagkita Muli” released under Glass Onion Entertainment. “Dear Friends. Sugarfree is back with our newest single, ‘Nagkita Muli.’ This was just premiered tonight exclusively at Jam 88.3 FM!,” says Sugarfree made the announcement on Facebook when their new song debuted on February 25. Eight months later, “Nagkita Muli” will be streamed on audio streaming and media services providers. Their fans are simply ecstatic about their comeback in the music scene. Some of the comments: “Long wait is over!” “Love it” “100% support! Sugarfree is Sugarfree!” “Missing both these guys!” “Sooo glad to see this. I just hope people from the scene would just let them be. They’re just making music and clearly not harming anyone or anyone else’s legacy for that matter.” On Oct. 9, the group posted on Facebook: “And now we are here and meet again. Wounds heal and all pain.” Kaka Quisumbing (left) and Jal Taguibao. “Na-miss lang namin talaga ang isa’t isa sa pag-gawa ng kanta. Ang tagal din namin nawala sa music scene. So nung nagkita kami, sabi namin gawa uli kami ng songs,” says Taguibao, who is also a professor in the Department of Political Science, College of Social Sciences and Philosophy at the University of the Philippines Diliman. “Ganun lang ka-simple kung paano nabuo ang new song namin,” adds Quisumbing. During an exclusive online interview, the duo reminisced about memorable moments of their successful career. “Ang hindi talaga namin malilimutan yung mga ‘lagare’ gigs namin. Meaning pagkatapos ng isang gig sa isang lugar, pupunta kami ng probinsiya for the second gig and then lilipad naman uli sa isang province para tumugtog,” recalls Taguibao. Quisumbing says: “Minsan sobrang sikip ng venue na parang hindi na kami maka-hinga. Ang hindi ko makakalimutan siyempre yung beginnings namin. Noon kami pa ang nagbabayad sa venue para maka-kanta lang tapos wala pang sampu ang nakikinig sa’yo. I guess halos lahat dumaan sa mga ganung simula bago sumikat.” A.L. Henson, manager of the group, says nothing big is being planned yet now that Sugarfree is back. “Initially, ang plan lang muna is to release a song. Then konting gig siguro. Release uli ng song. Ganun lang muna,” says Henson when asked if the duo was going full-blast in 2021. The duo adds that it will keep its Sugarfree style of music, similar to the sound they have embraced in the past. “Sa ngayon naman wala kaming plan mag experiment ng new sound. Tama na sa amin yung tunog na kinalakihan ng aming mga fans. Wala kaming plano na gumawa ng mga obscure na sound,” says Taguibao. Formed in 1999, Sugarfree is known for their hits “Hari Ng Sablay,” Mariposa,” “Wag Ka Ng Umiyak,” “Makita Kang Muli,” Burnout,” etc. They disbanded in 2011. In February 2020, they came back as a duo. No plans yet for a Sugarfree reunion despite clamor from fans, Hanson says. But the band promises fans that they will continue to make music. Formed in 1999, Sugarfree is known for their hits “Hari Ng Sablay,” Mariposa,” “Wag Ka Ng Umiyak,” “Makita Kang Muli,” Burnout,” etc. They disbanded in 2011. In February 2020, they came back as a duo. “Our fans can expect that we will be making new music with our brand of melodies and flavor. While doing that, we will continue exploring tunes to articulate through music, our personal histories and experiences,” the duo said......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 18th, 2020