Could Khalil Mack get 30 sacks? Raiders QB Derek Carr thinks so

There isn’t just an argument out there that Khalil Mack should have been taken before Jadeveon Clowney in the 2014 NFL Draft, it’s pretty much an accepted fact that Mack has been the better player so far.

In three seasons with the Raiders, Mack has 30 career sacks with a season-high 15 in 2015 and 11 last season. While that’s a high bar, it’s far from what his quarterback thinks Mack can do.

“If he doesn’t get held… If they start calling the holdings, if they start calling them like they should — I’m saying 30,” Derek Carr, now highest paid player in the NFL, said in an interview with Sirius XM NFL Radio (via FanRag Sports).

Right on Brady’s heels this year, though, is Aaron Rodgers, who will begin the year rated 98 Overall. Rodgers finished “Madden NFL 17” rated higher than Brady but has surrendered the spot over the offseason. Rodgers’ Throw on the Run rating (97) is the best in the NFL.

Last year’s NFL MVP Matt Ryan comes in third with a rating of 96 Overall. Ryan was one of the biggest risers in ratings in “Madden NFL 17,” in which he began at 84 and finished at 95.

Drew Brees makes a jump into the fourth slot with a 92 Overall rating and matches Brady’s 99 in Awareness. Ben Roethlisberger is fifth at 91 Overall and is the most difficult QB in the league to take down thanks to his 82 Strength rating.

Tied at 90 Overall are the two star quarterbacks from the 2012 draft, Russell Wilson and Andrew Luck.

Other notable QBs include Derek Carr (89 Overall), Cam Newton (88 Overall), Matthew Stafford (87 Overall) and Dak Prescott (86 Overall).

Ratings for “Madden NFL 18” are up across the board for QBs from the end of last season. Brady is +3, Rodgers +1, Ryan +1, Brees +3, Roethlisberger (no change), Wilson +2, Luck +3, Carr +1, Newton +4, Stafford +2, and Prescott +1.t_rangers_020-115x115

Matt Barnes likes being the ‘tough guy’ — just not all that comes with it

Elite Jason Myers Jersey Matt Barnes has been a cause of consternation since he left UCLA in 2002. He was drafted by the Grizzlies in the second round and has been on a Don Quixote-type journey ever since.
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The 37-year-old mercurial forward has played for 12 different teams. His stops include two years in the NBDL in Fayetteville, N.C., and Long Beach, Calif. Barnes has had two stints with Clippers and Lakers. He’s played for every team in the Pacific Division.

It’s still surreal. I’m on one of the best teams out here. This is an amazing opportunity. It’s slowly but surely starting to come around. This organization from top to bottom is the best.

How do you handle the adversity of the past couple of years?

It’s tough. I’m a target on and off the court. I’ve done some things I regret. But being a target is rough. Everything I do is major news. Everybody is looking for me to fail. But I am not going to mess up this chance. There’s a lot of BS off the court. I deal with off the court (drama) that comes with the territory. It still hurts, but I also know that it’s part of the game.

Yes, but I learn how to deal. I am building a good support system around me on and off the court. It also doesn’t hurt to have great teammates that want to see me win as a man more than as a player.

Look, this team was already great without me. But sometimes guys try to go too far with fouling my guys. Hell, when I played against this squad I did it. But now I’m here and that won’t be happening.

Other than the birth of my kids, it would be one of, if not the biggest moment in my career. That’s why we all get into this. We all dream of hoisting the trophy. I’m close now and I want it bad.

Man, listen. If you thought Ron (Artest in 2010) and J.R. (Smith in 2016) did it big, you ain’t seen nothing. You hear me? It took me 15 years of blood, sweat and tears. I don’t know what I’ll do, but whatever it is will be huge.

You are working with your alma mater now.

Jermey Parnell Limited Jersey I didn’t want to coach. I was finishing up my playing career in Seattle (in 1995) and I was going to school to get my master’s at USF, and Jerry Krause called me and asked me if I wanted to coach. I was not sure, because I was having fun. I was hitting golf balls, I was coaching my son’s team. I told him that there were guys there and I didn’t want to step over them to coach. He called me back a few days later and said he took care of those guys. It seemed like that was where I was being led. So I packed up the kids and the wife and that’s when I tried it. If it wasn’t for Jerry Krause I would not have coached at all.

As a head coach you had two guys out of high school, Tyson Chandler and Eddy Curry. Did coaching them change your view on whether high school kids should be in the NBA?
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No. I think that for me, if those guys want to take that chance, it’s their life. They should be allowed to. As a coach and a person, it’s your obligation to help that person be successful whoever it is, however old he is. Both those guys are wonderful guys, I enjoyed my time with them. I got great experience with them.

You are working with your alma mater now. But how about getting back into coaching?

Well, I have always been kind of led where I am. This is where I have been led. So I am pretty happy with that.

Successful never really took shape in Chicago, as the Bulls remained a volatile bunch loaded with behind-the-scenes intrigue, nonstop trade chatter and wild inconsistency, leading to their current stretch of six losses in seven games. That stretch — and this season — was punctuated on Wednesday with an elbow injury to Wade that the team has announced will keep him out for the rest of the season.

Warriors vs Kings: Matt Barnes ‘trying to kill’ former teammates

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Matt Barnes was dumped by the Kings earlier this season after the team’s blockbuster DeMarcus Cousins trade. His release ended a strained relationship with the team, and now he can’t wait to play them as a member of the Warriors.

I’m trying to kill ’em. Plan and simple, Barnes said Thursday. Things didn’t go well there, they’re the enemy now, so we’re trying to kill ’em. Beat ’em by 50.

Drew Bledsoe Jersey The Kings have also decided to go full steam ahead with a youth rebuild, and will look to build around a young nucleus that includes Hield; 2016 first-round picks Malachi Richardson, Georgios Papagiannis, and Skal Labissiere; 2015 first-round pick Willie Cauley-Stein; and what will likely be the two first-round picks in the 2017 NBA Draft. Maybe they can also bring over Bogdan Bogdanovic, a high-level European player whose rights they acquired last summer in a draft-day trade. That’s a lot of lottery tickets, at least. For a team that was seriously low on young, cost-controlled assets just a year ago, this kind of replenishment helps.

Finally, the team’s cap situation — the Kings will have a lot of money to work with in the offseason, regardless of what happens with Rudy Gay’s $14 million player option after the forward unfortunately tore his Achilles in what was shaping up to be a great contract year. However, what will that money be used for? The organization is not going to come out looking great in this episode among players and agents around the league.

Man gets duct-taped to sign after losing Warriors/Rockets bet

A Houston man learned the hard way that betting against the Warriors right now is a bad idea.

The man agreed to be duct-taped to a sign at the end of a busy street in Houston, if the Rockets lost to Golden State on Tuesday.

Adebayo has seemingly turned a corner over the last few weeks, averaging 15 points, 10 rebounds and 1.6 blocks over his last seven games. He’s becoming the powerhouse that Kentucky was expecting this year, plus still retaining the athleticism that allows him to be an effective defender both inside and in switches on the outside.

Interest in him is still relatively tepid around the league, though, likely owing to his slow start. A great NCAA Tournament run could help to keep him fresh in their minds.

Harden has a great chance to be named the MVP this season. In Mike D’Antoni’s point guard-friendly system, he’s resurrected his career while driving the Rockets to an unexpected top-three finish in the Western Conference.

Harden already has finished second in one MVP race (2015) and would be the third Rocket to win the MVP award. Hakeem Olajuwon, the 1994 MVP, has a bronze monument. Dream led Houston to its only two titles. So they might have to waive that as a requirement for Harden to get a similar bronze structure in 2040.

Another way the Celtics get Thomas open when he doesn’t have the ball in his hands is with a set out of their “Flex Thunder” series. It’s almost what you’d expect to see from Stephen Curry — the Celtics use the threat of Thomas to free up his teammates for scoring opportunities by using him as the screener.steelers_004

Cubs’ Kris Bryant leaves game with apparent finger injury

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The Cubs have lost third baseman Kris Bryant at least for Wednesday’s game after he appeared to injure a finger on his left hand sliding into third base in the first inning.

Kris Bryant has exited today’s game in the 1st inning. Tommy La Stella takes over at 3B.

This comes just one day after Astros All-Star Carlos Correa was put on the DL for a torn ligament in his thumb that stemmed from injuring his hand sliding into home plate in a game versus the Braves before the All-Star break.

Mike Trout also missed some two months earlier this season sliding into second base head first on a stolen base.

Bryant is hitting .273 this season with 19 home runs and 40 RBIs.

Authentic Kids Bo Jackson Jersey Robertson, 32, spent his first seven MLB seasons with the Yankees and was an All-Star in 2011. The White Sox will get reliever Tyler Clippard and three prospects in return, including outfielder Blake Rutherford, the Yankees’ No. 3 prospect, as Chicago continues its impressive rebuild. Also included in the deal is pitcher Ian Clarkin, who like Rutherford was a first-round pick of the Yankees. The fourth player going to the Sox is outfielder Tito Polo.

Following the trade, the White Sox now possess 10 of baseball’s top 100 prospects, which is the most among MLB clubs.

We made the determination that bundling these three players together was the best way to maximize our return on any transaction, White Sox general manager Rick Hahn told reporters. We appreciate everything that Todd, Tommy and David have done and we wish them and their families all the best with the Yankees.

The White Sox will also call up top prospect Yoan Moncada from Triple-A Charlotte, as well as pitcher Brad Goldberg.

It is within this crowded clubhouse that Rendon has quietly become a star

Dimitroff makes the kind of fast rise Super Bowl participants usually do. His offseason signings last year — most notably on defense, but on both sides of the ball — helped Matt Ryan and Co. clear a big hurdle. Julio Jones got his big contract right on time. He’ll have to find ways to pay running backs Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman in order to keep the train rolling.
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Dak and Zeke, Zeke and Dak: They can make a front office look brilliant. Give Jones a hand for not only listening to his smart football people (primarily son Stephen), but resisting his own bad instincts. There are remnants of those instincts all over his defense, but if the Cowboys ever get that side of the ball settled, everybody better look out.

Let’s take a look at the arguments from both sides:

It is within this crowded clubhouse that Rendon has quietly become a star, leading the league in runs in 2014 and earning the 2016 NL Comeback Player of the Year after an injury plagued 2015. His statistics so far this season would make him the leading, or second-best, hitter on a majority of major league clubs. But with the Nationals, his numbers land him fourth on the team.
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Therein lies the reason for Rendon’s lack of notoriety: It’s not that his star doesn’t shine bright. It’s that he’s on a team where others’ shine brighter. It’s why he was snubbed in the All Star vote and why he doesn’t have companies clamoring to put his name on their product. He’s stuck in a situation where, unless he hits over .350 with 40 home runs, he’ll never get the recognition he truly deserves. And until he leaves Washington, or others on the Nationals move on to different organizations, that dynamic will remain.

Then again, given his nature, Rendon might like it that way.

Rockies’ Kyle Freeland falls two outs shy of no-hitter

Game Brooks Reed Jersey Denver’s Coors Field may be known as a hitters’ ballpark, but on Sunday Rockies starter Kyle Freeland nearly turned it into a pitcher’s dream.

Harrison brought up the basketball superstar as he tried to make a point about how Manning isn’t appreciated. The commentary came after Harrison was asked why his QB didn’t make NFL Network’s Top 100 Players of 2017 list.
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Eli, when you look at Eli, it’s kind of like when you look at LeBron. I’m not saying they’re the same, but look at Eli’s numbers. [If] any other quarterback would have those numbers, it would be an amazing year. But it being Eli, nobody is respecting it much like we do LeBron. LeBron could average 30 [points], 15 rebounds and 12 assists and it’s like ‘he didn’t do enough.’ So I don’t know what the deal [is].

Manning did have a slight drop in production last season compared to his previous years. He tied for 10th in passing touchdowns, was outside of the top 10 in passing yards, finished with the fourth-most interceptions in the league, and his QB rating placed him 22nd out of 30 eligible passers.

But to Harrison’s point, Manning has been mostly consistent, averaging about 4,200 yards since 2009. Most quarterbacks who throw for over 4,000 yards are considered to have had great seasons, but since it’s a dip in production for Manning, it’s seen as bad.

Blame Brad Stevens? Three views of Celtics coach and his 2-10 playoff record

Lenny Wilkens missed the postseason altogether in his first five seasons as coach. Cotton Fitzsimmons missed it in six of his first seven seasons, and was 4-10 in his first 14 playoff games. Jerry Sloan was 3-9 in his first 12 playoff games. Dr. Jack Ramsay was 3-11, and Dick Motta was 4-14.

Doc Rivers? He was 2-6 to start his postseason career, and followed that by blowing a 3-1 lead against the Pistons as coach of the Magic in 2003.

All six of those coaches have something in common: They rank among the top 15 in NBA coaching wins all-time. Three of them (Wilkens, Sloan and Ramsay) are in the Hall of Fame.

Beverley’s early 3 was one of 19 made by the Rockets on 43 attempts, giving them a 36-point edge over San Antonio in the statistical category. The Spurs hit just 7 of 23 long-range attempts.

James Harden, whose 28 points were a game high, shot 4 of 11 from 3-point range, and Eric Gordon came off the bench to go 6 of 9 from beyond the arc and score 22 total points for Houston. Harden also had 12 assists.

Harden and Gordon were two of seven players who scored in double digits for Houston, including Beverley with 10.

San Antonio, on the other hand, had trouble finding offense, as reserve guard Jonathon Simmons led the team with 17 points. Kawhi Leonard had 14 in the first half but just 2 in the second, and LaMarcus Aldridge also finished with 16.

“Now I feel great,” Arians wrote. “My energy has returned. I’m told I’m cancer-free again. I’m ready for at least one more season of NFL football — maybe more.”

Arians was hospitalized twice last year — once during the preseason for diverticulitis and again following a Nov. 20 game at the Vikings due to chest pains.falcons_037

Those small differences on a few possessions may turn what have been lopsided endings into competitive finishes.

As Charles Barkley’s Suns team proved 24 years ago, there’s still time for the Celtics turn things around. Phoenix’s comeback was much more impressive given that first-round series back then were best of five. It won three consecutive win-or-go-home games.

After getting beat on the boards in their first two losses, the Suns never let that happen again. They were an impressive plus-12 in the decisive Game 5.

That team went on to lose to Michael Jordan’s Bulls in the Finals, but it’s incredible to remember it nearly didn’t make it out of the first round.

In other words, it’s not over yet for the 2017 Celtics.

A report from The Vertical Tuesday night claimed Rondo was fighting to play in the game, but after undergoing an X-Ray it was determined his thumb hasn’t improved.

Game Mens Hollis Thompson Jersey I think I’m Wolverine but it hasn’t actually healed, Rondo said. The slightest fall on the floor might further damage it.

While he’s not playing in Wednesday’s game, he didn’t rule out a return in Game 6.

The Bulls desperately need Rondo as they’ve struggled at the guard position in his absence. After jumping out to a 2-0 series lead, they dropped both of their home games to allow the Celtics to tie the series.

Game Mens Quinton Dial Jersey It’s a definitely different look for me, Gortat said, different from the first series we played against Atlanta and Dwight just sitting in the paint and having him muscle up 鈥?now chasing Al at the 3-point line. But it’s just an adjustment that I have to do. At the end of the day, he has to guard me too on the inside and keep me off the glass.