The Bulls held the tiebreaker over the Heat

While the playoff order in the West was set before the last game, the East still had drama left. The Heat and Bulls were tied for the last postseason spot at 40-41 with one game left apiece, and the Pacers were clinging onto the No. 7 seed at 41-40.

The Bulls held the tiebreaker over the Heat, which is why they moved into the playoffs despite identical records. But the Pacers did not. Miami defeated Indiana in two of their three regular season matchups and would have advanced into the playoffs if the Pacers lost their season finale.

But Indiana played the Atlanta Hawks, who had secured their standing as the fifth seed in the previous game. The Hawks went on to rest Dwight Howard, Kent Bazemore, Tim Hardaway Jr., and Dennis Schroder. The Pacers, at full strength, won by 18.

Stern put it best: “It’s inexcusable.”

Before we answer that, take a step back and remember that Stanton isn’t just a dinger-besotted curiosity. He’s been one of the best players in the game. When he was 22, he hit .290/.361/.608 with 37 home runs. Only five players had hit more home runs before turning 23, including Mel Ott, Frank Robinson, Eddie Mathews, and Alex Rodriguez. Tony Conigliaro snuck in there, which was an uncomfortable association after Stanton’s beaning in 2014, and Mike Trout and Bryce Harper later joined the club. That was it, though. It was a list that included some of the best baseball talents in the history of the sport.

When someone is that good, that young, they don’t have to get better and better and better until they’re 30, but it’s not unreasonable to hope that they will. And if they don’t, well, that’s a Cheap Youth NBA Jerseys pretty sweet baseline they’ve established. If you change the search to 21-year-olds with 50 career homers, you get …

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Boston survived this with the same, harried, switching defense that we’ve seen so far

It’s a fair assumption that Boston will advance. They may be a weak No. 1 seed propped up by an overachieving regular season, but they still should beat any No. 8 seed that heads their way. They won twice in Chicago already this season, and now they head into Game 6 looking to close out the series.

Washington and Atlanta are also playing a first-round series, though, with the Wizards up three games to two on the Hawks. They’re the higher seed and should also be expected to win this series, especially with the one-game lead they retain now. It’s still hypothetical, but let’s imagine the Wizards going up against the Celtics.

You can start Thomas on John Wall, who can just roast him in isolation, or Cheap Softball Jerseys For Girls on Bradley Beal, who can do the same and shoot over him. Any pick-and-roll action that Wall tries to run will be trapped heavily, but Washington is a better shooting team than Chicago. Those are the immediate concerns that come to mind when you wonder how the Celtics will hide Thomas, who is so incredibly valuable on the other end that you need him playing damn near 40 minutes each night.

In the regular season, Boston survived this with the same, harried, switching defense that we’ve seen so far, but will that work in a seven-game playoff series?

It might, but only if Thomas is able to prove he’s not the worst defender in the league.

But given the choice of recovering, or slouching into yet another first round exit, the option was clear. Boston did that by turning back into the team we came to see all regular season. Regardless of what the future holds, it was a welcomed return.

Winning Game 5 (and potentially this series on Friday) doesn’t tell us anything. No. 1 seeds, no matter how “fake” they are, are supposed to win in the first round. But winning is damn sure better than the alternative.

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Nikita Kucherov interview with Sovsport.ru: Full translated text

Yesterday we posted our thoughts on Nikita Kucherov’s comments to Pavel Lysenkov of Sovsport.ru. We heard some skepticism from our fanbase about the accuracy of the translation, so we reached out to Russian-to-English translator Igor Nikonov (@nikonov_igor on Twitter). Nikonov provide us with his best translation effort on the entire article text. Because translation is somewhat subjective, here is The Hockey Writer’s translation by Alessandro Seren Rosso for comparison.

I’m hoping Fizdale’s success will open the door for assistants like Stephen Silas and Darvin Ham. Both have been around the game forever. Ham has ex-player cred, but Silas is the son of Paul and both have paid their dues in all manner of assistant coach responsibilities. Both those guys deserve looks and there a dozen other assistants who merit consideration.

The Rockets and Thunder were engaged in a thrilling basketball game until a free throw shooting contest broke out during the fourth quarter.

With 4:11 on the clock, the Rockets began intentionally fouling Andre Roberson, who shot 42.3 percent from the free throw line this season. Roberson missed both shots, so the Rockets did it again. And again. And once more.

In four trips, Roberson shot 2-of-8 on those free throws and is now 2-of-17 in this series. Free throws, in fact, are not always free.

The Thunder took Roberson out with 3:01 left in the fourth quarter, subbing him back in after the two-minute mark, where that strategy can’t be used. Oklahoma City wasn’t able to play its best perimeter defender because he couldn’t put a basketball through the hoop from 15 feet away. As a viewer, our Cheap Wbc Jerseys thrilling back-and-forth sport was instead replaced with professional athletes standing around watching Cheap Volleyball Jerseys For Women set shots. They stood there very athletically, though.

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It takes a solid matchup get fans excited for football on the day before Christmas

McDowell is going to give whichever team drafts him a lot of position and scheme versatility which means it’s going to be harder for a bad team to ruin him. If that bad team that drafts him and lines Website For Cheap Jerseys him up in the A gap a lot, I will likely pull all my dreads out.

I’m not knocking Michigan State for where they played McDowell, because I don’t know what their motivation was for putting him in the A gap. College teams are going to be focused on winning games more than showcasing guys for the NFL. If both happen to happen simultaneously, cool, but coaches who don’t win games but have a bunch of first- and second-round picks aren’t going to last as a coach very long these days.

It’s frustrating because I would have loved to have seen McDowell out as a five tech or even a three technique more.

It takes a solid matchup get fans excited for football on the day before Christmas, and this one fits the bill. Both teams have star power and should be competitive late in the season.

This game will be a candidate for least-watched evening game of the 2017 season, even with two strong fan bases. There are better ways to spend Christmas night than watching this one.

We also might start seeing a real run on the second-tier quarterbacks. Only three QBs got drafted on Day 2: DeShone Kizer in the second round, and Davis Webb and C.J. Beathard in the third round. Now that we’re in the final stretch, intriguing but flawed prospects like Joshua Dobbs, Nate Peterman, and Brad Kaaya could get drafted in spots where teams are more comfortable taking them.

Day 3 of the draft begins at noon ET on Saturday, with coverage at ESPN and NFL Wholesale Jerseys Cheap Network. Viewers can stream it online at WatchESPN and Watch NFL Network.

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Washington pick Samaje Perine once ran for *427 yards* in a record-setting game

Samaje Perine was one of college football’s most consistent, efficient running backs over the last three seasons. He’s now a Washington NFL draft pick.

Perine’s Oklahoma Sooners evolved on offense during his time in Norman, shifting away from the run game even as they added talent to their backfield (he’s one of two OU backs we rank in this draft’s top eight runners). Perine’s overall numbers shrunk because of that, but he was still a 1,000-yard rusher every year.

In a 2014 game against a woebegone Kansas, Perine took the ball 34 times and ran for 427 yards — a 12.5-yard average, with five touchdowns mixed in. The yardage total is a still-standing record for the Football Bowl Subdivision, the college game’s highest level of play. It’s possible it will never be matched, even though the record he was breaking — 408 by Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon against Nebraska — had been set the week prior.

Kansas’ defense is bad. Probably, it’s been the worst team in the sport’s power NBA Basketball Jerseys conferences over the last handful of years. Perine will see defenses that are just a liiiitttttle better Cheap Jerseys Soccer in the NFL. But what’s being sorted out this spring is just what Perine’s upside might be at the next level.

Watson doesn’t have the arm of Mahomes or the mechanics of Trubisky. Instead, he’s got a national championship. All the dual-threat passer did at Clemson was win, and a solid showing at the combine proved he can make NFL-level throws. However, like every other passer in this draft class, he’s a big risk.

Teams in dire need of a quarterback have to be more conservative with their risk, and that’s why they’d lean toward a player like Trubisky or Mahomes who have higher ceilings. Teams with the luxury of letting Watson play without immense expectations would have the liberty to allow him to develop at his own pace.

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The top 2014 recruit who wasn’t drafted yet? Bama’s about to fully deploy him.

You likely haven’t heard of Da’Shawn Hand, and if you have, perhaps you’ve forgotten about him. He is the former No. 5 recruit in the nation, and Thursday we watched a few of his peers walk across the stage and hug the commissioner.

Leonard Fournette, Myles Garrett, Jabrill Peppers, and Hand’s former teammate Cam Robinson were Nos. 1-4 respectively in the 2014 rankings. Robinson was taken in the second round, while the other three were taken in the first. Look further down the drafted players list, and you’ll find names like Adoree’ Jackson, Dalvin Cook, and Teez Tabor. But you won’t find Hand.

Get some secondary help. The Browns ranked 21st in the league last year against the pass, but Pro Football Focus ranked Cleveland’s secondary 28th in the league for 2016. It’s a deep class for cornerbacks and safeties. Improved pass coverage should help the front seven get pressure on opposing quarterbacks.

Find offensive playmakers. After letting Terrelle Pryor go in free agency, the Browns lack dynamic playmakers who are dangerous with the ball in their hands. They could go with someone like tight end O.J. Howard, who is a versatile playmaker, with the 12th overall pick. If they want to wait until later in the draft, someone like wide receiver ArDarius Stewart out of Alabama may be a good choice in the third round.

Add a lineman, but not until Day 3. Right tackle is really Cheap Jerseys In Canada the only question after bolstering their line during the offseason. The Browns could still bring back Austin Pasztor, and they have Cam Erving and Shon Coleman on the roster to compete for the job. This Cheap Jerseys NCAA Basketball isn’t the best draft class for tackles, but Cleveland should consider a developmental prospect, like Florida’s David Sharpe, who should be available in the fourth round.

But the most important thing the Browns have to do is use each pick wisely.

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How surreal was it going through that collapse during the game and how surreal watching it later?

I thought the players played hard. I’m proud of that and the way we played. I really am. We didn’t get the result we wanted but I feel like we can improve and get better and start to take care of the business we need to get back there.

How surreal was it going through that collapse during the game and how surreal watching it later?

When you watch the coaches tape, it’s so quiet. It kind of takes the emotion away from it. You can watch it from a standpoint of, “What were we trying to do on this play? Did I execute what I was supposed to execute?”

From that standpoint, it is what it is. We’ve all had tough losses and those types of things. We’ve got to move on.

Shanahan has become the scapegoat for so much of the loss because of his fourth-quarter play-calling (Note: Ryan rolled his eyes when reminded). What can you tell people about that?

Kansas City needs a versatile, second-level player at some point to address its age issue in the middle of its defense. It also could use a steady No. 2 corner to pair with Marcus Peters. Expect a Cheap MLB Baseball Jerseys running back and/or quarterback selection at some point, as well as more defensive line depth.

Dallas is still in the market for some pass rush and coverage help, especially after more hits in Cheap NBA Jerseys From USA free agency. Early on the board, however, a fine pass-catching tight end to groom alongside Jason Witten might be the best value. Offensive line will get a long look at some point in the draft.

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