Summary of “Blake Griffin, Clippers Bid Farewell to Lob City”

“Burglars on the west side of Los Angeles are versed in NBA schedules, not injury protocols, so the masked intruders who broke into Blake Griffin’s three-story traditional in Pacific Palisades at 3 a.m. a year and a half ago did not expect to see the 6’10” power forward asleep in his upstairs bedroom.
The Clippers were on the road, but Griffin was at home, rehabbing from arthroscopic surgery on his left quadriceps.
Recently, a couple of Griffin’s childhood friends from Oklahoma City visited L.A., and one pretended to record him surreptitiously with a cellphone.
“The dynamic with Blake and Chris was weird. I don’t know why. It was just strange. No one knew who the leader was, and if you had something to say, it would turn into an argument. I think people were sometimes scared to say something to Blake, because you didn’t know how he’d react. [Now] he’s a whole different person, more approachable, and I think it’s because we’ve embraced him. We know who our leader is. We’re all-in with Blake Griffin.”
The Clippers were facing the Jazz in the first round, and Griffin was undergoing tests for an injured plantar plate in his right big toe, the latest in a series of maladies that could fill a small medical journal.
“Griffin is not funny in the slapstick way that translates to press conferences or even locker rooms. His humor is dry and observational. During games Clippers center DeAndre Jordan plays off Griffin, and afterward, the opposite. Jordan will jabber for five minutes about his abiding affection for his hometown Houston Astros, to which Griffin will quietly reply,”I’ve literally never heard him talk about the Houston Astros until right now.
In January 2016, Griffin expected to return from a partially torn quadriceps on an East Coast road swing, but he re-aggravated the injury the day before the Clippers left.
In New York City, trainers ruled him out for the trip and Griffin asked if he could fly back to L.A. to rehab at the practice facility.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Does Eric Bledsoe Complete the Bucks’ Puzzle?”

Bledsoe gives the Bucks another perimeter player who can create his own shot and be the focal point of the offense.
How will Bledsoe adjust to a smaller role in the Bucks offense, where he won’t be able to dominate the ball? That’s the central question the Bucks will have to answer.
Bledsoe will replace either Malcolm Brogdon, who has taken another big step forward in his second season, or Tony Snell, who has embraced his role as a 3-and-D wing.
How much Bledsoe will help depends on what version of him the Bucks are getting.
According to the tracking numbers at Synergy Sports, Bledsoe was in the 13th percentile of NBA players in defending the ball handler in the pick-and-roll last season, the 46th percentile as an isolation defender, and the 25th percentile in defending players as they come off screens.
Even if Bledsoe had been totally locked in on that side of the ball, he was playing with a bunch of young guys who were learning their assignments and couldn’t help him when his man beat him.
After spending the last four seasons in relative obscurity in Phoenix, Bledsoe will be playing under a microscope.
Eric Bledsoe has waited his entire career for a chance to make a splash.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Winners and Losers From NFL Week 9”

Every week this NFL season, we will celebrate the electric plays, admonish the colossal blunders, and explain the inexplicable moments of the most recent slate.
In the first eight weeks of the season, only three players were ejected from games.
Anyway, I demand we mic up all NFL players so the next time a receiver gets pissed off enough to put a cornerback in a chokehold, we know exactly why it happened.
The last touchdown on a play of third-and-30 or longer came in 1989.
Winner: Tom Savage No, the Texans quarterback didn’t play a good game.
The NFL’s rule that a player isn’t down until they’re touched is not as good as college football’s rule, which states players are down as soon as their knee touches the ground.
This week, two plays allow me to demonstrate my case.
It’s easy to say players should simply remember to touch players when they’re down, but clearly, it takes a while for players to realign their instincts to tag grounded players after years of playing high school and college football-and sometimes, like on the Hilton play, defenders simply don’t realize a ball carrier hasn’t been touched.

The orginal article.

Summary of “MVP, offensive, defensive players of year, best rookies through Week 9”

Voters love players who haven’t previously been in serious award consideration and players who succeed just before the voting window closes, so I’ll be keeping that in mind as I file my selections.
Which players have been vital to their teams the way Ezekiel Elliott has been to the Cowboys? NFL Nation reporters look beyond the quarterback position to pick out each team’s MVP so far.
Bouye’s teammate in Jacksonville, Calais Campbell, is a strong candidate for Defensive Player of the Year.
Injuries along Hunt’s offensive line haven’t helped matters, as the starting five the Chiefs ran out to start the season had at least one player missing between Week 3 and Week 8.
Reid revealed an offense that has dazzled with its complex simplicity, the Patriots showed that they had major defensive concerns, and 16-0 quickly turned into 0-1.Comeback Player of the Year.
Given how difficult it is for defensive backs to win this award, the trophy mostly belongs to front-seven players and pass-rushers specifically.
No defensive players have stood out enough to enter the discussion, so we don’t have to worry about them in the MVP hunt.
Antonio Brown could figure on the fringes of the Offensive Player of the Year race, thanks to the fact that he leads the league by more than 130 receiving yards despite spending Week 9 on bye.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why Michigan State’s Miles Bridges decided to return to college”

I want to talk to Bridges about how great he is, what wonderful things are ahead for him, but it is not long before he’s telling me about last November’s game against Kentucky at Madison Square Garden, the second game of his college career.
Want to know why Miles Bridges declined the NBA, you have to sit in a room with Tum, Josh and Xavier and ask them to tell you stories.
They have just come from a long practice, but I ask each to share a story that to them is the quintessential Miles Bridges story.
“One day, me, Tum and Miles – nobody in the gym. Coaches were gone and we’re just going to play one-on-one. It was our first time ever playing against each other. Summer. Wasn’t nobody there. And I knew Miles was good, but he won like four games straight. I’m like, ‘I got to step it up.'”.
Just like Miles used to do with his sister when he was a little kid, he keeps pushing them.
Miles is not a big trash-talker, they tell me, but that day he was on fire.
“The last thing I’ll say about Miles,” Tum adds: “Miles tells me he loves me every day. Every day. I’m not exaggerating. Every day.”
“Miles tells me he loves me every day. Every day. I’m not exaggerating.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “Skinny Love: Why Players Across the NBA Are Slimming Down”

As the NBA shifts more and more toward speed and shooting over size and back-to-the-basket post-ups, players are changing their bodies to keep pace.
Abunassar, who has worked with the likes of Kevin Garnett, Kristaps Porzingis, and Kyle Lowry at his Las Vegas-based training facility, has seen more and more players willing to prioritize lean muscle and strength over bulk and size.
At NBA media days across the league, veteran NBA players showed up sporting slimmed-down physiques.
When they do cut weight, more often than not NBA players are showing it off on their popular social media streams.
With defenses switching more and more on screens, thus forcing players to match up with a wider range of positions and sizes, power forwards and centers are starting to slim-fit their offseason regimens.
That’s because you can find more and more NBA players doing nontraditional exercise classes such as yoga and cycling, or stepping into a squared ring.
Along with photos of Chris Paul and LeBron James putting in work in the weight room, a scroll through NBA Instagram also turns up Rudy Gobert and Shabazz Napier in the boxing ring or players at a pilates or yoga class.
Every offseason, Lang Whitaker and his high school friend Matt Colwell noticed the same reports in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution of basketball players getting more muscular.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Joel Embiid is more than the NBA’s best follow”

PHILADELPHIA – Joel Embiid postures at the free throw line like the Greek warrior Perseus, flexing his chiseled 7-foot-2 frame and gesturing to the paying customers to raise their game.
With Joel Embiid on the floor, Philadelphia has offensive and defensive ratings on par with Eastern Conference playoff teams.
“Yet his skill set is only part of the appeal. Embiid has unleashed the most captivating NBA personality since Shaquille O’Neal, conquering social media with the same gusto he exhibits on the court, whether it’s flirting with Rihanna, making free agency overtures to LeBron James and Kevin Durant, dishing smack to Hassan Whiteside, or spinning yarns about killing a lion, even though he was born and raised in Yaounde, Cameroon, a bustling city of 2.4 million people – and zero big-game animals. Embiid has even waded into politics, warning teammate Ben Simmons, who was born in Melbourne, Australia, prior to last November’s presidential election, that if Donald Trump were to win,”He’s gonna deport you.
Brown put Embiid on a minutes restriction while he rounds into shape, which the young center declared “f–ing bull–.” Through seven games, Embiid is averaging 27 minutes a night, which, he rationalizes, is close to starter’s minutes.
Embiid is adored even more in his native Cameroon than in Philly because he represents prosperity and promise to an African nation that has been thwarted by pervasive corruption.
In the final 30 seconds of the game with the Sixers holding a five-point lead, Joel Embiid comes tumbling down on top of James Harden, and after a review, he’s called for goaltending.
Embiid sets up in the post, but Rockets center Clint Capela holds him at bay while PJ Tucker comes over to double Embiid and strips the ball.
The postgame chatter on Philly talk radio is that Embiid needs more shots.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Patrick Ewing plans to bring Georgetown Hoya back to prominence as new head coach”

Semester is about to start at Georgetown, and Ewing was rewinding his memories of the coach who once kept the Hoyas off the court, in Providence, until one of the many racist signs they’d see in Big East gyms was taken down.
Ewing graduated from Georgetown but never really left.
Georgetown athletic director Lee Reed was on the line to make Ewing an offer.
Ewing also knew that the most recent of those executives, Phil Jackson, would never hire him after he told a New York columnist in 1996 that he wanted Van Gundy to remain his coach.
Sacramento came close to hiring Ewing last year before the Kings went with Dave Joerger, who had the head-coaching experience that Ewing did not.
Larry Bird wasn’t a fan from a distance, but after playing with Ewing on the 1992 Olympic Dream Team he told columnist Jackie MacMullan that Patrick was “Probably the nicest guy I’ve ever met.” Mullin says he doesn’t think he exchanged one word with Ewing during their four years in the Big East but that the two became close friends after spending time together in Barcelona.
Ewing sat with the player, in the head coach’s presence, and reminded him that his teammates had never showed their frustration to the crowd and the cameras whenever he screwed up.
The most accomplished coach Ewing ever played for, Pat Riley, says his former franchise player will command the attention and respect of teenage blue-chippers by “Telling a story that’s truthful.” The Miami Heat president loved Ewing’s grinder mentality when they were together in New York and now envisions Patrick imposing his competitive will on the Hoyas.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Golden State Warriors not worried about slow start to season”

Particularly this year as the Warriors have gotten off to a rather sloppy 5-3 start heading into Thursday’s game in San Antonio.
You say that word in the modern NBA and people go straight to the San Antonio Spurs resting players en masse during the regular season or last year’s leaguewide debacle around resting star players for high-profile nationally televised games.
As a player on the Michael Jordan-era Chicago Bulls and the Tim Duncan-era Spurs, he says this Warriors team reminds him of the 1997-98 Bulls team that won “Only” 62 games in the regular season after winning 72 and 69 games and NBA championships the previous two seasons.
“That’s why LeBron [James] going to the Finals seven years in a row, to me, is one of the most amazing accomplishments ever for a player in this league.”
After the Warriors won in 2015, Kerr missed the first 43 games of the season due to complications from back surgery.
The team rallied around young assistant coach Luke Walton to win its first 24 games of the year and set a course to break the Bulls’ 72-win regular-season NBA record.
Such is the conundrum of a team in the middle of a dynasty, which is why so many fizzle after two or three years or have a gap year between runs.
“We have to get there. And I can’t force that. As a coach, it’s my job to recognize that and adapt to that and try to guide us and navigate us. I can tell you this year is gonna be a lot harder than that first year.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “The great debate about Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor”

IN EVERY BILLS game, Tyrod Taylor performs a feat of athleticism that makes you question your prior understanding of how human limbs are supposed to move – how legs and arms and hands normally work in tandem, restricting one’s ability to, say, hopscotch and type at the same time.
His record, as balanced as a book opened to its midpoint, inspires passionate disagreement among fans, many of whom refuse to believe that Taylor actually might be the rarest of commodities: a franchise quarterback.
If Taylor thrives, he could change perceptions of what success at his position looks like – a heavy load for a quarterback accustomed to fighting just to be seen.
The combination of those explosive plays and Taylor’s low turnover rate – since becoming a starter, he has thrown an interception on 1.4 percent of his passes, fourth best in the NFL – is rare, he adds, which is why the lack of appreciation for Taylor in Buffalo befuddles him.
FOR AS LONG as Taylor can remember, he wanted to play quarterback.
Taylor, the winningest quarterback in Virginia Tech history, was taken aback.
McCOY, ONE OF Taylor’s closest friends on the Bills, likes to compare Taylor with Willie Beamen, the third-string quarterback in “Any Given Sunday” who comes off the bench when two veteran quarterbacks are injured.
With his new deal, Taylor has a cap hit of just $9.7 million, which means the Bills are spending less on the position than all but 11 teams across the league, most of which employ quarterbacks on rookie contracts.

The orginal article.