NBA playoffs 2017: Dwyane Wade compares Jimmy Butler’s play to LeBron James

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Could Jimmy Butler be LeBron James 2.0?

I have an enormous amount of trust and confidence after being with Russell this season for 82 games and seeing the ways he’s closed out games and different things that he’s done, Donovan said. I trust him when he’s got the ball in terms of making decisions. Sometimes, when the ball goes in the basket, people have a tendency to say, ‘Wow! This was just an unbelievable performance!’ And ‘Is he the best closer in the game?’ And then when they don’t go in, it’s gonna be, ‘Did he take too many shots?’ I think there’s always a balance there.
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Are there some shots and better ball movement we could have? Absolutely. Are there some shots that he took and plays that he made that I wouldn’t take back? Absolutely. I think you’re always looking to find that balance where we can collectively function as well as he can.

When the Thunder try to defend their home court Friday night against the Rockets, expect Westbrook to do what he did in Game 2, which is what he’s been doing all year long.

Barkley finished his thoughts on Westbrook and when he was done, the hosts saw an opportunity to get Chuck going. They asked him about players resting, which became an issue when the Warriors and Cavs benched players late in the season, and he had some thoughts.

[The top 10-15 players] played double-digit years in the NBA and they played in those crappy Converse shoes, they flew commercial or rode the bus or train and all of a sudden now, you got all of these idiots who use analytics and say, 鈥榞uys need rest.’ It makes me sick to my stomach. It’s not proven anywhere these guys need rest.

Lakers aren’t only team worried about pick protection

That said, some of the few remaining are absolutely fascinating and could have a massive effect on the long-term future of a few franchises. Now is a good time to take a look back at the obligations that will affect teams.

Darron Lee Kids Jersey Let’s go with 0.90 for this one. That’s because both of these teams are very good spot-up shooting teams, and that’s not surprising considering that this series features four of the most efficient spot-up shooters in the league: Curry (1.33 points per possession) and Durant (1.26) for the Warriors, as well as Kawhi Leonard (1.24) and Gasol (1.27) for the Spurs. In the playoffs, Draymond Green has scored 8.0 points per game on spot-up shots, most in the league, and the Spurs’ Danny Green has been fourth with 5.1 points.
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Of course, the Celtics could not buy a 3-pointer in that game, and finished 7 for 33. Throughout the playoffs, their ability to convert those perimeter jumpers has defined their success, and they were over 40 percent in their series against the Wizards. That came despite the perimeter inconsistency of guard Isaiah Thomas, whose scoring came mostly from forays to the basket. Thomas has had some struggles lately in the playoffs, too, seeing his production dip after his stunning 53-point performance in Game 2 of the conference semis.

The Cavaliers arrive in the conference finals eager to defend their conference title and get back to their presumed matchup against the Warriors. They, like Golden State, have gone 8-0 in the first round of the playoffs, and they’ll have 10 days off between their last game against Toronto and the opening of the conference finals. Rust was a problem for the Warriors against the Spurs on Sunday, but the Cavs just have too much talent not to be able to withstand an early Boston lead.

Breaking down new-look Panthers: Cam Newton can make full use of new toys

The Panthers couldn’t just rely on Newton working it out on his own as a seventh-year player. They needed ways to facilitate his skill set, quickly and safely. They were smart to focus on the edges of their offense.
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Kelvin Benjamin and Devin Funchess were a combined major disappointment last season despite looking the part with their big frames and catch radii. Benjamin was well behind ageless tight end Greg Olsen in receiving production, and Funchess was a shaky fourth option. Ted Ginn and Corey Brown, the speedy deep threats from Ohio State, are gone.

Limited Mens Terry Bradshaw Jersey The right side, Newton’s non-Blind Side, is a concern with post-concussion Michael Oher’s NFL future still in question. Rookie second-round pick Taylor Moton will get a chance to battle for that starting spot, but it’s more likely the Panthers ease him in as a backup swing tackle/guard. Daryl Williams is in position to be the shaky stopgap until Moton is up to speed. Andrew Norwell returns as the stud at left guard, while Trai Turner will be happy to stay at right guard and not be forced outside.

Kato Kaelin wins $12K in Brewers 50/50 raffle

The Brewers held a 50/50 charity raffle during Monday’s 8-1 win over the visiting Orioles at Miller Park.

The raffle had a celebrity winner.

The big rumor over the long July 4 weekend was a sexy one: The Chicago Cubs are interested in Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander (and catcher Alex Avila).

Welcome back, Freddie Freeman. When Freeman fractured his wrist in mid-May, he was hitting an insane .341/.461/.748, and combined with his monster second half of 2016, he had established himself as perhaps the best hitter in the game. He returned to the Atlanta Braves’ lineup after just two rehab games and, sure enough, singled to center in his first at-bat. But the big news was he returned as a third baseman. He handled a routine grounder on his first chance:

Kato Kaelin, who is best-known as a witness during O.J. Simpson’s 1995 murder trial, attended the game with two family members and a friend and won the drawing.

The 6-10 Imhoff starred at the University of California under legendary coach Pete Newell. The Bears won the national championship in 1959, and Imhoff would go on to win a gold medal as a member of the 1960 U.S. Olympic team in Rome. That team, featuring future NBA stars such as Jerry West and Oscar Robertson, was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

After being selected third overall by the Knicks in the 1960 NBA Draft, Imhoff went on to a 12-year career in the league, playing with the Pistons, Lakers, 76ers, Cincinnati Royals (now the Sacramento Kings) and the Trail Blazers. Nicknamed “The Ax” for his physical play, Imhoff made the 1967 All-Star game while with the Lakers. For his career, Imhoff averaged 7.2 points and 7.6 rebounds per game.

He was a radio analyst during the Blazers’ 1977 NBA Finals victory, the only championship in franchise history.warriors_003-115x115

The obvious comparison is John Elway, also a former player now calling the shots in Denver.

They sure did! You can’t accuse the 49ers of not thinking outside the box, though. Since retiring as a player in 2008, Lynch joined the broadcasting booth, serving as a color commentator for FOX until scoring his new gig this year. It was a surprising move, given that Lynch had no front-office experience up until now.

The obvious comparison is John Elway, also a former player now calling the shots in Denver. The difference is that Elway actually had years of experience working in a front office, even owning an AFL team at one point. His promotion to the Broncos’ GM role felt like a natural progression. Lynch is more being thrown into the fire, though at least he’ll be working closely with Shanahan.
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During a rant on ESPN’s First Take centered around Knicks president Phil Jackson earlier this week, Smith criticized Jackson’s decision to add Odom to the team’s roster late in the 2013-14 season.

His first move as the executive of the New York Knicks was to sign Lamar Odom, who was on crack! Smith said.

Smith later responded to Odom’s complaint and clarified that his tirade was intended for Jackson.
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Lamar Odom is simply one of the nicest athletes any of us have encountered, and has always been a gentlemen to everyone in NBA circles — including me — which is something I’ve repeated throughout the years, Smith said, via Deadspin.

That’s why it’s worth repeating: Lamar Odom was not the focus of my ire. My comments were entirely, totally, meant for Phil Jackson. Anyone who loves the NY Knicks, who’ve witnessed what has been transpiring over the last three years, know exactly who I was directing my comments to.

Odom underwent rehab after a three-day binge at a Nevada brothel in late 2015 ended with him being discovered nonresponsive. He was in a coma and spent several days on life support before recovering.

That probably climaxes a career and doesn’t take second place to anything

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I’m not saying I’m allergic to going anywhere else, but I just love being around here in this organization, Richardson said. I love being the underdog. It’s easy to go to an established franchise for a guy in my position and just go chase a ring. But I’d rather try to make one here.

Originally a 15th-round pick of the Colts in the 1960 NFL Draft, the former Ole Miss defender opted for the fledgling AFL. The Titans made him one of their first 32 players taken, in the second round, and he became a stalwart of the team’s defense.

Grantham retired with 24 interceptions and 19 forced fumbles and remains the franchise’s all-time leader in takeaways. He was added to the Jets Ring of Honor in 2011.

That probably climaxes a career and doesn’t take second place to anything, Grantham said at the time. I’m not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and sure, that’s a great big honor, but to me this honor with the Jets is unbelievable. Just think of all the players they’ve had up there from 1960 till now. It’s something I can’t put into words.

I had 13 wonderful years in New York, even with the Titans. Sometimes we didn’t get paid, but we had great times, and Sammy Baugh was one of the greatest coaches I ever played for. They’re all outstanding memories for me. I still get excited when I get fan mail. People have been awful good to me in New York.

Before he retired from football in 1974, Grantham played one season for the Florida Blazers of the start-up World Football League.
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Following his career, the former 6-foot, 210-pound linebacker joined the Jets radio broadcast team. He later had other business ventures and got into banking. He also worked closely with Freedom House, the New Jersey drug and alcohol treatment center, for more than two decades.