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Nowitzki goes to sixth on all-time NBA list as Curry hits three-quarter court shot

Dirk Nowitzki passed Wilt Chamberlain for sixth place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list, but Elfrid Payton had his fifth straight triple-double to help New Orleans beat Dallas 129-125 in overtime on Monday night.

Nowitzki moved past Chamberlain on one of his signature long-range jumpers with 8:35 remaining in the first quarter. The 40-year-old German took a feed from Doncic and backed down Kenrich Williams before turning and launching from the top of the key. Entering the game needing four points to pass Chamberlain, Nowitzki started for the ninth time this season. He made his first two shots to end the suspense with a sellout crowd on its feet. Nowitzki finished with eight points, giving him 31,424 in his 21 seasons trailing only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Michael Jordan.

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Dallas rookie Luka Doncic had a triple-double of his own with 29 points, 13 boards and 10 assists. “He deserves everything good that happens to him,” Doncic said. “It’s amazing cheap nba jerseys from china
the things he has accomplished, but this one is really amazing for him.”

How do I feel seeing my NBA records get broken? Elated and inspired
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
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Elsewhere, the Golden State Warriors lost to the San Antonio Spurs 111-105 but the night stood out for a three-quarters court shot by Stephen Curry at the end of the first quarter. The 61-foot shot was the longest of the NBA season.

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“I might be delusional, but every time I shoot it, I feel like it’s going in,” Curry said after game. “You kind of know right away whether it has a chance or not. Some of them are in and out, it’s close, whatever. That one felt great, I was running after [it]. A cool way to end the quarter, I just wish we had gotten the win, too.”

Capitals goalie Braden Holtby he won’t visit White House with Stanley Cup champs: ‘I’ve got to stay true to my values’

Canadian goaltender Braden Holtby said he will not visit the White House with his Capitals teammates, joining forwards Brett Connolly and Devante Smith-Pelly as players who have declined the invitation there to honor the team’s Stanley Cup on Monday.

“I’ve got to stay true to my values, and I’m going respectfully decline the offer,” Holtby said Friday morning. “In saying that, it’s a tough situation for everyone to be in, to be forced to make a decision of that standing. You’re a team and you want to stick together no matter what, so I hope everyone Wholesale nba jerseys
kind of blows it away and that we don’t worry about who goes and who doesn’t.

“For me, it’s just a personal thing. I believe in what I believe in, and in order to stick to those values, I think I have to do what I feel is right, but that doesn’t make a difference on everyone else’s decision. We stick by every single teammate we have and their decision. That’s about it.”

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Holtby has marched in D.C.’s Pride Parade and served as the Capitals’ designated “You Can Play” ambassador, and in September, he spoke at the Human Rights Campaign national dinner. Asked specifically about his involvement with the LGBTQ community, Holtby said it factored into his decision.

“My family and myself, we believe in a world where humans are treated with respect regardless of your stature, what you’re born into,” Holtby said. “You’re asked to choose what side you’re on, and I think it’s pretty clear what side I’m on. I believe that this is the right decision for myself and my family.”

The Capitals announced on Thursday that there will be no official ceremony or media availability while they are in the White House. The team will take part in a private tour and will meet President Donald Trump in the Oval Office. Smith-Pelly, who is black and Canadian, was the first to say he would not want to be part of a White House ceremony because “the things that [Trump] spews are straight-up racist and sexist,” he told Canada’s Postmedia.

Smith-Pelly was waived in February and sent down to the American Hockey League in a salary cap-clearing move so he is no longer with the Capitals, but all members of the 2018 team are invited and will have the option to attend. Players and coaches new to the team this season will not be part of the visit.

Connolly joined Smith-Pelly last year in saying he would skip a White House visit, and he stood by that decision when asked Tuesday night, referencing his support for Smith-Pelly.

“I respectfully decline,” said Connolly, who is Canadian. “That’s all I’ll say about it. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. It’s obviously a big deal, and it gains a lot of attention. I’ve been in full support of an old teammate that I’m really good friends with who I agreed with and a guy who will be back here, I’m sure, at the end of the year. That’s all I’ll say.”

 

Warriors’ Kevin Durant reiterates support for Colin Kaepernick

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A day after news broke that Colin Kaepernick had settled his collusion case against the NFL, Warriors forward Kevin Durant reiterated his support for the former 49ers quarterback.

“I think it’s good for athletes to stand up for what they believe in,” Durant said Saturday during his All-Star Weekend media availability. “A lot of people don’t agree with what Kap is doing,cheap nba jerseys from china
but I do, and I’m going to stand behind him and support him.”

Kaepernick drew attention during the 2016 season when he knelt during the national anthem to protest social injustice. It kick-started a movement, with other NFL players — as well as athletes from different sports across the U.S. — joining in solidarity.
Kaepernick has not been on an NFL roster since severing his contract with the 49ers in March 2017. Seven months later, Kaepernick filed a grievance under the collective bargaining agreement alleging collusion against signing him to an NFL contract.

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Per Yahoo! Sports, a final hearing in Kaepernick’s case against the NFL — in which final evidence would have been presented before an arbitrator — was scheduled for this month. It’s likely Kaepernick and Panthers safety Eric Reid, who joined in filing the grievance, received a financial settlement in exchange for withdrawing their complaint.

Durant and Warriors guard Stephen Curry have long been vocal supporters of Kaepernick. In January 2018, they contributed to Kaepernick’s Million Dollar Pledge.

Curry donated $10,000 to United Playaz, a Bay Area-based violence prevention and youth development organization that has worked with Curry in the past. Durant donated $10,000 to Silicon Valley De-Bug, a media, community-organizing, entrepreneurial and advocacy collective based in San Jose. Kaepernick matched both donations.

Draymond Green, Kevin Durant, and the Warriors’ Tricky Position

Until this week, the Warriors were the NBA’s great constant, like gravity or the toxicity of chloride under replicable conditions. The 2018-19 championship would naturally hew to them; all major moves around the league were made with an eye toward beating (or not being able to beat) Golden State. All that changed this week with the heated “altercation” between Kevin Durant and Draymond Green, which caused possibly irrevocable damage to that relationship; rocked this team, so reliant on chemistry, to its core; and threw the Warriors’ future—first long-term, then immediate—into a chaotic tailspin.

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Between some basic lip reading and a bunch of excellent reporting, it’s become clear that there were some long-simmering tensions between Durant and Green. Durant’s 2019 free agency is already a topic of speculation, and will only loom larger as the season progresses. It’s hard from the outside cheap nba jerseys
to see how Durant himself is feeding this beast but apparently Green feels that he’s contributing to the “hype,” perhaps by not alleviating it. Green was the antagonist and received the one-game suspension, but he may have a point. He has greatly altered his role on the team to accommodate Durant, so it’s understandable that he would expect Durant to emphasize staying, not potentially leaving.

The dynamic that’s been set into motion here is pretty grim for Golden State. If things are permanently broken—and the more we find out, the more plausible this becomes—the Warriors may have to make a choice between the two future Hall of Famers. Durant is simply one of the most potent offensive weapons the sport has ever seen; the endlessly versatile Green is the anchor of Golden State’s defense and an essential part of their offensive system. Durant gives them unmatched firepower but Green is arguably more central to the team’s identity. Durant could walk next summer; at the same time, re-upping the volatile Green is a risky proposition. The Warriors would be pretty much screwed and could even potentially lose both players if they were to trade Green and then lose Durant, a scenario that would result in thousands of schadenfreude overdoses online.

But what makes this situation so difficult to parse is that, while Green has some issues with his role on-court, we’re really watching a pure psychodrama unfold. It shouldn’t come as any surprise that a Durant-Green conflict ends up being largely about emotions and internal states. Durant’s well-documented insecurity and thin-skinned-ness have been a running joke for some time; Green constantly strikes a balance between spirited and unhinged, often making questionable decisions that verge on self-sabotage. How we talk about the two has as much to do with what they’re thinking and how they’re feeling about things as what they accomplish in raw competitive terms. Green may seem more likely to fuck things up but we’re now learning that Durant’s issues are, at least for Green, alienating in their own right.

The NBA Trade Deadline Made the Old-School New Again

Nathaniel Friedman on how the Warriors’ utter dominance made patient, incremental roster-building all the rage.

The Warriors have permanently broken our brains. When Kevin Durant signed in Oakland and locked down the NBA title for the foreseeable future, the other 29 teams knew they had no chance; the smart move would have been for the entire league to start tanking immediately. Instead, although each successive season’s outcome became a foregone conclusion, the league went into full-on arms-race mode, with every would-be contender loading up on talent in hopes of matching up with the consummate super-team.

Golden State has also scrambled the way we think about the league’s balance of power. In a bygone era, that balance ebbed and flowed in a somewhat orderly fashion; a breakout season, shrewd trade, or long-term injury could move the needle. But mostly, good teams stayed that way until their franchise players retired, and bad teams gradually climbed the ladder as their lottery picks came into their own. It was a simpler, easier time that promoted stability, both within franchise rosters and also the league as a whole. Rivalries were entrenched, loyalty meant something, and the hierarchy was just porous enough to keep everyone on their toes.

By comparison, today’s NBA is chaos. Stars are increasingly unlikely to settle down, lest they risk stagnation or get mired in a rebuild. As evidenced by the adventures of Kawhi Leonard, Anthony Davis, and Kristaps Porzingis, they are more willing than ever to throw their weight around to achieve their goals, Wholesale nba jerseys even without what would have previously been considered real leverage. A team’s fortunes can shift overnight, and the Clippers or Knicks can abruptly scrap their entire rosters in the hopes of landing multiple marquee free agents in the summer. It certainly helps that players leave teams guessing until the last minute—almost as a matter of principle, even if they have no financial or competitive incentive to do so.

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That’s why this deadline’s biggest news was non-news: Anthony Davis, a player who changes the complexion of gameplay as much as anyone not named LeBron James or Stephen Curry, will remain a Pelican until the offseason, at the very least. It’s unclear whether Davis and James, plus whatever scraps remained after a deal with New Orleans, would have made the Lakers into a contender. But it would have kept Davis from becoming a Celtic this summer, and assuming Kyrie Irving re-signs—not a guarantee, but still—a Davis-to-Boston move would have vast implications for the league’s competitive landscape. If this deadline felt anticlimactic, it was because we are now conditioned for things to change dramatically on a regular basis, and our standards for what constitutes a “blockbuster” are nothing short of apocalyptic.

The lack of excitement over what little did happen this week is a testament to how warped things have become. The Sixers, Raptors, and Bucks—three of the four top teams in the East—made moves that considerably elevated their chances of winning the conference. (Granted, in each of these cases, they were only able to land quality talent because their trading partners were in fire-sale mode, further evidence of the stratification gutting the league’s middle class.) But adding players who complement what’s already under way, and relying on midseason trades to up the competitive ante rather than banking on a boom-or-bust offseason? These franchises made a decidedly old-fashioned approach seem new and exciting.

Here’s the type of contract Mets should try to lure free agent Bryce Harper with

Even after adding Wilson Ramos and Robinson Cano, Mets GM Brodie VanWagenen said Tuesday that he’d like to add another infielder or outfielder (or two) to the roster.

“We’re not as concerned about left-handed or right-handed now, we just want to have complementary pieces,” he added.

Like most Mets fans, I hear, “Add,” and I think free agents Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, A.J. Pollack and Mike Moustakas. However, as SNY’s Andy Martino reported Tuesday night, the above more likely means spending on multiple in-between players to add depth and round out to the roster.

Unlike during previous offseasons, there has been very little reporting on the team’s winter budget and their expected payroll for 2019. The number has so far been a mystery, Wholesale nba jerseys
which is furthered by Van Wagenen being a first time GM.

That said, according to Cot’s Baseball Contracts, the Mets are already projected to have a $167 million net 40-man payroll next season.

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To add A.J. Pollock or Mike Moustakas, let alone both, the Mets would be uncharacteristically close to the luxury tax, while making it very difficult for Van Wagenen to acquire players by trade during the summer. Harper or Machado would obviously do the same, even if backloading their deal and trading Todd Frazier and/or Juan Lagares.

For what it’s worth, Pollock and Moustakas would each add a projected three wins, according to FanGraphs.com. Harper would add six.

By committing $15 million the next three- to four years to get Pollock or Moustakas., Van Wagenen would add just a projected few extra wins. The thing is, assuming he can spend it, the above would leave the Mets super close to the luxury tax threshold and limit their ability to make acquisitions during the season.

How can the Mets fit Harper if they can’t fit Pollock and Moustakas? Van Wagenen needs to continue to be creative and return to thinking like he did when representing Yoenis Cespedes during his first contract negotiations with the Mets.

If you recall, Van Wagenen got the Mets to give his client a three-year deal that paid $25 million each season. The deal also had an opt-out clause after its first year. And when Cespedes used the opt-out to again become free agent, the deal called for him to be paid an additional $2.7 million for his one year of service.

This seems counterintuitive, but it actually gave Cespedes an incentive to opt out and get the Mets off the hook for the deal’s remaining $50 million, while still keeping his bat in the lineup through 2016.

The Golden Breakdown: A new wrinkle in the Curry/Durant dynamic

The North (-ern California) remembers, and the Warriors defeat the Dallas Mavericks on their home turf. Avenging a previous defeat — albeit one that was in part due to the absences of Stephen Curry and Draymond Green — the Warriors were able to rally back from a close deficit that lasted for more than half of the game. In turn, they were able to fend off a furious rally by the Mavericks that threatened to render that comeback moot.

While the Warriors were able to display several tenets of their motion offense, the Mavericks proved that they were able to withstand a toe-to-toe exchange with the defending champions. In the end, however, the Warriors delivered a final haymaker that put the Mavericks down for good.

Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant are two of the best players in the NBA today. The fact that they co-exist and thrive together on an almost nightly basis is a blessing that was once unimaginable by a fan base that has suffered for years in basketball purgatory.

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It is a natural line of thought to put Curry and Durant together in several actions — Curry’s range and gravity, coupled with Durant’s ability to score from anywhere on the floor, adds an entirely new dimension to the phrase “picking your poison.”

However, the Warriors are not keen on running Curry and Durant together in the pick-and-roll as much as fans would want them to. Steve Kerr’s principle of sharing Wholesale jerseys
the ball and having everyone be of equal or near-equal threats offensively simply does not allow much room for Curry and Durant to work in tandem together on every possession. But when they do choose to have Curry and Durant work with each other, there is no other combination in the league that is as lethal offensively.

In this particular sequence, Curry sets an off-ball screen for Durant, who uses Curry’s solid pick to get a good look at the basket. Durant buries the catch-and-shoot mid-range jumper.
They run the same sequence in the next possession. Durant attempts to curl off of Curry’s screen, but the Mavericks are prepared and defend the initial action easily. This flows into a more traditional pick-and-roll. Durant sets the screen for Curry, and the Mavericks elect to hedge Curry and attempt to trap him — but all it manages to do is to leave Durant alone to receive the pass from Curry. Durant goes up for the uncontested automatic jumper.
The traditional Curry/Durant pick-and-roll is obviously difficult to defend — but like every action, it is not immune to defensive adjustments. If it is used all the time, defenses will eventually find ways to shut it down.

Therefore, if the Warriors want to rely on the Curry and Durant dynamic, then they may have to be creative in how they use them together.

Instead of the traditional pick-and-roll action where one screens for the other, the Warriors introduced a new wrinkle in the Curry/Durant combination. Whether it was something that was created within the flow of the offense, or a premeditated action that they unwrapped and revealed as if were a brand new toy, this sequence certainly was interesting to watch.

Durant gets a screen from Looney, with Curry stationed at the free throw line. Durant’s drive toward the basket forces Curry’s defender to switch onto him, allowing Curry the freedom to pop out toward the three-point line for the uncontested three. Uncharacteristically, he misses the open look, but it doesn’t negate the excellent action that led to it.

Warrior Wonder poll: Was Jerebko’s career high enough to put him on top of Durant’s game winner?

Call me crazy, but I am throwing convention out the window this morning. Normally, the Warrior Wonder poll is reserved for a starter, but I think Jonas Jerebko’s name deserves to be on the marquee right up there with the big stars.

So no Golden Sidekick today, Jerebko deserves more
Jonas Jerebko has almost single handedly saved Golden State Warriors management a fair amount of criticism this season. After letting BOTH of our veteran centers walk away simply to go in a different direction, the Center spot has been an ongoing headache – and there doesn’t appear to be much relief in sight until Demarcus Cousins’ return. Even before the Damian Jones injury this was a concern, but without any sort of big body to man the middle, teams have begun to exploit the rarest of Warriors weaknesses these days: a design flaw in the team.

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In the interim, the Warriors are committed to small ball…simply because we literally have no other options. As a result, Jerebko has played about a quarter of his time at Center, and when he’s slotted in as a Power Forward, he still brings that “stretch big man” game that would seem to be such a natural fit next to our bevy of shooters.
Seriously, his combination of at-the-rim prowess, Cheap Golden State Warriors Jerseys and an ability to hit threes is an extremely natural fit within the construction of our roster.
Big rebounds, key shots, and all within the flow of the game. This isn’t a classic “bench shooter” in the sense that he comes out just jacking up threes, but his judicious and liberal application of swagger last night resulted in a career high for him, and a close win for the Warriors.

I know Durant will get a lot of the press for that game winner (as I’m about to do right after this sentence), but just like wins in December count just as much as those in the last few weeks of the season Jerebko’s contributions all game may have well been the deciding factor.

But still, that Kevin Durant dagger…
I’m honestly extremely curious to see how the poll breaks out today. Durant, as he does, had a phenomenal game. He messed around and got a damn near triple double: 29 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists.

Wow. 29 points on just 18 attempts is magical, but then again, Durant is the original NBA unicorn. So unique and strong in so many aspects of the game – I wouldn’t say his overall floor game is overlooked at all… but it can be overshadowed by his scoring.

Much like last night, all anyone seems to be talking about is that game winner, but his rebounds, floor presence, and general feel for the game are unparalleled. It’s wonderful!

Explain One Play: Damian Jones’s Dozen Points

Damian Jones had a nice season opener as the new Warriors starting center, with eye-popping highlights and young mistakes as well. Here are some brief notes taken during the game, followed by a video breakdown of Damian Jones’s scores. In brief, Jones looks like he can adequately play the roles of Zaza Pachulia (as giant defender) and JaVale McGee (high-flying vertical spacer) if he can keep catching up to game speed and getting chemistry with his teammates.

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Brief Game Notes
Standing figure on OKC bench is Westbrook right cheap nba jerseys
after he talked trash to Durant when Adams posted him up. Adams knocked Durant back about 5 feet but Durant got the strip and turned to ask Westbrook how his day was going.

GSW, in their endearing way, is force feeding their new toy, Damian Jones. Results are spectacular dunks and horrible turnovers. Jones looks okay on defense except for a jumpy foul.
DJ stoned Adams on a post up, then made a nice find of KD in the corner, got an OREB and nice dish for a layup, then happily skipped down the court. Then another turnover with KD forcing to to DJ. It’s a roller coaster ride with the new guys.
The Q1 closing lineup (KD, Quinn, AI, Dray, Looney) looked discombobulated. Missed the 2 for 1. Gave up sloppy points.
An older person dance troupe, the Hardwood Classics, got a wild ovation from the crowd. Don’t remember seeing them before…
The Oracle crowd, upon careful reflection, have decided that the bizarre charge call on KD is evidence that the referees do in fact suck.
Standing O for David West on Legend Cam during the break.
Is this some weird hazing to have McKinnie debut by guarding the tiny guards Schroeder and Felton?

GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS SHADE CAVALIERS … With Reversible Championship Rings

Won’t be hard for the Warriors to remember trouncing LeBron James the last two years … ’cause they just got diamond, gold and sapphire bling to make sure they NEVER forget it!!!

Golden State unveiled its 2018 NBA Championship cheap nba jerseys china
Rings on opening night Tuesday — and the ice is FULL of reminders of how they overthrew the King … two years in a row.

“Bristle texture” signifying the 4-0 sweep in the 2018 Finals? Check.

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Two gold-and-diamond Larry O’Brien trophies for the back-to-back wins over the Cavs? They’re there.

A “Back 2 Back” slogan engraved in the gold? Yup.

OH … and the freakin’ top IS REVERSIBLE — because, ya know, back-to-back over Cleveland and all that.

As for the practicality of that whole unscrewing top thing … not everyone was a fan — Shaq said on air, “Why would you want your ring to open up???”

By the way, overall a good night for the Warriors — they beat the OKC Thunder 108 to 100.