Thomas has been frustrated that it hasn’t translated to team victories

Elite Youth Ryan O’Reilly Jersey For the season, Thomas is now averaging a career-best 26.6 points over 33.3 minutes per game. Thomas is seventh in the NBA in scoring — sitting ahead of a group that includes Kevin Durant, LeBron James, and Stephen Curry — and second in the Eastern Conference behind only Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan (27.9). Zoom in closer and Thomas ranks third in the league in fourth-quarter scoring, averaging 8.1 points per game in that frame.

He sits behind only Portland’s Damian Lillard (8.2) and Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook (9.8), two players that log more fourth-quarter minutes than Thomas. What’s more, the Celtics own an absurd fourth-quarter offensive rating of 124.5 when Thomas is on the floor (and his fourth-quarter usage rate of 41.5 percent is third behind only Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins at 42.3 percent and Westbrook at 52.2).

Authentic Andy Lee Jersey A short time later in overtime, Conley got the ball with the Grizzlies down three in the final seconds. This time, Conley managed to penetrate, but Bradley shuffled laterally and eventually forced Conley to reset all the way back beyond the 3-point line. Again, Conley drove and forced up a shot near the paint that wasn’t close. Boston emerged with a 112-109 triumph.

Understandably overshadowed by the offensive exploits of backcourt partner Isaiah Thomas, Bradley’s late-game defense was nearly as spectacular as Thomas’ 44-point outburst. According to the NBA’s player-tracking data, Bradley successfully defended all five shot attempts against him in the fourth quarter and overtime. That included routinely bottling up Conley, who matched Thomas shot-for-shot during one stretch of the fourth quarter.

New Orleans’ defense did come up with a pair of huge turnovers

Brees¡¯ performance was all the more impressive considering Arizona had not allowed a 300-yard passing game to any quarterback all season.

Joe Nieuwendyk Limited Jersey Cooks¡¯ monster day was also impressive, considering most of his big days in his career have come at home in the Superdome. But on Sunday, he caught touchdown passes of 65 and 45 yards — the third- and fourth-longest of his season — as he cruised past the 1,000-yard mark for the second year in a row.

You can point to the performances of free-agent signings Olivier Vernon, Damon Harrison and Janoris Jenkins as the reason this defense has jumped from league-worst to good-enough-to-beat-anybody in just one year. And there’s some validity there. All three of those guys have played brilliantly, so far justifying the Giants’ decisions to spend whatever it took to get them.
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But it’s more than that, as it must be. The Giants’ defensive turnaround has to do with Collins being in the right position, and having a season under his belt so his head’s not swimming the way it was last season. It has to do with the mindset of someone like Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, the veteran cornerback who lost his job to rookie Eli Apple but stepped in when Jenkins left Sunday’s game due to injury. It has to do with young, untested defensive linemen like Romeo Okwara and Owa Odighizuwa playing better since Pierre-Paul got hurt.

“When your number is called, you can either go down or go up,” Collins said. “And a lot of us have been moving up.”

This kind of thing feeds on itself, and you can see it in a Giants defense that held Dallas to seven points a week ago and Detroit to six Sunday. Manning entered Week 15 ranked 26th in Total QBR and 23rd in yards per attempt, and the Giants still sit at 10-4, one victory away from qualifying for the playoffs for the first time since 2011. They left MetLife Stadium on Sunday afternoon with the knowledge that, if Dallas slips up Sunday night against the Buccaneers, they could still win the NFC East.

Norman said that his fire is contagious

Everyone basically agreed that, after a night of drinking, Smith’s Mercedes bumped Hayes’ Hummer and then fled, with Hayes chasing and then ramming into the back of the Mercedes, at which point Smith and a friend charged out of the car, the friend ripping his shirt off for a fight. Everyone agrees that Hayes, a 29-year-old sober tow truck company owner who’d just left a party where people had been playing Pictionary, stepped out of his car. Some witnesses said he was calm at first, others say he was angry.

Few people agree on anything that happened after that.

Cardell Hayes was convicted of manslaughter after killing former Saints player Will Smith in a road rage incident. Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office via AP
Limited Mens Shaun Alexander Jersey On Sunday, both sides presented their closing arguments.

His voice went from a bellow to a whisper.

“If he wasn’t there that night,” Fuller said, “we wouldn’t be here today.”

“Whatever you see is what you’re going to get,” he said. “But I do know how to contain it to a certain extent. Then again, I just let the fire go that’s inside and I don’t know how to shut it off once it gets started. It’s one of those things where it’s going to be a different feel. Definitely, it’s going to be a different feel.

“If there was another level [of emotions], I think all these cameras would be burned right now, but I don’t know. I think come Monday night those emotions will probably come out and show themselves. I don’t know what it will be like because it’s my first time being in something like this.”

Limited Mens JJ Hickson Jersey Norman said that his fire is contagious.

“It touches everybody that’s in the group,” he said. “I try to do that. Every time you hear people from the outside bringing their noise about you, that’s outside noise. They burn their fire wherever they want, but mine’s going to be here in this building and touch whoever I can to be successful.”

NFL teams are firing their head coaches too quickly

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One of the most overhyped days in sports will happen Monday, when likely at least half a dozen teams will fire their head coach and begin the melodramatic process of searching for a new one. Black Monday is largely viewed as the first step of the rebuilding process, a day in which hope is restored to forlorn fan bases across the country.

Elite Kids Mikko Koivu Jersey But the reality is, dismissing a head coach seldom results in immediate success. It often leads to a cycle of perpetual losing and a seemingly endless ride aboard the coaching carousel.

Williams is in his first season with the Steelers after spending the first nine seasons of his NFL career with the Carolina Panthers where he racked up 6,846 rushing yards and 46 touchdowns.

The Steelers can still make the playoffs by beating the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, but need the New York Jets to lose to the Buffalo Bills.

The Vikings, meanwhile, won the NFC North title with a 20-13 win at Green Bay in Week 17, sending the Packers on the road to face the Redskins in Washington in the NFC’s other Wild Card Weekend matchup. Washington opened as a 1.5-point home favorite for the contest; the Redskins rode a season-ending four-game winning streak to the NFC East division title.

The Seattle at Minnesota matchup will kick off at 1:05 p.m. ET on Sunday, with the Green Bay at Washington matchup then getting underway at 4:40 p.m. ET. The Carolina Panthers and the Arizona Cardinals have first-round NFC playoff byes and await the winners.

Williams suffered a sprained ankle, but whether or not that injury will keep him out of a wild card playoff game is up in the air, according to The injury might be one that would keep him out in the regular season, but all bets are off for the playoffs, per the report.

The trade really comes down to the multiple years of control with Soler versus the one year for Davis

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The trade really comes down to the multiple years of control with Soler versus the one year for Davis. If you¡¯re a Cubs fan, ask yourself this: Who¡¯s likely to have a bigger impact on the team in 2017 — a part-time outfielder or the closer on the reigning world champions? We know Davis is going to see a lot of action; we can¡¯t say the same about Soler, who simply was passed up by Kyle Schwarber and Albert Almora Jr.

Yes, Soler has potential, but did the Cubs trade away a possible superstar? Highly doubtful. Soler¡¯s game has enough warts that have prevented him from getting to the next level. He reached base nine straight times in the 2015 postseason, but how long is he going to live off of that handful of games?
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Soler¡¯s fate may have been sealed on opening night, when Schwarber started in left field against the Angels while Soler was the designated hitter. Joe Maddon chose a converted catcher to play defense over a guy who has played outfield his entire career.

So even if there are some injury concerns with Davis, the trade is still worth the risk. The Cubs can go back into the market at any time to bolster their bullpen if needed. The bottom line is, Soler won¡¯t be missed in Chicago — no matter what he does in Kansas City — while Davis is likely to be a huge part of the Cubs’ run to repeat as champions.

David Schoenfield’s take: Both teams need a first baseman or DH, but can the Indians fit Encarnacion into their payroll? They’re already at an estimated $103 million, which takes them just beyond where they sat in 2016. But with a low first-year salary, Encarnacion could be viewed as a replacement for Carlos Santana, who has one year left on his contract. For the Rangers, even if they give Joey Gallo a shot at first or DH, Encarnacion fits in, unless they’re planning on Shin-Soo Choo as a regular DH and going another direction in the outfield.

He made it clear after winning the award that he wanted max dollars and wouldn’t give the Cubs a hometown discount. It’s not clear whether he has changed his position, and his 2017 season will dictate a lot regarding his next contract.

The Chiefs will play against him with plenty of confidence, as they always seem to do

¡°To be honest, it¡¯s the ‘Groundhog Day’ thing,¡¯¡¯ he said. ¡°Everyone asks, ¡®They¡¯ve beaten you this many times,¡¯ and these things and all of that. When I¡¯m preparing for these guys, it never goes through my head. That stuff never has a determining factor on anything I write down, anything that goes on in my brain or anything like that. I just prepare for them just like I do any other game. I prepare for them the same way that I do for everybody. I¡¯m going to go out there and I¡¯m looking forward to competing against them this time.¡±

For their part, the Chiefs don¡¯t like to talk much about their successes against Carr, much less even acknowledge it.

¡°Not today,¡± coach Andy Reid said when asked whether he can point to any reasons for it.

Asked whether he would speak to it the day after the game, Reid said, ¡°Not Friday [either].¡±

Tight ends Brandon Williams and Nick Vannett made great blocks downfield, and Lockett let his natural talent show, hitting 21.21 miles per hour at one point during the run.

Elite Mens Marqueston Huff Jersey In addition to the two options above, the Seahawks also used a play-fake on another occasion and passed the ball.

The series of different options off this same look was huge for the offense on Sunday.

The Seahawks threw several wide receiver screens early in the game.
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But in the second quarter, it was the look of a screen that led to another explosive play.

Baldwin set up for a wide receiver screen on a 2nd-and-11 play, and Wilson delivered a subtle pump-fake in his direction. That drew the attention of the Panthers linebacker and opened up all kinds of room for Vannett down the seam for a 21-yard gain.

“That’s the goal of that play,” Vannett said. “We want to sell that quick screen, bluff the defenders so they bite on it and open up the seam.”

Steelers’ Martavis Bryant scores on impossible tuck ‘n’ roll between the legs catch

Martavis Bryant made one of the craziest catches one may ever see. In the midst of a rainy slog between division rivals, the Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver scored the game’s first touchdown by pinning the ball against his under-butt as he rolled out of the end zone like Sonic the Hedgehog.

Referees, understandably miffed, reviewed to play, but replays clearly showed that Bryant, miraculously, maintained possession to the ground.

You’ll be seeing replay of this touchdown for a long time. Even Odell Beckham Jr., one of the best football catchers in the world, was impressed!

The Seahawks, as the No. 6 seed, will go on to face the No. 1 seed Carolina Panthers next weekend in the NFC divisional round.

That Green Bay Packers beat Washington in Sunday’s late game. The win means that they’ll move on to face the Arizona Cardinals next week in Arizona.

Another personal foul on Adam Jones set up a chip-shot field goal, putting the Steelers up 18-16. That was it for the game, which is sure to go down in infamy.
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Elite Mens Mitch Morse Jersey The game got off to a grinding start in the first quarter, with both teams playing strong defense and forcing punts. The Bengals were the first team to cross midfield after a crafty screen pass to Tyler Eifert went 16 yards to get the first down on a third-and-12. However, that drive quickly stalled out and the Bengals opted to punt away from Steelers’ territory.

The Texans are possibly the strangest team to make the playoffs. Head coach Bill O’Brien was likely only saved from the hot seat earlier in the season due to how much bad press was directed toward Joe Philbin of the Miami Dolphins and Ken Whisenhunt of the Tennessee Titans. If there’s such a thing as going down quietly, that’s what the Texans did at the start of the season.

Browns expected to dump Johnny Manziel after hiring Hue Jackson

Johnny Manziel’s tenure in Cleveland has been marred by controversy, and the team’s hiring of Hue Jackson as its new head coach signals the end of Manziel’s time with the Browns.
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Jackson, who finalized his deal with the Browns Wednesday, told owner Jimmy Haslam that he wants to “move on” from the troubled quarterback, according to Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports. Mary Kay Cabot of reported that Jackson does not want to stake his job and reputation on Manziel.

Game Chris Carpenter Jersey When Jackson was asked about Manziel at his introductory press conference Wednesday, he sidestepped the question.

In Week 17, he played a quarter and a half against the Chargers after taking over for Brock Osweiler, but it’s impossible to tell if he’ll be fresh and rested against the Steelers, or rusty and gimpy like he was for most of the season.

If the past is any indication, though, Manning’s performance won’t matter as much, as long as he doesn’t resume being a turnover machine. More important is how the Broncos defense plays. A Manning team has never lost a playoff game when the opponent has scored under 17 points. And this Broncos defense is the top-ranked in the league and especially tough at home.

But if the game is close, history shows that it’s the Steelers who are likely to win, since Manning’s teams can’t catch a break in the fourth quarter of tight playoff games. If the Broncos beat the Steelers, they will win the following week and move on to the Super Bowl.

At least that’s what the Peyton Manning boom-or-bust theory says. And it hasn’t been wrong in the last 10 years.

Jim Buzinski is co-founder of SBNation’s He has also watched every Peyton Manning playoff game and still has nightmares over some of them.

The owners and commissioner Rob Manfred wanted a draft, but the players

A major flaw in the previous system was that a team with a bottom-10 record had a big advantage over a team with the 11th-worst record. The 10th-worst team would keep its first-round pick while the 11th-worst team would lose its pick if it signed a premium free agent. Likewise, the 11th pick in the draft is much more valuable than the 30th. Eliminating first-round picks from the compensation system makes things a little more even for all teams.
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The small-market teams are still protected as well. If a team that receives revenue sharing loses a free agent who signs for at least $50 million, that team will receive a bonus pick after the first round. This seems like a win-win for both parties.
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The Cardinals, who last year missed the playoffs for the first time since 2010, spent about $120 million on player salaries last season, 11th in baseball. For the fourth season in a row, they trailed only the Los Angeles Dodgers in attendance, as an average of 42,524 fans bought tickets for their games.

“I’ve always felt that St. Louis is a special place to work in baseball, because clearly our fan base, regardless of their opinions, is extremely strong,” Mozeliak said. “They show up, they appreciate good baseball.

“I think they appreciate people who play the game hard, watch the types of players they admire. They’re very supportive of people who put out a strong effort. In terms of the culture shift, I think what’s happening is more of a society thing than something about the Cardinals.”

Should the Cardinals remain relatively quiet this winter and miss the playoffs again, the noise only figures to intensify in the fall of 2017. The plan, of course, is to keep that from happening. Given the team’s track record, with two World Series titles and seven playoff appearances since 2006, the Cardinals don’t feel the need to overreact to one disappointing season. Until it becomes a deafening roar, the frustration mouthed by Cardinals fans is just reassuring background noise.

MLB Rumor Central: Traction for Dodgers in Brian Dozier talks?

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Could the Los Angeles Dodgers be making headway in trade talks with the Minnesota Twins regarding second baseman Brian Dozier?

That appears to be the case, as the Dodgers have been aggressively pursuing Dozier and “have now piqued Minnesota’s interest,” Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports.

Daniel Alfredsson Limited Jersey Rumor CentralThe Twins reportedly have set a high asking price for the 29-year-old, which isn’t a surprise after Dozier hit 42 homers and drove in 99 runs this year. He’s also signed to a club-friendly contract through 2018, which furthers his value.

However, the Dodgers have the prospects to get a deal done. Julio Urias is seemingly untouchable, but right-hander Jose De Leon and first baseman/outfielder Cody Bellinger are names that have come up frequently this offseason.

For what it’s worth, ESPN’s Jim Bowden pegged the chances of Minnesota dealing Dozier this winter at 45 percent.

They’ve had issues during this downturn, and against pick-and-pop bigs who feast when Jordan drops into the paint to corral a pick-and-roll; Myles Turner, Marc Gasol, and Brook Lopez have all rained fire from deep.

They might be due some good luck here; opponents have hit 40 percent of wide-open 3s against them, one of the beefiest marks in the league.

Regardless, they’ll adjust in the playoffs. The Clippers transitioned last season from a hyper-aggressive trapping scheme into their current drop-back system, but they can still bust out the frenzy against opponents who require it. They blitzed Damian Lillard 30 feet from the rim in the first round last season. If LaMarcus Aldridge and Pau Gasol start swishing midrange pick-and-pops, the Clippers will stick closer to them.