2020 February

Dwyane Wade resting Monday against Hawks

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The are sitting a number of players Monday against the Hawks, most notably, who is just restingattacker James Rodriguez.Napoli hav boss Jurgen Klopp has taken a fresh dig at Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s tactics ahead of the visit of Manchester United.Klopp says it is “strange” to see a team of United’s quality playing in such a defensive style against his Liverpool side. Speaking ahee reportedly agreed a loan deal for James with a €30m option tonot well at the Catalan club, with Messi putting out a statement on social media that targeted sporting director Eric Abidal.The latter had questioned the effort of players recently.The 32-year-old is seen as vital to Barca, even as he enters the twi buy.“James Rodriguez is Ancelotti’s wish,” he told Radio Kiss Kiss.“I don’t know if we need him 100 percent, but his talent isn’t in doubt. I mus. 

Joining Wade is — who was during a scrimmage — Chris Anderson — who has a blister issue — , and . 

and will be in uniform and starting. 

6 million with the Pacers when the free-agency per

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Free agent forward will reportedly sign a two-year offer sheet worth $6 million with the Pacers when the free-agency period begins, and the Knicks are not expected to match it, according to Yahoo.com. Copeland is a restricted free ageBelgium manager Roberto Martinez says it is clear Romelu Lukaku must leave Manchester United.The Red Devils are in talks with Inter Milan over a potential deal for the 26-year-old striker.And Lukaku’s national team coach thinks an exit from Old Traffnt after playing one sed is delighted with the influence of his senior players.Lampard says he has the rigr says though McBurnie will not agitate to leave out of respect for his colleagues at the Liberty Stadium or actively seeking a route out of South Wales, he is thought to be flattered by United’s overtures. Despite representing Scotland at internatioht blend within his squad.”What you need is a strong group and then you see the leaders come from within it. Where we are quite young, the leaders are still going to cason with the Knicks as a 28-year-old rookie.

OUTLOOK: Andre Miller

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is entering his 15th NBA season this year for the as he takes s” in the second-half on Monday’s 1-0 win over Leeds United.The Gunners were ran off their feet in the first-half thanks to the merciless pressing of Marcelo Bielsa’s side, but eventually recovered to win the game courtesy of a Reiss Nelsonture in Tuesday’s Carabao Cup tie against Blackburn.Wilder confirmed he would make changes to his side which lost to Leicester City last weekend.”We’ll whizz the team around on Tuesday,” said Wilder, whose side travel to Chelsea this weekend.”There’l strike.Asthe floor for new head coach Brian Shaw. Miller played in all 82 games last season for Denver and averaged 26.2 minutes per game as the backup to Ty Lawson. He averaged 9.6 points, 5.9 assists, 2.9 rebounds and a steal per game. Those numbers were pretty consistent United manager Steve Bruce says he’s happy with his forward options.Toon have scored just five goals in nine Premier League matches.”We’ve got options now. Andy and Dwight both came on, and we have options in the final third now,” Bruce said.”It’s onto what he accomplished in 2011-12. He had another outstanding postseason, but it appears he saves his best for the tough situations so you can’t assume that will translate to another solid regular season in 2013-14. Miller will never a superstar again but Shaw will lean on him to be a veteran presence. With even more options around him, Miller could improve upon his passing numbers, but will otherwise be just a steady reserve presence for most Fantasy teams. Consider picking him only in deeper Fantasy leagues. 

Report: New Kings ownership to let GM Geoff Petrie go

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With their ownership situation finally settled and the sold into the hands of a new ownership group, the organization can finally start moving on to things like improving the franchise. 

Step one: Evaluate the front office and start over with a fresh vision. Some observers have felt that under the new ownership of Vivek Ranadive the Kings would clear house and look for a new front office leader. , that process is beginning. 

According to two people with knowledge of the situation, Ranadive has begun the process of finding a replacement for Kings President Geoff Petrie and is considering President R.C. Buford, assistant general manager Travis Schlenk, and general manager Chris Wallace. Former general manager David Morway may also receive consideration, and Ranadive’s internal list is not thought to be limited to tighted with their 2-1 victory over Sampdoria on Wednesday night.Cristiano Ronaldo jumped 71cm off the ground to nod in Alex Sandro’s cross and win the game, after a Paulrent club Shanghai Shenhua before the Premier League resumes.Shanghai Shenhua were due to start their Chinese Super League season on February 22 but the start date was pushed back following the outbreak of the coronavirus, which originated in Wuhan.To Dybala volley had been cancelled out by Gianluca Caprari’s effort.“Dybala’s ghis group.

Petrie’s contract expires at the end of June, so he wouldn’t be fired as much as just not retained. Again, not a surprise given the deterioration of the franchise the past few years. 

Petrie has been with the organization since 1994 and oversaw an extremely successful period in which the Kings made eight consecutive playoff appearances and a Western Conference finals appearance in 2002. However, the Kings have missed the postseason for seven seasons running and with a dysfunctional roster in place, there doesn’tkjaer has defended Tahith Chong after the youngster’s horror miss in Thursday’s 2-1 loss to Astana.Luke Shaw squared the ball to the Dutch teenager six yards out from goal, but Chong somehow sent the ball over the bar with nobody in goals.When asked appear to be a light at the end of the tunnel right now. 

The new Kings group obviously has their bar set high with names like R.C. Buford on it, but look for Schlenk to emerge as a likely frontrunner. He’s an assistant GM with the Warriors and Ranadive was a minority owner with that franchise before buying in with the Kings. There’s a connection there and according to the report, Ranadive is consulting with Jerry West — currently with the Warriors — about the search. West also has ties to Wallace from his time in Memphis. 

The sale of the Kings is expected to go final sometime in the next week, with Ranadive assuming full control of the organization then. 

Three All-Star Game snubs for each conference

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ressed by young teammate Steven Alzate.The youngster won his first cap with Colombia last week.Stephens said: “He has been brilliant. We were all aware of his talent before he joined us this pre-season.“He trained with us a couple ssi admits he didn’t enjoy the last fortnight of the season.Defeats to Liverpool and Valencia ended Barceest at Crystal Palace.The Everton-transfer-Crystal-Palace-latest-news-rumours-gossip”>Daily Express says Zaha has handed in a transfer request to Crystal Palace to try and force through a move to Everton.The Ivory Coast international has taken thingslona’s hopes of a historic treble, but Messi has the chance to lift silverware this summer with Argentina at the Copa America.”I finished the seaof days here an

Larry Bird’s son accused of trying to run down ex-girlfriend

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(Getty Images)

Larry Bird’s son, Connor Bird, was arrested Sunday at Indiana University for allegedly trying to hit his ex-girlfriend with a car, along with other charges. From the Indianapolis Star: 

The son of basketball legend Larry Bird was arrested Sunday at Indiana University, said Chief Keith Cash of the Indiana University Police Department.

Connor Bird, 21, allegedly tried to hit his ex-girlfriend with a car. Bird faces multiple preliminary charges, Cash said, including battery with injury, criminal mischief, intimidation with a deadly weapon and possession of marijuana.

via .

No formal charges have been filed as of yet, according to the report. An attorney for Bird declined comment to the Star other than to say: “This is a very private matter that we’re going to try to resolve quickly. We’re thankful that no one was seriously injured.”

Larry Bird, 56, retired from m three after a 3-1 win at Aston Villa.First half goals from Danny Ings and Jack Stephens put the visitors in the driving seat at half-time, before Ings’s 13th of the season after the restart was enough to ensure Jack Grealish’s late strike would be baskeball life last summer after serving several years as president of the Pacers. He has reportedly retired to Florida in recent months. The Hall of Fame forward was a 12-time All-Star and three-time champ.Spurs lost the final 2-0 to Premier League rivals Liverpool in Madrid on June 1, with Pochettino revealing he was ready to walk away had his side lifted the trophy. The manager said: “After firid this summer.That’s according to Okdiario’s chief pundit Eduardo Inda, speaking on El Chiringuito.Currently sitting in fourth place, Getafe are a huge chance of qualifying for the Champions League next season.And Inda revealed: “Getafe, if they plve years in a difficult project at Tottenham , we talk a ion.

Photo: Jason Terry adds the Celtic leprechaun to his trophy tattoo

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Madrid with the right attitude.Rodrigo will join Real this summer after signing for them last year.Peres said, “Rodrygo is going to be a great player, I was very happy when he signed for Madrid,” he admitted.”He’s not a star, he is always willing to Jason Terry essentially guaranteed the Mavericks’ 2011 NBA championship in permanent ink when he got a tattooding his loan with Fluminense.Allan has had his loan spell at Fluminense extended until December.The Brazilian joined the Reds back in 2015 but is yet to make a first-team appearance under Jurgen Klopp with work-permit issues persisting for the 22-ye of the Larry O’Brien trophy before the season began. Gutsy move by a gutsy player.

Of course the Mavs came through and allowed Terry to keep his tattoo by winning the 2011 title.

But with his move to the , , adding the Celtics famous leprechaun to it. Normally spidfielder Reinier.The 17-year-old has yet to make a first team appearance for his club Flamengo but is already regarded as one of his country’s top emerging talents.He is under contract until December 2020 but would not be allowed to leave until he tunning a ball on his finger, now the leprechaun is spinning the trophy.

Does it mean Boston is winning the NBA title this year? Well, there is some precendent for this…

NBA to give inaugural Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year award

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A couple of hours before Game 2 of the NBA Finals be, Zhang – the son of Suning chief Zhang Jindong – celebrated one year as President of the club.“I want to thank all our fans, who continue to support us with their marvellous passion,” he told La Gazzetta dello Sport.“I also wish to thank ourtween the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs, David Stern and the NBA will give out the inaugural Twyman-Stokes Award to honor the top teammate of the season in the NBA. The award is named after Jack Twyman and Maurice Stokes, both of whom are in the Basketball Hall of Fame, and who hail from Pittsburgh, Pa., and played on the Rochester/Cincinnati Royals together from 1955 to 1958.

has the expleicester City assistant coach Kolo Toure admits he’s preparing himself for a future manager’s job.Having blazed a trail for the Ivory Coast on the field, he now wishes to do the same as a manager. “One of the most important things to me is that I am anation of how the Twyman-Stokes Award is determined and the candidates for the first year of the award.

The announcement and presentation of the Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year Award will be made before Game 2 of the 2013 Finals Sunday evening at AmericanAirlines Arena.

The winner was chosen from a vote of NBA players. Ballots featured 12 nominees, six from each conference selected by a panel of NBA Legends according to selfless play, on- and off-court leadership as a mentor and role model to other NBA players and his commitment and dedication to his team.

Finalists for the inaugural Twyman/Stokes Award were  (), (),  (),  (),  (),  (),  (Championship Swansea City have rejected a £15m bid for striker Oli McBurnie from Premier League newcomers Sheffield United.Swansea are fighting to hold on to the 23-year-old, who scored 24 goals last season as the Swans finished 10th.The Championship club are only likely to consider selling McBurnie if they receive a bid in excess of £20m.Miami Heat),  (),  (),  (), (), and  ().

The award is voted on by the players using a point system. You’re not allowed to vote for anybody on your own team, and each vote is assigned a point value. First-place votes are worth 10 points, second-place votes are worth seven points, third-place votes are worth five points, fourth-place votes are worth three points, and you get one point for a fifth-place vote. The player with the most points from the voting tallies is award the honor.

As Aschburner tells in the article, Twyman and Stokes were teammates with the Royals for three seasons before a tragic fall in a game in Minneapolis put Stokes in a coma and left him permanently paralyzed. The fall caused a serious head injury for Stokes. Twyman became Stokes’ legal guardian and managed to provide funding for Stokes’ medical costs by both successfully arguing for work-injury compensation on Stokes’ behalf and raising money through a charity basketball event he organized.

Stokes died in 1970, but funds raised after his death have been used to help other players in need of assistance.

The award will be announced at 7 p.m. ET Sunday before Game 2.

Melo doesn’t get why his MVP voter is catching ‘so much flak for that’

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Out of 121 MVP votes, received 120. 

The one he didn’t get went to . Outrage ensued. 

Outside of the lone voter — — no one really understood why Melo would deserve that vote. 

Well, other than Carmelo Anthony. He wants to know why everyone was so upset about this whole thing. :

“As far as the guy in Boston, I don’t know why he catches so much flak for that,” Anthony said following Game 2. “He has the right to vote for whoever he wants. LeBron won the MVP. Why is everybody so mad that he didn’t win it unanimously? … Thank you.”

I read Melo’s response more as, “He can vote for whomever he wants” and not as, “So what he voted for me, I was a good pick.” I think that distinction isedly preparing for a transfer to England.The Brazilian star has been filmed learning English as he contemplates his future.The 23-year-old is a hot property in Europe, with the Gunners are the forefront of the queue to sign him.Everton’s wife Isa Ran important herGilmour was full of pride after his contribution for their 7-1 Carabao Cup win over Grimsby Town.Deployed in a deep-lying central midfield role, Gilmour grew into the game, and in the second half was arguably the standout performer. “It was a reallion to investigate alleged homophobic chanting by West Ham fans at Chelsea, reports BBC Sport.The organisation says it has received numerous reports of chanting directed at Chelsea fans at Stamford Bridge.Chelsea Supporters’ Trust said it noted “withy e. 

Really, the vote for Melo sort of backfired. Because instead of it flattering Anthony, it just opened the door for every fan, analyst and writer to explain how large the gap is between him and LeBron. From defense, to efficient scoring, to setting up teammates, to basically everything — LeBron was better. And by a large margin. 

And then there’s the fact that Melo didn’t even have the second-best season in the . That was , who while losing out to Melo in the scoring title race, became only the sixth player to go for the vaunted 50-40-90, while still averaging 28.1 points. 

All of this isn’t a slight on Carmelo, though. He had a brilliant season. His scoring barrage in April was absolutely spectacular. Melo is one of the best scorers in basketball and when he gets going, there may not be a more unstoppable offensive force. 

MVP, though? Nah. Not even runner-up. But Melo got that vote, and good for him.

ith the team having little to play for down the st

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Raptors forward has been receiving some more playing time recently, with the team having little to play for down the stretch. Acy put up his finest performance of the season Saturday against the Bucks, scoring a career-high 13 pointefeat to Lecce.However, he insists he was to blame for the 2-1 loss.Mazzarri said, “I want to apologise to the fans, as they were exceptional despite this being our worst performance for a very long time.“We got almost everything wrong tonr Chelsea defender John Terry reportedly told the club’s board not to sign Sergio Aguero before he went to Manchester City.Many Premier League clubs would look at City’s capture of Aguero in 2011 as a missed opportunity.But it is revealed that Chelseight. Ts in 21 minutes. He added two rere haggling with Chelsea over a fee for the Belgium attacker.And Vinicius has added to the speculation after following Hazard on Instagram. The Brazilian youngster following the lead of Sergio Ramos.Vinicius Junior starter following Hazard on Instagrbounds, two assists and two steals, in a 100-83 loss.

Reports: LeBron James to leave CAA, turn over representation to friend Rich Paul

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is reportedly striking out on his own. (Getty Images)

With “The Decision” behind him, a championship ring on his finger, a second gold medal around his neck and three NBA MVP awards to his name, forward LeBron James is reportedly striking out on hispp was impressed by Sander Berge in last night’s Champions League defeat of Genk.The Norway midfielder was linked with the Reds going into the tie.And at the final whistle, Klopp made a beeline foe Gomez is hoping that his side can carry their Club World Cup momentum into their domestic games.The Reds are going through a hectic schedule of fixtures, which only gets worse as the busy Christmas period starts in the Premier League.But Gomez is hr Berge to embrace him and offer some encouraging word own when it comes to representation.

that James and childhood friend Rich Paul will leave Hollywood talent agency Creative Artists Agency, with Paul taking over James’ representation from CAA agent Leon Rose. Paul worked as an agent for CAA and  Cleveland Cavaliers forward Tristan Thompson and Charlotte Bobcats Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, among others.

ESPN.com has  and reports that there are “no hard feelings” between James and Rose. that Paul will operate under the name “Klutch Sports Group.”

James, 27, has already earned more than $92 million in salary during his 9-year NBA career. He signed a 6-year deal reportedly worth more than $109 million during the summer of 2010, although he has players options for the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons.

Forbes as the No. 2 highest earning endorser in the NBA, trailing only Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant back in January 2012. He reportedly pulls in $33 milllion per year in endorsements, thanks to deals with the likes of Nike, Sprite, State Farm Insurance and McDonald’s. In 2011, James  with Fenway Sports Group, becoming a minority owner in Liverpool FC in the process.

In May 2005, James , Aaron Goodwin, and with Maverick Carter, Randy Mihms and Paul, all friends from his childhood in Akron, Ohio. ShSouthampton winger Stuart Armstrong has replaced Oli McBurnie in the latest Scotland squad.Sheffield United striker McBurnie has withdrawn due to injury.Scotland travel to face Russia in a Euro 2020 qualifier on Thursday, before hosting San Marino at Hampden Park three days later.The Tartan Army must beat Russia to keep their hopes of qualification alive.ortly thereafter, James joined CAA, where he was represented by Rose. and  were when the trio famously joined forces as the Heat’s “Big 3” during the summer of 2010. Wade and Bosh are still represented by CAA agent Henry Thomas, .

NBA Training Camp: Western Conference camp battles

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With training camp starting up this weekend for some teams and into next week for the other teams, it’s time to start looking at which players will be fighting for spots not just on the roster but in rotations around the league. We take a look at the Western Conference teams and what possible training camp position battles we may find this preseason.

For the Eastern Conference camp battles, .

Pacific

, , , , Nemanja Nedovic,

Jarrett Jack, , , ,

vs.

The Warriors made their magical run through the first round with next to no contributions from David Lee during the 2013 playoffs, which has lead some pundits and fans wondering if the team is better off playing small ball with Harrison Barnes at the 4. He won’t flat-out replace Lee and the $44 million left on his contract through 2016, but has Barnes improved enough to steal minutes away?

Marreese Speights vs. Jermaine O’Neal

Back in June, underwent knee surgery that should sideline him until 2014. With the team showing success with small ball, this could leave Speights and O’Neal battling for the key minutes as the backup big man. Do you go with Speights, who is much more of a scorer at this stage than O’Neal, or do you go with more of a veteran presence that could potentially provide some defense behind Bogut?

vs. Toney Douglas

With Andre Iguodala on the roster, the need for a traditional backup point guard might not be necessary unless Mark Jackson decides to employ hockey-style line changes. That could lead to the high hopes of Kent Bazemore’s defensive presence being one of the main backup guards unless Toney Douglas can show his improvement last season wasn’t a fluke.

If anything, they’re likely to be a more traditional team in terms of lineups and position players with an eye on the unconventional if things go wrong with an injury or two. David Lee was fantastic last season for them in the regular season, but it’s hard to move his contract or sit him on the bench in favor of a second-year forward. And until they have their full depth back when Ezeli returns, they’ll probably slide Speights into Landry’s role from last year (although Barnes could see time there instead) and use their size against opponents that can play both big and small. As for the Bazemore addition to the rotation, I’d imagine Douglas takes the spot early because you can trust him more with the ball and Bazemore isn’t quite a playmaker yet. But this team should evolve and adapt no matter what situation stares them in the face.

, , , , Reggie Bullock, ,

, Caron Butler, , Chauncey Billups, Grant Hill, Lamar Odom

Antawn Jamison vs. Byron Mullens

There isn’t much in the way of big men depth with the Clippers and it’s going to be their biggest issue this season if doesn’t show he can play 30+ minutes per game.  will certainly be in the mix, but Jamison battling Mullens as the scoring big off the bench could be a big part of the Clippers’ training camp and preseason.

vs. Darren Collison

It’s not that Jamal Crawford is going to be the full-time backup point guard by any means. But with so much wing depth on this team, having him bring the ball up the court for a few minutes here and there may be the only way to get him proper time on the court. If Collison can’t defend anybody, might as well have the dynamic scorer out there instead.

vs.

This wing depth means one of these guys will have to take a backseat with minutes. They can go small and play Barnes at the 4, but Green is going to have to be a huge upgrade with shooting and a solid defender in order to take time from Barnes.

Shaking out the rotation and minutes of the wing players won’t be as necessary as figuring out who will play the big man minutes for this team. You can pencil in for 30+ minutes per game. Outside of that, you need Jordan to take a big step forward this season and still need Hollins or Mullens to be a big contributor inside. Even if Jamison is able to be a consistent scoring option off the bench, where does the interior defense come from?

, , , Wes Johnson, , ,

, Earl Clark, Antawn Jamison, Metta World Peace, , Andrew Goudelock, Darius Morris

Jordan Farmar vs.

Without knowing how long will be out when the season starts, if at all, the Lakers made need a boost in athleticism in the backcourt. Old friend Jordan Farmar could end up providing that in the up-tempo system and pushing Steve Blake for time as the backup point guard. Blake was really good under D’Antoni, but the athletic boost could be big under Farmar.

Wes Johnson vs. Xavier Henry

Seriously, this is a battle for the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2013-14 season. If I told you this was going to be a thing this time last year, how drunk would you think I am?

Kobe Bryant vs. timetables

As much as certain role players earning time on this team could end up being throughout the season, nothing will be more important than Kobe Bryant coming back on the early side of his initial timetable. We probably won’t really know how close he is to returning until a couple days before opening night. If he can continue to shatter expectations, then he’ll have won this position battle and then some.

There just isn’t much we can learn about this team early on until we know how healthy Kobe is and when he’s coming back to this team. If he’s ready by the start of the season, then the role players will fall into place. If he’s not ready for opening night, then you’re going to see a lot of guys trying to put up numbers in the fast pace style of Mike D’Antoni. We’ll see if point guard  still has the ability to make players look better or if everything is a lost cause this season.

Eric Bledsoe, , , Archie Goodwin, Slava Kravstov, , , ,

, Wes Johnson, Jermaine O’Neal, Jared Dudley, Luis Scola, Hamed Haddadi

Eric Bledsoe vs.

You’re more likely to see these two playing together throughout the season than you are to see them competing for minutes at the point guard position. But at some point, Bledsoe has to convince the Suns that he’s the point guard of the future and that Dragic is expendable. 

vs. Archie Goodwin

Brown is not only the veteran option here but he’s also the better player between the two right now. However, this team may not have a real need for veterans to be on the court much this season (see: offseason exodus of most of them, including Caron Butler). Can Goodwin steal minutes early and prove to be the better option at the 2?

Alex Len vs. draft position

No matter what the status of a player is heading into his rookie season, if he was taken with a top-5 pick in the draft, people will expect to see some kind of spark out of such a high draft selection. He doesn’t need to be a star or anything right away, but you’d love to hear a little buzz about Len in camp if you’re a Suns fan.

There is still a weird mix of veterans and young players on this team that Jeff Hornacek will have to choose from for his rotation. Will he be inclined to throw Bledsoe out there just to see if he makes a big difference? What will the balance be between playing guys like , Shannon Brown, and while still having eyes on the future of this franchise and developing young players? I imagine they’ll move toward the young players but you can’t have sulking veterans.

, , Carl Landry, , Ray McCallum,

, Cole Aldrich, Toney Douglas,

Greivis Vasquez vs.

Isaiah Thomas doesn’t want to give up his starting point guard gig without a fight because he worked his way from the last pick in the draft to a starter. Greivis Vasquez was one of the best point guards at setting other players up last season. Which one works better for Mike Malone to start games?

Ray McCallum vs.

While Jimmer Fever is still quite contagious amongst fans, Ray McCallum has all the makings of being a really good backup point guard in this league. The Kings are already crowded at that position, but it doesn’t mean McCallum can’t take Jimmer’s minutes as the fifth guard off the bench.

Luc Richard Mbah a Moute vs.

John Salmons is the better all around player when compared to Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, but that’s mainly because of his offensive capabilities. This team is going to potentially be awful defensively and that’s where Mbah a Moute should be able to steal minutes from Salmons.

This Kings team is under a new direction now and we should hear early signs of what a refreshing culture change we have in Sacramento as camp begins. Mike Malone finally gets a crack at running his own team on the court and we’ll get to see and hear the early impressions of what he’s able to do with this young core. Welcome back to professionalism, Sacramento!

Northwest

, , J.J. Hickson,

Andre Iguodala, ,

Darrell Arthur vs. J.J. Hickson

The Nuggets have solid depth for the interior but they have a big decision to make between minutes going to Arthur or Hickson. After the defensive debacle in Portland last season, we should be done with the idea of Hickson playing center. So do you need a stat-stuffing backup 4 or do you need someone who can play a little defense in Arthur?

vs.

I’m not sure how much either player has a chance to play in the backcourt this coming season with the depth the Nuggets acquired. But before Gallinari comes back into the fold, Hamilton and Fournier have a shot to play a lot on the wing behind . 

Nate Robinson vs. Randy Foye

Randy Foye has proven to be a much safer choice than someone like Nate Robinson over the past couple seasons, but he’s never shown the ability to take over games if need by like Nate has. This team went small last season with two small guards in the lineup together. Is Nate still dynamic enough to make that an option for Denver?

The biggest talk coming out of this training camp will likely be the regime change on the sideline and how much players are buying into what Brian Shaw is selling. How much of an influence will his time with Phil Jackson have on the type of coach Shaw ends up being? Will the defensive teachings of Frank Vogel in Indiana have an impact as well? How will he mend the trust issues that may have popped up with the organization and after the fallout from last season?

, Corey Brewer, Shabazz Muhammad, Gorgui Dieng, Ronny Turiaf

Andrei Kirilenko, Luke Ridnour, Malcolm Lee, , , Brandon Roy

vs. Corey Brewer

The starting small forward position will be up from grabs during training camp and the preseason. If Budinger can avoid looking like a saloon door on defense, his shooting could win him the job. Otherwise, Brewer’s defensive impact (while not huge, still greater than Budinger’s) could win him the starting nod.

vs.

Derrick Williams has been better than people assume but he’s also been much worse than what was expected out of his No. 2 selection in 2011. If he can’t win the backup PF position over Cunningham, he’ll probably be trade bait early in the season.

Ronny Turiaf vs. Gorgui Dieng

Gorgui Dieng has a lot of defensive potential, but anchoring a defense in the is a bit different than what he did at Louisville. This leaves the door open for Ronny Turiaf to win the backup center position this preseason.

This team will be a lot of fun on offense if everybody stays healthy, but it’s hard to buy into them being a good defensive team just based on how the team looks on paper. The return of  to full strength, the big contract given out to this summer, and the first healthy (we hope!) year from this season will set the expectations high for this team making the playoffs. 

Steven Adams, Andre Roberson,

Kevin Martin, , DeAndre Liggins

vs.

One of these guys has a chance to fill the /Kevin Martin Sixth Man role from the past couple seasons, but which one will it be? The scoring potential people see in Lamb suggests he’d fit better as the backup shooting guard, but Jackson is a much more proven commodity that has improved a lot the past year.

Ryan Gomes vs. III

Perry Jones III is another one of these young guys with potential the Thunder have assembled, but we didn’t even come close to seeing if he was ready to contribute last season. A veteran forward like Ryan Gomes is a lot easier to trust if you’re a coach with championship aspirations.

Steven Adams vs.

That’s probably what this position battle will end up looking like.

returns from his playoff injury and is ready to keep showing us why he’s the best scorer on the planet. But outside of that, they need a third option on offense to be reliable, much like we saw from James Harden. You can’t expect him to be as good as Harden was, but can they get 60 percent of that from either Lamb or Jackson? If that happens, this team will look as strong as ever. If not, questions about that ielder has professed his desire to leave Tottenham for a “new challenge” this summer.Spurs are still hopeful of re-signing the Dane to a new contract, with his current deal set to expire in 2020.Despite signing Aaron Ramsey and Adrien Rabiot, Juve boinfamous trade will continue to rule the conversation around this team.

, , , Dorrell Wright, , , , Terrel Harris

J.J. Hickson, Eric Maynor, Luke Babbitt, Nolan Smith, Elliot Williams

Mo Williams vs. C.J. McCollum

The fan vote would likely go to C.J. McCollum as the Blazers see if they can go back-to-back with Rookie of the Year winners. But Mo Williams is an established veteran on a team with playoff aspirations this season. Could be easier for Terry Stotts to choose Williams as the secondary ball handler after .

Thomas Robinson vs.

If Robin Lopez isn’t the improved center we saw last season and he bogs down their attack on offense, do the Blazers move Aldridge to center position for stretches and put Thomas Robinson next to him or do they keep Aldridge at the 4 at all times and have Meyers Leonard out there? Robinson is likely the call regardless of Lopez’s impact but the battle is there.

Dorrell Wright vs.

It’s almost a certainty that Dorrell Wright will win the backup wing position behind and , but the long and athletic Victor Claver could steal some minutes if he shows to be a decent 3-and-D option. Wright is the better shooter and a solid defender, but Claver looked improved during his FIBA play and that could carry over to training camp, in theory.

One of the hardest things to do is to transition from a team acquiring assets to a playoff team. For the Portland Trail Blazers, they’ve completed step one of this process and now have to figure out how to make the leap. Part of that will be getting their role players to accept roles and with their incredible depth in the backcourt, egos will have to be checked at the locker room door. We should see them figure out how to fit the pieces of the puzzle together during the preseason.

, , Andris Biedrins, Richard Jefferson, Brandon Rush,  III, , Scott Machado

Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap, Raja Bell, Jamaal Tinsley, Mo Williams, Earl Watson, DeMarre Carroll, Randy Foye, Kevin Murphy

Brandon Rush vs.

Jazz fans have been waiting to see if Alec Burks can become the answer at shooting guard for the Utah Jazz. If he’s not careful and Brandon Rush is fully recovered from his gruesome knee injury, then Burks may not find himself with consistent minutes this season.

Ian Clark vs. John Lucas III vs. Scott Machado

The backup point guard position behind rookie Trey Burke is wide-open for anybody that wants to take it. John Lucas III is the frontrunner for the position, but Ian Clark’s fantastic summer league performances have a lot of people high on him and everybody’s favorite backup prospect in Scott Machado was just added to the training camp roster.

Andris Biedrins vs. Rudy Gobert

Have you ever seen two giraff… ah, never mind.

I’m not sure if this team can surprise anybody and compete for a playoff spot in the West, but the excitement should be there plenty in the preseason and training camp. We get to see what it looks like when the paint belongs to . We get to see what it looks like when  plays extended minutes. We’ll get to see Trey Burke light up defenses early. There are a lot of young components to this core and it’s time to see how they perform on their own.

Southwest

, , , , , , , , ,

O.J. Mayo, Elton Brand, Jared Cunningham, Darren Collison, Chris Kaman, , , Rodrigue Beaubois,

Gal Mekel vs. Shane Larkin vs. Devin Harris

Who wants the backup point guard position? Gal Mekel showed a lot of promise in summer league, Shane Larkin was a mid first round pick, and Devin Harris has history and the best qualifications for the job. But it should be wide-open with Larkin and Harris coming off of injuries from this summer.

vs. Wayne Ellington

The Mavericks aren’t desperate for 3-point shooting, but they’ll need a consistent shooter as a role player this coming season. That battle is likely to come down to Crowder and Ellington, two guys that are capable of pouring it on from downtown. Which player wants to defend to go with the shooting threat?

DeJuan Blair vs.

, Samuel Dalembert, and are three locks for big men in the rotation. Who wants to be the fourth player? Bernard James needs to be consistent and DeJuan Blair needs to pretend to play some defense.

It’s going to be interesting to see what happens in the Dallas backcourt with so many options for small ball and a potential scoring juggernaut between Monta Ellis and Jose Calderon. The problem with that pairing though is you’re not going to get any defense and that could put a lot of pressure on an interior that has little depth available. They have to find their depth early in the preseason process and get comfortable with all of the new parts.

Dwight Howard, Ronnie Brewer, , , , ,

Thomas Robinson, Royce White, James Anderson, Carlos Delfino, Tim Ohlbrect

vs. Aaron Brooks vs. Isaiah Canaan

shouldn’t have much of a problem retaining his starting point guard position, so that leaves the backup battle to three intriguing options. Patrick Beverley emerged in the playoffs as a pest on the court, Aaron Brooks is the most reliable veteran they have, and Isaiah Canaan is a deadly outside shooter that can help this team toss up more 3-pointers.

Donatas Motiejunas vs.

Is going to be the starting power forward or will they go to the winner between Donatas and Jones? Jones is a better option for their up-tempo style of play that was so hectic last season, but Donatas is a much more well-rounded power forward option. Which one fits the best next to Dwight Howard?

Omer Asik vs. the world

Omer Asik may not be happy with the Rockets going out and grabbing Dwight Howard, but Kevin McHale doesn’t care. He wants last year’s starting center to figure out how to complement this year’s starting center. If Asik complains about his lessened role, it could kill chemistry and his trade value.

Things might be awkward for a little while. It’s not always easy to bring in that big piece and get things to streamline right away. However, this is the time for the Rockets to work out all those kinks and figure out how to bring their fast style of play into a zone that Dwight Howard is comfortable playing in. Regardless of how tough it is to fit together at first, excitement should be plentiful in Houston.

, Kosta Koufos, ,

Darrell Arthur, Tony Wroten, Austin Daye, Donte Greene,

vs.

Tayshaun Prince has to knock down jumpers this season from midrange and downtown in order to help spread the floor to free up the interior for the Grizzlies’ great big men. If he’s not a reliable safety valve, the outside shooting of Quincy Pondexter will fit nicely into that role at small forward.

Nick Calathes vs.

Bayless will likely be used more as a scorer off the bench than a point guard, but the options in the backcourt are a little limited. is likely to play a lot of minutes this year, but being able to trust Calathes with combo guard duties would be huge for this team.

vs. minutes

There is no way Ed Davis and his minutes get screwed this year, right? No Lionel Hollins. No real depth at the power forward position outside ost Christmas period as a Manchester United player.Indeed, once the festive schedule is out of the way, focus will once more turn to the knockout competitions.An FA Cup third- round trip to Wolves and a two-legged League Cup semi-final blockbuster agaf using as a stretch-4. And that giant chip that resides on Davis’ shoulder is still there. 

It seems like we should see some veteran get invited to camp or signed during the preseason in order to give this team more depth at point guard. Keyon Dooling and Tony Wroten sort of split the duties last season and just having Calathes out there doesn’t seem to be enough. We should expect them to find one more minimum option out there in order to help round out the potential rotation.

, Tyreke Evans, Anthony Morrow, Greg Stiemsma, , ,

Greivis Vasquez, Robin Lopez, Terrel Harris, Roger Mason, Jr., , Xavier Henry

Tyreke Evans vs.

I know the plan is to play these guys together but getting them to share the ball properly might be an issue. It wouldn’t shock me if we see these guys butt heads stylistically a bit as they learn to play together and share the ball.

vs.

Austin Rivers had an encouraging summer league and said all of the right things about his role this coming season. He still has to prove his historically bad rookie season isn’t what his career is going to be and that he’s a more reliable option in the backcourt than Brian Roberts.

Greg Stiemsma vs. Jeff Withey vs.

The battle for center could be pretty physical with these three. Greg Stiemsma and Jason Smith have been very physical players in their careers and aren’t aomeu has lifted the lid on their signing of Antoine Griezmann.He revealed the details of Griezmann’s move from Atletico Madrid to Barcelona earlier in the summer.”His release clause was paid with a bridge loan of 60 million euros and subtracting paymfraid of knocking guys around. Jeff Withey was a big-time shot blocker at Kansas. All three have big limitations but similar skill sets for being a defensive option next to .

The biggest thing to take from this team’s preseason and training camp is what Anthony Davis looks like. He was impressive as a rookie and shows to be a future franchise player, but you’re already going to want to see what kind of strength he’s built in the offseason and if he’s added anything to his game. The play of the Holiday-Evans-Gordon trio will be important but it’s all about the Brow.

,

Gary Neal, DeJuan Blair, Tracy McGrady

vs.

The battle for the backup point guard position should be between De Colo and Joseph with Joseph probably having the upper hand. De Colo played a lot more minutes during the regular season, but Joseph was the one Gregg Popovich trusted in the playoffs. 

Jeff Ayres vs.

Jeff Ayres, the power forward formally known as Jeff Pendergraph, is the type of tough defender Popovich could use next to either or . He doesn’t have nearly the offensive versatility that Diaw provides but the defense and rebounding could make up for it in spurts.

Spurs vs. Game 6 questions

There just isn’t much drama within the construct of what the Spurs are right now as a roster or what they will do in their system with the players they have. The only thing still staring them in the face is giving up a seemingly insurmountable lead at the end of regulation in Game 6 against the Miami Heat. People will still ask them about that failure until we get some real basketball to talk about.

Robotic answers. An offense being finely tuned. A defensive system being checked regularly with all options. And another thoughtfully paced march through preseason and the next 82 games before the playoffs begin.

VIDEO: Suns’ Michael Beasley manages to get a one-point dunk

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If anybody was going to find a way to get just one point from a dunk, it would be  forward , right?

Beasley tmmanuel Adebayor.The former Arsenal and Manchester City striker is a free agent after he was released by Istanbul Basaksehir.Sheffield United and West Haited’s behind-closed-doors win over Blackburn Rovers U23s on Sunday.Pogba was absent for Saturday’s win over AC Milan in Cardiff due to back spasms, but returned for the training match at Carrington.According to the Daily Mail, Sanchez payed 65 minutm United have shown an interest in the 35-year-old.And multiple reports in England have now addedurned a beautiful spin move, perfect footwork and balance and a great dunk on  big man Nene from a two-point explosion into a one-point net gain because he managed to get a taunting technical when he screamed in delNapoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis admits a deal for Tottenham fullback Kieran Trippier is no sure thing.ADL concedes they could seek a younger alternative.He explained, “We have to think about it. I prefer young players in other positions, as ight at Nene over his own dunk. went down to the other end of the floor and knocked down the free throw.

There’s no doubt the Suns’ forward has been frustrated throughout the season, so I’m sure moments like that are a release of emotions when you can take it out on the rim and an unsuspecting defender. However, it doesn’t do you much good to dunk and then give back a point because of a taunting technical.

He finished the game with 21 points on 12 shots, bringing his season total to 648 points on 651 shots. He’s about to eclipse the threshold of more points than shots with one more solid scoring output. 

at the Amex.Aaron Connolly’s brace and Neal Maupa

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for the players after an impressive 3-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur at the Amex.Aaron Connolly’s brace and Neal Maupay’s strike secured a memorable win on home soil, and Potter commented on a well-deserved result after a tough few weeks.He said, “rward did not play in Thursday’s preseason finale against the Trail Blazers after , the team announced.Lee has scored in double figures in each of his six preseason games played. Hescored a hat-trick as Liverpool’s U18s smashed seven past Napoli.Luis Longstafrcelona.Betis and Barcelona brought Emerson to Spain from Atletico Mineiro in a complicated deal which should eventually see the fullback join the Catalans.He told Mundo Deportivo: “I have in my head that I will go to Barça, that I will play to win f scored twice and Jake Cain and Elijah Dixon-Bonner also got on the scoresheet in an emphatic victory for Barry Lewtas’ side.Harvey Elliot and Neco Williams were also exce should not be in danger of missing the team’s season opener against the Lakers on Oct. 30.

VIDEO: Jeremy Lin has changed, bro

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put out this video featuring how life has changed for him after becoming an NBA star after his breakout 2012 season. 

That… was pretty funny. 

Question: Why is Lin sleeping with Rastafarian banana? The Harden and bit is wanted by his countryman at Spurs, Jose Mourinho.A report from Belgian source Gazet van Antwerpen suggests that Leicester are looking at Royal Antwerp’s Aurelio Buta if they lose Pereira.It is the ndre ter Stegen won’t rule out leaving Barcelona.The Germany goalkeeper insists nothing is set in stone in terms of his future at the Nou Camp.Ter Stegen, 27, made the admission when discussing tonight’s El Clasico: “In football, you never know what same source that claims Mourinho wants to sign Pes were also superb. 

“I thought you were born in the Year of the Dragon” may have been my favorite, though. 

Under the radar last year, Lin actually wound up having anter market move for Hertha Berlin striker Davie Selke.Long linked with a switch to England, Selke could pop up on the south coast before Friday’s transfer deadline.Kicker says the 25 year-old has fielded an approach from Brighton – plus a second unn pretty good season. He wasn’t “Linsanity,” but he was a definite plus for the . He was injured and facing a bad matchup set with the , but there’s no reason to think he can’t continue to be a quality starter in this league. 

Is Lin a star? You have to think so, based mostly off the notoriety that sprung forth this video’s concept. Some people may object to that based on his accomplishments, but fame is an undefinable, nearly unsourceable construct, not a merit badge. And Lin is definitely famous. 

He’s come a long way from ‘ couch. You might even say…

He’s changed, bro.