Jae Crowder on Celtics: ‘We have to get a little more nastier on the defensive end’

There are times when Boston Celtics swingman Jae Crowder talks after games and, if you shut your eyes, it’s eerie just how similar he can sound to Kevin Garnett. Just the other day, Crowder posted a picture on Instagram that featured himself and Garnett with the caption, “1 of my idols.”

It’s unfair to compare anyone to Garnett, but if this young Celtics team has a conscience, a voice that’s eager to speak up when things go awry, it’s typically Crowder. And on the heels of Wednesday’s 121-114 loss to the Detroit Pistons, you could sense the frustration in Crowder’s voice as he tried to pinpoint the reasons Boston couldn’t hose off a Detroit team that shot a blistering 55.2 percent at TD Garden.

“I think we have to get a little more nastier on the defensive end,” Crowder said. “Not let a team come in and get comfortable. It’s not been an ongoing thing; it happened today and it happened a couple games but, for the most part, we’ve been trying to impose our will first. That’s what our mindset is and that’s the mindset going forward.”

Game Kids Tony Wroten Jersey Crowder’s frustrations are almost certainly the product of a Boston team that’s eager to launch. Boston was eaten alive by the injury bug at the start of the season, its defensive rating plummeted to the basement of the league, and only recently has Boston been able to restore its defense-first identity as the team gets healthier.

Winners of seven of their previous 10 entering Wednesday’s game and with an agreeable schedule in the offing, it felt like a chance for the Celtics to finally distinguish themselves in the crowded Eastern Conference. Instead, Boston watched Detroit, playing the second night of a back-to-back set, come in and scorch the Garden floor, which included shooting 45 percent from beyond the 3-point arc.

Kids DeMar DeRozan Jersey Yes, the Pistons capitalized on the Celtics’ rebounding deficiencies, with Andre Drummond registering eight of his 17 rebounds on the offensive glass and utilizing putbacks to aid his 20-point night. But it was the 3-pointers from Tobias Harris (21 points) and the midrange assault of Ish Smith (19 points) that really frustrated Boston as Detroit consistently made tough shots.

Russell Wilson could have fully guaranteed contract, Brandon Bostick finds a new NFC North home and other NFL news

The Seattle Seahawks could lock up Russell Wilson to a long-term contract that is fully guaranteed, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. Seattle is at a crossroads as much of its young talent is relatively inexpensive. As those contracts near their end, head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider face the unenviable challenge of trying to keep their core of players Cortez Kennedy Authentic Womens Jersey intact.

The Super Bowl-winning quarterback falls at the center of that, and fully guaranteeing his contract, an unprecedented move for quarterbacks and a rarity in the NFL, could work to the Seahawks’ advantage. The thinking behind the move would be that Wilson could be willing to take less money if the contract is fully guaranteed, thus giving the team more cap flexibility to build around him.

At the moment, Manning and team president/general manager John Elway are working through a “process” as Kubiak described it.

“He’s been very positive,” the coach said. “I’ll let he and John work that out.”

Kubiak has also spoken with Manning since taking the Broncos job, though he revealed that the two did not talk about football or his future with the team, including what the offense would look like going forward.

“I think he can do anything he wants to,” Kubiak said. “You do what your DeShawn Shead Authentic Womens Jersey players do best.

“We’re going to run the Denver Broncos offense, and that’s a big challenge to me right now, meshing things together and getting ready to go do the things that Peyton does so well and has for many, many years.”

Now, with a new general manager in Mike Maccagnan and head coach in Bowles, there are plenty of questions for the organization. Chief among them is Smith and his place in the team’s plans.

Durant keeps Warriors rolling despite Green’s injury scare vs. Lakers

Kerr says he was displeased with their ball security (18 turnovers) and the fact they never sustained long stretches of offensive dominance.

“I don’t know, everyone had too much Ja’Wuan James Authentic Womens Jersey turkey last night,” he said.

This statement caught some players by surprise.

“I don’t think it was very good,” Draymond Green said. “I think we could have did a lot better than we were, but I don’t know if it was the worst basketball game ever. But he’s the coach.”

The last time the Warriors were in this building, the Lakers pulled off an upset that resulted in an unexpected 20-point thumping. Golden State (14-2) returned the favor on Wednesday by blowing out their division foe by 43 points at Oracle Arena. Los Angeles (8-9) tried to reintroduce that fight from the first meeting but was outdueled.

“I will never forget the unbridled joy she took in attending our games, cheering Jarvis Landry Authentic Womens Jersey as all mothers do, and proudly wearing Zach’s jersey in support of her son. Mae raised Zach to be a man with an enormous heart, who is deeply committed to enriching the lives of those in need, and for that legacy we are forever indebted to her.”

Randolph, 35, is averaging 14.2 points and a team-leading 7.9 rebounds per game this season.

“My message to the team was ‘Let’s make sure we keep our hands on him and surround

But from where? Motiejunas can sign with another team that has the requisite salary-cap space at any time, but Houston would have three days to match any offer sheet. If he elects to sign in a foreign league, Motiejunas would remain a restricted free agent in the NBA, giving the Rockets the right to match any offer.

Its origin is apparently a San Diego newspaper that was mocking watch retailers

You can see, then, how a fan with eyes on every Diamondbacks game or with access to Ray’s basic stat page or even with a prime seat between two scouts would come to some wildly different conclusions about how he has pitched. Usually, WAR, which smooths out any number of factors that would mislead that fan — run support, ballpark, quality of his team, etc. — is our great hope for figuring it out. Instead, WAR is almost as baffled as the rest of us.

Ray’s numbers weren’t helped by Robert McClain Authentic Jersey his playing in a hitter-friendly ballpark and in front of a below-average D-backs defense.

The Man Who Has Two Watches problem has its own academic-sounding name: Segal’s Law. The law is, most likely, intended to be taken sarcastically. (Its origin is apparently a San Diego newspaper that was mocking watch retailers.)

In Ray’s case, bWAR sees a National League starter pitching in a hitter’s park in front of a below-average defense; it expects a pitcher in his spot to allow 5.01 runs (earned and unearned) per nine innings. Ray allowed 5.42 runs per nine, which means that over the course of 174 innings, he allowed eight more runs than an average pitcher. He was, in other words, below average. Simple.

But is it? Take his start against the Cincinnati Reds Ryan Kalil Authentic Jersey on July 23. Ray struck out 10 batters in five innings and walked only one, a sensational ratio. Rarely does a “bad” pitcher strike out two batters per inning with good control, but Baseball Reference’s WAR would have marked him as “bad” that game because he allowed six runs. Three were unearned, thanks to a first-inning error by the third baseman. Three were earned, and that came in an inning that went like this:

That way, Ray would have allowed only one run. Same basic pitcher — six batters, two singles, a home run and a strikeout — but only one’s WAR is sunk.

FanGraphs’ WAR (or fWAR) doesn’t care how many runs Ray allows. It cares how well he threw on a per-batter basis, and it focuses its attention on the three “fielding independent pitching” outcomes — strikeouts, walks and home runs — for which a pitcher has the most individual responsibility. A FIP-based WAR assumes a league-average batting average on balls in play (BABIP) for every pitcher because BABIPs tend to regress toward that league average and because exceptions are often more about luck or defense than the pitcher’s skill. (It also adjusts for ballpark and other contextual factors.)

he was drafted in the fourth round to be a backup to Robert Griffin III

Kirk Cousins, who has thrown 17 TD passes this season, would rather focus on Thursday’s game vs. Dallas than his long-term future with the Redskins. “This isn’t the first time I went through this, so you just play,” he said.

Cousins said during his weekly appearance on 106.7 The Fan that it was McCloughan who kept encouraging him after a rough start to the 2015 season. Cousins then finished strong with 19 touchdowns and two interceptions in his last eight games.

“Scot gets it; he’s a football guy,” Cousins said. “He understands what it’s like to play at this level and the challenges and demands and pressure that come with it.”

Still, the challenge for Cousins remains to convince the organization Quintin Demps Authentic Womens Jersey that he’s worth an expensive long-term contract. He said he’s able to focus on the games and not his future because this episode is just an extension of his entire career.

“He’s a really good football player,” coach Jason Garrett said of Elliott in a press conference Tuesday. “It’s really as simple as that. That’s what we saw on tape. I think everybody saw that in college – a very complete player. Obviously a big-time runner, but so much more than that. A really good receiver, a really good blocker. His coach in college (Ohio State’s Urban Meyer) said he was the best player he has ever had with the ball not in his hands. We saw that on tape and we see that here.”

The next game, Washington at Dallas, is less important for making the playoffs since Dallas has almost clinched a spot. But it’s hugely important to determining seeding, which gives it major impact on which NFC team makes the Super Bowl. The Cowboys are 33 Ryan Griffin Authentic Womens Jersey percent more likely to make Super Bowl LI if they win this game; the Redskins are more than twice as likely to make it with a win.

The nightcap brings us the No. 1 team in the AFC North race (Pittsburgh) against the No. 2 team in the AFC South race (Indianapolis). Each team would add between 12 and 15 percent to its playoff odds with a win on Thanksgiving night.

You’ll find our playoff odds for all 32 teams below. For a full explanation on how we calculate each team’s playoff odds, see the bottom of the article.

The Raiders are currently the AFC’s No. 1 seed based on the “strength of victory” tiebreaker. That’s not a very good one for the Patriots, since they had both Cleveland and San Francisco on the schedule. But it’s unlikely to come down to that by the end of the season. New England has been the better team on a play-by-play basis and has the easier schedule down the stretch (with two games against the Jets and a home game against the Rams).

DeMar DeRozan is dominating from a part of the floor no one else even shoots from

There’s two ways to look at DeMar DeRozan’s season this year.

The first is delight, with a good bit of incredulity mixed in. DeRozan has been a great scorer throughout his first seven years in the NBA, but nothing indicated his sudden leap at age 27. Currently, DeRozan Jeff Hornacek Authentic Womens Jersey leads the league in scoring, averaging 34 points per game

The other is to appreciate DeRozan as a balancing act to the modern NBA, a player who’s leading a revolution that goes directly against its modern grain. DeRozan is feasting on mid-range jump shots like no one else in the league. Forty-six percent of his points this season have come from shots hit in the 8-to-24-foot range, where he’s shooting 54 percent.

What about the upstart crosstown rivals to the juggernaut Clippers? Lil’ Showtime is 7-4 and the team’s hardcore fans are whispering about upcoming schedules and … the playoffs. The playoffs! This is a team that has averaged a 22-60 record over the past three seasons and whose biggest free agent additions were a 57-year-old Luol Deng and Timofey Mozgov. The playoffs!

It breaks my fragile heart into pieces to disabuse sweet Lakers fans of hope, but a man must do his duty. This is not happening. The Lakers have a mediocre defense (as expected) and a top-10 offense. The offense is unsustainable unless D’Angelo Russell hits the Second Year Deron Williams Gear or Jordan Clarkson becomes an All-Star caliber two-guard off the bench. Nick Young is not going to keep hitting almost 70 Jeremy Evans Authentic Womens Jersey percent of his long twos. Lou Williams is unlikely to keep hitting 40 percent of his threes given that a) he’s a career 34 percent shooter and b) he’s creating about half of his makes off the dribble.

The Lakers are No. 4 in the NBA in effective field goal percentage. They were dead last in this category a year ago. Losing Kobe Bryant is a huge buoy, and Luke Walton is a clear upgrade over Byron Scott in terms of building a modern offense. The kids are a year older. But all of that together with largely the same roster does not equate “from dead last to elite in one summer.” It’s just not precedented.

Kalil and Addison left the game earlier with injuries and did not return

Kalil and Addison left the game earlier with injuries and did not return. Their status for Carolina’s Nov. 27 game in Oakland remains uncertain.

But what is certain is it’s hard to imagine the Panthers making a playoff push without Kuechly. He’s had more tackles (693) than any NFL player since entering the league as a first-round pick out of Boston College in 2012.

He already had a season-high 14 tackles Thursday to give him a team-leading 102 this season before leaving the game.

If outside linebacker Davis is the heart of the defense, Kuechly is the soul.

His last words to teammates before Larry Webster III Authentic Womens Jersey leaving the field were to “keep fighting.”

This would be Kuechly’s second concussion in two years. He missed three games last season after suffering one late in the first quarter of the opener at Jacksonville.

Cornerback Kurt Coleman said the way Kuechly reacted when New Orleans running back Tim Hightower lowered his helmet into the middle linebacker’s facemask and chest was reminiscent of that hit.

Kuechly was hit so hard that he was pushed back into the path of outside linebacker Thomas Davis, whose helmet glanced off his teammate’s helmet.

It was such a somber sight as Kuechly laid motionless on the turf with team doctors evaluating him that Saints safety Roman Harper, who played for the Panthers in 2014 and ’15, came to check on him.

Saints quarterback Drew Brees told Kuechly he was praying for him as the three-time Pro Bowl selection left the field.

“He is maybe, certainly one of the best football players I’ve Manny Ramirez Authentic Womens Jersey ever seen — ever played against,” Brees said.

That the Panthers hung on to win 23-20 to keep their slim playoff hopes alive at 4-6 with six games remaining seemed less significant because of what happened not only to Kuechly, but center Ryan Kalil (shoulder) and defensive end Mario Addison (foot).

They could use an upgrade at small forward to match up with the Kevin Durants

It all looked so promising in the first year of Lob City when the Clippers rallied to win a Game 7 on the road in Memphis in the first round of the 2012 playoffs. They were swept by San Antonio in the next round, but the season went down as a success for such a young team.

They went backward in Year 2, losing to the Grizzlies in a bruising six-game first-round series. The Clippers won the first two games, lost the next three, then lost Griffin to a high-ankle sprain during walk-through practice. According to one insider, they were practicing traps to get the ball out of Zach Randolph’s and Marc Gasol’s hands. Griffin Authentic Leonard Williams Jersey spun, leaped, got bumped, landed on Lamar Odom’s foot and let out the kind of scream that makes everyone in the gym cringe.

The Clippers lost Game 6, fired coach Vinny Del Negro and turned to Rivers to get them over the hump. Instead, the Donald Sterling scandal landed like a stink bomb in the middle of a first-round series against the Golden State Warriors. The Clippers somehow pulled out the series in seven games, marking the last time they’ve been ahead of the Warriors. But Authentic Lorenzo Mauldin Jersey they basically collapsed out of emotional exhaustion in the next round against Oklahoma City. Which seemed like the worst thing that would ever happen in their careers, until they blew a 3-1 series lead against the Houston Rockets the next season.

So you know there’s all this talk of the Clippers being the best team in the NBA now …

“Noooo. Mmm, mmm. Nooo. Nooo,” Rivers said before the question was even asked.

Part of Rivers’ caution is the youngness of the season. Eleven games is hardly a large enough sample size to start making judgments, let alone boast about anything.

“You get tired of losing,” Rivers said. “The whole second-round [playoff ceiling the franchise has yet to break through] … I don’t think our guys care about that, they just want to win. At some point guys just get tired of losing. I think our guys are at that point.”

There are all sorts of metrics that would make a compelling case for the Clippers as the best team in the NBA right now.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Clippers have outscored their opponents by 183 points this season, the fourth-best margin through 11 games of a season in NBA history behind only the 1996-97 Chicago Bulls (plus-212), 1964-65 Boston Celtics (plus-194) and 1971-72 Milwaukee Bucks (plus-193).

The Human Swiss Army Knife lined up at four defensive positions

The Tigers still hold the steering wheel on their playoff road, but this loss was a bad one any way you carve it. It takes all the worst parts of the defeats we’ve already listed and combines them into one nasty afternoon — losing at home, against an unranked four-loss team, committing a turnover that allowed that team back into the game, and also being exposed on defense. All of this while the ACC Coastal can’t decide whom to send to Orlando to presumably face Clemson in the relocated conference title game.

“I paid a lot of money for a backup quarterback, as you well know, and this, by the way, is going to be the record for having paid this for the backup quarterback,” Jones said on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas on Tuesday.

Romo has the Cowboys’ highest Keanu Neal Authentic Womens Jersey salary-cap figure this year at $20.835 million and has an $8.5 million base salary.

Prescott has a $450,000 base salary and has a cap figure of $545,848.

Jones is not ready to write off Romo’s potential impact this season, despite the fact he missed the first nine games with a compression fracture in Kemal Ishmael Authentic Womens Jersey his back (an injury he suffered in the preseason).

“You don’t rule that out obviously. That would be madness,” Jones said. “As I said, if you ruled that out, then why would you even have a real commitment to a backup quarterback? Think about that a minute. You’re going to do it, and you’re going to have a team that is getting better, feeling better about itself, it’s gaining really confidence in being able to handle adversity, handle it on the road, wherever. Boy, just like at any position, but more importantly to have Tony Romo able to step in at the right time when you would need him is absolutely unthinkable in a positive way.”

Jones counts Ben Roethlisberger’s 408-yard, three touchdown game vs. the Cowboys as an example of what Romo can do.

“That’s what you get if Tony Romo comes out there for us,” Jones said.

Jabrill Peppers Watch. The Human Swiss Army Knife lined up at four defensive positions and two offensive positions in Saturday night’s loss at Iowa. He also returned one kickoff and one punt, though his offensive contribution was minimal at 11 total yards.

President Obama salutes champion Cavaliers in South Lawn ceremony

President Barack Obama started Thursday by welcoming the future, meeting with president-elect Donald Trump at the White House for the first time.

Obama finished the day by celebrating the past, recognizing the Cavaliers for their 2016 NBA championship over the Warriors.

“Give it up for the world champion Cleveland Cavaliers!” Obama bellowed to a crowd of more than 100 people, including Ohio Gov. John Kasich, on the Robin Roberts Youth Jersey White House’s South Lawn. “That’s right, I said ‘world champion’ and ‘Cleveland’ in the same sentence. That’s what we’re talking about when we talk about hope and change.”

“Mexico is always a good team,” U.S. midfielder Jermaine Jones said before the Americans’ final training session Thursday at Mapfre Stadium, where the U.S. has won the previous four meetings dating to 2001 by identical 2-0 score lines.

“Most of [their] guys play in Europe. But still, if we go out there and face them with the heart that we always do here, then it will not be easy for them.”

It will be more difficult still for El Tri if Jones is on the field in his usual central midfield spot.

The German-American enforcer only recently returned from a long-term knee injury, and while he helped the Colorado Rapids reach the last four of the MLS playoffs Sunday with a brilliant 82-minute performance against the LA Galaxy, he has not played an entire match since June. Still, such is his importance to the U.S. that it would surprise nobody if coach Jurgen Klinsmann included Jones in his lineup anyway.

“We’ll see if he can go 90 minutes, how far he can Ryan Howard Youth Jersey go,” Klinsmann said of Jones. “But just to have him with us means a lot to us and makes us just feel a lot more comfortable.”

A victory would increase the hosts’ comfort level significantly. With a difficult trip to San Jose, Costa Rica, looming just four days after the meeting with El Tri, getting three points from the first match is imperative for a U.S. team that went a perfect 8-0 at home en route to Brazil 2014 but won just three times on the road, with three draws and two defeats.

“It starts off with a six-pointer, almost, against Mexico, for both teams,” Klinsmann said. “I think that’s huge.”