Here’s something you don’t see everyday. @CStandhardinger shooting one-handed free throws. pic.twitter.com/xE4W1HvCDG— Randolph B. Leongson (@RLeongsonINQ) November 9, 2017 ‘Excited’ Terrence Romeo out to cherish first PBA finals appearance PLAY LIST 01:30’Excited’ Terrence Romeo out to cherish first PBA finals appearance01:07No. 1 pick Standhardinger’s monster game further fuels SMB debut hype00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games READ: Standhardinger ‘very excited’ to play with Fajardo at SMBIn Hong Kong Eastern Sports Club’s 98-85 tuneup victory against NLEX on Thursday, the Fil-German forward unveiled a new weapon in his arsenal – a one-handed free throw.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. — Randolph B. Leongson (@RLeongsonINQ) November 9, 2017It may look unconventional, but that’s exactly what 28-year-old bruiser is going for.“If you watch me play, I’m not very conventional you know. I’m just efficient. That’s the same thing with the free throw. It has not been working for me so good in the last two years, so I’m figuring out something unconventional,” he said.“I hope that it works better for me and I have a good feeling with it.” Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH “I’m working on some stuff, trying to figure some stuff out, but I’m pretty confident that I’m going in the right direction,” he said in a short chat after the game at FCL Center Gym.Standhardinger, who is set to play in the ASEAN Basketball League this month before suiting up for San Miguel in the PBA, said that he’s sticking with his unique free throw shooting style because it works for him.“It feels good and I like it,” he said. “I’m sure that I’m gonna be ready with it. Worst case scenario, I’ll be ready with it when the PBA starts, but I think I will be ready with the free throws when the ABL starts.”Here’s some proof that @CStandhardinger can make those one-handed FTs! pic.twitter.com/7Nd5E1fl64ADVERTISEMENT Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Court acquits Taulava of P9.5-M tax evasion charges Christian Stanhardinger during the tune up game between Hong Kong Lions and NLEX Road Warriors. Photo by Randolph LeongsonChristian Standhardinger has been playing basketball for quite sometime, but he’s not afraid to try something new.Six months away from his PBA debut, the no. 1 overall pick is working to develop his game into something unconventional.ADVERTISEMENT Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC View comments Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion MOST READ Read Next CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA LATEST STORIES
A day after Michael Vaughan took a jibe at Sanjay Manjrekar over the former India cricketer’s tweet on England cricket’s flawed approach, Manjrekar has hit back at Vaughan. One of the game’s most respected analysts, Manjrekar questioned England all-rounder Sam Curran’s batting position in the first Test against the West Indies in Bridgetown.Curran, who was impressive in England’s 4-1 Test series win against India at home, batted at No.9 in both innings of the Bridgetown Test and managed only 14 and 17 as England lost by an innings and 381 runs. “Trevor Bayliss said that Sam Curran has endured the first bad game of his career. Curran has 15 wickets in 15 innings. So it’s more his batting Bayliss is talking about…Curran bats at no 8 & 9. Highlights the flawed thinking & approach of England,” Manjrekar had tweeted.Vaughan, a former captain did not take lightly to Manjrekar’s observation. “The same flawed thinking that beat India 4-1 Sanjay,” he tweeted.Sanjay Manjrekar, however, sought to end the debate with this:Trevor Bayliss said that Sam Curran has endured the first bad game of his career. Curran has 15 wickets in 15 innings. So it’s more his batting Bayliss is talking about…Curran bats at no 8 & 9. Highlights the flawed thinking & approach of England.#ENGvWISanjay Manjrekar (@sanjaymanjrekar) January 29, 2019The same flawed thinking that beat India 4-1 Sanjay .. #OnOn https://t.co/u9Lq2jKeWHMichael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) January 29, 2019That you are reacting this way further highlights the flawed mindset. I rest my case. https://t.co/0kRCC83kpWadvertisementSanjay Manjrekar (@sanjaymanjrekar) January 30, 2019Manjrekar, who played 37 Tests and 74 ODIs from 1987 to 1996, has recently raised several questions on England’s tactics and approach. England, after defeating top-ranked India at home, whitewashed Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka but crashed to a heavy defeat against the West Indies, who are 8th in the ICC’s Test rankings.”Anyone who follows me on social media will know my latest bugbear is English cricket – its planning and decisions, and the discourse around it,” Manjrekar wrote in an article for ESPNcricinfo. “This is basically an outsider looking in at English cricket.”My heart melted the first time I toured England as a player, in 1990, and has done every time since then, watching their fans flock to the grounds to enjoy cricket, especially Test cricket: how they are glued to the action on the field, every ball of the day, applauding every maiden over. I wish you could clone them for Test matches all over the world.”India is the new powerhouse of cricket, but England still remains cricket’s conscience, its soul. And that is why, for long, I have felt that England cricket fans deserve a champion team to support,” he wrote.Also Read | Former India cricketer Jacob Martin out of danger after help from cricket fraternity
Last week, prompted by ESPN’s new “30 for 30” documentary on the “Bad Boys” Detroit Pistons, I examined the question of just how “bad” the Bad Boys really were. In that piece, I used relative technical foul rates as a proxy for “badness” to establish that the Bad Boys Pistons teams did, indeed, deserve that moniker. Their two championship squads were two of the “baddest” teams in the past few decades, earning more technical fouls relative to their peers than any other teams since 1982. But one question lingers: Were they so good because they were so bad, or in spite of it?To find out, I looked at 30 years’ worth of the league’s correlation between technical fouls and winning. Technicals are the NBA’s official in-game punishment for conduct that the league and officials deem “unsportsmanlike” (short of a flagrant foul), which is why we’re using it as our proxy for badness.1In the Bad Boys Era, what are now flagrant fouls were mostly just technical fouls, and didn’t carry the extra penalty they do today. They, of course, have the immediate and measurable result of giving the other team one free throw by the shooter of its choice — worth around .85 points on average.2There’s also a minor effect of sometimes adding time to the opponent’s shot clock.Despite that negative consequence, teams that get more technical fouls than average tend to be pretty good. What’s more, the more technicals they earn, the more likely they are to be even better.Here’s a plot of the number of technical fouls (badness) a team had relative to the league average that year against its win percentage (goodness). The data below is pulled from all team seasons since 1982-83,3Limited to teams for which we have at least 10,000 combined minutes worth of data. showing only those that were badder than average.Look at the red dots, which are rolling 25-team averages. As the teams get more techs — or get badder — their winning percentages increase. That’s intriguing, as is the fact that the top 26 baddest teams in the data set all had winning records. Overall, 63 percent of these bad teams were good enough to have a winning record, and the top 100 of them had an average winning percentage of 60.3 percent.4The correlation between technical rate and win percentage is .27, which is pretty high for any metric based on only one stat.But finding a relationship in one season isn’t enough. The real test is whether the metric predicts performance in other seasons.5This is called taking your test “out of sample,” which separates cause and effect. Note, though, that it doesn’t necessarily tell you which is which. Below you’ll find a graph showing how technical fouls predict team strength in neighboring seasons, and how they compare to a variety of other popular metrics. For strength, we’ll use SRS, or “Simple Rating System,” which is a team’s average margin of victory adjusted for strength of schedule6The technicals per game metric I used is calculated relative to each season, while the other metrics are not. This gives it a slight advantage.:Effective field goal percentage comes out on top of this group, but technical foul rate holds its own, coming out as a better predictor of past or future team strength than stats stalwarts like points per game or rebounding percentage.7Also, technicals are more positively predictive than turnovers are negatively predictive, which is fascinating but beyond the scope of this article.That’s a bit wacky — the technical foul, remember, can’t provide value directly, because it gives up .85 points (on average) to the opposition. From where I sit, then, there are two potential kinds of explanation: Explanations that embrace the nasty. These would argue that teams that get more technical fouls are better because the behavior that leads to the technicals (i.e., bad behavior) likely provides more benefit than the occasional .85 points that it costs.8OK, actually there’s a third line of thinking, which is that technical fouls don’t cost the .85 points that we think they do because, say, referees overcompensate for calling technicals by giving teams better calls later in the game. But for all intents and purposes, I’ll treat those as part of the second theory. In baseball, high/inside pitches used to brush batters off the plate usually result in balls or sometimes even hit batters, but are commonly believed to be worth it (whether they actually are or not, I don’t know). For what it’s worth, I checked a boatload of possible confounding variables and combinations thereof, such as home/away (53 percent of technicals go to the away team); ahead/behind (57 percent go to the trailing team); and playoffs/regular season (if it were strictly a matter of effort, we would expect a difference when all teams have equal incentives to play hard. No major differences found). Coaching technicals appear to be at least as predictive as player technicals. If there’s a correlation between aggressive play and winning and aggressive coaching and winning, Occam’s Razor suggests that you should favor a single theory that explains both phenomena, such as that an aggressive ethos (which applies equally to coaches and their players) causes winning. In football, I’ve found that rookie quarterbacks who throw more interceptions (all else being equal) often have more productive careers. In basketball, offensive rebounds have a potentially similar problem from the opposite direction: While apparently a good thing, in quantity they signal that a team doesn’t shoot very well. In poker, a too-high showdown win percentage likely indicates that a player doesn’t bluff enough and/or doesn’t make enough marginal calls. So far my research hasn’t turned up any smoking gun proving the case one way or the other, but on balance I’d say the results are more consistent with the second option: Technical fouls exist to deter certain types of unsportsmanlike behavior, but if those behaviors are broadly advantageous (by intimidating or hurting the opponent, for example), they could be “priced incorrectly” at only (roughly) -.85 points each.9Compare it to the deterrence problem: In order to coerce different behavior, things have to be punished at a rate much worse than their actual effect.That something ostensibly negative can ultimately be predictive of something positive (or vice versa) isn’t an unheard of dynamic in sports. For instance: Not all good teams get a lot of technical fouls (the San Antonio Spurs, for example, consistently rank near the bottom of the league), but the vast majority of teams that get a lot of technical fouls are good. Of the 27 teams with the best winning percentages since 1982, two-thirds (18) have had more technical fouls than the league average at the time. (Compare that to the top 26 technical-getting teams having winning records.) But it’s unusual in basketball for an event with a negative impact to have a positive correlation with team strength. Take a look at some other things that have a direct impact on the game that’s similar to that of technical fouls (slightly above or below -1 point each):If everything else were equal, we would probably expect technicals to be in the same range as turnovers or steals, so the total gap from where they ought to be based on in-game value and where they actually are, predictively, is massive.10Note the gap between opponent offensive and defensive rebounds is smaller, even though there’s a straightforward reason that offensive rebounds are a mixed blessing (because it means the team is missing more shots).But even if we’re satisfied that technicals can predict wins, there’s still something we haven’t considered yet: Wins may predict technicals.11It’s like the Euthyphro question, but for sports gods: Are technicals good because the sports gods love them, or do the sports gods love technicals because they’re good? This theory has a few possible scenarios associated with it, such as: Teams that are in contention are playing hard all the time — so hard that they occasionally earn a technical — while teams that are out of contention don’t really care enough to do “whatever it takes” to win.That kind of explanation is intuitively appealing, both because the scenario has a plausible ring to it and because it’s the sort of unsexy answer you often find when you try to explain a strange result.To test this theory, I looked at play-by-play data over the last four years, which breaks fouls — including technicals — down by type. That yielded 1,963 player techs, 422 coach techs, 278 flagrants (similar to the technical, but with a much harsher punishment), and 2,448 three-second violations.12For the data set I used below, I also applied a number of filters: I filtered out the fourth quarter because variance is too great and tactical considerations trump other things. I also dropped hanging, taunting, non-unsportsmanlike and team technical fouls because their numbers are too small to break out, and I’d like to keep the main-line group as homogenous as possible.I combined all that with in-game win percentage calculations provided by Dean Oliver of ESPN Stats & Info, estimating the foul-committing team’s chances of winning before and after the foul (including the resulting free-throw).13I also duplicated all of this research using margin of victory so as not to rely entirely on the predictive algorithm, and the results were virtually identical. We’re interested in the difference between what that foul did to a team’s projected results and its actual results.Averaging across all plays, we can represent the results of this comparison in a slope chart that shows how the team’s chances should have changed in that moment, and how often it actually ended up winning. Take note of those two (well, four) lines for player and coach techs. Both player and coach technicals ostensibly cost teams about a 1.8 percent chance of winning the game, which is what we would expect based on the surrendered free throw. But the actual win percentages of technical-foul-getting teams appear much higher than we would expect. Teams ended up winning 2.1 percent more often than expected after player techs, and 3.8 percent more often than expected after coach techs.14Flagrant fouls don’t do as well, though they include a harsher penalty, including the possibility of the player being ejected.While this result supports our finding that technical fouls predict winning over an even larger number of observations, it’s also consistent with either type of explanation for why this is so. If there were any bias in how technical fouls are distributed — as suggested by the “wins predict technicals” theory — unfortunately it would still bias these results.But there’s something we can do to avoid that. Instead of computing the averages in that chart across every single foul, we can compute them on a team-by-team basis first, and then average the result across all teams equally — treating each team’s results as one data point regardless of how many technical fouls it received. That helps us avoid potentially skewed data if different types of teams (like winning teams) are more likely to get technicals in the first place. When we do that, here’s what we get (the new chart is on the right, with the old one on the left for comparison’s sake):Lo and behold, they’re extremely similar! Teams tend to win 1.4 percent more often when their players get a tech, and a whopping 5.5 percent more often when their coaches do. That similarity broadly suggests that “bad” (technicals) begets “good” (winning), rather than the other way around.To illustrate: If one great team, let’s call it SuperBad, earned every technical foul every year, but by virtue of being a great team won 5 percent more often than its expected win percentage would suggest, that would show up as a 5 percent gain in the chart on the left. (That’s because each time a team got a technical it won 5 percent more often, even though it was the same team every time, and even if the winning was unrelated.) But when averaged across all 30 teams in the league, it would only show a 0.16 percent gain in the chart on the right (SuperBad team ran 5 percent above average when getting a technical, but the other 29 teams ran 0 percent better15OK, technically undefined in this example, so add epsilon if you must.). This would be a perfect “winning begets technicals” scenario.On the other hand, if every team got an equal share of the same number of technicals as our SuperBad team, and every time a team got a technical it won 5 percent more often than it would have otherwise, it would show up both as a 5 percent gain on the left and a 5 percent gain on the right. This would be a perfect “technicals beget winning” scenario.The charts above seem much much closer to this second “technicals beget winning” scenario, as there doesn’t appear to be much difference whether we aggregate by plays or by teams. Indeed, the main reason this isn’t a smoking gun is that the sample size for the right-hand chart is only 120 team seasons, which would normally be much too small to even attempt to draw conclusions about differences of only a couple of percentage points either way. But being so consistent with the much larger sample of the play-by-play chart is powerful corroboration.Here are a few other things that cut against the “winning predicts technicals” theory: Finally, let’s return to the question that kicked off the piece: Were the Bad Boys Pistons so good because they were so bad, or in spite of it?Based on what I’ve looked at so far, I’d say the former has the stronger case: While technical fouls can’t lead directly to winning, the types of behavior that lead to technical fouls just may. Explanations that avoid the nasty conclusion that unsportsmanlike play gives a team an advantage. For example, it could be that technical fouls are committed more often by teams that are already winning, or that winning teams and players just have a propensity to get more technical fouls, and are willing to absorb the cost.
As we approach the end of the NBA’s regular season, awards conversations are all the rage. As usual, the two most talked-about races are for Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year. Whether it’s “Get Up” or The Jump, Sports Illustrated or CBS or NBA TV, or even NBA players themselves, everyone’s got an opinion on who should take home the hardware at the end of the season.The Rookie of the Year debate, at this point, pretty much boils down to the Mavericks’ Luka Doncic, who stormed out of the gate and grabbed onto front-runner status fairly quickly, and the Hawks’ Trae Young, who started off terribly but has been shining during the season’s second half.But lost among this debate is this: The entire 2018 NBA rookie class — or at least the top five picks — deserves an award. Collectively, they are having the best debut season of any group of top five picks in more than 25 years.Doncic (pick No. 3) is carrying averages of 21.2 points, 7.7 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game while acting as the primary facilitator and scoring option in Dallas. He is only the second rookie in NBA history to average at least 20, 7, and 5 in those categories, and the other is Oscar Robertson, who did so during the 1960-61 season.The man whom Doncic was traded for on draft night,1The Hawks drafted Doncic and traded him to the Mavericks in exchange for Young and Dallas’s top-five protected 2019 first-round pick. Young, has been nearly as productive, albeit less consistent, in his debut season for Atlanta. Young’s season-long numbers of 19.0 points, 3.7 rebounds and 8.1 assists per game are strong.2He’s one of only three rookies to have gone for 19, 3 and 8 per game. Those numbers, though, are dragged down by his poor start to the year. Since the All-Star break, he’s averaging 25.0 points, 4.6 rebounds and 9.2 assists a night, with shooting numbers that are far better than those he was posting earlier in the season as he struggled to adjust to the NBA game.Two of the first five picks in a given draft looking this good, this early, would be impressive on its own; but Doncic and Young are not alone in their shining debuts. The other three players selected in the top five — the Suns’ DeAndre Ayton (No. 1), the Kings’ Marvin Bagley III (No. 2) and the Grizzlies’ Jaren Jackson Jr. (No. 4) — have each been pretty damned good this year too.Ayton has been a monster offensive force for Phoenix from Day 1, and he is already one of the league’s best post scorers and offensive rebounders. Among rotation players averaging at least 2 post-ups per game, per NBA.com, Ayton’s 1.03 points per play on post-ups ranks third, behind only Joel Embiid and LaMarcus Aldridge. Ayton’s offensive rebound rate, meanwhile, ranks 22nd among the 263 players who have qualified for the minutes per game leaderboard. And he’s been improving on defense throughout the season.Bagley is averaging 14.8 points and 7.4 rebounds per game off the bench for the surprisingly frisky Kings. And he’s been even better since returning from a five-game, injury-related absence in early March, posting 18.5 points and 8.2 rebounds a night with an improved shooting line. He has a diverse, varied face-up game and is working to stretch his jumper, and given his athleticism and quick feet, his defense could eventually come around as well.Memphis shut down Jackson in late-February due to a quad injury, but before his season ended he averaged 13.8 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.3 combined steals and blocks in just 26 minutes a night. He did all that despite being, at 19 years old, the second-youngest player in the league.3The Lakers’ Isaac Bonga is about a month younger than Jackson, and Bonga has played less than 100 minutes this season. Jackson also knocked down 35.9 percent of his threes and carried an above-average usage rate and true shooting percentage, which is wildly impressive for a player whose primary contributions were expected to come on the defensive end of the floor.So how does this season’s top five stack up against past classes? The chart below plots the collective win shares and win shares per 48 minutes for the top five picks in each draft class from 1979 through 2018 (otherwise known as the three-point era) during their respective debut seasons. Note that only players who played during the season immediately following that year’s draft are counted in this analysis; because we’re looking at the top five picks as a class, if a player did not debut with the rest of his class, it doesn’t make much sense to count him along with the others. For example, Ben Simmons was the No. 1 overall pick in 2016, but he did not play during the 2016-17 season, so he counts for 0 minutes and 0 win shares toward the total of that draft class. Simmons was excellent as a rookie once he did step on the floor, but it also would not make sense to group him with the 2017 draft class, because he was not drafted in 2017. Likewise, the same logic applies to Simmons’s Sixers teammate Joel Embiid, who was drafted in 2014 but did not debut until two years later.4It also applies to Jonas Valanciunas (stayed in Europe for a year before coming over and joining the Raptors); Blake Griffin (injured); Ricky Rubio (Europe); Greg Oden (injured); Danny Ferry (went to Italy for a year because he refused to play for the Clippers); David Robinson (naval service); and tragically, Len Bias (an overdose-caused death). 1982WorthyCummingsWilkinsGarnettThompson0.129 The top-five picks in the 2018 draft are in HOF companyThe five NBA draft classes with the highest win shares per 48 minutes Year1st2nd3rd4th5thWS per 48 min 1979JohnsonGreenwoodCartwrightKelserMoncrief0.137 1992O’NealMourningLaettnerJacksonEllis0.118 Hall of Fame inductees in boldSource: Basketball-Reference.com Draft pick 2018AytonBagley IIIDoncicJackson Jr.Young0.102 1984OlajuwonBowieJordanPerkinsBarkley0.174 As you can see, the 2018 class fares extremely well in both win shares — which represent Basketball-Reference.com’s attempt to divvy up credit for team wins to the individual players on the team — and win shares per 48 minutes. The 21.1 win shares collectively accumulated by Ayton, Bagley, Doncic, Jackson and Young ranks eighth among the last 40 draft classes during their respective debut seasons, while their win shares per 48 average of 0.102 makes this class one of just six to exceed 0.100 win shares per 48.One of those six classes (2009) saw only three players actually take the floor during their debut season, thanks to an injury that knocked Blake Griffin out for the year and Ricky Rubio’s contract with Barcelona that kept him in Spain for two years before he arrived stateside. Hasheem Thabeet, James Harden and Tyreke Evans saw varying degrees of success during their respective rookie years and ended up posting a collective average of 0.108 win shares per 48 minutes, but they also combined for only 11.9 total win shares, far fewer than the other five classes that stand out in this analysis, each of which exceeded 20 total win shares.It’s worth noting, then, who was actually taken in the top five in those five NBA drafts (1984, 1979, 1982 and 1992). It’s also worth noting that just a single class between 1992 and 2018 saw its top five post a win shares per 48 average better than 0.100, meaning it’s been nearly a generation since we saw an actual top five class debut with a performance as good as the one we’re seeing from the most recent draft class. Among the 20 players selected in the top five of those four drafts, eight are currently in the Basketball Hall of Fame. Another four — Bill Cartwright, Sidney Moncrief, Terry Cummings and Christian Laettner — made at least one All-Star team during their career. And six more became long-term rotation players. Only Greg Kelser and Bill Garnett failed to pan out at all, as they wound up out of the league entirely within a few seasons.That’s an incredible hit rate of solid NBA players, and bodes well for what we should expect from Ayton, Bagley, Doncic, Jackson and Young in the future. It’s obviously far too early to predict that any of these players will be enshrined in Springfield one day, but the future certainly appears bright, and it seems likely that the 2018 draft class will be remembered as one of the best in quite some time.Check out our latest NBA predictions.
Play ‘Em Matt Cassel (Kansas City): One quarterback not getting the respect he deserves is Cassel, who has thrown for 18 touchdowns versus four interceptions. Much of that production is because of Dwayne Bowe’s emergence as a solid wide receiver. Either way, Cassel has a nice matchup against Seattle, which ranks in the top 10 in fantasy points allowed to opposing quarterbacks. Mark Sanchez (New York): Last week, Sanchez, battling a calf injury, threw for 315 yards with three touchdowns and one interception against Houston. That performance gives Sanchez three straight weeks with at least 27 fantasy points in standard scoring leagues. Consider Sanchez a low-end No. 1 fantasy quarterback against a Bengals defense that got torched by the Bills’ Ryan Fitzpatrick to the tune of 316 yards and four touchdowns last week. Mike Tolbert (San Diego): Tolbert continued his breakout 2010 season with an impressive performance Monday night against Denver, with 111 rushing yards with a touchdown. Look for similar numbers against a Colts run defense that allows the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs. Darren McFadden (Oakland): McFadden has been quiet the last two weeks, totaling 103 rushing yards with zero touchdowns. Granted, Week 11 was against Pittsburgh. McFadden should return to form against a Dolphins’ defense that allows 113 rushing yards per game. Based on the matchup, McFadden is a low-end No. 1 running back. Steve Johnson (Buffalo): Like Tolbert, Johnson is having a breakout 2010 season, with 728 receiving yards and nine touchdowns. Although Johnson faces the Steelers, he is a must-start from now on. The Steelers rank 22nd in pass defense and have allowed five passing touchdowns to opposing wide receivers in their past five games. So, Steve Johnson, “Why So Serious?” Vincent Jackson (San Diego): Jackson is back after serving a three-game suspension and signing his contract late. This is great timing because Patrick Crayton (wrist) is out, Antonio Gates is still battling a foot injury, and Malcom Floyd tweaked his hamstring. Jackson will benefit by having the league’s leading passer in Philip Rivers and going against a Colts defense allowing 208 passing yards per game. Bench ‘Em David Garrard (Jacksonville): Garrard looked terrible last week, with 254 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions. The Jaguars’ offense will stall a little with Mike Sims-Walker out. This week, Garrard faces a Giants defense that allowing 14 fantasy points per week. Fred Jackson (Buffalo): Jackson has been solid in his past three games, with four touchdowns and back-to-back 100-yard games. This week, he faces a Steelers defense allowing 63 rushing yards per game and a total of four touchdowns on the ground. Only the Patriots’ BenJarvus Green-Ellis has managed to go over 50 rushing yards against the Steelers. Look for other options at the running back position this week. Beanie Wells (Arizona): Wells had eight carries for 39 yards last week against Kansas City. Wells’ knee continues to be a burden and the Cardinals continue to use a two-back system. In Week 12, Wells faces a Niners defense that ranks ninth in fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs. Brandon Marshall (Miami): It’s unclear if Marshall will play this week against Oakland (top five pass defense) because of a hamstring injury. Marshall hasn’t recorded double-digit fantasy points in standard leagues since Week 6. The Dolphins’ offense is a mess, led by quarterback Tyler Thigpen. Keep Marshall on your bench and hope he’s ready for the playoffs. Johnny Knox (Chicago): Knox continues to be Cutler’s favorite target, with five catches for 55 yards on eight targets last week. But the attention hasn’t translated to fantasy production. The yards are there but the touchdowns are not (one for the year). Expect corner Asante Samuel, who leads the NFL with seven interceptions, to be defending Knox, who is more of a flex option against the Eagles.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — It wasn’t the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., and it wasn’t the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, La., but the EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Fla., site of the 2012 Gator Bowl, was the best bowl game location Ohio State football could do this season. The stadium, home of the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars, holds more than 77,000 fans and was home of Super Bowl XXXIX between the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles. The mostly-full stadium held 61,312 fans for Monday’s Gator Bowl, and The Lantern was there to cover the game, and rate the quality of the venue. Here is our rating of EverBank Field, should Buckeyes, Browns or Bengals fans find themselves there in the future. All categories were rated on a five-point scale, with a five being the highest. Sight lines/seating: One of the most important factors when shelling out big bucks for an NFL game or a college football bowl game is your proximity to the field and the sight lines. Luckily for those in attendance for Monday’s Gator Bowl, the Buckeyes’ and Gators’ sideline areas were narrow. The front row of seats was quite close to the playing surface. The stadium was not particularly tall, and the higher the row you sat in, the farther you were from the action, kind of like the Rose Bowl. Upper deck seats might not have been the best vantage point, but the expansive lower bowl would be well worth the price of admission. Lantern rating: 2 Access to stadium/location: Though the stadium wasn’t at full capacity, traffic to the game was manageable — a 15-minute cab ride from downtown Jacksonville. Public transit is an option, as is an elevated, light-rail train that runs right past the stadium. Very convenient. The stadium location is also quite nice. The Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville, home of the Double-A affiliate of Major League Baseball’s Miami Marlins, is a beautiful, red-brick ball field adjacent to EverBank Field. Lastly, and perhaps best of all, the stadium is located on the banks of the St. Johns River, which makes for a picturesque scene. Lantern rating: 4 Aesthetics of the stadium: EverBank Field is comprised mostly of large concrete ramps that run up to the upper levels of the stadium. It isn’t very colorful or particularly eye-grabbing. The open-air facility was very open indeed, and probably not conducive to allowing crowd noise to reverberate and bother the team you’re rooting against. Lantern rating: 1 Gameday atmosphere: There was a large tailgate party situated on a lawn outside of the stadium. Hundreds of fans attended, ate, drank and watched college football on a jumbo-sized television screen. The cost of admission to the tailgate was $10, but your “ticket” to enter was the official Gator Bowl patch — worn by both teams during the game — attached to a lanyard. The patch was a fine souvenir and the tailgate grounds gave fans the opportunity to meet and get pumped for the game. Lantern rating: 4.5 To visit or not to visit: All categories considered, EverBank Field garnered a 2.875. A trip to EverBank Field, which was built in 1995, could be justified for a college football bowl game. A trip to see the Jaguars, which finished the 2011 season with a 5-11 record, though? Probably not.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp revealed his birthday gift for Fabinho was handing him a rare start in his favourite position in their 4-0 Champions League win over Red Star BelgradeThe Brazilian midfielder, who made only his second start at Liverpool following his summer arrival from AS Monaco, was in top form on Wednesday as the Reds stormed to a convincing 4-0 victory.Fabinho, who turned 25 on Tuesday, performed well alongside Georginio Wijnaldum at the heart of the Liverpool midfield in Jordan Henderson and Naby Keita’s absence.“Very good. Very, very good,” Klopp told reporters of Fabinho on the club website.Report: Origi cause Klopp injury concerns George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Divock Origi injury in today’s game against Newcastle is a cause for concern for Jurgen Klopp.Perhaps with one eye on Tuesday’s trip to Italy…“The present for his birthday was not that he was in the line-up, it was that we played his favourite system with a double-six!“He played really well and it was good to see. He was very aggressive and everything was there.“For his first game for a while, his second from the beginning, it was good, really good. It is quite impressive what people saw.”Klopp also backed Fabinho to continue the strong performances with Cardiff City awaiting them next at Anfield in the Premier League on Saturday.
US actions against Huawei will “affect tens of thousands of American jobs,” according to the company. Alain Jocard/Getty Images Chinese tech giant Huawei says its blacklisting by the US will harm jobs, industry and economics in the states.”This decision is in no one’s interest,” Huawei said in a statement Thursday. “It will do significant economic harm to the American companies with which Huawei does business, affect tens of thousands of American jobs and disrupt the current collaboration and mutual trust that exist on the global supply chain.”Huawei added that it will immediately seek remedies against the decision and “find a resolution.”The company had been added to the US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security Entity List late Wednesday, following an executive order from President Donald Trump effectively banning Huawei from US communications networks. Among other things, the Entity List applies to companies engaging in “activities contrary to US national security and/or foreign policy interests,” according to the bureau’s website. Post a comment 0 Share your voice The Huawei controversy: Everything you need to know Weighing Huawei Tags The core issue with Huawei has been concerns over its coziness with the Chinese government and fears that its equipment could be used to spy on other countries and companies. The CIA has reportedly warned intelligence officials that Huawei receives funding from China’s National Security Commission, the People’s Liberation Army and a third branch of the Chinese state intelligence network.Trump’s executive order declared that foreign adversary threats to communications networks, technology and services are a national emergency. Huawei has repeatedly denied that its products pose a security threat, following Australia banning Huawei from 5G in August.In its statement Thursday, Huawei called itself “the unparalleled leader in 5G” and said the US ban would lead to the states “lagging behind” in deployment of the next-generation networking technology.”We are ready and willing to engage with the US government and come up with effective measures to ensure product security,” Huawei said. “Restricting Huawei from doing business in the US will not make the US more secure or stronger; instead, this will only serve to limit the US to inferior yet more expensive alternatives.”Read: Samsung has the most to gain from Google putting Huawei on iceIs the threat real?Huawei denies it has strong ties to the Chinese government. But even if the allegations were true, company officials told CNET in an interview that the security threat is still minimal simply because of the way communications networks are built. “We don’t control the customer network,” Andy Purdy, Huawei’s chief security officer, said in an interview with CNET. “The carriers do. China can order us to do whatever the hell they want. But if we don’t have access to the customer data, we can’t send it back to China.”He went on to explain that mobile operators source their equipment from multiple vendors, which isn’t only a good cyber security practice but also makes good business sense. Francis Dinha, CEO of the security software company OpenVPN, agrees that operators use equipment from multiple vendors and said it’s the wireless operators who are ultimately responsible for securing their networks. “You shouldn’t trust any equipment manufacturer, no matter where the company is from, in terms of security,” he said. “Operators are not stupid. They know they need to build a different layer of security to really cope with these problems.”Still, Dinha acknowledges that lawmakers and national security policy experts have valid concerns about Huawei’s relationship with China, even though the company says it can’t be compelled to spy for the Chinese government. “I’m not saying that you should trust China and simply take their word that they can’t be ordered to do something malicious,” he said. “You shouldn’t. But there are ways to mitigate these risks by building in layers of security.”Huawei’s Purdy said that the company is open to discussing how it can work with US officials to ensure that 5G networks are protected, but so far no one is willing to talk. “Because of the hostility against Huawei, there is a lack of willingness to let the experts talk about the facts,” he said. “There are new standards in risk mitigation capabilities that are out there, we can address the risk.”He said he’s hopeful those lines of communication will open soon. The cost of not doing business with HuaweiDon Morrissey, head of Congressional, State and Local Government Affairs for Huawei, said it’s in the best interest of the US to find a way to work with Huawei. He said that limiting access to an important 5G vendor for equipment will limit competition, which will raise costs for building these networks. Providers will ultimately pass those costs on to consumers. He also added there are other economic concerns as Huawei sources some of its components from US companies. “We spent $11 billion with American companies last year,” he said. “That’s American companies in Idaho, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Michigan, Arizona, California and New York.”CNET’s Steven Musil contributed to this report.Updated 2:44 pm PT: Added comments from Huawei executives and Francis Dinha of OpenVPN. Mobile Phones Politics Huawei
Players in action during a Pro Kabaddi League match.Kuntal Chakrabarty/IANSThe 2019 season of Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) will start from July 20 with Telugu Titans and U Mumba playing the opening match of the tournament. Last year’s champions Bengaluru Bulls will fight it out against three-time champions Patna Pirates in the second match of the first day, according to organisers. The Titans vs U Mumba match will be played at the Gachibowli stadium in Hyderabad.Preview and Schedule This year a total of 12 teams will be fighting it out to win the coveted trophy. Each team will face every other side twice and finally, the teams which are in the top six list of the table will qualify for the playoffs. The organisers announced that this year, while Telugu Titans will play at their base Hyderabad, both Bengaluru Bulls and Jaipur Pink Panthers will be playing at Bengaluru and Jaipur respectively.New coaches will be in fray this time around as Anup Kumar coaches the Puneri Paltans for the seventh season while Rakesh Kumar will be coaching Haryana Steelers. Siddharth Desai who has shifted to Telugu Titans this year will be looking to perform the way he used to do for U Mumba. The final of the tournament is scheduled for October 19.This time around the former champions Bengaluru Bulls are definitely the favourite to win the tournament. But last two year’s runners-up Gujarat Fortune Giants (GFG), who were defeated by Patna Pirates in 2017 and Bengaluru Bulls in 2018, will be strong contenders also. Three-time champions Patna Pirates who underperformed last season will also be among the contenders to lift the coveted trophy.TV listings and Live StreamingThe broadcasting rights of the tournament are held by Star Sports and the matches will be telecasted every day from 7.30 pm as they are scheduled. For live streaming on the internet, the platform will be Hotstar.
Listen To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: lecsWhen it comes to the Trump administration’s growing trade war with China, Houston’s industry is probably better insulated than the rest of the U.S., according to experts.Steve Lewis, the China fellow at Rice University’s Baker Institute, told Houston Matters that China typically imports only what it can’t produce domestically – and on which it’s willing to pay a premium.“If they’re getting something from Houston, it’s usually something they really need,” Lewis said. “It’s usually something like energy-related equipment [or] specific chemicals or plastics that actually are cheaper here than they are in China, because we have source supply coming from shale oil and shale gas.”But Lewis said the city’s port is more vulnerable. “I think there’s about $20 billion a year that goes through the Houston port,” he said. “And there’s all those jobs associated with the port authority and the airport that relate to that. So, accountants, shipping, truckers, everything that’s associated with that will also be affected by a trade war.”Lewis also said there’s another big risk to the Houston economy from a trade war with China. If slowing trade hurts China’s economy enough, Chinese demand for energy will drop. That in turn could drive down the price of crude oil.Listen to the full interview with Lewis in the audio below: X 00:00 /13:10 Share
CREDIT: Courtesy of Facebook Popular on Variety ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 The accounts and groups taken down held a total of 7 events, and bought just 2 paid aids. However, one of those ads was booked all the way back in 2016, suggesting that this disinformation campaign had been going on for some time. Gleicher said Friday that the company first discovered the accounts a week ago, and that the majority of activity on these accounts had happened within the last year.Facebook took down another set of pages and accounts originating in Iran earlier this summer. The company said Friday that it hasn’t been able to verify whether the latest group of accounts was directly linked to the Iranian government or Iranian state media. Gleicher also said that the company didn’t now yet how many people were exposed to the posts from these accounts, or how many people attended the events in question. Altogether, the company took down 30 Facebook pages, 33 Facebook accounts, and 3 groups on the service, as well as 16 accounts on Instagram.The pages taken down Friday had around 1 million followers. The Facebook groups taken down had at least 25,000 members, and more than 28,000 people followed the affected Instagram accounts. Facebook took down another 82 accounts, pages and groups linked to Iran that were targeting people in the U.S. and UK with divisive messages, the company announced Friday.“The Page administrators and account owners typically represented themselves as US citizens, or in a few cases UK citizens — and they posted about politically charged topics such as race relations, opposition to the President, and immigration,” said Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy Nathaniel Gleicher in a blog post.Facebook published a few example posts Friday, which were critical of the Trump administration as well as British Prime Minister Theresa May.
With four secular bloggers being killed by suspected Islamists in Bangladesh in recent months, police here have asked secular writers not to “cross the limit” and write anything which hurts religious beliefs of others.“Do not cross the limit. Do not hurt anyone’s religious belief,” Inspector General of Police AKM Shahidul Hoque said as investigators struggled to nab the killers of secular blogger Niloy Chakrabarty Neel who was hacked to death at his flat here on Friday. Also Read – Nine hurt in accident at fireworks show in French resortThe “freethinkers” should keep in mind that hurting someone’s religious sentiment is a criminal offence,
From Snow White to Tarzan, Robin Hood to Alice, Lord Rama to the Pandavas, Ali Baba to Winnie the Pooh, Dorothy (of Oz) to Harry Potter, from works of Shakespeare to Henry David Thoreau, Rudyard Kipling to Bill Bryson and Enid Blyton to Cheryl Strayed, there is one common thread, wholly or partly, to some of our most remembered and favourite literature – forests as a setting for key action.Earth’s dominant terrestrial ecosystem, forests are commonly taken to mean a large area with trees or other woody vegetation though there isn’t any common global definition – 800 definitions are available around the world! What is however more acceptable and indisputable is their role in human imagination and culture, be it folklore, fantastic or legendary, and modern literature, whether children or adult. They can represent a place of refuge or menace, of succour or challenge, of restful contemplation or exciting adventure, a metaphor for nature at its most basic and untrammeled by human civilising, and a source of sustenance – or danger. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’But best-served are those who take some benefit from their sojourn in the woods. As a Shakespearean character ruminates: “And this our life, exempt from public haunt,/Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,/Sermons in stones, and good in everything.”This was the Senior Duke, perfectly content in his exile in the Forest or Arden in “As You Like It” (Act II, Scene 1) but forests are not always that welcoming and instructive for the Bard’s other creations. In “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, some unwelcome changes afflict various characters, especially poor Nick Bottom in the forest (though everything gets amicably and amenably solved in the end), while in another, the appearance of the Dunsinane forest (or a branch of it, excuse the Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflixpun) before Macbeth’s castle spells his doom!In ancient Hindu epics, Lord Rama and his brother Lakshman first exhibit their mettle by ridding some forests of demons before their eventful exile to the forest, as do the Pandavas who raise their capital after clearing a notorious forest and then spend part of their own exile in forests.But some of the most memorable and universally-known stories set in the woods – Snow White, Rapunzel, Red Riding Hood, Briar Rose, Hansel and Gretel and many more of brave young princes and fair maidens.
HD channel provider PureScreens has launched a Museum app on LG’s connected TV platform that allows users to access famous artworks on their TV sets.The Museum app gives access to about 300 artworks initially, including exhibits in the Louvre, National Gallery, Prado and Uffizi galleries.The paintings are showcased within themed exhibitions constituted around an artist, a collection or a subject. Each piece is supported by an audio commentary in English or French. Each exhibition lasts 20 minutes. Users can pause the stream and view an HD picture of a painting on their TV screen for up to 24 hours. Museum will be a Premium application pre-loaded in LG TV-sets in most European countries, offering five exhibitions for free. Four new exhibitions will be added to the catalogue each month.
“The PCSP also offers support to any other local groups in the delivery of similar awareness programmes by loaning this equipment to the group.!We hope that the use of these drugs and alcohol boxes will enable our residents to make more informed decisions on the use of these substances.”Dessie Kyle, Centre Manager with HURT, said the boxes would be a useful tool to help raise awareness of the issue.“We are extremely grateful to the Derry and Strabane PCSP for providing this equipment which will greatly enhance the impact of our awareness and education sessions.!Our staff here at HURT have already commented on how relevant the display boxes are and how up to date the information is saying that they are the most impressive they have seen.“This kit will be really useful for the groups that we engage with on a regular basis. We will continue to work with the PCSP to raise awareness of alcohol and drug issues in the local area enabling all our clients to make informed decisions.”Community groups delivering drug and alcohol awareness sessions can have access to the display boxes by contacting the PCSP on 02871 253253 or firstname.lastname@example.org orhttps://www.facebook.com/derryandstrabanepcsp/LOCAL PCSP BACKS NEW ANTI-DRUG CAMPAIGN was last modified: September 15th, 2016 by John2John2 Tags: The PCSP has provided drugs and alcohol information boxes to the group to enhance and support their community engagement programme highlighting the issue.Each drug box contains 24 types of drugs (replicas) with comprehensive details on appearance, methods of use, effects, street names, risks and what to look out for. The alcohol boxes contain ‘Beer Goggles’ to simulate the impact alcohol has on our balance and sight as well as covering subjects such as types of alcohol, control of alcohol, health risks etc.Speaking ahead of the launch of the scheme, Chairperson of Policing and Community Safety Partnership, Councillor Gus Hastings, said:“The impact of drugs and alcohol is an important issue that needs to be addressed right across our community.!The PCSP is delighted to support HURT in the delivery of their awareness campaigns and we hope that the provision of this equipment will enhance the group’s delivery of the planned awareness sessions. ShareTweet DERRY and Strabane Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) is supporting local group HURT (Have Your Tomorrows) in delivering a new drugs and alcohol awareness campaign for the Council area. COUNCILLOR GUS HASTINGShurtLOCAL PCSP BACKS NEW ANTI-DRUG CAMPAIGN