Boycott: NBA playoff games called off amid player protest — Boston Herald

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — All three NBA playoff games scheduled for Wednesday have been postponed, with players around the league choosing to boycott in their strongest statement yet against racial injustice.

Boycott: NBA playoff games called off amid player protest — Boston Herald

NBA players meeting in the Orlando bubble at 8:00 p.m. ET — ProFootballTalk

With no NBA games happening tonight due to the shooting of Jacob Blake, NBA players have to determine their next move. Via ESPN.com, the players will be meeting tonight in the Orlando bubble at 8:00 p.m. ET. It’s clear why the players are meeting. It’s unclear what they will decide to do. The NBA has […]

NBA players meeting in the Orlando bubble at 8:00 p.m. ET — ProFootballTalk

Vin Scully auctions items from 67-year career — Press Telegram

By BETH HARRIS LOS ANGELES (AP) — Vin Scully sat outside watching two sets of his golf clubs being loaded into a truck. He thought of afternoons teeing off at Bel-Air Country Club or with President George H.W. Bush. Those left-handed clubs had produced a lot of shots over many rounds, some good, some bad.…

Vin Scully auctions items from 67-year career — Press Telegram

In Stunning Turn, Nick Wright Admits He Was Wrong To Celtics’ Enes Kanter — NESN.com

Sign In Enes Kanter on Monday trolled Nick Wright for a year-old, poorly aged take about the Boston Celtics. On Wednesday, the “First Things First” co-host responded directly to Kanter, but you might be surprised by the results. With Kanter joining via video call, Wright offered this: “Enes, I don’t do this often, because it…

In Stunning Turn, Nick Wright Admits He Was Wrong To Celtics’ Enes Kanter — NESN.com

Enes Kanter on Monday trolled Nick Wright for a year-old, poorly aged take about the Boston Celtics.

On Wednesday, the “First Things First” co-host responded directly to Kanter, but you might be surprised by the results.

With Kanter joining via video call, Wright offered this:

“Enes, I don’t do this often, because it doesn’t often happen,” he said. “But I have something to tell you: I was wrong. I thought that the Celtics were going (to have a tough season). And this is why, after watching you for the season, I picked you guys to make the conference finals just a couple of weeks ago on this show.

“I thought you guys were going to really struggle defensively. And, not only did you not struggle defensively, as a team you guys were a top five defense. The defense actually improved slightly when Enes Kanter was on the court. … I deserve to be clowned on this one because i was dead-wrong. I don’t think it was that hot of a take, but I just ended up being wrong.”

.@getnickwright has a message for @EnesKanter:

“I don’t do this often, bc it doesn’t often happen. But I was wrong. I thought you guys were really going to struggle defensively. The defense, a top 5 defense, actually improved when Enes Kanter was on the court.” — @getnickwright pic.twitter.com/B5U52B0R31— First Things First (@FTFonFS1) August 26, 2020

Well, that was unexpected.

SOURCE SPORTS: Paul George Admits He’s Been Battling Depression and Anxiety in the Bubble — CASHOPOLY

[ad_1] Paul George has been struggling to say the least. During the playoffs, George’s game has been off. Well, it finally appears that he is back on track. George scored 35 points on 12-of-18 shooting in a 154-111 blowout of the Mavericks. Afterward, he opened up on his struggles and how they impacted his mental […]

SOURCE SPORTS: Paul George Admits He’s Been Battling Depression and Anxiety in the Bubble — CASHOPOLY

Paul George has been struggling to say the least. During the playoffs, George’s game has been off. Well, it finally appears that he is back on track.

George scored 35 points on 12-of-18 shooting in a 154-111 blowout of the Mavericks. Afterward, he opened up on his struggles and how they impacted his mental health during the series.  

After the game, George was interviewed by TNT’s Jared Greenberg and gave some incredibly raw answers. 

“The bubble got the best of me… Shout out to everyone who stood behind me.”

Paul George on his start to the playoffs. pic.twitter.com/eleprREKT9

— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) August 26, 2020

“The bubble got the best of me,” George admitted. “I was just in a dark place. I really wasn’t here. I checked out. These past couples of games, it was just difficult. But, shout out to the people who stood behind me, that was in my corner. The positivity, my family, friends. Everybody. Thank everybody that reached out to me.

The bubble presents a completely unique set of circumstances that a number of players have struggled to adapt to. Normally, a player returns home to his family after a bad game. This postseason? They are forced…

Report: Rockets upgrade Russell Westbrook to questionable for Game 5 — Rockets Wire

Per Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle, Westbrook could join the Rockets on the court for the first time in the 2020 NBA playoffs.

Report: Rockets upgrade Russell Westbrook to questionable for Game 5 — Rockets Wire

n the entire history of the NBA playoffs, best-of-seven series that are tied, 2-2, are won more than 80% of the time by the Game 5 winner.

Those are the stakes for Wednesday’s Game 5 between the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder. As a result, it’s an “all hands on deck” scenario for both teams — and for the Rockets, that could include injured All-Star guard Russell Westbrook, who has yet to play in the series.https://widgets.thescore.com/embeds/379ad259-7bec-478d-9788-a28695088c55/DE4B63807AD5C1FEB14D39CE5E54D146

Only hours before tipoff and barely over an hour after the 10 a.m. Central injury report listed Westbrook as out, the Rockets are upgrading him to questionable, per Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle.

Rockets guard Russell Westbrook will be upgraded to questionable to play in Game 5 vs. OKC tonight. He had been out with a strained quadriceps muscle.

— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) August 26, 2020

Westbrook has yet to play in the 2020 playoffs due to a right quad strain. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Westbrook will test his quad on the court before the game before making a gametime decision.

While unusual, the gameday upgrade isn’t unprecedented. For example, the Thunder listed Lu Dort as out a day before Game 2, only to upgrade his status on the morning of the game. Dort did play in that game.

Thunder guard Luguentz Dort upgraded from out to questionable. No changes with the Rockets. Westbrook, Mbah a Moute are out. https://t.co/31BPeld2K6

— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) August 20, 2020

D’Antoni said last week that new MRI imaging had shown improvement in Westbrook’s quad relative to the prior week, and that he had begun doing some running and other on-court activities as of Friday.

The NBA’s automated cameras at the Disney World “bubble” captured Westbrook going through a series of drills at Houston’s Sunday practice, and he appeared to have minimal (if any) restrictions.

Russell Westbrook (right quad strain) remains listed as out for Game 4, but he has clearly increased his workload in recent days, as Mike D’Antoni had indicated. Here’s footage from today’s #Rockets practice. #OneMission pic.twitter.com/ht0qb65jQB

— Ben DuBose (@BenDuBose) August 23, 2020

At Tuesday’s practice, head coach Mike D’Antoni said Westbrook was “close” to a return. Among his comments:

Not going to rule anything out or anything in. We’ll see. …

As soon as they [the medical staff] tell me that he can go and he feels like he can go, he’ll go. … He’ll work out today and get on the court and see how he feels, and they’ll make a determination. It’s close. They’ll make a good call, and he’ll do the same.

Obviously, how Westbrook moves and looks at practice today and how he feels after and again tomorrow will go a long way toward answering if, when he can return and cannot be known yet. https://t.co/jaz2SK39Xi

— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) August 25, 2020

Westbrook missed two seeding games with a right quad injury before playing 28 minutes versus San Antonio on Tuesday, Aug. 11. He was again ruled out the next day with an injury to that quad, and he hasn’t played since. Wednesday’s Game 5 would be 15 days since his last game.

Prior to Saturday’s Game 3, D’Antoni had conceded that Houston’s 2-0 edge in the series allowed them to be more cautious with Westbrook’s timetable. With the series now tied, 2-2, that may no longer be the case.

Related

Why Houston’s 2-0 lead could buy Russell Westbrook more time

Now 31 years old, Westbrook has averaged 27.2 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 7.0 assists in 35.9 minutes per game during a brilliant debut season in Houston. A nine-time NBA All-Star and the 2017 MVP, Westbrook shot a career-high 47.2% in the regular season with the Rockets — whose small-ball approach opened up more opportunities to attack the rim. He is the team’s No. 2 scorer, trailing only MVP finalist James Harden.

Game 5 between the Rockets and Thunder tips off at 5:30 p.m. Central on Wednesday, with a national broadcast on TNT and a regional version (with Houston announcers) on AT&T SportsNet Southwest.

Related

Despite being ‘close,’ Rockets say Russell Westbrook will miss Game 5

Mike D’Antoni on potential return of Russell Westbrook: ‘It’s close’

Houston’s Russell Westbrook is expected to test his strained quadriceps on the court prior to Game 5 vs. Oklahoma City today and make a gametime decision on returning, sources tell ESPN.

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 26, 2020

Nate McMillan fired by Indiana Pacers two weeks after contract extension | NBA News — The Latest News

[ad_1] The Indiana Pacers have fired head coach Nate McMillan just two weeks after giving him a contract extension. McMillan’s dismissal comes two days after the Pacers were swept out of the Eastern Conference playoffs by the Miami Heat. The decision came as a surprise, given it was made just two weeks after the Pacers […]

Nate McMillan fired by Indiana Pacers two weeks after contract extension | NBA News — The Latest News

Blue Jays pitching collapses in loss to Sox as GM Atkins prepares to be trade deadline buyer — Toronto Sun

BUFFALO — Arriving back here for a seven-game homestand and his team in a playoff spot is new territory for Ross Atkins, and the Blue Jays general manager plans to make the best of it. Atkins made it clear he intends to be a buyer in advance of next Monday’s trade deadline, a shopping urgency […]

Blue Jays pitching collapses in loss to Sox as GM Atkins prepares to be trade deadline buyer — Toronto Sun

BUFFALO — Arriving back here for a seven-game homestand and his team in a playoff spot is new territory for Ross Atkins, and the Blue Jays general manager plans to make the best of it.

Atkins made it clear he intends to be a buyer in advance of next Monday’s trade deadline, a shopping urgency that may have heightened some on Tuesday due to a miserable six-run, sixth inning at Sahlen Field by the visiting Boston Red Sox.

Blue Jays pitching collapses in loss to Sox as GM Atkins prepares to be trade deadline buyer

The 9-7 loss — after opening with a 4-0 lead in the first and having the bases loaded with one out in the second — took some of the steam out of a series split in Tampa Bay on the weekend.

But it won’t dull Atkins’ desire to make a deal, given that his young team remains the front runner for the eighth post-season spot in the AL.

“It’s nice to be in this category where we’re thinking about adding at the highest level,” Atkins told the Toronto Sun. “It’s much more fun.”

On Tuesday, the Jays began a stretch of 13 in a row vs. Boston, Baltimore and Miami, a schedule that in theory would be conducive to solidifying a playoff spot. As they found out in their latest loss, however, there won’t be any gimmes when you counter with weak pitching.

As for his shopping plans, Atkins said the team is looking beyond “moving a rental” and looking for some potential short-term gain.

“We’re mostly focused on how we make the organization better at the major league level and how we can continue to complement this group,” Atkins said.

That’s music to the ears of fans who have suffered through selloffs at the previous two deadlines. And music to the ears of the mostly young team in the Jays dugout which believes it can be playoff material sooner or later.

“You can definitely feel that there is momentum,” Atkins said of the trade discussions with fellow GMs. “The cadence of calls and the exchanges is much higher.”

GAME ON

The Jays jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first, with a Lourdes Gurriel Jr. double leading the way. When they loaded the bases with one out in the second it looked like a potential rout was in the making. Instead, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. grounded into a double play for the fourth time this season and that was that … Guerrero made up for it in his next at-bat — somewhat — singling between third and short to drive in a pair and bump the lead to 6-3. The timely knock extended Guerrero’s hit streak to eight games … Though he was touched for seven hits and three runs, at least Jays starter Chase Anderson got through five-plus and his team up by three runs. It was the plus that was going to start the trouble in the 82-pitch outing … The Jays couldn’t take advantage of the gift presented by the Sox of starter Kyle Hart, who brought his 11.12 ERA to the downtown ball yard … Travis Shaw left the game in the third inning after feeling some pain in his right knee. After the game, Charlie Montoyo said the veteran is listed as day-to-day … Montoyo hinted at a roster move, but with bullpen days likely on Wednesday and Friday, it will be difficult to bring in a position player. “We need the pitchers to cover innings,” Montoyo said.

SICK SIXTH

Though the Jays lead never felt truly comfortable, it came tumbling down in a disastrous sixth. Anderson started by issuing a leadoff walk to Mitch Moreland, which gave way to a particularly poor version of Wilmer Font.
When the carnage was done, the Red Sox had batted around, scored six runs and turned a 6-3 deficit into a 9-6 lead. The biggest damage came on a three-run, bases-loaded triple from Rafael Devers.
The low point might from Font may have been hitting Jose Peraza with a pitch to load the bases. Montoyo couldn’t get A.J. Cole in soon enough and the Red Sox romped.
The six-run outburst tied for the most by any team in an inning this season.

AROUND THE BASES

The longer this grind of a schedule goes, the more Montoyo is going to try to protect his players physically, starting with Wednesday’s second of three against the Red Sox. “What I’m trying to do the next couple of days is just show up and play, optional (batting practice) and keep them off their feet,” the manager said. “Playing so many games, nobody’s going to be 100 per cent, that’s a fact.” … Montoyo said that Guerrero had been taking some ground balls at third base over the past couple of days as a “just in case” precaution … Of the black holes offensively, the manager was honest about infielder Brandon Drury who is hitting a meagre .152. “He hasn’t done much offensively, that’s the best way I could put it. Offensively he hasn’t had many good at-bats up to this point … Teoscar Hernandez had his fourth homer in six games and team-leading 11th to pull the Jays within a run in the ninth.

INJURY UPDATES

While both starting pitcher Nate Pearson (elbow) and shortstop Bo Bichette (knee) are nowhere near returning both are hoping pick up in activity this weekend
Montoyo said that Bichette will resume “baseball activities” and Pearson will start tossing this weekend.
Bichette was originally pegged to be back in mid-September, that would be ideal for a Jays team in the midst of a Yankee-heavy conclusion to their schedule.
“We’re not going to rush him back,” Montoyo said. “Whenever the kid’s ready we will go. We don’t want to have a setback.”
Injured closer Ken Giles (right forearm strain) took a notable step forward throwing his first bullpen since suffering the injury in the first series of the season.
The prognosis for starter Trent Thornton (elbow inflammation) could be more concerning. Thornton is scheduled to get checked out by noted surgeon, Dr. James Andrews.

Toronto Raptors consider boycott after Jacob Blake shooting — PressNewsAgency

Toronto Raptors players are considering a boycott of their upcoming NBA playoff series opener against the Boston Celtics in the wake of another police shooting in USA. The players held a team meeting prior to Tuesday’s practice to discuss their response to the shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man shot in the back by […]

Toronto Raptors consider boycott after Jacob Blake shooting — PressNewsAgency

Toronto Raptors players are considering a boycott of their upcoming NBA playoff series opener against the Boston Celtics in the wake of another police shooting in USA.

The players held a team meeting prior to Tuesday’s practice to discuss their response to the shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man shot in the back by police officers Sunday in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

“It’s being talked about … taking a knee is not getting it done,” Raptors guard Norman Powell said, per Sportsnet.

Guard Fred VanVleet said many options are on the table.Image:
Raptors guard Norman Powell says taking a knee is ‘not getting it done’

“We knew coming here or not coming here was not going to stop anything, but I think ultimately playing or not playing puts pressure on somebody,” VanVleet said.

“At the end of the day, if we’re gonna sit here and talk about making change, then at some point we’re gonna have to put our (manhood) on the line and actually put something up to lose, rather than just money or visibility.

“I’m just over the media aspect of it. It’s sensationalised, we talk about it everyday, that’s all we see, but it just feels like a big pacifier to me.”

Video shows Blake, trying to get into his van, with an officer pulling Blake’s white T-shirt, then firing several shots at close range into his back. Blake’s father, also named Jacob Blake, told ABC News that he was told his son is paralysed from the waist down after being shot eight times.

Fred VanVleet of the Toronto Raptors
Image:
Raptors guard Fred VanVleet says the players can apply ‘pressure’ with a boycott

“We’re the ones always with the microphones in our face,” VanVleet said.

“We’re the ones always who have to make a stand. But, like, we’re the oppressed ones, and the responsibility falls on us to make a change to stop being oppressed, you know what I’m saying?

“Do we actually give an (expletive) about what’s going on, or is it just cool to wear ‘Black Lives Matter’ on the backdrop, or wear a T-shirt? Like, what does that really mean? Is it really doing anything?”

Game 1 of the Raptors-Celtics Eastern Conference semi-finals is scheduled to tip off Thursday night in Orlando.



Paul George stands tall as Clippers rout Dallas, take 3-2 lead in series — Daily News

Los Angeles Clippers’ Montrezl Harrell (5) chases a loose ball during the first half of an NBA basketball first round playoff game against the Dallas Mavericks,Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis, Pool) Dallas Mavericks’ Maxi Kleber (42) blocks Los Angeles Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard during the second half of an…

Paul George stands tall as Clippers rout Dallas, take 3-2 lead in series — Daily News