With how lopsided many of these first-round NBA playoff series have been, it would have been understandable to want the Thunder-Blazers matchup to continue beyond Tuesday, both because of its star power and because of the sheer back-and-forth competitiveness it displayed.But if the series had to end quickly, at least it went out with a bang: with Damian Lillard finishing not only with 50 points, but also with one of the greatest, most cold-blooded buzzer-beaters in NBA history — perhaps the most difficult one to ever end a playoff series, all things considered.This wasn’t Lillard’s first game-winner to end a series. He hit a more conventional one, coming off a screen for a lightning-quick catch-and-shoot opportunity, to knock out the Houston Rockets in 2014.But with Tuesday’s dagger, the Portland star finished off former MVP Russell Westbrook and his Oklahoma City club, literally waving goodbye to the visiting Thunder after nailing a shot just to the right of the Blazers’ half-court logo, a full 37 feet away from the basket. A shot from that distance would be difficult enough to knock down wide-open, let alone with an All-NBA defender like 6-foot-9 Paul George contesting it.“That’s a bad shot, I don’t care what anybody says. That’s a bad shot,” a defiant George told reporters after Oklahoma City fell, 118-115, putting an end to the five-game gentleman’s sweep.But in a way, that’s what made it such a spectacular one. Lillard wanted to take that shot. He had more than 10 seconds to make something else happen — to drive to the hoop for a closer look, or to potentially call a teammate over for a screen to get more space — and chose not to. Instead, he opted to let the clock run down to the final two seconds, took a side-step to his right and let it fly from 37. Ballgame.And despite George’s proclamation, that Lillard’s game-winner was a “bad shot” that went down anyway, consider this: Lillard had been doing stuff like this all series long. In fact, the buzzer-beater made Lillard an unthinkable 9-of-15 for the series from 30 feet and beyond, according to Second Spectrum. It’s part of the reason Lillard has been the most valuable player this postseason thus far.We’ve been critical of the Blazers and their roster construction at times in the past. A team built mostly around Lillard and CJ McCollum seems flawed, both because of the tough shots the guards rely on (especially when playing longer-wing defenders like Jrue Holiday last year) and because of the duo’s shortcomings on D. There have been some redeeming qualities present in their teamwide defense — the Blazers have been elite for years at limiting quality looks on that end of the floor. Still, the club’s calculus figured to get a lot tougher without starting center Jusuf Nurkic, who somehow had avoided serious injury in the past but then succumbed to a season-ending one just weeks before the playoffs began. And it didn’t help that the club entered this postseason having lost 10 playoff games in a row.Yet if Lillard can play anywhere close to this level going forward, it requires at least a brief reevaluation of everything. He had 34 points in the first half alone on Tuesday and hit three of his four attempts from 30-plus feet, including the one that sent the Thunder packing.Lillard’s ability to sink those shots — paired with Oklahoma City’s surprise that he’d even have the audacity to try them in some cases — was one of the key reasons Portland ran away with the series 4-1. The Thunder allowed him too much cushion, largely because defenders haven’t adjusted to the realization that Lillard, with nearly limitless range on his off-dribble jumpers, has arguably become the closest thing we have to Golden State’s Stephen Curry.Curry, Lillard and Atlanta rookie Trae Young were the only three players in the NBA to take more than 40 3-point attempts from 30 feet and beyond this past regular season, according to Basketball-Reference.com’s Play Index. Curry shot an impressive 31.1 percent, while Lillard hit 30.6 percent of his tries from that distance. (Young, promisingly, made 34.6 percent of his.)After the game, Lillard told reporters that his trainer, Phil Beckner, had him work on longer-than-usual 3-point attempts — closer to half-court — while working out in Oklahoma City earlier in the series. “I’m telling you, you’re gonna hit one of these,” he recalled Beckner saying.And unfortunately for the Thunder, that one — which might have been a bad shot for just about anybody other than Lillard — was enough to end their season in the most brutal way possible.
Vince Doria (far right), Matt Mitten (second from right), Joe Nocera (second from left), and Andrew Zimbalist (far left) are introduced on Friday at the Sports Society Initiative’s forum on paying college athletes. Credit: Mitch Hooper | Lantern reporterThe topic of financial compensation for collegiate student-athletes has been sweeping the nation in recent years, and on Friday, Ohio State, home to one of the country’s most profitable athletic departments, was at the forefront of that discussion.Two separate panel discussions — the first featuring sports policy analysts and writers, and the second consisting of seven former Buckeye athletes — were held on campus in an event organized by the university’s Sports and Society Initiative. The three-hour conversation, titled “Paying College Athletes,” encompassed nearly all sides of the debate, from legal and political angles, to methods and realities of implementation, and to athlete testimonies and alternatives. Dialogue among the panel members was passionate, insightful and respectful, although it jumped around frequently. Yet, that is inherent with any conversation about financial compensation for student-athletes. The issue is so complex, like splitting the atom, that any discussion on it could seem scattered because there are myriad factors to consider and understand.Kristin Watt, an attorney and former OSU basketball player in the 1980s, does not support a pay-to-play model, but she, like the few other panelists with a similar position, completely acknowledged the inequities in the current system. Although she said there likely will be inequities no matter what, there are “absolutely” problems that can be fixed.“Forums like this, I really want to congratulate Ohio State for putting this on,” said Watt, who was on the second panel. “The more we talk about it, the more issues get out and the more people get educated … That’s what helps spur changes.” A high point during the event was when former OSU running back Maurice Clarett delivered his opening statement. Despite his dominant freshman season for the Buckeyes in 2002, Clarett is infamous for his off-the-field tribulations, which included accepting improper benefits that played a role in his dismissal from the university and spending more than three years in prison on multiple charges. When Clarett spoke, the some hundred people in the audience were captivated, clinging to his every word. Clarett said he “absolutely” supports a pay-for-play model for collegiate athletes, citing his personal story as evidence. Growing up in the poverty in Youngstown, Ohio, Clarett said he took money under the table to help him pay personal expenses, namely fixing his car’s transmission. “My spiral of events wouldn’t have happen if I had money,” Clarett said passionately. Clarett said his situation — coming from poverty and needing support beyond just an academic scholarship — is no anomaly. Clarett also spoke poignantly about the lack of emphasis that some programs place on education. Clarett said he was nowhere near the education level needed at OSU and that he was shuffled through classes just to stay eligible. This is common, Clarett said, with those coming from inner city schools. At one point, amid the Youngstown native’s emotional soliloquy on academics, Lawrence Funderburke, a panelist and former OSU basketball player, interpreted. “Preach it,” he said. “Keep preaching.”As Clarett’s opening statement wrapped up, a few members of the audience stood up, applauding. Vince Doria, former Senior Vice President and Director of News at ESPN, started the discussion on the first panel. Doria, an OSU graduate, acknowledged his past employer’s role in the growth of big-time college athletics through massive television deals, yet he said he supports a pay-to-play system. His proposal contains different tiers of payment for players in revenue sports based mostly on playing time. It might not be perfect, Doria said, but at the very least, it “begins to address the unfairness of the current system.” A key portion of Doria’s rationale for supporting additional compensation beyond academic scholarship is that the notion of providing education is misleading, he said. “A scholarship is really the opportunity to achieve an education,” he said. Doria said with the vigorious schedule that athletes have because of games and training, they don’t get the same chance to work outside of the classroom to really take full advantage of the scholarship and obtain a comprehensive education. Joe Nocera, a sports business columnist at The New York Times and co-author of “Indentured: The Inside Story of the Rebellion Against the NCAA,” is outspoken about the reforms he feels are necessary. Nocera left no room for where he stood on the issue, enunciating his clear support for paying student-athletes. In fact, Nocera said he even believes that the term “student-athlete” is incorrect.“(The NCAA) shouldn’t call them student-athletes, but rather athlete-students or employee students, because that’s what they really are,” he said. “Let’s be honest about what the NCAA is. … it’s a cartel.”Former OSU basketball player Kristin Watt (right) speaks at a forum about paying college athletes while former OSU running back Maurice Clarett (left) listens. Credit: Mitch Hooper | Lantern reporterWhen Nocera first began writing about the injustices he believes college athletes face, he said he got emails from readers asking why he was spending his time writing about it. His explanation, delivered passionately on Friday, pierced the crowd.“This is not a sports issue. This is a human rights issue and civil rights issue,” said Nocera, who also brought up the NCAA’s transfer policy, which he denounced. “I came at this through the prism of rights, not pay.” Watt, the former OSU basketball player, was not alone in her opposition to a pay-to-play model. Joining her in dissent was a Marscilla Packer, a fellow former OSU basketball player, Funderburke and Andrew Zimbalist, an economics professor at Smith College in Massachusetts. “I think there are meaningful reforms that can address the economic injustices without going for the pay-for-play model,” said Zimbalist, who cited concerns over growing television revenue and the complicated tax-exempt status donations to athletic departments have. Some of the most common agreed upon reforms that did not involve a direct cash payment included guaranteed scholarships lasting at least four years. Currently, they are for one year, with the option to be renewed. Lifetime health insurance was another proposal that seemed to be agreed upon by all 11 panelists. Nocera said it’s clear that if an athlete sustains injuries while playing sports in college for a university, it’s the school’s duty to make sure the individual has the proper care he or she needs during his or her lifetime. Funderburke, who founded a youth organization after retiring from the NBA, said he has a five-point plan to help student-athletes that does not involve a pay-for-play system. It included mentoring arrangements, life-skills courses for athletes, a deferred-savings stipend and a family emergency fund. “We’re never going to be fair or equitable, but we can at least be sensible,” he said. If there is one thing the panel illustrated, it’s that there is a lot to consider when looking to address injustices in college athletics. Change isn’t going to happen overnight, but having open forums like the panel can prove to be instrumental, said Kelly Trent, a former OSU golfer who is “on the fence” on specifics but agrees collegiate sports are littered with inequity. “For this thing to advance, it’s going to take some giving on both sides,” said Doria, the former executive at ESPN. “And the history of the NCAA in that area hasn’t been good.”
There is an official statement from Udinese that the Brazilian international playing for them, Samir Caetano de Souza Santos has extended his contract with the club until 2023.Samir, the Brazilian center-back had joined Udeinese from Flamengo, and has since become a significant feature for the club after he had spent a period of loan at Verona an also Italian club. He has supported the defense of Udinese after he picked up a steady role from them after his return from being loaned to Verona.“Samir and Udinese go forward together,” a statement on the club website stated, according to Football Italia.Serie A Betting: Match-day 3 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Considering there is a number of perfect starts so early in the Serie A season, as well as a few surprisingly not-so perfect ones….“General manager Franco Collavino and technical director Daniele Pradè announced the extension of the Brazilian defender Samir, who has reached 56 appearances with the Bianconeri.”This means that Samir’s contract has moved on to 2023. He will stay on with Udinese until the time to contribute his ability to their side in the Serie A.
The Saints were defeated 2-1 by Cardiff City in the English Premier League, leaving them in the bottom three of the table.Southampton FC couldn’t defeat Cardiff City, and just two minutes after tying the match, they ended up losing 2-1 after Kenneth Zohore scored the winning goal for the Bluebirds in the last play of the game.After this result, Southampton is now in 18th place of the table, out of 20 teams, with only 24 points after 26 matches.They have won only five times, drawing nine, and losing 12 matches.And for Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, this defeated left him “speechless.”“I’m speechless. I don’t quite know the words to put in,” he told the club’s official website.“The only thing I can say that makes sense right now is that we, as a group, as a team and as a club, need these days to get together and analyze our small mistakes and details.”“Then we’re going to improve, do better, work harder and come back as a stronger side,” he added.Liverpool legend Nicol slams Harry Maguire’s Man United form Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Steve Nicol believes Harry Maguire has made some “horrendous mistakes” recently, and has failed to find his best form since joining Manchester United.“They (the coaches) prepared everything for us, we just had to put it into play. We did all right and in some parts of the game we created what we had to.”“You have to give credit to Cardiff for keeping believing because in this case, you have to believe until the end,” he continued.“We’re going to work on what we have to work on and come back stronger – that’s what this club is about, that’s what the players are about and that’s what the coaches are about.”“We have a big potential, but we still have to put it into excellence. This is what we will work on,” the footballer concluded.Skipper Pierre-Emile Højbjerg says #SaintsFC must bounce back stronger after a painful #PL defeat to #CardiffCity:— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) February 9, 2019
Participants in the fisheries are required by law to report their harvests even if they did not fish, or even if they fished but caught nothing. DF&G: “Compliance with the permit requirements is important for future management of the Upper Cook Inlet personal use fisheries.” These fisheries include the Kasilof River gillnet, Kasilof and Kenai rivers dipnet, and Fish Creek dipnet, which opened this year by emergency order. Participants can report their harvest online on the ADF&G webpage, regardless if they obtained an electronic or paper permit. In addition, participants may also access the harvest reporting webpage from a smart phone or tablet device by scanning the QR code on the electronic permit. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) sent out a reminder for all 2018 Upper Cook Inlet Personal Use permit holders that August 15, is the deadline to report your harvest for the Kasilof and Kenai rivers, and Fish Creek fisheries. Participants may also mail their permits to the address printed on the back, or hand-deliver their permits to local ADF&G offices during regular business hours. If no one in the household went personal use fishing, answer “NO” for the question “Did you fish for personal use in 2018?” and return the permit to ADF&G.
The Indian Institute of Advanced Studies (IIAS), a research institution in Shimla, has published another edition of Myanmar’s pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi, the institute’s official said on Friday. ‘The second edition of Suu Kyi’s book Burma and India: Some Aspects of Intellectual Life under Colonialism has been brought out as a paperback edition and is priced at Rs 195,’ IIAS director Peter Ronald Desouza said in a statement. The bookis based on the manuscript Suu Kyi submitted after completion of her fellowship at the IIAS in 1987. The book, first published in 1990, is about comparative study of intellectual life under colonialism in the two countries. It describes the varying responses of India and Burma during British colonialism, responses which reflect the changing social structure and character of the two societies. It also discusses the Buddhist influence from India on Burma and the inability of Burmese society to resist the colonial onslaught in contrast to India, which developed a more substantial response. The opposition leader of Myanmar stayed at the IIAS with her husband Michael Aris, who was also a fellow, and their two sons. ‘It was through the ambassador of India to Burma that Suu Kyi could be sent the re-typed and proof-read version of her book to make the necessary changes, which she did,’ Desouza said. ‘She chose the cover design,’ he added. On the request of Suu Kyi, he said, IIAS would send some copies of the book to public libraries and universities across India. The IIAS is a premier advanced research institution in the field of humanities and social sciences.
“I do. I think they’ll play a long time,” Arians confirmed. “How soon? I don’t know. How dynamic will they be as rookies will totally depend on the team and the system.” As for the offensive line, I asked Arians what he sees when he flips on the game film from last season?“I see a revolving door. Every film you turn on there’s five different numbers up there, so you’re not going to be very good because it takes some continuity and cohesiveness to play as a group,” Arians said. “We have good depth. We’re going to have some good competition. And with that competition, we should have a pretty good offensive line. Now, we throw one more guy into that mix and we could have a really good offensive line. And that’s what it’s going to take for our division.” Of course, as a direct result of the O-line woes up front, the Cardinals wound up last in the NFL in rushing. So, what does Rashard Mendenhall bring to the Cards backfield?“Dynamic player,” said Arians, who coached Mendenhall in Pittsburgh. “He’s still young, he’s only 25. Carried us to the Super Bowl. He’s an every down player. He’s 230 pounds with 180 pound feet. He’s got unbelievable jump cut ability. He can catch the football. He pass protects. He never has to come out of the game. We rode him to the Super Bowl in Pittsburgh.” Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling How did things taste at the NFC Coaches Breakfast Wednesday morning at the Biltmore here in Phoenix? No clue. Hey, I was too busy interviewing Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians before bolting back to KTAR to be on-air. (I mean, how do you think I maintain my nickname — Paulie Pencilneck?!) Enough of that, I had a chance to chat for a few minutes with Bruce Arians. So, let’s run the no-huddle Q&A with the Cardinals new head coach. 0 Comments Share Top Stories Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo And let’s get specific. Since Drew Stanton hasn’t taken a regular season snap in two years, what can Arians tell us about his former Colts backup? “Extremely bright. Very competitive. Can make all the throws. Is a little bit too tough for his own good sometimes. He’ll go running up in there and take some guys on. He’s a fiery competitor and that’s what it takes to play the game,” Arians said. “I’ve been around him for a year and I’ve never seen one (QB) improve his, I call it ‘swing,’ just like a golfer, in a year as much as he did. His accuracy was off the charts by December.” Of course, last year, the Cards had a QB competition that spanned the entire offseason and five-game preseason. This season, it appears the QB competition will be decided before Mother’s Day. “There will be NO quarterback competition,” Arians said when I asked the proverbial quarterback question. “If you have two, you have none. We will have a quarterback set by May 1st.” Speaking of QBs, Coach Arians told the assembled media that he sees a half-dozen quarterbacks in the upcoming draft that will play a “long time” in the NFL, right?