Karl-Anthony Towns’ father pondering lawsuit against Timberwolves, mascot

The lawsuit, should he file it, would be for negligence after the team’s mascot fell into Towns, causing an injury. The 54-year-old says he suffered a significant leg injury in the Jan. 26 game against the Pacers after the mascot slid down the arena stairs and ended up crashing into a chair, which then hit Towns’ knee, causing considerable pain, according to SI.

Elite Womens Dede Westbrook Jersey Even though they suffered a 126-98 loss, the Suns have to come away impressed with this starting five. There were three double-doubles among the starters with Chriss (23 points, 11 rebounds), Len (11 points, 11 rebounds) and Ulis (10 points, 12 assists) playing well. Then there’s Booker, who led the team in scoring with 28 points and has played well all season long.

Elite Womens Luke Glendening Jersey The lineup was younger than seven of the eight NCAA Tournament teams that played Thursday night, with only Purdue being older. The younger players were given more playing time as veterans sat because of the Suns’ poor record (22-49 entering the game).

We view it as open. Any championship window, no matter how small that window is, I think if you recognize it, you have to go for it. We think, as long as we have this roster, we are capable and have the potential to do it. Last year, we had injuries in the playoffs. The year before, we blew a 3-1 lead, but nobody talks about the fact that Chris missed the first two games of that series because of a hamstring injury. We had to deal with the (former Clippers owner Donald) Sterling mess the year before. I don’t know if it’s the Clippers’ curse or whatever, but we’ve had to deal with a lot at a bad time. For our group, we look at this postseason as another potential championship. That’s how we’re looking at it. First thing’s first: we need to get out of the first round.

Phoenix Suns Gorilla slides into action, pounces on stray object during play

Some sports mascots might look lame (averting my eyes from you, Pierre the Pelican), but they all need to be athletic to do what they do on the field, court and ice. Case in point: The Suns Gorilla.

Phoenix’s mascot turned into a simian savior Tuesday night during the Wizards-Suns game, when he dived onto the floor during play to remove an object that had rolled onto the court. The Suns say it was a “rogue drumstick,” which could have caused an injury if an unsuspecting player or official had stepped on it.

Fox Sports Arizona reports the Gorilla’s “DE-fense” drumstick went astray, but at this point we don’t care who’s responsible. We’re just glad a person in a gorilla suit made like a superhero to save the day (or at least save someone from turning an ankle).

But there’s a case against Wade getting the ultimate honor. He never was a league regular-season MVP, finishing in the top three in voting only one time. To get a statue, a player should have won the regular-season award at least once and been among the top voters a handful of times. On our scorecard, players who get statues are all-time greats, preferably candidates for Mt. Rushmore. We love Wade, but he’s not in that rarified air.

In addition, two of Wade’s three titles came as he was cast as the No. 2 option behind James. He was Finals MVP in 2006 when the Heat defeated Dallas. But he led the NBA only once in scoring and was 40th in scoring when he left, with a shade over 20,000 points. When he’s through, he’ll likely finish out of the top 30 all-time in that department. Sorry, no statue in Wade County.saints_016-223x223

Why you shouldn’t involve baseball in your family’s gender reveal

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Gender reveals are taking over the internet. They’re obviously special moments for those involved and if done correctly, they have the chance to go viral. But if something goes terribly wrong, they’re definitely going viral.

So with that said, involving batting practice in your gender reveal is probably a bad idea.

What if you really get ahold of one and send a blazing comebacker at your wife? Also a terrible outcome.

It seems like a lose-lose scenario. If there’s a bad toss, or dare I say, you whiff, the ball might explode and reveal the baby’s gender while you stand there looking silly. If you make solid contact with the ball, sending it back toward the pitcher and for some reason it doesn’t break, the pitcher better be a Greg Maddux-level fielder on the mound to avoid catastrophe.

Memphis Grizzlies Authentic Jersey It’s time to take batting practice out of gender reveals and come up with a better idea.

Baseball has cracked down on PEDs in the game since the start of this century, so what’s causing the sudden surge in the long ball department? Players are bigger and stronger, yes. The ballparks are more hitter-friendly, sure. But did Major League Baseball decide to wind the balls juuuust a little tighter this year and give the game a jolt of excitement? We’re not apt to buy into conspiracy theories around here, but man, that’s a lot of home runs

NBA free agency: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope now unrestricted as Pistons renounce rights

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is now free to sign with any NBA team after the Pistons renounced his rights Friday, ESPN reported.

The shooting guard had been a restricted free agent, but with Detroit set to acquire Avery Bradley from the Celtics in a trade reported earlier Friday, any possibility of Caldwell-Pope remaining in Motown disappeared.

You can make an argument that Lowry was a top-five point guard in the NBA last season, and he would have certainly made All-NBA if he hadn’t missed 22 games late in the season. Over $30 million per season is what top-15 NBA players cost now, and the Raptors have done well to get it on a shorter term given that it’ll be for his 31 through 33 aged years.

Avery Bradley is headed to the Pistons in exchange for Marcus Morris, the teams announced Friday. The Celtics also are sending a 2019 second-round pick to Detroit.
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Francona was supposed to manage the American League’s All-Star team on Tuesday, but bench coach Brad Mills will now handle that duty in his place

Mills has taken over for Francona since the manager’s most recent trip with the club, to Detroit last weekend, but he admitted not having Francona around is difficult.
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Tucker’s long-range accuracy plays a significant role in shaping coaching strategies from both Baltimore and the opposition regarding field position. But ideally for the Ravens, the offense will generate more touchdowns in 2017 so Tucker doesn’t again have to account for such a high percentage (41.1) of Baltimore’s overall scoring.

Such improvement also would increase the chances that Baltimore can improve on last year’s 8-8 record. Asked to provide a specific reason for optimism among Ravens fans about that happening, Tucker said, Time will tell how good we can be. We haven’t even gotten into training camp yet.

Raptors to trade DeMarre Carroll to Nets in salary-clearing move

The Raptors are trading forward DeMarre Carroll to the Nets, as Toronto looks to clear salary-cap space after signing Kyle Lowry to a three-year, $100 million deal, ESPN.com reports.
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Carroll has two years and $30 million left on his contract, and removing him from the books helps the Raptors avoid paying a luxury tax.

It was scary leaving Toronto, a place where people really loved and supported me, and I wasn’t sure if that great feeling would follow me. When I arrived in Miami, I was just hoping for glory and mention amongst the immortals of basketball. What I got was so much more.
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An 11-time All-Star, Bosh left Toronto after seven seasons to join the Heat in 2010. Alongside Dwyane Wade and LeBron James, Bosh helped Miami win back-to-back championships in 2012 and 2013.

Bosh, 33, played in just 44 games during the 2014-15 season and only 53 games in the 2015-16 season because of blood clots in his lungs. He was not cleared to play last season, and his career is unlikely to resume after last playing in February 2016. Nonetheless, Bosh’s legacy will live on in the rafters at American Airlines Arena after Heat president Pat Riley announced, the number ‘1’ will never be worn by another player.

Bosh’s full letter to Miami can be read here.

It’s a funny thing about NBA roster moves.

“It was great,” Horford said. “I took advantage. I made sure I gathered myself and it was awesome, I feel like it was a big lift for us.”

It was a highlight for Horford in a game that ranks among his best as a Celtic: 21 points on 7-for-11 shooting, 5 for 5 from the free-throw line, nine assists and seven rebounds. It was also an exclamation point to a Horford postseason revival in the Celtics’ last three wins, following the wave of criticism that dogged him after Boston lost the first two games of the series.

It’s a funny thing about NBA roster moves. For years, fans in Boston lamented the fact the team had been unable to lure top-tier free agents. They got one when the Celtics signed Horford, an All-Star for the Hawks last year, to a max $113 million contract. But many of those fans spent the year largely unimpressed with their big prize. Horford averaged just 14.0 points this season, one of his lowest outputs, and 6.8 rebounds, the fewest of his career.

Horford did average a career-high 5.0 assists, however, helping Boston’s offense as a facilitator rather than a finisher. So while there was disappointment among large swaths of Celtics backers, there was satisfaction from Horford’s coaches and teammates.

Let’s take a look at our predictions for each first-round matchup in the Western Conference NBA playoffs:

The Warriors enter the playoffs having won 15 of their last 16. That sort of dominance is exactly what teams should strive for heading into the playoffs, and Golden State has Kevin Durant back after a knee injury cost him all of March.

I don’t know what it was. They played well and we didn’t.

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Harden finished with just 10 points on 2-of-11 shooting and turned the ball over six times before fouling out with 3:15 remaining in the game. Houston’s MVP candidate didn’t even attempt a shot before knocking down a 3-pointer with 6:18 remaining in the second quarter.

I really didn’t have a rhythm at the beginning of the game, Harden said. As a team, and as a unit, we just didn’t have a rhythm and they capitalized on that.

Everything falls on my shoulders. I take responsibility for it. It’s tough, especially the way we lost a Game 6 at home. It happened, now we move forward.
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Harden said the Rockets did not take the Spurs lightly even though San Antonio was without leading scorer Kawhi Leonard because of an injured ankle.

Some nights, life hits you in the face, Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said. I know they feel as bad as I do and this is going to hurt and linger. Hopefully this will spur us on.

Just watching him wince a little bit when the ball was coming to him makes me think it’s a long shot (to play Wedneday). But if there’s anybody who will try to fight through it, it’s Rondo because of the competitor he is. He obviously wants to get back out there and is doing everything he can to put himself in that position, knowing it’s still a long shot that happens.

Rondo has played through tough injuries before, but this will be a hard one to overcome. Even though he’s left the door open for a return in this series, it seems unlikely at this point.

NBA Draft lottery 2017: Full results, pick order for first round

The rich got richer at the 2017 NBA Draft lottery.

Limited Kids Breshad Perriman Jersey The Celtics captured the No. 1 overall pick at the annual event Tuesday night just one day after earning a trip to the Eastern Conference finals. The Lakers retained their selection — much to the delight of team president of basketball operations Magic Johnson — and could potentially keep Lonzo Ball in California with the No. 2 pick.

Worst news of the night? Apologies to Suns fans. Despite having the second-best odds to win the top pick, Phoenix landed at No. 4 behind the Celtics, Lakers and Sixers.

The full lottery order and odds for the No. 1 pick are listed below. (For all you conspiracy theorists, you can watch the full drawing here. The process is explained, the ping-pong balls are selected and no one favored the Lakers.)

Limited Kids Casey Hayward Jersey P.J. Dozier, another playmaker/wing type that played quite a bit of point guard for South Carolina this season, measured in at nearly 6-7 with a 6-11 wingspan. Dozier has an injury history that will make medical testing extremely important for him, but that type of size could allow him to slide down to the 3 on occasion if he can become a knockdown shooter.

Kyle Kuzma had a nice day of five-on-five in his first game, and also came in quite tall and long for a combo forward/small-ball 4 that has potential to shoot it. Kuzma is 6-foot-9-plus with a 7-foot-plus wingspan, and a near 9-foot standing reach. For instance, these were bigger wingspan and standing reach numbers than T.J. Leaf (who mentioned he felt Kuzma was underrated in his media session), Cameron Oliver, John Collins and Jordan Bell.

The Pittsburgh defense is working to return to its roots.

Elite Lavelle Hawkins Jersey A lineup built around Beverley, Dekker, Griffin and Jordan should be competitive, and there will be room for more improvement — they’ll need a starting shooting guard, but will have pretty good depth overall. Should next season be a disappointment, the Clippers still will be able to put Griffin on the trading block, bring in some additional young assets and go into a full rebuild.

They can put off that decision for now, though. With Griffin firmly in place, the Clippers hope they won’t suffer much from the loss of Paul, and will have enough young assets to grow from here. Rivers is no fan of an old-fashioned rebuild, having gone through one before in Boston then bolting the Celtics in 2013 when it looked like the team was heading back in that direction.

By locking down Griffin — at least for now — Rivers can put that rebuild off a little longer.

The Pittsburgh defense is working to return to its roots.

Pittsburgh has been working to rebuild its Steel Curtain defense after falling into the latter half of the league’s yards allowed list in 2014 and 2015. After some extensive drafting, those plans are coming to fruition.
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Shazier has blossomed into a Pro Bowl talent, Harrison returned from a brief retirement to regain his status as the league’s preeminent tackling lunatic, and Bud Dupree showed flashes of pass-rushing brilliance in his seven games last season.

Wisconsin All-American T.J. Watt will add another quarterback-chasing threat this fall, and he’ll be flanked by a combination of veterans and younger talent. The Steelers aren’t yet their former fearsome selves, but the pieces are in place for a major revival at Heinz Field.

LeBron James says Steph Curry deserves $400 million contract

Saturday marks the official start of NBA free agency and if you set your phone down for a minute, take a nap or leave your house to grab lunch, you’re bound to miss the latest trade or free agency agreement.

Two-time MVP Steph Curry is among the big-name players in the headlines this weekend after he agreed to a five-year, $201 million supermax deal with the Warriors. However, LeBron James thinks Curry should be paid even more.

James spoke out on Twitter against the salary cap, while quote tweeting a San Francisco Chronicle columnist’s tweet about the significant increase in the value of the Warriors.

In James’ estimation, Curry deserves a five-year, $400 million contract.

Reese gets a surprisingly small amount of credit for the Giants’ turnaround, compared to the grief he got for the downfall that preceded it. He went against his and the franchise’s entire philosophy, dug deep into free agency and pulled out a bunch of winners. Re-signing Odell Beckham Jr. is already an adventure; how Reese navigates that will be under the kind of scrutiny the Giants try to avoid.

Robinson is off to a heck of a start in Tennessee. Going into his second season, he has the Titans in serious contention for the AFC South title. Most recently, they beat the pack to late-offseason free agent Eric Decker, who can only help Marcus Mariota, the way that DeMarco Murray’s acquisition and a strong first draft did.browns_039