Pelicans Out-Warrior the Warriors with Classy Showing in Game 3

It has become a tried and true tradition of sorts in the NBA. A team that lost both of their opening games on the road, while playing fairly pedestrian basketball, comes home and improves considerably to win and revive some hopes of advancing to the next round. That’s exactly what took place on Friday night as the New Orleans Pelicans put in one of the best showings they could have hoped for against the Western Conference’s favored team.

The Pelicans did it by by doing what Golden State has been doing as well, showing just how good this young team can be. The fast-paced up-and-down game that the Warriors have breathed into life was used against them in this very game by the likes of Anthony Davis, who scored 33 points and added 18 rebounds, and Rajon Rondo, who piled up 20 assists on the night to go along with 10 rebounds. It was a dominant performance that gave them a 119-100. from them that has seen them cut the series lead to 2-1.

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Perhaps, though, the most encouraging sign from the game is the fact that Pelicans were able to play great defense throughout against the most dangerous group of players in the past decade or so in the league. This wasn’t just a game where the Pelicans shot the ball well. Instead, it was a totally commanding showing that left no doubt that they will be a force to be reckoned with for the remainder of this series and in the years to come as well.

This win will give them added belief, belief that coach Alvin Gentry has been trying to pump into his young charges, and that will drive them on in the next couple of games. The Warriors are still favorites to advance, no doubt, and you can expect a response in Game 4, but if the Pelicans can replicate this showing, they could be turn a formality of a series into a truly classic match up for the ages.

LeBron James Owns Toronto With Historic 43 Point 14 Assist Night

One game on from what he described was his worst game all season, LeBron James came out on Thursday night and effectively killed off the Toronto Raptors’ hopes of moving on in the Eastern Conference playoffs. The Cavaliers main man took matters into his own hands with one of the finest performances in an individual quarter. He had 43 overall, but that third quarter is the one that everyone is talking about.

The multiple time MVP scored 15 points in that period, on 70% shooting, to take over the game and help his Cavs pull away from the Raptors. His fade away jumpers will be on highlight reels for years to come, prompting many to restart the debate over whether he or Jordan were better in their day. Nonetheless, that quarter alone took the Cavs from being down two at the half to being up by 11 when the fourth quarter began. That 13 point swing was massive, and it has now led the Cavs to lead the series 2-0 with both victories coming on the Raptors’ floor.

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To put that into perspective, the Cavs were right around .500 when on the road all season long. That made many doubt their chances in these playoffs, but the world’s best player has had other ideas. He’s put them on his back in this game, and now they can wrap up the series back in Cleveland with a couple of wins and take a few days off ahead of a potential meeting with the Boston Celtics, assuming the Celts don’t also sweep the Philadelphia 76ers.

James wasn’t alone of course, in performing well against the Raptors, with the much-maligned Kevin Love contributing with 31 points of his own. While this series is far from over, judging by this showing it certainly is. Stats show that 94% of teams that go up 2-0 up end advancing. That gives the Raptors, who were the top seeded team in the east, a very minuscule chance of moving on. It has happened in the past, but it has been by teams that have big time stars, and none of them did it against LeBron.

Baker Mayfield’s Agent Says Patriots Considered Trading Up To Draft Him

Jack Mills, Baker Mayfields agent, said that the New England Patriots indicated to him that they were considering trading up to the No. 2 pick to select Mayfield if he was not selected first overall.

“We had another team which is going to surprise you. Another team had said, ‘You may get a big surprise on draft day, at No. 2, if he’s available.’ And it was the Patriots,” Mills said. “They had 23 and they had 31 and they had two seconds. We thought, ‘That’s gonna be a heck of a move, to get up that high from where they are.’ And of course he wasn’t available so we never knew if that was a reality or not.”

However, Mayfield was draft with the first overall pick in the 2018 draft by the Cleveland Browns. While it was a surprise that the Browns selected Mayfield, the Patriots trading to the No. 2 pick, which was held by the Giants, would have thrown a wrench into the draft.

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Mills added that the Browns stayed pretty quiet about their interest in Mayfield until he was actually selected. It was reported that the Jets were sold on taking Mayfield with the No. 3 overall pick, granted he was still available.

“When he visited the Jets, they pretty much said you’re our guy if you’re there,” Mills said.

Giants general manager Dave Gettleman said that the team was not very interested in trading out of their spot, but did say that they only received one offer they considered. However, he did not go into anymore detail about it.

Regardless, it’s all over now and the Browns selected Mayfield. But, it would have been very interesting to see Mayfield in a Patriots uniform.

LeBron James Buzzer-Beater Lifts Cavaliers Over Pacers

The Cavaliers have a series on their hands, or at least they did. In a decisive game five, LeBron James came through in the clutch and netted a three-pointer that will go down in history.

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With exactly three second left in the game with score tied at 95, James received the inbound pass, took two dribbles and nailed the deep three to life the Cavaliers over the Pacers by a score of 98-95.

Look familiar? Many are making comparisons to one of Michael Jordan’s legendary game-winning buzzer beaters years ago.

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This was not the only clutch play that James made last night. Just seconds before he nailed this shot, he blocked Victor Oladipo, saving a go-ahead bucket.

Oladipo was frustrated after the game, saying that “It was a goaltend.” After watching, it appears that it was a goaltend but a call was never made in the court so the referees can’t review it.

James finished with 44 points on the night on 14-of-24 shooting while adding 10 rebounds and eight assists.

This game was absolutely crucial for both teams, with the losing team having to win game six to force a game seven.

Game six is set for tomorrow night at 8 p.m. in Indiana.

Baker Mayfield Might Be The No. 1 Overall Pick

Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen and Josh Allen have been considered the safest and best prospects at the quarterback position in this year’s draft class. The one wild card mixed in there is Baker Mayfield, and he may now jump to being selected by the Cleveland Browns with the first pick in the draft.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, a source reported that Mayfield is “definitely” in the conversation of going No. 1 within the Cleveland Browns organization.

Browns general manager John Dorsey did not provide any hints at who the Browns would take with their first overall pick, only saying that he believed four quarterbacks would be selected in the first round.

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“The only thing I care about is, do guys win?” Dorsey said. “Does he have accuracy? Does he have a strong arm? Can he throw the ball in the red zone in tight windows? Can he drive the ball? At the end of the game, does he win? That’s what I look for.”

The Browns have been the laughing stock of the league over the past few seasons, with them not winning a single game in the 2017 season.

However, they do have a wealth of young talent and are expected to take a quarterback with the first overall pick. ESPN’s Mel Kiper projected the Browns to take Allen out of Wyoming with the first pick and had Mayfield being selected by the Miami Dolphins with the 11th overall pick.

Regardless of what does happen, Mayfield may be the most exciting pick in the NFL draft with whatever team selects him. He provides a dual threat at the quarterback position and has a electrifying personality that a franchise could build around.

Colin Kaepernick Wins Amnesty National Award

Amnesty International awarded former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick its Ambassador of Conscience Award for his protests against police brutality and racial injustice.

“The Ambassador of Conscience award celebrates the spirit of activism and exceptional courage, as embodied by Colin Kaepernick,” Salil Shetty, the human rights group’s secretary-general, said in a statement. “He is an athlete who is now widely recognized for his activism because of his refusal to ignore or accept racial discrimination.”

According to its website, this award is the highest honor of Amnesty International. Past award recipients include Nelson Mandela U2, Alicia Keys and Ai Weiwei.

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Kaepernick has taken the sports world by storm over the past two years, as he protested racial inequality in America by kneeling for the national anthem before the start of his games.

“To me, this is something that has to change,” Kaepernick said in an August 2016 interview. “And when there’s significant change and I feel like that flag represents what it’s supposed to represent, and this country is representing people the way that it’s supposed to, I’ll stand.”

This led to many other players in the NFL choosing to kneel for the national anthem as well. It sparked a movement that is still going on today.

While Kaepernick is not currently on an NFL roster, his keeps continuing to bring awareness to the inequality that exists in America.

Since becoming a free agent last year, Kaepernick completed his pledge to donate $1 million to organization that work in what he calls “suppressed communities.”

Joel Embiid Makes Roaring Return In Game 3

Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid made his playoff debut last night in game 3 against the Miami Heat and definitely made his presence known.

The all-star center dropped 23 points while adding seven rebounds and four assists in 30 minutes of play en route to a 128-108 victory for the 76ers to take the series lead 2-1.

“I’m going to be a nightmare for them,” Embiid said.

Embiid has been out for the last three weeks due to an injury he sustained from bumping into teammate Markelle Fultz. He is also still nursing a concussion as well. In coming back, it was not so much his inability to perform due to the injuries, but more so him proving that he could absorb contact without worsening his injuries.

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As a result, Embiid has to wear a black mask in order to protect his face and did so in last nights game. Embiid said that the mask was “annoying,” but that he would have to wear it for the rest of the playoffs.

The mask itself received its fair share of attention during the game, with Miami Heat guard Justise Winslow stepping on the glasses attached to it during Thursday night’s game.

“Justise stepped on it and tried to break it with his hands, but little do they know I have about 50 of them,” Embiid said. “So it’s going to take much more than that to get me out of the series.”

Embiid did admit that he would rather not wear the mask if he had the choice.

“At the end of the day, no matter how much it bothers me I still got to be a basketball player,” he said. “If the shots aren’t falling or it gets foggy and I can’t see, you know, there’s a lot of different stuff I can do.”

While it may have been an inconvenience for Embiid to wear this mask, it did not stop him from leading this 76ers team to a game three win.

Game four is set for tomorrow at 2:30 p.m.

Video: Drake and John Wall Trash Talk During Last Night’s Playoff Game

Drake has been known to do his fair share of trash talking when he attends Toronto Raptors games.

Perhaps the most publicized incident occurred between him and Kevin Durant last season. It just so happened that this game was “Drake Night,” and Durant made it clear after the game that he did not like the treatment he received from Drake.

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Last night, as the Toronto Raptors squared off against the Washington Wizards, the trash talk Drake came out once again when he started to talking to John Wall in the Latter parts of the game with the Raptors up by 20.

The two seemed to be jawing back and forth as the game winded down, but everything seemed fine at the end when they talked to each other after the game.

Wall finished 29 points four rebounds and nine assists on the night, but his effort was not enough to get the win for the Wizards as the they fell in game two by a score of 130-119.

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This was a record night for the Raptors as whole, with 130 points being the highest playoff scoring game they have had in franchise history.

With the win, the Raptors take a 2-0 lead in the series with the next game set for Friday at 8:00 p.m.

Aaron Rodgers Reportedly Frustrated For Lack Of Say In Green Bay Packers Moves

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is reportedly frustrated for his role, or the lack thereof, in offseason acquisition and moves within the organization, according to a report from Yahoo! Sports.

Yahoo Sports! Sports and investigative reporter Charles Robinson cited two anonymous sources in saying that the Rodgers feels that he “he should have earned a voice by now” when it comes to major decisions made in regard to personnel on the team.

“Specifically, the sources said Rodgers has lingering discontent being completely cut out of discussions that resulted in the departures of wideout Jordy Nelson and quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt,” Robinson said. “And it apparently is entering his thought process when it comes to his next contract extension.”

In the Van Pelt departure specifically, Rodgers felt that is was a big personnel change that occurred without even consulting him.

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This is a trend that we have seen in sports for a long time, and there really is no right answer. When it comes down to it, the sports industry is a business and things like this happen; players get traded away even when they don’t want to and front offices make unilateral decisions to do so without consulting the teammates.

At the end of the day, the players get paid to go out on the field and perform; the front office and employees for the organization get paid to make the executive decisions and form the team.

Should there be an overlap? It really varies on a case by case basis. However, it seems that if a player is so affected by a trade or move in the offseason, they should have some say in the decision since it affects them the most.

Joel Embiid Hopeful To Play In Game Two Or Three

The Philadelphia 76ers took home game one Saturday by a score of 130-103 over the Miami Heat, and did so with one of their best players in the Joel Embiid.

Embiid has been out of the lineup due to a broken orbital bone and a concussion.

“If it was my decision, I would play, but I can’t get back out on the court if I don’t have the OK from them,” Embiid said. “But everything has been going well. I’ve been able to do everything. And I feel great. So we got a pretty good chance for Game 2 or Game 3. We gonna see how it feels in the next couple of days.

“I got to do some contact stuff and see how it feels, and then they are going to allow me to be back. I did a little bit today, kind of like dummy defense — not really contact but, like, a body on me.”

Embiid has been upping his on court reps as the playoffs have approached, but says that he has to prove that he can absorb contact before e officially returns to the court.

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The injury was sustained on March 28 by running into teammate Markelle Fultz. Embiid missed the last eight games of the season, which were all victories for the 76ers.

Embiid also added that he has lost some weight since he first sustained the injury.

“I was 280-something, and I’m, like, 275 right now, which is surprising because usually when I’m out, I gain weight,” Embiid said. “I think it has to do a lot with body mass.”

Embiid worked out for 30 minutes before Saturday’s game where he wore a black face mask, which he prefers over the clear face mask.

“The white, clear mask is kind of harder, visibility-wise. It gets foggy and all that,” Embiid said. “[But] we still gotta get the league to approve the black mask. There’s a few options, so we gonna see how that goes.”

The 76ers appear to be catching their stride at a perfect time, even without Embiid in the lineup. Of course, it would help to have him back, but they are doing everything they need to right now to make a deep playoff run.