The Indianapolis Colts have signed free agent cornerback Channing Stribling after putting safety Michael Cirino on the waived-injured list.
The team announced the moves Tuesday. Cirino will go on the Colts’ injured reserve list if he clears waivers.
The 6-foot-1 Dustin Brown Jersey , 188-pound Stribling made the Cleveland Browns‘ practice squad as an undrafted rookie last season. He also was on the practice squad with Indy and San Francisco.
Stribling finished his college career at Michigan with 68 tackles, four for loss, with one sack and six interceptions.
Cirino was signed as an undrafted rookie following a tryout during the Colts’ recent rookie mini-camp.
Al Horford had no use for the premature celebration that showered confetti all over the 76ers’ home court at the end of regulation, delaying overtime and prompting an impromptu cleanup job.
Turns out, Horford has the Celtics just a game away from a real sweep.
Horford scored the go-ahead basket for Boston late in overtime in a wild Game 3 where the Philadelphia 76ers were sloppy with the basketball and the confetti, leading the Celtics to a 101-98 victory and a 3-0 series lead on Saturday night.
”These are the kind of moments you want to be in as a basketball player Authentic Artturi Lehkonen Jersey ,” Horford said.
He saw some wild ones down the stretch.
Marco Belinelli had hit a buzzer-beater to end the fourth quarter that sent the Sixers into a wild celebration on the court as confetti shot out of a cannon that made it rain over chunks of the arena.
Game 3 was only headed into OT.
”I wanted to play right away,” Horford said. ”I didn’t care about the confetti.”
The tale of the (ticker) tape shows the Celtics are still the team to beat.
The Celtics, who rallied from a 22-point deficit to beat the 76ers 108-103 in Game 2, can advance to the Eastern Conference finals for the second straight season on Monday.
The ending to regulation was about as wild as it gets for both teams. JJ Redick threw away the basketball on an errant pass to no one that was scooped by Terry Rozier who threw to Jaylen Brown for the basket and an 89-87 lead.
Seconds later, Belinelli stunned everyone with a falling 22-footer in front of the 76ers bench as time expired that sent the game into overtime – and confetti mistakenly blasted from the cannon. There was about a seven-minute delay while team employees scrambled to clean up the mess on the court. Some players even scooped up confetti as everyone waited for the start of overtime.
Confetti Guy – wearing a ”Breaking News: I Don’t Care” T-shirt – pushed the button too early and the rectangular pieces were soaring everywhere.
Confetti Guy – who declined to give his name – came over to press row and said the Sixers ”better win or I’m done.”
Belinelli opened OT with a 23-footer and Redick followed with a 3 that appeared to take him off the hook.
But the Celtics wouldn’t let them pull away and Horford escaped for a layup with 5.5 seconds that gave Boston a 99-98 lead. Ben Simmons then threw the ball away after a timeout and Horford sealed the win with two free throws.
Sixers coach Brett Brown said he thought Belinelli had won the game with a 3-pointer.
”Walk off 3. I thought it was. I actually left the court,” he said. ”You come back on and there’s confetti. You move on. It slows the game down a lot but you move on.”
Jayson Tatum scored 24 points and Rozier had 18.
Joel Embiid had 22 points and 19 rebounds for the Sixers Cam Talbot Jersey , Redick scored 18 and Simmons 16.
Horford hit the big shots in the final minute of overtime to silence what had been a rabid crowd. Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles rang the ceremonial bell and whipped the crowd into a frenzy. One fan waved a sign that said ”Philly Special 2.0” as a nod to the trick play called that allowed Foles to catch a touchdown pass against the New England Patriots.
But not every Philly team can beat one from New England in a big game.
Simmons, the rookie of the year favorite, had a miserable Game 2 and scored only one point and failed to score a field goal for the first time all year. Hall of Famer Allen Iverson called Simmons and gave him a needed pick-me-up.
”Just play the game I’ve been playing,” Simmons said AI told him. ”I know how to play the game. I can’t think about it too much. I’ve just got to go out there and do it.”
Determined not to get embarrassed again, Simmons scored on a driving layup less than a minute into the game.
”My goal isn’t to go out there and drop 30 every game,” Simmons said. ”My goal is to go out there and facilitate and get the best shots we can.”
He did it all in the second quarter when the Sixers looked every bit the team that ended the season on a 16-game win streak.
Trailing by 10 early in the second Tyler Bozak Jersey , Simmons had an emphatic slam to kickstart a rally. Simmons would make the highlight reel with a behind-the-back pass to a charging Embiid for a thunderous dunk over Aron Baynes. Embiid made the free throw and the crowd was going bonkers.
Redick and Dario Saric each hit 3s during the 13-0 run that helped the Sixers take a 51-48 lead into halftime.
76ers: The Sixers have suddenly become one of the hottest teams at attracting celebrities. Rapper Meek Mill, Questlove of The Roots, celebrity physician Dr. Oz, UFC President Dana White and director M. Night Shyamalan were all at the game, as were other members of the Eagles.
Celtics: The Celtics missed 15 of 22 3s in the first half and only attempted four free throws.
Embiid was just 2 of 3 from the free-throw line and believed he was hacked most of the game.
”I’m too big not to get fouled every time I go to the basket,” he said.
Coach Brett Brown endorsed assistant coach Lloyd Pierce as the next head coach of the Atlanta Hawks. Pierce interviewed for the job on Friday.
”It’s a no-brainer. I would hire Lloyd Pierce yesterday Mike Reilly Jersey ,” Brown said.
Game 4 is Monday at the only-in-the-postseason tip time of 6 p.m. EDT
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Rams running back Todd Gurley was trapped on an ugly offense in 2016 Jonathan Huberdeau Jersey , when he averaged just 3.2 yards per carry. Then the Rams fired coach Jeff Fisher, hired Sean McVay, and changed their offense dramatically.
In 2017, Gurley averaged 4.7 yards per carry while increasing his rushing attempts, yards and touchdowns as well as his receptions, yards, yards per catch and receiving touchdowns. He knows he has McVay’s offense to thank.
“Thank God for Coach McVay coming in here and putting us in a great position,” Gurley said on NFL Network.
Gurley is now three years into his rookie contract, which means he could be poised to sign a new deal soon. But Gurley said he can be patient Kevin Hayes Jersey , understanding that teammates like Aaron Donald are a higher priority at the moment, and saying that a new deal will come. If Gurley keeps producing like he did last year, he may become the highest-paid running back in the NFL by the time his rookie deal is done.
The Miami Dolphins now have four quarterbacks on the roster, and they still have a battle for the backup job behind Ryan Tannehill.
Coach Adam Gase declined to say Sunday whether Brock Osweiler or David Fales would be first off the bench to replace Tannehill, but said he expects to keep all three all season. Even so, the Dolphins found room on their roster to add rookie quarterback Luke Falk, claimed one day after being waived by the Tennessee Titans.
Falk, a sixth-round draft pick, could make an immediate impact by providing insight into the Titans' playbook under a new coaching staff. The Dolphins open the season against Tennessee on Sept. 9.
The margin between Osweiler and Fales in the competition for the No. 2 job was thin throughout training camp Sven Andrighetto Jersey , Gase said.
"It's day to day," he said. "I feel like it goes back and forth. It's one of those things 鈥?whoever has the best protection on that particular night, it seems that guy has a good night in preseason. That's what is always going to make it tough deciding who's the backup. You're guessing a little bit."
Gase said he may list the No. 2 quarterback as "Osweiler or Fales" on the depth chart preceding the Titans game.
"Nothing changes for me," Osweiler said. "I'm just solely focused on trying to get better. Whoever is the 2, whoever is the 3, that's something I can't control."
The Dolphins are underdogs in the opener despite being at home, and coming off a 6-10 season in 2017, they're widely projected to finish below .500 again. But in the wake of cuts to reach the 53-man roster limit, Gase sounded as optimistic as every other coach at the end of the preseason.
Roster turnover has resulted in a better locker-room culture Youth Chris Kunitz Jersey , Gase said, and he anticipates the improvement to be reflected in the win-loss record.
"I like our team. We're a team," he said, emphasizing the last word. "That's the best part about what we have going on right now 鈥?that locker room. I'm not really worried about what anybody else thinks about that. When you're not there every day and around these guys, you don't know. You can look at a piece of paper, but that's why they play the games."
Miami should be better at quarterback, with Tannehill returning after missing last season following left knee surgery. But it's unclear whether holdover Fales or newcomer Osweiler represents an upgrade over the departed Matt Moore, who had been Tannehill's backup since 2012.
The play of both Osweiler and Fales was spotty during training camp. Gase works closely with quarterbacks and saw enough potential to want to keep them around.
"You talk about that being one of the most important positions," Gase said Milan Lucic Jersey Kids , "and our thought process is we're going to try to develop guys and get them ready to go. And if we're ever in a situation where we need the next guy, we want to make sure we have the right guy. And we're going to keep working with the two guys we've got."
In other roster moves, Miami claimed receiver Tanner McEvoy off waivers from New Orleans, released tackle Sam Young, and placed center Jake Brendel and linebacker Mike Hull on injured reserve.
Follow Steven Wine on Twitter: ://Steve_Wine
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HOUSTON (AP) — Trying to make a strong impression for a chance of playing in the NFL Jonathan Ericsson Jersey , Houston Texans rookie running back Terry Swanson said he saw an opening and never looked back.
Swanson had a 37-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter to lift the Texans to a 14-6 win over the Dallas Cowboys in their preseason finale Thursday night.
The undrafted rookie running back out of Toledo, who served as an understudy to the Chiefs’ Kareem Hunt in college, found a hole with five minutes remaining in the fourth quarter to put the Texans up two scores. Swanson finished with 69 yards on 17 carries.
“It’s a dream come true to score my first NFL touchdown like that,” he said.
“I wanted to have an opportunity to show what I can do. The odds are against you being an undrafted free agent, but for something like that to happen, puts you at better odds.”
Both teams rested their starters.
Houston took a 7-3 lead in the first quarter after third-round pick safety Justin Reid intercepted Cooper Rush’s pass to set up a 4-yard touchdown run by Alfred Blue. Blue, competing for the backup job behind Lamar Miller, rushed for 18 yards on four carries, while Troymaine Pope rushed for 21 yards on five carries.
The Cowboys scored on two field goals from backup kicker Brett Maher, one on their opening drive from 57 yards and one late in the fourth quarter from 41.
Texans backup quarterback Brandon Weeden started and went 3 for 9 for 22 yards. Behind Weeden, Joe Webb went 11 for 18 for 136 yards.
“We didn’t do much offensively,” Texans coach Bill O’Brien said. “I wouldn’t say it was a stellar offensive night. I thought the effort was good, but it just wasn’t great, offensively, all night.”
With the offense struggling, O’Brien got plenty of film on his punters, engaged in a tight position battle. Veteran punter Shane Lechler and rookie Trevor Daniel, went back and forth Oliver Ekman-Larsson Jersey , with Lechler punting five times for 212 yards (42.4 average) and Daniel punting four times for 163 yards (40.8).
After Daniel excelled in the first half, he punted one out of bounds that went just 30 yards. Lechler followed with a booming 61-yard punt to the Dallas 20-yard line.
“Both guys have really done well,” O’Brien said. “Shane Lechler, in my opinion, is a Hall of Famer punter. He’s competed at a really high level. And Trevor Daniel is a really good young punter. Both guys have done a really good job.”
Lechler, who was very complimentary of Daniel’s talent and work ethic, said regardless of the Texans’ decision, he has no plans of retiring this season.
“I know one thing — I fought as hard as I could every day,” Lechler said. “Every time we went out there and punted against each other, that was a game day for me. I have no regrets.”
For Dallas, Rush played the entire first half and some of the third quarter, finishing 14 of 25 for 83 yards and two interceptions. Behind Rush, Mike White went 13 for 21 for 118 yards.
After another lackluster performance, Rush was asked if he was concerned Dallas might look elsewhere for a backup quarterback.
“I don’t even worry about that,” Rush said. “It’s not my job to worry about it. It would be a waste of time on my part to think about stuff like that.”
The Cowboys finished their preseason winless for the first time since 2014 when they went 12-4 in the regular season.
“Certainly whenever you go out there, you want to win and we’re competing to win,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. “But that doesn’t override some of the other objectives that we have.”
The two Texas teams will have a regular-season rematch in Houston in Week 5 on “Sunday Night Football.” Dallas leads the series 3-1 and has won the past three meetings since the Texans won their first-ever matchup in their inaugural game in 2002.
Cowboys starting quarterback Dak Prescott served as a team captain during the coin toss, even wearing his helmet. Before kickoff Brandon Manning Jersey , however, Prescott put his helmet away and immediately exchanged his cleats for sneakers to settle in as a sideline spectator.
Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott, who didn’t play during the preseason, said at halftime he’s excited to get back on the field.
“Camp is long, the preseason is long, but there is nothing like that first game when the lights come on for real,” Elliott said.
Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson also wore sneakers, even fashioning a makeshift bandanna out of a towel. While many Texans starters wore baseball caps on the sideline, nose tackle D.J. Reader stood out with a gray bucket hat.
No players from the Cowboys or the Texans kneeled during the national anthem.
MANCZ GETS EXTENSION
The Texans signed starting center Greg Mancz to a two-year contract extension on Thursday. Mancz, an undrafted free agent out of Toledo in 2015, played 10 games, starting seven, in 2017. Houston used a second-round tender on Mancz in the offseason and will pay him $1.907 million this season.
GREGORY NOT WITH TEAM
Cowboys defensive end Randy Gregory spent Thursday in Chicago meeting with NFL officials to discuss his place in the league’s substance-abuse program and his treatment plan, all “part of the process” as Garrett said before the game. Last Sunday, owner and general manager Jerry Jones said he anticipates Gregory will be available for the season opener.
Cowboys: Backup strong safety Kavon Frazier, who did not play in the game, wore a sling on his left arm on the sideline to support his left shoulder that popped out of socket against Arizona. Garrett said it was jus When the Denver Broncos reported to training camp they were met by cushy new team and position meeting rooms and an expanded training room that features two cryogenic chambers and a flotation pod along with other amenities courtesy of a $9.5 million facilities face-lift that capped a five-year, $45 million renovation.
An even bigger upgrade is the $56 million one on offense.
General manager John Elway signed quarterback Case Keenum to a two-year T.J. Oshie Jersey , $36 million deal and acquired right tackle Jared Veldheer from Arizona.
Then, he bolstered his backfield by drafting running back Royce Freeman out of Oregon and receivers Courtland Sutton of SMU and DaeSean Hamilton of Penn State.
They are the pillars of a 10-member draft class that’s led by first-rounder Bradley Chubb and has already drawn raves for its depth of talent and knowledge. All 10 spent four years in college honing their crafts, a reversal of last year’s draft class that was loaded with projects and problems.
The Broncos haven’t bolstered their offense like this since the Peyton Manning era, and with Keenum, they’re no longer bogged down by a QB competition like they were each of the last two summers – unless you count Paxton Lynch and Chad Kelly’s battle for the backup job.
”We’re a better football team,” Elway said Friday on the eve of training camp. ”We have some better depth. I think Case is a big part of that. … Now, we have to all come together. It’s about getting continuity on the offensive line as well as the young wide receivers getting up to speed. As well as the young running back.
”So, offensively, I’m excited about it, especially with Case” leading the way.
So is coach Vance Joseph.
”I think it’s huge to have a starting quarterback in place,” Joseph said. ”In at league that’s built for parity, from the top to the bottom of the roster every team’s got talent. But the one position that makes a huge difference is quarterback. And we do have one in place. So, that’s exciting for our team.”
No more splitting snaps. No more getting used to two different cadences or throwing styles.
And no more wondering.
”It’s given us clarity for our football team,” Joseph said. ”We’re not guessing who the quarterback’s going to be. We’re not guessing who the leader’s going to be.”
In Sutton and Hamilton, the Broncos finally have receivers who can not only take pressure off Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders but also apply some pressure to the veteran starters who were smothered by D-backs last season.
”Adding those two young guys, they’re going to help us,” Joseph said. ”In this league it’s about matchups, it’s about getting 1-on-1s. When you have two guys and you have no tight end threat Authentic Jaccob Slavin Jersey , not halfback threat, the defense can easily bracket those two guys.
”When you have three and you have a guy like Jake Butt in the slot, it’s going to be hard for teams to do that.”
Butt missed his rookie season while recovering from ACL surgery, which caused him to slip into the fifth round in the 2017 NFL draft. But the Broncos believe that if he can stay healthy, his presence is like adding a first-round talent to the offense.
The Broncos jettisoned veteran C.J. Anderson in the offseason in a cost-cutting move, leaving a group of running backs long on promise but short on experience, including rookies Freeman, David Williams and Philip Lindsay along with second-year pro De’Angelo Henderson and third-year pro Devontae Booker.
”It’s a young group, but I like that,” Joseph said. ”From a halfback perspective, you want guys who are young because that means they are healthy. Healthy. Willing. Open-minded.”
Notes: Joseph said it’s up to WR Carlos Henderson, who failed to report to camp, whether he has a future in Denver: ”He’s having some family problems right now and it’s strictly on Carlos whether he wants to continue to play football.” … Joseph said LG Ron Leary (knee) and RT Veldheer (foot) will both be eased into the lineup. The only player on PUP will be WR Jordan Taylor, still recovering from hip surgeries.
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Richie Incognito's playing days might not be over after all.
The veteran guard is free to resume his career after the Buffalo Bills released him from their reserve/retired list on Monday.
The move represents the latest twist in what's become an unsettling offseason for Incognito. He now becomes a free agent some six weeks after abruptly announcing he was retiring on his Twitter account.
Incognito did not reply to a voicemail and text message left with him by The Associated Press.
He has also not posted any messages on Twitter since April 15 Adrian Kempe Jersey , three days after the Bills placed him on the reserve/retired list.
The Bills did not provide a reason for the decision to release Incognito in announcing the move in a one-sentence statement.
General manager Brandon Beane last month sidestepped questions regarding Incognito by saying he's focusing on players on the roster. Beane did say Incognito would have to seek the NFL's permission to be reinstated should he desire to come out of retirement.
Incognito cited health concerns as one of the reasons he was retiring. He was also unhappy with taking a pay cut in restructuring the final year of his contract with Buffalo this offseason.
The 34-year-old Incognito has 11 seasons of NFL experience, including the past three with Buffalo. He earned three of his four Pro Bowl selections in Buffalo, and was part of a line that helped the Bills lead the NFL in yards rushing in both 2015 and '16.
The Bills provided Incognito a second chance at resuming his career after he spent 18 months out of football following his role in the Miami Dolphins' bullying scandal.
Incognito was suspended for the final eight games of the 2013 season, when the Dolphins were thrust into the national spotlight after offensive lineman Jonathan Martin abruptly quit the team amid accusations he was being bullied. An NFL investigation determined Incognito and two other Dolphins offensive linemen persistently harassed Martin.
In February Womens Jaroslav Halak Jersey , Martin was detained and questioned by Los Angeles police after posting a threatening note on his Instagram account. Martin's post showed a shotgun and specifically mentioned Incognito, former teammate Mike Pouncey as well as a private Los Angeles prep school Martin once attended. Martin wrote suicide and revenge were the only options for a victim of bullying.
This offseason, Incognito was also the subject of an NFL investigation after Jacksonville defensive end Yannick Ngakoue accused the Bills player of making racist slurs during the Jaguars' 10-3 win over Buffalo in an AFC wild-card playoff game in January. The NFL has not announced whether it has completed its investigation. Ngakoue said he and Incognito cleared the air after they were AFC teammates at the Pro Bowl in January.
Incognito caused another stir this offseason. A week before retiring, Incognito fired his agent Tanner Pearson Jersey , David Dunn, in a post on Twitter.
Incognito also played three-plus seasons in St. Louis, which drafted him in 2005. He played in college at Nebraska but left after being suspended. He then transferred to Oregon, though he never played for the Ducks.
The Buffalo Bills have hired Dan Morgan to take over as their player personnel director.
Morgan joins the Bills after spending the previous seven seasons working his way up the Seattle Seahawks‘ scouting ranks. He most recently served as Seattle’s pro personnel director in overseeing the team’s pro and advance scouting duties.
He replaces Brian Gaine Nate Schmidt Jersey , who left the Bills after just one season to return to Houston in January and become Texans general manager.
Morgan is a former NFL linebacker, who spent his entire seven-year NFL career playing for the Carolina Panthers from 2001-07. That makes him familiar with Bills general manager Brandon Beane, who spent 19 years with the Panthers before being hired by Buffalo a year ago.
After a rough debut Youth Colin Miller Jersey , Cleveland Indians rookie Shane Bieber has found his routine.
Edwin Encarnacion and Lonnie Chisenhall hit back-to-back homers, Bieber pitched six strong innings and the Indians beat the St. Louis Cardinals 5-1 on Wednesday night.
Bieber (3-0) struck out seven to become the seventh pitcher in baseball’s modern era to strike out six or more batters in each of his first four major league starts. After giving up four runs in 5 2/3 innings in his first outing, Bieber has given up just two runs in his last three starts and lowered his ERA to 2.22.
”It’s just being able to fall into a routine and just get a little more comfortable within that routine and within the clubhouse here and with the guys and all that,” Bieber said. ”That goes a long way to being able to establish what you want to do.”
The Indians avoided a series sweep and have won eight of 10. Cleveland starters improved to 17-2 with a 2.26 ERA across 26 starts in series finales, including wins in their last nine decisions.
”For a young kid when runners are on and things start to happen, he seems to pitch more maturely than his age would indicate,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. ”He starts throwing his breaking ball, gets some chase, doesn’t panic, game doesn’t speed up. That’s a real nice trait for anybody, let alone a kid that’s got four major league starts.”
Bieber jumped on a first-pitch fastball from Jack Flaherty in the fourth for a double, his first major league hit.
Jose Martinez snapped Bieber’s scoreless innings streak at 14 innings with a one-out RBI single in the third.
”I thought he had a good breaking ball,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said of Bieber. ”It must have been a little different from than what guys have seen lately Youth John Moore Jersey , you could tell some of the swings even in counts where they might have been looking for it might have been off a bit.”
Encarnacion and Chisenhall gave the Indians a 2-0 lead in the second, marking Cleveland’s fifth back-to-back home runs this season.
Francisco Lindor walked and Michael Brantley doubled to spark a two-run third that extended the Indians’ lead to 4-0. Tyler Naquin doubled home another run in the sixth.
Francona credited a loose atmosphere after the Indians dropped the first two in the series.
”It’s not necessarily about being silly but it’s about you don’t want to just be tight,” Francona said. ”We already lost a couple tough games and it’s nice to come back and play a good one with a day off tomorrow and a long flight.”
Flaherty (3-3) went four innings, his shortest outing this season as the Cardinals had their four-game winning streak snapped. It followed perhaps his most dominant start, in which he carried a no-hitter for 6 1/3 innings against Milwaukee on Friday.
”Those two home runs were missed spots and I just wasn’t able to execute,” Flaherty said. ”They hit some balls that fell.”
Matt Carpenter walked, doubled and scored a night after scoring five runs and getting five hits.
Indians: RHP Carlos Carrasco (right elbow contusion) threw a bullpen session and will throw about 65 pitches on a rehab assignment Saturday at Double-A Akron.
Cardinals: SS Paul DeJong (left hand fracture) is scheduled to meet with doctors Thursday with the hopes of being cleared to head out for a rehab assignment.
Indians: RHP Trevor Bauer (7-5, 2.44 ERA) will kick off a three-game series against Oakland and RHP Paul Blackburn (1-2, 8.83 ERA) on Friday. Bauer is 1-2 with a 4.44 ERA in five career starts against the A’s.
Cardinals: RHP Miles Mikolas (8-2, 2.69 ERA) will get the start as St. Louis hosts Atlanta and RHP Julio Teheran (5-5, 4.52 ERA) in the first of a three-game set Friday. Mikolas threw 2 1/3 scoreless relief innings in his only career appearance against the Braves on Aug. 15, 2012.
A look at the NBA playoff picture, with two days remaining in the regular season and now only one berth left to be decided:
The NBA says there are 56 possible seeding scenarios still in play going into the final two days of the regular season.
All but one of the 16 playoff spots has been clinched Bobby Orr Jersey , with the Minnesota-Denver game on Wednesday deciding the final berth in the postseason. But going into Tuesday, the next-to-last day of the regular season, only five of the 16 seeds have been wrapped up.
If Portland beats Utah, the Blazers finish No. 3 in the Western Conference. The Jazz could also reach No. 3, but could fall as far as No. 7 depending on the outcome of other games. And here’s how confusing some of the tiebreakers are: Even the NBA needed to correct itself after originally saying the Portland-Utah winner would finish No. 3, no matter what.
San Antonio, Oklahoma City and New Orleans could all be anywhere from fourth through eighth in the West. Minnesota would finish anywhere from fifth through eighth if it tops Denver, and the Nuggets – if they beat the Timberwolves – will be fifth, sixth or seventh.
Houston is No. 1 in the West, followed by Golden State at No. 2. The clinched East seeds are No. 1 Toronto, No. 2 Boston and No. 5 Indiana.
Philadelphia and Cleveland will be No. 3 and No. 4 in the East, in some order. Going into Tuesday, Milwaukee Mika Zibanejad Jersey , Miami and Washington all could finish either sixth, seventh or eighth in the East.
The playoffs start Wednesday.
Officially, that’s not true. But the Denver at Minnesota game on Wednesday night may as well be considered a play-in game: Winner moves on, loser goes home.
Monday started with four spots available out West, and ended with only one still unclaimed. New Orleans, San Antonio and Oklahoma City all won to clinch their playoff berths – the Spurs doing so for the 21st consecutive year, tying Portland for the second-longest run in NBA history and moving one shy of tying Philadelphia’s league record (which started when the 76ers were the Syracuse Nationals).
The funny part about Monday’s triple-clinchings is that nothing changed in the standings. The order of the top eight remains the same, going into the next-to-last day of the regular season.
It won’t stay that way. Get ready for craziness. Oklahoma City can remain No. 7 in the West, but only if it loses to Memphis (and a lot of other things happen).
All we really know is this: Wednesday night will be great fun.
Cleveland won the Central Division and locked Indiana into the No. 5 seed with a win at New York.
Milwaukee is now up to No. 6 in the East, flip-flopping spots with now-No. 7 Miami. The Bucks beat Orlando, while the Heat could get nothing going and got routed in the fourth quarter on the way to losing to the Thunder.
The Bucks wrap up No. 6 with a win at Philadelphia on Wednesday night. But the 76ers will go into the final day with a chance at the No. 3 spot, regardless of whether they win in Atlanta on Tuesday.
– Charlotte at Indiana: No playoff impact, Pacers will be the No. 5 seed.
– Philadelphia at Atlanta: Philadelphia can be No. 3 seed by winning last two Max Pacioretty Jersey , and stretching its winning streak to 16.
– Boston at Washington: A potential first-round matchup if Wizards finish seventh. Washington can also be No. 6 or No. 8.
– Golden State at Utah: Jazz still could get to the No. 3 seed. Warriors could be first NBA team with 30 road wins in three straight seasons.
– Phoenix at Dallas: No playoff impact, Suns have clinched NBA’s worst record.
– Houston at L.A. Lakers: No playoff impact, Lakers aiming for winning home record.
First-round matchups if the season ended Monday …
East: 1-Toronto vs. 8-Washington, 2-Boston vs. 7-Miami, 3-Philadelphia vs. 6-Milwaukee, 4-Cleveland vs. 5-Indiana.
West: 1-Houston vs. 8-Minnesota, 2-Golden State vs. 7-Oklahoma City, 3-Portland vs. 6-San Antonio, 4-Utah vs. 5-New Orleans.
NOTE OF THE DAY
Neither Denver nor Minnesota has ever missed the playoffs in a 46-win season. One will this year.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
”We know we can beat anybody when we’re playing our best.” – Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook, after the Thunder clinched their spot.
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Jon Gruden has quickly put his stamp on the Oakland Raiders in his second stint as coach.
He's installed his new systems Jake Dotchin Jersey , overhauled more than half the roster and traded star pass rusher Khalil Mack to Chicago just before the start of the season for draft picks.
Gruden's quest to get the new-look Raiders back to the level they were at during his first stint that ended in 2001 begins at home Monday night against the Los Angeles Rams. Oakland has had just one winning season in the past 15 years.
"We have not had a lot of success," Gruden said. "We've got to turn this team around. We've got to get this team built back to where we can compete for championships. It was that way in 1998 and it's that way 20 years later. We've got to put this train back on the track and we've tried to assemble the right guys to get us started. We'll see where we are on Monday night."
There is quite a bit of intrigue in what Gruden's offense will look like in his first game as coach in 10 years. He spent the past nine seasons after being fired in Tampa Bay as the analyst for "Monday Night Football."
Gruden spent much of the offseason talking about wanting to bring the Raiders back to 1998. He showed almost none of his offense in the preseason, but his former protege and current Rams coach Sean McVay knows to expect the unexpected.
"He's always done such a good job of mixing it up," McVay said. "I'm sure he's got a bunch of new wrinkles that he's added to his arsenal. It's going to be exciting, but it is a great challenge, really kind of that element of uncertainty and that does make it very difficult."
Despite the trade of Mack, Gruden has many of the ingredients he needs for a successful season on offense with Derek Carr at quarterback, a strong interior offensive line, a running game led by Marshawn Lynch and a pair of receivers in Amari Cooper and Jordy Nelson who have shown big-play ability in the past.
Now he gets a chance to show some new wrinkles that he learned by visiting and watching all the other teams as an announcer.
"I feel like he's more advanced," said tackle Donald Penn, who played for Gruden in Tampa Bay in 2007-08. "He's gotten even smarter. That's crazy to say because he knows so much already, but I feel like he's learned even more during that time off."
Here are some other things to watch:
TEACHER VS. MENTOR: Gruden hired McVay as a 22-year-old assistant wide receivers coach in 2008 but the ties between the families go back further. McVay's grandfather, John Jared Spurgeon Jersey , hired Gruden's father, Jim, at Dayton in 1970, and helped Jon get his first NFL job as an assistant in San Francisco in 1990. The younger McVay has taken so much from Gruden that he has many of the same mannerisms and sounds so much like his mentor that Jon Gruden joked he does a better impersonation of him than comedian Frank Caliendo.
"I hear it all the time," McVay said. "''But I think probably subconsciously you pick up on some of those things just from being around somebody. I got so much respect for him so I take it as a compliment."
DOMINANT DONALD: While the Raiders cut ties with 2016 AP Defensive Player of the Year Mack after his contract holdout, the Rams gave last year's top defensive player Aaron Donald a six-year, $135 million deal, with $87 million guaranteed to end his holdout. Donald, perhaps the game's top interior pass rusher, joins a defense that added three former All-Pros in the offseason in defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh and cornerbacks Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib.
GOFF'S GROWTH: Rams QB Jared Goff took a big step last year after the former No. 1 overall pick struggled in his rookie season in 2016. Goff increased his yards per attempt from 5.3 to 8.0 and his passer rating from 63.6 to 100.5. Goff still sees more room to grow, but didn't get to show that in the preseason when he didn't get any snaps because of injuries to the offensive line.
"There's a bunch of stuff we've been working on this offseason that we're ready to display on Monday night," Goff said. "A lot of the stuff is from last season that we're going to continue to do, and then a lot of new stuff that we're doing."
DRIVE THE CARR: Carr is looking to bounce back from a down season as he struggled with a back injury and an unimaginative offense by former coordinator Todd Downing. He matched his career high with 13 interceptions and recorded his worst totals in yards Colton Sissons Jersey , touchdowns and passer rating since his rookie year in 2014. The Raiders hope for a revival under Gruden.
HIDDEN SCHEMES: These teams played just over three weeks ago in an exhibition, although not much can be gleaned from that game. Both teams sat almost all of their starters and showed almost none of the schemes knowing they'd play a game that counts so soon.
"You would think we'd know about them, they would know about us, but all of our starters on both teams were wearing sweatsuits," Gruden said.
For a handful of NFL franchises, the slow time could soon be interrupted, thanks to the most important annual deadline applicable to the franchise tag.
The Steelers , the Cowboys, the Lions, and the Rams have until Monday, July 16, to work out long-term deals with running back Le'Veon Bell, defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence http://www.officialbluejackets.com/authentic-adidas-david-savard-jersey , defensive end Ziggy Ansah, and safety Lamarcus Joyner, respectively. If a long-term deal isn’t signed and approved by the league office before 4:00 p.m. ET on the 16th, the window for doing a long-term closes until the 2018 regular season ends.
For Lawrence, Ansah, and Joyner (each of whom have signed the one-year franchise tender), it would put them each on track for a 20-percent raise in 2019 or a trip to the open market — absent a long-term deal with their current teams negotiated after the season ends. For Bell, who hasn’t signed the franchise tender, it means the quarterback franchise tag for 2019 or unrestricted free agency, absent a last-ditch effort to negotiate a long-term contract between the end of the regular season and the moment Bell signs elsewhere.
The Cowboys and Lawrence reportedly will talk this week. For the Lions, the indication consistently has been that they hope to assess Ansah in 2018 and make a long-term decision for 2019. The Rams would probably have a hard time giving big money to Joyner before finally extending the contract of defensive tackle Aaron Donald, who is a year away from the franchise-tag dance.
Bell remains the biggest name, and his situation presents the highest stakes. Last year Antti Niemi Jersey , he exercised his prerogative to stay away from the team until Labor Day, which allowed him to apply maximum leverage while still getting his full $12.1 million salary. Until he signs the tender, the Steelers could rescind it.
That remains unlikely, but it would definitely put Bell in a tough spot, thrusting him onto the market long after the big money has been spent and the rosters have been set. The Steelers would do it only if they believe they can thrive without Bell. Few if any outside the organization do.
Still, if they don’t sign him to a long-term deal before July 16, the Steelers may end up having to find a way to thrive without Bell in 2019, and beyond.
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No one has ever doubted Marcell Dareus‘s talent for the defensive tackle position Womens Henrik Zetterberg Jersey , but his effort has sometimes been lacking, he’s had off-field issues, and last year the Bills decided they’d had enough and traded him halfway through the season to the Jaguars.
In Jacksonville, there are no issues.
Dareus played well last season for the Jaguars, and in his first offseason in Jacksonville Seth Jones Jersey , he’s drawing praise from coach Doug Marrone for his work ethic.
“I’m very happy with the way he’s worked, the way he has come into camp,” Marrone said, via Mike Kaye of First Coast News. “I think those are things he has done a much better job of than what maybe he had done in the past. I can appreciate that and see that in him.”
Marrone and Jaguars front office boss Tom Coughlin are known for believing in tough summer practices, but Dareus said he’s enjoying it.
“I just want to do the best we can Kevin Hayes Jersey ,” Dareus said. “We just push each other and let’s go. Give me what you got, I’ll give you what I’ve got and when you’re tired, just let me know and I’m right there to pick up where you left off and vice versa.”
With the fifth-round draft pick the Bills got from the Jaguars for trading Dareus, Buffalo took Wyatt Teller, a guard from Virginia Tech. That’s a trade the Jaguars would gladly do again.
The Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles won't be sitting out the second day of the draft after trading out of the first round and acquiring the 52nd overall pick on Friday night.
The Eagles got the second-round pick from the Baltimore Ravens and could use it to land a running back Jake Muzzin Jersey , offensive lineman, pass rusher or cornerback.
Howie Roseman, executive vice president of football operations, says the Eagles are optimistic they'll have a shot at a bunch of players they still like.
Philadelphia sent the 32nd overall pick and a fourth-round pick (No. 132) to Baltimore for No. 52, a fourth-round pick Saturday plus a 2019 second-round pick.
Roseman says he felt the value was right Reilly Smith Jersey , and the team won't hesitate to make more deals to move around the draft.
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The Browns want to believe in Antonio Callaway Womens Tom Pyatt Jersey , and to give him a chance.
The Ohio court system is willing to go along with it.
According to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the rookie wide receiver who was cited for driving with a suspended license and a misdemeanor marijuana possession charge was supposed to have his first hearing this morning. That has been rescheduled for Aug. 23 at 8 a.m., and since they play the Eagles at home that night Aleksander Barkov Jersey , he can ostensibly make that one.
Callaway made the trip to New York for tonight’s game against the Giants, but he may not be out of the woods with the team.
He did not inform them of the citation, and they found out about it through media reports. Coach Hue Jackson said he’d have a “strong conversation” with Callaway about the incident and said “this is surprising to me.”
The talented wideout Matt Calvert Jersey , who was promoted to the starting lineup this week, slid in the draft in part because of concerns about a failed drug test (for a diluted sample) at the Scouting Combine. He was also suspended for his final season at Florida for his role in a credit card scam.
The Jacksonville Jaguars are releasing receiver Allen Hurns and saving $7 million in 2018.
Hurns will be a free agent and able to sign with any team that wants him.
His future had been in doubt for months, since Dede Westbrook and Keelan Cole emerged late last season. Hurns really became expendable when the Jaguars signed two receivers last week Roman Josi Jersey , bringing back Marqise Lee and adding Donte Moncrief in free agency.
Hurns would have been behind Lee and Moncrief on the depth chart, and Jacksonville felt his salary was too high for a backup who has missed 11 games the last two seasons.
Hurns has 189 receptions for 2,669 yards and 21 touchdowns in four years since signing with the Jaguars as an undrafted rookie from Miami. But he caught just 74 passes for 961 yards and five scores the last two years while dealing with a sports hernia in 2016 and a high ankle sprain in 2017.
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Left tackle Donald Penn‘s future with the Raiders appeared up in the air until Monday. That’s when he agreed to a restructured contract Sam Gagner Jersey , Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.
The Raiders receive new team-friendly parameters for a player returning from a significant injury. Penn, in turn, gets more guaranteed money over the next two years.
Penn, 35 Womens Travis Hamonic Jersey , was scheduled to make $6 million in base salary this season, with $3 million of it guaranteed. He had another $2.35 million he could have earned in bonuses and incentives.
Penn remains on the physically unable to perform list as he rehabs from December foot surgery.
He skipped training camp last summer in a contract holdout. He reported August 23, and three weeks later, the Raiders rewarded him with a two-year http://www.officialwild.com/authentic-adidas-matt-dumba-jersey , $21 million extension.
Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman has been suspended four games for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances, and that led to some scrutiny around Alex Guerrero, the trainer who works with many Patriots, most famously Tom Brady. Asked about it today Youth Matt Irwin Jersey , Brady didn’t appreciate the question.
During his session with reporters at camp this morning, Brady was asked about Edelman’s suspension and told that “a lot of people connected it to Alex.” Brady didn’t take kindly to that.
“No comment. It’s ridiculous. I’m out,” Brady said.
With that, Brady walked off.
Guerrero released a statement saying he is disappointed in Edelman’s suspension and doesn’t condone using performance-enhancing substances Womens Tom Pyatt Jersey , while noting that Edelman works with multiple trainers and coaches, not just him.
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The NFL draft is heading to Nashville.
The league’s owners officially voted this morning to put the 2019 NFL draft in Nashville Johan Larsson Jersey , after a strong bid by the Music City was bolstered by a huge turnout for a party to show off the Titans’ new uniforms.
The NFL is seeking to make the draft a major event in every city that hosts it, and Nashville going all-out for the uniform release event was a big point in its favor. The Nashville event will surely have a music component outside the draft, and the large number of both college and pro football fans in Tennessee make it a good fit for the draft.
The draft was long held in New York but has moved in recent years from Chicago to Philadelphia to Dallas. Nashville will host next year Authentic Nick Bjugstad Jersey , and in 2020 a joint bid between Cleveland and Canton, Ohio, is expected to get strong consideration to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the NFL at the site of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. A future draft in Las Vegas is considered very likely as well.
The Buffalo Sabres stocked up on another Boston University product by acquiring defenseman Brandon Hickey in a trade that sent forward Hudson Fasching to the Arizona Coyotes.
Buffalo also acquired minor-league forward Mike Sislo in the deal Thursday.
Hickey joins three former Boston University teammates on Buffalo’s roster Womens Anze Kopitar Jersey , including star center Jack Eichel. Hickey was the Terriers’ captain in completing his senior season, and finished his career with 21 goals and 54 points in 147 games.
Hickey also played in college with Buffalo forwards Evan Rodrigues and Danny O’Regan.
Fasching spent a majority of his two-plus seasons with Buffalo in Rochester, the Sabres’ American Hockey League affiliate. The 22-year-old had a goal and two assists in 22 career NHL games.
Arizona later acquired forward Adam Helewka from the San Jose Sharks in exchange for defenseman Kyle Wood.
The 22-year-old Helewka had nine goals and 29 assists in 63 games last season for the San Jose Barracuda in the AHL. Wood Anthony Mantha Jersey , also 22, had three goals and 16 assists in 49 games last season for the Tucson Roadrunnersin the AHL.
The Sabres also signed prospect goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen to a three-year, entry level contract.
Luukkonen is from Finland and was Buffalo’s second-round pick in last year’s draft. Luukkonen entered the draft listed first among European goaltenders in the NHL Central Scouting rankings after leading HPK to win Finland’s Junior Hockey League championship.
This past season Keith Yandle Jersey , the 19-year-old had an 11-11-2 record and 0.909 save percentage playing professionally with Finland’s second-division LeKi Lempaala.
The Sabres have organizational depth needs at goaltending with Linus Ullmark projected to make the jump to the NHL after spending the past three seasons developing in the minors.
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