Manitoba leans on veteran Englot, claims playoff spot at Scotties Tournament of Hearts

Homan was assured a top-two finish and thus will play Friday night.The winner goes directly to Sunday’s final. At 9-1, their final round-robin game was a marquee matchup at night against undefeated Rachel Homan of Ontario.Third Kate Cameron, 25, is making her Hearts debut in St. “This year has been more exciting for me just because I know the team is super-talented and we have the opportunity to be at the top.“We know if we play well we can definitely compete with any team in the world, so we’re looking forward to the playoffs.”The four teams with the best records get into the Page playoff, with ties for fourth solved by tiebreaker games.The preliminary round concludes Friday morning followed by a playoff game at night between the top two seeds. Catharines.“This has been a really fantastic fairy tale year,” the skip said. Catharines, Ont., while front end Leslie Wilson, 37, and Raunora Westcott, 40, played in it for Cathy Overton-Clapham in 2011 and Jill Thurston in 2010.The closest Wilson and Westcott came to playoffs was losing a tiebreaker in 2010.Englot, 53, skipped Saskatchewan to the playoffs twice in seven appearances. After seven straight wins, Carey fell 8-4 to McCarville in the afternoon draw.Quebec’s Eve Belisle was 6-4 with a game against B.C. “If I miss a shot she’s ‘no worries Kate.’ There’s no anger.”Englot knows from experience how difficult it is to win your province and get to the Canadian championship. “Now, we know how big this is, but yet, in the same breath we need to stay the course, stay relaxed and stay focused.”The Regina resident – Curling Canada allows each team to have one out-of-province member – has been doing that in the preliminary round.“She’s patient, she’s calm,” Cameron said. Michelle Englot was recruited precisely for this situation.Short on previous playoff experience at the Canadian women’s curling championship, Manitoba will now lean on a woman who has been there, done that.The Manitobans claimed their playoff spot at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts with a 7-2 win Thursday over British Columbia. at night.At 5-5, Kerry Galusha of Northwest Territories and Alberta’s Shannon Kleibrink needed Quebec and Northern Ontario losses Thursday night to avoid elimination. She finished third in both 1988 and 1989.“Back in ‘88 and ‘89, we didn’t really realize how big this is,” Englot said. The loser drops to Saturday night’s semi-final to face the winner of the afternoon playoff between the third and fourth seeds.Defending champion Chelsey Carey, 7-2, and Northern Ontario’s Krista McCarville, 6-3, were in playoff territory with two games to play. She’s revelled in her new team’s performance both in Manitoba play-downs and in St.

Raptors acquire P.J. Tucker from Suns for Sullinger, draft picks

He played 17 games for Toronto in 2006-07 before being waived to make room for Luke Jackson.“I love his toughness, he can defend multiple positions, he can shoot the corner three,” Raptors President Masai Ujiri said. He is the kind of defender who could be asked to defend scoring stars – namely LeBron James in a possible Eastern Conference playoff series with the Cleveland Cavaliers.“I don’t think anyone can deal with that guy, but you have to put a guy on him that will try,” Ujiri said. You have to put yourself in the best position.”Sullinger was signed to a one-year contract by the Raptors in the off-season, and coach Dwane Casey said at the time he had the edge on the starting forward position. “We needed to become a tougher team and I think this helps us.”Tucker spent the next five seasons in Europe before catching on with the Suns in 2012-13. But he injured his foot in preseason play, struggled to get into game shape and appeared in just 11 games as a Raptor. In the dying moments of Thursday’s NBA trade deadline, the Toronto Raptors acquired guard/forward P.J. “I know [Tucker] will try, DeMarre Carroll, Serge Ibaka, Patrick Patterson will all try. Tucker from the Phoenix Suns in exchange for forward Jared Sullinger and two second-round draft picks.The deal gives Toronto back some depth at the wing position – a spot depleted when Terrence Ross was traded to Orlando last week for power forward Serge Ibaka. Last-minute trade brings ‘toughness’ to Raptors: Masai Ujiri (The Canadian Press)

Tucker returns to the club that drafted him in the second round of the 2006 NBA draft. Tucker has averaged 8.0 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.2 steals a game over five seasons in Phoenix.

Andrew Shaw denies report of feud with former Habs coach Therrien

“Media was big, but here you’ve got English media, French media, so there’s more of it.“But when you hear something like that, in the locker-room we all know that never happened. I got sat.“That’s happened before in my career. Forward Andrew Shaw denied a report on Thursday that he had been humiliated in the dressing room during a game by former Montreal Canadiens coach Michel Therrien.The report said Therrien dressed down Shaw in front of his teammates during the second period intermission of a 3-1 loss in Philadelphia on Feb. No, it didn’t happen.”There was speculation the alleged incident played a part in the decision by the slumping Canadiens management to fire Therrien and hire Claude Julien on Feb. Shaw had taken an interference penalty that led to a Flyers’ power play goal and was benched for the rest of the game. It said a teammate, possibly goalie Carey Price, intervened to try to stop the incident. It’s him being a coach. 2. They signed the 25-year-old to a six-year US$23.4 million contract.Shaw, who won Stanley Cups with the Blackhawks in 2013 and 2015, said dealing with the media is different in Montreal.“In Chicago, it was a very popular team,” he said. Where do you guys get this stuff? Shaw looked surprised when told of the report.“It wasn’t a feud,” he said. The way the media feeds off that kind of stuff is a lot different, that’s for sure.” 14.The Canadiens acquired Shaw from the Chicago Blackhawks in the off-season for a pair of draft picks in part for his leadership qualities. “I got a penalty in the second period.

Raptors aim to manage expectations for newly arrived Ibaka

No matter how much he gives, it always seems like just a drop in the bucket, but that will never deter him from continuing to help.”He just spent a half season with the Orlando Magic, where he averaged 15.1 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.6 blocks, while shooting a career-best 38.8 per cent from three-point range. Supporters in OKC nicknamed him “Serge I-BLOCK-a” and packed the local premier of the Grantland documentary on him, Son of the Congo.He returns home each summer to help out – delivering hearing aids to malaria survivors, assisting orphanages full of sick, hungry kids and helping Congolese basketball players get noticed by foreign scouts. Then, a few years later, his father was jailed for being on the wrong side of a battle line during the war. When he travels there, he’s constantly swarmed by crowds of Congolese people wanting money, help or just to be near him.“It was like travelling with Elvis,” said Adam Hootnick, who directed the documentary. “Because when you have guys like Kyle and DeMar, you don’t need an offensive scoring guy really, you need a guy who can bring some physicality, defensive plays and energy.” The boy who often lived on the streets, and seldom had food or shoes, was driven by basketball and eventually starred as a teenager at the 2006 FIBA Africa U-18 Championship.After a short professional stint in Spain, the Seattle SuperSonics, the team that would become the Oklahoma City Thunder, selected Ibaka 24th over all in the 2008 NBA draft. He brings NBA Finals experience, fills the team’s desperate need for a defensive voice, and will play his first game in a Toronto uniform Friday night against the visiting Boston Celtics.“He can really clog the paint for us, take away some layups, rebound some misses, get to loose balls, and his length, speed and size will be tremendous assets for us,” Kalamian said. “One of Serge’s abilities is playing off the basketball. The power forward was quite different, the assistant coach reflected, from the Congolese rookie he had first coached in Oklahoma City some seven seasons ago, one who barely spoke English. Whatever breakdowns on the perimeter, he would be there to clean it up at the rim. “The players knew they could rely on him being at that rim to meet whoever was driving. When he sees the ball being driven, he knows how to relocate and how to play off a couple of stars. I anticipate he’ll bring the same floor recognition and spacing to the floor here with Kyle [Lowry] and DeMar [DeRozan].”Ibaka was born in Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo, the third youngest of 18 kids. Newly acquired Raptor Serge Ibaka ‘ready to go’ (The Canadian Press)

The Raptors assistant was happily reunited this week with a player he had coached with the Oklahoma City Thunder from 2009 to 2015, a kid who was raised against the backdrop of the Second Congo War, survived the death of his mother and the imprisonment of his father, and lived, at times, in the streets.Today, the 27-year-old veteran rim protector is a newly acquired great hope for the Raptors, and fluent in four languages. Rex Kalamian noticed that Serge Ibaka was the most vocal Raptor on the floor during his first practices in Toronto this week. He played with Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant. Yet the fiery player with the humble back-story has always endeared himself to fans. “I don’t want us to expect ‘Hey Ibaka’s in, everything is fixed now.’ No, we worked on some things for two days now that should help us, but it’s on everybody that’s dressed and ready to play to do their jobs.”In a few gatherings with media so far in Toronto, Ibaka has been a man of few words. The big-game performer drew great acclaim for his play in the Western Conference final last season against the Golden State Warriors, when he was often forced to switch off Draymond Green to defend Steph Curry.“I’m just going to try to bring my experience and my defensive game, my toughness, my energy,” Ibaka said. By 2011, the athletically gifted 6-foot-10, 235-pound forward was a starter, thriving after centre Kendrick Perkins was traded to the Thunder to play alongside him.“I’ve seen him grow out of that shell to the confident man he is today, and he’s a very quick study,” Kalamian said. Later on, he became a guy who could really switch onto point guards.”While Ibaka’s skill set fits the gaping needs of the 33-24 Raptors who currently sit fourth in the NBA’s Eastern Conference, the team is trying to manage expectations. His Raptors debut comes after just two days of practice in Toronto – both of them missed by all stars Lowry and DeRozan, who had yet to return from the all-star break (but are expected to play Friday).“Serge can’t come in overnight and pick up everything, but what he does pick up will be a huge help,” said Raptors coach Dwane Casey. “It’s been generations of near hopelessness in Congo. He was just 8 when his mother died.

Is the return of Onrait, O’Toole too expensive in this frugal TV period?

The parents of both companies, BCE Inc., and Rogers Communications Inc., of course, remain vastly profitable.However, both of the media subsidiaries are not pulling their weight for various reasons, including cord-cutters to falling television ratings for a lot of sports (even if the Canadian NHL numbers are much improved this season).As someone familiar with the Sportsnet operations said the other day: “Yes, the hockey numbers are a lot better, but money is as tight as ever.” And don’t think TSN is rolling in cash, either. Perhaps another U.S. network or one of the big local stations in a major market may come calling. On the television side, the young viewers who made Onrait and O’Toole so popular no longer consume their highlights solely from television. They get them on their phones from YouTube and other providers. Before we explore the arguments, it must be noted that the official cone of silence descended on those involved when the news broke on Thursday that their 3 1/2 year run on Fox had ended. Or either network could put them on in prime time or as a lead-in for prime-time programming.Radio is a possibility, although the pair are probably too expensive for that medium.Too expensive in this frugal period? Their comedic stylings around the highlights on TSN’s late-night SportsCentre drew big numbers for what used to be a ratings graveyard, especially among young viewers when the show was repeated in the mornings when they were getting ready to go to school.But the pair, assuming they come back as a package, may not be an easy fit at either TSN or Sportsnet. That is why Fox moved away from highlights on the Onrait and O’Toole show and then cancelled it.There is no indication the Canadian networks are about to ditch highlight shows, so there is an argument that Onrait and O’Toole would be highly desired simply to boost ratings by attracting viewers who want to catch their comedy act.Then the argument becomes where do you put them? When SportsBusiness Daily broke the news that popular Canadian television personalities Jay Onrait and Dan O’Toole were cut loose by U.S. Their Fox show may never have come close to mighty ESPN in the ratings, but they were a critical success. Or would Sportsnet want them as a replacement for Tim and Sid? When his contract came up a while back, one broadcaster was told by his agent, “You picked the worst possible time to renew.”However, as anyone who has worked at any large company during an alleged round of cost-cutting and job losses knows, if the suits want someone bad enough, they can make it happen.The Onrait and O’Toole duo, though, is an act most broadcast executives at either TSN or Sportsnet would want. Yes, because Onrait and O’Toole do have options. I’m just relaxing with the family and enjoying a Property Brothers marathon right now.”Of course neither Onrait nor O’Toole can say much, since their contracts do not officially expire until the end of March and their return to the job market depends on whatever non-competes, severance, etc., are in their deals.The first and most compelling argument against a quick return home is that neither Bell Media, which owns TSN, nor Rogers Media, the Sportsnet owner, is awash in money right now. Would TSN want to install them at the supper hour as competition for Sportsnet’s Tim and Sid? network Fox Sports 1, speculation immediately started about their potential return to Canada.Talk swirled on social media Thursday night that TSN was poised to announce Onrait is on his way home and there are indications the news could be unveiled as soon as Friday. The only person who replied to our queries was Onrait, who said via text message that “I really can’t say much right now,” and then added, “just appreciating all the love from Canadians from coast to coast. He and O’Toole became stars on TSN for providing comedy along with the sports highlights, but there are as many arguments against an easy return to the Canadian airwaves as there are for it, at least as it concerns them coming back as a pair to preside over a highlight show.

Islanders spoil Claude Julien’s 1,000th game, shut out slumping Canadiens

3 and Jan. It was a big night for New York Islanders rookie Anthony Beauvillier, but not so great for Montreal coach Claude Julien in his 1,000th NHL game.Beauvillier scored in the first period of his first game in the Bell Centre, where he grew up rooting for the Canadiens, and Thomas Greiss had a 24-save shutout as the Islanders downed the slumping Canadiens 3-0 on Thursday night. The 19-year-old Beauvillier had a large group of family and friends on hand, including his parents whose emotional reaction to his goal was shown on the scoreboard.“It’s really special,” said the Sorel, Que. “We didn’t give them a lot.“And a big goal by Bo. They are 2-7-1 in their last 10 games with only 14 goals scored and have been shut out four times in that span.Instead of a pre-game ceremony to mark Julien’s milestone, a pre-recorded video of the 56-year-old receiving a commemorative medal from team president Geoff Molson was played early in the first period on the scoreboard, drawing a standing ovation.“It’s more my personality,” he said. native, who was named first star of the game. I remember my first game in my hometown (Toronto). It was nice to see him score in his hometown. He stepped up and it was great to see him get rewarded.”Greiss posted his third shutout of the season. We really wanted him to soak it in. Unfortunately that didn’t happen. It was shown on the board and that was good enough for me.”He was less happy with how his team played. I’m happy with the way they did it. “It’s great that I’ve had 1,000 games, but I didn’t want to be the centre of attention.“I wanted to win that game more than I wanted to celebrate it. He cited poor puck management and execution for the lack of offence, although the Canadiens picked up the pace in the third period.They will need to be better on Saturday when they play the Maple Leafs in Toronto.“In order to have an identity, you need consistency and we haven’t had that in the three games that I’ve been here,” said Julien.The Islanders owned the puck early and got the opening goal when Brock Nelson fed Beauvillier alone on the left side for a shot that beat Carey Price to the near post at 5:28.Lee made it a two-goal lead 5:58 into the second when he sneaked behind Alexei Emelin to take a pass from Josh Bailey and score his 23rd of the season with a nifty shot from in close.Montreal had a goal disallowed at 6:50 of the third when both Tomas Plekanec and Paul Byron reached for the puck with high sticks on a Shea Weber shot. Montreal is 1-2-0, including 0-2-0 at the Bell Centre, since Julien replaced the fired Michel Therrien last week. 7. The Canadiens wanted to do something special for me and I asked that it be more discreet. It’s really exciting with lots of friends and family. Montreal has not won back to back games since Jan. They gave me a nice gift. “I couldn’t ask for a better night than getting the two points in Montreal with family and friends around, and for the ovation at the end.”Beauvillier said he bought 19 tickets for the game and several other of his supporters got their own to give the rookie a sizeable cheering section among the sellout crowd.That his parents got to watch was extra-special.“They’re the reason I’m here,” he said. Another was waived off at 7:46 because Artturi Lehkonen put it in with a hand.The Islanders were without Casey Cizikas (upper body) and Cal Clutterbuck (lower body), who were injured in a 3-1 win Tuesday over Detroit.Price remains tied with Ken Dryden with 258 career wins, third all-time on the Canadiens. It was a little gift for them to score a goal and get the win here.”Anders Lee also scored and John Tavares added an empty-net goal for the Islanders (29-21-10), who won a third straight game and are 12-4-2 since Doug Weight replaced Jack Capuano as coach.“Pretty good from the drop of the puck,” was how Tavares described it. Shots were even at 24 per team.It was not such a happy night for Julien and the Canadiens (32-21-8). We knew how pumped up he was. It means everything for me to have them here. They paid for everything. “They supported me since I’m young.

Sean Monahan gets his 100th goal as Flames beat Lightning

Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 22 shots.“You give them credit for the way they played, and they kind of clogged things up for a little bit, but I’m pinning that game on us,” Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said. It was a collective group, we just didn’t have it.”After Backlund scored 5:04 into the second, Monahan put the Flames up 2-1 just 1:21 later on his 20th goal this season.According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Monahan — at 22 years and 134 days — became the sixth-youngest active NHL player to reach 100 goals. The Calgary Flames have put together a nice run as the regular season starts winding down.Sean Monahan scored his 100th NHL goal, Brian Elliott made 23 saves, and the Flames beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2 on Thursday night.Dougie Hamilton had a goal and two assists, and Mikael Backlund also scored to help the Flames improve to 7-2-1 over their last 10 games. “We couldn’t get our way through the neutral zone because we weren’t executing. It’s just a cool accomplishment. He’s just got that quick release. The five to do it quicker are Steven Stamkos, Sidney Crosby, Jaromir Jagr, Alex Ovechkin and Patrick Kane.“That’s impressive,” Elliott said, “It’s a big one for him. “It’s really how everybody is playing together. He has a goal in three straight games.Braydon Coburn got his first assist in 41 games on Namestnikov’s goal. “Sometimes it comes together and guys are clicking a little bit,” Elliott said. He can put it where he wants to.”Elliott, 7-2-1 against Tampa Bay, made an extended pad save on Brayden Point midway through the second.Hamilton and Kucherov both had power-play goals late in third.Namestnikov had the lone first-period goal. That’s the momentum you’re building, that chemistry.”Tampa Bay, which entered with a seven-game points streak (5-0-2), got goals from Vladislav Namestnikov and Nikita Kucherov.

Frederik Andersen’s fine play not enough to save Leafs from Rangers

Then he was outstanding in overtime, too, as the Rangers had the most scoring chances in that period, as well, although Lundqvist had to stop Leo Komarov and Auston Matthews on back-to-back breakaways in the final minute. The Rangers scored twice in the shootout to the Leafs’ single goal, leaving Toronto with a 1-7 record in the skills competition this season. “Things weren’t very good for him early but he was able to shut the door and get you a win.”Then again, the coach implied, there were a few too many nights in recent weeks where Andersen could have been better even if his teammates hung him out to dry a few times.“We need him to be good,” Babcock said. But when they did manage to get a scoring chance, Lundqvist, who struggled in his last appearance in Toronto, was his usual all-world self.On one of the Leaf miscues with the man advantage, the Rangers mounted a rush that saw Grabner wind up alone on the right side with the puck and an empty net in front of him. He told television network TSN after the morning skate that he expected his fortunes to improve.“The more good you do in practice and off the ice, the more success you’ll have on the ice eventually so I’m sure it will change soon,” Andersen said. We need him to be the top goalie in the league like he’s capable of being.“He’s got the skill-set for that and the mental makeup to do it. But just after that, Andersen stoned Rangers forward Rick Nash, who was alone in front of the Leafs net.“[Andersen] did everything for us,” Babcock said. “It would have been nice to score come goals for him.”Andersen was the subject of much hand-wringing of late, as the excellence he showed in November and December dribbled away in February. The Leafs almost regained the lead with 1:40 left in the third but Morgan Rielly’s shot hit the post.Unlike Tuesday’s 5-4 overtime win over the Winnipeg Jets when the Leafs outplayed them by a wide margin but spent most of the night scrambling from behind, it was the Leafs who managed to hang on to a lead (1-0) after two periods despite being dominated by the Rangers. Lundqvist made 32 saves to Andersen’s 37 in regulation and overtime. 31, Andersen had an embarrassing .878 save percentage going into the Ranger game.Granted, a .920-plus save percentage can be rather difficult to achieve when you play for a defensively challenged team like the Leafs. But Andersen somehow slid across, flicked out his left pad and made, as the late great Boston Bruins play-by-play man Fred Cusick used to exclaim, “a kick save and a beauty!”The save was such that the 19,175 fans at Air Canada Centre began chanting, “Freddy, Freddy.”That the Leafs were in position to take advantage of Andersen’s fine play was thanks to winger Connor Brown, who made a rare heads-up, hustling play amongst their fumbling. As Frederik Andersen and Henrik Lundqvist crossed paths at the end of one of the best goaltender duels in recent memory, they gave each other a tap.“Respect for each other,” Andersen, the Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender, said of the exchange with Lundqvist, his counterpart with the New York Rangers.Andersen deserved a better fate but lost the battle with Lundqvist thanks to a familiar Leafs bugaboo, the shootout. He got it to defenceman Jake Gardiner at the point, who fed centre Tyler Bozak for a long shot. The best thing about [the game] was Freddy was Freddy.”The Leafs did play better in the last half of the game but the Rangers tied the score midway through the third period on a goal by J.T. “I thought he was a star. While the Leafs offence could not solve Lundqvist, the defence managed to block 27 shots in addition to Andersen’s saves, showing just how much the Rangers held the edge in play.“Outstanding,” Leafs head coach Mike Babcock said of his goaltender’s performance. The Leafs could not tiptoe through three periods with a one-goal lead and fell 2-1 in the shootout to the Rangers after a breathtaking overtime period. Midway through the first period, Brown zipped into the Ranger zone and fought hard to get the puck from behind the visitors’ net. “Every goalie around the league has tough periods of play where you don’t really feel like the puck is hitting you as much as you want it to.“It’s something every goalie needs to deal with and it’s just a matter of being mentally strong and working through it.”Several hours later, Andersen showed he knew what he was talking about. Sort of how they played five-on-five as well. The difference was Andersen, who was nothing short of spectacular in the first 40 minutes, especially in the first period when the Leafs were outshot 14-9. And he undoubtedly had the Rangers talking to themselves, especially former Leaf Michael Grabner. Much like when Grant Fuhr was headed for a Hall-of-Fame career for the go-go Edmonton Oilers in the 1980s when he routinely surrendered four goals or more a night, perhaps Andersen needs to be judged on a different standard with the Leafs.For example, Andersen allowed four goals on 20 shots in Tuesday’s win over the Jets and that was good enough for Leafs head coach Mike Babcock.“I thought he did a good job last game,” Babcock said after Thursday’s game-day skate. Among a batch of excellent saves in the first period, Andersen made what some observers were calling his best one as a Maple Leaf on Grabner during a Leaf power play.The Leafs could not get organized on the power play and committed a series of turnovers. “We make mistakes so we need him to be good. In nine starts since Jan. Miller. And Brown was at the net to put in the rebound for his 15th goal and force the Rangers into chasing the lead even though they controlled the play. That’s what we need and what we expect.”Judging by his public utterances, Andersen certainly has the confidence necessary to be an elite goaltender.

The big names stay in place on NBA trade deadline day

1 overall pick Ben Simmons presumably at some point — made it seem like moves were going to happen, and Noel wound up being the one to go.“Gonna miss my best friend,” Embiid said, “but I’m happy for him.”So whether players stayed or went, when 3:01 p.m. They’re still home, with the exception of one,” Miami President Pat Riley said. Eastern deadline — but no last-minute blockbusters. I heard the rumours, different rumours, but I can’t control what was going to happen one way or another.”The biggest moves of this trade season came long before deadline day.Toronto getting forward Serge Ibaka from Orlando last week for Terrence Ross figures to improve the Raptors’ chances in the Eastern Conference, and Thursday’s move to land P.J. … Jimmy Butler stayed with the Chicago Bulls, and the New York Knicks held onto Rose and Anthony — the latter of whom would have had to waive his no-trade clause to make any deal occur anyway.“I wasn’t concerned,” George said. and we feel that we’ll be competitive in that market for sure.”Another notable player who may get to choose his next spot is Andrew Bogut, who was traded by Dallas to Philadelphia — and figures to be a buyout candidate. “I’m sure there were people that probably made some pretty significant offers. But, obviously the need for a playmaker still exists … The All-Star break ended Thursday night, and now for the most part everyone knows where they’ll finish the season.“We’re professionals,” said Minnesota point guard Ricky Rubio, the subject of many rumours in recent days. In all, seven deadline-day trades were put together by the 3 p.m. 1 pick — something the Celtics would grab. And the deal for Cousins that went down on All-Star Sunday — in New Orleans, no less — gives the Pelicans a frontline like no other in the NBA with him now alongside Anthony Davis. When you have that kind of player … “But we’re human beings, too. 2 in the East, has the right to swap picks with Brooklyn in this year’s draft, and the Nets right now would be favoured to win the lottery and the No. Paul George stayed put. Tucker from Phoenix gives them another outstanding on-the-ball defender. Bogut’s injury in last season’s NBA Finals coincided with the start of Golden State’s wasting of a 3-1 series lead against Cleveland, and he’s still considered an elite rim protector.Of the players traded Thursday, only Roy Hibbert — traded for the second time this month, this time from Milwaukee to Denver — has been an All-Star in the past.Philadelphia kept Jahlil Okafor and instead moved Nerlens Noel to Dallas as part of the deal that sent Bogut to the 76ers.The backlog of big men in Philadelphia — Noel, Okafor, Joel Embiid, newly acquired Tiago Splitter and No. Dallas put five-time All-Star point guard Deron Williams on waivers, and a person briefed on the situation told The Associated Press that when Williams clears he plans to sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers, which would give LeBron James the extra playmaker he covets for the looming title defence.“Obviously we have a great deal of interest, and we’ve said it for a long time, in a playmaker,” Cavaliers general manager David Griffin said. “I won’t speak to specific names just because nobody’s free currently that’s out there for us to talk about. … All-Star DeMarcus Cousins was traded to New Orleans by Sacramento a few days earlier, yet every trade that followed paled in comparison. An earlier agreed-upon trade of note was officially completed, the one that sent Lou Williams to Houston from the Los Angeles Lakers and adds more serious scoring to the Rockets’ bench.Boston, currently No. “At the end of the day, I’m in a good situation. Plus, Cleveland snagged Kyle Korver last month.But contenders mostly stayed quiet Thursday. We have feelings.” “You know where all those big dominoes are? it takes a lot to say, ‘OK, we’re going to let this guy go.’ You stay with the sure thing there.”George remained with the Indiana Pacers, even though the four-time All-Star knew other teams sought his services. So did Jimmy Butler, Carmelo Anthony and Derrick Rose.And as the trade deadline passed Thursday, the NBA landscape seemed remarkably unchanged. Any big addition made Thursday almost certainly would have cost the Celtics that chance.“It is a delicate balance of short-term goals and long-term goals,” Boston general manager Danny Ainge said.Perhaps the most interesting moves Thursday were not trades at all. arrived there was plenty of exhaling around the league.

Injured 76ers rookie Ben Simmons won’t play this season

3 pick in 2015, is still around, even though he was mentioned in trade speculation and hasn’t played much because of Embiid’s emergence.“The market for (Okafor) was much more broad, but the right deal did not present itself,” Colangelo said.Noel will be a restricted free agent after this season, a major factor in his trade and the reason why the return wasn’t near his value.“I’ve often said I won’t make a bad deal,” Colangelo said. We’re not excited about the news today. “It’s not the way you want to start your career, but it happens. 3 overall pick in 2014, missed the first two seasons while recovering from foot surgery.The team traded big man Nerlens Noel, the sixth overall pick in 2013, to Dallas on Thursday for veteran centre Andrew Bogut, young swingman Justin Anderson and a top-18 protected first-round draft pick.On Wednesday, the Sixers traded forward Ersan Ilyasova to Atlanta.Centre Jahlil Okafor, the No. “Yesterday, I made the best deal I could and it was the right move for this organization.”The rebuilding Sixers have already doubled last year’s win total. Ben is heartbroken.”The 6-foot-10, 250-pound Australian was Philadelphia’s first No. Ben Simmons won’t make his NBA debut this season.His surgically repaired right foot hasn’t healed sufficiently for the No. They’re 21-35 entering Friday night’s game against Washington.“As we move forward, there’s a lot of brightness on the horizon,” Colangelo said. “The plan is to build and sustain a successful basketball program.”Colangelo also said star centre Joel Embiid will miss at least four games because of a bruised left knee that has sidelined him for 11 of the last 12 games.“All signs are he is progressing well,” Colangelo said.Embiid, the No. The good news is one day he’ll put on a uniform,” 76ers President Bryan Colangelo said. “We feel like we’ve taken a massive stride forward.” 1 overall pick to play in the final 26 games, the team said Friday.Simmons fractured the fifth metatarsal bone during the final training camp scrimmage in October and hasn’t played a game. A CT scan Thursday revealed his foot hasn’t fully healed. “Unfortunately, Ben is going to sit out. Simmons was going to play point-forward.“Nothing has changed with the plan and the vision,” Colangelo said. That’s the bad news. 1 overall pick since Allen Iverson in 1996.

Wave goodbye? Stadium cheer is loved by many, loathed by others

I think that’s the thing that I’d like to see out of Rangers fans. “I had a big picture of Yoda and then it just said, ‘The wave is the path to the dark side. The wave can be as polarizing as a ballpark frank – some fans enjoy it as part of the stadium experience while for others, it leaves behind a bitter taste.Dismissed by critics as a distracting, lame attempt at generating noise and excitement, the practice of spectators raising their arms in the air to create a rolling cheer across the stands has been a common sight for decades. He can see both sides of the issue.“The first time that you see it, it’s pretty amazing that the fans in your ballpark or arena all get together and do something like that,” he said from Arlington, Tex. Stadium announcer Chuck Morgan creates the scoreboard signs at Globe Life Park but admits it’s a losing battle.“I think the wave gets worse when we put the messages up,” he said with a chuckle. But to really get (into) the game that’s on the field.” The cheer is quite common at baseball stadiums is more rare at hockey, football and basketball games.The wave tends to work best when the venue is near or at capacity. Once you start down the wave’s dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny.”Morgan said he supports having fun at the ballpark, adding he makes sure never to actually tell the fans they can’t do the wave. “They were up on every pitch. Some fans – especially kids – love taking part. Critics are only too happy to watch the wave fade away, especially when it reaches a sparsely attended section and only a few arms make it up in the air.It was unclear if attendance was a factor in the Coyotes’ decision to put the kibosh on the cheer in a 3-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks last Monday. Even in the first inning, get two strikes on a hitter and you’re up on your feet and things like that.“To me the game on the field is still the most important thing and not what we do on the (scoreboards) or anything. The arena was about 2,600 fans short of a sellout.“Attention fans in 112: We don’t do the wave here,” the tweet said.The Coyotes declined comment on the post.Baseball, with its larger stadiums, seems to be a better fit for the wave. Like the sport’s pace of play, the wave’s popularity also has its ebbs and flows.“The wave was widely regarded as dead (deservedly so, IMHO) some years ago but it appears to be coming back,” Major League Baseball historian John Thorn said in an email.Morgan, meanwhile, started his career with the Rangers when the wave was in its infancy. The Arizona Coyotes made headlines this week by pooh-poohing fans’ efforts to start the wave at Gila River Arena, while the Texas Rangers have posted humorous anti-wave signs for years. Morgan said fans are getting better at not relying on the wave to create some stadium atmosphere, giving a nod to Blue Jays fans in Toronto.“I’ve got to tip my cap to them, were so into the game,” he said of the Rangers-Blue Jays playoff series at Rogers Centre. Other spectators, meanwhile, groan once the wave starts to gain momentum. “I think now with the feedback that I’ve received from players, fans, et cetera, is that either they just don’t like it or it comes at the wrong time.”Morgan, who also co-ordinates in-game entertainment at Globe Life Park, has created some tongue-in-cheek scoreboard signs over the last few years.One included an image of actor Chuck Norris from the TV show “Walker, Texas Ranger” which included the line: “Warning: Nobody waves until I say so.”Another faux warning said that surgeons had determined the wave could cause muscle tears, that any children doing the wave will be sold to the circus, and that the wave is only safe at pro football games and Miley Cyrus concerts.“I did one with Yoda,” Morgan recalled. but I want the name and address of the person who started the ”Wave“ tonight,” he said in the post.Syndergaard’s tweet picked up over 4,700 retweets and over 10,000 likes, including one from Blue Jays slugger Josh Donaldson.Sometimes the only thing that stops the wave is a big play or end of an inning. #resisttheurge#banthewave,” he said in a retweet of an online story about the Coyotes.Syndergaard also chimed in after a Mets’ victory over the Miami Marlins last summer.“Very happy we won … “I think it intensifies.”The wave’s popularity can depend on the market and the venue. Realizing there was no way to stop the cheer, he decided to start having some fun with it.“I hear from just as many people that like it as I do that don’t like it,” he said.New York Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard has not been shy in voicing his wave disdain.“Desperate times call for desperate measures.