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Miller: Odds of Lakers landing Kevin Durant are nearly as long as an NBA season

first_imgBut then there was a time when the Lakers weren’t trying to win games with players like Marcelo Huertas, too. Times do, indeed, change.Even worse, on Monday, Durant told The Oklahoman that he’s “worried about basketball. That’s what it is for me. It’s a basketball decision.”If this ultimately does come down to basketball, the Lakers would appear to be in serious trouble, given that the basketball side of their operation just spit out a 17-win season that ranks as the poorest in franchise history.On the plus side, the Lakers now are officially under the direction of Luke Walton, who never has been a head coach at any level and just served on a staff that was powerless to stop the most dramatic collapse ever in the Finals.At least Jim Buss is still around and contributing to the organization’s decisions.The consensus remains that Durant will re-sign with the Thunder, even if for only one more season and then contemplate his longer-term future next summer.That seems to be what the folks at The Oklahoman think, and I’d trust their judgment since they’re close enough to the Thunder to care about every detail concerning the franchise.Over the weekend, a headline on the newspaper’s website read: “Why Nick Collison is OK with his diminished role with OKC.” The story that followed offered an excellent, in-depth analysis of the situation.Personally, I think it would have been easier to simply point out that, of course, he’s OK with it because he’s 35, has a body that was endured 13 NBA seasons and, most of all, he’s Nick Collison.But that’s just me, someone who admittedly often sees the basket as half-empty – or three-quarters empty in the case of DeAndre Jordan shooting free throws.So, at this moment, it looks unlikely that Durant will be going anywhere. Now, as for LeBron James, there’s growing speculation that he could once again leave Cleveland, having delivered the city the championship it so desired.Former NFL great Jim Brown even told the Akron Beacon Journal that “the least” the Cavaliers could do now is erect a statue of James, a player who, not that long ago in Cleveland, more likely would have been honored with the erection of an outhouse.Brown noted that James “gave up his life” to bring a title to northeast Ohio, and I’ve never heard anyone so perfectly capture what it means to move to Cleveland.If James does flee Ohio again, one odds-making website has established the Lakers and Clippers as his second- and third-most likely destinations, respectively, after Miami.Of course, it’s too early to tell what James will do, his Cavaliers teammate, J.R. Smith, still likely in shirtless – but thankfully not pantless – celebration.The answer will come soon enough, in the next few weeks, numerous stories sure to follow citing sources close to the way James has been known to lean when telling people how he sometimes likes to think, on occasion.There are other free agents to watch this summer, including DeMar DeRozan, Al Horford and Dwight Howard, who once was the answer for the Lakers, long before everyone figured out just how many questions the team really was facing.“This whole thing,” Durant was quoted as saying this week about free agency, “has become a season, I guess, in the NBA.”And why not? The NBA could use another season, an offseason that is merely an extension of the on-season, one that began who can remember how long ago and won’t end until late October, when the games start again. Is it only me or did the just-concluded 2015-16 NBA season feel like it began in, oh, 2004? I’m pretty sure I’ve had fillings in my teeth that didn’t last as long as the playoffs just did.It is interesting how much this league expects from us – at a time when most people can’t sit at a red light for 10 seconds without checking their phone twice. No, wait, three times! No, four!!Imagine how much more pleasant the world would be if every driver on the 405 had the patience the NBA demands of its fan base. Hey, if Cleveland can win a championship, we’re all free to dream the impossible.Anyway, it is being reported that Durant will entertain his upcoming free-agent suitors in L.A., where the Thunder star has an offseason home, wind-whipped and dust-infected Oklahoma City evidently not entirely charming in July.There was a time when this news would have included the suggestion that such proximity gives the Lakers an advantage in courting Durant. By Jeff [email protected] @JeffMillerOCR on TwitterKevin Durant is bringing his talents to Los Angeles.Unfortunately, he’s probably not going to stick around for the start of next season, which, the way this league works, probably happens in about 10 minutes or so.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

Saints take Game one, can capture BCIHL title Saturday at NDCC

first_imgThe Selkirk Saints are a win away from completing an amazing turnaround season after edging Simon Fraser 2-0 in Game one of the B.C. Intercollegiate Hockey League Championship series Friday at the NDCC Arena.Selkirk, going from worst to first in one season, can capture the BCIHL title Saturday in Nelson.Puck drop is 7:30 p.m.The Saints were led to the victory by netminder Alex Sirard who stopped 23 shots to register the shutout. However, at the other end of the ice, Selkirk had trouble beating SFU counterpart Graeme Gordon kept the game scoreless until late in the second period when blueliner Justin Sotkowy scored with a wrist shot through traffic on a Saints man-advantage.And after waiting nearly 40 minutes to open the scoring, the hosts struck again on the power-play just over a minute later when Mason Spear banked a puck off of Gordon from behind the goal line to double the Selkirk lead.”SFU has a highly-skilled team and we were able to hold them off the board tonight with a very good defensive effort, especially from Alex (Sirard),” said Saints head coach Jeff Dubois.”He made a number of big saves, especially in the latter part of the second period before we finally got a couple past Gordon. The work ethic was great from top to bottom but we’re going to need an even better performance in order to finish things off.”The Saints held SFU to just four shots on goal in the third period and were foiled by Gordon on a number of opportunities to build their advantage. TSelkirk out shot SFU 29-23. A third and deciding game, if necessary, would take place back at the Castlegar Complex on Sunday at 6 p.m.last_img read more


first_img            NOTES: The winning owner is Bing Bush of Del Mar, CA who races as Abbondanza Racing, LLC.             RICHARD BALTAS, GOODYEARFORROSES, WINNER: “I’m very happy. So are the owners. As always, the owners are very, very happy. They get excited. They love to watch their horses run and they love this game.“She’s trained very forwardly and has worked well. When the race came off the turf, we thought ‘Well, it’s a small field. And, she kind of skips across the dirt in the mornings.’ I didn’t know if she was going to like it or not, but she’s a very sound horse, and I thought it was worth giving her a shot, especially with all the scratches.” TRAINER QUOTEScenter_img JOCKEY QUOTES COREY NAKATANI, GOODYEARFORROSES, WINNER: “Talking with Richard, and having worked her and knowing her, the plan was that whatever came easy to her, don’t take it away. It was an off track, so I just went out there and did my job. I just shook her up a little turning for home, and she kicked on.”“Coming back and being home is always close to your heart. It’s always home at here at Santa Anita Park and it’s definitely always nice to win here. I have to thank Richard and the owners for having faith in me.“I have a lot of faith in Richard and he’s a helluva horseman so I’m just grateful to be a part of his team and with owners like this, giving us these opportunities, the sky is the limit.”last_img read more

From the archives: South African develops ‘waterless bath’

first_imgConsidering Cape Town is going through their worst drought in history, we revisit an old story that may provide a solution. In 2011, a young South African entrepreneur developed a product that allowed people to have a bath without using water. His reason? To get millions to hygienically skip a bath once a week to save the precious resource of water.Ludwick Marishane is the winner of the 2011 Global Student Entrepreneur of the Year Award. (Image: Ludwick Marishane, Facebook)Brand South African reporterImagine taking a bath anywhere, at any time, without using the traditional method of water.Now it is possible, thanks to a young South African entrepreneur who developed a product that allows people who have limited access to water to maintain their standards of hygiene.Ludwick Marishane hails originally from Motetema on the border of Limpopo and Mpumalanga, a town located not too far from the small Kwaggavoetpad Nature Reserve. He completed his fourth year as a commerce student at the University of Cape Town.His product, called DryBath, is a clear germicidal and moisturising gel that’s applied to skin in the manner of waterless hand cleaners, although it has a sweet aroma rather than the distinctive alcohol smell of the latter.‘Doing the work of soap and water’DryBath does the work of water and soap and it earned Marishane the 2011 Global Student Entrepreneur of the Year Award, with a US$10 000 (about R86 000 then) prize to boot.The product has positive implications for millions of people in Africa and other parts of the developing world where lack of regular access to clean water leads to reduced basic hygiene and a lower quality of life.Children, for example, often have to walk for hours to fetch clean water, which detracts from the time they can spend at school, doing homework or just playing.To show solidarity for and raise awareness of the millions of affected people, Marishane organised a no-bath weekend from 5 to 7 July 2013, which coincided with the fourth anniversary of the invention of DryBath.His main goal was to get 10-million people to hygienically skip a bath once a week during 2013, even if they don’t use DryBath, and save the precious resource of water.DryBath is manufactured by Western Cape-based gel cosmetic specialists BioEarth Labs for HeadBoy Industries, the company started by Marishane to develop and market the product.Watch:Laziness leads to inspirationMarishane grew up in rural Limpopo, where as a 17-year-old he was chatting one day with a close friend, discussing typical teenage topics and sunbathing in the winter sun.Full of imagination, the friend asked: “Why can’t they invent something that you can just apply to your skin so that you don’t have to take a bath nor shower?”Marishane felt the same way, and that planted the seed that would germinate into DryBath.“I came up with this idea all because I didn’t feel like taking a bath,” he joked. Although he only had high school science knowledge, Marishane got onto the internet via his mobile phone and researched statistics on water access, as well as the composition and manufacture of lotions and creams.He finally came up with a formula. Some months later and after much experimentation, he held a bottle of DryBath in his hand and went on to obtain a patent through his company.One 20ml DryBath sachet can do the work of one bath, and Marishane claims it saves about 80 litres of water on average with every use.Access to water is crucialDuring his research he found out that over 2.5-billion people in the world live without access to clean water – 450-millon of which are in Africa and five-million in South Africa.Continued research revealed that sanitation-related diseases are often found within these poor areas and the lack of water is one of the main causes of the infections.Saving water is a job that everyone needs to focus on. But there are many areas around the world that have no access to safe water, or any water at all, and people often have to walk long distances to get fresh water.Living without water can also lead to death, as waterborne diseases such as cholera, dysentery, typhoid and schistosomiasis are found in areas that lack clean water.Trachoma, a disease caused by dirt getting into the eye through agents such as flies or towels, affects 350-million people and leaves eight-million of them permanently blind through recurring infection.According to Water.org, nearly 10% of the global disease burden could be reduced through improved water supply, sanitation, hygiene and water resource management.Getting the product out thereMarishane first approached charity organisations for support, but says he was turned back because of his age and because of doubt that his concept would ever work. Back at the drawing board, he put together a lengthy and detailed proposal – all done on his trusty Nokia.With paper in hand, he approached the corporate world in search of sponsors, endorsements and investors;since then, he has struck up partnerships with WaterAid and Oxfam.DryBath is now also manufactured commercially for clients such as hotels, music festival organisers, major global airlines – one of which is British Airways – and governments for soldiers in the field.Source: Headboy Industries IncThis article was originally published in January 2013.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

We Presentations and You Presentations

first_imgThere are two kinds of presentations you can give. The first is a “we” presentation. That presentation starts with “who we are.” It then moves into “what we do.” It continues into “how we do it,” and “who we serve,” leaving nothing to chance when establishing your company’s credibility.All About UsThere is a very clear indication to anyone who is subjected to a “we” presentation what the presenter believes is most important. It is all about the presenter and their company, nothing about their prospect. In fairness, “we” presenters believe that their prospective client is asking the questions, “Who are you? What do you do? How do you do it? And who do you work with?”Unfortunately, “we” presentations aren’t very compelling. The earlier you provide this type of presentation, the worse the outcome, especially if you want to be relevant. Your dream client isn’t struggling because they don’t know who you are, and once they know who you are, they are left no better than before you found them. We presentations mostly work against you.All About You“You” presentations are different. You presentations answer a different set of questions. They start by describing “Why it is so difficult for you to produce the results you need.” They move forward into “Here is what we know about you?” From there, they share “Here is what you might do about your challenge and your opportunities,” and “Here is how you might do it, and here is what other people like you have done.”“You” presentations are more powerful than “We” presentations. If you deliver an excellent “You” presentation, your dream client is going to be interested in learning about you, and then you can answer the questions about who you are, what you do, why you do it, how you do it, and who you serve. The fact that you know what your dream client is challenged with, why they are challenged, and how they might move forward establishes your credibility better than anything you can say about your company.The order in which you present “We” and “You” here determines how relevant your dream client will find you and your presentation. Get the Free eBook! Learn how to sell without a sales manager. Download my free eBook! You need to make sales. You need help now. We’ve got you covered. This eBook will help you Seize Your Sales Destiny, with or without a manager. Download Nowlast_img read more

Lakers ride Kyle Kuzma’s hot 3rd to beat Kings

first_imgPanelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting NBA: Kawhi, George seek more for Clippers than beating Lakers PLAY LIST 01:48NBA: Kawhi, George seek more for Clippers than beating Lakers00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Colombia protesters vow new strike after talks hit snag Trump tells impeachment jokes at annual turkey pardon event LATEST STORIES Jeremy Lamb hits halfcourt buzzer beater, Hornets down Raptors Wintry storm delivers US travel woes before Thanksgiving View comments Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess UP NEXTKings: Visit Dallas on Tuesday.Lakers: Host Washington on Tuesday.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MOST READ Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James, left, makes a behind-the-back pass as Sacramento Kings’ Corey Brewer (33) defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, March 24, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)LOS ANGELES — After being eliminated from playoff contention, there has been plenty of discussion about how the Los Angeles Lakers should use LeBron James for the rest of the season.For James, there is no debate. As long as he is physically able to play, he intends to go all out when he’s on the court.ADVERTISEMENT James had 29 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists, Kyle Kuzma scored 21 of his 29 points in the third quarter and the Lakers ended a five-game losing streak with a 111-106 win over the Sacramento Kings on Sunday night.“I felt I was healthy enough to go out and do something to help our team win, so I just went with my gut,” James said. “I’m happy I was able to go out and make a couple plays.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsJaVale McGee had 17 points and 14 rebounds to help the Lakers win for the third time in their past 15 games.Marvin Bagley III had 25 points and 11 rebounds off the bench for the Kings, who trail San Antonio by 6 1/2 games for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference with nine games remaining. “We just weren’t getting back. They were running the floor, pitching the ball up the court and finding some easy ones,” Kings guard De’Aaron Fox said. “I don’t think we made it extremely tough on (Kuzma) today, but he had a great game.”ON THE JOB TRAININGKings coach Dave Joerger has kept Bagley almost exclusively at forward in his rookie season to allow him to ease into his new environment. But Bagley has the size and length to play at center and defend that position, something he is starting to do more in the final games. Bagley’s growing versatility was evident against the Lakers, even getting to take on James at both ends of the court.“I want to be able to guard every position out there,” Bagley said. “I just try to lock in and try to do my best to stop them and get stops for my team, and just try to play hard. But it’s exciting.”MCGEE THE QBJames credited McGee for keeping the Lakers defense organized in the second half, limiting the Kings to 38.9 percent shooting and making 12 of 25 shots inside the paint. McGee was calling out screens and rotating when necessary to change the trajectories of shots, James said. The veteran center finished with five blocks.“We’re very good when JaVale is kind of quarterbacking that whole thing,” James said. “It’s great when he’s active, and on the offensive end we just trying to reward him.”TIP-INSKings: Sacramento outscored Los Angeles 51-17 in bench points. However, Bagley, Bogdanovic and Yogi Ferrell were the only Kings reserves to score. Bogdanovic had 17 points, and Ferrell scored nine. … F Harry Giles III missed his second straight game because of a thigh contusion. Joerger was hopeful Giles would be available at Dallas on Tuesday.Lakers: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 16 points while starting in place of Reggie Bullock. Bullock did not play because of plantar fasciitis. … Los Angeles had a 31-20 edge in fast-break points. … Coach Luke Walton expects an update on F Josh Hart (knee) this week. Hart missed his second straight game. Sacramento pulled within two points at 106-104 with 17 seconds left in the fourth quarter when Bogdan Bogdanovic hit a 3, but James made four free throws down the stretch.After invoking the basketball gods in an on-court interview after the game, James said he owed it to the fans and to himself to give his best whenever possible.“If I’m on the floor, I’ve got to try to play as hard as I can or do something to affect the game and not cheat the game,” said James, who had 12 points and three assists in the fourth quarter. “So if I’m out on the floor, if I’m in uniform, then I’ve got to try to make things happen.”James had a lead to protect, thanks to a white-hot third quarter from Kuzma, who was 7 for 8 from the field and made four of his five 3-point attempts. It was the fourth time this season Kuzma scored at least 20 points in a quarter, giving the Lakers an 87-77 lead after three quarters.The Lakers started the third quarter on a 16-0 run with Kuzma completing a three-point play and James knocking down two 3-pointers, his second giving Los Angeles a 62-49 lead.ADVERTISEMENT Bloomberg: US would benefit from more, not fewer, immigrants Google Philippines names new country directorlast_img read more

Stars To Attend Tower Cancer Research Foundation Cancer Free Generation Poker Tournament

first_imgDozens of stars from TV, sports, music and film will ante up and bet big to support talented young cancer researchers and change the future of cancer at Tower Cancer Research Foundation’s (Tower) 4th Annual Ante Up for a Cancer Free Generation Poker Tournament and Casino Night on Saturday, June 3, 2017 at the Sofitel Hotel, Riviera 31, 8555 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048.Red carpet arrivals begin at 6:00 PM PDT.The event has attracted the support of numerous celebrities who are expected to attend including (in alphabetical order by first name): AJ Buckley (CSI: NY, Seal Team); Angel Parker (Lab Rats, American Crime Story); Baron Davis (former NBA player); Beau Casper Smart (Dirty Dancing, The Perfect Match); Chuck Liddell (UFC Champion); Corey Maggette (former NBA player); David Allen Grier (Comedian); Erin Cummings (Feed the Beast, Madoff); Gilles Marini (Sex and the City, Switched at Birth); Gretchen Rossi and Slade Smiley (Real Housewives of OC); Hector David Jr. (Power Rangers); James Lesure (Las Vegas, Men at Work); Jamie Gold (Professional Poker Player); Jason Collins (retired NBA player); Jennie Garth (Beverly Hills 90210); Joanna Krupa (Super Model, Actress); Joshua Bowman (Revenge); Katie Cleary (Model, Activist); Kim Glass (Olympic Gold Medalist); Nyambi Nyambi (Mike and Molly); Phillip Keene (Major Crimes); Shanna Moakler (VH1 Hollywood Exes); Steve Howey (Shameless); Tiffany Michelle (Celebrity Poker Professional, Amazing Race); Tito Ortiz (MMA/UFC Champion); Tommy Lasorda (MLB Legend); Tony Denison (Major Crimes); Torrie Wilson (WWE Raw/ WWE Smackdown!); Vanessa Marcil (Las Vegas, General Hospital).Cancer Free Generation (CFG) is the young leadership division of Tower. CFG seeks to identify, among their peers in the Southern California region, visionary and innovative doctors, medical professionals and researchers and enable them to discover and implement new ideas and techniques to conquer cancer.Additionally, CFG’s efforts support young people and their families who have been impacted by cancer, so that they may approach life with renewed strength and optimism. With this dual approach, CFG’s goal is to help ensure that the next generation becomes the first cancer free generation. CFG’s executive committee consists of young professionals working in a variety of fields including finance, law, real estate, entertainment, and medicine. Many members of CFG’s leadership are, themselves, young cancer survivors. Their common vision is the desire to build a more inspired community via connecting interesting and passionate young people who make a difference in the world.PokerStars is generously sponsoring the tournament again this year, along with several other gracious sponsors, including Janis Horn and Roger Ehrlich; Tanner Mainstain Glynn & Johnson, LLP; Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Affiliates; Herzog, Yuhas, Ehrlich & Ardell, APC; FusionStorm; and Bank of America. Among the top prizes are: A seat in the PokerStars Championship in the Bahamas; A Four-Night Stay at the Ritz Carlton Waikiki; and A Three-Night Stay at the Hilton Los Cabos.Tickets may be purchased at the Tower website or by calling 310.299.8477.last_img read more

The Red Wings Empire Is Crumbling

Simply put, the talent coming in hasn’t been able to keep pace with the talent going out — and nowhere is Detroit’s drain more evident than on the blue line. The Red Wings used to be able to pencil in the likes of Lidstrom, Rafalski and Mathieu Schneider for 50 to 60 points a season, with significant contributions made in quarterbacking one of the league’s top power-play units. This year’s Wings, though, have the worst power play in the NHL and the league’s fourth-worst group of offensive defensemen, according to GVT. (Where have you gone, Paul Coffey?) Although some of their weak shooting percentage with the man advantage is bound to improve with better luck, Detroit’s D corps is contributing about half as much GVT as the team got from its defensemen during the playoff streak, with nearly two-thirds of the blueliners’ drop-off coming specifically on offense.And it isn’t as though the rest of this season’s roster has picked up the slack. Goalie Petr Mrazek has been one of the worst in the league, and Detroit’s forwards have been mediocre at both ends of the rink. (They rank seventh-worst in offensive GVT and 10th-worst on defense.)In the past, the Red Wings were able to phase in a few promising young forwards every time one of their veterans declined or left the club. When Yzerman’s point totals dipped in the mid-1990s as he focused more on checking, Sergei Fedorov, Slava Kozlov and Keith Primeau provided an offensive spark. When Yzerman, Fedorov and Brendan Shanahan left the club in the mid-2000s, Datsyuk and Zetterberg were there to carry the torch. But although Tatar, Mantha, Gustav Nyquist, Dylan Larkin and Andreas Athanasiou have all shown flashes of potential, none has emerged as a star on anything approaching the level of a Fedorov or Datsyuk. Without those kinds of star turns, Detroit might be starting up a new playoff streak — one of the “drought” variety. Although there’s still plenty of time for the club’s recent draft picks to develop, the Red Wings as they’re currently constructed aren’t an especially young team — they have the NHL’s 12th-oldest roster — and they certainly aren’t a good one. The NHL is a league designed for parity, so Detroit’s record probably won’t stay outright bad for long, but it might also be awhile before we see the Wings restored to their former glory.If so, it’s all the more reason to appreciate the playoff dynasty Detroit built over the past 26 years. Thanks to shrewd drafting, trades, player development and a forward-looking vision of the game, the Red Wings built one of the best teams in hockey year in and year out for two and a half decades. For a whole generation of Motor City fans, greatness on the ice is all they’ve ever known. It’s a remarkable legacy, even if, like every great empire, it eventually collapsed.CLARIFICATION (Feb. 9, 2:34 p.m.): Since this article was originally published, a sentence has been rephrased to reflect the fact that Alexey Marchenko is no longer on the Red Wings’ roster, though he did have a Corsi greater than 50 percent during his time as a regular skater for the team this season. Is College Basketball Broken? We Asked The Game’s Top Stats Guru 2015114.9+3.8+25.7-3.8140.6 Related: Hot Takedown 2007218.1+22.7-4.2-58.2178.4 2017109.3+15.1-12.9-22.788.8 2010174.6+15.9-8.2-46.9135.4 2013171.8+5.9-14.8-25.1137.8 On April Fools’ Day in 1990, the Detroit Red Wings and Philadelphia Flyers skated for the final game of the season at The Spectrum in south Philly. Captain Steve Yzerman banged home a goal late in the third period to earn the Wings a 3-3 tie, ending Detroit’s campaign with 70 points and a last-place finish in the Norris Division. Soon after, the 1989-90 Red Wings cleaned out their lockers and parted ways for the summer.In the nearly 10,000 days since then, Detroit has played 2,035 regular-season games and employed 246 players. It’s gone through three captains, four general managers and six head coaches. But the one constant throughout the last 25 full seasons of Red Wings hockey has been extra action in the spring — and often deep into the summer. Detroit hasn’t missed the postseason since that April day in 1990, a mind-boggling run that beats any playoff streak outside of hockey1The longest playoff streak for an NBA team is 22 seasons, by the Syracuse Nationals/Philadelphia 76ers from 1950 to 1971. The longest for MLB is 14 seasons, by the 1991-2005 Atlanta Braves. The longest for the NFL is nine seasons, by the 1975-83 Dallas Cowboys and 2002-10 Indianapolis Colts. and is tied for the third longest in NHL history. (That it has come partially during the NHL’s salary-cap era is especially impressive.)But it could all come screeching to a halt this season. With a 22-21-10 record, Detroit currently occupies last place in the Atlantic Division, five points out of the Eastern Conference’s final wild-card spot with seven teams ahead of them. According to Hockey-Reference.com’s playoff simulator, the Red Wings have just a 7 percent probability of continuing their run for a 26th straight postseason. Every streak has to end eventually, but how did Detroit go wrong after so many years of success?Perhaps the Red Wings’ most distinctive hallmark during their playoff streak has been a focus on puck possession. Even as teams won through superior playmaking and shooting talent in the 1980s and early ’90s, Detroit loaded up on ex-Soviet stars who’d been trained to take care of the puck. In doing so, the Red Wings anticipated the direction that the game would head in the future, building their dominant teams of the 1990s less on the premise of aiming pucks past the league’s rapidly improving goaltenders and more on the basis of simply controlling the flow of play. These days we measure that control through Corsi percentage, the share of even-strength shots a team directs at the opponent’s net (as opposed to vice-versa) after adjusting for score effects and other factors.2For seasons after 1986-87 and before 2005-06, this number can be estimated using a team’s shots for and against, its power-play and shorthanded chances, its record and its goal differential. Although we didn’t know it at the time, the Red Wings were dominating Corsi back when Corsi was just a guy, not a metric. 2009200.4+28.3-50.3-3.8174.6 2012145.4+9.7+28.9-12.2171.8 2014137.8+10.2-24.7-8.3114.9 SEASONPREVIOUS GVTNEWCOMERSHOLDOVERSDEPARTURESSEASON GVT 2006199.2+32.6+32.0-45.7218.1 2008178.4+22.1+35.7-35.8200.4 No NHL team averaged a better Corsi than the Wings from 1991 to 2016, and the team even ranked fifth in the statistic as recently as two seasons ago. But the next generation has fumbled the torch on the handoff, and Detroit’s fabled possession machine has eroded badly in recent seasons as its stars have aged and departed.Gone are such advanced-metric idols as Pavel Datsyuk, whose 58.1 percent on-ice Corsi3At 5-on-5, adjusted for score effects and zone starts. ranked second among all NHL players from 2007-08 until his retirement from the NHL last summer, as well as Brian Rafalski (fifth), Tomas Holmstrom (10th), Mikael Samuelsson (14th) and Nicklas Lidstrom (19th). (Fifteenth-ranked Johan Franzen is also technically on the Red Wings’ long-term injured reserve list, but is unlikely to ever play again.) In the wake of that mass exodus, Detroit has fallen to an unheard-of 25th in the NHL in Corsi, according to PuckOn.net’s calculations. Only three players who have regularly skated for the Red Wings this season — forwards Anthony Mantha and Tomas Tatar, and recently waived defenseman Alexey Marchenko — have been on the ice for a Corsi greater than 50 percent (i.e., on the ice while Detroit possessed the puck more than the opponent). Even Henrik Zetterberg, normally one of the best possession-drivers in the game, has a mere 49.9 percent mark this season, with his relative Corsi, which measures how much he influences play relative to his teammates, dropping 12 percent from what it was during his best seasons.Detroit’s decline isn’t just about a drop-off in possession rate. The Red Wings have bled talent up and down the ice for years, going back to their post-lockout high-water mark of 124 standings points in 2005-06. Here’s how their roster changed each season since then, according to incoming and outgoing goals versus threshold (GVT), a metric that estimates each player’s value over a hypothetical replacement player in terms of goals added per 82 games: Abbreviated seasons prorated to 82 games.Source: hockeyabstract.com, Hockey-Reference.com NET GVT ADDED VIA… 2016140.6+22.9-45.5-8.7109.3 2011135.4+8.5+5.3-3.8145.4 Net change in goals versus threshold (GVT) for Detroit Red Wings read more

Ohio State footballs Dominic Clarke DerJaun Gambrell released from scholarships

Ohio State football defensive backs Dominic Clarke and DerJuan Gambrell were released from their scholarships Sunday for violations of team rules, OSU athletics spokesman Jerry Emig confirmed to The Lantern Sunday night. Clarke, a redshirt sophomore, had two run-ins with law enforcement, and was most recently charged with drunk driving on Jan. 7, when he ran a stop sign near the intersection of W. 12th Avenue and Neil Avenue, according to multiple reports. Franklin County court records indicate that Clarke pleaded not guilty Friday to the charge. Clarke was also arrested for an Oct. 9 incident involving a “compressed-air gun,” which he fired from the roof of Marketplace, a campus eatery, located at 1578 Neil Ave. Ohio State coach Urban Meyer addressed Clarke’s most recent arrest during a Thursday press conference. “What we’ll never do is say we’re going to make an example out of a kid. That’s not going to happen,” Meyer said. “However, (Clarke) broke a team rule. I’m still getting the information. I’m very, very disappointed because some things were covered in the team meeting. They’ll be dealt with very swiftly and sternly at the appropriate time.” Emig did not immediately respond to The Lantern‘s inquiry regarding the nature of the rule violation committed by Gambrell, a freshman. read more

Buckeye mens basketball looks to improve newlook defense against Camels

OSU sophomore forward Marc Loving (2) goes up to the rim during a Nov. 18 game against Marquette at the Schottenstein Center. OSU won, 74-63.Credit: Muyao Shen / Lantern photographerWhile the competition might not be as strong for the Ohio State men’s basketball team early on, the Buckeyes are looking to work on the changes that have come with a new season.The Buckeyes are working four freshmen into a lineup that has just three regular season basketball games under its belt.With a game against Campbell looming Wednesday night, OSU coach Thad Matta said he wants to see his team improve on one particular thing.“Movement defensively, the reads of where we are supposed to go. I think that is probably the biggest thing we took out of Sunday night’s game,” Matta said Tuesday. “We did a lot of good things but we are trying to get our guys to understand that when we do what we are supposed to do we are a lot better than when we try to shortcut stuff.”One of the things that the Buckeyes are still getting used to on the defensive side of the ball is a newly implemented zone scheme. In the past, OSU had primarily run a man-to-man defense, and picking up the zone system was something that senior center Trey McDonald said was tough to understand at first.“It was an adjustment at first for a lot of us,” McDonald said Tuesday. “But I think we just all fell in love with it and we just bought in to owning our spots and learning our spots to the best of our abilities.”The Buckeyes seem to have figured the defense out quickly as they are holding their opponents to just 55.3 points per game while averaging 90.7 themselves, good for 11th best in the country.With the competition not being as stiff in the first three games, the Buckeyes have been able to start implementing their new defense and working out the kinks.McDonald said that the new zone defense specifically puts a new stress on the big men in the paint, something he added he is taking in stride.“He (Matta) made a point to all the bigs to go out there, protect the middle in our zone,” McDonald said. “For me those are the things that, playing this position, things that you should do. It is just something that comes natural.”McDonald’s counterpart at the center position, senior Amir Williams, is set to return to the floor Wednesday night against Campbell, Matta said. Williams sat out Sunday’s 106-48 win over Sacred Heart with soreness in his knee.“He is doing good. He is going to practice today,” Matta said Tuesday. “We were off yesterday. He has been running, doing skill instruction, those type of things. Planning on playing him tomorrow night.”With Williams coming back from the injury, and freshman forward Jae’Sean Tate and redshirt-senior Anthony Lee added to the mix this season, McDonald said the competition for minutes has made things more exciting around the Schottenstein Center.“It does make for a lot more fun in practice than just, me and him (Amir) going at it every day,” McDonald said. “It is a lot more different looks, sizes to play against. That really helped a lot of us, all of us actually.”With the mix of young and old players like Tate and McDonald, Matta said he can’t quite gauge how good the 2014-15 Buckeyes can be this early in the season.“I have asked myself that question. Where I think this team is, where I think this team can be, I don’t have that sense yet. I go back to the Marquette game, we had opportunities in the first half to really extend and we didn’t do it and we go up seven at halftime,” Matta said. “Guys are still kind of feeling their way through. I think once we get a level of consistency I will probably be able to be able to answer that question better.”The Buckeyes are set to take on the Campbell Camels on Wednesday at the Schottenstein Center. Tip is scheduled for 7 p.m. read more