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Fantasy hoops roto rankings: Kyle Lowry reaching new heights

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Anyone who has played fantasy basketball during the past decade knows Kyle Lowry and knows him well. They’ve seen him develop from a defensive-minded player without a jump shot in his early days to the well-rounded scorer and playmaker that he is now.

Still, it’s safe to say none of us have seen this Kyle Lowry, the 32-year-old version who in his 13th NBA season is playing the best ball of his lengthy career.cheap nfl nike jerseys free shipping

He enters Week 5 of the fantasy basketball season as the NBA’s leader in assists with 11.0 per game while maintaining a healthy 17.2 PPG scoring average. He also is shooting 49.7 percent, averaging 2.5 3-pointers per game and chipping in defensively as well with 1.5 steals a game.

How much have people taken notice in fantasy leagues?9

Let’s put it this way — this week in one of my leagues, I offered Ben Simmons for Lowry in a trade with fellow league manager who knows his stuff. Two hours later, the trade was rejected and there was a counter offer. Simmons wasn’t enough. He wanted Giannis Antetokounmpo.

I wasn’t willing to go that far, but it’s safe to say that Lowry’s stock is on the rise. I’ve bumped him up to No. 11 this week, just ahead of Damian Lillard, who is having a terrific start to the season as well.

Other notables working their way up in the rankings this week include Lowry’s former teammate, DeMar DeRozan (22), as well as Kyrie Irving (31), Zach LaVine (37), Trae Young (47), Enes Kanter (50), Lonzo Ball (65), Serge Ibaka (66), Buddy Hield (76), Lauri Markkanen (85) and Brook Lopez (88).cheap nike nfl jerseys from china

Some of these are overdue adjustments — such as Hield, Kanter and Ibaka, who were too low in previous rankings — but some are for other reasons.

Carmelo Anthony: Perception of Knicks hurt team in free agency

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Carmelo Anthony believes the perception of the Knicks during his tenure with the club had a negative effect on its chances to land a top free agent.

“I think just the business. Everything that was going on. The perception of New York Knicks … not basketball but the organization,” Anthony said Thursday when asked what kept the Knicks from landing a top free agent when he was there.

“I think it probably scared a lot of people away. Scared some people away. Not knowing the nuances and the ins and outs of kind of what was going on, who is in charge, who is not. So it was more than just basketball when it came to people making those decisions,” he said.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

During Anthony’s six-plus seasons in New York, he played under four different team presidents/general managers and four different full-time head coaches.10

After team president Phil Jackson signed Anthony to a max contract in the summer of 2014, the Knicks had a chance to add a significant free agent in the summer of 2015 and the summer of 2016.

But New York couldn’t get a top-tier free agent to sign in either year. In the summer of 2016, the Knicks didn’t get a meeting with free agent Kevin Durant, and signed Joakim Noah to a four-year, $72 million contract after trading for Derrick Rose, his teammate with the Bulls.nike nfl jerseys cheap paypal

During Rose and Noah’s first season in New York, the relationship between Anthony and Jackson publicly deteriorated, leading to a negative perception of the club among some NBA players. Anthony was traded to Oklahoma City prior to the 2017-18 season by president Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry.

Mills believes the perception of the Knicks has changed recently. The club plans to pursue a top free agent in the 2019 offseason. Anthony, in Brooklyn on Thursday to practice with the Houston Rockets ahead of Friday’s meeting with the Nets, was complimentary of first-year Knicks head coach David Fizdale.

“I think we all have to start from somewhere. And I think what Coach David is doing over there, he’s getting it right as far as mindset goes,” Anthony said. “The talent will come, but I think the mindset of how he approaches the game trickles down to the organization, how serious he takes the game, his approach to the game. You could just tell by the energy he brings.”

Jets quiet at deadline, refuse to sacrifice future for present

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They protected their future assets — and they’ll need plenty to repair this roster — but you have to believe coach Todd Bowles would have appreciated some reinforcements. He’s concerned about now, not the future, because his job is to win games. He has lost 27 of his past 40, so, yeah, there might be a sense of urgency, but he doesn’t have the final say on trades. That belongs to general manager Mike Maccagnan.nfl cheap jerseys nike

So the Jets (3-5), losers of two straight, will have to live with their underwhelming pass rush and beaten-up group of receivers. A segment of the fan base might be upset, wishing their team had done something. Anything.

Frankly, I don’t blame the Jets for not pulling the trigger on Fowler. It didn’t make sense to pay a premium for a two-month rental. They’ve liked Fowler since 2015, when he came out of Florida, but the price was steep. The Los Angeles Rams gave up a 2019 third-round pick and a 2020 fifth-rounder for the free agent-to-be, who underachieved through most of his career with the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Rams are a Super Bowl contender; the Jets are not. They can wait until March, when they probably will try to overpay him as a free agent.8

Cooper would’ve made sense because he’s only 24 and under contract in 2019, but no team was crazy enough to meet the Oakland Raiders’ demand of a first-round pick. Oh, wait, the Dallas Cowboys did just that. The Jets would’ve been nuts to give up that much, considering their first-round pick might be in the top 10 — again.nfl nike jerseys for cheap

Golden Tate? He’s 32 years old and headed to free agency, so he wasn’t a good fit for the Jets. The Philadelphia Eagles, trying to defend their Super Bowl title, sent a third-round pick to the Detroit Lions for Tate.

Demaryius Thomas? At 6-foot-3 with a wide catch radius, he would have helped rookie quarterback Sam Darnold, who is being forced to make too many tight-window throws. Thomas is 30 years old, but he’s signed through 2019 — a non-guaranteed $14 million. Pricey, but he might have been worth a test drive. He wound up going to the Houston Texans, who gave up a fourth-round pick as part of their swap with the Denver Broncos.

Bengals off to hot start, but Steelers game looms large

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There’s a set of televisions on the wall between the tunnel at Paul Brown Stadium and the Bengals’ locker room.

The televisions were airing the conclusion of the Browns-Ravens game on Sunday afternoon just minutes after the Bengals came back to win 27-17 against the Dolphins. A number of players came through the tunnel and stopped to watch the game before Bengals coach Marvin Lewis hurried them along.

It’s true that the Bengals don’t need to worry about what their division opponents are doing right now, when they sit alone on top of the AFC North with a 4-1 record. But it’s also true that everything changes this week, when the Steelers come to town.

“We handle things by blocking out all of the noise and continuing to grind,” Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green said. “Nobody gave us a chance when the season started. Why do they believe in us now? We’re going to continue to keep playing and keep playing for each other.”cheap nfl jerseys wholesale

The Bengals have checked almost every box in this young season. They’ve won games by virtue of their defense when the offense struggled, and their offense has had unprecedented success in games when the defense struggled. They have a knack for forcing turnovers, and they’ve been able to put teams away late when it was needed most.7

It was the Steelers who knocked the Bengals out of the playoffs in the 2015 wild-card round, and Cincinnati hasn’t beaten Pittsburgh in four tries since that night. This team certainly seems to have its best chance in years to change that.

The Bengals are 8-24, including playoffs, against Pittsburgh in the Marvin Lewis era, and they have not beaten the Steelers in their past six tries. The Bengals jumped to a 17-point lead in their previous meeting before the Steelers came back to win 23-20.

The players might not admit it publicly, but they know how much this one means. The win against the Dolphins proved that the Bengals can erase deficits and come up with game-changing plays to come out on top. A win against the Steelers would not only give them solid footing in the AFC North and a 5-1 record before they face the Chiefs on the road but also symbolize something bigger.replica nike nfl jerseys

“This is a divisional game, and everyone knows what that’s about, but we’ve just got to go out there and play hard,” running back Joe Mixon said.

A win next week would say that whatever happened in the past isn’t keeping the Bengals down this time. It would prove that the team is full of enough

Suns fire GM Ryan McDonough with season eight days away

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The Phoenix Suns relieved Ryan McDonough of his role as general manager Monday, a little more than a week before the start of the NBA season.

The Suns have handed the task of running the franchise to vice president of basketball operations James Jones and assistant general manager Trevor Bukstein on an interim basis.

Jones will manage basketball operations including oversight of coaches, players and staff, while Bukstein will be the primary contact for player transactions.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

“After much thought and a long evaluation of our basketball operations, I have decided to relieve Ryan McDonough of his duties as general manager of the Phoenix Suns,” Suns managing partner Robert Sarver said in a statement. “Over the course of the season, we will explore both internal and external options as we look to restructure our basketball front office leadership. On behalf of the entire organization, I want to thank Ryan for his efforts and contributions during his five-plus years with the Suns.”
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McDonough was hired by the Suns on May 7, 2013, in hopes that he could rebuild the franchise after the departure of Hall of Famer Steve Nash.

He drafted the likes of Devin Booker, Josh Jackson, TJ Warren, Alex Len, Dragan Bender and Deandre Ayton. He had some early success, but the Suns are still in the same rebuilding mode that they were in when McDonough was hired. The team went 155-255 during his tenure.cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

The Suns also had five different coaches under McDonough. Last season, they fired coach Earl Watson three games into the season and named Jay Triano interim coach. In the offseason, they named Igor Kokoskov head coach.

“Tough day,” Kokoskov said before Monday night’s preseason game at the Golden State Warriors. “It started very early with the news that we had this morning, but [the decision is] something that we don’t control. Our control — the reason we’re here to play the game. We started the day with a coaches’ meeting and then meeting with the players, we had a long shootaround and now here to play the game. That’s basically trying to accomplish why we’re here and focus on the game tonight.”

One general-manager candidate to watch long term, according to reporting by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, is Kevin McHale. Jones could be another candidate, Wojnarowski reports.

Trent Alexander-Arnold: Liverpool not talking about Premier League title

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Trent Alexander-Arnold has told ESPN FC he is confident there is much more to come from Liverpool in the coming months — but says the club aren’t talking about winning the title just yet.

Liverpool are level on points with Manchester City and Chelsea at the top of the Premier League after concluding a run of seven matches within the last 23 days.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

And Alexander-Arnold believes Liverpool are yet to reach the levels of performances they know they can, but feels their strong start is a clear sign of progress.9

“There’s a lot of room for improvement,” the 20-year-old said. “We’ve got a lot more to give and a lot more to improve on.

“We know that we’re not a perfect team. That’s something we want to achieve — to be as close to perfection as possible. That’s what we’re working towards everyday. We want to win as many games as possible. It doesn’t matter how we do it, we’re not fussed as long as we get the three points.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

“That’s something we’ve shown this season — even when we haven’t been at our best, we’re still grinding out results and getting results on the board. That’s something that’s important to us and important for any team that wants to be successful.”

Liverpool’s unbeaten start to the league campaign has led to talk this could be the season the club ends their long wait for the title. The club have not been champions of England since 1990.

When manager of Borussia Dortmund, Klopp banned the squad from talking about winning the Bundesliga and Alexander-Arnold has stressed there has been no talk within the Liverpool dressing room about winning the league this term.

Mets’ David Wright plays four innings in final career start

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New York Mets third baseman David Wright returned to the starting lineup for the first time since 2016 on Saturday night, playing four innings against the Miami Marlins and leaving to a standing ovation from the sold-out crowd at Citi Field.

The team captain went 0-for-1 with a walk against the Marlins and was removed after two plate appearances as planned. On defense, he handled a one-hopper to third base with no problem.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

Wright, who fouled out to first base his final time up, took his position before the top of the fifth inning. Mets manager Mickey Callaway then came out of the dugout to make a lineup change, and Wright began his slow walk off the field.

As he exited, Wright shook hands with third-base umpire Mike Winters, saluted and thumped his chest toward fans and hugged each of his teammates, who poured out of the dugout to salute the captain.9

Wright later appeared in the SNY broadcast booth and described his farewell with the franchise as “incredible” and “emotional.”

“Mets fans, the city, have gone over the top with this. I didn’t know what to expect tonight. I thought I got all of my tears out, but I got in that clubhouse [after leaving the game] and they started flowing again,” he said. “What a night.”

“If I could say thank you a million time to these fans, this city, this organization … it’s first class,” he said.

On Friday, Wright made his first appearance in the majors since May 2016, appearing as a pinch hitter against the Marlins. He has battled neck, back and shoulder injuries that required surgery.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

Unable to overcome his physical setbacks, he said he expects Saturday to mark his last big league game.

Happy camper: An 87-year-old Cardinals fan helped remind Hall of Famers ‘why we love this game’

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The sign above the portal to the stadium says “Doubleday Field,” but on this gray, pre-church bell Sunday morning in Cooperstown, New York, in late June, it might as well say, “Once upon a time …”

For one thing, the old ballpark looks pretty much the same as it did when the field was first used following the induction of the inaugural Hall of Fame class in June 1939. For another, the two teams playing for the championship of the 2018 St. Louis Cardinals Cooperstown Fantasy Camp are being managed by Dave LaPoint and John Stuper, who were rookie pitchers and roommates on the 1982 world champion Cardinals. As for the gnomish man sitting in the home dugout? That’s Hall of Famer Bruce Sutter, who literally saved that series against the Milwaukee Brewers.

In fact, that game is the reason why Anagnost, now 87, has been wearing the birds on the bat for the past three days. As he tells it, “My dad owned a candy store in Sherburne, The Sweet Shoppe. He was from the old country, but he knew enough to expose his kids to American sports. nike nfl jerseys wholesale cheap Early in the game — first inning, as I recall — one of the Cardinal players hit the ball to the wall and started running around the bases trying for an inside-the-park home run. Well, he skidded coming around third base, then dove back into third. This was an exhibition game, mind you. Some guy in the stands asked, ‘Who was that guy?’ and somebody else answered, ‘That was Enos Slaughter.’ Well, that was enough for me. From then on, I was a Cardinals fan.

“That was the Alpha. I guess you could say this is the Omega. Except I’m not quite done yet,” he says.8

Down the block from Doubleday Field, in one of the folders in the Hall of Fame Library, there’s an old account in The Sporting News that confirms Anagnost’s recollection: “In the first inning, Country Slaughter pummeled a fastball to the center field fence for a triple. Slaughter would have tallied ahead of the relay, but fell rounding third. [Dick] Fowler then made Musial bound out, Pete Suder to Dick Siebert.” That’s right, Stan Musial, then barely a man at 21 and not yet The Man, ended the inning. Later in the game, Musial hit an inside-the-park homer to help the Cardinals win 5-2.

Other details further dated Anagnost’s first game: 79-year-old A’s manager Connie Mack gave a speech beforehand; ticket prices ranged from 50 cents (bleachers) to $1.50 (along the baselines); and the crowd of 6,720 might have been even larger had the wartime gas and tire rationing not been in effect.

“Sherburne was only about an hour away from Cooperstown,” Anagnost says. “But that day opened up a whole new world to me. I was hooked for life.”

And a remarkable life it has been. Anagnost returned to Doubleday Field four years later, for the state high school championships.cheap nike nfl jerseys paypal

“I was a sophomore, played right field and catcher,” he says. “Sherburne lost the championship game to Binghamton Central 5-4 in the ninth inning. I remember that one of our guys, Bill Quinn, looked at the second-place certificate they gave us, then ripped it up right there.”

After high school, Anagnost went to Cornell, graduating in 1952 with a degree in economics. During the Korean War, he became a first lieutenant in the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division, specializing in automatic weapons.

Even in crazy 55-hour period, Cowboys can block out the noise

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There was Randy Gregory’s first appearance in any Cowboys apparel since the 2016 season finale, after his reinstatement from a substance-abuse suspension. There was David Irving’s absence from training camp to deal with personal issues.

Those issues, however, can happen to any team across the NFL. What separates the Cowboys is a roughly 55-hour span that included everything from a thank you from President Trump to a Twitter tirade from the franchise’s all-time leader in touchdown catches.

All of that happened before the Cowboys held their first padded practice of the summer.

At the opening news conference of training camp, owner and general manager Jerry Jones said the Cowboys will stand for the anthem “toe on the line,” even as the NFL and NFL Players Association worked on a solution for the anthem.nfl nike jerseys cheap china

While Jones called President Trump’s frequent criticisms of the NFL and the players regarding the national anthem “problematic,” the President took to Twitter to credit Jones for saying that the Cowboys will stand.

Speaking on Thursday with 1310 AM The Ticket in Dallas, executive vice president Stephen Jones implied that a player would be cut if he protested during the anthem.8

The comments put the players in difficult positions, with living up to the front office’s wishes while understanding the need to raise awareness of social injustice. Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins called Jerry Jones a “bully.”

Dak Prescott drew criticism for saying he would continue to stand and did not think the game was the proper venue to protest. Last season, the Cowboys stood for the anthem, and none has expressed a desire to alter that in 2018.cheap nike nfl jerseys from china

“We’re the Dallas Football Cowboys, we’re America’s Team, and we stand for the national anthem,” Ezekiel Elliott said.

Only a few hours later Friday came an inaccurately portrayed quote made by Stephen Jones on Sirius XM, saying Prescott would be better in 2018 because he would not have Dez Bryant in his ear. The tweet included Bryant’s Twitter handle and sent the receiver on a rant, even though Jones had also mentioned Jason Witten.

“You got great players like Dez and Witten. They want the ball. Everybody sees it,” Stephen Jones said after practice, clarifying his remark. “It’s on every team. The great players, the great receivers, the guys who catch the ball — they want the ball. They let the quarterback know that sometimes. I was a quarterback, so I understand that. It certainly in no way was it intended to be negative.”

The clarification by Sirius did not quiet Bryant on social media. He replied to fans who praised or criticized him in a back-and-forth that seemed ironic, considering it came on the day of Witten’s debut column on ESPN.com that said social media can be “poison” for players.

Byant also called Jerry Jones “clueless” and put blame for his release on center Travis Frederick and linebacker Sean Lee, whom he called a “snake.”

While Frederick was somewhat diplomatic in his reply, Lee was forceful.

Yankees GM: Catcher Gary Sanchez out until at least late August

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The New York Yankees are expecting injured catcher Gary Sanchez to be shelved until late August or early September, according to general manager Brian Cashman.

“Thankfully what Gary has is a solvable health issue; it’s a timing one,” Cashman said Wednesday. “We’ll just have to wait on it and hopefully be in a better position when he returns from the DL.”

Sanchez was placed on the 10-day disabled list Tuesday after an MRI that morning revealed he had aggravated a groin injury that he had just returned from last week. The right groin strain was initially suffered in a late June game at Tropicana Field, where he was trying to beat out a ground ball in a loss to the Tampa Bay Rays.nike cheap nfl jerseys

Sanchez said he began feeling tightness in the same spot when he got out of his crouch to chase after a passed ball that got away in Monday night’s 7-6 loss to the Rays. As he seemingly took his time getting to the baseball, a Rays baserunner scored all the way from second base.5

Later in that game, Sanchez came out of the batter’s box slowly on a ninth-inning ground ball before trying to speed up far too late to beat a putout throw. Had he reached base, he would have driven in a crucial game-tying run. Instead, he was thrown out, ending the game.

After being criticized for the lackadaisical effort, Sanchez later expressed remorse for having let his teammates and fans down.cheap nike nfl jerseys from china

“When the other team scores runs and you have the game on the line and you end up basically losing the game because it’s your fault, you feel really bad about that,” Sanchez said through an interpreter. “You feel bad for your teammates, you feel bad for the fans, because you want to give them the maximum effort.

“You have a responsibility as a player, and when you don’t give them the best you can, of course you’re going to feel that you let them down.”

It was during a conference call with reporters following Tuesday night’s trade with the Baltimore Orioles for reliever Zach Britton when Cashman also was asked about Sanchez. He said he would explore the options of adding another catcher by the trade deadline, but he wasn’t optimistic that would happen.

“We’ll see,” Cashman said. “We’re a little more vulnerable in the event that we have another issue at the catching position. Where do we turn to next?