Here’s how badly Rockets destroyed Thunder with Russell Westbrook on the bench

Russell Westbrook is the best player on the Oklahoma City Thunder, and it’s not cutting-edge basketball knowledge that they’ll do worse when he’s not on the floor.

But the degree to which they were inept without him during this week’s playoff series loss to the Houston Rockets is staggering.

Westbrook played 194 minutes in the series’ five games, of which Houston won four. When Westbrook was on the floor (for 39 minutes per game), the Thunder outscored Houston by 4.9 points per 100 possessions. Taj Gibson (plus-13.7) and Steven Adams (plus-7.7) posted even better net ratings when they were on the court.

When Westbrook wasn’t on the court, Oklahoma City was even worse than you probably thought. The Thunder were outscored by 51.3 points per 100 possessions while Westbrook watched from the bench, for a total of 46 minutes during the series. That’s about one full game, scattered throughout five games, of total ineptitude.

In real terms, when Westbrook sat this series, the Thunder were outscored 137-79 in 45.5 minutes of total court time. They lost by 58 points without Westbrook playing. For the entire series, Houston only outscored Oklahoma City by 43 points.

Bad news, Leafs fans: you exited the playoffs early. Good news: you pick high enough to land a nice prospect in a shallow draft. Two defensemen are left that might stick in the first round, and Foote is the safer pick. The son of Avalanche legend Adam Foote is as smart a two-way defender as any in the draft; Foote is the kind of defenseman who can clean up mistakes from Toronto’s high-flying Texas Rangers Cheap Jerseys forwards and send them back up-ice for years.

Cowboys draft pick Ryan Switzer is the rare ‘Wes Welker type’ who actually plays like him

That’s one of the seven punt returns he brought back to the house for touchdowns and the fifth he had as a freshman in 2013. Even if wideout doesn’t work out at the next level, he’s got a role set with skills like that.

He wasn’t a slouch as a WR, though. As a senior, UNC’s career receptions record-holder was voted first-team All-ACC and had 96 receptions, good for 10th nationally. That included a game in which he hauled in 16 catches from Mitchell Trubisky, the likely first QB off the board in this year’s draft.

So now let’s discuss the comparison that gets made about some smaller wide receiver every year, especially if it’s a white guy: “Wes Welker type.”

“Yeah, it’s happened quite a bit,’’ Welker himself said about hearing the comparison. “When I left [Texas Tech], my coaches would say, ‘He’s a Wes Welker type of guy,’ and everything like that. So it’s kind of everywhere now, which is cool.”

Switzer was selected in the fourth round by the Dallas Cowboys. Quinn isn’t doing this alone. He’s working alongside Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff to build the roster, and the partnership has been productive.

Dimitroff has been named the Sporting News Executive of Cheap Miami Dolphins Jerseys the Year twice, and his way Cheap Lions Jerseys of evaluating talent and building the roster meshes well with Quinn’s philosophies. In two years, Quinn and Dimitroff have worked together to overhaul the team’s approach to the draft. The results are vastly different from when Mike Smith was the Falcons head coach.

Fabian Moreau looks the part, and Washington hope his play will match

A torn pectoral suffered at UCLA’s pro day slowed cornerback Fabian Moreau, but it made him a good value selection for Washington in the third round with the No. 81 overall selection.

The two-time All-Pac-12 honorable mention put together quite a resume in his time with the Bruins, compiling 148 tackles (4.5 for loss), 26 passes defensed, three interceptions and a forced fumbles in five seasons — he redshirted following an injury in 2015.

We must also mention Alabama WR Gehrig Dieter (actually named after Lou Gehrig), Washington State WR River Cracraft, Oregon TE Pharaoh Brown (following South Carolina/Rams WR Pharoh Cooper, giving us two straight drafts with Egyptian royalty), Arkansas TE Jeremy Sprinkle, Old Dominion DT Rashaad Coward (dare you to call him that!), Appalachian State CB Mondo Williams, Cincinnati DB Mike Tyson, and Wisconsin CB Sojourn Shelton.

Anyway, look at how much more pleasant and inspiring your Sunday audial experience is about to get, NFL friends.

Dalvin Cook, Florida State RB: Cook should’ve twice been a Heisman finalist, ranking ahead of 2015 winner Derrick Henry in total yards per game and No. 3 in 2016, against a tougher schedule than Premier League Cheap Jerseys those faced by No. 1 Foreman or No. 2 McCaffrey.

His explosiveness numbers top McCaffrey’s over the last two years (nearly doubling the potential Stanford first-rounder’s highlight yards per opportunity, or yards added to 5-yard gains, in 2015), and Cook NFL Cheap Jerseys was a more efficient receiver, based on yards per target.

Samuel is maybe the most unique skill guy in this year’s draft.

Wayne Gallman looks the part, and his highlights are as good as anyone’s. But he was never particularly consistent at Clemson, and his explosiveness was minimal during last year’s title campaign.

Samuel is maybe the most unique skill guy in this year’s draft. He’s small and crazy fast, but he’s also strong and efficient. Ohio State used him all over the field, and he ended up combining 97 carries with 97 pass targets in 2016.

If you’re looking for a running back prototype, look elsewhere. If you’re looking for a versatile guy who is dangerous as hell with the ball, pick Samuel.

He’s now a professional. The Bills traded up to pick him 37th overall, in the second round of the NFL draft on Friday night.

Jones played in national anonymity for most of his college career. He was a low three-star recruit out of Austin, Texas, in 2013. He played on 10-3 and 8-5 teams in his first two years, when he was a productive target on squads that played in the Beef O’Brady’s and Birmingham Bowls.

ECU went 8-16 in his junior and senior years, with a coaching change between them. Jones had his chances to be noticed — scouts are thorough — but he didn’t feel he got the Cheap Blank Hockey Jerseys level of attention players at power-conference schools did.

“I believe probably not as much as other guys get from schools such as Alabama and LSU — respectfully to those schools, not throwing any shots at them, well-deserved — but I don’t think as much attention was brought to what I was doing, as far as an individual player,” he said. “I know we struggled as a team. Of course, with a non-winning season and you’re getting blown out some games, no one’s really paying attention to the numbers that you’re putting up, but I believe if you truly watch the film, I’m playing Cheap Jerseys Authentic 90 to 99 snaps a game, and I’m consistently producing.”

Thon Maker looked like Kevin Garnett when he swatted DeMar DeRozan’s shot off the glass

Milwaukee Bucks rookie forward Thon Maker punched a DeMar DeRozan layup attempt off the backboard in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series against the Toronto Raptors on Saturday.

It was one of Makers’ two blocks in the third quarter and immediately led to a Giannis Antetokounmpo and-one finish at the other end.

According to the lawsuit filed Wednesday in St. Louis Circuit Court, the Cowboys owner intentionally interfered with and damaged the city’s relations with the Rams by “by encouraging, promoting, and conspiring with Mr. Kroenke to develop a plan to relocate the Rams to Los Angeles and convincing the other member-teams to approve the relocation.”

The lawsuit alleges that Jones pushed the move on the other owners and that he told Kroenke to plan on building an Inglewood, Calif., stadium before the move was approved.

Jones reportedly promoted the Los Angeles location based on how much money the league could receive after the NFL initially rejected the move.

The Titans lack a deep threat, and Ross is the fastest player MLB Jerseys Cheap in the draft. The 5-11, 188-pound wideout broke the combine record with a 4.22-second 40-yard dash. He was a second-team All-American and first-team All-Pac-12 after catching 81 passes for 1,150 yards and 17 touchdowns. Adding Ross Cheap Jerseys And Hats From China should open things underneath for Marcus Mariota to find tight end Delanie Walker and receiver Rishard Matthews.

Aaron Rodgers injury: Packers QB hopes to be back Week 12

Having gone 0-2 since losing Aaron Rodgers to a fractured collarbone, the Green Bay Packers are desperately awaiting the day their All-Pro quarterback can Cheap Youth NHL Jerseys return to the field. Rodgers suggested this week that that day could be Nov. 24 against the Minnesota Vikings.

The veteran quarterback took exception when he was hit around the legs late in the game against the San Diego Chargers. No penalty was called on the play for roughing the passer and Cheap Youth NFL Jerseys there has been no further update whether the Broncos will file a complaint to the league to look at the play.

San Diego was also ravaged by injuries in Sunday’s game. They lose fullback Le’Ron McClain, linebacker Larry English and offensive tackle King Dunlap.

McClain rolled his ankle and did not return. There has been no official update on his status at this time, but it’s expected he will be able to play in Week 11.

The loss of English is damaging to a team already lacking pass rush. He injured his biceps and did not return on Sunday. No official update has been given on his status, but if he is unable to play the team will likely lean on rotational linebacker Thomas Keiser, who has 2.0 sacks on the season.

King Dunlap sustained a concussion and was also forced out of Sunday’s game. The team have not update his status, but he will have to undergo the league’s concussion protocol in order to return to practice.

Cheap Jerseys Team

The White Sox signed shortstop Tim Anderson to a six-year, $25 million contract extension Tuesday, the team announced.

The deal is the largest ever given to a player with less than one year of service in the majors.

Considered a key piece of the ongoing rebuild on the South Side, Anderson, who’ll turn 24 in June, batted .283/.306/.432 in his rookie season with nine homers, 30 RBIs and 10 stolen bases.

USA Today reported that under the new deal the Sox also have two club options on Anderson’s service, buying out all of his arbitration years and two years of free agency.

Anderson will be paid $850,000 this season and with the new deal could be tied to the White Sox through the season in which he’ll turn 31.

The Cubs earlier this spring signed 2016 NL MVP Kris Bryant to a record one-year deal for a player in his second year of MLB service.

This doesn’t automatically give Donaldson a 75 percent chance at enshrinement. For one thing, Wins Above Average is a harsh metric, harsher than WAR, with players apt to fall off the proverbial cliff with it as they enter their mid-30s. Take Utley, who totaled 34 Wins Above Average Cheap Jerseys With Free Shipping from 2005 through 2010 and has been good for just 7.2 Wins Above Average in six seasons Chinese Cheap Jerseys since. Accordingly, there’s no guarantee Donaldson will get to 30 Wins Above Average, though there seems a reasonably good chance if he stays healthy.

It’s hard to know, because it’s spring training. Few results really matter in spring training. Down here, it’s more about the process — getting ready for the start of the year for the veterans and just getting better for the prospects. Actual numbers and results are red herrings.

Former TE Jordan Cameron: ‘A lot of guys don’t really love this game’

The scouting season for free agency and the draft is a time when players are asked a common question: Do you love football?

Former Cleveland Browns and Miami Dolphins tight end Jordan Cameron, who recently announced that he will retire after he incurred four concussions in six seasons, called that “a great question.”

“I don’t think a lot of these guys love football, to be honest,” Cameron told ESPN. “A lot of them don’t. You play for other reasons, and every guy has their own reason. They know why, and as long as your why is really important, you keep playing without really loving football.

“Because really, who loves to get hit in 10-degree weather by a 280-pound person? Really, no one likes that. ‘Do you love football?’ I couldn’t stand when people asked me that.”

“I don’t think a lot of these guys love football,” says former TE Jordan Cameron. “You play for other reasons, and every guy has their own reason. They know why, and as long as your why is really important you keep playing without really loving football.”

Cameron, who went to the Pro Bowl in 2013, wasn’t saying that because of his concussions, though he admitted the constant thought of them changed the way he played. Cameron said he played more timidly because he thought about his concussions.


The Chargers, who play at StubHub Center, don’t want fans to use StubHub

The Los Angeles Chargers have a unique problem that’s unheard of in professional sports. They don’t wants fans to use the company that is sponsoring their stadium.

Set to play at StubHub Center in 2017, the Chargers will use the home of the Los Angeles Galaxy to host NFL games while construction of a football stadium in L.A. is completed. The Chargers are concerned that the 30,000 seat capacity at StubHub center could be a problem, considering the team’s relocation and renewed excitement.

The second, titled “If This Cup Could Talk,” highlights the sheer joy players and fans show when they get close to it.

And that’s where we lost it. Well done.

Did you see Christian McCaffrey only did 10 reps on the bench press? I hope for his sake that the poor results are injury-related. If that is his true strength, yikes. Many gym warriors on social media claim they can do better in some of these combine drills than the future NFL players, but in this case, they are right.

South Carolina QB Brandon McIlwain is transferring. I always thought he was a much better baseball prospect than a football player, but now he’s free to pursue whatever.

Ohio State got a new four-star commit. He is Jaelen Gill, a running back from Ohio, and he is legit:

Gill is commitment No. 4 for the Buckeyes 2018 class joining QB Emory Jones of Georgia, RB Brian Snead of Florida, and S Jaiden Woodbey of California. He’s also the fourth blue-chip pledge for Urban Meyer. Gill currently holds the 32nd highest grade of all prospects in the 2018 class.

The Ole Miss latest: Egg Bowl rivals arguing about whether there’s tape evidence of Mississippi State being dragged into it.

How Nick Saban turning down some home cooking helped Alabama recruit Jonathan Allen.

Tom Brady was once committed to Cal before Michigan. That’s cool.5

DeSean Jackson has shined in NFC East contests throughout his career, scoring 16 touchdowns against divisional foes.

Manning has enjoyed some success at FedEx Field, sporting a 6-4 record there during his career. The two-time Super Bowl MVP has tossed 10 touchdowns at the venue, the second-most among active players, trailing only Tony Romo (12).

DeSean Jackson has shined in NFC East contests throughout his career, scoring 16 touchdowns against divisional foes. That includes significant success against New York. Jackson has 11 receiving scores on 17.9 yards per reception against the Giants. He’s also added two rushing and three return touchdowns, including his famous 65-yard punt return against New York with no time remaining in 2010.

Jacksonville’s meltdown in D.C. catapults the Jaguars into first place in the season-long race for the most unprogressive offense, four Spike Factor percentage points worse than Philadelphia (COLLEGE OFFENSES HARUMPH HARUMPH). I’m starting to feel a little queasy.

The Spike Factor started out as a college football metric, and to see a team break 50 percent there was really, really rare, the kind of thing you usually only saw from the Purdues or Cals or Wake Forests of the 2012 world. This is not the comparison you want, Jacksonville. The NFL does not need its own Purdue. Purdue doesn’t even need its own Purdue.

Take this Tetanus Spike. Think about what you’re doing with your life, Jaguars. And for the love of god, bench Chad Henne.

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS vs. Philadelphia Eagles (+5.5): I would probably be better off just taking the 49ers with a first half bet, and the Eagles with a second half bet. The 49ers lead the NFL in first half scoring, while the Eagles lead the NFL in second half scoring. The 49ers are coming off a pair of ugly second half collapses, and would seem likely to throw everything they can at the Eagles. While Philadelphia would love a fourth win, there is little pressure on them, particularly in an NFC East that is theirs for the taking.3