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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

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Carmelo Anthony says Dwight Howard tried ‘extremely hard’ to recruit him

Carmelo-Anthony

Before Carmelo Anthony decided to remain with the New York Knicks, Dwight Howard had him thinking about donning a Houston Rockets uniform.

Anthony met with the Rockets in July. On Tuesday, Carmelo told reporters that Howard was a big part of the recruiting pitch when he visited Houston.

“We had some great dialogue back and forth,” Anthony said, via Marc Berman of the New York Post. “I talked to him. We talked about some things. Ultimately it came down to what I really felt and really wanted at that moment. We had some contact and conversations. He tried. He tried extremely hard. It didn’t have anything to do with Dwight or James [Harden]. It came down to my own personal decision.”

The Knicks are 4-10. The Rockets are 10-3. If you are the type who is prone to knee-jerk reactions, you might say the Rockets lucked out. Still, Anthony said he does not regret remaining with the Knicks.

“Of course I know they’re playing very well,” he said. “[But] it’s not something I say to myself: ‘I regret doing this, regret doing that.’ I can’t do that. It’s not my nature as a person. I would never sit down and ask myself: ‘What if?’”

You have to wonder if the Rockets are better off without ‘Melo. Though he has been improving, James Harden is already a bad enough defender. Anthony isn’t exactly known for his defense, either. Carmelo’s offense might offset his defensive deficiencies, but the Rockets look like one of the better teams in the Western Conference without him. It probably worked out for the best.

H/T Pro Basketball Talk

Ty Lawson changes directions, leaves Kirk Hinrich on floor (Video)

The NBA has no shortage of quality point guards right now and Ty Lawson is one who often falls through the cracks by those outside of Denver.

During the third quarter of Tuesday’s game between the Bulls and Nuggets, Lawson got Kirk Hinrich leaning one way and went the other. The result was Hinrich in a heap on the floor and Lawson dishing to Timofey Mozgov for one of his 12 assists.

As you can probably imagine, the Nuggets broadcast team on Altitude had a little fun at Hinrich’s expense. When this happens, you’re obligated to, right?

lawson-hinrich

H/T Michael Lee
Photo: Twitter/GDixon410

Nick Sundberg ticked ESPN got Colt McCoy news before team did

Nick Sundberg

Washington Redskins long snapper Nick Sundberg is ticked off that a media outlet learned the news that Colt McCoy would be starting for the team prior to the players finding out.

Here is what Sundberg tweeted not long after Adam Schefter reported that Robert Griffin III was being benched:

This is exactly why it’s always best for teams to try letting their players know of big news before the media receives it. The problem here is that some reporters are very good at their jobs and have plenty of inside sources, so they’re often able to obtain news before players find out about it. Shoot, we’ve seen players learn via Twitter that they were traded.

Learning of such significant news in this matter won’t sit well with players, but it’s part of reality these days.

Colt McCoy to start for Redskins over RG3

Colt McCoy Redskins

Colt McCoy will start at quarterback Sunday for the Washington Redskins against the Indianapolis Colts, according to a report.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports the news and says the Redskins still have long-term plans for Robert Griffin III despite benching him in favor of McCoy.

McCoy has been the most successful Redskins quarterback this season. He entered Washington’s game against the Titans after halftime in Week 7 and led his team to victory. He continued his run by leading Washington to a win over the Dallas Cowboys on Monday night the following week.

Griffin has gone 0-3 since returning to action against the Vikings in Week 9. He has only led the Skins to 20 points the past two weeks, both of which were losses.

Redskins head coach Jay Gruden has indicated his lack of faith in Griffin the past few weeks, starting with when he said RG3 needed to worry about himself following a loss to the Bucs. It was clear that Gruden was not an RG3 fan, so this decision should not surprise anyone.

Richard Sherman bashes NFL during press conference (Video)

When Richard Sherman is in a setting with microphones and the media present, he rarely disappoints. On Tuesday, Sherman didn’t do anything to dispel that theory when he stepped up to the podium.

The All-Pro cornerback wasn’t alone, however. Sherman brought with him a cardboard cutout of teammate Doug Baldwin and proceeded to address several “hot button” topics relating to the NFL.

richard-sherman-doug-baldwin-cutoutSherman touched on the punishment levied on Marshawn Lynch for not speaking with the media and that playing games on Thursday isn’t really safe, despite the league putting an emphasis on player safety. He also mentioned Beats By Dre headphones, which Colin Kaepernick was fined for wearing around his neck during a postgame press conference, and how the NFL doesn’t want its players endorsing alcohol even though a “beer sponsor is their biggest sponsor.”

The responses to Sherman’s performance have largely positive and even garnered a favorable response from a member of one the Seahawks’ biggest rivals. San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid took to his Twitter account in agreement with what Sherman said.

If there’s one thing we know about Richard Sherman, it’s that he will say what’s on his mind. In this case, he hit the nail on the head, several times.

Video: Seattle Times

Braxton Miller to Oregon transfer rumor originates on Reddit

Braxton-Miller-Ohio-StateThere is a wild and intriguing rumor that emerged on a Reddit college football forum about Braxton Miller transferring to Oregon.

Here’s what the Reddit user wrote:

I have multiple sources telling me that Urban has told him they will be going forward with Barrett next year. They wanted to give him time to make a decision. Braxton called Oregon to engage with Mark Helfrich and Scott Frost. Frost went to Ohio during our bye week (week before last). Nothing is done or imminent with Oregon.

Miller has missed the whole season because of a shoulder injury suffered before the season, leading redshirt freshman JT Barrett to win the starting quarterback job. Barrett has thrown for 33 touchdowns and rushed for nine scores while leading Ohio State to a 10-1 record. Since Miller has another year of eligibility left while the Buckeyes are set with Barrett, Braxton could consider transferring. He would be able to play immediately as a graduate school transfer.

Last week a report stated that Miller would not transfer from Ohio State. It certainly would make sense for him to transfer so he can play, and Oregon would be a good spot with Marcus Mariota leaving.

This Reddit rumor is receiving some attention as a “report” even though it’s just one person writing it.

The Oregonian says no contact has been made between the Ducks and Miller, and that Frost was not in Ohio.

Oregon still should give serious thought to this if they haven’t yet.

Jeremy Maclin not happy with Riley Cooper’s contract remark

Riley-Cooper-Jeremy-Maclin

If you looked at the contracts for Philadelphia Eagles wide receivers Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper, you might think the numbers are backwards. Back in February, Cooper signed a five-year, $25 million extension with the Eagles. Maclin signed a one-year deal that could be worth up to $6 million just a few days later.

This season, Maclin has caught 63 passes for 980 yards and nine touchdowns. He has emerged as one of the best receivers in the game, while Cooper has faded into irrelevance with just 39 catches and 425 yards.

Earlier this week, Cooper was asked about his snap rate being dramatically reduced over the past several games. He joked that Maclin needs more playing time because his teammate is playing for a new contract.

“Maclin’s trying to get a contract so he’s probably not going to try and come out of the game,” Cooper said sarcastically, according to Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

The joke didn’t land with Maclin. On Tuesday, Maclin said Cooper’s comment was unwise.

Cooper later reiterated that he was “joking” and admitted that Maclin is a better player than him.

Cooper had a few big games last season that had fluke written all over them. Despite that, the Eagles still wanted him back at a hefty price. They would have been better off throwing that money at Maclin, but they chose not to risk it since Maclin was returning from a torn ACL.

As we all know, this is not the first time Cooper has had an issue with one of his teammates. He probably wishes he didn’t speak publicly about another player’s contract.

H/T Eye on Football

Jay Gruden has Robert Griffin III on as short a leash as possible

Jay-Gruden-Robert-Griffin-III

Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden on Monday said that Robert Griffin III will start this weekend against the Indianapolis Colts — kind of.

During his weekly interview with Comcast SportsNet, Gruden gave RG3 the most half-hearted endorsement imaginable. While Gruden said he has “every intent” of starting Griffin, he still made it seem like the decision was subject to change.

“Well, we want to beat Indianapolis,” Gruden said, via Dan Steinberg of DC Sports Bog. “We want to win every game. And I have to put the people in there who [are] gonna help us win those games. And we’re gonna seriously go down and look at this film, look at last week’s film, look at Minnesota’s film, look at Houston’s film, and try to put a plan together that will help him succeed. Or we’ll have to find out if somebody else is there that can help us beat Indianapolis instead.”

[Related: RG3 has reportedly lost VIP privileges with Redskins]

In other words, Gruden is still open to benching RG3 — before Sunday or during the game. When asked specifically if a change at quarterback is possible, Gruden reiterated that Griffin is the guy “right now.”

“At this time, right now, Robert’s my guy, right now,” he said. “We’re still gonna watch this film and evaluate what we’re doing as an offense, and then we’ll have to figure out what players at what positions are going to play and start to give us the best chance against Indianapolis.”

Anyone who believes that RG3 is Gruden’s guy hasn’t been paying attention. You don’t need film to show you that Griffin has played poorly over the past two games. If he struggles again on Sunday, there’s no reason to believe he won’t be benched in favor of Colt McCoy.

NFL Week 13 expert picks against the spread – Del’s picks

Week 12 was a week to forget for Del, so Del is simply going to forget it. A record of 7-8 against the spread isn’t going to cut it down the stretch. Even worse, Del went 0-2 with his locks of the week. Fortunately, Del has been killing it enough all season long that he still boasts an 18-11 record with top picks. We’ll look to improve upon that over the final five weeks of the season.

For Week 13, Del likes a lot of favorites. Here are the Week 13 NFL Picks, with analysis after the sheet.

NFL PICKS WEEK 13
(ATS = Against the Spread, SU = Straight Up)

NFL-Picks-Week-13

The Cowboys came away with an emotional victory over the Giants on Sunday night. Tony Romo, who has been labeled a “choker” by many critics, was anything but as he led Dallas to a late comeback in the fourth quarter. Typically I’d say a team in the Cowboys’ position would be in danger of a letdown, but how can you come out flat against the division-leading Eagles on Thanksgiving Day?

The Eagles and Cowboys are both 8-3, and this will be the most important game this season to date for both teams. Mark Sanchez has turned the ball over four times in two games. Philadelphia was able to overcome it against the lowly Titans last weekend. They won’t stand a chance against Romo, DeMarco Murray and company if Sanchez plays poorly.

Check back later in the week for another lock.

Rick Pitino played ‘four white guys and an Egyptian’ to not embarrass Savannah State

Louisville defeated Savannah State on Monday night in a game that looked like it featured a Division-1 NCAA team playing a local high school. The final score was 87-26. It took Savannah State nearly 16 minutes to score a single point, and Louisville led 41-7 going into halftime.

It could have been worse. There was very little Rick Pitino could do to keep his team from embarrassing the opposition. He alluded to that with an incredible quote after the game.

“I don’t like to see any team struggle like that. I really don’t,” Pitino said, via Jeff Eisenberg of The Dagger. “I mean, we played four white guys and an Egyptian. We tried everything.”

He wasn’t kidding. Pitino played 15 guys in the game, including three walk-ons and 7-footer Anas Mahmoud, who is from Egypt. He sat his starters early in the second half and ordered his team to stop executing their usual full-court press defense. Pitino also said after the game that his team will learn nothing from Monday night’s game film and that he felt bad for Savannah State.

Playing keep-away for 20 minutes would have been even more humiliating, so Pitino did what he could. Savannah State ended up shooting 10-for-51 from the floor.

Rick-Pitino

GIF via Bleacher Report

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