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Sunday, January 20, 2019

Blog

Look: Caps’ Devante Smith-Pelly throws stick down tunnel

Devante Smith-Pelly

Devante Smith-Pelly got frustrated during the Washington Capitals’ game against the New York Islanders on Friday night and took it out on some equipment.

The 26-year-old winger had a puck deflected by Devon Toews to ruin a scoring opportunity, which likely led him to be upset.

Smith-Pelly then launched his stick down the tunnel and got another one:

He could probably grab a second career throwing javelin with the kind of arm talent he put on display there.

Smith-Pelly has just eight points this season. He was a big part of the team’s postseason run last year, scoring seven goals in 24 games.

Hue Jackson reportedly interviews for Cardinals OC job

Hue Jackson

Hue Jackson could be in the mix for an offensive coordinator position.

Jackson on Friday interviewed with the Arizona Cardinals for their offensive coordinator job, according to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport.

Jackson was fired this season amid a 2-5-1 start in his third season as head coach of the Cleveland Browns. He has one of the worst winning percentages in NFL history as a head coach (.205), but in this role he would be serving as a coordinator. Still, between his awful run in Cleveland and the terrible stretch the Bengals had with him on staff, he’s not someone I would touch. If you have him on your staff, you can almost guarantee a loss to the Browns as long as Baker Mayfield is there.

Arizona is seeking to fill out its coaching staff under first-year head coach Kliff Kingsbury. Steve Sarkisian was close to becoming their OC until backing out in favor of a return to Alabama.

Tyrod Taylor mentioned as potential backup QB option for Ravens

Tyrod Taylor hand

Tyrod Taylor went from being the Cleveland Browns’ starting quarterback to a mostly forgotten man this season. He’s headed for free agency, and one of his old homes could be a potential landing spot for him, according to one reporter.

Jamison Henley, who covers the Ravens for ESPN, did a breakdown on why either Robert Griffin III or Taylor would make sense as a backup quarterback for Baltimore next season.

The thinking is that as a running quarterback, Lamar Jackson would be subjected to more hits than other QBs, which increases the importance of a good backup. Taylor certainly qualifies; he produced 65 touchdowns and just 21 turnovers over three seasons for the Buffalo Bills, taking them to the playoffs once. Additionally, Taylor was drafted by the Ravens and played for them from 2011-2014. He also succeeded under current Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman when the two were together in Buffalo.

Taylor would make plenty of sense for Baltimore, but the big question is whether he would want to sign with them as a backup. If he has a better chance at starting elsewhere, that might be more enticing. The Ravens are committed to Jackson as their starter and would want someone who understands that.

Marc Gasol, Mike Conley meet with Grizzlies owner ahead of trade deadline

Marc Gasol

Marc Gasol and Mike Conley met with Memphis Grizzlies owner Robert Pera this week, sparking speculation about potential trades.

The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported on Friday that Pera met with his two franchise players to discuss the state of the organization. Charania says that such meetings are common when Pera visits Memphis throughout the season. However, the timing of the meeting is significant.

The NBA’s trade deadline is approaching on Feb. 7. The Grizzlies entered play on Friday 19-25, five games out of the final playoff spot. An honest assessment of the team would likely show that the team is not going anywhere this season, which could make the team open to trading either player.

Gasol, who turns 34 later this month, has a $25.5 million player option for next season. Conley is making $32.5 million next season and has a $34.5 million player option for the following season. It wasn’t that long ago that Gasol was saying he did not view the Grizzlies as a championship team. Conley entered this season feeling the same way.

Report: Isaiah Thomas aiming to make season debut prior to All-Star break

Isaiah Thomas

The Denver Nuggets are reportedly hoping for an Isaiah Thomas debut somewhere around the All-Star break, perhaps even before.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, both Thomas and the Nuggets are preliminarily targeting the Feb. 11-13 homestand for a possible return, but the belief is he will be on the court as a Nugget for the first time by Feb. 22 at the latest. That would be the first game post-break for the Nuggets.

Thomas had hip surgery in March and is expected to start full five-on-five scrimmages soon.

The guard, who signed a one-year veteran’s minimum deal with Denver last July, would be coming back to a pretty good team. It is also, however, a team loaded with talented guards already. Between that and the fact that the Nuggets will want to manage his workload, he will likely have to battle to earn playing time initially.

Kris Bryant: Bryce Harper will not join Cubs

Kris Bryant

While it was not exactly a secret, one of Bryce Harper’s closest friends in baseball made it pretty clear that the two wouldn’t be playing together next season.

Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant said Harper wouldn’t be signing with the Chicago Cubs this offseason despite some rumors during 2018 that such a union was on the table.

Bryant and Harper grew up in Las Vegas together and played on the same Little League team, sparking rumors that the two would like to pair up. That may be true, but Bryant would know if Harper was coming, and he’s ruled it out just as definitively as his manager has. Harper’s ultimate destination remains a mystery, but the Cubs appear to be completely out.

Watch: Stephen A. Smith thinks Kareem Hunt plays for the Saints

Stephen A Smith

Stephen A. Smith’s knowledge of NFL players still seems a bit lacking.

For whatever reason, on Friday’s edition of “The Stephen A. Smith Show,” Smith cited Kareem Hunt as one of the many offensive weapons the New Orleans Saints boast, despite the fact that Hunt is not and has never played for the organization.

Not only does Hunt not play for the Saints, but he’s very much not involved with the NFL right now and probably won’t be for some time.

It’s hard to figure out who Smith is referring to, as he may well have misspoken. Perhaps he means Alvin Kamara, but it doesn’t really matter. After all, it didn’t really matter who or what he was trying to refer to the last time this happened, either.

Larry Fitzgerald makes hole-in-one while golfing with Barack Obama

Larry Fitzgerald

Larry Fitzgerald will probably never have a more memorable day golfing than he did on Friday.

Fitzgerald hosted a foursome including former President Barack Obama in Florida on Friday, which was a big enough event in itself. However, according to Tim Rosaforte of Golf Channel, Fitzgerald managed to sink a hole-in-one on the difficult 13th.

Fitzgerald is still considering his NFL future. Maybe he has a second career lined up, or maybe he only has this kind of magic when former U.S. presidents are watching him play.

Bulls’ Wendell Carter Jr. out 8-to-12 weeks with thumb injury

Chicago Bulls logo

Wendell Carter Jr. will miss up to three months after it was discovered that he would need surgery on his injured left thumb.

According to the Chicago Bulls, Carter suffered a thumb sprain, and surgery will keep him out for 8-to-12 weeks.

Carter suffered the injury on Jan. 15 against the Los Angeles Lakers.

This is a rough blow to the young Bulls, as it’s likely to keep the rookie out for most of the remainder of the season, if not all of it. Carter had been a solid contributor so far this season, averaging 10.3 points and seven rebounds per game.

Chiefs’ Eric Berry will play against Patriots

Eric Berry

Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry is good to go for Sunday’s AFC Championship.

Berry will play Sunday after going through a full practice on Friday, and he has been removed from the team’s injury report.

Berry has been in and out of the lineup lately. He featured in Weeks 15 and 16, but didn’t play in Week 17 and was also absent against the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship. The three-time All-Pro safety appears to be ready to go now, though, with the added warning that it’s not entirely clear how effective he’ll be. Any bit of secondary help against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots can only be a good thing from Kansas City’s perspective.