Live Game 6 updates: Hertl, Sharks beat Golden Knights 2-1 in 2OT

first_imgClick here if you’re unable to view the video or gallery on your mobile device.Update: Hertl, Sharks beat Golden Knights 2-1 in 2nd OT to tie the series. Click here to read the story.Get live NHL Stanley Cup playoff updates, news and analysis during Game 6 of the Sharks’ first-round series against the Vegas Golden Knights on Sunday at 4 p.m. in Las Vegas.After turning in a strong effort Thursday to stay alive in the series with a 5-2 victory, the Sharks go on the road to try to duplicate the …last_img

The Future Of Google Maps: Social, Personalized And Way Smarter

first_imgGoogle Maps is about to get a lot smarter. The company unveiled the next iteration of its beloved geographic exploration apps at Google I/O this afternoon, sporting a visual overhaul and lots of new features. In addition to a redesigned, vector-based browser UI built in open Web standards, the new Google Maps will incorporate information about the user to build out a far more personalized experience. Using much of the same data that Google Now employs, Maps will deliver personalized recommendations, social tagging and smarter insights into where its users should go next – and how to get there. Indeed, the way Google Maps gives directions has also been redesigned with more intuitive, landmark-based querying and more thorough and accurate transit directions. Another significant addition to the Maps UI is what they’re calling Cards. For each location, Google Maps will display a Card highlighting key information, photos and pertinent social data. The most vocal ooh’s and ahh’s came from the crowd at Google I/O when Maps Product Manager Bernie Seefeld unveiled the new immersive and 3D experiences through which Maps can zip. This includes indoor StreetView-style views of restaurants and other local businesses, as well as 3D flyovers of cities and landmarks built in part from crowdsourced user photos. Users can also zoom all the way out to a planet-level view, displaying and rotating the Earth, which shows clouds and sunlight – and night views – in real time. The updated Google Maps experience will be available on iOS and Android in June. Starting tomorrow, eager early adopters can test it out on the desktop. You can request an invitation to the new Maps by clicking this link.Photo by Nick Statt for ReadWrite Tags:#Google IO13#Google maps#io13#maps john paul titlow A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Related Posts center_img Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

It Is An Unconditional No Until It Is A Yes

first_imgIt is always a no until it’s a yes.When your success requires that you ask people for commitments, you can expect to hear no as many—or more times than you hear yes. It is the nature of the endeavor we call selling, and no one, no matter how skilled, is free from this experience. It is essential to recognize that the word no only means not now and that you have not been personally rejected. It is always a no until it is yes.No MeetingNo businessperson wakes up in the morning, hoping that a salesperson contacts them to ask them for a meeting. They aren’t excited by the prospect of giving their time to a salesperson who may waste it. Time once spent can never be reclaimed. There is only one reason a person rejects your meeting: they believe it is a waste of their time.Maybe they say no to a meeting because they already have a partner they believe is satisfying their needs. They could also reject a request for a meeting because they don’t have the time or energy to swap out one partner whose failings they’ve learned to live with for another who maybe even worse? Even if you have real value to trade for a meeting, like a theory about why they might change and the better results available to them, you will still hear no.The no that you hear now is not no forever. It is no for today, and maybe tomorrow. The no covers some time that, no matter how long, is likely shorter than you believe.No Next StepThe no answer you receive also doesn’t cover the rest of eternity. There are all kinds of things that you can ask for and obtain a no outside of a meeting.Your dream client can and will say no to your request to collaborate with you on a solution, asking instead for you to share your best ideas, allowing them to be cold and clinical about your proposal. That no does not have to be a final no, but for that to be true, you have to ask again, explaining how their input improves the solution.There is little chance that your request to build consensus, especially a request for an executive leader, you are asking for something likely to be so difficult for your client to say yes to that they answer in the negative. Even if they know they are going to need help and support, they would prefer not to engage in politics and deal with dissenters. That no is a no until you teach your dream client that without it, they are unlikely to make a change—and if they do, it will fail.The rarest of all unicorns in the world of sales is a deal where the money isn’t a factor. Money is always a factor, and it always will be. Many of the companies you call on will say no to more significant investment, preferring to believe that there is some supplier, somewhere, with the ability to give them better, faster, and cheaper. When you offer them the red pill that would open their eyes to the fact that the better results they need require a more significant investment, they refuse it, taking the blue pill and living with their poor results. Until you justify the delta and resolve their concerns. Eventually, they will pay more.Selling is caring enough to create value for people, and much of the time, that means helping them change their minds.No DealSometimes, you lose. Your dream client says yes to your competitor, which means you leave the content with a no, a loss if you will. No one is immune to this reality. You can do everything right and still lose. You can do many things wrong and still win.Maybe it was no to the experience of the sales conversation they used to determine who they want to work with long term. It could also be that your solution missed the mark, or forgive me for suggesting such a thing, perhaps you didn’t position it well. Your dream client might have hit it off with your competitor, or maybe they just outsold you.Too many people accept a loss as a permanent loss when it is anything but permanent. It’s only a no right now, not forever. You can lose a deal and walk away, and by letting a deal go, not follow up soon enough or frequently enough to discover your competitor is failing.I recently heard from a salesperson who lost an account because the client thought they were underperforming. Then their client, having believed the exaggerated claims only to recognize how good this salesperson’s company was. Guess who is coming home?Understanding the Nature of NoThe nature of no is that it isn’t forever. Situations change. Needs evolve. Context changes preferences. Mistakes can cause people to recognize they made a mistake. What might not have been the right answer is not precisely correct. The nature of no is that it is unstable. It is subject to change at any time.The mistake you might make in sales is believing that the no you hear now covers a longer time than it is capable of covering. It covers a much shorter time than you think. You will have people who will say they will never work with you, who will eventually buy from you. There will be people who will tell you they will never change partners, only to change partners a few months later.Forever is a lot longer than you think it is. And it is a lot shorter time than your client suspects.last_img read more

Judo union calls out Ramos over ‘dangerous’ Salah challenge

first_imgReal Madrid v Liverpool ‘It’s not allowed!’ – Judo union calls out Ramos over ‘dangerous’ Salah challenge Harry Sherlock Last updated 1 year ago 17:20 5/29/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(25) Sergio Ramos Mohamed Salah Real Madrid Liverpool 2017-18 Getty Images Real Madrid v Liverpool Sergio Ramos Real Madrid Liverpool UEFA Champions League Mohamed Salah The Spanish defender has received widespread criticism for his tackle on the Egyptian that caused him to leave the Champions League final The European Judo Union has criticised Sergio Ramos’s tackle on Mohamed Salah in the Champions League final, insisting that such a takedown would not be allowed in their sport.Ramos and Salah locked arms during Real Madrid’s 3-1 win over Liverpool, with the Spanish defender ultimately pulling his Egyptian counterpart to the ground.Salah dislocated his shoulder in the scuffle, and was forced off the pitch in tears with the score at 0-0, thus throwing his participation in the World Cup into serious doubt. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Sorry, Cristiano! Pjanic is Juventus’ most important player right now Waki-gatame is a dangerous technique. That’s why it is not allowed in Judo to use for transition to ne-waza. What do you think about this foul yesterday evening in the #UCLFinal between #RMALIV ? pic.twitter.com/mHmADyG7LB — European Judo Union (@europeanjudo) May 27, 2018 So divisive has the tackle been, fans have set up a petition calling for Ramos to be punished, which currently has over 300,000 signatures, while an Egyptian lawyer has launched a €1 billion (£873m/$1.2bn) lawsuit against the centre-back. And now another sport has weighed in on the controversy, the European Judo Union insisting that Ramos’s move would be deemed illegal in their circles.”Waki-gatame is a dangerous technique,” they wrote on Twitter. “That’s why it’s not allowed in Judo to use for transition to ne-waza. What do you think about this foul yesterday evening in the #UCLFinal between #RMALIV.”Salah will continue to receive treatment for his injury in Spain, the Egyptian Football Association has confirmed, as he bids to be fit in time for the World Cup in Russia. Watch out, Sergio Ramos!The Real Madrid defender has angered quite a few people following his collision with Mohamed Salah. 😮(Cartoon by @omomani) pic.twitter.com/S3yEpOJoNO— Goal (@goal) May 29, 2018Egypt face hosts Russia, Saudi Arabia and Uruguay in Group A. Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the weblast_img read more

23 days agoMan Utd manager Solskjaer slams AZ Alkmaar pitch: Worst I’ve ever seen

first_imgMan Utd manager Solskjaer slams AZ Alkmaar pitch: Worst I’ve ever seenby Freddie Taylor23 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has plenty of concerns about AZ Alkmaar’s pitch ahead of their Europa League group stage clash on Thursday night.United will face the Dutch side at Cars Jeans Stadion in The Hague, a temporary ground after a section of AZ’s stadium roof collapsed. The new stadium has an artificial pitch, and Solskjaer says it’s one of the worst he has ever seen.”I’m surprised they’ve chosen to play on this pitch when I’ve looked at it,” Solskjaer said. “I’m used to it from Norway. It’s not the best I’ve seen.”It’s one of the worst ones I’ve seen for a long while. We’ve al got standards back home in Norway anyway. It’s safe, I’m not saying it’s not. It’s not the newest.”It’s just on the floor so on the carpet more or less, so when you pull the grass up you do that loads, there’s more bounce.”It seems like it’s been used a lot but with my knees I’ve not enjoyed astro turf anyway.”I’m surprised that in this climate you have to use astro turf. It’s OK when you live in the North Pole like we more or less do in Norway and can’t play in March, November or December. But here, I’m surprised.” About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

The Impact Of Every NBA AllStar Ranked

As if Curry didn’t have enough ways to shock and amaze NBA fans of the televiewing and stat-crunching variety alike, his on/off court numbers are freaking ridiculous. You can’t read about sports these days without coming across quasi-thinkpieces about how the Warriors have reinvented basketball. Maybe, maybe not. But one thing is clear: Having a point guard who can shoot at a 45 percent rate past 28 feet — often well-defended — completely wrecks the game.CORRECTION (Feb. 14, 3 p.m.): A previous version of this article referred incorrectly to Paul George’s team. It is the Indiana Pacers, not the Indianapolis Pacers.CORRECTION (Feb. 12, 7:55 p.m.): A previous version of this article misidentified Paul Millsap’s team. It is the Atlanta Hawks, not the Atlanta Falcons. Although basketball now attracts more nerds than Comic Con, basketball statistics are still all over the place. Maybe years of SportVU player-tracking data will someday bring clarity to the field, but for now it’s a kaleidoscope of imperfect metrics. Virtually all stats that try to infer player value from the various on-court actions (shots, rebounds, assists, etc.) are subject to biases from things like roles and responsibilities and style of play, and no one has figured out how to measure intangible contributions like “being high-energy” or intangible detriments like mucking up a team’s offense.That’s one reason why indirect stats like plus-minus or with or without you (WOWY) are now a big part of basketball and hockey analysis (and are even starting to creep into football). While basic plus-minuses have been around for a long time, the granularity of data and methodology to isolate individual cases has come a long way. The kind of plus-minus you find in the box score doesn’t account for things like who else was on the floor and when those minutes came (garbage time, for instance). But with play-by-play data and sites like nbawowy.com, you can filter and compare different situations and find more meaningful patterns.This kind of analysis also has limitations, but it acts as kind of a check against efficiency and box score stats, and it can help identify spots where a player’s value is a mirage or where someone may contribute even more to his team than his stats suggest. It also catches the impact from things like defense better than virtually any standard stat does. But samples are small, and biases many.It isn’t so much that this approach is better as that it’s different enough from the more standard fare to add new information. And that’s our goal here, to add new information to what we know of each player based on observations of his impact, not to supplant other methods of estimating his contribution.Method:There are extremely complicated versions of adjusted plus-minus that adjust for every single player on the floor and end up giving you results that are interesting and comprehensive in some sense but are somewhat opaque. I’m going to keep it a bit simpler. I’m going to start with each player who made the All-Star team. If he had one or more teammate who also made the All-Star Game, I’ll compare how his team did with each combination of the players: that is, with neither player on the floor, with both players on the floor, and with each player on the floor without the other. If a player was the only one from his team to make the game, I used ESPN’s RPM-based estimation of wins added to pick his most important teammate and did the same (and in the case of the Warriors, who have three All-Stars, I did a more complicated version of the same). Then for a rough estimate of the player’s value — which I’ve called “Two-way WOWY impact” below — I averaged the impact he had by himself (versus neither him nor his teammate in the game) and the impact he had with his teammate (versus just his teammate). In other words, this gives equal weight to how much the player improves his team with and without his teammates’ help.Plus charts.Admittedly, some players get really jobbed by this (like virtually anyone on the San Antonio Spurs), and some players were fortunate to have a flattering teammate pairing.1The whole endeavor also tends to rate point guards very high, which I don’t think is necessarily because they’re “better” as much as that they tend to be less replaceable for their particular teams.All stats are through Tuesday’s games. To the list!24. LaMarcus Aldridge, PF, San Antonio Spurs (Selected by coaches)Real Plus-Minus 0.42, RPM Wins: +3.1Compared to: Kawhi Leonard (see below)Two-way WOWY impact: -6.3 points per 100 possessions The Spurs are a tricky case because they are so good from top to bottom, making Aldridge’s place at the bottom of this list as much a reflection of his team’s strength as his own play. As Neil Paine has written, their bench would be one of the NBA’s best teams in its own right. And while Aldridge and Kawhi Leonard will represent them in the All-Star Game, stalwarts like Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili are still putting up huge stats (by RPM, the 39-year-old Duncan is the 10th-best player in basketball this year). Although the Spurs have been playing great with Aldridge on the floor, at least so far this season, they’ve been playing just as well without him. The chart comparing the relative impacts of him and Leonard is under Leonard’s entry below.23. Dwyane Wade, SG, Miami Heat (Selected by fans)RPM -0.37, RPM Wins: +2.5Compared to: Chris Bosh (see below)Two-way WOWY impact: -5.5 points per 100 possessions Wade is nowhere near the player he once was, and his appearance in the East lineup is driven by the same kind of fan voting loyalty that has Kobe Bryant starting in the West.22. DeMar DeRozan, SG, Toronto Raptors (Coaches)RPM 0.36, RPM Wins: +3.9Compared to: Kyle Lowry (see below)Two-way WOWY impact: -4.5 points per 100 possessions The Raptors were rewarded with a second player by the East coaches, presumably because the conference is a bit weak on shooting guards, but the data suggests that DeRozan is riding his teammate Kyle Lowry’s coattails.21. Paul Millsap, PF, Atlanta Hawks (Coaches)RPM 6.48, RPM Wins: +10.0Compared to: Al HorfordHawks with both: -0.6 | Millsap alone: +2.6 | Horford alone: +3 | Neither: -0.9Two-way WOWY impact: -0.1 points per 100 possessions Despite Millsap’s stellar RPM numbers, the Hawks have not improved dramatically with him on the floor. Al Horford has been fully capable of leading the team on his own when Millsap has been out, and when the two have played together, the team has done about the same as it has with neither player.20. Chris Bosh, PF, Miami Heat (Coaches)RPM 5.11, RPM Wins: +8.6Compared to: Dwyane WadeHeat with both: -1.8 | Wade alone: -3.1 | Bosh alone: +3.1 | Neither: +3Two-way WOWY impact: +0.7 points per 100 possessions Bosh has been getting a fair amount of good press, and he’s put up some good numbers this year. However, his WOWY impact has been minimal, and his partnership with Wade is no longer instilling fear in anyone’s heart. 19. Jimmy Butler, SG, Chicago Bulls (Coaches)RPM 4.56, RPM Wins: +8.8Compared to: Pau GasolBulls with both: +2.6 | Butler alone: -4.5 | Gasol alone: -1.1 | Neither: -2.6Two-way WOWY impact: +0.9 points per 100 possessions Butler has emerged as the new star of the Chicago Bulls, which goes to show that if you score 20 points per game for a winning team, a lot of people will think you’re really good. Yet Pau Gasol (Butler’s injury replacement on the All-Star roster) has had a better impact for his team, estimated at 4.3 points per 100 possessions.18. Kobe Bryant, SF, Los Angeles Lakers (Fans)RPM -3.53, RPM Wins: -0.3Compared to: Brandon BassLakers with both: +5.5 | Bryant alone: -18.2 | Bass alone: -10.2 | Neither: -5Two-way WOWY impact: +1.3 points per 100 possessions The most shocking thing about Kobe is that he made it to 18th on this list when he may literally be one of the worst players in the NBA this year, helping make the Lakers one of the most embarrassing franchises in sports. And in the 38 percent of Lakers possessions with Kobe on the floor with no help from Brandon Bass — not exactly a game-changer, but the highest-rated Laker for now — they’ve been losing by 18 points per 100 possessions. Yet, call it good fortune or what you will, but the pairing of Bryant and Bass has been effective for the Lakers, which is enough to elevate Bryant’s contributions from team-destroyer to about neutral.17. Klay Thompson, SG, Golden State Warriors (Coaches)RPM 1.08, RPM Wins: +4.5Compared to: Draymond Green, Stephen Curry (see below)Two-way WOWY impact: +1.7 points per 100 possessions The other “Splash Brother” has had some great games and flashy moments, but he is loved by neither advanced metrics nor WOWY. Let’s just say it’s hard to know exactly how valuable a shooter is when the other guard on his team gets as much attention as Stephen Curry does.16. James Harden, SG, Houston Rockets (Coaches)RPM 4.74, RPM Wins: +9.7Compared to: Dwight HowardRockets with both: +1.5 | Harden alone: -4 | Howard alone: -5.9 | Neither: -2.5Two-way WOWY impact: +3.0 points per 100 possessions Although the Rockets have been a big disappointment after making last year’s conference finals — with their star big man Dwight Howard even rumored to be on the trading block — Moreyball isn’t completely dead, as Harden’s shooting paired with Howard’s inside presence has at least been keeping the team in the positive.15. Isaiah Thomas, PG, Boston Celtics (Coaches)RPM 1.99, RPM Wins: +5.7Compared to: Jae CrowderCeltics with both: +7.1 | Thomas alone: +1 | Crowder alone: -0.1 | Neither: +2Two-way WOWY impact: +3.1 points per 100 possessions This is a great example of a situation where two players are only so-so on their own, but excel when they play together. Neither Isaiah Thomas nor Jae Crowder on his own provides much of an improvement on the rest of the squad, but put them on the floor together and the team has been very effective at +7.1 points per 100 possessions.14. Carmelo Anthony, SF, New York Knicks (Fans)RPM 3.9, RPM Wins: 6.9Compared to: Kristaps PorzingisKnicks with both: +4.5 | Anthony alone: -7.7 | Porzingis alone: -6.2 | Neither: -7.6Two-way WOWY impact: +5.3 points per 100 possessions Anthony has always taken a beating from statheads, but pairing him with 7-foot-3 rookie phenom Kristaps Porzingis has given the Knicks some quality possessions.13. Andre Drummond, C, Detroit Pistons (Coaches)RPM 4.56, RPM Wins: +8.4Compared to: Reggie JacksonPistons with both: +3.6 | Drummond alone: +2.5 | Jackson alone: +0.3 | Neither: -5.3Two-way WOWY impact: +5.5 points per 100 possessions Drummond combines rebounding production that Dennis Rodman might envy with free-throw shooting that makes Shaq look like Steve Nash. But so far this profile seems to be working for Drummond, who has had a big impact on the Pistons whether or not point guard Reggie Jackson is on the floor.12. Kawhi Leonard, SF, San Antonio Spurs (Fans)RPM 8.83, RPM Wins: +12.0Compared to: Lamarcus AldridgeSpurs with both: +11.3 | Leonard alone: +27.3 | Aldridge alone: +14 | Neither: +10.5Two-way WOWY impact: +7.1 points per 100 possessions The only surprise here is that Leonard is this low, yet he’s still projecting to improve the powerhouse Spurs by about 7 points per 100 possessions — remarkable for a team as talented and as balanced as this one.11. John Wall, PG, Washington Wizards (Coaches)RPM 3.09, RPM Wins: +7.1Compared to: Jared DudleyWizards with both: +2.3 | Wall alone: -5.1 | Dudley alone: -10.3 | Neither: -8.6Two-way WOWY impact: +8.0 points per 100 possessions The rest of Wall’s Washington Wizards are so bad that 30-year-old journeyman Jared Dudley — who plays fewer than 30 minutes a game and averages 9 points — emerged as his most significant teammate by RPM. Although the Wizards are a losing squad, they consistently do better with Wall on the floor.10. Anthony Davis, PF, New Orleans Pelicans (Coaches)RPM 2.66, RPM Wins: +5.8Compared to: Jrue HolidayPelicans with both: +2.7 | Davis alone: -8.7 | Holiday alone: -6.1 | Neither: -17.4Two-way WOWY impact: +8.7 points per 100 possessions The Pelicans have disappointed this year, causing many to question whether Davis is actually the basketball revolution that he seemed to be a year or so ago. Yet they are a winning squad with him and point guard Jrue Holiday on the floor, and a comically terrible -17 points per 100 with neither of them.9. Paul George, SF, Indiana Pacers (Fans)RPM 5.24, RPM Wins: +9.7Compared to: Ian MahinmiPacers with both: +4.6 | George alone: +5.4 | Mahinmi alone: -6.6 | Neither: -3.5Two-way WOWY impact: +10.1 points per 100 possessions George has cooled off a bit from his blazing start to the season and clearly benefits here from being paired with Ian Mahinmi (the Pacers with bigger roles haven’t been very impressive). But overall his comeback year after last season’s injury has been spectacular, with him shooting well and often from distance.8. Kevin Durant, SF, Oklahoma City Thunder (Fans)RPM 6.43, RPM Wins: +10.0Compared to: Russell Westbrook (see below)Two-way WOWY impact: +10.4 points per 100 possessions Speaking of players who have returned from injury to reclaim their rightful spots among the best forwards in basketball, Durant has been having another remarkable year. Although the Thunder are now widely thought to be Russell Westbrook’s team, Durant has picked up about exactly where he left off. More on this duo below.7. DeMarcus Cousins, Center, Sacramento Kings (Coaches)RPM 6.66, RPM Wins: +9.2Compared to: Omri CasspiKings with both: +7.4 | Cousins alone: -3.7 | Casspi alone: -5.1 | Neither: -13.2Two-way WOWY impact: +11.0 points per 100 possessions Cousins has been a real headline-maker this year, yet his ball-demanding, trail-three-popping style has been one of the great statistical success stories amid all the chaos in Sacramento. Yet it’s worth noting that Omri Casspi — despite playing fewer minutes and having a less-eye-catching statistical and/or public profile, has had a similarly strong effect. With both of them on the floor, Sacramento looks like a strong team.6. Russell Westbrook, PG, Oklahoma City Thunder (Fans)RPM 9.59, RPM Wins: +14.6Compared to: Kevin DurantThunder with both: +13.8 | Durant alone: +7.3 | Westbrook alone: +7.9 | Neither: -7.6Two-way WOWY impact: +11.0 points per 100 possessions Westbrook led the league in scoring last year by shooting and shooting and shooting and shooting (see the second chart in this story), but he has the impact to go with those gaudy numbers.5. Draymond Green, PF, Golden State Warriors (Coaches)RPM 9.49, RPM Wins: +14.2Compared to: Klay Thompson, Stephen Curry (see below)Two-way WOWY impact: +11.3 points per 100 possessions Green is nearly as much of a defensive outlier as Stephen Curry is an offensive one, and he can rebound and shoot open threes when called to as well. Like Curry, he may be the best in his position in the league, while completely redefining what that position means.4. LeBron James, SF, Cleveland Cavaliers (Fans)RPM 8.23, RPM Wins: +12.2Compared to: Kevin LoveCavaliers with both: +12.7 | James alone: +3.9 | Love alone: -8.1 | Neither: -4Two-way WOWY impact: +14.4 points per 100 possessions Although he seems perpetually frustrated with not winning 100 percent of his games, James is still one of the best players in basketball, and his very existence practically demands that everyone shut up already and accept that “impactful” is a real thing.3. Kyle Lowry, PG, Toronto Raptors (Fans)RPM 7.45, RPM Wins: +12.0Compared to: DeMar DeRozanRaptors with both: +2.7 | Lowry alone: +20.7 | DeRozan alone: +1.6 | Neither: -7.5Two-way WOWY impact: +14.7 points per 100 possessions Lowry has been an absolute force for Toronto, leading the Raptors’ surge to the second-best record in the East. He’s attempting a career-high seven threes per game and making a career-high 39 percent of them. If these numbers are at all representative, however, DeRozan appears to be dragging Lowry down more than anything. This kind of dynamic isn’t uncommon with mediocre shooting guards playing with good scoring point guards — their contributions may range from redundant to net negative.2. Chris Paul, PG, Los Angeles Clippers (Coaches)RPM 7.2, RPM Wins: +9.6Compared to: DeAndre JordanClippers with both: +10.3 | Paul alone: +14.7 | Jordan alone: +3.4 | Neither: -11.3Two-way WOWY impact: +16.5 points per 100 possessions Point god Chris Paul has practically perfected the classic point guard skill set on both ends of the floor. Unfortunately, classic basketball can only take you so far these days, as the Clippers are on track for another heartbreaking loss in the conference semifinals.1. Stephen Curry, PG, Golden State Warriors (Fans)RPM 10.97, RPM Wins: +15.4Compared to: Klay Thompson, Draymond GreenTeam with all three: +20.2 | Curry alone: +9.8 | Green and Thompson alone: +1.3 | None: -11.8Two-way WOWY impact: +20.2 points per 100 possessions Just so all three of these All-Stars get their due, here’s a not-to-scale diagram of the on/off combinations for all three players: read more

Pressure fueling Buckeyes fire on wrestling mat

Colt Sponseller feels the pressure from all angles. At 165 pounds he earned his 18th win on the season in a 4-2 decision over Dan Vallimont of Penn State.Sponseller is a three-time Ohio High School Division II State Champion as well as National High School Seniors Wrestling Champion.However, this season Sponseller and coach Tom Ryan have their eyes on a bigger prize. “Colt Sponseller holds the key to the national title for the Buckeyes,” Ryan said.That’s a tremendous amount of pressure, but Ryan knows that he can handle it. So far, Sponseller is taking it in stride.“The pressure motivates me more than I already am and motivates me to work that much harder,” Sponseller said.  After the Buckeyes defeated Penn State in a 21-14 decision Sunday, the team received a day off. Sponseller doesn’t take days off. He hit the gym for his usual workout, which came as no surprise to Ryan.Ryan noted that Sponseller was a frequent participant in optional summer workouts, and that he fills the gym with electricity.    Sponseller was hesitant to say he motivates other guys on the team. He doesn’t go out there trying to motivate others, but it seems hard not to be motivated by his work ethic and determination.    “He is a true warrior,” Ryan said. “He loves to train and truly embraces hard work.”As the Buckeyes enter their Big Ten schedule, the training really begins.Sponseller says he is pushing himself to clean up the little things, such as his mentality. “I’m focusing on my mental game, going in to the Big Ten and Nationals having a good confidence level and knowing I can beat anyone,” Sponseller said.Ryan asserts that Sponseller’s mentality is right up there with his strength of training.“His heart is his greatest asset,” Ryan said.      Sponseller’s strength and mentality are constantly challenging him to live up to his full ability, a value Ryan coaches every day. Sponseller has no problem with nerves, although someone very close to him does.At any given match as Sponseller takes to the mat, a whistling can be heard resounding through the crowd. That whistle is his mother, Sue Sponseller.“I tend to block it out now,” Sponseller said. “It’s been going on for about 16 years. I know she’s there because I can hear it, but it certainly doesn’t bother me.” Sponseller calls it his mother’s nervous habit. He imagines she is more nervous than him.Not only is Sponseller working toward a national title, but he is well on his way to beating the team records he set last season. Sponseller holds the team record for most wins, 28, most takedowns, 132, and most technical falls, five. He and the Buckeyes will wrestle at Purdue and Indiana Jan. 29 and Jan. 31, respectively. read more