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Martin was sharp in Butler’s win over Middle Tennessee

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It was a disappointing year for Martin, even as Butler thrived this season. He put forth an uneven effort and was moved to the bench last month. He averaged 16.0 points, but his shooting (42.8 percent overall, 35.2 percent from the 3-point line) sank from last year, not a good sign for a guy whose projected role is as a big 3-and-D wing with some potential for adding offensive versatility. It’s not certain whether he will enter the draft this year or have another crack at college with his senior season.

A big performance against Jackson, the ACC player of the year, might help restore Martin somewhat in the eyes of NBA scouts. Jackson has been the offensive backbone for North Carolina all year, and going back to December 28, he has scored at least 16 points in 21 of 23 games. He has a much-improved shot, working both off the dribble and as a catch-and-shoot player, and made 38.7 percent of his 3s (he made 29.2 percent last year), taking 7.0 per game.

Martin was sharp in Butler’s win over Middle Tennessee, with 19 points, six rebounds and four assists, even as he was battling back spasms. That is the kind of versatility that scouts thought they’d see regularly from Martin this year. Jackson, too, comes into the Sweet 16 on a high note, with 36 points in two tournament games, including eight made 3s on 14 attempts.

Authentic Kids Dion Dawkins Jersey That figures to be a final blow to a team that has been in the midst of a full unraveling in the past two weeks. One thing that Wade proved over this season in Chicago — the first of his 14-year career outside of Miami — is that he can still be a productive shooting guard at age 35. He’s far from an elite player these days, of course, but he gave the Bulls 18.6 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.9 assists per night.

Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony was asleep during the NBA trade deadline

After weeks of trade rumors, Carmelo Anthony stayed put in New York at the NBA’s trade deadline.

Even if there had been a last-minute deal, Anthony would have needed to be contacted in order to waive his no-trade clause. But he told reporters Thursday night, after a team loss to the Cavs, he was fast asleep when everything was going down.

“The trade deadline has come and gone, and me talking about it has come and gone too. I will not be talking about trades anymore the rest of the season.”

As for what’s next, Anthony seemed unclear. He admitted he doesn’t know what Phil Jackson’s plan for the future of the team is and that the Knicks have to get “back to the drawing board.”

The first thing to pay attention to is which players are on the floor with Thomas in fourth quarters. Take a peek at, and you’ll see five of the 10 lineups that have played at least 10 minutes in the fourth quarter for the Celtics this season have a net positive. The small-ball lineup of Thomas, Avery Bradley, Marcus Smart, Jae Crowder and Al Horford has surprisingly struggled to stop teams from scoring, whereas the trio of Thomas, Smart and Jonas Jerebko with a center and shooter surrounding them has fared rather well on both offense and defense.

The important takeaway from that data is eight of those 10 lineups are scoring at a similar level as the Rockets, Cavaliers and Warriors. While some lineups have a hard time slowing teams down, being able to stretch the floor for Thomas with at least three 3-point shooters on the court has proven to be incredibly difficult for any defense to stop. As long as the Celtics finish with one of the net positive lineups, their high-octane offense is usually enough to carry them to the finish line.broncos_130

Pablo Sandoval reportedly to sign with Giants after being cut by Red Sox

Pablo Sandoval is a free agent — but not for long.

The Rex Sox on Wednesday released the third baseman after he was designated for assignment by the team five days earlier on Friday. According to however, his jobless status won’t last long as the Giants will sign Sandoval before Thursday.

Red Sox manager John Farrell argued interference, but the umpires allowed Ellsbury to stay on first after a lengthy review.

[Farrell] wanted [Holliday, and by extension, Ellsbury] called out for interference running the bases, crew chief Gary Cederstrom told The Associated Press, and we told him, ‘No, we can’t.’

But Farrell claimed he didn’t get clarification from the umpires.

Game Youth Al Woods Jersey I didn’t get an explanation, Farrell said. My view was that it was interference, regardless of whether it was intentional or not. That’s why I protested the game. But there was, after repeated conversation with New York, it was brought back to me that they weren’t going to change the play, and the play stood with no explanation.

The Yankees went on to secure victory on four straight hits and two sacrifice flies against right-hander Doug Fister in the 16th inning. After the marathon, the teams are back at Fenway on Sunday for a day-night doubleheader.

Game Youth Dave Taylor Jersey They’ve been talked about as if they’re still the favorites in the NL Central because they’ve only been a game or two back of the Brewers, but they enter the second half five-and-a-half back. And it’s well past time to admit that Milwaukee is a legitimately good team — the Brewers have 50 wins, which is close to the 52 the NL East-leading Nationals have.

While Redick and Johnson might not have a long-term future with the 76ers

It’s why they turned their attention to a couple of productive veterans in J.J. Redick (one year, $23 million) and Amir Johnson (one year, $11 million), whom they signed to a combined $34 million for only one season, instead of spending almost all of their money on a big-time free agent such as Kyle Lowry, George Hill or Paul Millsap.

While Redick and Johnson might not have a long-term future with the 76ers, Redick in particular could make a lasting impact on their up-and-coming core. Redick is coming off a season in which he knocked down 201 3-pointers at a 42.9 percent clip with the Clippers, which will be a welcomed addition to a team that made only 34.0 percent of its 3-pointers last season. He recently turned 33-years-old — making him both the highest-paid and oldest player on their roster next season — but the 76ers couldn’t have picked up a better shooting guard in free agency this summer to fill out its starting lineup.

Under normal circumstances, Westbrook and Harden would have been ineligible to receive those contracts since they had renegotiated so recently. However, the former teammates were specifically exempted from the normal time restrictions since the Designated Veteran rules did not exist last summer.

Limited Kids Troy Polamalu Jersey Harden and the Rockets already took advantage of this wrinkle by agreeing to a Designated Veteran extension that added four seasons and an estimated $169.3 million to his remaining two years and $58.7 million.
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While Westbrook can negotiate a Designated Veteran extension, too, the terms of his deal would be different. The CBA specifies that these extensions must run six seasons, including the remaining term of the eligible player’s existing contract. Harden had two years left on his existing contract, so the extension kicks in after that and uses the actual salary cap number for the 2019-20 season, currently estimated at $108 million.

Astros’ Alex Bregman deletes Twitter account after spat with fan

As entertaining and revealing as Alex Bregman can be on Twitter, that couldn’t save his account from being deleted after he got into a Twitter spat with a fan this week.

Although the report described the situation as extremely fluid and no sale agreement has been presented to MLB for approval, The Post pinpointed Jeter’s group as the leading contender to buy the team from Jeffrey Loria.

Jordan’s involvement as one of some 15 investors led by Florida-based money manager Bruce Sherman is more than an interesting sidelight,.

Though The Post reports Jordan is kicking in very little cash, Jeter 鈥?a longtime Jordan Brand endorser 鈥?sees the Basketball Hall of Famer and Charlotte Hornets owner as a role model for how to transition from standout athlete to successful sports executive, an unidentified source who knows Jeter told The Post.

Elite Womens Sean Davis Jersey Other remaining bidders for the Marlins include Miami billionaire Jorge Mas and the Tagg Romney-led group that now appears to be a long shot.

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred wanted to name the winning bidder before Tuesday’s All-Star Game at Marlins Park, according to The Post, but it appears the process will go into next week.

Elite Womens Ryan Fitzpatrick Jersey Fultz, the No. 1 pick of the 2017 NBA Draft, went down with an ankle injury in the 76ers’ Summer League game against the Warriors on Saturday. He was unable to put any weight on it as he was helped off the court.

NBA playoffs 2017: Wizards, Hawks kick up first-round intensity with war of words

The tag team of Dennis Schroder and Paul Millsap won Round 3 against the duo of John Wall and Markieff Morris, but the battle didn’t stop after both teams left the Philips Arena floor.

Milwaukee is one of the youngest teams in the NBA and its rising stars had an off night in Toronto. After scoring 28 points on 13-of-18 shooting in Saturday’s 97-83 win over the Raptors in Game 1, Giannis Antetokounmpo was just 9 of 24 from the floor in Tuesday’s 106-100 loss. The 22-year-old still finished with a team-high 24 points and 15 rebounds, but the shooting was too inconsistent.

Also in his third NBA season, 26-year-old Matthew Dellavedova had an awful shooting night. He missed badly on seven of his 10 attempts and finished with 7 points.

Rookie guard Malcolm Brogdon was also off, going 3 of 11 from the floor for 7 points.

Kyle Lowry’s jumper with 8.9 seconds remaining made it a two-possession game and sealed the 106-100 win over the Bucks to even the series at a game apiece.

Game 2: Thunder at Rockets, 8 p.m. ET, TNT (Rockets lead 1-0) — The Thunder hope to bounce back from Sunday’s blowout loss. The Rockets had five players hit double digits, led by James Harden’s 37 points. If the Thunder are going to avoid another rout, Russell Westbrook has to lead the way after going just 6 of 23 from the floor on Sunday.

“He approaches everything with such competitiveness and that rubs off,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said following the game. “He loves to play. He loves to be out there. He’s such a competitor. He’s been good for the chemistry of our team.”

Lose-by-36 Popovich is the best Popovich

Gregg Popovich was not humbled by the Spurs’ 36-point loss to the Warriors in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals on Tuesday night. When it comes to basketball, Pop and humble don’t reside in the same county.

Instead, Popovich was unexpectedly open, honest and expansive in a postgame setting. His comments, televised live on ESPN, largely lacked snark and condescension. He was mostly uninterested in playing those games.

Maybe that’s a product of sitting through two-plus quarters of garbage time. Maybe he had flushed the defeat, which put his team down 2-0 in the best-of-seven, out of his system long before he sat down for questions.
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Carlos Dunlap Mens Jersey Edmond Sumner is hurt, but his near 6-6 size with a 6-9 wingspan is a major plus mark for a potential lead guard.

Jarrett Allen came in at 6-10-plus with a 7-foot-5.5 wingspan and a 9-foot-1-plus standing reach. Those measurements were known, but they’re solid marks for a player who profiles best as a center.

Jawun Evans got the important wingspan measurements that were expected and needed. He came in at slightly under 6-foot tall, but had a 6-foot-5.5 wingspan. He’ll still be prone to being attacked on switches, but this could allow him to at least bother other players in those cases, if not necessarily defend them well.

Diallo has not hired an agent so he can still decide by May 24 to go back to college. But it’s going to be hard for Calipari to tell him to come back if he’s expected to go high in the draft.

Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner went went 3 for 5 with three runs scored

It’s been a rough year for the Mets, but ace Jacob deGrom turned in a brilliant performance in a 2-1 win over the Phillies. The Mets righthander allowed just one run in seven innings, while serving up just three hits with 12 strikeouts. This was deGrom’s third game this season with at least 12 strikeouts, which is tied with Chris Sale for most in MLB.
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Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner went went 3 for 5 with three runs scored, a home run (15) and six RBIs in a 13-4 win against the Astros. Gardner became the first Yankees leadoff hitter with six-plus RBIs in a game since Hank Bauer in 1952.

Braves pitcher Mike Foltynewicz took a no-hitter into the ninth inning in Oakland, but lost it in the bottom of the ninth inning. Foltynewicz still struck out eight with four walks and just one hit over eight-plus innings

Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo was back batting third in the lineup Friday in a 5-0 loss to the Reds. After serving some time at leadoff, Rizzo struggled in his old old spot. He went 0 for 4 with a strikeout, dropping his average to .258 on the season. The Cubs desperately need Rizzo to hit with Kris Bryant injured.

Yes, left end Akiem Hicks is a beast who should produce even better in a contract year. But he’s the only sure bet on the front of the Bears’ 3-4 under Fangio. Nose tackle Eddie Goldman has all the potential in the world, but his shaky injury history forced Chicago to sign John Jenkins for depth in the wake of Will Sutton’s departure.

Kids J.J. Jansen Jersey The Bears hope their savior in this position group will be second-year right end Jonathan Bullard, who provided flashes last season but struggled with consistency. He and Mitch Unrein again will split time unless Bullard improves and earns the vast majority of snaps. Without Cornelius Washington and Ego Ferguson, depth on the defensive line is an issue.

Le’Veon Bell reveals release date of ’26 Savage’ rap album

Le’Veon Bell is staying busy off the field this offseason.

The Steelers running back announced Wednesday his second rap album titled “26 Savage” will be released July 21.

After playing through a groin injury for weeks then aggravating it during the AFC Championship Game in January, Bell underwent a procedure on his core muscle in March and has been in recovery mode leading up to training camp.

Bell, who is set to earn $12.7 million if he doesn’t reach a long-term contract agreement with the Steelers by July 15, has rushed for 4,045 yards and 26 touchdowns since being drafted in 2013 despite missing 14 games because of injuries and suspensions.

Loomis is keeping the band together — Sean Payton and Drew Brees — and trying to wring one more good run out of it. A lot is riding on Adrian Peterson’s addition: not that much money, but how he affects the offense. Moving Brandin Cooks before they had to pay him was a major gamble, so the remaining receivers and the return from that trade have to do well.

When the Glazers surprisingly fired Lovie Smith last offseason, a lot was lifted onto Licht’s shoulders. Dirk Koetter improved as head coach as the season went on. The additions on defense have been good enough to complement Jameis Winston and his growth. But Licht is still on the hook for the trade-up to draft kicker Robert Aguayo … who’s already being challenged for his job by Nick Folk. The competition is already making the Bucs look bad — imagine if Folk wins.warriors_007-115x115

All should be selected by Francona for the AL All-Star team.

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The Colts fired Ryan Grigson, understandably so, but not until late January, weeks after teams had made decisions with coaches and, seemingly, their front offices. The only one gone before then was Trent Baalke of the 49ers, again not unexpectedly.

Aside from Michael Vick’s prime, I can’t think of a time where I had enjoyed watching the Dirty Birds more than I did at the end of the season. The Falcons went on a tear from Week 14 throughout the rest of the season. Their lowest-scoring game for the rest of the year happened to come in the Super Bowl, despite scoring 28 points in 36 minutes and 29 seconds of game time (yes, I counted). Every other game, they posted at least 33.

Karl Joseph Youth Jersey Houston’s Dallas Keuchel, who is 9-0 with an AL-best 1.67 ERA, is the favorite to start the All-Star Game on July 11 in Miami, though he hasn’t pitched since June 2 because of neck discomfort. Kansas City’s Jason Vargas is 10-3 with a 2.27 ERA and Red Sox ace Chris Sale is 8-3 with a 2.82 ERA and a league-high 136 strikeouts.

All should be selected by Francona for the AL All-Star team. It’s just a matter of who the Indians manager picks 鈥?his own guy or someone else. It’s a good thing Francona still has about three weeks to make that decision.

Teague probably will fall off this list soon. But between Towns and Butler, this team has some MVP candidates on deck. Remember, Butler was the seventh-best player by RPM this past season. If Towns’ defense improves, he’ll make this a no-doubt super duo in no time. But only five SuperPoints keep them from the upper echelons.

How they move up: You don’t have to squint hard at all to see a superteam consisting of Towns, Butler and Wiggins, but the third piece is probably further away than most would think. If another team is higher on Wiggins, don’t be surprised if the new Minnesota regime, which did not draft him, puts Wiggins in a trade for a win-now player — for the second time in his career.