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New England Patriots

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.

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 MLB.com 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.

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.

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.

McCants did explain how he got involved in the Big3

There were already serious issues across the league that were destined to go unresolved by the end of camps. Andrew Luck wasn’t going to be back from offseason shoulder surgery. Kirk Cousins was almost a sure bet not to be re-signed. Clearly, at least in hindsight, nobody seriously intended to sign Colin Kaepernick.

Tanner Pearson Limited Jersey Since his last NBA game in 2009, McCants has played professionally in Brazil, Lebanon, Venezuela and the Dominican Republic. He said fans in those countries are definitely a little more enthusiastic than what he had been used to.
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They’re more involved and more hands on, McCants said. They have a sense of passion that’s really only been seen in the soccer world. They’re just deeply passionate about their teams, to an extent that, we as Americans haven’t seen as much. It’s one of those things you just have to kind of see for yourself. It’s kind of hard to explain.

McCants did explain how he got involved in the Big3, which has former NBA player Roger Mason as its president and features several high-profile former NBA players like Allen Iverson, Charles Oakley, Gary Payton, George Gervin, Julius Erving, Clyde Drexler, Rick Barry and Rick Mahorn as coaches.

In seven years, he amassed 385 receptions, 5,253 receiving yards, and 35 touchdowns. Decker only missed four games in his career before last season, so durability was never an issue with him.

The Titans’ passing game ranked just 25th in yards last season, but Mariota has shown promise in his young career. Decker could be the reliable target that Mariota hasn’t always had. Matthews led the team in receiving last year but was inconsistent. Tennessee also has Delanie Walker, a veteran tight end who was the second-leading receiver last year.

Wide receiver is something of a question mark

Talking with Attles now, you’d never get the impression that he ever could have been known as a tough guy. He dotes on his grandson, Isaiah, himself a high school basketball player in Arizona. He is 80 years old and still working for the Warriors in community outreach. But don’t try to tell Brown that Attles has gotten soft. They didn’t call him The Destroyer because he was a pleasant man, okay? Brown said with a laugh.
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As good — and tough — as Attles was as a player, he brought the same approach to coaching, where he made an even bigger mark on the Warriors, managing stars like Rick Barry and Nate Thurmond.

Julius Peppers Authentic Jersey He didn’t talk a lot, former Warriors guard Jim Barnett, now the team’s television analyst, said. He expected you to go out and play. It’s interesting, when Allen Iverson talked about practice, in those days, Nate was playing 45 minutes a night and he would practice, but he did what he wanted to do. That was the way it was for Al. He didn’t get mad very often, but when he did, he raised his voice and it scared the heck out of you. I mean, it would send chills, if we came in at halftime and somebody wasn’t getting back or whatever. All he had to do was raise his voice, and that room was quiet.

Wide receiver is something of a question mark, though. Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen emerged as capable starters, but 2016 first-round pick Laquon Treadwell flopped as a rookie, catching just one pass all season. Perhaps Treadwell will be more productive in 2017 (a broken leg from college may explain last year’s struggles), but he’ll need to show tangible progress to earn a steady role in the offense. To his credit, he appears to be making a serious effort at improving in his second offseason.

Guys were saying last year that your first year is you swimming and trying to figure it all out, Treadwell said. Then your second year it slows down, and each year after that, it slows down even more.

The Patriots’ two previous trips to the Super Bowl

A fourth-quarter interception by Falcons safety Ricardo Allen on a fluttering Wilson pass was the final nail in the proverbial coffin. The turnover led to a 3-yard touchdown pass from Ryan to Mohamed Sanu to give Atlanta a 36-13 lead with under four minutes remaining.

Wilson finished 17 of 30 for 225 yards and two touchdowns and a pair of fourth-quarter interceptions.

The Falcons advance to next weekend’s NFC championship game and will hope for the Packers (11-6) to beat the Cowboys on Sunday. A Green Bay win means the Falcons would host the NFC title tilt. The Cowboys (13-3) own homefield advantage throughout the NFC playoffs and would host the Falcons if they beat the Packers at AT&T Stadium.

Yet there are reasons for optimism. The Patriots’ two previous trips to the Super Bowl, 2012 against the Giants and 2015 against the Seahawks, were the two highest-rated editions since 1986 (another Patriots game, though well before the Brady and Belichick era). It has been nearly that long since Super Bowl ratings fell in consecutive years (1987 and 1988). And for all the talk of the NFL’s slump, the Super Bowl is a different animal from any other game a cultural event more immune to viewer apathy.

So which way to go Considering how divisive New England has been over the past decade, it’s tempting to predict a modest increase, yet there may be no more appropriate way to close out this NFL season than with a multiyear low for the league’s biggest game. Broncos-Panthers last year had a 46.6, and no Super Bowl has dipped below a 46.0 rating in seven years. Prediction: 45.7.sharks_084