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Jazz Fan

Alec Burks, Gordon Hayward lead Jazz past Grizzlies posted by Jazz Fan

After losing to Eastern Conference foes Chicago and Cleveland over the weekend, Memphis showed signs of fatigue in not being able to counter Utah's youth, allowing the Jazz to beat the Grizzlies 97-91 on Monday night.

Alec Burks scored 23 points and Gordon Hayward added 21 to lead the Jazz, who withstood a late push by hitting eight of 10 free throws down the stretch for their third win in the last four.

Derrick Favors finished with 15 points, while Enes Kanter added 13 points and nine rebounds. Rudy Gobert had a career-best 16 rebounds as the Jazz dominated the boards 49-34.

"I think our offensive game started with our defense," Hayward said. "We have a goal of not letting teams score over 24 points per quarter, and we won on three of four quarters."

Utah connected on 9 of 19 from outside the arc to create a buffer from Memphis. Another factor, beyond the rebounding margin, was the Jazz converting 20 of 27 free throws, while Memphis went to the line only nine times in the game, making eight.

Utah led through much of the second half until Gasol connected with 5:32 left for a 77-75 Memphis lead. Burks answered with a 3-pointer, and Utah never let go of the lead the final 5 minutes in rebounding from a 104-86 loss Saturday at Charlotte.

"It was big for our confidence to be able to come back and get a road win here in Memphis after a poor performance in Charlotte," Jazz guard Trey Burke said.

The Jazz pushed the lead to six points in the third quarter, and managed to keep the Grizzlies at bay through most of the period as Hayward had nine points and Kanter added seven.

Continue reading "Alec Burks, Gordon Hayward lead Jazz ..."

Magic Fan

Magic Hang Tight With Cavs Before Falling Short posted by Magic Fan

Midway through Friday’s second quarter, the Magic were in possession of a feel-good 10-point lead on the star-studded Cleveland Cavaliers, confetti inexplicably starting falling from the rafters.

It was a case of premature celebration considering LeBron James’ propensity for taking games over late and the Magic’s struggles in the clutch in recent weeks.

Orlando started strong and matched the Cavs blow for blow most of the night only to see James come alive in the fourth quarter as the Magic went cold at the wrong time. James ended up with 29 points – one more than the Magic over the final 12 minutes of the game – to lead Cleveland to a 98-89 victory that wrecked Orlando’s hopes of capturing a signature win.

``You just watch the film on the game and you will see two different teams. One from the first three quarters and one from the last quarter, especially the last five minutes of the game,’’ frustrated forward Tobias Harris said.

``A big part of this league is at the end of the game having the ability to put the basketball in someone’s hands and that person makes a play,’’ Magic coach Jacque Vaughn said. ``How many possessions at the end of the game was the ball in LeBron’s hands? He made the plays for himself and for his teammates.

``We’re still growing and understand where we want the ball and in whose hands,’’ Vaughn continued. ``And we’re still learning how to finish once the ball is in that person’s hands.’’

Continue reading "Magic Hang Tight With Cavs Before Falling Short"

Heat Fan

Miami fans should applaud LeBron, and he should return the favor posted by Heat Fan

Four Finals appearances in four years? Two championships? I'd say James delivered on his promise when he the Heat in 2010.

When he left Cleveland, he was the game's biggest individual talent who hadn't won anything. He needed validation; needed to begin his ring count before it was too late.

His four years in Miami built leadership qualities and maturity that were lacking before. And his time in the South Florida sun removed the stigma of being the best player in the world who hadn't won a championship. When it was all over, the experience had given him the confidence to return home and try to build something new.

As he returns to face his buddy, Dwyane Wade, on Thursday, here's a question: Is it possible that James' four years in Miami will wind up being the apex of his career? That he'll never have another run like that again?

It's more than possible. Only three teams have been to the Finals four consecutive times -- the Lakers and Celtics in the '80s and the Heat of James, Wade and Bosh. The odds that James could accomplish that feat a second time with another team? Pretty slim.

Even slimmer when you consider how much the NBA landscape has changed since James formed his Big Three in 2010. That was the last hurrah under the old collective bargaining agreement, and the deal struck after the 2011 lockout has fundamentally changed how teams are being built.

This is not to say that the Big Three model can't or won't work one more time for James in Cleveland. But with the landscape changing all around him, it's a reminder of how special his four years in Miami really were.

Continue reading "Miami fans should applaud LeBron, ..."

Houston Rockets

Corey Brewer to Rockets. posted by Houston Rockets

The Minnesota Timberwolves' wing is a little less crowded after Friday, as they've agreed to trade swingman Corey Brewer to the Houston Rockets.

Brewer, 28, is averaging 10.5 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.3 steals per game on 41.8 percent shooting. One of Minnesota's first players off the bench in most contests, a Brewer trade nonetheless became inevitable.

The former Florida star isn't a superstar by any stretch, but he's a smart player who knows what he is at this point in his career. Most of Brewer's best shots come in transition and semi-transition, where he's an expert at using the open floor to get to the rim. A subpar shooter from beyond the arc in his career, Brewer has almost abandoned the three-point shot entirely this season.

Minnesota's willingness to move him despite a fine start is an indicator head coach and team president Flip Saunders has come around to a full-scale rebuild. The Wolves' trade of Kevin Love to Cleveland this offseason started the project, but it seemed like Saunders was taking half-measures by signing veterans in free agency and trading for Thaddeus Young.

But a 5-19 start leaves the Timberwolves with little excuse not to see what they have in their young talent.

Getting Brewer is about the best Houston could hope to do given its salary situation. Brewer is by no means a lockdown defender, but he's a high-energy guy who consistently fights his way to a couple turnovers per game.

Offensively, he is more of a noticeable minus, where his penchant for leaking out for transition buckets can sometimes lead to some questionable decision-making. That, of course, is also an issue defensively when the opposing team gets the offensive board.

Continue reading "Corey Brewer to Rockets."

Cavaliers Fan

Cavs rally to beat Magic 98-89 without Kyrie Irving; Kevin Love sits fourth quarter posted by Cavaliers Fan

LeBron James had 29 points and eight assists, Kevin Love scored 22 points despite sitting out the fourth quarter and the Cavs beat the Orlando Magic 98-89 Friday without Kyrie Irving.

Irving was a late scratch with his bothersome left knee. Coach David Blatt thought he would be able to play, but Irving tested the knee prior to the game and determined he couldn’t go.

The Cavs’ defense was terrible throughout the first half when the Magic shot 60 percent, but the effort improved in the second half to win after trailing by 10 in the third quarter.

Love scored 13 points in the first quarter, including a pair of 3-pointers then was relatively quiet the rest of the night. That has been a recurring trend with the third member of the Cavs’ Big Three.

Love played the entire third quarter, shot 1-for-6 and struggled at times defensively. He started the fourth quarter on the bench and didn’t return to the game.

James put the game away in the final minute. With the Cavas already leading92-89, James blew past Tobias Harris for a basket and foul. He made the free throw to extend the lead to six with 40 seconds left.

Tristan Thompson had nine points and 13 rebounds as the new starting center and Dion Waiters scored 17 points off the bench for the Cavs, who rebounded from Thursday’s disappointing loss at Miami.

The Cavs have been playing hurt lately. James’ left knee has been bothering him, Irving aggravated his knee in Thursday’s loss at Miami and Anderson Varejao has been lost for the season with a torn Achilles.

Continue reading "Cavs rally to beat Magic 98-89 without ..."


Cavaliers Fan

Cleveland Cavaliers Preseason Report 2014 posted by Cavaliers Fan

Unfortunately, missing on the playoffs, the Cleveland Cavaliers were quite difficult to figure out, from the start. The team had accumulated lottery picks for three seasons, which made them bring back Mike Brown, and they were confident in succeeding in the Eastern playoffs. Since the East lacked talent and depth, the Cavaliers had an easy task before them, but they missed it by eight games, finishing the season with 33-49. The team lacked consistency, and every time, it kept taking steps forwards and backwards by winning and losing several games in a row.

Before Luol Deng was traded in January, the Cavaliers seemed to have a good defense, but their offense was horrible and ranked 28th. However, acquisition of Spencer Hawes helped the offense considerably, and their rank jumped to 14th. The team had many requirements and objectives to fulfill for the offseason. They needed LeBron to come back and a new coach would have been ideal. Even though the Cavaliers had young talent like Anthony Bennett, Tyler Zeller, and Tristan Thompson, they needed somebody anchoring the rotation. Anderson Varejao had the capacity but had missed many games in the last four seasons.

Cavaliers had the number one draft pick three times in four years, and their choice came down to Jabari Parker from Duke and Andrew Wiggins from Kansas. The team decided to take Wiggins, who was a potential all-rounder, and would pair ideally with Irving. Cavaliers also picked Joe Harris who was a good shooter in the wings. Dwight Powell was also taken in, on a trade for Alonzo Gee.

Cleveland Cavaliers had the number one pick and they selected a possible future star. They also hired an excellent coach who can adapt to almost any roster and situation. Cavaliers might still have other big moves up their sleeve, which might include trading Wiggins for Kevin Love.

Continue reading "Cleveland Cavaliers Preseason Report 2014"


Omari Prince

NBA Draft Recap posted by Omari Prince

This is a 3 part blog that I'll talk about regarding the 2011 NBA Draft

Last Thursday the annual NBA Draft took place in New Jersey and to nobody's surprise, the Cleveland Cavaliers took Kyrie Irving with the first pick. Coach Byron Scott played poker with the media but finally reveled his has when they drafted the former one & done freshmen from Duke. Why Irving was chosen first even though he only played eight games all year is simple: much like the quarterback in football, point guard is the most important position in basketball and they're an extension of the coach on the floor. Had Irving been healthy during the season, Duke easily defeats Arizona and most likely would have advanced to the Final 4 this past March. 

Derrick Rose and John Wall were the previous point guards selected first overall and are the leaders on their team. With the departure of LeBron James last summer, Kyrie Irving realizes he's no Lebron but he has to put the city of Cleveland and the Cavaliers on his back. That's the cost of being drafted 1st overall. The verdict is still out if his turf toe injury is completely healed but when healthy, Irving has lighting speed, low turnover ratio, and extremely athletic. With this new team, he should not have any problem taking over the leadership (this team lost 26 consecutive games) since he hails from a winning high school & college program. Most scout are comparing him to Chris Paul but I see a more athletic Kevin Johnson in Irving. Remember KJ was a scoring PG who also dished 10 assist per game. 

Continue reading "NBA Draft Recap"


Randolph Charlotin

Refreshed Bench posted by Randolph Charlotin

Focus on the last names:

 

Jeff GREEN.

 

Troy MURPHY.

 

They were meant to be Celtics.

 

If Danny Ainge stopped his trade deadline dealings at the two-for-two swap that sent C Kendrick Perkins and G Nate Robinson to Oklahoma City for Green and Nenad Kristic, then fan dread over Boston’s chances in the playoffs would be understandable.

 

But Trader Dan was far from done. Often with Ainge, he makes a deal with complementary moves in mind. The two trades that followed Perkins’ departure cleared room for productive veteran players on the bench and improved versatility.

 

Celtic fans have a tough time accepting change from a winning formula. Perkins was the anchor in the middle of the defense, an intimidator that protected the paint from intruders. The Celtics hung their hat on being a physical defense-first team and was the cornerstone.

 

Health permitting, Boston could had claimed their NBA-record 18th championship. But health hasn’t been on the Celtics’ side this season. Already down are the two O’Neals (Jermaine and Shaquille) and G/F Marquis Daniels. Ainge decided not to wait and hope for modern medicine.

 Upon arrival Kristic was in the starting lineup and Green came off the bench. Regardless of their performance (they helped the Celtics win against the Los Angeles Clippers), they were available to play, which is something Perkins and Daniels can’t do right now. Perkins is expected to miss his first two to three weeks while Daniels might not play another game this season.

Continue reading "Refreshed Bench"


Joe Franciosa, Jr.

Dice-man rolls 7, C's just roll. posted by Joe Franciosa, Jr.

No walks.

 Matsuzaka, the pitcher who up until now had presumably preffered to pitch from the stretch, put no runners on base. He pounded the strike zone. He gave up only one run in the 6th. He pitched like the Dice-man that was advertised in '07. If he can do that consistently, the Sox will have the pitching staff that folks expected coming into this season.

Meanwhile, the Celtics essentially played by themselves in Cleveland. Lebron was all but absent from this game. 0-4 in the first half. Staring off into the crowd during team time-outs. Appearing winded on the court. Removing his "protective arm sleeve" and still throwing up LeBrick after LeBrick.

 Now, the rest of the Cavalier team was not doing much to help its MVP star. Delonte West was a non-factor. Mo Williams is a former All-star and he wasn't hitting shots. Shaq had 20 points, and almost took out Glenn Davis when he landed on Shaq's foot after coming down from a jump shot.

 Meanwhile, the big 3 scored 64 of the C's 120 points. Pierce finally warmed up and ended 3 assists shy of a triple double. Garnett hit key shots to stop a Cav's run. Ray Allen was just deadly from beyond the arc. Rondo didn't have a huge game, but he didn't have to. Indeed, he sat longer in this game than he did the entire rest of the series.

 So now that series comes back to Boston. The good news is that the C's are 31-1 when up 3-2 in a seven game series. The bad news is that one loss came just last year against the Orlando Magic. Of course, Garnett was out for that series, and Rondo did not have the experience he does now. Look for the Celtics to come out strong. And for you lucky fans who will be in the Garden Thursday night. You better be cheering and yelling as loudly as I will be at my television set.

Continue reading "Dice-man rolls 7, C's just roll."


Joe Franciosa, Jr.

The Tri-fecta, the Trinity, TGIF for Boston Sports. posted by Joe Franciosa, Jr.

Red Sox vs. Yankees. Celtics vs. Cavaliers in game 3 of a 1-1 series. Bruins vs. Flyers in possible series sweep.

There are so many story lines for this Friday night in Boston Sports.

Red Sox: You just swept the Angels. The Angels have problems of their own, being staked to a 4-0 lead after the ist inning thanks to the Dice-man's proclivity to gamble on his pitches. I understand that the Japanese strike-zone is different than MLB...but Dice-dude, you've been here 3 years now. I know you can speak English. You have to at least understand it, or else what exactly is V-mart and his own heavy accent conveying to you when he goes to chat on the mound after you walk 3 straight? What does John Farrell say while the umpire walks all the way out to the mound to break the conversation up. That's always a great way to get on the Ump's good side. Throw a ton of balls, and then make the Ump actually walk the 60'6" to the pitchers mound. In any event, the Sox offense again came up huge. The Angels certainly helped, but at this point we'll take whatever help we can get. On a 4 game win-streak, Bring on the Yankees!

Celtics: You have the momentum. Keep it. Don't come out flat. Don't wait for the crowd to get you going. Get the crowd going and you'll get yourselves further into the play-offs. The Cav's think they have the experience and the talent to finally get Lebron a ring. If Lebron is at 80%, and the rest of his team can't pick up any of that other 20%, do they really deserve to advance? Celtic basketball is better than Cavalier basketball. Enough said.

Continue reading "The Tri-fecta, the Trinity, TGIF ..."

Cleveland Cavaliers News

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The Latest: Shaq, Iverson finalists for the Hall of Fame (Yahoo Sports)

[read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


NBA-Love injury overshadows Kobe's Cleveland farewell (Reuters)

Kevin Love departure in the final minute of the second quarter with a left shoulder injury marred the Cleveland Cavaliers' 120-111 victory over Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday. Guard Kyrie Irving scored a season-high 35 points and LeBron James had 29 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists for the Cavaliers, who enter the All-Star break on a three-game winning streak and focused on the health of their power forward. Bryant's arm seemed to catch Love's shoulder when Love was backing him down on a shot in the post. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

Love injury overshadows Kobe's Cleveland farewell (Reuters)

Kevin Love departure in the final minute of the second quarter with a left shoulder injury marred the Cleveland Cavaliers' 120-111 victory over Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday. Guard Kyrie Irving scored a season-high 35 points and LeBron James had 29 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists for the Cavaliers, who enter the All-Star break on a three-game winning streak and focused on the health of their power forward. Bryant's arm seemed to catch Love's shoulder when Love was backing him down on a shot in the post. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

Shoulders to cry on: Love, MKG, Olynyk all exit with shoulder woes (Ball Don't Lie)

Wednesday was a rough night for shoulders in the NBA, as three players on teams with Eastern Conference playoff aspirations left their games early after suffering shoulder injuries. [ Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr:  The best slams from all of basketball] Headlining the injury report: Cleveland Cavaliers star Kevin Love, who left his team's nationally televised Wednesday meeting with the Los Angeles Lakers favoring his left shoulder — the one he had surgically repaired last spring after dislocating it in the opening round of the playoffs — in the final minute of the first half: Kevin Love has a shoulder injury that occurred on this play where he was defended by Kobe Bryant pic.twitter.com/zUsDPnR1Ur — The Cauldron (@TheCauldron) February 11, 2016 After banging with Kobe Bryant in the post before shooting a jump hook, Love, his left shoulder slumped, almost immediately left the court and headed back to the locker room, with Cavaliers general manager David Griffin following close behind . Shortly thereafter, the team ruled Love out for the game with what they described generally as a left shoulder injury; he finished with eight points on 2-for-9 shooting with six rebounds, three assists and one steal in 20 minutes. Cleveland went on to beat L.A., 120-111 , behind big games from Kyrie Irving (35 points, seven assists) and LeBron James (29 points, 11 assists, seven rebounds). It wasn't immediately clear how severely Love reinjured his surgically repaired shoulder, but the Cavs are apparently optimistic that whatever caused Love to yell in pain and race to the locker room wasn't too bad: League source tells ESPN that upon initial examination, Cavs do not believe Love's shoulder injury to be major: "Most likely he'll be fine" — Dave McMenamin (@mcten) February 11, 2016 #Cavs expect Kevin Love (shoulder contusion) to be available for first game out of All-Star break. It'll be Chicago on Feb. 18 at The Q. — Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) February 11, 2016 The Charlotte Hornets and their fans find themselves similarly hoping for the best after watching forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist — whose recent return to the lineup less than four months after undergoing surgery on a torn labrum in his right shoulder in preseason was nothing short of remarkable — once again dislocate the shoulder during the third quarter of Charlotte's visit to Bankers Life Fieldhouse to take on the Indiana Pacers: Kidd-Gilchrist, a hard-charging two-way player who famously plays with a revved-up motor and throws his body around, suffered the injury after Pacers center Ian Mahinmi fell on him in the chase for a loose ball. He stayed down until Charlotte committed a foul to stop play, and needed to be helped to the locker room, leaving many Hornets fans fearing the worst. He would not return, leaving the arena to go to an Indianapolis hospital to get his shoulder popped back into place; he finished with eight points, three rebounds, two assists and one steal in 19 minutes of work in a 117-95 blowout of the Pacers that improved the Hornets to 27-26, marking the first time in six years that Charlotte's over .500 at the All-Star break. Combined with the Detroit Pistons' loss to the Denver Nuggets, it also moved Steve Clifford's club into the No. 8 spot in the Eastern Conference playoff picture. Those silver linings, however, come wrapped around the gray cloud of Kidd-Gilchrist's early exit, and the shadow his looming absence could cast over the Hornets' post-All-Star-break chances: The @hornets Michael Kidd-Gilchrist will get an MRI tomorrow in Charlotte regarding his dislocated shoulder. #CHAatIND — Charlotte Hornets PR (@HornetsPR) February 11, 2016 Kidd-Gilchrist had been tremendous in his first six games since returning, averaging 13.5 points, seven rebounds and 1.2 assists in 31 minutes per game while shooting 52.6 percent from the field and a shocking 42.9 percent from 3-point land. In keeping with the precedent set over the past couple of seasons, the Hornets have operated at a significantly higher level with MKG on the floor than off it since his return, outscoring opponents by 15.2 points per 100 possessions when he's playing and getting outscored by 4.3 points-per-100 when he's been on the bench. He's stepped right back in as Charlotte's best defender while also working his tail off to fit in on the offensive end, and it's been working ... and now, again, Clifford and company might have to make do without him. The Boston Celtics might also have to weather the absence of an important piece of their frontcourt puzzle after the All-Star break, as forward/center Kelly Olynyk — who, you might remember, was the player with whom Love tangled on the play that resulted in his separated shoulder back in the first round of the 2015 playoffs — left the game in the final minute of the second quarter of Boston's matchup with the Los Angeles Clippers after being landed on by Clippers center DeAndre Jordan: Olynyk would stay in the game, make his two free throws and play one more defensive possession before coming out for good with 15 seconds left in the first half. He finished with seven points, two rebounds and two assists in 11 minutes. #NEBHInjuryReport : Kelly Olynyk has been diagnosed with a bruised right shoulder and will not return to tonight's game. — Boston Celtics (@celtics) February 11, 2016 After the game, which Boston won, 139-134 , in double-overtime, the Celtics updated Olynyk's diagnosis in a way that doesn't sound especially pleasant: Stevens said Kelly Olynyk had a shoulder subluxation and went to the hospital for X-rays. — Jay King (@ByJayKing) February 11, 2016 As Jeff Stotts of the injury-focused site In Street Clothes has written, a subluxation is a partial dislocation in which "the displacement is minor and the shoulder joint slips out but naturally returns to its normal position." That doesn't sound particularly appealing, but it also doesn't seem as bad as a complete dislocation; Boston fans will hope that the extended All-Star break will have the 24-year-old Gonzaga product, who's been playing the best ball of his career for Brad Stevens this season, back an ready to contribute for a Celtics club that sits at 32-23, winners of eight of their last 10 and in third place in the East. Whatever their prognoses, it seems likely that Olynyk, Love and Kidd-Gilchrist all have an awful lot of rest, ice and treatment in store over the long week off. More NBA coverage: - - - - - - - Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YourManDevine Stay connected with Ball Don't Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL , "Like" BDL on Facebook and follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

D'Angelo Russell took a LeBron James pass where it hurts (Ball Don't Lie)

Basketball is not typically called a contact sport, but it still carries the possibility of bodily harm. It's easy to get an elbow to the face in the post or any number of knocks during a loose ball. There are many occupational hazards in the NBA. [ Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr:  The best slams from all of basketball] For instance, sometimes LeBron James will fire a pass right into an opponent's nether regions: Oof. That's Los Angeles Lakers rookie guard D'Angelo Russell on the receiving end of this errant pass late in the third quarter. Russell fell to the floor and was helped off the court, but he did return to finish with 15 points in his 28 minutes. The Lakers fell to LeBron's Cleveland Cavaliers 120-111 . Baxter Holmes of ESPN.com quoted several Lakers about the rough moment after the game: “The way the crowd sounded, it seemed pretty obvious that it hit him right in the spot,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said. “I felt for him.” [...] "It was tough. Every guy knows the feeling,” said Russell, who finished with 15 points on 5-of-11 shooting in 28 minutes. “Laugh about it now and then two months from now, somebody else will have something else to laugh about.” Said Russell’s teammate, Kobe Bryant, “It was hilarious. It was so funny. Once I knew he was OK, the jokes write themselves. That was a good time.” I'm pretty sure there's only really one joke when a guy gets hit in the groin, but maybe Kobe is working on fresh material no one's ever considered before. It was a notable game for Kobe, too — his last in Cleveland and his final matchup with non-rival LeBron James, whom he surprisingly avoided in the 2009 and 2010 NBA Finals. When Kobe left the court in the final minute, the two shared a nice hug: LeBron hugs Kobe as he checks out of the game, fans chant Kobe's name pic.twitter.com/osLe2nexFr — The Cauldron (@TheCauldron) February 11, 2016 Two all-time greats paying respect to each other in their final regular season game against each other? We'll still take the Russell play. LeBron and Kobe's video had heart, but "Basketball in the Groin" had a basketball in the groin. - - - - - - - Eric Freeman is a writer for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at efreeman_ysports@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @FreemanEric [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

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