On these lists you’ll find all the old standbys but probably some surprises, too. Kyle Lowry’s performance last year put him the 97th percentile, well within the mark we’d expect to find for the best player on a championship-caliber team. The Toronto Raptors team around him just wasn’t up to that level.You’ll also notice that four members of the San Antonio Spurs appear on these lists, while just one member of the Miami Heat does: LeBron James. The Heat were something of an outlier last season as Dwyane Wade, the team’s second-best player, had an SPM that placed him in the 82nd percentile, more than a standard deviation less than the average second-best player on finals teams. In fact the average SPM percentile rank of the Heat’s three best players last season — James, Wade and Mario Chalmers — was just 82. On only six of the 40 finals teams in this sample did the three players have a lower average mark. By comparison, the average SPM percentile rank of the Spurs’ three best players last season was 92nd.Which brings us to the 2004 Pistons, the championship team often acknowledged as lacking a transcendent star. But this perception is a misconception. No players on the team were dominant individual scorers, sure, but the Pistons’ best players performed at levels of elite stardom. Their three best players that season — Ben Wallace, Rasheed Wallace and Chauncey Billups — had SPM marks that placed them in the 95th, 95th and 92nd percentiles, respectively. In fact, the average of the trio’s SPM percentiles that season ranks higher than that of all but five of the 40 teams in this sample. The 2004 Pistons may have been starless in terms of the subjective ways we define the term, but by objective measures of performance, they had as much star power as nearly any championship-caliber team of the last 20 years.This should bring hope to teams like the Warriors, Grizzlies, Raptors and Wizards. We may not see Andrew Bogut, Mike Conley, Marc Gasol, Kyle Lowry or John Wall as the kind of stars who can help lead a team to the finals. But each has been at or near that level of production in the past. If the teams around them can provide the necessary support, the fact that they aren’t dominating scorers or sneaker-selling heroes won’t stop them from winning championships. You need stars to win championships. It’s one of the oldest pieces of NBA conventional wisdom, and every year it’s validated as another star leads his team to the title. So far this year the Golden State Warriors, Memphis Grizzlies, Toronto Raptors and Washington Wizards may hold some of the top spots in each conference while seemingly lacking the celestial requirements for championship contention. But at some point they’ll be overtaken by the Cleveland Cavaliers, Chicago Bulls, Houston Rockets, San Antonio Spurs or Los Angeles Clippers.It’s an idea that gains more credence every time an NBA analyst trots it out. Bill Simmons asks, “Can you win an NBA Championship if Carmelo Anthony is your best player?” Jeff Caplan wonders if a team “lacking a legit superstar” like the Grizzlies or the Indiana Pacers can really win it all. NBA.com roundtables lead off with questions like, “Can a team win it all nowadays without an MVP-type superstar?” The starless 2004 Detroit Pistons are often acknowledged as the exception that proves the rule.What we do know for sure is that it takes an elite team performance to win a championship, and elite teams are usually (but not always) driven by elite players. The problem is that there is no objective definition of what makes somebody a suitable enough star to win championships. Dwyane Wade didn’t have the experience to lead his team to a title … until he did just that in the 2006 NBA Finals. After his playoff struggles in 2006 and 2007, Dirk Nowitzki clearly couldn’t help his team break through … until he did in the 2011 finals. Often we don’t recognize the players who meet our imagined championship threshold until the second before they cross it.But the data — the data holds some answers. We can use it to look at the rosters of teams that made the finals and better understand just how good their best players were. Using Statistical Plus-Minus — an estimated measure of a player’s value in points per 100 possessions relative to the league average — I looked at where each finals player ranked, relative to the league, in the season his team made the finals.The table at left covers the past 20 seasons and shows the average, minimum and maximum SPM percentile for the first, second and third-best players on finals teams.That bottom row is not the fabled 2004 Pistons. It’s the 1999 New York Knicks, who made their way to the finals as an eight seed during the lockout-shortened season. Only two other finals teams over the past 20 seasons had their best player rank below the 90th percentile in SPM — the 2010 Boston Celtics and the 2000 Indiana Pacers.So the best teams are indeed almost always driven by the best players. But who are those players? Let’s use last season as an example. The table below shows SPM percentile ranks from 2013-14. The table is color-coded, separating the players into two groups: those who are within one standard deviation of the average for the best players on NBA Finals teams for the 1994-95 through 2013-14 seasons, and those who just missed the cut.1Percentile ranks are for players who played at least 115 minutes, a pool of about 200 players per season.
Senior center Ashley Adams (33) takes a shot during a game against Michigan State Jan. 26 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU lost, 82-68.Credit: Kaily Cunningham / Multimedia editorAlthough the Ohio State women’s basketball team lost its last game, the Buckeyes are still standing tall.The roller coaster ride that has been the team’s 2013-14 season is set to make its next stop in West Lafayette, Ind., to take on the No. 25 Purdue Boilermakers (15-7, 5-5) Thursday.The Buckeyes (14-11, 4-5) are coming off of a loss against Wisconsin Sunday, a game from which coach Kevin McGuff said he would like to move forward.“We just have to get back to practice,” McGuff said Wednesday. “That is our formula. We practice well, prepare well, we will play well. Hopefully, we can do that.”Despite the poor performance against the Badgers, OSU is still projected to be one of the “last four in” to the NCAA women’s college basketball tournament according to ESPN’s Bracketology.With a road game against a ranked team looming, McGuff said he does not like to put too much emphasis on projections or a particular game.“I do not ever look at that stuff until we are done playing,” McGuff said concerning the ESPN projections. “What happens when you start saying ‘This is a huge game because…’ then you get to the next game and it is not as big.”OSU redshirt-junior guard Amy Scullion said the win against the Boilermakers in their first meeting was a result of consistent offense and inspired defense.“We played well, we played hard, we made shots,” Scullion said. “That is a big thing for us. When our offense is clicking, it seems like our defense is a lot better.”Fellow Buckeye, junior guard Raven Ferguson, who has led the Buckeyes in scoring three out of the last four games, said the problem for OSU has been a lack of focus.“We need to focus on the finish and finish plays,” Ferguson said. “We just need to play harder as a team.”The Boilermakers will likely be without their leading scorer, redshirt-senior guard KK Houser, who tore her ACL in a loss at Michigan State Sunday. Houser scored a game-high 26 points on 9-20 shooting in Purdue’s loss to OSU Jan. 2.“(Purdue is) going to try and win for her,” McGuff said about Houser’s injury. “I think you will see an incredibly inspired effort (from Purdue) Thursday night.”The Boilermakers rely heavily on their three point shooting ability, as they shoot 38.7 percent from beyond the arc, good for second in the Big Ten. McGuff said he will stress the importance of defending the arc to his team.“They shoot it great,” McGuff said. “They can really light people up from the three point line. We are going to have our hands full defensively. We will need a great effort on that end of the floor.”Although the Boilermakers shoot well from deep, they are not a very big team, and roster lists their tallest player as redshirt-junior center Camille Redmon who stands at 6 feet 4 inches.The Buckeyes seem to excel against smaller teams as they blew out an Illinois team, 90-64, Jan. 30 whose tallest player stands at 6 feet 3 inches.OSU senior center Ashley Adams and redshirt-freshman center Lisa Blair both stand taller than 6 feet 5 inches.“I think that when we play smaller teams, we get our post players involved early and that kind of builds confidence for the team,” Scullion said. “Those are easy buckets for us and I think we build off of that.”The Buckeyes are set to tip off with the Boilermakers Thursday at 7 p.m.
OSU sophomore defender Austin Bergstrom pushes the ball up the pitch during a game against Akron Sept. 24 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. OSU lost 3-1.Credit: Ben Jackson / For The LanternComing off two wins against ranked teams, the Ohio State men’s soccer team’s focus was to not fall into a trap against a supposedly weaker squad.“If your aspirations are to go farther and compete maybe for a Big Ten championship or hopefully gain an NCAA Tournament bid, if you believe you can do that, you cannot let down against a team like Oakland,” OSU coach John Bluem said Monday.Unfortunately for the Buckeyes, a let down is exactly what happened.OSU (4-4-3, 2-1-0) fell to Oakland (3-5-1) in Rochester, Mich., by a final score of 1-0 Wednesday evening.The Grizzlies struck in the first half when senior forward Joey Tinnion received a pass off a misplay by OSU and put it past OSU redshirt-senior goalkeeper Alex Ivanov for the game’s lone score. The goal was Tinnion’s second of the season.The Buckeyes had their chances throughout the game, but were unable to get anything on the board.OSU took 12 shots, but only two of those were shot on goal. Overall, Oakland outshot OSU, 13-12, including a 4-2 advantage in shots on the mark.OSU’s slow day on offense came days after a six-shot-on-target, three-goal game against Michigan State last Saturday.Oakland has now won three straight games after beginning the season with five consecutive losses and a draw.The loss was the first for the Buckeyes against the Grizzlies in 14 all-time meetings. OSU was previously 11-0-2 in the series, including a 4-0 victory in Columbus last season.Before the game, OSU had found itself at No. 13 in the NCAA RPI rankings on top of receiving four votes in the coaches poll coming off its two wins against ranked opponents.The Buckeyes’ next shot to get back to their winning ways is set to come at home when they host No. 10 Indiana on Sunday. That game is scheduled to kick off at 2 p.m. at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
Ohio State football redshirt junior defensive end Darius Slade has transferred from the program, and defensive tackle Dylan Thompson is no longer on scholarship, coach Urban Meyer announced Monday.Rated as high as the No. 30 strong-side defensive end by 247Sports as a senior in high school, Slade missed all of the 2016 season after suffering a lower leg injury in camp last fall. Thompson, a four-star high school prospect, has battled injuries during his college career. He redshirted the 2014 season after a knee injury in fall camp, and had a quiet 2015 campaign due to his rehabilitation.“He’s not on scholarship right now,” Meyer said. “He was ineligible last year so he’s to be determined.”Ohio State is now under the NCAA’s 85-scholarship limit for the 2017 season.
Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppTurks and Caicos, July 6, 2017 – Providenciales – A team of basketball players from the TCI Rising Stars Basketball Club is preparing to compete in an international basketball tournament on July 18th – 22nd 2017 in Puerto Rico. The tournament is expected to attract teams from countries such as Costa Rica, Dominican Republic and Mexico.InterHealth Canada is a key sponsor of the team from the Turks and Caicos Islands, which will consist of fourteen young male athletes from Grand Turk and Providenciales. The corporate arm of the healthcare management company provided financial aid and purchased the team uniforms.During a media briefing on Wednesday, July 5th 2017 at the Downtown Ballpark in Providenciales, Public Relations and Marketing Manager for InterHealth Canada TCI, Nikira John said the donation reflects the company’s commitment towards health promotion and encouraging youth, especially young men, to stay physically active and productively engaged. Secretary of the TCI Basketball Federation, Trevor Cooke also participated in the media briefing to offer best wishes to the team during their final two weeks of practice.President and Vice-President of the Rising Stars Basketball Club, Marvin and Jarrett Forbes intend to utilise the opportunity to promote their older athletes on an international scale with hopes of receiving a college scholarship.The TCI Rising Stars Basketball Club has managed to seize unique overseas opportunities for its basketball stars in the past. Dwaine Simmons, a young athlete of Grand Turk most recently secured a college basketball scholarship with Dakota College in the United States.The club was established in the Turks and Caicos Islands in 2012 with a mission to empower today’s youth and teach young basketball players to have respect for themselves, their peers, and their community by instilling a code of ethics built on honesty, responsibility and team work.Currently, there are 90 athletes registered in Providenciales and 82 athletes registered in Grand Turk ages 8-18. The goal is to eventually expand to the islands of South Caicos, Middle Caicos and North Caicos.Press Release: interHealthCanada
Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#Bahamas, September 18, 2017 – Nassau – Fiscal imprudence by successive Bahamian governments continues to weigh down the public while crooked, inept and irresponsible politicians go free. The IMF is suggesting a low income tax on everyone getting a paycheck and some in the business community are rejecting that idea. Organization for Responsible Government said adding any further taxes ahead of the Government’s [planned fiscal] reform is unacceptable, and the suggestion of it is downright irresponsible.“In effect, what the IMF suggests by this is that if the Government taxes its citizens more the IMF will lend it more money. The Government does not need more money; it needs to learn how to live within its means, like the rest of us.”The DPM and Finance Minister said there are no internal talks about an #incometax but he told the Tribune the possibility is not ruled out and the Administration did take notice.The FNM did not run in the May 2017 elections on any promise of introducing income tax but Minister Turnquest explained: We will consider all available options to ensure that, at the end of the day, we have a tax system that is simple, reflective of our unique situation in terms of openness as an economy; is progressive rather than regressive so that the burden of taxation is not borne by the most vulnerable in our country, and achieves the revenue yield necessary to provide the services Government must provide for society.”#MagneticMediaNews Related Items:#incometax, #magneticmedianews Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp
Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez has refused to comment on his future at St James’ Park, saying the future of the club is more important.After helping Newcastle United gain promotion in 2017, he has remained popular at St James’ Park, despite falling out with the management of the club following his comments on their lack of investment; a sentiment which most of the fans share.Speaking after their 2-1 victory at Turf Moor on Monday, the Spaniard refused to drawn on questions about his future, preferring to focus rather on Newcastle’s hectic festive fixtures.“When we talk about my future, talk about what can happen, we are talking about the future of Newcastle United Football Club, it’s not Rafa Benitez in the end,” Benitez told Sky Sports.Virgil van Dijk praises Roberto Firmino after Liverpool’s win Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Virgil van Dijk hailed team-mate Roberto Firmino after coming off the bench to inspire Liverpool to a 3-1 comeback win against Newcastle United.“If we sign the players, I will not take the players home with me, so they will stay there. And if they are good players, they can be the future also.“It’s a question of wait, go to January and see what we can do, and now is the time to enjoy.”“Yeah I am really pleased in England, pleased with the fans behind me,” he said when asked if he wants to stay at the club.
Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Update – Service has been restored as of 12:40pm Original Post: The outage started at 8:27am, today. The outage was caused by a cut fiber cable, according to ACS. Alaska Communications is currently experiencing an internet and phone outage in Kenai and North Kenai. Crews are working to restore service. Updates will be posted as soon as they are made available.