Massive Twitter Reaction For Kentucky Final Four Victory

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Media pundits argue all of the time about which athletes contain the “clutch gene.”

Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Ray Allen, Tom Brady, John Elway rank among the greats in the respective sports. Even players like Tim Tebow have garnered acclaim for playing big in the clutch moments.

Kentucky Wildcats guard Aaron Harrison has proven himself to be a major “clutch” player with ice in his veins.

For three games in-a-row heading into the NCAA National Championship game, he has hit the go-ahead three-point shot to win. Three straight game winners. THREE. How clutch is that?

After having hit last-second shots to advance from the Sweet 16 to the Elite 8 and again to the Final Four, Wildcats’ fans (and college basketball fans in general) were on the edge of their seats as the final seconds ticked off the clock as the game was the Wisconsin Badgers to lose—up 73-71. The ball made its way into Aaron Harrison’s hands, and the rest is history.

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Mayo suspended one game for striking Steimsma

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131002_roster_mayo_400NEW YORK – Milwaukee Bucks guard O.J. Mayo has been suspended one game without pay for forcibly striking New Orleans Pelicans center Greg Stiemsma in the throat, it was announced today by Rod Thorn, the NBA’s president of basketball operations.

The incident, for which Mayo was assessed a Flagrant Foul 2 and ejected occurred with 1:52 remaining in the first quarter of Milwaukee’s 112-104 loss to the Pelicans on Friday, March 7, at Smoothie King Center.

Mayo will serve his suspension tonight when the Bucks host the Washington Wizards.

To view the play, click on this link:

More from Brett Martel of the Associated Press: “Mayo had taken only one missed shot when he was ejected after less than three minutes on the court. Mayo collided with Pelicans center Greg Stiemsma, who was setting a screen, then appeared to shove Stiemsma with a flailing arm to the chest. Pelicans coach Monty Williams rushed in to pull Stiemsma away. Officials initially called a flagrant foul, but upgraded the severity to a flagrant-2 after video review. ”I reacted the wrong way and handled it for sure the wrong way,” Mayo said. “I want to apologize to the Bucks fan base, the city of Milwaukee and obviously New Orleans and the (fans) who came out and watched the game. It’s definitely the wrong way to conduct yourself. I’ve got to be better and I will.”

 

 

StatBox Free Agency Breakdown: Winners & Losers July 11 Update

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Most of the star players in free agency are now off the board, but there are still plenty of impact players to discuss in this updated version of the Free Agency Breakdown with unique analytic angles. We here at Sheridan Hoops will break everything down for you into bite sized Winners & Losers style pieces.

HowardThe Houston Rockets, GM Daryl Morey and Dwight Howard were WINNERS after agreeing to a four-year deal worth $88 million to finally, mercifully, ending the Dwight Howard sweepstakes. Morey set out a year ago to acquire two stars to legitimately compete in this SuperTeam Era that currently rules the NBA and got them in Howard and Harden.

Houston also signed Francisco Garcia to a team-friendly contract worth $1.3 million over two years. Garcia could probably replace Carlos Delfino in a spacer-type role for Houston after shooting 37.4 percent from three last season. Houston then picked up another spacer in Reggie Williams, who needs to greatly improve from his 30.6 shooting percentage from three last season with Charlotte.

Of course, the Howard deal makes the Los Angeles Lakers the big losers of the offseason for getting nothing out of Howard and looking ridiculous in doing so. They will now try to delude themselves into thinking players like LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony will come next offseason. Good. Freaking. Luck.

But if there is any consolation for Laker fans, I do like their signing of Chris Kaman a lot. Despite a sharp decrease in minutes with the Mavericks last season, from 29.2 to 20.7 per game, Kaman shot 50.7 percent from the field (his best percentage in a season in which he played over 40 games since the 2005-2006 season) and averaged 10.5 points with 5.6 rebounds. His Win Shares per 48 minutes was his best mark since the 2007-2008 campaign. Expect better production in LA with a slightly increased workload. And Jordan Farmar won’t be a bad player either for the veteran’s minimum.

Josh SmithDwight Howard’s good friend, Josh Smith, ended up with Detroit for four-years and $56 million and Al Jefferson cashed in for three years and $41 million with Charlotte. This brings us a really interesting philosophical question: Can these players be the highest paid, and best, players for playoff teams? The answer is likely no. But does that mean the teams shouldn’t try?

Despite a subpar year by his standards Smith is still a really good player, so the jury is still out on this signing for the Pistons. Smith will make a really good frontcourt with Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond, but do the Pistons have the backcourt to compete? Not right now, even with the Chauncey Billups signing (two years, $5 million).

LAC_Billups_ChaunceyBillups will add veteran leadership and a fan favorite to the Detroit roster, but he’s only played 42 total games over the last two seasons. But when he’s played he’s been good, shooting 36.7 percent from three last season with a Win Share/48 number that’s well above average. It’s just hard to envision Billups being healthy all season. Billups will join Will Bynum, who Detroit re-signed to an affordable two-year deal worth $5.75 million. Bynum shot a career best 46.9 percent from the field and averaged nearly 10 points per game for the Pistons in 2012-2013.

It’ll also be interesting to see how the team uses reigning Italian League MVP Gigi Datome, who inked a two-year deal worth $3.5 million. Our resident Euro expert A.J. Mitnick told me that he’ll need to adjust to the NBA game, but the potential is there for Datome to become a nice NBA player. I’ll take his word for it…

On the Charlotte side of things, there’s no doubt that Jefferson is a really, really good player. Anyone who shoots nearly 50 percent from the field and averages nearly 18 points and over nine boards per game is really good. His defense will certainly help an inept Bobcats team in that department, but his offensive rating of 109 last season leaves something to be desired.

Can Jefferson, Cody Zeller and Bismack Biyombo coexist in the frontcourt? Can Jefferson be the best player on a playoff team? Jefferson has made the playoffs just twice in his nine-season career, losing in the first round on both occasions. Golden State signed David Lee to an enormous contract, and Golden State ended up okay by hitting it big by drafting Stephen Curry, Harrison Barnes and Klay Thompson. Charlotte will have to do that in order to not look foolish with this Jefferson signing, so, again, the jury is still out.

DraftStreet Diary: Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda

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Patterns develop when you play in the GPP (Guaranteed Prize Pool) contests every day. Whether the entry fee is $2, $5, $11 or higher, if you enter just one team or the maximum three, certain outcomes become familiar with experience.

Tweet of the Night: Greg Stiemsma

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“@: @ happy for u bro” thanks man, get that shoulder healthy!
@gregstiemsma
Greg Stiemsma

Tweet of the Night went to Greg Stiemsma, who thanked former teammate Avery Bradley for congratulating him on his new one-year, $3 million contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Stiemsma had the chance to re-sign with the Boston Celtics, but it would have forced the journeyman to take about $2 million less, which obviously made no sense from a business perspective. He will now go back to the first NBA team that signed him to a contract back in April of 2010. The gritty center never had the chance to suit up for the Timberwolves then, but his defensive presence could compliment Kevin Love’s game very well and is likely to carve out a meaningful role for the team in the upcoming season.

Here is a little more on Stiemsma’s decision, from Mark Murphy: “Stiemsma added that Minnesota’s proximity to his home was also a plus. “Minnesota was not too hard a sell for me,” he said. “It’s very close to my family and home.” But Stiemsma will never forget the role the Celtics played in not only giving the young big man his first NBA chance, but also his development. “Nobody was really sure, myself included, of what would happen going into training camp last year,” Stiemsma said. “But I got some great opportunities to play, and (Kevin Garnett) and Doc (Rivers) were great with me right from the start. Everyone was willing to teach, and they genuinely wanted me to do well. “Confidence has always been a big part of my game — when I feel comfortable on the floor everything flows from there — and playing for the Celtics really gave me that confidence,” he said. “I’m grateful for what Boston did for me. I just hope I can use this last year as a springboard.”

Stefan Bondy’s Tweet of the Day

Kevin Love’s Tweet of the Night