The Pistons’ big three doesn’t have to be split up because plans to accommodate Monroe have been in place for years, but the positional challenges of playing them together keeps the topic alive in this week’s Q-and-A with MLive Pistons beat writer David Mayo.
Aldridge’s monster game fuels Blazers past Rockets
LaMarcus Aldridge had 31 points and a career-high 25 rebounds, prompting Portland fans to chant ”MVP! MVP!” during the Trail Blazers’ 111-104 victory over the Houston Rockets on Thursday night.
Video: Chris Webber Wins Inside the NBAâ€™s â€˜Chariots of Backfireâ€™ Race
The footage of the “Chariots of Backfire” foot race between Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal, Chris Webber, Kenny “The Jet” Smith and Ernie Johnson was aired on TNT’s “Inside the NBA” Thursday night. Chris Webber took home the gold medal, but the race did not end without controversy. Ernie Johnson made claims of false starts, Shaq came up hobbling and Kenny Smith refused to accept his second-place medal on grounds of a false finish by C.Webb.
CP3 drops D-Will with crossover, Williams exacts revenge twice
It feels like it’s been forever since the simpler days when Deron Williams and Chris Paul were definitely the two best point guards in the NBA. Thursday night in Brooklyn, we got a little blast from the past. Early in a rather ho-hum Nets vs. Clippers showdown, CP3 crossed D-Will over in a move that looked more like a sniper was involved, rather than a crafty fake-out.
Robin Van Persie Injury: Updates on Man United Star’s Thigh and Return
Manchester United have been dealt a huge blow with news that Robin van Persie will miss the next month of the season with a thigh injury.
David Moyes confirmed the news on Friday, first reported by the Guardian’s official Twitter account before the club confirmed the news:
Manchester United striker Robin van Persie out for a month with a thigh injury … #mufc
— Guardian sport (@guardian_sport) December 13, 2013
Robin van Persie is out for a month with a thigh injury. David Moyes revealed this in a separate briefing for radio reporters. #mufc
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) December 13, 2013
The setback is the latest in a string of fitness concerns suffered by the Dutchman this term, having previously missed games due to groin and toe issues.
World Cup Group D: Analyzing Italy’s Group Stage Opponents
The World Cup draw is now a week old, and Cesare Prandelli’s Italian team have to be happy with what they got, considering the alternative. Fans likely gasped after being the unlucky team drawn into Pot 2 from the nine-team European pot, but the Azzurri avoided a potential super-group with the likes of Brazil, the United States and the Netherlands.
Instead, the Italians were given the very manageable draw of England, Costa Rica and Uruguay.
Nothing is for granted—after all, the defending champions of four years ago were gifted the easiest group of the tournament in South Africa and spit the bit.
Don’t Look Now, but Aaron Brooks Is a Valuable Houston Rockets Player Again
It’s been a long time since point guard Aaron Brooks averaged 19.6 points per game for the Houston Rockets in 2009-2010, but Brooks is still finding ways to be a valuable player for his team.
His newest role comes not as a primary scorer but as a reserve player, and he has embraced that role this season.
Prior to Houston’s game on December 12 against the Portland Trail Blazers, Brooks was averaging 15.
Chelsea Transfer News: Jose Mourinho Rules Out January Arrivals
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said he doesn’t plan on making any signings during the January transfer window. The straightforward boss said the only way that would change is if something major happens that forces the club to change its current stance.
The Blues passed along the comments made ahead of the team’s clash with Crystal Palace:
One area it was believed Chelsea may try to upgrade during the winter window was striker. Fernando Torres, Demba Ba and Samuel Eto’o have all failed to provide the consistent production atop the formation title-contending clubs seek.
Gary Cahill Injury: Updates on Chelsea Star’s Thigh and Return
Chelsea will be without central defender Gary Cahill for the weekend Premier League visit of Crystal Palace, confirmed Jose Mourinho on Friday.
During his weekly pre-match press conference, Mourinho announced Cahill’s thigh injury before calming any long-term fears over the problem.
Chelsea’s official Twitter account reported news of the defender’s fitness issue:
Mourinho: ‘We don’t take risks, therefore Cahill does not play tomorrow. He is not injured but almost injured with pain in quadriceps.
Lionel Messi Would Find It Impossible to Leave Barcelona, Says Sandro Rosell
Barcelona have sent out a firm statement regarding their intentions to ensure Lionel Messi remains their player for the long haul.
On Friday afternoon, club president Sandro Rosell was speaking at the official announcement of Barca’s new shirt sponsorship with Intel, but talk predictably shifted to matters on the pitch—more specifically, the future of their Argentinian talisman.
Per the club’s official website, Rosell said:
Whilst I am President, we’ll do everything possible – and the impossible – to keep Messi at the Club. We’ll do it intelligently and it really would be very difficult for Messi to leave for another team – really impossible.
B/R CFB 250: Top 18 Tight Ends in College Football
Editor’s note: This is the third installment in Bleacher Report’s CFB 250 for the 2013 season. This signature series runs through December, with National College Football Lead Writer Michael Felder ranking the best players at every position. You can read more about the series in this introductory article. See the CFB 250 page for more rankings.
Ohio State Basketball: Biggest Improvements Buckeyes Have Made in 2013-14
Ohio State may be off to a perfect 9-0 start in the 2013-14 season, but it was one of the best teams in the country last year. The Buckeyes took home the Big Ten tournament title and played their way to the Elite Eight before being stunned by Wichita State.
That means improvements won’t come easy throughout the campaign, even if Thad Matta’s squad continues to win. There are some things on the court that the Scarlet and Gray are doing better than last season though.
Arsenal Losing to Manchester City Won’t Be the End of the World
Arsenal’s trip to Manchester City on Saturday could turn out to be a pivotal point in their season. While Arsene Wenger’s side have exceeded expectations by reaching the middle of December with an only slightly besmirched record, their fixture list in the league has been relatively kind.
One could say that the only serious test they have come up against and succeeded in was the defeat of Liverpool, with a victory at Old Trafford and a draw against Everton. While they have also beaten Spurs, Andre Villas-Boas’ side were struggling in general and were desperately poor on the day.
Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin Is Perfect Man to Fix the NFL Mess in Washington
This is what one NFL team personnel man said about Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin. Please pay close attention. This is instructional.
“The best coach in college football is Nick Saban.
San Francisco 49ers Offense Must Keep Phil Dawson on the Bench
The images of David Akers’ 13 missed field goals from last season have been slowly fading like Magic Ink. A bad scribbling that never happened. Or vanished without a trace.
Last week the 49ers’ new place-kicker, Phil Dawson, was named the NFC Special Teams Player of the Week after nailing four field goals (including the game-winner) against the Seattle Seahawks.
Grading the Chicago White Sox on the 2013 MLB Winter Meetings
After months of what felt like lip service, Chicago White Sox general manager Rick Hahn finally delivered in a big way at the 2013 MLB winter meetings.
Yes, Hahn had struck boldly earlier this offseason when he inked Jose Abreu to a six-year, million contract. And yes, he had also signed Felipe Paulino and Ronald Belisario to one-year contracts.
But he hadn’t made good on his stated objective of making “changes because they’re a step towards our ultimate goal of annual contention and another World Series championship,” via Chuck Garfien of CSN Chicago.
How Aston Villa Will Line Up Against Manchester United
Aston Villa host a struggling Manchester United side this weekend in a game which is hugely important for both sides.
David Moyes’ men have lost two Premier League fixtures in a row and, while talks of a crisis at Old Trafford are premature, a defeat against Villa would certainly heap more pressure on the already under-fire United boss.
Villa, however, have a chance to join the Red Devils on 22 points if they are able to grab a win.
The hosts go into the game off the back of a hugely disappointing defeat to league strugglers Fulham and will need a vastly different performance if they are to get anything out of the clash with United.
Real Madrid: How They Will Line Up vs. Osasuna in La Liga?
Fresh from a sensational Champions League group phase, Real Madrid return to La Liga action against Osasuna on Saturday afternoon.
A win in the Primera Division’s early match would take them temporarily level with Barcelona and Atletico Madrid at the top of the table on 40 points.
But despite Osasuna sitting in 16th position in the table, Madrid will be cautious not to take three points for granted against the side which held Barcelona to a 0-0 draw earlier in the season.
Carlo Ancelotti resisted the urge to put out a weakened team against Copenhagen in midweek, with Los Blancos having already secured top spot, and that could be a sign of what he feels his strongest side is at the moment.
Arsene Wenger Is Right to Wait Before Signing New Contract
As things stand, Arsene Wenger will be free to walk away from his position at Arsenal come the end of the season. With The Gunners flying high at the top of the Premier League, the Arsenal board are understandably keen to avoid that happening.
According to John Cross of the Mirror, the club are hopeful that Wenger, having guided his team through to the knockout stages of the Champions League, could now be ready to put pen to paper:
Arsenal will step up their attempts to get Arsene Wenger to sign a new three-year contract after their progression in the Champions League.
Negotiations have been going on since the summer and Mirror Sport revealed in October that a £24million offer is on the table.
BCS Bowl Schedule 2013-14: List of Dates, Times and Predictions for Every Game
After an extended winter holiday that comes packed with college bowl games galore, the college bowl season comes to its conclusion with five epic BCS Bowl games, featuring some of the most powerful teams in the nation.
Interestingly enough, after all the hubbub about the faulty BCS system—which will be abandoned at the end of the 2014 VIZIO BCS National Championship—there were no controversies to be found after the craziness of Week 15.
Here’s a look at when and where you can catch all five BCS bowl games, along with television information and predictions:
2014 VIZIO BCS National Championship: Florida State Seminoles vs. Auburn Tigers
To no one’s surprise, undefeated Florida State will battle Auburn in the national championship game, capping off a phenomenal season for both proud schools.