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The Rising Stars game isn’t enough. We need Joel Embiid in the Big Boy Game on All-Star Sunday. I’ll admit that I haven’t done my full breakdown on the East reserves yet to see if there’s really room for him — that comes later this week — but I’ll also admit that I’m flat-out rooting for Embiid now. This isn’t about his recent streak of eight 20-point games in a row despite logging less than 30 minutes in all eight. It’s not even about the Sixers’ recent uptick in the standings. It’s all about the spirit this guy has, after losing his first two full seasons to injury and all the losing Philadelphia endured along the way, on top of the great numbers. It’s a pleasure to watch how much Embiid enjoys his job.

Authentic Mike Fisher Jersey List all of the alibis you want. The Cavs never win in Utah. They got into Portland extremely late because of last week’s nasty weather in the Pacific Northwest before the second night of a back-to-back. Their shooters have gone uncharacteristically cold. All of that might be true, but Cleveland has looked a little more raggedy than anyone would have expected on its first trip of the season to the Western Conference. Interesting situation to monitor heading into Cavs-Warriors II: Coach Ty Lue’s crew is shooting just 32.1 percent from 3-point range in January, which ranked third-worst in the league for the month as of Sunday — better only than Philly (29.9 percent) and OKC (31.1 percent). Newly acquired Kyle Korver, of course, should be able to help with that.

This is indeed the toughest week ?of Golden State’s season so far, but it’s a biggie for the Rockets as well, with their first two-game blip under coach Mike D’Antoni still fresh in their memory and the Warriors coming to town Friday night looking to avenge that double-overtime loss on their own floor to Houston on Dec. 1. The Dubs (117.5 PPG) and Rockets (114.9) are trying to become the first pair of teams to average better than 114 points per game since the 1990-91 campaign, when four teams (Denver, Golden State, Phoenix and Portland) did it. James Harden, meanwhile, entered Sunday night’s gimme in Brooklyn creating the exact same number of points per game — 28.6 — with his scoring and his assisting.

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Elite Britton Colquitt Jersey Now this is how you make a playoff debut.

Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell ran for 170 yards on 30 carries Sunday night in an 18-16 win over the Kansas City Chiefs, setting an NFL record for the most rushing yards in a player’s first two postseason games.

Bell ran through the Miami Dolphins for 167 yards on 29 carries in the AFC wild-card round.

Antonio Brown posted a 17-minute video on Facebook from the Steelers locker room that captured the voice of Mike Tomlin telling the team to “keep a low profile” as it prepares for the Patriots.

Winners of nine straight, the Steelers seem to understand what it takes to win in January. And now it’s onto New England.

Who needs to reach the end zone when you have Le’Veon Bell chewing up yards and the clock, and Chris Boswell setting an NFL playoff record with six field goals?
“The coaches put a lot of trust in me to get the job done,” Bell said of Sunday’s performance. “Just run hard. Just picked my spots where I could and run hard.”
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That was also to Brown, with the Steelers trailing 7-3 in the first quarter. The 52-yarder set up Chris Boswell’s second of six field goals for the game and improved the Steelers’ chance of winning by 11 percent.

The other big leverage-swinging play in this game was Alex Smith being intercepted by Ryan Shazier after the Steelers took the lead in the second quarter. Shazier’s pick increased the Steelers’ chance of winning by 13.5 percentage points.

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New Orleans Saints running back C.J. Spiller underwent arthroscopic knee surgery on Friday, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Spiller is now expected to miss the remainder of the preseason, but the team does expect him back for the regular season opener against the Arizona Cardinals on Sept. 13.

Spiller did limited work in training camp earlier in the week, missed a scrimmage on Friday and did not participate in the team’s preseason opener against the Baltimore Ravens. Spiller joined the Saints this season after five seasons with the Buffalo Bills, who took him with the No. 9 overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft.

Indianapolis, led by Andrew Luck, has become one of the AFC’s elite teams, with only the New England Patriots and Denver Broncos seemingly standing in the way of a potential Super Bowl run. Have they done enough to make it over the hump and snag Luck’s first Lombardi Trophy?

These are questions that won’t be answered in Sunday’s preseason contest between the two teams, admittedly. But it is the first look we’ll get at the both of them, as the final two teams to get their preseasons underway. They’re going to meet in the only game on Sunday.

For Philadelphia, we won’t get to see starting quarterback Sam Bradford, as he’s still not quite recovered from the ACL injury he sustained last season. Instead, Mark Sanchez will make the start for the Eagles, and we’ll likely get a good dose of Tim Tebow for that game. We’ll probably have to wait to see DeMarco Murray’s first action as an Eagle, but Ryan Mathews should at least get a series or two.

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When I presented this quandary to Kim Gandy, the president and CEO of the National Network to End Domestic Violence, she sighed. “If any of us knew the answer to that, we’d have a Nobel Peace Prize,” she said. Gandy, like many experts in the field, believes that instead of touting its stringent policies, the NFL should make it known that it’s prioritizing the needs of survivors. She doesn’t think the league should eliminate penalties altogether, but she worries about their unintended consequences. “Often, the result is that victims won’t call or ask for help,” she says.

“What feels good and what is right, especially in cases of domestic violence, are very different things,” Moskovitz explained. “Zero-tolerance and similar get-tough penalties haven’t worked when used in the criminal justice system. Expecting them to work in sports would be, at best, naive.”
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“Often, the result is that victims won’t call or ask for help.”

And yet, while I don’t object to Tyreek Hill finding work in the NFL, I believe that Oklahoma State was right to release him when it did. I believe that Oklahoma should’ve cut Joe Mixon from its team after he punched a female student and that Greg Hardy has no place in football. I hold these beliefs even though I agree with Moskovitz’s critical assessment of zero tolerance, and I haven’t figured out how to reconcile them.

Coming off a [rookie] season where he didn’t do much, then he goes out and makes a great catch to win the Super Bowl. After that, he’s just gotten better and better and he’s played against better players. We put him in tough situations a lot and he comes out and shows that he likes that and proves he can do it.”

“Malcolm competes very hard, he’s got a great attitude and gives great effort on the football field no matter what the situation is,” he said. “He’s durable, he’s tough, he loves to play, loves to compete. It doesn’t matter who it’s against. You can put him up there in any situation and he’s going to compete and he’s going to have fun doing it.”

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The Giants weren’t particularly impressive on Sunday Night Football as they beat the 49ers, but in moving to 3-2 they’re firmly in command of the NFC East, for now. What I like about the Giants is that when healthy, they’re capable of putting up a lot of points. They are currently seventh in the NFL in points per game and as long as Odell Beckham and Rueben Randle get back onto the field, they’ll be dangerous.

With Josh McCown under center, the Cleveland Browns suddenly look like viable challengers in the AFC North. The Baltimore Ravens are in a death spiral and the Steelers are still without Big Ben, so that power vacuum gives the Browns a shot. McCown threw for 457 yards in a winning effort in Baltimore, and if the offense can continue to improve and score points, Cleveland has the defense to contend.

For now, both White and the Falcons are expressing their commitment to each other, but the trade deadline will be the true test of that commitment.
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The long travel also doesn’t bode well for a Week 6 game against the Arizona Cardinals, despite the fact that it’s in Pittsburgh. After a win over the Detroit Lions, Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians spoke about the advantage that his team will have against the weary Steelers in six days.

“It is always a big advantage to play an East Coast team the week after they have to play Monday night on the West Coast, because they are still trying to recover from the short week and the long flights.”

The Chargers enter Monday as a 3.5-point favorite, despite boasting the same 2-2 record as the Steelers.

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The league is betting that sort of versatility proves more entertaining than even a polished, repetitive post-up game or some Shaq-style brutality. They’re probably right. (They are also pining for a new Shaq-ish player to bring some diversity. “If there’s another Shaq,” Vandeweghe said, “you can bet that team will post up a lot.”)

Switching will become an even more sought-after skill as the cleanest way to snuff the drive-and-kick attack. Coaches say they will spend more time coaching that, and teaching proper defensive positioning — stances, footwork — so that guys of all sizes are better at keeping opponents out of the paint. “That technique on the ball is going to be so much more important than ever,” Thibodeau said. “You have to contain dribble penetration.”

Casey said he might devote more time to a zone defense in future seasons. A few team officials even proposed scrapping the defensive three seconds rule so that plodding rim protectors could stay on the floor.
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Embiid drops to 73rd.

That’s still a solid return on the 96th pick. But thanks to Embiid’s back-to-back policy, you’re not actually getting top-30 production. Even if it feels like it when he’s on the court.

You’re getting eighth-round production.

With all of the hype and momentum building around Embiid, you would be derelict to not at least put out some trade feelers. If the back-to-back policy sticks (as it should), Embiid will miss at least 11 of his team’s remaining 49 games.

Now, that’s only a 22 percent production drop, so Embiid’s prospects will improve in ROS terms. I still say explore offers. Because his value is about to peak.

And a closer look at the schedule reveals the peak’s precise date.

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With Dwyane Wade resting his knee and Rajon Rondo out of the rotation, Jimmy Butler had the green light all night and he made the most of it. The last time Wade sat, Butler went for 40 points. Monday night? He went for 52, including 17 in the final four minutes. Butler virtually beat the Hornets on his own as the next highest scorer for the Bulls was Nikola Mirotic with 12 points.
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The A¡¯s weren¡¯t literally sold this winter, but it almost feels like they were. Managing partner Lew Wolff was the despised face of the group, and when he divested and stepped down it symbolized a changing of the guard. The figurative king is gone, which is the first step toward finding a better one. Majority owner John Fisher is now the managing partner, and Dave Kaval is the new team president.

As you can see above, the Habs have some large contracts coming off the books at the end of next season, most notably Alexei Emelin¡¯s $4.1 million-average deal, and Tomas Plekanec¡¯s recent two-year extension. That¡¯s more than enough space to both find cheaper replacement options (or at least offer new extensions at lesser values), and increase Price¡¯s salary.

With that situation considered, next on the to-do list is getting a new deal for Alex Galchenyuk before this season comes to a close. Marc Bergevin took a gamble on a two-year bridge deal with the young player, and now that Galchenyuk has emerged as a top player in the league, he will need to commit a significant portion of cap space to the team¡¯s number-one centre.

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Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton went to the locker room early in the team’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday after suffering an injury to the thumb on his throwing hand. The Bengals initially announced that his return to the game was questionable, but downgraded him to out shortly thereafter.

After the game, Dalton said he had a fracture in his hand and that he would see a hand specialist on Monday, according to Josh Kirkenhall of Cincy Jungle. Dalton will miss the team’s Week 15 game against the San Francisco 49ers, head coach Marvin Lewis announced after the game, according to Coley Harvey of ESPN.

There’s no word on whether or not Dalton will miss time beyond that game. It could be season ending with the best-case scenario being an appearance in the playoffs, according to Bob Holtzman of ESPN, but there is nothing official from the team yet.

Side note: After yet another edge rusher earned Hoss of the Week after having matched up primarily with the Broncos’ right tackle this season, I’m going to suggest that Denver go ahead and invest in an upgrade at that position this offseason. Nothing personal, Donald Stephenson, but I’m just sayin’.

Ford gave Stephenson the blues around the corner repeatedly on Sunday, and seemingly every time Trevor Siemian had to hold the ball at all, Ford ended the play breathing down his neck.

Ford got started early on beating Stephenson with a simple dip-and-rip move on third-and-10 on the Broncos’ first drive of the game. Ford’s teammate Chris Jones also got a good rush on the play, beating Broncos right guard Michael Schofield back into Siemian’s lap and forcing him into a bad throw that fell incomplete. Jones pushed Siemian as he delivered the ball downfield and knocked him into Ford who blasted him good. That play doesn’t show up on a stat sheet, but you can best believe that both Stephenson and Siemian remembered it the rest of the game.

Just because he remembered it didn’t mean that Stephenson would fare any better trying to block Ford the rest of the game, however.

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“Playing for pride” is a phrase you hear a lot — enough to kind of lose sight of what it means. Fortunately, the Cleveland Browns delivered a real-life example on Saturday.
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Look, a lot of things had to happen for the Browns to finally win a game. They had to be at home against a team in the San Diego Chargers that had to take a long trip to get there, had a ton of injuries to key players and had nothing to play for. That opponent also had to miss a makeable game-tying field goal attempt in the final seconds. It wasn’t easy, and it surely could have gone the other way for Cleveland.

Limited Brandon McManus Jersey The Titans expect QB Marcus Mariota to be ready for offseason OTAs after he has surgery for his fractured right fibula.

Matt McGloin is the “next man up” for Raiders coach Jack Del Rio, as the quarterback prepares to make his first start since his rookie season in 2013.

The Falcons and MVP candidate Matt Ryan aren’t just putting together one of the best offensive performances since the merger — they’ve also run up points against the best defensive competition.

How about this? The Browns win their first game of the season and avoid becoming the second team to go 0-16. However, the 49ers and Jaguars win, too! The Browns’ FPI chances for the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 draft improved from 85 percent to 94 percent following Week 16.

Say what you want about QB Jay Cutler, but he has never thrown at least three interceptions in back-to-back games, something fourth-year QB Matt Barkley just accomplished for the Bears. The Bears cap off their season in Minnesota this Sunday.

Blake Bortles has thrown for 300 yards 11 times in his career. Saturday’s win against the Titans was the first time the Jaguars won when Bortles threw for 300. Despite the win, could the Week 17 game at the Colts be Bortles’ last as the Jags’ starter?

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Multiple injuries at the quarterback position derailed a promising season for the Arizona Cardinals in 2014, as they limped to a 2-4 finish after a 9-1 start and fell to the Carolina Panthers in the wild card round of the playoffs. Coming into this season, guaranteeing protection for starter Carson Palmer was the top order.

Arizona has accomplished that goal this season, ranking among the best in the league in sacks allowed. The Cardinals have allowed just 23 sacks this season, fifth-fewest in the league. They have won their last eight games, and sport a 12-2 record going into a Week 16 game against the Green Bay Packers.

That means getting through their divisional rival St. Louis Rams on Sunday. It might not sound like a tall task, but the Seahawks couldn’t beat the Rams on the road in Week 1. The Rams won 34-31 in overtime, and the Seahawks ended up starting the season losing four of their first six games.

Game Mens TJ Brodie Jersey More recently, they have won their last five games and can hit the playoffs with a lot of momentum if they win their next two. Seattle has two very tough games coming up, though. The Rams tend to play them hard and the Cardinals will host them in the finale in Week 17. But the Rams looked a lot better at the start of the year than they have of late — they’ve won two in a row, but that was following a five-game losing streak.

J.J. Watt Mens Jersey Among the experts, the Rams are getting no love. All eight pickers at CBS Sports, the entire 13-man panel at ESPN and all seven experts here at SB Nation, plus the OddsShark computer, think the Seahawks will win this game.

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