Bryce Harper delights home crowd with Home Run Derby win

The ball cleared the center field wall, and the sellout crowd roared. Bryce Harper threw his bat in the air, thrust both index fingers skyward and yelled with delight as a shower of streamers rained upon the crowd of 43,698. It could have been a scene from a playoff game. That it was merely the All-Star Home Run Derby mattered not to Harper or the Washington Nationals fans, who were thrilled to see their hometown hero deliver the night’s final longball Monday. In the midst of it all — and in the middle of trying season — Harper grabbed the microphone and

The Open 2018: Golf to introduce blood testing as part of WADA regulations

Players have previously only been subjected to urine tests but a condition of golf’s inclusion in the Olympics was that the sport would need to meet testing standards deployed across other WADA-regulated sports. About 20 per cent of the field will be subject to testing which has already been introduced on the European Tour. “I’ve done it a few times,” said Europe’s No1 Tommy Fleetwood. “I’m pretty confident that it’s a clean sport but we’re an Olympic sport these days so rules apply to everybody. “If everybody’s doing the right things, then it shouldn’t be a problem. I don’t see

Rory McIlroy confident his firepower can boost him to victory at The Open

The toughest course on the rota has claimed many a victim down the years but McIlroy, one of the longest hitters in the game, feels he has the ammunition to put it in its place. “My record at the Open has been pretty good over the last few years and I don’t see any reason why I can’t continue that good run this week,” said McIlroy, who practised with Spain’s Jon Rahm yesterday. “With the way the rough is, someone like Jon and I can fly it over 320 yards – you’re basically taking all the trouble out of play

Jordan Spieth reveals Claret Jug sadness ahead of The Open

Spieth reluctantly took part in a setpiece handover of the Open trophy on the first tee at Carnoustie to R and A chief executive Martin Slumbers and afterwards owned up to a surprising sense of emptiness. “I thought maybe somebody would meet me in the parking lot and I’d just give them the case back and we’d move on. But it was a ceremony, and because of that, it actually hit me harder,” he said. “I was thinking: ‘Man, this was in my possession. I took it to all the places that allowed me to get to where I am

Danny Willett: Former Masters champion opens up on his fall from grace ahead of The Open

He is able to do so with complete honesty because, finally, the wheel has begun to turn but if you ever wondered what happened to that twitchy Yorkshireman who won the Masters then here it is in unflinching detail. Willett’s fall from Augusta hero two years ago to a missed cut and withdrawal specialist was widely (mis) interpreted as a classic case of golfing Icarus, a player who flew too close to the sun and could not handle what went with becoming a Major champion. The truth was that at 28 he was only on the course at all with

Sources: LeBron to miss Team USA minicamp

6:02 PM ET LeBron James will not participate in USA Basketball’s minicamp in Las Vegas next week, multiple sources familiar with James’ plans told ESPN. James, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, was in Vegas over the weekend to observe his new team, the Los Angeles Lakers, play a summer league game, but he will not be present for the training camp, which is slated for July 25-27 at UNLV’s Mendenhall Center. It will be the first official USA Basketball gathering with Gregg Popovich as the head coach. James played for Larry Brown on the 2004 bronze medal team at the

The Open 2018: Rory McIlroy confident his firepower can boost him to victory at Carnoustie

The toughest course on the rota has claimed many a victim down the years but McIlroy, one of the longest hitters in the game, feels he has the ammunition to put it in its place. “My record at the Open has been pretty good over the last few years and I don’t see any reason why I can’t continue that good run this week,” said McIlroy, who practised with Spain’s Jon Rahm yesterday. “With the way the rough is, someone like Jon and I can fly it over 320 yards – you’re basically taking all the trouble out of play

British Open viewer’s guide: tee times, TV schedule and streaming options

The 147th British Open begins on Thursday at Carnoustie, and tee times for the opening round are from 1:35 a.m. ET to 11:16 a.m. ET. Tiger Woods, making his first British Open start in three years, tees off at 10:21 a.m. alongside Hideki Matsuyama and Russell Knox, and that group goes off at 5:20 a.m. on Friday. The TV broadcast begins at 1:30 a.m. on Thursday on the Golf Channel and continues until 4 p.m. Weekend coverage is also on NBC. Below is the TV schedule, streaming options and tee times for the week. TV SCHEDULE (ET) Thursday: 1:30 a.m.-4

Scherzer gets nod to start MLB all-star game in home park

Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper will bat sixth for the National League in the all-star game in his home ballpark on Tuesday night in Washington (7:30 p.m. ET). Harper is hitting .214 with a .365 on-base percentage, .468 slugging percentage, 23 home runs and 54 runs batted in. Despite his hitting struggles, Harper is an all-star — voted in by fans — for the sixth time in his seven-year major league career. Nationals teammate Max Scherzer will take the mound for the NL as expected with Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts saying it’s good for baseball and for the country

LaVar’s latest boast: In prime, I’d beat LeBron

1:31 PM ET LaVar Ball made headlines last year when he said that he could have beaten Michael Jordan one-on-one back in his playing days. Now the braggadocious basketball dad is making the same claim about his son’s new teammate: LeBron James. In a recent interview with Fanatics View, Ball said he would have been able to beat James because the four-time NBA MVP is “too weak.” “ too weak,” Ball, 50, said during the interview, which was published last Thursday. “Back in my heyday, can’t nobody hold me. 270 (pounds), benching 500? All I gotta do is back

Which Lakers prospects could help LeBron the most?

Lakers guard Josh Hart is the second-leading scorer in Vegas Summer League, averaging 23.3 points. 

LAS VEGAS — For the first time in several years, the NBA Summer League seems unlikely to be the highlight of the Los Angeles Lakers‘ season.

The past two summers, Lakers fans have flocked to Las Vegas, where the success of teams led by No. 2 overall picks Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball has contrasted with the Lakers’ futility during the regular season. Last July, Ball and fellow first-round pick Kyle Kuzma led the Lakers to the NBA Summer League championship, the only title one of the league’s most storied franchises has won in recent memory.

While expectations shouldn’t be quite that high, the arrival of LeBron James via free agency has made the Lakers’ regular-season roster far more compelling. And since the Lakers finally sent their own lottery pick to the Philadelphia 76ers to complete the distant sign-and-trade for Steve Nash, No. 25 pick Moritz Wagner is the highest-profile rookie on this summer’s roster. Yet L.A. has still started 3-0, extending the team’s winning streak in Las Vegas to nine consecutive games.

Now the question is not so much whether the Lakers can find their next superstar in summer league, but instead the kind of role players they’ll need to surround James — and perhaps another All-Star added sometime over the next year.

That list starts with Josh Hart, the least-heralded of the Lakers’ three first-round picks in 2017 but a solid contributor as a rookie nonetheless. Hart told ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk beforehand he wanted to “dominate” this summer. That’s exactly what Hart did during Tuesday’s 109-92 win over the New York Knicks.

Hart’s most obvious contribution was a team-high 27 points. He started out hot, putting up 11 points on 4-of-5 shooting in the first quarter, and was able to compensate for atypically poor 3-point shooting (4-of-12 beyond the arc) by getting to the free throw line 10 times and making seven of those attempts. Improved ballhandling has helped Hart show the ability to do more than play the 3-and-D role he did as a rookie.

Make no mistake, Hart still excels at the defensive part of that role. After Knicks rookie Kevin Knox heated up in the third quarter, making all four of his 3-point attempts and scored 16 of his game-high 29 points to tie the score, Hart asked back in the game to cool him off. Knox had only two points on 1-of-6 shooting in the fourth quarter as the Lakers pulled away.

Second-round pick Svi Mykhailiuk was also key to that surge, following Hart’s 3 with two of his own back-to-back as part of a 16-0 Lakers run. On a team that’s light on outside shooting, Mykhailiuk could carve out a role if he can maintain or improve upon his 37 percent 3-point shooting this summer.

play

0:23

Lakers rookie Moe Wagner tries to work off a screen and twists his ankle on a defender’s shoe. Wagner would limp to the sideline.

As for Wagner, he played only nine minutes Tuesday before leaving because of a left ankle sprain and knee strain. However, in that span as all summer, Wagner impressed on the glass. He has pulled down 13.4 rebounds per 36 minutes so far, a dramatic improvement on the 9.3 Wagner averaged in that span at Michigan last season.

Wagner shows the ability to grab tough boards in traffic, and his poor shooting percentages this summer (43 percent on 2s, 28 percent on 3s) offer a misleading impression of his offensive skill. With JaVale McGee the Lakers’ only addition at center, Wagner stands, at this point, to battle Ivica Zubac for minutes in the middle as the team’s only stretch-5 option.

The other two Lakers under contract for 2018-19 seem less likely to contribute next season. Point guard Alex Caruso, who earned a two-way contract with his strong play in Las Vegas last summer backing up Ball, got pushed down the depth chart by the addition of Rajon Rondo. Caruso does offer the Lakers a reliable third point guard, meaning they don’t have to spend an NBA-only roster spot on the position.

There’s also the Lakers’ other second-round pick, 18-year-old German wing Isaac Bonga. Despite the Lakers bringing him to the NBA rather than stashing him overseas, Bonga — who, like Mykhailiuk, signed a three-year deal that is not fully guaranteed — is a long-term project. At 6-foot-9, Bonga played point guard in Germany, and the Lakers are intrigued by his combination of size, length and ballhandling ability. But Bonga is a non-shooter at this point, and his decision-making must improve with experience.

Unlike the past few summers, the Lakers’ regular-season roster won’t have a strong resemblance to the one we see in Vegas this year. Nonetheless, a handful of contributors might be able to translate what they’ve done in the NBA Summer League come this fall. — Kevin Pelton


Next matchup to watch: July 11

Hawks vs. Pacers, 8:30 p.m. ET

Atlanta’s Trae Young matches up with Indiana’s Aaron Holiday in a battle of two of the top point guards in college basketball this past season. Both undersized guards have been scoring prolifically during summer league so far, even if they’ve struggled with efficiency at times.

Second-year player John Collins has been dominant at times for the Hawks, dunking emphatically on the competition while showing encouraging progress with his 3-point shot, hitting 5-of-10 attempts thus far. And Indiana second-round pick Alize Johnson has brought tremendous energy. He probably will play a major role in slowing down Atlanta’s big men in this opening matchup of summer league’s single elimination tournament. — Jonathan Givony

Source

About The Author

Reply

Get more stuff like this
in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.