2017 NBA Playoffs predictions: SB Nation picks the 1st-round series

The 2017 NBA Playoffs begins on Saturday when the Cleveland Cavaliers take on the Indiana Pacers at 3 p.m. ET on ABC. That kicks off the first round, which will feature eight series spread over two weeks. The entire playoffs will last until mid June until a champion is crowned.

The first-round series this year offer some intriguing matchups, as well as others that should be lopsided. Barring a disaster, the Golden State Warriors will beat the Portland Trail Blazers, after all. The other seven series at least offer a shred of doubt, especially with the ongoing struggles of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Rooney joined the Steelers in 1955, following his graduation from Duquesne University. He worked for his father in the team’s front office and was integral in the hiring of Chuck Noll as the Steelers’ head coach in 1969.

Under Noll, and Rooney’s leadership, the Steelers won four Super Bowl championships from 1974-79.

The Rooney family established one of the most consistent and stable franchises in the NFL. Noll remained the team’s head coach until 1991 and was replaced by Bill Cowher, who was the coach for 15 years before Mike Tomlin took over. Since 1969, the Steelers have had three head coaches and played in eight Super Bowls with six championships.

When Joe Johnson put the Jazz up by five after hitting a floater with a little more than a minute left in the fourth quarter, the Clippers called a timeout. As everyone walked back to their respective huddles, Chris Paul threw a mini tantrum. He spiked the ball, punched the air, and stomped his feet while yelling at his players.
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The former high school running back and quarterback has played multiple defensive positions in college.

His career as a chef will have to wait as Magloire continues to prepare for the NFL Draft. He has realistic expectations for the draft, which runs from April 27-29, knowing he wont hear his name until the third day.

The former high school running back and quarterback has played multiple defensive positions in college. After transferring from Arizona Western, Magloire began his Arizona career at safety before being moved to weakside linebacker. Hes also seen time at middle linebacker and believes his versatility is something teams will like.

Dayan Viciedo Limited Jersey I moved around a lot, said Magloire, who sees himself as a weakside 4-3 linebacker. I can be inside at linebacker, but then youll see me on the edge covering the slot man-to-man and then back at linebacker. Youll see me all over the field.

Dale Hunter Limited Jersey Im a linebacker, but with that new breed of linebackers, everybody wants a three-down player. Thats what I am.

Ive played a lot of different defenses, but its all the same stuff. Every team has sub-packages. Ive shown I can play a lot of different schemes.

Hello, and welcome back to my series, A division-by-division tour that allows me to avoid writing daily 1,000-word features that roughly translate to, Look, its only April, I dont know. The idea is that these individual players work as a proxy for their entire teams — as these players go, so go their teams.

If you think its a stupid concept, note that I selected Jarrett Parker for my pick for the Giants, and both he and his team are struggling. Also, if you dont like the idea, give me some time. Its only April. My columns can get better. Small sample.

Former Ravens tight end Todd Heap accidentally kills 3-year-old daughter

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Todd Heap tragically killed his daughter Friday in an accident at the family’s home in Mesa, Ariz.

Heap, who was a two-time Pro Bowler for the Ravens, was moving his truck in the driveway when he struck and killed his 3-year-old daughter.

Mesa police said, via the Arizona Republic, the accident occurred about 3:45 p.m. She was later pronounced dead after being transported to a hospital.

Authentic Carl Banks Jersey Police say Heap exhibited no signs of impairment. Hill appears to be a promising option moving forward, but odds are that this is Stevens job again. And he has a hell of a receiver duo. Michael Gallup and Olabisi Johnson combined to catch 104 passes for 1,898 yards and 18 touchdowns at a clip of 11.5 yards per target last year Gallup was responsible for a majority of that, catching at least four balls for at least 91 yards in each of the final eight games of the year. He peaked with 22 for 339 in games against Fresno State and Air Force.

Being able to run helped to settle the QB situation a bit. Dalyn Hawkins had 53 carries for 203 yards (3.8 per carry) through five games but erupted for 716 yards (6.6 per carry) the rest of the way, and the emergence of Izzy Matthews and Marvin Kinsey Jr. allowed CSU to lean on the ground game. Once opponents had to compensate for that, the Rams went deep.

Heap was a first-round pick from Arizona State in 2001 and spent his first 10 seasons with the Ravens before finishing his career with a two-year stint with the Cardinals. Heap, who caught 499 passes for 5,869 yards and 42 touchdowns, was inducted into the Ravens Ring of Honor in 2014.

Police will continue to investigate the girl’s death. She was the youngest of five children Heap has with his wife, Ashley.

Kawann Short won’t play under franchise tag after signing 5-year, $80 million deal with Panthers

For the past several seasons, the Vikings have had to fix their offensive line. That happened this offseason with the addition of tackles Riley Reiff and Mike Remmers. Hopefully. That leaves guard as an area of improvement for the Vikings, but not their only need.

Jeremy Maclin Mens Jersey The team brought in running back Latavius Murray, but he never consistently performed like a lead running back in Oakland. Would the Vikings take someone like Joe Mixon? They also need to find a defensive tackle because Sharrif Floyd’s future is undetermined.

Jarius Wright Mens Jersey That foundation paved the way for a breakout 2015 season; Short recorded a career-high 11 sacks to earn an invitation to the Pro Bowl and Second Team All-Pro honors for the NFC Champion Panthers.

But he wasn’t immune to the team’s post-Super Bowl hangover. Short notched just six sacks last fall, but remained a key presence on the team’s defensive line.

His journey from unheralded high school player to $80-million man is an impressive one. Short had just one college football offer after playing at Central High School in East Chicago, Ind. He attended Purdue University, where he developed from fringe FBS player into a three-time All-Big Ten standout.

He’ll have the chance to build on a decade of improvement as a football player with the Panthers in 2017 and beyond. Short’s solid run from 2015-16 made him one of the league’s most attractive young free agents. Now he’ll be a key part of Carolina’s defense for years to come.

Pirates fans can play Super Mario Bros. on new right field LED screen

The Pittsburgh Pirates made a few upgrades to PNC Park and, holy crap, fans can play Super Mario Bros. in right field.

There aren’t many games that would entice me, as a fan, to get out of my seat and entertain the masses. But this wins. The touch screen is huge (11’0 high and 136’0 long), and the actual moving around makes it seem like the player is accomplishing a workout too.

Millions of dollars were spent during the offseason in improvements to the field, and the LED screen was made to keep the old-school feel of the park, while making the necessary upgrades.

Charlie Hoffman quietly dropped a shot as Rory McIlroy ended a disappointing, up-and-down day with a par on 18. While McIlroy was posting a third-round 1-under 71 that included four birdies, a bogey, and a double, 18-hole leader and 36-hole co-leader Hoffman was making his fourth birdie of the day, on No. 13.

That birdie gave Hoffman a two-shot lead over Sergio Garcia, who also made birdie on the 13th, but a bogey on 14 followed when Hoffman’s par putt came up short. As it looks now, McIlroy will have to wait until next year — again — to try to complete the career grand slam, while Garcia (tied with Justin Rose at 5-under) is very much still in the running to win his first major.

Though Jordan Spieth, who put on a show all day, will certainly have something to say about that after coming from 10 shots behind Hoffman to start the day to within two strokes of the frontrunner after posting a nearly flawless 68.
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Steph Curry went on Carpool Karaoke and belted out Disney classics

Stephen Curry joined James Corden for a little “Carpool Karaoke” and there was really only one obvious answer for what they should sing: “No One Knows,” from Moana.

Corden gave Curry the choice of song based on what the Warriors’ star listens to in his car — but Steph said that he only listens to stuff his kids like — which means lots of Disney.

Curry really threw himself into the performance. The pair blended some of Steph’s NBA flair into the performance by chewing out mouthguards for the second verse.
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Then Curry and Corden flawlessly pivoted to some Frozen, which included acting out the character roles. In the end it was super cool and proves that Steph is the ultimate sports dad.
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One year ago the Tar Heels had just suffered the most crushing loss these young players had ever faced. It would have been easy to have that bother them, or let the hangover continue into 2016-17, but they didn’t.

That leaves six quarterback options — maybe seven, depending on how teams view Bengals’ backup AJ McCarron — in a league filled with hungry franchises. The Texans, Jets, and Browns have gaping holes at the top of their depth charts. The Broncos, Bears, and 49ers fall on the second tier of neediness. Teams like the Chiefs, Jaguars, and Cardinals are in bad-to-decent shape for 2017 but have big questions about the future of their positions.

Jared Goff was sacked a whopping 26 times over his seven starts to end the Rams’ 2016 season. The first-overall pick averaged just 155.6 passing yards per game over that span, and the Rams went 0-7. Of course strengthening the offensive line was going to be a priority for Los Angeles heading into the offseason.

The final week of the NHL’s regular season is here

None of them are in the Western Conference, after the Predators locked down the final Wild Card berth on Sunday. All that’s left on that side of the Stanley Cup Playoffs aisle is seeding.

But in the Eastern Conference, four teams will scrap for three playoff berths. The Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators have to fend off the charging Tampa Bay Lightning with a handful of games remaining.

In the meantime, here’s how the playoff picture looks on Monday.

Thankfully, this hasn’t been the case in either of the last two years, and it won’t be the case on Monday night when Gonzaga and North Carolina meet in a national championship game unlike any other. If you aren’t already excited about the showdown, here are five reasons you should be.

Game Kids Tampa Bay Buccaneers Jersey While some will try when it comes to Gonzaga, you can’t say that either team hasn’t earned its spot in Monday night’s title game. Both teams have been pushed before the Final Four — Gonzaga by West Virginia and Northwestern, North Carolina by Arkansas and Kentucky — and then again in it. In each instance, the teams have answered the bell in the manner they needed to in order to advance.

Game Kids Spencer Paysinger Jersey This title game isn’t the product of a fluke run or two, or the bracket unfolding perfectly for one team to coast to five straight wins. This is the product of two No. 1 seeds that have been the best college basketball teams in the country over the course of the last month. Now they get the chance to prove who is the best of the best.

The guy who made the terrible Cristiano Ronaldo statue compared himself to Jesus

Elite Mens Phil McConkey Jersey The man who created the evil twin statue of Cristiano Ronaldo, which will adorn the airport named after the striker in his homeland, is fed up. The sculptor had enough of the jokes that say that his statue is the catfish to Ronaldo’s Tinder profile picture. He’s incensed at the suggestions that a bust that he worked on for three years came out looking like Lionel Messi had paid him off to make Ronaldo look as ugly and as deranged as possible.

Speaking out against criticisms that his hard work made Ronaldo look like a 2-year-old’s drawing of the monster in the closet, Emanuel Santos said: “It is impossible to please the Greeks and Trojans. Neither did Jesus please everyone. This is a matter of taste, so it is not as simple as it seems. What matters is the impact that this work generated. There is always the possibility of making a difference, I was prepared for all this. I used as a base some photos of Cristiano Ronaldo that I found on the internet, nothing specific. I put the photos next to me and started working on the bust.”

Elite Mens Rey Maualuga Jersey Oklahoma City is now 30-7 when Westbrook records a triple-double. There’s no scenario where the Thunder win in that scenario, down 13 with 3:30, without Westbrook taking over as he did. Oklahoma City’s defense and Dallas fading offensively both factored in as well. But in a season that has revolved around the mercurial point guard leading the charge without abandon, so did this win.