Kejriwal calls for resolution to never allow repetition of Emergencylike situation

first_imgNew Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday called for a resolution to never allow repetition of an Emergency-like situation in the country. “This very day 34 years ago India witnessed one of the biggest assault on its democracy with the imposition of emergency by the then prime minister. Let us resolve never to allow repetition of subversion of the Constitution of this great democracy,” Kejriwal tweeted. Emergency was imposed by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on this day in 1975 which was in effect till March 21, 1977.last_img read more

Afghan officials say Taliban attack kills 25 in north

first_imgKabul: Afghan officials say a Taliban attack against pro-government forces has killed at least 25 in the northern province of Baghlan. District chief Fazeluddin Muradi says that the insurgents’ attack also wounded at least eight pro-government fighters, during several hours of battle late Friday in the area of Nahrin. A police official, who was not authorized to speak on the issue, confirmed the high death toll. Taliban did not immediately claim the attack, but recently the militant group has stepped up its offensive against Afghan security forces. The US is opening Saturday in Qatar a fresh round of peace talks with the militants to end the country’s long-running civil war.last_img read more

India set to play key role of security guarantor in Indian Ocean

first_imgNew Delhi: India has been providing swift help to its neighbours at times of natural calamities and security threats, and it is all set to play the key role of a “security guarantor” for peace and stability within the greater Indian Ocean region, Maldivian Defence Forces Chief Abdulla Shamaal said on Friday. Speaking on ‘National Security Vulnerabilities: Issues for Small States’ at an event here, Shamaal noted that India and the Maldives have historical and cultural linkages that have made bilateral ties stronger. Also Read – Balakot strikes show major shift in govt’s handling of terror attacks: IAF chief “India has been (providing) a customary security guaranteeing architecture for decades if not centuries. This is quite evident by the prompt and swift response of Indian army services on various occasions,” he said. He said India has always been at the forefront of providing help whether it was at the time of natural calamities like tsunami or at the time of security threats. Calling the Indo-Pacific region an economically and socially dynamic area, Shamaal said India is set to play the key role of a “security guarantor” for peace and stability within the greater Indian ocean region. Also Read – Pak activated 20 terror camps, 20 launch pads along LoC Listing out vulnerabilities faced by small states like the Maldives, Shamaal said global warming and violent extremism are the biggest threats facing the island nation. He said India and the Maldives share common historic interests. “More importantly our geographies bind us together. Having the greater Indian Ocean region within the India underbelly and the Maldives located right in the middle of the Indian Ocean region makes us natural friends and very close neighbours,” he said. Shamaal on Thursday met Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and IAF chief BS Dhanoa, and discussed ways to step up military and security cooperation through more structured and planned programmes. “There are security concerns with the transformation in the geo-strategic security environment. We talked about their spill over effect and we are also concerned by issues of cross-border terrorism,” he said on the sidelines of the event organised by the Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) .last_img read more

New York attorney general launches probe of Weinstein Co

first_imgALBANY, N.Y. – State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced a civil rights investigation on Monday into The Weinstein Co. following sexual harassment and assault allegations against its co-founder, Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.As part of the investigation, the prosecutor’s office issued a subpoena seeking company records on harassment complaints and legal settlements to determine whether any civil rights and anti-discrimination laws were broken.“No New Yorker should be forced to walk into a workplace ruled by sexual intimidation, harassment or fear,” said Schneiderman, a Democrat. “If sexual harassment or discrimination is pervasive at a company, we want to know.”The New York City-based company fired Weinstein on Oct. 8 after The New York Times and The New Yorker exposed allegations of sexual assault and harassment spanning decades.More than three dozen women, including Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie, have publicly accused the entertainment mogul of abuse. Weinstein has denied allegations of nonconsensual sex.A woman who answered the phone in The Weinstein Co.’s media relations office said the company had no comment on the subpoena or news of the investigation.One of Weinstein’s former assistants in London, Zelda Perkins, spoke to the Financial Times about what she said was repeated sexual harassment toward her. Weinstein walked around nude in front of her, asked her to be in the room when he bathed and the producer would often try to pull her into bed when she went into his room to wake him up.She told the paper she split a £250,000 settlement with another woman who she claimed was sexually assaulted by the producer.Perkins told the paper for a story published Monday that she was required to sign a non-disclosure agreement — a copy of which she was not allowed to keep.“I want to publicly break my non-disclosure agreement,” she said. “Unless somebody does this there won’t be a debate about how egregious these agreements are and the amount of duress that victims are put under. My entire world fell in because I thought the law was there to protect those who abided by it.”She sought legal advice after a colleague, who she did not name in the story, told her Weinstein sexually assaulted her at the Venice Film Festival in 1998.Perkins, who had declined comment to The Associated Press through her current employer, said the settlement agreement called for Weinstein to undergo counselling and called for a harassment reporting procedure to be set up at Weinstein’s then-company, Miramax.Emails seeking comment from the Walt Disney Co., which owns Miramax, and Weinstein’s representative Sallie Hofmeister were not immediately returned. Hofmeister has said Weinstein denies all allegations of non-consensual sex.Police in Los Angeles, New York City and London are also investigating Harvey Weinstein over allegations of sex abuse in those cities.The Oscar winner was expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and the Producers Guild of America has started the process of expelling him.The allegations have prompted calls in Albany to use the power of the state to crack down on harassment. Democratic Assemblywoman Nily Rozic of Queens proposed legislation that would make designers, photographers, retailers and others liable for harassment experienced by models.Another lawmaker, Democratic Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal of Manhattan, proposed legislation that would make companies ineligible for state tax incentives if they fail to address chronic harassment problems in the workplace.Also Monday, ABC News said Ashley Judd will talk to anchor Diane Sawyer for Judd’s first TV interview since the actress-activist went public with allegations against Weinstein. The interview will air Thursday on ABC News platforms including “Good Morning America” and “Nightline.”Judd has described an incident two decades ago in which she said he invited her to his hotel room, greeted her wearing a bathrobe and asked if she would watch him shower.“Good Morning America” aired an interview with Matt Damon and George Clooney on Monday where both acknowledged they were aware of allegations Weinstein had slept with actresses, but not that he had assaulted them. Clooney described him in the interview as “a predator.”“I knew he was an (expletive),” Damon said. “He was proud of that. … I knew he was a womanizer. I wouldn’t want to be married to the guy, but it’s not my business really. But this level of criminal sexual predation is not something that I ever thought was going on.”In more Weinstein fallout, a fired Nickelodeon producer facing allegations of sexual harassment expressed regret over his behaviour. Chris Savino, creator of the animated series “The Loud House,” posted the apology Monday on his Facebook page.“I am deeply sorry and I am ashamed,” he wrote. “Although it was never my intention, I now understand that the impact of my actions and communications created an unacceptable environment.”Savino has been accused of sexual harassment by up to 12 women, according to the website Cartoon Brew, which reports on animation industry news.Last week, Nickelodeon said it took allegations of misconduct seriously and that Savino was no longer working with the children’s TV channel.___AP Television Writers Frazier Moore in New York and Lynn Elber and Film Writer Lindsey Bahr in Los Angeles contributed to this story.last_img read more

Unknown Shalini Yadav to challenge Modi in Varanasi

first_imgLucknow: The Samajwadi Party has fielded Shalini Yadav as the joint candidate of the SP-BSP alliance in Varanasi to challenge Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Lok Sabha elections.A light-weight candidate, Shalini Yadav has unsuccessfully contested he Mayoral polls in Varanasi on a Congress ticket in 2017.Shalini Yadav is the daughter of former Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairperson Shyamlal Yadav.Samajwadi Party sources said that none of the senior party leaders in the region were willing to contest against the Prime Minister and the party then decided to field Shalini Yadav who joined the party on Monday evening. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details”I will work to the best of my abilities under the guidance of Akhilesh Yadav and try to wrest the seat from the BJP. The youth is on our side and nothing is impossible if you make the effort,” she told reporters.The Varanasi seat had been won by Murli Manohar Joshi in 2009 and became a VIP seat in 2014 when Narendra Modi defeated his nearest rival Arvind Kejriwal of the Aam Aadmi Party by a huge margin of over 3.75 lakh votes.Polling in Varanasi will be held in the last phase of elections on May 19.last_img read more

Three Rwanda genocide suspects arrested in Europe UN prosecutor

Speaking at a news conference in Geneva, Prosecutor Carla Del Ponte said that the three suspects had been apprehended in three different European cities: Emmanuel Ndinabahizi in Brussels, Emmanuel Rukundo in Geneva and Simon Bikindi in Leiden, the Netherlands.”All three are charged with genocide, complicity in genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide and crimes against humanity,” she said. The Prosecutor noted that although all three fugitives were arrested on the same day, their respective cases were not directly linked.Concerning next steps, she said the accused would now be transferred “to the Tribunal’s Detention Unit in Arusha, Tanzania, thereby bringing the number of detainees to 50.” The Prosecutor also expressed gratitude to the Dutch, Belgian and Swiss authorities for the assistance they provided throughout this “sensitive operation.” A fourth arrest planned for today in Italy was postponed by the country’s Government “on the ground that there was no proper legal basis,” Ms. Del Ponte said. “In the light of the charges weighing against the accused, I fervently hope that Italy will prove itself able to meet its responsibilities and that it will agree to cooperate with the ICTR.” read more

Removal of Syrias chemical weapons material complete announces OPCWUN mission

The removal of the most critical material for destruction began in early January, in line with an agreement brokered by Russia and the United States, by which Syria renounced its chemical weapons material and joined 1992 Chemical Weapons Convention.The focus in recent weeks had been on the removal of the remaining 7.2 per cent of the declared chemical weapons material which had been difficult owing to volatile security conditions.“With this last movement, the total of declared chemical weapons materials destroyed or removed from Syria has reached 100 per cent,” the Joint Mission stated in a news release. “The most operationally challenging task within the effort to eliminate the Syrian chemical weapons programme has come to an end.”UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the announcement and congratulated the Joint Mission for completing “this most challenging of tasks” in an active war zone, according to a statement issued by his spokesperson.In addition to completing the removal operation, the Joint Mission said that Syria has destroyed all declared production, mixing and filling equipment and munitions, as well as many buildings associated with its declared chemical weapons programme.With the exception of 12 production facilities that are awaiting a decision by the OPCW Executive Council, all of the declared Syrian chemical weapons programme has been eliminated in an “unprecedented timeframe and under uniquely challenging conditions.”The removal of the chemical agents out of Syria involved shipping them on commercial vessels provided by some Member States, and then loading them onto a United States ship and destroying them at sea using hydrolysis.The Joint Mission recognized the “constructive cooperation and commitment” demonstrated by the Syrian Government throughout the operation. It also expressed gratitude to a number of countries who provided critical resources and facilitated the operation in different ways. “A new chapter in the elimination process now begins,” said the Joint Mission, which thanked the Italian authorities for providing a port for transloading part of the cargo, after which the rest of the materials will be transported onward to the various destruction facilities. Notwithstanding the progress made on the chemical weapons front, the Joint Mission said it remained mindful of the human tragedy that has befallen the people of Syria who have been suffering through a conflict that is currently in its fourth year. “We hope that our contribution will ultimately make a meaningful difference for the Syrian people and the region.” read more

Nuclear programmes of DPR Korea Iran remain serious concern – UN official

The verification of nuclear activities was among the issues highlighted by Yukiya Amano, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), as he addressed the opening of the Agency’s Board of Governors meeting in Vienna.It has been five years since IAEA inspectors were asked to leave the DPRK, whose nuclear programme remains “a matter of serious concern,” said Mr. Amano.He said that DPRK statements reiterating the country’s ‘right’ to conduct further nuclear tests, as well as its intention to restart its nuclear facilities at Yongbyon, are “deeply regrettable,” as are previous statements about uranium enrichment activities and the construction of a light water reactor. “Such actions are clear violations of relevant UN Security Council resolutions,” the Director General stated. “I call upon the DPRK to comply fully with its obligations, to cooperate promptly with the Agency, and to resolve all outstanding issues, including those that have arisen during the absence of Agency inspectors from the country,” he said, adding that the IAEA will continue to maintain its readiness to play an essential role in verifying Pyongyang’s nuclear programme.Meanwhile, the agency continues to verify the non-diversion of nuclear material declared by Iran under its Safeguards Agreement. However, Mr. Amano noted, the Agency is not in a position to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran, and therefore to conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities.Iran’s nuclear programme – which its officials have stated is for peaceful purposes, but some other countries contend is driven by military ambitions – has been a matter of international concern since the discovery in 2003 that the country had concealed its nuclear activities for 18 years in breach of its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Last month, the Director General held meetings in Tehran with the President of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, and other senior officials as part of his efforts to advance high-level dialogue between the Agency and Iran.“I stressed the importance of the timely implementation of the Framework for Cooperation,” said Mr. Amano, referring to the agreement between the IAEA and Iran. “I noted Iran’s statement of its firm, high-level commitment to implementing the Framework for Cooperation and its stated willingness to accelerate the resolution of all outstanding issues.” He reported that Iran has implemented three of the five practical measures agreed with the Agency in the third step of the Framework for Cooperation. Two of these were implemented after the agreed deadline of 25 August. Iran has begun discussions with the Agency on the two remaining practical measures.The Agency asked Iran to propose new practical measures by 2 September to be implemented by the country in the next step of the Framework. Iran has yet to propose such measures.“In order to resolve all outstanding issues, past and present, it is very important that Iran continues to implement, in a timely manner, all practical measures agreed under the Framework for Cooperation, and that it proposes new measures that we can agree upon for the next step,” said Mr. Amano.During their week-long deliberations, the 35-member Board of Governors will discuss a number of issues in addition to DPRK and Iran, including measures to strengthen international cooperation in nuclear, radiation, transport and waste safety as well as activities related to nuclear science, technology and applications and nuclear verification matters.Mr. Amano told the Board that his report on Implementation of the IAEA Action Plan on Nuclear Safety shows that progress continues to be made in improving nuclear safety throughout the world. Further consideration is being given to integrating activities under the Action Plan into the Agency’s regular programme of work after 2015.Also, work is continuing on the IAEA Report on the Fukushima Daiichi accident. Additional information on the accident is being released in Japan, and this will be considered as the Agency proceeds with its work. Formal publication of the Report is planned for next year’s General Conference. read more

Letter to the editor All Ohio State sports warrant attention not just

Letter to the editor: As a basketball player at Ohio State, I am both proud and honored that our university follows our sport the way they do. It is a privilege to play for Ohio State, to be a part of winning the Big Ten Tournament this year, and to have made it to the Elite Eight. I know that athletes in other sports that do not get much press coverage are also winning championships. Just two weekends ago, Logan Stieber won his second-consecutive national championship in his weight class in wrestling, and senior Marco Canevari marked the Scarlet and Gray’s single individual champion title in fencing by securing the gold medal in men’s epee on March 22. A day later, gymnasts Sarah Miller and Aly Marohn captured the Big Ten championship on the balance beam. Last Tuesday, The Lantern featured an article in which athletic director Gene Smith talked about how Ohio State isn’t just a football school. He talked about the success of our basketball team. It would be good to remember that in the other sports, there is a lot of success too. All athletes at Ohio State work very hard at being the best they can be at their sport. I wish that all athletes could receive the attention that our football and basketball teams get. They all deserve to be celebrated. Deshaun Thomas Third-year in sports management thomas.2366@osu.edu read more

Do The Celtics Have Enough Star Power To Win a Title Not

The Boston Celtics, after whiffing on trades for Jimmy Butler and Paul George, finally got some good news this week when Gordon Hayward announced that he was leaving the Utah Jazz to play for the Celtics. Although Isaiah Thomas would have some beef with this assessment, Hayward’s well-rounded combination of skills will probably make him the best player on the Celtics next year. He’s a good fit with the team’s approach.And yet, projection systems (including our own CARMELO) are somewhat skeptical of the Celtics, not expecting them to improve on last year’s 53-29 performance or to seriously challenge the Cleveland Cavaliers for Eastern Conference supremacy. Hayward is also fairly expensive; he’ll cost the Celtics $128 million over four years (the fourth season, 2020-21, is a player option). So let’s ask a tough question of Boston and general manager Danny Ainge: If Hayward is the best player on your team, could that team plausibly be good enough to win a championship?The answer is probably not. Hayward made the All-Star team last season, but he’s a long way from being a superstar. A handful of modern NBA teams — the 1988-89 and 1989-90 Detroit Pistons, the 2003-04 Pistons, and the 2013-14 San Antonio Spurs — won a title with someone about as good as Hayward as their best player. But this is unusual: It requires a team to be constructed almost perfectly, with above-average players at nearly every position, a deep bench, and a cohesive rotation. It sometimes also requires a fair amount of luck.1The “Bad Boys” Pistons peaked just as the 1980s Celtics and Lakers were declining, but before Michael Jordan’s Bulls really took off, for example.But Hayward can be a building block toward a championship. He’s roughly as good as the second-best player on a typical championship team. That might sound like faint praise, but it’s no small achievement.Let’s develop some terminology to describe degrees of the stardom in the NBA. I’ll introduce three types of players: Alphas, Betas and Gammas.An Alpha is a player who’s as good as the best player on a typical championship-winning team. This is an MVP contender — one of the half-dozen best players in the league.A Beta is as good as the second-best player on a typical NBA champion. As I mentioned, Hayward is a good example of a Beta. Betas are usually All-Stars, perhaps even All-Star starters, and they’re among the best players at their position. But they’re not among the very best players in the league.And a Gamma is good as third-best player on a typical championship team. A Gamma might be an All-Star, but he usually won’t make one of the three All-NBA teams. He probably has one or two weaknesses (defense, shooting, etc.) along with his obvious strengths. But he’s still a very good player and might be the best player on a non-contending team. Thomas, although he’s somewhat difficult to evaluate because of his defense — various statistical systems rate it anywhere from mediocre to execrable2There’s a big difference between mediocre and execrable. If Thomas’s defense is merely somewhat below average, as the NBA’s opponents’ shooting data suggests, then his offense more than makes up for it and he’d probably qualify as a Beta. If it’s terrible, as RPM suggests, then Thomas is barely even an above-average player overall. Classifying Thomas as a Gamma, as CPM does, is something of a compromise between these assessments. — is a reasonably good example of a Gamma.At any given time, only a few dozen players in the league will rated as Alphas, Betas or Gammas. (CARMELO projects that there will be 35 of them in 2017-18, for example.) It’s these players who determine who competes for NBA championships. Doesn’t depth matter also? Well, sure. A well-rounded roster is often the difference between winning a title and losing one. But a team needs its share of star-level talent to compete for a championship in the first place. Otherwise, it’ll usually wind up like last year’s Celtics, a well-constructed team that was overmatched in the playoffs.Below, you’ll find a table listing the top three players on NBA championship teams since 1984-85 — the first year the league used a salary cap — as rated by a statistic called Consensus Plus-Minus. Consensus Plus-Minus, or CPM, is a statistic I use when I don’t want to get into arguments about the value of individual players. It reflects a combination of four popular statistics — Real Plus-Minus,3RPM is available from the 2000-01 season onward. For seasons prior to 2000-01, I use BPM twice in the average. Box Plus/Minus, Win Shares and player efficiency rating — equally weighted and translated to the same scale. It also adjusts for the player’s position, which the other metrics do not,4CPM measures a player’s value relative to the positional average, rather than relative to the league average. Right now, there’s an excess of good centers and point guards but less depth among small forwards and shooting guards. This adjustment helps Hayward, who plays both those positions. and it regresses players’ ratings to replacement level if they fall below a certain threshold of playing time.5If the player plays less than 20 minutes per team game — or 1640 minutes over an 82-game season — his actual CPM is blended with a replacement-level CPM of -2 points per 100 possessions. For predictive purposes, we think CPM is liable to be slightly less accurate than the blend of statistics CARMELO uses (a combination of RPM and BPM), but CPM is still a perfectly reasonable stat and much more in line with the consensus view of NBA players. Like BPM and RPM, CPM is expressed in net points added or subtracted per 100 possessions. So a player with a CPM of +2.5, teamed with four average players, would help his team to outscore his opponents by 2.5 points per 100 possessions, for example. 2000LakersO’Neal10.0Bryant5.0Horry2.5 1999SpursRobinson6.9Duncan5.2Elie2.8 Kyle Lowry3.7Paul Millsap2.6 2002LakersO’Neal8.4Bryant4.7Horry1.9 2006HeatWade8.0O’Neal5.2Mourning2.4 2011MavericksNowitzki4.9Chandler2.8Kidd1.9 216721.2– Rudy Gobert3.6Kevin Love2.4 2016CavaliersJames8.9Love3.2Irving2.1 PLAYER+/-PLAYER+/-PLAYER+/- 1993BullsJordan9.4Pippen3.6Grant2.7 DeMarcus Cousins4.1Isaiah Thomas2.8 STAR POINTSTEAMSCHAMPIONSCHAMPIONSHIP PROBABILITY How much star power does an NBA team need?Probability of team winning a championship based on star points 2004PistonsB. Wallace4.3Billups3.8R. Wallace*1.7 This makes for a fairly intuitive list. LeBron, Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Kawhi Leonard are the league’s six Alphas. Chris Paul falls just short of the Alpha category; instead, he joins players such as Hayward, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Rudy Gobert and Anthony Davis on the Beta list. Gammas include players like Isaiah Thomas, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love, John Wall, DeAndre Jordan and Paul Millsap.So then all you need is an Alpha, a Beta and a Gamma and — presto! — you win an NBA championship? Actually, your options are more flexible than that. A team with an Alpha and a Beta — say, this year’s Houston Rockets — could probably skip the Gamma if they had a deep rotation. A team with no Alphas but three Betas — say, Jimmy Butler, Antetokounmpo and Kyle Lowry — would more than likely be good enough to contend for a title. A team with a very strong Alpha could go without a Beta and make up for it with two or more Gammas instead — that’s sort of how the current Cavaliers are constructed.To help teams think through these decisions, let’s invent one more statistic, which I’ll call star points. The formula is simple: A team gets three star points for each Alpha on its roster, two for each Beta, and one for each Gamma. Next year’s Warriors project to have 9 star points, for example: three each for Curry and Durant, two for Draymond Green and one for Klay Thompson.Even having that much talent on your roster doesn’t necessarily guarantee a title. But historically, a team’s chances of winning a title are remote if it has four or fewer star points. It has a fighting chance with five or six star points, depending on how the rest of the roster is constructed. And its probability increases rapidly once it acquires seven or more star points. CPM reflects a combination of Real Plus-Minus, Box Plus/Minus, Win Shares and player efficiency rating 1987LakersJohnson8.2Abdul-Jabbar2.2Worthy2.0 1991BullsJordan10.9Pippen4.9Grant3.6 2001LakersO’Neal8.9Bryant4.8Fox0.6 57479.5– 2015WarriorsCurry9.9Green4.4Thompson4.3 114700.0 Hassan Whiteside2.0 2010LakersBryant4.5Gasol3.7Odom2.2 YEARTEAMNO. 1 PLAYER+/-NO. 2 PLAYER+/-NO. 3 PLAYER+/- ALPHASBETASGAMMAS How good were the best players on recent NBA champions?Player ratings based on Consensus Plus-Minus (CPM) 1992BullsJordan8.7Grant5.7Pippen5.6 2007SpursGinobili7.2Duncan6.6Parker3.4 1997BullsJordan7.7Pippen5.5Kukoc4.1 Kevin Durant6.7Karl-Anthony Towns4.1Mike Conley2.9 1989PistonsLaimbeer3.8Rodman3.1Johnson1.3 Kemba Walker2.2 1995RocketsDrexler*6.1Olajuwon5.7Smith1.0 1985LakersJohnson5.6Abdul-Jabbar5.3Worthy1.6 2012HeatJames10.8Wade7.5Bosh1.7 This system isn’t perfect, but it lines up intuitively with how we evaluate teams. After the Warriors and their nine projected star points next season, the Cavaliers and Rockets are the closest thing the league has to ready-made title contenders, as they’re tied for second at five star points each. They’re followed by the Thunder, Timberwolves and Pelicans at four each; these four-point teams probably need at least one more thing to click (say, George taking the next step in Oklahoma City) to be title-worthy. The Celtics are one of several teams with three star points.This measure can underrate the importance of team depth; the Spurs, who have only three star points, are rated too low, for instance. The Celtics — although they’re losing a few players to make room for Hayward — are also a deep team, with lots of average or slightly-above-average players and lots of draft picks to keep priming the pump. They could probably compete for a title with five star points, therefore, instead of needing six or seven. Adding another Beta-level player might be enough to do the trick.It’s hard to see where that player comes from, however. The Celtics lost some of their financial flexibility in signing Hayward. And while they could develop a star player rather than acquiring one, giving more playing time to young players such as Jaylen Brown and rookie Jayson Tatum could make them less competitive in the short run.If there’s one Celtics move that looks bad in retrospect, it isn’t necessarily trying and failing to acquire Butler or George, it’s trading the No. 1 draft pick for Philadelphia’s No. 3 pick, with which they chose Tatum. While Tatum has a fairly promising projection, he doesn’t have the upside of No. 1 pick Markelle Fultz, whose comparables include players such as Harden, Westbrook and Wall. The trade might have made sense for a team that already had its stars in place and wanted to develop complementary players around them, but the Celtics have plenty of complementary players and are short on stars.At the same time, it would be easy to underestimate the challenge Ainge faced. The Celtics’ 53-29 record last year was deceptive, in that it came against a weak conference and relied on what were arguably career years from several players, including Thomas.7The Celtics also outperformed their 48-34 Pythagorean record by several games. In many respects, they were a rebuilding team dressed up as a competing team. And precisely because the Celtics weren’t just one player away from contending for a title, Ainge needed to acquire a player like Hayward or Butler without compromising the Celtics’ ability to acquire or develop another such player down the road. Even if the Celtics are still a star away from seriously contending for a title — maybe even a superstar away — that’s closer than they were last week. Average7.44.62.5 To no one’s surprise, the best players on title-winning teams are usually extraordinary talents. Among the 33 NBA champions since 1985, the top-rated player on the team, according to CPM, was one of the three best players in the league that season on 23 occasions. And the team’s best player was among the top 10 in the league on all but three occasions. The exceptions were Bill Laimbeer of the 1988-89 and 1989-90 Pistons (CPM, perhaps dubiously, rates Laimbeer ahead of his teammate, the other Isiah Thomas) and Ben Wallace of the 2003-04 Pistons. Pretty much all the other No. 1 players are current or future Hall of Famers, however, with the possible exception of Manu Ginobili, who may be a borderline case.No matter how brightly he shines, however, a superstar usually can’t deliver a title without a good sidekick or two.6Take LeBron James’s 2012-13 season, for example, when he had a CPM of +10.6 and played almost 38 minutes per game — about as good as an NBA player can be under modern conditions. A team with that version of LeBron, plus a roster full of replacement-level players, would still project to go only 41-41, according to our forecasting method. A team with that version of LeBron plus a roster full of league-average players (as opposed to replacement-level players) would project to go 59-23, which is closer to being a title contender. League-average players don’t just grow on trees, however. On average, the second-best player on these championship teams was the 14th-best player in the league, according to CPM. And although not every champ had a classic “Big Three” like LeBron James’s Miami Heat, the third-best player on the championship team rated as the 37th-best player in the league, on average — still very solid.So let’s get back to the idea of Alpha, Beta and Gamma players, which were meant to correspond to a typical championship team’s best, second-best and third-best players. By looking at the historical data, we can define these classifications as follows:An Alpha has a CPM of +6.0 or higher.A Beta has a CPM of between +3.5 and +6.0.And a Gamma has a CPM of between +2.0 and +3.5.I re-ran CARMELO using CPM instead of its usual blend of statistics, and it projected the following players to be Alphas, Betas and Gammas for the upcoming NBA season: 1990PistonsLaimbeer3.8Rodman2.6Thomas1.7 2014SpursGinobili4.8Leonard4.8Mills3.2 Klay Thompson2.1 2009LakersBryant6.0Gasol3.6Odom3.0 2017WarriorsDurant8.3Curry6.7Green3.7 Stephen Curry7.0Nikola Jokic4.8DeMar DeRozan3.0 Who are the NBA’s championship-caliber players?Projections based on Consensus Plus-Minus for 2017-18 2003SpursDuncan7.5Robinson3.8Ginobili1.1 314342.8– CONSENSUS PLUS-MINUS Gordon Hayward3.8DeAndre Jordan2.7 1994RocketsOlajuwon5.8Horry1.9Thorpe1.6 Blake Griffin3.7Otto Porter Jr.2.5 2008CelticsGarnett7.8Pierce4.5Allen2.8 Victor Oladipo2.1 Kawhi Leonard6.8Anthony Davis4.3Paul George2.9 410321.9– CJ McCollum2.1 021600.0% James Harden7.4Jimmy Butler5.5Bradley Beal3.2 2005SpursDuncan7.5Ginobili7.1Barry1.9 1998BullsJordan6.0Pippen5.0Kukoc2.5 LeBron James7.0G. Antetokounmpo5.2John Wall3.0 Russell Westbrook8.2Chris Paul5.9Damian Lillard3.3 Draymond Green3.8Kyrie Irving2.8 1996BullsJordan9.4Pippen5.6Kukoc4.6 Star points: 3 points per Alpha player, 2 points per Beta player, and 1 point per Gamma player. Table includes all teams since the 1984-85 season. 1986CelticsBird7.7McHale5.4Parish2.5 CPM reflects a combination of Real Plus-Minus, Box Plus/Minus, Win Shares and player efficiency rating.* Player was acquired midseason. His +/- total reflects performance for entire season, and not just for the acquiring club. 642614.3– 725832.0– 8 or more13430.8– 1988LakersJohnson5.2Scott3.1Worthy1.9 2013HeatJames10.6Wade5.8Bosh1.2 read more