Man Utd ‘on the trail’ of Fulham star

first_imgManchester United are on the trail of Fulham star Moussa Dembele, according to The People.The paper also suggest Bobby Zamora is a shock target for mega-rich Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala.Zamora only joined QPR from the Whites in January but it is claimed that Anzhi boss Guus Hiddink is planning to launch a bid for him in the summer.The People also say Middlesbrough want to sign young centre-back Dan Burn from Fulham.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img

Durban’s 2010 stadium set to open

first_img1 October 2009Standing on the newly laid pitch, with the signature arch soaring overhead and the 56 000 permanent seats all in place, one can almost see the crowds taking their seats and feel the excitement growing in Durban’s dramatic new multi-purpose stadium.It’s just weeks to go now until completion of the city’s Moses Mabhida Stadium, which will seat 69 000 people during the 2010 Fifa World Cup and host seven matches, including a semi-final, during the tournament.At the height of construction of the stadium, there were over 2 500 workers on site, but on a quiet Sunday morning only a handful of workers are left, erecting balustrades, putting the last touches to the venue offices, and cleaning up walkways and access areas.“We are just weeks away from a complete stadium now,” says head of Durban/eThekwini municipality’s 2010 programme, Julie May Ellingson. “Then it’s over to Fifa and the Organising Committee to get it operationally ready for a World Cup; but the plan is to open it up to Durban citizens long before.”Finalists in a local schools World Cup competition will be the lucky teams to be the first to step out onto the new turf to mark the stadium’s opening in front of the city’s residents on 28 November 2009.This will be followed the day after with a match between two yet-to-be-announced Premier Soccer League (PSL) sides. A number of concerts and further PSL matches are planned from January to May 2010 to give the stadium the “stress tests” it needs to ensure it is operationally ready for football’s greatest showpiece in June 2010.Stadium precinctThe focus now shifts to the stadium precinct projects and ensuring that fans, players and the media can easily access the stadium on match day.Durbanites are renowned for making the most of a sporting match day. When residents of the city attend a football, cricket or rugby match, they get to the venue hours before, parking in adjacent fields and setting up braais (barbeques) alongside their cars for pre-and post-match festivities which often go into the early hours of the next morning.To ensure this spirit is maintained, numerous park-and-ride and park-and-walk facilities are planned, and some R250-million is being spent on upgrading the beach promenade and extending the walkway from the beach all the way to the stadium.Fans will also be conveniently transported to the stadium by rail, with a new train station adjacent to the stadium currently under construction.“For us as a city it was always very important that the stadium is financially viable after 2010,” says Ellingson. “For this reason we have built a multi-functional stadium that can serve the needs of football, rugby and athletics.People’s ParkA “People’s Park” is also being developed adjacent to the stadium, which will be one of the hubs of spectator festivities during the tournament.“We have worked hard to ensure that the entire precinct becomes an area used by the residents of the city,” says Ellingson. “The People’s Park is an important legacy project for us. This park is a green space next to the stadium which includes two training fields, a running and cycling track, a children’s playground and a tea garden.“Residents and visitors can also ride a cable car to the top of the arch, or climb the 550 steps, for spectacular 365-degree views of the adjacent Indian Ocean and the city.“For the adventure junkies, there will also be a bungee swing from the stadium’s arch.”The stadium will also feature 72 000m² of retail space and a gym, to help ensure that it is used for more than just sporting events and becomes a constantly bustling asset of the city.Source: 2010 Fifa World Cup South Africa Organising Committeelast_img read more

Winning Big Clients: To Win Big Clients, Solve Big Problems

first_imgThe four levels of value provide an orienting generalization that gives guidance on what your dream clients value. Because value is in the eye of the beholder, creating value means providing something your client perceives as value (for a primer on value creation, read this post). The four levels also offer a way to think about winning big clients.As a disclaimer, what follows is a generalization. All generalizations are lies (including this statement, and also what follows), but they contain so much truth that they provide useful distinctions.Level 1: Your Product ItselfWhen you sell your product, you are selling what is generally the lowest level of value. The fact that “product” is the lowest level of value does not mean that it isn’t important—or even essential. You cannot reach higher levels of value creation without the value of your product. You cannot, for example, have the most strategic of ideas and approaches and fail because your product or service doesn’t work.For the most part, it is difficult to differentiate on your product alone because it is certain you have many competitors who, if you are honest, also have good products. It can be tough to displace a competitor when there is little difference between your product and your competitors. (For more on competitive displacements, see Eat Their Lunch: Winning Customers Away from Your Competition).There are plenty of exceptions where the product itself rises to the level of strategic, especially when it is innovative and provides an enormous competitive advantage or solves a systemic challenge in a new way. Much of the time, however, problems at the higher levels create a more compelling case to change.Because there are so many organizations that make good products, you can find a lot of small deals around the product, and you can find bigger deals that are mostly transactional and treated as commodities.Level 2: Experience – Easy to Do Business WithOne level up from product is “experience.” The value here is what it’s like to do business with you. It includes your service and support. The level of value here transcends and includes of the lower level of value. If your product works but comes with problems and challenges, how well you resolve and eliminate those challenges is a differentiator.Perhaps because I spent a good part of my sales life selling and intangible, my experience has convinced me that we lose more clients to a poor experience than the product or service itself. If it is a problem that the product or service doesn’t work, the fact that your client can’t get the help they need makes things even worse. There isn’t a company on Earth that is without its challenges, problems, and failures. There is, however, enormous variations in their processes, their approaches, and their responses to those challenges.If the experience and the support and service are more valuable than the product, it’s often because your client uses more of what of the product and service and needs more help. Companies that don’t buy much of the product or service don’t tend to have as many problems.A little larger prospective client is likely to have more substantial problems.Level 3: Tangible Results – Solving ProblemsLet’s assume a hypothetical company manages insurance claims. The tangible result their clients seek is the effective management of the claims. Maybe they measure this result with a metric of cases handled. Because many companies can manage claims, it can be difficult to perceive any real differences outside of price. Most companies can solve their client’s problems, often without there being much different in their approaches.What makes the third level of value greater than one and two is that it includes both of them, and it usually means there is some solution, some problem you are solving. You and your competition can both solve the problem, even if you might do one way while they solve it using another approach. The fact that many companies can solve the problem means we have been commoditized at this level.When there is a need for a solution, there is more of a problem and more of a need. Bigger problems equal bigger deals.Level 4: Strategic ValueBecause of my long experience in staffing, it provides the most straightforward example for me to demonstrate the fourth and highest level of value. The level three value is providing an employee who can do the work required of their assignment. The fourth level might be providing an employee who can be hired full-time, reducing their turnover, improving their productivity, or reducing their overall cost of hiring.The problems listed about over are of a greater magnitude than those you find at lower levels. They’re systemic, difficult to improve, and strategic. Improvements here create more value than the gain at the lower levels, all of which is necessary of you to get to level four.If you need very little of something and going without it for long periods isn’t a problem, then the problem doesn’t rise to “strategic.” If you rely on something and going without puts your future at risk, it’s strategic.The Big Deal about Big DealsEvery day there are very, very large deals for products. However, even in sales where products are purchased, winning big deals almost always requires something more than price. Imagine a chip manufacturer who sells its components in hundreds of thousands, each with a minuscule amount of four cents. You can imagine the higher levels of value matter very much. The experience, support, and service are necessary. It’s also easy to believe that the failure rate (problems at the third level of value) would also be a factor, especially if the client discovers this fact after they assemble the product they produce with the chips.At level four, the supplying company’s willingness to invest in equipment to scale up their operation to serve their customer, to locate their factories close to their customer, to carry the cost of inventory, or to provide exclusivity to give their customer a competitive advantage would all be considered more strategic than the other levels of value.If you want to win bigger deals, you need to start solving bigger, more strategic problems. Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

Labour Day Message by Prime Minister, The Most Hon. Andrew Holness

first_img Today, as we celebrate Labour Day under the theme: ‘Restore, Preserve, Beautify’, we honour our workers whose glorious history of struggle for justice led to a broader victory for Jamaican society. Story Highlights The 1938 labour revolts on the Kingston Waterfront and in other parts of the island led to the establishment of a Royal Commission of Enquiry, and in that very year the Commission made a trip to Jamaica. Today, we salute the members of our working class whose refusal to accept the status quo of inequality, bequeathed to us a set of freedoms which we all cherish. Indeed, as our Labour Day theme admonishes, we have to “Restore…Preserve… Beautify”. Today, as we celebrate Labour Day under the theme: ‘Restore, Preserve, Beautify’, we honour our workers whose glorious history of struggle for justice led to a broader victory for Jamaican society.The 1938 labour revolts on the Kingston Waterfront and in other parts of the island led to the establishment of a Royal Commission of Enquiry, and in that very year the Commission made a trip to Jamaica.One of the pivotal recommendations of the Moyne Commission was for the adoption of Universal Adult Suffrage and a new constitution for Jamaica.As a result of that cry against oppression coming from our workers in the 1930s, Jamaica adopted a new constitution in 1944 which granted the right to vote to Jamaicans who had no property outside of their labour.The struggle for Human Rights is indivisible. Each generation has a sacred obligation to advance that quest, building on the sacrifices of the past.Today, we salute the members of our working class whose refusal to accept the status quo of inequality, bequeathed to us a set of freedoms which we all cherish. Indeed, as our Labour Day theme admonishes, we have to “Restore…Preserve… Beautify”.We have to restore not just our historical monuments, but our historical memory. We are a great people and we must be mindful of their history and the burden of responsibility it imposes on us.We must preserve our historical heritage, making the relevant links so our young people can draw inspiration from the courage, tenacity and resilience shown by their forebears. And we must beautify not only our physical environment but our spirit; with the fragrance of optimism, faith, resourcefulness, dignity and good neighbourliness.We must never succumb to the spirit of defeat. We must meet fear with faith as we pursue economic prosperity. Martin Luther King Jnr was fond of quoting these lines: “Fear knocked at the door. Faith answered.There was no one there”. Our history has taught us that lesson very well. Whenever our faith has responded to the presence of fear, fear has taken flight. Let us never doubt our ability to overcome our challenges.On this Labour Day we remember those whose examples of courage fortify our spirit and we recognize those who display that same courage today.I have seen it in action during the recent flood rains. Jermaine and Jamauno Riley and their friend Ramone Peart of Sunnyside, St. Catherine, have shown the true spirit of courage and community, rescuing their neighbours, from ravishing flood waters, in their time of greatest need.As a people we salute them. Together, we have a duty to reach out to our neighbours, and those in our communities as they put their lives and properties back together.The thrust of the Government’s Economic Policy is to advance the welfare of our workers and to improve people’s standard of living. In January, this year there were nearly 22,000 more persons employed than there were in January 2016. Unemployment today is lower than it was a year ago.We are opening up more employment opportunities to our people. I recently announced the Housing, Opportunity, Production and Employment (HOPE) programme which aims to provide employment to some 15,000 of our unattached, at-risk young people.There are significant employment opportunities opening up in the BPO sector, in Tourism and in the Mining Sector; we are expecting an additional 3,000 persons to be employed as a result of some $2 billion in investments being poured into that sector.Employment in our Special Economic Zones and Logistics-centered activities will further boost employment.On this Labour Day, workers can have confidence that they have a bright future and that things are aligning in their interests. Last year, the economy grew by 1.4%, the highest in four years. Workers benefit when the economy grows. Economic stagnation hurts workers.The fact that we are having historically low inflation rates is also a significant benefit to workers. That there has been a 14.8% expansion in bank credit to the private sector in 2016 compared to 9.6% in 2015 is a plus for workers’ interests. The interests of workers have also been advanced by initiatives the Government has taken in healthcare and education.We recognize that to keep faithful to the mandate of the workers movement which blossomed in the 1930s, we have to put in much work today. As heirs of National Heroes Sir Alexander Bustamante and Norman Washington Manley, we can do no less.I call upon you, fellow Jamaicans, to recapture that spirit of self-sacrifice which motivated those men, and men like St. William Grant, AGS Coombs as well as women such as Aggie Bernard, Lady Bustamante and Edna Manley. Let us go out into our communities today and display that spirit of volunteerism that Jamaica needs.Plant a tree…Refurbish a building…Help preserve a monument…Help your neighbour clean up from the recent floods….See what needs to be done and give a helping hand.Our two national projects will involve the refurbishing of the Ward Theatre and the Central Police station. Culture and security have a synergy that might not be immediately evident. But I believe, fellow Jamaicans that a kinder, gentler, more cultured Jamaica, proud of its heritage, is one that is organically secure.Our culture should deepen our bonds and reduce our tensions. Culture uplifts and inspires, and clears away the fog of divisiveness and bitterness. It nurtures that spirit of love and caring that really represents the quintessential Jamaican.As we prepare to celebrate Jamaica 55—and there is much to celebrate—let us use this Labour Day to “Restore. Preserve…Beautify”. We owe it to Jamaica, land we so love.last_img 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

Buckeyes knock out Fighting Illini

After shooting just 8-for-24 from the field over his last four games, fifth-year senior forward David Lighty started Tuesday’s game against Illinois 2-for-9 and it looked as though his offensive woes were destined to continue. Despite his struggles, Lighty kept shooting. As he kept shooting, he eventually started scoring, and it didn’t seem as though he would ever stop. Lighty led a 13-2 second-half run in which he scored all of Ohio State’s points, leading the Buckeyes (26-2, 13-2 Big Ten) to an 89-70 win against Illinois (17-11, 7-8 Big Ten) Tuesday night at the Schottenstein Center. Lighty finished with 21 points, 17 of which came in the second half, along with four rebounds and six steals. “It started opening up and they started laying off of me,” Lighty said of his second-half outburst. “I was just trying to find lanes, trying to make plays and be aggressive. Luckily shots started falling.” The Illini hung with the Buckeyes early on and cut the OSU lead to 33-30 after a 3-pointer from senior point guard Demetri McCamey with six minutes to go in the first half. But the Illini scored just two points in the final six minutes as the Buckeyes closed the first 20 minutes on a 14-2 run. Senior guard Jon Diebler capped the run with a 3-pointer as the half expired and, despite Illinois shooting a blistering 8-for-9 from beyond the 3-point line in the first half, the Buckeyes went to the break with a 47-32 lead. But Illinois, in desperate need of a résumé-building win, wasn’t going to go away easy. The Illini started the second half on an 11-2 run and quickly cut the Buckeyes’ lead to 49-43. Then Lighty took over. His 13 points and three steals during the next three minutes put the Buckeyes up, 62-45, with less than 12 minutes remaining. “Every time I looked out there he was like everywhere,” OSU coach Thad Matta said. “His performance there in the second half was high-level and I think that David Lighty, he’s been here for five years, and I don’t think he’s ever gotten the credit he deserves for the player that he is and just the kid he is.” Illinois wouldn’t get any closer than nine the rest of the way, as OSU pulled away for a 19-point win. Junior guard William Buford scored 17 points, all of which came in the first half. Freshman forward Jared Sullinger scored 12 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for his 13th double-double of the season. After turning the ball over 18 times in Sunday’s loss at Purdue, the Buckeye had just three turnovers Tuesday, zero in the first half. Senior forward Mike Davis led Illinois with 18 points on 8-for-14 shooting. Tuesday’s loss was the Illini’s eighth loss in its last 12 games, and with only three games remaining, they need a serious push if they hope to make the NCAA Tournament. Illini coach Bruce Weber said that, despite all that was riding on this game for his team, Lighty was too much to overcome. “I’ve said since the beginning, I love him and I think he’s the (Big Ten) MVP,” Weber said. “He probably won’t get it because people aren’t smart enough, but he’s their heart and soul. “In the second half we made the run, but he just took over the game. Lighty, to me, is their heart and soul, and he’s the reason they win.” read more

Puck drops Friday for Ohio State against Wisconsin

Ohio State redhshirt junior goalie Sean Romeo during the game against Ryerson on Sep. 30. Ohio State lost 7-4. Credit: Courtesy of Ohio State AthleticsAfter the Ohio State men’s hockey team surprised the nation last year, the Buckeyes are coming out this season to prove their success was no fluke.Ohio State will get a chance to prove that early, with a season-opening series at No. 12 Wisconsin this weekend. The No. 19 Buckeyes are coming into this year after a season in which they finished 21-12-6, which was enough to earn the team’s seventh all-time NCAA tournament appearance and the first in eight years.In the tournament, the Buckeyes lost to eventual NCAA-runner-up Minnesota Duluth 3-2 in overtime in the first round.  “We watched [the film] a couple of weeks ago in the locker room, and all those chances we had in overtime, I thought we were right there and hopefully we can get back to that point and make it further,” junior forward Mason Jobst said.Jobst is the most pivotal player returning to the Buckeyes this season, as he led the Big Ten in points last year with 55, and was named team captain.The Buckeyes lost their only exhibition game 7-4 to Ryerson. Ohio State roared out to a 4-1 lead midway through the second period, then proceeded to give up six unanswered goals, leading to the defeat.“[Ryerson] came in here and they were the better team no question,” head coach Steve Rohlik said. “It’s going to take hard work, and how we prepare Monday through Thursday is when you win the game, not showing up on Friday.”Ohio State had less than a week to get back on track after the defeat as it opens its season with a pair of road games at Wisconsin, the team that eliminated the Buckeyes from the 2017 Big Ten tournament. Ohio State opens the season against the Badgers Friday at 8 p.m. and the two teams return to action the next day at 7 p.m.“It’s going to be exciting,” junior defenseman Sasha Larocque said.  “Obviously they’re a great team and it’s going to be a great test for us to see where we’re at at the start of the year.”The Buckeyes lost several All-Big Ten players from the previous season, including top goal-scorer Nick Schilkey, forward David Gust, defenseman Josh Healey and starting goalie Christian Frey.Now, the team will rely on their remaining talent, starting with two NHL draft picks — junior forward Dakota Joshua and sophomore forward Tanner Laczynski — who were fourth and fifth on the team in scoring, respectively. “I think I need to be more consistent,” Laczynski said. “Night in, night out not taking any games off, really just work hard and try to be a leader out there.”The Buckeyes managed to remain consistent on the road all last year, with an impressive 13-2-3 record away from home, the best in the NCAA.  The problem was their record at the Schottenstein Center, which was a much less glamorous 7-7-2.When asked about improving the home record, Rohlik said, “Well if you know that answer let me know. I just think it’s a mindset of coming out here and just, in that locker room knowing that we have to step on the ice and win games here at home, and I think that’s something our guys want to do.”Season PredictionThis Ohio State team is going to need players to step up in big ways for them to have the same level of success they achieved last year, especially considering the Big Ten got even stronger with the addition of No. 8 Notre Dame to the conference.  The good news is that this leaves Ohio State with numerous chances scattered throughout the schedule to prove themselves as a legitimate contender to make the NCAA tournament.Jobst will be a major factor if this team will want to succeed, as his incredible playmaking abilities allow for other players on his line to really strive. Ohio State will also need help from its newcomers, as transfers redshirt sophomore defenseman Wyatt Ege and redshirt junior goalie Sean Romeo could help the team massively on the defensive end, where it struggled mightily against Ryerson.The power-play success will be essential, as the Buckeyes were by far the best team in college last year with a man up, boasting a 31.4 percent success rate. That success had a lot to do with both Schilkey and Gust, who scored 26 of the team’s 49 goals with a man advantage. Still, Jobst had nine of the goals, and set up plenty of others, leaving open the possibility the power play will again be among the NCAA’s best.The road to the NCAA tournament will be tough, but it’s not completely out of the question.  The opening series against Wisconsin will answer more questions as to where exactly this team sits, and just how much of a threat they will be in the Big Ten, but if the team gets stronger defensively, keeps its impressive power play, and gets Jobst some added help from some new faces, the Buckeyes could match last season’s success. read more

Mens Basketball Ohio State to step up after Muhammads injury

Ohio State freshman guard Duane Washington Jr. (4) runs the ball down the court during the second half of the game against UNC Pembroke on Nov. 1. Ohio State won 81-63. Credit: Amal Saeed | Assistant Photo EditorNo. 16 Ohio State suffered another loss in its 72-62 loss to Syracuse on Wednesday night. Late in the second half, freshman guard Luther Muhammad took a hard fall and was escorted off the court with the help of the training staff. Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann said after the game that Muhammad had suffered a shoulder dislocation. The head coach said Tuesday that he is out indefinitely and there is no timetable for his return, saying he is doubtful for the Big Ten opener against Minnesota on Sunday. “It is a significant impact, but we’ve got confidence in the next guys in the rotation being able to step up in his absence,” Holtmann said. The head coach was not sure who would take Muhammad’s place in the starting lineup, saying he is thinking about how different lineups gel together, how specific players compliment each other when on the floor together. Sophomore forward Kaleb Wesson said the loss of Muhammad is big because of his defensive ability, but the different guards on the roster are ready. “Everybody is going to be ready like I always talk about. Everybody’s been ready since June,” Wesson said. “Losing him is huge because he is one of our better defenders … so he’s a loss, but we are going to have experience coming off the bench.” But Holtmann’s first thought was not who would replace Muhammad in the starting lineup. It was on senior guard C.J. Jackson, a player who the head coach expects to step up in a major way defensively. “C.J. Jackson has to defend better than what he has through this part of the season,” Holtmann said. “He’s more capable of that than what he has shown and I think having Luther alongside him has allowed him to maybe be a little bit looser in that area. So we are going to need more because he is capable of it.”  Holtmann said he did have two guards in mind when it comes to taking more of a major role in the absence of Muhammad: redshirt senior Keyshawn Woods and freshman Duane Washington Jr. Through the first seven games of the season, both Woods and Washington have contributed consistent minutes off the bench, with the redshirt senior averaging eight points per game, shooting 45.7 percent from the floor with a team-leading 22 assists. Washington, in his first season on the team, is leading the team in 3-point shooting, connecting on 13 of 29 attempts from deep. The 13 made 3s is also tied for the team lead.Washington said he was prepared for an increased role, earning “starter’s minutes” as Holtmann said in the near future. “I’ll be ready for whatever coach needs me to do,” Washington said. “That’s what we practice every day for, that’s what workouts are for. Whatever he needs me to do, I’ll be there for it.” But Muhammad’s absence is not only about his defensive ability. Washington said Muhammad brings an emotion and a passion to the game, an energy that is not seen in every program around the country. The freshman guard said he saw it in Muhammad’s defense, clapping on defense, finding his way to the team’s best offensive player. Holtmann did not know how Muhammad’s injury would affect the spirit of the team moving forward. At this point, that was not his main focus. “Our first concern in all this is Luther’s health. It’s not by any stretch career damaging or anything along those lines,” Holtmann said. “It’s a significant injury that will need time to heal. How it affects the life of our team, I’m interested to see.” But in his absence, Washington sees himself becoming that emotional leader for Ohio State. “I definitely feel like I can help with that missing piece for however long he will be gone,” Washington said. “Hopefully he will be back soon, but most definitely.” Wesson said this was something he saw in Washington from the first time he visited Ohio State. The sophomore forward said the team was “dog tired” when Washington came, having an open gym for him and another recruit after already having a team workout and a lift. But Washington was different than other recruits, according to Wesson. “He was just like ‘pick it up.’ He was telling us ‘pick it up. Let’s play for real. I’m not trying to play if you are not playing for real.’ And we were just sitting there looking at him like, ‘This young guy don’t know what it is to play ours yet. What?’” Wesson said. “Ever since then, I just knew he’s intense, he wants to do this, he wants to be better, he wants to be great.” Washington said he used that open gym to test himself, to see of he is build to play at the college level, to play at Ohio State. With the loss of Muhammad, Washington and the rest of the roster will have to bring that energy, to “pick it up” in his absence. read more

Salihamidzic Sancho chose Dortmund over Bayern Munich

first_imgBayern Munich sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic revealed they were turned down by Jadon Sancho in favour of Borussia DortmundSancho’s decision to choose Dortmund over Bayern in 2017 breaks a trend that has been set across the last several years.This involved the likes of Mario Gotze, Robert Lewandowski and Mats Hummels all swapping Dortmund for Bayern.But Sancho’s decision to joined the Lucien Favre’s side instead has paid dividends with the teenage winger a prominent member of the Dortmund team that lead the Bundesliga after 11 games.“The truth is that Bayern Munich did want to sign Jadon Sancho and made him an offer which he, unfortunately, refused,” Salihamidzic told Sport Bild.Jadon SanchoMerson believes Arsenal should sign Sancho Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho might be the perfect player to play for the Gunners, according to former England international Paul Merson.Dortmund’s sporting director, Michael Zorc, confessed that there had a great amount of interest in Sancho before he arrived at Signal Iduna Park.“In the course of the talks, It was clear that top clubs from home and abroad also had great interest in [Sancho],” admits Zorc.“Fortunately, we tried very hard for him at an early stage.”The 18-year-old has managed five goals and eight assists in 17 appearances for Dortmund this season.last_img read more

BAHAMAS Olympians at BAISS

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#Bahamas, February 19, 2018 – Nassau – Olympians Pauline Davis Rolle and Shaunae Miller Uibo were at BAISS today at the National Stadium.  Also pictured at the track and field competition are Cabinet Ministers Jeffrey Lloyd and Michael Pintard.(BIS Photos/Derek Smith) Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items:last_img