Challenging, difficult, rough were some of the words that were used to describe the pitch that forced an abandonment of the third Jamaica Scorpions four-day trial match at Sabina Park yesterday.The pitch, which was into its second day when the umpires, in consultation with the national coaching staff decided to call off the match inside the first over, resulted in at least two players receiving body bruises and injury.They are batsmen AndrÈ McCarthy, who was hit on the finger on day one, and had to retire hurt, and Shacaya Thomas, who was hit five times, two to the head, two to the hand, and one on his fingers.”I can’t recall getting hit five times in a game,” said Thomas, who was 56 not out overnight, and was looking to score his first century of the trials on the day.”It was really a difficult pitch batting. I got hit twice on my head, twice on my hand, and one on my fingers.”Few balls bowledThe encounter, which was the third of six scheduled ahead of the start of the upcoming WICB Professional League, was called off after four balls were bowled yesterday by fast bowler Jason Dawes of John Campbell’s XI.Campbell’s XI made a paltry 124 on the opening day, with Paul Palmer’s XI responding with 84 for one when stumps were drawn.Palmer’s XI added another two runs to their overnight total, with young wicketkeeper, Kemar Marshall unbeaten on three when the umpires intervened.”A ball that you would normally look to come forward to, would just pop up, and, bounce over your head,” noted 26-year-old Thomas.”Judging the length of a delivery, as well, was also difficult to predict, in terms of going forward or back.”McCarthy, in the meanwhile, who was hit on the thumb on the first day and had to retire hurt, but was planning to resume batting on day two, said the pitch was a problem from the outset.”Balls were moving around and misbehaving from the first session on the opening day, when my team was in the field,” he explained.”But there was then a lot of rolling of the wicket during the lunch and tea breaks, and after play, and everybody kept anticipating that as the match went on it would play better.”The fourth two-day trial match is scheduled to begin next Tuesday.
Is Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? MOST READ TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games opening SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Golden State found its rhythm in the second half playing the second night of a back-to-back. The Warriors won 142-111 at Denver on Tuesday night and this was their lone day at home during a grueling 17-day stretch, with seven of eight games away from the Bay Area. Golden State won’t play at Oracle Arena again until Jan. 31.“I’m more like the director at the YMCA than I am coach. ‘You guys are shirts and you guys are skins, now go play,’” Kerr said.On Friday at the Clippers, All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins is scheduled to start and make his Warriors debut for his first game in nearly a year since tearing his left Achilles tendon and undergoing surgery.The Warriors were hardly as sharp initially as they were a night earlier, but it would have been tough to match that 51-point opening period at Denver.They hit 10 of their 21 in the first quarter alone Tuesday. This time, Golden State had to chip away at a 17-point first-half deficit.After also losing on Golden State’s home floor 131-121 on Oct. 31, the Pelicans have lost 10 of the last 11 and 21 of 23 to the Warriors. New Orleans also lost a 4-1 Western Conference semifinals to Golden State.“We wouldn’t have won this game a month ago. We’re at a different place now, I can feel it as a coach,” Kerr said. “We’re more connected now.”COUSINS CONNECTIONGentry, Kerr’s top assistant during the 2015 championship season, offered some helpful insight on Cousins before the Warriors signed him to a one-year contract last summer.“We had a couple good conversations and it was very helpful in terms of my approach when we did sign DeMarcus,” Kerr said. Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry shoots against New Orleans Pelicans’ Jrue Holiday during the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)OAKLAND, Calif. — Stephen Curry stepped back time and again and released the ball from way back. Most of the time with at least one defender in his face, too.“It’s insane what he does,” coach Steve Kerr said.ADVERTISEMENT PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Is Gentry curious how Cousins might fit in on a star-studded roster?“Nope, not really,” he said. “He’s a great player. He’s the best player at his position in the league.”TIP-INSPelicans: Mirotic played 29 minutes after he had been limited to 17 on Monday, five days after he returned from a right ankle injury. … New Orleans has just two road wins vs. the Western Conference — Monday at the Clippers and in its season opener Oct. 17 at Houston.Warriors: Golden State is 4-0 when making 20 or more 3s. … Alfonzo McKinnie and Kevon Looney had back-to-back blocks on consecutive New Orleans shots on one possession midway through the fourth. … G Shaun Livingston had a driving baseline one-handed slam over Holiday late in the first half and scored 11 points in an 8-minute stretch. … The Warriors are 6-1 in the second game of a back-to-back this season.UP NEXTPelicans: At Portland on Friday night. New Orleans swept the Trail Blazers in the first round of last season’s playoffs.Warriors: At Clippers on Friday night. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño Kevin Durant hit a key 3-pointer with 5:53 to play and finished with 30 points and 15 rebounds, while Klay Thompson scored 19 points with four 3s. Draymond Green had twoCurry has 28 3-pointers in his past three games while the Warriors made 18 or more from deep in a franchise-record fourth straight game. The 24 made 3s matched a franchise best.“The shots that Steph made were not wide-open shots,” Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said. “They’re challenged shots, and he made them.”The two-time MVP scored 23 of his points in the third quarter, hitting four 3s over the final 2:37, as the two-time defending champions rallied, taking a 110-109 lead into the fourth after Andre Iguodala’s driving finger roll and ensuing free throw.“It’s once-in-a-generation, once-in-a-lifetime talent,” said Durant, who could only shake his head in joy.ADVERTISEMENT LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño Kyrie Irving calls LeBron James to apologize, ask for advice on leadership View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Curry scored 41 points with nine 3-pointers to become the first player in NBA history to make eight or more 3s in three straight games, and the Golden State Warriors held off the New Orleans Pelicans 147-140 on Wednesday night for their sixth straight win.“When you get hot like that, you really don’t see anything but the rim,” Curry said. “You just try to stay on balance and get to your spot, wherever that is. Again, these are shots I work on, I have confidence in them, I know my teammates do.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine football chiefSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsPelicans star Anthony Davis went down hard beneath the Warriors basket with 2:22 left but was able to walk off after a few minutes and quickly returned. Davis had 30 points, 18 rebounds, seven assists and three blocks in nearly 41 minutes for New Orleans, coming off a 46-point and 16-rebound gem Monday night despite starting 0 for 5 with just four points in the first quarter. Nikola Mirotic scored 29 points, Jrue Holiday added 25 points and seven assists while Elfrid Payton dished out 12 assists.The Pelicans and Warriors combined for an NBA-record 43 3s, breaking the mark by two that Sacramento and Golden State accomplished Jan. 5 at Golden 1 Center. LATEST STORIES SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion
Twitter/@duke_athleticsMike Krzyzewski is 68 years old, but coming off of the 2015 national championship, don’t expect the Hall of Famer to hang up his whistle in the near future. When asked about any potential retirement plans, Coach K had a simple answer: he doesn’t have any.“I have no thoughts on retiring right now.” -Coach K #FanTownHall pic.twitter.com/oIX80NPU5i— Duke Athletics (@Duke_ATHLETICS) July 2, 2015We don’t think Coach K can coach forever, but the way he’s been recruiting, it wouldn’t be wise to doubt him.
zoomImage Courtesy: Austal Australian shipbuilder Austal has launched a high-speed vehicle/passenger ferry for Danish ferry operator Molslinjen.The launching of the 109-meter-long Express 4 follows the roll-out and joining of the hull and superstructure in August. The vessel is now undergoing final preparations to begin sea trials as part of the acceptance and handover process, according to Austal.This next-generation catamaran commenced construction in April 2017 and remains on schedule to meet contract handover date in January 2019.The Express 4 features an optimized hull form designed to minimize fuel consumption. Also built into the vessel is Ride Control System, which will result in superior sea-keeping and comfort for over 1,000 passengers traveling at speeds up to 40 knots, as explained by the shipbuilder.“The commercial ferry market has further strengthened over the last 18 months, with the Austal Auto Express 109 setting the benchmark for large, technologically advanced, super-efficient, high-speed ferries,” Ben Marland, Austal Vice President of Sales and Marketing, said.“This is a record sales period for international high speed ferries… With demand continuing to increase we have cemented the company’s largest forward order book and are continuing to add to it,” he added.
Karaoke-style videos like the Caleons’ made the app famous in China just after it was founded by Beijing tech company ByteDance in 2016, but its August 2018 merger with similar social media platform Musical.ly catapulted it to success in North America and caught the eye of the GTA’s Gen Z (those born in the late 1990s).“We decided to check it out and do it for fun, but we had no idea it would become what it is today,” Samantha told the Star of how her sister cajoled her into trying Musical.ly together in 2016.“I noticed it was more younger, more elementary-age kids, but nowI see anywhere from high school age to adults using the app. There has been a large growth over the last few months.” Login/Register With: Twitter Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Samantha and Madeleine Caleon are 22-year-old Toronto twins who choreograph and post roughly 10-second clips of them grooving and lip syncing every week on TikTok. COURTESY SAMANTHA AND MADELEINE CALEON Advertisement Advertisement Samantha and Madeleine Caleon haven’t had formal lessons in singing or dancing, but that hasn’t stopped them from building a fanbase of millions who adore them for both.The 22-year-old Toronto twins choreograph and post roughly 10-second clips of them grooving and lip syncing every week on TikTok – an app turning locals into stars as it becomes the talk of Generation Z and a challenge for parents just trying to keep up with whatever newfangled social media their kids are on. Facebook
MONTREAL – Quebec-based professional service firm WSP Global Inc. is expanding its U.S. presence by agreeing to purchase Berger Group Holdings Inc. for US$400 million ($520.8 million).The U.S. firm operating under the name Louis Berger is active mainly in transportation, infrastructure, environment and water sectors, along with master planning.It has about 5,000 employees, mainly in the U.S. along with Europe, the Middle East, Africa, India and Latin America.Founded in 1953, Louis Berger’s American operations account for about 70 per cent of US$480 million in annual net revenues.Its portfolio includes service contracts for the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, the Statue of Liberty, the George Washington Bridge, the World Trade Center and most recently emergency management services for temporary power in Puerto Rico since Hurricane Maria.The company has been selected as part of a joint venture to provide project management services to build Qatari capital Doha’s first metro and supervise construction of three stadiums for the FIFA 2022 World Cup.The acquisition is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter will be funded through a loan from the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.WSP expects to realize about US$15 million in cost savings within one year and incur US$50 million in integration and restructuring costs.Companies in this story: (TSX:WSP, TSX:CM)
On May 5, President Trump tweeted for a fresh look for a high tariff on Chinese goods worth US$ 200 billion imports from 10 per cent to 25 per cent from Friday, if the renewed negotiation failed. The US alleged China for backtracking from its previous offers. The negotiation failed. The US activated a new 25 per cent duty on US$ 200 billion worth of exports from China, effective from 1st June. India is not far from the pounce of America’s high tariff trade war. President Trump slammed India for high tariff, tweeting it a “tariff king” and accused it of trade deficit with the US. During the recent bilateral trade meeting, the visiting US Commerce Minister Willbor Ross blamed India for “overly restrictive” tariff, which brought a jolt to US’s exports to India, and eventually caused trade deficit with India. He said that India ranked 13 of US’s exports because of the high tariff. Whereas, the US is the biggest export destination for India. Also Read – Hijacking Bapu’s legacyIndia hogged a blemish for “unjust trade” and fell in the warrant list of US’s high tariff cudgel. US fixed India in the watch list of 301 and threatened to withdraw GSP benefits as a counter-attack on India’s price cap on medical devices, such as cardiovascular stent and knee implants. It also threatened to drag India in WTO Dispute Settlement Body on export subsidies. India lost the entitlement for subsidies after crossing the cap of US$ 1000 per capita income level. In retaliation, India threatened to impose a high tariff on 29 items from the US. Also Read – The future is here!The slugfest between India and US will linger with no side bowing for adjustment. Against this backdrop, FTA (Free Trade Agreement) could be recourse to resolve the trade dispute. US Ambassador to India, Kenneth Juster mulled for FTA between US and India. A top American business advocacy group, US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF), asserted for FTA. It believed that FTA would be key to resolve the trade irritants. The President of USISPF believed that “Once you have FTA, all the issues of tariff will go away”. The US is the second biggest trade partner of India, after China. In 2017-18, the US accounted for 9.7 per cent of India’s total trade. Incidentally, India’s trade relation with China and US countries are diagonally opposite to each other. While China is the trigger for the trade deficit, the US is pivotal for export growth, yielding trade surplus. It helped in offsetting a chunk of trade deficit, triggered by China. In 2017-18, the US’s trade surplus offset 13 per cent of India’s total trade deficit. Against this backdrop, a lesson can be drawn for India before vying for retaliation against the US. In trade and investment relation, US is more significant to India than vice-versa. The US is the biggest export destination for India and a major foreign investor. To this end, any retaliation by India means opening a Pandora Box. The US is the backbone for India’s export growth. In 2017-2018, it shared one-sixth of India’s export, accounting for 15.8 per cent. It is gear to India’s export growth. For example, in 2017-18, India’s a total export surged by 10 per cent and the US was the main gear to this growth. It shared 13.4 per cent of India’s export. In the basket of exports also, the US has been playing an important role. It is the biggest importer of readymade garments, marine products, diamonds and pharmaceuticals, which are the major components of India’s exports. Incidentally, besides earning foreign exchange and reducing the trade deficit, exports to the US paves the way for generating employment opportunities in India. This is because garments and diamonds are labour intensive industries. Both World Bank and Peterson Institutes studies have predicted significant gains for both US and India if a free trade agreement is concluded. Before Trump, US was a believer in low tariff and oppose to protectionism. With a turnaround in the trade policy under Trump regime, US and India are in the same boat of protectionism with their aim for America First and Make in India respectively. Given this paradigm shift of the US’s trade policy, FTA will play an important role in gearing up the trade relationship between the two countries. With tariffs done away under FTA, trade potential between the two countries will increase through trade-related investment. The US has the advantages of technology and financial muscles and India has an edge in providing low cost of production base and big domestic demand. FTA will encourage US investors to invest in India in the lure of low-cost production while importing high tech products duty-free as inputs. Eventually, it will help in reducing the trade deficit. Manufacturing of mobile phone by US investors can be a case in point. Currently, more than 85 per cent of component and material costs for making a mobile phone is imported. India produces only 5-10 per cent of the billing cost, which includes casing, plastic and box packaging. Most of these components and materials are imported from China because of low price advantages. With basic duties on components and materials waived off under FTA, which are around 10-12 per cent, US manufacturers will have an edge over the manufacturers, who are dependent on imports from China. India is on the trend for heading towards a new manufacturing dynamism after digitisation and automation, which embraces component base industries. These industries require technology and skilled manpower. FTA with the US will leverage the benefit of technology transfer through the import of components and materials at low cost. This will have a dual impact on US-India trade relation. On one hand, it will have a propitious impact with the increase in US’s exports of inputs to India, and on the other side, it can pose a big challenge to China’s low coat dumping in India. Increase in US’s exports will have a cascading impact on US-India economic relation. It will increase the US’s investment in India, along with exports. Eventually, it will quell the US’s ire against India and pitch for a win-win situation for both countries.(The views expressed are strictly personal)
When he was hired in May to coach the Milwaukee Bucks, Mike Budenholzer inherited a promising but underachieving core of young players led by Giannis Antetokounmpo. The Bucks — who have not won a playoff series since 2001 — had just suffered yet another postseason disappointment and hoped a coaching change would help them escape perpetual mediocrity.To say the results have been encouraging would be an understatement. Budenholzer has implemented a new and more modern offensive strategy that is utilizing Antetokounmpo’s unique talents like never before. Under Budenholzer this season, the Bucks are scoring at a conference-leading rate of 113.2 points per 100 possessions. The team has the best record in the NBA, has won 10 of its last 11, and has already beaten conference rivals Boston, Philadelphia and Toronto (three times now). Milwaukee is heading into All-Star weekend as perhaps the most intimidating team in the Eastern Conference.So, yes, the coaching change has worked. But what exactly has Budenholzer done — and why is it working so well for the Bucks? One strategic change was clear even back in the preseason when Budenholzer rolled out his new offense.“Coach Bud wants us to shoot more 3s,” Milwaukee guard Malcolm Brogdon told Eric Nehm of The Athletic. “A lot more 3s.”Last year, the Bucks attempted just 24.7 3-pointers per game (25th-most in the league). Under Budenholzer, they have pumped up their long-range volume to 37.8 3-pointers per game, second-most in the NBA this season (trailing only the Houston Rockets).But Budenholzer has done more than just open the 3-point flood gates in Milwaukee this year: He has engineered a sea change in shot selection.“I think there’s a lot of focus on how many 3s [we are taking], but hopefully we’re having the best of everything,” Budenholzer said to The Athletic. “If you’re an efficient offense, you’re getting to the basket. You’re getting to the paint. You’re getting to the free-throw line. And you’re shooting a bunch of 3s.” This season, the Bucks have done more to modernize their shot chart than any other team in the league, as shown in these year-to-year charts.1The 2017-18 chart is through games as of Feb. 5, 2018. Their share of shots taken at the rim or behind the 3-point line — referred to as the Moreyball Rate, after Houston general manager Daryl Morey — has jumped by 16 percentage points, according to data compiled by PBP Stats. Correspondingly, their average 2-pointer is being attempted from a shorter distance, about 2.5 feet closer to the hoop. And everybody on the team is cutting back on midrange jumpers.The Bucks’ transformations in Moreyball Rate and 2-point shot distance are the biggest changes by any team in the NBA from last season to this one. In fact, the Bucks’ sudden modernization is among the most drastic changes in shot selection by any team during the entire era of play-by-play data (available since 2001-02). Appropriately, Morey produced the biggest Moreyball makeover in league history during Houston’s 2012-13 season, James Harden’s first with the team.For the Bucks, the advantage of being laggards in the Moreyball revolution has been an opportunity to learn from the mistakes of their competitors. Seth Partnow, now Milwaukee’s director of basketball research, wrote for Vice Sports in 2016 that creating makeable shots takes more than just jacking threes and driving headlong into the lane. “Three-pointers and shots at the rim are indicators of good offense, but they’re not good offense in a vacuum, and teams that use them as targets should be wary of putting the cart before the horse. Those are good shots in theory. In practice, the best shots are the ones the personnel on hand can make.”Fundamentally, the Bucks have achieved their impressive offensive efficiency on the strength of the two principles of Budenholzer’s offensive philosophy: pace and space.Budenholzer’s emphasis on court spacing has been emblemized by the image of five “stand-here” squares he had taped to the floor of the Bucks practice court, surrounding the 3-point line. By initiating their offensive possessions with all five players outside the 3-point line, the Bucks leave more space for Antetokounmpo to attack the basket. Once Antetokounmpo draws attention around the basket, he’s free to kick the ball out to open 3-point shooters in space. It’s a positive feedback loop that yields easier shots for Antetokounmpo and his teammates.The Bucks’ improved floor spacing has been facilitated by some shrewd front-office maneuvers. The team signed capable stretch bigs Brook Lopez and Ersan Ilyasova on team-friendly contracts while at the same time cutting ties with paint-clogging centers Greg Monroe, Tyler Zeller and, most recently, John Henson.With all that extra space, Antetokounmpo has been attacking the basket relentlessly this season. Since last year, he has increased his volume of drives per game from 11.0 to 12.9; his paint touches are up from 5.3 to 6.5 per game; and he’s now taking more shots at the rim (523) than any other player in the league. These additional basket-attacking duties have put the onus on Antetokounmpo to read the defense and distribute the ball to his teammates.The result has been a career high in assists for Antetokounmpo this season (5.9 per game), with an emphasis on kick-out dimes. On 289 total assists this season, Antetokounmpo has set up a teammate for a 3-point basket 168 times (58 percent), while he has assisted a teammate in scoring a 2-point basket just 121 times (42 percent). In other words, Antetokounmpo has created 262 more points via assisted 3-pointers than he has via assisted 2-pointers this year. That is the biggest such margin of any player in the league and it’s not even remotely close — Detroit’s Blake Griffin is second with 98 more points assisted on 3-pointers than 2-pointers.Among the top-30 assist leaders this season, Antetokounmpo and teammate Eric Bledsoe are two of only seven players who have created more points via assists on 3s than on 2s. 2018-19Bucks6480+167.55.0-2.5 MEMMike Conley225103328450309-141 SeasonTEAMPrev. seasongiven seasonDiff.Prev. seasongiven seasondiff. NOPJrue Holiday293138431586414-172 The Bucks’ drive-and-kick is producing threesThe top 30 2018-19 NBA assist leaders by the difference in points created from assisted 3-pointers vs. 2-pointers, through Feb. 5 2013-1476ers5166+159.56.5-3.0 TORKyle Lowry287101388574303-271 PORDamian Lillard23188319462264-198 2005-06Cavaliers4760+139.08.0-1.0 2015-16Hornets5164+139.58.2-1.3 CHAKemba Walker174117291348351+3 BOSKyrie Irving195120315390360-30 INDDarren Collison21989308438267-171 2014-15Cavaliers5365+128.87.2-1.6 2012-13L.A. Lakers5163+129.18.1-1.0 2008-09Trail Blazers4454+1011.08.9-2.1 MOREYBALL RATEAVG. 2PA DISTANCE Moreyball Rate is the share of the team’s shots taken at the rim or behind the 3-point lineSome percentage-point and distance differences may not add up because of roundingAs of Feb. 5, 2019Source: PBPstats.com MINJeff Teague17179250342237-105 LALLonzo Ball19461255388183-205 MILEric Bledsoe167112279334336+2 PHXDevin Booker174108282348324-24 GSWKevin Durant192119311384357-27 GSWDraymond Green17896274356288-68 PHIBen Simmons236182418472546+74 UTARicky Rubio182104286364312-52 WASJohn Wall178101279356303-53 2012-13Rockets53%74%+208.8ft6.2ft-2.6ft 2018-19Wizards5871+128.76.9-1.8 ATLTrae Young239155394478465-13 SASDeMar DeRozan192123315384369-15 2004-05L.A. Lakers5061+118.67.8-0.9 OKCRussell Westbrook321163484642489-153 TeamPlayer2P3PTOTAL2P3PDIFF HOUJames Harden251151402502453-49 UTAJoe Ingles19173264382219-163 DETBlake Griffin140126266280378+98 LACLou Williams18569254370207-163 MILGiannis Antetokounmpo121168289242504+262 2003-04Wizards3852+1410.98.7-2.2 DENNikola Jokic285114399570342-228 Source: PBPstats.com 2017-18Raptors5871+128.36.5-1.8 ASSISTSPOINTS CREATED DALLuka Doncic151120271302360+58 Milwaukee has modernized its shot selection, big timeTeams with the biggest jumps in their Moreyball Rate from the previous season and their change in average distances from the basket on 2-point field-goal attempts, since 2001-02 2007-08Magic5366+138.06.9-1.1 2016-17Nets5372+198.46.1-2.4 2008-09L.A. Clippers4457+1310.28.2-2.0 SACDe’Aaron Fox227146373454438-16 LALLeBron James16785252334255-79 WASBradley Beal152117269304351+47 BKND’Angelo Russell230116346460348-112 At the top of the list, Antetokounmpo finds himself in the company of a few other big ball handlers — Griffin, Ben Simmons, Luka Doncic — who can distribute to their teammates from the inside out. LeBron James, who is basically the prototype for this point-forward approach, assisted on 344 of his teammates’ 3-pointers in Cleveland last year (for 1,032 points), more than any other player in the NBA. (He created 226 more points on the 3s he assisted than on 2s.) Antetokounmpo is on pace to post a similarly lopsided distribution of assists this season.Impressively, when Antetokounmpo has been on the court this season, 89 percent of the Bucks’ 3-pointers have been assisted; that’s 11 percentage points more than the team’s assisted-3 rate when he’s been on the bench. The Bucks’ improved spacing seems to be helping Antetokounmpo create all the right shots for his Milwaukee teammates.Establishing a faster pace has gone hand-in-hand with the Bucks’ efforts to create better spacing. Budenholzer has emphasized playing with urgency and purposeful movement, and the team has shaved nearly a second off the duration of its average offensive trip (from 14.0 to 13.1 seconds per possession). According to Synergy Sports, the Bucks have attempted fewer field goals this season during the last seven seconds of the shot clock (from 19 percent of all field-goal attempts to 15 percent) and have correspondingly increased the proportion of their attempts (from 59 percent to 65 percent) that are attempted with somewhere between seven and 18 seconds remaining on the shot clock.Antetokounmpo helps push the pace for the Bucks. Budenholzer has instructed his lanky star to dribble the ball up the court immediately after securing any defensive rebound, which has created more uptempo half-court possessions and shots in semitransition.The Bucks are shooting better when they keep their offensive flow uptempo like this — with an effective field-goal percentage of 56 percent on shots taken with between seven and 18 seconds left on the shot clock and just 48 percent on their more slowly developing shots.A new and more modern offensive approach predicated on floor spacing and pace, along with some smart personnel decisions, have helped Budenholzer unlock the immense potential of the Bucks’ young superstar. Perhaps when they hired Budenholzer the Bucks would have been happy with winning a playoff series. But with Milwaukee in pole position for its first conference championship appearance in nearly two decades, the Bucks now have eyes on a bigger prize. The older Milwaukee generation is surely reminiscing of the summer of ’71 — the last time there was a transformative young star in town. And who knows, maybe this season will end like that one, with an NBA championship for the Bucks. Check out our latest NBA predictions.
Junior midfielder David Planning (12) takes a shot during a game against Michigan April 12 at Ohio Stadium. OSU won, 15-6.Credit: Dan Hope / Lantern photographerIn a clash of the only remaining unbeaten teams left in ECAC play, the Ohio State men’s lacrosse team (5-6, 2-0) is scheduled to host the Air Force Falcons (8-3, 3-0) inside Ohio Stadium Saturday with first place on the line.Getting hot at the right time, the Buckeyes have won four of their last five after starting the season 1-5, including a convincing win over archrival Michigan in front of more than 17,000 fans last Saturday inside Ohio Stadium.However, OSU coach Nick Myers said the team has put the Michigan game behind them and they are now focused on taking an Air Force squad that is currently one of the hottest teams in the country.“For our men, it’s the next play, next game mentality,” Myers said. “We understand what’s on the line this weekend. You got an opportunity at a share of the conference championship, Air Force is looking at an opportunity to win it outright. Right now, it’s as close to a playoff mentality as you can get against a team that is red hot, very well coached, and has a lot of seniors.”Going into its last game against No. 17 Fairfield, Air Force had yet to record a victory over a team ranked in the top 20, but that didn’t stop them from handling the Stags for a 16-8 win.Now winners of six straight, Air Force sits atop the ECAC with the chance to win the regular season title for the first time under coach Eric Seremet.The Falcons are led by 14 seniors, who have the offense rolling right now after having scored 13 or more goals in five of their last six games.OSU senior goalie Scott Spencer said the team is just focused on themselves and playing the fundamentals well this weekend.“It’s not about any one guy. We just really want to hone in on supporting each other and focusing on the little things,” Spencer said. “These last two weeks, we’ve really been focused on fundamentals and the basics and not trying to get too fancy, but really knowing who we are and what we do best.”Spencer, who has started four games for the Buckeyes since fellow senior goalie Greg Dutton went down with an injury, is 3-1 on the season and is the reigning ECAC Defensive Player of the Week after holding Michigan to only six goals while making nine saves in the Showdown in the Shoe.Myers said Spencer, along with the rest of the Buckeye defense, will have to build on their momentum and confidence to slow down a potent Falcons offense led by senior attackman Mike Crampton (33 goals, 16 assists).“He’s been really steady. Scotty is a guy that brings a great deal of consistency to the lineup. He’s got a great work ethic,” Myers said. “Every day, Scotty is going to come to practice ready to go and I’m really happy to see him having success. I think his success is a product certainly of the defense as well. He’s doing his job in there and defensively, we are slowly starting to get more confidence as the year goes on together.”Offensively, junior midfielder Jesse King will hope to continue his stellar play, as he has 21 points in his last three games and 45 on the season. Junior attackman Reegan Comeault will also look to build on his scoring streak as the only Buckeye to tally a point in every game this season.Game time is set for Saturday at 1 p.m. and is slated to be Senior Day for 10 Buckeyes, including senior midfielder Jake Sharick, who won’t be able to play because of an ACL tear that has kept him sidelined all year. Despite the injury, Sharick said the game will be just as special as if he was playing.“We are all working for the same thing,” Sharick said. “Everyone’s trying to get one job done, so I feel just as part of the team as if I was on the field. We’re all gonna take that mindset in for this day, so it’ll be a fun day.”
Ohio State sophomore forward Dakota Joshua’s initial reaction following his go-ahead goal in the third period against Minnesota at the Schottenstein Center on Feb. 11. OSU lost 6-5. Credit: Jacob Myers | Assistant Sports EditorFor the first time since 2009, the Ohio State men’s hockey team is headed to the NCAA tournament.Despite falling to the Wisconsin Badgers in the Big Ten tournament semifinals, the Buckeyes (21-11-6) secured an at-large big in the West region of the 16-team field.The Scarlet and Gray will travel to Fargo, North Dakota, to take on No. 2 overall seed Minnesota Duluth (25-6-7) in the first round, and will have a chance to advance to the final eight of the competition for the first time since the program reached its only Frozen Four during the 1997-1998 season.Puck drop from Fargo is set for Friday at 6:30 p.m. on ESPNU.While the Buckeyes might not have NCAA tournament experience, their coach, Steve Rohlik, does. Much of that experience was with OSUs first-round opponent.Rohlik spent 10 seasons as an assistant at Minnesota Duluth from 2001 to 2010. He was hired along with the Bulldogs 17-year head coach Scott Sandelin, who has taken Duluth to seven NCAA appearances, two Frozen Fours and won one national championship. Rohlik was on the staff for two of those appearances and one Frozen Four. He became OSU’s associate head coach in 2011 when Duluth won the national championship.“I know their team very well. They have as much speed as anybody in the country,” Rohlik said. “Top to bottom, there’s no secret why they’ve been No. 1 or 2 all year. They’ve done it because they’re that good.”Jacob Myers contributed quotes.