Santa Claus coming to Chatham Friday night

first_imgSanta Claus will return to downtown Chatham Friday night.The annual Santa Claus Parade, organized by the Historic Downtown Chatham Business Improvement Area, will begin at 6:30 p.m. It will be staged on Sandys Street, turn onto King Street West and end at the WISH Centre on King Street East.The BIA is inviting people to bring lawn chairs and blankets to watch the parade alongside King Street West and East. Santa will meet with children at the WISH Centre.Groups will also collect non-perishable goods while Electric City will collect teddy bears which will be given to the OPP for distribution.Canada Post will collect letters for Santa to send to the North Pole. Vendors will also sell sweets on the sidewalk at the Downtown Chatham Centre.last_img read more

No. 1-ranked Appleton North halts Marshfield girls basketball team’s win streak at six

first_imgBryan leads Tigers with 17 pointsBy Paul LeckerSports ReporterAPPLETON — The Marshfield girls basketball team had its six-game winning streak come to a screeching halt as it lost to Appleton North 80-55 in a nonconference game Saturday afternoon at Appleton North High School.North, which defeated Marshfield by two points in a WIAA Division 1 sectional final last season, is ranked No. 1 in this week’s WisSports.net Division 1 state coaches poll and is now 17-0 on the year.North shot 56 percent overall (30 of 54) and was a sizzling 13 of 21 from 3-point range in the victory. The Lightning charged out to a 53-17 lead by halftime.Meg Bryan hit four 3-pointers and scored 17 points, and Ema Fehrenbach added 16 points as she made 8 of 9 free throws for Marshfield (8-7).The Tigers return to Wisconsin Valley Conference action Tuesday at Merrill.(Hub City Times Sports Reporter Paul Lecker is also the publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com.)Lightning 80, Tigers 55Marshfield 17 38 – 55Appleton North 53 27 – 80MARSHFIELD (55): Meg Bryan 5-12 3-3 17, Jenna Jakobi 3-6 0-1 6, Corianne Johnson 2-4 2-4 7, Maddie Nikolai 1-5 0-2 2, Ema Fehrenbach 4-12 8-9 16, Hannah Meverden 0-1 0-0 0, Katie Osinski 3-3 1-1 7, Sophie Koen 0-0 0-0 0. FG: 18-43. FT: 14-20. 3-pointers: 5-13 (Bryan 4-11, Johnson 1-2). Rebounds: 16 (Jakobi 5). Turnovers: 16. Fouls: 11. Fouled out: none. Record: 8-7.APPLETON NORTH (80): Brekke 4-6 0-0 10, Sieg 2-4 0-0 6, Squier 1-1 0-0 2, Van Wyk 2-3 0-2 5, Laux 3-7 0-0 8, Erickson 1-1 0-0 2, Pohlman 5-7 0-0 10, Beecher 0-1 0-0 0, Klitzke 1-3 2-2 5, Levy 5-12 5-5 18, Van Handel 1-1 0-0 2, Schabo 5-7 0-0 12, Lukashewich 0-1 0-0 0. FG: 30-54. FT: 7-9. 3-pointers: 13-21 (Levy 3-6, Schabo 2-2, Brekke 2-3, Sieg 2-3, Laux 2-4, Klitzke 1-1, Van Wyk 1-2). Rebounds: 28 (Levy 5). Turnovers: 15. Fouls: 18. Fouled out: none. Record: 17-0.last_img read more

How We’ll Get Beyond the Emoticon

first_imgThe Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Emoome also shows your dominant types over time. This can reveal shifts around major life events, which is powerful to look back on after the fact. Here’s a segment of Novak’s word type map from his presentation, “The Secret Lives of Words & Brains,” which he annotated to show what happened to him during this period: There’s a sarcasm font. It’s brilliant, actually. Reversed italics, slanted left instead of right, perfectly conveys the tone of sarcasm. But sarcasm is practically the default state of online communication. What about the rest of the spectrum of human emotions?The trouble is that a text-based medium strips our messages of the subtleties we use to interpret each other’s meaning in the real world. The subtexts of our words are audible and visible in person. When we’re talking online, we don’t have those clues. Two people can type the same words and mean completely different things. Hilarity ensues. We can’t yet rely on machines to compensate for this. Natural language processing is getting pretty good at identifying topics, interests, even demographics, but it’s helpless at interpretation. Semantic algorithms are made of grammar rules, but there are no rules for emotions.Brennan Novak, an actor and self-taught hacker, has built a Web app called Emoome to try to solve this problem with a different approach. “Language is so nebulous,” Novak says. “Symbols can be interpreted so vastly differently.” So Emoome asks users to feed it words and feelings, and it turns those into emotional maps they can use to understand themselves better. Eventually, Emoome will let us share, compare and understand each other’s emotional profiles.“Understanding collisions between people” is a lifelong project for Novak, online and offline. He says it’s just his style to navigate emotional conversations with a map in hand. People’s feelings can be rough seas, and Novak has found that good charts can defend against shipwrecks. “It’s a kind of therapy,” he says. “Emotional mapping for communication gives you a more tangible tool than the abstract gray matter of your brain.”Emoomeemo – a complex psychophysiological experience of an individual’s state of mind as interacting with biochemical (internal) and environmental (external) influencesome – as used in biology, refers to a totality of some sortThe first step in Emoome’s development is just for tracking the self. You quickly build up a meaningful history just by entering descriptions of your mood a few moments a day. Recording a feeling progresses in three screens. The first asks, “How do you feel right now?”, and you answer with one word. Next it asks, “What is one thing you did today?”, and you can enter a word or phrase. The final screen asks you to describe that one thing in three words.It only takes a few entries before you have a map of your emotional tendencies, which you can view on the desktop site. Novak arrived at six linguistic categories, which he developed in on-paper experiments testing the basic idea of Emoome with people: physical, action, descriptor, sensory, intellectual and emotional. Each type has a color, and the interface uses size to show the relative importance of the types.Each user gets an overall language type chart. Here’s mine: The app currently also logs location data for each entry, if you give it permission. You don’t have to enable location for each entry. Emoome doesn’t do anything with location yet, but that’s just one of many ways Novak plans to expand the scope of it.Eventually, Novak wants Emoome to incorporate relationships. Imagine two people having a text-based online conversation. Emoome can compare the emotional profiles of these two people, because of its emotional graph of the words they use, and give them cues as to the meaning and intent behind their words. Novak has successfully used tangible, external maps as guides for difficult conversations, and Emoome is a project to put that tool online.But before Novak opens Emoome beyond the individual, he’s building careful privacy rules. “I want it to stay as locked down and private as possible” before adding the comparative aspect, he says. But after determining how to handle these sensitive entries, he can use the data inside them to build useful emotional profiles for people. He wants to be able to connect them to social networks like Twitter and Facebook to add emotional richness to those profiles.He’d also like to make the data available to researchers. By then, Emoome will hopefully have such rich graphs of emotion that we will be able to build more understanding of emotions right into the software.Think About How You ThinkWe have no body language online. We’ve worked around this problem by using emoticons and other novel punctuation, and social networks have given us a few blunt gestures we can use tacitly. Those tricks refine the language of typing, but they don’t cross the Uncanny Valley into the more human-readable, in-person world.Some apps have started to collect emotional data, but so many of them are framed in a ceaselessly positive light. They ask users to share things they “like” or “love” and award hearts and gold stars to everything. When Novak first started tracking his emotional language, he found that “sad” was his most common word. But, he stresses, that’s not a bad thing. If we’re going to get better at communicating online, we have to start by reflecting honestly on ourselves.You can check out Emoome at emoo.me and on Twitter @projectemoome.Bonus material: Check out this old-school RWW story, Feel Good: Top 10 Mood Apps and Visualizers, from July 2007. Some of them still exist, more or less.Here’s Brennan Novak’s slideshow about the project, The Secret Lives of Words & Brains:The Secret Lives of Words & BrainsLead image courtesy of Shutterstock. Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification Related Posts center_img Tags:#Social Web#web jon mitchell Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Auditlast_img read more

Pioli: ‘Milan can learn from this’

first_img Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: https://subscribe.premiersports.tv/ Stefano Pioli believes Milan can learn a great deal from their 2-2 draw with Lecce. “I saw positives, but we should’ve closed the game earlier.” The Coach saw his debut on the Rossoneri bench, and also his birthday, ruined by a stoppage-time Marco Calderoni screamer in this 2-2 draw. There was progress, as both Milan goals were from open play, as many as throughout Marco Giampaolo’s seven games in charge. “I struggled a little with players who I used to work with, Babacar and Calderoni,” Pioli told Sky Sport Italia. “It’s a pity, there were positives, but we wanted the win and didn’t get it because of our mistakes. I saw some good moves, quality and spirit, but if you leave the game open, you can have a nasty surprise at the end. “Milan players are well aware of their capabilities and the fact they are wearing a prestigious jersey. They will be able to judge their own performances and we’ll analyse them carefully, but in a way we paid for our generosity, as we ran after the ball and didn’t keep an eye on other players. I think we had deserved to win it. “Some of the positions we took were positive, others not so much. We tried to build from the back with a three-man defence, but that can change with a different opponent such as Roma next week. “After only a few days of training, I did see some of the ideas we had worked on and that bodes well for the future, even if there is a lot of work to be done. “I had hoped for a gift this evening for my birthday, but I saw some good things and I hope we can learn from these mistakes.” The equaliser for 2-2 was a ferocious Calderoni strike, but Pioli pointed to issues in the build-up. “We lacked a little collaboration on the final equaliser. Calderoni hit it well, but we had several opportunities to close that Lecce move earlier and if we had, we’d be here talking about a deserved victory. “In the Press conference yesterday, I was asked many questions about how I found the team. I tell you after this match, there are many positives. The big error was that a side like Milan has to kill games off. We could’ve even held on for 2-1 and kicked it out of play rather than misplace those passes. “This match will help us learn a great deal, for what we did and what we should’ve done. On the penalty, there were too many of us going after the ball and we left gaps. We weren’t set out well at all.” Rafael Leao started the match and was replaced by Krzysztof Piatek, but will we see them play together for Milan? “I think Leao and Piatek can play together when overall we are a more balanced team and I have a better idea of their characteristics. “I replaced Leao because the medic told me he had a slight muscular issue and we didn’t want to risk any further damage, while Paqueta also seemed tired.”last_img read more

High growth highway

first_imgStudents play football at Rohtak’s Rajiv Gandhi sports complexRohtak, HaryanaSitting MP Deepender Hooda, Congress, since 2005. Previous MP: Father Bhupinder Singh Hooda, elected in 1991, ’96, ’98, 2004It is 6 in the evening in the heart of Haryana, 80 km west of New Delhi. Former Davis Cup captain Jaideep Mukherjea,Students play football at Rohtak’s Rajiv Gandhi sports complexRohtak, HaryanaSitting MP Deepender Hooda, Congress, since 2005. Previous MP: Father Bhupinder Singh Hooda, elected in 1991, ’96, ’98, 2004It is 6 in the evening in the heart of Haryana, 80 km west of New Delhi. Former Davis Cup captain Jaideep Mukherjea is with 20 young enthusiasts, checking their racquet grips at Rohtak’s Rajiv Gandhi Sports Complex. “I come once a month for a few days,” Mukherjea says. Three years ago, he was invited by Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda to set up an academy in Rohtak. His is just one of the many modern amenities available at the 91-acre sports complex.What Rohtak boasts ofThis dream project has become a reality, headlining Rohtak’s transformation in the last eight years, coinciding with the Chief Minister’s son Deepender Singh Hooda’s tenure as MP.Evidence of this is visible the moment you turn left off the National Highway from Delhi towards this bustling city of nearly 400,000 inhabitants. On one side is rampant construction and on the other acres of golden wheat crop. The road is hard and even, getting you to a land of educational institutes, factories, rich farmers and luxury SUVs in 30 minutes.Today Rohtak has 16 national government institutes, making it among the biggest education hubs of the country. For the private sector, an Industrial Model Town has been set up on 5,500 acres on the outskirts. Companies such as Asian Paints, Amul Dairy, Suzuki Motorcycle, Nippon Carbide have invested more than Rs 5,000 crore here in last three years. Maruti Suzuki is now setting up its first R&D plant outside Japan in Rohtak.advertisementDeepender is often criticised for using his father’s position as chief minister to develop his constituency. But he says, “Most of the projects here are Central ones. I have run from one ministry to the next in Delhi to get things done. Any MP can do this for his constituency.”To read more, get your copy of India Today here.last_img read more

Montaric Brown, 4-Star Safety, Commits To Arkansas

first_imgMontaric Brown seen at his visit to Arkansas.Twitter/@yvngsimba3Montaric Brown is on a visit to Arkansas today, and while in Fayetteville, he pulled the trigger on a commitment. 247Sports ranks Brown No. 1 among all recruits in Arkansas, making this a huge recruiting win for the Razorbacks.Brown announced his commitment via Twitter moments ago.pic.twitter.com/6ryO191FO5— August 24th (@yvngsimba3) July 28, 2016Here is the full note he used to announce the decision. First off in [sic] would like to thank everyone who has believed in me throughout this process. I want to thank my family, friends, coaches and teammates for their much needed support. I want to thank the college coahces who have invested their time and given me the opportunity to play for their schools. After much discussion with my family, I would like to further my academic and athletic career and commit to The University of Arkansas. WooPig!!! #UnCommon17Brown’s decision was foreshadowed by fellow Arkansas commit Koilan Jackson, a three-star wide receiver, who tweeted the decision a few minutes before it became official. My Boy @yvngsimba3 finally a HOG now Congrats on the commitment dude! Welcome to the Family— Koilan Jackson™ (@KoilanJack3) July 28, 2016In addition to being the No. 1 recruit in Arkansas, 247Sports ranks Montaric Brown as the nation’s No. 18 safety.Brown chose Arkansas over Alabama, Auburn, Baylor, LSU, Missouri, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and others.With Brown’s decision, Arkansas now has 18 players in the 2017 class. He is the second safety and fourth defensive back to join Arkansas’ class.Keeping top players in state is vital for any team, especially Arkansas. Unlike other SEC programs, the Razorbacks don’t have a ton of elite players in their backyard, so hanging on to a guy like Brown is essential. Bret Bielema and the Hogs have landed four of the top 20 recruits out of Arkansas.last_img read more

Royal Pains Cast Plays A Starring Role In Fight Against Pancreatic Cancer

first_imgThe Pancreatic Cancer Action Network has teamed up with the cast of the USA Network primetime show “Royal Pains” to educate fans and the general public about the severity of pancreatic cancer.Video: Royal Pains Pancreatic Cancer Action Network PSA – November 2013Mark Feuerstein, who plays Dr. Hank Lawson, the talented and respected doctor behind a Hamptons medical practice, appears in a new public service announcement (PSA) for the organization with co-stars Paulo Costanzo, Reshma Shetty, Brooke D’Orsay, and Ben Shenkman.Royal Pains creator and executive producer, Andrew Lenchewski, was personally touched by the disease when he lost his father to pancreatic cancer in April 2013. The PSA is in memory of his father Dr. Enrique Lenchewski, Eden Ross Lipson (mother of Royal Pains associate producer Margo Johnston), Danny Aiello III (former Royal Pains stunt coordinator and son of actor Danny Aiello), and the thousands across the nation affected by the disease.“Too many members of the Royal Pains family have been personally affected by pancreatic cancer, and we are proud to support the important work being done by the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network,” stated Andrew Lenchewski. “What the organization is doing to advance research for pancreatic cancer and to increase the visibility of pancreatic cancer really motivated our team to get involved and help make a difference. Together, we can make progress by raising awareness and fighting to make pancreatic cancer a national priority.”Pancreatic cancer is currently the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the United States, but is expected to become the second by 2020. This year alone, more than 45,000 Americans will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and more than 38,000 will die from the disease. And, the five year survival rate is just six percent.“We applaud Andrew Lenchewski and the Royal Pains cast for recognizing that they can make a difference by joining our efforts to advance research, support patients and create hope for the pancreatic cancer community,” said Julie Fleshman, president and CEO of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. “The Royal Pains team will be wonderful allies for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network as we work diligently to double the survival rate for pancreatic cancer by 2020.”To learn more about the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, visit www.pancan.org.Source:PR Newswirelast_img read more

LeBrons Odds of Catching Jordan

On Thursday, after LeBron James and the Miami Heat won their second consecutive N.B.A. championship, I noted on Twitter that James was on the same pace as the Chicago Bulls great Michael Jordan. Both James and Jordan won their first championship at 27 and their second at 28, I wrote. Jordan went on to win four more N.B.A. titles, for a total of six.Mike Segar/Reuters LeBron James and Michael Jordan were about the same age when they won a second championship.My statement depended on a technicality, I later discovered: Jordan’s biological age was 28 when he won his first championship, in 1991, and 29 when he won his second, in 1992. However, basketball statisticians generally define a player’s age differently: by how old he was as of Feb. 1 of an N.B.A. season, the rough midpoint of the basketball calendar. Jordan’s birthday is Feb. 17.Those semantics aside, it is worth considering just how likely James might be to match or exceed Jordan’s six titles. (From this point on, we’ll use basketball statisticians’ definition of age.)Players like Jordan and James are so rare that it can be risky to compare them with anyone. Still, one reasonably useful benchmark is to evaluate players who, like James and Jordan, had won at least one Most Valuable Player award and at least one N.B.A. title as of their age-28 season, meaning that they had achieved the pinnacle of both individual and team success.By my count, there were 13 such players before James. On average, they won about two additional championships (more precisely, an average of 1.9) after their age-28 season. So a reasonable over-under line for James might be two more N.B.A. titles, or four total.It is tough to say exactly what James’s odds of catching Jordan might be, because the average conceals a wide range of outcomes among the individual players. Four of the players on the list — Magic Johnson, Moses Malone, Bob Pettit and Dave Cowens — never won another championship after their age-28 season. But four others — Jordan, Bill Russell, Bob Cousy and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar — won at least four more titles.James needs four more championships to catch Jordan, so one estimate of his odds might be 4 chances out of 13, or about 30 percent. But some of the favorable precedents, like Russell, came in an era when teams had far more ability to retain their players. Among the players on the list who played their age-28 season during the salary-cap era (since 1984-85), only Jordan won four or more titles.Jeff Haynes/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images Jordan after his fifth title with the Bulls.It seems safe to say that you would not want to bet on James at even money. There are just too many things that can go wrong with a player’s career as he ages: injury or illness, early retirement, bad teammates or bad luck.Even this year’s Heat began the season with only about a 30 percent chance of winning the title, according to the Las Vegas odds. That percentage roughly matches the historical likelihood of an N.B.A. team’s repeating as champion, which is 33 percent.So James’s chances of winning a third title next season in Miami are probably about 1 in 3. After that, his chances begin to decline. For one thing, it is less certain that James will be surrounded by strong teammates. (James has the right to opt out of his contract after next season, and even if he stays in Miami, teammates like Dwyane Wade are already seeing their skills atrophy.)More important, players in team sports typically peak in skill in their mid- to late 20s, meaning that James’s game may begin to wane. The N.B.A. is a superstar’s league, and if James goes from being M.V.P.-caliber to mere All-Star within a few years, it will considerably hurt his odds of winning more titles.I have estimated a player’s chances of winning an N.B.A. title based on his win shares, a statistic calculated by Basketball-Reference.com that measures overall value to a team. Since the introduction of the salary cap in 1984-85, excluding the two regular seasons (1998-99 and 2011-12) that were shortened by labor disputes, the best player in the league in a given season has averaged about 18 win shares, which is a reasonably good match for James’s performance over the last several years. The model estimates that such a player has about a 20 percent or 25 percent chance of winning the championship in today’s N.B.A. environment.What about the fifth-best player in the league — someone equivalent to the worst player on the All-N.B.A. team? That player has averaged about 13 win shares, which translates to only about a 10 percent chance of winning the championship.The 10th-best player in the N.B.A. at a given time has only about a 7 percent chance of winning a title, according to the model. And the 25th-best player — someone who might be the last reserve added to one of the conference All-Star teams — has about a 5 percent chance.That is not much better than an N.B.A. player chosen at random, who has a 3.3 percent chance of becoming a champion by virtue of being on one of the 30 teams. A borderline All-Star in the N.B.A., in other words, is much closer to being a role player than a superstar, at least when it comes to his odds of winning a championship.James, of course, will have considerable freedom to pick his employer. If he puts winning titles above all other considerations, he could sign on for any role with the team he perceived as having the best chance to win the championship in a given season.Few players in N.B.A. history have been willing to take things to quite that extreme. Instead, superstars expect teams to build around them — even if they are past their prime, and even if it means something as inglorious as Jordan’s late years spent with the Washington Wizards.One can forgive Jordan, who did not have anything left to prove. But to match him, James will need to win two or three more titles over the next several seasons while he still plays at an M.V.P. level, which will require good health and some good luck. Then he may need to chase the last couple of titles by being willing to play the right role with the right club.,On Thursday, after LeBron James and the Miami Heat won their second consecutive N.B.A. championship, I noted on Twitter that James was on the same pace as the Chicago Bulls great Michael Jordan. Both James and Jordan won their first championship at 27 and their second at 28, I wrote. Jordan went on to win four more N.B.A. titles, for a total of six.Mike Segar/Reuters LeBron James and Michael Jordan were about the same age when they won a second championship.My statement depended on a technicality, I later discovered: Jordan’s biological age was 28 when he won his first championship, in 1991, and 29 when he won his second, in 1992. However, basketball statisticians generally define a player’s age differently: by how old he was as of Feb. 1 of an N.B.A. season, the rough midpoint of the basketball calendar. Jordan’s birthday is Feb. 17.Those semantics aside, it is worth considering just how likely James might be to match or exceed Jordan’s six titles. (From this point on, we’ll use basketball statisticians’ definition of age.)Players like Jordan and James are so rare that it can be risky to compare them with anyone. Still, one reasonably useful benchmark is to evaluate players who, like James and Jordan, had won at least one Most Valuable Player award and at least one N.B.A. title as of their age-28 season, meaning that they had achieved the pinnacle of both individual and team success.By my count, there were 13 such players before James. On average, they won about two additional championships (more precisely, an average of 1.9) after their age-28 season. So a reasonable over-under line for James might be two more N.B.A. titles, or four total.It is tough to say exactly what James’s odds of catching Jordan might be, because the average conceals a wide range of outcomes among the individual players. Four of the players on the list — Magic Johnson, Moses Malone, Bob Pettit and Dave Cowens — never won another championship after their age-28 season. But four others — Jordan, Bill Russell, Bob Cousy and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar — won at least four more titles.James needs four more championships to catch Jordan, so one estimate of his odds might be 4 chances out of 13, or about 30 percent. But some of the favorable precedents, like Russell, came in an era when teams had far more ability to retain their players. Among the players on the list who played their age-28 season during the salary-cap era (since 1984-85), only Jordan won four or more titles.Jeff Haynes/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images Jordan after his fifth title with the Bulls.It seems safe to say that you would not want to bet on James at even money. There are just too many things that can go wrong with a player’s career as he ages: injury or illness, early retirement, bad teammates or bad luck.Even this year’s Heat began the season with only about a 30 percent chance of winning the title, according to the Las Vegas odds. That percentage roughly matches the historical likelihood of an N.B.A. team’s repeating as champion, which is 33 percent.So James’s chances of winning a third title next season in Miami are probably about 1 in 3. After that, his chances begin to decline. For one thing, it is less certain that James will be surrounded by strong teammates. (James has the right to opt out of his contract after next season, and even if he stays in Miami, teammates like Dwyane Wade are already seeing their skills atrophy.)More important, players in team sports typically peak in skill in their mid- to late 20s, meaning that James’s game may begin to wane. The N.B.A. is a superstar’s league, and if James goes from being M.V.P.-caliber to mere All-Star within a few years, it will considerably hurt his odds of winning more titles.I have estimated a player’s chances of winning an N.B.A. title based on his win shares, a statistic calculated by Basketball-Reference.com that measures overall value to a team. Since the introduction of the salary cap in 1984-85, excluding the two regular seasons (1998-99 and 2011-12) that were shortened by labor disputes, the best player in the league in a given season has averaged about 18 win shares, which is a reasonably good match for James’s performance over the last several years. The model estimates that such a player has about a 20 percent or 25 percent chance of winning the championship in today’s N.B.A. environment.What about the fifth-best player in the league — someone equivalent to the worst player on the All-N.B.A. team? That player has averaged about 13 win shares, which translates to only about a 10 percent chance of winning the championship.The 10th-best player in the N.B.A. at a given time has only about a 7 percent chance of winning a title, according to the model. And the 25th-best player — someone who might be the last reserve added to one of the conference All-Star teams — has about a 5 percent chance.That is not much better than an N.B.A. player chosen at random, who has a 3.3 percent chance of becoming a champion by virtue of being on one of the 30 teams. A borderline All-Star in the N.B.A., in other words, is much closer to being a role player than a superstar, at least when it comes to his odds of winning a championship.James, of course, will have considerable freedom to pick his employer. If he puts winning titles above all other considerations, he could sign on for any role with the team he perceived as having the best chance to win the championship in a given season.Few players in N.B.A. history have been willing to take things to quite that extreme. Instead, superstars expect teams to build around them — even if they are past their prime, and even if it means something as inglorious as Jordan’s late years spent with the Washington Wizards.One can forgive Jordan, who did not have anything left to prove. But to match him, James will need to win two or three more titles over the next several seasons while he still plays at an M.V.P. level, which will require good health and some good luck. Then he may need to chase the last couple of titles by being willing to play the right role with the right club. read more

The Sacramento Kings Are Turning Their Games Into Track Meets

You could be forgiven if you didn’t think much of the Sacramento Kings’ chances coming into this season. The club, which was coming off a 27-victory campaign last year, hasn’t posted a 35-win season in more than a decade and is one of the NBA’s youngest teams. Sacramento also had a relatively quiet offseason aside from adding No. 2 overall pick Marvin Bagley.But the calendar has flipped to the new year, and Sacramento still has more wins than it does losses. This is the first time that’s been the case for Sacramento since 2005. Having a record above .500 this late — even after dropping two very winnable games in a row — is cause for celebration given how dysfunctional this franchise has been the past 10 to 15 years.Yet it’s the way the Kings have gotten out to such a respectable start that makes them so interesting. Sacramento basically turns its games into track meets and runs its opponents to death, gradually wearing them down enough to take over during the most important moments of play.At a blistering 105 possessions per 48 minutes, the Kings play at the league’s second-fastest tempo. In fourth quarters, when teams often slow the pace considerably to get the ball to their best players for 1-on-1s, Sacramento is still averaging an NBA-high 104 possessions per 48 minutes.Here’s the key, though: The Kings, who own the league’s second-worst defensive rating in first halves, undergo a “Thriller”-style transformation in the fourth quarter, when they rank sixth in the league defensively. And maintaining the sprinter’s tempo plays a part in that.The Kings force their winded opponents into a league-leading 16.9 fourth-quarter turnovers per 100 possessions. By contrast, Sacramento often looks most under control when the game is on the line and has by far the NBA’s fewest giveaways per 100 plays in close-game scenarios. That ability to play fast consistently is part of the reason the Kings have won an impressive two-thirds of their games in clutch scenarios, when the score is within 5 points with five minutes to play or less.It’s hard to know whether any of these developments were intentional. Kings coach Dave Joerger came into the season saying he wanted his young team to push the pace in the hopes of creating easier looks on offense — a fairly obvious perspective with so many players on the roster still finding their way. If there were any doubt that Sacramento is committed to the youth movement or the idea of playing faster, consider this: Plodding 37-year-old Zach Randolph, who led the team in scoring last year and is healthy, hasn’t logged a single minute for Joerger and the Kings this season.In any case, Sacramento has shown that it doesn’t care much what the circumstances are — and that it’s going to run no matter what. You scored on us? That’s fine, but you better hustle back on D. The Kings average the fastest possessions in the NBA after surrendering a basket, according to stat-tracking site Inpredictable. Watching their games on television can be a challenge because the camera crews often pan to the player who’s just scored, unprepared for how quickly the Kings are going to take a shot of their own in transition, so a viewer will miss chunks of Sacramento’s fastest scores. It happens a lot: The Kings have scored 41 times within four seconds of an opponent’s make, nearly double the next closest team, per Second Spectrum data.Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/ACTION.mp400:0000:0002:23Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Speedster De’Aaron Fox is the V8 engine that drives this fast-paced attack, and his jumper is vastly improved from his rookie year, when he was a below-average shooter outside of 15 feet. The lefty makes smart decisions consistently and, like a pitcher with good off-speed stuff, has learned how to leverage his quickness by mixing speeds to keep defenders guessing about what he’ll do next.Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/FoxSpeedShift.mp400:0000:0002:23Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.By finding a relative comfort in playing at an unusual tempo, the Kings have gone against the grain. Yet they have also borrowed a tactic from the Grit-and-Grind Grizzlies, who played at the pace of molasses but felt that style better equipped them to compete once opponents moved to iso-only offense in the closing stages of games. For the Kings, a fast game is just their natural environment, almost like fish underwater. Sacramento used their pace to secure huge back-to-back, come-from-behind victories last month, beating both Memphis and New Orleans after trailing each team by 19 points.1During that same six-day span, the Kings trimmed a 27-point deficit to just 3 against the Clippers on the road before eventually losing.“I think in the first quarter, we didn’t realize how fast they play,” Cavs center Tristan Thompson said after his team failed to keep up with Sacramento. “In the second quarter, we figured it out, got it to a tie game. But in the third quarter, they ramped it back up on us, and we weren’t able to recover.”For the time being, there are a number of other things the Kings are doing well to help keep them above .500. Buddy Hield, however old he might be, is efficiently averaging 20 points per game on much higher volume than before. Stretch big Nemanja Bjelica gives them the spacing they’ve needed for years. Bogdan Bogdanovic has been solid since his return from injury, hitting a game-winner to beat the Lakers last week and helping stabilize a bench that lacks depth.There are also cracks in the facade — and some of those may stem from trying to outlast opponents at a breakneck pace the entire game. Sacramento had a 9-point lead on the Blazers in the final three minutes Tuesday night but couldn’t hold the lead and lost in overtime. And the Kings held a 7-point edge in Los Angeles with just over four minutes to play Sunday but then lost to the Lakers (who were playing without LeBron James). And earlier last month, when Sacramento blew a 10-point lead in the last four minutes against Golden State, Fox looked tired, committing turnovers and leaving his jumpers short. Some of this is regression to the mean. But it also makes sense that clubs would be better equipped to run with the Kings for entire games with the season in full swing, as players are in better shape.Other factors also suggest an uphill climb for the Kings. While the team uses pace to its advantage, Sacramento is merely average on offense, and it’s below average on defense across a full game. Sacramento has a winning record, but its net rating, usually more of a truth-teller, ranks in the bottom third of the league. The team isn’t good at protecting the rim — Willie Cauley-Stein, who came out of Kentucky as a dominant defensive prospect, has been arguably the NBA’s worst center in that regard — and its opponents shoot 70 percent from inside of 3 feet. The team hasn’t fared well when it plays its other bigs alongside Bagley, who’s been out with injury the past three weeks. And because of how weak the bench would be without Bogdanovic there, Joerger doesn’t play Fox, Hield and Bogdanovic — the team’s best three-man lineup — together as much as he might like to.FiveThirtyEight’s CARMELO projection model doesn’t think much of Sacramento, giving the Kings just a 5 percent playoff probability — far closer to the bottom-feeding Bulls, Knicks and Suns than to teams like the Wolves or the Magic — despite their admirable start.The rest of this week will be a test for the Kings, who host the West’s first-place Nuggets and second-place Warriors on Thursday and Saturday, respectively. But the schedule isn’t reason to count them out: Sacramento has kept its head above water despite playing the NBA’s fifth-toughest slate to this point.Any way you slice it, the Kings have been fun, and they’ve found success in an unusual way. Fans should enjoy the ride, whether it lasts for just a few more days, or it’s a full-fledged run into the postseason.Check out our latest NBA predictions. read more

Ohio State mens soccer falls to Hoosiers

Heading into Saturday afternoon’s game, the Ohio State men’s soccer team knew it had the opportunity to seal an outright Big Ten regular season championship with a victory over No. 9-Indiana. That proved to be a tall order and the Hoosiers escaped with a 1-0 win in Bloomington, Ind. The lone score came with just 14 seconds remaining in the first half when Indiana sophomore defender Matt McKain lofted a ball into the box that teammate and fellow sophomore Nikita Kotlov converted into a goal just past OSU junior goalkeeper Matt Lampson. The lead held as the teams finished with 11 shots apiece. Lampson ended the day with five saves. The Buckeyes dropped to 10-6-2 overall and 4-2 in the Big Ten as Indiana improved to 11-3-4 overall and 3-2-1 in conference play. Head coach John Bluem said in a press release that he thought Indiana was probably the best team in the league and they played well today. “It was certainly a disappointment to come away without a win and not win the championship outright,” Bluem said in the release. “But it was definitely a difficult task at hand.” It was the first shutout loss for the Buckeyes since a 1-0 loss to fifth-ranked Louisville on Sept. 25. A Big Ten championship seemed unlikely for the Buckeyes a month ago after losing to Northwestern 3-2 on Oct. 9 in a game that Bluem told The Lantern was “one of the worst performances by an Ohio State team in (his) 15 years here.” The Buckeyes were 7-5-1 overall and 2-1 in the conference at that time and appeared to be on the outside looking in. However, the Buckeyes went 3-0-1 in the next four contests to set themselves up with a chance to win the title. With OSU losing to Indiana and Northwestern (10-4-4, 4-0-2) winning over Michigan, the Buckeyes finish second in the league behind the Wildcats. The loss likely also puts the Buckeyes out of NCAA tournament consideration. The No. 2-seeded Buckeyes will try to rebound quickly as they have their first Big Ten Tournament game against No. 7 seed Penn State Wednesday at 3:45 p.m. at U-M Soccer Stadium in Ann Arbor, Mich. read more