Something about this loss felt different. It stung, in a way Damian Lillard hadn't felt before. During the regular season Lillard had played the best basketball of his career. Only three players had racked up more points per game. He was more efficient than ever. He was named first-team All-NBA, finishing ahead of household names like Russell Westbrook and Stephen Curry, and led the Blazers to the third-best record in the Western Conference. Their reward was home-court advantage. Eighteen years had passed since they had last played in the Western Conference Finals. Lillard was eager and ready to end that drought. Instead, the lower-ranked New Orleans Pelicans bottled up Lillard by trapping him at every turn. Another first-round exit ensued. Another year without notching a single playoff win. Lillard had always been able to elevate his game in tight moments. But against New Orleans, he shot just 35.2 percent, coughed the ball up more than ever and failed to generate looks for others. … [Read more...] about What Counts to Damian Lillard
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A lot of things went wrong — and a lot of people screwed up. That’s the takeaway of a new report on Minnesota’s beleaguered computer system for vehicle title and license plate tabs, known as MNLARS. The report is especially critical of leadership at the two agencies that oversaw the development and launch of the program: MNIT, the state’s information technology agency, and the Department of Public Safety, whose Driver and Vehicle Services division oversees vehicle licensing. The 86-page report, released Thursday morning by the nonpartisan Office of Legislative Auditor, was requested by lawmakers frustrated by the system, which took nine years to develop, has cost more than $100 million, and has never worked as it should have since its launch in 2017. The report asks the big question: What went wrong with MNLARS? Here’s part of a summary, authored by deputy legislative auditor Judy Randall and director of special reviews Joel Alter: “In our review, we … [Read more...] about What went wrong with DMV computers? Everything and everyone, report finds
Here's a breakdown of the key players and storylines for every team in a bowl game. No. 2 Clemson vs. No. 3 Notre Dame 4 p.m. ET, ESPN AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TexasKey player: QB Trevor Lawrence is going to be the engine that drives the Clemson offense. While much has been made of Tua Tagovailoa's ascension at Alabama, Lawrence has provided his own spark to the Clemson offense, and if he can flourish in bowl season, the Tigers are as good as any team in the country.Storyline to watch: Clemson's secondary struggled badly against Kellen Mond and Jake Bentley during the regular season, and if there's a weakness on an otherwise stout defense, it's the safety play. The types of quarterbacks Clemson will see in a potential run to a national championship will be a real test of how good this unit is.Key player: QB Ian Book has sparked this Notre Dame offense, throwing for 2,468 yards and 19 touchdowns after replacing starter Brandon Wimbush after the third game of the season.Storyline … [Read more...] about What you need to know about every bowl game
Steve Kournianos Contributor @TheDraftAnalyst Updated at 4:07 p.m. ET Updated at 4:07 p.m. ET Giving a concise and well-thought summary of the top players for an upcoming draft is an undertaking that requires more than just picking the prospects with the best stats. Hours of both video and live coverage turn into days; days into weeks; and weeks into months. The time was used to evaluate puck skills like shot accuracy and traits like hockey sense, which NHL’s Central Scouting Bureau considers to be made up of playmaking, discipline, anticipation and play under pressure. None of these can be found simply by combing through box scores, no matter how reliable or resourceful tools like advanced statistics and historical data can be. You’d be amazed at what else one can discover simply by isolating a prospect for the duration of a game or two. MOCK DRAFT 1.0: Since last … [Read more...] about NHL Draft big board: Updated rankings of top 31 prospects in 2019 class
Dave Birkett Detroit Free Press Published 2:35 PM EST Dec 3, 2018 Do you know what the Los Angeles Rams were before they were the best team in the NFL? One of the worst. It was four short years ago that the Rams went 6-10 and ended up with a top-10 pick in the NFL draft, a pick that changed the direction of their franchise for good. A couple quarterbacks went at the top of the draft, some wide receivers and pass rushers and offensive linemen went next, and with the 10th pick of the 2015 draft, the Rams took running back Todd Gurley from Georgia. Gurley scored two touchdowns in the Rams’ 30-16 win over the Detroit Lions on Sunday – his NFL-leading 18th and 19th touchdowns of the year – and his big day got me thinking that maybe the Lions are headed in the right direction after all. Seriously. More from Windsor: Lions stuck in past while Rams are future of NFL I’m not and never have been an advocate of tanking, and I wouldn’t implore the Lions to do … [Read more...] about Detroit Lions headed for top-10 pick; what’s wrong with that?