Becker returns from injury

first_imgRelatedPosts Lampard: I still have confidence in Tomori Mane double eases Liverpool to win over 10-man Chelsea EPL: Chelsea, Liverpool in cagey duel Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker is back in training. Alisson has begun following a training programme in line with the rest of Liverpool’s first-team squad as he steps up his recovery from a hip injury. Liverpool’s goalkeeper coach John Achterberg told the club website: “[Alisson] sent videos, doing some jumping and exercises. Obviously, we were working with him until the lockdown and he was basically fit. “Now it’s for him to maintain it in the house, like the other goalkeepers. “They all get their programmes from the fitness department so they will do the job and the work to try to stay as fit as they can, like all the other players as well.”— Tags: Alisson BeckerJohn AchterbergLiverpoollast_img read more

City sweat on Silva fitness

first_img Press Association Both playmaker Silva and winger Navas were absent from the City squad for Wednesday’s 2-2 draw with Sunderland at the Etihad Stadium and Pellegrini expressed his hope after the game that the former’s ankle problem would not prevent him from featuring against the Baggies. At his press conference on Friday to preview the Albion contest, Pellegrini reported there had been no change on that front, before confirming Navas had been out due to an ankle complaint of his own. The Chilean manager, who earlier this week ruled out midfielder Yaya Toure for up to a fortnight due to his leg injury, said: “We continue with the same situation with Yaya Toure, David Silva and Jesus Navas. “The three of them are injured for the moment. “Yaya is improving but it is a muscle injury, so it is difficult for him (to return) so soon.” Defender Matija Nastasic, who has not played since February because of a knee injury, remains unavailable. The draw with Sunderland dealt another blow to City’s title challenge, just a few days after their 3-2 defeat to Liverpool. They are third in the table with five more games to play, four points behind second-placed Chelsea and six behind leaders Liverpool, both of whom have four more matches. Reports have suggested City’s owners are going to stick with Pellegrini, though. And asked about that on Friday, the 60-year-old – who has guided City to the Capital One Cup and the knockout stages of the Champions League this season, his first in charge – said: “It is not a problem in this moment. “I never heard anything in terms of a complaint. “All of us want to win as much as we can but I haven’t had any talks about that and I am not thinking about that.” center_img Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini is still sweating on the fitness of David Silva ahead of Monday’s Barclays Premier League home clash with West Brom and has also revealed Jesus Navas has been struggling with an injury.last_img read more

Josh Frost named new athletic director at Ellsworth High School

first_img Bio The Gould Life – January 8, 2020 Steve FullerReporter at The Ellsworth American,Steve Fuller worked at The Ellsworth American from 2012 to early 2018. He covered the city of Ellsworth, including the Ellsworth School Department and the city police beat, as well as the towns of Amherst, Aurora, Eastbrook, Great Pond, Mariaville, Osborn, Otis and Waltham. A native of Waldo County, he served as editor of Belfast’s Republican Journal prior to joining the American. He lives in Orland. Latest posts by Steve Fuller (see all) Latest Postscenter_img Real stories – March 11, 2020 Turn about is fair play – January 29, 2020 ELLSWORTH — A new athletic director has been hired at Ellsworth High School.Josh Frost was hired Tuesday, according to Superintendent Dan Higgins, and will start work in the full-time post on Thursday, Aug. 6.Frost has 13 years of teaching experience and has most recently worked in the Union 76 (Deer Isle-Stonington) school system. He worked as both a middle school math teacher and the middle school athletic director there.“He’s very well thought of by the administration in Union 76,” Higgins said. “He has done an excellent job administering their program.”This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textFrost has coached multiple sports and was nominated as Hancock County’s Teacher of the Year in 2014.Higgins said Frost was interviewed by a committee at the high school including Principal Dan Clifford, another administrator and coaches, and then had a second interview with the superintendent.“Josh brings a wealth of new ideas to the position and a passion for Ellsworth High School,” Clifford said in a news release. “He will work closely with EHS coaching staff, local youth organizations, middle schools, alumni and community members to ensure a positive experience for all student-athletes.”Frost, who lives in Ellsworth with his wife and three children, is a 1998 graduate of Ellsworth High School. He graduated from the University of Maine at Farmington in 2002 with a degree in social science.Frost succeeds Jay Brown, who served as athletic director from 1999 until his retirement this summer.last_img read more

MBB : Carter-Williams impresses against Green Wave; Tomaszewski remains perfect from deep

first_imgEven though Michael Carter-Williams had another solid game coming off the bench, there was one play that his teammates made sure he heard about after the game.Dion Waiters found him with a behind-the-back pass on a fast break and the freshman was completely alone in front of the rim. He went up for the two-handed slam, but the ball rattled out.‘I didn’t think he was going to pass me the ball,’ Carter-Williams said. ‘I didn’t even think he saw me. I owe him one though. That was on me.’Carter-Williams had to do push-ups in the locker room after the game, but that one blooper didn’t completely overshadow another solid performance by the young guard Thursday in SU’s 80-61 win over Tulane at the Carrier Dome. With junior Brandon Triche battling a thumb injury, the freshman played 18 minutes, finishing with seven points, three assists and two rebounds.‘It’s nice to be out there and play and have some extra minutes and have them get rest,’ Carter-Williams said. ‘I know the Big East is coming up and we’re going to need them to be 100 percent.’AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe freshman was able to create for himself off the dribble. His first bucket came in the first half on a drive from the left side of the court, all the way around the perimeter to the right side of the hoop for a lay-in.He didn’t score again until the second half, but both of his field goals after halftime came on off-balance floaters. He was called for a charge on the first, but the basket still counted. On the second, he lobbed up a shot that dropped from the free-throw line with the shot clock winding down.The freshman also didn’t turn the ball over and got some praise from Orange head coach Jim Boeheim after the game.‘He’s getting an opportunity,’ Boeheim said. ‘I thought tonight he did a good job getting the ball to the basket and making good decisions.’Tomaszewski still perfectKris Joseph knows who he wants in the game if the Orange ever need a late 3-pointer.‘If ever there’s a situation where we’re down two with like three seconds left,’ Joseph said with just a hint of sarcasm, ‘(Matt Tomaszewski) is the guy.’Tomaszewski was the first walk-on into the game for SU and entered the contest shooting a perfect 6-for-6 from deep on his career. The senior put that on the line with 1:40 left in the action.He jacked the seventh 3-pointer of his career from the right wing. It hit rim and looked like it might rattle out, but eventually dropped to keep the 6-foot-8 forward perfect from beyond the arc.When asked about the walk-on after the game, a big smile spread across Boeheim’s face.Said Boeheim: ‘Yeah he can shoot, can’t he?’Onto the Big EastFor the third straight year, Syracuse finished its nonconference schedule with a perfect record. But Boeheim wasn’t ready to put too much weight into that accomplishment after Thursday’s win.‘We’ve got good players and they’ve played well when they needed to,’ he said. ‘Most of the good teams are either undefeated or lost one game right now so it’s nothing really unusual when you look around the country.’Still, the Orange has ascended to the No. 1 ranking in the country thanks to its undefeated record. And although most of the wins have been easy, SU feels that it accomplished its goals prior to Big East play.Aside from a six-point win over Marshall, Syracuse blew out all of the mid-major teams it faced through 13 games. It also captured the NIT Season Tip-off title with tight wins over Virginia Tech and Stanford in Madison Square Garden. And the biggest win for the Orange so far this year when it knocked off No. 11 Florida in the Dome.‘It’s nice to get to this point and not have a loss,’ Joseph said. ‘We had two or three games that could have gone the other way very easily, and we played well down the stretch in those games, which is great. Once the conference comes up, the competition steps way, way up. I think we’re prepared for that.’ Facebook Twitter Google+ Commentscenter_img Published on December 22, 2011 at 12:00 pmlast_img read more

Freshman Sykes breaks out with dominant all-around performance to lead Syracuse to win over Loyola

first_imgBrittney Sykes was energized from the get-go.Less than a minute into the game, she stole the ball and raced downcourt. She swiveled her body and found a wide-open Cornelia Fondren in the right corner.Fondren drained the 3-pointer and got Syracuse on the board.“My personal style is that I like to gamble and go for steals – easy buckets,” Sykes said. “Usually after a steal the energy picks up.”It certainly did.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSyracuse burst out to a 10-point lead in the first nine minutes, as Sykes sparked the Orange right away.The freshman’s afternoon was just getting started, though, as she played her most complete game this season and bullied Loyola early and often. Sykes filled up the stat sheet Saturday in Syracuse’s (9-1) 83-48 victory over Loyola (Md.) (4-6) in the Carrier Dome in front of 417 fans. She finished with 15 points, five steals, five rebounds and three assists, igniting SU to the blowout victory.“As long as she’s aggressive and she can get some things in transition going to the rim I think everything else opens up,” Syracuse head coach Quentin Hillsman said.And it did.Syracuse was in a slump midway through the first half. After building an early lead, the Orange let Loyola claw back into the game. Consecutive 3s by Nicole Krusen and Alyssa Sutherland cut Syracuse’s lead to 16-14 with 7:38 remaining in the half.Less than two minutes later, Sykes stole an errant pass from Sutherland and raced down to the other end. She bulldozed her way to the basket and laid the ball up and in, drawing a foul in the process.She swished the free throw, pushing SU up five.Then Sykes got a hand in the passing lane yet again. She came away with the ball and flew downcourt, as Loyola defenders frantically tried to stop her. She missed the layup, but Kayla Alexander cleaned up what Sykes had started.After a jumper by Loyola’s Diana Logan, Sykes spotted up in the corner, waiting patiently for a pass. She stood in the same spot where Fondren drained a 3 to start the game.This time, Sykes took Fondren’s pass. She squared her body toward the basket and connected from deep, putting Syracuse up 24-16 with 4:38 to go in the first half.“She’s a very athletic player that can really slash to the basket,” Hillsman said. “Her shooting keeps people honest. That’s one thing that we talked about.”In the second half, Sykes didn’t skip a beat. She forced another steal and converted on a putback off a missed hook by Alexander, as the Orange’s lead started to balloon with the score 36-20.Sykes was the sparkplug for Syracuse, as the Orange took it to Loyola in the second half and ended up shooting almost 56 percent in the half and dropping 51 points.Hillsman said it was Sykes’ best game so far this season. She struggled over the past three games, scoring only nine total points on 3-of-14 shooting.Saturday that all changed in a hurry. Sykes sped Loyola up and flustered the slower Greyhounds.She forced five steals and ignited multiple fast breaks.Sykes said it was tough not to get down on herself during the inconsistent stretch coming into the game, but she said her teammates were supportive and told her to keep her head up.“My confidence level is so high right now all thanks to my teammates, honestly,” Sykes said. “I’ve been down on myself from scoring and how to score, but they’ve been keeping me positive.”Hillsman said Sykes was efficient in all aspects of the game Saturday. Despite her recent struggles, Hillsman knows he can expect many dominant games from Sykes down the road.“It’s tough having such a dominant player because you want the finished product now, but the finished product might not be in two or three years,” Hillsman said. “She had a very, very good game tonight.”Carmen Tyson-Thomas said Sykes is stepping into her role as a scorer and defender for Syracuse. She cheered from the bench and alongside Sykes on the court as the freshman forced turnovers, snatched rebounds and drilled 3-pointers.“I’m proud of her,” Tyson-Thomas said. “I was in the same position as a freshman to come in and have to score. It’s a big role to take on, and I’m glad she’s stepping into it.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on December 8, 2012 at 5:46 pm Contact Trevor: | @TrevorHasslast_img read more

Ravens coach Harbaugh attends Indiana practice to support brother-in-law Crean

first_img Related Stories High school teammates Grant, Oladipo meet in Sweet 16 Clamping down: Syracuse’s vaunted 2-3 zone gets set for clash with loaded Indiana offense in Sweet 16Boeheim, current Syracuse players reflect on 1987 national title loss to IndianaWith renewed health, Keita ready to take on Indiana’s All-American Zeller’It still stings to this day’: Twenty-six years after narrowly losing title game to Indiana, Syracuse has shot at redemption in NCAA Tourney Published on March 27, 2013 at 8:11 pm Contact Chris: | @chris_iseman WASHINGTON — Wearing a gray Indiana sweatshirt, John Harbaugh stood in the hallway outside of the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., waiting to see his brother-in-law and Hoosiers head coach Tom Crean. The Baltimore Ravens head coach made the 45-minute drive from Baltimore to support Crean as he tries to become the next member of the family to win a championship.“It’s just really exciting for the family and everything,” Harbaugh said. “It’s been a crazy year. It’s been a great ride, so if Tom can pull off a miracle and get to the Final Four and maybe win the thing, wouldn’t that be something?”Crean is married to Harbaugh’s sister, Joani. The family experienced euphoria and heartbreak simultaneously when Harbaugh’s Ravens beat his brother Jim’s San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl on Feb. 3. For now, though, football takes a backseat to basketball.Harbaugh said he likes how much of a fight the Hoosiers put up in their games, and referenced the 58-52 win over Temple on Sunday in the Round of 32 as an example. The Owls led for much of the game before Indiana pulled out the win in the final minutes.The Hoosiers have a tough route to the Final Four, Harbaugh said, with Syracuse and either Marquette or Miami standing in their way.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“I love the team,” Harbaugh said of Indiana. “I love the way they play. The way they fight. It’s going to be a tough game. Syracuse is playing great. It’s a tough little group of four here. It’ll be interesting to see how it goes.”Harbaugh spoke to Crean on Wednesday morning. He said his brother-in-law was up all night watching game film, a feeling to which he said he can relate.Harbaugh said some members of the family will be in Washington to see the game, but his parents will watch their son-in-law lead his Hoosiers on television at home.Almost two months after reaching the top of the NFL, Harbaugh is watching his brother-in-law try to become the second champion in the family.“Tom does a great job. He’s an unbelievable leader,” Harbaugh said. “The players love playing for him. He’s got a bunch of good guys.” Commentscenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Power Play! William Hill & IGT partner targeting US lottery betting contracts

first_img Winning Post: When the going gets tough … April 6, 2020 Submit StumbleUpon College OTT FloSports secures Gold Cup coverage with HBA Media February 26, 2020 William Hill appoints Nedda Kaltcheva as international Tech lead  June 22, 2020 Share Renato Ascoli – IGTWilliam Hill US and International Game Technology (IGT) have confirmed that they have entered a ‘multi-year agreement’, seeking to deliver sports betting provisions to US state licensed lottery incumbents.The alliance sees FTSE250 William Hill partner with IGT the leading technology systems supplier for North American lotteries.Last August, both organisations partnered to provide a ‘full-service sports betting solution’ for the state of Rhode Island through sportsbook at the Twin River and Tiverton Casinos.Updating the market, IGT governance has disclosed that it will move to its ‘PlayShot’ sportsbook platform to US state lottery operators, offering sports betting across multiple verticals (retail, desktop, mobile).Renato Ascoli, IGT CEO, North America commented on the partnership:  “Through this unique partnership, our customers will be able to enter this new activity with total confidence and trust in the service being offered. IGT is uniquely positioned as a leader in both lottery and sports betting technologies to deliver innovative solutions that will expand the possibilities for players and for lotteries themselves in this exciting new market. By forming this partnership with William Hill, we are able to bring to our lottery customers in every state a world-class combination of technology and operational expertise.”The partnership sees William Hill US act as sportsbook operations and management lead for US lottery contracts, offering services such as player and market management, trading and risk monitoring and sportsbook premises management.The strategic arrangement could see William Hill significantly expand its operational and brand footprint throughout the new US market.  As North America’s biggest lottery systems supplier, IGT services state licenses for states’ of Texas, California, New York and Michigan.Joe Asher, William Hill USBacking IGT, Joe Asher, CEO of William Hill US, said: “We are delighted to be expanding our relationship with IGT to address the U.S. lottery market together. William Hill’s track record as an operator globally, and our clear leadership as a sports book operator in the U.S., in particular, mean that U.S. lotteries can be confident that in choosing IGT and us together, they will be benefiting from a reliable, trustworthy, and responsibly-managed solution – maximizing revenues to each state with a quality product and service.” Related Articles Sharelast_img read more

Kyrie Irving, Celtics have Pacers staring at unsolvable clutch-time problem

first_img“They put the ball in Kyrie’s hands,” Young said. “As you can see, he had 37 tonight. When they put the ball in that guy’s hands, he makes things happen. He made some tough shots, and I think that was the ending factor for us.”That dynamic is not going to change. The Pacers go back to Indiana licking their wounds, having suffered brutal droughts in both games. They had chances to win both games, and hope remains that returning to their home floor will push them to play a more complete 48 minutes.But no matter how much they improve at home, that fourth quarter will be lingering. That’s where the Celtics can control this series, and the Pacers just don’t seem to have the manpower to address that. BOSTON — There was a moment, with 5:25 to play in Game 2 of the Celtics-Pacers Eastern Conference playoff series, when you could almost see Pacers coach Nate McMillan’s heart break.McMillan had his hand out as soon as Boston guard Kyrie Irving took a pass on the left wing from Terry Rozier. Irving had an open look from about 26 feet away and stepped cleanly into a jumper as McMillan implored big man Myles Turner to come and contest. It was no use. NBA PLAYOFFS 2019:Full schedule | Picks from first round to FinalsIrving launched the shot and McMillan, standing behind him, began calling a timeout even before the shot went down.WE REPEAT, KYRIE IS 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥— Boston Celtics (@celtics) April 18, 2019The shot gave Irving eight points in the fourth quarter (he had 37 in the game) and gave Boston its first lead as the Celtics came back from a 12-point deficit to win 99-91 and take a 2-0 series lead. It also gave an indication of just how steep a hill the Pacers have to climb in this series — it will be won and lost in the fourth quarter, and they’re simply overmatched in late-game situations.”Irving is the guy that initiates most of that,” McMillan said. “He’s a hard cover. When he is breaking you down and you’re forced to have to help, he is finding guys on the perimeter, in transition. Then they’re hurting us with 3s. You try to keep it in front, keep the ball in front, so that you don’t have to collapse and give as much help and you can stay with the perimeter to guard the 3 and rebound the ball.”But that’s hard when you are sitting out there on an island by yourself, trying to keep Irving in front of you.”The Pacers did try to trap Irving and get the ball out of his hands after that shot. But the Celtics are loaded with fourth-quarter options.They start with Irving, as McMillan said, and bait defenses into overreacting on the many herks and jerks of his drives to the rim. That allows Irving to move the ball and get Jayson Tatum (10 of his 26 points in the fourth) involved. Or Gordon Hayward (six points in the fourth). Or Al Horford (four in the fourth).  End result: a 31-12 Celtics fourth-quarter advantage that left the Pacers frustrated through and through. They committed two turnovers in the final 12 seconds, struggling to even get the ball inbounded.The Pacers just… threw the game away— Dime (@DimeUPROXX) April 18, 2019So it has gone for the Pacers in the last few months — the effort is there and the games are close, but when the stretch run hits and the game is to be won or lost, Indiana has nowhere to turn.”There’s always been one quarter that kills us in the second half. It’s either the third or fourth quarter,” forward Thaddeus Young said. “It was the third quarter [in Game 1] and as you can see, tonight it was the fourth. We only scored 12 points and they scored 31. It’s always tough. We are getting good looks and the shots are not falling… “The biggest thing, like I’ve always said, is we got to put together a 48-minute game, and we haven’t been able to do that.”This has been the issue for the Pacers since losing star guard Victor Oladipo to a ruptured quad tendon in January. Before Oladipo was injured, Indiana was the best team in the league in net rating, plus-29.5, during clutch situations (games within five points with five minutes to play) with a 14-6 record.After Oladipo went down, the Pacers were 21st in clutch net rating, minus-7.3.”What can you do?” point guard Darren Collison said. “Victor is not here. It’s up to us here to make up for that.”MORE: Today’s NBA scores, updates, TV scheduleBut things get much easier for the Celtics in close games, with a star like Irving who can knock down 3-pointers and always manages to get a decent look at the rim when he drives, no matter how many contortions of his body are required en route.The Pacers don’t have that. They were 4 for 17 in the fourth quarter on Wednesday, with leading scorer Bojan Bogdanovic logging six points on 2-for-6 shooting and Wesley Matthews making just 1 of 4.Young summed up the Celtics’ late-game strategy neatly.last_img read more

Purple & Bold: Who wants to play with LeBron James?

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersWhile the Lakers ostensibly missed out on the chance at other free agents while waiting on Leonard, they never were in the lead for any of the others who sealed a max deal, and who mostly seemed content to strike out elsewhere: Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in Brooklyn; Jimmy Butler in Miami; Kemba Walker in Boston; Tobias Harris in Philadelphia; even D’Angelo Russell in a sign-and-trade to Golden State.This has fueled a narrative that has gathered steam since 2017 (when Kyrie Irving wanted out of Cleveland): Is there a reason so many of the NBA’s leading stars don’t seem to want to play with LeBron James? Durant famously poured gas on that last season, by suggesting it made “no sense” for Leonard to want to play with James (a forecast perhaps?).There’s enough heat from that hot take for Joe Vardon of The Athletic to talk to Anthony Davis, the player who did want to saddle up with James, to see what made him different from the others. But even that story accepts the premise that James is often tough on his teammates, and that winning has made that occasional prickly nature easier to swallow:“And that’s been the readout on LeBron for years. He puts enormous pressure on whichever team has him to win, and he can dwell too often on the age difference between him and younger players who feel they’ve earned respect. But playing with him, for eight straight years, was always worth it in the end. His first season in Los Angeles was marred by injuries to him and teammates, but the awkwardness and pressure of playing alongside him were not paid for with even a playoff berth, let alone a finals appearance.”It might not be quite accurate to say James grated on his teammates last season. The nuanced version is that the forces around James were difficult, particularly for younger players who feared (rightfully) that they would be traded to accommodate the pressure to win sooner rather than later. Editor’s note: This is the Monday July 8 edition of the Purple & Bold newsletter. To receive the newsletter in your inbox, sign up here.What would have the King, the Brow and the Claw looked like together? On the Woj Pod last week, Jared Dudley speculated it would be like the Miami Heat Big Three “but on steroids.”The world will never know.All indications are that Kawhi Leonard didn’t have a strong intention to create a superteam: An ESPN account of Leonard’s much-speculated decision cites that Leonard’s camp delayed the Lakers from chasing other free agents while holding out hope that the neighboring Clippers could execute a trade for Paul George (which they, of course, did). But there’s another way of looking at the picture of why stars haven’t targeted James as a teammate in recent years: James’ own example has set their path.Over the last decade, the NBA has seen the leverage of players rise dramatically – to the level that owners are now concerned (particularly because of the George trade) that they’re losing the ability to hold onto their stars. There are many plot points in this trend, but forced to pick the most influential moment in the last 10 years, one would have to circle The Decision as a moment that changed how players viewed their ability to self-determine their destiny, team up with their friends and compete for championships.James himself showed how a player could find both a market he wanted and teammates he wanted, and draw both into his orbit. He also showed how he could alter his own narrative: While he was a villain after spurning Cleveland for the Heat, in 2014, he was praised for turning around to his hometown Cavaliers, eventually leading them to the championship the city had long labored over.In a league that had often been dominated by single-franchise stars – Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Hakeem Olajuwon, Kobe Bryant and more – James set the imprint for a more modern star, who could win multiple championships with different franchises and leverage the power to choose teammates (one could argue that he’s doing that now as a Laker, expressing as far back as December that he’d like to play with Davis). And while there are always people who will point to this history and say it diminishes James somehow, that he needed others to help him win titles, in the eyes of players, it has been an example to follow.So think of it this way: James’ own influence has created a generation of pioneers, instead of a generation of players who want to team up with him.The inclination is to create one’s own path, and that becomes more pronounced when you consider that teams like the Nets and Clippers – two franchises without much winning tradition – are suddenly cashing in on stars. Aside from the strong management tactics each of those teams executed to be in position for stars, they’re also finding a group of players like Leonard, George, Irving and Durant who want to create something for themselves as the leading men, rather than be another supporting player alongside James.The Athletic’s piece on Davis indicated that’s not really a concern for him – he’s more worried about getting a championship to begin with:“Obviously there are some other great teams around the league, but winning a championship is not easy,” Davis said. “It’s very difficult. He knows that. I haven’t been down that path, but hopefully this year he can lead me down that path and we can win.”Davis’ focus and willingness to buck this particular trend is good news for James – and for Laker fans, by extension.WHAT’S IN A POSITION?Yahoo Sports reported Monday morning that the Lakers intend to start James in the backcourt alongside Danny Green next season, finally acknowledging what has been true for years: He’s a point guard.That won’t change much on offense: James is always the straw that stirs the drink on offense, whether he plays on ball or off. The Lakers attempted to make James more of an off-ball threat by using him in lineups with other playmakers, but as the year went on, James ended up as more of the de facto point guard in key moments. It makes a lot of sense: Each of the last three years, James has wound up with more than eight assists per game, and as he ages, his unique passing ability might be a more reliable facet of his game.That’s not to say there aren’t interesting ramifications: The report means that the Lakers won’t start any of the point guards they’ve signed in free agency, including Rajon Rondo, Alex Caruso and Quinn Cook. It also means that the Lakers will have some tough choices defensively while guarding some of the best backcourts in the league. Among the contenders, the Warriors, Rockets, Jazz and Blazers all have pairs of starting guards who can rack up points, with Denver and Sacramento also in the mix. Does that mean Green and James are responsible for guarding CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard on a given night? Or Steph Curry and D’Angelo Russell?It seems more likely that whoever else starts on the wing will take on a guard on defense, but that’s complicated, too. Assuming DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis and Kyle Kuzma start in a scoring-heavy lineup, does Kuzma take on a guard? Or would the Lakers go smaller at the three, say with Caldwell-Pope, and bring either Cousins or Kuzma off the bench? The lack of true wing depth is a little bit of an issue here that might depend entirely on matchups.With a playmaker like James, it makes sense to put him in charge. But as always, unexpected ramifications loom.– Kyle GoonEditor’s note: Thanks for reading the Monday July 8 edition of the Purple & Bold newsletter. To receive the newsletter in your inbox, sign up here.And here’s the ClickerPicking up the pieces: The Lakers gambled by waiting for Kawhi Leonard and lost.The back-up plan: How the Lakers rebounded by seizing Danny Green, DeMarcus Cousins and other key role players.Summer league scene: The Lakers and Clippers shared an uncomfortable Vegas moment after the landmark Leonard/George deals.How the Clippers cashed in: Mirjam Swanson takes the wheel on the Clippers side of free agency (you should also read her round-up of fan reaction).LA is the center of the basketball universe: Mark Heisler recaps a wild weekend.But what about everyone else? Mark Whicker reflects on how the NBA title isn’t just a two-horse SoCal race.Three-point woes solved? Time will tell if the Lakers have done enough there.More help coming: The Lakers are expected to add Avery Bradley later today.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more