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This unorthodox way to guard James Harden is either genius or a fluke

James Harden had just finished one of the least efficient performances of his historic season when he was asked how much the Milwaukee Bucks’ unique defensive scheme had to do with his off night. “None,” Harden said, scoffing at the suggestion that the Bucks might have created a blueprint for defending the NBA’s most unstoppable […]

Rockets showcase what they must: Lockdown D

HOUSTON — The desperate 36-footer by Donovan Mitchell sailed over the backboard in a miserable moment that epitomized the Utah Jazz’s offensive woes in their 122-90 Game 1 loss to the Houston Rockets on Sunday. Mitchell had no choice but to toss up a prayer after receiving a pass so far from the basket just […]

Magic Johnson decided it's better to just be Magic Johnson

LOS ANGELES — Magic Johnson had the title he’d always wanted. He had the power to guide one of the most important franchises in sports, carte blanche. Anything he wanted to do as president of basketball operations for the Los Angeles Lakers, he had the power to do. Fire the coach. Trade any player. Lakers […]

Sources: Wolves looking for team president

11:06 AM ET Adrian WojnarowskiESPN The Minnesota Timberwolves are planning to open a search for a new president of basketball operations, although owner Glen Taylor prefers to keep general manager Scott Layden and interim coach Ryan Saunders as part of a revised organizational structure, league sources told ESPN. The Timberwolves are hopeful to award Saunders […]

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Vikings, Thielen agree to 4-year, $64M extension

MINNEAPOLIS – Two-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Adam Thielen has agreed to a four-year contract extension with the Minnesota Vikings, the team announced on Friday afternoon. The details of Thielen’s new deal were revealed in an Instagram post by Team IFA, the agency that represents the 28-year-old receiver. Thielen is set to make $64 million […]

Two-star to potential superstar: Josh Allen wants to be the next Khalil Mack

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Someone is missing. The Kentucky Wildcats’ pro day is underway in Nutter Field House, where 15 NFL hopefuls are running, jumping and short-shuttling for an army of stopwatch-wielding men who look as if they jumped off the pages of “team store” catalogs. Every team is represented as they evaluate the draft-eligible players […]

How mathematicians are trying to make NFL schedules fairer

7:30 AM ET Kevin SeifertNFL Nation Close ESPN.com national NFL writer ESPN.com NFC North reporter, 2008-2013 Covered Vikings for Minneapolis Star Tribune, 1999-2008 Four years ago, a group of University at Buffalo researchers submitted a paper to the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, outlining a mathematical approach by which the NFL could potentially produce a […]

Redskins have changed free-spending ways but not the results

During the early days of Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder’s tenure, cornerback Deion Sanders stood at his locker, oozing the aura of “Prime Time” surrounded by cameras and microphones, and proclaimed the following: “Every owner in the league tries to secure free agents. The difference is, Dan shops at Versace, other owners shop at Walmart.” […]

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