Gobert, George, Antetokounmpo lead 2018-19 All-Defensive First Team

NEW YORK — Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert, Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George and Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo lead the 2018-19 NBA All-Defensive First Team.

The three finalists for the 2018-19 Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award finished with nearly identical point totals as the top vote-getters for the NBA All-Defensive Teams.

The 2018-19 NBA All-Defensive First Team!@Giannis_An34@EBled2@Yg_Trece@rudygobert27@smart_MS3pic.twitter.com/BXj7REv1dJ

— NBA (@NBA) May 22, 2019

Gobert earned 196 points, including 97 First Team votes, to make the NBA All-Defensive First Team for the third consecutive year.  George received 195 points (96 First Team votes) for his second All-Defensive First Team honor.  With 193 points (94 First Team votes), Antetokounmpo is a First Team selection for the first time.

The 2018-19 NBA All-Defensive First Team also features Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart (145 points; 63 First Team votes) and Milwaukee Bucks guard Eric Bledsoe (100 points; 36 First

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UNC's Little eager to show he's ready for NBA

If ever there was a college basketball player built to handle the hype and unrealistic expectations heaped on him by fans and the media, it’s Nassir Little, who recently completed a freshman season/career at North Carolina that many who don’t know him would call star-crossed.

Philosopher Nassir, as teammate and fellow future NBA lottery pick Colby White christened him, would beg to differ.

Little — a 6-foot-6, 220-pound athletic swingman — came to the Tar Heels as the No. 2 player in the class of 2018, ahead of even Duke’s Zion Williamson and just behind the Blue Devils’ R.J. Barrett. Little was just the fifth player at the time to be chosen MVP of the McDonald’s and Jordan Brand all-star games. He was destined to, as Little says, “come in, start, average 15 to 20 points and play 35 minutes. That’s what people probably expected me to do.”

Instead, Little

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MLB injury report: Return timeline, updates for Jose Altuve, Felix Hernandez, Luis Severino and others

We’re already in the thick of the Major League Baseball regular season, and the injury bug is already feasting on some of the game’s top players. We have every single MLB injury chronicled here and updated often to let you know who is in or out each night and beyond. But this page will look at the most important injuries in MLB and how they are affecting teams and players moving forward. 

Notable MLB injuries Giancarlo Stanton LF •

• Injury: Biceps/shoulder
• Status: On 10-day IL; return timetable unknown
• May 14 update: Stanton is still recovering from a shoulder injury he suffered during rehab from his biceps injury. “He doesn’t have a perfect shoulder by any means, and he’s dealt with, to varying degrees, a dead period or just some soreness in there or whatnot,” manager Aaron Boone

NBA Playoffs: Kawhi Leonard posterizes Giannis Antetokounmpo in Game 4 between Raptors, Bucks

Kawhi Leonard continues to put on a show in the postseason.

In the third quarter of Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals, Leonard put the NBA on notice with a highlight reel slam dunk. The Toronto Raptors star forward received a picture perfect bounce pass from teammate Marc Gasol and threw down a one-handed slam dunk over Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Leonard simply beat Antetokounmpo to the spot and posterized “The Greek Freak” with an emphatic left-handed slam.

After a slow start, Leonard currently has 11 points despite only connecting on three of his nine shots. Entering Game 4, the versatile forward was averaging 32.7 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 3.0 assists while shooting 46.0 percent from the field.

The Raptors currently lead the Bucks 81-72 late in the third quarter in Toronto.

Bryce Harper spites Cubs fans by tossing ball out of Wrigley Field, gets flipped off for his trouble

It’s been a bit of a tough year for Bryce Harper. The Phillies star is slashing .224/.360/.454, his five-game hitting streak has given way to two straight games without a hit, and Cubs fans jeered him in his series in Wrigley Field this week. Harper, however, likes the little things in baseball — like snubbing Cubs fans who harass him.

In the sixth inning of Tuesday’s game, Harper caught a fly ball in right field. Instead of giving a fan in the front rows a souvenir, as is tradition, he instead launched the ball out of Wrigley Field, much to the annoyance of the Cubs faithful.

After making the final out in right field in the sixth inning, Bryce Harper trolls Cubs fans and LAUNCHED the ball out of Wrigley Field and on to the rooftop. 😂

Pat Riley says Lakers 'never pursued' him about a front-office job, admits he's thought about return to Los Angeles

The Los Angeles Lakers‘ offseason began with a bang when Magic Johnson abruptly left his post as the president of basketball operations.

Some expected the franchise to turn to an old friend in this time of crisis in the form of Pat Riley. In a recent interview with ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan, Riley admitted that he would’ve entertained the idea of returning to Los Angeles, but the Lakers “never pursued” him.

“I have thought [about returning to the Lakers] only from a sentimental standpoint,” Riley said. “But I was never pursued by them. Nobody officially contacted me. I have about 20 friends wishing I would come back, but nobody asked.”

Riley, 74, certainly does have a history with the Lakers over the years. After all, the current Miami Heat team president led the Lakers to four NBA titles in the 1980s

Kansas strength and conditioning program will report directly to medical professionals

University of Kansas athletic strength and conditioning personnel will now report directly to medical professionals in a move the school says is the first of its kind in the country.

The change announced Wednesday was made, in part, because of what the school said was “increased attention across college sports in recent years” regarding offseason player injuries and even death.

Offseason deaths due to exertional issues have reached a peak in college football this century. In the last two years, strength coaches were blamed after players died at Maryland and Kent State along with others who were injured at Oregon.

In all, 40 Kansas trainers, doctors and nutritionists – as well as the strength staff that previously reported to KU athletic director Jeff Long — will now report to medical staff at The University of Kansas Health System and

With Kawhi less than 100 percent, Raptors' bench shines in Game 4

TORONTO — It’s not clear what the injury is, and there has been no word from the Toronto Raptors. But Kawhi Leonard is most certainly dealing with some sort of leg ailment in these Eastern Conference finals. The most clear indication of that was a pronounced limp after he dunked on Giannis Antetokounmpo on the Raptors’ second possession of the third quarter Tuesday night.

Given how much the Raptors have depended on their star in this postseason, a hobbled Leonard, coming off a career-high 52 minutes in Game 3, would seemingly be a harbinger of doom. But the Raptors of Game 4 were not the Raptors of the conference semifinals, when contributions from the Toronto supporting cast were few and far between.

Those Raptors, in the second half of a desperate Game 4 win in Philadelphia, basically went six deep. Those Raptors had just seven guys see the floor in all of Game

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VanVleet's shot reborn after birth of 2nd child

10:13 AM ET

Tim BontempsESPN

TORONTO — Fred VanVleet broke out in a huge way Tuesday night, scoring 13 points off the bench to help lead a balanced scoring attack for the Toronto Raptors as they blew out the Milwaukee Bucks 120-102 in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals.

The performance, which helped even the best-of-seven series at 2-2, continued a week full of highs for VanVleet.

On Sunday, he helped the Raptors survive a double-overtime thriller to beat the Bucks in Game 3.

On Monday, VanVleet found himself flying to his hometown of Rockford, Illinois, for the birth of his second child, Fred Jr.

While he was flying back to Toronto again Tuesday morning to play in Game 4, he had time to reflect on being in the midst of the worst shooting slump of his playoff career.

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Raptors take advantage of Bucks' defensive lapses in Game 4

TORONTO — Mike Budenholzer wasted no time in identifying the Milwaukee Bucks’ fatal flaw Tuesday night in their Game 4 loss to Toronto, a defeat that essentially cut the Eastern Conference finals now to a best-of-three mini-series. 

“I think this is probably the first night defensively where I don’t feel like we were close to where you need to be to give ourselves a chance,” Budenholzer said. 

He didn’t specify whether he meant against this particular opponent, so far in the 2019 postseason or across the expanse of the 95 games the Bucks have played since late October. 

So let’s just say they were shoddy and haphazard enough in falling 120-102 at Scotiabank Arena to have undermined all three. 

Limiting this to the playoffs, the Bucks’ work defensively ranked as their low point in 13 games against Toronto, Boston or Detroit. Their 125.0 defensive rating (points allowed per 100 possessions)

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