Lance Stephenson recorded his NBA leading 5th triple-double of the season in the win over the Thunder on Sunday.
Born Ready went off for 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the field (2-for-5 3-pointers), with 10 rebounds, 11 assists, and a blocked shot in 41 minutes. The win put the Pacers a half-game ahead of the Miami Heat for the number one seed in the Eastern Conference.ANALYST: Michael Pichan
Manager Terry Francona said 1B Carlos Santana could see time in the outfield this season.
Veteran beat writer Paul Hoynes mused earlier today about what the outfield in Cleveland would look like in the absence of Michael Brantley to start the year. One option he was discussed was the potential of looking at Carlos Santana as an option until Brantley is able to return. Santana has caught, played first base, experimented at third and could play his fourth position in as many years if he does play some outfield. He hit .231 for a second consecutive season but did steal a career high 11 bases with 19 home runs in 2015. Santana was a bit of a disappointment in fantasy but another position would enhance his value in deeper formats if he can adjust to the outfield this spring. Analysis: Greg Jewett
Kyle Hendricks and Adam Warren will compete for the team's fifth starter's job.
The age old adage of you can never have enough pitching has been adopted by the Cubs. They signed John Lackey to provide a solid number three in the rotation and will now have Kyle Hendricks and Adam Warren in an open competition for the fifth spot in the rotation. Hendricks won eight games in 2015 with 167 strikeouts in 180 innings. His ERA was 3.95 and his WHIP was 1.16 for the Cubs. Warren won seven games for the Yankees last year in 131 1/3 innings with 104 strikeouts along with a 3.29 ERA and 1.16 WHIP. But Warren split time in the bullpen along with starting which may make him more likely for a relief role as he would strengthen an already strong bullpen for the Cubs. Monitor the results in the spring, but either pitcher could be worth of a late round flier as the fifth starter in this rotation. Analysis: Greg Jewett
GM Sandy Alderson said the goal is for David Wright to play a maximum of 130 games this season.
In the three seasons prior to 2015, David Wright averaged 134 games for the Mets. However, last year he was limited to 38 games due to missing four months with spinal stenosis in his lower back. As a result, the Mets plan on Wright playing in a maximum of 130 games in the regular season. They made this possible by signing Asdrubal Cabrera, trading for Neil Walker and also have Wilmer Flores in reserve to make the infield deeper and more pliable. Wright did slash .289/.379/.434 last year but his 18 home run and 17 stolen base season in 2013 seems like a long time ago. For fantasy, this news should help keep Wright fresh but it will affect his counting totals with a game limit already in place. Analysis: Greg Jewett
Zach LaVine has won the Slam Dunk Contest.
In one of the more memorable Slam Dunk Contests in recent memory, two reserves put on a show. Zach LaVine was able to defend his title defeating Aaron Gordon of Orlando in the final. But it was a fantastic display by two players who may merit more playing time than each has been getting. LaVine is having a strong weekend as he also scored 30 points with seven rebounds to be the MVP of the Rising Stars Challenge on Friday night as well. Maybe he can get more playing time going forward for Minnesota as LaVine has only averaged just over 24 minutes a contest with 12.8 points, 2.9 rebounds and 3.2 assists this season. Analysis: Greg Jewett
Klay Thompson has won the 3-Point Shootout.
If anyone took a Warrior to win the 3-Point Shootout versus the field, it was a safe bet. Klay Thompson upset the defending champion and his teammate Steph Curry to win the long range contest at the NBA festivities on Saturday night. Thompson shot an eye-popping 37-for-50 (74 percenty) from beyond the 3-Point arc during the contest. Steph Curry and Devin Booker of Phoenix were also in the final but Thompson's 27 points in the final round cemented his win. For the season, Thompson is averaging 21.3 points per game for Golden State and has shot 42 percent from 3-Point range thus far. Analysis: Greg Jewett
Karl-Anthony Towns won the NBA Skills Challenge.
Score one for the big men of the NBA. Karl-Anthony Towns not only was the first big man to win the Skills Challenge, he is the tallest ever. This was the first year that the contest was not solely for the guards. Towns joins Damian Lillard as the second rookie to win the contest. In the first round, Towns upset Draymond Green, then beat DeMarcus Cousins prior to defeating the Celtic guard Isaiah Thomas in the final. This contest was much better with the big men involved and Towns athleticism was on full display. He did take four three-pointers to win but arrived at the line before Thomas to cement his win and spite his teammate Ricky Rubio who doubted Towns being in the Challenge. More important for fantasy owners is that Towns has averaged 22.3 points, 12 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.9 blocks in his last ten games for Minnesota. He will look to finish strong in the NBA's second half. Analysis: Greg Jewett
Isaiah Thomas said he was approached by a player inquiring about Boston and it’s believed to have been Atlanta’s Al Horford.
Rumors at the All Star Game for the NBA? It is no secret that the NBA trade deadline is fast approaching. Teams will have to decide to be buyers or sellers this week. First time Celtic All Star Isaiah Thomas said a player asked him about Boston. There have been rumors linking the Celtics to Al Horford who is in the last year of a five-year contract with Atlanta. It is believed the Hawks will not give him a max contract, so Horford could be on the block. Thomas has made no qualms about wanting more talent to be in Boston, so four time All Star Horford wold be an improvement. There is much to speculate on with no games, but monitor the trade market for Horford this week. Analysis: Greg Jewett
ESPN’s Chris Broussard said the Heat are gauging trade interest in Hassan Whiteside, and Miami appears open to considering a Whiteside trade.
With the trade deadline looming and the Heat looking to shake things up with the roster, could they trade their valuable young center? Hassan Whiteside has upset his coach with on the court issues, like his one-game suspension for an elbow which will keep him out of the first game following the All Star Weekend. But the problems run deeper for Miami who do not have the cap space to re-sign Whiteside this summer. While Whiteside does have value on the open market, will a team be willing to give up much for a player who is likely to explore free agency? Rumors have the Heat trying to gauge interest in their center who is averaging 12.2 points, 11 rebounds and 3.9 blocks per game and is only 26. But it remains to be seen if they can get full market value for Whiteside. Analysis: Greg Jewett
Robert Griffin III passed his exit physical with the Redskins paving the way for his release.
In the ever changing landscape of the NFL, a quarterback who was thought to be a building block for the Redskins, is nearing his release. Robert Griffin III emerged from his physical unscathed which paves the way for his release. Many teams are rumored to be interested in Griffin, but the early front runners include the Kansas City Chiefs and Dallas Cowboys. Although his future destination is unknown, one thing is certain, Griffin will not be the quarterback for Washington in 2016. Analysis: Greg Jewett
C.J. Anderson said he believes Peyton Manning "should ride off into the sunset" after Denver's Super Bowl victory.
It would appear teammate C.J. Anderson agrees with the overwhelming narrative at the end of Super Bowl 50. His quotes about QB Peyton Manning "riding off into the sunset" would be appropriate especially in light of the recent USA Today article accusing Manning of covering up an incident while in college. As to his statistics, Manning had his lowest quarterback rating since his rookie year with a 67.9 for the 2015 season. He had 17 interceptions against nine touchdowns in the regular season and was reduced to a game manager in the Super Bowl. Perception would tell you going out on top is the best, Manning could be wise to do so. Analysis: Greg Jewett
Coach Adam Gase could give quarterback Ryan Tannehill more freedom and control of the offense.
If Adam Gase can help turn around Jay Cutler, he may be able to teach Ryan Tannehill some new tricks as well. Tannehill did surpass 4,000 yards for the second consecutive season in 2015, but since entering the league in 2012, no quarterback has been sacked more times. When Gase arrived in Chicago, he cut down Cutler's sacks to 29 last year from 38 the season prior. For perspective, Tannehill was sacked 45 times last year. In an effort to keep Tannehill upright, Gase will try to provide his young quarterback with more freedom and to make quicker reads. Gase has extensive background with offensive sets and should make the Dolphins attack more fluid. Tannehill was ranked 21st of 32 quarterbacks in both completion percentage (61.9) and quarterback rating (88.7) in 2015. With a new coach and opportunity, here is hoping that Tannehill can take a step forward in his development. Analysis: Greg Jewett