Steve Kerr’s illness could keep him out for the rest of playoffs

Posted by    |    April 23rd, 2017 at 7:11 pm

Kerr is experiencing health problems again, and the Warriors aren’t sure when he’ll be back.

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr is expected to miss more than just Game 3 with illness, according to the Mercury News’ Marcus Thompson. After Kerr missed Saturday’s game with severe symptoms that put him, at the worst moments, “in excruciating pain,” Kerr’s return to the bench might not happen anytime soon.

Kerr has felt poorly throughout the first-round series against the Trail Blazers, and on Saturday, his condition had worsened enough to keep him from the sidelines. Lead assistant Mike Brown took his place and led Golden State to a 119-113 victory, putting the Warriors up 3-0 in a series with Kevin Durant possibly returning in Game 4 on Monday.

The next day, Kerr gave a quick press conference at the Warriors facility, elaborating a bit more on his struggles.

“With things getting worse, I just made the decision I couldn’t coach. As of now, I’m consulting with my doctors. I’m hoping for some improvement. If I can get some improvement, I’ll get back on the sidelines. But I’m not going to do that unless I know I can help the team.”

Last season, Kerr missed 43 games due to complications from a back surgery and a spinal fluid leak. He wasn’t fully healthy even upon returning, and his symptoms have occasionally returned even this season. But Kerr coached all 82 games and missed only one shootaround this year, per Thompson, so him missing Saturday’s playoff game is a clear sign he’s struggling.

Kerr will continue to game plan with Brown prior to games and will help the team prepare as much as he possibly can. Brown’s prior coaching experience in Cleveland with LeBron James and Los Angeles with Kobe Bryant is a huge part of why he was hired over another assistant who hadn’t been a head coach in the past. The Warriors knew this could potentially happen, and they’re confident with Brown leading the way in Kerr’s absence.

Still, though, the Warriors obviously want to see Kerr back as soon as possible. And because the Warriors aren’t even sure what is causing Kerr’s symptoms, they don’t know for certain when that will be.

Going forward, Kerr’s health is the biggest worry in Golden State. If the Warriors can close out Portland on Monday, it will at least give Kerr time before the team’s second-round series begins.

El Clásico live blog: Scores and highlights from Barcelona vs. Real Madrid

Posted by    |    April 23rd, 2017 at 3:22 pm

Follow along as Real Madrid hosts Barcelona in the biggest match of the La Liga season.

78’ — RED CARD! Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos is shown a straight red, and it’s an easy call. Launched himself into Lionel Messi, high and late, with two feet and got nowhere near the ball.


75’ — Once again, Ronaldo shoots and ter Stegen saves. Had to check to make sure it wasn’t a replay.


73’ — GOAL! Real Madrid 1-2 Barcelona. What a hit by Ivan Rakitić! From 25 yards, the Croatian midfielder curls a shot around the hand of Keylor Navas. The Madrid goalkeeper never had a chance. And if Barca can hold on, they’ll be back in the La Liga title race.


72’ — Yet another ter Stegen save, this time from Asensio. If the score holds, MATS is the clear man of the match.


70’ — Substitution for Real Madrid. Casemiro is off, Mateo Kovacić is on. Casemiro picked up a yellow in the first half and the referee was very kind to not send him off on a couple of occasions. Barca has opted to add some numbers to midfield and push Messi up the pitch, bringing on Andre Gomes for Alcácer.


68’ — Incredible from Navas! Iniesta finds Suárez with a sensational through ball and it looks like he has an easy goal, but Navas quickly gets across his goal and comes up with a fantastic stop.


67’ — Big miss by Ronaldo, though it wasn’t exactly his fault. Benzema plays Asensio through, but he’s not on the same page with his superstar. CR7 moves a hair early, Asensio plays the ball a hair late, Ronaldo reaches back and can’t make good contact.

WOW!#Cristiano fluffs a golden opportunity from 7 yards! #ElClasico pic.twitter.com/UUhnWquLG0

— beIN SPORTS USA (@beINSPORTSUSA) April 23, 2017


65’ — It feels like either team could score at any time. The ball isn’t spending a ton of time in the midfield, both teams are attacking vertically and aggressively.


59’ — Another excellent save by Navas! Piqué wins a header off a corner and directs it towards the top corner, but Madrid’s goalkeeper reacts as quickly as a human being reasonably could.

Saltó @3gerardpique y cabecea la pelota pero el tico reacciona y demuestra su valor bajo los tres palos del @realmadrid #ElClásico pic.twitter.com/K6rr42MULg

— beIN SPORTS Español (@ESbeINSPORTS) April 23, 2017


56’ — Signs of live from Barcelona. Rakitić to Alcácer, but Keylor Navas makes a very nice save. To be honest, Alcácer should have been able to place it somewhere that Navas couldn’t get it, Rakitić’s pass had completely beaten the defense.

This is why #Barca miss @neymarjr #ElClasico pic.twitter.com/MkuL2f6qen

— beIN SPORTS USA (@beINSPORTSUSA) April 23, 2017


53’ — Ter Stegen again! Marcelo to Benzema, but the Barca keeper comes up with a kick save. The Barca defense is virtually absent today.


52’ — Fun fact here: Casemiro is the 100th Madrid player to score in El Clásico.

FACT: With tonight’s goal, Casemiro became the 100th @RealMadridEN player to score in #ElClasico.

https://t.co/wimyrhR9BC pic.twitter.com/9mUEnYEmoi

— MARCA in English (@MARCAinENGLISH) April 23, 2017


48’ — Ter Stegen makes another excellent save. This time, it’s off a 20-yard drive from Toni Kroos, set up brilliantly by Marcelo. Barcelona’s asking a lot of their goalkeeper today.

WHOAAA! @mterstegen1 with the save to redeem himself after the early gaffe. #ElClasico pic.twitter.com/D3nkgmyAze

— beIN SPORTS USA (@beINSPORTSUSA) April 23, 2017


47’ — Marco Asensio looks ready to make an impact. He makes an excellent runs forward, lays off to Carvajal, and Piqué just barely puts it out for a corner to prevent the goal-scoring chance. Nothing comes of the corner, but it’s a good sign for Los Merengues.


46’ — We’re back for the second half. No changes for either team at halftime.


3:45 p.m. — The halftime stats show how each team has executed their style. Barca has 60 percent possession and 93 more completed passes than Madrid, but Los Merengues have had better chances to score. Even though they haven’t been around Barcelona’s box that often, they’ve been dangerous when they got there, putting six shots on target to Barcelona’s one.


HALFTIME — Real Madrid 1-1 Barcelona.

That was everything we ask for from El Clásico and more. Extremely fast paced, spectacular last-ditch defending and a goal for each team. One of the best halves of soccer we’ve watched anywhere in the world this season.


44’ — This is a big moment for Asensio. He’s shown flashes of brilliance this season, but he hasn’t been asked to put together a big end-to-end performance in a game like this before. He’s one of the world’s most promising young players and in line for more playing time next season, but he’s being asked to grow up early.


39’ — Bad news for Madrid. Bale, who had a calf problem coming into this game, goes down clutching that calf. He’ll be subbed off, and interestingly, for Marco Asensio. That suggests Zidane values a goal more than defense and possession; some fans might have expected Isco.


36’ — Big save by ter Stegen. Modrić takes a rip from 20 yards and the German keeper makes an incredible diving stop.


33’ — GOAL! Real Madrid 1-1 Barcelona. What a response from Lionel Messi and the Blaugrana! He picks up a pass on the edge of the box, slaloms through four white shirts and places the ball into the back of the net from 12 yards. Spectacular.

BLOODY FANTASTIC!!!#Messi slaloms through the @realmadriden backline to level matters. #ElClasico pic.twitter.com/Y4eDOSOZaW

— beIN SPORTS USA (@beINSPORTSUSA) April 23, 2017


28’ — GOAL! Real Madrid 1-0 Barcelona. Casemiro scores it! After a corner, Marcelo sends a second ball in, which Sergio Ramos gets on the end of. He hits the post, but Casemiro is in position to tap in the rebound.

GOOOOAL!
@Casemiro opens the scoring as @mterstegen1 wipes egg from his face. #ElClasico pic.twitter.com/wkA4zYRkrq

— beIN SPORTS USA (@beINSPORTSUSA) April 23, 2017

Terrible defense by Barcelona, both Ramos and Casemiro were completely unmarked.


26’ — More of the same: Barca possession, Madrid counters, ter Stegen in control in the Blaugrana net.

Here’s a look at Marcelo’s forearm to Messi’s mouth. It looks completely accidental, the referee was probably correct not to book the Brazilian.

Another look at that crash between @TeamMessi and @MarceloM12 #ElClasico. Catch more angles at https://t.co/IyHKmavGAu pic.twitter.com/fOB2JE7CyV

— beIN SPORTS USA (@beINSPORTSUSA) April 23, 2017


21’ — Uh oh, Lionel Messi has a bloody mouth. He takes an accidental forearm from Marcelo and he doesn’t look great.

Barca’s players aren’t too angry, they seem to realize Marcelo didn’t mean it.


20’ — Marc-André ter Stegen is tested again, he makes another good save on Ronaldo.


18’ — This has settled into a match where Barcelona controls possession and Madrid counters quickly. Karim Benzema just had a shot saved off a fantastic through ball by Luka Modrić.


12’ — Bad news for Madrid, Casemiro is already on a yellow. He got beat badly by Messi, then hacked him down.


11’ — Barcelona has settled down, started putting together some passing moves, and Luis Suárez has their first half-chance. He misses a foot wide from 25 yards.


6’ — All Madrid early. They’re breaking fast quickly with some brilliant long balls. Ronaldo has the first shot of the game saved.

And an interesting wrinkle here — Zinedine Zidane has swapped his forwards. Ronaldo is on the right and Gareth Bale is on the left.


2’ — Big penalty shout! A spectacular diagonal by Sergio Ramos finds Dani Carvajal, who squares for Cristiano Ronaldo. Samuel Umtiti makes an aggressive challenge, but the referee thinks he got more of the ball than the man. And the referee is probably right.


1’ — Kickoff! If there’s a player to keep an eye on to see how the match is going for these teams, it’s Real Madrid’s defensive midfielder, No. 14 Casemiro. He’s been Madrid’s best player at times this season, and he’s had some poor games too. He’ll be tasked with making sure Lionel Messi and Andrés Iniesta can’t get into dangerous areas to create scoring chances.


2:44 p.m. ET — The Madridistas’ tifo says “The world is Real” and depicts their 32 La Liga titles won. If they win this game, they’ll be all but assured of 33.

The Bernabeu!! pic.twitter.com/72Y8vFwvCW

— Managing Madrid (@managingmadrid) April 23, 2017


On Sunday, Barcelona and Real Madrid contest the biggest game of their season so far. And for the Blaugrana, they might need to win the second La Liga edition of El Clásico in order to save their season.

Madrid got a draw at Camp Nou in the first matchup between these two teams, giving them a leg-up in the race for the La Liga title. Los Merengues have a three-point lead on Barca, and they’ll keep the head-to-head tiebreaker over their rivals with a scoreless draw or a victory.

Midweek, Madrid won in Champions League to advance to the semifinal, while Barca was knocked out. That means La Liga is everything to Barcelona now, so this game might mean even more to them than it does to Los Merengues.

This is a live blog, so this post will update constantly as the game is going on. If you refresh, you can see the latest updates above.

Lineups

Real Madrid lineup (4-3-3): Keylor Navas; Marcelo, Sergio Ramos, Nacho, Dani Carvajal, Casemiro, Luka Modrić, Toni Kroos, Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale

Barcelona lineup (4-3-3): Marc-André ter Stegen; Jordi Alba, Samuel Umtiti, Gerard Piqué, Sergi Roberto, Sergio Busquets, Ivan Rakitić, Andrés Iniesta, Paco Alcácer, Luis Suárez, Lionel Messi

Match info, live streaming and TV

Date/time: Sunday, 2:45 p.m. ET

Venue: Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid, Spain

TV: beIN Sports (U.S. and Canada — English), beIN Sports en Español (U.S. and Canada — Spanish), Sky Sports 1 (U.K.), Movistar (Spain).

Online: beIN Sports Connect (U.S. and Canada), Fubo, Sling, go90 (U.S.), Sky Go (U.K.)

Make friends: Hit up Real Madrid community Managing Madrid and Barcelona community Barca Blaugranes.

Check Live Soccer TV for listings from more countries.

John Cena deadlifted 602 pounds on his 40th birthday

Posted by    |    April 23rd, 2017 at 1:16 pm

Age is just a number.

John Cena is celebrating his 40th birthday in true John Cena fashion.

Bringing in 40 with 602. Never let age define drive. #EarnTheDay #NeverGiveUp @WWE @Tapout @espn @SportsCenter pic.twitter.com/JMptCq4Vmj

— John Cena (@JohnCena) April 23, 2017

Deadlifting!

Let’s do some math. If he’s turning 40, and he deadlifted 602 pounds, that’s a little more than 15 pounds for each year of his life. That’s 1.25 pounds for every month he has lived. Or 150 pounds for every decade.

Anyway, congratulations, John, on making it to the big 4-0 and not letting it slow you down!

Cena recently had another landmark when he proposed to longtime girlfriend Nikki Bella at WrestleMania 33.

It’s been a good year for Cena, and if this deadlift video is any indication, it’ll only get better.

Real Madrid vs. Barcelona: The 5 best El Clásico assists ever

Posted by    |    April 23rd, 2017 at 11:01 am

From Ronaldinho to David Beckham to Lionel Messi.

We already know the best goals in El Clasico history. If we are speaking of the clash as a whole and not just in the league, the best individual efforts are Gareth Bale turning Marc Bartra’s body into dust and condemning his soul to the underworld in 2014, Ronaldinho making a young Sergio Ramos do the splits before scoring in 2005 and Lionel Messi dribbling through a sea of defenders before beating Iker Casillas in 2011. The best team goals are every single goal that Barcelona scored in the 6-2 in 2009 and also the 5-0 win in 2010. Roberto Carlos in 2000 with his ridiculous rocket free kick and Dani Alves with his first time shot from outside the box in 2012 are two of the best strikes in general. The best chip was Messi’s in 2008. The one that made Fabio Cannavaro run into the post and injure himself.

The point is, there’s a litany of spectacular goals but surprisingly, not that many outstanding assists. Since the game is usually played by some of the best players in the world, the great goals seem to come down to great individual efforts more than anything. There’s a lot of simple finishes as well, but the setups for most of the goals are usually either very standard or the result of great interplay. You don’t really need an amazing pass for David Villa or Zidane to effortlessly curl the ball around the keeper with a defender closing down.

Still, there are some really great assists. And I’ve chosen the best five. The criteria for “the best” boils down to, these are the ones that I like and think are really cool.

5. David Beckham’s long ball for Michael Owen goal in Real Madrid’s 4-2 win in 2005.

This is a great assist on its own but it also comes down to the novelty of it. Two Englishmen combining to score in Spain’s greatest game. The extra layer of gold paint on the Bentley dissecting the Barcelona defense with a long ball so that the great English hope that died out because of injuries could score. The quality of Owen’s goal doesn’t match that of the assist, but I’m going to suggest that it’s because Owen is one of the most boring humans alive and that goal was just his dull personality showing itself.

4. Messi’s assist for Thierry henry’s first goal in Barcelona’s 6-2 win in 2009.

It’s not even a lob, it’s just a little dink. But it’s a very cruel assist. First, that Henry pulled Ramos inside and lulled him into a false sense of security and then Messi’s sadistic ball that was close enough that Ramos felt that he could get it if he just stretched every sinew in his body, yet all he could do was embarrass himself and look on as the ball sailed right over him. The two Barcelona players bullied him. After what Ronaldinho had done to Ramos a few years prior, it’s hard not to think that Barcelona’s strategy in El Clasico is “try to make Sergio Ramos look as bad as possible.”

3. Xavi’s assist for Messi’s goal in Barcelona’s 6-2 win in 2009.

The deception! Xavi used his signature move to take out three defenders, who for some reason, thought that the midfielder was such a threat that they abandoned and allowed Messi to run through unopposed. But that’s a bit unfair to them, Xavi’s little spin is mesmerizing. There was little that they could do. The second that he received the pass, they were all under his spell. Just as you can’t put too much blame on someone who does nonsensical things under the influence of a powerful drug, we can’t really be too hard on the defenders for converging on Xavi and being treated so horribly by him.

2. Karim Benzema’s backheel/sidefoot flick for Ronaldo’s goal in Real Madrid’s 1-2 loss in 2015

Gerard Pique’s backheel might have been good but he looked like he was trying really hard to do it. And nothing cool should look that effortful. Benzema is the definition of cool. Not just from his instagram but he looks so graceful and relaxed when he plays. He’s not Zidane or Mesut Ozil levels of serenity but he’s damn close. This flick was a great example of that. Luka Modric and Ronaldo did their parts of the goal with so much strain and intensity and Benzema just casually draws away a defender and lays it on a plate for the finish. It’s sumptuous.

1. Ronaldinho’s scoop in Barcelona’s 2-1 win in 2004

This is just so good. So effortless. Ray Hudson might be tempted to even call it magical. Magisterial. It’s unfair to the defense who were tactically where they were supposed to be, only so they could watch open-mouthed as the ball sails over them their heads. It’s Ronaldinho at his best, doing the comical with such ease that he deceives the watcher into thinking that the skill itself isn’t that hard. But it is, he is just that amazing.

The Grizzlies and Spurs gave us a show for the ages

Posted by    |    April 23rd, 2017 at 9:18 am

Good morning. We have that and more in Sunday’s NBA newsletter.

I’m going to be honest here: I did not anticipate the Memphis Grizzlies giving the San Antonio Spurs any sort of trouble. San Antonio has an incredible defense and a pretty good offense led by a top-10 scorer. Memphis has a real good defense and a completely mediocre offense. If something’s going to give, it’s going to be the Memphis defense, not that of the Spurs.

Unless Mike Conley decides no Spur can hang with him, which is what Conley figured out in Games 3 and 4 in the Grindhouse. Conley finished Saturday’s series-tying Memphis win with 35 points and eight assists. The Spurs put Kawhi Leonard on him, and Conley still found ways to hurt San Antonio. He’s just so good.

As was the game. Kawhi (43 points) and Conley traded baskets late, and Marc Gasol scored the game-winning runner with seconds left in overtime. We’re all tied up going back to Texas.

And never forget where this all started.

Playoff Scores …

Raptors 87, Bucks 76 (Series tied 2-2)

Wizards 98, Hawks 116 (WAS leads 2-1)

Spurs 108, Grizzlies 110 (Series tied 2-2)

Warriors 119, Blazers 113 (GSW leads 3-0)

… And Links Galore

Sunday Shootaround is sticking around for the NBA playoffs — praise be to Paul Flannery — and this week the focus is Bulls vs. Celtics, the series where nothing makes sense. Flanns also has his five playoff heroes, and the best numbers and quotes of the week. Check it out.

Before Marc Gasol’s game-winner, there was Andrew Harrison’s season-saving chasedown block.

The Warriors spotted the Blazers a big first-half lead without Kevin Durant or Steve Kerr (more on him shortly), and then ripped out Portland’s heart late. So much for Blazers in six.

Kerr missed the game due to illness. Marcus Thompson reports that Kerr is in such bad shape that he isn’t expected back this series. He’s been in excruciating pain and at times been unable to walk. This is not good.

The Bucks had a perfectly good opportunity to put their series against Toronto in vice grips in a Saturday slugfest. Instead, Toronto’s stars came through. Milwaukee fans chanted “Bucks in six!” in the dying moments of Game 4, though, so not all was lost.

The Hawks came hard from the jump to put the Wizards away early. John Wall was awesome (I mean, GOOD LORD), but Atlanta had an edge we don’t typically see.

Sunday’s schedule:
Cavaliers at Pacers, 1 p.m. ET, ABC (CLE leads 3-0)
Rockets at Thunder, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC (HOU leads 2-1)
Celtics at Bulls, 6:30 p.m. ET, TNT (CHI leads 2-1)
Clippers at Jazz, 9 p.m. ET, TNT (LAC leads 2-1)

Markieff Morris called Paul Millsap — Paul Millsap! — a crybaby after Game 3. Paul Millsap!

Blake Griffin will miss the rest of the postseason with a toe injury. It’s just the latest chapter in the Clippers’ cursed history.

New weird Kobe video!