Adam Silver considering NBA playoffs format change

Commissioner Adam Silver has a compromise for those wanting to change the NBA playoffs format.

The league has experienced an imbalance of power in recent years, with more good teams in the Western Conference. That has prompted some to suggest the playoffs should take the 16 best NBA teams, regardless of conference.

There are always whispers and rumblings, and Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum is aware of them. In the two years before this one, Portland has carved out an identity as a pretty good offensive team and a so-so defensive team, and the results have been predictable. The Trail Blazers won 41 games last year on their way to a postseason spot, and 44 games in 2015-16, when they slipped into the second round of the playoffs by knocking off an injury-battered Clippers team.

That’s led to speculation that Portland, over the salary cap and sitting on two years of hefty contracts for Evan Turner, Meyers Leonard and Maurice Harkless ($39 million for the trio next year, and $41 million in 2019-20), would eventually have to deal either McCollum or fellow star guard Damian Lillard in order to diversify the roster.

The pair is signed through 2021, slated to make $50-60 million per year combined. It’s not easy to build a true contender with half the available cap space spent on guards, but it’s where the Blazers are now.

Court documents obtained by the San Antonio Express-News and KSAT-12 stated that the divorce had been filed on the grounds of conflict “that destroy the legitimate ends of the marriage relationship and prevents any reasonable expectation of reconciliation.”

According to the report, Hawn Holt and Mr. Holt will enter into an Baseball Jerseys Wholesale agreement for the division of their estate, which raised questions about the Buy Cheap Jerseys Online future of the franchise.

Boston has been the best team in the East for most of the year, with LeBron James and Cleveland still looming, Toronto only two games back of first place and teams like Miami and Philadelphia making pushes to add veterans — like Williams and Evans. There’s an NBA Finals opportunity here for Boston, and securing the bench might be the key to taking advantage of it.

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MLB Preview and Predictions: Who Wins the World Series?

All week long, we’ve been previewing the upcoming Major League Baseball season, and after picking our top teams, it’s time to crown a World Series champion.

For those that have missed an edition or two, here’s who we picked to be among the 10 playoff teams in MLB this season:

AL West Champion: Houston Astros

AL Central Champion:Kansas City Royals

AL East Champion: Toronto Blue Jays

AL Wild Cards: Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Angels

NL West Champion:San Francisco Giants

NL Central Champion:Chicago Cubs

NL East Champion: New York Mets

NL Wild Cards: Pittsburgh Pirates, Washington Nationals

Now, with our picks locked in, it’s time to go through the playoff picture.

Wild Card Games:Boston over Los Angeles, Pittsburgh over Washington

The Cubs are the most complete team in baseball.

Sure, the Mets likely have a better pitching staff. Sure, the Royals are incredible defensively. Heck, the Tigers have a lineup full of mashers.

The thing is that Jed Hoyer and Theo Epstein have seen numerous weaknesses in this club and have used free agency to shore them up. John Lackey is going to make the Cubs’ rotation really strong come playoff time. Zobrist and Heyward are the perfect guys to get on-base ahead of power hitters.

This team has everything they need to go far this season, and even though history suggests that picking the Cubs is a fool’s errand, it makes sense to crown them as the best team in baseball.

In the National League, the Cubs will be able to set their pitching staff and have home-field advantage over Pittsburgh, giving them two critical edges to go along with their potent lineup, which can score in a variety of ways. The Giants may not have the horses in the rotation that the Mets do, but they’re defensively sound and their pitching is good enough to overcome a Mets’ offense that has been weakened a bit by the departure of Daniel Murphy, and the Giants move on.

Championship Series:Kansas City over Houston, Chicago over San Francisco

Much like the Cubs in 2015, one gets the sense that the young Astros may have a tough time figuring out how to deal with their opponent in a really tough series. With home-field advantage, we’re giving Kansas City the edge here.

In the N.L., the Giants have some serious weapons to deal with, including Madison Bumgarner and Buster Posey, but the Cubs are absolutely built for a playoff series like this. Jason Heyward could go bonkers at the cavernous AT&T Park, and Ben Zobrist could also help set the table for the rest of the Cubs’ power hitters.

World Series: Chicago over Kansas City

The wild card contests are a total coin-flip, but we’ll try to take a stab at justifying the picks anyway. Boston will likely pitch David Price in a winner-take-all game, and although he hasn’t been able to really come through in the postseason during his career, the tide eventually has to turn for him.

As for Pittsburgh, they are one of the most complete teams in baseball, and even though we’re picking the Cubs to finish ahead of them in the Central race, a Gerrit Cole start in this game will be enough to knock off the Bryce Harper-led Nationals.

Division Series:Kansas City over Boston, Houston over Toronto, Chicago over Pittsburgh, San Francisco over New York

The Royals are a pesky bunch, and with Price throwing in the wild card game, they jump out to an early lead and bury the Red Sox. The Astros have a better pitching staff than the Blue Jays, and with the lineups closer in terms of ability, we’re picking Houston narrowly there.

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