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Warriors dominance in the West shows no sign of relenting

By Shaun Powell, NBA.com We have reached the point in this Golden State Warriors’ chokehold on the Western Conference where it turns spooky: The last team out West to deny the Warriors (technically) no longer exists. Yes, the LA Clippers are still right where they’ve always been. But all other traces of May 3, 2014, when they beat the Warriors in the first round of the playoffs, have turned to dust. Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, JJ Redick, DeAndre Jordan, Jamal Crawford -- they’re all gone. Usually, it’s the loser who feels the cold repercussions and fallout of a first-round defeat in the playoffs. But what’s often lost as the Warriors run the table in the West is how they’ve shattered so many teams, schemes and dreams along the way. In hindsight, four years ago was not the beginning of “Lob City” and the Clippers. It was the beginning of their end. The wreckage left behind by the Warriors over the ensuing 53 months underlines the undeniable truth: They’ve taken ownership of their very own West Side Story. They had a record-setting 73-win regular season. They’ve won 12 straight West payoff series (and 15 of 16 playoff series overall). Only twice – the West finals in 2016 and '18 -- did they endure the indignity of needing to survive Game 7 in the West playoffs. In short, this dynasty shows no signs of dying this season. If anything, the argument can be made -- even before it’s proven as fact -- that the 2018-19 Warriors are their most talented team yet. All-Stars Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson welcomed a fifth, DeMarcus Cousins, to their mix this summer. That is not typical in the NBA, folks. “This," Durant said, "is going to be an exciting season. Fun.” The Warriors’ five All-Stars (two of whom are former Kia MVPs) are still in their prime. And given that Andre Iguodala tends to transform from a fossil to an X-factor when spring arrives, perhaps only injury or another uncontrollable circumstance will keep the Warriors from making it an NBA-record five straight Western Conference crowns. “In terms of encouraging each other, being in tune with some of the things that might be thrown at you, whether it's injuries, whether it's a couple of slumps on the court, whatever the case is, we adapt really well and we don't stay down for too long,” Curry said. The Rockets, who won 65 games a season ago, are perhaps the most realistic challenger to the Warriors out West. But it's quite possible that Houston is weaker than it was in 2017-18. To understand how high the Warriors are sitting on the throne, you must survey what they’ve left behind. Just look at how the biggest threats in the West have either hit dead ends or maxed themselves out trying to chase the Warriors since 2014. Memphis Grizzlies: At one point, they were considered the toughest matchup for the Warriors because they were polar opposite in style. Half-court and methodical, the Grizzlies took a switchblade to the basketball, slowing the tempo. And they exploited Golden State’s lone weaknesses: Interior size and overall strength. They physically beat up the Warriors in the paint (Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol) and on the perimeter (Tony Allen). Additionally, Mike Conley was at times a handful at point guard at a time when Curry was winning MVP awards. But health and age wore the Grizzlies down and eventually forced them into a current reinvention that likely won’t reap benefits until after the Warriors are finished. Oklahoma City Thunder: As one of only two West teams (Houston being the other) to force the Warriors into a seventh game, OKC was prime for a takeover in 2016. That season, OKC eliminated a 67-win San Antonio Spurs team in the West semfinals. Durant and Russell Westbrook were healthy, humming and helping the Thunder to a 3-1 lead in the West finals. That, however, was their apex, and the costly collapse was heightened by the “Klay Game” (41 points in Game 6). Imagine, if not for a fateful turn of events -- Klay’s 3-point rampage, KD’s second-half Game 7 vapor and the Warriors losing the 2016 Finals to Cleveland -- maybe Durant sticks around in OKC. At any rate, the post-2016 West finals reconstruction being done by the Thunder (Exhibit A: The short-lived Carmelo Anthony experience) is falling short so far. Portland Trail Blazers: They were never seriously considered a thorn to the Warriors, and still aren’t. It’s just that they played themselves. They were fooled by the events in 2016, when they beat the injury-hampered Clippers in the first round. They were then somewhat competitive against the Warriors in the West semifinals (winning one game by 12, losing another in OT and the elimination game by just four). Flushed with false hope, that summer the Blazers handed out rich extensions to rotational players and, unfortunately, locked themselves into a team that hasn’t won a playoff game since. San Antonio Spurs: Like the Grizzlies, the Spurs caused trouble for the Warriors because of their disciplined style that put the brakes on the pace. San Antonio ruled the West just prior to the Warriors’ run and the proud franchise wasn’t willing to relinquish its hold so easily, causing the Warriors to shiver by winning the regular season matchup from 2014-16. Still, like Memphis, the Spurs turned gray almost overnight. Tim Duncan retired, Tony Parker lost some zip and then, of course, came the sneaky Zaza Pachulia foot plant that KO’d Kawhi Leonard in the first game of their 2017 series. It hasn’t been the same for the Spurs, who shipped off the disgruntled Leonard this summer. Houston Rockets: While the Warriors were able to build around Curry to create a dynasty, the Rockets are in their third attempt to do likewise with James Harden. The Dwight Howard experiment was an exploding cigar, and then the strategy of turning Harden into a point guard failed to draw blood. Chris Paul arrived last season and the best record in the West followed, but Paul has always limped at the wrong time. True to form, his body failed him in the conference finals, just when the Rockets were up 3-2 on the Warriors and primed to issue a stunning statement. The conference-wide process of teams searching for the formula to bring an end to this “Golden” era has taken on an interesting twist. Except for the Rockets, who shuffled their deck slightly this summer, other West contenders are on a semi-defeatist two-year plan. As in: We’re not ready now, but look out in a coupla years! LeBron James joined the Lakers this summer, but it’s hard to take them seriously when LeBron himself says his new team isn’t breathing the same air as the defending champs. His supporting cast is a mix of pups with no playoff experience and vets who’ve seen better days. It’s foolhardy to doubt the potential of any team with LeBron — eight straight trips to the championship round is no joke, even if it came through the East. But they’ll stand a better chance next season, especially if they’re bringing Kawhi or Jimmy Butler by then. There’s also the Utah Jazz, a Spurs-like operation led by a pair of Spurs alums in GM Dennis Lindsey and coach Quin Snyder. Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell is a star in the making, but you need more than one of those to match Golden State. Perhaps in time, Mitchell will get a shotgun rider, but Utah is a tough sell for A-list free agents. Houston stands out from the pack with Harden, Paul and center Clint Capela, who gave the Warriors fits last spring. They’re still an attractive, turnkey team. Adding Anthony provides scoring, but does he impact a potential West finals rematch in 2019? With Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute gone, where is the perimeter defense coming from? Is it possible that Houston, with Paul aging, had its best chance last spring and didn’t cash in? It’s also possible the Warriors will do everyone in the West a favor and destroy themselves in the very near future. Durant can become a free agent next summer. Thompson’s contract is up, too, although he’s been very clear about his preference to stay even if that means making below market value. “What’s happening right now is going to be really tough to replicate for anybody,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “You have the proverbial window, however you want to put it. We have an incredible opportunity that’s just not always going to be here. We want to take full advantage not only from a success standpoint but from an enjoyment standpoint. “We’re well aware that it’s not going to last forever.” But that’s getting ahead of the story here, which is whether the Warriors will fall shy of The Finals for the first time since 2014. A three-time champion is bringing everyone back and will add a bonus whenever the healing Cousins returns. Basketball can sometimes be a funny game and anything can happen to throw this scenario for a loop. Until then, however, it's hard to imagine anything derailing another season of Warriors dominance. Veteran NBA writer Shaun Powell has worked for newspapers and other publications for more than 25 years. You can e-mail him here or follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting. .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: Sports13 hr. 51 min. ago Related News

Overseas Filipinos’ cash remittances (August 2018)

CASH remittances slipped in August from a year ago due to lower inflows from the Middle East, the central bank said on Monday, which could signal softer household spending in the third quarter. Read the full story. The post Overseas Filipinos’ cash remittances (August 2018) appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Source: Bworldonline BworldonlineCategory: FinanceOct 16th, 2018Related News

Director Irene Villamor defends Nadine Lustre from critic who called her ‘flop queen’

Director Irene Villamor recently came to the defense of actress Nadine Lustre after a basher called her "flop queen" online. Following the success of "Sid and Aya: Not a Love Story," which saw Anne Curtis and Dingdong Dantes together on the big screen, Villamor is now working on her next film, "Ulan," which stars Carlo Aquino and Lustre. Aquino took to his Instagram recently and shared a photo of him and Lustre shooting a scene for the movie. In Aquino's post yesterday, Oct. 15, he and Lustre are seen standing in the rain in what looked like a jeepney stop in the University of the Philippines Diliman campus in Quezon City. "Munting palaruan noong aking kabataan," Aquino wrote o...Keep on reading: Director Irene Villamor defends Nadine Lustre from critic who called her ‘flop queen’.....»»

Source: Inquirer InquirerCategory: Oct 16th, 2018Related News

2018-19 NBA Preview: It s the Warriors, and then everyone else

By Tim Reynolds, Associated Press NBA Commissioner Adam Silver will be at Oracle Arena on Tuesday night, handing the Golden State Warriors what will be their third set of championship rings from the last four seasons. A banner will be displayed. Highlights will be shown. And then the Warriors will have to start all over again. The NBA’s 73rd season starts Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time), beginning a year where LeBron James will play for the Los Angeles Lakers, where Carmelo Anthony will aim to push the Houston Rockets over the top, where Dwyane Wade will take his 16th and final lap around the league. A new arena is opening in Milwaukee, eight teams will have new coaches, and everyone will be looking to see if the Warriors can win a third straight title. “None of us are ready for this run to come to an end,” said Golden State’s Draymond Green, part of all three Warriors’ titles in this four-year run of dominance. “So we’ve got to continue to approach it like we’ve got zero. And that’s cliche and impossible to do, but you want to try to get as close to that as you possibly can. And that’s my mindset always entering the season.” They will be the overwhelming favorites, with good reason. The Warriors still have Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Green, plus added All-Star big man DeMarcus Cousins — coming off an injury — on a bargain $5.3 million deal. And calling all the shots is coach Steve Kerr, who won five rings as a player and now three more as a coach. “If they don’t win, it’s a failure,” Memphis guard Mike Conley Jr. said. “I know that’s how they feel as well. For us, for the other 29 teams, we’re the underdog. We’re trying to take what they have. It’s a lot easier playing from the underdog perspective than coming in with a lot of expectation.” In this NBA, everybody else is an underdog. That even applies to Houston — which won 65 games last season, has the reigning MVP in James Harden, an elite point guard in Chris Paul who re-signed for $160 million this summer, a deep-pocketed owner in Tilman Fertitta and an always-tinkering GM in Daryl Morey. The Rockets had the Warriors against the ropes in last season’s Western Conference finals, leading that series 3-2 yet falling after Paul was lost to a hamstring injury. “We’ve all got one goal, man,” Harden said. “You’ll keep hearing the same story over and over until I’m not here no more. We’ve got to win a ’chip. We’ve all got the same goal. We kind of, a little bit, we kind of know what it takes to almost get there. But we haven’t gotten there yet.” The Warriors are the best team and the Rockets had the best record, but the best player is now in L.A. After 15 seasons in the Eastern Conference, James — who has played in each of the last eight NBA Finals — has moved West. He signed a four-year deal in July with the Lakers, one that makes him the biggest star on the league’s glitziest franchise. He’s teamed up with talented young players like Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram, and former rivals like Rajon Rondo and Lance Stephenson. “I’m a basketball player,” James said. “I play ball. That’s what I do and that’s what I live by. And when I do it at the level I do it at, everything else takes care of itself.” The only certainty in the NBA this season is that James won’t win the East — ending an eight-year run of that, four in Miami and four in Cleveland. Boston, Philadelphia and Toronto (with the newly acquired Kawhi Leonard) are the top candidates to take over as East champions. The Celtics had a Game 7, at home, to get to the NBA Finals last season and lost to James and Cleveland, but now get Gordon Hayward back and a healthy Kyrie Irving again. Miami has been trying to get Jimmy Butler from Minnesota, and if they do — someone will get Butler before the trade deadline — the Heat may be able to get back into East contention. It might be Dirk Nowitzki’s last season in Dallas. Gregg Popovich no longer has Tony Parker or Manu Ginobili with him in San Antonio, and the Spurs (who have been battered by injuries, including one to point guard Dejounte Murray) are no lock to extend their 21-year run of playoff appearances. Sneakerheads will have a big season, because the NBA now says players may wear whatever colors of kicks that they want. There’s plenty of stories. But in the end, it’ll be all about someone finding a way to beat Golden State — or not. “I’ll get back to you when somebody cracks that code,” Wade said. “In this game, the most important thing is health. If they stay healthy, it’s tough to beat them. There’s teams that can, but you’ve got to do it, and you’re going to have to do it four times.”.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsOct 16th, 2018Related News

Isko Moreno’s Top 10 life lessons

If there is one person who has an inspiring story worth telling, it’s Francisco Moreno Domagoso, better known as Isko Moreno......»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: NewsOct 15th, 2018Related News

The RH Bill Story: Contentions and Compromises

MANILA, Philippines — The Ateneo de Manila University Press, in partnership with Rappler, the Philippine Center for Population and Development, and the Philippine Legislator’s Committee on Population and Development, will launch The RH Bill Story: Contentions and Compromises by Marilen J. Dañguilan on Friday afternoon, October 19, ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsOct 15th, 2018Related News

GMA casts woman in transgender role in its new afternoon drama

GMA NETWORK embarks on a journey of love and identity with its newest afternoon drama, Asawa Ko, Karibal Ko, which tells the story of a scorned wife whose rival in love is her transgender ex-husband. The post GMA casts woman in transgender role in its new afternoon drama appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Source: Bworldonline BworldonlineCategory: NewsOct 15th, 2018Related News

Moby to publish second memoir ‘Then It Fell Apart’

Moby will continue telling his life story in a second memoir that is slated to be published in May. Titled "Then It Fell Apart," the new book is described as "a journey into the dark heart of fame and the demons that lurk beneath the bling and bluster of celebrity lifestyle." The new volume is the sequel to "Porcelain," Moby's 2016 memoir in which he covered his life from 1989-1999, reflecting on the underground hip-hop and house music scenes of the late 1980s, the rise of rave culture and club kids, and a changing New York City. That story wrapped up the year when Moby released his star-making album "Play." Suddenly, reads the description of the upcoming sequel: "...Keep on reading: Moby to publish second memoir ‘Then It Fell Apart’.....»»

Source: Inquirer InquirerCategory: Oct 15th, 2018Related News

Bring sexy back in your everyday look with these back-baring outfits

Dresses or blouses with low-cut backs aren't just for parties or for GNOs, they can also be elegant and wearable for just about any occasion---may it be an office presentation, or any other formal event. Just look at Princess Eugenie and her back-baring wedding gown which she consciously chose to highlight the scar she got from a surgery to treat her scoliosis. We loved her fashion statement so much that we made a list of outfits you can wear, inspired by that very wedding dress. If you have a similar story as Princess Eugenie's, and was inspired enough to want to show off your scar, too---or if you just want to highlight your sexy back, here are our picks for chic and elegant back-bar...Keep on reading: Bring sexy back in your everyday look with these back-baring outfits.....»»

Source: Inquirer InquirerCategory: Oct 15th, 2018Related News

Paco Alcacer making most of 2nd chance with Spain

By Joseph Wilson, Associated Press BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Close to seeing his career stagnate, Paco Alcacer is making the most of a second chance to become Spain's top striker. Alcacer scored twice in his first appearance for Spain in two-and-a-half years to lead a 4-1 away win at Wales in a friendly last week. On Monday, the former Barcelona player will likely feature again when Spain hosts England in Seville seeking a second win over Gareth Southgate's team in the incipient Nations League. "I'm happy that I was able to help the team by doing what we strikers are supposed to, which is provide goals," Alcacer said after Thursday's match in Cardiff. "I just have to keep this good dynamic going." The 25-year-old Alcacer has been rejuvenated since leaving Barcelona on loan for Borussia Dortmund in August, a turnaround that has ended a hiatus from Spain's national team that was in danger of becoming a permanent adios. Previous to his two goals for Spain against Wales, Alcacer had scored seven times in a four-match scoring run for Dortmund. That streak included netting a spectacular hat trick that he completed on the last kick of the game for a 4-3 win over Augsburg. Ironically, Alcacer's slide toward oblivion at Barcelona began under current Spain coach Luis Enrique when he was condemned to a reserve role behind the superstar trio of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez in 2016-17. Not even Neymar's departure at the start of last season changed the situation at Camp Nou for Alcacer. Favoring other players, new coach Ernesto Valverde gave him fewer appearances than Luis Enrique. So Alcacer decided that his best option was to leave Spain and try his luck in Germany. And it turned out that Alcacer just needed a chance to play. With his brace against Wales, Alcacer showed his leading quality as a striker. He is not the fastest, the strongest, nor the slickest passer; he is a pure goal scorer who excels at putting one-touch shots in-between the posts. Against Wales, Alcacer fired a rising right-footed shot into the near corner for the lead— and his first goal with Spain since Oct. 2015. He then put the win beyond doubt by poaching a clearance in the area to make it 3-0. "Alcacer is playing superbly because he is on a scoring streak, but overall his attitude has been marvelous," said Luis Enrique, who called Alcacer up to fill the void left by the injured Diego Costa. Alcacer was not supposed to need a comeback story. Four years ago, former Spain manager Vicente del Bosque considered Alcacer, along with Alvaro Morata, as his strikers of the future. The then Valencia player led Spain in qualifying for the 2016 European championship with five goals, but when he struggled to score for his club in the run-up to the tournament Del Bosque dropped him from his squad. Banished to the bench following his move to Barcelona from Valencia, Alcacer was also ignored by Julen Lopetegui in his two-year tenure that took Spain to last summer's World Cup. Circumstances, however, have put Alcacer in good position to now succeed for "La Roja." While competition remains fierce in the positions of midfielder and playmaker for Spain, the striker job is up for grabs. Long gone are the days when David Villa and Fernando Torres flourished up front for the 2010 world champions, as both Costa and Morata have failed to show they can be counted on for goals. Alcacer said that he had been preparing for this return to his best form. "It's about several things," he said, "about getting on a hot streak, about self-confidence, about having playing time, and, above all, about working each day when you are not playing so you can be ready.".....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsOct 15th, 2018Related News

‘Liway’ review: What s the price of freedom?

In one scene in Kip Oebanda’s Liway, Dakip (Kenken Nuyad), while addressing a crowd of protesters outside the camp where he has lived all of his life, tells the story of how he saw a mannequin, how it looks almost like a real human, except that ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsOct 13th, 2018Related News

Edgar Allan Guzman, Kim Rodriguez: defend their love from engkanto in Wagas

Edgar Allan Guzman and Kim Rodriguez banner a mysterious love story in Wagas this Saturday (October 13). Trying to win the heart of someone you love is difficult enough when you have competition. But the playing field becomes more challenging when your rival turns out to be an engkanto—or a mythical environmental spirit. For Daniela […] The post Edgar Allan Guzman, Kim Rodriguez: defend their love from engkanto in Wagas appeared first on The Daily Guardian......»»

Source: Thedailyguardian ThedailyguardianCategory: NewsOct 12th, 2018Related News

Fil-Am playwright-actor tackles fatherhood, politics-in a bathroom

The work depicts the story of a teenaged Filipino boy who locks himself in the bathroom after having seen an excerpt of Shakespeare's 'Julius Caesar' on a television show. The boy�.....»»

Source: Philippinetimes PhilippinetimesCategory: NewsOct 12th, 2018Related News

My teacher Estela

Photo credit World Bank When I was 13, my literature teacher Estela asked the class to look at two drawings and write down a story about each one them. I looked at the drawings: one was of a man in a.....»»

Source: Manilanews ManilanewsCategory: NewsOct 12th, 2018Related News

Rajo Laurel’s collection: Why the audience should get his story

  When Rajo Laurel presents his 110-piece collection in the Red Charity Gala Ball on Oct. 27, the audience, unfortunately, may not readily see the big story.   The story in this always much-awaited annual spectacle ---the show is as much off the ramp as on it, because the guests simply "out-ball gown" each other---lies beneath the drama that is a fashion show. Since the show usually starts past 11 p.m., after the auction, you hope the audience will keep their eyes wide open for the craft and design of the collection.   (The Red Charity Gala producers Tessa Prieto-Valdes and Kaye Tiga remain unsurpassed in staging record-breaking benefit auctions.) &nb...Keep on reading: Rajo Laurel’s collection: Why the audience should get his story.....»»

Source: Inquirer InquirerCategory: Oct 12th, 2018Related News

Fire razes Binondo residential building

A fire of unknown origin struck an eight-story commercial and residential building along Soler St. in Binondo, Manila on Friday morning, the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) said. BFP Fire Officer Darwin Dizon said the fire started at 5:49 a.m. and was quickly raised to the third alarm 10 minutes later. The BFP declared the fire under control at 7:15 a.m. No one was reported hurt in the incident. The cause of the fire is still being determined by arson probers. /muf...Keep on reading: Fire razes Binondo residential building.....»»

Source: Inquirer InquirerCategory: Oct 12th, 2018Related News

Through the years

A clear-eyed chronicler has been telling the Filipino story over the past 12 decades “NEWS is the first rough draft of history.” Written 75 years ago in a book review by Alan Barth, an editorialist at The Washington Post, the quoted line above could not be more meaningful to any of the Philippine newspapers than [...] The post Through the years appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Source: Manilatimes_net Manilatimes_netCategory: NewsOct 11th, 2018Related News

The grand dame enters the world of multimedia

Running faster at 120, The Manila Times steps into the AI-driven century IT may well be the story of the century: On its 120th anniversary, in the year when artificial intelligence-driven cameras and blockchain technology are developed to either help clean up the oceans or deter counterfeiting and ensure global food supply, The Manila Times [...] The post The grand dame enters the world of multimedia appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Source: Manilatimes_net Manilatimes_netCategory: NewsOct 11th, 2018Related News

Lionel Messi to star in Cirque du Soleil show

Barcelona and Argentina star Lionel Messi's stellar career will be the subject of a new Cirque du Soleil show next year, the five-time world player of the year said Wednesday. "I am proud to announce the creation of a new Cirque du Soleil show in 2019 based on the story of my life and passion for football," said Messi, whose Instagram feed showed him clad in a T-shirt of the Canadian troupe famed for their extravagant shows. Messi had Monday posted a video of himself wearing the shirt and juggling what appeared to be a red clown nose. Cirque du Soleil said on their website that they were thrilled to confirm the link-up with Messi, 31. "The show will draw its inspiration f...Keep on reading: Lionel Messi to star in Cirque du Soleil show.....»»

Source: Inquirer InquirerCategory: Oct 11th, 2018Related News

It s War | Conclusion

After more than two years and  an estimated 23,518 deaths under investigation , Rappler tells the story of Rodrigo Duterte's drug war from the eyes of the killers. In early 2017, the Philippine National Police (PNP)  arrested  members of a vigilante gang suspected of preying on drug suspects and criminals in Tondo, Manila. The group was ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsOct 11th, 2018Related News