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TattooBarbie Discovers Geocaching

first_img SharePrint RelatedNovember Geocacher of the Month Nominees – Add Your CommentDecember 13, 2013In “Community”Featured Geocacher of the Month Award WinnersAugust 25, 2011In “Community”January Featured Geocacher of the Month Nominees – Add Your CommentsJanuary 9, 2013In “Community” Share with your Friends:More After attending Geocoinfest 2013: Las Vegas, Nevada, TattooBarbie and her friend cybercat completed the El Dorado series. They had so much fun they decided to also do the Route 66 series!This is the story of a woman with Asperger’s, who became a geocacher with Asperger’s. It’s not about conquering a disorder or beating an affliction. It’s about something more. It’s about the most human of all conditions: adaptation. It’s a condition geocachers are known to excel at, and Toni Brown first discovered that at work.In many ways, Toni (Username: TattooBarbie) is a geocacher like many others: adventurous, fun, and outgoing. But this has not always been the case.Long before she discovered geocaching, Toni was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome.  She says, “With Asperger Syndrome, it’s sort of a problem with your social life. You just don’t fit in. You don’t understand people and people don’t understand you. That has led me to have a rather secluded life.” Like many others with Asperger’s, Toni found it difficult to meet new friends and to get outside.Then, one fateful work retreat, she found a way to do both. Toni works for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD). TPWD uses geocaching as an educational tool for its Outdoor Family Program, and so the department decided that it would be a good idea for TPWD employees to test out geocaching during its annual retreat. For Toni, this activity turned out to be more than fun – it turned her life upside down (sometimes literally).“Geocaching changed my life…I finally fit in somewhere. I’ve even hosted events when I travel out of town just to meet other geocachers.  This activity is so much fun that no matter where you go you can meet perfect strangers and share a common bond.”  With nearly 10,000 finds and 200 hides, Toni now spends a lot of time outside exploring. Her geocaching dream is to travel to Brazil to find the last remaining Project APE geocache. She also would like to find the International Space Station geocache, but concedes that “Brazil is [more] doable.”Toni climbs out of her comfort zone (and ours!).TattooBarbie’s trackable treasure chest tattoo.Toni has been hooked on geocaching ever since that first experience at the TPWD retreat. Don’t believe us? Check out her rad trackable tattoo, featured in the video below. It’s in the shape of a treasure chest, which she thinks is the perfect representation of what geocaching is all about.We think that Toni herself is the perfect representation of what geocaching is all about. She has used geocaching as a tool to step outside her comfort zone, to explore new places, and to surround herself with a wonderful community of folks united by their shared love of this crazy thing we call…well…geocaching.Has geocaching helped you to overcome a challenge or step outside of your comfort zone? Tell us your story in the comments below.Watch the video below (created by TPWD) to learn more about how geocaching helped Toni overcome the challenges associated with Asperger Syndrome:last_img read more

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Hard Data on Urban Energy Efficiency Retrofits

first_imgNew York City is home to plenty of high-density, high-tech residential buildings, including 8 Spruce Street, the spectacular stainless-steel-clad apartment tower in lower Manhattan that was designed by Frank Gehry. The city also is a wonderland of aged apartment buildings. Although these buildings lend the neighborhoods a certain Old New York dignity, they also operate with Old New York inefficiency.These old buildings are perfect candidates for energy efficiency retrofits. Many landlords, though, have been reluctant to spend money on upgrades whose potential for energy savings has been supported mainly by anecdotal information or by piecemeal analyses of system improvements. Lenders, too, have been reluctant to underwrite such projects.But hard data is on the way. A study commissioned by Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation, a philanthropic arm of Deutsche Bank, and Living Cities, a nonprofit collaboration of 22 foundations and financial institutions, focused on the effects of energy efficiency retrofits in 19,000 affordable housing units in and near New York City. As a recent story in the New York Times explains, the study, which is scheduled to be released in November, shows that the retrofits reduced fuel bills by an average of 19% and electricity bills by 10%, yielding an annual savings of $240 for fuel and $70 for electricity per apartment.Finding lenders’ comfort zoneConducted by New York-based consulting firms Steven Winter Associates and HR&A Advisors, the study zeroed in on a variety of retrofit projects, including one at an 88-unit, two-building complex in Manhattan called Terrific Tenements, where the installation of new boilers and heating controls reduced fuel costs by 50%. Annual savings in one building averaged $551 per apartment, and in the other building $355 per apartment, the Times story notes.Improvements in another apartment building – this one in the town of Yonkers, just north of the city – included the installation of new windows, energy-efficient lighting, Energy Star refrigerators, and the implementation of an energy savings incentive program for tenants. Taken together, the retrofits and incentive program helped reduce overall electricity usage in the building by more than 25%.To encourage lenders to underwrite energy efficiency retrofit projects of this sort, the city this year launched a public-private partnership that will provide collateral guarantees to lenders. Funding for the partnership’s guarantee program, called the New York City Energy Efficiency Corporation, will come from a portion of $37.5 million in federal stimulus funds granted to the city.“We are trying to catalyze a new financing market to satisfy the growing demand for retrofits,” Susan Leeds, the chief executive of the Energy Efficiency Corporation, told the Times.last_img read more

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US senator asks Canada for passage for Trail Blazers star Enes Kanter

first_imgDA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew LATEST STORIES Kanter has previously said he will seek a U.S. passport, but Wyden said Kanter doesn’t yet qualify for one.If he has the opportunity to play in Canada with the Blazers, he could travel on a document issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, said Hank Stern, a Wyden spokesman. According to U.S. law, Kanter can be admitted back to the U.S. from Canada with only his green card, Stern said.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Duterte wants probe of SEA Games mess Bulldogs sweep Tamaraws to retain UAAP men’s volleyball crown Portland Trail Blazers center Enes Kanter hangs on the net before the first half of Game 7 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff series against the Denver Nuggets Sunday, May 12, 2019, in Denver. (AP Photo/John Leyba)SALEM, Oregon— U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden wants to ensure Portland Trail Blazers center Enes Kanter, a Turkish star whom Turkey wants arrested for his criticism of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, will be able to safely travel to Canada for a possible NBA championship series against the Toronto Raptors.The Oregon senator wrote Tuesday to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asking that his government facilitate Kanter’s safe passage to and from Canada if the Blazers advance to the title series.ADVERTISEMENT Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting A senior Canadian government official said they received the letter and are looking into the case. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk publicly about the case, said the immediate facts before them suggest there is an abuse of Interpol’s red notice system but said they would have to study it further.The official drew a parallel to the red notice case of American Bill Browder. The official said Canada made it clear Browder, a noted Russia critic, could visit and that it wasn’t Russia’s decision.“This is similar. It’s up to Canada to decide whether to enforce,” the official said.Wyden said Erdogan’s shameless threats to Kanter’s freedom resulted in him not traveling to Canada for an NBA game in March.“If the Portland Trail Blazers and the Toronto Raptors both reach the NBA Finals, Mr. Kanter will again have to consider the security risks associated with work-related travel outside the United States,” Wyden told Trudeau.ADVERTISEMENT Catholic schools seek legislated pay hike, too ‘Rebel attack’ no cause for concern-PNP, AFPcenter_img Two-day strike in Bicol fails to cripple transport Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue MOST READ View comments PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess “I also urge your government to state publicly that it will not comply with any Interpol red notice meant to interfere with Mr. Kanter’s livelihood and to intimidate him and his family back in Turkey,” Wyden wrote. Wyden is a fan of his hometown team, often attending games, and he appeared in photos alongside the player who helped push the Blazers past the Denver Nuggets to advance to the Western Conference Finals.The Blazers opened the conference finals against the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night. The Raptors face the Milwaukee Bucks in the other semifinal series. The NBA Finals begin May 30.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsTurkish officials have sought a “red notice” — an international wanted notice — for Kanter through Interpol. Kanter’s Turkish passport was canceled in 2017. Kanter is a longtime critic of Erdogan.Trudeau’s office referred a reporter’s request for comment to the immigration minister’s office. Mathieu Genest, a spokesman for the immigration minister, said Canada’s privacy laws prohibited him from commenting on specific cases, but he explained that “we are committed to ensuring that every case is assessed fairly, on its merits, and in accordance with Canada’s laws.”last_img read more

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a month agoPSV striker Donyell Malen back on agenda of Arsenal

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say PSV striker Donyell Malen back on agenda of Arsenalby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the lovePSV Eindhoven’s £50million-rated striker Donyell Malen is back on the agenda of Arsenal.The Mirror says Arsenal are monitoring Malen – two years after allowing the young Dutchman to move back to Holland for just £500,000.No fewer than 45 clubs have asked PSV to keep them informed of their plans for the 20-year-old international, who was dubbed the new Thierry Henry when he spent two seasons with the Gunners’ youth team.Malen has scored 11 goals in just 13 matches in four competitions for Eindhoven this season after hitting double figures in his breakthrough campaign.Eindhoven believe he is already worth 100 times the sum they paid Arsenal to secure his services. last_img read more

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9 days agoNewcastle owner Ashley makes honest admission to Woodward

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Newcastle owner Ashley makes honest admission to Woodwardby Paul Vegas9 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveNewcastle United owner Mike Ashley knows how he’s seen within the game.The Evening Chronicle says he dubbed himself ‘the most unpopular man in football’ in a meeting with Manchester United supremo Ed Woodward, according to a report.The Magpies recently earned a crucial 1-0 win over the Red Devils earlier this month as Matty Longstaff capped his Premier League debut with the winning goal.The win lifted Steve Bruce’s side out of the relegation zone and relieved the pressure that had been building on the Newcastle manager.The same cannot be said for Ashley, though, with Magpies fans growing tired of his unpopular 12-year reign. last_img read more

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ODPEM Activates the National Emergency Operations Centre

first_imgFollowing the meeting of the National Disaster Committee (NDC) convened at the Office of the Prime Minister on Wednesday June 10, 2013, chaired by the Honourable Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) has activated the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) at level 1.The Prime Minister head of the NDC after receiving updates from the members of the National Response Team, including the ODPEM, Meteorological Service of Jamaica,National Works Agency, Ministry of Health, Jamaica Defence Force, and the Jamaica Constabulary Force, instructed that all Parish Disaster Committees and political representatives (Government and Opposition) be placed on high alert and activate their emergency response protocols.The NEOC was activated in response to Tropical Storm Chantal which could impact Jamaica as early as tonight as the system passes in the vicinity of the island. The main threat is outbreaks of showers and thunderstorms which is likely to develop over the island, starting with eastern parishes, during the course of the night and into Thursday.For further information on the ODPEM’s NEOC call 906 9674-5 or 754 9077-8[Press Release: Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM)last_img read more

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Petersfield Primary Implements Activities to Improve Performance in Maths

first_imgStory Highlights Principal of Petersfield Primary and Infant School, in Westmoreland, Susan Rattray Hammond, says the school’s robust mathematics programme will ensure that students’ performance in the subject improves significantly over time. Principal of Petersfield Primary and Infant School, in Westmoreland, Susan Rattray Hammond, says the school’s robust mathematics programme will ensure that students’ performance in the subject improves significantly over time.During an interview with JIS News, Mrs. Rattray Hammond said that in an effort to get students excited about mathematics, the school has implemented several activities based on the subject.“We have a maths pageant, and we have an event called Maths Explosion, which is held annually in November,” the Principal informed.Maths Explosion consists of each grade at the school setting up displays that highlight various strands and techniques of mathematics, after which teachers and students make the rounds to the classes to view the displays.The day is topped off with a maths pageant in which children from both lower and upper school participate, culminating with a Maths King and Queen being chosen.For her part, Mathematics Coordinator at the school, Toni Simpson Reid, said the added attention to the subject has, so far, been rewarding, and has inspired even more maths-centred activities.“We also have a daily maths quiz, which sees questions being posed daily to lower and upper school… . The students go to work them out, and the first to get the correct answer gets a free lunch that day, so it helps to boost (their excitement),” Mrs. Simpson Reid noted.She argued that Literacy had been topping Numeracy over the years and it is time to put both on the same level.The Coordinator said that not only was the school focused on improving performance in maths, but it also wanted to make the subject appealing and fun. One way of ensuring this is the school’s monthly newsletter, which is not only purchased by students but given to parents and other stakeholders.“Pictures from maths and other school-related events, general knowledge, and maths quizzes are put in there. We sell it to the students and teachers, and it sells quickly, especially in November.We also give copies to stakeholders in the community, and also leave copies at the post office, supermarket and the library,” Mrs. Simpson Reid informed.She also added that the school’s ‘Pull Out’ programme, which involves giving students who are falling behind in maths special attention in the school’s Maths Centre, underscores the school’s determination to improve numeracy grades.center_img During an interview with JIS News, Mrs. Rattray Hammond said that in an effort to get students excited about mathematics, the school has implemented several activities based on the subject. last_img read more

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Last Chance For Animals Launches New PSA Campaign With Kenya KinskiJones

first_imgLast Chance for Animals (LCA) announced today that model Kenya Kinski-Jones, daughter of music legend Quincy Jones, and supermodel/actress Nastassja Kinski will be featured in a PSA campaign for one of the international nonprofit’s key initiatives: raising awareness for the critically endangered mountain gorillas in Africa’s Virunga National Park.Video: Kenya Kinski Jones for LCA — Save the Mountain Gorilla!Currently a fashion “It Girl,” the 23 year-old Kinski-Jones is featured in designer Stella McCartney’s “POP” fragrance campaign, alongside other millennial role models including Madonna’s daughter Lourdes “Lola” Leon, actress Amandla Stenberg, and indie pop musician Grimes. Kinski-Jones has also appeared in a fashion campaign for Calvin Klein Jeans and has been featured in virtually every major fashion publication. Now, she’s forging a path as an animal activist to help raise awareness for severely endangered animals that are unable to protect themselves.“Kenya is an extraordinary young woman whose deep passion to protect animals combined with her rising celebrity status will help raise global awareness for the critical situation in Virunga facing the last remaining mountain gorillas on earth,” commented LCA Founder and President, Chris DeRose. “We are honored that she has chosen to collaborate with us on such an important issue.”Kinski-Jones is the latest celebrity to join in LCA’s efforts to advocate for animals. Other celebrity advocates include Kim Basinger, Pamela Anderson, Priscilla Presley, Randy Jackson, Kathy Griffin, Donna D’Errico and Josh Duhamel, among others.Watch Kenya’s PSA and learn more about LCA’s mountain gorilla campaign at www.LCASavingGorillas.org.last_img read more

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How The Draft Lottery Reshaped The NBA Landscape

natesilver: I mean, that’s how the system is supposed to work, right?neil: Well, I’ve always thought these tanking teams underestimated the luck involved in the lottery. Even under the old system.chris.herring: Last night’s outcome was probably about as solid as you could hope for from the league’s perspective if that’s the message you wanted to send. That being awful gives you a better chance but by no means guarantees you the very best — or even second-best — pick.tchow: Big win for Mr. Silver. (Adam, not Nate.)natesilver: And it’s not like the Knicks were categorically different than the Cavs, Suns or Bulls. They were just better at tanking. No. 3 is a comparatively good result vs. the rest of that group.BTW, someone should check the lottery ball codes to see what the results would have been under last year’s system.neil: Yeah, it’s weird to think of the Knicks as “winners” last night. But things could have been worse.chris.herring: The Knicks were the only team with the best lottery odds that didn’t fall out of the top four!natesilver: I really don’t get the losers talk, and I think it goes to show how people’s intuitions about probability aren’t very good.tchow: 14 percent means 100 percent, Nate!natesilver: People were treating it like 60 percent or something, I swear.neil: Knick fans’ expectations are always out of whack with reality, though… (This is a franchise that wins like the Mets but acts like it has the pedigree of the Yankees.)tchow: Neil, this is an NBA chat.chris.herring: I’m on record saying that I feel like the average Knick fan expects bad things to happen.neil: Maybe it’s more the New York media than rank-and-file fans, Chris.natesilver: This does leave open at least the tantalizing possibility of trading for Anthony Davis. If the Knicks do want to make a play for AD, this is one of the better scenarios for them. There’s no one who can trade Zion to the Pels since they already have him! The No. 3 pick is probably comparable to the best single asset that the Celtics and Lakers can offer. And if the Knicks get Kyrie Irving, maybe the Celtics don’t even try to get AD anyway.The Lakers do have the No. 4 pick, but at least based on the scouting consensus, there’s a big drop-off between 3 and 4. We’ll see if the Pelicans agree with that or not.chris.herring: I honestly don’t have a sense of what the Pelicans would prefer at this point.The Celtics would obviously be in play, based on their young talent and the draft picks they have. The Knicks just got the No. 3 pick and have two picks they got from Dallas in the Porzingis trade. Though those picks could end up being lower-end ones, depending on how the Mavericks are in the future. And then there are the Lakers, who just landed the No. 4 pick, plus all the guys they reportedly offered in February for Davis already.So it’s a combination of which players the Pelicans like, plus how they value the notion of future picks that would likely be lower in the draft, as opposed to higher ones they could make use of right now.natesilver: 🔥 Fun hot take: RJ Barrett could be the new Carmelo Anthony. High-volume, medium efficiency, good rebounder, mediocre effort on defense despite good athleticism. 🔥tchow: Looking at the different mock drafts, it does seem like there is a consensus on Top 3 (Zion, Ja, RJ in that order) and the fourth pick is immediately where you start seeing disagreements.neil: Which I think speaks to how few truly elite picks are in this draft class, Tony.chris.herring: Totally agreed.neil: But the Lakers can’t complain too much. They only had the 11th-best odds going on, so even moving up to fourth in a three-star draft is something.chris.herring: On Tuesday I walked past Gar Forman, from the Bulls’ front office, and he had a pretty grim look on his face after the team finished No. 7. Thought it was noteworthy that the Bulls’ John Paxson all but acknowledged that with a pick that low, the team was more likely to trade for a veteran as opposed to making it work with a rookie.It’s far more of a crapshoot outside of the Top 3.natesilver: We do know that the Pelicans didn’t like the Lakers’ pu pu platter back in February. And that was before Brandon Ingram’s DVT diagnosis. Although also before David Griffin took over, so maybe not as relevant now.chris.herring: There are a lot of options now for New Orleans. A lot of people were wondering out loud, too, whether getting Williamson might make the Pelicans more likely to find a deal for point guard Jrue Holiday, who could help a ton of teams as well.tchow: Chris, Paxson also had another pretty optimistic outlook on the results that I hadn’t thought of last night: neil (Neil Paine, senior sportswriter): So we just witnessed what our friend Zach Lowe called the “wildest lottery ever.” The Zion-Williamson-to-the-Knicks (or its less-heralded cousin, Zion-to-the-Lakers) hype train gained a ton of steam when both teams were revealed to be in the Top 4 … and then it crashed and burned on live TV as the Lakers ended up at No. 4 and the Knicks at No. 3.Guys, take me through each of your experiences and emotions as you saw what unfolded.chris.herring (Chris Herring, senior sportswriter): I think we saw right away how crazy this new lottery system has the potential to be. By flattening out the worst teams’ odds of winning, you get a higher probability of something like last night playing out. It was insane at the actual lottery here in Chicago. There were these enormous gasps when they announced that the Bulls were going to pick seventh, the Suns were going to pick sixth, and the Cavs were going to choose fifth.natesilver (Nate Silver, editor in chief): I was at a fairly nice Italian restaurant with a friend who doesn’t really like basketball, and I made him pull out his phone along with my phone just so we could see who had the faster livestream. Unfortunately, this restaurant had a lot of wood paneling or something that was causing the signal to be pretty weak. Anyway, the livestream cut out right when it looked like the Knicks might be shut out of the Top 4 entirely, then it came back on and they were in the Top 4, and then right after that they got the No. 3 pick. As dumb as it sounds, the experience of having my expectations lowered made the No. 3 pick seem a lot better as a quasi-Knicks fan.Also, we ordered pasta for dessert, which people should try.tchow (Tony Chow, video producer): My fingers and toes were crossed from the time Boston’s 14th pick was announced. I started jumping up and down on my couch and screaming sometime between Phoenix’s sixth pick reveal and Cleveland’s fifth. There was a moment during that window that I thought 14 percent really meant something like 98 percent, and I was ready to buy my Zion Knicks jersey.chris.herring: Hahahahaha. Brutal.neil: Our colleague Chad Matlin had a great experience as well that he granted me permission to share:“a small anecdote from brooklyn last night: I’m walking home from dinner down Flatbush Ave and a man appears half a block behind me and starts violently screaming something, but I can’t quite make out what. he keeps screaming. I only catch snippets. “FUCKING!!!” “ALL!!!” “LOSING!“”” this goes on for 90 seconds as he crosses street aimlessly, screaming the same thing over and over. I finally piece it together: “ALL THAT FUCKING LOSING FOR NOTHING!!”And that’s when I found out the Knicks didn’t win the lottery.”Suffice to say, emotions were running high here in New York.chris.herring: LMAOnatesilver: I had run the numbers beforehand, and the No. 3 pick — in a draft where there’s a clear drop-off between Nos. 3 and 4 — is slightly above the expected value for the Knicks pick. Even if you think Zion is going to be reaaaaaaaaaaaly good, a 14 percent chance just isn’t that high.chris.herring: On some level, the lottery process and unveiling is really, really challenging for the average person — even for me — to follow along with if you aren’t focused on a single team and where they’re ending up.tchow: Yeah, Chris, in the hysteria last night, the graphics on TV really played a trick on me: They had the Top 4 picks in individual blocks on top, while 5 through 14 were listed below as they were revealing the picks. As the blocks were getting filled in, you saw the Lakers, then the Grizzlies and then the Pelicans, and I went, “Holy shit, we got No. 1!”chris.herring: One team being slotted lower than you expect is useful information, but it’s hard to know exactly who it benefits until there are only two or three teams left.Rachel Nichols was explaining it in real time, but it still takes a hot second or two to register what it all means, because of the pick swaps and protections, etc.neil: It’s kind of incredible that so many of us devote time to watching the unveiling of the results of pingpong balls based on probabilities, which each have obscure caveats (protections, etc), and it actually makes for compelling TV. The NBA is amazing.natesilver: Maybe they should reveal it one pick per day at a time over the course of the playoffs, sort of like an advent calendar.Think of all the opportunities for #content.chris.herring: I’m still kind of shocked that New Orleans ended up getting it. Makes a huge difference for them going forward. All this time, analysts were suggesting that they make a deal with the team that wins the lottery for Anthony Davis. Now they have the No. 1 pick AND Anthony Davis.neil: And David Griffin said their big priority is convincing AD to stay now. Is that feasible?chris.herring: It doesn’t seem the most feasible to me. You’d love for him to change his tune on that, but reports suggest that he won’t. It’s incredibly risky to gamble on the hunch that he will.natesilver: I think Zion might make it more likely that AD is traded, if anythingBecause now the franchise has something to play for and sell hope/tickets for, even without AD. So any scenario where they’re just being super stubborn and desperate is probably off the table.chris.herring: You don’t know whether Zion alone would be enough for them to make a huge jump in the next year, which is what you’d need to feel better about letting Davis test free agency.natesilver: New Orleans was one of just three teams to win the lottery that was neither undeserving, nor boring, nor annoying. So that was a win in my book. neil: SO many people were looking at that!tchow: It must have meant something!neil: NBA conspiracies are the best.chris.herring: It seemed that might have been his preference.tchow: Can you imagine all the “it’s rigged” people if the Hawks did end up getting No. 1 after the logo double tap?chris.herring: Can’t remember too many people WANTING to go to Atlanta, but I actually hoped he’d end up there after that.neil: 😢tchow: Zion with Trae Young is really intriguing.But if we’re playing alternate universes and what-ifs, can we play “what if Zion did go to the Knicks?” Neil thinks owner James Dolan would have somehow messed it up anyway. I disagree.neil: Right, my take was always that he should be happy he didn’t go to the Knicks. Everything that franchise touches goes to ruin.tchow: But he could have changed that, Neil!chris.herring: ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski was reporting pretty adamantly that the Knicks wouldn’t have traded him. So it seems like they would have moved forward with him, and then gone into free agency shooting for the stars.natesilver: I think it would have been dumb to trade him. Like, more dumb than people realize. When you consider the contracts, and that the Pelicans don’t rally have much leverage, I think you can even argue that Zion straight up is TOO MUCH for AD, without all the other assets that the Knicks were likely to have to throw into the deal. But, anyway, I guess we don’t have to worry about that now.chris.herring: I agree. You’re going to want and need cost-controlled contracts for when you get other stars, anyway. Having Zion would allow you to do that.tchow: Is it wrong of me to think that this is even more proof that the lottery was rigged? Like, the results were so much the complete opposite of what you thought a “rigged” one would look like that it’s almost too opposite. Am I making sense? Like, the results seemed to be what someone would produce to prove that something wasn’t rigged when it actually was.natesilver: Tony I think you’re overthinking this just a liiiiiiiiiiiiittle bit.chris.herring: LOLneil: Of course, they did invite some of this rigging speculation by having Patrick “Frozen Envelope” Ewing there to represent the Knicks.chris.herring: As someone who’s been in the room, it’s not rigged. They go to great lengths to let people watch it. And make the actual process available on YouTube shortly after.I think the variance is going to be really wild going forward because of how they’ve flattened out the odds for the worst few teams, though. And honestly, it will make it more fun and heartbreaking.tchow: I know it’s not rigged. But……Just kiddingneil: But yeah Chris, I wanted to ask about that. Did we see the death of tanking last night?Look at how much the results at the top differed from the ranking in order of worst records: tchow: Nate, I disagree with so much of that Venn diagram.natesilver: Hahaneil: As an Atlantan who also once worked for the Hawks, I guess I’ll take “basically OK.”chris.herring: Neil, I’m sure die-hard Hawks fans were disappointed last night. Basketball people seem to universally feel that would’ve been his best fit.Did you all see the video of Williamson hitting the Hawks logo twice before the lottery began? chris.herring: Yeah, that quote infuriated Bulls fans here. It read like something out of The Onion.tchow: LOLneil: Do the Pels have more or less leverage in an AD trade now than they did at the deadline?natesilver: Weirdly, they have less, because there’s no one who can trade them Zion!chris.herring: Exactly. Likely less leverage but more flexibility in terms of the path they take, since they can feel pretty comfortable about building their future around him.natesilver: Are people too confident that Memphis will take Ja Morant and not RJ Barrett? They both have one glaring flaw (Morant: defense, Barrett: shooting), and historically, you’d rather go with the guy who can fix his shooting than a guy who is probably too undersized to ever be a great defender. Barrett’s also almost a year younger.Just to show how much a year can matter, compare Morant’s stats this year vs. last year: neil: And how does either affect where Mike Conley goes? They were shopping him pretty aggressively at the deadline but didn’t find the right deal.natesilver: I don’t think Memphis has any business keeping Conley either way.chris.herring: I’m interested in that question, too.natesilver: And I’m not sure it affects their pick much. If you want Ja, you can keep him and use Conley as a mentor if you want.chris.herring: Memphis is one of the smaller markets in the league, and because of that, I think they maybe hold on to players a year or two longer than they should. Perhaps because of the ties those fans feel to certain players.Morant is seemingly good enough where you draft him and then figure out the answer to that question with Conley later.natesilver: The Grizzlies have historically been a bit allergic to high-usage-rate guys, and both Barrett and Morant use a lot of possessions, so in some ways neither one feels like a natural Grizzly.chris.herring: Morant is a great passer, too, though, and averaged a double-double with assists. So I’d hope they make an exception in this case.tchow: If I were the Grizzlies, I’d take RJ.chris.herring: Wow. Knick fans would love if you became the Grizzlies’ GM.natesilver: The thing that’s really hard to project with Barrett is his defense. A lot of the comparables are pretty unflattering because people want to typecast him as Andrew Wiggins 2.0, maybe just because they’re both Canadian. But Wiggins was thought of as a guy who was going to be a plus defender, and he’s been pretty darn terrible instead. If Barrett’s a good defender, though, you start getting into a whole different set of comps, more along the lines of Jimmy Butler (if he tamps down the usage rate a bit) or Victor Oladipo.neil: Just goes to show how much defense — which I think can go overlooked for prospects at times (and is difficult to predict out of college) — can really alter a player’s pro trajectory. This, from ESPN’s mock draft on Barrett, sounds like it’s ripped out of the Wiggins scouting report: “he wasn’t the defender his physical tools suggest he should have been.”chris.herring: In fairness, Morant’s defense isn’t all that great, either. That’s part of what makes the No. 1 pick so easy, among other things.natesilver: Barrett was a much better rebounder, which counts for something. A much better and more active passer. And he was using a ton of possessions, which sometimes yields lower effort on defense. And Duke played a very tough schedule.I don’t know. If Barrett had shot 38 percent from three instead of 31 percent, I think people would be talking about him and Williamson like it’s … I don’t know, the Kevin Durant/Greg Oden draft or something. And of course, you can’t just disregard the difference between 38 percent and 31 percent. But he’s a pretty spectacular prospect if he learns how to shoot.chris.herring: It’s so hard to tell in college. The shooting is somewhat predictive. But even if he had shot 38 percent this year, I think there would be room to ask whether it was completely real.I remember Justise Winslow shooting a pretty healthy percentage from out there during his lone year at Duke, but so many of the makes came with Jahlil Okafor being doubled in the post, which left Winslow wide-open a lot of the time. And then he initially struggled from three once he came into the league, which was what many folks predicted.natesilver: The low free-throw percentage is troubling for Barrett.Like, Jayson Tatum — a guy who’s been a much better 3-point shooter as a pro than people thought — shot free throws pretty darned well in college. Barrett didn’t.chris.herring: Completely agreed. That tends to have solid predictive value.neil: It’s also worth remembering that Barrett was actually the No. 1 prospect in that star-studded class going into their freshman seasons. But I’ve seen studies that indicate the weight given to even one year of college should far outweigh our priors for prospects coming out of high school.tchow: This chat is just becoming a conversation about how Duke players perform in the NBA.chris.herring: Seems fair to me: tchow: Out of RJ, Zion, Winslow and Tatum, who is the most likely to also believe the Earth is flat?natesilver: New Orleans is extremely flat, so I’m guessing it will be Zion after a few years.Check out our latest NBA predictions. read more

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6 Things You Should Know About Mondays NCAA Championship Game

VIDEO: Gonzaga has the numbers, but UNC has the pedigree Why North Carolina can win:Gonzaga has the nation’s eighth-tallest team this season, with its third-tallest frontcourt, thanks to the 7-footer pairing of Przemek Karnowski and Zach Collins. But the Bulldogs’ size might meet its match (or at least close to it) in the Tar Heels, who boast 6-foot-9 Isaiah Hicks and 6-foot-10 Kennedy Meeks down low, plus 6-foot-8 Justin Jackson on the wing and 6-foot-11 Tony Bradley coming off the bench. The Zags won’t easily be able to push around a UNC squad that leads the tournament in rebound margin (see the last 6 seconds of the Oregon game for more evidence there), nor will they likely be able to get the ball down low as frequently as they did against South Carolina, whom Gonzaga out-posted 20-8 in the national semifinals.No matter what criteria you use, North Carolina is the best team Gonzaga has faced all season long. According to Pomeroy’s rankings, before Monday’s tip-off, you’d have to go all the way back to Nov. 25, a game against No. 5-ranked Florida, to find Gonzaga facing a similar class of opponent — North Carolina is ranked No. 3. The Bulldogs also barely beat the only top-10 team they had to face during the tournament (West Virginia). Making the national title game is never easy, but the Zags haven’t exactly navigated the toughest path. So although the uncertainty about Gonzaga’s true quality has been reduced significantly over the past three weeks, it’s easy to see how UNC’s talent edge could lead to a comfortable Tar Heel victory.The stats say Gonzaga is the nation’s best team; the bookmakers disagree. As I mentioned above, Vegas quickly installed North Carolina as the favorites in the national title game, numbers be damned. Some of it might be due to residual skepticism over the Bulldogs’ rise. However, some of it might also be owed to North Carolina’s pedigree — the Tar Heels have the higher preseason ranking, the superior recruiting classes, the legendary coaching of Williams, and the benefit of experience as the team plays in its second straight title game and enjoys a huge lead in all-time Final Four appearances over Gonzaga. There’s evidence from other sports that factors like experience and pedigree matter in addition to a team’s statistical resume, so it may be that pure numbers are underestimating Carolina’s chances Monday night. After a couple of nail-biters in Phoenix on Saturday, we’re down to one game remaining in the 2016-17 NCAA men’s basketball season. So trust your gut and be sure to box out under the basket — here’s your cheat sheet of what to watch for in Monday night’s championship game.No. 1 Gonzaga vs. No. 1 North CarolinaWhere to watch: CBS, 9:20 PM EDTWho’s favored: According to the FiveThirtyEight model, Gonzaga has a 62 percent probability of winning the national championship. If that surprises you, you’re not alone — in a break with the stats, Vegas has the Tar Heels favored by 2 points. (More on that later.)Why Gonzaga can win:Simply put, the Zags are the statistical darlings of this championship game. They rank ahead of UNC not only in the FiveThirtyEight statistical power ratings, but also in those of college-hoops stats guru Ken Pomeroy, USA Today’s Jeff Sagarin, and plenty of other analysts. Going into the tournament, Gonzaga faced questions about whether its weak strength of schedule was properly accounted for in these systems’ various adjustments, but by now, even the most hardened Bulldogs skeptic has to admit that the Zags are for real. By the numbers, at least, Gonzaga deserves to have the edge.Gonzaga’s defense is the best in the country according to Pomeroy’s ratings. It specializes in forcing teams into poor shots in the half court by using a good transition D that takes away quick buckets — the Zags are allowing the 14th-fewest transition chances per play of any team in the tourney — and an impenetrable interior defense of preposterous size. That formula might be custom-made to defeat a North Carolina squad that is efficient in transition but hasn’t been very effective in the half court during the tournament thus far. I’d thought the Heels’ recent poor shooting might reverse itself against Oregon, but instead UNC had one of its worst nights of the season from the field. (Using a twice-injured Joel Berry II didn’t help — he went 2-for-14 from the floor, while teammate Isaiah Hicks went 1-for-12.) With one game left, against a team whose defensive strengths match up particularly well against North Carolina’s offensive tendencies, the Tar Heels might not be able to avoid another disappointing shooting night.Gonzaga’s coach is real good. So good that Mark Few deserves to be in the same conversation as great coaches such as, say, UNC’s Roy Williams. Few’s winning percentage speaks for itself; he also gets bonus points for showing a willingness to think outside the coaching box. At the end of the Zags’ win over South Carolina Saturday night, he elected to foul while up 3 — a logical risk that’s rarely taken in the ultra-conservative world of college coaching. Yes, the numbers are split on whether it’s always the right call in a generic sense, but by taking the chance at a game-tying shot away from SC’s best player and setting Gonzaga up to use its size advantage on the boards in the event of an intentionally missed free throw, Few eked out those last few points of win probability that the Bulldogs may have needed to advance. read more

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