Malian newspaper editor sentenced to six months in prison

first_img to go further A municipal court in the capital, Bamako, sentenced Boubacar Yalcouyé, the editor of the newspaper Le Pays, to six months in prison (two of them suspended) on a charge of defaming the supreme court’s judges by reporting that they were paid nearly 1.4 million euros to uphold the validity of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita’s reelection last August. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is appalled by the jail sentence that a Malian newspaper editor received today for reporting that Mali’s supreme court judges were bribed, and calls on the authorities to keep their pledge to decriminalize press offenses, so that it will no long be possible to imprison journalists in connection with their work. MaliAfrica Condemning abusesProtecting journalists ImprisonedFreedom of expression RSF helps coordinate support for French journalist kidnapped in Mali RSF_en Mali is ranked 115th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2018 World Press Freedom Index. “Without taking a position on the substance of this article, we think it is wrong to jail a journalist for a press offence,” said Arnaud Froger, the head of RSF’s Africa desk. “This sentence is completely disproportionate, especially as there are other ways, such as a complaint to the regulatory body, to establish whether this article was defamatory. The extreme severity of this sentence highlights the urgency of passing a law that finally decriminalizes press offences, as promised by the Malian government.” Yalcouyé has not so far been detained in connection with this case and the court did not issue a detention order today. His lawyers confirmed to RSF that they will appeal against his conviction and sentence. The press law that Mali adopted in July 2000 is extremely punitive, providing for many prisons sentences and heavy fines. Defamation is punishable by between 11 days and 12 months in prison. Reporters Without Borders rallies former hostages in Paris, following the kidnapping of journalist Olivier Dubois. December 27, 2018 Malian newspaper editor sentenced to six months in prison News May 5, 2021 Find out more French reporter says he has been kidnapped in northeastern Mali MaliAfrica Condemning abusesProtecting journalists ImprisonedFreedom of expression News News Organisation News June 8, 2021 Find out more May 17, 2021 Find out more Help by sharing this information Follow the news on Mali Receive email alertslast_img read more

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Marv’s Marvlus Pit BBQ Wraps Up a Successful Summer Season

first_imgSubmitted by Marv’s Marvlus Pit BBQSummer is a time for celebrations – weddings, picnics, backyard parties.  With those celebrations comes a need for delicious food to feed a crowd and Marv’s Marvlus Pit BBQ is there to help, serving up their slow cooked meats and creating happy, full party goers.With the summer catering season coming to a close, the owners of Marv’s Marvlus Pit BBQ reflect back on their very busy summer catering season.  Owner Chris Murphy recalls the feeling of six months ago, when the wedding season really kicked off.  “It felt great to get back in the swing of things with some slow and low BBQ.”  And just as quickly as summer comes, it’s gone again, a feeling most of us can relate to.  “Then, poof,” laughs Murphy, “it’s all of a sudden fall.”Marv’s had a great season attending over 77 events and serving over 12,000 delicious, catered meals.  “Eighty five percent of our business is catering weddings, while the other fifteen percent is made up of corporate events, birthdays, and charity fundraisers.”  You may have seen the Marv’s truck around town at events you attended this summer, such as Olympia Brew Fest or a benefit for Friends of Mia.“The best part of this business is making new friends,” shares Murphy.  “We love exceeding guest’s expectations and gaining a great reputation in the community.”As a result of all the hard work and passion for BBQ, Marv’s Pit BBQ Catering was nominated for King 5’s “Best of Western Washington” for 2013 under the category of Best Caterer and Best BBQ.  The crew at Marv’s is honored to have been nominated and looks forward to the opportunity to be “The Best in Western Washington”.If you have had the opportunity to attend an event where Marv’s Pit BBQ was on-site preparing freshly cooked BBQ and want to recognize them for a job well done, you can also vote for Marv’s Marvlus Pit BBQ Catering on the King 5 “Best of Western Washington” website.And even though the days are shorter and nights cooler, Marv’s is still cooking up a storm.  You might associate BBQ with lazy summer nights in the backyard or on the beach, but really, BBQ tastes good any time of year. Facebook59Tweet0Pin0last_img read more

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Multiple Faiths Rally For Justice, Climate Change

first_imgBy John BurtonRED BANK –
Different faiths, different religions but one message—we must work to save our planet.“I never protested in the ’60s,” said Judy Reichard, a Manalapan resident. “So, I’m doing it in my 70s.”Reichard, joined an estimated 100 from a wide array of area churches, as they came together Sunday evening on the front lawn of the United Methodist Church of Red Bank, 247 Broad St., for a prayer service and candlelight vigil. The purpose was to raise awareness for social justice issues and what the participants believe is the growing threat posed by climate change, in preparation of the United Nations’ climate change conference scheduled for Paris in December.It was interfaith but the timing also coincided with the arrival of Pope Francis, who stepped foot on American soil for the first time as his plane touched down at Andrews Area Base Tuesday. Pope Francis called on Catholics around the world to make social justice and global warning a moral imperative.The Rev. Jessica Brendler-Naulty, the Methodist church’s pastor, was responsible for organizing the event, said she had been an environmental science teacher for about a year before attending the seminary.In addition to Brendler-Naulty, the gathering featured comments from a Roman Catholic priest, a Baptist minister, a Muslim woman, a Sikh man and others, who offered their shared views about expressing the importance of informing the public about the issue, which for them has taken on a moral dimension.Brendler-Naulty said she was encouraged by Pope Francis’ recent encyclical on the environment, with its pronouncements about the dangers of climate change and the impact wealthier nations are having on the environment of poorer ones. “He set the moral compass that we’re all in this together,” was Brendler-Naulty’s takeaway from the pope’s words. “And we can take strength from it.”“It’s for us to all work together,” said Red Bank resident Patty Casey who participated in the service. “We’re all on this planet together.”“We are the stewards,” of the planet, said Esmat Mahmoud, a board member of the Monmouth Center of World Religion and Ethical Thought, a Lincroft-based group that celebrates cultural and religious diversity. On our environment, “It is up to us for its safe keeping,”Mahmoud added. “God has given us the ability to take care of this earth.”Reichard said her children and grandkids would describe themselves as environmentalists. She embraced the message one day accompanying her son to a Starbucks for coffee. Her son asked Reichard if she remembered to bring her reusable cup. She didn’t, she recalled, with her son telling her she really didn’t need the coffee.“That’s what I would like people to understand,” Reichard explained, “that we can all make a difference. Even the little stuff helps.”“We’re hoping for a continued conversation,” on this topic, is Brendler-Naulty’s wish.For Amy Goldsmith it’s about getting the message out. Goldsmith, who lives in Red Bank and is executive director of Clean Water Action, a statewide environmental group, asked participants to take to social media and spread the word, to inform others. “Information is power,” she told the gathering.last_img read more

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Dear Santa: Rotary Club Answers Wishes

first_imgBy John BurtonRED BANK — Santa Claus is answering the letters from children.Spoiler Alert: It’s not really Santa. But this holiday season members of the Red Bank Rotary Club have taken on the responsibility of acting as Santa’s helpers by answering the letters left by kids in the designated “mailboxes” – letters that expressed the sweetness of the young as well as, at times, tugging at the heartstrings.The two locations, one at the borough’s U.S. Post Office, 171 Broad St., on the east side, and at the borough pocket park, Ralph “Johnny Jazz” Gatta Park, at the Drs. James Parker Boulevard/Shrewsbury Avenue intersection, collected about a total of 107 letters from area youth to the jolly, chubby North Pole resident.Among them were about 23 written in Spanish, which will be answered by employees of the borough Parks and Recreation Department, according to David Prown, a borough resident and club member. Unfortunately, there were a considerable number without return addresses and no way to send Santa’s response, Prown said.It was Prown who first proposed that the club undertake the holiday task. Prown, long known for his community activism and efforts for area youth, said he wondered “Whatever happens to these letters?”“I heard, generally, that they went unanswered,” he said, believing it would be a good project for the local Rotary Club. “And they were thrilled we were taking ownership,” he explained, referring to the parks and rec department.“What better way to bring a little joy into the holiday season?” asked club member Bill Donnelly, Middletown.The Red Bank Rotary Club responded to children’s letters to Santa Tuesday. Photo: John BurtonDonnelly, Prown and the others gathered Tuesday night at the Maple Avenue offices of the Kerr Agency, a commercial insurance firm to write the responses.“This is great. This is what it’s all about,” added club member and borough resident Ken Duffy.The Rotary Club’s motto has always been “Service Above Self,” members noted. And while the larger organization works on substantial fundraising and big projects, this little group of local members works on smaller efforts to help the community, Donnelly explained. “Our goal is to become the go-to people for small service efforts,” such as this, he said. “It builds a legacy of service.”The letters came from kids in Red Bank and those just traveling through, with some letters having return addresses as far away as Toms River in Ocean County.The plan for the club members was to take what personal information they could glean from the letters (the children’s names, names of siblings and parents, and so on) and incorporate it into the response. The returning letters are left pretty general and don’t make any promises, explaining how busy Santa and the elves are this time of year, telling the kids “I’m so proud to see you on the good/nice list” and how happy Santa Claus is in be visiting their homes next week.The youngsters for the most part ask for what you would expect from a 2015 Christmas list: iPhone 6, Xbox video game consoles, DVDs of “Frozen” and Hoverboards. A number of girls were hoping for Shopkins, cute, grocery-themed collectables that are very hot this year. Another boy asked for “Everything ‘Star Wars,’” closing the letter with “and hurry.”One child attached a Toys “R” Us discount coupon, so Santa could get a break on the cost. “You got to love this,” observed a chuckling Justin Sonta, Middletown. Another letter Sonta read and responded to, said “I was really good this year even when I’m fighting with my sister.”Club member Barbara Nevius, a Red Bank resident, read a letter from a little boy who was asking for warm clothes for himself and his two sisters, telling Santa it’s always cold in their home.Another young child asked for a box of pencils, Prown noted.“That touches you,” Prown said.“You kind of wish you could go and deliver these things to some of these kids,” Middletown resident and club member Justin Hoffman acknowledged.Any requests for clothing will be forwarded to the Red Bank Police Benevolent Association (PBA) which will try to answer the need, Prown said.Club members said this will become an annual effort for them. “It’s about doing little things that can have an impact,” Donnelly believes.last_img read more

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Trent Brown misses another day of practice with knee injury

first_imgOlson surely noticed, however, that the … CLICK HERE if you are having a problem viewing the photos on a mobile device ALAMEDA — Trent Brown was conspicuous by his absence Thursday.The Raiders’ right tackle missed practice for the second consecutive day with a knee injury and the club was predictably tight-lipped regarding Brown’s availability to face the Minnesota Vikings Sunday.Asked about Brown’s status, offensive coordinator Greg Olson said, “he’s good as far as I know.”last_img

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Dubai eyes KZN property investment

first_img6 June 2008Dubai-based Ruwaad Holdings is conducting a viability study into building an internationally branded entertainment theme park and residential complex in the Macambini area on the KwaZulu-Natal north coast, at a cost of US$2.5-billion (about R19.6-billion).“Following the signing of the memorandum of understanding, the investor dispatched a technical team to KwaZulu-Natal to conduct a project viability assessment,” KwaZulu-Natal Premier Xibusiso Ndebele told the media at Macambini this week.“Earlier this year, I travelled to Dubai with an extended government delegation which included the Ilembe district mayor as well as the Mandeni local municipality mayor to meet the investor.”A statement by the provincial government states that the group intends to develop an internationally branded entertainment theme park that will be complemented by numerous facilities focusing on residential, hospitality, leisure, medical, education, sport, health and retail.Ndebele said the investment, which had the full support of the provincial Cabinet, would see the development of 16 556 hectares of land to the north of the uThukela River, leading to the creation of 16 000 permanent jobs and a further 32 000 temporary jobs over the short-term.Ruwaad Holdings chief executive Hayan Merchant emphasised that the group’s aim was to develop a uniquely African, world-class destination that has local, regional, national, continental and international appeal.As such, the group is planning a cultural and historical focus for the development, centred on a huge statue of King Shaka.“The proposed development will strengthen the north coast priority corridor between Durban and Richards Bay and act as a catalyst for further economic growth and job creation in surrounding areas,” he said.It is also envisaged that the development will bring about the improvement of infrastructure and services in the area, strengthening the local economy and stimulating increased investment across various industrial and commercial sectors.Ruwaad is a subsidiary of the listed Dubai 9 group, a real estate, hospitality, tourism investment and development company that focuses on creating world class destinations, initially in the Middle East, Australia, Africa and Asia with a strong emphasis on entertainment, hospitality, business and residential and leisure lifestyle.The group has lucrative strategic alliances with organisations such as Paramount Pictures and Palazzo Versace.Should the company decide to take on the investment, the complex will be implemented in a series of stages with the first stage, the theme park, expected to be complete in 2012.SAinfo reporter Would you like to use this article in your publicationor on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

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JSE’s new trading system goes live

first_img“The flexibility of the new system allows us to introduce even more product innovation and hence should bring increased liquidity to the market, something which any world class exchange strives to achieve,” added Thomson. “As the 11th largest derivatives exchange in the world by volume, we’ve always recognised that one of the ways to remain one of the world’s leading exchanges is to ensure that we use technology to our advantage,” Thomson said. “This system replacement is a case in point.” The JSE has unveiled a new equity derivatives trading system that has been specifically designed for the South African market, bringing with it new functionality and greater flexibility for local brokers, fund managers, market makers and other institutional investors. STT were the developers of the original trading and clearing software which has been in place since the start of electronic trading in 1994, but the time had come for the original system to be replaced. The new system has been specifically designed for the South African equity derivatives market which, in a number of instances, is a world leader as far as these markets are concerned. Locally designed Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material “However, since this was a total replacement of the 15-year old system we inherited when the JSE bought Safex and not merely an upgrade, we had to be absolutely certain that we’d catered for the needs of the equity derivatives market, which are quite different today than they were 15 years ago.” The new system brings greater visibility to the market with live on-screen prices for SSFs and Single Stock Options being available to the market for the first time. Traders will also see the narrowing of spreads as a result of the increased functionality of the new technology. “It has taken the JSE longer than anticipated to get the new system implemented,” JSE trading director Allan Thomson said in a statement this week. World leader Thomson pointed out that the new system was wholly designed by local company STT, and that the system was not only cost-efficient, but had applications that were already drawing the attention of other pre-eminent exchanges around the world. 18 August 2008 STT managing director Michelle Janke said the systems had to be enhanced to meet the changing needs of the exchange, notably the increased derivative trading volumes. The change would also eliminate a large amount of manual processes and provide the exchange with the flexibility it required, she said. “Options trading volumes using complex delta neutral products have also been improved,” Janke said. “To attract further liquidity, the system is focused on maximizing the number of prices displayed, by using complex algorithms.” SAinfo reporter The JSE is currently the largest single stock futures (SSF) market in the world in terms of number of contracts traded, while it also recently received recognition from the international derivatives fraternity for developing the Can Do Option, chosen as the most innovative product of the year.last_img read more

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Cat Ears Ribbon Covered Aliceband – Came quickly and was as described!

first_imgI do the job in a toy store and i wear them at function. Children (and also parents) like them.They’re cute and match flawlessly. . Fantastic acquire without the need of any doubtoh, and speedy shipping as very well.Arrived speedily and was as explained. Arrived quickly and was as explained.Fitted perfectly and did not break nor was it uncomfortable. Id advocate this to anybody seeking to gown up as a cat for any bash.Here are the specifications for the Cat Ears Ribbon Covered Aliceband:Black Cat Ears Ribbon Covered AlicebandNot suitable for children under 3 years oldThin aliceband wrapped in black ribbonFitted perfectly and did not break nor was it uncomfortable. Id advocate this to anybody seeking to gown up as a cat for any bash.Super quick delivery, really adorable ears.Reviews from purchasers :You get what you pay for, it was cheap and it looks cheap, not great qualityCame quickly and was as described!I just love them!It is exactly as it seems like in the pic and the ears are very cute and positioned in the right location.Arrived swiftly & was as explained.Arrived swiftly & was as explained.I do the job in a toy store and i wear them at function. Children (and also parents) like them.They’re cute and match flawlessly. . Fantastic acquire without the need of any doubtoh, and speedy shipping as very well.I do the job in a toy store and i wear them at function. Children (and also parents) like them.They’re cute and match flawlessly. . Fantastic acquire without the need of any doubtoh, and speedy shipping as very well.I acquired this for halloween to go as catwoman but i guess i am now going as a smooth, loveable catwoman.Super quick delivery, really adorable ears.Super quick delivery, really adorable ears.Arrived speedily and was as explained. Arrived quickly and was as explained.You get what you pay back for, it was low cost and it seems to be low-priced, not great good quality. Rather uncomfortable it you wear them for a extended time. I wore them to an ariana grande concert and i was quite upset to see that at the stop of the evening when i took them off the ribbon experienced occur undone so it was starting off to unravel. I managed to wrap it again on and stick it with blu tac but this was the 1st time i experienced worn them apart from when i first attempted them on after acquiring it so i assume it is very poor good quality and when the ribbon came off it reveals the cheap steel it is produced of which appears to be like unprofessional and no ponder t was uncomfortable. Also the form isn’t really terrific as cat ears, appears a lot more like a fox.I do the job in a toy store and i wear them at function. Children (and also parents) like them.They’re cute and match flawlessly. . Fantastic acquire without the need of any doubtoh, and speedy shipping as very well.It is exactly as it seems like in the pic and the ears are very cute and positioned in the right location.Super quick delivery, really adorable ears.Arrived speedily and was as explained. Arrived quickly and was as explained.I acquired this for halloween to go as catwoman but i guess i am now going as a smooth, loveable catwoman.You get what you pay back for, it was low cost and it seems to be low-priced, not great good quality. Rather uncomfortable it you wear them for a extended time. I wore them to an ariana grande concert and i was quite upset to see that at the stop of the evening when i took them off the ribbon experienced occur undone so it was starting off to unravel. I managed to wrap it again on and stick it with blu tac but this was the 1st time i experienced worn them apart from when i first attempted them on after acquiring it so i assume it is very poor good quality and when the ribbon came off it reveals the cheap steel it is produced of which appears to be like unprofessional and no ponder t was uncomfortable. Also the form isn’t really terrific as cat ears, appears a lot more like a fox.last_img read more

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Next Seasons NBA Heavyweights Warriors Cavs Spurs Rockets … Timberwolves

Team total240+5.4+1.1 Teams like the Timberwolves usually improved their luckDifference between actual and Pythagorean wins for teams that underperformed their Pythagorean record by 7 or more wins, 1976-2017 PLAYERMIN. PER GAMEOFF. PLUS/MINUSDEF. PLUS/MINUS Andrew Wiggins32+1.5-1.9 ACTUAL – PYTHAGOREAN WINS Source: Basketball-reference.com 2010-11Timberwolves-7-2 Shabazz Muhammad16-0.1-3.1 Average-8-1 Gorgui Dieng30-1.0+2.6 1991-92Timberwolves-8-2 1984-85Trail Blazers-7-4 Karl-Anthony Towns37+3.7+0.3 1994-95Bulls-7+2 The Timberwolves look like contendersCARMELO projections for the 2017-18 Minnesota Timberwolves SEASONTEAMSEASONFOLLOWING SEASON Justin Patton8-2.6+0.4 2011-1276ers-8+3 But that doesn’t account for the significant cap space cleared by the Rubio deal. If Minnesota added free agent point Jeff Teague, for example, their projected record would improve to 53-29. If they signed Kyle Lowry instead, they’d project to finish at 58-24. They could also use the extra cap room to sign a frontcourt player.Projecting the Timberwolves to win 50-something games seems awfully daring, especially for a team that’s burned CARMELO in the past. (CARMELO boldly projected the Wolves to win 46 games last season. Instead, they won 31.) But let me walk you through what the system is “thinking.” The projection reflects a combination of three factors: Butler, the Timberwolves’ youth, and their bad luck last season.Jimmy Butler is really good, and he’s replacing players who were really badCARMELO expects Butler to be worth about 10 wins next season, as compared to a replacement-level player. Oftentimes, replacement level is too low a bar when it comes to assessing an NBA acquisition. If the Celtics added players such as George and Hayward, their minutes would partly come at the expense of other pretty good players such as Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder.2And they also might have to sacrifice players such as Bradley and Crowder as part of trades, or to clear cap room. Thus, their net gain might not be as large as you’d think.But the players the Wolves gave up for Butler weren’t making positive contributions at all, at least according to advanced statistics such as Real Plus-Minus and Box Plus/Minus. (CARMELO uses a combination of these stats to make its projections, weighting RPM more heavily.) LaVine is a good athlete who can create shots but who was woefully inadequate on defense; thus, he was no better than replacement level last season, these metrics figure. And Dunn, like many rookies, was overmatched, playing at a below-replacement-level clip. Thus, Butler is a true 10- or 11-win upgrade, relative to the players Minnesota gave up for him.We should note, however, that where Butler falls on the spectrum between “really good” and “superstar” is a matter of some debate. According to RPM, Butler was the seventh-best player in the NBA last season on a per-possession basis and the third most valuable by wins added above replacement level when also considering his playing time. By a more subjective measure — the views of sportswriters voting for the All-NBA teams — he was somewhere between the 11th- and the 15th-best player in the league, by contrast.Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins should continue to improveThe Wolves’ two former No. 1 overall picks are young — Karl-Anthony Towns turns 22 in November, while Andrew Wiggins will turn 23 in February — and both still have plenty of room to grow, especially on defense. Towns already has a well-rounded offensive game, having developed into a dangerous outside shooter last year (37 percent from 3-point range). But the advanced metrics are somewhat split on his defense, with RPM viewing it as below-average — unusual for a 7-footer3RPM almost always rates players that tall as net-positive defenders. — while stats based on opponents’ field goal percentages suggest that he does a respectable job of rim protection. Towns’s defense tended to fall apart in the fourth quarter last season, and overwork could have been an issue — he was second in the NBA in minutes played, behind Wiggins.Wiggins’s indifferent defense has been a subject of frequent critique at FiveThirtyEight. But the advanced metrics are uniformly in agreement that it’s poor. He allowed an effective field goal percentage of 56 percent last season on shots where he was the nearest defender.4And a maximum of 6 feet from the shooter; we consider shots where no defender was within 6 feet to have been uncontested. NBA shooters also have an effective field goal percentage of 56 percent on uncontested shots, so it’s as though he wasn’t playing defense at all. Because Wiggins is a good athlete with a long wingspan — factors that usually predict good defense — the problems mostly boil down to technique and effort, and those things can sometimes be improved.The Timberwolves were unluckyMinnesota was outscored by only 1.2 points per game last season, and yet they went 31-51. If that seems like a mismatch, it is. A team with that point differential would typically expect to go about 38-44, according to the Pythagorean record as calculated at Basketball-Reference.com. Thus, the Wolves underperformed by seven wins last year, relative to their number of points scored and allowed. That’s because they didn’t play well in crunch time and went 10-18 in games decided by 6 points or fewer.It’s easy to come up with hypotheses for why they played so poorly in these situations. Towns and Wiggins played too many minutes; Wiggins and LaVine took poor shots; Rubio isn’t a scorer, which limited their options in the half-court; they were bad on defense overall, and those differences are magnified in crunch time.The fact is, however, that teams who underperform their Pythagorean records by as much as the Wolves did last season usually don’t have the same problem the next time around, or at least not to the same extent. There had been 19 previous cases since the NBA-ABA merger where a team underperformed its Pythagorean record by seven or more wins. On average, they fell only one win short of their Pythagorean record in the following season. There’s certainly some skill in which teams fare best in crunch time — and Butler, who’s both a good defender and a versatile scorer, can help the Wolves with that — but losing so many games in the clutch is usually partly a matter of bad luck. 2006-07Celtics-7-1 Tyus Jones15-0.3-0.8 2013-14Timberwolves-8-3 1996-97Celtics-7+3 Repacement-level players43-1.7-0.3 2007-08Raptors-80 1976-77Suns-9-2 1999-2000Nets-70 1997-98Pistons-9-3 Timberwolves’ projected record49.532.5 Nemanja Bjelica16-0.7+0.7 1994-95Trail Blazers-8-4 1992-93Kings-8+2 1978-79Bucks-9-2 1989-90Timberwolves-7-1 1985-86SuperSonics-10-3 Jimmy Butler33+3.8+1.0 1982-83Pacers-7-2 Cole Aldrich10-2.2+2.6 UPDATE (June 30, 5:38 p.m.): Just as we were publishing this story, it was reported that Minnesota Timberwolves’ point guard Ricky Rubio will be traded to the Utah Jazz for a first-round draft pick. The story has been updated to reflect the trade.It’s a dangerous time of year to be an NBA fan. With free agency officially getting underway on Saturday, and players such as Paul George available via the trade market, you can talk yourself into any number of far-fetched scenarios wherein your favorite team puts just the right pieces together and suddenly becomes a contender. (What if the Spurs added Blake Griffin? What if the Celtics brought in both George and Gordon Hayward?) Sometimes dreams really do come true — like when the Rockets landed Chris Paul this week — but most of the time, you’ll wind up disappointed instead.At FiveThirtyEight, we sometimes play this dangerous game with spreadsheets — specifically, with a spreadsheet that projects team records based on our CARMELO player projections. And there’s one team that really caught our spreadsheet’s eye: the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Wolves already made their big move of the summer, acquiring the Bulls’ Jimmy Butler for Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and an exchange of first-round draft picks. When we plugged the Wolves’ CARMELO projections into the spreadsheet,1Assuming the Wolves re-sign restricted free agent Shabazz Muhammad but make no other changes. it came up with a projected record of 50-33. 2002-03Nets-7-2 WINSLOSSES What could go wrong — or very, very rightIn addition to all the bad things that could happen to the Wolves from a basketball standpoint — injuries, poor chemistry, etc. — they’re also a challenging team to forecast. For the past two seasons, the Wolves have unquestionably had a lot of talent on their roster but have also unquestionably been bad. It isn’t quite as clear why this disconnect occurred. Towns, Wiggins, Rubio and LaVine are all somewhat unusual players, and they each engender disagreements both between the various statistical systems and between stats and “eye test” evaluations. The way RPM and CARMELO looked at the Wolves, Wiggins and especially LaVine were part of the problem last season, while Towns and Rubio were part of the solution. If that assessment was wrong, then jettisoning LaVine could be more costly than the system assumes. And as I mentioned, RPM and CARMELO view Butler as a borderline-superstar player and not “merely” an All-Star; that’s another source of uncertainty.On the flip side, the Timberwolves do have some additional cap space and an opportunity to round out their roster via players such as Taj Gibson, J.J. Redick or Danilo Gallinari. Even modest improvements could go a long way because they don’t have a deep rotation as currently constructed.Or the Wolves could go really bold and package Wiggins for another star. Before landing Butler, the Timberwolves were reportedly in the market for George, for example. But a straight-up trade of Wiggins for George would work under the NBA’s salary cap rules given the Wolves’ extra cap space. It would be a hugely risky move — George will be a free agent next summer and has said he wants to play for the Lakers — but a core of George, Butler and Towns could make the Timberwolves legitimate title contenders. Or at least, the spreadsheet says so. read more

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Matic Players are responsible for form and Mourinhos exit

first_imgNemanja Matic believes Manchester United players are responsible for the club’s current form and Jose Mourinho’s exit.The Portuguese manager lost his job after United’s 3-1 defeat at rivals Liverpool on December 16, with the club making a swift move to appoint Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as a caretaker boss.The Norwegian’s time in charge began in impressive fashion as he guided them to a 5-1 win at Cardiff on Saturday night.However, the gap between the Red Devils and arch-rivals Liverpool has become massive 19 points behind and Matic insists the players are responsible for their poor performances.harry maguire, manchester UnitedMaguire says United need to build on today’s win George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Harry Maguire wants his United teammates to build on the victory over Leicester City.During the summer, Harry Maguire was referred to as the ultimate…When asked if the players must take responsibility, Matic told Sky: “Of course. I said this also after the Liverpool game, that we have to take responsibility and do our best to play better and to win games.“I don’t know [what changed at Cardiff]. This is the question no one has an answer to but we are sure this is the way to continue, to fight and we will try to do it.“This is football. In football this happens. We know also it’s not only the manager’s fault when the results are not good.“But this is football and we have to carry on, to fight for the club.”last_img read more

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