Local Elections 2019 Debates – North Inishowen

first_img Previous articleWATCH: The Nine til Noon Show’s Community Garda SlotNext articleBird Calls – Chiffchaff admin FT Report: Derry City 2 St Pats 2 Google+ WhatsApp Arranmore progress and potential flagged as population grows RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR News, Sport and Obituaries on Monday May 24th Pinterest The people go to the polls on May 24th to elect a new Donegal County Council.Between now and then we will host a series of debates concentrating on each of the 6 districts in the Highland Radio Franchise area.In the fifth of our election debates, we focused on the North Inishowen District where 8 candidates are vying for 4 seats.Seven candidates took part, they are:Cllr Albert Doherty (SF), Marie Duffy (FF), Mary Rose Doherty (Aontu), Cllr Martin Farren (Labour), Cllr Bernard McGuinness (FG), Cllr Martin McDermott (FF) and Tracy Cullen (IND). Independent candidate Arthur McGuinness was invited but was unable to attend:Click to listen:Audio Playerhttp://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/InishowenNorthDebate.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. DL Debate – 24/05/21 AudioHomepage BannerNewsx Highland Radio Local Election 2019 Debates Important message for people attending LUH’s INR clinic center_img Twitter WhatsApp Local Elections 2019 Debates – North Inishowen Twitter Facebook Derry draw with Pats: Higgins & Thomson Reaction Pinterest Google+ Facebook By admin – May 14, 2019 last_img read more

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Performance Bodies, Five Star Bodies offer MD3 award option

first_imgCEDAR FALLS, Iowa – An award option is new this season in the Performance Bodies and Five Star Bodies program benefitting IMCA Xtreme Motor Sports Modified, Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMod and Scoggin-Dickey Parts Center Southern SportMod drivers.Each of the five Modified regional champions and rookies of the year, and both SportMod national champions and the rookies of the year receive MD3 Modified nosepieces or four MD3 rocker panels.The rocker panels are new to that program.“Giving racers more options is certainly something that adds value to any contingency program and the addition of the rocker panels to this program accomplishes exactly that,” noted IMCA Marketing Director Kevin Yoder.More information is available by calling Performance Bodies at 800 722-4641.last_img read more

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Infographic: South Africa’s small businesses see growth ahead

first_imgA survey by South Africa’s National Small Business Council reveals that the country’s entrepreneurs are upbeat about the health and future success of their companies.        Small business remains the engine of growth in South Africa. They created 50% of all new jobs and contributed 45% of GDP. (Image: Brand South Africa)Words by Sulaiman PhilipDesign by Sandile KhumaloSouth Africa’s National Small Business Council recently released its survey of entrepreneurs’ take on the country’s business environment. Despite tough economic times, 90% of respondents were optimistic about the health and future success of their companies. Other findings from the survey of almost 18 000 business owners were:• 56% of small business owners thought trade with Africa was the way to growth for any small business• Most thought marketing was the skill they lacked the most• 69% of small businesses did not have business insurance• Access to funding was the biggest challenge for businesses younger than five yearsAccording to NSBC founder and chief executive Mike Anderson, small business can unlock job opportunities – to make a positive and lasting impact on South Africa. The NSBC encourages entrepreneurship through regional workshops and support services for small business owners. With campaigns like campaigns like Small Business Friday, the council also encourages consumers to choose local small businesses over large companies.Here are some of the findings from the NSBC study.Click on the image for a larger view:last_img read more

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Sun, Sand, and Software: Why Miami is Fired-Up for Tech

first_imgPeople who say Austin is the “next Silicon Valley” have obviously never been to Miami.Miami has its tropical climate, world-class art scene, and ample business crowd, technology companies have found a new home-sweet-home, leaving locals wondering what took so long?Perhaps still best known for the bright colors, sandy beaches, and Art Deco made famous by the late great Miami Vice, the city has embraced its roots. The heritage and symbols of Miami have used their hearts to lure in entrepreneurs, developers, and new businesses. Here are just some of the advantages precipitating the influx of entrepreneurs to the Miami area.Extreme liveability.Priced out of up-market locales like Boston and Silicon Valley, fledgling entrepreneurs view the cost of living in Miami as a significant factor in where to set up shop. It’s easier to recruit talent in markets with a lower cost of living, and it’s certainly easier to pay them an attractive wage than it would be in higher priced cities. Case in point: according to BestPlaces.net it’s 55 percent more expensive to live in traditional tech hubs like San Francisco, Boston, and New York than in Miami.But not only will a Miami address save you some dollars, but it’s more fun and more relaxed. How many other leading U.S. cities can brag of white sand beaches, turquoise water, and stately palm trees? Not to mention the vibrant (if not legendary) social scene.Just ask Albert Berdellans, Head of Marketing and New Media for Ultra Music Festival. Berdellans says, “There’s never a dull second in Miami — from the restaurants to the people to the events. The city is alive with contagious energy.”A gold-star economy.Miami’s healthy economy also makes it attractive to entrepreneurs. According to the Miami Urban Future Initiative, the city’s GDP ($288 million in 2016) is growing ar three percent; almost double the national average. Last year, the city took top honors for the Kauffman Index; a scale common among economists and tech pioneers which measures startup activity, beating the other top 39 metro areas in the US.Perhaps more telling, last year Miami-area startups received $1.3 billion in venture capital funding, placing the city eighth on the list of U.S. cities in terms of VC activity — right between Seattle and Chicago — two cities with large tech ties.“Miami is at an exciting moment in which both startups and VCs are growing in numbers, which makes it an exceptional time to be here,” says Olivia Ramos, founder, and CEO of Deepblocks, a technology company using artificial intelligence to optimize real estate development. “With the current momentum, we look forward to continuous growth.”While some entrepreneurs may consider founding companies in San Francisco or Austin, Caribu CEO Maxeme Tuchman never did: “I made a business decision to keep Caribu in Miami, and there are a lot of reasons we haven’t picked up and moved to San Francisco. This ecosystem is incredible, and its network will help us grow. We have this squad of women in Miami who are so collaborative. We all feel super responsible for each other.”Established tech companies are starting to take notice of the city’s stellar economy, too. “We’re extremely impressed by what we’ve seen there,” says Enrique Ortegon, SVP of SMB Sales at the tech giant, Salesforce. “Not only with the number of new businesses popping up, but with the level of innovation. It’s put Miami squarely on our radar.” Salesforce comes to Miami next week to host a Growth Camp conference on March 14. Anyone curious about using technology to start a business, grow a company, and serve customers can attend for free.A culture that values diversity.Miami has always valued its multi-cultural roots. Although the business value of diversity has become something of a buzz across the country, Miami is a market where diversity isn’t just a goal — it’s a lifestyle.Entrepreneurs can find a wealth of Latin American resources in the area — in terms of both human and financial capital; traditionally those resources have been invested in entertainment and other industries, but these days are more drawn towards tech.Mónica Black, Partner at TheVentureCity, a new growth acceleration model that helps diverse founders achieve global impact says, “Diversity is everywhere here — and that’s a great thing because companies with diverse leaders are driving the economy and commanding top dollars from funders and partners.” Companies like TheVentureCity use Miami’s diverse population to put Miami on par with other rising tech areas, demonstrating the advantages that come from an array of backgrounds.Silvina Moschini, President of TransparentBusiness, CEO and Founder of SheWorks!, agrees that it’s a positive, adding, “Transparency and technology are key for building inclusive and diverse organizations and break the barriers that separate the talent from the opportunities. Fortunately, Miami has been very forward-thinking in that regard.”Female entrepreneurs specifically are on the rise, smashing that storied glass ceiling in Miami faster than anywhere in the country. The Miami Herald recently reported that Florida ranked #1 in the nation for the growth of women-owned businesses.  “Women are on the rise in Miami’s business scene, and I love it,” says Carla Curiel, Founder & CEO of Mundo Lanugo. “Do I feel like I’m breaking barriers? Sometimes yes, sometimes no — but I am happy that my twins can see a woman who’s committed to family, career, and culture. It can be done.”Sun, sand, and software: Miami as a tech kingpin.Miami has always loved its work-hard-play-hard moniker. While it’s always been a stomping ground for big business, tech companies and entrepreneurs have realized there’s a lot to like about the city. Is Miami poised to join the top tier of tech hubs? All signs point to the affirmative. Maybe that free Salesforce Growth Camp conference can help you get in on the action. Tags:#Miami#Miami lifestyle#Miami nightlife Brad AndersonEditor In Chief at ReadWrite Brad is the editor overseeing contributed content at ReadWrite.com. He previously worked as an editor at PayPal and Crunchbase. You can reach him at brad at readwrite.com. How OKR’s Completely Transformed Our Culture What Nobody Teaches You About Getting Your Star… Trends Driving the Loyalty Marketing Industry China and America want the AI Prize Title: Who … Related Posts last_img read more

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Adamson not a ‘deadbeat’ team, says coach Air Padda

first_imgDon’t miss out on the latest news and information. It was a painful loss but Adamson head coach Air Padda said her team is by all means not a pushover in the league.“We’re not a deadbeat team, if anyone says we are, we’re not a deadbeat team,” said Padda. “I was proud of our defense today, I thought our blocking was solid. There’s just a few things we need to work on and that is experience, game experience for our setter and that’s just coming to go with time.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesAdamson does lack the experience in the UAAP especially with the departure of Jema Galanza, Mylene Paat, and Fhen Emnas.The Lady Falcons’ roster is made up of seven rookies but has promising attacker in sophomore Chiara Permentilla and veteran leadership in fourth year opposite hitter Eli Soyud and fifth year Mary Joy Dacoron. “I think we’re inexperienced and that was one of the reasons why we lost, especially in the fifth set,” said Padda. “It’s always rough when you lose on the fifth set but everyone did not give up. I was so proud of them and that to me is what Adamson volleyball is about.”“There’s a lot of things we can take away from this to build on. I think that’s what our story is going to be this year, to keep building, keep improving.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting MOST READ 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 Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town Caidic still got game ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes US judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrantscenter_img Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netMANILA, Philippines—Adamson University saw its hopes go up sky high only for University of Santo Tomas bring it back down to the ground in the two teams’ first meeting on opening weekend of the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament.The Lady Falcons came back from a two-set deficit only to falter in the fifth set as the Golden Tigresses took a 25-21, 25-21, 24-26, 24-26, 15-6 win Sunday at Mall of Asia Arena.ADVERTISEMENT View comments SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Grace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes LATEST STORIES Soyud was also a champion with De La Salle back in Season 78 when she was a rookie.The duo of Soyud and Dacoron, however, wasn’t able to offset the youth of the team against the Golden Tigresses especially in the fifth set when UST was able to show its composure.UST was able to get a 5-0 start in the final set and that was essentially the start of the Lady Falcons’ demise.What the Lady Falcons had going for them, though, was their blocking as they repeatedly denied UST star Cherry Rondina at the top albeit being a triple block.Adamson attempted a total of 86 blocks, 32 more than what UST had, and scored 12 points off of them.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

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10 months agoRiver Plate midfielder Juan Quintero: Man City talks makes me proud

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say River Plate midfielder Juan Quintero: Man City talks makes me proudby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveRiver Plate midfielder Juan Quintero has revealed contact with Manchester City.Quintero, on-loan from Porto, has just helped River win the Copa Libertadores.He told Goal: “My agent had a meeting with Manchester City, which made me very proud. “If I go back to Europe, it must be in everyone’s advantage and not just a financial issue.”Along with City, Real Madrid are also interested in the Colombia international. last_img read more

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21 Outstanding Women Honoured

first_imgStory Highlights The JWPC has trained over 800 women in campaign management and candidacy over the years Twenty-one outstanding women honoured for their work in the Jamaica Women’s Political Caucuscenter_img Twenty-one outstanding women have been honoured for their role in advancing the cause of women, through their work in the Jamaica Women’s Political Caucus (JWPC).The 21, who have made their mark in a wide cross section of fields in the society, were recognized for their yeoman service at the JWPC’s 21st anniversary awards luncheon, held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston, on Thursday, July 18.Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, in a message read by State Minister for Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Sharon Ffolkes Abrahams, congratulated the women, noting that their recognition was a fitting way to celebrate the organisation’s 21st anniversary.“Today, we speak your names with pride into our nation’s history, so that generations to come will bless you as they continue to build on the foundation,” she said.The Prime Minister pointed out that the Jamaica Women’s Political Caucus has upheld the right of Jamaican women to be affiliated with the party of their choice.“Standing on that principle, it has led the way in mobilizing women to work together in a non-partisan model, in order to achieve the developmental goals that must be met if Jamaica is to take its rightful place in the global village,” she said.She noted that over the years the Caucus has never deviated from its vision of providing support for women to participate equally at the highest levels of decision making.Pointing to the JWPC’s objective of raising the number of female parliamentarians to at least 40 per cent of the total members of Parliament, a vision that is reflective in the United Nations and its member agencies, the Prime Minister said she was aware of the many systematic barriers that have prevented the country from reaching that goal.“However, I am also confident that through partnerships with civil groups, such as the Women’s Political Caucus, we can hope for a brighter future in line with the Millennium Development Goals, which include Gender Equality and the Empowerment of women,” Mrs. Simpson Miller said.She noted that the work of the Caucus over the years have been tireless and fruitful, pointing out that women venturing out into political careers now have an established and valuable resource for training, advice and other forms of support.In the meantime, President, JWPC, Merline Daley, noted that the organization continues to chip away at “the vast rock of inequality in regards to women’s right to hold positions of decision making in this country,” and will not stop until significant changes are realized.She pointed to the fact that women represent 51 per cent of the population, yet their representational percentage in the Parliament and the Parish Councils bear no relationship to that percentage. She also noted that women far outweigh men in terms of higher education, yet are passed over in favour of men.“This situation must change if Jamaica is to realize her fullest potential,” Ms. Daley said.She reported that the JWPC has trained over 800 women in campaign management and candidacy over the years.Among those honoured were Blossom O’Meally Nelson, Joan Browne, Merlene C. Daley, Beryl Ennis, Maisie Gore, Jeanette Grant Woodham, Maxine Henry Wilson, Gloria Langrin, Essene Lewis, Rev. Dr. Marjorie Lewis, Dorothy Lightbourne, Beverly Manley Duncan, Hermione McKenzie, Gloria Millwood, Violet Neilson, Dr. Beverley Pereira, Dorienne Rowan Campbell, Donna Scott Mottley, Evelyn Smart, Marie Thompson and Faith Webster.last_img read more

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All Primary Students Must Matriculate to Secondary School – Minister

first_img Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, says he is determined to have 100 per cent of primary-level students matriculating into secondary schools for a full five-year course of study.Speaking to students from Wolmer’s Boys’ and Girls’ schools in Kingston during their devotion on September 25, the Minister said Jamaica is only one per cent away from achieving this target.“For many years, over 70 per cent of students in Jamaica did not have access to education beyond grade nine. This year marks the first time in our history that we were able to place 99 per cent of our cohort into a full five-year high-school programme. Next year, hopefully, we’ll be able to place the full 100,” Senator Reid said.“The message I share is about opportunity for all. There was a view that education was elitist. Today, the society is not going to be productive if only some have and the majority don’t have. We want a society where everyone gets equal opportunity for self-development and self-determination, aspiration for goodness and their own sense of self-worth and achievement,” the Minister added.Senator Reid said he believes achieving the goal of getting 100 per cent of students enrolled at the secondary level up to fifth form and placed in a full five-year course of study will benefit the society in a major way in the long run.“Currently, when you look on our workforce of 1.3 million persons, 15 per cent have tertiary education and training, 18 per cent have what we call technical certification from HEART Trust/National Training Agency (HEART/NTA) and City and Guilds, and then 67 per cent did not complete secondary education or any training – almost 800,000 Jamaicans,” he said.The Minister said that through programmes being offered by the Government, such as Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH), along with programmes from other organisations, the one per cent of students who were not placed in a full five-year course of study at the secondary level, can be reached.“We have been pushing science, technology, engineering [and] mathematics largely because the world economy has changed rapidly. We’re now in the fourth industrial revolution where technology is taking over, and a lot of what we will do, how we’ll conduct business, produce goods and services, will be heavily impacted by technology,” he argued.“When we talk about STEM, it is because this is the new economy, and so your education, your training have to be aligned to what is happening in the new economy and for the future. We can’t turn it back. We have to embrace it, prepare for it [and] equip ourselves,” the Minister emphasised. Senator Reid said he believes achieving the goal of getting 100 per cent of students enrolled at the secondary level up to fifth form and placed in a full five-year course of study will benefit the society in a major way in the long run. Story Highlights “For many years, over 70 per cent of students in Jamaica did not have access to education beyond grade nine. This year marks the first time in our history that we were able to place 99 per cent of our cohort into a full five-year high-school programme. Next year, hopefully, we’ll be able to place the full 100,” Senator Reid said. Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, says he is determined to have 100 per cent of primary-level students matriculating into secondary schools for a full five-year course of study.last_img read more

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The English Premier League Is Back And So Is Manchester City

A new season of the English Premier League has arrived! We’ve dragged our scarves out of storage, dusted off our Britishisms and settled down at the computer to chat about the season to come.Chadwick Matlin (senior editor): Hello! I promise not to use too many cliches about the British. Before we start, let’s consult FiveThirtyEight’s new club soccer predictions, which estimate every EPL team’s chance of winning the league and making the Champions League. There’s a lot of uncertainty in which team will win — the favorite has only a 27 percent of winning as of now. But let’s start there: FiveThirtyEight’s projections say that Manchester City is likeliest to end up on top. Does that make sense, given the transfer market and how last season ended?Neil Paine (senior sportswriter): Certainly on paper, City is “supposed” to be the best team — just like they were going into last season, for what that was worth. They had the EPL’s best possession rate last season, the best ratio of shots taken to shots conceded, and the top percentage of play in the opponent’s third of the field. So you could argue that even as they finished third last season, they played the best of any team — and they still have the Premier League’s most talented roster, according to sources like the player-valuation site Transfermarkt.Tony Chow (video producer): I think “supposed to” is the key phrase here. The Citizens certainly seem to have added all the right players. They’ve splashed money on a supposed better goalkeeper in Ederson. They added key players like Benjamin Mendy and Kyle Walker to supposedly help with a spotty defense. I’m not saying City shouldn’t be listed as favorites this season. When you give a coach like Pep Guardiola one full season to get acclimated AND allow him to spend over 200 million pounds on transfers, it should be title or bust for City fans this season. But I still think it remains to be seen how all these pieces work together. It’s a lot of ifs.Chadwick: An aside: Is it rare to find a one-name goalkeeper, as Ederson essentially is? if you’re going to go one-name, I always thought you needed to score goals.Neil: Yes, flair is usually essential for a single-namer.Chadwick: Neil, get to work on your all-time ranking of one-name soccer players.Chadwick: So if Man City wins the league, they’d supplant Chelsea, which steamrolled their way to the championship last season. Our model says they have the next best chance of winning the league (20 percent), which to me reflects their so-so transfer market pick-ups. Am I — or our model — missing something?Neil: In some ways, Chelsea probably overachieved in getting to 93 points last season, so the model is probably anticipating some regression. If you believe in the possession and shot-quality metrics as good predictors of success, Chelsea was not overly impressive in that department last season. The team also had a mixed transfer window, so the predictions don’t think their talent is much improved. That said, they still have one of the EPL’s best rosters.Tony: The 20 percent chance for Chelsea surprised me actually. I’m reminded of a piece we wrote last season about Arsenal with the headline “Arsenal Stood Still While Its Rivals Got Better.” It seems like the same could be true for Chelsea this season. Yes, they brought in a promising striker in Alvaro Morata, but they lost Nemanja Matic, a key player in their title-winning season, to a rival (Man U). Also, their star, Eden Hazard, is hurt for the beginning of the season. A legitimate title defense will most likely have to wait until he returns.Neil: Hazard plays a huge role in that Chelsea offense. He was second in the EPL last season in successful “take-ons,” with 143, and his 75 percent success rate in 1-vs-1 situations was much, much higher than the overall EPL average of 55 percent.Chadwick: OK, now on to Man U, which made the splashiest signing in the Premier League this transfer window, sniping Romelu Lukaku from Everton for about 75 million pounds. Lukaku replaces Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and Man U seems primed to once again make a run at glory after several years out of the top three. Our model gives them an 18 percent of winning the league — is Man U ready to be obnoxiously good again?Neil: It really has been a drought for United. They haven’t won the league since 2012-13, and in fact, over that span, they haven’t finished higher than fourth. You have to go back to the late 1980s to find another stretch quite so barren. But there’s been a lot of buzz this offseason about how Man U might be poised for a comeback.Tony: Never bet against Jose Mourinho in his second season with a team.Chadwick: Why do you say that, Tony?Tony: The guy has won a league title in the second season of every one of the teams he’s managed (Porto, Inter, Chelsea, Real Madrid and then Chelsea again). I wouldn’t be surprised if this pattern continues.Lukaku might be getting all the buzz, but Man United’s path back to glory will have to come through the former most expensive player in the world, Paul Pogba. He had a good but not great debut in the Premier League last season (5 goals, 4 assists), but the addition of Matic to Man United’s midfield should allow Pogba to have a breakout season.Neil: Matic’s passing could open up a new dimension for United. According to ESPN’s Stats & Information Group, he added 4.3 goals above average with his passing — thanks to not only a really high completion percentage on his own passes, but also a stellar success rate for teammates on plays following his passes.Tony: Yeah, that’s a scary, scary duo in midfield for the Red Devils.Chadwick: Anything’s possible without Wayne Rooney.OK, next up: the second tier of the top tier — Tottenham, Arsenal and Liverpool.I feel like Tottenham was all the rage in the U.S. a few years ago for people just starting to stumble their way into EPL fandom, but the Spurs never quite seem to be able to break through. They haven’t signed any starter of note, and their rivals have gotten better. The model is giving Tottenham a 13 percent chance of winning the league, but that seems somehow too high for me. You guys?Tony: Why are all new American soccer fans seemingly Tottenham fans?Neil: Blame Bill Simmons.Tony: 13 percent seems about right to me. They still have two-time Golden Boot winner Harry Kane. To me, the biggest questions facing Tottenham are how they deal with the loss of Kyle Walker to Man City and how they adjust to not being able to play at White Hart Lane while it undergoes renovations. They were undefeated at home last season (17 wins, 0 losses, 2 draws), and now they no longer have that home-field advantage.Neil: The Spurs did probably overachieve more than any other EPL team last year. They were no Leicester in 2015, of course, but they finished with 28 more points than our model projected last season, and a lot of that was on the strength of some favorable shooting and save percentages (what’s known as ‘PDO’), which are more variable stats than something like possession rate. Plus, like you mentioned, they did next to nothing of note on the transfer market. A regression could be coming.Tony: The save percentages — is that all because of Hugo Lloris, or do solid defensive players factor into that as well?Neil: It’s probably a combination of both. Lloris is pretty well-regarded, but there’s also a big luck component that will likely fall away — particularly on offense, where they took a league-high 47 percent of their shots from outside the box last season. Those generally aren’t good scoring chances.Chadwick: OK — on to Arsenal. They have a 10 percent chance of winning the league and a 46 percent chance of making the Champions League. Tony, do you need to excuse yourself because of a conflict of interest?Tony: I’m going to try my best to hide my biases, but based on my calculations, I think Arsenal is going to win the league.Chadwick: Of all the teams in the top six, Arsenal seems like the one most likely to crater. (Doesn’t mean there’s a high chance of that, though.) Alexis Sanchez may not be there in a few weeks, Arsene Wenger barely held on to his job last season and Tony’s spirit animal, Mesut Ozil, isn’t getting younger. Tony, shine your optimistic light upon me!Tony: One word: Lacazette. Wenger should be pleased with what he’s seen from Lacazette in preseason, and his performances should help mitigate any off-field turmoil and contract negotiations that are sure to dominate Arsenal talks this season.Neil: Like we mentioned with Tottenham, though, Arsenal relied on a pretty fortunate combination of percentages last season — they led the Premier League in PDO, which will probably come back down to earth, while they only ranked sixth in the ratio of shots taken to shots allowed. Having said that, they have a better talent base than the Spurs do (for now), so they might weather the regression better.Chadwick: Tony, I saw you pacing around the office on game days last season bemoaning a team you felt was going nowhere. Is it just the hopeful air of summer that has you high on them, or do you really see it all coming together?Tony: There’s a famous saying among Gunner fandom — “form is temporary, fourth is permanent” — and although they failed to live up to even that self-deprecating motto last season, I do believe they have better than a 46 percent chance of qualifying for the Champions League.Chadwick: OK on to our final significant contender: Liverpool, which seems like they still have some work to do in the transfer market if they want to make a real run at the Champions League. Depth seems to be the real issue after a quiet transfer season, and extra games are looming because of their tournament play.Tony: Depth is definitely their biggest issue. They were hampered by injuries last year to key players like Sadio Mane, Adam Lallana and, of course, Daniel Sturridge. AND Sturridge and Lallana are already injured starting this year. Plus, they haven’t really done anything this summer. Their biggest transfer is Mohamed Salah, and while he makes them probably the fastest attacking team in the league, he doesn’t add any depth to their starting 11.Neil: Liverpool were another team that slightly outplayed expectations last season, but their underlying numbers also ended up being top-notch — they were second in both possession rate and share of shots taken in their games. So who knows what exactly to make of them this season?Tony: All this is not even taking into account that their main creative player, Philippe Coutinho, could be gone by the end of this transfer season. As much as Jurgen Klopp is denying it, if this happens, that 8 percent chance of winning the league will drop drastically.Out of these six teams, any combination of four teams wouldn’t surprise me to qualify for Champions League next season.Chadwick: All right, enough with the good teams. On to the ones that might fail spectacularly. And, yes, that includes you, Everton.Tony: To be fair to Everton fans, our projections give them only a 5 percent chance of being relegated. No way that really happens, right?Neil: It would be pretty shocking — but the fact it’s that high for a team we’re projecting to finish seventh underscores how much of a gap there is between the top six and the rest of the league.Chadwick: Besides the six teams we’ve already discussed, the FiveThirtyEight soccer model thinks every other team has at least a 1 in 20 chance of being relegated. More teams have a legitimate chance of being kicked out of the league than winning it!Neil: Is that normal? Certainly the EPL isn’t usually held up as a bastion of competitive balance.Tony: Yeah, it’s not looking like there will be a Leicester City-circa-2015 this year.Neil: Although to be fair, it wasn’t looking like there would be a Leicester 2015 in 2015, either.Chadwick: Last season, our model somehow projected even more teams as having a 5 percent chance of being relegated.Neil: True. But the teams with the highest probabilities of relegation last year were still somewhat likely to stay in the EPL. Crystal Palace was the highest, at 32 percent. This season, the two most likely relegation candidates — Huddersfield and Brighton — are both more than 45 percent likely to be bumped back down to the Championship.Chadwick: And here I thought I had finally found a Premier League team to root for in Huddersfield.Tony: I thought you were an Arsenal fan, Chad?Chadwick: I’m already a Mets fan, Tony.All right, any final thoughts before we log off and Tony tries to convince me that it’s somehow coincidental that Arsenal has a coach named Arsene?Neil: It seems like all signs are pointing to another top-heavy year. I’m interested in the battle at the top: Chelsea’s title defense against Man City’s sheer talent.Tony: Both Pep and Jose begin their sophomore efforts with good teams, and it’ll be interesting to see how their successes and failures are covered and compared. It’s looking like those Manchester derbies will be incredibly important games this year.Also, COYG!! I’m allowed to say that right? Too late. COYG!!Chadwick: Tony, is that English? Maybe all too English, come to think of it. read more

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This Is The First NBA Finals In 9 Years Without LeBron A

When Lamar Odom heaved the ball down-court to drain away what seconds remained between the 2010 Los Angeles Lakers and a championship, few realized that it marked the start of a new era. The period that followed was defined by who wasn’t in L.A. that June night: LeBron James. For each of the next eight seasons, a James-led team would make the NBA Finals — a streak of contesting the championship that won’t technically end until Thursday’s Game 1 between the Golden State Warriors and Toronto Raptors.As the confetti filled the Staples Center air, there was little sense of just how profoundly the game was about to change — some changes because of James himself, others just moving on a parallel track to the game’s biggest star. With the benefit of hindsight, then, let’s take a look at exactly how many huge developments have transpired across the league since the last time we had an NBA Finals without LeBron James.From ABC News: In many ways, it’s fitting that these 2019 finals would pit two of James’s longtime foils — the Raptors (who could never beat him in the playoffs) and the Warriors (whom he could seldom beat) — against each other. James’s shadow hangs over the series in absentia, if not simply for what his vacancy signals. He may return to the championship stage again sooner than later, particularly if the Warriors’ hegemony is threatened this summer. But for now, this series marks the end of an era — and the culmination of all the many changes that have remade basketball since the last time we weren’t debating James’s chances of adding another ring to his collection.Check out our latest NBA predictions. LeBron’s GOAT turnGoing into the summer of 2010, James’s future was as uncertain as it would ever be. He had just suffered the most high-profile failure of his career, inexplicably struggling as his Cleveland Cavaliers were bounced from the second round of the playoffs by the Boston Celtics. He faced a looming free-agency “decision” — would he betray his hometown Cavs? — and persistent questions about whether he could lead a championship team. Statistically, James’s career was off to a stellar start, but by the NBA’s ring-obsessed standards, his path toward GOAT status was wobbling.Nearly a decade later, James is still not universally hailed as the greatest ever. (Michael Jordan’s shadow looms large.) But he is generally placed right in the conversation with MJ. He answered postseason critics with eight straight conference titles and three rings, including one that involved: a) one of the greatest NBA Finals comebacks ever; b) upsetting the winningest regular-season team in history; and c) ending Cleveland’s 52-year championship drought. At the same time, James has climbed up the all-time statistical mountain in countless categories, including passing Jordan on points in March. If James isn’t the GOAT, he has at least become the defining player of his generation — and in some ways, he even redefined the role of a superstar and the criteria we use to judge all-time greats.The rise of the WarriorsThe 2009-10 Golden State Warriors won only 26 games and got their coach, Don Nelson, fired. (The team would go through two more coaches before finding current boss Steve Kerr.) Few vestiges of Nelson’s 2006-07 “We Believe” Warriors — the franchise’s high-water mark for postseason success since the early 1990s — were still on the roster anyway. Newcomer Stephen Curry finished second in Rookie of the Year voting but gave scarcely any clues that he’d eventually become a transformational player. Klay Thompson and Draymond Green were still 20-year-old college kids. From these not-so-promising beginnings, the single greatest dynasty in basketball history1If not all of sports history, if you compare their run to those of greats from other leagues. would be formed.Every dynasty requires a series of unlikely breaks to fall its way, but it’s difficult to overstate just how surprising it was that Golden State would barge into an NBA championship club that included just eight franchises (the Celtics, Bulls, Pistons, Rockets, Lakers, Heat, 76ers and Spurs) hoarding the 31 titles up for grabs from 1980 through 2010. Before they added Kevin Durant in free agency, the Warriors were a testament to the power of drafting home-grown stars and locking them up on team-friendly contract extensions. After inking Durant, they became the scariest collection of talent ever assembled. And it would all come completely out of the blue, from the perspective of a neutral observer in the summer of 2010.The superteam craze gets crazierIn conjunction with James’s emergence as arguably the best player ever (see above), he also helped usher in an era of star players dictating the direction of the league on their own terms. The Age of the Superteam had already gotten underway with the 2008 Boston Celtics’ title-winning team-up between Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen. But James pushed the trend even further when he joined forces with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to form a trio of prime-age superstars on the 2011 Miami Heat. Ever since, most of the game’s highest-profile moves have been designed to either counterbalance or mimic James’s original flight of fancy made good.The league’s power balance, of course, has almost always been about an ever-escalating arms race between Big Twos and Threes. The difference this decade has been about who gets to choose both how and where those combinations form. Encouraged by a salary structure that prioritizes nonmonetary benefits and empowered by what strange quirks of the system do arise, superstars (and their agents) have become every bit as powerful in team-building as general managers. You can’t fault them for it, either: Rings are how players are judged, and star recruiting is the most sensible path to a title in the NBA. This was bound to happen eventually — and the past decade has only solidified the trend.Pacing and spacingThe Warriors didn’t just break the mold of dynasty-building — they helped redefine how a championship team plays the game. Before Curry and Co., the conventional wisdom was that a team who lives by the 3-pointer would eventually die by it before the playoffs ended. During the 2015 playoffs, former Lakers coach Phil Jackson famously tweeted a critique of jump-shooting teams during the 2015 playoffs; Charles Barkley voiced the same sentiment around the same time. The Warriors’ title that summer felt like a retort, invalidating any preconceived notions about what kind of great team could successfully win a title.Although the rise of the 3-point shot was set in motion long before Golden State formed its dynasty, the Warriors became its symbolic standard-bearer — even after they shifted away from small-ball lineups a bit and were surpassed by many other teams in their actual use of the 3-pointer. Whether influenced by Golden State or not, the league’s obsession with speed, spacing and shooting has intensified greatly over the past decade. Pace factor is up 8 percent since 2010, and 3-pointers per game are up 78 percent. (Huge dinosaurs still roamed the paint back in 2010; today’s game looks very different.) Offenses are the most efficient they’ve ever been, and the range at which players can reliably make threes is expanding constantly. James’s own development even mirrored these changes: Once criticized for a lack of shooting touch, he improved to eventually become one of the game’s best deep 3-point bombers by the end of the decade.The evolution of tankingIn addition to the LeBron-influenced spate of superteams, one of the league’s other primary off-court concerns this decade has been how to prevent teams from tanking — deliberately building bad (and often dirt-cheap) rosters in order to get high picks in that summer’s draft. The tactic is nothing new, but back in 2010, it still hadn’t been fully explored to its cynical conclusion — that wouldn’t truly come until Sam Hinkie took over the Philadelphia 76ers in 2013.2Perhaps the SuperSonics/Thunder of the mid-to-late 2000s could also be seen as a precursor to Hinkie’s Sixers, but even those teams were not as brazen in their tanking efforts as Philadelphia would become.Hinkie’s “Process” — designed specifically to acquire a franchise-altering talent like James — left a controversial legacy. It helped Philly eventually acquire many building blocks for their current contending squad, even after missing on a number of their high picks. It also produced some of the worst basketball ever along the way, and the results underscored the complete lack of certainty inherent in hitching a franchise’s fortunes to a randomized lottery system. Neither of this year’s NBA Finalists were built by tanking — in fact, Toronto methodically built a solid team until a superstar (Kawhi Leonard) fell into its lap. And the league readjusted its lottery odds this year anyway, flattening out the rewards for poor records and further discouraging intentionally bad roster construction. Unlike the dreadful 2002-03 Cavaliers team that drafted James, the next LeBron might not even enter the league with a team that lost on purpose to get him.The end of ‘Lakers exceptionalism’?Perhaps the starkest contrast between 2010 and the present is in the state of James’s current club, the L.A. Lakers. With a core of Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Odom and young center Andrew Bynum, coached by Jackson, Los Angeles had just won its second consecutive title — and they appeared poised to contend for even more over the next few seasons. But Jackson retired from coaching in 2011; Bryant and Gasol got older; Bynum couldn’t stay healthy; Odom was traded; and the front office struggled to upgrade the supporting cast.An attempted superteam of Dwight Howard, Steve Nash, Bryant and Gasol failed miserably. It also represented the last time the Lakers made the playoffs. Ever since, the team has tried desperately to replenish its once-endless supply of Hall of Famers, whether through the draft or in signing James, the game’s biggest star. But at the same time, L.A. has been hamstrung by ineffectual management, a story that extended to this week’s ESPN report about dysfunction between Magic Johnson, former president of basketball operations; general manager Rob Pelinka; James’s agent, Rich Paul; and the rest of the team and its staff. The Lakers still figure to aim for another huge star acquisition this offseason, but the era of what SB Nation’s Tom Ziller calls “Lakers exceptionalism” — the idea that L.A. is entitled to always dominate the NBA — is over, difficult as that would have been to believe in 2010. read more

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