Mavericks guard Luka Dončić was named to the 2019-20 All-NBA First Team, the league announced on Wednesday. Dončić was joined on the All-NBA First Team by LeBron James(unanimous), Giannis Antetokounmpo(unanimous), James Harden, and Anthony Davis.
Dončić, who was 21 years, 168 days old on the final day of the 2019-20 regular season (Aug. 14), becomes the sixth player to earn All-NBA First Team honors at age 21-or-younger, along with LeBron James (2006), Max Zaslofsky (1947), Kevin Durant (2010), Tim Duncan (1998) and Rick Barry (1966). James (21 years, 110 days) and Zaslofsky (21 years, 114 days) are the only players to achieve the feat at a younger age than Dončić. In fact, if the season would have ended on its originally scheduled date (April 15), Dončić would have been the youngest to ever do it.
The second-year guard becomes the first player named to the All-NBA First Team in either his first or second season since Duncan in 1998-99 (Duncan made the First Team in each of his first eight seasons from 1997-98 to 2004-05).
Dončić averaged 28.7 points, 9.3 rebounds and 8.7 assists in 54 games before to the restart (through March 11). The 2018-19 Kia NBA Rookie of the Year saw his numbers increase in the bubble, as he nearly averaged a 30-point triple-double (30.0 ppg, 10.7 rpg, 9.7 apg) in Orlando en route to being named a unanimous Kia NBA All-Seeding Games First Team selection. Dončić finished the regular season with averages of 28.8 points, 9.4 rebounds and 8.8 assists in 61 games (all starts), becoming just the third player in NBA history to average at least 28-9-8 for a full season (Oscar Robertson, Russell Westbrook).
The 21-year-old recorded a league-high 17 triple-doubles in 2019-20, becoming the youngest player in NBA history to lead the league outright in the category. Dončić not only broke Jason Kidd’s Mavericks single-season triple-double record (nine in 1995-96), but he became the franchise’s all-time leader in the category as well (25). Twelve of his triple-doubles were of the 30-point variety, and he again joined Robertson and Westbrook as one of three players to record at least 12 30-point triple-doubles in a single season.
Dončić also finished the season as the league leader in 25-point, 10-rebound, 15-assist games (five), 30-10-7 efforts (18) and 20-5-5 games (50).
Dončić ranked sixth in scoring (28.8 ppg), 17th in rebounding (9.4 rpg) and third in assists (8.8 apg). He became the seventh player since the ABA/NBA merger (1976-77) to finish a season ranked in the top-20 among qualifiers in scoring, rebounding and assists (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Larry Bird, Grant Hill, Kevin Garnett, James, Westbrook).
Voting for the 2019-20 All-NBA Teams was based on games played through March 11 (prior to the hiatus).
2019-20 NBA All-NBA Second Team:
Kawhi Leonard (L.A. Clippers)
Nikola Jokić (Denver Nuggets)
Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers)
Chris Paul (Oklahoma City Thunder)
Pascal Siakam (Toronto Raptors)
2019-20 NBA All-NBA Third Team:
Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics)
Jimmy Butler (Miami Heat)
Rudy Gobert (Utah Jazz)
Ben Simmons (Philadelphia 76ers)
Russell Westbrook (Houston Rockets)
Dillian Whyte has an immediate opportunity to exact revenge over Alexander Povetkin on Saturday November 21 as the Heavyweight rivals collide in a blockbuster rematch, live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK.
Whyte (27-2, 18 KOs) was sensationally knocked out by Povetkin (36-2-1, 25 KOs) as the Russian viciously halted ‘The Body Snatcher’s’ World Title ambitions in the finale of Matchroom Fight Camp in Brentwood, Essex, last month.
Brixton’s Whyte had completely controlled the fight, flooring his opponent twice in the fourth round, but was smashed by a perfect left uppercut 30 seconds into the fifth that ended his hopes in a flash.
The 32-year-old will be hoping to regain his Mandatory position for the WBC Heavyweight World Title by levelling the score with Povetkin in what is the most important fight of his career to date.
“I’ve rested well, spent time with my family, and now that the date of the rematch is known, I will soon return to my training camp and prepare as thoroughly as I did for the first fight,” said Povetkin. “As I said before the first fight and after it too, Dillian Whyte is a good, strong boxer. I will be ready to enter the ring on November 21. I hope it will be another beautiful fight for the fans.”
“I’m over the moon to have the rematch,” said Whyte. “As soon as I got out of the ring, I was looking for confirmation that the fight would be on. I can’t wait to get back in the ring and get back what is rightfully mine. I’m looking to do what I said I would the first time and that’s beat Alexander Povetkin.
“There won’t be any major adjustments, but I just need to be more switched on and not get distracted. He was able to use his experience against me. I will be a lot more focused and sharper in the rematch. I’m coming to win and knock him out. I’m coming to even the score and the only way to do that is by knocking him out.”
WBC Super Welterweight World Champion Jermell Charlo showed off his skills for fans and media Tuesday during a virtual media workout as he nears the historic unification showdown against WBA and IBF 154-pound champion Jeison Rosario that headlines part two of a first-of-its-kind SHOWTIME PPV doubleheader Saturday, September 26 in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.
Here is what Charlo had to say at today’s media workout:
“I’m excited and I’m ready for September 26. This is the time to prevail and for me and my brother to be the Charlo Twins. It’s time to be the best Jermell Charlo.
“Me and my brother have come so far together. It’s not just in boxing, but everything in our lives. We’re proof that all you have to do is keep pushing and trying. September 26 is the day that I have to make all of the time I put into this sport worth it.
“Fighting on SHOWTIME PPV is amazing. This is the one. We have a hard fight and that’s all we ever wanted. This is a great challenge for us to overcome.
“This is a different kind of media day, but the real fight will be different also. When you’re a real champion, you make those adjustments. I’m used to fighting in front of a massive crowd, so it’s really important to show that we’re giving our all every day for our fans.
“I used the pandemic to invest in myself and created a gym in my home. I’ve been getting in shape since it started. For this fight to be here in a week, I’m just more than prepared for it. I’m on weight and I’m hitting hard.
“I bounced back from that loss in 2018 last year, but there were still things I needed to learn and develop. We’re going to end 2020 with a bang. This is the Charlo show on SHOWTIME.
“All I’m doing is continuing to grow as an individual every day. We have to set our minds the right way and know how to roll with the punches. I’ve taken it upon myself to be even more dedicated and focused. Every time I feel pain, I think about all the other boxers out there pushing through pain. Now you see where we’re at because of it.
“I ended my last fight in the 11th round, so I’ve been able to finish in the later rounds. Everyone knows I can end the fight early too. Rosario got his chance and won the titles, but I always felt I was the best fighter in the division. When I’m at my best, I don’t see anyone that can compete with me. I always wanted all the belts, and I knew I was going to have to take them from somebody.
“After I lost in 2018, I told everyone that it just gave me jet fuel, and that when I come back, I’m coming back full throttle. That’s what I’m about. I have nothing to lose. I’m not letting him take anything from me.
“I’m even more dangerous than I was before. I’m an old school fighter right here. I’ve been dedicated to this game and I’m not going anywhere. Stay out of my way, because I’m the man trucking things.”
Photo: Andrew Hemingway/SHOWTIME
With Giants RB Saquon Barkley fully healthy, many believe he could have a big season for New York in 2020. However, on Monday night, he struggled, and ultimately the Giants would fall to the Steelers 26-16 in the team’s season-opener at MetLife Stadium.
The third-year running back, who struggled with an ankle injury last season, did not have many holes against Pittsburgh’s defense and had 15 carries for only six yards.
“We just have to go back and watch the film and learn,” Barkley said after the game. “Something I’m proud about with the team today is the way we fought, especially when we were hit with adversity. We just have to go back and watch film, continue to believe in each and come ready to work next week and get ready for Chicago.”
Many can blame the offensive line for Barkley’s subpar stats, but according to Barkley, he has to be better.
“I have to be better, I have to be better for the team,” he said. “We have to find a way to get the run game going. That’s how I truly believe. I have to go back and watch film to give you an honest answer. I can’t just talk off of emotions. One thing that just pops in my mind is find a way to get the run game going for this team. I know that’s going to be a key part of our success. I truly believe, and I still believe in it. Keep grinding at it, keep working at it, and find a way.”
While the Giants struggled on the ground against Pittsburgh, head coach Joe Judge believes the team needs to stay aggressive with the run game.
“You know, every week is going to be a little bit of a different challenge based on the scheme we’re going to see, that’s obviously a very talented front we played tonight,” Judge said after the game. “But look, we’re going to stay aggressive with the run game. Saquon is a key part of our team, he’s going to be a difference-maker in how successful this team is going to be, so we’re going to stay with him. We have a lot of confidence in him, I have a tremendous amount of confidence in our offensive line.”
If the Giants want to have a successful season, Barkley and the offensive line will have to play better, but fortunately for New York, it’s only one game. so they have time to clean things up.
For all NFL teams, each game is a collision of good and bad, of highlights to be savored and lowlights to endure. It is a tussle to maximize the positive while striving to eliminate the negative.
So it was for the Giants in their season opener Monday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers. They had plenty of moments to build on offensively and defensively, players who performed impressively and plays that would have brought cheering fans out of their seats – had there actually been fans in the seats.
But plenty of disappointing plays also punctuated the Giants’ 26-16 loss in Joe Judge’s coaching debut in empty and silent MetLife Stadium.
Indeed, all the good and the bad were on display in one third-quarter possession, when the Giants traveled 87 yards – from their own nine-yard line to the Pittsburgh four – yet inexplicably and hauntingly scored zero points because Daniel Jones – under pressure from linebacker Bud Dupree – floated a pass to Darius Slayton that was intercepted by defensive tackle Cameron Heyward – the first pick of his 10-year career.
T.J. Watt had intercepted a Jones’ pass in the second quarter and those two turnovers led to nine Steelers points, a not insignificant number in a game decided by 10 points.
“He had two throws I know he wants back. Down at the goal line, that’s something we can’t have happen,” Judge said. “Look, I’ll talk to Daniel a little bit more about it, I’ll watch the tape and make sure we clean up everything involved. That’s definitely something you can’t have, 19-play drive and come away with no points, especially down there in the low red (zone). That’s not acceptable, but I’m proud of the way he played aggressive, I’m proud of the way this team stuck together.”
Jones completed numerous pinpoint passes despite absorbing three sacks and constant pressure from Pittsburgh’s ravenous defense. The numbers were 26-of-41 for 279 yards.
Fellow second-year pro Darius Slayton caught six of those throws for 102 yards and scored both of the Giants’ touchdowns, from 41 and seven yards (the latter with 1:52 remaining and the Giants in catch-up mode). Sterling Shepard and Saquon Barkley also had six catches each.
But Barkley and the running game couldn’t gain traction behind the Giants’ new-look offensive line. He rushed for only six yards on 15 carries. Jones led the team with 22 yards on four attempts.
“I’m not really too concerned with the stats,” Barkley said. “You have to give credit where credit is due. They have a great defense, especially their defensive front. They made some plays and we weren’t able to win the game today.”
Defensively, new middle linebacker and captain Blake Martinez tallied a team-high 12 tackles (eight solo) and linemen Leonard Williams and Dexter Lawrence registered sacks. But the unit did not force a turnover and Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger completed 21 of 32 passes for 229 yards and three touchdowns, two to JuJu Smith-Schuster.
“This is a team that makes a lot of explosive plays,” Judge said. “I think [defensive coordinator] Pat [Graham] was able to limit some of the production early on, really do a good job against the run game early on, forced them to be one-dimensional, put a lot of pressure on Ben. That was good for our defense, that limited some of the exposure the guys had. They made adjustments, they’re a good team, they’re going to take some shots down the field. That’s a very talented team, very talented offensive skill group. When you play the Steelers, you have to understand they’re going to make plays.”
The Giants are convinced they should have made more. On the game’s eighth snap, Pittsburgh’s Diontae Johnson muffed a Riley Dixon punt and Devante Downs recovered the ball for the Giants at the Pittsburgh three. Barkley gained one yard before Jones threw a pair of incompletions, forcing Graham Gano to kick his first Giants field goal, a 21-yarder.
After the Steelers tied the score on Chris Boswell’s 41-yard field goal, Slayton beat cornerback Steven Nelson and caught Jones’ perfect strike to put the Giants back on top. The defense forced a three-and-out, but Watt intercepted Jones on the Giants’ first play, leading to Roethlisberger’s 10-yard touchdown pass to Smith-Schuster. Boswell’s extra point try bounced off the right upright and the Giants still held the lead at 10-9.
But they couldn’t hold it until halftime. The Steelers took possession at their own 22 with 1:32 remaining in the second quarter. They never faced a third down as Roethlisberger directed an eight-play, 78-yard drive that ended with a 13-yard touchdown pass to James Washington with seven seconds left that gave Pittsburgh a 16-10 lead it never relinquished.
“We have to do better at the end of the half, we have to finish ourselves in the red area, so those are the big things that stuck out right there,” Judge said.
The Giants seemed poised to jump back ahead in the third quarter, when they executed their longest drive in six years. The Giants converted five third downs on the series, the first when Jones hit Slayton for 18 yards on third-and-14 before gaining 15, four and six yards on successive third downs, concluding with a five-yard pass to Sterling Shepard that kept the march moving. Barkley’s longest run of the night, a seven-yarder, left the Giants just four yards from the goal line. But Dupree’s pressure forced Jones to throw while he was falling backwards and Heyward’s interception proved to be a gut punch to the Giants.
“Obviously a play I’d like to have back,” Jones said. “I’d like to have a chance to look at it with the coaches tomorrow and we’ll look into it. That’s a costly mistake there after a long drive, so… you know, something I got to work on and improve on. … We can’t afford those mistakes in those situations.”
After the pick, the Steelers ran 20 plays and scored 10 points while the Giants ran three and punted. The Giants did not score again until the game was virtually out of reach.
“I think as an offense, I thought we did some good things and some not so good things,” Jones said, “and I certainly feel like I played good at times and bad at times.”
He wasn’t alone.
Unbeaten WBC Middleweight World Champion Jermall Charlo brought fans and media into his training camp Monday with a virtual media workout as he prepares to face top contender Sergiy Derevyanchenko to headline part one of a first-of-its-kind SHOWTIME PPV doubleheader Saturday, September 26 in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.
Charlo was joined Monday by his longtime trainer Ronnie Shields as he showed off a variety of skills while training for the toughest opponent of his pro career. Charlo vs. Derevyanchenko will headline the first part of the special PPV doubleheader that begins at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT, before his twin brother and WBC Super Welterweight Champion Jermell Charlo steps in for the main event of part two against WBA and IBF 154-pound champion Jeison Rosario.
Here is what Charlo had to say:
“I know that it’s my time to shine and my time to give everyone the best that I can give. I’m striving to be one of the best to ever lace up a pair of gloves.
“The fans that love me can expect me to do what I do. The fans who don’t know about me, they’re going to see a smart, strong and athletic fighter. You’re going to see all of it in the ring on September 26.
“I came from nothing, so I want to put everyone on. I want to make sure Ronnie Shields gets into the Hall of Fame. We’re looking to do something in boxing that no one has ever done.
“When I look outside this gym, I say there’s no way I’m losing. I’m carrying my whole family on my back. Houston, we have another one. I’m doing it for everybody here.
“I’m telling those other middleweights to buckle your seatbelts. It’s lift off. Everyone that doubted me, everyone who wants a chance, you’ll get your turn. I’m running the show. You just stay locked in.
“My power is growing along with me. With some fights you need to add more power and sometimes your power just naturally increases. I’ve gotten a lot stronger and a lot smarter, so I’ve been able to use my skills to go along with my power heading into this fight.
“Derevyanchenko is a come forward fighter. He’s going to bring a lot of power and speed with good technical skills. He calls himself ‘The Technician’ but we’ll see how technical he is once I start putting my jab in his face. I’m going to use all my natural skills in this fight.
“After I win this fight the sky is the limit. I know people will respect me a lot more after this, but I’m focused on only this fight. This fight is another big stepping stone toward even bigger fights to come.
“A lot of people don’t really know where the Charlos came from and they’re getting the chance to learn it throughout this time. It’s taken to this point for everyone to see that we belong on this big stage. I’m grateful for everyone around me who’s embraced me with love.
“We don’t have too much longer to be doing this. Where are the rest of the belts at? I’m ready. Watch next Saturday night, because I’m making this statement loud for everyone who doubted me.”
Photo: Andrew Hemingway/SHOWTIME
Eagles QB Carson Wentz started fast against Washington and had Philadelphia up 17-0 in the second quarter. However, near the end of the first half, he threw an interception that set up Washington’s first touchdown. In the third quarter, with the Eagles up 17-7, Wentz threw his second pick, which set up another Washington touchdown.
Wentz(24-42, 270 yards, 2 TDs, 2 ints) and the Eagles would not score another point and would fall to Washington 27-17 at FedEx Field on Sunday. On Monday, Eagles head coach Doug Pederson talked Wentz’s interception before the half.
“After looking at the tape, it’s kind of how I felt and what I saw, live and in-person yesterday in the game,” Pederson said. “We just missed. We missed on a throw. The throw was — came out of his hand after watching the tape kind of slowing things down. Looked like it came out of his hand, ball could have slipped a little bit coming out of his hand. It was left inside. So it happens. Those are things that are going to happen. Especially when it’s warm, and it just is part of the game. It’s just going to take place.”
Many felt the Eagles were too aggressive against Washington, especially right before halftime when Wentz’s pick helped Washington score their first points of the game, but according to Pederson, Philadelphia will continue to stay aggressive.
“As far as the aggressiveness goes, I’m still going to maintain the aggressiveness,” Pederson said. “Look, as I said this morning, a 17-0 lead or a 27-10 lead, in any football game in this league is not enough, and you have to continue to maintain aggressiveness. You have to — especially when you have momentum, right, and it’s kind of on your side. You’ve got to use that to your advantage, and my thinking at that time, too, was to try to get points before half with the ball to start the third quarter. We’ve done that many times here where we’ve scored and then come out and scored touchdowns to start the third quarter. That’s a lot of my mindset in these games.”
Another issue in Philadelphia’s 27-17 loss to Washington was the offensive line, which surrendered eight sacks. At times, Wentz did not have a lot of time, and sometimes, Wentz held the ball too long, which Pederson addressed.
“We still have to continue to address him(Wentz) and to address those issues,” he said. “It’s part of the football game. We just have to keep talking that it’s okay to throw the ball away. It’s okay to dirt the ball on a screen pass or something of that nature and look; it’s something that we’ve just got to continue working through. There is a fine line, obviously, as we know, between the aggressiveness, but at the same time, we want to be smart.”
The Eagles’ offensive line has to play better. Hopefully, they can get RT Lane Johnson back next week against the Rams, and Wentz has to get the ball out quicker if he wants to last for the whole season. If those things don’t happen, it could be a long season for the Eagles.