When Derrick Rose, the Chicago Bulls’ dervish of a point guard, went down in the 11th game this season, it was the 2012-2013 season all over again. Rose sat out that entire season recovering from a torn ACL and watched his team finish 45-37 and put up a fight against the Miami Heat in the second round of the playoffs. This season was supposed to be different — and now it wasn’t going to be at all.Something else wasn’t different: The Bulls managed to finish above .500 without Rose yet again. That was for a whole host of reasons: the remarkable play of center Joakim Noah, the stellar coaching of Tom Thibodeau and an Eastern conference filled with chum, among others. But Chicago’s record this year also indicates that an injury — even of a star player — doesn’t always ruin a team’s regular season as much as we think it might. Sometimes the replacements are better than replacement level. And sometimes they just don’t swing that many games.The Bulls’ record without Rose is just one anecdote, but this was a busy year for injuries in the NBA. Together, the league’s athletes missed more than 4,900 games to injury, the highest total since the 2008-09 season. Eighteen teams saw more games missed due to player injury than the prior season.For the last two years, I’ve kept a database of every injury in the NBA — what the injury was, who suffered it, how many games he missed, etc. (Odd hobby, I know, but this is what happens when you’re an injury analyst.) The database includes every game missed since the 2008-09 season and includes more than 850 players. After watching such an entertaining yet injury-riddled season this year, I started wondering if that database could tell us whether and how the results would have changed if every player in the league had stayed healthy. Like, really healthy. So healthy that there wasn’t a single injury. Who makes the playoffs then?To create this alternate universe, I put my database to work, simulating an entire season in which games missed because of injury were excluded.1Games missed for personal reasons or suspensions were retained. That meant approximating who took the place of the injured players, using injury listings and minute distributions2I went through every team and tabulated each player’s starter minutes versus bench minutes, and how those minutes changed after injury, when I could. to calculate a total number of minutes played for each player on a team’s roster. An important note: My method only tabulates when players play or don’t play; it doesn’t try to understand how a player’s value is affected if he’s playing through an injury.Then, with FiveThirtyEight’s help, I assigned each player a talent rating using Daniel Myers’s ASPM, a box-score-based performance metric that does the best job of telling us how hypothetical universes play out.3The FiveThirtyEight crew used an ASPM aging curve and came up with “talent” ratings for each player based on an age-adjusted weighted average of his performance this season and over the previous two seasons. Once we weighted those talent ratings by the estimate of minutes played, we had a sense of how good each team would be with all of its players. From there, we simulated a whole new season using the 2013-14 NBA schedule, and compared the injury-free hypothetical reality to the actual season.All that left us with what could have been, but almost certainly can never be. As you read the divisional breakdowns below, it’s important to remember that this alternate reality is not a glimpse into how a team would have improved or regressed if it never had to play a replacement player. Instead, it’s a holistic portrait of what would have happened to an entire league if no player missed time due to injury. You’ll see that some teams have worse records in the injury-free space (the New York Knicks, the Detroit Pistons, etc.), which might make you think their replacements were in fact better than their starters, even if the starters were healthy. But it’s really because in our alternate reality these teams don’t improve as much as other teams in the league, leading to more losses against full-strength opponents.With all that preamble out of the way, here’s what an injury-free league looks like in each division, and in the overall playoff picture.Eastern ConferenceIt’s easier to make a surprising run to the top of your division when you’re the healthiest team in the league, as the Toronto Raptors were this season. If the Brooklyn Nets’ center Brook Lopez hadn’t fractured his right foot’s fifth metatarsal and forwards Kevin Garnett and Andrei Kirilenko hadn’t succumbed to back spasms that cost them a combined 45 games, the simulation predicts a healthy Nets team would have flirted with 50 wins. That increases their win total by four games, placing them first in the division. In real life, injuries overextended the minutes of veterans Garnett and Paul Pierce and increased the responsibilities of role players like Reggie Evans and Mirza Teletovic.Not even a clean bill of health rescues the other teams in the division. The New York Knicks get worse in our alternate reality, not helped by their power forward Andrea Bargnani making up the 40 games he missed. Same for the Boston Celtics and their point guard Rajon Rondo. And the Philadelphia 76ers are hopeless no matter what: Rookie Nerlens Noel4In our simulation, rookies who never played were assigned league-average quality ratings. and shooting guard Jason Richardson, along with several other players, aren’t enough to keep them from finishing with the league’s second-worst record.Not even a healthy Derrick Rose stops the Indiana Pacers’ march to the top of the Central Division. The Bulls’ worse record in our alternate universe doesn’t mean the Bulls would be worse with Rose, but more likely that the rest of the league gets even more of a full-strength bump than Chicago does, leading to 1.6 more losses for the Bulls.The biggest drop in the division comes for the Detroit Pistons, who were the 11th-healthiest team in the league, with players missing 128 games overall. Despite their health, the Pistons still couldn’t win 30 games, and they fare even worse once the rest of the league is healthy, losing 3.5 more games in the simulation. The Milwaukee Bucks were the Eastern Conference team most handicapped by injury this season, with their players missing 318 games, but they gain only an extra 2.7 wins in the simulation. That suggests their roster was never that competitive to begin with. And Cleveland, despite adding 31 games from shooting guard C.J. Miles in the simulation, only records a slight uptick, winning a bit more than an extra game.The Southeast remains the most competitive division in the Eastern Conference when injuries are excluded, but with an even denser grouping among its middle three teams. The team at the top of the division, the Miami Heat, distances itself thanks in part to a healthy Dwyane Wade. Wade’s 28 recovered games help net Miami 4.2 more wins, propelling the Heat to the top of the division and the conference.The middle three teams — Washington, Atlanta, and Charlotte — all clump together, with Atlanta winning an extra game thanks in part to a boost from the return of center Al Horford (53 games missed). Washington and Charlotte, meanwhile, dip. A never-absent Nene doesn’t help Washington much, since in reality the Wizards went 12-9 during the 21 games he wasn’t on the court. Charlotte was the team that most took advantage of an injury-filled NBA, finishing 5.8 wins above its record in the injury-free reality, so some regression to the mean is expected. And the Magic, well, the Magic aren’t notable in either reality.Western ConferenceThe San Antonio Spurs remain the best team in the league, but with a franchise-record breaking 65.7 wins, 3.7 more than they actually had during the regular season. That’s what happens when you get an extra 44 combined games from Tony Parker, Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green.Houston’s five-man starting unit finished ninth in most minutes played together this season, so it’s not surprising that the Rockets are unaffected by an injury-neutral schedule. The majority of Houston’s injuries occurred to bench players, and a few more games from backup center Omer Asik don’t move the needle.Despite an additional 23 games from a healthy Marc Gasol, Memphis’s record drops a bit, with the Grizzlies losing 3.4 more games than they did in reality. Perhaps it’s because the teams they faced during Gasol’s absence were in poor health, including a James Harden-less Rockets squad, a Brooklyn team without Deron Williams, a New Orleans Pelicans team missing Anthony Davis and a Bulls team lacking Rose. Memphis’s play may improve with Gasol in the lineup (the Grizzlies went 10-13 while he was out) but so, too, do the rosters of the teams they face. That drops them below the Dallas Mavericks, who lose ground (2.2 games) but less of it than Memphis. At the bottom of the division, the New Orleans Pelicans gain the second-most games in the league (5.1), with the help of a full season from Anthony Davis, Ryan Anderson and Jrue Holiday, a trio that, in reality, played just 15 games together.At the top of the Northwest Division, the Oklahoma City Thunder only get better, winning 3.6 more games with the help of a healthy Russell Westbrook, who missed 36 games this season. Those extra games help put more distance between the Thunder and the Portland Trail Blazers, who decline as the league gets healthier. Only Indiana’s starters played more minutes together this season than the Blazers’ starting five.The majority of Minnesota’s injuries didn’t occur until the final weeks of the season and didn’t have a major impact on the Timberwolves’ overall finish. But the team directly behind them in the standings can use injuries as a legitimate excuse for failing to meet expectations. Denver lost more than 130 games to three separate ACL tears, including 82 games from starting small forward Danilo Gallinari. Combine those games with Javale McGee’s tibia fracture and it’s easy to see why the Nuggets finished as the NBA team most affected by injuries. They win 5.4 more games in our injury-free utopia.The Utah Jazz are bad in all realities. The team ranked as one of the healthiest in the league, and it seems the Jazz likely picked up a few wins due to other teams’ injuries — wins that fall away in our simulation.The Los Angeles Clippers remain the elite team in the Pacific and improve their record by two wins with an extra 20 games from Chris Paul. Two wins may seem like a small shift for the return of a player as good as Paul, but the Clippers played well without him (earning a .650 winning percentage), blunting the effects of his loss.Like Portland, Golden State’s starting unit remained largely unscathed for most of the year, which knocks 2.4 wins off their total once the rest of the league becomes as healthy as they were. South 350 miles, the Los Angeles Lakers suffered through a nightmare season, losing player after player to injury with Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Pau Gasol (who combined to miss 165 games) and others sitting for significant stretches throughout the year. Yet removing these injuries doesn’t do much for the Lakers’ playoff push. It helps them pass Sacramento in the standings, but they only win 3.7 more games with all their players.The real surprise is in Phoenix, not because the Suns’ record changes much (they gain only 0.1 wins), but because the rest of the league changes just enough that the Suns make the playoffs in an injury-free simulation. The Grizzlies are suddenly left out of the playoff picture, finishing .003 percentage points behind the Mavs for the eighth playoff spot.The Suns are the only team to make the playoffs in the injury-free reality that didn’t in the actual season we just watched. Without injuries, playoff seedings change — it’s Miami, not Indiana that has home court advantage in the East — and as bad as the Eastern Conference was, it’s even worse once the whole league is at full strength. But all in all, very little is different.For the endless talk about how injuries changed the game this season, if the entire league were healthy, the NBA would still look more or less like the NBA as we saw it. It’d just be a bit more entertaining.
It’s not hard to tell that LeSean McCoy is a good player. The explosive Philadelphia Eagles running back showed the world on Monday night why it might even be safe to call him great.McCoy made nice moves during the Eagles game against the Washington Redskins, juking defenders off their feet en route to a 34-yard touchdown. With that amazing run, the Eagles’ lead swelled to 33-7 in the third quarter. The move that McCoy pulled off was so good it made former New York Giants star Michael Strahan tweet:McCoy just made me jump off the couch!! DAAAAAMMMMMNNNN!!!— Michael Strahan (@michaelstrahan) September 10, 2013 McCoy ran for a total of 184 rushing yards on 31 carries in the Eagles’ 33-27 victory.Take another look at the ankle-breaking run in the video below.
PHI74PHI73DAL 27, PHI 20-0.5– 20158DEN3✓GNB2DEN 199512OAK4DAL1✓DAL 20076NWE1✓DAL5NWE 199110HOU4WAS1✓WAS NO64NO71NO 51, CIN 14+2.6– Playoff %Playoff % ATL78ATL76CLE 28, ATL 16+0.8– But even if it won’t change the playoff race or give us a sneak peek at Super Bowl LIII, the Rams and Chiefs’ tilt should be fun. And once it’s over, we can look ahead to Week 16’s Saints-Steelers battle for yet another potential Super Bowl preview … that probably won’t contain both conference champs, either.FiveThirtyEight vs. the readersYou can check out FiveThirtyEight’s Elo ratings in our NFL prediction interactive, which simulates the rest of the season 100,000 times, to track how likely each team is to make the playoffs and win the Super Bowl. On top of that, you can also pick against the Elo algorithm in our prediction game. You’ll be playing for bragging rights, and the chance to climb up our giant leaderboard.Using data from the game, here are the games in which Elo made its best — and worst — predictions against the reader picks last week: 20155CIN5SEA4CIN CAR70.813.9DET3.63.417.21525 199415SDG4✓SFO2✓SFO 201215NWE1SFO3✓SFO 201015BAL5NOR2BAL 201811KAN2LAR4? PICKWIN PROB.PICKWIN PROB.ResultREADERS’ NET PTS DAL25.512.5ATL21.711.323.81535 Less playoff success7856196 TB1.71.5NYG0.20.11.61398 IND56IND52IND 29, JAX 26-5.0– The best matchups of Week 11Week 11 games by ranking of average Elo ratings (using the harmonic mean) plus ranking of total potential swing for the two teams’ playoff chances, according to FiveThirtyEight’s NFL predictions 19979NWE4GNB1✓GNB 200017IND4MIN5IND WSH66.412.9HOU18.104.22.168507 GB61GB69GB 31, MIA 12+3.9– 19927KAN4DAL5✓DAL TEN62.517.7IND11.89.827.51506 PIT61PIT57PIT 52, CAR 21-5.4– OUR PREDICTION (ELO)READERS’ PREDICTION 199013BUF3✓PHI5BUF 20177NWE1✓ATL3NWE AFCNFC 199015BUF3✓NYG2✓BUF 19926KAN5PHI3KAN ARI0.10.1OAK<0.1<0.10.11354 One of these teams might be special. The other, not so muchHow each team in a midseason “Super Bowl preview” game fared, on average, by the level it reached in the playoffs. 199714KAN4SFO1KAN 20089TEN2GNB5TEN TB54WSH51WSH 16, TB 3+3.8– 20147DEN1SFO3DEN MIN62.9%±17.5CHI70.1%±17.034.51565 199317HOU4SFO2HOU 199313MIA4DAL1✓MIA KC88KC93KC 26, ARI 14-0.1– Three of the last four midseason Super Bowl previews featured 50 percent of the eventual Super Bowl matchup: New England and Atlanta played at foggy Foxboro in Week 7 last season (itself a Super Bowl rematch), and the Patriots later went to the Super Bowl. Seattle and New England reprised their own earlier Super Bowl matchup in Week 10 of 2016, and the Pats also went to that season’s Super Bowl. And in 2015, the Broncos used a Week 8 win over the Packers as a stepping-stone along their Super Bowl path. The exception in that stretch was Arizona-Cincinnati in Week 11 of 2015 — which sounds like an absurd potential Super Bowl, except that both teams were a combined 15-3 going into the contest, long before an injury to Andy Dalton ruined Cincy’s season.But if one team tends to emerge from these kinds of games on a championship path, the other usually stalls out well before the Super Bowl. Here’s a breakdown of how often each team in our sample of games ends up making each round of the playoffs, depending on how much playoff success they had: 199615DEN1GNB2✓GNB 201610NWE1✓SEA3SEA SeasonWeekTeamElo RkMade SB?TeamElo RkMade SB?Won Show more rowsSource: pro-Football-Reference.com In the grand scope of the NFL universe, having slightly better than a coin-flip’s odds to make the divisional round of the playoffs isn’t too bad an outcome. But for a pair of teams coming into a midseason game with Super Bowl aspirations, it is striking how rare it is for both to ultimately make significant playoff runs. Instead, one usually is left behind along the road to the championship. And, in case you were wondering, the winner of the Super Bowl preview advanced deeper into the postseason just 60 percent of the time, so it’s tough to say which team will be which, regardless of who wins the “preview.”Either way, this Rams-Chiefs game will treat the fans to some points. The over-under on the game is 63½ points — one of the highest point totals in NFL history. And according to our matchup quality metric (determined by the harmonic mean of the teams’ Elo ratings in each game), this is also the best game of the entire NFL season so far. The only factor holding this particular Super Bowl preview back might be game importance — i.e., how likely it is to swing either team’s odds of making the playoffs. Both teams have all but clinched playoff spots, so K.C.-L.A. drops to sixth place among Week 11 games once we account for a mix of matchup importance and quality: 199116KAN5SFO3SFO 199513KAN3DAL1✓DAL LAR69LAR74LAR 36, SEA 31+1.1– More playoff success100%97%75%58% Elo’s dumbest (and smartest) picks of Week 10Average difference between points won by readers and by Elo in Week 10 matchups in FiveThirtyEight’s NFL prediction game Home teams are in bold.The scoring system is nonlinear, so readers’ average points don’t necessarily match the number of points that would be given to the average reader prediction. CIN34.217.2BAL24.413.230.41511 KC99.90.1LAR>99.9<0.10.11661 There’s a new team atop FiveThirtyEight’s NFL Elo rankings this week, and it’s the one we discussed in this space last time around — the red-hot New Orleans Saints. Fresh off an impressive victory over the Los Angeles Rams, New Orleans turned around and walloped the Bengals 51-14 in Cincinnati. Based on how they’ve been playing recently, there’s no team more deserving of the No. 1 slot than Dem Saints.However, New Orleans is also the fourth different team to hold the top spot in Elo so far this year, joining the Patriots, Eagles and Chiefs. That’s tied for the most handoffs of the No. 1 spot through Week 10 of a season since 2002 (when five separate teams held No. 1 to that point in the schedule). So we still don’t have a great sense of who exactly will be meeting up in Atlanta in February. In fact, there’s still a decent chance it might just be the two teams that are scheduled this week for an epic Monday Night Football clash — the Chiefs and Rams.Both teams sport 9-1 records, and they have similar strengths and weaknesses. According to Pro-Football-Reference.com’s Simple Rating System (SRS) metric, the Chiefs rank second in the league on offense and 19th on defense; the Rams rank third in offense and 14th on defense. K.C. is led by a couple of 23-year-olds: quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who leads the NFL in passing yards, and running back Kareem Hunt, who ranks fourth in rushing. L.A.’s pair are both 24: QB Jared Goff (second in passing yards) and RB Todd Gurley (first in rushing).A nationally televised matchup between two exciting, young, star-studded teams in opposite conferences is sure to have a Super Bowl feel to it. And our model does give the Chiefs the AFC’s best odds of winning the Super Bowl, while considering the Rams to be the NFC’s second-most likely winner (behind New Orleans). But it also bears remembering that prospective “Super Bowl previews” on the midseason calendar usually don’t predict the actual Super Bowl very well (though they do often come close).To gather a sample of similarly huge AFC-NFC showdowns from seasons past, I filtered our database of games for ones that:Happened in Week 5 of a season or later (to give Elo time to “catch up” with how good each team is).Featured two Top 5 NFL teams at the moment of the game, according to Elo.Matched up teams from opposite conferences.Going back to the start of the current NFL playoff format in 1990, there have been 36 regular-season games that could have been considered Super Bowl previews, according to the rules laid out above. Of those, only two — Bills-Giants in December 1990 and 49ers-Chargers in December 1994 — ended up actually foreshadowing the Super Bowl to come. (The Giants flipped their regular-season loss on its head, while the 49ers obliterated the Chargers both times.)There have been plenty more regular-season games where the eventual Super Bowl combatants met months beforehand — think Patriots-Rams in 2001 or Giants-Patriots in 2007. But few were hyping those as potential Super Bowl previews at the time (even if coaches had their occasional premonitions about meeting up in the postseason). And on the flip side, when it comes to games highlighted for their Super Bowl potential, the exact matchup often finds a way to get derailed over the remainder of the season.Of those 36 regular-season matchups in our data-set, 23 did contain at least one of the eventual conference champions — so the odds aren’t bad that either K.C. or L.A. will make their way to Atlanta on Feb. 3. LAC76LAC82LAC 20, OAK 6+1.2– Share of teams reaching round 20015BAL1GNB4GNB Team that had …Wild CardDivisionalConf. ChampSuper Bowl NE63NE74TEN 34, NE 10-16.6– Game quality is the harmonic mean of the Elo ratings for the two teams in a given matchup.*Average change is weighted by the likelihood of a win or loss. (Ties are excluded.)Source: ESPN 199517PIT4✓GNB5GNB 20035IND5TAM1IND PIT92.35.8JAX2.52.38.01547 PHI26.49.2NO98.51.610.81634 20049PIT4PHI1✓PIT LAC91.95.8DEN22.214.171.124519 Another week, another loss for the readers against Elo, which now has beaten the field in nine of 10 weeks so far this season. This time, it was the Patriots’ surprising road loss to the Tennessee Titans that ended up costing readers the whole week — on average, they lost 16.6 points in that matchup, in a week where they lost by 12.5 total points. However, even though the readers have followed up their lone win of the season in Week 7 with three more losses in a row, they are getting better: In the season’s first six weeks, they lost by an average of 38.9 points per week; over the past three weeks, they’ve only lost by an average of 8.6 points.Among those readers who aren’t mired in a losing streak, congrats to David Ryborz, who topped all identified users in Week 10 with 148.6 points, and to Brian Hake, who continues to lead the season-long leaderboard with 808.4 points. Thanks to everyone who has been playing — and if you haven’t, be sure to get in on the action! You can make picks now and still try your luck against Elo, even if you haven’t played yet.Check out our latest NFL predictions. 19998DEN5MIN2MIN A brief history of regular-season “Super Bowl previews”NFL games after Week 4 in which both teams ranked among the Top 5 in FiveThirtyEight’s Elo ratings and were in opposite conferences, since 1990 199716DEN3✓SFO2SFO Source: Pro-Football-Reference.com 20136NWE2NOR5NWE 200612NWE3CHI5✓NWE CHI65CHI67CHI 34, DET 22-0.1– 20026NWE4GNB5GNB NYJ63NYJ64BUF 41, NYJ 10-2.9– GB23.113.0SEA29.112.725.61515 200912NWE3NOR2✓NOR SF67%SF62%NYG 27, SF 23+4.7– Team ACurrentAvg. Chg*Team BCurrentAvg. Chg*Total ChangeGame Quality 20088PIT3✓NYG4NYG 201511CIN4ARI3ARI
In many ways, Thursday’s pivotal Game 5 between the Raptors and Bucks embodied the topsy-turvy nature of this Eastern Conference finals series as a whole. Milwaukee, the winner of the first two games, dominated the early portion of the contest, only for Toronto, which took Games 3 and 4, to come storming back.But down the stretch, three things broke what had been a stalemate in both the series and the game: the Raptors’ ability, once again, to grind Milwaukee’s fast-paced offense to a halt in the half-court; Leonard’s playmaking reaching new, impressive heights; and Toronto’s knack for repeatedly winning a handful of key 50-50 plays during the final five minutes. Those factors lifted Toronto to a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series as things head north for Game 6 on Saturday.Early on Thursday, it looked like the Bucks might run Toronto out of the gym, with Milwaukee taking an 18-4 advantage before closing the first quarter with a 10-point lead.But even in winning that quarter, the reality was that the Bucks still hadn’t solved their biggest issue. While Milwaukee generally scored at will when it managed to get out in transition — where Giannis could have his way, Eurostepping around people like a Lamborghini making aggressive lane changes — the club still wasn’t productive enough when forced to run its half-court offense.According to advanced stats site Inpredictable, Milwaukee’s offense is scoring a dismal 96 points per 100 possessions when forced to take the ball out after a basket in this series — way worse than the 114 points per 100 plays the Bucks get following a defensive board, and way way worse than the 132 points per 100 plays they score after forcing a Toronto turnover.The Bucks can score in the half-court much of the time, but it has been far more of an uphill climb when Toronto throws down its trump card by deploying neutralizer Kawhi Leonard on Giannis. The Bucks have been almost 29 points less efficient per 100 possessions this series1From 114.4 points per 100 possessions to 85.6 points per 100 possessions. when Antetokounmpo is guarded by Kawhi, according to data from Second Spectrum. (There were hints in the regular season that Leonard — a break-in-case-of-emergency defensive option because of all the offensive weight he shoulders for the Raptors — could limit the Greek Freak. According to the NBA’s matchup data, the likely MVP took just three shot attempts in the 31 regular-season possessions Leonard guarded him.)Milwaukee again got nothing out of Nikola Mirotic, who’s been ice cold this series at just 19 percent (6-for-31) from deep and is a -37 through five games. (The Bucks are +37 in the series with Mirotic on the bench.) It also didn’t help to get a bad shooting night from Khris Middleton, who finished with 10 rebounds and 10 assists but had just 6 points after scoring 30 in Game 4.By contrast, the Raptors got another great performance from reserve Fred VanVleet, perhaps feeling less burdened now after the birth of his child; VanVleet hit seven triples, all uncontested.If Toronto comes back from its 2-0 hole to win this series — something that’s only happened five times in 72 tries since the conference finals moved to a best-of-seven format — VanVleet will have played a huge role in the feat. In the last two games alone, he’s hit more threes than he did over his first 15 games of this postseason. And after shooting just 28.6 percent from deep in last year’s playoffs, and 20 percent from three over the first two rounds of this year’s playoff run, he’s hitting better than 52 percent of his attempts (12 of 23) in the Eastern Conference finals.Speaking of 3-pointers, Kawhi hit five Thursday night, including a couple late, where he punished the Bucks for switching (something they don’t often do) center Brook Lopez onto him at the top of the key.More noteworthy than Leonard’s triples, though, were the career-high nine assists he logged — every single one of which led to a Raptors’ 3-pointer. (Toronto finished with a franchise playoff record 18 threes on the night.) Those nine threes he assisted are tied for the most by a single player in a playoff game over the last 20 years, according to ESPN Stats & Information Group.2With Steve Nash, Rajon Rondo, Deron Williams and Blake Griffin.Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/KAWHI-2.mp400:0000:0002:17Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.On some level, that assist total — along with VanVleet’s scoring — is perhaps the toughest box-score stat for Milwaukee to swallow, given that Leonard’s play-making for others was the one area that seemed safest to test. He also finished with 35 points of his own, making him just the sixth player in NBA postseason history to log seven 35-point games before the NBA Finals.Despite all this, though, the Bucks still had a chance at the end. But Toronto seemingly made every big play down the stretch. Over the last five minutes alone:The Raptors nabbed two offensive rebounds before capitalizing on the extra chances with a Marc Gasol triple, which put Toronto up by 7 points, 92-85, with 4:54 left.VanVleet hit a wide-open 3-pointer that Middleton couldn’t contest because of a great back-screen Gasol set on him during a kick-out pass from Kawhi. The shot broke a tie game with 2:21 left.Kawhi missed a three but then raced in to get his own board while Gasol was grappling with Antetokounmpo. The play resulted in Kawhi getting fouled and getting two free throws out of it.Confusion between Lopez and Malcolm Brogdon on who had VanVleet in the corner. Middleton, guarding Kawhi in a 1-on-1 scenario, pushed Leonard to his left, thinking he had sufficient help behind him at the rim. But because Lopez had moved toward the corner to cover VanVleet, the help wasn’t there, and Leonard got to the line again, where he made one of two.Kawhi missed an end-of-clock jumper, which glanced off the rim and somehow ended up in the hands of Gasol, who was subsequently fouled by Lopez with about 35 seconds left in the game. (It’s worth mentioning here that the Raptors were elite at coming up with loose balls all season.)Down by 3 points, the Bucks blew their last opportunity to tie things up when Brogdon dribbled the ball off his leg, and out of bounds, with just under 27 seconds left.The result, of course, was the 60-win Bucks — who hadn’t had a three-game losing streak all year, and entered Thursday 33-0 when leading going into the fourth quarter — snapping both those streaks at the worst possible time. Now they’ll head north, with their backs against the wall, while the Raptors seek to make history by clinching a spot in the NBA Finals on their home floor.Check out our latest NBA predictions.
If he walked around campus today, how many students would recognize him? If students walking down High Street were asked to name the most accomplished basketball player in Ohio State history, would they know how to pronounce his last name? The likely answer to both questions is no. The truth is, time passed John Havlicek long ago. He was underappreciated during his career, and his name has fallen through the cracks of history, eventually finding a home in the world of forgotten yesterdays. Perhaps it was meant to be this way. With a tireless work ethic that reflected the blue-collar town he’s from, Havlicek was an unassuming star who put on his hard hat and quietly went to work, day in and day out. In 1978, he retired from the NBA third in career scoring, second in career minutes and first in games played. “When John Havlicek retired, I thought he was the greatest all-around player I had ever seen,” said Bob Ryan, former Celtics beat reporter for The Boston Globe and co-author of “Hondo: Celtic Man in Motion.” “There’s nobody today, no style that reminds me of John Havlicek.” Thirty-two years later, Havlicek’s name rarely escapes the mouths of OSU students. His hometown, Lansing, Ohio, has a population of about 500 people. His entire life was contained within a six-block radius. Though this eventually would work to Havlicek’s advantage, it bothered him that as a kid, his parents wouldn’t buy him a bicycle. “As a young boy, I never had a bicycle,” Havlicek said. “It was because we lived on a busy street, but all of my friends had one. So, when they would go from place to place, they’d ride their bikes and I would run.” That busy street was U.S. Route 40, and the Havliceks’ front door was about 12 feet from the highway. His elementary school was a block away from his house, and the church was across the street from the school. So, he ran. Everywhere. “Where I grew up, you played football, basketball and baseball,” Havlicek said. “Those were the three major sports that everyone played regardless.” That trend continued into high school, when Havlicek earned all-state honors in all three sports at Bridgeport High School. He visited OSU four times during his senior year, and three of those recruiting trips were football-related. Then-coach Woody Hayes wanted Havlicek to play for his football team. “I was from a small school, and I knew I wanted to play basketball. That was my preference,” Havlicek said. “I was tempted to try football, but I think things turned out best for me by just sticking with basketball.” For four years, Hayes kept an open locker and a clean jersey ready for Havlicek in case he changed his mind. Hayes also promised not to hassle Havlicek about his decision to play basketball and baseball at OSU instead of football, but that didn’t stop Hayes from ribbing him on occasion. “He once introduced me as ‘the best quarterback in the Big Ten, only he’s not playing,’” Havlicek said. OSU wanted Havlicek, but he wasn’t sure whether he belonged in the Big Ten. Lee Caryer, an OSU basketball historian and author of the book “Golden Age of Ohio State Basketball,” said Havlicek lacked self-confidence. “He didn’t think he was good enough. He was so impressed with (Jerry) Lucas, and he felt like he wasn’t as good as Lucas,” Caryer said. “That’s the kind of person he is. He was the last person to think he was something special.” Lucas was Ohio’s prodigal son at the time. A superstar at Middletown High School, he had no idea who Havlicek was when they met during their senior years. “I had never heard of him, really. He was in a different part of the state,” Lucas said. “The first time I met him was at the North-South All-Star Game for Ohio high school basketball players. John and I were on the same team. “We won that game pretty handedly,” he added, laughing. Lucas and Buckeye recruit Mel Nowell convinced Havlicek to follow them and play for OSU. Havlicek accepted and helped to form a recruiting class that would rival any OSU class. In 1959, the Buckeye basketball program had a freshman team, but the team could only practice against the varsity and play against the junior varsity squad before varsity games. The team didn’t travel or play a game against any other college. However, largely because of Lucas’ star power, fans packed St. John Arena for the freshmen scrimmages and left before the varsity games began. “We regularly beat the varsity in practice, and there were actually more fans that came to the freshman games than they did to the varsity games, unfortunately,” Lucas said. “There was a tremendous amount of interest in our team throughout the state.” The OSU basketball program was loaded with offensive firepower. “I would argue to this day that Lucas was one of the top five college players of all time,” Ryan said. “And Havlicek was Robin to his Batman at OSU.” Lucas, Nowell, Larry Siegfried, Joe Roberts and Bobby Knight could score in a variety of ways. Havlicek determined it would be in his best interest to make an impact on the other end of the floor. “I figured if everyone gets their (high school) average, we’re going to score 150 points a game, which wasn’t going to happen,” Havlicek said. “The best way for me to get into the lineup was to excel on defense. That’s what I dedicated myself to, and that’s what I was known as when I was a collegiate player.” Havlicek’s scoring increased in each subsequent season he donned scarlet and gray, but his defensive efforts were becoming the stuff of urban legend. It wasn’t uncommon for players from other schools to brag to the media when they scored in the double digits on a night when Havlicek was guarding them. It didn’t happen often. “He was the first man down the court on offense, but he was always the last player to leave on defense,” Caryer said. “He just got there faster.” The Buckeyes only lost six games over the course of three seasons at the varsity level. They are also responsible for the only National Championship win in OSU basketball history, which they earned in 1960. The late Fred Taylor coached the team to a near-perfect first half of basketball against California. It made 15 of its first 16 shots en route to a lopsided 75-55 victory. When his collegiate basketball career came to an end, Havlicek was selected in the 1962 draft in both the NBA and the NFL. Despite Havlicek not having played football for more than four years, iconic Cleveland Browns coach Paul Brown drafted him in the seventh round. Havlicek wasn’t sure if he wanted to play professional football, but he reported to camp anyway. “He went to the Browns, which was one of the NFL powers at that time,” Caryer said. “They ran the 40-yard dash, and Jim Brown and Bobby Mitchell were the only guys in camp that were faster than Havlicek.” The Browns wanted him to play wide receiver. Havlicek had great hands, but he struggled with blocking. He was the last player cut. In his autobiography, Havlicek said the Browns contacted him for the next five years, gauging his interest in a return to the NFL. Havlicek had a back-up plan. He was drafted No. 7 overall by the Boston Celtics in the 1962 NBA draft. “I was going to try and play both. But the intuition of the good Lord had me in his good standing by cutting me and saying that, ‘I think you belong in basketball not football,’” Havlicek said. The Celtics had just won their fifth championship when Havlicek arrived at training camp. Their roster was a checklist of legends, including coach Red Auerbach and center Bill Russell. Despite a solid collegiate career in which Havlicek averaged 14.6 points and 8.6 rebounds per game for the Buckeyes, a familiar trend was occurring. Some doubted he could play professional basketball, and others still had no idea who he was. “When he was drafted first by the Boston Celtics, I had sports writers, even some from Columbus, saying, ‘Do you think he can make it?’” Lucas said. “And I said, ‘What have you been watching for the last three years? I mean, if he can’t make it, nobody can.’” Tommy Heinsohn, who was Havlicek’s teammate on the Celtics for four years before eventually taking over as coach, said the Celtics were completely unaware of what he could accomplish on the court. “We didn’t know anything about him, other than he was on a very good Ohio State team,” Heinsohn said. “And we very quickly found out that he was a terrific athlete.” Because of his unrelenting cardio, Havlicek would run his defender into the ground. He never stopped running. Thanks to an abnormally large set of lungs and a childhood devoted to running, nobody could keep up with him for an entire game. “When I coached him, I noticed that his endurance and style of play was something that nobody else had been able to do,” Heinsohn said. “His energy, endurance and athleticism helped us win a lot of games.” The role of the sixth man on an NBA team is a thankless one. These players are generally regarded as individuals who can light it up on offense, but lack the defensive chops to be a starter. Havlicek wore the sixth man tag like a badge of honor, never once letting it bother him that he wasn’t a starter. “I prided myself on my ability to come off of the bench and change the tempo of the game, both offensively and defensively,” Havlicek said. “I figured that nobody could name all of the players who started in the NBA at that time. But if I could become the best sixth man in the league, everyone would know who I was.” In a professional career spanning 16 seasons, Havlicek won eight NBA championships, the third-most in league history. His first and eighth championships were won with a completely different roster. “There is no argument that he wasn’t the greatest sixth man in NBA history,” Ryan said. “He was an absolutely amazing, astonishing player.” Havlicek played in the shadow of Russell in Boston, much like he had in the shadow of Lucas at OSU. But his numbers don’t lie. Havlicek is the Celtics’ all-time leading scorer and ranks 12th overall in points scored, with 26,395. He rarely got hurt, playing 46,471 total minutes, good for eighth of all time. He appeared in 13 All-Star games, and was a constant fixture on both the All-NBA teams and All-Defensive teams. “He got to the point where he loved to shoot,” Lucas said. “He told me later in his professional career that he never saw a shot he didn’t like.” While transforming into an offensive dynamo, Havlicek developed an affinity for crunch-time situations. When the Celtics needed a clutch play, they turned to Hondo. The most famous play in Celtics history, and most famous radio call in NBA history, took place during the 1965 NBA Finals. The Celtics had a one-point lead in the seventh and final game of the series. Their opponents, the Philadelphia 76ers, were inbounding the ball under their own basket with four seconds remaining. Philadelphia’s Hal Greer tried to pass the ball in to one of his teammates, but Havlicek deflected the ball, sealing the victory and an NBA championship. Johnny Most, calling the game on a Boston radio station, screamed, “Havlicek stole the ball! It’s all over!” Because of Most’s broadcast, the final play became the stuff of legends in Boston. Most’s entire victory call lasted just more than a minute, and was distributed as a record in Boston by Fleetwood Records. It’s still played today during sports broadcasts and countdown shows. “(Havlicek) was a tremendous leader and a go-to guy at the end of ball games,” Heinsohn said, “and it’s hard to find guys that are willing to accept that responsibility.” In his final professional contest, Havlicek scored 29 points. Before the game began, a sold-out crowd in the Boston Garden stood up and applauded Havlicek for a remarkable career. The ovation lasted eight and a half minutes. Brent Musburger, who was calling the broadcast with Keith Erickson, said, “It’s possible that we won’t be able to play this game the way (the fans are) going in the Boston Garden. But why not? How often does an institution retire?” The fans refused to take a seat, showering Havlicek with the respect and admiration he’d been so deserving of throughout his career. It had only taken 38 years to get it. Ryan said Havlicek “absolutely, positively could have kept playing.” “He was running all over the floor for layups,” Ryan said. “It was an incredible, symbolic, full-circle ending to his career.” Thirty-two years later, Havlicek shuttles between homes in Weston, Mass., Cape Cod, Mass., and Florida. Short of an occasional visit to a Celtics’ practice session, he has distanced himself from the game of basketball. He occupies his time by hunting, fishing and playing golf. That, above all else, likely is the reason why few at OSU ever speak of Havlicek. Still, those individuals fortunate enough to see him play never will forget about him. One of his most glowing reviews came from a longtime rival, both in college and at the professional level: Jerry West. “Superstar is a bad word,” West told Sports Illustrated. “In our league, people look at players, watch them dribble between their legs, watch them make spectacular plays, and they say, ‘There’s a superstar.’ Well, John Havlicek is a superstar, and most of the others are figments of writers’ imaginations.”
Senior guard Samantha Prahalis scored a career-high 34 points to lead the No. 11 Ohio State women’s basketball team to a 72-58 victory over the Wisconsin Badgers (8-15, 4-7 Big Ten) Monday night. The senior said she was unaware of her accomplishment until she was taken out of the game with less than three minutes left. “I didn’t know until I got to the bench and they asked me what my previous high had been, and they told me I beat it,” Prahalis said. Monday’s victory comes after the Buckeyes (21-2, 8-2 Big Ten) suffered their second loss of the season against Minnesota. The loss motivated Prahalis to assert herself into the next the game she played. “Today I made it a point to be more aggressive from the start,” she said. “My shot felt good, so I was kind of in a flow in the game.” She also had five assists, which puts her at 863 for her career. Prahalis needs 30 more to overtake Northwestern’s Nancy Kennelly for the all-time career record in the Big Ten. Even the opposing coach was impressed with her performance. “With a kid like that on your team, you have a chance to do something special and they probably will,” said Wisconsin coach Bobby Kelsey. In the loss, the Badgers scored 36 of 58 points from behind the arc. “They were great from the three-point line,” said OSU coach Jim Foster. “That’s the way they play and they’re very good at it. I give them credit.” OSU kept the lead for the entire evening, but the Badgers found ways to battle back into the game. In the second half, the Badgers went on a 7-0 run to cut the lead to three with 11:58 in the game. The next possession saw sophomore center Darryce Moore answer with a layup, which sparked an 11-3 OSU run, and eventually, an OSU victory. Following Prahalis, junior guard Tayler Hill had 18 points and four rebounds. Going into the game, Hill was leading the Big Ten with 22.5 points per game. Monday’s win gives the Buckeyes two straight victories against the Badgers this year. OSU defeated Wisconsin, 77-61, in December. Following this win, OSU travels to Illinois to face the Fighting Illini on Thursday. The Buckeyes defeated the Illini, 96-84, earlier this season. Although OSU proved resilient after its defeat against Minnesota, Prahalis said the team understands the intensity of the competition during the final month of the season. “Every game’s going to be a dogfight, and we got to bring it,” said Prahalis. The Buckeyes return home Sunday against the No. 17 Purdue Boilermakers (19-5, 9-2). Tip is at 5 p.m.
Lantern file photoOhio State football coach Urban Meyer did not waste much time responding to recently filed police reports involving members of the team. Four separate, unrelated incidents involving four players resulted in disciplinary action Monday, an act that sparked a reaction in some students.After learning that starting senior running back Carlos Hyde was listed as a “person of interest” in the reported assault of a woman at a Columbus bar Saturday, Meyer suspended him from all team activities pending the outcome of both the student code of conduct and criminal investigations.Starting redshirt junior cornerback Bradley Roby, who was scheduled to represent OSU at Big Ten Media Days later this week, will no longer be making the trip to Chicago. Roby was arrested Sunday in Bloomington, Ind. and charged with misdemeanor battery, according to a police report.A pair of incoming freshmen, defensive lineman Tim Gardner and tight end Marcus Baugh, were also disciplined by Meyer. Gardner was sent home and removed from the team for the 2013 season and Baugh was suspended from all football team activities as well as the team’s season opener against Buffalo on Aug. 31.Some OSU students said they think Meyer sprang to react too quickly.“In my opinion, he spoke a little too soon because you never know especially since it happened on the weekend,” said Carly Weintraub, a third-year in early childhood education. “If I were in his shoes, I probably would have waited until I got the full story because you never know what happens on the weekends.”Jakob Schumann, a fourth-year in civil engineering, disagreed. He said he agreed with Meyer’s fast action.“I’m all for it,” Schumann said. “The media is already having a field day with it, so I think you have to be proactive and take action right away.”Weintraub said she was disappointed after hearing about the allegations against Hyde and Roby.“I think it’s kind of sad to be honest because in my opinion, Ohio State was doing so great,” she said. “On top of the world, 12-0, and now we have all this bad publicity.”Meyer said he has “a clear set of core values in place” that those inside the program are meant to live by, according to the press release.Schumann said because of these values, acting quickly in response to the police reports was the right thing to do, as things could change depending on if Hyde is charged.“With Hyde, you would think you have to kick him off the team, but he’s innocent until proven guilty,” he said. “Once he’s charged, you would have to kick him off the team, but for right now, this is the right move and you just reassess once you know more.Weintraub said she thinks OSU fans are frustrated after hearing of the suspensions because the team has been expected to perform well this season.“There are two bad stories in one day when we should just be focusing on winning and getting to the Rose Bowl,” she said. “I know a lot of people who are already planning on going on that trip and we can’t have any bad publicity or let anything get in the way.”Schumann said he thinks the potential to lose Roby for the season will hurt the Buckeyes more than if they lost Hyde.“I think they have enough running backs that they’re going to be all right,” Schumann said. “Roby is a big loss. He is the best defensive player on the team, and he’s a leader.”
Freshman forward Nichelle Prince (7) looks for an open teammate during a match against Eastern Michigan Aug. 25, at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. OSU won, 2-1.Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorWhen Nichelle Prince first started playing the game at age 4, she dreaded the soccer field.“I remember going to the field the first day and crying, asking my mom to take me home,” Prince said.Prince, a freshman forward for the Ohio State’s women’s soccer team, didn’t shy away from the game for long, though. As soon as practice began, she fell in love with the game.When it came time to be recruited, Prince took a nontraditional route. She did not play soccer at her high school, Pickering High School in Ajax, Ontario, for three of her four years. Instead she ran track up until her senior year, running events such as the 100-meter and 200-meter dash.Prince said her speed is one of her most valuable qualities on the pitch, and she attributes it to her track coach and father Fabian Prince.“I am grateful to have him as a coach,” Prince said. “He’s always pushing me and making sure I’m fit.”Freshman forward and Prince’s roommate, Lindsay Agnew, said she admires Prince’s “explosive” speed.“Sometimes, I’ll see the ball go in front of her and it looks like she puts a motor on her as she gets in front of everybody,” Agnew said laughing.Coach Lori Walker is also fond of Prince’s quick pace and persistence.“She works her tail off on both sides of the ball,” Walker said in an email. “She will track defensively with the same intensity that is seen in her attack mode.”While she didn’t always play for her high school, Prince played club soccer her entire career.She didn’t play with her own age group, though, instead taking on the challenges of playing with older athletes.“At first, coaches said I was too young and that I need to go down to my age group,” Prince said.When her first club team broke up, she joined the top club team in the province, but struggled to make a name for herself there.“I never started, I was kind of an underdog,” Prince said. “I stuck with that team for five years and worked my way up.”After working her way up, Prince broke into the national scene, and has since played for the U-17 and U-20 Canadian national team. Prince joined the national team at the age of 16 and said she appreciated every moment.“It was a great opportunity,” Prince said. “I went to the World Cup in Azerbaijan, somewhere I would never have been.”Prince has started seven of eight games this season. With her national team experience, she said she doesn’t feel pressure starting as a freshman.“At first it’s nerve-wracking and you want to make sure you are doing what you have to for the team,” Prince said. “I’m fine now. I know my goal and I can’t be nervous. I just have to go out there and do what I have to do.”Prince also receives support from a familiar face, 2012 second team All-American forward and 2012 graduate Tiffany Cameron. Cameron, who now plays for the Canadian women’s national soccer team, contacted Prince with some helpful tips.“She’s been great,” Prince said. “Contacting me, making sure I do what I (have) to do.”Prince said she respects the things Cameron did during her tenure at OSU, but she does not feel much pressure filling in the offensive gap Cameron left behind.“She was amazing, scoring 21 goals last year,” Prince said. “I definitely want to do that, so I’m going to push hard.”Prince is starting to step up into the offensive spotlight, tallying four assists and five goals so far this season. She leads OSU in goals and is tied for fifth in the Big Ten.Walker said Prince has a bright future in Columbus.“I am confident that over time (she) will be among the best goal scorers we have had at Ohio State,” Walker said.With her hat trick and assist against Northeastern, Prince was named Big Ten Freshmen of the Week Sept. 9th.With a 6-1-1 record, Prince and the Buckeyes begin Big Ten play against Illinois, Friday at 5 p.m. at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
No. 1 Myles Martin of Ohio State scores a single leg takedown on Mason Manville of Penn State in the 184-pound bout of the Ohio State-Penn State dual. Martin won the bout by major decision, 18-6. Ohio State lost the dual against Penn State 28-9. Credit: Sal Marandino | For The LanternComing in with three conference championships in the past four years, Ohio State could not overcome Penn State in the Big Ten Wrestling Championships this weekend, finishing second with a 122.5 team score behind the Nittany Lions’ 157. But Ohio State had nine wrestlers earn automatic bids to the NCAA Tournament, recording two individual championships. Myles Martin, the 184-pound senior who came in with an undefeated record and the No. 1 seed in the weight class, continued that streak. Seventh-ranked Penn State senior Shakur Rasheed took a medical forfeit in the match, giving Martin his first Big Ten championship. Ohio State senior Joey McKenna, No. 3 at 141, earned his fourth conference championship, defeating Nebraska sophomore Chad Red in a 9-2 victory. Earning Pac-12 titles in his freshman and sophomore season at Stanford, McKenna earned his second Big Ten championship at 141. In the Big Ten title bout at 149, Ohio State redshirt senior Micah Jordan did not find as much success, falling to Rutgers redshirt senior Anthony Ashnault, who came in with an undefeated record as the No. 1 seed, in an 8-6 decision. Redshirt junior Kollin Moore also came up short in his rematch with Penn State’s Bo Nickal in the 197-pound championship, losing 10-3 as the Nittany Lions’ senior recorded 2:51 in riding time. Ohio State junior Like Pletcher also fell in the title match at 133, losing to Rutgers junior Nick Suriano in a 4-1 decision. Ohio State freshman Malik Heinselman earned the chance to compete in the NCAA Championships with a 8-5 win against Wisconsin sophomore Ethan Rotondo. The first session of the NCAA Championships begin on March 21 at noon in Pittsburgh.
There were 388 penalties issued to school and college staff in 2016Credit:David Jones/PA Wire Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers (NUT), said: “Whilst in no way condoning cheating, the NUT believes the trebling of the number of teachers cheating is a sign that the pressure both on teachers and children is too great.“Whilst the absolute number remains very low, these figures should be taken by Government as a sign that they need to act to dial down pressure. It has reached levels where it is now counterproductive.” A former teacher at one of the lowest performing schools in the country, in a deprived borough of south-east London told The Daily Telegraph why he helped children cheat in exams.“The system is biased against these children,” he said. “The best way to level the playing field is to help them by putting answers on the board or giving a bit of extra time.“Some children will ask their middle class parents for help but these children go home and their parents won’t even have a newspaper. All teachers do it [cheat] so you are stupid if you don’t.” Dr Mary Richardson, a senior lecturer in at the Institute for Education at University College London, said that given the “immense pressure” that teachers in state school are under, it is “actually surprising how little cheating goes on”.“In any assessment system where the high-stakes tests are linked closely to a system of high-accountability, you will always have some people who cheat in order to ensure that they or their school, or their pupils are not impacted by such rigid accountability frameworks,” she added. The figures show that in most cases, penalties were issued to teachers for giving “inappropriate” assistance to students, although it did not specify what qualifies this type of behaviour. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. The majority of staff found to be cheating were given written warnings, and the second most common penalty was being suspended from teaching. Alan Smithers, head of the centre for education at Buckingham University, said the Ofqual figures are likely to just be the tip of the iceberg, as most cheating goes unnoticed. The most common offence for students was possessing a mobile phone or other electronic device Credit:CHARLES PLATIAU A spokesman for the Joint Council of Qualification, a group representing all the UK’s major exam boards, said that instances of malpractise in exams are rare. “Penalties to students remained stable in number and represent only 0.011% of examination units taken in summer 2016,” the spokesman said.“Exam boards remain committed to delivering a fair and robust system. Annual inspections, vigilant invigilators, staff, and whistle blowers mean that where malpractice does take place it is spotted and dealt with appropriately.” The majority of staff found to be cheating were given written warningsCredit:Barry Batchelor/PA Wire Cheating teachers are on the rise as figures show the number illicitly helping children pass GCSE and A-level exams has trebled in the past two years.Education experts and teaching unions have blamed the steep increase on the pressures and stress of a results-driven culture at schools. There were 388 penalties issued to school and college staff in 2016, up from 262 in 2015 and 119 in 2014, according to figures released on Tuesday by Ofqual, the qualifications regulator for England, Wales and Northern Ireland. What is driving all of this is that schools are judged on results, the head teachers’ jobs can be on the line and so can teachersAlan Smithers, head of the centre for education at Buckingham University “Not all cheating is easy to detect so what they have picked up may just be only part of actually happening on the ground,” he said. “Some would be quite hard to pick up, some are more blatant than others.”He added: “What is driving all of this is that schools are judged on results, the head teachers’ jobs can be on the line and so can teachers’.” Meanwhile the number of students caught cheating in exams has decreased marginally in recent years, with the most common offence possessing a mobile phone or other electronic device in an exam.The number of penalties for this increased by 15 per cent compared to last year, from 790 to 900.
Pc Cockle failed to share the proceeds of the coins with farmer under whose fields they were discoveredCredit:East Anglia Daily News A policeman who cheated a farmer out of a share of historic gold coins worth £15,000 found on his land has been sacked.PC David Cockle, 50, had a struck deal with the farmer allowing him to go metal detecting on his fields in return for splitting the proceeds of anything he discovered.But the Norfolk officer reneged on the arrangement after he unearthed up to ten extremely rare Merovingian Tremissis coins dating back to the early 7th century.Cockle failed to tell the landowner about the find and instead sold the French coins to a dealer for £15,000 and kept the entire amount.Cockle admitted stealing ten coins between April 2012 and November 2015 at Ipswich Crown Court last month and is due to be sentenced on March 8.On Monday the Pc was sacked at a misconduct hearing for what Norfolk Chief Constable Simon Bailey described as “one of the grossest breaches of trust” in stealing the coins.Mr Bailey said it was clear Cockle was allowed to use the land to search for treasure “because he was a police officer and the farmer liked the idea of a police officer on his land”.The chief constable added that Cockle had let the force down by keeping the coins and had “most importantly let the farmer down and the wider public”. Cockle also denied three charges of converting criminal property. Prosecutors said that they would not proceed with the charges.A Norfolk Police spokeswoman said Cockle, who was based at Downham Market police station, had been suspended since being charged in May 2016.The spokeswoman said he was “in breach of a contract he had signed with the landowner” to share the proceeds of any find.She added: “The investigation was launched after the Norfolk and Suffolk Anti-Corruption Unit received information from a member of the public and Cockle was arrested in November 2015.” One of the Merovingian Tremissis coins dating back to the early 7th century found by Pc CockleCredit:East Anglia News Service The hearing was told the breaches amounted to gross misconduct with the only appropriate outcome being immediate dismissal.Cockle who did not attend the hearing, expressed his remorse and apologised in a written statement presented by the Police Federation.Ipswich Crown Court was also told that the policeman had also failed to report his find to the Norfolk coroner who would have considered if it was treasure trove.The coins which he sold in three batches over 14 months are believed to have been part of a larger hoard.Similar gold coins were found in the same West Norfolk field by another metal detecting enthusiast who also had permission to be on the land.But unlike Cockle, the other man reported his find to the authorities, enabling it to be declared as treasure trove.Experts said that the two finds taken together potentially made it the largest ever hoard of the type of coins ever found in the UK.Merovingian Tremissis coins were made in Gaul which is now France and other low countries of Europe and are said to be very rare in the UK with only around 100 of them found in modern times.Cockle, who at the time of the offence lived in Wareham, near Downham Market, Norfolk, and has since moved to Leigh, in Lancashire, had initially denied stealing, but changed his plea to guilty on the day that his trial was due to start.Judge Rupert Overbury adjourned sentencing until March 8 for a pre-sentence report, but told the officer that he was considering giving him a suspended prison sentence. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
Hannigan told the hearing: “I heard a banging on the back and front doors I went to the back door and there was a man standing there who wanted to see my son because he owed him some money – money he owed them for drugs.”I shut the door on them but they banged again – they just wanted to get at my son who was in the house with me and we were both very frightened.”They were very threatening, saying that we ‘could disappear’ or the house could burn down.”She said they demanded £1,000 for her 31-year-old son drug debts but they were satisfied with a down payment of £300.The Education Workforce Council hearing was told Mrs Hannigan was a “frequent collector” for the charity because her daughter had been treated for a serious heart problem.She told the panel: “I’m sorry this has happened I’m very remorseful.”I knew my son was in with a bad lot.”Hannigan admitted taking the money and using it to pay the dealers and had admitted unacceptable professional conduct.The disciplinary panel on Wednesday handed Hannigan a reprimand, allowing her to immediately return to the classroom.Panel chair Jacquie Turnbull said although Hannigan had acted dishonestly, her actions were not premeditated and she had since shown “genuine remorse.” “But later that night she did and acted deliberately. It was spontaneous and not something that had been planned.”It’s not the case this was part of a grander scheme to repay her son’s drug debt.”There can be no doubt that she was under extreme duress. It’s a highly unusual incident.” She told a disciplinary panel she handed two drug dealers £300 in cash – including the £287 raised by pupils at her school for the British Heart Foundation – when they arrived at her home.The Education Workforce Council heard Hannigan – who had worked in Glanhowy Primary School in Tredegar, Gwent for 23 years – was investigated over the theft in February 2015.She was interviewed by police and taken to court where she was handed a conditional discharge.Presenting Officer Cadi Dewi said: “This was a lengthy and sustained deception which was only admitted to her employers when she was confronted by colleagues.”She only notified her current school about proceedings a week before this hearing.”She’s confirmed she only notified the school because she realised it was inevitable they would find out anyway.”David Harris, representing Hannigan, said she had been put under “extreme duress” and denied she’d deliberately stolen the money to pay off the drug dealers.Mr Harris said: “There was no intention that when she went home that night she had an intention to dispose of the money dishonestly. They were very threatening, saying that we ‘could disappear’ or the house could burn down.Caroline Hannigan Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Miss Turnbull said: “We’re satisfied she intended to repay the money and gave credible evidence as to why she hadn’t already done so.”We’re satisfied there’s no significant risk of her repeating her actions.” A primary school teaching assistant who stole money intended for charity to pay off her son’s drug dealer will be able to continue her career.Experienced teaching assistant Caroline Hannigan, 56, admitted taking £287 raised for the British Heart Foundation and giving it to dealers.She could have been struck from the teaching register for the offence – but a disciplinary panel has decided that she will be allowed to to return to the classroom.Hannigan said she handed over the cash after dealers threatened to make her “disappear” over her son’s drug debts. I’m sorry this has happened I’m very remorseful. I knew my son was in with a bad lot.Caroline Hannigan
A frantic search, using tracker dogs and cameras, was launched with Philip Schofield, the ITV presenter and animal lover, offering a £1,000 reward. Blake, a border collie has been found and was returned home, Ms Haywood posted on Facebook. But there is no sign of Bella.He is well and behaving “like nothing has happened”, Ms Haywood said.”The hunt for Bella continues still, with Blake’s help we will bring her home.” Blakethe missing sheepdog has been foundCredit:Newark and Sherwood District Council/PA Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Blake, the missing sheepdog who befriended an orphaned two-day old lamb, has been returned to his home in Nottinghamshire. But Bella, his woolly chum, is still missing. The pair had been inseparable from the day that Bella was adopted from a neighbouring farm by Natalie Haywood, a 22-year old mother of two.They played together and even snoozed together on a family rug. But earlier this month the pair went missing from their home in Perlethorpe, near Mansfield.Bella, who was being bottle-fed when she went missing, was only five weeks old. “I’m desperate for news about them,” said Ms Haywood, when they went missing. “I’m so worried about what might have happened.”
At Euston Station. No idea what’s happening, but everyone is running away and there’s police arriving from every street.— Isa Ribeiro (@IsaRamosRibeiro) 29 August 2017 Police said there was a small contained explosionCredit:Tolga Akmen/REuters Lots of people running from Euston Station screaming.— Jon Birchall (@jonbir90) 29 August 2017 Euston incident: An electrical item is believed to have caused a small contained explosion. No one has been injured. https://t.co/VR2V2aOpAm— BTP (@BTP) 29 August 2017 Ummm there’s a huge police presence and a bomb squad at Euston station pic.twitter.com/LhikjX6gvK— katy (@haymaya_) 29 August 2017 British Transport Police said: “An e-cigarette in a bag is believed to have been the cause of the small explosion at London Euston this evening. Officers are still on scene.”Police earlier said on Twitter: “An electrical item is believed to have caused a small contained explosion. No one has been injured.” Reports on the social media site suggested people had heard a “loud bang” at around 8pm.A Scotland Yard spokesman said: “A suspicious package was found. Hopefully, as with most of these things, it will be checked out and everything will be back to normal soon.”It is an ongoing incident.” British Transport Police said in statement on Tuesday evening: “Officers are currently at Euston station responding to a security alert.”We are investigating but there appears to have been a small contained explosion which is believed to have been caused by an e-cigarette which was in a bag at the station. An e-cigarette in a bag has been blamed for a security alert at Euston station in central London.The station was evacuated after the suspicious package was found.Passengers ran screaming for their lives as police and bomb squad experts arrived on the scene.At last one platform on the underground station was also reportedly evacuated in the security alert. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. “No one is believed to have been injured.”We were called at around 7.40pm. “The station is currently evacuated whilst officers and search dogs check the area is safe.”We are working with Network Rail to reopen the station as soon as possible. “Thank you everyone for your patience.”
Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. People with the genetic condition cystic fibrosis have formed a choir. A high infection risk hinders them from singing and recording in one room. However, they have found a way to get around that, and have collaborated on a Christmas album.
The trial was adjourned part-heard by District Judge Tim Capstick to reconvene on May 14. The GP then asked to have a legal representative in the room but the officer told him the process could not be delayed to find a solicitor.After being taken to the custody desk, Dr Farrell then claimed: “I have a massive issue with needles.”And he added: “I’m not refusing to provide a sample, I’m refusing to provide a blood sample because it involves pain.”The exchange ended with the officer asking: “Are you willing now to provide a sample?”Dr Farrell replied: “Without legal representation, the answer is no.”Dr Farrell denies failing to provide a specimen of breath for analysis without reasonable excuse whilst under suspicion of drink driving.His solicitor, Michael Robinson, told the court: “He didn’t indicate he had refused, the police indicated he had refused.”Mr Robinson said that “failures” by the police and his client’s fear of needles would be used in his defence.Dr Farrell is currently a GP partner in a Stockton-based NHS practice and a regional GP for Virgin Healthcare.He previously worked as an RAF medical officer between 2005 and 2011 serving deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, working for some of that time as an aeromedical evacuation doctor.He studied medicine at Birmingham University, The Royal College of Surgeons and the Royal College of General Practice. After Dr Farrell repeatedly refused to give a sample, a police constable could be seen telling him: “You are drunk and not thinking clearly…You will lose your licence if you don’t give a sample.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Dr Farrelly, who served in Iraq, claims to have a phobia of needles A doctor, who was four times over the drink drive limit when he was stopped by police, refused to give a blood sample, claiming he was afraid of needles, a court has heard.Dr Michael Farrell, a GP who served as an RAF medic in Iraq, has denied any wrongdoing, insisting his phobia of needles is a “reasonable excuse” for failing to prove a sample.The 45-year-old was stopped by police on suspicion of drink driving on Jan 6, close to his home in the village of Ingelby Barwick, Teesside.His breathalyser reading showed 127 micrograms in 100ml of breath, placing him more than three times over the UK drink drive limit of 35 micrograms.Dr Farrell was then arrested and taken to a nearby police station where he was asked to provide a blood sample.But he refused, insisting that he suffered from a “needle phobia,” despite the fact that the condition was not noted on his medical records.Teesside Magistrates’ Court was show body worn footage of Dr Farrell’s exchange with officers in the custody suite at the police station.
One day after private broadcast companies came out to criticise the Government over the proposed Broadcast Amendment Bill and asked for the deferral of the debate and passage of a recently-tabled bill, the Guyana Press Association (GPA) has come out in support of these companies.President of the GPA, Neil Marks“We stand in solidarity with local broadcasters on this issue and will be seeking further legal advice to convince the Government of the need to halt or reverse this process given the severe consequences these amendments pose to freedom of the press in Guyana and the commercial viability of private radio and television stations,” the GPA said in a strongly worded statement.The press body claimed that the amendments being sought will essentially introduce an unwarranted “programme manager” position by the State in the daily schedules of radio and television stations. It said, “The overall provision for the allocation of 60 minutes for public service programmes will disrupt and violate contractual obligations that stations will have with advertisers and programme sponsors.”While recognising that private broadcasters have an important role to play in cases of emergencies and disasters, including matters of public health, the GPA said it out-rightly opposed the actual allocation of times or the need to inform the authority about this or for the authority to dictate time slots if it does not agree with those allocated by the stations.“The GPA strongly objects to the Guyana Government seeking to redefine what constitutes “public service programmes” as this is in direct contradiction and a violation of the letter and spirit of the definition of public service broadcasting as laid down by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) of which Guyana is a member,” it explained.In referring to one of UNESCO’s factors in determining public service broadcasting is independent and free from State and political control, the Press Association asserted that public broadcasting is a forum where ideas should be expressed freely, where information, opinions and criticisms can circulate.This is, according to the body, possible only if the broadcaster is independent, thereby allowing the freedom of public broadcasting to be maintained against commercial or political influence.“If the information provided by the public broadcaster was influenced by the Government, people are less likely to believe the content. Likewise, if the public broadcaster’s programming were designed for commercial ends, people would not understand why they are being asked to finance a service providing programming that is not substantially different from those provided by commercial broadcasters.”The GPA also thinks President David Granger and the rest of the Cabinet may have been ill-advised by Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo of what constitutes “public service programmes.” Nagamootoo holds the portfolio of Broadcasting and Information Minister.Further legal advice from local and international experts is being sought by the GPA. The Association also plans on raising this matter with its affiliates such as the Association of Caribbean Media Workers (ACM) and the International Press Institute (IPI), and other global press freedom bodies.Several private media owners and operators have expressed several concerns about the Bill. Most of them have said that this Bill could negatively impact their operations, particularly as it relates to the licensing fee structure, the imposition on property and infringement to determine broadcast content. They also claimed that they were not consulted on the amendments.Opposition Leader Dr Bharrat Jagdeo has said that the Bill in its current form is a direct attack on press freedom while urging broadcasters not to sit idly by and allow the Government, through its one-seat majority, to get its way with the passage of the Bill; but rather seek recourse through the courts.Part two of the Bill sets out that broadcast agencies will be mandated to broadcast public service programmes for a total of up to one hour daily. Broadcast agencies will be airing these public service programmes free of cost and as requested by the Government between 06:00h and 22:00h.It is also states that the GNBA reserves the right to direct a broadcasting agency to broadcast emergency notices or disaster warnings for any length of time, and regularly during peak or prime advertising time periods, depending on the nature of the emergency and having regard to public safety.Revoking the 2014 broadcasting regulations, the Act also puts those broadcasters who are already licensed at the mercy of the Authority. It mandates that any licensed entity carrying out broadcast services immediately before the act went into effect will have no choice but to reapply within 30 days for a licence in accordance with the amended law, in addition to a plethora of other restrictions. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedIPI urges Govt to review amendments to broadcast billAugust 8, 2017In “Business”Broadcast Amendment Bill: Reporters Without Borders urges President not to assent until “meaningful” consultations heldAugust 8, 2017In “Business”Legal challenge to Broadcast Amendment Bill filed by former Attorney GeneralOctober 10, 2017In “Business”
Dear Editor,The Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) would like to respond to a letter published in the local press under the title “The reason why Guyana needs Tax Reform”, which was submitted by Mr Sase Singh; and to correct several inaccuracies mentioned in the letter on the rate of Corporation Tax.The GRA wishes to remind the writer and the general public that Section 10 of the Corporation Tax Act was amended in 2017 to reduce the Corporation Tax rate for non-commercial companies from 30% to 27.5%. Additionally, provisions were made in the Act for a dual tax rate for companies carrying out both commercial and non-commercial activities. For these companies, the non-commercial activity of the company shall be taxed at the rate of twenty-seven and one-half per cent, and the commercial activity of the company shall be taxed at a rate of forty per cent.”This reduction was a direct response to complaints raised by the manufacturing sector on the high rate of tax in the sector, and appeals for a decrease in the Corporate Tax rate in order to improve their competitiveness, both locally and overseas.Please note that if the correct Corporate Tax rate was used in the letter, the arguments posited by the writer for tax avoidance, transfer pricing, and enhancement of the investment climate would be refuted.Members of the public are urged to visit the Guyana Revenue Authority’s (GRA’s) website at www.gra.gov.gy for up-to-date information on rates of taxes and recent tax reforms. Further contact can be made with our Tax Advisory Services Section on +592 227 6060 Ext. 1200 to 1204; or persons can send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.facebook.com/guyanarevenue.Sincerely,Public Relations DepartmentGuyana Revenue Authority Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedOnly $800 increase in Old Age pensionNovember 29, 2016In “Local News”Revenue body making moves to collect G$528M ‘outstanding’ taxes from DipconJuly 9, 2019Similar postGRA rakes in $20B more in revenue for 2017January 25, 2018In “Business”
Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Related14-year-old girl allegedly attacked, injured by men in LethemApril 29, 2019In “Crime”Guyana/Brazil Consulate Officer killed in accident off Takutu BridgeAugust 9, 2014In “Crime”Man stoned to death at Lethem – several persons arrestedFebruary 20, 2017In “Crime” A 22-year-old man, identified as Rockie Pedro, was killed on Sunday while travelling from Guyana to Brazil via the Takutu Bridge.The man reportedly fell from a moving vehicle which was travelling across the Bridge.The Takutu Bridge connects Guyana and Brazil and is used by scores of people on a daily basis.This publication was informed that no one else was reportedly travelling in the vehicle with the young Moruca resident when the incident occurred.Investigations are currently ongoing.
Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedFrance has not declared war on Syria regime, says MacronApril 16, 2018In “World”France makes Malian ‘hero’ legal for scaling building to save childMay 28, 2018In “World”Hundreds injured in France fuel protestNovember 18, 2018In “latest news” PARIS, France (AFP) — French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday marked International Women’s Day with a pledge to “name and shame” companies that pay women less than men for the same work.French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte (Image: Getty)On a visit to a Paris-based property management firm hailed as a model of gender equality, he announced plans to “drastically” increase inspections of companies to ensure they complied with a law requiring equal pay for equal work.“We will put in place a ‘name and shame’ system to make public (the names of) companies that least respect the law,” said Macron, who has made tackling sexism a key priority.“No one wants to be bottom of the class on this issue,” he said.The World Economic Forum last year ranked France 11th out of 144 countries for gender equality but a dismal 129th for wage equality for similar work.On Wednesday, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced plans to get tough on companies that pay women less.Under a package of workplace reforms to be finalised next month, wage screening software will be rolled out in all companies with more than 250 employees from 2019, and in all companies with over 50 employees by 2022, Philippe said.Companies found to have “unjustified” disparities will have three years to rectify the situation or face fines of up to 1 per cent of their wage bill, Philippe said.– Men pay more –Sexism and violence against women — brought into sharp relief by the #Metoo campaign launched after the Harvey Weinstein scandal — dominated the headlines in France on Thursday.Male readers of leftwing daily Liberation were asked to pay 25 per cent more for their paper for the day, the proportion by which French women are underpaid compared to men, according to official statistics.For the same job, women are paid on average nine percent less.Liberation published two editions Thursday with different cover pages, one marked “for women, 2 euros, normal price” with a symbol of a woman, the other marked “for men, 2.50 euros” with a symbol of a man.The paper said it was inspired by Canadian monthly Maclean’s, which charged men more for its March edition to denounce the gender wage gap.But not everyone was on board with the operation.A vendor at a newsstand in central Paris told AFP he had sold only one copy of the paper — a “female” version he sold to a regular male customer who plucked it off the stand and pressed the standard 2 euros in his hand.