The setting must have looked familiar to Justin Trudeau as he returned to a gleaming state guesthouse in Beijing for talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping, his second visit in 15 months.This time, however, the prime minister found himself sitting across from a far more dominant ruler of the Asian superpower.Xi’s progression since his last meeting with Trudeau has meaningful implications for Canada, experts argue — particularly as Ottawa navigates the risks of closer ties with Xi’s increasingly assertive China.In recent months, the ambitious Xi has significantly tightened his grip on the leadership to become China’s most powerful figure in decades.Xi solidified his position during the ruling Communist Party’s congress in October when his name and policies were formally enshrined into the party’s constitution. The change has elevated him to a status shared only by China’s core Communist leaders, Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping and Jiang Zemin.Ahead of the congress, The Economist magazine had already dubbed Xi “the world’s most powerful man.”Enter Trudeau, who met with Xi in China for the first time since September 2016. Since then, their governments have been engaged in exploratory talks on a free-trade agreement.On the one hand, Canada sees vast opportunity in forging a deeper business relationship with China, the world’s second-largest economy.On the flip side, Trudeau is constantly under pressure to transmit Canadian concerns to Chinese leaders over the country’s record on human rights and its rule of law. Before Tuesday’s meeting, Trudeau insisted he wouldn’t hesitate to raise Canada’s unease about China directly with Xi.This time, however, experts believe Trudeau’s words have likely had a tougher time getting through.“I do think that Mr. Trudeau is probably meeting a different Xi — a Xi who is much more confident and who is much more dismissive of accommodating the concerns of the West,” said Charles Burton, a political science professor at Brock University and a former Canadian diplomat.Indeed, Burton said he believes Trudeau’s visit this week has already shown signs of China’s self-assured shift.Earlier this week, the two sides announced they were not ready to move beyond the current phase of exploratory trade talks — despite China’s growing impatience to launch formal negotiations with Canada.Trudeau has been pushing for a progressive trade deal with China that would address issues such as gender equality, the environment and labour rights.It’s not yet clear just how unwelcome Canada’s proposed progressive chapters were in Beijing, but experts called it unlikely Xi’s group would consider entertaining them.Hongying Wang, a political science professor from University of Waterloo, said Xi has already left his mark on China’s governance structure, leading it away from the collective approach of the country’s past towards a more autocratic, top-down style.“It’s a matter of principle, I think, for the Canadian government to state its position — I guess the challenge is how do you state your position without completely cutting off any hopes of a good trade relationship? It’s a very hard balance,” Wang said.“I really don’t think he’s someone anyone can press into something he doesn’t want to do.”Diana Fu, an expert in Asian politics from the University of Toronto, said Xi’s emergence means Trudeau will have to continue approaching the Chinese president “carefully and tactfully” because he’s shown he won’t bow to foreign powers.“Any negotiations with the Xi administration will have to consider how to deal with not a rising China, but a risen one — this makes it more difficult than perhaps any other … talks previously,” Fu wrote in an email.“How do you convince the Canadian public that potential economic benefits of free trade offsets concern over diametrically opposing values?”Canada, however, continues to be of interest to Xi’s China.While the two countries have yet to become major trading partners, Canada offers many possibilities, particularly when it comes to agriculture, clean technology and education.“I think Canada is a very desirable partner and certainly a very important ally of the U.S. that China would like to win some support from, because China has always seen the U.S. as this potential rival,” Wang said.“Maybe China doesn’t see Canada as very important yet, (but) the potential is definitely there.”Canada is clearly trying to woo China as well: John McCallum, Canada’s ambassador to China, said he met Xi within 24 hours of presenting his credentials earlier this year.Expecting to meet a “scary” leader, McCallum instead came away with a much different impression, saying he was “taken aback in a positive way” by Xi.Make no mistake, however: on the world stage, Xi is overseeing an expanding Chinese presence, hoping to step into the global void created by a retreating United States under Donald Trump.Xi has also pushed a more aggressive military presence in the South China Sea with the construction of artificial islands over the objections from nearby neighbouring countries. He’s built up China’s navy and has opened the country’s first foreign military base in Djibouti.His most ambitious project is the massive “One Belt, One Road” initiative that will involve spending hundreds of billions of dollars for infrastructure along a corridor spanning more than 60 countries. The injection of Chinese capital along the route will allow China to buy influence in those countries, numerous analysts have said.
WASHINGTON – The Trump administration says people would drive more and be exposed to increased risk if their cars get better gas mileage, an argument intended to justify freezing Obama-era toughening of fuel standards.Transportation experts dispute the arguments, contained in a draft of the administration’s proposals prepared this summer, excerpts of which were obtained by The Associated Press.The excerpts also show the administration plans to challenge California’s long-standing authority to enact its own, tougher pollution and fuel standards.Revisions to the mileage requirements for 2021 through 2026 are still being worked on, the administration says, and changes could be made before the proposal is released as soon as this week.The Trump administration gave notice earlier this year that it would roll back tough new fuel standards put into place in the waning days of the Obama administration. Anticipating the new regulation, California and 16 other states sued the Trump administration in May.Overall, “improvements over time have better longer-term effects simply by not alienating consumers, as compared to great leaps forward” in fuel efficiency and other technology, the administration argues. It contends that freezing the mileage requirements at 2020 levels would save up to 1,000 lives per year.New vehicles would be cheaper — and heavier — if they don’t have to meet more stringent fuel requirements and more people would buy them, the draft says, and that would put more drivers in safer, newer vehicles that pollute less.At the same time, the draft says that people will drive less if their vehicles get fewer miles per gallon, lowering the risk of crashes.David Zuby, chief research officer at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, said he’s doubtful about the administration’s estimate of lives saved because other factors could affect traffic deaths, such as automakers agreeing to make automatic emergency braking standard on all models before 2022. “They’re making assumptions about stuff that may or may not be the same,” he said.Experts say the logic that heavier vehicles are safer doesn’t hold up because lighter, newer vehicles perform as well or better than older, heavier versions in crash tests, and because the weight difference between the Obama and Trump requirements would be minimal.“Allow me to be skeptical,” said Giorgio Rizzoni, an engineering professor and director of the Center for Automotive Research at Ohio State University. “To say that safety is a direct result of somehow freezing the fuel economy mandate for a few years, I think that’s a stretch.”Experts say that a heavier, bigger vehicle would incur less damage in a crash with a smaller, lighter one and that fatality rates also are higher for smaller vehicles. But they also say that lighter vehicles with metals such as aluminum, magnesium, titanium and lighter, high-strength steel alloys perform as well or better than their predecessors in crash tests.Alan Taub, professor of materials science and engineering at the University of Michigan, said he would choose a 2017 Malibu over a heavier one from 20 years earlier. It’s engineered better, has more features to avoid crashes and additional air bags, among other things. “You want to be in the newer vehicle,” he said.An April draft from the Trump administration said freezing the requirements at 2020 levels would save people $1,900 per new vehicle. But the later draft raises that to $2,100 and even as high as $2,700 by 2025.Environmental groups questioned the justification for freezing the standards. Luke Tonachel, director of the clean-vehicle program at the Natural Resources Defence Council, said the risk from people driving more due to higher mileage is “tiny and maybe even negligible.”Under the Trump administration proposal, the fleet of new vehicles would have to average roughly 30 mpg in real-world driving, and that wouldn’t change through 2026.California has had the authority under the half-century-old Clean Air Act to set its own mileage under a special rule allowing the state to curb its chronic smog problem. More than a dozen states follow California’s standards, amounting to about 40 per cent of the country’s new-vehicle market.Asked if he thinks a freeze in U.S. mileage standards is warranted, EPA acting administrator Andrew Wheeler told a small group of reporters at EPA headquarters last week, “I think we need to go where the technology takes us” on fuel standards.Wheeler did not elaborate. Agency spokespeople did not respond when asked specifically if the EPA acting chief was making the case that modern cars could be both fuel efficient and safe.Wheeler also spoke out for what he called “a 50-state solution” that would keep the U.S car and truck market from splitting between two different mileage standards.The Department of Transportation said in a statement that the final fuel economy standards would be based on sound science. The department cautioned that a draft doesn’t capture the whole picture of the proposed regulation.The draft said a 2012 analysis of fuel economy standards under the Obama administration deliberately limited the amount of mass reduction necessary under the standards. This was done “in order to avoid the appearance of adverse safety effects,” the draft stated.___Krisher reported from Detroit.
The Fire Centre said that the fire danger rating across much of Northeast B.C. has dropped since last week after the region saw rain and cooler temperatures. Fire Information Officer Amanda Reynolds said that although fire danger ratings have dropped in the region due to recent rainfall and cooler temperatures, the public is strongly encouraged to exercise caution with any outdoor burning or campfire use.Anyone planning to burn a pile larger than two metres high by three metres wide, or conduct a grass burn larger than 0.2 hectares (Category 3 fires), must obtain a burn registration number ahead of time, by calling 1 888 797-1717. A poster explaining the different categories of open burning is available online: http://ow.ly/znny309kJv5Anyone found in contravention of an open burning prohibition may be issued a ticket for $1,150, required to pay an administrative penalty of $10,000 or, if convicted in court, fined up to $100,000 and/or sentenced to one year in jail. If the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person responsible may be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs. For more information about fire-related fines and penalties, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/wildfirefines PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. — The Prince George Fire Centre says that Category 2 fires will once again be permitted this weekend across the entire Fire Centre’s area, including the B.C. Peace Region.Category 2 fires, which consist of fires that are smaller than two metres high and three metres wide, will be allowed as of noon on Saturday, June 2nd. The current prohibition on sky lanterns, burning barrels, binary exploding targets, and fireworks will also be lifted at that time.
New Delhi: The Boxing Federation of India (BFI) has recommended Amit Panghal and Gaurav Bidhuri for the prestigious Arjuna Award. Amit, a silver medalist at the CWG and a gold medallist at the Asian Games, dominated the 52Kg category at the recently-concluded Asian Championships. He extended his dominion in Asia as he defeated Olympic gold medallist Hasanboy Dusmatov in the quarters and Rio Olympics bronze medallist, Chinas Jianguan Hu in the semi-finals of the Asian Championships. Also Read – We will push hard for Kabaddi”s inclusion in 2024 Olympics: Rijiju”We had quite a few names to dwell upon however after extensive consultation by the selection committee we decided to go with the names of the most deserving boxers, Amit and Gaurav. I extend the boxers best wishes and hope the hard work and laurels will be considered while the names are picked,” BFI president Ajay Singh said after the meeting to finalise the names of the boxers for the coveted Arjuna Award. Elite Indian coaches, Sandhya Gurung and Shiv Singh have also been recommended for this year’s Dronacharya Award. Sandhya has been attached with the women’s elite team for nearly a decade. Shiv Singh has coached for the past three decades; he has lent his expertise to both the men’s and women’s teams. He was the head coach of the Women’s team till last November. Pooja Rani, who scripted history by becoming the first Indian to win a gold in the 81kg category at the Asian Championship, along with the entire contingent was felicitated by DG SAI, Neelam Kapoor, IOA vice president Sudhanshu Mittal and BFI president Ajay Singh.
Los Angeles: Pop star Kylie Minogue says being famous is not a cake walk and the celebrity status comes with a lot of “work, graft and insecurity”. The ‘Love at first sight’ singer said success at times has a negative impact but it is important to stay strong. ”(It) takes a lot of work, graft and insecurity – not always what the wrapped-up end product looks like. There have been times when I’ve thought, ‘I just can’t.’ But you’ve got to take the knocks because they’re always coming. It ain’t all roses. But maybe otherwise it wouldn’t be as sweet in the end,” Minogue told The Sunday Times Style magazine. After spending four decades in the entertainment industry, the singer is still in no mood to slow down. “I don’t know how much time I’ve got before my showbiz hips and knees start to protest. They’ll be like, ‘You’ve been treading those boards for a long time, we think you should slow down a bit.’ I keep threatening my team that I’m going to retire.”
New Delhi: Four-time Asian championship medallist Shiva Thapa is gearing up to make his homecoming special by winning gold at the second edition of the India Open boxing meet in Guwahati from May 20. Armed with a silver medal from the GeeBee Boxing Tournament and a record fourth Asian Championships medal this year, the 25-year-old once again looks sharp and agile and is hungry to prove himself. “Yes, there are a lot of expectations from me for the gold. I recently got a bronze medal from the Asian Championships and that tells me that the gold is not far off,” Thapa said the medal in Bangkok in April, when he became the first Indian male boxer to claim four consecutive Asian medals. Also Read – We will push hard for Kabaddi”s inclusion in 2024 Olympics: RijijuHe had won a gold in 2013, a bronze in 2015 followed by a silver in 2017 at the same tournament. At the Indian Open he suffered an upset loss in the semi-finals in the first edition of the in New Delhi last year. “I am hungry to change the colour of the medal which is what I think every boxer would want to. And it will be all the more sweet if it comes at home in front of my own people,” Thapa said looking forward to the meet at the Karmabir Nabin Chandra Bordoloi Indoor Stadium in Guwahati, Assam from May 20. Also Read – Djokovic to debut against Shapovalov at Shanghai MastersThe Guwahati pugilist has his task cut out as he will shift to 63 kg to earn a Tokyo Olympics qualification berth from the World Championships. “Performing well here will give me a huge boost of confidence ahead of the World Championships. It will be critical to analyse the players who are coming to the India Open as I’ll have to compete with quite a few of them in the World Championships as well,” he said. Thapa is among six Assamese boxers who will vie for the title at the upcoming India Open. “I am very excited to get a chance to play in my hometown. Getting a chance to inspire youngsters is a major source of motivation for us. When we first began at the sub-junior level, we used to get inspired by watching our seniors and how they used to play. “Same way, if we too can motivate more youngsters to join our sport, it’s really a blessing for us. Definitely, the North-east is a powerhouse of talent. If such major tournaments keep happening in the North-east, there will be a lot many youths and youngsters who will come up and take up sports as a profession,” he concluded. 35 men and 37 women boxers from India are vying for glory as close to 200 pugilists from 16 boxing powerhouses will participate at the USD 70,000 prize money tournament.
Embed Code More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed This week, Hot Takedown is checking in with those MLB teams that may have gotten off to a slow start but are starting to show promise. David Samson of CBS Sports thinks run differentials are the most informative data point to look at with a team. Our crew assesses whether that’s the case and what we can best expect from the reigning champions this season.Mike Goodman — managing editor of StatsBomb, co-host of the Double Pivot podcast and a FiveThirtyEight contributor — joins the show to look at the battle for the Premier League title. Manchester City looks poised to repeat as champions, but Liverpool is mere inches away. We break down the probability of each potential outcome in what BBC 5’s Kelly Cates calls “the most unforgiving title run.”Our Rabbit Hole goes deep into the world of unofficial mascots and good luck charms. Ever heard of the San Francisco Giants’ Crazy Crab? Or Hamilton the pig of the Carolina Hurricanes? We hadn’t either, but now we can’t let them go.Here’s what we’re looking at this week:Players say which stats do the best job of evaluating them in this MLB.com story.We’re consulting our MLB prediction model with regularity.And we keep double- and triple-checking our club soccer model. FiveThirtyEight
tchow: Out of RJ, Zion, Winslow and Tatum, who is the most likely to also believe the Earth is flat?natesilver: New Orleans is extremely flat, so I’m guessing it will be Zion after a few years.Check out our latest NBA predictions. natesilver: I mean, that’s how the system is supposed to work, right?neil: Well, I’ve always thought these tanking teams underestimated the luck involved in the lottery. Even under the old system.chris.herring: Last night’s outcome was probably about as solid as you could hope for from the league’s perspective if that’s the message you wanted to send. That being awful gives you a better chance but by no means guarantees you the very best — or even second-best — pick.tchow: Big win for Mr. Silver. (Adam, not Nate.)natesilver: And it’s not like the Knicks were categorically different than the Cavs, Suns or Bulls. They were just better at tanking. No. 3 is a comparatively good result vs. the rest of that group.BTW, someone should check the lottery ball codes to see what the results would have been under last year’s system.neil: Yeah, it’s weird to think of the Knicks as “winners” last night. But things could have been worse.chris.herring: The Knicks were the only team with the best lottery odds that didn’t fall out of the top four!natesilver: I really don’t get the losers talk, and I think it goes to show how people’s intuitions about probability aren’t very good.tchow: 14 percent means 100 percent, Nate!natesilver: People were treating it like 60 percent or something, I swear.neil: Knick fans’ expectations are always out of whack with reality, though… (This is a franchise that wins like the Mets but acts like it has the pedigree of the Yankees.)tchow: Neil, this is an NBA chat.chris.herring: I’m on record saying that I feel like the average Knick fan expects bad things to happen.neil: Maybe it’s more the New York media than rank-and-file fans, Chris.natesilver: This does leave open at least the tantalizing possibility of trading for Anthony Davis. If the Knicks do want to make a play for AD, this is one of the better scenarios for them. There’s no one who can trade Zion to the Pels since they already have him! The No. 3 pick is probably comparable to the best single asset that the Celtics and Lakers can offer. And if the Knicks get Kyrie Irving, maybe the Celtics don’t even try to get AD anyway.The Lakers do have the No. 4 pick, but at least based on the scouting consensus, there’s a big drop-off between 3 and 4. We’ll see if the Pelicans agree with that or not.chris.herring: I honestly don’t have a sense of what the Pelicans would prefer at this point.The Celtics would obviously be in play, based on their young talent and the draft picks they have. The Knicks just got the No. 3 pick and have two picks they got from Dallas in the Porzingis trade. Though those picks could end up being lower-end ones, depending on how the Mavericks are in the future. And then there are the Lakers, who just landed the No. 4 pick, plus all the guys they reportedly offered in February for Davis already.So it’s a combination of which players the Pelicans like, plus how they value the notion of future picks that would likely be lower in the draft, as opposed to higher ones they could make use of right now.natesilver: 🔥 Fun hot take: RJ Barrett could be the new Carmelo Anthony. High-volume, medium efficiency, good rebounder, mediocre effort on defense despite good athleticism. 🔥tchow: Looking at the different mock drafts, it does seem like there is a consensus on Top 3 (Zion, Ja, RJ in that order) and the fourth pick is immediately where you start seeing disagreements.neil: Which I think speaks to how few truly elite picks are in this draft class, Tony.chris.herring: Totally agreed.neil: But the Lakers can’t complain too much. They only had the 11th-best odds going on, so even moving up to fourth in a three-star draft is something.chris.herring: On Tuesday I walked past Gar Forman, from the Bulls’ front office, and he had a pretty grim look on his face after the team finished No. 7. Thought it was noteworthy that the Bulls’ John Paxson all but acknowledged that with a pick that low, the team was more likely to trade for a veteran as opposed to making it work with a rookie.It’s far more of a crapshoot outside of the Top 3.natesilver: We do know that the Pelicans didn’t like the Lakers’ pu pu platter back in February. And that was before Brandon Ingram’s DVT diagnosis. Although also before David Griffin took over, so maybe not as relevant now.chris.herring: There are a lot of options now for New Orleans. A lot of people were wondering out loud, too, whether getting Williamson might make the Pelicans more likely to find a deal for point guard Jrue Holiday, who could help a ton of teams as well.tchow: Chris, Paxson also had another pretty optimistic outlook on the results that I hadn’t thought of last night: chris.herring: Yeah, that quote infuriated Bulls fans here. It read like something out of The Onion.tchow: LOLneil: Do the Pels have more or less leverage in an AD trade now than they did at the deadline?natesilver: Weirdly, they have less, because there’s no one who can trade them Zion!chris.herring: Exactly. Likely less leverage but more flexibility in terms of the path they take, since they can feel pretty comfortable about building their future around him.natesilver: Are people too confident that Memphis will take Ja Morant and not RJ Barrett? They both have one glaring flaw (Morant: defense, Barrett: shooting), and historically, you’d rather go with the guy who can fix his shooting than a guy who is probably too undersized to ever be a great defender. Barrett’s also almost a year younger.Just to show how much a year can matter, compare Morant’s stats this year vs. last year: neil (Neil Paine, senior sportswriter): So we just witnessed what our friend Zach Lowe called the “wildest lottery ever.” The Zion-Williamson-to-the-Knicks (or its less-heralded cousin, Zion-to-the-Lakers) hype train gained a ton of steam when both teams were revealed to be in the Top 4 … and then it crashed and burned on live TV as the Lakers ended up at No. 4 and the Knicks at No. 3.Guys, take me through each of your experiences and emotions as you saw what unfolded.chris.herring (Chris Herring, senior sportswriter): I think we saw right away how crazy this new lottery system has the potential to be. By flattening out the worst teams’ odds of winning, you get a higher probability of something like last night playing out. It was insane at the actual lottery here in Chicago. There were these enormous gasps when they announced that the Bulls were going to pick seventh, the Suns were going to pick sixth, and the Cavs were going to choose fifth.natesilver (Nate Silver, editor in chief): I was at a fairly nice Italian restaurant with a friend who doesn’t really like basketball, and I made him pull out his phone along with my phone just so we could see who had the faster livestream. Unfortunately, this restaurant had a lot of wood paneling or something that was causing the signal to be pretty weak. Anyway, the livestream cut out right when it looked like the Knicks might be shut out of the Top 4 entirely, then it came back on and they were in the Top 4, and then right after that they got the No. 3 pick. As dumb as it sounds, the experience of having my expectations lowered made the No. 3 pick seem a lot better as a quasi-Knicks fan.Also, we ordered pasta for dessert, which people should try.tchow (Tony Chow, video producer): My fingers and toes were crossed from the time Boston’s 14th pick was announced. I started jumping up and down on my couch and screaming sometime between Phoenix’s sixth pick reveal and Cleveland’s fifth. There was a moment during that window that I thought 14 percent really meant something like 98 percent, and I was ready to buy my Zion Knicks jersey.chris.herring: Hahahahaha. Brutal.neil: Our colleague Chad Matlin had a great experience as well that he granted me permission to share:“a small anecdote from brooklyn last night: I’m walking home from dinner down Flatbush Ave and a man appears half a block behind me and starts violently screaming something, but I can’t quite make out what. he keeps screaming. I only catch snippets. “FUCKING!!!” “ALL!!!” “LOSING!“”” this goes on for 90 seconds as he crosses street aimlessly, screaming the same thing over and over. I finally piece it together: “ALL THAT FUCKING LOSING FOR NOTHING!!”And that’s when I found out the Knicks didn’t win the lottery.”Suffice to say, emotions were running high here in New York.chris.herring: LMAOnatesilver: I had run the numbers beforehand, and the No. 3 pick — in a draft where there’s a clear drop-off between Nos. 3 and 4 — is slightly above the expected value for the Knicks pick. Even if you think Zion is going to be reaaaaaaaaaaaly good, a 14 percent chance just isn’t that high.chris.herring: On some level, the lottery process and unveiling is really, really challenging for the average person — even for me — to follow along with if you aren’t focused on a single team and where they’re ending up.tchow: Yeah, Chris, in the hysteria last night, the graphics on TV really played a trick on me: They had the Top 4 picks in individual blocks on top, while 5 through 14 were listed below as they were revealing the picks. As the blocks were getting filled in, you saw the Lakers, then the Grizzlies and then the Pelicans, and I went, “Holy shit, we got No. 1!”chris.herring: One team being slotted lower than you expect is useful information, but it’s hard to know exactly who it benefits until there are only two or three teams left.Rachel Nichols was explaining it in real time, but it still takes a hot second or two to register what it all means, because of the pick swaps and protections, etc.neil: It’s kind of incredible that so many of us devote time to watching the unveiling of the results of pingpong balls based on probabilities, which each have obscure caveats (protections, etc), and it actually makes for compelling TV. The NBA is amazing.natesilver: Maybe they should reveal it one pick per day at a time over the course of the playoffs, sort of like an advent calendar.Think of all the opportunities for #content.chris.herring: I’m still kind of shocked that New Orleans ended up getting it. Makes a huge difference for them going forward. All this time, analysts were suggesting that they make a deal with the team that wins the lottery for Anthony Davis. Now they have the No. 1 pick AND Anthony Davis.neil: And David Griffin said their big priority is convincing AD to stay now. Is that feasible?chris.herring: It doesn’t seem the most feasible to me. You’d love for him to change his tune on that, but reports suggest that he won’t. It’s incredibly risky to gamble on the hunch that he will.natesilver: I think Zion might make it more likely that AD is traded, if anythingBecause now the franchise has something to play for and sell hope/tickets for, even without AD. So any scenario where they’re just being super stubborn and desperate is probably off the table.chris.herring: You don’t know whether Zion alone would be enough for them to make a huge jump in the next year, which is what you’d need to feel better about letting Davis test free agency.natesilver: New Orleans was one of just three teams to win the lottery that was neither undeserving, nor boring, nor annoying. So that was a win in my book. neil: And how does either affect where Mike Conley goes? They were shopping him pretty aggressively at the deadline but didn’t find the right deal.natesilver: I don’t think Memphis has any business keeping Conley either way.chris.herring: I’m interested in that question, too.natesilver: And I’m not sure it affects their pick much. If you want Ja, you can keep him and use Conley as a mentor if you want.chris.herring: Memphis is one of the smaller markets in the league, and because of that, I think they maybe hold on to players a year or two longer than they should. Perhaps because of the ties those fans feel to certain players.Morant is seemingly good enough where you draft him and then figure out the answer to that question with Conley later.natesilver: The Grizzlies have historically been a bit allergic to high-usage-rate guys, and both Barrett and Morant use a lot of possessions, so in some ways neither one feels like a natural Grizzly.chris.herring: Morant is a great passer, too, though, and averaged a double-double with assists. So I’d hope they make an exception in this case.tchow: If I were the Grizzlies, I’d take RJ.chris.herring: Wow. Knick fans would love if you became the Grizzlies’ GM.natesilver: The thing that’s really hard to project with Barrett is his defense. A lot of the comparables are pretty unflattering because people want to typecast him as Andrew Wiggins 2.0, maybe just because they’re both Canadian. But Wiggins was thought of as a guy who was going to be a plus defender, and he’s been pretty darn terrible instead. If Barrett’s a good defender, though, you start getting into a whole different set of comps, more along the lines of Jimmy Butler (if he tamps down the usage rate a bit) or Victor Oladipo.neil: Just goes to show how much defense — which I think can go overlooked for prospects at times (and is difficult to predict out of college) — can really alter a player’s pro trajectory. This, from ESPN’s mock draft on Barrett, sounds like it’s ripped out of the Wiggins scouting report: “he wasn’t the defender his physical tools suggest he should have been.”chris.herring: In fairness, Morant’s defense isn’t all that great, either. That’s part of what makes the No. 1 pick so easy, among other things.natesilver: Barrett was a much better rebounder, which counts for something. A much better and more active passer. And he was using a ton of possessions, which sometimes yields lower effort on defense. And Duke played a very tough schedule.I don’t know. If Barrett had shot 38 percent from three instead of 31 percent, I think people would be talking about him and Williamson like it’s … I don’t know, the Kevin Durant/Greg Oden draft or something. And of course, you can’t just disregard the difference between 38 percent and 31 percent. But he’s a pretty spectacular prospect if he learns how to shoot.chris.herring: It’s so hard to tell in college. The shooting is somewhat predictive. But even if he had shot 38 percent this year, I think there would be room to ask whether it was completely real.I remember Justise Winslow shooting a pretty healthy percentage from out there during his lone year at Duke, but so many of the makes came with Jahlil Okafor being doubled in the post, which left Winslow wide-open a lot of the time. And then he initially struggled from three once he came into the league, which was what many folks predicted.natesilver: The low free-throw percentage is troubling for Barrett.Like, Jayson Tatum — a guy who’s been a much better 3-point shooter as a pro than people thought — shot free throws pretty darned well in college. Barrett didn’t.chris.herring: Completely agreed. That tends to have solid predictive value.neil: It’s also worth remembering that Barrett was actually the No. 1 prospect in that star-studded class going into their freshman seasons. But I’ve seen studies that indicate the weight given to even one year of college should far outweigh our priors for prospects coming out of high school.tchow: This chat is just becoming a conversation about how Duke players perform in the NBA.chris.herring: Seems fair to me: neil: SO many people were looking at that!tchow: It must have meant something!neil: NBA conspiracies are the best.chris.herring: It seemed that might have been his preference.tchow: Can you imagine all the “it’s rigged” people if the Hawks did end up getting No. 1 after the logo double tap?chris.herring: Can’t remember too many people WANTING to go to Atlanta, but I actually hoped he’d end up there after that.neil: 😢tchow: Zion with Trae Young is really intriguing.But if we’re playing alternate universes and what-ifs, can we play “what if Zion did go to the Knicks?” Neil thinks owner James Dolan would have somehow messed it up anyway. I disagree.neil: Right, my take was always that he should be happy he didn’t go to the Knicks. Everything that franchise touches goes to ruin.tchow: But he could have changed that, Neil!chris.herring: ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski was reporting pretty adamantly that the Knicks wouldn’t have traded him. So it seems like they would have moved forward with him, and then gone into free agency shooting for the stars.natesilver: I think it would have been dumb to trade him. Like, more dumb than people realize. When you consider the contracts, and that the Pelicans don’t rally have much leverage, I think you can even argue that Zion straight up is TOO MUCH for AD, without all the other assets that the Knicks were likely to have to throw into the deal. But, anyway, I guess we don’t have to worry about that now.chris.herring: I agree. You’re going to want and need cost-controlled contracts for when you get other stars, anyway. Having Zion would allow you to do that.tchow: Is it wrong of me to think that this is even more proof that the lottery was rigged? Like, the results were so much the complete opposite of what you thought a “rigged” one would look like that it’s almost too opposite. Am I making sense? Like, the results seemed to be what someone would produce to prove that something wasn’t rigged when it actually was.natesilver: Tony I think you’re overthinking this just a liiiiiiiiiiiiittle bit.chris.herring: LOLneil: Of course, they did invite some of this rigging speculation by having Patrick “Frozen Envelope” Ewing there to represent the Knicks.chris.herring: As someone who’s been in the room, it’s not rigged. They go to great lengths to let people watch it. And make the actual process available on YouTube shortly after.I think the variance is going to be really wild going forward because of how they’ve flattened out the odds for the worst few teams, though. And honestly, it will make it more fun and heartbreaking.tchow: I know it’s not rigged. But……Just kiddingneil: But yeah Chris, I wanted to ask about that. Did we see the death of tanking last night?Look at how much the results at the top differed from the ranking in order of worst records: tchow: Nate, I disagree with so much of that Venn diagram.natesilver: Hahaneil: As an Atlantan who also once worked for the Hawks, I guess I’ll take “basically OK.”chris.herring: Neil, I’m sure die-hard Hawks fans were disappointed last night. Basketball people seem to universally feel that would’ve been his best fit.Did you all see the video of Williamson hitting the Hawks logo twice before the lottery began?
Ohio State then-junior attack Molly Wood races up field against Penn State on April 12, 2016 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. Credit: Courtesy of OSU AthleticsThe Ohio State women’s lacrosse team held on to a close lead to defeat Connecticut Wednesday night 13-12 for the Buckeyes’ first win against the Huskies since 1999. Connecticut sophomore midfielder Olivia Miles scored with fewer than two minutes left in the game to bring Ohio State’s lead to one, but the Buckeyes held off the rally to secure the win. Ohio State (3-4) went on a 3-0 run early in the game and maintained the lead against Connecticut (4-4) for the remainder of the first half.The Buckeyes held the Huskies to a seven-minute scoring drought until a late free-position goal by Connecticut freshman midfielder Sydney Watson brought the score to 6-5 before halftime.Connecticut junior attacker Lexi Kennealy tied the game at 6-6 only 44 seconds into the second half. The Huskies inched ahead 7-6 following a goal by senior midfielder Kelsey Catalano. Buckeyes freshman midfielder Lindsay Epstein brought Ohio State back ahead with under 25 minutes left in the game, but the Huskies responded with two goals of their own to regain their lead. Redshirt senior attack Molly Wood scored a goal before junior midfielder Baley Parrott added back-to-back goals with under nine minutes left to give the Buckeyes a lead they would maintain until the end. Parrott led Ohio State with three goals and six draw controls. Wood also finished with three goals and five draw controls. The Buckeyes tallied 18 draw controls total compared to the Huskies’ eight. Ohio State held a one-shot advantage over Connecticut 29-28. The Buckeyes begin Big Ten when they face Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, at noon Saturday.
Ohio State redshirt senior guard Keyshawn Woods attempts a shot against Michigan State at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on Feb. 17. Photo: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorEAST LANSING, Mich — A sea of white hindered Ohio State while it tried to establish its offense. Each time the shot clock was under 10 seconds, the Michigan State student section counted down to one, seemingly leading to a rushed shot even when five seconds were left on the clock. C.J. Jackson, one of only two players on Ohio State’s roster that has played in East Lansing before, seemed unfazed. The senior guard, with five seconds left on the shot clock, put up a 3 from the top of the 3-point line as if time had expired. He sunk it, giving Ohio State the early 7-2 lead. But even as Ohio State showed spurts of offensive potential in the first half, inexperience and inconsistency reigned, and the sea of white rejoiced as the Buckeyes (16-9, 6-8 Big Ten) fell to No. 11 Michigan State (21-5, 12-3 Big Ten) 62-44 on Sunday. It was the least amount of points Ohio State has scored in a game this season. After shooting 40 percent from the field in the first half, making 3-of-6 from deep, Ohio State struggled with offensive consistency in the second, making 4-of-21 from the field and 1-of-9 from 3. The Buckeyes scored 13 points in the second half compared to Michigan State’s 37 and did not record a field goal in the final 7:40. Facing a defense that limits opponents to shoot 37.3 percent from the field, Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann said struggling to score has been a challenge, but something he expected to see in this team. “It’s not like we didn’t expect that we were going to have trouble scoring this year,” Holtmann said. “We had an expectation that that was going to be something. We just have to keep taking good shots.” WIth the game tied at 39, Michigan State redshirt senior forward Kenny Goins sparked the Spartans’ second-half momentum, hitting a 3. But Jackson answered on the next possession with his second 3 in three tries. Jackson finished the game with eight points, making 1-of-6 opportunities from inside the 3-point line. But redshirt junior guard Kyle Ahrens answered with a 3 of his own, beginning a 10-0 Spartans run and putting a dagger through the hopes of the Buckeyes victory. “If they are all hype making shots, it’s tough to make shots when the crowd is going crazy and they are all hyped up on defense,” sophomore guard Musa Jallow said.In the second half, Michigan State made 12-of-26 attempts from the floor, shooting 42.9 percent from 3. As the crowd got behind the Michigan State offense, especially in the second half, Holtmann said it was hard to watch his team implode offensively. “It’s frustrating when you are struggling to score as much as you are struggling to score,” Holtmann said. “I think that is frustrating for guys because you tie so much of yourself to your offense.” In the first half, momentum favored the road team. The Ohio State offense came out hot, taking a 14-5 lead in the first seven minutes of the game. Sophomore forward Kaleb Wesson, in his second matchup with Michigan State junior forward and Gahanna, Ohio-native Nick Ward, scored six of the 14 points. Wesson finished the game with 12 points, the only Ohio State player with double-digit points, and nine rebounds.With Ward sidelined for the majority of the first half with a hand injury, Wesson said he feels like he battled in the post, but said he was unhappy with his six missed shots.But the runs continued in the first half. After redshirt junior Kyle Ahrens and Ward brought the Spartans back to within two, senior guard Matt McQuaid hit a corner 3 with Ohio State freshman forward Justin Ahrens draped over him, giving the Spartans its first lead of the day. With the Spartans holding onto a one-point lead heading into the final three minutes of the first half, Jallow hit a 3, igniting a 7-0 run and giving the Buckeyes a 31-25 halftime lead. This was the expectation for Jallow heading into the second half of play. “Just come back for another 20 minutes and play as hard as we did in the first half,” Jallow said. “When the game ended, we weren’t as good as we were in the first half.” Despite a six-point Ohio State lead heading into the second half, Michigan State began the half with a 7-1 run, tying the game at 32. However, offensive success came to a stand still for both the Spartans and the Buckeyes a the start of the half, combining to make two of 12 total shots, with Ohio State missing its first six. After the first half of play, Jallow felt this game was in the grasp of Ohio State. But after scoring 13 points in the second half, Jallow said this loss hurts. “It leaves a bad taste in your mouth because we knew this was a winnable game and we just didn’t do enough to pull it out in the second half,” Jallow said. Ohio State will travel home to take on Northwestern on Wednesday at the Schottenstein Center at 8:30 p.m. Updated at 4:32 p.m. with quotes from sophomore guard Musa Jallow, sophomore forward Kaleb Wesson and head coach Chris Holtmann.