In New York City hundreds of mostly Arab youth arrived in Times Square on July 17 just as the news ticker above them announced that the Israeli military had begun the ground invasion of Gaza. The demonstration was one of a series of almost daily protests in Midtown Manhattan and quickly it began swelling to thousands.The rally was unique among the week’s actions because it linked together two crises destroying the futures of millions of young people. The demonstration was called under the slogan “Stop the war on children, from Gaza to the U.S./Mexican border.”Numerous Latino/a organizations linked the massive dislocation caused by past U.S. wars to the crisis of tens of thousands of dislocated refugee youth today on the U.S.-Mexican border with the U.S.-supported racist policies of Israel. Every speaker raised their total solidarity with Gaza under such a brutal military offensive. On July 18 in Buffalo, N.Y., about 1,000 people — mainly Arab youth — mobilized in solidarity with Palestine. Speeches demanded an end to the occupation of Palestine, to cease all U.S. aid to Israel and to stop the current massacre on Gaza, part of ongoing genocide against Palestinians.Participants expressed support for the brave Palestinian resistance with placards saying “Resistance is a right!” and “Salute the resistance in Gaza!”The huge crowd repeatedly circled Niagara Square in downtown Buffalo, while cars sporting Palestinian flags also circled on the street surrounding the square. Then, when the crowd advanced across the street to the wide steps of City Hall, they occupied the full width of the sidewalk and street in front as well as covering the steps. The police were then forced to halt all vehicular traffic in the square.The protest marked the first day of ground assaults by Zionist occupation forces into Gaza. Just two days before, the U.S. Congress had approved over $350 million in additional military aid to Israel. In the first half of 2014 alone, the U.S. has already supplied over $3 billion to Israel.In Atlanta, chants of “Israel out of Gaza now!” echoed off the buildings as Palestinians and others protested in front of the Israeli Consulate on July 18. For the third week, the demonstrators took to the streets. The lead 40-foot banner in the colors of the Palestinian flag stated “Israel, Can You See Us Now” while other signage demanded “No U.S. funding for Israeli occupation” and “Self-determination for Palestine.” Hundreds demonstrated in front of Atlanta’s CNN headquarters on July 5 and July 12 to decry the media’s uncritical coverage of Israel’s continued violations of international law and apartheid-like system in the occupied territories. As people of conscience around the world condemn the genocidal Israeli invasion of Gaza, protesters inside the U.S. are among those raising their voices for an immediate end to the Zionist war offensive. Many are well aware of — and angry about — the fact that U.S. taxpayer dollars fund Israel’s weapons of mass destruction and that the U.S.-backed policy toward the Palestinians is what spurs on the terrorist actions of the racist Israeli apartheid state.Many of these protests were part of the July 17-25 national week of coordinated actions demanding “Stop the War on Children! From Gaza to the U.S./Mexican border!” initiated by Al-Awda NY — the Palestine Right to Return Coalition; the May 1st Coalition for Worker & Immigrant Rights; the International Action Center and the People’s Power Assembly.Demonstrations took place in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego and Washington, D.C., Boston, as well as in other cities and areas large and small across the country. In Window Rock, Ariz., members of the Navajo (Diné) Nation rallied and marched in solidarity with Gaza. (Navajotimes.com, July 17)Here are reports on some of the actions that Workers World Party and other organizations took part in across the U.S.More than 10,000 marched in Chicago on July 20 to condemn Israel’s murderous assault on Gaza. The protest began with a die-in of young people who held the names of Palestinian civilians killed in the Israeli onslaught. The names of all the dead — over 400 at the time — were read.The marchers filled the streets for 10 blocks with a sea of Palestinian flags. “After two weeks of protesting, this is the largest protest in Chicago and the largest in the country so far,” said Hatem Abudayyeh, of the U.S. Palestine Community Network, who co-emceed the rally. Palestinian and Arab women are playing a leading role in organizing the actions each week. Young people in general provide the energy and nonstop chanting. More actions are planned at CNN and the Israeli Consulate in the coming week.In Milwaukee on July 19 some 500 people rallied in front of the Federal Building and then marched to the office of U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, who just okayed U.S. taxpayer funds for Israel. Demonstrators temporarily took the street, but then mounted police pushed families and other protesters back onto the curb.The crowd marched back along Wisconsin Avenue for a final rally at the Federal Building. Reflecting on the turnout of so many families with multiple generations present, Azmi Aladdin said, “My grandchildren will still be protesting years from now, but someday we will be free.”In downtown Raleigh, N.C., on July 19, hundreds of Palestinians, their families and supporters — including many youth and students — came out to denounce the U.S.-Israeli bombing and invasion. Demands included an immediate withdrawal of the Israeli occupying forces from Gaza and that the U.S. stop funding Zionist Israel.In Tucson, Ariz., about 50 people gathered in blazing heat on July 18 during evening rush hour to demand an end to the U.S.-funded Israeli assault. The demonstration brought together activists from Students for Justice in Palestine, Jewish Voice for Peace, the International Action Center and other groups. Passersby and traffic responded with honks, raised fists and waves of support.In Philadelphia, for the second week in a row several hundred Palestinians and their supporters demonstrated July 18 outside the Israeli Consulate. The midday rally confronted a smaller pro-Israel demonstration across the street until finally taking over all four corners and blocking traffic. The rally ended with a march through Center City.In Rhinebeck, N.Y., a small town in the Hudson Valley, a half dozen people came to show solidarity with Gaza and were joined by another nine supporters, people who had been shopping at the nearby farmers’ market. “Free Gaza” and “Stop the killings” were among the signs held.John Catalinotto, WW Buffalo staff, Fightbacknews.org, Sara Flounders, Dianne Mathiowetz, Bryan Pfeifer, Betsey Piette and Paul Teitelbaum contributed to this article. WW managing editor, Kris Hamel, wrote the introduction to this round-up.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare this
Chelsea youth coach Joe Cole: Liverpool title favouritesby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea youth coach Joe Cole says Liverpool are title favourites.Cole says Manchester City have “weaknesses” that make Liverpool firm favourites for the Premier League title.“I said it a couple of weeks ago, I said this team’s got everything, they’re fully equipped to win the league and you’ve seen that today with the performance of [Virgil] Van Dijk and [Andy] Robertson,” Cole said on BT Sport.“More importantly I think I put them now as firm favourites because I can see little weaknesses with Man City.“With Liverpool we’ve had to trawl through to find half a weakness, maybe Trent [Alexander-Arnold] gets exposed a little bit because of the system.“They’ve got everything, they were fantastic today and if they don’t win the title this year they will probably go down as the best team not to win it, because they’re fantastic.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Fox News probably should have double-checked before listing Steve Spurrier as “Head Game Coach” during their live interview.With college football less than a week away, former Gator quarterback and head coach Steve Spurrier is promoting his new book. The autobiography, Head Ball Coach, follows Spurrier’s childhood in Tennessee to his Heisman Trophy win, and then to playing and coaching in the pros to leading the Florida Gators to six SEC Championships and beyond. However, Fox News made quite a gaff, listing “Head Game Coach” as the introductory graphic during the broadcast.Steve Spurrier. Universally known as “Head Ball Coach” someone should tell the nerd running graphics at Fox News. pic.twitter.com/VUvbkZskOx— Patrick Shuck (@pshuck) August 31, 2016Note: Head Ball Coach is the title of Spurrier’s new autobiography…which he talked about during this interview.Florida fans and basically any person with a firm understanding of college football were quick to mock the obvious [email protected] @BobbyBigWheel idiots, everyone knows Bobby Petrino is the Head Game coach.— Sonar Jose (@SonarJose) August 31, [email protected] @BobbyBigWheel wait does he coach the game with the basket ball ring or the one with the giant tuning forks at each end of the grass— Frank Mueller (@Muellercleez) August 31, [email protected] no, it’s “head game coach.” i remember because he would always tell his players to put the ball right in the basketball ring— Aaron Montgomery (@ProbablyMonty) August 31, 2016Looks like someone at Fox News needs a comprehensive history lesson.Spurrier, now an ambassador for Florida’s athletics department, was the Gators’ starting quarterback for three seasons. He won the Heisman Trophy in 1966.After an NFL stint, Spurrier coached the Gators towards six SEC championships and one national title in 12 seasons. After resigning unexpectedly in 2001, he coached the NFL Washington Redskins until 2005, when he left to coach the South Carolina Gamecocks from 2005-2015.
OTTAWA – Canada’s trade minister says a small group from the World Trade Organization hope to convince the two biggest economies on the planet to save the beleaguered body, but gave no timeline to bring China and the United States into the talks.Neither country took part in the day-long meeting in Ottawa on the future of the world’s trade referee.Building consensus on specific reforms will take time and will be impossible without approval from China and the United States, International Trade Minister Jim Carr said Thursday.Carr didn’t have an answer for when or how he expected to bring the Chinese and Americans into the conversation, and hoped that “force of argument” and the determination of a “very important, small group” of WTO members would win over the countries.Reforms have been largely elusive for the 23-year-old WTO, but hostile rhetoric towards the organization from U.S. President Donald Trump — whose country wasn’t invited to Thursday’s gathering — is giving the meeting added urgency.“We want to make the WTO more effective than it has been. It is in need of renewal,” Carr said.“We believe that there are many, many nations in the world, including the United States and China, who will see value in looking at new ways to approach old problems. It’s time for this reform and this is a good place to start.”Trump’s shadow loomed large over the sunlit room where 13 of the 164-member WTO talked about safeguarding and strengthening the dispute settlement system, improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the WTO monitoring function and modernizing trade rules for the 21st century.Speaking in Winnipeg, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said Thursday the government believed talks would be easier without the U.S. and China in the room.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has spoken in recent days with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Argentine President Mauricio Macri about rules-based trade.Trudeau also mentioned the issue alongside Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Parliament Hill, saying both support the WTO and “a trading system that is rules-based and fair.”Trump has upended the world’s trading order with his penchant for punitive tariffs on imports, including levies on steel and aluminum from Canada and Mexico.The tariffs remain in place despite the North American partners agreeing on a new continental trade pact, christened the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement.Government spending documents made public Wednesday show the Liberals will ask Parliament to approve $3.5 million to stop “unfairly priced foreign steel and aluminum” from entering Canada — and ultimately the American market.The spending is part of ongoing efforts by federal officials to convince Trump that Canada is preventing Chinese products in particular from making their way to the United States.Conservatives say the ongoing failure of the Trudeau Liberals to get Trump to lift the levies is forcing businesses to cut back on orders and other to lay off workers.“The longer these tariffs remain, the more damage they’ll do,” said Conservative trade critic Dean Allison.“The Liberal government has left Canadian steel and aluminum businesses hanging on by a thread.”The U.S. has openly blocked the appointments of new judges to the WTO’s dispute settlement mechanism, known as the appellate body — a tactic that threatens to paralyze the organization and prevent it from making decisions.Still, Carr said no one at the meeting blamed Trump for the woes faced by the WTO.“What is the point of doing that? The point was made many times that we have to engage with the United States and we have to engage with the United States for obvious reasons,” Carr said.“The United States has said that they’re not happy with the WTO, there are issues over which the United States has significant control, but this was a positive discussion about where we ought to go from here.”— With files from Kelly Malone in Winnipeg— Follow @jpress on Twitter
Real Madrid and Spanish National Team star football player, Sergio Ramos, was appointed this week as UNICEF Spain’s newest ambassador during an event with youth in the Brazilian city of Curitiba where he is participating in a UNICEF program for the promotion of fair play and the right to sport.Sergio Ramos has been a longtime supporter of UNICEF’s work on behalf of the most vulnerable children, visiting child survival programs in Senegal, leading and participating in solidarity matches such as Champions for Africa and Champions for Life, recording messages of support, donating personal objects and memorabilia to raise funds for UNICEF programs, and participating in television specials for the most vulnerable children.His appointment comes at an exciting time – the start of World Cup in Brazil and the kickoff of the ‘Team UNICEF’ initiative, which aims to use sport to promote tolerance, peace, respect, and also encourage cooperation and leadership among young people. It further aims to focus on the need for children to be protected from violence.During this week’s ceremony in Curitiba, Ramos stated, “As an ambassador for UNICEF Spain, it is an honor for me to help the initiatives of the organization on a larger scale to ensure that we strengthen the rights of children. I am thrilled to join ‘Team UNICEF’ during the World Cup and to support UNICEF’s work for the promotion of sport and for the protection of children. I just had a son and I cannot imagine the pain of not being able to protect him from any circumstances that would prevent him from fully enjoying his rights.”The Executive Director of UNICEF Spain, Javier Martos, conveyed his appreciation to Sergio Ramos on behalf of the organization for his continued collaboration throughout the years: “This recognition comes after many years of selfless efforts on behalf of children, both through public events and private meetings, in which Sergio has demonstrated sensitivity and full commitment to the most vulnerable children through his willingness to support UNICEF’s work worldwide.”“We all have to find a way to support the most vulnerable children,” said Ramos, who has been with the Spanish Selection since 2005. “All children have the right to survive, to develop their potential, to play and have a future full of opportunities. UNICEF’s work is fundamental to achieving this.“I am proud to collaborate with UNICEF because I trust their work and I’ve seen firsthand their achievements during a trip to Senegal. I will help share UNICEF’s message and campaigns with many other people who also want to help.”“Sport is more than just physical exercise or competition for a trophy. When a child plays, he is exercising his right to be a child. But sport also helps children grow into healthy adults, to exercise more solidarity amongst their friends, to follow rules and learn to play as part of a team,” added Ramos after chatting with a network of youth and adolescents supported by UNICEF which promotes safe and inclusive sport in several communities with limited resources Curitiba.After talking with the youth, the new Spanish Ambassador played a brief and impromptu football game.
TORONTO – A new stress test for all uninsured mortgages is unnecessary and could increase costs for homebuyers, a report by the Fraser Institute said Wednesday.Study author Neil Mohindra wrote the proposed stress test “will do more harm than good” by limiting access to mortgages for some homebuyers.“The mandatory standard for stress testing could result in a less competitive and more concentrated mortgage market,” he wrote in the report.The study comes as the federal Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions finalizes new lending guidelines.Among the changes being contemplated is a requirement that homebuyers who have a down payment of 20 per cent or more and do not require mortgage insurance still have to show they can make their payments if interest rates rise.The head of OSFI has said that Canada’s banking regulator wants to reduce the risk of mortgage defaults because of high levels of household debt.“We are not waiting to see those risks crystallize in rising arrears and defaults before we act,” OSFI head Jeremy Rudin said last week.Canadian household debt compared with disposable income hit a record high in the second quarter. Statistics Canada reported last month that household credit market debt as a proportion of household disposable income increased to 167.8 per cent, up from 166.6 per cent in the first quarter.However, Mohindra said that instead of a prescriptive test, OSFI could use its existing powers to fix what it believes are deficiencies in policies and procedures.The Bank of Canada has raised its key interest rate target by a quarter of a percentage point twice this year.The increases have pushed up the big bank prime lending rates which are used to determine rates for variable-rate mortgages and lines of credit.The Fraser Institute is an independent, non-partisan organization that tends to prefer free-market policies over government regulation.
TAYLOR, B.C. – At a District of Taylor Regular Council meeting on Tuesday, Councillors passed the third reading of a Bylaw that would allow for Micro Breweries, Craft Distilleries, and Cannabis Retail within the District.Earlier this year, the District had been contacted by local business investors that showed interest in developing a small scale craft brewery within the municipality.According to District Staff, after reviewing the District’s Zoning Bylaw, it was determined that the proposed use is not permitted in any of Taylor’s commercial zones. Since revising the Bylaw, it was decided that breweries and cannabis-related businesses would be allowed to operate on 100 and 100A streets along the Alaska Highway to ensure that such businesses are not near children or schools.Now that Council has passed the third reading, the Bylaw will be adopted and take effect at a later date.
Rabat – The US administration is considering Morocco’s development model as an “exceptional success” in the region, said Morocco’s minister-delegate for foreign affairs and cooperation, Mbarka Bouaida.In an interview with Morocco’s TV channel 2M, Bouaida said the visit paid by King Mohammed VI to the USA last week, has opened new prospects in Morocco-US partnership, recalling that the two countries started last year a strategic dialog process and have agreed to consolidate the Millennium challenge Account, the free-trade agreement and to hold the 2nd conference on development in Rabat in 2014.She also pointed out that the Moroccan and US heads of state have agreed to appoint a high-ranking personality to follow up implementation of all decisions made during their summit meeting. Inter-government and private agreements signed during this visit will lead to concrete results for both Morocco and Africa, she went on.
Rabat – The political barometer TIZI/AVERTY issued its second opinion poll on Tuesday, which noted a significant decrease of approval rating for Mr. Abdelilah Benkirane, Prime Minister of Morocco.The survey included 1,067 Moroccan participants questioned via internet, and it was distributed among 39 cities in Morocco. 35 percent of the respondents were from the Atlantic region (axis Casablanca-Rabat), 18% from the central region of the country, 25% from the North and 25% from the South.According to the Moroccan newspapers Akhbar Alyaoum, the approval rating of the head of the government decreased from 68% in June 2013 to 53% in January 2014, a drop of 15 points in six months, especially in South of Morocco. More specifically, the confidence in Mr. Abdelilah Benkirane has significantly decreased from 63 percent to 11%, and from 50% to 18% in the Atlantic axis (Casablanca-Rabat).This reduction has also been noticeable in the regions of Fes, Meknes and Tadla-Azilal from 48% support to 29% in the last six months.Edited by Zahra El Alami© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed
natesilver: Our model thought the DeMarcus Cousins injury was a pretty big deal. Although I think it overrated how effective Cousins had been this season.sara.ziegler: All season, Cousins has been more about potential in our model.But the Warriors didn’t need him early in the season, obviously.tchow: I have nothing much to say about this series, but I do want to point readers to this interview KD gave before Game 3. natesilver: It’s not that they’re going to lose to the Clippers, but I do just have to wonder about a team’s mentality when they can blow a 30-point lead.chris.herring: NBC analyst Tom Haberstroh pointed out that Steph was only averaging 19.9 points per 36 minutes this season with Boogie on the court, and that he essentially morphed into Malcolm Brogdon.Averaged 31.4 points per 36 minutes without DeMarcus on the floor.sara.ziegler: Wownatesilver: I mean, part of that might be that Steph was being deferential in an effort to get Cousins feeling like himself again.chris.herring: EXACTLYWhich … there isn’t time to do that in the playoffs.tchow: Definitely. I think Steph went through a similar dip when KD joined too.chris.herring: The last thing you want is Steph playing nice when you need him to be Steph.natesilver: It does just seem kind of impossible when you have to shut down Steph AND KD and Klay. Even if the rest of the team kind of sucks.chris.herring: I tend to think this helps them for now, but the Rockets series was one of the overarching reasons they signed Cousins — to make it so Houston couldn’t switch as much as they did on them last yearnatesilver: Yeah. So in some ways, we’re back to last year’s series, which was as even as it gets. The Rockets lately are playing as well as last year. And the Warriors without Cousins are basically last year’s team.sara.ziegler: After this matchup, will we even want to finish out the playoffs??natesilver: Well, the Western Conference finals are likely to be an anti-climax.tchow: LOL. Yes! I for one am very interested to see who comes out of the East to play against Warriors/Rockets.Check out our latest NBA predictions. Everyone’s like, “Why are these four stars such awkward fits together” — and I’ll admit that they’re a little awkward, but with a half-decent bench, it’s an entirely different team.chris.herring: I don’t think it’s a terrible bench. And the truth is, you can stagger when you have that many stars.But the spots in which it’s terrible … yeah.tchow: Sixers’ bench: Who? Who? Who? The big guy. Who? and Who?sara.ziegler: 🤣chris.herring: That’s their issue, I think. I’m not sure Boban Marjanovic would work against every team. But he’s their backup big.natesilver: I saw Boban at the United Airlines lounge at Newark Airport one time. He was very big and tall and sitting in a giant lounge chair and still looked very big and tall.chris.herring: I tweeted last night that I’m pretty sure he dunked last night with one foot still on the ground.Anyway: I want to talk more about how disappointed I am in Brooklyntchow: Are you just disappointed in their central A/C system at Barclays, Chris? chris.herring: If and when the NBA move the first round back to a best-of-five, they’re going to use this series as evidence as why. (edited)natesilver: I think there needs to be a mercy rule where you can concede your playoff series and get like three Lottery Balls or whatever.sara.ziegler: OK, let’s move back to the West. The Trail Blazers are off to a great start, up 2-0 against the Thunder. Our model is surprised at this series — it had given the Thunder a 77-23 edge. Are you guys surprised?chris.herring: Yes. I’m surprised. Maybe stupid, too.natesilver: I mean, if Paul George isn’t himself, our model is gonna screw that series up.tchow: He’s hurt!chris.herring: I feel like a contrarian now, but I don’t even think he’s shoulder is the problem anymore. He shot the ball semi-decently last game.Russ is shooting like he’s the one injured.tchow: Our model can’t predict that Russell Westbrook will shoot 35 percent and 10 percent from 3-point range in this series.chris.herring: EXACTLYWhat I will say is that I don’t have a lot of faith in OKC if it’s simply relying on the notion that its shooting will improve.They are shooting 16 PERCENT from three in this series.Which, while God awful, is only a slight regression for them!natesilver: That whole quadrant of the bracket — OKC, Portland, San Antonio, Denver — seems incredibly weak to me.chris.herring: If OKC had a team full of sharpshooters, I could understand having more confidence.But Russ still defends Damian Lillard as if he’s surprised that Dame can/will pull up from 35 feet.The guy needs to be treated as if he’s Steph at this pointtchow: I don’t want to take anything away from Portland. Yes, they lost Jusuf Nurkic, but CJ and Dame have been awesome this series.chris.herring: I came in thinking that this might be a sweep or a 4-1 series in favor of OKC. Simply thought that not having Nurkic would hurt against someone like Steven Adams. I thought CJ McCollum would struggle to find a rhythm (he’s coming off an injury and wasn’t good vs. OKC during the season). We watched Dame log 35 a night against the Thunder during the season and still get swept 4-0 during the regular season.tchow: CJ has been 🔥chris.herring: I didn’t think they had a great chance in this series. They had lost 10 playoff games in a row. With the exception of perimeter shooting, I thought just about everything else would be in OKC’s favor. Wrong, wrong, wrong.tchow: If Dame wasn’t in Portland, would he still be this underrated? It feels like this is a storyline every season.sara.ziegler: That’s a good question.How many people regularly see him play?tchow: Basketball nerds: “Look at Damian Lillard!”Basketball fans: “Who this?”chris.herring: I guess we have to define underrated.natesilver: He was All-NBA First Team last season, no?But, yeah, Portland has to be one of the least-watched teams in the league, or at least by people not in the Pacific Time Zone.chris.herring: Even if you know who he is, and how great he is, I think you could objectively look at this series — and what the Blazers have done the last two years in the playoffs (0-8) — and say OKC should have been favored.tchow: For OKC to take Game 3, they need to ____________.And don’t say something like “play better” (looks at Nate).sara.ziegler: SHOOT BETTERchris.herring: … shoot better than my 4-year-old nephew does from outside of 23 feet.natesilver: I’d say they need to play better basketball.sara.ziegler: In the other non-Warriors series out West, the Rockets are handling the Jazz easily so far, setting up a showdown with Golden State in the second round. This has played out about as expected, right?chris.herring: I had higher hopes for Jazz-Rockets. Am impressed with how dominant Houston has looked, but thought Utah would play better than this. Their defensive scheme has looked downright nonsensical to metchow: If Chris has a soft spot for Indiana, I think I have a soft spot for Utah. I love this team and wanted more out of them this series.sara.ziegler: Utah is a very likable team.natesilver: I didn’t expect Houston to dismantle Utah quite so thoroughly.In fact, I think that’s the story of the first round so far. It’s a highly consequential story because the Rockets are absolutely good enough to give the Warriors a series.chris.herring: The disappointment I feel with Utah is equivalent to how excited I am for the second round, with Warriors-Rockets.That will seemingly be the Western Conference finals, just a round early.natesilver: It would be quite something if the Rockets actually need fewer games to dispatch Utah than Golden State needs with the Clippers.chris.herring: Seriously.tchow: The Jazz just seem like a team that’s so close to figuring it out. Maybe not to a point where you think they can beat Golden State, but they’re so good in the regular season. I don’t know what happens to them in the playoffs.chris.herring: Yeah, I sort of agree in theory, Tony.But I think what I’ve learned is that I have to be leery of a team that relies on such a young player to be its leading scorer.natesilver: Maybe you just need more isolation scoring in the playoffs? Or more scoring, period?chris.herring: I remember a stat from last year: Donovan Mitchell was the first rookie to lead a playoff team in regular-season scoring since Carmelo Anthony.I think there’s a reason we don’t see it happen much. And I think it’s even more problematic for a team built like that to have all sorts of horrible defensive breakdowns, because at that point, you know they have no shot at keeping up in a shootout against one of the best scorers in modern history.If Quin Snyder rolls out the exact same defensive scheme that he did in Games 1 and 2, this series will end in a sweep.natesilver: Is Mitchell … a little bit like Carmelo Anthony in that he’s taking too many shots? I mean, I guess he has to take a lot of shots with that lineup. But Utah really needs another player who can create his own shot.tchow: What if you played a player like Royce O’Neale more? He’s +1.8 on defense (according to our model), and it looks like they do a bit better defensively with him on the floor.chris.herring: He’s another example of what Nate is talking about, though: A guy that isn’t likely to create his own shot.This is a team that will need to take a long, hard look at itself this summer despite how well it’s played during the second half of these last two seasons.tchow: One obvious fix would be to get rid of Grayson Allen.KIDDING!!!natesilver: I also think Utah benefits from being a bit unorthodox. Rubio is an unorthodox point guard. They’re defense-first. They can play at a slow pace, although they picked up their pace a lot this year. They’re well-coached. So there’s an advantage from game-planning in the regular season. But Daryl Morey and the Rockets are going to study the hell out of the Jazz and know how to counter.chris.herring: Some of these teams are built to play really, really well in the regular season. And there’s incredible value in that, for seeding purposes, etc.But the inability to change your playing style when you’re forced to is often fatal this time of year.sara.ziegler: Finally, Golden State seemed like Golden State in Game 3 of their series against the Clippers. So that panic appears to be over?chris.herring: Hell, they seemed like Golden State in Game 2 to me!It was just a massive collapse at the end of Game 2.sara.ziegler: LOLchris.herring: I actually pointed out yesterday that the game played out exactly the same way for a long while: sara.ziegler (Sara Ziegler, assistant sports editor): We’ve had almost one full week of games in the NBA playoffs, and trends are emerging. Golden State took a 31-point third-quarter lead over the Clippers on Thursday night … and didn’t lose! So after a few early surprises, things seem to be getting back to what we expected.One series not playing out according to seeding is San Antonio-Denver. The No. 7 Spurs beat the No. 2 Nuggets 118-108 on Thursday to take a 2-1 lead in the series. This comes as a surprise to the FiveThirtyEight NBA Predictions model, which had Denver as an 88 percent favorite to move on. The Nuggets are still favored, but just 60-40. Are you guys surprised by how this series is going?chris.herring (Chris Herring, senior staff writer): Not all that much, no. I think I picked Denver out of respect for the season it had. But this was the one team basically everybody had questions about coming in.I had the series going seven games, with Denver winning. It could easily be 3-0 Spurs right now.tchow (Tony Chow, video producer): I am surprised, but I don’t think we really should be. It’s the Spurs being the Spurs again.natesilver (Nate Silver, editor in chief): Our model doesn’t like San Antonio very much, so given their regular-season performance and home-court advantage — and Denver has a big home-court advantage — the Nuggets were pretty clear favorites. But it didn’t really like the Nuggets all that much either. They aren’t a great playoff team because their depth doesn’t really help them in the playoffs, the topline talent is not all that good, and they don’t have much playoff experience.So I’m surprised that we had them as high as 88 percent, frankly! But not surprised that the Spurs are ahead in the series.chris.herring: On Denver’s home-court advantage: The Nuggets haven’t beaten the Spurs in San Antonio in 14 tries now.tchow: I am surprised because at one point in the season, our model gave the Spurs just a 4 percent chance of even making the postseason. We had a story a while back that talked about how they started turning it around (better defense, better bench production), but they were still underdogs going into this series, in my opinion.sara.ziegler: Yeah, I had sort of counted the Spurs out a long time ago.Let that be a lesson to me: Never count out Pop.The experience factor really seems to be hurting the Nuggets so far. (And our model took 3 points away from them for their lack of playoff experience.)chris.herring: Nuggets coach Mike Malone has talked about the experience factor a pretty decent amount in the past weekHis young starting point guard, Jamal Murray, began Game 2 going 0-for-8. Malone was asked if he gave thought to pulling him because of Murray’s performance. He said no, in part because he needed to show his young players that he believed in them, and that he’s with them, win or lose. Murray responded by hitting 8-of-9 in the final quarter to bring the Nuggets all the way back for a dramatic win.The win probably saved their season for the time being. But it speaks to the volatility of having such a young/young-minded club.tchow: Murray wasn’t much better in Game 3 — just 6 points and two assists. I’m not trying to pin Denver’s failing’s this postseason all on Murray, though. All the Nuggets starters were pretty terrible in Game 3.chris.herring: It’s a pretty big contrast between the teams.While we’re talking about the growing pains for a young team, it’s worth pointing out that the Spurs are being led in part by youngster Derrick White, whose defense is his calling card. I think this is his first real exposure to a national audience, but he’s been playing really well for months.tchow: White’s Game 3 performance was kind of a reminder for a lot of people who don’t watch the Spurs that he existed.sara.ziegler: LOLchris.herring: White’s experience has been different because of all the injuries they’ve had. But White and Dejounte Murray are going to be an annoyingly good backcourt once the team is healthy again next season. AND there’s Bryn Forbes, too.natesilver: The whole Nuggets backcourt feels like it’s way short of championship caliber. It needs an anchor. There are lots of useful pieces you could rotate around that anchor, like Murray and Gary Harris, but without that anchor, it doesn’t quite come together.chris.herring: It’s tough: They have a fantastic, sure-handed backup in Monte Morris, who led the NBA in assist/turnover ratio.sara.ziegler: MORE MONTE MORRISCyclones, represent!chris.herring: He may not win a game for you. But he’s extremely unlikely to ever lose one for you, which you could argue Murray either occasionally does, or comes close to doing. Again: These are the growing pains for a young team sometimes.sara.ziegler: On to another team that has seemed shaky at times this postseason: the Philadelphia 76ers. But they seem to have recovered from their upset in Game 1 — they’ve beaten the Nets convincingly twice in a row now. What looked different for them in Games 2 and 3?tchow: Ben. Simmons.natesilver: Sen. Bimmons.chris.herring: Yeah, that sounds about right. Whether it was Jared Dudley that got in his head, or just him recognizing that he had to be more aggressive, Simmons has been a completely different player since Game 1.tchow: Simmons had a -21 plus/minus in Game 1. Game 2 he was +23, and then +11 in Game 3 with a 31 point performance on 85 percent shooting.chris.herring: I hate to say this, because maybe it’s premature, but I was beginning to think that the Nets could steal this series if things broke right for them.tchow: I think a lot of people thought that, Chris. The Nets are legit and play really hard.chris.herring: The Nets stole home-court advantage in Game 1. Were basically even at halftime of Game 2. And then get a gift rolled out on a platter for them, with Joel Embiid sitting out of a Game 3 played in their home arena, in front of a fan base that hasn’t hosted a playoff game in four years.Thursday was their chance. And I think with the loss now, that might be about it.natesilver: I’m in the Ben-Simmons-is-underrated camp. Yeah, he doesn’t really have a jumpshot. But he does pretty much everything else well. And there have been a lot of players throughout NBA history who have survived or even thrived without jump shots — Giannis Antetokounmpo basically does that now. The advanced stats like Simmons.tchow: I think it’s very different for a player like Giannis to not have a jump shot than Simmons.chris.herring: While we’re on the issue of Simmons, I think we learned that Embiid not being there might have been a help for himFor all the wonderful things Embiid does, he plays at a plodding pace.Someone like Simmons thrives in an up-tempo environment because of his inability to shoot.tchow: Sara, I found the hot take for next week’s Hot Takedown episode: FiveThirtyEight’s Chris Herring says Sixers are better without Joel Embiid.sara.ziegler: LOLOLOLYes!chris.herring: They might be in this series! Well, probably not: Greg Monroe was rough.If they had more depth, they might be.natesilver: That’s the thing about Philly. Look how bad their bench is: chris.herring: Well, that too.sara.ziegler: Are you disappointed that their slogan is “We go hard,” and then they didn’t?chris.herring: They did go hard!It’s not a question of effort with them. It never is. But I think what Nate alluded to is exactly the issue here. The Sixers’ bench isn’t great/may be bad. And the Nets’ second-best player is their bench.natesilver: Yeah, Brooklyn’s not totally unlike Denver. Excellent depth, no playoff experience, frontline talent is meh.tchow: Nate, they’re both small-market teams. I get it. (Queens represent!)sara.ziegler: OMGTony trying to start a borough war here.chris.herring: You generally see Brooklyn go on these massive runs in the second quarter of these games. But then after halftime, the game gets broken open, and Kenny Atkinson — who I really, really like — waits too long to call a timeout!The Sixers went on a 21-2 (!!!!) run in Game 2 before Atkinson called for timeout. It took a 1-point deficit and expanded it to a 20-point lead for the Sixers. And then the game was over.tchow: Maybe Atkinson is from the Phil Jackson school of letting the players figure it out on their own.natesilver: What was the atmosphere like at Barclay’s, Chris? I think it’s one of the coolest venues in sports from an architectural/amenities standpoint, but every time I’ve gone, the fans are sort of half-hearted.chris.herring: Last night was amazing to start the game. But I think they were sort of stunned to see the team run out of steam.And as Tony said: I was freezing.sara.ziegler: Well, it is a hockey rink, too.chris.herring: So maybe the have to have the ice ready? But good lord.My phone turned off at one point because of how cold it was.sara.ziegler: WowThat’s cold.chris.herring: The atmosphere was really great. It’s good to have the playoffs in Brooklyn again. And hopefully Manhattan at some point in the next couple years. (side-eyes Knicks)natesilver: Knicks fans should be rooting against Boston and against Golden State, right?chris.herring: I’ve heard the same stuff everyone else has about Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving coming to the Knicks. As much as I hear it, I just have to see it to believe that it’ll actually happen.natesilver: I think KD could leave either after a championship or a flameout. But Kyrie — yeah, he’s already flip-flopped enough that I think Knicks fans want the Celtics out by Round 2.chris.herring: I think I’m just too conditioned to believe that nothing overwhelmingly good can happen for/with the Knicks unless there’s an enormous downside that comes with it.sara.ziegler: LOLnatesilver: My current scenario is that they get Kyrie and also draft Ja Morant and somehow that turns into a disaster.sara.ziegler: Speaking of Kyrie, the Celtics are making quick work of the Pacers. Indiana doesn’t seem to have quite enough offense so far to hang with Boston.chris.herring: 😔tchow: I’m actually interesting to read Chris’s thoughts on this series. I remember A LOT of people were down on Boston going into the playoffs.chris.herring: Yeah. I had some hope that this could be an interesting series.But I also was tasked with writing an Indiana-based primer for the ESPN side ahead of this series. When I got to the “Why Indiana can win section,” I sat and stared at my screen for like an hour.So this actually doesn’t surprise me all that much.They simply don’t have enough offense. Or ingenuity.natesilver: I haven’t watched much of that series; pretty much my only recollection was seeing a score that was like 76-59 in the fourth quarter of Game 1 and thinking I needed to update my contact lens prescription, but nope, that was the actual score.chris.herring: They basically hand the ball off to Bojan Bogdanovic and say, “Do something.” Kind of like a kid who does a magic trick, but is still holding the quarter in his hand, in plain sight, for everyone to see.tchow: Has Boston done anything to change people’s minds about their chances though?chris.herring: No. They’re merely beating a flawed, weakened team, IMO.tchow: That’s what I figured about Boston. The real test, if they do end up beating the Pacers, will probably come against Milwaukee.chris.herring: In fairness to Nate McMillan and the Pacers, this was always going to be an uphill battle, because they’re playing without Victor Oladipo. It was a great accomplishment to go 21-21 this season without their star player after going 0-7 without him last season.sara.ziegler: Yeah, they don’t really have anything to feel embarrassed about.chris.herring: I really like Indiana, and have a soft spot for Little-Engine-That-Could sort of teams. But they need some reinvention.They could use more firepower. But they need better schemes.natesilver: I feel like the whole first round could use more firepower. Between inexperienced teams, teams with injury problems, teams without any star talent … it feels a little bit like spring training or something.tchow: I agree, but it has been more interesting than I imagined.chris.herring: A little.sara.ziegler: Let’s talk about the other interesting series in the East: No. 2 Toronto has had its hands full with No. 7 Orlando. The Magic took the first game, but the Raptors stormed back in Game 2. The teams will face off Friday night in Orlando. Do we think the Magic have a realistic shot in this series?natesilver: Mayyyyyybe?chris.herring: It depends on what you define as “a shot.” I think they can get another game, potentially. I don’t think they will win the series. The Raptors responded in Game 2 the way you hoped a top-flight team would.sara.ziegler: But the Magic are underrated, Chris!I heard you say so.chris.herring: Oh, they are. And not enough people know that.But I don’t think that I ever conflated them being underrated with the notion that they should somehow beat the Raptors in a series.tchow: Kyle Lowry responded in Game 2 the way you hoped. Chris wrote about Lowry’s Game 1 woes before, but he responded in a big way.natesilver: Orlando is a weird-ass team, and they played very well in the second half of the season.If you’re looking for an upset pick, I’d rather pick a weird team than a normal one.chris.herring: If they had played competitively in Game 2, sure.Or had a matchup they could readily exploit.sara.ziegler: The Raptors had a 98 percent chance to win this series before the playoffs start, and now they’re all the way down to 93 percent. So things are still looking pretty good for them.In the last series in the East, the Bucks had a little trouble with Detroit before pulling away in Game 2. But the most interesting thing to me about that game was Blake Griffin picking up his second technical foul of the series.Blake Griffin, you’ll recall, has not actually played yet in this series.tchow: Bucks in four. I think we can move on?sara.ziegler: LOLchris.herring: Yeah. That’s literally the only thing I find interesting about this series. That, and finding out how far away from the basket Giannis can dunk from.tchow: The NBA tweet highlights of Giannis dunks have been the only saving grace of this series.