WATCH: Oakland Raiders RB Lynch releases star-studded video

Photo via Project Sports Gaming

The article can also be found on the Raiders Wire!


Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch is still amongst the Raider headlines. Just recently, he released a star-studded video including George Lopez and Ken Jeong.

At this point, it is unclear what the video below is for, but it seems to be for his Beast Mode clothing line.

During the video, a man surrounding Lynch exclaims “We’re going to Oakland” and a party then ensues.

It seems to encapsulate Lynch’s feeling of returning to play in front of the city he loves so much, Oakland.

In addition, it seems to be a savvy business move by the Oakland native. He does not want to lose the spotlight that he has had on himself and his company for the past few months.

His return to the Bay Area could be labeled as a win-win-win, for it will help Lynch’s business career, improve the Raiders’ run game drastically and gives the Oakland diehards something to look forward to amidst the relocation drama.


The article can also be found on the Raiders Wire!

Deconstructing DeMar DeRozan

Photo via AP Images

Widely regarded as one of the top-two shooting guards in the NBA, the Toronto Raptors enigma, DeMar DeRozan, experienced a breakout season this year as he increased his scoring average from 23.5 PPG to 27.3 PPG.

DeRozan has captured the hearts of older NBA fans everywhere as they revel in the nostalgic inefficiency of his mid-range game. During the course of any given Raptors game, fans around the world can experience DeRozan’s newly controversial style of play.

The smooth 6’7 wing, receiving the ball at the inviolable arc, proceeding to bastardize Daryl Morey’s sacred ideology as he employs a series of deliberate and calculated through-the-legs and half spin moves while we await the inevitable: an off-balance mid-range jump shot.

As basketball traditionalists decry the popularization of the Three-Pointer in the modern NBA, “The Lone-Mid-Ranger” has come to their aid to remind everyone that the mid-range is still an effective source of offense.

But is it?

Before advanced stats and efficiency-laden rhetoric pervaded efficiency NBA analysis, there was a time, as recently as the early 2000’s, when a plethora of teams relied on wing players who lacked comfortable range out to the 3-point line.

Of course, this is no longer the case as most of the best wings in the NBA today boast range out to three, and it feels as though every role-playing wing has garnered the highly coveted reputation of a “three and D player.” Derozan breaks this mold, as he finds the majority of his offense from isolations and Iverson cuts that lead to mid-range jumpers.

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DeRozan takes his patented mid-range jumper (Photo via Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports)

Here is a look at DeRozan’s shooting percentages and shot distribution this year:

DeMar DeRozan’s Shooting Percentages During The 2016-2017 Season: 46.7 FG%, 26.9 3FG%, 84.2 FT%

DeMar DeRozan’s Shot Distribution during the 2016-2017 Season: 15.8% of DeRozan’s shots were from 0-3 feet where he shot 67%, 21.6% of his shots were from 3-10 feet where he shot 48%, 23.6% of his shots were from 10-16 feet where he shot 49%, 30.9% of his shots were from 16 feet-3 point line where he shot 38.5% and finally, 8% of his shots were from behind the 3-point-line where he shot 26.9%.

These statistics are significant because they illuminate Derozan’s truly unique shot chart. The NBA has branded DeRozan as a high-flying slasher, but he takes a smaller percentage of his shots from 0-3 feet than sharpshooters like Stephen Curry, Bradley Beal and C.J. McCollum. What’s more, is that he attempted approximately 7% fewer shots from 0-3 feet than he did in 2016 which is a troubling trend.

If we compare DeRozan’s shooting tendencies to his elite wing contemporaries, the results are startling. For the sake of argument, the elite wings in the NBA are: LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Jimmy Butler, Paul George, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Klay Thompson.

Of these stand-outs, the only ones who take a smaller percentage of shots from 0-3 feet are Paul George and Klay Thompson. It is worth noting however, that before PG13’s injury with USA basketball, he took a larger percentage of his shots around the hoop than DeRozan. On the other hand, Klay Thompson is a three-point shooter who only takes 0.2% less shots from that distance, while also 47% of his shots from three and making them at an elite volume and percentage.

When compared to his peers who excel at getting to the rim, DeRozan’s measly 15.8% of his shots from 0-3 feet is overshadowed by LeBron James’ 43%, Jimmy Butler’s 28% and Giannis Antetokounmpo’s nearly 50%.

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DeRozan dunks during the 2016 All-Star Game (Mark Blinch/The Canadian Press via AP)

DeRozan’s dearth of escapades to the rim, coupled with his lack of three-point shooting, make it incredibly hard for DeRozan to be a truly efficient NBA star. Of the 24 NBA All-Stars this year, DeRozan was fourth worst in True Shooting Percentage as he was only ahead of Paul Millsap, John Wall and Carmelo Anthony (Millsap having made the team for his defensive ability and Anthony being an injury replacement).

During the past seven NBA seasons, there have only been three NBA All-Stars with a negative BPM (Box Plus Minus) for their careers: Zach Randolph, Chris Kaman and DeMar DeRozan.

Since 1994, there have only been two players with negative BPM’s that started in an NBA All-Star Game: B.J Armstrong and DeMar DeRozan.

While these aforementioned players were solid in their own right, they did not come close to the supposed greatness of DeMar DeRozan. Don’t get me wrong, DeRozan is a very talented player and is spectacular at what he specializes in. Unfortunately for Demar, his specialty is better served as a useful bailout mechanism for when the shot clock is winding down, not as a primary source of offense.

So, how can DeRozan improve his game and become a more significant contributor? DeRozan possesses the physical tools and the ball-handling ability that should allow him to get to the rim more often than he currently manages to. He is too talented with the ball and too athletic to not attempt a higher percentage of shots from 0-3 feet.

Furthermore, Derozan has no excuse to not be a “plus” defender with his athleticism and 7’0 wingspan. Derozan must also improve his three-point percentage and take more than 1.7 three- pointers per game. In fact, if DeRozan were to replace all of his mid-range shots with three-point shots and then proceed to shoot 29% from the three, his efficiency would not change.

According to Hoopminer.com, this season DeRozan attempted more shots per game from 10-16 feet than the Houston Rockets, New York Knicks, Detroit Pistons and Atlanta Hawks did during the 2012-2013 NBA season and this eye-opening trend has only continued during the subsequent years. This being said, I do not expect Derozan to change as he is one of the best mid-range shooters in the NBA and has achieved enormous individual success with his current style of play.

However, as we saw in this year’s playoffs, DeRozan struggles playing off the ball and has a tough time creating for others, which is something he desperately needs to improve upon in order to ascend to the next level in the pantheon of the NBA’s best players.

Overall, DeRozan is far from a complete player, let alone a complete scorer, and has his work cut out for him should he want to enter the category of the truly elite NBA players.

 

 

Chargers WR Mike Williams’ 4-year deal worth $19.75M

Photo via Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports.

The article can also be found on the Chargers Wire!


The Los Angeles Chargers have not wasted any time in signing their first-round draft pick.

Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams has officially signed a four-year deal, per the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

Rapoport also reported that the contract is worth $19.75 million guaranteed, and like every other first-round selection, Williams’ contract includes a fifth-year team option.

The deal should be good news for Chargers fans one year after seeing defensive end Joey Bosa hold out until late August before finally signing and ultimately getting injured.

Look for Williams to get on the field as much as possible as he seeks to build chemistry with Chargers franchise quarterback Philip Rivers.


The article can also be found on the Chargers Wire!

Raiders’ Bruce Irvin takes shot at Marquette King on Twitter

Photo via Donald Miralle/Getty Images

The article can also be found on the Raiders Wire!


Oakland Raiders outside linebacker Bruce Irvin has never been shy to voice his opinion, even when it involves another teammate.

Just recently, Irvin was jokingly asked a question on whether he would play both sides of the football this season, and he chose to respond by taking a shot at Raiders punter Marquette King.

Irvin’s subliminal tweet (and supposed beef) towards/with King is likely related to the Raiders punter taking a photo with Denver Broncos rival cornerback Aqib Talib.

Talib pulling on King’s chain above is making light of Talib ripping off Raiders wide receiver Michael Crabtree’s chain in the team’s Week 17 matchup with the AFC West crown was on the line.

Many of Raider Nation, including Irvin, did not like the gesture. Shortly thereafter, King offered his reply.

While the banter likely doesn’t mean much, most of the reaction from Raider Nation was in staunch support of Irvin.


The article can also be found on the Raiders Wire!

Raiders only NFL team without an arrest in last 3 seasons

Photo via Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

The article can also be found on the Raiders Wire!


The Oakland Raiders are the only NFL team to have not had one player arrested in the past three seasons, per Sporting News.

The stat might be hard to believe for the casual fan because Raiders linebacker Aldon Smith is still a part of the organization and the Raiders are synonymous with a bad-boy persona.

Smith was detained by San Francisco police in March for public intoxication, but was never arrested per The Mercury News.

The Raiders boast outstanding leadership from the top down in reigning executive of the year Reggie McKenzie, coach Jack Del Rio, franchise quarterback Derek Carr and reigning defensive player of the year winner defensive Khalil Mack.

There seems to be a direct correlation between Carr arriving in the Easy Bay and Oakland having zero arrests. Moreover, McKenzie and Del Rio’s consistent focus at building a dynasty of their own has seemed to ripple positive results throughout the entire organization.

While the Raider Way may be different than the Patriot Way, don’t be surprised if Oakland is the team to end New England’s historic dynasty.


The article can also be found on the Raiders Wire!

Charlie Strong needs to gain control of USF Bulls

Photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports

Taking over a new football program is always difficult. University of South Florida coach Charlie Strong could easily attest.

There have been two instances of violent felonies caused by USF football players in the last few months.

The first incident came when defensive back Hassan Childs was dismissed from the school after a road-rage incident in late March. He was shot after he pointed a gun at a car.

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DB Hassan Childs was shot while pointing a gun at a car driving in front of him. Photo via Nick Lisi/AP

Childs was charged with three counts of aggravated assault and one charge of marijuana possession.

The latest scandal involved defensive end LaDarrius Jackson, who has two rape charges pending against him.

Last week, Jackson was arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting a female student in her dormitory. He was suspended from team activities pending an investigation.

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Jackson’s mug shot after his second rape case of the month. Photo via Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office/AP

On May 10th, Jackson was arrested on the same charges of sexual battery and false imprisonment for a different incident that allegedly took place on March 27.

Judge Margaret Taylor, who is presiding over Jackson’s case, removed herself from the case after making comments to Strong about his management of the team.

“Coach Strong, if you are listening, in the last couple of months there have been two arrests of your players for very violent felonies,” Judge Taylor told the court. “This court, and I’m sure I’m not alone, questions whether you have control over your players… It’s fairly clear you do not have control of them off the field, and I guess only time will tell whether you have control over them on the field.”

Although Strong defended himself by praising the majority of the USF program, it is clear that there is a problem with how the team is being managed.

Judge Taylor, a USF graduate, said that she “was never ashamed of being an alum until now.”

While USF should have a good football team next season, these crimes cast a shadow on Strong’s program and will be a tough distraction to shake.

Although he did not sign either of the players, he became responsible for them the second he walked onto campus.

If he cannot control his players, Strong will not be the head coach for very long.

3 Chargers veterans that must step up to keep roles

After boasting one of the better NFL draft classes in 2017, some Los Angeles Chargers veterans may find themselves in a fight to keep their roles if patterns don’t change this season.

As such, here’s a look at three L.A. veterans that must step up in order to keep their roles on the Bolts moving forward.

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Photo via K.C. Alfred

No. 3, Keenan Allen, WR

There is no denying Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen’s ample skill set, however, he has struggled mightily to stay healthy over the last two seasons playing in just nine games during said span.

Allen is coming off of a torn ACL one year after suffering a scary kidney injury that ended his previous campaign.

Additions such as Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams and promising receivers Tyrell Williams and Dontrelle Inman making strides forward, Allen must remain healthy and hope for a return to form in order to lock down his role with the Bolts long-term.

(next page can be found below)

Arkansas star running back to retire from football after injury

Photo via AP Photo/Samantha Baker

Rawleigh Williams III, the star running back for the Arkansas Razorbacks, announced today that he will be retiring from football in a letter on Arkansas’s website.

Williams suffered his first neck injury before the 2015 season, causing him to miss the whole year. During the final play of the Arkansas spring game, he suffered another hit which proved to be his last.

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Williams led the SEC in the regular season last year with 1,360 yards and 5.6 yards per carry, with 12 touchdowns. 

“It’s tough to not be able to play football anymore because I’ve been playing since I was four years old. It wasn’t something I wanted to do or planned on having to do so early,” Williams said in his letter, entitled “The Next Chapter.”

Head coach Bret Bielema is more than supportive of Williams’s decision, and is excited for him to move on to his next chapter of life. “This next chapter in Rawleigh’s life will be filled with unlimited success in any career path or anyway of life he chooses. As a head coach I couldn’t be more excited to begin the next chapter with him and be there for him,” Bielema said Monday.

With the junior running back leaving, there are some big question marks for the future of the Razorbacks offense.

The most likely answer is sophomore Devwah Whaley, who ran for 602 yards and three touchdowns last season.

Whaley has big shoes to fill, but he has already shown talent on the field.

Williams will obviously miss his team and his coaches, but he remained optimistic in his open letter, finishing it by saying “I am very grateful. It is sad but I truly believe God has a plan for my life. I believe I’m going to be blessed more than I could ever imagine. Even though my plan isn’t going to happen, I know that his plan is better than my plan.”

Chargers unfairly scraping near bottom of ESPN power rankings

Photo via Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

The article can also be found on the Chargers Wire!


After an impressive 2017 NFL draft, the Los Angeles Chargers did not seem to benefit in the most recent ESPN power rankings landing in the same spot as before their selections in Philadelphia at No. 25.

ESPN’s Dan Graziano had this to say in justifying L.A.’s lowly ranking heading into training camp.

“Every other team in the AFC West is in the top 10,” Graziano began. “None of their quarterbacks is as good as this team’s is.

Philip Rivers needs help, and the Chargers got him some with Mike Williams and a couple of guards in the first three rounds of the draft. This team blew a lot of fourth-quarter leads last season; hold half of them and this ranking is way too low.”

Los Angeles still has likely future Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Philip Rivers, drafted two excellent offensive guards and a playmaking wide receiver to assist him — and at some point, the Chargers have to avoid mass amounts of injuries setting them back.

This ESPN ranking is far too low, as the Bolts should be positioned no lower than middle of the pack based on talent alone.


The article can also be found on the Chargers Wire!

Raiders’ Aldon Smith claims reinstatement will happen ‘soon’

Photo via Thearon W. Henderson / Getty Images

The article can also be found on the Raiders Wire!


Currently suspended Oakland Raiders defensive end Aldon Smith went on Instagram Live Saturday to tell his viewers that he believes he will be reinstated by the NFL “soon.”

Despite Smith’s sentiment, fans have to be wary. After all, the last time Smith claimed that he was “back,” he quickly found himself in hot water again.

If Smith does get reinstated, the Raiders’ defensive front would look scary on paper with defensive end Khalil Mack, linebacker Bruce Irvin and defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. along with Smith getting after opposing quarterbacks.

Since making his statements on his live stream, Smith has not made any other public comments regarding his NFL status.

Recorded footage of the live video was not able to be obtained by the time of publication.


The article can also be found on the Raiders Wire!