After Mo Williams chucked in one last trey with a shade under two minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Cavs had 25 3-pointers, a record for the most team threes in an NBA game. (Their 45 tries were also the second-most 3-point attempts in a playoff game since 1984 and tied for 12th-most attempts in any NBA game, period.) The barrage propelled Cleveland to a 2-0 series lead and left Atlanta shellshocked and soul-searching.“What happened? Not a clue,” Hawks forward Paul Millsap said. “A lot of threes … I don’t know what else to say. I am still speechless. … I’m a man who believes anything is possible, and the impossible happened tonight.”Just how impossibly scorching were those Cavalier shooters? We can quantify a team’s “hotness” using SportVU data that estimates the probability of any given shot being made based on distance and the proximity of defenders, among other variables. A good place to start digging is a team’s track record: During the regular season, Cleveland got better-than-average looks from downtown and was also among the top 10 shot-making teams even after adjusting for the difficulty of its threes. Atlanta’s defense, meanwhile, allowed relatively high-percentage looks from downtown but saw opponents shoot a lower-than-expected average.After taking all that into account, we’d have expected the Cavs to knock down 15.6 of their 45 3-point attempts Wednesday. That the team made 25 instead meant it had 9.4 “extra makes” relative to what we’d have expected with that (absurdly high) number of attempts.Although it’s possible to generate these extra threes via better offensive execution, few of the Cavs’ makes came from improving the quality of their looks. If they’d displayed their usual “shot-making” skill and only improved their shot quality as much as they did Wednesday night, Cleveland would have knocked down only 0.1 more threes than expected. The other 9.3 extra makes, then, can be attributed completely to “hotness” — hitting more shots than anyone could have expected, even after adjusting for the particulars of the shots and the track records of the teams involved.These 9.3 extra makes from hot shooting represent the most in any playoff game since SportVU cameras were installed in every NBA arena before the 2013-14 season and the second-most of any game, period. (The Pacers’ hot shooting in this game netted them 10 whole extra threes!) Here’s a rundown of the hottest-shooting playoff games of the past three years: 4/20/16CLEDET3820+6.20.0+6.2 3-POINTERS“EXTRA” MAKES FROM IMPROVED … But it does mean the Cavs are probably in for a more normal shooting performance over the rest of the series.Check out FiveThirtyEight’s 2016 NBA playoff predictions. The playoff games with the hottest-shooting teams since 2014 5/4/16CLEATL4525+9.4+0.1+9.3 5/25/15HOUGSW3217+6.2-0.3+6.5 There are hot shooting nights from downtown, and then there’s the performance the Cleveland Cavaliers produced against the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night: Source: NBA player-tracking data 4/28/14ATLIND2715+5.5-0.7+6.2 4/21/16OKCDAL2715+5.8-0.4+6.3 The big question, though, is whether hot shooting can carry over into future games. And at this point, the answer seems to be an emphatic “no,” at least based on the tracking data SportVU has collected. In cases since 2014 where one team faced the same opponent in back-to-back playoff games, the correlation between one game and the next in extra makes from shot-making1On a per-shot basis. was -0.011 — in essence, providing zero evidence of a carry-over effect from game to game.That doesn’t mean the Hawks will be able to take away all the Cavs’ threes in Game 3, as the team Twitter account joked during Game 2’s rout.2The tweet has been deleted, but it lives on in screengrabs. DATETEAMOPPATTEMPTEDMADE“EXTRA” MAKESSHOT QUALITYSHOT MAKING
L.A. Chargers561710 Lamar Miller1124.42 Atlanta561413 Green Bay77141 N.Y. Jets52240 Arizona66194 Miami7781 N.Y. Giants67234 Denver661311 Cleveland70161 Washington69170 Cincinnati69202 Tennessee53352 Dallas57186 PlayerNo. of carriesyards per carry New England49928 Chicago642010 Pittsburgh61157 Todd Gurley2025.12 Average63177 Houston62340 San Francisco40841 Seattle7795 Gurley is basically the same back he has always been since he came into the league. If you use broken and missed tackles as a proxy for talent,3The ability to break a tackle or make a man miss is one of the few things a running back has some measure of control over in football. you can see that Gurley makes defenders miss when running against six-man fronts far less than expected. He thrives, like most running backs, when he’s allowed to hit open holes and get to the second level relatively unscathed. New Orleans601312 Detroit61105 Kansas City59229 There are other benefits from repeatedly giving the opponent the same look, however, and they affect Gurley’s performance in important ways. When a team can spread a defense out laterally across the field, it opens up the middle and makes running the ball easier. Running backs with at least 20 carries averaged 4.75 yards per carry against six men in the box from 2016 to 2018.2Through Week 6. That’s well over half a yard higher than the average of 4.09 yards per carry when that same group of runners faced seven defenders near the line of scrimmage. Against eight-man fronts, the average gain falls to 3.59. Facing a loaded box makes running much more difficult.McVay is no rube. He likely realizes that if you are going to run in the NFL, you should do so against a light box. Even better, this is something he can control. An offense exerts quite a bit of influence over how many box defenders it faces by how many wide receivers it chooses to deploy. When offenses play three wideouts, NFL defensive coordinators will typically match body type with body type and send a nickel defensive back in to cover the third receiver, leaving six defenders in the box.As a consequence, Gurley has faced more six-man fronts on his carries than any other running back in football since McVay took over as head coach of the Rams. It has paid serious dividends. So far this season, Gurley is crushing it against those fronts, averaging 5.5 yards per carry. But against a neutral seven-man front, he’s been below league average at just 3.7 yards per attempt. Personnel package Todd Gurley is off to one of the hottest starts in NFL history. After rushing for a league-leading 623 yards and nine touchdowns — plus 247 receiving yards and two more TDs through the air — Gurley has accumulated the fifth-most adjusted yards1Adjusted yards are total yards from scrimmage, with touchdowns converted into 17.8 yards. from scrimmage through six games since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger, joining former Rams greats Marshall Faulk and Eric Dickerson near the top of the list. The Rams are 6-0 on the young season, and Gurley’s breakneck performance is often cited as a catalyst for the team’s success. He has even been in the early discussion for league MVP.But is that really warranted? Does the Rams offense truly run through Gurley, or should we be giving head coach Sean McVay more of the credit?One approach to answering that question is to look at how McVay’s scheme affects Gurley’s performance. So far this year, the Rams have run nearly every offensive play from what is called the “11” personnel: one running back, one tight end and three wide receivers. According to charting from Sports Info Solutions, the Rams have run 95 percent of their offensive plays from this package — 32 percentage points more than the league average of 63 percent. And while heavy utilization of three wide receiver looks isn’t new to McVay — the Rams ran 81 percent of their plays out of “11” in 2017 — 2018 is a massive outlier. McVay appears to have concluded that the deception afforded the offense by lining up with the same personnel package each play is greater than the constraints it places on his play calling. Philadelphia54360 Minnesota62239 Oakland68137 Buffalo642010 Tampa Bay67147 L.A. Rams95%2%0% Carolina59148 Baltimore48261 Indianapolis72183 Melvin Gordon1014.73 The Rams rarely stray from their favorite lookNFL teams by the share of their plays run in each of the three most popular personnel packages, 2018 Gurley thrives when there are fewer defendersNumber of carries and yards per carry against a standard defense of six men in the box, 2017-18 Team11: ONE RB, ONE TE, three WRs12: ONE RB, TWO TEs, TWO WRs21: Two RBs, one TE, two WRs Jacksonville70106 Source: Sports Info Solutions Source: Sports Info Solutions Kareem Hunt1134.91 LeVeon Bell1034.45 So Gurley is the beneficiary, not the proximate cause, of the Rams’ offensive resurgence under McVay. Gurley has been put in a position to succeed and has taken full advantage. Crucially, while the Rams have benefited from being smart in their offensive schemes and decision-making, it’s likely that many teams could emulate them and achieve similar success on the ground. Spreading a defense out and running against a light front is not a particularly novel idea. The commitment shown by running 95 percent of your plays out of a formation that encourages that result, however, is quite innovative. McVay pushes winning edges better than any coach in the NFL — and he, not his running back, is the principal reason that the Rams are currently the toast of the league.Check out our latest NFL predictions.
The Ohio State women’s soccer team ended its regular season on a high note Sunday afternoon, knocking off Indiana, 3-0, on Senior Day at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. With the win, OSU finishes the regular season with a 10-8-1 record. More importantly, the Buckeyes’ 5-5-1 mark within the conference is good for seventh-place and earns the team qualification into the Big Ten tournament, to be held Nov. 2-6 at Northwestern. Senior goalie Katie Baumgardner, who recorded her sixth shutout of the season, said getting a win and a clean sheet in her last home game was the ideal situation. “It couldn’t have gotten any better,” she said. “We got everyone on the field so that was our goal and I’m just happy we got the win and are moving on.” Junior forward Tiffany Cameron and senior forward Caitlyn Martin had first half goals for the Buckeyes, while junior midfielder Kendyl Reed tallied a score in the second half. Martin said that scoring a goal to go along with the victory was “icing on the cake.” “It was really special,” she said. “We have a great senior group and we’re really close so it was really special to go out here on our last day in the Jesse and get a win and play for each other. It was a great team effort.” The victory was No. 49 for the women’s soccer 2011 senior class, moving them into a tie for second place along with the 2006 class for the winningest four-year group in program history, two wins behind the top-mark of 51 achieved by last year’s class. With the possibility to play up to three games in the conference tournament, the 2011 class will have a chance to tie or eclipse that number. “This is a really competitive group of girls,” Baumgardner said. “I’m sure we’re going to try and get those last two (wins) to at least tie it up, and with three more wins we would win the Big Ten tournament so that would be ideal. Hopefully we get there, too.” Coach Lori Walker said that the thing that stands out most about the seniors is the quality of their character. “From top to bottom I think they’re just some of the nicest people I’ve ever worked with,” she said. “…Anytime you can have nine seniors go from the beginning to the end together it’s a testament to their strength.” The Buckeyes will take on Illinois in the first round of the Big Ten tournament on Wednesday at a time yet to be determined. OSU defeated the Fighting Illini, 2-1, in the teams’ regular season matchup in Columbus on Sept. 23 for the program’s 200th victory. Stay tuned to the Lantern for a preview of the Buckeyes in the Big Ten tournament later this week.
Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann on the sidelines during action against Penn State on Feb. 15, 2018, at the Bryce Jordan Center in University Park, Pennsylvania. The Buckeyes lost, 79-56. Credit: Courtesy of TNSIf there was any team the second-seeded Ohio State men’s basketball team didn’t want to face in its first game of the Big Ten tournament, it might be Penn State. The Nittany Lions handed them two of the Buckeyes’ three conference losses during the regular season.After a back-and-forth game, Penn State sophomore guard Tony Carr finished with 25 points and hit two 3s in the final minutes to lead Penn State to a 65-57 win against Northwestern and continue its run in the Big Ten Tournament. With that second-round win, Penn State earned the opportunity to face the Buckeyes for a third time, this time at 6:30 p.m. Friday in Madison Square Garden.Projected StartersPenn StateG— Tony Carr— Sophomore, 6-foot-5, 204 lbs, 19.9 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 4.8 apgG— Shep Garner— Senior, 6-foot-2, 196 lbs, 10.3 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 1.3 apgG — Josh Reaves— Junior, 6-foot-4, 210 lbs, 10.3 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 3.3 apgF— John Harrar —Freshman, 6-foot-9, 243 lbs, 0.9 ppg, 0.5 rpg, 0.0 apgF— Lamar Stevens— Sophomore, 6-foot-8, 226 lbs, 15.2 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 1.8 apgOhio StateG— C.J. Jackson — Junior, 6-foot-1, 175 lbs, 12.4 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 3.8 apgG —Kam Williams —Redshirt senior, 6-foot-2, 185 lbs, 8.1 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 0.6 apgF— Keita Bates-Diop — Redshirt junior, 6-foot-7, 235 lbs, 19.2 ppg, 8.9 rpg, 1.7 apgF—Jae’Sean Tate — Senior, 6-foot-4, 230 lbs, 12.5 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 3.0 apgC— Kaleb Wesson — Freshman, 6-foot-9, 270 lbs, 11.0 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 1.0 apgScouting Penn State The losses to Penn State have not gone out of the minds of the Buckeyes.Ohio State lost to Penn State at home by a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from Carr that prevented the game from going into overtime.In the second matchup at State College, Pennsylvania, Penn State led by as much as 30 points and at home, the Nittany Lions proceeded to win that game 79-56.When asked if they would like another shot at Penn State, the Buckeyes said they were up for the challenge.“I mean, as competitors, you know you always want to play the team that beat you,” junior guard C.J. Jackson said.But this third matchup presents challenges for how the Buckeyes plan on preparing for a team that has beaten them in every matchup so far and already seem to be a tough matchup for them.So far this season, the Buckeyes have struggled against good guards. Carr leads the conference in scoring at 19.9 points per game. Carr scored 28 points against the Buckeyes in the first matchup and 30 in the second. Senior guard Shep Garner also poses a problem from behind the arc. Garner shot for a combined 8-for-12 from 3 and scored 27 points on the Buckeyes defense between the two games.“It’s a tough balance because you’re not trying to reinvent the wheel,” head coach Chris Holtmann said. “We’ve had a very successful year but you’re also looking at hey there’s some things we can do that we didn’t, as coaches, maybe didn’t do a good enough job in those two games. We’re searching for that.”Holtmann made it clear all season the Nittany Lions present significant matchup issues for the Buckeyes. He added there’s a chance Penn State, despite the 9-9 regular-season conference record, could be one of the best teams in the league.“They’re very talented. I had a guy tell me this week that he thought they were the most talented team in the league next to Michigan State,” Holtmann said. “I just think we’re going to have to try to dig in and as coaches look at some things that we need to do better to put our guys in better position and we have to play harder, certainly harder than what we did at their place and then at our place as well.”Mike Watkins injuryFreshman forward John Harrar is expected to start again for Penn State in place of redshirt sophomore center Mike Watkins.Watkins suffered a knee injury against Michigan and missed Penn State’s final regular season game against Nebraska and its first tournament game against Northwestern on Thursday. He is not expected to participate for the entirety of Penn State’s run at the tournament. Watkins averaged 12.1 ppg, 8.9 rpg, 0.7 apg for the Nittany Lions.Against Northwestern, Harrar played just six minutes and totaled no points and three rebounds.
Senior outside hitter Maxime Hervoir (10) of the No. 5 Ohio State Buckeyes attacks the net against Quincy on Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018. The Buckeyes defeated the Hawks in three sets. Credit: Magee Sprague | For The LanternThe No. 9 Ohio State men’s volleyball team (11-4, 4-2 MIVA) will be back on the road for the second consecutive weekend to challenge McKendree (6-8, 3-3 MIVA) after being upset twice last weekend by Lewis in straight sets and Loyola in five sets.Ohio State head coach Pete Hanson feels the Buckeyes will be well prepared given the intense focus the team has shown during practice leading up to the weekend.“This is their third day of practice. We’ll travel tomorrow and then we’ll have a serve and pass on Friday before the match,” Hanson said. “I think the focus has been really good. I think they understand what’s in front of them.”Since joining the MIVA in 2015, McKendree has played Ohio State six times. In each contest, the Buckeyes beat the Bearcats in three or four sets. Despite being one of the younger teams in the conference, the Bearcats have had several upperclassmen recognized for their strong starts to the campaign. McKendree’s senior outside hitter Jared Wilcox, junior libero Zach Thompson and senior middle blocker Brendan Schmidt have all been recognized with conference accolades this season. Hanson said he’s looking out for Schmidt and Bearcat senior outside hitter Nolan Rueter, and that it comes down to being able to control McKendree’s offense with serving and blocking. The Bearcats rank tenth in the country in assists per set. After back-to-back losses, Ohio State dropped four spots from fifth to ninth in NCAA rankings. However, the Buckeyes are still early in the season, and Hanson said the team must avoid letting the losing streak affect the rest of the campaign since it still has much left for which to play.“I told the guys after the match on Saturday night, ‘Look we’ve lost three five-set matches, and two of them by four points. We could be sitting here talking about a whole different scenario and not crying in our milk or worried about things or hanging our heads. You’re four points away from being 13-2 instead of 11-4,’” Hanson said.The Buckeyes will play the Bearcats at 8 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday night.
Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. The British Government’s relationship with Bahrain was criticised in a report by the Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee published in April.MPs said there was “plainly a perception” that the issue of human rights had been downgraded in the Government’s dealings with countries like Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain.The then foreign secretary Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond defended his department, saying: “Improving human rights is a core function of the Foreign Office and is the responsibility of every British diplomat around the world.” The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall will make an official trip to the Middle East this autumn on behalf of the Government.Clarence House has announced that Charles and Camilla will travel to Bahrain, Oman and the United Arab Emirates in November.Bahrain’s government, dominated by members of its royal family, has in the past been accused by campaigning groups of human rights abuses since pro-democracy protesters were violently suppressed during the Arab Spring of 2011.Clarence House said in a statement: “On behalf of the British Government, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall will undertake official visits to the Kingdom of Bahrain, the Sultanate of Oman and the United Arab Emirates in November 2016.”The tour will help to strengthen the United Kingdom’s warm bilateral relations with key partners in the region.”
“The parties regularly and systematically exchanged information and discussed prices in the context of negotiations with particular customers,” the CMA said in a statement on Friday.”In some cases, the agencies agreed to fix minimum prices or agreed a common approach to pricing.” Model Kate Moss walks the runwayCredit: Getty Images Britain’s modelling industry is famous for producing supermodels such as Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell, who are known around the world.Models 1, Premier and Storm said in a joint statement they would appeal the decision.”The CMA has not stated evidence of any discernible effect on competition in the UK,” they said.”Despite this, the CMA has decided to impose fines which are out of line with their own guidance and those imposed in other comparable cases.”The regulator said its investigation looked into fashion magazine shoots and advertising campaigns, including some which paid £10,000 or more, but added that none involved so-called “top models.” Five modelling agencies and their trade association have been fined a total of £1.5 million for colluding and in some cases fixing prices for fashion magazine shoots and advertising campaigns.The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) regulator said the agencies – FM Models, Models 1, Premier, Storm and Viva – often talked with trade body the Association of Model Agents (AMA) about price negotiations with their clients. Kate Moss presents a creation during Paris Fashion WeekCredit:REUTERS Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
The play, written by Howard Barker and directed by Gerrard McArthur, is set in ‘Ancient China’ and features characters with Chinese names.A protest is now planned to coincide with the play’s opening night on January 19. It is not known if Princess Eugenie will be attending.The protest’s organiser Andrew Keates, who is directing a play called Chinglish at the Park Theatre in North London, which will feature East Asian performers, has written an open letter to the Print Room accusing the venue of endorsing the “racist, outdated and unnecessary practice of ‘yellowface’ and instead find actors who are appropriate.”Mr Keates said Princess Eugenie should revoke her patronage of the Print Room in recognition of the controversy surrounding the play.He told the Daily Mail: “As a representative of British East Asians in this country, I do not see how she could lend her name to a theatre that is not supporting racial equality, either actively or through ignorance.”Supporters of the Princess defended her patronage of the Print Room, saying her role had nothing to do with the details of particular productions staged there.Equity, the trades union representing actors and performers, has backed the protests over the casting of In the Depths of Dead Love.Christine Payne, Equity general secretary, says: “This casting clearly shows that the Print Room is not engaging with the industry-wide discussion on diversity.”But the Print Room defended its choice of casting, pointing out that In the Depths of Dead Love is not a Chinese play and that the characters are not Chinese.In a statement it said: “The production references a setting in Ancient China and the characters’ names are Chinese. These are literary allusions in Howard Barker’s fable and never intended to be taken literally.“It is, in fact a very “English” play and is derived from thoroughly English mores and simply references the mythic and the ancient. It has therefore been cast accordingly.”The theatre added: “We understand that some will find such an interplay between cultural reference and artistic imagination troubling. We regret that our initial public announcements about this play were not sensitive to this fact.“The Print Room has long been a champion of multiculturalism and diversity in the arts in London.”Buckingham Palace declined to comment. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. I do not see how she could lend her name to a theatre that is not supporting racial equality.Andrew Keates Princess Eugenie has found herself caught up in an embarrassing racism row over the use of white actors to play Chinese characters at a London theatre where she is the Royal patron.Campaigners have urged her to revoke her patronage of the Print Room at The Coronet, in Notting Hill, after accusations of ‘yellowcasting’.The Princess, daughter of Prince Andrew and the Duchess of York, was said to have been delighted after being made royal patron of the Print Room last month.But the theatre, a former historic cinema which featured in the 1999 Richard Curtis film Notting Hill, has been attacked over casting white actors to play Chinese parts in its opening play, In the Depths of Dead Love.
Nearly 1,800 members of BBC staff received a pay rise of more than 10 per cent last year, figures have revealed.The large pay rises – amounting to £8,000 per person on average – were handed out to 1,763 members of staff. The group make up 9.1 per cent of the total number of people employed by the corporation.The BBC said the figures reflected staff being given promotions or taking on extra responsibilities.But critics said the figures showed the “gravy train continues to roll”, with the increases coming at an overall cost of £13.9million. Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen said: “It underlines why so many people despair of the BBC. The gravy train continues to roll. The BBC talks about austerity but they have clearly never experienced it.”The salary increases were released following a freedom of information request by the Sun newspaper.A BBC spokesman said: “BBC staff received a one per cent pay rise last year but in any large organisation – especially when making significant back office savings like the BBC – there will be people who are promoted or take on significant extra responsibilities which will be reflected in their salary.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. It comes after a row over the disparity between pay for women and men at the corporation. This week it was revealed that Andrew Neil is to step down as host of the BBC’s Sunday Politics, and will be replaced by BBC Scotland editor Sarah Smith.Neil is the first high profile presenter to take a salary cut in the wake of the controversy over gender pay. Sarah Smith will take over from Andrew NeilCredit:Alan Peebles /BBC