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Is Draymond Green Really a Top 10 Player?

Draymond Green has played an important part in the Warriors dynasty, helping push Golden State to 70 wins almost every season. That hasn't stopped quibbling over his place in NBA ranks, though. While he has been considered a top 10 player in recent years, Green's play may have dipped a bit this season. Does that leave the door open for another player? Andrew Sharp and Ben Golliver discuss in the Open Floor Podcast.

Check out the full episode here and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes. (The following transcript has been edited and condensed for clarity).

Andrew Sharp: You're the master of the rankings, the keeper of the Top 100. So I'll let you handle this at the start.

Ben Golliver: See, look, this is the real secret to how you get your question read at Open Floor. You just send in a question you know I will flip out about and Sharp will just serve it up on a platter. It;s just the most obvious formula of all-time. Andrew, are you telling me we're supposed to judge Draymond Green's entire stature in the NBA off one game in which half of his teammates are not playing against the Sacramento Kings in March? Does that sound like a good strategy for judging Draymond Green?

That sounds like an insult to Draymond Green, that's what it sounds like.

Sharp: Excuse me, that's not what I'm telling you. And honestly, I didn't even watch the Kings game, but this is something I have thought about over the course of this season. I think Draymond may be a little bit overrated, and granted, he hasn't been quite the same guy this season so maybe that's part of it too. I just think there are nine of 10 players who by themselves can make a team good, and I don't think that Draymond is in that conversation. I think that he is awesome and he is also the type of guy who unlocks all sorts of possibilities for a good team, and that's why he should be ranked in the top 20. But I think this may have been a case where group think on basketball Twitter has collectively inflated his value beyond what's actually reasonable.

Golliver: Or it may have been a case that he played an integral role in them winning basketball 70 games for three straight seasons, and you have to give credit when guys do that. It could have been a case of that too, right? How many of your guys in this so-called top eight or nine are elite defensive players, Andrew?

Sharp: I'm looking at it because I actually put together a list of my top 15 right now, and so I would say Anthony Davis, Giannis and Kawhi Leonard are three of my top eight that are elite defensive players. And you could include KD in that conversation if you wanted to.

Golliver: OK, but none of them are defense-first players. So let me guess, Rudy Gobert is not in your top 15?

Sharp: No, Rudy Gobert is and actually I think he's the most interesting debate with Draymond. It's whether you would rather Rudy Gobert or Draymond, and I think you still go Draymond just because of the small-ball stuff that he opens up. But Draymond's shooting has been really rough this year, and that's mostly on wide open looks, too. I think he still opens up all the small-ball stuff, but he's less effective in that role than he has been.

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Golliver: Remember, Draymond's a passer before he's a scorer. I think some people still kind of mistake that. I'm not saying you are, but other people when they're judging Draymond they miss that his major positive benefit on offense is his ability to move everywhere on the court and then to open things up as a playmaker to set your pace in transition, grab a defensive rebound and go.

I think first of all, is he slightly overrated by the intelligent basketball fan? That's definitely possible. I would say he hasn't played consistently as a top 10 player during this regular season. Do I expect after the playoffs for him to be back in that conversation? I do. I think he can crank it up just like the Warriors in general can crank it up. Do I think he's still vastly underrated by people who like to throw around mocking hashtag winning player as the emailer did? Yes, I think he's still vastly underrate by those people. Do I think he's hated on more than almost every superstar in the NBA because of his obnoxious personality at times? Yes, I do. I think he cultivates that, he cultivates that hate. I think that plays a bigger factor in how people view Draymond than the stat nerds or the real plus-minus guys like myself, who are saying, 'Hey, this guys deserves to be in the conversation.'

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You touched on it with the Rudy Gobert comparison. It's the versatility both positionally and stylistically that help Draymond, right? So you can play him at the four or the five, you can play up or down, you can play slow if you want. If you're taking Rudy Gobert as your franchise guy, the Jazz fans and their media people have recently been all over this hype train saying he needs to be a top 10 guy. It's a fascinating test case because he is that defense-first girl and his value is so obvious there. But you're committing to a specific style of play with him, right? You have to play one way and you have to find guys who can fit with him. With Draymond, I think it's a little bit more flexible and it's easier to build around him. So when I'm drafting in a vacuum test, I would still take Draymond over Gobert, but not by a ton.

The point you made before about Draymond's value, we should keep a really close eye on it, because if anyone from that big four is going to fall off because of age, it's going to be Draymond. I think he's going to be the first to go and when he goes it'll be interesting to see how graceful that is. Is he still able to kind of fit into a more narrow role on offense, sort of like Iguodala has? Scale back your offense, concert your energy and ramp up on the defensive end. Or does it get to be a situation where athletically, because he was never the prime, peak athlete, does he find himself in a situation where his impact just drastically crashes. And I'm not suggesting it's going to happen even next year, but some time here in the next couple seasons it's going to happen.

Sharp: And it's not even completely his game falling off. I think a lot of it is just wear and tear, and people sometimes don't realize how taxing Draymond's role is. And there's a reason that most other players can't pull it off, let alone pull it off for an entire season or four-year stretch like Draymond has. So it's just something to watch.

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CPA call on fixture motion to be backed

CPA chairman Micheál Briody has called on all Central Council delegates to support a motion for an immediate review to be conducted on the GAA annual fixture list.

The motion, put forward by Roscommon GAA, is on the agenda for the meeting of the GAA’s main decision-making group, and the club player representative body want to see it passed.

CPA chairman Micheál Briody said: "It is no surprise that Roscommon GAA have stepped forward to say enough is enough, someone had to say stop sooner or later. It is a fairly serious matter when a county committee feels they need to step in and plead for common sense to prevail.

"For almost two years now the CPA has called for an immediate 'blank canvas' approach to fixing the fixtures.

"Some progress has been made but the lack of real urgency is not acceptable in our view. Behind the recent ESRI and CPA findings and submissions are the lives of young sports people.

"Years and sports careers pass very quickly as this report actually highlights. This in our view places an enormous requirement and responsibility for leadership and decisive action."

The introduction of Tier 2 football competitions is also on the agenda and Briody feels the structure of fixtures needs to be addressed before introducing new competitions.

He added: "We are witnessing a number of alarming developments in the GAA. We were told that no change to the playing calendar could be considered for three years yet here we are with two proposals on the table for Tier 2 competitions in football.

"There is inherent value in a multi-tiered football structure but it beggars belief that this is being brought to the table as yet another incremental change that could sound the death knell for summer club football which is already practically extinct.

"This comes on the back of the GAA-sanctioned breaches of its own rules by allowing tournament matches involving Tier 1 hurling counties in Australia and the United States.

"In some respects yes, that is a matter for individual counties, but it sends out a message that the hierarchy is able to cherry pick its own rule book. One of the recent findings among players was that they needed a break."

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Euro 2020 draw: Seedings clearer after Nations League

Germany are set to be a second seed in the draw for Euro 2020 following the conclusion of the UEFA Nations League group stage tonight.

Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland will be third seeds as expected.

In the draw, the four teams in the final of the Nations League, Netherlands, England, Switzerland and Portugal, will be placed in a separate pot and drawn into Groups A–D which only have five teams.

The rest of the groups will have six teams with a team from each pot. Ireland could secure a play-off if failing to qualify automatically, but it is dependent on how many teams from Pot 4 and Pot 5 qualify. The top two from each group progress to the main tournament.

The play-off formula is semi-finals and final as opposed to the previous two-legged games

The draw is on Sunday 2 December in Dublin.

UEFA 2020 draw expected seedings:

Pot 1

France, Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland, Portugal, Italy, Spain, England, Croatia and Poland.

Pot 2

Germany, Iceland, Russia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Austria, Wales, Denmark, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Sweden.

Pot 3

Slovakia, Turkey, Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Israel, Finland, Norway, Serbia, Bulgaria, Scotland

Pot 4

Montenegro, Albania, Greece, Hungary, Estonia, Cyprus, Slovenia, Romania, Lithuania and Georgia.

Pot 5

Macedonia, Belarus, Kosovo, Luxembourg, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Gibraltar, Faroe Islands

Pot 6

Latvia, Liechtenstein, Andorra, San Marino, Malta

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Hayne reports for bail following aggravated sexual assault charge

Email Jarryd Hayne reports for bail following aggravated sexual assault charge By Mark Reddie

Updated November 21, 2018 00:57:18

Video: Rugby league star Jarryd Hayne leaves Ryde Police Station after being charged with aggravated sexual assault. (ABC News) Related Story: Jarryd Hayne surrenders passport after aggravated sexual assault charge Map: Castle Hill 2154

Rugby league star Jarryd Hayne has reported for bail after being charged with aggravated sexual assault of a woman in the New South Wales Hunter region.

Key points:

  • Hayne spent 10 minutes with police before dodging cameras
  • Alleged victim claimed the pair had non-consensual sex on NRL grand final night
  • She claimed she was badly bitten by Hayne during the encounter

The 30-year-old refused to answer questions from reporters when he was dropped off in a grey ute outside Castle Hill Police Station about 7:30pm on Tuesday.

The two-time Dally M award-winner spent 10 minutes with police before trying to dodge the cameras as he got back into the ute and drove off.

NSW Police confirmed the charge, which came after a 26-year-old woman lodged a complaint to the NRL Integrity Unit earlier this year.

The alleged incident occurred on September 30, on NRL grand final night, at a home in the NSW Hunter region after Hayne and the woman met via social media, police said.

The woman claims she was badly bitten and first reported the incident to the NRL, which then referred the matter to police.

Hayne was questioned at the Ryde Police Station on Monday afternoon and later charged with "aggravated sexual assault inflict actual bodily harm on victim".

Hayne had finished his current contract at the Parramatta Eels on October 31, however the club said they were continuing to provide welfare support.

An Eels spokesperson said as it was a criminal matter, the club would make no further comment.

Hayne was given conditional bail and is due to appear at Burwood Local Court on December 10.

According to court documents, his bail conditions included reporting to police three times a week and surrendering his passport.

Hayne is prohibited from entering international airports or the Newcastle local government area, and must not contact the woman or any witness.

Topics: rugby-league, sport, sexual-offences, law-crime-and-justice, castle-hill-2154

First posted November 20, 2018 22:30:34

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Joy for Scotland as win boosts Euro 2020 hopes

James Forrest scored a stunning Nations League hat-trick as Scotland overcame Israel 3-2 at Hampden Park to book a place in the play-off for the 2020 European Championship.

Alex McLeish's side need victory to leapfrog the visitors to the top of Group C1 but former Celtic midfielder Beram Kayal stunned the home support in the ninth minute when curled in a shot from 30 yards.

However, Hoops winger Forrest, who had scored his first two Scotland goals in the 4-0 win over Albania on Saturday, notched twice in the first half before grabbing a third in the 64th minute from close range with another assured finish.

Midfielder Eran Zahavi reduced the deficit with a fearsome drive in the 75th minute and – amid a nervy finish – only a great save from Scotland goalkeeper Allan McGregor denied the visitors a late equaliser.

Scotland finished with nine points from 12 and can park their play-off fixture until March 2020 and concentrate on the traditional European Championship qualifiers which take place in 2019, with the draw made on December 2 in Dublin.

It was an exhausting evening in the south side of Glasgow. Israel had been by far the better team when they beat the Scots 2-1 in Haifa last month.

However, due to a series of call-offs, it was a much-changed Scotland side which rekindled optimism by emphatically beating Albania 4-0 in Shkoder on Saturday night and McLeish kept the same starting line-up.

Hampden Park was only around half full on a wet and wild evening which appeared to dampen the ardour of the home side in the opening minutes when they fell behind.

Kayal's cross had been turned into his own net by Kieran Tierney for the winner in Israel but this time the goal was certainly his with the Brighton player taking a pass from Zahavi before firing high past McGregor.

The home side toiled at low tempo before midfielder Callum McGregor's dipping volley from 35 yards was tipped past the past by Israel stopper Ariel Harush.

The corner came to nothing but Scotland began to build momentum although their opponents remained threatening on the counter, demonstrated in the 32nd minute when Zahavi almost found striker Munas Dabbur with a whipped-in cross.

However, two minutes later – during another spell of pressure – Forrest was on hand to fire low past Harush from 12 yards after Stuart Armstrong's drive had been blocked.

The home fans came to life for the first time really and their mood was further lifted when midfielder Ryan Christie ran on to a Steven Fletcher header and played in Celtic team-mate Forrest who was again unerring in his powerful finish.

Fletcher headed a Forrest corner over the bar and McGregor drove over from distance as the Scots came out emboldened at the start of the second half.

However, Hampden Park quietened again but only until another incisive Scottish attack down the left which ended with Fraser cutting the ball back for Forrest to side foot in from eight yards.

It was still not over, however. An angled-drive from substitute Dia Seba – on for Dor Peretz – slid past the far post to serve as a warning before Zahavi thundered a 20-yard drive past the flailing McGregor.

The game became increasingly nervy and, with three minutes remaining, McGregor made a wonder save from another Israel substitute Tomer Hemed's close-range effort.

The Tartan Army cheered German referee Tobias Welz's final whistle after four added minutes with some gusto and can turn their attention to the European Championship qualifiers which begin next March, with the insurance policy of possibly qualifying through the Nations League route.

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Cahill given fitting farewell as Socceroos sweep Lebanon aside

Email Socceroos beat Lebanon 3-0 as Tim Cahill given farewell, Martin Boyle scores twice in Sydney

Updated November 20, 2018 22:39:58

Photo: Tim Cahill thanked his family, players, staff and the fans for their support in a fabulous Socceroos career. (AAP: Brendan Esposito) Related Story: As it happened: Boyle's brace sees Socceroos send Cahill off in style Map: Sydney 2000

Tim Cahill has made an emotional farewell to international football in Socceroos colours, with Australia running out 3-0 winners over Lebanon in Sydney.

Key points:

  • Tim Cahill makes last-ever appearance for Socceroos, coming on in 81st minute as a substitute in 3-0 win over Lebanon
  • Martin Boyle scores twice in first half before Mathew Leckie adds a third in the second stanza
  • Win over Lebanon was Socceroos' last run-out before the Asian Cup tournament in January in the UAE

Cahill was given a guard of honour by his teammates after full-time during a special presentation.

"This is the only time you're going to see me cry," Cahill said on the dais alongside his children.

"I want to say thank you firstly to my family for being there from day one.

"The sacrifices my family made for me is the reason why every time I step on that pitch, I'm fearless and free. Nothing I do can hurt me on the pitch, and everything I do is for my family.

"I want to thank my teammates and all the staff I've worked with. Without you guys I'd be nothing.

"The coaches that are not here, the players that are not here, thank you very much from the bottom of my heart.

"Now the most important people as well are the fans. It was tough for me to play for Australia at the start, but I tell you what every time I played with the green and gold I played with my heart.

"This is just as much for all of you as it is for me. Thank you very much Australia."

Tim Cahill stands with his family after final Socceroos match Photo: Tim Cahill stands with his family during the special presentation for him after full-time. (AP: Rick Rycroft)

A brace to Scotsman-turned-Australian Martin Boyle, and a brilliant second-half goal for Mat Leckie secured a win for the Socceroos in their last run-out before the Asian Cup in the UAE in January.

Boyle's first goal came midway through the first stanza, lashing home from distance with a fortunate deflection taking the ball beyond the keeper.

Martin Boyle scores for Australia against Lebanon Photo: Martin Boyle (left) scored a brace in just his second appearance for Australia. (AAP: Brendan Esposito)

The Scotsman would have been feeling more than happy with his change in national allegiance in the 42nd minute, prodding the ball home for his second goal after Milos Degenek's excellent header bounced back off the crossbar.

There were some light hearted moments from the bench as Cahill got the crowd going when the cameras spotted him tying his boots, with the cheers getting more raucous as he did his warm-ups.

Tim Cahill smiles as he warms up for Socceroos Photo: Tim Cahill was given tremendous cheers while warming up for his final ever Socceroos appearance. (AAP: Dan Himbrechts)

On the pitch, Leckie made it 3-0 as Boyle turned provider, putting in a low cross for Leckie to lash home emphatically.

The big moment came on the 81st minute when Cahill took his place on the pitch to replace Aaron Mooy, and there was nearly one more moment of magic to come.

Boyle's cross from the right looked perfectly floated and on a plate for Cahill's deadly noggin, only for a last gasp defensive header to rob him of a 51st goal for Australia.

External Link: Socceroos v Lebanon match summary

Topics: socceroos, soccer, sport, sydney-2000, nsw, australia, lebanon

First posted November 20, 2018 21:54:45

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