White Sox

Durant, Iguodala shine while Paul sits with injury

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Durant, Iguodala shine while Paul sits with injury

LAS VEGAS With a day to ruminate on Thursday nights proceedings, here are some random thoughts on Team USA following its slaughter of the Dominican Republic in its exhibition opener:
LAS VEGAS With a day to ruminate on Thursday nights proceedings, here are some random thoughts on Team USA following its slaughter of the Dominican Republic in its exhibition opener:
FIRST THE BAD NEWS
While the game wasn't competitive in terms of the Americans' hopes in London, obviously forward Blake Griffins knee injury, which will sideline the All-Star throughout the Olympics (he will reportedly be back for Clippers training camp) put a damper on things, even if it happened at the previous day's practice. However, the naming of Anthony Davis as Griffins replacement eases some of the worries about the squads big-man depth. The strong performance of the No. 1 overall pick Thursday doesnt hurt either.
While Davis isnt the uniquely explosive athlete Griffin is (who is?), Davis length, shot-blocking ability and perimeter skills should come in handy, as he displayed the ability to step out and knock down long-range shots.
Although it certainly wasnt as serious as Griffins situation, starting point guard Chris Paul -- ironically, Griffins teammate -- was held out of the second half of the game due to a minor thumb injury suffered earlier in training camp.
When asked about it, Paul took a humorous approach, saying, Coach K was tripping, to tell you the truth. I wanted to play, but he wouldnt let me. It is what it is. Weve got a lot of games left.
KD THE MVP? NOT SO FAST
As formidable as the teams starting unit -- Paul with Kobe Bryant in the backcourt, LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony at the forwards and NBA Defensive Player of the Year Tyson Chandler at center -- the evenings best player was clearly three-time league scoring champion Kevin Durant. The Thunder small forward put on a ridiculous shooting clinic and while his offensive firepower coming off the bench is a luxury, how long will it be until he replaces Anthony, a team captain, in the starting lineup?
But as well as Durant played, 76ers swingman Andre Iguodala was awarded the games MVP. With his combination of stifling defense and surprising outside marksmanship Thursday, the Springfield, Ill., native proved that he was worthy of being on the team. One of Team USAs final additions, Iguodalas selflessness is invaluable and hes one of the few players on the squad that doesn't need the ball to be effective.
'TALL' ORDER FOR TEAM USA
No one will confuse this team with past U.S. powerhouse squads, simply because of its lack of size (the Dominicans, led by Hawks star Al Horford, often had a size advantage) but the teams versatility and ability to press defensively makes it a scary foe for future opponents.
Our pressure is ridiculous. The amount of ball pressure we can put on guys with me, D-Will Deron Williams and Russ Russell Westbrook, then Kobe and all those guys, said Paul. Were so versatile. We have shooters, we have athletes, we have defenders. Weve just got to go out there and make sure we play the game the right way, and as long as we do that, well get all the shots we want. Our biggest thing is going to be to defend.
NOBODY'S PERFECT
Team USAs debut wasnt flawless, if one wants to nitpick. Of all players, Bryant seemed a bit out of sync offensively. He took multiple high degree-of-difficulty shots as if he were at the Staples Center instead of UNLVs campus, where the Vegas crowd seemingly egged him on. Also, while its intriguing to see the versatile James line up at center on occasion. One has to wonder how that lineup would fare against massive teams such as Spain, which features the Gasol brothers -- the Lakers Pau and the Thunders Marc, both 7-footers -- and Oklahoma Citys Serge Ibaka, the leagues leading shot-blocker. And of course, the Dominicans led at one point in the early going, 4-2, something the original Dream Team never let happen back in 1992.
GOING TO TOWNS
Aside from Horford, the player on the John Calipari-coached Dominican republic team with the most professional potential may have been Karl Towns, Jr. Towns, a 6-foot-10 forward from New Jersey, entered the contest late and showed off his scary skills with a three-pointer, not an uncommon occurrence for the big man. A smart move by Calipari to add the youngster for future recruiting purposes; Towns just completed his freshman year of high school, where he won a state title at the alma mater of Lakers center Andrew Bynum and former Bulls guard Jason Williams.
FINAL WORD
For a debut performance, it was a strong showing and fans likely can look forward to even better play as the team continues to gain chemistry.
Practice is always one thing. The game is always the best indication of how youre going to feel, Pau said. That first couple of minutes, everybody was winded out there, too. I think it has something to do with everybody being so anxious and playing so hard and once everybody got that second wind, it wasnt too bad.

Charlie Tilson gets another chance with White Sox after Leury Garcia hits the DL

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USA TODAY

Charlie Tilson gets another chance with White Sox after Leury Garcia hits the DL

Charlie Tilson is finally back in the major leagues. And this time, he’s hoping he can stick around for more than one game.

Tilson, currently ranked as the White Sox No. 15 prospect, was brought up from Triple-A Charlotte on Thursday, joining the active roster after the team placed Leury Garcia on the 10-day disabled list with a left knee sprain.

Tilson, a Wilmette native and New Trier High School product, came over to the White Sox from the St. Louis Cardinals in a midseason trade in 2016 and got a hit in his first big league at-bat. But in the same game, he suffered a season-ending hamstring injury while trying to make a diving catch in the outfield. The following spring, he suffered another serious injury, a stress fracture in his foot, and was forced to sit out the entire season.

He missed out on an Opening Day roster spot this year when Adam Engel outperformed him during spring training. But the White Sox hope Tilson will be able to provide some production in an outfield that has struggled in that department this season. Engel, even after a four-hit night on Wednesday, is batting just .212. Trayce Thompson is hitting well under .200. And Avisail Garcia and Nicky Delmonico are dealing with their own significant injuries as Leury Garcia joins them on the DL.

Tilson batted .248 in 39 games at Charlotte this season prior to Thursday’s call-up. He had three hits in Wednesday night’s loss.

Daily White Sox prospects update: Mixed bag of an outing for Michael Kopech

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NBC SPORTS CHICAGO

Daily White Sox prospects update: Mixed bag of an outing for Michael Kopech

Here's your daily update on what the White Sox highly touted prospects are doing in the minor leagues.

Triple-A Charlotte

Michael Kopech's outing was a mixed bag, with the White Sox top-ranked pitching prospect allowing only two earned runs but also walking four batters in his five innings of work. He did add eight strikeouts to his impressive season total and has punched out 61 hitters in 45.1 innings. Charlie Tilson had three hits in the 6-3 loss.

Class A Winston-Salem

The Dash split a doubleheader. Gavin Sheets had a huge game with three hits including a homer and a triple in the first contest, a 3-1 win. Luis Alexander Basabe had three hits with a home run in the other game, a 10-4 loss.

Double-A Birmingham

Eloy Jimenez and Zack Collins each had a hit and two walks in a 9-5 loss. The duo combined for three runs scored and an RBI.

Class A Kannapolis

Luis Gonzalez had two hits and Evan Skoug had a double in a 3-2 win.