Washington Football

Heat snap 2-game slide, top Hornets 106-90

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Heat snap 2-game slide, top Hornets 106-90

MIAMI (AP) Dwyane Wade scored 26 points, LeBron James finished with 24 points and seven assists, and the Miami Heat snapped a two-game slide by topping the New Orleans Hornets 106-90 on Saturday night.

Chris Bosh scored 13, and Ray Allen and Shane Battier each added 11 for Miami, which took control by outscoring the Hornets 33-10 over the final 11 minutes of the first half. New Orleans started the game 10 for 12 from the floor, then shot 9 for 31 over the rest of the half.

Ryan Anderson scored 24 for New Orleans, which got 20 from Robin Lopez and 12 from Jason Smith.

Miami shot a season-best 58 percent and turned 19 New Orleans turnovers into 22 points.

James has scored at least 20 points in all 18 Miami games this season. He tied a Heat record by scoring 20 in 23 straight regular-season games (going back to last season) and 39 consecutive games overall, including playoffs. He made 10 of his first 11 shots on Saturday.

The Heat have been plagued by defensive issues at times throughout this season, especially lately, and they looked to have returned in the early going on Saturday. The Hornets ran out to a 25-18 lead by the time this game was 7 minutes old, playing nearly flawlessly in the early going.

It didn't last much longer.

Not only did Miami soon clamp down on the defensive end, the Heat offense began really clicking as well.

Take away Smith's 5-of-7 effort in the second quarter, and the rest of the Hornets shot 2 for 13 in those 12 minutes when the game turned. Miami outscored New Orleans 33-15 in the quarter - James, Bosh and Wade outscored the Hornets by three - and seven different Heat players had at least one assist in that period alone.

New Orleans' starters were 1 for 2 in the pivotal second quarter, both of those shots by Lopez. Anderson was limited to 31 seconds of time on the court in the second because of foul trouble, and the other three Hornets starters besides Lopez failed to get a shot off in more than 12 combined minutes.

By halftime, Miami's lead was 64-47, and the Heat weren't in much trouble again - though had to work in the final minutes to finish off the team with the worst record so far in the Western Conference. Anderson and Greivis Vasquez made consecutive 3-pointers to get the Hornets within nine late in the third quarter. And with 4:40 left, Lopez's three-point play got New Orleans within 95-87.

That was the last gasp for New Orleans. Battier took a pass from James and made a 3-pointer from the right corner with just under 3 minutes left, giving the Heat a 101-87 lead, and Wade sealed it with a jumper on the next Miami possession, part of what became an 11-0 game-deciding run by the hosts.

NOTES: Bosh missed three dunk attempts in the game, including two on one possession in the third quarter. ... Allen is now five points shy of tying Adrian Dantley (23,177) for 22nd on the NBA's career scoring list. ... Miami improved to 9-1 at home. ... Since a 3-2 start, New Orleans has dropped 12 of 14. ... The Hornets played without injured rookie Anthony Davis, the No. 1 pick in this year's draft, for the 11th straight game. He was on the court for a pregame workout.

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Redspears or not these uniform designs are a great option for Washington

Redspears or not these uniform designs are a great option for Washington

When looking at the endless amounts of fan concepts and designs out there for the Washington Football Team's next name and logo, it's important to remember that not every idea belongs to the name suggestion of the designer. 

Once Washington makes its final decision, you can bet they'll be looking at a number of different options, and if they want to take a look at the fans' work, they could take a Red Wolves logo and match it up with a Red Tails uniform concept and tweak both to match whatever name they choose. 

In that case, whatever name and logo they choose should have these uniforms, plain and simple. 

 

Mike Joseph created these uniforms as part of his Washington Redspears project and did an exceptional job mocking up a number of different modern uniform designs.

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Redspears isn't a likely name change due to reports saying the franchise plans to stay away from Native American imagery, but that doesn't mean we should ignore these designs.

 

These use the burgundy and gold really well and have a unique number font that has worked for NFL teams like the Ravens, Broncos, Bears, Titans and Steelers in the past. 

The great part about this design is it could be easily rebranded to a different. All the franchise would have to do is lose the spear logo and use whatever logo they settle upon. They could even keep the numbers on the helmet as they have currently. Everything else is versatile. 

Between the sleek design, use of colors and the unique number fonts, this has to be one of, if not the best fan-generated uniform mock-up out there. If the Washington Football team uses these but with a different team name and logo, it'd be hard to complain about that decision. 

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Recent numbers indicate just how hard it could be for Antonio Gandy-Golden to help as a rookie

Recent numbers indicate just how hard it could be for Antonio Gandy-Golden to help as a rookie

There were already some decent expectations placed on Antonio Gandy-Golden for 2020 — and then Kelvin Harmon went down. Now, the Day 3 selection is being labeled as someone who needs to really contribute to the Washington Football Team.

But is that too much to ask for a rookie who went on Saturday in the draft? Recent numbers indicate that answer may be yes.

From 2015 to 2019, 25 wide receivers were chosen in the fourth round, which is where Washington nabbed Gandy-Golden a few months ago. Here are some takeaways from looking back on how all of those guys performed in their first professional seasons:

  • Only one target topped 50 catches and 600 yards, and coincidentally enough, it was Jamison Crowder. Crowder caught 59 passes for 604 yards and two scores as a rookie for the Burgundy and Gold in 2015. The only other guy who came close to either of those marks was Antonio Callaway, who had 43 grabs for 586 yards and five touchdowns for Cleveland in 2018. Those are easily the two best performances by a fourth-round rookie wideout since 2015, so keep that in mind when discussing Gandy-Golden.
  • Out of that group of 25, 15 suited up for double-digit games for their teams during their first taste of the league. The average stat line for those 15 rookies was 17 receptions for 182 yards and one touchdown in about 14 contests. That's meager. 
  • Just nine out of the 25 recorded a touchdown catch as a rookie, and only four (Crowder, Callaway, DaeSean Hamilton and Malcom Mitchell) visited the end zone multiple times.

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So, judging solely off of that data, it would appear that Washington shouldn't be prepared to lean heavily Gandy-Golden. And once you combine that history with other factors, such as the huge transition he's about to make from Libery to the NFL and the very limited offseason he's had thus far, then the outlook for Gandy-Golden becomes even dimmer.

There is a super simple counter argument, however, at least when it comes to comparing him to his past fourth-round peers, and it has to do with his potential playing time.

While the 22-year-old has to fight through a pandemic, something none of the above rookies can relate to and something that could be detrimental to his early career, he also may be in line for a massive share of snaps right away. Most players who go off the board where Gandy-Golden did are usually worried about simply making the team; he, on the other hand, very well could be a starter across from Terry McLaurin in Week 1.

That alone means Gandy-Golden could end up having enough involvement in the offense to come up with a Crowder-like, impactful debut. In 2019, McLaurin far surpassed other third-round rookie receivers due largely to the amount of opportunity he got with Washington (his ridiculous talent was a bonus of course, too). Gandy-Golden is tracking on a similar path. 

A fairly general rule for any franchise is that it's not exactly prudent to need a Day 3 pass catcher to immediately act as one of your primary weapons. Stats from 2015 to 2019 seem to back up that general rule.

Every rule has an exception here or there, though. Maybe Gandy-Golden, with his outstanding physical traits and possibly featured role in 2020, will be that next exception and make all this math and comparing a totally moot issue. 

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