Nationals

Knicks ready to face Pacers without Anthony

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Knicks ready to face Pacers without Anthony

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Carmelo Anthony had an excuse for not being at the New York Knicks' shootaround Thursday morning. His coach told him to stay at the hotel and take it easy.

The Knicks star forward will get even more rest Thursday night, thanks to the NBA.

Less than 24 hours after Anthony was given a one-game suspension for Monday's confrontation with Kevin Garnett, the Knicks were preparing to face Indiana without their leading scorer. Amare Stoudemire is expected to play only about 20 minutes as he continues to work his way back from knee surgery.

No, this is not how New York wanted to go into a nationally-televised game against the Central Division leaders. But Anthony's suspension left them no choice.

``I'm sure he's disappointed, but again it happened and we can't go back,'' Woodson told reporters. ``He's got to live with it, and he'll rebound from it. Carmelo is a true pro and he'll deal with it.''

Anthony contended he went toward the Celtics' locker room after losing to Boston and later waited for Garnett outside Boston's team bus because he wanted to discuss Garnett's choice of words during a fourth-quarter altercation. Anthony had said he didn't believe he would be suspended because he said he was just looking to talk to Garnett.

NBA executive vice president of operations Stu Jackson ruled otherwise.

Woodson learned of the decision Wednesday night, after the team arrived in Indy to face one of the league's hottest teams. Indiana is 11-3 in its last 14 games and beat defending champion Miami 77-67 on Tuesday.

``We've got to move on and live for the next day,'' Woodson said. ``There's not a whole lot we can do as an organization.''

The options are complicated by Stoudemire's situation.

After playing a season-high 28 minutes in Monday's loss to Boston, Stoudemire reportedly experienced soreness in his surgically-repaired left knee. Woodson acknowledged Thursday that he would closely monitor Stoudemire's minutes against the Pacers -- even though Stoudemire seemed undeterred by that notion. He's expected to play about 20 minutes.

``I think it was more having three games in four nights. I just don't want to overdo anything,'' Stoudemire said. ``We'll see how it is tonight. Carmelo's out, so I might get more minutes.''

The Pacers expect to see the Knicks make some adjustments. For instance, swingman Paul George said he believes New York will go to guys like J.R. Smith and Jason Kidd more often and will take more than 3-point shots than usual.

But even without Anthony, the Pacers believe this game will be every bit as tough as they thought it would with Anthony.

``They're different but every bit as lethal,'' Pacers coach Frank Vogel said. ``They being first in the East is as much about Tyson Chandler and Jason Kidd and the experience they have as it is about Carmelo Anthony.''

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Max Scherzer's named Thursday's starter and penciled in for the postseason

Max Scherzer's named Thursday's starter and penciled in for the postseason

WASHINGTON -- So, it’s settled: Max Scherzer will pitch Thursday.

The Nationals’ best pitcher played catch in right field Tuesday. He felt well a day after a full bullpen session. He, finally, is aligned to make his first start since July 6.

Why Thursday? Well, this is where things are more interesting. Davey Martinez and his staff mapped out Scherzer’s possible starts from Thursday to the end of the season to see how he lines up if he would pitch every fifth game (not every fifth day because of scheduled off-days). If he pitches Thursday, this is how the rest of his season would look:

July 25 vs. Colorado

July 30 vs. Atlanta

Aug. 5 at San Francisco

Aug. 11 at New York

Aug. 17 vs. Milwaukee

Aug. 22 at Pittsburgh

Aug. 28 vs. Baltimore

Sept. 5 vs. New York

Sept. 8 at Atlanta

Sept. 14 vs. Atlanta

Sept. 20 at Miami

Sept. 25 vs. Philadelphia

Oct. 1 Wild-Card Game

Note three appearances against the first-place Braves. Consider a late-September start against Philadelphia. Then, of course, being on an extra day of rest should the wild-card game be necessary.

“You know Max,” Martinez said. “He wants to pitch today. He wants to pitch tomorrow. He wants to pitch Friday, Saturday, Sunday.”

Can things go wrong between now and then? Yes. A rainout could move Scherzer around. A recurrence of the mid-back strain which put him on the 10-day injured list July 13, retroactive to July 10, could happen. But, the Nationals took the time to map this out when considering whether Scherzer will pitch Thursday opposite Colorado or Friday against the mighty Los Angeles Dodgers. 

One wrinkle in this projection: The final series of the season is at Nationals Park versus Cleveland. The Indians start play Tuesday just three games out of the division lead in the American League Central and two ahead for a wild-card spot. Which means Cleveland could be playing for everything (from the division title, to hosting the wild-card game, to just getting into the postseason) or nothing because it has clinched a spot. Scherzer would not be on schedule for that series.

More immediately, Monday’s rainout forced the Nationals to massage their rotation. Erick Fedde was moved from Monday’s start to the first game of Wednesday’s split day-night doubleheader. Anibal Sanchez will pitch Friday. Joe Ross is expected to fill the open spot Saturday. Patrick Corbin, Scherzer and Sanchez will line up to face Atlanta when it visits next week.

There was one other starting pitcher issue exposed Tuesday. Austin Voth (right biceps tendinitis) has stopped throwing. He will have an MRI this week and his future is to be determined. Not so for Scherzer. He's expected back Thursday, then Oct. 1, if necessary.

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Wawa chooses the Ravens as new partners, much to the chagrin of Philly fans

Wawa chooses the Ravens as new partners, much to the chagrin of Philly fans

The world's best convenience store/gas station/sandwich shop has partnered with the Baltimore Ravens. 

Yes, Wawa is now the “official hoagie” of the Ravens. 

It's the partnership that Ravens' fans didn't even know they needed. If there is a lottery, the Ravens just won.

As Wawa celebrates its 50th year in Maryland, there will be several promotions that fans will be able to partake in. Opportunities to win tickets to games, co-branded merchandise, and unique experiences are just a handful of benefits Ravens fans can now take advantage of. You'll also see a lot more of Wawa at M&T Bank Stadium.

Choosing Wawa over Royal Farms (and that other store Sheetz) is clearly a top-tier partnership between two of the biggest brands in the Baltimore Metro area. And there is no doubt that there could not be a more perfect partnership between an NFL franchise and a convenience shop. 

"Wawa is thrilled to partner with the Ravens to make deeper connections with some of the best fans in football and reach communities all over the city of Baltimore and beyond,” Adam Schall, the senior director of store operations for Maryland said in a press release.

Our friends over in Philadelphia are not enthused:

But it is simple: the better store went with the better team. 

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