Team USA Isnt Getting Better — World Basketball Is Getting Worse

1994World Cup+9.5+37.8 2000Olympics+12.0+21.6 We’re on the ground in Rio covering the 2016 Summer Olympics. Check out all our coverage here.Despite trailing much of the first half, the U.S. men’s basketball team defeated Australia 98-88 on Wednesday, moving to 3-0 in Olympic pool play. Over those three games, the Americans have won by an average of 37 points, the third-best mark of any U.S. team through three games of a major international tournament1Including both the Olympics and FIBA world championships. since the Dream Team era began in 1992.The other two teams — the original ’92 wrecking squad and their ridiculously stacked 2012 heirs — dominated en route to Olympic gold. But if this year’s team ends up pulling the same trick, it might not be so much a testament to U.S. dominance as a signal that the rest of the world has gotten weaker in recent years after a long run of improvement.We can measure the progress of international competition over time using Team USA as a reference point. Since American Olympic and FIBA World Cup teams are made up entirely of NBA players (save for the U.S.’s 1998 FIBA Worlds squad, which featured zero stars due to that summer’s NBA lockout), we can estimate the total talent on those rosters using Box Plus/Minus (BPM).2Specifically, I built a multiyear projection model that estimates a player’s talent level in a given year using both the seasons leading up to and following the season in question, when available. Since these tournaments take place in the summer, I averaged a player’s talent estimate between the previous and next season; e.g., Michael Jordan’s rating for the 1992 Dream Team was an average of his 1992 and 1993 BPM talent ratings. In regular NBA competition, there’s a steady relationship between a team’s underlying talent, its per-game margin of victory and the strength of schedule it faced. Therefore, we can estimate the strength of Team USA’s opposition in international tournaments (such as the Olympics) by comparing its margin of victory to that which we’d expect based on the talent level of the U.S. roster. 2002World Cup+10.0+16.9 Team USA’s greatest basketball rosters (on paper) 1992Olympics+23.1+43.8 2010World Cup+9.4+24.6 2016Olympics+13.1— 2004Olympics+12.7+4.6 2014World Cup+11.4+33.0 1996Olympics+20.8+32.5 YEARTOURNAMENTROSTER TALENTPPG MARGIN 2008Olympics+19.0+27.9 No matter whether we look at the Olympics or the World Cup, the level of competition faced by the U.S. peaked with the surprise upsets of 2004 and 2006, and has been zooming back down ever since — even after controlling for changes in talent on America’s rosters. Yes, USA Basketball improved its team selections after its mid-2000s wake-up call, but the U.S. is also winning by wider margins than we’d expect from its talent improvements alone.And in many ways, the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro will put this trend to the ultimate test. This year’s American roster is, according to BPM, the weakest U.S. Olympic squad since 2004, and the third-weakest since ’92. On the spectrum between America’s strongest Olympic teams (1992) and its weakest World Cup teams (2010), the 2016 version sits near the middle, but it also bears more resemblance to the average U.S. World Cup squad than the average Olympics entry. Without Steph Curry, LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, Kawhi Leonard and Chris Paul (and so forth), this is just the kind of depleted roster that could have been poised to disappoint in years past.Instead, the U.S. is 3-0 — albeit shakily so after Wednesday’s unconvincing victory over the 11th-best team in the world. If the Americans can iron out the shooting woes of the Australia game and keep winning, it might mean this roster is better than the numbers thought. But it could also be further evidence that the U.S.’s competition is less of a threat than in years past. Based on multiyear Box Plus/Minus talent ratings, weighted by each player’s minutes played in the tournament.Source: Basketball-Reference.com, RealGM.com 2012Olympics+19.8+32.1 Unsurprisingly, the 1992 Dream Team was the most talented group the U.S. ever sent to a major international tournament. Weighting by each player’s minutes played — and putting aside the complicated relationship between projection and reality for superteams — that ’92 squad had +23.1 points per 100 possessions of BPM talent on its hands. (By comparison, the most talented NBA team ever, the 1995-96 Bulls, boasted a +10.8 mark; the 2015-16 Warriors were +8.5.) Against average NBA competition, we’d have expected them to win by a margin of 25.9 points per game, so the fact that they won by 43.8 instead implies they were playing competition about 17.8 points per game worse than the NBA average. (As another point of comparison, the Denver Nuggets were the NBA’s worst team during the 1991-92 season, and they were “only” 7.6 points per game worse than average after adjusting for schedule, earning a 24-58 record.) Yes, the Dream Team was really good, but the competition was also pretty weak.That wouldn’t stay the case for long. Although the U.S. won the 1994 World Championship by an average of 38 points per game despite fielding a far weaker roster than they’d sent to Barcelona in ’92, the landslide victory margins would quickly taper off. In 1996, the second iteration of the Dream Team carried an impressive +20.8 BPM talent rating (10 points/100 possessions better than any team in NBA history), yet it won by 32.5 points per game — only 9 more than would be expected vs. average NBA competition. In just four years, America’s international competition had begun closing the gap.The U.S. advantage would be steadily chipped away every few years, in concert with USA Basketball assembling its own squads of ever-decreasing talent. The two trends came to a head at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, when America was stunned with a bronze-medal finish. Despite its disappointing performance, that team wasn’t exactly barren — it starred the already legendary Tim Duncan, plus a still-in-his-prime Allen Iverson, the perpetually underrated Shawn Marion and Lamar Odom, and even young versions of budding superstars LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. On the other hand, it also prominently featured Stephon Marbury, whose reputation for killing NBA teams might be overstated, but was definitely not at his best in Athens.American fans quickly attributed the loss to toxic chemistry and poor fit — a fair criticism, if you peruse this wacky roster — but it was also apparent the world had improved greatly since the Dream Team’s debut. According to the numbers, Team USA’s competition at the 2004 Olympics played to a level about 9.8 points per game better than NBA average. Even granting that our method is only a proxy (and should have some give built in to it to allow for things like badly constructed rosters and questionable coaching), that’s still a quantum leap forward for U.S. opponents, compared with Barcelona 12 years earlier.Athens was a high point for international parity, but it may also have been a bit of a mirage. In response to the debacle of 2004, the U.S. assembled a more talented roster for the 2006 FIBA Worlds, and although America was held to the bronze again, it did post an average scoring margin 15.8 points per game greater than in Athens. Two years later, the Redeem Team won gold with a +27.9 PPG margin; then America easily won the 2010 World Championship with the least talent the U.S. had sent to a major tournament in the post-’92 era. Tack on two more golds after that (at the 2012 Olympics and 2014 FIBA Worlds) with growing victory margins, and the U.S.’s international foes are trending in the wrong direction: 2006World Cup+15.4+20.4 read more

Minister of Foreign Affairs at CARICOM Caucus in Mexico

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppMexico, June 21, 2017 – Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Hon. Darren Henfield (centre) participated in the CARICOM Caucus on Monday, June 19, 2017 in Mexico in preparation for the Meeting of Consultation of Ministers on the situation in Venezuela and the 47th OAS General Assembly.   Seated next to him is Chet Neymour, Charge d’Affaires, and behind (centre left) Director General Sharon Brennen-Haylock, and Foreign Service Officer Shagerra Edgecombe.Press Release: BIS Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items:last_img read more

Deputies investigating homicide in Lemon Grove

first_img June 21, 2018 KUSI Newsroom KUSI Newsroom, Updated: 9:13 AM Deputies investigating homicide in Lemon Grovecenter_img LEMON GROVE (KUSI) – A bleeding, gravely injured man banged on the door of a Lemon Grove home in an apparent last-gasp plea for help, and his death a short time later prompted sheriff’s deputies to launch a homicide investigation, authorities said Friday.A resident in the 7600 block of Lemon Avenue called 911 a little before 9 p.m. Thursday to report hearing loud banging on the front door of the home, which is situated in a mostly commercial zone down the street from The Home Depot, San Diego County Sheriff’s Lt. Rich Williams said“When deputies arrived they found a man unresponsive and lying on the ground outside the residence,” Williams said. “He was seriously injured and had visible injuries to his upper body.”Firefighters attempted to revive the man, but he was pronounced dead just before 9:20 p.m., Williams said. The victim had not been identified as of early Friday morning.Homicide detectives were assigned to investigate the case, and the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office was expected to perform an autopsy to determine the cause and manner of death, Williams said.Anyone with information about the apparent slaying was asked to call the sheriff’s homicide detail during business hours at (858) 974-2321 or during non-business hours at (858) 565-5200. Anonymous tipsters can also contact San Diego County Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477, or online at sdcrimestoppers.org. Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter Posted: June 21, 2018last_img read more

The Wilmington Insider For July 17 2018

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — Below is a round-up of what’s going on in Wilmington on Tuesday, July 17, 2018:Happening Today:Weather: Showers and thunderstorms likely, mainly after 3pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 87. Southwest wind 8 to 11 mph, with gusts as high as 21 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.At Town Hall: The Wilmington Board of Health meets at 5:30pm in Town Hall’s Room 9. Read the agenda HERE.In The Community: Wilmington’s Academy of Traditional Karate (155 West Street, Suite 5) is holding a free Self Defense Class for community members from 6:45pm to 7:45pm. The seminar will offer practical self-defense solutions, taught by instructors with years of martial arts and law enforcement experience. No martial arts experience required. Call 978-658-2077 or email TeamElite@Traditional-Karate.com for additional information.In The Community: Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan and The Burlington Mall will host a summer safety event from 11am to 2pm in the Mall’s parking lot, behind Primark, next to Mall Road. Attendees will be able to visit with first responders, get summer safety resources and enter a free raffle to win a toy helicopter. Car seat inspections and installations will be provided by the Burlington Police Department. Visitors can bring a new car seat to be installed or have a previously installed car seat inspected for safety. Children will have the opportunity to explore emergency vehicles from the Burlington Police Department, Burlington Fire Department, and Armstrong Ambulance. Families can stop by the Summer Safety Resource Booth with information on how to stay safe during the summer months, plus summer safety-themed games and activities.In The Community: Wilmington Friendship (Masonic) Lodge (32 Church Street) is hosting a Red Cross Blood Drive from 1pm to 7pm. Drop-ins welcome.In The Community: The Tewksbury/Wilmington Elks holds bingo — open to the public — every Tuesday. Doors open at 5pm. Pizza, hot dog and pastries are sold. Free coffee.In The Community: Angels In Motion meets every Tuesday, from 9:30am to 2:30pm, at the Wilmington Knights of Columbus Hall (112 Middlesex Avenue).  The club provides a great opportunity for seniors to meet new friends or reacquaint with old ones. A luncheon is served as noon.  Free. Handicapped accessible.In The Community: The Town Beach is open today.  Lifeguards are on duty from 10am to 8pm. Admission is FREE for residents. Proof of residency is required. Learn more HERE.At The Library: Preschool Storytime: Sounds of Nature at 10am. LEGO Building at 3pm. Teen Trivia: Musicals at 6:30pm. [Learn more and register HERE.]At The Senior Center: Walking Group at Yentile at 8am. Computer Class at 9am. Aerobics at 10:30am. Mah Jong at 1pm. Summer Brain Camp at 1pm. [Learn more HERE.](NOTE: What did I miss? Let me know by commenting below, commenting on the Facebook page, or emailing wilmingtonapple@gmail.com. I may be able to update this post.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedThe Wilmington Insider For June 25, 2018In “5 Things To Do Today”The Wilmington Insider For September 11, 2018In “5 Things To Do Today”The Wilmington Insider For October 17, 2018In “5 Things To Do Today”last_img read more

Lion King remake is the 9th highestgrossing film ever

first_img 2019 movies to geek out over 77 Photos TV and Movies Share your voice Post a commentcenter_img Enlarge ImageMost profitable lion of all time. Walt Disney Pictures The new and “improved” Lion King remake beat the original at the box office after just 11 days in theaters. But the original has nothing to be ashamed of, because now Lion King 2019 has beaten all but eight other movies at the global box office. At $1.435 billion, it’s now the ninth highest-grossing movie of all time, according to Box Office Mojo.It beat Avengers: Age of Ultron, the second of four Avengers flicks, to get that spot. It’ll have to make another $80 million or so to beat (Fast and) Furious 7, which at $1.516 billion is the eighth top-grossing flick ever. Avengers: Endgame is box office king, with $2.795 billion made at the global box office.These numbers don’t take inflation into account, though. Adjusting for inflation, the new film is still behind the original. The Lion King grossed $968 million in 1994, which converts to about $1.676 billion in 2019 money.The lion’s share of Lion King’s gross comes from international markets. According to Box Office Mojo, $939 million is from foreign markets while the film has made $496 million in the US.This year has been incredible for Disney to say the least. It’s already surpassed the box office record set by one single company in a single year. You can see why: The Lion King joins Disney’s Aladdin live-action remake, Avengers: Endgame, Captain Marvel and Spider-Man: Far From Home in the $1 billion club for 2019.Though it’s a cash cow, the new Lion King hasn’t been a critical darling. It holds a 55 on Metacritic and is only 52% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. (The audience score on Rotten Tomatoes is 88%, though.) Tags 0last_img read more

Sales of mosquito repellents up manyfold after surge in chikungunya dengue cases

first_imgAfter recent alarm bells over the cases of mosquito-borne diseases such as chikungunya, dengue and Zika fever with no available vaccines, consumers are queueing up to buy the latest mosquito repellents. Unofficial estimates suggest that the sales of such repellents are up by nearly 10 times compared to this summer.Creams, oils, gels, sprays, stickers and vapourisers, all forms of anti-mosquito products are disappearing of the shelves, prompting the manufacturers such as Dabur, Reckitt Benckiser and Godrej to introduce more innovative products and even wage price wars by offering products as low as Rs 1.While Godrej launched a paper-based mosquito repellent – the GoodKnight card – for just Rs 1, Dabur also launched its Odomos sachet for the same price.”We plan to launch an entire range of outdoor mosquito repellents, which will also include antimosquito stickers. We are present in the indoor mosquito repellent category but the diseases are spread by the aedes aegypti mosquito in the morning, when people are out of their home and working,” a company official of Godrej, makers of mosquito repellent brand Good Knight, was quoted saying to the Hindustan Times, as it plans to enter the outdoor repellent space.Aedes aegypti mosquito is the carrier of diseases such as Zika fever, chikungunya and dengue. The World Health Organisation said in a statement on Thursday that till date, there is no vaccine available to prevent dengue and chikungunya, although research is ongoing. “The only effective preventive measure is protection against mosquito bites and vector control,” it said.Not wanting to be left behind and with growing demand, Dabur, which makes the outdoor-mosquito repellent cream Odomos and a natural competitor of Godrej, is also planning to introduce newer innovative products. “We are working on two more innovations. We want to launch them soon but this will be decided only after checking their efficacy,” Praveen Jaipuriar, marketing head of personal care, Dabur India, said.Reckitt Benckiser (RB), which sells products under the brand name Mortein, is also launching products considering changing patterns of mosquito-borne diseases.”Due to changing climatic conditions, such as extended winters, summers and the delayed monsoon season — mosquitoes are showing signs of changing seasonality. RB is witnessing an increase in demand for liquid electric diffusers,” said a company spokesperson.German pharmaceutical company Bayer launched a new product in India in the form of tablets that control the breeding of mosquitoes in water. The product is used by local municipal corporations for community-based larva control in societies and homes.”As 80% of a mosquito’s life stage is spent in water, it is important to control the breeding of mosquitoes. In order to enhance the duration of control, we have launched an innovative larvicide called Barcelo Tab, to control the breeding of mosquitoes in water,” said a spokesperson of Bayer.According to a report by Euromonitor, India’s insect repellent market clocks Rs 4,400 crore in retail sales a year. The same report also mentions that coils are the top selling repellents with a 50% market share, although sprays are also gaining popularity.last_img read more

Adani likely to secure loan from China for its Australian coal project

first_imgCoal is stockpiled at the Blair Athol mine in the Bowen Basin coalfield near the town of Moranbah, Australia, June 1, 2012 (representational image).Reuters fileIndian conglomerate Adani Group finally inched closer to secure loans from China in order to build a 388-kilometre rail link, which is an integral part of its proposed Rs 1.07-lakh crore ($16.5-billion) Carmichael coal mine project in Australia.”Adani Group is close to securing finance with an announcement expected in coming weeks that Chinese state-owned enterprises, banks, and export credit agencies are backing the venture,” the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) reported.The company further said: “However, this does not negate the need for support from the Federal and State governments including a Northern Australian Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) loan—every cent of which will be repaid by Adani with interest.”Adani’s coal mine project has been facing serious roadblocks since the inception of the project. Not just financial, but even protests from rights groups. It is over seven years now that the coal mining projects have been stalled by the environment, conservationist and indigenous groups over concerns on global warming and damaging the ecology of Great Barrier Reef.Recently several protests were staged in different parts of Australia against Adani Enterprises’ proposed Carmichael coal mine in Central Queensland.The demonstrations were organised by the Stop Adani Alliance, which is an umbrella organisation for more than 40 groups. The alliance on their website said: “Adani is pulling out all the tricks to build its mega coal mine that will trash indigenous rights, wreck the climate and prop up a boom-bust economy.”For this latest development, the company said, “The purpose of NAIF is to provide loans for economic infrastructure and, again, every cent of this loan will be repaid with interest. The infrastructure Adani is building will be common user infrastructure and will be able to be used by other projects creating opportunities for further jobs and investment.”Earlier last month, the Australian federal ministers had written a formal letter to the Chinese government to confirm that the controversial coal project had passed all necessary environmental approvals, reported ABC.last_img read more

Pressley Officially Massachusetts 1st Black Congresswoman

first_imgBy WILLIAM J. KOLE, Associated PressBOSTON (AP) — Ayanna Pressley didn’t campaign to make history, but she did on Tuesday, officially becoming Massachusetts’ first Black woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.The Democrat sailed through the general election unopposed, two months after unseating 10-term Rep. Michael Capuano in a national political stunner in the state primary.In this Oct. 1, 2018 file photo, Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley speaks at a rally at City Hall in Boston. On Nov. 6, Pressley became Massachusetts’ first black woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm, File)“Activists and agitators have brought us to this very moment,” Pressley told cheering supporters Tuesday night. “None of us ran to make history. We ran to make change … and change is on the way.”“Can a congresswoman wear her hair in braids? Rock a black leather jacket?” she added — and the crowd roared.With no Republican in the race in the heavily Democratic district, her September upset victory had all but assured Pressley the keys to the office, with only the remote possibility of a write-in campaign to potentially stop her. That unlikely scenario behind her, she’ll now represent the 7th Congressional District — the first in Massachusetts where minorities make up a majority of the voting population.“It is hard to believe that in the 230-year history of our delegation, there’s never been a person of color,” she said on “Matter of Fact with Soledad O’Brien.”(Although that’s true of the House, Republican Sen. Edward Brooke of Massachusetts, who took office in 1967, was the first Black politician to be elected by popular vote after the 17th Amendment was ratified in 1913.)Pressley, 44, is also the first African-American to serve on the Boston City Council.Endorsed last month by former President Barack Obama, she got a big early boost from fellow congressional upstart Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who similarly knocked off veteran Rep. Joe Crowley of New York in June.Both rode a rising wave of pro-woman sentiment to Washington as the party embraced diversity and liberal politics as the recipe for success in the Trump era.“With her victory tonight, Ayanna Pressley has not only made history as the first Black woman ever elected to represent Massachusetts in the U.S. House of Representatives, she’s ensured that Democrats have the voice of a young, Black progressive woman helping lead the fight for inclusive populist reforms,” the political action committee Democracy for America said Tuesday night in a statement.In the run-up to the midterms, Pressley held off on saying where she stands on Nancy Pelosi, the Democrats’ embattled House leader.From the outset, Pressley made clear that she meant serious business, telling voters before she sent Capuano packing that she viewed the race as “a fight for the soul of our party and the future of our democracy.”The district includes a wide swath of Boston and about half of Cambridge, as well as portions of neighboring Chelsea, Everett, Randolph, Somerville and Milton. It includes the neighborhood of Roxbury, the traditional center of Boston’s Black community.Ideologically, Capuano was much like Pressley: liberal, a self-described progressive. But the White, middle-aged incumbent didn’t look like many voters in his district, even though Pressley herself had bristled at the notion that race was a defining issue in the contest.She flashed that defiance during a debate, saying: “I happen to be Black and a woman and unapologetically proud to be both, but that is not the totality of my identity.”But Pressley also made clear the importance of diversity in the nation’s halls of power.“I do think that our democracy is strengthened by an engagement of new and different voices,” she told college newspaper editors in Boston in October.___For AP’s complete coverage of the U.S. midterm elections: http://apne.ws/APPoliticslast_img read more

Online Game Helps Fight the Spread of Fake News Study

first_img“Research suggests that fake news spreads faster and deeper than the truth, so combatting disinformation after the fact can be like fighting a losing battle,” said Sander van der Linden, the CDSMLab’s director. Read the whole story: The New York Times Results from the study of 15,000 users of the “Bad News” game, launched last year by the university’s Cambridge Social Decision-Making Lab (CDSMLab), showed it was possible to train the public to be better at spotting propaganda. An online game that allows people to deploy Twitter bots, photo-shop evidence and incite conspiracy theories has proven effective at raising their awareness of “fake news”, a study from the University of Cambridge has found.last_img read more