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Lakers evaluate draft potential of Duke’s Grayson Allen, and not just for kicks

first_img“I definitely have to answer the questions,” he said. “It’s something that has to be addressed. Every team’s asking about it and at the end of the day, you just have to explain what I’ve been saying. And it’s that I’ve made mistakes, I went too far, and that I’ve grown and matured from it and am honestly a lot better now having gone through it.”Allen is not entirely unfamiliar with the Lakers, having played alongside Brandon Ingram in 2015-16, Allen’s sophomore year when he averaged a career-best 21.6 points per game.“I stay in touch with him a little bit,” Allen said, “and I saw him back at Duke (this spring). He was back home … working out in the gym so I caught up with him a little bit.”What stood out to Allen about his former teammate?“I told him he looks bigger,” Allen said. “He put some weight on, his shoulders are broader, he looks like he’s not getting pushed around anymore. Obviously, he’s come a long way since he came to Duke. He was super skinny, but he looks like he’s put some good weight on. He looks pretty big.”The Lakers are deep in their pre-draft process, which will continue next week when LiAngelo Ball is scheduled to work out as part of a six-man group on Tuesday.Ball is among the few players who might be a more controversial draft choice than Allen. The younger brother of Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball is not projected to be drafted after leaving UCLA last November. He spent most of last season along with younger brother LaMelo playing for Prienai Bytautas in Lithuania. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersBoth Allen and Huerter are considered potential first-round picks. While Huerter boasts the better shooting touch, Allen averaged 4.6 assists and 1.7 steals to go with his 15.5 points per game last season.His 38 percent from deep also helps, especially considering the Lakers ranked 29th out of 30 teams in 3-point shooting last season.“Shooting translates for sure,” Allen said. “If you watch the league now you’ve got a bunch of shooters on the court. But also you have to figure out how you can contribute in other ways.”He was one of the players the Lakers interviewed last week during the NBA’s draft combine in Chicago.The athletic Allen’s career was marred by several on-court incidents and in 2016 he was suspended for a game by Coach Mike Krzyzewski for kicking an Elon player. It was one of three tripping incidents in his career. Those have been a major focus for teams who have met with Allen.center_img EL SEGUNDO — When it came to Grayson Allen, most college basketball observers could be lumped into two general categories: Those who found him easy to root against and, well, Duke fans.But now the controversial guard, with a legacy of legsweeps, is now auditioning for a job in the NBA. And any team that struggles to make shots from the perimeter and could stand to play with more edge might be inclined to take a look at the fiery Allen.Enter the Lakers, owners of the 25th pick in the first round of next month’s draft.On Friday, Allen became the most high-profile draft hopeful to work out for the Lakers so far this month, headlining a pre-draft workout group that also included Maryland guard Kevin Huerter, a 41.7 percent 3-point shooter in his sophomore season.last_img read more

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Bengals vs. Steelers odds, prediction, betting trends for ‘Monday Night Football’

first_imgHere’s everything to know about betting on Bengals vs. Steelers, including updated odds, trends and our prediction for “Monday Night Football” in Week 5.MORE: Get the latest NFL odds at Sportsbook ReviewBetting odds for ‘Monday Night Football’Spread: Steelers by 3Point total: 45Odds: Bengals +105, Steelers -115The Steelers have remained basically a home-field advantage favorite since the line was first released. With them starting Mason Rudolph instead of Ben Roethlisberger and the Bengals being coached by Zac Taylor instead of Marvin Lewis, it brings an unfamiliarity to a predictable matchup from years past.Bengals vs. Steelers all-time seriesThe Steelers have dominated over the years with a 64-35 record, and they are looking to add the 100th meeting to the win column. They have won eight straight in the rivalry, dating back to December 2015.  But seven of the past nine games between them have been decided by one possession.Three trends to know— 52 percent of spread bettors like the Steelers to cover at home, but 54 percent of the moneyline bettors like the Bengals to win outright.— The Steelers are 35-19 against the spread vs. the Bengals since 1996, and 4-2 over the pass three seasons.— The Steelers are 6-0 against the Bengals over the past three seasons and only one of those games went over the expected point total.MORE: 18 incidents that have inflamed Steelers-Bengals rivalryThree things to watchJames Conner vs. the Bengals’ run defenseCincinnati is the second-worst team against the run, only behind Miami, giving up nearly on average 169 yards rushing per game. Pittsburgh ranked 31st in the NFL with 90.3 rushing yards per game in ’18 and despite being ranked 29th so far this season, has been worse at 64 yards per game.The Steelers have a good offensive line and Conner is a more than competent back. The Bengals have a bad front seven. This screams breakout game for the Steelers on the ground.Tyler Boyd vs. the Steelers’ pass defenseThe Steelers have been destroyed in slot coverage this season. Julian Edelman and Tyler Lockett were difficult coverage assignments and they also had trouble with the 49ers spreading the ball around in the middle of the field. Boyd has been very efficient with his routes, with 24 catches on 33 targets for 250 yards.In his last outing against the Steelers, he caught 7 of 9 targets for 62 yards and 2 TDs. He needs to have another big game for the Bengals to have a chance. This time, the Steelers have Minkah Fitzpatrick to try to contain him.Taylor vs. TomlinTaylor has brought some innovative passing concepts to the Bengals and they aren’t afraid to be aggressive throwing with Dalton. The Steelers have given up a ton of big plays this season and the Bengals have been living off those, namely to speedy wideout John Ross. The Steelers started to clean up things up under coach Mike Tomlin and defensive coordinator Keith Butler, but they need to keep everything in front of them this week. When the 0-3 Bengals play the 0-3 Steelers on “Monday Night Football” (8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN), the loser of the game knows they will have little chance to rally to win the AFC North this season. The winner, however, will be very much alive, just a game back of the Browns and Ravens, both 2-2 after Sunday.Who will come out with the better performance to save their season, and who will fade further toward the top of the 2020 draft? Let’s set the stage for how the latest chapter in the heated rivalry may play out. Stat that mattersThe Bengals have allowed Dalton to be sacked 11 teams as their offensive line continues to be a big weakness. The Steelers have been slow with their pass rush out of the game, with only 6 sacks over three games. T.J. Watt and Pittsburgh’s edge rush should rev up this week.Bengals vs. Steelers predictionThe Steelers need to grind out this game by running often with Conner and shortening it for their defense. They cannot trust Rudolph to throw too much, nor should they, in a matchup where they will face little resistance with the power rushing attack. That’s what Tomlin would like to do, anyway. The Bengals’ mostly one-dimensional attack can be prolific, but it’s also bound to be more mistake-prone on the road against na emotional defense that rises to prime time.Steelers 20, Bengals 17last_img read more