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Government blocks critical news websites, says they have to register

first_img January 13, 2021 Find out more November 8, 2011 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Government blocks critical news websites, says they have to register to go further Reporters Without Borders is appalled to learn that access to four leading news websites –SriLankaMirror, SriLankaGuardian, Paparacigossip9, and LankaWayNews– has been blocked on the media and information ministry’s orders since 6 November, a day after the ministry suddenly announced that news websites with “any content relating to Sri Lanka” needed to register without delay.“We deplore this measure, which reinforces government control over online media,” Reporters Without Borders said. “Several news sites had already been blocked by the government, and now this requirement to register with the information ministry poses an additional serious threat to the already limited online freedom of expression.“We also condemn any attempt to control coverage of the ongoing ‘White Flag’ trial of former army commander Sarath Fonseka or to limit criticism of the government, no matter how virulent, for which journalists have been threatened. The information ministry must lift these blocking orders and rescind this new requirement. And we call on commercial telecom companies to stop blocking sites at the government’s behest.”The announcement that news websites need to register with the media and information ministry and obtain accreditation came on 5 November, shortly after the secretary to the ministry, W.B. Ganegala, had accused certain websites earlier the same day of constantly defaming senior government officials.It is not yet known how news websites are supposed to register or what sanctions they face if they refuse to comply. Some website journalists reportedly went to the ministry and requested registration forms only to discover that no procedures have so far been put in place.The number of blocked sites has risen steadily in recent weeks. They include the Lanka-e-News site, which was blocked at the end of October by state-owned Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) and privately-owned Internet service provider Dialog Axiata PLC without Lanka-e-News being given any explanation. Reporters Without Borders interviewed Lanka-e-News editor Sandaruwan Senadheera at the time (read the interview). The decision to block the site was upheld by a court today.Sri Lanka is classified as a “country under surveillance” in the Reporters Without Borders report on “Enemies of the Internet” and is ranked 158th out of 178 countries in the Reporters Without Borders annual press freedom index. News Sri LankaAsia – Pacific News July 15, 2020 Find out more Follow the news on Sri Lanka Sri LankaAsia – Pacific Sri Lanka: Journalist manhandled by notorious police inspector currently on trialcenter_img Organisation News Sri Lanka: RSF signs joint statement on attacks against human rights defenders, lawyers and journalists Help by sharing this information Receive email alerts July 29, 2020 Find out more News Sri Lanka: tamil reporter held on absurd terrorism charge RSF_en last_img read more

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Bernie Sanders’ Campaign Put Together A Berniechella Festival, And The Lineup Is Solid

first_imgThere’s just something about the Bernie Sanders campaign that brings out the best in musicians. Whether its the upcoming “Get Out And Vote For Bernie” show featuring Kung Fu with Jon Fishman, Oteil Burbridge and more, or any of the past Jon Fishman appearances, or even Sanders’ relationship with Killer Mike, there’s no denying that music has played an integral role in Sanders’ quest for the nomination.The newest announcement from the campaign takes that connection a step further, as Sanders’ campaign will host BERNIECHELLA, a two-day festival event that leads up to the second weekend of Coachella. From April 21-22, groups like Alex Ebert (of Edward Shapre & The Magnetic Zeros), Ozomatli, Grupo La Meta, Moses Sumney, Rodrigo Amarante and Venus & The Moon, as well as DJs Shepard Fairey, Richard Montoya, Allie Teilz, and Zoe Kravitz will all be attendance.The event is free, as organizers will be donating their services to make Berniechella happen. While some might accuse the city and festival of favoring a specific candidate by allowing this to occur, Mayor Steven Hernandez assured people that Hillary Clinton was welcome to throw her own event. “If she wanted to come here and do something we’d be open to that too,” he said.Check out the poster below, and head here for more information.last_img read more

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FIBA U-17: Spanish Embassy Denies Nigerian Team Visas

first_img*As Championship dunks off todayThe 2016 FIBA U-17 World Championship will dunk off today in Spain without Nigeria’s team following the refusal of the Spanish Embassy in Lagos to give the team travelling visas. Shockingly too, the Embassy officials offered no explanation for their action.The Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) had presented every document ranging from travelling insurance, birth certificates, sworn affidavits by the players parents which the Foreign Affairs Ministry endorsed since they are minors as demanded by the embassy but yet the Spaniards denied them visas. Surprisingly, the NBBF all through was working with the sport’s world body, FIBA, and the Local Organising Committee on ground in Spain but in spite of all these, the Spanish Embassy which had promised to issue the visa, started shifting grounds from Thursday to Friday last week before they finally returned the players passports to the protocol officer of the Youth and Sports ministry without visas on them.Meanwhile, the players and their coaches who were aware of the whole rigmarole by the Spanish Embassy were addressed by the NBBF President, Tijjani Umar, yesterday evening and would be released to return to their various homes today.“We are however, going to invite most of them for the Africa U-18 Championship holding later this year,” Umar assured.The U-17 girls tutored by Coach Adeka Daudu qualified from the African Championship held in Madagascar last year and were drawn in Group A with Canada, Latvia and Japan for the World Championship.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

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Standard buys into Russian bank

first_img9 March 2009Standard Bank, Africa’s largest bank by assets, is to acquire a 33% stake in the Troika Dialog Group, the most established and largest independent investment bank in Russia.Standard Bank said in a statement last week that the deal will initially comprise a US$200-million (about R2.1-billion) convertible loan extended by the bank’s international operations to the Troika Dialog Group.This will be followed by the sale of 100% Standard Bank’s existing Russian operations, ZAO Standard Bank, to Troika.“The combined operation will have a capital base in excess of $850-million and will be strongly positioned to compete in the Russian financial services sector and to pursue banking consolidation opportunities in Russia,” Standard Bank said.According to news agency Reuters, the transaction marks the first major foreign investment in the Russian financial sector since the start of the global economic crisis.Emerging market bankingRussia is the third-largest economy amongst global emerging markets and has considerable wealth, while Troika is a brokerage and investment bank that operates across the Commonwealth of Independent States.“It has consistently demonstrated market strength in its core lines of business, namely capital, investment banking, asset management, private equity investments and personal investments and finance,” Standard Bank said.In order to give effect to the strategic partnership, Standard Bank and Troika Dialog plan to enter a relationship agreement which will govern the ongoing shareholder relationship and commercial cooperation between the two groups.Expansion strategy“The investment is aligned with Standard Bank’s strategy to expand its international networks and capabilities and, where appropriate, to find the right partners to support the expansion of these networks,” Standard Bank said.“This transaction enables Standard Bank to have an enhanced access to this large emerging economy, along with a close alliance with a leading Russian company.”The transaction is subject to the approval of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the Russian antitrust authorities and the South African Registrar of Banks.SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publicationor on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

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Invitation: Media tours to showcase South Africa’s competitiveness

first_imgJohannesburg, Thursday 12 November 2015 – Brand South Africa, in collaboration with the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) and other partners, will profile various areas of South Africa’s competitiveness to both Chinese and African media ahead of the Forum for China-Africa Cooperation. FOCAC will be hosted by South Africa from 3-5 December 2015.As part of the build up to FOCAC 2015, Brand South Africa, DIRCO and other partners have selected three days to profile and position South Africa’s competitiveness in the areas of science, technology and archeology; business and investment; as well as arts, culture and heritage.Media are invited to participate in any of the programmes listed hereunder. Space will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.All logistical arrangements will be taken care of by the hosts including Brand South Africa and DIRCO. A more detailed programme will be made available closer to the time.Day 1: Friday 27 NovemberProfiling South Africa’s competitive business environment• Chinese companies based in South Africa• JSEHosted by the Department of Trade and IndustryDay 2: Monday 30 NovemberProfiling South Africa’s science, technology and archaeology• Hartebeesthoek Radio Astronomy Observatory• Interaction with the Square Kilometre Array• Maropeng at the Cradle of HumankindHosted by the National Research FoundationDay 3: Tuesday 1 DecemberProfiling South Africa’s arts, culture and heritage• Soweto• Constitution Hill• and moreHosted by Gauteng TourismPlease RSVP to:Tsabeng [email protected] 371 6810Kelly [email protected] 928 4285last_img read more

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Google News Business Model Under Global Siege

first_imgMassive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… Related Posts Tags:#Google#international#media#Yahoo brian proffitt Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of…center_img Google and other search companies are under siege in various nations from news publishers and their lobbyists trying to establish more control over content. New laws and industry association walk-outs are challenging aggregators’ ability to display excerpts of news stories within search results, which could have far-reaching effects.Google’s Three-Front Battle: Germany, Brazil, FranceGermany: The latest effort to re-assert copyright control of news content is happening in Germany, where a new ancillary copyright bill, Leistungsschutzrecht für Presseverleger, is up for debate in the Bundestag legislative body. The bill, which is supported by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union party, will grant publishers a year-long exclusive license for all publishers’ content – including excerpts, the kind usually displayed in Google News and Yahoo! News within search results. With that license, publishers can choose to withhold content from these results or charge Google and other search engines a fee for including the results.The Leistungsschutzrecht hit Google’s radar in August when it was first proposed, and is the subject of an online petition launched Tuesday from Google Deutschland. The site’s welcoming message warns of the Bundestag’s debate of the new copyright bill.“This would give publishers the right to prohibit search engines and other services from displaying articles within search results or else be subject to payment. For you, it would become much more difficult to find the information you are looking for on the Internet,” the site warns. A short video showing how Google Deutschland has served the German community with news and information in the past decade is also prominently featured (and even English speakers can chuckle over the how-to-spell-that-damn-Iceland-volcano’s-name gag).The official argument for the bill is safeguarding Fair Use of published content, which publishers argue Google and other aggregators are abusing. But it is also likely an attempt by German news companies to build a revenue stream in the wake of the no-paywall decisions many global news publishers made when they first put their news content online. Only a few media companies have been able to create and maintain profitable paywalls – in the U.S., the Wall Street Journal is the best example -and even fewer have been able to successfully add a paywall after initially going with free content  – the New York Times being the prime exception. (For more on the paywall issue, see Newspaper Paywalls Are A Good Thing – Here’s Why.)Brazil: The revenue issue appears to be the key. Google News, which seems to be the primary target of this bill, already has an opt-out policy for publishers who don’t want their content displayed within search results. In October, 154 Brazilian members of the Association of Newspapers opted eout en-masse when they decided that Google should have to pay them for excerpted content.The move appears to be working out for Brazil’s newspapers. The 154 papers involved comprise about 90% of Brazil’s circulation, according to PaidContent, and that could be one reason that the papers’ sites have not lost significant traffic since making the decision. This seems to rebut Google’s big argument why posting headlines and excerpts is good for content providers: that it drives traffic to the news sites.The German publishers may not trust other parties to abide by a blanket opt-out approach – leaving them to rely on legislation. Google’s response is to drum up enough public support among German voters to get the CDU and publishing lobby to back off. If that fails, of course, Google can always turn to the nuclear option: simply stop posting news site results altogether.France: That’s what Google is already doing in France. Gallic lawmakers are urging the search giant to voluntarily pay content providers for search results by the end of the year, or else the French government will consider legislation similar to Germany’s. Instead of playing the petition game, though, Google is threatening to stop posting French news results if the government gets involved. One reason for the combative approach is that France has already been playing hardball with Google by leading the European Commission’s investigation of Google’s search algorithm for possible anti-competitive practices.Playing Chicken On The Information SuperhighwayIt would seem like a no-brainer that content creators should get paid. And indeed, no one is really arguing that. All of these issues surround Fair Use arrangements that say others can use portions of content to illustrate a point or explain the broader arguments made in the original content. It’s the same thing that lets a writer like me quote another media outlet’s content. A little bit, and as long as I explicitly name the source material.But publishers object when someone builds a business model on nothing but Fair Use-derived content, which is what Google and Yahoo! appear to be doing. The publishers argue that in the aggregrate, this transcends Fair Use.But Google has scrupulously avoided directly making money with its News service. There are no ads on Google News pages, though there are ads on main Google search results pages, which can include relevant news articles. Yahoo News does include ads within its service, which bolsters the publishers’ argument.Then there’s the very model of Internet searching itself. Former Google staffer Matthew Carpenter-Arevalo outlines the point quite succinctly: The Senior Community Manager, Global Shapers Americas at the World Economic Forum, Carpenter-Arevalo calls the disagreement between the French media and Google a “high stakes game of chicken” on the information superhighway.Carpenter-Arevalo argues that the publishers’ real beef with Google and other search engines is that these services level the readership playing field in a new way. The major newspaper Le Monde, for instance, enjoys a very rich cultural and economic place in French society, right down to prim-o real estate in the newsstands on the street.“Contrast to the online world and in Google’s eyes Le Monde is but one of an innumerable and uncountable chattering voices providing information about what’s going on in France. Of course Google’s algorithm does recognize Le Monde‘s stature and rewards it accordingly and handsomely by sending millions, if not billions of clicks its way every year,” Carpenter-Arevalo writes. “Nevertheless, unlike the newsstand where the probability you buy Le Monde may be 1 in 4, on the Internet the chance you may read Le Monde may be 1 in 1000, such are the exponential ratios in the world of abundance.”In that kind of environment, he continues, Le Monde and other big players in the media world can’t help but feel threatened. This is why they believe they should be paid for the privilege of posting their content anywhere, including search results. The Loss Of NeutralityIf Google and the publishers can’t reach some kind of payment agreement, Google may indeed yank news sites’ results in the countries in question. If Brazil is any indication, that may not hurt either side in the short term. But this legistlation – and even the kerfuffle itself – could be the start of a trend where media sites content is increasingly unavailable on Google’s search results. That could make searching on Google a less rich experience and open opportunities for competitors like Yahoo and Bing grab market share by making their own licensing deals. Google’s sweet “we farm the Internet for free” days may soon come to an end.The war between news publishers and search engines could have collateral damage as well. For users, search results might no longer be truly neutral, but rather based on which media outlet was licensed to appear in which search engine’s results. It’s hard to see how that helps anyone.Image courtesy of Shutterstock. 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now IT + Project Management: A Love Affairlast_img read more

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How To Watch President Obama’s 2013 State Of The Union Address Online

first_img5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout john paul titlow 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App Unless you’re Tim Cook, you probably don’t have a front row seat lined up for President Obama’s State of the Union (SOTU) address on Tuesday night. That’s okay though, because the ever-more-interactive speech is best experienced online, where it will be accompanied by more context and conversation than in any other medium. When it comes to tuning in online, this won’t be anything like the Summer Olympics. There will be plenty of free livestreaming options across a variety of devices, as well as any number of social chats, on-camera analyses and interactive features from media outlets, journalists and the White House itself. Livestreaming The State Of The Union AddressThe White House will not only be live-streaming President Obama’s speech Tuesday night, but it will be displaying relevant charts and data in sync with whatever the President happens to be talking about. The White House’s “enhanced livestream” begins at 9pm Eastern Time (6pm Pacific Time) and will be followed by a live panel discussion with policy experts. All of this will be available on the White House’s website, as well as its official iOS and Android apps. If the White House stream freezes up right as your SOTU drinking game is just getting rowdy, you can always jump over to C-SPAN.com, which will be streaming the speech as well. On C-SPAN, you can also compare Obama’s fourth State of the Union with archived addresses from the past. The C-SPAN folks have written transcripts dating back to Franklin Delano Roosevelet and archived videos as far back as Ronald Reagan’s fourth State of the Union address in 1984. For even more historical analysis, check out Al Jazeera’s interactive tool comparing Obama’s past State of the Union speeches. And if all of those options aren’t enough, CNN, Wall Street Journal, YouTube and HuffPost Live will also be live streaming the speech. The State Of The Union Is… InteractiveThese days, it’s pretty much a given that any big news or entertainment event is the “most interactive” instance of that event that’s ever happened. That’s what progress is all about.The State of the Union is no exception, and not just because people are increasingly connected and more prone to live-tweet TV events in general. The famously tech-savvy Obama administration has been proactive about baking interactive elements into the speech and encouraging online participation. On Twitter, the White House has officially endorsed the #SOTU hashtag and is encouraging users to use #WHChat to submit questions to on-air policy experts after Obama’s speech. The administration will also be actively maintaining conversations with citizens on Facebook and Google+. Meanwhile, Republicans will be live-critiquing Obama’s speech on the official GOP website and encouraging rank-and-file conservatives to do the same over various social channels. Media outlets are running their own interactive features during the speech as well. Huffpost Live, for example, will be doing its usual thing, live-streaming the speech and post-speech reactions while inviting viewers to join on-air discussions and live chats.  Tags:#Barack Obama#cord cutters#livestreaming#online video#politics#television center_img Related Posts 9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People…last_img read more

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Justin Langer to take temporary charge of Australia T20 team

first_imgFormer opening batsman Justin Langer is to take control of Australia’s Twenty20 team for a second time, on a temporary basis, in February.Langer will run the T20 side for three games against Sri Lanka while head coach Darren Lehmann is in India preparing for a four-match Test series.The 46-year-old did a similar temporary job for a triangular one-day tournament in the West Indies earlier this year while Lehmann was taking a break.”I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of working with the national side in the Caribbean … so I am excited and very grateful to get this opportunity to do it again,” Langer said in a Cricket Australia statement. (Mike Hussey may become Australia’s T20 team coach: Reports)”The advantage myself and the players will have is that the series will come just over two weeks after the … Big Bash League wraps up so we should all still be in Twenty20 mode.”And with several senior players set to be in India ahead of the test series, it really will give players an added incentive to perform.”The three-match T20 series begins on Feb. 17 in Melbourne, with a game in Geelong on Feb. 19 before the final fixture in Adelaide on Feb. 22.Australia’s first Test against India in Pune begins on Feb. 23.last_img read more

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UGC denies eminence tag to Jadavpur University over fund sharing issue

first_imgNew Delhi: In a major setback to Jadavpur University, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has denied the “Institute of Eminence (IoE)” status to West Bengal’s university citing the reason that the IoE tag would only be given if the state government agrees to allocate up to 50 per cent fund of their share for the development of the institute.Another state university that has been denied IoE tag is Anna University, Chennai under the Tamil Nandu government. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’Other universities that have been denied the prestigious IoE tag include Azim Premji University, Indian Institute of Public Health, Gandhinagar, KREA University, which has former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan as governing council advisor and Mahindra group’s chairman Mahindra Group as its governing council member. According to the official communiqué, besides Jio Institute, Bharti of Satya Bharti Foundation has been selected by the UGC for the grant of eminence tag under the Greenfield category. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KUnder the scheme, the government will develop 20 institutes comprising of 10 government institutions and 10 private varsities of the world-class level. The Centre will allocate Rs 1,000 crore per institute selected under public institutions category over a period of five years for the overall development of the institute, while institutes selected under private institutions category will not get any fund from the government. The government institutes that have been selected for eminence tag include IIT Bombay, IIT Delhi, IISC Bangalore, IIT Madras, IIT Kharagpur, Delhi University, University of Hyderabad, BHU, Varanasi. The private universities that the UGC has asked the HRD ministry to grant IoE tag include the OP Jindal University in Haryana, Shiv Nadar University in Uttar Pradesh, Jamia Hamdard in New Delhi, VIT Vellore, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham in Bengaluru, Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology in Bhubaneswar and Bharti of Satya Bharti Foundation. Other private institutes that were selected for the eminence tag in the first round of scrutiny include BITS Pilani, Rajasthan, Manipal Academy of Higher Education and Jio Institute. The decisions over the selection of all 20 institutes were taken by the UGC at a meeting on Friday. In response to queries over denial of the IoE tag to some well-known private universities, a senior official said, “The status has been granted to only those institutes that have been ranked at different levels and those that have not been ranked; they have been kept out as they don’t meet the eligibility criteria.” The colleges had figured in the list of 15 public and 15 private institutes that the Empowered Expert Committee (EEC), headed by former chief election commissioner N Gopalaswami, had recommended for the IoE tag. “In case of the private institutions proposed as IoE, there will be no financial support, but they will be entitled to more autonomy as a special category deemed university,” an official release said. “The Greenfield institutions would get 3 year period to establish and operationalise the institution, and thereafter, EEC will consider giving IoE status to such institutions,” the release further added. The government’s efforts to create world-class universities with the IoE tag had led to the controversy last July when the status was awarded to Reliance Foundation’s Jio Institute, which is yet to be built.last_img read more

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The Warriors Are Especially Hard To Handle After A Loss

The Warriors Are Especially Hard To Handle After A Loss

The Golden State Warriors didn’t lose very often this year, but when they did, the Dubs tended to bounce back with a vengeance. Following the 15 losses for which we know the next game’s outcome1So, not counting the Warriors’ loss in Game 5 of the NBA Finals. (including the playoffs), Golden State went 14-1, which was not only the NBA’s best record coming off a defeat, but also 24 points of winning percentage better than a statistical power-rating such as our Elo method would predict. (That was also tops in the NBA.) As terrifying as the Warriors are in general, they’re ever so much scarier still after a loss. That’s the version of Golden State the Cavaliers will tangle with Thursday night in Game 6 of the NBA Finals. As usual, LeBron James will have his work cut out for him.The good news for Cleveland: The game will be played at Quicken Loans Arena. Putting aside everything else, that means the Cavs should probably be favored to force Game 7. The bad news: Golden State’s not-so-secret weapon, Draymond Green, is coming back from his suspension.And less obvious on Cleveland’s bad-news front — but perhaps equally important — is how much the Cavs relied on an uncharacteristically amazing Kyrie Irving performance in Game 5. According to Game Score (John Hollinger’s rough estimate of a player’s performance in a given outing), Irving’s 33.2 mark easily represented his best game of the 2015-16 season, and was more than double his usual per-game output.In his career, whenever Irving has notched a Game Score of at least 25 — the benchmark of a very good outing — his output dipped to a Game Score of 18.9 in the very next game on average. And Irving’s Game 5 performance wasn’t just very good — it was transcendent. In fact, it was so far outside his usual production that he isn’t likely to approach it again: VIDEO: LeBron’s Game 5 performance was historically greatOur sports podcast Hot Takedown talks about the Cavs’ comeback chances. Irving is, by nature, on the streaky side as far as NBA players go — the standard deviation of his Game Scores was 19th largest among 126 qualified players this season.2We’re defining those as players who played at least 50 games and averaged a Game Score of at least 8.0 per game. (Stephen Curry, believe it or not, is the most “streaky” player, in terms of standard deviation in his Game Score — though his variance runs from “extremely great” to “closer to league average.” On the other end, Jonas Valanciunas and DeAndre Jordan ranked as the most “consistent” players among those performing at league-average or better.) So although Irving is capable of putting up huge numbers, as in Game 5, it also takes something fluky, like a hot night of unsustainable shooting, to pull it off.Speaking of which, Irving’s Game 5 featured the second-best “shot-making” performance of the entire playoffs,3Minimum 20 field goal attempts. with Kyrie hitting for an effective field goal percentage (eFG%) 34.1 points higher than we’d expect based on the location and defensive pressure applied to his shots. During the regular season, Irving outshot expectations by only 1.9 points of eFG%, and shot-making tends to regress heavily to the mean from game to game.To stave off elimination, the Cavs might need Irving to buck those odds. That 33.2 Game Score represented the best performance by a LeBron teammate all season; Irving also owns five more of the top 10, and 12 more of the top 25. LeBron chronically seems in need of strong supporting performances from his teammates, and if Irving doesn’t supply that again, it’s not clear who will — particularly with Kevin Love limited (to say the least) after suffering a concussion earlier in the finals.In other words, a not-insignificant portion of the Cavs’ Game 6 hopes are resting on a repeat performance from a streaky player. When it comes to Cleveland sports, crazier things have happened. Perhaps this time, the Cavs will come out ahead in the exchange. read more

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