Heading into the weekend, the young NBA season’s three most impressive overachievers were the Orlando Magic, the Indiana Pacers and the Detroit Pistons, each of whom were on track for winning records despite what were projected to be a trio of losing seasons. Hot starts can fade fast, though: The Magic and Pacers have gone a combined 0-4 since Friday, losing by a total of 56 points as Orlando’s shooting went cold and Indy’s defense collapsed.Detroit, however, has kept on winning. After handling the Bucks and Kings at home (not to mention managing a road win over the Warriors two Sundays ago), the Pistons are now 7-3 on the season, good for second-best in the East — and there’s evidence they might have done it despite being slightly unlucky along the way. Is it possible that Stan Van Gundy’s shambolic plan is finally coming together?The 2016-17 Pistons were a solid defensive team in desperate need of some spark at the other end of the floor. Whatever offensive promise Andre Drummond (ostensibly the team’s star, and certainly its highest-paid player) flashed early in his career seemed to have been a mirage; the attack sputtered to a halt whenever high-usage point guard Reggie Jackson set foot on the court; and the team generally hoisted way too many inefficient shots and not enough 3s. Detroit needed an offensive resurgence if it hoped to achieve its second winning season in the last decade, though it wasn’t clear where that breakthrough was going to come from.The Pistons did some offseason rearranging, like any team. They let Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Aron Baynes walk in free agency, traded midrange scorer Marcus Morris to Boston for Avery Bradley, signed Anthony Tolliver and Langston Galloway, and drafted Duke’s Luke Kennard with the 12th overall pick. Jackson was going to be healthy again, and former No. 8 overall pick Stanley Johnson would have another year of much-needed development under his belt. But this was far from a total teardown; Detroit’s existing talent would also need to play much better in order to keep Van Gundy’s coach/exec seat from spontaneously combusting.And so far, the talent has delivered. Drummond has been one of the most improved players in the league this season, upping his true shooting percentage, assist rate, rebound rate and Box Plus/Minus at both ends of the floor. He’s back to taking 68 percent of his shots within 3 feet of the rim (last year that number had dipped to a career-low 49 percent), wreaking more havoc on putbacks and basket cuts instead of reprising the plodding, inefficient, post-heavy offensive role he played last year.And although it’s unrealistic to expect Drummond to keep hitting 75 percent from the free-throw line (considering he began the year with a 38.1 percent career rate), it’s likely that he has improved there to some extent — the odds of a “true” 38 percent shooter making 30 of his first 40 free throws are about 1 in 459,000. Maybe his new form at the line really is working.Drummond isn’t the only Piston holdover playing significantly better ball this year. Jackson has bounced back from his miserable 2016-17 with superior numbers nearly across the board, and his plus/minus impact finally befits a player of his salary and reputation. He and Ish Smith are at last the effective point guard platoon the team expected to get from them going into last season. Forward Tobias Harris has continued to refine his new-school spin on the classic Van Gundy stretch four. Meanwhile, Johnson has taken an encouraging leap forward from his first two NBA seasons, when he was one of the league’s worst regular players.1According to Box Plus/Minus. He still isn’t burning up the box score (averaging 8.5 points and 3.2 rebounds per game), but Johnson is at least making enough shots to space the floor and play his role with an acceptable level of efficiency.And as a whole, Detroit is playing a more efficient brand of basketball. A year ago, the Pistons took the league’s second-most midrange shots per game — trailing only the Carmelo Anthony-led Knicks — and the fifth-fewest 3-point shots per game. This season, they’re down to 18th in midrange tries per game and up to 17th in attempted 3s per game. After generating the worst shot quality in basketball last season (according to Second Spectrum), they’ve risen to 17th this year, while making just about as many shots as they deserve to have made. And on defense, Second Spectrum’s tracking data indicates that Detroit is forcing the third-most-difficult set of shots in the league — and that the Pistons’ 14th-place defensive ranking is mainly a result of opponents hitting more shots than they should have (no team in the league has been unluckier in this respect), a trend that ought to reverse itself as the season goes on.Given all that, these Pistons might have the most staying power of any early surprise team. Ten games in is still pretty early in the season, but we learn a lot about basketball teams in a short amount of time. Since the league last expanded in 2004, teams that start the season 7-3 tend to go on to win about 50 times per 82 games. And even those who finished below .500 the previous year — like Detroit did last season — ended up winning roughly 45 games on average.Although the East is apparently in flux, it’s still probably premature to suggest the Pistons are poised to make a deep playoff run this season. But for a franchise that has made the playoffs just once in the last eight seasons, even a return to the postseason would represent a successful campaign. And based on the way these Pistons have started off, they’re well on their way.
Sasha Foo July 10, 2018 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) – There’s a lot of construction activity in downtown San Diego, but who are the people who will be living in the new apartment complexes with their sweeping views of the city?From the East Village to Little Italy, rent levels are soaring, exceeding the amount that many people pay each month for a home mortgage. In Litle Italy, an upscale complex called “Vici” is nearing completion. Studios lease for $2,100 and the rent for a one bedroom unit starts at just over $3,000. It’s not just in the downtown area, where rents are rising.All across San Diego county, the price of rental housing is going up. According to a survey by MarketPointe Realty Advisors, rent over a one year period from March 2017 to March 2018 rose by 20%. Since 2015, MarketPointe said rents in the county soared by a whopping 20%. Real estate analyst Gary London said the average rent on a one bedroom in the county is just under $2,000.A one bedroom in the downtown area is renting on average for $2,300. London said rents will continue to rise because of the short supply of housing. Older apartments may be more affordable for lower and middle income families. Yet, tenants rights organizer Rafael Bautista said landlords at older properties are also hiking rents.At the Village Apartments in Linda Vista, the management had been hiking rent by as much as $200 a year, even though some units had mold, leaks and were in substandard condition. Bautista who helped the tenants protest the conditions and the steep rent increases said the property owner eventually agreed to make repairs and hold off on rent hikes. Bautista said he would like to see rent control, as a means of keeping housing costs more reasonable.This November, California voters will decide if a 1995 state law that restricts rent control should be repealed. San Diego is one of the few big cities in California that doesn’t have rent control. Even if the proposition passes, it would still be up to local lawmakers to pass a rent control ordinance. Opponents of rent control don’t believe new restrictions will ease rental prices, and might even tighten housing supply.At this point in time, London said we are building just a third of what the market needs. One of the most surprising figures; in a county of more than 3 million people, there are only 18 new apartment projects being built this year, which will produce about 5,000 new units. London said we need to set more aggressive housing targets and help developers build projects more quickly by reducing the time and costs of getting permits. What’s behind San Diego County’s record breaking rents? Categories: California News, Local San Diego News, Politics FacebookTwitter Sasha Foo, Posted: July 10, 2018 Updated: 7:55 PM
Kolkata: Several fishes were found dead floating on the water in the Santragachi Jheel (water body) in Howrah on Monday morning.The dead fishes were spotted by some people who had come beside the water body for a morning walk. Santragachi Jheel, which is a haven for migratory birds during the winters, covers an area of 32 acres. ” I saw that the water of the jheel was rising up . Initially I thought that it was an earthquake but when I went closer to the water I was surprised to find several dead fishes floating on the water and a bad smell was emanating from the lake,” Bijoy Sarkar, a local resident said. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataWithin a few minutes the place was crowded with people who got busy in picking up the fishes from the water body and they took it to their houses. “The water body has been in utter neglect for quite sometime and hyacinth has filled it up. It seems that water pollution has led to the death of the fishes,” an environmentalist residing in the area said. The environmentalists feared that if the fishes died due to poisoning then consumption of these fishes may cause serious health hazards . Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateBijin Krishna, Commissioner of Howrah Municipal Corporation, said that an enquiry will be held to probe the cause of death of fishes. “The state Fisheries department has also been informed,” he added. It may be mentioned that birds from North America, Australia come during the winter. Hundreds of people from Kolkata and its neighbourhood visit the water body during the winter. Photographers and ornithologists from all over the country come to the area during winter to have a glimpse of the rare birds. In the past few years, the place has become a tourist destination during the winter. The National Green Tribunal has declared the area as “silence zone” which is close to Santragachi railway station.