81994Knicks+8.1 Best defensive rating relative to NBA average, single seasons since 1950-51 11964Celtics+10.8 YEARTEAMRELATIVE DEFENSE 32004Spurs+8.8 122016Spurs+7.4 21965Celtics+9.5 61962Celtics+8.5 Defensive rating is points allowed per 100 possessionsSource: BASKETBALL-REFERENCE 71993Knicks+8.3 91961Celtics+7.6 51963Celtics+8.5 112004Pistons+7.5 101962Lakers+7.6 42008Celtics+8.6 In terms of points allowed per 100 possessions, San Antonio gave up just 99.0, which was 12th-best in NBA history and 7.4 points better than the league average. In other words, reigning two-time Defensive Player of the Year Kawhi Leonard is leading a unit in hailing range of the string of ’60s-era Celtics teams led by Bill Russell, and right there with the teams that fill out the top 10 all time.Given the Spurs’ dominance this season, it’s no surprise that Durant and Westbrook have never faced a defense like San Antonio’s in their playoff careers. Coming into this series, the toughest D that either has faced belonged to the 2013 Memphis Grizzlies (whose 100.3 defensive rating was 5.6 points/100 better than league average), but that defense gave up 1.9 fewer points per 100 possessions than the 2016 Spurs — more than the difference between the third-ranked Pacers and 10th-ranked Cavs this season. After a less-than-exciting first round in the playoffs, NBA fans can look forward, finally, to sinking their teeth into an epic Spurs-Thunder matchup in round two. OKC’s Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are two of the best offensive talents in the game, and they’re facing down a 67-win Spurs team with a historically great defense. If there’s good news for the Thunder, however, it’s that Westbrook and Durant have scored just as efficiently against tough defenses in the playoffs as they have against weaker ones. And it may be because of their collective ability to knock down difficult shots.Durant, for instance, frequently knocks down shots few other players can consistently make. As a result, he ranks as the NBA’s third-best shotmaker1For players attempting 500 shots or more in the 2015-16 season. according to quantified shot quality (qSQ), a new SportVU-based statistic that measures the difficulty of each shot by accounting for where the shot was taken, the proximity of the defender and other variables. As a team, the Thunder were the fourth-best shot-making squad, adjusted for the quality of their looks. They don’t always take good shots — as an out-of-control Dion Waiters drive, or a pull-up three-pointer by Westbrook attests — but they’re still better than most at making them.The Spurs are the opposite: Their defense is predicated on forcing opponents to take bad shots. As a team, San Antonio ranked as the second-best defense, behind Charlotte, in terms of suppressing their opponents’ qSQ. Part of this is due to Leonard’s relentless perimeter defense; wily veterans such as Tim Duncan and Tony Parker also offset their waning athleticism with smart positioning to cut off easy paths to the basket.However, the Spurs’ problem is that they only have one Leonard to put on OKC’s two elite scorers. During the regular season, when Leonard matched up against Durant on defense, KD scored 38 points per 100 team possessions; but when Kawhi guarded Westbrook, he held him to only 25 points per 100 team possessions. If Westbrook faces Danny Green or Tony Parker instead, his scoring rate rises to 48 and 33 per 100 team possessions, respectively. So despite San Antonio’s dominant D, individual defensive matchups will be worth keeping an eye on.Whomever Leonard and Westbrook eventually match up against, this series is also notable for both players’ emergence as superstars over the past few seasons. According to Basketball-Reference’s Box Plus-Minus metric — which estimates a player’s contribution to his team’s scoring margin while on the floor — Leonard and Westbrook rank as Nos. 1 and 3, respectively, during the playoffs (sandwiched in between is poor Chris Paul), after ranking fourth and second (amidst Steph Curry and LeBron James) during the regular season. With Paul and Curry on ice,2Curry may return later in the playoffs. there’s an easy case to be made that this Spurs-Thunder series features two of the three best players remaining in these playoffs — and that’s without even considering Durant’s place among the league’s elite.It’s just one of the many twists adding intrigue to what should be a must-watch series. We knew the Western Conference’s second round would offer some of the best matchups of the entire playoffs, and Spurs-Thunder is shaping up to be the best of them all.Check out our latest NBA predictions.read more
Theresa DiMasiTheresa DiMasi has announced her departure from her role as VP head of content and editor-in-chief of Weight Watchers, saying that it was “time for a change.” During DiMasi’s tenure with the brand, she headed content for Weight Watchers digital platforms, as well as its print magazines and books, and was responsible for creating the editorial content vision across both U.S. and international markets.Prior to this role, DiMasi served as the founding editor-in-chief of Brides.com, and before that as managing editor of Epicurious.com, Concierge.com, Style.com, MenStyle.com, and YM.com, earning eight Webby awards within three years. Weight Watchers has not yet announced her successor.Hearst has tapped Beth Buehler as VP of operations, a new role at the company. Buehler was one of a handful of execs to join Hearst through its acquisition of Rodale, where she had served as COO since 2016. Buehler’s initial role at Hearst was ambiguous; an announcement shortly after the Rodale acquisition was finalized stated only that she would oversee “strategic integration as the companies are brought together.”Starting next week, Buehler will report to Hearst Corp. COO Mark Aldam, who said in a statement that “Beth’s experience leading operations and strategy across business functions will be instrumental in our efforts to colalborate more effectively … and bring more value to each of our operating teams.”Larry MlawskiTrusted Media Brands has tapped Larry Mlawski for the new role of VP, revenue operations, starting on July 3. He will report directly to CFO Zach Friedman and will be based in New York City.Mlawski most recently held the title of global programmatic partnerships and operations lead at Linkedin where he was responsible for guiding the process, revenue and delivery programs for the global advertising display business. Friedman says that Mlawski will bring “tremendous experience to the team, especially in his ability and knowledge of using audience based products and platforms to drive revenue growth.” The new owners of Turf magazine, Group C Media, Inc., have announced plans to relaunch the B2B publication and have made two editorial hires in order to lead the project. Ronnie Hall is rejoining the publication in his former role of editor-at-large and Dan Ulrich was made publisher of Turf/LawnSite Network. Being reintroduced as a special supplement in the October 2018 issue of Facility Executive magazine, Turf is set for an expansion into a standalone quarterly print publication in 2019. Ronnie HallHall has over three decades of experience in editorial work at green industry B2B publications, including serving as editor-at-large and editor-in-chief of Turf, and before that holding various editorial positions at Landscape Management, Lawn Care Industry and Athletic Turf.Ulrich comes from LawnSite Network where he held the role of senior brand manager. In his new role, he will take charge of shaping the print and digital direction of Turf, as well as developing new initiatives and working with clients to provide marketing solutions.Jada Gomez was tapped as executive editor of Bustle, where she will oversee lifestyle, books and entertainment. Starting July 9, she will report to managing editor Amanda Chan. Gomez is joining the brand from Cassius where she served as deputy editor in charge of managing daily editorial coverage of entertainment and pop culture. Music media publisher Future has made two editorial appointments to its Guitar World and Guitar Player publications this week. Damian Fanelli was promoted to editor of Guitar World from his position as online managing editor, where he was responsible for growing the brand’s Facebook following from 68,000 to over one million in just over a year. Christopher Scapelliti is taking on the role of editor of Guitar Player, and will be responsible for revamping the magazine’s content and design by including artist features, in-depth tutorials and more exploration of guitar equipment. Lauretta CharltonThe New Yorker’s Lauretta Charlton is leaving her post as assistant news editor to join the New York Times as editor of the Race/Related team, which works across departments to cover issues involving race. In her former role, Charlton helped to develop and lead features such as The Current, The New Yorker Recommends, and the Listening Booth.Jessica Sabbath was promoted to managing editor of Virginia Business, succeeding Paula Squires who retired earlier this year. Having been with the magazine since 2006, Sabbath most recently served as senior editor and before that as special projects editor. Steve Walsh was appointed as managing editor of CoStar, a B2B real estate news operation, this week, and will share editorial duties with Tim Trainor, who was the former leader of CoStar’s news operation until April. Walsh joins the brand from CQ Roll Call where he was a securities editor.Bloomberg News has made several recent editorial hires to its economics team: Shawn Donnan is joining the team in August as a senior reporter covering world trade and globalization. Jenny Leonard started last month with Bloomberg as a trade reporter in Washington.Chang Shu is taking on the position of chief Asia economist.Tim Mahedy was tapped as an economist covering U.S. and Canada.Simone Stolzoff started as a tech reporter for Quartz in San Francisco this week. He will be tasked with covering automation, tech ethics and the culture of Silicon Valley.Bankrate.com’s chief content officer, Lou Ferrara was named chief creative and content officer of Circa.Joe Keohane joined Medium as a features editor this week where he will edit longform features, essays and more.Michael Cahill was appointed to head of audience for Inverse from his position of growth strategy and operations at Greatist. Dawn OstroffCondé Nast Entertainment’s Dawn Ostroff is leaving her post as president and is heading to Spotify to take on the role of chief content officer. In her new position, Ostroff will lead Spotify’s content partnerships across multiple platforms including music, audio and video, and will oversee several departments in their dealings of editorial, video, creator services and content operations. Ostroff is succeeding Stefan Blom who departed in January.Having been with CNE since its launch in 2011, Ostroff was responsible for guiding the publisher’s 19 brands as they expanded into film, television and in new aspects of digital media. Prior to Condé, she held the served as president at the CW, where she lead a primetime slate responsible for programs like “Gossip Girl,” “One Tree Hill” and other popular titles. Here are the rest of this week’s people on the move…read more
Share your voice Now playing: Watch this: Netflix may have finally broken into the last area of Hollywood it has yet to conquer: the Oscars. On Sunday, Netflix won multiple Oscars as the awards ceremony stretched on, with Alfonso Cuarón winning for Roma’s directing and its cinematography, and Roma itself winning for foreign language film. Netflix’s Period. End of Sentence also won in the documentary short category. But Roma fell short of the ultimate prize, a best picture Oscar. Of Netflix’s 15 nominations, other contenders bested the streaming giant in different categories, including Roma’s nominations for leading actress, supporting actress, production design, sound editing, sound mixing and original screenplay, as well as The Ballad of Buster Scruggs’ nominations for costume design, original song and adapted screenplay. Netflix had a second nominee, End Game, in the documentary short category that lost out to its Period. End of Sentence. Comments Tags Last year, Amazon beat Netflix to become the first streaming service to be nominated for a best picture Oscar, for Manchester by the Sea. Though the bleak film won statues for best actor and best original screenplay, it didn’t cinch the best picture title — leaving that milestone untouched for another streamer. The Oscars haven’t totally overlooked Netflix. Its documentaries have been perennial nominees. The company also won an Oscar for documentary short film in 2017 for The White Helmets, about volunteer rescue workers in bomb-ravaged Syria, and it took home a feature-film documentary Oscar last year for Icarus, about doping among competitive cyclists. And Mudbound, a period drama, racked up four nominations last year. (It won none.)But that pales in comparison to Netflix’s Emmys track record for TV programming. Netflix tied juggernaut HBO for the most Emmy wins last year, and it beat HBO in the number of nominations for the first time. First published on Feb. 24 at 5:47 p.m. PT. Updates on Feb. 24 at 6:58 p.m. PT; 7:30 p.m. PT; 8:09 p.m. PT; and 8:18 p.m. PT; and Feb. 25 at 9:18 a.m. PT: Adds results and statement from Netflix executive. 42 Photos Netflix hauled in Oscars but couldn’t quite land best… 4 Oscars 2019 Netflix 2:06 “Against all the odds, a black-and-white Spanish-language film with previously little-known talent has been embraced by the Academy across three categories including Best Foreign Film and Best Director — as it was by audiences the world over,” Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s head of content, said in a statement. He also congratulated the creators of Period for bringing attention to the “important but underreported issue” of how taboos about menstruation limit opportunities for women and girls. Even without a best picture Oscar, the victories marked a big night for Netflix. Roma, the black-and-white period piece hailed as Cuarón’s masterpiece, was nominated in 10 categories, tying with The Favourite for the most nominations this year, and it won three in high-profile categories. Netflix was relying on Roma, which won the Golden Globe for best foreign language motion picture and a Bafta for best film, to finally earn it Oscar prestige. The wins burnish Netflix’s credibility as a go-to place for top-tier original films. While Netflix is known for television-award darlings like The Crown or Master of None, the streaming service’s films have gotten the cold shoulder from the Oscars in the past. As Netflix hikes prices higher this year to offset its eye-popping spending on content, its rep as a home for prestigious films is key to keeping membership growing and drawing in top talent. TV and Movies Digital Media 40 films (and a tech company) you didn’t know won Oscarsread more
Hero MotoCorp seems to be working hard on launching a rival to Honda Motor Co.’s best-selling scooter Activa, as it struggles with slowing demand in the motorcycle segment.To counter the stiff competition from former partner Honda, India’s largest two-wheeler maker is expediting its work on a rival to Activa, Live Mint reported quoting sources close to the matter.The new launch, a 110cc full metal body unisex scooter, is reported to be undergoing rigorous trials, as the company plans to release it for sale by July this year.The features include external fuel filling, telescopic front suspension, tubeless tyres, digi-analogue console, integrated braking system, remote-controlled seat and fuel lid opening, a USB mobile charging unit and a light in the under-seat storage.However, the new scooter did not feature in the models displayed by the company at the 2014 Auto Expo in Delhi due to competitive reasons, according to another source close to the development.”They want to take Honda by surprise,” the source noted. After the release of Acitva’s rival, the company is expected to introduce another scooter Dash, one of three new scooters it showcased at Auto Expo in Delhi. The other two models are Dare and ZIR.”While the new range of motorcycles, including the 250cc sports bike, were originally scheduled to be launched in the first half of 2015, the company wants to hold them back for some time,” said a person familiar with the development.Sales are motorcycles across the country have been slowing due to subdued demand from rural consumers, as their incomes are hit by unseasonal rains.”Going forward, Hero will increase focus on scooters, which has very much become an urban phenomenon. There will be more variants of Pleasure and Maestro,” said one of the sources.While scooters occupied a 58.68% share of Honda’s total sales in 2014-15, Hero’s scooter sales accounted for 12% of its overall sales.read more
BNP Chairperson Khaleda ZiaA Dhaka court on Thursday fixed 25, 26 February for the next hearing of Zia Charitable Trust graft case against BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia and three other accused, reports UNB.Judge Md Akhteruzzaman of Dhaka Special Court-5 fixed the date for placing arguments of lawyer of accused Ziaul Islam Munna and Md Aminul Islam.BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia was present during the hearing.On 8 August 2011, the Anti-Corruption Commission filed the Zia Charitable Trust graft case with Tejgaon police station accusing four people, including Khaleda Zia, of abusing power in raising funds for the trust from unknown sources.