- No Curry, No Problem: Warriors ground Pelicans in Game 1
- Payton’s place: Saints head coach follows familiar playbook in Saints draft room in 2018
- Payton recaps 2018 draft class
- What kind of Jazz Fester are you?
Posted: 28 Apr 2018 10:56 PM PDT
Without Steph Curry in game one, it was supposed to be much more difficult for the Warriors to defeat the Pelicans.
Draymond Green recorded a triple double, scoring 16 points, grabbing 15 rebounds, and handing out 11 assists in a 123-101 Golden State rout of New Orleans in game one of their Western Conference semifinal series Saturday night.
The New Orleans win streak ended at 9 games. Their last defeat was Sunday April 1st at home to Oklahoma City.
“This didn’t go as planned,” said Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry.
Anthony Davis, facing double teams most of the night, scored 21 points. The Pelicans shot only 43.8 percent from the field.
Golden State out-rebounded New Orleans 57-42. Klay Thompson scored 27 points for the Warriors. Kevin Durant added 26.
The game was essentially over when the Warriors outscored New Orleans 41-21 in the second quarter.
Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said it was very likely that Curry, a two time NBA MVP, will play in game two.
Game two is Tuesday night at Golden State. Game three is Friday night in New Orleans. Game four Sunday afternoon will tip off at Smoothie King Center at 2:30 pm.
Game four will be televised live on WGNO.
Posted: 28 Apr 2018 07:27 PM PDT
Since 2006, and the arrival of Saints head coach Sean Payton, there are clues as to where and how New Orleans would upgrade its talent.
For the third time in eight years, the Saints made a big move in the first round.
In 2011, the club traded a second round pick and a future first rounder to New England to get back in the first round and select Alabama running back Mark Ingram.
Three years later, the Saints shipped first and third round picks to Arizona to move up in the first to select Oregon State wide receiver Brandin Cooks.
And, on Thursday, the Saints made another bold move, trading a 2019 first round pick and a 5th round choice to Green Bay to move up 13 spots and select defensive end Marcus Davenport of Texas-San Antonio.
The trade is a good one if Davenport eventually makes the Pro Bowl and climbs quickly on the Saints all-time sacks chart.
But, in the short term, the Saints should hope that Davenport produces like Takk McKinley did in his rookie year in Atlanta. McKinley was the 26th pick by the Falcons in the 2017 draft.
And, his first year was very solid. He had 6 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and a fumble recovery.
Davenport also appears to be a great fit in the club's locker room.
In Dallas Thursday night, Davenport said the following, in a very understated but solid tone.
"They (the Saints) put a lot of faith in me. I am going to do everything I can to prove them right."
In round three, Tre'Quan Smith fits the Sean Payton profile. That is, tall receivers.
Smith stands 6 foot 2 inches tall. If he's the club's third receiver, he will fit in perfectly with two other very big targets, Michael Thomas and Cameron Meredith.
Fourth round Rick Leonard, offensive tackle from Florida State, appears to be a huge reach.
Let's hope Leonard is another Saints late round pick at tackle that overachieves. Think Jermon Bushrod and Zach Strief.
Let's hope he is not another Tavon Rooks, a 6th rounder from Kansas State in the 2014 draft, who couldn't make the club.
Rooks was struggling to stay in the NFL, before a heart condition ended his football career in 2015.
Another Payton staple is defensive backs.
A coach who loves to throw the football, understands the need for quality pass defenders. Since 2013, Payton and the Saints have drafted 8 defensive backs, including using a 5th round pick this weekend on Wisconsin safety Natrell Jamerson and a 6th round pick on Boston College cornerback Kamrin Moore.
The selection of Louisiana Tech running back Boston Scott with the second of two 6th round picks, makes sense.
Payton has always given smaller backs a chance.
Darren Sproles was spectacular as a Saint.
And, the club also drafted Marcus Murphy in the 7th round in 2015.
The Saints selection of former Brother Martin Crusader and LSU Tiger Will Clapp in the 7th round is a solid pick.
Clapp can play center and guard.
He was a first team all-SEC selection at center in 2017.
Yet, Clapp maybe doesn't get as much credit for his very steady, at times outstanding play.
He could be a real bargain.
If you don't LSU misses him, go back and watch this month's spring game. The center quarterback exchange was more eventful than required.
Overall, Sean Payton followed a pattern he has crafted over more than a decade.
Be aggressive trading up, be infatuated with defensive backs, look to develop young offensive lineman from within, and of course, the absolute Payton staple .. tall receivers are always welcome.
Posted: 28 Apr 2018 05:59 PM PDT
Metairie, La. -- The 2018 NFL Draft wrapped-up Saturday with the final 4 rounds. The Saints finished with 7 draft picks, selecting over the 3 days and 7 rounds. After it was finished, Saints Head Coach Sean Payton said he thought they did a good job of filling their needs at certain positions, as well as getting a few guys with position flexibility.
"You're trying to find guys that can make the roster and bring something to the table," Payton said. "You're trying to look at specifically sometimes the second end for instance or the end on the right side to come in and compete. That happened early. With Tra'Quan, we're looking at the group in general, but there's a big, physical receiver. I don't know that we went into the draft saying we must draft a receiver. Both the two DBs, we had a corner need or want and we feel like we have some position flexibility with these guys when you get into some of your packages defensively. And then to the center, with de la Puente gone. He was kind of the guard/ center/ swing guy. We're bringing another player in that has experience at that position. So hopefully we have."
That other player with experience at center is LSU's Will Clapp. Tiger fans finally got their wish of the Saints drafting a player out of LSU. Coming-in as their final pick of the draft, New Orleans selected Clapp, who is also from Metairie and went to Brother Martin. It's the first time since 2010 that the Saints have drafted an LSU Tiger.
"I'm pretty pumped that it's me that broke the streak," Clapp said. "Me growing-up as a Saints fan I think makes it even more special. Every time the Saints went on the board I was really hoping they'd pick me. It finally happened and it was worth the wait. My whole family's freaking-out right now."
"I called him and I always ask everyone where you're at," Payton said. "And he's like, 'I'm in Metairie.' So he's local and he probably can save some money on rent."
The Saints also drafted Baton Rouge native, Boston Scott, who went-on from Zachary High School to play at Louisiana Tech.
"Scott's someone we're real familiar with," Payton said. "He worked-out not too long ago for us. He too is local in Baton Rouge. He's a pretty good runner as well as a guy that can catch the ball out of the backfield. He's got some versatility. He'll have a chance to learn and see if he can come around as a punt returner."
"I know what I bring to the table," Scott said. "I know what I can contribute to a team. I believed in myself. I believe in what I'm capable of. I had a great support group around me that believed in me."
Saints 2018 Draft Class
Round 1 (14th overall): Marcus Davenport (DE, UT-San Antonio)
Round 3 (91st overall): Tre'Quan Smith (WR, UCF)
Round 4 (127th overall): Rick Leonard (OT, Florida State)
Round 5 (164th overall): Natrell Jamerson (S, Wisconsin)
Round 6 (189th overall): Kamrin Moore (CB, Boston College)
Round 6 (201st overall): Boston Scott (RB, Louisiana Tech)
Round 7 (245th overall): Will Clapp (C, LSU)
Posted: 28 Apr 2018 08:41 AM PDT
NEW ORLEANS — “When in doubt, just go to the gospel tent.”
Are you a food fester? Or a first-in-line fester?
Jazz Fest 2018 is in full swing.
LBJ headed out to the fairgrounds Friday to see how the Jazz Fest pros and get tips on how to make the most of the big event.
Here’s what they had to say:
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