4SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr The FFIEC has released mortgage lending transaction data pertaining to 7,062 financial institutions covered by the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, the council announced Tuesday. The data includes applications, originations, purchases and sales of loans, denials and other application-related actions. Institutions covered by the HMDA include banks, savings associations, credit unions and mortgage companies, the FFIEC said.The data released Tuesday shows the disposition of loan applications, as well as whether a loan is subject to the Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act, and whether a loan is secured by a first or subordinate lien or is unsecured. continue reading »
RelatedPosts Ighalo: My best moment as ‘Red Devil’ EPL: Crystal Palace stun sloppy Man U EPL: Red Devils attack Palace Nwankwo Kanu has backed Nigerian compatriot Odion Ighalo to be a success at Manchester United. Due to an injury to Marcus Rashford, Ighalo has been brought in on loan from Shanghai Shenhua for the rest of the season. While the deal has received criticism, Kanu feels that former Watford man Ighalo possesses the qualities to spend a prolonged period at Old Trafford, acting as a long-term replacement for Romelu Lukaku. The ex-Arsenal frontman told Goal.com: “Yes he can replace him. If you watch him play, you’d find out that he is strong and can score goals. “What he needs is the service. In this team, I am sure his game will improve because the team has great players. Despite playing in the Chinese league, Ighalo is not a player you would look down on and say he is not a good player. “I believe in him and I know he can deliver if given the chance. Bringing him to Old Trafford means that those in the club believe in his ability, and we have to respect that. I don’t think he will not disappoint because he will give them value for their money.”Tags: Manchester UnitedMarcus RashfordNwankwo KanuOdion IghaloRomel Lukaku
Associated Press June 5, 2020 Italian competitions will adopt the temporary law change when they resume next week.There can still be only three pauses to send on substitutes. If matches go into extra time and teams haven’t used all five of their substitutes they can make a fourth interruption at the end of regular time or between the two halves of extra timeSerie A is set to resume on June 20 with the Italian Cup being completed in the previous week.___Borussia Dortmund players Jadon Sancho and Manuel Akanji have been fined by the German soccer league for breaking coronavirus-related restrictions to get haircuts. The league says Sancho and Akanji “apparently violated general hygiene and infection protection standards” to have a barber visit them at home. There were no facemasks visible in photos posted on social media.There were similar photos of Dortmund teammates Dan-Axel Zagadou and Raphäel Guerreiro with Düsseldorf-based barber Winnie Nana Karkari but they were not mentioned in the league’s statement. The Bild tabloid reported that Karkari also visited Dortmund players Axel Witsel and Thorgan Hazard last Thursday.The league says “it goes without question that professional soccer players also need their hair cut” but “this must be done in accordance with the medical-organizational concept at the moment.”___The Asian qualifying tournament for the World Cup is set to resume in October after the coronavirus pandemic forced games in March and June to be postponed. The Asian Football Confederation says it agreed with FIFA to schedule two dates in October and two in November to complete the current groups.The AFC says the planned schedule must comply with “government travel and medical restrictions” in the 40 countries taking part.Twelve teams will advance to a further group stage next year.Four Asian teams will advance directly to the World Cup in Qatar. A fifth team will enter an intercontinental playoff round.___ The Latest: Italy soccer clubs allowed up to 5 substitutions Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___The Italian soccer federation says teams will be allowed up to five substitutions in matches. Liverpool could win the Premier League title at home after all.Police originally indicated they wanted Liverpool’s second game after the restart against Crystal Palace to be staged at a neutral venue because of concerns that supporters could congregate outside Anfield.But the league now says the game on June 24 is scheduled to be at Liverpool’s home stadium.The Merseyside derby against Everton could still be played away from Goodison Park on June 21. The league says the venue is still to be confirmed.Liverpool leads Manchester City by two points and is two wins from ending its 30-year title drought. But Liverpool could clinch the trophy in its first game back against Everton if City loses to Arsenal on June 17. ___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6 ___Chelsea has been declared Women’s Super League champion after the season was stopped because of the coronavirus pandemic.The English Football Association’s board decided to determine the final standings on a points-per-game basis. Manchester City was a point ahead of Chelsea but had played an extra game when the season was suspended in March.Chelsea had seven games remaining.City will still qualify for the Champions League with Chelsea. Liverpool has been relegated.
A new set of post-Cassini papers has to deal with observational facts: Saturn and its rings cannot last billions of years.Science Magazine just added to the growing body of post-Cassini literature analyzing 13 years’ worth of data gathered by the legendary Saturn orbiter. During the last 22 “high-dive” orbits in 2017, Cassini had unprecedented opportunities to sample the space between the rings and the planet. Here are some of the surprising findings being reported.Hsu et al, “In situ collection of dust grains falling from Saturn’s rings into its atmosphere” (Science). A “ring rain” of nanoparticles detected by the Cosmic Dust Analyzer (CDA) puts an upper limit of 400 million years on the rings.Mitchell et al, “Dust grains fall from Saturn’s D-ring into its equatorial upper atmosphere” (Science). Atmospheric drag is ejecting dust from the D-ring analogous to “sawdust ejected from a circular saw as it cuts through wood.” They believe the process “plays a role in slowing the fall of the dust through the atmosphere,” but sawdust does not normally evolve back into wood.Waite et al, “Chemical interactions between Saturn’s atmosphere and its rings” (Science). This paper, with co-author Jeff Cuzzi, a ringmaster most of his professional life, cannot support billion-year rings. Water is falling into the planet from the rings at a rate of up to 45,000 kilograms per second. Other compounds are also flowing off the rings into Saturn, as measured by the Ion and Neutral Mass Spectrometer (INMS). Here’s the team’s conclusion:The large mass of infalling material has implications for ring evolution, likely requiring transfer of material from the C ring to the D ring in a repeatable manner. The infalling material can affect the atmospheric chemistry and the carbon content of Saturn’s ionosphere and atmosphere.Cassini dives through the gap between the D Ring and Saturn during its Grand Finale before burning up in Saturn’s atmosphere on September 15, 2017.Here’s the operative quote about ages: not millions of years, but thousands?The mass of Saturn’s C ring is ~1018 kg, about 0.03 times the mass of Saturn’s moon Mimas. Therefore, if we use the mass influx inferred from the INMS measurements (4800 to 45,000 kg s–1), we calculate a lifetime of 700,000 to 7 million years for the C ring. Yet this only reflects today’s influx. The current influx is directly from the D ring rather than the C ring, which must be the ultimate supplier because the mass of the D ring [likely no more than 1% of the C ring mass] can maintain current loss rates for only 7000 to 66,000 years—a very short amount of time in terms of solar history. It is unclear whether the C ring can lose 1% of its mass into the D ring by viscous spreading over that time period.Although viscous spreading of the C ring is likely not the cause of mass transfer to the D ring, occasional transfer of ~1% of the mass of the C ring into the D ring region via a large ring-tilting event is feasible. These ring-tilting events involve a stream of planet-orbiting rubble crossing the ring plane somewhere in the C or D rings. The C ring provides the ultimate source, containing enough mass to last (at current influx rates) about 5% of the time that the rings themselves have existed (~200 million years). The D ring could be repopulated sporadically by large impact events such as those that tilted the D and C ring plane. Once enough small particles are brought into the D ring region, exospheric drag would quickly drain them into the planet, as observed by Cassini.Notice that keeping the rings old (“repopulated”) requires an appeal to the old-age standby explanation: impacts. The number of lucky impacts needed to keep the rings billions of years old, however, stretches credibility.Perry et al, “Material Flux From the Rings of Saturn Into Its Atmosphere” (Geophysical Research Letters). This team measured the flow of nanometer-sized particles from the rings that are swept up by Saturn’s atmosphere and dragged into the planet. The predicted flux was wrong, and had to be revised upward significantly. It’s “exciting” to be wrong by a factor of a hundred, isn’t it?Surprisingly, the flux is a hundred times larger than past predictions, and at least half of the material is hydrocarbon, which comprises less than 5% of the water ice‐dominated rings. Cassini’s data also show that the influx varies at least a factor of 4 and may be linked to clumps that appeared in 2015 on D68, the ringlet on the inner edge of the rings. These newly discovered particles and processes alter the evolutionary landscape of the rings and provide an exciting, rich field for future research aimed at understanding the origin and history of the rings.How This Came Across in the Popular PressLeah Crane, “Cassini revealed three big surprises before diving into Saturn” (New Scientist). Can Ms Crane bring herself to criticize planetary scientists who got things so wrong? On the subject of Saturn’s magnetic field, she comes close:The magnetic fields of planets in our solar system are all tilted to some extent – Neptune’s is off by a whopping 47 degrees. But Saturn’s magnetic field seems to be perfectly straight, and our current theories of how these fields are generated suggests that should be impossible.“If you don’t have a tilt, you would expect the magnetic field to start dying away, but as we got in really close with the Grand Finale orbits, we saw that it is not,” says Michele Dougherty at Imperial College London.Michele is a dignified and accomplished woman on the Cassini team, but she was wrong on this point. She was wrong on another point, too (as were all the Cassini scientists). Once again, they are excited about being wrong:Even the seemingly empty space between Saturn’s surface and its rings is more exciting than we thought. “There’s this connection between the rings and the upper atmosphere of Saturn that we just didn’t think would be there,” says Dougherty. “That was a complete surprise.”Crane goes on to compare the amount of infalling material (dust, ice and gas), measured to be about 45,000 kg (22,000 pounds) per second, this way:That’s the equivalent of about 1800 cars falling into Saturn every minute – such a downpour may mean that the rings are disappearing faster than we thought.A little math helps picture this. How much material should have been lost in Saturn’s assumed lifetime? 4.5 x 104 kg/s times 86,400 sec/day times 365 days/year times 4.5 x 109 years: if this has been going on for the age of the solar system, Saturn’s rings would have lost 24 x 1021 kg of material by now. In plain English, that’s a whopping 6,500 billion billion kilograms, or 4,800 million billion cars! That’s close to 240 times the entire mass of the rings. Is that credible?Groundbreaking Science Emerges from Ultra-Close Orbits of Saturn (Jet Propulsion Laboratory). Will JPL apologize for getting it so wrong? Don’t count on it. Scientists must always look good to the public, because they are the high priests of knowledge in our culture.Scientists can’t be blamed for things that could not be measured or detected before, obviously, but much of what was taught about Saturn and its rings for decades has just been tossed out the window. The press release mentions “surprise” four times. How about that magnetic field? Haven’t students of geophysics been taught that a dynamo in the core generates the field? That’s been falsified, at least in the case of Saturn; “That might mean that Saturn produces its magnetic field differently from the other planets in our solar system,” Crane said. Actually, it might mean that the theory for generating magnetic fields is wrong for all planets. Philosophers of science look askance at special pleading.That’s not the only mystery or surprise, either. The whole mission was a string of surprises:According to everything scientists know about how planetary magnetic fields are generated, Saturn should not have one. It’s a mystery that physicists will be working to solve….But scientists were surprised to see that others [particles] are dragged quickly into Saturn at the equator. And it’s all falling out of the rings faster than scientists thought — as much as 22,000 pounds (10,000 kilograms) of material per second.Scientists were surprised to see what the material looks like in the gap between the rings and Saturn’s atmosphere. They knew that the particles throughout the rings ranged from large to small. But the sampling in the gap showed mostly tiny, nanometer-sized particles, like smoke, suggesting that some yet-unknown process is grinding up particles….Indeed, says project scientist Linda Spilker, “Almost everything going on in that region turned out to be a surprise.” No shame, though; “the data is tremendously exciting.”Now what? “Many mysteries remain, as we put together pieces of the puzzle,” Spilker said. “Results from Cassini’s final orbits turned out to be more interesting than we could have imagined.”In all these surprises, mysteries, and falsifications, one thing is never called into question by secular planetary scientists: the assumed age of the solar system. That figure—the Law of the Misdeeds and Perversions—cannot be altered.Instead of hiding their heads in shame, they are excited about being way off. So what is the likely impact of the revised estimates? Saturn’s rings are young. Plug that into your story of “understanding the origin and history of the rings.” The ramifications are likely to ripple across the solar system, all the way to Earth. (Visited 575 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
Since the start of 2012, a shocking 281 rhinos have been killed by poachers in South Africa.(Image: Hartford House) South African celebrities will journey to Rustenburg to skydive in the name of rhinos.(Image: Skydive Robertson) Shamwari Game Reserve opened the Ian Player Rhino Awareness Centre in early June this year, with Player as a guest of honour.(Image: The Wilderness Foundation)MEDIA CONTACTS • The African Conservation Trust+27 33 342 2844RELATED ARTICLES• Musos pitch in to save rhinos• Team South Africa gets rhino mascot• New Kenyan home for black rhinos• Rhinos to get revenge on poachersCadine PillayAn anti-poaching campaign will see South African television stars jumping out of a plane in the North West town of Rustenburg on the last weekend of July. The aim is to raise R10-million (US$1.2-million) for the protection of the country’s rhinos.Some cast members of popular series The Wild, including Michelle Bradshaw, Faye Peters and Ty Keogh, will participate, along with evergreen rock band WONDERBoom’s frontman Cito.Since the start of 2012, a shocking 281 rhinos have been killed by poachers in South Africa. The hardest hit regions are the Kruger National Park (164), Limpopo (40), KwaZulu-Natal (30) and the North West (26).Skydive for Rhinos is a year-long campaign by the African Conservation Trust that aims to improve anti-poaching strategies across the country. All profits from skydiving will be donated to the trust. In a few days’ time, 61 people will take their first dive in the name of rhinos. They will be joined by 30 members of the skydiving community.“When I was approached a little while ago to get involved with the project, I jumped at the chance.” said Cito. “I’ve always had a deep love and respect for rhinos and am appalled at the ongoing desecration of this incredible creature.”While the government has criminalised poaching, he added, they are ineffective in enforcing the laws, and this is where action should come from.Bradshaw shares his sentiments: “A beast that has survived 50-million years is about to be eradicated by human greed, leaving us bereft of an icon of Africa.“This is an assault on everything I hold dear,” she said.Ordinary people doing extraordinary thingsThe campaign, according to its organisers, is based on the ideal of ordinary people doing something extraordinary to protect the country’s rhino population and encourages even the business community to get involved.“I believe we can become a lot more pro-active by getting involved with wonderful organisations and projects that are doing their best to respond to the rhino poaching crisis,” said Cito.“I am an adrenalin junkie, and now I will link two of my passions together – skydiving and rhinos – what a combination! I can’t wait!”After the first run on 28 and 29 July, the campaign moves to KwaZulu-Natal in August and then on to Port Elizabeth for the first weekend of September. It concludes in the Western Cape on World Rhino Day, 22 September.By the end, 448 people will have dived – one for every rhino killed by poachers during 2011.Members of the public who would like to take part in the skydiving campaign can contact the African Conservation Trust on +27 33 342 2844.Ian Player Rhino Awareness CentreWhile celebrities take to the skies to show their support, another effort is taking shape on the grounds of Shamwari Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape town of Port Elizabeth, thanks to the hard work of Dr Ian Player, a veteran in conservation circles and founder of the Wilderness Foundation.Shamwari opened the Ian Player Rhino Awareness Centre in early June this year, where Player was a guest of honour.The centre, which is open only for Shamwari guests, educates them about the growing problem of rhino poaching. It also complements the Born Free Foundation, which has a rehabilitation centre at the reserve.The awareness centre was launched as part of the Forever Wild campaign, which was started in 2011. The campaign aims to gather support from the public and various stakeholders to help fight rhino poaching in South Africa and save the rhino from extinction.“It is only through a global campaign and political will that we can save this remnant of the dinosaur age – the rhino,” said Player.Guests staying at the Shamwari game lodges donate R100 ($12) per person and in return receive a special lower rate for each night’s stay. In turn Shamwari will donate R500 ($60) to the Wilderness Foundation for every room night sold.The micro-chipping revolutionThe opening of the centre coincided with a rhino micro-chipping and DNA capturing exercise led by veterinarian Dr Johan Joubert.The animals were darted for the collection of DNA samples and ear notching for easy identification. DNA samples were then taken from the tail hair and horns. Guests got involved in collecting the samples, measuring the horns and extracting keratin samples from them. They also got to insert microchips in the horns for accurate tracking, before the samples were taken off site for safe keeping.Shamwari experienced one of the first rhino poaching incidents in the country in 2008 and since then has taken all measures possible to prevent it from happening again.“That first rhino was named Junior, and I was working for the reserve when he was born,” said Joubert.“I watched him grow into a very large, strong bull, and he was like one of my own kids. Getting the call to say that Junior was dead was devastating.”At the launch of the centre, a cheque for R182 800 ($21 600) was presented by Shamwari to the Wilderness Foundation. The money will be used by the foundation to raise public awareness on the on-going rhino poaching crisis.
And she likes it.“Much better and much easier, because I have the title already,” Halep said Friday at Roland Garros. “Doesn’t matter anymore what is going to happen. Everything now comes as a bonus. So I will try just to give my best and to see if I’m able to do it again.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsHalep, the second Romanian woman to win a Grand Slam title after Virginia Ruzici in 1978, won the French Open last year by rallying past Sloane Stephens 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 in the final. She had previously lost three Grand Slams finals, including two on the French clay.Before her win, the former top-ranked player often had the unpleasant tendency to crumble on big occasions. Like two years ago in the French Open final, when she led Jelena Ostapenko by a set and 3-0 only to fall apart. Gilas women’s awaits fate as it splits main draw assignments in Fiba 3×3 Asia Cup FILE – In this June 9, 2018, file photo, Romania’s Simona Halep holds the trophy as she celebrates after defeating against Sloane Stephens, of the United States, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1, in the finals of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, France. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino, File)PARIS — Simona Halep is experiencing something new at the French Open this year.The Romanian player is back in Paris to defend her title, a situation she’s never been in before.ADVERTISEMENT ‘Rebel attack’ no cause for concern-PNP, AFP Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew LATEST STORIES “It’s going to be different because it’s clay court,” Halep said. “But still it’s going to be a very tough match. She’s powerful. She hits the ball strong. If I am able to do my game, I think I have a good chance to win.”___Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games PLAY LIST 00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:50Trending Articles02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss She said her defending champion status takes a lot of pressure off.“Mentally, I am pretty relaxed,” she said. “So I just want to take the positive and to be in this position, I think, is the best thing. I am too happy to be in this position, I have to admit this. But there is nothing bad.”Although she has not won a title this year and lost her first match in Rome last week, Halep is confident she can achieve a deep run in Paris on the back of solid clay-court campaign. She won two Fed Cup matches on the slow surface last month and reached the final in Madrid.“Even if I didn’t win the final, I felt that my level is very high,” she said. “I have confidence. Coming here, practicing, I felt really well.”Seeded third in Paris, Halep will open her campaign against Ajla Tomljanovic, a player she beat last year on hard court.ADVERTISEMENT Catholic schools seek legislated pay hike, too MOST READ Duterte wants probe of SEA Games mess Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Two-day strike in Bicol fails to cripple transport Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess View comments
ANN ARBOR, MI – OCTOBER 10: Michigan Wolverines head football coach Jim Harbaugh watches the action during the second quarter of the game against the Northwestern Wildcats on October 10, 2015 at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Wolverines defeated the Wildcats 38-0. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)Tonight, Coach Jim Harbaugh swapped his Michigan swag for Cubs attire.The crosstown rivalry game between the Chicago Cubs and White Sox tonight was kicked off by none other than Harbaugh himself.Harbaugh is no stranger to throwing off the mound, as he threw out the first pitch at a San Diego Padres game last year. Tonight, decked out in a Cubs jersey, he lifted his hat to the cheering crowd in thanks before taking his arms above his head in preparation for his throw.You can see Harbaugh’s powerful throw to the Cubs’ Matt Szczur here:Jim Harbaugh throws the first pitch and #CrosstownCSN Game 3 is underway! pic.twitter.com/kNwVIdDt9d— Comcast SportsNet (@CSNChicago) July 27, 2016While it was way too high to be a strike, the coach’s pitch was still an impressive attempt!
The Meteorological Service has discontinued the Tropical Storm Watch for Jamaica as Tropical Storm Chantal has degenerated into a strong tropical wave over the central Caribbean Sea. There is, therefore, no longer the threat of tropical storm conditions.At 4:00 p.m. the remnants of Tropical Storm Chantal were located near Latitude 16.5 degrees North, Longitude 73.7 degrees West, or about 370 kilometres (230 miles) east-southeast of Kingston or 320 kilometres (200 miles) east-southeast of Morant Point, Jamaica.The Tropical Wave is now moving towards the west near 37 km/h (23 mph) and is expected to spread its associated weather across Jamaica and eastern Cuba between this evening and Thursday morning before moving into the northwestern Bahamas by Friday.Maximum sustained winds associated with the Tropical Wave are near 75 km/h (45 mph), with higher gusts. Tropical storm force winds now extend over a large area mainly south of Hispaniola. Periods of heavy rainfall and thunderstorms could begin to affect Jamaica as early as tonight, starting with eastern parishes and spreading across the country on Thursday morning. Flash flooding is, therefore, possible with rainfall amounts reaching near 75-100 millimetres (3-4 inches) over northern and eastern parishes as well as over hilly terrain. Outbreaks of strong, gusty winds are also likely in thunderstorms. Residents are advised to remain on the alert for rising waters, especially in low-lying and flood-prone areas. Small craft operators should also continue to exercise caution until wind and sea conditions have returned to safe levels after the passage of the Tropical Wave.This is the final Bulletin that will be issued by the Meteorological Service on Chantal. Further updates on this system, and current weather conditions, will be included in regular forecasts and News Releases.[Press Release: Meteorological Service, Jamaica]
Pelicans3850.5100.4 That’s more proportionate to the small difference separating Minnesota, New York and Philly in the standings.Here’s how the lottery balls would have been distributed in each of the past 10 seasons.4For 2012, which was shortened by a labor dispute, I’ve prorated loss totals to an 82-game schedule. On average, the worst team would have had about a 25 percent chance of winding up with the top pick, as it does now. But those chances would have been as high as 38.5 percent (for the record-setting 2012 Charlotte Bobcats) or as low as 19.0 percent (for the 2013 Orlando Magic), depending on how much separated the very worst team from the almost-as-bad ones. In a year like 2010, in which there was a big gap between the second-worst team (the 15-67 Timberwolves) and the third-worst (the 25-57 Sacramento Kings), that’s where the sharpest break in lottery chances would have been.It’s not the radical change that I’d prefer! But it’s a simple enough reform that even the Knicks couldn’t screw it up.CORRECTION (April 15, 3:36 p.m.): An earlier version of the chart in this post gave the incorrect location of the second-worst NBA team in 2005. At that time, the Hornets were located in New Orleans, not Charlotte. TEAMLOSSESLOTTERY BALLSCHANCE OF FIRST PICKLOTTERY BALLSCHANCE OF FIRST PICK Jazz4480.8100.4 Knicks6519919.957620.3 Kings54636.31696.0 Heat45111.1160.6 Suns4360.6100.4 Pistons50282.8812.9 76ers6415615.652918.6 Hornets49171.7642.3 CURRENT SYSTEMREVISED SYSTEM Timberwolves6625025.0%62522.0% Magic57888.82569.0 Nets4470.7100.4 Lakers6011911.936112.7 Nuggets52434.31214.3 The New York Knicks did something unusual Monday night: They won a basketball game — just their 17th this season. What wasn’t so unusual — from a franchise that starred in such tragicomedies as Amar’e Stoudemire punching a fire extinguisher and Andrea Bargnani nearly snatching defeat from the jaws of victory — was the Knicks’ poor sense of timing. Having spent most of the season ridding their roster of anyone who could possibly help them win, the Knicks have now won twice in a row.Those two wins could make a lot of difference to the Knicks’ chance of drafting Jahlil Okafor or Karl-Anthony Towns. With one game left for each team, the Knicks are 17-64, a game better than the Minnesota Timberwolves at 16-65. The Philadelphia 76ers have the third-worst record at 18-63.Let’s say each team loses its final game. Under the NBA’s lottery formula, the Timberwolves would have a 25.0 percent chance of landing the first pick, the Knicks would have a 19.9 percent shot, and the Sixers a 15.6 percent chance.That seems like an awfully big difference for teams that are separated by just one or two games in the standings. But it’s how the NBA’s rules work. The number of losses doesn’t matter, only the order of the teams.1The league does, at least, split the difference in the event of ties, so if the Knicks and Timberwolves each finish at 17-65, they’ll each have about a 22.5 percent chance at the first pick.There’s a better way to award those pingpong balls, one that maintains the spirit of the current lottery system without allowing a one-game difference to matter so much.Here’s how it works. Take each team’s number of losses. Subtract 41 (41-41 represents a breakeven record in the NBA). Then square the result. That’s how many pingpong balls a team gets. (OK, one more provision: A team gets a minimum of 10 lottery balls, including if it has a winning record.2Otherwise, a team with a winning record would get more lottery balls than a team with a 41-41 record, since subtracting 41 from a number less than 41 and squaring the result would produce a positive number.)That might seem arbitrary — but it produces results that are remarkably similar to the current formula, only fairer. What chance would each team have at the first pick this year, for example? Assuming each team’s final game goes according to the FiveThirtyEight NBA Power Ratings,3Meaning that the Wolves, Knicks and Sixers all lose. that would leave the Wolves with a 22.0 percent chance at the first pick, the Knicks at 20.3 percent and the Sixers at 18.6 percent.
On their own, Burns’s numbers are impressive. But when you compare them to those of his peers, they look downright heroic. Since the lockout — and excluding 2012-13, which was a half-season — the top-10 defensemen in the league each season2Ranked by points scored have scored an average of 58 points. This year, Burns scored 18 more points than that. The entire blue line corps of five teams failed to notch more goals than Burns, including the Washington Capitals, who had the best record in hockey. Other blue liners have been snubbed since Pronger’s Hart win. Most notably, Nicklas Lidstrom won seven Norris trophies as the league’s top defenseman, but he was never even named as a finalist for the Hart trophy.3Burns will likely win his first Norris tonight. It’s true that Lidstrom’s reign of dominance coincided with the rise of generational talents like Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin, but it’s difficult to believe one of the five best defensemen to ever play hockey wasn’t good enough to at least be considered as one of the three best players in the NHL during that stretch.And if the dearth of defensemen nominated for the Hart since Pronger’s win in ‘99-00 looks suspicious, all you’ve got to do is look at the three decades preceding his win to understand it’s been something of an enduring trend: before Pronger, the last defenseman to win the Hart trophy was Bobby Orr in 1971-72.4Orr won the award three times consecutively between 1969-70 and 1971-72, scoring 376 points over that stretch. It’s the second-best three year span for a defenseman in NHL history. And before Orr? It was Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Babe Pratt, who won the Hart in 1943-44. Hockey writers—apparently—don’t have much love for defensemen.Although it ostensibly honors the best player on the ice, the Hart trophy is basically an award given to the top forward — and really just the top center 5Since Orr last won the Hart in 1971-72, 28 of the 45 winners have been center icemen. That Wayne Gretzky played in that span helped. — and every once in awhile the top goalie in the NHL. Until the Hart’s description reads, “Given to the league’s best centerman (and sometimes it’s best goalie, too),” it’s due time the PHWA begins taking the candidacy of the league’s top defensemen for the league’s top honors seriously. At the NHL’s annual awards show tonight in Las Vegas, the shiniest piece of hardware that will be given out is the Hart Memorial Trophy, which is awarded to the player deemed to be the most valuable to his team by the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association. The shortlist of nominees includes Penguins’ captain Sidney Crosby, Oilers’ phenom Connor McDavid, and Blue Jackets’ goalie Sergei Bobrovsky — all of whom had terrific seasons. But no matter who wins, there’s an argument to be made that it will be the wrong choice. This is because the league’s most outstanding performance came from someone who wasn’t nominated.San Jose Sharks’ defenseman Brent Burns turned heads all season, and often for reasons other than his toothless smile, man bun and ZZ Top beard. His production was everything you could ask of someone on the blue line, notching 76 points, tied for the fourth-highest point total by a defenseman since the lockout of 2004-05. Of those 76 points, 29 were goals, which was 70 percent more than the second-best defenseman and the most by anyone at the position since 2008-09. Burns isn’t only a goal-producing machine—he also led the league in point shares, 1Point shares roughly translate to the amount of a team’s points one player is responsible for. A decent analog is Bill James’ win shares, a complicated formula popular among baseball statheads. accounting for more of his team’s success in the standings than any of the three (still very worthy) MVP candidates nominated above him. He’s also the only player in the NHL to finish in the top five in both offensive and defensive point shares. That’s pretty impressive stuff, but not impressive enough to be a finalist for the Hart, apparently.Despite Burns’s gaudy scoring numbers and clear impact on his team’s success, it shouldn’t come as a shock that the PHWA left Burns off its list: Defensemen, despite representing one third of the players on ice, have a long history of being overlooked. The last time a defenseman was nominated for the Hart trophy, we were all basking in relief that Y2K hadn’t destroyed civilization. Chris Pronger won the award after his brilliant 1999-00 season with the St. Louis Blues. In his MVP-winning campaign, Pronger notched 62 points and led the NHL with 14.2 point shares, both of which fall short of Burns’s numbers from 2016-17.