NBA Playoffs Preview Do The Grizzlies Have Any Chance Against The Warriors

The Golden State Warriors are an insanely dominant team. To answer the question in this article’s headline: Yes, the Grizzlies have a chance — about a 6 percent chance according to our Real Plus-Minus-based projections. The Warriors projected Real Plus-Minus (RPM) of +15.8 points against the Grizzlies is easily the best of any team; Golden State has about a 10-point advantage per 100 possessions.So the Warriors are likely to win, yes, but the series has several interesting contrasts for the basketball geek.Take speed. If the Warriors do succeed against Memphis, they’ll probably do so playing their breathtakingly fast style. Golden State had by far the fastest pace in the league this season, at 98.3 possessions per game. The Grizzlies play at a lumbering gait: at 92.0 possessions per game, Memphis ranked in the bottom five of the league. The Warriors are also in the top four in total blocks and steals, which ignite fastbreaks. The Grizzlies are content playing solid half-court defense, forcing turnovers and limiting your total shots. It’s fast vs. slow.Shot selection is another difference. The Warriors, especially Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, excel behind the 3-point arc. The team led the NBA in both 3-point percentage (at nearly 40 percent!), and in the total number of threes attempted. The Grizzlies? They attempt the second fewest 3-pointers of any team in the NBA, with below-average success. Memphis’ strength is near the basket, where you’ll find their two big men, Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph. It’s outside vs. inside.Curry, who might just win the MVP award, leads the way for a stacked Warriors team; his projected +8.8 RPM is the second highest of any player (behind Cleveland’s LeBron James). At the other end, the Warriors will rely on defensive superstar Draymond Green, the runner-up for Defensive Player of the Year. Draymond will have a unique challenge against the two Memphis big men. If he can handle one of them one-on-one, the Warriors could cruise.For the Grizzlies, their (already slim) chances took a hit when point guard Mike Conley suffered a facial fracture. He’s projected to play only 15 minutes per game by these RPM calculations. But if he plays through the injury, and if the Grizzlies can slow the pace and prevent the 3-point-happy Warriors from blowing the roof off, Memphis could make this series interesting. read more

Optimizing Digital Editions

first_imgPublisher interest in digital editions continues to grow, even as the Web site becomes the primary digital product for many. However, many publishers are just scratching the surface of what’s available to them, from embedded search and rich media to back-end audience measurement, which can be used to help plan future issues as well as convert to lead generation.The following story offers four case studies of publishers that are trying to take full advantage of their digital edition. For many, this continues to be a learning experience.Publisher: Campbell-EwaldProduct: Custom editions for Chevrolet CobaltPlatform: Zmags Publisher: Popular ScienceProduct: The Pop Sci Genius GuidePlatform: ZinioEarlier this year Popular Science launched the Pop Sci Genius Guide, a new digital edition which the magazine intends to be at the forefront of consumer adoption of e-readers. The Pop Sci Genius Guide will be published quarterly in 2009, with the first issue dedicated to the home entertainment experience.“We recognize that this is an extremely important direction the magazine needs to go—we’re making our product optimized for digital platforms in anticipation of the launch of really good magazine-optimized e-readers,” says editor-in-chief Mark Jannot. “We’re figuring out how we can optimize the opportunities digital delivery gives us and how to overcome the challenges of pixels on screen as opposed to ink on paper. Our goal is to integrate features that can be done digitally while at the same time not undercutting what a magazine does.”Popular Science also aims to make the Genius Guide a paid product and tested several price points from 99 cents to $4.99 with the first issue. “One of the things we’re emphatic about is not conditioning the audience to expect this for free,” says Jannot.The Genius Guide uses videos to introduce new features and offers layered sidebars without clogging up the layout. “We’ve worked with Zinio’s Flash developers to bring the pages to life with Flash animation,” says Jannot. “In some cases, as you’ve seen with the first issue of the Genius Guide, as you turn pages, it comes together before your eyes. We’ve taken the static, standard magazine form and found a variety of ways to animate it without throwing away the conventional two-page spread.”Jannot stresses that each item has a purpose. “On a flat magazine page, you’re limited to photos, illustrations and text,” he says. “With animations in the Genius Guide, we can start at a high focal length for a more general look, then zero in on something and draw the reader’s eye to what they need to look at. In the first Genius Guide, one of our favorite things was the box/PC you got, which opened up to zero in on what you look at, or turned your TV around to show exactly where plugs are. That’s obviously not possible in a flat, static magazine.”Jannot says that while advertisers were interested in the first issue, the publisher ran out of time before it got a commitment. “Advertisers had to overcome some preconceptions of the phrase ‘digital edition,’” he adds. “Some advertisers still think of that as an inferior, static, flat version of the magazine. We’re selling this as very leading edge. We think a very large chunk of circulation will be delivered this way.” Digital magazines are increasingly being used as a custom publishing platform. Advertising agency Campbell-Ewald tapped Zmags as the platform for a series of regionally targeted digital magazines as part of a Chevrolet Cobalt campaign aimed toward a young, tech-savvy audience. Each issue was geared to moving prospects toward readiness to buy and enable them to link directly to the Chevrolet Cobalt Web site in order to price out a custom vehicle.“We focused on the users themselves and partnered with bloggers and Cobalt enthusiast clubs,” says Joe Ferraro, art production manager at Campbell-Ewald Publishing. “The idea was to get actual users to share stories, as well as feature local musicians driving the Cobalt to and from their performances.”Campbell-Ewald incorporated rich media including videos of the cars in action and interviews with the drivers into each edition. The agency created a homepage to house the digital editions and formed relationships with some of the leading blogs, which pointed readers to their digital editions. “We didn’t want to just spit out what we could do in print but do something that fit the medium,” says Ferraro. “That included a lot of Flash-integration through which we created sidebars, call-outs and pop-outs. The editorial was readable and we could expand upon that edit when needed by use of Flash components to build out sidebars—we didn’t have to clutter the online page with a lot of text.”Video was embedded in each digital edition much like using an image in magazine layout. “Placement of the video was integral to the magazine layout,” says Ferraro.Campbell-Ewald produced seven different digital issues for the campaign and the South Central (U.S.) component ran for more than a year. The agency partnered with several Cobalt enthusiast events and says that the digital editions helped drive a 4 percent increase in attendance and a 45 percent increase in the number of vehicles at the events.Each element of the digital edition had a specific purpose, says Ferraro: “Nothing was ever done just because we could—we always had a strict purpose in mind.” Publisher: Advanstar Communications EuropeDigital Product: Pharmaceutical Executive Digest EuropePlatform: Nxtbook MediaAdvanstar’s European division has designed the 18,000-circ digital edition of Pharmaceutical Executive Digest Europe strictly for the digital platform. By tweaking the layout in a cleaner, more accessible way and keeping functionality simpler, the magazine has dramatically increased all the usage metrics that matter most.The first breakthrough was ditching the single-page portrait framework in favor of a landscape layout. “In a single-page layout, you have to use the zoom function,” says editorial director Peter Houston. “If you landscape it and increase the type size, it makes it easier to read.”Houston also bumped up the frequency to weekly and mirrored a strategy more akin to e-mail newsletters. (Increasing the frequency meant they could get away with shorter-form content.) By dropping the page count from 40 to 15, there was a noticeable difference in response. The front cover was dropped, too, taking the reader straight to the content. The magazine achieved as many pageviews in a week as it had in a month. And the average time spent per visit increased 20 percent.The robust analytics that digital editions customarily provide come in handy not just for readership behavior, but for incorporating social media metrics as well. Pharm Exec has a Twitter account with more than 500 followers and, according to Houston, more than 5 percent of visitors to the digital edition are referred from Twitter. Houston points out that a digital magazine is one part of a larger digital package.  “If anyone says the future of magazines is in digital publishing, it’s really in integrated publishing,” he says. “And it’s using the digital channel for certain things. Twitter, LinkedIn and social media channels, e-mail newsletters and the Web site are all part of the answer to doing this properly. Just having the digital magazine would be a tough one.” Publisher: Premier Media HoldingsDigital Product: Premier GuitarPlatform: TexterityBy aggressively using the digital edition as a free version of the print magazine, Premier Guitar has leveraged its digital version to pull customers deeper into the brand experience. Web site visits are up significantly, and the magazine has almost doubled its print subscribers.While the digital edition has, in two years, passed the print version in readership with 32,000 opt-in readers (versus print’s 30,000), the benefits of having a platform trifecta—print, Web site and digital edition—far outweigh concerns of one medium cannibalizing the other. “We’ve seen a 70 percent increase in our paid print subscriptions and we’re now pushing an 80 percent sell-through on newsstands,” says managing director Peter Sprague.Readers tend to take smaller bites out of the digital edition but come back to it more often. “When you add up the frequent visits they start to look like the single longer visit with the print version,” says Sprague. But Sprague isn’t content to simply let the digital edition act as a gateway to the print magazine. A sweepstakes challenge asks readers to find three guitar picks planted throughout the digital edition for a chance to win a $100 gift card builds through-the-book readership. And videos—performance and instructional—have collected 2.5 million views among the 425 offered. Sprague is also creating custom, sponsored versions of the digital edition. A standard issue, for example, will alter its table of contents page to link to specific sponsor content in the magazine. The sponsor e-mails the magazine to its in-house list of artists, retailer customers and other manufacturers. “We charge them for this,” says Sprague, “but more importantly, we get to sample lists that may not be available to us.”last_img read more

Yennai Arindhaal 5 Days Box Office Collection Ajith Starrer Nearing 500k Mark

first_imgAjith and Trisha in “Yennai arindhaal”Twitter/ TrishaAjith’s’ “Yennai Arindhaal” is continuing its success run in the US. As per the reports from the country, the film is still having good theatre occupancy.According to the distributors of “Yennai Arindhaal”, the movie has grossed $480,432 in five days and the collection of the movie on each day is as follows:Wednesday (Releasing Day): $113,000Thursday (Day 2): $53,000Friday (Day 3): $123,000Saturday (Day 4): $146, 000Sunday (Day 5): $45,000″#YennaiArindhaaal USA gross after 5 days $480432. Wed 113K, Thu 53K Fri 123K, Sat 146K, Sun 45K. #Thala’s best and all time #9 as of now,” tweeted Atmus Entertainment, distributor of the movie in the United States. With this numbers, the distributors are now expecting that the movie will soon achieve the feat of crossing $500k mark soon.”Yennai Arindhaal” is now the highest grossing movie for Ajith in the US and has broken all-time record of his previous biggest hit “Arrambam” in just three days.Earlier, “Yennai Arindhaal” had broken the first day collection record of “Arrambam” by collecting $113,232 (approximately ₹69 lakh) from 75 screens in its premiere.Meanwhile, the worldwide collection of “Yennai Arindhaal” has crossed ₹50 crore mark in four days and is continuing its success run in different parts of the world.Directed by Gautham Menon, “Yennai Arindhaal” had garnered high positive reviews from critics and audience alike. Ajith was much appreciated for his effort to fit into this character-based script, which is far away from his usual mass masala role. Another person who was poured with wishes was actor Arun Vijay who handled the role of Victor, villain of the movie, with much ease.Other lead actors of the movie including Trisha Krishnan, Anushka Shetty, Parvathy and Vivek were also much appreciated for their performance.”Yennai Arindhaal” is produced by AM Ratnam under the banner of Sri Sai Ram Creations.last_img read more

Dutch concert cancelled for terror threat

first_imgA van with a Spanish numberplate near the concert venue Maassilo is seen during police investigations after a rock concert was cancelled due to a terror threat, in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Photo: AFPDutch police are investigating possible terror links after arresting a Spaniard driving a van containing gas canisters close to a rock concert which was abruptly cancelled over fears of an attack.The man “was arrested and taken to the police station,” Rotterdam police said in a Tweet, following a tip-off from Spanish authorities.The arrest came little under a week after twin car-bomb attacks in Spain killed 15 people, in attacks claimed by the Islamic State group.Dutch bomb squad officials “were investigating the van” which was found just two streets away from the Maassilo concert hall where an American rock band was due to play, they added.Earlier in the evening Dutch authorities decided to cancel the concert by Californian group Allah-Las in Europe’s largest port city after a tip-off from Spanish police around 5:30pm (1530 GMT) about a possible terror attack.“In the early evening I was warned by telephone that we had received a threat which had implications for an American concert at the Maassilo in Rotterdam,” the city’s mayor, Ahmed Aboutaleb, told a hastily-called press conference.“This signal came from the Spanish police to the Dutch police,” he added.But Aboutaleb, the country’s first Muslim and immigrant-born mayor who has spoken out against Islamic terror groups, added an investigation was under way and “we cannot say now if the van with the canisters was linked to the threat”.The four-piece band, from Los Angeles, had been escorted from the concert hall by police wearing bullet-proof vests.In a statement sent to AFP, they said they were “unharmed and are very grateful to the Rotterdam police and other responsible agencies for detecting the potential threat before anyone was hurt.”Rotterdam police said that afterwards an officer “stationed close to the venue decided to stop a van that he saw driving at around 21:30 hrs”.“The van had Spanish plates and was driven by a Spanish national. Inside the van were a couple of gas bottles. Whether there is a link with the terror threat is being looked into,” the statement in English said, adding “the driver was taken into custody”.Concert hall evacuatedThe international connections of the cell of mostly Moroccan nationals behind the Spanish attacks are being probed as investigators retrace their movements to France and Belgium.Spanish police carried out new raids overnight Tuesday to Wednesday after vehicles ploughed into pedestrians on Barcelona’s busy Las Ramblas boulevard and a seaside promenade in the resort town of Cambrils.Fifteen people were killed and more than 120 others were wounded.Spanish court documents have shown that at least 500 litres of acetone, large quantities of nails and detonators as well as gas canisters were found in raids on a house in the town of Alcanar, south of Barcelona.The Rotterdam building where Wednesday’s concert was to be held, which can hold about 1,000 people, was searched by the Dutch anti-terror squad after the crowd had been evacuated.The Netherlands has so far been spared from the slew of terror attacks which have rocked its closest European neighbours in past years.But amid a number of scares here in recent months, and reports that people linked to some of the attacks may have crossed briefly into the country, concerned top Dutch security and intelligence officials have been keeping a wary eye on events.A spokesman for the Dutch justice ministry told AFP the threat level in The Netherlands remained at “four” out of a possible five.“Nothing has changed for the moment,” Lodewijk Hekking said, meaning the threat levels remains that there is the real possibility of an attack in the Netherlands.last_img read more

Venezuela arrests terrorists over Maduro attack

first_imgIn this still from a video provided by Venezolana de Television, presiden Nicolas Maduro, center, delivers his speech as his wife Cilia Flores winces and looks up after being startled by and explosion, in Caracas, Venezuela on 4 August. Photo: APSix “terrorists and hired killers” have been arrested in Venezuela accused of trying to assassinate president Nicolas Maduro in an alleged drone attack, the government said on Sunday.Interior and justice minister Nestor Reverol announced the arrests on state television, saying more could be on the way “in the coming hours.”Three soldiers were in critical condition and four more were injured in the alleged attack that involved two remote-controlled drones, Reverol said.He described it as “a crime of terrorism and assassination” and said that the “material and intellectual authors inside and outside the country” had been identified.Venezuela’s opposition braced itself for “persecution and repression” as the armed forces vowed “unconditional” loyalty to radical socialist leader Maduro, who, standing with his wife on a reviewing stand, was unharmed in the incident.Maduro vowed to inflict “maximum punishment” on those who tried “to assassinate me.” He pointed the finger at outgoing Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos and “the ultra-right wing”-a term he uses to describe domestic opposition, even as a mysterious rebel group claimed responsibility.‘Wave of repression’“There will be no forgiveness,” Maduro warned, for what a military statement said was an act of “barbarism in a desperate attempt to destabilize” the government.But Nicmer Evans, a former government loyalist and now leader of the opposition Frente Amplio party, said he feared the government’s measures “open the door to persecution and a wave of repression.”Those worries came as defense minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez voiced the military’s “unconditional and unrestricted loyalty to our commander in chief.”Army general Padrino Lopez described Saturday’s incident as “an aggression against the military” aimed at provoking regime change “through unconstitutional means.”Attorney general Tarek William Saab said the names of those arrested would be published on Monday.The alleged attack involved two drones, each carrying a kilogram (2.2 pounds) of plastic explosive C4, which Reverol said on state television is “capable of causing effective damage over a 50-meter (164 feet) radius.”He said one drone flew over the tribune where Maduro was giving a speech but that it became “disoriented by signal-inhibiting equipment” and was thus “activated outside the assassins’ planned perimeter.”The second drone lost control and crashed into a nearby building, Reverol added.State television images showed Maduro looking up with a start after hearing a bang, as National Guardsmen lined up in the parade scattered in fright.No drones could be seen in the television broadcast, which showed bodyguards jumping in front of Maduro to protect him with flexible ballistic shields. The broadcast was quickly cut.Maduro ‘has to fall’Once back in the presidential palace, Maduro said he had “no doubt” that Colombia’s Santos-a Nobel Peace Prize winner who negotiated a historic peace accord with Marxist guerrillas FARC-was “behind the attack.”Santos, who is due to hand over power to the hardline right-winger and vocal Maduro critic Ivan Duque on Tuesday, had said this week that the Venezuelan “regime has to fall” and that he could “see it happening in the near future.”Colombia’s Foreign Ministry denied involvement, calling the allegations “absurd.”Maduro said investigations pointed to financial backers who “live in the United States, in the state of Florida. I hope that President Donald Trump is ready to fight these terrorist groups.”US national security advisor John Bolton insisted Sunday that there was “no US government involvement” and even suggested on “Fox News Sunday” that the incident could have been “a pretext set up by the regime itself.”Late Saturday, a rebel group calling itself the National Movement of Soldiers in T-Shirts claimed responsibility in a statement passed to US-based opposition journalist Patricia Poleo, who read it on her YouTube channel.“We cannot tolerate that the population is suffering from hunger, that the sick do not have medicine, that the currency has no value, or that the education system neither educates nor teaches, only indoctrinating communism,” said the statement, accusing the regime of having “made public office an obscene way to get rich.”A collapsing economyOn Saturday, a policeman who requested anonymity told AFP that drones may have been released from a nearby apartment that suffered a fire after one exploded. However, other accounts blamed the fire on the accidental explosion of a gas cylinder.Maduro’s allies Cuba and Bolivia condemned the incident, as did Russia.Last year, 125 people were killed over four months of violent clashes between anti-Maduro protesters and armed forces.Maduro, a 55-year-old former bus driver, has remained in power despite a collapsing economy and a long-running political crisis, thanks in large part to unwavering support from the military.Hundreds of thousands have fled the country due to food and medicine shortages and hyperinflation that the International Monetary Fund says could reach one million percent this year.Maduro often accuses the opposition and the United States of working together to topple him.last_img read more

Mayoral Candidate Bill King Announces 7Point Flood Mitigation Plan For Houston

first_img Listen Houston mayoral candidate Bill King has unveiled a seven-point plan to reduce future flooding in Houston. King used a Meyerland home that flooded during Harvey as the backdrop for his announcement.King stood in front of a home that, two years later, remains vacant and has yet to be rebuilt. He said the most important step he’d take for flooding as mayor would be to stop the diversion of city drainage fees into other uses, and spend the funds exclusively on drainage projects.“The drainage fee is not held in a segregated account, which, by the way, state law says it’s supposed to be,” said King. “We’ve never done that.,” King said. “We put it into this ReBuild Houston fund, which has about six or seven other income sources, revenue sources that come into it. Of course, once that all gets comingled, then money’s fungible, and you can’t say where any particular dollar went.”A spokesperson for Mayor Sylvester Turner’s reelection campaign said that King’s plan would cut off salaries to public works employees, making it impossible to complete drainage projects.King also pledged to buy up more vacant land for green space and fast-track flood control projects in the most flood-prone areas. UPDATED (August 19, 2019): In an earlier version of this story, a spokesperson for Mayor Sylvester Turner’s reelection campaign mistakenly provided the campaign’s response to Tony Buzbee’s proposed plan. The post has been updated with the response to King’s plan.  To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: 00:00 /00:52center_img Andrew Schneider/Houston Public MediaFormer Kemah mayor and Houston mayoral candidate Bill King X Sharelast_img read more