The Chelsea v Man City quiz

first_imgChelsea face the champions at Stamford Bridge on Sunday in Rafael Benitez’s first game as Blues boss. Test your knowledge of the history between the two clubs by seeing how many of these five questions you can answer correctly.[wp-simple-survey-76]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 Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Brand South Africa urges South Africans to help Clean Up SA

first_imgOn Friday, 18 July – International Mandela Day – citizens across the world will be extending their goodwill to act on Nelson Mandela’s exhortation to “serve every day”. The international campaign to change the world for the better asks individuals and organisations to devote 67 minutes – in honour of Madiba’s 67 years fighting for liberation – of their time to meeting the needs of others.This year, President Jacob Zuma has, as part of the government’s initiative to #CleanUpSA for Mandela Day, challenged South Africans to work towards cleaning and preserving their environments.While it is difficult for ordinary South Africans to tackle air and water pollution, smaller everyday acts are well within our capabilities; one such activity is recycling.Recycling for the economyOf the total waste generated in South Africa annually, just 10% is recycled, yet a whopping 65% of that waste is recyclable. Recycling saves energy; for example recycling 1 ton of paper saves 17 mature trees, 26.498 litres of water, 2.3m3 of landfill space, 238.48 litres of oil, and 4000 kilowatt hours of electricity.Recycling also helps boost the economy by producing jobs; in 2011 waste management contributed over R2.4-billion of South Africa’s gross domestic product, while in 2010, nearly more than 1.25 million tons of plastic were recycled, providing employment for nearly 40 000 people.Recycling has numerous other benefits, one of which is immediately visible; reducing unsightly litter such as plastic bags and old newspapers. Simply picking up and disposing correctly of litter makes an immediate difference to our environment.Organisations around South Africa have already answered the President’s call to help clean up South Africa; Miller Matola – CEO of Brand South Africa is delighted with initiatives that have already kick-started around the country in anticipation of International Mandela Day. He says, “All South Africans – young and old, tall and short and black and white alike are called to rise beyond their political, religious or any other inhibitive posture and dedicate 67 minutes to honour the father of our democracy. This is a call that is about small deeds that make a huge difference while encouraging our people to extend their good habits to their external environment.“Greening our environment should not only be about planting trees but also about raising the consciousness of society on the impact of good habits. I choose to remember Madiba this way and I urge my fellow citizens to rise up to change the media headlines to reflect the better South Africa we live in.”This Mandela Day, Brand South Africa joins the international community and all South Africans as we move forward to make the world a cleaner, better place for all.{loadposition press_release}last_img read more

CERCLA reporting deadline Jan. 22

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest As a reminder, EPA issued a notice directing all livestock farms emitting more than 100 pounds of ammonia or hydrogen sulfide in a 24-hour period to report continuous air emissions under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA).The deadline to report is Monday, January 22, 2018.For more information on how to report, click here.Questions? Concerns? Please contact the Ohio Pork Council at (614) 882-5887.last_img read more

10 days agoGiroud ‘pumped up’ for Chelsea return

first_imgGiroud ‘pumped up’ for Chelsea returnby Freddie Taylor10 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveOlivier Giroud says he will return to Chelsea “pumped up” after starring for France this week. The 33-year-old striker scored in both of France’s matches against Iceland and Turkey.With a fight on his hands for playing time at Stamford Bridge, Giroud is determined to continue his stellar international form.He said: “[Lampard] will almost certainly watch the matches. In any case, I am going back to Chelsea pumped up.”For different reasons, I have played little since the last national team break. Of course it feels good to make the difference.” About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Michigan State Board Of Trustees Member Epically Trolls Jay Harbaugh On Twitter

first_imgMichigan State Board of Trustees member Mitch Lyons.Michigan may have completely overhauled its coaching staff this offseason, but clearly, Michigan State and its fans aren’t conceding state bragging rights any time soon. Thursday night, one MSU board of trustees member made that clear.Mitch Lyons, the Vice-Chair of the Michigan State Board of Trustees, had a little fun with new Michigan tight ends coach Jay Harbaugh on Twitter. Harbaugh, clearing trying to endear himself to his new fan base, asked his followers if it was legal to own a Wolverine as a pet. Lyons responded, telling Harbaugh he should ask Coach Mark Dantonio. If you aren’t connecting the dots, he’s claiming that Dantonio owns the Wolverines.@JayHarbaugh @ryanschuiling Ask Coach D…..#GoGreen— Mitch Lyons (@mlyons85) January 23, 2015Considering Dantonio is 6-2 against Michigan in his time in East Lansing, this is an A+ troll job. Unfortunately, Harbaugh never responded, instead choosing to ignore the comment.last_img read more

Tanker Operator to Pay USD 2 Mn for Dumping Oily Waste

first_imgzoomIllustration. Image Courtesy: Pexels under CC0 Creative Commons license Vessel operator Interorient Marine Services was convicted and sentenced in Louisiana for maintaining false and incomplete records relating to the discharge of oil from a tanker.Senior ship officers employed by the company aboard the Ridgebury Alexandra Z discharged oily waste into the ocean by flushing the vessel’s pollution prevention equipment sensor with fresh water.This flushing of the sensor tricked the system into detecting a much lower effluent oil content than what was actually being discharged. These senior officers then falsified the vessel’s Oil Record Book, recording that 87,705 gallons of oily wastewater had been discharged properly through the pollution prevention equipment.The company admitted to illegally dumping the oil cargo residues and oily bilge water directly into the ocean and falsifying Oil Record Book entries to conceal the illegal dumping.Interorient Marine Services Limited pleaded guilty to a felony violation of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships, 33 U.S.C. § 1908(a), for failing to accurately maintain the Ridgebury Alexandra Z’s Oil Record Book. Under the terms of the plea agreement, the company will pay a total fine of USD 2 million and serve a 4-year term of probation, during which all vessels operated by the company and calling on U.S. ports will be required to implement a robust Environmental Compliance Plan.The vessel’s captain, Vjaceslavs Birzakovs, was charged in a six-count indictment by a Grand Jury in the Western District of Louisiana on Nov. 29, 2018, for his involvement in this case. The indictment alleges that Birzakovs directed circumvention of the vessel’s pollution prevention equipment, falsified records, obstructed justice, made false statements, and conspired with other crewmembers to falsify the vessel’s Oil Record Book. The charges are merely accusations, and he is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.last_img read more

US job openings fell in November to stillstrong 69 million

first_imgWASHINGTON — U.S. job openings fell in November from the previous month, but the number of available positions remained healthy.The Labor Department says job openings slipped 3.4 per cent to a seasonally adjusted 6.9 million. That is the fewest openings in five months, but still 16 per cent higher than a year ago.The job market remains strong despite sharp stock market declines last month, interest rate increases by the Federal Reserve, and a slowing global economy that is also bedeviled by trade fights. Last week’s blockbuster jobs report helped assuage concerns about the economy, as it showed that hiring reached a 10-month high in December.The number of people quitting fell in November, the report showed, but the total also stayed at a solid level.Christopher Rugaber, The Associated Presslast_img read more

Cong manifesto full of lies PM Modi

first_imgPasighat (Arunachal Pradesh): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday tore into the Congress, terming its manifesto as a “hypocrisy document” which was “full of lies”. Addressing his second rally in Arunachal Pradesh within a week, the prime minister cited the Congress manifesto for the 2004 Lok Sabha elections, and said it had promised that every house would have electricity by 2009. “However, till 2014 around 18,000 houses were unelectrified… Just like them (the Congress), their manifesto is corrupt and full of lies. Therefore, it should be called hypocrisy document, not a manifesto,” Modi said. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details Congress President Rahul Gandhi Tuesday released his party’s manifesto for Lok Sabha polls, making jobs creation, addressing farm distress, bringing a single moderate rate of GST and giving Rs 72,000 per annum to poor families as key focus if the party comes to power. The prime minister also charged that the Congress was fooling farmer in the name of votes, whereas the BJP government has always been with them. “We never committed the sin of betraying farmers but we introduced the mechanism from seed to market,” the PM said. Modi said the upcoming Lok Sabha polls will be about the choice between “trust and corruption, and about resolution and conspiracy”. Simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and the state assembly will be held on April 11.last_img read more

2014 NFL Preview The Broncos vs The Hopefuls

Last year, Kansas City went 11-5 despite a significant regression in QB Alex Smith’s statistics from the year before. How did they do so well (aside from having a highly favorable turnover differential)?Largely because of Alex Smith.5And, by extension, Andy Reid. He may not be the QB Chiefs fans wanted, but he’s the QB Chiefs fans needed. While Smith’s passer rating of 89.1 represented a 15-point drop from his 2012 season with San Francisco,6Fueled in part by Randy Moss. it’s still 25.3 points higher than Kansas City’s 2012 quarterbacks.7They also saw a huge improvement on the defensive side of the ball (going from -3.7 defensive SRS to +4.3), though part of that may be a result of the Chiefs’ offensive improvement.But Alex Smith isn’t even close to being the Chiefs’ best player.8At least relatively. Smith being “kind of OK” at QB might be more valuable than some non-QB being the best at his position, but that doesn’t make him the best QB. That would be all-star running back Jamaal Charles, who led the Chiefs in both rushing and receiving last year, and who has averaged 5.6 yards per carry over his career.While Fantasy Football players have been intimately familiar with Charles since his breakout 2009 season, the three-time Pro-Bowler has flown a little under the radar playing for a Kansas City team that hasn’t won a playoff game since 1993.In my NFC North season preview, I mildly criticized Adrian Peterson9Or at least the running game he spearheads. for being better at the kinds of things the passing game already has covered (breaking long plays), and worse at the kinds of things that help keep the running game relevant (gaining yardage consistently, setting up high-leverage second downs). So with another star running back on my plate, I thought I should check to see if Charles has similar problems.The simple answer is “no.” The slightly more complicated answer is “no, and this is a silly comparison because Jamaal Charles is way better than Adrian Peterson.”Let’s start with what kinds of outcomes each back produces on first-and-10 runs from outside the red zone10I used slightly different filters from the ones I used in the NFC North article, so Peterson’s numbers may not match perfectly.:Charles runs for losses or no yards less often than Peterson does, has more quality (4-6 yard) and high-leverage (7-9 yard) gains, runs for first downs more often, and has more yards per carry on those first down runs.OK, fine. But there’s more to being a running back than just running on first down, right? For a more comprehensive comparison, I looked at a number of different scenarios11Still filtered to exclude red-zone possessions.:This is a bit of a split decision. AP is a little better on second-and-mid-distance (which is one of the more common running situations) and a little bit better on third-and-1 (though Charles isn’t used that way very often). On the other hand, Charles appears to be better at second-and-short-distance as well as third-and-medium to third-and-long (which Peterson is not asked to do very often, either).To try to boil it down in a way that’s neutral to team circumstances, I took each RB’s performance for all scenarios (including those above and rarer ones) and applied it to the frequency of those scenarios league wide. The result of that calculation is pretty lopsided: On a common set of runs, Charles would likely pick up first downs 5.7 percentage points more often and would gain 1.6 yards more per carry than an average running back, compared to 3.2 percentage points and 1.0 extra yards per carry for Peterson. In other words, per carry, Charles gains about 0.6 more yards and is 2.5 percentage points more likely to pick up a first down than Peterson.Meanwhile, Charles is also more of a threat to catch passes, wrangling in 222 receptions for 1,975 yards and 14 touchdowns in 80 games, compared to Peterson’s 206 catches, 1,697 yards and 5 TDs in 103 games. When throwing to Charles, QBs have a passer rating of 101.1, compared to 77.3 normally. QBs have a passer rating of 89.7 when targeting Peterson, versus 80.6 normally.In other words, not only does Charles catch more passes, but targeting him has led to better outcomes for worse quarterbacks. Also, he has had worse quarterbacks! This makes his performance less likely to be a product of his team’s offense.All in all, the Chiefs should probably expect to regress somewhat after such a dramatic improvement (and such a favorable turnover margin) last year, but they definitely have some weapons to keep them competitive.San Diego ChargersExpected wins: 7.9Playoff probability: 35 percent (17 percent to win the AFC West)Super Bowl win probability: 2 percent FiveThirtyEight is running a series of eight NFL previews, one division at a time, to highlight the numbers that may influence each team’s season. America’s favorite weekly soap opera is about to begin; get prepped.Denver BroncosExpected wins (using implied power ratings from Las Vegas point spreads): 10.3Playoff probability: 73 percent (56 percent to win the AFC West)Super Bowl win probability: 11 percent The Denver Broncos are coming off a second straight 13-3 season and their first Super Bowl appearance in the post-Elway era. It was MVP quarterback Peyton Manning’s 10th time winning 12 or more games in a season — nobody else has done it more than eight times (Tom Brady holds that mark).Yet there are “whispers” that the Seattle Seahawks defense may have finally exposed Manning’s limitations. Doubting Manning is an ancient sport, and though it has changed somewhat over time, it’s not going anywhere anytime soon.The last time Manning failed to win at least 10 games was 2001 (when Russell Wilson was still in middle school) yet Manning is only 11-12 in the postseason. Critics often say Manning is a good “regular season quarterback,” but not a great “playoff quarterback.” The theory is that there’s something about Manning’s game that makes him great at beating up on weak opponents, but that can’t handle the tougher, more complex defenses found commonly in playoff opponents.I’ll confess, before looking into this myself, I thought it was a plausible-sounding theory.1The best example of this phenomenon is very fast-paced offenses in the NBA that win a lot of games against weaker opponents by trading lots of possessions but with a tiny edge on each exchange; that strategy can backfire in the playoffs, when they face better opponents who have the edge on them. But for the most part, the reason Manning has had a harder time winning games in the playoffs is the same as it is for virtually everyone else: He has faced tougher opponents and tougher defenses. While it’s true that his teams haven’t won quite as many games as expected, and that he performs a little worse in the playoffs than in the regular season, he has actually performed better against playoff defenses that we would expect given the strength of those defenses.To examine this, I looked at ESPN’s Total Quarterback Rating (QBR) from 2006 to the present.2QBR is a bit less production-oriented and a bit more win-oriented than most QB metrics — this has its drawbacks, but seemed appropriate for the subject. I also tried a similar approach using adjusted yards per attempt to make sure the results were crudely similar prior to 2006. They were. In the regular season, Manning’s average QBR per game3I averaged across games weighting by number of dropbacks, which leads to slightly different numbers from each QB’s overall yearly QBR but makes it easier to combine quarterbacks. was 74.8, while the average QBR for other quarterbacks who faced the same teams in the same season was 50.8. In the playoffs, Manning’s average QBR was 68.4, for a decline of 6.4 points. But the average QBR for other quarterbacks who played his playoff opponents was 41.9, an average decline of 8.9 points.The chart below shows all of Manning’s games since 2006. Every dot above the line is a Manning performance that exceeded that of other quarterbacks against the same defense.Yes, Manning had a pretty terrible game against a terrific Seattle defense, but he has a long history of lighting up similarly accomplished opponents.4In case you’re wondering, the toughest defense Manning has faced in this data set was the 2008 Baltimore Ravens, against whom he went 19-27 for 271 yards and 3 touchdowns.Kansas City ChiefsExpected wins: 8.3Playoff probability: 42 percent (22 percent to win the AFC West)Super Bowl win probability: 3 percent The Chargers have to be one of the NFL’s most frustrated franchises. In 2013, they led the league in average drive distance on offense — gaining an average of 37.6 yards per drive. They also had the lowest three-and-out rate, with only 25.6 percent of their drives failing to gain a first down. And overall they scored 2.32 points per drive, good for second in the league behind Denver’s 2.83. Their defense was mediocre, ranking 22nd in average points allowed per drive, but their net point differential between their drives and their opponents’ drives was ninth in the league. Despite all that, they finished only 9-7. The Chargers haven’t had a 10-win season since LaDanian Tomlinson’s departure in 2009.Since Philip Rivers took over as starting QB in 2006, the statistical darling and regular Pro Bowler has made the Chargers an offensive powerhouse, scoring 2.20 points per drive, the fourth-highest in the period, behind only the Patriots, Peytons,12i.e. the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos with Peyton Manning at quarterback. and Saints. This has put them in very good company among NFL franchises.Every team in the Chargers’ neighborhood has won a Super Bowl, and the only team with greater success to fail to win one over that period is the Patriots.Like Manning, Rivers has his detractors: He can’t win in the playoffs! He can’t win big games! He makes mistakes at key moments! These are the classic arguments against statistically sound quarterbacks who perform well year in and year out but then fail to perform well in a few games (or even a few parts of a few games) in January.But in this case, there may be something to it. At a cursory level, Rivers’s teams have not performed well in close games — which you see more of in the playoffs:Since good teams are less likely to get blown out, they will naturally lose closer games much more often than blowouts. For example, Tom Brady has won 92 percent of his games decided by eight or more points, but “only” 58 percent of those decided by seven or fewer. But even considering this, Rivers has been terrible: He has won 77 percent of his larger-margin games, but just 38 percent of close ones. And as far as football goes, this isn’t a very small sample: Rivers is 19-31 in those games.13This is another area where criticisms of Peyton Manning are turned on their heads: Manning is a whopping 30-16 in close games.The only quarterback who has won more blowouts and lost more close games is Aaron Rodgers. As a Super Bowl-winner and one of the highest-rated quarterbacks of all time, he may sound like good company, but as I discussed earlier, while Rodgers’s skills aren’t in doubt, his win-maximizing tactics are.With that in mind, I used a similar method to look more closely at when Rivers throws interceptions and touchdowns14This is also similar to the analysis I did with Matthew Stafford (I’ve been doing this a lot lately). The full report looks like this., and a few things stuck out:Like Rodgers, Rivers’s interception rate is lowest relative to expectation when his team is trailing by two or more scores. This is typically the best time to be “aggressive” in the passing game.Rivers is good at not throwing interceptions when his team is way ahead. While fine, that habit inflates his statistics. Not throwing interceptions in those situations will help things like his passer rating or his team’s points-per-drive stats, but it won’t improve the team’s chances of winning games by much.Rivers throws 26.0 percent of his interceptions in the first quarter, compared to a league average 18.4 percent (the only quarter in which he throws more interceptions per attempt than average). I have nothing against gambling early, but this is a symptom of a common syndrome, wherein a QB will gamble early, or when it comes down to the wire, but will be overly cautious in between.Rivers actually does appear to play worse than his usual self in close situations. For example, he throws 71.2 percent of his interceptions when the two teams are separated by one score or fewer, compared to a league average of 60.2 percent. Meanwhile, he throws 59.3 percent of his touchdowns in those situations, compared to a league average of 63.1 percent.So overall it appears that there are markers of Rivers being a bit too conservative in some of the wrong places. On top of that, it’s likely that his stats are a bit inflated, and he has played worse than normal in the highest-leverage situations.But good news, Chargers fans! This is preferable to consistency across scenarios. As I said with Rodgers, strategic shortcomings are fixable. And while playing the worst in the most important spots may get a quarterback a reputation as a choker, those are the most likely spots for his play to improve (as he regresses toward his own personal mean).Oakland RaidersExpected wins: 5.4Playoff probability: 10 percent (4 percent to win the AFC West)Super Bowl win probability: 0 percent Last year, the Oakland Raiders went 4-12 for the second year in a row. Aside from two 8-8 seasons in 2010 and 2011, for more than a decade the Raiders have been the New England Patriots of stinking. Since 2003 their loss totals are 14, 12 (five times), 11 (three times) and 8 (twice).Over that period, their defense has given up the most points per drive, and their offense has scored the second-fewest, leading to a net difference of -0.56 points. This is the worst net difference in football; on the opposite extreme are the Patriots (+.79) and the Peytons (+.77).So do the Raiders have any reason for hope?Yes!Following a (single) great preseason outing against the Seattle Seahawks, the Raiders have announced that they’ll be starting second-round draft pick Derek Carr on opening weekend. Carr is perhaps best known for being former No. 1 pick David Carr’s younger brother, though he also threw for a nation-leading 5,083 yards and 50 touchdowns in Fresno State’s 2013 Mountain West Conference campaign.15Full disclosure: My wife is from Fresno, and a number of her family members went to Fresno State, so I’ve been hearing about Carr for years.It would be quite reasonable to doubt the Raiders’ judgment after their recent history of high-profile coaching and quarterbacking disasters. But in a vacuum, having a QB drafted 36th starting on opening night should be good news to Raiders fans. I’ve modeled career success for rookie QBs based on a number of factors (such as weight and stature), including draft position. Combining this with data on how much each rookie played, we can estimate the expected number of wins following his rookie season for a QB drafted with the 36th pick like so16Technical stuff: This data represents QBs selected between 1970 and 2009 in the regular (non-supplemental) draft, taken between No. 2 overall and the seventh round (No. 1 picks severely skew the data), who recorded at least one game played (in whatever capacity) in the year they were drafted. I created linear models for each category using as predictor variables the logarithm of each player’s draft position and whether or not he played at least X games. I then plugged 36 and “yes” into each to get the Y values.:Without knowing how many games he’ll start, the expected number of post-rookie wins for a No. 36 pick is about 21. Knowing that Carr will start at least one game boosts him up to about 25 wins, and if he makes it to four games his wins go up to about 30. You can use other metrics as the predicted variable and the results are similar: His odds of “success” (which I defined as Career Approximate Value greater than 32.0) jump to 51 percent from 33 percent with four games started, and his average non-rookie AV jumps to 44.4 from 32.7.Four games seems to be about the inflection point — beyond that, as the number of rookie QBs in the data set who started that many games shrinks, it gets very noisy with a flatter trend.Note that I am absolutely not saying that it’s better to start rookie quarterbacks rather than let them develop. It’s likely that most (if not all) of the effect we’re seeing is merely a result of better quarterbacks being more likely to earn a starting nod than worse ones, independent of where they were drafted.All else being equal, the odds that Carr is the real deal are looking better.Read more of FiveThirtyEight’s NFL season previews. read more

DeMarcus Cousinss Kings Loved To Blow Leads — And Mount Huge Comebacks

There’s been no shortage of attention on the Sacramento Kings in the wake of their mind-boggling choice to deal DeMarcus Cousins to New Orleans for pennies on the dollar. But one thing that’s garnered almost no scrutiny is the inconsistency of the team’s play.The Kings this season have lost a league-worst five games in which they once held a lead of 15 points or more, according to NBA Miner, a site that tracks advanced and unusual statistics. But they’ve also tied for an NBA-best four wins in contests that they once trailed in by 15 points or more. How are those two things even possible?Well, it helps when you’re as inconsistent as the Kings are. Sacramento is the NBA’s worst team in first halves by far yet owns the league’s 10th-best net rating1A net rating measures how many points a team outscores an opponent by — or is outscored by — for every 100 possessions. in second halves (even better than the defending-champion Cavs). Those numbers fit the pattern of what’s happened in the team’s craziest outcomes: Three of Sacramento’s four major comebacks this season began during the third quarter, while four of the Kings’ five collapses began unraveling in the second quarter.In the comebacks, the Kings often had trouble containing opposing forwards — Andrew Wiggins, Gordon Hayward, Tobias Harris and Paul Millsap, among others — in the early going. But Sacramento wisely dumped the ball into Cousins, who repeatedly drew fouls and visits to the line during second halves, which allowed his team to play catch-up with the clock stopped. This especially worked in a 94-93 win over Utah, in which Cousins shot 10 free throws in the fourth quarter without taking a single field-goal attempt.During the back-breaking losses, the slow-paced Kings have often been outrun by their opponents. In a game on Nov. 10, the Lakers outscored Sacramento 13-4 in second-half fast-break points, according to NBA.com. The Warriors outscored the Kings 21-3 in fast-break scenarios during the second half of their Jan. 8 comeback. And the Pacers finished with a 22-0 second-half advantage in fast-break scoring over the Kings en route to a come-from-behind victory on Jan. 18. (Sacramento’s 3-point defense, one of the worst in the NBA, was also less than stellar in those second-half efforts.)Cousins obviously had a ton to do with the Kings’ outcomes in these games — particularly in a 3-point loss to the Sixers in which he had 46 points but fouled out in the final minute. But the loss of Rudy Gay, out for the season, arguably had a bigger impact in some cases.Gay tore one of his Achilles tendons in the midst of one of the collapses, with the Kings up by 10 against Indiana in a Jan. 18 contest that Sacramento once led by 22. Gay’s injury took a psychological toll on the club that night, Cousins told reporters after the game. Cousins shot 0-for-9 with six turnovers after halftime.And there was a tangible difference in the team’s play. Without Gay’s ability to ease some of the scoring burden (his 26 percent usage rate was the team’s second-highest before the team remade itself at the trade deadline), Cousins was overworked in some fourth periods. His fourth-quarter usage rate jumped to 57.5 percent during the last week and a half of January, after Gay’s injury, up from 37 percent earlier in the same month. That’d be asking too much of anyone — let alone the NBA’s most double-teamed post player.Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/cousinsnorudygay.mp400:0000:0000:16Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Things will change considerably now that Cousins is in New Orleans. The Kings can only hope that the move allows for increased stability, and perhaps fewer blown leads, going forward.Check out our latest NBA predictions. read more