Prosecutors in Houston say a warrant has been issued for the arrest of Pro Bowl defensive end Michael Bennett for injuring a paraplegic woman as he tried to get onto the field at last year’s Super Bowl to celebrate with his brother.
Authorities say Bennett was a spectator at the game in Houston when he tried to get onto the field immediately after the game to see his brother, Martellus Bennett, a tight end for the Patriots at the time. Prosecutors say he pushed through security personnel, including a 66-year-old disabled woman who had told him to use a different entrance to access the field, after the Patriots came from behind to beat the Falcons, 34-28, in Super Bowl LI.
Jeff Green was awful, and it wouldn’t surprise me if Lue yanks him from the starting five, or at least pulls him earlier. The Cavs can’t run an optimal spread pick-and-roll with Green on the wing, because the defense ignores him. He’s not an accomplished pick-and-roll screener, so they can’t adjust by using him that way. The Pacers are hiding Myles Turner on him, which has the ripple effect of slotting two like-sized players — Bogdanovic and Thaddeus Young — on LeBron and Love, neutering that pick-and-roll combination.
He is also one of only five rookies since 2005-06, the year Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby came into the league, to finish the season averaging more than a point per game while appearing in at least half of his team’s games. Of those five, Barzal is the only one to appear in all 82 games of his rookie campaign. The company Barzal keeps in that group shows how special his accomplishment this season is. The center averaged 1.04 points per game, which puts him behind only Ovechkin (1.31), Crosby (1.26), Evgeni Malkin (1.09) and Connor McDavid (1.07), who appeared in 45 games in his injury-shortened rookie campaign.
While Barzal is in a class all his own this season, he was far from alone as an impact player in Year 1. The many immediate contributions are great signs for the teams that are drafting and signing these guys, and it’s great for the league that the players coming into the NHL seem to keep getting better.
Here’s a look at my top 10 rookies for the 2017-18 season.