Packers GM Ted Thompson talks draft strategy
Green Bay Packers General Manager Ted Thompson used to be known as the man who only trades down on draft day, with the goal of getting more picks.
Thompson says he still believes it's a good strategy to nail down a good player. But as he enters his ninth NFL Draft next week, Thompson says he's also putting more of an emphasis on quality up the ladder.
He says he's more willing to trade up if he sees value, just like in 2009 when he traded up to get Clay Matthews as a second pick in the first round.
Before then, Thompson's Packers pulled off nine trades on draft day, all of them with the goal of snaring more picks.
Thompson has also insisted that he focuses on the future in the war room, and not so much on immediate needs. But the Pack obviously scuttled that theory a year ago, when it loaded up on players who helped them shed their 2011 status of having the NFL's worst defense.
This time, the Packers have a host of needs which include linemen on both sides of the ball, defensive backs and possibly a running back.
The first round of the draft is Thursday night, April 25. The other six rounds will take place next Friday night and Saturday, April 26-27.
Heat routes Bucks
LeBron James had 27 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists in Miami's wire to wire 110-87 rout of the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference first-round series.
James tallied those 27 after tying a playoff career low with only 11 shot attempts. He made nine of those tries. James had only taken just 11 shots in a playoff game twice before.
Former Buck Ray Allen netted 20 points, former Marquette star Dwyane Wade added 16 and Chris Bosh finished with 15 for the Heat, who went 30-2 since the All-Star break, the best second-half winning percentage in NBA history.
Brandon Jennings, who predicted the Bucks would defeat the Heat in six games, tallied 18 of his 26 points in the first half for Milwaukee, which closed the year by dropping 15 of its last 21 tilts.
Monta Ellis recorded 22 points in defeat. The Bucks haven't won an opening-round series since 2001. Game 2 is slated for Tuesday in Miami.
Brewers sweep Cubs
Ryan Braun crushed a three-run homer prior to his eighth-inning ejection, and the Milwaukee Brewers finished off a three-game sweep of the Chicago Cubs with a 4-2 victory on Sunday at Miller Park.
Braun was tossed from the game for flipping his bat after taking a questionable called strike three, but his homer three frames earlier put Milwaukee ahead for good.
The Brewers, winners in seven straight games, received 6 2/3 solid innings from starter Wily Peralta (1-1), who gave up just one hit after surrendering a two-run homer to Anthony Rizzo in the third.
Jim Henderson came on in the ninth and preserved the win with his fourth save.
Chicago has now dropped 17 of its last 22 meetings with the Brewers, and was again plagued by poor defense. The Cubs committed two more errors on Sunday to give them 17 on the season.
Starter Scott Feldman (0-3), who committed one of the errors, had six strikeouts and was charged with four runs, one earned, on three hits over five frames.
Starlin Castro scored a run for Chicago and had a single to extend his hitting streak to a major league-best 13 games. The Cubs plated their only runs on Rizzo's homer in the third, going 0-6 with runners in scoring position.
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said on Saturday night that they are taking a wait and see approach with rookie Hiram Burgos after he became the first team pitcher to win his MLB debut since Yovani Gallardo six years ago.
The Brewers could either option Burgos back to Triple A Nashville, keep him in their starting rotation, or move him to the bullpen. Before being summoned to the Major Leagues, Burgos was 0-2 with a 2.70 ERA in three starts for Nashville.
Badgers spring game
Joel Stave and Curt Phillips separated themselves from the pack in the battle for the starting quarterback position in Wisconsin's spring game Saturday, April 20.
A little over 12,000 Badger fans were looking on at Camp Randall Stadium.
Stave broke his collarbone has October against Michigan State and missed the rest of the season, but he was strong Saturday, completing 15 of 20 passes for 161 yards and a touchdown.
Phillips was 8 of 13 for 82 yards through the air.
Melvin Gordon led all rushers with 74 yards on 17 carries, while Kenzel Doe caught eight passes for 93.
Using a complex scoring system, the Badger defense beat the offense, 61-47. The players take a few weeks off, then report for the summer conditioning program June 9.