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August 17, 2020

Corey Brewer says Lonzo Ball, offense can carry Lakers until defense improves

first_imgIt might be hard to make that case on Friday’s performance alone. While Ball and Ingram shone, and Brook Lopez added 19 points, neither team of young stars encountered much resistance.“If these two programs are the future of the NBA, there’s no defense in the future,” Suns coach Earl Watson told reporters. “It’s defenseless. It was offense versus offense.”The Suns allowed the Lakers to score 132 points two nights after losing to Portland 124-76 in their opener.“No matter what you say,” Brewer said, “every Laker fan who watched the game said the Lakers played their butts off tonight. And we won.”IN THEIR DEFENSEWalton was pleased with the way the Lakers responded Friday to a hard foul by Devin Booker and the resulting scuffle in the third quarter.Brewer had a breakaway layup and Booker fouled the veteran hard. Larry Nance Jr. rushed to help Brewer up, and in the process bumped into Booker. Booker leapt up and shoved Nance from behind.Booker and Nance were assessed technical fouls and Booker was also called for a flagrant foul. Before that was all sorted out, however, a tense scene played out, with players having to be separated.“Our guys stood up for our player, their team stood up for their player,” Walton said. “That’s what it should be. Never any violence, never anyone getting hurt. But the fact that our guys ran down there to have Brewer’s back is what matters.” Do the Lakers have a Julius Randle problem? AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersIn some ways, Brewer seems out of place on this team. A veteran of five teams playing in his 11th season, he is surrounded by teenagers and 20-year-olds. Last February he was traded from Houston, a team with championship aspirations, to the rebuilding Lakers.On Friday, however, the smiley swingman seemed as jubilant as ever, jumping passing lanes and leading fast breaks.“For me, I get to watch these young guys develop and I get to have fun playing basketball,” Brewer said. “With Lonzo out there playing the way he plays, (when) he starts playing fast, it’s going to be a lot of fun.”He also has confidence the Lakers (1-1) will be better than most projections.“We’re going to win some games,” he said. “People don’t think we’re going to be good, but we’re going to turn this thing around. We’re going to win some games.” Lonzo Ball’s focus in tight game reminds Lakers coach of Kobe Bryant Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error One of the Lakers’ young stars nearly notched a triple-double and another set a career scoring high, but when Coach Luke Walton went through his list of the players most important to the Lakers’ 132-130 victory over the Suns on Friday, he made sure to include 31-year-old Corey Brewer.“Corey came out and really set the tone,” Walton said. “He really energized this entire group. Guys were going nuts for him, mainly what he’s doing defensively.”Starting while Kentavious Caldwell-Pope served the second game of his two-game suspension, Brewer played 33 minutes and led all players with three steals. But after watching Lonzo Ball erupt for 29 points, 11 rebounds and 9 assists, and Brandon Ingram add 25 points, Brewer is convinced the Lakers’ offense is good enough to carry the team when the defense lags.Related Articles Lonzo Ball just misses triple-double as Lakers hold off Suns “We’ve got to play better defense,” Brewer said. “But offensively everything was clicking for us. If we play like that offensively, we play (just) a little defense, we’re going to beat a lot of teams.” Heisler: Lakers’ Lonzo Ball, Magic Johnson’s Magic, has his own magical arrival last_img read more

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July 20, 2019

A successful cancer researcher confronts a new challenge getting elected to Congress

first_img A successful cancer researcher confronts a new challenge: getting elected to Congress Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country The science candidates: races to watch in 2018 A Democrat, Westin is hoping to unseat longtime Republican incumbent John Culberson. Democrats view the seventh district, which includes Rice University and affluent neighborhoods on Houston’s west side, as a ripe target because it went narrowly for Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016 after previously supporting Republican presidential nominees Mitt Romney and John McCain by large margins in the 2012 and 2008 presidential contests, respectively.But before Westin can run against Culberson in the November general election, he must beat out six other candidates for his party’s nomination. Three have raised considerably more money, a conventional metric to judge a candidate’s viability, and a fourth is banking on name recognition from having made three previous runs at Culberson. And Culberson, who chairs a spending subcommittee that sets the budgets for several federal science agencies, is not without his own considerable resources, including the backing of a national Republican Party desperate to retain his seat.Indeed, even one of Westin’s staunch supporters is not-so-silently hoping the researcher won’t win and abandon his quest to treat—and one day cure—lymphomas. Westin would “do a fantastic job [in Congress], but he’s grossly overqualified for what goes on in Washington, [D.C.,]” says R. Eric Davis, an associate professor at MD Anderson who partners with Westin on cancer clinical trials. If Westin stays in cancer research, Davis says, “I think he could go on and become a thought leader in the field. There are so many other people who could do a good job without disrupting their careers.”Davis, whose political views are more conservative than Westin’s, isn’t being selfish. He’s just being a scientist. Productive, early career researchers like Westin traditionally have been loath to take such a leap into politics. But Westin, a physician who says he chose cancer research because it represented the greatest unmet need, believes that he can have an even bigger impact on society by serving in Congress. And he is hoping that 2018 is the right time for him to make that switch.A flurry of facts“I’m a 40-year-old father of three, a cancer doctor, and an award-winning researcher from MD Anderson; I deal with facts every day in my job.” That’s how Westin introduced himself to the 400 people who showed up last month at an elementary school on a rainy Saturday for a candidates’ forum on climate change. “My first commercial describes how I will stand up to [President Donald] Trump and his attacks on science. … When I’m in Congress I’ll use facts and science to fight back for us.”That style was much in evidence at the forum. It was well-suited to the format, in which Daniel Cohan, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at Rice University, posed a series of questions to the candidates on energy and environmental issues and demanded short, concise answers. And for better or worse, Westin used his responses to separate himself from the others at the table.When asked how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles, for example, most candidates talked about the need for more public transit and how to get people out of their cars. One even tried to blame their Republican opponent, asserting that “It’s not a technical problem, it’s a John Culberson problem.”Not Westin. “Seventy percent of our oil goes to transportation—cars and planes. We use 15 billion barrels a day, that’s $2 billion,” he explained. And he was just getting started. “When you drive your car, 85% of the gas you put in it is wasted, and only 5% is used to move the car forward,” he continued. “We can dramatically improve fuel efficiency by making our cars lighter, including the greater use [of] carbon fiber, which is also stronger than metal. I agree we need better public transportation. But in Houston we all know public transportation isn’t available. And we’re a driving state. So, we need to use new technology to get our cars better prepared for the 21st century.”Another question from Cohan, about increasing federal funding for climate and energy research, gave Westin a chance to display both his knowledge and his credentials. “I think this is one of the most important questions facing the country,” he began. “Are we going to be a global leader in technology, or are we going to move backwards? As a scientist, I’m uniquely qualified to discuss this.”After mentioning the funding he’s received from the National Institutes of Health, he cited data to rebut Trump’s proposals to cut federal research spending. “For every dollar the government invests in basic research, it produces a return on investment of $8.37,” Westin asserted. “We’re actually living longer and more productive lives as a result of that research, which generates $3.2 trillion every year to drive our economy.” Email Starting this month, ScienceInsider will be following the 2018 U.S. elections, which have attracted unusual interest from the scientific community. Dozens of candidates with backgrounds in science, technology, engineering, and math are seeking election to Congress, and hundreds more are running for state and local offices. We will be profiling candidates and reporting on news from the campaign trail.This story is the first in a three-part series about three Texas candidates with scientific backgrounds who are running for the U.S. House of Representatives as Democrats. The primary is 6 March.As a clinical oncologist at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, Jason Westin tries to help his patients cope with their deadly disease by being both honest and upbeat with them. He’s taking the same approach as a first-time candidate for the U.S. Congress: He accepts the long odds and steep learning curve, but he can also see a path to victory. Jason Westin, who until recently ran clinical trials testing treatments for lymphoma, hopes to claim the Democratic nomination to challenge the veteran Republican incumbent, John Culberson (TX). Jason Westin campaign Westin’s full-throated embrace of science sent the other candidates scrambling to keep up. “I’m a scientist, too, just a political scientist,” said one, to audience laughter. Another confessed, “I’m not a scientist, but I’m married to a scientist.” One candidate even called for restoring the Office of Technology Assessment, a nonpartisan arm of Congress created in 1972 to analyze scientific developments that was eliminated in 1995 after Republicans gained control of the House of Representatives.The prospect of flipping the seventh district from Republican to Democratic control has energized the party faithful and opened their wallets. Westin, for instance, had raised $389,000 by the end of 2017, an impressive total for a political newcomer. At the same time, it’s far less than the other top-tier candidates, who average $750,000. But second place may be good enough: If nobody receives a majority of the voters cast in the primary, the two top finishers will compete in a 22 May runoff.Westin has won the endorsement of 314 Action, a nonprofit group formed in 2016 with the goal of getting more scientists and engineers elected to local, state, and national offices. The organization says its support is based on its assessment of a candidate’s viability, judged mainly by the professionalism of the campaign and the size of its war chest.The group’s endorsement “is a way to verify my credentials,” Westin says. Such a stamp of approval can help him raise more money, he adds—a necessary evil for a candidate to be taken seriously. “It’s critical for me to do adequate fundraising to get my message out to voters,” he says. “There are so many things happening in the world these days, it’s hard to get their attention. So, fundraising is a key part of the campaign.”Treating the body politicWestin grew up in Florida and received both his undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Florida in Gainsville. He did his residency at the University of North Carolina (UNC) in Chapel Hill. He tacked a year onto his residency so he could be in step with his wife’s career as an obstetrician-gynecologist; during that time he helped create a department of hospital medicine at UNC. He started a clinical fellowship at MD Anderson in 2008 and joined the faculty in 2011.Westin launched his campaign last spring, and by the fall he had handed over management of his clinical trials—most recently testing the efficacy of a combination of three drugs used to treat large B-cell lymphoma—to colleagues. He’s also reduced his clinical hours to 1 day a week, leaving him 6 days a week to campaign. The schedule allows him to continue to practice medicine without running afoul of rules governing political activity by state employees. 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Even so, many want to talk about his campaign, and he says sometimes the patient-doctor relationship overrides their party affiliation. “I’ve had several patients tell me, ‘You’ll be the first Democrat I’ll be supporting in a couple of decades.’”Westin believes that his medical training will make him a more effective legislator. “Doctors don’t have the luxury of endlessly debating something,” he says. “When a patient comes to see you, you have to analyze the available facts, even if it’s not complete, come to a conclusion and explain it to them, and then act. And that’s something that I think would serve our political system well, in having more people who are trying to get things done.”The Republican members of Congress who are doctors also possess those skills, Westin acknowledges. And he’s surprisingly generous is explaining how, given similar backgrounds and training, they can take stances that he strongly opposes, such as repealing the Affordable Care Act or dismissing the role of humans in climate change.“I don’t think we want a Congress where everybody thinks the same way and every vote is unanimous,” he says. “That’s not healthy for our democracy. So I think having doctors with different backgrounds and perspectives is healthy.”A life-long Democrat, Westin says he’s too busy at work to discuss politics with colleagues, but he suspects that the 35 to 40 members of the center’s aggressive lymphoma team hold a range of political views. That’s certainly the case for Davis, who came to MD Anderson in 2009 and began his collaboration with Westin 2 years later. “When I was young I was a Republican,” says Davis, who grew up in South Carolina and worked as a pathologist before making a midcareer move into bench science. “Then I became an anti-Democrat. And now I’m an anti-Republican.”Westin has said repeatedly that he plans to return to MD Anderson if his bid for Congress is unsuccessful. But Davis isn’t so sure.“So if he doesn’t win,” Davis speculates, “I think he’ll ask himself, ‘Why didn’t I win?’ And if he thinks that it just takes time to gain recognition, and that maybe next time more people will know him, then who knows. He has so much going for him—he’s photogenic, he’s got a family, he’s at MD Anderson, [and] he’s got people like me who praise him to the hilt.” Jason Westin at the March for Science in Washington, D.C., with his spouse, Shannon, and their children.  The science vote Follow our rolling coverage of 2018’s science candidates. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) By Jeffrey MervisFeb. 23, 2018 , 12:35 PMlast_img read more

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