The Gbarnga-Ganta highway now has a new look as the Chinese road building firm, CHICO, continues its engineering work under the World Bank contract.The new face of the road brought great delight to those who are plying the road daily; especially Nimbaians and those from the south-east.Nearly 40 years since the road was constructed under William R. Tolbert regime in 1976, it has in recent years turned very deplorable owing to what many believe was due to the long civil war.The worst condition was recalled in 2012 when rain damaged almost all poorly constructed roads in the country.The deplorable condition of roads that year hampered movement and made transportation fares to steadily rise.With funding from the World Bank, CHICO and the Government of Liberia in 2012, signed a contract to construct the piece of road from Gbarnga to Ganta Border for over US$ 100m.In mid-2013, CHICO began preparing its camps and setting up mechanism for the construction of the once talk about bad road around Liberia.Despite the late starting, the road work appears to be speeding than expected. At present, the portion of road from Jennepleta in Bong County to a village close to the boundary with Nimba had been paved.And on the Nimba side, the pavement is ongoing beginning from the town called Dukpe, near Kpain and moving toward Sokopa at the St. John River.Prior to the construction of the road, it took a vehicle over 2hrs to reach Ganta or Gbarnga from either side.Even the part of the road that is yet to be paved has been rehabilitated with the old tarmac removed thus creating a smooth condition for vehicles to freely move.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Spurs6123.516106.89+16.7 These Celtics produced a lot more value than expectedActual vs. projected wins added (based on Box Plus/Minus) on offense and defense, for members of the 2017-18 Boston Celtics in the regular season Abdel Nader24SF522+0.2-1.3+0.5+0.7 TeamRkPts/100 poss.RkPts/100 poss.RkPts/100 poss. Kings13109.3170.01+39.3 Jazz7123.3387.32+36.0 Rockets4132.41097.93+34.6 Data up-to-date through games played May 8.Source: Second Spectrum Jarell Eddie26SF6+0.0+0.0+0.0+0.0 OffenseDefenseNet Raptors5131.319111.58+19.7 Jaylen Brown21SG2152-0.2+1.6+1.5+2.9 Greg Monroe27C496+0.7+0.6+0.9+1.8 Pistons12110.5689.87+20.7 Terry Rozier23PG2068-0.3+3.3+2.3+3.6 Nuggets10117.0894.75+22.3 Guerschon Yabusele22PF235+0.1+0.1+0.2+0.3 +15.3+18.8+22.3+35.1 Kadeem Allen25PG107+0.0-0.3+0.1+0.1 Shane Larkin25PG775+0.5-0.2+0.5+1.0 Marcus Morris28PF1447+1.3+0.7+1.5+1.1 Semi Ojeleye23PF1150+0.4-1.2+1.1+1.4 Celtics8122.0588.64+33.4 PlayerAgePos.Min.Proj.ActualProj.Actual Xavier Silas30SG7+0.0+0.0+0.0+0.0 The best teams on out-of-bounds plays (at both ends)Net efficiency on sideline or baseline inbound plays, 2017-18 NBA season Suns16105.1284.26+20.9 Even with home-court advantage, there was little reason to think the Boston Celtics should be favored in their conference semifinal series against the Philadelphia 76ers. As Boston was struggling to grind out a seven-game first-round victory over the Milwaukee Bucks, Philly was resting up, having dispatched the Miami Heat with relative ease. And while the Celtics were down their best scorer (Kyrie Irving), the Sixers had center Joel Embiid back from injury to join all-around terror Ben Simmons as the series’ two headline players. On paper, the Celtics seemed to stand little chance — and the Las Vegas bookmakers agreed.In the end, though, Boston kept defying the odds like it’s done all season, closing out a surprising five-game series win over the 76ers Wednesday night. Al Horford outplayed Embiid, Terry Rozier continued his unheralded rise to playoff stardom and — perhaps most importantly — head coach Brad Stevens continued his yearlong project of spurring this team to play better than ever seemed possible. That’s been part of Stevens’s reputation since his days at Butler University, and the numbers bear it out, too: Stevens really does stand out in the ways we can measure coaching effectiveness.First, there are the X’s and O’s of Stevens’s playcalling, which got extra acclaim in the Philly series as the undermanned Celtics relied as much on tactics as talent to engineer the upset. Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer did a great job of detailing them here: How Stevens repositioned his bigs to reduce Embiid’s impact; how he deterred Simmons’s forays to the hoop in transition; how his inbounds plays changed the course of the series. That last skill is one Stevens has been making good use of all season, with Boston ranking fourth in the league in net efficiency on sideline and baseline out-of-bounds plays (according to Second Spectrum): Gordon Hayward27SF5+0.0+0.0+0.0+0.0 Daniel Theis25C936+0.3+0.6+0.9+3.0 Jayson Tatum19SF2438+0.8+2.0+2.3+4.9 Off. WinsDef. Wins Al Horford31C2277+3.2+4.1+5.3+6.5 Jabari Bird23SG115+0.0+0.0+0.1+0.1 That’s only the sixth time since the dawn of the 3-point era (1980) that a team won at least 55 games while carrying a projected record under .500.2The others were the 1998 San Antonio Spurs (in Tim Duncan’s rookie year), 1993 Houston Rockets, 1990 Spurs (David Robinson’s rookie year), 1989 Phoenix Suns and 1980 Boston Celtics (Larry Bird’s rookie year). Granted, much of it was due to the instant contributions of rookie Jayson Tatum, dramatic improvements from Rozier and NBA sophomore Jaylen Brown, and an MVP-type season by Irving — but that’s also the point. The best coaches, such as San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich, have a repeatable tendency to put up more wins than statistical projections say their roster should. With an average of 4.9 extra wins per season over his first five years on an NBA sideline, Stevens appears to be one of those coaches. And while Stevens’s value was clear to even the most casual NBA observers when Boston kept winning despite the injuries to Gordon Hayward and then Irving, it wasn’t so clear to the other 29 coaches in the league: Stevens received zero Coach of the Year votes from his peers.He’s taking it up an extra notch this postseason. The Celtics had a schedule-adjusted efficiency differential of +3.4 points per 100 possessions during the regular season (5.7 points/100 better than projected), but they’re up to +4.9 in the playoffs (8.3 points/100 better than projected). Sometimes, teams who overachieve in the regular season struggle to keep beating expectations in the postseason, where raw skill rules and the margin for error is much smaller. But Stevens and the Celtics have only gotten better at overachieving as the playoffs have gone on.Now Boston will have to face its toughest test yet, in the form of the team that eliminated them from last year’s postseason — the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavs did their own overachieving (maybe …) by unexpectedly sweeping the East’s No. 1 seed Toronto Raptors, but that was only after they lost more regular-season games than teams like the Celtics despite superior talent. A month into the playoffs, that talent is beginning to round into form next to LeBron James, who could be playing the best basketball of his entire career.If that sounds like a problem that even superior game-planning and locker-room management can’t solve, well, it may prove to be. But if anyone is up to the task, it’s probably Brad Stevens.Check out our latest NBA predictions. Total Beyond drawing on the whiteboard, Stevens seems to already be a master of the art of squeezing wins out of a roster via intangible factors such as fit, chemistry and player development. If we use each player’s projected Box Plus/Minus (Basketball-Reference’s estimate for points added per 100 possessions) as a guide,1Based on a variant of Basketball-Reference’s simple projection system, which regresses each player (particularly rookies and other low-minute players) toward a below-average, rather than average, mean on offense and defense. (This improves the predictive value of the projections.) and if we plug in how many minutes each player actually logged this season — a big consideration for a team riddled with injuries — we’d have expected Boston to only win about 38 games this season.The Celtics won 55. Aron Baynes31C1485-0.6-1.7+2.2+3.5 Jonathan Gibson30PG40+0.0+0.2+0.0-0.1 Kyrie Irving25PG1931+7.3+10.2+0.0+1.3 Bucks9121.615105.710+15.9 Projections use a weighted average of the previous three seasons, regressed to the mean and adjusted for aging patterns.Source: Basketball-Reference.com Marcus Smart23SG1614+1.7+0.2+2.9+2.9
WE’VE got some more behind the scenes footage of your Saints working hard in pre-season.We were invited to film the lads’ latest conditioning and gym sessions – and as you can see, they are working hard for the season ahead.Saints will kick off their Super League campaign with a trip to Warrington on Thursday February 13 before hosting Hull FC at Langtree Park eight days later.Tickets for those games are on sale from the Ticket Office at Langtree Park, by calling 01744 455 052 or by logging on here.Mobile users can see the video here.