Memphis’ Marc Gasol stopping LeBron JamesIt’s not enough for LeBron James that he is considered the best player on the planet. Apparently he wants to be considered the best defensive player, too.Memphis Marc Gasol was named the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year. James finished second in the voting, and the Miami Heat superstar was not happy.“It sucks,” James said Thursday. “It definitely sucks, though, finishing second. Who wants to finish second?”Gasol received 212 points and 30 first-place votes among a panel of media members and analysts. James finished with 149 points and 14 first-place votes.James stopped short of criticizing Gasol’s defensive merits, but the Heat star said he probably put together the best defensive effort of his career this season.James averaged career highs in defensive rebounds (6.8) and overall rebounds (8.0), along with 1.7 steals and 1 block per game. But his defensive impact is measured by the versatility that has seen James defend all five positions at times during the past three seasons with the Heat.Gasol averaged 7.8 rebounds, 1.7 blocks and one steal for a Grizzlies defense that allowed a league-low 88.7 points per game. The biggest case on Gasol’s behalf was that Memphis was 6.8 points per 100 possessions better defensively when Gasol was on the floor.James believes his defensive talent is unique.“I guard everybody on the floor,” James said while sitting at his locker in Milwaukee. “I don’t know if it’s one player in NBA history that’s guarded 1 (point guards) through 5 (centers). It’s over with now, but it’s cool.”The variety of defensive assignments have taken somewhat of a toll on James. But he said he’s never complained or turned down a matchup if the team needed his services. Against Milwaukee, James is likely to defend point guard Brandon Jennings at one stage, and later help in the paint on center Larry Sanders.“I have to know all the likes and dislikes, pros and cons, of each and every player in this league because at some point, I’m going to be matched up with them,” James said. “It’s a challenge for me mentally and physically.”Heat coach Erik Spoelstra has also campaigned on James’ behalf for more consideration as one of the league’s top defensive players. Even before Gasol was officially announced as the award winner, Spoelstra said he would like to see James break through soon as the winner.“I think he’s deserving every year,” Spoelstra said earlier this week. “Possibly in the eyes of other people, they take him for granted, his impact defensively. He guards 1 through 5 every night and he knows and accepts the challenge. In the fourth quarter, whoever the biggest threat is, that’s who he’s guarding.”
The UV environment of the Beagle 2 landing site: detailed investigations and detection of atmospheric state
December 25th 2003 will see the Beagle 2 lander arrive at the surface of Mars in the Isidis region, allowing for the first time in situ measurements of ultraviolet (UV) flux directly from the surface of Mars through the use of a sensor designed as part of a miniaturised environmental package. The expected conditions the sensor will experience are studied here, and the detection signatures for phenomenon such as dust devils. H2O clouds ands near-surface fogs are presented. The beginning and end of mission surface fluxes show little variation, though the period towards mid-nominal mission does experience a maximum in total daily dose levels. Diurnal profiles are calculated highlighting the effects of increased scattering towards shorter wavelengths. A possible dust storm scenario is presented, and the effect upon component UV fluxes is shown to reverse the relative contributions of direct and diffuse components of the total UV flux. The presence of cloud formation above the landing site will be detectable though the observation of elevated diffuse/direct flux ratios. Near-surface morning fogs show a characteristic ‘dip’ in the morning profile when compared to clear mornings, allowing their detection on cloud-free mornings through post-event analysis of long term data. Predicted Phobos eclipses are investigated at each of the sensor centre wavelengths, and show greatest reduction in relative intensity at short wavelengths. Observations of near-miss eclipse events will also be possible, through monitoring of the diffuse UV flux. Dust devil encounters are shown to create a double minima lightcurve, with the depth of the minima dependent upon the total dust loading of the vortex. The effects of these changing conditions on DNA-weighted irradiances are investigated. Possible dust storms provide the greatest increase in biological protection, whereas expected cloud formations at the Beagle 2 site are found to offer negligible protection. Within just five minutes of landing > 95% of any Bacillus subtilis-like bacteria present on the surface of the craft will have lost viability.