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September 20, 2016
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Comments Off on Canada WJC coach Lowry latest Neilson protege

Canada WJC coach Lowry latest Neilson protege

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More than a dozen years have passed since Hockey Hall of Fame member Roger Neilson died after a lengthy fight against cancer. But his coaching tentacles remain alive and well at all levels, including Dave Lowry, who will coach Canada at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship.

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Dallas Stars Jerseys coach Lindy Ruff learned his trade as an assistant under Neilson with the Florida Panthers Jerseys two decades ago. Three-time Stanley Cup-winning coach Joel Quenneville of the Chicago Blackhawks Jerseys had Neilson on his staff with the St. Louis Blues in the late 1990s.

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Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau played for Neilson with the Toronto Maple Leafs Jerseys in the 1970s. Neilson protégé Craig Ramsay is a consultant for the Montreal Canadiens Jerseys coaching staff, as is Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin, who was a player for Neilson while he was an assistant coach in Chicago and St. Louis.

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Luke Richardson (Binghamton Senators) and Dallas Eakins (San Diego Gulls) have gone from playing for Neilson to coaches in the American Hockey League.

And then there is Lowry, the coach of Victoria in the Western Hockey League who will lead Canada when the 2016 WJC starts Saturday in Helsinki against the United States (1 p.m. ET; NHLN). The defending gold medalists also will play Sweden, Denmark and Switzerland in preliminary-round play.

Lowry, 50, played two seasons for Neilson with the Florida Panthers Jerseys in the 1990s. Lowry said no coach had as much influence on him as Neilson.

“I’d have to say Roger Neilson, his preparation and the way he treated and respected his players,” Lowry said.

Lowry was a popular teammate during his 1,195 NHL regular-season and Stanley Cup Playoff games. He worked hard, was prepared, was versatile. He played on the first line at times and on the fourth line, scratching out a 19-season career despite being picked by the Vancouver Canucks in the sixth-round (No. 110) of the 1983 NHL Draft.

“Dave was a good teammate, a good communicator and he had a passion for the game,” said Brian Bradley, Lowry’s linemate with London of the Ontario Hockey League and with the Canucks. “He knows what it takes to be a successful player. He had to work hard for everything he achieved. Nothing came easy for him.”

In December 1984, Lowry and Bradley traveled to Belleville, Ontario, for Canada’s junior selection camp for the 1985 WJC. Bradley made the team and won gold, while Lowry was among the final cuts.

Lowry returned to London and put the finishing touches on a 60-goal season in 1984-85. He turned pro the following season, and helped Fredericton reach the Calder Cup Final in 1988, and played in the Stanley Cup Final with the Panthers in 1996 and Calgary Flames in 2004.

Becoming a coach was a no-brainer after his playing days wholesale nhl jerseys concluded in 2004.

“From just playing the game and it being a big part of your life, hockey is one thing that was consistent growing up,” he said. “I always had a passion for the game and I always knew I wanted to stay in it in some capacity and I don’t have any interest in being on the management side.”

After a stint as coach of Calgary in the WHL, Lowry was hired as an assistant coach on Brent Sutter’s staff with the Flames. Lowry was the first person Sutter interviewed for the vacant spot.

“Dave knows the game very well,” Sutter said. “He’s been in the game a long time and experienced a lot of big games as a player. He made the transition from player to coach smoothly.

“He gets a lot from his players. His teams are disciplined, structured and he gets maximum effort.”

Lowry has leaned on Sutter in preparation for his role with the Canada at the WJC. Even though Lowry was an assistant coach with Canada at the 2015 WJC, he sought advice from Sutter, who coached Canada at three World Junior tournaments, winning back-to-back gold medals in 2005 and 2006.

“Brent and I have talked. He’s been here and he knows what to expect,” said Lowry. “You lean on people you respect.”

Said Sutter, “My main message was to be himself and find a way to get the most out of his players. It’s a different animal when this tournament is over in Europe. He has to keep his players focused and find a way for them to get accustomed to the international ice surface.”

Sutter said he believes Lowry will do fine in the high-pressure position of coach of Canada at the World Juniors.

“It was wholesale nhl jerseys good that he was an assistant last year when they won gold in Canada,” Sutter said. “Of course he’s my friend but I respect him as a coach. This will be a fantastic experience for him and he’ll do well.”

September 12, 2016
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Comments Off on Raiders, Kelechi Osemele agree in principle on deal

Raiders, Kelechi Osemele agree in principle on deal

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The Raiders will make the first high-priced splash in free agency.

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NFL Media’s Rand Getlin reported Tuesday the team will ink former guard/tackle Kelechi Osemele Jerseys to a deal, per a source informed of the negotiations. Both sides have already agreed to the pact in principle, per Getlin. Terms of the deal were not available and cannot be finalized until Wednesday.
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Osemele, who will turn 27 before training camp, is a five-year veteran considered a consensus top-five free agent this offseason. He was listed as No. 3 overall on Around The NFL’s top free agents list. Osemele was a second-round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft and has started 51 games over the past four seasons. He can play left tackle, right tackle or guard.

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The move should be a sound one for the Raiders, who continue to place a premium on offensive linemen in free agency. The team emptied its pockets for center Rodney Hudson Jerseys a year ago, and also signed away guard/tackle Austin Howard Jerseys from the Jets.

Osemele’s signing will help the Raiders stay agile as they plug gaps across their front five. Tackle Donald Penn Jerseys is set to become a free agent and could price himself out of Oakland’s range due to his age (32) and asking price. J’Marcus Webb is also a free agent, leaving a hole at the wholesale nfl jerseys guard position.

Depending on how Menelik Watson Jerseys returns from a ruptured Achilles, the Raiders could have a very different looking offensive line in 2016. They can be rest assured that Osemele will wholesale nfl jerseys be comfortable just about anywhere, and with nearly $70 million in cap space, they will pay handsomely for that luxury.

September 6, 2016
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Comments Off on Osweiler working with Texans receivers in Arizona

Osweiler working with Texans receivers in Arizona

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The Houston Texans might not have met with Brock Osweiler Jerseys before signing him to a big-money contract, but the quarterback isn’t taking that same chance with his teammates before offseason workouts start.

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With the Texans not wholesale nfl jerseys china reporting for their offseason workout program until April 18, Osweiler is taking the opportunity to get some extra work in with his new receivers.

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Tania Ganguli of ESPN reports Osweiler gathered a group of players together at Arizona State — his alma mater, which he shares with new teammate Jaelen Strong. Receivers DeAndre Hopkins Jerseys, Strong, Cecil Shorts Jerseys, Keith Mumphery and quarterback Tom Savage Jerseys all reportedly attended.
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The group arrived on Monday and will work together for a week.

It’s not new for quarterbacks to gather players for offseason throwing sessions. Mark Sanchez famously hosted a “Jets West” camp each summer in California during his time in New York. Peyton Manning Jerseys often trained with wideouts at Duke during the summer.

For Osweiler it’s a solid step to create chemistry and a working relationship with his new receiving corps. One under-discussed aspect of quarterback play is the importance of timing between quarterback and receiver. Getting some extra work in before the coaches get involved can only help.

The added bonus is the receivers are able to pass on intimate knowledge of Bill O’Brien’s offense to Osweiler, giving the quarterback a jumpstart on preparations.

The Texans are hoping Osweiler can stop the merry-go-round of quarterbacks that has been spinning in Houston over the past three seasons. Improved play from the quarterback spot should also help aid Hopkins to an epically monster year after he carried mediocre passers last season.

September 1, 2016
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Comments Off on Pacers start fast, make quick work of Raptors to tie series

Pacers start fast, make quick work of Raptors to tie series

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INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Pacers Jerseys are not a good offensive team, especially when they have to manufacture shots against a set defense. The Pacers ranked 23rd in offensive efficiency in the regular season and over the last three games of their first round series with the Toronto Raptors Jerseys, they’ve shot 49 percent in the first 12 seconds of the shot clock and 30 percent in the last 12 seconds.

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The pace in this series has favored the Raptors, who ranked 29th in possessions per 48 minutes. The Pacers, who ranked 10th, would prefer to run. Playoff basketball is generally slower than the regular season, but every possession counts and every opportunity to get an easy basket is an important one. Those opportunities in the first quarter of Game 4 on Saturday were particularly critical in allowing the Pacers to take control of the game.

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The boxscore shows just eight fast break points for the Pacers in a 100-83 victory that evened the series at two games apiece, with Game 5 in Toronto on Tuesday. The player-tracking data shows fewer shots in the first 12 seconds of the shot clock (29) than Indiana had in any of the first three games.

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But in the first quarter, transition and secondary-break opportunities set the tone and gave the Pacers a cushion that sustained them all afternoon.

Monta Ellis’ numbers (seven points on 3-for-7 shooting, three assists) don’t stand out in the boxscore. But he was the guy pushing the ball in transition off of steals, missed shots, and even made buckets. In wholesale nba jerseys fact, the Pacers’ first transition opportunity came after a Jonas Valanciunas put-back on the other end of the floor. Ellis took the inbounds pass, got an early sideline screen from Myles Turner, and was scoring over Valanciunas with 18 seconds left on the shot clock.

A few minutes later, a DeMar DeRozan turnover turned into a Paul George dunk off a fast-break feed from Ellis. Then came George by himself, slicing through the Raptors’ defense in transition. Later in the quarter, Ellis capped a 9-0 run that pushed the Indiana lead to 14 points with a 3-pointer with 17 on the shot clock and the Toronto defense having failed to match up.

“That’s been the plan all series,” George said, “to try to get out and get easy offense, get easy opportunities, strike early, strike quick. That’s been a key. We’ve done it very few times throughout this series, but I thought tonight, we had a good stretch. Every time I turned my head, we were under the basket, getting a layup. That was a positive and we definitely took a step forward in that direction.”

It started on the other end of the floor. It’s hard to run when you’re taking the ball out of the basket, and the Pacers had their best defensive game of the season. They’re a defensive team first and foremost, and they led the league in points off turnovers. On Saturday, they forced 19 miscues from the Raptors, 10 of the live-ball variety.

“We got to get back, get down and get set early, because they were playing early,” Raptors coach Dwane Casey said about his team’s inability to stop the Pacers’ transition game. “Taking care of the basketball will give us a chance to get back and get down. That’s the ball game.”

With a clear intent to get into the offense early and keep the ball moving, things came easier for the Pacers’ offense than they had all series. They put the Raptors on their heels and outscored them 50-26 in the paint. After getting no more than 13 baskets at the rim in the first three games, the Pacers had 23 in Game 4, a number that correlated with their ability to push the ball.

“If we let them come down and put their elite rim protector in the charge circle for 48 minutes and try to play half-court against these guys, it’s going to be a struggle,” Pacers coach Frank Vogel said. “Those guys are great. [Bismack] Biyombo and Valanciunas at the rim are very, very difficult to score on. So we need points in transition. The boxscore only has us for eight, but I thought we ran a lot better than we have all series.”

The Raptors looked clearly like the better team in this series after Game 3. But the Pacers responded and were the team that played with more purpose on Saturday. After two first round exits over the last two years, Toronto will be feeling the pressure, especially with DeRozan and Kyle Lowry having combined to shoot 31 percent through the first four games.

The Pacers’ defense deserves a lot of credit for those numbers and is among the best in the league. And if they can get out in transition, their offense isn’t so bad either.

John Schuhmann is a staff writer for NBA.com. You can e-mail him here and follow him on Twitter.

The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting. Trending

August 26, 2016
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Comments Off on Felix Hernandez debuts for Mariners

Felix Hernandez debuts for Mariners

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PEORIA, Ariz. — Mariners ace Felix Hernandez Jerseys wasn’t sharp in his Cactus League debut on Monday, allowing six hits and three runs in 2 1/3 innings against the Rockies before being lifted by manager Scott Servais after reaching 50 pitches.

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But Hernandez said it was a typical spring opener and he felt strong and on track as he prepares for his 12th season in the Majors.

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“It was good. I’m happy to be out there again,” said Hernandez. “A lot of swinging at the first pitch, so it’s kind of hard to pitch like that. But I felt pretty good. I was pounding the strike zone — good curveball, good changeup, I need to get a little more command of my fastball.”

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Hernandez, who did have five strikeouts with one walk, will have three more spring outings before making his club-record ninth Opening Day start on April 4 at Texas.

Catcher Chris Iannetta Jerseys, catching Hernandez for the first time, liked what he saw and put little stock in the results.

“He had good command of his fastball, it’s just Spring Training,” Iannetta said. “You can’t really set guys up. Guys don’t really go up there with a plan. They’re just swinging. Our plan was to get ahead, we did that and they swung and ran into some balls.

“The results don’t really matter. You just take away — how did he feel? Is he healthy? He is. Did his stuff look good? Yes. That’s all that matters.”

The rest of Seattle’s starters have already made at least two Cactus League appearances, but Hernandez is on his normal spring routine that calls for a later start as he readies for the long haul of the regular season. The approach has certainly worked in the past: Hernandez has exceeded 200 innings for eight straight seasons, and he’s 6-0 with a 1.49 ERA on Opening Day.

Hernandez went 0-3 with a 10.22 ERA in four Cactus League starts last year, then threw seven innings of two-hit ball with 10 strikeouts in a 4-1 win on Opening Day at Safeco Field.

Hernandez threw 10 strikes in his 11 pitches in the first, but gave up a run when Trevor Story tripled to right-center and scored on a wild pitch — the lone ball he threw that frame — on a fastball that went behind the batter all the way to the backstop.

“That’s an Arizona cutter,” Iannetta said. “The dry air, and the ball just takes off sometimes.”

Hernandez gave up a leadoff double to wholesale mlb jerseys Ryan Raburn Jerseys in the second and Raburn advanced to third on a one-out bunt single by Cristhian Adames Jerseys. But both runners were stranded when Hernandez struck out the final two batters.

After Hernandez allowed three singles — including another bunt single — and a walk in the third, Servais replaced him following a two-run, bases-loaded single by Raburn that gave Colorado a 3-0 lead. Reliever Adrian Sampson eliminated any further damage by getting Tom Murphy Jerseys on a double-play line drive to end the inning.

“This is Spring Training,” said Raburn, a 10-year veteran fighting for a roster spot with the Rockies on a Minor League deal. “He’s working on stuff. I’m working on stuff. This doesn’t mean I’m going to be a Hall of Famer by any means.”

Hernandez said he needs to work on his fastball command, but otherwise was content with his initial progress.

“It was my first time out there and [Servais] didn’t want me to throw any more than 50 pitches, but I felt really strong,” Hernandez said.

Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB, read his Mariners Musings blog, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs. Share This Email Print + Hide Comments

August 22, 2016
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Comments Off on Injuries: Houston dealing with hyperextended knee

Injuries: Houston dealing with hyperextended knee

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The Kansas City Chiefs got some good news regarding Justin Houston Jerseys on Thursday.

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Trainer Rick Burkholder told reporters that Dr. James Andrews confirmed a hyperextended knee for Houston and wholesale jerseys noted that the swelling is going down.

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“I don’t want anybody to be alarmed that he saw Dr. Andrews. We knew it, we’re good with it,” Buckholder said, per the Kansas City Star.

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It’s positive news following NFL Media’s Rand Getlin reporting Wednesday that there was fear within the building the linebacker could miss the rest of the regular season. However, we still don’t have an exact timetable for Houston’s return and the Chiefs could be pushing for a playoff berth without their best pass rusher.

Here are other injuries we’re tracking today:

1. Colts quarterback Matt Hasselbeck Jerseys returned to practice. Coach Chuck Pagano told reporters earlier this week he expected Hasselbeck to make a Thursday practice return, and it seems like a good bet Hasselbeck starts for the Colts against the Texans this Sunday.

2. Giants wide receiver Dwayne Harris Jerseys left practice early due to a sore shoulder, per multiple reports.

3. Redskins wide receiver DeSean Jackson Jerseys (knee) was limited in practice. “He ran out around pretty good today in individual. Did some team drills, too,” Jay Gruden told reporters, per CSN Washington.

Star left tackle Trent Williams Jerseys (foot) was a full go.

August 17, 2016
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Comments Off on Noah Syndergaard aims to keep elbow healthy

Noah Syndergaard aims to keep elbow healthy

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PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — The thought first wormed its way into Matt Harvey Jerseys’s mind at the University of North Carolina, because that’s where he saw the epidemic up close. When two of Harvey’s Tar Heel teammates tore the ulnar collateral ligaments in their elbows, they struggled to recover from the resulting Tommy John surgeries.

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Harvey began thinking about surgery, too.

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“There were definitely a few times when I looked at my arm and said, ‘I don’t want to have a scar,'” he recalled.

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As a hard-throwing pitcher placing daily stress on his elbow, Harvey found it difficult to wipe the thought from his brain. It lodged there as he climbed through the Mets’ system and watched others in the organization — including then-prospect Jacob deGrom Jerseys — undergo the procedure. It remained there until the summer of 2013, when Harvey’s own UCL snapped, forcing him to the operating table.

The unavoidable scar now snakes up Harvey’s elbow, plain to see at a far bank of Spring Training lockers. Three of the four starting pitchers who neighbor Harvey there — deGrom, Zack Wheeler Jerseys and Steven Matz Jerseys — have also undergone Tommy John surgeries. The fourth, Noah Syndergaard Jerseys, will make his Grapefruit League debut Thursday (1:10 p.m. ET on MLB.TV) amid soaring expectations — a 6-foot-6 flamethrower primed to join the game’s elite.

Seemingly only one thing can hold him back.

“I’ve thought about it quite a bit,” Syndergaard said. “But I trust myself to put my body in the right situations to be able to perform at a healthy level.”

Though the causes of UCL tears remain largely unquantifiable, Syndergaard advertises many of the risk factors. He throws harder than all but a handful of pitchers in baseball history, topping out at 101 mph. He is young — just 23 — and coming off a season in which he amassed 65 2/3 more innings than the year before. He has spent his early days in Florida working on a slider, a pitch that typically places extreme wholesale jerseys china stress on the elbow. Syndergaard earns the win WS2015 Gm3: Syndergaard fans six to earn the win10/30/15: Noah Syndergaard Jerseys pitches six quality innings, allowing three runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out six to win Game 3

Understanding all that, Syndergaard prides himself on proper nutrition, strength and conditioning techniques. The Mets, in turn, have maintained strict care of Syndergaard since the day they traded for him, limiting his innings increases to 14 and 13 percent — quite conservative numbers — his first two seasons. Pitching coach Dan Warthen fusses over Syndergaard’s mechanics. Even last year, when postseason play shot his workload 49 percent higher, the Mets took measures to dampen his innings.

“I don’t lose sleep over it,” is how Syndergaard responds to a question about elbow fragility, but that doesn’t keep the issue from populating his mind. How could it, with reminders scarred into the arms he sees every day?

“You’re always optimistic that these things will be avoided,” general manager Sandy Alderson said, “but it’s fairly commonplace.” Starting pitchers from 2015, minimum 2,000 pitches thrown.

Take Harvey, for example, another large-bodied pitcher with a tireless work ethic and textbook mechanics. After Harvey reached the big leagues, his worries about surgery did eventually start to ease. But all it took was one twinge for those old fears to resurface.

“I think now, there are things I could have done better in high school or in college to maybe prevent it,” Harvey said. “But I don’t know. I’m not saying [Noah] works that much harder than everybody else, because we all work hard. I think as time progresses, guys pay more attention to stretching the shoulder, strengthening the shoulder. If I could go back — I don’t know if this would have prevented me from having [surgery], but if I could go back and really do 20 extra minutes every day of stretching or arm care, you never know what could happen.” Harvey on his spring debut NYM@ATL: Harvey on three-inning start vs. Braves3/8/16: Matt Harvey Jerseys discusses his spring debut vs. the Braves after giving up three hits and one earned run over three innings of work

Though the Mets have endured a rash of high-profile Tommy John surgeries in recent years, including two on their big league staff last March, Alderson said he doesn’t consider his team unique in that regard. Velocity readings around the game have never been higher, adding stress to elbows that are popping at alarming rates. In baseball circles, it’s no longer news; teams such as the Mets have studied the phenomenon independently and are using that data to fine-tune care of their pitchers. But right now, the application is limited mostly to babysitting workloads.

“I figured eventually, it would happen,” admitted Wheeler, whose UCL tore last March. “I was hoping it wouldn’t. … But it’s a part of your job. Your arm’s going to hurt.”

Even now, with a fresh elbow tendon growing stronger by the day, Wheeler fears another tear. He will for the rest of his career, just as Syndergaard knows he will be always be at risk.

All he can do is lean on a work ethic that he calls “second to none” and hope his lottery number never gets called.

“Anything can happen,” Syndergaard said. “You try to prevent it as much as possible, but at the same time you’re not always in control. Some guys go through their entire careers without having any problems.”

He looked up. “Hopefully, I will be one of those guys.”

Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs. Share This Email Print + Hide Comments

August 11, 2016
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Comments Off on LeBron, Cavs shrug off pesky, yapping Pistons in Game 2

LeBron, Cavs shrug off pesky, yapping Pistons in Game 2

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CLEVELAND — LeBron James was impeccably attired, sitting calmly in a sleek charcoal suit, a white-collared shirt, no necktie and a pocket square properly poofed. His arms were at his side and he showed almost no emotion, leaving most of the yuks to the Cleveland Cavaliers Jerseys’ incorrigible little brother, J.R. Smith, seated just to his right.
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The guy who fielded questions as if he were attending an arts symposium bore no resemblance to the terror who was agitated, animated and running hot throughout the Cavaliers’ 107-90 Game 2 victory over Detroit Wednesday night at Quicken Loans Arena.

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Just as James had shrugged off some of the noise coming Monday and Tuesday from the Pistons’ headquarters up in Michigan — where they had retreated for the two days between Games 1 and 2 in the Eastern Conference playoff series, rather than staying in Cleveland — he would not give them the satisfaction of dominating his thoughts or comments afterward.

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In between, though, James gave some of the yapping Detroit players, particularly rookie Stanley Johnson and forward Marcus Morris, some of the guff and grief they had vowed to throw at him. Johnson, in particular, had risen to pest level by talking boldly about how he planned to match up and counter with James, including declaring it “on” if the competition between his 19-year-old self and the Cavs’ superstar reached a certain pitch.

James had scoffed at suggestions he was going to be drawn into an extracurricular clash with the talented but raw Detroit rookie. Nor did he intend to fire back at Stan Van Gundy, who’d been fined $25,000 for criticizing the Game 1 referees for allowing James’ alleged offensive fouls.

“I’m not having an individual matchup with Stan or an individual matchup with Stanley or any other Stan they can possess,” James said.

Dismissive in words, James actually was far more engaged in deeds. Besides the game-high 27 points he scored, including 14 in the second quarter, the Cavs forward had multiple run-ins with Johnson. There was a shoulder shiver he gave the 6-foot-7 opponent from Arizona when they crossed paths during a timeout in the first quarter. There were some exchanges at both ends after plays in which James got the better of Johnson.

There was a ferocious dunk in the second quarter, too, James going primal when he slammed down a pass from Matthew Dellavedova. He grabbed the rim, gyrated and emoted, the crew on Cleveland’s bench raucously joining in.

James Throws It Down

LeBron James throws down the dunk with authority.

James didn’t go easy on Morris, either, who had scored 20 points in Game 1. This time, the Pistons forward missed eight of his 10 shots, appeared to let that rattle him defensively and finished with 11 points. When James hit his first of two 3-pointers, he scrunched up his face and shook his head, bewildered why Morris hadn’t bothered to contest his open shot more aggressively.

Later, with about six minutes left and Detroit long clocked out, things turned nasty. James had barreled down into the paint only to get hit by first Andre Drummond, the Detroit center, then Morris. One of the blows appeared to hurt, James grabbing at his ribs close to his left armpit.

He could be seen saying something to a referee and then to teammates on the bench. Lip readers were fairly certainly he went with “I’ll [bleep] that [bleeper] up!”

Their whole team [jabbers], kind of like their little cheerleaders on the bench. Every time you walk in the right corner. They’re always saying something like they’re playing basketball, like they’re actually in the game.

– Detroit’s Stanley Johnson

All of it demonstrated how determined James was to grab Game 2 by the throat and make up, if possible, for the confidence his Cavaliers breathed into the brash-now-veering-into-irritating No. 8 seed. It was pretty evident James set out to remind the Pistons just where they were playing, and against whom.

James wasn’t about to give them the satisfaction of dwelling on the Detroit crew in his comments afterward. But Johnson and Morris weren’t shy.

“I’m definitely in his head. That’s for sure,” Johnson said in the visitors dressing room late Wednesday. “I wish he would just talk when [the game] is 0-0, not when he’s up 16.”

Johnson unloaded not just on James but on his fellow Cavs, some of whom don’t play all that much.

“He jabbers,” Johnson said. “He moves his mouth sometimes. Their whole team does, kind of like their little cheerleaders on the bench. Every time you walk in the right corner. They’re always saying something like they’re playing basketball, like they’re actually in the game. There’s only seven or eight players who play, I don’t see why the other players are talking. They might as well just be in the stands, in my opinion.”

And then somewhat cryptically, Johnson said of James: “He’s going to have to strap his cheap sports jerseys shoes in every night tight because I’m going to strap my shoes in every night tight.”

Morris pushed back hard too, when someone suggested that James was threatening him with the “[bleep] that [bleeper] up!” remark. “I know for a fact he wasn’t talking to me,” Morris said. “You can quote me on that.”

Even Van Gundy got a little cantankerous when a reporter sought a comment about Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue’s lineup tweak, using James at the start of the second and fourth quarters with mostly subs. “LeBron’s always a pretty good adjustment, yeah,” Van Gundy said, sarcasm revving. “That’s really smart coaching. It is. It’s really smart coaching, putting LeBron on the floor. Give him a lot of credit for that adjustment, if that’s what you want to call it.”

I will make sure our guys understand that we’re here to play basketball. Everything else is irrelevant.

– LeBron James

In emotions and rhetoric, this would seem to have the making of a long, contentious, potentially head-butting series. But in basketball, it’s trending in the wrong direction. After a performance in Game 1 impressive beyond their tender years, the Pistons unraveled after halftime in this one. Instead of applying pressure with 15-of-29 shooting from the arc as they had Sunday, they fizzled to a 4-of-17 clip. And considering Cleveland was 20-for-38 from out there (tying the NBA record for 3-pointers made in a playoff game), Detroit got outscored by 48 points from 3-point range.

And no sooner had the Pistons scored seven unanswered points to start the third quarter, grabbing a 60-55 lead, than the Cavaliers fought back with a 16-2 run. Van Gundy burned through his timeouts fast but that didn’t matter, because his team didn’t need any late.

It would be encouraging to think the Pistons will find their spunk by Game 3 Friday at The Palace of Auburn Hills. At the moment, though, they seem a little yappy, more bark than bravado, mostly to puff up themselves.

Yet James was dismissing them almost entirely, like flicking a few pieces of lint off his fine threads. Asked about video showing his flare-up over the elbow blow he took and the prospect of the series turning dirty, the Cavs forward said: “There hasn’t been one dirty play in this series. For me, I’m the last person who’ll ever allow physical play to go to the other side — I know how much I mean to my team and I understand what this is all about. And I will make sure our guys understand that we’re here to play basketball. Everything else is irrelevant.

“We want to play physical. We want to get up into those guys, make it tough on ’em. But the game is played in between the four lines. Video here, video there, it means absolutely nothing. I took a shot. I’m OK, I’m still standing tall. I’ll be ready on Friday.”

Ready to extract his price all over again, perhaps, pushing the Pistons to the brink of elimination.

Steve Aschburner has written about the NBA since 1980. You can e-mail him here and follow him on Twitter.

The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting. Trending

August 6, 2016
by admin
Comments Off on Wild goaltender Dubnyk has mild groin strain

Wild goaltender Dubnyk has mild groin strain

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Minnesota Wild Jerseys goalie Devan Dubnyk Jerseys has a mild groin strain and will not play Monday against the Colorado Avalanche Jerseys, coach Mike Yeo said Sunday.

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However, Yeo said Dubnyk could return either Friday at the Arizona Coyotes or Saturday at the San Jose Sharks.

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“Next weekend is a possibility,” Yeo told the Wild website. “Where we’re at in the season, we won’t put him in the net if he’s at risk of hurting himself and being out longer. Probably pretty good timing with the week that we have right now. We’ll see if [Dubnyk] is ready for practice when we get back [from Colorado].”

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Dubnyk, who is second in the NHL with 13 wins, left the Wild’s 3-0 victory Saturday against the Avalanche cheap nhl jerseys with 9:05 left in the second period after making 11 saves. Backup Darcy Kuemper Jerseys completed the shutout with nine saves for Minnesota, which carries a shutout streak of 154:39 into Colorado on Monday.

Kuemper will start against the Avalanche. Niklas Backstrom Jerseys will dress as the backup.

“Every opportunity you get to play is cheap nhl jerseys exciting…it’s a big game for the team,” Kuemper said in comments tweeted by the Wild.

August 2, 2016
by admin
Comments Off on 11 players who need more Pro Bowl love

11 players who need more Pro Bowl love

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With the end of the regular season approaching, our attention is beginning to turn to postseason honors. Chris Wesseling has done a great job looking at the MVP and Defensive Player of the Year races in recent weeks.
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We wanted to shine a spotlight on Pro Bowl voting, which ends at midnight on December 14. We’ve noticed that players on the Panthers, Raiders, and Packers are particularly well represented in the voting. That means that their fans have been stuffing the ballot box. Here’s a look at 11 players that we think should be getting more attention, with the top ten overall vote getters also at the bottom.

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You can make your votes for the Pro Bowl here

Russell Wilson, Seahawks quarterback

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It’s strange that Wilson is getting so ignored in a season where he’s shaving or swimming with Macklemore on television every other minute. Wilson is playing as well as any quarterback over the last month, yet he’s currently No. 10 in Pro Bowl voting. He’s throwing better than ever from the pocket and still pulls off “wow” plays escaping pressure every week. It’s been Wilson’s best season, yet he’s behind guys like Derek Carr, Eli Manning, and Philip Rivers.

Carson Palmer Jerseys is also a little under-represented. He’s a legitimate MVP candidate, yet only fifth in quarterback voting.

Adam Jones Jerseys, Bengals cornerback/returner

We have a soft spot for Jones, who is playing better than ever in his eleventh season. Who would have guessed that he’d be one of the last men standing as a quality starter from the 2005 draft?

Jones is a worthy candidate as a slot cornerback or a return specialist. But he’s only No. 12 in votes among cornerbacks and No. 9 as a returner. The return slot is often where a deserving player from another position sneaks in. Jones is second among punt returners with at least ten returns; that’s likely his best chance to get in.

Reshad Jones, Miami Dolphins safety

This forgettable Dolphins season shouldn’t prevent Jones’ outstanding season from being recognized. He’s a run-stopping playmaker that also holds his own in coverage. He’s currently sixth among strong safeties. Charles Woodson is way out in front of this group, cheap nfl jerseys but Jones is having the best season at the position.

Tyrann Mathieu Jerseys, Cardinals safety

Alright, so Honey Badger doesn’t have to worry about missing the Pro Bowl. He’s second among free safeties, even though you could easily list him at cornerback. We list him here because he’s more than 50,000 votes behind Panthers safety Kurt Coleman. Carolina fans should be lauded for their dedication, but that’s a crime against logical football thinking. Mathieu is a legitimate Defensive Player of the Year candidate. The Honey Badger does care:

���� https://t.co/q72fEsLGmr— Tyrann Mathieu Jerseys (@Mathieu_Era) December 8, 2015

It’s worth noting that Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins is getting similarly overlooked at free safety. He’s been a standout since Week 1.

Mike Daniels, Packers defensive tackle

Daniels is listed at defensive tackle, even though he’s certainly versatile enough to be listed as a defensive end. His solid stats (4 official sacks) don’t show the wreckage he causes on a weekly basis. ProFootball Focus lists him with 33 hurries and six QB hits. Perhaps no player has earned more money this year than Daniels, a free agent-to-be. He’s currently tenth in the voting at defensive tackle. We’d also be happy to see Cardinals stalwart Calais Campbell Jerseys get more love; he’s fifth among defensive tackles in votes.

Cliff Avril, Seahawks defensive end

It’s been a strange Seahawks season. Russell Wilson is playing better than ever, yet the team has five losses. The strength of the defense, so long in the secondary, has been up front. Michael Bennett and Avril have played like top-five defensive ends all season. Bennett is getting the love from the voters, but Avril is getting overlooked in ninth place overall. Nearly 30 years old, Avril is still among the fastest players in the league around the edge. He has been disruptive in every game he’s played. He should not be behind guys like Jared Allen.

Malcolm Butler, Chris Harris, and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, cornerbacks

The owner of the biggest play in Super Bowl history has pulled off a more difficult feat in his second season. He’s developed from a part-time player to a legitimate stopper. He’s tasked with covering the opposing team’s best receiver, and has done an exceptional job. (His game against Odell Beckham is a great example.)

Butler is one of three cornerbacks that stuck out as underrated in the current Pro Bowl voting. Rodgers-Cromartie is easily one of the best player on the Giants defense. And Chris Harris is right there with Aqib Talib as the key to the Broncos defense.

Anthony Barr, Minnesota Vikings linebacker

Barr is the NFC’s answer to Jamie Collins. He is an asset as a pass rusher, running-back heat-seeker, and a legitimately strong coverage option. Collins is second among outside linebackers despite his recent illness that kept him off the field. Barr is only 11th despite an array of skills that defines defensive versatility in 2015. He’s made the leap.

DeAngelo Williams Jerseys, Pittsburgh Steelers running back

This is the best Williams has looked since 2008, when he was a second-team All-Pro. Few backs combine Williams’ receiving, blocking, and running skills. He’s almost more patient as a running than Le’Veon Bell, always waiting for the excellent Steelers offensive line to open up holes. The explosiveness and tackle-breaking ability have been the biggest surprises. Essentially he’s replaced the best back in the league, and the Steelers haven’t missed a beat. Williams is only 14th in the voting, which is criminal. We’d also suggest Thomas Rawls, but he’s not even listed as an option!