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op duties,” Counsell said. “W

in Fragen vor der Anschaffung 09.08.2018 03:56
von panxing18 | 121 Beiträge

Maybe this is the year.

Maybe the Golden State Warriors Orlando Brown Jr. Color Rush Jersey , opening the postseason without Stephen Curry or any momentum, won’t be the best of the West, where there’s a Houston team that can run and gun as well as they do.

Maybe the Cleveland Cavaliers, starting from the middle of the pack in the East, just have too big a hill to climb, even with LeBron James carrying them.

Or perhaps none of that matters, and the NBA is headed toward Round 4 of its reigning rivalry.

The postseason opens Saturday and it’s far from a guarantee it ends with a record fourth straight NBA Finals matchup between the Warriors and Cavaliers. Neither was the best team in its conference during the regular season – the Cavaliers were only No. 4 in the East – and it’s not hard to envision a Houston to Toronto trip replacing what’s become an annual Oakland, California, to Cleveland itinerary.

Then again, the Warriors could be as dangerous as ever once Curry returns from a knee injury that could have him back for the second round. James has played in the last seven NBA Finals, so nobody knows how to get to the finish line better Mark Walton Color Rush Jersey , no matter from where he starts.

And the other top contenders have to overcome their history of disappointments. Houston’s Mike D’Antoni and James Harden have never won, and Chris Paul hasn’t even gotten out of the second round. The Raptors had their best regular season ever, but they were last seen in the postseason getting stomped in four straight by James and the Cavs last year in the second round.

Golden State faces No. 7 San Antonio on Saturday in the postseason opener, followed by the top-seeded Raptors and No. 8 Washington Wizards in the East. Sixth-seeded Miami and No. 3 Philadelphia are then followed by Portland-New Orleans in the other 3-6 matchup.

On Sunday, it’s No. 7 Milwaukee at No. 2 Boston, and the Cavs hosting the No. 5 Indiana Pacers in the East, followed by No. 5 Utah at No. 4 Oklahoma City. The Rockets wrap up opening weekend against No. 8 Minnesota, ending the NBA’s longest playoff drought with its first playoff appearance since 2004.

A look at some things to watch in the first round:

GOLDEN AGAIN?

Curry’s injury is the only one that remains, but the Warriors at one point down the stretch were also without Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson, too. Even the champions couldn’t overcome that http://www.chargersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-kyzir-white-jersey , dropping six of their final 10 games, but they start against a San Antonio team whose injury problems are every bit as bad, assuming Kawhi Leonard doesn’t return after missing almost the entire season.

STREAKING SIXERS

Philadelphia is the hottest team in the postseason, winning its final 16 games to finish 52-30. But the 76ers are led by postseason newcomers in Joel Embiid and rookie Ben Simmons – and Embiid is still recovering from a broken orbital bone and concussion as the postseason begins – and will have to overcome their inexperience and a rugged Miami team.

THUNDER STRIKE?

It was an up-and-down regular season for Oklahoma City, which acquired Paul George and Carmelo Anthony to play with Russell Westbrook but finished well back of Houston and Golden State. But the Thunder might be one of those teams better built for the postseason, and they got an easier road when they won three straight to grab home-court advantage against a Utah team that would have had it before a season-ending loss at Portland.

BANGED-UP BOSTON

There’s no more Kyrie Irving and there was only Gordon Hayward for a few minutes all season, so the Celtics are being overlooked despite their No. 2 seed in the East. But there’s plenty of young (Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown) and veteran (Al Horford, Marcus Morris) talent on a 55-game winner that features one of the league’s best coaches in Brad Stevens.

WHO WINS?

As good as Toronto is, it seems futile picking against James and the firepower around him to get to the NBA Finals. But the Cavaliers don’t defend well enough and can be picked apart by top offenses, so go with the West champion to win the title, particularly if it’s Golden State or Houston.

Take it from another champion.

”I like Houston and Golden State Martin Kaut Blackhawks Jersey , pending their health, as being my top two favorites,” five-time winner Kobe Bryant said during a conference call to promote his new basketball analysis show ”Detail” that will run on ESPN during the postseason.





MILWAUKEE — For the Atlanta Braves, the big question as they headed from a long three-game series in Yankee Stadium to Milwaukee concerns the status of star first baseman Freddie Freeman.

All indications are Freeman will play the opener of a four-game series with the Milwaukee Brewers, but it will not be official until the lineup card is posted Thursday afternoon at Miller Park.

“If you ask him, he’s going to say yes,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “But until we get there and see how it is, we won’t know. It was probably good that we got him out of there and started on some treatment.”

Freeman exited in the fourth inning of Thursday’s 6-2 loss to the New York Yankee Stadium with an upper right arm contusion. He was injured when he was hit in the third inning by CC Sabathia, and by pulling him early to get treatment, Freeman and the Braves hope the precautionary measure means he can play Thursday.

“Luckily, it didn’t hit my hand Tyler Anderson Colorado Rockies Jersey ,” Freeman said. “I’ll take the elbow and a little soreness. As long as I have the strength in my arm tomorrow, I can deal with the pain.”

Atlanta is 4-2 on its 10-game trip. The Braves swept three games in St. Louis last weekend and took a 5-3, 11-inning victory over the Yankees on Monday before losing the last two games.

“I thought we handled ourselves really well,” Snitker said. “We won a really tough game the first night, we put ourselves in a position to win today and today here we come again. The guys never quit. They know they can play with anybody and it’s a good sign.”

Milwaukee (51-35) is the first team in the National League to reach 50 wins after completing a three-game sweep of the Minnesota Twins with a 3-2 win on Wednesday.

Brad Miller and Nate Orf played roles in three close wins as Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell is employing a mix-and-match approach at shortstop. He is using that strategy while remaining optimistic that shortstop Orlando Arcia will rediscover his offensive stroke at Triple-A Colorado Springs and rejoin Milwaukee for a playoff push.

Miller has gotten off to a good start with the Brewers. He extended his hitting streak to nine games Wednesday and has a hit in 10 of 12 games since joining the team, with a pair of home runs.

Orf was batting .307 with an .875 OPS when he was summoned Monday from Triple-A and recorded his first career hit with a solo home run against the Twins.

Both are immediate offensive upgrades to Arcia, who was slashing .197/.231/.482 but remained in the regular lineup because of his defensive ability.

While Miller saw extensive action at the position earlier in his career and Orf has spent most of the season there at Colorado Springs, neither player is a natural shortstop so Counsell was prepared to sacrifice defense to shore up the bottom of the order.

“When we sent Orlando down, we had multiple players on the roster who aren’t true shortstops so we’re trying to find guys who can play shortstop and who can kind of fill in at shortstop,” he said. “I don’t think we have an answer, but this is how we’re going to try it.”

A more stable solution could be coming soon. Tyler Saladino was on a roll before suffering a severe ankle sprain on May 29.

In 16 games with the Brewers http://www.dolphinsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-daniel-kilgore-jersey , he batted .324 with three home runs and eight RBIs while playing defense well enough to make it possible for Milwaukee to send Arcia down a first time on May 25.

Saladino has been rehabbing for the last week and could rejoin the team in the next few days.

“Tyler will be back soon and will end up having some of the shortstop duties,” Counsell said. “We’ll sit down here soon and figure that out.”

The right-handed hitting Orf is likely to get the starting nod Thursday when the Brewers face Braves left-hander Max Fried.

Fried (1-2, 2.55 ERA) returned to the rotation last week when Brandon McCarthy was placed on the disabled list and struck out 11 over 6 2/3 innings and earned his first victory of the season as Atlanta beat the Cardinals in St. Louis.

Fried remained with the team after his last outing but didn’t learn for sure that he’d get another start until Wednesday morning. He’s looking forward to getting his first taste of meaningful action as the two winningest teams in the National League face off for the first time this season.

Milwaukee counters with right-hander Jhoulys Chacin (6-3, 3.71) who bounced back from his worst outing of the season to hold the Cincinnati Reds to a run over five innings while striking out nine his last time out.

Signed to a two-year contract over the winter, Chacin has been a stabilizing force in the Brewers’ rotation. He leads the staff with 18 starts and 97 innings his season.

Chacin has pitched well against Atlanta throughout his career, posting a 3.94 ERA in six previous starts. Due to a lack of run support in those contests, is just 1-4 lifetime against the Braves.
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