You can’t blame the lack of attempts on Isaiah Thomas

The Celtics have reason to believe they can turn this series around. The team needs to crash the boards to compete, but it also must do a better job creating contact and drawing fouls.
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Boston has reached the line 19 times in each of the first two games, four below its season average, and is converting at the line at a dismal 65.8 percent. The Celtics were third in the NBA during the regular season at 80.7 percent.

You can’t blame the lack of attempts on Isaiah Thomas, as the star point guard has accounted for nearly two-thirds of the Celtics’ trips to the line, but he does need to convert at a higher rate than 68 percent (17 of 25). Also, Boston needs to see fewer 3-point attempts from Marcus Smart. Though he knocked down 3 of 7 in Game 1, the 29 percent deep-ball shooter came back to Earth in Game 2, missing three of his four attempts.

But the Cavs came out playing tough defense in the second half, holding the Pacers to only 17 points in the third quarter. At the other end, LeBron James stepped up with 13 points in the quarter as Cleveland cut the Pacers’ lead to 91-84 heading into the fourth.
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By then, you could sense the Pacers’ desperation, as the 3 balls that fell in the first half clanged in the second.

James led the way with 41 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists, but Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love, J.R. Smith and Channing Frye all had 13 points, and Kyle Korver (4-of-5 from 3-point range) added 12.

LeBron James (see above). Oh, he also passed Kobe Bryant for third on the NBA’s all-time playoff scoring list during the game.

The upcoming series between the Celtics and Cavaliers could be a classic.

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For the better part of two seasons, Boston fans have been clamoring for the Celtics to ship some of their draft picks and young prospects away for a star or two. Other than signing Al Horford this offseason, the Celtics have largely been quiet, deciding not to trade for the likes of Kevin Love, Jimmy Butler or Paul George.

The upcoming series between the Celtics and Cavaliers could be a classic. Boston will bring the underdog vibe with solid, but unheralded players. Cleveland, on the other hand, will have LeBron James and his usual suspects helping him try to repeat as champions.

The matchup between Thomas and Kyrie Irving will be an interesting one. Both players have the capability to get to the basket, shoot or dish. Neither are particularly great on defense, but Irving has a significant size advantage.

Authentic Youth Dave Keon Jersey That matchup could go a long way in deciding who wins the Eastern Conference finals.

It will be hard for San Antonio to focus and bounce back after squandering a 25-point lead Sunday, and losing star forward Kawhi Leonard in the process. Golden State hasn’t always played its best basketball during the playoffs, but it also hasn’t lost a game. Stephen Curry scored 40 points in Game 1. He will be the guy to watch Tuesday as well.

Sacramento 鈥?If the Kings’ pick ends up in the top 10 so they do not send it to Chicago, Philadelphia has the right to swap selections as part of the blockbuster trade the Sixers made July 1, 2015. Functionally, this means Philadelphia takes some of Sacramento’s lottery balls.

Houston 鈥?The Lakers have Houston’s first-rounder unprotected as a part of the Lou Williams trade consummated at the 2017 deadline.

He recently gave us a taste of his glory days at the inaugural game of the American Flag Football League

Dramatic finishes to get into the end zone were always fun by Vick too — so of course The Michael Vick Experience had one. Though Vick never quite flipped like that.

At the end of the ride, Vick’s hologram pops back up impressed with the play and says, That’s not in the playbook, but it should be.

He recently gave us a taste of his glory days at the inaugural game of the American Flag Football League — except he threw for eight touchdowns. That’s not the signature Vick we miss, but it was cool to see him on the gridiron again slinging the pill.

Vick was unlike anything we had ever seen in the NFL. He terrorized teams with his blazing speed and video-game like ability to stop on a dime and change direction. There wasn’t an obstacle that Vick couldn’t finesse his way around, and NFL fans couldn’t wait until Sunday to get another taste.

Limited Youth A.Q. Shipley Jersey His style of play turned some people into fans of the game, and turned others into lifetime fans of his in particular.

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Former Cowboy J.J. Wilcox, signed to a two-year free-agent deal, was a good solution to upgrade one of the spots. He is equally good at coverage and run support with some slobberknocking to go with his ranginess. Keith Tandy is tabbed for the other job, but he can’t relax because of the upside of rookie second-round pick Justin Evans. Evans is physical enough to clean up as a tackler, smooth enough to quickly drop back to make plays. Regardless of who’s designated free or strong, the Bucs will plan on getting a lot more key plays from their safeties.

Jazz bringing back Joe Ingles on four-year deal, report says

There is no guarantee Gordon Hayward will return to the Jazz for the 2017-18 season, but if he does, Joe Ingles will be there with him.

Ingles will re-sign with the Jazz, agreeing Saturday to a four-year deal, according to ESPN.

The 29-year-old swing player, who is one of Hayward’s closest friends, averaged 7.1 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists this past season.

As for Hayward, he met with the Heat Saturday and is not expected to make a decision on where he will go until next week.

Another survivor at the expense of his head coach, operating in a new, demanding L.A. market. Now that Jeff Fisher isn’t around to kick around anymore, the spotlight shines brighter on Snead’s shortcomings. The vaunted Robert Griffin III trade did almost nothing for the Rams. Sean McVay is a big leap at head coach, and Jared Goff needs to start showing he’s worth the top pick (and the trade that brought him there) sooner rather than later.

Tom Coughlin has become the face and voice of the front office, but Caldwell still holds the title, and he’s got a lot to prove. This is at least the third year of gushing about the smart signings, hirings and drafting the Jags have done, yet the overall record is … what it is. (They’re 15-49 on his watch.) Hiring Doug Marrone as coach was more of a Coughlin operation, but Blake Bortles is Caldwell’s baby.browns_041

Don’t expect NFL to change May 16 Rule anytime soon: ‘There’s a lot of factors’

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — When Panthers rookie Christian McCaffrey spoke to media Thursday after his first minicamp practice as an NFL running back, he said he would be in favor of changing the rule that prohibited him from participating in offseason workouts until his college, Stanford, ended its school year.
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Tom Savage Limited Jersey About 24 hours later at a Charlotte hotel located 1.4 miles southeast of Bank of America Stadium, NFL executive vice president Troy Vincent explained why McCaffrey and those who agree with the 21-year-old won’t be getting what they want anytime soon.

I’ve always wanted to be an All-Star, wanted to be a dude that can help lead the team, LaVine said. At Minnesota, it was us three young guys and we were all building each other up. Andrew and Karl were No. 1 picks, so this might be the first time that I get really more of the center stage. It’s going to be a little bit different. I’ve got to go in there and be a leader. I have to go in there and be someone that can lead a team and someone that can help out and try to build this place back up.

LaVine is an athletically gifted scorer, who averaged 18.9 points last season before an ACL tear forced him to sit. Considering so much of LaVine’s ability comes from his athleticism, one has to wonder how much of an impact this ACL tear will have on him. The timetable for his return is still uncertain, and the Bulls have to make a decision next year on his team option.

As for LaVine’s All-Star aspirations, it may be difficult to gain much attention on the Bulls. The team has been stripped of most of its stars, as it looks possible that Dwyane Wade could get bought out of his contract in free agency.

LaVine is right about taking center stage, but with his ACL recovery and the rebuilding process in Chicago, it may take a while for him to be an All-Star player, if at all. But it’s good he has high aspirations about his new role with the Bulls.

Joey Gallo could be MLB’s next homer-launching phenomenon, teammates say

No one ever doubted that Joey Gallo could hit for power.

The Rangers’ infielder/outfielder has been touted as a hitter with mammoth power potential ever since he was drafted in the first round of the 2012 draft. What he has yet to develop is his ability to cut down on strikeouts and make consistent contact.

When that happens, teammates say, look out.

I am excited about Marcus Mariota and the young talent he is, Decker said, via the team’s website. He’s a big guy, and he throws a great ball. He is very accurate, and he uses his feet and gets out of the pocket and throws. He’s a talent, but I also like the way he carries himself. He is very stoic, and he seems very humble. I hear he’s a real football junkie who wants to be great, and that’s so important.

Limited Mens Mel Blount Jersey The veteran wide receiver signed a one-year deal with the Titans after he was released by the Jets, a decision he said felt right.

It was kind of a perfect storm, Decker said. You only get so many years to play this game, and I wanted to find the right fit. I wanted to come to a place where I can help out, and this is home.

Limited Mens Delano Hill Jersey The move south also worked perfectly with his wife’s profession. Jessie James Decker is a noted country artist and writer, which means the couple and their young family already spend a fair amount of time in Nashville.

There were a lot of factors, Decker said. This is a team on the rise, and I like the coaching staff, the GM, and the philosophy upstairs. I like the quarterback, the locker room and the mentality. When I talked to the GM and the coaches, finding out what they wanted out of me, what my role would be, Tennessee was the best opportunity.

Curry is fully healthy and the Warriors’ earned plenty of rest

If nothing else, fatigue was a factor for Curry in last year’s Finals. The Warriors fought hard in the regular season to achieve the 73-win season and ended up going to a seven-game series against the Thunder and then a seven-game Finals with the Cavs. That’s a lot of effort expended, especially considering Curry was just coming off of an injury.
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Now, Curry is fully healthy and the Warriors’ earned plenty of rest. By the time Game 1 starts, the Warriors will have played just 19 games in the last 63 days. The rest has benefited the guard as he’s been on fire this postseason, averaging 28.6 points while shooting 50 percent from the field, 43 percent from 3-point range and 90 percent from the free-throw line. Oh yeah, and he’s averaging 5.6 assists and 5.5 rebounds as well.

Kevin Love also struggled from 3-point range, drilling just 1 of 7 from deep. He scored just nine points with 13 rebounds and six steals. The Cavs shot just 12 of 44 as a team from beyond the arc.

The Warriors are well on their way to capturing their second NBA championship in the last three years and have the chance to be the first team in history to go a perfect 16-0 during the title run. The addition of Durant has paid dividends as a matchup nightmare. Though Golden State shot just 48 percent from the field, it made key baskets and stops when the game was on the line.

I have no problem with him doing it, it’s just something from a competitive point, for me, I guess when I played it would have been tough for me to join Detroit. Having said that, he has the ability to do it, guys are doing it, and there’s nothing you can do about it.
Game Mens Dez Bryant Jersey As Rivers repeated, he doesn’t have an issue personally with Durant because as a free agent, it’s his choice to go where he wants. But he’s clearly upset with the trend of star players teaming up with other stars to create a dominate force in the league.

Lamar Odom’s daughter speaks out about dad’s terrifying overdose

For the first time, Lamar Odom’s daughter has spoken about her perspective on his drug overdose and how she has dealt with her father’s addiction.

Destiny Odom, 18, said her first thought upon hearing her father was unconscious in the hospital after overdosing in a Las Vegas brothel was that he was going to die.

“It was a school night when I found out,” Destiny told People Magazine of the October 2015 incident. “We all thought that he was, that this was it for him and he was going to pass away. But, life is so crazy.”

Yes, we double-checked to make sure the tweet came from the real Woj’s account, not one of the countless imposters that turn up this time of year. Then again, some of the fake Woj Twitter accounts could come up with better trade scenarios for the Lakers than the one they reportedly agreed to Tuesday night.

Mozgov just finished the first season of a four-year, $64 million albatross of a contract, so this trade amounts to a significant salary dump for the Lakers, who are clearing cap room for potential trades and free-agent signings (see Paul George and, just maybe, LeBron James) the next two summers.

And by dealing Russell, the Lakers are probably confirming the inevitable: drafting UCLA point guard Lonzo Ball with the No. 2 pick Thursday.

From the Brooklyn perspective, the Nets get a quality young asset in Russell for the price of one season of Lopez, whose contract expires in 2018, and a late first-round pick. Russell started 60 games for the Lakers last season while averaging 15.6 points, 4.8 assists and 3.5 rebounds per game.
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Watch: LeBron James, Cavs teammates jam at Future concert

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The Cavs are making the most of their free time before the NBA Finals.

Authentic DeMarcus Ware Jersey Ahead of the team’s third consecutive meeting with the Warriors in the championship series, LeBron James and his teammates decided to do some bonding at a Future concert Saturday night outside Akron, Ohio.

James, who was joined by J.R. Smith and Dahntay Jones among others, was spotted dancing with his squad two days after eliminating the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Anunoby’s game is one of contrasts. On one hand, he might have more defensive upside than anyone in the NBA Draft due to his size, length, frame and athleticism. On the other, he’s probably the least polished offensive player in the draft 鈥?to the point where it’s difficult to see where he makes an impact on that end right now. Coaches can work with the offensive side, though, as his shot overall is workable mechanically. He’s recovering from a torn ACL.

Mitchell is one of the best athletes in the class, and his 6-foot-10 wingspan helps to make up for his size. He’s a strong instinctual defender who creates plays, as well as a reformed shooter who hit 37 percent of his attempts this season from deep. If he can add to a solid game off the bounce, he has a chance to become a starter.

Jackson led North Carolina to a national title this year and has excellent positional size for a wing shooter at 6-8. He’s not an elite athlete, but he has tremendous feel for the game and should be able to step in and space the floor immediately. His defensive footwork is also underrated.

NBA Finals 2017: LeBron James ‘stopped caring a long time ago’ about critics

LeBron James has learned a thing or two about concentration after seven consecutive NBA Finals appearances.

When asked how his team would recover from a sluggish start to this year’s championship series, a 113-91 loss to the Warriors in Game 1, the Cavs star emphasized one of his secrets to his success is ignoring critics and keeping his focus on the court.
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Myers added, We’ve got a little bit of a runway here to see if things change and when he feels better, we’ll make that determination, but right now, it’s unfortunately status quo. Meaning, he’s doing what he can, but we’re not able to say, I’m not able to say, and most importantly, he’s not able to say he’s able to coach yet and we’re trying and he’s trying.

Kerr, who is dealing with complications from two back surgeries he had in 2015, has not coached the Warriors since April 19, in their Game 2 win over Portland in the first-round. On May 5, he underwent a procedure to repair a spinal fluid leak, ESPN.com notes.

Pharoh Cooper Limited Jersey Since returning to practice May 13, though, Kerr has been involved in the Warriors’ playoff run 鈥?he traveled with the team to San Antonio during the West finals, he sits in during film sessions and coach meetings, and he has been speaking with the team before games and at halftime.

As for Kerr’s return to the bench, Myers said, At this point there’s not really an update. … I know people are writing and saying certain things and that’s probably because he’s been more visible, he’s around. But there won’t be an announcement that he’s coaching Game 1 or anything like that and as to (when it gets closer) if something changes, we’ve always said that we’ll speak on that.