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Old 19-12-2017, 04:40 PM
wangshi wangshi is offline
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The Wild played without Ballard (upper-body injury) and forward Matt Moulson (lower-b

Oklahoma City Thunder• Western Conference #2 seed | Season record: 59-23BACKDROP: As my buddy Jezmund refers to him, Kevin Durant is my business card. Dallas Mavericks Jerseys . He is the face of the Thunder and has been since they made the move from Seattle six seasons ago. When I first glimpsed Kevin Durant play for the Texas Longhorns, I, and others blessed with the gift of sight, knew he was a superstar. He was to become my new Dominique Wilkins, AKA The Guy I Pinned My Hopes On. While on my stag in Las Vegas, I met Kevin in a library (picture attached). At the same literary function, Lebron James, just a few days removed from The Decision, had dined at the table next to mine, and was now watching an underpaid busboy zipline above the, oh, lets say microfiche, in a freshly minted Miami #6 jersey, while Durant roamed the room without entourage, looking like the worlds tallest Abercrombie salesman. I felt comfortable in my choice of next generation icons.CURRENT TEAM: Durant, the newly crowned MVP of the league, is unquestionably the face of the franchise according to everyone not named Russell Westbrook. Born without a brake pedal or a conscience, Russell likes to shoot the rock. These two alpha dogs have had difficulty meshing when it counts most, suffering five game dispatches the past three seasons, including 2012s Finals loss to Miami. Unlike the ongoing question which arises every postseason— "Why isnt the ball in KDs hands?"—now the team has a more desperate problem. Third banana, Serge Ibaka, a superstar in his own right as a two time 1st Team All Defender is out for the remainder of the playoffs. Expect gritty play from Steven Adams and Nick Collison, but it will be hard sledding against Tim Duncan to overcome losing the best shot blocker in the game.WHY ROOT FOR THEM: Beyond the sky-high likeability factor of Durantula, you may not want to root against a team that seems to have this years lucky streak on its side. Despite Ibakas injury, a ton has gone right for OKC in surprising ways this postseason, and perhaps after years of being labeled with the "next great team" status, the lords of basketball have decided for the breaks to go to tornado country. The Thunder were handed a gift when Zach Randolph was suspended for the final game of the Memphis series (a terrible decision by the league—if this was 1990, he may not have even been called for a foul). Then there was the bizarrely botched officiating at the end of Game 5 versus the Clippers, which effectively handed the game to OKC, and shifted the tide in the series. Do you really want to bet against the team with the best sixth man since James Harden? (That sixth man being the officiating crew.)Indiana Pacers• Eastern Conference #1 seed | Season record: 56-26BACKDROP: The state of Indiana is synonymous with basketball, even if the pro team has never won a title. Gene Hackman and his Hoosiers. Bobby Knight and his temper. Larry Bird and his hair. But the Pacers havent had a compelling national brand since Reggie Miller exchanged pleasantries with a courtside Spike Lee. Last year, for the first time without Reggie on the roster, the Pacers emerged under Paul George as a genuine force, making the Eastern Conference Finals, where they would lose to Miami in a slug-it-out seven game affair. They knew they were young and they were close. By mid-January of this year, they were the best team on the planet. Then something happened...CURRENT TEAM: The Trade. Before Larry Legend swapped the once face of the franchise, Danny Granger, for the overrated Evan Turner, the Pacers had the leagues best record at 42-13. After the trade, 14-13. They acquired Turner because bench play was the teams undoing in 2013 and making moves to strengthen it were necessary and advised. But whether it was the fault of Turner or other personalities in the locker room, the team unraveled (Turner and fellow Pacer, and known irritant, Lance "Born Ready" Stephenson, engaged in a fist fight last month, marking a nadir in the teams descent). Defence, the hallmark of the team, suddenly faltered. The offence stalled. Only recently has David West emerged as the emotional leader, and the team has clawed its way against lesser Eastern Conference opponents to the third round. Cue the rematch.(Sidenote: Top picks Lebron James, Tim Duncan, and near top picks Durant, Westbrook, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, etc., havent been the signature of these Pacers. Indiana hasnt selected above the #10 spot since George McCloud in 1989. Evan Turner, selected second overall by the 76ers, was the teams first foray into the top of the draft in many years. Paul George was taken at 10, Hibbert at 17. West, 18. Stephenson, 40. Scola, 56. I havent worked out this theory entirely, but I think Turners draft slot impacted the Pacers internal harmony.)WHY ROOT FOR THEM: Because you want to join me in rooting for the current member of "Team 29". You may never tack a picture of David West up on your wall, but you can still look yourself in the mirror with pride after rooting for him. The same cannot be said for Dwyane Wade.Miami Heat• Eastern Conference #2 seed | Season record: 54-28BACKDROP: Sadly, it is possible that one day we will argue over whether The King, blessed be He, correctly predicted winning seven or eight titles. Ugh. The Heat. Two-time defending champs. Three-time finalists. All time cocky bastards. The road team, but still heavy favourites to win the series. Further proof that the city of Miami is the Cosmo Kramer of the sports world—falling *** backwards into success. The fans ignore their losing teams, barely support their winning teams, and they still win championships (even the Florida Panthers have played for a Stanley Cup more recently than the Maple Leafs).CURRENT TEAM: Lebron James and fourteen other people paid to play (and often witness) basketball near Lebron James. As the lone quasi-big market team left among the final four, Im certain Adam Silver and the NBA brass (read: broadcasters) want to see the Heat in the Finals (read into that however you like, scholars of NBA officiating). This Heat team isnt as deep as seasons past, but in the final year of guaranteed contracts for the infamous Big 3, they still have plenty of firepower, as their solitary playoff loss attests.WHY ROOT FOR THEM: When you watch Die Hard, you root for Hans Gruber to get back his detonators. If an elderly man slips into a silt-soaked puddle, you chuckle. While others cheer for the upstart Rocky Balboa, you find yourself more of an Apollo Creed booster. You are reading this on a Samsung Galaxy. You thought Bambis mother had it coming. Welcome to your Miami Heat years.Gallays Poll #10Q: Who will you be rooting for? San Antonio. Because a fifth championship would cement them for all time. Oklahoma City. Because Kevin Durant was the MVP for a reason. Indiana. Because Larry Legend is due for a return to the winners podium. Miami. Because I need something to do when Im not kicking kittens. Wesley Matthews Jersey . - The Green Bay Packers got back to work on Friday without star quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Seth Curry Jersey . Browns advice worked. Irving scored 20 points, including seven in the fourth quarter, and Cleveland defeated the Los Angeles Clippers 88-82 Saturday night. Irving made his first shot of the night on a layup a little over three minutes into the game. http://www.nbamavericksauthority.com...ks-jersey-c-5/ . THE MICHAEL JORDAN FLU GAME First this famous basketball moment. The story goes like this. “Game 5, known as "The Flu Game", was one of Michael Jordans most memorable. CHICAGO -- This time, it was hard work for the Chicago Blackhawks. No pretty goals on this night, just get to the front of the net and fight for a chance. Pushed, poked and prodded by the Minnesota Wild, Jonathan Toews and Co. found a way. Toews had a tough rebound goal early in the third period, and the Blackhawks beat the Wild 2-1 on Sunday to take a 3-2 series lead in the Western Conference semifinals. "The whole game, the whole series has been very tight," Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said. "Still not a lot of room and space, but thats what weve got to fight through. I thought we showed more determination in the puck area tonight." Bryan Bickell also scored and Corey Crawford made 27 saves as Chicago bounced back from consecutive losses in Minnesota that handed the momentum to the Wild heading into Game 5. But the Blackhawks were back at the United Center, where they improved to 6-0 in this post-season and 17-2 over the past two playoffs. "As the game went on, we found ways to play better as a five-man unit," Toews said. "Once one line would generate a good shift and get us some energy, the next line would follow it right up. I think thats when were an effective team, when we have four lines going like that and contributing." Erik Haula scored in the first period for the Wild, and Ilya Bryzgalov had 26 stops. Minnesota became the first team to score first in the second round of the NHL playoffs and lose, dropping that record to 19-1, according to STATS. "We tried to hang on to something we wanted to have happen and we fell victim to it," Wild coach Mike Yeo said. Game 6 is Tuesday night in Minnesota, where the Wild are undefeated in this post-season. Minnesota had a chance to grab the lead in the third but Crawford made a nice kick save on Cody McCormick about 2 1/2 minutes into the period. He also had a solid glove stop on Ryan Suter with the Blackhawks clinging to a 2-1 lead with 4:38 to go. "We just need a better effort," Wild star Zach Parise said. "Not that it was terrible. I mean, we had our chance to win at the end of the game. We did some things really well. But I think we can be better, and we know we can be better." Toews, Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp combined to put Chicago in front 4 1/2 minutes into the third. Hossa sent tthe puck in front to Toews at the right post. Josh McRoberts Jersey. The captain was stopped by Bryzgalov, but he managed to slam home a backhand for his fifth goal of the playoffs. "It was an ugly goal," said Toews, who also had a big hit on Wild forward Mikael Granlund right before he scored. "As a line we were playing well and looking to find a way to score. I happened to get an ugly one on the side." The first period looked similar to much of the past two games in Minnesota, with the Wild using their speed and checking ability to shut down Chicagos high-powered attack. The Wild also outworked the defending Stanley Cup champions early on as Quenneville tried several line combinations looking for a spark. Blackhawks defenceman Brent Seabrook was whistled for tripping just 29 seconds into the game, and Granlund sent an open look off the outside of the right post on the ensuing power play. A terrific individual effort by Haula put Minnesota in front at 16:33 of the first. He drove through the Chicago zone and kept moving after his first try was stopped by Crawford, flipping a backhand into the net for his third goal of the post-season. Chicago started to generate more chances in the second, but most of its early shots came from outside and Bryzgalov gobbled them up easily. Marcus Kruger sent a pass through the Minnesota crease, but no one was there for the Blackhawks. It took a well-timed dash by a seldom-used role player to set up Chicagos third goal in the past three games. Playing for the first time since April 12, Peter Regin drove to the net to draw a hooking penalty on Jonas Brodin. Regin was active for the first time in the playoffs after the Blackhawks scratched Andrew Shaw with a lower-body injury, and Brandon Bollig sat out with a two-game suspension for boarding Wild defenceman Keith Ballard in Game 4. On the ensuing power play, Patrick Kanes slap shot went off Bickells left leg and past Bryzgalov to make it 1-1 at 9:18 of the second. It was Bickells sixth goal of the playoffs. NOTES: Game 7 would be Thursday in Chicago. ... The Wild played without Ballard (upper-body injury) and forward Matt Moulson (lower-body injury). ... Blackhawks D Michal Rozsival was scratched after he struggled in Game 4. D Sheldon Brookbank and F Kris Versteeg returned to Chicagos lineup. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys ' ' '
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