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hong wei (hongwei)
Free Member · Join Date: 29 Jun, 2018 · Posts 178
7 Oct, 2018 · #1
NEW ORLEANS — Now that Stephen Curry is back to waving his magical right wrist and pointing three fingers to the rafters Dustin Brown Jersey , the Golden State Warriors are heavy favorites to dispatch the New Orleans Pelicans after winning the first two games of their seven-game Western Conference semifinal series in Oakland.

But the Pelicans, who have won 12 of their last 17 games at home, are taking a glass-half-full approach coming off a closer-than-expected 121-116 loss on Tuesday night as the teams meet Friday night in Game 3 at the Smoothie King Center.

There is some reason for the Pelicans’ optimism of stealing a game. After being crushed 123-101 in the series opener — a game in which forward Anthony Davis and guard Jrue Holiday combined for just 32 points — New Orleans hung tough in Game 2 and trailed by only a point midway through the fourth quarter.

The Pelicans are buoyed by the curious stat line emerging from the Game 2 loss: Even though New Orleans outscored Golden State 66-38 in the paint, the Pelicans could not get to the free-throw line. In the first two games, Golden State has a 59-20 edge in free-throw attempts.

In Game 2, Davis and Holiday never attempted a free throw — the first time that had happened since they began playing with each other five seasons ago.

“I just go out there and play,” said Davis, who scored 25 points in Game 2, about his failure to get to the line. “It’s on the refs to make calls. They said I didn’t get fouled, so maybe I have to go in there a little stronger and force them to call them.”

Veteran point guard Rajon Rondo expressed the frustration his teammates are feeling about the foul-shooting imbalance.

“Both of those guys (Davis and Holiday) shot the ball a combined 48 times,” Rondo said. “I think we were attacking, but that’s not an excuse. We got the shots we wanted. Our guys were aggressive Authentic Connor Brickley Jersey , and things will turn, hopefully for Game 3.”

Playing his first game in more than five weeks since suffering a Grade 2 MCL sprain in his left knee, Curry came off the bench in Game 2 and scored 28 points in just 27 minutes. Golden State coach Steve Kerr said Curry would definitely start Game 3.

“Oh yeah, yeah, yeah,” Kerr said. “You don’t keep a guy like that on the bench for long. His knee is fine. That’s the good news. The bad news is that he hasn’t played in (five) weeks. So any sort of minutes restriction was only based on his conditioning. There was no-holds-bar in terms of his knee.”

The Pelicans are hoping they will be energized by a home crowd that helped them sweep through Games 3 and 4 of a first-round series against the Portland Trail Blazers. New Orleans has posted an 8-2 record at home since March 18.

Coincidental to the Pelicans’ improvement at home has been the switch they made in the last month — going to the Smoothie King Center for game-day shoot-arounds instead of doing their preps at their training facility in Metairie.

“Practicing where you play, there is something to that,” Holiday said. “Being able to get a feel for the arena, the depth (perception) with the bleachers and the stands compared to our practice facility.”

Curry, a two-time NBA MVP, was a plus-27 in Game 2 while on the court for the Warriors, and no teammate was better than plus-7.

“He was Steph — he didn’t take long to warm up Steven Stamkos Jersey , that’s for sure,” Kerr said.

But Kerr said the Warriors are expecting a battle in Game 3.

“We played well enough to win (on Thursday night), but we’re going to have to play better in New Orleans,” Kerr said.

Derrius Guice walked onto his new home field taking cellphone video of his surroundings and waving to fans.

It's the kind of moment he could have had on stage at the NFL draft had he gone in the first round as projected. Instead, the LSU running back slipped to late in the second round amid some off-field character concerns and will now give the Washington Redskins a very motivated rusher.

"I already ran angry and now I'm going to run angrier than ever," Guice said Saturday. "It's going to be tough for a lot of teams to bring me down."

In getting a run-stuffing defensive tackle in Alabama's Da'Ron Payne at 13th , a powerful running back in Guice at 59th and Louisville offensive tackle Geron Christian at 74th, the Redskins hope to solve problems in the ground game on each side of the ball. They were worst in the NFL in stopping the run and fifth-worst in rushing.

"I stop the run for a living, so I think that's going to be something easy," Payne said.

The Redskins addressed most of their needs in one way or another at the draft, trading down to recoup the third-round pick they traded for quarterback Alex Smith, adding Guice to their backfield and stocking up on defensive depth.

Guice could end up being the best value Youth Ben Roethlisberger Jersey , considering that the SEC record-holder for most 250-yard games dropped amid reports of an argument during his visit with the Eagles. Philadelphia general manager Howie Roseman denied there was any altercation, and Washington was satisfied enough in its meetings with Guice that it ended his freefall.

"No one wants to hear their name be slandered like that," Guice said, repeating that he didn't know where the reports came from. "(The Redskins) didn't just go off rumors, they didn't just hear everything and believe it because they met me. They know me as a person, so they already know who I am as a person. Just to see a team not let rumors and stuff like that affect their decision to bring me in, I have to give my all to these guys. They changed my life, they believed in me, they trusted me."

NEED FOR SPEED: Washington added speedy Penn State safety Troy Apke with its fourth-round pick 109th overall to add to a group that already includes hard-hitting D.J. Swearinger and Montae Nicholson. Apke's 4.34-second 40-yard dash was the fastest among safeties at the scouting combine.

"I think my speed will help with everything," Apke said. "I'm going to make a name for myself on special teams first, and then after that, just make my way into playing safety there."

ON GUARD: Coach Jay Gruden saying that Christian will remain at tackle makes it a strong likelihood that Ty Nsekhe moves inside to fill the hole at starting left guard. That was the Redskins' one starting job left open going in.

"You can never have too many big bodies Kailer Yamamoto Jersey ," Gruden said. "I believe that, and it's about protecting the passer (and) running the football."

ROLL TIDE: Taking Payne and then inside linebacker Shaun Dion Hamilton in the sixth round gives the Redskins four Alabama products over the past two drafts. Payne joked that former teammates and 2017 picks Jonathan Allen and Ryan Anderson were more excited about the Crimson Tide defensive reunion than he was.

"It should be a lot of fun," Payne said. "Just being able to come in and already have some guys that I know there ... they'll help me out with little things and just guide me in the right direction."

NEW D: Swearinger was so happy about adding Payne, Apke, fifth-round defensive tackle Tim Settle, seventh-round cornerback Greg Stroman and Hamilton that he tweeted : "Welcome to the rebirth of the new and improved Redskins defense." Time will tell if he's correct, but after injuries in 2017, at the very least, Washington has more depth.

STILL NEED: Tight end depth and a developmental quarterback prospect. Injuries to TE Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis being 34 make it a position to watch well into training camp, along with QB, if the front office wants to start thinking about the post-Smith era.

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