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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 6:00 am    Post subject: Sam Koch Jersey Reply with quote

The Indiana Pacers look loose and sound confident.

They were laughing Sam Koch Jersey , smiling and joking around at practice Thursday as turned to a new task – protecting their home court this weekend against LeBron James.

Sure, his sensational 46-point, 12-rebound effort in Game 2 exposed flaws in Indiana’s defense and allowed Cleveland to even the series, but it sure didn’t shake the faith of the fearless Pacers.

”It’s a good sign when you lose by three and the best player in the world has a game like that,” Indiana point guard Darren Collison said.

The Pacers shouldn’t be rattled.

They are 4-2 against the three-time defending Eastern Conference champs this season, fought back from an early 18-point deficit Wednesday with Victor Oladipo in foul trouble and still had a chance to tie the score on Oladipo’s wide-open 3-pointer with 27 seconds left.

They still can seize control of the series by winning the next two in Indianapolis.

To avoid such a plight, the Cavs could give their star player some help – or they will need more command performances from The King.

But finding a stronger supporting cast Friday night in Game 3 could be potentially problematic with Kevin Love trying to play through an injured left thumb. Love, who is right-handed, said X-rays of the hand were negative even though he sat out the final 3 1/2 minutes of Game 2 as the Pacers continued to close the deficit.

”He’s great, yes sir,” coach Tyronn Lue said Wednesday. ”Ready to go.”

The Cavs did not have media availability Thursday.

Indiana, meanwhile, spent most of the day working on corrections.

”I’ve already watched it,” Oladipo said, cutting off a question about whether he’d been studying film. ”But I’ll probably watch it again.”

While coach Nate McMillan didn’t provide specific details about what adjustments he might make, the Pacers figure the simplest solution to containing James and regaining control of the series will be focusing on themselves.

”I think offensively, we didn’t have the proper spacing and we were letting them push us off our spots, like we did to them in Game 1. And Victor got into foul trouble,” Collison said. ”There were a lot of encouraging signs from that game because we didn’t play our best basketball.”



RAPTORS AT WIZARDS

Raptors lead 2-0. Game 3 Tim Brown Jersey , 8 p.m. EDT, ESPN2.

NEED TO KNOW: The Raptors had never taken a 2-0 lead in a playoff series until now. With DeMar DeRozan leading the way, this one could be over quickly unless the Wizards figure out how to play a little defense, particularly on the perimeter. DeRozan scored 37 points, shot 61 percent from the field and 50 percent on 3s in Game 2. In all, the Raptors have made 29 baskets from beyond the arc through two games, 11 more than the Wizards. Washington, meanwhile, has lost seven of its last eight, dating to the regular season. Asked about where things stand right now, PG John Wall said: ”I’m just always cool. Just stay cool and understand that we didn’t play our best basketball.”

KEEP AN EYE ON: Washington’s starting lineup. Coach Scott Brooks has hinted about possibly removing C Marcin Gortat and inserting F Mike Scott. That would make Washington more athletic and nimble, and Scott’s ability to close out on outside shooters helps the defense against 3s. Plus, Scott offers more scoring punch.

INJURY UPDATE: Raptors G Fred VanVleet sat out Game 1 because of a bruised right shoulder suffered in Toronto’s regular season finale, and was out of sync in Game 2. It’s unclear how much – or if – he has practiced the last two days. Washington SF Otto Porter Jr. has been dealing with a strained right calf recently and a bum hip before that, but Brooks declared him ”100 percent healthy” heading into Game 3.

PRESSURE IS ON: Bradley Beal. The Wizards top scorer (22.6 points) is averaging just 14 in the playoffs. He was 3 for 11 in Game 2 and has struggled from 3-point range, too. Still, the Raptors know they must keep him under control. ”He’s one of the most dynamic players in our league,” Toronto coach Dwane Casey said. ”We’ve got to treat him as such and not look at him having a couple of games where he hasn’t shot well. We’ll treat him for who he is.”



CELTICS AT BUCKS

Celtics lead 2-0. Game 3, 9:30 p.m. EDT Chad Henne Jersey , ESPN.

NEED TO KNOW: The Bucks won at Boston on opening night and have since lost four of five in the series. Milwaukee’s only win during that stretch came April 3, at home. So the Bucks are hoping a change in scenery also helps them change direction. The Celtics expect to see a different team this weekend. ”You know they’re going to come out aggressive, they’re going to come out hard,” Boston guard Terry Rozier said. ”We’re coming out with the mindset that we can forget about taking care of the home-court (advantage).”

KEEP AN EYE ON: Bucks F Jabari Parker. The Celtics have been challenging Parker and Al Horford has taken advantage in the paint. Now Parker, who has scored only two points in the first two games while averaging 12 minutes per game, sounds frustrated as he tries to work his way back from a second serious knee injury. When asked Thursday about how he gets more minutes, Parker said: ”Be on my coach’s good side. Yeah. Whatever that is, just try to be on the good side.” Coach Joe Prunty said later he has no issues with Parker. ”He’s on my good side,” Prunty said. ”We need him and everybody to be ready to go

CANTON, Ohio (AP) — Joining the most exclusive club in football truly hit home Friday for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s class of 2018.

Well, maybe not for the one guy missing, but certainly for Ray Lewis, Randy Moss, Brian Urlacher, Brian Dawkins, Robert Brazile, Jerry Kramer and Bobby Beathard.

While Terrell Owens was in Chattanooga planning his own ceremony , the other seven men who will be inducted into the football shrine Saturday night attended the Gold Jacket Luncheon in Canton. Their takeaway was tinged with awe.

“I’ve never experienced anything like it in my life,” said Lewis Muhammad Wilkerson Jersey , like Moss and Urlacher a Hall of Famer in his first year of eligibility. “There was so much love and respect in that room. I’ve never experienced this level of greatness, this level of respect.”

The luncheon isn’t at all about food and drink. It’s about a kinship, a fraternity of the very best at what they did as athletes.

So when the likes of Joe Greene, Dick Butkus and Willie Lanier told their stories to the three linebackers in this year’s class, Lewis, Urlacher and Brazile were spellbound.

“The stories and the brotherhood, I didn’t realize what I was getting into,” Urlacher said, shaking his head while smiling. “To hear the stories of what they’d gone through … .”

Of course, Kramer went through more than three decades of waiting to get in. The Packers guard became eligible in 1974 and wound up being voted into the hall as a senior candidate.

Brazile also went the senior route after becoming eligible in 1990. Beathard made it in the contributor’s category and has been retired from NFL team front offices since 2000.

Much of the attention at a news conference Friday was paid to the four youngest men in this class; Dawkins got in on his second try. Each of them was stoked by being part of the luncheon gathering.

And they spoke about the guys they idolized.

“Ronnie Lott is the first guy I wanted to be like, I looked up to that cat for much and modeled my game after him,” said Dawkins, who probably was a harder hitter than Lott, though few defensive backs approached Lott’s coverage skills. “He would challenge his teammates to do more, challenge himself to do more. He was a game changer in a game-changing league.”

Urlacher pointed to Butkus, considered by many the greatest middle linebacker in NFL history, and Mike Singletary, his Hall of Fame predecessors for the Bears. But because Urlacher played safety at New Mexico — and often outran every teammate, regardless of position — his hero Latavius Murray Jersey , like Dawkins’, was a DB.

“Darren Woodson,” Urlacher said. “I was a safety in college and a huge Cowboys fan and he was the guy I wanted to be like when I grew up.”

Urlacher has an edge on Woodson, who hasn’t yet made it into the hall.

Moss mentioned being thrilled to chat with former teammate Chris Doleman, who was inducted in 2012.

“These guys set the foundation and we respect these guys who paved the way,” Moss said. “It was great to be in there and hear a lot about it. You walk out of that room and say, ‘I am glad to be part of this fraternity.'”

At the gold jacket celebration Friday night, Owens made the printed program’s bio, and otherwise was a nonentity while the other class of 2018 members received their jackets.

While Owens is part of it because he was elected in February, his distancing himself from the proceedings here — and from his hall peers — didn’t draw much response from 2018 class members. That’s probably fitting, sort of like how an NFL coach won’t talk about players who are holding out, focusing instead on “the guys who are here.”

Nearly 140 Hall of Famers are expected in Canton for Saturday night’s inductions. Lewis wished he could have spoken in depth to all of those who attended the luncheon.

“Listening to some of those stories,” Lewis said, “you think, ‘Each one of you guys had to make your path straight enough so a person like me could follow.’ (It was) me and Dick Butkus face to face. Me and Mean Joe Greene locked. Willie Lanier and me just there in the corner talking.”

Hall of Famers all.

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