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Сообщение liny195 » Ср авг 29, 2018 4:36 pm

HOUSTON — First things first: The Minnesota Timberwolves are not merely happy to be in the playoffs for the first time since 2004 Jeremy Kerley Color Rush Jersey , despite the prevailing narrative regarding their presence.

The circumstances certainly allude to a measure of complacency on behalf of the Timberwolves, who claimed a winner-take-all showdown with the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday to end the longest postseason drought in the league.

For their effort, which included surviving a lengthy span of the stretch run without All-Start guard Jimmy Butler, the Timberwolves earned a matchup against the top-seeded and heavily favored Houston Rockets, with their Western Conference first-round series set to commence Sunday at Toyota Center.

Given the long odds, and the fact that Minnesota hasn’t won a playoff series since the 2004 Western Conference Semifinals, is drawing Houston accomplishment enough?

Not particularly.

“We expect nothing but greatness from ourselves,” Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns said. “We didn’t wake up this morning like, ‘Hey, we’re going to go to Houston.’ We woke up saying we’re going to go to Houston and get the job done. We put pressure on ourselves because we want to be so great, we want to be the best team possible that we can be. I think we’re going to do fine.

“At the end of the day we don’t need anyone to tell us their opinions of how the series is going to go. We have confidence and we talk to each other. That’s all we need is each other in this moment.”

The Timberwolves will have to circle the wagons against an opponent that blitzed them four times during the regular season. The Rockets claimed the first three meetings by 18 points each and led by 25 in a 129-120 road victory March 18. Houston, the most prolific 3-point shooting team in the league by volume, hit 69 of 159 3s in those four games for a robust 43.4 percent.

How Minnesota handles the challenge that comes with defending the Rockets might align with its offensive approach. By relying on Towns, who paced the team in points (1 Authentic Andy Dalton Jersey ,743), rebounds (1,012), blocks (115) and 3-pointers (120), plus Butler in the post, Minnesota might unlock a pace that could prevent Houston from its usually lethal combo of layups and open 3s.

“We’ve got the capability to play slower; we’ve got KAT and Jimmy and those guys who can post the ball and put guys in isolation situations,” Timberwolves guard Jeff Teague said. “Against that team they switch so much they kind of want you to post the ball so they can come and trap, so we’ve got to push the ball and try to get some easy scores. And we’re going to have to make some shots.”

Matching the Rockets offensively might be as sound a strategy as anything the Timberwolves can muster defensively. Houston not only made more 3-pointers (1,256) than any team in NBA history, the Rockets actually attempted more 3s (3,470) than shots from inside the arc (3,446).

Additionally, Rockets guards James Harden and Chris Paul ranked first and fourth, respectively Authentic Rashaan Gaulden Jersey , in isolation points per possession. And for added measure, center Clint Capela paced the league in field goal percentage (65.2), gorging on a healthy portion of lobs courtesy of the penetration Harden and Paul created by opponents scrambling to defend the 3-point arc.

The Timberwolves finished 23rd in defensive efficiency during the regular season, so any expectation that they might lock down the Rockets this series is foolhardy. The Rockets are well aware of their potency, and the potential to inflect damage by doing what they usually do.

“You go out there and compete, and go back to what you’ve been doing all year,” Harden said. “Staying together, having that positive mindset. Bad things are going to happen. Turnovers are going to happen, mistakes are going to happen but the sooner you can bounce back to that next play, the better off you’ll be.”

Carson Wentz lunged to his right and then backpedaled to avoid a rush. After darting forward again, he quickly rolled to his right and took off down the sideline at full speed.

The only reminder Saturday that the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback was returning from knee surgery was the brace attached his left leg.

"Obviously he's got some of that Kobe Bryant (stuff) in his knee," defensive end Michael Bennett said with a smile, referring to the offseason knee treatment in Germany the NBA great used to receive. "He probably went to Germany or Switzerland or some (stuff), because he's looking really good out there."

How upbeat were the Eagles after Wentz went through 11-on-11 drills with the starters at the first padded practice of training camp? Coach Doug Peterson interrupted new offensive coordinator Mike Groh's press conference with the key question for the Super Bowl champions.

"I know you don't want to put a timetable on Carson Customized Pittsburgh Steelers Jerseys , but what's your timetable?" Pederson asked, smirking.

"Great question," Groh said.

Wentz sure looked close to ready, if not already there, during a humid morning practice. Barely seven months removed from tearing the anterior cruciate and lateral collateral ligaments in his left knee, Wentz participated in full team drills without limitations. While he tossed two interceptions, he drew rave reviews from his teammates and coaches for his arm strength, accuracy and mobility.

"He's in the right frame of mind. He's making some good throws," Groh said. "As you can see, we're pretty good on defense. Those guys are making it challenging for us on offense, particularly early, first day in pads."

Wentz dazzled in 13 games last season, throwing for 3,296 yards and 33 touchdowns with just seven interceptions. The Eagles led the NFL in scoring and were 11-2 after Wentz went down on Dec. 10.

Behind backup Nick Foles Shelby Miller Jersey , the Eagles went on to win their first NFL title. But it's clear that even though Foles was the Super Bowl MVP, Wentz will become the starter again when he's ready.

"When you're rehabbing something, it's not an exponential line. It's not you're slowly getting better and then you rapidly accelerate," tight end Zach Ertz said. "There's going to be times in training camp probably where he doesn't feel great or his knee doesn't feel great and they'll back him off."

Because of that, the Eagles remain tight-lipped about whether they expect Wentz under center for the season opener Sept. 6 against Atlanta. It's also uncertain if he'll appear in a preseason game. Wentz didn't speak to reporters after the 2 1/2-hour workout.

"To have everybody out there, Carson there, in some people's minds is ahead of schedule," Groh said. "But I know this was his target date. So we're happy to have him out there working. It's only going to make everybody better."

NOTES: With several receivers banged up and not practicing, including Alshon Jeffery and Bryce Treggs, the Eagles signed WR DeAndre Carter. The move gives the Eagles the maximum 90 players. ... The team displayed the Lombardi Trophy in a glass case outside the practice fields, allowing fans to snap pictures while standing next to it.

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Re: amp probably where he d

Сообщение 61a91bc » Пн окт 29, 2018 5:15 am

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