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PHOENIX -- The perils of baseballs new replay rule figured prominently in the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-4 victory over the San Fran

in Kritik, Anregungen und Co 18.04.2018 05:04
von jokergreen0220 | 630 Beitršge

PHOENIX -- The perils of baseballs new replay rule figured prominently in the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-4 victory over the San Francisco Giants Tuesday night. Matthew Slater Jersey . In the fourth inning, the Diamondbacks A.J. Pollock raced home on a passed ball and was called safe by home plate umpire Eric Cooper. Replays showed Giants pitcher Matt Cain appeared to tag Pollock before the runner crossed the plate. But there was nothing Giants manager Bruce Bochy could do about it. He had used up his challenge moments earlier in a failed attempt to reverse a safe call on a pickoff attempt of Pollock at first. "Good thing I made that play close at first," Pollock quipped. "It was all part of the master plan." Even Arizona manager Kirk Gibson seemed to think Pollock should have been called out. "It looked to me like it wasnt good for us," Gibson said, "but he called him safe." Bochy already had been out of the dugout twice when he chose to challenge the pickoff play. "What else are you going to do if you think they didnt get the call right?" he said. "Unfortunately they are not all going to go your way or get overturned, but that is the gamble you take. Sure there could be another play but you dont know that." The run cut the Giants lead to 4-3. "He was out. I had him," Cain said. "I saw what Cooper saw. He saw that it looked like he went over the plate but he went through the top of my glove to go over it. " Pollock broke out of an 0-for-13 start to the season with three hits, scoring twice and driving in a run. Wade Miley (1-1) gave up four runs in the first inning, and then blanked the Giants for the next six, retiring 15 in a row in one stretch "The offence did a great job of kind of picking me up," he said. "I was down. I gave up the four-spot and was able to kind of overcome it. I knew if I just held it right there, weve got a pretty good lineup in here, and wed have a pretty good chance to get back on top." Gerardo Parra had two hits and the sacrifice fly that scored to the go-ahead run in the sixth inning. Brandon Belt hit a three-run home run in the first, his second homer in as many games. Addison Reed, who gave up the game-winning home run to Buster Posey Monday night, pitched a scoreless ninth for his first save with the Diamondbacks. Pinch-hitter Hector Sanchez reached second with one out in the ninth when Arizona rookie shortstop Chris Owings misjudged a pop fly to short left and it dropped for a double. But Brandon Crawford fouled out to the catcher and Juan Perez struck out looking to end the game. Pollock, dropped from the leadoff spot to No. 8 in the order, beat out an infield single in the first, singled and scored in the fourth, then doubled in a run and scored the go-ahead run in the sixth. Paul Goldschmidt was 2 for 4 with an RBI double, extending his hitting streak to 23 games. Owings had two hits and a stolen base. Juan Guiterrez (0-1) went two innings to take the loss in relief of Cain. The Diamondbacks scored twice in the sixth to take the lead. Owings singled with one out, stole second and scored on Pollocks ground-rule double to left-centre. Miley singled, an then Pollock scored from third on Parras sacrifice fly to left, sliding in barely ahead of Perezs throw. San Francisco jumped on Miley in a hurry. Singles by Angel Pagan, Pablo Sandoval and Posey brought in the first run. Then Belt hit Mileys 1-0 pitch into the swimming pool area in right field and it was 4-0. Arizona got two in the bottom of the first. Parra led off with a single and came home on Goldschmidts double to deep right-centre. Goldschmidt scored on Martin Prados single. Cain left with a 4-3 lead after five innings. He gave up two earned runs, struck out two and walked two. Will Harris pitched a scoreless eighth for the Diamondbacks. Notes: Posey is 8 for 17 in his career against Miley. ... In Wednesday nights third game of the four-game series, Tim Hudson makes his Giants debut, while Trevor Cahill (0-1) goes for Arizona. ... The Diamondbacks Miguel Montero walked three times, once intentionally. ... Arizonas Mark Trumbo twice grounded in to inning-ending double plays. ... The attendance of 18,974 was just under 30,000 below Monday nights turnout. Malcolm Butler Jersey . PETERSBURG, Florida Ė Its been almost seven years since the Blue Jays last won a series at Tropicana Field. Donald Trump Jersey . INJURIES - Reds RF Jay Bruce is facing knee surgery for a torn meniscus and it could cost him a month of playing time. Chris Heisey, who has shown some pop (43 home runs, . http://www.authenticpatriotsfanatic.com/c-52-patriots-malcom-brown-jersey.aspx .ca. In Sundays Blackhawks-Penguins game, Pittsburgh defenceman Brooks Orpik laid a huge hit on Chicagos Jonathan Toews. Now in my view, Orpik can be clearly seen leaving his feet while delivering a moderately high hit.With the regular season right around the corner, TSN.ca profiles each NBA division before the first tip. TSN Basketball analyst Jack Armstrong also gives his pick for division champ and a player to keep an eye on this season. We start with the Northwest where Kevin Durants injury throws a monkey wrench into the Oklahoma City Thunders plans to compete for an NBA Title and Canadian phenom Andrew Wiggins looks to make his mark with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Denver Nuggets Ty Lawson in 2013-14: 17.6 PPG, 8.8 APG, 1.6 STLPG Coach: Brian Shaw (second season) GM: Tim Connelly (second season) Last year: 36-46, fourth in Northwest (11th in Western Conference) Playoffs: Did not qualify Notable additions: SG Arron Afflalo (acquired from Magic), SG Gary Harris (acquired from Bulls) and C Jusuf Nurkic (acquired from Bulls) Notable subtractions: SG Evan Fournier (traded to Magic), PG Aaron Brooks (signed with Bulls), C Jan Vesely (signed with Fenerbahce) and PF/C Anthony Randolph (traded to Bulls) Nuggets Depth Chart Position Starter Bench Point Guard Ty Lawson Nate Robinson, Eric Green Shooting Guard Arron Afflalo Randy Foye, Gary Harris Small Forward Wilson Chandler Danilo Gallinari, Quincy Miller, Alonzo Gee Power Forward Kenneth Faried JJ Hickson, Darrell Arthur Centre Timofey Mozgov JaVale McGee, Jusuf Nurkic Last seasonís Nuggets were rudderless. General manager Masai Ujiri jumped ship to the Toronto Raptors and head coach George Karl, the NBAís reigning Coach of the Year, was fired before the season started after losing a game of chicken with management. Their best player, Andre Iguodala, sought greener pastures in Oakland. And then there were the injuries. Danilo Gallinari missed the entire season. JaVale McGee was lost after the first five games. Ty Lawson, Nate Robinson and Wilson Chandler all missed 20 or more games. The injuries, coupled with a seeming inability to play anything close to competent defence, doomed any playoff aspirations. The good news for the Nuggets is that everybody is healthy and itís almost impossible for any injuries this year to outweigh last seasonís. The bad news is that the Nuggets are still poor defensively and will have to change that in a hurry if they hope to return to the postseason in an ultra-competitive Western Conference. Itís not all doom and gloom, though. Kenneth Faried was dynamite for the US at the World Cup and his ability to harness that momentum into the NBA will go a long way to reward the Nuggets for the faith placed in the Manimal with his long-term extension. Faried is already a feared presence on the glass, but he will need to use his sheer athleticism to add another phase to an overall defensive game that needs a lot of honing. Too often, Faried is guilty of ball-watching and finds himself easily outmatched in the key. The Nuggets believe that there is another facet to Fariedís game and now is the time for the player to show it. If there is a major strength to this Nuggets team, itís offence with multiple weapons. Arron Afflalo returns to the Nuggets, having emerged as a legit scorer with the Magic. Combined with Lawson, the two could form one of the most potent backcourt combos in the West. While Lawson is a criminally underrated point guard, lost in what is not exactly the leagueís sexiest market, and consistently dangerous in transition, heís limited by his size and tendency to slow down as a game goes on. Rookie Gary Harris out of Michigan State should get opportunities to spell the pair, as too will the deft with the deep shot, Randy Foye. A deep bench with the likes of Gallinari, JJ Hickson and Nate Robinson will also add to the offensive punch. When the Nuggets keep things up-tempo, theyíre fun to watch and difficult to deal with. Still, it all comes down to defending with the Nuggets. The return of JaVale McGee will help solidify protection in the frontcourt, but Timofey Mozgov doesnít exactly strike fear into the hearts of the rest of the West. Shaw will also hope that Croatian rookie Jusuf Nurkic will challenge Mozgov for minutes. Still, itís uncertain as to how long it will take Nurkic, who does have a lot of upside, to transition to the North American game. He remains a project until then. The Nuggets have the potential to run an effective, crowd-pleasing offence. Getting stops is what will kill them. Projected finish: Third in the Northwest (11th in the Western Conference) Minnesota Timberwolves Andrew Wiggins in 2013-14 (Kansas): 17.1 PPG, 5.9 RPG .448FG% Coach: Flip Saunders (first season) GM: Milt Newton (third season) Last year: 40-42, third in Northwest (10th in Western Conference) Playoffs: Did not qualify Notable additions: SF Andrew Wiggins (acquired from Cavaliers), PF Anthony Bennett (acquired from Cavaliers), C Thad Young (acquired from 76ers), SG Zach LaVine (drafted) and PG Mo Williams ($3.75M, one-year deal) Notable subtractions: PF Kevin Love (traded to Cavaliers), SF/PF Luc Mbah a Moute (traded to 76ers) and SG/PG Alexey Shved (traded to 76ers) Timberwolves Depth Chart Position Starter Bench Point Guard Ricky Rubio Mo Williams, JJ Barea Shooting Guard Kevin Martin Andrew Wiggins, Zach LaVine Small Forward Corey Brewer Robbie Hummel, Shabazz Muhammad, Chase Budinger, Glenn Robinson III Power Forward Thad Young Anthony Bennett, Dante Cunningham Centre Nikola Pekovic Ronny Turiaf, Gorgui Dieng Kevin Love was entering a contract year. Kevin Love, a Los Angeles boy, was not going to re-sign with the Minnesota Timberwolves. He was walking and would be gone for nothing. If you can accept this premise, then you have to be impressed with the haul that Milt Newton got for Love in the two top picks in the last two drafts and a talented big. Considering that the last time the T-Wolves traded a franchise player, the 2007 deal of Kevin Garnett to the Boston Celtics, the team got quantity (five players, two firsts and money) and not exactly quality, the fact that Love has turned into some impressive building blocks for the future has to be seen as a win for the team. When youíre talking about a team that hasnít made the playoffs in a decade (the longest drought in the NBA), hope is essential and itís here now. The T-Wolves have the pieces to be a very good team in the near future. Itís just not going to happen right now. Love was the Timberwolves and losing him will impact just about every facet of their game. The offence ran through him and he was a monster on the glass. You canít replace a player like that and the T-Wolves wonítÖthis year. Of the players acquired in the Love deal, it will be Young who is best suited to contribute now. Lost in the mediocrity that was the Sixers, Young is a dependable, if undersized, option at the four. He can score and is a capable defender. He wonít come close to replicating Loveís slash lines, but he can carry some of the offensive burden and ideally develop a rapport with Pekovic, another player who will see increased responsibility. After a career season offensively last year, the big Serb will be asked to do more in the paint without Love. Ricky Rubio must match his flashiness with consistency. Perhaps the best passer in the NBA right now, Rubio struggled mightily last year offensively (though, heís never really been a good shooter) and is headed into a contract year. The team and the talented Spaniard are in contract talks and an extension could be on the table, but the concern is obviously whether or not he can live up to his immense potential and be counted on as a key cog in the teamís future plans. The possibility of Rubio running an offence with the likes of an Andrew Wiggins and the freakishly athletic Zach LaVine for years to come is a highlight package producerís dream. Money isnít an issue when it comes to the extension. Itís whether or not Rubio warrants the commitment. Frankly, that still remains to be seen. As for the Canadians, their time is not now. Wiggins could be a generational talent. A gifted scorer with agility and the ability to become a shutdown defender has reminded more than a few people of a young LeBron James, the player who it looked like for a while might act as tutor for Wiggins in his rookie season. Moving out of Cleveland could end up being a blessing for the Thornhill, Ontario native. There are no expectations of immediate greatness in Minnesota and the room for growing pains is substantially larger there than it would be on a team looking to win right now. Any mistakes (and there will be mistakes) made by Wiggins would be magnified under the spotlight that will exist in Cleveland this season and that is never conducive to a young players growth. Wiggins will start behind Kevin Martin and be eased into the rotation by Saunders, back for his second spell as T-Wolves coach. Martin is a smart player who was slowed down by injuries in his first year with the T-Wolves. There are a lot worse players that Wiggins could have found as a mentor. Martin is currently struggling with a groin strain and if that is to recur over the course of the season, Wiggins might find himself starting sooner than later. Anthony Bennett had a miserable rookie season and thatís all it took for the Brampton, Ontario native to be mentioned in the same breath as Michael Olowokandi, Greg Oden and Michael Beasley as first-overall busts. After working on his fitness and putting on some upper body mass, Bennett has the opportunity to turn the page on last year and remind people why he was taken first overall out of UNLV. The 21-year-old was seen as somewhat of a throw-in to the Wiggins/Love deal and that can only help. Bennett has a decent midrange shot for a player of his size and thatís something that Saunders will want to cultivate by giving Bennett minutes in the right situations. A frontcourt that includes Bennett, Young, Pekovic and the improving Gorgui Dieng could develop into an impressive one with the proper enrichment. Barring the unforeseen, this will be another year on the outside looking in when it comes to the postseason for the Timberwolves and the team will probably regress from flirting with .500 like it did for most of last year. Still, itís easy to see why fans of this team are legitimately excited about the future. It wonít happen today and maybe not tomorrow, but the Minnesota Timberwolves might be on the cusp of something special. Projected finish: Fourth in the Northwest (12th in Western Conference) Oklahoma City Thunder Russell Westbrook in 2013-14: 21.8 PPG, 8.1 APG, 7.3 RPG Coach: Scott Brooks (sixth season) GM: Sam Presti (eighth season) Last year: 59-23, first in Northwest (second in Western Conference) Playoffs: Lost in Western Conference Final Notable additions: SG Anthony Morrow (three-year, $10M deal), SF Josh Huestis (drafted) and PF Mitch McGary (drafted) Notable subtractions: SG/SF Thabo Sefolosha (signed with Pistons), PG Derek Fisher (retired), SF Caron Butler (signed with Pistons) and C Hasheem Thabeet (traded to 76ers) Thunder Depth Chart Position Starter Bench Point Guard Russell Westbrook Reggie Jackson, Sebastian Telfair Shooting Guard Andre Roberson Anthony Morrow, Jeremy Lamb Small Forward Perry Jones III Lance Thomas, Kevin Durant (IR) Power Forward Serge Ibaka Nick Collison, Grant Jerrett Centre Kendrick Perkins Steven Adams, Mitch McGary (IR) Itís funny how quickly things change. Kevin Durant withdrew from the USA Basketball team that eventually won gold at the FIBA World Cup ostensibly to focus on the upcoming season and attempt to finally get the Thunder over the hump and capture an NBA Title. Fate, of course, had different plans for the reigning NBA MVP and the broken foot that he suffered in early October will keep Durant out for six to eight weeks. This is Durantís first-ever significant spell on the sidelines. Up until now, the 26-year-old has missed only 16 games in his seven years in the Association. Playing without an injured superstar is nothing new for the Thunder, considering Russell Westbrookís myriad knee injuries (the point guard missed 36 games last season) and Serge Ibaka going down in last yearís playoffs, but losing Durantís 32.0 PPG is a heavy blow. In a worst-case scenario, Durant could miss 20 games and that would mean losing the five-time All-Star for dates with Western Conference rivals the Portland Trail-Blazers, Los Angeles Clippers, Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors. In what will undoubtedly be a tight race in the conference, a game early in the season is just as crucial as one later on and the Thunder will need to be able to shoulder his absence. The injury to Durannt is bad enough, but the Thunder have more than just their talisman to contend with when it comes to being banged up. Elandon Roberts Jersey. Rookie Mitch McGary broke his foot in his first preseason game. Kendrick Perkins is dealing with a strained quad. Both Nick Collison and Ibaka have been felled by ankle injuries. The extent of Reggie Jacksonís wrist injury is still unknown. Every team will have trips to the infirmary over the course of 82 games, but no club wants them to occur this early and this frequently. This is certainly going to test the depth and mettle of this Thunder team. Westbrook will be asked and expected to carry more of the scoring load with Durant out, but in doing so, Westbrook needs to be measured and make sure that the potential offensive imbalance doesnít result in turning into a Rudy Gay-esque black hole of bad shots. Perry Jones is not Kevin Durant. He isnít close to Kevin Durant and to expect him to be would be foolish, but the third-year pro should finally get his chance to make his mark on the team in the Slim Reaperís absence. Brooks hasnít shown any real level of trust with the 23-year-old out of Baylor in his first two seasons, yet the Thunder still believe that the lanky Jones has the skills to produce at an NBA-level. The same goes for Jeremy Lamb, who could even be utilized at the three if Brooks intends to go small. This is a huge opportunity for both players to stake their claim for not only more playing time, but expanded roles when Durant does return. Steven Adams, clearly the teamís centre of the future, will also be counted on to continue his development, as well, and could even find himself as the teamís starter before seasonís end. Damage control is the name of the game for the Thunder. If the team can weather the storm with Durant out, expect them to once again be in the conferenceís upper echelon. Itís only when Durant will return that we can truly gauge whether or not this team can finally reach the NBA summit. Durantís spell on the sidelines could result in the Thunder relinquishing the division crown to the Blazers and a lower than desired playoff seeding, but thatís of little consequence at this point. One more thing to consider: Durant is a free agent in 2016. Donít think for a second that the way the Thunder performs in these next two seasons wonít go a long way in determining Durantís future plans. The team is built to win now and needs to do so. Projected finish: Second in the Northwest (fourth in the Western Conference) Portland Trail Blazers Damian Lillard in 2013-14: 20.7 PPG, 5.6 APG, .381 3P% Coach: Terry Stotts (third season) GM: Neil Olshey (third season) Last year: 54-28, second in Northwest (fifth in Western Conference) Playoffs: Lost in Western Conference semi-finals Notable additions: PG Steve Blake ($4.2M, two-year deal) and C Chris Kaman ($9.8M, two-year deal) Notable subtractions: PG/SG Mo Williams (signed with Timberwolves) Trail Blazers Depth Chart Position Starter Bench Point Guard Damian Lillard Steve Blake Shooting Guard Wesley Matthews Will Barton, CJ McCollum, Allen Crabbe Small Forward Nicolas Batum Dorell Wright, Victor Claver Power Forward LaMarcus Aldridge Thomas Robinson Centre Robin Lopez Chris Kaman, Joel Freeland, Meyers Leonard Dame Lillard has a chip on his shoulder and this should make the Western Conference uncomfortable. The All-Star point guard is angry because he got cut from USA Basketballís FIBA World Cup squad in the summer ahead of their gold medal triumph in Spain. Coming off of another fine season where he upped his PPG and his outside shooting, the 24-year-old was cut in favour of a Derrick Rose, who still isnít 100 per cent, and some extra bench bigs. If Lillard needed any more motivation to try to stake his claim as the Associationís top point guard, heís got it now and the Blazers stand to benefit from it. Still, success is not guaranteed for a Blazers team stuck in what is once again a logjammed Western Conference rife with very good teams. The tools are here for another solid season, but they must be properly utilized by Terry Stotts and his staff and expectations must be measured. The Blazers are no longer an unknown commodity. Coming off of a 33-win season, the year prior, Rip City stormed out of the gates last season to the tune of a 31-9 record. Thatís not going to happen this season because nobody will be sleeping on them and they start the year with five of their first six games against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Golden State Warriors, Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Clippers. This will be baptism by fire. Helping out the cause this season will be the additions of Steve Blake and Chris Kaman. The Blazers had the fewest bench minutes in the league last year. It might have been that Stotts had supreme confidence in his starters (and his two All-Stars in Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge). It might have been a lack of faith in the likes of a Thomas Robinson, CJ McCollum and Will Barton. It might have been both. With Blake and Kaman, Stotts has a pair of proven veterans who are capable of playing important minutes and spelling his starters. Kaman can slot in at either centre or power forward to give time off to Aldridge and Robin Lopez, who nicely acquitted himself in his first year in Portland with a solid campaign, and Blake can run the offence and allow a rest for the tireless Lillard. While Stotts will undoubtedly place confidence in his veterans, itís imperative for him to see what he has with his younger charges. Robinson, a former fifth-overall pick, has boundless athleticism and the potential to emerge as a key big, but the stench of an awful rookie season with the Sacramento Kings and an inability to make any sort of impact with the Houston Rockets keeps the label of ďbustĒ hovering around him. Robinson was very good in limited minutes last season, enough so that an increase should be warranted. The same applies for McCollum, who was buried behind Mo Williams last year. The Blazers will see the injury to Kevin Durant as an opportunity to get a jump on the Thunder, but time is of the essence for another reason: contracts are up. Aldridge is a free agent at seasonís end and he will be getting paid. Whether thatís in Portland or elsewhere remains to be seen. Lopez and Wesley Matthews are also in contract years. The potential for this to be a very different-looking team come next year is great. Time, then, for the Blazers is of the essence. Projection: First in the Northwest (third in Western Conference) Utah Jazz Alec Burks in 2013-14: 14.0 PPG, 2.7 APG, .457 FG% Coach: Quin Snyder (first season) GM: Dennis Lindsey (third season) Last year: 25-57, fifth in Northwest (15th in Western Conference) Playoffs: Did not qualify Notable additions: PG Dante Exum (drafted), SF Rodney Hood (drafted), PF Trevor Booker (two-year, $10M deal) and SF Steve Novak (acquired from Raptors) Notable subtractions: F Marvin Williams (signed with Hornets), SF Richard Jefferson (signed with Mavericks) and C Andris Biedrins (waived) Jazz Depth Chart Position Starter Bench Point Guard Trey Burke Ian Clark, Toure Murray Shooting Guard Alec Burks Dante Exum, Carrick Felix Small Forward Gordon Hayward Rodney Hood Power Forward Derrick Favors Trevor Booker, Steve Novak, Jeremy Evans, Jack Cooley Centre Enes Kanter Rudy Gobert The Jazz were the worst team in the West last season and it cost Ty Corbin his job. Going off the board a little, the Jazz hired former Los Angeles Clippers assistant Quin Snyder in June to take the reins of the 25-win team from a year ago. Make no mistake about it, nobody envisions Snyder a miracle worker. Snyder has proven himself, both on an NBA and NCAA level, to be capable of working with young players and the aim for this season in Salt Lake City is progress. This is more than likely yet another lottery team, but there are good pieces in place here and itís going to be up to Snyder to properly use and cultivate them over the course of a frustrating year. While itís going to be up to Snyder to attempt to get a good feel for his charges, the Jazzís young players will need to show Snyder how capable they are of handling adversity and set the table for the future. Dante Exum, the fifth-overall pick in this past Juneís NBA Draft, is of tantalizing potential. His off-the-charts speed, almost preternatural ability to draw fouls and equal adeptness at passing and scoring bode well for the coming years. Exum fancies himself in the Kobe Bryant mold, but itís far, far too soon to be making such a comparison. Heís never played against anything close to NBA competition, his frame is so slight that he looks like heíll be swept away in a strong wind and his decision-making still leaves a lot to be desired. Right now, Exum is a project, but thatís alright for a team like the Jazz where he come in from the bench and not feel any pressure to contribute immediately. Thatís not say Exum wonít be given significant minutes over the course of the year, but that he wonít be bogged down by the weight of unfair expectations. Exumís high profile could also be a blessing for their other first-round pick this past June in Rodney Hood. The former Duke swingman is already one of the Jazzís best shooting options and can slot in at the two or the three. His athleticism is well above average and in a few yearsí time, his selection at #23 could prove to have been a steal. The Jazz donít have a true out-and-out superstar and number-one scoring option. Thanks to an offer sheet from the Hornets, Gordon Hayward is now paid like a superstar, but he regressed in many ways last season, namely in field-goal percentage. The new hefty contract ($63M over four seasons) is by no means an albatross for a team as far from the cap ceiling as the Jazz are, though, the team expects return on their investment. Hayward has bulked up over the offseason and the team will hope that leads to greater assertiveness that heís shown him capable of in the past. Alec Burks is the interesting piece for the Jazz this season. Heís restricted after this year and the Jazz have proven that theyíre not afraid to lock up their players as they did with Derrick Favors last year and in matching Haywardís offer sheet. The 23-year-old two-guard will move to a starting role this season after excelling as a sixth-man last year. Making a smooth transition will be crucial for Burks, who only started 12 games last term. Burks has a deft scoring touch and likes to drive. With more minutes, he should expect to see a ton of time at the foul line considering his knack for drawing fouls. Itís not out of the realm of possibility to see Burks finish as the teamís top scorer this year. Burksís glaring weakness is the defensive side of his game, where it wouldnít be unfair to deem him a liability. Of course, you could make that argument of just about every player on this team. The Jazzís lacklustre defending sunk them on so many nights last year and itís likely to do so again this season. They were the worst defensive team in the league last year, giving up 100.9 points per 100 possessions. One of the main reasons why Corbin was dismissed was his inability to get this team to improve defensively at all as the year progressed. Snyder certainly has his work cut out for him in this regard. One player to watch (and one who could be an answer defensively) is Rudy Gobert. Hardcore Jazz fans are in love with the potential shown by the French big, who played in this summerís FIBA World Cup. If the 22-year-old can develop some edge, he could turn into the nasty defender this club sorely needs. Projected finish: Fifth in the Northwest (14th in the Western Conference) Jack Armstrongs Pick: Reggie Jackson in 2013-14: 13.1 PPG, 4.1 APG, .339 3P% Oklahoma City Thunder - They adapted last year without Russell Westbrook and theyll piece it together early without Kevin Durant. They wont win the Northwest as convincingly as some would expect, but Reggie Jackson and Serge Ibaka will be even better this year. The residue of winning in the past is still here and Scott Brooks has a good environment in place. Jack Armstrongs Player to Watch: LaMarcus Aldridge in 2013-14: 23.2 PPG, 11.1 RPG, .458 FG% LaMarcus Aldridge, Trail Blazers: Aldridge is in a contract year and hes has already stated his desire to stay put in Portland. Hes developed into a remarkably consistent and highly productive player who was great year for team last season. Can the Blazers duplicate last years success? Im not sure theyre as good, but Portland is certainly still a playoff team. Hes the difference-maker for Rip City and, in my opinion, he doesnt get enough attention for how good a player he really is. I like him a whole lot. Cheap Jerseys Free Shipping China Jerseys Cheap Cheap Jerseys 2019 Cheap Jerseys 2020 Cheap Jerseys China China Jerseys Wholesale Cheap Jerseys China ' ' '

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