Dream Chaser Clix Forum

sometimes to get one.

Started by douhua2233 2018-08-10 at 09:11
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douhua2233
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Kevin Durant Luke Falk Color Rush Jersey , Paul George and Chris Paul all made quick decisions to stay put and remain in the Western Conference.

And now LeBron James is joining them.

Just like that, the West got even wilder.

Day 1 of NBA free agency was not lacking for fireworks or firepower, led by James’ decision to leave Cleveland for a second time and join the Los Angeles Lakers. James agreed to a four-year deal worth $154 million, meaning his streak of eight consecutive Eastern Conference championships – four with Miami, four with the Cavs – will end next year.

He could still go to the NBA Finals, of course. He’s just going to have a much tougher time getting there out of the West.

Compared to his past free-agent decisions, James moved super swiftly – it took him eight days to reveal in 2010 that he was going to Miami, 11 days in 2014 to say he was going back to Cleveland. This time, it took about 20 hours.

Durant, George and Paul were way faster than that.

The bonanza started Saturday night when Durant decided to sign a two-year, $61.5 million deal with the two-time defending champion Golden State Warriors, one where he’ll make $30.5 million this season. The terms were confirmed by a person familiar with the situation who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal cannot become official until the league’s offseason moratorium ends this week.

The deal comes with a player option for 2019-20, so Durant can – and likely will – become a free agent again next summer.

George and Paul made their announcements known not long afterward. George told a party in Oklahoma City that he’s staying with the Thunder, after agreeing to terms on what is a $137 million, four-year deal that comes with an option for the final season. Paul made his intentions known on Twitter at exactly midnight EDT Sunday Baker Mayfield Browns Jersey , saying he’s staying with the Houston Rockets after agreeing to a four-year contract worth $160 million.

All three of those players will have designs on a title next season.

As if getting through one another won’t be tough enough, James is now coming to join the party. By the time he announced, just over $900 million worth of new deals had been agreed upon, based on figures confirmed to the AP by people involved in the various decisions – almost all of that money getting committed by teams in the West.

And all those clubs – Golden State, Oklahoma City, Houston, the Lakers, even Denver by locking up Nikola Jokic for $150 million and Will Barton for $54 million – could definitively say they were thrilled. More big moves in the West are possible, especially with DeMarcus Cousins still available in free agency and a candidate to return to New Orleans.

Durant’s move means the Warriors not only got to keep the 2017 and 2018 NBA Finals MVP, but they also get some financial flexibility in the deal since he could have gotten more money had the deal been structured differently.

For the Thunder, the win was that their risk paid off. Trading for George a year ago was panned by some critics, presumably because of the belief that he was already focused on joining his hometown Los Angeles Lakers in free agency.

That move isn’t happening.

Not now, anyway, and barring a trade not for at least three years in what will be considered a massive victory for the Thunder and general manager Sam Presti.

”I’m here to stay,” George told the crowd at the party.

In Houston Josh Sweat Color Rush Jersey , Paul has told Rockets fans the same thing.

”UNFINISHED BUSINESS,” Paul wrote on Twitter at the exact moment that the calendar flipped to July 1 in the East, meaning the NBA’s free agency frenzy was officially open for the summer.

Houston took Golden State to seven games in the Western Conference finals back in May. Paul missed the last two games of that series with an injury, and the Rockets wasted big leads in both of those games – then had to watch the Warriors sweep Cleveland for the NBA title.

Paul averaged 18.6 points and 7.9 assists last season with the Rockets, who went 65-17 led by Paul and newly minted NBA MVP James Harden. ESPN reported he is signing a four-year deal that will be worth $160 million.

They were the initial wave. Sunday evening, James made his move.

He flew to Los Angeles on Saturday, creating a frenzy without saying a word.

Turns out, James was flying to his new home James spent the week vacationing in Anguilla. He’s the next superstar to follow in the legacy that Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West, Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant and Magic Johnson built for the Lakers.

Philadelphia star Joel Embiid weighed in on Twitter saying, ”The Lakers are FOREVER gonna be Kobe’s and Magic’s team…. Process that.”

The 76ers met with James’ representatives Sunday, obviously to no avail. Embiid’s opinion notwithstanding, the Lakers are James’ team now.

And the East, for the first time in nearly a decade DJ Moore Color Rush Jersey , will have a new king next spring.




Like he does with so many things, Sidney Crosby makes it look easy.

There was the time he shot the puck off the post and swatted the rebound into the net out of midair. Or, the time he waited for the puck to drop and backhanded it in for a goal. Or, when knocked the puck up to himself with his stick before tapping it in.

”I think it’s just instincts,” Crosby said.

It’s actually a mix of natural talent, instincts, awareness, timing, patience and hand-eye coordination. Crosby’s Pittsburgh teammates are still amazed every time he does it – and they should be.

”It’s just a reactionary thing,” Penguins winger Conor Sheary said. ”When you see the puck go in the air, you just try to bat it. He’s better at it than a lot of other guys, and I don’t know what that is.”

Batting a fluttering piece of frozen rubber 3 inches in diameter and 1-inch thick with a stick blade 2 to 3 inches wide is no simple task. Doing it at full speed in an NHL playoff game certainly raises the degree of difficulty. Yet a handful of goals have been scored or saved already this postseason with a player somehow able to connecting their stick with an airborne puck at the perfect time.

As recently as Tuesday night, Capitals winger Alex Ovechkin batted the puck out of the air off the post in Crosby-esque fashion for the game-winner to beat the Penguins.

”I hit the post and it’s a good thing I didn’t raise my arms up,” Ovechkin said. ”I finished up the play and got lucky.”

Teams don’t have drills for this kind of thing, but hockey players are always noodling with the puck http://www.ramsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-john-kelly-jersey , so the familiarity with both stick and puck becomes ingrained at an early age. Playing baseball and other sports growing up can’t hurt. Washington Capitals forward Brett Connolly, who scored a baseball-style goal with Boston in 2015, thinks players learn the skill and try to use it when they can.

”Your athleticism kind of takes over at that point,” Connolly said. ”Once your hand-eye is at a high level, you kind of track the puck. I think as hockey players we’re always looking around, we’re so quick, our eyes are all over the place and we’re staring at the puck. You kind of just take a chance at it and sometimes it works out.”

It worked out for Toronto’s Connor Brown on his goal in Game 5 of the first round when the puck bounced off a defenseman’s stick and he knocked it in before goaltender Tuukka Rask knew where it was. Columbus goalie Sergei Bobrovsky didn’t know where the puck was when captain Nick Foligno whacked it out of the air to prevent a goal during the first round against Washington, either, a product of years of work.

”That was actually my guy, so the least I could do was bat it out,” Foligno said. ”Honestly, I practice it so much with playing around with the puck that you just get used to it playing so many years. Obviously, a little bit of luck to make sure you get it out and not hit somewhere else.”

To the surprise of no one, Crosby’s career is full of similar highlights. He once slugged a home run during batting practice at PNC Park some years ago.

On the ice, Crosby doesn’t have to hit the puck as hard as Aaron Judge hits a baseball or as precisely as Roger Federer hits a tennis ball Justus Annunen Blackhawks Jersey , but Penguins winger Bryan Rust correctly points out: ”They’re also looking for it to be in the air. Our sport, the puck’s not supposed to be in the air.”

Crosby and others figure it out anyway.

”There’s a lot of things you’ve got to be aware of, and you need pucks to be in those areas to do it,” Crosby said. ”Sometimes you can go a period of time where you don’t get a puck that sits right there for you. I’ve been around the net when pucks have been able to kind of just lay there for me. There’s a lot of different factors, but I think just being in and around the net trying to expect different things and being ready for it.”

Playing peewee baseball explains some of it for Crosby, a two-time season and playoff MVP who works on redirecting and bating pucks so often in practice it has become a routine way for him to score.

Not so much for others, like Bruins forward Sean Kuraly, who played the waiting game during Game 1 of Boston’s series against Toronto and batted the puck in while falling over Maple Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen.

”You have to wait for the puck to come down,” the otherwise-impatient Kuraly said. ”I’m a terrible baseball player. It has nothing to do with baseball.”

Goalies with thicker blades on their sticks get into the act, too. Andersen robbed Rick Nash on a sure-fire goal in the first round in Game 6, and Pittsburgh’s Matt Murray extended his stick to stop Ovechkin in Game 2 of the Penguins-Capitals series.

Goaltenders are counted on to keep the puck out by any means necessary.

Scoring a goal by batting the puck in? Well, that’s just fun.

”It’s a creative game. You’ve got to mix it up and be creative,” Connolly said. ”To score, you’ve got to try and do something different sometimes to get one.”



AP Sports Writers Jimmy Golen in Boston and Will Graves in Pittsburgh contributed.



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