Kawhi Leonard, Raptors Take 2-1 Series Lead over Magic with 98-93 Game 3 Win

The Toronto Raptors grabbed a 2-1 series lead over the Orlando Magic with a 98-93 victory in Game 3 on Friday in Orlando.jerseys nfl wholesale

Pascal Siakam led the way for the Raptors with 30 points and 11 rebounds, and Kawhi Leonard contributed 16 points and 10 boards.cheap womens nfl jerseys china

Nikola Vucevic had 22 points and 14 rebounds in a losing effort for the Magic.nfl women jersey

Siakam Much More Than NBA’s Most Improved Player hi-res-5923fad3d0af51c21e408358cf09fb83_crop_north

Third-year forward Pascal Siakam appears to be the favorite for the 2018-19 Most Improved Player award following a breakout regular season. Now that the postseason has arrived, he is showing his true value.

Siakam entered 2018-19 with career averages of 6.0 points and 4.0 rebounds per game. He took a big step forward by establishing new career highs in scoring (16.9), rebounds (6.9) and assists (3.1).nike nfl jerseys differences

John Schuhmann of NBA.com noted that Siakam had the third-biggest increase in points plus rebounds plus assists per game this season at 13.1.

Even those numbers don’t show how valuable he is to the Raptors. Game 3 did, though.cheap women nfl jerseys

Siakam has been one of Toronto’s most consistent players this postseason, entering play Friday averaging 21.5 points and 9.5 rebounds. As Leonard struggled with his shot most of the night, Siakam guided the Raptors to victory.

The 6’9″, 230-pound big man made 13 of 20 shots (3-of-4 from beyond the arc) in recording a game-high 30 points in 42 minutes. He scored 12 in the opening quarter.

When the Raptors needed a big play late, Siakam helped to hold off an Orlando rally on both ends of the court. His floater with 93 seconds to play ended a 4-0 Magic spurt and pushed the lead back up to six.

He also played a part in forcing a turnover on the ensuing Orlando possession, which helped close out the victory.nfl china jerseys nike

Before Game 3, first-year Toronto coach Nick Nurse made it clear to reporters that he viewed Siakam as the team’s second option, not third. Thus far, the Magic have had no answer for him.nfl jersey factory

FiveThirtyEight’s Jared Dubin wrote this week that Siakam—who is making $1.5 million this season—has provided the NBA’s best bang for buck, giving the Raptors a surplus value in excess of $35.8 million.nfl jersey wholesale authentic

Matt Harvey, SP, Los Angeles Angels

Stats: 4 GS, 0-2, 9.64 ERA, 26 H, 8 BB, 14 K, 18.2 IP

Potential Replacement: Dillon Peters

How many chances does an $11 million investment buy someone?nfl jersey on sale

The Los Angeles Angels gave Matt Harvey that much on a one-year deal this offseason in an effort to shore up the starting rotation. He’s essentially been pitching batting practice to this point, though, with little reason for optimism.nfl nike jerseys for sale

Here’s a quick rundown of how his four starts have played out:hi-res-15eaaa1e4b33a811ce827514b829aa5b_crop_exact

Mar 29 vs. OAK: 6.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 1 K
April 4 vs. TEX: 4.0 IP, 10 H, 8 ER, 2 BB, 5 K
April 9 vs. MIL: 4.1 IP, 7 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 5 K
April 17 vs. TEX: 4.1 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 3 K

All of that adds up to a 9.64 ERA that is the worst in the majors among 92 qualified starting pitchers.cheap baby nfl jerseys

Left-hander Dillon Peters was recently promoted from Triple-A to serve as a long reliever out of the bullpen. With one more rough start from Harvey, he could find himself in the rotation.

Stats: 61 PA, .098/.203/.176, 2 XBH, 4 RBI, 4 BB, 13 K

Potential Replacement: Denard Span

The Baltimore Orioles are thin on potential franchise cornerstones in the early stages of a full-scale rebuilding effort.jersey nfl wholesale  Center fielder Cedric Mullins was viewed as one of the few promising young players on the MLB  nfl china jerseyroster at the start of the season, but he’s looked completely overmatched in the early going.

After hitting .235/.312/.359 with nine doubles and four home runs in 191 plate appearances last season in his first big league action, Mullins has managed just five hits and four walks in 61 trips to the plate so far this year.genuine nfl jerseys

“It’s been the longest two weeks of my life,” Mullins told reporters Wednesday. “But I’m just slowing everything down and remembering that it is the first two weeks and that there are guys that are struggling as well out there, but they’ve turned it around within a few days.”jersey cheap nfl

The 24-year-old also has the sixth-highest soft-contact rate at 29.3 percent, and he’s turned in below-average defensive metrics in center field (minus-1 DRS, minus-5.9 UZR/150) despite a reputation as a strong defender.authentic nfl jerseys for sale

With no clear replacement in-house, the Orioles should consider signing veteran free agent Denard Span to serve as a stopgap in center.authentic nfl jerseys sale

The 35-year-old hit .261/.341/.419 with 40 extra-base hits and nine steals in a 1.9-WAR 2018 season split between the Tampa Bay Rays and Seattle Mariners.nike jersey nfl

Erik Gonzalez, SS, Pittsburgh Pirates

Stats: 56 PA, .208/.296/.292, 3 XBH, 2 RBI, 6 BB, 12 K

Potential Replacement: Cole Tucker nike nfl jerseys sale

The Pittsburgh Pirates acquired Erik Gonzalez from the Cleveland Indians during the offseason and handed him the starting shortstop job out of spring training. As a career .263 hitter with a sub-.300 on-base percentage and a 79 OPS+ in 275 big league plate appearances, little was expected from his bat.nfl authentic jerseys china

However, his defense was viewed as good enough to take the hit offensively, with the thought being he could still provide positive value with steady glovework at a premium position.

So far, he’s produced zero DRS and a minus-13.9 UZR/150.hi-res-15eaaa1e4b33a811ce827514b829aa5b_crop_exact

Those below-average defensive metrics, coupled with his offensive ineptitude, have made him a minus-0.2-WAR player in the early going.

And the peripherals provide little hope his offensive game will turn around. Among 193 qualified hitters leaguewide, he ranks second in soft-contact rate (34.2 percent) and 192nd in hard-contact rate (18.4 percent).cheap personalized nfl jerseys

Meanwhile, shortstop prospect Cole Tucker is hitting .340/.426/.547 with six extra-base hits in 12 games at Triple-A Indianapolis.

It’s only a matter of time.

Stats: 69 PA, .129/.203/.161, 2 XBH, 2 RBI, 5 BB, 13 K

Potential Replacement: Dawel Lugo

Veteran Josh Harrison looked like an excellent low-cost addition to the Detroit Tigers, both on the field and in the clubhouse when he was signed to a one-year, $2 million deal in February.

“He’s a positive person, a leader who has proven himself at this level. He’s another guy who can help improve our situation this year, and maybe beyond,” manager Ron Gardenhire told reporters during spring training. “He helps us not only as a player on the field, but he’s a teacher. nfl jerseys official If we’re going to have some young players on the field, he can help them, too.”

Unfortunately, the early returns have been less than encouraging, as his .nfl best jerseys 364 OPS ranks dead last among 193 qualified hitters.

For a rebuilding Tigers team, keeping Harrison around in a utility role makes sense, as his value stretches beyond his on-field production.

However, it might now be worth it to consider giving someone else the bulk of the playing time.buy nfl jerseys online

Prospect Dawel Lugo has a chance to be the long-term answer at second base, authentic nfl jerseys from china and the 24-year-old is off to a hot start at Triple-A, hitting .333/.412/.533 with six extra-base hits in 12 games.

Brooklyn Nets: Caris LeVert

D’Angelo Russell gives the Brooklyn Nets a genuine star through which to run everything. It gets a little touch-and-go after him. Brooklyn is deep—not to mention tireless—but wants for higher-end talent.women’s authentic nfl jerseys

Caris LeVert is best suited to begin bridging that talent deficit the Nets will face every game. He emerged as their top gun early in the season before a dislocated right foot halted his progress in November and opened the door for Russell to bust out. The variance in his play is real, but he’s the closest Brooklyn can come to a conventional second option.

Head coach Kenny Atkinson shares this position, per the New York Post’s Brian Lewis: women nfl jerseyhi-res-a5028e775ceddbb776fba8a8ab4c7dc6_crop_exact

“The good thing, we haven’t seen any regression. You’re afraid it’s just a one-game thing or a two-game thing; now he’s stringing three, four, five games together. It changes the conversation. He’s an X factor in these playoffs. If he can continue to play at the level he’s playing—even raise it one more level—that gives us more confidence going into the playoffs.”
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LeVert went kaboom in the final two weeks of the regular season. He averaged 16.0 points and 4.3 assists over his final eight games while putting down 47.6 percent of his pull-up triples and posting a true shooting percentage of 59.1.

Teensy-tiny end-of-the-year samples are not reliable telltales. But this isn’t about the (nonexistent) merits of momentum. LeVert was scoring at a similar clip, albeit with frostier shooting from distance, before his Nov. 12 injury. His most recent progress is more of a return to normal than temporary transformation. nike nfl jerseys on sale

Second-Biggest X-factor: Jared Dudley-at-the-5 lineups!women nfl jersey

Every NBA Playoff Team’s Biggest X-Factor

Stars drive the outcome of every NBA playoff series. Titles are not won without them. The list of Finals MVPs wouldn’t be dominated by Hall of Famers, both present and future, if they didn’t have the most control over postseason fates.nike nfl jerseys on saled49145a3aeb3a763b55ccba7290fe4b0_crop_exact

Still, playoff basketball isn’t only about the most obvious players. Teams are more than their tippy-top talent. They have sidekicks, role players, unsung heroes and, yes, higher-profile wild cards.

Everyone’s interpretation of X-factors is different. Some will argue that superstars can act as undersold turning points. They’re not wrong. Others see this designation as an opportunity to celebrate a roster’s deepest cuts. They’re not wrong, either.

Our search for this year’s top X-factors exists somewhere in the middle. Marquee talent isn’t off-limits, but we’re not singling out megastars. Their importance is assumed.china nfl jerseys nike

This is an ode to the postseason’s biggest swing pieces—unheralded No. 2s, fourth and fifth wheels and the occasional household name who fills a lesser role.

Jaylen Brown is a tempting selection. Marcus Smart’s absence will impact him more than anyone. Many of the toughest defensive assignments, beginning with Bojan Bogdanovic, will fall to him.

That curveball isn’t enough to overtake Gordon Hayward, though. He has been the Boston Celtics’ ultimate X-factor since the start of the season—their championship swing piece. Boston is a different team if he is even 75 percent of the player it signed in 2017.women nfl jersey

It has taken time. Hayward still doesn’t look like himself after he suffered a dislocated ankle and fractured left tibia on opening night last season. Rival offenses continue to target him in the half court.women’s authentic nfl jerseys

More and more, though, Hayward is getting closer to all the way back. As The Athletic’s Jay King wrote:where can i buy authentic nfl jerseys

“He has escaped from his post-injury funk with the battering, slashing style that made him an All-Star in Utah. Hayward is finishing at the rim with power and balance once again. He’s drawing free throws at approximately double his rate versus earlier in the season. He always seems in control, whether he’s spinning into a fadeaway jumper or firing a cross-court pass into a teammate’s shooting pocket.”buy nfl jerseys from china

Houston Rockets’ Dominant Start to Playoffs Is Worse for Utah Jazz Than It Seems

From the first time James Harden had the ball in Sunday’s 122-90 win over the Utah Jazz, it was clear he’d face the gimmicky defense the Milwaukee Bucks threw at him in the regular season.nike nfl jerseys from china

Ricky Rubio basically sat on his left shoulder. He wasn’t just trying to take that direction away from Harden. He was all but begging him to go right, as seen in this tweet from NBC’s Brody Logan:

Even in a 32-point drubbing, several things went right for the Jazz.womens nfl jersey

They more than doubled Houston’s attempts from the line (27 to 12).best price nfl jerseys
They had Harden somewhat contained.hi-res-456a6e27becfb7f564abbac73092b47a_crop_north
Ricky Rubio went 5-of-11 for 15 points.
Rudy Gobert had 22 points and 12 rebounds on 8-of-10 shooting.

That first bullet point could become a trend—the Jazz actually topped the Rockets in both free-throw attempts and free-throw-attempt rate this season—but it’s not likely to be that lopsided.

The huge disparity had a lot to do with Harden only getting to the line three times. In Houston’s gentlemen’s sweep of Utah last season, he took 8.6 free throws per game. Good luck keeping him off the stripe.

As for Rubio, his numbers are encouraging but maybe a bit of a mirage. He was more efficient than usual and scored a few more points than his season average. But Houston will live with Rubio jumpers all series.nfl jerseys women

The Rockets will stay home on Gobert’s rolls to the rim and hug up on Donovan Mitchell whenever Rubio has the ball. Letting either of them get loose would be far more damaging than a solid game from the pass-first point guard.

And then there’s Gobert. Individually, he was great. Last year, he was fine, too. In the five-game series against Houston, he averaged 12.2 points, 10.2 rebounds and 2.6 blocks while shooting 71.4 percent from the field.

But Utah was minus-19.0 points per 100 possessions when Gobert was on the floor in that series—the worst net rating of any player on the team, according to NBA.com. Sunday, he was a team-worst minus-23.the authentic nfl jerseys

Houston may have figured out the reigning Defensive Player of the Year.official nfl nike jerseys

Playing Derrick Favors more at the 5 might help. His net rating against Houston last postseason was still comfortably in the red, but minus-9.3 is better than minus-19.0. On Sunday, he was the only Jazz player with a positive plus-minus.where to get nfl jerseys

He’s a bit more switchable on the perimeter than Gobert, but this honestly might just be grasping at straws. The Rockets will still funnel him plenty of the same pick-your-poison scenarios as the one seen above.nfl jerseys china nike

And again, this all happened on a night during which Harden was relatively contained. Things can go better for the Rockets than they did Sunday, especially when he clicks.clearance nfl jerseys

“I’ve literally seen every strategy defensively teams can possibly do,” Harden said during the postgame press conference.nfl jersey for sale

This is likely more of an off night than any sort of solution Utah has discovered. And that’s terrifying for anyone in Houston’s path.

Tobias Harris Is the NBA’s Swiss Army Knife

Tobias Harris had a gut feeling he would be traded. He didn’t have any information a week before the Feb. 7 trade deadline to suggest the Los Angeles Clippers would ship him out, but after he’d been traded four times before, a move felt imminent.buy nfl jerseys online

“I just felt the vibe,” Harris says. “It’s weird to describe, but it’s all about the situation, time, place and dynamic. I saw where we were as a team, and I just felt something was happening behind the scenes. And the deal happened.”cheap nfl jersey store

He felt so strongly about his intuition that he told forward Mike Scott and later teammates Avery Bradley and Tyrone Wallace his thoughts at dinner after a loss to the Raptors. “A trade is going to happen, and I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m in it,” Harris said. They didn’t believe anything would happen.
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Two days later, fresh off hitting a game-winner against the Hornets, Harris was watching Netflix when he got the call. Doc Rivers informed him he had been traded to the 76ers.

The experience wasn’t new to Harris, now on his fifth team in eight seasons. When the Bucks traded him to the Magic in February 2013, Harris was working out and saw the news flash on the gym’s television before he received the call. nike nfl jerseys sale He was taking a nap when the Magic sent him to the Pistons in February 2016. He woke up to missed calls and texts. Harris was in his Detroit home watching film on the next opponent, the Cavaliers, when Stan Van Gundy informed him he was headed to the Clippers in January 2018.authentic nfl jerseys from china

Harris has been a significant trade asset due to his work ethic, yearly improvement and reputation as the consummate teammate. But rarely has he been considered a core piece, which has discouraged him in his quest to find a stable situation.nfl authentic jerseys china

“I go about my game in a different way—a way where I just handle my business,” Harris says. cheap personalized nfl jerseys

“People sleep on me for sure.”nfl jerseys official

He’s found the perfect fit in Philadelphia, among an organization and fanbase that has quickly embraced his unselfish, Swiss Army knife brand of basketball. Though he will become an  cheap baby nfl jerseys unrestricted free agent this summer, Harris will play a nfl best jerseys  significant role in Philadelphia’s title hopes this postseason alongside Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Jimmy Butler.

NBA Power Rankings: Final Regular-Season Edition Entering 2019 Playoffs

For our final regular-season edition of NBA power rankings, we’re still considering each team’s record, advanced metrics and health. real nike nfl jerseys Though it may seem like all it should take to organize the 30 teams into an order reflective of the league’s hierarchy is a glance at the standings, we know that’s not true.nike nfl jerseys on sale

Some teams stumbled into the postseason, while others surged late to secure a seed. Even those in the lottery aren’t necessarily as good or bad as their final record shows.

Recent play, then, still matters. Weighing the last few weeks against a team’s full-season numbers is the only way to get an accurate picture of where each team ranks right now. And, as a point of clarification, this week’s games barely matter at all because, with seeding largely decided, many teams rested their stars.where can i buy authentic nfl jerseys

Just like that, the 2018-19 NBA regular season is over.

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30. New York Knicks (30)buy nfl jerseys from china

It seemed like every other Mitchell Robinson highlight this year featured the swat-happy rookie blocking a three-point attempt. No surprise: He set the NBA record in that statistic.

The Knicks finished 2018-19 with the worst record and lowest offensive efficiency in the league. They spent more time at No. 30 in our rankings than any other team. But hey, at least they have a rookie center worth watching.

29. Cleveland Cavaliers (29)

It feels right that Cleveland surrendered 124 points to the Hornets in its final game of the season on Tuesday. That loss, the Cavs’ 10th in a row, is exactly how you’d expect the team with the worst defensive rating in league history to go out.china nfl jerseys nike

On the plus side, Larry Nance Jr. quietly developed playmaking chops and a serviceable three-point shot this season. Even more encouraging, Collin Sexton dramatically altered his shot profile for the better over the final two months of the year, swapping out mid-rangers for threes and layups.women nfl jersey

Finally, Cedi Osman leaves you with this: a strong metaphor for the Cavs’ 2018-19 season.women’s authentic nfl jerseys

Ozzie Albies, Braves Reportedly Agree to 7-Year, $35 Million Contract Extension

The Atlanta Braves have locked up another one of their young stars after they reportedly agreed to an extension with second baseman Ozzie Albies. nfl jersey for sale

The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reported the official nfl nike jerseys  news. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported the deal is for $35 million over seven years with two option years.

The Braves already locked up reigning National League Rookie of the Year Ronald Acuna Jr. with an eight-year, $100 million extension that includes two option seasons. hi-res-0059674c8e5d4622961c44ecea8b7888_crop_north

Albies has established himself as a key piece of Atlanta’s roster since his 2017 big league debut. He hit with 20 extra-base hits in 57 games as a 20-year-old.  clearance nfl jerseys
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The Braves have a strong combination of young and veteran talent to build around as they pursue their first World Series title since 1995. Locking up Albies (22) and Acuna (21) gives them long-term stability.nfl jerseys china nike

Yasiel Puig, David Bell Ejected After Benches Clear in Pirates vs. Reds

The culture of retaliation in baseball remains a controversial topic, as many position players don’t like pitchers throwing at them simply because they flip their bats, pause in the batter’s box to admire a moonshot or simply show some emotion in the moment. nfl jerseys china nike

While many pitchers contend they don’t like being shown up, the counterargument remains that pitchers shouldn’t give up homers in the first place if they don’t want to see opposing players have a passionate response to the most exciting play in baseball—the home run.hi-res-be9c094a8b0b7e4aa414cb26ead3d680_crop_north

Philadelphia Phillies superstar Bryce Harper brought the growing divide on the topic to light in 2016, telling Tim Keown of ESPN The Magazine that he had no issue with emotion in the game and felt it was important to cultivate, nfl jersey for sale rather than stifle, that passion, using the late Jose Fernandez as an example:

“Jose Fernandez will strike you out and stare you down into the dugout and pump his fist. And if you hit a homer and pimp it? He doesn’t care. Because you got him. That’s part of the game. It’s not the old feeling—hoorah …nike nfl jerseys on sale  if you pimp a homer, I’m going to hit you right in the teeth. No. If a guy pimps a homer for a game-winning shot … I mean—sorry.”

“If a guy pumps his fist at me on the mound where to buy nfl jersey , I’m going to go, ‘Yeah, you got me. Good for you. Hopefully I get you next time,'” Harper added. “That’s what makes the game fun.”

Major League Baseball even promoted the sport with a china nfl jerseys nike “Let the Kids Play”women nfl jersey  campaign, which highlighted moments of passion and took aim at the game’s antiquated unwritten rules.

But some players aren’t keen to see the unwritten rules go by the wayside. Archer is apparently among them.women’s authentic nfl jerseys