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

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.

March Madness in April? These NBA Playoff Teams Could Be Cinderellas

In a seven-game NBA series, hot shooting or some other unforeseen anomaly has far less impact than in a single-elimination tournament. That’s largely why we’ve only seen four No. 7 or No. 8 seeds advance since the league went to a seven-game first-round format in 2003.nike nfl jerseys from china

But that’s a coward’s way to think. Who needs to hedge at this time of year?c8f3eed25385e4a51aafc3528d9d23f0_crop_exact

The search for an NBA Cinderella has to start with the possibility of a first-round upset. That’s the threshold requirement for such a team. There’s also got to be an underdog element that extends beyond the seeding disadvantage. Any true Cinderella best price nfl jerseys has to overcome a serious talent discrepancy, creating the storybook feel we associate with success against long odds.

If a team is missing a star (or never had one in the first place), that’s a good start. If there’s reason to believe regular-season success, such as it was, came via smoke and mirrors, even better. These teams have to seem overmatched. But they also need to have a narrow avenue—favorable matchups, experience advantages or strategic edges—that could lead to an upset.

We’re supposed to doubt them…until they stun us into belief. nfl jerseys women

The second half of the season hasn’t been kind to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

A defense that ranked first in mid-January is tied for 14th since then, and OKC’s offense has been suspect all year. With field-goal accuracy rates that rank 19th at the rim, 30th from mid-range and 23rd from deep, the Thunder enter the postseason as one of the most vulnerable teams in the league.official nfl nike jerseys

They’re slated to draw the untested Denver Nuggets in the first round. And that, folks, raises the possibility of an upset.the authentic nfl jerseys

Please appreciate how ridiculous that statement should look in light of OKC’s 0-4 record against the Nuggets this year. Those four losses came by an average of nine points per game, and both Paul George and Russell Westbrook played in every meeting. There’s no mistaking the Nuggets’ regular-season ownership of the Thunder.where to get nfl jerseys

Kyrie Irving

First, Kyrie Irving was in, telling Boston Celtics season-ticket holders in October, “If you guys will have me back, I plan on re-signing here.”cheap womens nfl jerseys

Then, he wasn’t necessarily out, but the depth of commitment he expressed in earlier comments seemed…shallower.

“Ask me July 1,”nfl jersey store  he told reporters when questioned about his free agency in February. And then, as if begging for nonstop aggregation, he said, “I don’t owe anybody s–t.”

Irving can opt out of his contract this summer and should expect max offers from the Knicks and Celtics. If he stays put, Boston could trade for Anthony Davis, who’d probably be more likely to re-sign in 2020 if Irving were locked into a deal as his running mate. If Irving bolts, Boston might not want to risk trading what it would take to get Davis without any assurance of keeping him long term.hi-res-7ca8e7e6b71441b1f2f4ec7409fd24ea_crop_exact

Suffice it to say nfl jerseys cheap jerseys  the Celtics are heavily incentivized to re-sign Irving if they can.my cheap nfl jerseys

Irving has been only intermittently supportive of teammates from the bench this year, sometimes appearing engaged, others visibly frustrated.

In early March, The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor reported:

“Sources around the team told me that Irving’s persona has changed too: He’s become disengaged and detached from those around the team. There is talk that Irving’s friendships on the team start and end with [Jayson] Tatum, with whom he shares an agent. Two sources peg Irving’s change in demeanor to early February, around the time he was asked about the possibility of joining the New York Knicks next season.”nfl womens jerseys

The mercurial Irving will head into free agency with several options available to him. Good luck trying to guess his plans.nfl jerseys authentic

Prediction: Irving joins Durant in New York on a max contract.

Loser: Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers

One of the biggest individual losers of the offseason is Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. From an on-field perspective, the Steelers lost a lot of talent this season, especially on the offensive side of the ball. Roethlisberger will miss his cheap authentic nfl jerseys free shipping top target in wide receiver Antonio Brown, a reliable starter in tight end Jesse James and an All-Pro running back in Le’Veon Bell.f8971604f096a58a9ce10db4666cf915_crop_exact

To make matters worse, the Steelers also lost offensive line coach Mike Munchak to the Denver Broncos. Under Munchak, Roethlisberger has been sacked a total of 115 times in his five years in Pittsburgh, according to 360.sportradar.com. No quarterback who has started at least 70 games in that period has been sacked fewer times than Roethlisberger. All in all, that is a lot for the 37-year old quarterback to overcome this season.nfl jersey cheap free shipping

And this doesn’t even account for Roethlisberger’s character issues, which might have led to the departure of Brown. Roethlisberger has been called out by former teammates and players across the league, including being accused of fumbling cheap nfl jersey free shipping a ball on purpose because he didn’t like a play call.

With likely the biggest workload of his career now upon his shoulders, it’s up to Roethlisberger to carry the Steelers to the playoffs. Without Brown or Bell, that could be a tough task.cheap nfl jerseys free shipping paypal

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Fairleigh Dickinson Knights

Record: 20-13, 12-6 in NEC

How They Got Here: Since a 6-11 start to the season, the Knights have been rolling. They’ve won 14 of their last 16, capping off the NEC tournament with an 85-76 victory over No. 1 seed St. Francis (PA) to punch their ticket. They last made the cheap new nike nfl jerseys  NCAA tournament in 2016 when they lost one of the First Four games.

Reason to Believe: The Knights shoot a blistering 40.3 percent from beyond the arc, good for fifth in the nation. Senior guard Darnell Edge (16.4 PPG) leads four players who average in double figures, and sixth man Elyjah Williams chips in 8.1 points per game, so they’re well-balanced on offense. On the defensive end, they racked up 253 steals (24th in NCAA) and 485 opponent turnovers (36th in NCAA).cheap nfl jerseys nike china

Reason to Worry: The best win on the Knights’ resume is a Quad 3 victory over Princeton with a sub-150 NET. Their other 19 wins are all Quad 4 games. The best team they faced all season was Providence, and they lost by 10.nike jersey nfl cheap  Rutgers beat them by 35. And while that gaudy three-point percentage looks nice on paper, they only take about 19 threes per game, which puts them in the bottom third nationally.cheap youth nfl jerseys

March Madness Ceiling: Can the Knights up their three-point shooting frequency? Regardless, they’ll be hard-pressed to advance beyond their opening game.

American League East

Baltimore Orioles: SS Manny Machado

Do we need to say a whole lot?

The Orioles are in last place in the American League East, buried…let’s check…a billion games out of first place (give or take). Manny Machado is an impending free agent and one of the best players in baseball. The writing is scribbled on the wall.

Will Machado go to the Dodgers, Yankees, Cardinals, Chicago Cubs or some other suitor? It’ll be among July’s biggest stories.

Will he remain an Oriole as the calendar turns to August? That’s as close to a hard “no” as you’re going to get.authentic nfl jerseys

Boston Red Sox: RHP Tanner Houck

With third baseman Michael Chavis serv wholesale nfl jerseys ing an 80-game performance-enhancing drugs suspension and right-hander Jay Groome sidelined by Tommy John surgery, the Boston Red Sox’s farm system is diminished.

At the same time, the Sox are locked into a prize fight with the archrival Yankees in the AL East and may need to boost their bullpen or otherwise add reinforcements at the deadline.

If Boston wants to get bold, it could deal right-hander Tanner Houck. The 24th overall pick in the 2017 draft, Houck has the stuff to be a mid-rotation fixture or late-innings stud and could net the Red Sox a game-changing acquisition such as Britton, nfl jerseys wholesale who was linked to the Sox by Fancred’s Jon Heyman.

New York Yankees: OF Clint Frazier nfl jerseys china

The Yankees could use pitching in a starting rotation that lost Jordan Montgomery to Tommy John surgery, got Masahiro Tanaka back Tuesday from a pair of hamstring strains and is counting on Sonny Gray and his 5.85 ERA.nfl jerseys from china

New York will almost inevitably make a play for a top-shelf starter such as Hamels as it tries to keep contact with Boston and angle for a 28th world championship.

Clint Frazier could be a piece of the future in the Bronx in a crowded outfield depth chart, but he might also headline a package for an arm after posting a .958 OPS in High-A and Triple-A and tasting the big leagues for a second consecutive season in 2018.nfl authentic jerseys

Tampa Bay Rays: LHP Blake Snell

The Rays are perennially retooling and surely accept reality as they gaze up at the Yankees and Red Sox.nfl authentic jerseys cheap

They also have Blake Snell, whose 2.09 ERA leads the AL and who would immediately improve any contender with his 10.2 strikeouts per nine innings.

The 25-year-old isn’t eligible for free agency until 2022, so keep your eyes peeled for a gargantuan prospect payday if he’s traded.

Toronto Blue Jays: LHP J.A. Happ

As mentioned, Happ could reunite with the Mariners. He could also join the Yankees or land in any number of alternate destinations.

Happ’s 4.44 ERA through 18 starts isn’t overly impressive, but he’s struck out 115 in 105.1 innings and has logged a 3.72 ERA in 19.1 playoff innings.

He could likely be had for a package that doesn’t involve any blue chips and boasts the pedigree and recent performance to inspire a degree of confidence.

Sounds like the definition of a deadline rental.nfl jersey wholesale

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Could Cardinals Rookie QB Josh Rosen Start Sooner Rather Than Later?

The Cardinals are leaving the door wide-open for rookie first-round pick Josh Rosen to win the starting quarterback job.

“I talked about it from day one—the best 11 are going to play,” head coach Steve Wilks said, per Darren Urban of the team’s official site. “Sam [Bradford] is the starter, and when he’s healthy, he’s great. But everybody is competing to be out there on the field.”

Two aspects are working in Rosen’s favor even after the coach’s declaration. cheap nfl jerseys china nike

First, the caveat “when he’s healthy” is a major factor in Bradford’s assessment. NFL Network’s Steve Wyche previously reported the Cardinals plan to manage Bradford’s health. The ninth-year veteran is already getting days off

Second, Rosen comes into the league as the most polished prospect in the 2018 class, and it shows.

“This guy is extremely smart,” Wilks said of Rosen, per Urban. “I mean, his ability to see certain things from the defense, and pick it up quickly, and execute … I don’t want to say this, but he has the mindset of a vet. The way he sees the game.

“He’s not playing like a vet. Make sure you guys understand that. He’s still a rookie, OK? But he sees things, like I said before, through a different lens. And he picks it up quickly.”
John Ross provided the Bengals with china nike nfl jerseys cheap nothing last season after being the ninth overall pick in 2017, but he’s finally healthy and looks like he can become a weapon.

“He’s got great speed, but he can really catch the football and he’s a complete wide receiver,” new wide receivers coach Bob Bicknell said, per WKRC Cincinnati’s Richard Skinner. “He can start and stop, and he does a lot of things really, really well, but it’s going to take time.”

Ross’ speed is what made him a top-10 pick after breaking Chris Johnson’s previous combine record with a 4.22-second 40-yard dash. Unfortunately, the wide receiver dealt with injuries throughout the year and only played three games before ending up on injured reserve due to a torn labrum.

“My legs have gotten stronger,” Ross said. “.nike nfl jerseys cheap china . Now I’m back to where I was when I was in college my senior year, as far as how physically ready I felt in college. I feel the same way now.”

The young receiver is expected to make mistakes along the way; however, his vertical speed can take pressure off A.J. Green. At the very least, defenses won’t be able to roll coverage toward the seven-time Pro Bowl target if another viable option develops.cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

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Case Keenum, QB, Denver Broncos

Case Keenum signed a two-year contract this offseason, which promised him a shot at a starting job but with no guarantee of taking the role full time. For example, if the Denver Broncos find a trade partner for Keenum next season,nike nfl jerseys wholesale cheap  he would only count $3 million against the cap, saving them $18 million.

Denver held the fifth pick in a draft where many projected five quarterbacks to come off the board in the first round, so Keenum’s job status was not completely entrenched until the team selected North Carolina State pass-rusher Bradley Chubb with the fifth pick.nike cheap nfl jerseys  On top of keeping the Keenum-Paxton Lynch-Chad Kelly depth chart intact, John Elway drafted some toys for his new quarterback.

After releasing former running back C.J. Anderson, the team drafted Oregon running back Royce Freeman with the 71st overall pick to be the new top tailback. SMU wide receiver Courtland Sutton was also added in the second round, and Penn State receiver DaeSean Hamilton was selected in the fourth round. Sutton and Hamilton will compete for playing time with 2017 third-round pick Carlos Henderson and 2017 fifth-round pick Isaiah McKenzie behind established receivers Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. The latter duo can be released for cap purposes in 2019, but until then Keenum should have plenty to work with.nike nfl cheap jerseys

Job security? Check. Running game help? Check. Passing game help? Check.

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Jets Reportedly Cancel Top 30 2018 NFL Draft Meetings with All Non-QB Prospects

Everyone has known the New York Jets are taking a quarterback from the second they moved up from No. 6 to No. 3 in Thursday’s first round.

Now they’ve made that abundantly clear to all potential prospects.nfl nike jerseys cheap china

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported the Jets have canceled all top-30 meetings with non-quarterback prospects.

Doing this would indicate the Jets have no interest in trading back into the first round after they use the No. 3 pick. They do not have another pick until No. 72 overall, which makes any other potential deal unlikely as is.nike jerseys nfl cheap

The Jets’ pick will be dependent on where the Browns and New York Giants go with the first two picks. Cleveland is largely expected to choose between Sam Darnold and Josh Allen at No. 1. The Giants are in the market for a long-term replacement for Eli Manning, but smart money has been on them taking Penn State running back Saquon Barkley for some time.
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That would leave Darnold/Allen, Baker Mayfield and Josh Rosen on the board, with Lamar Jackson hanging around as a potential shocker. Mayfield and Rosen have been linked to New York more so than either leftover from the Darnold/Allen duo.
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Regardless, this is something we all knew already. The Jets are taking a quarterback. We’re only two days away from finding out who, so there’s little use in sleuthing through and attempting to make a wild guess.