oster. Quarterback Kirk Cou
oster. Quarterback Kirk Couin Deutsch in Medien und Literatur 15.08.2018 05:11
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OAKLAND Ty Montgomery Jersey Youth , Calif. — Two teams still a bit dizzy in the aftermath of one of the most amazing finishes in NBA Finals history will tip off Game 2 on Sunday night when the Cleveland Cavaliers attempt to even their best-of-seven against the Golden State Warriors.
A 51-point performance, a late video-review reversal, a missed potential game-winning free throw, a head-scratching decision to run out the clock with the core tied and a one-sided overtime highlighted Thursday’s series opener, which Golden State captured 124-114 to go up 1-0 against the Cavaliers for the third consecutive season.
The win might have been a costly one for the Warriors, however, with standout guard Klay Thompson having suffered what is now being called a high left ankle sprain.
Thompson returned from the first-quarter run-in with J.R. Smith to play 45 minutes in Game 1, contributing five 3-pointers and 24 points to the win, but acknowledged in the two days between games that his leg was not 100 percent.
He is expected to play, although the Warriors list him as questionable.
That’s more encouraging than the “doubtful” tag they’ve once again applied to Andre Iguodala, whose absence was felt on the defensive end in Game 1.
That’s where LeBron James exploded for 51 points, becoming the sixth player in NBA history to go for 50 or more in an NBA Finals game.
But they came in a loss, something coach Tyronn Lue insisted Saturday his team has put in the rear-view mirror.
“From watching film and just showing some guys where we can get better, all the guys are in a great spot right now and in a great position,” he assured. “They all feel good, so we’re ready to go for Game 2.”
The Warriors saw the Cavaliers bounce back from an overtime loss in Game 1 in the 2015 Finals to pull out an overtime victory in Game 2. Golden State went on to win that series in six games.
But the next season, as the defending champion, the Warriors witnessed James & Co. turn a bad situation into a good one when the Cavaliers won the final three games on the brink of elimination to capture the championship.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr didn’t see any white-flag-waving after Game 1.
“They might have been deflated (down 3-1 in 2016), and they came back and won. So we’re expecting another great effort from them,” he said.
“We’ve been through this too many times. It’s one game. The series changes with each game. All we’ve done is win one.”
Each team had a point of emphasis in the wake of Game 1.
The Warriors got all three of their big guns going offensively Cheap Taven Bryan Jersey , with Stephen Curry (29), Kevin Durant (26) and Thompson (24) combining for 79 points. Golden State shot 51.1 percent in the game and outscored Cleveland 39-30 on 3-pointers despite shooting one fewer.
The Cavaliers, meanwhile, dominated the boards, outrebounding the Warriors 53-38. They turned 19 offensive rebounds into 21 second-chance points, outscoring Golden State by 11 points in that area.
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (16-3)
OPEN CAMP: July 25, NovaCare Complex, Philadelphia
LAST YEAR: Won first Super Bowl title and franchise’s first NFL championship since 1960, defeating Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and Patriots. Overcame losing several key players to injury, including QB Carson Wentz, LT Jason Peters, LB Jordan Hicks and others. Backup QB Nick Foles led way after Wentz tore ACL in Week 14, earning Super Bowl MVP honors. Coach Doug Pederson’s offense was balanced yet aggressive. Players bought into team-first attitudes. Defense thrived under coordinator Jim Schwartz. DT Fletcher Cox anchored deep line that included Super Bowl hero Brandon Graham. Special teams were solid despite losing PR Darren Sproles. Rookie K Jake Elliott showed strong leg.
IMPORTANT ADDITIONS: DE Michael Bennett, DT Haloti Ngata, WR Mike Wallace, LB Corey Nelson, TE Richard Rodgers, rookie TE Dallas Goedert.
IMPORTANT LOSSES: Offensive coordinator Frank Reich, QB coach John DeFilippo Billy Price Youth Jersey , TE Trey Burton, RB LeGarrette Blount, DE Vinny Curry, CB Patrick Robinson, LB Mychal Kendricks, WR Torrey Smith, DT Beau Allen, TE Brent Celek, P Donnie Jones.
CAMP NEEDS: Wentz will be closely monitored but there’s no urgency to rush him with Foles still on team. His rehab will be biggest story this summer. Other key players returning from injury include Peters, Hicks, Sproles, special teams ace Chris Maragos and DT Tim Jernigan. Defense needs LB to emerge as replacement for Kendricks and CB to replace Robinson at nickel spot. Both QBs need to build chemistry with new Nos. 2-3 TEs.
EXPECTATIONS: Trying to become first Super Bowl champs to repeat since 2003-04 Patriots, and anything less will be considered disappointment. Wentz, Peters and other star players who missed playoffs last year are determined to win it all and won’t let teammates get complacent. Overall, team improved on paper but it’ll be difficult to match unique bond last year’s group had.
DALLAS COWBOYS (9-7)
OPEN CAMP: July 26, Oxnard, California
LAST YEAR: Cowboys missed playoffs year after dynamic rookie tandem of QB Dak Prescott and RB Ezekiel Elliott fueled Dallas to NFC-best 13 wins. Elliott’s six-game suspension during season over domestic violence allegations was big reason. Prescott’s performance dipped after winning NFL Offensive Rookie of Year in 2016. Offensive line was less consistent than usual. Defense was solid but not spectacular.
IMPORTANT ADDITIONS: LB Leighton Vander Esch, WR Allen Hurns, G Connor Williams, WR Tavon Austin Anthony Miller Jersey , WR Michael Gallup, TE Dalton Schultz, T Cameron Fleming, secondary coach/passing game coordinator Kris Richard.
IMPORTANT LOSSES: TE Jason Witten, WR Dez Bryant, LB Anthony Hitchens, CB Orlando Scandrick.
CAMP NEEDS: Cowboys need to sort out jumbled picture at receiver and tight end after dumping Bryant in cost-cutting move and somewhat surprising retirement of Witten, who went into broadcasting. WR Terrance Williams broke foot and was arrested during tumultuous offseason when Cowboys needed to know if he could take Bryant’s place atop receiving depth chart. Barring unexpected resurgence from six-year veteran, replacing Bryant will fall to Hurns and collection of rookies, other young players. Geoff Swaim likely to get first crack at replacing Witten, but Dallas likes Blake Jarwin. LB Jaylon Smith needs to show explosiveness in second season since recovery from major knee injury in college. Sean Lee needs to stay healthy. Without those developments, heavy responsibility could fall on Vander Esch as rookie.
EXPECTATIONS: Coach Jason Garrett has two playoff appearances and one postseason win in seven full seasons. Elliott saga and untimely injuries, particularly to offensive line, gave him pass last season. Hard to imagine owner Jerry Jones sticking with him if Cowboys miss playoffs again, particularly after offseason overhaul of coaching staff. Healthy and eligible Elliott figures to be factor in NFL rushing race after leading league as rookie two years ago. Elliott still led league in yards rushing per game during suspension-marred season. Prescott wasn’t as good at protecting ball year after rookie record for passer rating. Cowboys want him to feed off Elliott-powered running game. Dallas believes young talent in secondary can help defense make difference. Cowboys could use repeat from DeMarcus Lawrence, who finished second in NFL with 14 sacks last season and will play on franchise tag. Lawrence needs help, and prime candidate would be Taco Charlton, last year’s first-round pick.
WASHINGTON REDSKINS (7-9)
OPEN CAMP: July 26, Richmond, Virginia
LAST YEAR: Injuries Terrell Edmunds Jersey , ineffective running game and porous run defense derailed playoff hopes. Nine starters were on injured reserve by end of season, including left tackle Trent Williams, tight end Jordan Reed, and linebacker Mason Foster. Quarterback Kirk Cousins surpassed 4,000 yards for third straight year, threw for 27 touchdowns and ran for four, but had three interceptions in season finale that turned out to be final game with team. Blowing 31-16 lead at New Orleans in November ended realistic postseason hopes before Thanksgiving. Receiver Josh Doctson showed hope for future with 35 catches for 502 yards and team-high six TDs. First-round pick Jonathan Allen flashed elite ability on defensive line before foot injury halted season five games in. Defense allowed 348 yards and 24 points per game. Offense couldn’t keep up while down several key weapons.
IMPORTANT ADDITIONS: QB Alex Smith, WR Paul Richardson, LB Pernell McPhee, CB Orlando Scandrick, rookie RB Derrius Guice, rookie DL Daron Payne.
IMPORTANT LOSSES: Cousins, WR Terrelle Pryor, WR Ryan Grant, TE Niles Paul.
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