on Chimera got his first action
on Chimera got his first actionin Deutsch in Medien und Literatur 15.08.2018 05:50
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It only looks like parity.
Consider it an April tradition: A new postseason Josh Jackson Packers Jersey , a new No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. This time, it’s Toronto doing the honors – the Raptors‘ win over Indiana on Friday makes them the seventh different club in the past seven years to get the top line on the East bracket, following Chicago, Miami, Indiana, Atlanta, Cleveland and Boston.
It’s an unprecedented run of top-seed diversity for the NBA, at least since the league started seeding by conference in 1973.
Of course, those top seeds usually find out that finishing ahead of LeBron James in April is much easier than ousting him in May.
”Listen, it doesn’t matter to me if I’m a 6 seed, or a 3 seed, or a 2 seed, or an 8 seed,” James said. ”If I come into your building for a Game 1 Derwin James Youth Jersey , it will be very challenging.”
So make no mistake, the East still goes through James.
He is trying to reach the NBA Finals for the eighth consecutive season. James’ teams are 24-2 in East series as the higher seed, 6-2 in East series as the lower seed. And while the Raptors will be the favorites, there will be a certain amount of skepticism until someone knocks James off his perch atop the conference.
”What he does in a playoff series is very unique,” Atlanta coach Mike Budenholzer said.
It’s been almost predetermined for the past few years, regardless of who’s seeded where, that James’ team would be the one winning the East.
But this year, it might not be so simple.
”You’ve got to go through whoever it is anyway,” Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said.
The Raptors are enjoying their best season in history, with a franchise-record 57 wins and counting and now knowing that the road for anyone to win the Eastern Conference title will go through Canada. But while the Raptors haven’t exactly been sprinting across the finish line there have been some teams hitting their best stride, namely Cleveland and Philadelphia.
And when the East bracket is set, the Raptors know plenty of pundits won’t be penciling them in for a trip to the NBA Finals, even with the knowledge that Kyrie Irving – who has had some incredible playoff moments with James and Cleveland in recent years – won’t be playing for Boston in these playoffs because of knee surgery.
”We really just have to maintain focus on ourselves and not worry about who says this, that Kolton Miller Youth Jersey , what happens,” Toronto guard Kyle Lowry said. ”All we can do is focus on our team, our organization and the things that we do. We don’t really care to be talked about. We just go out there and have to prove what we need to prove.”
Thing is, in the East this year and with all due respect to the way James has been playing of late – so well, he has said he would vote for himself as the league MVP – it’s hard to envision any team being fearful of any other.
With the exception of Milwaukee, which was swept 3-0 by Miami, every team in the East has beaten every other playoff team in their conference at least once during this regular season. The Cavaliers are 15-10 against the other East playoff-bound clubs; the Bucks are 9-16 and the 76ers are 10-16 against the other East qualifiers.
Everyone else falls somewhere in the middle.
”Eastern Conference basketball,” Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said, ”it’s the height of competition.”
The West seems much easier to forecast.
Houston has separated itself from everyone, and Golden State – which has been decimated by injuries, but is hopeful of having Stephen Curry back by the second round – is probably still going to be thought of by many as no worse than a co-favorite to reach the NBA Finals for the fourth consecutive time.
The East probably has more teams capable of reaching The Finals.
But beating James four times is not going to be easy for any of them, regardless of home-court advantage.
”Toronto’s having a heck of a year, (so is) Boston and everything they’re doing with a lot of injuries themselves, and I think some of the teams in the middle and back of the pack are interesting Tarik Cohen Jersey Youth ,” Budenholzer said. ”But until somebody beats whatever team LeBron’s playing for, it always feels like the team that he’s playing for is the team to beat in the East.”
For three games, the San Jose Sharks have had more speed, discipline and depth than the Anaheim Ducks.
If they can repeat that formula for one more game, the Sharks will move onto the second round of the playoffs.
Joonas Donskoi scored one goal and set up another to start a four-goal barrage in the second period and the Sharks raced past Anaheim for the third straight game, beating the Ducks 8-1 on Monday night for a 3-0 series lead.
”We understand there’s a lot of work to do,” captain Joe Pavelski said. ”Eliminating teams is always tough. That’s kind of where our mindset shifts, I think. We’ll see a few things that we can do better, and a few things we’re doing well. That commitment from us is going to go a long way to stay with what we’re doing.”
Right now just about everything is working for the Sharks, who had eight goal-scorers in the highest-scoring playoff game in franchise history and got a 45-savve performance from Martin Jones.
San Jose used its superior speed to create odd-man rushes that paid off when Donskoi scored and then set up Marcus Sorensen in the opening four minutes of the second period and then turned the game into a laugher with four power-play goals after the Ducks spent most of their energy slashing and cross-checking.
”They can take as many of those as they want to, we’ll take the power plays,” coach Peter DeBoer said. ”They take penalties, that’s a fact. During the season they do and we anticipated that it would be like that in the playoffs and it has been. It’s on us to make them pay for making those plays and decisions, and we have.
Eric Fehr and Tomas Hertl added goals later in the second to turn this all-California series into a rout. Logan Couture had a goal and two assists Tremaine Edmunds Jersey Youth , Pavelski, Evander Kane and Timo Meier scored power-play goals in the third period, for the Sharks, who have outscored the Ducks 14-3 through the first three games of the first-round series.
San Jose will look to complete the sweep in Game 4 at home Wednesday night. Only four NHL teams have lost a best-of-seven series after winning the first three games with the Sharks the last to do it in 2014 in the first round against Los Angeles.
Rickard Rakell scored a power-play goal but the Ducks once again looked a step slow against the speedier Sharks. Anaheim has scored three goals all series, including just one at even strength.
John Gibson allowed five goals on 24 shots before being pulled after two periods. Ryan Miller allowed three power-play goals in the third.
”From my perspective it’s hard to forget what we just did. Very undisciplined, very disappointed in our reaction in the hockey game,” Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. ”Those are the things we have to address. We’re not going to get yourself any kind of opportunity to take the number of penalties we took, and I call them selfish penalties.”
The game turned early in the second after Brandon Montour fell near center ice, giving the Sharks a two on one. Donskoi converted on a give-and-go with Evander Kane and San Jose was off to the races.
Donskoi then set up the next goal on another odd-man rush when he fed Sorensen, who faked a forehand and then beat Gibson with a backhand on a similar move that led to goals for Kane and Couture in the first two games.
Jones then made a big stop on Rakell from the slot to preserve the two-goal lead and Fehr helped put the game away when he skated through two defenders and beat Gibson up high to make it 4-1.
Then the Ducks started their parade to the penalty box and the Sharks capitalized.
Fresh off the two wins in Anaheim, the Sharks were greeted by a frenzied crowd that sparked them to a fast start. Mikkel Boedker got things started when he used his speed to get around Hampus Lindholm and feed an open Couture in the slot for the tap-in into the open net.
Anaheim answered when Rakell got his first point of the series when he scored on a one-timer on the power play.
NOTES: D Andy Welinski was back in the lineup for the Ducks after being scratched in Game 2 for Kevin Bieksa. … F Jason Chimera got his first action of the series for Anaheim in place of Antoine Vermette. … Sharks C Joe Thornton, who has been out since Jan. 23 with a knee injury, took part in pregame warmups once again but isn’t ready to play.
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