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Buffalo in 2014, opting out of his c

in F r e i s t i l 24.08.2018 05:04
von panxing18 • 602 Beiträge

Philadelphia 76ers All-Star center Joel Embiid said it’s unlikely he’ll be available for at least Game 1 of the playoffs this weekend.

Embiid hasn’t played since March 28 when he suffered a broken bone around his left eye in a collision with teammate Markelle Fultz. Embiid Authentic Michael Pineda Jersey , who has since been cleared of a concussion suffered from the accidental headbutt, had surgery on March 31. The 7-footer wore the mask during pregame shooting drills and would need one in the postseason.

”I don’t think I’m ready to play,” he said. ”It still doesn’t feel all the way right.”

The Sixers clearly need their big man if they’re going to make a run in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Embiid leads the team with 22.9 points and 11 rebounds in 63 games, helping Philly clinch its first playoff berth since 2012.

Embiid says it’s ”unlikely but still a chance,” he plays in Game 1.

”I want to play but right now I feel like I’m not ready yet,” Embiid said. ”It’s getting there. I’ve got to keep working every day. With the way it’s been progressing, I’m hopeful I’ll be back soon.”

He said the eye was still swollen and he doesn’t suffer from blurred vision.

”I’m actually surprised how fast it is getting better,” he said.

The Sixers have won a team-record 15 straight games and can wrap up the third seed in the Eastern Conference with a home victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday night.

Embiid said he hoped the NBA would allow him to wear a black mask that made him look like the 76ers’ version of Zorro.

”With a clear mask, it kind of feels like there’s so much reflection, and I can’t really see,” he said. ”With the black mask, it kind of gives you a clear vision. Hopefully, it gets approved and I get to play in it.”

Embiid has yet to participate in any contact drills and has limited his activities to light workouts.

Embiid is used to sitting out with the Sixers – he missed his first two seasons with a broken foot and played just 31 games last season because of a knee injury. The Sixers had been cautious this season and initially held him out of the back end of consecutive games on the schedule. But he stayed healthy until the freak injury and developed into one of the league’s top defenders (1.8 blocks Cheap Markus Wheaton Jersey , 38 double-doubles).

He stumped for Brett Brown to win NBA coach of the year, teammate Ben Simmons for rookie of the year and himself, naturally, to win NBA defensive player of the year.

”I feel I’ve been the best defensive player in the league this year,” Embiid said. ”We have the resume. We won a lot of games. We’re a top-three defensive team in the league and a lot of that speaks for itself. Last year, I kind of had a knock on me for not playing a lot of games. This year, when I actually do play a lot of games, I don’t know what excuse they’re going to find next.”

Anything else?

”I should be first-team All-NBA, too,” he said, smiling behind his mask. ”I feel like I’m best the center in the league.”



Benched earlier this season and questioned for years, Tyrod Taylor and Blake Bortles have a chance to change public perception on the NFL’s playoff stage.

Taylor helped Buffalo end the longest, current postseason drought in North American pro sports (17 years) while Bortles led Jacksonville to its first playoff berth since the 2007 season.

Whichever one wins the next game could do wonders to his image.

The Jaguars (10-6) host the Bills (9-7) in an AFC wild-card game Sunday Ryan McLeod Oilers Jersey , a win-or-go-home matchup that means as much to the quarterbacks as anyone.

The Bills were in talks with free agent Brian Hoyer in March and ready to part ways with Taylor until he agreed to restructure his contract extension and make it a two-year deal worth $30.5 million. He has one year remaining, but the team could save $10 million by moving on after this season.

No one would be surprised to see it happen, especially after coach Sean McDermott benched Taylor in favor of rookie Nathan Peterman in November. Peterman threw five first-half interceptions in a 54-24 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers, and Taylor has been the team’s starter since .

”I don’t focus on things that I can’t control, and I’m going to continue to be that way,” said Taylor, who has 14 touchdown passes and four interceptions this season. ”All I can control right now is my preparation, my focus, my work ethic to putting it all in for this week. It’s a one-game season right now, and that’s for everyone.

”I can’t allow distractions or thinking too far ahead.”

Bortles has taken a similar approach despite constant bashing – and not just the typical criticism from fans and media.

Tennessee defensive end Jurrell Casey told a Nashville radio station this week, ”As long as Bortles is back there, if the ballgame is in his hands, he’s going to choke.”

Casey tried to clarify his comments two days later Youth Chad Thomas Jersey , writing on Twitter, ”Chill, y’all. I was just hyping our defense. If we put the pressure, some QBs will choke.”

Hearing talk such as that is nothing new for Bortles, who’s been publicly ripped by Houston defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, Seattle safety Earl Thomas and Cincinnati linebacker Vontaze Burfict in the past two months.

”Players or peers talking about you is a little new,” said Bortles, who is a big reason Jacksonville is hosting its first playoff game since 1999.

”I’ve never been somebody that felt that is the way you should handle things, but guys are different. I had the chance, was fortunate enough to play for George O’Leary in college and playing for Coach O’Leary, you learned very quickly how to take criticism. I had four years of practice doing that, so there’s nobody that can say anything worse to me than he did.

”I got benched every other day.”

Jaguars coach Doug Marrone actually benched Bortles in the preseason, stirring speculation that his days in Jacksonville were numbered.

But Bortles regained the starting job a week later and has been better than expected since Authentic Josh Rosen Jersey , although five interceptions in the past two games – both losses – have some questioning him again.

His first playoff game – Taylor went to the 2013 Super Bowl as Baltimore’s backup – could leave outsiders looking at him differently.

”Playing a playoff game in Jacksonville hasn’t happened in a while, so having that opportunity to play in front of our fans and our city and our stadium, I think, is awesome,” Bortles said. ”I think everyone realizes it’s your last chance. If you lose, you go home, it’s over.”

Here are some other things to know about Buffalo and Jacksonville:

STAR STATUS: Bills running back LeSean McCoy is questionable with a right ankle injury. McCoy said he was feeling ”a lot better” Thursday, but declined to make any guarantees about playing. McCoy accounts for nearly a third of Buffalo’s offense.

OLD FACE, NEW PLACE: Jaguars defensive tackle Marcell Dareus insists he harbors no ill will toward his former team. His actions might say otherwise. The 340-pound run-stopper will face the Bills for the first time since they traded him in October for a late-round draft pick.

MARRONE’S MAKEOVER: Jaguars coach Doug Marrone bolted on Buffalo in 2014, opting out of his contract and getting $4 million to walk away. Marrone landed in Jacksonville and will face Buffalo in his first playoff game as a head coach.

LONG TIME COMING: Jacksonville’s first home playoff game since January 2000 will be a packed house. The Jaguars sold every ticket available and even received permission to remove tarps covering four upper-deck sections to help satisfy demand.



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