četvrtak, 07.07.2011.

Athletes have told me they knowingly take banned drugs: Saina

Ace shuttler Saina Nehwal gave a stunning twist to the raging dope scandal by saying that many athletes and weightlifters had told her in the past that they knowingly consume banned drugs.

“I also know many athletes and weightlifters who themselves tell me that “we take it”,” Saina told reporters during a promotional event for Titan watches here.

India was rocked by doping scandal recently with eight top national athletes who got training in NIS failing dope tests.

There were also reports that banned drugs were widely available in chemist shops near the national institute of Sport in Patiala.

Asked if she was aware about the availability of banned drugs at medical stores, the world number six said, “I don't know whether it is available or not. I don't take it.”

Saina, however, felt that lack of awareness about medicines was the major reason behind athletes testing positive for banned drugs in the country.

“It's really sad they don't know what they are taking. I'm sure everyone knows WADA rules, its very common. They have a website which mentions which medicines are banned and which are not. I think its just that they don't know. Many athletes and weightlifters are not very educated so whatever their coaches give they take that,” she said.

The 21-year-old Hyderabadi said she consults her physiotherapist and doctors before taking any medicine and others too should do the same.

“If I have fever I ask my physio and doctor which medicines can be taken and which are banned. They should be very careful regarding everything,” she said.

- 02:46 - Komentari (0) - Isprintaj - #

petak, 01.07.2011.

NBA Trade Rumors: Should Utah Jazz Trade Devin Harris?

NBA Trade Rumors See Devin Harris Shopped by Jazz During NBA Draft

Devin Harris is a former No. 5 pick.

He was an All-Star in 2009.

And he averaged 15.2 points and 7.1 assists last season.

So why on earth would the Utah Jazz think about trading him during the 2011 NBA Draft?

Harris was widely rumored as a trade chip for the Jazz on draft day, and you have to wonder whether the Jazz believe he's the answer for them going forward at point guard.

Sure, he's no Deron Williams, but he certainly has talent, and he's not too old at 28 years of age.

His production did decline with the Jazz, averaging 15.8 points and 5.4 assists in 17 games, but part of that was because he was dealing with a hamstring injury at the time.

Not helping matters was the Jazz went 8-16 when Harris arrived in Utah.

MUST READ: 10 NBA Free Agents Ready to Join Contenders

But after the Jazz opted to draft Turkey center Enes Kanter at No. 3 overall in the draft, and grabbed shooting guard Alec Burks of Colorado at No. 12, it appears with no trade in place for Harris, the Jazz have opted to ride it out with him and see what he can do.

At this point, he's all they have.

And it's not a bad plan. If the Jazz really felt better about Kanter and opted for him over former Kentucky point guard Brandon Knight at No. 3, then it made sense for them to give Harris another chance in Utah.

Harris is, after all, a former All-Star. He'll never be the best shooter, but he's a solid distributor and can penetrate the lane the way a true point guard should.

I, for one, thought the Jazz were a bit hasty putting Harris on the trading block during the draft. Less than half a season isn't enough time to judge a player.

- 03:56 - Komentari (0) - Isprintaj - #

ponedjeljak, 27.06.2011.

MLB Roundup: Dodgers avoid Freeway sweep

Los Angeles — Clayton Kershaw outlasted Jered Weaver in a matchup of Los Angeles aces and the Dodgers rallied for two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat the Angels 3-2 on Sunday, preventing a Freeway Series sweep.

Pinch-hitter Aaron Miles, batting for Kershaw, drove in the tying run in the ninth on a sacrifice fly and Tony Gwynn Jr. won it with a two-out single off Jordan Walden. The Dodgers ended a three-game skid, though they remain nine games below .500.

Kershaw (8-3) gave up six hits in his second consecutive complete game, tying a season high with 11 strikeouts for the second straight outing. He didn’t walk batter in his 100th career start.

The 23-year-old lefty struck out the side in the fifth and his 128 strikeouts surpassed Philadelphia’s Roy Halladay, who has 123, for the NL lead.

Vernon Wells homered in the top of the ninth to give the Angels a 2-1 lead.

Weaver allowed one run and seven hits in seven innings. He struck out four and walked one.

The Angels had won six straight at Dodger Stadium, including wins in the first two games of the series, when they outscored the Dodgers 14-4.

Phillies 3, Athletics 1

Philadelphia — Roy Halladay pitched his NL-leading fifth complete game and Jimmy Rollins went 4 for 4.

Halladay (10-3) gave up eight hits and walked none in tying for the major league high in victories. He struck out four, raising his NL-leading total to 123 before the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw fanned 11 to pass him later in the day with 128.

The Phillies have won each of Halladay’s last eight starts and the right-hander is 5-0 with a 2.64 ERA during the stretch. He improved to 30-3 in a Philadelphia uniform in the 35 starts in which the Phillies have given him the lead.

Rollins scored twice, Placido Polanco had two hits and Halladay added a single for Philadelphia. Conor Jackson had three hits for the A’s, who have lost four of five.

Josh Outman (3-2), a former Phillies minor leaguer, allowed three runs and eight hits in six innings.

Padres 4, Braves 1

San Diego — Jason Bartlett hit a bases-loaded infield single for the tying run with two outs in the eighth inning and Orlando Hudson followed with a two-run single for the Padres.

Cory Luebke, making his first start of the season for the Padres, combined with four relievers on a two-hitter.

The Braves scored an unearned run in the top of the eighth for a 1-0 lead.

San Diego loaded the bases on a walk, an infield single, a sacrifice bunt and an intentional walk off Jonny Venters (4-1) before Will Venable popped a bunt to the pitcher for the second out.

Bartlett's grounder that deflected off Venters' glove and rolled to shortstop for an infield single, allowing Chris Denorfia to score the tying run. Hudson singled up the middle to bring in two more and Chase Headley added an RBI single.

Mike Adams (3-1) pitched the eighth and Heath Bell pitched the ninth for his 20th save in 21 chances.

Giants 3, Indians 1

San Francisco — Madison Bumgarner bounced back from a one-out, eight-run performance with one of his best starts, striking out a career-high 11 batters in seven innings to help the San Francisco Giants beat the Cleveland Indians 3-1 on Sunday night to complete a three-game sweep.

Chris Stewart hit a two-run double for his first RBIs in more than four years and Aubrey Huff added an run-scoring single for the Giants, who have won five straight following a season-worst five-game losing streak.

But the story of the game was Bumgarner (4-9), who showed no lingering effects from his historically bad outing against Minnesota on Tuesday.

Tigers 8, Diamondbacks 3

Detroit — Miguel Cabrera hit a go-ahead single and the Detroit Tigers scored seven runs with two outs in the eighth inning.

The Tigers trailed 2-1 when pinch-hitter Don Kelly singled with one out in the eighth off reliever Aaron Heilman (4-1). After Austin Jackson struck out, Casper Wells drew a walk.David Hernandez then came on and didn't retire any of the four batters he faced. He walked Magglio Ordonez to load the bases, allowed Cabrera's two-run single and gave up RBI singles to Victor Martinez and Jhonny Peralta.

Brandon Inge hit a two-run single off Bryan Shaw to make it 7-2, and Kelly reached on an error, with another run scoring.

Al Alburquerque (5-1) pitched 1 1-3 innings of scoreless relief for Detroit.

Red Sox 4, Pirates 2

Pittsburgh — Andrew Miller got his first win with Boston, scattering five hits over six innings and Boston the Red Sox snapped a four-game losing streak.

Miller (1-0) struck out four and allowed just one earned run. Recently promoted from the minors, he earned his first AL victory since 2007 with Detroit.

The Pirates tied a season high with four errors, preventing them from moving three games above .500 this late in the season for the first time in 12 years.

Adrian Gonzalez had two hits for Boston and raised his batting average to .361, tops in the majors. Yet the Red Sox won by doing the little things, scoring their four runs on a Pittsburgh error, a pair of sacrifice flies and an RBI groundout.

Jonathan Papelbon pitched the ninth for his 14th save in 15 chances.

Tim Wood (0-2) lost as Pittsburgh’s normally reliable bullpen showed signs of stress following a busy week.

Orioles 7, Reds 5

Baltimore — Derrek Lee and Mark Reynolds homered in a four-run fourth inning, and Luke Scott added a solo shot in the seventh.

Baltimore totaled nine home runs in taking two of three from the sputtering Reds. The team combined for 16 homers in the series, including 14 in the last two games.

Brandon Phillips and Ramon Hernandez connected for Cincinnati, which fell to 3-9 in interleague play. The Reds stranded 14 and went 1 for 11 with runners in scoring position.

Homer Bailey (3-2) was activated from the 15-day disabled list before the game after being sidelined for a month with a sprained right shoulder. The right-hander gave up five runs and nine hits in five innings.

Jeremy Guthrie (3-8) allowed four runs, six hits and four walks in 5 2-3 shaky innings. The right-hander was 0-3 in his previous six starts.

Yankees 6, Rockies 4

New York — Eduardo Nunez hit a tiebreaking single in the seventh inning after shortstop Troy Tulowitzki made an error and Nick Swisher and Jorge Posada hit consecutive homers for New York.

Mark Teixeira homered for New York and Alex Rodriguez drove in a run for his sixth straight game.

Ty Wigginton connected twice for his second multihomer game this week and Chris Iannetta also homered for Colorado.

It was New York’s first series win against the Rockies since sweeping a three-game set at the old Yankee Stadium in 2004. New York improved to 22-4 in day games.

Boone Logan (2-2) got three outs in the seventh, Dave Robertson was perfect in the eighth and Mariano Rivera struck out the side in the ninth for his 20th save

Rays 14, Astros 10

Houston — Evan Longoria homered twice and drove in five runs and pinch-hitter Matt Joyce delivered a go-ahead double in the eighth inning to give the Rays a three-game sweep.

B.J. Upton homered for the third straight day and drove in four runs for the Rays, who have won four in a row.

Longoria came within a triple of the cycle and had his first multihomer game since 2009 — one of his homers was initially ruled a single until the call was overturned after a video replay review.

The Astros had taken an 8-7 lead in this wild, back-and-forth game on a solo homer by Jeff Keppinger off J.P. Howell (1-1) in the seventh.

Houston reliever Wilton Lopez (1-4) lost.

Royals 6, Cubs 3

Kansas City, Mo. — Alex Gordon extended his hitting streak to 13 games with an RBI double in a four-run first inning and Luke Hochevar won another afternoon start as the Kansas City Royals beat the Chicago Cubs 6-3 Sunday.

Hochevar is 9-3 with a 4.43 ERA in 14 day starts the past two seasons, compared to 2-11 with a 5.28 ERA in 21 appearances at night. He picked up just his second victory in his last 10 starts, with both coming in afternoon games.
Hochevar (5-8) departed after 5 2-3 innings. He gave up three runs on seven hits while walking three and striking out five. Louis Coleman struck out D.J. LeMahieu to end the sixth with the bases loaded.

Randy Wells (1-2) lasted six -plus innings, allowing six runs and 10 hits.

Brewers 6, Twins 2

Milwaukee — Ryan Braun extended his hitting streak to 17 games with a tiebreaking home run and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Minnesota Twins 6-2 Sunday.

Braun connected for a two-run shot in the fifth inning. Chris Narveson (5-5) helped himself with an RBI double.

The punchless Twins, using a watered-down lineup decimated by injuries, have scored only eight runs in losing five consecutive games.

Jonathan Lucroy had a triple, a double, a walk, scored two runs and had an RBI for Milwaukee, which swept the three-game series and has won four of five.

Carl Pavano (5-6) blanked the Brewers the first four innings, but allowed five runs with two outs over the next two innings to lose for the first time in five June starts.

Narveson allowed two runs in 6 2-3 innings against a Twins starting lineup that had combined for only 22 homers this season, one more than Milwaukee first baseman Prince Fielder.

Nationals 2, White Sox 1

Chicago — Danny Espinosa hit a two-run homer in the seventh inning to send off interim manager John McLaren with a win.

Hours after the Nationals hired Davey Johnson as manager, they won their final game with interim skipper McLaren at the helm. The move came three days after Jim Riggleman stunned the team by resigning.

Chicago starter Phil Humber (7-4) carried a no-hit bid into the sixth, but a two-out walk in the seventh was followed by Espinosa's 14th home run, handing Humber his first loss since April 30.

Hernandez (5-8) struck out a season-high nine as he baffled the White Sox for 6 2-3 innings, allowing one run and eight hits to earn his first road victory of the year.

Mets 8, Rangers 5

Arlington, Texas — Jose Reyes had four hits and scored three runs, and rookie Dillon Gee pitched six effective.

Gee (8-1) recovered from a shaky start in the follow-up to his only loss of the season. Making his first appearance against the Rangers, he allowed three runs and eight hits with two walks.

Gee, who walked a career-high six over four innings in his previous outing, has given up only eight earned runs in five June starts. He grew up in north Texas and played college ball at Texas-Arlington.

Daniel Murphy added three hits for the Mets, who have won four of five overall and took two of three from the AL West leaders to open a key stretch of 13 of 16 games on the road by getting back to .500.

The Mets scored a run in the first off Derek Holland (6-3) when Reyes reached on an infield hit, stole second, advanced to third on a flyout and scored on a passed ball.

Blue Jays 5, Cardinals 0

St. Louis — Ricky Romero threw a four-hitter for his second career shutout and helped break it open with the first hit of his career.

J.P. Arencibia homered and Yunel Escobar had two hits and an RBI for the Blue Jays, who had lost four in a row before arriving at Busch Stadium. All three starters worked at least six innings for Toronto, which climbed back to .500 and earned its first series sweep since May 13-15 at Minnesota.

The Cardinals wound up a 3-6 homestand and have lost 12 of 15 overall. They are 1-5 since Albert Pujols was sidelined for an anticipated six weeks with a broken left wrist, and have scored three or fewer runs in four of those games.

Kyle McClellan (6-4) gave up five runs in 5 1-3 innings. Romero got the big hit against him, a two-run single the other way, just inside the first-base line in a four-run sixth.

Romero (7-7) struck out five, walked two and kept going after taking a liner off his leg on Lance Berkman's infield hit with one out in the ninth.

- 11:18 - Komentari (0) - Isprintaj - #

ponedjeljak, 20.06.2011.

Germany backs off over deal for Greece

The leaders of Germany and France have agreed that private creditors should participate in a new rescue program for Greece by voluntarily agreeing to roll over their holdings of Greek government bonds.

Details of such an arrangement still have to be finalized by eurozone finance ministers, but the agreement in principle on a rollover - rather than a fully fledged bond exchange including longer maturities, favoured by Germany - was announced in Berlin on Friday by Angela Merkel, German chancellor, and President Nicolas Sarkozy of France.
It amounts to a retreat by the German government, in the face of fierce resistance by the European Central Bank, as well as the French government.

At a press conference in her office in Berlin, Ms. Merkel said that the “Vienna initiative” of 2009 - when banks agreed to maintain their lending exposure in central Europe - was “a good foundation” for a deal.

The news helped revive the euro, which rallied from a session low of $1.4125 (U.S.) to trade up 0.4 per cent at $1.4266. European financial stocks also saw buyers, contributing to a rebound for the FTSE Eurofirst 300 of 0.5 per cent to 1,090.2.

The devil remains in the detail of any such agreement, and Germany is still pushing for the maximum possible participation of private bondholders. Both France and the European Central Bank have resisted any arrangement that would cause Greece to be classified by rating agencies as in default.

Berlin has said any deal must be “substantial, quantifiable, reliable and voluntary,” whereas a simple voluntary rollover would be very difficult to quantify, according to European Commission calculations.

Wolfgang Schäuble, German finance minister, has said he hoped for an effective contribution from private creditors of some €30-billion towards a total package of €120-billion, and Jan Kees de Jager, his Dutch counterpart, has said private creditors should provide one-third of the total relief to Greece.

Mr. Sarkozy set out the four principles of any deal on which he and Ms. Merkel had agreed when they met in Berlin on Friday. He said it should be voluntary, it should not trigger a “credit event” in the financial markets, it should have the backing of the ECB, and it should be agreed rapidly.

Asked if the deal would be identical to the Vienna initiative, or be a more ambitious “Vienna plus” arrangement to provide more extended relief to the Greek government, he said: “To say we are in the spirit of Vienna suits me very well.”

Ms. Merkel also stressed repeatedly that the deal should be “voluntary”, which has long been the official German position. However the financial market rating agencies have argued that a bond-exchange would contain clear elements of coercion, and therefore be classifiable as a default.

“The central principle is voluntary contribution,” she said. “That is an important message to the banks. There are concerns that we want to trigger a credit event. We do not want that. We cannot run such a risk.” She said that everything should be agreed with the ECB, as well as the International Monetary Fund and European Commission involved in designing a new Greek rescue package.

The chancellor spelt out her backing for George Papandreou, the Greek Prime Minister, in his efforts to win parliamentary approval for the new program, and urged the conservative opposition in Athens to support the package.

- 03:03 - Komentari (0) - Isprintaj - #

ponedjeljak, 13.06.2011.

The stealth Mavericks

If things break a certain way in Miami this evening, this day will go down as one of the greats in Dallas sports history. If so, credit will be handed around the organization in the days to come. To Dirk Nowitzki, for turning in one of the great playoff runs in NBA history. To Rick Carlisle, for pulling the right strings. To Tyson Chandler, for emerging as the kind of player who can make a band of so-so stoppers into a credible championship defense. And on and on.

Then there are three guys who may or may not deserve to be mentioned next: Coaching consultant Tim Grgurich, director of sports psychology Don Kalkstein and director of basketball analytics Roland Beech.

Are some or all of them vitally important to the team?

Hard to say. I asked to interview all three, and was told quite clearly that it was a no-go on all three counts, in no small part because Mark Cuban likes to keep these guys under wraps.

Grgurich is widely seen as one of the greatest coaches in the game who simply does not have a taste for the bright lights that come with the top spot. He has long written his own ticket as perhaps the most valued assistant in league history. He is serious about not talking to the media at all. (Years ago, decked out in a media credential, I asked him some casual question in the locker room, something like whether the team was going to have shootaround the next day, and he got a terrified look on his face, turned, and walked briskly away.) Grgurich has special influence with players, perhaps because they are sure, with absolute certainty, that he's no glory hound.

Their lives are full of people -- yes, including NBA coaches -- who want to "help" the players mainly in the name of furthering their own careers. Grgurich has perfect defense against that -- he's almost never in the media and he's certainly never taking credit for anything. Combine that with a legendary basketball camp, and by all reports a profound knowledge of the game, and you have a guy who can get in the ears of players like Jason Kidd and Tyson Chandler in the way that most can not.

Kalkstein, meanwhile, makes it his business to talk to all the Mavericks nearly all the time. Jason Terry tells ESPNDallas' Jeff Caplan that Kalstein is so pled in to the mood of the team, that Terry asks Kalkstein how his teammates are feeling, instead of the other way around.

Meanwhile, the Mavericks sweat their team is the pinnacle of healthy off-court relations. And this is a very rare team that shows significant improvement when stress levels are higher -- in the playoffs and in crunch time. Meanwhile, does the fact that they're the only team with a full-time sports psychology coach? Hard to say without being able to talk to the coach. Some of the best insight from Kalkstein comes from his Twitter account, which is thick with advice like this, before Game 6:
And finally, there's Beech. Not too many years ago, he ran his own independent stat-geeky website, 82games.com. He was a fantastic teammate at Train Like a Pro in David Thorpe's gym. And now there he is on the bench with the Mavericks' coaching staff, where he is learning the game in a way no stat geek ever has -- he's the first quantitative analyst to join a coaching staff all season.

Presumably, he is also influencing the decisions the coaching staff makes as well.

In general, statistical analysis has found that replacing one NBA coach with another does not make a lot of difference. However, similar analysis sests that Carlisle is on a short list of coaches who get more than expected out of their players.

Does that have something to do with Beech?

Hard to say, as Beech too is on Cuban's list of people who don't talk to the media.

Grgurich, Kalkstein, Beech ... they're all part of a staff that appears to be working far better than most. If they're weapons in making that happen, they're secret weapons.

- 03:37 - Komentari (0) - Isprintaj - #

četvrtak, 02.06.2011.

Jimmer Fredette: Jazz to Draft the BYU Guard With the 12th Pick?

The NBA combines have been featured on the NBA TV and there is one player that has been gaining a lot of attention.

Brigham Young guard Jimmer Fredette has been the source of much speculation as to where he will be drafted, and if he can make the transition from the college to the NBA.
Fredette emerged as the most talked about guard in college basketball after basically carrying his team on his shoulders to the Sweet 16, and the 6'2 senior has a decent chance of becoming a lottery pick.

A major question mark dogging Fredette is what position he will play. There are also questions about his athleticism, and so far, Fredette appears to have the same physique from his BYU playing days.

His athleticism doesn't seem to be a huge problem, though, and it hasn't seemed to lower his stock.

By the nature of his game, he seems best suited for a shooting guard role, but he lacks the size for that position. That leaves him as a probable point guard, which would create defensive problems, and would call into question his ability to create as a playmaker.
But teams need shooters, and Fredette can certainly shoot. Also, like many amateur athletes making the jump to the NBA, Fredette is likely aware of his shortcomings, and is currently spending time to overcome them.

It's probably little secret that Fredette would like to play for the Utah Jazz, and general manager Kevin O'Connor likely has his eye on him.

Fredette even said that he grew up watching and following John Stockton and Deron Williams. If that isn't a clue to what team he favors, I don't know what is.

Utah has two lottery picks, (No. 3, and No. 12) and it seems that Fredette would be an ideal selection for the organization should they choose they keep the 12th pick and draft a player who made a name for himself in nearby Provo.

The Jazz have two small guards in Ronnie Price and Earl Watson that will test the free agent market this summer, as well as swing man C.J. Miles.

Teams usually draft on talent instead of need, so Utah won't necessarily target a guard with their two selections. Since the Jazz may lose free agent forward Andrei Kirilenko, O'Connor may want to compensate for Kirilenko's possible departure by drafting a scoring wing player.

What also doesn't help Fredette's chances of playing for Utah is the role of Devin Harris. With the departure of Deron Williams, Harris has stepped into the starting role, and is the same height as Fredette and is also a very good shooter. At 28, Harris has experience on his side, and owns more of an NBA-style game than Fredette. It might make little sense to use a pick on a player that shares similarities with a current starter.

What is interesting about Fredette's situation, in relation to the Jazz's two picks, is where he's expected to be chosen on June 23rd.

NBADraft.net currently has Fredette slotted to Utah with the 12th pick. At one point, the Web site had Fredette as the seventh pick in their mock draft.

DraftExpress.com has Fredette falling to the 15th pick, but that a raise from the 20th pick, where the Web Site had him a few weeks ago.

It's possible a team ahead of Utah in the draft, picking between the fourth pick and the 11th pick, would draft Fredette and try to work a trade with Utah for their 12th pick and additional compensation.

More than likely, the Jazz would make the deal. Fredette's presence at Energy Solutions Arena would be a major public relations boost, and the Jazz may very well need a guard who can consistently hit outside shots, even if it means Fredette coming off the bench and Harris remaining the starter.

It also wouldn't be surprising if O'Connor pulls off a draft-day trade to land Fredette and still hold the two lottery picks. The Jazz might be on the cusp of a major youth movement, so Fredette's presence could be a key player next season.

With the departure of Jerry Sloan and missing out on the playoffs, the Jazz have reason to make changes and going with young players is probably a smart approach. Fredette wearing a Jazz uniform next season is a distinct possibility should Utah not retain their free-agent guards, and need another outside shooter.

There's no denying that Fredette has talent. He averaged 28.9 points per game at BYU, and had some fantastic collegiate performances. He had four games where he scored 42 points or more. Fredette also shot 45.2 percent from the field -- great numbers for a perimeter player.

A major asset for Fredette going into the draft was his noticeable improvement over last season. He raised his scoring average from 21.6 points per games, and played more minutes. Fatigue didn't set in for the senior, and that's a big deal in the NBA where players are expected to last a grueling 82-game schedule.

Players are judged by their potential, and Fredette has plenty of that.

- 03:21 - Komentari (0) - Isprintaj - #

ponedjeljak, 23.05.2011.

Heat, Bulls limp into Game 3

Dwyane Wade's right arm had a nasty gash that left him unwilling to shoot the ball for Miami down the stretch. Omer Asik needed stitches around his chin, not to mention a Chicago jersey that wasn't covered in his own blood.

That was Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals.

And in Game 3, both sides expect more of the same.

"We haven't been able to ease into anything this year," Heat forward LeBron James said.

Don't look for that to change anytime soon, either.

With a 2-1 series lead at stake, the Bulls and Heat renew acquaintances Sunday in Miami, ending a roughly 94-hour hiatus in the already-physical matchup. When Game 2 ended Wednesday, just about everyone in the Heat locker room had an icepack strapped to something, and more than a few limped their way to the bus that would carry them to the airport.

Just think: They were the winning side.

"Fortunately, we were able to have some days to recuperate," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "Our guys, they're not shying away from it. Neither team is. Both teams have built these habits for the entire season. We've proven we're an aggressive, attacking, physical defense that rebounds the basketball. …They've proven to be the same. So you have two things colliding into each other."

The Bulls — the NBA's top overall seed who no longer has home-court advantage in this series — have shown they can recover quickly. After each of their three previous playoff losses, Chicago answered with a double-digit win in the next game.

Plus, the Bulls haven't lost consecutive games since February 5-7.

"Don't jinx us like that," Bulls guard Derrick Rose said.

Since 2006, when the Heat won their lone title, the winner of Game 3 of the East title series has advanced to the NBA finals every time.

"This is going to be a crazy game, where I think they're going to have a lot of confidence," said Rose, the NBA's MVP this season. "Some way, somehow, we've just got to come up with this win no matter how we get it. We've just got to have more intensity than them and play way more aggressive."

Can this series get any more aggressive?

Wade seems to think it might. Scoring might be plentiful in the Oklahoma City-Dallas matchup out West, but the East likely will be won in gritty fashion.

"This is a very physical series," Wade said. "This is a grind-out series. You look at our series compared to the other series, it's night and day between the styles. Very physical and I'm sure both teams in between games are in the icetub, trying to get their body ready for the next one."

The Bulls manhandled Miami on the boards on the way to a Game 1 rout, getting 31 second-chance points in the series opener. Miami cut that nearly in half for Game 2, holding Chicago to 18 second-chance points and outrebounding the Bulls 45-41.

Miami was markedly better on defense as well.

Chicago had four field goals in the final 13 minutes of Game 2, all of them by reserve Taj Gibson, and the Heat outscored the Bulls 14-10 in the fourth quarter, which Spoelstra and Miami pointed to afterward as a source of major pride.

"We have to execute a lot better," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. "We have to screen better. We have to keep the ball moving. But we have to get some easy baskets, too."

In Game 2, that wasn't happening.

The Bulls had 83 different quarters this season in which they scored 29 points. On Wednesday, that's what they managed in the entire second half.

"We're all in it together," said James, who had nine big points in a late 11-2 run that snapped a 73-all tie and sealed the Game 2 win. "I made a few plays down the stretch. But if we didn't continue to get stops defensively and give ourselves an opportunity to get in that position, we wouldn't be 1-1 now."

If anyone really enjoyed the long gap between Games 2 and 3, it was James.

He's played at least 40 minutes in nine of Miami's last 10 playoff games — and the lone exception was a matchup where he was six seconds shy of that. James has averaged nearly 46 minutes of playing time in the last four Heat games, yet insists he's not wearing down whatsoever.

"I never ask him if he's tired or if he can absorb that many minutes," Spoelstra said. "He's a remarkably well-conditioned athlete. In many ways, he's a freak of nature."

Really, the tone of this series should be no surprise.

Chicago had the NBA's top field-goal percentage defense this season at .430. Miami was second at .434.

"We want to come back there and bounce back and get back on the right page, because things can go bad quick," Bulls swingman Ronnie Brewer said. "You don't want to get into a habit that one game leads to two to three losses. So you usually try to turn it around as quickly as possible."

Rose will look for a bounceback, after shooting only 7 of 23 in Game 2. Strange as it may sound, the bigger boost for Chicago may come if Kyle Korver — off to a 2 for 10 start in the series — gets his shot going again. The Bulls are 30-4 this season when Korver scores at least 10 points, 41-20 when he doesn't.

"I'm not going to get wide open in the series," Korver said.

Hardly anybody is.

Even with all the star power — James, Wade, Rose, Chris Bosh, Carlos Boozer — the teams are shooting a combined 43 percent from the field, 31 percent from 3-point range. And both sides are convinced that Sunday night, a play here or there might be the difference.

"It hasn't been a lot of yakking back and forth," Wade said. "Just a lot of hard work. Who knows if it'll get there, but you always know it's going to be hard work between these two teams."

- 03:50 - Komentari (0) - Isprintaj - #

ponedjeljak, 11.04.2011.

Knicks before Amare Stoudemire added ankle protection against injuries to stay healthy for the playoffs

Amare Stoudemire appeared on the bench in a gray suit in Newark Friday night was frightening enough. Then it was the fashion accessory that no player to use both of the season, starting a game that saw injured Gray in his left leg will.

Stoudemire says 100% in the first playoff game against the Knicks in Miami and Boston are , no doubt. But if they will play at full capacity to act in his first series since 2004, is the main problem today at the opening only six or seven consecutive days.

miss After another series of treatments Saturday Stoudemire his second game just on Sunday night in Indiana, where the Knicks hope to fill his slight advantage over the Sixers in sixth place in the East, while posting his first season, winning for the IPO of 48 to 34 in 2001. A victory over the Pacers, the increase eight finished, the Knicks their winning streak to seven games and finishing no worse than 42 to 40

But the more pressing issue is how the Knicks in the time to sit Stoudemire games and heal his sprained ankle has been delayed.

The Knicks felt they began to beat their way, and Carmelo Anthony and Stoudemire were lost in a good rhythm when Stoudemire sprained ankle trying to chase the Sixers Thaddeus Young on Wednesday night in Philadelphia.

A veteran of 139 playoff games and the MVP of 2004 final in Detroit, Billups probably understands better than most players to the ground in the last few games have to win of the season. An injury, a key player like Stoudemire can improve the team loses grip and derail the playoffs.

When Stoudemire was met with reporters Saturday after practice in Greenburgh, sits was once the boat. The last thing he wants is to remove the first playoff game in Miami or Boston. And he is confident of playing in the finals Tuesday at home against Chicago and Boston on Wednesday, the last tuneup before the playoffs. Considers it essential to get back in line with Anthony and his teammates.

I really think it is important to find a rhythm before the playoffs and really have an idea how the game is played, he said. The goal is to buy one of each. I always play better in the playoffs. I want to make sure I'm 100% healthy so you can follow this trend.

- 04:15 - Komentari (0) - Isprintaj - #

subota, 26.03.2011.

Hard Knocks a mixture of Bucs

We reported in this week of the meeting of NFL owners in New Orleans as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers under consideration for publication in HBO's Hard Knocks this summer.

Again there was no firm decision yet, but the Bucs are a great player in this field. The exhibition offers a detailed look at a team training camp and of course the current employment situation could disrupt or eliminate training camps.

Is it really a good idea for the Bucs?
There are many positives and negatives of some, the coach Raheem Morris.

Very true. Let's start with the positive. The exhibition is enormous, of all teams, the Bucs could not effectively keep increasing its national audience. They do not sell a home game last season alone. Despite the record high of 10.6 last season that surprised even the feeling that many fans in Tampa Bay arent very happy with this team and I heard a step back more fans to discuss next season, a way forward to make.
This is a chance for the Bucs really open their locker room, dining room and meeting room during the camp and on a good show. They've got some potential superstars in quarterback Josh Freeman, Mike Williams and receiver running back Blount Legarreta. Freeman, in particular, is a very beautiful and knows it would be a chance for the world.

Theyve also can be Morris, one of the most entertaining coach in the league.

And that brings us right next to the coin. Morris is a sociable type, and energy. Hes great in a press conference five minutes, but even then sometimes says more than it should. Morris put cameras in most of the time could make all sorts of potential problems.

Morris is very capable and say something controversial. The same is true for most players. The Bucs have a very good group of players in the locker room, but they are the youngest team in football and young people tend not to do or say the right thing. Even a veteran like Kellen Winslow points down. Winslow was the key to good performance and low since his arrival in Tampa Bay. But in general, left the locker room, where the media are of the order. With cameras and microphones on him all day, which could be too much of a window of Winslow.
attended since the last few years, we know that the team highlighted the television team provides access to almost total. Thatsit great way for fans to get an idea of %'€¤hat a team it is. But every team in the NFL, the devil, all major groups of people, has errors and there are certain things that should remain private.

If the Bucs to go this route, there is no privacy. Everything you do will be under the microscope. I'm not saying that the fact the show is good or bad. Their share of both. All the saying is, if the Bucs decide to open the window of his house, come to be better prepared for good and bad.

- 02:06 - Komentari (0) - Isprintaj - #

petak, 18.03.2011.

Make Louisville Morehead State, 62-61

DENVER - On the edge of seeing his little-known 13 seeds, which in turn Morehead State program into something much more impressive, the coach could be a game of the center in the NBA call with their destination or call you do not miss me.

Instead, he decided to go with a dream.

Performing a play that was his coach last night, dribbled Morehead State Demonte Harper patiently, watching the clock tick down. Then he went behind the 3-point line and motioned the shot with 4.2 seconds to Thursday for a 62-61 victory over No. 4 Louisville and the first major surprise of the NCAA tournament.

After facing Harper, basketballs, the Cardinals (25-10) had a chance to win, but blocked the best player in the Morehead State, the center of Kenneth Faria, Mike Marra attempt in the corner.

And it was a little like Donnie Tyndall, not Rick Pitino of Louisville is known, was found on the floor of the Pepsi Center Festival. Morehead State of Kentucky - 9000 enrollment at the base of the Appalachians - won his first tournament since 1984 and will play against the winner of the Vanderbilt game between the posterior region of the Southwest No. 5 and No. 12 in Richmond.

I believe that to kill a first round game against state power, I do not think that was bigger than ever in the history of our school to be, said Tyndall.

Chris Smith scored 17 points for Louisville, which closed the year in losing its first two games of the season of light.

It is as difficult as I had a loss in training and I'm training a long time, said Pitino.

After Morehead State (25-9) called timeout at the last possession of a leak with 23.8 seconds left, Harper seemed an unlikely candidate to be the photo more dramatic in the history of the program. It was 2-9 and the soil does not meet one of his five 3-point attempts.

Meanwhile, Morehead State was the big guy, Faria, not to Terrance Hill, who had kept his team in the first leg on 5 to mention June from 3-point line.

The Eagles, but nothing for the book on the subject.

If you win, it is believed that on the shoulders of Faria, the leader of all time in Division I. Faries rebounds by 17 rebounds, but had a terrible day on the field - 4 of 17 for 12 points - - and it was the most important factor in this game.

He gets a second chance, but. You can thank Harper - whose only income from the second half gave him eight points - and Hill, who scored a career-high 23, including 12 for a series that turned a deficit 16-4 seven points in a 57-52 lead with 5.24 left.

Behind 57-52, Louisville responded with nine points and discomfort following potential seemed almost over with 1:14 left. But the Eagles worked the ball to Farias and made two free throws after being fouled know closer to 61-59. Then Morehead State dirty Elisha Justice, which missed the final against 1 and 1 near his team of 7 to 16 days the free-throw line.

Faries got the rebound, and Tyndall is a work that would play winner.As Morehead State win the game go, this time was made very easy. Do not drink, does not occur.

Harper took the ticket in the rear, has lost a few seconds, dribbled to the line and was leaking for a few seconds. Then he improvised - a small movement to the left to make some space in front of Peyton Siva, a bridge on site until it is clean to create.

Tyndall said the work came the next day, but no sleep the night before the game.

Faries passes through the victory with his block Marra, proving once again that the rebounder born need to get the ball in his hands to win games.

The prototype of the celebration of the NCAA took place - players hit the chest and broke his shirt, stretched out on the floor. Tyndall gave a short talk on the field, he walked away - no smile, no sugar, refers not to a small group of fans who made the trip from Kentucky. Just another screening report and a game on Saturday.

Not the case with Louisville, the far said of the year in which Pitino, he would be a bridge job is passed - not quite a rebuilding year, but not quite one with high expectations.

The Cardinals have fared better than most people thought the third in the Big East, then make the postseason tournament final conference.

I feel very bad for our guys because they were just a great group, said Pitino.

They won every year with heart and a series of wild returns. But they had a star, we could not count on us for another game. And if he behind 10-0 early in the absence of their first nine shots were fired - seven on the ground and two from the line - it is clear that the work would be a great day.

Was more than he could bear. But not too much Morehead State - a team that has not been brave or lucky that day, but just not good enough to get the first surprise of the 2011 version of March Madness.

I do not think there is an element of luck, said Tyndall. We were very happy that a game to make more than them.

- 01:48 - Komentari (0) - Isprintaj - #

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