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NBA Finals 2017: Steve Kerr says Game 4 ‘got out of hand’ in third quarter

The Cavaliers stayed alive in the NBA Finals with a 137-116 victory in Friday’s Game 4.

While LeBron James scored 31 points and Kyrie Irving added a game-high 40, the discussion after the game wasn’t about Cleveland’s multiple scoring records, but how the officials stole the spotlight.

Even with a Game 3 loss in the conference finals, the Cavaliers enter the Finals firing on all cylinders. Their “Big Three” of Love, Irving and James was outstanding in closing out the Celtics, and they’ve gotten some nice contributions from the likes of Kyle Korver and Deron Williams off the bench.

But they can’t keep pace with the Warriors, winners of 27 of their last 28 games, in terms of depth. The Cavs and Warriors went seven games last year, and Cleveland returns much the same lineup this time around. Golden State has lost Andrew Bogut and Harrison Barnes, but they brought in Durant, and Cheap Blue Jays Jerseys his playoff performance to date — 25.2 points on 55.6 percent shooting — has been exactly what the Warriors wanted when they signed him last July.

The NBA needs a good series here, and the mere fact that it’s a third straight matchup means it will be compelling. But the Warriors just have too much frontline talent.

After missing six games to injury his rookie year, Lewan has Cheap College Basketball Jerseys stayed mostly healthy and developed into one of the league’s better left tackles, making his first Pro Bowl last year. He’s also a notorious hothead who’s prone to Wholesalepenalties (including an ejection for shoving a referee), but the Titans will put up with that as long as he keeps locking down Marcus Mariota’s blind side.

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NBA playoffs 2017: LeBron James gives perfect response to fouls, funk in Game 4

LeBron James faced a unique challenge in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Celtics on Tuesday.

How do you go into attack mode after picking up four first-half fouls? How do you bounce back from an 11-point dud and deliver that alpha masterpiece everybody is looking for every single night?

James didn’t deliver one of his 50-point specials in response, but he might have played two of the smartest quarters possible instead. He finished with 34 points in a 112-99 victory that has the Cavaliers one win away from a third straight NBA Finals appearance.

With the defending champion Cavaliers expected to face the Warriors for the third season in a row, this year’s NBA Finals will be a “historic event,” says Dave Roberts, ESPN’s vice president of production. Roberts has been aggressive since taking over as show runner on “First Take” last year, so look for a boatload of current and former NBA stars to visit the set as special guests.

“We’re all hoping that history will be made with the third-in-a-row Finals between the Cavs and Warriors. With that being anticipated, we hope to close out this NBA season as strong as we’ve Cheap Basketball Jerseys UK steelers_126been,” Roberts told Sporting News in an interview Tuesday.

Probably the most under-the-radar bust of the first round. Smith played a grand Cheap Authentic Soccer Jerseys total of 53 defensive snaps in his rookie year and 127 in 2015. He has 23 tackles in three years. Smith is still on the Eagles roster so I won’t grade it a complete F — perhaps he’ll find a role in Jim Schwartz’s scheme — but this is one of the bigger blunders of the Chip Kelly era in Philly.

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you get tickets to a Broadway show and you wind up with the understudy instead of the star

That’s the problem with all the whining about players who rest. It works. The Warriors and Cavaliers are the evidence. They’ve not only arrived at this Finals meeting as expected, they got here in frighteningly efficient fashion, with a combined 24-1 record.

Even the issue of respect for fans — the most legitimate of the anti-rest arguments — wobbles when the success of the Cavs and Warriors is considered. It’s bad, obviously, for national television audiences to miss out on watching the league’s stars in what should be an important game because those stars are home sipping lemonade in a hammock. It’s bad, too, for fans who bought tickets to see Curry, James or Irving, only to find Ian Clark, Richard Jefferson or Deron Williams.

But sometimes, you get tickets to a Broadway show and you wind up with the understudy instead of the star. You’re not going to get Bette Midler in “Rochelle, Rochelle” every night.

Besides, should the Cavaliers and Warriors configure their season and their plans for rest around fans in Memphis and Miami? It’s never wise to tick off the national broadcasters, but should their allegiance be toward a mid-March television audience? Shouldn’t it go toward their own fans in Cleveland and the Bay Area?

For a guy who had to learn a brand new playbook two weeks before the regular season, Bradford could’ve been a lot worse last year. He wasn’t particularly great, but Bradford did his part to avoid mistakes, throwing 20 touchdowns to just five interceptions (though he did lose Cheap Authentic Baseball Jerseys steelers_126five fumbles). He even set the single-season record with a 71.6 completion percentage, which will be a weird trivia answer in 10 years.

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Tom Brady: My dream is to play an NFL game in China

Tom Brady spent a busy week visiting China to promote his special line of sleepwear through Under Armour, and while there he revealed how he wants to help spread American football to the country.

Ryan has continued to step up as a leader to make sure the focus is on the upcoming year and not last season’s final game.

“When we started as a team in April, we got together before that as players down in Miami, it was time to move on. It was time to look forward,” Ryan said.

Ryan was a dominant force in 2016, throwing for 4,944 and 38 touchdowns. In the NFC title game, he stymied the Packers with four passing touchdowns, one rushing touchdown and 392 passing yards.

But can the Falcons be the first team since the Bills in 1993 to return to the Super Bowl after losing the previous one? Ryan thinks so.

“This year’s group is different and this team is different,” Ryan said. “We have to find a way to become the best football team that we can. Find ways to get better and improve. That’s what we are trying to do.

“Our focus is what is front of us. We learned a lot from last year. We’ll Buy Cheap Jerseys Online take those learning lessons with us, but we have to find a way to make this group the best group that we can be.”

Hill’s stats could dip next season. It’s hard to imagine teams will continue to kick to him, and they also have a full season’s worth of film on the unique ways the Chiefs featured him in the offense.

But Hill likely hasn’t reached his ceiling as a wide receiver either. Andy Reid Best Cheap Jerseys From China has made it clear he expects to get Hill more involved in the offense in 2017.steelers_038

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The Cardinals drafted Grambling State’s Chad Williams in the third round this year.

This situation would look more stable if John Brown returns to form. After a breakout year in 2015 (65 catches, 1,003 yards, seven touchdowns), Brown was hampered by hamstring injuries due to a sickle cell issue last season, ending up with just 39 catches and two touchdowns. Michael Floyd fell out of favor in the offense before a DUI arrest led to his release. J.J. Nelson showed flashes of promise but is still unproven as a starting receiver.

The Cardinals drafted Grambling State’s Chad Williams in the third round this year. So far, he’s drawing rave reviews from Fitzgerald.

“He’s extremely explosive,” Fitzgerald said, via Revenge of the Birds. “He reminds me of Anquan Boldin in terms of the strength of his hands. Once [the football] touches his hands, it doesn’t move.”

But full practices haven’t even started yet, so it’s too early to tell how much of a role Williams will have as a rookie.

There is some promise among this group but also a lot of risk — especially if Brown’s sickle cell problems flare up again.

“In the first three quarters they’re releasing five (receivers) outside and believing in their offensive line to stop us up front,” Freeney said. “Five sacks later they realize, ‘You know what? We’ve got to give Tom time no matter what.’

“All of a sudden, they’re running seven-man protection and receivers are just running routes man-to-man against our DBs. We’re out there 80-plus plays so fatigue starts to enter into Cheap Blackhawks Jerseys that equation.”

While the defense did founder, Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan has taken Cheap Chelsea Jerseys the bulk of the blame for Atlanta’s loss with highly questionable play calls that failed miserably in the fourth quarter. Freeney, though, refused to scapegoat Shanahan for the defeat and pointed out that “it’s easy for people to say these things when they’re not under the most extreme pressure situations.”

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Bruce Arians says Carson Palmer’s arm ‘stronger than ever’

Carson Palmer can still sling it at 37.

The Cardinals quarterback dismissed any ideas that he’s over the hill, and his coach said Wednesday that Palmer still has a cannon for a right arm.

“I think it is stronger than ever,” Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said of Palmer’s arm. “He threw a couple of deep balls (Wednesday) that were the old Carson, 55 yards, dropped them in a bucket.”

Super Bowl 51 was held in Houston this past February, but the NFL made clear that policies it deems discriminatory may affect how future events are awarded.

“If a proposal that is discriminatory or inconsistent with our values were to become law (in Texas), that would certainly be a factor considered when thinking about awarding future events,” McCarthy said in a statement issued a few days after the Super Bowl.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones chimed in, too, implying he is against legislative action that would negatively affect his business.

“Any time social issues have the consequence of impacting what we’re doing at AT&T or what we’re doing with our team, then that gets my attention,” Jones said in February. “I hope how that is ultimately resolved is a nonevent and not impactful on what we do with our events.”

As competition to host the 2018 draft is stiff – 22 cities have Detroit Lions Cheap Jerseys expressed interest – it’s clear the league will be closely watching the Texas legislative session.

It’s clear around the NFL, for whatever reason, teams would rather Custom Cheap Jerseys swim with sharks than dive for Kaepernick.

The thought was that nothing would sound worse than “the Cardinals signed Blaine Gabbert,” or “the Buccaneers went with Ryan Fitzpatrick.” Then came the Seahawks’ addition of Austin Davis on Tuesday to compete for the backup job behind Russell Wilson.

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Dwight Freeney not finished with NFL — or with Falcons

Officially, Dwight Freeney isn’t a member of the 2017 Atlanta Falcons.

All signs point to that changing sooner than later.

Some of the $4.3 million salary cap credit that Atlanta receives Friday already appears earmarked toward re-signing the future Pro Football Hall of Fame edge-rusher who contributed both on and off the field last season as the Falcons reached Super Bowl 51.

“I’ve already been talking to the coaches and going back and forth here and there with the draft picks and free agents,” Freeney told co-host Bill Polian and me Thursday night on SiriusXM NFL Radio. “That line of communication is still very open. They say they’re still very interested.

The talk about “walking away from $15 million,” for example: How that was leading to outrageous contract demands that no team wanted to meet, and about how he’d still be on the 49ers’ roster if Cheap College Jerseys he hadn’t turned them down, so he has no one to blame but himself.

We file our reports in compliance with league guidelines.

Have you seen progress in players self-reporting concussion-like Cheap Custom Baseball Jerseys symptoms?

You know, our medical staff really handles the injury situation with players. Players don’t come to me and I don’t treat them for injuries. That’s not really my job. That’s what we have medical staff for.

To what degree is player safety important to you personally, particularly as it pertains to concussions and head injuries?

Yeah, I think I’ve talked about that quite a bit. Our foundation supports that cause. Personally, I’ve spent a lot of time on it.

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Aaron Rodgers isn’t highest-paid QB, but says ‘I know my value’

Aaron Rodgers isn’t the NFL’s highest-paid quarterback anymore, but isn’t worried about it.

The Packers starter will begin negotiations for a new contract once his current one expires in 2019. Rodgers said his agent, David Dunn, will make sure he receives a fair deal.

“Well, that stuff usually takes care of itself, and I have a fantastic agent, he does a great job. He worries about that stuff,” Rodgers told reporters Tuesday, via ESPN.com. “When it comes to setting the market values, I let that stuff take care of itself. I know my value in this league, and I know the team appreciates me.

“Each week we gradually continue to progress,” Smith said, via ESPN.com. “It’s been some great transition with the nerve regenerating.”

Smith, who was drafted by the Cowboys in the second round of the 2016 NFL draft, spent his rookie season recovering from knee surgery. It was eventually revealed he suffered nerve damage after he blew out his knee at the end of his career with Notre Dame.

During Wednesday’s practice Smith wore a brace on his knee, but participated in snaps and nine-on-nine drills. He said the brace isn’t limiting him too much and that he “feels explosive” and China Cheap Jerseys is moving fast.

“I see him moving around well, changing direction and doing the things that he needs to do in a day-to-day process,” linebackers coach Matt Eberflus said. “We’re excited where he is.”

As to whether Smith will be ready for the Cowboys’ season opener, he said he would be on the field, but coach Jason Garrett isn’t making any promises yet.

“Don’t want to make those statements. We certainly love the progress Cheap Youth MLB Jerseys that he’s made and are excited about what he’s been doing up to this point,” Garrett said. “He’s getting better and better and better. He’s getting more and more comfortable with the football movements. He’s been playing more football for us the last couple of weeks. And that’s been a positive sign for him.”

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Lions tackle Taylor Decker sidelined indefinitely after shoulder surgery

The Lions offensive line suffered a big blow this week.

Starting left tackle Taylor Decker is out indefinitely after shoulder surgery Monday, the team announced. The surgery was needed after Decker was injured last week.

However, Lions coach Jim Caldwell said he didn’t expect the recovery time to take up the entire 2017 season, even though he doesn’t have a specific timetable for Decker’s return.

The Detroit Free Press cited a source who said Johnson wrote the Lions a check for at least $1 million as a reimbursement after retiring with four years remaining on the eight-year, $132 million deal he signed in 2012.

Neither the Lions nor Johnson commented on the report. Johnson did say last month he wasn’t treated the way he “should have been treated on the way out.”

When the two sides negotiated a settlement following his retirement, the Lions simply stated all matters related to Johnson’s contract “were settled to the satisfaction of the parties.”

Lions coach Jim Caldwell said a few days after Johnson’s comments Find Cheap Jerseys Online about being mistreated that it’s important for the Lions to repair their relationship with Johnson.

“Maybe there’s a disagreement, a little different viewpoint, but the most important thing I think perhaps this whole thing will bring about a little bit more dialogue,” Caldwell said. “Now, how long will that take? I’m not certain. I’m not putting any parameters on it, but I think there will probably Fans Cheap Jerseys be a little discussion, which I think will be a good thing.”

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Jets to part ways with Eric Decker as roster overhaul continues

The Jets’ rebuilding effort will likely take another veteran off the roster Tuesday as Eric Decker is expected to be released or traded by the team this week.

Jets coach Todd Bowles said Tuesday he was “not sure” about Decker’s status with the Jets after hip and shoulder surgeries limited him to three games last season. General manager Mike Maccagnan later said the Jets had informed Decker they would “move forward” without him.

He can’t just be third in a committee with Jeremy Hill, coming off more ineffectiveness, or Giovani Bernard, coming off major injury. With the Bengals taking the highest type of risk with Mixon, anything else than the richest reward won’t do. He needs to come through as a featured talent, stat.

Now that Mixon is officially a Bengal, the Cincinnati rookie is best off staring into the heavy glare and doing everything with his teammates and coaches to deflect some of it.

The Bengals believed enough in Mixon to draft him, despite a videotape of him assaulting a woman. They won’t apologize for the pick, but already should have accepted they’ll never convince Hockey Jerseys Cheap everyone to accept it. That doesn’t mean they don’t go all in trying to do so.

But Wilson told reporters “he wouldn’t have any issue” if the Seahawks signed Kaepernick.

They span the spectrum. McCown signed for $6 million and will Jerseys Supply compete for the Jets’ starting job; Simms spent last year with the Falcons’ practice squad. Their ages range from their mid-20s to late-30s; some were starters last season, and others were never active for a game. There are former top-10 picks (Gabbert, who ended last year as Kaepernick’s backup) and undrafted free agents and everything in between.