INJURY UPDATE: Raptors G Fred Vain Fanclub Dölbau 09.08.2018 04:51
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Gerard Gallant took time out from preparing for the Stanley Cup finals to watch a Little League game this week http://www.redskinsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-geron-christian-jersey , something that might be surprising to those who think there is little in Las Vegas besides showgirls, craps tables and nightclubs.
There is a real city beyond the Las Vegas Strip, though, and that isn’t a surprise to the Vegas Golden Knights coach or the rest of a team that has embraced a city that has eagerly embraced them back.
They play here, and they also live here. Turns out hockey works in the desert – even for real hockey guys.
”It’s been, for all of us, one of the neatest experiences of our lifetime,” general manager George McPhee said. ”Maybe the neatest, most unique experience. Las Vegas has been a wonderful place to live and work.”
The love affair between a city and its new team wasn’t totally unexpected. Las Vegas was, after all, a town starved for major league sports.
But no one could have expected a hockey team would also help a city deal with its grief after a gunman killed 58 people on the Las Vegas strip just days before the team’s home opener.
They’ve done that and more, thrilling a town that’s hard to impress on a remarkable run to the finals in their first year of existence.
”We knew we couldn’t heal everyone,” goalie Marc-Andre Fleury said. ”But we wanted to give (the city) something to cheer for, to be proud of their team.”
They call themselves the ”Golden Misfits” because they all ended up in Las Vegas after being discarded by other teams. Even Gallant was unceremoniously dumped from his last job, kicked off the team bus after being fired by the Florida Panthers.
They came to this gambling city wanting to be wanted again. And a city that waited 112 years for a major sports franchise to call its own responded with open arms.
The games are all sellouts, of course. But the practices have also become events to see and be seen, with hundreds of fans crowding the team’s practice rink in the planned community of Summerlin where most players live.
And everywhere people wear Golden Knights hats and shirts and talk about strange things like icing and forechecking.
”I see it every day of practice when you got 800 people watching our practices Robert Golden Color Rush Jersey ,” Gallant said. ”It’s definitely not one on one with people, but you see the fan support that we get is unbelievable. They love our players, they love our team, and they love what’s going on, and I know our players appreciate the things they do for us.”
One of those players showed that Thursday night at another Little League game. Alex Tuch was watching the son of an assistant coach play, but a lot of other people at the ballpark were watching him.
As word spread that a Golden Knights player was in the stands, kids of all ages surrounded Tuch, who graciously obliged one picture request after another.
For some, the bond between city and team started developing when billionaire Bill Foley plunked down $500 million and Las Vegas was awarded an expansion franchise. For others, it began when Foley announced the team would be called the Golden Knights and started selling season tickets.
For many, though, it came when Deryk Engelland – a Las Vegas resident for more than a decade – stood on the ice before the first home game with hardly a dry eye in the crowd. It was nine days after the massacre of fans at a country music concert just down the street from the T-Mobile Arena where the Knights play, and emotions were raw.
England’s speech was short, his message poignant.
”I know how special this city is,” he told the crowd. ”To the families and friends of the victims, know we will do everything we can to help you and our city heal.
”We are Vegas Strong.”
Engelland, a defenseman Daryl Worley Color Rush Jersey , had scored only 22 goals in eight years in the NHL prior to that game. But he scored one that night and, for a brief moment at least, gave a grieving city something to cheer about.
And it was Engelland who was chosen on a team with no captains to accept the trophy for winning the Western Conference finals from NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly.
”After Oct. 1, those first games … you want to play for the city, the people that were affected by it,” Engelland said. ”To make this run, it’s awesome for us, but it all comes back to the city and the people affected by that.”
In a city that values winners, it helps that the team McPhee put together is a big winner. That was unexpected by most in hockey, who figured the Knights would finish last in their division like most expansion teams do, even though the NHL made sure they had a lot of good players to choose from.
Now they’re playing for one of the great trophies in sports: the Stanley Cup.
”It’s been fun to watch,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said. ”Nobody could’ve anticipated it. Our goal was that they be playing meaningful games in March and April, and if they were lucky, they might make the playoffs. Whoever could have predicted that they’d be on this run?”
Not many, and that includes the bookies on the Las Vegas Strip. They made the Knights as much as a 500-1 underdog to win the Stanley Cup, and will likely lose several million dollars if it actually happens.
It just might, and they don’t seem to care.
The bookies live here Isaac Yiadom Color Rush Jersey , too. And they want to see the Stanley Cup paraded down the Las Vegas Strip.
AP Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno and AP stringer W.G. Ramirez contributed to this report.
Tim Dahlberg is a n The Indiana Pacers look loose and sound confident.
They were laughing, smiling and joking around at practice Thursday as turned to a new task – protecting their home court this weekend against LeBron James.
Sure, his sensational 46-point, 12-rebound effort in Game 2 exposed flaws in Indiana’s defense and allowed Cleveland to even the series, but it sure didn’t shake the faith of the fearless Pacers.
”It’s a good sign when you lose by three and the best player in the world has a game like that,” Indiana point guard Darren Collison said.
The Pacers shouldn’t be rattled.
They are 4-2 against the three-time defending Eastern Conference champs this season, fought back from an early 18-point deficit Wednesday with Victor Oladipo in foul trouble and still had a chance to tie the score on Oladipo’s wide-open 3-pointer with 27 seconds left.
They still can seize control of the series by winning the next two in Indianapolis.
To avoid such a plight, the Cavs could give their star player some help – or they will need more command performances from The King.
But finding a stronger supporting cast Friday night in Game 3 could be potentially problematic with Kevin Love trying to play through an injured left thumb. Love, who is right-handed, said X-rays of the hand were negative even though he sat out the final 3 1/2 minutes of Game 2 as the Pacers continued to close the deficit.
”He’s great, yes sir,” coach Tyronn Lue said Wednesday. ”Ready to go.”
The Cavs did not have media availability Thursday.
Indiana, meanwhile, spent most of the day working on corrections.
”I’ve already watched it,” Oladipo said, cutting off a question about whether he’d been studying film. ”But I’ll probably watch it again.”
While coach Nate McMillan didn’t provide specific details about what adjustments he might make, the Pacers figure the simplest solution to containing James and regaining control of the series will be focusing on themselves.
”I think offensively Geron Christian Color Rush Jersey , we didn’t have the proper spacing and we were letting them push us off our spots, like we did to them in Game 1. And Victor got into foul trouble,” Collison said. ”There were a lot of encouraging signs from that game because we didn’t play our best basketball.”
RAPTORS AT WIZARDS
Raptors lead 2-0. Game 3, 8 p.m. EDT, ESPN2.
NEED TO KNOW: The Raptors had never taken a 2-0 lead in a playoff series until now. With DeMar DeRozan leading the way, this one could be over quickly unless the Wizards figure out how to play a little defense, particularly on the perimeter. DeRozan scored 37 points, shot 61 percent from the field and 50 percent on 3s in Game 2. In all, the Raptors have made 29 baskets from beyond the arc through two games, 11 more than the Wizards. Washington, meanwhile, has lost seven of its last eight, dating to the regular season. Asked about where things stand right now, PG John Wall said: ”I’m just always cool. Just stay cool and understand that we didn’t play our best basketball.”
KEEP AN EYE ON: Washington’s starting lineup. Coach Scott Brooks has hinted about possibly removing C Marcin Gortat and inserting F Mike Scott. That would make Washington more athletic and nimble, and Scott’s ability to close out on outside shooters helps the defense against 3s. Plus, Scott offers more scoring punch.
INJURY UPDATE: Raptors G Fred VanVleet sat out Game 1 because of a bruised right shoulder suffered in Toronto’s regular season finale, and was out of sync in Game 2. It’s unclear how much – or if – he has practiced the last two days. Washington SF Otto Porter Jr. has been dealing with a strained right calf recently and a bum hip before that Hernan Perez Milwaukee Brewers Jersey , but Brooks declared him ”100 percent healthy” heading into Game 3.
PRESSURE IS ON: Bradley Beal. The Wizards top scorer (22.6 points) is averaging just 14 in the playoffs. He was 3 for 11 in Game 2 and has struggled from 3-point range, too. Still, the Raptors know they must keep him under control. ”He’s one of the most dynamic players in our league,” Toronto coach Dwane Casey said. ”We’ve got to treat him as such and not look at him having a couple of games where he hasn’t shot well. We’ll treat him for who he is.”
CELTICS AT BUCKS
Celtics lead 2-0. Game 3, 9:30 p.m. EDT, ESPN.
NEED TO KNOW: The Bucks won at Boston on opening night and have since lost four of five in the series. Milwaukee’s only win during that stretch came April 3, at home. So the Bucks are hoping a change in scenery also helps them change direction. The Celtics expect to see a different team this weekend. ”You know they’re going to come out aggressive, they’re going to come out hard,” Boston guard Terry Rozier said. ”We’re coming out with the mindset that we can forget about taking care of the home-court (advantage).”
KEEP AN EYE ON: Bucks F Jabari Parker. The Celtics have been challenging Parker and Al Horford has taken advantage in the paint. Now Parker, who has scored only two points in the first two games while averaging 12 minutes per game, sounds frustrated as he tries to work his way back from a second serious knee injury. When asked Thursday about how he gets more minutes, Parker said: ”Be on my coach’s good side. Yeah. Whatever that is, just try to be on the good side.” Coach Joe Prunty said later he has no issues with Parker. ”He’s on my good side,” Prunty said. ”We need him and everybody to be ready to go .
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