Indiana Pacers

Coming out of the Eastern Conference will be a whole lot easier without LeBron James lording over the rest of its peasants, and the Indiana Pacers have positioned themselves to be the conference’s foremost dark horse.customized nfl jerseys

Only two other teams have added more wins above replacement over the offseason, according to an analysis run by Bleacher Report’s Andy Bailey: the Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers. And they’ve each reached the pinnacle of summertime improvement through one massive move.

Golden State ruined the already ruined NBA (it isn’t actually ruined) by lucking into DeMarcus Cousins. Los Angeles happened upon a greatest-of-all-time candidate whose life is no longer dictated by trying to win championships. nfl custom jerseys cheap Indiana’s activity has been more subtle and comprehensive.

Tyreke Evans gives the Pacers another primary ball-handler who has the spot-up chops to coexist with Victor Oladipo. He shot 40.8 percent on pull-up threes last season—third-best mark among 96 players to make at least 10 appearances and average more than one attempt per game. He also canned 38.9 percent of his catch-and-fire treys.

Doug McDermott is a quality plug-and-play sniper. He drilled nearly 46 percent of his standstill threes while splitting time with the New York Knicks and Dallas Mavericks. Along with Evans, he buoys the spacing of an offense that led the league in long-two frequency, according to Cleaning The Glass.

Kyle O’Quinn has a similar effect up front. He has three-point range the Knicks chose to ignore and is more nimble-footed, and thus playable, compared to the departed Al Jefferson. He offers a nice alternative if the Pacers cheap custom nfl jerseys are committed to dabbling in dual-big lineups. cheap customized nfl jerseys TJ Leaf is TJ Leaf, and the Myles Turner-Domantas Sabonis partnership was mostly a disaster.

Indiana is not without its red flags. Head coach Nate McMillan is making sure of that. As he said when asked about what James’ departure from the conference means, per 8 Points, 9 Seconds’ Tony East: “I think you’ll see less spread lineups and more grinding and more post players.”cheap nfl custom jerseys

Um, yeah. This can’t happen. Having O’Quinn is nice, but McDermott and Thaddeus Young should be soaking up time at the 4. The Pacers have enough concerns on defense looking at their wing rotation without hamstringing an offense that finished 23rd in efficiency after the All-Star break.

In a nutshell, though, Indiana’s 48-win upstart is deeper and more talented. That’ll give way to unique nike nfl jerseys cheap  opportunities in the East’s impending LeBron-less free-for-all.

NBA Free Agency Roundup: Meet the New Under-the-Radar Contenders

Don’t sweat the NBA offseason’s transition to relative inactivity. There’s a silver lining to the free-agency frenzy winding down to a slow, lifeless laze: We get to step back, take a breath, survey the landscape and properly celebrate the birth of new nfl authentic jerseys and newish might-be contenders!

Are you pumped? You should be pumped. You’re pumped aren’t you? How could you not be? The dust is gradually settling on the league’s silly season and the flurry of transactions has yielded a host of talking points that journey nfl authentic jerseys cheap beyond the Golden State Warriors sewing up the next eleventy titles.

To be clear: This space is not dedicated to teams with an exceptional shot at dethroning the reigning champs. For one, that type of threat doesn’t exist. Mostly, though, we’re nodding to afterthoughts and footnotes who have a fathomable path to winning their conference and making it to the NBA Finals.

Offseason additions are part of the allure for certain candidates, but not all of them. Some are here by default, due more to what has happened around them. Others have long been championship hopefuls in training. nfl jersey wholesale One franchise’s case boils down to moves unmade (so far).

All the usual suspects receive their due elsewhere. best nfl jerseys Get your Warriors, Boston Celtics, Houston Rockets, Philadelphia 76ers and Toronto Raptors fixes another time. This one’s for the less ballyhooed—the non-favorites who aren’t popular picks among us hoops head to make it out of their conference.

NBA Free Agency Roundup: Rockets Facing $100 Million Question with Clint Capela

The Houston Rockets are tightening their purse strings in the second week of NBA free agency, which is producing mixed results.

On the one hand, they added James Ennis on a two-year deal, according to Yahoo Sports’ Shams Charania, patiently waiting out the market and landing a three-and-D wing to offset the losses of Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute. On the other, they’re playing a dangerous game with restricted free agent Clint Capela, who remains unsigned and may be inching closer to signing his qualifying offer as the parties remain far apart on contract terms.authentic nfl jerseys cheap

Spending big isn’t an issue for the Mi nfl jerseys for cheap nnesota Timberwolves, who might soon lock up their franchise cornerstone in Karl-Anthony Towns—a year after foolishly dumping heaps of cash on Andrew Wiggins.

Meanwhile, Carmelo Anthony and Jeremy Lin are linked again for the first time since Linsanity, and Isaiah Thomas still needs a home.

Never a dull moment.

It should come as no surprise that the Houston Rockets, a team committed to the cold math of basketball, are making a percentage play with Clint Capela.cheap nfl jerseys

The 24-year-old restricted free agent remains unsigned, and according to ESPN.com’s Tim McMahon, Capela and the Rockets have been as much as $40 million apart in their negotiations. Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle relayed one rejected offer, noting Capela turned down a five-year, $85 million deal.nfl jersey cheap

If we invoke comparisons, Capela is right to hold out for at least $100 million. Steven Adams, then 23, inked a four-year, $100 million extension with the Oklahoma City Thunder just before the 2016-17 season started. He got that money after putting up 8.0 points and 6.7 rebounds per game. Andre Drummond signed his own five-year, $127 million contract just a month before his 23rd birthday in 2016.

The way NBA basketball is played today, Capela is likely more valuable than both Adams and Drummond.

At 24, Capela is coming off a season in which he averaged 13.9 points, 10.8 rebounds and 1.9 blocks while leading the league in field-goal percentage. His defensive versatility—you won’t find many bigs better equipped to defend guards on switches and protect the rim—made him an integral component to Houston’s sixth-ranked defense. When factoring in how Capela fits into (and perhaps enables) Houston’s scheme, he’s worth even more to the Rockets than he would be to the rest of the market.

But the market is the problem.cheap nfl jersey

Few teams have the available cap space to make Capela a significant offer, and because the Rockets have matching rights on any deal he signs, they have no urgency to fork over a hefty contract preemptively.

This is rotten timing for Capela, and Houston is exploiting it.

Eric Reid: Seattle Seahawks

Any team that signs Eric Reid will be entering into a complicated situation.

Reid was one of the most active players in the protest movement last year, and he filed a collusion grievance against the NFL in May. However, he’s also a versatile and talented 26-year-old safety who already has a Pro Bowl nod on his NFL resume.

His talent should be far more important to the Seahawks than his activism. Because right now, Seattle needs all the help it can get at safety.

Kam Chancellor recently announced his retirement. nfl wholesale jerseys Earl Thomas is in the midst of a holdout and has been the subject of trade rumors.

That leaves the Seahawks trying to keep their championship window pried open with veteran journeyman Bradley McDougald—and that’s about it.

Between the Seahawks’ need at safety and the progressiveness of the Pacific Northwest, the fit between Reid and Seattle makes almost too much sense. It’s also an opportunity for the Seahawks to pay back the 49ers for snagging Richard Sherman after they released him.

Turnabout is fair play. nfl jerseys from china

ociated Press

The New Orleans Saints would be a logical landing spot for DeMarco Murray, as Mark Ingram will serve out a four-game suspension to start the year. However, Murray declined to work out for them in mid-June, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, as “he preferred not to work out with a large group” of running backs.

That doesn’t mean Murray won’t land in the division, though.official nfl jerseys cheap

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are coming off a miserable 2017 season. Jameis Winston’s season-opening three-game suspension threatens to carry that misery over to this year, especially in a division where every other team made the playoffs in 2017.

A Tampa team with no margin for error now needs a ground game to rely on in September. And with all due respect to rookie Ronald Jones and holdovers Peyton Barber, Jacquizz Rodgers and Charles Sims, there’s next to no evidence the Buccaneers have one. After all, nfl authentic jerseys they managed only 90.6 yards a game in 2017, which ranked 27th in the NFL.

The Buccaneers can offer Murray a real audition. If he averages 4.5 yards per carry and starts piling up 100-yard games, they won’t be in any rush to push Jones out there. In turn, Murray would provide a measure of experience, stability and depth in the backfield.nfl authentic jerseys cheap

Desperate times call for desperate measures.nfl jersey wholesale

LeBron Trusting the Process?

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No, this doesn’t mean LeBron James is backtracking on his four-year deal with the Los Angeles Lakers and instead deciding to join the Philadelphia 76ers. Sorry!

But the four-time MVP still seems content to sit back and accept everything that’s nfl youth jerseys  happening around him as Magic Johnson endeavors to build a competitive, albeit unorthodox, roster for the Los Angeles Lakers. The signings of Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson and JaVale McGee remain questionable (even if you look at the silver linings and focus on the defensive upside and maintained cap flexibility for 2019), but they apparently represent the actual plan in Tinseltown.

As Ramona Shelburne and Brian Windhorst reported for ESPN.com, these moves were planned from the onset of free agency: cheap nfl jerseys nike china

“Here is the answer: exactly what James and Lakers president Magic Johnson planned when they met for more than three hours on the first night of free agency. According to multiple sources within the Lakers and close to James, this is the rollout of a plan Johnson outlined for James the night of June 30 at James’ home. The subsequent deals, which sources say James has consulted on but have been executed at Johnson and Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka’s direction, follow this vision.

“It may seem like an unconventional plan, considering current trends. It may be a plan that takes time to come together, especially early in the season, when new habits will be tested. It may, in fact, be a plan that ultimately fails.

“But the Lakers are indeed attempting to chart a new course for James’ Lakers future, one that is vastly different from the style of basketball he played with the Cleveland Cavaliers.”

That’s…interesting. And it’s important to note that successful execution of a plan does not mean the plan was logical in and of itself. But here we are, and there’s no going back as the Lakers attempt to maximize the next year of James’ extended prime.  nike jersey nfl cheap

Also worth noting? The league’s best player doesn’t seem intent on forcing the title window open with the acquisition of a celestial sidekick. Cue cheap youth nfl jerseys  Zach Lowe:

“LeBron is a Laker, and he is not pressuring L.A. to acquire a second star now, per sources familiar with his thinking. His decision to come alone for three guaranteed seasons speaks for itself. He knows Ingram has at least borderline All-Star potential, and that the 2019 free-agency class is loaded beyond Leonard. He has faith in the combined powers of his supernova talent and the Lakers brand.youth nfl jerseys cheap

“His patience will have limits. But reading between the lines, the Lakers probably have the next calendar year before LeBron applies urgent pressure.”

If you’ve been hoping against hope that the current Los Angeles depth chart was only a placeholder before the Lakers acquire more established talents and avoid wasting a year of peak James, it’s time to start accepting reality.youth nfl jerseys

Yes, it’s probably a painful process.

MLB’s Most Dominant Pitcher Isn’t Even an Ace or a Closer

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There are 440 pitchers in Major League Baseball with no more than two wins and no more than six saves thus far in 2018. They are neither ace starters nor shutdown closers. They are the Everypitcher.

Except, of course,nfl jerseys cheap wholesale  for the guy who’s allowing the lowest OPS of any left-hander ever and striking out batters at a higher rate than any pitcher ever (minimum 30 innings).

If you haven’t already, meet Josh Hader.

The 24-year-old lefty has been working out of the Milwaukee Brewers bullpen since last June. And one swing and miss at a time, he’s rapidly progressed from an intriguing oddity into a likely All-Star with a growing reputation as MLB’s best relief pitcher. nfl jersey cheap wholesale

All Hader has done in 2018 is rack up a 1.13 ERA and, as noted above, overwhelm hitters to the tune of 18 strikeouts per nine innings and a microscopic .363 OPS allowed. He typically dominates them in bunches, as he’s squeezed 40 innings out of just 25 appearances.

Hader wasn’t necessarily destined for a role like this. He was starting games for the Triple-A Colorado Springs Sky Sox as recently as last June, at which time he was still rated as a top pitching prospect.wholesale cheap nfl jerseys

But with a 5.37 ERA and a rate of 5.4 walks per nine innings to his name, what Baseball America had written about him was ringing true: “Hader has front-line starter’s stuff but must improve his changeup and control to reach his ceiling.”

Instead, the Brewers made the call to promote Hader as a reliever.

And like Andrew Miller before him, he didn’t resist his team’s attempt to turn him into a new-age fireman who’s ready, willing and able to get as many outs as needed whenever they’re needed. He authored a fitting preamble to what he’s done in 2018: a 2.08 ERA over 47.2 innings in 35 appearances. nfl jerseys wholesale cheap

“A big key to Josh is that he’s open to what’s best for the team,” Brewers general manager David Stearns told ESPN’s Bradford Doolittle in May. “He came up here and adapted to that [middle relief] role very well, and he enjoys that role.authentic nfl jerseys cheap wholesale  If tomorrow we asked him to go back to starter, he’d do that and enjoy that role. He’s a guy who really will take to any task.”

Kevin Durant: Easy to Be Best Player When You Don’t Have Good Teammates

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Kevin Durant doesn’t have a lot of concerns these days after winning back-to-back titles and NBA Finals MVPs, but the Golden State Warriors star has a unique perspective on what it takes to be the best basketball player in the world.nfl nike jerseys wholesale

Per Michael Lee of nfl jerseys wholesale nike  Yahoo Sports, Durant noted it’s easier to be great when the talent around you is lacking:

“I feel like it’s easy to be the best player when you don’t have good players around you. I feel like it’s harder to stand out when you have great players around you. I pride myself on standing out wherever I am. I pride myself on working hard wherever I go. And I feel like these guys embraced me and I feel like I’m a Warrior.”

Durant received widespread criticism for his decision to sign with the Warriors in the summer of 2016. The team was coming off a 73-win season, though it famously blew a 3-1 lead and lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals.nike nfl jersey wholesale

Hall of Famer Charles Barkley said at the time that Durant got on the Warriors “gravy train” in an effort to win a championship.

Durant was already one of the NBA’s best players prior to signing with Golden State. He won an MVP award with the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2013-14 and four scoring titles from 2009 to 2014.

The Warriors swept an overmatched Cavs team in the 2018 Finals.nfl wholesale jerseys nike  LeBron James averaged 34.0 points, 10.0 assists and 8.5 rebounds in the four games. The rest of Cleveland’s starting lineup combined to average 42.8 points and 22.0 rebounds in the series.

The Biggest Question for Every NFL Team Heading into OTAs

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We’re getting closer to the dog days of summer, and the sheen of the 2018 NFL draft is beginning to fade. For football fans, this is the perfect time of year to cast your eyes toward the ice or the hardwood.

For teams and players, though, now is the time to begin laying the foundation for the coming season.authentic nfl jerseys cheap

We’re at that point of the offseason when teams hold mandatory minicamps and organized team activities (OTAs). While things will undoubtedly change some between now and training camp, coaches can begin installing schemes and evaluating rosters.

This is also the time of year when teams hope to nfl jerseys for cheap  get their first tangible answers to their biggest offseason questions. Do early draft picks appear ready to contribute right away? Which aging veterans need to be replaced in the starting lineup? Could an available free agent strengthen the roster? The more answers teams can get to these types of questions now, the better off they’ll be in August.

Take a look at each NFL team’s biggest question heading into 2018 OTAs. cheap nfl jerseys

The Arizona Cardinals traded up to No. 10 to grab former UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen. By making the move up, the Cardinals made it clear Rosen is their quarterback of the future. However, they also added Sam Bradford and Mike Glennon in the offseason, so there’s no reason to rush Rosen into action early.

The question for the Cardinals is whether Week 1 will be too early for Rosen. If the rookie performs well and doesn’t  nfl jersey cheap appear overwhelmed during OTAs, Arizona should be inclined to give him a shot at the starting gig.

Bradford is the current starter, according to head coach Steve Wilks said, but Rosen won’t be held back.

“We gotta go out there with 11 guys, and Sam’s going to be the first guy out there,” Wilks said on NFL Network. “But everybody’s fighting for a position, so I’m not going to hold him back at all.”

Cardinals fans would love nothing more than for Rosen to take over the reins of the offense immediately. This is the point in the offseason when the Cardinals need to find out if he can.

By the end of OTAs, Arizona should know how to tailor a plan for Rosen in cheap nfl jersey  training camp—and whether that plan involves prepping him to be a backup or the potential starter.

Stephen Curry Will Play vs. Pelicans in Game 2 After Knee Injury

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Steph Curry is back.

The Golden State Warriors’ superstar point guard authentic nfl jerseys cheap has been cleared to return to action in Tuesday’s Game 2 contest against the New Orleans Pelicans, according to Chris Haynes of ESPN.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports reported Curry will come off the bench with Andre Iguodala starting in his place.

It will be his first action since March 8, when he suffered a Grade 2 MCL sprain. In his absence, the Warriors have gone just 12-11, though they are 5-1 in the postseason.

Curry’s return for Game 2 was expected. nfl jerseys for cheap He told reporters after Game 1 that he felt like he could have made his return on Saturday evening.

“If it were up to me, I would have played for about 20 minutes tonight,” he said, per Haynes. “The plan is to return Tuesday, but ultimately it’s up to the training staff. I feel good.”

The Warriors won Game 1 against a dangerous Pelicans team easily, 123-101, and the return of Curry will make them all the scarier. Curry, 30, averaged 26.4 points, 6.1 assists and 5.1 rebounds per game while shooting 42.3 percent from three. cheap nfl jerseys While players like Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson held down the offense in Curry’s absence, the veteran point guard remains the team’s offensive keystone.

Which makes it terrifying how easily the Warriors handled the Pelicans in Game 1 without him.

The Warriors were always the favorites to repeat as NBA champions and claim their third title in four years, and the return of Curry should solidify that belief. While the Pelicans are no slouch and the Houston Rockets likely await after that—and while Curry will have to nfl jersey cheap battle through rust upon his return—the Warriors are back to full strength.

And that is bad news for the rest of the NBA.

NFL Draft 2018: Round 1 Grades for Every Pick

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For a team that drafts well, the future doesn’t have to be five years away. It could practically be the day after tomorrow.

Two years ago, the Rams and Eagles used the first two picks in the NFL draft on Jared Goff and Carson Wentz, a pair of talented-but-flawed quarterbacks not too different from Josh Allen, Sam Darnold and the others at the top of this year’s class. Now the Rams have erased years of 7-9 punchlines to become one of the most dynamic, dangerous teams in the NFL. The Eagles? Well, they’re just the reigning world champions.

The Browns and Jets could be a few smart decisions away from changing the course of history. The Giants and Broncos may be one or two shrewd moves from a quick return to the top. Every team had a chance to write Chapter 1 of their Super Bowl success story Thursday.

Pick-by-pick analysis of the 2018 draft’s first round is here. Take a look at the grades and check back tomorrow for Day 2.

Deadly Accurate Quarterback Comparison: Healthy Jim McMahon, Evil Mirror Universe Drew Brees.

The following people think Baker Mayfield is just another Johnny Manziel:

·         Your bartender.

·         That guy on Facebook you don’t remember friending.

·         Your brother-in-law (the one who bought a authentic nfl jerseys cheap Nathan Peterman Bills jersey last October).

·         Several regional NFL columnists (generally older ones trying too hard to sound edgy).

The following people see no meaningful similarity between Mayfield and Manziel:

·         Baker Mayfield.nfl jerseys for cheap

·         Johnny Manziel.

·         Anyone involved in the NFL who I have ever spoken to.

·         Anyone who watches film carefully.

·         Anyone who rejects lazy false equivalencies.

Browns fans can be forgiven for having some Manziel-related anxiety. But Mayfield is not that guy. He has an arrest for public intoxication on his record along with a history of on-field obnoxiousness, but a few isolated incidents only form a narrative, not evidence of a real problem. On the field, Mayfield possesses one of the best NCAA cheap nfl jersey stat lines ever, a Heisman Trophy and gorgeous game film that shows him smoothly operating nfl jersey cheap an offense, as opposed to generating playground highlights like Manziel.

Instead of worrying about Mayfield being Manziel, Browns fans should consider Mayfield the quarterback they thought they were getting in Manziel.

Now it’s up to general manager John Dorsey, head coach Hue Jackson, offensive coordinator Todd Haley and Mayfield to coexist and thrive, even though MMQB’s Robert Klemko and others speculated that the Browns GM didn’t trust Jackson with the knowledge that he was drafting nfl jersey cheap Mayfield until the last minute. That suggests Jackson may not be 100 percent on board with the selection, which could lead to all sorts of Game of Thrones madness in the weeks to come.

That’s something to worry about later. But a little edginess might actually help Mayfield if the Browns once again lapse into soap opera mode.

Grade: B