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.

Mike Freeman’s 10-Point Stance: Is Flag Football the Future of the Game?

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1. Is the future of football already here?

While many of you spent July Fourth week at cookouts, or swimming, or stuck in traffic, I was watching flag football.

Call it my duty to keep you, our esteemed readers, up to date on all that’s happening in pro football. Or maybe it was just what was on the NFL Network as I flipped channels. Either way, it was on, and, to me, it was wholly unwatchable. I mean, it was Battlefield Earth bad.

There was no defense. No strategy. Despite the high caliber of the athletes, it still resembled the football I played in Central Park when I was a flag football all-star.

It was awful.

But it could also be what we’re all watching years from now.where to get nfl jerseys

Despite my feelings, two people who know a lot of something about the game of football believe flag football could take a major hold.

One was Bucky Brooks, a former NFL player and scout and current analyst, who tweeted how much he enjoyed watching the game:

People like me look at flag football and see it’s missing several elements that make us love football—namely, the violence. Americans love violence, and we especially love it in our football. This is unfortunate, but it’s true.nfl jerseys china nike

There’s a younger generation of football lovers, however, that wants less violence in the sport, and in some cases, none at all. They are more educated about head trauma and CTE and, unlike a lot of football fans, don’t see players as drones. They actually care about their health.nike nfl jerseys on sale

This is how flag football can gain a foothold. nfl jersey for sale And while us old-school NFL diehards may not see it now, there might be a hidden market for flag football that could emerge—soon.

Still, it’s unclear how long this run will last, and at what point Americans, despite our craving for barbarism in some of our sports, might say, I no longer want to watch a sport that destroys brains.

Flag football could fill that void. where to buy nfl jersey There are people throughout the league who believe this, and they say in the coming years the NFL will push more flag football.

The NFL wants to be prepared for the day when there’s a CTE test, I’m told by numerous team and league sources. If, in a few years, scientists develop a way to test for the disease, and parents begin testing their 10-year-old Pop Warner players, and some start testing positive for a deadly brain disease, parents could start pulling their kids by the millions from tackle football. That would crush the NFL.

That’s where flag football could swoop in. It would give those parents an outlet for their football-loving kids.women nfl jersey

Players off the Table in Kawhi Leonard Talks

The Kawhi Leonard saga continues to drag on, and it features strange new developments at every turn. The newest one may not be surprising, but that doesn’t prevent it from looking off-the-wall and more than a little hilarious. nfl youth jerseys cheap

“There was a point during [Kawhi’s] rehab process in New York that some of the Spurs brass went out to see him in New York,” ESPN.com’s Michael C. Wright explained on the Back To Back podcast (h/t NBC Sports’ Kurt Helin). “As soon as those guys arrived to the building, Kawhi’s people grabbed him and sequestered him to another part of the building. And so the Spurs’ people couldn’t even see him.”

Add it to the former Defensive Player of the Year’s laundry list of talents. cheap nfl youth jerseys

He’s a legitimate perimeter stopper. He’s capable of exploding for 30 points on any night—to the extent that he’s become the rare player capable of altering the tried-and-true offensive system deployed by San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich. Apparently, he’s also a hide-and-seek master. nfl youth jersey

But the growing catalog of skills isn’t preventing other teams from holding onto their marquee trade assets. nfl replica jerseys cheap

“They’ve [Lakers] been willing to offer what they consider to be a fair package, but they’ve made it very clear to San Antonio that Kyle Kuzma is off limits…they’re not letting go of Kuzma,” Stephen A. Smith claimed, per ESPN Los Angeles. Meanwhile,replica nfl jerseys s Zach Lowe reported the Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics are unwilling to include Markelle Fultz and Jaylen Brown, respectively, in any packages.

Unfortunately, we’re nowhere close to clarity on this front.

Every piece of news makes it clearer that the relationship between Leonard and the Spurs organization is fractured beyond repair. But if San Antonio and the franchises willing to trade for the injured small forward are unable to find common ground, what’s going to happen?

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.

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.

Rob Gronkowski on Patriots Trade Rumors: ‘Shows How Much Fake News Is out There’

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski dispelled rumors of a potential trade on Saturday, referring to the buzz that’s circulated of late as “fake news.”

“Just shows how much fake news is out there,” cheap nfl authentic jerseys he told WBZ-TV’s Lisa Gresci. “Hashtag fake news. That’s all I know. It’s true, it exists. See it all the time about me.”

Speculation that Gronkowski could be traded reached a fever pitch Friday, when Adam Kurkjian reported head coach Bill Belichick wanted to trade the five-time Pro Bowler to either the Tennessee Titans or San Francisco 49ers. Kurkjian added that Belichick met with owner Robert Kraft to discuss the proposals before they were shut down by quarterback Tom Brady, who reportedly threatened to retire if Gronk was dealt. cheap authentic nfl jerseys

“I would say with the utmost confidence that none of that is true,” Patriots spokesperson Stacey James told Kurkjian. “None of it.”

NBC Sports Boston’s Tom E. Curran added that while Gronkowski isn’t on the verge of being traded, the Patriots have made some calls to gauge his market.

“However, he was absolutely spoken about in trade conversations,” Curran said Friday on Boston Sports Tonight. “At this juncture, the notion of an imminent trade which I reported ‘zero chance of that happening’ is where we are. cheap nfl jerseys from china  So Gronk’s not going anywhere, but that doesn’t mean that the opportunity was not out there for that to have happened.”

Gronkowski, who pondered retirement before returning for his ninth NFL season, nfl cheap jerseys has made it clear he is angling for a new contract before the Patriots kick off their 2018 campaign.

There Are No Losers in the Capitals’ Stanley Cup Victory over the Golden Knights

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For so many years, the Washington Capitals seemed to hold the winning hand. So many years, they had dominant teams, Presidents’ Trophy teams, teams holding a 20 at the blackjack table, only to see the house win at the last second.nfl jerseys authentic

It all changed in Las Vegas on Thursday night against the franchise playing with the ultimate house money. The Capitals—the Capitals—who still hold the dubious distinction of having one of the worst squads in pro sports history, in their expansion season, are the Stanley Cup champions after defeating the Vegas Golden Knights 4-3 in Game 5. The Caps beat an expansion team in the Cup Final in its inaugural season.nfl jerseys cheap collection

You can’t make this stuff up.cheap womens nfl jerseys

Forty-four years after entering the NHL and compiling an 8-67-5 record in that 1974-75 season, the Caps are champions of the world. The Vegas fans? Well, there’s always next year and plenty more to come after that.

Vegas couldn’t lose, no matter what happened in this series. It remains one of pro sports’ most unbelievable stories, starting the year with 500-1 odds from the Las Vegas Superbook to win the title. It was preposterous enough for an expansion team to make it all the way to the Stanley Cup Final. It was another thing entirely that a team from Las Vegas did it. The most far-fetched fantasy show on The Strip couldn’t compete with that.official nfl jersey

The city of Las Vegas is still considering throwing a parade for its Golden Knights. And, it should. They might not get the Hollywood movie made about them now, but they’re still big winners and were an inspiration to the community after tragedy struck the city early in the season.nfl womens jerseys cheap

The biggest winners, of course, are those hardcore Capitals fans who stayed with them all the way through that first year. And, there are plenty of them.

The Caps enjoyed periods of success in the ’80s and ’90s, even making it to their only previous Stanley Cup Final in 1998, only to be swept by the Detroit Red Wings. Then, after a few mediocre seasons, they got Alexander Ovechkin with the first pick of the 2004 NHL draft, and by 2008-09, the Caps were a 50-win team.

Carson Wentz Reportedly Expected to Be Ready for Week 1 After Knee Injury

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When the Philadelphia Eagles open the 2018 NFL season against the Atlanta Falcons on Sept. 6, they may be doing so with their star QB under center.

ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, cheap nfl jersey via colleague Adam Schefter, said on Tuesday that he is “starting to believe that Carson Wentz is going to be ready for the opener” based on what he is hearing.

Wentz suffered a season-ending injury in Week 14 last season when he tore his ACL against the Los Angeles Rams. He injured it on a touchdown run that was ultimately called back due to penalty, although he stayed in the game for a couple more plays to finish the drive with a touchdown pass.

At that moment, Philadelphia’s dream season appeared to be all but over. After all, the second-year quarterback was having an MVP-caliber season.

Wentz threw for 3,296 yards with 33 touchdowns and just seven interceptions in 13 games. The former No. 2 overall pick had led his Eagles to an 11-2 record, the best mark in the NFC and enough to clinch the division in the game he went down.cheap nfl authentic jerseys

As easy as it would have been for the team to dwell on the injury and give up on the season, Philadelphia instead embraced the “underdog” role and went on an unbelievable run to win its first-ever Super Bowl championship.

Nick Foles wound up leading the Eagles to an upset victory over Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII, 41-33. The backup’s 373 yards and three touchdowns earned him Super Bowl MVP honors.cheap authentic nfl jerseys

Make no mistake about it, though. There was no quarterback controversy following the Super Bowl run—this was and is Wentz’s team.

Philadelphia listened to offers on Foles with the intention of giving him a chance to start somewhere else if they received an offer they couldn’t refuse. However, no team blew the Eagles away with an offer, so they kept the veteran as an insurance policy for Wentz (while restructuring Foles’ contract to reward him).cheap nfl jerseys from china

Wentz has a long way to go before he is ready to step on the field against NFL defenses, but the 25-year-old has made great strides on the recovery trail. There are still just more than three months until the season kicks off, and if Wentz is for some reason unable to be cleared in time, the Eagles can take the field with a reliable fallback. nfl cheap jerseys

The Biggest Developments from Every NFL Team’s OTAs

The first step in every NFL team’s preparation for the upcoming season is organized team activities (OTAs).

It’s admittedly an early step, nfl jersey for sale with players in shorts and shells, but it can be a big one, too.

It’s a chance for young players to make a first impression on their new teammates. Or an opportunity for veterans to start putting a disappointing and/or injury-marred season squarely in the rearview mirror.

Now that OTAs are starting to wrap up from Arizona to Washington, there’s no shortage of storylines and developments that have emanated from each. Some are promising…others not so much.

Here’s a look at the biggest for each team in the league.clearance nfl jerseys

With the Arizona Cardinals taking a cautious approach with oft-injured veteran Sam Bradford in OTAs, starting reps were opened up for No. 10 overall pick Josh Rosen.

As Darren Urban reported for the Cardinals website, first-year Arizona head coach nike nfl jerseys on sale Steve Wilks has been impressed by what he’s seen from the rookie signal-caller—with one very important caveat.

“This guy is extremely smart,” Wilks said. “I mean, his ability to see certain things from the defense, and pick it up quickly, and execute … I don’t want to say this, but he has the mindset of a vet. The way he sees the game.

“He’s not playing like a vet. Make sure you guys understand that.where to buy nfl jersey  He’s still a rookie, OK? But he sees things, like I said before, through a different lens. And he picks it up quickly.”

Wilks also made it clear that as things stand today, Bradford is the starter. But Rosen’s getting substantial reps that might not otherwise have been available were Bradford not being eased in—reps that could help shorten his learning curve and create a legitimate quarterback controversy later this summer.china nfl jerseys nike