Category: NBA JERSEYS

Ben Simmons calls 76ers ‘too soft’ after loss to Hawks; Jimmy Butler disagrees

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In November, Simmons also used “soft” to describe his team — and Embiid agreed — after a 25-point loss to the Brooklyn Nets, though that was before the Sixers completed a major trade to acquire swingman Jimmy Butler from the Minnesota Timberwolves.cheap wholesale nike nfl jerseys

Butler would not go as far as Simmons did Friday night and took issue with his teammate’s choice of words.

“I don’t like the word ‘soft,'” Butler said, and added a whistle. “I just don’t think that we did what we were supposed to do. I’m not gonna say that anybody’s soft. I just think that we got beat in every aspect of the game. They came out from the jump and did what they wanted to do, and they did that for 48 straight minutes.”

“I hope we’re still together,” Butler said. “Nobody pointing fingers at anybody.”10

Simmons, who had 23 points, 15 assists and 10 rebounds, wasn’t naming names, but said he wanted to see more physicality from the entire team.cheap nfl jerseys from china nike

“I just don’t think we’re physical enough. I think defensively, we’re not taking it personal enough when guys score on us. It should be a pride thing when somebody scores; you should be frustrated every time,” he said.

“I think that comes with age — we have a lot of young guys — but at the same time, I think we have to expect more from each other to get better and get to that next level. ‘Cause I know once playoff time comes, it’s another level.”

Asked whether he had spoken with his teammates about the issue, Simmons said: “We know. We know we gotta be more physical.

“We have to take it as a challenge. You don’t wanna come out on the floor and have guys go at you every game. You wanna make that a pride thing. You wanna come out and get stops and lock down your man. And that’s everybody, including me.”

The November trade of Butler to join fellow stars Simmons and Embiid hasn’t gone as smoothly as the Sixers had hoped. Embiid at times has complained about his role in Philly’s offense, and Butler recently challenged coach Brett

Kyrie Irving says desire to win was root of frustration after loss to Magic

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“I never want to come from a place where I don’t want to sound like, or make it feel like, I don’t want to win a championship. Sometimes I may come off and say things, never to question my teammates in public like that ever again; I just want to win so bad,” Irving said on Monday at the Celtics’ shootaround.

After Boston’s loss Saturday, Irving said his team’s lack of experience was a factor in Boston falling short of preseason expectations.

The Celtics (25-17) are in fifth place in the Eastern Conference entering Monday’s game against the Brooklyn Nets. They will play Monday without Irving (quad injury) and Marcus Smart (illness).cheap nfl jerseys from china nike

Many considered Boston the favorite to win the Eastern Conference after LeBron James signed with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Irving on Saturday suggested his team — which features several key contributors who lack championship experience — was feeling the burden of expectations this season.9

“It came from a place where I asked for a trade and I’m coming here and I believe in this organization and I want these young guys to be successful,” Irving, who won a title with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016, said on Monday of his postgame critique. “In order to that, we all got to be on the same page and have that mindset that, a championship or nothing. And sometimes that can get the best of me at times.”

With Irving and Gordon Hayward sidelined with injuries, Boston reached the Eastern Conference finals last season. Younger Celtics such as Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Terry Rozier and Smart played key roles in the team’s run last season.

Boston coach Brad Stevens agreed that the increased expectations may be affecting the group. Although he noted that, internally, last year’s team expected to compete for a conference title despite the injuries to Irving and Hayward.

“It takes a lot of teams a long time to get there, some teams never get there,” Stevens said. “We’ll see if this team does from a [consistency] basis. But we’ve shown that we have a chance, so that’s good.”

Irving said it’s the responsibility of the entire organization to help the younger players deal with the burden of title expectations.cheap wholesale nike nfl jerseys

“But I’m leading this thing,” said Irving, who is likely to opt out of the final year of his contract in 2019-20 and become a free agent this summer. “I’m going to take most of it.”

Siakam, Leonard lead Raptors to a huge road win in Milwaukee

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The Milwaukee Bucks’ campaign to clinch the regular-season series against the Raptors fell short on Saturday. The Raptors were able to hold off Giannis Antetokounmpo’s 43 points and 18 rebounds, including three 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, and pull out a 123-116 win after trailing by as many as 10 points in the first half.

“We had a double-digit lead,” Antetokounmpo said after the game. “We gave it away. Then, we came back in the third quarter. We didn’t play hard. We didn’t move the ball. Not rotating defensively.”china nike nfl jerseys cheap

It was the first time the Bucks had lost at home to an Eastern Conference team this season and the first time they lost to the Raptors; Milwaukee won the first two matchups.
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After the game, a shirtless Antetokounmpo soaked his feet in a large ice bucket and stared at his iPhone for upwards of 20 minutes — his routine after losses. No Bucks player has had a 40-point, 15-rebound game since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1975, but still the loss nagged at him. Every few minutes, he would look up and mention a certain play to Thon Maker before returning to scrolling.

“This night is not going to change who we are,” Antetokounmpo said. “We still feel like we are one of the best teams in the NBA.“nfl cheap jerseys nike

The Bucks and the Fiserv Forum crowd held up their end of what could become a playoffs rivalry. Fans donning white, green and yellow Bucks jerseys stood shoulder to shoulder in Fiserv Forum’s standing-room-only sections, craning their necks to watch Eric Bledsoe steals and Antetokounmpo dunks over their Eastern Conference foe. They vehemently booed Toronto center Serge Ibaka after he blocked an attempted dunk from Antetokounmpo.
In the first matchup between the Bucks and Raptors, Antetokounmpo and Kawhi Leonard did not play. It was a back-to-back for Toronto, and Antetokounmpo was in the league’s concussion protocol. Backup power forward Ersan Ilyasova led seven Bucks in double figures with 19 points in a 124-109 October win in Milwaukee. The second time the teams saw each other, Toronto point guard Kyle Lowry missed all five shots in a 34-minute, scoreless performance that saw the Bucks escape with a 104-99 December road win.

In this third matchup, the Raptors were without Lowry (back) and backup center Jonas Valanciunas (dislocated thumb). Milwaukee maintained control of the game for the first quarter, but by halftime, their once-double-digit lead had been whittled down to just one point. Sterling Brown’s 3-pointer ignited an 8-0 run to bring the Bucks back within four before a quick five points from Siakam pushed the Raptors’ lead back to nine. Toronto shot 56 percent from the field after Milwaukee took a 47-37 lead with 5:41 left in the first half.

Warriors, Kings set 3-point record in ‘incredible offensive display’

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The Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings combined for an NBA-record 41 3-pointers during Saturday night’s 127-123 Warriors win at Golden 1 Center.

It marked the first game in NBA history in which both teams made at least 20 3-pointers; the Warriors went 21-for-47, and the Kings went 20-for-36.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr was happy with the result and said his team knows that shooting from distance has become the new normal around the league.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

The Warriors and Kings eclipsed the previous mark of 40 3-pointers, set in a February 2018 game between the Minnesota Timberwolves (19) and the Cleveland Cavaliers (21).9

Warriors star Kevin Durant said he did not believe the 3-point barrage the league has seen in recent years will continue much longer.china nike nfl jerseys cheap

“It’s fast,” Durant said of the current pace. “I’d rather play inside the 3-point line, but you got to adapt. I think a lot of players have adapted their games and changed how they play. But I don’t see this lasting too much longer.”

Why not?

“Just the volume of 3s,” Durant said. “The way the game is played, pick-up style. It will cease here in a second, but I think a lot of guys are just adjusting their games to the times. It’s fun for the fans, it’s fun for us at times. But it’s also tough to watch and tough to play against. But hey, that’s what we signed up for.”

The Kings, whose 20 3s set a franchise record, fell short down the stretch in a game that had 18 lead changes.

Popovich exercising patience as Spurs navigate uneven start to season

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So when the embarrassing San Antonio Spurs losses stacked early in December the way the sweaty jerseys piled on the floor of the locker room after their 108-101 setback Saturday at the hands of the Houston Rockets, the organization seemed almost flippant in not displaying even the slightest hint of frustration.

Step 2 in this process involves the players justifying Popovich’s faith by continuing to make strides toward achieving continuity through trust in one another and familiarity from time spent together on and off the court. Despite the loss to the Rockets, the Spurs believe they’re getting there.cheap nfl nike jerseys china

With 10 new players on the roster (counting two-way players), San Antonio appears to be trending toward its consistency of old.

“We’ve gotten better for sure,” LaMarcus Aldridge said after finishing with 18 points and six rebounds. “We’re playing a better brand of basketball. I think we’ve learned how to play with each other.”8

Until the third quarter of Saturday’s game, that certainly appeared to be the case. San Antonio built an early seven-point lead in the second quarter, and led at intermission 43-41 despite shooting just 38.6 percent from the field and 33.3 percent from range.

But Houston changed the complexion of the game in the third quarter with a high-powered display from long range. Houston knocked down nine 3-pointers in the third quarter, which ranked as its most long-range connections of any quarter so far this season. The Rockets drained 69.2 percent of those attempts, outscoring San Antonio 43-26 in the quarter to go up 84-69 at the buzzer on Gary Clark’s 25-footer. Houston jumped out to an 18-9 run over the first six minutes of the quarter.

Eric Gordon then handed Houston its largest lead of the night (17 points) just 15 seconds into the fourth quarter on a driving layup.

Still, San Antonio found a way to cut through the deficit to go up 97-96 with 3:03 left to play on a Rudy Gay 3-pointer off an assist from DeMar DeRozan.buy nike nfl jerseys cheap

“We stayed in it and fought,” said DeRozan, who led the Spurs with 28 points and eight assists. “We had a chance. It came down to a couple of rebounds. I thought we could’ve taken advantage of the one-point lead. We fought. We’ve got to be happy about that. But we can’t have the start in third quarter like we had.”

The Spurs also can’t afford to be outworked on the boards the way they were in this one. Houston held the rebounding edge 58-43, but where that showed up most was in second-chance scoring. The Rockets scored 26 second-chance points to San Antonio’s seven.

Al Horford returns for Celtics just as Boston searches for consistency

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Any discussion about the Boston Celtics over this holiday weekend was centered around the team meeting that took place after Friday’s dismal showing at home against the Milwaukee Bucks.

There was plenty more talk about it after the Celtics came out and blew the doors off the Charlotte Hornets Sunday night, winning 119-103 here at TD Garden in a game that wasn’t nearly that close. But what had a far bigger impact on the Celtics than a team meeting — both Sunday night and moving forward — was the return of Al Horford after a seven-game absence with a knee injury.
Horford has always been a player, going back to his first days in the league with the Atlanta Hawks more than a decade ago, who has filled in whatever gaps his team has needed him to. That’s no different in Boston, where Horford provides the Celtics with both elite passing and spacing at the center spot offensively — not to mention marshaling a defense that once again ranks among the NBA’s best.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

His presence was a big part of why the Celtics beat the Bucks here in Boston on Nov. 1 — and it was no coincidence things were much different without him spacing the floor and contorting Milwaukee’s defense Friday night. Ditto Boston’s mastery over the Philadelphia 76ers the past two years — and why his return, coming on the eve of Boston’s rematch with Philadelphia in a Christmas Day showdown, couldn’t have come at a better time as far as the Celtics are concerned.7

“It’s tough when there are so many guys in and out of the lineup and so many things [changing],” Horford said. “It puts a lot of pressure on some of our guys, so it’s just good we’re getting healthy. Marcus Morris being back, that’s huge for us, me being back obviously. [Aron] Baynes is out now but at least we are getting healthy again, so that is all going to help our offense, and help our team.”cheap nfl nike jerseys china

There have been plenty of things contributing to Boston’s wild swings back and forth throughout this season thus far. Arguably the biggest, though, has been Horford’s play. When he plays well — as he did in Boston’s run to the brink of the NBA Finals last season without Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward — the Celtics are a far different team. This season, though, he has looked hampered by his balky knee, which Boston labeled as patellofemoral pain syndrome during his recent seven-game hiatus.

Between Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid, Milwaukee’s Brook Lopez, Toronto’s Serge Ibaka and Jonas Valanciunas, and Indiana’s Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis, each of the other contenders in the East has weapons at the pivot that Boston will need Horford to square off against — and, often, get the better of — if the Celtics want to be the team they were expected to be before this season began.

Giannis Antetokounmpo’s 44 tie career high, shed taste of sour loss

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Giannis Antetokounmpo had not let Wednesday’s loss to the Indiana Pacers go when he took the court in Cleveland on Friday night.cheap nike nfl jerseys china

Using his performance in Indianapolis as fuel, Antetokounmpo exploded for 44 points, tying his career high, to lift the Milwaukee Bucks past the Cleveland Cavaliers.10

“I think he’s a competitor — he wants to be great,” coach Mike Budenholzer said after the 114-102 victory. “Anytime he doesn’t meet the standards and expectations he sets for himself, the next game he is going to come out with a very aggressive mindset.”
Against the Pacers, Antetokounmpo scored just 12 points on a season-low seven shot attempts. Afterward, he sat for nearly 20 minutes in silence, staring at his phone and icing his feet and knees, reflecting on the game.

On Thursday afternoon, he slunk away from practice in Indianapolis and shut himself away to watch film with Budenholzer.

He showed up at Quicken Loans Arena early Friday night to get in an extended pregame workout. He was the first player ready to tip off and the first man in a Bucks uniform out on the court after the halftime break.

Against Cleveland, Antetokounmpo was looking to score from the get-go, scoring his first points off a dunk. With Khris Middleton (finger) and Malcolm Brogdon (hamstring soreness) out of Milwaukee’s lineup, Antetokounmpo played 38 minutes.

When Antetokounmpo rested in the third quarter, the Cavaliers were able to go on a 10-0 run to slice the Bucks’ once-commanding lead to seven points.nike nfl jerseys cheap paypal

“It’s a game I had to put in the past,” Antetokounmpo said of Wednesday’s showing. “Today was a great win for us. We have to keep building, keep getting better.”

Pushes, scowls erupt in OKC rout of Chicago; cooler heads prevail

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An otherwise ho-hum blowout by the Oklahoma City Thunder over the Chicago Bulls became suddenly tense Monday night when a squabble spilled over into courtside fans and players and coaches tried to separate the teams.

It started with Russell Westbrook and Kris Dunn in the third quarter of the Thunder’s 121-96 win, as Westbrook and Dunn traded contact, to which Dunn responded with a shove. Thunder forward Jerami Grant then ran over and confronted Dunn and Bulls big men Robin Lopez and Bobby Portis arrived to interject. Lopez then lightly head-butted Grant as they spilled into the first row of courtside seats, and Grant pulled Lopez down into the fans.

“I’m just trying to get people out of the way,” Boylen said. “I saw [Grant] come across the court and into the pile. I have nothing against Grant. I’m just trying to get him out of the way. I could tell he was upset. I’m just trying to help, just trying to help guys. There’s no … as a coach, you’re kind of looking out for everybody. I’ve been in a couple of those before and you’re just trying to get people away.”buy nike nfl jerseys cheap

Said Grant, when asked if he had an issue with Boylen grabbing him: “Trying to protect his team. Yeah. Pretty much it … it’s a scuffle. Stuff is going to happen.”9

It was an unusual scene with the potential to escalate into a bad situation, as Lopez was highly agitated and aggressively going after Grant, all while being right in front of the first row of fans.

“It felt like I got twisted and flipped a little by someone by that bench there,” Lopez said. “I don’t know. After that, something happened.“cheap nike nfl jerseys china

There were four technicals assessed for the tussle, two to each side — Westbrook and Grant, Dunn and Lopez.

“Man,” Westbrook said when asked if he was surprised to receive a technical. “Next question.”

Westbrook recorded his seventh triple-double of the season with 13 points, 16 rebounds and 11 assists but was not interested in discussing the incident.

“Next question,” he said when asked about his reaction to Boylen’s grabbing Grant.

Boylen, who recently took over for Fred Hoiberg and made headlines with his practice approach and objective to reset the Bulls culture, said he liked to see his team not back down.

“That’s all we’ve been talking about is fighting for each other, and we talk about being a pack of wolves, man,” Boylen said. “I thought we had some of that. I liked the look in our guys’ eyes when that happened. It bonded them a little bit. That’s what we’ve been talking about. Those things are going to come up again, it happens in the league. I think we’ll be ready for it next time to handle it even better.”

LeBron James gets logic of critiques by Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant about his workload

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Johnson, the Lakers’ president of basketball operations, made his comments to SiriusXM NBA Radio last week after ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported that advanced scouts were noticing that James was running point more and more for the Lakers, taking the ball out of point guard Lonzo Ball’s hands and frequently running the offense without consulting Lakers coach Luke Walton possession by possession.

Bryant chimed in Monday at the Lakers’ annual “All-Access” event when he credited James for righting the ship but said he sees that style of play as merely a temporary solution.nfl nike jerseys cheap china

Walton is playing James 34.7 minutes per game, which would be a career low for the 16-year veteran. The coach explained months ago that his plan is to manage James for the long run, making sure the four-time MVP can be at his best when the Lakers’ championship window opens. James signed a four-year, $154 million deal to come to L.A. in July.10

James, while conceptually behind the plan, sometimes balks at the minutes restriction. For instance, he sat the entire fourth quarter of L.A.’s 120-96 blowout win over the Phoenix Suns on Sunday, finishing with 22 points in 31 minutes, but he doesn’t think that little extra rest does him much good.nike nfl jerseys wholesale cheap

“It doesn’t matter,” James said. “Like you guys asked me the other day, ‘Do you feel better after playing 30 minutes compared to playing 40 minutes?’ It’s like, ‘No.’ I work myself all year round to get in tip-top shape all year round. I don’t stop. So I can do whatever. I mean, I played a Game 7 of the Finals and I damn near played every minute. Last year I played every single game. Every single game. So, you know, you can kind of slice it how you want it, but I understand what Magic and Kobe are saying, and we have to continue to develop these guys because if we don’t, then long-term, what does that do for our franchise?”

“I understand the logic behind it,” James said. “I understand what Magic and Kobe are saying because we want to continue to grow the young guys. We want to see how much our young guys can grow and be the best they can be. I mean, Magic and Kobe know who I am. I know who I am. They know what they’re going to get out of me.

“That is, you know what you’re going to get out of me every game. Am I going to play well every game? Am I going to shoot the ball well every game? No. But you know who I am, and when it’s time to — when it’s really, really, really money time, you know who is going to be there. So we got guys who just want to continue to develop and guys that continue to get better and better just from experience. They haven’t had a lot of experience. So I think people are trying to blow it out of proportion, like, ‘OK, why do you have LeBron if you don’t want to use him?’ They don’t understand the logic behind it.”

Inside Pascal Siakam’s 6,000-mile journey to Raptors stardom

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Brown aims to body up this long drink of sinew and muscle and bone, but he errs by a half second to take measure of the Raptors’ animated big man. Siakam seizes on that glint of hesitation, unleashing a 360-degree spin move that is too quick, too fast, too explosive for Brown to counteract.

Siakam whirls to the basket, leaving Brown — and an incredulous Garden crowd — dumbfounded. “I’m so quick with it,” Pascal says, “it’s hard to recover from it.“cheap nike nfl jerseys from china

Like that spin move, Siakam’s career is exploding at warp speed, his trajectory as limitless as those long arms that afford him a 7-foot-3 wing span. Toronto has burst out of the blocks with a 20-4 mark, tops in the Eastern Conference, and while the chatter has rightfully centered on the blockbuster trade that netted the Raptors supernova Kawhi Leonard and valued veteran Danny Green, new head coach Nick Nurse, who traversed the country charting the offseason workouts of his players, came to an additional conclusion. “I knew,” Nurse says, “that Pascal would be a focal point for us.”9

Siakam’s NBA ascent has been astonishing, beginning in 2016 when he arrived as a raw 22-year-old whose energy and athleticism landed him in the starting lineup after Jared Sullinger, signed to be the team’s power forward, was injured.

For a Cameroonian kid who didn’t start playing organized basketball until he was nearly 18, Siakam’s rise through the ranks was almost too good to be true. It was. One day, Siakam recalls, Toronto president Masai Ujuri informed him he would be playing for the Raptors’ D League (now G League) affiliate that night.

Siakam swallowed his disappointment and reported to the Raptors 905. “Only one night,” he told himself. “You can do this.” But one night turned into a D League road trip, leaving Siakam a world away from the comforts of the NBA. He was angry, hurt, confused — but silent. What did he do wrong? He knew this much: It didn’t matter.

What he did from that moment on would define or derail his future with the team. “It was definitely my lowest point,” Siakam says, “but I’m built for moments like that. This is how my life has gone. I’ve always had to fight through everything.”

He snatched MVP honors with the Raptors 905, then emerged as a key cog in the Raptor’s Bench Mob last season. His game is a montage of motion and effort and explosiveness, the only missing component a reliable perimeter presence. “I can’t wait until I’m an elite shooter,” Siakam said in March.nfl nike jerseys cheap china

No matter that Siakam was statistically one of the worst 3-point shooter in the NBA last season. His effective field goal percentage, according to ESPN Stats & Information research, was 26 percent below that of an average player — far and away the lowest of anyone in the league.