Connect with us


NBA Playoffs 2021 – Chris Paul couldn’t have come up with a better scenario for the Phoenix Suns



Chris Paul plans.

He was planning when he forced a trade out of New Orleans a decade ago. He was planning when he creatively used a contract option to come to Houston. He was planning when he was helping change an obscure age rule in the collective agreement that would give him the opportunity to earn tens of millions of dollars in extra pay.

Even in the moments after Paul’s Phoenix Suns finished a 123-98 dreshing of the visiting Denver Nuggets to take a 2-0 lead in their second round of the Western Conference on Wednesday, Paul had planned. In the locker room, knowing the Nuggets were coming back from trailing 3-1 twice last season, he got his teammates to think about Game 3 on Friday night in Denver. Paul shared stories of beating the San Antonio Spurs 2-0 in New Orleans in 2008, only to lose in seven games.

But even on his rosiest drawing board, he probably couldn’t have seen the situation developing.

The Suns have won five playoff games in a row and seem to get stronger with each win. His longstanding opponents fall off the board. Stephen Curry is at home. LeBron James is home. Injuries are on the rise across the league and this time the one Paul had in the playoffs – his shoulder spike that almost ruined that run before it started – appears to be healed.

2 relatives

The suns are healthy and play great as a group. In both games of the second round, five players scored double digits.

People all over the league are starting to talk about how this could be Paul’s best shot ever in an NBA final. It may be premature to say that his Rockets team were 3-2 ahead of the Golden State Warriors in the conference finals before a hamstring sidelined three years ago.

But after the routine disappointments with the LA Clippers and the disappointments and near-misses in Houston, this Rising Sun series feels like the most unexpected playoff situation in Paul’s career.

“I’ll tell you,” said Paul after scoring 17 points with 15 assists and no losses in Game 2. “I’ve really never been on a team like this before.”

Working with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Paul had several hopes when selecting a trading destination this past off-season. He wanted to be close to his family in Los Angeles, have good weather and the chance to play alongside a star; he would have that in Devin Booker. Represented by the same agency, Booker desperately sought help.

“I’m done not making the playoffs,” Booker said three years ago after a 21-61 season with Phoenix. “I’m serious.”

After a perfect 8-0 in the Orlando, Florida bubble to narrowly miss the 2020 playoffs, the Suns were on the up mobile – but they weren’t seen as real contenders. Various people in their fan base and organization may have come to this conclusion as this particular season unfolded, but now that it is actually happening, Paul basks in the position he found himself in.

Booker was the star he believed in, with his 47-point closeout game beating defending champions Los Angeles Lakers being the gem so far. Paul can’t believe how effective his teammates are at shooting. Jae Crowder, Mikal Bridges, Dario Saric, Cameron Johnson and Cameron Payne illuminate the opponents from the outside.

Paul, who was the centerpiece of Lob City with the Clippers and an offensive juggernaut in Houston, said he had never seen anything like it.

“Everyone shoots,” said Paul. “You don’t have to try to find a specific guy [on our team] are knockdown shooters. “



Chris Paul connects with Deandre Ayton for a roaring two-handed slam.

During that winning streak in five post-season games, Paul has 53 assists and four turns. That’s 53-4. With his better shoulder – he couldn’t even try long shots for several games in the preliminary round – he made 14 of 24 shots and 4 of 5 3-point throws in this series. His two threesomes on Wednesday were fourth quarter daggers.

“He plays games better than anyone I’ve ever seen,” said Suns coach Monty Williams. “For me this is not a matter of course, for our team it is not a matter of course.”

It is dangerous to believe that this fairy tale will go on; Paul’s playoff career has been a long series of unexpected setbacks. But it is also in man’s nature to watch him at the age of 36 and wonder if a bit of karma is going his way.

Outwardly Paul will not allow it; he’s shot literally dozen of commercials about insurance covering unexpected disasters. But inside he can probably see the road ahead and begin to feel some warmth.

“We’re cool,” said Paul. “We have people who understand the moment.”

Source * – * Source link


Montreal Canadiens coach Dominique Ducharme symptom-free, hopes to return in days



montreal canadiens coach dominique ducharme symptom free, hopes to return in

MONTREAL – Canadien’s interim coach Dominique Ducharme said on Sunday that he had remained symptom-free two days after testing positive for COVID-19 and that he hopes to be back behind the bench during the Stanley Cup semi-final series in Montreal against Vegas.

Ducharme wore a dark blue collared Canadiens shirt, white hair and a familiar short stubble on his chin and spoke to reporters from an unknown location during a 12-minute video conference, his first comments since his mandatory isolation.

“I wish I could be on the rink now. I don’t feel any different than I did a week ago,” said Ducharme as the Canadiens prepared to host Vegas in Game 4 on Sunday night.

Montreal has a 2-1 lead in the series, Game 5 in Vegas is scheduled for Tuesday. If necessary, Game 6 will be played in Montreal on Thursday and Game 7 in Vegas on Saturday.

1 relatives

Ducharme was asked if he would have to spend 14 days in isolation.

“I’m confident I’ll be back before that,” he said.

Ducharme said he was fully vaccinated against the coronavirus and would end the two-week waiting period after his second vaccination on Wednesday.

It is unclear whether 48-year-old Ducharme will be able to return at this point.

“Until then, nothing has been confirmed. The organization is in contact with the authorities. It is a unique situation. We have been isolated since December,” said Ducharme in French.

Ducharme said no one he had contact with, including his girlfriend, tested positive. He said he was following NHL COVID-19 protocols when the Canadiens traveled to Vegas last week to open the series.

The Canadiens were restricted to certain areas of their Vegas hotel and had to take the bus to and from the ice rink.

Montreal, a member of the NHL’s Canadian North Division, is the only Canadian team to cross the line this season after teams were restricted to play within the division in the second round of the playoffs.

“It’s frustrating because I did everything you asked us to. I never exposed myself. I was so unlucky,” said Ducharme, who is in daily contact with his team and employees by phone and video call.

This is the second straight postseason that Montreal assistant Luke Richardson has had to step in in an emergency. Last summer, Richardson and former assistant coach Kirk Muller shared coaching duties after Claude Julien was hospitalized with chest pain after the first game of the Montreal-Philadelphia first-round series.

Julien missed the rest of the playoffs and resumed coaching that season before being sacked and replaced by Ducharme on February 24th.

It was difficult for Ducharme to watch out of isolation as the Canadiens recovered in Game 3 on Friday with a 3-2 win in extra time after two one-goal deficits.

“You feel helpless to watch and hope for the best. It’s a strange situation,” said Ducharme. “A special situation, but it was a special year. We’ve been through a lot. And we’ll get through that.”

The Canadiens had the worst record of the NHL’s 16 playoff qualifiers before upsetting Toronto and Winnipeg in the first two rounds.

The Golden Knights have already seen this scenario this postseason. Colorado Avalanche coach Jared Bednar missed a morning skate due to a COVID-19 test irregularity and was released in time to coach in Game 6 of the second round series against Vegas.

Source * – * Source link

Continue Reading


Brooklyn Nets Guardian Spencer Dinwiddie wants to turn down the $ 12.3 million player option



brooklyn nets guardian spencer dinwiddie wants to turn down the

Brooklyn Nets Guardian Spencer Dinwiddie plans to turn down the $ 12.3 million player option on his 2021-22 contract and become an unrestricted free agent before the deadline on Monday, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Dinwiddie missed most of the season with a cruciate ligament injury in his right knee and appeared in just three games. He tried to possibly get back to the NBA final, but the Nets were eliminated by the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference semifinals on Saturday.

Dinwiddie, 28, has had a history of ACL injuries. During his junior year in Colorado, Dinwiddie tore his left ACL in one game and missed the rest of the season.

1 relatives

Dinwiddie was a key player for Brooklyn last season, starting in 49 games when Kyrie Irving and Caris LeVert were out injured. He averaged 20.6 points and 6.8 assists in the 2019-20 season but was diagnosed with COVID-19 in late June and did not travel to Orlando with the Nets to restart the season.

The 6-foot-5 Dinwiddie has averaged 12.9 points and 5.0 assists over portions of seven seasons with the Nets and Detroit Pistons.

Source * – * Source link

Continue Reading


The Uganda Olympic trainer tests positive for Covid after arriving in Japan



Uganda Olympic Committee President Donald Rukare said the unnamed trainer had no symptoms. It is not yet clear whether the trainer, who is in a government facility, will be banned from participating or sent home.

The entire Ugandan Olympic delegation, which includes 26 athletes and 30 staff, has been fully vaccinated with two syringes of AstraZeneca, Rukare said.

Many received their second dose of the vaccine this month, about three months after receiving their first dose, Rukare said.

The eight others who arrived with the Covid-positive trainer have traveled to Izumisano City in Osaka Prefecture, where they will be housed, according to Izumisano City official Hideo Takagaki. Rukare said the octet is in a bubble and is being tested daily.

Japan's leading Covid-19 advisor says holding the Olympics without spectators is "he wishes"

More athletes and employees of the Ugandan Olympic team are expected to arrive in Japan in the coming days.

Ugandans are among the first to arrive in Japan ahead of the Tokyo Olympics amid security concerns as the country battles a fourth wave of Covid-19. The Asian host nation has fully vaccinated less than 7% of its population, and doctors are warning that an Olympic super-spreader event could bring Japan’s overburdened medical system to the brink. At least 10,000 of the 80,000 people who have signed up for help with the Games have already stopped, and Japan’s top coronavirus advisor said Friday that hosting the Olympics with no spectators would be “desirable”. Uganda’s Olympic athletes are some of the first people in the African nation to receive the vaccine – Uganda has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the world, with only 2 doses per 100 people. The country of 45 million people is currently battling a second wave with reported cases up 130% in the first two weeks of June. Uganda also has a relatively high test positive rate, with 19% of tests being positive according to Johns Hopkins University, suggesting that authorities are not covering all Covid-19 cases. This week has the Uganda Rugby Union tweeted that the Sevens national team withdrew from an Olympic qualifier in Monaco after reporting Covid-19 cases within the team.

Source * – * Source link

Continue Reading

Trending News