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PHOENIX -- Of course, the NBAs most improved team would have its most improved player. [url=https://www.cheappadresjerseys.us/]

in Weihnachts-Forum von Planet Xmas 21.10.2019 07:16
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PHOENIX -- Of course, the NBAs most improved team would have its most improved player. Padres Jerseys 2020 . Goran Dragic, whose breakout season helped the Phoenix Suns make a remarkable transformation, was presented the most improved award at a ceremony Wednesday at US Airways Center. The 6-foot-3 Slovenian, who turns 28 in two weeks, flourished under first-year coach Jeff Hornaceks double-point guard system, teaming with Eric Bledsoe to form a dynamic backcourt. "Were looking for players who can go out there every night and lay it all out there," Hornacek said, "play through injuries, do everything the coaches ask, play with confidence. Thats what Goran did." Dragic averaged 20.5 points and 5.9 assists per game, shooting 50.5 per cent from the field, 40.8 per cent on 3-pointers. He was the only player in the NBA to shoot better than 50 per cent from the field and 40 per cent from 3-point range. "The main thing was my confidence this year," he said. "I feel that my teammates, they trust me. The coaches trust me. I can play my game, be confident, be tough and then shoot the ball better." Dragic recalled the doubters when he came into the league. "I can remember one quote from a newspaper, somebody said that Im the worst player in the NBA and my last name should not be Dragic but tragic," he said. "That sticks in your head. It sticks in my head. On the practice court, I always have this in my mind." Dragic received 408 of a possible 1,134 points, including 65 first-place votes, from a panel of 126 sports writers and broadcasters in the United States and Canada. Indianas Lance Stephenson was second with 158 points and 13 first-place votes, and New Orleans Anthony Davis third with 155 points and 16 first-place votes. Two other Suns were among the top 10 -- Gerald Green fourth and Markieff Morris 10th. Under Hornacek, who finished second to San Antonios Gregg Popovich for NBA coach of the year, the Suns went from 25-57 in 2012-13 to 48-37 last season, a 23-win improvement, and they barely missed making the playoffs in the tough Western Conference. While the Suns were at their best when Dragic and Bledsoe both played, Dragic had to carry the brunt of the scoring and playmaking load when Bledsoe was out for two months following knee surgery. The left-handed Dragic is in his second stint with Phoenix. He was drafted in 2008 by San Antonio in the second round, the 45th pick overall, then was traded to the Suns for Malik Hairston, the 48th pick. Dragic was groomed to be Steve Nashs successor but just before the trade deadline in February 2011, the Suns sent him to Houston for Aaron Brooks. Brooks languished in Phoenix, and after Nash was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers following the 2011-12 season, the Suns brought Dragic back, signing the free agent to a four-year, $30 million contract. He can opt out of the deal after next season. Dragic and the rest of the Suns struggled through a miserable 2012-13 season, but with the hiring of Hornacek and new general manager Ryan McDonough, everything changed. Hornacek said he could see Dragics emerging leadership when he watched the guard play for the Slovenian national team last summer. "We could tell from watching him that he was in charge of that team and that he has taken that next step," Hornacek said. "Thats the sign of a great player, when he can take his game to another level." Dragic credited the freedom and confidence that Hornacek and his staff gave him and the rest of the team. Now he and the Suns wont be a surprise but will be expected to win. "Next year, of course, theres going to be pressure," Dragic said. "Im not scared of pressure. I always like to take any challenges that you guys (reporters) or guys on opposing teams give me." Dragic was married last off-season and has a new son, Mateo. His wife and son were in the crowd when he was presented the trophy. Asked how he could be so low-key and at ease off the court and such a dynamo on it, he said it was basically a split personality. "Off the court, Im always shy, dont talk much. Im kind of calm," he said. "But on the floor, Im a different guy. I can express my will on the court. Im kind of cocky." He is the third Suns player to win the award, following Kevin Johnson in 1988-89 and Boris Diaw in 2005-06. Wholesale Padres Jerseys .J. -- Pitcher Carl Pavano is retiring after 14 major league seasons. San Diego Padres Store .Mila Kunis was a guest on Kimmel last night and revealed a surprising side of herself that comes out when she watches sports. It turns out screaming something vulgar at professional athletes is therapeutic for Kunis. https://www.cheappadresjerseys.us/ .com) - They didnt meet in the regular season, so Sam Houston State might be saying it won the de facto title game between the two Southland Conference co-champions Saturday.CHICAGO -- Yadier Molina had a simple goal for his ninth-inning at-bat with the bases loaded and the score tied on Sunday. "I was looking not to strike out," he said. After fouling off some tough two-strike pitches, Molina hit a ground-ball single up the middle to drive in two runs and the St. Louis Cardinals snapped out of an offensive funk with a 5-4 victory over the Chicago Cubs. "I got a little lucky that they were playing me to pull," Molina said. "It was a good at-bat. I was able to put the ball in play and good things happened." The defending National League champions had lost four of five to fall a game below .500. The Cardinals scored all their runs with two outs. Molina, moved into the No. 2 spot to jump start the lineup, was 0 for 4 before coming through in the ninth. But it was a wild pitch in the seventh inning that allowed the Cubs to tie the score at 3 that had Molina more frustrated. The pitch from reliever Carlos Martinez was in the dirt and trickled through Molinas legs, allowing Luis Valbuena to score. "I was there," Molina said. "I dont know. Its one of those things. I was ready for it and the ball still goes through my legs." Kevin Siegrist (1-1) got the win in relief, while Trevor Rosenthal picked up his eighth save in as many opportunities despite a scare in the ninth inning. Hector Randon (0-1) took the loss for the Cubs, who were attempting to win four straight games for the first time since July. While Cardinals manager Mike Matheny had looked for Molina, one of his hottest hitters, to get the offence going, it was a couple of struggling batters at the bottom of the lineup that got things started early. With two outs in the second inning and Jhonny Peralta on first base, Randal Grichuk drilled a triple into the right-centre field gap for a 1-0 lead. Mark Ellis, who went 3 for 4, followed with a double to left-centre to make it 2-0. Both Grichuk (.167) and Ellis (.143) entered hittingg well below . Stitched Padres Jerseys. 200. St. Louis stretched the lead to 3-0 in the third as Matt Adams doubled home Matt Holiday. The Cubs pulled within 3-2 in the fourth with some clutch two-out hitting. With one out, Ryan Kalish singled and John Baker walked. After a groundout moved the runners to second and third, Cubs starter Jason Hammel singled to right to drive in both. Molinas go-ahead single to centre came on the sixth pitch of the at-bat from Randon. "I thought I made a good pitch today, but something happened," Randon said. Molina seemed more relieved that the wild pitch wasnt a factor than he drove in the game-deciding runs. "(Molina) does a good job of not wearing his emotions and how frustrating that is for him," Matheny said. "Its hard to count the number of balls he keeps in front of him, the number of runs he saves. Its something we dont take for granted." Valbuena doubled in a run with two outs in the ninth to make it 5-4, but Rosenthal got Anthony Rizzo to ground out to end the game. "Guys kept grinding it out," Cubs manager Rick Renteria said. "We just fell a little short." NOTES: The ESPN broadcast team of Dan Shulman and John Kruk worked from the bleachers. ... While making a rehab start Sunday with Double A Springfield, LHP Jaime Garcia (shoulder) was hit by a pitch on the left elbow and left after two innings and 28 pitches. "I think they went in and took precautionary X-rays," Matheny said. "I havent heard anything back yet." ... In the same game, RHP Jason Motte threw a scoreless inning, striking out three, in his first rehab outing. ... Rizzo entered with a .429 on-base percentage, which was fifth-best in the National League. ... The Cards open a series in Atlanta on Monday, with RHP Shelby Miller (3-2) facing RHP Aaron Harang, while the Cubs host the crosstown White Sox with RHP Jeff Samardzija (0-3) going up against LHP Jose Quintana (1-2). ' ' '

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