Dolphins’ Landry says SEC prepared him for NFL

Rookie receiver Vonta Leach Youth Jersey Jarvis Landry says the NFL’s not much different from the Southeastern Conference, and his rapid progress with the Miami Dolphins suggests he might be right.
The former Louisiana State star was promoted to the first team on the depth chart this week, solidifying his status after he was one of three starting wideouts in the past two games.

Landry’s ascent is especially impressive because receiver was the Dolphins’ deepest position in training camp. Among those he overtook was Brandon Gibson, a six-year veteran with 211 career catches.

”I’m not satisfied,” Landry said. ”I continue to work like somebody is in front of me. Who takes the field first doesn’t matter. It’s about the guy who makes the plays.”

Landry has become that kind of guy. He enters Sunday’s game at Jacksonville ranked second on the team to Mike Wallace with 22 catches for 232 yards, and scored his first career touchdown in Game 5 against Green Bay. Landry has been targeted as often as Brian Hartline, a 1,000-yard receiver each of the past two years and with better results.
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For the Dolphins, who have endured a succession of draft busts in recent years, Landry is a rare rookie. But he came into the NFL confident he could succeed.

”That’s me,” he said. ”That’s one of the edges I play with.”

While Landry benefited from self-assurance, some doubted his speed when the Dolphins took him in the second round. But he has showed explosiveness on kickoff returns with runbacks of 74, 54 and 35 yards, and ranks second in the league with an average D.J. Hayden Authentic Jersey of 31.2 on 15 returns.
Playing for the Dolphins isn’t much different than playing for LSU, Landry said. And that doesn’t surprise him.

”The SEC got me ready for the game speed and the caliber of guys I would face week in and week out,” he said.

Even so, Landry said his rookie season has been an education.

”I’m just always constantly learning and picking up on little things, even from defensive guys,” he said.

Landry was part of the most prolific receiving tandem in LSU history. The other half of that duo, his close friend Odell Beckham Jr., missed the start of the season with a hamstring injury but has three touchdown catches as a rookie with the New York Giants.

”I’ve been talking to him,” Landry said. ”On FaceTime we talk as much as we can about how crazy it has been, and how fun it is. We’re both thankful for the opportunity.”

New teammate Wallace has Louisiana ties, too – he’s a native of New Orleans. He and Landry have quickly bonded.
”That’s my brother, man,” Wallace said. ”We work hard in the weight room. We’ve got to bring the pain to them before they get to us. We’re going to do that throughout the year, try to impose our will.”

Landry said he’s learning to match Wallace’s intensity on game day.

”Us Louisiana boys get a little riled up,” Landry said.

He complements the speedy Wallace with a physical style and willingness to catch the ball in traffic, which has made him effective in the slot.

Over the past three games, Landry has caught 14 of the 17 passes directed his way. Such efficiency has been a boost to the Dolphins (3-3), who have averaged nearly 30 points during that span.

Landry won praise on many fronts from coach Joe Philbin.

”His play speed is really outstanding,” Philbin said Thursday. ”He plays fast. He’s decisive. He’s displayed good hands. He’s dependable. He can go across the middle. There’s a term we like to use: He’s a football player. The opportunities he’s had, he has taken advantage Jerod Mayo Womens Jersey of. We like what he’s done. His upside is good.”

Landry said there’s still room for improvement, and he smiled when asked about his potential.

”As the offense goes, I go,” he said. ”The sky is the limit for the offense. Include me in it.”


Trading Percy Harvin was right move

Former Seattle Seahawks Brad Nortman Jersey wide receiver Sidney Rice, who made an appearance in the team’s locker room Wednesday, said he believes trading Percy Harvin was the right thing to do.
“I was surprised, but at the same time, it may have been the best thing for the team,” Rice said. “It’s tough losing a guy like Percy. He’s one of a kind. The league has never seen a player like Percy Harvin.
“But there are certain things you’ve http://www.nhlshoponline.us.com/nhl-jerseys/anaheim-ducks_c-1729.html got to do to get the ball in his hands and it’s tough. It takes away from what this team was built upon and that’s Marshawn Lynch. I think now they will get back on track. I think it will end up being the best thing for both Percy and Seattle. I’m sure there’s no bad blood.”
Rice and Harvin played together in Minnesota in 2009-10 before Rice signed with Seattle in 2011. They were teammates again last season in Seattle.
Rice decided to retire before the start of training camp this season because of numerous injuries over his seven-year career, including several concussions. He missed the second half of the 2013 season after undergoing knee surgery http://www.panthersshop.us.com/Cam_Newton_Jersey and did not get to play in the Super Bowl. However, he was one of the most popular players on the team and was at every practice and game down the stretch last year.
Rice now owns five Wingstop restaurants in the Pacific Northwest. He had a message for his buddies, who are a surprising 3-3.
“I just told them to keep up their pace and get back to Seahawks football,” Rice said. “If they do, they’ll be back to where we were last year.
“This is a week-by-week game and http://www.nhlshoponline.us.com/nhl-jerseys/chicago-blackhawks_c-1709.html it’s a tough sport. Everybody is going to give their best shot to this team coming off the Super Bowl win. They have a target on their back. But losing two in a row is not a big deal. They still have a lot of football to play and the main focus now in on the [NFC West] division.”


Only greatness will do for J.J. Watt

HOUSTON — He walks in, the best defensive http://www.officialushockey.com/jussi-jokinen-jersey football player on the planet, and takes a seat in a small media workroom inside NRG Stadium.

J.J. Watt is wearing Houston Texans gear and white sneakers with “Mega Watt” scribbled in red on the back. He puts his iPhone, sans a case, in his lap, clasps his massive hands together, looks at the floor and then raises his head, his icy blue eyes ablaze, his chiseled face expressionless.

“I owe you a huge apology,” I say, taking a seat an arm’s length away from him. “I’m very sorry.”

Watt didn’t ask for an explanation.

“That’s all right,” he says.

No, it isn’t.

Watt and I had never sat down for a one-on-one interview before last week. We spoke once by phone midway through his second year in the NFL, in 2012. By that time, Watt had convinced his defensive coordinator, Wade Phillips, that he could take calculated risks on the football field because he had the talent, the work ethic and the drive to make them work. And Phillips had figured out that not only did Watt see the field better than any defender he had ever coached, but Watt played the defensive end position better than anyone, too.

The end of the 2011 regular season had been Watt’s coming-out party, and the playoffs were his confirmation. His 2012 season ranks among the greatest ever by a defensive player: 20.5 sacks, 16 passes defensed, a team-high 107 tackles, 39 tackles for loss, 42 quarterback hits, 4 forced fumbles and 2 fumble recoveries.

“He had the best year anybody’s ever had,” said Phillips, who during 37 seasons in the NFL coached Reggie White, Bruce Smith and DeMarcus Ware in their primes. “You put in tackles, assists, tackles for loss, hits on the quarterback, knockdowns and sacks, he had everything.”

Only one of the 50 media members who voted for the Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year award didn’t vote for Watt.

It was Nick Bonino Ducks Jersey a huge mistake. Several weeks before the votes were due, I’d written a column on Denver linebacker Von Miller and how he should win the award over Watt and San Francisco’s Aldon Smith. Last week, I explained to Watt that in my attempt not to be a hypocrite, I’d made a regrettable decision that cost Watt becoming the unanimous choice for the award.

“I understand,” Watt said.

“It’s really bothered me,” I said.

“No worries,” Watt said. “I appreciate it. Thank you.”

“It was a great season you had,” I said.

“Thank you very much,” Watt said, his shoulders and expression relaxing. “[Miller] had one, too.”

Last Wednesday night, the 67-year-old former coach sat in the newsroom of Comcast SportsNet in downtown Houston, his white hair a striking contrast to the black sport coat he wore. Having been fired after the Texans went 2-14 last season, Phillips is filling the void of not coaching this season by talking football on local television and radio.

That Watt is dominating again comes as no surprise.

“And to top it off,” Phillips said, “now he’s scoring touchdowns.”

Scoring a touchdown is a defensive player’s dream. Texans nose tackle Ryan Pickett has started 175 games during his 14-year NFL career and not once sniffed the end zone. Watt has been there three times this season alone.

“It’s crazy,” Pickett said. “It’s like he’s always in the right spot at the right time.”

Watt’s first touchdown came on an offensive play new coach Bill O’Brien installed in training camp. Watt, who played tight end for one season at Central Michigan before transferring to Wisconsin, had unsuccessfully lobbied previous head coach Gary Kubiak to design an offensive play for him.

When http://www.officialredsoxproshop.com/WOMENS-JOHN-LACKEY-JERSEY.html O’Brien did, Watt thought he was joking. Then O’Brien called the play during the Texans’ opening drive at Oakland in Week 2. On second-and-goal from the Raiders’ 1-yard line, Watt lined up left of tackle, pushed one defender at the goal line and faded into the back left side of the end zone. Texans quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick found Watt uncovered. Touchdown. The Texans won 30-14.

“It’s pretty cool,” Watt said. “It’s pretty neat to be able to help the team in different ways.”


The problem for the Devils jersey

The was they Louis Nix Blue Jersey were down 3-0, with Patrick Marleau pushing the lead to three with a hard shot on a counter attack early in the third period that hit off Schneider’s arm at 1:36.

“Obviously, we have to do a few things better at the end, things that we would like to do better,” Pavelski said. “We would hopefully get a 3-0 win in a game like this.”

Pavelski and Couture had scored on the power play late in the first and second periods, respectively.

Pavelski, who has goals in two of the last three games, got the Sharks on the board with 2:07 left in the first period, beating Schneider from in close after collecting the rebound of a Couture shot from the right circle.
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Couture got his first goal of the season with 2:08 remaining in the second period. Pavelski sent a pass from the right point to Marleau behind the red zone and he found Couture alone in front.Cory Schneider had 21 saves before being lifted at 3:25 of the third after Ward’s shot from the blue line caromed off the end boards, hit Schneider and went in, making it 5-2 on the Capitals second goal in a span of 2:29.

“We felt good about our chances going into the third period (down 3-2) and then they got a good break on the fourth one, and then obviously the fifth one,” Schneider said. “It’s all on me and it just really took the wind out of our sails.”

Mike Cammalleri had an assist, giving him points in each of his first four games with the Devils.

Burakovsky, Washington’s first-round draft choice in 2013, has points in each of his first four games.

Johansson put the Capitals ahead 3-2 Mike Tolbert Jersey at 6:18 of the second period when he took a pass from Brooks Laich and wristed a shot past Schneider from the slot.

New Jersey hadn’t trailed in its three previous games, but the Capitals took a 1-0 lead just 34 seconds in.

Schneider made a kick save on a shot by Brouwer, but Ovechkin got the rebound and sent a high wrist shot in for his fifth goal in his last three games.

Severson tied it at 10:15 with a blast from the right point.
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Brown put the Capitals back on top less than a minute later, but Severson evened it again late in the period, again from the right point.


It might be time for Aaron Rodgers to admit the Packers’ offense is rolling

GREEN BAY, Wis. — With http://www.packersshop.us.com/Jamari_Lattimore_Jersey time to reflect, Aaron Rodgers may see this stretch of football — one that has all sorts of historical milestones that we’ll get too soon enough – as one of the finest of his career.

But late Sunday afternoon at Lambeau Field, the Green Bay Packers quarterback, who last week insisted the offense he directs still was not humming along as he would like, remained unwilling to concede that much has changed.

Who knows what it will take to get Rodgers to acquiesce, but apparently this kind of start to a game — touchdown, touchdown, touchdown, punt, touchdown, punt, touchdown — in Sunday’s 38-17 victory over the Carolina Panthers apparently did not satisfy his criteria.

At least he was willing to give an inch or two this week.

“I think we’re getting closer,” Rodgers said.

Rodgers wants Don Barclay Packers Jersey more yards (the Packers managed 363 on Sunday) and more opportunity (they ran just 56 offensive plays). But here’s why it might be time for Rodgers to admit this offense is rolling: For the first time this season, it resembled days like in 2011, when Rodgers was in the midst of his MVP season and had a smorgasbord of options in the passing game.

In Sunday’s dismantling of the Panthers, Rodgers’ 19 completions were spread amongst nine different players, a season high. That’s in contrast to three times this season, including last week’s game at Miami, when Rodgers completed passes to just five different players.

In 2011, Rodgers had seven games in which he completed passes to at least nine different players. Last season, it happened once, and it came against the Philadelphia Eagles when Rodgers was a spectator because of his collarbone injury.

“Back in ’11, I feel like we spread it around a little more,” said Rodgers, who was 19-of-22 for 255 yards with three touchdowns on Sunday. “We’ve had a lot of targets for Jordy [Nelson] and Randall [Cobb] this year, so we’ve tried the last four games to find ways to move those guys around and get them positive matchups.”

This wasn’t just the Jordy Nelson show, although the NFL’s receiving yardage leader entering the week still managed four catches for 80 yards, including a 59-yard touchdown (his fourth straight game with a score).

Five different http://www.chargers.us.com/King_Dunlap_Jersey Packers scored touchdowns, including rushing touchdowns by Eddie Lacy and James Starks (who combined for 99 yards on 19 carries). When Rodgers also can include Cobb (six catches for 121 yards and his eighth touchdown of the season) and Davante Adams (who had a 21-yard touchdown catch) plus completions to two different tight ends, it qualifies as offensive diversity.

“Everybody got involved,” said Cobb, who has matched his career high for touchdown passes in just seven games. “We were able to move the ball really well. Just drive after drive, able to capitalize and put points on the board. At the end of the day, that’s the kind of offense we want to be, continue to be. We ran the ball well, we passed the ball well. Everything was open for us.”

Had Rodgers not sailed a ball over tight end Richard Rodgers’ head in the end zone on his final throw of the game late in the third quarter, he would have finished with four touchdown passes and a passer rating of 157.6 (on a scale in which 158.3 is the max). Still, he finished with just two other incompletions, and a harsh grader might consider both of them drops. When he gave way to Matt Flynn in the fourth quarter, Rodgers’ final rating of 154.5 was the second-best mark of his career.

For the fourth straight game (all wins for the 5-2 Packers) he threw at least three touchdowns without an interception. Only Tom Brady (in 2007) has done that in a season.

He ran his streak of consecutive passes without an interception to 192, his career high and the second-best total in team history behind Bart Starr (294, 1964-65).

All of it is starting to feel like 2011, when Rodgers was on the best roll of his career.

“I’ll say this about Authentic Marcus Gilchrist Jersey Aaron: Aaron is a much better today than he was in 2011,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. “His responsibility level has increased a lot since then. So, what he does during the course of the week, during the course of the game, at the line of scrimmage, the communication between Alex Van Pelt and myself, he is, in my opinion, watching him grow throughout his career, he’s clearly a better player.”


Jets sign Jeremy Kerley to 4-year extension

Jeremy Kerley always figured he’d stay right where he is.
The New York Jets made sure the reliable wide Ronde Barber Womens Jersey receiver didn’t go anywhere, signing Kerley to a four-year contract extension on Tuesday.

Kerley, a fifth-round draft pick in 2011 out of TCU, was due to become an unrestricted free agent after this season.

”I love being a Jet and I consider myself a lifetime Jet,” Kerley recently told The Associated Press. ”I’m not worried about all of that. That will all take care of itself.”

The team did not immediately disclose financial terms.

”To have an extension and play four more years here, it’s a blessing,” Kerley told the team’s official website Tuesday. ”It’s a relief off my shoulders and really off my family’s shoulders.”
The move came three days after the Jets completed a stunning deal to acquire wide receiver Percy Harvin from the Seattle Seahawks for a conditional draft pick.

Kerley, 25, has led the Jets in receptions the past two seasons despite missing a few games with injuries. He has 22 catches for 201 yards and a touchdown this year. He could have more, though, making two terrific catches earlier this season – that didn’t count.

Against Green Bay in Week 2, his jaw-dropping 37-yard touchdown catch on a fourth-down play with just over 5 minutes left was wiped out by an ill-timed, last-second timeout by the Jets, who lost 31-24.

Eight days later, with the Jets trailing Chicago by eight and driving for a potential tying score on fourth-and-5 from the 9, Kerley fought off safety Brock Vereen and snagged the football in the end zone – but landed just out of bounds.

He also had a 9-yard TD catch at New England last Thursday called back because of a holding penalty on guard Oday Aboushi.

Kerley has seen his role diminish in recent weeks with just seven catches in New York’s past four games, but remains one of the league’s top receivers on third-down plays and ranks first on the team with 45 targets.

His versatility – he can line up on the outside, in the slot, run the occasional wildcat play and return punts – could have made him an attractive target in free agency during the offseason.

While Harvin’s acquisition could potentially take some plays away from Kerley, the Jets didn’t want to lose a player who has developed good chemistry with quarterback Geno Smith.

The trio of Kerley, Harvin and Eric Decker, all of whom are different types of receivers, gives the 1-6 Jets a solid foundation for this season and the future at a position that has recently been a huge question mark.

In his three-plus http://www.coltsfootballprostore.com/DQWELL-JACKSON-JERSEY-CHEAP.html seasons, Kerley has 150 catches for 1,865 yards and seven touchdowns. He has also rushed for 84 yards and has a 10.3-yard career punt return average.

The Jets have several other key players due to become free agents after the season who, like Kerley, could be in line for extensions, including defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson, linebacker David Harris and nose tackle Damon Harrison.


The win was the fourth jersey

The win was the fourth in five games Bernard Pierce Kids Jersey for the Sharks (4-0-1), but they had to sweat this one out after allowing a 3-0 lead to shrink to a goal with just under 8 minutes to play.

“We’re winning games, but we’re not playing well,” Couture said. “We end up scrambling around at the end. I won’t say panic, but we have to do a better job. We’re giving up goals late. But wins in this league are hard to come by. We knew the schedule coming in and we knew it was going to be tough. It’s good to win on the road and it’s good to have this kind of start.”

The Sharks put this one away because Niemi made three big saves down the stretch and Joe Thornton iced the game with an empty net goal — his 1,200th NHL.

“We made a couple of good power plays and made them stand up,” Thornton said. “We’re looking real good right now. We have a group of positive guys and we’re getting really good goaltending right now. We have a group of loose guys who get along well. Things are good. A lot of teams are trying to find themselves early on. We’re still looking for our identity as a team right now. We’ve been on the road a lot of games and doing a real good job.”
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Joe Pavelski added a goal and an assist and Patrick Marleau had the other goal for San Jose, which has picked up nine of a possible 10 points, losing only in a shootout to the New York Islanders.

The Sharks, who are playing 16 of their first 21 games on the road, were cruising with a three-goal lead when Mike Cammalleri and Adam Henrique gave the sellout crowd of 16,592 something to cheer about, scoring in a 4:10 span to pull within one with 7:50 to play.

Niemi made the lead stand with excellent stops on Cammalleri, Henrique and Damien Brunner before Thornton scored his first goal of the season with 1:14 remaining.
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Cory Schneider made 28 saves for the Devils in their home opener, including a glove stop on a penalty shot by Tommy Wingels with 3:44 to play and the New Jersey down a goal.

“We had our chances, even in the second period we had our chances,” Devils forward Jaromir Jagr said. “They scored twice on the power play and we didn’t. I don’t think they outplayed us.”

Niemi, who has won all three of his starts, stopped the Devils’ first 27 shots before Cammalleri beat him with a shot from the right circle with 12 minutes to play. Henrique tallied with a pin-ball shot off a defender.
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The problem for the Devils was they were down 3-0, with Patrick Marleau pushing the lead to three with a hard shot on a counter attack early in the third period that hit off Schneider’s arm at 1:36.


Injured Seahawks could return this week

The Seattle Seahawks had a rough few days Graham Gano Jersey on the injury front, including fullback Derrick Coleman breaking his foot in warm-up drills Sunday at St. Louis. But several key players could return this week.
Starting cornerback Byron Maxwell, who has a strained calf, could be back, along with backup cornerback Tharold Simon, who suffered a sprained ankle in St. Louis is his first NFL start.
“It blew up, but it’s not a bad sprain,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said of Simon. “He’s popping around pretty good [Monday], so he has a chance, and Maxey has a chance to get back, too. We’ll see.”
Carroll also said starting center Max Unger, who has http://www.panthersshop.us.com/Greg_Hardy_Jersey missed the last two games with a foot injury, could return, but starting tight end Zach Miller (ankle surgery) still is out.
“Max is working at it,” Carroll said. “He’s doing some stuff this week and we’ll see as the week goes along. Zach is a little farther away. He’s still in a boot right now, so he’s not that close yet.”
Carroll expects back-up tight end Luke Willson to return after suffering a groin strain in practice last Wednesday and missing Sunday’s game.
“He almost made it back [for the Rams game],” Carroll said. “But we felt like it was better to hold him out with the chance to be back fully this week.”
Carroll said back-up defensive tackle http://www.nhlshoponline.us.com/nhl-jerseys/san-jose-sharks_c-1732.html Jordan Hill who missed Sunday’s game with a sprained ankle, will practice on Wednesday. But middle linebacker Bobby Wagner still is out. He is wearing a cast over a turf toe injury.
“It’s going to be a while,” Carroll said of Wagner’s status.
Jeremy Lane, Seattle’s starting nickel cornerback who was placed on injured reserve/designated to return at the start of the season with a groin injury, will return to practice this week. But Lane can’t come off IR until the New York Giants game on Nov. 9.
The one area where the Seahawks may need to make a roster move is at fullback since Coleman is the only true fullback on the roster and will be out at least six weeks. Running back Robert Turbin filled in a fullback Sunday.
Carroll was asked if former Seattle http://www.nhlshoponline.us.com/nhl-jerseys/toronto-maple-leafs_c-1705.html fullback Michael Robinson was an option. When the Seahawks didn’t re-sign him after last season, Robinson retired and now works as an analyst for the NFL Network.
“He’s doing a really good job in the media right now and he’s quite busy,” Carroll said of Robinson. “He seems to be very well-grooved in his business.”


Durant injury opens door for Russ

OKLAHOMA CITY — The buzzer had sounded in http://www.officialushockey.com/bryan-bickell-jersey Game 5, and for the first time in their brief Oklahoma City history, the Oklahoma City Thunder had won a playoff series, advancing past the Denver Nuggets in 2011.

Kevin Durant, who had dropped 41 points, including 14 in the final five minutes, stalked along the baseline, right in front of where owners Clay Bennett and Aubrey McLendon sat. With his teammates hanging on his shoulders, Durant popped his jersey and bellowed, “This is my motherf—ing team!”

Without question Thunder have been Durant’s, despite plenty of conspiracy and assumption that Russell Westbrook has been not-so-subtly attempting a coup. All of that noise has always been unfounded and unfair as Westbrook is simply an overwhelming, enigmatic talent that sometimes bursts at the seams. Still, Durant is the face of the franchise, the alpha dog, the top man. Westbrook isn’t necessarily the Robin to his Batman, but in terms of defining metaphoric ownership, the Thunder are no doubt Durant’s.

But not for at least the next six to eight weeks. Because of a stress fracture in Durant’s right foot, the reigning league MVP will be sidelined for the first 20 or so games of the season, meaning Westbrook will finally get to play the role so many have assumed he’s always so desperately wanted. He’s the captain now.

As Thunder Jim Rice Red Sox Jersey general manager Sam Presti said on Sunday, the Thunder can’t replace Durant. The Thunder scored 109.7 points per 100 possessions with Durant on the floor last season and 101.7 per 100 with him sitting. You don’t just pick up the slack of a guy who averaged 32 points, 7.4 rebounds and 5.5 assists. It has to be a collective effort, with the group combining to cobble together the production they’re going to be missing. That begins with Westbrook, who many have seen as a potential MVP-caliber player if only he wasn’t ceding to Durant.

Westbrook had a front-row seat last season watching Durant pick up his team during his extended absence stemming from complications in recovery from a 2013 meniscus tear in the playoffs. Westbrook missed 36 games, and from January to the All-Star break, Durant unleashed a fury on the league unlike many we’ve ever seen before. The Thunder went 20-7 as Durant averaged 35 points and 6.3 assists. In a stretch from Jan. 7-27, Durant topped 30 points in 12 consecutive games, averaging 38.0 points, 6.3 rebounds and 5.9 assists. The run was so outrageous it even spawned it’s own awesome nickname — “The Slim Reaper.”

Durant played completely unfettered, finding that offensive voice so many have known he was capable of. Without Westbrook using possessions — Durant’s usage rate spiked from 29.5 to 35.3 — Durant was able to entirely commandeer the offense. It wasn’t so much that he played significantly better than he had been, he just saw more of the offense. It led to the seemingly previously resolved question of whether the Thunder were better off without Westbrook, which was and still is, definitively, no. Durant, individually, though? He probably is better, at least statistically, as a solo act.

Now it’s http://www.officialanaheimducks.com/Black+Dustin+Penner+Jersey Westbrook’s turn. The Thunder’s experience with Westbrook running the show solo is limited, so it’s hard to get any kind of feel as to how they’ll look. Thunder coach Scott Brooks rarely staggered his star duo’s playing time last season as Westbrook spent only 41 minutes on the floor without Durant. In those 41 minutes Westbrook attempted 35 shots and scored 46 points, posting a volcanic usage rate of 47.5 percent. Without Durant on the floor, Westbrook took 45.5 percent of the team’s shots and scored 41.8 percent of their points. Does Westbrook adjust, or does he just embrace the role and try to go full supernova every night? It’s kind of an amazing thing when a team loses the MVP and somehow becomes more interesting.

The Thunder have spent the offseason remodeling their offense so that it doesn’t rely as heavily on Durant and Westbrook for production. The Thunder are attempting to add more space and movement to the offense, which in theory will create better passing and balance. Thunder general manager Sam Presti envisions Durant returning to a better, more refined team.

“I think we also have to recognize the opportunity here is to build a better brand of basketball so that when he comes back, he’s a part of that. We have an opportunity to get better in the interim,” Presti said. “Use that opportunity, maximize that opportunity. We know we’re a better basketball team with Kevin Durant on the floor. But we can have some influence on how good we are in the meantime. We’re certainly not going to be looking at the calendar waiting for him to get back. I don’t think he’d want us to do that.”

It does present the opportunity for the Thunder to flex a bit of their developing depth, with players like Serge Ibaka, Reggie Jackson, Anthony Morrow, Jeremy Lamb and Perry Jones set to be called upon more. Westbrook is a much better passer than he often gets credit for, but he’s also not always all that keen about doing it. And with Durant removed from the equation for the near future, if those other pieces sputter, will Westbrook continue to trust the schematic changes, or just hijack the offense?

Westbrook is as http://www.officialbluejaysshop.com/WOMENS-COLBY-RASMUS-JERSEY.html polarizing a player as there is in the NBA, with some critiquing literally every shot he takes while others subscribe to the #LETWESTBROOKBEWESTBROOK cult. Westbrook isn’t the selfish ball-hogging chucker so many still label him as, but he’s also not even remotely close to the polished, poised player he needs to be. He’s a physical freak, probably the most dynamic, athletic point guard the league has ever seen.

Perhaps both Westbrook’s best and worst quality is his brash bullheadedness, his stubborn resistance to common sense and control. Nobody believes in Russell Westbrook more than Russell Westbrook. It leads to wild, reckless quarters, but it also manifests dynastic, explosive takeovers that only he can produce. Westbrook is a relentless ball of atomic energy, waiting to detonate each and every possession. If Durant was the Slim Reaper when handed the totality of the Thunder offense, then Westbrook will be the devil himself. Whether that means he’s haunting the Thunder or their opponents, we’ll just have to wait and see.


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That’s a goalie’s opportunity to Louis Nix Womens Jersey change some momentum in a game and … that’s what I didn’t do last game and needed to do this game,” Holtby said. “That’s my job description.”

With the score tied 2-2 late in the first, and the Devils on a power play, Holtby made a sliding save to rob Jaromir Jagr.

“Holts stood on his head for us,” Washington’s Chris Brown said. “That first period — I don’t think we would have won the game without him in (goal).”

Marcus Johansson scored the go-ahead goal early in the second period for the Capitals (2-0-2).

Brown, Nicklas Backstrom, Joel Ward and Andre Burakovsky also scored for Washington, and Troy Brouwer, Mike Green, Brooks Orpik and Matt Niskanen each had two assists.
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“I thought we got stronger as the game went on,” Capitals coach Barry Trotz said. “We were a little bit slow coming out.”

Rookie defenseman Damon Severson scored twice for the Devils (3-1-0), who were seeking their first 4-0 start since 1995-96.

“I think we would have taken 3-1 to start on the road,” Devils coach Pete DeBoers said. “Still doesn’t sit well because I thought tonight was a winnable game for us.”
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Cory Schneider had 21 saves before being lifted at 3:25 of the third after Ward’s shot from the blue line caromed off the end boards, hit Schneider and went in, making it 5-2 on the Capitals second goal in a span of 2:29.

“We felt good about our chances going into the third period (down 3-2) and then they got a good break on the fourth one, and then obviously the fifth one,” Schneider said. “It’s all on me and it just really took the wind out of our sails.”

Mike Cammalleri had an assist, giving him points in each of his first four games with the Devils.
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Burakovsky, Washington’s first-round draft choice in 2013, has points in each of his first four games.