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14 сентября 2018 г. 15:40

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OKLAHOMA CITY — Russell Westbrook needs 16 rebounds.

His Oklahoma City Thunder need a win even more.

In Wednesday’s regular-season finale at home against the Memphis Grizzlies Drew Kaser Jersey , Westbrook has a chance to accomplish something that has never been done in NBA history.

But a win for the Thunder would improve Oklahoma City’s playoff position and could possibly even lift it into a top-four seed in the NBA playoffs.

If Westbrook hits that rebounding mark, he would become the first player in league history to average a triple-double in back-to-back seasons. Westbrook has already clinched double-digit averages in scoring (25.6 points per game) and assists (10.1).

In Monday’s win at Miami that clinched a playoff berth, Westbrook had 18 rebounds to get into striking distance of the mark.

“It would be another incredible milestone this year, but it’s not about that. It’s about our team and it’s about winning,” Thunder coach Billy Donovan said. “Rebounding helps us win. The assists get other people involved. I think it speaks to him as a player, more than anything else, in how unique he is.”

With a win, the worst the Thunder could finish would be as the No. 6 seed, avoiding Western Conference powers Golden State and Houston in the first round.

A loss to Memphis could drop Oklahoma City into a matchup against one of the two behemoths.

Oklahoma City needs Portland to beat Utah on Wednesday, coupled with a win over the Grizzlies, to earn home-court advantage in the first round.

For Memphis, the game will mark the end of a forgettable season. The Grizzlies will miss the playoffs for the first time in eight seasons.

A loss would give Memphis 60 losses in a season for the first time in a decade.

The Grizzlies’ season had plenty of promise before point guard Mike Conley was lost for the year in mid-November, eventually requiring surgery to repair his injured heel.

Memphis should land a high draft pick after clinching the second-worst record in the NBA with Monday’s loss at Minnesota.

The Grizzlies will have about a 20 percent chance at earning the top pick in the draft and the worst pick they could have is No. 5.

But even with their struggles, Grizzlies interim coach J.B. Bickerstaff said the players have made progress and competed well, even if wins have been hard to come by.

“Every time they step on the floor they compete to win and that’s the sign of what you want in your program,” Bickerstaff Drew Brees Jersey , who replaced David Fizdale in late November, told the Memphis Commercial Appeal. “Everybody from the outside can say whatever they want to say. That’s just a distraction. It’s disrespectful to say those guys are tanking and trying to lose because those guys that are on the floor every night have something to prove, whether it’s here, whether it’s somewhere else. If it’s another team, you know, these guys want to stick. They want to be a part of the NBA so every single night they’re giving their best effort.”

The Los Angeles Chargers could have declared this NFL draft to be a victory after they got Derwin James in a widely perceived steal in the first round.

They still spent the next two days adding a diverse collection of talent on both sides of the ball to make a solid roster even better.

Two days after the Florida State safety unexpectedly fell to the Chargers with the 17th overall pick, Los Angeles grabbed West Virginia safety Kyzir White in the fourth round Saturday with plans to turn him into a linebacker.

The Chargers then drafted UCLA center Scott Quessenberry, a lifelong Chargers fan from the San Diego suburbs. With their final picks, they landed Texas Tech receiver Dylan Cantrell and prolific Northwestern running back Justin Jackson.

”I thought we got good individuals,” coach Anthony Lynn said. ”They all have great personalities, backgrounds, good intangibles, but they’re good football players as well.”

Los Angeles chose defensive players with its first four picks, bolstering a unit that allowed fewer points than all but two teams last season. The Chargers’ final three picks were used on offensive players, and all three appear to have a legitimate shot to make the roster of a unit that finished fourth in the NFL with 376.6 yards per game last season.

The Chargers’ second- and third-round picks arrived in Costa Mesa on Saturday – and one of them drove there. USC linebacker Uchenna Nwosu’s family lives in Carson, the suburban Los Angeles town where the Chargers play their home games at StubHub Center for the next two seasons.

”This being my city Kendell Beckwith Jersey , any questions guys have, they can come to me,” Nwosu said. ”Where to go for good food, sightseeing or anything, I’ve already got those ideas in my head.”

Here are more things to know about the Chargers’ draft:

SWITCH IT UP

White is a big, versatile talent who had 94 tackles and three interceptions last year. The Chargers will move him to linebacker to fill an area of need, and White welcomed the switch.

”I’ve never played it before, but I can adjust to anything,” White said. ”I think it would be a good situation. I’m always up for a challenge.”

Chargers general manager Tom Telesco believes White has several qualities necessary to move from safety in college to weak-side linebacker in the NFL. That’s a switch that came up frequently when Telesco’s former team, Indianapolis, looked to draft players for its Tampa 2 defense.

”Part of it is a mentality, and he has that mentality to come up and hit and do all the dirty work up at the line of scrimmage,” Telesco said.

White is the younger brother of receiver Kevin White, the seventh overall pick by the Chicago Bears in the 2015 draft. Kevin White has played in only five games in his three NFL seasons due to numerous injuries.

PRODUCTIVE PICK

Jackson is the 11th-leading rusher in NCAA FBS history after racking up 5,440 yards during his four seasons with the Wildcats. Telesco and Lynn cited Jackson’s steady production, including four 1 Jordan Matthews Jersey ,000-yard seasons, as a primary reason to acquire him.

”Sometimes the measurables – height, weight, speed – sometimes that doesn’t add up,” said Lynn, a former running backs coach. ”There’s one thing, to me, that’s hard to measure, and that’s a young man’s heart. And he has shown heart every year he’s been at Northwestern, and his production shows that.”

RED RAIDERS

Lynn, a Texas Tech product, was thrilled to grab Cantrell in the sixth round. And shortly after the draft ended, Texas Tech announced that the Chargers had signed quarterback Nic Shimonek as an undrafted free agent.

NO QB

After months of speculation, the Chargers did not draft a quarterback and potential heir to Philip Rivers. Los Angeles apparently will have newcomer Geno Smith, Cardale Jones and Shimonek behind center in the offseason program. The 36-year-old Rivers has started every game since 2006, and Telesco repeatedly said the Chargers are in no hurry to groom his successor. The Bolts haven’t drafted a quarterback since 2013.

SO FRESH Frank Zombo Jersey , SO CLEAN

Jones, who flew cross-country from Atlanta on Saturday morning, related the humorous circumstances around his selection. He didn’t expect to be drafted until Saturday, so he went bowling with his girlfriend and other friends Friday.

”I was bowling mad hard, and my girl was like, `Yeah, you ain’t smelling the best,”’ Jones said. ”So I go take a shower, and I’ve got the suds going on.”

That’s when the Chargers called. He struggled to answer his iPhone with wet fingers while running up and down and up the stairs after forgetting to put on pants. When he finally got dressed and down into the living room, he was with his mother when his name was called.

STILL NEED

The Chargers are still looking for a kickoff returner who can do better than last season’s unimpressive group, although Jackson returned kicks early in his college career. Los Angeles didn’t draft an heir apparent at right tackle. The Bolts would still like more depth on the defensive line. But they clearly feel comfortable about the overall makeup of their roster.

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Автор: Статус: offline. Пол: женский liny (liny195)
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