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Posted 11:07 AM Thursday, October 11, 2018   [ quote ]
If the Golden State Warriors are worried as they head into Game 6 of the Western Conference finals on the brink of elimination Authentic Baker Mayfield Jersey , they aren’t showing it.

”We have a chance to tie the series at home. That’s a pretty good position to be in,” coach Steve Kerr said. ”We’ve got to win two basketball games and we’ve done that an awful lot, so we’re very confident.”

The defending champions trail Houston 3-2 in the best-of-seven series after consecutive wins by the Rockets, capped by Thursday night’s 98-94 victory . Now the series shifts to Oracle Arena, a place where the Warriors have lost just one time in their last 17 playoff games.

Stephen Curry said the Warriors are encouraged despite falling behind in the series because they believe both games could have gone their way and that a few simple corrections will get them back on track.

”We have an opportunity to re-establish ourselves at home, get a big win, keep ourselves alive, and then roll the dice into Game 7,” Curry said. ”Not all is lost.”

Houston’s big win in Game 5 was tempered by a hamstring injury to star Chris Paul which will keep him out of Saturday’s game. It’s a major blow for a team which is looking to reach the NBA Finals for the first time in more than two decades.

The Rockets believe they can absorb this loss and don’t seem daunted by the setback, noting that they found ways to win in the regular season in many games where Paul sat out with injuries.

”I don’t have a doubt,” D’Antoni said. ”They see the challenge … whether CP’s there or not, it’s a heck of a challenge, and they’re up to it. They’re looking forward to it.”

James Harden, who has struggled offensively in the last two games and went 0 for 11 on 3s in Game 5, rolled his eyes when asked if Paul’s injury puts more pressure on him.

”Pressure for what? It’s Game 6 of the Western Conference finals,” he said. ”There is pressure on everybody.”

While that may be true Adidas Connor McDavid Jersey , the onus is on Harden to step up and deliver an MVP-caliber performance if the Rockets hope to close out this series. Harden has had plenty of playoff disappointments in the last few years and embraces the chance to get Houston back into the finals.

”It’s an opportunity that a lot of people never had and probably won’t ever have,” he said. ”It’s our job to go out there and have fun with it and do the same thing we’ve been doing. We want to take advantage of it.”

While the Rockets will be down a starter, the Warriors could get one back if Andre Iguodala can return on Saturday. The Warriors have missed the defensive presence of Iguodala who has missed the last two games with a bruised left knee.

Iguodala is listed on the injury report as questionable for Game 6 and Kerr said he didn’t have an update on his condition on Friday. But he did address what it would mean to Golden State if he’s healthy enough to go on Saturday.

”He’s a great player,” Kerr said. ”He’s one of our keys, and we’ve missed him the last two games. But we can’t count on it. Injuries happen, and you’ve just got to play with whoever’s out there. So we’re hoping he’s back, and we’ll see what happens.”

Iguodala’s absence has been magnified in this series that has morphed into a defensive slugfest instead of the high-scoring shootout that most expected when it began. The Rockets take great pride in the fact that they’ve limited Golden State to less than 100 points in the last two games and think continuing to play great defense is the only way they’ll advance.

”It’s something we talked about building up all year,” Houston’s P.J. Tucker said. ”To see our defense now be as good as it is, we still think it could be a lot better. We watched film, and honestly … we didn’t play great defense last night. Everybody will talk about how good a defense we played, but we really don’t feel like that. So just keep working and trying to get better.”

Kerr said the experience of his team, which is trying to reach the finals for the fourth straight year, will be valuable as the Warriors try and climb out of this hole and force Game 7. He referenced the conference finals in 2016 when they fell behind Oklahoma City 3-1 before winning the next three to take the series.

”We’ve been here before,” Kerr said. ”We’ve faced elimination on the road before – this team has – a few years ago. We faced series deficits before. We’ve won all of those series. Our guys have the ultimate confidence that we can get it done this time, too.”

The New York Jets kicked off the NFL draft by getting their quarterback of the future – who might actually be the face of the franchise right now.

After taking Southern California quarterback Sam Darnold at No. 3 overall on Thursday night and Fort Hays State defensive lineman Nathan Shepherd in the third round Friday night, general manager Mike Maccagnan went to work on the draft’s final day to fill some sizable roster holes.

The Jets made three trades Saturday Eagles Markus Wheaton Jersey , including two swaps of draft picks with the Minnesota Vikings, and another with the Indianapolis Colts for defensive end Henry Anderson.

New York took Miami tight end Christopher Herndon in the fourth round at No. 107 overall. After all the wheeling and dealing, the Jets capped the draft with three sixth-rounders: Tulane cornerback Parry Nickerson, UConn defensive tackle Foley Fatukasi and Virginia State running back Trenton Cannon.

”We feel we have some good young players,” Maccagnan said. ”There are some guys we felt good (about) in our process. We like them both from an ability standpoint and we feel like we have some good character guys, too.”

But this draft will be remembered – and ultimately, judged – on what Darnold does.

No quarterback has ever been selected higher by the Jets in an NFL draft, and New York felt fortunate Darnold was still there when it went on the clock. After all, Darnold had long been considered a likely No. 1 overall pick by Cleveland, which ended up taking Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield instead. When the Giants went with Penn State running back Saquon Barkley at No. 2, the Jets had their guy.

”Sam … man, oh, man … I did not think we would have a shot at you,” acting CEO Christopher Johnson said during his phone call with Darnold after the team drafted the quarterback. ”I’m so happy. Dude, you’re gonna love New York.”

And New Jersey too, of course. Heck Authentic Sylvester Williams Jersey , Jets fans everywhere couldn’t help but feel giddy about Darnold holding up his green-and-white jersey.

Darnold was formally introduced at the team’s facility Friday after spending Thursday night in Dallas at the draft site. On Saturday, the new Jets quarterback surprised some young fans by visiting a pediatric hospital in New Jersey and posing for photos and signing autographs.

While Josh McCown, last year’s starter, is still here, it might not be long before Darnold – the cool and poised kid from California – takes center stage in the Big Apple.

”I’m very confident,” Darnold said. ”It’s more of a quiet confidence. I am who I am and however people want to define that, that’s not really up to me. I’m just going to be myself. The best way to describe it is confident, but also knowing what needs to get done and being very, very serious when it comes to that.”

CROWDED QB ROOM

Along with Darnold and McCown, the Jets also have Teddy Bridgewater, Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg on the roster. That’s a few too many quarterbacks.

Bridgewater is still recovering from a career-threatening knee injury nearly two years ago. Meanwhile, Petty – a fourth-rounder in 2015 – and Hackenberg – a second-rounder in 2016 – would seem to have their spots in serious jeopardy.

”There’s always conversations had with teams,” Maccagnan said, ”and we’ll see how that unfolds here in the next little bit of time.”

BIG BOYS UP FRONT

The Jets went into the draft needing some depth on the defensive line, and they got some with the picks of Shepherd and Fatukasi. Both will help replace the departed Muhammad Wilkerson, who was cut in the offseason and signed with Green Bay.

Anderson is also a nice addition Da'Ron Payne Color Rush Jersey , if he’s healthy. He was a third-round pick of the Colts in 2015, but has finished all three of his NFL seasons on injured reserve. The most recent injury was a fractured larynx that required surgery late last season.

The trade is contingent on Anderson passing his physical with the Jets. If he doesn’t, they would get back the seventh-round pick they sent to Indianapolis, but in next year’s draft.

TIGHT END COMPETITION

Maccagnan likes what he saw from Herndon at Miami, saying he might be a little bit more athletic and more of a pass catcher than some of the other five tight ends New York has on its roster.

That list includes Eric Tomlinson, Neal Sterling, Jordan Leggett, Bucky Hodges and Clive Walford. Maccagnan said Herndon, whose senior season was shortened by a knee injury, is about a month away from being 100 percent so he’ll be limited in offseason workouts.

SECONDARY HELP

Nickerson will serve as the backup to Buster Skrine as the Jets’ nickel corner and could be the veteran’s eventual replacement. Bowles said Nickerson will also get work on the outside, where the cornerback said he played almost exclusively at Tulane.

STILL NEED

Cannon fills a major need as a fast, athletic return specialist, something the Jets have lacked over the last two seasons. The Jets could look to add a few more speedy playmakers for the offense among undrafted free agents. Pass rusher has also been an issue for New York, and it could try to find a sack-happy UDFA to help fill that void.

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