Who’s excited for an NBA playoffs game seven? The Lakers and Nuggets will duke it out on Saturday night and we have you covered with keys for both teams.
Keys For The Lakers- By SprungOnSports
If you look at the players on both rosters, the Lakers clearly have the top three players in Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum. So it’s quite surprising that Denver has actually outscored Los Angeles in the series and are still lingering around for a do-or-die game seven on Sunday night at Staples Center.
One big key for Denver has been their ability to take care of the basketball. While the Lakers have committed 12.2 turnovers per contest, it’s been just 9.8 for the Nuggets. The Lakers need to settle down. That’s it. If they do that, they should take game seven with ease. They have more talented players and a guy in Bryant with the killer instinct. First year head coach Mike Brown should keep things simple and run a slow-down offense through Kobe and let him get to work. All Ramon Sessions has to do is be a distributor and the Lakers will take its rightful place opposite Oklahoma City in round two.
Keys For The Nuggets- By Aron Jacobowitz
So the Nuggets have thoroughly outplayed the Lakers in the last four games of this series, and luckily for the LA, they managed to come out on top in that fourth game or this series might have been over already.
The Lakers have a monstrous advantage on the inside and it didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure this out. However, the Nuggets have found away to disrupt their post game and get out on the break. The Lakers bigs have been rendered ineffective after the first two games, as the speed and athleticism of JaVale McGee and Kenneth Faried has caused the Laker bigs a lot of problems.
Ty Lawson and Corey Brewer most likely won’t combine for 50 points in game seven as they did in game six, but McGee will assuredly be more effective than his two-point, five foul performance last night. If Geroge Karl’s group of young guns can get out and run on the Lakers bigs, this series could shift in the Nuggets favor and put the Lakers on the wrong end of squandering 3-1 series lead for the second time in six years. Andre Miller’s veteran savvy will be called upon to make sure his young teammates do not become engulfed by the moment and lead a heady charge into Los Angeles tomorrow night.
NEW YORK– By Mo Miller
Coming into the season, the Mets starting rotation was a big question mark. One of the big questions was Mike Pelfrey, who was pitching well before going down to injury. Ever since then the Mets have been struggling to fill that fifth spot of the rotation.
They tried Chris Schwinden for two starts, who pitched a total of eight innings going 0-1 with an 11.25 ERA. Since then the Mets used 40-year-old Miguel Batista on Tuesday, who pitched 5 1/3 innings giving up eight hits and four runs in a Mets win. Mets manager Terry Collins has said that Batista will get at least one more start. With Chris Young at least a couple of weeks away before returning from injury, who is the pitcher to fill the fifth spot?
Meet Jeremy Hefner. Hefner was called for one game in late April, and pitched three innings, giving up three hits and a walk. Hefner, who is currently at AAA Buffalo, has started six games and is 3-1 with a 1.77 ERA. Hefner, 26, has pitched a total of 40 2/3 innings in those six starts, averaging about 6 2/3 innings per start. Furthermore, Hefner, has pitched a 0.91 WHIP, with 1.3 walks per nine innings. While Hefner only has 5.1 strikeouts per nine, he throws strikes, doesn’t walk people and keeps the ball on the ground.
So with Miguel Batista pitching mediocre ball and Chris Young at least a couple of weeks away, why not give Jeremy Hefner a look?
Game six is on the horizon for the Grizzlies and Clippers, and it’s been a wonderful series so far with a good amount of close games, one epic comeback and a healthy dose of drama. What does Memphis have to do to stay alive and force a game seven? How can Los Angeles close things out? Let’s find out.
Keys For The Grizzlies- By SprungOnSports
Memphis has led for all but 82 minutes of this series and have outscored the Clippers overall. Strong defense and more consistency is crucial for the Grizzlies to force a deciding game seven at the FedEx Forum. Rudy Gay has been tremendous in the series, but it will be the inside-outside combination of Marc Gasol and Mike Conley that will be the keys for Lionel Hollins’ group.
Clippers stars Blake Griffin and Chris Paul are not at full strength, but it would certainly be a shock if either missed Friday’s game six at Staples Center. With that duo banged up, Memphis has the current advantage at both positions, and Gasol and Zach Randolph should take advantage down low.
On the defensive end, there is much room for improvement for the Grizzlies. The Clippers are shooting 38.5 percent from three and 47.1 percent overall, both ranked 15th among the 16 playoff teams. The three-ball has killed Memphis in the series and that has to be a major focus if they want to grit and grind into the second round.
Keys For The Clippers- By Aron Jacobowitz
In order for the Clippers to take the series tonight, first and foremost, Chris Paul and Blake Griffin will need to be operating at close to 85 percent. To shut the door on the Grizzlies, they will need to come out of the gates and return to form as they were struggling to find the hoop in game five.
The Clips have already proven to be a resilient team and no lead for the Grizzlies is safe, however, if LA comes out strong and imposes their will from tip to finish, tonight should prelude Sunday’s game one matchup with San Antonio. Randy Foye and Caron Butler are integral role players for this team. Foye had led the NBA in three-pointers made since the All-Star break before this series, but has managed to turn in only one impact game. Butler, playing with a broken non-shooting hand, has inspired the Clippers since he returned for game three and he has continued to play great defense on Rudy Gay. Reggie Evans will need to assume the enforcer role as Deandre Jordan has been unable to really get into any sort of groove defensively. If Jordan can get going defensively tonight, it will vastly improve the Clippers chances of advancing.
It really comes down to effort and energy – if the Clippers can make the Grizzlies work for every single bucket and play pressure defense, their offense will surely feed off of that energy and lead them to only their second series win since relocating to L.A.
Paralyzed from the neck down on a kickoff during a Rutgers football game in October 2010, defensive tackle Eric LeGrand inspired fans across the country with his openness and his recovery. Now LeGrand is spearheading spinal cord research and sending out positive messages via social media.
LeGrand has nearly 60,000 Twitter followers, he now has the blue verified check, and is raising money by selling t-shirts. Through his charitable works and helping people who were in his position to overcome adversity, LeGrand is “trying to make an impact in this world.”
Nike is making a LeGrand jersey to raise money for charity. There will be a 5K walk to benefit spinal cord research. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie believes in LeGrand.
“I’m posting things every single day,” LeGrand told Mashable in an interview. “I just want to motivate people not to take everything for granted and to be the best people they can be.”
LeGrand has 47,000 followers on Facebook with “Believe” in big words at the top of the page which chronicles his recovery, which is improving every day. “I’m still the same person I always was, but now it’s kind of taken off and if I can inspire youth by just being the person I am and being happy, then that’s great,” he told Mashable.
His coach at Rutgers, Greg Schiano, now coaches the Tampa Bay Bucs. Schiano signed LeGrand to a contract after the draft in a wonderful gesture and the above photo got over 26,000 likes. Hopefully LeGrand’s positive influence can help change lives as he inspires people via social media.