Men’s Boston Celtics Al Horford Nike Green Swingman Jersey – Icon Edition

Al Horford is talking about how special the young players on this team are

Everyone can easily see how good both Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum have been this season. very few expected either of them to have the kind of role that has been carved out this season, and Al Horford has noticed what a special duo they are, and can become.

When discussing Brown, Al Horford said “He is our ‘X Factor’ with his physicality. I know every time he gets out on the break & gets one of those dunks it gets me hyped”. Brown is 21 years old, playing on the top team in the Eastern Conference, along with one of the best centers and best point guards in the NBA, and his teammates see him as an X-Factor.

Brown has proven to be absolutely vital on both ends, and he is embracing the mentality that makes this Celtics team so great. It is easy to see the kind of energy that Brown brings on both night, and when you combine that with his physical dominance it makes a lot more sense that Horford is praising him like that.
nba-cheap-custom-basketball-uniforms
Horford is also excited about the other youngster, and had this to say of rookie Tatum: “He’s 19 now. But wait until you see him in 2 years. He’s way ahead of where we expected him to be”. Tatum has truly shattered any kind of expectations for a 19 year old rookie, and is doing all the things you never see in a rookie.

Horford can see what a special player Tatum already is, while he is in a position to grow more than anyone else on this roster. At this point, there really is no measurable ceiling for Tatum, because he is shutting down any kind of limitations.

It should not be a surprise to hear Horford talking like this, because they have become one of the most unique situations in the NBA. Contending teams are not supposed to have two players this young, have this big of an impact.

They do not make the mistakes that hurt the team, they do everything in rhythm, they have adapted perfectly to everything that Stevens wanted, and they are having a phenomenal impact on both ends.

There is nothing but great things to say about either of these players, so it would not surprise me to hear from playing come out and talk about them the way Horford has.

Men’s Atlanta Hawks Paul Millsap adidas Charcoal Road Replica Jersey

Denver Nuggets All-Star forward Paul Millsap is scheduled to undergo surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left wrist and is expected to be sidelined for approximately three months, a person with knowledge of the injury confirmed to USA TODAY Sports. The person spoke under the condition of anonymity because the severity of the injury had not yet been announced publicly.

Millsap, who the Nuggets signed to a three-year, $90 million contract as a free agent over the summer, injured his wrist during the first half of Sunday’s loss to the Los Angeles Lakers. He underwent X-rays, which were negative, and sat out of Monday’s win over Sacramento. Veteran power forward Kenneth Faried started in his absence.

Millsap is a key member of Denver’s frontcourt alongside budding star Nikola Jokic, as well as the second-leading scorer and rebounder for the 10-7 Nuggets, who are looking to make it back to the playoffs for the first time since 2013. He’s averaging 15.3 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.1 assists this season, his 12th in the league.

The Vertical first reported the severity of Millsap’s injury.

Denver’s Plan A was a good one: Invest big in Paul Millsap, pair the versatile power forward with franchise center Nikola Jokic, and hope that the unselfish, intriguing frontcourt duo could lead the rising Nuggets back to the postseason for the first time since 2013. Unfortunately, those playoff aspirations may now hinge on Plan B.

The 32-year-old Millsap will reportedly undergo surgery after tearing a ligament in his left wrist during a loss to the Lakers on Sunday. He is expected to miss 2–3 months, placing his projected return sometime between mid-January and the end of the All-Star break. With that timeline, the four-time All-Star is expected to miss between 29 and 41 games.

This injury represents unchartered territory for Millsap, who has long boasted an Ironman reputation. During his 11-plus year career, Millsap has appeared in 94% of his team’s games and, until last season, he had never missed more than 10 games in a season. While Millsap has many virtues—basketball intelligence, mobility, two-way play—his reliability and consistency were surely major factors in the Nuggets’ willingness to offer him a three-year, $90 million contract last summer. After multiple coaching changes in recent years and assorted reports of locker-room friction in 2016-17, Millsap was and is the ultimate known quantity: skilled enough to handle heavy lifting, determined enough to do the little things, and mature enough to keep the drama at zero.nba-cheap-wholesale-jerseys

With Paul Millsap sidelined 2-3 months, the Nuggets’ promising season could take a turn for the worst. While Denver has depth, it’s not going to be easy to replace their star’s production.

By Ben Golliver November 22, 2017

Denver’s Plan A was a good one: Invest big in Paul Millsap, pair the versatile power forward with franchise center Nikola Jokic, and hope that the unselfish, intriguing frontcourt duo could lead the rising Nuggets back to the postseason for the first time since 2013. Unfortunately, those playoff aspirations may now hinge on Plan B.

The 32-year-old Millsap will reportedly undergo surgery after tearing a ligament in his left wrist during a loss to the Lakers on Sunday. He is expected to miss 2–3 months, placing his projected return sometime between mid-January and the end of the All-Star break. With that timeline, the four-time All-Star is expected to miss between 29 and 41 games.

This injury represents unchartered territory for Millsap, who has long boasted an Ironman reputation. During his 11-plus year career, Millsap has appeared in 94% of his team’s games and, until last season, he had never missed more than 10 games in a season. While Millsap has many virtues—basketball intelligence, mobility, two-way play—his reliability and consistency were surely major factors in the Nuggets’ willingness to offer him a three-year, $90 million contract last summer. After multiple coaching changes in recent years and assorted reports of locker-room friction in 2016-17, Millsap was and is the ultimate known quantity: skilled enough to handle heavy lifting, determined enough to do the little things, and mature enough to keep the drama at zero.

The Nuggets (10–7) haven’t been perfect to start the season—they’ve suffered three unsightly blowout losses on the road—but they have looked promising. Denver has gotten back to its long-lost habit of smoking teams on its high-elevation home-court, with its only Pepsi Center losses coming against the Warriors and Wizards. The quintet of Jamal Murray, Gary Harris, Wilson Chandler, Millsap and Jokic has posted a stellar +12 net rating while logging the third-most minutes of any lineup in the NBA to date. Millsap filled an obvious defensive hole from last year’s group, and his team-first approach on offense has made him a natural fit in a group that features five genuine scoring threats.

Through Tuesday, Denver held the West’s sixth-best point differential with a comfortable margin above numerous teams with similar records. If given near-perfect health for its starters, the Nuggets’ combination of a top-five offense, an average defense, and a strong home-court advantage looked like a bankable playoff formula.

Instead, the Nuggets could be without their stabilizer for half the season. The good news: Tim Connelly’s unusual proclivity for stockpiling players at the same position leaves Malone with multiple Millsap replacement options. The bad new Denver has fallen from a +4.5 net rating with Millsap on the court to a break-even 0 when he’s on the bench this season. In other words, there are healthy bodies to choose from, but all will likely prove to be steep downgrades.

Kenneth Faried, Denver’s starter for years, will likely see the greatest uptick in playing time, given that Millsap’s arrival forced him to the bench, where he’s logged a career-low 10.7 MPG. The aesthetic transition from Millsap will be stark on both ends. Offensively, Faried has no floor-stretching ability and he’s not a capable playmaker for others. Even so, he was able to play effectively off of Jokic last season, as the duo posted an eye-popping 121 offensive rating in nearly 500 shared minutes. Defensively, Faried lags badly behind Millsap, who is more comfortable switching through multiple positions, far more aware, and better at utilizing his strength/quickness combination. Playing Jokic/Faried together defensively will inevitably lead to easy buckets and some confused finger-pointing.

Youth Sacramento Kings DeMarcus Cousins adidas Purple Road Replica Jersey

DeMarcus Cousins returned to the Pelicans this season with a leaner frame and even leaner shot profile. For years, he had been held back by indulgence in long, two-point jumpers that accomplished little, save for protect defenders from his punishing interior game. The solution—one that has led to career-best efficiency—was not to box Cousins in, but to empower him to go even further out.

The three-point line has become a fascinating threshold. Put a capable shooter behind it and the entire dynamic of a possession changes. Defenses are forced to stretch in exaggerated ways to deny attempts from beyond the arc, creating openings elsewhere. The sheer number of three-point shooters that most teams put on the floor completely warps the geometry of defensive systems. Everything changed once the league hit a critical mass of three-point acceptance. The simple reality is that most of the best defenses in NBA history would be worthless against today’s long-range offenses. Principles geared toward hand-to-hand combat just aren’t of much use once ballistics are involved.

Cousins has become an unlikely emblem of the movement. Somehow, the league’s most terrifying post scorer is also the artillery behind 7.6 three-point attempts per game. That average makes Cousins the seventh-most prolific three-point shooter in the league, but his figure would have led the NBA outright in the majority of seasons since the three-point line’s introduction. That he makes just 34.6% of his threes is almost beside the point; Cousins’s size demands a big, traditional center as his defender, and yet the changing shape of his game serves to exploit just that kind of opponent. That Anthony Davis requires a quicker, more agile defender cements the matchup nightmare.

Any lingering concerns about how Cousins and Davis might coexist have been decimated by their joint success. Both are so flexible as to oscillate comfortably between playing inside and out, adapting to whatever best suits their circumstances. They are far from twin towers. The entire offense revolves around the wide variety of ways that both Cousins and Davis can be deployed, and thus far New Orleans has been tremendously successful with both on the floor.
nba-cheap-basketball-singlets
When Cousins isn’t backing his man down, he’s peering over him from the top of the floor. Most often, the three itself is little more than an implied threat. It beckons a defender closer, pulling a rim protector out of his natural jurisdiction and clearing the way for the Pelicans’ cutters. This is where we see many of Cousins’s 5.8 (!!) assists per game materialize; only about 10 players in the league assist more field goals at the rim. It’s traditional high-post action pushed further out and to its logical conclusion.

By putting Cousins to work in this space, the Pelicans haven’t just turned him loose as a three–point shooter. They’ve empowered him as a driver. This mammoth human being can rumble down the lane on command, striding right past his slow-footed counterpart in the process. Bigs in the league today might be practiced in containing guards on the perimeter out of pick-and-roll situations, but in this scenario they have no way of using their size and length to their advantage. Cousins is huge, he’s physical, and he’s exceptionally clever. His handle is smoother than it has any right to be. He’s also faster than most any other player at his position, leaving centers at the mercy of moves like this:

How the hell is anyone supposed to contend with that? Even if a defense collapses down on his drives from the corners, Cousins will beat you on simple plays:

Cousins—one of the biggest centers left working—has become a downhill player. He drives more times a game, according to NBA.com, than Kyrie Irving, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Jimmy Butler, Paul George, and C.J. McCollum. As a ball-handler, he has initiated three times as many pick-and-rolls as Al Horford and over 10 times more than any other center, per Synergy Sports. Even those who stick with him on the way to the rim are so easily moved out of the way. All it takes is a slight hesitation to pull the defender off balance and a bump of the shoulder to keep them there. Cousins has been creating separation to get up shots his entire basketball life. Now he’s doing it on a beeline toward the rim with the entire defense powerless to stop him.

Having both the three and the drive on the table at all times has brought Cousins alarmingly close to statistical ideals. He is the James Harden of centers—a wrecking ball of threes, free throws, and shots right at the rim, with little allowance for the fat in between. Consider the similarity in what percentage of each player’s shots come from the highest-value spaces on the floor:

“Moreyball attempts” are defined as shot attempts from the restricted area or three-point range.

Harden, a paragon of efficiency, nearly mirrors Cousins in effective field goal percentage. Both are among the most–fouled players in the league and also the most turnover-prone; monster usage rates paired with high driving frequency comes with the inevitable risk of empty possessions. Both more than make up for it by maximizing the rest. There is a commonality in the way each changes speeds. Cousins and Harden beat their opponents off the dribble through quick bursts and body control, the combination of which keeps defenders at a remove. It’s no wonder opponents are tempted to swipe desperately at the ball—connecting often with the arm—in the process. The effectiveness of both stars has as much to do with downshifting as it does explosion. It’s athleticism subtly manifest, understated and impossible to predict.

There are obvious differences between the two, starting most superficially with the fact that Cousins is a big-time rebounder and Harden an exceptional playmaker. No one would confuse one player for the other. What’s material is that both still produce in the same terms. That Cousins dances less with the ball or that Harden plays at a different pace doesn’t change the congruency in their shot charts. Both are working toward similar ends, which is in itself an incredible tribute to Cousins’ progression. It wasn’t long ago that shot selection was a genuine issue for Cousins, whose settling had undercut his potency. No more. Ill-advised shots still creep up from time to time, but even those looks have been redistributed toward far better returns. This is Cousins having his cake and eating it, too—an insatiable scorer taking the next step by changing the way he sets the table.

Men’s Oklahoma City Thunder Paul George Fanatics Branded Blue Fast Break Replica Player Jersey

The Thunder pulled out all the stops when they traded for Paul George in June, throwing the All-Star forward a lavish welcome party with one eye on the playoffs and the other on his 2018 free agency. That especially warm embrace was the first step of a shrewd and self-aware retention strategy, one designed to frame the Thunder as a family that cares, not merely a brand-building platform. What Oklahoma City might lack in nightlife or glamour, the pitch went, it makes up for with everything a star could desires: a winning environment, an MVP captain in Russell Westbrook, a proven GM in Sam Presti, a low-key ownership group, and an ultra-passionate fan base.

Three weeks in, George has every right to wonder whether the Thunder will be able to deliver on their vision.

The Thunder pulled out all the stops when they traded for Paul George in June, throwing the All-Star forward a lavish welcome party with one eye on the playoffs and the other on his 2018 free agency. That especially warm embrace was the first step of a shrewd and self-aware retention strategy, one designed to frame the Thunder as a family that cares, not merely a brand-building platform. What Oklahoma City might lack in nightlife or glamour, the pitch went, it makes up for with everything a star could desires: a winning environment, an MVP captain in Russell Westbrook, a proven GM in Sam Presti, a low-key ownership group, and an ultra-passionate fan base.

Three weeks in, George has every right to wonder cheap nba jerseys whether the Thunder will be able to deliver on their vision.

The story in Oklahoma City so far has been one of regression, rather than ascension. George has been squeezed on both sides by Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony, left with that trio’s third-highest usage rate. Compared to last year, George’s scoring is down, his shots are down, and his assists are down. Meanwhile, his touches, time of possession and free-throw attempts are all way down.

To make matters worse, he doesn’t have much to show for that narrowing role: His shooting efficiency has fallen overall, Oklahoma City’s star-studded headliners haven’t really clicked, and he’s largely been a crunch-time bystander as the Thunder have compiled an 0-6 record in close games. If voting were conducted today, George would be left off the West’s All-Star team and he would be on the outside looking in at the All-NBA conversation.cheap-nba-basketball-jersey-design-online

Playing with a high-level point guard for the first time in his career should theoretically be a godsend. Instead, the arrangement has often left George looking like an afterthought. As Oklahoma City fell to Portland, Sacramento and Denver in succession this week, George shot just 3 of 10 combined in the fourth quarter. In 23 minutes of clutch play this season, George has attempted just eight shots to Westbrook’s 18. It’s difficult to accumulate enough footage to film a Gatorade commercial when you only get to shoot once every three minutes with the game on the line.

To George’s credit, he’s yet to raise a fuss, in contrast to his loud squawking in Indiana over his late-game role during the 2017 playoffs. Following an ugly loss to the Kings earlier this week, he diplomatically stated that the Thunder “have a whole year to figure it out.” He’s also done very well to make his presence felt defensively, leading the NBA in both steals and deflections.

Preaching patience is standard operating procedure for any team in early November, much less one trying to quickly merge three alphas who share a tendency to shoot to much. But there are red flags aplenty in Oklahoma City’s early body of work, starting with the mediocre play of the Westbrook/George/Anthony trio.

Oklahoma City’s new Big 3 has posted a -0.7 net rating through 11 games. Aside from spanking the Bucks and a nice first-half against the Celtics, the Thunder have yet to demonstrate the ability to form a whole greater than the sum of its parts against a quality opponent.

This is particularly ominous because Presti sacrificed his already limited depth to acquire George and Anthony, trading away four rotation players (Victor Oladipo, Domantas Sabonis, Enes Kanter and Doug McDermott) for the promise of two stars. The result has been a top-heavy roster whose top simply isn’t pulling enough weight compared to recent comparison points. Last year, the Westbrook/Oladipo/Steven Adams trio posted a +6.7 net rating. The year before, Westbrook/Kevin Durant/Serge Ibaka played at a championship-caliber +12.3 net rating.

There isn’t a simple fix to make OKC’s Big 3 hum. Westbrook’s own scoring and usage are down sharply this year; He’s trying, albeit very awkwardly, to clear room for his new sidekicks. Expecting the 33-year-old Anthony to dramatically rework his game is a fool’s errand. As per expectations, he’s been a capable catch-and-shoot target for Westbrook’s passes and a persistent weak link on the defensive end. That’s who he is, whether or not he dons the mythical hooded sweatshirt.

All three of Oklahoma City’s stars are too willing to pound and settle, but they are also encouraged to revert to those bad habits by lineups that feature at least one, and sometimes two, non-scoring threats. Too often, a bad jumper by George or Anthony goes up because it’s still a better idea than a good Andre Roberson jumper. There also isn’t much ball movement or systemic support to grease the skids, as Oklahoma City ranks dead last by making just 256.2 passes per game. Playing Westbrook and Raymond Felton together would theoretically help the Thunder’s flow, but doing so requires trade-offs on the defensive end.

Speaking of defense, Oklahoma City’s calling card has turned into its Achilles heel in crunch time. The NBA’s second-ranked defense drops to dead last in the clutch, posting an abominable 162.1 defensive rating in the last five minutes of games decided by five or fewer points. A chart comparing Oklahoma City’s clutch defense to the other 29 teams looks like a typographical error.

Why, exactly, does Oklahoma City’s defense turn into a funnel when it matters? One persistent area of exploitation has been its lack of rim protection aside from Adams. All four opponents during Oklahoma City’s current losing streak have found success by pulling Adams away from the hoop—either in high pick-and-rolls or simply by deploying scoring big men above the elbow—so that Anthony and wings like George and Andre Roberson were left as the back-side defenders. That simple strategy has led to a parade of lay-ups from cutters, lots of forced fouls to prevent dunks, and quality kick-out threes once Oklahoma City’s defense collapses in panic.

In postseasons past, Adams had Ibaka and Durant, players with significant length and shot-blocking ability, to provide cover. The current Thunder have no players fitting that bill, least of all Anthony. This looms as a long-term concern given that Adams, as a traditional center, isn’t ideally suited to covering stretch fives. On paper and so far in practice, Oklahoma City’s preferred closing lineup includes both a center who can’t always cover distance quickly enough to challenge three-point shooters and a power forward who can’t contest shots above the rim. That’s problematic.

Oklahoma City’s clutch play, and especially its clutch defense, will improve because there’s nowhere to go but up. Repetitions are crucial for a team with so many new pieces and new roles. It’s also reasonable to expect that Westbrook will take his game to another level, responding to the Thunder’s losing streak by deferring less and taking on a greater scoring burden. As last year proved, his force of will can be a winning formula all by itself, at least in the regular season.

The problem there, though, is that while more Westbrook might be better for the Thunder, it probably won’t be better for George. A true return of kamikaze Westbrook would necessarily come at the expense of George, Anthony or both. Meanwhile, it would take Oklahoma City even further away from the Westbrook/George superstar tandem image that had to be scrapped upon Anthony’s late-summer arrival.

Given the prospect of George’s impending free agency and the massive luxury tax payments required to keep this core group together, Presti and company are already at the point where they need to show major progress on the question that will define the organization’s next chapter.

What can the Thunder do to improve Paul George’s life?