four-year deal left within Deutsche Nachrichtenmedien 04.03.2019 02:21
von shushu zhang • | 348 Beiträge
(SportsNetwork.com) - Is it too late for the Detroit Pistons to throw a going away party for Josh Smith, who was surprisingly released by the team on Dec. 22. The Pistons were 5-23 at the time, but they have been one of the hottest teams in the league since they cut the 10-year veteran, winning nine of their next 10 games, including a seven-game winning streak following Smiths departure. Highlighting the run were road wins against the Cleveland Cavaliers, San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks and Toronto Raptors, with the victories over the Spurs and Mavericks coming in back-to-back games. Since the Pistons made that somewhat shocking move of dumping Smith, theyve seen massive jumps in the games of Brandon Jennings, Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond. Heres a detailed look at how each of them fared while playing with Smith and since he was given his walking papers: BRANDON JENNINGS With Josh Smith / Without Josh Smith Games - 25 / 10 Minutes Per Game - 28.8 / 27.9 Points Per Game - 12.6 / 20.3 Field Goal Pct. - 36.8 / 46.9 3-PT FG Pct. - 32.7 / 42.1 Assists - 6.4 / 7.0 Turnovers - 2.3 / 1.7 Rebounds - 1.1 / 2.9 Steals - 0.96 / 1.4 GREG MONROE With Josh Smith / Without Josh Smith Games - 26 / 10 Minutes Per Game - 28.9 / 30.3 Points Per Game - 14.6 / 16.1 Field Goal Pct. - 48.1 / 50.4 Rebounds - 8.8 / 11.9 Assists - 1.6 / 2.3 Steals - 0.61 / 1.3 ANDRE DRUMMOND With Josh Smith / Without Josh Smith Games - 28 / 10 Minutes Per Game - 29.8 / 29.3 Points Per Game - 12.9 / 12.3 Field Goal Pct. - 48.2 / 54.5 Rebounds - 12.5 / 14.3 Steals / 0.92 / 1.6 During his tenure with the Pistons, Smith handled the ball a lot and often initiated the offense. As it turns out, that probably stunted the growth of Jennings as a point guard, as he now relishes the responsibility given to him by coach Stan Van Gundy to be the leader and to be held accountable. And the coach is obviously thrilled with the early results. Hes really been terrific here lately, Van Gundy said. He plays with great aggressiveness and great confidence, and sometimes youre (wincing) about some of his shots. Im not trying to put a leash on him, because hes playing great. Youve got to let those guys play. And hes playing as well as Ive seen him play since he came into the league. In a matter of three weeks, the Pistons have gone from a sure-fire lottery team to one that should be able to compete for a playoff spot with so many subpar teams in the Eastern Conference fighting for the lower seeds. And while the Pistons are on a roll, the two marquee teams in their division are struggling. LeBron James was back in the lineup on Tuesday night after missing eight games with back and knee injuries, but that didnt stop the Cavaliers from dropping their sixth straight game as they lost at the Phoenix Suns, 107-100. The Cavs were 1-7 during James absence and have lost nine of 10 overall to fall to 19-20. For those who dont check the standings on a daily basis, you might be shocked to find out that Cleveland is one game back of a Milwaukee Bucks team that won just 15 games last season and lost its standout rookie Jabari Parker for the season with a torn ACL on Dec. 15. With more than half the season still left, the clock hasnt run out on the Cavs righting the ship. But if we dont see a significant improvement over the next month, it would be hard to imagine theyll come close to living up to the preseason expectations. Keep in mind in James first season in Miami, the Heat stumbled to a 9-8 start, but quickly turned things around in a big way, and were 30-9 after their first 39 games. As for the division-leading Chicago Bulls, they dont have quite as many as concerns as the Cavs, but there have been some troubling signs lately. Over the past two weeks, Tom Thibodeaus team has suffered three embarrassing home losses. The Bulls dropped a 96-82 decision to the Brooklyn Nets on Dec. 30. The Utah Jazz won 97-77 on Jan. 7, and the Orlando Magic, minus Tobias Harris and Evan Fournier, went into Chicago on Monday and beat the Bulls, 121-114. You can make an excuse every night in this league if thats what you choose to do, whether its new players, the schedule, the start, whos out, whos in, an angry Thibodeau said after the loss to the Magic. Theres an excuse every night. You cant do that. We have to make good. Either youre in the circle or youre out of the circle. You want to be in? Lets go. You dont want to be in? Thats fine, too. Lets go. Thibodeau also should be concerned with the play of Derrick Rose, who hasnt come close to resembling the player he was prior to all his injuries. The Bulls point guard is averaging 17 points, 4.9 assists and 3.3 turnovers this season, and is shooting 40.2 percent from the floor and hitting 25.4 percent from 3-point range. Those numbers are a far cry from his MVP season in 2010-11, when he averaged 25 points, 7.7 assists and 3.4 turnovers, and shot 44.5 percent from the field and hit 33.2 percent of his 3s. Rose recently said the Bulls are good enough to win a championship this season, but I dont see that happening unless his play increases dramatically. Discount Saucony Shoes Shop . “Im not sure well get Melky Cabrera at all,” said Gibbons. The 29-year-old left fielder struggled all season with knee and hamstring problems. Cabrera was first on the disabled list from June 27-July 20 with tendinitis in his left knee. Cheap Saucony Running Shoes . Pedroia reached the milestone with a little panache, hitting a grand slam in the sixth inning and propelling the Boston Red Sox to a 7-1 win over the Oakland Athletics on Friday night. http://www.wholesalesaucony.com/ . The South Africa international, who rejoined the club last month on loan from Tottenham, opened the scoring in the sixth minute with a powerful shot into the roof of the net. Cheap Saucony Shoes Store . The two teams will play through the completion of the game starting at 5pm ct on Wednesday. The regularly scheduled Wednesday night matchup will follow that and will now be seven innings. Wholesale Saucony Shoes . -- The way Ted Ligety carved into turns looked so easy.At a press scrum last Thursday, the day before the Redblacks were to play their season home opener and officially open the new TD Place Stadium, one of the owners, Roger Greenburg, was asked why he decided to become the co-owner of a football team. His answer just may be the best example of why football will work this time, when it didnt on two previous occasions in Ottawa. Im paraphrasing, but the chairman/CEO of Minto Developments said that he believes there are four pillars that make up a strong community. The first is the medical system. Second, is the education system. The third is the arts and the final one is the sports culture. He went on to say that the Senators have contributed to the sports culture, but it was time to add to that with the return of professional football to the city and the addition of professional soccer. Greenburg and his partners John Ruddy, William Shenkman and Jeff Hunt wanted to be part of building and strengthening one of the pillars of a strong community. In other words, this ownership group has done all of this for the right reason - to strengthen the community that they live in and they were rewarded on Friday night for all their hard work and perseverance. Fridays home opener was an unforgettable experience and, hopefully, showed one of our other major cities in the country, that happens to be only about four hours away, just what is possible. The Redblacks didnt score a touchdown on the field, but they did in the stands and that is what mattered most. Jeff Hunt said the team could have sold another 15,000 tickets to the game and that will translate into demand. Based on the in-game experience on Friday night, nobody should be surprised to hear that the next home game will be sold out soon. The atmosphere was electric. It was a young energetic crowd, who partied like they were attending a rock concert. In fact, in what was an ingenious move, there was also a rock concert going on before the game to get people pumped up for kick-off at what was a Canadian-style tailgate party. TD Place Stadium is fantastic with great sightlines and a design that not only looks outstanding, but is designed to enhance the fan experience for soccer and football, specifically. It doesnt feel like an all-purpose facility that accommodates many, but pleases none. The game itself was not a masterpiece, but it had an exciting finish when, down by two, Redblacks QB Henry Burris hit Kerrie Johnson on a deep ball to set up the game winning field goal. It wasnt a walk-off winner by Brett Maher, but when Ricky Ray was intercepted in the dying seconds, it was game over and the crowd erupted. The games MVP was the crowd, that included Prime Minister Steven Harper, who sat beside CFL Commissioner Mark Cohon and Rough Rider great, Russ Jackson. In fact, one of the highlights of the night was when our TSN cameraa caught a fan walking by the PM and the commish to shake hands with Jackson. It was not a slight to our country leader or the leagues top man, but a show of respect for history of football in Ottawa. And speaking of the telecast, I owe the football fans in Ottawa an apology for mistakenly saying that the five Grey Cup teams in the 60s and 70s were alll coached by Frank Clair.ddddddddddddMy intention was to say that all the Cup teams in the 60s were coached by Clair. Jack Gotta was the coach from 1970-1973 and George Brancato was the coach when the Rough Riders beat Saskatchewan to win in 1976. The telecast wasnt perfect and neither was the night - apparently, some of the concessions ran out of beer and the traffic was a bit tricky, which, of course, was pointed out by some sportswriters...I swear some people would complain that their ice cream is too cold. I recently went to a George Strait concert in Dallas at AT&T Field, one of the most elaborate and state-of-the-art stadiums in the world and it had traffic issues, as well. In fact, it was so jammed up, I ended up tailgating in the parking lot for almost two hours after the event waiting for it to clear. On Friday night, the small issue were just that - small - and didnt, in any way, take away from the success of the event. It was a look at what is possible, even in Ontario ,when it comes to CFL football. The capacity of TD Place Stadium is 24,000, which just may be the perfect number and a blueprint for a possible stadium in Toronto. Our country has great football fans, but just not the volume to consistently fill a 40-to-50,000-seat stadium and at 24,000 in the stands, owners are making money. For those who would say that, if the NFL were in Toronto, they would sell out the old SkyDome, I would remind those people that the NFL regular season games played in Toronto were not sell-outs and not even close. In fact, sources have said that upwards of 20,000 tickets to the games in the Buffalo Bills series were freebies, handed to people on the street. No, 25-30,000-seat stadiums are the perfect size for CFL football, professional soccer and summer concerts and, for proof of that, look no further than Friday night in Ottawa. It can work in Toronto, as well, with a stadium at a realistic capacity and one built for football and soccer, specifically. It worked in Montreal, it is working in a big way in Winnipeg and, after Game One in Ottawa, it looks like it will be a huge hit there, as well. The answer may be BMO Field, which seems to still be part of the plan for the Argos. On our TSN set in Ottawa, Commissioner Mark Cohon had this to say when asked what it would take to replicate the Ottawa plan in Toronto: "The answer is a smaller stadium like BMO," said Cohon. "We know that they have a four-year deal left with Rogers Centre. Were talking to Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, were talking to the city of Toronto and were working to see if we can move [the Argos] into BMO Field and replicate what we have [in Ottawa.]" The blueprint for the correct business model has now been created and now all that is needed in Toronto is for David Braley, or whomever buys the Argos, to start building the fourth pillar in that community. Congratulations again to the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group and, on behalf of the football fans in our country, thank you. At the end of the night in Ottawa, the scoreboard read Redblacks 18 - Argonauts 17, but the true winners were the fans and the community in our nations capital. ' ' '