he proves his worth. Ward: Kevin Duran

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KINGSTON, R.I. -- Rhode Island coach Dan Hurley thought the key to his players making shots was the way they selected them.Im not sure we took any bad shots, he said Monday night after the 21st-ranked Rams beat Marist 107-65 in the Hall of Fame Tipoff Tournament.I just think these guys really enjoy playing together, Hurley added after URI shot 56 percent from the field -- including 12 of 21 from 3-point range. I dont think they want to let each other down by being a pig or being selfish, because they all care about one another.E.C. Matthews scored 22 points for the Rams (2-0), shooting 8 of 10 from the field, including 3 of 4 from 3-point range. Hassan Martin had 15 points and 10 rebounds, and Kuran Iverson and Jared Terrell scored 14 apiece for Rhode Island in its first appearance in The Associated Press Top 25 since 2007-08.Matthews said the players know they dont have to take a shot if its not there.Playing with great guards and great forwards, youve just got to rotate the ball, he said.Khallid Hart scored 19 points and Brian Parker had 18 for Marist (0-2).The Red Foxes scored the first five points of the game and led 7-2 before URI reeled off 16 in a row. Rhode Island scored six of the last seven points in the first half to open a 25-point lead at the break and then added the first five points of the second.BIG PICTUREMarist: The Red Foxes opened the season with back-to-back games against ranked teams, losing to No. 1 Duke in their opener on Friday.Rhode Island: This is the easy part for the Rams, who beat Dartmouth by 23 in the opener. Its all a warmup for No. 24 Cincinnati, followed by either Penn State or Duke, in the Tipoff Tourneys championship rounds at Mohegan Sun Casino.POLL IMPLICATIONSURI moved up two spots in The Associated Press Top 25 this week after coasting to a season-opening, 84-61 victory over Dartmouth. But the Rams will have to earn their spot in next weeks rankings, with games against No. 24 Cincinnati and then either Penn State or No. 1 Duke on the final day of the tournament.BAD STARTSIts the second time in as many games that URI started slowly before coasting to victory. Dartmouth led 12-11 with 5 minutes gone in the opener before the Rams pulled away.Minus a slow, kind of sluggish defensive start, I thought we hung in there, Hurley said. We got on the first group about their start. We didnt like it against Dartmouth. We cant continue to dig holes for ourselves.STATSURI shot 57 percent from 3-point range. The Rams had 21 assists to seven for Marist, and outrebounded the Red Foxes 43-21.That was one of our goals, Hurley said. Not just to win the glass, but to dominate the glass.RESTING UPHurley used his bench in the second half, and no starter played more than 25 minutes. In all, 13 players saw the floor for the Rams, and all but one scored -- Mike Layssard, who did have three rebounds and an assist in 6 minutes. Eric Dadika and Will Leviton each made a basket after checking in for the final 2 minutes of the game.Hurley said he wants his starters playing 30 minutes or more when the competition gets tougher.We wanted to build them up, he said. Going into the weekend, were going to need these guys in the 30s.UP NEXTMarist: Hosts Vermont on Wednesday night.Rhode Island: Plays Brown in Kingston on Wednesday in the second of four games in the Hall of Fame tournament. Discount Adidas NHL Jerseys . Mickelson barely made the cut but had the best round of the day with nine birdies and an eagle coupled with two bogeys to sit two shots behind leader Craig Lee of Scotland. Lee shot a 69 for a 12-under 204 total. "I just love the fact I am in contention and have an opportunity in my first tournament of the year here in Abu Dhabi," Mickelson said. Adidas NHL Jerseys From China . -- The proud fathers huddled near the Dallas Stars dressing room, smiling, laughing and telling stories while wearing replica green sweaters of their sons team. http://www.nhljerseys.us/ . While hell be dialed in to that tournament on a course he loves, you can forgive him if his eyes glance down the calendar just a bit, towards April. Adidas NHL Jerseys Outlet . In Europe, top teams seem to be largely happy with their squads after spending nearly $1 billion in the off-season. And although English league clubs are unlikely to splash cash in January, Arsenal and Chelsea could be tempted to strengthen their squads with new strikers. Authentic Adidas NHL Jerseys ., and Rudi Swiegers of Kipling, Sask., took sixth spot on Saturday in pairs at the NHK Trophy ISU Grand Prix figure skating competition.Each and every second round series in the NBA Playoffs has produced a split of the first two games. The Five-Man Weave crew takes a look at which teams have the advantage going forward as best-of-seven becomes best-of-five and home court advantage shifts to the underdogs. 1. Oklahoma City vs Memphis Grizzlies - who wins and how many games? Tim Chisholm: Memphis in 6. While Kevin Durant has been terrific acting as a one-man show since Westbrooks injury, Memphis is too good a defensive team to not adapt to what OKC is trying to run, and at the end of the day the Grizzlies simply have more that they can throw at the Thunder than the Thunder have that they can throw at the Grizzlies. Itll be a fun, competitive series, but I gotta give this one to Memphis. Duane Watson: This series could have easily been the Western Conference Finals. How different would this be if Russell Westbrook was healthy? But hes not and Mike Conley is emerging as a top-level point guard in the NBA. The Grizz stole one in OKC and their defensive, grindhouse basketball in addition to their overall balance on the squad is too much for a Thunder squad that has gotten by for a while on the mere talent of Durant and Westbrook. They will continue to be outcoached and outplayed and fall to Memphis in six games. Josh Lewenberg: Thunder in 7. Generally the NBA playoffs are about two things: star power and defence. Thats what wins at this time of the year and thats precisely what makes this series – even without Russell Westbrook – so intriguing. Both teams were among the top four in defensive efficiency during the regular season but neither club has been especially imposing in the playoffs, where they rank in the middle of the pack in that category. Ultimately, Kevin Durant could and should be the difference maker in close games… and for the record, I expect this series to produce seven closely contested games. Mitch Ward: Im sticking to my guns and saying Oklahoma City. Kevin Durant is just that good. Its a gven that he is going to perform, so as long as Kevin Martin doesnt continue to pull complete disappearing acts (2-for-11 field goals and six points in Game 2 and OKC nearly still won) and Serge Ibaka steps up at least a little, I think this team should reach the Western Conference Finals. Durant doesnt need much help, but he still needs some. Thunder in 6. Will Strickland: Griz in 6. Mike Conley has made the leap in these playoffs, slaying Chris Paul in the first round. With no Russell Westbrook to contend with, Conley may have just become the closer the Grizzlies need vs OKC and thats said with utmost respect to Zack Randolph and Marc Gasol. 2. San Antonio vs Golden State - who wins and how many games? Chisholm: San Antonio in 7. The Warriors are the darlings of these NBA Playoffs and for good reason, but they are prone to late-game collapses and they cannot be assured of such torrid shooting from their backcourt all series long. San Antonio came into this series forcing Golden State into taking bad shots and the Warriors have simply hit them. It says here that the Spurs adjust to that reality and make it a lot harder for the Warriors to get space on their mid-range and long-range game. Watson: From the outset, I pegged the Spurs with their experience and depth to be too much for the young lions of Golden State, but the Splash Brothers - Steph Curry and Klay Thompson - are a match-up nightmare, averaging 44 points ppg between them in the Playoffs. Head Coach Mark Jackson has done an incredible job of motivating his team and getting the most out of his bench. He is also benefitting from the timely resurrection of Andrew Bogut. They almost won both games and are returning to the comfort of home. I like the Ws in 6... not that Im flip-flopping or anything. Lewenberg: Spurs in 6. Throughout the regular season, Raptors coach Dwane Casey reminded us how difficult it can be for an inexperienced team to close out games. Its especially difficult against elite, veteran competition in the playoffs. The Warriors are a talented young group paced by a point guard, in Steph Curry, who has proven to be a nightmare for opposing defences. To win this series theyll have to execute down the stretch, something theyve failed to do despite all their postseason success. They were remarkably fortunate to get away with a series of late-game lapses against the Nuggets but the Popovich-led Spurs are a different animal, evident in the Game 1 thriller. Ward: Golden State in 6. In each of the first two games, the Warriors have raced out to huge leads over the Spurs... in San Antonio! If not for a defensive meltdown in the final minutes of Game 1 and a complete zero to hero turn from Manu Ginobili, this series would be headed back to the Oracle 2-0 for Golden State. I think the Warriors defend home court, lose in San Antonio for Game 5 and then clinch at home. Strickland: Cant believe Im saying this... kinda, but... Golden State in 7. The Splash Brothers, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, are the engine that drive this high-powered sports car, but the presence of the former Human Injured Reserve List, Andrew Bogut, has been and will be vital to the Warriors taking that step toward the Western Conference Finals. Goldens State serious... They are more than Kid & Klaying! 3. Miami vs Chicago - who wins and how many games? Chisholm: Miami in 5. Chicago caught Miami out of rhythm and out of character in Game 1, and they should be commended for that, but, as Game 2 demonstrated, the Heat are capable of operating on a different level from Chicago simply by virtue of the fact that they are healthier and possess the greatest player of his generation. Chicago will do all they can to leave Miami bruised and battered, but they wont get another win off of them in these Playoffs. Watson: Derrick Rose is not walking through that door! But if he is, he wont be a difference maker. You cant miss the entire regular season and expect to be effective jumping back into the Playoffs, against the Heat no less. The game 1 defeat woke up LeBron and company, whom I expect to put a beating on the Bulls for the rest of the season, despite the heroic efforts of Noah, Robinson and Belinelli.dddddddddddd Miami will take this in 5 games. Lewenberg: Heat in 6. For 48 hours Miami trailed in a best-of-seven series. For 48 hours we experienced what it might feel like to have parity restored in our beloved NBA. It was a magical time. Then the Heat had to go and ruin it, crushing Chicago to the tune of a 115-78 Game 2 victory. Give the Bulls credit, theyre resilient and could conceivably steal another game against the defending champs. However, the reality has not changed. On occasion Miami is beatable, but in a seven-game series… I just dont see them going down. Ward: Heat in 6. Game 2 proved that the Heat are simply too much better than the Bulls for Chicago to have a realistic shot in this series, even if they did shock the Heat in Game 1. Ill give the Bulls credit for one more gutsy win at home, but even thats pretty unlikely. Too bad, I was really starting to enjoy the Nate Robinson takeover show. Strickland: Heat in 5. 4. New York vs Indiana - who wins and how many games? Chisholm: Indiana in 7. This is a tight series played by two teams with vastly different styles. The ultimate issue I see facing New York is that they generally need J.R. Smith to be on his game consistently if they want to take a best-of-seven series, and he still looks out of sorts since his one-game suspension in round one. Plus, if Amare Stoudemire comes back as anticipated, it is just as likely that he throws the teams rhythm into disarray and further weakens the teams defensive stopping power. Watson: Carmelo Anthony has to continue to keep shooting the ball well and sharing it if the Knicks have a chance to win this series. The same could be said for David West and Paul George on the Pacers side, as they go down, so does their squad. Amare returns to the line-up in Game 3, but he wont be much of a difference maker at this point. This series has become a bit of Jekyll & Hyde, with teams playing great from one and poorly to the next. Indiana hasnt been playing like the team that was challenging in the playoffs this time last year, so it will be Knicks in 7. Lewenberg: Pacers in 7. Two teams, two contrasting styles. The Pacers are a big, physical, defensive oriented club while the Knicks play a boom or bust style of basketball, launching from long range and relying heavily on a great, albeit inefficient scorer. Although postseason play tends to favour Indianas more dependable brand of basketball, the Pacers propensity for offensive lapses (see Tuesdays fourth quarter collapse) opens the door for Melo and company. Despite the expected return of Amare – who should be limited in terms of playing time and production – New Yorks fate rests on Melos shoulders. 39 per cent shooting wont get the job done. Ward: This is pretty much a toss-up for me. If the Knicks shooters can get (and stay) hot, they have the edge. But as they say, if you live by the three, you die by the three. If the Knicks go cold, the Pacers physicality can take over. Ultimately I see this series going the distance with Indiana eventually wearing down the Knicks. Pacers in 7. Strickland: New York in 7 tough games. Melo has to show and prove with a floundering Earl Smith, Jr. and will finally get his team to the Eastern Conference Finals with the oldest team in NBA history to face Miami. Joy! 5. Who has been the playoffs MVP thus far? Chisholm: There is no doubt that the chic answer is breakout star Stephen Curry, who has burst onto the scene in a very loud fashion. He is scoring better, and more efficiently, than he did in the regular season. Hes passing the ball better and hes proven to be the kind of player that opposing teams not only need to account for, but gear their defences toward stopping because traditional schemes dont account for his range or brazen shot selection. Watson: Hes averaging 33.3 ppg, 9.1 rpg and 6.4 apg. No, its not LeBron James, but Kevin Durant who has single-highhandedly carried the Thunder through the playoffs. Durant has done everything to make up for the loss of injured guard Russell Westbrook, filling the stat sheet and making clutch baskets, unfortunately it wont be enough to get the Thunder back to the NBA Finals. Lewenberg: Kevin Durant. Just because we expected this level of performance from KD after Westbrook went down doesnt make it any less impressive. Serge Ibaka has been a disappointment, Kevin Martin has produced inconsistently and Kendrick Perkins has become a punch line. All the while Durant has carried OKC in basically every way imaginable. His rebound rate is up, his assist percentage is higher than ever (regular season and playoffs) and hes still scoring with efficiency despite the increase in attempts with Westbrook sidelined. The Thunder will go as far as KD takes them… this is where he proves his worth. Ward: Kevin Durant. In the absence of the Robin to his Batman, Durant has put the Thunder on his back. The fact that the Thunder could lose one of the top-15 best players in the NBA and still be a legitimate contender in the playoffs speaks to just how good Durant is. His averages for the six games since Westbrook went down are just ridiculous: 35.5 points, 10.5 rebounds and 6.3 assists. Ridiculous. Strickland: Steph Curry is must-see TV right now. His ability to create and score in a myriad of ways is almost disheartening for the Spurs trying to guard a man who looks like he should be playing in their kids middle school hoops tournaments. Nate Robinson is in the convo, especially with what he and the Bulls have done with spare parts and Carlos Boozer, but... Kevin Durant is on that radar as well. He alone will not be enough to overcome the Grizzlies. Gotta love this game!!! The Five-Man Weave is made up of TSN.ca Raptors blogger Tim Chisholm ( @timpchisholm), TSN Radio 1050 Raptors reporter Josh Lewenberg (@JLew1050), Duane Watson (@sweetswatson) and Will Strickland (@WallStrizzle1) from TSN Radio 1050s 1-on-1 with Will and Duane, and TSN.ca NBA Editor Mitch Ward (@jmitchw). cheap falcons jerseys cheap ravens jerseys cheap bills jerseys cheap bears jerseys cheap bengals jerseys cheap cowboys jerseys cheap lions jerseys cheap texans jerseys cheap colts jerseys cheap jaguars jerseys cheap chiefs jerseys cheap rams jerseys cheap dolphins jerseys cheap vikings jerseys cheap saints jerseys cheap giants jerseys cheap jets jerseys cheap eagles jerseys cheap steelers jerseys cheap 49ers jerseys ' ' '

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