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« : сб 21 окт 17, 06:48:39 »

OKLAHOMA CITY - Thunder general manager Sam Presti is aware of coach Scott Brooks critics. An NBA Finals appearance in 2012 fueled expectations, so when San Antonio beat the Thunder in Oklahoma City this season to close out the Western Conference finals, it didnt go over well with some locals in this era of winning coaches getting fired. Naysayers also believe Brooks offensive strategy gives point guard Russell Westbrook too much freedom at the expense of MVP Kevin Durant. Presti did his best to squelch the talk on Thursday. After all, he said, the Thunder finished with the second-best record in the NBA this season, despite numerous injuries to key players. "Scotty, I think, did an excellent job," Presti said. "I understand, we all have a tendency to look at the last game and the last series. I respect it. Thats part of sports. I cant do that." Brooks took over for P.J. Carlesimo during the 2008-09 season and led the team to a 22-47 record. The team has won at least 61 per cent of its games each season since. Brooks has a 293-170 record with the Thunder. "Hes stacking successful seasons on top of each other, increasing our odds to take a really unique amount of time that weve been successful and extend it to a very, very unique amount of time," Presti said. Durant said this week that he feels Brooks is the man to keep things moving. "Thats our guy," Durant said. "Im riding with him." Brooks has praised Westbrook while often publicly pointing out his three-time All-Stars need to find a balance between shooting and passing when he attacks. Westbrook also spoke highly of Brooks this week. "Hes done a great job of having confidence in me personally," Westbrook said. "Theres times when things have gone south and hes the only one that always — regardless of what happened — always had my back. Regardless if people were saying I was doing this or doing that, I was being selfish, he always was the first person to step up and have my back and support me regardless of whats going on." Brooks will have plenty to work with. Durant is signed through 2015-16, and Westbrook and defensive ace Serge Ibaka are signed through 2016-17. Backup centre Steven Adams figures to be a prominent part of the future. The 20-year-old from New Zealand improved dramatically late in the regular season while Kendrick Perkins was out with an injury, then continued to get better in the playoffs. Presti sees Adams talent, but says he has work ahead. Perkins is still a solid defender, but his offensive limitations allow defences to pay more attention to Durant and Westbrook. When Presti was asked about the amnesty clause, which allows a team to waive one player without his salary counting against the cap or luxury tax, he hesitated before offering perspective. He said though Adams was solid against the Los Angeles Clippers and San Antonio, Perkins played a key role in the grueling seven-game series against Memphis. Presti said he wouldnt consider waiving or trading Perkins unless it could help the team strategically long term. Shooting guard Thabo Sefolosha is an unrestricted free agent who lost his starting job during the playoffs. Caron Butler, a mid-season pickup, is an unrestricted free agent. He had his moments, but was out of the rotation by the end of the playoffs. The team has the option to keep Hasheem Thabeet, a 7-foot-3 backup centre. Thabeet played little, even while Perkins was injured. Presti was non-committal in each case. Presti seemed uncertain what unrestricted free agent Derek Fisher will do, but said he will be successful whatever he decides. The 39-year-old guard has been connected to the New York Knicks head coaching job. "We have absolutely no reason to expect Derek to keep us informed of his plans," Presti said. "The only thing we have a right to do is to support him because hes left an impact here in a positive way." __ Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter: www.twitter.com/CliffBruntAP Matt Calvert Jersey .That is precisely what they got Sunday.The Ravens trailed at halftime and never built a comfortable lead against lowly Jacksonville, yet did just enough to squeeze out a 20-12 win to stay in the thick of the AFC playoff race. Cam Atkinson Jersey . Saskatchewans Darian Durant is expected to miss the rest of the Roughriders season with a torn tendon in his right elbow. The 32-year-old, who will undergo surgery in the next couple days to repair the injury, was added to the teams six-game injury list Tuesday. http://www.bluejacketshockeystore.us/. Torres scored the first goal by an English team in the knockout phase of the Champions League this season when he met Cezar Azpilicuetas cutback in the ninth minute of their first leg match in the last 16. But Chelsea failed to make the most of its counterattacks and the Turkish champions equalized in the second half after gaining in confidence and cutting out their defensive mistakes. Jack Johnson Jersey . Murray beat Sam Querrey 7-6 (5), 6-7 (3), 6-1, 6-3 to clinch Britains opening-round victory against the United States on Sunday at Petco Park. "Im proud of the way Im playing just now, because I had to do a lot of work to get back to where I want to be," Murray said after celebrating with his teammates on the red clay court in a temporary stadium in left field of the downtown home of baseballs San Diego Padres. Anton Forsberg Jersey . - Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Percy Harvin has cleared league-mandated concussion protocol and has returned to practice as a full participant.INDIANAPOLIS - Kevin Harvick once again dominated a NASCAR qualifying session, setting a new Indianapolis Motor Speedway track record to win the pole for the Brickyard 400. Harvick turned a lap at 188.470 mph on Saturday to claim his Sprint Cup Series-best fourth pole of the season. Harvick beat the track record of 187.531 set last year by Ryan Newman, who won from the pole. Harvick, who had never before won more than two poles in a season, will try Sunday to win the prestigious Brickyard for the second time in his career. The Stewart-Haas Racing driver first won at Indianapolis in 2003 when he drove for Richard Childress. It was clear quickly that Stewart-Haas came prepared for the Brickyard with some of its quickest cars. Harvick was fastest in all three rounds of NASCARs knockout qualifying session, and teammates Tony Stewart and Kurt Busch also finished in the top-seven. Only Danica Patrick failed to make it into the final round, but still qualified 14th to put all the SHR Chevrolets near the front of the field. "Its time to get into Chase form, and this is where it all starts," said Harvick, a two-time winner already this season. Landing right behind Harvick was Sprint Cup Series points leader Jeff Gordon, who will start second on Sunday when he races for his fifth Brickyard victory. He was thrilled with his qualifying performance because it puts him on the front row on the 20th anniversary of his victory in the inagural NASCAR race at Indianapolis. "To be on the front row, 20 years after my first win, I get excited about that," Gordon said. Brad Keselowski qualified third, setting up what could be yet another race-day battle between Hendrick Motorsports and Team Penske. Along with Harvicks new crew at SHR, the Hendrick and Penske drivers have seemed to be the strongest and most cconsistent this season.dddddddddddd. For Keselowski, a win on Sunday would finally give him a victory in a marquee event. More important, it would be the first NASCAR win at Indy for team owner Roger Penske, who has a record 15 victories in the Indianapolis 500 but none in the Brickyard 400. "Its the last thing left on the Penske bucket list," said Keselowski, who noted Juan Pablo Montoya was brought in from IndyCar this weekend in a third Team Penske Ford to give the owner an additional shot on Sunday. "Hes all in, as much as you can be, right, and it would be a huge honour to be the guy that pulls it off for him." Brian Vickers qualified fourth and was followed by Stewart, a two-time Brickyard winner who easily had the fastest car at the track last month before he wrecked it during a tire test. Busch was seventh and followed by Montoya, the 2000 Indianapolis 500 winner who went 0-for-7 in this race during his full-time NASCAR gig. Montoya was the driver to beat at least twice before at Indy, but the victories slipped away in the waning laps of the 2009 and 2010 races. Penske driver Joey Logano was ninth as the three Team Penske drivers all landed in the top 10. Kasey Kahne was 10th and teammate Jimmie Johnson 11th as three of the four Hendrick drivers qualified in the first six rows. Dale Earnhardt Jr. had a dissapointing run, and qualofied 23rd. "I havent been real happy here all weekend," Earnhardt said. It was a strange day for Joe Gibbs Racing, which saw Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth qualify 12th and 13th. But Denny Hamlin didnt make it out of the first round of qualifying and wound up 27th. "Really weve been over a second off most of the weekend," said Hamlin. "Just slow. Our car is handling so bad, we cant get anything to go right." Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys ' ' '
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