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Kevin Love has struggled for much of the postseason, but ave

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Kevin Love has struggled for much of the postseason, but ave

Новое сообщение elaine95 » 25 авг 2018, 04:57

Tennessee safety Kevin Byard is hoping to scratch one more thing off his bucket list.

The second-year safety tied for the league-lead with eight interceptions and led the NFL with 10 total takeaways Lenny Dykstra Jersey , though he has yet to reach the end zone. Byard sees no better time than Saturday when the Titans (9-7) visit the Kansas City Chiefs (10-6) in an AFC wild-card game in his postseason debut.

”I’m just hoping to get in the end zone this time I can get an interception,” Byard said. ”That’s just my whole thing, trying to help this team anyway I can.”

Byard just earned his second AFC defensive player of the week award for adding two more interceptions in a 15-10 win over Jacksonville in helping the Titans clinch their first playoff berth since 2008. Scoring off Alex Smith won’t be easy with the Chiefs quarterback having been intercepted only five times all season.

Coach Mike Mularkey believes Byard is the kind of player who can help the Titans win their first playoff game since January 2004. Mularkey also has no problem with how confident Byard is.

”He backs it up, that’s the best part about it,” Mularkey said. ”He’s not a big talker, trash talker. He’s not cocky at all. He’s a good football player, has a lot of confidence. We all have a lot of confidence in Kevin. He deserves it. He shows if you do what you’re asked to do and you’re in the right place, good things happen and it continues to happen for him.”

The Titans took advantage of geography in making Byard the first pick of the third round in 2016 after he set a school record with 19 interceptions at Middle Tennessee where he landed after Kentucky pulled a scholarship late. His performance wasn’t enough to earn Byard an invitation to the NFL combine.

Once with the Titans, the 5-foot-11, 212-pound Byard impressed coaches and defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau with how quickly he picked up the complicated schemes. Byard started the final seven games of his rookie season. Byard didn’t get his first interception in the NFL until his 20th career game Mark Walton Color Rush Jersey , but he’s the kind of safety that gets his hands on passes in bunches.

Byard picked off three passes in a win at Cleveland on Oct. 22, then he grabbed two more in a win over Baltimore on Nov. 5. That put him atop the NFL for a few weeks with six interceptions .

That’s a big reason why Byard won the fan voting to start at safety for the AFC in the Pro Bowl. But Byard wound up as an alternate after voting by coaches and players, though he said Pro Bowl safety Eric Weddle reached out to him after the roster was announced. He says Weddle told him to keep his head up and offered to watch film with him.

LeBeau isn’t about to compare Byard to safeties he’s coached in the past, like Troy Polamalu who’s among Byard’s football role models with Ed Reed and Brian Dawkins. That would be too much pressure for any young player. But LeBeau says like Polamalu, he knew quickly that Byard would do OK in the NFL.

”He’s a player that’s on the rise no question about it, and he’s playing great football,” LeBeau said.




CLEVELAND — For the third time in as many postseasons, the Cleveland Cavaliers enter Game 3 against the Toronto Raptors leading the series 2-0.

But this is the first time the third game was on Cleveland’s home floor. It’s an uh-oh moment for the Raptors, who were swept out of the Eastern Conference semis by the Cavs last season and are in danger of it happening again.

The Cavs would very much like for history to repeat itself.

“It’s one game at a time, and that’s the only way we should look at it Bears Anthony Miller Jersey ,” said LeBron James, who in Game 2 became the first player in NBA history to score at least 40 points (43) with 14 assists in a playoff game.

“We will not put our guards down,” James said. “I won’t, so that’s going to trickle down to everybody else. Understanding that the series is never won until it’s over. You’ve got to win four games to get out of a series and it starts with the next game, so I will be as sharp as I was tonight.”

The Raptors finished the regular season atop the East and were the only team in the NBA ranked in the top five in offense and defense. But the Cavs are three-time defending conference champs. They are the ones playing with poise so far in this series.

Toronto has been outscored 34-8 in points off turnovers (Cleveland set a franchise record with just three turnovers in a 128-110 win in Game 2), and by 12 points in the fourth quarter. The Cavs opened the third quarter on an 18-5 spurt.

“We’re 0-2, we understand that,” Toronto coach Dwane Casey said. “It’s hope, it’s pride, it’s toughness. The toughness part is the part I didn’t think we played with last night. I thought we did in Game 1. We did in parts of last night. But we didn’t do it long enough. So it’s about grit http://www.billsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-trent-murphy-jersey , toughness.

“If you want to use the word hope … If we’re hoping we win, we shouldn’t be in the NBA,” Casey continued. “That’s not a good word to use if you’re a professional player.”

There’s more bad news coming for the Raptors. They didn’t win a playoff game in Cleveland in either of the previous two years, and have lost eight straight to the Cavs in the postseason overall dating to the 2016 conference finals.

Counting the regular season, the Raptors have dropped four straight against Cleveland, including two at Quicken Loans Arena.

Kevin Love has struggled for much of the postseason, but averaged 20.5 points and shot 66.7 percent from 3-point range in those two regular-season wins over Toronto. Naturally, he had his finest game of the 2018 playoffs in Game 2 with 31 points and 11 rebounds.

The Raptors continually switched smaller players onto Love in Game 2 and he dominated them. In Game 1 (Love was 3 of 13), Toronto used the 7-foot bruiser Jonas Valanciunas on Love and gave him fits.

“It felt nice to see those mismatches or even see the big out on the perimeter on me — whether it was Valanciunas or Siakam or Poeltl or whoever it was — I just kind of was able to get some easy buckets,” Love said. “So that got me going early and Bron was looking for me and those guys helped me through it.”

So Authentic Sylvester Williams Jersey , in summation, it’s not looking good for the Raptors.

“Ain’t nothing changed,” Raptors reserve guard Fred VanVleet said. “There’s a reason why we are who we are. There’s a reason why we’re in the position we’re in. We get paid to do this. Obviously, it hasn’t been our best showing, down 0-2. But it’s the first to four. All we can worry about is going to Cleveland trying to get one.”

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