Inscrit le: 03 Juil 2018
|Posté le: Lun 13 Aoû - 03:21 (2018) Sujet du message: Take it from another champion.
|A look ahead to top enterprise and feature stories planned globally by AP Sports. New digests will go out each Thursday and Monday and will be repeated on other weekdays. Please note that story plans may change depending on news and other issues.
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As with all our operations, we welcome and want your feedback. If you have thoughts or questions about the Sports Showcase Digest or the material listed, please reach out to Oskar Garcia, assistant sports editor for the U.S. east region, at 215-446-6632 or at ogarcia(at)ap.org.
All times are Eastern.
THURSDAY, March 29
BBO–TIME TO TANK?
Rebuilding -or, to use the less euphemistic term, tanking- has become one of baseball’s most polarizing topics in 2018. When the Astros won the World Series last season, four years removed from a 111-loss debacle, they became a shining example of how short-term pain can lead to long-term gain, but as other teams try to follow Houston’s lead, they’re being met with at least a little bit of skepticism. By Baseball Writer Noah Trister. UPCOMING: 1,000 word, photos.
This Masters is as much about a red shirt as a green jacket. Tiger Woods is back at Augusta National for the first time since 2015 Kolton Miller Youth Jersey , and he even looks so much like the Tiger Woods of old that he has been installed as a co-favorite. As much as golf has missed the excitement that Woods creates at tournaments, Woods has missed golf. ”I love playing Augusta National. There’s no other golf course like it in the world, and there’s no other golf tournament like it. It is literally … it’s a players’ heaven.” Ten months after he was arrested on a DUI charge for taking a bad mix of prescription medicine, and six months after not even Woods was sure he would ever return to elite competition, the question has shifted from whether he could play in the Masters to whether he can win. By Golf Writer Doug Ferguson. UPCOMING: 1,000 words, photos by 5 p.m.
FRIDAY, March 30
Sergio Garcia, the Masters champion, never felt any different from the Sergio Garcia who spent nearly 20 years trying to make sure his career would not be defined as the guy who never could win a major. He says he didn’t changed as a person, and he was right. All the change took place before he won the Masters. By Golf Writer Doug Ferguson. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos by 4 a.m. Friday.
GLF–MASTERS-CAPSULES. By Doug Ferguson. A capsule look at 15 contenders for the Masters. UPCOMING: 1,500 words by 5 p.m.
GLF–MASTERS-FACTS & FIGURES. UPCOMING by 5 p.m.
GLF–MASTERS-HOLE BY HOLE. UPCOMING by 5 p.m.
GLF–MASTERS-YARDAGE-PAR. UPCOMING by 5 p.m.
SATURDAY, March 31
It is the only hole at Augusta National that doesn’t have a bunker. No other hole on the back nine is shorter. Rory McIlroy watched the Masters every year when he was younger and didn’t see what was so difficult about the 440-yard 14th hole until he had to try it himself. ”There’s a 3-yard square you have to hit it,” he said. Sitting between the dynamic par 5s on the back nine Quenton Nelson Jersey , the hole called ”Chinese Fir” has played a key role over the years. By Golf Writer Doug Ferguson. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 3 a.m.
GLF–MASTERS-ANNIVERSARIES. By Doug Ferguson. A capsule look at key moments over the years at the Masters. UPCOMING: 900 words, photos by 3 a.m.
PALM HARBOR, Fla. – Golf is getting younger, and the PGA Tour is going after its slice of the new generation to build a fan base. That has brought more energy, more volume and raucous behavior that has led to some high-profile players asking that fans be removed. Rory McIlroy suggested limiting alcohol sales. PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan says it’s a good problem to have. But it won’t be a problem at the Masters, where fans know they best mind their manners. By Mark Long. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos by 3 p.m.
MONDAY, April 2
HKN–ONE FOR 1,000
Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook and Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin are the latest of only about 60 NHL players to reach 1,000 games with a single franchise. But that number will grow significantly in the coming years as stars and core players choose to re-sign with their current teams long term because of the collective bargaining agreement and hockey’s lean toward security over movement. By Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 5 a.m.
FRIDAY, April 6
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Nashville Predators are having their best season yet through a combination of savvy drafting, surprising trades and a handful of salary cap-friendly contract extensions. General manager David Poile’s crafty moves have the defending Western Conference champs on the verge of what could be a dominant run in the NHL. By Teresa M. Walker. UPCOMING: 725 words Ronald Jones II Jersey , photos. Video.
Again, if you have questions about the Sports Showcase Digest or the material listed, please reach out to Oskar Garcia, assistant sports editor for the U.S. east region, at 215-446-6632 or at ogarcia(at)ap.org.
Maybe this is the year.
Maybe the Golden State Warriors, opening the postseason without Stephen Curry or any momentum, won’t be the best of the West, where there’s a Houston team that can run and gun as well as they do.
Maybe the Cleveland Cavaliers, starting from the middle of the pack in the East, just have too big a hill to climb, even with LeBron James carrying them.
Or perhaps none of that matters, and the NBA is headed toward Round 4 of its reigning rivalry.
The postseason opens Saturday and it’s far from a guarantee it ends with a record fourth straight NBA Finals matchup between the Warriors and Cavaliers. Neither was the best team in its conference during the regular season – the Cavaliers were only No. 4 in the East – and it’s not hard to envision a Houston to Toronto trip replacing what’s become an annual Oakland, California, to Cleveland itinerary.
Then again Minkah Fitzpatrick Youth Jersey , the Warriors could be as dangerous as ever once Curry returns from a knee injury that could have him back for the second round. James has played in the last seven NBA Finals, so nobody knows how to get to the finish line better, no matter from where he starts.
And the other top contenders have to overcome their history of disappointments. Houston’s Mike D’Antoni and James Harden have never won, and Chris Paul hasn’t even gotten out of the second round. The Raptors had their best regular season ever, but they were last seen in the postseason getting stomped in four straight by James and the Cavs last year in the second round.
Golden State faces No. 7 San Antonio on Saturday in the postseason opener, followed by the top-seeded Raptors and No. 8 Washington Wizards in the East. Sixth-seeded Miami and No. 3 Philadelphia are then followed by Portland-New Orleans in the other 3-6 matchup.
On Sunday, it’s No. 7 Milwaukee at No. 2 Boston, and the Cavs hosting the No. 5 Indiana Pacers in the East, followed by No. 5 Utah at No. 4 Oklahoma City. The Rockets wrap up opening weekend against No. 8 Minnesota, ending the NBA’s longest playoff drought with its first playoff appearance since 2004.
A look at some things to watch in the first round:
Curry’s injury is the only one that remains, but the Warriors at one point down the stretch were also without Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson, too. Even the champions couldn’t overcome that, dropping six of their final 10 games, but they start against a San Antonio team whose injury problems are every bit as bad Leighton Vander Esch Jersey , assuming Kawhi Leonard doesn’t return after missing almost the entire season.
Philadelphia is the hottest team in the postseason, winning its final 16 games to finish 52-30. But the 76ers are led by postseason newcomers in Joel Embiid and rookie Ben Simmons – and Embiid is still recovering from a broken orbital bone and concussion as the postseason begins – and will have to overcome their inexperience and a rugged Miami team.
It was an up-and-down regular season for Oklahoma City, which acquired Paul George and Carmelo Anthony to play with Russell Westbrook but finished well back of Houston and Golden State. But the Thunder might be one of those teams better built for the postseason, and they got an easier road when they won three straight to grab home-court advantage against a Utah team that would have had it before a season-ending loss at Portland.
There’s no more Kyrie Irving and there was only Gordon Hayward for a few minutes all season, so the Celtics are being overlooked despite their No. 2 seed in the East. But there’s plenty of young (Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown) and veteran (Al Horford, Marcus Morris) talent on a 55-game winner that features one of the league’s best coaches in Brad Stevens.
As good as Toronto is, it seems futile picking against James and the firepower around him to get to the NBA Finals. But the Cavaliers don’t defend well enough and can be picked apart by top offenses, so go with the West champion to win the title, particularly if it’s Golden State or Houston.
Take it from another champion.
”I like Houston and Golden State, pending their health, as being my top two favorites,” five-time winner Kobe Bryant said during a conference call to promote his new basketball analysis show ”Detail” that will run on ESPN during the postseason.
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