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17.08.2018 08:25
INJURY UPDATE Antworten

Houston Texans general manager Brian Gaine has quite a challenge as he prepares for his first draft with the team.

He enters Thursday looking to upgrade a team that went 4-12 last season and has no picks in the first two rounds. Instead of worrying about the picks Houston doesn't have Cheap Customized Miami Dolphins Jerseys , Gaine is focused on how he can get the most out of the four picks the Texans own in the third and fourth rounds.

"Although they might not be player 50 or 60, we're still going to get four players in the top 103," Gaine said. "So, we're very positive that we'll be able to get contributing players at any one of those picks in the third and the fourth round."

The Texans don't have a first-round pick for the first time in franchise history. They traded away this year's choice to Cleveland to get quarterback Deshaun Watson with the 12th overall pick in last year's draft. They previously sent their second-round pick in this draft to the Browns as part of the deal to get rid of Brock Osweiler.

Houston's first pick will be No. 68, and it received the 80th pick from Seattle in the trade for left tackle Duane Brown. Houston got the 98th selection in the third round as a compensatory pick for A.J. Bouye signing with the Jaguars last year.

The Texans have one fourth-rounder, three picks in the sixth round and a seventh-round selection this year.

Gaine wouldn't rule out trading up if they really like a player, but it doesn't seem likely.

"If there's a certain player that's falling down on the board that we had a very good grade on, certainly we're always going to talk about that scenario if we have the ammunition and the latitude to go up," he said. "I would tell you, historically, I would much prefer to go down than I ever would to go up, to get more at-bats, to accumulate more good players."

OFFENSIVE LINE NEEDS

Believing they've finally found their franchise quarterback in Watson James Washington Steelers Jersey , the Texans need to upgrade the offensive line to protect him. The unit took a hit last season when Brown, their franchise left tackle, was traded to Seattle, and the Texans allowed the second-most sacks in the league with 54. Houston addressed the situation by signing guards Senio Kelemete and Zach Fulton and tackle Seantrel Henderson in free agency, but could still try to add reinforcements in the draft.

GAINE'S TIME

Gaine will be in charge of a draft for the first time in his career after Houston hired him in January to take over for Rick Smith, who took a leave of absence to be with his wife, who is fighting cancer. Although this is his first stint as a general manager, Gaine has plenty of experience in scouting and player evaluations, having worked as assistant general manager for the Dolphins and in player personnel for the Texans and the Bills.

HITS AND MISSES

Although it's a small sample size, the Texans appear to have hit big in last year's draft with Watson. He starred in seven games before he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in practice. Watson threw for 1,699 yards with 19 touchdowns and eight interceptions as a rookie and is on track to be healthy for the start of the 2018 season.

Another solid pick for the Texans in the last few years is Jadeveon Clowney, selected first overall in 2014. The defensive end shook off a couple of injury-filled seasons to become one of the top defenders in the league. He finished second in the NFL with a career-high 21 tackles for losses and his 9 1/2 sacks, 21 quarterback hits and two forced fumbles also were career bests.

While the Texans hit on Clowney in that draft http://www.falconsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-justin-bethel-jersey , their second-round selection might be one of their worst misses. Houston passed on quarterback Derek Carr to take Xavier Su'a-Filo with the 33rd overall pick. The offensive guard started 31 of 32 games over the past two seasons, but struggled with consistency, and the Texans chose not to re-sign him this offseason.

The Boston Celtics have been mining possibility out of improbable odds throughout the 2017-2018 season.

A season filled with so much promise was jolted just five minutes into their season opener back in October when Gordon Hayward was lost for the year to a fractured ankle.

It looked to be derailed for sure when Marcus Smart suffered a torn ligament in his thumb in March, followed by Kyrie Irving being sidelined for the season a month later following a pair of knee surgeries.

Yet, after completing a 4-1 series win with their 114-112 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night, the Celtics are somehow back where no one – except maybe only them – believed they could be: headed to a second straight Eastern Conference final.

A rematch with Cleveland Cavaliers and LeBron James awaits them, but for a Celtics team that has had to trudge uphill throughout the season, still playing at this point of the postseason feels like reason to celebrate.

Coach Brad Stevens said this group has never stopped playing together despite all the challenges they’ve faced. It’s a testament to a program they’ve been nurturing since he took over as coach five years ago.

”I always hoped we would get to a point where if things don’t go our way, we’re still extremely competitive because we have a kind of foundation in place,” he said. ”Things haven’t always gone our way, but these guys are really talented, they’re really tough, they fit Boston. And hopefully we keep playing well.”

According to Elias Sports Bureau Cheap Braden Smith Jersey , the Celtics are the first team in NBA history to reach the conference finals in back-to-back seasons, while returning only four players from one year to the next (Smart, Jaylen Brown, Al Horford and Terry Rozier). That are advancing to the Eastern Conference finals in consecutive seasons for the first time since doing so five straight times from 1984 to 1988.

Brown was reinserted back into the starting lineup Wednesday for the first time since he injured his right hamstring last round in Boston’s Game 7 win over Milwaukee.

He made the most of it, combining with rookie Jayson Tatum to score 49 points on 18 of 28 shooting.

Brown said he was treating Wednesday’s game like another Game 7.

”We didn’t want to go back to Philly,” he said. ”We didn’t want to keep building their momentum and it was good to get a close out game here on our home floor.”

Tatum, who had the go-ahead layup in the closing seconds Wednesday, has helped fortify that quartet over the latter half of the season. Like Brown, he has become one of the go-to players on a reconfigured Celtics roster that in many ways is now being led by his youthful core.

He made his NBA debut against the Cavs back in October. He said he feels like a completely different player as he prepares to face them again.

”It’s like night and day,” he said. ”I remember the first time we played them I was so nervous. But it’s been 90 games since then. We’ve been through a lot. I’m a lot more relaxed and calm, but ready to go out there and play.”

PLAYOFF AL

While the young players on Boston’s rosters have been huge in Boston’s success, Brown said the veteran leadership of Horford has been just as important in helping hold things together throughout the season.

Despite being surrounded by a group of 20-somethings, the 32-year-old ”Playoff Al” has helped them all play well beyond their years.

But it hasn’t just been talk. With 15 points and eight rebounds in Game 5 Josh Sitton Color Rush Jersey , Horford has now scored in double figures in each of Boston’s 12 games this postseason, including five double-doubles.

”We lean on our best, we lean on Al during those tough stretches, and he came up big for us,” Brown said.

SUPER ROOKIE

In five games this series, Tatum averaged 23.6 points while shooting 52.4 percent from the field. His scoring average is the second-highest by Boston rookie in a single playoff series. It trails only Tom Heinsohn, who averaged 24 points per game in 1957.

INJURY UPDATE

Tatum said he jammed his left thumb late in the game, but said it is OK. … Reserve G Shane Larkin (left shoulder sprain), who sat out Wednesday’s game, told reporters that an MRI revealed some issues. But he is going to work toward returning sometime against Cleveland.



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