#1 Memphis led 31-24 going into by jinshuiqian0713 05.11.2019 20:10

BURNABY, B.C. - Like virtually every bulky seven-foot basketball player, Jonas Valanciunas isnt the most nimble of runners.He dips his head and furiously pumps his arms, a lumbering style that is one of his biggest weaknesses.So the Toronto Raptors decided to send their young centre to a place where they know a thing or two about running a€” Eugene, Ore., to work with renowned strength and conditioning coach Jim Radcliffe.Speed is the priority, Valanciunas said Thursday. When youre able to come back to contest a shot. . . Its going to help a lot. The 22-year-old Lithuanian went twice this past summer to Oregon a€” a hotbed for U.S. track and field for decades a€” to train with Radcliffe.The 56-year-old, whose lean physique could belong to a man three decades younger, is in his 29th year as strength and conditioning coach for the Oregon Ducks. Hes considered one of the foremost experts on sprint training in the U.S. and works with all of the Ducks teams to improve things like strength, speed, agility, and explosiveness.High knees, form, technique, how to run, how to use less energy, Valanciunas said of his training sessions. How to turn with less steps, he adds, and does an impromptu demonstration of a turn. It almost looks nimble.Among his innovative methods, Radcliffe studied Valanciunass foot strike by having him run barefoot on pieces of paper. The paper shooting out backwards translates to too much back kick and not enough driving of the knees; shooting forwards means over-reaching. Raptors coach Dwane Casey, who spent a couple days observing Radcliffes methods, said Valanciunas remains a work in progress, and wont be lacing on the track spikes any time soon.Hes running better, hes getting there, I dont think he looks like Usain Bolt yet, but hes doing better, Casey said. I think more than anything else hes more conscious of it now, hes lighter on his feet. . . more efficient.A lot of times you can expend so much energy by using too much of your arms and kind of flailing all over the place, and not going anywhere. . . so that was one of the main things, run lighter, more efficient, keep your arms tighter to the body, head more erect than (bent) over.Altering his running style hasnt been easy, and Valanciunas said he still catches himself reverting to old habits.Its not going to change it over the summer, he said. Ive got to do that years and years.Jeff Weltman, the Raptors vice-president of operations, was largely responsible for sending Valanciunas to Oregon, and said the team is always up for new training techniques.The way (Radcliffe) was talking, saying The way I want to introduce his feet to the floor and all this, its new lingo for us, Weltman said. Thats part of summers, keeping it fresh and making sure its not the same thing over and over, getting introduced to new ideas and bringing them back here.Weltman said he could see a difference in Valanciunas at the FIBA World Cup, where he led the tournament in field goal percentage and was a standout for Lithuania.I think his balance is better, I think hes running better and his conditioning, Weltman said. He sees the way that he needs to train in a different light now. Three days into training camp at Fortius Sport & Health in Burnaby, his teammates have noticed improvement in Valanciunas, and not simply in his running.Hes grown a lot as a man, and with him playing for his country this past summer, he did extremely well and I think thats going to carry over to our team, and hes been showing it in these practices, said DeMar DeRozan, who helped the United States to World Cup gold.(DeRozan laughingly admitted to trash-talking Valanciunas when the U.S. played Lithuania in Spain. It was all fun and games, he said.)Chuck Hayes, who guards Valanciunas in practice, said hes more aggressive than last season.Hes always working on the offensive glass, which is what you need, and hes demanding the ball a lot, Hayes said. We dont always give it to him in practice; in practice Im guarding him all the time and hes always demanding the ball. Over the course of the season thats going to come into big play for us.Asked if hes seen a speedier Valanciunas, Hayes laughed and said Its getting there. When he runs, he kind of dips his head when he gets going. But hes moving, hes moving.The Raptors will train at Fortius, the training headquarters of Canadas womens soccer team among other teams, through Saturday. Theyll host the Sacramento Kings in their pre-season opener at Rogers Arena on Sunday. Nike Air Max 270 Womens Sale . Pedroia reached the milestone with a little panache, hitting a grand slam in the sixth inning and propelling the Boston Red Sox to a 7-1 win over the Oakland Athletics on Friday night. Nike Air Max 270 Flyknit Cheap .com) - Coming off a pair of tough losses last week, the Syracuse Orange will try to put an end to their first losing skid of the season when they pay a visit to the Maryland Terrapins at the Comcast Center on Monday night in Atlantic Coast Conference action. http://www.max270cheap.com/air-max-270-react-sale.html.C. United on Saturday night and boost the Unions playoff hopes. Nick DeLeon scored in the 36th minute for United (3-23-6), which had ample opportunities to build on its lead but went its 10th straight match without a victory. Air Max 270 Mens Sale .com) - The St. Air Max 270 Mens Clearance . Louis and Ryan Kesler have demanded to be traded.Memphis, TN (SportsNetwork.com) - James Harden had 32 points, including a tying layup late in regulation, and the Houston Rockets scored eight of their 13 points in overtime at the foul line to beat the Memphis Grizzlies 117-111 on Friday night. Josh Smith had 21 points and eight rebounds in his Rockets debut after being signed earlier in the day and Harden added 10 assists. It feels great to play for the Rockets, Smith said. Its a big opportunity for me. I have newfound brothers in this locker room. Hardens layup with 15.5 seconds remaining in regulation tied the score and came after Vince Carter had made two go-ahead 3-pointers for the Grizzlies. Houston took a half-game lead over Memphis in the Southwest Division, handing the Grizzlies their first four-game losing streak in more than a year. Corey Brewer added 13 points for Houston, Trevor Ariza scored 15 with 10 rebounds and Patrick Beverley had 12 points in the win. Marc Gasol scored 29 points to lead Memphis and Beno Udrih had 17 off the bench. Zach Randolph (knee) remained out for the Grizzlies while Tony Allen (eye) returned to score 10 points in 26 minutes. Good game, exciting game, said Grizzlies coach David Joerger. (We) didnt execute defensively well enough. Carters first go-ahead 3 capped a 13-2 run that turned a 10-point Grizzlies deficit with 4 1/2 minutes left into a one-point lead with 1:33 remaining. After Smiths layup at the other end gave Houston the lead back, Carter buried a long 3 from several feet behind the line. But Harden beat Tayshaun Prince on a driving layup to tiee the score with 15.dddddddddddd5 ticks remaining and Carter lost control of the ball at the other end after stepping on Hardens foot driving through the lane. A replay review determined the ball went out of bounds off Dwight Howard, giving the Grizzlies the ball with 0.6 seconds left. Gasol got a good look off the inbounds pass, but missed off the rim from behind the foul line. Houston then scored the first five points in overtime on Howards foul shots and Arizas 3 and never trailed. The Rockets announced earlier Friday that they signed Smith, who was released by the Detroit Pistons on Monday less than two years into a four-year, $54 million contract. Smith was reunited with Howard, a close friend and former AAU teammate. He checked in for the first time after Howard picked up his second foul just 2:49 into the game and scored four points in the first quarter, including two on a baseline dunk. But Gasol scored 11 points in the quarter and Memphis led 31-24 going into the second. The spread remained seven at halftime, with the Grizzlies leading 57-50 despite Hardens 14 points for Houston. Gasol scored 13 points to keep the Grizzlies on top in the third quarter, when Houston shot 63 percent to pull within 81-79 going into the fourth. Game Notes The Grizzlies hadnt lost four in a row since a five-game slide from Dec. 11-18, 2013 ... Smith averaged 13.1 points for the Pistons this season ... The Rockets remain on the road to play San Antonio on Sunday ... The Grizzlies play in Miami on Saturday. ' ' '

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