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MessagePosté le: Mar 22 Nov - 04:34 (2016)    Sujet du message: He played the way we envisioned him Répondre en citant

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio -- The Cleveland Cavaliers made a big change with another season falling apart, firing general manager Chris Grant on Thursday. Grant was fired a day after the Cavs dropped their sixth straight game, an embarrassing home loss to a Los Angeles Lakers team that started with eight players and finished with five. Vice president of basketball operations David Griffin will serve as acting general manager. Owner Dan Gilbert made it clear hes unhappy with what has transpired in a season that began with hopes the Cavs would make the playoffs after a three-year absence. "This has been a very difficult period for the franchise," Gilbert said in a statement. "We have severely underperformed against expectations. Just as this is completely unacceptable to our loyal and passionate fan base, season ticket holders and corporate partners, it is also just as unacceptable to our ownership group." Gilbert also met with reporters at the teams training facility following the announcement. He expressed confidence that the Cavs can show improvement under coach Mike Brown over the final 33 games. Grant was instrumental in the rehiring of Brown, who was fired during his first stint with the team in 2010. Gilbert was asked if Browns job was safe for the rest of this season. "Were going to see Mike Brown succeed this year because I think that hell be able to do good things and I think this team will be able to do good things," Gilbert said. "I think theyre going to look at each other and theyre going to look in the mirror and theyre going to rally." Gilbert also was asked why he decided to change his general manager but not his coach. "Coach Brown has only been here over half a season," he said. "Chris Grant has been here 8 1/2 years. Hes been the general manager almost four years. Theres a lot of talent on this team. I think everybody knows that." Gilbert promised last spring the Cavs would not return to the NBA lottery, but Cleveland is 16-33 and has dropped six in a row -- matching its longest losing streak of the season. The Cavs are 5 1/2 games out of the final playoff spot in the weak Eastern Conference and their only win in the last nine games came over Milwaukee, which has the leagues worst record. "Accountability starts with me," Gilbert said. "I take responsibility for where were at." Grants tenure will be known for not being able to rebuild the Cavs fast enough despite having a slew of first-round draft picks, including two No. 1 overall selections. Grant addressed the teams poor play last week, saying everyone in the organization was accountable, including himself. Grant took Anthony Bennett with the first pick last June and then signed free-agent centre Andrew Bynum during the summer when no other team would offer the 7-footer a contract. Grant was able to unload Bynum in a trade with Chicago for Luol Deng, but the forwards arrival has done little to invigorate the Cavs. Cleveland has been under .500 since the fifth game of the season and the players have been slow to pick up Browns system on both ends of the floor. In a season thats already had too many low moments, the Cavs hit rock bottom Wednesday. Not only did they fall behind by 29 points to Los Angeles, the Lakers played the final few minutes with five healthy players, including one who was allowed to remain in the game after committing his sixth foul because coach Mike DAntoni was out of bodies. The Cavs were booed throughout the game and Brown, who has been unable to come up with any answers to stop his teams skid, benched All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving and three other starters in the fourth quarter as Cleveland got back in the game before losing 119-108. The acquisition of Deng last month brought hope the season could be salvaged, but that proved to be temporary. The Cavs went 3-2 on a West Coast trip, but followed that with a 1-4 record on its longest homestand of the season. Cleveland then lost three consecutive road games, including a 31-point rout by the Knicks on national television. Grant joined the organization in 2005 as vice-president of basketball operations/assistant general manager. He was hired as general manager on June 4, 2010. Griffin was hired later that year after spending 17 seasons with the Phoenix Suns, the last three as the clubs senior vice-president of basketball operations. Cheap Carolina Panthers Jerseys .Y. -- Mark Steenhuis scored four goals and added two assists to lead the Buffalo Bandits over the Toronto Rock 12-10 in National Lacrosse League action on Saturday. Carolina Panthers Jerseys China . Mako Vunipola was promoted from the reserves, with Matt Mullan called up to the bench on Thursday. "It is important that Joe is with his partner at this exciting time," England coach Stuart Lancaster said. http://www.cheapcarolinapanthersjerseysauthentic.com/ . Bjoerndalen, who had failed to win any major race for two years before Sochi, writes in a Facebook entry that he is "full of energy and inspiration" after winning the 10-kilometre sprint and mixed relay at last months Olympics. Cheap Panthers Jerseys . -- Barry Bonds is all set to return to the San Francisco Giants. Authentic Cam Newton Jerseys .com) - Jeff Teague had 25 points, eight rebounds and seven assists as the Atlanta Hawks defeated the Milwaukee Bucks 90-85 on Saturday night.TORONTO – The Maple Leafs hit rock bottom two weeks ago. They haven’t lost a game in regulation since. Behind a scorching offence that struck for five more goals, and 35 saves from Jonathan Bernier, the Leafs won for the fourth time in five games Tuesday (4-0-1), edging off the defensively-challenged Stars in a wild affair at the ACC. Yielding 38 shots themselves in victory, this was not the kind of performance they’d been proud of recently, a fact stressed by Randy Carlyle in his post-game address with players afterward. “I just said ‘We’re going to take the two points, but we can’t be happy with the sloppiness in which we played’,” said Carlyle after the 5-3 victory. “‘Lets be realistic and let’s be honest with ourselves that we have to come to work [Wednesday] to improve on that because we cannot continue to play that style of game and think we’re going to have success.’” It was the second straight game in which the Leafs have allowed more than 35 shots after holding opponents to less than 30 in the three before that. They were sloppier on this night, more prone to individual works, less focused on their defensive pursuits, and more like the flawed team of recent seasons. “I thought tonight was probably our worst game I’d say in the stretch that we’ve had [recently],” said Bernier. “But when you score that many goals it’s hard mentally to stay sharp and play defensively.” Scoring five for the eighth time already this season, the Leafs have managed 23 goals during the five-game run, that offence coming from 12 different sources, only one of whom being Phil Kessel. They were opportunistic in the run-and-gun show against the Stars – the worst defensive team in hockey – capitalizing on turnovers and easy rebounds, though prone to giving up more than a few themselves. Newly united with Leo Komarov sidelined (more on that below), Nazem Kadri, Joffrey Lupul and Mike Santorelli combined for three of the five goals. It was two Tuesdays ago at the ACC that the same group hit their low point. That night the Leafs were pummeled for nine goals by Nashville, hammered for six three days earlier in Buffalo. Carlyle’s job security was questioned. And times were as tense as could be imagined in the second month of the season. It became painfully evident to all involved that change was needed in some form. “Well I think sometimes you have to hit rock bottom in anything,” Leafs assistant Steve Spott said Monday. “We hit rock bottom. No one can deny that game in Buffalo and our home game here against Nashville were probably as low as we can get – let’s hope anyways.” And after hitting that low point, change was embraced, the coaching staff given a “full reset” in its demands from the group. “It [allowed] us to now go into that dressing room and demand how we have to play,” Spott said. Players and coaches alike adopted a mantra that hinged upon playing “the right way”, though that mindset drifted in the back half of Saturday’s game against Washington and again Tuesday versus Dallas. All of which is just one more reminder to these Leafs of how quickly results can change if they stray from structure, a lesson they were forced to learn in those two embarrassing losses last month. Lupul, who scored a pair in the win, stressed such caution afterward. “We’ve still got plenty to work on,” he said. “Things are headed in the right direction, but we know what can happen if we get complacent.” Five Points 1. Dry Spell Over The first real quiet spell of Phil Kessel’s season ended Tuesday. Kessel broke a string of five straight games without a goal, also scoring for the first time in 10 games on the power-play. Carlyle called that power-play Kessel’s “bread and butter” and noted just how differently teams were defending him recently. The Leafs head coach observed how the opposition was “squeezing” the 27-year-old in his customary spot on the left half-wall, preventing him from rolling out and shooting the puck. “So if you noticed he’s not scored, but his assist totals have went up in those areas,” Carlyle said. “He has to make some adjustments of maybe rolling up a little higher. And with the addition of Kadri [on the right point] it becomes more of a two-dimensional power-play where we can work both sides of the ice. We hope that frees up some space for Phil.” The Stars cut down his options with two attackers often on this night, but when they let up even slightly Kessel found an opening. He fired a quick shot on a second period power-play, beating Kari Lehtonen with the help of a screen from James van Riemsdyk. “He’s going to get his goals,” said Tyler Bozak, who also scored for the sixth time in four games. “He hasn’t been happy with the way it’s been going for him lately, but I’m sure he’s going to start streaking here pretty soon and put a pile of them in there.” In light of the adjustments against him, Kessel’s shot attempts on the power-play are down some from last season, but the extra attention paid to him hhas mostly created space for Bozak, who has six power-play goals already this season, matching a career-high.dddddddddddd 2. Better on the Wing Playing to the right of Kadri in each of the past five games, Santorelli landed three helpers against the Stars. The 28-year-old started the year down the middle, but the Leafs moved him to the wing after Lupul went down with injury and believe he’s a better fit there moving forward. “What we found is that he’s a much better winger than a centre,” said Carlyle. “He’s much more comfortable. His work ethic is very noticeable on the wing. And I think that has been enlightening to everybody that he’s a much more dynamic player when he plays the wing versus centre.” Inked for one year at $1.5 million, Santorelli is proving a bargain. He’s already amassed 16 points in 24 games, tied for fifth on the Leafs in scoring. 3. Bernier Starts Like his team, Bernier has been victim to slow starts this season. In fact, the 26-year-old has given up nearly half of his goals this season in the opening period – 17 of 43 – sporting a modest .910 save percentage. He was perfect on Tuesday against the Stars, however, stopping all 15 shots he faced. Bernier was making his sixth straight start in goal. “We just think Bernie’s on a roll,” Carlyle said of the decision beforehand. It’s been more than two weeks since James Reimer’s last start, something the Leafs are obviously aware of while still preferring to ride what Carlyle dubbed “the hot hand” in Bernier. “We don’t want Reims to get too rusty, that’s for sure,” Carlyle said. “I’m sure he’s going to see the net.” More than half of Reimers starts this season have come on the back half of back-to-back sets. Torontos next such set isnt until next week. 4. Robidas/Holzer It was in the moments before his return to the NHL last week and Korbinian Holzer was predictably nervous. There to calm those nerves was 37-year-old Stephane Robidas, his partner on defence that night in Pittsburgh and a veteran of more than 900 NHL games. Holzer says Robidas helped settle him down ahead of what proved to be a standout night against the Penguins. The performance drew positive reviews from Carlyle, who opted to move the 26-year-old higher in the lineup three nights later against Washington, onto the team’s second pairing with Jake Gardiner. “He earned the opportunity to move up, simple as that,” said Carlyle. “I thought he was outstanding in his first game. He played the way we envisioned him [playing] and now he’s got to maintain that consistently.” Holzer was overwhelmed in his first go-around with the Leafs in 2013, but with an added year of experience and the recent birth of his first child – daughter, Emily – he’s admittedly more settled in round two. He’s long been a fan of Robidas too. Holzer remembers watching the longtime Star play with the Frankfurt Lions during the first NHL lockout in 2004. Just a teenager then but an avid watcher of Germany’s top league, Holzer recalls Robidas being the best player on the ice; he compiled 15 goals and 47 points in 51 games. 5. Symptoms Clipped by Alex Ovechkin over the weekend, Komarov sat out Tuesday’s game. He underwent league protocol for a concussion following the Saturday night game against Washington, though Carlyle couldn’t say for certain whether he passed that testing nor whether he had a concussion. “I don’t know what that test is anymore,” he said. “I’ve heard so many frickin’ explanations for ‘test this, test that, ride the bike here, jump up and down on one foot’, I don’t know what that test is anymore. It just seems that there’s a protocol that when the player has symptoms then there’s a time-frame that he has to be symptom-free and we’re working on that now.” Komarov didnt feel well after the hit from Ovechkin, but those symptoms subsided, according to Carlyle. The 27-year-old even managed to work out on Tuesday morning. “It’s not like he’s in there lying on the bed doing nothing, he’s active,” Carlyle said. “So we don’t foresee this as being as long-term thing, but we don’t control that.” Stats-Pack 4-games – Point streak for Mike Santorelli, who has seven assists in that span. 6 – Goals in the past four games for Tyler Bozak. 10-0-0 – Leafs record when scoring first this season. 23 – Goals scored by the Leafs in the past five games. 1 – Power-play point for Nazem Kadri on Tuesday, his first this season. 13 – Even-strength points for Kadri and Santorelli, tied with Komarov for second-most on the Leafs this season. Special Teams Capsule PP: 1-7 Season: 20.6% PK: 5-5 Season: 84.5% Quote of the Night “I don’t know what that test is anymore. I’ve heard so many frickin’ explanations for ‘test this, test that, ride the bike here, jump up and down on one foot’ I don’t know what that test is anymore.” -Randy Carlyle, questioned on whether Leo Komarov passed concussion tests. Up Next The Leafs host the Devils on Thursday night. Wholesale NFL Jerseys ' ' '


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