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How The Warriors Should Ease Klay Thompson Into Action

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(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

 

After more than two years of recovering from a torn ACL, the Golden State Warriors are on the verge of getting Klay Thompson back.

Rumor has it that the star shooting guard will once again play for the team this coming Sunday in a game against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

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Warriors fans have been eager to see Thompson on the court again, and with good reason – he’s a terrific and sometimes unstoppable shooter who was averaging 21.5 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 2.4 assists before his injury.

He’s a wonderful addition to the team and with him back, the Warriors have a chance to be even better.

But should head coach Steve Kerr go easy on Thompson?

If so, what are the best ways to ease Thompson back into the Warriors line-up?

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Let Him Find His Shot

Before stepping away with this ACL injury, Thompson had a field goal percentage of 46.7 and a three-point percentage of 40.2 – both impressive stats.

Thompson will get there again – maybe very soon – but there’s a chance it’ll take a while before he’s shooting like that.

It’s very important that the team understand that Thompson is coming back from two years away from professional basketball – it’s more than okay if he’s not landing shots like he used to right away.

These things take time and there may be a slew of games where Thompson seems rusty.

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The Warriors shouldn’t freak out and they shouldn’t put undue pressure on Thompson.

The best way for him to perfect his shot is to practice, practice, practice.

But he needs to practice in games, against opponents, because that is the only way for him to find his shot again.

As Thompson returns, the Warriors shouldn’t expect blockbuster numbers right away.

 

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Let Poole Make a Splash

Jordan Poole is having a terrific season with Golden State, posting an average of 18.1 points, 3.4 assists, and 3.3 rebounds a game.

He’s had a prominent role on the team with Thompson sidelined, starting in 28 of 30 games.

With Thompson returning, you can expect that Poole won’t be starting nearly as much – but he will be a pivotal part of Thompson’s entry into the league.

Poole is well aware that he is going to have his minutes minimized with Thompson back and he’s more than okay with that, telling The Athletic that he’s a “whatever-the-team-needs type of player.”

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That’s a positive attitude from Poole and will help foster the right sort of environment for Thompson.

But Poole will still be needed a lot, especially to take the pressure and load off of Thompson’s shoulders.

Kerr will have to go to Poole a lot to ease Thompson into rotation.

Instead of overloading Thompson with too many minutes, Kerr should instead build his tolerance to being on the court.

When Thompson is resting and sitting on the bench, Kerr can use Poole.

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This is great news because Poole has been doing so well.

That means that even when Thompson isn’t playing, the team will still be in great shape.

That’s very important because the Warriors have the chance to make it all the way this year and the last thing they want is to throw off their rhythm and chemistry right as Thompson returns.

By having realistic expectations and relying on Poole a lot, the Warriors are ready to welcome Thompson back with open arms.

The post How The Warriors Should Ease Klay Thompson Into Action appeared first on The Cold Wire.

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Three Stars from Day 3 of WJC: Canada’s McTavish joins elite company – Sportsnet.ca

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Canada and the U.S. dominated in their second game of the tournament while Czechia and Finland went toe-to-toe and needed a shootout to determine a winner on Day 3 of the World Junior Hockey Championship.

The Canadian team rebounded from a sluggish performance with an 11-1 win over Slovakia, a game in which captain Mason McTavish added his name to the country’s record books.

Against Switzerland, the United States took their game to another gear that their opponent could not match as they cruised to a 7-1 victory to improve to 2-0 at the tournament.

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Finland dropped a crucial point as they had to overcome a 2-0 deficit but were able to pick up the shootout win over their rival Czechia.

Here is a look at the top performances from Day 3 of the world juniors.

3rd Star: Luke Hughes, USA

Coming from a great hockey family, Luke Hughes is making most of his opportunity as one of the top defencemen for the U.S. 

The younger brother of Quinn and Jack displayed his mobility and vision against Switzerland with a three-point effort. He now has five points in his first two games of the tournament — more than either of his brothers ever achieved at this event in fewer games.

Hughes leads all defenceman in scoring so far in the tournament and is tied for fourth overall.

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The 18-year-old played 21:18 against the Swiss to lead the U.S. in ice time playing on the top pairing with Brock Faber. His play from this point will be a crucial part of his team’s success given the creativity he displayed, especially on Matt Coronato’s goal in the second period.

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He made another top-notch set up on Thomas Bordeleau’s power-play goal in the third period as he delayed enough to get the defenders to pull towards his side of the ice.

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2nd Star: Carter Mazur, USA

Coming into the tournament, Carter Mazur is looking to build off an impressive season at the University of Denver. 

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While he was in a scoring slump in his first NCAA season, the Detroit Red Wings prospect made a call to his NHL team’s assistant director of player development, Daniel Cleary. After that, he would go on to finish with 14 goals and 38 points in 41 games.

Those tips have now turned Mazur into a scoring machine as he accounted for two of the team’s seven goals and was also named the player of the game as the top line of Mazur, Landon Slaggert, and Thomas Bordeleau had an impressive performance against Switzerland

After a scoreless first period, Mazur wasn’t going to make any mistake on a point-blank chance in front of the net with Mackie Samoskevich making a great pass from behind the net.

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With the Americans looking to add to their lead, Mazur was once again the beneficiary of a great pass from Slaggert as he made no mistake from the front of the net.

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He added another assist on Slaggert’s goal later in the period for his third point of the game. Through his first two games at the world juniors, Mazur has four points and is tied for sixth in scoring.

1st Star: Mason McTavish, Canada

On a night where Canada dominated from start to finish, Mason McTavish joined some elite company with a night he’ll certainly remember for a long time.

The 19-year-old joined Mario Lemieux, Simon Gagné, Brayden Schenn, Taylor Raddysh, Maxime Comtois and teammate Connor Bedard as the only players to score four goals in a single world junior game for Canada. The tournament record for goals in a single game is held by Sweden’s Ola Rosander who had six back in 1987.

With his performance against Slovakia in a dominant win for Canada, McTavish now sits atop the scoring lead with eight points in two games after registering six points in this game.

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McTavish scored his first goal of the game on a breakaway — with Canada already leading 5-0 midway through the second — making no mistake to beat Tomas Bolo, who came into the game after starter Simon Latkoczy was pulled going into the second period.

His second goal came off a great play by Joshua Roy who flipped the puck in the air to Brennan Othmann who then set up McTavish as he finished with a backhander to put Canada up 7-1. McTavish would complete the second-period hat trick, a day after Alexander Blank did the same for Germany, after a selfless pass from Roy on a 2-on-0 break.

Canada would capitalize on a turnover on McTavish’s fourth goal as Othmann set him up alone in front of the net and he made no mistake.

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There was some doubt about whether McTavish would suit up for Canada after playing a fair amount of hockey last season. Making his NHL debut with the Anaheim Ducks, the third overall pick from the 2021 NHL Draft played in a total of 72 games between the NHL, AHL, OHL, Memorial Cup and the Olympics.

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Instead, McTavish decided to join the team in Edmonton and take on the role as captain where he has excelled centring Canada’s top line with Bedard and and a rotation of Roy and Othmann.

Canada will now look forward to a matchup against Czechia with a chance to improve to 3-0.

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Field of Dreams Game 2022: A celebration of baseball memories in an Iowa cornfield

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The Field of Dreams is an opportunity for fans and players alike to reflect on the people and places that taught them to love baseball, Jake Mintz writes.



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Ravens extend NFL record for consecutive postseason wins following Thursday’s victory over the Titans

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USA Today

The No. 21 is now synonymous with the longest winning streaks in NFL regular and preseason history. the 2003-04 Patriots won 21 consecutive games, an NFL record. On Thursday night, the Ravens won their 21st consecutive preseason game after securing a 23-10 decision against the Tennessee Titans

Baltimore has not lost a preseason game since 2016. Joe Flacco was their starting quarterback when the streak began, while Steve Smith Jr., who this past year was eligible for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame for the first time, was heading into his final NFL season. Baltimore’s roster also included Terrell Suggs, who was entering his second-to-last season with the franchise. 

Along with not losing preseason games, another constant in Baltimore over the past six years has been kicker Justin Tucker, who is entering his 11th season with the Ravens. Tucker’s field goals of 47, 25 and 47 yards on Thursday night helped Baltimore pull out the win after falling behind midway through the second quarter. 

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The Ravens won Thursday’s game by winning the turnover margin while holding the Titans to 1 of 3 red zone efficiency. One of those turnovers was scooped up by Kyle Hamilton, the Ravens’ first-round pick in this past year’s draft. 

Baltimore won despite the efforts of Malik Willis, the Titans’ rookie quarterback who overcame a slow start to score his first NFL touchdown, a 7-yard run early in the second quarter. Speaking of quarterbacks, the Ravens received a strong night from Tyler Huntley, who completed all but two of his 18 pass attempts that included his game-winning touchdown pass to Shemar Bridges



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