Rockets’ Mike D’Antoni, king of the 3, draws singular praise

OAKLAND, Calif. — Stephen Curry and Draymond Green admire Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni from afar for how he empowers all his players to be scorers.

No matter who you are, just let it fly — and for the Rockets that means regularly from 3-point range. And in transition whenever possible.

Golden State coach Steve Kerr praises D’Antoni for influencing the way NBA teams now play offence: the pace and the space; precise ball movement and playing small without a traditional centre; shooting at will and shooting from way back.

Still, for all his success in leading the West’s top team this season, D’Antoni might need a championship to validate his style.

Standing in the way are the defending champion Warriors, who open the best-of-seven Western Conference finals at Houston on Monday night.

“He empowers everyone to shoot the basketball, and that’s dangerous,” said Green, Golden State’s bruising forward. “That’s why he’s been so successful, especially on that side of the ball with any team he’s ever coached because that’s definitely an area where he’s a mastermind. “

D’Antoni downplays his significance in developing today’s game.

“I think a lot of things combined to change it,” he said. “One, they changed the rules and, two, the analytic people came in and put validation over 3s and stuff we were doing in Phoenix. Yeah, we kind of jumped out there because of the team we had and Steve Nash before anybody really caught on. And it worked. So in a little sense part of it, but there was a lot of factors.”

D’Antoni’s teams recall those running, high-flying Denver Nuggets of the ’80s, led by Alex English, Dan …read more

Source:: Sportsnet.ca

Nationals’ Zimmerman placed on DL with back injury

PHOENIX — The Washington Nationals placed first baseman Ryan Zimmerman on the 10-day disabled list Saturday and promoted veteran infielder Mark Reynolds from Triple-A Syracuse.

Zimmerman has been hampered by a right oblique strain. He last played on Wednesday at San Diego.

“Last couple of days he felt the same, so we decided to just give him the 10 days,” manager Dave Martinez said. “See if we can get this thing knocked out, calmed down.”

The 34-year-old Reynolds has 11 seasons of major league experience, most recently playing 148 games for the Colorado Rockies last season. He played 10 games at Syracuse this year.

Reynolds hit .267 with 30 homers and 97 RBIs last year. Washington is his eighth major league team, and he has played 695 games at first base.

“He’ll definitely help us. Veteran guy, he’s got pop. He’ll definitely get a chance to play,” Martinez said, adding that Reynolds will face some upcoming left-handed pitchers.

Reynolds gets a $1.5 million, one-year contract and could earn $2 million in performances bonuses based on plate appearances.

“Wherever Davey needs me, I’ll go,” Reynolds said. “I’m ready to go, ready to help the team.”

Zimmerman’s DL stint is retroactive to Thursday. He said he would rather rest now than later in the season.

“Smart thing to do,” he said.

Zimmerman is batting .412 (7 for 17) with a homer and three RBIs in five games in May. He is hitting .217 with five homers and 16 RBIs on the year.

Also Saturday, the Nationals transferred right-hander Joaquin Benoit to the …read more

Source:: Sportsnet.ca

Lightning ready to bounce back in Game 2 vs. Capitals

TAMPA, Fla. — Steven Stamkos is sitting in his practice stall, and the Tampa Bay Lightning captain is thinking: Was there anything he liked about his team’s Game 1 loss a night earlier against the visiting Washing Capitals?

“Hmm,” Stamkos says, after a Saturday afternoon off-day practice, “to be honest, it probably wasn’t a game where you look back—it might not have been as bad as you thought.

“But it wasn’t that great, either.”

If you ask fellow Lightning forward, Tyler Johnson, it was far from great. Very little went right in that 4-2 loss to the Capitals on Friday night at Amalie Arena. “We didn’t do anything we wanted to do,” says Johnson, the Spokane, Wash.-born forward, who assisted on Tampa’s second goal on Friday. “We didn’t stick to our game plan.

“And quite frankly, it was probably one of our worst games.”

if ( “1” == true && ‘undefined’ !== typeof window.getIndexAds ) {
var so = {preroll:{1:{1:{siteID:191888},2:{siteID:191889}}}};
adServerUrl = window.getIndexAds( ‘http://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/ads?sz=640×360&iu=%2F7326%2Fen.sportsnet.web%2FVideo&ciu_szs=300×250&impl=s&gdfp_req=1&env=vp&output=vast&unviewed_position_start=1&ad_rule=1&vid=5783912158001&cmsid=384’, so, permalink);
} else {
adServerUrl = “http://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/ads?sz=640×360&iu=%2F7326%2Fen.sportsnet.web%2FVideo&ciu_szs=300×250&impl=s&gdfp_req=1&env=vp&output=vast&unviewed_position_start=1&ad_rule=1&vid=5783912158001&cmsid=384”;
}

$el.after( unescape(“%3Cscript src=”” + (document.location.protocol == “https:” ? “https://sb” : “http://b”) + “.scorecardresearch.com/beacon.js” %3E%3C/script%3E”) );

$( document ).one( ‘ready’, function() {
$( “#video_container-940237” ).SNPlayer( {
…read more

Source:: Sportsnet.ca

Tiger Woods shoots 65, his lowest score ever at Players Championship

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. — Tiger Woods turned in his best round of the season and his lowest score ever at The Players Championship.

It propelled him up the leaderboard.

Staying there might prove difficult considering the favourable scoring conditions at TPC Sawgrass.

Woods shot a 7-under 65 in the third round Saturday, besting his previous low score on the Stadium Course by a stroke. He honed in his iron shots, fine-tuned his putter and was so hot through 12 holes that it looked like he might challenge the course record.

“I wish I could repeat it more often, but honestly it was just a better start,” Woods said. “I got off to a much better-quality start.”

Woods took advantage of warm weather, soft greens and little wind by making birdies at three of the first four holes . He drained putts of 15, 5, 10 and 17 feet, regaining a scoring touch that eluded him last week at the Wells Fargo Championship and in the opening two rounds in Ponte Vedra Beach.

“Eventually I was going to put all the pieces together and today, for the most part, I did that,” he said. “I hit a lot of good, quality shots. I hit some shots in the correct spots, which was nice. I hit probably three of the best long irons I’ve hit all week.”

Woods pointed to his tee shot at the 242-yard, par-3 eighth, which landed a little more than 30 feet from the hole; his second shot at the par-5 ninth, which stopped on the fringe from nearly 270 yards out; and his towering approach shot at the par-5 11th, which carried two bunkers and …read more

Source:: Sportsnet.ca