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 Заголовок сообщения: Still, the Predators enter on a high
СообщениеДобавлено: 10.08.2018 13:13:46 

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Donte DiVincenzo is adapting just fine to his changing life.

He’s jet-setting from one NBA city to another Saquon Barkley Color Rush Jersey , working out in front of curious coaches and inquisitive general managers. He’s more at ease now that he’s gotten past the big draft decision, and the 6-foot-4 guard finds it a little more challenging to go out, too.

It’s all part of his new, professional world.

”I’m a lot more recognizable now,” DiVincenzo joked Friday in Indianapolis. ”I used to be able to go to the mall or the movies. Now I can’t really do that because people come up to me all the time. But it’s a good problem to have.”

Yes, success sometimes comes with a price. He also knows it could be much worse.

Not many 21-year-olds are introduced as a two-time NCAA champion and DiVincenzo is the only one who actually holds the title of the Final Four’s reigning Most Outstanding Player.

The tough guy who grew up in Delaware and stole the hearts of the Philadelphia fans with his gritty play, relentless effort and sensational shooting at Villanova must now prove himself all over again in front of some of the sport’s biggest names.

His audience Friday included two former decision-makers for the Indiana Pacers – Donnie Walsh and Larry Bird. Both still work for the team, though Kevin Pritchard is the team’s president of basketball operations.

Coach Nate McMillan and his assistants also monitored the workouts, which included Ohio State’s Keita Bates-Diop Denzel Ward Color Rush Jersey , Cincinnati’s Gary Clark and Central Florida’s A.J. Davis, the son of former Pacers player Antonio Davis.

But DiVincenzo was the feature attraction. He dazzled the small audience with another strong shooting performance, rekindling visions of the 31-point game he had on championship night as the Wildcats blew past Michigan for their second championship in three years.

And he thought he answered some of the questions league executives have been asking.

”Before the combine, there were a lot of questions about whether I could guard multiple positions,” he said. ”I think they can put me anywhere on the floor. I pride myself on defending and rebounding.”

The combine also convinced DiVincenzo it was time to leave school early.

After receiving one of 60 invitations to work out in Chicago, DiVincenzo was almost certain he should go. But there was one more step, meeting with Villanova coach Jay Wright, as the pressure mounted to make his decision official before the May 31 deadline.

”Personally, I knew before the deadline. I knew I was ready Authentic Riley Sutter Jersey , but I didn’t want to make an irrational decision,” DiVincenzo said. ”If I wouldn’t have gotten an invite, it might have sent a message to me.”

Now he’s in, working out and hoping to improve his draft stock.

As for his plans on draft night, June 21, they haven’t been finalized. But a big blowout just isn’t DiVincenzo’s style.

”I might just have a small draft party in Philly,” he said.



The Nashville Predators are done dealing with the speed of Nathan MacKinnon and the Colorado Avalanche.

Next, they get the physicality of Dustin Byfuglien and the Winnipeg Jets .

There’s no easy test this time of year.

”They’ve got size. They’ve got skill. They’ve got speed,” forward Austin Watson said Sunday night after Nashville beat the Avalanche 5-0 in Game 6 to clinch the series. ”Get our rest and get prepared.”

Nashville looks every bit like the team that went to the Stanley Cup Final a season ago and won the Presidents’ Trophy this season. The Predators are hitting their stride heading into the Winnipeg series. They had 11 forwards notch at least a point in the Colorado series.

Not to be outdone Authentic Saquon Barkley Jersey , the Jets had a balanced scoring attack in closing out Minnesota, 4-1.

”We saw how the regular season went against them. They’re good hockey games,” said Watson, whose team went 3-1-1 against the Jets during the year. ”We’re excited.”

This goaltending showdown should be worth the price of admission: Pekka Rinne vs. Connor Hellebuyck.

One Vezina Trophy finalist against another. Both are coming off a solid series, with Rinne stopping 22 shots in a 5-0 win Sunday to close out the series with Colorado. Hellebuyck had a 1.94 goals-against average in eliminating the Wild.

”Moving into the second round, I think you want to be playing very good defensive hockey against Winnipeg,” Rinne said. ”One of the better teams in the league. They have a lot of firepower, a lot of talent up front. Also, like ours Rashaan Evans Color Rush Jersey , their `D’ is a big part of their game. I think it’s going to be very exciting, good series.”

The Western Conference semifinals feature a little bit of history: This marks only the third time the final four in the conference are all chasing after their first Stanley Cup since the introduction of conferences in `74-75, according to information provided by the league. The scenario also occurred in 2012 (the Los Angeles Kings hoisted the Cup) and in 1984 (Edmonton).

In the other semifinal matchup set to get underway, expansion Las Vegas faces San Jose.

”Anytime you win a series you’re feeling confident,” Predators forward Nick Bonino said. ”We’re going to be as confident as we can going against Winnipeg. We know how good they are.”

That’s a sentiment shared by forward Filip Forsberg, who scored four goals against Colorado.

”It was a good test for us. These guys have been flying around for six games, playing really fast hockey,” Forsberg said. ”We’ve been trying to play as fast as we can as well. If we can bring that speed into the next round that will be good.”

The Nashville defense will have its hands full with the likes of Jets forward Patrik Laine, who scored 44 goals in the regular season Kody Clark Capitals Jersey , and Blake Wheeler (91 points).

Still, the Predators enter on a high after posting a shutout victory in a series-ending game for the first time in franchise history. They joined Vegas and Winnipeg as the third team to accomplish the feat this postseason.

”It’s better to end it this way than hanging on at the end,” Predators coach Peter Laviolette said. ”There are other teams on the ice that are pretty good hockey teams. You see it in other series going on. It would have been great if you win (the series) 4-0 but that wasn’t the case. We had an opposition that was young, skilled and fast and they had nothing to lose, and they played that way. There were times in the first five games it didn’t look like it was just going happen – we were going to have to work for it.

”It was nice tonight to play a game we were comfortable with.”

The Avs take some pride in knowing they gave the Predators fits at times.

”We made them fight for it,” Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog said.

Exactly.

”The way Colorado works and battles and plays the game fast, it definitely challenged us,” Predators center Colton Sissons said. ”It was a good experience for us going forward.”



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