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 Assunto da Mensagem: PHOENIX -- Of course, the NBAs most improved team would have
 Mensagem Enviado: 20 Maio 2019 03:17 
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PHOENIX -- Of course, the NBAs most improved team would have its most improved player. Goran Dragic, whose breakout season helped the Phoenix Suns make a remarkable transformation, was presented the most improved award at a ceremony Wednesday at US Airways Center. The 6-foot-3 Slovenian, who turns 28 in two weeks, flourished under first-year coach Jeff Hornaceks double-point guard system, teaming with Eric Bledsoe to form a dynamic backcourt. "Were looking for players who can go out there every night and lay it all out there," Hornacek said, "play through injuries, do everything the coaches ask, play with confidence. Thats what Goran did." Dragic averaged 20.5 points and 5.9 assists per game, shooting 50.5 per cent from the field, 40.8 per cent on 3-pointers. He was the only player in the NBA to shoot better than 50 per cent from the field and 40 per cent from 3-point range. "The main thing was my confidence this year," he said. "I feel that my teammates, they trust me. The coaches trust me. I can play my game, be confident, be tough and then shoot the ball better." Dragic recalled the doubters when he came into the league. "I can remember one quote from a newspaper, somebody said that Im the worst player in the NBA and my last name should not be Dragic but tragic," he said. "That sticks in your head. It sticks in my head. On the practice court, I always have this in my mind." Dragic received 408 of a possible 1,134 points, including 65 first-place votes, from a panel of 126 sports writers and broadcasters in the United States and Canada. Indianas Lance Stephenson was second with 158 points and 13 first-place votes, and New Orleans Anthony Davis third with 155 points and 16 first-place votes. Two other Suns were among the top 10 -- Gerald Green fourth and Markieff Morris 10th. Under Hornacek, who finished second to San Antonios Gregg Popovich for NBA coach of the year, the Suns went from 25-57 in 2012-13 to 48-37 last season, a 23-win improvement, and they barely missed making the playoffs in the tough Western Conference. While the Suns were at their best when Dragic and Bledsoe both played, Dragic had to carry the brunt of the scoring and playmaking load when Bledsoe was out for two months following knee surgery. The left-handed Dragic is in his second stint with Phoenix. He was drafted in 2008 by San Antonio in the second round, the 45th pick overall, then was traded to the Suns for Malik Hairston, the 48th pick. Dragic was groomed to be Steve Nashs successor but just before the trade deadline in February 2011, the Suns sent him to Houston for Aaron Brooks. Brooks languished in Phoenix, and after Nash was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers following the 2011-12 season, the Suns brought Dragic back, signing the free agent to a four-year, $30 million contract. He can opt out of the deal after next season. Dragic and the rest of the Suns struggled through a miserable 2012-13 season, but with the hiring of Hornacek and new general manager Ryan McDonough, everything changed. Hornacek said he could see Dragics emerging leadership when he watched the guard play for the Slovenian national team last summer. "We could tell from watching him that he was in charge of that team and that he has taken that next step," Hornacek said. "Thats the sign of a great player, when he can take his game to another level." Dragic credited the freedom and confidence that Hornacek and his staff gave him and the rest of the team. Now he and the Suns wont be a surprise but will be expected to win. "Next year, of course, theres going to be pressure," Dragic said. "Im not scared of pressure. I always like to take any challenges that you guys (reporters) or guys on opposing teams give me." Dragic was married last off-season and has a new son, Mateo. His wife and son were in the crowd when he was presented the trophy. Asked how he could be so low-key and at ease off the court and such a dynamo on it, he said it was basically a split personality. "Off the court, Im always shy, dont talk much. Im kind of calm," he said. "But on the floor, Im a different guy. I can express my will on the court. Im kind of cocky." He is the third Suns player to win the award, following Kevin Johnson in 1988-89 and Boris Diaw in 2005-06. Mark Stone Jersey .com) - The University of Montana named Bob Stitt as its new head football coach on Tuesday. Jason Spezza Jersey . Wrights first stint with Milwaukee was on a 10-day contract from March 14-23. He played in two games, averaging six points and two rebounds in 16. http://www.senatorssale.com/. Hes recovered from a scary injury and cleared to play. Mingo, who was hospitalized with a bruised lung he sustained in an Aug. Custom Ottawa Senators Jerseys .C. - The housecleaning continues for the B. Daniel Alfredsson Jersey . Colton Sissons also scored for Milwaukee (19-12-8), which went ahead with a two-goal third period. Wade MacLeod and Greg McKegg replied for Toronto (23-12-4). BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Dont rule out Niagara Falls as a potential future home of the Buffalo Bills. Several officials told The Associated Press that a newly formed Bills stadium task force of public and private leaders seeking to bolster the teams long-term viability is considering sites that would put it closer to the teams burgeoning Ontario fan base. "Were looking at Niagara County," Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy told the AP this week. "Were open to looking at a number of venues." Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster confirmed Niagara County was discussed as an option during the inaugural meeting last week of the newly formed New Stadium Working Group committee. Duffy made clear "that all options should be on the table," Dyster said, adding that includes Niagara County and even Batavia, about halfway between Buffalo and Rochester. That goes beyond the groups initial directive, which was first limited to seeking potential stadium sites in Erie County, where Buffalo is located. Another idea is having the Bills relocate their headquarters to the University at Buffalo campus in the Erie County town of Amherst, where a new practice facility would be built and shared with the schools football team. That proposal would satisfy a long-term need for a Mid-American Conference program seeking to broaden its profile. Though not a member of the working group, New York state Sen. Tim Kennedy told the AP he is aware of the preliminary discussions tying the Bills and the school. A person familiar with the discussions confirmed the Bills/UB plan has been raised. That person wasnt authorized to publicly discuss the subjects raised in the private meeting and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity. Duffy and Dyster are among 20 members of the stadium group, which was established to make recommendations on whether the Bills require a new facility or should continue playing at Ralph Wilson Stadium, their 41-year-old home in Orchard Park. The group was formed as part of a 10-year, $271-million lease agreement the team reached with the state and Erie County in December 2012. The groups role in helping determine the Bills future took on more significance after Ralph Wilson, the teams owner and founder, died on March 25. Wilsons widow, Mary Wilson, is now overseeing the team until the franchise is sold, which raises the possibility of the Bills relocating under a new owner. The Bills are essentially locked into playing at their current home through the 2019 season, because the lease features a $400 million penalty in the event the team broke it. In 2020, the Bills have a one-time opportunity to opt out of the lease ffor about $28 million.dddddddddddd Toronto and Los Angeles are regarded potential suitors. The new owner will have final say on any stadium proposal. Its incumbent upon the working group, which includes U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, to present a framework of viable options that provide the best chance of keeping the team in western New York. "We have many very good tools to help that happen," Schumer told the AP. "I think there is a view that us showing early interest and the potential of a new home for the Bills is very helpful, because we want to show an owner that we want to do what it take to keep the Bills in Buffalo." Ralph Wilson Stadium is currently undergoing $130 million in upgrades. The work includes structural upgrades and adding fan amenities to bring the facility up to modern-day NFL standards. The Bills presence has been regarded as key in helping an economically hard-hit region maintain a national identity. As the NFLs only New York-based franchise, the team generates about $20 million in direct annual tax revenue for the state. Niagara Falls is 30 minutes closer by car than Orchard Park to a growing southern Ontario fan base. The Bills estimate Canadians make up about 18 per cent of their season-ticket base. Kennedy favours the proposal of linking the Bills and the university but is against a stadium site outside of Erie County. "The Buffalo Bills were born in Buffalo and should stay in Buffalo," Kennedy said. "At least in Erie County. If were talking about a new stadium Id like to see it built in Buffalo proper." Kennedy said a new stadium with a dome or a retractable roof could be part of a larger development, including a new convention centre. The new facility would boost efforts to re-energize downtown Buffalo, he said, and could even make the city a contender for hosting the Super Bowl, he said. Former Erie County Executive Joel Giambra said the southern Ontario market is critical to the Bills future. Giambra said Wilson discussed with him the possibility of the team playing home games in St. Catharines, Ontario, while maintaining its headquarters in New York. "They were aggressively trying to figure out how to tap that Canadian marketplace because of the economics," Giambra said. Dyster is aware of discussions regarding the advantages of Niagara Falls location, but said its premature to suggest what recommendations might emerge. "The critical thing here is that we all have to come together as a region to make certain that we keep the Bills here," Dyster said. "If we lose the Bills, were all losers." 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