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POSTED BY: linchao on 13/08/2018 02:55:25


With the playoffs just days away Billy Price Youth Jersey , Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue typically would have his lineup rotations set by now.

Nothing has been typical about this season for the Cavs.

Lue said Thursday that he plans to use a 10-player rotation for Cleveland’s opening-round series against the Indiana Pacers, but that things could change depending on injuries, matchups and performances.

”I will play 10,” Lue said after the Cavaliers watched film on the Pacers, who went 3-1 against Cleveland this season. ”We’ll just see how it looks and if one guy is not great this round, then it might be nine.”

Lue and his staff have been juggling lineups and using different combinations on the floor for months, forced to adjust and re-adjust, first because of injuries and then by a slew of trades that transformed the team.

Lue refused to name his full starting lineup for Sunday’s Game 1. He revealed previously that four of them will be LeBron James, Kevin Love, Jeff Green and George Hill. The other spot could go to veteran shooter Kyle Korver, who has been slowed by a foot injury and whose status remains uncertain.

”He’s getting better,” Lue said of Korver, who also missed time recently following his brother’s death. ”I’m not sure if he’s 100 percent yet, but he’s getting better and that’s all you can ask for.”

If Korver isn’t ready, Rodney Hood, one of four players acquired at the trade deadline Cheap Da'Ron Payne Jersey , will likely start. He’s been slowed by a sore left Achilles, but Lue said Hood’s ”ready to go.”

As for Cleveland’s reserves, Jordan Clarkson, J.R. Smith and Jose Calderon are in the rotational mix, with forwards Tristan Thompson and Larry Nance Jr. being used depending on whom Indiana has on the floor.

One of the holdovers from Cleveland’s past three Finals teams, Thompson played extended minutes in the second half of Wednesday’s loss to New York while Nance rested, a sign that Lue might be leaning toward him playing more.

Thompson was excused from Thursday’s practice because of the birth of his daughter.

Lue trusts all his players. He’s had no choice following a turbulent regular season in which he didn’t always know who would be available until moments before tipoff. But Lue has depth and intends to use it.

Hall of Fame coach Pat Riley’s philosophy in the playoffs was: ”You rotate eight players. You play seven. You use six and you trust five.”

Not Lue. Not this year.

”You usually go nine,” he said. ”I think we’ve been nine in the past, but I think it’s going to be important to go 10 for us because I like Clarkson being on the floor with a point guard, so that makes us play 10.”

Hill, who has plenty of playoff experience with San Antonio, Indiana and Utah, said Cleveland’s versatility may give the Cavs an advantage.

”I’ve been on a team that played a 10-man rotation in the playoffs, but I haven’t been on a team this deep, so I think we’ll have a lot of great guys that we can throw out there on the court with big lineups, small lineups Cheap Quenton Nelson Jersey ,” he said. ”I think we can play any type of style.”

For Hill, the matchup against the Pacers represents a homecoming, as he played for IUPUI and spent five years with the Pacers. It’s also a chance to win a championship with James, a former playoff nemesis.

Hill played on those Pacers teams that were eliminated in three straight postseasons by James and the Miami Heat.

That can’t happen this time.

”The good thing is we got the best player in the world playing for us,” Hill said. ”So I’m very excited about that. I don’t got to get put out by him this year, which I did a lot in my career. So, I’m happy to be on the other side.”

The Minnesota Vikings have secured yet another core player with a long-term contract, signing wide receiver Stefon Diggs to a five-year extension and moving the star of the ”Minneapolis Miracle” pass into the NFL’s top 10 highest-paid players at his position.

Diggs has yet to post a 1,000-yard or 100-catch season, but his ability was on full display when he turned a sideline catch into a 61-yard touchdown as time ran out to lift the Vikings to victory over New Orleans in last season’s playoffs. He formed a prolific tandem with Adam Thielen last year, helping Case Keenum stabilize the passing game after Sam Bradford was injured, and over his first three seasons has been one of the biggest steals of the 2015 draft.

”I love it here. I truly do, and I’m just happy I’ll be here for a while now,” Diggs said after practice Tuesday. ”That’s why I want to play for them for selecting me in the fifth round. It was a bumpy road that day, and I just remember getting a call, and they gave me a chance. They believed in me Mike Gesicki Jersey , and they won, and going forward they pushed me to be where I am now.”

Now the Vikings have a new quarterback in Kirk Cousins, who was elated by the news that Diggs is under contract through 2023.

”What I most like is he loves football and loves to come and work, because as a quarterback it can be miserable if you’re out here with someone who is here to just get a paycheck and leave,” Cousins said. ”He wants to work.”

The Vikings offense was at the new practice facility on Monday night past 9 p.m. working on playbook installation.

”I’ve been a part of some locker rooms where by 9 o’clock, some of your guys are sleeping in the back row, not taking notes, not paying attention. They’re basically checked out, texting or whatever,” Cousins said. ”That’s not him. That’s not these guys.”

The new deal is valued at $72 million plus an additional $9 million in possible incentives, according to a person with knowledge of the contract who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the details. Diggs, who will play the final season of his rookie deal for the original base salary of slightly more than $1.9 million, received a $15 million signing bonus.

”He’s been a good person off the field. He’s been a good person on the field as far as that,” head coach Mike Zimmer said. ”When he messes up, he knows. One time I had him in my office, and I asked him … a question Logan Woodside Jersey , and he said, `Now, coach, you know you knew the answer when you asked the question.’ He’s a smart guy.”

Since Cousins signed his fully guaranteed $84 million contract in March, the Vikings have signed linebacker Eric Kendricks, defensive end Danielle Hunter and now Diggs to multi-year deals. The Vikings now have Cousins, Diggs, Thielen, running back Dalvin Cook, left tackle Riley Reiff, right guard Mike Remmers and center Pat Elflein all under team control through at least the 2020 season. On defense, the same goes for Hunter, Kendricks, defensive end Everson Griffen, defensive tackle Linval Joseph, cornerback Xavier Rhodes and safety Harrison Smith. That’s a lot of star power to squeeze under the salary cap Uchenna Nwosu Youth Jersey , with linebacker Anthony Barr the only prominent player with an expiring contract this year.

”Continuity, to me, is very important, and it’s not a luxury we have in the NFL these days,” Cousins said. ”There is a lot of change year in and year out, so I’ve come to expect that and understand you can’t use that as an excuse.”

Diggs has come a long way since his father, Aron Diggs, died of heart failure in 2008. He told his son in his final months to make sure to look after his mother and two brothers, and for Diggs this new deal was the consummation of that directive.

”I’m happy that I can look at my mom and smile and tell her that everything is going to be OK,” Diggs said. ”I’m just very thankful for everybody involved.”

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