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PHOENIX -- Of course, the NBAs most improved team would have its most improved player. [url=http://www.custompatriotsjersey.com

in Share With Other Members Sat Jan 11, 2020 1:05 am
by jokergreen0220 • 480 Posts

PHOENIX -- Of course, the NBAs most improved team would have its most improved player. Roger Craig Jersey . 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. Jerry Rice Jersey . Beanballs were the theme Friday night as the Red Sox and Rays had another AL East rumble, with Boston earning a 3-2 victory on A. O. J. Simpson Jersey . -- Victor Bernardez tied the game with his second goal in the 95th minute and the San Jose Earthquakes drew 3-3 with Real Salt Lake on Saturday night. http://www.custompatriotsjersey.com/custom-john-david-crow-jersey-large-1061f.html . Burris threw for 247 yards in one half of a game -- on pace for a nearly 500-yard outing -- as the Redblacks downed the woeful Montreal Alouettes 26-10 in CFL pre-season play Friday night at Percival Molson Stadium.MALMO, Sweden -- Spains Alvaro Quiros shot a 5-under 67 Friday to move to the top of the Nordea Masters leaderboard along with Frenchman Victor Dubuisson and Eddie Pepperell of England. All three are 6 under after two rounds on the PGA Sweden Nationals Lakes Course. Even though Quiros had two eagles, he was disappointed with his putting. "Ive been hitting the ball very well from tee to green, but even with the scores Ive had I have not putted great," Quiros told europeantour.com. Second-ranked Henriik Stenson birdied the last hole to move within a shot of the leaders. Troy Brown Jersey. Fellow Swede and Masters runner-up Jonas Blixt missed the cut after his second consecutive 74. "Sometimes golf is tough. Nothing went my way, but I cant say I made a fool of myself. I played pretty well for 30 holes," said Blixt, who had two double bogeys on the first day. Several players struggled in the strong winds including Miguel Angel Jimenez who shot a 73 on the day for a 2-under total. ' ' '

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