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You've located the World Cup television schedule, found your vuvuzela from 2010 and your remote control, planned your daily schedule around the matches and you're now ready for two solid weeks of the best international soccer on the globe -- three, sometimes four matches in a day.

OK, so maybe you just realize that there's going to be at least one match every day from June 12 to 26 and you're going to try to see as many as you can.

If you can't watch them all, or you want to DVR/TiVo (or whatever today's recording device is) the ones you can't see live, here's a guide to the most intriguing and potentially entertaining matches to watch during the group stage.

We won't include the knockout round because, well, every match will be must-see TV when it's one-and-done. But if you're going to pick from group play, here are five games you won't want to miss:

1. Brazil vs. Croatia, June 12

Traditionally, the host team plays in the World Cup opener. So it will be Brazil, the third-ranked team in the world according to FIFA, and Croatia, ranked 18th, getting things started from Arena Corinthians in Sao Paulo on Thursday. This venue was one of those that was in a race against time to be completed and ready for matches, and as recently as Saturday, work was still being done.

The match will showcase Brazil's star-studded "Selecao," featuring Neymar, Hulk, Fred, Dani Alves, Thiago Silva and David Luiz -- all of whom play for top-flight European clubs -- among others. Croatia will begin its quest to make it out of Group A against favorite Brazil, struggling Mexico and Cameroon.

But protests and unrest could steal some of the spotlight. Many Brazilians are unhappy about a World Cup infrastructure that has displaced residents in some city neighborhoods and consumed government funds better used to improve livelihoods and services in the country.

The transit workers' demonstrations continued in Sao Paulo on Monday, so things might not be resolved until the last minute, if at all.

2. Spain vs. Netherlands, June 13

This rematch of the 2010 World Cup final pits the Spaniards against the Dutch in the Group B opener. Spain enters the competition as the top-ranked team in the world while the Netherlands is 15th.

It's the Oranje's big three of midfielder Wesley Sneijder and forwards Arjen Robben and Robin Van Persie against La Furia Roja's stacked roster of stars from three of the world's best clubs -- Real Madrid, FC Barcelona and Atletico Madrid. The big names for Spain are Andres Iniesta, who scored the only goal in the World Cup final four years ago, Xabi Alonso, Cesc Fabregas, Juan Mata, David Villa and Fernando Torres, plus goalkeeper Iker Casillas, who plays for Real Madrid.

3. Ghana vs. USA, June 16

The Yanks' unfavorable draw landed them in Group G with No. 2-ranked Germany, No. 4 Portugal and No. 37 Ghana. Based on the rankings (the U.S. is No. 13), the Americans should be favored to open group play with the all-important win they'll need to have a shot -- and a long shot at that -- of advancing out of the group and into the knockout round.

But there's a catch: Ghana is the opponent that knocked the U.S. out of the past two World Cups. The Black Stars defeated the U.S. 2-1 in 2006 in Germany, with the U.S. needing a win to advance out of the group stage. Then in 2010, Ghana ousted the Americans again by the same score.

It was a heartbreaker for the U.S. team, and a few players from that match are back in 2014.

No chance the recent World Cup history between these teams is lost on either side. But in a group with Germany and Portugal, this is as close to a must-win match for both teams as there is in World Cup group play.

4. Switzerland vs. France, June 20

These figure to be the top two teams in Group E, and Les Bleus will look to atone for a poor showing four years ago in South Africa. The Swiss have the No. 6 world ranking, which puts them ahead of several better-known European soccer powers like Italy, England, the Netherlands and No. 17 France.

The French took a strong team to South Africa, but were knocked out in the group stage amid turmoil between players and the former head coach. It was a national disgrace for a team that won the World Cup as recently as 1998 and was in the final in 2006.

Karim Benzema, a striker for Real Madrid, is the big name for France, which has more individual star players than Switzerland. But the French will be without wing Franck Ribery, who will miss the World Cup due to injury. The loss of Ribery, a stalwart for Bayern Munich, could prove significant.

5. Italy vs. Uruguay, June 24

If there's a second "Group of Death," it's the Group D draw that boasts three top-10 teams in No. 7 Uruguay, No. 9 Italy and No. 10 England along with Costa Rica. By the time this match rolls around, Italy and Uruguay could be battling for first place in the group or the group's final berth in the knockout round.

This matchup is about as even as it gets. The two teams have faced each other eight times and each side has two wins, two losses and four draws. Even the goals scored for both teams are even at seven apiece.

The strikers for both sides will be front and center, with the Azzurri's Mario Balotelli and Ciro Immobile, who is a rising star in Europe, trying to outperform Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani of Uruguay.


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New York Rangers right wing Martin St. Louis (26) collides with Los Angeles Kings defenseman Jake Muzzin. (Photo: AP )

NEW YORK — When things had looked bleakest these playoffs — late in Game 7 in Pittsburgh or in the third period of Game 1 in L.A. — Henrik Lundqvist always seemed to level a playing field tilted against his Rangers.

The optimist's theory was he could do the same against the Kings, erasing their edge in the lineup with his strength in goal.

Through three games of this Stanley Cup Final, Lundqvist still had yet to steal a game or seize a series-defining moment. Not so for opposing netminder Jonathan Quick.

Playing for the first time at Madison Square Garden, the Milford, Connecticut native and former Conn Smythe winner stymied the Rangers Monday night, stopping all 32 shots as his Kings won Game 3, 3-0, to tighten their grip on the series.

Now leading 3-0, the Kings will play for the sweep — and their second Stanley Cup in three years — Wednesday night on Garden ice.

The Rangers' own Stanley Cup hopes appeared to fade with each Quick save Monday night, the best coming on a sprawling stick save on Derick Brassard's rebound try midway through the second that left Brassard drifting to the corner in disbelief.

Then, with his team leading 3-0 to open the third and the Rangers searching, Quick denied Chris Kreider on a break-in off the opening face-off. He was equally brilliant throughout the third, breezing through nearly four minutes of empty-net time.

Quick, whose team was outshot 32-15, left the Rangers to confront an unwelcoming history. Just four NHL teams have have rallied to win a playoff series after trailing 3-0 — one being the Kings, who did it to advance out of the first round this year. But the last such comeback in a Stanley Cup Final came during World War II when the 1942 Maple Leafs won the last four to beat the Red Wings.

Knowing what they were up against, Rangers coach Alain Vigneault barely stopped short of labeling Game 3 "must-win," but his fears were realized.

A raucous Madison Square Garden crowd first felt the doom in the final second of the first period. Jeff Carter beat the buzzer, scoring off a feed from the red-hot Justin Williams with 0.7 seconds remaining before intermission. The puck deflected off the skate of Dan Girardi, redirected slightly and hit Lundqvist in the glove before going in.

Lundqvist watched another puck hit a teammate and sail past him in the second. Jake Muzzin's point shot hit the clutching glove of Martin St. Louis and bounced in through a Carter screen. The Kings made it 3-0 with 2:46 left in the second when Mike Richards beat Lundqvist on a 2-on-1 sprung by Girardi's ill-timed pinch.

Although Quick proved to be the biggest deterrent, the Rangers failed to capitalize on their power play, finishing the night 0 for 5. Vigneault tweaked the power-play alignment, returning the active-but-unproductive Rick Nash to the unit, but to no avail.

Josh Thomson writes for the (Westchester County, N.Y.) Journal News. Email: jthomson@lohud.com

LATE GAME

Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals ended too late for this edition. For game results and more coverage, visit MyCentralJersey.com/sports.

Read or Share this story: http://www.app.com/story/sports/nhl/rangers/2014/06/09/new-york-rangers-los-angeles-kings-fall-game/10265885/


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It is in the Heat’s hands now. Everything is. The series. The championship. The three-peat. The history and legacy that is the engine for all of this.

All they have to do is own their home court.

If Miami does not lose in its bayside arena beginning with NBA Finals Game 3 on Tuesday night — if the Heat prevails in the one sanctuary where it has not been hated, doubted or mocked — there will be yet another parade just out front along Biscayne Boulevard.

But if that sounds too easy, it probably is. If you have paid attention to the first two games of a series now 1-1, you have seen two teams likely headed for the full seven games.

I almost felt bad for newbie NBA commissioner Adam Silver as he addressed a congested roomful of national media in San Antonio on Sunday night. He was there to preen. Instead he was being pelted.

Shots against the league bow came in the form of questions about the latest in the mess of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling. When would the sale of the club and his ouster become official? He also was peppered by a salvo concerning the mysterious arena air-conditioning outage that so affected Game 1 of this Heat-Spurs championship series. Was it sabotage? When exactly did he learn of the snafu?

A racist owner and a Finals controversy wrapped in hints of skullduggery — these are not any commissioner’s idea of a comfort zone.

Poor Silver, he just wanted to do a little bragging.

“This Finals is everything basketball fans could have hoped for,” he said in his introductory, lavishing two class organizations of championship pedigree, and two teams stocked with future Hall of Famers chasing their own slice of history.

Silver failed miserably to detour the line of ensuing questions from scandal and controversy to basketball, but credit the effort.

He had a lot to sell.

Heat-Spurs a year ago was a seven-game thrill ride, epic, a classic, Miami rallying impossibly to break San Antonio’s heart after the NBA — oops! — had begun roping off the court for the Spurs’ celebration. It was a terrific Finals.

Heat-Spurs, the rematch, might be even better.

Tied 1-1 as it moves to Miami for Game 3 Tuesday night, it is hard to imagine this Finals won’t also roll a seven and send fans of both teams alternating between euphoria and dejection, or what Heat president Pat Riley once called “winning, or misery.”

No, an NBA Finals needn’t involve Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston or New York to be big or riveting. It can involve a couple of mid-size markets, as long as they pack the pedigree and star power of Miami and San Antonio.

The Heat’s LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Ray Allen will waltz into the Hall of Fame, James among of course the greatest ever. Chris Bosh might make it, too.

The Spurs’ Tim Duncan and Tony Parker also are future first-ballot inductees, Duncan an all-time great.

Miami sharpens aim on a third consecutive championship and fourth crown in nine years.

And as he chases a fifth championship, Duncan, by himself, has played in more postseason games than the Heat in its franchise history. His first NBA Finals were a century ago — 1999, to be exact.

If this feels like a Finals for the ages, it is because these veteran teams are aged to perfection and seemingly have been powerhouses for ages, at least in a sports context.

The Heat wasn’t ready to be champion in 2011, the first of the four consecutive Finals appearances in the LeBron Era. They hadn’t been together long enough. There were dues owed.

Likewise, Oklahoma City wasn’t ready to be champion in 2012, against Miami.

But last season and in this Finals, two champions are at it, each as experienced as the other, each as basketball savvy, each as hungry.

The Heat by splitting the first two games has put itself in a great position to size control of the series if it can win the next two at home.

But does anyone paying attention doubt San Antonio is capable of winning in Miami?

An unexpected catalyst for Miami has been Bosh, second on the team averaging 18 points in the Finals including the last-minute, go-ahead shot in Game 2’s 98-96 win on a selfless pass from James.

Bosh has lived for four years as the least of the Big 3 in public perception. Remember those “Big 2 1/2” jokes? He has at times been seen as soft, passive, as a nearly 7-foot center who doesn’t get many rebounds. A big man on the perimeter, of the court, and of greatness.

Don’t share any doubts about Bosh with coach Erik Spolestra, though.

“He’s arguably our most important player, and it’s not just because of that shot [Sunday],” Spoelstra said. “He has a lot on his plate. He’s a two-way player on both ends, he has to facilitate and space the floor and find opportunities to be aggressive. It’s a tough balance. He’s versatile enough and important enough for us that he’s been able to find that. He’s one of the most stable, mentally tough guys I’ve ever been around. That’s why it raises the hair on the back of my neck when people question him. He has absolute championship DNA.”

Said Bosh: “I really don’t care about criticism,” but he hears it. After LeBron called himself “the easiest target in sports” for all the social-media venom he took over his Game 1 cramping, Bosh said, “I’m probably the second” easiest target.

Miami has a great chance to win the series, and championship, if Bosh continues as the aggressive force we have seen the first two games — the force who attacked and had a monster dunk in each of them.

It all starts with James, though, of course, as it did in Game 2 with his 35 points and 10 rebounds.

The mocking and hatred he felt after the cramping situation reminds us that his harsh, often irrational critics haven’t gone away, they just lay dormant, ready to pounce given any opportunity.

Only at home, in this arena, is he safe from all of that.

If he sends those home fans cheering into the night the rest of this series, Miami will be champion again.

- MiamiHerald.com


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Top Rank Promotions arch Bob Arum appear that they accept narrowed bottomward the enroll of Manny Pacquiao's accessible opponents in his abutting action on Nov. 22 in Macau.

Arum said on Wednesday that Juan Manuel Marquez is still their top advantage because Pacquiao is still agog to avenge his sixth-round knockout accident to his Mexican battling in their fourth showdown in December 2012.

The acclaimed apostle said that he is appointed to allocution to Marquez on Thursday about the proposed fifth action with Pacquiao, absolute that he abiding a affair with the Mexican battle figure to barometer his absorption personally.

"We brought him here," Arum said of Marquez. "I don't appetite to be racist or annihilation because it's not racist. But you can't absolutely allocution to a Mexican on a buzz about a deal. You've got to sit him in advanced of you, you've got to view at his face."

It is still alien at this point whether or not Marquez is absolutely absorbed in adverse Pacquiao afresh afterwards adage afore that their acclaimed animosity is over afterwards his knockout win in their fourth fight.
And if Marquez continues to appearance no absorption in a rematch with the above pound-for-pound king, Arum said that they will accede ascendant WBO ablaze welterweight best Ruslan Provodnikov and Argentine welterweight Luis Carlos Abregu.

Arum additionally appear that they are because fighters from Golden Boy Promotions, including ascendant WBA and WBC inferior welterweight best Danny Garcia.

"There are affluence of names," Arum said. "Ruslan Provodnikov is on the list. Carlos Abregu, the Argentinian welterweight is on the list. Those are two of the arch names, and afresh we accept to see how abounding Golden Boy fighters would be accessible for the fight, and that will become bright in the abutting anniversary or so."

The 82-year-old apostle said that Garcia will move up on top of their enroll if he is alone with Golden Boy Promotions and not angry with added battle personalities, like Al Haymon.
Saul "Canelo" Alvarez, who is additionally beneath Golden Boy Promotions, is additionally actuality advised as a approaching adversary for Pacquiao, but the above middleweight best will not be accessible to action afresh in November.

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This commodity is allotment of the Guardian’s World Cup 2014 Experts’ Network, a cooperation amid 32 of the best media organisations from the countries who accept able for the finals in Brazil. theguardian.com is active previews from four countries anniversary day in the countdown to the clash blame off on 12 June.

There’s an altercation that J├╝rgen Klinsmann’s plan for the 2006 Germany World Cup aggregation alone became bright in retrospect, as it was not until the clash itself that he brought a much-criticised, active ancillary to the boil. The achievement that he is accomplishing the aforementioned for this USA team, admitting with added bound assets and beneath added arduous logistical circumstances, is abaft such optimism as there is for the accessible campaign.

Klinsmann has gone from a actual arresting set up in his aboriginal stages with the team, to added all-embracing formations in contempo games. Aboriginal in his administration admirers would antic about the cardinal of arresting midfielders employed, as if he was aggravating to arrest up the average of the acreage and achievement for a attentive backlash to accompany a goal. But as Klinsmann has acclimatized on some aboriginal choices in that breadth of the park, focus has confused to added botheration areas of the aggregation such as the full-backs.

As time has gone on Klinsmann has tended to comedy a 4-2-3-1 with Michael Bradley anchoring and accepting advanced from the midfield, and Jermaine Jones across-the-board up alongside him. In that arrangement Clint Dempsey has tended to comedy abaft the striker, with Landon Donovan – not called in the final band – and/or Sporting Kansas City’s Graham Zusi pushed out wide. Best generally the advanced man has been Jozy Altidore, admitting his arid year at Sunderland – admitting his alarming Wearside layover could conceivably put his abode beneath threat, with Klinsmann determined that form, not reputation, will aces his team.

The botheration for Klinsmann, and those of us second-guessing his appropriate moves, is the duality that comes with managing from aggregation affected to aggregation camp, according to differing stages of players’ seasons. One ages will see a agenda heavily staffed with MLS players and Mexican-based players, while the abutting band will be fatigued from European-based players and in accurate the accidental of German-Americans Klinsmann has been discovering, Jack Charlton-style, aback demography charge.

It agency that in the aftermost two countdown amateur afore the band was called we’ve apparent a absent side, featuring a hopelessly abandoned Altidore up front, abatement to Ukraine in Cyprus, followed by an beginning midfield design trotted out for a bold adjoin Mexico in Arizona, played mostly by MLS players.

In that game, Kyle Beckerman, a accessible midfield agent for Jones and Bradley, played the captivation role he plays for his club team, Real Salt Lake, while Bradley was pushed advanced as the midfield tip of the diamond. For one half, it formed a treat, as USA stormed into a 2-0 lead, admitting by the end of the bold they were arguably advantageous to authority on for a 2-2 draw aback Mexico adapted their formation.

As a appropriate acknowledgment to a five-man Mexican defence, it mostly worked, but how adorning it was for honing the World Cup aggregation was debatable. And there’s the rub. With cadre alteration radically from bold to game, it is adamantine to see area Klinsmann’s appropriate cerebration is activity branch into the tournament, admitting in his comments about the ancillary “learning to be compact” and arising into attack, there is an accepting of the arresting appropriate absoluteness of a accumulation date adjoin Ghana, Portugal and Germany. USA admirers achievement his affairs are about to acknowledge themselves.

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Los Angeles array in overtime to defeat the Rangers, 3-2.
LOS ANGELES — Justin Williams denticulate 4:36 into overtime afterwards a about-face by Dan Girardi, and the Los Angeles Kings exhausted the New York Rangers 3-2 on Wednesday night in the Stanley Cup finals opener.

Williams was larboard abandoned in the aperture afterwards Girardi’s canyon from his knees went beeline to Mike Richards. Williams put his eighth ambition of the postseason accomplished Henrik Lundqvist, who fabricated 40 saves and about blanket an aboriginal win for the Rangers.
Jonathan Quick fabricated 25 saves for the Kings, who confused one achievement afterpiece to their additional Stanley Cup appellation in three years afterwards a amazing opener.
Game 2 is Saturday at Staples Center.

Kyle Clifford had a ambition and an abetment for Los Angeles, and Drew Doughty denticulate the attached ambition in the additional aeon as the Kings overcame yet addition aboriginal arrears in a postseason abounding of comebacks.

The Kings hadn’t won an overtime playoff bold at home back May 6, 2001. Williams attributed the win to “resilience and believing. Certainly it was not the alpha we wanted, but we got the aftereffect we wanted.”
Benoit Pouliot denticulate on a breakaway and Carl Hagelin got a short-handed ambition in the aboriginal period, but the Rangers spent abundant of the final two periods on their heels. Lundqvist had several outstanding saves as the Swedish brilliant began his attack to win his aboriginal Stanley Cup, but had no adventitious on Williams’ winner.

Los Angeles outshot New York 20-3 in the third period, acceptable the aboriginal aggregation to get 20 shots in a finals aeon in 16 years. The Kings additionally got a ability comedy with 1:36 left, ambience up a agrarian accomplishment to regulation.

Moments afterwards Hagelin was denied by Quick on yet addition short-handed breakaway, Jeff Carter was chock-full agonizingly abbreviate of a wraparound ambition by Lundqvist, sending the Kings to their third beeline overtime playoff game.

The tension-filled opener was a applicable alpha to the finals for two teams that traversed perilous paths to the aboriginal New York-L.A. championship playoff affair back the Yankees-Dodgers World Alternation in 1981.

The Kings and the Rangers played a accumulated 41 amateur in the aboriginal three circuit – aloof one beneath than the best – to appear from the average of the playoff pack.

The alternation is big account in the nation’s two better cities: Staples Center was arranged for the opener with roaring Kings admirers still not absolutely acclimatized to their club’s contempo success. Meanwhile, bags of New Yorkers arranged Bryant Park to watch on video boards.

The Kings and Rangers hadn’t met in seven months, but New York’s acceleration bound acquired problems for Los Angeles, arch to an aboriginal two-goal advantage.

Pouliot denticulate the aboriginal ambition of the alternation on a breakaway, burglary the bogie from Doughty and skating accomplished a barrier Jake Muzzin. The Rangers’ baby accidental of admirers roared afresh 2:42 after back Hagelin’s breakaway attempt was kicked in by Slava Voynov, who hadn’t been able to accumulate up with Hagelin out of the New York zone.

Los Angeles answered backward in the aeon back Carter anesthetized from abaft the net to Clifford, who banged in a sharp-angled attempt for his aboriginal playoff ambition back April 23, 2011. The cutting advanced had played 37 beeline postseason amateur after a goal.

Doughty angry it for the Kings with a admirable move, toe-dragging about Derek Dorsett and battlefront a wrist attempt accomplished Lundqvist for his fourth ambition in six games.
Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals went to overtime for the third beeline season.

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Last year the Heat and Spurs affianced in a absurd NBA Finals that was one of the best playoff alternation in contempo years. The stars are back, but the acknowledging casts of both teams accept afflicted a bit. Here’s what you charge to view for as the Heat try to win their third beeline NBA title.

The Key Matchup: Tim Duncan vs. Chris Bosh

The Miami Heat appetite to comedy baby with Chris Bosh at center, and abundant like they did adjoin Oklahoma City, I would apprehend the Spurs to do the aforementioned with Tim Duncan. Aftermost year, Duncan had a lot of success adjoin Bosh in the column and he became the Spurs’ primary abhorrent weapon over continued stretches. If Duncan can force the Heat to double-team him bottomward there, it could accessible up their ambit shooters.

Bosh, meanwhile, has become a abundant bigger all-embracing jump shooter, and Duncan is activity to accept to be acutely acquainted of not sliding too far into the paint. Bosh can hit the three, abnormally from the corner, and Duncan cannot let him get hot from the outside. Bosh has to be careful, however, not to acquiesce Duncan to boss on the bottle like he did in aftermost year’s finals.

The Superstar: LeBron James

The old aphorism in the NBA finals is that the aggregation with the best amateur usually wins. The Spurs already dispelled that approach back they exhausted the Thunder, who, with Kevin Durrant and Russell Westbrook, ability accept had the two best players in the series. They will accept to do the aforementioned in the finals with LeBron James. Aftermost year, San Antonio absitively to force James into a jump ballista and accumulate him into the paint.

James fabricated them pay by hitting a lot of those jumpers, but the Spurs still accede that a win back they are befitting him off the free-throw band and endlessly him from active and blame to his teammates for accessible shots. Kawhi Leonard, one of the arch adolescent defenders in the league, will accept the primary albatross of absorption James. Boris Diaw, surprisingly, additionally did a appropriate job on James aftermost season.

The Spurs will alive with James accepting 30 a bold if he has to booty a lot of shots to get the points, and if he doesn’t accept a ton of assists and appulse as a playmaker for others.

The X-Factors

For the Heat, it’s Dwyane Wade. He looks abundant convalescent this year than he did aftermost year, and he has looked like a accurate commutual brilliant to James in abounding playoff amateur this year. The Spurs will accept to assurance either Danny Green or Manu Ginobli to awning Wade, and with all the absorption on James, they apparently won’t get a lot of help. If Wade plays well, he could be the acumen the Miami Heat win a championship.

Ginobli is the man for the Spurs. He played abhorrent in aftermost year’s finals, abnormally in Bold 6, area a absent chargeless bandy in the fourth division and two turnovers in overtime amount the Spurs their best attempt to win a title. Over the advance of the series, the Spurs were a afflictive -32 back Ginobli played, and were a +37 back he was on the bench. He attempt a poor percentage, abnormally in losses, and was a about-face machine. Ginobli has to be a net absolute for the Spurs if they appetite to win the series. Abundant like Wade, he has played bigger over the advance of this year’s playoffs, which is auspicious for San Antonio.

The Spurs can’t…

…turn it over if they appetite to exhausted the Heat. Miami thrives on turnovers, and turns steals into accessible baskets. Aftermost year, the Spurs – Ginobli accurately — angry it over way too much, which angry into accessible Heat baskets. That can’t happen.

The Heat can’t…

…depend too abundant on their stars. Someone from the Heat’s acknowledging casting is activity to accept to footfall up the way Mike Miller did aftermost season. Shane Battier is not the aforementioned amateur and Ray Allen is banged up. Norris Cole was a atom adjoin the Pacers, and the Heat will accept to acquisition that about vs. the Spurs.

Prediction

I forgot to acknowledgment Tony Parker. He bigger be advantageous and comedy like himself if the Spurs appetite to win. I anticipate the Spurs are the bigger team, and they accept the bigger coach. Unless Wade and James both comedy to a star’s level, and they acquisition some advice from the acknowledging cast, I anticipate the Spurs win a hotly contested seven-games series. Spurs in seven.

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Spurs losing 105-92 to the Thunder in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals breaks the usually composed San Antonio Spurs featuring Tim Duncan and coach Gregg Popovich exchange some words at second-half break in play.

Duncan looked frustrated for a while as he approached Popovich and Green, then everyone went about and Popovich just had no clue what Duncan was bitching about.

Anyway, Duncan told reporters that the Thunder's defensive aggressiveness was a key factor in the game.

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This isn't supposed to happen during playoffs but in the world of Hockey things just go in one's hand sometimes.

Montreal Canadiens goalie Dustin Tokarski makes a glove save on New York Rangers during the 3rd period in game five of the NHL Eastern Conference final Stanley Cup playoff action May 27,2014 in Montreal.

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For the first time Philippines kicked the ticket to the Finals of the  Asian Football Cup 2014 defeating Maldives, Tuesday at the National Football Stadium in Male, Maldives.

This time around, Chris Greatwhich takes the spotlight after securing a goal against Patrick Reichelt, making the team hang on through the second half of the game.

Next to this victory comes Palestine head to head with Philippines for the finals on Friday.

Azkals did a great team effort under the new coach Dooley but somehow slowed down in terms of their intensity halfway the game. Nevertheless, this victory makes the Azkals a strong contender in the AFC Challenge Cup but in Asean as well.


Prediction

If the Azkals don't change their attitude and focus on the field then winning over Palestine shouldn't be any tougher than with Maldives. Dooley has a good judgment on switching and selecting key players that's a good ground to hope.

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Associated Press, @ap 9:32 p.m. EDT May 26, 2014

New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist reacts afterwards Bold 4 of the Stanley Cup playoffs Eastern Conference finals adjoin the Montreal Canadiens on Sunday in New York. (Photo: AP )

MONTREAL – Back added genitalia of their bold are sputtering, the New York Rangers accept two solid-gold assets to abatement aback on — amends killing and goaltending.

It's a admixture that has put them aural one achievement of their aboriginal Stanley Cup final in 20 years. It has balked the Montreal Canadiens, who charge win Bold 5 Tuesday at the Bell Centre to avoid off elimination.

With a 17 percent bang amount — acceptable for 19th during the approved division — the Montreal ability comedy was hardly a bustling machine. But adjoin the Rangers, the Canadiens are 1-for-17 with the man advantage.

Montreal's abandoned power-play advance came Sunday night in a 3-2 overtime accident at Madison Square Garden. That P.K. Subban bang from the point, however, was choleric by a short-handed ambition by Carl Hagelin that opened the scoring.

The Canadiens' ability comedy went 1-for-8 on a night area the Rangers spent 14½ account or about 22 percent of the bold a man short.

"Give acclaim to our killers and our goaltender," Rangers drillmaster Alain Vigneault said. "They did a absolute acceptable job."

That is annihilation new. Afore Subban's goal, the Rangers had dead off 27 beeline penalties. New York is 37-for-39 (95 percent) on the amends annihilate in its aftermost 12 games

"We had the befalling on the ability comedy but we didn't booty advantage of it," lamented Montreal drillmaster Michel Therrien. "Yes, we denticulate a goal. It was a attached goal, but we gave up one, and that was the adventure of the game. I anticipation our ability comedy had to be better."

The Rangers' go-to advanced bond on the ability comedy is Hagelin and Brian Boyle. Hagelin is a acceleration merchant while Boyle's resume reads "big body, blocks shots, acceptable on face-offs," according to Vigneault.

Boyle can additionally canyon a bit, award Hagelin on a canyon abysmal from the New York end. Hagelin bankrupt in alone, apish a attempt and tucked a backhand amid the legs of Dustin Tokarski at 7:18 for his sixth ambition of the playoffs. It was the Rangers' aboriginal short-handed ambition in 70 playoff games, dating to 2008.

The New York amends annihilate is acute and sleek. Goalie Henrik Lundqvist has formed adamantine on his bogie administration and his defenders are positioned well. If a Ranger gets to the bogie aboriginal abaft the net, there is usually a assistant continuing aloof anxiety abroad accessible to dump it bottomward the rink.

"I anticipate our guys do a acceptable job whether it be on the forecheck advancing aback in the appropriate positions and aggravating to actualize those battles area you've a adventitious to accomplish a brace plays and get it out," Vigneault said. "When we don't, (our) goaltender stops the puck."

In four games, Montreal has seven goals on 107 shots.

While Tokarski has won acclaim for his comedy in dispatch in for the afflicted Carey Price, Lundqvist's playoffs numbers are sparkling — a .931 save allotment and 1.98 goals-against average. The Rangers accept accustomed two goals or beneath in 13 of their 18 playoff games, including six of the aftermost seven games. New York ranks aboriginal in the NHL in goals adjoin per bold in the playoffs at 2.11.

Lundqvist has 41 career playoff wins, attached him with Mike Richter for the best in Rangers history. His counterpart, Tokarski has played all of 13 NHL amateur — 10 in the approved division and three in the playoffs.

Lundqvist best up an abetment on Derick Brassard's second-period goal, his aboriginal in 85 postseason games. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he is the aboriginal Rangers goaltender to almanac a playoff abetment back Richter on May 11, 1997.

One catechism for the Rangers will be whether Derek Stepan can acknowledgment from his burst jaw in Bold 3. During the weekend, he alone by the amphitheatre to see his teammates afore abiding home to ameliorate from surgery.

Brassard, meanwhile, alternate to the calendar Sunday afterwards actuality agape out of Bold 1 aboriginal with an high anatomy abrasion and fabricated his attendance felt.

Martin St. Louis' hot duke is additionally of note. His overtime champ Sunday continued his point band to six games. He leads the Ranges with 13 credibility in these playoffs.

NOTES: Hagelin was Sunday's almsman of the Broadway Hat, a aged atramentous fedora accustomed to the amateur advised by his aeon to be best active in a Rangers win … The Rangers are 12-1 back they advance a playoff alternation three amateur to one.

STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS

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Without question, Serge Ibaka's acknowledgment to the Oklahoma City Thunder's starting calendar propelled them to a 106-97 achievement in Bold 3. His capability in authoritative the acrylic on aegis led to four blocked shots, and his adeptness to amplitude the attic on breach with his mid-range cutting abounding a key breadth of charge for Oklahoma City.

Much of this can be quantified statistically, but Ibaka's absolute appulse came from black assimilation and shots at the rim in the aboriginal place. While he absolutely provided his fair allotment of highlight-reel blocks, there were endless added plays in which opportunities at the rim angry into turnovers or abortive kick-outs.

This is the accurate amount of a abundant shot-blocker. The blackmail of a blocked advance is generally added able than the block itself; the consistent anarchy from a block can advance to an accessible bassinet for the breach out of the scramble. Drivers that are aflutter of blocks, however, don't alike advance a advance at the rim.

Ibaka has the absolute amalgamation in agreement of rim protection: speed, agility, length, timing and size. He's additionally fearless, accommodating to claiming any amateur at the rim. It's this blazon of comedy that can absolutely adapt the mentality of an opponent. No one wants to be on the amiss end of a highlight.

In every bold of this series, the Spurs accept formed the Thunder with connected attacks of the basket. After the attendance of Ibaka in Games 1 and 2, San Antonio was able to accomplishment in the belted area. This acquired Oklahoma City to overcompensate to assure the rim, and the three-point band afterwards opened up.

By the additional bisected of anniversary game, OKC never knew whether rim burden was activity to advance to an actual accomplishment or a advance from the outside. Its aegis was absolutely out of sync.

In Bold 3, San Antonio connected attacking. Despite the athleticism of its team, OKC is not decidedly able at preventing penetration. The aberration had consistently been Ibaka and his adeptness to bond out his teammates, and that's all that afflicted with his return.

On this sideline-out-of-bounds play, the Spurs accept Tony Parker pop to the top of the key afterwards sliding amid two screens from two of his bigs. Russell Westbrook, who's attention Parker, artlessly avalanche abaft aback the Frenchman catches the brawl and turns the corner.

The aftereffect is Parker branch abatement adjoin the rim with a arch of beef and Westbrook able-bodied out of position.

In Games 1 and 2, the Thunder had no acknowledgment for Parker penetrating. Already he bankrupt through the antecedent ambit defense, their bigs were clumsy to accommodate him, block his shots or ahead passes for three-pointers. The comedy was basically over with one accessory advantage.

Here, we see Ibaka sliding bottomward the lane with Parker as he dribbles at the basket. But then, all of a sudden, Parker slams on the brakes. What was already a acutely wide-open lane adjoin the rim closes anon acknowledgment to Ibaka's crabbed quickness. In Parker's estimation, it was not account arduous him one-on-one.

Parker afresh pulls the brawl out, resets and tries to isolate—not a allotment of the San Antonio breach in any capacity, let abandoned adjoin Kevin Durant and his length. He eventually turns the brawl over by traveling.

Did Ibaka anon accomplish the stop on the play? No. But he prevented the primary scoring befalling by alarming up the drawn-up action. That in about-face affected Parker to actualize by himself.

While this isn't the affliction option, it's absolutely abundant beneath adopted to organized offense. San Antonio doesn't advance with one-on-one play, and we can acutely see why here.

The added allotment of advance blockage at the rim is the consecutive banishment of an added pass. Aback a ball-handler looks to shoot adjoin Ibaka, he generally finds himself midair and bent in no-man's land. With Ibaka closing in and the anticipation of a acceptable advance in decline, he'll ad-lib with an added pass.

Yet the chock-full attributes of acrylic comedy agency close-quarters casual becomes inaccurate or deflected. It's additionally difficult for abounding bigs to access such high-velocity passes after abundant acknowledgment time, and turnovers are commonplace.

But it all starts with a shot-blocker black that aboriginal layup. Here, Boris Diaw absolutely backdoors Ibaka on a give-and-go. It appears that Ibaka is beat, and we can absolutely see Diaw activate his motion for a layup.

At the aftermost second, Ibaka closes the gap to block the shot. Diaw is acutely agitated by the burden and alters his accommodation to shoot midair. Instead, he tries a one-handed wraparound pass, which is low and too far larboard for Tiago Splitter to handle. The aftereffect is a turnover.

Again, Ibaka will never get statistical acclaim for this play. Yet it's his assignment that causes it, and OKC is able to capitalize by avaricious the apart ball.

The added allotment of Ibaka's aegis that badly bigger Oklahoma City was his pick-and-roll coverage. The Thunder like to force mid-range jumpers by giving the ball-handler lots of space, and the consistent coverages beggarly the arresting big drops aback to awning the basket.

But with Ibaka, they're able to annihilate two birds with one stone. While he's acclimatized in his alertness to bead back, he's additionally atomic and continued abundant to bother shots should the ball-handler cull up.

Here, we can see Ibaka giving Marco Belinelli affluence of amplitude as he comes off a Splitter pick.

Being the baleful ballista that he is, Belinelli chooses to cull up. He aloof doesn't ahead Ibaka lurching out at him immediately, and already afresh we see a quick change of accommodation midair. As with Diaw, Belinelli throws it away.

There's no catechism San Antonio will acclimatize in Bold 4 to acquisition added shooters. Throughout the approved season, the Spurs struggled scoring at the bassinet due to Ibaka. In Bold 3, we saw added of the same.

But breach cannot alive and die by the jump shot. San Antonio's best achievement is that the jumpers alpha falling early, which can afresh force Ibaka to devious further from the basket. The Thunder can counter, however, by alive Durant over to the ability advanced position—and Ibaka to center—which would accumulate Ibaka in the acrylic beneath best circumstances.

The added advantage is to artlessly advance Ibaka in the post. He's not a abundant one-on-one column defender, and Tim Duncan can calmly booty advantage.

Whatever San Antonio does choose, it will be tough. It's never accessible to comedy breach adjoin a abundant shot-blocker, and Ibaka showed why in Bold 3

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LOS ANGELES | Jake Muzzin, Marian Gaborik and captain Dustin Brown denticulate in a ascendant aboriginal period, and the Los Angeles Kings exhausted the Chicago Blackhawks 5-2 Monday night to booty a 3-1 advance in the Western Appointment final.

Muzzin and Drew Doughty anniversary had a ambition and an assist, and Jonathan Quick fabricated 22 saves as the Kings confused to the border of their additional cruise to the Stanley Cup Final in three seasons with their third beeline win over the arresting best Blackhawks.

Brandon Saad and Bryan Bickell denticulate and Corey Crawford chock-full 16 shots for the Blackhawks, who didn't get rolling until they trailed 4-0 backward in the additional period.

One year afterwards Los Angeles absent the appointment finals in bristles amateur to Chicago, the Kings accept their own adventitious to abutting it out in five.

Game 5 is Wednesday in Chicago.

Tanner Pearson added an empty-net ambition for the Kings, who accept been to the NHL finals aloof alert in authorization history, acceptable their alone appellation in 2012.

Two canicule afterwards the Kings gritted out a 4-3 achievement over Chicago in Game 3, they won afresh at Staples Center by scoring three goals on six shots in the aboriginal 16 minutes, capping an absurd three-game abhorrent achievement by the lowest-scoring NHL aggregation to accomplish the postseason.

After abaft 2-0 backward in the additional aeon of Game 2, Los Angeles denticulate 13 goals in beneath than 100 minutes. Afterwards Muzzin denticulate on a ability comedy and Gaborik added his 10th ambition of the postseason, Brown banged a bogie into an abandoned net for a 3-0 advance in Game 4, ambience off assorted continuing ovations from their aberrant fans.

The Blackhawks confused their calendar afterwards two poor abhorrent performances, alpha Game 4 with captain Jonathan Toews absorption Bickell and Patrick Kane, who still doesn't accept a ambition in the series.

Last year, Blackhawks drillmaster Joel Quenneville teamed Toews with Kane — the 2013 Conn Smythe Trophy champ — aback his club fell into a 3-1 alternation aperture adjoin Detroit in the additional round. The Blackhawks able that arrears on the way to their additional Stanley Cup appellation in four years, but the Kings are an absolutely altered postseason challenge.

The Kings committed two offensive-zone penalties aboriginal in Game 4, but Chicago's ability comedy remained inept. Afterwards Marian Hossa negated a ability comedy for the Blackhawks by active into Quick, the Kings went advanced aback Doughty begin Muzzin for a abundant bang attempt accomplished Carter's screen.

The ambition was the fifth of a alive postseason for Muzzin — the aforementioned cardinal denticulate by Chicago brilliant defensemen Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook combined.

Keith again set up the Kings' additional ambition with a alarming about-face in his own end. Anze Kopitar threw the bogie in front, area Gaborik redirected it through Crawford's legs.

Brown again added his aboriginal ambition aback Game 7 of the aboriginal annular adjoin San Jose, and the Los Angeles army animated its aggregation to intermission.

The Kings kept acute in the second, and Doughty put a continued attempt through cartage amid through the period. Doughty, the Kings' baton in ice time, has goals in back-to-back amateur afterwards scoring aloof already in the aboriginal 16 playoff games.

Chicago assuredly exhausted Quick aback Saad denticulate on a backhand. The Kings sat aback on aegis to alpha the third period, and Bickell got aloof his additional ambition in eight amateur aback he jumped on a apart bogie in the aperture with 10:31 to play.

NOTES: Chicago's ability comedy went 0 for 3, bottomward to 1 for 24 on the alley in the postseason. ... The Blackhawks aching F Brandon Bollig in favor of Peter Regin, who sat out Game 3 afterwards Andrew Shaw's return. ... Game 6 would be Friday at Staples Center.
 

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The Indiana Pacers are continuing on the border of destruction. 

After the Miami Heat emerged from South Beach with a 12-point achievement that pushed them to a 3-1 beforehand in the Eastern Conference Finals, Indiana is now absolutely out of jerk room. Lose and go home.

It's got a March Madness feel—at atomic in agreement of the abolishment factor—even acceptance we're about into June.

The affair is, the alternation hasn't been decidedly close.

Sure, the Pacers won Bold 1 and kept things abutting in the afterwards contests, but neither of the accomplished two outings accept apparent Indiana aural arresting ambit bottomward the stretch.

Game 3 saw Indiana booty a 21-14 beforehand afterwards the aperture quarter, but again the East's No. 1 berry pulled a Chinua Achebe. Things fell afar to the tune of an 85-66 assault over the abutting three periods.
The abutting airing wasn't abundant different.

Buoyed by a ascendant third quarter, Miami stormed out to a beforehand that grew as ample as 23 credibility with aloof beneath eight account actual in the game. Indiana fabricated things hardly absorbing with an aggressive run in debris time, but it was the archetypal case of too little, too late.

Game 4 aloof wasn't close, no amount how abundant the final account tries to acquaint you otherwise. Or Paul George, for that matter.

George ability accept anticipation that Indiana outplayed its action on Monday night, blaming the free-throw alterity in the process, but annihilation could be added from the truth.

Miami was the bigger team, and as Bleacher Report's Grant Hughes explained, "Miami was faster, added absolute and about added accomplished in its beheading on offense. And Indy's aegis was a footfall apathetic all night long. That's a compound for a accomplished agglomeration of chargeless throws if I've anytime heard one."

One game. 

That's now all that separates Miami from acceptable the aboriginal aggregation aback the Boston Celtics in the 1980s to ability a fourth afterwards NBA Finals. Indiana is down, but is it out? 

Have There Been Absolute Signs?

Winning Bold 1 calmly is absolutely account for optimism, but there aloof haven't been too abounding things to address home about during the aboriginal four amateur of what was declared to be (supposed to be during the aboriginal allocation of the approved season, at least) a awful aggressive action amid two aristocratic squads.

In fact, the better absolute assurance for the Pacers may accept aggregate to do with their opponent, acceptance how absolutely ascendant the Heat accept looked in the aftermost brace of outings.

"The allowance is slimmer now, no question," Shane Battier told Grantland's Zach Lowe afterwards Bold 4. “We’re an unnervingly inconsistent team, and none of us apperceive why. We’re talented, but we’re not that accomplished anymore area we can affected that. Three years ago, we were a lot adolescent and springier."
While Miami has enjoyed absurd comedy from its superstars, including Chris Bosh, who bounced aback in a big way with his 25-point airing on Monday night, it's the role players who accept been creating a huge difference. 

Norris Cole has done a arch job corralling Lance Stephenson, acceptance Ray Allen to bout up with George Hill and abstain demography a concrete assault adjoin the bigger 2-guard. That opens things up abaft the three-point arc for Allen, acknowledgment to his attention of activity on the arresting end. 

Rashard Lewis, who hasn't alike hit a attempt aback the final bold adjoin the Brooklyn Nets, was decidedly amid into the calendar for the two best contempo contests. All he did was serve as a decoy, but he was an able one. Miami outscored Indiana by 35 credibility aback he was on the court, as the Pacers had to at atomic account his shot. 

What happens aback these guys backslide to the mean? What happens if Indiana realizes it doesn't absolutely accept to anguish about Lewis? What happens aback the dematerialization of Battier and the aperture Mike Miller acclimated to ample absolutely appear aback to chaw Miami?

As Battier admitted, the Heat are inconsistent. It wouldn't be at all hasty if they alone Bold 5, imbuing the Pacers with the aplomb they absent and so badly charge to achieve afore they go fishing as an offseason amusement and not a agency of team-building. 

As for the Pacers themselves, they've apparent beneath absolute signs. 

Miami is dismantling the awful vaunted aegis by advantage of advancing Roy Hibbert at all times. The Heat artlessly aren't abashed to booty the brawl into the paint, and they're demography advantage of a aegis that has been slower and beneath able than anytime before. On top of that, Bosh's alfresco cutting has been a huge weapon in overextension out the paint-packed troops in yellow. 

And aegis is still the stronger end of the cloister for the Pacers. 

The breach is absolutely inept, abashed by Miami's administration of its aerial pick-and-roll sets and creating all sorts of problems with turnovers. Aloof booty a ankle at the assist-to-turnover ratios that Indiana has produced throughout this series: 

Pacers' Passing Woes Aren't Passing
Game 1 23 12 Win
Game 2 19 10 Loss
Game 3 17 17 Loss
Game 4 18 14 Loss
ESPN.com

This ability be the better botheration of all. 

Miami has absolutely ample out how to bouncer Indiana's bound attack. By bottomward aback on picks and banishment ball-handlers adjoin the sidelines, the Heat are enabling their able-bodied addition players to ambush one canyon afterwards another. There's no assimilation whatsoever, and the Pacers are relying far too heavily on creating contested mid-range looks aback they're not alike a abundant cutting aggregation in the aboriginal place. 

Does any of that complete positive? 

Is There Hope Left?

The Pacers accept been actuality before.
Thinking

Kind of.
Thinking more

Not really...

If you anamnesis the aboriginal annular of the playoffs, Indiana trailed the Atlanta Hawks in the series, 3-2, defective to win both Amateur 6 and 7 in adjustment to accumulate its championship dreams alive. Somehow it did, acknowledgment to a complete collapse by the Hawks an aggressive run bottomward the closing amplitude of the aboriginal challenge and a assured airing a few nights later.
But these are not the Hawks.

Atlanta was a middling aggregation demography advantage of a antagonism daydream while active such a contemporary breach that it accursed abroad added times from city than any aggregation in NBA history had during a distinct series. I mean, the Hawks didn't alike accept a acceptable almanac during the approved division and were arena afterwards their best amateur (Al Horford).
On the cast side, the Heat are the backstab arresting champions, and while they've beneath hardly aback aftermost year's absorbing postseason, they're still a ascendant band featuring three players abnormally able of accustomed the team.

Oh, and they're up 3-1 instead of 3-2.

Essentially, Indiana is actuality tasked with acceptable three afterwards amateur adjoin a above adversary that acutely has its number. Good luck with that.

Making things alike worse—and let's be bright that the Pacers' arrears is a artefact of aptitude and system, not aloof absent confidence—is the actuality that this agglomeration no best seems to be arena with the aforementioned vigor, activity and brotherhood that fabricated it so alarming during the aboriginal allocation of the season.

"I anticipate anytime you lose three in a row in the playoffs, it all-overs your aplomb some," Frank Vogel explained to The Associated Press afterwards accident Bold 4, via ESPN.com. 

Are the Pacers able of acceptable this series?

Are the Pacers able of acceptable this series?

  • Yes

  • No

Shakes your confidence? It shatters it. 

When the Pacers were on the border of abolishment adjoin Atlanta, I abbreviated their affairs of adaptation by acceptance that it was possible, but not probable, for them to beforehand to the abutting round. They defied the odds, and I'll say the exact aforementioned affair already more, aloof with the anticipation abbreviating to atomic levels.

The additional time's the charm. Or is that the third time?

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May 13, 2014|By Paul Tenorio, Orlando Sentinel

David Brotherton acquainted a appropriate affiliation aback he aboriginal purchased Orlando Burghal Soccer Club division tickets in 2012.

He had no abstraction that he would end up designing the new logo the aggregation will use aback it begins comedy in Major Alliance Soccer abutting season.

Born and aloft in soccer-happy St. Louis, Brotherton believed the Lions could become a key allotment of Orlando's identity. His acquaintance at a bold during the 2011 division accepted that. About a year later, the 39-year-old clear artisan said, he started to apprehend Orlando City's move to Major Alliance Soccer ability absolutely become a absoluteness and that the club would acceptable go through a about-face in branding.

Brotherton began sending account of every array — amphitheater renderings, new logos and account for the surrounding Parramore breadth — to club officials.

Orlando Burghal appear a new aggregation logo during a clandestine affair for club advisers in its new offices in Thornton Park. It was aggregate alone with the Orlando Sentinel on Monday.

Brotherton advised the new amethyst and gold acme featuring the face of a bobcat central a aureate sun with “Orlando City” inscribed beneath in a sharp, avant-garde white font. It was called during an accessible antagonism that included several regional architecture firms.

The sun, called to represent the Sunshine State, has 21 flares to represent Orlando City's abode as the 21st authorization in MLS. The bobcat additionally has a attenuate acme aloft its eyes to represent the club's championship history.

“To abstraction the appearance [for] a aggregation and a burghal of abundance and to absolutely apperceive that that's activity to be the adumbration for the club that you're activity to acclamation for, that you feel so foolishly about and accept been watching for three or four years, as a soccer fan … it gets no better,” Brotherton said. “I'm still avidity myself appropriate now.”

Orlando Burghal had to go through a makeover for the move to MLS. The alliance is run as a single-entity anatomy and owns all trademarks and rights, licensing them aback to the alone clubs. As allotment of its acceding to move up to MLS, Orlando Burghal agreed to actualize a new logo.

The goal: acquisition a simplified, cleaner architecture that additionally acquainted archetypal and could be acclimated beyond a cardinal of areas alfresco the soccer field. Club admiral met with 10 regional agencies and saw added than 30 logo concepts afore Brotherton's presentation.

“It was an aha moment,” said Teresa Tatlonghari, Orlando City's carnality admiral of marketing.

The new logo accustomed a absolute acknowledgment from aggregation advisers on Monday, and additionally from several admirers the club met with aftermost week.

“I'm acutely a bit of a traditionalist, I like apple-pie and archetypal looks and I anticipate it's article that'll angle the analysis of time,” Lions' drillmaster Adrian Heath said. “I anticipate in the approaching aback we view aback this is addition one of those awe-inspiring canicule forth the way.”

The club has a altered plan to advertise its new logo.

The Orlando Burghal Council accepted permission for the soccer club to acrylic acting murals on the abandon of seven abreast endemic barrio about Orlando. The murals, which will kick-start the team's rebranding effort, are meant to highlight the altered appearance of Orlando. They will affection the team's new logo, admitting not prominently. The murals, anniversary corrective by a altered regional artist, will abide in abode for a month.

With the logo in abode and a new address in city Orlando, the move to MLS in 2015 feels added approaching than ever.

“It's beneath than 10 months until we bang a brawl in Major Alliance Soccer,” Orlando Burghal admiral Phil Rawlins said. “Days like today, the rebranding, it gives addition belvedere to barrage from to be accessible for March.”

Staff biographer Mark Schlueb contributed to this report. ptenorio@tribune.com

ALSO:

Pictures: Check out the new Orlando Burghal Soccer logo

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COLUMBIA — University of South Carolina green Tiffany Mitchell (Charlotte, N.C./Providence Day) helped her team, Takeover, to a absolute 7-0 almanac en avenue to the 2014 USA Basketball 3x3 Women’s National Championship. The team, which includes Tennessee’s Cierra Burdick, Louisville’s Sara Hammond and Notre Dame’s Jewell Loyd, will represent the U.S. in the 2014 FIBA 3x3 World Championship that will be played June 5-8 in Moscow, Russia.

Takeover won its final claiming 21-15 over 2013 best FST-Long Island. The USA Basketball 3x3 National Championship additionally included a abilities affair on Friday that featured hot shot, which is a accomplice cutting competition, a 3-point shootout and a abilities challenge. Mitchell won the women’s 3-point shootout, while her teammates Hammond and Burdick took the women’s hot attempt antagonism and Loyd claimed the abilities challenge.

The 2014 FIBA 3x3 World Championship is accepted to affection 24 men’s teams and 24 women’s teams, and will be aloof the additional copy of the biennial event. In accession to the USA Basketball 3x3 squad, nations aggressive for the women’s 2014 3x3 World Championship gold badge accommodate Andorra, Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, China, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Guatemala, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Romania, host Russia, Spain, Syria, Taiwan, Thailand, Tunisia, Uganda and Uruguay.

At the countdown 2012 FIBA 3x3 World Championship that was captivated in Athens, Greece, the USA women’s aggregation of Skylar Diggins, Bria Hartley, Chiney Ogwumike and Ann Strother captured the gold badge with a absolute 9-0 record. <br />

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The NBA Is Still Beating The NHL In War For Cable Viewers - Forbes

A few weeks ago we looked at the first-round playoff viewership numbers for the NBA and NHL to see which alliance was adequate the best postseason popularity. Our cessation was that the NBA was antibacterial the NHL in agreement of cable viewership. Some readers acicular out, however, that we may not accept been comparing apples to apples. Added specifically, all of the NBA’s telecasts were on civic cable networks, while the NHL’s amateur were alone accessible on bounded sports networks in anniversary team’s home market. The absence of RSN admirers in our comparison, readers argued, skewed the numbers and didn’t present a fair comparison.
It was a fair criticism, but it seemed to advance that the NHL was absolutely on the aforementioned akin as the NBA. As I responded to some commenters then, and which we can see for a authoritativeness now, that artlessly isn’t the case. The advancing second-round playoff series, which both leagues are broadcasting alone on civic networks, prove already added that the NBA is killing the NHL in the cable ratings game.
Through Saturday night, the NHL played 16 second-round playoff amateur on cable, compared to 11 for the NBA. According to cable viewership figures, the archetypal NHL bold drew 1.56 actor viewers, beneath than bisected the boilerplate 4.32 actor admirers who acquainted into anniversary NBA playoff game. No NHL bold has been watched by added than two actor cable viewers, while no NBA bold has been watched by beneath than three million.
The NHL’s most-watched bold was the alternation opener amid Minnesota and Chicago, which drew 1.95 actor viewers. Alone two added NHL amateur managed to breach the 1.8 actor mark. The NBA’s least-watched bold so far was aftermost Thursday’s showdown amid Brooklyn and Miami, which was watched by aloof over 3 actor viewers. In added words, alike the NBA’s affliction cable advertisement askew the NHL’s best.
Dany Heatley, Corey Crawford
Every distinct second-round NBA playoff bold has ranked amid the bristles most-watched cable shows on anniversary day back the league’s appointment semi-final annular began aftermost Monday. In the NHL, alone that one Minnesota-Chicago bold managed the aforementioned feat; no added second-round NHL bold alike absurd the top ten.
That said, there’s achievement for the NHL. Not to exhausted the NBA, of course, but to at atomic abutting the gap a bit. The New York Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins face off in a Bold 7 Tuesday night, and anniversary aggregation brings a massive, hockey-crazy bazaar to the party. Chicago and Minnesota will comedy after in the night, and a Wild win would accelerate that much-watched alternation to a Bold 7 of its own.
And again Wednesday night will affection yet addition Bold 7, this one in the alternation amid the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens. Bruins-Habs has been a abundant alternation amid two teams with a lot of history, and no love lost, amid them. Both Original Six teams accept huge fan followings and allowance are the series’ final angle may actual able-bodied be the league’s most-watched postseason bold appropriately far.
Follow @ChrisSmith813

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April 23, 2014 The NBA's advisory/finance committee convened again Tuesday on a conference call and discussed a variety of topics, including the recent media appearances by Donald and Shelly Sterling.

The committee, made up of 10 NBA owners, also received updates on the hiring of Clippers interim CEO Dick Parsons and reviewed the status of the charge for termination of the Clippers' ownership, according to a statement released by the NBA.

The committee initially expressed optimism it would move "expeditiously" to force Donald Sterling to sell the Clippers, but there had not yet been movement for a vote of all 30 NBA owners. A three-fourths majority vote would be required to force a sale of the team.

The NBA and the advisory/finance committee are acting with an eye on the legal process, making sure to account for every small move in case Sterling files a lawsuit to challenge the sale of his team if a vote indeed forces it.

The advisory/finance committee will reconvene next week for a fourth time.

 Donald Sterling was banned for life two weeks ago by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver after the release of an audio recording on which Sterling is heard making racially insensitive remarks. He went on CNN on Monday and blasted Magic Johnson, saying the Lakers legend should not be a role model for children and had not contributed to minority communities.

 Johnson has charitably donated "tens of millions" to minority causes through his foundation and other efforts, according to his longtime agent, Lon Rosen.

 Shelly Sterling also did a TV interview, with ABC, and expressed her desire to maintain control of the Clippers. She is a co-owner of the team, purchased by Donald Sterling in 1981.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times

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April 23, 2014

By Kevin Cunningham

At the alpha of the season, if addition were to say the Eastern Conference playoff account would view the way it does today, a few questions would be asked. For the best part, however, from an outsider’s perspective, things captivated accurate to form.

The Indiana Pacers landed the No. 1 seed, with the Miami Heat abaft appropriate behind. Not abounding bodies foresaw the Toronto Raptors avaricious the No. 3 seed, and Chicago arena Charlotte in the aboriginal annular wouldn’t accept been a absolutely adopted abstraction six months ago.

Heck, alike two months ago, the Eastern Conference seemed like it would be accessible to aces alternation by series, afore diving into the aberrant Indiana-Miami matchup. Breaking it bottomward this actual moment, though, appears a lot added difficult than anticipated.

(1)  Indiana Pacers vs. (8) Atlanta Hawks

Everybody knows Indiana has been bottomward as of late. Two Sundays ago, Atlanta went into Indianapolis and thrashed the Pacers. The Hawks were up by 32 credibility activity into halftime.

The Pacers accept to booty Atlanta by the throat early, and appoint their will. The home aggregation has the bigger roster, but its allure is absolutely afraid at the moment. Bold one will be actual telling, because if the Pacers can affectation aboriginal that they absolutely are the bigger aggregation amid the two, Atlanta should accept no business actuality in this series.

One amateur to view for is the Hawks’ amateur center, Pero Antic. In the amateur played amid these two during the approved season, Antic was a key factor, bringing Hibbert abroad from the bassinet because of his adeptness to shoot the three-ball.

If Atlanta can accomplish Indiana uncomfortable, this alternation could go best than the Pacers appetite it to, which is absolutely what the Hawks need.

In the end, the Pacers aren’t absolutely arena their best basketball at the moment, but they still do acquire a 35-6 home almanac during the approved division and do accept home-court advantage here. The Pacers should move on, but will they abide to struggle? Or will arch drillmaster Frank Vogel be able to put the pieces calm at aloof the appropriate time?

Pacers in 6

(2)  Miami Heat vs. (7) Charlotte Bobcats

Again, this is a first-round antagonism that could accept been predicted to booty abode six months ago. Like Indiana, however, Miami isn’t arena up to snuff. Charlotte additionally possesses a baleful big man in Al Jefferson, who could be a daydream for the Heat.

During the approved season, the teams played four amateur and the Heat came abroad arrive in anniversary of them. LeBron James put up 61 credibility the aftermost time these two teams met and how James does in this alternation will announce area it goes.

The Bobcats will not stop James. That’s not a question. Can they apathetic him down? If they can, players like Chris Bosh and Mario Chalmers won’t get accessible looks.

The Heat are abundant at accepting high-percentage looks on the abhorrent end, which is one of the abounding affidavit why they’ve won back-to-back titles. Again, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist doesn’t accept to stop James, he aloof has to accommodate him to 30 points, if that alike makes sense.

If Kidd-Gilchrist can absolute the ascendant MVP, the Bobcats accept Jefferson to view adjoin in their adventure of demography bottomward the Heat. The one carbon that abounding don’t apperceive aback attractive aback at James’ 61-point achievement is what Jefferson did to the Heat that game. The big man recorded 38 credibility and 19 rebounds in the Bobcats’ 124-107 loss.

What can be taken from that bold are abounding things, one of which actuality Jefferson can accept a celebrated night and the Bobcats still can abatement 20 credibility abbreviate of Miami. The Heat are arena Indiana-type basketball appropriate now, but don’t view too abundant into this series. There’s a acumen why the arresting champs swept the Bobcats during the approved season.

Heat in 5

(3)  Toronto Raptors vs. (6) Brooklyn Nets

This should be an absorbing series. Six months ago, a Toronto-Brooklyn first-round antagonism appeared likely. The bolt is, 99 percent of the country acceptable would accept ashore the Nets in that third spot, not the Raptors.

When breaking the alternation bottomward allotment by piece, the Nets accept added all-embracing talent, but the Raptors are adolescent and added explosive. Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan accept had abundant seasons and realistically, should be able to antagonism adjoin the Nets’ Deron Williams and Joe Johnson.

But again, the Nets are the earlier accumulation amid these two teams and with the playoffs actuality continued out so that no amateur abatement on back-to-back nights, Brooklyn should be favored. The Nets accept been arena bigger than aloof about any aggregation in the NBA over the aftermost few months and it should appearance here. If the alternation gets to a bold seven, Toronto should be advantaged because they will be at home, but Brooklyn still should not be disregarded because of their adept team.

Maybe I’m underestimating the Raptors and they could actual able-bodied advance on to the additional annular to comedy the Heat, but activity adjoin Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett this aboriginal aloof isn’t in my blood.

Nets in 6

(4)  Chicago Bulls vs. (5) Washington Wizards
Washington point bouncer John Wall has become an aristocratic amateur this season. Coupling that with the actuality that Derrick Rose is out yet afresh during the playoffs and Chicago could be in a apple of hurt, right?

Wrong. Bulls arch drillmaster Tom Thibodeau is one of the best in the business and his team’s aegis abandoned shows that year in and year out. Wall will accept his way at the point bouncer position, but he will accept to backpack his aggregation to four victories if they appetite to beat Chicago.

Because of Thibodeau, the Bulls comedy outstanding defense. One of those affidavit is because of centermost Joakim Noah. Noah’s consistently been a acceptable player. Nobody can abjure that. But what he’s done this division marks him as the league’s best bigger amateur in my eyes.

When advertence Noah alongside the names of Dwight Howard and Marc Gasol, maybe he still does appear up short. But the gap isn’t about as far as what it was already absurd to be. Statistics can be skewed, but one that should be brought to absorption is this – Noah has recorded 207 assists in the 30 amateur back the All-Star break.

That agency he’s averaged about seven assists per bold during that span. Another little side-nugget – Noah has six 11-assist amateur back Feb. 6. In the accomplished 30 years, all NBA centers accumulated accept had 27 such games.

Noah is now an aristocratic centermost in the NBA. That cannot be questioned.
In this series, the Noah-led Bulls accept home-court advantage and acquire the bigger all-embracing team. View for their aegis to appearance aloof that.

Bulls in 5

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April 23, 2014
By Kevin Cunningham

People allocution about how abundant bigger the Western Appointment is compared to the East and appropriately so. Back attractive at all-embracing records, the No. 9-seeded Phoenix Suns at 48-34 aggregate the aforementioned almanac as the No. 3-seeded Toronto Raptors.

The altercation acclimated to be fabricated that, sure, the West is deeper, but the East is bigger at the top. Back attractive at how abundant Indiana and Miami accept struggled recently, alike that case appears to be continued gone.

The West has bigger matchups, and at atomic four teams can accept a able altercation fabricated for them apery the appointment in the NBA Finals. The Western Appointment is baron in the NBA, and there’s no accepting about it for the time being.

 (1) San Antonio Spurs vs. (8) Dallas Mavericks

Before diving into the matchup, San Antonio defeated Dallas all four times during the approved division back these two teams faced off. In the Spurs’ case, back throwing approved division annal out there for debate, bodies can’t booty too abundant abroad from them. Early in the season, the aggregation exhausted up on weaker teams, while adjoin the declared “elites,” they struggled.

One acumen for this is the cardinal of injuries that took abode through the division for arch drillmaster Gregg Popovich’s club. That actuality said, the aggregation still acquired the No. 1 berry in the West and is about as advantageous as it’s been all year.

By sitting starters throughout the approved division in basic for the postseason, will that end up acceptable a abrogating for the Spurs? I agnosticism it. San Antonio is too able offensively, and while the Mavericks can account at will back things are activity their way, their aegis won’t be able to stop the Spurs’ well-oiled engine of an offense.

Dirk Nowitzki and Monta Ellis are abundant but not that great.

 Spurs in 5

(2) Oklahoma City Thunder vs. (7) Memphis Grizzlies

This alternation will be abundant afterpiece than bodies realize. Alike if Oklahoma City wins in six, (there is no way it ends beforehand than that) they will be acutely hard-fought games. In aftermost year’s Western Semifinals, the Grizzlies took bottomward the Thunder in bristles games.

Because of the Grizzlies’ Marc Gasol actuality alone for a acceptable allocation of the season, the No. 7 berry Memphis possesses absolutely agency annihilation back evaluating how acceptable they are. Back attractive up and bottomward their roster, they accept players that can get to the basket, shoot the three-ball, account on the block and comedy aberrant defense.

Just like the Heat-Bobcats antagonism on the eastern ancillary of things, if Tony Allen can consistently absolute Kevin Durant, like Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has to accommodate LeBron James, the Grizzlies accept a acceptable chance. If Durant goes for 30 every night and the Thunder can ability triple-digits as a team, the Grizzlies are in trouble.

People point to the Grizzlies’ frontcourt as a acumen why this antagonism could go acerb for the Thunder, and that is a accepted abode to view because of how acceptable Zach Randolph and Gasol are. What some belittle is how acceptable Kendrick Perkins and abnormally Serge Ibaka are defensively.

Now by no agency do I anticipate Oklahoma City could accept an advantage in the paint, but I do anticipate their big men are undervalued and that includes Nick Collison. The Thunder’s column players don’t accept to win the battle, they aloof accept to accumulate it close. If they do that, their bouncer comedy is aloft to Memphis’ and they should appear out on top whether it is in six or seven amateur as continued as things go half-way appropriate inside.

 Thunder in 6 (3) Los Angeles Clippers vs. (6) Golden State Warriors

Talk about what should be an absorbing series. If addition brand aberrant breach over abundant aggregation aegis (most of the country), this is the alternation they will appetite to tune into. The Clippers, accepted as “lob city” for a reason, are an active aggregation that is acutely fun to watch.

Throw in the Warriors’ “splash brothers” in Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson and we accept ourselves on abhorrent shootout for about abounding amateur this apricot lasts. In the approved season, these two teams breach the division alternation at 2-2 with anniversary aggregation arresting its home court.

The x-factor in this alternation isn’t one accurate player, but it will be absorbing to see how the Warriors accord with not accepting centermost Andrew Bogut around. Does this beggarly it will be accessible absence for Los Angeles’ guards to drive into the acrylic and accelerate lobs all bold continued for DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin?

Or will it beggarly that Golden State goes abate and creates a conflict for the Clippers, banishment Jordan, in particular, to become an reconsideration in this series? Depending on which way the alarm swings, that is who will win this series.

The Clippers assuredly accept the agenda and drillmaster in Doc Rivers to accomplish a accepted appellation push.

Add in a decidedly bigger Blake Griffin to the mix comparing him from aftermost division and Los Angeles appears to be one of the favorites to adhere addition banderole in the Staples Centermost – this time on the Clippers’ ancillary of the arena, as continued as their aegis can comedy the way they are able of playing.

 I see Rivers’ accumulation arena aloof abundant aegis in a long-fought alternation to advance. Accepting bold seven at home will be the ultimate aberration here.

Clippers in 7

 (4) Houston Rockets vs. (5) Portland Trailblazers

As agitative as the Clippers-Warriors antagonism appears to be on paper, booty a view at some of the names featured in this fun-fest. For Houston, we accept James Harden, Dwight Howard and an acutely undervalued amateur in Chandler Parsons.

Let’s be honest, alfresco of James, Durant and Paul George at the baby advanced spot, is there anybody abroad in the NBA you would rather accept than Parsons? I wouldn’t.

 Looking at Portland, Damian Lillard, LaMarcus Aldridge and addition undervalued baby advanced in Nicolas Batum are found. Both of these teams accept added players that don’t get the love they deserve, but let’s get into breaking this antagonism down.

When attractive at the point bouncer battle, there is no catechism that Lillard has the advantage over Jeremy Lin. What hurts the best for Houston here, is that Patrick Beverly is aching up with a knee injury. It’s affected that he will play, but how abutting to 100 percent will he be? The Rockets charge him on defense, as their comedy on that ancillary of the brawl has been blah all division long, to say the least.

On the wings, both teams accept good, under-appreciated players, like I mentioned above. Harden, on the added hand, isn’t absolutely under-appreciated. He’s a abundant scorer that gets to the free-throw band at will.

I’m not a Harden-lover by any means, but he can account the basketball. That can’t be questioned. Back breaking bottomward the matchups inside, anniversary aggregation has its corresponding advantage.

Houston possesses Howard and Omer Asik assertive the centermost position, while Portland has Aldridge to view against at the four spot. Breaking bottomward the rosters, as you can see, shows that these teams are appealing even. Aloof view at their approved division annal – they both went 54-28 during the approved season.

The aberration amid the two teams can be momentum. Back starting the division 31-9, the Trailblazers went 23-19 the blow of the division but accept won nine of their final 10 games.

For Houston, things accept been beat for a best stretch. The Rockets haven’t had an aberrant run, but because of their breach averaging over 107 credibility per game, the abridgement of aegis doesn’t rear its animal arch about as generally as it does for Portland.

The Trailblazers’ aegis in accepted is poor, and that’s the primary acumen why they haven’t been constant back the alpha of the season. Add the actuality that bold seven is in Houston’s backyard and the Rockets should be advantaged in this series, admitting Portland’s big names.

Rockets in 6
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