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team’s practice
11-09-2018 05:59 AM
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team’s practice
hongwei28
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Nikola Jokic only had a basic outline of his offseason plans: Rest Jamaal Williams Jersey , work out in Denver, return home to Serbia and rest some more.

It’s not more elaborate since the Nuggets big man figured he’d be working for a while longer.

The Nuggets won six more games than a year ago and yet finished in the same position – a spot out of the playoffs. This season even came down to a winner-take-all scenario in Minnesota, where the Nuggets came up short in overtime to miss out on the playoffs for a fifth straight season.

”I’m not mad. I’m not sad, because I think we played good,” Jokic said Thursday. ”We’re not making the playoffs because we were not focused the whole season, every game.”

Still, the Nuggets won six straight down the stretch to climb into contention for a spot, before losing to the Timberwolves in a spirited game.

”If we play with that sense of urgency that we did at the end, then we wouldn’t have even been in this position,” Will Barton said. ”It’s all a part of growing.”

Veteran Richard Jefferson had a succinct message to the team.

”Embrace the pain,” Jefferson said. ”The pain is what makes it good.”

Soon after, he slung a plastic garbage bag crammed with all his gear over his shoulder and playfully sang ”On the Road Again” as he sauntered down the hallway.

This is a team that’s steadily on the rise under third-year coach Michael Malone, going from 33 wins in 2015-16 Stephon Gilmore Jersey , to 40 last season and now 46.

”I’ll continue to think about, going into next year, how I can get better next season. What do I have to do as a head coach and a leader to help this team move from being a ninth seed and out of the playoffs with 46 wins to being a playoff team?” Malone said. ”Next year is a year we have to make that jump.”

Denver had its share of health issues this season, with Paul Millsap missing 44 games after suffering a left wrist injury that required surgery. Jokic was sidelined six games with a sprained left ankle, and Gary Harris missed 11 contests due to a strained right knee, before returning with two remaining.

”Through it all, I’m still optimistic and feel comfortable with where we’re at,” said Millsap, who signed a $90 million, three-year deal last summer. ”Still wish we were still playing. But I’m still happy about our guys and where we’re at.”

Things to know following a season in which the Nuggets went 31-10 at the Pepsi Center and 15-26 on the road:

BARTON’S RETURN

Barton did a little bit of everything for the Nuggets, from coming in off the bench to starting, from playing two-guard to small forward. A free agent this summer, Barton hopes to be back next season.

”We’re building something real special here Kyle Lauletta Jersey ,” Barton said .

MURRAY & MALONE

Jamal Murray’s dad pushes him. John Calipari, his coach at Kentucky, pushes him. So Malone can, too.

”I don’t think he realizes how hard he can get on me, how hard he can push me and demand stuff from me,” said Murray , who turned in quite a second season as he transitioned to point guard.

No joke, Murray said he wants his 3-point shooting percentage (37.8 this season) to match his free throw percentage (90.5).

THE JOKER

Jokic was one of the most dominating big men in the league, averaging 18.5 points, 10.7 rebounds and 6.1 assists. He also had 10 triple-doubles.

No wonder Malone is all for signing him to a long-term deal.

”As soon as possible, sign that kid up,” Malone said.

PAINFUL EXPERIENCE

Although Millsap came back in late February, his wrist wasn’t close to 100 percent. He said doctors told him it will be sore for up to a year.

”I still went out there and gave it all I could Bryan Bulaga Jersey ,” said Millsap , whose team went 24-20 in his absence.

THIS & THAT

Forward Kenneth Faried didn’t get into a game after nearly 10 minutes on Feb. 1. … The 37-year-old Jefferson on his future: ”It’s not whether or not I’m here. It’s whether or not I’ll be playing basketball.” … Guard Devin Harris averaged 8.2 points after being acquired in February. … Forward Torrey Craig donned a cap Thursday that had one word on it – ”Salty.” Mood of the team? ”It’s tough on all the guys,” Craig said of missing the postseason.




Danny Shelton didn't need very long to start toeing the New England Patriots' company line.

Less than a week after New England acquired Shelton in a trade with the Cleveland Browns, the defensive lineman is already singing coach Bill Belichick's praises and taking notice of the team's culture of success.

"Part of the formula to winning is doing your job, and I see that everywhere at the facility with everyone just staying focused and having that same goal leading toward success, and that's what I want to be a part of," Shelton said on a conference call Monday.

After spending his first three NFL seasons with a Browns team that won only four games total and went 0-16 last season, the 24-year-old Shelton is willing to adapt to whatever role Belichick sees fit for him.

"Honestly, I'm just going to go with whatever coach wants me to do," Shelton said. "My best (skill) is stopping the run, so if he wants me to play a defensive position I'll do it and I'll make sure I do my job to achieve success."

Shelton had 128 tackles and 1陆 sacks over 46 games with Cleveland after being drafted by the Browns with the No. 12 overall pick out of Washington in 2015.

In 2016, Shelton started all 16 games and had a career-high 59 tackles.

Shelton hopes to wear the No. 55 with the Patriots after doing so with the Browns and in college in honor of the late Junior Seau, who wore the number throughout his career and in his last four seasons in New England.

"Any opportunity I get to wear the number I would take in a heartbeat Earl Thomas III Jersey ," Shelton said. "It's just amazing to have this opportunity to play for a great organization and knowing that one of my role models, one of the guys that I looked up to played here."

Shelton said he is also fond of former Patriots defensive tackle Vince Wilfork, whom he drew comparisons to before he was drafted.

"Just knowing that I'll be able to play for a team that's had such great talent here, I just want to add to the team success," Shelton said.

NOTE: The Patriots released veteran linebacker Shea McClellin.

McClellin, 28, missed the 2017 season with multiple concussions after joining the Patriots as an unrestricted free agent in 2016.

McClellin had 39 tackles and one sack in 14 games for the Patriots in 2016.

The former Boise State standout was drafted No. 19 overall in 2012 by Chicago and spent his first four NFL seasons with the Bears.

Over 52 games with Chicago, McClellin had 7陆 sacks and 161 tackles, including a career-high 81 in 2015.

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