The loss of Danny Cipriani to Wasps is a big hole from cherry452's blog

WASHINGTON -- Even with the teams "X-factor" suspended, the Washington Wizards had a No. Antoine Griezmann Camiseta . 42 sitting next to the bench. The 57-year-old with greying hair couldnt box out or grab a rebound, but owner Ted Leonsis waved his red towel and egged on a cheering crowd that chanted "Free Nene!" The Wizards did just fine without the suspended Brazilian forward. They scored the first 14 points and beat the Chicago Bulls 98-89 on Sunday to take a 3-1 lead in the Eastern Conference series. "I thought it was pretty hilarious that Ted had Nenes jersey on," Wizards guard Bradley Beal said. "It kind of threw me off for a minute, but then I looked and seen it was Ted." Nene or not, the Wizards did what theyve done all series: Take a quick lead and force the Bulls to use up energy trying to catch up. It was 15-8 in Game 3, 29-12 in Game 2, 19-13 in Game 1. Washington, seeking to win a playoff series for only the third time since the 1970s, can finish off the Bulls on the road in Game 5 on Tuesday night. "We keep seeing this same kind of start for the last couple of games, and its frustrating," said Taj Gibson, who came off the bench to lead the Bulls with a career-high 32 points. "It seems like at times we get overhyped with just thinking were going to be OK, were just that good. But in this league its not about how talented you are, its about how hard you work and how much effort you put when you start the game off, and I dont think we did that." Nene was suspended for the game after grabbing Jimmy Butlers head in the fourth quarter of the Wizards Game 3 loss. Wall called Nene the "X-factor" this week, and for good reason: Since the March 2012 trade that brought Nene to D.C., Washington is 65-63 when he plays and 21-41 when he doesnt. That said, the club did hold its own by winning 12 of 21 when Nene went down with a knee injury late in the regular season, an absence coach Randy Wittman said might have been a "blessing in disguise" that helped prepare them for Sunday. "I saw our guys bond together," Wittman said. "Like, Thats OK, all right. Big fellows not going to be here, but thats OK. And we were in tune right from the start." Trevor Ariza, getting some of the early looks that might have gone to Nene, scored a career playoff-high 30 points, making 6 of 10 3-pointers. Beal had 18 points, and John Wall added 15 points and 10 assists for the Wizards, who forced 16 turnovers and committed only six. "I think were a smart enough group to understand that when one of your pieces goes down, you have to find ways and will to win," Ariza said. "Tonight was my night to take on the scoring load." Gibson went 13 for 16 from the field for Chicago, but his teammates combined to go 22 for 62. He made more field goals in the first half (8) than the rest of the Bulls combined (7). Mike Dunleavy, who scored 35 points in Game 3, scored only six. Dunleavy jammed his left thumb attempting to take a charge in the fourth quarter. The thumb was swollen and was X-rayed after the game, but he said he didnt think it was broken. "It probably doesnt really matter," he said. "Its my left hand and its not going to make a difference for me." Chicagos Kirk Hinrich committed four turnovers, and NBA Defensive Player of the Year Joakim Noah had a quiet 10 points and 15 rebounds against the Nene-less frontcourt. Washington stormed to a 14-0 lead, with Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau calling a timeout after each Wizards "touchdown." "Very disappointing to get in a hole like that," Thibodeau said. "I put that on me, and Ive got to get it right. ... Its got to change or our season will be over." Trevor Booker started in Nenes spot and had nine rebounds and three blocks. Beal called Booker "a huge X-factor" -- apparently the Wizards are cornering the market on that particular commodity. "Just because they didnt have Nene," Gibson said, "they just came out and played even harder." Notes: Arizas six 3-pointers tied a Wizards playoff record. ... Wittman, who played during the Detroit Pistons "Bad Boys" era, was asked to compare todays game to those rough-and-tumble days. "Not even close," Wittman said. "Its like sixth-grade flag football compared to NFL tackle football." Juanfran Camiseta . The Italian football federation announced the appointment, three days after new president Carlo Tavecchio was elected. Tavecchio and Conte spoke on the phone early Thursday. Saul Niguez Camiseta Atletico De Madrid . Russell Wilson against Darrelle Revis, former teammate Brandon Browner and whatever schemes Bill Belichick dreams up.Defending champions Saracens begin their title defence against three-time champions Toulon while Sale and Scarlets will be out to prove theyre not just there to make up the numbers. Watch NOW TV Watch Sky Sports for just £6.99. No contract. The double winners returned to the top of the Premiership with victory over Wasps on Sunday and that puts them in good stead ahead of Saturdays trip to the Stade Felix Mayol.Jonathan Davies return to Parc y Scarlets, along with the signing of Super Rugby star Johnny McNicholl, have bolstered the Welsh regions backline, but Sale have shown they can mix it with the best in the Premiership when theyre in the mood. Saracens Saracens have won five of their opening six games of the season Champions Cup record: P73 W49 D0 L24Best finish: Winners (2015-16)Whats hot: Defending champions both in Europe and in the Premiership, Saracens are the team to beat in every competition. They have made a good start to the defence of their Premiership title, with a defeat to Harlequins at the Stoop the sole negative of their domestic season. Alistair Hargreaves retired after seeking medical advice Whats not: The departure of former captain Alistair Hargreaves, who last week announced he has been forced to retire from the game on doctors orders following a concussion injury.Whats changed: With the departure of Charlie Hodgson, Alex Lozowski was brought in as an understudy to Owen Farell. However, with Farrells ongoing back problems, Lozowski has been given the No 10 jersey and has done a superb job of pulling the strings. The youngster was rewarded for his composure with a call-up to Eddie Jones England training squad.One to watch: Schalk Burger has been brought in to fill the void of recently-retired tackle enthusiast Jacques Burger, and the South African has already made a literal and figurative impact at the club. The Springbok will add value to Saracens already burgeoning pack throughout their campaign.Toulon Leigh Halfpenny has impressed for Toulon since returning from injury Champions Cup record: P41 W33 D0 L8Best finish: Winners (2012-13, 2013-14, 2014-15)Whats hot: Francois Trinh-Ducs arrival has forced Toulon to adjust their style of play but Mike Ford could be the man to get their backline firing. It would be foolish to write off a side that includes a plethora of stars such as Samu Manoa, Duane Vermuelen and Leigh Halfpenny. Mamuka Gorgodze has scored some crucial tries for Toulon this season Whats not: Toulon are sorely missing Matt Giteau, both on and off the field. They are in rebuild mode after losing the likes of Bakkies Botha, Carl Hayman and the Armitage brothers - people who knew what the club was about - and the pressure placed on the squad by their mad oowner, Mourad Boudjellal, doesnt help matters. Filipe Luis Camiseta. Whats changed: There were plenty of comings and goings during the off-season as the Toulon rebuild begins. Liam Gill arrives from Super Rugby with South Africa forwards Juandre Kruger and Marcel van der Merwe also moving to the Stade Mayol.One to watch: Georgia international Mamuka Gorgodze has been immense for Toulon this season.Scarlets Wales centre Jonathan Davies is back at the Scarlets following a stint in France Champions Cup record: P129 W60 D2 L67Best finish: Semi-finals (1999-2000, 2006-07)Whats hot: The arrival of a host of star names to the club; the Welsh region has spent heavily during the off season in a bid for silverware. After a poor start, the Scarlets have won their last three PRO12 fixtures Whats not: Scarlets strength on paper is not being replicated on the pitch; they lost their first three PRO12 games this season. They have since snapped out of the losing streak by beating Connacht, Treviso and the Dragons in succession but have only played in fits and bursts.Whats changed: Lions centre Jonathan Davies has joined brother James in the squad, while Springbok prop Werner Kruger and Johnny McNicholl of the Crusaders have also been brought into the fold.One to watch: Johnny McNicholl has been carving up defences in Super Rugby for some time and will be eager to start life at his new home with similar antics.Sale Sharks Former Wales scrum-half Mike Phillips has joined Sale from Racing 92 Champions Cup record: P49 W18 D0 L31Best finish: Quarter-finals (2005-06)Whats hot: Josh Beaumonts stock in English rugby is rising and with the task of leading a relatively inexperienced squad causing no apparent burden to the No 8, his contribution to the Sharks cause will be vital. Beaumont was recently part of Eddie Jones training squad so they 24-year-old is learning his trade at the top.Whats not: Injuries to key players. Rob Webber broke his arm on debut for the Sharks last month, while scrum-half Peter Stringer recently suffered the same injury to add to their woes. Sale do not have the kind of depth that other clubs can rely on and will be hoping the injuries dont derail their season early on. Josh Charnley is switching to rugby union after winning the Super League Grand Final with Wigan Whats changed: The loss of Danny Cipriani to Wasps is a big hole for Sale to fill but the arrival of AJ MacGinty from Connacht goes a long way to plugging that gap. Another big signing is that of Mike Phillips from Racing 92, who will have to step up in the absence of Stringer.One to watch: Josh Charnley is the latest rugby league player to cross the divide to try his hand at union. The Wigan winger recently starred for the Warriors in the Super League Grand Final and has promised more of the same pace and finishing at his new club.You can watch Champions Cup Rugby, Premier League football and the British Masters on Sky Sports. Upgrade now and enjoy three months at half price! Cheap NFL Jerseys ' ' '

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By cherry452
Added Nov 27 '16, 10:20PM



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