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Kyle Korver is getting daily treatment on his bruised right foot and taking medication to fight off a ”nasty little bug” that has made its way through Cleveland’s roster.

Only time can heal his broken heart.

As he begins chasing a championship http://www.billsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-harrison-phillips-jersey , Korver is wrestling with the recent death of his younger brother, Kirk, who died at 27 from complications following a sudden illness.

Following Tuesday’s practice, Korver paused several times while discussing a ”very complicated month” that has changed his life and split him in two. He’s walking an emotional balance beam.

”You come back from dealing with death and the family and you hold that in one hand and you hold the playoffs here in another hand and it’s interesting to kind of balance both of those at the same time and try to get yourself ready to play basketball,” he said. ”And, I’ve been hurt. I feel like it’s been a very complicated month in my mind, but I feel like I’m in a good spot right now and I’m ready to play.”

Korver was on the floor for just four minutes in the 98-80 loss to Indiana in Game 1, but he’s feeling better and expects to have more of an impact as the Cavaliers try to even the series Wednesday night.

The 37-year-old swingman has been comforted by his wife, Juliet, his family and an overwhelming outpouring of support from teammates, opponents and many in the NBA community.

The words and flowers and text messages have brought some peace, but Korver remains conflicted on how to mourn, how to express his grief.

”You know that you don’t cry when you think about your brother? Is that good? I don’t think that’s good Sebastian Janikowski Color Rush Jersey ,” he said. ”I feel like I’m trying to go through all the emotions and stages and waves that people tell me about. I understand that this is part of life and when you go through something like this, it’s amazing how many people come up to you and talk about their own stories that they’ve had. There have been so many.

”They’re hard and they’re hard to hear, but it’s also very comforting to know that you’re going through this with a lot of people and a lot of people care about you.”

Korver was also warmed by reaction to a video of him speaking at Kirk’s funeral . Flanked by his other brothers, Kyle and Klayton, he looked at his parents and said, ”You will always have four sons.”

”I’m told a lot of people have watched it and it meant something to a lot of people,” Korver said. ”I think if your brother has to die, you want something good to come of it. You know, it will take a long time to see the good that comes from that. I don’t really know if I have the head space right now to think about all that.

”It means a lot that people received that all well and commented. I’ve been told it’s been helpful.”

His job hasn’t provided much sanctuary, mainly because Korver has been injured. He hasn’t been able to move the way he normally does, cutting across the baseline or coming off a screen to knock down a 3-pointer.

”Whether it’s good or bad, I just want to play really hard,” he said. ”But I couldn’t http://www.eaglesauthorizedshops.com/authentic-dallas-goedert-jersey , I haven’t been able to just because of it. It’s good to have something now to kind of sink into, just for a little bit of every day kind of get lost in and try harder.”

Korver was starting before he left the team following a March 19 win over Milwaukee to be with his family in Iowa. Coach Tyronn Lue wanted him back with the first group for the playoffs, but couldn’t because of the foot injury so Rodney Hood started Game 1.

It’s possible Korver could start Game 2, with Lue considering a lineup change. Lue hinted he used what he thinks is his best lineup only for a brief stretch on Sunday ”when Kyle was out there for three minutes.”

The Cavs need his shooting, and Korver wants to deliver.

There’s another game to play, some time to clear his mind and maybe for some 3-pointers to fall.

”I tried that the other night and I got taken out real quick,” he said with a smile. ”It will be good. Hopefully there will be some opportunity for me tomorrow.”




Hey, here’s something we haven’t heard before.

The NBA playoffs are wide open.

At perhaps no other time in the league’s history have so many teams gone into the postseason with a real shot at hoisting the trophy at the end of this two-month grind.

From the top seeds in Houston and Toronto, to the old stalwarts in Golden State and Cleveland, to the brash up-and-comers in Philadelphia and Minnesota, there are potential storylines galore and no real way to predict how it all may shake out.

”We’ve got a chance,” said LeBron James, who will be seeking his eighth straight trip to the finals. ”That’s all you can ask for.”

For pretty much the NBA’s entire history Su'a Cravens Color Rush Jersey , there’s been little reason to tune in for the playoffs until they got to the finals. No wonder Charles Barkley became so enamored with the NHL version of the postseason – that’s a sport that actually doles out some real drama once the regular season is over.

The NBA?

Yawn.

Over the last four decades, a top-seeded team has claimed 28 championships. All but one of the remaining titles went to teams seeded second or third going into the postseason – and even several of those were clearly the best team (see: the 2012 Miami Heat with their Big Three of James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh; the 2001 and 2002 Los Angeles Lakers featuring Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal; the 1993 Chicago Bulls claiming their third straight title led by Michael Jordan).

Looking a little deeper over that same 40-year span, and you’ll find only five teams lower than a No. 3 seed that lost in the finals. Such dominance by a handful of dynasties and superteams has largely rendered the early rounds of the playoffs a moot point, a mere coronation on the way to the inevitable matchup at the end.

This year, it makes sense to tune in right from the start.

At the risk of getting things totally wrong, here’s a few predictions for these most uncertain of playoffs:

ROCKETS‘ TOUGH ROAD

Houston posted the league’s best record (65-17), and it’s hard to bet against a team that has James Harden. But the Rockets are facing a tough opening-round series against Minnesota, which broke a 14-year playoff drought with a dramatic overtime victory on the final day of the regular season . If the Timberwolves can ride that momentum – and it’s entirely possible, with Jimmy Butler coming back from a knee injury – they could make things real interesting. The Rockets will be without a valuable rotation player, Luc Mbah a Moute , who sustained a shoulder injury this week in a meaningless game. Assuming they get past Minnesota, the Rockets could be derailed in the second round by the Oklahoma City Thunder http://www.cardinalsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-chase-edmonds-jersey , a perplexing squad that has pretty much spent all season trying to figure out how to mesh the immense talents of Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony. They seemed to figure it out late in year, winning 11 of their last 16 games – with the five losses by a total of 13 points. The Thunder could be the surprise team that emerges from the loaded West.

DEFENDING CHAMPS

The Golden State Warriors have been to the finals three years in a row, winning titles in both 2015 and last season, and they certainly have the talent to make it back despite a less-than-dominating regular season that prompted coach Steve Kerr at one point to call out their effort as “pathetic.” Steph Curry will probably miss the opening round with a knee injury, but the Warriors should get by a fading San Antonio Spurs squad that will likely be without ailing Kawhi Leonard for the entire series. Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson give the defending champs plenty of firepower, even without Curry. The Warriors should at least make it back to the conference final, where chances are either the Rockets or OKC will be waiting.

PHILLY’S MOMENTUM

There is no more intriguing team than the Philadelphia 76ers, who just two seasons ago went 10-72. This year, they became the first team in NBA history to close the regular season on a 16-game winning streak, surging to the No. 3 seed in the East . If Joel Embiid comes back faster than expected from a fractured orbital bone, Philadelphia could do some real damage in the East. Look for the Sixers to beat the Heat in the opening round Tyler Anderson Colorado Rockies Jersey , leading to what could be a very favorable matchup against the injury ravaged Boston Celtics in Round 2. The 76ers should be a year or two away from being a real championship contender. Then again, look what’s happened in Philly: The Eagles won their first Super Bowl championship and Villanova claimed the national title in college hoops. Maybe the precocious 76ers will follow their lead, far sooner than anyone could’ve predicted.

DON’T FORGET THE KING

James has been to the finals seven years in a row – four times with the Heat, three more since returning to Cleveland. The Cavaliers are only a No. 4 seed after enduring a season of dysfunction, but the King is ready to take this team on his back. At 33, James has been as dominant as ever , and he has a way of flipping the switch to an even higher level in the playoffs. He’s still the guy you start with if building a championship-ready roster.

Who knows?

Maybe we’ll get a Cavaliers-Warriors final for the fourth year in a row.

At least it would be a bit of a surprise this time.



Paul Newberry is a sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at pnewberry(at)ap.org or at .


Fri Aug 10, 2018 7:12 am
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