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MensajePublicado: Mie Ago 08, 2018 8:25 pm  The countdown Responder citando Back to top

Steve Clifford was there the last time the Orlando Magic were a playoff contender.

He’s being asked to make them one again.

Clifford was announced Wednesday as the new coach of the Magic Billy Price Color Rush Jersey , a team that has missed the playoffs in each of the last six years. Clifford – who spent the last five seasons as coach of the Charlotte Hornets – was an assistant coach on Stan Van Gundy’s Magic staff for five years, including during the team’s most recent playoff run in 2012.

”I’ve had 18 great years in this league and I’ve enjoyed every year, but none more than the five years here,” Clifford said.

Magic president Jeff Weltman said the team used a ”deliberate approach” and took its time, but insisted that the franchise made the right hire.

”We are very excited to welcome Steve back into the Magic family,” Weltman said. ”Steve is widely regarded throughout the NBA community as an elite coach and developer of players at all stages. His teams have always been disciplined and prepared, and have embraced the concept of playing for each other.”

Clifford is replacing Frank Vogel, who was let go after two seasons. Clifford, who missed 21 games this past season while dealing with severe headaches brought on by sleep deprivation, was fired by Charlotte at the end of this season after going 196-214.

Hiring Clifford is easily the biggest move made so far by Weltman. He took over the club a year ago after the team fired Rob Hennigan and ended his five-year run that never got on solid footing.

Weltman made the decision after this season to part with Vogel http://www.broncosauthorizedshops.com/authentic-su_a-cravens-jersey , who was a proven winner in Indiana but simply didn’t have a playoff-caliber roster in Orlando.

Neither does Clifford, at this point anyway. It will take more than a coaching change to improve Orlando’s fortunes.

”The old saying in the NBA, and it’s so true, is you never know a player until you coach them,” Clifford said. ”I’m going to start to try and establish the right kind of relationships with these guys tomorrow, or tonight. I want to be able to impact each one of these guys in the right way.”

Clifford was ousted in Charlotte after a front-office shakeup. Owner Michael Jordan fired general manager Rich Cho and eventually hired Mitch Kupchak to replace him in April. Kupchak fired Clifford not long afterward.

The Hornets went to the playoffs twice in Clifford’s five seasons, never winning a series.

”The NBA isn’t about winning – the NBA is about winning in the playoffs,” Clifford said at the end of Charlotte’s season.

Clifford is coming to a franchise that has lost more games than any NBA club over the past six years, 335. That’s four more than Philadelphia, a franchise that was openly tanking for years before turning things around this season.

The Magic weren’t tanking. They’ve just been bad.

Orlando hasn’t had longer than a five-game winning streak at any time over the last six seasons. But over that same span http://www.cowboysauthorizedshops.com/authentic-dorance-armstrong-jr.-jersey , the Magic have had 23 losing streaks of at least five games. On their way to a 25-57 record that left them 18 games out of a playoff spot, the Magic had two seven-game slides and two other nine-game skids.

Since Van Gundy left, the Magic have gone through a series of resets.

There have been 62 players in uniform over the last six seasons – none an All-Star while in Orlando – and now five coaches. Van Gundy was replaced by Jacque Vaughn, who was let go after 2 1/2 seasons and replaced on an interim basis by James Borrego. Scott Skiles then took over for one year, and Vogel ran things the last two seasons.

Weltman said Clifford is the one who can stop the revolving-door look to the coach’s office.

”I think it’s crucial,” Weltman said. ”Fifth coach in seven years, it’s very important that we start to establish our identity and be able to build on something that doesn’t get turned over every season.”

CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Indians, who are in first place in the American League Central Division, are in the midst of a portion of their schedule in which they have an opportunity to lengthen their division lead, or see it evaporate — quickly.

Saturday at Progressive Field the Indians will host the division-rival Minnesota Twins in the second game of a three-game series. Saturday’s game will be the Indians’ ninth game in a 16-game stretch in which they will play only AL Central teams. In the first eight games in that span the Indians are 4-4 Leighton Vander Esch Color Rush Jersey , including a 6-3 loss to the Twins Friday night.

Overall this season the Indians are 18-12 against AL Central teams, including 11-3 at Progressive Field. The Twins are 15-10 against AL Central teams, and 5-2 against Cleveland.

Both teams made roster moves prior to Friday’s game. The Indians activated outfielder Tyler Naquin off the disabled list and placed first baseman Yonder Alonso on the family medical emergency list. Naquin was in the lineup Friday and played center field. He went 1-for-3 in his first game since being placed on the DL on May 11 with a strained left hamstring.

The Twins on Friday activated first baseman Joe Mauer off the disabled list and recalled infielder Taylor Motter from Triple-A Rochester. Mauer and Motter replace infielder Miguel Sano, who was optioned to Class-A Fort Myers, and outfielder Jake Cave, who was optioned to Rochester.

“It’s really been bothering him that he hasn’t been contributing while we’ve been losing. His biggest goal is to win,” Twins manager Paul Molitor told the Minneapolis Star Tribune regarding Sano. “Some things have knocked him off course from time to time, and it’s time to address them.”

Mauer missed 25 games with a cervical strain/concussion-like symptoms. Motter was claimed off waivers from Seattle on May 28 and hit .167 (7-for-42) at Rochester.

Although the Indians are just 6-7 in June, they are encouraged by the improved work by their bullpen, which was the American League’s worst over the first two months of the season. However Authentic Baker Mayfield Jersey , in the month of June, the Indians’ 2.30 bullpen ERA ranks fifth. Two new additions, left-hander Oliver Perez and right-hander Neil Ramirez, have been key contributors in the bullpen’s resurgence.

“We were hoping that with an opportunity to pitch for those guys, good things would happen, and that’s what happened,” said Indians manager Terry Francona. “Perez has helped a lot, and Ramirez has some swing and miss stuff. Things are definitely settling down (in the bullpen).”

The pitching matchup Saturday will be a pair of right-handers: Cleveland’s Carlos Carrasco vs. Minnesota’s Fernando Romero.

Carrasco (8-4, 3.90 ERA) is coming off his best start of the season, a 4-0 win over the White Sox on June 11. In that game http://www.buccaneersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-alex-cappa-jersey , Carrasco pitched seven scoreless innings. He gave up two hits and recorded 11 strikeouts with one walk.

Carrasco has started two games against the Twins this season and is 0-1 with a 5.06 ERA. In 19 career appearances (16 starts) against Minnesota, Carrasco is 5-7 with a 3.97 ERA.

The 23-year-old Romero (3-2, 3.92) will be making his ninth major league start and his first against Cleveland. Romero’s last start was a 7-5 win over the Angels on June 10. Romero pitched five innings in that game, giving up three runs (two earned) on five hits, with five strikeouts and two walks.

Romero’s rookie season started well but has been bumpy in recent starts. In his first three starts he was 2-0 with a 0.54 ERA. But in his last five starts he is 1-2 with a 6.20 ERA.

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