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2018-08-29 03:22
Authentic Cliff Pennington Jersey
Giannis Antetokounmpo’s meme-worthy scowl started with a look in the mirror.

The Milwaukee Bucks All-Star was an NBA rookie then http://www.authenticsbaltimoreravens.com/cheap-orlando-brown-jr.-jersey , trying to come up with a look he could flash after making a big play. Antetokounmpo thought about the glare his mother would throw his way when he misbehaved as a child. It took about a week to perfect as he struck poses in front of the mirror.

”Now it comes easy. You’ve just got to put your nose up like this,” said Antetokounmpo, wrinkling his face after a recent practice.

It can look so much more intimidating on the court.

As Antetokounmpo’s skills reach new heights, so does his confidence as he enters his third career postseason. The Bucks open their first-round series against the Celtics on Sunday in Boston.

”You don’t think. It’s just second nature. You’re just playing now,” Antetokounmpo said. ”There are points when you’re young, you’re scared to make the wrong decision late.”

This is no longer the gangly, 6-foot-11 forward who would defer during his rookie season in 2013-14. He’s a go-to player in the fourth quarter, a do-it-all forward who can ignite the crowd with a rim-rattling dunk or momentum-changing block.

”That’s why I think the best players late, I think they have that mindset. They’re not scared to take big shots, they’re not scared to turn the ball over … and they’re just in general not scared about basketball,” he said. ”It’s something that they’ve done their whole lives.”

It has been quite the journey from awkward 18-year-old rookie to NBA stardom. Former general manager John Hammond, now with the Orlando Magic, scouted Antetokounmpo in the player’s native Greece before drafting him in the first round in 2013 with the 15th overall pick.

Some NBA fans questioned the move. Freakish athleticism and a 7-foot-3 wingspan offered the promise of being a tough matchup on both ends of the floor.

Boy, did the gamble pay off .

”I think one thing that is really important is to never underestimate or undervalue the things that he does http://www.authenticsneworleanssaints.com/cheap-rick-leonard-jersey ,” Bucks coach Joe Prunty said last month after the forward scored 28 points in a win over the New York Knicks.

Sometimes, it takes Antetokounmpo’s absence to make that point stick.

On April 1, Milwaukee led by 18 midway through the fourth quarter in Denver before Antetokounmpo fouled out with 3:43 left. At the time, the Bucks were up by 10 and Antetokounmpo had 18 points and 12 rebounds. They ended up losing in overtime .

Two days later, the Bucks were in another tight game at home against Boston. Playing with a sore right ankle, Antetokounmpo came up clutch after chasing down Jaylen Brown from behind, swatting what looked like an easy layup against the backboard with 53 seconds remaining. The Bucks held on for the win .

”Because my ankle hurt, I wasn’t even being `Giannis Giannis,”’ Antetokounmpo recalled with a mischievous grin. ”I wasn’t sprinting down the court. I was just jogging down the court.”

Key positives for Milwaukee from that victory were runs of 11-3 and 16-4 with Antetokounmpo on the bench for rest. In crunch time, Prunty can also put three other proven scorers on the floor with Antetokounmpo in forwards Khris Middleton and Jabari Parker, along with quick point guard Eric Bledsoe.

”Just taking attention, making (the defense) know, `OK, I’m here http://www.thedolphinsfootballauthentic.com/jason-sanders-jersey-authentic , you guys come to me.’ If you guys don’t come to me, I’m going to go,” he said. ”If you guys come to me, I’m going to make the right pass.”

That mentality is another sign of Antetokounmpo’s growth over his five-year NBA career.

A sense of humor that borders on cheesy hasn’t changed.

Antetokounmpo the last few years has opened Bucks preseason media day by taking the microphone to deliver a cringe-worthy joke that can make teammates shake their heads.

”He was more funny back in the day when he was 18 years old,” quipped center John Henson. ”But for the most part, he’s a good dude, a funny dude who has his own sense of humor. We love having him around.”

That scowl? It’s just for fun. He doesn’t need to show it, nor does he keep count. In fact, Antetokounmpo said, he’s trying to smile more.

”Because if you’re going to do this for 20 years, you don’t want to have 10 years of sadness and 10 years of happiness,” he said. ”You want to have as much nice moments and memories as you can, you know?”

More NBA basketball:

MILWAUKEE — Lorenzo Cain is eligible to come off the disabled list Wednesday but won’t quite be ready to go when the Milwaukee Brewers wrap up their three-game series against the Minnesota Twins with a matinee at Miller Park.

Cain has been sidelined since June 24 with a strained left groin and had been making progress in his rehab but isn’t 100 percent yet and will need a little more time, manager Craig Cousnell said.

“He had a good day on the field http://www.jetsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-chris-herndon-jersey , but there’s enough caution there that we have to get over the last hurdle,” Counsell said. “We’re not to 100 percent yet. We’re definitely going in a good direction.”

Christian Yelich has been out since the first inning of Sunday’s game thanks to a stiff back but he took batting practice for a third straight day Tuesday and came into the game as a ninth-inning defensive sub, leaving him on the verge of returning to the lineup — perhaps as early as Wednesday.

“He’s feeling pretty good,” Counsell said. “I’m very optimistic.”

With both Cain and Yelich out, and Jesus Aguilar punishing opposing pitchers while playing first base, Eric Thames has become a regular in Milwaukee’s outfield. Since returning from a 40-day stint on the disabled list June 12, Thames has made five starts at first and 10 in the outfield. He’s appeared in 18 games overall since returning, batting .226 with four home runs and 11 RBIs during that stretch but has been red-hot over the last week with three home runs over his last six games.

“I’m just trying to have quality at-bats and trying not to hit 30 home runs in the first week to try and catch back up with everybody else,” said Thames, who’s third on the team with 12 home runs this season. “I’m just trying to have good at-bats, get on base, take my walks, trying not to swing at everything that comes over the plate like I did in Cincinnati. I’m just trying to take a quality at-bat and help the team win.”

Thames’ two-run homer was the difference in Milwaukee’s victory Tuesday and gave the Brewers at least one home run in each of their last nine games.

Jose Berrios will try to stop that streak Wednesday as he leads the Twins in their efforts to avoid a sweep. The right-hander served up two home runs his last time out as he was dinged for six runs on six hits and four walks over just 4 1/3 innings by the Cubs at Wrigley Field.

“I don’t know if it’s the hottest game I’ve thrown, but coming from 80 degrees to almost 100 http://www.cincinnatiredsteamshop.com/authentic-cliff-pennington-jersey , I felt it out there,” Berrios said through an interpreter. “I wanted to keep competing for my team. … I kind of felt like I lost stamina out there because it was so hot. It just was what it was.

“I tried to execute my pitches. I struck out (two). I kept trying to battle. It wasn’t my day today.”

It was Berrios’ worst outing of the season and snapped what had been an impressive stretch for the young right-hander. He’d gone 5-1 with a 2.05 ERA in his eight previous starts, striking out 69 with just 11 walks in 57 innings of work.

“Jose was just a little off,” manager Paul Molitor said. “Command of fastball, a couple breaking balls that he got hurt on. … Glanced up there now and then. (His velocity) was maybe down a mile or two from what you would expect.”

Wednesday will mark his first career appearance against the Brewers, who counter with right-hander Chase Anderson.

Anderson allowed just a run over six innings in his last outing, Friday at Cincinnati, and is 3-3 with a 4.40 ERA in eight starts since returning from the disabled list on May 20.

He’s faced Minnesota just once in his career and took the loss after allowing five runs (four earned) on 11 hits over five innings back on April 18, 2016.

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2018-08-29 03:22