WHEN they arrive in Guyana to participate in the Pan American Indoor Championships, two-time women’s champions, Argentina, will be among the favourites to win the title.The championships which commences on October 14, at the refurbished Cliff Anderson Sports Hall, will see Argentina, also known as Las Leonas or the Lionesses, join another two-time champion, Canada, along with USA, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, Barbados, Mexico and host Guyana, as the participants in the women’s category.Argentina, the country that has produced eight-time world player of the year, Luciana Aymar, dubbed the Maradona of hockey and someone who is recognised the world over as one of the greatest female players ever, will no doubt be aiming to capture the title and qualify for the FIH Indoor Hockey World Cup, scheduled for February 2018 in Berlin, Germany.The Argentine star was so internationally recognisable that at one stage she was described as being more marketable than German tennis legend, Steffi Graf, and snapping on the heels of Venus Williams.Argentina is currently ranked 13th in the world, four places behind top ranked PAHF member Canada, that has a ranking of 9th, while Uruguay, who has been the surprise of the Region, is placed at 18th.The powerhouse South American nation has been amongst the best teams in field hockey, appearing in five Hockey World Cup finals, including the first final in 1974, which they lost 1–0 to the Netherlands.They had to settle for second place in two more finals before winning the tournament for the first time in 2002, beating the Netherlands 4–3 in the final on penalty strokes after a 1–1 draw.Led by Aymar, Argentina was again the winner in 2010, beating the Netherlands 3–1.At a continental level, Argentina has dominated and won every tournament they played, including the Pan American Cup and the Pan American Games, leaving the United States in second place in most of the events, until they lost the 2011 Pan American Games final for the first time.No matter who is in front of them, the Argentines will definitely be a force to reckon with at the upcoming championships.
Didier Drogba is discussing a one-year extension to his Chelsea contract.The Ivory Coast striker, 33, has been linked with moves to Tottenham, Real Madrid and his former club Marseille.But Drogba, whose current deal expires next year, insists he wants to stay at Stamford Bridge and is close to committing himself to Chelsea until 2013.AdChoices广告“This will be my eighth season at the club and it means a lot for any player to stay that long at Chelsea,” he added.
After blasting its way to a series win over Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, Calif., last weekend, the USC baseball team will look to open up its home schedule with a win when USC starts its series with Loyola Marymount today.Group effort · Junior infielder Joe De Pinto, pictured here last season, was among the Trojans who performed well in last weekend’s series. – Daily Trojan file photo “We haven’t played well the last couple of years at home,” USC coach Chad Kreuter said. “Even before I got here we were struggling.”Having started 2-6 at Dedeaux Field last season, it is imperative for his team to get off to a strong start at home, Kreuter said.“The importance is that we want to rack up as many wins as we can, and that starts this week,” he said.Taking the mound for the Trojans (2-1) today will be Ben Mount. Mount will be on two days rest after a three-inning relief appearance Saturday in which he allowed two runs on five hits. Kreuter expects four to five solid innings out of the 6-foot-8, right-handed sophomore.“We are expecting him to keep growing as a pitcher and to keep us competitive,” Kreuter said. “We want him to give us some innings and work into a bullpen that is loaded with good arms.”USC will look to continue swinging the sticks like it did against Cal Poly over the weekend, when USC batted a combined .321.The Trojan hitters will look to take advantage of a LMU pitching staff that allowed 33 runs to nationally ranked UC Irvine. The Lions’ pitchers didn’t get much help from the fielders behind them after their defense committed six errors, including five in Saturday’s 9-6 loss — the closest game of the series.LMU (0-4) also showed a susceptibility to giving up big innings, allowing three or more runs on six different occasions over the weekend.The Lions, however, can be a dangerous team, as they demonstrated last season when they went 9-2 against ranked teams, losing only to UC Irvine.“They’ll be fine,” Kreuter said yesterday on his way to Marina Del Rey, Calif., to scout the Lions’ game against Oregon. “There’s no spring training, so everyone is still trying to figure out their rotation and lineup.”The Trojans are trying to get those minor issues settled prior to their upcoming big weekend where they will play national powers Oklahoma State, Vanderbilt and crosstown rival UCLA.The Trojans are also hoping to see a large student contingency in the stands.“Maybe we need a call to arms or something,” Kreuter said. “But the kids are excited to play at home, so we’d love to get better attendance than we’ve had [in Kreuter’s first three seasons as head coach].”“But in the end, it’s a shame on us if we don’t play well in such a nice complex,” he said.Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated USC batted a combined .229 against Cal Poly.
Andie Hagemann is a senior majoring in communication. Her column “Armchair Quarterback” runs Tuesdays. In the afterglow of the 2011 football season, which ended with a 10-2 overall record, students and Trojan fans are already craving what lies ahead for 2012.Where is the love? · The USC women’s basketball team, faced with one of the toughest schedules in the nation, is one of the many athletic teams not getting as much attendance or support as the football program. – Chris Pham | Daily Trojan Sure, that is not surprising, considering juniors Matt Barkley and T.J. McDonald decided to return for their senior seasons; not to mention, the 2012 roster is filled with talented returning and incoming players.Aside from the resurgence of the USC football program, 2011 also marked the fourth-consecutive championship for the men’s water polo team.The men’s tennis team clinched its third consecutive championship in 2011. The women’s volleyball team advanced to the Final Four before falling short of the national championship game in December.Without a doubt, USC is back to its dominance in college athletics. One piece, however, is still missing from the puzzle: attendance.Fans flocked back to the Coliseum in 2011 once the Trojans accumulated a few wins. Some blame this on the typical L.A. fan that suddenly appears once a team, regardless of whom, begins to succeed.Two weeks ago, the USC men’s basketball team hosted crosstown rival UCLA at the Galen Center. Almost every seat was filled despite the Trojans being winless in Pac-12 conference play.Yes, it was a rivalry game. But why are only 1,000 (or fewer) attending a women’s basketball game?Why aren’t Trojan fans and, more importantly, USC students attending the sporting events on campus aside from football and men’s basketball?The Women of Troy, led by coach Michael Cooper, are on the verge of being one of the top basketball programs in the country.Despite losing senior guard Jacki Gemelos because of an Anterior Cruciate Ligament injury, the Women of Troy boast a 5-2 record in the Pac-12 conference, only losing to Stanford and Oregon State.Overall, the Women of Troy have racked up a 10-7 record thus far. USC scheduled one of the toughest road schedules in which they traveled to play top programs such as Georgia, Texas A&M and Notre Dame.With this caliber of program in USC’s own backyard, why aren’t more students venturing to the Galen Center on Thursday and Saturday nights?The USC athletic department has instituted reward programs in which students receive points for attending USC athletic events. Ideally, this is to attract students to watch women’s basketball and baseball, in addition to men’s and women’s volleyball. Students who attend a certain number of events receive a reward for supporting Trojan athletics.The reward program is a great way to get students excited about USC athletics. They shoud, however, be itching to attend a baseball or basketball game and support fellow Trojans.Like most people, I am flabbergasted by the lack of support and fandom for USC teams other than football. Though, in regard to football, after one loss to ASU and narrow wins in the beginning of the season, everyone was calling for USC coach Lane Kiffin to be fired. Ridiculous.USC has some of the best athletic programs in the country and all of them deserve the pomp and circumstance the more well-known programs are privy to. Instead of staying in on a Thursday night, I encourage all USC students to go watch the Women of Troy or catch a men’s volleyball game on a Friday night.USC students and fans: Let’s break the stigma of the typical L.A. fan and support all the athletic programs at USC, regardless of renown.
Real Madrid President Florentino Perez has not ruled out making further signings this summer, but believes his team is already strong enough to contend for every available title in the 2016-17 season.The Spanish giants have been relatively quiet in the transfer market, with the club re-signing Spanish striker Alvaro Morata from Juventus while selling Jese Rodriguez and Denis Cheryshev to Paris Saint-Germain and Villarreal.Perez, whose side beat Sevilla 3-2 in extra-time on Tuesday to lift its third Uefa Super Cup, said on the club’s official website: “Up until 31 August anything can happen, but we’re really satisfied with the players that we’ve got. It’s very difficult to improve our squad.”Real’s priority is to strengthen their midfield line for the 2016-17 campaign. However, the Champions League winners lost out on signing French midfielder Paul Pogba, who rejoined Manchester United from Italian champions Juventus earlier this week on a reported world record fee of £89m ($115.98 million).Italian midfielder Marco Verratti, who was also a target of Real, extended his contract with Paris Saint-Germain until June 2021 last week.Perez insists that Real have enough quality to compete against the top European sides.“We’ve got an extraordinary squad,” he said.“We’ve got the best players in every position, as was seen at the European Championship.”Real, who finished runners-up to Barcelona in La Liga last season, showed on Tuesday that they have enough depth to challenge for every title in the 2016-17 campaign by winning the Uefa Super CupAgainst Sevilla on Tuesday, Zinedine Zidane’s side played without six regular starters, including stars Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale, but still beat the Europa League winners in their first competitive match of the season to lift the trophy.A Daniel Carvajal extra-time winner handed Zidane his second title as Real coach.“We’re very pleased because it’s not easy to win the Super Cup and we’ve won the last three we’ve played after winning the Champions League,” Perez said. “It’s deserving of a lot of praise and all the more so at the start of a season in which, after the European Championship, not all of the players are available.“We’ve still got to work very hard and our ambition is always to win it all.”Real begin their quest for their first La Liga title since the 2011-12 campaign at Real Sociedad on August 21.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has warned Theo Walcott that his contract negotiations could end up affecting team selection if the situation drags on for the rest of the season.Walcott’s current deal with the Gunners expires at the end of this season and negotiations have reached a stalemate, raising fears the England winger could become the latest star name to quit the north London club over the last 12 months.Wenger has already been forced to let Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri and Robin van Persie leave against his wishes and, with Liverpool and Manchester City interested in Walcott, he doesn’t want the contract talks to end in a repeat of those departures.The 23-year-old could potentially sign a lucrative pre-contract agreement with another club in January and Wenger admitted that, should the situation drag on, he may reconsider how best to utilise the player later in the season.“It can (change selection policy), but at the moment I still hope to extend his contract so at the moment, it doesn’t affect me. Of course at some stage…,” Wenger was quoted as saying in several English newspapers on Tuesday.“If in April it (the contract) is not done, you can think it will be difficult to do.” Walcott has not started a match since the opening day 0-0 draw against Sunderland and received a mixed reception from some sections of the Emirates Stadium crowd when coming on to score the final goal in Saturday’s 6-1 win over his former club Southampton.But Wenger called on the fans to lay off Walcott and backed the winger to cope with the boo-boys.“You want your players to be supported no matter what kind if contractual situation they are in,” Wenger added.“I hope it will not affect him and that it will not affect our fans.“Theo has gone through a lot at 23 years of age. A lot of positives, a lot of negatives and he is level-headed. “We are lucky: I don’t know what they do at Southampton, but they bring players out, (Alex Oxlade) Chamberlain and him, with their feet on the ground.”
Ghana now tops Group H with 6 points from two matches after beating Rwanda 1-0 in Kigali.Saturday’s game, which had a late winner from Mubarak Wakaso, saw Asamoah Gyan not making the bench due to injury, while Jonathan Mensah also reportedly was dropped due to a niggling problem in his legs.Avram Grant made four changes to the side that thrashed Mauritius 7-1 in Accra. Daniel Amartey, Afriyie Acquah, Andre Ayew and Richmond Boakye-Yiadom replaced Jonathan Mensah. Agyeman Badu,Jeff Schlupp and Asamoah Gyan.Amartey started his first competitive game since January after getting injured in that game against South Africa.Afriyie Acquah and Mubarak Wakaso resumed their formidable midfield partnership they built in the last AFCON while Richmond Boakye-Yiadom made his first competitive start in two years. His last start was Ghana’s 2-0 win over Lesotho. The last time Ghana played at the Amahoro Stadium was in 2003 but they succumbed to a 1-0 defeat to the Amavubi’s of Rwanda which eventually qualified the East African side to their first Afcon tourney in 2004 held in Tunisia.But this time, Ghana managed to get the win, although it was an extremely hard-fought one.Mubarak Wakaso scored in the final minutes of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier after dogged defending from the Rwandans all game. The newly signed Las Palmas (Spain) scored from a cheeky freekick in the 87th minute.On a deplorable pitch which had been bashed by both teams’ bosses pre-game, Ghana and Rwanda laboured to put passes together, and the game quickly degenerated into a long-ball fest.The first half ended goalless after the Black Stars kept pressing on but were held back by some impressively defensive tactics from their hosts. After the interval, the star-studded West Africans were the more determined side, but not even the sight of the EPL new boys Andre, Jordan Ayew, Christian Atsu, Jeffery Schlupp and Baba Rahman, intimidated the Amavubi.Ghana are now top of the table with six points while Rwanda remain on three points. Both nations will be watching Sunday’s other group game between and Mauritius and Mozambique.Black Stars starting XI:Razak Braimah, Harrison Afful, Baba Rahman, Amartey, John Boye, Afriyie Acquah, Christian Atsu, Mubarak Wakaso, Richmond Boakye-Yiadom, Andre Ayew, Jordan Ayew – Follow Gary on Twitter: @garyalsmith. Get more updates on Facebook/Twitter with the #JoySports hashtag
Venue: Liberty Stadium, Saturday October 31.Kick-Off: 15:00 GMT–Gary Monk’s Swansea host Arsenal in South Wales in what has grown to be one of the intriguing fixtures in the Premier League year in year out.The Swans came from behind to defeat the Gunners last season with substitute Bafotemi Gomis snatching the victory in the latter stages of the game.Gomis is now a regular in the side after Ivorian Wilfied Bony left for the Etihad earlier this year but all eyes will be on Ghanaian international Andre Dede Ayew.The attacking midfielder has been the livewire for the Swans all season popping up with goals, assists and all action soocer. The vice-captain of the Black Stars has already excelled against two of last season’s top four; Chelsea and Manchester United, and no one will bet against him having yet another stellar performance against Arsene Wenger’s side.Dede is currently the leading scorer for Swansea in the league with five goals and at this rate, the quest to reach double figures will be sooner rather than later.On Saturday, they welcome an in-form Arsenal side who seem to have found their feet after a shaky start to the Premier League campaign.Tuesday’s Capital One Cup defeat to Sheffield Wednesday was a minor blip in their campaign barely a week after beating European giants Bayern Munich and Premier League side Everton. Arsene Wenger will take consolation from the fact that while he fielded a weakened side and rivals Manchester United and Chelsea fielded relatively stronger sides and but still exited.The defeat on Wednesday came at a cost with speedsters Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade Chamberlain all set to miss out tomorrow.That notwithstanding, the Gunners still have much ammunition to cause damage with the likes of Santi Cazorla, Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil all set to feature.For Swansea and Dede, Bafotemi Gomis and Jefferson Montero need to discover their early season form to provide more attacking thrust in tomorrow’s game. Can Dede find the net yet again against a top four side? Will he prove yet again he is a big game player? 90 minutes in South Wales tomorrow will certainly give us an idea of how best to answer these questions.Another game to look out for on Saturday will be Chelsea v Liverpool. CLICK HERE TO READ: Team news, kick off time and how to watch in Ghana.–Follow Kweku on Twitter: @nana_odum. Get more updates on Facebook/Twitter with the #JoySports hashtag. Catch the BPL games live and exclusively on SuperSport, your world of champions.
Sign up for Home Turf and get 3 exclusive stories every SoCal sports fan must read, sent daily. Subscribe here.Tropeano’s first 10 starts of 2018 have been an enigma. He’s taken shutouts into the sixth inning three times. He’s also failed to complete five innings on another three occasions, including each of his last two starts.Sunday, Tropeano (3-4) was charged with five runs in 4-1/3 innings in front of an announced crowd of 28,656 at Target Field. He handed reliever Cam Bedrosian an unenviable first-and-third, one-out boondoggle with a 4-3 deficit in the fifth inning. Another run was charged to Tropeano’s ledger when Eduardo Escobar drilled a two-out RBI double off Bedrosian.Though his final line didn’t reflect it, Tropeano appeared to be in control after some early trouble.In the first inning, the right-hander issued a one-out walk, then threw a first-pitch fastball over the middle of the plate to Logan Morrison. The slugging first baseman parked a fly ball in the bleachers overhanging right field. Morrison’s seventh home run of the season gave the Twins a 2-1 lead.Then, Tropeano retired 10 batters in a row. What changed? Angels’ Shohei Ohtani spending downtime working in outfield “Just getting the first-pitch strike, getting ahead of hitters, putting them away when I needed to and just executing the pitch,” he said.Six of the 10 batters actually saw a first-pitch strike, though Miguel Sano helped by swinging at a 3-and-0 fastball and popping out into foul territory to end the turbulent first inning.Meanwhile, the Angels took the lead.Ian Kinsler led off the game with a walk, went to second on a wild pitch by Twins starter Fernando Romero (3-2), took third base on a passed ball, and scored on a two-out single by Albert Pujols.In the second inning, the Angels stranded runners on second and third base. Mike Trout hit a line drive between first and second base, but Morrison was stationed a good 40 feet off the line and barely moved to make the catch. Trout finished 0 for 5 with two strikeouts.In the fourth inning, the Angels retook the lead.Zack Cozart was drilled in the back by a Romero slider, then scored on a double by Jose Fernandez to tie the game at 2. Fernandez, the 30-year-old rookie from Cuba, has hit safely in each of his first three major league games. He hit line-drive doubles, down the right- and left-field lines, in his first two at-bats Sunday.Fernandez was on third base when Chris Young smoked a line drive into center field. The ball hung up long enough for Cave, the Twins’ center fielder, to make the catch. It was deep enough for Fernandez to tag up and score. The Angels led 3-2.Minnesota rallied against Tropeano in the fifth. Mitch Garver doubled and scored on a single by Cave. Tied 3-3, Ehire Adrianza tripled and Cave scored the go-ahead run. Tropeano walked Robbie Grossman on his 66th and final pitch of the game, and was relieved by Bedrosian.“With runners in scoring position, it’s kind of nut-up time,” Tropeano said, “and you have to make your pitches.”The Angels do not have the luxury of knowing in advance whether they will get Good Tropeano or Bad Tropeano every fifth day. They won’t have regular opportunities to skip his starts, either. Now that Shohei Ohtani has been lost for an extended period with a sprained elbow ligament, Tropeano comprises one-fifth of a five-man rotation.Related Articles Jose Suarez’s rocky start sinks Angels in loss to Astros Angels offense breaks out to split doubleheader with Astros Clippers, Mavericks brace for the unknown in Game 4 PreviousMinnesota Twins’ Jake Cave hits an RBI-single off Los Angeles Angels’ pitcher Nick Tropeano in the fifth inning of a baseball game Sunday, June 10, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols hits a two-run RBI against the Minnesota Twins in the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, June 10, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)Minnesota Twins Logan Morrison (99) celebrates with teammate Miguel Sano after hitting a two-run home run against the Los Angeles Angels in the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, June 10, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King) SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsMinnesota Twins pitcher Fernando Romero throws against the Los Angeles Angels in the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, June 10, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)Los Angeles Angels pitcher Nick Tropeano throws to the Minnesota Twins in the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, June 10, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)MINNEAPOLIS, MN – JUNE 10: Ian Kinsler #3 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim celebrates scoring a run against the Minnesota Twins during the first inning of the game on June 10, 2018 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)MINNEAPOLIS, MN – JUNE 10: Ian Kinsler #3 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim congratulates teammate Jose Fernandez #20 on scoring a run against the Minnesota Twins during the fourth inning of the game on June 10, 2018 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins defeated the Angels 7-5. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)MINNEAPOLIS, MN – JUNE 10: Pitching coach Charles Nagy #41 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim visits Nick Tropeano #35 and the rest of the infield on the mound during the fifth inning of the game against the Minnesota Twins on June 10, 2018 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins defeated the Angels 7-5. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)MINNEAPOLIS, MN – JUNE 10: Justin Upton #8 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim makes a catch in left field of the ball hit by Mitch Garver #23 of the Minnesota Twins as teammates Zack Cozart #7 and Mike Trout #27 look on during the sixth inning of the game on June 10, 2018 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins defeated the Angels 7-5. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)Los Angeles Angels pitcher Nick Tropeano (35) waits as manager Mike Scioscia walks to the mound to take him out of a baseball game against the Minnesota Twins in the fifth inning Sunday, June 10, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)Minnesota Twins’ Jake Cave, left, and teammate Max Kepler celebrate after Cave hit a two-run home run, also scoring Kepler, in the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels, Sunday, June 10, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)Los Angeles Angels Jose Fernandez hits an RBI-double off Minnesota Twins pitcher Fernando Romero in the fourth inning of a baseball game Sunday, June 10, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)Minnesota Twins’ Jake Cave hits an RBI-single off Los Angeles Angels’ pitcher Nick Tropeano in the fifth inning of a baseball game Sunday, June 10, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols hits a two-run RBI against the Minnesota Twins in the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, June 10, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)NextShow Caption1 of 12Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols hits a two-run RBI against the Minnesota Twins in the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, June 10, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)ExpandMINNEAPOLIS – Manager Mike Scioscia needed one word Saturday to identify which aspect of the Angels’ six-game winning streak made him the proudest: Pitching.On Sunday, pitching made all the difference.Angels starter Nick Tropeano did not make it out of the fifth inning against the Minnesota Twins, and Jake Cave’s two-run home run against reliever Jim Johnson provided the winning margin in the Angels’ 7-5 loss.“It’s a big job for me to provide shutdown innings,” Tropeano said. “The offense puts up runs. It’s my job to go out there and throw up zeroes. I just didn’t do that today.” Mike Trout, with bat and glove, helps Angels end losing streak The Angels have seen enough of Bad Tropeano in June. In two starts this month, the right-hander has allowed 10 runs in only nine innings. His ERA has risen from 3.80 to 4.83.Johnson, by contrast, began the month of June with three straight scoreless outings. Yet only one of his last 12 appearances has come in a game the Angels were leading, and one mistake Sunday did little to inspire more confidence.Johnson, a right-hander, walked Max Kepler, a left-handed hitter, with one out. With two outs, he threw Cave a 3-2 fastball down the middle of the plate. Cave’s two-run homer to center field extended the Twins’ lead to 7-3.Minnesota still led by four in the ninth inning when former Angels pitcher Fernando Rodney made it interesting. After walking Chris Young and allowing a single to Ian Kinsler, Rodney allowed a two-run single by Albert Pujols. The Angels trailed 7-5.Pujols’ three RBIs allowed him to pass Stan Musial for sole possession of sixth place in the all-time record book.Rodney then walked Luis Valbuena, bringing Cozart to the plate as the potential game-winning run. But when Cozart’s flare into shallow center field landed in the glove of second baseman Eduardo Escobar, the game was over. A possible series sweep on the road was thwarted.The Angels (37-28) won’t be able to claim a share of first place when they travel to Seattle for a three-game series beginning Monday. The first-place Mariners (41-24) now lead the Angels by 4 1/2 games. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error
Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs The Lakers got a small taste of it Sunday morning when they held a public shootaround at the Pechanga Reservation in Temecula, drawing several hundred fans from the community to the reservation recreation center. Many of them were wearing Lakers jerseys – some of them with James’ name and number on the back, bought before he’s even made his debut.“I think it’s great,” James said. “They probably watch us a lot on television and online so for us to open our shootaround to them and for them to see us in person, I think is pretty cool.” TEMECULA — It’s been on the schedule for months: LeBron James will play for the Lakers for the first time tonight.It’s not a surprise, and the Lakers have been preparing for the preseason opener with the Denver Nuggets in San Diego for the last week. James will start, alongside Rajon Rondo, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Brandon Ingram and JaVale McGee.And yet something about seeing it happen, Coach Luke Walton said, should bring a little something extra when James takes the stage in front of a Lakers-friendly crowd.“There will be energy in the building,” he said. “He’ll get a nice applause when his name gets called, but I think that will be a lot of places. Everywhere in the preseason, obviously besides the San Jose game, but they’re going to be excited as they all are.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with Packers Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years It’s the kind of reception James is used to, but which has sparked an uncommon enthusiasm even for the massive Lakers fanbase. ESPN reported Saturday that seats at the 14,500-capacity Valley View Casino Center were in high demand for the preseason contest. Walton said it’s likely that this game will function as an opportunity for more of the older, established players to get their foundational plays in line. Younger players, such as rookies Svi Mykhailliuk and Isaac Bonga, will likely get more time later in the preseason.The Lakers have worked on structuring their team chemistry and style over the last week, but there are elements of a game that can’t be simulated. Rajon Rondo said he’s hoping to learn more about how the defense functions against an offense they haven’t seen yet – a particularly potent one led by Nikola Jokic and Paul Millsap.“Obviously, in practice, we want to work on what we want to work on as far as our basic defensive coverages,” Rondo said, “but playing the Nuggets, playing a different team obviously, there’s going to be different coverages.”The game tips off at 6:30 p.m. PT.Related Articles Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers