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Old 15-08-18, 07:03
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Default St. Louis was just 24-17 on home

The first time Michael Porter Jr. actually talked to anyone from the Denver Nuggets was Thursday at the NBA draft. He didn’t think there was any need Cheap Austin Corbett Jersey , and neither did the Nuggets.

The fact that he was available at No. 14 surprised both parties, regardless of Porter’s well-documented back and recent hip issues.

The oft-injured forward thinks he shook hands with someone from the Nuggets after his pro day workout. He said the first time he spoke to someone from the organization was when he was drafted, either the general manager or the owner -he’s not sure who it was.

Still, he made enough of an impression for the Nuggets brain trust to make him the last lottery pick selected on Thursday night.

“I’m not going to lie to you, I was stressed out,” Porter said. “All that stress was overcome by joy the moment I got called, no matter what number it was. It’s been my dream since I was a kid.

“At the end of the day, the draft is a number and I wasn’t going to let an ego get in the way of my joy. I’m happy to be where I’m at and I feel like it’s the perfection situation for me.”

Albeit an unexpected situation.

Everything Porter knew about the Nuggets was hearsay – “a great city, a great organization.” He didn’t invest much of his time prior to the draft getting to know the team.

“Honestly, the teams at the very, very top of the draft told me last week I was their guy, they were going to take me Authentic Joe Mixon Jersey ,” Porter said. “Then the hip episode happened, and then doctors got involved and they got score. So once one team gets scared, a lot of them get scared.”

That’s how he dropped.

Porter also had the back history as a red flag. He played only three games at Missouri, 53 minutes total. He sustained a back injury and had to undergo surgery. Then, the hip happened during the draft process and he cancelled a recent workout.

Knowing some teams considered him a gamble, maybe even a risk, Porter just wanted to go somewhere that believed in him, which is apparently Denver.

“I consider it a blessing,” Porter said, “because maybe the team I was going to go to at the top wasn’t the right team for me.”

Right or wrong, it will cost him. Porter is guaranteed $2.4 million. First-pick Deandre Ayton will get at least $6.7 million.

Many fans at Barclays Center wanted Porter to go earlier, specifically ninth. As soon as the New York Knicks were on the clock Authentic Walter Payton Jersey , chants of Porter’s name broke out. Porter looked over to a crowd of fans on his left and smiled.

Both parties were disappointed when Commissioner Adam Silver announced Kevin Knox’s name instead.

“That’s just motivation,” Knox said. “A lot of people want him to get to the Knicks, but I mean, it’s all good with me. . They can chant Michael Porter all they want. But they got Kevin Knox, and I’m willing to work and I’m willing to get better.”

And Porter is going to do the same – for the Nuggets.

Porter can’t wait to prove every team that passed on him wrong. He’s not concerned about his health. And he plans to show that no one else should be worried either.

Well, except his competitors.

“For me, we’re all in the NBA now,” Porter said. “We’ll see who are the best players, and we’ll see who should have been the top draft picks.”



Three days after missing the playoffs, the St. Louis Blues learned their star forward Vladimir Tarasenko will need surgery on Wednesday for a dislocated left shoulder.

Tarasenko was hurt in the first period of the regular-season finale on Saturday in Colorado. The Blues needed a point in the game to reach the playoffs, but lost 5-2.

Tarasenko revealed he had a dislocated shoulder while standing with his left arm in a sling Tuesday as teammates cleared out their lockers. The recovery after surgery can take up to six months.

”We’ll see how it goes,” Tarasenko said. ”It was a hard year all the way around.”

The 26-year-old led the team with 33 goals and 66 points. It was his lowest point total in four seasons. The Blues won 44 games this season and finished with 94 points.

Mike Yeo wrapped up his first full season as the Blues coach. St. Louis is 66-40-8 since Yeo replaced Ken Hitchcock as coach on Feb. 1 Cheap Rashaad Penny Jersey , 2017. That’s the 10th-best regular-season record in the NHL in that period.

But it’s little consolation for a team missing the playoffs for the first time after six straight seasons. Two years ago, the Blues were playing for the conference championship.

”We understand we’ve taken a step back this year,” General Manager Doug Armstrong said. ”That lies firmly on my shoulders. My job is to deal in reality. The formula we had this year did not breed success and we need to find that formula.”

Armstrong said the play of special teams needs to improve.

The Blues were 30th on power-play success at 15.4 percent. They finished 18th in penalty killing at 79.7 percent. During the previous six seasons making the playoffs, the Blues ranked No. 1 in the NHL in penalty killing with a rate of 84.3 percent.

However, the Blues scored only 38 power-play goals.

”As a coaching staff, I promise you we won’t just sit around and just assume things will get better next year,” Yeo said. ”We have to look at everything from the way we manage it, operate it and holding guys accountable and the personnel we’re using and the tactics.”

When Yeo coached the Minnesota Wild, the power play also was stagnant.

”I’ll take responsibility for it,” Yeo said. ”I don’t dodge that. That’s on me.”

Armstrong backs his coach.

”Mike and I are tethered together and we’re going to figure this thing out,” Armstrong said.

St. Louis was just 24-17 on home ice this season.

”You can’t have the home record we had and be satisfied,” Armstrong said. ”The people that come here work for a living and we need to send them home happy. If we’re in the top 10 in home records Malik Jefferson Jersey , we’re in the playoffs.”

The salary cap should increase about $4 million for next season. Armstrong said the Blues ownership will continue to spend to the cap.

”We spend to the cap,” Armstrong said. ”We’ve had a good run here. We’ve got to get back to that.”

Goalie Jake Allen was signed to a four-year, $17.4 million contract on July 1, 2016. He finished with a 27-25-3 record, a 2.75 goals-against average, a .906 save percentage and one shutout.

”I definitely need to be more consistent,” Allen said. ”I know I’m capable of it. I don’t think I need to change much. I’m a pretty good goalie.”

Backup goaltender Carter Hutton is an unrestricted free agent. Hutton was 17-7-3 with a 2.09 goals-against average and a .931 save percentage. He had three shutouts.

Armstrong said he wants to bring Hutton back.

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