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|Posted: Thu Sep 06, 2018 2:13 am Post subject: McDowell's ability to
|The last time Wayne Ellington played any meaningful minutes in a postseason game was nine years ago.
At the Final Four.
Ellington was the Most Outstanding Player of the 2009 NCAA Tournament after leading North Carolina to the national title. But since turning pro Kenny Golladay Jersey , postseasons have marked the start of vacations for Ellington, who has been in only two NBA playoff games, logging 13 1/2 minutes – all in the fourth quarters of blowouts.
That’s about to change.
Coming off a record-setting regular season, Ellington will play a vital role for No. 6 seed Miami in an Eastern Conference quarterfinal series that starts Saturday in his hometown of Philadelphia against the third-seeded 76ers.
”It’s so sweet the way it’s coming,” Ellington said. ”I don’t want to get religious, but I really feel like it’s God’s plan the way that everything’s worked out, where I ended up at and where I’m headed to. I’m appreciative. After all this time, now to be here, I don’t think a player could be more grateful. You couldn’t script this.”
Ellington set Miami’s single-season 3-point record with 227, and also set an NBA record for 3-pointers by a reserve with 218 (he made nine in his two appearances as a Heat starter this season). He’s going into the postseason coming off the best game of his pro career, a 32-point night that tied the franchise mark for scoring by a reserve in a game.
As Ellington goes, Miami goes: In his two Heat seasons Chad Kelly Jersey , they are 34-7 when he makes at least half of his 3-point tries, 43-54 when he does not.
”None of them come easy,” Heat guard Dwyane Wade said. ”He has to work for his shots, he really does. It is great to have a guy that has that ability. When he gets hot, there’s not much you can do about it.”
Before Wednesday’s regular-season finale victory over Toronto, which sealed the No. 6 seed for Miami, Ellington was slumping – shooting 14 for 48 from 3-point range in those games, or 29 percent. The Heat gave players Tuesday off as a needed rest day, and coach Erik Spoelstra was lured out of his office at one point by the sounds of dribbling and sneaker-squeaking on the practice floor.
It was Ellington, putting himself through a 45-minute workout with Heat assistant coach Octavio De La Grana. Their routines, whether it’s on an off day or a half-hour before game time, are always the same: cut Jarvis Landry Jersey , catch, shot, swish, over and over and over. And as he watched, Spoelstra found himself simultaneously worried and impressed.
”I almost thought it was too much on a day before a game,” Spoelstra said. ”But that’s the vision of a champion before you’re a champion, drenched in sweat, totally exhausted, empty gym with a coach, working your (butt) off.”
The result: Ellington was 8 for 12 from deep on Wednesday, leading the Heat rally to a win over the top seed in the East.
What happened Tuesday was not uncommon. The Heat didn’t make the playoffs last season, and Ellington was back in the gym about a week after the regular season ended – even though at the time Greg Olsen Jersey , there was no guarantee he’d be back with Miami this season. He would put himself through intense workouts, sometimes to the point where De La Grana would quietly suggest he take the next day off and enjoy life.
The Heat locker room is filled with hard workers, but teammates say Ellington stands out.
”Wayne’s like my right-hand man,” rookie center Bam Adebayo said. ”He does everything that he needs to do behind closed doors. He takes care of his body, eats right, and I’m learning from him.”
And now, the playoff chance is finally here for Ellington.
He sat at his locker for a few postgame minutes after the regular season ended, his thoughts drifting back to that Final Four run and championship moment.
”Up until now, that’s been my best experience as a player,” Ellington said. ”I’m looking forward to trumping that.”
Pete Carroll said Monday the Seattle Seahawks have not closed the door on the possibility of adding Colin Kaepernick to their roster, but how much further they pursue it may depend on the upcoming NFL draft.
"We're still battling on all fronts, on all guys. We're still looking at guys and evaluating. There are still free agents we're looking at and in that the process just continues Kevin Johnson Jersey ," Carroll said. "We've gone through the information gathering and we have a pretty good feel for where we are. It's ongoing. We're not done with that decision at all."
Reports surfaced earlier this month that Seattle pulled out of a planned workout for Kaepernick, who has been without an NFL team since the end of the 2016 season. Seattle has been one of the few teams to show any interest in Kaepernick following his protests during the national anthem in the 2016 season with San Francisco.
Carroll said the reports of what happened with the intended workout were "blown up."
"I think we've been working at this thing for some time now. I don't think that was really as telling as it came across," Carroll said. "We're really aware of him and he's a fine football player and there may be a place for him. We don't know that yet."
Whether Seattle revisits Kaepernick may be answered during this week's draft and if the Seahawks invest a draft pick in a quarterback for the first time since selecting Russell Wilson in the 2012 draft. Seattle has signed backups Stephen Morris and Austin Davis this offseason.
Carroll and general manager John Schneider also gave brief updates on injuries to safety Kam Chancellor and defensive tackle Malik McDowell.
Chancellor suffered a neck injury midway through last season that put his career in doubt. Schneider said Chancellor will have a "scan" in late June or early July to determine his status going forward. It could be as much a contract issue as anything else with Chancellor, who signed a three-year extension with $25 million guaranteed before the start of last season.
Meanwhile, the status of McDowell remains murky. McDowell, Seattle's initial draft pick in the second round of last year's draft, was injured in an ATV accident last summer and has not taken part in any football-related activities since. Carroll said the team has received no indication on McDowell's ability to even rejoin the team at this point, let alone play football.
"There is a lot of stuff we can't get into. It's a really unfortunate situation on both sides," Schneider said.
The only diagnosis the team has provided regarding McDowell is that he suffered a severe concussion and facial injuries in the ATV accident.
"We haven't had a good update in a long time," Carroll said.
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