asons. Oduya came over in a Feb

asons. Oduya came over in a Feb

Postautor: chenwen121314 » 14 wrz 2016, o 17:45

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Eastern Conferences top team just got more imposing. Jeremy Langford Jersey . On Saturday, the Pacers added size and scoring punch to their roster by signing mercurial free agent centre Andrew Bynum for the rest of the season. Team officials did not release additional details about the contract and said Bynum was expected to join the team sometime next week. "We are obviously happy to have him join our team," Larry Bird said in a statement issued by the team less than 12 hours before Indiana hosted Brooklyn on Saturday night. "He gives us added size, he is a skilled big man and he has championship experience. With the minutes he gets, he should be a valuable addition." Adding a guy with Bynums mercurial reputation to a locker room as selfless as the Pacers is definitely a gamble, though likely a low-risk one since Bird, the Pacers president of basketball operations, has made it clear the Pacers would not pay the NBAs luxury tax and Indiana had an open spot on its roster. But if Bynum performs as he did in helping the Lakers win back-to-back titles in 2009 and 2010, it could create even more lineup mismatches against two-time defending champion Miami in the East. Indiana (35-10) entered Saturday with a three-game lead over the Heat in the chase for home-court advantage and has made no secret of its desire to get the top seed in its quest to win the teams first NBA crown. Bynum will give the Pacers another big body off the bench, backing up All-Star centre Roy Hibbert. And his offensive skills give Indiana another scorer to go with the leagues best defence. Miami, which struggled against Indianas size during last seasons Eastern Conference finals, tried to close the gap by signing the oft-injured former No. 1 overall pick Greg Oden, an Indianapolis native, last summer. Oden has played sparingly this season, though he has been improving. Saturdays move could give the Pacers an even bigger advantage -- if the 7-foot-1, 285-pound centre returns to his previous form. The move also prevents the Heat from signing Bynum as had been widely speculated. But Bynum is far from a sure thing. After the Lakers traded Bynum to Philadelphia in 2012, he missed the entire season because of knee injuries. This season, after signing with Cleveland as a free agent, he played in only 24 games before he was suspended indefinitely for conduct detrimental to the team. He was eventually dealt to Chicago, which quickly released Bynum so it didnt have to guarantee the remaining $6 million owed to him this season. Since then, Bynum has been looking for a landing spot and finally settled on Indiana. "It really wasnt a hard decision, I think its the right fit for me and, in all honesty, I think weve got the best chance of winning," Bynum said in a statement. "It will be great to back up Roy and Ill do whatever I can to help this team." With Cleveland, he averaged 8.4 points and 5.3 rebounds. He has career averages of 11.5 points per game and 7.7 rebounds, and his best season came in 2011-12 when he averaged 18.7 points and 11.8 rebounds with the Lakers. William Perry Bears Jersey . -- Its been a long road back for Sean Bergenheim. Sam Acho Jersey . The veteran safety was a starter for the Bengals from 2008-2012. He totaled 41 tackles and three interceptions while starting all but four of the 13 games he played last season. ... ersey.aspx . LOUIS -- St.CHICAGO - Forget Patrick Kanes flashy moves and Jonathan Toews steady play. Same for the rest of the talented forwards on the Chicago Blackhawks. Instead, check out the players who line up right behind the teams biggest stars. Chicagos athletic defencemen play a prominent role in the NHLs most potent offence. Duncan Keith leads all NHL defencemen with 30 assists. Niklas Hjalmarsson is on pace for career highs in goals and assists. Brent Seabrook has three goals and 23 assists after he had 20 points in 47 games last season. Nick Leddy and Johnny Oduya also have provided valuable support on offence. Its hard enough for teams to deal with the likes of Kane and Toews. Now, when Keith & Co. are coming up and taking aim, the Blackhawks turn into a goaltenders nightmare. "I love our defence. Theyve been huge for us the past two seasons," forward Patrick Sharp said. "They all skate well. They all move the puck and with the forwards that we have in our locker room, we like to get it with speed and they do a good job of getting it to us. Our defence (has) been the key to our team this year." The importance of Chicagos offensive defencemen was on full display Monday night, when the Blackhawks beat the New Jersey Devils 5-2 for their sixth win in the last eight games. Leddy helped set up Kanes tiebreaking goal in the second period, and then capped the scoring with his fifth of the season in the third. Seabrook added two assists. It was the Blackhawks 15th game with at least five goals, running their league-best total to 145. They also lead the NHL with an average of 2.87 points a game by their defencemen, according to STATS, a significant increase from their 2.08 average for last seasons Stanley Cup-winning team. St. Louis, which hosts Chicago on Saturday night, is next on the list with 2.64 points a game for its defencemen and 128 goals overall. "I think as a defence corps you know that its important that we help control the offensive goal, not just necessarily scoring points but just being in on the attack and being an extra option that might create some space for our forwards," said Keith, who also had an assist against the Devils. Keith is one of the top contenders for the Norris Trophy after he took home the awward for the NHLs top defenceman in 2010. Eddie Royal Bears Jersey. The 30-year-old Keith, who was selected by the Blackhawks in the second round of the 2002 draft, has led the team in ice time every season since he made his debut in 2005. He plays alongside Seabrook in Chicagos top defensive pairing. "The two of them have been together basically since they broke into the league," said coach Joel Quenneville, a former NHL defenceman. "Thats been a big part of our team. When you think about all the shifts theyve played together, theres a lot of familiarity with one another and I think they complement each other for the right reasons." That familiarity is a common theme when it comes to the Blackhawks defencemen. Seabrook, a first-round draft pick by Chicago in 2003, had two of the Blackhawks biggest goals in their run to the title last season. He scored in overtime in Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals against Detroit after Chicago battled back from a 3-1 series deficit, and then had another overtime winner in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup finals at Boston. Hjalmarsson also was drafted by the Blackhawks and is in his seventh season with the team. The 22-year-old Leddy, a 2009 first-round selection by Minnesota, was acquired in a trade in 2010 and has played for Chicago for four seasons. Oduya came over in a February 2012 trade with Winnipeg. "Youre with a group or a linemate or a defence partner for a certain amount of time, you develop that chemistry on the ice and even off the ice," Keith said. "You become more familiar with one another and closer. I just think it helps the overall game on the ice knowing what guys tend to do out on the ice and what they want to do." The Blackhawks (26-7-6) also have done a strong job of finding the right players for their system, which emphasizes puck possession. The eight defencemen on Chicagos roster range in height from 6-foot (Leddy and Oduya) to 6-3 (Seabrook and Hjalmarsson) and weight from 190 pounds for Oduya to 221 for Seabrook. The top defencemen are all strong skaters who are comfortable with the puck on their stick and can cover a lot of ground in a hurry. "The style of play fits the player and the player fits style of play," Oduya said. "I think thats important." 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