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Pelicans’ Zion Williamson says he spent quarantine period relearning fundamentals from ‘square one’ – ESPN

Pelicans forward Zion Williamson said Friday he felt like he “was 5 years old again” working out with his stepfather during quarantine. According to coach Alvin Gentry, the rookie “did a lot to improve his game,” including making strides in his shooting.

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For New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson, the time he spent in quarantine made him feel like a kid.
To get ready for the NBA season, Williamson said he worked out with his stepfather, Lee Anderson, when he wasn’t rehabbing with Pelicans staffers. Williamson, 20, cherished that time as he tried to to stay as basketball-ready as possible.
“It just felt like I was 5 years old again,” Williamson said Friday. “Just went back to square one, tried to get my body where it needs to be, get my fundamentals back to square one and start from there. So yeah, it was just like starting over at 5 again. It was a great process to learn it all over.”
Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said Williamson “looked great” as the team returned to full practice for the first time in four months on Friday afternoon near Orlando, Florida. Gentry also credited Anderson for the work he did with Williamson while the Pelicans were away from each other amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“His stepfather did a fantastic job of working him out every day, of making him be in good conditioning when we got him back,” Gentry said. “He’s made a lot of strides in his shooting, I think. Although we weren’t together, he did a lot to improve his game.”
In his first NBA game Jan. 22, Williamson went on a scoring barrage in the fourth quarter when he went 4-for-4 from 3-point range, bringing the Smoothie King Center to its feet. But in the 18 games that followed, Williamson went just 2-for-9 from deep.
A glance at Williamson’s shot chart shows that he has been dominant around the rim and hasn’t done much of anything in the midrange. Could that be changing as the NBA season restarts?
“Yeah, I think there are going to be parts of my game that you didn’t see before that you’ll see when we start playing,” Williamson said.
Gentry, 65, received word from the NBA on Wednesday that he was cleared to participate in the resumption of the season. There was doubt as to whether Gentry would be held out, but after a review and array of tests, he was cleared to coach in Florida.
“As I said, it’s been tough on everyone,” Gentry said. “I wish it could have been done sooner. I wish everything would have been decided sooner. It wasn’t, but I’m here. That was my ultimate goal, is to be here and coach my team, and that’s where I am right now.”
If Gentry hadn’t been permitted to go, he would have been the third Pelicans coach who didn’t make the trip. Associate head coach of defense Jeff Bzdelik and assistant coach Jamelle McMillan stayed back — Bzdelik, 67, on the advice of team physicians and McMillan to stay with his newborn son.
Gentry said that although Bzdelik won’t be present, he’ll still be involved in the team’s defensive strategy.
“It may be from afar, but he’s going to be involved in every practice,” Gentry said. “He’s going to be involved in every game. He’ll be involved in every game-plan situation. He’s not here from a physical standpoint, but he will still be involved in everything that we do down here.”
Still, Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday said it will be an adjustment not having Bzdelik and McMillan on the bench.
“I think for the most part, especially towards the beginning of this quarantine, toward the end when we were stopping, we started to get into a groove defensively,” Holiday said. “I’ll tell you I feel like we tried to pick it back up. But being here

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Derrick Lewis promises to be even scarier after more weight loss, ready to ‘finish’ Curtis Blaydes next – MMA Fighting

Derrick Lewis plans to take some time off to lose a few more pounds. But he likes the idea of squaring off next with Curtis Blaydes.

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Derrick Lewis already has the most knockouts in UFC heavyweight history, but he believes after shedding a few more pounds, he might be even more terrifying when he next sets foot in the octagon.
The Houston native closed out the UFC Vegas 6 card on Saturday night with a punishing performance, finishin Aleksei Oleinik with vicious punches in the second round. Ahead of the fight, Lewis upped his training regimen, and while he tipped the scales at 265 pounds, he looked in better shape than almost …

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Why Michigan lost the recruiting battle for Clarkston OL Rocco Spindler – MLive.com

Spindler chose Notre Dame over Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State and LSU on Saturday. But the decision had been planted more than a year ago.

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CLARKSTON, Mich. The Notre Dame theme song blared from the speakers at the football stadium outside Clarkston High School on Saturday, as Rocco Spindler and his family two of his sisters, his mother and father all put on navy blue hats to celebrate.
The states top offensive lineman had made his choice. It was a hair splitting one, Spindler and his father would later say, but one rooted nearly a year ago.
With the media huddled around him, the 6-foot-4, 315-pound prospect told reporters of the …

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‘Put a line through’ powerhouse’s flag hopes; Blues must go ‘all in’ on free agent: AFL Talking Points – Fox Sports

An AFL powerhouse, thought to be one of the top flag contenders heading into the year, is done according to Hall of Famer.

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Plus the multimillion-dollar free agent Carlton needs – and who they could trade to get better.
Catch up on the big headlines from the last week of footy in foxfooty.com.aus Talking Points.
Kayo is your ticket to the 2020 Toyota AFL Premiership Season. Watch every match of every round Live & On-Demand. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly >
Round 11
Blues concede, greats fume!
0:51
PUT A LINE THROUGH COLLINGWOOD
Adam Treloars latest injury was Col…

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