miaowang123 » Discussions


Lakers following the 2011-12 season

  • 02 Sep
    EDMONTON - Albertas top court has dismissed an appeal by a man convicted in the sex slaying of a Edmonton teenager on a golf course. [b]Greg Pateryn Wild Jersey[/b] .Michael Briscoe is serving a life sentence for sexual assault, kidnapping and first-degree murder in the death of 13-year-old Nina Courtepatte in 2005.A group of people lured the girl from West Edmonton Mall to the golf course, where she was raped, stabbed and beaten to death.Briscoe was initially acquitted of the charges after testifying that he did not know of the murder plan and his only involvement was to drive the car.The Crown won an appeal and Briscoe was convicted following a second trial in 2012.The trial judge ruled that Briscoe did not directly commit the acts, but assisted another man, Joseph Laboucan, in the crime.The Alberta Court of Appeal unanimously agreed in its latest decision that Briscoe has no valid grounds for appeal.Justice Clifton OBrien wrote that Briscoes rights were breached when Mounties asked him to give a DNA sample without his being given the opportunity to obtain the advice of a lawyer. But the judge said that mistake wasnt profound and noted that officers had already pointed out Briscoes right to speak with a lawyer, but he didnt want to.OBrien added that societys interest in having the case go to court weighed heavily in favour of admission of the evidence.Here a child was lured to an isolated place by a group of people, that included the appellant, to be sexually assaulted and murdered. Society has a substantial interest in finding and punishing those responsible, he wrote.Along with Laboucan, three other young people were also convicted in Ninas death.Laboucan was further found guilty of first-degree murder in the death of Ellie-May Meyer. The prostitute, who was killed two days before Courtepatte, was found in a farmers field east of Edmonton and police connected the two killings. Briscoe was also charged in Meyers death but acquitted.[b]Marcus Foligno Wild Jersey[/b] . Jason Zucker and Matt Cooke also scored for Minnesota, which has won five of six. Kuemper made five saves in the first, nine in the second, and nine in the third. The rookies best save came with 2:17 left in the third period when he denied former Wild forward Matt Cullen from just outside of the crease on the right side. [b]Alex Stalock Jersey[/b] . -- Quarterback Josh Johnson has returned to the San Francisco 49ers and his former college coach, Jim Harbaugh.PHOENIX -- Of course, the NBAs most improved team would have its most improved player. Goran Dragic, whose breakout season helped the Phoenix Suns make a remarkable transformation, was presented the most improved award at a ceremony Wednesday at US Airways Center. The 6-foot-3 Slovenian, who turns 28 in two weeks, flourished under first-year coach Jeff Hornaceks double-point guard system, teaming with Eric Bledsoe to form a dynamic backcourt. "Were looking for players who can go out there every night and lay it all out there," Hornacek said, "play through injuries, do everything the coaches ask, play with confidence. Thats what Goran did." Dragic averaged 20.5 points and 5.9 assists per game, shooting 50.5 per cent from the field, 40.8 per cent on 3-pointers. He was the only player in the NBA to shoot better than 50 per cent from the field and 40 per cent from 3-point range. "The main thing was my confidence this year," he said. "I feel that my teammates, they trust me. The coaches trust me. I can play my game, be confident, be tough and then shoot the ball better." Dragic recalled the doubters when he came into the league. "I can remember one quote from a newspaper, somebody said that Im the worst player in the NBA and my last name should not be Dragic but tragic," he said. "That sticks in your head. It sticks in my head. On the practice court, I always have this in my mind." Dragic received 408 of a possible 1,134 points, including 65 first-place votes, from a panel of 126 sports writers and broadcasters in the United States and Canada. Indianas Lance Stephenson was second with 158 points and 13 first-place votes, and New Orleans Anthony Davis third with 155 points and 16 first-place votes. Two other Suns were among the top 10 -- Gerald Green fourth and Markieff Morris 10th. Under Hornacek, who finished second to San Antonios Gregg Popovich for NBA coach of the year, the Suns went from 25-57 in 2012-13 to 48-37 last season, a 23-win improvement, and they barely missed making the playoffs in the tough Western Conference. While the Suns were at their best when Dragic and Bledsoe both played, Dragic had to carry the brunt of the scoring and playmaking load when Bledsoe was out for two months following knee surgery. [b]Devan Dubnyk Jersey[/b]. The left-handed Dragic is in his second stint with Phoenix. He was drafted in 2008 by San Antonio in the second round, the 45th pick overall, then was traded to the Suns for Malik Hairston, the 48th pick. Dragic was groomed to be Steve Nashs successor but just before the trade deadline in February 2011, the Suns sent him to Houston for Aaron Brooks. Brooks languished in Phoenix, and after Nash was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers following the 2011-12 season, the Suns brought Dragic back, signing the free agent to a four-year, $30 million contract. He can opt out of the deal after next season. Dragic and the rest of the Suns struggled through a miserable 2012-13 season, but with the hiring of Hornacek and new general manager Ryan McDonough, everything changed. Hornacek said he could see Dragics emerging leadership when he watched the guard play for the Slovenian national team last summer. "We could tell from watching him that he was in charge of that team and that he has taken that next step," Hornacek said. "Thats the sign of a great player, when he can take his game to another level." Dragic credited the freedom and confidence that Hornacek and his staff gave him and the rest of the team. Now he and the Suns wont be a surprise but will be expected to win. "Next year, of course, theres going to be pressure," Dragic said. "Im not scared of pressure. I always like to take any challenges that you guys (reporters) or guys on opposing teams give me." Dragic was married last off-season and has a new son, Mateo. His wife and son were in the crowd when he was presented the trophy. Asked how he could be so low-key and at ease off the court and such a dynamo on it, he said it was basically a split personality. "Off the court, Im always shy, dont talk much. Im kind of calm," he said. "But on the floor, Im a different guy. I can express my will on the court. Im kind of cocky." He is the third Suns player to win the award, following Kevin Johnson in 1988-89 and Boris Diaw in 2005-06. ' ' '