Like Real Madrid, Por­tu­gal has to cope with­out Ron­aldo

Watchmen Daily Journal - - Sports -

LeBron James watched Lonzo Ball play in Las Ve­gas dur­ing the 2017 NBA Sum­mer League, tak­ing in a Los An­ge­les Lak­ers' game from a base­line seat as a spec­ta­tor.

He had

Wed­nes­day time).

James and Ball were on-court team­mates for the first time when the Lak­ers beat the Golden State War­riors 123-113, back in Las Ve­gas. Ball didn't start the pre­sea­son con­test, but re­placed Ra­jon Rondo just 2 min­utes, 13 sec­onds into the game.

“It's just fun to have our full group,” James said.

James and Ball didn't play very much. Ball has been re­cov­er­ing from a knee is­sue, and it was his a bet­ter view (Thurs­day, PHL first ap­pear­ance this pre­sea­son.

James didn't want to bur­den his new point guard with a lot of ex­pec­ta­tions, so he was keep­ing his ap­proach very sim­ple.

“He plays bas­ket­ball,” James said of Ball be­fore the game. “He knows how to play bas­ket­ball.”

It was James’ first game against the War­riors since last sea­son's NBA Fi­nals — when his sec­ond stint as a mem­ber of the Cleve­land Cava­liers ended with Golden State sweep­ing its way to a sec­ond con­sec­u­tive cham­pi­onship. But he down­played the ex­hi­bi­tion be­ing any ex­ten­sion of his ri­valry with the War­riors, or the ri­valry be­tween the Cal­i­for­nia clubs.

“Pre­sea­son game,” James said.


In Wed­nes­day's (Thurs­day, PHL time) other game, John Wall scored 32 points, in­clud­ing a layup with 1:26 left that put Wash­ing­ton ahead for good.

Wall fin­ished with nine as­sists and Bradley Beal scored 17 points for the Wizards. An­dre Drum­mond led the Pis­tons with 17 points and 20 re­bounds, and Blake Grif­fin added 16 points for Detroit.


Wash­ing­ton (3-1) hosts the Guangzhou Long-Lions on Fri­day (Satur­day, PHL time). Detroit (1-3) faces Cleve­land in East Lansing, Michi­gan, on Fri­day (Satur­day, PHL time).

It's not only Real Madrid that has to adapt to life with­out Cris­tiano Ron­aldo.

Por­tu­gal's na­tional soc­cer team also has had to cope with­out the star for­ward as he takes a break from in­ter­na­tional duty fol­low­ing his trans­fer to Ju­ven­tus and amid a rape al­le­ga­tion against him.

Ron­aldo hasn't been called up for the na­tional team since the World Cup, and the Por­tuguese soc­cer fed­er­a­tion has al­ready said he also will not be con­sid­ered for up­com­ing in­ter­na­tional matches later this year.

Por­tu­gal, which won the Euro­pean Cham­pi­onship in 2016 for its first ma­jor ti­tle, will face Scot­land in a friendly on Sun­day.

“The best in the world re­mains the best in the world, but he is not here and we have to fo­cus on those who are,” Por­tu­gal coach Fer­nando San­tos said Wed­nes­day. “I fully trust the play­ers who are here and they will come through for us.”

San­tos said Ron­aldo re­mained fully com­mit­ted to the na­tional team, af­ter he skipped the team's first two matches af­ter the World Cup to rest fol­low­ing a busy off­sea­son that in­cluded his move from Real Madrid to Ju­ven­tus. San­tos had said Ron­aldo was still set­tling in with the Ital­ian club and needed time to fo­cus on that.

Last week, San­tos did not give de­tails for not in­clud­ing Ron­aldo in the team, say­ing the de­ci­sion was made af­ter a three­way con­ver­sa­tion be­tween him, the player and the head of the Por­tuguese soc­cer fed­er­a­tion. The squad an­nounce­ment came af­ter news that Ron­aldo is deal­ing with a rape al­le­ga­tion in the United States, although San­tos did not com­ment on the player's state of mind nor did he say the de­ci­sion had any­thing to do with off-the­field is­sues.

San­tos' prob­lem now is how to get his team work­ing with­out Ron­aldo. And that's where An­dre Silva comes in.

The 22-year-old striker, con­sid­ered to be the per­fect wing­man for Ron­aldo in Por­tu­gal's at­tack, has been do­ing just fine by him­self this sea­son. He was cru­cial in the team's open­ing win against Italy in the Na­tions League last month, scor­ing the sec­ond-half win­ner that left Por­tu­gal at the top of Group 3 in League A of Europe's new­est com­pe­ti­tion.

Por­tu­gal leads Group 3 with three points, two more than both Poland and Italy. Italy has al­ready played twice, los­ing at Por­tu­gal and draw­ing against Poland at home.

(AP Photo/John Locher)

Los An­ge­les Lak­ers for­ward LeBron James (23) shoots be­tween Golden State War­riors for­ward Kevin Du­rant, left, and guard An­dre Iguo­dala dur­ing the first half of an NBA pre­sea­son bas­ket­ball game Wed­nes­day, Oc­to­ber 10, 2018, in Las Ve­gas.

(AP Photo/Fran­cisco Seco)

Por­tu­gal’s Cris­tiano Ron­aldo looks dis­ap­pointed be­side cel­e­brat­ing play­ers of Uruguay af­ter the round of 16 match be­tween Uruguay and Por­tu­gal at the 2018 soc­cer World Cup at the Fisht Sta­dium in Sochi, Rus­sia, Satur­day, June 30, 2018.

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