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    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Jacoby Brissett views Thursday night’s preseason finale a little differently than everyone else.

    He considers this seemingly meaningless game his golden ticket.

    With Andrew Luck’s work finished Bruce Smith Jersey , Brissett is expected to make his first and possibly final start of the season at Cincinnati. And if all goes well for the Indianapolis Colts, Brissett may not even throw another official pass this year.

    So for the third-year quarterback who started 15 games last season, this is more than a final tuneup — it’s a chance to show everyone how much he’s learned over the past 8½ months.

    “I’ll prepare for Thursday’s game like I was starting in the Super Bowl,” he said.

    Of course, Brissett takes his job seriously.

    How else would a youngster manage to catch the attention of Hall of Fame coach Bill Parcells, win the starting job at North Carolina State, convince Bill Belichick to select him in the third round of the 2016 draft and become a full-time starter in his second NFL season?

    The 6-foot-4, 235-pound strong-armed Florida native performed admirably in place of Luck, who missed all of 2017 following surgery on his throwing shoulder.

    Brissett learned the playbook on the fly after being acquired in a cutdown weekend trade with New England, replaced Scott Tolzien as the starter in Week 2 and kept the job for the rest of the season.

    His overall numbers — 276 of 469 with 3,098 yards, 13 touchdowns and seven interceptions— were solid considering he was sacked a league-high 52 times and he helped put the Colts in position to win several games.

    But the Colts blew seven second-half leads, finished 4-12 and missed the playoffs for a third consecutive season.

    Now, after backing up Tom Brady and Jimmy Garoppolo as a rookie and being pressed into service last season, Brissett finds himself holding the No. 2 spot on the depth chart as Luck returns.

    Through three games Jimmie Ward Jersey , Brissett’s quarterback rating is actually better than Luck’s. Brissett is 27 of 44 with 327 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions for a rating of 84.2. Luck has a rating of 78.1 with one TD pass and one interception.

    Brissett is expected to play at least a half against Cincinnati and sounds more confident and comfortable now that he’s had a whole offseason to learn his third offense. After Thursday, though, his playing time will be determined largely by Luck’s health.

    “It’s a totally different feeling, it feels good to be familiar with what you’re going into the season with,” Brissett said before turning his attention to this week’s game.

    “It’s another opportunity to play in the NFL and it’s a treat every time you step out on the field. I’m going to go out there and try to win a football game.”

    At least Brissett can focus on fine-tuning his game.

    Most of the other players suiting up Thursday, including Phillip Walker, are vying for one of the 53 spots on Indy’s roster — or at least are trying to impress enough scouts to get a shot with another team.

    Walker certainly will get his chances as Indy’s only other healthy quarterback with Brad Kaaya on injured reserve. Walker is expected to take the remaining snaps once Brissett departs.

    “You just have to take the mindset that nothing is going to keep me from my dream, that I believe that what I put on tape and what I put on the field is good enough for this team, for the team that I am playing for at the time and if it’s not then I am going to take it somewhere else,” Colts coach Frank Reich said, referring to his own mindset when he was as an NFL quarterback.

    Two other teams reportedly saw enough from Brissett last season to make trade inquiries.

    But with Brissett still on his rookie deal this season and next, Luck dealing with a minor foot injury and questions about whether Luck’s shoulder will make it through a 16-game season, the Colts are content to keep Brissett so he can continue developing.

    And as the final preseason game approaches, Brissett intends to take full advantage of the remaining opportunities.

    “It grows on you and it’s been fun to learn and just get better,” Brissett said when asked about the Colts’ new offense. “It’s football.”

    Notes: The Colts have signed linebacker Brandon Chubb and waived running back Tion Green.

    Jrue Holiday’s postseason production is providing Pelicans All-Star Anthony Davis with a more comfortable margin for error 锟斤拷 and has left Portland with precious little.

    Holiday’s 54 points Youth Brandon Sutter Jersey , 16 assists and slew of defensive successes in the first two games are big reasons why the sixth-seeded Pelicans hold a surprising 2-0 series lead over the third-seeded Trail Blazers as they prepare for Game 3 Thursday night in New Orleans.

    “Playoff Jrue, I guess,” Davis quipped after Holiday scored 33 – including a late, deep 3-pointer – in the Pelicans’ Game 2 triumph in Portland on Tuesday night. “He’s in a different mode.”

    Philadelphia visits Miami in one of two other Game 3s on Thursday night, while the Spurs’ return to San Antonio after a pair of double-digit losses at defending champion Golden State.

    Pelicans general manager Dell Demps bet big on Holiday on the first day of free agency last summer, giving the 27-year-old guard a five-year contract worth about $126 million. But if the postseason is where players really earn their money, then the Pelicans’ Holiday spending could very well be worth it.

    Holiday helped preserve New Orleans’ Game 1 victory with a leaping steal in transition during the final minutes, followed by a block in the final seconds. Those plays were prime examples of why Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry has asserted Holiday is one of the best two-way players in the NBA.

    “We ask him to guard the best perimeter player and we ask him to do it while we’re also wanting him to get 20 points,” Gentry said, noting that Holiday has had to take turns guarding both members of Portland’s prolific starting backcourt, guards Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum.

    “He can get to the basket against just about anybody that there is. His outside shot has really improved,” Gentry added. “He’s very confident in what he’s doing and the way he’s playing.”

    TRAIL BLAZERS AT PELICANS

    New Orleans leads 2-0. Game 3, 9 P.M., NBA TV.

    NEED TO KNOW: The Pelicans were no better at home (24-17) during the regular season than on the road (24-17), which gives Portland hope. “We’ve won on their floor before and we feel like we’re capable of doing the same thing they did to us Womens Kareem Hunt Jersey ,” Portland’s Lillard said. However, the atmosphere could be different for New Orleans’ first home playoff game since 2015.

    KEEP AN EYE ON: Pelicans guard Rajon Rondo , who had 17 assists in Game 1 and was one assist shy of a triple-double in Game 2.

    INJURY UPDATE: Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic was limited to only 15 minutes in Game 2 because of a left leg contusion, while forward Evan Turner is questionable with a right toe contusion. Pelicans forward Nikola Mirotic twisted his right ankle late in Game 2. He has not been scratched, but his effectiveness remains to be seen.

    PRESSURE IS ON: Portland guards Lillard and McCollum, who have been inconsistent in the series and will be desperate to prevent the Blazers from falling into a 0-3 hole. “We don’t want to be in this position … but it should be fun and we should accept that challenge,” Lillard said. “If not, it could be a quick series.”

    76ERS AT HEAT

    Series tied 1-1. Game 3, 7 p.m., TNT.

    NEED TO KNOW: The 76ers say All-Star center Joel Embiid, who has missed 10 games with a broken orbital bone, is doubtful. The Heat ended Philadelphia’s franchise-record 17-game winning streak Monday, winning with physical defense. To further ratchet up tension, some 76ers were miffed by Miami’s Goran Dragic’s late layup to pad the Heat’s 113-103 victory.

    KEEP AN EYE ON: The 76ers’ shooting and the Heat’s Dwyane Wade. Philadelphia shot 18 for 28 from 3-point range in Game 1, but just 7 for 36 in Game 2. Wade had 28 points in 26 minutes in Game 2 Clay Matthews Jersey , but at age 36, there’s no guarantee he’ll consistently summon that sort of performance. “I’m not worried about encores,” Wade said. “Right now it’s just about being a leader and giving this team what they need on different nights.”

    INJURY UPDATE: Embiid practiced Tuesday and Wednesday, but regaining his rhythm on offense could take longer, coach Brett Brown said. After Monday’s loss, Embiid lobbied to get back in the lineup, writing on Instagram that he was “sick and tired of being babied.” The return of the 76ers’ leading scorer and rebounder would mark a renewal of his rivalry with Miami’s Hassan Whiteside. They’ve feuded on social media this season.

    PRESSURE IS ON: Heat president Pat Riley always says a playoff series doesn’t really begin until the road team wins a game. As of Monday, this series has begun, with Miami putting the heat on the Sixers, who are in the postseason for the first time since 2012.

    WARRIORS AT SPURS

    Golden State leads 2-0. Game 3, 9:30 p.m., TNT.

    NEED TO KNOW: San Antonio is 30-8 at home this season, but coach Gregg Popovich stressed playing on the road isn’t why the Spurs dropped the first two games. San Antonio is shooting 26 percent on 3-pointers in the series after averaging 35 percent during the regular season. San Antonio was 4 for 28 on 3s in Game 2. “We know it’s just like hitting in baseball – the ability to make shots,” Popovich said. “I’m more concerned about the nuts and bolts of the game and the attitude and the fiber and the grunt and all that sort of thing.”

    KEEP AN EYE ON: The Warriors’ Klay Thompson. The 6-foot-7 guard is leading Golden State in playoff Cheap New York Jets Jerseys

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