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2019 Daytona 500: What time is the green flag scheduled?
The Daytona 500 is almost here. This is when you can expect it to get underway. William Byron has pole position for the 2019 Dayton 500, which will kick off this year’s NASCAR Cup Series on Sunday. This will be the 61st running of the prestigious race, which is set to begin at 2:30 p.m. ET on FOX (live streaming via FOX Sports GO, FuboTV). Things won’t get right underway, as the race itself has a scheduled Green Flag time of 2:50 p.m., as there are plenty of pre-race festivities to get through. Byron, driving a Chevrolet from Hendrick Motorsports, secured pole position with a time of 46.319 and a speed of 194.305 mph in qualifying. He also kept his car clean and damage-free in the first Duel on Thursday, his only job in that race. He finished in 16th, but will still lead off the Daytona 500, ahead of teammate Alex Bowman. Bowman finished 13th in the second duel, which was won by Joey Logano. Logano was in fourth going into the final lap, and then took an assist from Team Penske teammate Ryan Blaney to move into first, seeming to catch Clint Bowyer by surprise. Kevin Harvick comfortably won the first Duel, and will start third on the grid, next to Logano. The third row is comprised of Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Bowyer. Six non-charter teams competed for four spots, and the ones who made it are Parker Kligerman of Gaunt Brothers Racing, Brendan Gaughan of Beard Motorsports, Tyler Reddick of Richard Childress Racing and Casey Mears of Germain Racing. Below is all you need to know to watch the action on Sunday. Time, TV, and streaming info Time: 2:30 p.m. ET Green Flag: 2:50 p.m. (approx) Location: Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, Fla. TV: FOX Streaming: FOX Sports GO, FuboTV
2 h
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Judging Dell Demps’ performance as Pelicans’ GM is impossible
New Orleans is too unique a franchise and situation to properly contextualize anyone’s job performance. Judging the competence of those running the New Orleans Pelicans is a fraught exercise. This is not a normal NBA franchise in a normal NBA market with normal lines of history, a normal ownership situation, or a normal outlook. Dell Demps, who was fired as general manager of the Pelicans after eight seasons on Friday, was never in a normal situation. He was hired by George Shinn, a franchisee going broke. Early in Demps’ tenure, there were legitimate fears around the league that the then-Hornets wouldn’t be able to make payroll. Those were tough times throughout the NBA, owing to the Great Recession. This was also before a franchise-friendly labor deal in 2011 and the explosion of T.V. revenue in 2016. Things were so bad in New Orleans that then-commissioner David Stern convinced himself and the other 29 NBA franchisees to collectively bail out the disliked and dislikable Shinn, purchase the team and let Stern act as the steward until a new ownership group could be found. Stern declared that he would let those already in charge of the franchise — including Demps — run the team. But according to multiple reports over the multiple years the NBA controlled the franchise, Stern found the pull of power irresistible. Stern famously vetoed the first Chris Paul trade Demps put together, funnily enough with the Lakers. The team ended up trading Paul for a package centered around Eric Gordon, a player Stern touted as someone New Orleans could build around (unlike the veterans that Demps had tried to acquire.) Another Stern step-in most people have forgotten? He reportedly prevented Demps from offering Gordon an early extension in the fall of 2011. Gordon’s agent at the time: Rob Pelinka, who is now the general manager of the Lakers. (It’s a small world.) That following summer of 2012, Pelinka orchestrated an enormous offer sheet from the Suns — $58 million over four years — that Demps and Stern felt obligated to match. For comparison’s sake: the summer Gordon signed that deal, the Warriors got the better, healthier Stephen Curry to sign an early extension for $44 million over four years. New Orleans botched that critical deal because David Stern was tying Dell Demps’ hands. Within a couple years, Stern had convinced the NFL’s Saints to essentially absorb the now-Pelicans into their project. Stern gave Tom Benson a sweetheart deal after blocking out-of-towners from making bids just as NBA franchise values were beginning to explode. But New Orleans was a challenged market in the best of days due to certain revenue and facility deficiencies; population in the city is still recovering from the tragic blow of Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. The NBA saved pro basketball in New Orleans, and also saddled it with years of instability owing to Stern’s reign and Demps’ failure to hit the jackpot again after drafting Anthony Davis. (One could argue he did hit the jackpot with the DeMarcus Cousins trade, but then watched the moneybags fall into a wormhole when Cousins’ tore his Achilles.) You can’t blame Stern for the instability without crediting him with saving the market from bidders who’d move the team to Seattle, San Jose, or Kansas City. You can’t fault Demps without acknowledging how abnormally tough his situation has been. The story now emanating from New Orleans is that Gayle Benson and Saints GM Mickey Loomis fired Demps in part due to the wackadoo situation Thursday, where short-timer Anthony Davis left the arena after a shoulder injury in the middle of a nationally televised game without anyone knowing that he was going to get an MRI. Well, without anyone but Demps knowing. Demps apparently didn’t forward the proverbial email, and coach Alvin Gentry had to answer the post-game media firestorm knowing nothing. No one gets fired just for that, and the Pelic-aints braintrust protests too much by claiming this had nothing to do with the Lakers subterfuge mess. Everything has everything to do with everything. It’s an unfortunate if appropriate end to Demps’ long, odd reign in New Orleans. You can’t quite explain whether it’s right or wrong, or what exactly is the reason for anything, or whether anyone should feel good or bad about it. It’s a quiet little chaos, a tangle of shrugs and hmphs. This is the New Orleans Pelicans. It’s a real mess, but no one can quite explain succinctly how things got this way, and certainly no one can really be blamed. Except maybe George Shinn. Yeah, let’s just blame George Shinn. That guy.
2 h
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Matt Kuchar issues apology to stiffed caddie during day of heckling at Genesis Open
The hottest controversy on Tour has a resolution but the damage to Kuchar’s reputation is done. After a month of missteps that left his good guy image in tatters, Matt Kuchar has issued a statement apologizing for stiffing his local caddie at the Mayakoba Classic and for his comments on the matter this week. The statement reads fine but it comes comically late and with the damage already done. Unless you’ve been completely off the grid and are unaware of the controversy, read a more complete timeline of the mess here. The short story is Kuchar used a local looper at the Mayakoba named David Ortiz (aka El Tucan) and gave him just .38% of his $1.3 million winner’s check at the end. It’s an obscenely low sum that became public and shame rained down on Kuchar over the last month, increasing this week with confirmation from El Tucan and a response from Kuchar. Reports on the ground at the Genesis Open on Friday revealed that Kuchar was hearing it from the fans throughout his opening round alongside Jon Rahm and Bryson DeChambeau. There was the shout from the fan at Riviera’s 6th green that everyone tweeted about instantly. “Go low Kuch, go low. Just not on the gratuity! -6th tee fan @genesisopen after Matt Kuchar‘s tee shot— Geoff Shackelford (@GeoffShac) February 15, 2019 And then there was the guy with the homemade jersey, memorializing the percentage of the winner’s prize El Tucan received. Lots of Kuchar fans out here this week! #eltucan @the_fried_egg @NoLayingUp @RiggsBarstool @BrendanPorath pic.twitter.com/z5vfc07Mfh— Patrick Crow (@p_crow) February 15, 2019 Those were just two of the high-profile heckles on Friday but it sounds like the jabs were fairly consistent throughout the round. The entire saga had already become a PR disaster for Kuchar and his agent, Mark Steinberg, who also represents Tiger Woods and handled that 14-time major winner’s scandal 10 years ago. There really was no coming back from the perception change of Kuchar, but nonetheless, after a month of wrong turns, he issued a statement apologizing and indicating he would be giving El Tucan $50,000. It was released while Kuchar finished his first round at Riviera and then turned around to start his second round at the weather-delayed Los Angeles event. Statement from Matt Kuchar pic.twitter.com/fZWsK8RjzE— PGA TOUR Communications (@PGATOURComms) February 15, 2019 A few interesting notes from the statement. First, it came via the PGA Tour’s communications department. The Tour undoubtedly got involved with this mess, which made one of their marquee players and a top-10 all-time earner look horrible. It made the Tour look bad and his sponsors look bad. The sponsors were also no doubt a driving force behind the scenes with Kuchar’s agent and the Tour. Second, he says he will make sure El Tucan receives the full total he has “requested.” That’s an interesting word choice, but it’s good to see that after a month, El Tucan is getting what was deserved. It’s not the customary 10% of a winner’s purse that regular caddies get after a win, but the 3.8% is a marked improvement from the stiff job originally doled out in November. There’s an argument that a local caddie, as opposed to the Tour caddies that go with their player from stop to stop, should not get the usual 10%. Third, this statement comes just a few days before the PGA Tour and Kuchar go back to Mexico for the first World Golf Championship of the year. In addition to the pressure from fans, sponsors, and the Tour, this likely played a role in the statement and payment. Kuchar and his team almost certainly did not want to go back down to the WGC Mexico Championship with this still being the hottest topic on the Tour. It’s a fine apology and comes crafted with plenty of PR help — a stark contrast to Kuchar’s own words on Wednesday to reporters that made him look even worse. It does not do much to repair the destruction of Kuchar’s image. It was not just shouting on social media, but Kuchar’s colleagues on Tour said it was embarrassing and the caddies that make up a critical part the Tour were outraged. This became a national story beyond just the little golf corner of the world and it’s what will be associated with Kuchar’s name for a long time. It never should have gone this far, but El Tucan has some cash, and it may slightly mitigate the heat on Kuchar for the time being.
4 h
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All 8 AAF rosters, ranked by recruiting ratings
As you might expect, the Southeastern teams’ players were more touted in high school than the Southwestern teams. I looked at Week 1 starters for each team by their old high school recruiting ratings, creating AAF team averages and getting a sense of who’s got more talent that was once considered elite. Recruiting rankings aren’t perfect, but throughout college football and in the NFL Draft, using stars to quantify which teams or players will have success has proved relatively predictive at the overall level. So we’re using them here to get a rough sense of just how talented these AAF teams really are, or at least used to be. Some players’ ratings weren’t available, particularly the players who went to non-Division I schools (about four or five per team). I’ve counted them as generic two-stars with an even 70.00 rating. All ranking data comes from the 247Sports Composite. The four teams with the most raw talent, per old recruiting ratings, are all in the East. Most of the San Diego, Salt Lake City, and Arizona rosters are filled with players that played college ball on the West Coast. Orlando’s roster has Florida, Florida State, and UCF players all over the place. On average, those Florida-born players are going to be higher rated than a player from Utah or BYU. One state has vastly more talent than the other. Birmingham’s starters have a similar regional advantage: a good amount of them went to Bama. Of seven notable Birmingham starters, one went to Auburn. Six went to Alabama, and four of them were offensive linemen. 1. Orlando Apollos Average (of Composite star ratings): 3.27 Average player rating (per Composite): 85.00 Notable players (with the schools they finished their college careers, not necessarily where they signed as high school seniors): Garrett Gilbert (five-star, SMU); Jalin Marshall (five-star, Ohio State); Will Hill (five-star, Florida); Marvin Bracy-Williams (four-star, Florida State); Earl Okine (four-star, Florida); Leon Orr (four-star, Florida); Marquez White (four-star, Florida State); Terrance Parks (four-star, Florida State); Reggie Northrup (four-star, Florida) 2. Birmingham Iron Average star rating: 3.18Average player rating: 84.86Notable players: Trovon Reed (five-star, Auburn); Trent Richardson (five-star, Alabama); J.C. Hassenauer (four-star, Alabama); Dominick Jackson (four-star, Alabama); Korren Kirven (four-star, Alabama); Brandon Greene (four-star, Alabama); Xzavier Dickson (four-star, Alabama) 3. Memphis Express Average star rating: 2.95Average player rating: 83.05Notable players: Christian Hackenberg (five-star, Penn State); Anthony Johnson (five-star, LSU); Jessamen Dunker (four-star, Tennessee State); Toby Weathersby (four-star, LSU); Greg Gilmore (four-star, LSU). 4. Atlanta Legends Average star rating: 2.9Average player rating: 83.20Notable players: Jeff Luc (five-star, Cincinnati); Tarean Folston (four-star, Notre Dame); Avery Gennesy (four-star, Texas A&M); Doran Grant (four-star, Ohio State) Surprisingly, the West teams didn’t source heavily from the most talented college teams in their areas. The San Antonio team started only one former Longhorn, Aggie, and Sooner. The San Diego team is stocked with San Diego State players, not ones from USC. This could help answer why there’s a raw talent disparity between East and Wes. It goes beyond geography alone — while the East has Florida and Georgia, the West has Texas and California. However, from 2013-2017, Utah had 14 blue chip recruits. Florida had 227. Well, nine Salt Lake starters went to a school in Utah, while 13 of Orlando’s played in Florida. 5. San Antonio Commanders Average star rating: 2.91Average player rating: 83.31Notable players: Duke Thomas (four-star, Texas); Greg Ward Jr. (three-star, Houston); Cyril Richardson (three-star, Baylor) 6. Arizona Hotshots Average star rating: 2.78Average player rating: 81.27Notable players: Trenton Thompson (five-star, Georgia); Trevor Knight (four-star, Texas A&M); Josh Huff (four-star, Oregon); Gerald Christian (four-star, Louisville); Rahim Moore (four-star, UCLA) 7. San Diego Fleet Average star rating: 2.59Average player rating: 80.11Notable players: Damien Mama (four-star, USC); Ron Brooks (four-star, LSU) 8. Salt Lake Stallions Average star rating: 2.5Average player rating: 78.85Notable players: Adonis Jennings (four-star, Temple); Jeremiah Poutasi (four-star, Utah) Who knows who will actually emerge from the inaugural AAFL season as champions. In Week 1, the teams with the higher ratings here won all four games, FWIW. And even if a team in the East does win it, correlation doesn’t prove causation. But college football’s epicenter of championship talent is in basically six states. We’ll see if the AAF tells the same story in the long run.
4 h
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AAF 2019: Game times, TV channels, and live stream info
The Alliance of American Football had a solid first week. Here’s all you need to know to watch the Week 2 action. The Alliance of American Football had what seemed to be a successful debut with its slate of Week 1 games. The football, overall, was entertaining and there was some novelty to seeing many players who didn’t cut it in the NFL getting a second chance. The AAF features 10 weeks of regular season play followed by their own playoffs. Each week has four games, primarily on Saturday and Sunday, though there is a Friday game in Week 10. In Week 1, the Orlando Apollos, San Antonio Commanders, Birmingham Iron and Arizona Hotshots won their games. Of those winners, the Apollos and Commanders will be facing each other on Sunday, so one of them will certainly move to 1-1 while the other notches a 2-0 start to their season. The Week 2 games kick off with a matchup between the Iron and the Salt Lake Stallions on Saturday at 2 p.m. ET on TNT, followed by a showdown between the Memphis Express and Hotshots at 8 p.m. on the NFL Network. Sunday’s action begins with the aforementioned game between the Apollos and Commanders, with kickoff set for 4 p.m. on CBS Sports Network. Ten, the Atlanta Legends will face the San Diego Fleet at 8 p.m. on the NFL Network. All the info you need to watch the action on Sunday, including online streaming links, can be found below. How to watch AAF Week 2 action All times Eastern Saturday, Feb. 16 Salt Lake Stallions at Birmingham IronLocation: Legion Field, Birmingham, Ala.Time: 2 p.m.TV: TNTOnline Streaming: FuboTV, WatchTNT Arizona Hotshots at Memphis ExpressLocation: Liberty Bowl, Memphis, Tenn.Time: 8 p.m.TV: NFL NetworkOnline Streaming: FuboTV, NFL Sunday, Feb. 17 Orlando Apollos at San Antonio CommandersLocation: Alamodome, San Antonio, TexasTime: 4 p.m.TV: CBS Sports NetworkOnline Streaming: FuboTV, CBS Sports Atlanta Legends at San Diego FleetLocation: SDCCU Stadium, San Diego, Calif.Time: 8 p.m.TV: NFL NetworkOnline Streaming: FuboTV, NFL
4 h
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Logano, Keselowski sit atop the 2019 Daytona 500 odds
Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski enter the Daytona 500 as co-favorites on the betting lines at sportsbooks for Sunday’s season-opening race. Joey Logano finished the 2018 season with six top-five finishes over his last 10 races including wins at Martinsville and Homestead to secure the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship. Logano will begin his championship defense this Sunday in the Daytona 500. The 2018 NASCAR Cup winner is going off at +800 on the 2019 Daytona 500 odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. Logano has finished in the top six in each of his last four appearances in the Daytona 500 including a fourth-place finish last year and a win in 2015. Brad Keselowski is Logano’s co-favorite to win this race as he is also going off at +800. Keselowski has not enjoyed Logano’s recent success at Daytona; since finishing fourth in this race in 2013 and third in 2014, Keselowski has wrecked out of each of his last four tries in the Daytona 500 to finish no better than 20th in those four races. He has never won this event. Right below the co-favorites on the board at online betting sites is Kevin Harvick at +850 to win the Daytona 500. Harvick tied Kyle Busch (+1200 to win) with the most wins in the NASCAR Cup Series last year as both drivers finished with eight apiece. In 17 career appearances at the Daytona 500, Harvick has six top-five finishes and one win back in 2017. A handful of drivers are each going off at +1100 to win this Sunday in Clint Bowyer, Ryan Blaney, Denny Hamlin, Aric Almirola and Chase Elliott. Almirola and Elliott finished in fifth and sixth place respectively in the Cup Series last season. Denny Hamlin has historically enjoyed success at Daytona with four top-five finishes in his last five appearances in this race including a win in 2016. Rounding out the top contenders on the NASCAR odds to win this year’s Daytona 500 are Kurt Busch (+1500), Martin Truex Jr. (+1800) and Jimmie Johnson (+1800). Busch won this event in 2017 and Johnson is a two-time winner with victories in 2006 and 2013. Truex Jr. won the NASCAR Cup Series in 2017 and finished runner up to Logano last season. 2019 Daytona 500 Odds Brad Keselowski +800 Joey Logano +800 Kevin Harvick +850 Clint Bowyer +1100 Ryan Blaney +1100 Denny Hamlin +1100 Aric Almirola +1100 Chase Elliott +1100 Kyle Busch +1200 Kurt Busch +1500 Martin Truex Jr. +1800 Jimmie Johnson +1800 See the complete list at OddsShark For more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes or Spotify or listen to it at OddsShark.libsyn.com.
5 h
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4 ways the NBA can implement a 4-point line
The 4-point line was wildly successful in the Celebrity All-Star Game. So how can the NBA use it in the regular season? “That shot ain’t easy. The line is far as hell.” OK. That’s not an exact transcription. But Hall of Fame sharp-shooter Ray Allen said something to that effect while mic’d up during the Celebrity All-Star Game on Friday. The NBA implemented a four-point line for only the celebrity game on All-Star Weekend, and Ruffles — yes, the potato chip company — pledged $4,000 in charitable donations for every four-point shot made. That gave players an added incentive to let it fly. They did just that. Ten four-pointers were made on Friday night, meaning Ruffles donated $40,000. Of course, Allen hit the first, pulling-up in transition in the opening minute of the game. There were 4 pointers galore early in the Celebrity All Star Game pic.twitter.com/cnK69EpyYD— Prep Hoops (@PrepHoops) February 16, 2019 The four-point line also added an extra layer of drama to the game. Quavo hit a four-point shot with 20 seconds left in the fourth to cut an eight point lead to just four. Quavo hits the 4 point shot with 20 secs remaining. Pipe it up! pic.twitter.com/gMJfaqswfA— The Render (@TheRenderNBA) February 16, 2019 And eventual Celebrity Game MVP Famous Los picked up the first five-point play in league history by hitting a four-pointer and drawing a foul. FAMOUSLOS FIVE POINT PLAY OVER QUAVO! pic.twitter.com/IWLG5yj17S— Basketball Forever (@Bballforeverfb) February 16, 2019 There’s only one conclusion that needs to be drawn from this. The NBA needs to add the 4-point line — selectively No. There shouldn’t be a four-point line at all times in the NBA. Could you imagine how many chuckers would start jacking up fours? It would make basketball almost unbearable to watch. Not everyone should shoot that shot. But there are ways the NBA could look to implement the four-point line. Ways that make it easy for teams to game plan for the line, but don’t ruin the sport but running the score up to ungodly numbers: They could implement a four-point line in only the last two minutes of each half. That way, teams that are trailing from behind could gun their way back in — or teams ahead by 12 could shoot themselves into a 26-point lead. It could go either way! They could pick random time periods for every game. Imagine being on the court, then hearing a gong of some sort, and immediately knowing shots from well beyond the three-point line are worth four points for 90 seconds. Now, coaches can fit plays in specifically for these possessions. Stephen Curry double-screen for a 32-foot pull-up triple? It’s very possible Teams could activate their own 4-point line once a half. Maybe like calling a timeout, a coach can signal to a ref that he wants to use his four-point line. Now, a defense is on edge and an offense has a chance to be super aggressive. It’s already an offense-forward league. Take that and supercharge it! Let the fans pick the time! The NBA is always looking for ways to be more interactive with its fanbase. Why not let fans use their phones and laptops to vote at what point a team should be able to shoot four-pointers One thing’s clear: The four-point line made the Celebrity All-Star Game wildly fun and successful. Another thing that’s clear: If the NBA finds a way to use the same four-point concept in a way that doesn’t make basketball cheesy, they’ll take an already perfect product and somehow make it even better.
5 h
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Tennessee road underdog at Kentucky on Saturday odds
The Tennessee Volunteers look to stay hot this Saturday with a road win over the Kentucky Wildcats as betting underdogs at the sportsbooks. The Tennessee Volunteers are 19-0 straight up and 11-7-1 against the spread over their last 19 games. The Volunteers will try to pick up a 20th straight win this Saturday when they visit the Kentucky Wildcats. Tennessee is a 2.5-point road underdog on the college basketball odds in Lexington at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. In their last four games as a betting underdog, the Volunteers are 3-1 SU and ATS. Tennessee Volunteers at Kentucky Wildcats When: Saturday, February 16, 8:00 p.m. ET Where: Rupp Arena, Lexington, Kentucky Betting Line / Total: Kentucky -2.5 / 145.5 Points Volunteers at Wildcats OddsShark Matchup Report Tennessee Volunteers Notes The Volunteers have been the No. 1 team in both the AP Top 25 Poll and the Coaches Poll over each of the last four weeks, and a road win over Kentucky would only strengthen that position. Tennessee’s 85.4 points per game ranks best in the SEC and seventh best in the nation. While Grant Williams is the team’s offensive star with a team-leading 19.4 points per game and 7.4 rebounds per game, the Volunteers have a balanced attack with five different players averaging over 11 points per game. In 11 games against SEC opponents this season, Tennessee is 11-0 SU and 7-4 ATS. Kentucky Wildcats Notes Kentucky may have gotten caught looking ahead to this showdown on Tuesday when they lost 73-71 at home to the LSU Tigers as 8.5-point favorites. Before that loss, the Wildcats were 10-0 SU over their previous 10 games and 8-0 ATS over their previous eight. The Wildcats entered this week ranked No. 5 in the AP Top 25 poll, and will likely keep their spot in the top five with a win on Saturday; but if they lose, two home losses in one week would not be a good look. Volunteers at Wildcats Betting Total Saturday night’s total is set at 145.5 points. The UNDER is 4-0 in Kentucky’s last four games per the OddsShark College Basketball Database. These two conference rivals have split their last 10 games at 5-5 SU each, and each of their last two meetings have been decided by five points or less. Kentucky hosts Tennessee this Saturday and then will visit the Volunteers in two weeks in what should be a pair of exciting and competitive games that will help the committee to shape its opinion of these two teams before March Madness begins. For more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes or Spotify or listen to it at OddsShark.libsyn.com.
6 h
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The best dunks from the NBA Rising Stars Challenge, scored
First- and second-year players combined for 55 dunks Friday night in Charlotte. The Slam Dunk Contest is Saturday, but Friday Night’s Rising Stars Challenge had a bunch of incredible dunks, too. My roommate just poured me a glass of red wine. I think for the next 30 minutes, I’m qualified to be a Slam Dunk Contest judge, don’t you? Originally, I had planned to just lay out some of the best dunks from the night. But nah, that’s boring. Let’s score em, too! This is inspired by my co-worker, Kofie Yeboah, who put an inordinate amount of time into re-scoring every single perfect score dunk in Dunk Contest history. Let’s see what we’ve got. Outside looking in Here were the ones that didn’t make it in, that I felt compelled to include in this post anyway. Donovan Mitchell, wyd? lmao pic.twitter.com/v5TLWNZwXy— Ⓜ️arcusD ᴿᴵᴾ ᴹᵃʳᶜᵘˢᴰ² (@_MarcusD3_) February 16, 2019 Score: 0 out of 10 Next. De’Aaron Fox, Marvin Bagley and O.G. Anunoby *try* to shut it down Nope, nope, nope pic.twitter.com/w6SnUi39Kw— Ⓜ️arcusD ᴿᴵᴾ ᴹᵃʳᶜᵘˢᴰ² (@_MarcusD3_) February 16, 2019 Score: 5 This was fun! They tried to end it all with a bang. Instead, they shot a triumvirate of blanks. Shoutouts to O.G. for trying the 360. Lauri Markkanen did what? pic.twitter.com/dLkVJqYEFr— Ⓜ️arcusD ᴿᴵᴾ ᴹᵃʳᶜᵘˢᴰ² (@_MarcusD3_) February 16, 2019 Score: 6 I literally did not know Markkanen had this in his dunk package. Alright, we’ve had our fun. Let’s get to it. Here were the most fire dunks from the Rising Stars Challenge. I tried my hardest to score them. I didn’t score them as if they were in a dunk contest; instead I scored ‘em as in-game dunks. De’Aaron Fox bounce-oop to John Collins weeee pic.twitter.com/idGY341Pqz— Ⓜ️arcusD ᴿᴵᴾ ᴹᵃʳᶜᵘˢᴰ² (@_MarcusD3_) February 16, 2019 Score: 6 The best part of this was the pass. But it didn’t leave Collins much room to be creative in mid-air because both the ball and Collins’ head were so close to the rim. John Collins off-the-glass to himself JOHN. COLLINS. #MTNDEWICERisingStars pic.twitter.com/bzpkgP2s07— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) February 16, 2019 Score: 9 OH MY GOD. Look at it again in slow mo. viewer discretion advised.heavily advised. pic.twitter.com/r4tBehkbca— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) February 16, 2019 De’Aaron Fox no-look bounce oop to Marvin Bagley Just like home.➡️ pic.twitter.com/ctep7ZQwpA— Sacramento Kings (@SacramentoKings) February 16, 2019 Score: 8 De’Aaron Fox is gonna be special for at least two reasons: he can pass, and he’s fast as hell. He chased this ball down then some how connected on a pinpoint, no-look bounce pass alley-oop. Fox gets a 10, Bagley gets a 6. DeAndre Ayton reverse put-back DA WITH THE REVERSE PUTBACK! #MTNDEWICERisingStars pic.twitter.com/FYFDZi6MNd— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) February 16, 2019 Score: 8 I love put-back dunks, and turning your back to the rim while putting the ball back off of a rebound sounds difficult as hell. Good stuff, DeAndre. Josh Okogie get up! GET UP, @CallMe_NonStop! #MTNDEWICERisingStars pic.twitter.com/UYX7WtN7LJ— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) February 16, 2019 Score: 10 LOOK AT HOW HIGH HE GOT UP! John Collins 360 oop John Collins 360 alley-oop dunk MY GOD pic.twitter.com/BxtM3fj33M— gifdsports (@gifdsports) February 16, 2019 The man is in the Slam Dunk contest and this is exactly why. (OK, the dope aerial camera angle may also have added a point or two, but who’s counting?) Look at it again in slow motion. we are used to it already.but this is something else. pic.twitter.com/3XqElAZeYS— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) February 16, 2019 Score: 8.5 Collins is obviously my pick to win the Slam Dunk Contest. You can clearly see why. KYLE KUZMA CAN WINDMILL, Y’ALL Kuz throws it down! #MTNDEWICERisingStars pic.twitter.com/HeEgw9J5Ke— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) February 16, 2019 Score: 8 I had no idea Kuz had the windmill in his dunk package, but I’m also not surprised. Marvin Bagley 360 double pump Always teammates @LeaderOfHorde finds @MB3FIVE! pic.twitter.com/Fbv9ScGHl4— Sacramento Kings (@SacramentoKings) February 16, 2019 Score: 15 This man got assisted by someone on the opposite team, then threw down a 360 before time expired. Yeah, I know they’re actual real-life teammates in Sacramento, but the thought is still funny as hell.
6 h
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How to watch the 2019 NBA Rising Stars Challenge
Here’s how you can check out a showcase of tomorrow’s stars and/or players the Pelicans will trade for Anthony Davis. The NBA’s Rising Stars Challenge during All-Star Weekend will feature nearly two dozen of the best first- and second-year players in the league, and also Ben Simmons. It’s bound to create tens of highlights that’ll be overlooked in favor of anything Luka Doncic does. Welcome to the internet. Seriously though, the league is stacked with young teens and 20-somethings on the verge of becoming All-Stars. De’Aaron Fox, Donovan Mitchell, DeAndre Ayton, and more will get their chance to shine during the All-Star festivities. You bet Dell Demps and the Pelicans’ scouts will have their eyes on this one to see who they might be able to get in an Anthony Davis trade. This year’s challenge pits 10 of the best American-born players (Team USA) against 10 of the best international players (Team World.) Each member of the world team comes from a different country: England, The Bahamas, Serbia, Slovenia, Canada, Latvia, Finland, Nigeria, Turkey, and Australia. Here are some of the best moments from the game: John Collins is competing in the Slam Dunk Contest on Saturday, and here’s a preview of what he’ll be bringing. .@jcollins20_ giving us an early #ATTSlamDunk preview ... #MTNDEWICERisingStars pic.twitter.com/9I5vCR77Rq— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) February 16, 2019 J O H N.C O I N S. pic.twitter.com/WbOwn9dEGl— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) February 16, 2019 LUKA TO LAURI! "Let's see Luka do something ..."Luka:#MTNDEWICERisingStars pic.twitter.com/STJu57q5I7— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) February 16, 2019 Here’s the first quarter box score: BEN SIMMONS WANTS THAT MVP! BEN SIMMONS! He’s serious about this one. 18 pts already! #NBAAllStar #RisingStars #NBAAllStarGretchen pic.twitter.com/9Q8Vg5aUYb— Gretchen Ho (@gretchenho) February 16, 2019 Back-to-back BEN HAMMERS! 18 PTS, 9-10 FGM for Simmons on @NBAonTNT #MTNDEWICERisingStars pic.twitter.com/7FmvrR22Rx— NBA (@NBA) February 16, 2019 THERE ARE SO MANY DUNKS RIGHT NOW! John Collins. Another One. pic.twitter.com/ayRSwkB7Zt— DeAntae Prince (@DeAntae) February 16, 2019 Trae Young tried to embarrass Josh Okogie You better take that foul, Josh. If Trae Young would’ve finished the crossover sequence on Josh Okogie in the Rising Stars game.. pic.twitter.com/vlQ0TzcnQ7— kingtisemedia (@kingtisemedia) February 16, 2019 DID TRAE YOUNG JUST DO A DOUBLE BEHIND THE BACK?! Trae Young with the double behind the back #NBAAllStar pic.twitter.com/on16q4H8CE— Rocket4Life (@2k19Rockets) February 16, 2019 TRAE YOUNG NUTMEG! HE JUST NUTMEGGED 2 PEOPLE! trae just threw some extra sauce on this game. pic.twitter.com/bDZZI2Ae7j— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) February 16, 2019 The teams will sport Charlotte-inspired jerseys, which look like this: Inspired by Charlotte’s basketball origins, the Nike-designed #MTNDEWICERisingStars uniforms put a modern twist on the jerseys worn by the ABA’s Carolina Cougars in the 1960s & 1970s. #NBAAllStar pic.twitter.com/uvVoPUikkw— 2019 NBA All-Star (@NBAAllStar) January 30, 2019 Here are the full rosters Team USA Jarrett Allen Marvin Bagley III Lonzo Ball (injured) John Collins De’Aaron Fox Jaren Jackson Jr. Kevin Knox (replacement) Kyle Kuzma Donovan Mitchell Jayson Tatum Trae Young Team World OG Anunoby DeAndre Ayton Bogdan Bogdanovic Luka Doncic Shai Gilgeous-Alexander Rodions Kurucs Lauri Markkanen Josh Okogie Cedi Osman Ben Simmons How to Watch When: Feb. 15 Time: 9 p.m. ET Where: Spectrum Center TV: TNT Stream: FuboTV, Watch TNT
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