The Pulse: Did Mac McClung save the dunk contest? Plus, bold NFL offseason predictions

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Good morning! Might you rating no less than a forty five in the NBA Dunk Contest?

Leisure Issue

Did a G-Leaguer save the dunk contest?

Mac McClung, who wasn’t even in the NBA this time final week, leapt away with final night time’s dunk contest. He was almost good throughout 4 efforts, all executed on the first strive. It made for electrifying TV at the finish of an in any other case iffy night time. 


So, it should be requested: Is the dunk contest again? (Steph Curry thinks so.) Might we see some greater names again in it subsequent 12 months?

Alternatively, it feels fully doable that the prospect of getting proven up by a fringe NBA participant — McClung stated he’ll return subsequent 12 months if the league could have him — may scare off the gamers we actually wish to see. I imply … simply have a look at his ultimate dunk:

Another ideas on the night time:

The expertise problem was form of a bust. Giannis’ main dad vitality on the sidelines was a spotlight. Jordan Clarkson, you OK?
Three-point contest: Condolences to Julius Randle’s son, who seemed to be very sad along with his father’s outing (he was a last-minute sub, minimize him some slack!). However it felt proper that Dame lastly received a W on his third strive (he’s now retired from the contest, he stated.)
Cringe: Jericho Sims’ dunk. This was near being intelligent, however the execution was not fairly there.

The most important occasion is tonight at 8 p.m. ET. Keep in mind: The groups are being drafted shortly earlier than tipoff, and … the reserves are getting picked first? OK, then.

Pulse Crystal Ball

NFL offseason predictions SZN

It’s been all of seven days since the Tremendous Bowl, so naturally it’s time to start out speaking about the NFL once more. Mike Jones has some offseason predictions that vary from gentle to Carolina Reaper on the Scoville Scale of spicy takes. Right here’s a sampling platter:

Aaron Rodgers to the … Packers: Someway that is each a 3 and a 9 on the sizzling take scale. Rodgers spending 4 days on a darkness retreat to return to the solely workforce he’s ever recognized can be the greatest offseason domino to fall.
Derek Carr goes Broadway: After he visits with the Jets this weekend, New York lands Vegas’ ex with an attract of younger weapons and a stout protection.
The Texans commerce as much as No. 1: Keep in mind Lovie Smith’s game-winning 2-point conversion as an exit current to Houston? It’ll price the Texans as Chicago trades again one spot on this prediction and Houston snags Bryce Younger.
And the Colts commerce as much as No. 2: Jones’ crystal ball says the Bears aren’t carried out dealing, as the QB-needy Colts commerce up and ship Chicago much more draft fairness. Indy items new coach Shane Steichen a younger, athletic C.J. Stroud to design an offense round.

Recent Begins

Your XFL primer

The reboot of the reboot lastly arrived yesterday for the XFL, and now it’s Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson’s flip to run it. The league is probably not a proper developmental league for the NFL, nevertheless it does have a proper relationship to function an experimental petri dish of kinds. A couple of quirks you’ll see in video games:

Teaching challenges: Coaches can problem any officiating name on any play as soon as per recreation.
Tiered additional factors: Following a landing, an additional level from the 2-yard line is price one level, two factors from the 5-yard line and three factors from the 10-yard line.
Broadcast playing odds: The league’s closely promoted playing angle will function stay over/unders and betting strains included in the rating field on TV.

Along with the distinctive guidelines, league rosters function a slew of names that make you go, “Oh, that man!” Some notables:

Brett Hundley was as soon as labeled a possible Aaron Rodgers successor in Inexperienced Bay and is now quarterbacking the Vegas Vipers.
Vic Beasley was an All-Professional after main the NFL with 15.5 sacks in 2016. He’s seeking to resurrect his profession with the Vipers as effectively.
A.J. McCarron went from Alabama legend to NFL clipboard provider for 5 groups. He’ll be starring for the St. Louis BattleHawks.
Josh Gordon led the NFL in receiving yards 10 years, six groups and two soccer leagues in the past. Now in his third league, he’s on the Seattle Sea Dragons.
Paxton Lynch is a reputation that will make Broncos followers shudder. The 2016 first-round choose received 4 begins in two years and can now play for the Orlando Guardians.

For every thing else it’s essential know, learn right here.


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Photograph: Gary A. Vasquez / USA At this time

Tiger seems to be … sharp!

Tiger Woods had a promising third day at the Genesis Invitational, and will even play himself right into a top-10 end right this moment. Woods birdied three pictures, added an eagle and shot 4-under 67 yesterday. A stat to soften your mind: The rating marked his lowest in any PGA Tour spherical in 848 days. Woods’ eagle at No. 1 was his sixth profession eagle on the gap, the most on any gap in his profession. He begins Spherical 4 at 11:16 a.m. ET right this moment.

Mercury reload

Diana Taurasi and Brittney Griner, as anticipated, are re-signing with the Phoenix Mercury. Notably, the 40-year-old Taurasi’s nineteenth season will likely be the first of a brand new multiyear deal. What does that inform us? The Mercury plan to compete for championships till the WNBA’s all-time main scorer retires, Ben Pickman writes.

Bieniemy on the transfer

The Commanders have employed Eric Bieniemy as offensive coordinator, Ben Standig studies. Bieniemy’s title with Washington can be assistant head coach/OC, and he’s anticipated to signal a multiyear cope with Washington. Bieniemy has been with the Chiefs since 2013, first as working backs coach after which, starting in 2018, as OC. Standig explains why the transfer isn’t only a lateral one and offers Bieniemy an opportunity to get out from Andy Reid’s shadow.

Pulse Picks

Alabama, Houston, Kansas and Purdue have been ranked as No. 1 seeds Saturday by the NCAA Division I Males’s Basketball Committee in its high 16 preview.

Warriors hype man Franco Finn was tabbed to emcee Friday and Saturday festivities at All-Star Weekend. Right here’s why his booming voice issues.

What the Bally Sports activities saga means for NBA, NHL and MLB broadcasts.

The USWNT performs Japan at 3:30 p.m. ET right this moment in its second recreation at the SheBelieves Cup. Compensate for the newest round Crystal Dunn’s place change earlier than it.

After signing a record-setting deal, Mets nearer Edwin Díaz is certainly one of the few baseball gamers with out aspirations to alter something this season.

David Aldridge and Marcus Thompson broke down Marvin Gaye’s iconic NBA All-Star Sport nationwide anthem: ‘He turned that factor into his personal’

Kevin Love accomplished a buyout with the Cavaliers yesterday and the Warmth are favorites to land him. Cleveland stated his jersey will cling in its rafters sometime.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver stated there’s “medical information” to help the present follow of load administration and disagreed with the notion that too many gamers — particularly stars — are sitting out of video games with out damage.

Alex Bowman will begin on the pole for the sixty fifth working of the Daytona 500 (2:30 p.m. ET right this moment) alongside Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kyle Larson on the entrance row. Observe our stay updates right here.

(High photograph: Kyle Terada / USA At this time)

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