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Young hits floater with 4.4 left, Hawks beat heat 111-110

Trae Young hit a floater on the lane with 4.4 seconds left and the Atlanta Hawks overcame a 16-point deficit in the second half to beat top seed Miami 111-110 on Friday night and take the Heat series lead to 2 : 1 to shorten (Author: Gardener)

HawksHeat Hawks Basketball Atlanta Hawks' Trae Young celebrates after a 3-pointer in the first half of Game 3 of a first round NBA basketball playoff series against the Miami Heat, Friday, April 22, 2022, in Atlanta. Heat Hawks Basketball Atlanta Hawks' Trae Young celebrates after a 3-pointer in the first half of Game 3 of a first round NBA basketball playoff series against the Miami Heat, Friday, April 22, 2022, in Atlanta. ATLANTA - (AP) - Trae Young struggled in the first two games of the playoffs. With Game 3 at stake and the season in the balance, the Atlanta Hawks wanted the ball in his hands. Young delivered and hit a swimmer on the lane with 4.4 seconds left, giving the Hawks a 111-110 win over top seeded Miami on Friday night after Atlanta overcame a 16-point deficit in the second half. The Hawks cut the Heat's lead to 2-1. "I had no doubts," said Young. Jimmy Butler missed a jumper by 12.6 seconds that could have given the Heat a three-point cushion. The Hawks snagged the rebound and got the ball into Young's hands, missing a chance to call a time-out. "There was no way I wanted to take a break there," said Hawks coach Nate McMillan. “We got the rebound down by one with the ball in Trae's hands. Miami had another chance to win it, but Butler again missed an unbalanced 3 on the buzzer with De'Andre Hunter in the face to give the Hawks a boost of hope in the best-of-seven series. "The plan was to break free, shoot it and make it," Butler said. Tucker led a 21-0 run in the third quarter that put the Heat to an 84-68 lead and seemingly on cruise control to a 3-0 lead. But Young and the Hawks wouldn't let her escape. The Heat also struggled with an injury to point guard Kyle Lowry, who retired in the third quarter with a hamstring problem and did not return. "I love this guy as our point guard," Butler said. After being pinned on eight points by Miami in Game 1 and committing a career-worst 10 turnovers in Game 2, Young looked more like himself on his home court. He had 24 points and turned despite another strong Heat defensive effort them only three times. And of course, Young got the shot that really counted in the end. Bogdan Bogdanovic added 18 points, Hunter 17 and three others scored double digits to take some of the pressure off the Stargarde. With 45 points in Game 3, the best playoff game of his career, Butler was held to 20 in that game, missing a prime opportunity to put Miami on the verge of victory. Tyler Herro led the Heat with 24 points and Max Strus also had 20. The Hawks led by 11 points in the first half and were still leading 68-63 when Hunter threw a 3 in the third half with just under eight minutes to go -Pointer hit. That's when Miami suddenly took control of a game that was delayed about 45 minutes after a suspicious package was found outside State Farm Arena before the game. The Heat cranked up their suffocating defense, parrying shots and silencing a sell-out crowd used to seeing the Hawks win at home. Tucker scored eight points in the six minutes, but his best work came from Young at the other end. Leaning on him so much that Young pushed him away in frustration during an inbounds game, Tucker, 36, used every trick in the book to choke on just the second player in NBA history to top the league in total points and led assists. Tipoff was delayed after the suspicious package was found outside Gate 2 of the arena, near a stairwell that provides access to a MARTA subway station. Three gates were closed, preventing fans from entering while police, K-9 units and arena security cleared the area and examined the package. Despite the delay, many fans were still stuck in long lines outside the arena when the game started. The Hawks went off the bench with just three players, but all made great contributions. Bogdanovic made four 3-pointers, Wright had 13 points, and Onyeka Okongwu had nine points and six rebounds. Most significantly, all three played the entire fourth quarter, forming an effective group with Young. "Obviously, having multiple players who can dribble and make plays makes it a lot easier for me," Young said. Heat: Tucker had 11 points. Butler nearly had a triple-double with 10 rebounds and eight assists. Bam Adebayo had 13 points and 11 rebounds. Hawks: John Collins again started at center in place of the injured Clint Capela, who has not yet starred in the series but has not played a major role. Collins struggled again with an injured finger, managing just six points and five rebounds. The Hawks have built up quite a home field advantage since mid-January, winning 21 of their last 24 games in the A-T-L. They will be aiming for their seventh straight home win in Game 4.

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There is no doubt that the clutch float would sink

The Hawks defeated the heat 111-110 behind Trae Young's floater by 4.4 seconds. Atlanta is now 2-1 behind the first-round series. (Author: Gardener)

HawksATLANTA — Trae Young had his last shot, Jimmy Butler missed his last throw and the Hawks beat the Miami Heat 111-110 to draw 2-1 in their first-round playoff series against the East's top-seeded team. "I had no doubt that if I shot it, I wasn't going to make it," said Young, whose floater was 4.4 seconds clear to cap a 16-point Atlanta second-half comeback. The eighth-seeded Hawks, who needed two play-in tournament wins to secure a playoff berth, appeared to be heading for a 3-0 deficit at several points on Friday night. First there was Miami's 21-0 run in the third quarter, which sapped energy from an otherwise noisy State Farm Arena and placed the Heat in a double-digit lead in the fourth) of that series. "I look at the scoreboard and I'm like, 'We've got to make this thing work.'" Atlanta charged all the way back to take a three-point lead with a one-putback layup and a free throw at Okongwu with 1 remaining :41. However, the Heat again went 110-109 in the final minute on a P.J. Tucker's 3-pointer corner lead by 54.2 seconds and things looked precarious for the Hawks again. After Tucker's make, the Hawks and Heat traded a pair of missed jump shots, leading to Bogdan Bogdanovic's defensive rebound with 9.8 seconds remaining. "When we got that miss, it was basically like 'go,'" said Hawks coach Nate McMillan. "And [Young] knows what to do with that basketball and was able to play with that last possession." While some might question McMillan's reluctance to call a timeout in the third quarter when the Heat lost the final 16 points after their 21-0 sprint without McMillan signaling a break, the same instinct served the Hawks in creating Young's game winner. "There was no way I wanted to take a break," McMillan said. He attacked the basket and was able to finish it. So we're really going to play this game almost every time an angle and he was able to make a tough runner," Spoelstra said. "He makes that look easy, but that's not the easiest shot going full speed and with the touch. It felt like it was hitting every part of the rim. "Miami called a timeout to set up his final possession and Butler missed a fadeaway 3 on the buzzer. "Missed the shot, it's that simple," said Butler, who finished with 20 points after scoring for the top 45 in Game 2 of the career playoffs had exploded.'I'll make the next one.'Atlanta improved to 21-3 in its last 24 home games -- including Friday and its play-in win over the Charlotte Hornets -- and it was a small personal redemption for Young, who shot 1:12 in Game 1 and then had 10 turnovers in Game 2 shot on offense,” Young said after finishing 6:14 from the field with three turnovers in Game 3. It's just one game , so I have to do it again."The Hawks received key contributions from the bench from Okongwu (nine points in 4-on-4 shooting, six rebounds), Bogdanovic (18 points, eight rebounds, six assists, two steals) and Delon Wright (13 points in 6-on-6 shooting en, five rebounds). "I would say it was like a sigh of relief," Wright said of the mood in the dressing room after the game. “Having lost two games against them, the pressure was on us to get one of those wins. "It's a pressure McMillan hopes his team will continue to find ways to deal with as they seek to extend their already unlikely post-season run." Our backs were against the wall and the only thing we talked about was staying calm in the fourth quarter," he said.

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There is no doubt that the clutch float would sink

The Hawks defeated the heat 111-110 behind Trae Young's floater by 4.4 seconds. Atlanta is now 2-1 behind the first-round series. (Author: Gardener)

HawksATLANTA — Trae Young had his last shot, Jimmy Butler missed his last throw and the Hawks beat the Miami Heat 111-110 to draw 2-1 in their first-round playoff series against the East's top-seeded team. "I had no doubt that if I shot it, I wasn't going to make it," said Young, whose floater was 4.4 seconds clear to cap a 16-point Atlanta second-half comeback. The eighth-seeded Hawks, who needed two play-in tournament wins to secure a playoff berth, appeared to be heading for a 3-0 deficit at several points on Friday night. First there was Miami's 21-0 run in the third quarter, which sapped the energy from an otherwise noisy State Farm Arena and placed the Heat in a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter. "I look at the scoreboard and I'm like, 'We've got to make this thing work.'" Atlanta charged all the way back to take a three-point lead with a one-putback layup and a free throw at Okongwu with 1 remaining :41. J. Tucker corner 3-pointer by 54.2 seconds and things once again looked precarious for the Hawks. After the Tucker make, the Hawks and Heat traded two missed jump shots, leading to Bogdan Bogdanovic's defensive rebound with 9.8 seconds remaining. "When we got that miss, it was basically like 'go,'" said Hawks coach Nate McMillan. "And [Young] knows what to do with that basketball and was able to make a game with that last possession." While some might question McMillan's reluctance to take a timeout in the third quarter as the Heat went down the final 16 points of their 21-0 sprint without McMillan signaling a break, the same instinct served the Hawks in creating Young's game winner. "There was no way I wanted to take a break," McMillan said. He attacked the basket and was able to finish it. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra credited Young (24 points, seven rebounds, four assists) for coming through when the Hawks needed it. "Young got a little angle and was able to make a tough runner," Spoelstra said. "He makes that look easy, but that's not the easiest shot going full speed and with the touch. Miami called a timeout to establish final possession and Butler missed a fadeaway 3 on the buzzer. "Missed the shot, simple as that," said Butler, who finished with 20 points after exploding in Game 2 for a career playoff best 45. Atlanta improved to 21-3 in its last 24 home games — including Friday and its play-in win over the Charlotte Hornets — and it was a small personal redemption for Young, who shot 1-for-12 in Game 1 and then in Game 2 had 10 turnovers. "I just wanted to come here and watch the ball and at least give our team a chance on the offensive end," Young said after finishing Game 3 6-14 from the field with three turnovers. It's just one game, so I have to do it again." "I would say it was like a sigh of relief," Wright said of the mood in the locker room after the game. "After losing two games against them, the pressure was on us to get one of those wins." It's a pressure McMillan hopes his team can continue to find ways to deal with as they seek to extend their already unlikely post-season run. "We had our backs to the wall and the only thing we talked about was staying calm in the fourth quarter," he said. “I thought our boys had calmed down.

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NBA history has Miami still calling the shots, but Heat's inflated Game 3 lead gives life to Atlanta

Then the Atlanta Hawks delayed the Miami Heat's waltz through that first-round NBA playoff series. NBA history suggests the Miami Heat is still in command, even with Friday night's Game 3 playoff loss in Atlanta. The numbers say the Hawks won't come back to win this first-round series. (Author: Gardener)

AtlantaA "suspicious package" delayed the start of the game on Friday evening. Then the Atlanta Hawks delayed the Miami Heat's waltz through that first-round NBA playoff series. NBA history suggests the Miami Heat is still in command, even with Friday night's Game 3 playoff loss in Atlanta. The numbers say the Hawks won't come back to win this first-round series. Miami had wiped out the Hawks with a 16-point lead in the third quarter and seemed headed for a 3-0 series advantage. Of course, no team in NBA history — not once, never — has lost a 3-0 lead and gone no further. Which means no team has ever done what the Hawks were staring at. That all changed in a 111-110 win in Atlanta on Trae Young's short swimming jump in 4.4 seconds to draw the Hawks to 1 within 2 games. Game 4 is Sunday, then Tuesday night's game is back in Miami. The historical odds are still mostly in favor of the Heat, but now we have a streak, a bit of drama, just what you've come to expect from the NBA playoffs. Speaking of drama, the "suspicious package" left outside Atlanta's basketball arena on Friday night delayed the start of Game 3 by 40 minutes. After all, the 3-0 lead Miami appeared to have in the bag early in the fourth quarter would have meant it was all but over. Miami is 17-0 in its history and is advancing in the postseason when it holds a 2-0 lead in the series. Miami turned a halftime deficit Friday with a 31-16 in the third quarter to take command and reassert defensive dominance after an unusual 39 point drop in the second quarter. No individual heroics saved Miami as star Jimmy Butler had 45 points in Game 2, along with zero turnovers and zero fouls. Not since Dominique Wilkins in 1988 had a playoff stat like that and bench came to the fore, led by Tyler Herro's 24 points off the bench, and Butler and Max Strus both added 20. He decided that 19 games ago Strus should replace Duncan Robinson in the starting lineup. Bam Adebayo managed 13 points on Friday and has only 28 in three games. Atlanta has always been (and the past tense is intentional, albeit a little riskier) just a planned inconvenience, more than a threat to the Heat. For Miami, these playoffs were never about the first round. It was over the minute the Heat was swept by eventual champion Milwaukee in last year's first round, just a season after reaching the NBA Finals in a bubble before it came to LeBron's Lakers. It was as Miami spent that long regular season clinching the No. 1 seed overall in the Eastern Conference, a stature that - against prevailing doubt and disrespect - suggests the Heat should once again reach the Finals. And it was before that game when Butler, referring to his team's location and intentions, said, "While we're doing this run." A run isn't a series. The first series is just the beginning. Betting odds, which came in Friday, listed western powers Golden State (11-4) and Phoenix (16-5) as overall favorites, with Milwaukee (19-4) and Boston (7-1) leading the East. Then came Miami with 9:1. Well, the seeded pair Milwaukee and Boston in the same bracket, meaning Miami will likely face Philadelphia in the next round in the other half. (Yes, I still look forward unabashedly and with no belief in magic). In Philly, the Heat would face a team where star Joel Embiid is nursing a troubled right thumb. The East Final could see a rematch against Milwaukee or the usual dogfight against rival Boston. Everything that is to come is delicious. Now all that's left for the Heat to do is Atlanta, a possibility history would still attest to is beyond doubt.

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How Tyler Herro powers the best version of the Heat

With a landmark regular season behind him and prospects for sixth man of the year, the 21-year-old guard is one of the key players on the East's No. 1 team. (Author: Gardener)

How Tyler HerroJUST ACROSS FTX Arena, in a billboard regularly manned by Dwyane Wade during his legendary tenure with the Miami Heat, Tyler Herro shows himself from all angles, pictured in a Hudson Jeans ad, dribbling a basketball and hitting a wearing a short-sleeved black t-shirt. Shirt, ripped black jeans and black boots. This Monday in March at the arena, Herro starts his night against the Sacramento Kings by modeling that bouncy jump shot, floating slightly to the right and nailing a 3-pointer out of the "Ray Allen corner." By the end of that Heat win, which ended a tumultuous four-game losing streak that saw Jimmy Butler, Udonis Haslem and Erik Spoelstra roaring on the touchline, Herro had lost a few 3 seconds and five on his way to 20 points and six assists Panel. Now in his third year, with a regular season breakthrough behind him and likely sixth man of the year honors, Herro is playing in this playoff against the Atlanta Hawks as possibly the most important player on the No. 1 team in a loaded Eastern Conference. As the most natural goalscorer on a deep-heat team, the 22-year reserve is best placed to unlock a Miami offense that has caused concern late in the season and late in games all season. On a team that includes Butler, Kyle Lowry and Bam Adebayo, it's Herro who offers the most effortless offense - a three-tiered threat that no one else on the roster can match. “Obviously he has the ball most of the time and when someone has that much ball you trust him to make the right shots, what he's doing and incorporating everyone into what he's doing. And we need him to push that in the playoffs and while we're making this run. BUTLER PROVIDES A GREAT starting point for telling Herro's story, as it was Butler's constant promotion of Herro as a confident, NBA-able hooper during his rookie season that first put Herro on the national radar. Herro backed up some of Butler's claims during a pandemic-hit debut season, most notably with a 37-point performance against the Boston Celtics in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals and snarling moments in the Heat's six-game loss to the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals. What followed after the pure basketball comfort of the Walt Disney World bubble was destined to be a fairytale epilogue. Instead, the quick turnaround and truncated 2020-21 season posed greater challenges for Herro. It began with a brief six-week "off-season" for a player expected to make a significant leap. It was a different feeling for an exhausted team coming off their sixth finals in franchise history and hungry for more. "I was 20 and I was in the dressing room, I think we're running back to get back to the finals," says Herro. "The locker room just wasn't the same." Earlier in the season, Herro had earned a place in the starting line-up, but after 15 games he was benched in favor of Goran Dragic. Still, Spoelstra assumed responsibility even after Herro returned from his bench role, expecting the guard to continue to develop his game and maintain starter-level production, all in a reduced role. where I played him as our back-up point guard was really important to him,” says Spoelstra. There were a lot more responsibilities and he couldn't just play by instinct. “I told him that as he struggled through it's a really important process for you just to learn all the points on the ground, the responsibilities, initiating attacks, getting the ball where it needs to go and then to Determining When You Can Be Assertive His electrifying performance in the bubble was gone. Anyone who thought Herro's time in Orlando, Fla. was the beginning of a burgeoning franchise player had to wonder just how far a team led by Herro could go. A 7-14 start, especially without a Butler, and a bench press was all the evidence his detractors needed. "We got off to a slow start," says Duncan Robinson, Herro's teammate. It wasn't necessarily his fault, but we just needed to stabilize as a team." "I remember games where he played 16, 20 minutes in that area," says Robinson. In that sense, to be honest, I found the situation he was put in a little unfair. In his first two playoff games in Milwaukee — just 10 miles from his birthplace in Greenfield, Wisconsin — Herro played 19 and 18 minutes, respectively, scoring 3-out 15-shooting 14 points in total Throughout the season — thanks in large part to the truncated offseason that barely allowed anyone to fully recover — Herro suffered a shoulder injury, neck spasms, a right hip injury and right foot pain that left him not only did he cost 17 games, but he also depleted the one trait Butler had raved about since Day 1. “What defines me is my confidence,” says Herro, “I didn't feel like me myself. Mentally I wasn't in the right place to do my best every day. My work ethic and going to the gym in the evenings before the games and in the mornings before the games, things that I do as part of my routine, I couldn't really do because of COVID. “All year I was concerned about whether I would be traded or not. CHRIS HERRO IS the kind of father who calls his son 'brother' and it feels perfectly normal. The kind of father who's young enough to casually say a phrase like "off the chain," but just old enough not to realize it's outdated. A former basketball player himself, he still studies the game as if he were playing. And he'd never seen Tyler the way he was in 2020-21, when rumors swirled of a potential swap that would have sent Herro to the Houston Rockets as part of a package for James Harden. "That's when he started to lose some of his confidence and he was like, 'What am I doing wrong?'" says Chris. "He wasn't in the arena that much. I think he felt like some people were treating him badly, so he kind of stayed away.” When trade rumors surfaced, he would often debate with Robinson, who was often included in those reported conversations. "We definitely bonded a little bit," Robinson says. It wasn't just the added responsibilities in basketball and subsequent failures that fueled the guesswork as to why Herro struggled in his sophomore season. Herro has more than two million Followers on Instagram and they put enough hate ammunition in the comments on his posts to drive anyone crazy. "There were so many rumors going around about my name," Herro says never true." One afternoon in February 2021, Herro was in his bedroom and following an exercise, scrolled through social media and his head was filled with mounting demands.The message came in a small suitcase that Herro's girlfriend Katya Elise Henry was carrying herself Instagram celebrity: "That was me literally lying in bed, just sitting on my phone," says Herro. "She gave me this thing. I was like, 'Oh my god.' "I think [the team] got kicked out the next day, and then we played someone else back-to-back. I was like, 'What the hell is going on?'" A few months later, he and Henry quit proudly announced the imminent arrival via Instagram, but pride wasn't the overwhelming emotion at the time."I had to tell my parents," Herro says.Initially, Chris couldn't speak when Tyler broke the news to him, so he called Herro's mom Jen. A father of three boys who was fully invested in his eldest's career, Chris' initial response was concerned. It's already been the most difficult year of his son's life." At 21, it's like, 'What are you doing? '" says Chris Tempting the trade rumors and a fanbase seemingly more interested in its trade value than its actual value, Herro replied in the only way he knew, "After the season ended, I wanted to be in such a good mental or t come that I didn't. I don't care if I'm swapped," says Herro. First, that meant a post-season lunch with Spoelstra. Sitting with Herro at Miami's Inte Continental Hotel, it didn't take Spoelstra much time to realize, "Okay, we totally agree on what we need to work on." Spoelstra reminded Herro that he was going to have a real offseason this time, none exhaustion sprint. More importantly, the trainer instilled in him that his fights aren't unique - even for the big ones. "I just wanted him to understand that the year before it was super unusual for a young rookie to basically have a whole year where everything went so [up], drama free, where it's like honeymoon," said Spoelstra says. "It was more like, 'Look, this is a normal path for young people, these fights. That's what it's like to be a young man.' WITH LESS THAN 10 games remaining in his second season, Herro's struggle continued, this time with a part of his game that always came most naturally: his announced jumper. So he reached out to well-known basketball coach Drew Hanlen, who works with NBA All -Stars like Jayson Tatum, Bradley Beal and Zach LaVine Hanlen provided a video edit of Herro's jump shot along with some critical comments, including that his stance was occasionally too tight and he often shot the ball on the way down. "What struck me was his ability to deflect shots," Hanlen says. So I knew that if he already had a great shot and he was a great worker, if we started putting him to work on the right things, I knew the sky was the limit for him." Herro finished the season shooting 54.7% from the field in his last eight regular season games, so he hired Hanlen to train with him all summer. From June through September, Herro flew back and forth between Los Angeles and Miami to work with Hanlen. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday morning basketball practice was followed by afternoon weightlifting on a program sent to him by the Heat and target practice in the evening. "He loved the depth we went to," says Hanlen. "I immediately said to him, 'I know some of these things may feel so new to you, but I've [trained] enough All-Stars to know that you're going to be one of these guys very, very soon.'" Herro requested permission from Hanlen to come to the gym earlier and watch Beal's practice, knowing the Washington Wizards guard had transformed from a player averaging 15.3 points as a 21-year-old to the league, which started at 31 .3 per game last season almost at the top stood 27 years old. "He just heard Brad's feet squeaking in a different way," Hanlen says. Three months later, his world changed again. And he was still a member of the Heat, no certainty, when the offseason started. And all this work began to show itself. In five preseason games, Herro averaged 22.4 points on 51% shooting. In the first two months of the season, he still scored 21.8 points at a 45.4% clip. Herro got to his spots more efficiently, rising with even more blast for this jumper, finding better paths to the rim for smooth finishes, and finding more open teammates at different points on the floor. It was the improvement Spoelstra and the Heat were looking for. One that rewarded the Heat's faith in Herro and silenced those trade rumors for the moment. "He wants to be a real impressive player in this league," says Spoelstra. “He really took his incremental moves at the right pace and it allowed him to really develop his IQ and really manipulate defense. This year you see everything great players deserve.” THE ONLY part of his 2021-2022 season that Herro would have changed is the start – or more specifically the lack of starts. Herro sees himself as a star. And rarely do stars come off the bench until their third season in the league. "I mean, honestly, I really didn't have a choice," says Herro. "I'm pretty sure The Heat had already decided I was going to come off the bench whether I liked it or not. The role came with national recognition. It wasn't long before Herro was the top-runner for the sixth man of the year trophy -- a tasty carrot that's propelling him forward, even if he never envisioned that trophy despite only starting 10 of the 46 games, in which he appeared prior to the All-Star break, there was talk in the league of Herro making the All-Star team as a coach-selected reserve or injury replacement, and although Herro did not make the team , as his father explains, Herro used up more than he needed this week in his first All-Star appearance.” “There were a few games this year where he had some stinkers,” says Chris. After the All-Star break, Herro amassed the best stretch of his career, a final 20-game streak in which he scored 22.4 points and shot 50% from the field and 46% from 3-point range while scoring the Heat led to 15 -5 record. That brings it all back to the Herro question. His father hears this question all the time. "It's, 'Can he be that guy?'" says Chris. He's been doing that all year. If Tyler Herro doesn't exist with the Miami Heat, the Miami Heat are a .500 club. The question won't really be answered until these playoffs end for Miami. They might not even be fully settled by then if Herro doesn't get enough opportunities to prove himself. He's acted in the finale, started a digital love story with Henry that started with a simple tweet "Wyd," named a song after him, shared the stage with rapper Jack Harlow at a music festival and done enough fashion shoots to that he's now popping up on a billboard above Biscayne Boulevard, suggesting he'll be a Miami fixture for a while. "The way he's playing basketball right now, and everything that's happening for him on and off the court, I don't think it's a fluke, getting 20, 21 a game," says Herro. "It's like perfect timing. I'm finding myself and that's what the team needs."

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Winners, grades, reactions and highlights from April 18th

Welcome to the Bleacher Report coverage and recap of WWE Raw on April 18th. Wedding bells rang and love was in the air this week as WWE held a double wedding with Akira Tozawa, who married Tamina, and Dana Brooke, who married Reggie... (Author: Gardener)

April 18thWedding bells were ringing and love was in the air this week when WWE held a double wedding with Akira Tozawa, who married Tamina, and Dana Brooke, who married Reggie. R-Truth ran the whole thing. Kevin Owens continued his quest to prove that Ezekiel is in fact Elias by having him take a lie detector test live on TV. Rhea Ripley and Liv Morgan battled Naomi and Sasha Banks for the women's tag titles and Finn Balor put the US Championship on the line against Austin Theory. Let's take a look at everything that happened on Monday's Raw. Raw began with Seth Rollins discussing his upcoming rematch against Cody Rhodes at WrestleMania Backlash. After a few moments, The American Nightmare joined him in the ring. Despite being once and future adversaries, Rhodes and Rollins seemed to have a certain level of respect for one another until Rhodes began to upstage Rollins with his crowd reactions. The visionary said he didn't have time to prepare for his match at WrestleMania against an unknown opponent, but he said people who thought Rhodes was better than him were worse than losing so easily. The American Nightmare accepted the challenge immediately. This was a decent segment, but it could have done the same in half the time. It felt like they were stretching to fill time, but otherwise this was a solid promo exchange. When Rollins eventually becomes babyface again, he'll be more crowd-ready than ever. A good audience always makes a show more fun for viewers at home, too.Naomi and Sasha Banks vs. Liv Morgan and Rhea Ripley (Women's Tag Titles) The first of the night's two title matches was for the women's tag team championships . Banks and Naomi went first against their challengers Morgan and Ripley. Banks and Morgan started for their teams. The champions took control early using quick tags and double team moves, but Ripley was able to turn things around as she overpowered both ringside opponents. While Ripley and Morgan were close to victory, Banks and Naomi ultimately retained their titles, pinning Ripley. This match was okay, but it could have been five minutes longer. It felt like the middle commercial break was as long as the wrestling that happened before and after. These teams had the chemistry but this is the last time we see them together. Ripley and Morgan got into an argument which ended with the Australian hitting her former partner with the Riptide. The heel turn is complete, and now Ripley can focus on being a singles star again. Banks should teach a course on selling at the Performance Center. She's so good at making her opponents look dominant. All tag teams should coordinate their equipment. It adds a little something when both pairs of partners look like they belong together. The way the match ended felt a little abrupt. Banks and Naomi used their tag team finisher, but it didn't have the usual setup we see in a tag match. That's not necessarily a bad thing. Sonya Deville came to the ring and gave a promo addressing allegations that she was abusing her power as an officer. She spoke about how she had always been a competitor and just took advantage of an opportunity she saw in front of her. Bianca Belair walked to the ring and offered to defend the title on the spot. It just reminded us that this feud exists, which could have been settled with video or a quick backstage interaction. In the next match, Veer Mahaan took on a jobber named Jeff Brooks. It was typical squash but Veer looked good so it got the job done. Deville got really hot from the crowd. The what?" The chants were silly, but the boos she got suggest the crowd will be firmly behind Belair in this feud, as it should be. The crowd genuinely hated Deville as she called the town, which she was in in a rusting New York suburb. Belair is pretty much over as one can get. It was a nice reference to the fact that Veer's story was the basis for the movie Million Dollar Arm. Owens came out to host a special polygraph test episode of "The KO Show" starring Ezekiel, who Owens is convinced was formerly Elias and only lies about his name. Chad Gable was present to oversee the tests. Ezekiel came out and pretended to prepare to say his old catchphrase before saying, "Who wants to hear Zeke speak?" The test began with Ezekiel answering some basic questions. The test supposedly revealed that Ezekiel was telling the truth say te when he said he wasn't Elijah. Zeke said he was tired of being called a liar by WWE's biggest liar. KO walked away while Gable attacked Elias' younger brother to set up their match after the commercial break. Ezekiel immediately took control with his considerable size and power advantage. The KO Show part was funny and kept the plot going, and the match that followed was more competitive than expected. WWE could have easily booked Ezekiel for the win, but Gable had some offense before Otis ran in to cause a disqualification to save his partner. Alpha Academy left while Zeke tried to collect himself in the ring. Zeke might have won, but it wasn't the way he wanted it to be. Lie detectors have been a staple on talk shows for several decades. It's funny, but when he's obviously preparing it, it feels forced. Zeke's spinebuster was nice, as was the modified ankle lock he used. The Raw Tag Team Champions were in action in a non-title match this week as Randy Orton and Riddle took on Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins. The Viper and Dawkins started with a standard lockup and shoulder block sequence. Both men took each other off their feet so that in a way they seemed to be equals. The Profits had some decent attacks at times, but it seemed like this match was all about making RK-Bro look good before taking on the Usos at WrestleMania Backlash in a unification match. The Usos' music was banging and distracting Riddle and Orton. Ford used the distraction and pushed The Viper off the apron before he and Dawkins hit Riddle with their finisher for a somewhat surprising win. Unexpected results are always nice, especially when the person or team that wins deserves it. This could result in the profits being added to the title unification match. Ford and Dawkins boasted that they played the music like they were spinning on their heels, but there were no boos from the crowd. Overall, this was a fun match that could make for a better backlash match. It feels like we've seen every combination of Raw tag teams multiple times in 2022. This division needs a refresher Knocking down Ford when the match went into a commercial was a great point. Once again, Ford effortlessly hit the top spots in the match. In the show's second title match on Monday, Balor jeopardized the US Championship against Theory. The match started with a standard lockup, but it wasn't long before they started using strikes. The Prince was able to take control and hit a few chops before Theory knocked him down out of nowhere with a backbreaker. As the match progressed, they increased their aggression and hit bigger spots. Balor started feeling like the underdog after landing a neckbreaker off the apron. After some tight calls and two counts, Theory defeated Balor to win the United States Championship. This was a relatively clean win after Balor missed his finisher and Theory capitalized on that. The match was good but the crowd seemed upset. A bunch of mid-card heels came out to put Theory on their shoulders for some reason. Vince McMahon came out to congratulate him on stage. WWE played a video pack for Theory prior to this match as if we didn't know who he was. It would have made more sense leading up to WrestleMania. Taking away Theory's first name seemed entirely unnecessary. Name changes to keep things in-house is one thing, but shortening his name after it's already been on the main list for several months seems odd. Theory jumping to the top rope to hit a spanish fly was an amazing spot. The Double Wedding of the DecadeR-Truth was first released to celebrate the double wedding of Akira Tozawa and Tamina and Reggie and Dana Brooke. They had several others in the ring. All four people read their vows, but Tamina just said "What she said" in reference to Brooke's vows. Tamina said she objected and Reggie and Tozawa switched places for some reason. Then she changed her mind and made the men stand together while she stood next to Brooke. We ended up rejoining our original couples, which annoyed the crowd a bit. Reggie then pinned Brooke to win the 24/7 title. Tamina super kicked him and won it himself before Tozawa rolled her up to win it. Brooke regained it before she and Truth took off backwards. It was a series of jokes with no plan. The truth, fooling Reggie by telling him his fly was down was funnier than it should be. Naomi and Banks, who served as Tamina's bridesmaids, was a fond reminder of their time as a trio on Team Bad. Truth made up a few new words during his speech. Tozawa had to slip through several layers of the dress before he could roll Tamina up. The main event of the evening was Owens answering the call to be Rollins' handpicked opponent at Rhodes. The match got off to a competitive start, but after KO countered a suicide dive and slammed a fallaway slam into the barricade, he was firmly in control. To no one's surprise, this was an entertaining performance to end the show. KO and Rhodes both fall into this category. The match had more than enough time to tell a good story in the ring without having to rush anything. Both men looked deservedly exhausted in the final minutes. As it looked like The Prize Fighter was going to be counted out, Rollins yelled at him to get his butt back in the ring. KO told him to mind his own problems and walked away to be tallied, making Rhodes the winner. The show ended with The Visionary knocking The American Nightmare off the middle turnbuckle to the ground as he tried to celebrate. The ending was a little strange, but all that led to it was high quality professional wrestling. The way Owens blocked a suicide dive and took Rhodes out to the barricade for a fallaway slam looked great. Rhodes sending Owens over the commentary table was nice too. Rollins yelled at Owens to get back in the ring until KO left him was funny, but it was also an anticlimactic way to end the match.

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Phoenix Suns forward Dario Saric is feeling more like a "basketball player" coming back from a right cruciate ligament tear

Phoenix Sun's great Dario Saric has not played a game since tearing his cruciate ligament in Game 1 of last season's finals. (Author: Gardener)

Phoenix SunsNEW ORLEANS — Dario Saric hasn't felt the roar of the crowd all season as a player, but he received a worthwhile cheer at the practice facility this month. "He was running up and down the pitch and we were clapping our hands," said Sun's backup Big Bismack Biyombo. After tearing his right cruciate ligament in Game 1 of last year's NBA Finals, Saric has inspired his teammates on his journey. "It was really cool," Suns forward Cam Johnson said after practice last week. "He was here every day to work and see the progress. Saric even dived in during an individual training session at the facility this month. Pelicans: What You Need to Know About Game 3 "But I jumped with the sane one," said a laughing Saric of the jump off his left leg. Saric is hoping to regain "that pop" in his right leg. "I was never a Dunker," said a smiling Saric. "It wasn't part of my game." Facts, but Saric hasn't played a game since his fall on July 6. "It was challenging," Saric said of the rehab process. “My season has gone in a slightly different direction than the team, but my thoughts are still with the team and my heart is still there. Sometimes I'm fine but I just want to be on the pitch but I couldn't because it wasn't the right time for me to step on the pitch because I was still struggling with the injury. Saric entered the year with thoughts of a possible return if the Suns hit a deep playoff run, but he wasn't expected to play this regular season. The Suns ruled him out for the remainder of the season in January. General manager James Jones used the disabled player exception to complete a trade for guard Aaron Holiday just before the February 10 trade deadline. Despite this, Saric continued to infect his rehab and has made noticeable progress over the past few months. "I can go out there and shoot and run, maybe move somehow," Saric said. I really feel like a basketball player. I used to feel like a weightlifter or something, but now I'm starting to feel more like a basketball player.” Injured players were treated before the trade deadline, with former Suns point guard Ricky Rubio new. “We All Rock Together”: The Phoenix Suns amplified pregame ritual cheers the team on ahead of games. The Cavaliers moved him to Indiana this year as part of a three-team deal. Since Saric was traded three times, starting with a draft-day trade when Orlando first-round picked him in 2014, the idea of ​​him getting promoted again despite being injured wasn't a crazy idea. "They say superstars in the league kinda stay with the team," said Saric, who just turned 28 on April 8. It's part of the deal and we kind of accepted that when we came here and signed the contract." Croatia's Saric agreed to a three-year, $27 million deal in November 2020 to stay with the Suns. He averaged a career-low 8.7 points and 3.8 rebounds in 50 games last season, but Saric played against the Clippers in the conference finals. ALSO SEE: Suns' Landry Shamet could fill in for injured Devin Booker Ready to fulfill his lifelong dream of making the Finals, Saric went down in Game 1 against Milwaukee after two minutes of first-half action. The Suns won the game, but they felt Saric's defeat to the core. "It hurts," Suns All-Star Devin Booker said the day after Game 1. He's our energy in the locker room that you can't see, but we love him and we're here with him. It turns out that Saric was missed badly as the Suns didn't have the size to match the Bucks, especially when Deandre Ayton got into dire trouble. For Subscribers: 5 takeaways from Sun's Game 1 win over Pelicans to start the playoffs. Knowing Saric's health condition, Jones addressed this issue in the off-season by signing JaVale McGee and adding Biyombo later in the season. In a way, Saric was expendable, but he wouldn't budge before the trade deadline and continued his rehab with the Suns. "We love seeing him around," Booker said ahead of his April 5 encounter with the Lakers. "I love seeing the progress. From working on the table to going into the weight room to not seeing his first steps but seeing him running back on the court. I love seeing the progress and the work It's always tough to have an injury but the road back k being around the boys I know it helps him a lot Biyombo remembers he had surgery on his meniscus and that's why felt depressed but he was only out for eight weeks. Saric was out for nine months. For subscribers: 5 takeaways from Suns' Game 2 loss with Devin Booker sidelined with a hamstring injury." I can only imagine that for a guys like him is a competitor,” Biyombo said when he and Saric were teammates for the World Select Team at the 2011 Nike Hoop Summit in Portland. "It's a long time and being able to walk only nine months later, but at the same time I think he finds joy because it's a kind of achievement for him to be patient and figure out the ups and downs. As the playoffs continue, Saric's attitude is that he won't play in the postseason given where he is in his recovery and where the Suns are as a team." "I don't know if three players, three big boys are injured and you need someone and feel healthy maybe it's a different story," said Saric, who has one year left on his $9.2 million contract before becoming a full free agent in 2023, I Am For the season outside. Be there for support, but if something goes wrong and I'm in a good place, I don't know. Maybe I'll jump in and play. Have an opinion on the current status of the Suns? Reach Suns insider Duane Rankin at [email protected] or contact him at 480-787-1240.

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Winners, grades, reactions and highlights from April 20th

A dream match between CM Punk and Dustin Rhodes ushered in an episode of AEW Dynamite that promised another big announcement from Tony Khan, the latest in rising tensions between Wardlow and former protégé MJF and Darby Allin vs. (Author: Gardener)

April 20thA dream match between CM Punk and Dustin Rhodes ushered in an episode of AEW Dynamite that promised another big announcement from Tony Khan, the latest in the rising tensions between Wardlow and former protégé MJF and Darby Allin vs. What Went Down and What It Was means for the company when one of its premier pay-per-view events approaches? Find out with this recap of TBS' April 20 broadcast. The dream match between the two hugely popular stars CM Punk and Dustin Rhodes opened Wednesday's show and fans poured in Pittsburgh was firmly behind both men. In a great old-school wrestling match, each man would target and work on a limb of his opponent. In the end, it was Punk who countered Rhodes' own counter and stacked him in a rollup for the win. The in-ring psychology and storytelling on display is something only wrestlers with the experience and appreciation for the artistry of wrestling can pull off. Punk and Rhodes were there, did that, but still did the work that reflects their love for the industry. As Punk gears up for a high-profile match against another babyface in "Hangman" Adam Page, this was a great take on and a preview of what to expect when they meet, presumably at the double over Memorial Day weekend in Las Vegas or Nothing about the former's winning streak and at the same time about his opponent in the Hall of Fame The main heat of the fight turned. Rhodes kicked Punk sideways and into the ring post, his left arm slamming into it as the former's attention returned to the limb. The near fall of The Naturals snap powerslam had fans thinking they were upset. The looming ace between Punk and Rhodes and the former's stardown with Hangman Page were equally great. The latter all but confirmed the upcoming AEW World Championship Match. For a moment it seemed like the young team of Lee Moriarty, Brock Anderson and Dante Martin would do the unthinkable and upset the Blackpool Combat Club. Pittsburgh home hero Moriarty pounced on Daniel Bryan and came dangerously close to subduing The American Dragon before Jon Moxley exploded into the match and ultimately scored the win for his team. This was a high-energy trio match that managed to keep the BCC going with their victory while giving Moriarty, Martin and Anderson a chance to shine against former world champion and red-hot Wheeler Yuta. Moriarty looked great and was clearly even more motivated by the hometown crowd. Danielson finally mentioned him by name early in the story. William Regal mentioned his friendship with Arn Anderson and their history together, then revealed he was so good at preparing his team for what to expect from young Brock Anderson. Regal is an expert at bringing credibility and legitimacy to the industry, and this was no different. Moriarty, who answered Danielson's slap with one of his own, was a great moment of defiance for a man unfazed by his opponent's resume or reputation. Tony Khan, with a little help from Adam Cole, announced Forbidden Door in Chicago on June 26th. The event will be a collaborative extravaganza featuring stars from AEW and New Japan Pro-Wrestling, and on Friday on Rampage, Cole will face off against Tomohiro Ishii in an Owen Hart Foundation Men's Tournament Qualifier. "Switchblade" Jay White made a surprise appearance, ending a brief promo by reminding fans that whether it's Undisputed Elite or Bullet Club, "it's still our era." Branded event conveying Khan's willingness to collaborate with other event organizers for the benefit of the audience. Following the announcement, MJF introduced Wardlow without theme music for his match with The Butcher, the hired weapon of the kerchief-wearing heel. Wardlow absorbed everything thrown at him by his massive opponent, overcame a damaged lower back and Butcher's own powerbomb finisher to deliver four consecutive powerbombs for the emphatic victory. Rarely beautiful, the struggle of the great men further legitimized Wardlow and overlaid the unstoppable force that The War Dog has become since the start of the new year. The fans' chants of "Bullet Club" reminded the wrestling world that the faction may not be the star-studded group of competitors it once was, but it still has a lot of accumulated equity in fans who have shaped the industry through it newly discovered. Wardlow laughed after the win, knowing full well the showdown with MJF is inevitable. The four straight powerbombs for a man the size of Butcher was an impressive sight and the kind of star moment Wardlow must continue to compile with his old pal Max en route to the match. Kyle O'Reilly wrestled his first AEW on Wednesday -Singles match and defeated Jungle Boy to advance to the Owen Hart Foundation Men's Tournament in a solid wrestling match. The styles seemed to occasionally clash, and O'Reilly decided against selling certain moves while transitioning into others didn't help, but there was a lot to like about this one. Another opportunity would likely lead to an even better match. It was imperative that O'Reilly go here to maintain some semblance of credibility. RedDragon hasn't picked up many notable wins, and their recent loss to Jurassic Express put them in jeopardy of being perceived as little more than Adam Cole's sidekick at the tournament. Eddie Kingston vowed to whip Daniel Garcia in the ass in a cross armbreaker on Friday night on Rampage in a match where the other members of the Jericho Appreciation Society, as well as Santana and Ortiz are all ringside, was a great spot and gave turn on the sound for the match. O'Reilly, who basically didn't sell an overhead suplex into the corner only to work an armbar on the top rope, was an interesting pick. hook in action; Sammy Guevara and Scorpio Sky Set Up a TNT Title RematchHook made its dynamite-in-ring debut this week with a crucial win over Anthony Henry. The rookie competitor dominated the action, taking out his opponent with a Tazmission, but not without a cameo from Danhausen. After the match, the enraged Danhausen formally challenged the winner to a match, to which Hook brushed him off and walked out. The match introduced little more than Hook to Dynamite audiences, although chances are if you watch every Wednesday night you'll be more than familiar with the second-generation star. That being said, the excitement surrounding Danhausen's first match was a pretty big deal and should make for one of the most entertaining matches in recent memory. Back in the arena, Sammy Guevara clipped a defiant promo in the face of boos from fans. Scorpio Sky, Ethan Page and Dan Lambert interrupted and back and forth trash-talking gave way to two major developments: Next week Guevara will defend the TNT title against Sky in a ladder match and Sky and Paige VanZant will face off against Guevara and Tay Conti in one unknown time. The roles were definitely reversed here, with Guevara and Conti embracing heel personalities while Lambert and co. were clearly the baby faces. It will be interesting to see how this dynamic unfolds over the coming weeks. Breaking Danhausen's hook and pulling a grin out of him was a great moment, as did the latter, as a show of disrespect, clashed with his potential opponent, apparently unfazed by the idea of ​​a match with the face-painted fan favorite. Lambert spoke with the same conviction as ever, but he toned down the heel rhetoric significantly to show that he, Sky and Page are definitely the good guys in this feud with Guevara Heroine of her hometown, Dr. Britt Baker, from the energy of her family, friends and fans and defeated newcomer Danielle Kamela. The match was solid if unspectacular, made even better by the heat of the crowd. Kamela was great using a terrible towel to choke Baker in the ultimate insult, but it was the good doctor who used a Freiermuth receiver glove to apply the lockjaw and secure the win. Kamela didn't look like someone whose reps were limited in NXT, rather than being related to the former AEW Women's Champion. The department is stocked with many wrestlers the company doesn't actively use, so a full-time contract with AEW may not be on the cards, but a shot as a member of the Ring of Honor women's roster might be a better option. Pittsburgh Steelers' Najee Harris and Pat Freiermuth escorted Baker to the ring. Kamela choking Baker with a horrible towel was some great heel work from the former NXT star. Baker, hitting Toni Storm in the face with a slap on cake and leaving company was pretty tough and hopefully sets the stage for a feud between the two. A wild, chaotic coffin match dominated this week's show as Darby Allin attempted to settle his ongoing feud with Andrade El Idolo. Interference from The Blade and Marq Quen of the Andrade family Office, the unveiling of Sting in the crowd, and a brawl through the stands marked the early moments of the competition. A nasty release suplex to the metal bars of the stage left Allin squirming, but the face-painted anti-hero of AEW hit back, overcoming interference from Jose and slamming a pinned coffin lid on El Idolo to secure the win. There will be some who are all for these brawls with tacks and guns, and when done in moderation, they can be hugely effective. If done too often it dilutes the effect and it was bordering on that. Sting splashing out of the stands was a cool moment when we saw it at Revolution and it's always impressive when a guy his age is ready To risk everything for him these philanthropic places. However, doing this too often diminishes the impact and contributes to the "been there, done that" mentality that often encourages going the extra mile before raising the stakes to dangerous levels. The use of tacks on the coffin lid was totally unnecessary and didn't produce the desired effect. That the cameraman missed the shot of Allin slamming the lid on Andrade on his back to catch Jose on his way down the ramp didn't help. The intentions were good, but the match itself was more of a miss than a hit and only further diminished El Idolo's star. Sting showing up as a fan in the crowd disguised as himself was a funny moment. His leap from the stands to his heels below was even more fun. Allin's Tope Suicida on El Idolo, in the coffin, was a cool spot. The Hardys made themselves felt after the match and seemed to be pointing towards a match with Sting and Allin, sort of an intriguing dream match with considerable star power. A double-or-nothing match, for sure, if that's the direction the company is headed.

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Warriors' Draymond Green says Jordan Poole has been "our #1 pick" in the playoffs so far

Green showered his young teammate with praise after a spectacular first three games of the postseason (Author: Gardener)

Draymond GreenThe big question for the Golden State Warriors going into the season was how close Klay Thompson would be to his old self when he eventually returned from back-to-back big surgeries. Little did we know that after three games in the first round of the 2022 NBA Playoffs, the team's top scorer wouldn't be Thompson or even Stephen Curry. It would be Jordan Poole, a guy who played 11 games in the G League last season. In the first three playoff games of his career, Poole averaged 28.7 points and helped the Warriors lead 3-0 over the Denver Nuggets. Pretty much everyone connected with the organization has commented on Poole's recent rise to stardom, but after Thursday's 118-113 win in Game 3 against Denver, veteran Draymond Green gave his young teammate the highest possible praise. In an on-court interview with NBC Sports Bay Area, Green said that Poole has been the team's "No. 1 option" in the playoffs so far. That's pretty incredible considering Poole shares the spot with Curry and Thompson, arguably the two greatest marksmen of all time. "You're talking about a guy who was a third-team All-G League last year and was our No. 1 pick in these playoffs," Green said after the Game 3 win. Before you take that as a perceived slight on Curry, remember he has only played 25 minutes per game after suffering a foot injury that ruled him out of the last 12 games of the regular season. Curry was spectacular, averaging nearly 26 points per game in those 25 minutes, but Green is right that Poole was Golden State's main playmaker most of the time. He has also created for teammates, averaging 4.7 assists per game. With his stellar performance, Poole becomes only the second Warrior to score at least 25 points in his first three playoff games. Poole's spectacular play significantly raised the Warriors' championship cap and created one of the most impressive final lineups in the NBA. Provided he can continue his offense, Golden State is as dangerous as any offense in the league. It's incredible what Jordan is doing," Thompson said after Game 3.

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Golden State Warriors fans are rekindling the NBA draft analyst's old take, calling Jordan Poole the "worst draft pick."

Before Golden State Warriors keeper Jordan Poole went to Denver and made his third straight playoff game with at least 25 points while shooting 65% from the floor (he's the only keeper to have done that in his first three games a series in NBA history), basketball fans started circulating a clip when the 2019 dubs drafted the then 20-year-old Michigan player. However, this wasn't just any clip. (Author: Gardener)

Jordan PooleBefore Golden State Warriors keeper Jordan Poole went to Denver and made his third straight playoff game with at least 25 points while shooting 65% from the floor (he's the only keeper to have done that in his first three games a series in NBA history), basketball fans started circulating a clip when the 2019 dubs drafted the then 20-year-old Michigan player. That clip featured a bold proclamation from former CBS sports writer Reid Forgrave, who called Poole "perhaps the worst pick in the draft far." "And there's nothing against Jordan Poole," Forgrave added. I think the guy could be one Being a rotational NBA player during the day. But if you can find a guy who can come in and take shots, you pick a sophomore, you pick a guy who's 20 years old and needs to grow a little bit. This is a guy you probably could have gotten as an unconscripted free agent, so this is such an overdraft," Forgrave said. However, he wasn't done digging a hole: He went on by noting that the guy , which the Warriors called up at No. 28 overall, was “an absolutely inexplicable choice.” While we have the benefit of three seasons of hindsight to point out and laugh at that attitude, esp Others related to Poole giving some fans recaps of Steph Curry's post-season breakout games, but what's truly "inexplicable" here is the bold proclamation that leaving Poole would be as bad as Forgrave expected. Poole's weaknesses from scouts were that he was immature and careless with the ball, but there was no indication Golden State was interested in drafting a No. 1 option at the time (meaning carelessness doesn't matter) , and maturity doesn't mean Jack if you can produce on the court (which he did in Michigan even when he came off the bench). Even if analyzing college hoops is your job, it's not easy to see every possible ribbon on each of the potential draft picks, in addition to some players who might not even get picked. But when I saw Poole in Michigan, it was pretty clear that he would at least be a solid NBA associate. Look at this guy named Gabe Fernandez, who at the time was just a hip news writer at a big sporting goods store and saw a bright future for Poole in Golden State. Being a draft analyst isn't easy - even my positive attitude toward Poole included a caveat that undercut what he's become - but what's easy to avoid are bold claims that can look incredibly wrong in hindsight.

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