James Harden isn't the superstar he used to be, plus it's never too early for a mock draft of 2023. - New Style Motorsport

Happy Tuesday everyone.

Let’s get right to it.

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Good morning everyone, but especially…



Nothing is easy against him. Heatand last night, the 76ersplaying without Joel Embid — Find him the hard way. Miami put together enough offense and more than enough defense to take a 1-0 series lead with a 106-92 victory.

Embiid’s absence was especially felt on the boards (Miami grabbed 15 offensive rebounds and outrebounded Philadelphia, 47-37), and his replacement in the starting lineup, DeAndre Jordan, recorded a -22 plus/minus in just 17 minutes. Unfortunately for Philly, it doesn’t look like Doc Rivers will remove Jordan from the rotation, notes our NBA insider Sam Quinn.

  • Quinn: “‘We like DJ,’ Rivers said after Monday’s loss. We’re going to keep starting it, whether you like it or not. So, in essence, not only did Rivers screw up Game 1 by starting Jordan, he’s also laying the groundwork for screwing up Game 2. … This one. It is. No. Rocket. Science. Every time Jordan comes into the game, bad things happen for his team.

As if no Embiid isn’t already a recipe for disaster, Harden scoring in 16 points in 13 shots is not the way to win either. It’s just not what it used to be writes our NBA scribe Brad Botkin.

Game 2 is Wednesday; Embiid isn’t expected to return until Game 3 at the earliest.


last night, the Suns showed why they have been the best team in the league all season. Showing poise, star power and depth, Phoenix outscored Dallas 121-114 in Game 1.

  • While the final score was close, Phoenix led from end to end and by as much as 21 points.
  • The Suns had six players score points in double figures, including all five starters. Deandre Ayton I had 25 points, and Devin Booker I was 23
  • The Suns outrebounded the Mavericks, 51-36.
  • Luka Doncić I had 45 points. It’s his sixth career 40-point playoff game, the most in NBA history before his 24th birthday.

The Suns just have so many problems, and the Mavericks might not have all the answers. Dallas plays with a relatively small lineup, which worked against the Jazz because Rudy Goberto he couldn’t make Dallas pay. That’s not the case for Ayton, who can score in a variety of low ways. Combine that with Booker’s offensive genius, Chris Paul and a multitude of versatile wings, and the Suns are hard to stop.

honorable mentions

And not so good morning for…

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The roller coaster that has been arizona cardinals last seasons had another big drop yesterday: wide receiver andre hopkins has been suspended six games for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy.

Obviously, this is a huge blow to Arizona, even after acquiring Marquesa Brown during the first round of the NFL Draft. Last year, the Cardinals went 8-2 in the games Hopkins played and 3-4 in the seven games he missed. Unsurprisingly, as Hopkins says, kyler murray goes, too:

  • Murray with Hopkins on the field last season: 8.8 yards per attempt | Passer Rating 108.1 | 0.19 expected points added per pullback
  • Murray with Hopkins off the field last season: 6.6 yards per attempt | 89.7 passer rating | -0.08 expected points added per pullback

That last stat (expected points added per pullback) sums it up nicely. With Hopkins on the field, Murray had the same EPA per setback as Aaron Rogers, which led the entire league. With Hopkins off the field, Murray’s setback EPA was the same as Washington’s taylor heinicke.

Murray, of course, is eligible for a contract extension (general manager Steve Keim provided a potential timetable for the deal), Y that has been his own saga this off season. If that extension doesn’t go through before the season starts, Murray will have to prove himself, at least for six games, without his favorite target.

Not So Honorable Mentions

Champions League: Liverpool visits Villarreal with a 2-0 lead ⚽

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Liverpool has one foot in the UEFA Champions League final after last week’s 2-0 win over Villarreal in the first leg of the semis. They look at wrap things in Spain today (3:00 p.m. on CBS and Paramount+).

Our football experts have made their selections and the eight have the Reds advancing together, but not everyone has them winning today’s game.

Football reporter James Benge thinks Jurgen KloppHowever, the team will have no problems, as part of their bold predictions.

  • Benge: “Villarreal is not a team that can withstand the pressure of being behind, in fact in the 20 League and Champions League games that they have been losing this season their record is one win, six draws and 13 losses. In those matches his Expected Goal Difference (xG) is just over one after falling behind. In the smallest sample size of European matches it is 0.02 and they had not faced a team like Liverpool before last week. Tuesday’s game may show that all they could have done that I really hoped for in the first leg was to keep the score low.”

NFL Mock Draft 2023: Quarterbacks are back in a big way 🏈

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The 2022 NFL Draft had plenty of surprises, trades, and memorable moments. One thing you didn’t have much of? Highly selected quarterbacks. There was one… Kenny Pickett to the steelmakers — in the first round, and the next — Desmond Rider to the hawks — didn’t arrive until pick 74 (Round 3). It was the fewest quarterbacks taken in the first two rounds since 2000.

Don’t expect it to happen again next year. NFL Draft expert Ryan Wilson released his first mock draft of 2023 (hey, it’s never too early, right?) and includes six quarterbacks in the first round alone.

  • 3. Lions: CJ Stroud, Ohio State
  • 5. Giants: Will Levis, Kentucky
  • 7. Panthers: Bryce Young, Alabama
  • 9. Seahawks: Tyler Van Dyke, Miami
  • 27. Dolphins: Spencer Rattler, South Carolina
  • 31. Buccaneers: Phil Jurkovec, Boston College

Of course, that list begs the question: Who are the projected top two picks a year from now? Like this year, start on the defensive side of the ball: Alabama EDGE Will Anderson first overall for the Texans and Georgia defensive lineman Jalen Carter second overall for the Jets.

  • Wilson: “If Will Anderson was in the 2022 NFL Draft, he would have been the first pick. Of course, a year ago, Kayvon Thibodeaux was Sharpie’s No. 1 player overall, and then Travon Walker was late on the scene. … Our colleague Pete Prisco said it all weekend during the 2022 NFL Draft: Jalen Carter could end up being the best player on Georgia’s national championship team.”

What we’re watching Tuesday 📺

And also…

UEFA Champions League: Villarreal vs Liverpool3 p.m. on CBS and Paramount+
Braves at Mets3:10 p.m. on FS1
Giants at Dodgers22:10 on TBS

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