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Marcus Smart says Celtics ready to respond to Warriors’ physicality in Game 3: Fight ‘fire with fire’

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The increased physicality of Game 2 of the 2022 NBA Finals, which the Golden State Warriors won in convincing fashion to tie the series with the Boston Celtics, has been a major talking point in the following days. Draymond Green’s ability to set the tone/antics depending on which side you’re on, have been a focal point. 

On the very first play of the game, Green met Al Horford well beyond the 3-point line and forced a jump ball. He carried that intensity throughout the game, and was instrumental in the Warriors’ win. At the same time, he once again came close to crossing the line and hurting his team. He picked up a technical foul in the first quarter after getting into it with Grant Williams, and could have had another one after an incident with Jaylen Brown in the second quarter. 

While Green is well aware of the fact that he’s playing with fire at times, he told reporters on Tuesday that he feels it’s his responsibility to play with intensity and give his team an edge. His full response:

“I just thought [the physicality] was something that we needed to bring. You get to the NBA Finals and physicality and meeting force with force is important. It’s just something that you have to bring to this game.”

“I thought when I looked back at Game 1, when I watched the film and even just how I felt, I just didn’t think they felt us enough. You can’t get to this stage, to this level, and the reason you lose is because a team didn’t feel you. That’s a shame. You have to lose once you get to this level because a team was just better than you.”

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“I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I’m going on about my summer and we lost the NBA Finals because we couldn’t meet force with force. So I think that was just kind of it for me and understanding that, like I said, that is my department. That’s where I’m supposed to lead, and I can’t let my guys down.”

The Celtics did not seem prepared for just how much more physical the Warriors would be in Game 2, and fell apart in the third quarter. Postgame, Jayson Tatum even issued a brief complaint that the Celtics, “weren’t getting the benefit of the doubt” when it came to physical play. 

But if there’s one thing that’s stood out about the Celtics’ postseason run, it’s that they’ve had a response for every bit of adversity they’ve faced along the way. So far, they’re a perfect 6-0 following a loss, and will be looking to make it 7-0 in Game 3. To get the job done, they know they’ll have to match the Warriors’ physicality, and are prepared to do just that. 

“I mean, you respond to fire with fire, right?” Marcus Smart said. “We’ve just got to turn around and do the same thing. If he’s going to come in here and try to be physical, this is our house and we’ve got to protect it.

“As any competitor would tell you, when you get hit in the mouth like that, there’s only one way to respond, and if you’re not really ready to do that, then you don’t need to be on this stage,” Smart added. “This is a stage where we’ve got to be willing to risk it all out there for your team and for the victory. By all means necessary. That’s the mindset that they have. It’s the mindset we have. But we’ve got to go out there and execute it.”

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Ravens extend NFL record for consecutive preseason wins following Thursday’s victory over the Titans

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USA Today

The No. 21 is now synonymous with the longest winning streaks in NFL regular and preseason history. the 2003-04 Patriots won 21 consecutive games, an NFL record. On Thursday night, the Ravens won their 21st consecutive preseason game after securing a 23-10 decision against the Tennessee Titans

Baltimore has not lost a preseason game since 2016. Joe Flacco was their starting quarterback when the streak began, while Steve Smith Jr., who this past year was eligible for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame for the first time, was heading into his final NFL season. Baltimore’s roster also included Terrell Suggs, who was entering his second-to-last season with the franchise. 

Along with not losing preseason games, another constant in Baltimore over the past six years has been kicker Justin Tucker, who is entering his 11th season with the Ravens. Tucker’s field goals of 47, 25 and 47 yards on Thursday night helped Baltimore pull out the win after falling behind midway through the second quarter. 

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The Ravens won Thursday’s game by winning the turnover margin while holding the Titans to 1 of 3 red zone efficiency. One of those turnovers was scooped up by Kyle Hamilton, the Ravens’ first-round pick in this past year’s draft. 

Baltimore won despite the efforts of Malik Willis, the Titans’ rookie quarterback who overcame a slow start to score his first NFL touchdown, a 7-yard run early in the second quarter. Speaking of quarterbacks, the Ravens received a strong night from Tyler Huntley, who completed all but two of his 18 pass attempts that included his game-winning touchdown pass to Shemar Bridges



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AS Roma Serie A 2022-23 season preview, predictions: Jose Mourinho adds top talent as expectations rise

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It was one of the most exciting summers for AS Roma of the last decade as Giallorossi won their first UEFA trophy in May when they lifted the UEFA Conference League. It was a moment of change for the club’s history, as it was also followed by very intriguing summer transfer business when the club signed players such as Nemanja Matic, Gini Wijnaldum and most importantly free agent Paulo Dybala. The excitement among the fans is unbelievable and put more pressure on the team and the coach, who are now called to create something special during the season. AS Roma have all the cards now to become one of the main clubs to watch out this season. 

Here’s what to know about them ahead of the season kicking off this weekend:

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Summer transfer business

Dybala to AS Roma was probably the most unexpected and interesting transfer of the summer. The 28-year-old came to grips with his decision late in the summer after he failed to agree to terms on a contract extension with Juventus and despite his agent previously holding talks with Inter Milan. The Nerazzurri moved in another direction as soon as Romelu Lukaku became available for a reunion via loan from Chelsea. And from that moment on, there were no further talks with Dybala’s camp. The veteran striker waited for several weeks, hoping that the club could squeeze him in by way of several other players potentially leaving the club. But things didn’t change at all and AS Roma jumped in the race to sign the striker.  

“The days that have led up to me signing this contract have been filled with so many emotions,” Dybala said after officially joining Roma. “The speed and determination with which Roma demonstrated just how much they wanted me made all the difference. I am joining a team that is on the up, a club that continues to put in place strong foundations for the future, and a coach, Jose Mourinho, that it will be a privilege to work with. As an opponent I have always admired the atmosphere created by the Roma fans – I now cannot wait for the chance to salute them while wearing this shirt”. 

Dybala was unveiled in front of more than ten thousand fans in Rome and all the Giallorossi crowd is eager to see him playing for their beloved club. 

Apart from Dybala, AS Roma managed to sign free agent Matic, who is a player that Jose Mourinho knows really well from his past experiences at Chelsea and Manchester United. The club also signed right back Zeki Celik from Lille, goalkeeper Mile Svilar and Wijnaldum on loan from Paris Saint Germain. Also, there were no real exits, as AC Milan permanently signed Alessandro Florenzi and Olympique Marseille signed Jordan Veretout, both of which were expected. Key player Nicolò Zaniolo, who was in talks with Juventus during the summer, is now expected to stay at the club despite the fact that his contract is expiring in the summer of 2024 and talks have stalled in the past months. 

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What to expect from AS Roma  

There is a lot of attention and expectations around the club this season after a very solid transfer window and the UEFA Conference League’s victory of the last season. Jose Mourinho needs to improve the performances in the domestic league and AS Roma’s main target has to be to arrive in the top four and qualify for the UEFA Champions League’s group stage. “The Special One” is always looking to win more trophies and Giallorossi can be considered as one of the favorites for the Coppa Italia alongside the other top teams. At the European level, the UEFA Europa League won’t be an easy one considering the level of the competitors, but the fact that Roma won the first edition of the UEFA Conference League has to be taken into account. 

Three players to watch out

Paulo Dybala: The Argentinian striker will have all the eyes on him and there are a lot of expectations around his potential impact on the squad. His performances will be key to understand how the team will perform during the season. 

Gianluca Mancini: Last year he had a very solid season. We talked a lot about strikers and midfielders but his performances will tell us a lot about how well this side can do this year as they look for stability. 

Nicolò Zaniolo: He’s now set to stay at the club. Last season was quite disappointing and there are way more expectations this season, especially after the arrival of Dybala. If Zaniolo performs better, the whole team will benefit from it. It will be on Mourinho’s shoulders to find a way to find a space in this team for him. 

AS Roma predictions

  • Serie A finish: 4th 
  • Top scorer: Tammy Abraham 
  • Player of the season: Dybala 
  • Something unexpected: AS Roma will bring back Francesco Totti to the club’s board. 



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Barcelona activate fourth ‘lever’ with €100 million sale of stake in club’s media arm

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Barcelona have sold a 24.5 percent stake in their media arm, activating the fourth of the so-called “economic levers” that they need to fulfil La Liga’s financial regulations and potentially register their new signings.

Orpheus Media, owned by Jaume Roures, have acquired their share in Barça Studios for the sum of €100 million with Barcelona having made the same deal with fan token platform Socios earlier this month. The club had also sold stakes in their television rights to Sixth Street in June and July as they bid to raise the cash that will ease their finances and allow them to incorporate new players into Xavi’s squad.

Barcelona have embarked on an ambitious overhaul of their playing staff this summer despite the crippling debts that president Joan Laporta estimated to be €1.3billion last year. Six new signings were made but the club headed into this weekend’s season opener against Rayo Vallecano unable to register those players, as well as the re-signed Sergi Roberto and Ousmane Dembele, due to La Liga regulations.

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The club did not confirm that this fourth lever would allow them to register every new recruit with La Liga, though this cash injection will naturally make it easier for some new players to formally be available for selection.

A club statement said: “FC Barcelona announces the sale of 24.5% of Barça Studios to the company Orpheus Media, managed by Mr. Jaume Roures, an audiovisual production company with a long history of producing content, for €100 million. The agreement complements the one signed on 29 July with Socios.com and will help to accelerate the growth of the club’s digital, NFT and Web 3 strategy.

“The sale was conducted under authorization of the General Assembly of FC Barcelona Members last October 23. With this investment the strategic partners in Barça Studios show confidence in the value of the project and the future of digital content in the world of sport.”

Want to hear more from Barca’s president? Listen to an exclusive interview below and follow ¡Qué Golazo! A Daily CBS Soccer Podcast where we take you beyond the pitch and around the globe for commentary, previews, recaps and more.

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A further sale of the Studios had been widely expected but in recent days it had been reported that it would be GDA Luma, run by the president of Cirque du Soleil, Gabriel de Alba, that would be stumping up the nine figure sum. Instead it is Roures, owner of Mediapro, who has taken the stake. The Catalan media mogul reportedly provided the guarantees Laporta needed for his successful bid for the Barcelona presidency in 2021.

A statement on the Medium page of Socios said that, following the sale, Barça Studios would be renamed Barça Digital and Entertainment “to reflect its focus on accelerating the growth of the club’s NFTs and metaverse projects.” Socios added: “The addition of experience of growing global entertainment brands will allow FC Barcelona to accelerate its blockchain and Web3 strategies to provider greater connectivity with its global fan base and continue to grow the club’s network of fan communities and produce revenue streams in new geographies.”

In the more immediate term it could also allow Barcelona to sign Marcos Alonso. The veteran Chelsea left back would join the likes of Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha, Jules Kounde and Franck Kessie after a summer in which Laporta has committed to new signings worth over €150 million. The club would also like to sign Bernardo Silva from Manchester City while their own midfielder Frenkie De Jong is a target for Chelsea and Manchester United.

Speaking to CBS Sports earlier this month, Laporta insisted that selling off long term stakes in the club to facilitate an overhaul of the first team was the right thing to do. “The players we have signed this summer are investments not expenses. And our existing players understand this perfectly. The new signings adjust their salaries to the new structure that we have created and all we ask is the current squad, where possible, do the same.

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“People outside the club don’t have all the information. We have to act this way or the club will probably disappear. We are not risking the club. On the contrary. I love Barcelona. So you can imagine, I don’t take any decisions that risk the future of the club and our 122 years of history.”



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