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Wiley & Acho’s biggest takeaway from Rams win in Super Bowl LVI I SPEAK FOR YOURSELF

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Marcellus Wiley and Emmanuel Acho share their biggest takeaways from the biggest game of the 2021-2022 NFL season, Super Bowl LVI. SBLVI took place at SoFi Stadium and featured the Los Angeles Rams & Cincinnati Bengals. Rams WR Cooper Kupp won the Super Bowl MVP award behind a strong eight reception performance & game winning touchdown. Aaron Donald dominated late, to give the Rams to seal the Rams fate as champions.



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NBA Insider Reveals What Chris Paul Wants Moving Forward

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(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

 

The Phoenix Suns shocked the NBA after they reportedly told Chris Paul he would be waived.

Paul arrived in Phoenix in 2020, set to help Devin Booker compete for championships.

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They did it in their very first year together, losing in the NBA Finals to the Milwaukee Bucks.

Now, the Suns reportedly have plenty of options for Paul but the point guard is clear on what he wants for his career.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Paul wants to run it back with the Suns and keep sharing touches with Booker and Kevin Durant.

However, the Suns have different options for him, including stretching his contract and waiving the player, a trade involving him and Deandre Ayton, or simply re-signing him in free agency.

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In recent days, Kyrie Irving and Fred VanVleet have been linked with the Suns, and the Paul news couldn’t surface at a better moment.

Free agency is weeks away from its beginning but many teams are already making moves to get the pieces they want ahead of the 2023-24 NBA season.

Paul is one of the best and most talented point guards of all time, but with his age, it’s easy to say why the Suns could move on from him.

He averaged 13.9 points, 8.9 assists, and 4.3 rebounds in 59 games this season.

When the postseason arrived and he was hurt, the Suns played faster without him, which could be another reason why the team is looking to cut ties.

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Paul can still provide good things for his team, but only the Suns have the final word on this.

The post NBA Insider Reveals What Chris Paul Wants Moving Forward appeared first on The Cold Wire.





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Blue Jays’ Daulton Varsho reaping rewards of improved plate discipline

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For most of the season, Daulton Varsho‘s offensive production has been like an underwhelming approximation of his 2022.

That looks like it might be about to change.

Although Varsho’s .222/.290/.404 line might not leap off the page, he’s been significantly better recently, slashing .267/.323/.533 in his last 15 games.

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Without context those numbers look excellent, but not like a blazing hot streak. His 136 wRC+ in those games is star level, but not outlandish for a hitter having a strong stretch. 

The way Varsho has authored his recent success is even more encouraging for the outfielder than the results, though. One reason for that is the fact that he simply isn’t striking out. 

The 26-year-old entered the season with a career strikeout rate of 24.0 per cent and he’s gone down on strikes just four times in his last 15 contests, posting the lowest K% of his career over a span of that length.


The clearest explanation for this stretch has been far better plate discipline from Varsho. While he hasn’t piled up walks during his recent stretch, he’s chasing fewer bad pitches.

In his last 15 games, he’s chased just 22.7 per cent of pitches outside the zone, far less than his 34.9 per cent in the first 46 contests of 2023. While he’s taking more pitchers’ pitches, he’s been as aggressive in the zone as ever, swinging at 73.3 per cent of balls in the zone — a rate matching his approach earlier in the year (74.1 per cent).

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At the same time that Varsho has cut down on his strikeouts, his power stroke has come alive. His ISO in his last 15 games sits at .267 and he’s hit four home runs — including a 446-footer that is his longest of the season, and the second-longest of his career.


That power production is supported by contact-quality numbers that are significantly better than what he managed earlier in the season.

Split

Average Exit Velocity

Hard-Hit Rate

First 46 games

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86.2 mph

35.4%

Last 15 games

90.0 mph

41.8%

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If Varsho had gotten a few more bounces going his way in the last three weeks he’d be in the midst of a sizzling run that would be elevating his 2023 numbers in a profound way.

As it is, he’s in the middle of a stretch where he’s doing everything right by avoiding strikeouts and making hard contact consistently, but his rewards haven’t been proportional to the quality of his at-bats.

Varsho’s luck isn’t going to magically even out over the rest of the season, but what he’s doing now may have something to tell us about where he can go from here. 

It’s not realistic to expect him to run a single-digit strikeout rate while providing considerable power, but the fact he’s capable of doing that for a couple of weeks at a time is undoubtedly a good sign for the Toronto Blue Jays.

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Report: Bucks’ Middleton underwent surgery on right knee following playoffs

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Milwaukee Bucks forward Khris Middleton reportedly underwent successful arthroscopic surgery on his right knee following his team’s playoff exit, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

The report says that Middleton is expected to make a full recovery and return to action in July. The surgery was a clean-up process in his right knee which was reportedly planned prior to the end of the season.

Middleton, 31, is set to become a free agent if he chooses to decline his $40 million player option for next season. The deadline for that decision is June 21.

He struggled through injuries this year, only appearing in 33 regular season games for the Bucks and averaged 15.1 points, 4.2 rebounds and 4.9 assists.

He missed the first 20 games of the season following off-season wrist surgery then missed 18 straight games due to knee soreness in December and January.

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