Lakers reportedly targeting UConn's Dan Hurley; NBA Finals start tonight; MLB All-Star voting time

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As if today wasn't already a big day for the NBA, ESPN reported last night that the Los Angeles Lakers are preparing a “big” offer to lure Dan Hurley from UConn, the coach who led back-to-back NCAA championships, to become their next coach. Expect more on this story from our college basketball and NBA teams throughout the day.

And as for that other big NBA story…

🏀 Good morning to everyone, but especially to…

THE BOSTON CELTICS AND THE DALLAS MAVERICKS

Welcome to the NBA Finals, friends. It's been a long time since we had the NBA on our screens, but the Celts overlooking the Outsiders figures are well worth the wait.

We've seen a historic postseason Luka Doncic already, and in his bold predictionssays Brad Botkin there's more history on the way.

  • Botkin:1. Luka averages 35 points per game — Only nine players have averaged at least 35 points for one final: Michael Jordan (twice), Shaquille O'Neal (twice), Rick Barry, Elgin Baylor, LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jerry West, Allen Iverson And Kevin Durant. … Doncic has averaged above 35 PPG for a single playoff series only once in his career (35.7 vs. Hair clippers 2021). It's a huge number. But Dallas will need to score big in this series, and any notion that Boston is uniquely equipped to defend Luka largely went out the window with what he did to Minnesota…'

Of course, Doncic isn't the only star in Dallas who can score big. Whereas Jrue holiday'S hilarious (and honest) one-word answer about defending Kyrie IrvingBoston also has a lot of respect for Dallas' “other” star.

The Mavericks are a championship-level team in every sense. But there's a reason why the Celtics are significant favorites. They went an NBA-best 64-18 in the regular season and had the best offensive rating in NBA history and had the fifth-best average margin of victory in NBA history. They are a super teamwrites Sam Quinn, and they also represent the future of superteams.

  • Quinn: “The Celtics don't have three great players. They have six very good players. Three of them, Holiday, Kristaps Porzingis And Al Horford, made All-Star teams play for someone other than the Celtics. A quarter, Dirk White, was acquired before his prime and can still wear green and white there. … Jaylen Brown has already signed a supermax extension that has not yet been activated. Jayson Tatum qualified by earning All-NBA honors this season. But Boston built them while they were fairly cheap and before the CBA severely limited their maneuverability. They added players who were expensive, but not outrageously expensive, and they timed the moves brilliantly.”

Here's more:

😊 Honorable mentions

😓 Not so honorable mentions

⚾ MLB All-Star Game: Early expert voting, under-the-radar names

USATSI

MLB All-Star voting is officially openedand Matt Snyder has his early mood while the game is still over a month away.

Many of Matt's choices are ones you'd guess: Aaron Judge. Juan Soto. Shohei Ohtani. Mookie Betts. Guys on top of the MVP conversation. But there are plenty of tough calls. In the AL, one of them is a shortstop.

  • Snyder: Gunnar Henderson, Orioles. The experienced, established stars are Corey Seager, Carlos Correa And Bo Bichette. However, this is currently a two-man position between rising superstars Bobby Witt Jr. and Henderson. Neither has become even remotely oversaturated in terms of public attention and neither has even been an All-Star anymore. That's why I'm going to pick one on every ballot and apologize Anthony Volpe.”

Mat has that too under-the-radar picks for each position — man, Matt really does it all! — and let's give some love to the NL Central leaders.

  • Snyder: “Second baseman — Brice Turang, Brewers. Luis Arraez scored a ton of points for his batting average last season and it will definitely happen again. Kettle Marte is an established star and played in the World Series last year, so I'll knock those two off. I'd vote for both if there wasn't a viable alternative, but Turang is hitting .291 with a .356 OBP and 21 stolen bases for a first-place team. He deserves a look.”

⚽ Golazo 100: Why Christian Pulisic is on the list when we reveal 100-81

Getty Images

We started with ours Golazo 100 reveal with players #100-81and topping that section is a well-known name for it USMNT fans. Christian Pulisicfresh off his best season, coming in at number 81. While it is a remarkable achievement for Pulisic to be among the best in the world, it is also shows the lack of top players among the USMNT rankswrites Chuck Booth.

  • Position: “His 12 league goals are the first time he has broken into double figures in league matches over the course of his career. His eight league assists are also a career high. But just as important as those stats, Pulisic is the first time in his career showed the ability to get on the pitch regularly and stay there. He played 36 of 38 league games for Milan, a career best, and only the second time he ever broke the 30-game barrier… Then other countries reached the USMNT will be facing multiple top 100 players, it shows that even though America is rising in the FIFA rankings, America is still catching up when it comes to their talent level.”

If we had done this exercise a few years ago, Neymar would have been a top-10 player. I was shocked to see him all the way down to 89th. Jonathan Johnson explains.

  • Johnson: “…doesn't even have a goal to his name yet at Al Hilal…A brilliant player on his day, but not consistent or motivated enough over the last meaningful years of his career, means this feels like things will end in disgrace unless Neymar can muster enormous inner strength and conviction to achieve something close to his best for the last time.”

We are revealing 80-61 this morning on the CBS Sports Golazo Network.

⚽ Exploring Emma Hayes' strong start to USWNT

Getty Images

Exactly nine months ago, the USWNT finished his worst World Cup ever. Maybe the veterans were too old. Maybe the young people were too young. Whatever the case, the US needed a new voice while the world was clearly catching up.

Emma Hayes is that new voice. After an incredible run with ChelseaHayes made her USWNT managerial debut in a 4–0 win over South Korea on Saturday, and she followed that up with a 3-0 win in the rematch Tuesday.

There was a lot to be encouraged by. Crystal Dunnnormally a defender, played in attack and scored. Lily Yohannes, all 16 years old, scored. And Hayes got valuable time with the team before the Olympic roster was announced.

So far she's impressed, but that's bound to be the case also have great expectationswrites Sandra Herrera.

  • Herrera: With Hayes, she is already checking off items on USWNT fans' wish lists. Integrate new players with less experience and play them? Done and still happening. Formation changes? Done and have shifted in the game. Rotate players? Any available replacement used and only two players were not used during this period… Ready or not, Hayes is here to help US Soccer enter the global game in ways it is not used to and that is a good thing.”

📺What we're watching on Thursday

Cubs at Reds7:10 PM on MLB Network
🏀 NBA Finals – Game 1: Mavericks at Celtics8:30pm on ABC

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