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World Cup 2026: New York and New Jersey promise “8 Super Bowls”



New York and New Jersey stepped up their bids to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup final, promising a spectacle on par with the “eight Super Bowls” at Thursday’s kickoff event for the tournament, which will be co-hosted by the United States. , Mexico and Canada.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino did not reveal which of the three countries’ host cities would host the final when the venues were announced last year.

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Neighboring states that will greet fans at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey will face stiff competition from Los Angeles, whose $5.5 billion indoor and outdoor SoFi stadium in Inglewood has a more eye-catching appeal.

“We want to have a final. There’s no better place to host the Finals than Metlife Stadium, said retired NFL great Michael Strahan, who made his name with the New York Giants but now fell in love with football.

“This is football, okay? I made the guys run around in tight pants and bump into each other.”

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, joined at the opening of Times Square by New York Mayor Eric Adams, promised a spectacle beyond anything the region had ever seen.

This stadium, then known as Giants Stadium, hosted seven World Cup matches in 1994 and four during the 1999 Women’s World Cup.

“We think we’ll have at least eight games – that’s eight Super Bowls,” Murphy said.

“All tickets will be sold out, I guarantee you. It doesn’t matter who plays.”

The launch event was one of several in host cities across the continent on Thursday, the day after Los Angeles launched the “WE ARE 26” campaign to promote the tournament.

Infantino declined to elaborate on whether the brand’s launch took place in Los Angeles means it will host the 2026 World Cup final.

“Of course, Los Angeles is an important city, one of the 16 [host] cities,” he said.

“But obviously it’s a hub. This is the hub of entry to America. This is the city that also hosted the final of the last US World Cup. We do not yet know where the final of this World Cup took place. The cup will be played. So to speak, still in the draw. So please send us your suggestions and make sure we strengthen the offers, but Los Angeles will definitely be one of the important cities for this World Cup.”

CONCACAF President Victor Montagliani added that “probably later this year will be announced” the venue for the final.


Heat’s Spoelstra raves about Play-in tournament amid conference finals



Heat coach Eric Spoelstra praised the NBA playoffs as he talked about the path that prepared Miami for the playoffs, which led to him leading the Celtics 1-0 to the Eastern Conference Finals.

After the Heat scored 46 points in the third quarter that contributed to their 123-116 win over Boston on Wednesday night, Spoelstra praised play-in games as a means of limiting late-season gas supplies.

“I know the game helped,” Spoelstra told reporters. “Tanks far fewer teams. Everyone has been fighting for this for the past two months. Every game was a must-see on TV. … I think so [for] league, it’s probably the best thing that’s happened in the last decade.”

Miami finished the regular season having won six of its last 10 games and needed a win over the Bulls in Game 2 to earn an eighth seed in this year’s playoffs. Since then, the Heat have completed a gentleman’s run for first place. The Bucks took first place and won first place. With 5 seeds in six games, the Knicks became the first 8th seed in nearly 25 years to reach the Conference Finals.

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The Heat have made the playoffs in each of the previous four seasons, reaching the final in the 2020 Bubble Playoffs. But in a season that has been filled with adversity for Miami, Spoelstra said finishing the regular season solidly and persevering through the play-ins was a necessity to be where they are now.

“We’ve been fighting this fight for our competitive lives for three months in a row because of the game and because of all the hardships,” Spoelstra said. “We weren’t doing load management or just counting games, we were doing everything we had to do to try and put ourselves in a position to win.

“It was a blessing to go through all this. I haven’t competed in a regular season like this before and I think we’ve all grown up and gotten better.”

Miami will look to get a 2-0 lead against Boston in Game 2 of the series on Friday.

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Lakers Nuggets to decide Nikola Jokic vs. Anthony Davis.



It is said that the playoff series does not start until the first adjustment is made.

The postseason is like a giant game of chess where tactical strategies are used both ways throughout the war to the best of seven. All the last four teams have good versatility in both offense and defense; they can win the game in many ways. This should lead to some fantastic tactics and stunts, especially aimed at taking away the incredible star power that every team boasts.

Throw out regular season games between the Denver Nuggets and Los Angeles Lakers. They don’t and won’t matter much. After their battles in the 2022-2023 season, the Lakers have completely transformed this roster into the juggernaut they are running in the Western Conference Finals. Surrounded by LeBron James and Anthony Davis, there are more specialized shooters, other big wings with different recoil and a trainer who has learned to unleash all his superpowers on the fly.

This Nuggets team doesn’t miss defensively either. Despite being average in the league throughout the regular season, the team was supported by Nikola Jokic and his semi-aggressive ball defense. Both teams have aces up their sleeves to use and can get quite a few frontcourt crossovers, which makes this series incredibly fun for X and O nerds like me.

Denver Nuggets: Put Aaron Gordon on Anthony Davis

The Lakers offense really revolves around their two star players in LeBron James and Anthony Davis. LeBron is strong, smart and versatile enough to get his way in many ways. However, Davis needs a bit more planning to get the ball in space, and Darwin Ham often used ball screens to better convey AD’s athleticism.

The Nuggets put Nikola Jokic higher against balls, allowing him to put on soft shows before recovering to paint. The Nuggets have a ton of smart, experienced rotation guards on their roster, and the covering ball moves are designed to capitalize on the scoring that goes into taking Davis’s shot away.

If Denver wants to avoid rotation altogether, they can use a rarely used strategy that worked in small doses during Phoenix Suns series: let Aaron Gordon guard Anthony Davis and put Jokic without the ball, probably one of Jarred Vanderbilt or Rui Hachimura.

Jump back to Game 2 of the Suns series and you’ll see Nuggets coach Michael Malone trying so late by putting Jokic on Josh Okogi. The switch worked because Jokic, while staying close to the rim as an assistant, jumped on a rolling DeAndre Ayton and freed his teammate from a physical misfit:

The Suns adapted and used Jokic’s man to set up high picks. If it’s Hachimura, Vanderbilt, or even a guy like Troy Brown Jr., the Nuggets most likely aren’t afraid of him in the short game. While the danger can be seen from what happens in that Suns Game 2 if a short cutscene gets momentum to the ring, Denver has other strategies to make it work and protect Jokic from switches or prevent wide-open ring attacks.

The Nuggets defense deserves a lot more attention than it gets. Jokic has been solid, Malone has been creative and the rest of the team knows their role. We saw how Anthony Davis could win matches with his powerful isolation game and finishing skills. Perhaps by putting that responsibility on Aaron Gordon himself, Denver’s offensive engine will be a bit fresher for the late game.

Los Angeles Lakers: let the ads run

While the Lakers and Nuggets’ early-season games don’t say much, Darwin Ham can draw inspiration from watching other teams play the two-time MVP effectively. Let’s be clear from the start: there is no way to stop Jokic, just slow him down or choose how and if other players hit you.

Even during the regular season, the Nuggets had an NBA game on Saturday with Philadelphia 76ers. Philadelphia decided to put PJ Tucker on Jokic, keeping Joel Embiid for wandering duties. Embiid guarded either Aaron Gordon or Bruce Brown. Jokic’s elbow strikes and pinpoint touches were more choppy as the combination of Tucker’s length and speed ruined his plans. Jokic ended the game with seven losses.

During the Western Conference Semi-Finals, we also saw the impact Anthony Davis can make from closer to the rim. He is a sensational defender under the basket from the weak side and a terrific containment shot in the basket.

Davis likes to play in Drop mode, where he can be more of a hobo around the ring, just picking up anything that gets in his way. However, this can be a tricky strategy against the Nuggets, where Jamal Murray is an excellent scorer and Jokic can chop teams up with pocket passes or short shots.

If the Lakers can’t succeed with AD covering Drop, they’ll need to consider getting him out of the game. They did it against Golden State Warriors, as Davis switched between guarding Kevon Looney, Gary Payton II or Andrew Wiggins instead of Draymond Green. This resulted in either more rim time or fewer opportunities when Green set up the screen, thus depriving Golden State of the best short shot playmaker.

The idea here is the same. If the Nuggets wanted to use ED in screens and get him off the rim hard enough, they would have done it with someone other than Jokic — a Lakers win. If they don’t and keep rolling with Jokic in high balls, AD is ready to step up to the rim.

Denver is better equipped to counter that cover than the Warriors. There are fewer non-shooters in their composition, Jokic isolates smarter near the elbows. But the right strategy might be to combine the Joker’s acceleration with more athleticism on the ball, and finding creative ways to let Davis remain an assistant for as long as possible.

In this series, what gets so exciting is the line building. If Vanderbilt is on the floor so that the Lakers can use this cross-matching strategy, it also allows Denver to do the same on the other end, putting Jokic on Vanderbilt and Gordon on Davis, as we discussed above. Ultimately, Ham will have the final say on whether crossmatches benefit the Lakers or hinder their offense too much. Without Vanderbilt on the floor, it will be quite difficult to effectively combine actions with Jokic and keep Davis closer to the ring.

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Penn State hosts Iowa in the first announced “Big Ten” at a CBS college football game in a new TV deal.



While the Big Ten will become a regular event in the CBS-branded 3:30 pm ET time slot starting in 2024, the conference will see a number of games played online as its new TV deal kicks off at the start of the 2023 season. The first of these contests to be announced should be the real scene as Penn State hosts Iowa on Saturday, September 23 at 8:00 pm ET in the White Out game.

The Big Ten on the CBS schedule will officially begin week one on Saturday, September 2, with a selection of future games to be announced at a later date. In the meantime, however, the Happy Valley showdown between the Nittany Lions and the Hawkeyes will bring two major Big Ten programming to a national primetime audience in Week 4.

The 2023 season will be the first under a seven-year deal between CBS and the Big Ten. In 2023, the games will take place at different time slots, and in 2024 they will switch to the traditional 3:30 pm window.

Penn State is 17-14 all-time against Iowa, although it has lost two straight games after six previous straight wins.

The Nittany Lions are approaching the 2023 season with high expectations. The reigning Rose Bowl champions are bringing back five offensive linemen who started at least five games last season, including OL star Olumuyiv Fashanu, who opted to return to school for one final season instead of declaring himself in the 2023 NFL Draft. Fashanu was scheduled as an early first round pick before he decided to return to Happy Valley.

However, perhaps the most important addition to Penn State’s starting lineup will be former five-star QB Drew Allar leading the offense. Allar played in 10 games last season as a stand-in for Sean Clifford and completed 35 of 60 passes for 344 yards and four touchdowns. Penn State is also bringing back a pair of dynamic runners, Nicholas Singleton and Kytron Allen, who combined for 1,928 rushing yards and 24 total touchdowns last season. Allar’s two top targets are expected to be WR KeAndre Lambert-Smith and TE Theo Johnson.

Iowa is having a poor offensive season. The Hawks ranked second on the FBS in yards per game (251.6) and ninth in points per game (17.7). In the offseason, Iowa added QB Cade McNamara and TE Eric Ali, who both played in Michigan last season. McNamara and Ali are expected to start the Hawkeyes.

The Hawkeyes also received one of the best receivers available on the transfer portal in former Ohio State WR Caleb Brown, who received four stars and finished first in the standings. A total of 78 players in the 2022 recruiting cycle, at 247Sport. Brown played just 27 offensive snaps in 2022 and was buried in the Ohio State depth chart, which included Jackson Smith-Njigba, Marvin Harrison Jr. and Emeka Egbuka.

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