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Luka Doncic found a way to counter the Warriors zone defense – Mavs Moneyball

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In the first three games of the series, the Golden State Warriors made life miserable for the Dallas Mavericks. The Warriors were handling Luka Doncic better than both the Jazz and Suns by making life difficult for him at the point of attack and using a hefty dose of zone defense.

In Game 4, the Warriors played a ton of zone defense, but Luka shined a light on how it can be exposed by doing something everyone’s been begging him to do all season long: cut off the ball.

The zone defense works relatively well when Luka passes the ball and remains stagnant outside the 3-point line. It’s too easy to defend the other guys that way. But when Luka puts the ball on the deck and attacks the rim, things get more difficult. Then, throw in some off-ball cuts when his teammates have the ball and he’s basically impossible to guard.

Check out how he got his first field goal in Game 4:

Luka gives up his dribble and passes the ball to Frank Ntilikina — something we are used to seeing. But what he does differently this time is instead of putting the pressure on Frank to create off the dribble, he simply cuts past his defender who had over-committed to the pump fake. Draymond Green is the guy who is supposed to be defending the rim on this play, but he turns his back on Luka assuming he wasn’t going to cut to the rim without the ball in his hands. Luka makes him pay by dashing to the rim and Frank gets an easy assist.

Later, in the fourth quarter, Jalen Brunson had the ball in the corner with the other four guys spaced out around the perimeter. Normally, this is a play that would result in Brunson having to create for himself and it’d be a toss-up whether it would work or not as the shot clock winds down. But check this one out:

In the play above, Luka takes advantage of a sleeping Jordan Poole at the top of the Warriors’ zone and cuts to the middle of the floor where Brunson gives him the ball and Luka pirouettes to the rim.

That right there is what the Mavs need Luka to do. When he’s moving off the ball, he opens up the entire offense and renders the Warriors’ zone defense useless.

Luka is one of the brightest basketball minds in the world, so it’s no surprise he figured this out. He just needs to be locked in enough (and in good enough shape) to cut consistently even if he’s not getting the ball. Cutting hard when the opponent is in a zone is always useful, whether you receive the pass or not.

Another way Luka was able to punish the zone defense was noticing when he had a mismatch at the top. Take a look:

In this play, Luka brings the ball up the floor and immediately notices Jordan Poole at the top of the zone. He immediately turns and starts to back down Poole. He angles his post-up to get away from the help defense and then easily overpowers Poole and gets a layup.

These are little things that turn into big things. Obviously, the big storyline from Game 4 is that the Mavericks are a better team when they make threes (shocker!), but little things like cutting off the ball and finding mismatches end up demoralizing the defense and get your team more open looks as the game progresses.

Is it too late for the Mavs to win this series? Maybe. Time will tell. But Luka’s off-ball movement is something he needs to keep working on as his career progresses. It’s the type of thing that will separate his play from the oft-compared prime James Harden.

Texas state bar files professional misconduct lawsuit against Ken Paxton for attempt to overturn 2020 presidential elections – The Texas Tribune

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Asia-Pacific stocks mixed as U.S. Fed minutes point to more rate hikes ahead – CNBC

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The market found some relief on the notion that the Minutes revealed a broad consensus for 50bps hikes in June and July and the possibility for a pause later in the year.

Rodrigo Catril

National Australia Bank

The S&P/ASX 200 in Australia edged 0.43% lower.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan slipped 0.12%.

U.S. Fed minutes released Wednesday showed officials are prepared to move ahead with several 50 basis point interest rate hikes. The Federal Open Market Committee also said policy may have to move away from “neutral” and into “restrictive” territory.

“As we’re in a more hawkish and tighter monetary sort of situation, you know, a lot of investors have been dumping the higher quality growth names and buying into value,” Marco Giubin, senior portfolio manager for equities at Manulife Investment Management, told CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia” on Thursday.

“To some extent, that was justified because a lot of the growth stocks were overpriced. But a lot of these stocks have come off quite a lot,” Giubin said, adding that now could be a “good time” for investors to look at areas like renewable energy and electric vehicle supply chain where share prices currently look “pretty reasonable.”

Stock picks and investing trends from CNBC Pro:

Shares on Wall Street rose following the release of the Fed minutes, with the S&P 500 climbing around 0.95% to 3,978.73. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 191.66 points, or 0.6%, to 32,120.28. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite jumped 1.51% to 11,434.74.

“The FOMC Minutes revealed a broad consensus for the need to tighten the policy rate by 50bps over the next couple of meetings,” National Australia Bank’s Rodrigo Catril wrote in a Thursday note.

“The market found some relief on the notion that the Minutes revealed a broad consensus for 50bps hikes in June and July and the possibility for a pause later in the year,” Catril said.

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 101.982 following a recent slip from levels above 102.2.

The Japanese yen traded at 127.40 per dollar, weaker as compared with levels below 126.9 seen against the greenback earlier this week. The Australian dollar was at $0.709 after touching an earlier high of $0.7109.

Oil prices were higher in the afternoon of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures climbing 0.39% to $114.48 per barrel. U.S. crude futures gained 0.53% to $110.92 per barrel.

— CNBC’s Jeff Cox contributed to this report.

Megan Fox traded her heels for Vans at Kourtney and Travis Italian wedding – Page Six

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Now this is a trend we can get behind!

Megan Fox traded in her heels for sneakers while attending Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker’s extravagant wedding celebration in Portofino, Italy, on Sunday.

For the cliffside nuptials, the actress, 36, paired her black corseted Zuhair Murad Couture taffeta gown with matching platform peep-toe heels.

But according to her latest photos from the grand reception – where guests were served a pitiful amount of pasta – Fox switched into a more comfortable pair of shoes to party the night away.

“We went to a wedding…” she captioned Wednesday’s Instagram post, which showed fiancé Machine Gun Kelly lacing up her “Old Skool Sneaker” Vans (whose $65 price tag likely pales in comparison to that of her ceremony shoes).

Machine Gun Kelly and Megan Fox posing at Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker's wedding reception
Fox swapped her black platform peep-toe heels for black-and-white Vans.
meganfox/Instagram

Fox kept the remainder of her stunning ensemble intact, and it appears MGK, 32, did not change at all.

His goth-glam look – a Dolce & Gabbana blue leopard-print three-piece suit ($5,845) paired with plenty of jewelry – perfectly complemented his date’s outfit, as well as the overall vibe of the Italian wedding.

Megan Fox and Machine Gun Kelly arriving at Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker's wedding
Machine Gun Kelly adorably helped Fox tie the laces of her reception sneakers.
Cobra Team / BACKGRID

However, Fox wasn’t the only one who had an outfit change ahead of dinner and dancing, as Kardashian’s famous family came prepared with multiple looks.

Most notably, the bride’s sister, Kim Kardashian, swapped her curve-hugging black lace Dolce & Gabbana gown for a heavily bejeweled crop top and matching hot pants, which she layered atop a skintight catsuit.

How to Murder Your Husband author Nancy Crampton Brophy guilty of hubbys murder – New York Post

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How to murder your husband and get caught — tell your cellmate about it.

Nancy Crampton Brophy, 71, was convicted of second-degree murder on Wednesday for the 2018 slaying of her husband, 63-year-old chef Daniel Brophy, after telling her cellmate about the killing.

Multnomah County jury delivered its verdict on the “How to Murder Your Husband” author Wednesday morning after a five-week-long trial, according to the Portland Eater.

Nancy’s cellmate, Anndrea Jacobs, testified on May 18, telling prosecutors that the romance novelist had described in detail the distance at which she shot her husband.

Gesturing to the jury, Jacobs held out her arms to signify the distance between Nancy and her deceased husband and said, “She told me that he was shot two times to the heart and that … she showed me the distance.”

Jacobs told authorities that her relationship with Nancy became “very awkward” after the exchange.

Nancy had shot her husband in the back and then while he was on the floor in 2018 at the Oregon Culinary Institute where he worked, according to police.

The romance writer shot her husband at the Oregon Culinary Institute.
The romance writer shot her husband in the back at the Oregon Culinary Institute.
Dave Killen/The Oregonian via AP, Pool, File Photo

Prosecutors said that Nancy had purchased the same make and model of the gun that was used in the murder of her husband, and believe that she had swapped out the barrel of the gun to make the weapon harder to trace.

The defense claimed that Nancy’s gun purchase was for research in her work as a novelist. However, that claim didn’t seem to hold up with the jury.

In addition to the essay “How to Murder Your Husband,” Nancy Crampton Brophy had written another novel titled “The Wrong Husband.”

The convicted novelist and self-tattletale has yet to be sentenced.

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