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Hawks lottery pick Onyeka Okongwu out for 6 months due to shoulder surgery

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Atlanta Hawks big man Onyeka Okongwu will be out for approximately six months.

The Atlanta Hawks‘ frontcourt depth chart was dealt a significant blow Wednesday evening, as it was reported that lottery pick Onyeka Okongwu will be out for approximately six months.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Okongwu has undergone surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder.

Okongwu, the sixth overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, was dealing with this nagging injury during the Hawks’ run to the Eastern Conference Finals starting in May, which necessitated this procedure.

Hawks’ Onyeka Okongwu out for about six months

In his rookie season in Atlanta, Okongwu saw his role behind Clint Capela off the bench increase as the season wore on. In 50 appearances, he finished the year averaging 4.6 points and 3.3 rebounds in just 12.0 minutes per game while shooting 64.4 percent from the floor.

During 18 playoff games with the Hawks, the 20-year-old big man out of USC averaged 2.7 points and 2.7 rebounds in 9.2 minutes per game on 54.8 percent shooting.

While the raw numbers aren’t overly impressive, Okongwu showed plenty of potential backing up Capela and has a bright future in this league. With John Collins being a restricted free agent and Bruno Fernando being, well, Bruno Fernando, the Hawks could use some extra help on the interior.

If Okongwu misses six months, that would put his return timeline around late January. The upcoming 2021-22 NBA season is scheduled to start on Oct. 19, with the playoffs beginning in April. That means Okongwu should be expected to miss roughly half the season, given his current timeline.

Here’s hoping Okongwu makes a speedy recovery without any setbacks for a young Hawks team on the rise.

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India can pick two more teams and still win any competition in the world, states Hardik Pandya

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Hardik Pandya has spoken highly of India’s remarkable bench strength across formats and believes that the team can end up winning any competition in the world even if they pick ‘C’ or ‘D’ string sides. India, on Tuesday, sealed a series win over Sri Lanka despite fielding a second-string team.

Building a world talent pool has been integral to team India’s sustained success over the past decade, and nothing served as a testament to the same more than the tour of Australia last winter. Without their skipper Virat Kohli, and without a handful of senior players, the Indian side ended up winning 2-1 Down Under, in the process breaching Gabba for the first time this century.

But while the side that triumphed in Australia had a fair mix of first-teamers and newcomers, the contingent currently in Sri Lanka is dominated by debutants and newcomers, with only a handful of seniors present in the entire squad. And the inexperienced squad, on Tuesday, sealed a 2-0 series win to project the scary strength in depth the country possesses.

Hardik Pandya is one of the few seniors in the white-ball tour of Sri Lanka, but the all-rounder believes the team could do without him and other seniors. Speaking ahead of the third ODI, Pandya insisted that India ‘can pick two more teams and still win any competition in the world’, singing praises about the country’s talent pool.

“Our roles are very clear, even in the main team. The kind of talent which the Indian team posses right now, I think we can pick two more teams and win any competition in the world,” Pandya told the host broadcaster, reported Cricbuzz.

On a personal note, however, 2021 has been a tough year for Pandya, who has struggled to build on the promise he showed in the tour of Australia last year. So far this year, across formats, Pandya has struck a solitary fifty in Indian colours, averaging 25.62, while he also had a rough IPL, averaging 8.66 from 7 outings. Now a more mature cricketer, Pandya, however, insisted that failures a part of a cricketer’s journey, and revealed that he has learned to celebrate bad days.

“I understand that in life you have to keep growing. As a cricketer and a person you need to keep growing. My process is just growing as a human being. You tend to make mistakes, you fail, but I like to celebrate my failures. I like to celebrate my bad days, it is a part of the sport and it teaches you a lot of things. I like to remember it.”

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Hurling Preview: Waterford v Galway – Live Score & Team News

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Here is all everything you will need to know ahead of Saturday’s senior hurling Round 2 qualifier between Waterford and Galway

The match will throw in at 14:00 on Saturday, 24th July in the Semple Stadium, Tipperary. Sky Sport Arena will also be televising the match for those who are stuck at home.

Waterford reached this point after losing to a Tony Kelly inspired Clare, they since narrowly knocked out Laois in round one to put them back on form.

Other the other side of the coin, Galway found themselves in the qualifiers after being stunned in a four-point defeat to Dublin.

This match could prove to be a battle between two current county legends, Austin Gleeson and Joe Canning. It will be interesting to see who has the greater attacking threat for their side and who can be nullified.

These two last faced each other in the Hurling League in early June. Galway won the tie scoring 4-28 to Waterford’s 3-23; let’s hope this game is just as exciting.

Predicted Starting 15

Waterford

B. Nolan (GK); S. Fives, C. Gleeson, S. McNulty; C. Lyons, I. Daly, K. Moran; A. Gleeson, D. Lyons; P. Hogan, J. Fagan, S. Bennett; D. Hutchinson, S. Bennett, J. Prendergast

Galway

E. Murphy (GK); S. Cooney, G. McInerney, D. Morrissey; P. Mannion, D. Burke, F. Burke; E. Niland, C. Mannion; C. Cooney, J. Canning, D. Burke; C. Whelan, J. Cooney, B. Concannon.

Betting

Galway are the bookies’ favourites with odds of 4/9.

A draw has odds of 10/1.

Waterford are still given a good chance by the bookmakers with odds of 2/1 to win.

 

Predicted Score

After their shock in the Leinster championship, expect Galway to come out and prove a point. They won’t be as lazy and lack lustre, they will want to win.

This still young Waterford side has shown their quality but it will be hard to see them dealing with the Tribesmen firing on all cylinders.

Expect to see Galway having the cutting edge to win this game by three or more scores.

LiveScores Now Available at IrishScores.com

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Byron Buxton trade: Ideal fits for Buxton before 2021 MLB Trade Deadline

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Byron Buxton would be a man in demand if the Twins make him available. Photo from Puckett’s Pond.

Just when he was starting to become one of the best outfielders in 2021, it looks like the Minnesota Twins might be trading Byron Buxton. While he’s spent a lot of time on the IL during his breakout season, a Byron Buxton trade could be in the works if he’s unwilling to sign an extension with the Twins. At least those are what the latest Buxton trade rumors would indicate.

The Twins, after all, are in a rather precarious position. They began the season expecting to compete but fell flat on their face. It’s possible that Minnesota could hit the reset button in 2022 and try again. But as a small-market team, they could trade away some of their best chips and enter a rebuilding phase. The latter possibility has brought about the Buxton trade rumors.

Buxton trade rumors

The 27-year-old Buxton could be an interesting addition to the trade market this summer. A fractured hand sent him to the IL in June, but it won’t keep him sidelined for the rest of the season. In just 27 games this season, he’s batting .369 with an OPS of 1.176, performing like one of the best outfielders in 2021. If Buxton comes anywhere close to producing those numbers when he returns, he’ll be an impact player.

But if the Twins decide to trade him, where will he go?

Yankees

The Yankees are the obvious fit for Buxton. They need at least one outfielder, although trading for two before the deadline isn’t a bad idea either.

More than anything, they need a bonafide center fielder, which is what they’ll get in Buxton. The likes of Brett Gardner, Clint Frazier, and other fill-ins aren’t getting the job done and a Byron Buxton trade would be a huge upgrade for the Bronx Bombers.

Astros

Houston isn’t in dire need of a center fielder given the rest of the team’s lineup. But Buxton would represent an immediate upgrade over youngster Myles Straw.

It would be the type of move that would prove that the Astros are serious about contending for another World Series.

Braves

Even though Atlanta just traded for Joc Pederson, the Braves could still make a play for Buxton. Keep in mind they’ve lost both Marcell Ozuna and Ronald Acuna, this year, so Pederson alone isn’t going to fill those holes.

Even with Pederson on board, the likes of Guillermo Heredia and Abraham Almonte are playing regularly in the Atlanta outfield. Trading for Buxton would solve some of their problems, giving them a viable bat and an elite defender in the same package.

Phillies

Much like the Braves, the Phillies have to think the Mets are vulnerable in the NL East, so a big trade for a player like Buxton could make a big difference. Outside of Bryce Harper, there’s not much to like about the Philadelphia outfield.

Andrew McCutchen is showing his age and who knows how long Travis Jankowski can keep being a viable place-holder in center field. That makes Philadelphia the ideal landing spot for Buxton.

Brewers

The Brew Crew is looking better and better but they still need a little more offensively. Jackie Bradley Jr. and Lorenzo Cain aren’t getting the job done in center field. Buxton would be the perfect solution for Milwaukee, especially since Bradley and Cain are there to provide depth if Buxton gets hurt again.

While the Brewers look good to win the NL Central, they’ll need to make a meaningful improvement at the deadline if they want to make noise in October, which is why Buxton should be on their radar.

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