Kristaps Porzingis

Two superstars are officially question marks for major events:

one in the NBA, another in the…MLE?

What Porzingis Injury Means

What Happened: Just when it seemed like the Boston Celtics had this season’s title wrapped up, a wrench gets thrown into the works, giving Dallas at least a slight glimmer of hope.

After returning to Boston’s lineup for the first time since April, Kristaps Porzingis provided rim protection and 16 points per game this Finals, looking like a real difference-maker. With Porzingis on the court against Dallas, Boston’s team +/- has been +25. With the ex-Mav on the bench? The Celtics tread water at 0.

Why It Matters: Porzingis is listed as questionable for Game 3 tonight, and Boston coach Joe Mazzulla labelled his left leg injury (we’ll spare you the medical jargon) a “serious” one, so it’s a question what his team will get out of Porzingis for the rest of the series.

The market has taken notice and upped Dallas’ odds as a result. Following Game 2’s loss, the Mavericks were +660 to win this series; they are now at +540.

The series shifting to Texas should benefit the home team, and if Luka Doncic and the Mavs can unlock the part of their offense built around attacking the rim and lob dunks, this series might get competitive in a hurry.

How We’re Feeling Today

Joey Chestnut

Ashamed at what has become of a once-great American tradition.

We are of course talking about the Nathan’s Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest, and more specifically, Major League Eating’s decision to exclude all-timer Joey Chestnut from the event.

Chestnut, the 16-time champ of the event, will not be allowed to participate because he has a sponsorship deal with Impossible Foods, ostensibly a competitor of Nathan’s. (Impossible Foods sells plant-based hot dogs, so we are skeptical there’s much overlap here.)

Of the ban, MLE event organizer George Shea said Chestnut’s involvement with both Nathan’s and Impossible Foods “would be like Michael Jordan saying to Nike, ‘I’m going to represent Adidas, too.'”

Shea is right in one sense — this is akin to banning Michael Jordan from his sport’s biggest event. A truly appalling decision that leaves us wondering if the nation will ever properly recover from it.

The Look Ahead

Daniel Gafford

Daniel Gafford POINTS Gafford was a big reason the Mavs posted a 24-10 record from February on and are playing in the Finals as a #5 seed. If Porzingis indeed misses time, that should open up the middle of the court a bit more for Gafford to operate. Dallas’ ability to thrive on alley-oop plays was snuffed out by Boston’s big man in Games 1 and 2, but we think a home game and limited (or out) Porzingis will benefit Gafford to the tune of hitting over his line of 8.5 points tonight.