believes Magic

Why Magic believes Steph could play during Jordan’s era –

Shaquille O’Neal recently argued that the NBA should cancel the remainder of the current season, suggesting that whichever team was crowned champion in a shortened or altered playoff format would have an asterisk next to its achievement. Whether he is correct in that opinion or not, you can be sure there are plenty of people who share it.

However, it’s important to remember that not all asterisks are created equal. 

Injuries happen. They’re an inherent aspect of sports. To argue that an injury should produce an asterisk is the ultimate loser mentality — as if injury risk isn’t equally shared by all those in participation. The Houston Rockets and their fans can cry all they want about putting an asterisk next to the Warriors’ victory in the 2017-18 Western Conference finals due to Chris Paul missing the final two games with a hamstring injury, but in doing so, they conveniently leave out the fact that Andre Iguodala sat out the final four games of that series. You can’t have it both ways.

Asterisks should be reserved for situations in which cheating occurs, or when a team or player receives a distinct competitive advantage for something outside of the stated rules of game. The Houston Astros’ sign stealing? Yep, that would qualify in my opinion. Apparently Rob Manfred disagrees.

Bleacher Report’s NBA staff recently produced what it believes are the league’s eight biggest asterisks since 1990, but the legitimacy of the asterisk definitely varies by each individual case. The Sacramento Kings losing to the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2002 Western Conference finals carries far more deserved asterisk potential for instance than, say, the Rockets winning back-to-back titles in the mid-90s while Michael Jordan was playing baseball.

Of the eight nominees, two involve the Warriors, though one is far more deserving of an asterisk than the other.

[RUNNIN’ PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

First, let’s begin with the one that doesn’t deserve one whatsoever.

Just like there isn’t an asterisk on the Warriors’ series victory in the 2017-18 Western Conference finals, there isn’t one on the 2016-17 Western Conference finals either, nor should there be. Bleacher Report’s Sean Highkin, however, disagrees.

“When Zaza Pachulia stepped under Kawhi Leonard four minutes into the third quarter of Game 1 of the 2017 Western Conference finals, causing him to reinjure his ankle, it didn’t just swing that series — it had widespread implications around the league,” Highkin wrote. “The Spurs had a 21-point lead over the Warriors when Leonard went down, and without him, they collapsed and lost the game. From then on, without their best player, San Antonio had no shot, and Golden State easily swept the next three games to reach the Finals, wherein they beat the Cavaliers in five games to win their second championship in three years.”

Leonard is a phenomenal player, and Highkin is correct in recounting that the Spurs had the Warriors in a deep hole early in Game 1 of the series prior to being injured. But last I checked, there are four quarters in an NBA game, and playoff series are a best-of-seven format. Even if Leonard doesn’t get hurt and the Spurs win Game 1, they still have to beat the 2016-17 Warriors — arguably the greatest team of all time — three more times.

That team went 16-1 on its way to the title. Get that asterisk the hell out of here.

The other nominee that involves the Warriors — the Cleveland Cavaliers’ 2016 title — certainly is more deserving of an asterisk than the first, but even still, it probably falls short of the requirements.

“Fresh off a 73-9 campaign and armed with the league MVP in Stephen Curry, the Warriors looked demonstrably stronger after Games 1 and 2, which they won by a combined 48 points — the greatest such number through the first two games of any Finals,” Bleacher Report’s Preston Ellis wrote. “But near the end of the Warriors’ Game 4 victory, LeBron James and Draymond Green got into an altercation. Green’s groin swipe was upgraded to a flagrant foul, which resulted in a suspension, while James was issued a technical foul for his clothesline and step-over.”

“Should the two have earned matching technical fouls, Green — who then wouldn’t have accrued enough flagrant points in the postseason to trigger an automatic suspension — would have suited up for Game 5 and could have helped close the series in Oakland,” Ellis continued. “Instead, Andrew Bogut left a three-point game early in the third quarter with a knee injury, and the Cavaliers ran away with a 15-point victory.”

In furthering the case for an asterisk, Ellis also made mention of Curry’s ejection in Game 6, which was the result of several questionable calls. And while he is correct that in almost any other situation, you would expect the punishments to be handed out equally between players, that’s never going to be the case when it comes to the biggest superstar in the league — nor has it ever been. Yes, the punishment distribution was questionable at best, but Green put himself in a position to be suspended with all of the flagrant points he accrued prior to that game.

Did Curry get hosed on some calls in Game 6? Absolutely. But what else do you expect in a clinching scenario on the road?

[RELATED: This random formula says Rockets deserving to win title]

The fact of the matter is, though the officials didn’t exactly help them out, the Warriors had multiple opportunities to avoid blowing a 3-1 series lead. They didn’t. They lost. Then they got Kevin Durant.

No asterisk. No complaints.

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breaks Magic

Ryan Hall breaks down ‘magic happy land’ fight between Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje at UFC 249 – MMA Fighting

When featherweight contender Ryan Hall looks at the UFC 249 main event between Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje, he’s as excited as the rest of us.

The highly-anticipated interim lightweight title fight takes place on Saturday at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Fla., behind closed doors.

Like most fans of the sport, Hall has a short list of fights he considers must-watch television. For The Ultimate Fighter 22 winner and acclaimed Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, Ferguson versus Gaethje checks all the boxes.

“If you could make one of my magic happy land fights, this is obviously going to be one of those,” Hall told MMA Fighting while appearing on What the Heck. “I’m a big Gaethje fan and I’m a big fan of Tony Ferguson.”

Ferguson enters the fight tied with undisputed lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov for the longest active win streak in the UFC at 12. “El Cucuy” doesn’t consider the fight an “interim” title fight, but rather his third title defense since submitting Kevin Lee in the third round of the UFC 226 main event in October 2017.

Hall, who’s unbeaten in four octagon appearances, sees the dangers Ferguson brings into all of his fights, UFC 249 included.

“Tony’s ability in scrappiness, playing off of his back, he’s long and he’s creative and, in certain regards, is a little wild, and that makes him such a wild card,” Hall said. “I still remember this picture that was going around and it showed the faces of all of the people that have fought Tony Ferguson in the last while and you go, ‘Holy moly. They look like they’ve been in a slasher film.’

“It’s not like it is not a tough group of people. Tony can sometimes absorb some damage as well, but I think one of the things that makes him so offensively dynamic is that he is out there. You can find him and you can hit him a little bit, but at the same time, when he gets going, he’s overwhelmingly offensively effective. He’s dangerous from all positions, always attacking, always moving and obviously has the heart of a champion.”

After suffering the only two losses of his career to Eddie Alvarez and Dustin Poirier, Gaethje has been on a tear. “The Highlight” lived up to his moniker in his three previous fights with first-round finishes of James Vick, Edson Barboza and Donald Cerrone.

While the skill sets may be different, Hall is fascinated with the under-the-radar similarities between the two.

“Gaethje is so similar in that regard,” Hall said. “They just use a different set of tools. He’s obviously physically different. I know that Tony can wrestle pretty well, himself. It’s something that doesn’t come up as often – not in an obvious sense in a lot of his fights.

“Seemingly, Gaethje uses his wrestling more in reverse to stop people from stopping him from Justin Gaethje-ing them. In older fights, I’ve seen highlights of him just launching guys. I think was an All-American, D-1, so you know he can definitely wrestle.”

Currently, Ferguson is a slight favorite over his dangerous counterpart. The winner of the fight likely has a date with Nurmagomedov later this year in a title unifier.

Hall is mum on an official prediction. He approaches the fight with a coin-flip mentality.

“It’s really difficult to pick,” he said. “MMA is such an interesting sport, because there’s so many ways to win and so many ways to lose that it’s so volatile by nature compared to a basketball game or even a boxing match, which is relatively sterile. I think, in a lot of ways, people haven’t really figured out a way to fight MMA in a way that limits that volatility. That’s something Floyd Mayweather has done brilliantly in boxing, and that’s something that doesn’t resonate with the average fan, or even the average competitor.

“We watch [Mayweather’s] method and we watch his success over the years and think, ‘Oh, man, there’s obviously something to this Floyd guy.’ When he gets touched, or when he gets in trouble, he has the grit of an Arturo Gatti when he needs it. He just turns that on and off.

“This fight [between Ferguson and Gaethje] is unbelievable because both of these guys are there to put you away. I really love the way Gaethje approaches the game because – he doesn’t say it – but I think a lot of people pretend to be Justin Gaethje, and they aren’t. They’re like, ‘I’m gonna get you, I’m gonna knock you out and you can never knock me out,’ and he doesn’t say stuff like that. He says, basically, ‘If you don’t knock me out, you’re gonna have a really rough night. But I didn’t say you couldn’t, I just don’t think you can. We’ll find out.’

“I think he’s as mentally tough as anybody out there. He stands behind his words, and he’s an unbelievably entertaining fighter, a super skillful dude. I’m excited as a fan to see this one.”

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Magic Tricks

10 Tips and Tricks for the iPad Pro Magic Keyboard – MacRumors

If you’ve just picked up Apple’s new Magic Keyboard for your 2018 or 2020 iPad Pro, here’s a list of our favorite tips and tricks that you need to know.

Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.

1. Use Your Free USB-C Port

Apple made a neat design decision to integrate a USB-C port into the side of the Magic Keyboard. This lets you power your connected ‌iPad Pro‌ via pass-through charging, leaving your tablet’s onboard USB-C port free to plug in other accessories like an SD card reader or a digital camera. You could even charge an Apple Watch from the free USB-C port, or connect your ‌iPad Pro‌ to an external display.

2. Reclaim the Escape Key

The Magic Keyboard for ‌‌iPad Pro‌‌ lacks an Escape key, but there are a couple of ways you can get around this. Try hitting the Command key and the period key in combination. If that doesn’t work in the context that you need an Escape function, you can use an option in iPadOS 13.4 that lets you remap modifier keys for various actions.


To do so, first make sure your Magic Keyboard is connected to your ‌iPad Pro‌, then launch the Settings app and select General -> Keyboard -> Hardware Keyboard. Select the Modifier Keys option, then choose the modifier key that you’d like to use as an Escape key. Choose the Escape action on the next screen, and you’ll be good to go.

3. Gain Quick Access to the Virtual Keyboard

If you need to use the onscreen virtual keyboard to do things like type accented characters or use dictation, tap the down arrow key on your Magic Keyboard, then touch and hold the downward-facing chevron in the bottom-right corner of the iPad‘s screen. To hide the keyboard again, tap the key in the bottom-right corner of the screen.

4. Control Touchscreen Actions With Keys

If you have difficulty using your ‌iPad Pro‌’s touchscreen, you can replicate many of the functions and actions using the keys on a Magic Keyboard. With the Magic Keyboard connected, launch the Settings app and select Accessibility -> Keyboards -> Full Keyboard Access.

Toggle on the switch next to Full Keyboard Access, and you’ll be able to control and customize several keyboard shortcuts to replicate a range of functions, movements, interactions, gestures, and more.

5. Adjust Backlight Brightness

Perhaps the only drawback of the Magic Keyboard is that its layout lacks a row of function keys. That leaves users with no dedicated keys for adjusting some system settings, including keyboard backlight brightness.

The Magic Keyboard actually uses the ‌iPad Pro‌’s sensors to detect the lighting in your environment and will adjust the backlit keys accordingly. But if for some reason you find it too bright or too dim, you can adjust this manually. Granted, it’s not as convenient as tapping a key when you want to watch a video with the lights out, but at least it’s there.


Launch the Settings app and select General -> Keyboard -> Hardware Keyboard, then simply drag the Keyboard Brightness slider to the right or left to make the keys brighter or dimmer.

MacStories’ iOS Shortcut magician Federico Viticci has also created a handy shortcut that launches the Hardware Keyboard section of Settings directly. As Viticci suggests, the most convenient way of using it is as a widget on the ‌iPad‌ Home screen.

6. Customize Cursor Behavior

‌iPadOS‌ includes options that let you customize the appearance and behavior of the trackpad’s round cursor. These include increasing the cursor’s contrast, changing its color, making it bigger or smaller, changing scrolling speed, and disabling the auto-hide after inactivity. These settings can be found in the Settings app under Accessibility -> Pointer Control.

7. Tap-to-Click and Two-Finger Secondary Click

If you own a Mac, you’re likely already familiar with Tap to Click. It lets your trackpad register a tap with a single finger as a virtual click, allowing you to do things like launch apps and open menus without physically clicking the pad.

Apple has included the same feature in ‌iPadOS‌ 13.4, so you can use it with your Magic Trackpad. Launch Settings and choose General -> Trackpad, then switch on the toggle next to Tap to Click. Now you can tap the trackpad’s surface with one finger to register a click, instead of having the physically depress the trackpad.

You can also make a two-finger tap or click behave as a secondary click (or right-click, if you’re used to a two-button mouse). Simply enable the Two Finger Secondary Click toggle in the same Trackpad settings screen above.

8. Trackpad Gestures

As you’d expect, the Magic Keyboard supports the new trackpad gestures in ‌iPadOS‌ 13.4. For example, you can enter the Slide Over multitasking interface by moving the cursor over to the right side of the screen or dragging an app over from the Dock.

You can also use two- and three-finger gestures. On the Home screen, for example, a two-finger swipe downwards on your trackpad will bring up Spotlight search. When you’re using Photos, you can pinch in and out to control picture zoom. You can also use two fingers to scroll up or down when navigating a web page in Safari.

Try swiping downwards with three fingers to be taken back to the Home screen no matter what you’re doing on the ‌iPad‌. Likewise, a three-finger swipe up on the trackpad will open up the ‌iPadOS‌ multitasking interface. And swiping to the left or the right with three fingers will also switch between your open apps.

9. Access Emoji Keyboard

It’s easy to access emoji while using the Magic Keyboard. Whenever you’re in typing mode, press the globe key in the bottom-corner of the keyboard layout.

As long as you’re using only English, the emoji keyboard will appear on the screen. To make it disappear again, simply tap the globe key on the keyboard once again.

10. “Easel Mode” and Other Orientations

Hold your ‌iPad Pro‌ in landscape orientation, prop the bottom side against the ridge below the keys, and rest its top side against the Magic Keyboard cover. Now you have a stable elevated drafting stand or “easel,” perfect for drawing.

You can also try this stand trick in portrait orientation for some FaceTime, or whenever you want to have the screen closer to you. It’s not quite as stable, but it works. (Hat tip to MacRumors forum member GrindedDown for this one.)

Alternatively, with the ‌iPad Pro‌ attached in the normal way, try flipping the Magic Keyboard over backwards, then take your iPhone and slip it in between the keyboard and the top of your ‌iPad‌, and you’ll have another decent angle for drawing.

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