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Markelle Fultz ascends to hesi pull-up jimbo heaven in 2nd Utah game

Markelle Fultz ascends to hesi pull-up jimbo heaven in 2nd Utah game

Well, he can shoot. That much we can probably take to the bank.

Markelle Fultz had a largely up-and-down night in his second Utah Jazz Summer League outing -- his first half being the "down," and the second half being the "up" -- that in aggregate once again pointed to the many strengths and handful of weaknesses he will likely display as a first-year pro. Defense is a concern, primary playmaking is a concern, conditioning and stamina is a concern. Shooting? Not a concern. 

If you followed Fultz's summer league debut on any media platform, you are no doubt already familiar with the phrase "hesi pull-up jimbo," as coined by Finals MVP Kevin Durant (h/t DMV streetball parlance). That phrase, once applied to our No. 1 overall pick, already seems likely to follow him for his career's entirety: Not just because of its brain-sticking inanity, but because a shot as smooth and distinctive and consistent as Fultz's should have its own name. We'll be watching the Hesi Pull-up Jimbo for the next five to 10 (to 25) years and will lack the proper vocabulary to describe it anyway, may as well embrace it now. 

In any event, the HPUJ was obviously in full effect on Wednesday night in Utah against the home-court Jazz. It was just about the only thing working for Fultz in the first half, where he turned the ball over four times with no assists, got repeatedly shut down by Dante Exum in the half-court, and also got lightly toasted by Exum on multiple occasions at the other end, looking slow and small (and winded) by comparison. It was the kind of half that has you nervously flipping to old DX strengths videos and scouting reports to persuade yourself to keep the faith while your eyes and stomach tell you that all is not right with dude. 

But things leveled out in the second half -- Fultz got more opportunities in the half-court, his teammates set better picks and hit more shots, and an improved team scheme neturalized Exum and rookie backcourt mate Donovan Mitchell enough for the Sixers to mount an unlikely late-game comeback. And leading the charge was Fultz in full MF Doom mode, ultimately scoring 23 on the night and 13 in the quarter, including 9 of 16 FG and 4 of 8 from deep (really 4 of 6 when you discount his two half-ending heaves from beyond the timeline). In the final minutes, he casually shed his defender with a stepback into a swished wing three to cut Utah's lead to one that had process trusters and everyone else in full swoon. Didn't look that impressed with himself, either. 

It's often irritatingly facile to trace a player's potential through his prospective fit with a teammate -- I can still remember Dennis Scott on the 2010 summer league call insisting that Evan Turner's game would blossom once he got to share the perimeter with Andre Iguodala, an obvious and dangerous untruth. But damn if you can't see Fultz and Ben Simmons filling the crevices in each other's game like a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios and two-percent milk: A couple games of Fultz as a semi-pro and it's clear his most obvious player comp is Kyrie Irving, a truly dynamic scoring guard with a solid, if occasionally uninspiring, verve for distributing. Putting Simbo on the floor with him could open up his game like Irving's has next-leveled alongside You Know Who. (Not J.R. Smith or Iman Shumpert.) 

Anyway, the Sixers still lost, 100-94, and Fultz still ended with more turnovers (six) than assists (five, all but one of which came in the final frame). But life is still beautiful in the Post-Processverse. Players, Jerry! Real NBA players! The two months between summer league and preseason this year are gonna be the longest any Sixers fan has ever known. 

(Postscript: Sixers 2016 first-rounder Furkan Korkmaz also supposedly played in this game, having officially signed his NBA contract earlier Wednesday -- I watched all 40 minutes and can not confirm he is yet on the continent.)

Carson Wentz delivers heartfelt message to Eagles and fans

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@cj_wentz

Carson Wentz delivers heartfelt message to Eagles and fans

On the day he found out his season was over, Carson Wentz has vowed to come back stronger than ever. 

Wentz, who tore his ACL in the third quarter on Sunday afternoon, posted a video to his Twitter account on Monday night. 

In the video, he admitted he is going through a tough time but is using his Christian faith to get get through it.

"If we got everything we wanted in life," Wentz said, "it would be a disaster." 

Then, he had a message for his fans: 

"I can promise to everybody, all my fans in the Philly area, in the North Dakota area, all across this country, that this will not stop me going forward. I will come back stronger than ever. I will use this as motivation. And I will be attacking it, this whole process as I recover. 

"But at the end of the day, this year we still have something special. We just clinched the NFC East. That was Step 1 of our goals this season and we're just continuing on from there. I will be with the team along the way. I will be supporting them. 

"I have the utmost confidence in Nick (Foles) and the coaching staff and everybody else that they'll step up. We've been plagued with injuries all year long and it's just been the next-man-up mentality and that's going to continue. Nick's going to to an amazing job leading this team and I'm going to be there to help."

Watch Wentz's full message here: 

Brian Dawkins gives Eagles fans a pep talk on Twitter after Wentz injury

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AP Images

Brian Dawkins gives Eagles fans a pep talk on Twitter after Wentz injury

Sunday was tough for football fans in the city of Philadelphia. Carson Wentz exited the game, walked off the field and into the locker room, and the mood was somber.

It didn't take long for reports to swirl that the Eagles feared the worst, that their MVP-caliber quarterback could be lost for the season.

The Birds went on to win the game but it was bittersweet without the prospect of Wentz leading them to the Super Bowl.

Star athletes from all of sports shared messages of support. From fellow star quarterbacks lost for the season like DeShaun Watson to brothers in the city who have dealt with injuries of their own like Joel Embiid, everybody hated to see Wentz go down.

You could feel the negativity oozing through the city.

Monday came and Doug Pederson confirmed what we already believed. Wentz was gone for the year and Nick Foles takes the job of leading the Birds to the promise land. Hope was dim but not extinguished.

Then Eagles Nation got the pep talk (tweeted) it needed from the one person who would never lie to them and only inspire them, Brian Dawkins.


Birdgang, Take Heart! Don’t bye into the neg emotions. @JordanHicks @DarrenSproles @ChrisMaragos Jason Peters & now @cj_wentz r leaders that continue 2 help us win by giving of themselves. WE will rally behind a confident #9 Do me a huge favor.. Rally & BELIEVE!!#FlyEaglesFly

I'm still bummed but Weapon X has me feeling a little better. The Eagles season isn't over just yet. It's time for Nick Foles to write a storybook ending.

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