Good morning to everybody however particularly to…
THE NBA PLAY-IN TOURNAMENT TEAMS
Two playoff bids can be clinched tonight — and two different groups can be pushed to the brink — because the NBA Play-In Tournament opens with a pair of video games:
The winner of every sport would be the No. 7 seed of their respective conferences. The loser will play the winner of tomorrow’s contests on Friday, and the winner of that sport will declare the No. 8 seed. You can see all the small print right here.
Let’s begin with Timberwolves-Lakers, particularly Minnesota, as a result of the largest storyline is who will not be there: Rudy Gobert has been suspended one sport after punching teammate Kyle Anderson within the regular-season finale.
Gobert can be out there for the Timberwolves’ subsequent sport, whether or not that is within the playoffs or within the play-in elimination sport.The Timberwolves can even be with out Jaden McDaniels after he fractured his hand punching a wall in frustration earlier within the sport.Of observe, Minnesota has performed higher just lately with Gobert off the court docket. Over the final 10 video games, they’ve a +5.7 web ranking when he isn’t taking part in; solely the Celtics had a greater web ranking than that this season.
The Lakers, alternatively, are lastly absolutely wholesome and rolling. They’ve gained 9 of their final 11 video games and are a unanimous decide to win by our specialists. You can see all of our play-in picks right here.
In the primary sport, the Hawks are searching for some revenge after the Heat beat them in 5 video games within the first spherical final 12 months. Miami completely hounded Trae Young in that sequence, so Dejounte Murray has to step up, and Atlanta has to play quick, writes our Brad Botkin.
Meanwhile, a giant commerce rumor surrounding Young popped up Monday.
And not such an excellent morning for…
PAUL GEORGE AND THE LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS
The Clippers‘ daunting first-round process — taking down the Suns — simply bought rather a lot more durable. Paul George (knee) will miss the start of the sequence.
George sprained his knee March 21 and was initially anticipated to overlook two-to-three weeks. Today marks three weeks since then. The sequence with the Suns begins Sunday.This season, the Clippers have a +4.0 web ranking with George on the court docket and a -2.6 web ranking with him off it. Essentially, they’re just like the 51-win Grizzlies when he performs and worse than the 34-win Magic when he would not.The Suns, in fact, are 8-0 when Kevin Durant performs and are the overwhelming favourite to win the Western Conference, even because the No. 4 seed.
With George out, the Clippers not solely lose their most prolific 3-point shooter (158 makes, most on the staff) but additionally a terrific, prolonged and athletic wing defender who — alongside Kawhi Leonard — may tackle Durant or Devin Booker. Though the Clippers have terrific depth, George is a premier two-way participant, and the Clippers’ margin for error was already skinny earlier than this information.
Not so honorable mentions
Team grades from the WNBA Draft 🏀
Ever since Aliyah Boston entered the WNBA Draft, she was seen because the no-doubt No. 1 decide, and on Monday, the Fever adopted by means of of their first time ever with the highest choice.
It was the anticipated alternative, and it was the best one, writes our Jack Maloney.
Here’s how the highest half of the primary spherical unfolded:
1. Fever: Aliyah Boston (C, South Carolina)
2. Lynx: Diamond Miller (G, Maryland)
3. Wings: Maddy Siegrist (F, Villanova)
4. Wings (traded from Mystics): Stephanie Soares (C, Iowa State)
5. Dallas Wings: Lou Lopez Senechal (F, UConn)
6. Atlanta Dream: Haley Jones (G/F, Stanford)
You can see full draft outcomes right here.
One participant who was anticipated to go within the high 5 however did not gave the Storm an “A” grade, writes our Jack Maloney.
Maloney: “Seattle Storm: Jordan Horston (G, Tenneesse): Horston falling all the best way to No. 9 was a bit shocking, however the Storm will not be complaining… At 6-foot-2, Horston has nice measurement and athleticism on the wing, defends and is an underrated playmaker… she has a ton of potential. A fantastic addition for the Storm as they attempt to rebuild post-Breanna Stewart and Sue Bird.”
So, who crushed the draft general? Jack assessed winners and losers.
UEFA Champions League quarterfinal knowledgeable picks, daring predictions ⚽
The UEFA Champions League is again with quarterfinal motion opening at this time on Paramount+. Here’s what’s on faucet:
That first sport, in fact, is unbelievably star-studded. Our soccer specialists ranked the highest 50 gamers left within the event, and the high two belong to Manchester City.
1. Erling Haaland, ahead, Manchester City
2. Kevin De Bruyne, midfielder, Manchester City
3. Karim Benzema, ahead, Real Madrid
4. Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, winger, Napoli
5. Thibaut Courtois, goalkeeper, Real Madrid
But it is Bayern Munich who had probably the most gamers of any staff — 10 to be actual — on that checklist. That has our specialists break up on at this time’s end result. But Tom Fornelli nonetheless had to choose for his Corner Picks, and here is his greatest guess:
Fornelli: “I’ve a tough time envisioning a situation during which City do not win. Bayern can be with out their main scorer Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting. While Tuchel’s had loads of expertise managing groups and not using a striker, I do not know that Munich will have the ability to sit again and take in blows for 90 minutes. City will discover a approach to break them down finally, if not a number of instances, and I do not absolutely belief Bayern to reply. The Pick: Manchester City (-135) “
Here’s all the things else to get you prepared:
Will Odell Beckham Jr. assist Ravens maintain Lamar Jackson? 🏈
Odell Beckham Jr. has joined the Baltimore Ravens, and whether or not he could be an impactful participant in his comeback from yet one more ACL tear is to be decided. What’s already sure, although, is that his signing has some fairly wide-ranging implications.
Let’s begin along with his personal staff:
If Jackson does certainly stay in Baltimore, our Jeff Kerr says Beckham would be the second-best huge receiver Jackson’s ever had… and he’ll be a part of the very best huge receiver room Jackson’s ever had.
Kerr: “This is extra of an indictment of what Jackson has needed to work with at huge receiver over time, but the place is considerably improved with Beckham. If Rashod Bateman can keep wholesome in 2023, Baltimore has an honest 1-2 punch with Beckham and Bateman on the surface. … Baltimore nonetheless wants extra depth on the place, however the trio of Beckham, Bateman and Nelson Agholor makes the place formidable.”
Remember, Aaron Rodgers hoped Beckham would be part of the Jets (which Rodgers himself is but to do however finally will… allegedly. Still, this should not trigger many points with that, Jeff writes.
What we’re watching Tuesday 📺
⚽ Manchester City vs. Bayern Munich, 3 p.m. on Paramount+
⚽ Benfica vs. Inter Milan, 3 p.m. on Paramount+
🏒 Maple Leafs at Lightning, 7 p.m. on ESPN
⚾ Padres at Mets, 7:10 p.m. on TBS
🏀 Hawks at Heat, 7:30 p.m. on TNT
🏒 Oilers at Avalanche, 9:30 p.m. on ESPN
🏀 Timberwolves at Lakers, 10 p.m. on TNT
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