What a weekend of basketball that was. And we get to do it all over again tonight, tomorrow and basically every day until June.
It’s evident how deep the talent level in the NBA is right now and we’re all better for it.
Come get caught up on everything that happened over the weekend and get ready for another slate of playoff games with Winners Club.
Upcoming Playoff Schedule
Before getting into tonight and Tuesday’s schedules, let’s check in to see how the futures odds shifted. After all, it’s just one game… right?
- The Suns are even heavier favorites to win the NBA title after taking a 1-0 lead over the Pelicans. Phoenix is now +200 to win it all after entering the postseason at +275.
- The Nets’ odds dropped dramatically after they lost to the Celtics. Brooklyn was +700 to win it all and fell all the way to +1400. If you believe in the Nets, buy the dip.
- The Celtics are on the upswing after beating the Nets. Boston was +1100 to win the Finals and that figure quickly dropped to +800.
See the rest of the East, West and Finals futures odds on SI Sportsbook.
7:30 pm ET (TNT): Raptors vs. 76ers (-7.5)
8:30 pm ET (NBA TV): Jazz (-5.5) vs. Mavericks
10 pm ET (TNT): Nuggets vs. Warriors (-7.5)
7:30 pm ET (TNT): Hawks vs. Heat (-7.5)
8:30 pm ET (NBA TV): Timberwolves vs. Grizzlies (-6.5)
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10 pm ET (TNT): Pelicans vs. Suns (-10.5)
The opening weekend of the NBA playoffs had a few upsets, plenty of trash talk and even a game-winner.
Utah got the postseason underway on Saturday by stealing Game 1 in Dallas from the Luka Dončić-less Mavericks. And Minnesota scored another win for the road teams a few hours later when it beat Memphis in a high-scoring affair.
Home teams won out for the remainder of the weekend, staving off any further surprises. The Bulls did push the Bucks a bit more than expected, falling 93-86 in Game 1. And the Nets would have joined the Jazz and Timberwolves had they held on against the Celtics on the road. Jayson Tatum assured that would not happen when he sliced to the hoop for a game-winning layup past Kyrie Irvinghis former teammate, as time expired.
There were quite a few blowouts — the 76ers defeated the Raptors, 131-111, and the Heat thrashed the Hawks, 115-91. The Pelicans avoided a blowout with a strong second half but still lost to the Suns, 110-99.
More NBA postseason reading:
Michael Porter Jr. Hopes to Return for Round 1: The Nuggets forward only played in a handful of games this season and underwent spinal surgery on Dec. 1. Previous reports said it was unlikely he returns for the postseason, but Porter recently told ESPN he feels “close” to perfect. Denver trails Golden State 0-1 in the series.
Dončić Unlikely to Play in Game 2: Mavericks star Luka Dončić would need a “dramatic improvement” to be ready for tonight’s game in Dallas. He suffered a left calf strain over a week ago and missed Game 1 against Utah on Saturday, which the Mavericks lost.
Scottie Barnes’ X-Rays Negative, Doubtful for Game 2: The Raptors rookie injured his left ankle against the 76ers on Saturday when Joel Embiid inadvertently stepped on it. Barnes underwent an MRI on Sunday to determine his status di lui for tonight’s game, though he’s unlikely to play.
Clint Capela’s Knee Has ‘No Structural Damage’: Atlanta’s center injured his knee in Friday’s play-in against the Cavaliers and had to leave the game. He was unable to play in Game 1 against the Heat on Sunday, which Miami won handily. Capela will be reevaluated in a week.
In Other News
Star Receivers to Sit Out Offseason Programs: Deebo Samuel, AJ Brown and Terry McLaurin are all entering the final year of their rookie deals and are angling for new contracts during an offseason in which several top receivers have gotten paid. Samuel and Brown plan to miss the offseason programs while McLaurin will report.
Rookie Tight End Fantasy Football Report: Last year’s rookie class had a clear blue-chip tight end prospect at the top of the draft. That won’t be the case this time around, but there are a few players, like Colorado State’s Trey McBride, who figure to make an immediate impact.
Nikola Jokic vs. Draymond Green: The battle down low between Denver’s MVP and Golden State’s DPOY might decide the Warriors-Nuggets series. It certainly impacted Game 1, a decisive Golden State win.
That’s all for today. Thank you for reading Winners Club! I’ll be back Wednesday morning.