Jimmy Butler Getty Jayson Tatum Heat Celtics
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A happy Monday and a relaxing Memorial Day to everyone. It's Zach Pereles back in the saddle, and I hope you're well.

Let's get right to it.

Good morning to everyone but especially to...


The two best words in sports: Game 7. Tonight. Strap in.

Miraculous. Opportunistic. Fortunate. Jaw-dropping. Controversial. The ending of Game 6 of Celtics-Heat was all that and more. Derrick White's buzzer-beating putback was the stuff of legends -- even White's teammates couldn't believe it -- and our Jack Maloney broke down the absolutely bonkers ending to an all-time classic.

The Celtics are just the fourth team in NBA history to even force a Game 7 after trailing a series 3-0 -- and none of the previous three won Game 7.

But now, somehow, some way, Boston is in great position to be the first NBA team ever to win a series after trailing 3-0, as our Sam Quinn predicted days ago. It's because of stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, sure, but also role players like White, who went from under-the-radar trade acquisition to key contributor to, now, hero. That trade proved to be an absolute steal for Boston, Sam writes.

How, then, is it also a good morning for the Heat?

Here's the thing: Game 7s do in fact involve two teams. And while Boston has the history everyone is talking about on the line, Miami also has its own history to make. Only one 8-seed -- the 1999 Knicks -- has made the NBA Finals, and tonight, Miami has a shot to join them.

If you told the Heat a month and a half ago, when they were one quarter away from missing the playoffs entirely, that they'd be one game from the NBA Finals, they'd be ecstatic. They wouldn't ask questions about how, about potentially blowing 3-0 leads or about heartbreaking Game 6 losses. They'd gladly ship up to Boston -- where they've already won twice this series -- with arguably the best player (Jimmy Butler) and coach (Erik Spoelstra) of this postseason and give it everything they have.

And I expect them to do just that.

As for you, the fan: Embrace it. Nights like tonight are what make sports great.

Honorable mentions

And not such a good morning for...

Jimmy Garoppolo Getty Las Vegas Raiders
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Remember when Jimmy Garoppolo's introductory press conference with the Raiders was delayed? And we didn't get a real reason as to why?

Now we know. Garoppolo had foot surgery in March, and the Raiders added a waiver to his contract. Here are the details:

  • Garoppolo acknowledges he would not be able to pass the team's physical due to the injury.
  • Garoppolo acknowledges and assumes the risk of further injury, including "permanent disability."
  • The Raiders can terminate the agreement "for any reason" related to the addendum.
  • The addendum becomes null and void if Garoppolo passes a physical, is active for at least one 2023 regular-season game and does not re-injure his left foot.
  • In the original contract, Garoppolo had a $11.25-million signing bonus and a $11.25-million base salary for 2023. Now, he's owed a $22.5-million base salary, so he hasn't been paid yet. He'll get the money if/when he passes the physical.

Basically, if this foot injury/recovery hinders his ability to pass a physical or actually play, the Raiders could move on from Garoppolo without him ever suiting up for the team.

Garoppolo has not practiced at organized team activities. Though it remains unlikely this will be an issue -- head coach Josh McDaniels said there's been no "surprise" regarding Garoppolo's foot -- it's a notable and concerning development that bears monitoring. For now, though, the Raiders are trying to cover their bases in case of disaster.

Not so honorable mentions

2023 Indy 500: Josef Newgarden wins in wild sprint to finish 🏎

Josef Newgarden Getty 2023 Indianapolis 500
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Chasing down your first Indy 500 while going head-to-head with the defending champion? No problem for Josef Newgarden. The 2017 and 2019 IndyCar Series champ passed and then held off Marcus Ericsson to win at the Brickyard.

  • Newgarden started the race in 17th. It's the worst starting position by a winner since 2014, when Ryan Hunter-Reay won after starting 19th.
  • Newgarden was so overjoyed with the win that he slipped between the catch fence and the wall and celebrated with the fans in a truly joyous scene.
  • Santino Ferrucci finished third to claim the final spot on the podium.

Ericsson had some harsh words for the way the race ended, saying that restarting with a lap to go was "dangerous." Ericsson was looking to become the first repeat champion since Helio Castroneves in 2001-02.

Instead, it was Newgarden kissing the bricks and drinking the milk -- whole milk, for those wondering -- and pouring it on himself in celebration. In his previous 11 Indy 500 appearances, Newgarden had never finished better than third.

Where could DeAndre Hopkins land? How does it affect Kyler Murray? 🏈

Kyler Murray IMAGN DeAndre Hopkins Arizona Cardinals

The short, up-and-down Cardinals portion of DeAndre Hopkins' career came to an unceremonious end. After failing to garner much trade interest, Arizona cut the five-time Pro Bowler, leaving him free to choose where he'll play next (and leaving the Cardinals with a hefty check to pay).

Hopkins, who turns 31 next week, was terrific when he was on the field, but he missed 15 games over the past two seasons for a combination of injuries and a suspension, and the Cardinals won zero playoff games with him on the team.

Hopkins is now looking for a Super Bowl contender, and our Garrett Podell ranked top potential landing spots, led by...

  • Podell: "1. Bills -- They could use another receiver after Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis since their current plan is to have rookie tight end Dalton Kincaid act as their slot receiver. The Bills employ Hopkins' top choice to play with at QB in Josh Allen, too. If Hopkins is willing to agree to a smaller deal to fit under the salary cap, Buffalo makes the most sense."

Speaking of top quarterback choices, here's who else Hopkins said he'd like to play with, and here are some dark-horse potential suitors.

Hopkins is far from the biggest name to ever be cut, and this decision will have long-term effects in Arizona, specifically for Kyler Murray, notes our Jeff Kerr.

  • Kerr: "Arizona might just be the worst team in the league -- and primed for the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. USC's Caleb Williams is slated to enter the 2024 NFL Draft and is projected to be the best quarterback prospect since Trevor Lawrence. ... Arizona probably doesn't want Murray to succeed at this rate. Releasing Hopkins doesn't give Murray the pass-catchers he needs to help the franchise win games."

Remember, Arizona also has the Texans' first-round pick. Better days are ahead... but they're not likely to be soon, Cardinals fans.

What we're watching Monday 📺

🏎 NASCAR Coca-Cola 600, 3 p.m. on Fox
🏒 Golden Knights at Stars, 8 p.m. on ESPN
Angels at White Sox, 8:10 p.m. on FS1
🏀 Heat at Celtics, 8:30 p.m. on TNT