NBA: Playoffs-Milwaukee Bucks at Miami Heat

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Good morning to everyone but especially to...


The Bucks have the best record in the NBA and, finally, Giannis Antetokounmpo alongside Jrue Holiday, Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez.

The Heat have the unparalleled postseason greatness of Jimmy Butler... and now a stunning 3-1 lead over the No. 1 seed thanks to a 119-114 Game 4 win.

  • Butler scored a franchise playoff-record 56 points, including 22 in the first quarter, when seemingly no other Miami player could score, and 21 in the fourth quarter.
  • The Heat trailed by 12 -- 101-89 -- with six minutes left before a 13-0 run to take the lead and a 30-13 surge to finish the game overall. Caleb Martin scored 10 of his 16 points in the fourth.
  • After missing Games 2 and 3, Antetokounmpo had a triple-double (26 points, 10 rebounds, 13 assists), and Lopez had 36 points. But Middleton and Holiday combined for just 28 points on 10-31 shooting.

I don't really have the words to describe Butler's performance. The 56 points are astonishing, and yet that doesn't fully capture just how incredible he was. He dragged his team through early slogs and carried it late. It's an all-time game for a player who has plenty of legendary ones. There's no doubting his place among the game's elite, writes our Brad Botkin.

Miami will try to finish the rare 8-1 upset tomorrow.


For most of the season, the Lakers weren't a playoff team, didn't look like a playoff team and certainly didn't seem like a threat even if they made it.

How lucky we are that they figured it out. And how lucky we are to watch LeBron James. James scored 22 points and grabbed a career-high 20 rebounds to become the oldest player in NBA history with a 20-20 game -- regular season or playoffs -- and the Lakers beat the Grizzlies, 117-111 in overtime, to take a 3-1 series lead.

Honorable mentions

And not such a good morning for...

NBA: Playoffs-Sacramento Kings at Golden State Warriors


No one is safe from the injury bug, not even the best series so far and, in particular, one of the breakout stars making it so good:  De'Aaron Fox fractured his left index finger in Game 4 and is doubtful for Game 5 tomorrow.

  • Fox suffered the injury in the fourth quarter in an unfortunate way: on a nonchalant toss toward the basket after a foul. It appeared he clipped Warriors big Kevon Looney in the process. Fox finished the game, which the Kings lost, 126-125.
  • Fox is averaging 31.5 points, seven assists and six rebounds so far in the series, which is tied 2-2.
  • If Fox (a lefty) plays, he'll have to wear a protective covering on the finger.

Not so honorable mentions

Aaron Rodgers traded to Jets: Why both sides got what they wanted 🏈

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The twisting, turning, on-again, off-again, darkness retreat-included saga of where Aaron Rodgers will play in 2023 is finally over. The Packers agreed to trade Rodgers, a franchise icon, four-time MVP and one-time Super Bowl champion, to the Jets

Here are the terms:

Jets receive

  • QB Aaron Rodgers
  • 2023 first-round pick (15th)
  • 2023 fifth-round pick (170th)

Packers receive

  • 2023 first-round pick (13th)
  • 2023 second-round pick (42nd)
  • 2023 sixth-round pick (207th)
  • 2024 conditional second-round pick (turns into first-round pick if Rodgers plays at least 65% of snaps in 2023)

This trade was, quite literally, months in the making but was far from a sure thing. Rodgers stated his intentions to play for the Jets way back in mid-March, and the progress between the two sides waxed and waned. Ultimately, both teams got what they wanted, and that's why both earned high marks in Garrett Podell's trade grades.

Long story short, the Jets are all-in... which they should be. Their 12-year playoff drought is the longest active of any team in the four major American sports. With plenty of young talent on cheap contracts, the Jets had to get it right at quarterback. As for the Packers, yes, it's the end of an era. Yes, it had to happen. And yes, the Packers did a very good job recouping value. That's why Green Bay actually got a higher mark -- an 'A' -- in Garrett's trade grades.

Even though the Jets can't quite ever really get over the hump and win it all (and the track record of Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks getting traded isn't great), the Jets' odds of winning the Super Bowl rose dramatically with this deal. Meanwhile, Green Bay has been stuck between a rock and a hard place for several offseasons. Now they're not, and they can finally, truly move forward.

Here's more on the deal:

Now, how does this affect the draft? Well, with Green Bay moving up, Garrett has them taking Ohio State's Jaxon Smith-Njigba -- though our Ryan Wilson says they should go with a different wide receiver.

Rockets hire former Celtics coach Ime Udoka 🏀

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Seven months after resigning as the Celtics' coach, Ime Udoka is back in the NBA -- this time as the Rockets' coach.

The Rockets have some promising young talent in Jalen Green, Alperen Sengun, Jabari Smith Jr. and Tari Eason, among others, and they're very much in the Victor Wembanyama sweepstakes. And there's the rumor that James Harden may return to Houston

But they also have an NBA-worst 59 wins over the past three seasons. There's lots of work to do.

Deion Sanders, Colorado lose another big group to transfer portal 🏈

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We've seen thousands of college football players enter the transfer portal this offseason. Yes, thousands. It's just how it is. The offseason keeps you on your toes every day.

Still, what's happening at Colorado under Deion Sanders is stunning.

Another 18 players have entered the portal since the Buffaloes' electric spring game Saturday. Here are some of the notable names:

  • WR Montana Lemonious-Craig, who had 154 receiving yards and two touchdowns in the spring game
  • WR Jordyn Tyson, who led the Buffaloes with 470 receiving yards last year
  • RB Deion Smith, who led the Buffaloes with 393 rushing yards last year

Since April 15, 31 Buffaloes have entered the portal. Colorado went just 1-11 last year, and Sanders promised major overhaul when he got the job. There was always going to be a transition period, but even Sanders probably wasn't anticipating this.

What we're watching Tuesday 📺

🏀 We're watching the NBA playoffs. Here's how.
🏒 We're also watching the NHL playoffs. Here's how.