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Good morning to everyone but especially to...
THE NBA LOTTERY TEAMS
Whether your favorite team just barely missed the playoffs or was tanking from the start, tonight represents hope. One of the most anticipated NBA Draft lotteries in history is nearly here, and one lucky franchise will walk away with its fortunes forever changed with the No. 1 pick and the chance to take generational talent Victor Wembanyama.
In case you don't know much about Wemby...
- He's a 7'4" Frenchman who can nail 3-pointers, score off the dribble, hit mid-range fadeaways and terrorize opponents at the rim on both ends.
- He's also only 19.
- He plays in Europe but .
- LeBron James. at the best prospect since
So, who is going to land him? Here are the teams with the top odds:
, and .
Wembanyama will instantly lift any team. There's a reason we dedicatedto tracking who has the best chance of getting him. Our Michael Kaskey-Blomain looked at , and coming in at No. 1 are...
- Kaskey-Blomain: "The Spurs are the best fit for Wembanyama. They're a steady organization with a proven track record of developing and maximizing young talent. Plus, Wembanyama would get the opportunity to start his career by playing for one of the best coaches of all time in Gregg Popovich. Also the Spurs don't currently have any sort of established identity or other young cornerstones in place, so they will immediately be able to begin building around Wembanyama."
Finally, the lottery is just a bunch of ping pong balls bouncing around, but historically, some teams have been luckier than others. Our Sam Quinn did a remarkable deep dive on.
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- Jeremy Roach Duke.
- The Dolphins .
- The Cardinals and have won seven of their last eight.
- MLS to San Diego.
Not so honorable mentions
- The Blue Jays are suspicious of slugger Aaron Judge for moments before he hit an 84-mph hanging slider 462 feet for a home run.
- Ja Morant may face a "significant suspension" after .
- Quinnen Williams is the latest NFL star .
- Some of the biggest ACC schools are to potentially see if they can leave.
- Former Cardinals vice president Terry McDonough against Michael Bidwill to commissioner Roger Goodell.
NBA conference finals picks, plus why this Lakers-Nuggets matchup is way different from 2020 🏀
That all means it's time for.
Out West, we're leaning heavily (but not unanimously) toward Denver. Here's our Sam Quinn:
- Quinn: "Nuggets in 6. Denver has been by far the best team of the postseason. The Lakers have been rockier, hitting enormous highs and troubling lows that often boil down to their inconsistent 3-point shooting and how much energy LeBron James is capable of expending at any given time. They are incredibly vulnerable to foul trouble in this matchup. As well as Anthony Davis played the last time the Lakers and Nuggets met in the playoffs, Dwight Howard spent major chunks of that series guarding Nikola Jokic. The Lakers have no such secondary option."
That's far from the only difference from when these teams met in the 2020 bubble. While the Lakers have fewer options to defend Jokic,, notes our Jasmyn Wimbish.
- Wimbish: "One of the underrated aspects about Denver's success in the playoffs so far has been Aaron Gordon's defense. ... Now he'll have his toughest test yet in trying to check LeBron James. In 2020, that role of defending James was filled by Jerami Grant, another capable defender, but too small to really make an impact. Though Grant and Gordon are the same height, Gordon is far stronger than Grant making him an ideal person to guard LeBron. Gordon's athleticism should also help him in this battle, especially as LeBron tries to get downhill."
You can see full picks for both seriesand Jasmyn's full list of differences .
Stars beat Kraken in Game 7, advance to Western Conference Final 🏒
Thanks to faces old and new -- and a coach who knows a thing or two about winning Game 7 -- the Stars are headed back to the Western Conference Final.
Dallas topped the Kraken,and will face the Golden Knights with a trip to the Stanley Cup Final on the line.
- Roope Hintz continued his breakout postseason by opening the scoring in the second period. It's his ninth goal of these playoffs and also his 19th point, one behind postseason leader Connor McDavid.
- One day after celebrating his 20th birthday, Wyatt Johnston doubled the lead in the third period. It was his fourth playoff goal this year, the most of any rookie. He's also the youngest player to score a Game 7 game-winner in NHL history.
- One game after being pulled, Jake Oettinger stopped 22 of 23 shots (allowing a 6-on-5 goal to Oliver Bjorkstrand late). He's now 23-1-3 this season (including playoffs) following a loss.
- Coach Peter DeBoer is now 7-0 in Game 7s in his career, the most wins without a loss ever.
The final four vying for the Cup is officially set with Dallas and Las Vegas in the West and the Hurricanes vs. the Panthers in the East. You can see the updated schedule.
UEFA Champions League preview: Can AC Milan mount comeback vs. Inter? ⚽
AC Milan faces its toughest task of the season. Will their superstar striker be there to help? That's what's on everyone's mind today as Rafael Leaoand help his team overcome a 2-0 first-leg deficit to Inter in the Champions League semifinal.
Inter flew through the first leg with early goals from Edin Dzeko and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, but things will certainly be different this time around, especially if Leao ---- can return. , notes our Jonathan Johnson.
Ultimately,, and in , our James Benge says it won't be close.
- Benge: "If anything, Milan were more chaotic than ever before in the first leg, where Simon Kjaer and Fikayo Tomori crashed into each other and in the process were fortunate not to hand Lautaro Martinez a penalty. ... There seems precious little point firming up the defense when the real priority is getting two past the goalkeeper of the Champions League so far, Andre Onana. That would be a tall order even with a fully fit Rafael Leao. ... In short, there is no convincing scenario in which Milan pull off this miraculous win. If only they had kept it tighter in the first leg."
QB Dylan Raiola, the top 2024 recruit, chooses Georgia 🏈
One of the most hyped recruitments -- well, re-recruitments -- in recent memory has come to a close.
Dylan Raiola, the top overall recruit in the 2024 class, Georgia on Monday.
- Raiola Ohio State in December and chose the Bulldogs over potential suitors from all over, including Nebraska, where his father, Dominic, and uncle, Donovan, played. Donovan is the Cornhuskers' offensive line coach.
- Dominic Raiola played 14 seasons with the Lions, often snapping to Matthew Stafford. Stafford, of course, went to Georgia and was recruited and coached there by current Georgia offensive coordinator (and then-quarterbacks coach) Mike Bobo.
- Back to Dylan Raiola: He's a star. He's thrown 54 touchdowns and just 10 interceptions in two seasons as a high-school starter, and he won Texas District 5-5A Offensive MVP as a sophomore. He and Justin Fields are the highest-rated commits in Georgia history.
Now, he's set to join the current two-time reigning champs in, writes our Shehan Jeyarajah.
What we're watching Tuesday 📺
⚽ Inter vs. AC Milan, 3 p.m. on CBS and Paramount+
⚾ Cubs at Astros, 8:10 p.m. on TBS
🏀 Lakers at Nuggets, 8:30 p.m. on ESPN