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Good morning to everyone but especially to...
STEPHEN CURRY AND THE GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS
Maybe we should stop being surprised. Stephen Curry has been doing the seemingly impossible ever since he entered the NBA. But he'd never done this. In fact, no one had.
- Botkin: "At this point, in these playoffs, anyone can win. If Curry does it, there are going to be some tough conversations to have about where a guy that has never fit the traditional ideals of an all-time player actually ranks as an all-time player. Because it might be getting pretty close to the top."
Another thing that could lift Curry's standing? Eliminating LeBron James again. Curry has won three of his four series against James., writes our Bill Reiter. One last note: shout out to Kevon Looney... 21(!) rebounds and the embodiment of the idea that .
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As for the Kings, making their first playoff appearance since 2006, this series was there for the taking. They just couldn't take it. Sacramento shot a season-worst 37.5% and De'Aaron Fox -- somehow-- had just 16 points on 5-19 shooting (3-10 on 3-pointers). The Kings led, 58-56, at halftime but were outscored 35-23 in the third quarter. In the third frame alone, Golden State had 13 offensive rebounds; Sacramento had nine total rebounds.
After years of wandering the lottery desert, the Kings have a direction. After years of going through coach after coach, they have one in Mike Brown. After years of searching for a centerpiece to take them to the next level, they have one in Fox. "Light the beam" went from silly chant to cherished tradition. This season was wonderful. That doesn't make this loss any less painful -- at least for now.
- The Heat took Game 1 of its Eastern Conference semifinal matchup with the Knicks, 108-101, behind 25 points behind Jimmy Butler (who ) and 20 more from Gabe Vincent. Julius Randle missed the game for New York. The Heat .
- Jamal Murray is awesome. Just awesome. He had 34 points as the Nuggets cruised past the Suns, 125-107 in Game 1.
- The Lions D'Andre Swift to the Eagles.
- The NFL schedule .
- The NBA has .
And not such a good morning for...
THE BOSTON BRUINS
It is said that history is written by the victors. Fresh off the most victorious regular season ever, though, the Boston Bruins, are on the wrong end of one of the all-time great upsets, authored by the Florida Panthers.
The No. 8 seed stunned No. 1 Boston, 4-3, in overtime of Game 7 last night to knock out the Presidents' Trophy winners, capping a rally from a 3-1 series deficit. A quick reminder: this Bruins team set the record for most wins and most points ever in a single season.
- Carter Verhaeghe was the hero. He rifled the puck past Jeremy Swayman -- starting in place of suddenly struggling Linus Ullmark -- 8:35 into overtime to end the series.
- The Panthers carried a 2-1 lead into the third period, but quick goals from Tyler Bertuzzi and David Pastrnak put the hosts up 3-2. But the Panthers wouldn't quit.
- Florida's Brandon Montour scored his second goal of the game with under one minute to go in regulation -- and with six skaters on the ice -- to force overtime before Verhaeghe finished things off.
The Presidents' Trophy curse now, as our Austin Nivison notes.
Of the 37 Presidents' Cup winners, only eight have gone on to lift the Stanley Cup. The last to do it was the 2013 Blackhawks.
Not so honorable mentions
- Also out in stunning fashion? The reigning-champion Avalanche, who fell 2-1 in Game 7 against the Kraken.
- Dillon Brooks .
NFL Draft recap: Winners, losers, grades and more 🏈
From top pick Bryce Young toDesjuan Johnson, 259 picks have come and gone, and the 2023 NFL Draft is officially in the books. Time to analyze.
Let's start with Will Brinson's. The Panthers are hoping Young will lead their turnaround for years to come, but , Will writes.
- Brinson: "With their second-round pick... the Panthers scooped up wideout Jonathan Mingo out of Ole Miss. Carolina assisted Young further by grabbing underrated NC State offensive lineman Chandler Zavala. Carolina keyed in on Zavala -- who was surprisingly not invited to the combine -- after spotting him during their tape study of last year's first-round pick Ickey Ekownu. ... If the line takes a step forward and this underrated group of weapons builds a better passing game baseline, Young could thrive and the Panthers would become a very interesting team in a weak division."
Our Pete Prisco, meanwhile,, and eight teams earned an "A." As for individual picks, we have . I really like the Bears' haul.
- Best pick (A): WR Tyler Scott -- Speedy. Really speedy. Deceptive YAC capabilities that come from more than his explosiveness. Hands are concern. Young player with major upside. Love this with Darnell Mooney for Justin Fields.
- Most interesting pick (B+): RB Roschon Johnson -- Bijan Robinson's running mate is a former four-star quarterback who moved to running back. He blocks and is a good special teamer.
This, of course, is just the beginning whether your favorite team got an "A" or an "F," and whether a player was drafted or not -- and there were every single pick with grades.. Here's
Some more of my favorites...
- The best moment of the draft: Deuce Vaughn .
MLB Power Rankings, weekend recap, plus a big star nears return ⚾
Wow, what a weekend in MLB. We got near no-hitter by a pitcher making his MLB debut in Toronto and plenty more in the United States, too.in Mexico, a
So, where do things stand as we enter May? Here are.
- 1. Rays (prev: 1)
- 2. Pirates (prev: 13)
- 3. Braves (prev: 5)
- 4. Blue Jays (prev: 4)
- 5. Orioles (prev: 10)
Conspicuously absent from that top five are the Yankees, who are down to 15th and dealing with Aaron Judge's. Today , notes our R.J. Anderson.
- Anderson: "May 1 happens to be the second opt-out opportunity for big-league free-agents who signed minor-league pacts over the winter... There are a handful of veteran outfielders who could, in theory, hit the open market if their current employers do not place them on the active roster: Ben Gamel, Billy Hamilton, Tyler Naquin, and Rafael Ortega."
Here's more from a busy weekend:
- Bryce Harper .
- for Luis Robert, though the White Sox .
- Jacob deGrom .
Tony Finau holds off Jon Rahm, others to win Mexico Open 🏌
Tony Finau has been on an absolute heater recently -- perhaps only surpassed by the man he held off Sunday. Finau topped Masters champion Jon Rahm for his sixth career PGA Tour victory and fourth in his last 18 starts, winning the Mexico Open by three strokes.
Here was the top of the leaderboard:
- 1. Tony Finau (-24)
- 2. Jon Rahm (-21)
- 3. Brandon Wu (-19)
- 4. Akshay Bhatia (-18)
Finau's ability to put things away in the final round was on full display, writes our Patrick McDonald.
- McDonald: "The final nine from Finau was a masterclass on how to play with a large lead. This all -- staring the world No. 1 square in the eyes and sneakily becoming one of the most prominent winners on Tour – probably doesn't materialize for Finau if this tournament was just three years in the past. ... With the PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club quickly approaching, Finau will be among those capable of taking down Rahm (as he did today) and the other members of the true elite such as Scottie Scheffler."