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Happy Friday everyone! Congratulations on making it through another week.

Let's get right to it.

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Good morning to everyone but especially to...


Perhaps the best part about the Memphis Grizzlies is their fearlessness. A 26-point deficit on the road in a crucial Game 3? No big deal. Memphis came all the way back and then some, topping the Timberwolves, 104-95, to take a stunning 2-1 series lead.

  • Memphis outscored Minnesota 37-12 in the fourth quarter alone.
  • Desmond Bane had a team-high 26 points with seven 3-pointers.
  • Ja Morant struggled shooting but recorded the franchise's first playoff triple-double: 16 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists.
  • Brandon Clarke provided a huge boost off the bench with 20 points.

Yes, the Grizzlies are tenacious, but they're also really good and have a deep bench, writes NBA expert Sam Quinn:

  • Quinn: "One of the other major virtues of depth is versatility. The Grizzlies started Steven Adams all year. When they figured out that he wasn't going to be a fit in this particular matchup, they had multiple alternatives they could turn to. Xavier Tillman was essential in the Game 2 win. Brandon Clarke was perhaps the best all-around Grizzly in Game 3."


The Dallas Mavericks are showing they're much more than a one-man show. Playing without Luka Doncic for the third straight game, the Mavericks beat the Jazz, 126-118, to take a 2-1 series lead.

  • Jalen Brunson scored 31 points after a career-high 41 in Game 2. Spencer Dinwiddie added 20.
  • Dallas made 18 3-pointers after hitting 22 in Game 2. The 40 combined makes are the most ever in a two-game playoff span for the Mavs.

It wasn't that long ago that the Mavericks managed just 93 points in Game 1. Two games later, they've not only survived Doncic's absence (he could return for Game 4) but now taken the series lead. That's in large part thanks to Brunson and Dinwiddie figuring things out. Here are their combined numbers:

  • Game 1: 46 points on 38 percent shooting, 13 assists, six turnovers
  • Game 2: 58 points on 49 percent shooting, 11 assists, three turnovers
  • Game 3: 51 points on 42 percent shooting, 11 assists, three turnovers

Honorable mentions

Not so honorable mentions

  • A Red Sox minor-leaguer punched a Mets minor-leaguer in a wild brawl.
  • Speaking of punches, Mike Tyson punched an "extremely intoxicated" man who threw a water bottle at him on a plane.

Devin Booker, Khris Middleton to miss multiple weeks 🤕

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Injuries continue to play a major role in the NBA playoffs, with two of the league's best shooting guards adding to the list.

Both injuries came in Game 2 losses for their respective teams and are both major blows for squads expecting to challenge for a championship. Booker has been terrific all season and is by far the team's best individual scorer. That was on display during his 31-point first half in Game 2, shortly before the injury. No one can truly replace Booker, but Phoenix does have great depth to help minimize his absence notes NBA scribe James Herbert.

  • Herbert: "In Booker's place, Williams could choose to match the Pelicans' size by starting Sixth Man of the Year finalist Cameron Johnson or he could preserve the second unit by going with sharpshooter Landry Shamet. Either way, expect Paul to assume more playmaking responsibility and backup guard Cameron Payne to get more playing time if Phoenix's offense needs a jolt."

Meanwhile, losing Middleton is similarly damaging for Milwaukee. After a quiet start to the series, Middleton came to life with 15 second-half points in Game 2 before his injury. Middleton is Milwaukee's top perimeter scorer, and the weight on the shoulders of Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jrue Holiday -- as well as role players like Wesley Matthews and Pat Connaughton -- just got a lot heavier.

Both the Bucks-Bulls and Suns-Pelicans series are tied 1-1 with key Game 3s tonight.

Chet Holmgren, Shaedon Sharpe declare for NBA Draft 🏀


The big week for college basketball stars entering the NBA Draft continued, with potential No. 1 overall pick Chet Holmgren and potential top-five pick Shaedon Sharpe both declaring -- though Sharpe left open the possibility of returning to school. Both players have major question marks, but for very different reasons.

Holmgren is an uber-talented 7-footer who does a little bit of everything, writes our college basketball expert David Cobb.

  • Cobb: "There are plenty of big men who fancy themselves as "unicorns" with the alleged ability to swat shoots while also drilling 3-pointers and creating their own shots off the dribble like guards. Few do it as well as Holmgren. That's why he is a lock to be among the first players selected in the draft."

Consider this: Holmgren had more blocks (117) than missed shots (110) last season, even though over a third of his shots were 3-pointers. At just 195 pounds, though, Holmgren's frame is the biggest question mark and could dissuade teams from selecting him.

Meanwhile, we didn't even get to see Sharpe in college. He reclassified from 2022 to 2021 and joined Kentucky for the spring semester but never appeared in a game. In his scouting report, 247Sports recruiting analyst Eric Bossi called Sharpe an "explosive athlete... tough to stop because of an electric first step and his ability to get downhill, into the lane and then finish around the rim."

Holmgren goes first to the Rockets and Sharpe goes fourth to the Thunder in Kyle Boone's latest mock draft:

  • Boone: "If you're picking at No. 1 you want to take the biggest possible swing, and Holmgren is absolutely that in this class. If he hits, he's going to be a star. ... Sharpe's primed to be a potential top five pick -- maybe higher -- because of his elite scoring instincts, creation and size at the guard position."

You can check out Boone's entire mock here and check out all the underclassmen decisions here.

Miguel Cabrera still at 2,999 career hits after... intentional walk ⚾

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The 3,000-hit club is still at 32 members... for now. Miguel Cabrera went 0-3 with an intentional walk in his final at-bat yesterday to remain at 2,999 career hits. It's the walk, though, that generated headlines.

  • In the eighth inning with the Tigers leading 1-0 and runners on second and third with two outs, Yankees manager Aaron Boone had lefty Lucas Luetge intentionally walk Cabrera to get to left-handed batter Austin Meadows.
  • That brought on a chorus of boos at Comerica Park.
  • The move backfired: Meadows singled to score two runs and put Detroit up 3-0, which ended up being the final score.

Listen, this was the correct move by Boone, history on the line or not. Since 2020, Cabrera has hit .287 off lefties, compared to Meadows' .196. It just happened to not work out this time. Even I -- someone who can't stand the intentional walk in general -- don't have a problem with this. And luckily the Tigers host the Rockies this weekend, so Cabrera should still be able to reach his milestone in front of his home fans.

Still, MLB should make changes to discourage intentional walks. Maybe have baserunners advance, similar to a balk? Or have the intentionally walked batter go to second? Baseball needs its biggest stars to have more visibility in big spots, not less. In no other sport can stars be taken out of the game like they can in baseball via the intentional walk.

What we're watching this weekend 📺

We're watching the NBA playoffs. Here's how you can, too.

And also...


🏒 Rangers at Bruins, 3 p.m. on ABC
White Sox at Twins, 4:05 p.m. on FS1


Brewers at Phillies, 7 p.m. on ESPN