Giannis Antetokounmpo

The NBA’s Eastern Conference playoff picture narrowed, but we can’t help but wonder what could’ve been.

That’s also something that quite a few NFL GMs are feeling these days.

Stars Dim In NBA Playoffs

What Happened: The Eastern Conference lost two teams last night, as the New York Knicks eliminated the Philadelphia 76ers and the Indianapolis Pacers advanced past the Milwaukee Bucks.

Taking nothing away from either team that’s moving on, last night showed just how hard hurt the NBA playoffs have been hit this season by untimely injuries to some of the league’s biggest stars.

Why It Matters: Before the playoffs began, the Bucks had the second-best odds in the Eastern Conference to win the 2024 title at +1400, trailing only the Celtics at +165. Right behind them were the 76ers at +1600.

But Milwaukee had to go at its series without Giannis in its lineup at all, and with Damian Lillard missing two games. The Pacers had worse title odds (+11000) than every team from the East other than the Orlando Magic (+16000.)

Despite earning the conference’s #2 seed, the Knicks were pegged as underdogs to win even one series. The 76ers rolled out Joel Embiid for six games, but he was clearly compromised.

Now, New York and Indianapolis will battle in the playoffs like its the 1990s all over again. If you backed one of these teams as a long shot contender, sure Boston still looms, but your dream got one step closer to actualization last night.

How We’re Feeling Today

Zach Wilson

Wondering if we might be able to draft better than some NFL GMs after seeing news on the quarterbacks selected in the 2021 draft.

Trevor Lawrence (#1), Zach Wilson (#2), Trey Lance (#3), Justin Fields (#11), and Mac Jones (#15) were all taken in Round 1. Four of the five have already been traded and had their fifth-year contract options declined.

Even Lawrence, seen as a sure thing coming out of Clemson, has been solid but not in the league’s upper-tier of passers after three seasons.

With a success rate this low, we gotta ask: what’s going on in these draft war rooms? Give us a crack at making a pick. Hell, we can’t do worse than these guys.

The Look Ahead

Derrick Jones Jr.

Derrick Jones Jr. POINTS It’s not easy getting looks in a lineup that revolves around Luka Dončić and Kyrie Irving, but Jones has made the best of his opportunities lately. After an absolute clunker in Game 1 (zero points on 0-4 shooting) the forward has cleared the double-digit mark in each game of this series. He also averaged 11 points against the Clippers in three regular season games, so we are intrigued by his 9.5 line for tonight’s Game 6 in Dallas.

Noah Hanifin POINTS The Vegas Golden Knights have created a reputation for raucous home playoff crowds in their young existence, and they’ll need a supportive atmosphere to help stave off elimination against the Stars tonight. You know what else would help? A point from trade deadline addition Hanifin. He got back in on the fun with an assist in Game 5 after being held pointless in Games 3 and 4. When Vegas has scored at least three goals in this series, it’s won. Anything under that and it’s been nothing but Ls, so if the Knights are going to keep their season alive, they’ll need the offense to lead the way.