Luka Doncic, Jayson Tatum

We were excited about the Finals starting tonight…

before some breaking news threw us further into an NBA tizzy.

NBA Finals Set To Tip Off

What Happened: Finally the NBA returns! No more having to talk to our families or (shudder) read. It’s basketball time once again.

Game 1 of the Finals takes place in Boston, where the Celtics have gone 6-2 during this postseason run. Being on the road won’t frighten the Mavericks, who are 7-2 away from Dallas so far, having been the lower seed in each of their three previous series.

Why It Matters: The Celtics have been penciled in as championship front-runners all season; that’s what having the league’s best offensive rating and third-best defensive rating will do.

Dallas might be a more dangerous five-seed than usual, owing to some savvy trade deadline deals. The team lost just 10 of its final 34 games and got stronger down the stretch, most noticeably on defense.

Still, oddsmakers value the consistency Boston brings. FanDuel has the C’s pegged as a -225 favorite to win the series and Jayson Tatum at -120 to emerge as Finals MVP. (The Mavs are +188 to win, with Luka Dončić +210 for MVP.)

Our NBA Finals series props breakdown goes out later today to FCS subscribers. Sign up now so you don’t miss out ahead of Game 1!

How We’re Feeling Today

Woj Bomb

Woj-bombed!

Most NBA fans started their day (or ended their night, salute if so) with the news that the Los Angeles Lakers are now in heavy pursuit of UConn’s Dan Hurley for their head-coaching vacancy.

Is it time to panic Huskies fans? Quite possibly. Hurley is coming off repeat national championships, and his stock will never be higher. Perhaps he’s ready for a new challenge already? Or a bigger payday? If this comes down to a check-writing contest, presumably the Lakers will not lose.

But there are other possibilities here, centered around who leaked the info and why. It was previously reported that LA was targeting former NBAer JJ Reddick to be the franchise’s next HC. Are the Lakers now trying to drive down the former Duke star’s asking price?

Similarly, this could be a ploy by Hurley to jostle his employer into splashing some more cash to keep him happy. Wouldn’t be the first or last time a college coach dabbled in the dark arts of leverage.

All of this before most of us have even had our first coffee. Adrian Wojnarowski, you are an absolute menace.

The Look Ahead

Sonny Gray STRIKEOUTS Gray’s last start was a mixed bag. Facing the MLB-leading Phillies, he gave up four runs in five innings, but also racked up 10 strikeouts. We like a play on Gray and his 6.5 line because he’s eclipsed that number in back-to-back starts and five times already this season. Add in the Rockies’ woes recently; over the last week, Colorado has gone down swinging 55 times in six games, the third-worst mark in the NL over that span. If Gray does what he does and the Rockies do what they do, this play will hit.