Denver Nuggets

This weekend taught us to not count out the Denver Nuggets or Indiana Pacers…

but we can count on Bronny James’ NBA career as a thing.

Nuggets, Pacers Show Signs Of Life

What Happened: The defending champs aren’t dead yet.

The Nuggets seemed primed for an early exit after dropping two home games to the Timberwolves, including a woeful Game 2 performance that saw them score just 80 points in a 26-point blowout.

But the Larry O’Brien trophy still resides in Denver, and behind a 35-point Nikola Jokić performance, the series is now tied at two games. The Indiana Pacers have fought back in similar fashion after losing Games 1 and 2 to the Knicks, evening the series with a Game 4 win that New York was never competitive in.

Why It Matters: We hope Denver’s lull to start the semifinals didn’t cause any panic selling of its title odds. Per FanDuel, the Nuggets still carry the best odds of any team in the West to win this season’s title (+390), even if the T-Wolves resembled the 1995 Chicago Bulls for a hot second.

The Pacers pulling even with the Knicks only illustrated that it’s Boston’s race to lose in the Eastern Conference. FanDuel has the Celtics at -140 to win the title, but all four remaining Western Conference teams are better shots to win than the Knicks (+3000), Pacers (+5000), or Cavs (+32000).

How We’re Feeling Today

LeBron James

Intrigued by the latest news about Bronny James.

After experiencing cardiac arrest back in August, LeBron James’ oldest son had his basketball future clouded with health concerns. But in preparation for this year’s draft, Bronny was evaluated by a panel of physicians under the NBA’s watch and deemed fit to pursue a pro career.

Of course, teams looking to draft Bronny will be doing so with the expectation that LeBron may follow, as he’s stated his goal to play in the NBA with his son many times.

In a draft class regarded as weak overall, taking a shot on drafting Bronny and luring LeBron as a 2-for-1 is going to be the most talked about story in the NBA, and how it unfolds has the potential to dramatically shift the landscape of the league in the short term.

The Look Ahead

Alexis Lafreniere POINTS We aren’t sure what’s gotten into the top pick of the 2020 NHL draft, but Rangers fans are loving it. Lafreniere has been scorching hot this postseason, producing 10 points in eight games, and he’s found the back of the net four times in his most recent three games. New York is on the brink of moving onto the Eastern Conference final tonight, so Lafreniere has plenty of motivation to keep upping his game.

Darius Garland POINTS Donovan Mitchell’s nagging calf injury continues to be a worry for a Cavaliers team that stole a win on the road in Boston and will try to even the series up again tonight at home. We have our eye on Garland as a potential step-up option with Mitchell not fully 100%. The Cavs guard is averaging 14 points this series and has a line of 15.5 tonight, but he averaged 20 a game in three contests against Boston during the regular season, so we know he has room to add a bit more scoring.