What’s up, ladies and gentlemen?! Let’s get you caught on what you might’ve missed over the weekend across the sports world, in addition to some news, notes, tweets and thoughts on tonight’s nine-game NBA slate.
–Atlanta has been playing extremely well despite injuries galore. The Hawks went 7-2 both straight up and against the spread in nine games without John Collins, who sprained his ankle in the first half of a 117-110 loss at Phoenix on March 30. Collins returned from the nine-game absence for Sunday’s 129-117 win over Indiana. Atlanta is now 8-2 both SU and ATS in its last 10 games after easily taking the cash as a two-point home favorite vs. the Pacers. Collins was on a minutes restriction yesterday, logging just 20:55 of playing time. He finished with eight points, two rebounds and one assist, going 3-of-5 from the field and making both of his free-throw attempts. Trae Young went off for 34 points, five rebounds, two steals and 11 assists compared to only two turnovers. Clint Capela dominated the paint with 25 points, 24 rebounds, three blocks and two steals. Kevin Huerter and ‘Bogi’ provided plenty of support as well.
–Atlanta returns to the court Tuesday to host Orlando. Danilo Gallinari (13.4 points per game, 4.1 RPG) is listed as ‘questionable’ after missing the last four games and five of the last six with knee soreness. ‘Galo’ had scored 20, 14, 25 and 16 points with a pair of double-doubles in the four games he played prior to this recent absence. Tony Snell, who has buried 56-of-98 launches (57.1%!) from 3-point land this season, is also ‘questionable ‘against the Magic. Snell has missed the Hawks’ last four games with a sprained ankle. Atlanta is hoping to have Kris Dunn (ankle) make his season debut in the next week or two, while De’Andre Hunter (knee) and Cam Reddish (Achilles) are expected to be back sometime in early May.
–Here’s a clip of how easy Young was making it look against Indiana yesterday:
–Atlanta and Boston are currently tied for fourth place in the East, with the Hawks holding the tiebreaker by virtue of a 2-1 record in three head-to-head meetings. The Celtics have won six games in a row (and eight of their last nine), going 4-1-1 ATS with four straight spread covers. They’re 6.5-point home favorites tonight vs. the Bulls, who are without leading scorer Zach LaVine (27.5 PPG, 5.1 RPG & 5.1 APG). Chicago is mired in a 1-5 slump both SU and ATS in its last six games. The ‘over’ is on a 5-2 run for the Bulls, while the ‘over’ has cashed in three straight for the Celtics. The total for tonight is 216.5 points.
—Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are available for the C’s tonight, but Marcus Smart and Kemba Walker are both listed as ‘questionable’ with illnesses.
–Washington has caught fire here recently, winning four games in a row both SU and ATS and six of its last seven. The Wizards are 7-1 ATS in their past eight contests. However, starting forward Rui Hachimura (13.5 PPG, 5.7 RPG) tweaked his knee in Friday’s home win vs. Detroit and is ‘out’ of tonight’s home game vs. Oklahoma City. Starting center Alex Len also left Friday’s game (ankle) and is listed as ‘questionable’ tonight. The Wizards are 12-point ‘chalk’ tonight against the Thunder, who blew a late lead and cost its backers in Sunday’s 112-106 loss to the Raptors as an underdog of 5-6 points (depending on the book and what time bets were placed).
–Oklahoma City has lost 10 games in a row, going 1-9 ATS with eight defeats by double-digit margins. The losses have come by the following margins: 37, 48, 24, 11, 27, 24, 10, 38, 6 and 6 points. Lu Dort, Josh Hart, Mike Muscala and Isaiah Roby are ‘out’ for OKC tonight, joining Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Al Horford.
–After missing back-to-back games due to a personal matter, Washington’s Davis Bertans is set to return tonight vs. OKC.
–Golden State’s Steph Curry (ankle) and Kelly Oubre (wrist) are listed as ‘questionable’ tonight at Philadelphia. The Warriors’ Juan Toscano-Anderson, who had 20 points and seven rebounds in this past Thursday’s win at Cleveland, is ‘out’ with a concussion, while Eric Paschall remains ‘out’ and James Wiseman (torn meniscus) is done for the season. Wiseman, the 7-foot-1 rookie center, was averaging 11.5 points and 5.8 RPG. Curry has averaged 39.1 PPG in Golden St.’s last 10 games, including 41, 53, 42 and 47-point efforts.
—Seth Curry, Tobias Harris, Ben Simmons and Dwight Howard are ‘questionable’ tonight for the 76ers, who are 22-5 SU and 16-11 ATS at home this year.
–Miami beat Brooklyn on Sunday afternoon thanks to Bam Adebayo’s buzzer-beating jumper. Jimmy Butler missed the win over Nets and is listed as ‘questionable’ for tonight’s home game vs. Houston. Goran Dragic and Andre Iguodala are also ‘questionable,’ while Adebayo and Tyler Herro are ‘out.’ UPDATE at 4:47 p.m. Eastern: Herro upgraded to ‘questionable.’
–Kevin Durant left the loss to Miami in the first quarter with a leg contusion and did not return.
–Memphis is 16-10 SU and 17-9 ATS in 26 road assignments going into tonight’s tilt at Denver.
–Like Atlanta, Memphis has thrived despite a rash of injuries. First of all, Jaren Jackson Jr. still hasn’t made his season debut, although he’s close to returning and is even given a chance to do so tonight with his ‘doubtful’ status. Jonas Valanciunas (17.0 PPG, 12.6 RPG) is ‘out’ tonight at Denver with a concussion, while Justice Winslow, De’Andre Melton, Dillon Brooks and Brandon Clarke are listed as ‘questionable.’
–San Antonio is a one-point favorite tonight at Indiana. The Spurs have thrived on the road this season, compiling a 15-10 SU record to go with a 17-8 ATS ledger. The Pacers have limped to a 9-16 SU record and an abysmal 7-18 ATS mark in 25 home contests. Despite seeing back-to-back ‘unders,’ the ‘over’ is still on a 9-4 run for San Antonio in its last 13 outings. The Spurs lost a 139-133 decision to Indiana as seven-point home ‘chalk’ in overtime on April 3, but the 252 combined points in regulation were easily enough to go North of the 222.5-point tally. The ‘over’ has hit in four of Indiana’s last five games.
–Indiana’s Domantas Sabonis (back), Myles Turner (toe), Jeremy Lamb and Doug McDermott are listed as ‘questionable’ tonight.
–Utah All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell sprained his ankle in Friday’s home win over Indiana and is going to miss several more games, including tonight’s contest against the Lakers at Staples Center.
—Bad Beat Alert: Trailing 57-44 at intermission to the Knicks at MSG in NYC yesterday, New Orleans was a 4.5-point favorite for second-half wagers. I jumped on the Pelicans, so I was holding a ticket at +8.5 adjusted. I was looking golden when the Pelicans had the lead in the final minutes. However, Lonzo Ball made one of the more knucklehead defensive decision you will EVER see with his team protecting a 3-point lead on New York’s final possession. With the clock dripping down to less than five ticks left, Derrick Rose couldn’t get off a 3-ball, so he drove to the basket. Obviously, New Orleans wanted him to try and get a two-point bucket. Ball, defending Reggie Bullock (40.1 percent 3-point shooter this year) in the corner, inexplicably left Bullock to go help on Rose’s drive to the rim (WHY?!). Rose casually dished to Bullock, who buried the wide-open trey to force overtime. The Knicks went on to win by a 122-112 count to kill New Orleans second-half backers like me. Not only that, ‘under’ supporters were left with a miserable loss. The total closed at 218 points and was poised to easily cash when the Pelicans led 103-100 before Bullock’s 3-pointer.
–Yahoo’s Pete Thamel reported this morning that ex-Michigan quarterback Joe Milton is planning on transferring to Tennessee. The 6-foot-5, 243-pounder has spent three seasons in Ann Arbor. After seeing limited playing time in his first two years, Milton completed 80-of-141 passes (56.7%) for 1,077 yards with a 4/4 touchdown-to-interception ratio in 2020. He had 109 rushing yards on 38 attempts for a 2.9 yards-per-carry average and one touchdown. For his career, Milton has a 5/6 TD-INT ratio and three rushing scores.
–Arizona became the 27th state (in addition to Washington D.C.) to legalize sports gambling last week.
—Robert Whittaker dominated Kelvin Gastelum in Satuday’s UFC Vegas 24 headliner on ESPN. ‘The Reaper’ beat Gastelum via unanimous decision by 50-45 scores from all three judges. Since losing his middleweight belt to Israel ‘The Last Stylebender’ Adesanya at UFC 243 on Oct. 6 of 2019, Whittaker has won three consecutive fights by UD over Darren Till, Jared Cannonier and Gastelum.
–Who’s next for Adesanya, who is off a UD defeat to light-heavyweight kingpin Jan Blachowicz as he attempted to become the promotion’s next double champion, in the 185-pound loop? It seems that it’s going to be Whittaker. In fact, Dana White told Yahoo Sports late Saturday night that it “makes sense” for Adesanya-Whittaker II. However, there’s another option on the table and that would be Marvin Vettori, the 27-year-old Italian who lost to Stylebender by split decision in a three-round scrap on April 14 of 2018. Since then, Vettori has won five straight fights, including a UD over Jack Hermansson in a Fight of the Night contest and a UD triumph over Kevin Holland in the UFC on ABC 2 main event nine days ago. Whittaker’s winning streak has come over better competition, but Vettori’s split-decision setback to Adesanya was a more competitive bout.
–Therefore, it seems as if you could make a case for Whittaker or Vettori. Perhaps Adesanya will have a say in the matter and with that notion in mind, Vettori is doing all he can to get under Stylebender’s skin and get the rematch he wants for UFC gold. The tweet below demonstrates those efforts from ‘The Italian Dream:’
–New Oklahoma head coach Porter Moser made some huge noise Sunday with two splash scores from out of the transfer portal. Do you remember the first-round showdown between Eastern Washington and Kansas? The Eagles led outright for most of the game until the Jayhawks rallied to win 93-84 and advance to the Round of 32. Tanner Groves went off for 35 points, five rebounds and three blocked shots on 11-of-18 shooting from the field. He made 5-of-11 attempts from downtown. Tanner’s younger brother, Jacob Groves, finished with 23 points, nine boards, one steal and block. Jacob buried 8-of-11 FGAs and 4-of-5 launches from 3-point range. Now both brothers are transferring to Oklahoma. Tanner averaged 16.5 points, 7.9 rebounds and 1.0 BPG this past season.
–By the way, Tanner’s 35-point effort was the second-best scoring output ever from a Big Sky player in the NCAA Tournament. The Uno? Well of course, that would be Weber State’s Harold ‘The Show’ Arceneaux, who dropped 36 on North Carolina in a first-round upset in the 1999 NCAA Tournament.
–Gonzaga secured a commitment from the nation’s No. 1 prospect in the 2021 class today. Chet Holmgren, a 7-foot-1 center, pledged to Mark Few‘s program ahead of Memphis, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio State, North Carolina, Georgetown and the G League. This development moved Gonzaga’s class up to No. 2, according to the 247Sports Composite. Michigan has the No. 1 class, followed by Gonzaga, Tennessee, FSU and Duke (in that order).
–Some bad news for Fran McCaffrey‘s Iowa Hawkeyes came down last night when Chad Leistikow of the Des Moines Register reported that guard CJ Fredrick is entering the transfer portal today, according to his sources. As a freshman in 2019-20, Fredrick averaged 10.2 PPG and drained 46.1 percent of his 3-pointers. He averaged 7.5 PPG this past season and made 47.4 of his treys. Fredrick has started all 52 games of his career for the Hawkeyes. Here’s more from Leistikow on Fredrick, the 2018 Gatorade Player of the Year in Kentucky after leading his high school to a state championship. As you might suspect, many feel like Fredrick’s destination is Lexington to join BBN.
—I hit on a bunch of college basketball news in this piece last week.
—Our Blake Von Hagen discussed some of the more important transfers who are set to make an impact on their new teams during the 2021 college football campaign.
–Somebody made an enormous mistake by fading the Braves this past Friday. H/T to VSIN’s Ben Fawkes:
–NFL win totals are out:
–One more from My Man Ben Fawkes:
–I went to Shades, a local sports watering hole on 30-A where I usually go to watch UFC pay-per-view cards, on Saturday night. No (HELL NO!) I didn’t go because I wanted to watch Jake Paul vs. Ben Askren. I went because some friends were going there and I knew the UFC fights would be on. With that said, they did have the Paul-Askren card on. I watched the main event and some of the Frank Mir-Steve Cunningham bout, and glanced at one of the many screens occasionally during the course of the night. Just me, or was it more of a concert than a combat sports event? And who had the great idea of throwing that clown Oscar de la Hoya on the broadcast as an analyst? What trash television that entire Triller production was (!).
–Dana White on De La Hoya not too long ago:
–Best of luck with your bets, folks!