Jimmy Butler makes history for Heat, and what comes next for Trail Blazers after the lottery bust?

Happy Wednesday everyone! Hope you are fine.

Let’s go right there.

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Good morning to everyone, but especially to…

THE MIAMI HEAT…

Jimmy Butler was fantastic this post season, but last night he really outdid himself. The Heat star dominated in every aspect — 41 points, nine rebounds, five assists, four blocks and three steals — Miami defeated Boston 118-107 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

Miami’s halftime advantage (it played last Thursday compared to Sunday for Boston) and depth advantage were both on display last night. The calm and depth—assuming Smart and Horford return—will eventually equalize. It could all be for naught for the Celtics, though, if they can’t slow Butler down.

… AND ALSO GOOD MORNING TO THE ORLANDO MAGIC AND THE SACRAMENTO KINGS

The Magic and kings didn’t win a basketball game last night — they don’t even have been to the conference finals since 2010 and 2002, respectively — but they were among the winners of last night’s NBA Draft Lottery. Orlando landed the No. 1 overall pick while Sacramento made the biggest jump of any team, to receive fourth choice despite having the seventh best odds.

Believe it or not, Orlando is looking good, writes NBA pundit Jack Maloney.

Here are the full lottery results:

Be sure to check out:

Honorable Mentions

  • Last night’s NHL winners: Lightning and Avalanche.
  • cubs rookie Christopher Moreli homered in his first MLB at bat.

And not such a good morning for…

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THE PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS AND DETROIT PISTONS

The lottery gives and the lottery takes. The Pistonswho got the best pick (and made it…) Cade Cunningham) last year, fell more than any other team. After entering last night tied with the Magic and Rockets for the best odds of earning the No. 1 pick, Detroit finished with the fifth selection.

At least none of the Pistons players had to try and mask their disappointment like Trailblazers star Damian Lillard† Portland sent the face of his franchise as the lottery representative, and all he could do was smile when his team finished with the seventh pick. It points to a dark future for the Trail Blazerswrites NBA guru Colin Ward-Henninger.

  • Ward Henninger: All things considered, the path back to relevance is unclear for the Blazers, and Tuesday night’s raffle only made things murkier. Speculation about a Lillard trade demand will no doubt continue as the off-season approaches, but it’s also possible he won’t. to take that step. If the Blazers see the letters on the wall, they can preemptively trade in their superstar point guard and start a full rebuild.”

Not so honorable mentions

Tee times, ranking of the best players in the PGA Championship 🏌

USATSIA

The PGA Championship is just a day away, which means it’s time to rank the best contenders in the fieldwith our golf expert Kyle Porter taking the honours.

It should be No surprise which comes in at number 1.

  • Porter: 1. Scottie Scheffler (Best Finish — T4 in 2020): Scheffler has quietly become a major threat to the championship, and that has less to do with his Masters win in April and more to do with how he’s played in the four biggest events since 2020. Scheffler, who ranked the world No. 1 for the week , has seven consecutive top 20s, including five top 10s and that green jacket. Out of all the favorites to win this week, he is the one who would surprise me the most if he finished outside the top 10.”

Here’s the rest of Porter’s top five:

  • 2. Justin Thomas
  • 3. Jon Rahm
  • 4. Rory McIlroy
  • 5. Jordan Spieth

In the meantime, tournament start times are out, and the group where everyone is buzzing is Tiger Woods, McIlroy and Spieth leave together tomorrow at 9.11am

I also really enjoyed our Patrick McDonald’s breakdown of the Southern Hills course† You can keep up all of our PGA Championship preview content here.

Lionel Messi to Inter Miami? Not so fast…

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A report came out yesterday claiming that: Lionel Messi not only acquires a 35 percent interest in Inter Miami FC, but also plans to join the team as a player in 2023, when his contract with PSG expires.

The only problem? That report is “totally false”, That’s what sources close to the star told Le Parisien. Messi has not yet decided what his future holds. However, it’s easy to see why Inter Miami — owned by former football superstar David Beckham — could be a potential landing spot, notes our football expert Roger Gonzalez.

  • Gonzalez: “We already know that Messi has invested in real estate in Miami, he owns an entire floor there in a luxury condo building† He has often vacationed there with his family, and he has often been associated with MLS… The fact that Inter Miami is owned by Beckham adds another wrinkle, as Beckham was previously the league’s most prominent transfer and moved to Los Angeles. Galaxy in 2007. As part of the contract that lured him to LA, he was even given the option to buy an MLS expansion team, that option eventually became Inter Miami…”

Here are some big stars that DO NOT carry over 🏀

USATSIA

Chances are your favorite college basketball team has lost or won a player through the transfer portal. Finally, nearly 1,700 Division I men’s basketball players entered the portal this off-season.

But just because you enter the transfer portal doesn’t mean you have to leave school, and as college basketball expert Matt Norlander writes: a trio of mid-major stars has entered the portal, only to remain seated

  • Antoine Davis — he of 2,734 career points — rejected Maryland and George Townamong other things, to stay in Detroit Mercy
  • Khalil Shabazz decided to stay San Franciscoalthough his head coach, Todd Goldengrabbed the Florida function.
  • Jamarion Sharpwho led Division I last year with 4.6 blocks per game, returned to Western Kentucky

That’s a good thing, Norlander writes.

  • norlander: “Are Davis, Sharp and Shabazz the exceptions? Yes. Plenty of high-performing mid-major players have entered the portal, seeking greener pastures and, well, seeking the green ones. Cash. NIL deals and accusations that money would be made There’s nothing wrong with that (although some of it is inevitably illegal.) But for all the hypocritical coaches stuff about ‘holding out’ and ‘loyalty’ and ‘not running away from adversity’, here are three players serving a new reminder that not every mid-major transfer ends.”

What we watch on Wednesday

And also…

UEFA Europa League Final: Eintracht Frankfurt vs Rangers3 p.m. on CBS Sports Network and Paramount+
Courage vs Pride7 p.m. on Paramount+
Racing Louisville vs Wave7 p.m. on Paramount+
Heaven at Storm10pm on Facebook
Thorns vs Spirit10pm on Paramount+

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