Trae Young and the Hawks aren’t dead (yet), and which NFL Draft rumors should you believe?

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By Webdesk

This is an article version of the CBS Sports HQ AM Newsletter, the ultimate guide to every day in sports. You can sign up here every weekday morning to get it delivered to your inbox.

Good morning to everyone, but especially to…


A second-round series is finally locked up: The Gold nuggets and the Sun tanning done with the Timber wolves and the clippersrespectively, in five games to set up what should be a scintillating Western Conference semifinal.

Let’s start in Phoenix where Devin Booker‘s historical excellence and, oh yeah, called some dude Kevin Durant, propelled the Suns to a 136-130 victory.

  • Booker scored 47 pointshis Suns-record sixth playoff 40-pointer. He single-handedly defeated LA in the third quarter, 25-24, and the Suns as a team hung 50 in the period.
  • Durant had 31 points.
  • Booker and Durant join Kobe Bryant And Shaquille O’Neal (2003) as the only teammates who both score 25+ in each of their first five games of a postseason.

Give huge credit to LA, which was down by 20 early in the fourth quarter, cutting it down to two. Even without Kawhi Leonard And Paul George, the Clippers were a stern test for the Suns. We’ll always wonder what if those two were sane, but that’s a discussion for another day.

In Denver, the West’s No. 1 shuffled Minnesota, 112-109, behind its two-time MVP center and star point guard.

  • Nikola Jokic scored five straight points in the final minute to give Denver a lead it wouldn’t relinquish. He finished with a triple-double: 28 points, 17 rebounds and 12 assists.
  • When Jokic had trouble shooting, Jamal Murray was always there to keep Denver afloat. He finished with 35 points, including five 3-pointers.
  • Anthony Edwards had 29 points for Minnesota, but missed a tying 3-pointer at the buzzer.

It wasn’t always pretty, though this was a really solid series win for Denver after a slow finish to the regular season.

Honorable Mentions

Not so honorable mentions

Trae Young hits game winner, Hawks avoid elimination 🏀

Not many people gave the Hawks an opportunity that comes in their series against the Celts and definitely not getting into Game 5, trailing 3-1 and without suspension Dejounte Murray.

Queue Trae Young’s biggest game and shot of his NBA career. Young splashed a go-ahead stepback 3-pointer with 1.8 seconds left, the last three of his 38 points, and Atlanta beat Boston 119-117 to save his season.

  • Young scored 16 points in the fourth quarter alone, including his team’s last 14 points. He averaged 15.3 points each game in elimination matches starting Tuesday.
  • The Hawks trailed 109-96 with six minutes left, but went on to beat Boston 23-8.
  • John Collins had 22 points and Bogdan Bogdanovicstarting with Murray out, had 18 and was a team-best +11.
  • Jaylen Brown (35 points) was great, but Jason Tatum (19 points on 8-22 shooting, including 1-11 on 3-pointers) struggled.

Young wasn’t perfect, but he grew up when it mattered most, writes our Brad Botkin.

NFL Draft: Wild swing in #1 pick odds, plus eventual top 150 prospects 🏈

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The closer we get to the NFL Draft, the less we know.

  • At first the big question was “Who trades for the Bears‘No. 1 general choice?’
  • Then the Panthers didand the question became, “Which quarterback will Carolina take — and which will take the Texans take afterwards?”
  • Then, out of the blue, it became: “Will the Texans even take a quarterback?!”
  • Now, even more out of the blue, it is: “Will the Panthers really do that?!”

Will Levischances of becoming number 1 have skyrocketed – a stunning, confusing development Bryce young remains the favourite. By the way, the Panthers have reached a consensuscoach said Frank Reich.

Maybe the oddsmakers listened to our Pete Prisco. Pete has been beating the Levis drum for months, and in are fake version of what teams “should” dohe lets Levis lead the way.

  • Price: “His situation was terrible Kentucky last year. But the disdain for his game is over the top and Carolina would have a future star if they took him.”

Here’s Pete’s whole mock. As for others…

If you hadn’t picked it up yet, a lot of NFL Draft discourse dissolves into a constant rumor mill. It happens every year. Some rumors have merit. Others are just noise. Which rumors are worth buying or selling? Our Jordan Dajani analyzes all the latest gossip.

Finally, our latest top 150 prospect rankings have arrived. Here’s the top 10:

  • 1. Will Anderson Jr., EDGE, Alabama
  • 2. Bryce Young, QB, Alabama
  • 3. Jalen Carter, DL, Georgia
  • 4. CJ Stroud, QB, Ohio State
  • 5. Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas
  • 6. Peter Skoronski, OT, Northwest
  • 7. Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon
  • 8. Tyree Wilson, EDGE, Texas Tech
  • 9. Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois
  • 10. Deonte Banks, CB, Maryland

Warriors vs. Kings Game 5: Playing Fox? Green off the couch again? 🏀

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When your franchise waited 17 years to make the playoffs, you don’t go down easily. Even if it means playing through a broken finger.

After initially being judged as questionable, De’Aaron Fox say he is “99-100%” will play in Game 5. Fox will wear a protective covering on his left index finger, and we’ll see how much influence it has on him. But if he’s even remotely close to the superstar, he’s been this series — averaging 31.5 points, seven assists and six rebounds — that’s an immeasurable boost to the Kingswho are tied 2-2 with the warriors.

As for those Warriors, they brought Draymond green off the bench in Game 4 victory. Could they keep the same strategy? Our Brad Botkin weigh the pros and cons.

  • Botkin:The extra space provided by one-big lineups and Gary Payton II, another non-shooter, was clearly relegated to spot minutes. The Golden State shooters started early, and then Steve Kerr went back to the two big lineup to start the second half. Could that indicate he’s heading back to it to start Game 5? Maybe. But there’s a lot to think about here. Jordan Poole is clearly better when he plays with the starters. … And the Warriors need Poole in the continued effort to keep up with the Kings electric attack.

Cale Makar suspended for Game 5, plus Rangers-Devils looking like another classic 🏒

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The defending champions try to stop a historic incident. Now they face a critical Game 5 without one of their best players.

Kale Makar was suspended one game for his late goal on Jared McCann in game 4.

  • McCann missed a breakout attempt and the puck went out of play. As McCann and Makar skated away, Makar delivered a penalty hit, sending McCann into the boards and then into the ice.
  • McCann, who led the Kraken with 70 points and 40 goals, did not return. He will not play in Game 5.
  • Makar was initially handed a five-minute major penalty for interferencebut after a discussion it was reduced to a two minute minor.

In three years in the NHL, Makar owns a Conn Smythe Trophy (playoff MVP), a James Norris Memorial Trophy (top all-around defenseman), a Calder Memorial Trophy (top rookie), and two All-Star trips. It’s a huge loss for the Avalancheas they hope to prevent the creak‘s first playoff series win.

That’s not the only series that drew 2-2. The Rangers And Devilish are also knotted. That’s nothing newnotes our Austin Nivison.

  • Nivison: “If history is any indicator, fans will be in for a heart-pounding finish over the next two to three games. … The Devils and Rangers first met in the postseason in 1992, and that streak went the distance. They met again two years later, and that clash was decided by double overtime in Game 7. The last time New York and New Jersey met in the playoffs prior to this year was in the Eastern Conference Finals of 2012. That series went six games and provided another memorable finish in this bitter rivalry.”

What we watch on Wednesday 📺

🏀 We’re watching the NBA playoffs. Here’s how.
🏒 We also watch the NHL playoffs. Here’s how.

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