Hello beautiful people of thy universe! How are thou?! When was the last time someone actually asked you how you were doing? You know, after you bet Rory McIlroy to win the Masters just exactly like I did. Also, not to mention, what a weekend at the Masters – Jon Rahm came through with a huge win for his first time winning at the Masters, Rory decided not to even show up to Augusta, Phil Mickelson showed everyone who that boy is still, and amateur Sam Bennett is a 23-year-old certified stud…even though he missed out on $240,000. Nonetheless, the kid’s got a bright future, man.
I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention the stellar performance that UFC Israel Adaseya had on Saturday night, which was hands down one of the best fights I’ve ever seen and 1000% one for the history books. What an insane knockout, celebration, and motivational speech afterward. MY GAWD!
In today’s newsletter, we’re going to break down the NBA playoffs, recap the play-in games, who looks good, who looks like a fluke, and of course, give you guys some money-making predictions to keep those pockets rolling throughout these next couple of weeks. Also, who do you got on the Jake Paul vs. Nate Diaz fight? Let’s break it all down.
PLAY-IN RESULTS 🏀
Instagram post by @playmaker
Here’s a stat for ya. In play-in games last year, the under went a perfect 6-0. In overall play-in games, the under is 9-4. In play-in games this year, the under went 3-1. Interesting.
Let’s quickly recap the play-in games because there was one game, in particular, to watch if you didn’t catch it, and that was the Timberwolves at Lakers. The Los Angeles Lakers hosted the Minnesota Timberwolves in the first game of the Play-In Tournament on Tuesday night, looking to advance to the postseason as the Western Conference’s No. 7 seed.
Minnesota Timberwolves, 102 vs. Los Angeles Lakers, 108
Obviously, we all heard about the bizarre situation between Rudy Gobert punching teammate Kyle Anderson a few nights back, which resulted in the team suspending Gobert for this game. That said, the T-wolves still had Karl-Anthony Town and former number one pick Anthony Edwards and were leading LeBron and the Lakers for almost the entire game until just before the end of regulation when the game was tied, LeBron drove to the basket to draw a double-team and dished the rock out to guard Dennis Schroeder who knocked down a corner 3 to go up by three points with less than 5 seconds left in the game.
Of course, Anthony Davis had to mess that up and fouled opposing guard Mike Conley on a last-second three-point attempt, and the game went into overtime. Fortunately for the Lakers, they eventually took care of business with a 108-102 overtime victory to set up a first-round matchup with the Memphis Grizzlies starting on Sunday.
Now the Timberwolves will play the Thunder, and the winner of that game will travel to Minnesota on Friday to determine who will earn the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference. That team will face the Denver Nuggets in the first round, while the loser will be in the lottery.
Atlanta Hawks, 116 vs. Miami Heat, 105
The Hawks go on to become 3-0 in the play-in games after they defeated a Miami team who quite literally dispatched them last year in the first round of the playoffs with a gentlemen’s sweep 4-1. Oh, but how the turn tables have turned this year. Led by Trae Young’s 25 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists, the Hawks defeated the Heat, 116-105. Clint Capela grabbed 21 rebounds, and two blocks for the Hawks in the victory, while Kyle Lowry led all scorers with 33 points, four rebounds, and five assists for the Heat. With the victory, the Hawks have secured the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference of the 2023 NBA Playoffs, where they will face the No. 2 seed Celtics, while the Heat will play the Chicago Bulls, with the winner securing the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference of the 2023 NBA Playoffs.
Toronto Raptors, 105 vs. Chicago Bulls, 109
Zach LaVine scored 39 points, DeMar DeRozan had 23 against his former team, and the Chicago Bulls overcame a 19-point deficit to beat the Toronto Raptors 109-105 in a play-in tournament game Wednesday night. The story of the night – or lucky charm, perhaps – was Demar DeRozan’s daughter, who was the loudest person in the arena that night, causing Demar’s former teammates to miss at the charity stripe.
New Orleans Pelicans, 118 vs. Oklahoma City Thunder, 123
No Zion? Yes, problem. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander highlighted his 32-point night with a go-ahead baseline jumper and four clutch free throws in the final 29 seconds. The Oklahoma City Thunder beat the New Orleans Pelicans 123-118 on Wednesday night to remain alive in the Western Conference play-in tournament. Josh Giddey had 31 points, 10 assists, and nine rebounds for Oklahoma City, the only Western Conference team still playing with a losing record.
PLAYOFF SCHEDULE AND PREDICTIONS 🏀
Instagram post by @playmakerbetting
STILL HERE?! Enough of the boring stuff and talking about teams that barely made the playoffs and who might not even make it to begin with. Who cares, right? The only reason why we talked about it in the first place was because of…LeBron James. And by the way, before you think any further, MJ is the GOAT. Sorry, not sorry. 27-year-old dude speaking here, also. Let’s talk about the teams we can make money off of, that’s why we’re here in the first place, right? Let’s break it down.
Boston Celtics (2) vs. Atlanta Hawks (7)
The Celtics are right behind the Bucks for making it out of the East in the sportsbook, with odds of +160, following the Bucks at +110. I would say, luckily for them, they now face an Atlanta Hawks team instead of a Miami Heat team, who they faced in a game 7 last year in the Eastern Conference Finals, which may or may not help their chances just a tad bit more here against the Hawks. New season, though. The Celtics face their South Beach nemesis for the third time in the last four postseasons. However, they’re huge favorites in this series, with the line opening up at 9 in the Celtics’ favor. Don’t think twice about this series. Don’t even bet on it, to be honest. If you do, bet the Celtics spread literally every single game, and thank me later, as this series will be a 4-0 sweep.
Philadelphia 76ers (3) vs. Brooklyn Nets (6)
We’ve been anticipating a Nets-Sixers playoff series since James Harden forced his way out of Brooklyn and was traded for Ben Simmons 14 months ago. As you can imagine, though, Simmons won’t play because of some back problem, nor will Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving…duh. Mikal Bridges looks good for Brooklyn, but that’s about it. Another series that you shouldn’t pay any mind to. Embiid will become MVP this year, and when comparing regular season records, the Sixers hold a 4-0 series against these guys. Like the Celtics-Hawks series, hammer the 76ers spread every game if you so desire.
Cleveland Cavaliers (4) vs. New York Knicks (5)
No Randle, no shot for New York. If he’s back and nearly 100%, this figures to be a long series. Both coaches preach defense, both have solid rim protection, and both have dynamic point guards driving their attacks. If Mitchell Robinson and Allen cancel each other out in the paint, the versatile Mobley might prove to be the difference, bothering the Knicks from various spots at both ends. The Cavaliers probably face a bit more pressure, but they have home court to start and to finish. That should get it done. Cavaliers in 7.
LAST WEEK’S POLL: WHO WILL WIN THE MASTERS?
Milwaukee Bucks (1) vs. TBD (8)
The Bucks still won’t know their first-round NBA playoff opponent until Friday night after the play-in tournament is completed, but they now know when they’ll be playing on Sunday for Game 1. 4:30 p.m. Sunday, April 16th.
Memphis Grizzlies (2) vs. Los Angeles Lakers (7)
Los Angeles owns a puncher’s chance considering its talent level and experience against the Grizzlies’ relative youth. And it’s always unwise to bet against James. But it is Memphis’ time. This young, hungry squad has advanced a little further in each of its last two postseason berths, learning valuable lessons along the way to apply in this series. Lakers are +105 to win the series, but Grizzlies in 6.
Sacramento Kings (3) vs. Golden State Warriors (6)
It’s puzzling that these teams have never met in the playoffs – in their California incarnations, anyway – until you look at their timelines. The Kings qualified only twice and quickly were dispatched in the 13 years from 1986 through 1998. Then they made the playoffs eight consecutive years, and then not at all since 2006. Golden State missed every year from 1999-2006, part of a 1-in-18-year playoff drought. They rarely have been good at the same time, but they are now. The Warriors’ timing in health and pride in keeping its window propped open just a tad longer will help exploit the Kings’ playoff training wheels. Warriors in 7.
Phoenix Suns (4) vs. LA Clippers (5)
It’s really tricky trying to handicap this series without knowing the full extent of Paul George’s health, although he’s likely out to begin the first round. For now, let us assume he will play when the series shifts to LA for Games 3 and 4, but he will also be hampered. Doesn’t that sound reasonable? Well, that might not be enough for the Clippers, who’ll need a pair of ace defenders to deal with KD and Booker. Those two might average 60 a game. And KD, especially, is eager to distance himself from the Brooklyn Nets experience and also the injuries that cost him following his last championship with the Warriors. One of these years, the Clippers will enter the playoffs with a clean bill of health and bring a decent chance of at least reaching the NBA Finals. This doesn’t appear to be that year – unless PG’s body fools us all and can stand the grind. Suns in 6.
Denver Nuggets (1) vs. TBD (8)
The winner of the Oklahoma City Thunder and Minnesota Timberwolves will go on to play the Denver Nuggets in the first round on Sunday for Game 1. 8:30 p.m. Sunday, April 16th. Nuggets in 5.
JAKE PAUL NATE DIAZ FIGHT CONFIRMED 😳
Instagram post by @playmakerbetting
Jake Paul and Nate Diaz have officially confirmed their fight against one another. Will it be inside the ring or in the cage?
It’s been long overdue; however, the YouTuber-turned-boxer Jake Paul and former UFC fighter Nate Diaz have finally agreed to fight one another. The question now is, will it be inside a boxing ring or in the cage? I’d imagine Nate Diaz and his team will have to review the special contract that Jake always puts together whenever he fights retired MMA guys, where in tiny fine print at the end of the contract, there’s a no-knockout clause for Jake Paul and an option for Nate Diaz to take a fall for 100 million dollars. So,
we’ll have to get that figured out first. In all seriousness, people are questioning if this is a step back for Jake since he just finished fighting Tommy Fury, a professional boxer. Since he already fought – and knocked out – former MMA champion and debatably one of the best fighters there’s ever been, Anderson Silva, Nate Diaz might not be that exciting of an opponent now in some consumer’s eyes. Speaking personally, I wouldn’t care too much to see it, but sure, I’d watch. Time to answer a few questions. Why was now the time for both fighters to sign the contract? What’s the beef between Jake Paul and Nate Diaz? Is Jake Paul ducking KSI and fighting Nate Diaz as a replacement? Let’s break it all down.
Let’s jump right into it. These two have had some serious beef for a while now. The latest incident was backstage in the hallway between Nate Diaz and Jake Paul’s team during Jake’s bout against Anderson Silva about five months ago. Of course, Nate Diaz started talking that mess to Jake’s bodyguards, saying he’d beat them up 2v1 and all this nonsense. Things got handsy, then the two groups were broken up until one guy on Nate’s team chucked an entire cup of soda at Jake’s guys, and things got worse again. How bad did it get? Well, you know that woman who trains Jake how to breathe before his fights? Nate Diaz choked her for a split second to the point where she couldn’t breathe. THE LADY WHO TEACHES JAKE HOW TO BREATHE COULDN’T EVEN BREATHE HERSELF. Needless to say, breathing lessons had to be put on hold for the next couple of months…until the Tommy Fury fight.
Just days before the Tommy Fury fight in Saudi Arabia, Jake talked about fighting Nate Diaz after his fight with Tommy. Spectators and fans thought it was strange that he was already overlooking Tommy because it was Jake’s first attempt to fight a professional boxer and talking about who was after the Fury brother. I can’t imagine why Jake Paul was overlooking the guy right in front of him, who he was scheduled to fight just days in advance. Take a wild guess there. It’s Jake Paul.
That said, talks of KSI at the end of the year were there, but it sounds like Jake has been eyeing Diaz for a minute now. Will he still fight KSI? Most likely, considering Jake just called KSI out on Twitter after KSI shouted out a racial slur on one of the biggest YouTube channels out right now and got himself canceled. But for now, it’s all eyes on Nate Diaz. The question is, will it be inside the ring or in the octagon?
Since Jake signed with the Professional Fighters League not too long ago, fans have questioned if it’s more of a promoting type of thing and using his platform to get more eyes on that league or if Jake will step inside the octagon and fight in a typical MMA style against someone. Everyone expected the contract between him and Nate would most likely include a two-fight clause that would entail both fighting types, but news just leaked that Jake and Nate are locked in for a boxing match on August 5th! It’s going to be 8 rounds and on DAZN PPV, and it will be a professional bout at 185 lbs, so we will see if Jake is able to get back in the win column or if he gets Stockton slapped out of the ring.
Regardless, yes, this fight will be fun to watch. However, the question is, does it make the most sense for Jake Paul?
⚽ Little people vs. obese people World Championship Soccer game. Who are you putting your money on?
😂 I guess that’s one way to do it…
😳 Toronto shot 50% from the line in tonight’s loss to Chicago thanks to Demar’s daughter
😅 Did the New York Giants fear Tom Brady?
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