Things That Caught My Eye
Playoff LeBron is here
LeBron James posted 45 points in Sunday’s win over the Indiana Pacers, with a further 9 rebounds and 7 assists. The Cavaliers will advance to face the Toronto Raptors, so if LeBron hopes to keep up his otherworldly performance now would be the time to do so. It’s not particularly clear if anyone else on the Cavs plans to show up, after all. [FiveThirtyEight]
Ovechkin is the greatest to never make a conference final
Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals is by far the best forward — based on point shares through their age 32 season since 1987 — to have never once make a conference final. His postseason disappointment is in a lot of ways the result of a tough time closing out series — his Caps are 3-7 in game sevens. [FiveThirtyEight]
Baker Mayfield to Browns
Baker Mayfield was drafted by the Cleveland Browns with the first overall pick in the NFL draft. As long as we’ve had data on QBR seasons, since 2004, Mayfield singlehandedly posted two of the six best seasons ever, and his quarterback rating of 92.1 in his final two seasons is the best of any quarterback in the set. On the other hand, he is going to Cleveland. [ESPN]
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Barkley to NYC
The New York Giants are making a go of it and drafted Saquon Barkley with the No. 2 overall pick. This gives Barkely the fourth-highest paid salary among running backs in terms of average annual value. New York desperately needs a shot in the arm for the run game; they haven’t finished with a top-10 rushing season in eight years. [ESPN, ESPN]
Jets to enjoy bakeoff
With their third pick in the draft, the New York Jets drafted quarterback Sam Darnold. This means that the Jets currently have five quarterbacks on the roster, including Christian Hackenberg, Bryce Petty, Josh McCown, Teddy Bridgewater and Darnold. For those of you unfamiliar with the sport, there can only be one single quarterback on the field at a given time, so this is far too many quarterbacks. [ESPN]
Harden rolls over Jazz
James Harden posted his sixth career playoff game where he scored 40 or more points in a win over the Utah Jazz. His 41 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists helped the Houston Rockets dispatch Utah 110-96 in the series opener. [ESPN]
We have a bona fide favorite for the NBA title. The Houston Rockets are a 53 percent chance of winning the title, while everybody else combines for only 47 percent chance of taking the championship. It certainly appears their rivals for the title will be from either Toronto or Philly; they each have a respective 42 percent and a 37 percent chance of representing the East in the NBA Finals. [FiveThirtyEight]
Leaks from Slack:
I don’t speak Italian. But this looks cool.
AI Image Lab
Oh that is cool. You can tell something is cool when you’re impressed even though you don’t actually understand any of the words. Mama mia!