The Lakers are now title favorites
The Los Angeles Lakers, who started the season 2-10, were in 13th place in the Western Conference at the All-Star break and needed to win a play-in game just to make the postseason, are now co-favorites to win the National Basketball Association championship at BetMGM.
- Lakers (+300)
- Denver Nuggets (+300)
- Philadelphia 76ers (+325)
- Boston Celtics (+400)
- Phoenix Suns (+1100)
- Miami Heat (+1400)
- Golden State Warriors (+1400)
- New York Knicks (+10000)
Of note: FanDuel has the 76ers and Nuggets as co-favorites (+290), followed by the Lakers (+370); DraftKings has the Nuggets as favorites (+300), with the Lakers and 76ers right behind them (+340).
The big picture: Lower-seeded teams are having a postseason to remember. With a win tonight against the Warriors, the Lakers (up 3-1) would join the 1978 Seattle SuperSonics as the only No. 7 seeds to reach the conference finals. And with a win tonight against the Knicks, the Heat (also up 3-1) would join the 1999 Knicks as the only No. 8 seeds to do so.
- The Celtics are 37-8 (.822) in the regular season when Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown combine for 60 points, but they're just 5-4 (.555) in the playoffs when they do so. Tatum had 36 points and Brown had 24 in Tuesday's Game 5 loss at home.
- Nikola Jokić is the second player in NBA history with 300 points, 100 rebounds and 75 assists through 10 postseason games, joining Oscar Robertson in 1963. Tuesday's triple-double also moved him past Wilt Chamberlain for most by a center in the playoffs (10).
- Devin Booker has 359 points during these playoffs, the most through a player's first 10 games of a postseason since Michael Jordan in 1990 (396 points). Jordan's Chicago Bulls made the conference finals that year, where they lost to the Detroit Pistons. Booker's Suns are facing elimination.