Nobody told any of us it was Black Wednesday in the NBA. It started on Wednesday morning with a massive news dump which included Phoenix Suns PG Chris Paul entering Covid-19 health and safety protocols. It’s unclear when CP3 will be able to return and he could miss games once the Western Conference Finals begin. After that, we got word that Los Angeles Clippers SF Kawhi Leonard is feared to have suffered a torn ACL and is out indefinitely, set to miss Game 5 vs. the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night.
2021 NBA Championship odds update
Update, June 17th — So after a wild Wednesday in the NBA, everything is flipped on its head. The Clippers beat the Jazz without Kawhi. The Hawks pulled off one of the biggest comebacks in playoff history against the Sixers. As a result, ATL went from 66/1 to 20/1 overnight. The Clips are in the same position because facing the Suns in the second round won’t be easy if that’s the case. Utah dropped from +250 to +600. Philly is down to 12/1 and the Nets improved their championship prospects slightly.
So we’ll start by breaking down how the Kawhi and CP3 news shifted things a bit. Leonard being out indefinitely has dropped the Clippers down to 10/1 after winning two straight games to even their series with the Jazz 2-2. Game 5 in Utah will be tough for LA to overcome without Leonard and we don’t know if he’d even be in consideration to return for Game 6 over the weekend. If that’s the case, it’s difficult to see how the Clips advance past this round.
The only teams who didn’t shift at all are the Bucks and the Hawks lines. The Nets went down slightly despite going up 3-2 in their series vs. the Bucks. The Clips dropped from +550 to +1000 with Kawhi not expected to be back. The Suns moved only slightly from +400 to +450, plus we now know that CP3 may not end up missing any WCF games. The Jazz jumped up from +400 to +250 as a result of Kawhi being out. Utah should be able to get past the Clips and into the WCF, where a matchup vs. the Suns is fairly even.
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