Axios Sports

by Marie Rodriguez

When the Lakers have been officially eliminated from the playoffs weeks in the past, it introduced to the vanguard the concept that the same time as LeBron James is still the face of the NBA, that won’t be the case forever.

Why it topics: LeBron’s absence is one of many “changing of the protect” storylines heading into the 2018-19 NBA playoffs, making the next months both interesting and consequential.

The subsequent face: During All-Star weekend, LeBron told Giannis Antetokounmpo, “I love the entirety about you, man.” Most players and fans might consider that sentiment. After all, this is an MVP frontrunner who’s — gasp! — humble. If he can lead the Bucks to the finals, no one could have a stronger claim to the “future face of the league” crown.

The end of the Dubs’ dynasty? With Kevin Durant predicted to leave in the free corporation, this could be the closing hurrah for one of the maximum talented rosters ever assembled. But what if they three-peat? No superstar participant has ever left at once after winning a ring, not to mention 3.
The upward push of a brand new dynasty? I’m not sure I’ve ever visible a 2d-location group gets much less love than the Nuggets. Yes, I keep in mind that they are in all likelihood nonetheless a year or away, but they should be taken more severely. Same goes for Philly and Boston, who are being classified “threats” once they should actually be categorized “contenders.”
A precursor to the loose employer: It’s no mystery that the Celtics want to recruit Anthony Davis to play with Kyrie Irving. It’s additionally no mystery that Kyrie ought to go away for the Knicks. How Boston performs in the playoffs may want to dictate the futures of two iconic franchises. Same goes for Toronto, who would love not anything greater than to move on a run that convinces Kawhi Leonard to stay.
The bottom line: This summer season will mark the cease of 1 era and the beginning of another — and the playoff performances of a handful of teams will dictate simply how some distance that pendulum swings.

There are limitless storylines surrounding every NHL playoff series, but as opposed to listing off each one, allow’s placed some bigger picture ones for your radar.

1. Best group ever? The numbers area the Tampa Bay Lightning in the conversation for exceptional ordinary-season crew ever. They received sixty-two games for crying out loud, which is something simplest one more crew has ever finished (1995-96 Detroit Red Wings).

Yes, however: The Lightning’s spectacular season might not imply almost as lots without a championship, and records show that regular-season dominance would not exactly equate to postseason success.
By the numbers: Of the thirteen teams that have completed with the NHL’s excellent record because of the lockout of 2004-05, handiest — the 2007-08 Red Wings and the 2012-13 Chicago Blackhawks — have long past on to boost the Stanley Cup.
2. Canada’s Big 3: The Stanley Cup, which originated in Canada, hasn’t been won by means of a group from the Great White North since Montreal took it domestically in 1993. That’s 26 years in the past!

The appropriate information: There are 3 hopefuls in this 12 months’ subject — the Toronto Maple Leafs, Calgary Flames, and Winnipeg Jets — and Calgary has the second-best odds of capturing the identify, per The Action Network.
Three. Hero/villain: In his first full season as owner, Tom Dundon helped the Carolina Hurricanes make the playoffs for the primary time because of 2009. So, in Raleigh, he is somewhat of a hero.

The other facet: Earlier this month, Dundon pulled the plug on the Alliance of American Football’s inaugural season much less than seven weeks after making an investment $250 million to rescue the league. So, anywhere else in America, he’s somewhat of a villain.
More NHL playoffs:

Last night time: Maple Leafs four, Bruins 1 — Capitals four, Hurricanes 2 — Flames 4, Avalanche 0
Tonight: Blue Jackets vs. Lightning (7 pm ET, CNBC) — Penguins vs. Islanders (7:30, NBCSN) — Blues vs. Jets (nine:30, CNBC) — Golden Knights vs. Sharks (10:30, NBCSN)
The common Major League Baseball team is well worth $1.Seventy-eight billion, consistent with Forbes, an eight% boom from final year. Additionally, all 30 franchises are well worth at least $1 billion; whereas simply 10 years in the past, most effective two have been (Mets and Yankees).

Between the strains:

Biggest riser: The Giants saw the largest boom in value over the past decade. I wager that’s what winning three World Series titles does for you.
Slowest climb: The rest of the league has caught up to the Mets and Yankees, who rank dead closing and 0.33-to-closing, respectively, in boom considering the fact that 2009.
Biggest wonder: The Pirates are the league’s 20th-most precious crew at $1.2 billion, however, they have skilled the fifth-highest boom price in the ultimate 10 years (274%).
Biggest driver: MLB’s ownership stakes in MLB Advanced Media (one hundred%), BamTech (15%) and MLB Network (67%), as well as the league’s investment portfolio, had been blanketed inside the valuations and equally divided among the 30 teams, constituting over $400 million in fee in line with franchise.
The huge photograph: This is Forbes’ 22nd time doing this. Over that span, the average MLB team price has improved 11% 12 months-over-yr, whilst NBA and NFL team values have improved thirteen% and 12%, respectively.

What’s subsequent: These increases are only going to get larger in 2022 whilst MLB’s seven-12 months, $5.1 billion address Fox kicks in.

P.S. … In other baseball news, Ozzie Albies’ new deal with the Braves is probably the worst settlement ever signed. Not hyperbole.

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