5-at-10: Who’s the NBA favorite now, Braves’ short brilliance, Bulldogs too busy for Biden

Golden State Warriors guard Gary Payton II, left, shoots as Los Angeles Lakers forward Rui Hachimura defends during the second half in Game 3 of an NBA basketball Western Conference semifinal Saturday, May 6, 2023, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Best bet

Is there a true favorite right now in these NBA playoffs?

Look at the teams remaining and the series standings for them:

The Lakers lead the Warriors 3-1.

The Nuggets lead the Suns 3-2.

The 76ers lead the Celtics 3-2.

The Heat lead the Knicks 3-1.

Heck, the Heat and the Lakers — teams holding commanding leads over higher-seeded teams — were both in the play-in tournament for Pete's sake.

Before this round, I likely would have picked Warriors, Suns, Celtics and Heat in those above series. And that's a pick against the Knicks more than a pick for the Heat.

But if this holds, and it's Lakers-Nuggets and 76ers-Heat, we'll ask again:

Who is the favorite to win it all at that point?

Braves good news

Did we invent the Braves' 'shortstop' controversy this spring?

Did we just want to believe the optics of Vaughn Grissom, an A-Rod-sized specimen, or the overnight improvement and Dansby-like appearance odf Braden Shewmake?

And, while I contend that Freddie Freeman should have been a Braves fixture for as long as he was driving to the ballpark for a living, did we overplay the now silly saga that was Dansby Swanson's contract and eventual departure?

On this, the 10th of May — wait, what, it's 5/10, hey, it's Us Day — the answer to those Braves queries has to be an unequivocal and somewhat apologetic-to-the-Braves-decision-makers, "Absolutely."

Because, while Shewmake's best MLB days are certainly in front of him and Grissom's best MLB days are likely going to be a different position, Orlando Arcia has been amazing.

Considering how good he's played defensively, Arcia is right there with Sean Murphy asthe second-best position player behind Ronald Acuña Jr. when Arcia's been on the field for Atlanta.

Truly. It's downright mind-blowing.

And yes, baseball is a game of numbers over the long haul, and Arcia's sample size of 15 games — he missed three-plus weeks after being by a pitch and huring his arm — does slow the plans to craft his bust for Cooperstown, but the concerns have assuredly been calmed.

But for a Braves bunch who had to deal with the crushing news of Max Fried's arm ailments — a forearm injury can be a precursor to Tommy John surgery — that will shut down the team's ace for an extended period, welcoming Arcia back into the league's best lineup was a welcomed sight.

Georgia turns down Biden

So the two-time national champs have said "Thanks for the offer, but we're booked" to the invite to the White House.

According to statements released from the athletic department, the invite for June 12 comes at a terrible time for the program and the student-athletes.

Here's the statement: "The University of Georgia first received on May 3 an invitation for the Bulldog football team to visit the White House on June 12. Unfortunately, the date suggested is not feasible given the student-athlete calendar and time of year. However, we are appreciative of the invitation and look forward to other opportunities for Georgia teams moving forward."

And there's no reason not to believe that statement, and June 12 is a crazy time in which there's no telling the hurdles to getting 100-plus football program folks coordinated and headed North.

That said, and just playing a little conspiracy theory Bingo here, what's the percentage of season-ticket holders and boosters will be "anybody but Biden" voters come 2024.

Moreover, with the clear exception of a NASCAR race, is there a venue more likely to generate the anti-Joe "Let's Go Branding" chant than an SEC football stadium?

Again, Georgia's statement is plausible and there's no reason to doubt it. In truth, I would hope the White House's schedule would be too busy as well, considering, you know that's the epicenter for leadership for the free world and all.

Feels like just another reason for this aged tradition to be put to pasture.

This and that

— This is the most awful story I have seen in a long time. A 6-year-old was sexually assaulted in school by classmates while the teacher was in the room and not paying attention. And in some ways, I'm not giving the story its true horrofic description. Here's more. And know this: If that was my 6-year-old, I'm going to jail for what I am about to do to any number of folks from the teacher to those other kids to the parents of those other kids.

— Speaking of the Braves, visor tip to The Athletic Braves beat writer Dave O'Brien for this stat: Acuña has 17 base hits leading off the first inning this year, the most in the majors. The Braves are 14-3 in those 17 games by the way.

— Another week, another ESPN-NHL announcing gaffe. John Anderson — who is truly funny in my view, both on SportsCenter and formerly on "Wipeout" — made a joke about Zach Whitecould's name, saying it would be a great name for toilet paper. Of course Whitecloud is the first NHL player from the Soiux Valley Dakota Nation. Anderson apolgized; Whitecould accepted and here's hoping that exchange wipes this controversy off the books.

So Mookie Betts is afraid of ghosts. Which natually begs the question: Do you believe in ghosts? I do actually.

— The drama between Kevin Costner and the "Yellowstone' bigwigs continues as Costner wants a say in how John Dutton gets got. OK, when the real -life drama trumps the made-up drama then a) people need to start acting like grown-ups and b) the show clearly has fallen off by comparison.

— There are reports that a "Beetlejuice 2" is in the works? Do we need a "Beetlejuice 2" friends? What about the next "Raiders of the Lost Ark" reboot? And if I can have one more question, man that Harrison Ford is still doing work well into his 70s right?

Today's questions

Which way Wednesday starts this way: Which, if you had to wager a sizable amount of money on their existence, are you betting on, ghosts or aliens?

Which NBA team is the favorite to win it all in your eyes now?

Which way should they kill of John Dutton in "Yellowstone" gang?

As for today, May 10, let's review.

As we noted the date is 5/10, which made me wonder some things. The 5-at-10 started Oct. 25, 2010, so it's 12 years, six months and 15 days old. We're a pre-teen.

This is the 3,273rd consecutive weekday with a 5-at-10. Wow. Thanks to all you folks who stop by and comment and make the conversation as much as it is.

Also today in 1970, Bobby Orr scored one of the most famous goals in hockey that became one of the most photos in sports history. It's here.

Bono is 63 today. Have we done a Rushmore of lead singers? Would Bono make it?

Go and remember the mailbag.