Task Force to Tackle the Impact of Covid-19 on Australian Basketball Competition

From the NBL website…

Australian Basketball Unites to Tackle Impact of COVID-19

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Australia’s basketball community has established a taskforce to tackle the challenges from grassroots to elite competitions caused by the ongoing impact of COVID-19.

Basketball Australia, States and Territories, NBL, WNBL, NBL1, clubs and players have come together to build a comprehensive plan to restart the sport when the threat of COVID-19 eases.

The taskforce will be led by Basketball Australia Chair Ned Coten and the Owner and Executive Chairman of the NBL Larry Kestelman and include prominent members of the basketball and business communities.

Allan Yates, Nicola Ellis, Tony Hallam, Jacob Holmes, Brian Delaney and Jerril Rechter will represent basketball and they will be joined by independent business figures Ruffy Geminder, Diane Smith-Gander and Rickard Gardell.

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Chair of Basketball Australia Ned Coten said: “We are very mindful of the millions of Australians doing it tough and, quite rightly, they are the number one priority support right now, particularly those who have lost their jobs and are suffering financial hardship.

“Basketball is not immune to the impact of the COVID-19 and, like the rest of the community, we need to do everything we can to get through these challenging times but also work together to restart the sport when the time is right.

“Basketball is one of Australia’s highest participation sports with over 1.5 million active participants. It is the number one family sport, is incredibly inclusive and diverse and is a source of enjoyment across all levels of the community. Importantly, 38% of our participants are female and we have two of the leading men’s and women’s leagues in the world in the NBL and WNBL.

“The game employs tens of thousands of people across the country and generates significant economic impact as well as a range of health and social benefits for the wider community across both genders and all ages that will be needed more than ever as we recover.”

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The Owner and Executive Chairman of the NBL Larry Kestelman said: “Unlike other sports, basketball leagues do not derive the bulk of their revenue from broadcast agreements. With a significant amount of Australian homes now having a basketball hoop in the backyard, the sport can play a crucial role in getting the country active and back to normal, but we need help more than ever.

“Under the restrictions imposed by COVID-19, the sport has come to standstill for now. This includes not just the NBL and WNBL but also Australia’s premier winter league NBL1, the 3x3Hustle and all community and grassroots leagues right around the country.

“The NBL attracted almost one million people last season and is now widely considered the second-best domestic basketball league in the world after the NBA. We are an entertainment product built for live attendances.

“Unlike other codes, basketball cannot fall back on revenue from television if restrictions are still in place to crowds and would need assistance. We are not seeking special priority but rather simply asking not to be forgotten to ensure we can continue to deliver the sport that we and so many Australians love.”

The taskforce will consult with all areas of the sport to develop the recovery program for Australian basketball.

Source: nbl.com.au

During the current lockdown, Nellakir have continued to provide Construction, Installation and Maintenance services to some of our better known public stadiums, private and public schools, community recreation venues and a range of other facilities that feature high quality Sprung Timber Flooring such as Theatres, Churches and Dance Floors.

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Now is the right time to carry out annual cyclical maintenance on premium Timber Sports Flooring whilst competitions are in temporary recess. Resurfacing, re-lining and where required re-sanding can all be undertaken and completed at this time.

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Call Nellakir now on 03 9467 6126 or leave your details here for a prompt reply. Book a time to speak to one of our trained technicians on your requirements and arrange a free, no-obligation quotation at your convenience.

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The NBA – Looking to the Future

At Nellakir the work continues with new courts being installed at the State Netball and Hockey Centre, the Twin Rivers Echuca Primary School and Sirius College in Keysborough. Ongoing annual maintenance projects have continued through the school holiday break.

So during the lockdown here’s a bit of interesting news on the NBA for avid fans of the hoop.

NBA spends more than $500K to keep prospect Jalen Green from facing actual competition

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If you want to drill right to the core of the NBA’s new deal with California high school prospect Jalen Green, the league is going to pay him a half-million dollars to not play in the G League because it might be too hard for him.

Green will have no concerns about learning the campus map, no freshman English papers to write and no high-pressure March Madness games to worry about losing. And neither will he have to worry about joining a team such as the Erie Bayhawks or Maine Red Claws and coping with the jealousy of teammates who would be earning about 1/14th his salary.

ESPN reported Thursday that Green will enter a program in which he will be coached and join with other top prospects and professional players for exhibition games against G League teams, national teams from other countries and teams from worldwide NBA academies. Isaiah Todd, who decommitted from Michigan earlier this week to turn pro, is another who might join this program. Green is a 6-5 guard from Prolific Prep in California and is ranked the No. 3 prospect in the 2020 senior class by 247 Sports.

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After years of pushing to have the NBA age limit raised to 20 years and two years out of high school, NBA commissioner Adam Silver reversed course a few years back and now wants it down to 18 years with players eligible upon completion of their senior years. But the Players Association has yet to agree, and agents are pushing hard to convince teens to eschew NCAA basketball for that year they must wait to enter the draft and instead turn professional immediately.

A few did last year, but not here in the States. Wing R.J. Hampton and point guard LaMelo Ball chose to play in Australia rather than in NCAA basketball this past season, which led to Silver encouraging the development of an alternative to American teens joining the NBL.

In October 2018, the NBA had introduced a program for high school prospects that would have paid them $125,000 to compete in the G League for a year, before they were eligible for the draft. The typical G League salary is closer to $35,000.

But there had been no takers. That six-figure offer was not as lucrative as what Australia was paying. The prospect of playing in the G League — which lacks glamour but suffers from no shortage of hungry, talented players who would eagerly use an under-prepared teenager as a backdrop for their own resume tape — was not appealing.

G League president Shareef Abdur-Rahim told ESPN that it was “counterintuitive” for NBA scouts to travel Down Under to scout those players.

“The NBA is the best development system in the world, and those players shouldn’t have to go somewhere else to develop for a year,” he said. “They should be in our development system.”

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This is interesting, because it never seemed like the NBA was a development system. It seemed like the highest level of competition in the world.

If the G League itself were an ideal development system, teenage players would not be fearful of entering. But that’s what was apparent in 2018, when Cincinnati forward Darius Bazley decommitted from Syracuse, announced he would play his post-high school year in the G League and then opted, instead, to serve an internship with an athletic apparel company and then enter the 2019 NBA Draft. He was chosen with the 23rd pick last June and averaged 17 minutes in 53 games with the Thunder before the league suspended its season March 11.

So instead the league is concocting this alternative, which seems like an awful lot of gymnastics to accommodate a few prospects and whose merit is a complete unknown.

Eleven of the 15 players on last year’s three All-NBA teams were products of NCAA colleges, including three who were “one-and-done” collegians. If the NBA thinks it is wise to compete with that success and it’s worth $1 million or more to try — hey, it’s the league’s money.

“This trend has been coming. It’s going to happen. And it’s going to be more and more prevalent,” Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said in a teleconference Wednesday. “We’re just going to have to deal with it.

“But you know what? Here’s my attitude: We’ll have kids take their place. There’s so many good players out there. If a guy wants to go, go to the G League or go to Europe instead of giving us a year, go. Go do your thing. We’ll fill in behind with kids that want the opportunity and are good players.”

Source: sportingnews.com

For all Construction, Installation, Maintenance and Scheduled Cleaning of premium Timber Sports Flooring, call Victoria and Tasmania’s leading experts on 03 9467 6126 for a free, no-obligation quotation. Or visit our website and leave your details here for a prompt reply.

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Last year the Toronto Raptors started their campaign with this play-off game.

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Around about now the NBA would be winding up to the crescendo of the playoffs. Last year the Toronto Raptors lost their first play-off against the Milwaukee Bucks but recovered to eventually ‘steal’ the coveted NBA champions title for Canada – for the first time ever. Makes us wonder whether Australia might eventually field on the NBA side?

Here’s the video and the report.

Milwaukee Bucks rally late to defeat Toronto Raptors in Game 1

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Usually a big game from Kyle Lowry equals a Toronto Raptors win, but the Milwaukee Bucks held on to win Game 1 of their Eastern Conference Finals series.

Brook Lopez scored 13 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter, Giannis Antetokounmpo added 24 and the Bucks rallied in the final minutes to beat the Raptors 108-100 on Thursday (AEST).

Lopez had a dunk with 2:20 left to put the Bucks ahead for good, added a 3-pointer on the next Milwaukee possession to push the lead to four and the team that finished the regular season with the NBA’s best record — after trailing for the overwhelming majority of the game — did just enough in the final minutes to grab the series lead.

Kawhi Leonard scored 31 points and Kyle Lowry added 30 for the Raptors, who couldn’t make the most of a big game from their point guard, as well as an 11-of-44 shooting night from beyond the arc from the Bucks.

Malcolm Brogdon scored 15 and Nikola Mirotic had 13 for Milwaukee, which closed the game on a 10-0 run.

Lopez added 11 rebounds for the Bucks, who had three players post double-doubles.

Antetokounmpo had 14 rebounds and Khris Middleton finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds for Milwaukee, which is now 9-1 in this postseason. The Bucks trailed for 37 of the game’s 48 minutes.

Didn’t matter. They stayed just close enough until they could finish with a serious kick. The Raptors missed their last eight shots and were outscored 32-17 in the fourth quarter.

Pascal Siakam scored 15 for Toronto, including a 3-pointer over Antetokounmpo to end the third quarter and give the Raptors a seven-point lead with 12 minutes left.

It unraveled quickly from there.

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“Total team effort,” Lopez said.

With the chants of Milwaukee’s motto – “Fear the deer! Fear the deer!” – bouncing throughout the building, the Bucks predictably came out flying. The flurry was brief.

The Bucks missed seven consecutive shots, the Raptors made four 3-pointers in a span of three minutes, and that all helped become a 16-0 run by Toronto that turned an early 8-3 deficit into a 19-8 edge. The lead got as big as 13 later in the quarter on a fadeaway jumper by Leonard, and the Raptors held the lead the rest of the half.

Milwaukee had a chance to take its first lead since the opening minutes when Antetokounmpo went to the line for a pair of free throws with 8:17 left in the third and the Bucks down by only one.

He missed both and the Raptors peeled off the next nine points to rebuild what then was a 10-point lead again. But Toronto shot 5 for 22 in the fourth, the Bucks finally reclaimed the lead, and the Raptors’ chance to steal home-court went awry.

Source: foxsports.com.au

Nellakir are the premium supplier and installer of Sprung Timber Sports Flooring in Victoria and Tasmania, supplying the ASF Horner Sports Flooring Systems exclusively.

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Premium flooring requires premium maintenance and cleaning to ensure maximum performance and durability.

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NBA Free Agency for 2020. Up to 70 Players on the move!

With most of us now in lockdown, it’s a great time to look to the future and consider what will happen when things return to normal.

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Now is the prefect time to undertake cyclical maintenance on your valuable Timber Sports Flooring – Linemarking, Re-surfacing, even Re-sanding where it’s appropriate. Call Nellakir now on 03 9467 6126 or leave your details here for a free no-obligation consultation and quote on all your Timber Sports Flooring maintenance and cyclical cleaning requirements.

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Meanwhile, here’s the drum on movements likely in the NBA, There’s a lot happening.

2020 NBA free agency: 70 players who could be available whenever the offseason starts

A look at the free-agent landscape with the season on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic

The offseason is coming. It could be later than usual, after some kind of conclusion of the 2019-20 season, but it’s coming. Even if there are no games to discuss, no playoffs to preview, we can still talk about free agency. Trades. The draft, as mediocre as this year’s may be.

This is the first free agency primer I’ve written in April, and it requires a bit of preamble:

  • We don’t know what will happen to the salary cap, which is typically calculated based on the previous season’s basketball-related income. If the league and the players do not agree to some form of cap smoothing — or simply decide to keep the cap the same as it was this season, another theoretical solution — then there will be a drastic dip. That means the luxury-tax threshold would be lower, as would the value of the mid-level exception, the biannual exception, rookie-scale contracts, etc. (Sam Quinn wrote about the ramifications of all this stuff.)
  • Remember last summer? The hype, the surprises, the CP24 news helicopter following Kawhi Leonard in a SUV in Toronto? This will be nothing like that. Sorry. While stars could be traded, the 2020 free-agent class is far less splashy than 2019’s or 2021’s. Recalibrate your excitement level accordingly. (Colin Ward-Henninger ranked his top 30 potential free agents.)
  • As always, there are player options and team options to consider here. Those will be noted, and the following players have not been included because I’m assuming they will not actually be free agents: Mike Conley, Jabari Parker, Kelly Olynyk, Rodney Hood, Garrett Temple, Svi Mykhailiuk, Tony Snell, Nicolas Batum, James Johnson, Stanley Johnson, Mike Muscala, Mario Hezonja. (Ward-Henninger wrote about five players with options.)

And with that, here are 70 upcoming free agents, grouped into categories that make sense, or at least make sense to me.

The starting five

A lineup of difference-making unrestricted free agents who help you win playoff games right now. Getting any of these guys would be a massive win for teams trying to compete immediately, and some of them should interest rebuilding teams, too.

Fred VanVleetfred

Can I interest you in a 26-year-old guard who can make plays against elite playoff defense, stretch the floor and force turnovers? VanVleet is quietly one of the best defensive guards in the league, making up for his lack of height with a rare combination of basketball IQ, strength and anticipation. He’s also a valued leader in the locker room, and he has shown he’s completely fearless taking big shots on the biggest stage — his suitors have to wonder how close they’d have to get to the max to price the Raptors out.

joeJoe Harris

Harris is exactly the type of player Brooklyn should want next to Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. He is not just a lights-out shooter; he is a lights-out shooter who is comfortable shooting on the move, with a ridiculously quick release. He can attack close-outs, too, and he is a solid enough defender. The question here is how much luxury-tax pain the Nets are willing to endure.

daniloDanilo Gallinari

Gallinari will be 32 before the start of next season. He has slipped a bit as a defender and is now much more suited to play the 4 than the 3, but set himself up for another payday with a strong season in Oklahoma City. On the offensive end, Gallinari remains one of the more versatile and efficient forwards in the league. After almost getting him at the trade deadline, would Miami sacrifice its 2021 cap space with a multi-year deal?

davidDavis Bertans

By not trading Bertans at the deadline, the Wizards telegraphed that they intend to re-sign him. The 27-year-old was a revelation this season, taking advantage of the greenest light any stretch 4 has ever had. He took 10.7 3-pointers per 36 minutes this season, an unprecedented number for a frontcourt player, and made 42.4 percent of them.

montrezlMontrezl Harrell

Once again a Sixth Man of the Year candidate, Harrell somehow upped his usage after the Clippers signed two superstars, showing off a more refined face-up game than just about anyone thought he could develop. Once an energy guy, Harrell is now a refined offensive weapon, and he still does all the wonderful hustle things that got him on the court in the first place. If the Clippers can’t afford to keep him, I humbly request that whoever signs him also trades for Lou Williams.

Continue Reading…

Source: cbssports.com

For expert and professional construction, installation and maintenance of all Sprung Timber specialist Sports Flooring, always rely on Victoria and Tasmania’s leading Sports Flooring experts Nellakir Pty Ltd. Call 03 9467 6126 to discuss your requirements with one of our qualified technicians.

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Nellakir helps young athletes reach their goals by providing the highest quality Sprung Timber Sports Floor playing surfaces.