NBA Playoffs come to a standstill. Both NBA Players and WNBA Players have refused to play after the Wisconsin shooting of Jacob Blake.

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As any casual observer of the game in the USA would observe, the NBA and WNBA feature some of the world’s premier black African American Athletes. It would appear that the latest shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin has galvanised the world of Basketball to protest in the strongest manner available to them. Commentators such as Kenny Smith joined them in the walkout and Strike action is the strongest signal yet that many consider enough is enough. Here is a full report from the Associated Press today, 27.08.2020.

Strike: NBA playoff games called off amid player protest

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Officials stand beside an empty court before the scheduled start of an NBA basketball first round playoff game between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Orlando Magic, Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Making their strongest statement yet in the fight against racial injustice, players from six NBA teams decided not to play postseason games on Wednesday in a boycott that quickly reverberated across other professional leagues.

Also called off: Some games in Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer and the three WNBA contests, as players across four leagues decided the best way to use their platform and demand change was to literally step off the playing surface.

Players made the extraordinary decisions to protest the shooting by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Sunday of Jacob Blake, a Black man, apparently in the back while three of his children looked on.

Kenosha is about 40 miles south of Milwaukee. That city’s NBA team, the Bucks, started the boycotts Wednesday by refusing to emerge from their locker room to play a playoff game against the Orlando Magic.

“There has been no action, so our focus today cannot be on basketball,” said Bucks guard Sterling Brown, who joined teammate George Hill in reading a statement on the team’s behalf. Brown has a federal lawsuit pending against the city of Milwaukee alleging he was targeted because he was Black and that his civil rights were violated in January 2018 when officers used a stun gun on him after a parking violation.

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Other games that were not played: NBA playoff games between Oklahoma City and Houston, and the Los Angeles Lakers and Portland along with three WNBA games, three MLB games and five MLS matches. Two members of the St. Louis Cardinals sat out their team’s game with the Kansas City Royals as well.

The NBA’s board of governors have called a meeting on Thursday to discuss the new developments, said a person with knowledge of the situation. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the meeting plan was not revealed publicly.

“The baseless shootings of Jacob Blake and other black men and women by law enforcement underscores the need for action,” the NBA Coaches Association said in a statement. “Not after the playoffs, not in the future, but now.”

The statement by the Bucks also called for state lawmakers to reconvene and take immediate action “to address issues of police accountability, brutality, and criminal justice reform.”

“I couldn’t agree more. Thank you, Bucks,” Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers tweeted.

The NBA did not say when Wednesday’s games would be played or if Thursday’s schedule of three more games involving six other teams would be affected. NBA players and coaches met for nearly three hours Wednesday night to determine next steps, including whether the season should continue. They did not come to a consensus, a person with knowledge of the meeting told AP.

“We fully support our players and the decision they made,” Bucks owners Marc Lasry, Wes Edens and Jamie Dinan said in a joint statement after Milwaukee players decided to not take the floor. “Although we did not know beforehand, we would have wholeheartedly agreed with them. The only way to bring about change is to shine a light on the racial injustices that are happening in front of us.”

Added Jeanie Buss, the Governor of the Lakers, in a tweet: “I stand behind our players, today and always. After more than 400 years of cruelty, racism and injustice, we all need to work together to say enough is enough.”

Several NBA players, including the Lakers’ LeBron James, tweeted out messages demanding change. Some teams did the same.

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“We weren’t given advanced notice about the decision but we are happy to stand in solidarity with Milwaukee, Jacob, and the entire NBA community,” Orlando guard Michael Carter-Williams said. “Change is coming.”

Magic players and referees were on the court as if the game was happening, unaware that Milwaukee did not intend to take the floor. The National Basketball Referees Association said it “stands in solidarity” with the players.

“Players have, once again, made it clear — they will not be silent on this issue,” National Basketball Players Association Executive Director Michele Roberts said. The NBPA is expected to be part of Thursday’s meeting with the board of governors.

Demanding societal change and ending racial injustice has been a major part of the NBA’s restart at Walt Disney World. The phrase “Black Lives Matter” is painted on the arena courts, players are wearing messages urging change on their jerseys and coaches are donning pins demanding racial justice as well.

Many players wrestled for weeks about whether it was even right to play, fearing that a return to games would take attention off the deaths of, among others, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd in recent months.

Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman, was fatally shot when police officers burst into her Louisville, Kentucky apartment using a no-knock warrant during a narcotics investigation on March 13. The warrant was in connection with a suspect who did not live there and no drugs were found. Then on May 25, Floyd died after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed a knee into the Black man’s neck for nearly eight minutes — all captured on a cell phone video.

Hill said after Blake’s shooting that he felt players shouldn’t have come to Disney.

“We’re the ones getting killed,” Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers, who is Black, said in an emotional speech Tuesday night. “We’re the ones getting shot. We’re the ones that we’re denied to live in certain communities. We’ve been hung. We’ve been shot. And all you do is keep hearing about fear. It’s amazing why we keep loving this country and this country does not love us back. And it’s just, it’s really so sad.”

Players from Boston and Toronto met Tuesday to discuss boycotting Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series, which had been scheduled for Thursday. NBPA officers were part of those meetings, and Miami forward Andre Iguodala — one of those officers— said around 2:15 p.m. that he did not believe a boycott plan had been finalized.

Things apparently moved quickly: Less than two hours later, the Bucks wouldn’t take the floor.

“When you talk about boycotting a game, everyone’s antenna goes up,” Iguodala said. “It’s sad you have to make threats like that — I wouldn’t say threats — but you have to be willing to sacrifice corporate money for people to realize there’s a big problem out there.”

Professional sports has seen both strikes and lockouts in the past, almost always over salary disputes. But this wouldn’t seem to classify as a strike, even though it was initiated by players, since their dispute is not with the NBA. Boycott, meanwhile, is defined as the act of refusing to engage in an action, usually to express disapproval with some condition.

Source: startribune.com

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NBA Playoffs well underway with a few surprises.

The Covid 19 Hub in Orlando Florida is throwing up a few surprises. Some of the big names are either not performing or are out injured (Simmons). We will provide a full update next week. Meanwhile what’s happening with the LA Lakers who definitely seem off-song… ?

It started with a Dame, but LeBron’s tormentors are far from a one-man team: US View

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The NBA playoffs are underway and there has already been a few upsets that have cast doubt over how two league heavyweights will move forward.

The Lakers seem to have carried their bubble form into the playoffs and Damian Lillard is still firing for the Blazers.

But he’s not the only one and the trust Portland have in each other could be just what Milwaukee are missing at the moment.

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LILLARD IS HEATING UP BUT TRUST IS KEY TO BLAZERS’ SUCCESS

While the Bucks are still trying to figure out how to free up Giannis, the Blazers are thriving off the back of always finding the open man.

That is the perspective of The Athletic’s Jason Quick, who says Portland’s greatest strength is not only superstar Damian Lillard but also their ability to trust anyone in the line-up to make the game-winning shot.

“While Damian Lillard (34 points) was again timely and impactful, and CJ McCollum (21 points) and Jusuf Nurkic (16 points, 15 rebounds) did their part, what tickled Stotts about the Game 1 upset was the details in how and why the Blazers won,” he wrote.

“The biggest shots of the game came from Carmelo Anthony and Gary Trent Jr. in the final minutes. Anthony had been off all game, missing eight of his 10 shots. And Trent had gone 1-for-7, twice hitting the side of the backboard on 3-point attempts.

“But with the game on the line, their teammates trusted them to take 3-pointers, and like they have all throughout the Orlando restart, Anthony and Trent Jr. trusted their preparation. Anthony’s 3 with 2:32 left pushed the Blazers lead to 95-89. Later, after the Lakers drew within 95-93, Trent Jr. hit a 3 with 1:15 left.”

The Oregon Live’s Aaron Fentress agreed that while Lillard is getting all the attention, the confidence in each other powered the Blazers to victory in the first game.

“Carmelo Anthony’s shooting touch was off. Gary Trent Jr. had been clanking shots all night,” he wrote.

“For the Blazers, it all comes down to trust and a belief in one another to make big plays when it matters most. On Tuesday, it was Anthony and Trent who got it done despite their struggles.”

“That trust is what makes the Blazers so dangerous. How does an opposing team defend Portland late in games when it often doesn’t care which player takes the biggest shots late in games?”

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IS IT PANIC STATIONS FOR THE LAKERS ALREADY?

“It’s one game”.

Los Angeles Lakers coach Frank Vogel declared it’s not panic stations at the number one seed in the West after Thursday’s 100-93 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers.

The problem is, this “one game” for the Lakers and LeBron James is symptomatic of their time in the NBA bubble, according to the Los Angeles Times’ Tania Ganguli wrote.

“The way the Lakers played fit perfectly with the way they played the seeding games in the bubble,”

“Their shooting struggled — they missed their first eight three-point attempts and ultimately finished making only five of 32 three-pointers.”

According to the NBA’s tracking data, 27 of the Lakers’ 35 threes on Thursday were classified as either open or wide open.

They were able to execute on just two of their 16 ‘wide open’ shots.

The Lakers have struggled to get their offence going at Disneyland and NBC Sports’ Dylan Mickanen said the trend will continue without better spacing.

“The Trail Blazers will pack the paint with rim protectors and send help at LeBron and Davis on the block, and force the Lakers subpar supporting cast make outside shots,” he wrote.

So yes, this is just one game for the Lakers, problem is we’ve seen this all before.

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BUCKS’ GIANNIS PROBLEM REARS ITS UGLY HEAD

If the Bucks keep pounding Giannis Antetokounmpo into the wall, they invariably should be expecting the same results, according to Bucks beat reporter Matt Velazquez.

“The Bucks know, basically all the time what teams are going to do,” he said on The Milwaukee Bucks podcast.

“They’re going to sink, they’re going to clog the paint, they’re going to be make it hard for Giannis to get to the hoop.

“But they couldn’t do anything about it.

“They couldn’t pass well enough, they didn’t shoot early enough in the shot clock at times, not finding the open man.

“That’s the head-scratching stuff.

“Why are they not sticking to the plan or working harder to try and get a better shot?”

Anteokounmpo’s All-Star partner Khris Middleton had just 14 points, while Brook Lopez’s five points and four rebounds looked embarrassing in comparison to opposing big man Nikola Vucevic’s 35 points and 14 rebounds.

Speaking of Vucevic it was clear that he would be Orlando’s man in offence but Velazquez said the Bucks failed to shut him down.

“You know what the Magic are going to do,” Velazquez said.

“You know they’re going to go to Nikola Vucevic. He’s an All-Star calibre player for a reason. He’s the best player they have.

“Of course they’re going to feed him, of course they’re going to play through him. The Bucks never had a way of figuring how to slow him down.”

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PLAYOFFS SCHEDULE (AEST)

EASTERN CONFERENCE

MILWAUKEE BUCKS (1) – (8) ORLANDO MAGIC

  • Game 2: 3am Friday, August 21
  • Game 3: 3am Sunday, August 23
  • Game 4: 3.30am Tuesday, August 25
  • Game 5: TBD, August 27
  • Game 6: TBD, August 29
  • Game 7: TBD, August 31

TORONTO RAPTORS (2) – (7) BROOKLYN NETS

  • Game 3: 3.30am Saturday, August 22
  • Game 4: 8.30am Monday, August 24
  • Game 5: TBD, August 26
  • Game 6: TBD, August 28
  • Game 7: TBD, August 30

BOSTON CELTICS (3) – (6) PHILADELPHIA 76ERS

  • Game 3: 8.30am Saturday, August 22
  • Game 4: 3am Monday, August 24
  • Game 5: TBD, August 26
  • Game 6: TBD, August 28
  • Game 7: TBD, August 30

INDIANA PACERS (4) – MIAMI HEAT (5)

  • Game 2: 3am Friday, August 21
  • Game 3: 5.30am Sunday, August 23
  • Game 4: 8.30am Monday, August 24
  • Game 5: TBD, August 26
  • Game 6: TBD, August 28
  • Game 7: TBD, August 30

WESTERN CONFERENCE (AEST)

LOS ANGELES LAKERS (1) – (8) PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS

  • Game 2: 11am Friday, August 21
  • Game 3: 10.30am Sunday, August 23
  • Game 4: 11am Tuesday, August 25
  • Game 5: TBD, August 27
  • Game 6: TBD, August 29
  • Game 7: TBD, August 31

LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS (2) – (7) DALLAS MAVERICKS

  • Game 2: 11am Thursday, August 20
  • Game 3: 11am Saturday, August 22
  • Game 4: 5am Monday, August 24
  • Game 5: TBD, August 26
  • Game 6: TBD, August 28
  • Game 7: TBD, August 30

DENVER NUGGETS (3) – (6) UTAH JAZZ

  • Game 3: 6am Saturday, August 22
  • Game 4: 11am Monday, August 24
  • Game 5: TBD, August 26
  • Game 6: TBD, August 28
  • Game 7: TBD, August 30

HOUSTON ROCKETS (4) – (5) OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER

  • Game 2: 5.30am Friday, August 21
  • Game 3: 8am Sunday, August 23
  • Game 4: 6am, Tuesday, August 25
  • Game 5: TBD, August 27
  • Game 6: TBD, August 29
  • Game 7: TBD, August 31

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Source: foxsports.com.au

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Suncorp Super Netball Action – The Melbourne Vixens make a statement!

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With local competitions in recess, all eyes turn to the National Suncorp Super Netball action. The Melbourne Vixens look like taking full advantage of the Hub with a strong victory over the Sunshine Coast Lightning.

Here’s a report on the game which was held on the 12th of August at the University of the Sunshine Coast Stadium.

Vixens remain on top

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The Melbourne Vixens have sounded a warning to the rest of the Suncorp Super Netball competition after defeating the Sunshine Coast Lightning 63-51.

The Vixens were in the unusual position of hosting the Lightning at USC Stadium on the Sunshine Coast but the Melbourne club made themselves at home with another classy performance.

The two teams had yet to taste defeat heading into the top-of-the-table clash but the Vixens set up their third successive win with a dominant opening half, building an impressive 15-goal lead by halftime.

Super Netball Rd 6 - Lightning v Vixens“It definitely didn’t feel like we were up that much,” Vixens co-captain Kate Moloney said about her team’s strong start.

“We knew the Lightning were going to come hard at us, they’re a super quality team but I’m really proud of our girls to be able to push it out all the way to the end.”

The victory was a fitting result for Moloney as she joined current teammate Tegan Philip and Bianca Chatfield as the third Vixen to play 100 national league games.

The reliable midcourter took the points in her match-up with Lightning captain Laura Langman, claiming player of the match with 22 circle feeds and 13 assists, while Jo Weston was a standout in defence for the Vixens.

The Vixens burst out of the blocks with nine of the first 11 goals of the game but the Lightning’s attack started to flow when Steph Wood shifted to goal shooter and Cara Koenen cashed in on a Karla Pretorius intercept to reduce Melbourne’s lead to three.

But Caitlin Thwaites drained a Suncorp Super Shot on the siren for a 16-11 advantage and the Vixens kept rolling with an 8-2 start in the second term before Thwaites and Tegan Philip combined for four super shots in the rebel Power Five period to go into halftime ahead 34-19.

The Lightning managed to reduce the margin to single digits at stages of the third and fourth quarters but the Vixens had all the answers with Thwaites, Philip and Mwai Kumwenda each playing their part to keep their attack on song.

Super Netball Rd 6 - Lightning v VixensBoth teams are back in action on Sunday with the Lightning hosting the undefeated NSW Swifts and the Vixens aiming for their fourth win in a row against the Adelaide Thunderbirds.

Score breakdown
Q1: Vixens 16 v Lightning 11
Q2: Vixens 18 v Lightning 8
Q3: Vixens 15 v Lightning 19
Q4: Vixens 14 v Lightning 13

Nissan Player of The Match – Kate Moloney (Melbourne Vixens)

Vixens shooting statistics
Caitln Thwaites: Total points – 20 G1 – 14/20 (70%) G2 – 3/4 (75%)
Tegan Philip: Total points – 22 G1 – 16/19 (84%) G2 – 3/6 (50%)
Mwai Kumwenda: Total points – 21 G1 – 21/21 (100%) G2 – 0/2 (0%)

Lightning shooting statistics
Steph Wood: Total points – 13 G1 – 9/12 (75%) G2 – 2/5 (40%)
Cara Koenen: Total points – 31 G1 – 29/33 (88%) G2 – 1/1 (100%)
Peace Proscovia: Total points – 7 G1 – 7/9 (78%) G2 – 0/0 (0%)

Vixens starting seven: GS – Caitlin Thwaites GA – Tegan Philip WA – Liz Watson C – Kate Moloney WD – Kate Eddy GD – Jo Weston GK – Emily Mannix

Lightning starting seven: GS – Peace Proscovia GA – Steph Wood WA – Laura Scherian C – Laura Langman WD – Maddy McAuliffe GD – Karla Pretorius GK – Phumza Maweni

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Source: supernetball.com.au

Netball is Australia’s most popular women’s sport catering to all ages. Today nearly all levels of the sport get to play on premium Timber Sports Flooring, whether it’s at the local school, sports centre or regional stadium.

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Nellakir continue on current projects. Meanwhile the NBA action sees trouble for Ben Simmons

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With the announcement of further restrictions for the next six weeks in Victoria on August 5th. Nellakir is permitted to continue its installations under the Construction Industry guidelines. The Nellakir team are currently completing the Victorian Netball and Hockey Centre’s new courts in Royal Park as well as the Victorian Schools Building Authority projects in Truganina, Rockbank Nth and at Thoroughbred Primary.

Free Sports Flooring Inspection

Currently, it’s a good time to do inspections on your existing facilities during the lockdown. The all competitions in recess, it provides the opportunity to do a thorough inspection and if necessary carry out the repairs required if permitted within your area. From Line marking through to full resanding and resurfacing of premium Timber Sports flooring. Arrange a free inspection and report from Nellakir on 03 9467 6126 or leave your details here for a prompt reply.

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With the NBA underway in Orlando Florida, Australia’s Ben Simmons has suffered a setback – here are the details.

Ben Simmons suffers fresh injury blow as things get even worse for stuttering Sixers

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The Philadelphia 76ers needed everything to go right in the NBA’s Orlando bubble if they wanted to realistically challenge for the title.

But three games into the restart, things are looking far from ideal.

And it got even worse on Thursday (AEST), despite a 107-98 win over the Washington Wizards, as Ben Simmons went down the tunnel with a left knee injury in the third quarter after grabbing an offensive rebound.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the early indications are “encouraging”, with Simmons experiencing no swelling or pain after leaving the court.

He was pictured limping out of the locker room at the end of the game.

With only five games left for the Sixers before the playoffs begin, and team chemistry far from perfect, Simmons’ injury is just another obstacle to overcome.

“We don’t know,” Sixers head coach Brett Brown said post-game as he addressed the Simmons injury.

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Brown, who admitted he was “curious” to find out, said the team would make an announcement soon.

The Australian, who suffered a back injury earlier this season, finished with just eight points (2-10 FG), six rebounds, and four assists in his 22 minutes.

Philadelphia dropped their opening game in Orlando to the Indiana Pacers, before squeezing past the San Antonio Spurs in a game Simmons fouled out. Against Washington, the game was much closer than it should have been.

The Sixers trailed deep into the third quarter, before taking control, and hanging on to move to 2-1 in the bubble.

Joel Embiid scored 18 of his game-high 29 points in the second half as the sixth seed Sixers moved to 41-27 on the season.

Source: heraldsun.com.au

More NBA news next week.

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