Ben Simmons – A Vision of the Future.

It’s Friday night and the kids are loaded in the car and we are off to their junior Basketball competition at the local stadium. It’s a premium competition surface – timber sports flooring. Each week the boys and their sister seem to be getting better, more proficient.

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And then you remember what your youngest said to your mum (their grandma).

“Are you going to study and become a doctor? Maybe a Lawyer? Or perhaps an Architect?” she asked.

“No Grandma – I’m going to keep growing and I’m going to practice until I make the NBA draft when I leave school!” he answered enthusiastically.

“But Tyrone, you’ll need a good education to make a living” said my mum.

“Nah – I’ll be like Ben Simmons. He used to play footy but then he played Basketball for the Knox Raiders – just out there near Knox City Grandma. Yeah I want to do what he’s doing!”

“What’s that darling?” asked my mum.

“Playing the hoops and getting $46 million (A) a year! He’s going to make $242 million in five years Grandma!”

“Oh my goodness” says my mum.

But the kid has a point. So whatever it takes hey?

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Now Australian kids right across the country have an inspirational path to follow. With new schools (and older ones) all being included in the State Government scheme to provide superior facilities for all schools and communities, most kids these days get to play on a premium competition court – with sprung timber sports flooring of the highest standard. So the dream of many young men and women is no longer improbable.

Read about Ben Simmons contract here. Unfortunately we will miss his services during the World Cup in August/September but he has reiterated he will play for the Boomers at the upcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020.

Ben Simmons has agreed to a five-year, $US170 million ($A242 million) contract extension with the Philadelphia 76ers in the richest deal ever by an Australian athlete.

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The Athletic, citing Simmons’ agent Rich Paul, was the first to report on Monday (Tuesday AEST) that he had accepted the offer.

Ben Simmons has signed a $A242 million five-year contract extension with his NBA team, the Philadelphia 76ers.

The team and Paul have been working out details since July 2. The maximum extension was originally believed to be $US168.2 million, yet it’s actually higher than $US170 million due to the new salary cap projections.

The extension, which begins during the 2020-21 season, could pass $US200 million if Simmons makes the All-NBA team this season.

Simmons is a triple-double machine and one of the NBA’s young superstars, so extending his contract was an easy decision for the ownership group and front office, despite criticism from some over elements of his game, predominantly the lack of a reliable jumpshot.

The 22-year-old averaged 16.9 points, 8.8 rebounds and 7.7 assists last season as the Sixers lost in the second round of the playoffs to eventual champions Toronto. He had 10 triple-doubles this past season and now has 22 for his career.

Ben Simmons has formally agreed to a record-breaking contract extension, according to his agent.

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He joins Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson as the only NBA players with at least 10 triple-double in each of their first two seasons.

Doubt still hangs over whether the Melbourne-born NBA All-Star will play for Australia later this year at the World Cup in China and in Melbourne and Perth exhibition games.

It was Paul who shocked Australian sports fans on the weekend when he told ESPN that Simmons was “doubtful” to play for Australia at the World Cup in August-September.

His absence would be a major blow to the Boomers’ hopes of claiming a medal in China in September and to huge crowds of Australian fans planning to watch him play exhibition games with the Boomers.

The Boomers will play a powerful US squad twice in front of more than a combined 100,000 fans at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne in August.

Simmons was also set to play for the Boomers twice in Perth against a strong Canadian squad before jetting out to China.

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The Boomers are yet to win a medal at a World Cup or Olympics, but with Simmons spearheading a team laden with Australian NBA players including Patty Mills, Andrew Bogut, Joe Ingles, Matthew Dellavedova, Aron Baynes and Jonah Bolden, the drought appeared set to be broken.

On June 23, 2016, Simmons became the first No. 1 pick taken by the Sixers since 1996, when they took Allen Iverson out of Georgetown.

Source: www.smh.com.au

Nellakir are Victoria and Tasmania’s leading experts in the Construction, Maintenance and Cleaning of all Timber Sports Flooring. Nellakir have exclusive access to the FIBA approved ASF/Horner Sports Flooring systems.

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For a premium sports surface and all your Timber Sports Flooring requirements, call 03 9467 6126 to arrange an obligation free consultation and quotation. Or leave your details here for a prompt reply.

Whether it’s regular court cleaning, annual maintenance (including resurfacing and linemarking) or a full reconstruction of your competition court, call Nellakir for premium performance and genuine service.

Nellakir – The Sports Flooring for Champions.

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

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Netball – Front and Centre Stage – The World Cup 2019.

The World Cup of Netball kicks off in Liverpool England this Friday the 12th of July.
Australia is scheduled to play Northern Ireland in the first session of the tournament at 11am, prior to the opening ceremony scheduled for 3pm the same day. In session 3, Australia will play Zimbabwe at 9am on July 13th. On Sunday the 14th Australia will play Sri Lanka at 3pm, Monday the 15th then hopefully it’s into the finals after qualifying is dispensed with.

With matches each day determined by the competition results, the World Cup Final will be played after a week of non-stop action on Sunday the 21st of July.

Here are some of the key factors to watch as the competition develops.

Ten things to watch out for at the Netball World Cup

England have broken the antipodean stranglehold with Commonwealth Games gold, and the World Cup starting on Friday is the most anticipated ever

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Australia’s Caitlin Bassett (centre) comes into the tournament shouldering a great deal of pressure. Photograph: Simon Watts/Getty Images

1) The role physicality will play … or not

In the world’s top leagues – in Australia, New Zealand and England – netball has reached a new level of power and physicality. It hasn’t been “non-contact” for years. It’s inevitable the way such strength is adjudicated by neutral umpires, who aren’t used to the brute force displayed in the big leagues, will become a talking point. If players accustomed to a high level of physicality don’t adjust in Liverpool, they’ll give up too many penalties – which may tip the balance in a tight contest.

2) Roses in a pressure cooker

As reigning Commonwealth champions, hosts England have never been under so much pressure. The former England international and UK Superleague coach Tamsin Greenway says the English public expect the Roses to win. “The team is coming into this tournament confidently,” she says. “It’s not that they think they’re better than everybody, but they’re favourites and they should be.” How the squad, captained by 90-Test veteran Serena Guthrie, handles that pressure will define it for years to come.

3) Beware the wounded Kiwi

While many expect a Diamonds v Roses final, the Silver Ferns shouldn’t be discounted. Noeline Taurua has picked one of the most experienced New Zealand sides to contest a World Cup. Her team boasts 781 Tests of experience: a staggering 443 more international games than Australia. With more than 100 caps each, Maria Folau, Casey Kopua, Laura Langman and Katrina Rore will need to step up if the four-times world champions are to redeem their embarrassing Commonwealth Games performance, where they missed a medal for the first time.

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Serena Guthrie will captain hosts England in Liverpool Photograph: Nigel French/PA

4) Blowtorch on Bassett

To say Caitlin Bassett carries pressure into Liverpool is a gargantuan understatement. The 193cm shooter is the most experienced Diamond, captain and the side’s main route to goal. She’s also coming back from an injury – and isn’t in scintillating form. The 31-year-old fractured her forearm in January and has lacked consistency since. Greenway says the Diamonds team heaps expectation on Bassett. “She’ll be feeling that. It’ll be interesting to see how she responds.”

5) Jamaica’s depleted shooting stocks

Jamaica typically has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to tall shooters, but this year they will have to rely heavily on their 198cm captain, Jhaniele Fowler, to hold down goal shooter. The 29-year-old, who has several niggling injuries, will have limited backup from 198cm Romelda Aiken, who is returning from bone stress to her tibia, while Shimona Nelson is out injured. The young goal attack Shanice Beckford is a genuine star, especially from distance, but there will still be plenty riding on Fowler’s broad shoulders.

6) Gretel’s moment to shine?

Netball’s most polarising figure, the Australian shooter Gretel Tippett, might just silence her critics with a breakout performance. Tippett – who came to the game late after playing high-level basketball as a junior – tends to elicit a strong response from fans, who call the 26-year-old everything from reckless to arrogant for her unorthodox style, physicality and “lay-up”. Having improved her accuracy and game sense in recent months, Tippett is set to deliver a “big whatever” to doubters, Greenway reckons.

7) Proteas ready to bloom

South Africa have their best chance in 25 years of winning a medal . The side know it and their coach, Norma Plummer, knows it. Hopes are high because six of the Proteas play in Australia, and others in England and New Zealand. For Plummer, who took the reins before the 2015 World Cup, that means her side can mix it with the finest. While she is “quietly confident”, the captain Bongiwe Msomi is more emphatic: “We are going for a medal.”

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The tournament is likely to be Geva Mentor’s England swansong. Photograph: Hannah Peters/Getty Images

8) A fitting farewell for a Mentor

In the dictionary, next to big-game player, there may as well be a picture of the England goalkeeper Geva Mentor, who first represented her country aged 16 in 2001 and was pivotal in the Roses’ Commonwealth glory. In a sparkling career spanning three Commonwealth Games and now five World Cups, the 34-year-old has never won a medal on home soil. And she probably won’t be at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. So if history knocks in Liverpool, expect the 138-cap veteran to answer.

9) The H2 equation

The “moving circle” of shooters Helen Housby and Jo Harten has been crucial to the growth of the Roses, but the duo may come up against tactical resistance this tournament. Greenway – who has applied to replace Tracey Neville as England coach after the tournament – says opposition sides will have been studying “H2” carefully and have plans in place to combat them. If opponents have the answer to H2, the Roses may struggle.

10) Playing through, without time-outs

The Australia coach, Lisa Alexander, is acutely aware she has to “de-programme” her Diamonds when it comes to time-outs – which are allowed in the Super Netball competition but not at the World Cup. That goes for the other 19 internationals who play in the league too. Players have to work out how to “play through” matches without the benefit of numerous tactical breaks, which can significantly shift momentum. On-court leadership will come to the fore. “We’ve got to have that concentrated effort, it’s key,” Alexander says.

Source: theguardian.com

Australia’s World Cup position is in no small way influenced by the spectacular quality of its domestic competition and the facilities its team members use week in and week out right across Australia.

Here in Australia more and more juniors are getting the opportunity to play on premium grade sprung timber sports flooring as they learn the game and hone their skills. School construction programs and federally funded stadiums have been constructed right across Australia.

Here in Victoria and Tasmania, Nellakir are the leading experts in the construction and maintenance of all Timber Sports Flooring. From regular cleaning after of before competition, to annual re-surfacing and re-lining, call Nellakir on 03 9467 6126 for a free consultation and quotation as required. Or leave your details here for a prompt reply.

Nellakir – The Sports Flooring for Champions.

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

The Winners and Losers 2019 NBA Free Agency Period.

After the play-offs, probably the most interesting time in the NBA competition calendar is the free agency period preceeding the annual players draft. This year there have been, as always, some big surprises, and some big disappointments.

Winners and Losers thus far in 2019 after the first wave of contracts are as follows…

2019 NBA free agency winners and losers after first wave of contracts

NBA free agency 2019 began Sunday night at 6 p.m. ET, and there was a flurry of activity that will shape the balance of power in the league for many years to come.
Several superstars changed teams, creating a wide open 2019-20 NBA title race that should produce lots of compelling drama. As of Monday morning, more than $3 billion in new contracts had been agreed to.

Let’s take a look at the early winners and losers from NBA free agency.


Winner: Philadelphia 76ers, Al Horford

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Additions:
–Tobias Harris (five years, $180M)
–Al Horford (four years, $109M)
–Josh Richardson (sign-and-trade)

Departures:
–J.J. Redick
–Jimmy Butler

The 76ers kept Harris and signed one of the best defensive and 3-point shooting big men in the league in Horford. They also are expected to add a solid young player in Richardson as part of a sign-and-trade with the Heat involving Butler. The Sixers are now the likely favorites in the Eastern Conference title race entering the 2019-20 campaign. Philly’s starting five of Ben Simmons, Richardson, Harris, Horford and Joel Embiid probably is the best in the league.


Loser: New York Knicks

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The Knicks took so much of a beating on social media and television for not being able to sign Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving that the team actually had to put out a press release explaining the situation. After that, the Knicks agreed to contracts with role players such as Julius Randle, Bobby Portis, Taj Gibson, Elfrid Payton and Reggie Bullock. These additions could prevent the Knicks from being the worst team in the NBA again and thus decreasing their chances of winning the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. Sunday was a total disaster for the Knicks, and to make matters worse, Durant and Irving agreed to join New York’s cross-town rival, the Brooklyn Nets.

Ouch.


Winner: Utah Jazz

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The Jazz were bounced in the first of the playoffs this past season partly because second-year guard Donovan Mitchell was forced to shoulder too much of the burden offensively. Well, the Jazz went out and acquired star point guard Mike Conley in a trade before the draft, then agreed to sign Bojan Bogdanovic (four years, $73 million) and Ed Davis (two years, $10 million) in free agency Sunday. Utah’s depth has improved quite a bit, and it wouldn’t be shocking if they made a deep playoff run next season.


Loser: Charlotte Hornets

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Kemba Walker was the greatest player in Charlotte Hornets history (this iteration, of course), but they weren’t willing to pay him enough and he instead went to the Boston Celtics on a four-year max contract. The Hornets lost their franchise point guard for nothing and tried to make up for it by overpaying for Celtics backup Terry Rozier (three years, $58 million). If the Hornets weren’t willing to pay up (and/or go into the luxury tax) to keep Walker, they should have traded him before the deadline in February. This was horrendous asset management by Charlotte, a franchise likely doomed to a lengthy rebuild.


Winner: Brooklyn Nets

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Sunday was the greatest day in the history of the Brooklyn Nets. They agreed to four-year near-max contracts with superstar free agents Kevin Durant and Kyrie irving, ensuring the Nets are the marquee basketball team in New York for the next couple of seasons. Durant isn’t likely to play until the 2020-21 season after suffering a ruptured Achilles in the 2019 NBA Finals, but the long-term outlook for the Nets is as bright as any team.


Loser: Orlando Magic

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Does anyone know what the Magic are trying to accomplish?

Overpaying to keep veteran center Nikola Vucevic (four years, $100 million) was bad enough, and then they agreed to an even worse contract with veteran role player Al-Farouq Aminu (three years, $29 million). Terrence Ross also re-signed with the Magic for four years and $54 million! Orlando is close to the luxury tax despite being nowhere near a legit contender in the Eastern Conference. We haven’t even talked about the team’s poor drafting over the last decade, including 2018 first-round Mo Bamba, who had a very poor rookie campaign.

The Magic better hope they earn a playoff spot next season because they’ve spent a ton of money for a roster with zero players with superstar potential.


Winner: Golden State Warriors

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The Warriors lost Kevin Durant to the Nets, but they were able to re-sign Klay Thompson (five years, $190 million) and acquire All-Star point guard D’Angelo Russell in a sign-and-trade with Brooklyn. Russell, Stephen Curry and Draymond Green should help the Warriors stay near the top of the Western Conference while Thompson recovers from an ACL tear suffered in the 2019 NBA Finals. Golden State also was able to dump veteran forward Andre Iguodala’s contract on the Memphis Grizzlies.


Loser: Sacramento Kings

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The Kings exceeded expectations last season and contended for a playoff spot in the Western Conference. Instead of preserving their salary cap space or spending it wisely, they wasted it on veterans such as Harrison Barnes (four years, $85 million), Trevor Ariza (two years, $25 million) and Dewayne Dedmon (three years, $40 million). Spending $150 million and not adding one established star to a very talented young core of De’Aaron Fox, Marvin Bagley and Harry Giles was a huge mistake.


Winner: Milwaukee Bucks

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Losing talented guard Malcolm Brogdon hurts, but the Bucks were smart not to pay the four-year, $85 million contract the Indiana Pacers offered him. Milwaukee did preserve its championship-caliber roster by agreeing to deals with guards Khris Middleton (five years, $178 million) and George Hill (three years, $29 million), as well as center Brook Lopez (four years, $52 million) to surround franchise cornerstone and reigning league MVP winner Giannis Antetokounmpo with enough talent. The Bucks had to maintain a quality roster in an effort to convince Antetokounmpo to re-sign in 2021 (or sooner).


Loser: Boston Celtics

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Replacing Kyrie Irving with Kemba Walker could be a plus for Boston. Walker isn’t as talented as Irving, but he’s a better leader and should create a stronger team chemistry than what we saw from the Celtics this past season.

Losing Al Horford really hurts, though. You could justify the C’s not paying Horford the four-year, $109 million contract he too from the 76ers, but losing him to a division rival such as Philly is a tough pill to swallow. Horford’s leadership, defense and 3-point shooting should make him a great fit on a Sixers team that likely will be the favorite to win the Eastern Conference next season.

Horford’s departure is made worse by the fact veteran center Aron Baynes also isn’t returning, leaving the Celtics with a frontcourt lacking both depth and experience. Boston reportedly has agreed to a two-year, $10 million deal with veteran center Enes Kanter. He’s a great rebounder and can provide some inside scoring, but he’s a poor defender and won’t stretch the floor as a 3-point shooter.

The Celtics still have a really good roster, but they’ve definitely taken a step back to this point in free agency.

Source: nbcsports.com

This year it’s time for your team and your facilities, your premium sprung timber basketball court to get on the winners list. A premium Timber Sports Floor needs specialist care and attention. It’s a massive investment and the smartest thing to do is engage Nellakir, the industry’s leading experts in Timber Sports Flooring in Victoria and Tasmania – for regular professional expert cleaning and maintenance, annual maintenance (resurfacing, re-lining) and for the full construction and assembly of all Sprung Timber Sports Floors.

Call now on 03 9467 6126 to arrange a free, no-obligation consultation, or leave your details here for a prompt reply.

Nellakir – Sports Flooring for Champions.

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

Thurs 22nd and Sat 24th of August – Boomers Vs USA at Marvel Stadium – Don’t miss it!

It’s the Australian Boomers Vs USA Basketball. Two games – Thursday 22nd of August and Saturday the 24th of August. Tickets are still available now and for the general public in late July, but the games are nearly sold out.

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The games are ‘friendly’s’ as a build up to the FIBA World Cup to be played in China during August.

Australia has named a 17 man squad for the upcoming World Cup. With nine current NBA players, six from the NBL and two from Europe it promises to be a formidable team.

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Playing from the NBA for Australia will be:

  • Ben Simmons – Philadelphia 76ers
  • Jonah Bolden – Philadelphia 76ers
  • Aron Baynes – Boston Celtics
  • Matthew Dellavedova – Cleveland Cavaliers
  • Deng Adel – Cleveland Cavaliers
  • Joe Ingles – Utah Jazz
  • Patty Mills – San Antonio Spurs
  • Andrew Bogut – Golden State Warriors
  • Isaac Humphries – Atlanta Hawks
  • Mitch Creek – Minnesota Timberwolves

The USA squad has yet to be announced.

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Basketball has been played in Australia for over a century. The first recorded game was played in Adelaide between OBI (Our Boys Institute) and YMCA in 1897, six years after the sport was ‘invented’ The early development of the game was originally in Adelaide and its surrounding suburbs, unlike most other sports which saw establishment in and around Melbourne. The sport quickly spread nationally. The first recorded game in Melbourne was played at the YMCA in 1905.

Over 161,200 people play basketball in Australia. With Australian Sports Commission and Government (State and Federal) promoting the game, this number will increase exponentially over time. About 3/4 of all participants are under 35 years of age.

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It’s not surprising that each game scheduled for the Boomers Vs USA will carry capacity audiences at Marvel Stadium of over 50,000 people. It’s a game with relatively similar gender preference for the game. Males lead in participation (58.5%) but this is gradually heading in a 50/50 direction.

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If you play basketball, you may find that these days you’re almost certainly playing on proper Timber Sports Flooring. With more and more Sprung Timber Sports Flooring being supplied to joint school/community facilities, the improved playing surfaces are resulting in a much higher quality of competition.

To ensure your playing surface is always offered in premium condition, contact Nellakir for pre and post event court cleaning, regular scheduled cleaning and annual cyclical maintenance (resurfacing and line marking).

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Nellakir are the leading experts in the construction and maintenance of Timber Sports Flooring. Using the ASF/Horner Sports Flooring Systems exclusively, Nellakir provide excellent end to end service – Construction, Court Cleaning and Annual Maintenance. Call 03 9467 6126 now for a free no-obligation quotation and consultation on all your Timber Sports Flooring requirements. Or leave your details here for a prompt reply.

Nellakir – The Sports Flooring for Champions.

The perfect surface – every time.

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

Nearly a clean sweep! Raptors take the title 4-2

For the first time a team from outside the US has taken the NBA Championships – the Toronto Raptors. The Raptors won the last game – game 6 – 114/110. So it was still a close result. But winners are grinners!

Ok so it wasn’t really close to a clean sweep, but a clean sweep is what you get when you decide to engage Nellakir for your regular maintenance on your premium Timber Sports Flooring.

Engage Victoria’s leading experts to ensure you provide the perfect playing surface for every game.

Nellakir are the leading experts in the Construction and Maintenance of all Timber Sports Flooring, using ASF/Horner timber flooring for all Timber Sports Flooring it constructs and installs. Ensure end to end service with the leading experts in the field – Nellakir.

For regular maintenance pre and post game or event, for annual maintenance including resurfacing and relining, call Nellakir on 03 9467 6126.

Schedule a free consultation and ensure your facility presents its Timber Sports Flooring in premium condition.

Meanwhile, here is a full report on the Raptors big win, the last game of the series and that title.

Toronto Raptors Win the NBA Championship

With a victory in Game 6, the Raptors dethrone the league’s reigning dynasty and claim the first title in franchise history

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OAKLAND, Calif.—Before the first NBA team outside the U.S. ever played a game, the new franchise in Toronto needed a name. The owners asked the entire nation of Canada for ideas. Some were good. Some were bad. Some were terrible. And one was the Raptors. It was 1994. “Jurassic Park” was big. That was reason enough for this basketball team to be named after dinosaurs.

Now the Toronto Raptors can be called something else: NBA champions.

The Raptors beat the Golden State Warriors, 114-110, in Game 6 of the Finals on Thursday to win the series, 4-2, with a commanding performance on the road in Oracle Arena’s last game to dethrone the league’s reigning dynasty and win the Raptors’ first title.

To hear “Toronto Raptors” and “NBA champions” in the same breath would’ve sounded like a hallucination to most fans for most of the franchise’s existence. This is the same team that once played in purple dinosaur uniforms. They couldn’t keep star players and couldn’t attract free agents. Toronto was too cold, too Canadian, too much unlike any other team in the league to compete at this level.

But now they have to declare the Larry O’Brien trophy at customs because of someone who has always been different himself.

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There is no one in the NBA like Kawhi Leonard. He is quieter than every other player. He is also better. And he just put together one of the greatest playoff runs in the history of the league.

But it wasn’t just him in a Game 6 that was both a classic and a fittingly insane send-off to this arena. Kyle Lowry scored 26 points. Pascal Siakam, who was studying to be a Catholic priest in Cameroon less than a decade ago, also scored 26 points. Fred VanVleet, an undrafted guard who is very generously listed at 6 feet tall, had 22 points and hit some of the biggest shots in the game.

Still, it was barely enough. The Warriors were the champions for a reason and they refused to go down without a fight. They didn’t have Kevin Durant, who ruptured his Achilles tendon in Game 5. Then they lost Klay Thompson, who was having a brilliant game when he went up for a dunk attempt in the third quarter and went down with a torn ACL. He tried to stay in the game anyway.

But after 47 minutes of pandemonium, there was one last minute of craziness and the Warriors had a shot that everyone in the Bay Area would’ve sold their houses for: a Stephen Curry 3-pointer for the win. “I just thought it was in,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “I always think every shot Steph takes is going in.”

This one didn’t. Curry missed. The Warriors called a timeout that they didn’t have. And the Raptors won the championship.

They are one of the strangest championship teams the NBA has ever seen. This is a team without a lottery pick but with a foundational superstar player who might be gone after just one season. It’s a team with a rookie coach who spent decades in the G League and Great Britain. It’s a team that took a long, winding road to get here and couldn’t be exactly sure where it was going.

But this is also a team that pursued a surprisingly rare strategy: the Raptors did everything in their power to win a championship this year.

Toronto’s season that ended in confetti began nearly a year ago in a hotel room in Kenya. That’s where Raptors President Masai Ujiri pulled the trigger on the trade that would change the future of his franchise.

His team was coming off the two winningest seasons in its history, but the Raptors kept crashing into a ceiling with an odd resemblance to LeBron James, and their city had become known by another name: LeBronto. Ujiri needed to make drastic changes. He’d already fired the league’s reigning coach of the year and hired Nick Nurse. Now it was time for him to get rid of the face of the franchise. By trading DeMar DeRozan for Leonard, the Raptors gambled on getting an even better player, and maybe even the best player in the world.

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It would be the most successful bet they ever made.

But first they had to make another one. Leonard was coming off a mysterious injury that sidelined him for most of last season, and nobody seemed to know what kind of player he would be when he returned. As if that weren’t enough uncertainty, Leonard was also in the final year of his contract, meaning the Raptors might not have enough time to find out.

That was plenty of incentive for them to prioritize Leonard’s health above everything. They needed to do everything in their power to make sure he peaked in the playoffs.

Under the care of Alex McKechnie, a Scottish sports scientist with a shock of white hair, the Raptors crafted a radical plan for their star player: They played him less. He only played in 60 of 82 games and didn’t play on consecutive days all season. But it worked. By pacing him in the regular season, they positioned him to be incredible in the postseason.

He was. But he also needed to be.

The Raptors were down 1-0 to the Orlando Magic in the first round and 2-1 to the 76ers the next round in front of a crowd of polite, exceedingly civil Philadelphians. They required a buzzer-beating shot from Leonard to bounce four times to win Game 7 of that series, and their reward was a matchup with the Milwaukee Bucks, who had the NBA’s best record and likely Most Valuable Player. This time they were down 2-0 before ripping off four straight wins to get to the Finals.

And then the Raptors had to play the Warriors.

NBA teams tend to live unhappily ever after once that happens. The Warriors were chasing a three-peat and their fourth title in five years. They were two more wins away from a place among the game’s all-time great dynasties.

By the time they crossed the border, though, they were no longer capable of their particular brand of basketball terror. Durant missed four games with a calf injury and then went out in Game 5—a devastating blow that cast a pall on the series and changed the complexity of the entire league.

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It slowly became clear over the course of the series that the Raptors were simply better than a team making its bid to be one of the best ever.

This was Ujiri’s vision. He urged Toronto to believe in itself at the beginning of the season. He repeated that message after the Raptors won the Eastern Conference and what felt like the great misfortune of playing the Warriors.

“We came all this way to compete, and we want to win in Toronto,” Ujiri said. “And we will win in Toronto.”

Ujiri was right about so much this season. But he was wrong about that final prediction: they won in Oakland. And now it no longer sounds absurd to say the Raptors really are the NBA champions.

Source: wsj.com

So remember, provide the sports flooring that will produce the next Steve Curry – Timber Sports Flooring by Nellakir.

Sports Flooring for Champions.

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

Warriors vs Raptors – Down to the Wire.

Right now the NBA playoffs are on a knife edge. With the Toronto Raptors leading the Golden State Warriors 3 games to 2, Game 5 and possibly 6 promise one of the most exciting finals in years.

When the players there hit the court, the surface has to be perfect. Here in Victoria it’s what you can expect when Nellakir maintains your court surface. Now Nellakir provide regular cleaning and maintenance in addition to their other services – annual maintenance and of course Timber Sports Flooring construction. In providing an end-to end service, Nellakir can ensure the life of your Timber Sports Flooring is guaranteed. The need for expensive repairs and maintenance is greatly reduced when you allow the experts to take care of your valuable premium sports flooring.

Whether it’s scheduled weekly maintenance, pre and post event cleaning or preparation for annual maintenance, Nellakir provide an absolutely premium service. Call now on 9467 6126 or leave your details here for further details.

Don’t tolerate slippery floors, unnecessary wear and tear caused by poor cleaning practices damaging the floor coating. Take the worry out of major event preparation and cleaning – Nellakir, the experts in Timber Sports Flooring – Cleaning Construction and Maintenance. Call now on 03 9467 6126 for a free, no obligation consultation.

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Warriors or Raptors? It’s going to go down to the wire. Watch this video of Game 5. Both teams are evenly matched but the Warriors are suffering more injuries. Game 6 may well tell the story. Tune in at 11am Friday Morning.

Nellakir – The Sports Flooring for Champions.

A clean sweep with Nellakir, but Raptors Vs Warriors will go down to the wire.

Nellakir now offer regular court cleaning for all Timber Sports Flooring. Cut down on unnecessary wear and tear on your valuable sports floor surfaces. Nellakir offer expert service and advice on all Timber Sports Flooring – including regular cleaning, whether it’s weekly, pre event, post event or to you schedule. Call now on 03 9467 6126.

Meanwhile, the Raptors have struck back. Andrew Bogut injured in the third leaving an already decimated Warriors exposed. Here is the report.

Toronto has shot the lights out to blast the Warriors off their own court and steal back the NBA Finals with a 2-1 series lead.

The Raptors had six players score more than 10 points as they kept Golden State at arms length for almost the entire contest.

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They did it comfortably in the end with a 123-109 win to leave the Warriors’ dynasty on the brink. Toronto is now just two wins away from a first NBA championship.

An off-balance Fred VanVleet three-point dagger killed off the Warriors with 1.39mins remaining as the Raptors led 118-105.

Aussie Andrew Bogut played his biggest Playoffs game since returning to the Warriors earlier this year, putting up six points, seven rebounds and three assists while also proving to be a spark in defence.
Bogut’s nice left hook from the paint in the third quarter gave him a perfect three from three from the field at the time.

The move got ESPN analyst Jeff van Gundy a little too excited, with the American commentator getting mixed up between Sydney and Melbourne for Bogut’s first season back in the NBL.

“That was a flashback to Melbourne, where he was the MVP,” van Gundy said, clearly unaware the Victorian played for the Sydney Kings this season.

Unfortunately, Bogut was forced to the locker room at the end of the third quarter after appearing to suffer an injury. He returned to the game mid-way through the final quarter — but by then the game was all but over.

The Warriors closed to within seven points in the fourth quarter, but Toronto always found the bucket needed to stomp out any hope of a Golden State fightback.

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The home side simply had no answer to the Raptors’ superior shooting. The Raptors hit 17 or 38 from down town, while the Warriors hit 12 of 36. Without Steph Curry’s extraordinary haul of 47 points, the Raptors shot just six of 22 from beyond the arc.

Kawhi Leonard led the Raptors with 30 points, but Pascal Siakam (18 points), Marc Gasol (17), Danny Green (18) and Kyle Lowry (23) all had big moments.

The Warriors are now desperately hoping stars Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant will be able to return from injuries ahead of Game 4 on Saturday (AEST).

Warriors coach Steve Kerr said before the game it would be a game-time decision about injured shooter Klay Thompson, with the major concern being the possibility of the 29-year-old guard doing more damage to the hamstring if he played with the best-of-seven final level at 1-1.

“Our training staff will let us know the risk,” Kerr said before the decision was announced.

“It’s still early in the series, so if there’s risk, then we won’t play him.”

Thompson, a five-time NBA All-Star, had never missed a playoff game in his career, a streak of 120 in a row that ended with him being benched.

The only player with a longer active streak of playoff appearances for his team is Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James at 239.

Thompson was put onto the active roster and warmed up with his teammates before being benched.

Kevin Durant, Golden State’s top playoff scorer with 34.2 points a game, was ruled out of game three on Tuesday.

The 2017 and 2018 NBA Finals Most Valuable Player has been out for nearly a month with a right calf injury, the Warriors going 6-1 without him.

Kerr said Durant has had good workouts the past two days and he hopes to put him in scrimmage situations on Thursday with an eye to game four on Friday.

“He’s got to continue to improve and not have any setbacks,” Kerr said.

“That’s the main thing.”

Source: news.com.au

For expert service and advice, always call Victoria’s leading experts in Timber Sports Flooring – Construction and Maintenance – Nellakir.

Call 03 9467 6126 or leave your details here for a prompt reply.

Nellakir – Sports Flooring for Champions.

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