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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Nellakir are the exclusive agents in Victoria and Tasmania for the ASF/Horner Sports Flooring systems – premium timber sports flooring that carries FIBA approval.

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.

Virtual conferencing can be arranged using Skype, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp or similar.

Take the time to plan for the future with Nellakir, the leading experts in Timber Sports Flooring Construction, Installation and Maintenance.

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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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Call Nellakir now on 03 9467 6126 for a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our trained technicians on the care and cleaning of your valuable Timber Sports Flooring and stadium seating. Or leave your details here for a prompt reply.

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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.

National Netball Championships Scheduled for Hobart Cancelled

This year’s National Netball Championships scheduled for the 18th to the 23rd of April have been cancelled. Unfortunately since the declaration of the Pandemic Covid-19 Virus this was always likely to be the case.

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But the future looks bright. Right now the Nellakir team are preparing the Stump Systems for six new Netball Courts at Netball Victoria’s Headquarters at Royal Park in Victoria. This is a massive expansion of the existing competition level courts at the facility.

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The Nellakir team are also commencing works on the Sirius College Court in Keysborough as well as the Twin Rivers Primary School in Echuca, both next week.

Here is the Statement from the CEO of Netball Australia re the National Championships in Hobart and their cancellation.

2020 National Netball Championships Cancelled

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Based on the expert medical advice of the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee, endorsed by Commonwealth, State and Territory governments, that organised public gatherings of more than 500 people be cancelled to reduce transmission of COVID-19 in Australia, Netball Australia will not proceed with the annual 17&U and 19&U National Netball Championships due to take place in Hobart from 18-23 April.

Given the nature of the event, and after extensive consultation with medical experts and relevant stakeholders, Netball Australia made the decision not to proceed with the tournament, which would bring together teams from all states and territories.

Netball Australia CEO Marne Fechner said the health of the Australian netball and wider community is paramount and that Netball Australia continues to work closely with state and territory Member Organisations in relation to community and grassroots netball.

“It was an incredibly difficult decision not to proceed with the National Netball Championships, especially knowing how much preparation by the athletes, coaches, officials and volunteers goes into this event. It is however prudent that we do everything we can to reduce the spread of the virus,” she said.

“In relation to community netball, we are working with Member Organisations, government organisations and medical professionals to determine the best approach and we will release guidelines to support community netball organisations across Australia in the coming days. Until then we encourage all community netball organisations to demonstrate caution in line with government recommendations that everyone should practise good hygiene to protect against infections.”

Netball Australia will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation as it evolves in relation to the upcoming Deakin University Australian Netball League season, due to start on Saturday 2 May.

Netball Australia has confirmed that the cancellation of the National Netball Championships does not mean that all netball events and competitions should be cancelled, however, caution in line with government recommendations should be exercised.

Source: netball.com.au

So whilst players take an enforced break, the Nellakir team will prepare the new facilities mentioned as well as over the Easter break and first term holidays Nellakir will undertake a number of annual maintenance programs – resurfacing and re-lining. All in all it should provide for a great resurgence and renewal once things return to normal.

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Call Nellakir now to book a free, no-obligation consultation on the Maintenance, Cleaning or Restoration of your valuable Timber Sports Flooring. Call 03 9467 6126 or leave your details here for a prompt reply.

Nellakir also offer a regular cyclical and scheduled Court Cleaning service to ensure your stadium and its surface is always presented in premium condition.

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.

NBA – Suspended

Coronavirus live updates: NBA suspends season after Utah Jazz player tests positive for COVID-19

The coronavirus is causing sports cancellations and postponements all across the world

The rapid spread of the coronavirus is causing cancellations and postponements of sporting events around the globe. As of Tuesday afternoon, there have been at least 116,000 coronavirus cases worldwide, according to CBS News. While 64,000 people have recovered, more than 4,000 have died. In America, multiple states are under a state of emergency and some politicians and public health officials are recommending large gatherings of people — including sporting events — in coronavirus hotspots be canceled or closed to the public.

As college basketball’s postseason, MLB Opening Day and the NBA and NHL stretch runs approach, the coronavirus is set to have a serious effect on American sports. Abroad, soccer games in Europe are already being played in empty arenas without fans in certain countries.

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The NBA has suspended the 2019-20 season after a Utah Jazz player, reportedly Rudy Gobert, tested positive for COVID-19. Games in progress on the night of March 11 will be completed.

The league postpone Wednesday’s game between the Thunder and the Jazz. Players and officials were told to walk off the floor while awaiting a decision from the league, and then the announcement was made to a jeering Oklahoma City crowd. Prior to the game on Wednesday, the team announced that Gobert and Emmanuel Mudiay were both out for the game due to an illness.

The Warriors announced the team would play home games without fans in attendance, in accordance with the San Francisco Health Office’s order prohibiting groups of 1,000 people at events.

The league has advised the players on how to avoid the potential spread of the coronavirus while playing a contact-friendly sport. Among the suggestions was for players to avoid the postgame handshake and instead stick with fist bumps.

The NBA announced on Monday it was limiting locker room access over coronavirus concerns.

Source: cbssports.com

So it appears that here in Australia, many sporting codes will be forced to follow suit and modify local competitions to slow the spread of the Coronavirus.

Let’s hope that the pandemic passes quickly without causing too much angst and damage. Nellakir encourages all participants in Basketball, Netball and other indoor sports activities to take precautions and maintain hygiene.

Nellakir are the leading experts in Timber Sports Flooring in Victoria and Tasmania. They are the exclusive agents for ASF/Horner Sports Flooring systems. As well as installation, Nellakir are expert providers of annual and cyclical maintenance such as resurfacing, re-lining and as required re-sanding. Nellakir provide a fully scheduled Court Cleaning Service to keep your Timber Sports Flooring in premium condition, week in week out, over the entire year.

Call 03 9467 6126 for a free, no-obligation consultation on your Timber Flooring requirements or leave your details here for a prompt reply

Nellakir – Premium Timber Sports Flooring for present and future Champions.

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

Is this really the end for Andrew Bogut? Or just a ‘bad day at the office’? Sydney Kings destroyed by Melbourne United.

At 7ft tall in the old imperial measure, Andrew Bogut has been the consummate player. Performing at the highest level in the NBA, the world’s premium basketball competition. Bogut is currently listed with Golden State Warriors and is part of the Sydney kings NBL team here in Australia. Approaching 36 years of age, has time caught up with him? We doubt it but his opponents had no caution in dissing him!

From the Sydney Kings v Melbourne United game on Monday night the 2nd of March.

Corey Williams defends tweet about Andrew Bogut after Melbourne United massacres Sydney Kings

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NBL analyst Corey Williams must have had some backlash to his tweets about Andrew Bogut after the Sydney Kings were thrashed by Melbourne United on Monday night.

If you missed them, Williams placed the blame for Sydney’s 125-80 defeat squarely at the feet of the Aussie centre, who he believed was “murdered” by Melbourne Opponent Shawn Long.

Aussie basketball great Shane Heal replied to Williams’ post reminding him he’d predicted the Kings would sweep the series, which drew an even spicier response.

“I was wrong,” he wrote. “Keep it 100 Hammer. Yes you are an ex-King, but Bogut gettin’ bodied and ain’t doin’ s***. Say it and don’t sit on the fence protecting your Boomer.”

On Tuesday afternoon, Williams posted a video to Twitter explaining his language.

“I’m from New York City and in basketball culture in New York — in America (but) mainly New York — if a player is getting outplayed, badly, and it’s completely one-sided, we don’t say ‘he’s severely outplaying him, the guy didn’t show up to work today’. We don’t say that, we say ‘he killed him, he murdered him, he destroyed him, he bodied him’,” Williams said.

“That’s the level of impact. It is catastrophic, the way this player is outplaying the other player.

“My nickname is Homicide, because of the fact that in my day I committed basketball homicide on the opposition. I didn’t make this up, this is what was said. My name was based on a style of play.

“That’s all it is. Nothing more, nothing less. You don’t have to try to spin this or think it’s something else. Because it is isn’t.”

Melbourne United wrote themselves into the NBL record books after pumping the Kings to draw level in their best-of-three semi-final series.

Coming off a stunning late collapse in game one, United shrugged off the disappointment by crushing the Kings on Monday night in a performance that had the Melbourne Arena crowd in raptures.

The 45-point margin was the largest in any NBL game since matches dropped from 48 minutes to 40 in 2010.

Sydney trailed 38-31 when United dropped 38 consecutive points through the second and third quarters to leave the minor premiers shell-shocked, setting up a blockbuster series decider in Sydney on Thursday.

United outscored Sydney 32-7 in the second period to lead by 27 at halftime but were not content with their opening salvo, piling on the first 18 points of the third quarter with the margin blowing out to 58 points at one stage.

They passed the century mark before three-quarter time, entering the final stanza with 103 — the highest score by any team with 10 minutes remaining in NBL history.

Shawn Long (26 points, 11 rebounds) and Melo Trimble (21 points) were the catalysts for Melbourne’s triumph with the import duo combining for 24 points in the decisive second-quarter charge.

Bogut failed to score and grabbed just two rebounds as he struggled to solve the Long puzzle. “Bogut’s in no-mans land at the moment, he doesn’t know whether to come up or not,” former NBL coach Brendan Joyce said in commentary for SEN. “Sydney need to make an adjustment.”

Coach Dean Vickerman praised his players on the way they bounced back from conceding a 16-point lead in Saturday’s 86-80 defeat in Sydney.

“We were pissed off from the other night,” Vickerman said. “I thought we played well enough up there and I thought these guys responded really well.”

Stanton Kidd added 18 after starting in place of 300-gamer David Barlow, nailing three triples to lay the platform as United racked up 45 points in the third quarter.

Jae’Sean Tate (18 points) was the lone bright spot in a horror night for Sydney, leaving coach Will Weaver to pick up the pieces ahead of game three.

“I clearly felt they were the more aggressive team,” Weaver said after the loss. “That’s the fun of the finals I guess, is that everyone’s trying to manage the seesaw of emotions and compose themselves.”

 

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Shawn Long celebrates after being fouled by Andrew Bogut

 

United made a confident start with a dominant stretch through the middle part of the first quarter, making the most of Sydney’s four first-quarter turnovers including Tate’s unsportsmanlike foul on Mitch McCarron with the Kings in possession of the ball.

The Kings rallied near the end of the opening period to cut Melbourne’s lead to 26-24 but that was their last meaningful period of the game as Long and Trimble powered United’s matchwinning offensive burst.

Up 58-31 at halftime, Kidd opened the second half with a three-pointer and the points kept coming for the home side, Sydney unable to stem the flow as United closed the third quarter with an unassailable 103-55 advantage.

Source: news.com.au

The Sydney Kings maintain that their star ‘just had an off night’, and he can bounce back in Game Three to lock in an NBL Grand Final berth for the Kings.

Champions often rise to the occasion and it’s very possible Andrew will do the same. It should make for an exciting contest.

In Australia today, thousands of young kids look to Andrew Bogut and Ben Simmons, Australian champions of the sport for inspiration. Playing in regional centres, state schools (Primary and Secondary) and in a wide range of junior competitions, there is always the chance that out there, the next Andrew Bogut or Ben Simmons is ‘treading the boards’ and creating a pathway to a professional career.

Nellakir are the premium Construction and Installation experts in Victoria and Tasmania for Sprung Timber Sports Flooring. The company utilises ASF/Horner Sports Flooring Systems exclusively. Nellakir also provide a professional annual maintenance service that includes re-surfacing and re-lining. Re-sanding is also provided as required (usually in 7 year intervals).

To ensure your stadium or court is always the perfect playing surface, Nellakir also offer a fully scheduled professional court cleaning service.

Don’t delay, call now on 03 9467 6126 or leave your details here for a prompt reply. Book a consultation with one of our Timber Sports Flooring Technicians and ensure your court is always presented in premium condition.

Nellakir – Premium Timber Sports Flooring for Champions – and Future Champions.

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Super Netball – Last Game for Outgoing Coach Lisa Alexander. Diamonds 66, All Stars 53.

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A generational change is well underway in Super Netball with Diamonds Coach Lisa Alexander coaching her last game in the Bushfire Charity Game on Sunday the 1st of March. It was also the last game for the Diamonds for Caitlin Thwaites. Although Alexander’s contract was not renewed, she is held in high regard by many in the sport with an 81% win rate. The players in particular had great respect for her as a coach.

Here’s the full story.

‘A really special lady’: emotions high as Diamonds farewell Alexander

Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander has walked away from the game she helped cement as a major player on Australia’s sporting landscape after coaching the national side for the final time.

There were emotional scenes at the end of Sunday’s bushfire charity game, with Caitlin Thwaites reduced to tears afterwards while talking about Alexander’s exit after eight years at the helm.

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Outgoing Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander and Caitlin Thwaites embrace after Australia’s 66-53 win over the Super Netball All Stars

“She is a really special lady, and I get emotional even thinking about it. She has done so much for each individual but also for the sport,” Thwaites said. “I don’t think we’ve seen the last of her. She has taken our sport to an entire new level. The world of netball has benefited from her being in that position.”

Alexander’s contract was not renewed after the Diamonds lost the World Cup final 52-51 to New Zealand last July, which came after they fell to England at the 2018 Commonwealth Games by the same scoreline.

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Alexander said any of the Super Netball coaches were qualified to take the reins – but but advised her successor to run their own show and be true to themselves.

“They do need to understand the extra responsibility you have when you’re a national coach,” Alexander said. “It’s not just about technical and tactical coaching; you’ve got to be a spiritual leader of your country’s netball and hopefully I’ve done that.”

With Alexander’s Diamonds dominating 66-53 over the Super Netball All-Stars at Qudos Bank Arena, questions were asked again about why Alexander was dumped from the post.

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“I don’t think that the players had lost faith in her,” Thwaites said. “We pride ourselves at being the absolute best and we’ve lost two of the major benchmark events – but in saying that, they were by one goal.”

Alexander retires with an 81 per cent win rate, but her record was just one part of why she was held in such high regard as a coach.

“I don’t think she gets acknowledged for half of the things that she actually does behind the scenes, the things that she fights for the player, in terms of their rights,” Thwaites said. “It’s a really huge job and they’re really huge shoes somebody has to fill.”

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The game also marked Thwaites’ final appearance for the Diamonds. She announced her retirement late last year after thriving under the leadership of Alexander after making her national debut in 2012.

Thwaites was warmly welcomed by the crowd of 11,067, who cheered every time she touched the ball.

“This one for me was bonus time,” she said. “For me, it was about getting out there and enjoying it, it is not every day you get to wear this dress.”

The match gave fans a taste of the rolling substitutions which will be a feature of the game for this year’s Super Netball Season. The charity match also included a ‘Super Shot’ which gave two points for shooting from the outer portion of the goal circle.

The Diamonds took the lead early, with the starting combination of Caitlin Bassett and Courtney Bruce pushing the score to 21-13 after the first quarter. By half-time, both sides had gotten the hang of the Super Shot and pushed the score to 42-24.

Giants star Jo Harten showed why she was announced as her club’s captain for 2020, but her second-half energy was not enough to beat the Diamonds, who refused to let their long-standing coach go out with a loss.

Source: theage.com.au

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Nellakir are strong supporters of Netball with their current major project being the completion of 11 new competition courts at the Victorian Netball and Hockey Centre in Royal Park. Work has commenced, with the courts all requiring stump systems from ASF Horner. Nellakir are the exclusive agent in Victoria and Tasmania for such high level professional Timber Sports Flooring from ASF Horner.

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Some of the Nellakir Courts at the Victorian State Netball Hockey Centre

Construction, Installation, annual maintenance (including recoating and relining) and scheduled professional cleaning of all Timber Sports Flooring – Call Nellakir for a free, no-obligation consultation on 03 9467 6126 or leave your details here for a prompt reply.

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Young Aussie Boomers fall to NZ Tall Blacks

With the Olympic Games scheduled in the not too distant future, the full preparation period for National teams is now looming large.

In the latest of these games, Australia’s Boomers have been soundly beaten by the NZ Tall Blacks. It was actually a qualifying game for the FIBA Asia Cup of 2021.

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Read about it here…

NZ Stars Turn Missing Finals Pain into Win Over Boomers

Motivated by Brisbane Bullets and New Zealand Breakers players who just missed NBL Finals spots and then by two guards gearing up for the post-season, the Tall Blacks delivered an impressive showing to beat the Australian Boomers 108-98 on Thursday.

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The game was the first match in the qualifying stages for the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup and the Tall Blacks made a winning start to Group C competition in an impressive display after the Boomers started on fire hitting the game’s first nine points at Brisbane’s Nissan Arena.

New Zealand overcame the slow start to turn on the impressive performance in Pero Cameron’s first game in charge as coach. It was the Tall Blacks’ first win over the Boomers since 2009 breaking a run of nine straight defeats, and doubling as their third ever victory on Australian soil.

It’s a very much a youthful Boomers team that was under the coach of Will Weaver for the first time but they still kept fighting right to the end only to be knocked back by New Zealand.

Less than a week after being part of Brisbane’s massive 36-point win on the same court against the Cairns Taipans that gave the Bullets a finals sniff in the NBL, Reuben Te Rangi made up for a frustrating campaign at club land with a brilliant performance for the Tall Blacks.

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Even though that huge win wasn’t quite enough for a finals spot for the Bullets, Te Rangi put that behind him and delivered 21 points, six rebounds and five assists.

Having been the NBL’s Most Improved Player and Best Sixth Man 12 months ago, it was a 2019/20 campaign to forget for Te Rangi, but he didn’t let that bother him on Thursday night going on to shoot 8/14 from the field and 4/7 from deep in 31 minutes.

Another player who would have been frustrated to not be preparing for an NBL finals campaign right now was Rob Loe. The Breakers finished the season on fire but narrowly missed the post-season.

But Loe finished the season in career-best form and carried that into the Asian Cup qualifier with 19 points, nine rebounds, three assists and two steals for his country including a late dagger three to seal the deal.

Then there was Loe’s Breakers teammate Jordan Ngatai who also shook off the disappointment of missing NBL finals to produce 19 points including three triples.

Shea Ili (21 points, six rebounds, five assists) and Jarrod Kenny (10 points, two assists) are two players with NBL finals to look forward to at Melbourne and Cairns respectively, and both shared the point guard duties impressively for New Zealand.

Dion Prewster was impressive as well with 10 points and four rebounds.

Tall Blacks coach Pero Cameron was proud of the efforts of his team and the way the game was played in his first time officially in charge of New Zealand.

“Firstly there’s nothing like being in the hot seat and having these last three days, and some of the things our players have dealt with have been phenomenal. I just have to congratulate and acknowledge their commitment and support to the Tall Blacks singlet,” Cameron said.

“I’m just so happy to have this job and I think for anyone to coach their own country, it’s an amazing feeling. As far as this game goes, for what it was it was good to see all the players out there just giving their all.

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“I felt the energy levels were high and that type of basketball is entertaining. I don’t mind if it’s not entertaining as long as I win, but I thought both sides went at it hammer and tongs, and my boys played really well.

There were a host of Boomers debutants and Angus Glover (eight points, five rebounds), Sunday Dech (eight points), Sam Froling, Kyle Adnam (12 points) and Dane Pineau (two points) all had their moments in their first appearances in the senior national team.

Illawarra Hawks 283-game veteran Todd Blanchfield top-scored for the Boomers with 17 points and six rebounds with Nathan Sobey adding 13 points, four boards three assists and three steals, Matt Hodgson 11 points and nine rebounds, and Jason Cadee 11 points, eight boards and five assists.

First-time Boomers coach Will Weaver ultimately just felt the Tall Blacks shooting the ball better and Australia missing 13 free-throws were significant factors in the result.

“We shot it decent from three but the free-throw line was probably the space you’d say we would regret some of those opportunities,” Weaver said.

“But that also comes down to some of the fatigue with these guys coming off the season and it was a physical game. It was fast and both teams were running after makes, but 50 per cent from the free-throw line rarely gets it done in a close game.”

But moving forward, Weaver is excited to be blooding so many fresh faces into the Boomers setup.

“We are trying to sew the seeds that will be reaped down the line. This is a four-year cycle that we’re preparing to endeavour to perform well at the end of,” Weaver said.

“A big part in that is investing in the younger players and even though we only had two practices, those guys have gotten a lot better and they will be better still against Hong Kong and along down the line. It just develops the base of talent we have to select from in these situations.”

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Both teams back up to play another game on Sunday with the Tall Blacks away to Tai Wesley and Guam while the Boomers host Hong Kong back at Nissan Arena.

Source: nbl.com.au

Nellakir support the advancement of Basketball in Australia and are the leading experts in the installation of all sprung Timber Sports Flooring in Victoria and Tasmania.

With new Multipurpose Sports Flooring being installed this month at Sirius College Keysborough as well as Twin Rivers Primary in Echuca (another State Government PPP Project), the team is very busy.

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Then in March, the Victorian Netball and Hockey Centre project commences with 11 new professional Sprung Timber Courts being constructed using full stumped ASF/Horner Sports Flooring Systems.

For all your Timber Sports Flooring requirements – Installation, maintenance and scheduled court cleaning, call Nellakir on 03 9467 6126 for a prompt response. Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your particular needs. Or simply leave your details here for a prompt response.

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

Ben Simmons – All Star 2020 – From Melbourne to Chicago.

From Box Hill Secondary College to the NBA. Born in Fitzroy, now playing for the Philadelphia 76’s. He could have been a sharp on-baller for the bombers in the AFL after playing A-Grade for Whitefriars College as a youth, but instead he chose Basketball. Now from humble beginnings at the Knox Raiders he’s lining up with LeBron’s All Stars in Chicago this coming weekend.

Here’s the lowdown on his career development and progress this year…

By The Numbers: Ben Simmons

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Ben Simmons is set to compete in his second All-Star Game in Chicago as he’ll take the floor as part of Team LeBron.

In his first All-Star appearance last season, the Aussie finished with 10 points, seven assists and six rebounds on a perfect 5-for-5 shooting in just under 17 minutes of action.

Despite the relative turmoil in Philadelphia for a 76ers team that has thus far underachieved, it’s impossible to deny that Simmons has once again performed at an All-Star level and is deserving of the All-Star honour.

Let’s go by the numbers to help articulate just how good Simmons has been so far this season.

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216 – Deflections

The biggest leap that Simmons has made this season has come on the defensive end, where he’s emerged as a legitimate Defensive Player of the Year candidate.

Not only does he lead the league in steals, he’s also first in deflections, which further illustrates his ability to disrupt anything and everything. The fact that at 6’10” he has the ability to cause so much chaos shouldn’t go understated.

Only three other players in NBA history 6’10” or taller have ever averaged over two steals per game. Simmons could become the first player that tall to lead the entire league in steals.

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His development into a versatile stopper capable of legitimately guarding all five positions could further elevate the ceiling for a player still just scratching the surface of his potential.

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Toronto Raptors center Serge Ibaka (9) charges Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons (25) during the second half of an NBA Eastern Conference semifinal basketball game in Toronto on Sunday, May 12, 2019. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)

+7.0 – Scoring increase

In Philadelphia’s first game after the calendar flipped to 2020, Simmons poured in 29 points on what at the time was a season-high 20 shots. Although the 76ers lost that game to the Houston Rockets, it proved to be a turning point of sorts for Simmons, who has looked like a completely different player since.

Over his first 34 games, Simmons averaged just 14.5 points per game, which was over two fewer than last season when he earned his first trip to the All-Star Game. Over that span, he had just one 25-point game, which ranked fifth on the team and was fewer than the likes of Nemanja Bjelica, Ish Smith, Jordan McRae and Garrett Temple to name a few.

Scoring isn’t everything, particularly in the case of Simmons, but that’s not great.

Then came that game against Houston which ignited a torrid stretch. In 19 games since, he’s averaging 21.5 points per game, an increase of 7.0 PPG from before the calendar flipped to 2020. While 10 of those games came without Joel Embiid in the lineup, he also has three 25-point games over that span alongside his fellow All-Star teammate.

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He’s actively playing a larger role in the offense, shooting more often and getting to the line more frequently.

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60 – Secondary assists

He’s long been one of the best passers in the league and this year is no exception.

While Simmons ranks fifth in the NBA in assists per game, he actually ranks third in potential assists per game as the 76ers take over 16 shots per game directly off his passes, a figure which trails only LeBron James and Trae Young.

One of the beautiful aspects of Ben’s passing is that he sees the pass before the pass like few others.

The secondary assist – or hockey assist – is a pass that leads to a pass which leads to a made shot. They don’t show up in the box score, but they’re indicative of a player knowing how to move the ball quickly and find teammates in positions where they can then exploit the D.

So far this season, he has 60 of them, which leads the entire league and is nearly twice as many as anyone else on the 76ers.

The unselfish playmaking is a major reason why Simmons should be a desirable teammate this upcoming weekend in Chicago as he’s a threat to wrack up the dimes.

Source: sportingnews.com

It’s not surprising Australia is now producing such prodigious stars of the NBA competition. Australia-wide since 2007 there has been an explosion of high quality FIBA approved Sprung Timber Sports Flooring, enabling real professional progress for players and the game.

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Nellakir are proud to be associated with the sport and its expansion. Nellakir are Victoria and Tasmania’s premier Timber Sports Flooring experts, installing and maintaining ASF/Horner FIBA approved Timber Sports Flooring systems exclusively.

Whether you play at the VBA headquarters in Wantirna, Eagle Stadium in Werribee, the Bendigo Stadium or the Casey Stadium in Cranbourne (plus a host of others) you will be enjoying a quality Nellakir installation.

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In fact, even if your competition is using a school facility constructed under the State Government’s PPP (Public Private Partnership) program, there is a 9/10 chance you are competing a quality Timber Sports Floor from Nellakir.

Nellakir provide expert annual maintenance programs for all Timber Sports Flooring, including Re-coating, Linemarking and when required Re-sanding and Re-surfacing.

Nellakir now also offer professional scheduled cleaning of all Timber Sports Flooring as part of an overall care program for your valuable Sports Flooring.

Don’t delay, call now on 03 9467 6126 and book a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our professional technicians to ensure premium performance and longevity for your stadium’s Sprung Timber Sports Flooring. Or it may be that it’s time to completely replace your current stadium flooring – Nellakir can provide a detailed quotation for all such works upon request.

Alternatively leave your details here for a prompt reply.

Always select Nellakir for expert professional service and advice.

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