NBA Update – The LA Lakers and Orlando.

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Basketball fans are keenly awaiting the resumption of the 2019-20 season at the ESPN complex at Disneyworld located in Orlando Florida.

Here’s a complete rundown from Head Coach Frank Vogel dated July 1st 2020…

Frank Vogel Addresses Lakers Roster Updates for Orlando

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When Frank Vogel became the head coach of the Lakers over a year ago, he knew there would be plenty of challenges, and plenty of pressure.

But there’s no way he could have predicted a truly unprecedented 2019-20 season including the events surrounding the team’s preseason trip to China, the tragic death of Kobe Bryant, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the racial and social justice movement that continues to evolve.

Amidst all of that, Vogel is trying to lead his players and staff through never-traveled terrain as the team’s first game in the Walt Disney World bubble is exactly one month away.

As players continue individual workouts at the UCLA Health Training Center, ramping up towards the planned departure of the team charter on July 9, Vogel acknowledged that JR Smith would replace Avery Bradley on the roster, though it would take a team effort to replace Bradley’s role.

The other question mark on the roster is about Dwight Howard, who’s dealing with a unique family situation that he described to us in May, in addition to his focus on social justice.

Vogel offered an update on Howard’s status.

“We’ve been in communication with Dwight the whole way,” he said. “We don’t know what the level of participation is yet. He wants to play. We’re hopeful he’s able to join us. We’re hopeful and optimistic that he’ll be able to join us in Orlando.”

Howard is one of 10 Lakers to average at least 16.8 minutes per game this season: LeBron James (34.9); Anthony Davis (34.3); Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (25.4); Danny Green (25.1); Kyle Kuzma (24.6); Bradley (24.2); Rajon Rondo (20.5); Howard (19.2), Alex Caruso (17.8); and JaVale McGee (16.8). Markieff Morris had also entered the rotation, earning 14.8 minutes in his eight appearances.

Meanwhile, Quinn Cook and Jared Dudley got spot minutes and filled in admirably when needed, and Vogel said repeatedly that he’d trust them in any game situation. One could surmise that both Smith and playoff-roster-deadline acquisition Dion Waiters would fit in with Cook and Dudley as veterans who could be called upon for specific reasons and matchups, i.e., the need for a guy who can get his own bucket off the bench (Waiters) or floor spacing (Smith, who’s a 37.3 percent 3-point shooter who ranks 9th all-time in postseason 3’s made, and 4th in the NBA Finals).

Vogel has yet to work with Smith on the court, but he did have a welcome-to-the-team chat with the 34-year-old veteran.

“The experience factor,” said Vogel about what Smith brings. “This guy’s a big-time player, he’s proven it over the course of his career. We know he can help us. We almost added him earlier in the year when we added Dion Waiters, and now we have the luxury of having both. We’re not going to ask him to come in and be Avery Bradley, he’s going to come in and be JR Smith.”

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And while Smith provides depth on the wing, the bulk of Bradley’s 24.2 minutes could be split amongst KCP, Caruso and Rondo, depending upon the game situation.

“Avery’s loss is obviously a huge loss for us, but we’re a next-man-up team,” Vogel continued. “Alex is an elite defender in his own right in a different way than Avery, as is KCP. Offensively, clearly we wouldn’t run plays that Avery uses for Alex, we’d run plays that put Alex in the best position to succeed.”

On his own Zoom call with reporters earlier on Wednesday, Caruso offered a similar sentiment.

“It might not be with one person (filling Bradley’s role), but this team has done a great job this year when guys have been out, of stepping up and filling a role or a need,” he said. “I don’t know if I’ll be the sole provider of everything that Avery did, that’s a lot to ask for because of how good he is at what he does, but I’m definitely going to be ready to fill part of that gap and that need.”

Caruso mentioned Bradley’s skills as a supplementary ballhandler and defender who took open threes as things he thinks he replicate. On the other hand, Caruso acknowledged Bradley’s strength with mid-range pullups and floaters out of the sets Vogel was asked about as things with which he is less comfortable. Fortunately, those are sets that KCP can replicate.

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In fact, KCP started all 18 games for Bradley from Nov. 15 – Dec. 22 after Bradley suffered a hairline fracture in November. The Lakers went 15-1 before back-to-back losses at Indiana and Milwaukee at the end of a difficult road stretch. LAL also won games at Chicago (Nov. 5) and at OKC (Jan. 11) with KCP starting for Bradley, bringing the total mark to 17-3.

One benefit to those KCP lineups is the increased floor spacing he provides. Caldwell-Pope has hit 87 3’s this season on an impressive 39.4 percent from the field, compared to Bradley’s 63 makes on 36.4 percent. With LeBron as the primary ballhandler with the starters, Rondo could remain in his playmaking role off the bench.

Fortunately for Vogel, his squad has a 5.5 game lead in the West, meaning he can use the eight seeding games to iron out such rotation questions ahead of the start of the playoffs. Vogel was asked how having that lead might impact his approach in Orlando.

“We do have a different type of perspective from some teams that are playing for their playoff lives, but it doesn’t mean we’re not going to go out and – like we always would if these were the last eight games of the regular season – we would compete to win,” said Vogel. “That’s how your habits are built the best … Does that mean we’re going to play certain guys 47 minutes? Obviously no.

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“We’ll be intelligent with the whole process of trying to find the right pace to bring our group along from a conditioning standpoint and evaluating on a daily basis what we feel they can handle and what they’re ready for without compromising their bodies and putting them at risk to injury. We will be cautious with those eight games, but we will compete to win.”

Then it’s time for the playoffs, a unique challenge given the circumstances, and one for which Caruso is ready.

“This is something personally that I relish,” he said. “I’m looking forward to the challenge of lasting, of being the team that can be the mentally toughest, the mentally strongest and saying ‘Yeah, we may be on this isolated campus for three months, but we have a goal, we have a mission and it’s not going to affect us trying to get to that end goal and finish the job.’”

It’s that mental side of the game where Caruso thinks the Lakers will have an edge, with everybody dealing with a similar physical challenge.

“The hardest part for us is getting back to doing physically what we were able to do, as far as being early on assignments, being physically ready to box out, to play as physically as it takes to beat teams like the Clippers, Bucks, Rockets and Nuggets, all the good teams that are competing for championships and are going to be in the playoffs,” he explained. “Just getting back to that physical form of being able to do it night in, take a day off, night out, keep going and going and going for a month and a half. The mental part I feel like for our team is going to be easier just because we have such a heady and basketball-smart team, basketball-IQ led team and coaching staff.”

Source: nba.com

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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

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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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Nellakir use the ASF/Horner Sports Flooring systems exclusively.

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.

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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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.

Nellakir – Championship flooring for present and future Champions.

Australia Day – Green vs Gold

Well it’s the Australia Day public holiday on Monday 27th but right now here’s a bit of a treat for our viewers, followers and friends. It’s the Green (Boston Celtics) vs the Gold (LA Lakers) and for some it’s a surprise result with the Lakers going down to the Celtics 107 to 139. (Green and Gold, so Aussie!)

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Here are the full game highlights. Kick back and enjoy. The Celtics – with party tricks.

When it comes to the highest levels of competition here in Australia, chances are you are playing on Nellakir Timber Sports Flooring if you’re in Victoria.

Today, with an increasing number of listed Australians playing on NBA extended lists, with the number growing each year, the opportunities for fresh talent to make their way to the premium competition of the NBA are increasing.

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Playing on the very best possible surfaces continues to make this opportunity realistic. All Nellakir surfaces are FIBA approved, utilising ASF/Horner patented timber flooring systems.

Ensure your stadium’s playing surface is always maintained professionally for premium performance. Call Nellakir now to book a free, no-obligation consultation on regular annual maintenance and scheduled professional court cleaning.

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Call 03 9467 6126 and arrange a time suitable for your requirements to meet with our experienced court technicians. Or simply leave your details here for a prompt reply.

And remember, Nellakir install and maintain Netball Timber Flooring, Multi-use Gymnasium Flooring, Dance Flooring and even Church Flooring.

For expert service and reliable, professional installation of all Sports Flooring, call Nellakir now on 03 9467 6126.

Nellakir – The Premium Sports Flooring choice for Champions.

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

Nellakir – The Players Professional Choice – Timber Sports Flooring.

With many people back to work this Monday, we thought it may be a good time to show the highlights (2nd half) of the LA Lakers vs Oklahoma City Thunder.

With so many young Australians qualifying for and being drafted to the NBA, it is obvious that Australia provides the right type of sporting environment for young basketballers – male and female.

It’s no small part of this that over the last 20 years, the competitive playing surfaces for local competition basketball, netball, volleyball and other indoor sports has improved immensely.

The Sprung Timber Sports Flooring supplied by ASF/Horner and installed by Nellakir here in Victoria and Tasmania is world standard and FIBA approved.

From local schools doubling as Community sports facilities, to State and Regional stadiums such as the VBA Stadium in Wantirna, the Bendigo Stadium, Eagle Stadium in Werribee and the Victorian Netball Stadium in Royal Park – Nellakir have supplied and installed the very best in premium sports flooring.

Now stadium and facility managers can call upon the Nellakir team to provide absolutely premium service in annual maintenance, scheduled court cleaning and full refurbishment of all Timber Sports Flooring.

Call now on 03 9467 6126 and book a free consultation with our expert staff and technicians for your facility, or leave your details here. It’s quite possible that Australia’s next NBA rookie of the year may well be ‘padding the boards’ at your stadium.

Ensure truly professional playing surfaces and facilities. Always choose 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 Sports Flooring for Champions

Nellakir are the leading experts in the construction, maintenance and professional scheduled cleaning of all Sprung Timber Flooring. Using the ASF/Horner Sports Flooring systems exclusively, Nellakir have completed many iconic Basketball, Netball and Multi-use stadium surfaces in Victoria and Tasmania.

AUS V RSA - GRETEL TIPPETT - NETBALL WORLD CUP 2019

Next year’s National Netball Championships are to be held in Hobart in April (2020). By this time the 6 new Netball courts at Victoria’s netball HQ in Royal Park will probably be completed or well under way with Nellakir the selected provider and expert contractor. Nellakir are passionate about Netball, with a full recognition that not only is it Australia’s leading sport for women, it is also the fastest growing team participation sport in Australia.

Read about the National Championships here:

Hobart to host 2020 National Netball Championships

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Australia’s emerging netballers will descend on Hobart in April 2020 for the 17-under and 19-under annual National Netball Championships.

The tournament will be held from the 18-23 April, at the Hobart Netball and Sports Centre, with teams represented from each state and territory in each age group. Gold medal matches will be played on Thursday 23 April to decide the 2020 National Netball Champions in both divisions.

Netball Australia’s Executive General Manager of Performance Andrew Collins said the tournament continues to be a crucial component in identifying future Australian Diamonds players.

“The National Netball Championships are a key fixture on Netball Australia’s calendar and an important part of the elite pathway program, allowing the best young talent to showcase their abilities in front of national selectors.

“It is an environment that reflects elite level netball. The tournament will provide a valuable learning opportunity for all athletes where they will experience the intensity of having to compete at a higher level and challenge themselves to find consistency across a demanding week.

“The event brings together the most talented netballers from around the country and we expect to see some exciting netball,” Collins said.

Netball Tasmania CEO Aaron Pidgeon said the organisation is honoured to be hosting the major netball pathway event and is looking forward to seeing the talent on display.

“Netball Tasmania is very excited about the opportunity to host the National Netball Championships in 2020 and for the Tasmanian netball community to witness firsthand the best up-and-coming talent across the country and the future stars of our Suncorp Super Netball competition.”

Details on ticketing and more information on how to keep up to date with your state will be available closer to the date.

Source: netball.com.au

Ensure your competition premium Timber Sports Flooring is presented in top-notch condition on all occasions. For a free no-obligation consultation please call 03 9467 6126 now or leave your details here for a prompt reply.

Remember it’s always Nellakir.

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

 

Ben Simmons – he wanted to play Cricket for Australia

“Every time I step on the floor or whatever I’m doing, I’m always representing Australia and especially Philadelphia,” he said post-game. “I have two homes now, it’s an amazing feeling I’m representing something much bigger than myself and my family.”

In 11 minutes, Simmons threw down 18 points, two rebounds and two assists. – Philly 76’s 114 vs Orlando Magic 106, 5/3/19

Ben Simmons athleticism is clear when you watch an NBA game and like many stars, he excelled at many sports as a youngster.

The 22-year-old Aussie said he showed plenty of promise in rugby league and Aussie rules but the Philadelphia 76ers star said he couldn’t go down the route of becoming a star cricketers with one major roadblock holding back his potential.

“I’m six foot 10 (208cm tall),” Simmons told reporters. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a six foot 10 cricket player.”

He’s pretty right about that, the two tallest Australian cricketers were Peter George and Bruce Reid, both six foot eight.

But the tallest first-class and international cricketer is Mohammed Irfan who is seven foot one.

Still, the Aussie star found his sport, making Australian basketball history as the first Aussie to be selected in the NBA All-Star game, which will be played Monday at midday AEDT and will be live on ESPN and Kayo Sports.

But first Simmons will play for the World Team against the best young US stars in the Rising Stars game, the traditional match between the NBAs best first and second-year players.

While Simmons was at the centre of an All-Star first with a trade for Russell Westbrook, Simmons said he was looking forward to working with Dallas Mavericks rookie Luka Doncic, who he predicts to follow in his footsteps and be named the NBA Rookie of the Year.

Despite his cricket career not panning out, Simmons is still eager to represent Australia however, potentially as early as two exhibition games against Team USA in Melbourne in August and even the Boomers’ World Cup campaign in China.

“I’m not really focused on it right now, but I know when I have the right opportunity to go play and represent Australia I’ll do that,” Simmons said.

Simmons was embroiled in controversy the past week when news broke he was interested in working out with Magic Johnson, the Los Angeles Lakers legend and president of the team’s basketball operations.

Simmons explained his desire to learn from the game’s greats.

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“I mean, whenever you have an opportunity to talk to a Hall of Famer regardless of who it is you want to get some information and learn from them,” Simmons said.

Johnson and the Lakers, keen to add All-Stars to their roster, have been fined for breaching the NBA’s tampering rules the past year.

The NBA cleared Johnson and the Lakers on Tuesday after finding it was the 76ers who initiated the contact “with the Los Angeles Lakers by requesting a meeting between Johnson and Simmons”.
Simmons was asked to name his basketball role models growing up and he chose James and Johnson.

“Somebody I looked up to as a player was LeBron, for sure,” Simmons said. “I watched a lot of Magic highlights.

“So I think those are the two guys I have really looked at.”

— with Peter Mitchell, AAP

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The NBA is hotting up. Ben Simmons is the current MVP on his latest performances. Judging by the comments on some of the videos, the US fans are somewhat miffed that an Aussie can stroll in and take centre stage. Now it appears 13 year NBA veteran, Andrew Bogart, currently a free agent after a year with the Sydney Kings, is being courted by a number of clubs as well.

The standards required to achieve NBA professionalism start with the playing surface young players are trained on. It’s vitally important that the Timber Sports Flooring is FIFA approved and fully maintained to the highest standard. Ben Simmons started playing Basketball as a child in Knox – Melbourne’s Eastern Suburbs.

Nellakir are the leading installers of genuine Sprung Timber Sports Flooring utilising the ASF/Horner range of products to achieve the highest standards of professional playing surfaces, whether at major stadiums like the State Basketball Centre in Wantirna, the Bendigo Stadium or many more first class locations, or maybe just your local State Primary School.

Nellakir – the experts in Construction and Maintenance of all Timber Sports Flooring.

Nellakir – Champion floors for future champions.