Ben Simmons – A Vision of the Future.

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

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

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

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

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

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

“What’s that darling?” asked my mum.

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

“Oh my goodness” says my mum.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: www.smh.com.au

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

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

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

Nellakir – The Sports Flooring for Champions.

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

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

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

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

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

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Playing from the NBA for Australia will be:

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

The USA squad has yet to be announced.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nellakir – The Sports Flooring for Champions.

The perfect surface – every time.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“That’s the main thing.”

Source: news.com.au

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

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

Nellakir – Sports Flooring for Champions.

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

The Playoffs – All squared up 3/3. Ben Simmonds finds his mojo

It looked like it was ‘all over red rover’ for the Philadelphia 76s in game 6 against the Toronto Raptors – Toronto was up 3 games to 2. Ben Simmonds, the Aussie reigning rookie of the year was in the doghouse – then this!

Philadelphia 76s 112, Toronto Raptors 101.

Now the playoff is squared at 3/3.

All five 76ers starters scored in double figures, including Jimmy Butler (25 points, eight assists, six rebounds and two steals), Ben Simmons (21 points, eight rebounds and six assists), Joel Embiid (17 points, 12 rebounds, two blocks and a plus-minus of plus-40) and Tobias Harris (16 points, nine rebounds and five assists).

Ben Simmons answers the call as desperate Sixers defeat Raptors to force Game 7

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A Ben Simmons who plays downhill is one who makes the Philadelphia 76ers a contender.

Entering Game 6, there were questions, and rightfully so. How can the reigning Rookie of the Year make an impact against a team that was so expertly scheming him out of the game?

His answer began with an authoritative start, controlling the pace of the game, en route to 21 points, eight rebounds, and six assists; the Australian leading his 76ers to a 112-101 win against the Toronto Raptors.

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“I think it was making a point of actually doing it, and not talking about it,” Simmons said of his aggressive start. “Obviously I’m pretty quick, so I’m able to push the ball, just being aggressive downhill and playing my game.

It’s moreso, for me, just going out there and doing everything I can to win. The end result’s gonna be the end’s result. Everyone had that same mentality. I think it was just going out there and playing hard, and not regretting anything.”

With the win, the 76ers kept their postseason alive by tying the Eastern Conference semi-finals series at 3-3, forcing a decisive Game 7 is set for a tip-off on Monday (AEST) in Toronto.

Entering Friday’s game, Simmons had yet to make his mark in the second round of these NBA Playoffs. The 22-year-old was averaging just 9.4 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 4.6 assists a game, while being tasked with defending Kawhi Leonard, who’s convincingly making his case as a top-3 player in the world.

Instead of folding, Simmons answered the call. He was aggressive from the tip, playing like the point guard of a team with their backs on the wall. By the end of the first quarter, he had eight points and five assists, having asserted himself in a way we hadn’t seen all series.

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“He was our bell ringer tonight,” 76ers head coach, Brett Brown, said of Simmons.

“His no-turnovers, his attack mode, his four offensive rebounds. His push in pace on miss shots especially. All those things were what made him be an NBA All-Star at 22 years old. I thought he was excellent tonight, and we needed it all.”

By the half, the 76ers were up 58-43, and that lead extended even more by the end of the third.

Of course, it wasn’t just Simmons. Jimmy Butler played a significant role in the first half, ultimately finishing with 25 points and eight assists, while Joel Embiid’s relatively poor shooting night — 5-of-14 from the field — was irrelevant because of his dominant defensive performance; the centre finishing with an impressive +40.

Once again, it was Leonard who led the way for the Raptors — posting 29 points and 12 rebounds in his team’s loss — but the 76ers’ stifling defence made it difficult for his teammates to get going.

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After the game Raptors head coach Nick Nurse praised Simmons for breaking out of his recent slump, and making an impact on both ends of the floor.

“I think our poor shooting got him out in the open a lot. I think he was certainly aggressive,” Nurse said.

“Give him credit. I thought he made a lot more straight line, non-hesitant moves tonight. When he decided to go, he decided to go and he wasn’t thinking about passing. He was taking to the rim and we weren’t providing enough helps down there. And he hurt us on the glass early. We had a couple of good defensive possessions and then his big arms and hands came up and tipped them in.”

Simmons credited his teammates for his ability to play downhill: “Spacing,” he said. “Guys being in their spots, where they need to be, also allowed me to do that. Just me having that mindset of getting downhill, making plays.”

The series has gone back and forth, to the point where it’s tough to point to who’ll end up booking a spot in the conference finals. Both teams have shown the ability to dominate the other; it seems to just come down to what iteration of each roster shows up on any given night.

Source: foxsports.com.au

For premium Timber Sports Flooring construction and maintenance, call Nellakir on 03 9467 6126 or leave your details here for a prompt reply.

Nellakir – The Sports Flooring of Champions.

The Warriors Vs Clippers Game 3. Can Steve Curry make the difference?

It’s that time again – the Playoffs. The big surprise was the Warriors losing to the Clippers in Game 2 after comprehensively beating them in Game 1 121-104 on the Sunday. But then in Game 2, the Clippers came from 31 points down to win by 4 – 135-131.

The NBA is the world’s leading Basketball competition, the elite. And it’s played on absolutely elite surfaces – sprung timber sports flooring of the highest calibre.

In Victoria and Tasmania, Nellakir are the leading suppliers, installers and maintenance experts on FIFA approved Timber Sports Flooring, exclusively supplying the ASF/Horner Sports Flooring Systems.

Here is an article on the Warriors Clippers contest from CBS Sports.

It isn’t crunch time or time to panic, and it isn’t time to start writing the obituary of the Golden State Warriors dynasty. It’s not time to launch comparisons with the Warriors and the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning – a top seed that flamed out at the first hurdle.

But it is time to learn something in these NBA playoffs, and the defending champions and their current predicament provide intrigue for a case study.

Their upcoming Game 3 clash with the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday night has turned into far more than just another first-round playoff game.

Not only did the eighth-seeded Clippers tear Golden State apart down the stretch of a spectacular 31-point comeback at Oracle Arena in Game 2, but they opened a window of potential fragility of a team that rarely shows any.

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Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry stands on the court during a break in the action.

What the Warriors do about it, and how effectively they respond, may tell us everything we need to know about the mindset of Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and company, and whether the assumption they will cruise towards another championship passes muster. 

“Make adjustments, hold ourselves accountable,” Curry said when asked how he wanted to see the Warriors bounce back. “When we get on that plane, we have a fresh start to take control of the series.”

It was widely assumed around the league that this was the playoff matchup Golden State wanted, one made possible when the Clippers’ impressive late-season form suffered a temporary blip in an April 5 loss to their struggling neighbors, the Lakers. That set in motion the potential for the Oklahoma City Thunder to leap into sixth, with the San Antonio Spurs sandwiched between.

Yet even with Paul George and Russell Westbrook, the Thunder were never going to be the Warriors’ first-round kryptonite. The Warriors are the ultimate star-studded group, and they have withstood the challenge of rosters built around one or two superstars before – with one notable exception. And the Thunder have little in common with LeBron James and Kyrie Irving’s 2016 Cleveland Cavaliers.

A sturdier challenge comes in the form of the Clippers, at least partly because Doc Rivers’ squad is built on such fundamentally sound foundations that it highlights any weakness in the opponent.

Pound for pound, it’s not a fair fight. Player for player, the Warriors against pretty much anyone is not a fair fight, even with DeMarcus Cousins out with a torn quad. If the Warriors are as united as they claimed on their “60 Minutes” special, then bouncing back from Monday’s embarrassment should be easy. If all is well within the camp, their army of fans have little to worry about.

But if that togetherness is on shaky ground, the Clippers, who work for each other as a matter of habit, have a chance expose it. If there is discord, it will be apparent against Los Angeles.

And if there is some kind of mental fatigue about the Warriors, because, you know, winning so often can get tiresome, then the never-say-die attitude and constant work rate of the Clippers will give them plenty to handle once more.

April 15: LA Clippers forward Montrezl Harrell celebrates after the Game 2 win over the Warriors at Oracle Arena. (Photo: Kyle Terada, USA TODAY Sports)
This isn’t a prediction of a series upset for the ages, just an assertion that it’s time for the real Warriors to stand up after playing the regular season on autopilot.
“We let our guard down (in Game 2),” Klay Thompson said. “We weren’t the aggressors anymore. We didn’t deserve to win that game.”

That this is a team of championship caliber has been proven over and again. Possessing such pedigree and history buys you a lot of leeway, which is why no one panicked when Steve Kerr’s group suffered uncharacteristic losses throughout the regular season and often resembled a soap opera.

The latest that you might have missed, because there are so many plotlines around the Warriors that it’s hard to keep up: Draymond Green’s mother has been retweeting critical comments about Kerr and Durant.

There are so few dynasties in sports because while winning is hard, continuing to do so is even tougher. Now, there is a call and it needs to be answered.

On Thursday, we will find out if the Warriors still have the stomach for a fight and can turn the humiliating start to their week into a laughed-off blip, or whether the seams of togetherness are being stretched on the NBA’s greatest modern team.

Source: msn.com

Don’t hesitate to call Nellakir now on 03 9467 6126 for all your court maintenance requirements – Re-surfacing and relining and also Re-sanding when required. Nellakir can assist with simple maintenance requirements through to complete flooring replacement and refurbishment.

Nellakir – the leading experts in the construction and maintenance of all Timber Sports Flooring.

Call now on 03 9467 6126 or leave your details here for a prompt reply to your enquiry.

Nellakir – the Sports Flooring for Champions.

Andrew Bogut – Back with the Golden State Warriors

In a lot of ways Andrew Bogut was the pioneer for Australian Basketballers in the sport’s premium competition – the NBA. And right now he is returning to his NBA team the reigning champions – The Golden State Warriors – for his first game this season against the Indiana Pacers.

Andrew is another ‘Melbourne Boy’. His parents were Croatian immigrants, migrating here in the 1970s. He grew up playing AFL as well as Basketball. On the way to the NBA he played in the South East Australian Basketball League. As an under 19 he was named the most valuable player in the 2003 FIBA World Cup, the competition having been played in Greece.

Drafted to the Milwaukee Bucks, he was the first Australian ever taken as a Number 1 draft pick. He played with the Bucks from 2005-2012.

He has now played for the Golden State Warriors for a total of 5 seasons.

Probably worth mentioning that Andrew stands 7ft tall in the old imperial measurements, and Andrew – he can certainly play the hoop game!

Here’s the full report on his return:

Bogut set for Warriors return game next week

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Andrew Bogut appears set to make his NBA return to the Golden State Warriors next week against the Indiana Pacers.

There had been hopes the Australian centre might join the reigning champions during their four-game road trip that begins at the Houston Rockets on Wednesday and includes games against the Oklahoma City Thunder, the San Antonio Spurs and concludes on Tuesday in Minnesota against the Timberwolves.

But Bogut’s agent David Bauman told the Bay Area News Group that the veteran Australian is targetting his return after the road trip.

Bogut will receive a jubilant welcome from Warriors fans if his first game is at the team’s sold-out Oracle Arena on Thursday week against the Pacers.

The 34-year-old, beloved in the San Francisco Bay Area after he helped the Warriors win a title in 2015 before he was shipped to the Dallas Mavericks the following year, has had his NBA return held up by the process involved in obtaining a US work visa.

Bogut is expected to receive the visa from the US Consulate in Sydney by the end of the week before he flies to California.

The top pick in the 2005 NBA Draft, Bogut made the surprise move back to the Warriors after he recently claimed NBL MVP and defensive player of the year honours in his inaugural season with the Sydney Kings.

The Warriors, favourites to win their fourth title in five years, swooped in and signed him to a veteran’s minimum contract on March 6 to bolster their front court for the impending play-off run.

The playoffs begin on April 13.

Source: https://www.smh.com.au/sport/basketball/bogut-set-for-warriors-return-game-next-week-20190313-p513vd.html

Always play on Professional Sports Flooring – FIFA approved Sprung Timber Sports Floors by ASF/Horner, installed by Nellakir, the experts in the construction and maintenance of all Timber Sports Flooring.

Call now on 94676126 for a no-obligation quote on all Court Maintenance works – relining, resurfacing and when required, a full resanding.

Nellakir –The Sports Flooring of Champions

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

LeBron Ices win over Pelicans with a Triple.

It’s hard to keep a champion down. After successive losses, LeBron and the Lakers fire up against the Pelicans. Here’s the full report…

LeBron’s Unreal Triple Ices Win Over Pelicans

Clock running out, defender all over him, fading away on one leg: ideal conditions for LeBron James.

The Lakers were nursing a three-point lead with only 31 seconds left when James stepped back for a ridiculous corner 3-pointer to put the game on ice for a 125-119 win over New Orleans.

“I think he had his hands in the air before it went in,” coach Luke Walton said. “That’s what great players do. That’s an impossible shot and we needed it at that moment. We had kind of stalled out offensively. A big-time shot by one of the all-time greats.”

Having lost four of their previous five games, the Lakers (30-31) needed to get back in the win column to avoid falling further in the Western Conference playoff race.

Unsurprisingly, James was the one leading the way with 33 points and 10 assists. He constantly powered through the Pelicans’ interior defense while also stepping out for four 3-pointers, including his insane trey in the final minute.

But it took more than one player to overcome a spirited effort from New Orleans (27-36), which was led by former Laker Julius Randle (35 points) and L.A. native Jrue Holiday (19 points, 10 assists).

The Lakers trotted out a small-ball starting lineup, replacing 7-footer JaVale McGee with 6-foot-1 Rajon Rondo.

“We needed to win,” Walton said. “Rondo’s won championships. He’s an NBA champion. Let’s get him on the court and see what happens.”

The point guard was instrumental in his team’s attack, handing out a season-high 16 assists while also pitching in 11 points.

A couple of those dimes came during the most explosive part of the night. The Lakers trailed by five midway through the third quarter when Kyle Kuzma (22 points) suddenly erupted.

The 23-year-old threw down three monstrous dunks in a two-minute stretch, while LeBron provided one of his own, sending the crowd into hysterics.

“Those were huge momentum plays for our ball club,” James said, “which the fans loved and we loved it for them.”

The Lakers rode that momentum the rest of the way, though they still needed some clutch moments to pull out the victory. New Orleans cut their lead to just one with 1:38 left, when they turned to their hot hand.

Brandon Ingram — who continued his impressive four-game streak with 23 points — attacked his man off the dribble, getting to the rim and scoring despite a tough finish.

Then LeBron asserted himself on the defensive end, switching onto Holiday and stripping the point guard of the ball. When the Pelicans forced him into a tough shot on the ensuing possession, he turned dire circumstances into an unreal bucket.

“LeBron did what LeBron does,” Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said. “He makes an almost impossible shot in the corner and that put a lot of pressure on us. That really was the one that decided the game.”

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The NBA conference series are all played out on FIFA approved Sports Flooring. Sprung Timber Flooring engineered to provide the perfect playing surface.

In Australia, the premiere supplier of Timber Sports Flooring is ASF/Horner, and in Victoria this flooring is installed exclusively by Nellakir Pty Ltd. Nellakir are the leading experts in the construction and maintenance of all Sports Flooring.

When you play on the courts at the Victorian State Basketball Centre in Wantirna – it’s a Nellakir court. The Bendigo Stadium? – another by Nellakir. The Eagle Stadium in Werribee, Casey Stadium in Cranbourne and Keilor Stadium? All by Nellakir. If your children play basketball, netball or volleyball at school, chances are it’s on a Nellakir court.

To ensure you maintain a championship surface on your court, always insist on a Nellakir annual maintenance plan. From re-coating, re-surfacing and re-lining to full re-sanding – call Nellakir on 9467 6126 for a free no-obligation consultation, or leave your details here for a prompt reply.

Nellakir – Champion floors for future champions.