The NBA hots up – Cavs vs 76’s

This week we saw one of the season’s closest games – the exciting match up between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Philadelphia 76’s Aussie Ben Simmons starred in the 76’s 1 point win 98-97. Here’s the video and a full report.

Two for one: Cavs come up just short in 98-97 loss to 76ers

This wasn’t bad at all.

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The Cavs lost to the 76ers Tuesday night by a final score of 98-97 in a game where the team led by as many as five in the final three minutes. At the end, Kevin Love had an open three on Cleveland’s last shot, but it was too strong and that was that. Sometimes it really is a make or miss league. Also not helping: the Cavs’ offense not scoring for the final three minutes-plus.

That said, this was not all bad. This was, frankly, a largely encouraging performance from the Cavs against a legit NBA Finals contender. Let’s get into it.

POSITIVE: Tristan Thompson crushed it again

Philadelphia is a tough matchup for Thompson. Joel Embiid has a size advantage and there’s only so much he can really do to slow Embiid down. And with Embiid guarding him, there’s reason to think he’ll struggle a bit on offense, particularly when crashing the offensive glass.

But Thompson was again excellent on Tuesday. Embiid got his 27 points, but Thompson made him earn it for the most part. On offense, Thompson co-led the team with 20 points, grabbed 12 rebounds (four offensive) and shot 7-13 from the field. He also made two three-pointers and again showed why he’s still a good, dependable player for the Cavs. Through 10 games, he’s been this team’s MVP.

NEGATIVE: The last three minutes

The Cavs’ last play of the game was actually a good design. After an inbounds pass, Jordan Clarkson (who was also good and had 20 points) ran a little pick-and-pop with Kevin Love. Love then pump faked, got his three and missed. It was a good set and coach John Beilein has to be at least happy with the process.

Before that, though, things got really rough for the Cavs’ offense. The team didn’t score for the final three minutes at a time when a few key baskets might have put the 76ers away. Miscues included Love missing from four-feet out, a shot clock violation, a Collin Sexton turnover and an unnecessary Thompson three-pointer.

The whole time the game was on the line, the Cavs played frenzied. Considering the youth on the team, that makes sense. Time will tell how many more lessons they need in navigating some choppy waters.

POSITIVE: Darius Garland makes some plays even when he struggles

This was not a banner game for Garland. Stylistically, the 76ers’ size was hard for him to deal with and he finished with 6 points on 3-10 shooting in 28 minutes. He did also have 2 assists — against zero turnovers — and three steals.

Everything about Garland was super impressive when he was up against Matisse Thybulle, perhaps the best defensive rookie in the NBA. And when he knows Embiid is coming to contest his shot, he goes soft with the finish off the glass. That’s a player who has a clear feel for the game, even on a night where he struggles. That’s a good sign for Garland and the Cavs.

Source: fearthesword.com

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NBA Season is up and running

After the long wait, the season is away. Here are the highlights from Week 2.

Into the third week, here are the ‘Power Rankings’ from Basketball Hashtags.

NBA Power Rankings for the 2019-20 season. Updated every Monday.

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#1 up 1 Philadelphia 76ers

Individual rankings: Jeremy #2, Joseph #1, Kevin #1, Nick #1, Tyler #2

No Embiid, no spacing, no losses. Matisse Thybulle’s defense jumps out once again as a huge asset to giving this roster some depth, and Furkan Korkmaz hitting clutch three-pointers gives them an entirely new direction. This also looks to be a real leap year for Ben Simmons, who’s added a lot to his game – even if he still detests shooting. His post moves look more refined, and he’s been more aggressive attacking the basket overall.

Summary written by Jeremy Stevens

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#2 down 1 Los Angeles Clippers

Individual rankings: Jeremy #1, Joseph #2, Kevin #2, Nick #2, Tyler #1

The Clippers have started the season 5-2, with one of their losses coming from a Kawhi Leonard “load management” game against Utah, but what has been most impressive is that they’ve continued to look like the best team in Los Angeles, and one of the best teams in the league without their second-best player (Paul George). Landry Shamet hasn’t taken the next step that many were hoping for, but that’s not really an issue when you have a 33-year-old Lou Wiliams coming off the bench, averaging over 20 points per-game.

Summary written by Kevin Nye

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#3 up 4 Los Angeles Lakers

Individual rankings: Jeremy #5, Joseph #3, Kevin #3, Nick #3, Tyler #4

The Lakers are currently riding a 5-game win streak (tied for best in the league), and now have an (almost) fully healthy Kuzma at their disposal. AD and LeBron look like they’ve been playing together for longer than 6 games, their role-players are clicking, and Jason Kidd hasn’t started his campaign to take over as head coach. All is good in Los Angeles for the Lakers.

Summary written by Joseph Mamone

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#4 Milwaukee Bucks

Individual rankings: Jeremy #7, Joseph #4, Kevin #7, Nick #5, Tyler #3

Milwaukee isn’t stumbling so much as they may just not be as good as they were a season ago. As Malcolm Brogdon plays like Diet Luka Doncic, the Bucks are lacking a lot of things that Brogdon would provide. It doesn’t help that Eric Bledsoe is off to a dreadful start, but watching Milwaukee force-feed Giannis against the Celtics and just get completely shut down was pretty illuminating. The Bucks just looked helpless against a good defense with long-armed athletes. That’s a bad sign. They’re certainly still a top-3 team in the East, but they no longer look like the favorite.

Summary written by Kevin Nye

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#5 up 1 Utah Jazz

Individual rankings: Jeremy #3, Joseph #12, Kevin #4, Nick #4, Tyler #5

How can a 4-3 team be ranked in the top-5 while the 1-loss Timberwolves are down lower? The answer is probably reputation. The Jazz were expected to be good, so when they’ve lost close games to good teams (Kings notwithstanding), they don’t take much heat. Utah has clearly not hit their stride yet – Mike Conley’s FG% is so low that it would probably be a legal BAC to drive with – but they’re hanging in there. The good news/bad news is that the Jazz have a brutal early schedule: Lakers, Clippers twice, Suns (seriously), 76ers, and Bucks in their first nine games. For a team that routinely starts slow, to get through this stretch with their heads above water would be a great sign.

Summary written by Kevin Nye

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#6 up 2 Boston Celtics

Individual rankings: Jeremy #6, Joseph #6, Kevin #6, Nick #7, Tyler #8

How am I supposed to interpret two wins against the Knicks? They’re awful, but those wins don’t come easy. Jayson Tatum has taken real strides towards being a reliable top scoring option alongside Kemba Walker, which is vital with Jaylen Brown missing a couple of games. Grant Williams is already a brilliant defender, adding some desperately needed frontcourt depth. Boston’s depth and defense might be better than expected, which could make them a strong contender for the second seed in the East.

Summary written by Jeremy Stevens

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#7 up 7 Miami Heat

Individual rankings: Jeremy #8, Joseph #5, Kevin #10, Nick #6, Tyler #7

The Miami Heat have been one of the most impressive teams this season. They have a really well-rounded roster and are finding ways to get strong contributions out of guys like Duncan Robinson and Chris Silva. On top of that, the undrafted point guard Kendrick Nunn is leading them in scoring with 50/40/90 shooting splits. The integration of Jimmy Butler after the birth of his child has seemed seamless as well. He provides a go-to scorer when needed and a strong defensive presence. The Heat currently has the 5th best net rating and because of their execution on both ends of the floor, I wouldn’t expect any drastic changes.

Summary written by Tyler Metcalf

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#8 up 5 Minnesota Timberwolves

Individual rankings: Jeremy #10, Joseph #8, Kevin #5, Nick #11, Tyler #9

We learned a few things from the Timberwolves matchup with the 76ers. First, the Timberwolves are really going to struggle against opponents that can go big. Second, Karl-Anthony Towns is done taking crap from people. Third, big men are very awkward fighters. Even though the Timberwolves have lost Towns for two games, they responded by demolishing the Wizards. They have completely revamped their offensive identity and their versatility on defense has bumped them up to the 8th best defensive rating. Towns is obviously the star of this team, but they did prove that if needed, they can manage for a game or two without him.

Summary written by Tyler Metcalf

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#9 down 6 Denver Nuggets

Individual rankings: Jeremy #4, Joseph #7, Kevin #11, Nick #12, Tyler #10

The Denver Nuggets started the season off relatively strong, with three early wins despite some offensive concerns. The defense has slipped and the offensive concerns have continued to build. Both trends can be tied pretty directly to Nikola Jokic; he’s been sluggish and uninterested to start the year. Gary Harris has also struggled to regain his form from two years ago before his injury issues. Denver ended the week with a win in a brutal game in Orlando, but even that win felt hollow in the midst of a difficult week.

Summary written by Nick Agar-Johnson

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#10 Toronto Raptors

Individual rankings: Jeremy #10, Joseph #13, Kevin #8, Nick #9, Tyler #6

As expected, the Raptors are 4-2, placing them right in the middle of the Eastern Conference. A loss to the Bucks is no big deal, but could be a forecast of things to come. While the Raptors are steady, Miami is surging towards the top of the standings shaking up the East a bit, making the 2nd-5th seeds up for grabs in any order. Toronto is covered at most positions, but their depth has yet to impress. If somebody has to be nudged out of the East’s top four, it might be them.

Summary written by Jeremy Stevens

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#11 San Antonio Spurs

Individual rankings: Jeremy #9, Joseph #10, Kevin #9, Nick #8, Tyler #12

San Antonio looks like they’re going to win another 50 games this season and nobody is going to bat an eye. They lost to the Lakers at home on Sunday, which is the only reason they aren’t even higher on this list, but that was an expected L. They will continue to beat all of the teams that they should beat and play tough against all of the teams who should beat them. The one thing they may struggle with is season-fatigue; six of their 11 man rotation are 30+ years old.

Summary written by Kevin Nye

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#12 Dallas Mavericks

Individual rankings: Jeremy #11, Joseph #9, Kevin #12, Nick #13, Tyler #14

Luka’s ascension to stardom is obviously the biggest story here, but Dallas’ depth is leaps and bounds better than I expected. Seven players scored in double figures against Cleveland (with two more just one field goal away) and nine scored in double digits in a win against Denver. I’m not sure if Kristaps Porzingis will fully return to All-Star form this season, but having endless scoring threats should make the Mavericks a strong regular-season team. Don’t sleep on Jalen Bruson, who can share point guard duties and lessen Luka’s workload.

Summary written by Jeremy Stevens

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#13 up 5 Phoenix Suns

Individual rankings: Jeremy #12, Joseph #11, Kevin #15, Nick #15, Tyler #11

I don’t know if there’s a way to figure this out, and we’re only six games in, but if Phoenix carries on the way they’ve started this season, they may be the biggest overachievers in NBA history. Phoenix is 4-2 and their two losses came by a combined two points. They are literally two shots away from being undefeated. How is this possible?! Ricky Rubio has changed the complexion of their team on both ends, and it sure seems like having Monty Williams has an effect. The Suns may actually be a decent team.

Summary written by Kevin Nye

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#14 down 9 Houston Rockets

Individual rankings: Jeremy #14, Joseph #15, Kevin #13, Nick #10, Tyler #15

The Rockets have been scoring a ton of points. Their 115 offensive rating is the best in the league by three points. The problem is that their defense has been appalling as they have the second-worst defensive rating of 115.9. Some obvious struggles have come from Harden’s shooting. He is still putting up impressive counting stats, but is having one of the worst shooting seasons of his career with just 36.5 percent from the floor and 20 percent from three. On top of that, their defense falls off a cliff when Clint Capela comes off the floor. Their starting lineup has an impressive defensive rating of 99.3, but once they go small and sub Eric Gordon for Capela, their defensive rating jumps to 125.8. Mike D’Antoni has never been too concerned with defense, but if they don’t figure something out soon, they’ll be in for a very long season.

Summary written by Tyler Metcalf

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#15 down 6 Portland Trail Blazers

Individual rankings: Jeremy #13, Joseph #14, Kevin #14, Nick #14, Tyler #13

The Trail Blazers fell to the tenth seed after a close loss to the Dallas Mavericks; while it’s obviously too early to lock them out of the playoffs, they do not want to be in a position where they need to make up ground in the Western Conference. They’ll probably go on a 16-3 run in January/February to render this moot, but in the meantime, their frontcourt rotation is already a patchwork job with Zach Collins and Hassan Whiteside both out with injuries. CJ McCollum has struggled to score outside of their game against Dallas, especially inside the 3-point line–he’ll need to pick things up to keep Portland in the playoff picture.

Summary written by Nick Agar-Johnson

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#16 down 1 Atlanta Hawks

Individual rankings: Jeremy #16, Joseph #18, Kevin #16, Nick #19, Tyler #18

The Trae Young injury came at an unfortunate time as the Hawks seemed to be getting on a roll. The concerns going forward stem directly because of Young. He seems to be the only one on the team that can create consistent offense. When he’s on the floor the offense flows and easy opportunities are created. Once he’s off, the offense struggles to find it’s rhythm. Once Young returns, I expect this offense to continue to grow. A pleasant surprise has been the Hawks defense. Coming into the season their defense was expected to struggle, but they have been slightly better than average. Their defensive rating of 103.4 is the 12th best in the league and has exceeded expectations to this point.

Summary written by Tyler Metcalf

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#17 up 5 Indiana Pacers

Individual rankings: Jeremy #19, Joseph #16, Kevin #21, Nick #16, Tyler #16

Are you surprised at how good Malcolm Brogdon is? Because I’m not. Indiana will need a healthy Oladipo before even thinking about challenging the East’s top 5, but I don’t see why they can’t play as spoilers until then. Brogdon is second in the league in assists while piloting an offense that is allegedly struggling. The Pacers are back to 3-3, but they had to claw past a dreadfully underachieving Bulls team to get there.

Summary written by Jeremy Stevens

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#18 up 1 Oklahoma City Thunder

Individual rankings: Jeremy #21, Joseph #22, Kevin #18, Nick #17, Tyler #17

OKC may have only won 2 of their 6 games this season, but fans have to be encouraged by what they’ve seen so far. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is continuing to exceed most of our expectations (21.8 PTS, 7.2 REB, 3.3 AST), and we’re starting to see positive contributions from Diallo (11 PTS, 7 REB, 1 STL over the past 7 days), and Noel (12.7 PTS, 6.7 REB, 1.3 STL, 2.3 BLK over the past 7 days). Continuing to put minutes into young players is the best way to tackle the season for a team with no chance of making the playoffs (take note, New York). There’s a lot to like about what OKC are building.

Summary written by Joseph Mamone

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#19 down 3 Brooklyn Nets

Individual rankings: Jeremy #22, Joseph #17, Kevin #17, Nick #22, Tyler #19

The Brooklyn Nets are already searching for answers after starting the season 2-4. Kyrie Irving has been spectacular individually, but the ball movement that made the team successful last season has all but disappeared. Spencer Dinwiddie has had a terrible start to the season, and DeAndre Jordan continues to decline rapidly. Taurean Prince has been knocking down shots from deep, but the team is disastrously thin at the forward spots behind him. The Nets will probably fight their way into playoff position eventually, but the season is off to a rough start.

Summary written by Nick Agar-Johnson

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#20 up 1 Detroit Pistons

Individual rankings: Jeremy #18, Joseph #19, Kevin #20, Nick #20, Tyler #20

You know you have roster problems when a 31-year-old Derrick Rose has been your second-best player to date. Please don’t come at me, Rose stans. On the plus side, Kennard has been getting plenty of minutes (31 per game so far this season), and performing well, averaging 16.4 PTS, 3.7 AST, and 2.9 3PM, and Drummond is continuing to put up video game numbers, averaging 22.1 PTS, 18.7 REB, 1.7 STL, and 2.6 BLK.

Summary written by Joseph Mamone

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#21 down 4 Orlando Magic

Individual rankings: Jeremy #20, Joseph #20, Kevin #19, Nick #18, Tyler #21

Regression; a return to a former or less developed state. Eg. The Orlando Magic and their 2-4 start to the season after being a playoff team only a few months ago. For those playing at home, those 2 wins have been against New York and Cleveland. To say things haven’t gone to plan is stating the obvious, but there’s a shining light, and that light is Markelle Fultz breaking into the starting lineup. He was drafted number 1 in 2017 for a reason, and hopefully, we’ll get to see that reason on the court soon.

Summary written by Joseph Mamone

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#22 up 7 Charlotte Hornets

Individual rankings: Jeremy #17, Joseph #21, Kevin #21, Nick #21, Tyler #25

The Hornets aren’t the worst team in the league. They still aren’t good, but they have not been the worst. PJ Washington has been an absolute delight and Devonte’ Graham’s shooting off the bench has been a big boost. Unfortunately, that’s where the optimism ends for this team. Terry Rozier has been inefficient on offense and sieve on defense. They have zero interior defense and they don’t have much versatility or youth on the wing. The biggest takeaway from these first couple of games should be that James Borrego is a good coach that can get the most out of a bad roster.

Summary written by Tyler Metcalf

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#23 up 3 Sacramento Kings

Individual rankings: Jeremy #25, Joseph #23, Kevin #24, Nick #24, Tyler #23

The Sacramento Kings finally put their first win of the season up on the board with a one-point win over the Utah Jazz on Friday, and followed it up with a beatdown of the Knicks on Sunday. The Kings have led at the half or been tied in all but one of their games. However, the team has looked much slower coming out of every halftime and the defensive effort has disappeared in the third quarter of every contest except in their game against New York. A weekend of holding onto those halftime leads is an encouraging sign. Bogdan Bogdanovic has looked decent after an awful first week, and Richaun Holmes is already a fan favorite. His high-energy play is almost enough to offset the Cory Joseph deal (which has looked terrible through seven games) and the Trevor Ariza deal (which looked terrible the moment the Kings signed it and has only looked worse since).

Summary written by Nick Agar-Johnson

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#24 Chicago Bulls

Individual rankings: Jeremy #27, Joseph #24, Kevin #23, Nick #27, Tyler #24

There was so much promise heading into the season, with a lot of people crowning Chicago as a must-watch league pass team, but we forgot one small detail. Jim Boylen still coaches them. The Bulls have started the season 2-5, Coby White has cooled off after his hot start, Otto Porter has forgotten what a made shot looks like, and Thad Young is taking fourth-quarter minutes away from Lauri Markkanen, which is understandable, given he’s shooting 39% from the field so far this season, but it’s not ideal for the long-term future of the team. Something needs to change in Chicago.

Summary written by Joseph Mamone

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#25 down 2 New Orleans Pelicans

Individual rankings: Jeremy #26, Joseph #25, Kevin #28, Nick #25, Tyler #22

After winning the Zion lottery, this has not been an ideal start for the Pelicans. Their offense has been a delight to watch so far. They take full advantage of their youth and athleticism to get out in transition. On top of that, Brandon Ingram is looking like the player many thought he would be as he is averaging 23.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 4.2 assists per game while shooting 51.5/50/70. As a team, the Pelicans have been much better with their outside shooting than I anticipated with their 37.5 percent rate. Surprisingly, the struggles have come on defense. Their 113.8 defensive rating is the third-worst in the league. They are struggling with rotations and their interior injuries are causing major issues.

Summary written by Tyler Metcalf

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#26 up 1 Cleveland Cavaliers

Individual rankings: Jeremy #23, Joseph #28, Kevin #27, Nick #23, Tyler #26

The Cavs have been up and down thus far, but mostly down. The defense was expected to be other-worldly bad and was ranked 15th through the first four games. However, a beatdown (131 points allowed) at the hands of Dallas on Sunday looked a bit more like what everyone expected from the Cavaliers. On the bright side, their youngsters are getting experience and don’t look terrible. Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson are also looking like peak versions of themselves, which is a pleasant surprise for anyone watching. It’ll be a long season in Cleveland, but it could be much worse.

Summary written by Kevin Nye

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#27 down 2 Memphis Grizzlies

Individual rankings: Jeremy #24, Joseph #27, Kevin #26, Nick #26, Tyler #27

The Memphis Grizzlies are no longer in the Western Conference cellar, and they probably won’t fall back into last place. Ja Morant has continued to look impressive; he’s seeing the floor well and scoring efficiently, despite some careless turnovers. Jaren Jackson Jr. continues to foul way too much, and Dillon Brooks is somehow out-fouling him. There are going to be plenty of growing pains for this team, but Taylor Jenkins pushing the pace early is a positive sign.

Summary written by Nick Agar-Johnson

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#28 Washington Wizards

Individual rankings: Jeremy #29, Joseph #29, Kevin #25, Nick #29, Tyler #28

Washington is about where we expected them to be at this stage of the season (with a 1-4 record and Bradley Beal having to play far too many minutes), but there’s merit to having a bad season if it’s done right, and Washington is getting positive contributions from their developing young players such as Thomas Bryant (12.2 PTS, 10.2 REB, 2 BLK), Rui Hachimura (15.2 PTS, 6 REB), and the return of Troy Brown, whose minutes will start to ramp up as he returns from injury.

Summary written by Joseph Mamone

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#29 down 9 Golden State Warriors

Individual rankings: Jeremy #28, Joseph #26, Kevin #29, Nick #28, Tyler #30

Starting lineups for the Golden State Warriors: Mon, Jun 10, 2019: Steph Curry · Kevin Durant · Draymond Green · Andre Iguodala · Klay Thompson. Sat, Nov 2, 2019: Ky Bowman · Willie Cauley-Stein · Eric Paschall · Jordan Poole · Glenn Robinson III. It’s hard to imagine a more rapid fall from grace–especially since three of those June 10th starters remain on the roster. The Warriors are hard-capped after the D’Angelo Russell trade, and their active roster on Nov. 2nd will earn around $14 million this season. Total. The Warriors looked like they might be the worst defense in the league before Steph and Draymond got hurt, and that’s looking even more likely now. Steph will miss at least three months, and Draymond and D’Angelo will definitely nurse their injuries REALLY slowly. At least all of the Oakland faithful who have been unable to afford tickets for the past half-decade will get to watch this year’s Wounded Warriors at a decent price.

Summary written by Nick Agar-Johnson

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#30 New York Knicks

Individual rankings: Jeremy #30, Joseph #30, Kevin #30, Nick #30, Tyler #29

You know, I was really confident the Hornets would be worse than the Knicks. This is the last straw – I’m never giving the Knicks any preseason hype again, no matter how many veterans they sign. Hey, if the Suns can sign a bunch of experienced role players and win, why can’t the Knicks share the same fate? I mean, Julius Randle has *definitely* played basketball before. And I watched plenty of Marcus Morris Sr. with my own two eyes, so I know he’s played in some big games. We’re six games in, so it’s early, but I’m revolted by the Knicks. At least have enough self-respect to play your young prospects as many minutes as your middling role players.

Summary written by Jeremy Stevens

Source: hashtagbasketball.com

It’s going to be a very exciting season all the way through until April 2020.

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The National Basketball League Australia Game One goes to South East Melbourne Phoenix over Melbourne United

A great start to the NBL season with its latest franchise addition being a first round winner.

The 2019-20 NBL season is the 42nd season since the League’s inception in 1979. The addition of South East Melbourne Phoenix sees nine teams contesting the championship. The regular season is played between October 2019 and February 2020. This is followed by a post season playoff featuring the top 4 teams in March 2020.

This year the series will be televised, Free to Air, via SBS Viceland, in the first year of a two year deal. Streaming of all 126 games will be available live and free on streaming platforms such as SBS on Demand. ESPN will also broadcast 59 games including all games after 7.30 pm AEDT. Further details are below.

Read all about the South East Melbourne Phoenix vs Melbourne United game here:

Phoenix Open #NBL20 with Throwdown Triumph

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South East Melbourne Phoenix have risen to victory in their first game in the NBL with the league’s newest franchise scoring a 91-88 win over Melbourne United in their first ever ‘Throwdown’ at Melbourne Arena on Thursday night.

The cross-town rivals locked horns to open the 2019/20 season and with a sold out crowd in attendance to show how hungry Melbourne is to have rival NBL teams battling again, it was a game that went down to the wire.

The stars weren’t quite all there with Casey Prather and David Barlow missing for Melbourne while Tai Wesley hurt his hamstring for the Phoenix in the first quarter joining Adam Gibson and Terry Armstrong sidelined.

But those on the floor delivered and none more so than South East Melbourne superstar Mitch Creek.

Just back from two stints in the NBA, the Phoenix franchise player was a man-possessed stepping up with 28 points and 11 rebounds to cover for the early injury to Wesley.

The power forward scored their first NBL points, but went down with a flare up of his hamstring injury five minutes into the game.

Melbourne United were down nine heading into the last term but fought back at the finish as Chris Goulding nailed some crucial buckets including a lay-up to tie the game 84-84 with a minute to play.

But Creek stood tall nailing a three on the next play and as gallant as Melbourne were, they couldn’t outlast the Phoenix.

Melo Trimble attempted a three from the top of the key to force overtime in the final seconds but his shot missed. Shawn Long put it back in and, after being fouled by Kyle Adnam, nailed two key free throws with 0.6 seconds to play assuring his club of its inaugural win.

Goulding had 27 points while Long was a force in the second half with 26 points and 12 rebounds while import guard John Roberson finished with a classy 20 points for the Phoenix.

Phoenix coach Simon Mitchell praised his players for their gritty display.

“We weren’t the most composed team down the stretch but I thought we played our asses off,” Mitchell said.

“I thought we were tremendously gritty. I thought in a short time these guys have been able to establish a real pride in their uniform and what we are doing in the south-east.

“While we weren’t great, anyone who is thinking about following us is going to see what we are about from tonight’s game. Hopefully we will be a little cool under pressure next game.”

United coach Dean Vickerman said his side made too many errors and started too slowly.

“We were a step behind with how we came out and the offensive rebounds and second chance points they got early on,” Vickerman said.

“We didn’t really push the pace. Part of it was getting to your spacing and we made so many errors to get started and that disrupted a lot of our offence.

“We got four points outside of our main guys so we needed more people to step up as we had three guys out [injured]. But give credit to Mitch Creek. The two threes he made down the stretch were extremely tough, that’s why you pay a marquee guy like that.”

Melbourne plays Perth Wildcats at RAC Arena on Saturday in a Grand Final rematch before then embarking on their United States trip for games against the LA Clippers and Sacramento Kings.

The Phoenix rest until Round 2 when they host Brisbane Bullets at Melbourne Arena next Sunday afternoon.

NBL ROUND 1
MELBOURNE UNITED 88 (Goulding 27, Long 26, Trimble 16)
SOUTH EAST MELBOURNE PHOENIX 91 (Creek 28, Roberson 20, Adnam 11)

Source: nbl.com.au

How to Watch Round 1 of NBL20

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Hungry Jack’s NBL20 tips off on Thursday, October 3 and there are no shortage of viewing options as we begin one of our biggest seasons to date!

With new TV broadcast partners SBS VICELAND and ESPN on board, you can tune in there with games before 7:30pm AEST on SBS VICELAND, and games after 7:30pm AEST on ESPN.

For the digital viewer, you can catch every game live on SBS on Demand as well as NBL TV which also boast a selection of NBL Classics and other featured content including Condensed Games, giving you everything you need from the game in 10 minutes.

One game every round will be broadcast live on Facebook Watch, with Round featuring Melbourne United and South East Melbourne Phoenix in The Throwdown to open the season.

Thursday October 3
Melbourne United v South East Melbourne Phoenix – Melbourne Arena, 7:30pm AEST
ESPN, SBS on Demand, Facebook Watch, NBL TV

Friday October 4
Cairns Taipans v Sydney Kings – Cairns Convention Centre, 7:30pm AEST
ESPN, SBS on Demand, NBL TV

Saturday October 5
Perth Wildcats v Melbourne United – RAC Arena, 5:30pm AEST
SBS VICELAND (Channel 31), SBS on Demand, NBL TV

Sunday October 6
Illawarra Hawks v Brisbane Bullets – WIN Entertainment Centre, 3:00pm AEDT
SBS VICELAND (Channel 31), SBS on Demand, NBL TV

Source: nbl.com.au

The Australian competition is now a genuine stepping stone to the world’s leading Basketball Competition, the NBA.

Nellakir are proud to support and assist basketball in this country. As the leading experts in the provision of genuine sprung timber sports flooring, Nellakir utilise the ASF/Horner sports flooring systems here in Victoria and Tasmania. As such Nellakir have constructed many of Victoria’s premier Basketball and Netball Stadium court surfaces. The company is also the leading provider of expert maintenance and scheduled cleaning services, ensuring your premium Timber Flooring is presented at its very best on all occasions. Proper care and maintenance also prolongs the life of the flooring and ultimately saves time and money for all stadium operators.

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

Whether it’s a local junior competition or the State Basketball Centre at Wantirna, it’s a joy to play on Timber Flooring from Nellakir.

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.

Boomers On Target for Olympic Games 2020

After failing again, falling at the last hurdle, the Boomers missed out on a medal by the narrowest of margins – again, in China.

But it’s certainly not all doom and gloom in the Australian team camp with much to look forward to.

Add Ben Simmons to the mix and the gaps begin to be filled. Dante Exum, Jonah Bolden and Thon Maker will present an overall formidable team of internationals currently playing at the highest level.

Read about it here

The Boomers’ emerging generation offers hope to finally break our medal drought at the Tokyo Olympics

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The Boomers failed to win a basketball World Cup medal — again.

The World Cup in China represented the Boomers’ best chance to scale the heights of men’s basketball: devoid of superstars, the United States had fallen; the powerful Serbians, too, perished after a shock loss.

But there are no guarantees in elite sport as the Boomers found out against a veteran Spanish team well-rehearsed in winning medals at major events.

Had Patty Mills not missed a late free throw in the semi-final match against Spain, we could today be hailing the Boomers as World Champions.

Instead, the Australians were dragged through an epic double-overtime loss that left them physically and emotionally drained.

So small are the margins in international basketball that the Boomers ultimately leave China empty-handed.

It was no surprise to see them settle for fourth after a predictable loss to France in the playoff for Bronze — Australia’s tank simply ran dry.

As brilliant as the Boomers campaign was through their first six matches, flaws were exposed when it mattered.

The Boomers had to rely too heavily on too few in their quest to win their first medal at a major competition.

No one could question the commitment of Patty Mills and Joe Ingles.

Mills finished as the tournament’s third leading scorer while Ingles routinely made important plays.

Yet as their minutes grew, their effectiveness diminished. Depth became an issue.

The Australians used a nine-man rotation across the tournament.

Three members of Australia’s 12-man squad — Nathan Sobey, Cameron Gliddon and David Barlow — combined for less than seven minutes of total court time.

But on the evidence of this campaign, Australia is in tremendous shape for a breakthrough performance at the 2020 Olympics.

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Joe Ingles of was one of Australia’s most consistent performers at the 2019 basketball World Cup, in China.

The likes of Mills, Ingles, Matthew Dellavedova and Andrew Bogut are still hungry for international success, and while they may carry the scars of heartbreaking finishes at World Cups and Olympic Games, NBA-based reinforcements are on the way.

The game changer in Tokyo will be Ben Simmons.

The 23-year-old Philadelphia 76ers point guard is already considered the best male basketballer Australia has ever produced and is expected to make himself available for next year’s Olympic Games.

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Ben Simmons will carry the hopes of a team — and a nation — at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Simmons is the future of Australian men’s basketball and his inclusion would likely lead to a seismic shift in the way the Boomers play.

If the coaching staff and team veterans embrace what he brings in playmaking, the Boomers will be feared by everyone.

Simmons has often spoken about his desire to represent his nation on the world stage. Leading Australia to a first men’s Olympic medal would be a perfect way to start.

But Simmons will not be the only fresh face expected to be available for the campaign.

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If he’s fit, Dante Exum will bring plenty of speed and athleticism to the Boomers’ Olympic squad.

Utah Jazz guard Dante Exum missed the World Cup while recovering from a serious knee injury (not the first of his brief professional career) but wants in on what the Boomers are building.

Simmons’ Philadelphia teammate Jonah Bolden and Detroit big man Thon Maker are both expected to be available. Australia could effectively field a 12-man team made up entirely of overseas-based players.

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At 7ft 1in (216cm), Thon Maker would definitely bolster the Boomers’ big man stocks at Tokyo.

Of course, much can happen between now and Tokyo 2020.

Just ask USA basketball about the vagaries of player availability; of the 35 players initially selected in the USA’s player pool for the World Cup, only four ended up on the final roster — largely due to player drop-outs.

Unfortunately for the Boomers and every other Olympic basketball nation, the embarrassment of a 7th-placed finish for Team USA will spur America’s legion of NBA superstars to restore dignity at international level.

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Team USA will be out to atone for their miserable World Cup showing at the Tokyo Olympics.

The household names will be back and the desire to dominate will return.

So while Australia’s medal chances have never been brighter, Olympic gold may remain elusive.

Source: abc.net.au

Nellakir applaud the efforts of the Boomers and wish them well in their pre-Olympic preparation.

For expert construction, installation, maintenance and scheduled cleaning of all high performance Timber Sports Flooring call Nellakir now for a free no-obligation quote. 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.

New Courts Scheduled for the Royal Park Hockey and Netball Centre.

It’s full circle for Nellakir this month after having been awarded the contract to construct 6 new competition Timber Sports Flooring courts at the Victorian Headquarters for Netball at Royal Park. Back in 2001, Nellakir completed the construction and installation of the two main Competition Courts at the facility. These were scheduled to coincide with the Commonwealth Games hosted in Melbourne in 2006. View case study

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With the phenomenal growth of the game, the time has now arrived to expand the Royal Park facilities and provide absolute premium playing surfaces for the ever expanding and popular game of Netball here in Melbourne. As the State centre for Netball, the facility can utilise the new courts in hosting major competitions going forward. Nellakir are proud to be involved in this innovative and much needed project.

 

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At the same time Nellakir are proceeding to replace the existing court and facilities at Richmond High School, commencing shortly. This will also provide the local community with an excellent facility for premium competition.

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Unfortunately, the Boomers missed the medal count again in China at the World Cup, We look forward to the Olympics in Tokyo.

Here’s a quick report on the Bronze Medal play-off with France.

FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019: Australian Boomers fall to France in bronze medal game

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The Australian Boomers’ fell short in the bronze medal game, going down 67-59 to France at the FIBA Basketball World Cup.

After leading by as many as 15 points in the third quarter, the Boomers let the lead slip as Nando De Colo took over for France, surging back into the game behind a 19-6 run.

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The Boomers have lost four previous bronze medal games, all coming at the Olympic Games (1988, 1996, 2000, and 2016).

Nando De Colo led France with 19 points on 7-of-15 shooting, taking over in the second half to power France home.

Evan Fournier added 16 points, while Nic Batum and Andrew Albicy chipped in nine each, with Albiciy draining three triples in the fourth quarter, including the dagger to extend the lead to seven points with 1:06 remaining.

Joe Ingles led the Aussies with 17 points, five rebounds and three assists, while Patty Mills was on the only other scorer in double figures with 15.

Mills had the Aussies going early, scoring eight points in the first quarter as the Boomers took a 16-11 lead after 10 minutes. Ingles took over in the second, leading the Aussies with 12 points as they took a 30-21 lead into half-time.

Ingles’ and-1 layup over Rudy Gobert with 7:34 remaining in the third extended the lead to 15, before De Colo and Fournier powered France back into the game, cutting the lead to four points heading into the fourth quarter.

After both teams traded the lead, France siezed control when Gobert’s first bucket of the game put them up 60-56 with 2:06 remaining.

De Colo then produced a clutch steal with 1:25 remaining, before Albicy’s triple gave France some breathing room. France held strong down the stretch, thanks to some Batum free-throws, winning the final quarter 25-13.

De Colo was instrumental in France’s comeback, scoring nine points in the fourth quarter.

Turnovers continued to plague the Aussies in their semi-final, amassing 19 to France’s 13.

Source: sportingnews.com

Nellakir are the leading experts in the construction, cyclical maintenance and scheduled cleaning of all Premium Timber Sports Flooring. We supply and install ASF/Horner Sprung Timber Flooring systems exclusively.

For all your Timber Sports Flooring requirements – Construction, Installation, Replacement, Annual Maintenance and regular scheduled professional Court Cleaning, call Nellakir now on 03 9467 6126 or leave your details here for a prompt reply.

Nellakir – The Sports Flooring for Champions.

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

The World of Basketball is Changing – or is it? – USA Out of World Cup

For the first time since 2006, the USA won’t win Gold. And for the first time ever Australia’s Boomers have made it to through to the semi finals.

Perhaps what this shows is two things. First the NBA fiercely protects its players. Of the 35 players selected last year for the Team America squad only 4 ended up playing.

The second factor is that the sport is becoming truly global. Based on their talent, it could well be the Boomers will be a force to be reckoned with. Yes we can dream. The Boomers meet its nemesis Spain. Spain denied the Boomers a Bronze Medal in Rio De Janero at the last Olympics. Game Time 6pm Friday 13th.

Read about it all here…

USA knocked out of FIBA basketball World Cup, Australia advances to semi-finals for first time

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The Boomers have flown into the semi-finals of the FIBA basketball World Cup, but the favourites and reigning champion US team are out after suffering a shock defeat to France.

French star Evan Fournier scored 22 points and Rudy Gobert had 21 points with 16 rebounds as France beat the US 89-79, rallying from a seven-point, fourth-quarter deficit to pull off the upset.

For the first time since 2006, the US sent NBA players to a major international tournament and won’t win gold.

This is the first time the US will not win a medal at the World Cup since being stunned on home soil in 2002.

“[We’ve] just got to take it like a man at this point,” US guard Kemba Walker said.

“We lost. There’s nothing we can do. We competed. We’ve been competing since day one that we got to training camp. But we gave it everything we’ve got.

“I know we’re Team USA and things of that nature and they’ve been winning for a lot of years, but you know, we didn’t get a chance to pull it off.”

The US team was heavily undermanned heading into the tournament, with CJ McCollum — a player who was initially selected but later withdrew from the squad — saying that a fear of failure could have been to blame.

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‘What did you expect?’

Many pundits in the US were writing Team USA off before they even arrived in China.

Suffering a first-ever defeat to the Boomers in Melbourne before the World Cup just added fuel to the fire as journalists said the early exit came as no surprise.

“What’d you expect? I mean you rolled out your C team,” Former NBA star Raja Bell said.

“I’m not surprised that they ended up getting beat by someone because while they’re good players, they’re not the best that we have to offer.”

The US team had several high-profile players pull out of the squad in the early stages of training, with the AP reporting that of the 35 players originally picked last year, just four made it to China.

That led some US-based journalists to question the selection process.

“[It] doesn’t matter who is on the team, and I couldn’t be more proud of these 12 guys who sacrificed their summer to come here, having never played with each other before,” US coach Gregg Popovich said.

“They put themselves in the arena and competed, and they deserve credit for that, just like France deserves credit for winning. It’s not about, ‘Well, the United States didn’t have their other guys’.

“There’s no such thing as other guys. These are the guys that were here, and they did a great job, and I’m very proud of them.”

The US had won 58 consecutive tournament games in FIBA and Olympic competition, starting with the bronze-medal game at the 2006 World Championships and continuing through every FIBA Americas, World Cup and Olympics event since.

It was bidding to become the first nation to win three consecutive World Cups, after winning three straight Olympic golds in that span but will now focus on the Olympics in Japan next year.

“Any loss hurts,” Popovich said.

“And in this situation, it hurts more.

“But life goes on. This is very important and we would have loved to have won … but we’re all grown, we all have families and lives and life goes on.”

Boomers qualify for World Cup semis

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The Aussie Boomers have qualified for the Basketball World Cup semi-finals for the first time, after defeating Czech Republic 82-70 in China.

The Boomers, who had never gone beyond the quarter-finals in 11 previous appearances, defeated the tournament debutants on Wednesday night, and will meet Spain on Friday.

It was Spain who broke Australian hearts at the last Olympics by denying the Boomers a first ever medal in global competition by prevailing in the bronze medal match.

Meanwhile, France has upset the United States after winning 89-79 and will also advance to the semi-finals where they will take on Argentina.

This was Australia’s sixth straight win in China, and in doing so, they avoided becoming the latest surprise casualty at this unpredictable World Cup.

“They caused us to be a little anxious early,” Boomers coach Andrej Lemanis said.

“It took a while to find our rhythm offensively but once we did I thought we did a nice job.”

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San Antonio Spurs’ Patty Mills was again the standout, leading the scoring with 24 points.

The 31-year-old guard also had six assists and four rebounds.

Argentina stunned favourites Serbia on Tuesday while reigning two-time champions the United States were dumped out by France on Wednesday.

Australia were heavy favourites in Shanghai against the Czechs, who bravely hung on until midway through the third quarter, when the Boomers cranked up the pressure.

Australia had survived the World Cup “Group of Death” also including Canada, Senegal and Lithuania, before beating the Dominican Republic and then fellow semi-finalists France in a thriller.

Veteran Australian Andrew Bogut was again loudly booed throughout by fans in Shanghai upset with a tweet he wrote in July about Chinese swimming star Sun Yang.

He goaded the crowd afterwards with a dance as he came off the court.

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Source: abc.net.au

Nellakir are Victoria and Tasmania’s leading experts in Timber Sports Flooring. From full construction to annual maintenance and scheduled court cleaning, it’s simply one call – Nellakir – 03 9467 6126.

Sports Flooring for Champions

Go Boomers!

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

The Young Boomers – Australia’s latest crop.

Every year more young Australians are both nominated for the NBA draft and being accepted by a wide range of teams within the conference.

The standard of Australian Basketball is now at an all time high with our National team, the Boomers, considered a top hope in this year’s FIBA Basketball World Cup to be staged in China this September. This is the Men’s Championship. The Women’s Competition is held non-sequentially with the next World Cup event scheduled for 2022 in Bulgaria.

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The standard of Australian Basketball owes much to the improvement of Court facilities nationally. The proliferation of proper Sprung Timber Sports Flooring has occurred at a rapid rate since 2007, with many schools now boasting multipurpose Timber Sports Flooring courts. As well the federal and State Governments have actively funded State regional and suburban stadiums and Court complexes.

For the last 10-12 years, young students and community competitions have enjoyed the benefits of fully professional FIBA approved playing surfaces. No longer is there a transition period from hard surfaces to timber sports flooring and the consequent period of adjustment.

This season’s crop of young Boomers is living testimony to these advances.

Read about it here…

FIBA World Cup 2019: Boomers of the future – Who will lead the next generation of Aussies?

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With the Boomers assembling in Melbourne for their pre-World Cup selection camp, the squad is infused with a mixture of young and old.

Veterans Patty Mills, Andrew Bogut, Matthew Dellavedova, Joe Ingles, and Aron Baynes will lead the way once again in China at the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup, with Mills acknowledging the role of the senior players in fostering a winning environment for the program.

“Our leadership group has a responsibility to pass on what it means to be a Boomer and play for your country and make sure this program is at its peak knowing the type of talent coming through,” Mills said.

“We understand where we want this program to go and to achieve the number one goal of winning a medal and a gold medal as well.”

While the core group still has plenty of productive years ahead, with one eye on the future, we look at the Aussies who will carry the torch down the track as they usher in the next generation of Boomers.

Ben Simmons (Philadelphia 76ers – age 23)

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While Simmons won’t be in China for the World Cup, the All-Star point guard has re-affirmed his commitment to pulling on the green and gold in Tokyo next year as Australia chases its first Olympic medal for the men’s team.

Simmons gives the Boomers a commanding presence at the point guard position, ensuring a mismatch every time he steps on the floor, but given Australia’s glut of guards, the 6-foot-10 powerhouse can also be deployed as a power forward with his size and ability to finish at the rim.

Jonah Bolden (Philadelphia 76ers – age 23)

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Bolden is set to make his Boomers debut this year and figures as a key contributor at the World Cup.

At 6-foot-10, with a 7-foot-3 wingspan, Bolden gives the Boomers a key frontcourt piece for right now and in the future, with the flexibility to play as an international four or five.

Alongside Bogut and Baynes in the paint, Bolden’s athleticism and length provides the Boomers with a versatile floor-spacing big for coach Andrej Lemanis to switch things up and expect to see him get plenty of burn in China.

“It would mean the world to the country, and to the players themselves,” Bolden told Basketball Australia of winning a medal. “So for me, that’s obviously the goal… It’s definitely a challenge but I’m looking forward to it and I’m sure the other guys are looking forward to it as well.

“It’s always been a dream to play for the national team growing up. Being born and raised in Australia, for me it’s exciting times.”

Jock Landale (Zalgiris Kaunas, Lithuania – age 23)

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Landale is on the cusp of making the Boomers squad for China after an impressive Summer League campaign for the Milwaukee Bucks, averaging 18.3 points and 7.0 rebounds per game on 55 percent shooting from the field.

The 23-year-old continues to expand his game and has developed a reliable three-point shot to compliment his already polished low-post game.

Deng Adel (Brooklyn Nets – age 22)

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Perhaps Australia’s greatest area of need down the track is depth on the wing, with Ingles and Ryan Broekhoff, who will miss the World Cup, currently the Boomers best options on the perimeter.

While Adel doesn’t have the same threat from beyond the arc as Ingles and Broekhoff, the 22-year-old continues to improve as a shooter. Widely expected to make the roster for China, Adel’s high motor and athleticism will give the Boomers another transition threat at the World Cup and beyond.

Dante Exum (Utah Jazz – age 24)

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Exum won’t be in China for the World Cup as he continues his recovery from a knee injury, however he looks to be a certain stalwart for the Boomers down the track.

Mills and Dellavedova have had a monopoly on Australia’s point guard duties in recent years, but if the Utah Jazz point guard can stay healthy next season, he will be primed to play a big role at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Thon Maker (Detroit Pistons – age 22)

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Maker made his Boomers debut last year against the Phillippines, but will miss the upcoming World Cup to focus on his development with the Detroit Pistons.

While Bolden and Landale are currently with the squad in camp, Maker has the highest ceiling of new wave of big men and with his size and shot-blocking ability, he projects to have a bright future in international basketball and will push for selection at next year’s Olympics.

Josh Green (Arizona – age 18)

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Green is the youngest of the group and is yet to even play a game in the NCAA, but all indicators point to him being a high draft pick in 2020. Will that be too soon to see him in Tokyo? Most likely, but Green is certainly one to watch for the future.

The springy 18-year-old looks every bit the modern NBA combo guard at 6-foot-6 and alongside Exum and Simmons could form a dynamic playmaking trio for the Boomers.

Source: sportingnews.com

The future looks very rosy. And to ensure premium court surfaces for Timber Sports Flooring, always call on the leading experts in the construction, maintenance and professional regular cleaning of all Timber Sports Floors in Victoria, Nellakir Pty Ltd. Call now on 03 9467 6126 or leave your details here for a prompt reply. Book a no-obligation free consultation to ensure your facility is maintained to the highest standard.

Nellakir – Timber 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.