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.

Young Aussie Boomers fall to NZ Tall Blacks

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

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

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Read about it here…

NZ Stars Turn Missing Finals Pain into Win Over Boomers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: nbl.com.au

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

Vale Kobe Bryant.

Simply a champion of the highest level in the sport of Basketball. It would be remiss of us not to acknowledge what a giant of the NBA and the US Basketball team Kobe was.

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From CNN, we reprint this acknowledgement of his status from Jill Martin’s article of Jan 27th 2020.

Kobe Bryant, NBA superstar and future Hall of Famer, is dead at 41

It’s hard to believe NBA superstar Kobe Bryant, whose prodigious talent and win-at-all-costs spirit made him one of the most famous and decorated athletes in history, is gone.

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He was the rare celebrity who didn’t need a last name. Oprah. LeBron. Beyonce. Kobe. Everyone knew who you were talking about.

Still youthful at 41, Bryant — who died in a helicopter crash Sunday in California — looked like he could suit up and drop 30 points on a rival NBA team. It doesn’t seem that long ago that he was scoring 60 points in his final NBA game, soaking up the cheers of Los Angeles Lakers fans who worshiped him for two decades as one of the city’s favorite sons.

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After his 20-year NBA career — all with the Lakers — Bryant is all but assured of being a first-ballot inductee into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame later this year.

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“He was a fierce competitor, one of the greats of the game and a creative force,” said fellow NBA icon Michael Jordan.

An 18-time All-Star, Bryant was known for his remarkable scoring ability — his turnaround jumper was nearly unstoppable — and his championship pedigree. He teamed with fellow All-Star Shaquille O’Neal to win three consecutive NBA titles from 2000 to 2002 and later won two more rings, in 2009 and 2010.

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Known as the Black Mamba — a nickname he gave himself — Bryant twice led the NBA in scoring and won the league’s Most Valuable Player award in 2008.

Bryant’s daughter Gianna, 13, was with her father on the helicopter and was also killed in the crash, a source with knowledge of the situation told CNN.

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“Kobe was so much more than an athlete, he was a family man. That was what we had most in common,” O’Neal wrote on Twitter Sunday. “We love our families. Whenever we got together I would hug his children like they were my own and he would embrace my kids like they were his.”

“The NBA family is devastated by the tragic passing of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver in a statement.

“For 20 seasons, Kobe showed us what is possible when remarkable talent blends with an absolute devotion to winning. He was one of the most extraordinary players in the history of our game with accomplishments that are legendary … But he will be remembered most for inspiring people around the world to pick up a basketball and compete to the very best of their ability.”

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He entered the NBA at age 17

Bryant was born on August 23, 1978, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His parents, Joe and Pam Bryant, gave him the namesake after seeing a type of steak on a restaurant menu. Kobe beef is from a species of cattle, Wagyu, raised in the Kobe region of Japan.

He lived in Italy from the age of six to 13 while his father played professional basketball, and he spoke Italian fluently. In one of his final interviews before he died, Bryant told CNN how he developed a love of soccer in Italy but also witnessed racism before moving back to the United States.

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“When I was growing up in Italy, I’ve obviously witnessed it firsthand going to certain soccer matches and things of that nature,” Bryant told CNN’s Andy Scholes. “My parents have taught me and educated me on how to deal with those sorts of things.”

Bryant played high school basketball at Lower Merion in Pennsylvania.

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“This is a difficult day for everyone in our school community,” said Amy Buckman, a spokeswoman for Lower Merion School District.

“Mr. Bryant’s connection to Lower Merion High School, where he played basketball prior to joining the NBA, has raised the profile of our high school and our district throughout the world. Our school community will always be grateful for his ongoing generosity to his alma mater, including his dedication of our Kobe Bryant gymnasium and his support of our girls and boys basketball teams.”

Bryant went straight from high school to the NBA, drafted by the Charlotte Hornets with the 13th overall pick of the 1996 draft, making him the youngest NBA player in history at age 17. Bryant was then traded to the Los Angeles Lakers for veteran center Vlade Divac.

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He soon became one of the most decorated players in NBA history and also won two Olympic gold medals for USA men’s basketball, in 2008 and 2012.

Off the court his dazzling smile sold everything from Nike shoes to McDonald’s hamburgers.

There was controversy, however, when Bryant was accused of sexual assaulting a 19-year-old Colorado hotel worker in 2003. Bryant insisted the encounter was consensual. The criminal sexual assault charge was dropped in 2004, and the accuser agreed to settle her civil lawsuit against Bryant in 2005.

LeBron James: ‘Kobe is a legend, that’s for damn sure’

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At 6 feet, 6 inches, Bryant could run the point or play shooting guard, even though his position was small forward.

One of the most memorable games in NBA history came on January 22, 2006, when Bryant scored 81 points in a Lakers’ 122-104 win over Toronto. Only Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point game in 1962 tops this performance.

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And in his final game of his career in 2016, the Black Mamba did it his way, dropping 60 points — on 50 shots — in a Lakers win against the Utah Jazz at a frenzied Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Bryant finished his NBA career with 33,643 points. A day before he died, he was passed by another Laker and superstar, LeBron James, on the league’s all-time scoring list. James accomplished the feat in — of all places — Philadelphia, against the 76ers.

Bryant took to Twitter after James passed him, writing, “Continuing to move the game forward @KingJames. Much respect my brother.”

James, who had “Mamba 4 Life” and “8/24 KB” in gold marker on his sneakers before Saturday’s game, talked after the game about Bryant’s influence on him.

“The story is just too much,” James said Saturday night. “It doesn’t make sense. … Now I’m here in a Lakers uniform, in Philadelphia, where he’s from… it’s surreal.”

James — who, like Bryant entered the NBA straight out of high school — said Bryant was someone he looked up to when he was in grade school and high school.

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“Seeing him come straight out of high school, he is someone that I used as inspiration,” James said. “It was like, wow. Seeing a kid, 17 years old, come into the NBA and trying to make an impact on a franchise, I used it as motivation.

“He helped me before he even knew of me because of what he was able to do. So, just to be able to, at this point of my career, to share the same jersey that he wore, be with this historical franchise and just represent the purple and gold, it’s very humbling and it’s dope.

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“Kobe’s a legend, that’s for damn sure.”

Another Lakers legend, Magic Johnson, posted a series of tweets on the loss of Bryant, including one showing a picture of Bryant with his two different jersey numbers — 8 and 24 — being retired.

“Kobe and I shared so many special conversations about life and basketball,” Johnson wrote in one tweet. “We had so much in common off the court. I used to love talking to him about Lakers basketball, being fathers and husbands and how much we loved Italy. I will miss those conversations and him so much.”

He coached his daughter, Gianna

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Bryant married wife Vanessa in 2001. They had four daughters: Natalia (born in 2003), Gianna (2006), Bianka (2016) and Capri (2019).

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He and his daughter Gianna were expected at the Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks for a basketball game scheduled for Sunday afternoon. Bryant was to coach his daughter’s team in the game.

Bryant said that he had watched little basketball after retiring — in 2018, he won an Oscar for best animated short for “Dear Basketball,” which was based on a poem he wrote — but Gianna’s love of the game sparked his interest in coaching her team.

The two were seen together at numerous NBA games recently, and videos of Gianna’s basketball skills went viral despite her just being 13.

Bryant described Gianna — who had WNBA aspirations — as “hellbent” on going to the University of Connecticut, the alma mater of Diana Taurasi and Maya Moore, two players Bryant recently told CNN “could play in the NBA right now.”

“The best thing that happens is when we go out and fans will come up to me — and she’ll be standing next to me — and be like, ‘Hey you’ve got to have a boy. You and V gotta have a boy and then have somebody carry on the tradition, the legacy,'” Bryant once said in an interview with ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel.

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But, Bryant added, Gianna would then pipe up, saying, “I got this.”

Source: edition.cnn.com

A true champion, an icon of the game. Nellakir note with great sadness his passing.

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

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 2019 – 2020 NBA Season Rankings as they stand.

Basketball fans world-wide follow the NBA with great interest and intensity. It’s the sports premium competition. Just as the premium playing surface here in Victoria is FIBA approved ASF/Horner Timber Sports Flooring supplied and maintained by Nellakir – the experts in the construction, maintenance and scheduled cleaning of all premium Timber Sports Flooring in Victoria and Tasmania.

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The current NBA rankings are as follows (Courtesy of Jason Guilbault and reprinted from Lineup.com)

2020 NBA Power Rankings (Updated 12.13.2019)

los-angeles-lakers1. Los Angeles Lakers

2019-2020 Record 22-3 Previous Rank: 2

Winning nine of their last ten games, and with the big names clicking, the Lakers come in red hot. Anthony Davis and LeBron James are playing like an MVP duo, and that rusty start to the season is nowhere to be found.

milwaukee-bucks.png2. Milwaukee Bucks

2019-2020 Record: 22-3 Previous Rank: 3

The Bucks have rattled off 16 straight wins at the moment, and are putting up over 120 points per game. Giannis Antetokounmpo has taken his game to another level, and the secondary pieces are all playing well.

los-angeles-clippers.png3. LA Clippers

2019-2020 Record 19-7 Previous Rank: 5

You could say this Los Angeles team has had a harder time gelling with new names, but now 8-2 in their last ten games, and everyone healthy again, the Clippers have been showing why they are such a tough team to beat.

miami-heat.png4. Miami Heat

2019-2020 Record 18-6 Previous Rank: 6

Miami is just seemingly playing under the radar as they have the third best winning percentage in the league right now. Jimmy Butler has been playing excellent basketball, but once again Erik Spolstra has been doing a lot with younger or lesser names.

philadelphia-76ers5. Philadelphia 76ers

2019-2020 Record 19-7 Previous Rank: 10

Philadelphia has struggled on the road this season going 6-7, but they have dominated at home. Defensively they have been excellent, but offense has hit a wall at times. This was expected to be an early season struggle at times, and hopefully it is just that.

toronto-raptors.png6. Toronto Raptors

2019-2020 Record: 16-8 Previous Rank: 8

Toronto has hit some tougher teams in their schedule, and we have seen them showcase where they are exactly at in this league. They are a top ten team for sure, but are closer to ten than they are to one.

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Houston-Rockets.jpg7. Houston Rockets

2019-2020 Record: 16-8 Previous Rank: 9

Houston is a tough team to rank right now, as they have been a bit inconsistent to start the season. James Harden is scoring at will, but overall this team doesn’t seem to have quite the same appeal as the last year or two.

dallas-mavericks.png8. Dallas Mavericks

2019-2020 Record 17-7 Previous Rank: 12

Dallas is certainly here. They are scoring 118 points per game with Luka Doncic leading the way, and we have yet to see Kristaps Porzingis really click. The Mavericks are 8-2 in their last ten games and have put themselves as one of the better teams in basketball.

indiana-pacers.png9. Indiana Pacers

2019-2020 Record 16-9 Previous Rank: 14

Indiana is 7-3 in their last ten games, and Malcolm Brogdon has strong competition for most improved but we can see what he brings to the Pacers. Domantas Sabonis has also been playing tremendous basketball.
Boston Celtics10. Boston Celtics

boston-celtics.png10. Boston Celtics

2019-2020 Record 17-7 Previous Rank: 1

It has been a few weeks since I last updated, so you can see a steeper drop here for Boston. They have failed to beat some of the more notable teams of late, and the offense and rebounding still seem iffy.

denver-nuggets.png11. Denver Nuggets

2019-2020 Record 15-8 Previous Rank: 4

A team that was expected to be contenders in the west has not looked to be that just yet. Returning the same core, this is a bit confusing, even with a tougher conference. Defensively they have played well, but the offense comes and goes, and the same goes with Nikola Jokic.

utah-jazz.png12. Utah Jazz

2019-2020 Record 14-11 Previous Rank: 7

Utah has been a bit disappointing so far this season, but there is still a long way to go. They have slipped of late going 4-6 in their last ten games, as they have really struggled on the road.

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brooklyn-nets.png13. Brooklyn Nets

2019-2020 Record 13-11 Previous Rank: 17

Brooklyn has gone 9-4 without Kyrie Irving this season, and are a few games over .500 now on the year. This has been a weird season for Brooklyn, and Irving’s return is going to cause more talking points if they slip once he returns.

phoenix-suns.png14. Phoenix Suns

2019-2020 Record 11-13 Previous Rank: 11

We knew Phoenix wasn’t going to keep it up, but this team is already drastically improved upon last year. Deandre Ayton is going to return from suspension fairly soon, which will help.

oklahoma-city-thunder.png15. Oklahoma City Thunder

2019-2020 Record 11-13 Previous Rank: 18

Oklahoma City has relied upon their strong defense so far this season, and while they are not going anywhere this season, they have been very competitive and not an easy win for the rest of the league.

orlando-magic.png16. Orlando Magic

2019-2020 Record 11-13 Previous Rank: 20

This is looking a lot like last year’s Orlando team where they are struggling to score, but the defense has been able to keep them in games. They are allowing the fewest points per game this season, but are also scoring the fewest.

sacramento-kings.png17. Sacramento Kings

2019-2020 Record 11-13 Previous Rank: 24

It was a slow start to the season, but the Sacramento Kings have picked up their play. It was going to be tough building upon last season, but the Kings flirting with a .500 record the rest of the way wouldn’t be the worst outcome.

MinnesotaTimberwolves.jpg18. Minnesota Timberwolves

2019-2020 Record 10-14 Previous Rank: 13

Currently on a six game losing streak, and 2-8 in the last ten games, Minnesota’s fast start to the season quickly came to a close. Defensively this team continues to be one of the worst in the league.

charlotte-hornets.png19. Charlotte Hornets

2019-2020 Record 11-16 Previous Rank: 23

I don’t think anybody expected Charlotte to be this competitive. It comes with Devonte Graham who has blossomed into a machine in the Hornets backcourt. While they still have below average talent around him, the Hornets are not a team to take lightly.

detroit-pistons.png20. Detroit Pistons

2019-2020 Record 10-15 Previous Rank: 21

Detroit continues to play middling basketball, and are 5-5 in the last ten games. Blake Griffin has not looked like himself since returning, and the injury might still be looming.

merlin_164533344_5ec704a8-c067-4491-8472-c0a4d00bb22b-articleLarge.jpg

portland-trail-blazers.png21. Portland Trail Blazers

2019-2020 Record 10-16 Previous Rank: 16

The Trail Blazers have been one of the more disappointing teams in the league this season, which is surprising after being one of the more consistent teams in the league. However, this might be the year they look to move pieces around Lillard.

san-antonio-spurs.png22. San Antonio Spurs

2019-2020 Record 9-15 Previous Rank: 15

San Antonio is allowing 115 points per game, which is uncharacteristic for them. DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge are not a duo that will contend, and the Spurs have to know that.

chicago-bulls.png23. Chicago Bulls

2019-2020 Record 9-17 Previous Rank: 27

Chicago is on their way to at least surpassing last year’s win total, but they remain one of the poorer teams in the league. Zach LaVine leads a stagnant offense, and we haven’t seen bigger steps from the young guy.

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memphis-grizzlies.png24. Memphis Grizzlies

2019-2020 Record 8-16 Previous Rank: 25

Memphis has a young core that is fun to watch, and they are pushing the pace more than any other season prior. The wins won’t come, but at least Memphis is a team we get excited to watch.

washington-wizards.png25. Washington Wizards

2019-2020 Record 7-16 Previous Rank: 29

The Wizards have a young team of names they are looking to see if they fit in the future. It won’t be a pretty record, but this Wizards team can put up points in bunches, unfortunately they are allowing over 120 per game.

Atlanta-Hawks.jpg26. Atlanta Hawks

2019-2020 Record 6-19 Previous Rank: 19

Atlanta continues to spiral out of control, which is a bummer after I believed they could be a team to push the playoff picture given the talented young squad. That prediction looks to be a year away.

new-orleans-pelicans.png27. New Orleans Pelicans

2019-2020 Record 6-19 Previous Rank: 26

There were higher expectations than what they likely should have had. New Orleans has now lost ten straight games, and continue to allow teams to run right through them offensively.

cleveland-cavaliers.png28. Cleveland Cavaliers

2019-2020 Record 6-19 Previous Rank: 22

Cleveland has listed about everyone for a possible trade as they are 6-19 and heading back down in the standings to where they were last season. This team will get worse once Kevin Love is traded.

golden-state-warriors.jpg29. Golden State Warriors

2019-2020 Record: 5-21 Previous Rank: 30

Golden State is just flat out taking a year off after being the best team in the league over the last five years. With the lineups they are rolling out due to injuries, it is no surprise.

new-york-knicks.png30. New York Knicks

2019-2020 Record 5-20 Previous Rank: 28

The Knicks are the Knicks. They continue to be ran in a horrendous fashion. Dave Fizdale has now been fired, and this is not a job I would want moving forward.

Source: lineups.com

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For a complete court maintenance and cleaning program, please call 03 9467 6126. Book in a free consultation from one of our expert technicians and start the new decade in 2020 on the right foot. For premium performance on all Timber Sports Flooring, always rely on Nellakir, the sports flooring experts. Leave your details here for a prompt reply.

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.

Ben Simmons – Melbourne Boy Under Scrutiny

Ben Simmons will play for Australia at the next Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020. The former Junior from Knox Raiders and Whitefriars College in Melbourne’s leafy Eastern Suburbs was last year’s Rookie of the Year (2018). As is often the case, awards bring greater scrutiny . The scribes are now questioning his ability to shoot 3 pointers.

Here’s the latest 76’s Game report.

Simmons still gun shy from 3-point range as 76ers maintain unbeaten record at home

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With Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons slightly subdued it was up to Philadelphia’s other NBA gun, Tobias Harris, to fire them past Utah 103-94 with 26 points and nine rebounds.

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Power forward Al Horford also added 17 points and eight rebounds for the 76ers.

Embiid contributed 16 points and 11 rebounds while Simmons had 14 points, nine assists, eight rebounds and four steals for the Sixers, who improved to a league-best 10-0 at home.

It was their fourth straight win.

The Jazz whittled down a 26-point deficit to close within 101-94 in the final minute before Embiid sank two free throws with 41.3 seconds left.

Rudy Gobert paced the Jazz with a season-high 27 points to go with 12 rebounds while Joe Ingles had 13 points, eight assists and eight rebounds.

Giannis Antetokounmpo needed only 14 minutes to record another double-double, finishing with 29 points and 15 rebounds as Milwaukee won their 12th straight game in a 132-88 rout of the New York Knicks.

The Bucks (18-3) led by as many as 47 and cruised behind Antetokounmpo, who pulled down his 10th rebound in the second quarter for his NBA-leading 20th double-double.

The reigning MVP shot 10 of 14 from the field, including 3 of 4 from 3-point range, in 22 minutes. He exited with five minutes left in the third quarter and the Bucks ahead 93-54.

Milwaukee’s winning streak is the longest this NBA this season and the franchise’s longest since 1981-82.

Trae Young scored 24 points, rookie De’Andre Hunter added 18 and Atlanta snapped a 10-game losing streak with a 104-79 win over Golden State in a match-up of teams with the worst records in the NBA.

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The Warriors (4-18) finished with a season low in points.

Golden State dressed just nine players, even with centre Kevon Looney returning to action after missing 19 games with a nerve condition.

Rookie Eric Paschall led the Warriors with 24 points but his teammates combined to shoot 24 of 72 and the they were slowed by 25 turnovers, which the Hawks converted into 25 points.

Kelly Oubre Jr scored 23 points, including two clutch 3-pointers in the final minute that lifted Phoenix over Charlotte 109-104.

Devin Booker added 23 points and Dario Saric had 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Suns, who snapped a three-game skid.

Seven Indiana players scored in double figures and Domantas Sabonis flirted with a triple-double as the visiting Pacers beat Memphis 117-104.

Sacramento managed to take three quarters off Chicago but lose 113-106 after letting the second period slide 33-21.

Source: https://wwos.nine.com.au/basketball/nba-wins-for-76ers-bucks-hawks-pacers/77b44f6b-0edd-4c5f-bd00-2e8c292dea37

Whatever the outcome in the NBA, here in Victoria and Tasmania players have the opportunity to play on FIBA approved ASF/Horner Timber Sports Flooring in a wide number of Stadium locations, installed by Nellakir Sports Flooring.

Nellakir are the experts in the Construction and Installation of Sprung Timber Sports Flooring, as well as providing superior Annual Maintenance and scheduled Court Cleaning. For the perfect playing surface every time.

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

Schedule a no-obligation consultation with one of our expert technicians, at your convenience. Annual Maintenance including re-coating, linemarking and floor repairs can still be booked in for January/February at your convenience.

Nellakir – Championship Timber 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.

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

When preparing for a major game or tournament, call Nellakir to ensure you present a premium surface. Nellakir are the leading experts in the construction, maintenance and scheduled cleaning of all Timber Sports Flooring. Utilising the FIBA approved ASF/Horner Sports Flooring Systems exclusive to Nellakir in Victoria and Tasmania, Nellakir provide championship surfaces in Sprung Timber Flooring at all levels of competition.

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

Nellakir – The 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.

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

LAL.jpg

#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

MIN.jpg

#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

PHO.jpg

#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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