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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Cal now on 03 9467 6126 to book a consultation with one of our expert technicians to develop a comprehensive maintenance and cleaning schedule for your facility. Or simply leave your details here for a prompt reply.

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Ben Simmons in Melbourne

Did you miss it? Ben Simmons conducted his third annual Basketball Camp Melbourne – 2019 on July 28th out at Mullum Mullum Stadium in Donvale. Here’s a boy returning to his roots – he went to Secondary College at nearby Whitefriars College.

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With 4.3 million Instagram followers, it’s obvious this guy is numero uno with the fans right now. For their entertainment he toured the Melbourne Zoo, the Street Art Alleyways (Hey! Let’s call it what it is – Graffiti – but oh so high quality. Real art. Remember Banksy has done Melbourne). Photo ops with kiddies and koalas, Ben and a dingo – it’s all very human and very cool.

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Then the press has jumped on him for opting out of the FIBA World Cup scheduled for China in a months time. But perhaps it’s timely to consider what Boomers Coach Andrej Lemanis has to say on the matter.

Boomers hit back at Simmons backlash ‘doing a disservice’ to World Cup team

Boomers coach Andrej Lemanis says the noise around the withdrawal of Ben Simmons for the World Cup warm-up games is “doing a disservice” to the same squad that captivated the country at the 2016 Olympics.

The Boomers, powered by Patty Mills and Andrew Bogut, were denied bronze in Brazil in an agonising one-point loss to Spain that is still raw with the players.

The addition of NBA All-Star Ben Simmons was touted as the missing piece as Australia hunt a maiden international medal at the World Cup in China from September 1.

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The Philadelphia 76ers talent was forced to twice retreat from his initial Boomers commitment though, first pulling out of the World Cup and last week excusing himself from Australia’s four lead-up games against the USA and Canada in Melbourne and Perth.

That, along with multiple high-profile US withdrawals, earned the ire of some fans, who Lemanis said would soon be reminded of the Australian squad’s depth.

“It’s doing a disservice to the talent available to us,” Lemanis said of the grumbles.

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“We’ve got four NBA champions (Aron Baynes, Matthew Dellavedova, Bogut and Mills) plus Joe Ingles who starts on a great NBA team (Utah Jazz) and a core of the group that did well in Rio and captured the imagination of the Australian public,” he said.

“We’ve got a talented team that is perhaps being undersold by the tension put on Ben not playing.

“Hopefully we can digest and think ‘we’ve still got a good team and they share the ball, it’ll be fun to watch’ and that is what people enjoyed about Rio.”

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A 17-man squad will gather in Melbourne on Friday, with the final 12-man World Cup roster due to be announced next week.

Australia will face Canada, Senegal and Lithuania in their World Cup pool games, with the final in Beijing on September 15.

“To have players on hand with the talent required (to win the World Cup) is just awesome,” Lemanis said.

“You don’t need the stars and planets to align to have a chance of winning and that’s a good feeling.

“It’s not even a feeling of pressure or extra pressure; it’s your own self-motivation.”

Source: wwos.nine.com.au

For premium quality Timber Sports Flooring all year round championship quality surfaces, always rely on Victoria’s leading experts in Sports Flooring, Nellakir. From full construction and installation to regular professional cleaning, protect your valuable Sports Flooring. Call Nellakir on 03 9467 6126 or leave your details here for a prompt response.

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 – A Vision of the Future.

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

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

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

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

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

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

“What’s that darling?” asked my mum.

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

“Oh my goodness” says my mum.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: www.smh.com.au

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

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

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

Nellakir – The Sports Flooring for Champions.

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

The Winners and Losers 2019 NBA Free Agency Period.

After the play-offs, probably the most interesting time in the NBA competition calendar is the free agency period preceeding the annual players draft. This year there have been, as always, some big surprises, and some big disappointments.

Winners and Losers thus far in 2019 after the first wave of contracts are as follows…

2019 NBA free agency winners and losers after first wave of contracts

NBA free agency 2019 began Sunday night at 6 p.m. ET, and there was a flurry of activity that will shape the balance of power in the league for many years to come.
Several superstars changed teams, creating a wide open 2019-20 NBA title race that should produce lots of compelling drama. As of Monday morning, more than $3 billion in new contracts had been agreed to.

Let’s take a look at the early winners and losers from NBA free agency.


Winner: Philadelphia 76ers, Al Horford

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Additions:
–Tobias Harris (five years, $180M)
–Al Horford (four years, $109M)
–Josh Richardson (sign-and-trade)

Departures:
–J.J. Redick
–Jimmy Butler

The 76ers kept Harris and signed one of the best defensive and 3-point shooting big men in the league in Horford. They also are expected to add a solid young player in Richardson as part of a sign-and-trade with the Heat involving Butler. The Sixers are now the likely favorites in the Eastern Conference title race entering the 2019-20 campaign. Philly’s starting five of Ben Simmons, Richardson, Harris, Horford and Joel Embiid probably is the best in the league.


Loser: New York Knicks

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The Knicks took so much of a beating on social media and television for not being able to sign Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving that the team actually had to put out a press release explaining the situation. After that, the Knicks agreed to contracts with role players such as Julius Randle, Bobby Portis, Taj Gibson, Elfrid Payton and Reggie Bullock. These additions could prevent the Knicks from being the worst team in the NBA again and thus decreasing their chances of winning the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. Sunday was a total disaster for the Knicks, and to make matters worse, Durant and Irving agreed to join New York’s cross-town rival, the Brooklyn Nets.

Ouch.


Winner: Utah Jazz

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The Jazz were bounced in the first of the playoffs this past season partly because second-year guard Donovan Mitchell was forced to shoulder too much of the burden offensively. Well, the Jazz went out and acquired star point guard Mike Conley in a trade before the draft, then agreed to sign Bojan Bogdanovic (four years, $73 million) and Ed Davis (two years, $10 million) in free agency Sunday. Utah’s depth has improved quite a bit, and it wouldn’t be shocking if they made a deep playoff run next season.


Loser: Charlotte Hornets

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Kemba Walker was the greatest player in Charlotte Hornets history (this iteration, of course), but they weren’t willing to pay him enough and he instead went to the Boston Celtics on a four-year max contract. The Hornets lost their franchise point guard for nothing and tried to make up for it by overpaying for Celtics backup Terry Rozier (three years, $58 million). If the Hornets weren’t willing to pay up (and/or go into the luxury tax) to keep Walker, they should have traded him before the deadline in February. This was horrendous asset management by Charlotte, a franchise likely doomed to a lengthy rebuild.


Winner: Brooklyn Nets

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Sunday was the greatest day in the history of the Brooklyn Nets. They agreed to four-year near-max contracts with superstar free agents Kevin Durant and Kyrie irving, ensuring the Nets are the marquee basketball team in New York for the next couple of seasons. Durant isn’t likely to play until the 2020-21 season after suffering a ruptured Achilles in the 2019 NBA Finals, but the long-term outlook for the Nets is as bright as any team.


Loser: Orlando Magic

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Does anyone know what the Magic are trying to accomplish?

Overpaying to keep veteran center Nikola Vucevic (four years, $100 million) was bad enough, and then they agreed to an even worse contract with veteran role player Al-Farouq Aminu (three years, $29 million). Terrence Ross also re-signed with the Magic for four years and $54 million! Orlando is close to the luxury tax despite being nowhere near a legit contender in the Eastern Conference. We haven’t even talked about the team’s poor drafting over the last decade, including 2018 first-round Mo Bamba, who had a very poor rookie campaign.

The Magic better hope they earn a playoff spot next season because they’ve spent a ton of money for a roster with zero players with superstar potential.


Winner: Golden State Warriors

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The Warriors lost Kevin Durant to the Nets, but they were able to re-sign Klay Thompson (five years, $190 million) and acquire All-Star point guard D’Angelo Russell in a sign-and-trade with Brooklyn. Russell, Stephen Curry and Draymond Green should help the Warriors stay near the top of the Western Conference while Thompson recovers from an ACL tear suffered in the 2019 NBA Finals. Golden State also was able to dump veteran forward Andre Iguodala’s contract on the Memphis Grizzlies.


Loser: Sacramento Kings

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The Kings exceeded expectations last season and contended for a playoff spot in the Western Conference. Instead of preserving their salary cap space or spending it wisely, they wasted it on veterans such as Harrison Barnes (four years, $85 million), Trevor Ariza (two years, $25 million) and Dewayne Dedmon (three years, $40 million). Spending $150 million and not adding one established star to a very talented young core of De’Aaron Fox, Marvin Bagley and Harry Giles was a huge mistake.


Winner: Milwaukee Bucks

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Losing talented guard Malcolm Brogdon hurts, but the Bucks were smart not to pay the four-year, $85 million contract the Indiana Pacers offered him. Milwaukee did preserve its championship-caliber roster by agreeing to deals with guards Khris Middleton (five years, $178 million) and George Hill (three years, $29 million), as well as center Brook Lopez (four years, $52 million) to surround franchise cornerstone and reigning league MVP winner Giannis Antetokounmpo with enough talent. The Bucks had to maintain a quality roster in an effort to convince Antetokounmpo to re-sign in 2021 (or sooner).


Loser: Boston Celtics

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Replacing Kyrie Irving with Kemba Walker could be a plus for Boston. Walker isn’t as talented as Irving, but he’s a better leader and should create a stronger team chemistry than what we saw from the Celtics this past season.

Losing Al Horford really hurts, though. You could justify the C’s not paying Horford the four-year, $109 million contract he too from the 76ers, but losing him to a division rival such as Philly is a tough pill to swallow. Horford’s leadership, defense and 3-point shooting should make him a great fit on a Sixers team that likely will be the favorite to win the Eastern Conference next season.

Horford’s departure is made worse by the fact veteran center Aron Baynes also isn’t returning, leaving the Celtics with a frontcourt lacking both depth and experience. Boston reportedly has agreed to a two-year, $10 million deal with veteran center Enes Kanter. He’s a great rebounder and can provide some inside scoring, but he’s a poor defender and won’t stretch the floor as a 3-point shooter.

The Celtics still have a really good roster, but they’ve definitely taken a step back to this point in free agency.

Source: nbcsports.com

This year it’s time for your team and your facilities, your premium sprung timber basketball court to get on the winners list. A premium Timber Sports Floor needs specialist care and attention. It’s a massive investment and the smartest thing to do is engage Nellakir, the industry’s leading experts in Timber Sports Flooring in Victoria and Tasmania – for regular professional expert cleaning and maintenance, annual maintenance (resurfacing, re-lining) and for the full construction and assembly of all Sprung Timber Sports Floors.

Call now on 03 9467 6126 to arrange a free, no-obligation consultation, 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.

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

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

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

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

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Playing from the NBA for Australia will be:

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

The USA squad has yet to be announced.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nellakir – The Sports Flooring for Champions.

The perfect surface – every time.

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

Nearly a clean sweep! Raptors take the title 4-2

For the first time a team from outside the US has taken the NBA Championships – the Toronto Raptors. The Raptors won the last game – game 6 – 114/110. So it was still a close result. But winners are grinners!

Ok so it wasn’t really close to a clean sweep, but a clean sweep is what you get when you decide to engage Nellakir for your regular maintenance on your premium Timber Sports Flooring.

Engage Victoria’s leading experts to ensure you provide the perfect playing surface for every game.

Nellakir are the leading experts in the Construction and Maintenance of all Timber Sports Flooring, using ASF/Horner timber flooring for all Timber Sports Flooring it constructs and installs. Ensure end to end service with the leading experts in the field – Nellakir.

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Schedule a free consultation and ensure your facility presents its Timber Sports Flooring in premium condition.

Meanwhile, here is a full report on the Raptors big win, the last game of the series and that title.

Toronto Raptors Win the NBA Championship

With a victory in Game 6, the Raptors dethrone the league’s reigning dynasty and claim the first title in franchise history

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OAKLAND, Calif.—Before the first NBA team outside the U.S. ever played a game, the new franchise in Toronto needed a name. The owners asked the entire nation of Canada for ideas. Some were good. Some were bad. Some were terrible. And one was the Raptors. It was 1994. “Jurassic Park” was big. That was reason enough for this basketball team to be named after dinosaurs.

Now the Toronto Raptors can be called something else: NBA champions.

The Raptors beat the Golden State Warriors, 114-110, in Game 6 of the Finals on Thursday to win the series, 4-2, with a commanding performance on the road in Oracle Arena’s last game to dethrone the league’s reigning dynasty and win the Raptors’ first title.

To hear “Toronto Raptors” and “NBA champions” in the same breath would’ve sounded like a hallucination to most fans for most of the franchise’s existence. This is the same team that once played in purple dinosaur uniforms. They couldn’t keep star players and couldn’t attract free agents. Toronto was too cold, too Canadian, too much unlike any other team in the league to compete at this level.

But now they have to declare the Larry O’Brien trophy at customs because of someone who has always been different himself.

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There is no one in the NBA like Kawhi Leonard. He is quieter than every other player. He is also better. And he just put together one of the greatest playoff runs in the history of the league.

But it wasn’t just him in a Game 6 that was both a classic and a fittingly insane send-off to this arena. Kyle Lowry scored 26 points. Pascal Siakam, who was studying to be a Catholic priest in Cameroon less than a decade ago, also scored 26 points. Fred VanVleet, an undrafted guard who is very generously listed at 6 feet tall, had 22 points and hit some of the biggest shots in the game.

Still, it was barely enough. The Warriors were the champions for a reason and they refused to go down without a fight. They didn’t have Kevin Durant, who ruptured his Achilles tendon in Game 5. Then they lost Klay Thompson, who was having a brilliant game when he went up for a dunk attempt in the third quarter and went down with a torn ACL. He tried to stay in the game anyway.

But after 47 minutes of pandemonium, there was one last minute of craziness and the Warriors had a shot that everyone in the Bay Area would’ve sold their houses for: a Stephen Curry 3-pointer for the win. “I just thought it was in,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “I always think every shot Steph takes is going in.”

This one didn’t. Curry missed. The Warriors called a timeout that they didn’t have. And the Raptors won the championship.

They are one of the strangest championship teams the NBA has ever seen. This is a team without a lottery pick but with a foundational superstar player who might be gone after just one season. It’s a team with a rookie coach who spent decades in the G League and Great Britain. It’s a team that took a long, winding road to get here and couldn’t be exactly sure where it was going.

But this is also a team that pursued a surprisingly rare strategy: the Raptors did everything in their power to win a championship this year.

Toronto’s season that ended in confetti began nearly a year ago in a hotel room in Kenya. That’s where Raptors President Masai Ujiri pulled the trigger on the trade that would change the future of his franchise.

His team was coming off the two winningest seasons in its history, but the Raptors kept crashing into a ceiling with an odd resemblance to LeBron James, and their city had become known by another name: LeBronto. Ujiri needed to make drastic changes. He’d already fired the league’s reigning coach of the year and hired Nick Nurse. Now it was time for him to get rid of the face of the franchise. By trading DeMar DeRozan for Leonard, the Raptors gambled on getting an even better player, and maybe even the best player in the world.

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It would be the most successful bet they ever made.

But first they had to make another one. Leonard was coming off a mysterious injury that sidelined him for most of last season, and nobody seemed to know what kind of player he would be when he returned. As if that weren’t enough uncertainty, Leonard was also in the final year of his contract, meaning the Raptors might not have enough time to find out.

That was plenty of incentive for them to prioritize Leonard’s health above everything. They needed to do everything in their power to make sure he peaked in the playoffs.

Under the care of Alex McKechnie, a Scottish sports scientist with a shock of white hair, the Raptors crafted a radical plan for their star player: They played him less. He only played in 60 of 82 games and didn’t play on consecutive days all season. But it worked. By pacing him in the regular season, they positioned him to be incredible in the postseason.

He was. But he also needed to be.

The Raptors were down 1-0 to the Orlando Magic in the first round and 2-1 to the 76ers the next round in front of a crowd of polite, exceedingly civil Philadelphians. They required a buzzer-beating shot from Leonard to bounce four times to win Game 7 of that series, and their reward was a matchup with the Milwaukee Bucks, who had the NBA’s best record and likely Most Valuable Player. This time they were down 2-0 before ripping off four straight wins to get to the Finals.

And then the Raptors had to play the Warriors.

NBA teams tend to live unhappily ever after once that happens. The Warriors were chasing a three-peat and their fourth title in five years. They were two more wins away from a place among the game’s all-time great dynasties.

By the time they crossed the border, though, they were no longer capable of their particular brand of basketball terror. Durant missed four games with a calf injury and then went out in Game 5—a devastating blow that cast a pall on the series and changed the complexity of the entire league.

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It slowly became clear over the course of the series that the Raptors were simply better than a team making its bid to be one of the best ever.

This was Ujiri’s vision. He urged Toronto to believe in itself at the beginning of the season. He repeated that message after the Raptors won the Eastern Conference and what felt like the great misfortune of playing the Warriors.

“We came all this way to compete, and we want to win in Toronto,” Ujiri said. “And we will win in Toronto.”

Ujiri was right about so much this season. But he was wrong about that final prediction: they won in Oakland. And now it no longer sounds absurd to say the Raptors really are the NBA champions.

Source: wsj.com

So remember, provide the sports flooring that will produce the next Steve Curry – Timber Sports Flooring by 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.