Now more than ever it’s critically important to support Australian Industry and utilise certified Australian products. Rather than remitting monies offshore to support foreign suppliers, Nellakir utilise Australian Timber exclusively in all of its installations wherever possible.
All timbers selected carry Australian Forestry Standard certification for Forest Management providing a Chain of Custody that ensures the standard is maintained in over 10.2 million hectares of Australian Forest. Australian timber means Australian jobs and employment right through the supply chain.
Most Government projects in Victoria and Tasmania specify the use of Australian Hardwoods and require permission to substitute exceptions. Nellakir maintain the use of Australian Hardwoods on all Sports Flooring installed by Nellakir. Australian Hardwood Sports Flooring is readily available so there is little or no reason to substitute foreign timbers on any project. Timber is harvested from sustainable plantations. Forestry Certification in Australia is administered through the Federal Government’s Department of Agriculture.
When next you bounce a ball on the Timber Sports Flooring at your local Sports Stadium, make sure it’s actually Australian Timber. If it’s built by Nellakir and installed, maintained and cleaned to a professional schedule it will certainly be an ASF/Horner selected premium Australian Hardwood floor. Buy Australian – It’s the right thing to do.
For a free no-obligation quotation on all Sports Flooring requirements – annual maintenance, expert repairs and of course complete replacements and installations, call Nellakir now on 03 9467 6126 or leave your details here for a prompt reply.
Most Sports Flooring normally experiences constant usage. It’s designed and built to do so. Specialist timber flooring is set up to allow for competitive action and foot traffic on a daily basis. What has been unusual this year is that many stadiums and their competition courts whether for Basketball, Netball and gymnastics have stood idle. It is a sensible strategy to engage an expert for an inspection prior to resuming full usage.
Whilst we prepare for 2020/21 resumptions of both premium and local competitions, the LA Lakers have locked down Basketball’s No.1 – Lebron James, on a deal for the next 3 years reportedly worth $168.8 million (Aust). Read about it here…
What LeBron’s monster $115m deal means for the Lakers, and the wild NBA theory it triggered
Los Angeles Lakers and LeBron James have reportedly agreed to a two-year deal worth $85 million ($A115m) that will keep the superstar at the franchise until the end of the 2023 season.
James is expected to make $39.2 million ($A53.0m) in 2020-21, $41.2 million ($A55.7m) in 2021-22 and $44.5 million ($A60.1m) in 2022-23.
The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported the news on Thursday morning [AEDT].
His new contract runs through until the end of 2023, when his son Bronny graduates from high school and could enter the NBA Draft if the league and NBPA alter the high school-to-pro rule.
The latest development means Oklahoma City Thunder general manager Sam Presti could try use all the draft picks he has worked to get together over the years to lure LeBron and Bronny in 2023.
Regardless, the timing of it will mean James can sort both his future and that of his son at the same time, giving him plenty of power to secure the best deal.
His own farewell tour could end with LeBron and Bronny becoming the first father-son duo to play at the same time.
The general consensus is that James’ contract extension will be shortly followed by that of Anthony Davis, who is expected to recommit to the Lakers.
Davis could sign a 2+1 deal which would make sure his contract lined up with that of James and keeps them in the frame for the title through to 2023.
It would also allow him to opt out after 10 seasons in the NBA to get the full 35 per cent max.
Davis became an unrestricted free agent when he opted out of the final year of his contract but was always expected to re-sign with the Lakers, the only uncertainty surrounded the exact details of what his contract would look like.
Ensure the perfect court surface for all your Sports Flooring. Call Nellakir on 03 9467 6126 and arrange a no-obligation inspection at a time convenient to your schedule. Or simply leave your details here for a prompt reply.
Trust Nellakir – The Sports Flooring for Champions.
With further relaxations on competitive sports activities announced on Nov 8th, it’s time to get ready for a summer of Sport. Indoor facilities such as Basketball and Netball stadiums will soon re-open for competition – with some limitations. Schedule a consultation now with Nellakir to ensure your Timber Sports Flooring is in premium shape for re-opening. Call 03 9467 6126 or leave your details here [https://www.nellakir.com.au/contact.html] to schedule an appointment with one of our technicians.
For your interest, here are the latest Press Releases for participants from both Basketball Victoria and Netball Victoria…
Basketball Victoria Return to Sport Update Monday 9 November
Basketball Victoria welcomes yesterday’s announcement from the Victorian Government in regard to the easing of COVID-19 restrictions with the current (as of November 9) ‘Third Step’ aligning Regional Victoria and Metropolitan Melbourne, plus the roadmap to the ‘last step’ (as of November 23).
However, we are still awaiting clarification regarding the number of people allowed per venue or facility or per space from DHHS and Sport and Recreation Victoria (SRV) for both the ‘Third Step’ and ‘Last Step’.
Please note: The current DHHS guidelines stipulate that a ‘facility’ is capped at 20 people only, regardless of the number of courts or separated areas within the venue.
We remain hopeful this refined definition of a “facility” by DHHS can be resolved in the coming days, as we have advocated via SRV and VicSport again this morning along with a number of other indoor sports and facility operators.
From November 23 (the Last Step), there is positive news that both adult and junior participants can return indoors in a ‘contact’ or ‘non-contact’ scenario for either training or competition.
However, a venue limit of 100 ‘patrons’ has been set for indoor community sport and a group limit of 20. This is in addition to large sporting venues being able to open with a 25 per-cent venue patron cap, with each space subject to the density quotient. We have asked for clarity on the definition of ‘patron’ as well as further detail on venue definitions and approved capacities.
We appreciate our community’s patience and support throughout these difficult times as we aim to plan to reactivate the sport in its entirety alongside our associations and clubs in upcoming weeks. We will continue to discuss the issues and advocate for basketball with the Victorian Government on a daily basis. Basketball Victoria and your associations will make further updates as soon as they’re available.
From 11:59pm on Sunday 8 November
Please refer to Basketball Victoria’s Return to Sport Guidelines for further detail
FOR 18 YEARS OLD AND UNDER:
Outdoor (contact) Competition and/or Training – ORANGE-20
Indoor (non-contact) training only – ORANGE-20
FOR 19 YEARS OLD AND OVER:
Outdoor (non-contact) training only – RED-10
From 11:59pm on Sunday 22 November
Outdoor (contact or non-contact) Competition and/or Training – ORANGE-50
Indoor (contact or non-contact) Competition and/or Training – ORANGE-20*
NB: Further clarity to come*
Patron cap of up to 100 people*.
Group size up to 20 people*.
Density quotient of 1 per 4m ²*
Large sporting venues will be able to open with a 25 per–cent venue patron cap, with each space subject to the density quotient*.
We have been overjoyed watching the steady return of community netball across Victoria and we look forward to seeing more associations and leagues commence in the coming weeks.
Effective 11:59pm Sunday 08 November, the 25km travel limit will no longer be in place and the boundary between Metro Melbourne and Regional Victoria will come down. There will be some changes to indoor community sport venues across metro Melbourne, unfortunately this does not include netball competitions and programs. Non-contact training may occur at indoor venues with a maximum of 20 people, but only if participants can maintain 1.5 metre physical distancing.
There are no changes to community netball in regional Victoria. There is no change to community sport for adults across Victoria.
Netball Victoria’s Return to Community Netball guidelines have been updated, you can find the latest resources here.
We look forward to the further easing of restrictions on 23 November and will provide further detail once it is available.
Meanwhile the NBA Draft period jockeying for position is in full swing, and unsurprisingly another young Aussie is front stage with strong interest.
Aussie gun Josh Green set for huge NBA Draft day. One team is his ‘perfect fit’
He comes from The Land Down Under but has made his mark in the Valley of the Sun.
With all the media focus on the Knicks’ lottery pick at No. 8 in the Nov. 18 NBA draft, the front office has worked just as diligently on their second first-round pick at No. 27 and their second-round pick at No. 38.
“They are trying to find the diamond in the rough,’’ one NBA source said.
One player of particular interest is Arizona freshman Josh Green, a shooting guard who moved from Sydney, Australia, to Phoenix when he was 13.
Green is listed at 6-foot-5 but has a 6-10 wingspan. Scouts have classified him as the prototypical 3-and-D.
“He’s an NBA athlete,’’ one NBA scout said of Green. “He excels in transition and has potential as a defender with good awareness. He probably still needs to improve his outside shooting.’’
In his one-and-done, COVID-19-shortened college season, Green averaged 12 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 30 games. He shot a decent 36.1 per cent from 3, but there’s been criticism of his shooting mechanics.
“He’d be the perfect fit for the Knicks,’’ another talent evaluator said.
Some NBA officials believe the Knicks may have to trade up a few slots to snare Green because he may not last until No. 27.
Green, who turns 20 next week, is represented by the preferred Creative Artists Agency, which Knicks president Leon Rose ran until March when owner James Dolan chose him to lead the franchise.
“He can shoot and defend, but he could still be a project,’’ ESPN’s draft guru Fran Fraschilla said. Green is the only Australian predicted to be selected in the first round.
The Knicks obtained the 27th pick from the Clippers at the February trade deadline in exchange for Marcus Morris, now a free agent who could still re-sign with the Knicks if they want to pursue him.
Because of the parity in this year’s draft that extends all the way to the middle of the lottery, the Knicks have no idea who might be there at No 27.
In a perfect world, the Knicks prefer to select a scoring point guard with their lottery pick and a deft outside-shooting swingman with their second first-rounder.
Besides Green, other players who fit that shooting-guard description are Duke swingman Cassius Stanley, 6-7 Robert Woodward II of Mississippi State and Texas Christian’s Desmond Bane.
At 27, the Knicks could be staring at two other Duke players besides Stanley — point guard Tre Jones, RJ Barrett’s former teammate, and freshman centre Vernon Carey Jr.
Indications are the intriguing Carey is higher on their list. Knicks GM Scott Perry viewed Carey, son of former Dolphins offensive lineman Vernon Carey, as a sure-fire first-round pick last season.
Carey is hurt by the perception that he’s a low-post, old-school centre akin to Duke draft-bust Jahlil Okafor. Carey has lost 30 pounds since the Duke season ended in March, and he’s shown an ability to hit from the outside in recent workouts.
In fact, there’s talk he will go higher than 27 because of his weight loss and dispelling the myth he’s only a back-to-the-basket big. That was essentially the role in which Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski employed him.
“I like Carey, and I think people undervalue him,’’ the NBA scout said.
If the Knicks don’t take a point guard at No. 8, San Diego State’s Malachi Flynn and France’s Theo Maledon could be point possibilities at 27.
Some of these names might still be around in the early second round at No. 38.
Adding three rookies to the roster will have its disadvantages this season, with no summer league and almost no time to get acclimated before a potential Dec. 1 training camp.
To boot, there may not be a traditional G-League season to develop rookies.
“In this draft, there’s no difference between 20 and 40,’’ Fraschilla said. “A good player will be there at 27 and 38.”
For the Under 18’s in Victoria, Outdoor Competition is back on the table in Metro Melbourne and Regional Victoria. It’s only a matter of time before indoor competition begins again. Now is the time to make sure your Court Surface indoors is in premium shape along with your stadium’s portable seating.
Meanwhile the movement in NBA ranks has started post play-offs. Here’s an article to give some insight into the possible moves…
Trades to Get Every Eliminated Playoff Team to 2021 NBA Finals
Losing an NBA playoff series is never fun, and wound licking only provides so much relief.
But never fear, fans of the 14 teams dispatched from the 2020 postseason, we have discovered your club’s path to the 2021 Finals. It will take a trade to get there, and in some cases, it must be a pretty gargantuan change.
Since we’re free to focus on a one-year window, we’re also more willing to put top assets into trades than teams might actually be, but even then, we aren’t just giving top picks and prospects away. It’s just that if the potential prize is a championship, there are certain sacrifices clubs should be willing to make.
Boston Celtics receive: Myles Turner, Jeremy Lamb, Doug McDermott
The Al Horford-less Celtics had a functional collection of 5s until they didn’t. Once Bam Adebayo stood in their path in the Eastern Conference Finals, their lack of serviceable size became a fatal flaw.
Turner could help correct it. He’s not only a major defensive deterrent at the rim (career 2.6 blocks per 36 minutes), and he moves well enough to handle most perimeter switches. He also doesn’t gunk up the offensive spacing, since he’s a career 35.7 percent shooter from distance.
He’s not a star, but the Shamrocks are covered in that department by Kemba Walker, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, the latter two of whom are still working toward their peaks. Boston just needs more role players Brad Stevens can trust, and the club would get three back in this exchange. A sniper like McDermott is always useful, and Lamb could scratch an itch for second-team scoring whenever he’s recovered from a torn ACL.
The Pacers do this deal for two reasons. First, they’re ready to finally move away from the double-big lineup and hand the frontcourt keys to Domantas Sabonis. Second, they want to build a big winner ahead of Victor Oladipo’s journey to free agency and see Hayward, a former All-Star who hails from the Circle City, as their vehicle to get there. If Hayward is fully healthy, Indy gets the best player in the deal, plus two first-round picks.
Brooklyn’s search for a third star could take it several different directions—or none at all, if you share Kevin Durant’s belief that LeVert can handle the role—but Beal is the ultimate target.
He has the three-ball to prevent teams from overcrowding Durant and Kyrie Irving and the potency to power the attack on his own whenever needed. Since Beal won’t have to do everything on offense, he could have the energy to reverse his recent decline on defense, too. Basically, he’s the best-case scenario of LeVert and more, and Beal is only a year older.
The Wizards decide they’ve played hard ball long enough and pounce on a package with both present and future assets. Competing for a playoff berth is not out of the question with LeVert, Allen and Temple—whose $5 million team option must be picked up for this to work—alongside John Wall next season. Then, the two firsts and possibly early second all brighten the club’s long-term outlook, which should be the organization’s biggest focus.
Dallas Mavericks receive: Rudy Gobert
Utah Jazz receive: Tim Hardaway Jr., Maxi Kleber, Jalen Brunson, No. 18 pick, No. 31 pick (via GSW)
The Mavs might have a championship-quality duo in Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis, but they need a third star to push them into full-fledged title contention. The problem is they don’t have the richest asset collection to use in their star search. They can only trade the No. 18 pick on draft night, and after that they can’t move another first-rounder until 2025.
They need a discounted star in other words, and maybe Gobert’s future uncertainty has lowered Utah’s trade demands. The 7-footer is approaching his final season under contract, and the Jazz might not want to break the bank (he is supermax eligible) to keep him. He’s already 28 years old, and his offensive limitations aren’t going away.
But the Mavs and their most efficient offense in NBA history can work around Gobert’s limits. They have enough shooting to keep the runway clear for Gobert to crush lobs on the back end of pick-and-rolls with Doncic. Gobert, in turn, could get their 18th-ranked defense where it needs to be for them to contend.
Kleber increases Utah’s versatility as a stretch 5 who can defend away from the basket. Hardaway either shares the spark-plug role with Jordan Clarkson or takes control of it if Clarkson departs in free agency. Brunson addresses a quietly pressing need for a backup point guard. The picks can either bring new prospects to town or be used in separate transactions for more immediate assistance.
Denver Nuggets receive: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
Oklahoma City Thunder receive: Michael Porter Jr., Monte Morris, No. 22 pick (via HOU)
Rocking the boat on the heels of a Western Conference Finals appearance might seem excessive, but the Nuggets seem one piece shy of a true championship threat. Rather than waiting for Porter to become that player, they could flip the young scorer for Gilgeous-Alexander, who might be the ideal backcourt mate for Jamal Murray.
Gilgeous-Alexander blends primary-option scoring with versatile, disruptive defense, high-level distributing and off-the-dribble attacking. He can play within a system and complement the likes of Murray and Nikola Jokic or divert from it to relieve some of the pressure on the Nuggets’ stars.
Adding Gilgeous-Alexander potentially sets up Denver’s Big Three and positions it for sustained success. He’s just 22 years old, so the idea of joining him with the 25-year-old Jokic and 23-year-old Murray should terrify the Nuggets’ aging competition in the West.
The Thunder take the calculated risk of betting that Porter’s ceiling stretches even higher than Gilgeous-Alexander’s. It’s a gamble given how accomplished SGA already is, but it would hardly be an outlandish wager. If Porter hits his full potential, he could be basketball’s next matchup nightmare as an athletic, 6’10” three-level scorer.
The upside is too great for the Thunder to overlook, and they also bring back a rock-solid 25-year-old floor general in Morris and yet another first-round pick.
Orlando Magic receive: Eric Gordon, Danuel House Jr., Ben McLemore, 2022 first-round pick (top-five protected), 2024 second-round pick, 2024 second-round pick (via GSW)
The Rockets are light on needle-movers beyond James Harden, so they need help to make an impact deal, Here, they receive it in the form of the Magic being desperate for offense and potentially ready to accept that it just isn’t working with Aaron Gordon.
If this deal is on the table—and if Tilman Fertitta wouldn’t recoil at the idea of elevating next season’s payroll—the Rockets should pounce in a hurry. Even if Gordon and Aminu aren’t the most reliable shooters, they can hit enough threes to not destroy the offensive spacing, and they could fit right into a switch-heavy defensive scheme.
Barring a major systematic change for the post-Mike D’Antoni Rockets, Gordon and Aminu should get all of their minutes as small-ball 4s and 5s. Gordon, in particular, could be a position change away from finally putting all the pieces together and proving why he was the fourth player taken in 2014. He should be a dynamic pick-and-roll screener with his explosive finishing at the basket and ability to find (and feed) open teammates.
The Magic, meanwhile, decide they’d rather not pay Gordon or Aminu when Jonathan Isaac, Nikola Vucevic, Mo Bamba and Chuma Okeke can handle all the 4 and 5 minutes. Instead, Orlando gets busy trying to fix its 23rd-ranked offense. If Eric Gordon can ever stay healthy, he can be a dynamic scorer, shooter and off-the-dribble creator. House and McLemore buy this offense some breathing room by scratching an itch for more spot-up sniping.
The Pacers already started the shake-up process with the dismissal of coach Nate McMillan, and that could be the first of several dominoes to drop.
Their interest in Mike D’Antoni, as reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, signals a willingness to retool the roster. The small-ball enthusiast has little use for a frontcourt featuring Myles Turner, Domantas Sabonis and Goga Bitadze, so splitting with at least one of the three seems inevitable.
This deal not only helps balance Indiana’s roster, but it also brings back a two-way difference-maker in Jrue Holiday. He’s a two-time All-Defensive selection who is serviceable or better at everything on offense. That makes him an easy fit with any kind of supporting cast, and in the Circle City, he could form a do-it-all perimeter trio with Victor Oladipo and Malcolm Brogdon, giving Sabonis a bounty of impact receivers.
The Pelicans swap out the 30-year-old Holiday for players who better fit the time lines of Zion Williamson and Ja Morant. Turner, 24, is a near ideal frontcourt partner for Williamson with his floor-spacing and rim protection. Aaron Holiday, 24 on Sept. 30, gives the offense another off-the-dribble scoring threat. McDermott, 28, keeps defenses honest as a career 41.2 percent three-point shooter.
Los Angeles Clippers
Los Angeles Clippers receive: Derrick Rose
Detroit Pistons receive: Landry Shamet, Mfiondu Kabengele, 2022 second-round pick
This isn’t time for the Clippers to panic. Despite all the (deserved) heat they’ve taken for blowing a 3-1 lead to the Denver Nuggets in the second round, this is still one of the league’s heavyweight title contenders. L.A. finished the season fourth in winning percentage and second in net efficiency rating.
But this isn’t the time to practice patience, either. Both Kawhi Leonard and Paul George can enter free agency next offseason, and even if they stick around, it’s not like their primes will last indefinitely. Leonard’s 30th birthday is coming next June, and George is already on the wrong side of his.
L.A. needs to aggressively attack its deficiencies, and adding an actual floor general like Rose could be the key to unlock this offense’s full potential. Bring his 18.1 points and 5.6 assists to town, and defenses can no longer overload on Leonard and George. Rose may not be a top-shelf focal point anymore, but he’d be incredibly hard to handle as the Clippers’ third option.
The Pistons’ decision to keep Rose at the deadline may have torpedoed their chances of bringing back a first-round pick, but this isn’t a bad haul. Shamet is a 23-year-old sharpshooter with some off-the-dribble wiggle, and 23-year-old Kabengele offers an intriguing blend of length, athleticism, shot-blocking and some outside shooting. And on the off chance Leonard and George leave next summer, that 2022 second-rounder could be an early one.
Milwaukee Bucks receive: Chris Paul
Oklahoma City Thunder receive: Eric Bledsoe, Ersan Ilyasova, Donte DiVincenzo, Robin Lopez, D.J. Wilson, 2024 first-round pick (top-five protected)
This seems like the most obvious move of the season, at least from Milwaukee’s standpoint. The offense has stalled out in back-to-back postseasons, and the Bucks have extinguished their margin for error. Barring a supermax commitment from Giannis Antetokounmpo this offseason, the two-time reigning MVP will be an unrestricted free agent in 2021.
The time for Milwaukee to make an all-in move is now, even if The Athletic’s Sam Amick and Eric Nehm are hearing a CP3 pursuit is “highly unlikely.” Hopefully that’s posturing, because if you sketched out the Bucks’ needs list, you’d end up drawing a picture of Paul—or at least Alfonso Ribeiro.
“Rival executives expect the Bucks to prioritize acquiring a playmaker and more shooting in the offseason to retool the roster around Antetokounmpo,” The Athletic’s Shams Charania wrote.
Paul has the second-highest career assist percentage in NBA history (45.6) and a 37.0 career three-point percentage. If the Bucks are after table-setting and splashing, it’s check and check with this deal.
The Thunder accept the inevitability of their rebuild and do well to get out of Paul’s remaining contract ($41.4 million next season, $44.2 million player option for 2021-22) without taking any bad money back. In fact, they get two assets in DiVincenzo and the pick (which would convey two years after Milwaukee sends a protected first to Cleveland), add a 24-year-old wild card in Wilson and potentially prepare for future trades if contenders take a liking to the incoming veterans.
Oklahoma City Thunder
Oklahoma City Thunder receive: Victor Oladipo
Indiana Pacers receive: Dennis Schroder, Darius Bazley, Terrance Ferguson, No. 25 pick (via DEN)
Between last summer’s trades of Paul George and Russell Westbrook and this offseason’s parting of ways with former coach Billy Donovan, all signs are pointing to the Thunder needing and embracing a full-scale rebuild. But since our focus has narrowed to chasing next season’s crown, OKC instead cashes in a few assets to reunite with Oladipo and foster his return to stardom.
His first stint in the Sooner State was wholly unremarkable, as he never found his niche with Westbrook and was traded for George after just one season. But Oladipo found his All-Star form in Indiana, and he’d find better fitting backcourt mates in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Chris Paul in a move back to Oklahoma.
Oladipo, Paul and Gilgeous-Alexander all do a little (or, in some cases, a lot) of everything at both ends of the floor, so the on-court bond should be easily formed. They can run offense, spot up, create shots, attack the basket and defend multiple positions. It’s a souped-up, bigger version of the Schroder-Paul-Gilgeous-Alexander trio, which blitzed opponents by 28.6 points per 100 possessions this season.
The Pacers, meanwhile, decide they’d rather not cover the costs of Oladipo’s next contract, so they flip him for pieces who can help now and later. Schroder is the best incoming player for next season, but Bazley is the real needle-mover beyond. The 20-year-old is raw, but there are flashes of do-it-all brilliance from the athletic forward.
Orlando Magic receive: Bradley Beal
Washington Wizards receive: Evan Fournier, Jonathan Isaac, No. 15 pick
Orlando needs an offensive focal point, and Beal is on a short list of the league’s very best.
The 27-year-old scoring guard has almost perpetually increased his production ever since arriving in the District as the No. 3 pick in 2012. Most recently, he became just the 12th player ever to average 30 points and six assists. The rest of the list is populated by current and future Hall of Famers.
Beal and Nikola Vucevic could work two-man magic together, and Beal’s long-range shooting would help open the floor for Markelle Fultz’s drives and Aaron Gordon’s rim runs. If the Magic maintain their 11th-ranked defense while Beal launches the offense into the top 10, they could finally have their two-way formula for a title.
The Wizards won’t move Beal for anything but an elite prospect, and Isaac fits the bill. The 6’11”, 230-pounder is practically a top-five defense by himself, as his length and athleticism lets him blanket scorers of all sizes and styles. Once Fournier picks up his $17.2 million player option, he matches money in this deal and helps replace some of Beal’s shooting and scoring.
Philadelphia 76ers receive: Chris Paul
Oklahoma City Thunder receive: Al Horford, Matisse Thybulle, Zhaire Smith, 2022 first-round pick (top-10 protected)
Perhaps it will prove impossible to correct Philly’s roster imbalance without sacrificing either Joel Embiid or Ben Simmons, but the Sixers aren’t competing for next year’s title without them. They also aren’t contending without addressing series deficiencies in shooting and shot-creating.
Enter CP3. The Point God would scratch several of this squad’s biggest itches and answer some of its half-court questions that have plagued recent playoff runs.
“He would get the ball to Joel Embiid in his preferred spots,” The Athletic’s Rich Hofmann wrote. “He can spot up off the ball and make threes, which is key around Embiid and Simmons. And perhaps most importantly, he could take the Jimmy Butler role at the end of games.”
There aren’t many teams who would give up multiple assets to get Paul, since he’s a 35-year-old with $85.6 million headed his way over the next two seasons. But if he’s the missing piece of the Sixers’ championship puzzle, the trade and the contract all become small prices to pay.
The Thunder pounce on the chance to snag another long-limbed, athletic defender in Thybulle, who offers more shooting upside than their typical stopper. They also bet on their developmental staff to bring the best out of the 21-year-old Smith, and they throw another future first onto the pile. Finally, they add Horford in the hopes of getting him back on track and flipping him to a win-now shopper at some point.
Portland Trail Blazers
Portland Trail Blazers receive: Ben Simmons
Philadelphia 76ers receive: CJ McCollum, Gary Trent Jr., No. 16 pick
The championship-or-bust scale isn’t often affixed to the Trail Blazers (not by anyone outside the organization, at least), but that should be how they evaluate themselves. With Damian Lillard’s 30th birthday behind him, they only have so many cracks at the crown left before their superstar ages out of his prime.
That increased urgency could be what finally convinces Portland to split up the defensively problematic combo of Lillard and McCollum, especially if it means bringing back a dynamic talent like Simmons. Even if it takes coach Terry Stotts a bit to find the right distribution of touches, Simmons could shine as a Swiss Army knife defender, transition attacker and pick-and-roll partner for Lillard.
Portland wouldn’t be the favorite entering next season, but it would certainly rank among the heavyweight class of contenders. It would have two stars on the top and potentially a wealth of depth behind them, assuming health for Zach Collins and Rodney Hood, possible re-signings of Carmelo Anthony and Hassan Whiteside, and the chance for Anfernee Simons and Nassir Little to either crack the rotation or be traded for players who will.
Philly admits that its roster is broken beyond repair, so it stomachs the gut punch of trading away Simmons on the hope that McCollum’s creation and Trent’s shooting can position Joel Embiid to thrive. The 16th pick is either a way to lengthen the rotation or an asset to help chase win-now talent.
Toronto Raptors receive: LaMarcus Aldridge
San Antonio Spurs receive: Norman Powell, Terence Davis, No. 29 pick
The Raptors won’t add money to their future ledger this offseason so they can make their ambitious run at Giannis Antetokounmpo next summer.
Luckily, Aldridge is approaching the final year of his contract. Not to mention, this exchange actually increases Toronto’s buying power, since Davis and the pick help incentivize the Spurs to take on the remainder of Powell’s contract ($10.9 million next season with an $11.6 million player option for 2021-22).
With finances effectively removed from the equation, Toronto doesn’t have to worry about Aldridge’s declining production or fight with Father Time. The Raptors just need him to stay above water next season, when he’d team with Pascal Siakam, Kyle Lowry and perhaps a re-signed Fred VanVleet to keep this club among the league’s elite at both ends.
The Spurs shift their focus forward but stop short of demolishing their win-now competitiveness. Powell plugs in as a three-and-D swingman for as long as the Alamo City wants him around, and Davis offers two-way versatility that will make him an easy fit with this young nucleus.
Utah Jazz receive: Chris Paul
Oklahoma City Thunder receive: Mike Conley, 2021 second-round pick (via GSW), 2023 first-round pick (top-10 protected)
Despite Donovan Mitchell’s ongoing ascension, the Jazz are trending the wrong direction. A Western Conference semifinalist in 2017 and 2018, Utah has now been knocked out of the opening round each of the past two years.
Granted, the Jazz had to blow a 3-1 lead to do it this year and did so while playing without Bojan Bogdanovic, but they can’t just count on their returning roster to lengthen their postseason stay. They were only ninth in net efficiency during the regular season, a significant drop from fourth the year prior. This was also Conley’s first season in Salt Lake City, and while he played his best ball in the bubble, he rarely looked like the difference-maker they still need.
Paul could be that player.
He’d be a dream pick-and-roll partner for Rudy Gobert, who’s already a 72nd percentile pick-and-roll screener without him. Paul’s ability to run offense (career 9.5 assists against 2.4 turnovers) and make long-range looks (37.0 percent) would both make life easier on Mitchell and the supporting cast. Paul could even play a part in re-establishing the Jazz as a defensive powerhouse after they finished just 13th in efficiency on that end.
The Thunder go from owing $85.6 million to the 35-year-old Paul to being on the hook for just $34.5 million to the 32-year-old Conley. More importantly, they put two more picks onto the road map that will eventually guide them through this rebuild, although the first-rounder could take some time to get there, as the Jazz owe the Grizzlies a protected pick either in 2021 or beyond.
Finally after 100 days the signpost back to full competitions has been posted by the State Government. It’s worth noting that on the 30th of July the following statistics were accurate as are the statistics for the 17th of October…
30th July France 1377 UK 846 Victoria 723
17th October France 25086 UK 15650 Victoria 1
It’s certainly worth considering.
Here are the current statements re Lockdown from Netball Victoria and Basketball Victoria
Netball Victoria 18 OCT 2020
The long-awaited return of community netball in metropolitan Melbourne is inching closer. Metro Melbourne can look forward to a return of junior netball, which at this stage is scheduled for Sunday 1 November, but we wait for confirmation of a return date over the next week. We thank you for being so patient and we appreciate everything you have done to support and stay connected to your netball community. It’s not long now and we will see you all back on court.
For regional Victoria, people 18 years and younger can continue to participate in netball competitions and programs. Adults continue with non-contact training at outdoor venues.
Today we throw our weight behind the mighty Melbourne Vixens! They are #DoingItForVIC and doing it for every member of our community who has missed playing our great game.
Basketball Victoria Return to Sport Update OCTOBER 19, 2020
Return to Basketball and Current Restrictions
The announcement on Sunday 18 October by the Victorian Government has eased restrictions in several areas across Victoria.
Unfortunately, due to basketball being classified as a “contact sport” (i.e. a sport that is unable to be played at a social distancing length of 1.5m between each participant) by the Victorian Government, basketball is subject to being part of the Last Step of the COVID Roadmap.
Victoria’s current level of restrictions regarding basketball’s return to sport have not changed from our last update, but there is greater clarity around future restrictions being eased at the end of the month. There is also a potential of further announcements this Sunday which may bring timelines forward.
Future eased restrictions were announced yesterday detailing the roadmap for community sport. As of Sunday 1 November at 11.59pm, Metropolitan associations and clubs within Metropolitan LGAs will be able to participate in outdoor competition or regular training (18 Years and Under) or outdoor non-contact training (19 Years and Over) in addition to Regional associations being able to train indoors (non-contact) in the short term.
We will continue to advocate to Government and other stakeholders on behalf of the basketball community to ensure the quickest possible return of Victorian basketball across the state.
Please refer to the Victorian DHHS website as well as Basketball Victoria’s Return to Sport Guidelines for further information.
Meanwhile in the parallel universe that was the Queensland Hub, the Victorian Netball team, The Vixens, has won the Grand Final of the Suncorp Super Netball Competition for 2020. Here’s a full report courtesy of the ABC News service…
Melbourne Vixens hold their nerve to beat West Coast Fever 66-64 in Super Netball grand final
We thought we might not even get a Super Netball season in 2020, but here we are, having witnessed the tightest grand final of the new domestic league.
The Melbourne Vixens defeated the West Coast Fever 66-64 to win their first premiership since 2014.
The tough, grinding game played in Brisbane — so far away from both teams’ home fans — felt quiet at times, but the match itself did not disappoint, with the lead to-ing and fro-ing and never out of reach.
The Fever led by one point at the first break, after some crafty work from Verity Charles and Jhaniele Fowler upfront.
Charles was setting up a high, floating feed way off the circle edge that made it hard for Vixens defenders to even get a look in.
While Fowler (54/55) — standing close to two-metres tall — continued with the impeccable accuracy that has seen her become the most dominant player in the league.
Heading out for the second quarter, Vixens goal shooter Mwai Kumwenda stepped up to the challenge.
Throughout the match she repeatedly “defied the law of physics”, as Liz Ellis put it, using every inch of the goal circle and showing incredible balance to take feed after feed over her shoulder with the tips of her toes on the baseline, just outside the Fever’s reach.
A smiling netballer raises her arms wide in celebration after the Super Netball grand final.
Kumwenda’s composure under pressure and ability to convert at key times (47/50 at 94 per cent) saw her named the grand final player of the match.
It was here that the Vixens defence also started to work their way into the game, and some big moments from their back line — Emily Mannix, Jo Weston and Kate Eddy — saw three key turnovers head up the court and converted.
The Vixens had crept out to a four-goal lead as the game headed towards half-time.
But some quick-fire momentum from the Fever showcased how fast they could score, and in the space of just over a minute they were already back in front by a goal as the half-time buzzer went.
In the third quarter — known as the “championship quarter” for its defining period in a game — the Vixens really put their stamp on the game.
Head coach Simone McKinnis used the rolling subs to rotate the goal attack position, interchanging their two retiring shooters Caitlin Thwaites and Tegan Philip to ensure their front line stayed fresh.
And their defensive pressure upped again across the court, Weston especially.
At the final break, the Vixens had won their first quarter (18-14) and were up by three — their first lead heading into a break.
But the game was not over yet, with the Fever never giving up.
They clawed their way back level and then back in front by two goals, with four and a half minutes left.
The Vixens started to look worried but showed in these final minutes why they had been the best team all season.
One of their crucial moments came through a build-up in the midcourt, that saw Fever defender Stacey Francis try and pass back to keeper Courtney Bruce.
But the attempt to try and reset turned into an intercept for Kumwenda, which was then converted.
Another collective effort by Mannix and Weston proved the difference.
West Coast goal attack Alice Teague-Neeld missed a two-point super shot in the Fever’s final play, and the Vixens circle defenders’ rebound pushed their team out to a two-goal lead.
With seven seconds left on the clock and a centre pass up their sleeve, the Vixens were able to play a possession game to close out their first Super Netball grand final win.
The victory allowed them to farewell Thwaites and Philip in the best way possible and make the usually quiet McKinnis a very happy woman, as she celebrated with a couple of fist pumps on the sideline.
Speaking with Channel Nine after the match, Thwaites described it as a “really hard slog”.
“Holy crap, that was right down to the wire,” she said fighting back tears.
“We had practised all those scenarios at the end, so we knew exactly what to do.
“We really hope we’ve brought Victorian people some light and a good distraction in what’s been a really hard year.”
Now is the right time to prime your sports flooring for a major increase in traffic and usage over the Summer period and into Autumn next year. There is no doubt many people will have determined that exercise and regular activity will now be part of their lifestyle after lockdown.
For Installation and repairs, Annual maintenance and scheduled cyclical cleaning, always call Nellakir on 03 9467 6126. Alternatively, leave your details here for a prompt reply. Arrange an obligation free consultation with one of our trained technicians to discuss your needs and requirements. Ensure a premium playing surface is available for all levels of competition.
With the announcement of further restrictions for the next six weeks in Victoria on August 5th. Nellakir is permitted to continue its installations under the Construction Industry guidelines. The Nellakir team are currently completing the Victorian Netball and Hockey Centre’s new courts in Royal Park as well as the Victorian Schools Building Authority projects in Truganina, Rockbank Nth and at Thoroughbred Primary.
Free Sports Flooring Inspection
Currently, it’s a good time to do inspections on your existing facilities during the lockdown. The all competitions in recess, it provides the opportunity to do a thorough inspection and if necessary carry out the repairs required if permitted within your area. From Line marking through to full resanding and resurfacing of premium Timber Sports flooring. Arrange a free inspection and report from Nellakir on 03 9467 6126 or leave your details here for a prompt reply.
With the NBA underway in Orlando Florida, Australia’s Ben Simmons has suffered a setback – here are the details.
Ben Simmons suffers fresh injury blow as things get even worse for stuttering Sixers
The Philadelphia 76ers needed everything to go right in the NBA’s Orlando bubble if they wanted to realistically challenge for the title.
But three games into the restart, things are looking far from ideal.
And it got even worse on Thursday (AEST), despite a 107-98 win over the Washington Wizards, as Ben Simmons went down the tunnel with a left knee injury in the third quarter after grabbing an offensive rebound.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the early indications are “encouraging”, with Simmons experiencing no swelling or pain after leaving the court.
He was pictured limping out of the locker room at the end of the game.
Ben Simmons leaving arena after injuring his left knee and not returning to the game
With only five games left for the Sixers before the playoffs begin, and team chemistry far from perfect, Simmons’ injury is just another obstacle to overcome.
“We don’t know,” Sixers head coach Brett Brown said post-game as he addressed the Simmons injury.
Brown, who admitted he was “curious” to find out, said the team would make an announcement soon.
The Australian, who suffered a back injury earlier this season, finished with just eight points (2-10 FG), six rebounds, and four assists in his 22 minutes.
Philadelphia dropped their opening game in Orlando to the Indiana Pacers, before squeezing past the San Antonio Spurs in a game Simmons fouled out. Against Washington, the game was much closer than it should have been.
The Sixers trailed deep into the third quarter, before taking control, and hanging on to move to 2-1 in the bubble.
Joel Embiid scored 18 of his game-high 29 points in the second half as the sixth seed Sixers moved to 41-27 on the season.
Meanwhile for all works on premium Sports Flooring, always rely on Nellakir, Victoria and Tasmania’s leading experts in the installation, maintenance and programmed cleaning of all premium Timber Sports Flooring.Nellakir always use ACF/Horner Sports Flooring systems exclusively. All premium ACF/ Horner Timber Sports Flooring is FIBA approved.
It’s hard to know what effect this latest lockdown will have on local competitions and Junior grades in Netball and Basketball. Certainly it will push back the reopening of stadiums and to most competitions by a further 6 weeks. Whilst other states like NSW, Western Australia and Queensland remain ‘open’ the major leagues such as the NBL and the Suncorp Super Netball can prepare for competition hubs. But for the rest of us here in Victoria the message is #StaySafeStayHome
This week we wanted to take a peek at the new South Melbourne Primary School, Australia’s first vertical school. So that’s all we could do – take a peek. The school is graced with a full indoor sprung timber competition level court suitable for Basketball, Netball and indoor activities such as Gymnastics, Volleyball and other indoor sports.The new court was installed by Nellakir last year. But as of the 9th of July, it’s now having an enforced lay-off.
In reality the lockdown provides a great opportunity for organisations to access the ‘state of the game’ with their individual sports and plan for the post Covid-19 strategy for their sport.
Netball Australia has been quick off the mark announcing an independent review of the sport of Netball.
Here is their Press Release,
Netball assesses State of the Game
Netball Australia has today announced an independent review to holistically consider the State of the Game in order to reset the sport’s strategy following the impact of COVID-19.
The review, to be headed by former Australian captain Liz Ellis, will canvas the views and experiences of the wide range of customer and stakeholder groups from across the netball nation, inviting diverse and bold thinking to ensure the ongoing sustainability, prosperity and relevance of the game.
Ellis will be joined on the panel by an accomplished group of leaders from across different industries, all sharing a common belief in the power of netball to enrich communities. The three other panel members are Australian Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins, experienced non-executive director and former MP Wendy Machin and experienced non-executive director, CEO, CMO and media executive Joe Pollard.
In the wake of COVID-19 restrictions, Suncorp Super Netball was delayed, community netball was suspended, Netball Australia furloughed half its workforce and Suncorp Super Netball athletes accepted a reduction in their player payments for 2020.
Netball Australia CEO Marne Fechner said the consultation aspect of the review will be the most significant in the sport’s history and for good reason.
“The coronavirus pandemic has had a significant financial impact on the netball ecosystem and comes at a time when the competition to own the hearts and minds of women in sport is at an all-time high,” she said.
“Without action, parts of netball will encounter considerable financial uncertainty. So, faced with this reality, the sport will take steps to ensure its not only future proofed, but that our strategy leading into 2027, our centenary, is designed to strengthen the entire netball community,” she said.
“Across the next two months our aim is to capture the voices and experiences of our entire Australian netball family at a scale that hasn’t been done before. We want to listen to their stories and understand what makes the sport great and where we can do better. Most importantly, we want to capture a collective ambition for our game and, in doing so, shape our future.”
The Review’s terms of reference will see the panel consider:
Netball’s value proposition and critical pain points.
The alignment between customer and stakeholder insight and the sport’s purpose, vision and strategy.
The culture of Netball in Australia.
The financial, delivery and commercial model of netball in Australia.
The optimal future governance structure of netball (Netball Australia, Member Organisations, associations, clubs, Suncorp Super Netball and Suncorp Super Netball clubs).
The roles of each entity in the netball ecosystem.
Any other matter that would best serve netball in Australia.
Panel Chair Liz Ellis said the State of the Game Review will provide a listening post at a critical juncture of the sport and help build strong, innovative strategies leading to 2027 when the sport hopes to host the Netball World Cup.
“Netball is the preeminent sport of choice for Australian women and girls, but like all sports, netball has experienced significant financial pressure across the system as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” she said.
“This review is an opportunity, not only to capture the pulse of the netball nation, but to understand what’s most important to people that love netball – from elite through to grassroots, social, mixed and men’s netball. It’s also a chance to also understand what our commercial partners see as the future of our business.
“We need to ensure the sport has a contemporary strategy and structure. This is a unique opportunity for the sport to reimagine and if necessary, reshape relevant features to ensure we can all bounce back stronger together.”
It is estimated the review panel will provide recommendations to Netball Australia by the end of September 2020.
Netball Australia is inviting all netball fans, participants, volunteers, anyone involved in the sport to provide input into this review. Go to netball.com.au/stateofthegame to find out how you can provide feedback.
For schools, recreation centres and stadiums there is a real opportunity to undertake long overdue maintenance and repairs to all Timber Sports Flooring. From Line marking to Recoating and in some cases Re-sanding now is the time to book in those actions. Call Nellakir now on 03 9467 6126 and book a free consultation with one of our Sports Flooring Technicians. It’s a no-obligation free service. Or leave your details here for a prompt reply to your enquiry.
Just when it appeared there would be a return to something resembling normalcy in the world’s premiere basketball competition, the NBA, it appears the Covid-19 situation in Florida has arced up somewhat. Combine this with an almost certain number of positive cases amongst players now being tested and again there is some concern over this year’s series returning.
We would stress the USA is in a very different situation to Australia with the number of positive identifications here being much lower. However, it points to the need for people to be vigilant and not squander the good work of the current lockdown in Australia. Local competitions here in both Basketball and Netball are looking to resume playing in late July.
Here’s a full report on the current NBA dilemma.
Florida’s Virus Spike Gives N.B.A. Players One More Reason to Hesitate
Concerns over dampening activism, injuries and now a drastic rise in coronavirus cases near Orlando could complicate the league’s plan to restart at Walt Disney World next month.
[The entrance to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando, Fla., this month. The N.B.A. is set to restart its season at the campus in July.]
Robert A. Iger, the executive chairman of the Walt Disney Company, introduced the phrase into the N.B.A. lexicon. Adam Silver, the league’s commissioner, passed it on to the news media.
In a virtual meeting with N.B.A. team owners on April 17, Iger counseled his audience to make “data and not the date” the focus of the league’s comeback efforts.
Some two months later, as 22 teams ramp up activities in practice facilities and prepare to begin regular coronavirus testing for players and staff members on Tuesday, fretting about the data is suddenly one of the most popular pastimes in the N.B.A. universe.
The main reason: Since Tuesday night, when the league began distributing a 113-page guide of health and safety protocols to govern its planned restart of the 2019-20 season at Walt Disney World next month, the rate of confirmed coronavirus cases in Orange County, Fla., has risen dramatically.
Last Tuesday through Saturday, according to state data, 17 percent of coronavirus tests in the county returned positive results. That was a significant jump from the 10-day period before that, from June 6 to 15, when the positive rate was 5 percent.
The spike is yet another source of apprehension to manage for league and union officials, who just emerged from weeks of complicated discussions to come to terms on all the health and safety restrictions for its restart beginning July 7.
As a Wednesday deadline approaches for players to notify their teams whether they wish to withdraw from participation, for whatever reason, there are three main sources of anxiety among the players and executives in the league:
– The location of the contained campus for the restart is a fresh source of unease. The N.B.A. chose Disney World for its single-site resumption of play for many reasons — business reasons among them given Disney’s status as the league’s top media partner. But Orange County’s increase in positive tests over the past two weeks has made it an “infection hotbed,” as described by Perry Halkitis, dean of the Rutgers School of Public Health.
– As Lou Williams of the Los Angeles Clippers said last week in a video chat with fans, some players are wrestling with fears that returning to full-time basketball may divert momentum from the Black Lives Matter movement, which has surged worldwide since the May 25 death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis.
– “In six weeks, the world may need some healing, they may need us to be on the floor,” Williams said. “But if more black kids or more black adults or any adults dealing with police brutality are getting killed and we’re still outraged, I don’t know if it’s in our best interests to suit up, because it looks like we don’t care.”
– A third prime worry that has been routinely overlooked with so much else happening is the injury risk players will face after what has been, for many, the longest layoff of their career from full-speed, five-on-five play.
– There are certainly several players who have been participating for weeks in unauthorized workouts and pickup games — a photo of LeBron James and Ben Simmons training together was posted on Instagram last week by the Klutch Sports Group, the agency that represents both players — but there are likewise many players who struggled in the initial stages of the pandemic to find places to get shots up.
– Through June 29, there will be a maximum of four players allowed in team practice facilities. The next week, until teams begin arriving at Disney World on July 7, up to eight players will be allowed. Players can thus only count on roughly 20 days of full practices and scrimmages with five-on-five work in Florida before the season resumes — considerably less than the norm. A month’s worth of pickup games in team practice facilities every September typically precede the start of N.B.A. training camps.
[Bradley Beal of the Wizards at a rally in Washington to mark Juneteenth on Friday.]
Regarding the first (and perhaps foremost) concern, Halkitis, like many in his field, has praised the scope of the N.B.A.’s plans to combat the coronavirus at the Disney campus near Orlando.
“It is very, very, very well structured,” Halkitis said of the 113-page document in a telephone interview. “My reaction is that it makes the best use of the science we have to date, knowing perfectly well that things can change tomorrow.”
The main weakness in the N.B.A.’s approach, Halkitis said, is the prospect of players or team staff members leaving the campus without authorization and exposing themselves to the coronavirus — or “workers who are not staying on the grounds” bringing it in.
“Do I 100 percent believe that people aren’t going to leave?” Halkitis said. “I mean, these are adults, right? Human behavior is really hard to control.”
Yet he also acknowledged that the worrying trajectory of the testing data, at the very least, is bound to prompt questions about whether even the N.B.A.’s strict protocols will be sufficient. The Florida Department of Health has seemed to acknowledge the shifting situation, issuing a lengthy health advisory on Saturday that included a reminder to “wear masks in any setting where social distancing is not possible,” and a recommendation that “all individuals should refrain from participation in social or recreational gatherings of more than 50 people.”
Another concerning development in the state from the weekend: Major League Baseball, while still searching for the labor agreement it needs to salvage some semblance of a 2020 season, ordered all team facilities in Florida and Arizona to shut down after players in both locations tested positive for the coronavirus.
“If the numbers were staying stable or they were going down, I’d have lots of confidence in the plan,” Halkitis said of the N.B.A.’s restart. “The numbers going up mean you have a different circumstance now, which increases the probability of transmission and makes the plan — which is excellent but not foolproof — more susceptible to infiltration by the virus.
“I keep using the flood and the dam example: A dam holds water, but if there’s a lot of pressure on the dam, like lots of infections, it’s more likely to crack. And that’s the problem here. They have to keep an eye on what’s going on.”
As players and coaches begin to reunite in earnest, with only two weeks to go before charter planes are revved up to take them straight to Disney World, one suspects that no one on the N.B.A. map will have to hear that advice twice.
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There is still time before Local Competition resumes to undertake Annual Maintenance – Resurfacing, Re-lining and minor repairs. Call now on 03 9467 6126 for a free consultation from our Technical team on a scheduled Maintenance and cleaning program or leave your details here for a prompt response. Trust Nellakir to deliver the very best in Sprung Timber Sports Flooring.
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Right now, the pressure is ramping up both in the USA with the NBA and here with the NBL for teams to get on the boards and resume hostilities. In Australia, the pre-season for the NBL would normally commence in mid to late June. In the US, the NBA must complete the current season.
In the US, the situation looks muddled. Lockdown just hasn’t been as effective as in other places, a very high infection and mortality rate being the result. There is a fair bit of white noise emanating from various sectors of the game and its commentators, however many states are still in severe lockdown and are unlikely to approve any such activities in sport or public gatherings.
From the Bleacher Report…
LeBron, Giannis, Steph Curry, More Stars in Favour of NBA Resuming Season
LeBron James and the biggest stars in the NBA have reportedly “formed a united front to resume the 2019-20 season,” which has been on hiatus because of the coronavirus, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.
NBPA President and Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul arranged a private conference call Monday that reportedly included James, Anthony Davis, Kevin Durant, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kawhi Leonard, Stephen Curry, Damian Lillard and Russell Westbrook.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Tuesday the NBPA was polling players about whether they wanted the season to continue.
The players’ association denied the report and said it “has not authorized any formal poll of its players,” per Shams Charania of Stadium and The Athletic.
The league has been patient about a potential return, with Commissioner Adam Silver reportedly saying a decision didn’t need to be made in May, per Wojnarowski.
Teams were allowed to reopen facilities last week, though some organizations must remain closed for at least several more weeks based on local restrictions.
Some team executives and agents have reportedly called for the NBA to cancel the remainder of the season, according to Jabari Young of CNBC.
However, there is at least some support among players to return and determine a champion.
The stars on the call carry a lot of weight with 71 combined All-Star appearances and nine MVP awards among the nine players Hayes listed.
Though James and Antetokounmpo would have a lot to gain with a return—the Los Angeles Lakers and Milwaukee Bucks would be expected to contend for the title—that’s not the case with all the others. Curry and Lillard are on teams that would not currently land in the playoff field, while Durant hasn’t played all season while recovering from an Achilles injury.
As Haynes noted, a canceled season could have lasting effects regarding the collective bargaining agreement.
This group of high-profile players could help push the league toward a restart.
Here in Australia, there is some likelihood of a return to the courts for the NBL on time. However, it’s likely to see televised games only with no public attendance permitted.
From the NBL…
NBL Looks at Start Date for 2020/21 Season
The NBL has commenced work on identifying a start date for the 2020-21 Hungry Jack’s NBL Season as it works with the clubs and other key stakeholders for the return of basketball in Australia.
NBL Owner and Executive Chairman Larry Kestelman said: “It’s very pleasing to see Australia leading the way when it comes to bringing COVID-19 under control and hopefully we are all going to return to some sort of more normal life over the coming weeks and months.
“We are also encouraged by the progress other professional sporting leagues are making as they seek to return and we will monitor them and work with the relevant health authorities and government as we look to bring basketball back.
“We are also talking with the clubs about plans for next season including identifying a start date. We also want to do everything we can to be able to accommodate fans at games even if it means ramping up attendances as the season progresses.
“We are taking a positive and proactive approach and will continue to assess options and hope to be in a position by mid-year to be able to confirm plans for the coming season.
“We believe the NBL will remain a highly attractive option for players from both Australia and New Zealand and around the world should borders be re-opened. The NBL is one of the best leagues in the world outside of the NBA and Australia will without doubt be one of the safest places in the world to play in.
“We respect the rights of players to test the market. The agreement with the Australian Basketball Players’ Association was done by the NBL on behalf of the clubs who were unanimous in their support of the players and wanted to avoid stand downs as they managed the impact of the virus.
“Those players who choose to explore their options can still opt back in to their NBL contracts and we believe there will be a number who do so as the situation in regards to COVID-19 and its impact on various basketball leagues around the world becomes clearer.
“We are very encouraged by the large number of players who have indicated their desire to play in the NBL and we have no doubt the league will remain of a very high standard, attracting top players and enjoyed by fans across Australia, New Zealand and the rest of the world.”
The prolonged ban on local sporting competitions and public attendance has seen many stadiums opt for overdue maintenance and repairs to Timber Sports Flooring ensuring premium performance on the return to competition.
Nellakir are the leading experts in Sprung Timber Sports Flooring here in Victoria and in Tasmania as well. For all maintenance, refurbishment and installation enquiries on Timber Sports Flooring, please don’t hesitate to call us on 03 9467 6126, or leave your details here for a prompt reply.
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Around about now the NBA would be winding up to the crescendo of the playoffs. Last year the Toronto Raptors lost their first play-off against the Milwaukee Bucks but recovered to eventually ‘steal’ the coveted NBA champions title for Canada – for the first time ever. Makes us wonder whether Australia might eventually field on the NBA side?
Here’s the video and the report.
Milwaukee Bucks rally late to defeat Toronto Raptors in Game 1
Usually a big game from Kyle Lowry equals a Toronto Raptors win, but the Milwaukee Bucks held on to win Game 1 of their Eastern Conference Finals series.
Brook Lopez scored 13 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter, Giannis Antetokounmpo added 24 and the Bucks rallied in the final minutes to beat the Raptors 108-100 on Thursday (AEST).
Lopez had a dunk with 2:20 left to put the Bucks ahead for good, added a 3-pointer on the next Milwaukee possession to push the lead to four and the team that finished the regular season with the NBA’s best record — after trailing for the overwhelming majority of the game — did just enough in the final minutes to grab the series lead.
Kawhi Leonard scored 31 points and Kyle Lowry added 30 for the Raptors, who couldn’t make the most of a big game from their point guard, as well as an 11-of-44 shooting night from beyond the arc from the Bucks.
Malcolm Brogdon scored 15 and Nikola Mirotic had 13 for Milwaukee, which closed the game on a 10-0 run.
Lopez added 11 rebounds for the Bucks, who had three players post double-doubles.
Antetokounmpo had 14 rebounds and Khris Middleton finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds for Milwaukee, which is now 9-1 in this postseason. The Bucks trailed for 37 of the game’s 48 minutes.
Didn’t matter. They stayed just close enough until they could finish with a serious kick. The Raptors missed their last eight shots and were outscored 32-17 in the fourth quarter.
Pascal Siakam scored 15 for Toronto, including a 3-pointer over Antetokounmpo to end the third quarter and give the Raptors a seven-point lead with 12 minutes left.
It unraveled quickly from there.
“Total team effort,” Lopez said.
With the chants of Milwaukee’s motto – “Fear the deer! Fear the deer!” – bouncing throughout the building, the Bucks predictably came out flying. The flurry was brief.
The Bucks missed seven consecutive shots, the Raptors made four 3-pointers in a span of three minutes, and that all helped become a 16-0 run by Toronto that turned an early 8-3 deficit into a 19-8 edge. The lead got as big as 13 later in the quarter on a fadeaway jumper by Leonard, and the Raptors held the lead the rest of the half.
Milwaukee had a chance to take its first lead since the opening minutes when Antetokounmpo went to the line for a pair of free throws with 8:17 left in the third and the Bucks down by only one.
He missed both and the Raptors peeled off the next nine points to rebuild what then was a 10-point lead again. But Toronto shot 5 for 22 in the fourth, the Bucks finally reclaimed the lead, and the Raptors’ chance to steal home-court went awry.
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