Take 2 – Basketball and Netball – The Lockdown Reprise

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

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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.

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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.

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“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.”

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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.

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“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.

Source: netball.com.au

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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.

Nellakir are the leading experts in all Timber Sports Flooring installation, maintenance and scheduled programmed cleaning.

Nellakir – Professional Sports Flooring for present and future champions.

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The NBA – Will it resume as scheduled in Florida?

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.

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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.

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[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.

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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.

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[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.

Source: nytimes.com

Nellakir are the leading experts in the installation, maintenance and professional cleaning of Premium Timber Sports Flooring in Victoria and Tasmania.

Ensure your competition enjoys an absolutely premium playing surface at your Metro or Regional Stadiums, schools or community centres.

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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Resumption of Play? Finish the Season? (NBA) or Start the Pre-Season? (NBL)

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.

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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

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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.

Source: bleacherreport.com

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

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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.”

Source: nbl.com.au

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.

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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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Last year the Toronto Raptors started their campaign with this play-off game.

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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

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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.

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“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.

Source: foxsports.com.au

Nellakir are the premium supplier and installer of Sprung Timber Sports Flooring in Victoria and Tasmania, supplying the ASF Horner Sports Flooring Systems exclusively.

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The 2019 – 2020 NBA Season Rankings as they stand.

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

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

2020 NBA Power Rankings (Updated 12.13.2019)

los-angeles-lakers1. Los Angeles Lakers

2019-2020 Record 22-3 Previous Rank: 2

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

milwaukee-bucks.png2. Milwaukee Bucks

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

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

los-angeles-clippers.png3. LA Clippers

2019-2020 Record 19-7 Previous Rank: 5

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

miami-heat.png4. Miami Heat

2019-2020 Record 18-6 Previous Rank: 6

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

philadelphia-76ers5. Philadelphia 76ers

2019-2020 Record 19-7 Previous Rank: 10

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

toronto-raptors.png6. Toronto Raptors

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

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

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Houston-Rockets.jpg7. Houston Rockets

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

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

dallas-mavericks.png8. Dallas Mavericks

2019-2020 Record 17-7 Previous Rank: 12

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

indiana-pacers.png9. Indiana Pacers

2019-2020 Record 16-9 Previous Rank: 14

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

boston-celtics.png10. Boston Celtics

2019-2020 Record 17-7 Previous Rank: 1

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

denver-nuggets.png11. Denver Nuggets

2019-2020 Record 15-8 Previous Rank: 4

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

utah-jazz.png12. Utah Jazz

2019-2020 Record 14-11 Previous Rank: 7

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

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brooklyn-nets.png13. Brooklyn Nets

2019-2020 Record 13-11 Previous Rank: 17

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

phoenix-suns.png14. Phoenix Suns

2019-2020 Record 11-13 Previous Rank: 11

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

oklahoma-city-thunder.png15. Oklahoma City Thunder

2019-2020 Record 11-13 Previous Rank: 18

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

orlando-magic.png16. Orlando Magic

2019-2020 Record 11-13 Previous Rank: 20

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

sacramento-kings.png17. Sacramento Kings

2019-2020 Record 11-13 Previous Rank: 24

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

MinnesotaTimberwolves.jpg18. Minnesota Timberwolves

2019-2020 Record 10-14 Previous Rank: 13

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

charlotte-hornets.png19. Charlotte Hornets

2019-2020 Record 11-16 Previous Rank: 23

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

detroit-pistons.png20. Detroit Pistons

2019-2020 Record 10-15 Previous Rank: 21

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

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portland-trail-blazers.png21. Portland Trail Blazers

2019-2020 Record 10-16 Previous Rank: 16

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

san-antonio-spurs.png22. San Antonio Spurs

2019-2020 Record 9-15 Previous Rank: 15

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

chicago-bulls.png23. Chicago Bulls

2019-2020 Record 9-17 Previous Rank: 27

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

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memphis-grizzlies.png24. Memphis Grizzlies

2019-2020 Record 8-16 Previous Rank: 25

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

washington-wizards.png25. Washington Wizards

2019-2020 Record 7-16 Previous Rank: 29

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

Atlanta-Hawks.jpg26. Atlanta Hawks

2019-2020 Record 6-19 Previous Rank: 19

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

new-orleans-pelicans.png27. New Orleans Pelicans

2019-2020 Record 6-19 Previous Rank: 26

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

cleveland-cavaliers.png28. Cleveland Cavaliers

2019-2020 Record 6-19 Previous Rank: 22

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

golden-state-warriors.jpg29. Golden State Warriors

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

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

new-york-knicks.png30. New York Knicks

2019-2020 Record 5-20 Previous Rank: 28

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

Source: lineups.com

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Boomers VS Team USA Games 1 and 2 at Marvel Stadium

The first exhibition game between the Boomers and Team USA is scheduled for Thursday night, the 22nd of August at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne. Most likely by the time you’ve read this the game will have been played and won. For many the absence of the biggest names from the NBA has been a sore point, with angry fans requesting refunds and many seats still available. From the outside, it could be said that maybe Basketball as a sport is the loser in what appears to be a bit of a fan debacle.

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But not so? Read this excellent appraisal from the Roar

Anger over the Australia-USA exhibition match debacle ramped up this week as the ACCC became involved in helping frustrated fans get ticket refunds for the historic two-game series.

With multiple Team USA stars pulling out of games, fans have claimed they were misled by false advertising campaigns that included a number of NBA superstars. Even when the actual USA squad was announced it featured stars like James Harden, Anthony Davis and Damian Lillard. And the Aussie team was set to include NBA stars Ben Simmons, Jonah Bolden and Dante Exum. However, just one day out from the first game at Marvel Stadium, all of these players have made themselves unavailable for a variety of reasons.

Who would have thought 12 months ago, when the plan to bring the NBA’s biggest stars to Melbourne was front-page news, that we’d find ourselves in this position? The games still have many seats available and there are sure to be more empty seats if people get their desired refunds.

It’s a sad state of affairs for what was supposed to be a game changer for Australian basketball.

The big question is: is all this hoopla (pun intended) justified? Or is the anger of these so-called fans simply misguided?

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Rather than focus on what’s missing, let’s take a look at what’s still in play. On Thursday night, arguably the best Australian basketball team ever assembled will play in front of the biggest crowd ever seen for a game on these shores. Yes, Simmons is missing. So is Exum, Bolden and Thon Maker. Don’t forget Ryan Broekhoff too. But it is a credit to Aussie hoops that even with those outs the Boomers will still field a team that includes six players with NBA experience, including two with championship rings.

You have Andrew Bogut, the No. 1 draft pick of 2005 and a championship player. You have Matthew Dellavedova, another champion who is notorious for his aggressive and physical style of play. You’ve got Joe Ingles of the Utah Jazz, a player who has excelled in Australia and in Europe and who is now a phenomenon in America known for his sharpshooting.

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You’ve got Patty Mills, a veteran point guard of the San Antonio Spurs who continues to contribute to both club and country in so many ways. Throw in Aron Baynes and Mitch Creek and you’ve got six NBA stars – and the word star is completely justified for all these guys. And that’s not to mention the NBL stars like Chris Goulding and European star Jock Landale. This is no amateur team.

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On the other side you’ve got what many might call a second-string USA team. But that team includes Donovan Mitchell, Kemba Walker and Jayson Tatum as well as Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart and Khris Middleton. Yes, the US won’t field its best team, but the team they will field is still filled with NBA talent. It’s a younger team, but many of these guys are the future of the NBA.

As for the game itself, the same crew that convert football stadiums for NCAA final four games will take the reigns at Marvel. Massive multimedia screens and an NBA-worthy court setup will make this an experience like nothing seen in Australia. And everything else aside, these are the final hit=outs for two teams considered medal hopes for the upcoming World Cup. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of this?

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The problem we have here is that Aussie fans are still too focused on the NBA. The National Basketball Association is arguably the biggest, most profitable and most popular sporting product in the world – in fact it is probably one of the biggest entertainment products full stop. There is no other basketball competition in the world that comes close to the NBA. The flow-on effect for Australia is that most Australian fans are more interested in the NBA than our local competition.

The truth of the matter is that many Aussie hoop ‘fans’ wouldn’t be able to tell you who plays for the Opals, who our best local players are or even who won the NBL championship last year (shock, horror!). The sad reality is that when these exhibition games were announced, many fans chose to view it as an NBA extravaganza rather than a historic, home-soil match for our Boomers ahead of an extremely important World Cup campaign. And now that Little Johnny won’t get to see LeBron James or Steph Curry play, what’s the point of going?

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It’s even sadder given Australian basketball is thriving at the moment. You might even say it’s the best it’s ever been. NBA representation aside, the local game is going gangbusters. The NBL has reached new heights with international acclaim, fantastic media coverage, a new free-to-air deal with SBS, an extremely competitive competition players across the world are looking at and huge signings, including two of the biggest NBA prospects in America

We’ve just crowned champions in the inaugural NBL1, a new feeder series that gives the best men and women ballers in the country the opportunity to showcase their skills. On the international stage we’ve seen recent medals for the Opals, under-19 girls, under-17 girls, men’s and women’s 3×3 teams and the Rollers wheelchair team. Participation and interest in basketball is at an all-time high across the country.

It’s sad to think that even with all this positivity fans are still not interested enough in Aussie hoops to want to sit courtside and cheer on our lads on one of the biggest stages possible. It is an insult to Australian basketball that people are turning their back on these games. Yes, ticket prices are expensive and, yes, we were misguided by advertising, but we’re still getting a pretty bloody good deal. We should be throwing our full support behind it regardless of how many NBA players show up.

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We should be showing the world how much we care about the sport. Instead, I fear that there will be a lot of empty seats at Marvel Stadium on Thursday and Saturday, and while it will still be a spectacle and a fitting send-off for both teams as they head to China, it could have been so much more. A sad state of affairs indeed.

Source: theroar.com.au

Nellakir are Victoria and Tasmania’s leading experts in the construction, maintenance and cleaning of premium Sprung Timber Sports Flooring. All courts are built and maintained to current FIBA standards and use ASF/Horner Flooring Systems exclusively.

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Nellakir Powers On – Ben Simmons doesn’t miss a beat.

In India there’s a saying; “When the dogs are barking, the elephant keeps walking”. So it is with Ben Simmons – conservative commentators have been lashing out at him during his current visit based on some very irrational thinking. When he was denied entry to Crown, the press runs the story ‘he’s making it up’. When thousands turn up to greet him after his camp in Sydney – ‘he ignored them’.

Sorry but not good enough. People of fame have walked into Crown intoxicated, barely dressed and abusive – quite simply this was a stuff-up. Simmons was sober, casually dressed and controlled.

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Ben just takes it in his stride.

Read about it here:

Once again, we rejoice in cutting down a tall poppy

Australia should be building up Ben Simmons, not tearing him down. After all, not only is he our richest athlete, he may also be our most important.

Some sections of the Australian media seem hell-bent on hurling condemnation at him for supposedly making a meal of his trip back to Australia, with shock-jock Alan Jones making the baffling claim that Simmons should “go back to America and stay there”.

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It seems Jones and other commentators have not enjoyed Simmons’ trip at all. They’re unimpressed that, when refused entry to Crown casino, he claimed it was a result of racial profiling.

Others thought him precious for “storming” out of an interview with Channel Seven’s Campbell Brown after a joke about the Crown racism incident fell flat. Football commentator Kane Cornes even said he was “sick of Ben Simmons”.

But it’s the rage about him charging $200 a head for a basketball camp and then apparently “sneaking out” early that really smacks of Australia’s obsession with tearing down our international success stories.

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The haters lined up to shoot him down for charging $200 after he recently signed a $243 million five-year contract with the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers.

Because of all of this, Jones has claimed Simmons “has lost a lot of people very quickly”.

What a load of rubbish. Just because Simmons is wealthy, it doesn’t mean he owes us something and it certainly doesn’t mean he now has to work for free. There are plenty of wealthy sportspeople and media types charging a small fortune to appear at sportsmen’s nights and other community functions, and nobody seems to bat an eyelid at that. Should they also work for free?

Simmons is an international superstar and doesn’t have to come back to Australia. In fact, he could be anywhere in the world doing anything he wants.

The fact he’s chosen to come home should be celebrated, and harnessed to encourage kids to get out and play.

In an age when kids are regularly glued to their screens and too often isolated and shut away from the world, international superstars such as Simmons have the ability to do far more good than harm.

What many of these haters don’t realise is that times are changing. No longer are younger fans obsessed only with Australia’s traditional sports. Increasingly, they’re gravitating to overseas sports with a truly global appeal. They’re fascinated by megastars who earn truckloads of money and who have millions of social media followers around the world.

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In fact, many follow stars and brands more than teams.

Simmons is a bona fide basketball star. Furthermore, he’s a star of a sport that’s played by more kids in Australia than cricket, Australian football and rugby league. And he’s playing in a competition, the NBA, that has more subscribers to its streaming service per capita in Australia than any other nation in the world.

And yet, instead of encouraging him to help get kids off the couch and onto the basketball court, where they can be active, socialise and form meaningful friendships and communities, we’ve tried to chase him out of the country.

Sadly, the behaviour and sentiment showed towards Simmons is not unique. Australian golfing legend Greg Norman once remarked that if someone in America bought a sports car, other Americans would say “nice car”; if someone in Australia bought a sports car, other Australians would scratch it.

Source: smh.com.au

Meanwhile Nellakir has been awarded two new VBSA contracts at Casey Field School and another at Clyde North Primary School. These will be purpose built Sprung Timber Sports Flooring School Basketball Courts. It has also been awarded the Victorian Netball contract at Royal Park to build 6 new premium competition courts. Add to this two replacement courts – one at Richmond High School, the other at Wesley College Elsternwick. And lastly, the new Cleaning Service from Nellakir has kicked off with contracts in Cragieburn and Whittlesea.

It’s simple, when you require expert service, experience and simply the best in materials and equipment, call Nellakir on 03 9467 6126 or leave your details here for a prompt reply.

Nellakir – Victoria and Tasmania’s leading experts in the Construction, Maintenance and Cleaning of Premium Timber Sports Flooring.

Nellakir – Sports Flooring for Champions.

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

Ben Simmons 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.

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New Zealand’s Silver Ferns Claim World Cup Title Over Australia

The Netball World Cup has now been completed with New Zealand’s Silver Ferns running out victors – defeating Australia by a heartbreaking one solitary point. Australia 51 / New Zealand 52.

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For the first time in the sport’s history, the World Cup winning team were ultimately rewarded with a sponsors prize of $300,000 divided amongst the team members. Each player received $25,000. Keep in mind these players were virtually full time in their preparation for the World Cup for over 6 months – so this will be a most welcome relief.

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Read about it here:

World Cup-winning NZ netballers rewarded with unprecedented payment after outcry

  • Public campaign nets Silver Ferns $25,000 each
  • Sponsors contribute towards bonus fund for players

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A public outcry has helped the Silver Ferns receive an unprecedented winning bonus payment of $300,000 following their triumph at the Netball World Cup. Netball NZ has announced each player in the 12-strong squad will be granted $25,000, a breakthrough in a sport that struggles for commercial cut-through despite its high participation rate.

A group of sponsors contributed towards a bonus fund after it was revealed the players would not receive a cent of prize money following their 52-51 win over Australia in last Sunday’s final in Liverpool.

While the players did not complain, a public debate was generated around the disparity of remuneration levels in top level sport. It was revealed the New Zealand men’s cricketers would share a prize pool of about $3m for their runners-up finish at the World Cup a week earlier.

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NNZ chief executive Jennie Wyllie said it was a good feeling to reward the players, who are otherwise playing solely for pride internationally in a highly demanding sport.

“Elite players continue to work relentlessly for their love of the game without expectations of high remuneration, but this is a huge step forward and we are very grateful to our partners, who we could not do this without,” she said.

Leading players in New Zealand’s domestic league are reportedly paid close to $100,000 when third-party agreements are factored in.

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The Silver Ferns’ next assignment is the four-Test Constellation Cup against Australia in October.

NNZ is still to confirm if inspiring coach Noeline Taurua will be in charge for the series, allowing her time to find her feet again in her other role as coach of the Sunshine Coast Super Netball team.

Source: theguardian.com

Netball is closing in on becoming a fully professional sport. With Free to Air Television coverage, great Stadiums and facilities, the sport has one of the highest per capita participation rates of any sport in Australia.

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Most junior competitions are being enabled to play many more games on genuine sprung timber sports flooring. With Federal funding of larger sports stadiums in both Suburban and Regional areas; and with the Victorian State Government funding both new schools and existing schools to build high quality Sports Stadiums with genuine Timber Sports Flooring, the general standard of competition is certainly on the rise.

Nellakir are the leading experts in the Construction and Maintenance of genuine sprung timber sports flooring in both Victoria and Tasmania. From initial construction, utilising ASF/Horner FIBA approved timber flooring systems exclusively, to annual maintenance including re-surfacing and linemarking, to weekly or bi-weekly professional cleaning of your Timber Sports Flooring, always call Nellakir on 03 9467 6126. If you prefer, leave your contact details here for a prompt reply. Professional and proficient – engage the best.

Arrange a free no-obligation quote today and ensure your competition and teams are always playing on a premium playing surface.

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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.