NBA: Lakers snapped out of their losing streak as the Nets suffer defeat to the Cavaliers
(Basketball news) The Los Angeles Lakers snapped out of their three match losing streak as they defeated the Utah Jazz 101-95. For the Lakers, LeBron James scored 25 points and Stanley Johnson had 10 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to a much needed victory. The Lakers got 44 points from their bench which was an integral part in the fourth quarter revival. For the Jazz, Mike Conley had 20 points and Rudy Gobert had a double double with 19 points and 16 rebounds as Jazz star Donavan Mitchell had a quiet night with 13 points only. With this result the Lakers moved to 7th in the Western Conference standings as they improved their record to 22-22.
''I'm just trying to put everyone in position to be successful and read the game while the game was going on and I knew the way we could be successful offensively,'' James said. ''The guys responded well to what I saw and Stanley had a big-time game.''
''Our effort and energy wasn't where it needed to be in the Denver game, second half of the Memphis game and the other game,'' James said. ''We weren't playing to our capabilities. As the leader of this team I was taking onus of that and letting Laker Nation know.''
''It feels good doing what I came here to do,'' Johnson said. ''I came here to bring energy and affect the game in different ways. Today was the day I was able to do it within the scheme and get deflections and be active. It resulted in positive plays. It feels good. We all put a lot into this. It's not just a wake up and do it.''
''I thought we had too many really tough shots,'' Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. ''I think some of the shots are makeable but we made it harder on ourselves than it needed to be as far as making better reads and moving the ball quicker and generating some better shots. I think that showed.''
The Brooklyn Nets suffered their second successive defeat on the roll as they lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers 114-107. This was also their 5th win a row as the Cavs are certainly pushing above their weight this season. For the Cavaliers, Darius Garland strengthened his All-Star case with 22 points and 12 assists as Isaac Okoro added 15 points and Jarrett Allen had 14 and 10 rebounds. For the Nets, Kevin Durant was missing his second game in a row but James Harden added 22 points as Kyrie Irving top scored with 27 points. With this result the Cavs stayed in 4th but have the same number of wins as the third placed Nets in the Eastern Conference.
It's a signature win for us against a high-level team,'' Cavs coach J.B. Bickerstaff said. ''Obviously with reasons why and excuses coming back off that long road trip and all those things, playing against two of the most elite players in our league, and our guys figuring out a way.
''I'm not bringing science into it,'' said Irving, who was defensive about his position. ''I'm staying rooted in what I believe in.''
''It's an opportunity for our team to grow,'' Nash said. ''We have to find solutions.''
The other results were:
- Wizards 117 - 98 76ers
- Grizzlies 119 - 106 Bulls
- Clippers 139 - 133 Pacers
- Hawks 121 - 114 Bucks
- Magic 88 - 98 Trail Blazers
- Heat 104 - 99 Raptors
- Spurs 107 - 121 Suns
- Mavericks 104 - 102 Thunder
Tomorrow’s fixtures are:
- Knicks vs Timberwolves
- Warriors vs Pistons
NBA: The MVP race is hotting up as the season heads towards its midpoint
(Basketball news) With the NBA in full flow there have been certain players who are having extraordinary individual seasons. We take a look at those players who are not only in the MVP reckoning but also helping their team grind out results over these past few months. This season has been really tough on the players especially with the Covid situation and protocols, so to be consistent in an inconsistent season really tells about the players mentality and contribution points wise to their respective teams. Lets us a take look at the top three players in the league currently:
3) DeMar DeRozan (Chicago Bulls)
This season DeRozan has averaged 26.0 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 4.7 apg. When the Bulls signed DeMar DeRozan on a three-year for a $85 million contract and traded Thaddeus Young plus a future protected first round pick to finish the deal many experts regarded the move as disastrous and doubted his skills but DeRozan had other ideas as he is currently having his best season at the age of 32 and has helped Chicago from being the worst-to-first in the Eastern Conference standings. After finishing last season with the fewest wins in the league over the last four seasons, the Bulls are now a legit contender for the No. 1 seed in the East.
DeRozan has been deadly on the mid-range scoring and hitting clutch shots for the Bulls. He’s leading the league in fourth quarter scoring, which has helped his team capture the top spot in the standings. While DeRozan doesn’t shoot many threes and remains a below average defender but his consistent ability to get to the foul line and score baskets are a crucial part in Billy Donavan’s offence. If DeRozan keeps this up, the Bulls are a legit contender in the East.
2) Kevin Durant (Brooklyn Nets)
This season Kevin Durant has averaged 29.7 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 5.9 apg. He’s leading the league in scoring at about 30 points per game. If KD can maintain a shooting percentage above 61 percent, it will be the 10th straight year he’s done it. He’s also had a major impact on the Nets’ team success with Kyrie Irving still having not played enough games together, James Harden is having a below par season compared to his standards, and Joe Harris is hurt, but Brooklyn are still in the reckoning to win the Eastern Conference
Durant has a strong case both as MVP winner as it is remarkable that he’s still playing so well even after tearing his achilles. Brooklyn’s defense has also been playing at a top-five level most of the year, and Durant is a factor on that end as well despite not putting up huge steal or block rates so far. KD is having an incredible season this year and in all possibilities at the end of the season he might just lead the Nets to their maiden NBA crown
1) Steph Curry (Golden State Warriors)
Curry this season is averaging 27.7 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 5.9 apg. At the age of 34 he is still playing his prime. He’s once again one of the league’s leading scorers, and he’s doing this making more three-pointers than ever before. Nowadays he’s been surrounded by a reliable veteran supporting cast that helps his team to win matches even when he's not around. Golden State Warriors have become a team that got knocked out in the play-in tournament last year to one having the best record this season.
Curry all his life has been a bit of an underrated defender, but with time he's becoming an even better defender than before, his defence has played a pivotal role on what’s clearly the best defense in the league in Golden State. He also broke the all time three point record of Ray Allen at the Madison Square Garden this season. As long as he stays healthy, Golden State remains the No. 1 seed in the West and a third MVP title wouldn’t be far.
NBA: Lakers slump to their second loss in a row as Nets thump the Chicago Bulls
(Basketball news) Los Angeles lost their second match in a row as they lost to the Sacramento Kings 125-116. For the Kings, De'Aaron Fox scored 29 points, Chimezie Metu made a clutch 3-pointer with 46.7 seconds remaining as Harrison Barnes added 23 points and seven rebounds for the Kings and rookie Tyrese Haliburton had 14 points and 10 assists. For the Lakers, LeBron James had 34 points, seven rebounds and six assists and Malik Monk scored 22 as James has scored 31 or more in 11 of his last 12 games. With this result the Lakers dropped down to 7th in the Western Conference with a record of 21-21 as the Kings improved their record to 17-26.
“It was a much-needed win,'' Kings interim coach Alvin Gentry said. ''We did a good job of attacking the paint - we ended up with 70 points in the paint. That was the difference in the game, we were able to get the ball to the basket.''
''We knew if we didn't put up a stand, put up a fight in the third, we would let this slip away like the previous five,'' Barnes said. ''Tonight from start to finish we did a good job of sticking to the game plan, everyone providing energy, competing. Things that we haven't done consistently.''
''For the second game in a row, our defense let us down,'' Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. ''We have to figure out what we're doing there and be better in that situation.''
The Brooklyn Nets thrashed the Chicago Bulls 138-112 as for the first time this season the big three of Durant, Harden and Irving started a game. For the Nets, Durant scored 27 points, James Harden added 25 points and a season-high 16 assists as Irving had an off night with 9 points but Patty Mills scored 21 and nailed 6 of 8 from beyond the arc, helping Brooklyn come out on top after losing five of seven previous matches. For the Bulls, Zach LaVine scored 22. DeMar DeRozan added 19 points as they lost for the second time in three games after winning nine straight to match their best run since the end of the 2010-11 regular season and Bulls also had their nine-game home win streak snapped. With this result the Nets improved their record to 26-14 but still stayed 2nd in the Eastern Conference standings.
''We're trying to make no statements to the league,'' Durant said. ''I mean, who cares what they think. We know what we bring to the table, and it's all about us. But I'm sure people were watching the game tonight.''
''We're that good,'' Harden said. ''We have a chance to be that good. We just haven't had enough of it.''
''I think you own it,'' coach Billy Donovan said. ''I think our guys have worked hard up to this point to be where we are in the standings, and with that there's a greater responsibility.'
''When that run happened, I think it was just a continuous sort of flow we had from the first half,'' Irving said. ''We just felt like once we break this open, hit a few more 3s, make it tough for them on the defensive end - we felt like we'd have control of the game.''
The other results were:
- 76ers 98 - 109 Hornets
- Pacers 100 - 119 Celtics
- Wizards 112 - 106 Magic
- Hawks 91 - 115 Heat
- Knicks 108 - 85 Mavericks
- Spurs 124 - 128 Rockets
- Jazz 91 - 111 Cavaliers
Tomorrow’s fixtures are:
- Bucks vs Warriors
- Grizzlies vs Timberwolves
- Pelicans vs Clippers
- Nets vs Thunder
- Nuggets vs Trail Blazers
NBA: Warriors lose their second game in a row as the Suns win comprehensively
(Basketball news) The Golden State Warriors slumped to their first back to back defeats as they lost 101-96 to the New Orleans Pelicans. For the Pelicans, Brandon Ingram scored 32 points as Warriors' leading scorer Stephen Curry was ruled out after hurting his left quad along with Draymond Green was also out because of a sore hip. The Pelicans players produced an allround performance as Hart scored 14 points and Clark had 10, hitting three of four 3-pointers. Jonas Valanciunas grabbed 10 rebounds and blocked two shots. For the Warriors, Andrew Wiggins scored 21 points. Kuminga scored 13 and Damion Lee added 12. With this result Pelicans improved their record to 14-25 as the Warriors dropped down to 2nd in the Western Conference standings with a record of 29-9.
''You could tell from the start of the game that he was playing at a different pace,'' Pelicans coach Willie Green said of Ingram, “He was aggressive, and he had intention. He knew where he wanted to get, and he got to his spots and jumped up and shot the ball. He got to the free throw line. It just took him a couple games to get back in rhythm.''
''Being short-handed gives the young guys a good chance to play and experience a pressure-filled game on the road,'' Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. ''I am proud of the team fighting all the way through, giving themselves a chance at the end. Just didn't have enough, and the ball didn't go in enough.''
''It takes a toll on me throughout the day and the next day until we can get back on the floor,'' Ingram said. ''Today was definitely a good night for me. My body felt good. I felt good going to the rim. I had a rhythm. I had a good touch to my shot.
The Phoenix Suns became the first team with 30 wins as they won comprehensively against the LA Clippers 106-89. For the Suns, Chris Paul had a triple-double with 14 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists, and the Suns improved to 25-0 when leading after three quarters. Cam Johnson added a career-high 24 points, and Jalen Smith scored 19 points and had 14 rebounds. The Clippers dropped below .500 at 19-20 as Marcus Morris Sr had 26 points and Reggie Jackson added 16. With this victory the Suns moved to the top of the Western Conference standings as they improved their record to 30- 8.
''Some teams' biggest issue is that they don't know what they want to run or who they want to go down the stretch,'' Paul said. ''I think we have a good sense of that. We know what our go-to plays are.''
''I just think the players have done a really good job of driving our culture,'' Suns coach Monty Williams said. ''We have unreal guard play, which really helps.
''We scraped and competed,'' Clippers coach Ty Lue said. ''That is a good ball club over there and they played well. Their stars took over down the stretch and took over the game.''
The other results were:
- Knicks 108 - 105 Celtics
- Grizzlies 118 - 88 Pistons
Tomorrow’s matches are:
- 76ers vs Spurs
- Raptors vs Jazz
- Nets vs Bucks
- Bulls vs Wizards
- Rockets vs Mavericks
- Nuggets vs Kings
- Lakers vs Hawk
- Trail Blazers vs Cavaliers
NBA: Nets win as Kyrie Irving makes a comeback, Mavericks stun the Warriors
(Basketball news) The Brooklyn Nets welcomed back Kyrie Irving as they won 129-121 against the Indiana Pacers. Kyrie Irving was ineligible to play home games because he is not vaccinated which is compulsory in New York City and the Nets had decided against allowing him to just play road games for most of the season but they changed their mind last month as he scored scored 22 points to rally the Nets to a much needed victory. For the Nets, Kevin Durant had 39 as they recovered from a 19 point deficit as LaMarcus Aldridge scored 13 points in 16 minutes. For the Pacers, Domantas Sabonis had 32 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists and Lance Stephenson, who had previously played for the Pacers scored 30 points in his first home game with the Pacers after signing a 10-day contract. With this result the Nets improved their record to 24-12 as they stayed second in the Eastern Conference standings.
''He looks like himself, not that that's a surprise,'' Nets coach Steve Nash said.''It came down to defense and effort, and the second half was night and day to the first,'' Nash added . ''It took us getting in a deep hole before we showed them the respect the game and them the respect they deserved.''
''He didn't act nervous, he has a nice poker face,'' Durant said. ''He's a quiet guy. He plays with energy and passion.''
Irving said he was nervous, “it was different from any previous debut in his basketball career. This meant a little more, taking eight months off and so much uncertainty,'' he said ''I settled down closer to the second half. Whatever the team (needs), I'll do.''
''Just working out for two years, waiting for this moment,'' Stephenson said. ''I'm so happy to be here, it's home. It's like playing in front of family.''
The Dallas Mavericks stunned the number 1 seed in the west as they won 99-82 on a night when Dallas Mavericks retired Dirk Nowitzki's number. For the Mavericks, Luka Doncic dominated the proceedings as he scored 26 points, the 22-year-old sensation played aggressively and was 10 of 12 on free throws with 8 assists and 7 rebounds.to his name, Dorian Finney-Smith scored 15 of his 17 points in the second half and had nine rebounds and two blocks. For the Warriors, Andrew Wiggins scored 17 points as Steph Curry again had a rough night with 14 points to his name. At 29-8, the Warriors dropped into a tie with the Phoenix Suns for the best record in the NBA. With this result the Mavericks improved their record to 15-16 as they moved to 8th in the Western Conference standings.
''The body of work over the course of this year's been pretty solid,'' said Curry, who scored 14 points and made just five of 24 shots coming off his worst shooting night of the season. ''This stretch has not been great, not up to my standards. So you've just to stick to the program. It'll come around.''
''There are so many things going through your head,'' said Jason Kidd ''You know the Warriors are going to score. Steph is going to make 3s. We just tried to make it as tough as possible and on offense take care of the ball. And our defense did a great job in giving us a chance to win.
“Everyone's throwing everything at him,'' coach Steve Kerr said. ''Their best defender. Their double teams. They're trying to make it as difficult as possible. I thought tonight he pressed a little bit. He's trying hard to get out of it.''
''An icon,'' Curry said when asked about Dirk Nowitzki. ''He did it his way, playing with the same franchise for 21 years. Just what he meant to the city, to this organization. He opened up the gates for international players to believe they could have amazing careers in the NBA and give them confidence.''
The other results were:
- Hornets 140 - 111 Pistons
- Wizards 111 - 114 Rockets
- Magic 106 - 116 76ers
- Celtics 97 - 99 Spurs
- Timberwolves 98 - 90 Thunder
- Bucks 111 - 117 Raptors
- Nuggets 109 - 115 Jazz
- Trail Blazers 109 - 115 Heat
- Kings 102 - 108 Hawks
Tomorrow's fixtures are:
- Knicks vs Celtics
- Pelicans vs Warriors
- Grizzlies vs Pistons
- Suns vs Clippers
NBA: Lakers win back to back matches after a long time as Brooklyn Nets continued their winning streak
(Basketball news) Lakers won back to back road games as they defeated 106-94 against the Orlando Magic. James scored 14 of his 30 points during Los Angeles' spectacular third quarter, and he added 11 rebounds and 10 assists while the Lakers rolled past Orlando for their fifth victory in seven games. For the Lakers, Talen Horton-Tucker scored 19 points, Russell Westbrook had 19 points and James secured his 101st career triple-double in the final minutes as the Lakers won their second straight with second-leading scorer Anthony Davis sidelined by left knee soreness. For the Magic, Cole Anthony scored 21 points, Franz Wagner added 20 points and seven rebounds as they suffered their 12th loss in 13 games. With this result the Lakers improved their record to 15-13 and moved up to 6th in Western Conference.
'When he's aggressive and making the right plays and reads, our team is different,'' Westbrook said. ''This was another game where he imposed his will. ... (The blocked shots) are just big for us, and I know it's big for him to show he's still doing what he's been doing year after year. It's great to see.''
''Sleep,'' James said. ''Sleep, and inspiration from my son and his team. ... I slept last night from 12 to 8. I got up, ate breakfast, and then I went back to sleep from 8:30 to 12:30. That's pretty good, right?''
''He's exemplifying finding joy through hustle,'' Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. ''The effort he's playing with is inspiring our whole group.''
The Brooklyn Nets continued their fine start to the season with a 116-104 victory over the Detroit Pistons. Kevin Durant scored an NBA season-high 51 points as he scored at least 10 points in all four quarters. Patty Mills added 18 points for the Nets, who outscored Detroit 30-13 in the fourth quarter. For the Pistons Cade Cunningham had 26 and Frank Jackson added 25 for Detroit, which lost its 12th straight and still haven't won back-to-back games this season. Durant also set the record on Sunday for points scored at the Little Caesars Arena, which opened in 2017. He bested Blake Griffin's 50 in 2018, Kyrie Irving's 45 in 2020 and James Harden's 44 last season. With this result the Nets improved their record to 19-8 and sit comfortably at the top of the Eastern Conference standings.
''I knew I probably needed to pick up a little more of the scoring tonight,'' said Durant, who had his seventh 50-point game of his career. ''We were turning the ball over more than we should, and I was doing as much of that as anyone, so I figured I better just keep shooting.'
''It was fun just to watch K.D. when he's playing like that,'' Mills said. ''Being a part of it is even better. You don't see many games like he had tonight.''
''I saw the look in his eyes and knew he didn't want to come out,'' Nets coach Steve Nash said. ''He was just incredible tonight. Not only did he score 51, but he had (nine) assists and (seven) rebounds. He even had a couple blocks and played incredible defense in the fourth quarter.''
The other results were:
- Thunder 84 - 103 Mavericks
- Spurs 112 - 97 Pelicans
- Trail Blazers 111 - 116 Timberwolves
The other matches for tomorrow are:
- Cavaliers vs Heat
- Raptors vs Kings
- Pacers vs Warriors
- Hawks vs Rockets
- Celtics vs Bucks
- Grizzlies vs 76ers
- Mavericks vs Hornets
- Nuggets vs Wizards
- Clippers vs Suns
NBA: Knicks continued their amazing start to the season as Lakers and Warriors both lose
(Basketball news) New York Knicks continued their fine start to the NBA season as they beat the unbeaten Chicago Bulls 104-103, Kemba Walker again top scored with 21 points, RJ Barrett also added 20 points to hand Bulls their first loss this season. The victory wasn’t easy for the Knicks, it boiled down to the last possession after the Bulls went on a 12-0 run in the final minutes to nearly tie the score in the end. The Knicks literally had a 104-91 advantage with 3 minutes to play as DeMar DeRozan and Zach Lavine almost inspired a comeback, Zach Lavine top scored for the Bulls with 25 points but the major worry for the fans is that he tore his ligament in his left thumb.
New York coach Tom Thibodeau said, “Right now, we're still getting a feel for each other, every game we're getting better and better. I love the fact that everyone is sacrificing for the team and putting the team first. That's how you win big in his league.''
LaVine said, “It was a good game. It was our first real test and it came down to that last shot. We fought back. I just wish we got into it a little sooner where we could take a lead.''
Golden State Warriors suffered their first loss of the season after they lost to the young and spirited Memphis Grizzlies in overtime 104-101, this was a repeat of the play in game from five months ago that Grizzlies won 117-112 in overtime. Steph Curry scored 36 points but went scoreless in the fourth quarter and in overtime as Ja Morant and co took advantage of this and outscored their opponents. Ja Morant top scored with 30 points with 11-22 shooting, Desmond Bane scored 19 valuable points to snap a two match winless streak for Memphis Grizzlies.
Curry said after the match “The last two shots in regulation, the last one, the game-winner, looked good, those are two shots I'd take every day of the week. Overtime, I think I pressed a little bit, maybe settled a little bit, especially when I didn't have it going from 3, and not getting into the paint and getting my runners off, getting the ball moving. Little critical of myself on those last three shots.''
Miami Heat beat the Brooklyn Nets 106 - 93, Bam Adebayo top scored with 24 points and nine rebounds to better their record to 3 wins and 1 loss. Preseason favourites Nets haven’t had a good start to the season as Kevin Durant did his best with 25 points and 11 rebounds but in the end it was too much for him to do alone, a worrying sign for the Nets fan would be the slow start James Harden is off to as Kyrie Irving still remains unavailable.
Durant said, “I like how we're playing defense the last couple games, I like where our defense is trending. ... I feel like we're generating good shots. We're just (not) knocking them down. If we continue to generate good shots we'll put ourselves in good position”
Los Angeles Lakers suffered their third loss of the season to OKC as Shai Gilgeous Alexander scored 27 points to take them to a 123-115 win. The Oklahoma City Thunder were down by 26 points at one stage as they rallied from behind, this equaled the Thunders biggest comeback in franchise history, to subsequently this was also their first victory of the season.. Early on Westbrook and Anthony Davis dominated the proceedings as they scored 20 and 30 points respectively, Westbrook also managed his first triple double in a Lakers uniform before getting ejected in the final seconds.
Gilgeous-Alexander said Oklahoma City never considered giving up, ''It's a 48-minute game, Crazier things have happened. ... So we knew it was possible. I myself have come back from a deficit almost that big, so I knew it was possible. Just stay the course. Every game, every moment for the whole season.''
Other significant results were:
- Mavericks 104 - 99 Spurs
- Rockets 91 - 122 Jazz
- 76ers 110 - 102 Pistons
- Wizards 122 - 111 Hawks
- Bucks 108 - 113 Timberwolves
The fixtures to look for tomorrow are:
- Heat vs Hornets
- Nets vs Pacers
- Lakers vs Cavaliers
- Nuggets vs Mavericks
- Raptors vs Magic
NBA: Lakers and Nets both lose their first match of the season as Giannis and Steph Curry both shine on the opening day.
(Basketball news) Steph Curry lit up the night with his first triple double since January 2016 as he scored 21 points 10 rebounds and 10 assists for Golden State Warriors who came back from 10 points to stun Lebron James and the new Los Angeles Lakers by 121-114 in the season opener.
The Lakers were dominant all throughout the first three quarters as LeBron James and Anthony Davis showed the world why they are the best duo in the league, James scored 34 points and 11 rebounds while Davis had 30 points and 11 rebounds. Ultimately it was the fourth quarter that proved to be decisive as they got out scored 38-29, no other Laker players even scored in double figures as Frank Vogel and his coaching team will try to get the best out of this roster. Newly added star player Russell Westbrook couldn’t make a big impression as he shot 4 of 13 for 8 points in his Lakers debut.
Giannis and the Milwaukee Bucks didn’t let their first title in their history distract them from their title defence as they breezed past the Nets in the opening night. Although Kevin Durant and Patty Mills scored 32 and 21 points respectively, the bucks were too strong in the end as they won 127-104. Although Bucks won the game, it came at a cost as their star player Jrue Holiday got injured with a bruised right heel and subsequently sat out the second half of the game.
Nets were missing star guard Kyrie Irving after his refusal to take the Covid-19 vaccine, James Harden had to step up but couldn’t deliver up to his expectations as he scored 20 points making 6 of 16 shots. On the other hand after Holiday’s injury, Khris Middleton and Pat Connaughton stepped up their game and each scored 20 points to secure a comprehensive victory over the Brooklyn Nets.
“We can’t give a team 20 more shots than us. Imagine coming to a game and saying, here, take the ball 20 times on offense before we get an offensive position. This is one game out of 82 of them. We’ll look at it that way. Every team will look at it that way. The Bucks won today, but they are still trying to fine-tune what they do, too. I think every team in the league is going to look at their first few games, first few weeks and see where their team is going and then make adjustments” said Kevin Durant after the loss to the bucks.
Antetokounmpo said. ''I'm excited. But now it's over with. We've got to focus on building good habits, keep moving forward and keep playing good basketball and hopefully we can repeat this again this year, next year and all the years that we're going to be here down the road.''
Brooklyn coach Steve Nash said. ''We weren't very good, If you're not playing at a high level against the champs, you're not going to win.''
In tomorrow’s matches we will see last year’s finalist Phoenix Sun take on Denver Nuggets as just one of the marquee fixtures tomorrow. The Nuggets will most likely be without last year's MVP Nikola Jokic as he is recovering from an ankle injury as they will have to heavily rely on Aaron Gordon to score the majority of the points to get a win over the rampant Suns who will head into the match with a fully fit squad. The New York Knicks take on the Boston Celtics in their opening fixtures, the Knicks last season were a surprise package making the playoffs after 10 years but this season after the acquisition of Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier they will be hoping to make the conference final at least. As for the Celtics they are going through a transition period as they will heavily rely on their young players Jason Tatum and Jaylen Brown to produce the goods.
The other fixtures for tomorrow are:
- Hornets vs Pacers
- Pistons vs Bulls
- Raptors vs Wizards
- Timberwolves vs Rockets
- Pelicans vs 76ers
- Grizzlies vs Cavaliers
- Jazz vs Thunder
- Trail Blazers vs Kings
- Spurs vs Magic
Everything to know about the 75th NBA season as Lakers and Nets start as favourites for the Championship
(Basketball news) The 75th NBA season is starting with the new trend of super teams in fashion as the likes of Lakers and Nets just added more superstars to become outright favourites to go all the way to the final. This year, teams will be back to playing a full 82 game season with full capacity stadiums as 30 teams will be participating, divided into the Western and Eastern Conferences.
A lot of historical records can be broken this season as Golden State Warriors star player Stephen Curry is set to become NBA’s all time leading three point shooter, he needs only 143 threes to overtake the legendary Ray Allen. Gregg Popvich, the manager of San Antonio Spurs begins his 26th year as a coach, needing only 26 wins to pass Don Nelson for the most victories in NBA history. LeBron James keeps on breaking records as he is going to start in his 19th season, with a total of 35,367 points as he's on the cusp of breaking Karl Malone (36,928) to become the second highest scorer in NBA history.
The Eastern Conference this season is packed with talent and will be an interesting watch to see how teams will adjust to their relatively new roster. Last season's champions Milwaukee Bucks will again win the Conference as well as the Championship this season but their task won't be easy especially teams like Brooklyn Nets, Philadelphia 76ers and Miami Heat all having improved significantly this season. Some of the dark horses from last year like the Chicago Bulls and New York Knicks also added all star calibre players in their roster to make the Eastern Conference even more competitive than last season.
The Western Conference was full of surprises last season as the Phoenix Suns made the NBA playoffs after 11 years and shocked everyone when they reached the finals. This gives an indication on how tough the Eastern Conference is, at least 12 teams are eyeing the 8 spots in the NBA playoffs. This season again Lakers will be favourites to come out of the Western Conference as they probably have the best roster on paper but the likes of LA Clippers, Denver Nuggets, Golden State Warriors, Portland Trailblazers, Dallas Mavericks can cause an upset and go to the NBA final. The unpredictability and the world class players present in the Western Conference tends to be more in the limelight and this season with each roster stacked the competition is going to be tougher.
The race for this year's MVP will be an intriguing watch as last year's winner Nikola Jokic will be looking to make it 4 consecutive MVPs for players from Europe. The likes of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Steph Curry and LeBron James will all be looking to retain the trophy this season. Some new aged superstars like Luka Doncic, Trae Young and Ja Morant can also be in the MVP reckoning as they have consistently been their franchise cornerstone in the recent years.
The 75th NBA season tips off tomorrow with two mouthwatering fixtures between Brooklyn Nets vs Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers vs Golden State Warriors at 5 am and 7.30 am respectively. The two championship favourites will battle it out with two former champions is quite a first day matchup for basketball fans. Brooklyn Nets arguably have the best offensive players in Kevin Durant and James Harden in their ranks and will be looking to avenge their loss they had in the Eastern Conference final last season. For the Milwaukee Bucks, their roster remains the same and will be looking to repeat last year's feat by beating the mighty Brooklyn Nets as Ginnas and Khris Middleton will be the key players to look out for if they are to cause an upset.
The LA Lakers are coming off a pretty terrible preseason having lost all their six matches as they will be looking to start the season fresh with their new big three of LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook who will be playing for the first time together against the Golden State Warriors. As for GSW all eyes will be on Steph Curry as he will have to wait 2 or more months for his partner in crime Klay Thompson to return to the court after a 2 year long injury. Lakers have mostly got their 2020 winning squad back as LeBron looks to equal Michaell Jordan's six championship rings.
Kyrie Irving needs to be a more responsible role model amidst vaccination debate
(Basketball news) The influence that some of the biggest athletes in sport have on the wider public has never been more powerful than it is today. Cristiano Ronaldo has 355 million followers on Instagram, the most on the social media platform. The younger generation have always wanted to emulate their sporting heroes and with the existence of social media, that urge has only magnified tenfold.
Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving is currently in the middle of a rather public and unhealthy debate about COVID-19 vaccines. Irving is one of the biggest names in the NBA ever since he was the number one draft pick in 2011, he’s more than an athlete, he’s an icon, philanthropist and one of the six vice-presidents of the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA). Fittingly, Irving has also admitted to being a “conspiracy theorist” which may explain the underlying reasons behind the current debacle he finds himself in. He has apologized previously for his “earth is flat” comments and has been sharing conspiracies about microchips in the Moderna vaccine on social media.
Taking into account his esteemed position not just as a basketball player but also as a social media influencer, it’s fair to say that Kyrie Irving has been a poor role model for the younger generation. While everyone is entitled to make a “personal choice”, Irving has been publicly vocal about his decision to not take the vaccine, easily influencing the millions of people who look up to him. Publicly denouncing the vaccination can have dangerous, potentially lethal consequences for those who he can influence. COVID-19 is well and truly prevalent in our societies and it’s clear that Irving is swimming against the tide with 95% of NBA athletes already vaccinated.
Former basketball superstar Michael Jordan has publicly sided with the NBA and their COVID-19 protocols. In an interview with NBC’s “TODAY” Jordan said “ I am totally in unison with the league, and I think everybody, you know, has been speaking about the vaccinations. And, you know, I’m a firm believer in science and, you know, I’m going to stick with that and hopefully everybody abides by whatever the league sets the rules. I think once everybody buys in, we’re going to be fine.”
Jordan isn’t the only one as fellow Hall of Famer Abdul-Jabbar told Rolling Stone, “There is no room for players who are willing to risk the health and lives of their team-mates, the staff and the fans simply because they are unable to grasp the seriousness of the situation or do the necessary research" while Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard said getting vaccinated was a “simple decision”.
While the NBA has not implemented a vaccine mandate for players, labelling the public issue as a ‘personal’ decision for each player, the problem lies when the decision being made is not “personal” anymore. Irving took to Instagram Live to say “Do what's best for you, but I am not an advocate for either side. I am doing what's best for me. I know the consequences here, and if it means that I'm judged and demonised for that, that's just what it is, that's the role I play.”
Irving is willing to pay a heavy price for his decision, $380,000 per game to be exact and with 41 home games in a regular season, the total amounts to $15.6m. However, the biggest price that could be paid might be from all the individuals who choose not to get vaccinated because their basketball hero isn’t getting a jab either.
Los Angeles Lakers vs Brooklyn Nets: The battle between two superteams
(Basketball news) As the new NBA season draws closer and the majority of the free agents found respective homes, the Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets emerged as the strongest teams without a shadow of a doubt. Even though last year's NBA champions Milwaukee Bucks and finalist Phoenix Suns remain relatively unchanged from last season, both teams don’t possess the historical talent that the Lakers and Nets have.
The Lakers last season got eliminated in the 1st round of the playoff series by the Phoenix Suns but this season Rob Pelinka (General Manager) made sure that the same thing isn't repeated. At the end of last season, Lakers managed to pull off a blockbuster trade where they managed to get 9 times NBA all star and 2016-17 MVP Russell Westbrook from the Washington Wizards. With Lebron James and Anthony Davis already in the team, adding Westbrook makes them the team to beat in the Western Conference. With the Lakers adding former NBA all stars Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard and Rajon Rondo in free agency their roster looks more dangerous than before.
The Brooklyn Nets last season pulled off the trade of the decade by getting James Harden from Houston Rockets, adding to a roster which already contained Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Last season, according to all experts, the Nets should have the NBA Championship but were beaten by the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference final, although injuries hampered the squad which eventually led to their downfall last season. This season Steve Nash (Coach of Nets) will be hoping that his stars remain fit as they have already added former all stars LaMarcus Aldridge and Paul Milsap to an already staked roster.
With both teams' ambition of winning a NBA championship last year not being fulfilled, the teams will be even more hungry to reach the NBA final this season. The Los Angeles Lakers have got back the championship core which won the NBA 2 years ago but the key advantage that the Lakers have over the Nets is the championship experience they have in their roster. On the other hand, the Nets have arguably the best trio in American sports history as on any given day James Harden, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Iriving can beat any team just based on their talent. As the fans eagerly wait for the start of the new season the NBA finals looks destined to be between these two teams unless and until injuries hamper them both. This is a site that not only the basketball fans want to watch but the sports fans in general will also tune in.
Also read: Virtual development program launched by NBA Academy for top female prospects from outside the US
The Los Angeles Roster:
Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, Marc Gasol, Trevor Ariza, Rajon Rondo,Dwight Howard, Wayne Ellington, DeAndre Jordan, Russell Westbrook, Kent Bazemore, Anthony Davis, Kendrick Nunn, Malik Monk, Talen Horton-Tucker.
The Brooklyn Nets Roster:
Kevin Durant, James Harden, Kyrie Irving, Joe Harris, Patty Mills, Blake Griffin, LaMarcus Aldridge, Paul Millsap, Nic Claxton , Bruce Brown, Cam Thomas, James Johnson, DeAndre Bembry, Jevon Carter, Day’Ron Sharpe.