The regular season is over as Bulls secured the last playoff berth
(Basketball news) The Chicago Bulls clinched the last playoff position as they beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 124-120. For the Bulls, Troy Brown Jr. added 17 points and 11 rebounds as Patrick Williams scored a career-high 35 points and Ayo Dosunmu had 26 points in a season-high 45 minutes. For the Wolves, Nathan Knight had 17 points and eight rebounds and Jaylen Nowell added 15 points. With this result the Bulls secured 6th place in the Eastern Conference standings as they will face the No. 3 seed Milwaukee in the first round. Chicago, which has returned to the playoffs after a four-year absence, shared the East's best record with Miami at the All-Star break they fell off the pace and too many inconsistencies in their performances dropped them to 6th in the standings.
''We have to maintain a high level of competitive fight. They're champions for a reason,'' coach Billy Donovan said. ''They're battle-tested.''
''It's a good first step. This needs to be the foundation of what we're trying to build, and regardless of what happens from here, we've got a lot of things that we've learned,'' coach Chris Finch said.
''I was running a lot of things at him tonight to try to get him to be like that,'' Donovan said. ''He took it upon himself to do the things that he did, even randomly.'
The Lakers finished off their season with a consolation victory over the Denver Nuggets 146-141 after overtime. For the Lakers, Malik Monk had a career-best 41 points and Austin Reaves set career highs with 31 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists as Wenyen Gabriel had 14 points and 10 rebounds. LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook did not play the last match as this was also Frank Vogel’s last game in charge, he leaves the golden and purple after 3 seasons and won an NBA championship in 2020. For the Nuggets, Markus Howard had a career-high 25 points and Bryn Forbes scored 24 . With this result the Nuggets face the Golden State warriors in the first round of playoff matches.
''My reaction is I haven't been told (anything) and I'm going to enjoy tonight's game,'' Vogel said when asked about the report. ''Celebrate what these young guys did in terms of scratching and clawing and getting back in this game. We'll deal with tomorrow tomorrow.''
''He gave me a chance,'' Monk said. ''This was the only team that called me in the offseason. I have nothing bad to say about him. All praise goes to him. If it wasn't for him I wouldn't have a chance to play basketball. I probably wouldn't be here, so kudos to Frank.''
''This is real basketball,'' Denver's DeMarcus Cousins said. ''This is when talent has to come out. The regular season is one thing, you kind of go through the motions to get through it and be successful.''
Season's over, no one got hurt tonight,'' Malone said. ''We'll focus on moving forward and preparing for Golden State.''
The other results were:
- Cavs 133 - 115 Bucks
- Rockets 114 - 130 Hawks
- Nets 134 - 126 Pacers
- Hornets 124 - 108 Wizards
- 76ers 118 - 106 Pistons
- Magic 125 - 111 Heat
- Knicks 105 - Raptors
- Grizzlies 110 - 139 Celtics
- Timberwolves 120 - 124 Bulls
- Pelicans 107 - 128 Warriors
- Suns 109 - 116 Kings
- Trail Blazers 80 - 111 Jazz
- Clippers 138 - 88 Thunder
- Mavericks 130 - 120 Spurs
LA Lakers sack head coach Frank Vogel after missing out on play-offs
(Basketball news) After a disastrous campaign, the LA Lakers have sacked head coach Frank Vogel after missing out on the play-offs. The team won 33 matches but lost 49 and finished 11th in the Western Conference, with Vogel’s final game being a 146-141 overtime win over Denver Nuggets. Lakers' general manager Rob Pelinka said “This is an incredibly difficult decision to make, but one we feel is necessary at this point. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Frank both on and off the court. Frank is a great coach and a good man. We will forever be grateful to him for his work in guiding us to the 2019-20 NBA championship."
As things stand, the LA Lakers don’t have a frontrunner to succeed Vogel and are looking for a sixth full-time head coach since the legendary Phil Jackson retired in 2011. Besides Jackson, Vogel has been the only coach to have led the LA Lakers to a championship in 30 years. Speaking after the announcement, LA Lakers’ LeBron James said “I respect Frank as a coach, as a man. The partnership that we've had over the past few years has been nothing but just candid, great conversations. He's a guy who gives everything to the game."
Vogel joined the Lakers on a three year deal in 2019 and helped the team win the 2020 title in Orlando, Florida. He was given a contract extension at the end of the 2020/21 season and his side quickly earned the reputation for being one of the best defensive teams in his first two seasons. After finishing third in the 2019/20 season and first in the 2020/21 season, the team ended up in the bottom 10 both offensively and defensively and ranked 21st in the defensive rating.
In what was their seventh straight defeat, the Phoenix Suns defeated LA Lakers 121-110, missing out on the play-offs. The Lakers were considered one of the favourites in the Western Conference but their campaign has been a big disappointment due to various factors, especially injuries. The trio of LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook only played 21 matches and held a record of 11-10 in those games. Following the All-Star break, the Lakers lost 18 of 24 games with only Portland Trail Blazers, Houston Rockets and Indiana Pacers doing worse.
Franck Vogel is expected to find a new job soon, especially considering that he has a good record of winning a championship, representing teams such as Indiana, Orlando Magic and the Lakers and finishing his stint at the team with a 127-98 record.
NBA: Steph Curry erupts with a 50 point point performance against the Hawks as Lakers win against Hornets
(Basketball news) Lakers snapped out of their two match losing streak as they won 126-123 against a spirited Charlotte Hornets. Anthony Davis scored 32 points, Russell Westbrook had his first triple double with the Lakers but the star of the show was Carmelo Anthony as he came off the bench to score 29 points on 9-of-13 shooting, including 7 of 10 from 3. He is now shooting 52 percent from 3, including 64 percent at home and helping his team get an overtime victory. For the Hornets, Terry Rozier had a season high 29 points after Lamelo Ball had his second triple double of his career with 25 points, 15 rebounds and 11 assists. It's the Lakers' first victory in the four games that LeBron James has missed this season; Monday was his third straight sitting due to an abdominal strain. With this result, the Lakers improve their record to 6-5 and stand 8th in the Western Conference.
Curry lit up the chase center in San Francisco as he dropped an NBA season high 50 points with nine 3 pointers, 10 assists and 7 rebounds. He single handedly led the Warriors to a 127-113 victory over the Hawks as the crowd started chanting “MVP! MVP!”. He left the court with 8.48 left on the clock as he was examined for his left shoulder. Trae Young with 28 points and Bogdanovic 17 points tried their level best to get a result out of it but ultimately their efforts went in vain. With this result Warriors improve their record to 9-1 in the Western Conference.
Curry said, “We kind of talked about certain preparations for my shot, just certain mechanics that he called it, even having a little bit more conviction about when it's time to shoot, just a little seed he planted. I took that into warmups and the rest of the game. He was very timely with those words of wisdom.''It's always nice, You never come out with a certain number in mind. It's just when you get it going, you just keep going
Coach Steve Kerr said, “That was just a stunning performance by Steph, He was amazing. I want to say I've never seen anything like it but I've been watching it for seven years, so I have seen something like it and still it's just incredible to watch.''
The Chicago Bulls continued their magnificent start to the season by winning 118-95 against Kevin Durant’s Brooklyn Nets. DeMar DeRozan scored 28 points and Zach LaVine added 24 points as the Bulls rallied in the fourth quarter with 42 points. Kevin Durant’s 38 points went in vain as the Nets five match winning streak came to an end. With this result Bulls improve their record to 7-3 and move up to third in the Eastern Conference, the Nets slump to sixth in the standings with a 7-4 record.
DeRozan said “We stayed aggressive, We had a couple of stretches, especially in the first half, where we got messy on both ends. Turning the ball over, letting them get out in transition. We stayed resilient, especially going into that fourth quarter. We stayed aggressive and kept attacking, getting out on transition and making everything tough for them.''
Durant said, “They made shots, they were aggressive in everything that they did. They got stops, ran out. They got some high-level shotmakers on that team, so they made tough ones all night. You got to give them credit, they played with a lot of intensity. We're frustrated. We want to win every game.
The other significant results were:
- 76ers 96 - 103 Knicks
- Grizzlies 125 - 118 Timberwolves
- Mavericks 108 - 92 Pelicans
- Nuggets 113 - 96 Heat
- Kings 104 - 109 Suns
- Wizards 101 - 94 Bucks
The fixtures to look out for tomorrow are:
- 76ers vs Bucks
- Jazz vs Hawks
- Clippers vs Trail Blazers
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.
Basketball player Pau Gasol announces retirement after 23 year long playing career
(Basketball news) Spanish basketball player Pau Gasol has retired from the sport after a long and successful career that has spanned 23 years. The 41 year old won two NBA Championships and three Olympic medals in his illustrious career. Speaking from an opera house in Barcelona, Gasol said “I'm going to retire from professional basketball. It's a difficult decision after so many years, but it's a decision that I really thought over." In attendance were his former teammates and family members, including his wife, his brother Marc and his young daughter.
Gasol made his professional debut in 1998 for Barca as a centre after which the 7 foot 1 inch player was signed by the Memphis Grizzlies in 2001. The Spaniard was selected in the All-Star team on six occasions and won the NBA title with the L.A Lakers in 2009 and 2010. He has also played for Chicago Bulls, San Antonio Spurs, Milwaukee Bucks and spent four months at Portland Trail Blazers despite not playing due to injury.
Gasol had a successful playing career for his country, winning the World Championship in 2006 and European titles in 2009, 2011 and 2015. He helped Spain win a silver medal at the Olympic Games in 2008 and 2012 and guided his country to a bronze medal in 2016. Despite being injured for almost two years, Pau Gasol made a full recovery to participate in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics where Spain was eventually knocked out of the quarter-finals to eventual winners USA.
While announcing his retirement, Gasol spoke about his battle to overcome the stress fracture he suffered on his left foot in 2019. "Not many doctors thought I'd be able to recover but I'm a person who likes challenges and I wanted to fight to do the improbable. I got to the point where I was relaxed about my career ending, I was at peace, but, when things went well, I took the decision to sign for Barcelona, which wasn't in my plans. I managed to win the league with the club where it all began and where I made my debut. It's been very special."
The 41 year old also paid tribute to the late Kobe Bryant with whom he won two NBA titles. “I'd have liked him to have been here today but sometimes life is unfair. He taught me to be a better competitor, a real winner, I considered him like an older brother.”