That’s not to say that Ainge is perfect and never makes mistakes (I really wish he had addressed the bench more last season, I don’t know how he hasn’t consolidated picks in the last few years, his recent record of mid-to-late draft picks has been suspect). I mean, if Hayward was willing to take $20M less to go home to Indy and the deal fell through because Ainge got greedy, that’s certainly an “L” (as they say). That’s a big “if” though and I kind of doubt it played out that way. Charlotte came with the big bags of cash late in the game and that was the end. Good for Gordon and his agent.Philadelphia 76ers Face Masks
“It gave me the push, the motivation to go. I found strength in myself to do something for others even when,” said Towns, 25. “I told D’Lo [Russell] when he asked me, ‘It’s always easy to do the right thing when it’s easy for you. But it’s very hard to do the right thing when it’s very inconvenient for you.’ And that is why I went. I knew it was the right thing to stand up for racial injustice and to find ways to help the youth and spread the message that this police brutality and racial injustice has to stop. Especially in a community that has given me the opportunity to live the life I live. …Los Angeles Lakers Face Masks
The NBA suspended its 2019-20 season on March 11 when Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus prior to a game against the Oklahoma City Thunder. In mid-October, the league completed the season in a bubble at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, with zero positive player tests, though there were at least three instances of players breaking protocol.
"Almost one calendar year after the 2019-20 NBA season began, the NBA Finals are about to begin between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Miami Heat. It’s been a long, grinding, tumultuous season with the deaths of Kobe Bryant and former commissioner David Stern, and an all-time footnote in the form of a four-and-a-half month hiatus brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.
The NBA had to get creative to even consider resuming its season, and it did indeed think outside the box in order to do so. As we know now, the league created a bubble environment in Walt Disney World’s Wide World of Sports, and thanks to vigorous testing and quarantining had a perfect record with no positive tests on campus.
The league pulled off something that seemed impossible back in the middle of March when they suspended the season, and along the way provided some incredible basketball. The Phoenix Suns were the seeding game champions with a perfect 8-0 record but were eliminated from playoff contention in the final game of the round.
Performances by Jamal Murray and Donovan Mitchell in a seven-game first-round battle between the Denver Nuggets and the Utah Jazz were nothing short of spectacular, and the Miami Heat’s stifling zone defense clamped down on the Milwaukee Bucks and the Boston Celtics en route to the Finals, while Anthony Davis had a fantastic scoring run for the Lakers.
Not to be left unmentioned, LeBron James had a vintage Game 5 against the Denver Nuggets to clinch things, reminding us that there’s still nobody like LeBron when he has a team on the ropes in the NBA playoffs.
The Los Angeles Lakers and the Miami Heat are not the matchup we expected when the season began, or even when the seeding games or the playoffs began. The Lakers were never worse than the second-most likely team from the Western Conference to get here, but the Heat astonished everybody to get to the Finals."Boston Celtics Face Masks
In a memo sent to teams by the NBA Monday morning, the league laid out resting policies for the 2020-21 regular season -- including granting significant flexibility to teams resting players in non-nationally televised games, particularly at the start of the season.
Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra’s smart game-planning has been a huge advantage in its series against the Milwaukee Bucks in the NBA playoffs. "The Miami Heat are up 2-0 in against the first seeded Milwaukee Bucks. They need to win twice more to earn an Eastern Conference Finals berth, a height that no one saw them reaching when they retooled their roster last offseason.
Several of the Heat’s newcomers have been impactful in Miami’s two victories against the Eastern Conference’s best team but one of the longest-tenured people in the Heat organization deserves credit as well: head coach Erik Spoelstra.
Miami’s two-time championship-winning coach has proven to be a cut above the rest yet again. The culture he fosters in the Heat organization pays dividends, attracting stars like Jimmy Butler and developing guys with few, if any, expectations to be big-time contributors at the NBA level into key starters (see: Bam Adebayo and Duncan Robinson).
While the play on the court is always the most important aspect of the game, coaching makes a tremendous difference, and it’s showing in this series. Spoelstra has run circles around Milwaukee’s Mike Budenholzer. Spo’s decisions have put the Miami Heat in a prime position to take the series while Bud’s have cost his team momentum and possibly the outcome of games.
For one, Spoelstra has managed his rotations better than Budenholzer, who still has a reluctance to play his best players through the entirety of crunch time.
Spoelstra has made minimal substitutions near the end of the fourth quarter. By roughly half-way through the final period, Spo has his key players in for the remainder of the game. Budenholzer has struggled with this.
With 5:06 left in Game 2, Middleton picked up his 5th foul. He was subbed out for Wes Matthews and subbed back in with 3:32 left. In that time, Matthews committed a turnover and two fouls, one of which was a shooting foul on Jimmy Butler, who made both free throws, extending the Heat’s lead to eight.
The absence of Eric Bledsoe in Game 1 doesn’t excuse some of Budenholzer’s rotation decisions. Pat Connaughton receiving 25 minutes in Game 1 and Marvin Williams receiving 21 minutes in Game 2 are huge lapses in judgment by last season’s Coach of the Year."Sacramento Kings Face Masks
Adebayo posted pictures of the celebration on social media and couldn't hide the joy he felt after delivering on the goal he had set for himself and his mother. His emotions prior to surprising his mom were similar to the biggest ones he has felt on the basketball court.
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