Loving Basketball: 2021-22 Season begins soon

2020-21 Recap

What a spectacular ending, in July, to the 2020-21 Basketball Season that catapulted the underdog Milwaukee Bucks (MB) as that season’s Champions. I was elated for several reasons; one particularly of which I felt that Giannis Antetokounmpo (GA), who led the Team, had been disrespected and routed by all; the media, fans, and other players, for shenanigans and silly various reasons in my opinion. The likes of disrespect and taunting that would not have been thrown at LeBron James (LBJ or Kevin Durant (KD) or Steph Curry (SC), or any of their caliber without some rebukes. Then again, it could have been a strategy (which obviously backfired) to intimidate GA, the Greek Freak. But, thank goodness, all those negative vibes didn’t sway him to withdraw. Yes, it did slightly affect him with his free throws. But he overcame and conquered to win the Season’s MVP. And, together with his equally indefatigable teammates, won that Season’s championship.

Too bad they (GA and MB) can’t enjoy the Larry O’Brien (LOB) trophy and exhilaration for long for two reasons: one, the break was curtailed, and two, the 2021-22 Season starts soon.

Anywho, that was a long recap.

2021-22 Season

I’m so happy to say that this Season is about to start in a month. Preseason games, which I call the warmers, testers, and feelers, start two days prior and the opening games start on October 19th.

The Preseason games in my opinion are kinda sorta warmers, testers, and feelers. Warmers because most players probably didn’t touch the ball during the break; resorting understandably to spend much needed time with their families to make up for those periods that they were grinding for the Larry O’Brien trophy. The warmups will help them know where they stand physically and mentally with the ball or see how rusty they’ve allowed themselves to let go.

It’s also a tester and feeler because each team, after the musical chairs of trades, wants to have a feel for the “new” team’s roster relative to other teams and test their capacities in various ranges.

It’s still always fun to watch. Having watched several, I feel that the experienced teams withhold their strength and capacities to give a false impression of the team. Kinda like a bait of sorts strategy. Why waste all the fire at the onset when you have seventy-two games to play, right?

The Preseason and initial first few Season games also allow the Coaches to try different strategies, plays, and players (aka rotations) for the best fit.

I can’t wait to see what the Season has for every Team. Will Milwaukee Bucks play for a back-to-back championship?

Various Teams are in the run for the LOB Trophy this season. The trades were brutal, coupled with the Rookies from the Draft, and returnees from injuries, the race to the 2021-22 Championship is going to be wild.

Have you seen or heard of the LA Lakers’ new roster? The big ball team could scare off the best of teams. But, what with Brooklyn Nets as an equally great contender?

Well, my team is in the race, too! It’s fire, fire, fire all round with the return of Klay Thompson (Welcome, Klay!), Jordan Bell, and acquisition of Ighi (Andre Iguodala), and the two Rookies, Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody, Golden State Warriors is right there at the top of the race. Sad to see Kelly Oubre Jr. and Eric Paschal leave. Wish them the very best.

Of course, we are cognizant of the younger teams: Atlanta Hawks, Dallas Mavericks, New Orleans Pelicans, Phoenix Sun, etc. They, and the rest of the teams in-between, all put up a show last season. How did the Drafts and Trades impact them? Will they return with greater tenacity this season?

I can’t wait to see and find out.

Cheers to a Season of great, fun, competitive, and mitigating (or no) injury to all players.

Last One: what’s up with the vaccine?

We all now know that being vaccinated does not preclude one from still testing positive for the covid, right? So, why did the National Basketball Association (NBA) agree to not test vaccinated players? Sounds also that masking has been lapsed, including allowing not vax’ing for religious reasons. 🤔

First, I read that the players disagreed to mandated vaccination stating that it was not part of their contract. Hey brothers, covid is no respecter of your contract. I just pray that none will test positive this season. That even if any, the impact will be mild. But remember, should any test positive, that player will be out for at least two weeks. Two weeks at the beginning of the Season is nothing, but I’m sure no Team wants their key player out for two weeks at critical times of the Season.

Now, the player options are vax or be tested daily.

My two-cents is that everyone (NBA players included) engaging in public should be vaccinated and intermittently tested. Stay home if you don’t want to vax or mask – it’s simple. I recognize the division between those who don’t want to and those who choose to. Defiantly choosing not to vax or mask is an act of selfishness given that your choice could directly and indirectly affect another or several and that the outcomes of covid when infected could be fatal. Those players choosing not to are a dire threat to those players who have chosen to. I just hope that the Basketball world are aware of this.

If you’re an unvaccinated player, do remember not to shake hands with nor hug any fans no matter how desperate the fans may be.

What side are you on: vax and mask or no vax no mask, or in-between?

For now, as much as I love to attend the opening games, my TV and living room will be my team stadium till further notice.

Loving Basketball: Welcome back, Ighi!

As you may or may not know, it has been a whirlwind in the NBA since August 2nd when the annual free agency trades began. With it came new mega contracts that’s making my head spin so hard; all in the bid to stack up on the best of the best of players onward to the 2021-22 NBA Championship race.

While some trades and contracts were shockers both on the acquiring and releasing of players, some made good business sense.

Of all the player trades, I am personally most pleased to see Andre Iguodala back with the Golden State Warriors.

Ighi a 37-year old veteran, still kicking it, has been around the NBA block since 2004 when he was first drafted by the Philadelphia Sixers; the Team he spent eight seasons with. He first joined the Warriors in 2013, had six seasons, and was invaluable in guarding key players during the Warriors’ Championships seasons in 2015, and the back-to-back 2017 and 2018. In 2015, Ighi won the MVP.

He was traded to the Miami Heats in 2019. It was a sad departure watching him leave and wondering why the Warriors couldn’t work out a better deal to retain him.

I hoped he enjoyed his two-season tenure with the Heats, but happy to see him back with the Warriors. Could this be his last dance with the Team and community that gave him the MVP? We will find out soon.

Welcome Andre Iguodala back to the Bay Area and the Golden State Warriors.

Want to read more about Ighi’s basketball bio, click here.

Bye to Oubre

As we welcome Andre, it was sad to say goodbye to Kelly Oubre Jr whose new home is now with the Charlotte Hornets. Thanks Oubre! I enjoyed watching Oubre fierce and fearless on the court and will miss him. I hope his new home is as comforting as, if not more than, the Bay. Wish you the very best, Oubre.

The Whole Trade

If you’ve followed the NBA in the last two weeks, you would have heard of the several mega and max contracts flying around. From Steph Curry to Luka Doncic to Kevin Durant to …., it’s jaw-breaking deals all over. Interested in knowing who has been traded from/to what Team, click here.

Tokyo Olympics

Credits: NBA

Finally, it behooves us to say Congratulations to both the USA Men and Women Basketball Teams for winning the Gold medals at the recently concluded Tokyo Olympics.

History in the Making! Will it happen today?

Have you been watching the NBA 2020-21 Championship between Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns, like I have? What a ball it has been!

Game 6 will be played today, at 9:00 P.M. EST in ABC. That’s in approximately three hours. It is the game NBA Analyst, Steve Aschburner, has tagged Desperation versus Discipline. I cannot agree more.

Desperation or Discipline?

Both Teams are indeed desperate to win today for obvious reasons. For Suns, it’s win or go home. The desperation is hardest on them such that some Phoenix lawyer(s) will pay for a billboard to be mounted in Milwaukee! Read about it here. Whether to support the Suns or troll the Bucks, it seems an act of desperation. The law firm should have used the money to fly all its staff and family members to Fiserv Forum to cheer Phoenix Sun if it really wanted to support. Well …

For Bucks, it’s win, clinch the Larry O’Brien Cup, or return to Phoenix for another grueling game.

Also, both Teams haven’t won a Finals in at least fifty (50) years.

Both Teams also have to indeed exercise discipline; a much better one than they had done and particularly did for Game 5 in order to mitigate the foul calls and avoid technicals and injuries.

Whether it is desperation or discipline, I hope it’s all clean, good, and fun game with no fatal injuries.

Background and Series thus far

As you may or may not know, NBA Playoffs and Championships are a series of seven games. The Season’s Championship began on Tuesday, July 6th at the home court of Phoenix Suns (PS). The Series started with Games 1 and 2 at Phoenix, Games 3 and 4 in Milwaukee, Game 5 – Phoenix, Game 6 – Milwaukee (today), and Game 7, if necessary, back in Phoenix.

As expected, PS clinched the first two games of the Series utilizing home court and fan base to their advantage, setting everyone, viewers and analysts, wondering what was going on with the Bucks, and thus putting Team Giannis in the hole 2-0! Phoenix’s fan base loudly roasted (or booed) Giannis Antetokounmpo (GA) non-stop at the free-throw line – a mental torture, in my opinion.

However, at Buck’s homecourt, GA appeared to get mentally tougher, better, and of course, fewer or non-existence of the Phoenix fans helped eased his composure at the free throw line. With some superb leadership caliber plays, Bucks won the next two games; also utilizing the fan base-home court to its advantage.

Though Game 5 was at PS’s, Bucks clinched the game; now leading series by 3-2. Spectacular was the steal by Jrue Holiday (JH) (from Sun’s Devin Booker) at the last few minutes, GA’s dunk, and Khris Middleton’s back-to-back three-pointers, including free-throws from fouls all helped put Bucks in the lead and cemented the win.

All games featured superb 40+ points each by three players; Devin Booker (PS), GA, and Khris Middleton (KM); thus making the Finals MVP a hard choice. Also notable were stunning steals in the last two games, including blocks and dunks throughout.

The Desperation continues

The Phoenix Suns franchise, established in 1968, has never won an NBA Championship. Per Jason Schandl, “the last time they even made the NBA finals was the 1992-93 season, when Charles Barkley and company lost to Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls. Their only other championship appearances came in the 1975-76 season.”

Bucks’ slogan is “History in the Making.” It’s the first time the team reached the Finals in fifty (50) years.

“The last time the Bucks were in The Finals, legends Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Oscar Robertson were their stars. Current coach Mike Budenholzer was only four years old. Some of the 2021 players’ parents weren’t even born yet.”

Steve Aschburner

“Only four teams have ever bounced back from a 2-0 series deficit in the NBA Finals. Can the 2021 Milwaukee Bucks team become the fifth?” – Yash Mantange

The four teams, he wrote, were:

  1. Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016
  2. Miami Heat in 2006
  3. Portland Trail Blazers in 1977, and
  4. Boston Celtics in 1969.

I believe Mantange made the above statement simply because Milwaukee Bucks is closer to clinching the Series’ win than Phoenix Suns. But, it will be interesting to see the outcome tonight. Yours truly will definitely be watching, cheering, and taking notes. [smile]. I hope you will be too.

All Hail Milwaukee Bucks, the Eastern Conference Champion!!!

What a game! What a series!! I had to watch Game 6 all over again.
But now it’s over and on to the next challenge, the Real Finals.

Milwaukee Bucks are the NBA 2020-21 Eastern Conference Champs. The #3 Eastern Conference seed defeated the young and feisty #5 Atlanta Hawks in an incredibly underestimated 4-2 run.

Milwaukee home fans

I hope that Bucks learned a lesson or two from this Series which started with underrating Atlanta in Game 1 of the series The “hungry” Hawks quickly stated that they showed up to play and behold won the Game.

I had thought that it would be an easy win or a sweep, but Atlanta Hawks proved me wrong.

Of course the Series was not without its share of injuries. Both Teams’ key leaders were sidelined for two and three games each respectively. First, it was Trae Young, then it was Giannis Antetokounmpo. Both Teams survived and won at least a game each without their key players.

Giannis, who left Game 4 and missed Games 5 and 6, humbly stepped aside to allow his deserving teammates; Middleton, Holiday, Lopez, Turcker, Portis, and Connaughton, to enjoy the exhilaration of holding the Larry O’Brien cup. They all elevated their games to cover Giannis’ absence and thus are taking the trophy back home to Milwaukee.

Bucks will face the Western Conference Champs, Phoenix Suns, starting on Tuesday, July 6. It sure will be another spectacular Series as it is Bucks Final qualifier since 1974 and Suns’ since 1993. Both Teams also entered the NBA in the same year. Surely, I’m not about to miss any of the games.

Hope you’ll be watching, too.

Congrats again to Milwaukee Bucks being the superior team in the Series.

Thanks to Team Trae Young for giving Bucks a hard-earned game. Till next season, rest, rest, rest!!!

The NBA Finals begin on Tuesday, July 6. Oh how I wish the Bucks have more time between games to recoup and reenergize. Phoenix Suns has been “resting” since Thursday. I’m sure they will all be fine. 🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾

Mike Brown prepares to make Olympic history with Nigerian national team

OAKLAND, Calif. – Nelson Mandela once famously said, “The world will not respect Africa until Nigeria earns that respect. The Black people of the world need Nig…
— Read on theundefeated.com/features/mike-brown-prepares-to-make-olympic-history-with-nigerian-national-team/

Woohoo to the Nigerian Basketball Team – what a delight to qualify as the only African country – and to Mike Brown, the humble Golden State Warriors assistant Coach!

👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾😎

Did you watch it?

Game 7 was phenomenal as expected. It could have passed for the NBA Finals, rather than the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals that it was. And for the Milwaukee Bucks, no other game going forward, could be as challenging as the one today against Brooklyn Nets. For sure!

So, Team Giannis won having narrowly missed a last minute three-pointer that could have ended the regulation with Kevin Durant’s (KD) shot, but for his (KD) foot on the line. Thus it was a two-point shot. It tied the game and went into overtime.

KD’s three/two pointer shot

The overtime (OT) started with Nets early shot, while Bucks’ shots refused to hit the basket until almost the fourth minute (of the five-minute OT).

A game with KD is not over until the clock times out because he is such a great player and shooter who can shoot from any angle. Unfortunately his last shot for the Game 7 OT was an air ball. As Giannis always says, a win is a win, whether by one or ten points. KD’s miss clenched the win for Team Giannis.

I have watched both Giannis Antetokounmpo (GA) and KD played each other times without number, both during regular seasons, Playoffs, and Finals, but still none compared to 2021 Game 7 nor have I ever seen both key players as exhausted as they both were for this Game. Everyone, that is the NBA village, was watching.

Bucks was the underdog, but with injuries plaguing the Nets, they had a chance. And chance they not only had, but took, and snatched the win from the Big Two (or shall I say, Big One-and-a-Half since Harden, who surprisingly made more shots (3s) than he did for Games 5 and 6) was not totally healthy. He stepped up immensely though to aid KD and the Team.

The key players on both Teams were glaringly and excruciatingly exhausted not surprisingly since both KD and Giannis played about 50 minutes each and had 40+ points. Giannis played with a limp towards the end having suffered pains from being hit. So did P. J. Tucker at some point. Giannis was also ridiculed at the free throw line for taking too long and missing the shots anyways, which he finally overcame and made a total of I think five out of the eight free throws. Middleton was hit in the eye. And there was also foul troubles; P.J. Tucker, who was doing a tremendous job guarding KD and frustrating his efforts, eventually fouled out during the OT.

Great Sportsmanship

KD gave his respect to the Milwaukee Bucks for all they did tonight, during the Series, and had done throughout the Season.
See the after-game video courtesy of NBA.

Congrats. Congrats. Congrats.

Congratulations to the Milwaukee Bucks. They get two days of rest, (excluding travel back to their home base) while waiting on the winner of Sixers and Atlanta, before the start of the Eastern Conference Finals Series.

Bucks-Nets Game 7 was the Game of the Season and one to remember for years!

Loving Basketball: The Big Three are Nasty!

Excusez-moi, monsieurs! Qu’est-ce qui se passe?

What I envisioned to be a game of the titans is turning out to be an embarrassing game of mismatch to watch. Pardon me, but it appears that Giannis and Team Milwaukee are proving to be no match for Brooklyn Nets’ Big Three of Kevin Durant (KD), Kyrie Irving (KI), and James Hardin (JH); Big Two for Games 1 and 2 since Harden exited at the onset of the series. I can only imagine if he was playing.

The Nets rout Bucks, without resistance, in the second game leading by almost 40-points. Game 1 was sort of a sampler. I had thought that Bucks will resist and show up for Game 2. But was I wrong? Glad that I didn’t bet on it because I could have lost money big time.

I love to watch a game of equals and I had thought that there wasn’t much difference in NBA’s 2020-21 #2 Team Durant/Brooklyn Nets and #3 Team Giannis/Milwaukee Bucks. But watching Games 1 and 2 of Round 2 of the Playoffs, and particularly Game 2, proved that the difference and disparity goes beyond the numbers and thus me wrong.

I’ve always loved Kevin Durant (KD). The boy’s got style on the court. He’s so slick and plays the game with such unbelievable ease. So when he was acquired by Golden State Warriors (my favorite Team), I was elated. And he proved his worth earning the back-to-back MVPs. KD’s on-court countenance also changed compared to his time with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Too bad that we (GSW/fans) couldn’t keep him longer.

Anyhow, KD seems to be on a roll for a championship as it appears that this might be a sweep if Milwaukee is unable to bring their A+ game on Thursday and fight back. I hope they will. In basketball nothing is impossible as we saw with the Dallas Mavericks and LA Clippers.

On edge waiting for this duo’s Game Three … till then

Love and Peace.

Loving Basketball: 🥵 Golden State Warriors’ 2020-21 NBA Season is Over?!

Two painful losses for the Dub Nation in the Play-In Tournament fighting for the 7th or 8th Seed, first against LA Lakers and tonight with the Memphis Grizzlies, substantiates the fact that some outcomes in life just don’t make sense despite your BEST efforts.

It’s the second time Warriors will miss the Playoff after winning the Championship thrice, with one back-to-back.

As a fan, the losses hurt. I can only imagine how Steph and team feels.

But for a team that started the season with only eight players (due to injuries) for the first twenty or so games, coming from last and second-to-last team, to now be in the Play-In, despite the loss still needs to be commended.

Well, on to next season. Hopefully, we’ll have Klay Thompson, who’s been out since 2019, back and be back to our Championship form.

Step said “It’s weird going out like this … we gave it all the gas we had in the tank.”

Thanks Dubs for a great season!

Loving Basketball: Woohoo All 30 Teams Playing Today!

It’s a day of basketball starting now. All 30 Teams playing today – 15 games!!! It’s Pre-Play-In which starts on Tuesday. Some teams (6 from the Eastern Conference and 5 from the Western) have clinched a Playoff seed, but a few teams need to win the game today and the Play-In to qualify for Playoff.

If you’re in the U.S., check your television local and sports channels for correct times. You can also subscribe to the NBA Station for individual games or all games. Happy viewing.

Praying for all Teams.

Loving Basketball: 2020-21 NBA Season, Play-Ins, and Playoff

What a Season! The 2020-21 NBA Season has been quite interesting. What with covid and a lack of fan-fare. We must commend all the players for continuously entertaining us despite being in lockdown away from families and their fans. Yay yay yay. I hear your mutterings – they are only doing their job after all the big contracts and pay packages. True, but I believe that they could have opted out of the lockdown conditions during covid and still be legally or contractually un-liable. Well, what do I know; I’m just speaking from my heart. I am however glad that they didn’t and chose to play through it all.

The 2020-21 NBA Season started in December 2020. Now, it’s down to the wires as the Season officially ends on Sunday. Under normal circumstances, we would have known the eight teams that made the Playoffs which starts a week from Saturday (May 22nd). But since the Season’s circumstances were abnormal, there is a Play-In Tournament to determine the 7th and 8th seeds. The Play-In, starts before the Playoff Tournament, on May 18 through the 21st and, according to the NBA, “will include teams with the 7th through 10th-highest winning percentages in each conference.”

Is the Play-In an exception as a result of covid or does this become the NBA Playoff norm? We will find out sooner or later. I bet the ninth and tenth teams, given the opportunity to play-in, are glad, but it might be one game too many for the current seventh and eighth teams.

It has definitely been an interesting Season to watch. On the Western Conference, what with the 2019-20 Championship, LA Lakers, regressing from the #1 Team, and Golden State Warriors once the #15 team advancing, to both now needing to win to clinch a Playoff seed. Likewise, the Eastern Conference has seen an impressive Miami Heat already clinched the #5 playoff seed, while the once indomitable Boston Celtics is in the same boat as their Western Conference counterparts, LA Lakers.

No one team retained the #1 spot on either the Eastern or Western Conference throughout the Season. However, the Utah Jazz has maintained the #1 spot for the Western than any other, while the Philadelphia 76ers are currently Eastern Conference #1 seed.

Of course, playing rigorous, and sometimes heart-wrenching, 72 games took its toll on some of the players and some teams a lot more than others. See this current injury list of all teams. Understandably. Here’s wishing a speedy recovery to all.

Life Lessons learned from the NBA Games

  • The greatest lesson learned, cliched as it may sound, is that nothing lasts forever. Never say never.
  • The other lesson is that resilience pays. Just watching the teams and players not giving up; one game after the other, was exciting sometimes playing through pain.
  • Grace was present for those players who merely and naturally were themselves and played for the love of the game, rather than for showbiz.
  • Opportunity might only come once in certain instances. Always be ready and prepared – no excuses. Watching how bench players had to step in and up. If they missed that opportunity, they get replaced or don’t get another chance for a long time. I wish that Coaches could give other players more playing times so that they can easily step in when the noted and more famous starter-players became injured. This one puzzles me all the time as it looks so simple, but I wonder why it’s not implemented so. I’ll love to know what the reason behind this is. It takes a few back-to-back losses for a team to recoup itself after an injury to the main player.
  • Basketball is a team sport, but sometimes it only takes one player to make the defying moment of victory. Often times, it is the least-expected player that makes it happen.

The next few days are highly expectant. I know it is for me. ThinkTalk wishes every team the very best.

Loving Basketball: Team LeBron vs. Team Durant: NBA All-Star Draft rosters and results

Credits: NBA

The Captains, LeBron James for the West, and Kevin Durant for the East, selected their starters and reserves watched by probably millions on TNT a few minutes ago.

Below is the roster per the NBA website:

Team LeBron

Starters:
• LeBron James*

• Giannis Antetokounmpo

• Stephen Curry

• Luka Doncic

• Nikola Jokic

Reserves:

• Damian Lillard

• Ben Simmons

• Chris Paul

• Jaylen Brown

• Paul George

• Domantas Sabonis

• Rudy Gobert

* Captain

Team Durant

Starters:

• Kyrie Irving

• Joel Embiid

• Kawhi Leonard

• Bradley Beal

• Jayson Tatum

Reserves:

• James Harden

• Devin Booker

• Zion Williamson

• Zach LaVine

• Julius Randle

• Nikola Vucevic

• Donovan Mitchell

Interested in details, click here

The, one-day 2021 NBA All Star Game is scheduled for Sunday, March 7th.

Schedule (per NBA):

Both Captains are playing for a Charity Organization. Should be lots of fun.

I hope you will join to watch and support. 😍

Enjoy Christmas Day with your Family watching these NBA Games!

Source: NBA

Schedule

12:00 P.M. Miami Heat and New Orleans Pelicans

2:30 P.M. Golden State Warriors and Milwaukee Bucks

5:00 P.M. Boston Celtics and Brooklyn Nets

8:00 P.M. Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Lakers

10:30 P.M. Denver Nuggets and Los Angeles Clippers

Credits: NBA

I am sooooo excited and will be lazing in front of the screen with my family aaaalllllllll Day!

Games are airing on ESPN and ABC today. Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

Loving Basketball: Can’t believe this is happening …!

Check out this game in the NBA app!
Celtics VS Bucks
https://watch.nba.com/game/20201223/MILBOS-1

Tell me that there’s no fear because it’s just the beginning of the Season! Again, an indicator of what the season holds.

Enjoy the remainder of the game on second opening night😍

Here are the results of other games played tonight, courtesy of NBA; couple or so still in progress.

Stop Press!

Though Milwaukee Bucks closed the lead, they lost the game to Boston Celtics by one point – 121:122!

Loving Basketball: 2020-21 NBA Season Starts Tomorrow!

For lovers of NBA Basketball, the 2020-21 Season starts tomorrow!!! I’m so excited but too bad Covid-19 has barred fans from being live on-the-ground to watch their favorite Teams. Well, we’ll be glued to our televisions.

It’s going to be different. What with Teams’ almost all new players and the ten (10) players who, missed almost all of the previous season or more, now returning, and all the BIG deals and trades! Giannis Antetokounmpo having the BIGGEST BADDEST DEAL! The trades are on till March, so still more trades to expect and James Harden is still looking for a new home. I wonder where he’ll land.

The Championship race this season will sure be different. Personally, it’s hard to tell who’s going to lead each conference, but I know it’s gonna be darn wild and exciting!! Yours truly will be watching and I hope you will too.

Here’s the Season’s Broadcast Schedule. Watch your locals for appropriate showing times.

Loving Basketball: Preseason starts this Saturday!

t.email.warriors.com/r/

Woohoo!!!

Check your local Teams for respective stations’ airing times. You know (C)ThinkTalk will be glued to the television.

Quiz:

Which Team will win this season’s Championship?

1 Golden State Warriors

2 Golden State Warriors

3 Golden State Warriors

4 Golden State Warriors

😆 Okay, I just displayed my bias!

Let’s take two:

Which Team will win the 2020-21 NBA Championship?

1 Golden State Warriors

2 Los Angeles Lakers

3 Miliwaukee Bucks

4 Brooklyn Nets

You can also write it in the comments.

Hope you’ll be watching too!

Loving Basketball: So glad to see these guys back!

www.nba.com/news/10-players-we-finally-get-to-see-again-in-2020-21

. . .

I’m really glad and looking forward to the 2020-21 NBA season starting soon – Christmas will be bomb!!!

The game, like any other sports, is a risky venture. We, the fans, concern ourselves more with the big bucks paid to the players and big contracts signed. But none, absolutely none, can relate to the private grind and unfortunate mishaps, nor the public scrutiny, that comes with it.

I’m really gladder to see these players, highlighted by renowned NBA sportswriter and my fave sportswriter (though he doesn’t know that or know me! smile), #ShaunPowell, return to doing what they love. I watched the incident live as it happened to everyone on the list and man, I shed a tear or two. That each had to be grounded at all is painful; for some a year or more. But as awful as each’s incident was, I gathered and consoled myself that each needed a divine rest that they would otherwise not had taken.

How could the Bay Area fans had explained Kevin Durant’s (KD’s) incident recur live during the 2018-19 NBA Championship. It undoubtedly dented hopes of winning that season. Steph, Draymond, et al were still fighting till the next casualty Klay Thompson went down! All hopes at that point, for my beloved Golden State Warriors (GSW) winning that season, shattered. Was that a divine coincidence? You be the judge.

Needless to say, we welcome these guys back and pray that there will be no mishaps during the season. Cheers to the stronger, vibrant, and healthier ten (10) NBA players. Love you all and thanks for giving us your best always and sharing your gifts and talents with the world.

p.s. we continue to pray for a speedy recovery for the indomitable Klay Thompson.

Loving Basketball: NBA Teams’ Star Duos

“Everyone needs somebody,” right? Yes, we all need each other, but most importantly, we all need at least one person in our life who is our confidante or a balancer of sorts. For married couples, this person often is the significant other. But even married couples need a confidante outside of marriage. This person could be your parents, a sibling, or a great friend. Identify such a person in your life today and be willing to be accountable, as well as to listen, obey, and have mutual respect for one another.

. . .

If you’ve been following the NBA lately, especially since the NBA Drafts, you would have noticed or heard the numerous musical chairs (I’m referring to the trades and deals!) going on. Despite the ongoing “tradeals,” I thought it would still be fun and interesting to see how much change each Team has undergone when the 2020-21 Season starts.

As our lives need somebody, so do sports teams. Each Team has the superstars who the rest of the players revolve around. I was musing a while back about keep my Loving Basketball posts alive during the League’s recess and this is what I came up with; the NBA Team Star Duos. Let’s talk and learn about who they are.

. . .

Who are the Super Star Duos of each NBA Team?

I hope the Star Duos were obvious to you as you watched the recently-completed NBA games; restarts, playoffs, and championship. If not, they are listed below.

Basketball is a team sport. But every team has a duo super-star around which the rest of the players revolve. The duo players get more playing times than the rest, are the “face of the Team/franchise,” and this status is topped with mega contracts. A few of the teams have more than two, but primarily it’s always the main two.

Trivia

Before we get to the Team Duos, first, a little trivia.

  • Do you know how many teams are in the NBA today?
  • Do you know when the NBA started?
  • Do you know how many teams the NBA started with?

. . .

As of today, thirty (30) teams play in the NBA; 15 each for the Western and Eastern Conferences. Of these, only two (New York Knicks and Boston Celtics) teams have maintained the same name and played in the same location since the League originally started with eleven (11) teams in 1946! Click here for a chronological history of the NBA.

Going back to NBA Team Duos,

Team Duos

  1. ATLANTA HAWKS Trae Young, Clint Capela.
  2. BOSTON CELTICS Jaysun Tatum, Kemba Walker, Enes Kanter, Jaylen Brown.
  3. BROOKLYN NETS Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant (though he sat out through the season), Spencer Dinwiddie.
  4. CHARLOTTE HORNETS Devonte Graham, Miles Bridges.
  5. CHICAGO BULLS Wendell Carter Jr., Coby White.
  6. CLEVELAND CAVALIERS Tristan Thompson, Kevin Lowe, Andre Drummond.
  7. DALLAS MAVERICKS Luka Doncic, Trey Burke, Tim Hardaway, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.
  8. DENVER NUGGETS Jamal Murray, Nikola Jokic, Jerami Grant.
  9. DETROIT PISTONS Derrick Rose, Blake Griffin, Christian Wood.
  10. GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS Step Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green.
  11. HOUSTON ROCKETS James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Eric Gordon,
  12. INDIANA PACERS Victor Oladipo, Domantas Sabonis, Myles Turner.
  13. LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS Kawhi Leonard Paul George.
  14. LOS ANGELES LAKERS LeBron James, Anthony Davis.
  15. MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES Ja Morant, Jaren Jackson Jr..
  16. MIAMI HEAT Jimmy Butler, Jae Crowder, Andre Iguodala.
  17. MILWAUKEE BUCKS Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, Eric Bledsoe.
  18. MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES D’Angelo Russell, Karl-Anthony Towns.
  19. NEW ORLEANS PELICANS Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram, Lorenzo Bell.
  20. NEW YORK KNICKERBOCKERS RJ Barrett, Julius Randle.
  21. OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER Chris Paul, Steven Adams.
  22. ORLANDO MAGIC Aaron Gordon, Nikola Vucevic, Evan Fournier.
  23. PHILADELPHIA 76ERS Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid. Tobias Harris, Al Horford.
  24. PHOENIX SUNS Devin Booker, Ricky Rubio, Deandre Ayton.
  25. PORTLAND TRAILBLAZERS Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum,
  26. SACRAMENTO KINGS De’Aaron Fox, Harrison Barnes.
  27. SAN ANTONIO SPURS LaMarcus Aldridge, DeMar DeRozan, Dejounte Murray.
  28. TORONTO RAPTORS Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet, Serge Ibaka, Marc Gusol.
  29. UTAH JAZZ Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert, Bojan Bogdanović.
  30. WASHINGTON WIZARDS John Wall, Bradley Beal.

Now you have the list. Can you identify which team belongs to the Eastern or Western conference? 😊

The 2020-21 season has been scheduled to start on December 22; in time for the Christmas holidays. I’m looking forward to a fun holiday. I hope you are too. Basketball is my outlet.

Again, lots of changes have taken place; some of the players have changed teams and some are still in the works. Play along with me and let’s try to match the players to their new team for the season. I think it will be fun.

Thanks for reading. I hope you learned a thing or two.

Loving Basketball: 2020 NBA Draft: Results

The 2020 NBA Draft has now been completed. The spectacular event was full of surprises and extremely emotional for many prospects.
Locally, LaMelo Ball was rumored to be the #1 draft, but the first draft went to Anthony Edwards, while LaMelo was the #3. Former USC Star Onyeka Okonkwo was, as of yesterday nominated by only 26%; while Isaac Okoro was barely nominated by anyone. Both prospects shocked all as #6 and #5 drafts respectively.

Golden State Warriors went with the #2 James Wiseman.

After all said and done, personally, it doesn’t matter what number the drafts were. What matters in my opinion is that they were selected. Forty of the prospects were not selected. So why complain about the number, right? Each draft should have a heart of gratitude. No doubt, they’ve each worked relentlessly hard to get here. We hope that they will continue and not relent now.
ThinkTalk wishes all the 2020 NBA Draft the very best career in the NBA and eagerly looks forward to who will bag the 2021 Rookie of the Year!

. . .

There was Draft’ing and Deal’ing as Teams traded players up and down. As you can see from the table below, some Drafts were immediately traded to another Team or were involved in a three-way deal.

It would be interesting to see the makeup of each NBA Team for the upcoming season.

. . .

Here’s the complete list, courtesy of the NBA.:

First Round

  1. Timberwolves draft Anthony Edwards
  2. Warriors draft James Wiseman
  3. Hornets draft LaMelo Ball
  4. Bulls draft Patrick Williams
  5. Cavaliers draft Isaac Okoro
  6. Hawks draft Onyeka Okongwu
  7. Pistons draft Killian Hayes
  8. Knicks draft Obi Toppin
  9. Wizards draft Deni Avdija
  10. Suns draft Jalen Smith
  11. Spurs draft Devin Vassell
  12. Kings draft Tyrese Haliburton
  13. Pelicans draft Kira Lewis Jr.
  14. Celtics draft Aaron Nesmith
  15. Magic draft Cole Anthony
  16. Trail Blazers draft Isaiah Stewart >> reportedly traded to the Pistons, after first being dealt to the Rockets
  17. Timberwolves draft Aleksej Pokusevski >> reportedly traded to the Thunder
  18. Mavericks draft Josh Green
  19. Nets draft Saddiq Bey >> reportedly traded to the Pistons, after first being dealt to the Clippers
  20. Heat draft Precious Achiuwa
  21. 76ers draft Tyrese Maxey
  22. Nuggets draft Zeke Nnaji
  23. Knicks draft Leandro Bolmaro >> reportedly traded to the Timberwolves
  24. Bucks draft RJ Hampton >> reportedly traded to the Nuggets, after first being dealt to the Pelicans
  25. Thunder draft Immanuel Quickley >> reportedly traded to the Knicks, after first being dealt to the Timberwolves
  26. Celtics draft Payton Pritchard
  27. Jazz draft Udoka Azubuike
  28. Lakers draft Jaden McDaniels >> reportedly traded to the Timberwolves, after first being dealt to the Thunder
  29. Raptors draft Malachi Flynn
  30. Celtics draft Desmond Bane >> reportedly traded to the Grizzlies

Second Round

  1. Mavericks draft Tyrell Terry
  2. Hornets draft Vernon Carey
  3. Timberwolves draft Daniel Oturu >> reportedly traded to the Clippers, after first being dealt to the Knicks
  4. 76ers draft Theo Maledon >> reportedly traded to the Thunder
  5. Kings draft Xavier Tillman Sr >> reportedly traded to the Grizzlies
  6. 76ers draft Tyler Bey >> officially traded to the Mavericks
  7. Wizards draft Vit Krejci >> reportedly traded to the Thunder
  8. Jazz draft Saben Lee >> reportedly traded to the Pistons
  9. Pelicans draft Elijah Hughes >> reportedly traded to the Jazz
  10. Grizzlies draft Robert Woodard >> reportedly traded to the Kings
  11. Spurs draft Tre Jones
  12. Pelicans draft Nick Richards >> officially traded to the Hornets
  13. Kings draft Jahmi’us Ramsey
  14. Bulls draft Marko Simonovic
  15. Bucks draft Jordan Nwora
  16. Trail Blazers draft CJ Elleby
  17. Celtics draft Yam Madar
  18. Warriors draft Nico Mannion
  19. 76ers draft Isaiah Joe
  20. Hawks draft Skylar Mays
  21. Warriors draft Justinian Jessup
  22. Kings draft Kenyon Martin Jr >> reportedly traded to the Rockets
  23. Thunder draft Cassius Winston >> reportedly traded to the Wizards
  24. Pacers draft Cassius Stanley
  25. Nets draft Jay Scrubb >> reportedly traded to the Clippers
  26. Hornets draft Grant Riller
  27. Clippers draft Reggie Perry >> reportedly traded to the Nets
  28. 76ers draft Paul Reed
  29. Raptors draft Jalen Harris
  30. Pelicans draft Sam Merrill >> reportedly traded to the Bucks

I hope that you watched the event. If not, I’m sure that it will be re-aired. Be sure to catch a glimpse of it.

Loving Basketball: 2020 NBA Draft Day

Today is the NBA Draft. Hundred (100) prospects with their families will gather, via videoconferencing due to covid-19, for the event and the possibility of starting a “new life” in basketball. The event which was originally “scheduled to be held at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, will now be conducted at the ESPN’s facilities in Bristol, Connecticut.” The WNBA Draft earlier this year was also conducted via videoconferencing because of covid-19.

The NBA Draft consists of top talented American and International basketball players.

Of the hundred (100), only sixty (60) favored of these prospects will be chosen in two rounds of what will seem like an anxious auction of sorts.

Unlike the highest bidder getting the product in an auction, in the NBA Draft, the teams already know who they’d like to pick. The uncertainty arises if another team picks the specific prospect before the Team’s turn. I’m sure that each NBA Team has done its due diligences and has a first through probably fifth choice should that happen. Makes it the more uncertain though intriguing.

The Lottery earlier

The NBA Draft Lottery, which determines the order of selection for the NBA Draft, was earlier conducted in August. The 14 teams that did not make the 2020 postseason were eligible for the Lottery and included:

Golden State > 14.00% Charlotte > 6.00%
Cleveland > 14.00% Washington > 4.50%
Minnesota > 14.00% Phoenix > 3.00%
Atlanta > 12.50%

San Antonio > 2.00%
Detroit > 10.50% Sacramento > 1.30%
New York > 9.00% New Orleans > 1.20%
Chicago > 7.50% Memphis* > 0.50%

Though the above fourteen (14) teams have the edge of choosing the top fourteen prospects, all NBA Teams will have the opportunity to choose a prospect that fits with both their current needs and cultures and that will subsequently enhance their abilities to be competitive for the upcoming 2020-21 NBA Season. The goal will be to maximally compete for the next NBA Championship.

The NBA 2020-21 Season will start on December 22, 2020.

Draft Rounds

There are two rounds to go through. The first round consists of college freshmen who have opted to forgo the remainder of their education for a rosier NBA life. Their “contracts run a total of four years, with the first two being guaranteed.” The second round “talent often consists of sophomores, juniors and seniors who have had more time to develop their skills on the basketball court and end up being much better pro players than they would have been coming out a year earlier. This creates a demand for them, but the additional year in school theoretically means one less year for that drafting team, and as such, they fall to the second round.”

Steinberg, a Forbes Sports contributor, believes that “there is an inverse relationship between age and draft position.” Click here to read more on this.

Draft and Deals

Prior to today, several trade deals have been entered into that involves Teams exchanging draft picks. It is also not uncommon to make trade deals on Draft day. It will be interesting to see those that happen today.

. . .

Wikipedia has a table, with all Teams and their draft selection positions, that you can print and use to enter the prospects as you follow along. I’m unsure if I’ll be available to watch the live event, but I’ll definitely utilize the form for a later watch and reference.

Tune in if you will to watch this spectacular event on ESPN at 8 P.M. ET.

ThinkTalk wishes the chosen young men the very best in their NBA pursuits and career. May each land with the Team of their Dream. Here’s also wishing that the unselected forty (40) will continue to hope and try again either next year or look to alternative basketball or other pursuits; such as international. There’s surely a place for each one!

Thanks for reading.

Loving Basketball: I must confess, I was somewhat salty with Lakers’ win

Credits: NBA website / Shaun Powell

This blog could have been posted yesternight if I was exhilarated for the LA Lakers’ winning the 2020 NBA Championship. But, NO. It is delayed as I have to search and clear my heart. The truth is that I am somewhat salty that Lakers won.

Yes, I dropped it. Father God forgive me for being salty for LA Lakers’ win for I acknowledge that Your Word says that we should rejoice with those who rejoice and that we should let all evil be put away from us (Ephesians 4:31). I therefore repent.

Not that I ever wished LA Lakers any evil, but I believed that Miami Heat played a better game under the circumstances.

I love clean, great games and teams that play sly, and intentionally hurt players of the other team don’t get my respect.

* * *

It’s no secret that LeBron James (LBJ) was desperate for a win. That he coerced or cajoled Anthony Davis (AD) to switch teams puts him in a precarious position of a “win or die playing” mode.

Well, now LA Lakers have won seventeen (17) times and LeBron James four (4) times, and the real MVP, in my opinion, Anthony Davis, for the first time in the eight (7) seasons played. And for the records, the younger Antetokounmpo, Kostas (draping the Nigeria and Greece flags in the feature image above), won a ring before his MVP brother, Giannis, of the Milwaukee Bucks. Think-Talk hopes that Giannis’ is next.

What about the fans?

First they were irate that Danny Green (DG) missed the three-pointer that gave Miami the Game 5 win. Every player or team missing shots at critical game time knows the awful feeling. So it’s bad enough that the dude missed the shot! But to send death threats to anyone, or the player in this matter, is ridiculous. Did the fans miss that LeBron could have taken the shot himself rather than deflecting and passing to DG? And why didn’t the fans go after LBJ beats me?! Not that I’m advocating that the fans do so, but it points to the often illogical stance that people take sometimes.

Players play, fans cheer.

The death threats should be condemned. To that instance, I am glad for Danny’s sake that the team won. I can only imagine what the fans could have resorted to do if the outcome was otherwise.

* * *

Congrats LA Lakers! Congrats LBJ!!

Father God does not count our sins against us once we’ve confessed (1 John 1:9), repent (Acts 3:19), and turned from our wicked ways (2 Chronicles 7:14b).

I congratulate LA Lakers and LeBron James on their 17th NBA win and 4th MVP respectively. I must say that the win is long overdue (ten years) for Lakers. Enjoy your celebration.

Now that the 2019-20 season is over, I am looking to fill-in the space with something. Any suggestions? Maybe more blogging time.😊

Due to the pandemic, the start of the 2020-21 NBA season has been delayed. The League is weighing a few option dates (Fall, Winter, or Spring). I hope that it comes sooner than later.

For sure, next season is going to be simultaneously fun and fire. Looking to have Golden State Warriors back in the groove, Kevin Durant making his debut with the Brooklyn Nets, and hoping to see Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks in the finals. I do have more favorite players whose list will be too long for this post. To every NBA player,

Thanks for keeping us continually entertained. And moreso for pushing to play during this bubble.

Loving Basketball: Who is he?!

Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

Aside from the Golden State Warriors, I haven’t seen another resilient team in the NBA as I did tonight watching the Denver Nuggets (DN) take on the Los Angeles (LA) Lakers.

Twice Nuggets’ team rebounded from a 3:0 (against Utah Jazz) and 3:1 (against LA Clippers) deficit to win both the playoffs’ first and second round games.

Denver Nuggets is currently playing in the 2019-20 NBA West Conference Finals against the LA Lakers and trailing a 2:0. Today, I watched these DN guys wear out the LA Lakers – it was hilarious watching LeBron and AD panting on the court! Or maybe it was just my imagination lol

Enough of the Denver Nuggets team. But, who in the world is Jamal Murray?! At the end of the fourth quarter, this #27 guy and his teammates were still ready to go another quarter or two. I love their tenacity and won’t at all be surprised if, on Thursday, they win again to equalize the series.

But, who is this young dude?

According to Wikipedia, “Jamal Murray is a Canadian born on February 23, 1997. He played one season of college basketball for the Kentucky Wildcats before being drafted by the Nuggets with the seventh overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft. His career highlights and awards include:

  • NBA All-Rookie Second Team (2017)
  • Third-team All-American – AP (2016)
  • First-team All-SEC (2016)
  • SEC All-Freshman Team (2016)
  • Nike Hoop Summit MVP (2015)
  • BioSteel All-Canadian MVP (2015)
  • Jordan Brand Classic International MVP (2013).”

. . .

There are tons of young excellent and talented dudes in the NBA. Many with “hands;” some with speed, some with brains; many with passion, some with court character – no dirty tricks or plays and no shoving on court and feigning unawares of occurrence, but few combine it all. I watched Jamal Murray and, as 23 years young as he is, I tell you, he got it all! He was relentless and determined and he sure delivered on the win with a double-double making LeBron’s triple-double pale in comparison.

Credits: ESPN

Certainly Jamal couldn’t have done it all by himself; that’s why basketball is a team sport unlike golf or tennis. His companion, Nikola Jokic, who also had a double-double for the night, was spectacular. So were Jerami Grant and Monte Morris. Granted (no pun intended) that Nuggets blew a 20-point lead twice, the night was well worth the fight.

. . .

Tuesday’s game puts the Lakers on notice that the Nuggets weren’t going to be discarded easily nor soon. We look forward to an equally, or better, spectacular game on Thursday.

Loving Basketball: What a Game, but Bucks is out!

Unbelievable! Milwaukee Bucks, the NBA Number One seed and East Conference leader, with a regular season record of 56:17, is out of the 2019-20 NBA Playoffs!! Bucks was edged out by an underdog, the East’s 5th ranking Miami Heat who had a regular season record of 44:29!!

First-time a lower-seed (5th) will oust the number one seed!

Miami is already the first No. 5 seed to hold a 3-0 playoff series lead over a No. 1 seed in league history.

Miami Heat, with the duo of Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, and their two three-point shooters of Tyler Herro (a rookie) and Goran Dragic, were phenomenal. They outscored the Bucks in the fourth quarter.

Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo (GA) had earlier sprained his ankle, the second time, during Game 4 of the series and had to leave the game. That was a damper, but his teammates successfully held the fort and won that game. Giannis showed up at Game 5 in a boot. I was optimistic that Milwaukee, without GA, will continue the streak. And they did till the fourth quarter. Though Khris Middleton and team played hard, too many turnovers and missed shots cost the leader team.

This is the second time that Milwaukee Bucks will lose the playoffs despite their team’s formidable season’s efforts. The first was the 2018-19 season during the finals against Toronto Raptors. Which brings me to wonder what’s going on with the team. Is’t exhaustion? But no, if the Golden State Warriors could hold up and win back-to-back championships, then Bucks could too. The question is “why aren’t they?” Did the Heat have the advantage of being well-rested since they finished the first round sooner than other teams and Bucks didn’t? Could there be internal affairs issues that the outside world/fans are unaware of? Your guess is as good as mine.

Well, well, well … Kudos really to the Miami Heat. They swept their first opponent, Indiana Pacers, in the first round of the playoffs and almost did it with the Bucks, too. They went 7:1! Now they have another opportunity to be well-rested for the semi-finals. Will it be Boston Celtics, who leads the series at 3:2, or the reigning champions Toronto Raptors?

Congratulations to Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat.

Like Charles Barkley said, we hope that Giannis will remain with the Bucks, figure out what the stumbler is that’s affecting them at critical moments and rectify it soonest, including hoping to win the NBA Championship soon.

Thanks for reading.

Loving Basketball: Stop Press – Game 5 boycotted to protest another senseless Police Shooting

After all the national unrest on Police brutality and systemic racism, it is disturbing that there was yet another shooting of a 29-year old African-American man.

As a result the planned Game 5 between Milwaukee Bucks and Orlando Magic, scheduled for 4:00 p.m. ET today, was boycotted by the Bucks. They simply gathered in their locker room and wouldn’t come out to the courts.

The shooting is extremely disturbing. Proves that some law enforcement authorities are deadly adamant about continuing this heinous and hateful senseless shootings, and God forbid, killings of Blacks and minorities.

Jacob Blake, unarmed, was shot seven times in the back at close range. Sources say that he is in critical condition and might remain paralyzed as a result. Details are yet unknown about what led to the shooting.

Other NBA Teams followed Bucks’ boycott. As such no NBA games will be played today, Wednesday, August 26, 2020.

The Toronto Raptors and Boston Celtics, who both had qualified for the 2nd Round Playoffs, had initially planned to boycott their first 2nd Round games too.

Media is wild at the moment with the news. Please check it out and add your voice to the senseless shootings – this needs to stop!

One bad egg should not pollute the whole crate

Unknown

The Police, have gone apathetic and are killing the people they are paid to protect. No-one is safe people. It doesn’t have to be your family member to matter to you. We all need to speak up!

We do acknowledge that not all Police Officers are malevolent and that there are still good and great Police Officers, but the bad ones are polluting the good/great and causes the Police Departments across board to stink.

We should not allow the bad ones to remain in uniform.

More of the news here

Loving Basketball: Landslide Victory for the Greek Freak!

Credits: CBS Sports

The media went agog on the announcement.

Congratulations is in order for Milwaukee Bucks Giannis Antetokoumpo on winning the 2019-20 KIA Defensive Player of the Year Award. An award with the best NBA defensive players gave Giannis a landslide victory of 432 points over candidates Anthony Davis of LA Lakers and Rudy Gobert of Utah Jazz who had 200 and 187 points respectively.

This is one of two awards the Nigerian-Greek player was nominated for this season. He was also nominated for the 2019-20 KIA MVP along with LeBron James of LA Lakers. The result and winner of the Kia NBA MVP Award will be announced during coverage of the ongoing 2019-20 NBA Playoffs.

Once again, congratulations to Giannis Antetokoumpo. We wish him very best!

For more on the award, click 1, 2, and 3.

Loving Basketball: For Basketball Lovers – 2020 Draft Lottery is Tomorrow

Credits: NBA.com

Have you ever wondered how the NBA Draft Lottery works? Have you ever watched one live or replayed? I bet you had a question or some.
Watching this simplified video, by my favorite team the Golden State Warriors aka Dubs, helps break it down. I hope you enjoy and learn a thing or two from it.

An indepth version can be found here if you prefer reading to watching.

. . .

Golden State Warriors, because of their fantabulous records over the previous years, haven’t being part of the Lottery since 2012. This year, they stand a 14% chance, among the qualifying teams, of picking the #1 through #4 draft, but stand a higher chance of picking the #5! Sounds somewhat complicated, right? I agree. Why doesn’t NBA just keep it simple?!

Predictions!

NBA published the list of Drafts in alphabetical order.

Many sports’ commentators however revel in ranking sports drafts with precision. I found one such ranking of tomorrow’s lottery.

CBS Sports already predicted and matched drafts to teams. We’ll find out on Thursday how accurate their predictions are.

Make sure you watch it: live or replay

This year’s draft lottery is being planned virtual, like most events, undoubtedly as a result of COVID-19.

Don’t forget to watch this year’s NBA Draft Lottery pick on Thursday, August 20, 2020 at 8:00 P.M. ET.

Also love this post, please share, comment, like, and/or follow 😍

Loving Basketball: All hail Dame $$$Dolla!

Damian Lillard was determined from the get-go. “We didn’t come here to play.” He sure was right. Contending for the West’s 8th seed was no joke for Dame and his team.

The Restart is now over!

What a two-week Restart! What a finish particularly for Dame and the Trailblazers?! Of the 22 teams that competed in the NBA Restart, 6 teams were sent back home. All 22 teams played, in my opinion, better than they did during regular season and before the shutdown, with the exception of two, maybe three, teams. The competition was fierce but the determination to qualify for playoff was fiercer.

A few offsets and surprises made me wonder what was going on in/around Camp Florida. But, as we always say, it’s all well that ends well.

As I earlier blogged, and stated to watch out for Dame/Trailblazers, he and his team did not disappoint and probably surprised noone other than their opponent, the Grizzlies! They played their hearts out and, fought to finish, for that 8th seed. Dame is definitely an indefatigable leader. No wonder he was unanimously selected for the Kia Player of the Seeding Game. He obviously couldn’t have done it without the equally indefatigable teammates, McCollum and Nurkic; who despite injury and death in the family respectively, were equally as determined to qualify.

I salute their tenacity. Congratulations to Dame and the Portland Trailblazers.

Here’s hoping the energy will continue to flow unhindered by any force of sickness or injury as they face the LA Lakers on Tuesday, August 18, for Round 1 of the 2019-20 Playoff.

Honorable mention is due to the Rookie, Ja Morant. He’s sure on his way for the bigger and better. Here’s hoping that he wins the Rookie Award, which could have been a difficult choice to make had Zion W. played as expected in the Restart. Zion’s efforts, or lack thereof, makes the award an easier one to choose.

Click here for more on Dame and Trailblazer news.

Below is the Round 1 Playoff schedule.

I’m excited for the 16 teams and look forward to more intense energy. We wish all players and coaches the very best competing for the race to the NBA 2019-20 Championship.

Loving Basketball: Recap of First NBA Restart Game

My oh my!

Did you watch the two debut Restart games yesterday?! Were you, like I was, holding onto your seat, screaming to the point of near-hypertension (I pray not), most of the time, shaking-my-head wondering how the games will end?

Well, I couldn’t help myself doing all that. Though I won’t be blogging on each game, the above two games seemed important for two reasons; one, it’s the first two games of the Restart; and two, the hype about Zion and LeBron. The latter more so for the MVP race.

How it ended

Well, we know how it ended. For those who didn’t watch or were even oblivious of the NBA Restart games, Utah Jazz (UJ) won over New Orleans Pelicans (NOP), and LA Lakers (LAL) over LA Clippers (LAC). Both defeated teams put up a fight till the end as such the minimal differentials in points. But win or lose, those minuscule points matter a great deal. It only takes a point to win any game, right?

Could game outcome have been different?

Could there have been a different outcome if key players, like Zion (NOP) and Lou Williams/Patrick Beverly (LAC) started and/or had more playing minutes? Your guess is as good as mine.

I enjoyed every moment of both games. They’re the kind I like to watch; not those mis-matched games where one team clearly dominates the other.

Needless to say, the NBA Games is back with a bang! Did not realize how much I had missed them! Welcome back guys!! Love you all for entertaining us … yay yay yay I know making-those-huge-salaries and laughing-all-the-way-to-the-bank entertaining us, right?! Still love you all. 😊😍

Today’s games:

  • Orlando Magic vs. Brooklyn Nets
  • Phoenix Suns vs. Washington Wizards
  • Portland Trailblazers vs. Memphis Grizzlies
  • Milwaukee Bucks vs. Boston Celtics
  • Houston Rockets vs. Dallas Mavericks

Watch your local channels for airing times.

😊

Loving Basketball: A Note from Adam Silver, NBA Commissioner

NBA Games Restart tonight on TNT at 6:30 ET. Watch your local channels to check for airing times. For detailed schedule, visit NBA Restart Schedule. Let’s enjoy it together.

Letter to NBA Fans

Dear NBA Fan,

It’s been more than four months since we last played NBA basketball.  Tonight we restart the season with 22 teams in Orlando and attempt to establish our new normal.  And while spectators won’t be there in person, fans remain at the heart of our game.

We’re introducing several elements to improve the live game viewing experience, including multiple, new camera angles, enhanced audio of players and coaches, a feature on our NBA app that allows for virtual crowd reactions, customized alternative streams on NBA League Pass with statistical overlays and influencers calling the action, and video boards surrounding the court featuring hundreds of fans watching from home.

At the same time, we recognize that this moment is about more than basketball.  It’s an opportunity for NBA players and teams to continue a longstanding tradition of addressing important issues around social justice.

These are difficult and challenging times, but the NBA is coming back because sports matter in society.  We hope that the return of the NBA – along with other major league sports – will enrich your lives.

Welcome to a whole new game!

Sincerely,

Adam Silver, NBA Commissioner

© 2020 NBA PROPERTIES, INC.

Loving Basketball: Basketball is Back!

Credits: Laylayrock26

NBA is back and been back a few days! I hope you all are as excited as I am; or even more so. Let’s hear the 🥁rolls …..

Pre-pandemic

The league, like everything else, was abruptly shut down in March just when we were getting excited about which teams made the playoffs. The momenta got snapped like a one-inch elastic round falling off a pant.

Restart

Well, they’re back. Too bad that my fave team, Golden State Warriors, didn’t make the restart. We all know why, right? For those who don’t: KD left the team (yay yay yay like he left OKC, right? And probably will leave Nets?!), and his leaving sent pandemonium not only to Dubs, but the who league!

Credits: ftw.usatoday.com; cdn.ampproject.org

If not for the love I have for KD, I would have blamed it all on him. But, the boy KD is phenomenal with the ball; he’s got style uniquely his. So I’ll spare him. Who knows, maybe just maybe, he might decide to return for our namesakes. I don’t believe his Oakland Hills mansion found a buyer yet, so he might just move back. We’ll pretend that he just went on a vacation and is back, right?! Please tell me that I’m not dreaming.

. . .

Anyways, the newly-formed Golden State Warriors team has lots of young players that hopefully will stay with the team long term.

Appreciate them for keeping on despite all “things” working against them. Here’s hoping that Klay T. is feeling better and will be back soon/next season. Till then, we hope the GSW players and coaches have a great and restful time off.

Four-month hiatus

Sorry I forgot why I was blogging today 😊 Got carried away raving about KD. The boy is darn (pardon my Greek) good!

Okay, NBA is back people! Four months hiatus. Gheez what did I do during those months? I guess that it’s one of those things – you love it while it lasts, and just accept it once it’s gone.

The restart scrimmages have been fun to watch. I remember my daughter’s coaches always said, “the scrimmage shows how you’re gonna play in the game.” There were times I disagreed, but for the most times, the coach was right.

So, if the NBA restart scrimmages reflect what we would see come playoffs, beginning on July 30th, we might be in for some rude shockers.

While COVID-19 didn’t affect some players’ games, many seem to be just about finding their rhythms and appear lost in the court space. We will see.

The scrimmages started two days ago and will end on July 28th, with a two-day break.

Playoffs and race to the 2019-2020 Championships begins on July 30. Who are you routing for? Do you think Toronto Raptors will be able to defend their title? They haven’t really been in the run-off news all season though but we still can’t put anything pass them. They shocked us (or maybe it was just me) last season to emerge as the 2018-19 Champions.

On the West side, the race is between Lakers and Clippers. Lakers presently takes a commanding lead though with five games over Clippers. But watch Portland and Pelicans battling for the eighth position.

On the East side, there seems to be no rival. Mil Bucks and The Freak got it being seven games over the current champion; who like KD had their lead star, KL, bail to the other side.

Game schedule

Tune in to your favorite sports channel (or TBT or ESPN or NBA) to watch the fun. Below is a link to the full schedule.

https://www.nba.com/article/2020/06/26/nba-comeback-schedule-2019-20-seeding-games

And let’s have fun voting for the 2019-2020 MVP.

Credits: Wikipedia.con
Credits: https://images.app.goo.gl/XaYJY1pHVn3gjhKR8

|_|. Giannis Antekoumpo

|_|. Lebron James

Thanks for reading.