The Celtics are more than capable of making history to come back from a 3-1 deficit, but these Miami Heat aren’t a team that will beat themselves, or collapse under the weight of expectations. The Los Angeles Clippers, they are not.
Hours earlier, the state where Herro played one year of college ball, Kentucky, did the expected as the grand jury refused to indict the officers for their roles in the death of Breonna Taylor six months ago. In other words, the justice system working as it was designed to.
The Miami Heat have turned what was thought to be a poised, mature bunch into a group that second-guesses itself on the floor and, apparently, challenges itself off it for the world to hear.
The Boston Celtics won’t run away and hide from the Heat, and vice-versa — which means every game in this Eastern Conference finals will likely come down to the simplest of strategies: who can get a bucket late and who can make plays in scramble situations that derive from instinct and intellect.
It seemed like they’d finally gotten their act together, looking across the way at the inevitable matchup with the Los Angeles Lakers and decided they weren’t going to fool around with a team that didn’t know any better.
There’s more than a second straight disappointing postseason finish on the line here, more than an evaluation of coach Mike Budenholzer’s future when Antetokounmpo will have the chance to extend his contract with the Bucks this fall.
On Thursday, the Brooklyn Nets made the stunning hire of a Hall of Fame point guard with two MVPs yet zero days on a coaching sideline, seemingly a prerequisite for most coaches — especially Black coaches.
The clock could be ticking on their time with a homegrown MVP as many in league circles believe Miami and Toronto are the frontrunners in the Antetokounmpo sweepstakes, with one observer telling Yahoo Sports “it’s an open secret” within the Orlando bubble.
It should be a runaway, as the Bucks were slightly off a 70-win pace before the pandemic stopped the world and NBA season.
Before their athletic life mattered to you, their Black life didn’t to most of you — a notion confirmed on video or at conventions or in coded tweets.
LeBron James, George Hill and Fred VanVleet struggle to make sense of police violence against Black Americans while in the bubble.
The first chapter in the book of Luka Legend was written on a Sunday afternoon with an all-time playoff performance and a dazzling overtime buzzer-beating triple.
Paul George's struggles have given confirmation bias to those who not only feel George can’t be a primetime player on a championship team, but also the Clippers’ worthiness of contender status.
All the cues seem to lead to the Warriors trading the pick, especially because the lack of definitive knowledge surrounding these prospects means someone could get cute and swing for the fences, wanting to move as close to the top as possible.
The Kings have vacillated between being a hard-luck franchise to one that was subject to all the jokes and ridicule befitting of one without banners or respect, missing the playoffs the last 14 seasons. They need credibility, experience and savvy in the worst way.
Roland will again be on the front lines — this time without Houston Texans wide receiver Kenny Stills — protesting the killing of Breonna Taylor and calling for charges against Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankison, and Myles Cosgrove, the officers who executed a no-knock search warrant in March by firing more than 20 rounds into Taylor’s apartment.
Luka Doncic didn’t make this ballot, with the acknowledgment he’s a franchise player and clearly would be the best player in the present and future of those on this list.
Giannis Antetokounmpo has a chance to join Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon as the only players in league history to win Defensive Player of the Year and MVP in the same season.
He doesn’t have to be MLK, or LeBron, or fall in line with the masses to please the NBA. But he can’t be a puppet, use religion as a crutch or even a weapon against the humanity of his own people, because at worst, his own Black life deserves better.
Ja Morant and Zion Williamson displayed breathtaking talent in the first part of their debut seasons, but there was another impressive candidate.
NBA players have followed stringent rules to the letter of the law in order to pass the first checkpoint of getting back on the floor. For them to maximize their goal of battling racism and social injustice, they’ll have to abandon the rules they helped create.
With the league’s biggest stars together with plenty of time on their hands, the seeds could be planted for the next NBA dynasty.