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Pacers’ Myles Turner (ankle), Andrew Nembhard (illness) questionable vs. Bucks



Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner (right ankle sprain) and rookie guard Andrew Nembhard (non-COVID illness) are questionable for Friday night’s home game against the Milwaukee Bucks. Aaron Nesmith (right wrist soreness) is also listed as questionable.

Daniel Theis (sore right knee) and Tyrese Haliburton (left elbow sprain/left knee bone contusion) remain out indefinitely. Kendall Brown (right tibia stress reaction) made his return Sunday for the G League’s Fort Wayne Mad Ants. It was his first appearance with either Indiana or Fort Wayne since Dec. 10.

Per multiple NBA betting sites, the Pacers have 22nd-ranked odds to win the championship. Check out which sportsbooks are giving the New York Knicks and Toronto Raptors better playoff odds.

Through 41 starts this season, Turner is averaging career highs of 17.4 points and 8.0 rebounds per game. Along with logging 1.4 assists and 2.4 blocks per contest, the 6-foot-11 center is shooting career bests of 54.6% from the floor and 39.5% beyond the arc.

On Nov. 7, in the Pacers’ 129-122 win over the New Orleans Pelicans, the Texas product recorded a season-high 37 points in the same number of minutes. He finished 11-of-18 (61.1%) shooting from the field, 4-of-7 (57.1%) outside the arc, and 11-of-11 (100%) at the free throw line.

Pacers’ Myles Turner (right ankle sprain), Andrew Nembhard (non-COVID illness) are questionable against Bucks on Friday

Furthermore, rookie guard Aaron Nesmith is averaging 8.4 points, 3.0 boards, 4.0 assists, and 1.0 steal through 43 appearances. In addition to posting 27.3 minutes per game, he’s shooting 42.9% from the floor and 35.4% from 3-point range.

For Milwaukee’s injury report, Giannis Antetokounmpo (right knee soreness) has been downgraded to probable. MarJon Beauchamp (right patella tendonitis) and AJ Green (left ankle soreness) are listed as questionable.

Equally important, the Bucks are 6-4 in their last 10 games. They’re coming off back-to-back wins. Milwaukee has won its past nine matchups versus the Pacers. The Bucks are also 5-1 in their previous six away meetings against Indiana.

Meanwhile, the Pacers are 2-8 in their past 10 contests. They’re 1-4 in their last five games. Not to mention, Indiana is 1-4 against Eastern Conference opponents. The point total has gone over in six of the Pacers’ previous eight matchups versus Central Division teams.

To add to the aforementioned betting trends, Milwaukee is 12-12 away, 27-9 as a favorite, 9-12-3 ATS away, and 31-17 overall. On the other side, Indiana is 16-9 at home, 15-22 as an underdog, 16-8-1 ATS at home, and 24-26 outright.

Per ESPN’s Basketball Power Index, the Bucks have a 64% probability of defeating Indiana away. Sportsbooks show the Pacers as 7.5-point underdogs at home. Last Monday, the first head-to-head meeting of the season series, Milwaukee won 132-119 at Fiserv Forum.

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Pelicans star Zion Williamson finally recieves clearance to resume basketball activities – Basketball Insiders




We are closing in on three months since we’ve last seen young Zion Williamson grace the court wearing the Pelicans jersey, but good news is finally arriving at the New Orleans camp as he’s been cleared by the medical staff to resume his training with the team. 

Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean he’ll be back playing with the squad already, as management decided he still needs a couple of weeks to pick up his rhythm and go through one more reevaluation before getting his final approval to compete again.

So, it’s official, Zion won’t be back to help his team in regular season’s final push to seek for a playoff position. The Louisiana side’s downfall ever since Williamson got injured on January 2 is tough to look at, as they fell dramatically from the Western Conference’s third place, all the way down to the 12th position with a 35-37 record.

According to some of our recommended sport betting sites, back in December the Pelicans were considered to hold a strong title-contending case, but now possess only the 18th best odds (+20,000) in the league to conquer the NBA trophy this year, tied with other franchises such as the Toronto Raptors or the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Let’s recap on the power foward’s situation. The player is dealing with a right hamstring strain which he suffered during his team’s loss against the Philadelphia 76ers. At the time, he was only expected to be sidelined for three weeks, but the 22-year-old suffered many setbacks in the following weeks and his recovery extended time and time again.

When asked about what training drills Zion is approved to do at this point, head coach Willie Green said “not a ton at the moment.” The trainer then tried to explain the situation further.”I said it before, because of the re-injury we are taking a slower approach, with his rehabilitation we’ll get on the floor, move a bit, running, doing some shooting.”

Check out the complete interview with trainer Willie Green in yesterday’s practice session:

It’s been a lot of injuries for the 22-year-old, considering what a short career he’s had so far. Even former NBA player Kendrick Perkins went all the way to say on ESPN that the Pelicans should seriously consider trading off the power foward this next offseason, as he’s proved to be so injury prone.

Is there really a return date for Williamson and Jose Alvarado?

About his return, Green simply wasn’t able to give a straight answer. “We’ll see, I can’t confirm if he will be back (by the end of regular season). This has been extremely positive for him and for the team,” he said. “It’s been another one of those years that he starts out well, makes an All-Star game.

“It’s been difficult navigating injuries, but it’s part of the game. It’s definitely tough, I’m sure he’s relieved to finally feel normal again and being on the floor.”

The medical staff also provided an injury update on young guard Jose Alvarado, who has missed the last 10 contests after suffering a stress reaction in his right tibia.

“Same thing,”, coach Green said. “It’s one of those injuries that takes time to heal. We feel bad he has to go through this, but nothing we can do about it, just a lot of processing.”

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Arizona guard Kerr Kriisa to enter NCAA transfer portal




Arizona guard Kerr Kriisa has decided to enter the NCAA transfer portal, the Estonia native told ESPN’s Jonathan Givony on Wednesday. Through 35 appearances of the 2022-23 season, Kriisa averaged career highs of 9.9 points, 5.1 assists, and 31.1 minutes per game, along with 2.4 rebounds.

Plus, the 6-foot-3 guard shot a career-best 37.2% from the field and 36.6% beyond the arc. Kriisa led the Pac-12 in assists (180), assists per game, and 3-pointers (83). As a junior, the 22-year-old also ranked second in his conference in 3-point attempts (227), sixth in assist percentage (26.2%), and third in turnovers (91).

According to multiple March Madness betting sites, No. 2 Arizona had top-10 odds to win the 2023 NCAA Tournament prior to last Thursday’s 59-55 upset loss to No. 15 Princeton. Now, No. 6 Creighton, No. 4 UConn, and No. 2 UCLA all have better odds.

In Arizona’s 104-77 win over Utah Tech on Nov. 17, the guard scored a career-high 24 points in 27 minutes of action. Along with logging four boards, five dimes, and two steals, Kriisa shot 6-of-7 (85.7%) from the floor and knocked down six 3-pointers.

For other advanced statistics, the Arizona guard recorded a career-high true shooting percentage of 54% in the 2022-23 season. Kriisa’s usage percentage was also 18.3%, the second highest behind only his sophomore season (18.6%). The guard’s free throw attempt rate was a career-best .205 as well.

University of Arizona guard Kerr Kriisa to enter NCAA transfer portal, and to transfer to Xavier?

In 2020, Kerr Kriisa arrived at Arizona as a 4-star recruit under then-head coach Sean Miller. Per the Recruiting Services Consensus Index (RSCI) Top-100 recruits list, the guard ranked 96th overall that year. During his freshman 2020-21 season, the Estonian averaged 5.5 points, 2.4 assists, and 22.9 minutes in eight appearances.

Under current head coach Tommy Lloyd, the Arizona guard notched 9.7 points, 2.5 boards, 4.7 dimes, and 29.5 minutes per game through 33 appearances during his sophomore 2021-22 season. Kriisa made starts in 65 of 68 games over the past two seasons under Lloyd.

While in high school, Kerr Kriisa played for Zalgiris-2 Kaunas, a professional basketball club based in Kaunas, Lithuania. Josh Gershon, a national recruiting analyst, submitted Kriisa’s scouting report to 247Sports on April 19, 2020. “Skilled point guard with good size and average length,” said Gershon.

“Plenty of room to fill into his frame. Very good 3-point shooter off bounce who can hit tough/contested shots. Could improve efficiency off catch and middle game. Can finish with both hands at rim. Outstanding vision/creative passer. Ambidextrous one-hand passer off live dribble. Competitive spirit and motor help overcome physical tools on defense. Projects as high major starter.”

The NCAA transfer portal first opened on March 13 and runs until May 11. Of course, the one-time transfer rule remains in effect. If a player has not transferred, now is the time if interested. As long as the student-athlete is academically eligible, the player can compete as soon as possible after transferring.

Will the Arizona guard transfer to Xavier? It’s one of Kriisa’s possible options.

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Louisville Basketball Recruiting: 4-Star Trentyn Flowers Commits




In a surprising turn of events, top-20 recruit Trentyn Flowers has reclassified from the class of 2024 to the class of 2023. Flowers, a 6-foot-8, 180-pound small forward, is now set to join the Louisville Cardinals. Basketball Insiders predicted his destination a month ago, and now it’s official.

Flowers Officially Commits to Louisville

Trentyn Flowers, a consensus top-20 recruit in the college basketball class of 2024, decided to skip his last year of high school and head straight to college. The talented small forward had his pick of top schools, including Alabama, Arkansas, Creighton, North Carolina, and Kansas. Ultimately, Flowers found his home in Louisville.

Explaining his decision, Flowers told On3, “I chose Louisville because I knew from the first time I visited there that I wanted to be a Card. I have a unique bond with the coaching staff, and they feel like my family. My goal is to be a pro. They have a plan for me that aligns with my goals. They believe in my abilities and that I will be an immediate impact the minute I arrive.”

A month ago, Flowers shared his positive experience visiting Louisville, praising the atmosphere at their midnight madness event and the support from the coaching staff. He was particularly impressed by the fans, who showed him a lot of love during his visit.

Flowers Delivers Message to the Fans

Flowers sends a clear message to the Louisville community: “I’m excited to get there, wear Louisville proudly across my chest and restore the culture the city has been built on. I have appreciated all the love I have received from the fans. I want them to know they also played a part in my decision because they reminded me of how much love and support would be there waiting for me.”

He continues, “I have 1000% confidence in myself. I am a program changer.”

The talented small forward will join a top-ten Louisville class in 2023. Flowers’ scouting report highlights his good pop around the rim, impressive size, athleticism, and smooth jumper. With the ability to play both small forward and power forward positions, he is a versatile asset for the team.

Trentyn Flowers’ decision to reclassify and commit to Louisville demonstrates his determination to excel in college basketball. The Cardinals’ coaching staff and fans have welcomed him with open arms, and the city of Louisville eagerly awaits his arrival. As Flowers prepares to soar on the court, the future looks bright for both him and the Cardinals.

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