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Ex-NBA player Gilbert Arenas explains why ‘no one will care’ if Nikola Jokic wins NBA title – Basketball Insiders



After sweeping LeBron James’ Los Angeles Lakers 4-0 in the Western Conference Finals earlier this week, the Nuggets are off to their first NBA Finals with a legitimate chance to conquer the title. However, former player Gilbert Arena recently ranted about how Denver’s lack of marketability will eventually mean that no one will really care if they win the league. 

The ex-Wizards star joined JJ Redick on his “The Old Man & The Three” podcast and mostly discussed how the league can create a connection with the ever-changing modern consumers. This was exactly the moment when Arena said he never sees Nikola Jokic becoming a ‘megastar’ in the NBA.

“You know Jokic can win this championship. No one’s going to care. Let’s just be honest. I’m sorry. He’s not gonna go from where he is right now to this super megastar because he’s not doing anything kids want to see. It’s the players, their personality. You know Jokic is great, but he doesn’t have IT,” he explained.

Arenas believes it was the same case as Spurs legend Tim Duncan, saying that fans found San Antonio’s winning-dynasty as ‘boring’, even after earning five NBA rings.

The Serbian’s style of play might be slow, but no other player has proved to be as clever on the floor than him. Is the league only promoting players who display amazing poster dunks and dribble around their rivals?

No doubt that many will be happy to see the Denver franchise win their first-ever title, but we can’t help but agree that the NBA is slowly becoming more an entertainment business than an actual competitive sport, and that the two-time league MVP currently doesn’t even own a top 10-selling jersey in the NBA.

Most experts and analysts disagree with Arenas, and actually believe Jokic might eventually become a GOAT contender

NBA legend Magic Johnson appears to believe quite the opposite than Gilbert Arenas. He was one of the first to shower praise on the Serbian big man after disappearing LeBron James from this season’s map.

“Congratulations to Nikola Jokic for being named the Earvin Magic Johnson Western Conference Finals MVP and averaging 27 points, 14.7 rebounds, and 11.3 assists for the series!” Magic celebrated Jokic.

The Hall of Famer then went on to compare the Nuggets center with the greats.

“The Joker is changing the game of basketball right before our very eyes, much like Michael [Jordan], Larry [Bird], LeBron [James], Steph [Curry], Kobe [Bryant], Kareem [Abdul-Jabbar], and Shaq [O’Neal],” Magic added.

Check out stars like Giannis Antetokounmpo, Joel Embiid, and LeBron James show their admiration for The Joker in the video below:

ESPN analyst Richard Jefferson was another to recently compare him with some of the best to ever grace a basketball court. “If (Nikola) Jokic is able to win a championship this year and continue the numbers he’s putting up, It will be 1, 2, or 3 – pick it – greatest run we’ve ever seen,” the former NBA Champion expressed.

“He’s averaging a 30-point triple-double right now…He’s beaten (Devin Booker and Kevin Durant), and he’s beaten the (Los Angeles) Lakers. Show me another run from start to finish,” he concluded about the player who is averaging 29.9 points, 13.3 rebounds, and 10.3 assists per match this 2022/23 playoffs.

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Karl-Anthony Towns could be traded to the Knicks this offseason




The New York Knicks won their first playoff series in over a decade in the 2023 postseason. They lost in the second round to Miami, but it was still an impressive season for the Knicks. It’s clear they are still missing a few key pieces to make themselves a true contender. One league source says that a Karl-Anthony Towns trade to the Knicks is “a matter of when… not if”. 

Karl-Anthony Towns (KAT) was the first overall pick by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 2015 NBA draft. The 27-year-old is a New Jersey native and playing for the Knicks would be a homecoming for the three-time all-star. Sources say that New York is expected to make a strong push for Minnesota’s big man this offseason.

Towns and the Knicks are intertwined in a number of ways. He has strong relationships with key members of the Knicks front office and coaching staff. Making the hypothetical trade even that much more realistic.

The Knicks are expected to make a strong push for Karl-Anthony Towns this offseason

A Karl-Anthony Towns trade to the Knicks is quite realistic this offseason due to his ties with the team. Leon Rose was Town’s former agent and he is the Knicks’ team President. Additionally, Tom Thibodeau coached Towns for three seasons when he was the head coach of the Timberwolves.

Playing for the Knicks would also give the 2015-16 ROY a chance to be closer to his family. He’s lived in Minnesota ever since being drafted by the Timberwolves. Living closer to his family and playing for the hometown team is something that not all NBA players get the chance to do in their careers.

At 27, Towns is technically still in his prime in terms of NBA standards. The Knicks lost in the second round of the playoffs. Adding a sharp-shooting big man like Towns would be huge for New York’s roster. All this speculation depends on whether Minnesot’as front office has any interest in shopping Towns this offseason.

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Heat guard Gabe Vincent questionable for Game 6 vs Celtics




Miami Heat guard Gabe Vincent (left ankle sprain) is questionable for Saturday night’s Game 6 matchup against the Boston Celtics of the 2023 Eastern Conference Finals.

Vincent left Game 4 in the fourth quarter after suffering his injury. He finished with 17 points in 28 minutes. As a starter in Game 5, Kyle Lowry replaced the undrafted guard out of UC Santa Barbara.

Per a few NBA betting sites, the Denver Nuggets are the favorite to win the championship. Check out which sportsbooks are showing the Heat with second-shortest odds.

In 68 appearances and 34 starts of the regular season, Gabe Vincent averaged career highs of 9.4 points, 2.1 rebounds, and 25.9 minutes per game. Along with logging 2.5 assists per contest, the fourth-year guard also shot 40.2% from the floor and 33.4% outside the arc.

Through 15 starts this postseason, Vincent is averaging 13.1 points, 1.6 boards, 4.1 assists, and 30.8 minutes per game. He’s shooting 41.7% from the floor and 37.5% from deep as well. In Miami’s 128-102 win over Boston in Game 3, Vincent scored a career-high 29 points.

Heat guard Gabe Vincent (left ankle sprain) is questionable for Game 6 matchup against Celtics of the 2023 Eastern Conference Finals

Entering Game 6 on Saturday night, the Celtics are 2-5 ATS in their last seven meetings against Miami. The point total has gone over in 11 of Boston’s past 14 road games. And the C’s are 7-1 in their previous eight games played on a Saturday.

Additionally, the Heat are 7-1 in their past eight contests played at home. Miami is 4-0 all time when leading 3-2 in a seven-game series. Miami is also 8-2 ATS in its last 10 games when playing as the underdog. Plus, the total has gone over in 11 of the Heat’s past 16 contests.

Bettors are hoping the Celtics will become the first NBA team in 151 tries to overcome a 3-0 deficit in a best-of-seven series and win. Boston improved to 5-5 at home this postseason in Game 5. The C’s have to win out to return to the NBA Finals.

According to ESPN’s Basketball Power Index, the Celtics have an 70.7% chance of winning Game 6 away. Sportsbooks show Miami as a 3-point underdog against Boston.

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Bucks’ Jrue Holiday implies that even Michael Jordan would’ve gotten his ‘ass busted’ by Jimmy Butler in the playoffs first-round – Basketball Insiders




Back in last month’s first round of the postseason, Miami produced one of the biggest upsets in NBA history when the No. 8 seed with a 44-38 record, eliminated the No. 1 seed Milwaukee who held the best mark in the league (58-24). However, there’s a real reason behind this, and it goes by the name of Jimmy Butler. 

During that five-game series against the Bucks, the Heat foward averaged 37.6 points on a 59.7% shooting (44.4% from beyond the arc), and added 6.0 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.8 steals per contest.

Earlier this week, his opponent Jrue Holiday appeared on the “Sideline Stroll w/ Ros” podcast and shared his honest take on how it felt to guard the Miami star in those series.

“It was fun,” he started off by saying. “I played a game to go against the best players. I played defense to play against the best players… While I was in it, I was hot. I’m getting my a** busted. And, then he started talking sh*t… Jimmy is the ultimate competitor.”

However, Holiday went to the extent of hypothetically including legends LeBron James and Michael Jordan into the conversation, saying none of them would’ve been able to defend Butler last month.

“I made those decisions in those moments and I stuck with them and I stuck with the guns,” he expressed with no regrets. “A lot of plays Jimmy made, there was nothing that I could do. There’s nothing that anybody could do. It didn’t matter if it was Brook on him, if it was LeBron James or Michael Jordan on him. It didn’t matter who was on him. Jimmy was playing at a different level.”

Butler’s level has continued throughout the playoffs, as the Heat foward has almost single-handedly taken the Florida franchise all the way to the Conference Finals, currently leading the series 3-2.

“I think this is where all the best players, they show up and they show out,” Butler said after averaging 29.9 points, 6.9 rebounds, 5.6 assists, 2.1 steals and 0.8 blocks per match so far. “And I’m not saying I’m one of those best players. I just want to be looked at as such.”

Jimmy’s teammates in Miami also share ‘the utmost respect’ for him as a competitor

“I haven’t been here too long, but I’ve always had the utmost respect for him,” Kevin Love said all the way back in February. “Love his game, love what he’s about. I mean, I hate to say arguably, but I think he’s the best closer in the game. And you saw why.”

Check out Butler’s career-high 56-point performance last month against the top-seeded Bucks:

“I think we’re witnessing a guy who continues to be in his prime and is playing at a level of basketball that not many players can get to,” Heat guard Kyle Lowry shared. “And you have to just kind of sometimes sit back and appreciate it.”

His coach Erik Spoelstra said that it’s all about maintaining an elite mentality and never get too comfortable with success.

“I don’t think Jimmy would want me up here ranking this performance or anything,” he said. “He views everything the way a head coach does. He’s not relaxing. He understands what we still have to do, and he understands who we’re facing.”

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