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LeBron James suffers worst defeat in NBA career as Lakers lose by 44 points

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LeBron James has lost big in the past, but never like this Monday’s 138-94 defeat against Philadelphia. Once he and the Lakers lost to the Pacers by 42 points in 2019, or by 36 in the NBA Finals with the Heat, but never by 44 points.

His rival Joel Embiid led the charge from the Sixers side, as he recorded the sixth triple-double of his career, finishing with 30 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists. The reigning league MVP accomplished his first of the campaign and his seventh career game with 10+ assists.

This loss marked the franchises worst-ever against the 76ers after 290 games between them. Also, the Los Angeles squad hasn’t been able to win against them in their last seven contests. “That’s my favorite team,” Joel claimed. “Any time I play against them, you want to get the win. But I do it every night anyways against every other team.”

This humiliation couldn’t have come at a worse time, as this November 27 marked the day that LeBron became the all-time player with most NBA minutes. But it just wasn’t the night for him, as he scored 18 points but didn’t even win a single rebound throughout the match.

When asked, he gave little importance to this new milestone which used to be in the hands of legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. “That doesn’t mean much to me,” James said.

What was the secret behind Philly’s success? Everyone seems to agree they were lethal from beyond the arc. The Sixers hit three-pointers 22 times, while the Lakers only dropped in seven. “We got killed on the 3-point line,” the King admitted. “They made shots. Give them credit.”

Coach Darvin Ham delivered a similar sentiment to the press. “Your competitive spirit has to be at a high level,” he said postgame. “It almost has to be bulletproof to a certain degree. You have to meet force with force. They outhustled us.”

Sixers coach Nick Nurse also believed that opening the contest with 13 three-pointers in the first half, a season high for them, was the essence of their blowout win.

“You certainly don’t go into a game like this expecting that kind of game to break out,” he explained. “When the 3 ball starts going in the way they did early, I think that just energizes everybody.”

76ers forward Paul Reed called Anthony Davis “a big flopper” after the LA center’s poor display

Even though Anthony Davis had 17 points and 11 rebounds for the Lakers, he constantly seemed dominated by his opponents. Once the game was done, Paul Reed called him “a big flopper” and anticipated his poor exhibition when he said: “You know, he’s gonna be flailing.”

During the postgame interviews, both coaches were impressed to see a backup player poking the eight-time All-Star. “Go guard him, I guess. Best of luck, Paul,” Ham said for next time.

LeBron, on the other hand, offered some advice for his co-star as the team desperately needs him at his best. He believes Davis had a great game. “AD was big time tonight for us,” he said.

“Yeah I mean we expect a lot from AD. We want him to be aggressive offensively and at the same time anchor our defense. Tonight was an AD game. Defensively they have those trees in Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley, and I thought AD did a great job attacking, and at the same time trying to defend and cover the glass when those guards are getting into the paint, trying to change shots at the rim and get blocked shots, and trying to clean the glass at the same time,” James said.





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Experts predict Steve Kerr won’t ever win another title with Warriors

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The Warriors have been the most successful team in the NBA during recent times, as they’ve conquered four championships in the past nine years. As coach Steve Kerr just signed a historic contract extension with Golden State, will they earn a fifth title in the upcoming years? 

At the start of the week, an ESPN panel comprised of Becky Hammon and Kendrick Perkins discussed the tactician’s newest deal, but explained why they don’t believe the Bay Area franchise will win another trophy under his leadership.

Both analysts predicted the same outcome when writing down their answers to the question: “Steve Kerr will win _ more titles in Golden State?” Perkins first held up his blank piece of paper, explaining why he finds it pointless to even write down a number.

“[There] was no point in me actually writing a zero because they’re not going to win another championship,” Kendrick said. Hammon then proceeded to hold up a zero with an arrow through it, sharing the same opinion as his fellow expert.

“Zero. But I love ya,“ Becky said. “It’s a zero, but it’s an arrow because of Valentine’s Day. It’s an arrow because I still love them.”

One of their biggest challenges is to transition from their championship core, who are mostly veterans, into a new generation of Warriors stars. A subject that has reportedly “suffered some strain,” is Klay Thompson‘s relationship with the team’s front office.

“Thompson always knew he would likely have to wait until his free agency arrived this summer, what with Lacob’s well-chronicled hopes of ducking under the second (and possibly first) luxury tax apron compelling them to let the roster landscape fully unfold before adding salary,” insider Sam Amick wrote this week.

The reporter then added that it is a mystery if Klay will retire in San Francisco. “But it’s clear their relationship has suffered some strain along the way, with league sources indicating that Thompson has received no assurances from on high that his hopes of retiring happily in a Warriors jersey,” he shared.

Kerr explained this Wednesday that Andrew Wiggins will be out indefinitely due to a “personal matter”

Andrew Wiggins was not on the team’s list when they beat the Washington Wizards this Tuesday and the reasons why were unclear. However, his coach appeared the following day on local Bay Area station 95.7 The Game and explained that the forward is dealing with a “personal matter.”

Kerr spoke about his player’s absence but did not go into detail. All he could really say was that the 29-year-old will be out indefinitely until he’s able to play at his best.

“We do expect him to be back but we just don’t exactly know when,” said the Warriors tactician. “We’re in a position where Wiggs is a private person and he’s asked to keep it private and we’re gonna honor that. So it doesn’t help for me to sit here and try to explain any of that. The bottom line is we respect Wiggs, we need him and we fully expect him back, but we just don’t know when that will be.”

This is not the first time Andrew is out due to similar reasons, as he missed out on the final 25 contests of last regular season due to a “family matter.” The reasons were never disclosed, but insider Shams Charania reported that the player’s father was “dealing with a serious medical situation.”





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Hawks waiving veteran guard Patty Mills

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The Atlanta Hawks are waiving 15-year veteran guard Patty Mills, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium. The Hawks reportedly made the move to open a roster spot.

Atlanta plans to fill the spot by converting guard Trent Forrest’s two-way deal into a standard NBA contract. Forrest has played 20 games this season, his second in Atlanta after being in Utah from 2020-22.

The NBA deadline to waive a player and become playoff eligible is 11:59 p.m. ET on Friday, March 1.

Mills, 35, has made only 19 appearances off the bench this season. The 6-foot-2 guard is averaging 2.7 points, 1.1 rebounds, and 10.6 minutes per game while shooting a career-low 37.3% from the field and 38.2% beyond the arc.

In Atlanta’s 134-112 loss to the Golden State Warriors on Jan. 24, Mills recorded a season-high 13 points, two rebounds, three assists, and one steal in 21 minutes as a reserve.

This decision comes days after the Hawks lost All-Star guard Trae Young for at least four weeks with a torn ligament in his left pinkie finger. Atlanta announced the injury Sunday.

Did Atlanta Hawks also waive Patty Mills because of lack of production, Trae Young’s injury?

Young suffered his finger injury during Friday night’s loss to the Toronto Raptors and underwent surgery Tuesday at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. The team said Young will be re-evaluated in four weeks.

“You feel awful for Trae more than anything,” Hawks coach Quin Snyder said. “It is going to be a challenge for him not to be out there.”

Mills’ departure likely had something to do with his lack of touches. With Young out, Dejounte Murray is expected to become the team’s primary ballhandler.

Bogdan Bogdanovic replaced Young in the starting lineup ahead of Sunday night’s game against the Orlando Magic.

Another notable loss is starting center Onyeka Okongwu (sprained left toe). Snyder said last Thursday that Okongwu will not be available for the foreseeable future.

“You have to adapt,” Snyder said. “That happened when we lost Jalen [Johnson]. We have to have minutes from Kobe [Bufkin] and Patty, and we obviously know what Dejounte can do. I don’t want to wallow in anything.”

Although Bufkin returned after recovering from a fractured left thumb, Murray and Bogdanovic may still struggle to carry the load during Young’s absence.





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Boston’s Defense Continues to Help Maintain Best Record in NBA

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The Boston Celtics have arguably the best defensive unit in the league. It is a huge reason why they have the best record in the NBA at 46-12 as of February 29th , 2024. On top of having one of the best starting lineups in the league, head coach, Joe Mazzula has developed a reputation for being a defensive mastermind. A hard thing to come by in today’s offensive driven league. They are second in the league in defensive rating (110.6), sixth in defensive rebounding percentage (72.7 percent), and second in blocks per game (6.6).

The Celtics are not afraid to go man-to-man or even go into a zone defense. Mazzula has gotten creative in using a free roamer in the zone scheme this season. With the talent they have, it really does not matter who they have playing this “free safety,” position. Boston usually utilizes a 2-3 or 2-1-2 alignment which often throws opposing offenses for a loop. It also helps that the personnel have terrific switch ability making it difficult for opponents to exploit any possible mismatches. Even when they are in man, the Celtics are extremely hard to score on as every player has brought into head coach, Joe Mazzula’s, system.

Boston’s Terrific Defensive Scheme

Their Personnel

The team often likes to use Jrue Holiday in unorthodox positions in their defensive schemes. They will use him at the center of their 2-3 zone and the other players are smart enough to adjust on potential mismatches. This often allows someone like Kristaps Porzingis or Al Horford to roam giving the defense an added dimension. Porzingis also gives Boston some much-needed rim protection. He currently averages 1.8 blocks per game to go along with a block percentage of 5.5 percent. Jayson Tatum has also developed into an above average defender who has the wingspan to alter shots at the rim.

Not to mention, Jaylen Brown has a reputation as a solid defender who can guard almost any position on the floor. As if that was not enough, the backcourt of Jrue Holiday and Derrick White is arguably the best defensive one in the NBA. White is arguably a top-five point of attack defender. He has 65 blocked shots on the year as of February 29th . Even some of the bench players such as Al Horford and Payton Pritchard have a reputation for being defensive pests. Boston has been playing high IQ basketball at all levels this year. However, their defense is arguably the main reason they are the favorites to win title this season.



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