NBA

Bucks without Giannis Antetokounmpo for second straight game

By Sports Desk February 12, 2020

Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo missed his second consecutive game following the birth of his son.

Antetokounmpo sat out Monday's 123-111 win over the Sacramento Kings and the reigning NBA MVP was again absent for Wednesday's clash against the Indiana Pacers.

The NBA-leading Bucks (46-7) are eyeing their 15th victory in 16 games prior to the All-Star break in Chicago.

Antetokounmpo will captain Team Giannis against a roster selected by LeBron James in the All-Star Game this weekend.

The 25-year-old 'Greek Freak' is averaging 30.0 points, 13.5 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game this season.

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  • 'They said my wingspan was too short' - Herro having the last laugh as Heat close in on NBA Finals 'They said my wingspan was too short' - Herro having the last laugh as Heat close in on NBA Finals

    Tyler Herro saluted "big brother" Jimmy Butler after taking the Miami Heat to the brink of the NBA Finals, and took a swipe at his own doubters.

    The 20-year-old Herro led scoring for the Heat with a career-high 37 points in a 112-109 win over the Boston Celtics, securing a 3-1 lead in the Eastern Conference finals.

    Now the former Kentucky Wildcats prodigy, who was the 13th overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, could cap a first season in the professional ranks with an appearance in the championship series.

    He had 37 points on 14-of-21 shooting, alongside six rebounds and three assists, but the modest Herro pointed to the influence of Butler as a telling factor in his rapid rise.

    "Jimmy, ever since I got here, he's been like a big brother to me and he's shined light on me. He's taught me a lot of things," Herro said.

    "He's just continuing to get on me, whether it's something I want to hear or not, he's going to tell me what I need to hear. I appreciate him for that. Without Jimmy, I probably wouldn't be doing this as a rookie.

    "We have a great group of guys in the locker room and everybody wants to win. I know my role. It's not to score 30, whatever I had tonight. It's not to do that every night.

    "Some nights it may require me to step up like tonight and make some shots. But I know in the fourth quarter, we're going to get the ball to Jimmy; we're going to get the ball to Goran [Dragic].

    "Those are our guys. We are going to run to them and they are going it make the most plays for us and they are going to win us games most of the time."

    Although Herro remains deferential to such senior figures, he gives himself plenty of credit too for making it at the highest level, having been told repeatedly he lacked what it would take.

    "I'm just going to bet on myself. I've been doing that my whole life," he said. "I went from a small town in Milwaukee to Kentucky, and nobody thought I would survive there and nobody thought I would survive here. At the end of the day, it's just betting on myself."

    Reflecting on his time in Kentucky, he explained: "I think someone said my wingspan was too short. They say everything, but whatever they say, it's whatever."

    Herro contested the suggestion he was the leading player in Wednesday night's game, pointing to the likes of Butler, Dragic and Bam Adebayo, and predicted "a dogfight" in Game 5 on Friday night.

    Butler, who had 24 points and nine rebounds, continues to be impressed by his young team-mate.

    "Not too many people get an opportunity to make it this far in the playoffs and to be in a game like this. But for him, it's another day at the office," Butler said.

    "I think it makes all of us smile. We're all so happy for him because he knows what he's capable of, and he just plays with so much confidence.

    "He's been doing it all year long. So to him, there's no pressure or anything. He's just going to keep playing basketball the right way."

  • Clippers grand humiliation not all Kawhi’s fault Clippers grand humiliation not all Kawhi’s fault

    The Los Angeles Clippers have never been counted among the NBA’s elite franchises.  This season things were supposed to be different after the team landed bona fide superstar Kawhi Leonard.  In the end, they weren’t.  Many said he was the one to finally change things. He couldn’t.  

    I can only imagine what it’s like to be a Clippers fan in a city that has a team like the Los Angeles Lakers. Instead of going to games to celebrate your team’s countless achievements, you merely go to watch as they stack up countless failures.

    Cast in the role of a redeemer for the Clippers this season, Kawhi has received major backlash from some fans who hoped he would save the franchise from another subpar season.  But, he isn’t to blame.  The team’s elimination from the playoffs after blowing a 3-1 lead to the Denver Nuggets can’t be placed on just his shoulders alone.

    Kawhi needed a Pippen to his Jordan, an Anthony Davis to his LeBron, a Dory to his Marlin.  He needed a sidekick, a reliable partner. Paul George wasn’t that.  In fact, many considered the Clippers to be the deepest team in the NBA, but no one really showed up.  Not even the typically reliable 6th men Montrezl Harrell and Lou Williams who have been solid fallbacks for the team for many seasons now.

    You don’t need a crystal ball to see that if Kawhi doesn’t get the backing he needs, and deserves, then the Clippers’ chances of winning a championship next year and their hopes of escaping this continuous cycle of mediocrity are dim.

    Looking at the bigger picture, the Lakers are still going to be contenders, the Golden State Warriors led by Clay Thompson and Steph Curry are expected to be back in contention and young talented teams like the Nuggets will return with plenty more experience and a drive like never before.  And, that is just the Western Conference.

    Don’t get me wrong, by no means am I saying this is the end for the Los Angeles Clippers, they could come out of this disappointment a stronger team and even go on to be champions, but they need to find a way to at least live up to their name.

    Unlike the famous speedy ships that once passed through San Diego Bay, their performances have been slow and plodding.

    In fact, they came into the NBA bubble performing more like the old, dull scissors being used by many at home in the pandemic.  You know, the ones you have laying around the house somewhere that you would never cut your hair with because you would rather look scruffy than use scissors you don’t have faith in.  The ones you could give your children to use for craft projects to keep them busy in between homeschooling sessions.

    It would be great to see the other LA franchise really sharpen up.  Be the clippers our trusty barbers use. The ones known for their precision. The ones that have a razor edge and are cut-throat sharp.

     

    Please share your thoughts on Twitter (@SportsMax_Carib) or in the comments section on Facebook (@SportsMax). Don’t forget to use #IAmNotAFan. Until next time!

     

     

     

  • Herro leads Miami into 3-1 series lead over Celtics Herro leads Miami into 3-1 series lead over Celtics

    Tyler Herro led the Miami Heat to a 112-109 win over the Boston Celtics and a 3-1 lead in the Eastern Conference finals.

    Herro, the 13th overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, stole the show in Game 4 of the playoff contest at Walt Disney World Resort on Wednesday.

    The 20-year-old had 37 points on 14-of-21 shooting, to go with six rebounds and three assists, in an impressive performance.

    Herro's career-high 37 points put Miami within a win of a first NBA Finals appearance since 2014.

    As Herro led the way, Jimmy Butler (24 points and nine rebounds), Bam Adebayo (20 points and 12 rebounds) and Goran Dragic (22 points) all chipped in for Miami.

    Herro's 37 points were the most by a rookie in the Conference finals or later since Magic Johnson's 42 in Game 6 of the 1980 NBA Finals, as per STATS.

    In a worry for Miami, All-Star Adebayo appeared to suffer a wrist injury late in the game.

    The Heat held a half-time lead for the first time in the series, although they were pulled back by Boston.

    Scoreless in the first half, Celtics star Jayson Tatum erupted for 16 third-quarter points, finishing with 28 for the game.

    Kemba Walker had 20 points and Jaylen Brown contributed 21, but the Celtics are staring at an Eastern Conference finals defeat.

     

    Lakers face Nuggets

    After the Denver Nuggets cut the Los Angeles Lakers' Western Conference finals lead to 2-1, the teams meet again on Thursday.

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