Saturday, Mar 06, 2021 - 02:33:20
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Eastern Conference:

    Eastern Michigan (5-11, 2-10) vs. Ball State (9-11, 7-8) John E. Worthen Arena, Muncie, Indiana; Tuesday, 7 p.m. EST BOTTOM LINE: Ball State plays host to Eastern Michigan in a MAC matchup. Each squad is coming off of a home victory this past Saturday. Ball State earned a 97-91 win over Central Michigan, while Eastern Michigan got a 91-57 blowout win over Northern Illinois. TEAM LEADERS: Ball State’s Ishmael El-Amin has averaged 16.2 points while K.J. Walton has put up 15.2 points and 5.6 rebounds. For the Eagles, Ty Groce has averaged 14.9 points and 6.6 rebounds while Yeikson Montero has put up 12.9 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.4 steals.GIFTED GROCE: Groce has connected on 35.1 percent of the 37 3-pointers he’s attempted and has made 5 of 12 over the last three games. He’s also made 74.1 percent of his foul shots this season. WINLESS WHEN: The Cardinals are...
    The Big Sky apologized Sunday night for a blown call during the Idaho/Eastern Washington game. During the fourth quarter of the Saturday matchup, a made field goal by EWU was called a miss after it appeared the ref was messing with his mask instead of paying attention. (RELATED: David Hookstead Is The True King In The North When It Comes To College Football) Had it been called correctly, the Eagles would have taken a 24-21 lead with the game winding down. Instead, Idaho won 28-21. Uhhh Eastern Washington’s kicker just kicked a 22-yard field goal and something happened and the ball hit the scoreboard after going through the uprights and the refs got confused and just looked around and called it no good. Holy shit this is worse than the 5th down. pic.twitter.com/apT5r9cJlD — Graham Coffey (@DawgOutWest) February 28, 2021 Sunday night, the Big Sky issued an apology for the insane blunder and made...
    DETROIT (CBSNewYork/AP) — Julius Randle scored 17 of his 25 points in the second half and the New York Knicks moved above .500 with a 109-90 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Sunday night. The Knicks (18-17) have the fourth-best record in the Eastern Conference and have won seven of their last nine games. They had an easy time with the last-place Pistons, taking an 11-point lead into halftime and extending that to 24 in the second half. READ MORE: Trump Says His Journey Is Far From Being Over In First Major Public Speech Since Leaving Office This is the first time the Knicks have been above .500 this far into the season since they were 54-28 at the end of 2012-13, according to SportRadar. Handled business from start to finish ????#NewYorkForever pic.twitter.com/KogXjTRaf4 — NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) March 1, 2021 Derrick Rose scored 14 points, less than a...
    RICHMOND, Ky. (AP) — Wendell Green Jr. had 23 points as Eastern Kentucky rallied past Tennessee State 89-84 on Saturday night. Curt Lewis added 20 points with six rebounds for the Colonels. Green made 12 of 13 from the free throw line, including 5 of 6 in the last 1:12. Michael Moreno and Tre King each added 10 points for Eastern Kentucky (21-6, 15-5 Ohio Valley Conference). Eastern Kentucky plays next at the Ohio Valley Conference tournament Thursday in Evansville, Ind., as the third seed, facing No. 6 seeded Austin Peay. Mark Freeman had 21 points for the Tigers (4-19, 3-17). He also had seven turnovers but only five assists. Shakem Johnson added 19 points. Monty Johal had 17 points. Eastern Kentucky defeated Tennessee State 93-73 on Feb. 13. ___ For more AP college basketball coverage: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and http://twitter.com/AP_Top25 ___ This was generated by Automated Insights, http://www.automatedinsights.com/ap, using...
    Getty Bradley Beal in action during a game against the Houston Rockets. The Golden State Warriors could be the top contender to pry Bradley Beal away from the Washington Wizards, an insider says. Speaking on the Locked on Warriors podcast, Mercury News writer Wes Goldberg said he believes Golden State is able to field the most competitive trade offer of all the teams that could be courting Beal, who was just named as an All-Star starter for the first time in his nine-year career. It would likely require the Warriors to give up two to three top assets, but Goldberg said he believes they could pull it off.Beal Could Be Within ReachGoldberg said that while Beal would be coveted by nearly all teams in the NBA, there might not be any that could put together a more enticing trade package than the Warriors. While it would mean giving...
    Texas lawmakers kick off investigation into deadly power blackout Like Disneyland: Fans of Frys mourn electronics giant after its shutdown No one should bat an eye at the NBA's Western Conference showing night in and night out that it's the superior side of the bracket. In fact, anyone paying attention is just sort of used to it based on the past few years, where the Eastern frontier has featured a few decent sides then several completely lifeless teams who stumble into the playoffs and don't put up much of a fight before departing. © Provided by The Big Lead Maddie Meyer/Getty Images But this year is on a different level. As we near the midway point in a sneaky-fast year, a cursory look at the conference standings reveals a region mired in mediocrity. Only the Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks are over .500. The No. 4...
    The NBA is approaching the All-Star break, and teams have started to show us what they are with about 32 games in the books. This week, I’m looking at two teams in particular, the Heat and the Celtics. I believe these franchises are heading in opposite directions. Miami’s season was derailed by injury and COVID-19 absences. Yet the Heat have maintained their intensity on defense, showing bettors signs of improvement as they continue to get some continuity with their personnel. Meanwhile, the inherent flaws in Boston’s roster have started to rear their ugly heads. A team many believed would find its way back to the Eastern Conference finals is now struggling to keep itself out of the play-in game. Miami is getting warm About two weeks ago, I thought the Heat were on the verge of a run. They had won three straight, but had covered just one of...
    PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — For the third year in a row, the Philadelphia 76ers will have two representatives in the NBA All-Star game. After Joel Embiid was named a starter for the Eastern Conference, point guard Ben Simmons was named as a reserve for this year’s game in Atlanta. Another one for @BenSimmons25. ????#NBAAllStar pic.twitter.com/Tjj2yISPNn READ MORE: Missing 9-Year-Old Malachi Taylor Found, Delaware State Police Say — Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) February 24, 2021 Simmons is the 16th 76er ever to earn three All-Star nods. In his fourth NBA season, Simmons is averaging 15.7 points, 8.3 rebounds, 7.9 assists and 1.7 steals per game. READ MORE: Pennsylvania Reaches Important Milestone In Vaccinating Seniors For COVID-19, Gov. Wolf Says Embiid and Simmons will be entered into the 2021 NBA All-Star Draft, which is slated for Thursday, March 4 at 8 p.m. LeBron James and Kevin Durant will draft the rosters from the...
    This is a bizarre season for the NBA in a bizarre time for the world. Most of those who must attend the All-Star Game in Atlanta don’t seem particularly excited by those plans. Arenas across the country are somewhere between almost empty and totally empty because of coronavirus protocols. Game schedules are typically known months in advance; nobody knows what the second week of March looks like yet. All of this is most unusual. There is, however, one constant: The Eastern Conference standings are a mess. CLICK HERE FOR MORE SPORTS COVERAGE ON FOXNEWS.COM Spending any time trying to figure how the East is going to shake out would be a futile undertaking, because it’s clear that the teams themselves have no idea. Miami won the East last season and has spent zero days over .500 this season. Milwaukee — the NBA’s best regular-season team in each of the past...
    Eastern Kentucky (18-5, 12-4) vs. Southeast Missouri (8-14, 6-10) Show Me Center, Cape Girardeau, Missouri; Saturday, 6 p.m. EST BOTTOM LINE: Southeast Missouri hosts Eastern Kentucky in an OVC matchup. Each program is coming off of a victory in their last game. Southeast Missouri earned an 86-81 overtime home win against Austin Peay on Tuesday, while Eastern Kentucky won 89-72 at UT Martin on Thursday. SENIOR STUDS: Southeast Missouri has relied heavily on its seniors this year. Chris Harris, DQ Nicholas, Nana Akenten and Manny Patterson have collectively accounted for 50 percent of the team’s scoring this year and 45 percent of all Redhawks points over the last five games.TERRIFIC TRE: Tre King has connected on 31.3 percent of the 48 3-pointers he’s attempted. He’s also converted 70 percent of his foul shots this season. STREAK SCORING: Eastern Kentucky has scored 88.3 points per game and allowed 72.3 over its...
    Ready or not, the 2021 NBA All-Star Game is coming soon. Despite some strong objections from players, the NBA is moving forward with its plans. The league announced Thursday that it will bring All-Star festivities to Atlanta and hold all of its events March 7, including the Skills Challenge, 3-point Contest and Slam Dunk Contest. MORE: LeBron James has ‘zero excitement’ for All-Star Game Now that we know when the All-Star Game will take place, we can turn to the next big question: Who will make the squads? There are only 24 spots available, so a few worthy players will unfortunately earn the “snubbed” label. Here is the full breakdown ahead of this year’s All-Star break . . . NBA All-Star voting results 2021 Eastern Conference starters (two guards, three frontcourt) Position Player Team Fan rank Player rank Media rank Weighted score G Bradley Beal Wizards 1 1 1...
    The Cleveland Cavaliers are on the precipice of moving center Andre Drummond, possibly to the Toronto Raptors. With the Cleveland Cavaliers holding out center Andre Drummond until they are able to trade him, one team could be at the front of the line for his services: The Toronto Raptors. While ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Cleveland will indeed keep the two-time Eastern Conference All-Star out of action until he is inevitably traded, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported the Raptors in serious discussions to bring the rebounding maven to Toronto/Tampa Bay. Cleveland is 10-18 through 28 games and in 13th place in the Eastern Conference as of Feb. 14. Reporting with @WindhorstESPN: The Cleveland Cavaliers are no longer planning to play center Andre Drummond as they work to trade the two-time All-Star prior to the NBA’s March 25th deadline, sources told ESPN. — Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 15, 2021 How soon could...
    Draymond Green has won three NBA titles with Golden State, including two alongside Kevin Durant, so he knows a thing or two about successful super-teams. After falling Saturday night to his former teammate and Brooklyn’s newly assembled Big 3, the Warriors’ three-time All-Star forward believes the Nets should be considered the favorite to reach the NBA Finals out of the Eastern Conference this season. “They’ll be really dangerous in the East. I think there are some other good teams in the East that pose a threat to them, but they’re the team to beat in the East, if you ask me,” Green said after the Nets’ 17-point victory Saturday in San Francisco. “It’s my opinion. That doesn’t mean anything, but that’s my opinion, they’re definitely the team to beat in the East.” The Nets (16-12) currently are third in the conference standings under first-year coach Steve Nash — behind Philadelphia...
    More On: brooklyn nets Kyrie Irving declares James Harden the Nets’ new point guard Kevin Durant’s Golden State return a rousing success Stephen Curry talks Kevin Durant and the Nets’ Big 3 A Frankenstein monster is destroying the NBA Draymond Green has won three NBA titles with Golden State, including two alongside Kevin Durant, so he knows a thing or two about successful super-teams. After falling Saturday night to his former teammate and Brooklyn’s newly assembled Big 3, the Warriors’ three-time All-Star forward believes the Nets should be considered the favorite to reach the NBA Finals out of the Eastern Conference this season. “They’ll be really dangerous in the East. I think there are some other good teams in the East that pose a threat to them, but they’re the team to beat in the East, if you ask me,” Green said after the Nets’ 17-point victory Saturday in...
    US Coronavirus: Covid-19 cases have declined sharply. These factors will determine how pandemic unfolds from here, group of experts says A year of Covid showed us the farcical nature of dating. Now its Valentines Day. Warriors Draymond Green says Nets are definitely the team to beat in Eastern Conference On Saturday night the Golden State Warriors witnessed firsthand just how overwhelming the Brooklyn Nets offense can be when it's clicking, and it resulted in a 134-117 Nets win in Kevin Durant's return to the Bay Area. The Warriors trailed by 13 at halftime, but a third-quarter onslaught by Brooklyn doubled the lead to 26 by the start of the fourth quarter, and the game was never close again. © Provided by CBS Sports It was just the seventh game in which Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving have all played together, and they've won five of them -- in...
    PHOENIX (AP) — Devin Booker scored 36 points, Chris Paul added 18 points and 10 assists and the rising Phoenix Suns beat the Philadelphia 76ers 120-111 on Saturday for their fifth straight victory. The Suns have won eight of their past nine games and improved to 16-9. They got a big game from their bench against Philadelphia, especially from Dario Saric, who scored 15 points in his first game back after missing 10 straight. Joel Embiid had 35 points on 12-of-23 shooting for the Sixers, who have lost two in a row but still hold the top spot in the Eastern Conference at 18-9. Ben Simmons and Tobias Harris both added 18 points. RELATED: Lillard Scores 30 Points As Trail Blazers Down 76ers 118-114 The game was tied 53-all at halftime after a tight second quarter when there were nine lead changes and five ties. Booker took control in the...
    There are some exciting playoff possibilities based on how the bottom of the NBA Eastern Conference standings look right now. Teams like the Philadelphia 76ers, Milwaukee Bucks, Brooklyn Nets and Boston Celtics are all legitimate NBA Finals contenders out of the Eastern Conference. This is a new Hawks team and already beating the Nets and 76ers proves they have both the talent and the mental makeup to compete with anyone in the East. The NBA is better when young stars shine on bright stages, and seeing Young in his first playoff series would be a huge draw.No. 8 seed: Miami HeatThe Miami Heat are the defending Eastern Conference champions and currently sit in ninth place heading into Friday’s slate. There is some context needed for the early struggles, such as Jimmy Butler, Goran Dragic and Tyler Herro missing some time. But for the sake of fun, let’s say the Heat...
    Eastern Illinois (7-14, 4-10) vs. Jacksonville State (12-7, 8-5) Pete Mathews Coliseum, Jacksonville, Alabama; Thursday, 8:30 p.m. EST BOTTOM LINE: OVC foes meet as Eastern Illinois matches up against Jacksonville State. Both teams are coming off of big victories this past Saturday. Jacksonville State earned a 66-54 win on the road over Southeast Missouri, while Eastern Illinois won 86-72 at home against Tennessee State. PLENTY OF EXPERIENCE: Senior leadership could play a big role in this game’s outcome. Darian Adams, Brandon Huffman and Kayne Henry have collectively scored 41 percent of Jacksonville State’s points this season. For Eastern Illinois, Marvin Johnson, Jordan Skipper-Brown, Kashawn Charles, Henry Abraham and Sammy Friday IV have collectively accounted for 55 percent of all Eastern Illinois scoring. KEY CONTRIBUTOR: Johnson has accounted for 61 percent of all Eastern Illinois field goals over the last three games. Johnson has 23 field goals and 26 assists in...
    NBA : By Eurohoops team/ info@eurohoops.net “Sacramento Kings guard De’Aaron Fox and Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo have been named the NBA Western and Eastern Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for Week 7 of the 2020-21 season (Feb. 1-7).,” the league announced. Giannis led the Bucks to a 4-0 record during the past week, averaging 24 points on 61% shooting, 10.3 rebounds, 6.3 assists, and 1.5 blocks. The Greek Freak’s perfect (4-0) week leads to Eastern Conference Player of Week honors!! pic.twitter.com/pwup96PMNF — Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) February 8, 2021 Per the Milwaukee Bucks: Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo has been named Eastern Conference Player of the Week for games played from Monday, Feb. 1 through Sunday, Feb. 7, the NBA announced today. Leading the Bucks to a 4-0 record last week, Antetokounmpo averaged 24.0 points, 10.3 rebounds, 6.3 assists and 1.5 blocks per game...
    Next1 of 7Prev postUse your ← → (arrows) to browseThe Eastern Conference appears to be wide open through the first third of the 2020-21 NBA season. How many teams have a legitimate shot to win it? The Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers and Utah Jazz are quickly cementing themselves as the cream of the crop in the Western Conference. Meanwhile, the Eastern Conference looks to be the NBA’s version of rock-paper-scissors. A number of contenders have a conceivable path to the NBA Finals, but there isn’t much separation among them. One injury or trade-deadline acquisition could shuffle the hierarchy atop the conference. As the Miami Heat proved last year, regular-season records become relatively meaningless once the playoffs roll around. Although this year’s postseason isn’t expected to take place inside the Walt Disney World bubble, teams aren’t likely to have their typical home-court advantage because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic....
    Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns is one of the superstars who are being closely monitored on the trade market. As the Timberwolves continue to bury themselves deep at the bottom of the Western Conference rankings, there’s a growing belief around the league that Towns would soon follow in the footsteps of other superstars and start finding his way out of Minnesota. Once he becomes officially available on the trading block, several title contenders that are in dire need of a frontcourt boost and an additional star power on their roster are expected to express a strong interest in acquiring KAT, including the Boston Celtics. In a recent article, Eddie Bitar of Fadeaway World came up with a blockbuster trade idea that would enable Towns to form a “superteam” with Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum in Boston before the 2021 trade deadline. In the proposed scenario, the Celtics would be sending...
    Eastern Kentucky (14-4, 8-3) vs. Southern Illinois-Edwardsville (7-9, 5-5) Sam M. Vadalabene Center, Edwardsville, Illinois; Monday, 3 p.m. EST BOTTOM LINE: Eastern Kentucky visits Southern Illinois-Edwardsville in an OVC matchup. Both teams are coming off of big home losses this past Saturday. Southern Illinois-Edwardsville lost 94-62 to Belmont, while Eastern Kentucky came up short in a 76-64 game to Murray State. LEADING THE CHARGE: Mike Adewunmi is averaging 12.6 points and 6.3 rebounds to lead the way for the Cougars. Complementing Adewunmi is Shamar Wright, who is producing 7.3 points and 4.8 rebounds per game. The Colonels are led by Tre King, who is averaging 16.4 points and 7.5 rebounds. KEY CONTRIBUTIONS: Wendell Green Jr. has either made or assisted on 58 percent of all Eastern Kentucky field goals over the last three games. Green has accounted for 26 field goals and 25 assists in those games. WINLESS WHEN: Southern...
    The Nets had been unbeaten against the NBA’s other perceived contenders. That is until Saturday, when they got beaten and battered by Philadelphia. After a third-quarter collapse, the Nets’ undefeated mark against the league’s top teams went by the wayside in a 124-108 loss to the Eastern Conference-leading 76ers at Wells Fargo Center. Locked in a 79-all tie with 5:15 left in the third, the Nets unraveled as the Sixers closed the period on a 23-7 run. The Nets never challenged in the fourth. “Philly is one of the top teams in the league,” Nets coach Steve Nash said before his team fell to 14-11. “Joel [Embiid] is a monster, can play inside and out, makes his teammates better defensively, offensively. “Ben [Simmons] is such a unique talent and they have shooters and experience around them this year. So they put you in a lot of positions that are very...
    Julius Randle submitted the latest evidence for his case to be an All-Star on Wednesday night in Chicago, when he poured in 27 points, six rebounds and six assists in the Knicks’ win over the Bulls. But playing like an All-Star does not guarantee a spot on the All-Star team, especially in this year’s crowded class of Eastern Conference players, despite how Randle’s teammates may feel about his candidacy. “Honestly, it’s not even a question,” point guard Elfrid Payton said before the Knicks flew back to New York for an off day Thursday. “I don’t even know what we’re talking about. He’s definitely been playing at an All-Star level. “We’ve been winning. I don’t think it’s really a debate. I think it would mean a lot to him. He puts in a lot of work, a lot of things that people don’t see. We all work here, but...
    Eastern Washington (6-6, 5-2) vs. Idaho (0-13, 0-10) Cowan Spectrum at the Kibbie Dome, Moscow, Idaho; Thursday, 9 p.m. EST BOTTOM LINE: Eastern Washington looks to extend Idaho’s conference losing streak to 12 games. Idaho’s last Big Sky win came against the Idaho State Bengals 80-76 on March 7, 2020. Eastern Washington beat Sacramento State by 15 on Monday. SAVVY VETERANS: Both of these teams have relied heavily on their seniors this year. Damen Thacker, Scott Blakney, Gabe Quinnett and Ja’Vary Christmas have collectively accounted for 60 percent of Idaho’s scoring this season. For Eastern Washington, Tanner Groves, Kim Aiken Jr. and Jacob Davison have scored 55 percent of the team’s points this season, including 61 percent of all Eagles points over their last five. RAMPING IT UP: The Vandals have scored 63.5 points per game across 10 conference games, an improvement from the 55 per game they managed in...
    There are multiple Western Conference contenders looking to ruin the Lakers’ quest for back-to-back titles, but their most daunting foe may be sitting over in the Eastern Conference. The Nets’ acquisition of James Harden in a blockbuster trade earlier this month sent shockwaves throughout the NBA and put them firmly in win-now mode. The trio of Harden, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving gives Brooklyn more pure offensive firepower than any team in the league, including Los Angeles. MORE: Rockets’ John Wall takes not-so-subtle jab at Harden ESPN’s Rachel Nichols recently asked Lakers star Anthony Davis about the major shakeup and possibly meeting the Nets in the NBA Finals. He admitted that matchup would present some difficult challenges. “It’s a threat. They’re definitely a threat,” Davis said. “They’re a team that can score, score at will. They’re a good team, and I think they’re the favorites in the East now since [Harden] went over there. So it’s...
    Getty Images Bradley Beal of the Wizards and Jaylen Brown of the Celtics battle for a loose ball during the fourth quarter at TD Garden on January 08, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts There isn’t a single team in the NBA that wouldn’t love to add a player like Bradley Beal to their squad, including the Boston Celtics – an Eastern Conference contender that’s salivating over the thought of an NBA Finals appearance. It would be their first in over a decade. However, the days of Doc Rivers, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Rajon Rondo feel like they were ages ago. It’s been over seven years since Brad Stevens took over as head coach. Anything short of representing the Eastern Conference in the 2021 NBA Finals will feel like a disappointment. Teased by three trips to the Eastern Conference finals in four years, including being one win...
    Getty Heat rookie forward Precious Achiuwa has drawn comparisons to a young Bam Adebayo. The Miami Heat have fallen by 27 points and 13 points in back-to-back nights to swell the losing streak to four games. Not having top scoring threats like Jimmy Butler and Tyler Herro have certainly played a major factor but there’s an easier fix. The Heat needs to attack the first quarter. The Denver Nuggets raced out to a 26-12 lead after the first frame on Wednesday night as they zeroed in on locking down Bam Adebayo. They mixed coverages on the All-Star center and held him to 15 points, Adebayo’s’ lowest output since Jan. 22. It all led to a 109-82 blowout loss at American Airlines Arena. Miami sits 13th place in the Eastern Conference standings with a 6-11 record. “Main issue is we got to stop playing from behind, down 10-plus every...
    Time to double or upgrade masks as coronavirus variants emerge, experts say EU-Astra at Loggerheads; Beijing Tightens Entry: Virus Update Opinion: Are the Sixers the best team in the Eastern Conference? The dramatic game-winner captured Tobias Harris’ strong conviction in both his skills and how he handles pressure. Harris drilled a 15-foot jumper to lift the Philadelphia 76ers to a 107-106 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday. Murals of Kobe Bryant have spread worldwide to honor his legacy and influence USA TODAY SPORTS See more videos SHARE SHARE TWEET SHARE EMAIL What to watch next Remembering Kobe: His final interview, his death and his legacy USA TODAY SPORTS Blue Jays sign top free agent George Springer to $150 million deal USA TODAY SPORTS What it will take for the new Texans GM to save a dysfunctional organization USA TODAY SPORTS ...
    Boston Celtics (9-6, third in the Eastern Conference) vs. Chicago Bulls (7-9, 10th in the Eastern Conference) Chicago; Monday, 9 p.m. EST BOTTOM LINE: Zach LaVine and Jaylen Brown meet when Chicago hosts Boston. LaVine is eighth in the NBA averaging 26.8 points per game and Brown is sixth in the league averaging 27.3 points per game. The Bulls have gone 3-3 against Eastern Conference opponents. Chicago is seventh in the league shooting 38% from deep, led by Patrick Williams shooting 47.1% from 3-point range. The Celtics are 8-6 in Eastern Conference play. Boston ranks sixth in the Eastern Conference with 14.1 fast break points per game led by Brown averaging 5.3. The Bulls and Celtics square off Monday for the first time this season. TOP PERFORMERS: LaVine leads the Bulls with 3.2 made 3-pointers, and is averaging 26.8 points while shooting 38.2% from beyond the arc. Thaddeus Young is...
    Toronto Raptors (6-9, 12th in the Eastern Conference) vs. Indiana Pacers (9-6, second in the Eastern Conference) Indianapolis; Sunday, 1 p.m. EST BOTTOM LINE: Indiana hosts the Toronto Raptors following the Pacers’ 120-118 overtime win against the Magic. The Pacers are 5-2 against Eastern Conference opponents. Indiana averages 42.1 rebounds per game and is 4-1 when outrebounding opponents. The Raptors are 4-3 against Eastern Conference opponents. Toronto is second in the Eastern Conference with 16.5 fast break points per game led by Kyle Lowry averaging 4.8. The teams meet Sunday for the first time this season. TOP PERFORMERS: Malcolm Brogdon leads the Pacers with 7.2 assists and scores 22.5 points per game. Doug McDermott is shooting 58.1% and averaging 13.2 points over the last 10 games for Indiana. Fred VanVleet is averaging 18.9 points and 6.5 assists for the Raptors. Pascal Siakam is averaging 8.3 rebounds and 19.4 points per...
    Miami Heat (6-8, 11th in the Eastern Conference) vs. Brooklyn Nets (9-8, seventh in the Eastern Conference) Brooklyn; Saturday, 8 p.m. EST BOTTOM LINE: Brooklyn hosts Miami aiming to continue its three-game home winning streak. The Nets are 6-5 against Eastern Conference opponents. Brooklyn ranks second in the Eastern Conference with 36.9 defensive rebounds per game led by James Harden averaging 7.5. The Heat are 4-7 against Eastern Conference opponents. Miami is seventh in the Eastern Conference with 34.9 defensive rebounds per game led by Bam Adebayo averaging 7.6. The teams square off Saturday for the first time this season. TOP PERFORMERS: Kyrie Irving leads the Nets with 3.7 made 3-pointers, and is averaging 29.4 points while shooting 42.3% from beyond the arc. Harden is averaging 8.2 rebounds and 26.5 points per game over the last 10 games for Brooklyn. Duncan Robinson leads the Heat averaging 3.8 made 3-pointers while...
    Brooklyn Nets (9-7, fifth in the Eastern Conference) vs. Cleveland Cavaliers (7-7, sixth in the Eastern Conference) Cleveland; Friday, 7:30 p.m. EST BOTTOM LINE: Cleveland hosts the Brooklyn Nets after Collin Sexton scored 42 points in the Cavaliers’ 147-135 overtime victory against the Nets. The Cavaliers have gone 6-5 against Eastern Conference teams. Cleveland is third in the Eastern Conference with 11.4 offensive rebounds per game led by Andre Drummond averaging 4.2. The Nets are 6-4 against Eastern Conference opponents. Brooklyn is the Eastern Conference leader with 37.8 defensive rebounds per game led by James Harden averaging 8.3. The teams meet for the second game in a row. TOP PERFORMERS: Drummond leads the Cavaliers with 15.1 rebounds and averages 18.8 points. Drummond is averaging 13.5 rebounds and 16.5 points per game over the last 10 games for Cleveland. Kevin Durant leads the Nets averaging 31.3 points while adding 7.5 rebounds...
    Miami Heat (6-7, 10th in the Eastern Conference) vs. Toronto Raptors (5-9, 13th in the Eastern Conference) Tampa; Friday, 7:30 p.m. EST BOTTOM LINE: Fred VanVleet and the Toronto Raptors host Bam Adebayo and the Miami Heat in Eastern Conference action Friday. The Raptors are 3-3 in conference matchups. Toronto is 2-6 when it turns the ball over less than its opponents and averages 14.6 turnovers per game. The Heat have gone 4-6 against Eastern Conference opponents. Miami is 0-2 in games decided by 3 points or fewer. The teams meet for the second straight game. TOP PERFORMERS: VanVleet is averaging 19.4 points and 6.5 assists for the Raptors. Pascal Siakam is averaging 18.9 points and 7.3 rebounds while shooting 45.5% over the last 10 games for Toronto. Adebayo leads the Heat averaging 19 assists and grabbing 9.4 rebounds. Goran Dragic is averaging 4.1 assists and 12.9 points over the...
    Eastern Illinois (5-8, 2-4) vs. Belmont (14-1, 8-0) Curb Event Center, Nashville, Tennessee; Thursday, 8 p.m. EST BOTTOM LINE: Belmont looks for its eighth straight win in the head-to-head series over Eastern Illinois. In its last seven wins against the Panthers, Belmont has won by an average of 25 points. Eastern Illinois’ last win in the series came on Jan. 10, 2015, an 84-73 victory. SUPER SENIORS: Eastern Illinois has benefited heavily from its seniors. Marvin Johnson, Mack Smith, George Dixon, Sammy Friday IV and Kashawn Charles have combined to account for 59 percent of the team’s scoring this year and 72 percent of all Panthers points over the last five games. STEPPING IT UP: The Bruins have scored 84.6 points per game across eight conference games, an improvement from the 78.7 per game they recorded against non-conference foes. CREATING OFFENSE: Johnson has either made or assisted on 46 percent...
    Eastern Washington (3-5, 2-1) vs. Northern Colorado (7-6, 4-4) Bank of Colorado Arena, Greeley, Colorado; Thursday, 8:30 p.m. EST BOTTOM LINE: Eastern Washington pays visit to Northern Colorado in a Big Sky matchup. Each team last played this past Saturday. Northern Colorado won on the road against Idaho 75-61, while Eastern Washington came up short in a 99-94 game at home to Southern Utah. SUPER SENIORS: Eastern Washington has benefited heavily from its seniors. Tanner Groves, Kim Aiken Jr., Jacob Davison and Tyler Robertson have collectively accounted for 72 percent of the team’s scoring this year and 81 percent of all Eagles points over the team’s last five games. RAMPING IT UP: The Bears have scored 66.6 points per game and allowed 65.4 points per game in conference play so far. Those are both substantial improvements over the 65.5 points scored and 73 points allowed per game to non-conference opponents.GIFTED...
    Getty Kevin Durant runs the Nets offense during a matchup with the Washington Wizards. One of the biggest questions entering the 2021 NBA season was how good 2014 MVP Kevin Durant would be with his new team the Brooklyn Nets. KD tore his Achilles during game five of the 2019 NBA Finals. A torn Achilles is one of the toughest injuries to come back from for an athlete. KD does not look like he has missed a step as he is second in the lead in scoring and has the Nets sitting at fifth place in the east. KD’s performance won him Eastern Conference Player of the Week honors and one analyst has him as the runaway favorite to win the league’s Most Valuable Player Award. KD Wins Eastern Conference Player of the Week KD led the Nets to a 3-0 record for the week after averaging 34...
    Avengers: Endgame almost had a WandaVision end-credits tease, says Paul Bettany Birkenstock in Talks for $5 Billion Sale to CVC Capital JP McManus Pro-Am, starring Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, postponed until 2022 The star-studded JP McManus Pro-Am tournament has been postponed for a second time because of the COVID-19 pandemic. © Provided by Golf Channel The event had been scheduled for July 5-6 in Ireland, with big-name commitments including Tiger Woods, Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy and Brooks Koepka. Video: Augusta National: Limited fans at 2021 Masters; DCP and ANWA to be played as scheduled (SMG) Augusta National: Limited fans at 2021 Masters; DCP and ANWA to be played as scheduled SMG See more videos SHARE SHARE TWEET SHARE EMAIL What to watch next Kevin Durant named Eastern Conference Player of the Week for first time SMG Kevin Durant named Eastern Conference Player of the...
    Detroit Pistons (3-10, 15th in the Eastern Conference) vs. Atlanta Hawks (6-7, eighth in the Eastern Conference) Atlanta; Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. EST BOTTOM LINE: Eastern Conference foes Atlanta and Detroit square off on Wednesday. The Hawks are 4-5 in conference play. Atlanta is second in the Eastern Conference with 37.5 defensive rebounds per game led by Clint Capela averaging 9.4. The Pistons are 2-7 against Eastern Conference opponents. Detroit averages 13.9 turnovers per game and is 0-3 when turning the ball over more than opponents. The teams play for the second time this season. The Hawks won the last meeting 128-120 on Dec. 28. Trae Young scored 29 points to help lead Atlanta to the win. TOP PERFORMERS: Young is averaging 22.9 points and 8.9 assists for the Hawks. Kevin Huerter is averaging two made 3-pointers and 11.7 points over the last 10 games for Atlanta. Jerami Grant has shot...
    Boston Celtics (8-4, first in the Eastern Conference) vs. Philadelphia 76ers (9-5, third in the Eastern Conference) Philadelphia; Wednesday, 7 p.m. EST BOTTOM LINE: The Philadelphia 76ers and the Boston Celtics square off in a matchup of two of the top teams in the Eastern Conference. The 76ers are 2-1 against Atlantic Division teams. Philadelphia is the leader in the Eastern Conference with 16.3 fast break points led by Tobias Harris averaging 4.6. The Celtics have gone 7-4 against Eastern Conference opponents. Boston has a 4-2 record against opponents below .500. The teams match up Wednesday for the first time this season. TOP PERFORMERS: Danny Green is second on the 76ers averaging 2.4 made 3-pointers, and is scoring 9.6 points per game while shooting 37% from beyond the arc. Ben Simmons is averaging nine points, 7.4 rebounds and 7.2 assists over the last 10 games for Philadelphia. Jaylen Brown is...
    Brooklyn Nets (9-6, fifth in the Eastern Conference) vs. Cleveland Cavaliers (6-7, seventh in the Eastern Conference) Cleveland; Wednesday, 7 p.m. EST BOTTOM LINE: Cleveland hosts the Brooklyn Nets after Andre Drummond’s 33-point, 23-rebound outing in the Cavaliers’ 106-103 win over the Knicks. The Cavaliers are 5-5 in Eastern Conference games. Cleveland ranks sixth in the Eastern Conference with 12.7 fast break points per game led by Collin Sexton averaging 2.8. The Nets have gone 6-3 against Eastern Conference opponents. Brooklyn ranks eighth in the NBA scoring 14.6 fast break points per game led by Kyrie Irving averaging 3. The matchup Wednesday is the first meeting of the season between the two teams. TOP PERFORMERS: Cedi Osman is second on the Cavaliers with 2.3 made 3-pointers, and is averaging 13.1 points while shooting 32.6% from beyond the arc. Drummond is averaging 17 points and 14.5 rebounds while shooting 44.1% over...
    Orlando Magic (6-7, sixth in the Eastern Conference) vs. New York Knicks (6-8, ninth in the Eastern Conference) New York; Monday, 12 p.m. EST LINE: Knicks -1.5; over/under is 206.5 BOTTOM LINE: Orlando enters the matchup with New York after losing five games in a row. New York finished 21-45 overall and 11-22 at home in the 2019-20 season. The Knicks averaged 105.8 points per game while shooting 44.7% from the field and 33.7% from behind the arc last season. Orlando went 33-40 overall and 20-23 in Eastern Conference play a season ago. The Magic averaged 107.3 points per game last season, 45.4 in the paint, 17 off of turnovers and 12 on fast breaks. The teams meet Monday for the first time this season. INJURIES: Knicks: Alec Burks: day to day (ankle), Frank Ntilikina: out (right knee). Magic: Chuma Okeke: out (knee), Mohamed Bamba: out (health and safety protocols),...
    Milwaukee Bucks (9-4, second in the Eastern Conference) vs. Brooklyn Nets (8-6, fifth in the Eastern Conference) Brooklyn; Monday, 7:30 p.m. EST BOTTOM LINE: Brooklyn hosts the Milwaukee Bucks after Kevin Durant scored 42 points in the Nets’ 122-115 victory against the Magic. Brooklyn finished 35-37 overall and 20-16 at home in the 2019-20 season. The Nets averaged 14.8 points off of turnovers, 13.6 second chance points and 36.7 bench points last season. Milwaukee finished 56-17 overall and 37-7 in Eastern Conference games during the 2019-20 season. The Bucks averaged 118.7 points per game last season, 18.3 on free throws and 41.4 from beyond the arc. The teams meet Monday for the first time this season. INJURIES: Nets: Nicolas Claxton: out (right knee), Spencer Dinwiddie: out for season (acl), Kyrie Irving: day to day (health and safety protocols). Bucks: None listed. ___ The Associated Press created this story using technology...
    Orlando Magic (6-6, sixth in the Eastern Conference) vs. Brooklyn Nets (7-6, fifth in the Eastern Conference) Brooklyn; Saturday, 6 p.m. EST BOTTOM LINE: Orlando is looking to stop its four-game losing streak with a win over Brooklyn. Brooklyn went 35-37 overall and 20-16 at home in the 2019-20 season. The Nets allowed opponents to score 112.3 points per game and shoot 44.6% from the field last season. Orlando finished 33-40 overall and 20-23 in Eastern Conference games during the 2019-20 season. The Magic shot 44.4% from the field and 34.3% from 3-point range last season. The teams match up Saturday for the first time this season. INJURIES: Nets: James Harden: day to day (trade pending), Nicolas Claxton: out (right knee), Spencer Dinwiddie: out for season (acl), Kyrie Irving: out (health protocols). Magic: Chuma Okeke: out (knee), Mohamed Bamba: out (health and safety protocols), Markelle Fultz: out for season (knee),...
    Charlotte Hornets (6-7, eighth in the Eastern Conference) vs. Toronto Raptors (3-8, 13th in the Eastern Conference) Tampa; Saturday, 7:30 p.m. EST BOTTOM LINE: LaMelo Ball and the Charlotte Hornets take on Fred VanVleet and the Toronto Raptors in Eastern Conference play Saturday. Toronto finished 53-19 overall and went 26-10 at home in the 2019-20 season. The Raptors averaged 112.8 points per game last season, 18.5 from the free throw line and 41.5 from 3-point range. Charlotte finished 23-42 overall and 16-24 in Eastern Conference play a season ago. The Hornets averaged 16.2 points off of turnovers, 13.4 second chance points and 33.8 bench points last season. Toronto and Charlotte matchup for the second time this season. The Raptors won 111-108 in the previous meeting between these two teams on Jan. 14. Chris Boucher led Toronto with 25 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks, and Terry Rozier led Charlotte with...
    By Matthew Geagan, CBS Boston BOSTON (CBS) — James Harden is now a member of the Brooklyn Nets, with Wednesday’s blockbuster trade one that will send reverberations throughout the NBA for years to come. The Nets should be one of the most dangerous offensive teams in the NBA for the foreseeable future, and that is bad news for the Boston Celtics and the rest of the Eastern Conference. The emphasis there, of course, is on should. On paper, adding Harden to Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving catapults Brooklyn’s offense from a pretty frightening one to one that will scare the bejesus out of anyone and everyone in the NBA. The Nets now have three absurdly talented offensive players that will probably put up some absurdly eye-popping numbers. It’s not far-fetched to say they could average 150 points per game, and head coaches around the league are probably going crazy right...
    Charlotte Hornets (6-6, seventh in the Eastern Conference) vs. Toronto Raptors (2-8, 14th in the Eastern Conference) Tampa; Thursday, 7:30 p.m. EST LINE: Raptors -8; over/under is 221.5 BOTTOM LINE: Gordon Hayward and the Charlotte Hornets visit Fred VanVleet and the Toronto Raptors on Thursday. Toronto finished 53-19 overall and went 26-10 at home in the 2019-20 season. The Raptors gave up 106.5 points per game while committing 21.6 fouls last season. Charlotte went 23-42 overall and 16-24 in Eastern Conference play a season ago. The Hornets averaged 102.9 points per game while allowing opponents to score 109.6 last season. The matchup Thursday is the first meeting of the season between the two teams. INJURIES: Raptors: Patrick McCaw: out (knee). Hornets: Cody Zeller: out (hand), Gordon Hayward: day to day (hip). ___ The Associated Press created this story using technology provided by Data Skrive and data from Sportradar. Copyright © 2021...
    Ben Simmons is staying put. After much speculation that he would wind up in Houston as part of a package netting Philly James Harden, it looks like Simmons will be a Sixer for the foreseeable future. As recently as Wednesday afternoon, Simmons looked to be on his way to Houston, with The New York Times reporting th at the Rockets were “pursuing” a package headlined by him and rookie Tyrese Maxey. That never came to fruition, however, with the Nets ultimately pulling the trigger on a deal for the eight-time All-Star, leaving Simmons “pretty ecstatic,” according to a report from ESPN’s The Undefeated. Though the Nets are the odds-on favorites to win the Eastern Conference, Simmons has good reason to be giddy about Philly’s title chances. The Sixers are 8-4 (tied for second in the Eastern Conference), are fifth in defensive rating and have provided stars Simmons and Joel...
    Miami Heat (4-4, seventh in the Eastern Conference) vs. Philadelphia 76ers (7-4, third in the Eastern Conference) Philadelphia; Tuesday, 7 p.m. EST BOTTOM LINE: Philadelphia enters the matchup with Miami after losing three straight games. Philadelphia finished 43-30 overall and went 31-4 at home a season ago. The 76ers gave up 108.4 points per game while committing 21.0 fouls last season. Miami finished 44-29 overall and 30-13 in Eastern Conference action in the 2019-20 season. The Heat averaged 112 points per game while allowing opponents to score 109.1 last season. The matchup Tuesday is the first meeting this season for the two teams. INJURIES: 76ers: Matisse Thybulle: out (health protocols), Vincent Poirier: out (health protocols), Shake Milton: out (health protocols), Furkan Korkmaz: out (groin), Tobias Harris: out (health protocols), Terrance Ferguson: out (personal), Seth Curry: out (covid), Ben Simmons: out (left knee). Heat: Jimmy Butler: out (health protocols), Avery Bradley:...
    BOSTON (CBS) — At least Jayson Tatum has a nice award to think about during his stint in quarantine. The Celtics star was named the Eastern Conference’s Player of the Week on Monday. Tatum averaged 33 points and 5.3 rebounds as Boston went 3-0 last week, earning wins over the Toronto Raptors, the Miami Heat and the Washington Wizards. Tatum shot 52 percent from the floor overall and 52 percent of his three-point attempts over the three-game stretch. Tatum started his week by dropping 40 points on the Raptors, hitting 11 of his 19 shots as Boston cruised to a 126-114 victory. He had 27 points a few nights later in Boston’s win over Miami, hitting five threes of his eight shots from downtown for the second straight game. He closed his week with 32 points in another blowout win over the Wizards. Congrats JT ????????☘️ pic.twitter.com/EdNhMi9p7w — Boston Celtics...
    Eastern Michigan (3-3, 1-2) vs. Toledo (10-3, 5-0) Savage Arena, Toledo, Ohio; Tuesday, 7 p.m. EST BOTTOM LINE: Toledo looks for its eighth straight conference win against Eastern Michigan. Toledo’s last MAC loss came against the Northern Illinois Huskies 71-50 on March 3, 2020. Eastern Michigan beat Akron by 12 on Saturday. SUPER SENIORS: Eastern Michigan has relied heavily on its seniors. Ty Groce, Yeikson Montero, Bryce McBride, Drew Lowder and Miles Gibson have combined to account for 76 percent of all Eagles points this season, though their output has dropped to 61 percent over the last five games. TAKING IT UP A NOTCH: The Rockets have scored 83.6 points per game across five conference games, an improvement from the 73 per game they recorded against non-conference foes.GIFTED GROCE: Groce has connected on 30 percent of the 10 3-pointers he’s attempted and has made 3 of 9 over the last...
    New York Knicks (5-5, sixth in the Eastern Conference) vs. Charlotte Hornets (5-5, eighth in the Eastern Conference) Charlotte; Monday, 7 p.m. EST LINE: Hornets -4.5; over/under is 210 BOTTOM LINE: Charlotte comes into a matchup with New York as winners of three straight games. Charlotte finished 23-42 overall and 10-21 at home in the 2019-20 season. The Hornets averaged 102.9 points per game last season, 46.5 in the paint, 16.2 off of turnovers and 11.5 on fast breaks. New York finished 21-45 overall and 15-28 in Eastern Conference games in the 2019-20 season. The Knicks averaged 105.8 points per game while shooting 44.7% from the field and 33.7% from behind the arc last season. The matchup Monday is the first meeting of the season between the two teams. INJURIES: Hornets: Cody Zeller: out (hand). Knicks: Taj Gibson: out (not with team), Obi Toppin: out (calf), Alec Burks: out (ankle),...
    The 2003 NBA Draft had four of the best players of the 2000s. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade were a class apart and eventually teamed up to win two rings. But they were never able to face each other during the playoffs. Not only are fans upset about it, but Wade himself too. During a recent interview, Wade talked about how he wished he would have either played LeBron or Kobe Bryant in the Finals, or at least Eastern Conference Finals. “I wanted to at least play Bron in the Eastern Conference Finals,” Wade said. “We were so close. Because I’m a competitor. It’s mostly about, being able to have that story, that moment with some of the best players to have played the game. I never got to have that moment in the playoffs. When I was younger, I went to a different level when the playoffs came.” “So...
    Milwaukee Bucks (6-4, fifth in the Eastern Conference) vs. Orlando Magic (6-4, fourth in the Eastern Conference) Orlando; Monday, 7 p.m. EST BOTTOM LINE: Nikola Vucevic and the Orlando Magic host Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks. Orlando finished 33-40 overall and 18-17 at home during the 2019-20 season. The Magic averaged 107.3 points per game while shooting 44.4% from the field and 34.3% from deep last season. Milwaukee went 56-17 overall and 37-7 in Eastern Conference action a season ago. The Bucks shot 47.6% from the field and 35.5% from 3-point range last season. The teams meet Monday for the first time this season. INJURIES: Magic: Chuma Okeke: out (knee), Mohamed Bamba: day to day (back), Markelle Fultz: out for season (knee), Evan Fournier: day to day (back spasms), Michael Carter-Williams: day to day (foot), Al-Farouq Aminu: out (knee), Jonathan Isaac: out for season (knee). Bucks: Torrey Craig: out...
    Atlanta Hawks (4-4, ninth in the Eastern Conference) vs. Charlotte Hornets (4-5, 10th in the Eastern Conference) Charlotte; Saturday, 7 p.m. EST LINE: Hawks -4; over/under is 227 BOTTOM LINE: Atlanta looks to break its three-game skid with a victory over Charlotte. Charlotte went 23-42 overall and 2-7 in Southeast Division games a season ago. The Hornets averaged 6.6 steals, 4.1 blocks and 14.6 turnovers per game last season. Atlanta went 20-47 overall and 11-32 in Eastern Conference play during the 2019-20 season. The Hawks averaged 24.0 assists per game on 40.6 made field goals last season. The two teams square off for the second time this season. The Hornets defeated the Hawks 102-94 in their last meeting on Jan. 6. Gordon Hayward led Charlotte with 44 points, and John Collins paced Atlanta with 23 points. INJURIES: Hornets: Cody Zeller: out (hand). Hawks: Onyeka Okongwu: out (foot), Tony Snell: day...
    Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports First Week Finals separates the NBA’s contenders from the pretenders after the first week of every month of the season. Yes, technically it is not the first week after the first month of the 2020-21 NBA campaign, but it’s never too early to jump into the predictive time machine to see which teams have the most legitimate shots at the Larry O’Brien Trophy. Being only a few weeks into the start of NBA season after the quickest turnaround in league history; and with most teams using the full capacities of their rosters and early rest for their superstars to varying degrees, true evaluations are hard to come by. Add in that many of the NBA’s top-seeded teams in both the Eastern and Western Conferences are dealing with significant roster shake-ups and/or new coaching philosophies, making predictions of the Finals participants now is really just a fool’s...
    Tennessee Tech (1-11, 1-4) vs. Eastern Kentucky (10-2, 4-1) McBrayer Arena, Richmond, Kentucky; Saturday, 7 p.m. EST BOTTOM LINE: Tennessee Tech pays visit to Eastern Kentucky in an OVC matchup. Both teams last played this past Thursday. Eastern Kentucky won at home over Jacksonville State 69-66 in overtime, while Tennessee Tech fell 57-54 at Morehead State. SQUAD LEADERSHIP: The do-everything Tre King has averaged 16.2 points, 8.1 rebounds and 2.3 steals to lead the way for the Colonels. Wendell Green Jr. is also a big facilitator, putting up 12.2 points and 4.4 assists per game. The Golden Eagles have been led by Keishawn Davidson, who is averaging 10.1 points. OVC IMPROVEMENT: The Golden Eagles have scored 64.8 points per game and allowed 70.8 points per game across five conference games. Those figures both represent moves in the right direction from the 59.7 points scored and 81.6 points allowed per game...
    Cleveland Cavaliers (4-3, sixth in the Eastern Conference) vs. Orlando Magic (5-2, second in the Eastern Conference) Orlando; Wednesday, 7 p.m. EST BOTTOM LINE: Nikola Vucevic and the Orlando Magic host Andre Drummond and the Cleveland Cavaliers in Eastern Conference action Wednesday. Orlando finished 33-40 overall and went 18-17 at home during the 2019-20 season. The Magic shot 44.4% from the field and 34.3% from 3-point range last season. Cleveland finished 19-46 overall and 12-32 in Eastern Conference play in the 2019-20 season. The Cavaliers averaged 106.9 points per game last season, 49.3 in the paint, 14.4 off of turnovers and 10.5 on fast breaks. The two teams matchup for the second time this season. The Magic defeated the Cavaliers 103-83 in their last matchup on Jan. 4. Aaron Gordon led Orlando with 24 points, and Collin Sexton paced Cleveland with 24 points. INJURIES: Magic: Chuma Okeke: out (knee), James...
    Boston Celtics (5-3, fourth in the Eastern Conference) vs. Miami Heat (3-3, ninth in the Eastern Conference) Miami; Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. EST BOTTOM LINE: Boston visits the Miami Heat after Jayson Tatum scored 40 points in the Celtics’ 126-114 win against the Raptors. Miami finished 44-29 overall and went 29-7 at home a season ago. The Heat averaged 112 points per game last season, 19.7 from the free throw line and 40.2 from 3-point range. Boston finished 48-24 overall and 30-13 in Eastern Conference play during the 2019-20 season. The Celtics averaged 113.7 points per game while shooting 46.1% from the field and 36.4% from deep last season. The teams match up Wednesday for the first time this season. INJURIES: Heat: None listed. Celtics: Jeff Teague: out (ankle), Romeo Langford: out (right wrist), Javonte Green: out (health and safety protocols), Marcus Smart: out (right thumb), Kemba Walker: out (left knee)....
    Over the last few seasons, the Boston Celtics have emerged as one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference. However, they always fail to clinch the Eastern Conference title. Initially, it was because of LeBron James being a huge obstacle for them. However, even after his departure, the team has struggled to make it to the NBA Finals. So far, they have had an average start to the season; they are exactly at the .500 record. In their first 6 fixtures, they have won and lost 3 games each. Needless to say, fans and analysts are concerned about the team’s fortunes because of their slow start to the season. Tristan Thompson compares Celtics’ situation to the Cavs and LeBron James Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James (23) participates during a practice session before Game 3 of the NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, on Tuesday, June 7, 2016....
    Charlotte Hornets (2-4, 12th in the Eastern Conference) vs. Philadelphia 76ers (5-1, first in the Eastern Conference) Philadelphia; Monday, 7 p.m. EST BOTTOM LINE: Philadelphia will try to keep its three-game home win streak intact when the 76ers take on Charlotte. Philadelphia finished 43-30 overall and went 31-4 at home a season ago. The 76ers averaged 16 points off of turnovers, 13.1 second chance points and 32.8 bench points last season. Charlotte finished 23-42 overall and 16-24 in Eastern Conference games a season ago. The Hornets allowed opponents to score 109.6 points per game and shoot 47.6% from the field last season. Philadelphia and Charlotte play for the second time this season. The 76ers won the last meeting 127-112 on Jan. 2. Tobias Harris led the way with 24 points. INJURIES: 76ers: Furkan Korkmaz: out (groin), Mike Scott: day to day (left knee). Hornets: Cody Zeller: out (hand). ___ The...
    Cleveland Cavaliers (4-2, fourth in the Eastern Conference) vs. Orlando Magic (4-2, second in the Eastern Conference) Orlando; Monday, 7 p.m. EST BOTTOM LINE: Nikola Vucevic and the Orlando Magic host Andre Drummond and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Orlando finished 33-40 overall and went 18-17 at home a season ago. The Magic averaged 107.3 points per game while shooting 44.4% from the field and 34.3% from deep last season. Cleveland went 19-46 overall and 12-32 in Eastern Conference play during the 2019-20 season. The Cavaliers averaged 6.9 steals, 3.2 blocks and 16.5 turnovers per game last season. The matchup Monday is the first meeting this season for the two teams. INJURIES: Magic: Chuma Okeke: out (knee), James Ennis III: day to day (hamstring), Evan Fournier: day to day (back spasms), Al-Farouq Aminu: out (knee), Jonathan Isaac: out for season (knee). Cavaliers: Dylan Windler: out (wrist), Isaac Okoro: day to day (foot),...
    New York Knicks (3-3, seventh in the Eastern Conference) vs. Atlanta Hawks (4-2, fifth in the Eastern Conference) Atlanta; Monday, 7:30 p.m. EST BOTTOM LINE: Eastern Conference foes Atlanta and New York face off on Monday. Atlanta finished 20-47 overall and 14-20 at home in the 2019-20 season. The Hawks averaged 24.0 assists per game on 40.6 made field goals last season. New York finished 21-45 overall and 15-28 in Eastern Conference games a season ago. The Knicks averaged 15.7 points off of turnovers, 15.3 second chance points and 41.9 bench points last season. The teams meet Monday for the first time this season. INJURIES: Hawks: Onyeka Okongwu: out (foot), Tony Snell: day to day (foot), Kris Dunn: out (right ankle), Danilo Gallinari: out (ankle), Rajon Rondo: day to day (left knee). Knicks: Obi Toppin: out (calf), Alec Burks: day to day (ankle), Frank Ntilikina: day to day (right knee),...
    Cleveland Cavaliers (3-2, fifth in the Eastern Conference) vs. Atlanta Hawks (4-1, fourth in the Eastern Conference) Atlanta; Saturday, 7:30 p.m. EST LINE: Hawks -6.5; over/under is 233 BOTTOM LINE: Atlanta hosts Cleveland in a matchup of Eastern Conference teams. Atlanta went 20-47 overall and 14-20 at home in the 2019-20 season. The Hawks allowed opponents to score 119.7 points per game and shoot 47.8% from the field last season. Cleveland went 19-46 overall and 12-32 in Eastern Conference action a season ago. The Cavaliers allowed opponents to score 114.8 points per game and shoot 49.1% from the field last season. The teams meet Saturday for the first time this season. INJURIES: Hawks: Onyeka Okongwu: out (foot), De’Andre Hunter: day to day (right knee), Tony Snell: out (foot), Kris Dunn: out (right ankle), Danilo Gallinari: out (ankle), Rajon Rondo: out (left knee). Cavaliers: Dylan Windler: out (wrist), Isaac Okoro: out...
    Charlotte Hornets (2-3, ninth in the Eastern Conference) vs. Philadelphia 76ers (4-1, first in the Eastern Conference) Philadelphia; Saturday, 7 p.m. EST LINE: 76ers -9.5; over/under is 214 BOTTOM LINE: Philadelphia faces Charlotte in a matchup of Eastern Conference teams. Philadelphia finished 43-30 overall and went 31-4 at home a season ago. The 76ers averaged 110.7 points per game last season, 16.9 on free throws and 34.9 from beyond the arc. Charlotte went 23-42 overall and 16-24 in Eastern Conference action during the 2019-20 season. The Hornets averaged 6.6 steals, 4.1 blocks and 14.6 turnovers per game last season. The teams match up Saturday for the first time this season. INJURIES: 76ers: Furkan Korkmaz: out (groin), Mike Scott: day to day (left knee). Hornets: Cody Zeller: out (hand). ___ The Associated Press created this story using technology provided by Data Skrive and data from Sportradar. Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press....
    Boston Celtics (3-3, seventh in the Eastern Conference) vs. Detroit Pistons (1-4, 14th in the Eastern Conference) Detroit; Sunday, 3 p.m. EST BOTTOM LINE: Eastern Conference foes Detroit and Boston face off. Detroit went 20-46 overall and 11-22 at home in the 2019-20 season. The Pistons averaged 24.1 assists per game on 39.3 made field goals last season. Boston finished 48-24 overall and 30-13 in Eastern Conference games a season ago. The Celtics averaged 8.3 steals, 5.6 blocks and 13.8 turnovers per game last season. The two teams play for the second time this season. The Pistons defeated the Celtics 96-93 in their last meeting on Jan. 1. Jerami Grant led Detroit with 24 points, and Jayson Tatum paced Boston with 28 points. INJURIES: Pistons: Frank Jackson: out (not with team), Jahlil Okafor: day to day (ankle), Blake Griffin: out (concussion protocol). Celtics: Romeo Langford: out (right wrist), Javonte Green:...
    Atlanta Hawks (3-1, fifth in the Eastern Conference) vs. Brooklyn Nets (3-2, sixth in the Eastern Conference) Brooklyn; Friday, 7:30 p.m. EST BOTTOM LINE: Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets host Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks in Eastern Conference action Friday. Brooklyn finished 35-37 overall and went 20-16 at home a season ago. The Nets allowed opponents to score 112.3 points per game and shoot 44.6% from the field last season. Atlanta went 20-47 overall and 11-32 in Eastern Conference play during the 2019-20 season. The Hawks averaged 111.8 points per game while shooting 44.9% from the field and 33.3% from 3-point range last season. Brooklyn and Atlanta play for the second time this season. The Nets won 145-141 in the last meeting between these two teams on Dec. 30. Durant led Brooklyn with 33 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists, and Young led Atlanta with 30 points, six...
    Boston Celtics (3-2, seventh in the Eastern Conference) vs. Detroit Pistons (0-4, 14th in the Eastern Conference) Detroit; Friday, 7 p.m. EST BOTTOM LINE: Boston takes on the Detroit Pistons after Jaylen Brown scored 42 points in the Celtics’ 126-107 victory over the Grizzlies. Detroit went 20-46 overall and 11-22 at home during the 2019-20 season. The Pistons averaged 24.1 assists per game on 39.3 made field goals last season. Boston went 48-24 overall and 30-13 in Eastern Conference action a season ago. The Celtics averaged 113.7 points per game last season, 47.8 in the paint, 17.6 off of turnovers and 15.2 on fast breaks. The teams match up Friday for the first time this season. INJURIES: Pistons: Killian Hayes: day to day (ankle), Jahlil Okafor: day to day (right ankle), Blake Griffin: day to day (concussion protocol). Celtics: Romeo Langford: out (right wrist), Javonte Green: out (health protocols), Tristan...
    Chicago Bulls (1-3, 12th in the Eastern Conference) vs. Washington Wizards (0-4, 15th in the Eastern Conference) Washington; Thursday, 5 p.m. EST BOTTOM LINE: Washington takes on Chicago looking to break its three-game home skid. Washington finished 25-47 overall and 16-20 at home a season ago. The Wizards averaged 114.4 points per game last season, 19.4 from the free throw line and 36 from beyond the arc. Chicago finished 22-43 overall and 15-28 in Eastern Conference action a season ago. The Bulls averaged 23.2 assists per game on 39.6 made field goals last season. The two teams play for the second time this season. The Bulls defeated the Wizards 115-107 in their last matchup on Dec. 29. Zach LaVine led Chicago with 23 points, and Bradley Beal paced Washington with 29 points. INJURIES: Wizards: Rui Hachimura: out (illness). Bulls: None listed. ___ The Associated Press created this story using technology...
    Milwaukee Bucks (2-2, ninth in the Eastern Conference) vs. Miami Heat (1-2, 10th in the Eastern Conference) Miami; Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. EST BOTTOM LINE: Milwaukee faces Miami in Eastern Conference action Wednesday. Miami finished 44-29 overall and went 29-7 at home during the 2019-20 season. The Heat averaged 16.2 points off of turnovers, 11.8 second chance points and 41.8 bench points last season. Milwaukee went 56-17 overall and 37-7 in Eastern Conference action during the 2019-20 season. The Bucks allowed opponents to score 108.6 points per game and shoot 41.4% from the field last season. Miami and Milwaukee matchup for the second time this season. The Bucks won 144-97 in the previous meeting between these two teams on Dec. 29. Khris Middleton led Milwaukee with 25 points, five assists and two steals, and Tyler Herro led Miami with 23 points and seven assists. INJURIES: Heat: Jimmy Butler: out (ankle). Bucks:...
    Philadelphia 76ers (3-1, fourth in the Eastern Conference) vs. Orlando Magic (4-0, first in the Eastern Conference) Orlando; Thursday, 6:30 p.m. EST BOTTOM LINE: Orlando will attempt to keep its four-game win streak intact when the Magic take on Philadelphia. Orlando went 33-40 overall and 18-17 at home during the 2019-20 season. The Magic gave up 108.3 points per game while committing 18.3 fouls last season. Philadelphia went 43-30 overall and 28-18 in Eastern Conference play during the 2019-20 season. The 76ers averaged 8.0 steals, 5.3 blocks and 14.2 turnovers per game last season. The teams match up Thursday for the first time this season. INJURIES: Magic: James Ennis III: out (hamstring), Al-Farouq Aminu: out (knee), Jonathan Isaac: out for season (knee). 76ers: Furkan Korkmaz: out (groin). ___ The Associated Press created this story using technology provided by Data Skrive and data from Sportradar. Copyright © 2020 The Associated Press. All...
    Atlanta Hawks (3-0, fourth in the Eastern Conference) vs. Brooklyn Nets (2-2, sixth in the Eastern Conference) Brooklyn; Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. EST BOTTOM LINE: Atlanta aims to keep its three-game win streak alive when the Hawks take on Brooklyn. Brooklyn finished 35-37 overall and went 20-16 at home during the 2019-20 season. The Nets averaged 111.8 points per game while shooting 44.8% from the field and 34.3% from 3-point distance last season. Atlanta finished 20-47 overall and 11-32 in Eastern Conference action in the 2019-20 season. The Hawks allowed opponents to score 119.7 points per game and shoot 47.8% from the field last season. The matchup Wednesday is the first meeting this season for the two teams. INJURIES: Nets: Nicolas Claxton: out (right knee), Spencer Dinwiddie: out (acl). Hawks: Onyeka Okongwu: out (foot), Tony Snell: out (foot), Kris Dunn: out (right ankle), Danilo Gallinari: out (left foot). ___ The Associated...
    Boston Celtics (1-2, ninth in the Eastern Conference) vs. Indiana Pacers (3-0, third in the Eastern Conference) Indianapolis; Tuesday, 7 p.m. EST BOTTOM LINE: Indiana will attempt to keep its three-game win streak alive when the Pacers take on Boston. Indiana finished 45-28 overall and 25-11 at home in the 2019-20 season. The Pacers gave up 107.5 points per game while committing 19.8 fouls last season. Boston went 48-24 overall and 30-13 in Eastern Conference play during the 2019-20 season. The Celtics shot 46.1% from the field and 36.4% from 3-point range last season. Indiana and Boston play for the second time this season. The Pacers won the last meeting 108-107 on Dec. 27. Malcolm Brogdon led Indiana to the victory with 25 points, five assists and two steals. INJURIES: Pacers: Brian Bowen II: out (groin), Goga Bitadze: out (right ankle), Jeremy Lamb: out (knee), Edmond Sumner: day to day...
    Milwaukee Bucks (1-2, 10th in the Eastern Conference) vs. Miami Heat (1-1, seventh in the Eastern Conference) Miami; Tuesday, 7:30 p.m. EST BOTTOM LINE: Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks visit Goran Dragic and the Miami Heat on Tuesday. Miami finished 44-29 overall and 29-7 at home in the 2019-20 season. The Heat gave up 109.1 points per game while committing 20.6 fouls last season. Milwaukee went 56-17 overall and 37-7 in Eastern Conference action during the 2019-20 season. The Bucks averaged 25.9 assists per game on 43.3 made field goals last season. The matchup Tuesday is the first meeting this season for the two teams. INJURIES: Heat: Jimmy Butler: day to day (ankle), Gabe Vincent: day to day (right knee). Bucks: None listed. ___ The Associated Press created this story using technology provided by Data Skrive and data from Sportradar. Copyright © 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This...
    New York Knicks (1-2, eighth in the Eastern Conference) vs. Cleveland Cavaliers (3-0, first in the Eastern Conference) Cleveland; Tuesday, 7 p.m. EST BOTTOM LINE: Cleveland heads into a matchup with New York as winners of three straight games. Cleveland went 19-46 overall and 11-25 at home a season ago. The Cavaliers shot 45.8% from the field and 35.1% from 3-point range last season. New York finished 21-45 overall and 15-28 in Eastern Conference play a season ago. The Knicks allowed opponents to score 112.3 points per game and shoot 46.3% from the field last season. The teams meet Tuesday for the first time this season. INJURIES: Cavaliers: Dylan Windler: out (wrist), Isaac Okoro: out (foot), Matthew Dellavedova: out (concussion), Kevin Porter Jr.: out (personal). Knicks: Immanuel Quickley: out (hip), Obi Toppin: out (calf), Austin Rivers: out (groin), Dennis Smith Jr.: out (quad), Omari Spellman: out (right knee). ___ The...
    Boston Celtics (1-1, seventh in the Eastern Conference) vs. Indiana Pacers (2-0, third in the Eastern Conference) Indianapolis; Sunday, 8 p.m. EST LINE: Celtics -2.5; over/under is 222 BOTTOM LINE: Domantas Sabonis and the Indiana Pacers host Jaylen Brown and the Boston Celtics. Indiana finished 45-28 overall and went 25-11 at home during the 2019-20 season. The Pacers allowed opponents to score 107.5 points per game and shoot 44.6% from the field last season. Boston finished 48-24 overall and 30-13 in Eastern Conference play in the 2019-20 season. The Celtics averaged 17.6 points off of turnovers, 13.2 second chance points and 28.5 bench points last season. The matchup Sunday is the first meeting this season for the two teams. INJURIES: Pacers: Brian Bowen II: out (groin), Goga Bitadze: out (right ankle), Jeremy Lamb: out (knee), Edmond Sumner: day to day (illness). Celtics: Tacko Fall: out (eye), Romeo Langford: out (right...
    Detroit Pistons (0-2, 12th in the Eastern Conference) vs. Atlanta Hawks (2-0, fourth in the Eastern Conference) Atlanta; Monday, 7:30 p.m. EST BOTTOM LINE: Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks host Jerami Grant and the Detroit Pistons in Eastern Conference action Monday. Atlanta went 20-47 overall and 14-20 at home in the 2019-20 season. The Hawks averaged 111.8 points per game while allowing opponents to score 119.7 last season. Detroit went 20-46 overall and 12-31 in Eastern Conference play a season ago. The Pistons averaged 107.2 points per game last season, 16.6 on free throws and 35.9 from beyond the arc. The matchup Monday is the first meeting this season between the two teams. INJURIES: Hawks: Onyeka Okongwu: out (foot), Tony Snell: day to day (foot), Kris Dunn: out (knee), Clint Capela: day to day (achilles), Danilo Gallinari: day to day (left foot). Pistons: None listed. ___ The Associated Press...
    Brooklyn Nets (2-0, first in the Eastern Conference) vs. Charlotte Hornets (0-2, 10th in the Eastern Conference) Charlotte; Sunday, 7 p.m. EST BOTTOM LINE: Terry Rozier and the Charlotte Hornets host Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn Nets in Eastern Conference play Sunday. Charlotte went 23-42 overall and 10-21 at home during the 2019-20 season. The Hornets averaged 6.6 steals, 4.1 blocks and 14.6 turnovers per game last season. Brooklyn finished 35-37 overall and 23-23 in Eastern Conference games in the 2019-20 season. The Nets averaged 111.8 points per game last season, 49.6 in the paint, 14.8 off of turnovers and 13.1 on fast breaks. The matchup Sunday is the first meeting of the season for the two teams. INJURIES: Hornets: Cody Zeller: out (hand), Grant Riller: day to day (knee). Nets: Nicolas Claxton: out (right knee). ___ The Associated Press created this story using technology provided by Data Skrive and...
    Milwaukee Bucks (1-1, eighth in the Eastern Conference) vs. New York Knicks (0-2, 13th in the Eastern Conference) New York; Sunday, 7:30 p.m. EST LINE: Bucks -12; over/under is 223.5 BOTTOM LINE: Eastern Conference foes New York and Milwaukee square off on Sunday. New York finished 21-45 overall and 11-22 at home in the 2019-20 season. The Knicks averaged 7.6 steals, 4.7 blocks and 14.3 turnovers per game last season. Milwaukee finished 56-17 overall and 37-7 in Eastern Conference action in the 2019-20 season. The Bucks allowed opponents to score 108.6 points per game and shoot 41.4% from the field last season. The matchup Sunday is the first meeting of the season for the two teams. INJURIES: Knicks: Immanuel Quickley: day to day (hip), Obi Toppin: out (calf), Austin Rivers: day to day (groin), Omari Spellman: day to day (right knee). Bucks: None listed. ___ The Associated Press created this...
    Philadelphia 76ers (2-0, fifth in the Eastern Conference) vs. Cleveland Cavaliers (2-0, sixth in the Eastern Conference) Cleveland; Sunday, 7:30 p.m. EST LINE: 76ers -6; over/under is 217 BOTTOM LINE: Cleveland hosts the Philadelphia 76ers following the Cavaliers’ 128-119 overtime win against the Pistons. Cleveland finished 19-46 overall and went 11-25 at home a season ago. The Cavaliers averaged 14.4 points off of turnovers, 13.5 second chance points and 33.5 bench points last season. Philadelphia went 43-30 overall and 28-18 in Eastern Conference games during the 2019-20 season. The 76ers allowed opponents to score 108.4 points per game and shoot 46.3% from the field last season. The teams meet Sunday for the first time this season. INJURIES: Cavaliers: Dylan Windler: out (wrist), Matthew Dellavedova: day to day (concussion), Kevin Porter Jr.: day to day (personal). 76ers: None listed. ___ The Associated Press created this story using technology provided by Data...
    Cleveland Cavaliers (1-0, fifth in the Eastern Conference) vs. Detroit Pistons (0-1, 14th in the Eastern Conference) Detroit; Saturday, 7 p.m. EST BOTTOM LINE: Detroit plays Cleveland in a matchup of Central Division squads. Detroit went 20-46 overall and 5-10 in Central Division action during the 2019-20 season. The Pistons shot 45.9% from the field and 36.7% from 3-point range last season. Cleveland went 19-46 overall and 12-32 in Eastern Conference action a season ago. The Cavaliers averaged 106.9 points per game last season, 15.1 on free throws and 33.5 from beyond the arc. The teams match up Saturday for the first time this season. INJURIES: Pistons: Deividas Sirvydis: out (not with team). Cavaliers: Dylan Windler: out (wrist), Matthew Dellavedova: out (concussion), Kevin Porter Jr.: out (personal), Dante Exum: out (hip), Kevin Love: out (calf). ___ The Associated Press created this story using technology provided by Data Skrive and data...
    Brooklyn Nets (1-0, seventh in the Eastern Conference) vs. Boston Celtics (1-0, sixth in the Eastern Conference) Boston; Friday, 5 p.m. EST LINE: Nets -2; over/under is 226.5 BOTTOM LINE: The Brooklyn Nets visit the Brooklyn Nets in Christmas Day action. Boston went 48-24 overall and 9-6 in Atlantic Division games during the 2019-20 season. The Celtics averaged 8.3 steals, 5.6 blocks and 13.8 turnovers per game last season. Brooklyn finished 35-37 overall and 23-23 in Eastern Conference games during the 2019-20 season. The Nets allowed opponents to score 112.3 points per game and shoot 44.6% from the field last season. The matchup Friday is the first meeting of the season for the two teams. INJURIES: Celtics: Tacko Fall: out (eye), Romeo Langford: out (right wrist), Kemba Walker: out (left knee). Nets: Nicolas Claxton: out (right knee). ___ The Associated Press created this story using technology provided by Data Skrive...
    Getty Images Are the Boston Celtics a legitamate top-5 team in the East? The landscape of the NBA’s Eastern Conference has drastically changed; most teams considered being in the top-tier ahead of the 2021 campaign improved during the offseason while the Boston Celtics find themselves in a somewhat dubious position considering its short-term hurdles and the long-term effects that come with it. Losing an All-Star point guard and second-best scorer will do that to a team, especially for Boston – what was once a conference-contending group that’s starting lineup will begin the season with only three returning members. The Celtics’ regular-season win trajectory is heavily predicated by Kemba Walker’s return and how long it’s going to take head coach Brad Stevens to find the proper continuity within his guys. Still, the Celtics’ budding duo of All-Star Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown will look to keep the ship afloat....
    Behind the mistaken raid by Chicago Police on an innocent social workers home Georgia Gov. Kemp attends White House Christmas party despite Trump attacks NBA predictions: Eastern Conference rankings for 2020-21 The NBA’s Eastern Conference is set to be as competitive – at least at the top – as it has been in years. © Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports Record last season: 56-17 Percentage of returning minutes: 50.6 perent Top offseason acquisitions: Jrue Holiday, DJ Augustin, Bobby Portis After the enormous news that Antetokounmpo would be signing a max extension with the Bucks, there was really no question who would finish first in these rankings. Antetokounmpo and the Bucks are coming off a league year that saw them go 56-17 (that's a 77 percent win rate, by the way) and boast a net rating of +9.4, the best mark a team had put up in the regular season since...
    By TIM REYNOLDS, AP Basketball Writer (AP) — Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo is the two-time reigning MVP. Brooklyn’s Kevin Durant is a two-time NBA Finals MVP and about to get back on the floor after recovering from injury. Washington’s Russell Westbrook is still a triple-double machine. Boston’s Jayson Tatum signed an extension this offseason that could pay him close to $200 million over five years. And none of them even play for the defending Eastern Conference champions. The Miami Heat were the best of the East last season, NBA finalists for the first time since 2014 and bring back almost all their top players from a year ago — yet they’re still bracing for what could be a very intense race this season. That speaks to how good the depth in the East will be, with the Bucks, Nets, Celtics, Toronto and Philadelphia all joining Miami as legitimate conference contenders entering...
    Last season, the Miami Heat exceeded everyone’s expectations as they rolled over to become the champions in the Eastern Conference. Coming into this off-season, they were seen as a top team for the free agents. One of the biggest players linked with the Heat was 2-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo. After a disappointing off-season by the Bucks, it was expected that the Greek Freak won’t sign the massive contract extension. The Heat was in the driving seat as a potential suitor. But to everyone’s surprise, the 26-year-old signed the Supermax with Milwaukee. With Giannis signing an extension, what’s next for the Miami Heat? 1. Challenge for the Eastern Conference with the current roster and wait for the 2021 off-season The Heat had a great 2019-20 season, and there were three young players in the center of it- Duncan Robinson, Tyler Herro, and Bam Adebayo. This trio, along with their talismanic leader...
    The Whiteboard is The Step Back’s daily basketball newsletter, covering the NBA, WNBA and more. Subscribe here to get it delivered to you via email each morning. Yesterday’s announcement that Giannis Antetokounmpo was signing a five-year, max extension with the Milwaukee Bucks was a remarkable anti-climactic end to months of hand-wringing and hypotheticals. We’ve become so used to the most chaotic possible ending to these scenarios that seeing things bend towards stability felt way more surprising than it should have. The tension of the past few months hasn’t just been inflated by the possibility that Giannis would turn down the extension, implicitly or explicitly signaling his desire to play elsewhere. The botched sign-and-trade for Bogdan Bogdanovic raised the stakes. As did two consecutive disappointing playoff exits. But that weight has been lifted, or at least rolled down the road for another four years. Their biggest question has been answered and...
    Getty Boston Celtics forward Jaylen Brown and ex-Celtics guard Kyrie Irving embrace. The NBA season begins on December 22 and the world is excited about the NBA’s Christmas schedule that has five big games on the docket. One of the most intriguing games on the schedule is the Eastern Conference, Atlantic Division showdown between the Boston Celtics and the Brooklyn Nets. Opening NBA odds for Christmas Day between the Celtics and the Nets are quite close with the Nets currently holding a slight lead over Boston. Brooklyn Nets -116 -1 (-110) N/A Boston Celtics -102 The Celtics added Tristan Thompson and Jeff Teague to their roster that already includes Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart and Kemba Walker From a Nets perspective, it’s entertaining for a big reason: Kyrie Irving. Entering his tenth year in the NBA, he’s built an impressive resume....
    Two years after they acquired Kawhi Leonard, Toronto Raptors President of Basketball Operations Masai Ujiri could be on the hunt for another disgruntled superstar that could help them fully dominate the Eastern Conference and win their second NBA championship title. Their roster, as currently constructed, might be enough to make them a legitimate playoff contender in the 2020-21 NBA season, but if they want a realistic chance of bringing home the Larry O’Brien Trophy, they should strongly consider going after a legitimate superstar that could form “Big Three” with Kyle Lowry and Pascal Siakam before the 2021 trade deadline. One of the players that the Raptors could target on the trade market is All-Star shooting guard James Harden of the Houston Rockets. In a recent article, Michael Saenz of Fansided’s Sir Charles In Charge included the Raptors on his list of “dark horse landing spots” for Harden before the 2021...
    COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Artur scored in the 59th minute and the Columbus Crew advanced to the MLS Cup title game with a 1-0 victory over the New England Revolution on Sunday in the Eastern Conference final. The third-seeded Crew will face the winner of the Western Conference final Monday night between the defending champion Seattle Sounders and Minnesota United. Columbus beat upstart Nashville with two goals during extra time last Sunday to advance to the conference finals while the team struggled with positive coronavirus cases. A limited number of fans were on hand at MAPFRE Stadium to celebrate the victory. The eighth-seeded Revolution were the surprise of the playoffs, getting past Montreal in a play-in game before eliminating the top-seeded Philadelphia Union and No. 4 Orlando City. Columbus had several good chances at the start, including Darlington Nagbe’s attempt in the fifth minute that was saved by goalkeeper Matt...
    Morehead State (1-3, 0-0) vs. Eastern Kentucky (3-1, 0-0) McBrayer Arena, Richmond, Kentucky; Monday, 7 p.m. EST BOTTOM LINE: Morehead State visits Eastern Kentucky as conference play starts for both teams. In conference play last season, Morehead State finished with seven wins and 11 losses, while Eastern Kentucky won 12 games and lost six. STEPPING UP: The versatile Tre King has averaged 18 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.8 steals to lead the way for the Colonels. Wendell Green Jr. is also a primary facilitator, putting up 10.5 points, 5.8 assists and 2.3 steals per game. The Eagles are led by De’Von Cooper, who is averaging 10.8 points and 6.8 rebounds.DOMINANT DE’VON: D. Cooper has connected on 31.3 percent of the 16 3-pointers he’s attempted and has made 4 of 12 over the last three games. He’s also made 82.4 percent of his free throws this season. ASSIST RATIOS: The Colonels...
    The Washington Wizards made a big move this offseason, sending John Wall and a future first-round pick to the Houston Rockets in exchange for Russell Westbrook. Swapping the injured Wall with a healthy Westbrook is expected to boost the Wizards’ chances of returning to the playoffs in the 2020-21 NBA season. However, if they are serious about fully dominating the Eastern Conference and winning the NBA championship title, they should still continue to find ways to upgrade their current roster. According to Brett Siegel of NBA Analysis Network, one of the players that the Wizards could target on the trade market is veteran center Clint Capela of the Atlanta Hawks. Capela may have missed the second half of the 2019-20 NBA season with an injury but once he returns to his perfect shape, he could form the Wizards’ Big Three with Beal and Westbrook next year. “As the Wizards’ roster...
    Eastern Illinois (0-2) vs. Butler (1-0) Hinkle Fieldhouse, Indianapolis; Sunday, 6:30 p.m. EST BOTTOM LINE: Butler plays host to Eastern Illinois in an early season matchup. TEAM LEADERS: .ACCURATE AARON: Across one appearances this year, Butler’s Aaron Thompson has shot 66.7 percent. DID YOU KNOW: Butler limited its 13 non-conference opponents to an average of just 53.6 points per game last season. The Bulldogs offense scored 69.2 points per contest on their way to a 12-1 record against competition outside the Big East Conference. Eastern Illinois went 5-5 against non-conference teams in 2019-20. ___ For more AP college basketball coverage: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and http://twitter.com/AP_Top25 ___ This was generated by Automated Insights, http://www.automatedinsights.com/ap, using data from STATS LLC, https://www.stats.com Copyright © 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.
    Eastern Illinois (0-1) vs. Marquette (1-0) Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee; Friday, 7 p.m. EST BOTTOM LINE: Marquette faces Eastern Illinois in an early season matchup. Eastern Illinois fell 77-67 at Wisconsin in its last outing. Marquette is coming off a 99-57 win at home over Arkansas-Pine Bluff in its most recent game. DID YOU KNOW: Eastern Illinois went 5-5 against non-conference programs last season. In those 10 games, the Panthers gave up 66.7 points per game while scoring 73 per contest. Marquette went 10-2 in non-conference play, averaging 78.8 points and allowing 65.7 per game in the process. ___ For more AP college basketball coverage: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and http://twitter.com/AP_Top25 ___ This was generated by Automated Insights, http://www.automatedinsights.com/ap, using data from STATS LLC, https://www.stats.com Copyright © 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.
    Married teachers in Georgia both get Covid-19, husband now on life support FDRs legacy and Joe Bidens greatest challenge College Basketball Conference-by-Conference Preseason Polls & Awards (2020-21) Since we’re hours away from the start of the college basketball season, let’s take a closer look at the schools and players that are getting some love in the preseason media polls this year. © Provided by Stadium [RELATED: NCAA Should Scrap Non-Conference Schedules for College Basketball This Season] ACC 1. Virginia (97 first-place votes) – 2214 2. Duke (34) – 2146 3. Florida State (15) – 1973 4. North Carolina (7) – 1933 5. Louisville (2) – 1693 6. Syracuse – 1234 7. Miami – 1223 8. NC State – 1149 9. Georgia Tech – 1147 10. Clemson – 1057 11. Virginia Tech – 794 12. Notre Dame –...
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