The exciting thing, however, is that they beat the USA …

The exciting thing, however, is that they beat the USA by being among other things taller. Coach Gregg Popovich had to play small against Rudy Gobert, but the small ball didn’t affect at all the French game plan. “We knew, and we didn’t want to adjust to that,” explained Batum after the game. “We wanted to keep him on the court. Because… he is our best player. He is the back-to-back defensive player of the year. We know what he can bring in defense and offense as well. That’s why the coach kept him on the court. We knew that his defense would help us. And he also help us on offense. He got better, and that will be the next step for him. He has shown some improvement, he moves better, he knows how to get inside, and if he gets to be like we want him to be, it will be the next step.”
Storyline: World Cup
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Olgun Uluc: New: The NBA has announced this season’s top-10 selling jerseys in Australia. 1. LeBron James 2. Ben Simmons 3. Jayson Tatum 4. Kyrie Irving 5. Giannis Antetokounmpo 6. Anthony Davis 7. Kawhi Leonard 8. Stephen Curry 9. Kyle Kuzma 10. Luka Dončić
February 25, 2020 | 4:49 pm EST Update
February 25, 2020 | 3:52 pm EST Update
There are two questions worth asking about Gary Harris right now. Both are critical for the Denver Nuggets, and their climb towards the NBA title: “What happened?” and “What if he turns it around?” Two years ago, when Harris was 23, only two players his age averaged more than his 17.5 points per game: Joel Embiid and Giannis Antetokounmpo. The bubbling optimism that surrounded Denver’s young core was amplified by Harris’ breakout campaign, how he so perfectly complemented Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray in a league increasingly infatuated with athletic three-point shooters who could not be bullied on the other end.
Development is not linear and there are myriad ways to describe any one player’s unforeseeable stagnation, but the reality is Harris went from doubling as an integral present-day contributor and precious trade asset, to a big reason why his team can’t scratch the ceiling they otherwise could. The past few weeks have been a particularly dark nadir. In his last 20 games, Harris is averaging 8.7 points, shooting 35.2 percent from the floor and 23.9 percent behind the three-point line. Over his last 15, the Nuggets have been outscored by three points with Harris on the court.
This naturally leads us to wonder how the Nuggets would look if Harris returns to his old form and makes defeating the Nuggets four times in seven tries the Himalayan hike it should be. Harris averaging, say, 20 points per game — one-third of of them thanks to 40 percent shooting beyond the arc — and then paring it with elite on-ball defense, would help slice the margins that currently sit between Denver and the LA teams. Their offense would sparkle more vividly than it currently can in tight spots — meaningful, considering the Nuggets already have the sixth-highest offensive rating in the league.
Baseball agent Scott Boras told the Los Angeles Times he will honor Kobe Bryant’s wishes and create an internship for the late John Altobelli’s surviving 16-year-old daughter, Alexis. Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka opened his speech Monday at Kobe and Gianna Bryant’s public memorial service by sharing a story about the future Hall of Famer’s request.
While Bryant was texting Pelinka, he and his daughter were on the helicopter ride that would end their lives. Also on board were seven others, including John Altobelli, wife Keri and their younger daughter, 14-year-old Alyssa, who was Gianna Bryant’s teammate on the Mamba basketball team. “Kobe’s last human act was heroic,” Pelinka said. “He wanted to use his platform to bless and a shape a young girl’s future.”
February 25, 2020 | 3:24 pm EST Update
February 25, 2020 | 3:05 pm EST Update
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