For the most part, the players are feeling pretty comfortable with the health and safety precautions that the NBA has put in place, and believe that the league is doing every thing within their power to mitigate risk related to the coronavirus. It all looks good in theory and on paper, but how it will all work once the players are actually there is another thing entirely. “I’m sure there will be some changes once we get down there, and they see that some things worked and some things didn’t,” Georges Niang said on Thursday.
As far as the actual games go, the players aren’t worried about playing without fans or how the schedule was decided on. They’re just excited to get to play again. “We miss playing the game of basketball,” Niang said. “We miss our day jobs so I think for the most part we’re excited to get down there and use our platform for social issues and be safe while doing that. The NBA has set up an environment that’s given us the right safety protocols to move in the right direction to be able to play.”
The insinuation was that players would not be able to be away from their sexual partners for such a long time. “Forget three months, they’re gonna struggle with three weeks,” Smith yelled. Do the Jazz think that players will break the rules of the bubble? “If they do, that’s them,” O’Neale said, dismissing the notion. “I’m single, I’m by myself, I ain’t got nothing to worry about. Quarantine life was kind of easy for me. I just played video games and hung out with my dog, so I think it’ll kind of be the same thing. Just without my dog. I’ll be alright.”
Storyline: Orlando Bubble
“I’m happy now. I’m in a good place, you know,” Gobert told reporters Friday. “And I’m happy that I get the joy back from playing basketball with my team and the competitiveness is back. I’m ready to try to go out there and try to win the championship. That’s the goal. And to be honest, after everything we’ve been through as a team and as human beings, it would be a great comeback.” Gobert answered questions for about 11 minutes. He talked about the relationship with Mitchell. (“It’s never going to be perfect,” he said, acknowledging strains that have been no secret.) He talked about the potential of signing a lucrative extension — he’s supermax-eligible — with the Jazz, which could happen before next season. (“I don’t plan on leaving right now,” he said.) He talked about his recovery from the virus, which is ongoing, at least in how his sense of smell hasn’t totally recovered. (“Smelling, I took that for granted too. It’s back now, it’s back at 80%, I’m not worried,” he said.)
Mitchell was genuinely hurt. Perhaps more than any star in Utah Jazz history, Mitchell has become a man of the community. He’s someone who has tirelessly given autographs. He’s someone who once pulled up on a random local Fourth of July barbeque. He’s someone who attended a Utah State football game — almost two hours away in Logan, Utah — simply because he was asked to on Twitter. He’s someone who attended the high school basketball championships and then took a photo with and tweeted at the MVP after the title game. So, in a large measure, Mitchell felt little betrayed. “I was pretty pissed off,” Mitchell said. “It opened a lot of eyes, to be honest with you. When that post came, and the comments, people said don’t read them. But it’s tough when they’re outrageous and crazy. It’s not like they were bots. They were people who live not only here but in different places.”
Here is how the coaches voted in The Athletic’s anonymous poll. When players received votes at more than one position, they were slotted at the position where they garnered the most votes. It is no surprise that Gobert and Antetokounmpo received the most first-team votes at their respective positions and led all vote-getters in total overall points. Gobert, the reigning two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year, ranks fourth in rebounding (13.7 per game) and sixth in blocks (2.0 per game). Antetokounmpo is the top defender on the Milwaukee Bucks, who lead the league in defensive efficiency. The Greek Freak also ranks third in the league in rebounding (his 13.7 boards per game edging Gobert’s average by 0.027 boards per game).
Facebook is also donating $20,000 to the charity of choice for Ayton, Griner and nine other athletes – Donovan Mitchell (Utah Jazz), Julian Edelman (New England Patriots), Allie Long, (U.S. Soccer/Reign FC), Alex Caruso (Los Angeles Lakers), Bogdan Bogdanović (Sacramento Kings), JaVale McGee (Los Angeles Lakers), Josh Richardson (Philadelphia 76ers), Zach LaVine (Chicago Bulls) and Tacko Fall (Boston Celtics).
Rudy Gobert: Just wanted to take a moment to thank you guys for the love and positive energy sent my way. Very grateful for the people around me and the people that strive to make this world a better place everyday! Always stay true to yourself! 🙏🏽🦀🔮 #28 #morelife

For the first time in over three months, NBA point spreads are back on the board at Las Vegas sportsbooks, but oddsmakers admit they’re not sure what to expect when the league attempts to resume its season amid the coronavirus pandemic. The line on the LA Clippers-Los Angeles Lakers game — the second half of an opening doubleheader July 30 — opened at pick ’em Saturday at Caesars Sportsbook. The New Orleans Pelicans are 1-point favorites over the Utah Jazz in the first game of the doubleheader.
“Going into a hub, I think the hardest part for me is I know I’ll do the right thing and I’m assuming my teammates will, but we’re all relying on 22 teams, 17 players per team,” Ingles said before the league last week distributed an 113-page guidebook of health precautions needed to make the resumption work. He worries that a player contracting the virus is inevitable. “I want to be there to play the games with my team, but I’m definitely not 100 percent comfortable going.”
Players and team staff members are expected to remain on the premises nearly at all times and cannot enter other people’s hotel rooms, among other regulations while in Florida. Ingles prioritizes his family’s safety at such a precarious time, but acknowledges that he does not want to let his team or fans down by not playing. “I know people aren’t paying money to come watch me play — they’re coming to watch Donovan play,” he said, referring to his teammate Donovan Mitchell. “But if I’m healthy and can get out there, then I should play.”
Storyline: Orlando Bubble