NBA

Miami lose top seed as Brooklyn roll, Memphis move to 17-2 without Morant

By Sports Desk March 26, 2022

The Miami Heat's slide continued on Saturday, with a disappointing 110-95 home defeat against the Brooklyn Nets making it four losses on the trot.

Miami entered the week multiple games clear of the chasing pack, but after the loss against the Nets, the Philadelphia 76ers usurped the Heat as the top seed in the Eastern Conference.

The race for home-court advantage throughout the Eastern playoffs is far from over, as the top four teams, including the Milwaukee Bucks and the Boston Celtics, are only separated by a half-game.

Things were ugly early for the Heat, with its once-feared defence giving up 40 points in just the second quarter to hand the Nets a 67-46 half-time lead, which was never threatened.

Kevin Durant led a balanced offensive performance from the Nets, finishing with a team-high 23 points on seven-of-14 shooting, while seven of his teammates scored at least eight points each.

The win was Brooklyn's seventh from their past nine games, with Kyrie Irving set to make his home debut the next time out against the Charlotte Hornets.

No Morant, no problem

The Memphis Grizzlies passed another real test when the Milwaukee Bucks came to town, sending the reigning champions home with their tails between their legs after a 127-102 result.

In one of the more unlikely storylines of this season, the Grizzlies are now 17-2 in games where their best player and MVP candidate Ja Morant has not played.

Emerging franchise centrepiece Desmond Bane rose to the occasion, scoring 20 points on nine-of-19 shooting to go with five assists, while Defensive Player of the Year candidate Jaren Jackson Jr blocked two shots and snatched one steal to go with his 16 points and six rebounds.

Kings rookie continues to break out, Bulls finally beat a good team

With De'Aaron Fox missing yet again, Sacramento Kings rookie Davion Mitchell had his third consecutive game with at least 22 points and seven assists in his side's 114-110 overtime win against the Orlando Magic.

Mitchell's line of 22 points (10-of-23 from the field) with seven rebounds and nine assists comes after games of 25 points and seven assists against the Indiana Pacers, and 28 points with nine assists against the Phoenix Suns.

Meanwhile, after entering the game with a sputtering record of 3-10 in their past 13 games, the Chicago Bulls collected a much-needed 98-94 win against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Since February 12, Chicago have only beaten two teams who currently occupy playoff spots – the Cavaliers, and the Toronto Raptors.

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    When the P.H.A.S.E.1 Academy’s Elite 1 Caribbean Basketball Summer League (E1CBL) tips off at the National Indoor Arena in Kingston on Saturday, August 13, one of the more highly anticipated match-ups, will be the game between Team Horizon (Red) and Team Rivers (Blue) as it will feature the number-one draft pick Nicholai Brown against the talented Dave Black, who are both looking forward to the contest.

    Brown believes his team will be ready and expect to win based on what he believes will be the foundation of Team Horizon’s success.

    “Going into this league, just the basic things of basketball, playing defence,” he said.

    “I am a good defensive player so I am expecting my team to play good defence because from good defence comes great offence. So I am expecting my teammates to play good defence and each player, whether we are playing zone or man so I am expecting good things from them.”

    From a personal standpoint, Brown, Team Horizon’s co-captain, said he is eagerly anticipating going up against Black, who is co-captain of Team Rivers.

    “The first match is going to be great. We are playing against Dave (Black). He is a great player. I have always wanted to play against him. I have seen what he can do over the week that I have been playing with him,” Brown said.

    “I think all my teammates are looking forward to playing against Team Blue. They are as excited as I am. My teammates are all good competitors so it’s going to be a good game.”

    Meanwhile, Black said Team Rivers plans to play exciting basketball that will entertain the fans.

    “After the first practice, I think we have good chemistry going into Saturday’s game. We just want to get up and down the court fast and play some exciting basketball,” Black said.

    “We have a lot of talent on our team and we just want to go out there and compete. We had our first practice yesterday (Wednesday) and this morning (Thursday) and our expectation is to win the tournament.

    “I think we have one of the best teams. In our first game, we’ll be trying to get stops, trying to go on the break and playing exciting basketball not only for the coaches but also for the fans. We want everybody to have fun watching some great basketball.”

    The Caribbean’s biggest basketball entertainment event of the season is being hosted in collaboration with the Jamaica Basketball Association.

    The tournament starts at 5:00 pm with an opening ceremony, followed by competition between the four teams in the league - Elite 1 Rivers, Elite 1 Waves, Elite 1 Horizon, and Elite 1 Storm. Each team comprises top-tier professional players from Jamaica, Barbados, Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Ghana.

  • P.H.A.S.E 1 Academy Elite 1 Caribbean Summer Basketball League commences this weekend P.H.A.S.E 1 Academy Elite 1 Caribbean Summer Basketball League commences this weekend

    The National Arena in Kingston comes alive this Saturday, August 13th with the first games of P.H.A.S.E.1 Academy’s Elite 1 Caribbean Basketball Summer League (E1CBL)- the Caribbean’s biggest basketball entertainment event of the season, which is hosted in collaboration with the Jamaica Basketball Association. 

    The event starts at 5:00 PM with an opening ceremony, followed by heated competition among the four teams in the league; Elite 1 Rivers, Elite 1 Waves, Elite 1 Horizon, and Elite 1 Storm. Each team comprises of top-tier professional players from Jamaica, Barbados, Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Ghana.  

    Spectators will also be treated to entertaining half time shows headlined by some of Jamaica’s most popular artistes. 

    The exciting competition continues August 14 starting at 6:00 PM, and on August 17 at 4:00 PM.  It will culminate with a celebrity game, third place playoff and the championship game on August 20th which will start at 4:00 PM. 

    CEO and Founder of P.H.A.S.E.1 Academy Wayne Dawkins, says the E1CBL is the consummate family event, and is inviting people to come out and witness basketball like they have never seen it before in Jamaica. 

    “We are going be bringing them a professional basketball atmosphere that a lot of people only see on TV. We will have high flying basketball players, dancers, music and entertainment topped off by an energetic crowd. It’s the ultimate family entertainment event,” he said. 

    Tickets for the event are available at Emkay Sports at 11 Oxford Terrace in Kingston, and cost $200 for students, $500 for bleachers, and $1000 for VIP. Persons can also reach out to the E1CBL via Instagram @e1caribbeanbasketballleague to purchase tickets. 

    The E1CBL is sponsored by the Jamaica Basketball Association, Elite 1 Recruiting Platform, Ribbiz, TurboStats, Global Pipeline Agency, KFC, Phoenix Health Complex and Vision Centre, Athletic Fusion, Suretime Medical, Habliborange, Herbs, Facey Pharmaceuticals, and Confectionery and Snacks Jamaica. 

    P.H.A.S.E.1 Academy was founded by Jamaican Canadian and former basketball player, Wayne Dawkins. For the past 25 years, P.H.A.S.E.1 Academy have been organizing and hosting basketball leagues and tournaments in Canada and the US and Africa. These events have contributed substantially to the growth of the youth sports industry. 

    P.H.A.S.E.1 Academies are located in Canada, Jamaica, the United States, and Africa. Our student-athletes have access to expert staff, elite training methods, top competition, and exposure to greater opportunities. Over the years, we have assisted in the development of more than 500 athletes in receiving scholarships to study and play post-secondary sports and move on to become professional athletes.

     

  • Michigan State give Hall of Fame coach Tom Izzo new 5-year, $31m contract Michigan State give Hall of Fame coach Tom Izzo new 5-year, $31m contract

    Michigan State and Tom Izzo have agreed to a new five-year, $31 million contract, giving the Hall of Fame men’s basketball coach an annual raise of about $2 million.  

    The university announced the contract extension on Thursday, pending board approval.  

    "We greatly appreciate Coach Izzo's commitment to our outstanding university and his competitive drive to keep Spartan basketball as a national powerhouse," university president Samuel Stanley said in a statement. 

    The MSU Athletics account on Twitter announced Izzo’s new deal using the phrase "Spartan For Life."

    "Twelve years ago, Tom Izzo said he would be a Spartan for Life, and today's announcement further demonstrates and renews this commitment," AD Alan Haller said in a statement. "We have worked collaboratively to come up with a contract which benefits the university, coach Izzo and his family."

    A 2016 inductee into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, Izzo is entering his 28th year at the helm of Spartan men’s basketball with a career record of 666-267.  

    Izzo has led Michigan State to eight Final Four appearances, including the 2000 national championship.  

    The Spartans have participated in NCAA Tournament in a Big Ten-record 24 straight seasons.  

    "Michigan State has been a home to me and my family for 40 years and I'm ecstatic to sign this contract," Izzo said in the statement. 

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